"Jimmy Eat World- Big Casino"
A month ago I decided to set a goal for myself in stone. I wanted to break a minute in the 100 breaststroke.Then I quickly got reminded (thanks to John G) that my language was all wrong: the more I discussed 1:00- the more likely I was to post another tantalizing time in territory already explored. So with this post, the name changes to Project 59.
I'll accept faster too.
Stepping Forward, Backward and Sideways
I found a new pool to train in. The Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken offers several advantages over my previous digs:
1. A pool temp below 85 degrees so I don't die of heat stroke getting after it
2. A digital pace clock.
With #2 came a humbling discovery. I had convinced myself that I was successfully swimming the requisite race pace set for 100s (30x25) at 15 seconds per 25. I was not. I was doing 16s.
I thought of what I would say to a swimmer I was coaching: "work from where you are TODAY". I have since built up to 15 seconds, with my most successful set coming last week when I made 28 out of 30 at that pace.
I have also copied a Shawn Klosterman (AKA the Screaming Viking, AKA that fast old guy breaststroker who keeps showing up at pro-ams) trick of racing a 50 at the end of training. So far the results have been even more humbling than my pace sets. Instead of sprinting a 50, I am trying to force myself to do a realistic 1st 50 of a 100 breaststroke, something that has always been a challenge for me.
The first one was a 31.8. The next was a 31.1.
Good Job, But A Long Way To Go
I know that realistically I will need around a 28.0 in order to put myself in position. But again, "work from where you are".
Also, don't be afraid to recognize that you are doing well and still have a long way to go at the same time. These are the words I tell myself after I put another workout behind me. Good job, but a long way to go.
Create Your Own Advantages
It may seem trite, but I'm finding perspective in things that I could easily frame as limitations if I was pessimistic enough. Being a father and committed to spending both quantity and a quality of time with my wife and daughter. The pressures of entrepreneurship and economic stresses are always there.
My lack of structured work means I can make time to train effectively whenever I want. And my family is a wellspring of positive emotion and inspiration. When I am struggling for one extra lap, I picture my daughter cheering me on and surge forward.
A secret admirer sent me an Arena Carbon Pro for my racing comeback. I spent 10 minutes putting it on, which I'm told is a relatively modest amount for a first time.
I'll be giving the suit its first official test ride at the 2017 New England Masters Swimming Championship, with the 100 breaststroke (Friday) and 50 Breaststroke (Saturday). I entered myself today.