As I’ve chronicled in this blog many times, I have a singing coach. Jeff King loves to serenade us at practice, and for some reason today he was on a roll with songs using the words “light” and “fire.”
I missed whatever…sparked…the word choice because I was over in the far lane and not near Jeff when he raised his hands and shouted, “I have seen the light!” (I think that’s what it was) but it couldn’t have been a more perfect word choice for me today.
Yesterday I made a trip to Sport Fair and bought a new pair of goggles, opting for an orange pair of TYR Socket Rockets over the previous pair of dark red goggles I had been wearing. Boy, what a difference.
You know the term night and day? Literally that’s what it feels like wearing these goggles now. In the dark red, it felt like night. This morning, it was day again. I had no idea what I had been missing by wearing goggles in which I could actually see the pool in which I was swimming.
Amazing. Truly amazing.
Today’s workout was all about breath control. After warming up with an 800 of our choice — I broke it down into 200 swim, 200 kick, 250 swim, 150 kick — it was time for the set.
Here’s how it broke down:
50 free – on the 25 up, zero breath. On the way back, breathe all you want.
75 free- way up, one breath, way back unlimited, way up one breath.
100 free- way up, two breaths, way back unlimited, two, unlimited.
25 sprint off the block — only you went 12.5 flipped halfway and came back, all zero breath.
We did that set…six times? I think. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it was six times. The 50s were on 40 seconds, 75s on 1:30.
I am the first to admit I’m not the greatest at breath control. I don’t know what it is with me, whether I haven’t fully adjusted to the swimming fully yet or whether my asthma still is affecting me or what. I have exercise-induced asthma (and the changing of the seasons is also a killer on me), but the older I’ve gotten the less and less of an impact it’s had on me. I still feel it during cold days when I’m working out, but I haven’t had any wheezing at all in the pool, so I tend to believe that it’s just that I stink at breath control.
So, since I stink at breath control I really wanted to focus on getting it all down today and for the most part I did. There were a few times where we would breathe all we wanted on the way down and then on the zero on the way back I’d have to take a breath almost near the wall, but other than that I was pretty consistent in nailing the workout, which was cool for me.
After that set, we did a set of flip turn exercises in which we went zero breath from about halfway out, flipped and did nothing but streamline back out to the third black line — again on zero breaths, eight times.
After that, practice ended with a nice set of 100 IMs, no rest in between. For those leaving at quarter of it was just three, for those leaving at 10 of it was five and for those staying until 6 a.m. it was 10. I didn’t quite hear what Jeff had said so I just kinda sat there wondering until someone told me what the set was.
Jeff turned and gave me a stop sign and I figured I’d get some kind of different set or maybe put fins on and do some variation of the sort.
“I didn’t want you to think I was going to make you do 10 100 IMs,” Jeff said.
I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
“Because I’m only going to make you do six.”
I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it and truth be told I had to take five seconds rest between the third and fourth and again at the end, but for the most part it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I modified my fly to be able to do it all — some right arm/left arm stuff — and, really, the breaststroke probably hurt more. Man I hate that stroke.
All in all it was a good practice.
After we were done, I sat and talked with Jeff about what to expect from the Open on Saturday and Sunday. The warm-up situation will be interesting and we talked about some breathing stuff for the race. I had a ton of trouble sleeping last night because I was going over the race in my head over and over.
The closer I get to the weekend the more nervous I’m getting. I’ll just try to distract myself from the nerves with some birthday fun tonight and tomorrow. No more perfect a birthday celebration tomorrow night than going to the Costa Rica-USA World Cup qualifier considering that my father is Costa Rican and my mother is American. It’s like a cultural celebration of Paul.
And hopefully I can continue to work on my starts and turns tomorrow and focus in on the races that are approaching…
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.