I love swimming. Except that I don't love it as much as running, and I don't value it as much as biking, and so it constantly gets the shirked. I have only been swimming twice a week lately, and although I have tried to make the workouts of true quality, two workouts is still just -- TWO workouts.
My big obsession is the fly. I want to be able to swim fly... on and on and on and on...
That is my new goal. And then I will swim a 200 fly in a meet.
Why is this important? Because only bad ass swimmers swim the 200 fly in meets! (and of course I want to be a bad ass swimmer...)
On Wednesday I went swimming with my super swimming studress daughter, Jordan, and she made us this workout:
1000 swim with every 4th length IM order
with fins : 2 x (100 free hard, 150 IM kick, streamline)
200 easy pull
200 fly--no stopping
4 x 300 as
1. pull with buoy, paddles-- easy/moderate
2. paddles, swim no buoy--moderate
3. paddles, fins, no buoy--moderate
4. fins-- hard
off 30" rest
100 cool down
Though she tried to convince me to try, I decided to the 200 fly with fins. But the important thing is I DID NOT STOP. GO SUPER MARY!
But I did have fins.. Next time, I will try it without. Jordan did it without. Show-off.
My friend Son asked me to write a little piece for the MESC newsletter on what it is like for a triathlete to swim in a Championship Masters Swim Meet. Here is what I wrote. It is very exciting, so I thought I'd share it. :)
Just recently, on a balmy morning in early December, I gathered my swim garb together, got in the car with my MESC swimming companion, Alina Perez-Smith, and headed to Boston University for the Short Course Masters Swim Championship.
The plan: to shed my triathlete persona and play at being a swimmer for a day....
because, the thing is, I am not really a swimmer.
I am a long course triathlete and coach. As such, I swim, and I actually swim quite a bit. But swim meets are not my territory, and as much as I love them, swimmers are not my people. So I come to these championship meets as an outsider--an imposter--as a pseudo-swimmer playing in a world that is not my own. And I love it. I love it so much that sometimes attending a meet like this makes me--gasp--want to drop everything else and just swim.
All the big dogs come out for the big meets like this one, the SCM Masters Championship. And when I say big dogs? Yes, I mean big. Often, though not always, the best swimmers are huge--with broad shoulders and smooth, toned muscles. Swimmers aren't wiry like many triathletes and runners. They are more lumbering than lithe, except when they hit the water. Then they are not just lithe, they are lightning--a blur of smooth, rhythmic, powerful body parts skimming the water. It is amazing to watch. Amazing.
At this meet I witnessed world records being broken. A MESC teammate, the ageless and gorgeous Diann Uustal, for example, broke the record in the 100 meter IM. Watching her swim the event in 1:20 was awe-inspiring. To swim that fast at 65? And I witnessed it!
The best part of these meets for me, aside from watching the real swimmers swim, is to hang out with the MESC team. Our Maine teammates are so humble, easy-going and down to earth. I love my triathlon peeps, but we are not really, well, humble, and most of us are more than a little Type A, not easygoing. Meets, unlike running events or triathlons, leave lots of time to socialize. A swimmer warms up, then races, then warms down, then waits a long time (usually) until her next event, and during this time she can socialize! I love this aspect of meets, as it turns them into social events as much as athletic events.
The one thing I haven't mentioned in my description of such a swim meet is the actual swimming! For me, swimming in this type of meet is always humbling. I consider myself a very competent swimmer--when among triathletes. But when around swimmers? Not so much! Unlike triathlons, in which athletes start in waves specific to their age group, swim meets do not distinguish the young from the old until the entire event is over. Heats are seeded by time, not age, and so in any given heat you could swim next to a 70-year-old on one side, and a 25-year-old the other. I am nearly always seeded in a very early heat, given my very mediocre times (compared to swimmers, that is...) and I nearly always place in the bottom portion of my AG when the results are tallied. I will say, though, that at this meet I chose to swim the 400 meter IM--my first 400 IM ever at a meet. And I placed 2nd in my AG! Of course, there were only two people in my AG, but who's counting.... right?
I have been a part of MESC for almost three years now. I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be able to experience these meets, and to compete with and for such a great group of people.
See you at Harvard in March! Go Blue Lobstahs!