Tonight’s workout was scheduled for a one hour swim. My goal was to swim a total of about 2500 yards, with a main set of 750 yards without a rest. Not quite.
I did a 30 minute strength workout this morning before work, since the pool doesn’t open until 7. That pushed the swim to this evening. Fortunately, the pool cleared out earlier than usual, and I was able to start swimming by about 8:00. My warmup sets of 2 x 100, 1 x 150, and 300 went fine, and I felt like I was settling into a good, steady rhythm as I started my long set?
The hotel pool I’m using this week is only 15 yards long, so there are a lot of turns in a 750 yard set. After the first 10 laps of the main set, I started to feel some cramping in my feet as I pushed off the wall. I was able to work it out for a while by doing mostly pulls (no kicking), and thought I’d be able to keep going. When I hit the turn at lap 17 and pushed off the wall, my left leg cramped so badly that I couldn’t straighten it out. Fortunately the water was shallow enough that I could stand up and work out the cramp, but as soon as I sank back into the water to restart the lap, the cramp hit hard again. I kept thinking of all those stories of Ironman competitors who ran through the cramps, or endured some other debilitating pain. But then I thought, “How embarrassing would it be to drown in a 3 foot deep hotel pool?”. Needless to say, I called it a night.
I think I can count on one hand the number of workouts I have failed to finish. Tonight’s was one of them. It was especially disappointing because I have already missed one strength workout this week, and am trying to figure out where to fit it back into a week filled with two a day workouts. I can’t really afford to miss the swim work, so I will likely need to ditch the strength workout and add in another swim. But first I need to address the two most likely culprits causing the cramping… Lack of stretching and dehydration. I’m notorious for not stretching, and I guzzled coffee all day with far too little water. Both are within my control, and if that’s all it takes to avoid another “not quite” workout, it’s a small price to pay.