Saturday, April 23, 2016

Another Brick in the Wall

Building endurance is like constructing a brick wall. One brick at a time, done one run or one swim at a time. I put another brick in the wall Friday.

After four straight days in the pool doing various version of my countdown workout, I wanted open water. But instead of going to the fish farm, I opted to swim a tail end water recovery pond. I tested one late last summer and decided to go back. The fish pond I am swimming now is a large one and I average .83 of a mile per lap in it. This recovery pond is over a mile for a single loop. I like large. It is stocked with fish, but is nowhere near as heavily populated as a commercial catfish pond which must produce 8,000 pounds per acre to turn a profit.

I started swimming a little after noon. Although the water was 74, I opted to put on a rash guard because I wanted to swim about three and a half hours, and I didn't want to freeze out. This time of year, the water temps vary wildly from area to area in the same body of water. I knew there would be cold spots and where I dropped my thermometer was on what I guessed to be the warm end of the pond. I was correct about the warm end and the cool end got colder while I swam.
After the swim.


To make a short story long, I began stroking and didn't stop until 3:31 had passed. Unlike my last long pond swim, I got tired. My pace was slow, over 37:00 per mile. My legs felt crampy and weak from the start, which was odd because I never notice my legs when swimming open water. I think the legs had to do with Tuesday and Wednesday and my nutrition Thursday.

Tuesday we had our MDCC Greenwood 5K. I ran hard and then ran the course a second time. In short, it was a tough day on the legs. I decided on another hard leg day Wednesday because I mistakenly thought Saturday was the Kosciusko 5K, and I wanted to get in some volume and taper for the second race (I missed the date by a week). Thursday I did 6,200 in the pool which means a lot of calories burned a bunch of pushing off the wall. Thursday night I ate mostly protein which I am assuming left my legs and arms short of a full tank. After the swim, I could barely run and did only 1.71 miles.

I was really wanting to swim on the upside of ten kilometers. But I did tire and it was my first open water without a wetsuit. I stopped after five laps which gave me my three and a half hours but only 5.59 miles. That is only .09 longer than my longest of the year before today. But I am OK with that. No wetsuit, limited calories, choppy water, and a hard week of training meant I wan't going to swim fast. I got what I needed now. Next week I will need a little more. I am getting there.