Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life is good

Goodness, that Thursday-morning swim puts me in a ridiculously good mood! I am making an iron-clad commitment to always get to the Thursday ones, these particular workouts make me very happy...

(It is especially striking because I was in the depths of sleeplessness-erodes-quality-of-life dolefulness last night--I got back from a sad event around 11, wretchedly tired, proceeded to hang around till 12:30 not going to bed, despairingly watched the clock tip to 1:15, 1:20--getting dangerously near the evil sub-four-hour mark. And it seemed as though nothing would ever be good again... However I guess I finally got off to sleep around 1:30, got up at 5:30, so that's four, not good really but what can you do? It is funny--the two novels I've written are quite different in many respects--but they've got a few funny commonalities--for one thing they are both set over the course of about 8-10 weeks in June and July, clearly I am so much on the academic schedule that this is the only window where I can really imagine out-of-the-ordinary things happening--and for another my two female protagonists are both helplessly in the grip of exactly my own insomnia!)

But I need more lessons on butterfly! I will have to have another butterfly one this Saturday, and then perhaps split the next Saturday one half breast half back for tuneup purposes... I want to be a better swimmer!

Anyway, the workout. (I think we have successfully colonized lane 7, for all practical purposes.)

Warmup: 250 free, 250 in 50s back-free-back-free-back, 250 in 50s breast-free-breast-free-breast

Main set:

24 x 50, in four sets of six

1 x 50 fly, 2 x 50 back, 3 x 50 breast
1 x 50 back, 2 x 50 breast, 3 x 50 free
1 x 50 breast, 2 x 50 free, 3 x 50 fly
1 x 50 free, 2 x 50 fly, 3 x 50 breast

(We were still finishing that as he gave the last set, which I didn't quite catch as we decided to finish out our main one--but it was basically, oh, 3 150s or 200s on descending rest intervals. Instead we just did a couple easy lengths of free to swim down. More important for me right now to work on strokes...)

The thing is that this sounds complicated only it has the most lovely elegance! You're just moving through the cycle of the strokes in the order they come in IM, and it's so clean and clear and logical--not to say you can't mess up, I did an extra 50 back for some reason (I have enthusiasm for that stroke!) at one point--but I just love it, I love the way swimming is elegant and mildly intellectual.

I was having thoughts strongly along these lines during a workout a couple weeks ago also--it is the kind of thing someone can explain to you but really you have to see it for yourself. I will have to fumble for the words, the terminology is not really to hand yet--but I was doing one of these sets that this coach likes where you start "on the top" (with clock at :00) because it's easier to keep track and then you're doing a sort of descending set--say on intervals of 2:00, 1:55, 1:50, something like that, with 4 at one interval and then 3 at the next and so forth descending. But it just hit me in that lovely way that, say, a science experiment might bring home some essential truth in physics class--that the pace clock is really telling you things, that if your attention lapses for instance and you suddenly can't remember which interval you're now on or how many repeats you've done the clock is sort of bursting to remind you of where you are, if only you will pay attention to what it has to say--it is like being on an archeological dig, you can excavate the recent history of your swim from it and let it tell you what you must do next...

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Exactly! The pace clock is your friend!