I guess the gauntlet was thrown down on Tuesday. The swim coach mentioned that she wanted us doing 3000 metres every practice. Somehow, I can't shy away from a challenge like that. So, this morning, I walked into the pool prepared for big mileage.
3000m in 1:15 amounts to 1km every 25 minutes. Our opening set was 400/300/200/100. I don't remember the details, but it was mostly free, with a bit of variety to give the muscles a break.
Since provincials were last weekend, the fast side of the pool was nearly empty. Rather than the two coaches splitting the lanes 4 and 4, our coach was offered 6 lanes. So, after the first thousand, I was in a lane with R. R is pretty much as fast as I am, and will likely be faster sooner or later. The lane arrangement was welcome - R would push me, and we'd have the lane to ourselves.
The second set was 100/200/300/400. I'd taken it easy for the first 100, but it was occurring to me that I needed to start motoring. I tried to cut my breaks a bit short, and forged ahead whenever I could. The 200 was 4x50 kick, I think, which was tough, but the 300 was pull, which was very, very welcome. The 400 was 2x(50 not, 150 free). I just could not think of what I wanted to do as not free. I ended up doing a wimpy breast for the first 50 (some knee pain, so my kicks were, um, lazy) and back for the second 50. Up until that point, most of the optional stuff had been fly, but I was too tired for fly.
I got finished in right around 50 minutes for the 2000m; on pace, but barely.
Our next set was 5x50m on :55, either pull or swim. I opted for pull - no contest. I really focused on a strong, steady pull. The next set was 3x100m descent on 1:55. I went WAY too hard on the first 100, and came in in 1:35. And that was supposed to be my slow 100. The next one went off in 1:40. The last one was 1:35 again, and I paid the price for it.
The last set was 3x150, 30 seconds rest in between. It was either 50 fast/100 easy or 100 easy/50 fast, our choice. I chose to go hard at the end, as it seems, mentally, the easier choice. Shockingly, I dropped R on the first 150. He'd been right on my the whole way, pushing me. He's just getting over a marathon, though, so maybe he hit his limit. The second 150, the gap stayed the same, perhaps narrowing. Knowing that the last 150 would give me 3k, I enjoyed the easy 100, and really pushed on the 50. I'd say I finished up with about a minute to spare.
I think that, out of the 6 lanes, R and I were the only ones to finish the full 3k. I have to say, what an awesome feeling! (Except, maybe, for my shoulders.)
There's something about being issued a challenge that I just seem to respond well to.