Friday, March 4, 2011

Mind/Body relationship

1000 free easy until masters started......

300 - 100 easy/kick/drill
1000 - 5 x 200's free strong on 3:00
500 - 5 x 100's kick on 1:50
500 - 5 x 100's free fast on 1:15
500 - 5 x 100's back on 1:40
500 - 5 x 100's pull strong on 1:10

I was able to make each of those fast free sets with 5 seconds to spare so I was very pleased.  My kick was weak though.  
100 easy

I ended up talking for quite a while with Kris Edwards about running a swim meet.  Looks like I'll be relieving her in November.  She's going to help mentor me in all of the details (which should be quite a bit more than running an open water swim), which will be good because I think I can bring new enthusiasm and energy to a meet and also allow someone like Kris who has served Utah swimmers for many many years, the chance to sit back and have someone else do the work and enjoy competing rather than running a successful meet.

Anyhow, after our lengthy conversation (I was treading for most of it by the way :)) I resumed:

500 kick with fins
500 pull easy
100 easy

5500 yards 

Not the long swim I wanted.  I slept in a bit this morning and as you can see only got 1000 in before Masters, plus the talk with Kris took some time.  So the plan is to swim 15 miles tomorrow.  It's rare to not be camping, or going out of town so I'll take advantage of it and swim from 6-2 tomorrow morning and that should be plenty of time to get in my 15 miles.

Today while I was swimming I was thinking what makes me so motivated?  I mean I like to do CRAZY things.  I'm also passionate about swimming and fitness in general.  When I was into powerlifting, I spent many years lifting alone in the basement.  Many times I would do 1 rep maxes alone (which is pretty stupid).  And do many sets nearly to failure with no spotter, but I NEVER had an incident when I couldn't get that very last rep up.  At least when I was alone.

I believe I've really fine tuned the relationship between body and mind.  I know what my body can do, yet I'm not dogging it and stepping it up each time.  Just enough to push my body to the next level.  That kind of link is one of my greatest skills.  I'm not fast, I'm not the strongest, but I'm not afraid.  Don't get me wrong I respect that there are limits and am able to recognize when I've hit that limit, before it turns really ugly.

While I was in the locker room this morning getting ready to head to work, there was a guy about my age who was just sitting there breathing kind of hard from after a good swim when all of a sudden he went from a sitting position on the bench to a quick moving kneeling position and his eyes looked to the side and looked dead, but I could clearly tell he was still breathing.  He still was putting weight on his legs so he wasn't unconscious completely.  After being in that position for maybe 15 seconds he started blinking and then got back into a sitting position.

I said, 'You OK?'  He said "I guess I pushed it a bit harder than I should have this morning".  He sat there with his head in his hands breathing deep.  In a way I respect that guy.  Alot of people are home still sleeping, or at the coffee/donut shop on the way to work at this time, and this guy is pushing his body to his limits.  That can be dangerous, but it's way better than not pushing his body at all.  I love pushing myself and appreciate others who work their bodies to exhaustion.  I remember my brother throwing up at a 5K.  We laugh about that, but allowing your mind to control your body beyond it's comfort zone is fantastic.  However, that kind of intensity shouldn't be the norm.  Just like an abusive marriage, if the relationship is either ignored, or abused, then it will eventually lead to separation and/or divorce.  You want to build that relationship and allow both to grow strong together.

For me, I've already identified that I'm totally addicted to the cycle of goal setting/training/goal making.  I'm a junkie in that area.  I've always got something on the horizon to shoot for.  Without that I would be so depressed.  I believe if more people had this cycle in their life on a regular basis, there would be less depression.  If there was one thing I would encourage anyone to do (and not just for sport/fitness) has nothing to do with technique.  The best thing anyone can do whether they're just starting, or a seasoned veteran in their field, is to get in the practice of :

  1. Setting short term/ medium term and long term goals.
  2. Training hard to meet those goals.
  3. Then meet that goal.  If you succeed!  Great, go back to step 1.  If you fail, then your body and/or mind was weak or injured and you need to go back to step 2 or even 1.  But keep going!
That practice will make lifelong athletes out of anyone.  It doesn't matter if you're the best in the world at your sport.  We are all only competing against ourselves.  As soon as you start basing your progress and value on someone other than yourself, you not only risk becoming prideful, but also becoming extremely overwhelmed or worthless.
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