Swim practice for the NW YMCA Narwhals is at 6am or noon MWF and 7:15am on Saturdays. I usually go to the noon practice as often during the week as I can for at least two reasons: I really can't go to the 6am practice during the week because that would mean leaving Nic home alone AND I don't really like going at 6am other than it is nice to get it over with and get dressed early as opposed to 2 in the afternoon. Also, to make it BY 6am, I have to wake at 5, eat something light and possibly drink coffee and give it enough time to settle before swimming (I am not worried about cramping and drowning, but loosing my cookies in front of my team mates is not appealing.)
Our awesome Coach Carolyn is helping us set some goals by timing us monthly in either the 200 or 500 yard freestyle. The first time she did this in January, I had to go to the 6am practice because I had an appointment I couldn't change at noon that Wednesday and I didn't want to miss both practices because she was taking team pictures. Nicole spent the night with her dad so I could make it to the early practice and did I go to sleep early? No. I went to an art opening and dinner with my friend, Greg, and drank more wine than I should have (even 1 glass is more than I should on a school night.) Needless to say, I was pretty tired when the alarm went off at 5am and a little bit dehydrated and I forced myself to practice anyway.
After the team photo, we all hopped in the water to warm up and Carolyn announced that she was going to time us so we could start setting goals and tracking our progress. I felt like a slug and my time of 2 min 59 sec reflected my lack of sleep and lack of attending practice regularly...
Last night, I watched the Oscars, drank wine, and stayed up way too late again, even though it was a school night and swim practice was today. The major difference between last time and this time was that I went to noon practice instead of 6am. I felt 100% better in the water and ended up taking off 8 seconds in my timed 200 yard free getting a 2 min 51 sec time. Another big difference between this time and the previous time is that I have been making more regular practices. I am no Janet Evans or Dara Torres, but I am definitely encouraged by the improvement in time and having these goals gives me the motivation to keep making it to practice even when I don't want to.
The other motivation? If I don't keep moving to burn excess calories, I can't have any more of this: