Friday, February 10, 2012

Cruising with the inner shark!

One day nearly four years ago I had a great swim with my inner shark, documented here. Short reading, and you really should before you carry on.

Today I walked from Talisman (the company) to Talisman (the pool) for an afternoon swim. The place was full of water polo players, competition swimmers, and some adult synchro swimmers. Two lanes in the training pool were open, next to the synchro swimmers.

Only 3 or 4 strokes into the swim and I knew it was going to be a gooder. There was another guy sharing the lane, swimming just about the same speed. The first few laps were really fast, then I settled into a nice pace, about 56 seconds per 50. Relaxed. Easy.

I almost didn't notice coming up on 1000 m, 18:30. Woohoo! (Cruising with my inner shark, enjoying the water and terrible music for the synchro girls.) I haven't swum this fast in a long time!
1500 m 27:55 (The inner shark notices the synchro swimmers and wants to go play. I mostly convinced him they could swim circles around me but he still wants to try. Inner sharks are optimistic like that.)
2000 m 37:30 (The inner shark is pleased I'm so steady, and wants me to pick it up a little to swim with the synchro girls that are now doing laps along the lane rope. There is another swimmer beside me that keeps up for a little while, then stops to rest. Not enough of a challenge for the shark.) The last few laps I can feel it starting to come apart, but the time doesn't change.

A bit of kick, and some pull. (The inner shark notices these girls can really swim! One girl pushes off after me, goes down to the bottom of the pool, doing dolphin kick, swimming on her back the whole 25 m, with some hand strokes, and she passes me. I flip turn faster than she does, and can't quite keep up as she does front crawl back.) I actually gave myself a bit of a hamstring cramp trying to dolphin kick.

10 x 50 m on 70 seconds. All but the last one at 47 or 48 seconds. (The inner shark is seriously impressed with the synchro girls. Some of them are still swimming faster than that. The inner shark is also happy with me, since this is the best swimming I've done in quite a while. It's so nice to commune with my buddy again.)

In the water an hour, and was ready to swim more, but Linda was coming to meet me. I don't know if it was because it was an afternoon swim so I'm more awake and ready to go. The last afternoon swim was really good too. Or maybe I just got my swim groove on and my technique clicked. I wasn't even slightly out of breath at any time during the swim, even the 50's. It felt clean, no bubbles, getting good water with each stroke, elbows up, feeling the catch, and getting vertical quickly. My flip turns were solid, and I was very smooth during the transition from the turn back into the stroke again. I wasn't thinking about any of this, I was just relaxed and enjoying the swim. This is the way it should be.

For a little while I thought I'd missed my timing and I was really at a 19:30 K pace, but my lap times were solid at 56 seconds. I did the math a couple of different ways and they all agreed. My inner shark didn't help me with that, since they don't do math. He was too busy scoping out the prey, which is what they do.

It's taken a couple or three months to get back into the swim groove. A couple of those swims were hard sledding, making me wonder if it was ever going to come back. I was ravenous at the end of the swim. I should have packed a snack in my bag. Next time.

Tomorrow morning is the Run for Sherry. I'll be alone, probably running through Fish Creek. SUAR has done an amazing job getting this out there. I hope there are millions of people running. I hope this raises awareness that it's a FUCKING SHAMEFUL THING in our society that a woman can't run without worrying about being verbally or physically assaulted. This needs to stop. Somehow we have to root out this attitude that women are property, are subservient to men. I just don't know how to do it, other than one guy at a time, challenging misogynist attitudes when they come up.

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