Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Summertime blues.

What I do not want to write about today is the current hold-up with the new house, which is supposed to be closing Friday. It seems that the lifetime-guaranteed gutter guards have been spewing water onto the big wood front porch, so that the porch boards in front of the door are a bit rotten. I had not noticed this in walking in and out of the house and looking around, but here is how they look:

They did not look that bad until the contractor and the owner and PP poked around at them yesterday, but apparently they looked bad enough to catch the attention of the termite inspector, who noted them in his report even though he was supposed to be looking for termites, for goodness sakes. Now the underwriter will not approve the loan until the repair has been made, and of course that particular contractor is not available and so pant, pant, pant, we will see if the closing happens as scheduled or not.

But as I already noted, I do not want to write about that.

So instead I will write something about swimming. "Swimming?" you may ask. "Do you still swim? I thought maybe you had given that up to be a soccer fan." You are very funny, you witster reader you.

Yesterday at practice we did a speed-oriented practice. After a warm-up and a backstroke drill set, which together totalled 1800 yards, we did a sprint kick set that went like this: 25 fast as possible kick, then 25 easy swim, then 2 x 25 FAP kick, then 25 easy swim, then 3 x 25 FAP kick, then 25 easy swim, then 4 x 25 FAP kick, then 25 easy swim. I did all the kick as fly on my back in streamline, which is much easier with all the ab work I have been doing in the weight room. Then our main set was a 25 sprint on 1 minute, followed by a 50 sprint on 2 minutes, then a 75 sprint on 3 minutes, and then a 100 sprint on 4 minutes. Even with all the rest, it was a harder set than it initially looks, because swimming the 100 fast after having done the other distances is tough.

But what this practice showed me is how de-acclimated I am to racing. The fast kick set went OK, and I even kind of enjoyed it with my new abs of steel and all. The swim set, though, which I did all breaststroke felt rus.ty. I felt like I did not have much power in my stroke or kick, like my stamina for swimming to the pain was gone, like I could not do an efficient turn anymore, like I had no air during the underwater pullout, and like I just could not swim fast.

This made me realize how different my summer has been from my regular season. During the months from September-June, I swam in at least one meet every month. I swam 4-6 days a week. I put a lot of focus into my breaststroke, knowing that that was where my goals were.

Now, on the other hand, I have been avoiding breaststroke, in part because I do not want to work that hard, and in part because I have needed the break. Also, I have been in the weight room 2-3 times a week, only swimming 3 times a week. In short, I have been in a recovery state for the last couple of months. It feels terrific to have the change of pace, but it is always a little discouraging to realize, oh yeah, being fast takes work. As our president might say, "Dur!"

Today we did another set that was a combination of distance and speed. We swam three rounds of (350 moderate freestyle @ 6:30) + (4 x 25 choice fast @ :40). For the middle round, I swam the 25s breaststroke, and my times were :19/:20/:20/:20. There was a time in late April when I was holding :17 in such a set.

Although I was a little discouraged yesterday, today I am not. I see this as a new baseline from which I will work to improve as I move back towards racing this fall.

1 comment:

Joe said...

25's. 25's. I long for 25's. Get me out of this big-ass long course pool.