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Back in the pool!

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, that didn’t take long.  After discovering only yesterday that I live right around the corner from a community center with a pool, today I went for my first swim since my last race in September 2011.

The pool

The pool was interesting.  Very much an urban recreation center – nothing fancy, luxurious, or really even convenient, but it was serviceable none the less (and close to home is worth a lot = I might actually stick with it).  The lady at the front desk (quite literally a student’s desk you’d find at a flee market) was so busy doing her crossword that she didn’t see me come in the building.  I paid for my swim, and asked her how busy the pool was.  She said “there’s quite a few people in there”, which I would soon come to understand means I’m the 3rd person to arrive.

I went into the change room.  I could have doubled as a typical kid’s hockey change room – a big room with benches around 3 walls and coat hooks above them.  No lockers.  In one corner was a big cage with an employee working inside and a little opening – you could ask for a basket and he would slide you one to put your wallet and other stuff you’d prefer not be stolen, and he’d bring it inside the cage for you.  It kinda felt like I was in jail.  Your personal effects go inside the cage – you don’t get a voucher or a number or anything in return.  You hand your valuables into the cage and trust when its time to leave that you’ll get them back.  Next was the shower room – a small brick room with 4 water spouts that look like outdoor taps to hook up a garden hose.  Each had a button on a spring.  You push the button and hot water comes out.  The button slowly springs back out and when it’s done the water turns off.  This takes a whole 3 seconds.  You could keep pushing it over and over if you wanted a shower longer than 3 seconds, but that got old pretty quick.

The pool itself was nice.  25m long.  Hotter than should be water.  And the shallow end was shallow enough I could rest on my knees between lengths (I could almost sit cross legged).  It felt a bit like swimming in a barn.  But very much a community pool – less than a dozen swimmers the whole time I was there spanned all generations.  There were chairs on the deck with signs stating they were specifically for mothers who needed to breastfeed.  The lifeguards were very nice and chatty.  It was a very comfortable environment (but I don’t expect to ever run into any elite swimmers there).

The swim

Once upon a time I would have told you that the swim was the strongest sport for me in the triathlon.  Leading up to my last race, it was the sport I trained the least for (by far), yet the sport I did the best in.  I had a lot of confidence in my swim, and felt quite ok taking a break after the race for a few months.  Boy, am I glad I got back at it now and didn’t wait any longer.  I was SLOW.  My 1km time was almost 50% longer than what I expected.  My arms got so tired pulling through the water that I didn’t even notice the cardio work out until I stopped for a break.  It felt really good to be back in the pool, but I’ve got a lot of work to do to get my swim strength back

I guess that’s the funny thing about triathlon.  You can’t just focus on training one sport, even if you know it’s your weak link.  You’ll ultimately just trade one weak link for another.  But that’s the beauty of it at the same time – training isn’t about running every day, or swimming every day.  It’s a balance of several different sports, and when you’re doing it right, it keeps things interesting and varied.  It was so nice to do something other than run today – both drained and recharged the batteries at the same time.  Looking forward to running again tomorrow!

-DO’G

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