Ok so we're ~1/4 of the way through... 12K of swimming done in the last 30 hours... that's about our weekly average when Ironman training (we did not swim that much all spring/summer just like 3x/week) and I am feeling it!
Yesterday we did our 5 x 1000's and they went pretty much as I thought they would. I managed to hold a steady pace with each one getting just slightly faster... the 5th one was 10" faster than the 2nd one (1st one was w/u) so they were all right there in a tight range avg 5-6"/100 slower than my t-pace in that pool. Given how I feel at this moment (after swimming twice today) I would say I'll be surprised if I can repeat that next Wednesday but we'll see. I've heard stories from cyclists who have done RAAM and they've said that while the fatigue in the beginning is high that by the end they are feeling stronger and stronger every day... that would be super if that happened but I am not holding my breath!
Our normal pool does not open until 8:30 on Tues/Thurs so Nalani and I decided to go over to a pool at Pearl Harbor (military base) this morning. It opens at 5 so she came to get me at 4:30 and I had the coffee brewed. I had flashbacks of my high school days and waking up in the middle of the night waiting for one of my teammates to come get me to drive me to swim practice (I was too young to drive). I did not drink coffee back then so I really don't know how I did it. I guess 15 year olds are just resilient like that?? Anyway, it wasn't until we arrived at the pool that I remembered how lucky and spoiled we are that our normal pool is heated... this one is not. And it was dark and very windy at 5AM and I know everyone hates it when I bitch about being cold when it is 70 degrees but I'm telling you... 70 degrees (it might have been less than that?) and no sun and 20+mph wind and an unheated pool for 4400 yd just left me completely shivering and with muscles that did not even feel functional. I will say it was nice that this pool had lane lines and a pace clock, but I will take heated water over lane lines and a pace clock any day. And let's face it, long course yards is just weird. Who builds a long course yards pool??
So I spent much of the rest of the morning writing programs (and sending emails to several of my new athletes reassuring them that yes, it is ok to jog/walk that slow if you have to to keep your HR low... trust me... it works... be diligent...) and studying these animated videos of world record holder swimmers. Can you believe the kick on that guy? For 1500M he can do that! I watched that video for probably 10' with my jaw dropped open thinking I don't know if I could do that for a 50. I'm totally a 2 beat kicker- using my kick only for balance. I really get very little propulsion from my kick, as evidenced by the fact that when I tie my feet together I only slow down maybe 4"/100... as opposed to Nalani, who has a very effective (but still 2-beat) kick and slows by ~12"/100 with bands. Anyway, so this afternoon when we went back to swim we tried some 50's where we practiced kicking faster just to see if we could do it. Very interesting to feel how for the first few I really just did not have the motor coordination to kick like that... then my brain got in touch with my muscles and it became ever so slightly more natural. Still not something I'm going to strive to switch to b/c I think as a triathlete it's not really the best idea to use so much energy kicking like that, but nevertheless it's not a bad idea to have the ability to kick in your toolbox so you can call on it if it ever becomes appropriate or necessary.
Anyway, so I am a bit worried about this weekend. I think it's going to be more challenging than we originally anticipated for a couple of reasons... a) I'm more tired than I thought I would be on Day 2... b) Weather calls for rain, high winds and 7 ft waves (small craft advisory warning... WE ARE SMALL CRAFTS... we are advised) so the 7K Roughwater course is not going to be easy (or even pleasant) tomorrow morning... and c) The pool we're planning to go to on Sunday for the 100 x 100's is similar to the one we swam in this morning in that it is not heated. GAH! I am going to freeze to death.