that's how long I swam last night. 700 yards. Took nearly 40 minutes, and I took lots of breaks at the side of the pool, catching my breath and willing myself to slow down the breathing, slow down the armstroke, focus, relax, focus, relax. It's getting easier. That's the good news. I plan to do it again tonight, before we leave for a weekend trip down to see my parents, and then Sunday afternoon when we return. Then next week, I'll focus on adding the extra 100 yards and do that three times. The week after, I'll add in another 100 yards, so that I'll know that I *can* swim 900 yards at one time. It may take me all day, but I can do it. I may have to go from canoe to canoe to bouy to bouy to catch my breath, but I can do it. I'm starting to be more confident in that everytime I step into the water.
The other thing that helped my confidence is the guy one lane over, who was just finishing his workout when I jumped into the pool. He saw my IronGirl swimcap, given to me by a friend who did it as her first tri last summer to inspire me, and asked if I was a triathlete. My immediate response was "Not yet. Give me three and a half weeks and ask me again." He was so reassuring, so calming and so encouraging. He told me he'd taught himself to swim 3.5 years ago, and was a smoker then, but has since shaped up and is now training for IMFL '07. He said to take it easy on the swim, relax, and take my time. He said I'd see folks out there dog-paddling, breaststroke, backstroke, whatever, and that I should rest as much as I needed to on the first time out. He said I'd be fine. And even though he hadn't seen my pathetic struggling stroke, he meant it. And I believe him. I didn't think to ask him his name, but I'm hopeful I see him again and can thank him for the good words.
Tonight, before we leave out of town, I plan for TDPBoy and I to hit the gym for another swim session, and maybe some time on the bike while Elder Child is at his hockey game. What the rest of the weekend holds for workouts, I can't be sure. Maybe a short run tomorrow or Sunday, maybe not. In any case, have a great Friday and a great weekend, whatever it may hold for you!!