Thursday, June 01, 2006

Odd Pool Day

Swimming, as an actual competitive event, is something with which I struggle. If you want to just jump in the water and float around, I'm fine. Give me a lifejacket, a set of skis, and a boat with at least 50 hp, and I'll "swim" all day long. A raft with a good game of "King of the Raft" and I'm in. But doing a forward crawl, in a relatively straight line, with time as a consideration? Nope, that's not me.

So this morning's swim came as a bit of a shock. First, because it went fairly well. I did 1000 yards in 100 yard drills (well, mostly 100 yards, more on that in a bit) with 30 second rest intervals.

Okay, stop, breathe. That sounds almost too much like a real swimmer. Recover from wave of disorientation. Alright, I'm better now.

Anyway, as usual, a key focus was breathing properly. I just went through my splits, and was pleasantly surprised. First, my average was just over 2m 40s per 100. My best 100 was 2m 27s, and my worst was only 2m 51s. Somehow, I also managed to slide a 2m 37 split in at half-way point.

Then the really scary part happened. I somehow slipped a 200 yard stretch in, and didn't notice it until I was nearly done with it. Just for fun, I also did my next set as 200 yards, and did it more than 8 seconds faster. It's scary enough that I go running and find out that I did a couple miles more than I thought. It's really scary to find myself going, "Oops, I forgot to stop swimming and take a rest."

It's a long way from the 2.4 miles of an Ironman swim. But it's a start. Perhaps there's as much hope for my swimming as there was for my running a few years back.

*One addendum - Using a stopwatch for rest intervals dramatically changes the swim. I found that 30 seconds goes a whole lot faster than I would have guessed without the watch. After today, I'd bet that my past swims were closer to a full minute rest between sets. New rule: Iron Pol always swims with his watch and uses it to time rest intervals.

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