Thursday, April 10, 2008

Swimming and..

Why I never post about occurred to me during my swim today that I never post about swimming, so that may lead some of you to believe I don't swim =0....not the case. Ohhh, so not the case! Here is the deal....when I was teeny and my family lived in Florida (another factoid about Mer....we lived in Orlando for two years before my mom couldn't take the bugs any more...needless to say my parents did NOT retire to Florida.....). We had a swimming pool and my mom decided she didn't want to experience first-hand panic if I decided to crawl over and fall into the pool.

So, at the age of 7 months (i'm not making this up, I promise!) mom signed me up for swim lessons and before my first birthday I learned how to be dropped off the edge of the pool, and swim over to hold on to the side. I swear if my mom didn't tell me this, I wouldn't believe it. How does one who can't walk, learn to swim? I don't know...sometimes I wonder if the age is exaggerated a bit..anyway. SO, the point is, i've been a fish for as long as I can remember. Am I a fast fish? Sometimes.....can I maintain speed for a long period of time. No! However, I can get the "job," done and in a time that i'm usually "ok" with.

I grew up swimming in Northern Virginia and believe it or not, the DC/Maryland/Virginia area turns out some amazing top swimmers...and so, I began swimming competitively when I was seven. My favorite stroke for a long time was the 25 meter butterfly..and then the 50 fly....and then I realized..."butterfly is tiring." And the thought of having to "grow up and swim a 100 fly" someday was scary. So, I switched to freestyle and usually swam that and swam it on the relay team as well. Towards the end of my swim "career," =0, I swam breastroke and did ok at it.

Notice a stroke missing. Backstroke. That's right..why? Well, as my family's luck would have it, my older sister hit her head on the wall while swimming backstroke in a swim meet and it resulted in additional hearing loss. My parents decided to err on the safe side with my own hearing and I was under strict orders, that I was NOT allowed to do backstroke. Perhaps that's why my butterfly was so solid....because my coach said "no worries, the lack of backstroke is not a problem," and off I was sent to do my "butterflopping."

I tried out for the high school team and didn't make's ok though, I knew I was "ok" at swimming, I just wasn't super fast or even super motivated. My swimming "career," ended and gave way to a better progression for my tennis and soccer ended up winning ultimately.

Backing up a bit here, the reason why I don't post too much about swimming, is because it usually just "is." Swimming accounts for such a small portion in triathlon, that I spend enough time on it to be competitive in it, but my swimming doesn't require major overhaul like my cycling and my running =0. I can always improve, obviously, but my greatest gains I think will come from improving my cycling and running.

That said--I am a bit irritated. I'm having a hard time locating a master's program I want to swim with. The one at the Naval hospital is way too social....the instructor is so sweet, but, if i'm going to wake up at 6:00 a.m. or earlier, it had better be like i'm used to from growing up "work out on the board, Meredith, stop talking, get in the water." That's what i'm used to. And no, I don't typically "cheat" when I swim..i'm really really disciplined about it. Perhaps that is why i'm actually good at kicking my own butt with my own swim workouts while I locate a better master's program.

What I did today-- 3400 meters or (2.1 miles) isn't a lot of distance, but the workout....was hard for me! And, as much as it probably pains me to admit to my mom...I do backstroke now..just very very carefully! And, as it turns ok, i'm actually ok at it and I like backstroke!

Here is my swim workout from today: (25 meters=1 lap, 50 meters =2 laps. So for example: my warm up: a 400 is 16 laps).

400 warm up
200 Backstroke
2x50 (first one moderate, second one hard)
8x50 (alternating 50 side stroke, 50 breast stroke)
4x200 (the KILLER. The first lap of every 100 is Butterfly. Reason it kills: each set is a 200, not a, I don't have a break. So, it goes: Butterfly, Free, Free, Free, Butterfly, Free, Free, Free).
4x200 (alternating 100kick, 100 free)

The reason I liked the 4x200 with the butterfly is that it emulates tiredness in a race....where you're literally breathing every stroke and you're tired.....the butterfly followed immediately by the free forces you to keep going even when you're breathing really hard!

Hoping I find a good, close master's program. I finish work early in the afternoon, so it would be nice if I didn't have to wait until 6:30 to swim! I'll be on the lookout!


christie said...

I LOVED this post! I don't think I knew about your extensive swimming background! Anyway, loved the set - takes me back to my swimming days. How long did it take you to swim all that? If you can keep yourself motivated without a coach to push you and make you go faster, then props to you!

Meredith said...

OMG! I think we were separated at birth. My parents started me in swim lessons when I was six months old and I took 12 years of swim lessons.

Mer! said...

Hi guys! thanks for your comments, I love getting comments!!

Christie---Hi woo! You're so cute! I cannot claim to do this all on my own =(...I do have a coach =0, her name is Amanda Lovato, you can check out your website. She is a fiercely cool, fast chick!
You can click on her blog too!
It took me 75 minutes to swim the 3400, which is actually kind of funny because I did my Ironman Florida swim in 66 minutes, so that gives you an indication of either how slow i'm swimming these days, or how much I was able to "draft" in the swim in Florida!

Meredith!! Oh my gosh, the similarities keep on going---can't wait to meet you in Boston, we were totally separated at birth!!


Lauren said...

Hi! Your swim workout tired me out...I am a weak swimmer so props to you! You are so motivated and disciplined. I love how you were swimming at the same age Jack is now! Crazy!