While training for this swim, a new month has meant a new goal. Each month, I would increase my weekly distance goal and add something new to keep me uncomfortable and getting stronger. I both dreaded and looked forward to it to see how much harder I could push myself. The first week was always terrible and exhausting, but I would settle in over the course of the month. And then, the last Thursday of the month was “Test Set” day. A test set is a way to measure performance and improvement. Our test set has been a 2,000-meter timed swim at the end of practice. When March 26th rolled around, I’d like to say I came up with some super creative dryland test set and I was feeling stronger than ever, but I didn’t. I was feeling a little down. The uncertainty of how I’m training without water shook me. I’ve never done any sport that has been a reasonable substitute for swimming, and while I’m trying to target my swimming muscles, I also know I won’t know how it has impacted my speed and endurance until I’m back in the water.
As I was feeling down, I remembered this list I have of unpredictable factors of open water swimming. On it are things like the weather, water conditions, wind conditions, miscellaneous boat problems, and how people handle being on a boat for 70 hours. It’s my way of identifying areas that need contingency planning, and also dividing the things I can control from the things I can’t. As it turns out, not much has actually changed 😊 I can still control how hard I train, how I choose to train, and my attitude. Plus, the future holds no guarantee! Even though the uncertainty of how I’ll feel when I’m able to get back in the water still scares me, I can still choose to keep trying and to keep going! Open water swimming demands you use what you’ve got and take what you can get so this is perfect practice. 😊
April may not be starting out how I imagined, but I’m feeling refocused and better yet, I am sore and tired in the right places. Peloton is kicking my butt and keeping up my cardio endurance, Spenga and TRX are keeping up my strength training, and I’m getting the hang of “swimming” with resistance bands.
I cannot wait to hit the water, but in the meantime, I’ll be home and training my heart out!
We can do this, team!