V Cars Diary of a Novice Triathlete – Day 16
Well, it’s taken me three trips to the pool but I’ve finally done it: 750 metres non-stop.
I accept the pool at Nottingham’s Virgin Active doesn’t have weeds, silt, other swimmers splashing about like a trout trying to return to water, but it’s something, isn’t it?
I think the reason I was able to do it last night was two-fold. The first was the time I ate, a good two and bit hours before swimming; the second is far more interesting and less easy to control: I was just in a really bad mood.
I wonder: am I alone being at my best when I’m feeling at my worst? There’s nothing like having something to prove as a way to prove something. I think it’s the self-harming aspect of endurance exercise I’ve spoken about here before.
I got into that pool truly welcoming the respite from work, money, relationships and the other many emotional bullies of modern life.
I set off slowly but resolutely. I was steeled in the knowledge that when I’d finished the simple escapism of good hand position, rhythmic kicking, alternating head position etc., life was going to seep back into my life. When I was getting dry, I realised I wasn’t wiping away water, I was rubbing life back into my skin.
I did, for the first time, get a ten-second rush of euphoria in the shower. The rush of a job well done. I know it’s only 750 metres, but, hey, it was a milestone to me and it made me feel pretty good. You know, reading that sentence back, there are early signs of addiction? Increasingly, I see why pushing oneself to one’s limit might be attractive.
I’m playing football tonight and trying not to have a pint afterwards but I don’t know how realistic that is. Tomorrow night, I’m playing squash with a client – have I got to let him win? Naahhhhh.
On Saturday I’m going to get back in the pool and see if I can get to 40 lengths – 1,000 metres.
For my pre-training ritual, I’m going to get into a blazing row with my wife, spend far too much credit card money on something I don’t need so I can worry about it, ignore work for an afternoon so I can worry about deadlines and harm myself with chips.
There, that’ll set me in a terrible mood. 1,000 metres? No problem.
One More Thing
Last night when I was swimming, I started off in the Slow Lane. After about 12 lengths another swimmer joined me so I took to the Medium Lane.
Next to me was the Fast Lane and a swimmer who was flying up and down the pool. As I got to 28 lengths and had just two left to go, I waited until he reached my end and pretended to set off quite slowly. In fact, I decided to see if I could beat him over two lengths.
At the turn I was just behind the guy and really powered down the last 25 metres at lung-bursting pace, ‘winning’ by about four feet. I looked across and the fast swimmer had hand paddles on – that means I’m either superfast or racing against someone who’s purposefully slowing himself down.
Anyone know which one it is? Actually, if it’s the latter I don’t need to know.
Regards, Paul the Perch.
V Cars proudly sponsor RG Active and are title sponsors of two of the popular RG Active Training Races.