Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ironman Training, Day 4: It's a Miracle

It's a miracle: my bathing suit still fits.

I was in the pool at 5:20am, delayed from my 5am goal by hitting the snooze button a few too many times (must break that habit.) Getting re-accustomed to going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 pm is going to take some adjustment. 8:30 would be better, but I was happy to be in bed with lights out at 9pm last night.

Today's goals were:
1) Swim 1600 yards (1 mile)
2) Swim 1 continuous 500 yard set, to set my "baseline" time for that distance.
3) Reacquaint myself with the water, and try to swim smoothly, not quickly.

I'm fortunate to be able to swim at Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec's facility at 158th & Walker. It's a 1st class swim center, with a true Olympic-sized pool. 25 yards x 50 meters. This time of year, the 5am-7am lap swim has the lanes arranged in the 25 yard direction. In the spring, they will be switched to the 50 meters direction.

The pool is never crowded at this time of day. Half the pool is taken up by the swim team and masters groups that are coached there, while the other half is reserved for open lap swim. I've been going to this facility for years, and the same dozen or so people always turn up at 5am. This morning I shared a slow lane with a gal named Li, who as far as I can recall, has *always* been there every time I go swimming. Li is a slow, metronomic (is that a word?) swimmer. I can usually judge how well I'm swimming on any given day by whether I gain on her, or she gains on me!

After a 500 yard warmup broken into 50 to 100 meters, I swam a 500 yard "TT". "TT" being in quotes because my only goal was to swim the whole thing without a break, with the best form I could muster. I think setting a baseline of where I started from will be motivating as I progress through the season. Sooooo, I ended up swimming TWO 500s in a row. The first at 11:33, the second at 11:52.

I can't decide if I'm happy or disappointed. On the one hand, I'm happy that I'm even ABLE to swim 500 yards continuously without needing to stop for air. OTOH, those times mean I have a loooong way to go to simply get back to my former snail-like fitness, when I managed to swim 500 yards at just under 10 minutes. I'd *like* to get my 500 yard times down to 9:00 or less, so clearly I have oodles of work to do.

I finished off with a final 100 yards, bringing my distance for the day to 1600 yards (a nice neat mile).

Today's inspiration:

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