I smacked the phone and looked up at the ceiling, then in front of me at the cable box. 3:40, it blinked. Ugh.
Something’s been up this week. I just can’t seem to feel good when I’m waking up in the morning and I have really struggled to roll out of bed. I closed my eyes. I looked again.
Man, I really need to get out of bed. I rub my eyes, I turn on my side and push the covers down. Maybe the cold will force me out.
I look over…3:48. Okay, let’s get moving.
I manage to get my stuff together and get into the car in time to depart at a relatively decent 3:58. Usually I’m in the car at 3:52 and on the way.
After all those waking up issues (which have been repeated by me all week), you can imagine the joy as I walked into the pool building this morning and heard Coach Jeff King in the parking lot behind me.
“Nap time,” he said.
I think I’ve pretty much explained the whole “nap time” philosophy here before, but never before had I been as excited as I was today. I brought my towel out of the locker room as a sleep pad/pillow and fell asleep pretty quickly. It was not the normal sleep, more in and out, and then when I finally did hit the “deep sleep” portion of the nap I heard Jeff’s whistle beckoning us to return.
It was glorious while it lasted.
He told us to hit the showers to wake up before coming out, but I made the mistake of taking a nice warm shower and as I walked out on the deck I was more ready to head home and crawl in bed than I was to swim.
Still, we got practice going and the focus was again on preparation for my swims this weekend. The warm-up was a simple mix of 50s and 200s of swim and IM/freestyle kick, and then we broke into our sets based on what events we were swimming (at least that’s what it seemed like).
Since I’m working on the 50 and 100 freestyle races, I was over in a far lane with Pat Sullivan. The set Jeff gave us was, for me, meant to focus on my breathing and on my stroke.
Five 100s — first 75 nice and long, last 25 up tempo with only two breaths
Three starts off the block
Problem was, on my second start off the block I experienced my first real “slipping” wound. My back foot slipped off the block and smacked into it, cutting the top of the foot open and leaving a nice swollen bruise around it.
At first I just kinda laughed about it and cringed, like, ‘Wow, that hurt.’
I told Jeff that the blocks, “beat me up,” and he told me I was lucky. Some swimmers have needed to go to the emergency room to get stitched up and I have to be good about icing this because it can swell up a lot. Maybe I’ll post a picture tomorrow if it looks extra bruised and swollen and nasty.
I will definitely be using a wet towel on the block this weekend to avoid slipping again. It’s painful and mentally it’s not worth the worry, especially when the start is so important to my two races. I really want to get a strong push off the blocks.
After we finished those sets Jeff had us work on the dive starts again, then to do the “fins on the hands” drill. This drill, I think more than any other, really helps me to feel the water. As you try to push your hand through with fins on you really have to fight the resistance and push. So when the fins went from the hands to the feet and I had a head start race with Pat, I was feeling the water really well and my stroke benefited.
Jeff said it was probably the best I had looked and that it was worth “the price of admission” for the fins on hands…which, as you can imagine, looks pretty silly.
Tomorrow will be the last tune up before the meet weekend and then it’s time for some best times.
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.