I love running, and I’m learning to love the bike, but swimming is my all time favorite sport. There. I said it. Even though I’m a running coach, I always look forward to the cool water with the promise of a soak in the hot tub after a hard workout.
I started swimming in high school to keep in shape in between soccer seasons because, like the sucker I am, indoor soccer in the winter wasn’t enough, so I swam on my high school’s team. Our coach, Mr. Rock (yes, that was his name), held practice for over two hours every night of the week unless there was a meet. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, there was also strength training at 6am in the auxiliary gym. We practiced over winter break when I swear the heat was off in the pool, but we still did 94 50s on a minute on New Year’s Day. Maybe it was only 4700 meters, an easy distance compared to our usual 6000 meters, but trying to go fast in order to get some rest was tricky.
Leaving the locker room and running to my car after swim practice was basically a science experiment to see how long it would take for my hair to freeze during an Ohio winter. By the time I got home, my mom had spaghetti in the crock pot simmering. I could eat three whole plates of spaghetti piled high before tackling the two hours of homework in my backpack.
Ah, swimming memories. I’m not as fast as I was in high school, but that doesn’t matter. I can still swim 2800 yards in an hour and design my own workouts. I could push it to 6000 yards in two hours, but I’m training for a Half Ironman which has a distance swim of a steady pace instead of trying to qualify for sprints in districts.
After today’s track workout, a swim was definitely in order. The water always feels great on my legs, and the sound of bubbles takes me to another world.