Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Swimming Lessons

First, Happy Fourth! We got a lot of rain here, but hopefully some of you were able to enjoy some fireworks.

Today I was back in the gym pool for the first time in a while. I feel like I haven't been there in weeks. I am a total creature of habit, and it showed today. Usually, I grab my towel, suit, and flipflops, put them in my bag, and off to the pool I go. But recently, I've been doing lots of open-water swimming and long-course meters, and haven't been to this pool in a while.

Walking in, I realized I forgot my watch, and my workout today was timed intervals. Unfortunately, my pool has no lap clock, just two standard analog clocks high up on the walls, and I am blind as a bat without my glasses. So after each interval I stood at the end of the lane squinting up at the clock, trying desperately to find the second hand so I could head out for the next interval at the right time. Later, I finally figured out why my bag seemed less bulky than usual - no towel. So yes, today I was 'that girl' standing there drying off with paper towels. Yuck. Fortunately the locker room was basically empty. It's not likely I'll forget my towel again anytime soon.

During my absence, I'd forgotten what sorts of characters this pool attracts. While I was swimming, two different people got in, did 50 yards of breaststroke, and got out. A third person was doing some sort of lunges in the water. A fourth got in and looked like he was flailing around doing freestyle, but was actually moving really fast. He swam 25 yards of really fast, splashing everwhere freestyle, and then 25 yards of very slow breaststroke. Continuously. For a while. It was interesting - I'd pass him while he was doing breaststroke, and as soon as he turned and started swimming crawl again he took off past me like a shot.

All that said, it was good to get back into a measured, controlled environment again, just for comparison purposes. I have no intention of spending too much time there this summer when I have a long-course outdoor pool I can use. But I found that while I'm able to get down the lane in fewer strokes these days, I still need to work on my endurance at speed. It didn't take me too long to fall apart in the water, with my stroke count shooting up and my kick not getting me anywhere. I was okay for the first of two sets of 150s and 50s, but the sets were broken up by a 500 and I generally find it really tough to get back into a groove for faster intervals after something longer. In fact, I barely made the interval for the last few 50s. Like I said, I've got to work on endurance at speed.

Say it with me . . . If you don't do it in practice, you can't do it in a race. If you want to race well, you have to train well. I'm learning. It's just taking me a while.


IM Able said...

Ha! I love those days -- when you seem to forget everything, including the directions to the darned place! Glad to hear you stuck it out and got in a good training session.

We had terrible storms for our 4th, but even a rainy day off in the middle of the week is a good thing. I'm finishing up a race report for last weekend, but thought you'd be glad to hear that the wetsuit did fine -- I just needed to pull it up a heck of a sight higher to get the right fit. And thanks to the CGI outing, I had more confidence going in than I would have otherwise. I'm definitely going back!

mishele k said...

Oh man, I hate those days. If I had notice I didn't have a towel before I got wet, I'd be awfully tempted to nix the whole workout... I'm having some trouble in the pool these days. Way to tough out the workout-- and on a holiday no less!