Follow the black line…

I’m back in the pool after nearly 12 weeks off, from pool swimming. With the exception of two swims during my long swim week at the end of July my last pool practice was the 22nd of May.  I missed our last week of Masters because of business trip.

Sunday the 25th my Masters team jumped back into the pool.

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What a strange feeling to swim in a lane, to swim straight, to have people all around you. Even stranger having to do a flip turn.  I remember feeling heavy during warm-ups, but after 1350m it was time to swim our first series.  12x100m A2 start 1:40, it was a simple set to get us back into the pool swimming feeling.  Funny enough on my first flip turn with a little speed I hit my butt on the wall.  On the second 100, I pushed off after a turn and felt like I had a good streamline, but when I looked up I had not even gone past the flags.   It took all twelve of the 100’s before swimming started to feel better.  As the workout when on, my swimming got better and better.

Tuesdays workout included a lot of kicking, with and without finns.  It was fun to be back swimming in the pool with other Masters.  Wednesday’s sprint work got cut short for me since I wanted to surprise my wife by coming home early for our 20th engagement anniversary.  Once I got home she was deep into watching Handmaids Tale, so I could have finished the workout, but I tried.

Then came Thursday’s work.  Wow, what a swim kick I had last night. Right from the start I knew it was going to be a good practice. Warm-up was a mixture of swimming, drills, pulling, kicking and some speed work. The main series was 15×100 with descending start times after every five.  I was last in my lane during warm-up and we moved some people around in our lanes to get the speeds right.  We wound up with 4 in my lane, with one deciding to swim them IM.  I didn’t hear everything, but it is always fun deciding who get’s to go first and do all the work.  No one every volunteers to go first.  But today I said I could, and was shot down, which in the end was a good thing.

1-5 with start 1:40 were suppose to be around 70%, and like always the first one was way to fast, but we swam the other four around 1:22 with 18s rest.

10s bonus rest so we could verify the next rounds starting times.

6-10 with start 1:35 were to be around 85% and even these felt good.  I swam these at a comfortable 1:18 and again was getting about 17s rest.

40s bonus rest this time, so that Hampus who was doing the same series IM with the same starting times could catch his breath before the last five.

11-15 with start 1:30 swimming around 90%, so they were to be fast, but with control, not maxing out.  I decided that how ever fast I swam the first one I was going to try to maintain that pace for the other four.  1:12!  What?!?  All spring I was struggling to get anything under 1:18 and would say was swimming 1:20-1:24.   In March I swam a 1500 in 21:49,  1:27/100 pace.  In July, I manged the 3000m OW race in 41:14  (1:22/100m) which was much faser than the pace I had in March.  For number 12-15 I was able to keep that 1:12-1:13.  This was by far the best I had swam in a pool since 2015 after I started with Crossfit.

A quick 50m loose and then another 15×100 was on the board. This time with paddles and a start of 1:30 I swam all of them with nice long strokes, and controlled breathing. Most if not all of them were around 1:18-1:20, with the exception of the very last one that I purposely slowed down to 1:25 since it was the last thing were were doing that day.

Wow, what a swim high I haven’t felt in a very long time. It was hard to sleep last night.  I could only think about how long it had been since swimming felt so good.  It is always fun to go to practice and meet my friends, but for the last few years I have been hiding at the back of the lane, or making excuses to swim in the slower lane.

I already have most of my 2020 Open water races planned.  With my main focus being the 21km swim on August 8th. It would be nice to participate in the Open Water Trophy (a swedish swim sereis). But I do not want to sacrifice too much of our family vacation time. Swimming three races on my wedding anniversary weekend does not help my  case for other races…

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But before that I have my eyes set on our Club Championships in December and the Swedish Short Course Nationals in March.

The hardest part about being a masters swimmer, is also be husband, father and dedicated to my job kind of person. Swimming from July 2nd until Aug 4th it was me who decided how much I could swim.  Not work, business trips, or the kids activities.  The last four weeks have been hectic at work, and with the kids going back to school it added a new stress element, but so far things are manageable.

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