Last night I ventured into the basement of my work's fitness center and reacquainted myself with my arch-nemesis : the pool. I hadn't missed swimming. It wasn't one of those things that I was longing to get back into my routine. It's not like biking and running where I entertain myself by looking at the scenery, waving and smiling at people passing by, and enjoying sunrises and sunsets that only an Oklahoma sky could produce. No, it's boring. It's just me staring at a long black line at the bottom of a pool, sucking water, struggling with my form, and constantly wishing I could swim faster so the suffering would end sooner. I wasn't forced back into the pool yesterday. I chose to go there. I count that as a sign of my commitment to crossing that finish line on Aug 28, 2011.
My workout in the pool was nothing special. I basically just wanted to get in, reintroduce myself to the suffering, and try to get back into some sort of triathlon routine. I could tell early on that being away from the water for 2 months wasn't a recipe for success. It was a struggle and one that will serve as a reminder that I have a lot of work to do in the next 9 months. The one bright note was that I met another Ironman-in-training who was having about as much fun as I was in the water. He's signed up to do the local Redman full-iron distance triathlon in September. He's also signed up to do the same race as Patrick, over at The Road, in June : the Ironman Hawaii 70.3. We exchanged contact info and plan on doing some of our long runs and rides together when we both start hitting it hard in late January. I'm a little worried he's going to run and ride way too fast for my liking, but maybe on a good day I can keep up. The reason I say this is because he just got back from Dallas White Rock and ran a 1:28 half marathon....yeah, he's a little faster than me.
I also have started up a strength-training workout that I will be doing 2-3 times a week to help with injury prevention. It's going to be key for me to stay healthy this year to be able to keep up with the training. I'm hoping I can learn from my mistakes and make it a full season without any major hiccups. My knee has felt much better the past week and I think the strength and cross-training has definitely helped. The goal for the next few weeks is to start getting back into a routine and try to rein in the nutrition. I don't want January 1 to be a complete shock to the system when I make the transition into an Ironhead (that's my name for those of us taking this journey together - we're stubborn, dedicated, and dumb aka Ironhead)