One Thirty Nine

I’ve been swimming better and better lately, and yesterday, this happened:


Numbers are dumb things, and we do dumb things for numbers – but often they drive us to be better than we are in some way. And, on this day, I did a workout with an average pace of 1:39 – one minute and thirty-nine seconds per 100 yards.

Six months ago, I was swimming in the high 1:40s – even had a few above 1:50. Now, that may not seem like much improvement – but 1:40 is 100 seconds, so to go from 1:54 for this same workout on July 30 to 1:39 yesterday is a 15 percent improvement.

I haven’t managed to improve anything else, at all, by 15 percent, in a long, long time.

A few weeks ago, I managed to do a swim with a 1:40 average time, and that was very satisfying – but I wanted the 1:39. As I said, numbers are dumb things.

Surprisingly, the last couple of 500 yard repeats yesterday felt easy enough, but that’s a “felt”, and I don’t trust “felt” 🙂 I suspect that tomorrow’s repeats will probably be much slower than I would like, because I probably worked harder yesterday than I intended.

I’d like to move into a world where both my pulls workout and my repeats were all in the 1:30s – to the point where it’s no longer remarkable. If that happens, I’ll shorten the rests, which will then cause the swims to get slower again – but that’s all part and parcel of getting better.

When I look back a few years in my Garmin history, I see a time when my pool workouts were as likely to be at 2:20 pace as 2:00. So there’s definite progress, and it seems to be gains made and not lost. For a 60 year old endurance athlete, those sorts of gains are hard to come by.

I will now shut up about this – until that day, if it ever comes, when I do a full workout with an average pace in the 1:20s. At that point, I will gloat, preen, and strut about obnoxiously 🙂



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