Last Friday morning was quite entertaining for lane swimmers who like to watch the shenanigans that go on in the Masters class.
It was also the first time I have ever seen Christine cut our workout short because we were too exhausted to finish it.
Friday was bring a long sleeve shirt to the pool day.
I grabbed one of my three Around the Bay shirts which are all lovely but don't fit all that well. The neck is always too tight, the arms are too tight but the body is too big. So I don't wear them. Until now.
We did a 800m warm up and I watched Christine assembling stretch cords and tying them to the side of the pool. Funny how "uh oh" and "yay" can sometimes pop into one's head at exactly the same time.
Christine explained the set.
We would break up into two groups. Group one would put on their shirts and swim 4x200m with 20 seconds rest in between. Group two would do the stretch cord thing ten times. Basically, swim as far as you can with the stretch cord tied to you until the cord is stretched as far as you can stretch it. Then swim like mad to hold your position until Christine blows the whistle (after 20-30 seconds). Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat ten times.
We had 20 minutes to complete that and then we switched up so those doing stretch cords did the shirt thing and the shirt folks got to do the stretch cords.
Then we had to swim 5x100m fast in our shirts followed by 5 more stretch cord pulls.
That was the plan anyway.
Leslie and I got to swim with our shirts on first. Pulling on a tight fitting shirt when you're soaking wet should totally have counted as part of the workout. Once clothed, we headed off and immediately felt the resistance of the shirt. Who knew a little extra layer could feel so heavy? Back and forth we swam - Leslie had more energy at the beginning of each 200m so I would chase her but ended up catching her at the end of each one as she started to fade. We'd hold on to the side panting and humbled before doing it again. And again. And again.
We finished all four just as the boys were finishing their pull set. As we pulled off our shirts, the swimmers in the other half of the pool finally got to voice their curiosity. "Why are you swimming with clothes?". We explained and then told them to stay tuned next week for when we showed up with pants and shoes too. They laughed but I think they were secretly grateful not to be us.
The effect of the first workout was immediately evident when we started the second. The boys, who had just had a crazy hard pulling workout started swimming their first 200m with their shirts on. Christine, Leslie and I started giggling. They could hardly get their arms out of the water. Of course we were no better as we struggled against the stretch cord.
After we survived that, we were supposed to switch up again. We all huddled at the edge of the pool and Christine took one look at us and edited the rest of the workout. "How about just one 100m swim with shirts on? As fast as you can." Ok. We pulled our wet shirts back on with shaky arms and she yelled 'go!'. We gasped our way through and she yelled our times at the end.
"How about one more hundred, this time without shirts?"
We pulled them off again and she yelled 'go!'.
I started, so did Sasha. So did Leslie. A few people didn't. Those who started finished and collapsed at the side - totally spent. Those who hadn't even bothered didn't look much better off.
"Don't forget your pants next week" she said.
I got home and told Doug that, if I ever fall off a cruise ship, I will totally drown. To which he sensibly replied "well, you don't have to keep you clothes on if the boat sinks. Take them off - you'll be fine."