Thursday, June 9, 2011

About Triathletes And Golfers

Many, many years ago, I gave the game of golf a shot.  It seemed back then that everyone, well most everyone, I knew played the game. I never got the hang of it, never even came close.  Because of this I could never understand the infatuation with the sport by those who are consumed by it.  I guess the same could be said about the sports of fishing, hunting, or for that matter any other sport.

I remember one day I was playing with a coworker when he hit one "sweet shot".  Straight out of the tee; no hook, no slice.  He put it right where he wanted.  I remember as we were walking towards the ball, he made the comment:  "This is why I play golf.  This is why I keep coming back.  Because every now and then you hit a ball like that.  This is what it's all about."

Again I thought:  "much ado about nothing".  I just didn't and couldn't see it.

As triathletes we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  We train all but focus on improving our weaknesses.  This is what we strive to do.

As most who follow me know, my weakness is the swim.  I work hard, real hard at improving.  I work on form, strength, speed, etc.  Every slight noticeable improvement is cause for celebration.

Today I have cause to celebrate.

My plan said that I needed to swim 4200yds.  New distance for me.  Got in the water at 5:10am and off I went.  The first few laps were all about the warm up.  I planned on doing this for 500yds.

It was surprisingly smooth and steady.  When the 500yds were completed I thought I would keep going and attempt 1000yds before first break.  That happened without any consequence.  Still felt good.

When the 1000yds were completed I took a very short break, drank a sip of water.  This must have taken 10 seconds.  No more.  I didn't want to break the rhythm, so I kept going.

1500.  2000.  2500.  I couldn't believe it.  Every 500 I would take a very short water break.  Again never more than 10-15 seconds.

Half way through I stopped for about 5 minutes to talk to a friend.  Triathlon Talk. Training Talk. Louisville Talk.  And then off I went again.

The remainder of the swim was much like the start.  Slow, steady and oh so very smooth.  During the latter part of the swim I had to concentrate hard on keeping the elbow up, body rotation, follow through.  Made an effort to make each and every stroke count.  I kept looking at my lap time and couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Most were under 1:10.  For me this is HUGE!

When it was all said and done, I finished the 4200yds in 1:50:58.

Yeah, much like my friend's golf game, days like this in the water is one reason why I keep coming back.