Last spring, I fenced four nights per week, and got back into running shape. I swam regularly (not enough), basically just keeping a feel for the water. Looking back at my training schedule, I should have found a different pool to go to, and actually swam real sets, not just did drills and 100’s while avoiding the obnoxiously slow people in my lane.
Summer was okay in the pool. I swam more, but still not enough. Not having a set daily schedule from someone else makes getting better at something you aren’t already good at pretty difficult. You start doubting yourself.
This past semester, I swam more. I got better. I did real sets. Well…I at least got better at swimming workouts. I sprained my ankle twice in the three weeks before worlds, so that put a damper on things.
After school ended, I headed out to the OTC, and got into the pool for some real work. Genadijus coaches me for real (as one would hope). The sets can feel like death, but they’re doable. I’m ACTUALLY getting noticeably better, not just saying that I am. He sends us the weeks’ practices beforehand if we’re not at the OTC (what I did when I was home), which I love. I know what’s coming, and I know that I can do it. I have a start point and an end point.
Swimming is such that you can’t just swim sometimes and get better. You have to be consistently in the water, pushing yourself. Hard. You have to put those meters in, or else you lose it. “Use it or lose it” applies here, oddly enough.
I posted my training spreadsheet a while ago on googledocs, but never kept up with posting it. In order to make myself stay in the water, I’m going to continuously update this:
…and log my training week, every week, publicly.
This is pretty much everything since I started college. I record the things that are actually useful to me, which is why I stopped recording my shooting scores.
Pretty much right after I get home, I’m going hiking in Patagonia for about a week, which means I won’t be in the pool. I know. Part of me wants to shank myself as well, but I’ll never get another change to see the one of the greatest wilderness paradises on the planet. After that, if you’re reading this, and you see that I’m not posting my training, or not swimming enough, please get on my case (if you have time). Gretchen, Mark, Matt, Mom (I don’t think she reads this…), Dick, Nancy, Kaleigh, Alexa, etc.
What’s enough, you ask? About 3000m/day I figure is pretty good.
Once I get to Buenos Aires, one of my priorities is going to be to find a good pool, and live in it. After that, I’ll get settled with fencing. Running is going to have to take a backseat, probably like 20 mpw, just to stay with it.
We’re going to do this. It’s going to happen. School is going to be difficult, but I’m going to make time. I’m going to be efficient with everything. I’m going to get faster.
When it comes down to it, if you put the quality time and quality effort into anything, you get better. Maybe you get better slowly and steadily, maybe you take two steps forward and one back, but you can’t spend time doing something well, and not get better. I’ll say it again. This is going to happen. I’m not going to keep swimming 2:30. I have the strength. I have the aerobic capacity. I have the anaerobic capacity. I ran 1:59 in the 800m, but only after putter in 4 years of hard work into track and field.
No matter how many people tell me how difficult it is to get a good stroke and get faster in the pool later in life, I honestly don’t give a damn. Imagine if I believed that? Anything is possible. No. More. Bullshit. Time for work.
There’s a reason I wear a necklace with a Prefontaine quote on it. No matter how many high school cross country shirts say this, and no matter how many people have it in their facebook profile’s “quotations” section, I believe it. It’s part of me.
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
I’m going to look back at this post in five months. What am I going to say?
“I knew I could do it.”