Sorry again for the late post. Again, the whole juggling of multiple reporting projects has led to a tardy blog. I need to be better about this. And surely my coach, Jeff King, will tease me about using work as an excuse again.
Today was not quite the gauntlet that yesterday and its four 600s was. It was, though, a new type of challenge. I did a progression of five freestyle sets — four 100s paired with four 50s kick.
On the first one, I went with a normal swim and a nice, long, easy pace. The second set, I put in the buoy and put on the paddles, again trying to get warm.
Then for the final three, the work kicked in.
First, I did three 100s way up-tempo, pretty much as fast as I could, maybe with a little bit taken off in order to survive. Then I swam a 100 back to get the heart rate down.
After that I did two of the four 100s at full speed, no joke, all out sprint. The first one went fine. I was tired, sure, but I felt okay. I thought I had done a pretty good job and Jeff only had a few tips.
The second one, on 15 seconds rest, was not as easy. I was dying. And I just tried to pull all the way through. I then slowed the heart rate from those with a 100 back and a 100 breast. (Oh my goodness, do you know how much breaststroke I’ve been swimming recently? I did several 150s of breaststroke yesterday, and now another 100. Hell has frozen over, the sky is falling, run everyone, run!)
Finally, I ended with a 100 full-on sprint. This one was about learning to race — and I think also about learning to push myself when I was already tired. And push I did.
I started the first 25 on a nice pace, not a full-out sprint. I didn’t want to fly and die. At the wall, I pushed off and tried to keep the same pace until I hit the middle point. Then I started to accelerate.
By the final 50 I was trying to full-on sprint. I’m not going to lie, though, it probably wasn’t too impressive.
After everything I had done to that point, mixed in with some leftover soreness from the 600s yesterday, my arms were pretty dead.
I finished off practice with a few more 100s of freestyle, using paddles to try to feel the water.
As I came in on the final 50 kick, the sun started to peek out from behind the clouds. I think it was sort of a fitting goodbye to the outdoor pool. Next week will bring no more freezing cold water. Nope, it’ll be back indoors. Of course, it’ll also be back to 4:30 a.m. starts. Yikes.
The sun wasn’t warm at all. And I joked with Jeff King about it and how it was just trying to bid farewell to its loyal swimmers. I’ll miss you Mantua. Sorta. Kinda. Maybe not in its coldest form the last few weeks.
Washington Post reporter Paul Tenorio will train with a swim club over the next few months and chronicle his journey as he attempts to transform from regular guy/sports reporter to competitive swimmer — everything from his waistline to his best times.