This morning I had a time trial swim, 400 and 200m timed swims to compare with my times from last January.
January: 6:52 (1:43) for the 400 and 3:17 (1:38.5) for the 200.
April 13: 7:02 for the 400 and 3:18 for the 200.
Ooops. Not the improvement I had wanted and expected to see. I was surprised because my swimming continues to improve and feel better. Granted I slept horribly last night but it I gave it my all and came up short. What are you gonna do? This is what I wrote to Coach Jim:
I took my hour to be miffed about my swim and have moved on (mostly!). What bothers me is I know my crazy busy life and job are probably not helping matters, but on the other hand I guess it's all that stuff that lets me do this stuff so it's just a package deal. Logically, I get that progress is never linear, it flatlines, steps back, and then jumps when you least expect it. And yes, even trickier trying to balance the three sports plus lifting. I just come back to (1) I know I bring my BEST to every workout, whatever "best" is for that day and those conditions and (2) I have faith that every workout is contributing in some way to long-term overall progress and fitness.
I shared this experience with the kids today and tried to explain how most everything is like this...two steps forward, one back (or maybe three), then steady-state for a while, and eventually a big leap. Keeping the faith and a long-term view is what matters.
And I do know that when I get to the start of that race, I will take with me a lot of confidence knowing that I've done the work in the gym, on the roads, in the pool, on the track, and even in the kitchen! I need to address the rest and mental prep part a bit more, but I'll get there!