I've been going to bed before 9:30 PM most nights this week. What a gift to give myself. It's hard. Last night I could feel myself getting a second wind, and I wanted to just ramp up, but I put the Zeo on (who went out of business by the way), hit start tracking, and closed my eyes. So tough for me. Going to bed early means I'm up and at 'em early. This is such a gift for me. I'm usually groggy in the morning but recently I've been peppy. This morning I went swimming, at 6:30 in the morning. I'm usually the girl getting in the pool at 7:30pm or 8:00pm to get my swim done. I love swimming at night. But I'm turning a new leaf. After all, we race in the morning, not in the evening.

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So my swim coach Nick met me at this pool this morning. I had a chat with him about my really sub par swim at Boulder and he was ready to get in with me right away. We warmed up and he watched me swim and took some video. He worked with me on my stroke and made some changes that sounded great and made total sense. He pointed out where I was dropping my elbow and where I was slipping water with a tilted hand. We fixed those issues and I expected to get faster, but I got slower, and it was harder. But I kept at it.

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Nick got out to take his wife to work and I was left with the rest of my workout on my own. Due to the nature of us chatting/form work I had only covered about 1000 meters in 30 minutes, so I knew I would be in the pool for yet another hour. My main set (after about 1000 of warm up and 1000 of various pulling work):

200 on 3:15 steady in at 3:05

2x50 on 1:00 drill

200 on 3:30 build to really fast

2x50 on 1:00 drill

200 on 3:45 fast sub 2:58

2x50 on 1:00 drill

200 on 4:00 all out

It's merely 4x200 getting faster as I go. I'm feeling sluggish, new form is funky and I'm sure I'm tense in areas I shouldn't be. I'm not having a very strong day in the pool and I'm a little bummed out by it. The truth is, I'm judging it, instead of putting my head down and fighting through it, judgement free.

First 200 is right on 3:05. Okay, one down. Second 200 I build to as fast as I can get going and come in at 3:07. That's okay, it's ok, again more judging and more worry. So I get going on the third one and I think on a day like today its going to take an all out effort to get under 2:58. So I swim as hard as I can. Hit the 100 at 1:29, try hard to negative split, go to breathing every stroke....2:59.

Whew. Okay. okay. I didn't get it, but I wasn't horribly off. That was really all out though. So I'm standing there during the rest interval and I'm literally convincing myself not to do the last one. Here's what goes through my brain:

---nobody will know

---why is this important anyways

---I already swam the last one all out

---it will just be slower anyways

So, I leave for the 2x50 drill and when I get to the wall after the second 50 it's decision time. I stood up straight and I said to myself

---What are you afraid of here? Going slower?

---It's the trying that matters

---Drop the fears Sonja.

And I took off from the wall. I made the first 50 hard, and the last 150 really hard. Really all out hard. My water awareness was bad. I know when I'm "on" because I feel like a shark and the whole thing felt like a blowfish (by the way, never has a photo better expressed the way I felt in the pool today).

blowfish

But I swam it. And I gave it my all. And I dropped the fear. I swam 2:59. Same as the one before. The numbers weren't anything to write home about, but the effort was. Dropping the fear of failure was.

But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!

---Rocky Balboa

To paraphrase. It's not about how fast I can swim. It's not about the times I can hit. It's about how hard I can swim when I feel like a blowfish. It's about believing that if I'm a blowfish I'm gonna be the fastest damn blowfish out there.

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