Wednesday, August 14, 2013

70 Minutes of Luck

Yesterday was one of those days. I got sucked into the hustle and bustle of Tuesday (perhaps the hustliest, bustliest day of the week). Went in to work, had a doctor's appointment, had to run over to New Jersey for some meetings and found myself uncertain of my workout schedule at the end of the day. It's become increasingly clear to me that I need to step up my game in the swimming and biking departments, if I want to finish this triathlon in October. Originally, I'd planned to hike all the way to Riverbank State Park to take advantage of their Olympic-sized pool. But, as some of you may know, it is a hike. It's all the way up around 145th Street and, while it is a beautiful facility, is quite a waste of time in terms of commute. I'm all about doing things efficiently, and swimming there would have been excessively inefficient.
But I'm getting desperate. Inefficient or not, I'm at the point where I need to bite the bullet. I have to swim where and when I can, so I seriously considered it before deciding to check out the city recreation center in Chelsea, which apparently also has a very nice pool. The website mentioned that swimmers have to register by 4pm, though, and by the time I was checking this out it was 5:30. I called the number and no answer. By this point, I was feeling flustered. This was a prime example of what's been happening all season with training. I keep telling myself I can fit it in, that it'll work out somehow. Only, it hasn't worked out enough so far and now it's crunch time, so I need to be more inistent.
Somehow, though, things worked out yesterday. After I got no answer at the Chelsea pool, I decided to take my chances at my gym. Now, don't get me wrong, I appreciate that the majority of my gym's locations have pools, but they have a couple of issues. The first is that they are tiny. TINY. 20 feet, maybe? And two (unshareable) lanes wide. I can deal with that, though. The major problem is that there's a 20 minute time limit if people are waiting for the pool. I get why this is a rule, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating.
Have a picture of Phoebe sleeping with her tongue out
I walked into the pool area and was delighted to find not a soul in there aside from the life guard. I thought there was a decent chance I'd get my full 20 minutes and then some, since there seemed to be little demand for the pool. 16 minutes passed, and still no one had come. "Awesome," I thought, as I continued, thinking I could probably squeeze a good half hour in. Then I was at 27. Then 43. Then 52. Then an hour. No one came! I still had the pool all to myself! I wondered if I could make it all the way to an hour and a half, which I thought would constitute a good, solid workout. 1:07. 1:13. Finally, at around an hour and twenty minutes into my swim, another guy arrived and hopped into the pool. He was faster than I am (no surprise there), so I spent the last ten minutes of my workout pushing a little harder.
I did it. Inexplicably, I spent a solitary hour and twenty minutes in that pool and then an extra ten minutes with a pool buddy. Who knows how long I could have gone if I'd wanted. I know I can't expect that every time I go to the gym, so I'm inspired to find a new way. This was encouraging, and my next course of action will be to start attending some coached swim workouts, hopefully starting next week. I can do this. With a happy combination of strategy, efficiency, hard work and dumb luck, I can definitely do this.

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