Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Masters Fail

She wouldn't budge. I poked, proded, kicked, pushed and nagged her to death yet I couldn't get her off the darn couch. I hate those moments. When your training partner won't join you on a workout, you start to make excuses for yourself and consider skipping it too. My muscles were really sore from Sunday's crazy hill trail run, so I wouldn't mind not going for a swim tonight. On the other hand, I know that when my muscles are sore, a swim makes everything feel better. Well, the Mrs. wasn't going to join me so I decided I would sadly hit the pool on my own.
When I got there, I seen a sign saying the 'Masters swim is in the middle pool tonight'. Masters swim? What's that? I've never seen anyone doing laps here outside of the regular 7-10 people and everyone gets there own lane. Well not tonight. Apparently the 'Masters swim' is held at the same time as the 'open lap swimming' schedule and they take up over half the pool. I just thought it was a busy night at first, but when I crossed the lanes to find a lane of my own, I got some strange glares as if I was in the wrong place. I didn't know that this is a separate paid program and I'm not worthy of sharing lane time with. Why hold open lap swimming at the same time as an official program and then not mark the lanes. How rude. Anyhow, I found the lane for the 'rejects' which of course was down to half a lane since the non-masters had to squeeze off to the side and share 4 lanes. Once I started I felt good though. I just ignored everyone else and did my own thing. My own thing consists of continuous Free for 2000+ meters. No stopping, no flip turns, no pushing off the wall. I'm not interested in drills or equipment. I just do exactly what I would do in a race - swim. In the back of my head I was thinking about checking out how to join the Master's swim group as it would be nice to have people to work out with. Then again, that's what the wife WAS for until she abandoned me to watch Dancing with the Stars. So sad. Anyhow, I quickly decided against the Master's swim idea as it looked like a real waste of time. There was a 'coach' that was giving direction to swimmers but they were stopping every few hundred meters for a pow-wow. They'd swim a bit and then the whole group would stop. Those that were faster would stand around a wait for the slower ones, but ultimately they took a silly number of breaks and they weren't going much faster than me. I'm here for a workout, I don't feel like taking a break every 5 minutes so that group doesn't look good for me. If I feel myself getting sloppy with technique I'll take a 1 minute breather or slow it down. I do not practice sloppy technique, nor do I sprint all out for speed drills. That's just my training style, I'll change it up one day if I get bored. I strongly believe that what you do in pratice is what you'll do in a race. Kickboards, fins and these training devices are not what you have in a race so what's the point? I know what the point is, but still - I'll pass for now.
About 2000m into my swim I got a rude awakening. The nutcase 4 lanes over managed to 'accidently' swim sideways and wound up in my lane. She stopped right in front of me. I stopped and stood up and she was laughing and saying how she must have gone sideways.... sideways? 4 lanes sideways? Riiight. I asked her jokingly if she'd been drinking and she said only pool water. Well I guess that could do it. Regardless she didn't move out of the way. She just stood there with this jagged toothless smile and then tried to strike up a conversation. Annoying. She looked like one of those crazy old woman types that was there looking to pickup a friend or something. She just stood in my lane and started talking. I don't know what she said, cuz I just dove right back at it and swam around her. I still had another 500m left in my workout. She left shortly thereafter at least. I was worried she'd try to join me in the sauna afterwords. ick.
In the end I hammered out a good 2500m and felt good. I've even got comfortable with my 3-1 stroke-breath technique and I even alternate breathing to each side. I never thought I would see the day that I could be comfortable breathing to both sides! I was cold after that long swim so I sat in the sauna for longer than I should have. A good 20 minutes and I was well done. It warmed me up nicely though. I might consider wearing a swim cap next time. Maybe that will keep me a bit warmer in the pool? I hate wearing them, they're uncomfortable and I have Dumbo ears so I cant put the cap over my ears like everyone else. I just tuck it in behind and look like a giant elf. At least I'll look cool when I wear the one that says Ironman Muskoka on it. Yes, next time I'll try and wear it!


  1. I love that the label includes "fran lazy". In those situations, I try to remember that somebody else's excuse is not my own. I'll stop reading if I ever read a post on here that YOU skipped a workout to watch DWTS.

    I'm not sure I agree with you on the belief that what you do in pratice is what you'll do in a race. I find it almost impossible to run race pace outside of a race. I'm a drills person - tempo, hills, LSR and hope it all comes together on race day which so far, it has. That being said, if what you are doing for you works, then it's the right thing to do.


    p.s. - Freddie says he is doing Muskoka next year so we are going to have to get you boys together so you can tell him what a wonderful fabulous experience it was

  2. Oh I'm not a big advocate of Muskoka. Heck I might even scare him away. If he's up for a challenge and is attracted to the 'Ironman Brand' then definitely go for it! Otherwise if it's just to do a half-iron, I would lean towards Welland. Better prices, better course(easier). Then again, it is not an official 'Ironman' so it loses its flair for some.
    Muskoka was brutal.
    If the ultimate goal is full Iron, skip muskoka and just do Welland-half-Iron and save the glory for the planned full-Iron.



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