Yesterday it happened.
After more than 2 months . . . my 54th consecutive time in the pool of bad swims . . . I finally had a good swim day!!
I have continued to put myself in the game, continued just to "try", refusing to give up. Day after day, week after week after week -- imagine going to every workout hoping this one will be better, hoping something today will be different, but knowing the previous workouts have been crap and you don't know why. After a while it becomes the quest but also the punishment - it takes a great deal of internal motivation to continue putting yourself in a situation where there aren't any rewards. I am proud of myself for this.
Yesterday I hit the 7:30am Masters at Scott Carpenter. This is a great 50m pool in Boulder that sits literally 1 block from my condo.
As I walked to practice, I would sigh heavily with body language that had to reflect a lack of enthusiasm to be doing this shit again. But eventually I will have a good day in the pool. Someday I will again - I have to keep believing.... so yesterday was another intended attempt.
We had about 15 min to warmup before we were getting rolling. As I've mentioned, I can always tell pretty quickly if it'll be a good swim for me that day. My body gives me clear signs. In the last few months, I've felt crazy heaviness in my quads and cramping in my calves that comes on pretty quickly despite very little kicking and wall pushoffs that aren't that spectacular. (Weird.) My arms have just felt flat; I never seem to be pulling very much water. My form is fine, my technique is fine - it's the turnover and power. I know enough to know this.
So yesterday . . . . it was a day like any other. But during warmup I could feel my upper body was different; I had more power and my arms felt lighter. My body position was also higher on top of the water (not the usual tank I am dragging), my turnover was quicker and I just felt stronger. My legs still got that same heaviness and cramping but I was able to ignore this and just let them float with a light flutter kick.
We did a pretty hearty set of 4 x 150 on 2:00, 1 x 100 on 1:40 --- we repeated this several times. I was somehow making these intervals. I wasn't really expecting to make the 150's at all - and I was SHOCKED by what was going on today. Towards the end of the set I was falling off a bit, but not by much, and I knew this was lack of endurance - which I can correct.
I have no idea what was different today, what I did today that magically made it better --- but it felt so great to FINALLY have a good swim. It has been weeks and weeks and weeks of utter frustration and exhaustion at my failed attempts to bring myself around. Since that was probably it for another 3 months, I hope I enjoyed it. :)
Now if I could just have a good ride or run....