swim team by getthebubbles
swim team, a photo by getthebubbles on Flickr.

Today was the first day we were to start our OYO (on your own) workouts for Team in Training. I was lucky enough that one of my teammates lives really close to me and she wanted to come swimming at my gym.

I think I just don’t feel confident enough in myself to know that I would complete these solo workouts if I were truly solo. So I was so glad to have company and to have someone to swim with. I’m gonna be honest. Back in the day, when I was training with TNT to do my (walking) marathon in 2000, I had a schedule of solo workouts for midweek. I didn’t do a lot of them. I figured I could “catch up” on the weekends during the coached workouts. And that was fine. But this time around, I feel like I don’t dare miss a single thing because if I don’t keep up, I’m just… screwed. So I’m sticking to this schedule no matter what.

I think the motto of this triathlon training is going to be, “This is no joke.” The workout started out manageable enough, with a couple of lengths of warmup, then 4 lengths (100 yds), then 2 laps (100 yds). That all went fine.

Then we were to do a timed swim of 15 minutes and write down how many yards it was.

Fifteen minutes without stopping is a long time.

It’s like never having run before, and trying to run for fifteen minutes straight.

It was a verrryyyyyy long 15 minutes. I took a couple half-lengths to breast stroke or side stroke because I was getting pretty wobbly with the freestyle. But the phrase, “there’s no wall to touch in open water” kept going through my head and I just did my best to keep going.

I did the dumb thing of trying to count by 25s in my head and add as I swam. My brain was fairly addled so I think I got it wrong.

Lily said she counted 30 lengths. I was a few behind her so I’m gonna say I did 24. Which is 600 yards. Plus the 300 we did (including the 50 yard cooldown) — whoa.

We sat in the hot tub for a while afterward.

Again, no joke. I survived it. It wasn’t easy. I keep wondering, is this going to get easier? (because I get more conditioned) Or harder? (because they’re going to keep adding distance and speed) Or just be the same degree of difficulty the whole time?

I can’t think about it. I have to just take each workout, each day as it comes and just do the best I can.

It didn’t kill me. I wasn’t dying. But it wasn’t easy. And I’m gonna reiterate that if I didn’t have Lily in that lane next to me, I can’t guarantee I wouldn’t have quit halfway.