Saturday December 18th, 2010
Location: Indoor Lap Pool
Scheduled Distance: 10,000 meters ( 10km )
Today is one of those non glamorous days, no excitement just the reality of grinding it out. I woke up feeling sick, the day itself was beautiful, fresh snow, sparkling sunshine and excitement in the air, Stowe Mountain resort is reporting great conditions, Trapp Family Lodge has it’s Nordic center up and running for the winter season and there is a buzz in the air, people around town excited to snowboard, downhill ski, cross country ski all the good stuff. I am excited for them including my husband Jeff and the kids who are all off to bomb around the mountain for the day…..not me, I have a 3.5 hour date with the pool, my body feels heavy and tired, I have a self diagnosed sinus infection, the one where you feel like there is an alien being in your nose and forehead with a pulse that goes BOOM BOOM BOOM, I know that as soon as I go under water this pressure will be intense.
English Channel goal in mind I set off to the pool, I am due to meet Gail at 8:00am, we start the swim with:
10 x 250’s ( 50 kick/ 100 Pull / 100 swim)
these went by super fast, I hadn’t swum with Gail for 2 weeks and it was good to catch up.
Followed by :
5 x 200’s on the 3:15
then Gail had to leave and I finished up:
5 x 200’s of Free on the 3:00 interval, each 200 took 2 minutes and 55 seconds, I was slow today.
8 x 250’s of Pull, this is when I swim with hand paddles and a pull buoy, followed by 500 Free easy.
OK that is 7000 meters down and I am feeling like a beached whale, every stroke hurts, my body aches and I still have 3000 meters to go, it seems impossible…I look around the pool and the lanes are empty, aggghhhh NO!
Than I catch a glimpse of a black blurr, it is my buddy Margaret, she has slid into the pool in a full length speedo speed suit, she looks sharp and fast. She is practicing for the 100 x 100’s swum on the 100 seconds and looking to see if the speed suit is (a) comfortable, and (b) helps her swim her 100s faster.
The speed suit is a tight full body suit, Speedo released the fastskin lazer in time for the Beijing Summer Olympics, it was said to be the fastest suit on the planet, made of light weight fabric, it offered compression to provide core stability and the lowest passive drag, combine that with a water repellent fabric and a lower surface friction than other fabrics and you have one fast swim. The full body suits and the swimmers in them broke numerous records giving the swimmer that extra edge, the rules have recently changed banning full length suits in competitive swimming, now suits must not cover the shoulders or go below the knees for female swimmers.
Back to Margaret, I have 3000 meters to go and I am hoping Margaret will stick around and keep me company. I pull up to the wall and ask ” Margaret, what have you got left to swim?” , ” just a few hundred pull to swim down” , she replies, ” Excellent I blurt out, ” how about 5 x 200’s for you and 5 x 250’s for me?” OK, replies Margaret , ” I will sacrifice myself and keep you company”, I am thrilled, we set off and I instantly feel stronger, like I could take on anything, Margaret, took the thinking out of today’s swim and I am super grateful. Before we know it the 5 x 250 meters is done and I only have 1750 meters to go…I am over the moon, I know I can pull my sorry a$#$ 1750 meters up and down this pool to complete today’s swim.
Margaret gets out and suddenly I feel very alone, there is no one left in the Olympic sized 8 lane pool but me, I am down, this is the life of a ” SOLO ” swimmer I think.
I shake it off and decide that I am good and tired, I have 8,500 meters under my belt, my arms feel like lead and this is a perfect time to practice swimming fast against the tide of France! I instruct myself to begin swimming faster….I do, I have 6 x 250’s left to swim plus a final 200 meters any way I choose…NOT, I am going to swim the final 200 meters all out like I am swimming through the current to reach France.
During each 250 meters I get a little faster, I feel like I am dragging myself through the water, nothing comes easy, my head is pounding, I am beat.
The final test, 200 meters all out, all week my times have been off, sluggish and slow from coming off the New England Championship meet at Boston University, I skipped the post meet rest to get back onto the 1000 miles in 2010 goal and I am paying for it…achy body, slow in the water and lethargic, even my mood is down, normally I am excited to swim, today I have been dreading it, willing it to be over.
So now it comes down to the final 200 meters, the English Channel could come down to this, tired, down and so close to the shore, if you push hard you make it if you slack up you fail………the bitter truth.
I push off the wall for the final 200 meters, all week I have swum nothing faster than 2 minutes 40 seconds for a 200 meter all out swim, what will happen today?
I push my achy body off the wall and will it to perform…it snaps into gear and explodes into it’s performance zone, what I have trained it to do time after time over the last 11.5 months, it all comes together.
First 75 meters is hard with a high stroke rate, then at 75 meters I settle into long strong strokes, I feel fantastic, ” how is this possible, and where did this come from?” I think, before I know it I am powering into the wall and yanking my head up to see the clock….2 minutes, 35 seconds YES, I am psyched!
50 EZ stretch and my 10, 000 meters is complete.
Out of the pool, home to eat and off for a 2 hour nap, then I drag myself out of bed to make a 4pm Yoga class. Do I feel better after today’s training…NO, did I do it?….YES.
Distance swum to date in 2010: 950.17 miles ( or 1,529,158 meters )
How much to go to reach my 1000 mile goal before the end of the year? 49.83 miles!
What am I doing tomorrow, Sunday December 19th? Swimming of course
How far? I’ll keep you posted and fill you in on how things went at the New England Short Course Meters Championships at Boston University last weekend.