Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mental tricks

I have been pretty fatigued as late what with all my attention to swimming technique. So -- I decided to adopt Shannon's method of literally stating the intention of each workout before the workout. That reminded me of my yoga classes -- sometimes the yoga instructor would ask us to dedicate our workout to someone in our life. When a stretch was particularly difficult, we were to call upon that dedication and breathe into the position.

Well, Shannon... it works!! I tried it for my Thursday bike workout -- the one that has promoted me from coal-shoveler to conductor of the Pain Train. The last set always kills me, but this time, even though I struggled, I didn't have the negative feelings associated with it. It was great!! AND, I felt energized afterwards, not depleted. Amazing what the mind is capable of eh?

I had a blueberry swimming breakthrough (re: Kelsey!) yesterday as well. Charmaine asked me to swim without kicking and when I turned to breathe, I was to turn my face straight up to the ceiling and then follow my arm stroke with my head back into the water. This was a nightmare. I was fishtailing like a car on black ice --I couldn't breathe or swim or do much of anything. It was like I completely short-circuited. When we reached the end of the pool, Charmaine said, "Hmmm. I think you are a back swimmer. Let's try this now." She then had me swim (again without kicking), but this time when turning to breathe, I was to look back at my shoulder and concentrate on rolling. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!! It totally worked!!!!!

We were both really excited. Charmaine told me that she had been puzzled at how I was swimming because I seemed to stop and go all the time. Not propel myself forward continuously but go forward, slow down a bit and then go forward again. She said I have been fighting against myself. But just by looking backwards at my shoulder-- what a difference!!!! I can't believe how different it felt -- I felt like a bloody torpedo!! :) :):) I kept practicing this -- it was so disconcerting at first because looking backwards while swimming has always been something I thought you weren't "allowed" to do. Hee-hee!!

After that breakthrough, Charmaine had me swim towards her and if my arm didn't extend far enough forward, she would grab and pull. Afterwards,she dug her finger into my back shoulder muscle and said, "You should feel it here." OWWWW Yes, yes I feel it there -- I feel it everywhere. My God, I FEEL IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!

I was so thoroughly crapped out by this point, but Charmaine wasn't done with me yet. She said, "This is too important to let go." She told me to really push myself and try and keep up with her for four lengths. Only 80m, but oh my God, the Pain Train went aqua yesterday, my friends. She obviously slowed down for me, but kept just enough ahead to make me really push. I thought I was going to die. I almost started laughing at how tired I was!! LOL!! I went far beyond the retaste zone -- I thought I was just going to explode or drown!! We finally finished up and like the masochist I am, followed Charmaine into the gym to learn her core and arm routine.

Let's just say she is the strongest woman I HAVE EVER met. EVER. She was saying "Oh I am so out of shape, but I getting a bit better." I am thinking, you think this is a "bit better"??? I quivered, collapsed, got up and tried things again and again. So now I have new things to put my body through -- yay!! :) :):)

After my race next Sunday, I am going to start doing that routine with her twice a week -- except with lower weights!! LOL!!

Also -- Keith-- I took masking tape and labeled my wiry doodads coming out of my Computrainer. Methinks today is the day to unleash the Magic Bullet on the Crowsnest Pass!! Look out, here I come!!! LOL!!

Have a super weekend everyone!! :):):)


Charlie Browne said...

Sounds like you had a very intense workout in the pool and the weightroom....I hear what you are saying about the uneven momentum in the pool! At times i think i am going backwards...

Keith said...

If Char is stronger than Susi, I'm prepared to be seriously impressed. These tough swim sessions are exactly what you need to break you out of your habits, and start swimming at a whole new level. I think you'll be astonished how fast you can swim, and with what seems like less effort.

Jenna said...

way to go!!!! and glad you de-wired things ....

Alan Keller said...

Great work!