Tuesday, April 29, 2008

For the first time since I began learning how to swim, I felt defeated, depressed and pissed off. Last Thursday coach switched me from unilateral breathing to bilateral breathing. We talked and he explained that I would gain 1 more power stroke, gain some speed and roll more. I totally agree. Unfortunately putting that in to practice has been exhausting.

Sunday evening , I went to the pool and worked on it alone. Memories flooded back to when I first began in October. I went from one end of the pool to the other and stopped to catch my breath to go another length. I can't explain it because I know that I can go the distance but the doubt is creeping back in.

This morning was masters swim again. After the warm-up, the main set was 3 x 200 + 100kick. I did not complete any of the 200's without a stop or 2. My form was good and felt actually faster. I am not giving up but am frustrated with myself. I just want it.

Now the concern with Galena ,my first tri, only 2 weeks away. I have done the duathlon the past 2 years. There is a chance with the cold weather that the water temperature will not reach the needed 61. I am almost praying for that.

I am not begging for comments or sympathy. I am just trying to write down my feeling and put things into perspective. It will be OK. I will do this. I need to accept the challenge and quit being so whiny.

Just waddling..................


Fe-lady said...

You aren't "whiny" by any means.
Bilateral breathing is tough, and it certainly isn't necessary. My hubby breathes to one side only, and he is a heck of a swimmer! So do whatever is comfortable for YOU and I give you permission to NOT HAVE TO do everything the coach is suggesting.
You will get through the swim...breathing to one side all the way!
Hope the water warms up for you...or not if you really don't feel you are ready!
Best of luck.
And guess what...everyone has yucky swims every now and then. I have had two in a row this week...!

Ultra Iron Misty said...

I PROMISE you it gets easier. When I first did bilateral breathing I thought I was going to drown. Now it's second nature. Plus, it's awfully handy to be able to breathe on the other side when your "main" side is being slapped by waves!

Michelle said...

i didn't even know people breathed to both sides! shows how much i know :) i just signed up for my first tri, albeit a sprint tri, and am very excited!! here's some excitement to rub off on you!!

IronSnoopy said...

It is hard, but it will come. Just like swimming 25 M at once came.

Are you holding your breath? I realized yesterday that even though I was exhaling during bi-breathing, I was still holding my breath. I worked on relaxing and releasing all by air under water and it helped a lot.

Stick with it. You don't need to do it all the time, but it's good to know how to do in a race.

I'm thinking Galena is going to be too cold to swim.

Chin up, waddler. You're doing great! :)

Vickie said...

Your concerns are totally justified! Bilateral breathing totally escapes me. I count strokes, and for some reason that throws me off and I find myself floundering. I don't blame you for hoping for a duathlon either! The first time is always going to be out there though, and better to get it over, face the fear, and see what you need to do for the next time. My fingers are crossed for you! Good luck!

Irene said...

You are an athlete. I think we all go through those feelings at times. I would be surprised if you didn't have feelings of doubt or frustration, because it DOES happen to all of us at some point. Like the others have said, just hang in there with the training.

J~Mom said...

I have not switched to bilateral yet. I am afraid to mess up the rhythm that I have right now. It's just one more thing on my long list of things to learn. You are doing great and you will get this!

Kim said...

I kind of lucked out on the bilateral breathing - prior to Oct 06 I could tread water but not really swim, so when I learned to swim Kevin insisted or really only taught me bilateral breathing - but it wasn't until NOW that I learned I could swim 2000 yds and not die in the process - it is always hard to relearn something because at times when I'm told to only breathe to one side I get all screwed up because for me THAT is un-natural - I know you'll get it but it will be frustrating in the process - I think it is a good skill to learn because there will be times those waves are smacking you on one side and if that's the only side you breath from that would be bad - hang in there and I can't wait to see you and Iron Snoopy at Galena!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I bilateral breath in training...sometimes.

I unilateral breath in races always...so far

But knowing I can switch is priceless, because I don't know when the wind will be against me.

don't sweat it. learn what you can. use it when you need it. and don't sweat it if you don't.

SWTrigal said...

Hey don't get discouraged! I have been swimming since I was 4 years old (well, that's a really long time) and the first 46 years I did unilateral breathing. I was on the swim team and everything, back in the day with no goggles, fins, etc..the dark ages-no one breathed on both sides. I learned to bi-breathe a couple of years ago and it is HARD! I still use my old breathing when I race because I get less tired which cancels out the speed I might gain. I use it to warm up or sight when I need to at races.Just my 2 cents.. Hang in there!

21stCenturyMom said...

I do a limited amount of bilateral breathing practice because I tend to breath on every stroke. It takes a lot of wind I don't have to go bilateral. The good thing about practicing it is that if you have waves that break a certain way you may need to breath on your 'off' side. Also, it's good if the buoys are on your 'off' side or if the sun is blinding you.

You are doing GREAT! Just try to stop freaking yourself out about the swim at Gelena. You can do it - you WIll do it. No worries