Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Step by Step 2014 ~ Best week yet

Hi everyone,

Thanks for stopping by, it's an honored to have you here. Today we continue our look at this week's training notes. If you've missed the previous notes from this year, you can see them all by clicking HERE.

Friday, April 25, 2014
Following on from Wednesday's lifetime best swim, today's workout was tough. My muscles were still a little achy, but I was determined to push on and complete the hour. I did so, making sure I stayed hydrated throughout the workout, drinking more than a liter of water during then immediately after, having skimped a bit on this at times.

By the end of the workout, I was really tired, but proud to have completed my most strenuous week yet and very much looking forward to the weekend rest period!

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Today's rest day was very relaxed. The weather was typically spring-like, at last, so the sun was out one minute and it rained heavily the next, so I couldn't do anything outside in the yard. Instead, I went through some things and found the album that holds the photos from the high school battlefield trip. I looked through them quickly and the memories, which haven't faded much at all over the years, came back. I plan on scanning and uploading them to Facebook tomorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2014
After a relaxed morning spent with those closest to me, I headed up to my studio this afternoon and opened the album. Even as I began scanning the first of the battlefield trip photos and noting the content so I could caption them later, the years melted away. The photos are over twenty years old, so not exactly delicate, yet I handled them with as much care as I had my Grandmother's album a few months ago, out of respect for those who served. Some of the photos in Gram's album, those of her father in his military uniform, are almost 100 years old. Once I have her permission, I'll share some of those images with you too.

Throughout the hour or more it took to scan the photos of the trip, I was filled with the exact same emotions that I'd felt during it, fear, trepidation and distress. I was back there, walking over the fog enveloped battlefields, through the muddy trenches and bearing witness at the memorials and cemeteries. When the last image was scanned, I silently said a prayer for all who had served, all who had lost their lives.

I then returned to the living room and began the process of captioning the images, checking a few details online so the descriptions were as accurate as possible. I'm only sharing one of the photos with you today, I'll share the others as the weeks go by, but if you'd like to see them all before they appear here, you can take a look at the Facebook album High school battlefield trip.

Monday, April 28, 2014
I had thought about changing up today's workout to something more challenging than the "beginner" dance workout I've done since I began the cardio sessions, but because I'm planning to increase the distance of the swim on Wednesday, I kept to the hour. I did push it as hard as I could and very definitely felt tired afterward, but very happy to have completed another session.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Having achieved lifetime best swims during each of the first three pool sessions, today I aimed just as high, so to speak. When I did the math for the challenge itself last week, I knew that the maximum distance I'd swim during one session would be 1-3/4 miles, or 84 laps. I've not swum that far in over 20 years and if I do it without pausing, it would be another lifetime best.

In the minutes before getting into the pool, just before 2:00 pm today, I realized that I'd be crazy to do the total without pausing. I know that some of you might think I'm crazy anyway and at times I think I am too! I pushed off from the wall at the start of the first lap and was soon into my rhythm. I had been unsure when my first pause would be, but it came at the end of lap 6 or 1/8 of a mile, when I needed to adjust my swim cap, worn for the first time today. After only about 20 seconds I pushed off once more.

The next brief pause, for the same reason, came at the end of lap 12 or 1/4 mile, followed by others at 18 and 24 laps, the 1/2 mile point. From here I pushed on and did a longer stint, the next pause coming at the end of lap 32.

The pool was quieter this week and once again my thoughts turned to all those who are supporting, encouraging and inspiring me. A few times I did almost lose count of the laps, but only momentarily and I continued to push on through the water.

Making the turn into lap 46, my thoughts went back just four weeks. At this point then I'd been 2 laps away from the finish of the swim and as brief as it could be, I smiled at the achievement of then and now. At the end of lap 54, 30 from today's target, I briefly thought about beginning to count down, but instead decided to continue counting upwards.

At the end of lap 60, still with a 1/2 mile to go, I again smiled very briefly and then pushed on. By now I was feeling the burn in my shoulders and a very slight twinge in my left calf when I pushed off, but it didn't deter me, I continued in the same rhythm.

At the end of lap 72 or 1-1/2 miles, last week's end point, I kicked on, determined to give the remainder everything I had. From lap 78 I did decide to count down the last 6 laps and then changed stroke for the final 2, as I've done during each session.

Standing up at the end of lap 84, having reached my goal, I coughed and for a brief moment struggled to catch my breath. The moment I did, my back to the pool, I said a prayer of thanks to God for getting me through the swim. Climbing out of the pool, my legs were understandably heavy my muscles protesting, but I'd done it. I'd achieved a 20 year best and yes, I'm once again, proud and determined to give this my absolute all!

God bless

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