Itís been a few weeks since I posted an update. For starters, I was at a point when I left off I was discouraged about swimming. I was going about 4 Ė 6 times a week working on technique. Luckily, we took a vacation to Myrtle Beach for spring break. It was the first family vacation we took in years. It was a lot of fun, I remember thinking we were supposed to have an early spring, according to punxsutawney phil. In years past, we wished for an early spring only to get cold weather and more snow. The spring of 2013 has been another six weeks of winter. Going to Myrtle Beach was relaxing to get away from Michigan. It was a little chilly, but by Michigan standards it was warm (60ís Ė 70ís) during the day. We rented a van instead of driving one of our vehicles or flying. It took approximately 17 hours to get to our hotel. The hotel was not what we expected. The rooms were not kept and we didnít have a view of the water. We called the place we booked the trip and told them. They worked with us and helped find a different hotel, which was on the first floor and had an ocean view. It was more money, however it was worth every penny to have a positive experience on vacation.
I remember thinking while on vacation, I needed a mental break from trying to swim. I was trying so hard, yet things werenít coming together. I still felt the race was two months out and I had time to learn. The break was good and while on vacation, I ran on the beach. My wife tried to run with me, we went about a 1/4 mile, she mentioned her chest was burning, I could just continue to run. Let me preface, when I run, I run a bit, walk (fast) then run. To continually run is something going more than a 1/4 or 1/2 mile to start is about my max length before needing to walk. I thought at that moment, all the months of running, swimming and some biking might be paying off. Compared to someone who wasnít running, I was a little ahead. My no means was I ready for a marathon. I did run two miles three separate times on the beach, it was relaxing. We were Myrtle Beach for 5 days, 7 total which included driving. It was relaxing being able to travel with my family.
On our way back from Myrtle Beach, while driving home we faced wind at first and about 50 degrees, then as we drove into the Mountains, we had sleet, freezing rain, snow (about 3 inches), rain, then finally sun at the end of the first day. What normally takes an hour on I-77 took three hours to navigate Virginia. We got home the next day without any major events.
I was home for three days, didnít exercise at all and went to Las Vegas for training. I spent 5 days there, we walked ďthe stripĒ three days. All and All, it was approximately 4 miles round trip. A friend ran the strip the first day while running, stepped in some wet cement. I told he left his mark in Vegas.
After getting back from traveling for two weeks, it was time to get back in the pool, running and biking. First thing, my wife and I bought updated bikes. The local bike shop provides quality bikes and an honest service. You could go to a store like Wal-mart and buy a bike that wonít last or you can get one with quality. You get what you pay for.
Itís been a few weeks since being back. It took approximately until first week of May to warm up. We had unusual amount of rain, the local river was at 104 year record highs. The cold weather prevented those training to get into the water. I continue to bike, run and swim. The reality of the situation has set in. Iíve been training for a few months and realized, my swimming technique isnít what I thought. Back in January, I started with literally not enjoying the water to going frequently. Iíve asked a couple swim instructors to help out. They have given me some drills to do. Iím not sure they are helping me with swimming as much as I ran the other day, I felt stronger and had fast 5k time yet. I had around a 10 minute first mile. Overall it was around 35 to 36 minutes. My first 5k I ran 36:41 ( 11:51 pace ). The next day I went on a 11 mile bike ride, again I felt stronger. I had the fastest 10K time (according to the Nike+ watch I had). The real story though I need to report I was so disappointed with myself after swimming, I took the next day off. I prayed pretty hard to God for guidance, my faith isnít shaken, but makes me wonder. On my way to swim after taking a day off, the song on the radio mentioned ďYou canít do this aloneĒ and ďWhen the river runs deep, When the river is wide, something something Iíll dive in anywayĒ. Iíll try to find the exact song. Later in the day, a friend posted he ran and biked. I mentioned he could do a 1/4 mile swim and be done. He mentioned about wanting to, but was scared and if he messed up, he would drown. This rattled my shaky confidence. When I turned on the radio, the DJ on smile.fm mentioned ďWho do you trust?Ē He mentioned Proverbs 3:5-7 (I think), basically it was trust in his plan and not try to plan everything. Iíve been thinking for days how can I prepare, plan to be safe through the swimming portion. I donít swim in lakes let alone somewhere I canít touch the bottom. That is what scares me the most, I canít swim the full 1/4 mile in a pool without stopping let alone trying in open water that is 20 degrees cooler. If you canít tell, Iím really worried There is one saying that keeps coming back to me, I canít let my fear miss this opportunity to glorify God and allow him the chance to work through me. Lean not on my own understanding, which the enemy has seemed to sense. My moods and concentration on other things have been a struggle. God bless my family for putting up with my mood swings. As I type this, Iím ready for the training to be over and the day just to get here. I donít know if Iíll actually swim the whole thing, Iím going to do my best and have a clear conscience. In the meantime, Iíll keep training and praying!
PS Ė We started up a small group bible discussion and started in Romans 12. Weíve covered 1,2, and reading there. 1 covers basically be a living sacrifice. 2. do not confirm to this world 3. Donít think more highly of yourself than you should. Although Iím doing my best in training frequently, I keep these verses in mind along with their meanings + trying to live them out. So far, 1 and 3 fit quite well. Keep training!