Sunshine on my shoulders

Friday.  Alarm rings at 6.  Groan.  Why did I agree to get to the pool at 7?  I am *not* a morning person.Why?  Because it was a chance to go to a new pool – the London Fields Lido – about a 20 minute cycle from my place.  Refurbished for years, I had yet to get myself up there to try it out.  The swim is my favourite part of the triathlon.  I am not saying I am good.  Rather, it is just where I feel most comfortable.  I am always happy to be in the pool, and especially to try new pools out.  Friday morning training did not look too bad when setting it up, even at an early hour – it involved a pool plus a new location.  And the ever-inspiring Magic Hands told me he was going.  In 2007 when I decided to try a tri, Michael took me swimming a few times, setting me drills and showing me how to be a stronger and more efficient swimmer.  I had not swum with Michael since, so I decided to tag along.  Michael is a multiple Ironman and I always hope that just by proximity his form can rub off on me!  (the old Nike commercial is ringing through my head at the moment “I wanna be like Mike!”)I cannot believe I managed to open my door and head out by 6.30.  Mornings are just so not me.  But it was hard to feel horrible on Friday morning.  The sun was shining, the sky an intense blue colour, and really and truly life was good.  I felt a little jittery on the bike (it takes me a while to move well in the mornings!) but I got to the Lido without a problem.  Locked up, checked in, and changed, I headed poolside.The Lido itself is beautiful.  50m and open air *and* heated which is great as I am not a fan of cold water (what can I say, I grew up in Hawaii?!).  The water was perfect and a blessing compared with the chilly morning air.  And it was packed.  Each lane had a constant stream of swimmers going round and round, it was like a hamster wheel for swimmers.  Or shall I say triathletes as there were a few wetsuits in the pool, and some tri bikes locked up outside.I got in and honestly, I cannot imagine a more perfect way to start a day.  The sun was shining, warming my shoulders.  It was so bright I needed goggles with polarisation rather than my usual indoor blue goggles.  I did about 1000m of drills and felt good, especially after the first 400m.  I kind of “relax into” my swims after 400m, not fighting the water but just remembering how it feels, and then working with it.  The moment when I hit that wall – the wall that separates my fight and my relaxation – and then go past it into the pure pleasure of the swim is just the best.  I finished off with 400m of “straight” swimming, putting together all the elements of my drills and feeling very good.I know I have to work on my strength to improve my overall times.  Coach T, Michael’s brother, has set me some killer drills to work on my arm strength and pull.  I also have to work on my overall stamina levels, with high heart rate drills so that I can hit the wall and beat it every time.  I couldn’t catch Michael’s feet on Friday, but maybe this time next year I will be close!  It’s good to have goals, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *