Sunday, January 12, 2014

Swim Team- 15 years later...

Swim team set the foundation for me in terms of embracing fitness as a lifelong pursuit.  At age six, my parents enrolled me in Elm Grove Swim Team.  Every summer (until about age 14), I competed in individual events and relays.  I approached practices with an open mind, eager to be part of a team and please my coach (and dad).  During my middle school years, I joined a local winter team.  I was never the fastest, but I had a decent breaststroke time and I made it through every set.  

The challenges of swim team practice are different than a running workout.  With swimming, I have to remember to breathe!  The whole body is involved and there is a complex rhythm to every stroke.  A fast swimmer relies on technique.  This isn't to say that breathing, rhythm, and technique aren't important in running, only to point out that someone can be really fit and athletic but the slowest swimmer ever.  This is not usually the case with running.

Today was my second swim team practice as an adult.  It's been, let's see, almost 15 years since I have received stroke pointers from an experienced coach and attempted to stay on pace with my lane mates.  I love it.  I love that I am going to see the same folks every Sunday morning.  I love that it is men and women.  I love that today's lane mate was 37 and I thought she was 31 and she kicked my butt in freestyle even though she doesn't do flip turns.  I love that people are there for various reasons (many are triathletes with swimming as their second or third sport) but all of them are adults who are doing something healthy for themselves when they could be home eating bacon on Sunday morning.  I love that my coach noticed problems with my stroke and gave me unsolicited feedback and forced me to try something different that I wasn't excited about.  I liked that it was hard and I had to focus.  I love leaving practice with wet hair under a winter hat- it brings me back to getting in the car with my dad when picked me up from winter swim team.  The smell of chlorine has always been a point of pride.

Like last week, I swam about 2950 yards.
5x200 warm up (swim, kick, IM, pull, swim)
5x50 kick (25 free, 25 choice)
5x100 IM (2:00 minutes) with 1-3 descending, 4-5 hold (I averaged about 1:46)
5x200 Free (3:30)- these were tough for me because I was focusing on doing 20 pulls per length (as opposed to my usual 27+) while maintaining an under 3:30 pace.
200 cool down

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