Friday, December 3, 2010

A nice longish swim

Friday is often a day I can sleep in, sort of. Today I made it to about 7 am, which is late for me. I figured give the legs all the rest they will take.

Canyon Meadows sometimes has lane swim all afternoon and I got lucky today, with a lane all to myself. The sun shines in the end of the pool and brightens things up. I got into a groove pretty promptly, whooshing past a guy in the next lane taking a zillion strokes per length. Then he went away and I had nearly the whole pool to myself. Into the sunlight, flip, dark end of the pool, flip. My whole arm was sliding down from the catch, getting propulsion right away, feeling solid in the water.

I didn't have a plan, just went back and forth, relaxed and smooth. It was easier to keep going than to stop. 1K 18:50. Then 1.5 K 28:15. Moving easily in the water, not working hard. Just sliding back and forth. Then I started noticing a bit of a pull in my left ham during the turn. While the swim had been nice and easy, I'd been working the flip turns, trying to be tight and fast. Maybe went a bit too hard there. Stopped to stretch and massage it a tiny bit, once it actually cramped up. That was a first. I stopped with 2K ending up being 38:15, so I fell off the pace a bit. But I didn't mind particularly. This had been a very relaxing swim.

Then into some kick drill, and lots of pull. I think I'm getting the roll better coordinated with the catch and pull. Stopped swimming at 1.25 hrs. A couple people had joined the next lane. I got a chuckle out of the one guy trying to keep up with fins. That didn't last even one length. Stretched out the leg, the left especially. Not sure why it cramped up, but I suspect the extra core I'm doing has it working a bit harder, plus compensating for the right knee.

Then 45 minutes of core and leg exercise at home. Even did two sets of 4 pushups, really slow. Plus some plank.  I discovered an interesting thing a couple weeks ago, and have been checking on it. Lie on your back, hands at your sides, palm down. Nice and relaxed. Now lift up your hand over your head in a big vertical arc, just as if you're doing the back stroke. My right hand lands with a thump on the mat. My arm is straight out, close to my ear. Doing that with my left arm leave my knuckles some small amount off the mat. My arm just stops. I think there's a really tight pec muscle in there, or something in the back is all locked up. Been working on it, but it seems to be a one step forward two steps sideways sort of thing.

I'm still musing about what races to do next season. For me it's really hard to mentally commit to a race when I'm injured or not doing well at something (like the bike, lately). Lots of people worry about being unfit or not trained for a  race, but that's never bothered me. My currently level of fitness is so far beyond where I was a few years ago that I still haven't adjusted, so I don't know what normal is.

Part of recovery and resting is to do so until you don't need to anymore. My feelings are that as soon as you put a deadline in there, you make it much more difficult to rest. That race date starts getting bigger and bigger. You start wondering if you will be recovered in time to start training. You wonder if your nagging injury will heal. Which of course just makes things worse.

The Chinook IM is calling me. I ride at least part of the bike course almost every ride I do. The run course is a very short drive from here. It's a well run race, and I want to do it much faster than last time. Much faster. But I also don't want to do it injured. I want to be fully recovered, so I don't think I'm going to sign up for anything for a while.

Well, there's a swim camp in a few weeks that I'm looking forward to. Trying to keep up with Julie and Tisha will be a bit of a race.


  1. Man, do I need to get back in the water! I swam for 20 minutes this week. For some reason, it seems like such a hassle. I am always glad I did it, I just don't do it enough!

  2. I love swims like that! It's great when the pool is quiet and you can just hog the whole lane!
    Are you going to the Mercury Rising Swim Camp? I'm going!

  3. I used to swim regularly at Canyon Meadows, wife still does. I now swim out of SAIT since it is so easy with work for me to swim there. Hope your knee resolves - mine has been better of late.

    ~Richard (


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