Here’s the short version: I swam four miles, and it was fine.
Here’s the long version: I planned to swim four miles in a session by the end of January, and Saturday morning was open. I don’t know how representative a Saturday morning in January is of Saturday mornings in general–we are still very close to New Year’s resolution swimmers and all–but the crowd at the pool was much younger than my weekday lunchtime swimmers. Most of the swimmers looked like students (I swim at a small university pool–small university, small pool), and they were almost all male. A lot of the guys did the workout where you and a friend swim one length of the pool splashing splashing splashing and then stand at the end and talk for five minutes; you repeat this set a few times, increasing the length of the conversations as you go. I believe that if people are standing in the pool chatting for long periods of time, it is evidence that the pool temperature is too warm; if it were colder, they’d be swimming.
In any case, they made me laugh, the young people, and they gave me something to watch. And they weren’t all splashing and talking. One pair of guys was fast; they passed me swimming backstroke while I was swimming free. I would have had my feelings hurt, but I was into my third mile by then, and I felt I didn’t have anything to prove.
Here is what I swam:
300 swim, 300 kick, 300 pull
9×100 alternating IM/free
18×50 on :50
300 back, 300 kick, 300 free
= 7200 yards
I really did not want to do the set of 50s. I had to talk myself into it: “Woman, it’s only fifteen minutes of your life. Just do it.”
I drank two-thirds or so of a chocolate nutritional drink (< 200 calories of a 250 calorie serving) at 5400 yards–after the 50s–and finished the rest at the end. I went to bed that night with visions of the incredible breakfast of eggs I would cook myself, but woke up at 2:30 am starving, with itchy ears, nose, and throat. So I had cold mac-and-cheese and Benadryl and went back to sleep; then I had muesli for breakfast. No aches or pains in the morning.
Here’s my USMS flog since the beginning of January:
And here’s my progress toward the 500 mile goal for the year: