A very rainy day here in Northeast, leaves are falling like orange and red snow, beautiful in a different way. My phone buzzed, it was my flying and running bud, “hey… I starting my run because it’s gonna rain all afternoon” I call him back and thank him for the heads up. My thinly disguised sarcasm worked, 30 minutes later we began running on the Lehigh Parkway, midst the humidity and drizzle. Notwithstanding the weather, the setting was perfect but I was still feeling a week of hill running and heavy leg work in the gym. After 3 miles, I decided to cut my workout short and finish with 5.5 miles, and saved myself by encouraging him to go for the full 6 at whatever pace he could muster. Off we split and I was never so happy to see him go. I finished at a moderate pace, pleased with myself for having run at all. Five minutes later he ran into the parking at full throttle effort, bound and determined to finish strong. Me, not so determined, just content.
At the obligatory lunch we rehashed old races and plotted new ones. I forced myself to the pool, hoping perhaps some minor calamity closed it for the afternoon. No such luck, entering the pool area I see one man my age swimming in the middle lane, doing laps, seemingly without effort. I struggled for my planned 30 minutes and managed to swim a whopping 350 yards. Let’s think about this, for a half iron distance triathlon, one needs to swim 1.2 miles. Clearly, I have some work to do.
Help is on the way, I’m going to be working with triathlon coach, one who has the resources to help me learn how to swim. I didn’t try to teach myself how to fly some 33 years ago, so why would I think I can teach myself to swim long distances? I hope it doesn’t take 30 years to become as comfortable in the water as I am in the air; I may run out of time.
Returning home with a vision of finishing the day with a bike ride, a rather intense clap of thunder pushed that thought away. Impending nightfall and steady rain caused me to revise my plan and so ended my Saturday endurance activities.
While not a day to dream over, I’m pleased that I was able to push myself to get swimming. No zeros in the Gram Slam ’09 column and I’m eager to actually learn how to swim.