The Feeling of the First Length

Here’s the lap pool at The Wave, the fitness and aquatic center here in Whitefish.

ww-lap
The water in this pool is about 2-3 degrees cooler than the water was at the Ridge in Bozeman. Now, I can say this either way –

* I never cramp in this pool, but it’s harder to jump in at the start, OR
* It’s harder to jump into this pool at the start, but I never cramp in this water.

I like the second way better🙂

Today was a pull workout – I did a warmup, then I put paddles on my hand and a pull buoy between my legs, and did 500 yard repeats just pulling with the paddles; no kicking. I like this workout, because I have a strong upper body, and when I’m doing pulls, I’m much faster than when I’m just doing freestyle.

I was doing 500 yards on 10:00 – that means that, every ten minutes, I would start the next repeat; the rest time would be from when I finished a repeat until the watch hit 10 minutes. So the faster I swam, the longer the rests – but, of course, the faster I swam, the more rest I needed, and there’s an upper limit that is quickly reached in that equation🙂

But I noticed, yet again today, a common phenomenon – how much – how very much – I like the first length of each repeat. For the first 25 yards of each 500, I feel like a swimmer.

After that brief rest – and today, those rests were just over a minute – when I do that first push-off and take those first strokes, everything is smooth and easy. I feel the water rushing past me, my hands come into the water smoothly and exit smoothly, my head barely turns far enough to take in a breath, and the first turn is easy.

Then, reality returns for the next 475 yards🙂

I always try to keep that feeling of the first length going, and I always fail – sometimes, I can get CLOSE for the second or third length, but then I start getting sloppier and working harder but going slower. I don’t know why this happens – I’m really not working hard enough in the pool for fatigue to be an issue.

But something HAPPENS during the first length, and then something HAPPENS afterward – and, even though I’m the one doing it, I don’t seem to be able to define or control it.

But it does keep me swimming🙂

…Maybe I should do shorter repeats, so that I could have more first lengths?🙂

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