Sunday Swim

Today was my first swim in a few days because of my work and personal travel schedules.  I’m back in Little Rock for the weekend, which has meant some great bike rides and a long swim workout today in a full-sized pool.  The change of pace has been great.

This morning was another ride though Pinnacle Mountain State Park and out to the tiny town of Roland.  This is a route of rolling hills and little traffic, with even less at 7:00 on Sunday morning.  In all the craziness of moving, travel, developing new workout routines, etc, I’d forgotten how nice it was to come downstairs on a Sunday morning, pick up the paper off the front porch. and settle down with a cup of coffee before the  Sunday ride or run.  I did have the obligatory cup of coffee, but completely forgot about the paper until I was ready to head out the door.  I admit to being tempted to go back inside and sit down with the paper, but I headed out.

It was already hotter at 7:00 this morning than it was when I finished my ride yesterday.  This entire area has been hit with a blistering heat and withering drought all year, and I definitely felt the effects this weekend.  I normally only finish one water bottle on a 20 mile ride, but I finished two full bottles on yesterday’s 30 miler and today’s 25.  My insulated bottles are in Tampa, but even warm water feels good in the heat.

Only having a couple of days at home, we tried to cram as much family time in as possible.  With our varied work schedules, though, it was a little challenging.  After my ride I showered and went to breakfast with daughter #2 (chronological), then parted ways when she went to work.  I met the wife at church, then we joined up with son and daughter #3 for lunch.  We all split into different directions after lunch, which gave me a chance to head to the pool.

Since I had the benefit of a full-sized pool, I decided to do an endurance workout.  I did a 500 yard warmup, and launched into a 2000 yard straight set.  The toughest part about it was keeping track of 80 laps.  I have a lap counter that straps onto my index finger, but it’s hard to read in the middle of a set unless you’re stopped.  I’ve developed a rhythm for counting which set and lap I’m on, which actually helps me stay on a pace, but once the numbers start getting higher and I get settled into a routine, it’s easy to forget to count.

I timed my first couple of 100 yard warmup sets, and was pleasantly surprised to see the times were lower than I normally calculate at the end of a workout.  Naturally, my lap times get a little longer as the swim progresses, but the first few were in the 2:15 – 2:20 range, which is faster than I expected.  Still not fast enough to prevent being passed by the swimmers in the lanes on either side of me, though, who seem to glide so effortlessly through the water.  That will come.

This coming week will be challenging from a workout scheduling perspective, which is why I did a ride and a swim today instead of my normal Sunday long run.  My travel this week means I won’t have the bike available to me after tomorrow, and I’ll be limited to hotel pools, so I took advantage of what I had when I had it.  It felt great to be back in a “real” pool today, and was encouraging that my workouts in the smaller pool at the apartment seem to be sustaining what swim capability I have.  Only 4 more weeks till the Olympic Triathlon in Florida, and other than the lack of open water swim experience, I feel ready.

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