The Five Swim Week
It's funny how the body works... ten years ago, I swam ten times a week. It was hard work, but i did it. Every week! As my swim nears closer, I want to amp up my training and make sure I am really ready for this. My task this week was to hit the pool five times - I am at four, and will be getting up early tomorrow morning for number five. What's funny is that my body has clearly changed so much in eight to ten years.
My first swim of the week was Monday night. I go every Monday, to Ron Andrews Community Centre, and train with my coach and friend, John. These are freestyle sessions, they are the most important swims for my winter and spring training. We swam about 4.5k. This is not nearly as far as I used to train, but it's getting up there for someone who has less time in the water. On Tuesday night I swam again, on my own as a loosen up before meeting my sister for dinner. I like these swims. I don't push myself. I simply get in and swim, generally keeping a steady pace. I will almost always do some form of a pattern, giving my shoulders a rest. 1500 free, 500 I.M is a common pattern...over and over again until I choose to get out. This time was once and a half. Then there was Wednesday! Wednesday was huge. I did my first double since retiring as a competitive swimmer. Morning practice started at 5:30am. It was an I.M workout...not my favorite, but it's really important for my muscles and shoulders to cross train. The practice was slightly shorter than Mondays, and the pace times were fairly easy - a nice way to start the day! I got to my evening practice early, and hit the water to loosen up and add a little mileage. I had my eye on the clock the whole time, for some reason trying to race with myself to squeeze in 4k before my friends got in. The last 400 was a bit of a push, but I made it to 4k. When the rest of the group got in, I felt great. Mentally. When we set off for the actual practice, my arms were done. All I could think was "Why did I sprint the last 400?". The last thing I want to do is injure myself leading into the summer. I took it fairly easy for the remaining 3.6k, just making the pace times and trying to stretch out.
Practice number five comes tomorrow. The Friday morning group is sprint. It's a little out of my realm, but it is a fun and energetic group. It's usually myself, and two men - one about ten years older than me, and the other maybe twenty-five years older. They are genuine goofballs. I don't make it to this practice often, but they sure do make it entertaining. I plan to also stay after this practice for an extra hour... maybe finish off with 3k easy this time.
I already feel so heavy this week! My muscles are frantically trying to repair and my shoulders are just starting to remind me that they exist and they don't like me right now. My body certainly isn't what it used to be, but it feels great just to try and push myself again. I realize that this is also the first five I have done since starting my training. And the first double. As the days go on, I will be needing more weeks like this one, and each one will feel better and better.
Here's to a great morning swim, and a relaxing weekend!