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What Do You Blog About When You Have a Bad Attitude?

April 25, 2012 by Katie

Personally, I try to keep my mouth shut.  So in the past 13 weeks, I've only posted once about my Swim the Suck training.

In case you're new to the blog, I'm training for a 10-mile swim, Swim the Suck, this October.  Why would I want to swim 10 miles?  Open water swimming is fun.  The longer the swim, the more fun (I was thinking). 

I feel embarrassed when I get a bad attitude about my training.  I'm in it for the love of the game.  No one is forcing me to do this.  In fact, it's expensive in terms of time and money.  I should be am grateful that I have the resources to do it.

But, MAN!  The past 13 weeks have been tough.  Before my official training started, I was swimming 21,000 yards per week.  By week 12, I was swimming 30,000 yards per week, including lots of drills and slow technique work.  Plus 3-4 yoga classes per week. 

I felt tired all the time, but I didn't realize it.  I was so used to being tired, it seemed normal.  What I noticed was feeling rushed, lazy and ungrateful.  My intervals were getting faster, but my long swims were getting slower.  I raced a 7K and posted my slowest times in the past 18 months.  And I wasn't enjoying the long swims.  (What?!)  I had "What am I doing with my life?" nightmares.

The worst part was that I didn't understand why I was feeling that way--I didn't feel any more tired after a workout than I did before it.  It was just a slow, sneaky buildup of fatigue.

I'm in the second phase of my training now--lower volume, higher intensity.  The high intensity workouts are fun, and the lower volume means I have more time to lollygag.  (I love me some lollygagging.)  I feel like a happy, grateful, positive, WaterGirl again.  I even enjoyed my 4.5 mile swim over the weekend. 

This too shall pass.  In a few more weeks, my yardage will go back up again.  Maybe I'll handle it more gracefully next time.  Maybe not.  Either way, I'm staying in the game.

Maybe in the end, I'll know enough to write a post about "What I learned Training for Swim the Suck and Why it Was or Wasn't Worth It."  Not today.  Today I'm just grateful to be enjoying the journey.

What about you?  Does your training ever get the best of you?  How do you handle it?

 

Comments

Workouts and fatigue

April 26, 2012 by Becky (not verified), 2 years 17 weeks ago
Comment: 1787

Thanks for your post--I am swimming with much less lofty goals in mind but I am experiencing the same thing--creeping fatigue and crankiness.  I track my energy levels/moods and I try to figure out the "why's" of when it hits.  For me, having a reason and even sometimes being able to predict is helpful.  But ultimately, blaming it on your training is excellent.  It's hard to trust that the speed for the long swims will be there when it's needed, though.  And tapering makes me twitchy and itchy.  ARGH.

Hi Becky!  Thanks for

April 26, 2012 by Katie, 2 years 17 weeks ago
Comment: 1788

Hi Becky!  Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the comment.  What are you training for?

One thing that kinda sorta helps me recognize fatigue is to remember how much volume I swam when I first started swimming, 5 years ago.  At that time, I swam 1250 yards, 3-4 times per week.  Today, I don't even think of 1250 yards as exercise.  But 5 years ago, I definitely thought of it as a workout.  That volume made me look stronger and more toned.  So even though a moderately paced 3,000 feels like nothing today, it can't actually be nothing.  So maybe (it's a long shot), I can be nice to myself and interpret that feeling of "laziness" as fatigue.

But I still find it impossible to predict when it will hit. 

Thanks!  You of all people

April 25, 2012 by Katie, 2 years 17 weeks ago
Comment: 1783

Thanks!  You of all people know how to handle adversity. Good luck at IMTX! I know you'll crush it (as always).

Love this post, and I know

April 25, 2012 by Stephanie Deitrick (not verified), 2 years 17 weeks ago
Comment: 1781

Love this post, and I know where you are coming from. Its so hard when the fatigue sneaks up on you like that, and you realize that you kind of dread the thing that you used to love so much. Sometimes it can be a sign of overtraining, and backing off for a little helps avoid completely falling apart. Sounds like you did that, which I hope helps when you pick the volume back up. I am in my last weeks of training for IMTX, and your description of how you were feeling describes my mood now. Its so hard to remember that I have been here before, and its just a lot of training fatigue, which will pass as I move into taper. I hope it is easier for you with this second build phase, I am so amazed that you will be swimming that far. Seriously a scary and awesome sounding adventure to me (well, for me more scary than awesome). Sending positive happy swimming thoughts to you.

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