Sunday, June 1, 2008

Swimming 31,050 Meters: Time to Back Off

Hsiu-chin by the lychee tree

This week I swam a total of 31,050 meters in 6 days. However, several of those days my shoulders were a little sore, whether because of the swimming or the warm-up exercises, I don't really know. Nevertheless, I feel I should back off a bit, and maybe start running occasionally.

After talking to Hsiu-chin about it, based on her experience of shoulders, etc., she felt I should continue to swim to maintain flexibility, but also to do various stretching exercises, not just the traditional pre-swim warm-up stretches, but ones where my sons (who are fairly strong) can pull on my arms when they are stretched upwards! I am also applying some ice packs (like as I sit here typing), and I will also use a Nefful woolen patch with negative ions (this is a Japanese treatment). Anyway, I don't want to let the thing get worse (and if it does I will resort to acupuncture rather than surgery), as I would hate to miss out on Hapuna next year.

Durian: An imported fruit (probably from Thailand)

This week was generally a good, but also fairly busy, week especially workwise, and the tiredness brought about by swimming made getting through what I needed to do each day quite challenging. While I felt great earlier on in the week after the swims, and even yesterday, today I did not feel so good, and realized I was perhaps a little overtired. The rain earlier in the week, and getting caught in it a little, may have slightly weakened my immune system and so I am kind of on the verge of a cold, though I am not sure whether it will materialize or not. I ate quite a lot of dragon fruit today (it is rich in vitamin C).
I think I was also affected by the events over in Kona with Bree's over-exertion and "illness" and eventual withdrawal from the Honu race. It made me realize that everyone is human, and maybe because she had always done so well in everything in the past, I thought she was infallible. I think one thing I learned from it was to consider more carefully how Macca is consistently churning out good races week in and week out, and how he is building up for the two back-to-back Ironmans in Germany in a month or so. He must face a lot of pressure, and must also be very skilled in knowing how much to prepare for each race. It is a fine line, indeed. Obviously, if he does not train enough, he might not be at his best when needed, but if he overdoes it, he might miss the whole race altogether. I realize that he doesn't always win, but he is always up there, much like Peter Reid was. For many others the outcome is a lot more unpredictable.

I was pleased to look up the Athlete tracker for Honu and see that many of my former friends did well enough to have a good chance of getting a slot, e.g., Harry, Daniel, Jackie H., Katherine, Dusty, Kawika, Bear, Michael, Greg, Laurie, Brooke, etc. I was also particularly impressed by a famous swimmer I shall just call "John" who was over 90 seconds ahead of the top pro group out of the swim. Well, that is what comes from training for years on end to try to qualify for the Olympics open-water swimming race. Another young guy that he trained a lot with and who is an exceptional swimmer also did very well for the race as a whole. I did not know he could bike and run, too. So in my opinion, you can focus mostly on swimming but still do pretty well at biking and running. We don't only have to be concerned about our overall time in a race (in which case I would mostly just run, as that is where I would see the biggest improvement timewise if I put in the effort) in order to have a great sense of satisfaction.

A spider (about 3 inches from top to bottom) in the room (not at home!) where we were having lunch today. I am generally kind to spiders as one kept my ancestor, King Robert the Bruce, sane while in prison. After my parents named me Bruce, my grandmother said that I was a descendant of Robert the Bruce, and later we were given the pedigree (genealogy) to prove it.

Tomorrow the pool will be closed so my shoulders can at least rest. However, I will probably be a little busy to have much time for anything else such as running or biking. I hope all those who just did a race over the weekend are pleased with their results and well rested and ready to start training for the next race.

1 comment:

Randy said...

Have a good day off from swimming Bruce. Your shoulder will appreciate it.

Honu was great, even if I can barely move today. Quite sore. Tomorrow I start focusing on running -- hopefully the legs will hold up -- for the Kona Marathon in 29 days. thanks for your advice and encouragement the past couple of weeks.