Sunday, February 21, 2010

Serious Triumph! Longest Swim since 2007

Wow. When I think back 24 hours to how draggy and awful I felt all day yesterday (and most of the week), it amazes me how quickly things can get turned around. Pretty much all I did yesterday was watch Olympics interspersed with other stuff on the TiVo (Bells Are Ringing, Ace of Cakes, last week's Damages), and eat crap (Cheetos, Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone, French bread pizza). I felt like I needed to have my skin taken off and cleaned from the inside and put back on, after having all my joints and muscles realigned and lubed. It was all I could do to manage two loads of laundry and a blog post.

Felt a little worried after sleeping till 10 this morning, but as I started to move around I could tell things were improved. Finally I made my way out to CalFit and took the plunge. I had set this weekend as the timeline for reaching a 1500 yard swim, almost the distance of the swim leg of an Oly tri, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it because of how bad I'd felt all week. Still, as I eased into the water, I felt reasonably strong.

Warmed up for 400 yards, alternating 100s of easy freestyle and 100s of easy backstroke and my patented Frankensteinish "breasterfly" (dolphin kick plus breaststroke), or drills, or sidestroke. Then 400 easy freestyle, focusing on smooth breathing, rotating the body along the long axis, not splashing. Another hundred of back/breasterfly, another 300 of freestyle, still not pushing the pace at all. Hey, that's 1200 already. Another 100 of back/breasterfly/sidestroke. Hey, 1300. One more set of 200 and I'm there. I set to it, tracking my lengths by visualizing neon colors. The 25 of each 100 is blue, the 50 is green, the 75 is yellow, the 100 is fuschia. No, I don't know why. I let myself put a little more power into each stroke now, I'm almost done and the arms are still feeling pretty fresh. Voila! 1500 and it actually felt easy.

Then I remember that an Olympic distance tri is really 1500 meters, more like 1650 yards, so I do another 100 of backstroke and miscellany. My backstroke is never fast, and it's rarely in a straight line, but I do manage to keep my head back and rotate the bod. Then 50 more of free, this time focusing on breathing every 5 strokes instead of my usual 3. There we go. I wiggle halfway across the pool and back just for sheer happiness, grinning like an eejit. So 1675. Just for fun. And I'm seriously not even tired. Granted, I was deliberately trying not to go too "fast," but I'm still impressed as hell with myself.

This is plenty of distance for an aspiring sprint triathlete, so now I can focus on adding some "speed."

I promise not to give you blow-by-blow accounts of all my workouts, but this really felt special for me. Both because I haven't swum this far in almost three years and because yesterday was such a day of ick. It's good to have at least one leg of an Oly tri seem doable.

More soon.


  1. I am right there with ya on how quickly your mood and body can turn around. I am so glad that you got out there, good for you! After doing nothing and eating junk for several days in a row I am going to try and get out there today, thanks for the boost!

  2. Nicely done, Jayne!

    Swimming is the most meditative of the 3 sports for me...during training anyway. And, it's almost like working out in a comfy cocoon...even when you turn on the speed. I like your "breasterfly" moniker. Our masters swim coach has us do that, often alternating with breast arms and flutter kick.

  3. Great job on the swim! I'm always amazed at how the body responds. Today I did circuits with my trainer and she put in sprints. She had me running from 7.5-8.3 speeds for a minute. I never in a bajillion years would have thought I could do that (especially at this weight).

    I think we need video of the breasterfly.. haha