I’ve spent the past several days hiding out in an emotional cave, licking my wounds and trying to turn my head around after the practice tri on Saturday. I pretty spent all day Sunday crying uncontrollably. I cried every time I thought about it.
Then I got an email from sports psychologist Michelle Cleere (who magically came into my life this month!) saying she really thought I could do the Olympic and that she would help me. I met with her on Wednesday which was immensely helpful. Problem is I have not been able to get back into the freaking water since then. Last night I was supposed to go with Lily and about a minute before heading out we had our 2nd earthquake of the day. Not a little one. Which led to freakout of her dog, ourselves and various family members. By the time everyone calmed down (sort of) it was too late. So today it’s do or die! I am eager to try out what Michelle suggested to me. In the meantime I am setting about making several dozen “YOU GOT THIS” post-it notes to put in all corners of the house.
What did she suggest? Well, both mental and physical things. One thing that came out when I was recapping the open water swim was that I was breathing with every stroke. When I’m in the pool, I breathe every 2 or 3. I was really aware of this in the open water, and TRYING to get myself to breathe less often, but it wasn’t happening. Michelle said that this changeup, physiologically could have added to my hyperventilation issue (just not having enough oxygen and having periodic “can’t breathe” episodes in between fine regular swimming). She recommended that I start practicing swimming with the “every stroke breath” technique in the POOL so that it is less of a stressful transition. Many people I speak to say that they breathe every stroke and sometimes this is just necessary in OW. I’ve watched some tri videos recently and the top people do seem to breathe constantly. OK .
In addition I am working very hard at thinking positively, about the great progress I made since the start of the season (when I could barely swim 2 lengths of the pool). I am going to do a long pool workout today, and then tomorrow a course preview swim practice with another triathlon training group (my team is doing bike run which will probably also be a big benefit, but I need to NAIL this swimming thing and soon). I am working at a ton of self-talk and how to deal with that huge “I CAN’T” voice in my head.
I can’t thank you all enough, you who posted and commented and emailed and sent me good vibes this past week. It has meant the world to me. It was a rough thing, but I’m ready to get back in it now and do what I can do.
In other news: Today is the day to sign up for the next season of Team in Training for just $10! Yahoo! I just picked up the phone (call 800-78-TRAIN) and signed up for a Yosemite Snowshoe Hike for February 2012. One, it will get me into the Triple Crown club at TNT (three separate sports) and I am all about these sorts of bling/reward things. I want to be a Triple Crown! Plus, what could be more beautiful than snowshoeing in Yosemite?