Today was my 1st swim test in a while. I've been swimming A LOT lately, and I knew the test was going to be this week. Needless to say, I really wanted to swim faster than my last one.
The Swim Test workout goes like this:
800 easy to warm up
3 x 50 all out on 30" rest
400 yard time trial record time
100 yards easy
400 yard time trial
100 yards easy
The purpose of a swim test is to set your T-time, which is your 100 yard average time. Once you have the T-time set, you can be more methodical in training and pacing. With this particular test you take the average of the two 400 time trials and then go to the pace chart to see what the T-time is. The last swim test yielded these results:
1st 400: 6:54
2nd 400: 7:00
This morning I had a hard time figuring out what to eat for breakfast. Does a swim test justify my race day breakfast? I decided against it since I'm trying to eat in my top tier this week, which means no grains and went with my banana-egg white-almond butter pancakes.
My plan was to hop in the pool right after water aerobics ended at 10:00. Usually there are 3 lanes open then. Right before I left the house, I decided to take a look at the pool schedule which just got updated this week, and, lo and behold, NO LAP LANES AT 10:00!!!! WHAT!!!
This was magnified by the fact that I had no other time to swim today because of various appointments and meetings. I decided to go and stand there sadly in my swimsuit with the hopes that no pregnant ladies would come and the aqua jogging instructor would take pity on me and open a lane or two.
Which is exactly what happened.
Of course, during my warm-up the two old guys who always "swim" got in my lane. I stopped and asked them if they could go in the shallow end, since they don't really swim they just float 25 yards and then talk at the end for 5 minutes before they float another 25 yards. (I put it in a much nicer way though, which really didn't matter because apparently neither of them speak English.) I was really hoping for a lane to myself since I'm kind of a flip turn newbie, and I get nervous if there is someone at the end when I'm trying to do one. Coach Mary and I had already decided that the I would do one 400 with flip turns and the other without, since my last test was done with no flip turns.
Fortunately, there was a very nice woman swimming in the other lane who was happy to share. I told her what I was doing and apologized in advance for any flip turns gone awry.
And then it was time to begin.
My heart was pounding like I was about to start my first half-ironman or something. I mean, really, it's just a test!! Of course, I am a classic overachiever and would be devastated in high school if I didn't get an A+. An A or an A- just doesn't cut it in my world. (My mommy will tell you this is something about me she still hasn't figured out.)
Anyway, I finally took a deep breath, pushed start on my watch and was off.
It really hurt.
I didn't get all the flip turns because several times I was coming into the wall at the same time as my lane mate and freaked out. (Also, towards the end, I was thankful for another breath at the wall instead of that turn--but I will continue to blame my fears of flipping on my lane mate because that sounds much better...I think.) I probably did half flips turns and half open turns. I remember thinking on my 2nd or 3rd 50 that the pool was unreasonably warm - maybe I would swim faster in a colder pool. I also wondered if the 20 people aqua-jogging in a circle in the deep end were creating an unfavorable current in the pool, but then I decided I have to swim in it both ways, so it evens out. I was literally gasping for air every other stroke. As I came into the last 50, I laid it all out. I hit the wall with nothing left and looked at my watch...
YES!!! All those drills paid off!! All those hours and yards in the pool meant something.
100 easy never felt so good...until I remembered I had to do it all over again.
So I did. It was still hard, but there was much less pressure. I tried to pace myself a little bit better and the extra air at the wall certainly didn't hurt. The time...
I am very pleased with the results. My average is 6:44 - 16 seconds off my average from last time. On the pace chart my 400 would have to e 6:40 to lower my T-time to 1:40. Coach Mary will make the call on that one, but I know that today I got an A+.