The Arctic Blast closed down our swimming pool for the better part of ten days because, at first, the management (rightly) decided it was too dangerous on the roads to ask lifeguards and coaches to travel to the pool. When the temperatures went sub-freezing it was also decided that leaving the insulating covers on the pool was a prudent conservation of energy already spent. Finally, the bitter cold damaged pipes in the changing rooms and some ancillary equipment.
We got the all clear to schedule new workout times and to get back to work swimming at the pool this past Tuesday. The workouts on Tuesday mornings are traditionally the most crowded of the week but this past Tuesday seemed almost overwhelming. Swimmers were so anxious to hit the lanes and get moving again that even chilly water didn't dissuade. The covers came off at 6:55 a.m. and 30+ hardcore athletes hit the water for an hour of hard work under the watchful but somewhat sadistic (kidding, just kidding...) supervision of one of our favorite coaches.
I loved the pain, the fatigue and the muscle soreness so much I made it back the next day for another dose. At the end of that workout I'd kicked off enough soreness and stiffness to start feeling like normal again. Two days, four miles and change later. I slept very well on Wednesday night.
But yesterday was the first day that I felt "back to normal." I swam with my favorite lane partner, Matt, and we plowed through 3200 yards with no breaks in the action. We swam many sets of 125s and 75's and finished up the day's workout with four underwater shooters. That's four times 25 yards completely underwater (a long time to hold one's breath after an hour of fast swimming...) with 25 yards of recovery heading back to the starting wall.
By the time of yesterday morning's workout the water had stabilized and the temperature was a perfect 79 degrees. What a luxury!
I'm sticking with my new tradition of cross training on Fridays so I skipped today's swim and I'm lacing up my running shoes for a leisurely run around the three mile loop at the downtown lake. Slow and easy. Trying just to look like I'm not struggling too much.
I hit on the idea of mixing up Fridays so I can rest up for a harder effort on Saturday mornings. That seems to be the rhythm of the days. Hard on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. More concentration on technique and turns on Wednesday and Sunday. Something outside the pool on Fridays and Mondays.
I did a bunch of resistance and weight training during the big freeze, as well as long walks when the weather wasn't too intimidating, so I lost less endurance over the last ten days than I thought I would. Still, it's icky to have too much down time. At least we very rarely have to close down for weather.
Just FYI for Austin swimmers: Both Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy Pool have opened for lap swimming again and admission is free until further notice. Be aware that strict adherence to a waiting in line protocol is expected and enforced. Play nice. Swim well.