My friend twisted my arm and had me swim the 1-hr postal challenge today. Which broke my "do nothing hard for 3 weeks" rule... sorta. The challenge is to swim 1 hr non-stop for distance. I did this challenge in 2006. Funny, reading back on my posts, I was really freaked out over the concept of swimming that long without stopping. Freaked over what my distance, soreness, fatigue during and after would be. Flash forward 3 years and its almost comical how "eh" I was today. There's many reasons for the "eh" - pretty much all my training in 2009. Completing a 2500 open water swim in Chicago, doing a Half Iron distance Aquabike, 2x a week workouts with ~3500 yards per workout. Doing the 3,000 yard postal challenge in October 2008 and 2009. Distance swimming for me is much more manageable and routine. Its hard to pick a workout (when I'm training) where I don't get in at least 3,000 yards. Back in 2006, I had this whole elaborate plan for the 1-hr postal - 5 x 12 minute "mini-sets". I even practiced it a few times before the event. This morning, I intended to do the 5 x 12 minutes and just wing it on the "mini-sets", but my watch timer wasn't working. I was 200 yards into the start of the swim and just decided that I was going to try 7 x 500 yards with a 50 of easy free or backstroke between each 500 yard interval. Didn't even get stressed over this, just went "eh, watch isn't working, what do I feel like swimming?"
I ended up swimming 3420 yards in 1 hour. I was kinda bummed - hoping to swim 3500. My 3,000 yard last October was done in 47 minutes (1:36 / 100 yard pace). I was hoping for more progress given the 3 years and all the training. However, what I need to remember is that I purposely wasn't working hard during the swim. I was never even out of breath. My coach even commented on how "easy" I took certain 50's. Part of me is mad at myself for not pushing more - I know I could have done better. However, taking things into perspective.... I've been doing off-season swimming since November (low intensity) and I'm in the second week of my three week "do nothing challenging" period. And I went into this swim without a plan. I should actually be happy that I essentially hit the easy button on this swim and had 50 more yards than 3 years ago, a swim that was challenging for me at the time.
I guess all things considered, I should be pleased. I just wish I felt good about this morning. At least I'm not sore :) There, that's something to feel good about.