So why on earth would I do 100 x 100 yard swim intervals on my birthday? Well, other than the fact that I am f------ nuts... (As I am told on a weekly basis by training buddy Lanny)
I've always prided myself on not giving up. If I take on a challenge or task, I will never admit that it's too hard or I'm over my head. I guess you could call me stubborn in that regard. Well I can clearly remember one time when I gave up. It was my senior year in high school. I had been on the varsity diving team for three years and switched to swimming for my last year. I had swam varsity while I dove because of my background, but I hadn't attended a true swim practice since I was 11. So I restarted my swim career with the dreaded double practice. One in the morning, then a break for lunch, and one in the afternoon.
The first morning coach Gus started us out with a main set of 20 x 100, 10 on 2:00, 10 on 1:45. Now this might seem like nothing, but to a girl who hadn't swam at all in almost a year, and not on a swim team since gradeschool, it was more than daunting. When I got to number 8 I just couldn't do it anymore. I made up some excuse about my asthma and left for 10 minutes to regroup. Of all the experiences I have had in my life, this one just refuses to leave my memory. The day I gave up. From that point until yesterday, every single time I looked on the board and saw a set of hundreds I remembered giving up. I guess I just felt it was time to overcome that. I needed a new memory to replace that one.
On to 100 x 100
I woke up in the morning to the smell of hot chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Dad made me a dozen for me to bring to the gym. I packed a ton of gatorade, energy drinks, GU, and bars in a cooler, ate a big bowl of cereal, and headed to the gym. I got there very early because I wanted to run first. Wasn't sure how much energy I would have when we were done, so I did a nice slow 3.5 miler on the treadmill. Right when I hit 35 minutes I saw Joel walk up. Uh oh. It's go time.
I don't know why, but all morning I had been nervous to the point of being giddy. And let me tell ya, adding a red bull on top of the nervous energy that I already had was not a great idea. I was shaking when I was putting on my brand new reversible swimming suit (chose electric blue instead of stealth black for this workout).
When we got to the pool all the lanes were taken. Not a problem. We decided to split a lane with an older lady. We had done this before and it was actually quite entertaining. For 1500 yards I had to tightly draft Joel so that when he flip turned he could dive under me as I was coming to the wall. Became a bit tricky in the shallow end, but what the hell- live dangerously! After we finished the warm up set, we decided to do it again. So we had 40 done before we finished the warm up. And I felt like had only done 10. It was starting pretty well.
Jeff showed up at 43 and was up for 50 with us. We didn't follow my plan completely and did a little picking and choosing. I did force them to do the dolphin and upside down dolphin kick set. If looks could kill... let me tell ya. I wouldn't be writing this! (sorry guys) I think I got equally icy looks from the guys when I did #'s 60-65 as 100IM. Most triathletes aren't so fond of strokes. But as a former IMer as a kid, I really like them. Plus, you're not badass if you don't do any butterfly in your 100 x 100 set.
We all had overactive bladders and had several potty breaks (no we don't pee in the pool!). Adding on the 2 GU/cookie breaks, and the break to put all of our food away when the old ladies started complaining that we were breaking pool rules- and we had run a little bit late. The facility was due to close at 2pm. At 12:50 I think we had about 3000 yards left to swim. We did 15 more 100's at a moderate pace. Then I was getting nervous that they would close the pool 10-15 minutes early, so Joel and I looked at each other, put on our fins, and started to swim our hearts out. At the end of each 100, we stopped for a couple seconds, caught our breath, and kicked off again. When we had 3 left, Jeff got out of the water to "guard" us against anyone attempting to kick us out. No way on earth anyone was going to stop us now!
When we finished the last 100, we shared high fives all around. We did it!
Then Jeff took us both out to dinner and beer at Champps. It was a wonderful ending to a morning and afternoon spent tackling the impossible.
I can't take for granted how great these two training buddies have been to me. I had never met them before June, when they both bent over backwards to help me in my taper for IMCdA. And now when I come home they are always around for training and friendly conversation. This sport is really full of the most fabulous people! Here is a pic from back in June (since Jeff didn't pose for any pics with us yesterday!). From left to right- Jeff, Joel, Me, and Will, who is in Boulder now.
Some notes on the swim set:
- It was a lot easier than I had expected. When I was finished my shoulders weren't that sore, but the pic above did make my arm shake something fierce!
- It really helped me get my feel back for the water. By the end, the swimming actually felt effortless. I never felt like my form fell apart.
- 100's will never scare me again. Bring them on!
A Few Good Swims
2 days ago