Monday, March 05, 2007

Battle of the Sexes

I almost didn't go swimming Saturday morning, but I'm very glad I hauled myself out of bed, blearily got on my bicycle, and made my way to the pool because we have a new woman in our Master's group! That might not sound like such a big deal, but for years I have been the only regular woman to swim in the faster lanes in the Master's group at my pool. The guys I swim with are all terrific, don't get me wrong, and I keep them in line as best I can [wink] but it's great to have another gal around too.

So for the last two weeks, I've had to stop taking my iron pills so my doctor could run some additional tests to help get my anemia figured out. This has left me low in red blood cells and gasping for breath any time I push myself too hard. I was hoping to find a nice long distance workout and a few big guys in my lane that I could draft behind so I could keep my heartrate well below the anaerobic threshold. But of course, our coach had other ideas.

We did something he calls "Aussie Relays". Two two-person teams in each lane, each team starts on one end of the pool. The first swimmer of each team starts at the same time from opposite ends of the pool and does a 50 as fast as they can. When they get back, their teammate leaves for their 50 yards. Repeat twenty times!! The object is not to let the other team catch or lap you. I was paired with the new gal, a triathlete who looked pretty darned speedy. We were paired up against a couple of guys, one a triathlete and one other guy who is more of a sprinter than the rest of us. I knew it would be a fairly even match-up, so we prepared to do battle (remember that part about me wanting to avoid my anaerobic threshold - hah!) We were so closely matched that for the first 18 fifties, our pairs were flip-turning at almost the same time at opposite ends. It came down to the last two laps, but endurance won out over raw power and us girls took the lead by just a couple of seconds. On the way to such a victory, I just about busted my lungs open, but it gave us razzing rights over the guys for at least ten minutes in the hot tub afterwards. Actually, it was a great match-up because it pushed us all to go our hardest, and I'm sure that was the objective.

I hope the new gal shows up again, I know the guys always swim harder when I'm there for some ancient male-female competitive reason, and it's fun to not be the only girl on the block(s).


Deanna said...

Boy I would love to see you swim! And to see you whip those macho men. :) The relays sounds like a fun way to get through a speed workout.

TJ said...

i wish we had a masters program here. sounds like i'm missing out...