Outta My Lane

Today’s workouts were a morning strength set and an evening swim.  Minor success though it is, I dragged my carcass out of bed at 5:45 for the strength and stretching session, and actually enjoyed the workout… well, after the first set.  I’ve switched to a different hotel, and the gym here has no free weights; that meant substituting a couple of other exercises for my primaries.  It’s interesting how different exercises focusing on the same muscles can feel so different and change the dynamic of the workout.  I really should mix up my workouts more.

Tonight’s swim was at an outdoor public pool in Tampa; a full-sized 25 yard variety.  I opted not to try the open water swim group this evening for a variety of reasons, but the outdoor pool was a great second choice.

I called in advance to check on the hours, etc, and the lady who answered the phone said that the pool got “crazy” after 4:00.  She didn’t really elaborate, so I kind of shrugged it off.  I got there about 5:30 to find the crowd in full force… the kid’s swim team had most of the lanes occupied.  There were two lanes open for public swimming, both of which were being used by folks getting coached.  Fortunately, the swim team coach hadn’t put any of his kids in the outside lane with the ladders, and he offered it up to me.  Into the water, and off I went.

I started my workout with a set of 5 X 100 repeats.  The first few laps were a struggle.  Can some pool water be thicker than other pool water?  It sure felt like it.  Here’s the really funny part… the deep end of the pool was 12 feet, and it freaked me out.  Most pools I use at 5-6 feet in the deep end.  Why does it matter?  Deep is deep, right?  Somehow, watching the floor of the pool fall farther and farther away was just creepy.  I got used to it after a few laps, but it took a while.

Once the warmup was over, I decided to go for the record… beating my 1700 yard endurance swim.  Since I had the luxury of a 25 yard pool, I took a shot at a full 2000 yards.  The warmup had worked the kinks out, and the laps went well.  Once I got past 25 or 30 laps, the distance seemed to pass pretty quickly.  All was going well until the kid’s swim team left, and the adult class started.  I was one lap 50 of the 80 I planned, when the Master’s Class coach caught my attention and booted me from my lane.

Side story… owners/managers of pools should not put life-sized statues of their mascots next to the pool.  At one point on every lap, I got a glimpse of a five foot tall beaver at the edge of the pool.  It was really distracting for a while.  I mean, have you ever tried to swim while being watched by a 5 foot beaver?  The real problem was that it took the Master’s coach a few laps to get my attention because I thought he was the beaver.  Eventually, though, he ran out of patience and tossed me from the lane.

I quickly shifted to one of the other two public lanes to finish off the workout.  Unfortunately, that required a “break” in my 2000 yard set for about a minute while I switched lanes, but I’m still gonna count it… it’s my challenge, anyway.

So, other than the 1 minute while switching lanes, I finished the full 2000 yards, and a total of 2500 including the warmup.  Other than being passed repeatedly by a bunch of 6th and 7th graders, I felt really good about the workout.  Even though the kid’s swim team was faster than me, when the swimmers my age were in the lanes next to me… well, they were faster than me, too.  But that’s beside the point.  Another swimming milestone down… now it’s time to start working on speed.

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