Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hey, I DO remember how to swim!

I proved last night that my abysmal performance in the water on Saturday was a fluke, an aberration, a mystery. In fact I'm quite able to swim thank you, at varying levels of intensity and strength. At least as long as I'm in a nice clean, clear pool.

I met with Claudia and Phil for our scheduled swim workout. I was concerned about the crap in the air, worried that I wouldn't be able to breathe and thus wouldn't be able to perform the drills. I planned to take it easy, not do the highest intensity stuff and see how things went. By the time the lanes cleared and we started it seemed like the air was getting cleaner. I could actually see the hills for the first time in a couple of days and I thought that was a good sign.

We nabbed 2 lanes; Phil in one and Claudia and I sharing the other. Because it was cooler than it had been and probably because of the air, it wasn't as crowded as it's been lately. The swim started with a 300 yard, level 2 warmup. That felt fine. Then we had a 200 yard kick. I loved that to pieces and asked Phil and Claudia if they thought I could use the kickboard during the tri. Uh, no. They're not half as enamored of the kicking thing as I am and couldn't wait to get it over with. I liked it because it was the only part of the swim where I could actually keep up with them. A couple more drills and then we were into the main set.

We were supposed to start with "6 x 150 LVL 3-6 (Descending). When I read that I figured that it meant we'd start out at level 6 intensity and decrease to level 3. Wrongo. It means exactly the opposite of what you'd think, and starts at 3 and builds to 6. Okey dokey. I kept up with them for the level 3, fell behind on the 4, and way back after that. I didn't want to fall too far behind because with my lack of memory I'd lose track of where I was in the repeats so I didn't take as many or as long rest intervals as I should have.

My form was great through level 5 and fell apart at level 6, mostly because I just can't get a good breath when I'm going faster. Well, and I start flailing a bit with my arms. I did the entire workout though, at the levels stated, and only got lapped by Claudia twice. Cripes, that meant they were 100 yards ahead of me. Which shouldn't mean anything to me since they're both much faster runners too, but still. It does bother me. Competitive much??

Somewhere in the last set of 4 x 100 LVL 3-6 (Descending) my feet started to cramp. That's pretty good and I think the longest I've gone before cramping. Nevertheless it's very challenging to swim that way and I was determined to swim every last yard that was scheduled. Dope. Luckily the cooldown was 100 LVL 1 and that meant that when both of my feet and both of my legs cramped in the middle of a lap I just flipped on my back and swam that way for a while. It worked, I finished the 2300 total yards. In significantly better form than my open water tri swim, even with cramps.

The air quality wasn't much of a factor and I had hopes that it meant the smoke was clearing out. Not true. It seems even worse this morning, even in my office where I'm struggling not to hack and wheeze. I'm planning on skipping the track workout tonight to save my lungs and rest my back. I won't be resting anything else though, I intend to get a good workout in my air conditioned house!

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