Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How far are you going to swim??

Earlier this year I began following Hillary Biscay's blog.  It's a good read and she always posts plenty of pictures (but it is BRIGHT pink which makes it very difficult to pretend to be working when you are caught goofing off).  It wasn't long after I started following that I read about Linsey Corbin's 10,000 yard birthday celebration swim.  My first thought was "that’s stupid." My second thought was "I want to do it!"

The past two weeks have been my offseason and they have been glorious. I have done nothing but eat and drink and sit on my butt. Instead of morning swims, I have been sleeping in. Instead of taking lunch runs, I have been taking lunch naps. Instead of afternoon workouts, I have been drinking and then passing out early. Like I said, it has been glorious. But it doesn’t take long for me to get bored of this type of activity, or non-activity. So I decided that the Saturday after Thanksgiving would be a perfect time to do my 100x100 swim and to kick off the 2012 training season all in one fell swoop.
I thought this would be a good opportunity for a group swim and tried to enlist some friends and the local tri-club. Come swim time, not one person showed up. So I was off for a solo swim!
Since the longest I have ever swum was 6,000 yards, I wanted to pace myself. My goal was to try to keep my splits consistent between 1:32 and 1:35. For the most part I stayed right on track. I grouped the 100’s into sets of 10 to help break things up. After each of the first 10 100’s, I took a 5 second break. After each of the second 10, I took a 10 second break, then back to 5, back to 10, and so on. After each 10 100’s I would take a two minute break to catch my breath and stretch out whatever was getting tight.
I thought since I had not swam anything at all in the last two weeks that it would probably take 1500-2000 yards to find my stroke again and really settle in. Well after 4000 yards, I still couldn’t remember how to swim. So I did 1000 with a pull buoy. Nope, still can’t swim. I was hitting my times for the most part, but man was it a struggle fest! So I did another 1000 focusing on my stroke. Nothing. Alright let’s do a 1000 kick. "I’ve swam 7000 yards now, surely I have to be making progress." Nope, still can’t swim. So after another 1000 working on my stroke I went back to the pull buoy. On the last length of this set, at yard 8,975, something clicked! "That’s what I have been doing wrong!" After seeing my times slip to 1:36, 1:37, 1:38 as I got more and more tired, I finally figured it out!
I set to work on my last 10 100’s and busted out a 1:28. "That felt good, but take this one easy. You still have 900 to go." 1:28! "Slow down man." 1:28! "Same time?" 1:28! "Ok, screw it. Let’s go." 1:28, 1:29, 1:28, 1:24, 1:21, 1:17!

All in all my first 100x100 swim was a complete success, even if I was unable to lift my arms for the next 48 hours.

1 comment:

  1. RAD!! I got chlorine burn the first time I did it..