So, today's training called for a 4000 yard swim with no rest intervals. I guess it could basically be called an Ironman swim. Okay, it's off by a couple hundred yards. Yes, those couple hundred yards are very important (and challenging). Still, in the grander scheme of things, 4000 yards may as well be an IM swim.
Completing this kind of swim calls for close planning on my part. With my pace averaging around 2:00/100 yards and the knowledge that it probably WON'T be 2:00/100 yards after about 3000 yards are completed, timing is everything. Forty 100-yard lengths. Two minutes per 100. That's 80 minutes in a perfect world. Start swimming at 5:10 a.m. Finish at 6:30 (in that same perfect world). That leaves less than an hour to shower, dress, and drive the 25 miles to the office. Like I said, planning is essential.
I was quick on the draw, this morning. I got to the pool a few minutes early and was in the pool by 5:05. I hit the water right away and started the 400 yard warmup. By the end of that warmup, I knew I was in trouble. Even with my lowly swimming skills, it usually takes way more than 400 yards to have me feeling fatigued. Not today. With more than 2 miles left to swim, I was already feeling it.
A quick review of the past 24 hours provides two likely culprits. One is unavoidable. Monster Girl didn't sleep very well, last night. The 5.5 hours of sleep I counted is being generous. That was all broken up. Even so, I've trained on far less, far worse sleep. Perhaps it was something else.
Like the strength session that was scheduled for AFTER the swim. The one that I moved to 12 hours BEFORE the swim, because timing would otherwise preclude getting the session completed. The one that had me feeling it as I headed home. The one that turned my arms and legs to mush. But still, it MIGHT have been the sleep. So I'm holding Monster Girl responsible. Since she's only 16 months old, she probably won't care. And it will give her something to hold against me when I'm old and forgetful and she's taking care of me.
Still, just to be safe, avoid putting a strength workout right before a breakthrough swim session. Well, unless you want something to keep you humble. Getting to 3700 yards and having to call it a day is frustrating. And yes, I DO question my sanity. A few months back, cutting a 750 yard session short by 300 yards wouldn't have bugged me, at all. Today, missing 300 yards on my long swim drives me batty. Especially when it's simply because it's because I swam slower than usual because of a moved workout. That will keep me humble for a while.