1 2 3 breathe…

3 Oct


I had forgotten what it was like to swim in a squad. Swimming on my own, as I have for years now, I don’t have to worry about keeping up with a group, having to do strokes or drills that I’m not particularly keen on, and incorporating intensity…well,what’s that?! Ten to twelve years ago I was part of a triathlon swim squad at the AIS and there were nights when Cindy our coach made sure we knew what intensity meant! And there were drills – lots of them. But it worked – I progressed from barely surviving a 400m open water swim to completing 3.8km in the 2004 Ironman. But then the squad disbanded and for years after I focused on running and marathon training. Swimming was usually something I did when I was injured!

Well whaddayaknow, this morning’s swim session brought back memories of squad swimming and having someone telling you what to do! There were about 8 of us considered the more competent swimmers in our lane and so Jess made sure we made the most of the one hour allocated to us. There were times when I glanced across to the other lane where the newbie swimmers were and wished I was there!

There were drills, there were times where we had to swim non-freestyle laps (and let me tell you my backstroke sucks big time plus I tend to own the lane…the whole width of the lane as I can’t swim in a straight line), there were the pull buoy laps and yes, those laps where intensity was involved aka the lung busters!

And I got sprung! Up until now a certain tattoo on the back of my left shoulder has been under wraps and I haven’t mentioned doing any triathlons. But its pretty hard to hide in a pair of bathers and yes, I was asked…”Have you done an Ironman?” and “so why are you doing this course?”

A long, sad and sorry tale of injury has led me to this point and that’s the reason I have gone back to basics. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to suck at swimming and cycling but my running saved me. Now…well I suck at all three legs!

Anyway the highlight of my swim session this morning – I managed to breathe bilaterally! Now this may not even rate a mention with most people but I am, and have been for years, a dedicated left sided breather. Many people have tried…and failed…to get me to breathe bilaterally! however I am determined to conquer this skill and you know what, I really think I swam faster on those laps where I did breathe to both sides.

I went for a run at lunch time, around the lake, 8km in total. I can’t say it was a terrific run but I never stopped. My legs felt like lumps of concrete and that is due to the gym session yesterday where I focused on…yep, you guessed it, legs! It was a beautiful day, though a lot warmer than I’ve been used to, and so for several hours afterwards I was still red as a beetroot!


3 Responses to “1 2 3 breathe…”

  1. Steve 03/10/2014 at 10:18 pm #

    Focused & dedicated, wonderful day for you. Well done.

    • cathyn61 04/10/2014 at 7:14 am #

      Thanks Steve! I was sooo tired in the afternoon!


  2. Ewen 04/10/2014 at 8:13 am #

    Busted! Bilateral breathing sucks. It’s not natural!

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