Arriving to the pool at 5:45 is feat in itself. For me, it means everything has to be packed and laid out and ready to go. Fins, goggles, cap, water, nutrition bar, inhaler, towel – everything needs to be packed and at the back door. The alarm needs to sound at 5:10 – and I need to roll out of bed and not give myself space to think about much at all. This morning, it was like clockwork, no thinking, and I was at the pool right at 5:40.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of arriving at the pool in the dark, only to realize that your swim bag didn’t make the trip. It was packed. It was ready. And it was still next to the back door. ugh. Luckily, I had been meaning to clean out my backpack since sometime in August. So procrastination saved the swim. I had a pair of old, crappy goggles and cheap yellow race cap. I was still in business. “Crisis averted” – my husband would say.
Leaky goggles are no fun, but I was able to do the workout. It was a heck of a workout. I was exhausted when I finished. My legs and ankles were tired from: 8 x 25 kicks on back w/ arms in tight streamline @ :15 rest (odds = easy, evens = FAST). I am making some progress: 1. my head wasn’t cranked up like an otter, 2. I didn’t drift into any other swimmers AND, 3. I discovered two broken ceiling tiles just before the wall, one at each end of the pool. So, still no flags, but an effective proxy.
After fatiguing my legs, I got to practice some BTTW intervals: 12 x 50 @ 1:30 [4 x (2 x 50 easy/ 50 BTTW. Before hiring coach Kelsey, I’d never heard of BTTW. *For anyone else who might not know, it means “balls to the wall”. I think I may rename it, “IMP” (I might puke). With the short distance, 50 yards, I gave it everything – I felt like an arm flailing beast. For the easy intervals my swim time was :50 & :40 for my BTTW. I’m not sure that was fast. BUT…one of the flip-turn swimmers asked if I was doing intervals. I thought this was confirmation that I at least looked like I was trying to swim at varying speeds. Awesome.
After a few easy sets I was ready for another bttw set: 12 x 25 @ :10 rest [3 easy/ 3 bttw/ 2 easy/ 2bttw/ 1 easy/ 1 bttw]. The bttw 25’s were consistently :20, until the last one. I think this was my true bttw level – all out. I “beasted” out a :17/:18 (hard to see the swim clock, and I don’t want to overestimate my bttw speed).
I’ve heard from just about every flip-turn (experienced) swimmer I’ve met that runners are known for their lack of kick. This fact and the fact that running doesn’t translate to biking power either, frustrate me endlessly. But it is what it is. I want to be a faster swimmer and I need a stronger kick to get there. This is how I’ll get there, not more running.