Jul 21, 2007

Gillyweed not needed.

Last night we hit the pool. And I did it.

I swam freestyle! I got the breathing down comfortably enough so I can do laps conistently. I can swim.. and breathe. I am so geeked! And I did not have to resort to any gillyweed antics either. ;)

So I did it. After 3 weeks of practicing in my spare time, in heated pools on the Pacific coast of Mexico, to not so heated pool at the local (where ever that may be) Ballys, to the goose-poo infested waters of Kent Lake (NAAAST). I am a swimmer of the freestyle persuasion.

I never thought that I would learn how to perform that one stroke properly. And now I am swimming just like the other lappers in the pool. That is one huge step forward to me.

This is not about endurance right now. It is about intervals. Baby steps. Learning proper technique. Getting comfortable doing drills working one particular phase of a stroke, versus the past 4 years of just going out there and hitting the road for as long as I can sustain. That is the hardesst thing for me - I am endurance minded. 10 miles straight through is my target for running. How can I work towards 10 sets of 2x25's with 10 second rests in the pool? This is a whole new mindset for me.

I now have to have three completely different mentalities. For running, for biking, and for swimming. This now means that I have to condition my body for all three sports. Running and biking are complimentary muscle groups, so I have a leg up (pardon the pun) on those conditioning aspects as I already am training my entire muscle groups in the legs to help keep away injuries, etc.

Swimming is completely new to me. My, how exhausted you get in the pool just going back and forth 25 yards at a time! I now know that I have the base I need in order to build a better stronger Jenniferlyn. I have all three elements of the tri now.

I am a triathlete in training. No more wishing, hoping, quasi-freaking out over my decision to switch up formats. I am happy and confident in this decision. It feels natural to me. Natural for a few reasons.

The decision to move from full time runner to trithlete was not made overnight. It has taken years to get to this point, and my running is what has sparked this progression.

I started running due to an interest in health and loosing weight. Getting into better shape all around. I never intended my running hobby to end up as such a huge part of who I am but, as in all things, I have learned some lessons while running which made me to want to push myself further. This decision did not translate directly into the desire for triathlons. It just made me want to learn how to better fuel myself, how to better cross-train, and how to get into a true state of health.

It is on this journey to all around health that my cross-training by cycling has sparked an interest in total cross-training. Swimming completes that circle for me. It just so happens that these three elements are those of the triathlon.

At the start of this year, Mike and I decided to do some duathlons together (run/bike/run). Somehow swimming found its way into the regimine, and we decided why not go all the way? And hence a triathlete was born.

My journey's focus has not changed... as this journey is all about growth. Growth as a runner. Growth s a biker. Growth as a swimmer. Growth as person. Growth as a HEALTHY person.

I have ADD of the training sort, so this is going to be perfect - three options for training. Three completely different things to work at. Three different sports to grow in.

I always knew that at some point along the way on my journey I would be at the point where my growth would push me to another level. In the beginning I thought that growth would be to a faster running pace. Now I see that my journey is taking me to take my heath a lot more serious.

No more late night antics. I am excited to get back on track and start on this lifestyle change. I always used training as an excuse to go to bed early or not be out on the town every single weekend. Now I know that it just is not me. I actually like running with the waking world first thing in the morning. I like swimming endless laps in the pool at the end of a long day. I like hopping on the bike and going for a nice 10-20 mile ride for fun on the weekends. Does this mean that I am now anti-social? Absolutely not. Life is all about balance. I think now I am equipped with the mindset necessary for that balance.

Now I realize that rest = strength. Rest is just as important to your body during training as getting in the miles or laps are. Do I feel weak for resting? Not this time. I feel refreshed. Now I am a little antsy. I need to get back out there and perform to my fullest each and every day.

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So I leave you with this thought for the weekend.

In the journey of life, sometimes where you thgought you were heading is not the case at all. You are growing as a person. While the journey continues, sometimes a quick detour becomes the new path. Sometimes it is a better path for you to take. Sometimes it is not. Either way, once you come to that crossroad and chose a direction, just know that your journey will lead you to new place. Unchartered. All yours to claim and explore.

The desitnation is not nearly as important as the journey you take to get there, because it is on this journey that you reap the most rewards and failures. It is on the journey you grow.

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