For the first time since this journey started, I slept right through my alarm and missed a practice.
It was a matter of time.
That’s a pun.
I don’t quite remember my phone alarm going off, though I have this slight memory of me taking a while to realize what was happening and then hitting my phone. But the next thing I knew I rolled over to check the clock — something I do often nowadays, usually waking up at 2:30, 3:30, 4:30 and, lastly, 5:30 before getting out of bed for fear I might miss practice — and it was 6:47.
I was supposed to be 17 minutes into a workout in the pool by 6:47. I said a word aloud that I cannot write here.
I immediately called my coach, Jeff King, who as always was more calm about the situation than I was.
Probably knowing that I was freaking out, as I tend to do, Jeff went immediately to putting my mind at ease.
“Paul, don’t worry about it, this was going to happen,” he said. “This is your body telling you that you need a rest, and if it didn’t happen this way you probably would have gotten sick.”
He’s right. I’m a big believer that things you put out there have a way of coming to fruition, that if you think positive then positive will happen, etc. Funnily enough, last night I had been talking about how much I felt like I needed a morning to sleep in and how I was looking forward to Saturday being that morning. I guess I kinda-sorta set myself up for this morning’s mistake.
Jeff told me to go back to sleep, that this would be my day off this week, and that we’d get back to work tomorrow. I feel and felt horrible because I know Jeff would probably have liked to know that it was a sleep-in morning considering I’m the only one he’s working with in the pool this week. It took me a while to get back to my dreaming, but I eventually fell back asleep and tried to get some nice recovery in.
I still feel guilty right now, though.
I just finished a nice, intense arm/shoulder/ab workout (iPod hooked up to speakers and set to Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D., which by the way is basically just like a techno club/workout CD ready made). It felt good to get a nice workout in, and I needed the arm and shoulder work done. I used more resistance than ever and did the following sets:
3 x 20 – Tricep Overhead Extension superset with
3 x 20 – Biceps Curls (one arm at a time)
3 x 20 Shoulder pull back superset with
3 x 20 Upright row
3 x 20 Forward shoulder raise superset with
3 x 20 Chest/pushups
3 x 20 Right arm cross
3 x 20 Left arm cross
20 seated dips (x2)
2 mins abs leg extension
20 seated dips
That’s not too shabby, right? But I think I’m going to have to break my ab workouts into three-a-days in order to start working them back into shape. It’s a trick a former soccer trainer once told me about. He said that if you can only do about 150 crunches without getting gassed, that’s fine — just make sure you do it three times a day. So you wind up doing 450 crunches in a day, and after doing that for a week you increase to 200 x 3, then 250 x3 , then 300 x 3. So that’s the new plan…now let’s see if I can actually set aside the four minutes a day needed.
By the way, here’s an update on Pat Sullivan. It seems as if he has a couple of options that may be worked out in the next few weeks. Both are solid choices, for sure, and once he makes a decision I’ll post it here to let you know where he’s headed.
I’m back to the pool tomorrow, and I’m going to set nine different alarm clocks so that I make sure I wake up and hit the pool hard before the weekend.
Washington Post reporter Paul Tenorio will train with a swim club over the next few months and chronicle his journey as he attempts to transform from regular guy/sports reporter to competitive swimmer — everything from his waistline to his best times.