Last Saturday was my first disastrous fail at swimming as I attempted to complete a distance I have done numerous times in open water (here). Not to get discouraged I decided Wednesday night would be a good night to get some solid swim work in and reaffirm my ability to swim, at least in a pool. I had figured a 1500 to 3000 ladder set was in order. These are wonderful at just working through everything for me. The idea was basic, start at 500 and taper down by 100 and then if I felt like pushing it, I would start climbing back up. When I got to the gym though I found I was in for a surprise…. the pool was booked for the nightly water aerobics class. The pool I use shuts down all lanes and turns the pool into a single use aerobics studio in the water. I looked at my watch and realized that I could swim for ten minutes or so before the class began, then I would have to wait an hour before being able to get my swim. I ran through my options and only one seemed like a good idea. I decided I would join the water aerobics class.
The biggest caveat would be that at the end I could pick my lane I wanted and I would not have to sit and wait for an hour. I grabbed a gel to eat between the aerobics and my swim session and hopped in the pool with the mostly older women who were there for the class. I grabbed two noodles and tied them up like everyone else and I was ready for some music and water fun. I was dead wrong!
The instructor of this session ran the class more like a boot camp, frequently shouting us into a frenzy. There was no music but we were required to run around the pool in one direction then to turn around and run in the other direction pushing against the wake we created before. There were rowing and pushing exercises and all sorts of torture that provided a total body workout in the end and some cardio too. I was fortunate to be in relative good shape and was able to keep up and actually push the class at times. When we were required to grab onto the edge and do kicking I turned the drill into a swim workout, keeping my knees straight and kicking from the hip. After an hour, it was over and it was an overall enjoyable experience that definitely was not what I was expecting.
But my night was not done yet. I sucked down a gel while I reattached the lane guides. I then put on my goggles and ear plugs and commenced to swim through my ladders. After I got down to 100 I took a break for a few minutes and started in the other direction. After an hour and getting to the second 300 set, I reflected on finishing the 400 and 500 but after a minute realized I would need another gel or something to eat as I was feeling famished. I went and washed up and as I was getting dressed I truly realized how smart of a decision that was, I was light headed and at the edge. I needed to eat something and soon, there was not much left in the tank. But I still got in an hour of intense cardio/body sculpting abuse and an hour of swimming totalling 2100 meters. The swim felt good and natural and there were few trouble spots on the longer swims. This weekend I have another open water swim so it will be good to get out into the lake and slay that demon. Til next time.