Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mental toughness vs. mental insanity!

As of this week, I am supremely calm!

Well, maybe not exactly, but for reasons that I cannot entirely go into here (more detail about work and life than needs to be confided to the whole of the internet!), I strongly feel that I am over the hump on what can be alternately thought of as three very stressful months--or six--or maybe nine--or actually maybe twelve--or really and actually maybe more like eighteen--or maybe more like my whole very stressful life right from the time I started graduate school in 1994!

Which is to say--I won't hear about tenure for another couple months, most likely, it's not that I have new information about any of this, but I have sorted out my own thinking on various matters, made some choices and some decisions about what to do based on different contingencies and I feel extremely much better than I did a couple weeks ago...

I had a good swim this evening, but before that I had a bit of a battle on the mental toughness vs. mental insanity front...

(Mental insanity is sort of redundant, only it's more evocative than plain old insanity!)

I am good on mental toughness, I think; I have not really been tested in an endurance sport capacity, but some of it is portable from other arenas of life, I've got good stamina and endurance on regular stuff. But there is a fine line between mental toughness and mental insanity!

Which is to say my main task, other than work, for this week and next is to calm down, finish recovering from the lung ailment, etc. etc. But somehow I found myself in the grip for some hours earlier today (it was a result of reading this over the weekend) of a strong conviction that as well as doing a short bike workout and an hour of swimming, I should really do the first speedwork session of aforementioned training plan on the track at the gym (namely 4 x 400m at 7:25 mile pace, with warmup and recovery jogs)...

Fortunately I saw reason--I am still sick! I can do a shortened/modified version of this plan if I like, I do not have enough weeks to do the full-on plan, but I should wait to start it next week. What I needed to do between my seminar and swimming was hold office hours, eat and digest a Clif bar and drink a lot of water, not somehow squeeze in a run workout when I have hardly run for weeks and already had very sore legs from doing a lot of lunges at the gym yesterday.

So no run today, that's as it should be, because my lungs are still full of junk! But I had a good solid swim.

Warmup: 2 x 250 (150 swim, 50 drill, 50 kick)

Set #1: 800 free (100 finger drag drill, 150 swim, 100 salute, 150 swim, 100 catch-up, 150 swim, 50 fist)

Set #2: 10 x 100 (on ten seconds rest):

1 = 25 back, 75 free
2 = 50 back, 50 free
3 = 75 back, 25 free
4 = 100 back
5 = 100 free

And repeat for fly, only I did fly down breast back, at the coach's suggestion, as a coughing control measure, that fly is a strain on the lungs even at the best of times!

So that really was good and solid, I didn't swim anything super-hard, I concentrated on technique, I got in a bit of stroke. 2300 total, not bad at all.

(Got some good though of course as always slightly mortifying tips from the coach, too. Hmmm, got to concentrate on keeping those legs in a straighter and stronger and steadier position, seems like they're just kind of waywardly rambling all over the place especially when I am doing drill rather than swim! Arghhhh....)

5 comments:

Wendy said...

Reason is a fine thing.

Good work in the pool!

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