Thursday's run just didn't happen. I went to work with my bag packed, but never got the chance to break away. It happens. I need to be vigilant and keep my good habits going, but I also need to be laid back enough to accept when my plans get preempted.
We had plans Sunday morning, which meant I had to postpone my run until later in the day. This is always dangerous, as my willpower has always been strongest in the morning. Maybe it's just that my willpower is built on habit. Whatever the case, the run again did not happen. Chalk this one up to me being chicken. After freezing my toes at the Santa Claus parade the night before, I wasn't looking forward to running in the cold. Not looking forward to running is a bad place to be.
This morning's swim involved more speed/pace work. The main set was set up as follows:
300 metre freestyle, taking 10 seconds rest every 50 (on 6:30)
300 metre freestyle, taking 15 seconds rest every 100 (on 6:30)
300 metre freestyle, taking 20 seconds rest every 150 (on 6:30)
100 metre ez
300 metre freestyle
The idea was to hold the same pace that you had managed on the previous 300.
I started out doing around 45 seconds per 50 (maybe a touch slower). This isn't a super fast pace for me (I can do under 1:30/100 when motivated), but it wasn't trivial to maintain, either.
The further I go into swimming, the more I'm missing my endurance. I'm finding that I don't feel as strong or as fit as I did last year. I guess going from 5 days running a week to 2 (oops! zero!!) has some negative effects on my swimming. These days, every time I get in the pool, I find myself withing I ran more (and further!)
The final 300 was obviously the real test. I pulled out the first 100m in around 1:35, which as I say is not fast, but not slow either. I had been hoping to push 3 minutes for the 200m, but I was around 5 seconds too slow to even consider that. At the time, I was thinkng that my 200m PB was close to 3 minutes (it's 3:08, which makes the 1:35 much more respectable).
I wanted to stay close to 3 minutes, but knew it was slipping away. I focused on strong, smooth pulling, and watched the clock at each turn. 150m went by in 2:20, which meant that I would have to sprint all out to have a chance 3 minutes. Obviously, that wasn't happening, and I passed 200m in 3:15.
For some reason, my mental math went away, and I was disappointed with hitting 250m in 4:00 even. Why swimming a 45 second 50 was suddenly bad I don't know now, but at the time, I was unhappy. Well, maybe motivated is the best word. I worked hard to try to close well, but came in at around 4:47.
At the time, I thought I'd slipped well off my usual pace. Looking at my PBs, though:
100m free: 1:21
200m free: 3:08
300m free: 5:25
(400m free: 6:33)
...my splits of 1:35, 3:15 and 4:47 look pretty good (especially for November).
What's important here is that I keep things in perspective. I'm swimming 50% more often than I was this time last year. I'm struggling, but I'm getting stronger. I need the endurance from outside the pool to complement all the work that I'm doing in the pool.
For now, I need to be less hard on myself, and take pride in the fact that I am still active (despite how I sometimes feel). As the winter rolls on, the motivation will start to build, as I look ahead to all of the amazing things that I want to do in 2008.