One of the several changes I’m making after the UBC swim meet is increasing the tempo of my workouts. Since my self-imposed exile from Lane Six I’ve gradually worked my way up next door to Lane Five and have now decided in order to get into proper race condition I need to get back there. It’s not absolutely necessary for everyone though. Joe, one of our club’s best sprinters, heads Lane Four (it’s strange to sometimes look over at supposedly a slower lane and see Joe a full body length ahead on some 50 meter sets). One night on seeing Joe dash off on a sprint set Ian said, “Oh, there goes Joe” prompting a response from Lane Five about Vladimir’s prowess with his kick sets; let me tell you, when somebody associates your swimming with Vladimir’s that’s a rare compliment indeed. But for me I need more distance and average pace to build up sufficient endurance to handle racing up to 400 meters, and that means Lane Six.
So I’ve rejoined Lane Six, at the end of the line of course. I mentioned way back in September the order of swimming in a lane in a competitive team is highly contested, but I’ve found this didn’t really apply when swimming Hyack Masters. That’s maybe true for the other lanes, but last night I found to my chagrin Lane Six definitely follows competition protocols. My mistake was honest: we had a set with two choices; either 5x100 free pull on 1:35, or 6x100 swim with fins on 1:25. I opted for the swim with fins because I wanted to work on my kick and the extra hundred would be good for my mileage. Both Ian and Darcy opted for the pull set. A moment of confusion about whether we should split the sets between different lanes (i.e. do the pull set in Lane Six and the swim w/fins in Lane 5) understandably didn’t gain ground as Lane Five swimmers weren’t going to use the same interval times. So I spoke up and told Ian I would swim first because I was swimming on 1:25 and he and Darcy were pulling on 1:35. Yes, stupid me. I complete the first 100 in 1:10, set off on my second 100, and then coming out of the first turn realized with a shock Ian was right behind me. Ian was pulling on 1:25 too, and at that moment I wasn’t going to bet I could swim faster with fins than Ian could only pulling, especially if Ian wasn’t pleased with me leading his lane. Finished the second 100 on 1:12, getting a little tired, and with only a few seconds rest set off again, now with Ian in hot pursuit (I’m sure Ian smelled blood when I slowed on the second 100). I finish the third 100 on 1:14, tired now, with Ian hitting the wall right behind me. I gasped out if he wanted he could go ahead on 15 and off he went; leaving on my time for a 1:15 interval for him, while giving me another ten seconds (so I was now on 1:35) for my fourth 100. For my remaining two 100s I stayed with 1:35 while Ian, of course, finished off his remaining 100 pull on 1:25. Ian’s a machine. Lesson learned.