Back in the Pool


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Last week, friend/training partner Lynn and I were discussing what we would do Saturday in light of the triathlon-I-am-nowhere-close-to-being-ready-for. My bike was with the mechanic for a tune up and I wasn’t sure I’d have it by Saturday. Running is still painful and I’ve all but decided to walk the tri’s run portion. “We could swim,” Lynn reminded me.

Um, yeah. Triathlons have a swim component, don’t they. I haven’t been in a pool since last Fall (I don’t think a week in Florida counts. I was in a pool, but on a float.) And so Saturday morning we met at the Y at 7 a.m. for a swim session.

Lynn told me this was her fourth swim, so she’s only slightly ahead of me in training. As we entered the pool she said, “I’ll only be able to do about 30 minutes.” I responded that I hoped to be able to swim that long. I started my timer and off I went.

Swimming is TOUGH when you haven’t done it in nine or 10 months. Sigh… I don’t want to admit how many lengths I swam using the breast stroke. I kept telling myself, “swim for 30 minutes. Swim for 30.” My goggles kept conveniently fogging up which gave me little 15 second breaks to clear them. I checked my timer at the first goggle-clearing. I’d gone five minutes. Five little minutes. During the next check I’d gone 16 minutes. Never has a half hour gone by so slowly. Later I checked the time and I’d gone just under 29 minutes. I swam one more lap and stopped my watch at 31:20. Lynn finished her lap and asked, “Are we close to being finished?” She was thrilled when I told her it was over. We congratulated each other on not drowning.

We were still in the pool trying to figure out our distances. Lynn was pretty careful to track her number of laps. She swam 700 meters. Go, Lynn! A lady in the lane next to me heard our discussion and chimed in, telling me, “I swam 24 lengths (12 laps) and you swam more than I did.” She explained that she took breaks while I kept swimming. She showed us her elaborate system of keeping up with her lengths. She uses different colored poker chips to signify the various strokes she swims.

Taking in to consideration I swam more than poker-chip lady and less than Lynn, we guess I swam 650 meters. That’s more than three times the distance I’ll cover on event day. Not bad for the first time out, but I’m not expecting any calls from the Olympic Swim Team.

I’ve got four weeks until the triathlon-I-am-nowhere-close-to-being-ready-for. I’m grateful the distances are blissfully short, shorter than a sprint tri.

I can do this.

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