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I’ve gotten so caught up (and by that I mean obsessed) with finding more 5Ks to run that I have given swimming a backseat in my triathlon training. I’m a strong swimmer and I’m confident in my ability, but I also know that by focusing solely on running, for the mere fact that it sucks and I hate it, therefore I need to overcome it, I am weakening my biking and swimming strengths. Or so they say. I’ve been swimming since I could walk. I swam every day, every summer when I was at camp as a kid and I was became a lifeguard by the age of 16. I think I’m good in that department.
Nonethless, I decided to brush up by doing some swimming drills. I have never in my life done swimming drills. I’ve always just done laps, treading, brick tests, etc. So I took the plunge (pun intended) and did some drills, which included thumb to thigh, touch and go, swimming with closed fists and swimming with one arm. Seriously. If you ever want to mess with someone while you’re swimming and make them think you’re drowning, try swimming with your fists closed. You will flail around like an idiot, while literally punching the water, trying to stay afloat. After I started that drill, I noticed the lifeguard started watching me a little more closely, with a lot more concern. Right after that, I started the one arm drills. More people stared. One girl arrived just as I was starting the one arm drills and she was sitting in the hot tub, just watching me in horror. I started laughing while I was swimming, because I realized that she really thought I only had one arm. It’s also hard to swim and laugh at the same time. That added more flailing.
The good thing about the drills, though, was I lost track of time completely because I was concentrating on form (and trying not to drown) and not just swimming laps. It gets pretty boring in the pool just swimming laps. There’s no music to listen to, no one to talk to, nothing at all except random thoughts. And if you’re swimming for distance, you have to count laps. I’ve lost count many times. So I’ve gotten in the habit of making up songs while swimming laps as a way to count my laps. Not kidding. “The laps go swimming one by one, hurrah, hurrah. The laps go swimming one by one, hurrah, hurrah. This lap was swam one time, just one, and I’m the one not sucking my thumb and I keep one swimming until the end of the lane, of the lane boom, boom, boom. The laps go swimming two by two hurrah, hurrah....” and so on and so forth. I also tend to slack on the kicking part so I have to remind myself every one in a while with a bit of perfectly placed “Just keep kicking, just keep kicking”, as Dory in Finding Nemo might say. I get weird while swimming. It’s the truth.
I swam for an hour yesterday and I’m exhausted today. I always forget how much swimming laps (or in this case drills) tires me out. It’s a good workout though you use your whole body to keep yourself from drowning. There’s good motivation right there!
Tomorrow, I have another 5K. It’s in Exeter, NH and it’s the Margarita 5K. Meaning there will be a margarita party at the end of the race. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not too sure that they’ve classified margaritas as a good post race recovery drink.
Plus, I don’t like tequila anyway. I’m just in it for the shirt.