Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time I was a good swimmer.  Better than average.  In my head, I'm still good.  In reality, I'm not.  In reality, I haven't been a "swimmer" in years.  I checked my Daily Mile logs and this year I have swam 5 times for a total of 5 miles.  Last year, while I was training for a half ironman, I swam 15 times for a total of 18 miles.

It's hard to be good at anything when you don't do it often.  In my defense (sort of), swimming is a small part of a triathlon.  You can be a super fast swimmer and that still doesn't get you a lot of time over slower swimmers.  I know I can swim any distance I need to, so I end up ignoring the swimming portion of my plan.  It's the thing that goes if I need a day off, or I use swim days to make up other workouts I missed.

All this leads me to last Monday.  My first open water swim since the Half Full in October.  It was a mile swim in Lake Serene.  I met up with some people from a local shop, and Erika, a Tough Chik teammate.  The water was cold.  In the low 60's.   It took my breathe away when I got in.  I was the only one in a sleeveless wetsuit.  I didn't think much of it until I felt the energy being sucked out of my arms.  It was hard to get them around.  I finally got in a rhythm.  I picked up my head to look around and I was alone.  I saw splashing in the distance.  This was a new experience for me.  I am  was usually the one in the front.    But, what are you going to do?  I swam on.  As I reached the other side of the lake, the other swimmers were heading back.

I headed back across the lake, wondering what happened to my fast.  Thinking it might be time to hit up a masters group.  I make it to the other side and there is talk about doing another lap (that's another mile for those keeping score).  Two people were all in.  The other 3 of us were not so sure.  We agreed to do go half way out and back.  We head out and I quickly lost sight the other's feet.   In true overachieving, triathlete fashion, no one stopped half way.  I thought about it.  By this time I was freezing, but who wants to be the only one to NOT go the whole way?  Not me.  So, I kept going.

It took me close to an hour to swim 2 miles.  I know this is not horrible.  I know there are not a ton of people who would even swim 2 miles.  For me, this was an eye opener.  Once upon a time I was a good swimmer.  If I would like to be that again, I need to get my butt in the pool (or even better, a lake).

This just made me laugh.

Moral of my story...don't rest on what you used to be.


  1. I got smoked during that swim too! And I had a tough go of it at the start - almost panicked a bit when my lungs were not cooperating. And you are fast - most people couldn't even imagine doing 2 miles on a whim!! Way to go :)

  2. I'm a rockin swimmer and get out of the water first... but in reality, I am the shittest runner in history and always come last...
    I think triathlon might be the wrong sport for me lol.

    I saw one of those pics the other day of a swimmer cracking himself up, and the caption was "When your coach gives you the set and all you can do it laugh because you know you're screwed..."

    1. It's gotta feel good to get out of the water first :) How's your shoulder? Good luck this weekend!

  3. Totally impressed you swam 2 miles:) way to go!