My Element

Since several workouts back in the pool, I realized that I’m truly in “my element” while swimming. This isn’t to say I’m a rock star swimmer, it’s just that swimming feels natural to me. Part of me was hoping that narrowing my focus during marathon training would help running feel more natural…it hasn’t.

P1010004    IMG_4608

How do you like that heel strike and the pained look on my face? Smile

In the pool, my body automatically makes the necessary adjustments over the course of 100 yards to add or drop mere seconds. When I was swimming competitively, my internal clock would hit 100 yard after 100 yard within tenths of a second of the same time for a mile. On the road, I’ll think I’m going an 8:00 min/mile and really be going anywhere from a 7:00 min/mile to a 9:00 min/mile. Sometimes I’ll try and pick up the pace by 15-20 seconds and I’ll end up dropping a minute or even slowing down. It’s like my body doesn’t know how to respond to what my mind demands of it while running or cycling, at least not the way it does in the pool. Basically, I’m a fish out of water.

Hopefully, I won’t focus too much on the fact I’m not a “runner” on Sunday in Miami! I got my bib number, 3130, for anybody that wants to check in on the race. Tracking ING Miami Marathon. I drive down tomorrow for packet pick-up and I’m getting more and more nervous. Thank goodness there will be a slight temperature drop; it should be in the 50’s race morning and will only rise to the 70’s by noon. Humidity will be a factor but I’m already used to that.

On the job front, I start work in an intensive care unit (ICU) in a little over a week! Very excited about the opportunity to work in critical care. Until then I’m studying a lot for the NCLEX (nursing boards). Looking forward to a paycheck to support my racing habit, rather than savings and student loans. It’s a nights position, so I’ll be working three 12 hour shifts a week (7pm – 7am) and to be honest, I’m genuinely worried about being tired all the time, gaining weight, and training. Despite the opportunity to work days, nights seemed like the better learning experience and the pay differential will really help with student loans and maybe even a new bike.

When do you feel most in your element?  Are you new to all the triathlon sports and still waiting to feel natural?

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6 Responses to My Element

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m just the opposite. I didn’t learn to swim until right before my first triathlon when I was 20, so swimming has never felt ‘natural’. I’ve given it a few years now, but I still struggle with technique and form, and therefore don’t ever really get faster.

    I come from a running background, though, so pacing 800s on the track within a second of each other is cake for me.

    Funny how this works, isn’t it?

    • TriCourt says:

      Definitely funny and one of the reasons I love triathlons. There is such a variety of athletes competing from all sorts of backgrounds for all different reasons. Swimming is the most challenging technically by far…I hope you have at least felt some improvement. Do you have any former swimmer friends that could give technique advice?

  2. Swimming is absolutely my element too. I could swim for hours but get bored running or cycling for more than 45-60 minutes. Most of the time I can get my mind and body to cooperate while running but cycling is a whole other story

  3. Beth says:

    Good luck in Miami this weekend!

  4. Feerlessfood says:

    Good luck on Sunday! I’m looking forward to swimming with you guys next week

  5. sara says:

    Wow! Hi.. new reader here. I just had to comment because how you feel about running is exactly how I feel about swimming! I feel really comfortable and in “my element“ when I run, it comes naturally, I feel like Im flying and know how to adjust my form to hit the pace I want for easy runs, track intervals, tempo or hard racing! but swimming is just a mystery to me.. its like no matter what I do I only have one gear! I think its so funny… but it has really grown on me and enjoy my swim sessions as much as I do my bike or run sessions, I guess I just need to keep training and eventually, it will come…

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