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8000 yards: The Hard Way

July 23, 2007

As part of my training, my coach has decided that long interval sets are a must.  Being the obliging person that I always am, I promptly scheduled some.  Today’s was the first of many long interval workouts to come.


I managed to enlist the help of some of my swimming friends.  Surprisingly I didn’t have to bribe them with beer or anything, especially when I said “Hey feel like swimming 28 – 200s on Thursday?”   Jeff willingly accepted, as did Tom.  Unfortunately Tom has been dealing with shoulder issues as well and couldn’t make the actual day.  However, Marco was at the pool and he said he was game for a few rounds. 


I went over to the pool early to get in my 2000 yard warmup and work through the rice krispies in my left shoulder.  Then began the monster set 4 times through 7×200 on 3:00.  Now I’m sure my coach meant the 3:00 interval for a long course meters pool, but I kept it anyways even though I was in a 25 yard pool. 


The first set went very smoothly.  I was consistently hitting 2:30 on the 200s and Marco, Jeff and I all had time for a little talking before the next 200.  The only unfortunate thing was that on the 2nd 200, I started thinking about food.  Somehow the blueberry bagel that I had for breakfast wasn’t tiding me over and all I had on the pool deck was water.  I knew that a night of eating my pantry was in my very near future. 


2nd set, I noticed that we all got a little bit more quiet.  Perhaps the boredom of the task was settling in.  I of course was mentally catalogging my pantry and trying to determine if 4 shelves of food was going to be enough.  Again my pace was right around 2:30…ish.


As Marco didn’t have the heads up on the set and was a sport to even join in, he bowed out after two sets of 7.  I’m sure I’ll be able to talk him into the next long interval set, as he is always one for a long distance pool challenge.  Jeff moved over into the next lane so that we could swim side by side.  Jeff used the 3rd set of 7 to work on some backstroke and pulling.  I still was holding onto freestyle.  I was a little jealous that he was able to mix it up.  Plus now all the yardage for Jeff was “gravy”, meaning that it was just extra yardage.  Jeff usually swims a very challenging 3000 yards every day.  Today he was staying in for the long haul of 6000 yards. 


On the last set, Jeff was going to act as my pacer, as my tempo was starting to faulter.   Ordinarily this irritates me, as I always feel like I’m back in college racing Chrissy Lefler.  She and I would continually battle for position in a pool.  It was mentally draining.  For this reason alone, I don’t like to swim side by side.  However, something must have begun to change.  I knew my goal wasn’t to beat Jeff but just stay near him.  He stayed right at a 2:25 pace and surprisingly I stayed with him.  I was puffing a little bit more than the other sets, but still felt strong.  We, OK I, finished the last 200 in a 2:24.  (Jeff finished before me).  I began to understand the benefit of a pacer.  I may just have to consider getting one to help on the swim…we’ll see. 


Overall a good swim that was followed up by lots of eating and ice.  Which for all of you investors out there, invest in PEAS.  I think that I will be putting a lot of money into frozen peas over the next few months.   My freezer is already full of them. 


I have been blessed with some great swimming buddies.  For which I’m very grateful.  Thanks Jeff and Marco.  Looking forward to next time.


One Response to “8000 yards: The Hard Way”

  1. Cami says:

    Thanks for itnrdoucnig a little rationality into this debate.

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