April 28, 2010

Oh! The Depravity!

If you have read more than one entry on this blog then you will know just how I feel about swimming. Or not. Because many days I don't even know how I feel about dragging myself back and forth over the same 25 yards over and over and over and over and over....

Some days I feel good and other days I just can't mentally get going. Other days I can't even make myself roll out of bed to get to the pool. Which is, I guess, similar to every other workout I do. Some days on the bike are work and others are great. Running is the same. I think that my biggest problem, not just with swimming mind you, is consistency. It's just that I suck worse at swimming than running and cycling, making mediocre or bad days worse. If I would get in the pool three days a week I could end most of my woes. Except one, sensory deprivation.

Having spent more than a few hours in psychology classes, I learned a LOT about sensory deprivation and it's effects on the brain. You couldn't pay me enough to get into an SD chamber because A) I don't trust people and could see some fucker locking me in there as a joke and B) I am claustrophobic. After a while floating in that warm saline bath in complete darkness and silence, your brain simply gets bored and starts thinking up shit that is nuttier than squirrel poo.

Swimming is as close to sensory deprivation as I dare get. I wear earplugs for health reasons and that reduces sound to next to nothing. I used to wear dark goggles, but bought clear lenses before I beat someone with a kick board. No matter how good of a swimmer I have been on my very best days, my brain does some strange shit after a few minutes in the water, usually looking for sharks (yup!) or making out weird (really weird) patterns in the reflections on the bottom of the pool or thinking I am going to drown or pass out or some other calamity. It also doesn't help that I am swimming in the early morning and my brain isn't fully functional after a nights sleep either.

See what I used to think was self preservation (not able to adequately swim because of a fear of drowning) I think might, might just be more susceptible to SD than other people who genuinely enjoy the silence and peace of swimming. In addition to mental oddities, I just can't focus on anything. Any. Thing. Some days. I cannot keep count my laps. Seriously, any more than one and a half is a challenge.

Just the slight reduction in environmental sensory input I get when swimming, combined with "morning brain" is perhaps, just enough to send me into a mental tailspin. When this happens, I am getting better at recognizing that there is something wrong. I'll generally stop my workout and do drills with paddles and fins, or form drills. Stuff that forces me to focus on what I am doing. This way the morning isn't wasted. I am also going to try music more, once I figure out how to keep my earphones stuck in my head for more than a lap or two at a time.

I could also be full of shit about all of this.

April 14, 2010

The Longest Mile

I think it was last Thursday... anyway, I decided to do a quick brick workout. As it had been snowing most of the day, this workout was going down indoors. As it happened, I had parts 2&3 of The Pacific on a flash drive to entertain myself with while performing this most masochistic ritual. Unfortunately my video card sucks so I am forced to watch it in a window not much larger than an iPod Touch. Alas...

All told I have about an hour and a half of video to watch and I decide to ride the trainer for most of it and then hop on the treadmill for about 15 minutes. 15 minutes on a treadmill is ambitious for me. I firmly believe there to be treadmills in hell. And they aren't like glowing hot with lava for a belt, either. There are just rows of treadmills, in a hot gym where the person next to you smells like they forgot to shower for a few days, where Dahmer and Gacy and Capone and Hilter and ten thousand years of sinners are all forced to sweat out an eternity. I digress...

The ride goes fine, just spinning circles. Then it's time to lace up the shoes and jump on the treadmill. Physically I felt fine. Not running on the cursed thing much, I started slowly and increased the speed as I could without feeling I was going to fall on my face. I did one mile and it took me over 12 minutes. And it wasn't like I was running with the grade on eight. It was on two. It was so mentally hard to do this. But I committed myself to finishing every trainer ride with a treadmill run because I know how the bike to run transition is and the practice will benefit me. I just look forward to doing bricks outdoors...

April 5, 2010

I am such a wuss

Spring is in full fling in Utah, and dangerously close to becoming a repeat of last year. It went: winter 'til April, spring from April 'til June, effing hot until November.

I'm watching it snow right now. Honestly, two months ago I would have just gone running in it. Now, I've tasted 70s. I've run in shorts. And one of the last things I want to do is go out and attempt to ride or run in this foul weather. Instead I'll take a mental beating and ride the trainer. And maybe run on the treadmill. In succession.


I will be at the pool tomorrow. In that instance being wet is the right idea. It's coming along well too. I've suddenly acquired the ability to swim with a two-beat kick. Which is awesome. I also no longer feel like the slowest person in the water, save for the old ladies that use the pool for social hour on their kickboards. Doing such a small bit of effort isn't even worth smelling like chlorine for. Just take a walk girls, it would be much better for you.

Nothing profound. Or profaned to say this day. I'm in a funk.