Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shaving One Second at a Time

Apparently we're going to be doing 300m time trials every few weeks at the pool.

We did our first one of the year a few weeks ago. On that day, Christine had us swim 300m three times with a two minute break in between.

When I did them, I swam them in 5:12, 5:21 and 5:17 for an average of 5:16:7. Having no idea if that is good or not, I just nodded and panted when they told me my times.

Time trials are hard. Three hundred metres is six trips back and forth across the pool. As fast as you can at a pace you can sustain for the entire distance. And five minutes can feel like a really really long time when your arms are exhausted and you are gasping for air.

On Monday morning, we were at it again. Three time three hundred metres. I didn't know how I would do this time but at least I knew what to expect.

I knew I would be fastest on the first one. I knew that the thought of doing a second one as I held on to the side of the pool, red-faced and exhausted, would bring me close to tears. I knew that, during the second one I would already be psyching myself up to do it a third time. And I knew that, a few minutes after it was over, I would feel fine and wish I could have another go at it.

I asked to go with the first group this time. Last time I was a timer first and then I swam. That meant that I sat on the deck for almost 30 minutes as my blood sugar slowly climbed. By the time I got started, I was feeling like I was up around 10 which is not a good place to be for that kind of exercise.

So I went first and Christine was my timer. I pushed off, thinking I would try to keep pace (or at least keep her toes in my field of view) with Chantal who was swimming beside me. She's faster than I am but not ridiculously so.

She disappeared from sight in less than 25m. I chased but couldn't catch her. Damn! I hit the wall at 50m and Christine yell "go go go!!". Omigod, I must be so slow today if she's already yelling. I pushed harder and heard a "go go go!!" again at 100m. And at 200m. I was the last one to finish and was shaking from exertion.

"What's the damage?" I asked.



"and" Christine practically yelled "you did the first 100m in 1:37!!".

And here I thought she was yelling because I was too slow.

We had one minute and fifteen seconds to rest, gulp down a drink and catch our breath before we headed off again.

I did the second one in 5:12 and the final one in 5:15.

I had obviously pushed hard during the first one and could definitely feel it on the next two. But I went from 5:12, 5:21 and 5:17 two weeks ago to 5:09, 5:12 and 5:15.

Not much really, just a few seconds difference. But a few seconds per month means I might be swimming 100m in 1:30 by summer.

I'm not sure why exactly that matters in the great scheme of things. It's not like I'm trying to qualify for the Olympics or anything. But it sure is nice to know that all the hard work in the pool is paying off.

My goal for next time? Keep Chantal's feet within reach - at least for the first 100m.


  1. Amazing times Celine! I'm glad to watch my run times dropping, because my swimming not so much. I wish I had your speed, keep up the good work!