Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Apparently the first part of a triathlon is the swim. I support this decision by the inventors of the triathlon for many reasons, the first of which is that swimming is the only one of the three sports that I don't totally suck at.

So, if one is going to compete in an event that combines three sports together in a certain order with a beginning middle and end, perhaps it would behoove me to start training at the beginning as well. 

And so I went swimming tonight.

Now, in the last 2 months, I can say I have strapped the TYR suit, latex cap (more on caps later) and goggles on to swim a few laps on maybe 4 occasions... clearly this means I am not a frequent swimmer. Rather, I am resting on my laurels, or my years and years of competitive swimming which as an aside, ended a long long time ago. 

So what does years of competitive swimming get you? Big shoulders, and little else, except that I am comfortable swimming and still have some basic rhythm and cadence when my pale white body enters the water.

The triathlon I hope to compete in begins with a 750 meter open water swim. How long is 750 meters? Well, its 30 laps in a pool - or less than 1/2 mile. The longest race I ever did in High school was the 500 - which is considered distance over sprint.

So in practical terms, 750 is not that far, but it is not to be completed with a few kicks and pulls. Its far enough where you need to work. 

My 750 in the pool this evening took 13 minutes and 21 seconds according to a borrowed Timex watch.
How slow am I? Well, the rough math is this - 100 / 750 = n / 13.35 (no judging on my algebra please). This means I was swimming 100 meters at an average of 1 minute 46 seconds.

Wow. That's slow. Even my cat can swim 100 meters in 1 minute 40...well, no. That's not true. My cat is obese and doesn't swim but the point remains the same. There is room for improvement here at the swim start. 

Good to know as I start at the beginning, swimming. 

It's early May. The race is in mid-September. 14 weeks to get my swimming skills back to a reasonable place. Goal. 1min 30 sec 100's for 750 meters. Ok, more reasonable goal? Suck less in September than I do now. 

Until then, I will blame the borrowed watch and say it was broken, or slow, or both. 

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