Sunday, March 4, 2012

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Date: Sunday, March 4, 2012
Time: 11:20 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards
113 days to Olympic Trials

300 warmup

4x100 breast on 2:00
50 pull with buoy/50 kick no board

Four rounds:
4x50 free with snorkel on :50
1x100 IM on 1:40
2x25 breakouts on :45
extra :30 rest

50 easy

3x100 breast swim on 1:40
(1:09, 1:08, 1:08)

200 easy

Four rounds (one each stroke), with interval about five minutes:
25 fast from dive
About 15 seconds rest
50 fast from push
75 easy

6x50 easy choice on 1:00

Total: 3,250 yards (85 minutes)

I felt like 200 pounds of horse manure in the pool today. I don't know why, but I have had days like this before, and will likely have more days like this again. I felt sluggish and heavy in the water, and I had to fight to just do the 3x100 breast on 1:40. I had planned to hold 1:07 or better, which didn't seem too difficult. But after the first 100, I knew it was going to be a very difficult set. I wrote that set after watching Roland Schoeman do 2x100 free on 1:30, holding :53. After figuring that his best 100 free shaved and tapered would be, say, 41 seconds, I figured I could do three 100s breast holding 1:07, which is 12 second slower than my best taper 100 breast from last year.

Maybe my body could do this set in college or in my postgrad years, but I definitely did not have it today. I was so mad after the first one, because it felt like it was closer to 1:05 than 1:10. I didn't want to increase the effort on the next two, because I knew my heart rate was already high, and I only managed to go one second faster. That last 100 was extremely painful. It was like doing the last 100 of a 200 breast. I suppose this is good endurance training, but I wonder if my performance means I'm not in good shape, or I just had a bad day.

I'd like to think it was the latter.

The sprint set at the end was affected by that set of 100s breast. The last 25 of each round was sloppy, and none of my times matched what I felt I could go. For example, my fast 50 breast was probably not under 30 seconds, based on what I saw on the clock when I touched. I didn't have the snap that I had a few days ago, and naturally, I started to worry if I was going to do well at sectionals. Would I have to rest a little more in order to swim as fast as I wanted?

Today was one of the toughest workouts to endure. Not only were those two sets tough, but I was doing it alone. After the set of 100s breast, I thought about scrapping the sprint set for a long time, but I knew I needed to work on sprinting today. I don't regret doing it, but my body will definitely let its feelings known tomorrow, as I recover from today. I had thought about swimming tomorrow morning, but I think I need a complete day off from exercise. When I get back in the water on Tuesday, I hope I will feel much better.

I saw the psych sheet for sectionals, and I'm seeded third in the 100 breast. Only three of us are seeded with Olympic Trials times, with two others behind me within a second of the qualifying time. I'm sure they'll shave for the meet, and I believe my teammate Mike Nelson will be shaved as well. Since I'm not shaving, I do not believe I will swim as fast as 1:04.42 (my seed time), but I want to race well and use the feedback (my own and my coach's) to prepare for Trials.

You can see the psych sheet here. It will be a good meet, with Missy Franklin there to show us all how it's done, and Roland Schoeman bound to dominate in the sprint freestyles.

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