Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's not about the swim

This morning (Sunday) I had my final swim of the week (on Mondays the pool is closed), and a further 3,200 meters today brought me up to 20,900 meters for this last week. While the first 2,000 meters were swum while having to navigate around people quite a lot of the time, I did manage to swim relaxed and consistently. I occasionally breathed every fourth stroke, just to learn to breathe a little better when I did have the chance to take a breath. Less than 10 minutes before the pool closed, I saw a lane open up in the middle of the pool facing the wall clock, and so I went in an timed myself over 200 meters. The result: 3m 22s, which included looking at the wall clock every 50 meters. Perhaps not the most efficient way to swim, but at least I was moving a little faster down the stretches.
I think the last two weeks I have focused mainly on what I am putting into training rather than on seeing what times I am doing. Basically, I think most of us being human are much the same. It is consistent and sensible training that will enable us to reach our goals. For swimming I am not wearing some flashy expensive swimsuit with no drag - just a cheap nylon/lycra one that people would laugh at were I anywhere but Taiwan. I may of course wear a still unused "Kona Aquatics" suit if I really want to do a good time, but it won't necessarily cause me to swim better.
Today I also rode my MTB to church and back, about 25 minutes each way, and along a huge, beautiful lake somewhere in the middle of the ride. I live in a huge, polluted city, but it is nice to realize that there is some nice scenery fairly near my house.
As I write this, I realize that for the pros at least, the St. Anthony's Triathlon is over. If news comes up on the web, I will digest it and comment on it in my write up tomorrow. I think Bree will do very well, as usual, though quite how well is hard to say. Again, it should not be that easy as she is racing against some who have been around the top of their sport for a long time.
Yesterday, a triathlete was killed by a shark near San Diego, and today I learned that eight scuba divers went missing yesterday off the southern coast of Taiwan. That hit a little more home. My wife had gone to stay with several women from our church at a hotel on land in that area the last two days and when the pastor announced something happened to either scuba divers or snorkelers and I hadn't spoken to my wife since yesterday, I immediately felt a little worried, in case they might have decided to go in the ocean. It turned out that the people who went and still are (as of an hour ago) missing were not part of our group but one had kids in the foreign school that several in our church attend, so it's still a small world. In early February, I showed up for triathlon training in the southern part of Taiwan and went for a swim with 6 others where I swam for over 40 minutes about 150 yards offshore in a pretty big swell, wearing a black wetsuit. One of our group unfortunately drowned on that swim. It's not something one forgets easily.
Goals for this week. I will continue to swim each morning, although I also need to work at my job these last few days of the month in particular, so I can finish the month fairly well, although it won't have been such a busy or lucrative month work wise as in March. At least, I think I have been able to relax more this month and apart from my lingering cold, I feel really great, although I am a little tired and should also get a good sleep starting fairly soon.

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