After a week of training by myself I had a very nice treat today. My training partner, fresh from vacation, joined me on both my workouts today. This morning we swam 2,500 meters. It was the first time she had seen me do my superman kick drills. I am not making her do them so she is just fine watching me float and kick while she swishes past me. Our main set was 1,900 meters made up of three 500 meter pyramids (25/50/75/100/100/75/50/25) with a 200 meter pull in between. There is something to this Total Immersion technique. I was very consistent with my pace. I did all on a factor of a 2:15/100 send off. My first two 100 meter sets were 2:04 and 2:06 – I didn’t like the 2:06. The next set both were 2:04 and in the third set I came in at 2:03 and 2:04. The lifeguard who taught me to do flip turns commented he could tell my speed is picking up. He asked me if I felt faster. I had to pause because my frame of reference to fast in swimming is associated with out of breath. I wasn’t at all but I could tell I was gliding through the water quicker. I guess I have to adjust my frame of reference.
This afternoon my training partner and I met up after work at the road that runs along the river to ride. It was hot – at least 93 degrees. We decided to tackle the ride. Our big race is September 9th, with the weather this year it is not likely to be the typical cooler temperature in early September that we have experienced in the past. This would be good preparation. We road just shy of 23 miles. I must say, the road has rolling hills, but they are not as difficult to tackle when I start out fresh. In the past I would get to the area after riding 20 miles in the hillier areas. Again my pride was challenged along the ride. I was coming up on a woman riding a mountain bike and I was just about to pass her when I heard a swooshing sound as a man zips right on past both of us. I still passed the woman and reminded myself this is my ride and I am testing my pace. It was a good ride despite the weather, there was plenty of shade along the way as well as a decent wind. I was a bit faster than Saturday’s long ride, so I felt a little progress.
I really enjoyed today. My friend is back, we had good workouts, and I am realizing that little improvements are still improvement. I wish I could improve in a straight line with a positive slope. But training, like life, is much more like the rolling hills I road today, especially the ride back. We had rolling hills, but a net gain in elevation. A much more challenging ride than a down hill ride, but in the end, I am stronger for it.