It’s been a while since I felt like this in the pool.
Yes, at the risk of sounding graphic, Wednesday’s workout included that feeling of pushing back the puke factor.
OK, I wasn’t really on the verge of throwing up.
But it was hard and difficult and I felt it in every fiber of my core, including some digestive tract muscles.
Most of my swim sets of the last few months included some speed work but mostly were spent working on my endurance. I had to swim 2.4-miles after all and while there was a time cut-off to hit, the bigger issue was being able to swim that long continuously.
My coach has started writing my swim workouts and the past few have been a form of testing. Last week, I had a series of 50-yard sprints to do within a certain time frame. Yesterday, it was 75-yard sprints. Think track workout only in the water.
Most of my previous speed work has been based on effort not time, which was just fine with me. In fact, the last time I routinely swam based on timed sets, I exclusively used my zoomer fins, or else I would fail to keep with the slowest lane at master’s practice.
But last week I hit the times for my 50-yard sprints.
This week, I failed to really look at the math before my 75-yard sprints. Always a good thing for me. The math is soothing to some. To me, it either makes me anxious or confuses me. Neither is a very productive emotion in my world.
After an easy 300 yard warmup, I went off to do my seven sprints.
At the risk of broadcasting my slowness, I offer my prescribed workout times:
75 yards in 1:58 to 1:55.
Go one sprint on every 2:45
After the first one, I looked at my watch: 1:53. Ooh. Too fast. Part of me was pleased but another part knew I would likely pay for that pace later. Happens nearly every time I go out fast in a track workout.
But a funny thing happened. I didn’t pay the price. In fact, my fastest sprint clocked in at 1:50 with my slowest at 1:54.
Seriously, I almost considered asking the lifeguard to verify that it was indeed a 25-yard length pool.
Somehow, it all felt good. Challenging for sure. Sprint No. 5 felt like a solid punch to my gut. But yet, I left the pool feeling productive and triumphant. Somewhere along the way I lost some fear. I lost the little voice that judges me, even if it was just for the duration one swim workout.
I have a friend who believes in always reaching for thoughts which feel better to us. Sometimes, we get this backward and think we need to act a certain way in order to feel a certain way. Certainly the “fake it until you make it” adage has been proven time and again. But take that one step further — let your actions flow from a place of good feeling.
When we act while in a place of fear or doubt or anxiety or stress, the results are often less than we would like. Spending a bit more time on feeling good — about a situation, a task, a relationship, yourself — puts you in better place to attract the outcomes you desire. Like attracts like.
I entered my swim workout not knowing what would happen, but excited to be back in the water, happy to be doing my second workout of the day. I immersed myself in the moment, and left the pool in an even better place than when I began.