Let me start by going back over some stuff I said yesterday and responding to some of the comments.
I know I can be somewhat harsh on myself at times, and I didn’t mean for yesterday’s blog to come off as my looking at the 100 as a complete failure or taking away from the message that I wanted to get across about the experience of the meet and how much I enjoyed it. Because that’s the main thing I wanted to talk about. It was a learning experience, it was awesome to get all the support and I just wanted to kick butt beyond belief. I felt disappointed that I didn’t do the time that, in all honesty, I should have done in the 100.
Someone commented about great coaches and how the fact that I don’t want to disappoint Jeff shows how he falls into that category. You nailed it on the head and put it into a perspective I hadn’t thought about in my own experiences. Covering sports, you talk about how certain coaches have players who will do anything for them and it shows on the field. You can just feel it from those players — they’d run through a brick wall for that coach. I had never stepped back to see that coaches I’ve had in my life have fit that bill, and certainly Jeff has become that type of influence for me.
Thanks for the comments, as usual.
Today’s set was a new one for me, and I think it was most enjoyable for Jeff. The practice was all about legs and kicking, legs and kicking — and it wasn’t all in the pool.
We started the morning off by walking around the pool, then jogging, then running. Then we did step-ups, 30×30, 15×15. Then we did an exercise I haven’t done in a long, long time. The invisible chair.
The last major memory I have of the invisible chair was of a soccer camp when I was 16 years old. One of my teammates’ rooms had a TV and Playstation in it and after curfew a few guys and I sneaked out of our rooms and into that one to continue our FIFA tournament.
At about midnight, or about two hours past curfew, a counselor came a-knockin at the door. I hid under a bed, a few guys found their hiding places and we listened. Josh Dunn, the counselor and an awesome coach (and a former All-Met player of the Year), was hilarious, quietly whispering “Baja Picante” under the door (he could smell the Doritos).
Finally, he caught us all and we were forced to do 20 two-minute stints of invisible chair to make up for the two hours past curfew.
Anyway, it certainly was a trip back memory lane and it was actually kind of fun because of the jokes that were going on. For the record, fart jokes/noises continue to make people laugh.
After the wall sits we went into a set of kicks that I almost drowned trying to do: 700 butterfly kick on your back. I started without fins, but after a 100 of that in which I almost died, I put fins on and went until I heard a whistle to stop.
We got out and did some ab workouts, and I didn’t really realize how zoned out I was to what Jeff was saying during them until I listened back to the video. In it, Jeff is hilariously talking in some sort of accent to us as we kick with our legs six inches off the ground.
“You can say, ‘Hey coach, how ’bout I give you a dolla.’ If you give me a dolla, I’ll let you stop.”
Gave me a good laugh as I wrote this.
After that we did a set in which we kicked a 25 and and mixed it in with squats and dips at each end (I forget how many reps…20?), and finally we ended it with a set that went: 30 seconds kick on the wall, zero breath 25, 30 seconds kick on the wall, all-out sprint … for 10 minutes.
In other words, it was an all legs, all-kick set, as I said. And it was tiring, but it was necessary. Especially for me with my weak, weak kick.
I finished practice doing 14 25s of one-breath swim with fins and paddles, trying to keep it long and making sure I could feel myself pushing through the water all the way through.
What I liked most about the workout was it was one of those gut-check workouts. You had to push yourself when you were most tired and it kind of replicated how you feel at the end of a tiring race. Afterward you were tired, exhausted, wobbly, all of that. But you felt good for pushing through the pain.
Jeff said tomorrow will be more long-distance swimming, so I’m mentally preparing myself for that and trying to stay stretched out. Jeff definitely wasn’t lying when he said it was butt-kicking time ahead of the November Open.
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.