Admiring the View

Last week I developed a new strategy for my Monday morning pool sessions, sets of 100m holding a certain time with decreased rest periods over the weeks and increasing sets. I have done 2 Monday sessions and am loving them. I have a goal in mind over the next few months that I would like to achieve and am looking forward to watching it unfold little by little.

The rest of my training week was pretty average with a very rewarding sprint session on Thursday where I did a pretty fast 50m sprint time. It is really rewarding getting results from just 4 weeks back at ‘proper’ training. There is still a small part of me that is waiting for me to ‘fall’ again. It is so surreal to be able to train and feel strong. To push myself and not get sick, to wake up BEFORE my alarm most mornings, to do more than one session a day and to be able to train EVERY day! I am still in the early stages of training and I have a long way to go to catch up to where I was before and an even longer way to go to get to where I need to be, but I am excited for the journey and am incredibly grateful for every day I get to train and stay healthy.

I did my first 5km swim since May. It was the inaugural Durban Long Distance Swimming Association’s 10km swim and as a committee member I was bleak not to be able to participate in the full distance, but I have learnt from past mistakes and over confidence and opted to swim half the distance. It was a tough swim, despite a flat and glassy sea, there was a strong current we had to swim against and my body is not used to being in the water for longer than an hour. My training partner and I had to dig deep on the way back and just put our heads down and go. It was great training for the end of my long swims in the future, pushing through the discomfort and just going. The great thing about this swim, was it was just a training swim and we stopped quite a lot to chat and just enjoy the beauty of the ocean and conditions we were blessed with- something I need to do more regularly even in a race!

On our return leg, we decided to put our heads down and swim to try and finish strong. I was so deep in thought that I almost swam into two of my friends who had come out for a light swim! I was reflecting on where I had come from over the last year and how easy 5km used to be and how far I still had to go to get back to that point, but it was not something that left me despondent or demotivated. I am excited to train again and make weekly gains. I have a new found respect for my body and health and have learnt (the hard way) how to listen to my body- swim my own race and stick to my training plan. I have learnt to say no to tempting swims and events that are on too early in my training season. I have learnt what my body can cope with and when to do it I have a plan that I need to stick to. If I get distracted by other events that do not fit into my program, have learnt to say no and graciously step away without any fomo (fear of missing out).

I am on a journey where I need to keep the end goal in mind

In the past I would have not held back and gone gung-ho into a 10km swim to try and prove that I was as good or better than the other swimmers, to show that I am more than capable of the goal I have set myself to do, but as I mentioned, have learnt the hard way to swim my own race, walk my on journey and follow my own dreams. Not to the point that I am rigid and fixated on a very strict schedule, just to the point that I am on a journey where I need to keep the end goal in mind. I do not want to go backwards again, and I more than likely will, but I hope to minimise that backwards slip by being wise in my training and limiting my ‘extreme’ swims to specific times In my training season so that I know I am more than prepared for them.

Author: sarah

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