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Pushing the Limits & A PR in the Pool!

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Back to your regularly scheduled programming, folks. Taking a bit of a break from the heavy emotional fare of the past two blogs. Today is all about training, yo.

Last night, I attended a one-hour spin class. It was the second time I've gone in deciding that I would not cheat on the resistance and would allow myself to feel the pain...because I know it will make me stronger rider when it's all said and done. It was SO difficult, but guess what? I lived.

About an hour later, I took my daughter to martial arts at the YMCA, expecting to do weights. But something strange happened and I switched it up at the last second and decided to get some cardio in instead (I was running about 1 hour behind in cardio this week, according to my training schedule and I reason it's easier to fit strength in at home or even just do body weight exercises on my own). Got on the treadmill and got a quick 2 miles in. Geez. This is the first night I've REALLY felt my workout in quite awhile. We're talking close to 1400 calories burned in a span of a few hours. WOW.

I realized when I got home that I needed to pack my gym bag because my schedule called for a swim early this morning. My body was absolutely spent...it took all my effort to pack that bag and not just say, "You know what? Forget tomorrow's workout...this was good enough." I had to remind myself that, after some restorative sleep, I would have more energy and that swimming is active muscle recovery so it would actually make my body feel better.

I really didn't expect heroics this morning. I figured I'd be lucky to get 30 lengths in (let alone my usual 34 lengths). That's when it happened...

I walked into that pool and was hit with the warm air and smell of chlorine and saw people already swimming laps and everything in my heart shouted, "This is my heaven." Instant relaxation and happiness.

It's hard to explain what happens in that lap lane. It amazes me what the human body is capable of. At the very same time that I'm counting laps in my head, I'm paying attention to every minute detail of my form and where every part of my body is supposed to be at all times, breathing at regular intervals over my shoulder....and I STILL have time to entertain my most secret thoughts over top all of that. Underneath the water is so quiet...all I hear is my breathing and, once my body begins to take over and get into its rhythm, I'm just alone with my thoughts.

This morning, I was so happy to be in the pool and to think the things I was thinking that I just kept swimming and never felt the need for a break. I did take one very short one at 20 lengths...to catch my breath and let the guy I was sharing a lane with get a bit ahead of me (I hate swimming side by side in a lane). But, otherwise...no breaks today. A first for me.

It occurs to me that I just started swimming in August and that was only 4 months ago! Remember how I was gasping for air for months? And how completely awkward and self-conscious I was when I started? It's incredible how far I've come. All of that has fallen away. Somewhere in there I found a rhythm for breathing and the entire puzzle clicked into place. Now, my focus of every swim is in relaxing and letting my body do its work.

And what was the result? 40 laps in 30 mins. 1000 meters. Personal record. Previous PR: 34 laps in 30 mins (850m). I completely tore up that old PR. I don't know what happened in that pool today (OK, I do...but, as I said...private thoughts).

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I never would have predicted that a cheap $5 pair of goggles from KMart would unlock my own personal heaven.
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