It was with faint hope I swam at Canyon Meadows today. I knew there would be kids in the Renfrew and Inglewood pools. So I decided to try Canyon Meadows, just in case, but sure enough, full of kids. Afterward one of the lifeguards was telling me this is swim season for the high schools, and all the City pools are being used. I'd have thought it would make sense to have some pools swim Tues and Thurs, and others Mon and Wed, to even things out a bit, but maybe that complicates the school scheduling.
I got lucky in that I joined a lane just as M was leaving. There was another lady doing a really slow breast stroke. I didn't get two lengths done and she bailed, and it's not like I was swimming fast. For whatever reason my back was really stiff and creaky. My right arm didn't want to pull at all, and it needed a bit of a talking to. I took a long time to warm up, trying to stretch out and relax.
The kids were doing breast stroke and breast stroke drills. Shortly after I started every other person in the pool was doing breast stroke too. I was wondering if I'd missed a sign or something. I was swimming in the lane next to the kids, and there were a few of them that could really go. One of the drills was doing the breast stroke kick while holding a kick board. I can't even picture myself getting one length of the pool before the staff kicked me out because lane swim was over, but these guys were only a bit slower than my front crawl.
I slowly warmed up and settled into a 1:50 per 100 pace or so. At one point one of the girls pushed off the same time I turned. I was a little bit surprised to see her pulling away, doing breast stroke. Consider that I rarely see breast stroke done well. Not that I have any ego about a girl swimming faster than me (I know lots that do), but I sped up a bit to see what sort of pace she was going. I could keep up, but I'd have to work at it. No doubt this was just a drill for her and she wasn't working it at all. Then again, she's just a kid, and is built for swimming. I think she was the quickest because she was always leading the lane, but several others were almost as fast. I wish I knew what they are doing.
It was fun swimming next to them because the lane ropes are just a rope with some floats every few feet. The pool gets really choppy, so I was pretending it was a tri swim. I was tempted to join their lane, swimming back and forth to practice my sighting but I'd probably have been run over, and then the lifeguards would be unhappy with me.
I did a bit of dolphin drill but not too much because I was thinking about running, and I'm feeling a bit tired. Not run down or anything, but I'm beginning to feel the workouts, light and short as they are. This is a good thing; hopefully my body will get the message and start building up the various systems. Lots of thought about stroke mechanics, and really worked on the flip turns, push off, and dolphin kicks. 1.25 hrs.
Later I did about a half hour of stretches to try to relax my back and get my legs going. Started the run easy, and found my legs fairly quickly, which was a nice surprise. We had a nice run down into Fish Creek, not trying to go fast, but running relaxed and smooth, trying for light feet and good cadence. Going through the parking lot at the bottom of 24th St was brutal. Like running in soft sand that sticks to the bottom of your shoes so they get heavier and heavier. That left me tired going up the hill, and my legs were starting to drag a bit. Concentrated really hard on form for the remainder of the run, dodging puddles and icy spots. Back to the house in 58:30, and ran a little extra to bring it up to an hour even. Probably just short of 8K. Walked and did a good stretch after.
My legs feel pretty good out of this. I've now done 4 days in a row with solid workouts, swimming each day at least 1.25 hrs, and then getting in a good bike, run, bike, run. I don't want to say my knee is cured, but it hasn't bothered me this week. I'm now at the point where my knee isn't the thing limiting the rest of my system. Which, I have to admit, feels pretty darned good. It's been a bit of a long road since IMC. At first I was recovering, then when I started picking things up I realized I had to do something about my knee. For what seems like forever I essentially couldn't bike, and an easy run would wipe my knee out for a week. I've been swimming my brains out and I think I've made real progress. Now I can get back to regular workouts, though I'll still be cautious about building up too soon, too fast.
Which leads me to the KBRCC next Sunday. This is the first time in a while that I've even contemplated it. I really couldn't see the point of going if I couldn't do the workout, or even a shambling semblance of it. (I have some pride, after all.) Now, I'm thinking, can I ride 2 hours, then run 30 minutes, AND (this is the important part) NOT have my knee unhappy with me? Is the rest of my system ready for it? hmmmmm.
Oh, and that number, the one I used to mention every now and then. 232. It could be worse, I suppose.