More Things I Need to Work on Before I Swim 10 Miles

As if the first list of things weren’t enough, there are several more things I need to wrap my brain around and get a good handle on before my 10 mile race this October:

6. Strength training: I already mentioned core strength, but I especially need to work on the muscles opposing my swimming muscles for joint stabilization purposes. And really, just in general, I could use a bit of brushing up in this area. Noodly muscles tend not to work well in an endurance sports situation. Competitive yoga might be a different matter, but in my case, I’m going to shoot for wiry.

7. Organization: At work, I seem to be fairly well organized. In my personal life, not so much. There have been a few too many post-swim mornings in which my commute to work was thrown off because I forgot my pants. Or my bra. Or my lunch. Thankfully, I now have an early enough workout that I am able to run home between practice and work to shower and change, but somehow, I still end up barely getting out of the door in time to catch the train. I see this as a needless source of stress, but somehow, I haven’t been able to make myself to care enough to pull my crap together the night before. Until now, because I’m officially putting it out there. From this day forward, you officially have my blessing to give me an endless ration of shit if I show up to work without my pants.

8. Sleep: If you look out the left side of the vehicle, you will see a Grappledunk in her work environment (easily identified by the faint odor of chlorine and the distinctive cap line across the forehead). Notice the faceplant into the keyboard and the gentle snoring, while her face types an endless line of gggggggggggggggggg…..

Actually, the sleep issue has been a source of befuddlement for me for a while now. I usually have no problem falling asleep in the first place, but I am constantly waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble getting back to sleep again. And I’m tired. I partly blame the hooligans; they were at an overnight play date last weekend, and on Saturday I actually slept for almost 12 hours. But it’s not always their fault that my sleep sucks. I need to figure this out because I have skipped more than one morning practice because of sheer exhaustion.

9. Pre-Race Nutrition: You’d think I’d have this figured out by now, but I’m sort of second guessing myself. I’ve raced on pizza and beer (what?? Beer is carbs) the night before and done decently well, but I’ve been training my butt off, and I want to do really well. Not just decently well. Spaghetti with meat sauce went down well before the Bay Swim, but I’ll be in a hotel the night before the race, so who knows what will be available. As for breakfast the day of the race, I’m thinking PB&J a couple of hours before the start, and some UCAN about 30 minutes before. I’ll have to test that out a few times beforehand, though.

10. Putting in the Distance: To this point, I haven’t done any really long training swims. My longest has been the Bay Swim, which isn’t even half the distance I’ll be doing in October. However, next weekend I have a 5-hour challenge swim, organized by my Masters team, during which I hope to get in at least 8 miles, if not more. But since this is the first long training swim of my summer, who knows…I may flame out spectacularly. At least it’s in a long course pool. Flipturns suck.

So those are the few minor details I will be ironing out between now and October. It feels like it’s creeping up on me…is it too soon to get nervous?

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