Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Count With Me

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Time: 4:45 p.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
194 days to Olympic Trials

At the gym:

20 minutes on elliptical machine

Five minutes shoulder warmup exercises

Sitting chest press (2x15 @ 110)

Seated row (2x15 @ 95)

Fifteen minutes abdominal exercises and stretching

My original plan was to get back into exercise on Thursday. Starting a day early is not typical of me, but with my next swim meet a month away, I couldn't afford any more time away from physical improvement. I'm in no rush to get back into shape, since doing so is usually a path to injury, but I do hope to be doing my normal stuff before Christmas. That's 11 days from now!

In the 72 hours since the end of the Arizona state meet, I've thought endlessly of my performances there. I continue to be thrilled about my times in the 100 back and both IMs. I'm especially excited about my IM times, knowing that my breaststroke was not at its best last weekend. I might even ditch my plan to take an extended break after Masters nationals next summer and go for some short course meters times next fall. That's a very tentative plan; we'll have to see how the next seven months pan out.

Something else I thought about was how I'm going to work on deconstructing then reconstructing my breaststroke. One thing I am going to do is not get too attached to my stroke count. It can be very deceptive. During my 100 breast on Sunday, I took seven strokes on the first 25, eight on the next two 25s and nine on the last 25. That's a very good stroke count, but the time was not good. Tying performance to stroke count can be dangerous. I could do eight strokes for 25 meters at any speed. If someone asked me to go 25 meters breast taking eight strokes, provided I do it in 20 seconds (instead of 15, which was my goal split per 25), I could do it. If someone asked me to go 25 meters breast taking eight strokes, provided I do it in 15 seconds, I could do it. See what I mean? Hitting your seemingly preferred stroke count means nothing when the speed isn't there.

I'm not sure what I'll use to gauge speed now. Maybe I'll let my conscience be my guide, and just know based on feel how fast I'm going. It's served me well before.

I was planning on swimming tomorrow morning, but I have a doctor's appointment at 7:30 a.m., and I need to fast for a blood draw. I can't go into a swimming workout with absolutely nothing in my stomach. So, my next pool workout will be on Friday. I might go to the gym tomorrow. We'll see how my day goes.

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