It was a close call this morning. I got home from work at about 11 p.m. last night and immediately hopped into bed and tried to fall asleep. It took a little while to actually get to sleep, and when my alarm sounded at 3:40 I turned over and smacked it.
Twenty minutes later I woke up and freaked out. Sprint to the car time.
I made it out on deck for the final few minutes of dry-land, which involved wall-sits and imaginary jump rope and then hopped into the pool for warm-up. I cut it close, but I made it.
The set today was a good mix of swimming and kicking. In the far lane with Pat Sullivan, though, Coach Jeff King always seemed to walk over when Pat and I were resting after one of the less strenuous portions of the set — i.e. after the zero breath 25s.
Here’s how the set broke down:
Four 25s fly kick underwater – four on back, four on side, four on stomach, swim
Four 25s zero breath
The swim portion was important because I was trying to focus on what I had learned yesterday, trying to keep my stroke long and rotate through the hips. I can tell that I’m doing things differently because I can actually feel it in my body. My core stays tighter, different muscles get sore quickly, etc.
During the 200 kick, Pat and I raced it. It actually worked out well because we are both slow kickers and so we put our fins on and challenged each other to do the 100 kick in 1:10 or less.
Of course, every time we came in from the kick Jeff was on the other side of the pool as we sucked air and looked like death. Then we’d move on to the 25s and Jeff would wander over and comment how everyone else looked tired and we looked like, and I’m paraphrasing, two people enjoying a spa in Switzerland.
Eventually, Jeff walked over and gave us a new set to work on.
25 freestyle fast (one breath for me, zero for Pat), flip straight into four butterfly kicks, 25 back sprint. Our rest was a 50 kick. We did seven of them.
I really enjoyed this set because of the racing feeling and the way I was able to work on keeping my stroke long even when I was going fast. Plus, having Pat next to me without fins while I had fins made it a nice challenge/race — yes, me with fins and Pat without still results in a loss for me.
We closed practice with some skulling, which was a new experience for me. Basically you are treading water while moving, and it is all about feeling the water.
Looking back on the practice I have but one thing left to say: Jeff, I swear I was working hard! Oh, and I’m looking forward to our soundtrack tomorrow…don’t forget.
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.