For the fourth day in a row, I arrived at the pool and started swimming. Since I still felt the effects of my cold, I continued to swim easy, not really looking at the clock. At times I could not remember exactly where I was (in meters) in a given set, so sometimes it took longer to finish the set just to make sure I covered the distance I had set out to do. I did quite a lot of flip turns today, usually getting a fairly good push off the wall, but sometimes ending up lying on the bottom of the pool when I tried to do something slightly different.
I did not use hand paddles today (partly because I did not want to walk over to the locker to get them), and in any case I thought I should take it easy. I am not used to swimming 12,000 meters in 4 days, and maybe I could cause my shoulders or back discomfort. After some kicking on my back I attempted a weakish fairly hard 100 meters, and when I finished that I was up to 2,900 meters. We had five minutes before the pool was to be cleared, and I planned a very easy 100m to get up to 3,000 and call it a day.
My friends had other plans and they wanted me to do a 100m race. We each had our own lane. A couple of other swimmers watched. I started hard and was about a body length in front at the first turn. However, my turn did not go very well, and I was level with the better of the other two swimmers coming off the wall. I think I gained a little on the back stretch but lost my advantage on the second turn. By now I was a bit gasping and appeared to slow down. As we reached the last turn I more or less came to a standstill at the bottom of the 1.4m pool, and I saw the faster guy pull away. Although tired, I held off the slower (although still pretty fast) guy to finish second.
A little later, the friend who won said that if it had not been for the turns, I would have won. Still, since I am going to be training a lot in the pool from now on as opposed to Kailua Bay, I will work on the turns. What I realized is that when you are focusing on trying to go flat out like in a race, there is no point trying out something new, like a variation of a flip-turn. Surely better to do what will at least get you moving in the right direction, even if it looks a bit awkward. Maybe I'll work on it tomorrow. It seems my cold is not so bad, and so I might try a little speed work tomorrow.
The last few days of training may not have been the most exciting days, but at least I feel I accomplished something, and certainly more than I would have accomplished only a few weeks ago.
The photo shows where I spent about an hour after the race, finalizing a paper I had been working on yesterday for a client. This is what I consider to be the ideal office - a good view, a breeze, shade from the son, and no having to listen to ring tones, fax machines, or phone conversations.