December 4th, 2010
Location: Indoor Lap Pool
Water Temperature: 81.6 degrees
Air Temperature: 86 Degrees
After wrapping up the final cold water training for 2010 my focus has shifted from time exposed in cold water to the amount of time in the water and the distance covered in that time. Specifically training long distances at a steady aerobic pace, I am practicing a pace I can continue for extended periods of time. The other thing I am practicing is being able to pick up my pace after a long set of my forever stroke, it is like changing gears in your car if you drive a stick shift, you are striving to not cough and splutter the engine or grind the gears, simply seamlessly slide into the next gear and accelerate.
After every long set, I sprint all out and visualize beating the tide, blasting through the current and seeing the rocks under the water as land nears, French rocks, it always hurts, this final push.
Today’s swim is no exception, the distance on my training schedule is 10,000, I am fortunate to have company for the entire swim, Gail swims with me 8:00-9:30am, Luke from 9:30-10:00am and then at 10:15am we have a special masters practice session, some of our masters group is swimming a special holiday set December 24th, it consists of one hundred repeats of 100 meters all swum on the 100 second interval. That means each one hundred meter swim and rest must be completed in 1 minute and forty seconds. Distance 6.2 miles or 10km.
Today we are having a dress rehearsal of 40 x 100’s on the 100 seconds, perfect for me to work on my endurance, a steady pace with a final blast to the shore for the last 100. The entire set I am practicing patience, waiting for my cue to slam my foot down on the gas pedal and beat the tide when one hundred # 40, arrives, until then I have to wait.
Repeats 1-20 each 100 takes 1:30
21-30 each 100 takes 1:28
31- 35 each 100 takes 1:27
36-38 each 100 takes 1:25
39 is a 1:23
40 time to beat the current, the time a 1:15
Why do I put myself through this discomfort multiple times during a training swim?
This account of fighting the current from a successful EC swimmer who made the crossing this summer reminds me why:
…..than the Captain said ” You are going backwards mate, you need to SWIM HARD!”
and apparently so I did. I didn’t feel like I did- I was still just swimming as hard as I could. At my next feed my crew said ” you are doing well, you are breaking the current!” What I didn’t know was I was all but standing dead still. Apparently the headway I was now making was 150 feet in 10 minutes!
Gulp….keep the beat the tide sets coming!
Distance Today 10,550 meters: 550 Meters Over…..what gives?
December 2nd I finally finished loading in the last of my fall training swims into my swim log, the grand total for the year to date is……drum roll 1, 435, 328 meters ( 891.87 miles).
My goal for the year was 850 miles and I have blown by that without noticing, I look at the numbers, hmmm……next milestone 1000 miles, could I do that? I ponder the thought, I would have to swim
174,016 meters ( 108.13 miles)before the New Year rings in, the equivalent of 4.5 English Channel crossings in the next 29 days and 3 of those days will be chewed up racing at the New England Short Course Meters Championships at Boston University December 10-12th, hmmm….., again I ponder.
Well, the water won’t be cold I justify to myself, then I read a quote from my hand written list in my English Channel Training journal that I write training notes and advice tidbits in, the quotes are on my” Quit being a skirt and do it” page.
” The Difference between the impossible and the possible lies in the determination” – Tommy Lasorda
That was all it took and I plugged in a newly revised goal, 1000 miles by the end of the year, just couldn’t help myself. Once entered the log told me ” You’ll need to pickup the pace to achieve your goal this year” and I have. I have a new short term goal and sense of purpose to keep me sparked up.
I immediately calculated my required distances for each day through until December 31st, I am cutting it fine and am scheduled to swim an 8000 meter swim New Years Eve, if all goes well that will bring me to my goal of 1000 miles before the New Year rings in. I am also stockpiling meters, adding 250-500 meters onto each daily swim, to help me be prepared for the unexpected set back.
So if I make it here is how far I will have covered in 2010:
- New York to Kansas City, Missouri ( well almost that is 1098 miles)
- Sydney, Australia to Christchurch New Zealand ( not all the way but I would have broken the back of it that is 1,337 miles)
- The length of New Zealand ( and more that is 730 miles)
- Finally 42 English Channel Crossings ( this is my favourite comparison)
How far will I get this week, I will keep you posted!