If there was a day I was going to throw up in the pool, it would up have been last night.
Not that I was really that close to losing my dinner in the side gutter, but I did get a glimpse of what it must be like to play for Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summit when she's not in a particularly good mood.
Up until yesterday my swim workouts have all pretty much just concentrated on form. I'm thinking about my technique all the time and nearly all of my sets at practice have been endurance based. For instance, at Monday's master's swim practice we did a pyramid workout swimming 100 yards, then 200, then 300, then 400, then 500 .... and then back down again.
Thursday was a different kind of challenging. This was my first day doing a sprint workout.
After warm-ups (where I got much better at keeping my arms bent, a stroke flaw which was driving my swim coach nuts) we did a series of sprints where you alternate swimming as fast as you can (with no regard to form) with swimming slow.
The purpose of swimming as fast as you can without regard to form is that it helps you pick up your pace when you are swimming purposefully. Which is good, because right now I have two speeds in the pool -- swim and float.
But it's getting better. And surviving workouts like these are the reason why.
The first set was to alternate fast-slow through five 100 yard swims. That's four lengths of the pool.
By the time I got to length No. 3 of swimming fast my abdominal muscles were on fire. By the time I was nearing the end of the set I could taste that pasta I had for dinner in the back of my throat.
We repeated the same concept swimming 50 yards and closed with the same intervals swimming 25 yards. To be honest, I only got through half of the 25 yard sprints. My fast intervals are still pretty slow. But I made it. Each time the sprint got tough I thought to myself, "June 8." That's the date of the Keuka Lake triathlon. That's what all this work is for.