Monday, April 02, 2007

The Need For Speed

Can't help that blog title, we just watched Top Gun again, now that we've got our home projection system set up in our basement with surround sound speakers borrowed from my computer and all. That movie was my son's suggestion and it was a good one to christen the system with. You know, it doesn't matter how many times I've seen that movie, when the cheesy 80's music starts pumping and the afterburners fire up, I'm totally sucked in. And just for the record, the projector and screen are so totally cool when watched from our couch! I think I might never set foot in a movie theatre again.

But this week's been all about speed for me anyways. Not a big volume week, but I really hammered out some tough workouts (taking that meter all the way up to Agony) and I get to announce....

ta da da....

I set a PR.... in the POOL! After 20+ years of swimming, this kinda blew me away. But I think it's all those distance miles I piled on for IMFL last fall. My stroke felt so much more efficient after that and I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that once I started doing more intervals and speed work that I might end up faster. But countering that was the fact that my left shoulder has really been bugging me this week. I took a fall while running and went down pretty hard on my left wrist before I managed to pull my arms in and do a judo-style roll. The jolt traveled up through my poor wrist and up through my shoulder into my neck. All week I've been saying that I really should see my chiropractor, but just didn't manage to haul my butt down to his office, and have had shooting pains in my hand and elbow. So when Saturday's Masters workout showed up, I was feeling less than enthusiastic.

One thing I like about our new coach though is that he gives loooonnnnnggg warmups. Like a thousand yards, which is exactly my kind of warmup. By the time we get to the main set, I'm actually feeling like I can swim. This particular main set started with 800 yards freestyle, then went to 7x100 on a 1:30 interval, then 600 straight, then 5x100 and so on. The total at the end of the board was 5,000 yards! Which, if truth be told, I usually only swim once a year at our killer New Year's Day workout.

My friend The Barge was swimming over in the fast lane next to me, and he's usually just a tad faster (and he's aiming to swim the 1650 in close to a 1:21-1:22 split at a meet this month), so I figured I'd pace off of him. Unfortunately, what I didn't know when I started swimming is that he wasn't first in his lane. I was pacing off of Steve the Insanely Fast. He left me in the dust in the first 50, when I realized my mistake, and when I hit the first 100 and saw the clock read 1:16, I knew I was in big-time trouble. So I backed off and managed to come in at 10:40, which I have Never Swum in My Life. So I might not be as fast in a sprint as I was in college, but I am still picking up speed at distance and I am so excited about that!!!

In other news, I set a practice PR for a 5k run at 24:47. My run is my biggest limiter, so I've been hammering it pretty darned hard in the last two months and it looks like that's definitely paying off. I'm not setting any land speed records, but I'm hoping to get to the point where my run isn't just completely holding me back. If I can come anywhere close to this in May's sprint tri (which is debatable, because I think it's a hilly run following a hilly bike), it should really help my total time.

Best of all, that good hard swim somehow managed to fix my shoulder problem (which swimming often does for me) and I've been pain-free since Saturday now. I still might use it as an excuse to go get a good massage though.


Ginger Breadman said...

I had a good laugh about your movie and your theatre - it sounds like a blast. You can watch movies that get you fired up over and over again.

I'm so impressed with your swim workout - I was excited to get in 1600 today, and that's barely more than your warm-up! Great job on the PR - hard work always pays off.

Anonymous said...

Wow, congrats on your swimming :-) 5000 yards?! That's wild. What do you think your overall 100 base was for that distance?

Robin said...

My pace for the long sets (800, 600, 400, etc.) was 1:20. Pace on the sets of 100 intervals was more like 1:22. Warmup and cooldown were considerably slower, my distance pace is usually closer to 1:30.