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Swimming, like riding a bike.

Posted Sep 15 2009 10:11pm
Look at this. Two posts, back to back. Is this a comeback? Nah, I am just getting back into the routine of being home. Not doing tri-training where a couple workouts a day are required, and it's HOT so I'm up EARLY to get the workout out of the way. Work is slowly picking up (good), but still not keeping me totally busy these days.

So what happens with that? More time to think. And ramble.

I think I mentioned several times how, ugh, much we didn't exactly train over the summer. Yah, sure we worked out, and the first 4-5 weeks had a few races in there, but trust me we learned the hard way. You can't wing it if you still want to perform well. Which really does suck considering we were in GREAT shape before we left here. But, did you know that when you head out on all of your bike rides a leetle hung over AND end up cutting them ALL short, you don't maintain or gain ANY fitness. It's true. Trust me, no need to try it out yourself.

So, the other thing we lacked on was swimming. In fact, in all of August I swam a total of 8500 yards. Half of that came from 2 races. A typical week for me is about 8500 yards. Sure for some people that is still a lot, but when you actually enjoy it, and love the not impact it has on your joints, it's nothing to brag about.

Excuses? Well, I didn't really need an excuse. No triathlon on the schedule, why swim? For me, I love to swim. I love what it does for my arms and my back and recently learned how much it actually does for my core (or lack there of when not swimming) and belly. I love how it makes me tired, and helps me sleep. I love how I don't notice how much I'm wheezing when I'm in the water. I love how my legs feel after a nice workout, no impact, just somehow always better.

So why the heck did I stop? Well, for one I didn't know about pools where we were. But, the biggest reason is I was not comfortable swimming alone. The gorgeous lake only a couple minute walk from where I was, but being out there in the open water without someone by me made me nervous. If you know Shane, you know that getting him to swim, when there is no reason to swim, well, it's like getting me to eat something I don't like. Not Happenin...

As much as I was dreading coming back to the heat, I was so looking forward to getting back to masters. Something about being with the group, and having such a wonderful swim coach giving you workouts. Not knowing what's up next, or how long the intervals will be or how fast you should be doing them. Keeping on the toes of the person in front of you, or on good days leading them. Something about all those things I love.

Now, if ONLY I were a swimmer when I was a kid (playing around like a fish all summer long, not include), a real swimmer...

Yesterday day marked my return to swimming. 11 weeks since I had seen the black line. 11 weeks (minus races) since I had swam over 1500meters or swam sans wetsuit. I came back ready to go in a slightly slower lane than normal, ready to cut the workout short and ready to not remember how to do a flipturn.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. After being TOLD which lane to go into (no change there!) I started off on the warm up the last of 3 in my lane to go, after the first 100 moved up to second.

6x100, every 4th length double or tripple overswitch drill :10 rest.

I didn't look at my watch for these sets, but was surprised at how good it felt, and yes I remembered how to flip turn.

Main set = take your tempo trainer and put it where you would only be able to sustain the turnover for 100, MAX 150, based on current workouts.

Me to coach, "Ugh, I haven't been using this, let alone swimming workouts?"

Coach, "Ok, .85"

Me, "OK!" Yeah, I love when I don't have to do long slow strokes!

6x50 at your tempo trainer rate :15 fast. I took off in second position. "Holy cow, open water swimming must make my arms go slower, this is FAST. Like a propeller. Oh shit, Sorry James - those are your toes!"

Split - :41 "Shit, I should prolly slow this down, changed to .87, much better - Split :43, no toe grabbing this time."

Next up 300, add .15 to your tempo trainer. Take 1min rest and repeat the 6x50's fast. "Agh, this is nice and SLOW... great."

Of course within 3 laps I already lost track of my lap count & had to use my watch & math skills to figure out how much left. My triceps were burning. I added up the total distance.

WTF - ONLY 1200. You have GOT to be kidding me.

I kept telling myself to make it to 2000, that that was a great starting point & I could do that in my sleep. Finish the second 300 and cooldown, that's all I had to do.

But, of course not - Anne gave me the rest of the workout, 100 easy, 5x100:10rest level 2-3, and a cooldown. I knew I had it in the bag.

My arms burned, my abs felt it all, but you know what? In the end I felt fantastic. Fresh, tired, sore and loved every minute of it. 2500yards in the bag. Sanity, sleep & weightless exercise, PRICELESS.

For some people they can get on a bike and break out 3 hours after 6months off. Some people can run an hour on a whim. Not me. But put me in a pool, and I can get back & forth several times. Might be slower, but I will make it. There and back, There and back.

Just like riding a bike, you just remember.
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