Friday, November 15, 2013

3000 Yard Postal recap

This morning, I accomplished the possible.  I swam 3000 yards (almost) continuously.  It's easily been over a decade since I have covered that distance in a pool in one session.  6000 yard workouts were a normal thing, for a single practice, let alone 2-a-days, but today's 3000 is a real milestone.  It's my first officially sanctioned swimming-only race since 2000.  It's the first time I swam 2 miles (after warm down) since probably 2001.  It also helped me over a hurdle that's been stymieing my training; I always felt adequately tired after about 1200 yds lately and that kind of workout will get me nowhere and ultimately waste my time.  The yardage must go up, the intensity must follow suit.  Getting over that hurdle made a lot more things possible.  Mental blocks can obliterate any long term race plans by hindering our preparations.  It's good to push our limits sometimes, especially when those limitations are perceived.

The event is called a postal race which is a USA Swimming event where you complete a long-distance swim with an official timer and mail in (or electronically submit) your times.  The longest event in most standard meets is the mile (1650).  It's easier to have any interested racers do it on their own time and submit your times which are to be done by a friend/coach or by your Garmin data.

I felt pretty good this morning, I ate well and went to bed early to try to beat the retirees that have no business being in the pool early to a lane where I can swim uninterrupted for what I was hoping would be around 45 minutes.  A quick breakfast and a GU before the swim hopefully helped out a little.  at about 6:15 I hopped in and took off.  I can usually keep track of my laps until about 500 yards in.  Then my brain is mush, going to thinking about my breathing patters, my form, my thirst, my whatever... which is totally fine, I can check my Garmin at some point to see my distance covered.

I had really hoped to get this done in one shot, no stops for water or rest.  There's no real need to ever stop and if I'm pacing myself properly.  Alas, I came in for a breather and justified it by taking a gulp from my waterbottle and went back out after checking my Garmin.  1250 in.  This happened again at 1600.  Damn, just short of a mile!  1950!  Quit being lame, Aaron- No more stops!  50 more then it's just 10x100's no rest the rest of the way, no problemo.  It did get easier by breaking it down and also because after a certain point... you're just tired and you've settled into a pace that you can keep plugging forward with almost indefinitely, just like running.  Fortunately, just tired and not in pain.  Unfortunately, it's glacially slow.  I finished at about 53 minutes and I'm not sure about the ruling but I deducted my rest periods from my total so I am pretty sure I cheated by ignorance, not with bad intent.  I'll own up to this shameful act. UPDATE 11/18/2013: I emailed all my Garmin data to the race director so I don't have to live a lie.  Awaiting his response.

After a quick cooldown to finish out a nice even 2 miles, I hopped out and cleaned up for work.  Not bad all before 7:30AM.  Too bad all morning's been a half-asleep fog...

I wish I'd prepared a little better, but today was the deadline for submissions.  I was pretty sure it was Dec. 15 but at least I didn't miss it.  I'm looking forward to finding some masters meets in the spring to see where I stack up in some of my old events and my new distance events but it's time to get some good runs in!

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