June 24, 2008

Off the Deep End

I got up early this morning (well, early for me) with the intention of doing a slightly longer run followed by an hour at the local pool during the mid-day lap swim. However, a few cups of coffee and two hours later, I was finally motivating myself out the door. When I started running, my legs felt heavy and slow so I was sure my pace was off. Since I never invested in a Garmin and I'm now patiently waiting to get my hands on the new 405, I have to wait a mile to know my pace. I hit the first one in about 8:15 so I was actually doing better than I thought.

I ran the reverse direction of the 4.8-miler I did the other day, then added on the 3-miler I also previously ran. This was my longest run since January, from before my big running hiatus. It was a good run and relatively trouble-free except for some minor plantar fascia pain around mile 4. Clearly this is going to continue to persist so I will need to pay close attention to my left foot.

Since I got off to a later start running and didn't have a car, I had to wait until 5:30 for my swim. There is a local Y nearby so I shelled out $10 for a day pass to swim for 30 minutes. Normally, this would feel very worthwhile, anything to get in a good, quality swim, right? Wrong. Today's swim was one of my worst yet. It gave me flashbacks to my first few times in the pool where I felt utterly helpless and wondered what the heck I was doing. I'm not sure if my open water swimming made me get a bit lazy with my stroke, or if it was the unfamiliar pool, but I was a total disaster.

There were a few things really throwing me off:

(1) The lap lanes ran from the shallow end to the deep end, a range of 3-12 feet. My pool is all one depth, around 4/4.5 feet. I like this consistency. I like being able to stop at either wall if needed and it gives me a nice, even visual line to follow. The really shallow start in this pool was a bit odd, the water was right around my waste. As the pool got deeper, I started to feel disoriented. I'm just not used to seeing the bottom drop like that. I turned around to head back and to my dismay, it was even more disturbing as the pool got shallower. It literally made me feel like I was sinking. I could tell this would be the longest 16 laps I've ever had to swim.

(2) The water was all the way to the top and overflowed into a drain, like those pools you see at resorts. For some reason, this also disrupted my visual perspective and it made it harder for me to tell where the wall actually was. I know it sounds odd, but I can't explain it. I stopped short a few times, which was then hard to recover from.

(3) The lifeguard actually paid attention. I've already established how much I HATE having someone watch me intently while swimming. Fortunately, the pool was almost empty so I had the entire slow lane to myself and there was only one other swimmer in the adjacent lane. Unfortunately, this meant the lifeguard had nothing else to do but watch my inept effort. Thankfully she took a break to test the chlorine levels and do some paperwork, which allowed me a few scrutiny-free laps.

After the swim, I broke my beer moratorium once more. I only had one, but it eased the pain a bit. I immediately located the email of the swim coach I've been meaning to go to. I'm hoping to see him as early next week as possible so I won't have to endure another disappointing session like this.

Weather permitting, I'm planning to hit Lake Michigan one last time tomorrow morning before I fly back to New York. My OWS opportunities will be very limited after this so I want to make the most of it. At least there, the only spectators will be a few early-risers, my mom (worrying the entire time I might actually drown) and the seagulls. That's just the way I like it.

Sport - Running
Distance - 7.8 miles
Time - 1:07:11

Sport - Swimming
Distance - 800 meters (.5 miles)
Time - 30:00

1 comment:

  1. The run sounds great, the pool, eh, I know what you mean about having someone just sitting there watching ya. Regardless, you were there, so good on ya!



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