December 21, 2007

It was an interesting mix of recovery and intense effort today, a mix that is probably only possible on training trip and with a group of swimmers like we have this year. In the morning Coach gave us a difficult decision; either swim a 6800 yard workout or a 1050 yard one. After careful deliberation we decided on the latter, then Coach let us know the caveat. 950 of the yard would be our Standard Warm-up while the last 100 would be one leg of an 8 x 100 relay. Oh, and the average time of all three relays had to be under 7:08.00. We stood quietly for a moment with only one through running through our minds, “Only 7:08?”, we then proceeded to put all three relays under 7:00. A fitting performance for one of the only “get-out swims” that most of the guys will ever see, it was great to see the guys pull together to blow away the expectations that were put on us, hopefully we’ll keep doing that all the way through the rest of the year. Of course, it couldn’t be that easy as we proceeded to do an ab workout that ended with a practice in mental focus as the team struggled and finally succeeded on a 1:00 push-up together. An attack on the hotel’s continental breakfast and naps was how we celebrated the end of the morning.

It was “meet” time that afternoon as we met with the University of Cincinnati for a combined biathlon in the Gulf of Mexico, one mile of swimming and then a one mile run back to the start. With “yellow flag” waves (the wind was kicking them up a bit) we plowed through the water, inhaling a good portion of the Gulf along the way. It’s a bit different swimming a mile in an ocean compared to a pool, the constant beating by the waves, the lack of lane lines, and any way to judge distances makes it seem a lot longer than it really is. I managed to get out of the water first and start my run back to the starting point. About halfway back or so I was passed by Paul, his running experience backed by his swimming skills making him a terror in these biathlons. I held on to get second in the end and watched and cheered the rest of the guys as they came in.

After a quick game of beach volleyball with the other team we headed back to the hotel for rest and recovery before tomorrow. Some head out to catch a bite at one of the nice restauraunts nearby while others cook up something in the nice hotel rooms. I'm sure there will be movies or card games for a few hours afterwards and then everyone will give in to their bodies' demands and hit the sack in preparation for tommorow's resumption of normal practices.

We’re getting that team atmosphere that we’ve been striving to get all season since the campout proved that we meshed well together. We’re supporting each other, cheering each other, taking pride in each other’s successes, and driving each other onward through all the pain and hardships that this week has brought. When it comes time to make it count, all these things will be there and thinking about what that will mean in the pool and on the deck makes me sorry for whoever we face. Two more days to push through and then we can congratulate ourselves for what we’ve accomplished this week, but there’s still plenty of work to be done before that time so that light at the end of the tunnel is still too far away to take comfort in it yet.



Total Pageviews

Powered by Blogger.

Blog Archive

Copyright © Red Tide Report | Powered by Blogger
Design by SimpleWpThemes | Blogger Theme by Lasantha - |