When motivation shows up late to the party

Don’t you love those days when you drag yourself to the pool or the track,

The Chris Greene Lake Cable Swim powered me through my workout yesterday.

The Chris Greene Lake Cable Swim powered me through my workout yesterday. Even its logo, shown above, makes me wanna swim!

content to slog through whatever workout you have planned, only to find you had way more in you than an everyday slog?

I had one of those days yesterday, when I headed to the pool in a state of inexplicable exhaustion for a 4,500-yard swim to get ready for the 2-mile Chris Greene Lake Cable Swim, which I committed to doing, oh, about an hour ago. I tend to sign up for open-water swims when big running events are in jeopardy because of some sore spot. In this case, it’s my IT band and the Marine Corps Marathon. Even though the race is a long way off, and my ITB is actually feeling OK at the moment (knockonwood!), I needed an immediate reason to kick my own butt in workouts while I’m laying low running-wise.

To that end, I got in the pool yesterday kind of dreading my planned 4,500, which started with a 1,500 warmup. Then, something really cool happened: Without making a conscious effort to do so, I visualized — daydreamed about, really — the lake swim. I imagined how cool it will be to feel the sun on my back and to see the other swimmers around me. I thought about sitting on the shore after, pleasantly sore and tired after swimming the crap out of the race.

I turned my 1,500 warmup into a timed 1,650 (24:40 with a pull buoy, thank you very much!), starting what would become my first 5,000-yard workout since last summer, when I was training for a 2.5-mile ocean swim in Jacksonville, Fla.

Here’s how the rest of the workout went down:

5X400 IM (2,000 total)

4X300 free, six hard strokes every 50 (1,200 total)

4X25 sprint

4X25 no breath (yes, I do this 8X25 set at the end of almost every swim now. Thanks, Mer!)

Motivation came late to the party, and without any kind of conscious invitation on my part. But it’s the kind of party guest that’s always welcome. I just wish it would come early sometime, to help set up the bar, you know?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “When motivation shows up late to the party

  1. michjoy61

    Motivation came late to the party!!

    I LOVE THAT!! Totally awesome swim workout!

    Good luck with your run today! KICK BUTT!

  2. Like it. I love reading about good motivation and good workouts. Gotta get me some of that. ;)

  3. Now that is some good motivation right there. You are turning into a little fish may I say so myself!

  4. Ohhh! Looks fun!! Let me know how the 800s go, and I’ll give this a try on Thurs or Fri!!

  5. trialsoftraining

    “to help set up the bar” – haha! I’ve had these days, and while I’m always glad I drag my legs out for a workout, I’m even happier when the motivation and energy follows (even if it is fashionably late)!! :) glad you had great swim!

  6. nice swim! you definitely won’t be short on any fitness when the running is back 100%. 5000 yds sounds like an eternity.

  7. You wrote two things that I’ve definitely experienced. The first is the way that running or swimming can turn a crappy mood into a great one. Sometimes the days you really don’t want to do it turn out to be the best ones.

    The other thing is about visualizing the race while you’re exercising. I’m realizing there’s something special about visualizing something that exciting while your body is moving in the same manner. I do it all the time, imagining I’m in a marathon and on pace to qualify for Boston, and it makes my workouts so great. And that day is coming soon!

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