I reluctantly hit the pool last night after having to give myself a lengthy pep talk. It had been a long day. The morning run was cut a bit short as it wet and cold and I was stiff from Sunday’s effort on the bike. Work was frustrating, and my evening plans got canceled (which has become disappointingly regular) so by the time I got home I felt like shit, physically and mentally. I really just wanted to drink myself into oblivion, to forget it all with a few tall whiskeys. I talked myself up, though, and forced myself to go to the gym.
Things started out poorly. I’m having some nerve pain in my lower back lately and I had to share a lane with a dude that had a bunch of distracting scuba gear. I’ve previously discussed my lane share preferences here. Most importantly, I showed up without a plan for what I wanted to do. Great… another shitty workout after a shitty day and before a shitty dinner which would likely be followed by shitty sleep and a shitty morning. FUCK… fine. whatever.
I warmed up, did a few drills, and after about 1000 yds of that, scuba guy left. My head was starting to clear, though I wasn’t really feeling any better. I decided I’d just do a few 500s and then maybe go see some music and drink my dinner. I reset my watch, hit start and pushed off the wall.
Somewhere around the 300 yd turn I decided I should push for a longer set than just 500 yds. I kept going. Around 600 yds I had a good rhythm and thought maybe I should try to up my personal best distance of 1250 yds.
Around 700 yds I started having problems with the left side of my goggles and I had to fix it. It leaked again maybe 100 yards later again. I one arm swam half a lap trying to smash that sucker onto my face. (hmmmm…. those one arm drills ARE worthwhile…) No more leaks.
1100 yards or so… I’d lost count of my 100s by this point but I knew I was getting up there.
1200 yards… “my stroke is still long and strong. Weird… I’m feeling pretty good”
1300 yards… I wondered how far I’d gone. I glanced at the clock on the wall while I turned and figured I’d gone continuously for about 20 minutes… Hmm… I’d thought it had been longer.
1400 yards… “okay, yeah I’m getting a little tired, but I’m just flying… stay focused. Long strokes. Don’t fight the water. Rock the shoulder out of the water before bring the arm up. quiet swimming. Nice and smooth. Keep the feet near the surface. Be efficient.”
1500 yards… I had no idea how long it had been at this point. I just knew it was the longest swim I’d ever done. I also spotted an attractive woman doing some stretching on the far side of the pool who seemed to be eyeing me and I became aware that the guys in the next lane seemed to be paying attention to me.
1600 yards…. “DAMNIT SAM! keep your focus! Long strokes! That lady doesn’t matter, and quit trying to keep pace with the guy in lane 2… he’s not swimming hundreds of yards! Be Efficient! Breathe more than you need to!”
I tagged the wall, hit STOP on my watch, threw my goggles on the deck and promptly wobbled backwards, exhausted. 38:58
Once I pieced together my times (I’d missed 2 splits and hadn’t split at all over the 250 yards where I was dealing with my leaking goggles) I totaled 1750 yards. One mile. I’d maintained a pace of right around 2:08 for the trouble free 100s. More importantly, I’d added 500 yards to my longest swim. I felt like I was within striking range of the IM70.3 distance and I’d finished with gas in the tank.
This might really be possible.