Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Don't Speak

Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Time: 5:45 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Long Course Meters
12 days to Olympic Trials

1600 warmup

Four rounds:
100 easy on 3:00
50 breast fast from push
(33.5, 33.3, 33.3, 33.3)

300 easy

8x50 on 1:30
1. easy
2. 25 free fast from dive/25 easy
3. 25 free fast from push/25 easy

100 easy

Total: 3,000 meters (80 minutes)

Things are definitely on the right track, based on my performances in workout today. Last week, I was shocked that I was able to swim two 50s breast from a push under 34 seconds. Today, I was shocked thatI was able to do four of them under 34!

I wasn't perfect on all three swims, though. On the third one, I felt that I needed to pull and kick harder to go the same time, because I was feeling a little fatigued. And when I put more effort into it (which was only a perceived extra effort, since I was going 100 percent on the first two 50s), my stroke felt sloppy.

Nonetheless, a very encouraging workout today, the last one before taper officially begins! I am still struggling with feeling the easy speed and explosiveness, but i know from experience that it comes somewhere during the taper ... or at least, that's what is supposed to happen! On the 25s free, I was feeling a good stroke rate, but I still need to work on my freestyle start. I modify my breaststroke start to not go so deep, and I think it affects my speed when I enter the water. I'm not extremely concerned about it, because I am only doing one individual freestyle race at Masters nationals. But that will be a tough race anyway, and a good start will be very important.

My last dryland session with JR Rosania was tougher than I expected, but very productive. I did about 15 sets of exercises focusing on fast movement, mostly working with only my body weight. I remember last week that I was more sore from doing fast movements than I was during the high-volume portion of the season. I will probably be very sore tomorrow!

I am extremely grateful to JR for taking my under his wing to improve my dryland training in these past 10 months. I told him today that dryland was the only major change I've made in my training, and I am certain it's been a big help ... though I had my doubts back in January!

Everyone is telling me how excited they are to watch me swim at Olympic Trials, and it's also making me excited. I do worry, however, about getting too excited! It can cause my mind to go to some unwelcome places. Today during some down time at work, I started visualizing the day of the race and what the experience will be like. I started feeling some butterflies as my mind scanned the arena to see the large number of spectators. Feeling a little bit of a twinge in your stomach is good, but not at the expense of the endorphins trying to prepare your body for action.

In this visualization, I focused on the task at hand and managed to feel calmer when I visualized myself behind the blocks. It's hard for me, though, to talk about my level of preparedness for the meet, because I don't want to jinx myself and say I'm ready, but I don't want to seem nonchalant about it and shrug it off. I don't want people to avoid me and feel like I am in this bubble for the next 11 days, but I don't want to be bombarded by swarms of well-wishers, especially those who believe I will make the Olympic team. How do I let them down easy, when their excitement about this possible outcome is what motivates them daily? People keep asking if I am expecting to make the final of the 100 breast. Usually, I say it will take a major miracle, but then again, it was a minor miracle to beat the qualifying time!


I apologize for the brief rant. My mind is starting to go into taper mode, and I can be a little irrational at times. In the end, this has been an exciting 11 months, and the encouragement and support from friends, family and complete strangers is what has fueled my drive through the tough workouts and the bad races to get to the days like today, when everything just fit into place. That's what I'm hoping for on June 25!

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