Tomorrow I am racing in my first biathlon. The city in which I live puts on this great Dash and Splash series each summer, consisting of a 5k run followed by an 800m pool swim. For some reason, this informal little neighborhood race gave me bad dreams last night. I dreamt that I showed up at the wrong pool. I dreamt that I wore my running shoes during the swim. I couldn't figure out why I am so nerve-wracked about this race. Then, a little while ago, it dawned on me.
I haven't raced in a pool since I was 17 years old.
Now, this isn't like a swim meet. I don't think I will be starting on a block, and there aren't any starting guns or horns. But, I haven't raced side by side with another human being - unless you count the pregnant lady swimming in the lane next to me at the pool last week, I could NOT let her beat me to the wall - in over 2 decades.
I have been putting in a ton of pool time, 16 miles in the month of May, to be exact. For an old lady, that's a bunch. I've been trying to get faster, pushing myself in drills and sprints, and I just haven't been dropping any significant time.
I'm afraid that I will look slow and amateurish tomorrow, I guess.
Both my kids swim, and my daughter is always bugging me to race her in the pool. She's 10, and she is so much faster than I am now, and faster than I was even when I was young and spry. One of two things will happen tomorrow as she watches me finish my race:
- I will swim fast enough for her to ramp up her pestering me into racing her at HER swim practice in front of HER coaches and teammates, or
- I will swim so slow that it will prompt her to ask me if I was telling the truth when I told her that not only did I swim when I was younger, but that I was part of a relay team that set a school record.
Guess which scenario I am rooting for?
On another note, I hate running. And it hates me. We get to this place every summer. Heat and humidity make it feel as if I am running with a loaded-down camel on my back - one who won't share any water from his hump with me, and I feel like I am fighting for each and every breath. In another 5 months, me and running will be good again.
Training for Augusta is going to be a long and sweaty road, I foresee.
**I apologize for the stream of consciousness. This is what happens when I think. And I thought that pool time took care of all that noise in my head...