Friday, April 25, 2014

5am Chafing, Quinoa Shampoo and Speedy Sprinting

I haven't written much about swimming for a while now.

Not because I haven't been swimming - because I have - but just because there always seems to be something else to talk about.

I figure it's about time for a chlorine update.

First of all, my new red bathing suit is holding up well. Thank you for asking. I have noticed a bit of chaffing on my shoulders where the straps sit. I have never ever had bathing suit chafe before. It's a whole new way of thinking for me and I can tell you that applying body glide before pulling on my bathing suit at 5am is one too many things to think about at that hour and I have not yet remembered to do it. Thankfully it's pretty mild chafing and does not hurt at all.

Also, I have a new chlorine shampoo that I'm trying. The one I usually buy was not in the store when I went the other day and, since I had waited until the very last minute to restock, I needed to buy something. The lady suggested a brand called Abba and said that their Detox shampoo would be great. She tried to convince me by telling me that it was all natural, gluten free and vegan. She also assured me that the shampoo contained quinoa, barley AND soy.

Thank goodness for small miracles.

I asked if this tasty concoction had the power to strip the chlorine from my hair while leaving the colour intact. She assured me that it did. Despite my reservations that this shampoo sounded more like a fad diet than a chlorine busting superhero, I bought one. And, because I was almost out of conditioner, I bought the Abba Colour Protect Conditioner as well.

I tested them both out on Wednesday morning and, after my initial shock at the bizarre brown colour of the shampoo, I was more than pleased. They both smelled delicious (a huge plus for me), the shampoo worked well and the conditioner left my hair feeling fabulously soft. I also read the bottle a bit more closely and apparently my shampoo also contains molasses and baking soda which explains the brown colour. Happily, the high molasses content did not seem to affect my blood sugar.

Believe it or not, I actually do swim when I go to the pool. It's not all about bathing suits and shampoo testing you know.

On Wednesday morning we had a fun workout. At least I thought it was fun.

After a 1000m warmup, our main set looked like this:

5x100m build on 2:00 (minutes)
4x100m variable on 1:55
3x100m 25m steady/25m hard on 1:50
2x100m 50m steady/50m hard on 1:45
rest for 1:00
100m hard

To explain a few things:

Build means get faster as you go so each 25m of the 100m is faster than the last and the final 25m is pretty darn fast.

Variable means that, in the first 100m, the first 25m is fast and the rest is steady. In the second 100m, the second 25m is the fast one. In the third 100m, the third 25m is the fast one and you can guess which 25m is fast in the fourth one.

I was in a lane with two boys who are faster than I am so we didn't even discuss the fact that I would be going third. They sorted out who was first and second and then, when the red hand touched the top of the clock, we were off.

I knew that the first 5 100m would be ok because I can do them easily in under 2:00. I knew I would be tired by the 4x100m and that I would, at best, get 5 seconds rest between those. I figured I'd be touching the wall and turning right around in the 3x100m and I didn't think I could keep the pace time for the 2x100m.

Turns out I was right on all counts. It also turns out that I kept up fairly easily to the boys and, by the 3x100m, the guy right in front of me told me to go ahead of him since I kept catching him.

It also turns out that when you have almost no rest between 100m, you don't actually swim a bunch of 100m repeats. You end up swimming 900m without stopping. Very very different both mentally and physically. I like it because it appeals to the long-distance runner in me.

I'm happy to say that I finished it all, I kept up and I held all pace times except the last one at 1:45.

I'm also happy to say that, after the one minute rest, I was able to find enough energy to sprint the final 100m in 1:36.

I remember the days when breaking 2:00 for a 100m sprint was tough.

Not anymore baby. Not anymore.

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