See that happy face? I never thought I could look so happy in the water!
Swimming has certain changed over my college days. I loathed those swim sessions and only dragged myself to the pool so I could survive the swim portion of triathlons. It's really no fun to flounder around in the water during a race...
These days, I'm feeling more and more confident in my swimming skills and anxious to log some longer sessions in the pool. Whereas before I was struggling mentally to get through a 1500-2000yrd total workout, my main sets these days are closer to 1500yrds and I'm pushing 2500yrds for my total workout. Months of working on swim form seems to finally be clicking, I'm gaining a little more power and definitely A LOT more endurance in the water.
|Me with the 50m long-course pool behind me.|
Last week I completed 1500 yards of continuous swimming, which really was 1500m, oops! In doing so, I enjoyed the long course pool at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, a newer facility in our area and a gorgeous one at that!!
At a more recent swim session, I ran into my friend, Kati, who is an avid swimmer. She had just finished 2 miles of sprints and was set to do a mile continuous swim for her cool-down. For her 27th birthday, she set out (and successfully completed) 27 miles of swimming in one week. Kati, you are quite impressive! Anyways, she mentioned how swimming is her sanctuary and quiet time, an activity that she does to unwind and relax. On a good swim day, I couldn't agree more. The 'silence' that the pool provides can really allow you to just step away from the world for a while, and the rhythmic strokes through the water is as soothing and therapeutic as it is great cardiovascular exercise. While cycling and running provide similar benefits, there is still a certain level of environmental awareness you must maintain for the sake of safety (though one reason while trail running in solitude is far greater than road running for relaxation purposes).
Work has been long and challenging over the past few weeks, and usually that means swimming gets swept to the back burner and workouts get missed. Somehow though, I've kept up with my swims and actually have been looking forward to them. It's been my "me" time, my hour of solitude and a key component of stress management and balance. Swim progress + stress management = not a bad combination!!!
On the agenda today is a coffee date with a friend, a long run, a longish swim workout and hopefully plentiful R&R in between. Oh, and it's a long weekend... Hard to beat that!