I had quite a breakthrough in the pool today. My swim stroke was ON! Those of you that follow my training may see a notable decrease in my swim pace today, especially for a distance set like today’s workout. As a matter of fact, the pace is 7 seconds per 100 faster than my pace for yesterday’s workout and my effort level today was much lower than it was yesterday. My stroke went through some refining, here’s how:
After my ride this morning as I was getting dressed for work I pulled a muscle in my upper back / neck area. I think I was reaching for the deodorant or something like that after getting out of the shower. Immediately I was unable to turn my head to the left or right without pain. I’d done this a few times before, but not since I started actively training, so I knew that it would go away by tonight or tomorrow with a little rubbing and stretching. My wife prayed for me as I left this morning and I started trying to work it out with rubbing and stretching when I got to my desk at work. I even wrote in my online training log, “…Possible swim later ~ not sure” because I didn’t know if I’d be able to turn my head enough to breathe.
By 11:00 AM it was still sore and I had only limited range of motion but I decided to give the swim a try anyway. My plan was to do an easy distance set and just relax, get through the session, and not push myself (not matter who was in the lane next to me). Just in case, I brought my running stuff with me so that I could jump on the treadmill if the swim wasn’t going to happen. So I start swimming. I have to modify my form a little, but I can make this work. This workout is going to happen, cool. After getting warmed up and getting into my main set, keeping it easy, I start realizing that things feel efficient and fast, especially for the effort level. At the end of the set I swam 100 meters at the same relaxed effort level just to make sure I hadn’t miscounted my laps. Yep, it was 1:27 for 100 meters. For all you yardage swimmers, that’s 1:19 per 100 yards.
Some of you may think I'm crazy, but I really don’t care :-) I’m saying that this whole thing was arranged by my coach. At the start of this season I stopped trying to figure this triathlon thing out and went ahead a got a coach. I’m really picky about stuff like this; I needed someone who was free of charge, but also someone who knew every minute detail about this sport and everything about me and my physiology. There was only one coach that fit bill, the Lord God himself. And this swim breakthrough is totally His modis operandi; working together all things for the good of those that love him, who have been called according to his purpose - Romans 8:28. I believe He wants me to be a great triathlete. I believe that being a great triathlete is part of His will for my life. And so I’m always asking Him in prayer, “Lord, make me a better swimmer. Lord, show me how to run faster”, etc. The word of God tells me that whatever I request, if it is in accordance with His will for my life, it will be granted to me. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” - 1 John 5:14-15
I hope y’all don’t think I’m preaching at you or anything. It’s just that as I sit here with a sore neck with limited range of motion, I’m so excited about what He is going to do in me this season and in the coming years that I have to tell people about it. If you want more speed and believe that He wants you to be faster, ask for it, and He’ll deliver. All you have to do is be willing to put in the work and tell people what He’s done for you.