Sunday, March 23, 2014

Good Week, Jolly Good Week

I had some of the most enjoyable swims of my life this past week, and like most humans I want more. Like my dad, too much has never been enough for me. Oddly, he was a little critical of my swimming. Not that I minded. In fact, I found it amusing. I am just like him with the only difference being that swimming was not one of his excesses. He did swim. I remember growing up when we spent a day in the country he would get in the pond and swim, not splash and soak but swim. But he did it to cool off and for fun. He never made swimming a part of his exercise routine until a few years ago when he would meet me at Twin Rivers in the early mornings and we swam. By this time, he was pretty slow and mostly did heads up breaststroke, although when he was younger he had been pretty quick at the front crawl.

Maybe I overstated the enjoyment part a bit, but they were nice swims, my best of the year. I can think back on some as enjoyable, even more so. For instance, Mary Hodge and I used to go the Hot Springs, Arkansas and stay on Long Island, which is situated in Lake Hamilton. While there it was my morning ritual to rise early and circumnavigate the island all alone, just me and the water. Those were great swims and I want to go back and break my old speed records for circling the island.

Another good thing about the week is for the first time this year I cracked the 20,000 meter barrier, the level of swimming I have long felt I needed in order to approach top form in terms of both endurance and speed. Without swimming Monday (I think it was a bit chilly), I racked up 25,784.29 meters. That's the kind of training I need for the Chicot Challenge. Unfortunately, I am not likely to get anywhere near that in the next seven days because of the cold front that just assaulted us like the Russian military hitting the Ukraine. I only hope spring is typical following this cold front. Last year April was like a bad dream that wouldn't end.

Friday, we had to make up one of the days we were off school when the temperature got all the way down to 33, so I didn't get to the pond until around 3:00 o'clock. My goal was simply to do a non-stop swim that was a little longer than the 3.21 that was my longest of 2014. I noticed early in the swim that my right pectoral muscle had a sore spot in it, and this caused me to go easy on the pace and to constantly question how long I should go. I swam six laps and loved every minute. Crawling out of the pond, I felt refreshed after swimming 3.66 miles in 1:58:15.

Saturday afternoon I went back to D 6 where I found the water all the way up to 64 degrees. My thermometer was in the intermediate zone so the pond was 63 in places and 65 in other areas. The 65 felt wonderful. I only swam an even two miles and stopped because although the soreness in my pec was slightly improved, it was still there. I could have kept going both then and Friday, but I thought it prudent not to risk injury. Twenty-five thousand is a pretty big jump up from last week's 5,000. If I did that sort of thing running, I would be back on crutches.

For the week, I

ran 7.21 miles (huh?),
swam 25,784.29 meters,
walked 3.72 miles, and
lifted weights once.