The most important thing discussed in practice today?
The fact that, besides Miss Piggy, we couldn’t name one female Muppet or Sesame Street character.
Huh? Am I reading the right blog?
Yes, you are.
During my breaks between laps today during practice, attention was turned to the Muppets by my coach, Jeff King. Who are the female characters?
I named Miss Piggy. I thought I remembered Big Bird and Snuffleupagus having female counterparts.
Apparently, there are some female characters. But it’s odd that not one major character is female.
Also established today: I can’t name all Seven Dwarfs and “Sleezy” is definitely not one of the dwarfs … at least none that your parents would want you to know about.
Yes, we’re an interesting group in the mornings at Mantua.
Today was a unique day if only because it provided a mix of different types of workouts.
I started by formulating my own warm-up, which I broke into two 50s, two 100s (swim up, fly kick back) and four 25s with breath control.
Then I swam a 400 with no toys. That was fun.
The good: After feeling crappy after 125, I felt fine after 275. By fine I mean, I thought to myself, “okay, I can do this.” Which is a departure from last time I tried it, which was mostly, “uh oh, you’re going to die.”
Sure, my left side breathing was mostly horrible. But my right side breathing wasn’t. And so now my mission is to correct the left side breathing while also breathing more/mostly to my right. If it’s smoother, and thus more efficient, let’s go for it.
After the 400 I swam another 400 — this time broken into sets of 25s. So basically 16 25s, with fins, focusing mostly on kicking hard and getting a leg workout while breathing only to the right. On the fourth, eighth, 12th and 16th laps, I swam hard.
Then I did a 600 broken into 50 swim/50 kick. And then Jeff surprised me. I raced a 50.
The good: my first 25 actually felt strong.
The bad: I was going so fast into the wall my new ability to consistently turn in a good flip turn was ruined. I got to the wall way faster than I thought and was too close when I flipped. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to get around.
As a result, my second 25 was horrible and by the end I was spinning instead of reaching and pulling all the way through with power. I didn’t guess within a half second of my time, so Jeff wouldn’t tell me. I’m thinking it might have been on the high end, though.
Because of the crap turn, and now learning how to better judge the wall when I’m going full speed, I swam another 25 sprint with a turn and push off the wall. This time I nailed the turn and I could feel the speed coming off the wall.
It’s another lesson learned. And so is my stupid spinning in the final 25. If I just get out of my head that it’s how fast your arms are moving that matters, and just pull through, I think I’m going to turn in a great time next go-round.
And that’ll be tomorrow. My final day of practice before taking Friday off. It’s a “mini-taper” before a race that has been set up between me and my Uncle John.
I’ll give you more about that on Friday, since it’s an off day.
And if you can hit the comments with your most memorable and favorite female Muppet characters, that’d be great.
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.