Here’s what I’ve decided: I am about as far from a distance swimmer as you can get.
Today’s workout was all about pacing. In other words, it was critical to be able to hold your pace. Let’s just say I’m bad at that.
Coach Jeff King designed the set so that I’d start off with a 100 and get my time. Then I’d swim a 50, also for time. Then I’d swim a 200 and try to hold the same pace as my 100. Then two 50s. Then I’d swim a 300 and keep that 100 pace. Then three 50s on the same 50 pace. Then a 400 and four 50s.
Let’s just say it was a failed set for me.
I don’t even want to go into the numbers. I mean, I need to save my embarrassment at some points in this blog don’t I? It started off at one point…and the pace thing didn’t happen.
I was trying, I just don’t know what happens to me. After I hit that 200 mark I just fall off so much.
The second time around on the set I wore fins and paddles and was able to keep pace — actually I ended up having a much better time in the 400 than I did in the 300. It really amazes me how much more comfortable I feel when I’m swimming with those fins on.
I appreciate the advice on how to keep the legs up and I’m trying, that’s for sure. I hope I can improve as we go forward, but for right now I just don’t like swimming those longer distances — even though I know it helps me out.
One thing I felt today, though, was better coming off the walls on the turns. I don’t know what it was but I think something Jeff had said to me last week about timing my kick off the wall last week started to hit me today — and really I wasn’t even thinking of it.
Practice ended with those four 50s and I really raced the final two with fins on, just to feel really fast as I swam it. On the final one, Patrick Sullivan — who is tapering for Tom Dolan this weekend — was swimming a 25 sprint and raced me. I lost, unfortunately, and afterward Jeff made sure to let me know I better not lose a close race like that again.
I realized during that swim that I was pretty bad at being able to see where the person next to me was — I used to have a good idea of it when I swam relays oh-so-long ago. Jeff told me that if I didn’t see Pat that meant I was ahead, and I guess he’s right. I didn’t see him until I saw him just in front of me at the end.
I don’t know quite what’s in store for tomorrow, but as usual I’m prepared for just about anything. I know that Jeff’s been having fun finding ways for me to get my butt kicked in practice and I’m sure he’ll have something new for me in the morning.
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.