Since returning to work at Golden Corral following my six-month sabbatical or as Coach Silver calls it...my "swimternity leave,"the time has flown by. It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just around the corner! My Golden Corral family really made me feel appreciated when I returned to the office in August. I immediately fell back into a routine, including final preparations for our annual convention, executive compensation planning, and initiating several different recruitment strategies. The time I spent away from the office focusing on training was invaluable because I am still benefitting from intense strength training and the increased focus on my technique that was made possible because of the time off.
During the Olympic year, we are fortunate that many meet organizers offer long course meets in the winter so that swimmers have more opportunities to qualify for Trials. In non-Olympic years, winter meets are short course yards races and those times do not count for the Trials cuts.
Earlier this month, Eric and I traveled to the University of Minnesota to race in the Arena Pro Series meet. It had been over three months since I had a long course meet and I was anxious to see where I was in my training. After three attempts in the 50 free, I was happy to get my time back down to 26.58 in a time trial. It was a great experience. In addition to having a good meet, we also got to watch Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Simone Manuel, Ryan Lochte, and Katie Ledecky race.
I have worked hard keeping up my training schedule. Istrength train 3 days a week and swim 4-5 times per week before and after work. I try to get in 1-2 sprint resistance workouts each week to keep my speed work tuned up. The most challenging part of my training is consistently eating healthy meals at lunch. I have also found several great protein bars for snacks in the mornings and afternoons before practice. Planning ahead is definitely the key to eating better while working full-time.
On Sunday, Eric and I leave for Seattle to attend USA-S Winter Nationals in nearby Federal Way. We are taking a few extra days to visit and explore the area and enjoy the incredible seafood. As the clock starts to wind down on the opportunity to qualify for the Trials, many swimmers will be at the meet chasing their Trials cuts! At this meet, I will focus on lengthening out my stroke and "swimming bigger" up front in my race as opposed to my fast turnover rate. Another great opportunity to work on shaving more time off my in 50 free in pursuit of that 26.19!