My shoulders aren’t sure why I hate them so much. Just last week, I was
happy to go through the motions on my swimming workouts, patting myself on the back simply for getting in the pool.
This week, I found motivation in the form of self-evaluation: Timing myself on stuff after this long period of slackerdom.
This is kind of the equivalent of trying on your skinny jeans after a week on vacation: Even though you know you’re not likely to like the results, the horror of seeing just how far off the mark you are can be motivational.
First up: a 20-minute timed swim suggested by my college-swimmer friend Brooke. Wednesday, I set my watch timer for 20 minutes, and counted the number of laps I completed. Her instructions for intensity included some mention of the phrase “until you want to puke,” and I certainly did, even though I only managed 1,225 yards. I rounded out the rest of my standard 3,000 yards with various kinds of 200s, mostly IM and free.
Next up: Today’s timed one-mile swim. I finished in 24 minutes and some change, which is better than I expected, but still not where I’d hoped to be so close to the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim One-Mile Bay Challenge on June 14. I then did a set suggested by my triathlete friend Marci: a broken 1,650, in which you swim 11 laps, then 10 laps, them nine, then eight, and so on, with 10 seconds rest in between. When you reach one lap, you’ve done a 1,650. I didn’t add this up for myself, but my shoulders ache enough to confirm that I swam for long enough, thank you.
Another set rocking my world right now: the 25-yard repeats suggested by my swimmer-friend Meredith. I’ve been finishing every workout with them, and am finding that they can make even an easy swim into a challenge, letting me leave the pool feeling like Michael Phelps rather than one of the sweet old ladies doing water aerobics in the shallow end.
Speaking of Michael Phelps, I’ve saved the best part of this post for last. I present to you his playlist. OK, not his playlist exactly, but a story from right after the Olympics about what he listens to on his iPod before an event. Because the best way to be like Michael Phelps is to download some Lil’ Wayne.
Something cool: Phelps’ playlist contains some of the same songs as my aforementioned friend Meredith’s playlist, which I posted here earlier this week.