Friday, June 15, 2012

Rx for EgoCheck- Swim Edition

I'm slowly getting back into training, but gently. Not too gently, since I did a race last weekend, but I think you know what I mean. My rides have been short, mostly flat, and low intensity. The first time I ran was today, and we'll get to that. And my swims were going easy.
But now I've registered for the Great Aloha Games Swim Meet. Their website is awful so here is the link to the home page. And here is the link to my specific event (which does not itself link to the registration page). While registering for this I forgot two very important things. 1) Never let Ego dictate event choice. 2) The only thing that makes you better at swimming is swimming.
My alter swim-ego, The Tattooed Wake, signed up for the 100 free, 200 free, 100 butterfly, and 200 IM.  The Tattooed Wake is kind of a jackass.
100 years ago, when I was a pure swimmer, the fly and IM were my specialties. I did them all the time. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, butterfly is that really hard one where both arms come out and around at the same time and you kick like a dolphin, and the IM stands for Individual Medley, so I swim all four strokes in one race- butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, in that order. Real swimmers, I used to joke, swim the IM. Because you have to be able to handle everything. It's the triathlon of swimming. A quadathlon...
 Anyway, after filling out the forms and sending them my $25 I thought to myself, "Dirtbag, when was the last time you did 100 yards of butterfly?"
I don't know.
"Don't sweat it!" the Tattooed Wake called, "You have a huge engine right now. You just did a half ironman. You can handle 100 yards of anything!"
"Oh yeah," I said, "Thanks, man. That makes me feel better." And it did. Until this morning.
I got up and ran to the pool. We live a mile and a half from 24 Hour Fitness right now, so there is no reason to drive, and I haven't run since the race so I figured it was about time. Oof. I think I strained something out on that golf course. Every morning my right foot had felt a little sore, but it stops after a while, and right after the race my right hamstring, directly behind the knee, got super tight. But it's been what, two weeks? I should be fine. Meh, not really. Hamstring was in various stages of complaint the whole run, and my foot eventually felt better, but not enough that I want to go on any longer runs right now. It isn't the problem from right before the race, it feels like a arch muscle issue. I don't know. It's always something right now.
I hit the water, warmed up, and then tried to crank 100 yards of free. Oh yeah, I haven't been working fast twitch at all for months, have I? I don't have a higher gear right now, do I? Nope, not really. It was about then I started thinking about the mistake I may have made. Then I cranked 2 x 200 IM. It kind of sucked. It isn't fast, I feel like I'm sucking wind by the time I get to breaststroke. The real issue is that I'm not swimmer fit right now. I'm triathlon fit. It's way different. The only way to get good at swimming is to swim! Having an engine isn't enough. Those muscles, especially the fly ones, aren't really there.
Ohhhh, fly. How I used to love thee. I was the ass in practice who would ask for fly sets. I killed butterfly in my own little swim-world (Water World? Mr. Costner, you're needed on the set.). But I forgot how much work it too to get that. I did two 100s of fly. By the 75 I was hurting. The last 25 yards had to be ugly as hell. I'm dragging my hips, my triceps and failing so I'm not finishing the stroke, my lats don't want to give me a clean out-and-flat-and-long recovery/reach. It's...bad.
I know I should go into this with no expectations and just have fun with it, and I think I will. I'm not going to be stressing or sweating any of these events. I'm going to go do something I haven't done since freshman year of college (Christ....1999? 2000?*  13 years!!!) and I'm going to suck at it. And it will be good as long as I keep a positive attitude. There was no 500 free, or I would have signed up for that. I'm betting it will be a small meet, with how poor the advertisement seems to be, which might play in my favor as far as medals go, assuming I cared about medals, but will totally play against me if there aren't very many heats between each of my events. Assuming I swim as hard as I can each time out, and why wouldn't I, I'm going to need a breather. At least I didn't sign up for the 50 free. That event is for tossers.


  1. A swim meet! YAY.. Old times son.

  2. Hopefully muscle memory takes over this week. Anyway, as a competitive swimmer, this is home base for you. I mean, a lot of triathlete do run races and, some, even bike races. However, not many will do pool swim meets.

    I think Tri Cook is doing the Aloha State.

  3. Good luck man! I can't even do the butterfly kick properly because I'm uncoordinated so at least you'll beat me :-) ( if I were doing the race)

  4. Time for some BY kick sets, get those hips moving in that direction again. And remember, fly is all about rhythm, not about strength. Don't power through, let your hips do all the work for you. And work on that sreamline, something I'm sure hasn't been a focus in...a decade and a half (are we OLD?). You'll be fine, the Tattooed Wake wouldn't have it any other way.

  5. Returning to roots serves up hearty helpings of Humble Pie. But watch that interdisciplinary training work wonders for your tri performance: same step-by-step process for bringing back an old skill works for a new (or in-development one *cough* running *cough*).

    Good luck!