Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Long swim

Last night was our longest swim yet and what I had thought would be our longest swim of the season. We were scheduled for 3000 yards (1.7 miles), done mostly in sets of 500 yards with 30 second rest intervals in between. We were supposed to swim "race pace."

I arrived determined to only swim as much as I could, thinking I'd go for 2500 yards maybe. Unless the pool was too crowded or unless I was too tired or unless I was too sore or unless I just wasn't in the mood for it. Nice attitude, hmm? Lap swim hours have just reverted back to spring/fall hours and now start at 6:30 pm. I didn't know if classes were resuming or whether the extreme heat would cause lots of extra people to be there.

Phil and I arrived on time and saw that the pool was full of not only swim classes, but the high school's water polo team taking up the deep end. The classes ended on time and we snagged 2 lanes next to each other in the middle of the pool, realizing that we'd probably have to share when more people showed up. We knew that could be a problem since he's a much faster swimmer than I am and we'd have to keep passing and pulling over.

About a half hour into our swim I saw a large group of boys at the other side of the pool, obviously waiting for lessons. They were hanging out in the lanes next to me and some of them looked like they wanted to jump into my lane. I studiously ignored them, turning in the other direction when I was at that side of the pool. Tough luck for them, they ended up crammed into their own lanes while I continued back and forthing in my own lane. From what I could see all the other lanes had filled up.

Swimming 500 yards in a set means 10 laps back and forth. Lots of counting, lots of remembering. We all know how good I am at that, right? My entire evening consisted of me saying to myself "eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight ..." and then "nine nine nine nine nine ..." and so on, over and over. A bit monotonous, but I actually managed to keep track. I was counting the sets on my watch with the lap counter so I could even keep track of laps and sets at a time.

I started my sets at a very comfortable pace, figuring that I'd never finish if I swam hard. I decided to swim the last sets harder than the first ones, thinking that a harder perceived effort when I was tired would result in my swimming about the same pace as when I swam easier and was fresh. To my surprise I actually swam faster the last 2 sets, with my last set about the same as the first one.

When Phil finished I had almost a complete set left to swim but he very nicely stayed around when he could have gone home and had dinner - thank you Phil! I was tired afterward, my back and neck a little sore, but overall quite happy that I actually swam the entire workout. I thought that was it, thought that was our longest swim of the season.

Then I glanced at the schedule this morning and saw that next Tuesday is 3200 yards. And next Thursday is 3150 yards. Yikes! This is a taper?? I can't wait until tri time!

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