Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Waking up those swimming muscles

I have my eye on Donner Lake Triathlon on Sunday (I hope my cold finishes up by then). It's an olympic distance event with a 1.5km swim; 40k cycle and 10k run. I'm not fully fit in all of those disciplines. I've not run much for a couple of weeks but I think that will be ok. More worrying is that I have not swum for more than 6 months. Hopefully, the fact that I am pretty fit at the moment from cycling, running, circuit training and yoga will pay off.

Tonight I skipped my usual thursday 2nd Yoga class of the day and after circuit training with Ron I hit the pool.

I had forgotten quite how delightful the outdoor pool is in Minden. Warm water, empty lanes and a view of Job's peak and the Sierras surrounding Lake Tahoe.

I dived in and did 200yds of medally warm-up - free/back/breast/fly. Then I set to work. I plodded out 40 lengths of freestyle at a casual pace (1,000yds), took on some water and then did another 60 lengths. Every 4th length I did a standard triathlon drill of swimming head-up for half a length. This feels uncomfortable but is necessary for spotting when swimming in open water I'm told. As a warm down I did another 200 yards of medally again. The breast-stroke seemed to help my ITB band tightness a lot, so I did another 100 of that.

After not swimming for more than 6 months (perhaps more like 10 months) I just hopped in and swam 3,000yds straight off. I guess normal fit people wouldn't find that surprising but only 8 years ago I couldn't swim more than 1 length. A long learning curve, excellent teaching and continual coaching from an excellent swimming club, seems to have ingrained enough of swimming technique on my mind and in my muscles that I can just relax and churn out the distance now. It's odd but it seems almost too hard to imagine that this is possible and too easy to remember life as a non-swimmer. Perhaps I will ache tomorrow.

Self congratulation goes only so far. I'm sure that mixing it up with the pack, in a cold high altitude lake, whilst wearing a wetsuit, will not feel quite so clever!

I don't have the wetsuit yet either but I'm hoping to order this one tomorrow.


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