My work in the pool this week has been a blast. Getting used to my new coaches workouts means getting used to all sorts of different stuff. 6 swims on the schedule this week and I am loving it. I also lifted the upper body so the region belly button and up has been in sweet soreness bliss.

Todays swim had two sets: a fun part, and a totally daunting part. The daunting part: I had 6 sets where each set was a mix of 25’s – 100’s with an easy 25 after each. Instructions were to make the hard “HARD”. I read this as “hurt locker”. The total of the 6 sets was 2100 yards and here’s where it gets strange. He adds in the word: “continuously”. I wasn’t even sure I understood. I sent off the panic email at 7am…6am his time “what? continuously? like…don’t stop for all 6 sets? like…don’t rest? Go into the hurt locker, and don’t come out??”

It was too early on a Sunday to actually expect a response, and you know, after I wrote it, I realized, yea, it’s continuous, that’s exactly what it means. 2,100 yards in the hurt locker.

Then I got a little scared and nervous. The hurt locker in swimming scares me. In running and biking I have my tools for the hurt locker. But swimming you are confronted face on with pain and you must simply swim through it, or swim “in it” rather. How’s this gonna go? It’s my 6th swim of the week, my pecks are still a tad angry from over doing the pull up machine. Blah Blah Blah…shut up Sonja! So much change has been thrown at you the last three weeks are you are eating it up, so eat this up too.

Dreaming of being back in Australia (Bethie and I) that’s what you do in the hurt locker, go to your happy place.

Tyler joined me. We had fun nailing the opening set and swimming side by side, thrashing it out to the wall on some fast 25’s.

Then it was time for the big daddy. You know it was just like a race. I suddenly realized that I was suffering from a case of “outcome oriented thoughts”. Those things are DEADLY. Stop thinking about how it’s all going to work out. Just start DOing and the rest will fall into place.

Down we went, off the wall, and off went. Tyler stayed with me for two of the sets. Can we even call them sets if we never get to stop? Then he hit the wall for a break and I flipped and kept on keeping on. It gave me a little momentum when he stopped. Another lap hard and I see Tyler is back with me. Then he is back at the wall and the next time I come by he’s under the water with my camera, trying to take video (and failing miserably). The next lap he’s swimming with me and he’s got every piece of gear he or I own on. It made me laugh (amongst the pain). The next lap he was sitting in the hot tub. I could hear him chanting for me and that got me going even harder.

Go to your happy place Sonja, think Australia, think fit and kicking fanny, think Kona (PIC Ford and I in AUS)

Before I knew it (and believe me this workout was total mental gymnastics) I was on my last set, 350 left and I was deep in the the hurt locker. Pull the arms, who cares how hard they scream. Get your roll, stay focused on the task at hand. Stay motivated, keep the self talk positive.

And then it was done and a smile crept across my face. The minute you forget a lesson (for me “outcome oriented thoughts”) you will be tested again. I am reminded that when I am scared or nervous, I must simply begin. Motivate and begin. Just get going and one lap later the nerves are gone and you are full force in the throws of it. Don’t think about how you are going to do, those results are only dictated by how you do during the work. Just do the work, no thinking.

Thanks Tyler, it was great to have your smiling face under water with me.

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Swimming, Triathlon

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5 Comments

  1. Love the term “hurt locker!” I coached our masters team this morning and used your blog as inspiration while writing up the workout, but I think I only put them in the hurt ‘lunchbox,’ it wasn’t too brutal.

  2. I have just started reading your blog and I wanted to let you know that I am loving it! I have really enjoyed your latest blogs and today’s really hit home for me. I don’t swim nearly as much as you but for me it is all new. Now, I have something to think of when I am doing my hard sets! Thanks!

  3. I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful

  4. I am glad you found humor in seeing me with the tube, pullbouy, paddles and flippers. I was simply trying to keep up with you on your 5th repeat of the set from hell. Tell the man CV I want a re-do in a few months of this workout!!!
    You are really getting smooth in the H2O and it is fun to swim with you. Keep up the good effort and I look forward to seeing your year shape up nice.

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