So I have started to plan for taper. Prepare this endorphin junkie for detox, so to speak. I have made a plan to minimize the nasty withdrawl symptoms that I am about to experience. And if you are reading this and are someone who is likely to come into contact with me in the next 3 weeks.... I'm not sure my strategy is going to work, so you might want to try to stay far, far away from me. Ok, you've been warned.
First of all, I am going to treat every workout like it is the most important workout of the year. Get excited for them. Fuel properly. Visualize race day as I'm training. Nail nutrition and hydration. Even if it's a 30 minute workout, I will drink 10 ounces of water during it. I think by doing this, the workouts will seem longer and more significant and lead to less mental fatigue.
Secondly, I will fill taper with activities that I have been to busy to do for the past 10 months. Clean the house, organize my room, call old friends. I will carefully make lists and start packing for departure. When in Wisconsin I will spend lots of time with my nephew, lounge around my parents pool. Go for walks with the dogs, stretch, help out my parents, go out with my brother and sister in law, read up on surgery books. Fill the time so I'm not just sitting around like the lump of decaying flesh I'm really going to feel like.
So that being said, I didn't quite go into my swim workout this morning in my taper mindset. I was slated to do the workout from hell. It's a set that I have grown to despise, although I'm not sure that is a strong enough word to describe my feelings. The thought of it sends a chill down my spine. It's the biggest swimming buzz kill workout ever written. Especially when done long course
600 warm up
4 x 1000
100 cool down
Doing 1000's long course is kind of like being placed in an all white room with pegboard walls and asked to count the holes. It's not just boring. It puts those who do them at risk of sudden death due to falling asleep and drowning. It has become the bane of my existence. And today, there was no one to talk into doing them with me.
So normal people can probably let their minds wander and use the time productively. I wasn't born with the multitasking gene. I'm actually surprised I can chew gum and maintain function as a normal human being. So during sets of 1000's, all my mind can possible focus on is the count. If I think of anything else, I will lose count, guaranteed. So this is what goes through my head when I do the set from hell
1,1,1,1, OMYGod this is so boring, 1,1,1,flip
2,2,2,2, There's just no way I am going to finish 4 of these, 2,2,2,flip
3,3,3,3, I think this set is robbing me of all the joy of swimming, 3,3,3 flip
4,4,4,4, Look at all those people having fun with their sprint sets, 4,4,4,flip
5,5,5,5, I would rather get my toenails torn off one by one, 5,5,5,5,flip
6,6,6,6, More than half way there. Shouldn't I be done????, 6,6,6,flip
7,7,7,7, Great 300 more. Oh, shit, no make that 400. Damn math!,7,7,7, flip
8,8,8,8, Who turned on the endless pool? I seriously feel a draft, 8,8,8,flip
9,9,9,9, Can't wait to end this set so I can turn around and do this again, 9, flip
10,10,10,I think this is the longest 100 of my life, 10,10,10 and breathe
By the time I had gotten through the second one I had totally had it. I was so jealous of everyone else doing the normal Friday set which is my FAVORITE of the week. I was talking myself into moving into my normal lane when he spoke-
What is that- 2 or 3?
Ugh, just 2
Well you're looking good. Nice and steady
Man it is so boring!
Yeah, but other than being boring, it's not so bad, right?
I guess you're right
And with that, I looked down towards the end of the pool and pushed off. I had 2 more thousands to do.
Yeah, it helped that the voice of reason was a multiple Ironman finisher and Kona qualifier who is one of the best swimmers in our club. But really all I needed was the smallest nudge.
So what I learned from that, is that when I see someone struggling through a workout, the smallest little bit of encouragement could turn things around.
I have a lot of "paying it forward" to do this year with all the help I've gotten from my most awesome support system. I'd better get started.
A Few Good Swims
2 hours ago