{REACH}

Monday was my very first swim of my Half Ironman Training -- woot!  For having been out of the pool for easily over a year, it felt so unbelievably good to be back in the water.  Monday was my long swim day (go big or go home, right?) so for such a big undertaking I did surprisingly well... or at least I think so.  I think Coach Sweatman would be proud of my non-teenage state of athleticism and swimming technique. :)


My high school swim coach was named Becky Sweatman.  She was awesome!  So fun, so encouraging, very down to earth, and a killer swim coach.  Her big thing for us was to REACH at the end because sometimes the difference between 1st and 2nd place comes down to reaching for the wall at the end.  Lots of times, swimmers would get lazy at the end of a race and coast into the wall, but quite often our team would go hard until they hit the wall and come out with gold instead of silver because of it.  My junior year Coach Sweatman was diagnosed with stage IV Lymphoma cancer and lost her life in the battle.  She was inspiration to me and many of my teammates.  Every time I hit the pool I can't help but think of her.  Maybe this is another sign I should train with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.

If you're not familiar with the distance a Half Ironman competitor swims is 1.2 miles.  That sounds like a friggin' lot, but it's really pretty small in comparison to the rest of the race.  The swim is always pretty small in triathlons.  Unfortunately, the swim is what I really look forward to, so I wouldn't mind it being longer and the Half Marathon at the end, not being so Half Marathony.  15k distance sounds just fine to me.  I'd even take 10k if I were being greedy, but then it wouldn't be the elite competition that it is, would it?

I had been at the eye doctor earlier and they dilated my eyes for the second time this year, which in my book is two times too many.  In fact, my pupils were so big I'm fairly certain I looked like a morphling (yes this is another Hunger Games reference to one of my favorite words from the books - haha), unable to focus too easily, wearing my sunglasses in the parking garage and at my desk, staring at my computer screen trying to make out what my emails said while placing my emails on 200% zoom, etc.  Well, when it was time for me to hop in the pool my eyes hadn't totally resumed normal pupil size, so I noticed as I was swimming it was pretty hard to focus on the line on the bottom of the pool.

I'm fairly certain my pupils were this size.

I totaled 1500 meters which is just 100 meters shy of 1 mile, so for my first swim I'm pretty pleased!  On my warm up I was supposed to swim 150 meters/4x.  I'm not sure what happened though, because I only swam 75 meters/4x for my warm up laps.  I  I had been talking to a co-worker who said he swam in a 50 meter length pool instead of 25 meters at a time, so maybe in my head I thought, "I only have to swim 3 laps (down, back, down) which would have been correct had I been swimming in a 50 meter length pool, but I wasn't.  #fail  Regardless, I had a great workout.

Warm Up: 75 swim, 75 kick, 75 pull, 75 swim

Main: 2 x 500

Cool Down: 4 x 50, each slower than the last

By the end of my swim I had a pretty horrendous headache, partially because my goggles may have been on too tightly and I was almost done at that point so I didn't fix them, and because my eyes were trying to regain non-morphling pupil size.  Headache aside, I loved being back in the water.  I'm scheduled to hit the pool again tomorrow, so I can't wait!

Today I'm pulling double duty, unfortunately.  I missed my bike on Tuesday and my run last night since it was raining and I worked out with the trainer Tuesday and Wednesday.  I did legs yesterday, so I'm going to let that count as my run for yesterday, especially since they're sore, but since I have another run tonight I'm going to be biking for 40 minutes on the stationary bike, and running for 30 minutes afterwards.  I think it'll be good practice for what it will feel during the race which I've heard is tough.

For those of you in the Lone Star State, I hope you're enjoying the crisp, fall weather, and sunshine since it's been so rainy, cloudy, and gloomy the last 5 days.  The border collies were thoroughly pleased that they did not have to be in the crate today, and they hauled fur outside and danced for the squirrels (really... I need to record Jetta doing this.  She howls and dances for the squirrels.  Melt my heart.)

Lace up & join me!

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