A Saturday of Personal Bests

My Saturday = 4 + 0.5 + 19.39

Needless to say, my Saturday was pretty intense. It started off slowly enough with a steady 4 mile run, which 1) was a catch-up from from the other day and 2) served as a warm up for the rest of the day. I took it at a nice pace, down the street and back to my friend’s house where I retrieved my newly constructed but ill-fitting bicycle. The run was a little more difficult than usual. I’m not sure what happened but something on my run triggered some flashbacks from some prior events in my life and I suddenly started crying. It wasn’t the feeling of sadness, anger, or release. It seemed to be an autonomic reaction to the psychological stimuli. Despite the disappointment from having purchased a bike that I really liked but couldn’t use, I tried not to let it get me down.

But it did.

After I got home from my “walk of shame” I felt super lazy. I ate breakfast, read a little bit, laid around and did nothing, clicked around online, and mentally procrastinated on dealing with anything remotely important. I was feeling a little bit demotivated and mopey and still a bit teary for reasons beyond me. It was a strange funk to be in, but awhile ago I figured out that the time you should be training most is when you feel like doing it least.

So, I lathered up the sunscreen and headed down to the pool for my double session with my swim instructor. I was a bit tense from the day already, and compounding it with not really wanting to be in the water wasn’t good. The two shallow ends were taken and since she noticed me at the open lap swim earlier that week, she deemed me ready for the deep end. (My heart was pounding so loud I could hear it in my ears!!)

We worked on diving today: diving from the seated position, the track runner dive, and the jumping-into-the-pool dive. I struggled with it a lot since I wasn’t as confident in my abilities in the water. My swim instructor does it so effortlessly. Her freestyle stroke is so deliberative. She never seems to gasp for air. Again, that’s years of training staring me back in the face, but she is gently encouraging and only slightly pushy. After our session was over, she went to write out a workout plan for my swimming component and I made nice conversation with another swimmer who thought I was with a team. She complimented me on the strengths of my stroke.

It’s interesting to see how much of your perception of yourself is really all in your head. Things are never as bad as they appear to other people compared to what it looks like in our minds. I’m positive that I’m the belly flopping adult attempting to dive into the 8 foot section as 10 year olds are cannon-balling around me. I’m pretty sure my Coney Island Crawl looks ridiculous. I’m pretty sure I’m overextending my stroke to a point where I’m exerting twice the effort…yet this other person who swam in high school and college thought that I was doing a great job. When I told her I was working on obliterating a list of fears and that swimming was on the list, she seemed impressed. Strange how that works!

When I returned home from my swim session, I was feeling a little better about my training. Even though I feel that I’m behind with my swimming, that’s something I have complete control of. I can always add more swimming and detract something else. I prepped my bike for the long ride and took off.

The ride down Fairfax was smooth. I took it all the way to Venice Blvd and then headed west towards the beach. It was a gorgeous ride — started off in the early evening and ended with the beginning stages of sunset. The ride was very smooth. When available, it feels like riding the bike lanes is a whole lot safer than riding sidewalks. On sidewalks you have to deal with people walking around and getting in the way. You also have to deal with driveways which are pretty dangerous. However, on a bike lane, you have the right to that lane. You get to use it as you would a car lane. By being reasonable and following the laws I got to Venice Beach in one piece!

When I got to my friend’s place we completed another short bike ride around Venice and Marina Del Rey. Biking along the beach bike paths were gorgeous. I’d love to go back and get some riding done there since it’s continuous and scenic.

So, all in all, this Saturday I completed a 4 mile run, a half mile swim, and nearly 20 miles of biking. No day like today!

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