So yesterday after managing over 24km swimming in a week with very little shoulder discomfort have decided I will start this years Vidösternsimmet, 21km.
I only signed up because my daughter Lily (17) was planning on swimming along with her friend Iris (18). There are currently three swimmers from Växjö SS signed up in addition to me. Iris, Hampus and Markus. It will be Iris’s first attempt, where as Marks swam last year, and Hampus has swam both the 21km and the 42km with me last year.
Over the next 11 days I am hoping to get in 75-90min swims at a nice and relaxed pace. I will not find any speed in two weeks, but I can get my heart more comfortable with the pace. Tonight I will have to try to send in my “who am I” text to the race organizers.
For those of you that read about my 42km race, or the roughly 2,500km I swam from August 2019 until September 2021 this might not come as a shock.
After about one month of swimming with Masters after my long race, I could not lift my left arm. I had some discomfort during the month that I assumed was just soreness from swimming 13.5 hours. but on Sunday the 26th of September 2021, I was not able to swim more than warm-up. I made the mistake of kicking with fins and a board the 8x 400. When practice was over, I was not able to lift my left arm without a lot of pain. I tried to rest and only swim one 2000m workout a week in October, which led to not swimming at all in November and getting a Cortisone shot on December 2nd. This allowed me to swim the 50m breaststroke at Swedish Nationals, but that would later show to have been a mistake on my part.
I swam drills with fins for the rest of December and took a two week pause around Christmas. All of January I continued to only swim with fins, only swim drills and got out of the pool after warm-up. February 2nd I got a second Cortisone shot. For the rest of February and March I stayed patient with my swimming. Building up from only warm up to by May 1st swimming 5000m. (3700m pool + 1300m OW). The rest of May I took it easy in the pool with my only goal to be able to swim 75-90min OW in June. In June I only managed to get to the lake 10 times, but swam in a pool 5 times.
While in the US I swam zero meters. I didn’t even go out far enough in the ocean to get my whole body wet. So after 24 days of no swimming of any kind I have less than three weeks to test my shoulder, try to build up some endurance and decide if I am going to start my 7th Vidösternsimmet (5x 21km + 1x 42km). My problem is I am really looking forward to the Stockholm Golden in October.
I did it and nearly a full month faster than 2020. Last year it took me until Sept 30th to reach 1,000,000m. This year I had a chance to reach this mark on August 31st, but willing took a rest day on the 30th, so I would swim past the million meter mark on Sept 1st during our first Lane 1 distance workout of the fall.
Last year I lost a lot of motivation after reaching one million, but this year I am even trying to raise money for WaterAid. I am hoping this keeps me swimming, at least through October. It would be great if my friends could help me with this charity event.
We have not had a Swedish nationals for Masters since 2019, and there are currently plans for holding them the first week in December. This would be another motivator to keep me swimming through out 2021. Last year I finished with 1221 km, so only 221 km over the last three months. With four months remaining this year, who knows this year I could reach over 1320 km. My dad asked last year, what’s next? I jokingly replied I am not sure from 1000 km to maybe 1000 miles. However, that is a huge jump from 1220 to 1609 km. if I am going to be able to race in a pool again I am not going to be able to swim just for the sake of swimming to get meters. I am going to have to focus more on speed, technique and recovery. All of those things have been neglected for the past 16-18 months. I can almost say for sure I will again try for a million meters next year, but I will most likely focus on the 800m pool race and attempt go sub 10. At the same time I have not given up hope on a sub 19 1500m either.
In the area of Sweden I live, week 8 is our winter break, or a direct translation from swedish is sport break A large portion of the people in sweden use week 7,8 or 9 to go skiiing every year. The country splits up this week off so that only 33% of the country try to go up north skiing each week during the winter break.
I don’t usually write about specific workouts here on my blog. Maybe that’s because I have a training journal that I document everything I do on Jogg.se. Since the fall of 2018 our Masters group has been greatly improved by the presence of a former Syrian distance swim coach Nidal. During his first fall session with us he was there to help our newer swimmers with their technique. Watching everyone in the pull and offering tips on how they could improve their technique. That kind of one on one feedback was greatly appreciated. Then I am not sure how it happened, but with all my traveling in 2019 he took the initiative to offer our distance swimmers a distance workout on wedensdays as an option to the sprint workouts I was writing. With only three lanes, that group swam in lane 1. Up until 2019 we rarely swam anything over 400m at practice, and when we swam what I thought were hard series it was usually base pace for the shorter series and base pace +5 for the longer series.
I found it interesting that I did not write about this, but based on my OW season totals I thought I would be able to pass 1,000,000m swimming around the 20th of Sept. But getting sick on Sept 1st did not help. I eventually surpassed the 1 million meter mark on Sept 30th.
I understand that a lot of swimmers got upset this summer. I was more than upset. On April 29th I along with 13,000 other swimmers got an email that this years Vansbrosimningen was cancelled. It was to be expected that we would not be able to race since Sweden had just implemented a rule forbidding more than 500 people to gather. So to be honest I was not so upset about the race being cancelled, but I was upset about the way they informed us and the way they proceeded with the cancellation.
Last year in October I was one of 14 swimmers with the honor to be able to sign up for 42+km swim. The race was called The Viking, and was a two way swim of Vidösternsimmet (21+km). The 14 of us would start at night Friday the 7th of August, calculating average swim speed in order to get to the start of the return no later than 07:00 the 8th. I went all in for this race. I had one of the strongest swimmers I know (Hampus Carlsson) as my partner for the first half night swim, and I started pushing myself on our Wednesday distance workouts like never before with our super distance coach Nedal. In January I took on the 1,00,000m challenge to help motivate me to get the distance training I would need for this years goal.
2020 is not the year that anyone saw coming. I am just happy that I live in Sweden and we have not closed down society or had a lock down. Sure we have restrictions to follow like stay home when you can (ie only essential travelling), avoid contact with the elderly, working from home if you can, not more than 50 people at gatherings, high schools and colleges closed for home schooling as well as lots of companies had to send their employees home with materials for production could not be delivered. Swedish Nationals for Seniors, Juniors, Youth and Masters have been canceled. One by one open water races, bike races, runs, triathlons have had to cancel because of the travel restrictions and/or the max 50 people per gathering rule in place. Continue reading →
Monday after work I go home, make some chili and rice for dinner, but don’t have time to eat before my planned 18:00 swim. So while I am cooking dinner for the girls I make two hot dogs as a snack to make it through swimming. I had skipped lunch by mistake and knew I needed something in my stomach to be able to swim 4500m.