Saturday morning I particiapted in the masters 1 hour swim contest in which you see how much you can swim in an hour. It started at 6:30AM and I had to bring someone to document my laps and splits. The closest thing I've ever done compared to this was the swim segment of my triathlons. My goal was to finish 4200 yards, which would be 2.4 miles. During my Iron Man in November, I finished ~4200 yards in 1:07. Finishing in 1 hour would mean I shaved 7 minutes off that pace without a wetsuit.
When I woke up in the morning, I was a bit sore and used the foam roller to work out the muscles a bit. When we got to the pool, it was a bit chaotic. There were swimmers in the lanes doing their workouts; I was under the impression that the pool would be exclusively for the 1 hour competition. I jumped in the pool and spent a little time warming up. I didn't feel great, but no matter, this was only a small swim. The coach went over the instructions. We were to start at 6:40 and swim non-stop for an hour. A minute before we were about to start, he was done with his instructions and it was quiet. It was the calm before the storm. Tick-tock, Tick-tock. Finally, 6:40 hit the digital clocks and the coach blew his whistle. My heart rate shot up a bit and I tried to match the speed of the person in my lane; we had to share lanes because other swimmers were training in the other lanes.
The person I was sharing my lane with was a bit faster than me and it took a few laps to realize I was going too hard. I had to let her go; I knew if I kept up the pace, I'd blow up. After the first 15 minutes I had recovered and found a rythym. My arms were gradually getting tired. After about 45 minutes, I was getting really tired. I just focused on my form and my stroke. My arms were starting to really get soar and my stomache was bloated from breathing like a swimmer: deep breath, hold, exhale, deep breath, hold, exhale, (continue for an hour for effect). By this point, I'd lost track of my total lap count and was getting tired of starting over after losing count. So, I would watch the other swimmers in the lanes next to me. Two lanes over was this really fast former collegiate swimmer that would glide past me like I was hardly moving. He would lap me every 4-5 laps. Finally, there was only 5 minutes to go and I tried to push through with the rest of my energy. At exactly 7:40, coach blew a horn and we stopped were we were at.
I finished the day at 3,685 yards or 3,700 yards rounded. That ended up being 74 laps. Afterwards, I could barely pull myself out of the pool. I was trashed. The rest of the day, I was exhausted. My guts hurt. And, I felt a bit dizzy from looping non-stop for an hour.
After crunching the numbers, I finished each 50 yards on average every 48 second. I was extremely consistent with a fast range 47 second and my slowest lap was 52 seconds (in which I had to let the water out of my goggles). For the most part, all of my laps were between 48 and 49 seconds. My mile time was 26 minutes, and my half iron distance (1.2 miles) was 33 minutes. I swam at the same pace in which I swam my iron distance...but without a wetsuit. That's the upside. The downside was I was beat by two old ladies. I suck! Oh, well I'm still improving and still have alot of upside potential.
On the running note, I'm able to run for 20 mintues with hardly any pain. It's like I'm really running again. That makes me happy.