Last night looked like this:
If I didn’t have a date with my lovely training partner, I can’t say I would have trekked to Pleasanton in the rain for another intimidatingly long swim. But I did, so I did.
I arrived at drizzly, muggy Shadow Cliffs and suited up. Had a couple of whiny “oh shit, this is gonna be haaaaaard again” moments as we made our way to the water. This time I brought my Garmin so I would have some sense of what to expect this weekend.
The first lap was miserable. I really wish I could get the hang of swimming more slowly. I’m definitely not fast but I feel like I’m in zone 3 right off the bat. I would love to cruise like I do at the beginning of a run and then pick up the pace once I’m warmed up. I’ve gotten the hang of that in the pool but not in open water just yet.
Last week, I counted down the lengths from 8. That is much easier for my spirit to handle when I’m struggling. Around the halfway point, I found a rhythm and even felt strong for about a lap. I lost that momentum at the turnaround but had some success when I breathed every other stroke and sighted every fourth. Ideally, I would breathe every fourth stroke and sight every eighth but that requires my heart rate to be much lower than it was.
The last two laps were empowering. Up until that point, two sides of my mind had been bickering nonstop.
“You can’t do this. This is really, really not good. Should you drop out of this tri?!”
“YOU ARE DOING IT. RIGHT NOW. STOP SAYING THAT. IT’S HARD BUT YOU ACTUALLY ARE DOING IT RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT.”
With 200 meters left, the voices calmed down and I just kept swimming, just kept swimming to the end.
Just before I finished, I heard a beep and felt a buzzing. You all (who have a Garmin) know what that means…
Did I just swim a fucking mile? Wait a minute. What is going on?
Velia looked smooth and strong the entire time and we finished within seconds of each other. As I caught my breath, I told her that my watch indicated that we had swum a mile. I was wearing it on my wrist so I knew it could be off but I didn’t think it would be nearly half a mile long.
“You know…” she said pointing to the buoy at the midpoint “….I think that might be 100 meters. These lengths feel way longer than 100.”
I agreed and the idea that we could have potentially been swimming longer than we thought was definitely appealing. I decided to measure the distance from the end of the lap lane to the mid-point buoy with my Garmin in my swim cap (much more reliable).
I swam as straight as possible and it measured 274 feet.
We rinsed off and anxiously Googled the feet to meters conversion. She’s an artist and I’m a singer. What do you want from us?
Upon discovering that we had been swimming SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER than we thought, we freaked out. At that point, we thought it was double which blew our minds. Let me tell you, I felt a lot better about those lung busting 800 meter swims when I found out they weren’t. Many hugs and lots of glee. It was an enormous confidence infusion for both of us. We stood in the rain trying to wrap our brains around the race distances that now feel so possible. Like, maybe this season possible.
When I got home, I did some fruitless googling and then found the measuring tool on Google maps. 150 meters per length.
That 800? It was 1200. In 28 minutes. Okay!!
That 1000 meters I did last week? 1500. Olympic Tri Distance!!!
And so now, I’m predictably going race insane. I’ve already registered for some fun running events, after my majorly confidence boosting 8 mile run. Starting to have some Oly thoughts…..Need to think but later today I’ll share more in my Truthy Tuesday post.
Can I give a big internet high five to my amazing training partner, Velia? This girl is awesome. Strong, ambitious, and enthusiastic. After only a few workouts, I am beyond grateful to share this with her.
Let me tell ya, we’ve got some plans….