Tuesday, July 7, 2009

nautical mile(stone)

A nautical mile is a special unit of measurement used by all nations for air and sea travel. It is equivalent to 1.852 kilometers or 1.1508 miles. A milestone is an important event, as in a person's career, the history of a nation, or the advancement of knowledge in a field; a turning point.

Though I did not swim anywhere near 1.1508 miles, today has been a milestone in my 'swimming career' (oo, kina-career ko na ito, haha!) because today I did twenty laps at the Aqua Center, whoohoo! And that's 2 laps of breaststroke and 18 laps of free style, which is a big achievement for me already because though I could swim breaststroke like forever, several months ago I could not finish one lap of free style without stopping two or three times by the gutter.

So how did it happen? I think it was a combination of several things. First, would be my eavesdropping on the swim coaches giving instructions to the Negros Oriental Swim Team as they practice everyday, those lithe little bodies doing their laps tirelessly back and forth, back and forth, their arms slicing the water cleanly and their legs pumping to the coaches' barks of "Kick harder!"

Second would probably be all that studying of muscle physiology that I've been doing for my classes, I got to know and understand the energetics of muscle contraction (you can go anaerobic glycolysis for short bursts of speed but for the long haul it has to be oxidative phosphorylation, so learn how to breath properly!) as well as the adaptations muscles make when subjected to constant training (making more mitochondria, more motor unit recruitment, better energy extraction efficiency, etc).

Third would probably be the cup of coffee and two cheese rolls I had two hours before the swim, adenosine triphosphate sources ftw.

And finally, I think this is the clincher: my brand new swim goggles!! My good old red Nike chrome ultralight goggles have retired, the rubber had softened and run, the lenses have blurred because some of the red rubber have actually melted into the plastic. I tried and tested almost all the goggles at Lee Plaza and this all-black, double-strapped Aryca had the perfect fit. It was kind of ostentatious being reflectorized and looking like it was meant for biking than for swimming but this one hugged my eyes perfectly while the others pinched and puckered, so it wasn't such a difficult decision to make. And after today's break-in swim, I think it's pretty cool. 8-)


2 comments:

Dominique said...

Congratulations!

ness said...

Thanks, Doms!

If I keep this up, one day I'm going to be 'so buff' like you. :-)