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Continuity May 15, 2009

Posted by bettyjoan in Swimming.
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As my mentor and I were driving to the pool on Wednesday night, we were lamenting how tired we both were.  “You know,” she said, “I really hope the coaches don’t tell us we’re in for a fun workout.  That’s never a good sign.”  Sure enough, during our pre-swim pow-wow, our coach definitely dropped the F-bomb (no, not THAT one–the other one).  It was time for another continuous swim!

We had the choice (depending upon the length of our event) of doing 500, 800, or 1100 meters.  I was torn about whether to do 800 or 1100–on the one hand, I need to increase my endurance, but on the other hand, I had been out of the pool for almost two weeks.  So, I erred on the side of caution and decided to do 800.  Since we were in the 50-meter pool, that meant that I would swim up and down the eight lanes, then get out of the water and run to the other end of the pool, then swim up and down all of the lanes again.  Fun indeed.

The start was chaotic, of course, with people kicking and thrashing and trying to get into their respective rhythms.  I got kicked pretty hard in the chest, which slowed me down for a minute, but then I got into a groove and focused on my breathing and my stroke.  I tried not to pay attention to the people passing me, though I admit I was a bit distracted when our team’s star swimmer zoomed by–she is truly AMAZING to watch.

So, the good news about the continuous swim is that I didn’t have to go to “sweet spot” (a drill, rather than actual freestyle) or roll onto my back for rest.  My swim stroke, while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, was stronger and more consistent than it had been in the previous continuous swim.  The bad news?

It took me 22:20 to finish.

At first glance, I was really excited about that time.  But then I started crunching numbers in my head, and I realized that if I maintained that kind of pace, it would take me about 42 minutes to finish my 1500 meter race distance.  Not bad for a first-timer, but my goal was to finish the swim in 35 minutes.

Of course, I still have about two months to improve my speed and stamina, and there will likely be a current/adrenaline effect on race day.  So while the workout wasn’t “fun” in the traditional sense, it was super productive in terms of giving me a new baseline and helping me figure out what I need to work on.

Next up: transition clinic (or, as I like to call it, “instructions on how to get from swim to bike to run without killing yourself or others”)!

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