I am a proud graduate of the Nuun swim team (clinic)! Swimming Lesson 5 is over and done.
During the 5th lesson (Monday) I got to celebrate that I’ve actually made some pretty good form progress in the last month. All of the form changes that I’ve written about I’ve adapted to fairly well. When I get tired they begin to fly out the window somewhat, but I’ve also learned which drills snap me back into shape quickly so when form falters I can find it again. I’ve also figured out which drills are as productive as banging my head against a wall (I don’t do those ones anymore).
It’s been helpful, essential really, that during this time I’ve been able to not focus on speed and just focus on steady consistent pace and distance during all of my swims the last 5 weeks. The harder I try to swim fast I SWEAR the slower I go; if I can just relax and focus I can hold a decent pace pretty well without feeling like dying. These swimming lessons have reinforced this times a million.
During this last lesson I ran through my drills and form work so that we could create a list of the top stuff I still need to concentrate on during my swims.
- Arm width. My left arm still likes to aim to close to the centerline.
- Rotation. Pull from the lats while sideways.
- Core engagement. Lead rotation and glide from there.
I now have a mental list of the 3 things to check in on if my swimming feels sub par, which I’m sure it will at some point, again.
Today is Wednesday, which means last night was Track Tuesday. Track Tuesdays have been pretty uneventful for me the past couple months. Lots of not attending at all, and the last few weeks have been more like Slow Jog Tuesdays. And Slow Jog Tuesdays aren’t fun to write about.
Last night I got my first real post-injury crack at some running that made me feel excited. I warmed up with my current normal 8:15ish mile pace, and then got to do 6x 800’s at 7:00 mile pace. Just a couple of months ago I was completing these at a pace so much faster it makes me feel like crying. When I found out I’d be running anything at a 7:00 mile pace I felt like crying too. It sounded impossible, but I fared better than I thought I would. Sets actually got easier up until #5.
My heart rate was embarrassingly high, my breathing was labored, and my legs were burning and I loved it. (My recovery 400’s were at a good clip, for the record.)
I’ve been anxious about my return to running; as much as running is all I want to do the return from injury is never seamless or easy. You hope you didn’t lose too much. You’ve always lost more than you hoped. Even if you’re fit as can be your body is no longer accustomed to running pain. There’s nothing like it. Everything hurts. Everything feels hard. And you have to constantly remind yourself that NO YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STOP KEEP GOING GO GO GO.
Though it’s slower than where I was, it’s also faster than where I’ve been. I’m really looking forward to this weekends 60 mile bike + 40 min run (8 min/mi pace) brick workout. If I can knock that one out on pace it will be step 2 to feeling better about things.