I remember when I was in HS that after every Sat morning swim practice I would come home, have 2 waffles with cream cheese and syrup and go downstairs to the basement, turn on the TV and crash on the couch for at least two hours. A normal practice on sat morning would last 2 1/2-3 hours and we'd probably do at least 8,000 yards. I was a 200 butterflier so I remember many repeater sets...8 x 200 Fly, 20 x 100 fly or the one I remember the most (due to the pain) was 8 x 400 IM. Well, this morning's swim brought back a lot of memories and as much as I thought I didn't miss competitive swimming, I reminded myself how much I loved being a swimmer. Last night after Karel and I watched a movie I checked the weather and with no surprise (after a full evening of rain and wind) the forecast showed crazy wind on sat morning. Not just a little wind, but gusts over 30 mph. I'm sure the northerners would take wind over ice and snow but it was pretty scary outside this morning. Karel and I both woke up around 5:30am because of the noises from the wind. It sounded like ghosts and I knew I wouldn't be going on my bike ride this morning. Because I checked the weather last night, I had prepared myself with plan B if I didn't ride. After Friday, of being totally out of it to decide what to do, I told myself I would do a LONG swim to take the place of my sat ride. I plan on riding on sun which should be ok for weather. It was around 6:45am and I asked Karel if he thought I should ride and he said no. He said he has seen grown men get flown off their bikes into the water (last year, one of our Gearlink friends) and if I rode I'd probably fall over before I made it 1 mile down the road. And plus, since I am all about training right now, I decided that there was no way I would be able to train when I am trying to stabilize myself on my bike. The Clearwater Y opens at 8am so I jumped on the treadmill for a 2 mile run before my swim. Surprisingly, no pain in the legs and I was able to run after only a 2 min. warm-up..and I felt great. I wrote down my swim workout prior to arriving at the Y so I didn't need to think about what I was going to do in the water as I was running. I typically think of workouts either in the pool or right before I get in the water..therefore, I am probably not the best at making myself do something that I don't want to do..that I probably should do....especially when I am swimming solo. After the run I quickly changed into my suit so that I would be the first one in the pool to get a lane. I had the lane to myself for a while and then surprisingly, a man that I coach jumped into my lane...what a great surprise! I think it was kinda funny that he saw me pushing myself and barely catching my breath when normally I am the one pushing others.
Ok, so now to the set. My good friend Angela (http://angesdrivetotri.blogspot.com) had posted on her blog about an Epic swim set of 7000 yards. As a college swimmer herself, we both swim very comparable times and I wrote down her workout just incase I wanted to swim 7000 yards. I haven't swam anything over 3000 yards since Kona (maybe 3400) and nothing over an hour in a long time. I'm a triathlete now (not a college swimmer) so therefore, I validate my 1-hour swim as time-mangement, quality swimming :) Or, I just play around in the water after a 1500 warm-up and the "workout" usually takes up an hour. So back to this morning's set. I was motivated, determined and ready to swim a 5000. I didn't feel like I would have the discipline to swim solo for 7000 yards but perhaps if I had a buddy who could swim my pace I would have tried the challenge. Again, I graduated college in 2004 and since then, I have only swam for the purpose of training for triathlons. After a 500 warm-up I began the BIG main set from angela's EPIC workout. Here's the set:
400, 4 x 100, 8 x 50
The 400 was on 6 min, 100's on 1:30 and 50's on 45 (Angela did 40 sec. but I wasn't feeling speedy)
300, 3 x 100, 6 x 50
After 1 minute break I began the next set and continued with the rest of the set on the same cycles and 1 min break after the 50's.
200, 2 x100, 4 x 50, 100, 100, 2 x 50
If you total up the main set it comes to 3000. After 100 easy swim, 200 drill breathing 3,5,7,9 by 50, and 100 fly kick, I started another set which I made up just to give me yardage.
200, 150, 100, 50 w/ 5 sec rest.
Next set 100 free pull, 100 back (to losen up my back muscles and work the chest), 100 free and 100 back.
I then did another 100 fly kick and flopped around for the last 100 cool-down.
So, there it is....a 5000 yard swim!!!!! I really enjoyed just feeling like a swimmer and wow am I beat. I came home and found Karel on the couch and I told him I can feel my back muscles, in addition to my shoulders and biceps. I always want to tell him about my swim workouts but I know he doesn't understand the swimmer lingo. So I just tell him "OK babe, I know you won't understand but let me tell you what I just did." I am not sure if he listens but he always ends in "that's great". That's ok, he talks "bike" and I don't always get it. Right now and even during the workout, I'm not incredibly sore but I feel pretty tired. I didn't really slow down during the workout but i could tell I was getting tired from being in the pool for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Karel said it was super windy out and only 1 guy showed up for the group ride. I guess I made the right decision this morning. Most of all, I feel like i had a quality workout and really never talked myself out of a set this morning. I focused on just swimming and didn't think about all the other things I have to do today (like studying which I am procrastinating as my book is sitting right by this computer as I am typing). I want to wish all the Florida Great Escape athletes in Clermont Florida good luck this weekend!! Gay and Kate...go out there and have fun!!!