Wednesdays are my favorite swim days because we have the largest group swimming together. It is also the most crowded day in the pool overall, so we have to share lanes. I don’t mind, I am usually with a faster swimmer and it motivates me to swim faster. Today we tried something different – an 800 meter time trial. Before we started I was a little hesitant – I have been a little slower lately while I am working to get my strength back. My swim buddy and I decided to do the full 800 even though the other two swimmers are much faster. To save energy I didn’t flip – as a result I could see the clock. I am happy to report it was a milestone swim. For the first time I was able to stay under 2:00 minutes per 100 meters at both my 400 meter and 500 meter splits. I was thrilled. I finished the full 800 in 16:06 – an average pace of 2:00.7/100. In all I swam 3,000 meters – the longest swim post stomach virus.
The workout this morning was just the encouragement I needed. Hitting plateaus is to be expected from time to time, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Just yesterday I swam a declining set from 500 meters down to 200 meters. All were slightly over 2:00 per 100. I swam alone and that did make a difference. Having the challenge of other swimmers motivates me to swim faster. I realized I had the ability in me, I only needed a nudge in the form others swimming the same workout. If swimming with a group is when I swim the fastest, then I am hopeful for my performance in races – surrounded by many in open water.
It would be nice to think that all I need is a specific type of motivation to tap into my ability and I will reach through to new levels. Unfortunately it is not that easy. I have been training a lot with the goal of maintaining my speed for longer distances. I have been so close lately, today’s workout was the extra push I needed to see the benefits of my training. What I do know is that reaching this milestone is also a marker for me – plateaus may come, but they do not last. Oh – a quick side bar – my father is back home and recovering. Yes, things are looking up. So much for which to be thankful.