December 24th, 2010
Location: Stowe Vermont
Conditions: Snow covered hills & frozen ponds
Inside……82 degrees TOASTY!
5:15 I am up and getting ready to head down to the pool to set up for the 100 x 100 meters on the 1:40 interval, there are 13 other swimmers swimming with me today and I want to be sure everything is in place for a fun and smooth event. I have a fuzzy soft fish that could double as a Christmas decoration for each swimmer, a white board listing all the instructions for the swim and the lane assignments, an extra pace clock to put right in front of the lane for those of us who do better seeing things up close, a chair, table and clip board for our counter and referee, that is Deb today, she is kindly going to spend the 2.7 hours counting how many 100s we have swum and ringing a big authentic cow bell ( not on a real cow of course) every ten one hundreds so we know where we are at.
We have 4 solo swimmers swimming all one hundred 100s and 3 teams who are sharing the workload.
If anyone bails out early they are required to write ” I quit, I quit, I quit ” on the large board in front of the lanes.
6:30am the cow bell rings loud and we are off. I of course have a plan it goes like this:
# 1-40 1:30-1:35 for each 100 meters
# 41-60 1:30 for each 100 meters
# 61-90 1:25 for each 100 meters
# 91-99 1:20 for each 100 meters
# 100 1:15
I have also planned my feeds, a straight swim for the first hour, then 250 mls of a mixture of water and Maxim, a carbo powder, in the mix is a cap full of ribena, a black current concentrate that adds flavor. I will gulp down these feed after repeat # 40, 60 and 80.
My plan is to get faster as the swim progresses and then sprint hard for the last 100.
We set off, I am excited to swim and I have an inkling that my first 100 might be a little faster than my cunning plan, it is, I swim in on a 1:25 and say ” one”, then another on the 1:25 “two”, two down ninety eight to go!
I knew after number one I was not going to swim any 1:35 or 1:30’s, “might as well hold the 1:25’s”and I did, it came down to patience, if I stay relaxed I can power through the first 80 on a 1:25, then I can get down to the business of getting faster. My kids and I made up a song when they were little, I am talking 2 and 4 years old, they were at the “I want it now stage”, what I wanted to pass on to them the idea that if you get all your needs met NOW, you tend to not appreciate the need being met, it becomes a cheap thrill, a quick fix, you quickly move on to the next ” I need it now’, the wants get bigger and more frequent and the satisfaction dwindles each time a ” want” is satisfied. So in comes the song we would sing, it goes like this….” because you gotta WAIT, WAIT , WAIT” … that is the extend of the lyrics, they are 10 and 12 now and still remember the song.
So I had to ” WAIT, WAIT , WAIT”, well I did, I waited until repeat number 75 then it was game on, between #75-89 my hundreds descended from 1:23 to a 1:20, EXCELLENT GAME ON!
# 90 was a 1:20, then I began swimming them harder, 1;18’s down to 1:17’s, the pinnacle of the 2.7 hours was on the horizon, number 100 was my sprint to France, my beat the tide final 100, I am close, I can feel it in every bone in my body. Finally number 99 arrives, a 1:17, the cow bell rings and it is time for my all out sprint. What can I possibly pull off after 99 repeats of 100 meters. I blast off the wall and spin my arms as fast as I can, it is a frenzy, an all out effort, I punch the wall at the end of the 100, the cow bell is clanging loud, I look at the clock…a 1:14. I am pleased.
That however was not the best part of the swim, the best part was my team mates swimming beside me, some swimming solo, some in a team, some had on fins, some swam with hand paddles, it was a team effort for sure and we all celebrated with the final cow bell clanging signalling that we had accomplished our mission.
What’s next? 23 miles to swim before January 1st, 2011 if I want to achieve my 1000 miles in 2010 goal and a New Years Eve Day Challenge