Saturday, July 15, 2017

4600 Yards & a Bit of Swimming Philosophy

It's been kind of a slow week since last Saturday's long open water swim.  I rode my commute a few times, but I got shut out by rain on Friday, and I only managed a little more than 2000 yards when I finally hit the pool Thursday evening.  When I got into the water late this morning, I felt like I needed to catch up.

I still don't know that I necessarily had my best stuff, but my times were decent, and I managed to hang in there until I started feeling at least somewhat like myself in there.  More and more, that's what it takes to have decent workouts.

3 x 200 @ 3:30 easy
200 kick
10 x 50 @ :45, breathing every 3rd

Main Set
300 @ 4:30
3 x 100 @ 1:30
 -- Rest :30
300 @ 4:15
3 x 100 @ 1:25
 -- Rest 1:00
300 @ 4:00
3 x 100 @ 1:20

8 x 50 kick (alternating fly / breast) @ 1:00
50 easy
3 x 200 pull @ 2:55 aerobic pace

50 easy

Stroke Work
6 x 50 @ 1:00, alternating 2 x fly (light-tempo), 1 x free (easy)

100 warm down

Total: 4600 yards

That's about as much as I swam last week once we adjust for the effects of the current, though today's workout was organized very differently.  As I said in the opening, it was kind of a struggle early, but by the time I got into the Main Set, I was averaging 100s just off a 1:15 pace despite the descending intervals.  I won't say that I felt good, exactly, but I kept it long and smooth, and that counts.

I must have started doing something right because the lifeguard came over just as I was finishing the pull set and asked me where I'd swum, saying, "Your stroke is too good for you to have just picked it up."  He turned out to be a college club-level swimmer, and we talked for a minute before he settled down to straight-up watch the rest of my workout.  Which was a little weird.

People get unaccountably fascinated with my workouts at times.

Anyway, I finished with the short butterfly set, holding :35s through the fly 50s using a long, relatively loose stroke.  My shoulders got tired in the second half, but it wasn't until the very last rep that I had to really work my kick to get into the wall with any speed. Again, I suppose that counts.

As of this summer, I've been swimming for 22 years, which is probably longer than that lifeguard has even been alive.  From 1983 to 1995 and again from the spring before my father died in 2007 until today.  It's become a very different sport in the last couple of years than it was for most of the first fifteen or so, but I can't say that I'm enjoying it less.  I just don't care about racing anymore, even though people ask me about it... constantly.

I don't know what to tell you except that I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to with the competitive side of swimming, and that these days, I'm really only in the water because I enjoy it.  I don't know why that's surprising, but people really do ask me about racing at least twice a week.

I'm retired from competition.  I am.  I just want to look like me and keep my weight under control.  Occasionally, I work on my emotional issues when I'm in the pool.  That is not the same thing at all as trying to be the very best swimmer that I possibly can be, and I definitely know the difference, which is why I've been so dead-set against getting back into the competitive side of the sport.

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