Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Masters Swim- Meeeemoriessss

Masters Workout
No, it was dark, this is from the swim meet I did there this summer
Diesel found a nearby Masters swim club that just recently opened up and told me about it last week. They swim at Veterans pool, the site of the Aloha State Games swim meet I participated in this summer. It's two days a week, Monday and Thursday, from 7:00-8:30pm, and only $15 for the month. Aside from that being annoyingly (but understandably) late in the evening, everything about the team sounded great to me. I grew up on swim teams and getting in the water with a group, swimming with peers, having a coach tell me what to do instead of planning it myself all sounded kick ass. I even readied my ego for a beating because I've not been swimming like I was last year and don't feel fast or fit. So there would probably be guys and gals there faster than me. Which is good, swimming is the one place in triathlon training where I allow myself to get more competitive. I'll ride the bike hard and chase, but I take being left behind in the water personally.
Just walking on to the pool deck was strange for me. I spent so many hours at a pool, not only in the water but hanging out on deck waiting to swim, watching the other groups swim and lifeguarding that being on deck in any setting brings back memories. I felt more like a swimmer already, and I hadn't even gotten wet yet. The age group swim club was just finishing up their workout and it was cool to watch them panting, dragging themselves out of the water, running last minute diving drills.
I met a couple of other swimmers, triathletes mostly, hanging out, but in my head I was just waiting to get in. I didn't know how my body would react to being in an organized swim session again. I should find a faster lane. Which is a faster lane? Who are the quick people? It's hard to judge swimmers by their bodies so I couldn't just look. I ended up in a lane by myself, and one other guy joined me during the 400 warm-up. I'm not going to detail every set because I don't remember everything that we did. The only reason I know the total distance is because the coach told us at the end.
My lane mate fell right into circle swim during warm-up, which was a nice surprise. Yay, swimmers who know how to swim. When we stopped he asked about splitting the lane in half and since it was just the two of us that was easier. Then in the next set he started blowing me away. Him, a guy in the next lane over, and some dude in a green cap in a far lane where all quicker or just as quick as I am. Everyone else ranged from just a touch slower to I don't know I was busy sucking wind.
I loved this workout. Hitting the wall, coming up and looking for the clock, doing quick mental math to figure how much rest you get, nailing the walls, watching the guy a lane over and pacing off him are all Old Skool to me and I slipped back in to those habits like an old pair of goggles (Note: This is a crappy analogy because an old pair of goggles are almost guaranteed to have a strap that's going to break immediately, but it was better than "an old pair of Speedos" because eww). The coach never, until the last set, gave us a time standard to work with, instead giving us rest times. Which is easier when you're planning for a big group with a wide range of abilities.
We cranked 3,500 yards all together, which is the longest workout I've done in a long time, and it was great. I swam hard, as hard as I've swum since getting back in the water, and felt strong most of the time. Sure, I'd get tired way quicker than I should and my breathing rhythm would go to crap and my elbow would start to drop and my core would get loose, but that's all weakness that will self-correct as I continue to swim regularly. It was swimming in a group, with other swimmers, being pushed externally, laughing and joking on the wall, that was great. Even if I don't go every workout, it is completely worth the $15/mo they want. I talked to the coach after and he said while they don't have Masters meets set up yet he is talking to the other coaches because that is something they would like to do.
I think all my tri buddies should come (Grey, this is directed squarely at you). I was telling Diesel after the workout that if this is all he does in the water from now until Honu he's gonna have a blazing swim. MamaSaid isn't confident enough in her ability to play yet but from what I saw the skill range was wide and deep and she should. Also, Veterans is by far the nicest pool I've been in in a while. So much better than 24's. And the quality of the pool makes you feel faster.
Last little story about the guy I shared a lane with for most of the workout- During a break I asked him where he swam because he was damn fast. "Oh, I swam at West Point." Ah, oh, ok, that makes a lot of sense and I understand the super speed now. And he was really cool the whole time, no ego at all. After we got out of the water saw a small tattoo of the Olympic rings above paddles on his ribs. "Hey, why do you have the Rings tattoo?" I asked. "I had the honor of representing American Samoa in '08" he replied. "Holy fuck, that's amazing!"
So I got my ass kicked last night by a guy who swam in Beijing. Awesome.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome that you found a masters group to swim with! Yeah, the meet schedule is pretty lame. Just one meet in the summer and it's long course. Kinda sucks since we swim short course or 33m when the water polo girls get out. I wouldn't mind doing more meets since it's cheap and something I don't totally suck at.