Best. Swim. Ever.

>> Sunday, March 29, 2009

(I think something like this has happened to everyone. Maybe on a run. Maybe on a ride. Maybe in the pool.)

On Thursday, I hopped in a lane at the pool next to “Mr. has-no-business-wearing-that-nearly-nonexistent-Speedo-at-that-age-with-that-tiny-ass-and-that-big-gut-and-who’s-flip-turns-look-like-murder.” (But who am I to say that last part; I can’t even do flip-turns...) I started out on a 50 lap swim (2500 yards). Mr. tiny-Speedo next to me stopped. Then, I as I was finishing a lap, he started up again. It was like he wanted to race, to prove he could still “hang with the young bucks” or something. He would sometimes do 1 lap, sometimes up to 4, with random lengths of rest in between.

He wasn’t doing regular intervals. He wasn’t doing a “ladder” style workout. I think his sole workout was simply trying to race me.

So I didn’t disappoint.

I pushed a little harder from the start. I KNEW he was pushing me, but I figured I’d allow it, and go for a hard, long swim. “What the heck: if old-Speedo-guy wants to race, we’ll race.”

And wouldn’t you know it, he pushed me to my fastest endurance swim ever!

Here were my last 2 long swims from 2008:

- 11/24/08 - 40 laps in 1:46.7 / 100 yards
- 12/15/08 - 50 laps in 1:47.4 / 100 yards

Then I started doing some speed-work in the pool (with Julia), and my times slowly started getting faster. Here are 5 long swims from this year so far:

- 01/25/09 - 36 laps at 1:44.6 / 100 yards
- 02/04/09 - 50 laps at 1:44.6
- 02/19/09 - 50 laps at 1:45.8
- 03/09/09 - 60 laps at 1:42.9
- 03/19/09 - 44 laps at 1:46.0

So, during the hard, ego-driven swim on Thursday, I KNEW I was holding a decent pace. My sides were getting tight. I was slowly slowing down, not able to keep the early pace. In the end, I finished 50 laps (2500 yards) in 41:27, which was a pace of 1:39.5 / 100 yards!! That’s quite a jump in pace!! Thanks holding-on-to-your-youth-by-wearing-a-tiny-Speedo-even-though-you’re-not-fooling-anyone guy!!! You pushed me to a great swim!

So, have you encountered people like this? Maybe a cyclist that will not leave your draft, so you push harder and harder. Maybe a runner that keeps sprinting ahead of you just to have to walk for a minute before sprinting ahead of you again. I think we’ve all had some sort of encounter like this. Sometimes, it’s just annoying. Sometimes, it pushes us to a great workout!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh yeah, ONE WEEK to the inaugural IM NO 70.3!! I forget when my wave starts, but exactly 1 week from now, I think I should be close to exiting the water. Pharmie and I are getting nervous! I recently received an e-mail from the “host bike-shop” saying Goldilocks made the trip just fine and will be waiting for me in transition!!

(p.s. I’m not trying to make fun of people who are a older than me or who aren’t in perfect shape. He was just “that guy” in the tiny Speedo at the Y. If you swim regularly, you’ve seen “that guy.” This is meant in jest, not in spite.)


FLATOUT JIM 10:48 AM, March 29, 2009  

We have them guys also. Clinging to their youth. He paobably drives an expensive car, and wears a big gold chain.

BOL in NO. I wish I were going, even though I haven't been on a road bike since November.

Shannon 10:51 AM, March 29, 2009  

I think we all (including us chicks) have a little competitive spirit in us all. Even if I say to myself, "I'm running that race to compete with myself not to beat anyone," I still find myself next to someone and may even speed up a little. I think that competitive streak seems to pop up in all of us no matter what age.

Good Luck next week, I'm sure you will make it fun!

Kim 10:56 AM, March 29, 2009  

steve, FANTASTIC swim!!!! how long did the guy keep up with you?! in the pool is definitely where i get the most competitive - well, maybe not, but i definitely like to "race" the other swimmers!

Trihardist 12:09 PM, March 29, 2009  

Oh yeah. I was coaching an early-morning swim workout for a while, and there was this guy who would race my athletes. Except that he would only ever swim breaststroke (poorly), and he would wait until my swimmers were doing drills or pulling or kicking (without fins) and only *then* would he try to race. Frickin' annoying.

My gym doesn't cater to swimmers, though, so I don't see a whole lot of racing.

Borsch 12:17 PM, March 29, 2009  


Matt did that to me once. We were riding to the end of the gateway and back. He would lead out and get down in his aero bars (thanks for the draft! NOT!) And not call out any hazards...

But then he would get behind me and enjoy a nice relaxing draft (not beer) and a little while later he was out in front in his aero bars.

In my head I was on a test of endurance and tempo. Hold his pace out front and hold his pace in back. You get some of a draft behind someone in aero bars but not nearly as much.

The fun part was waiting for Matt on the way back up to Summit...someone was in their granny gear on the hills. :-)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady 12:57 PM, March 29, 2009  

Good job on the swim - whatever it takes to push you to a new level is all good.

best wishes for next weekend also.

Carly 1:22 PM, March 29, 2009  

LOL... Great job on the swim. that guy sounds like he could be on the next "Real Men of Genius" Budweiser commercials.

GoBigGreen 1:26 PM, March 29, 2009  

Good swim! I assume you wont be in the pool monday morning but i will be there around 7am and will look for mr speedo clinging to the wall for dear life!
You will do great at No I cant wait to hear how it goes.
Stay healthy and see you soon:)

J 1:29 PM, March 29, 2009  

ok seriously this post made me giggle wildly because i have encounter so many people like this!! They really do bug me but on the good side usually they push you to run (or whatever) faster! Great job!

Eric 2:36 PM, March 29, 2009  

Great job Steve. I have occasional swimmers that swim next to me and try to keep pace. I love it when the do one lap and I turn for 20 more laps.

It sounds like a Bud commercial, Here's to you Mr.......

Good luck in New Orleans. Have a blast.

TriSaraTops 2:38 PM, March 29, 2009  

Rockin' swim!

Sooooooooooo excited to see you guys Friday! Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I Run for Fun 3:21 PM, March 29, 2009  

Amazing swim, thanks to that guy!

CoachLiz 4:12 PM, March 29, 2009  

I had that experience at the pool one time, but the guy was long and lean and a swimmer. I was swimming my ass off and I had a great swim. I jumped out and got changed to go upstairs and teach my spin class at the gym and one of my regular guys asked me if I had just been swimming laps down in the pool with the green cap on. Was it the rings from the goggles around my eyes that gave it away??? I said that it was me and he said that I was smoking fast and he was having a hard time keeping up with me. I took that as a huge compliment because I know he also does triathlons.

It is great when someone else can motivate you and bring out the best in your workouts.

I bet you and Pharmie already have all of your gear laid out. Get lots of sleep this week because you won't sleep the night before your flight and the night before the race!

Good Luck!!!

Nicole 4:12 PM, March 29, 2009  

QUICK...give me that guy's address, I need to send him my position paper on speedos!! Great job on the swim Steve!

Marlene 4:21 PM, March 29, 2009  

We have some runners like that around here when we run the park trails. No harm in a little friendly competition now and then, especially when you win! Nice swim!

teacherwoman 6:24 PM, March 29, 2009  

I have had people like that in the pool next to me. I remember clearly, a young guy, doing the same, and he just couldn't keep up. I wasn't nearly as fast as you, but faster than him! :)

Jess 6:59 PM, March 29, 2009  

Great job on your awesome swim!

X-Country2 9:38 PM, March 29, 2009  

What an great swim!

Good luck next week.

Lisie! 10:25 PM, March 29, 2009  

I have encounted that ... someone wanting to race or see how they stack up. The difference is that I am usually that person doing the silent challenging. Often I win but I doubt the other knew what I was up to. On the other hand, once or twice I thought they did know and like you noted, they gave me what I deserved and gave me a few good hard earned fast laps!!

lindsay 6:34 AM, March 30, 2009  

nice job on the swim! looks like a solid improvement and sounds like a tough workout to me period. i hate those sprint/walk runners. makes me run harder to leave them in the dust though, so i guess they do serve a purpose.

Carolina John 8:53 AM, March 30, 2009  

Nice push! those pool rats are everywhere.

Anonymous,  1:09 PM, March 30, 2009  

I see your speedo guy and raise you a butt crack.

I recently had to circle swim in a lane with an overweight man in sagging board shorts. Not a pretty sight.It wouldn't have been nearly so tortuous if he had simply swam behind me, but he constantly stopped to rest, waited for me to return and then, like a bad dream, would jump back in right in FRONT of me....where I would have to slow way down and then, at the turn be faced with 3 inches of his crack, yet again. The horror.

It gave "getting up at the ass crack of dawn to go swim" a whole new meaning.

Steve Stenzel 1:13 PM, March 30, 2009  

HA! Thanks for all the stories everyone! Anonymous, that's a great one! You're poor eyes!!

T 6:56 PM, March 30, 2009  

so if you don't do flip turns (can't do them; tried; hurts the sinuses or something in the head), what DO you do?

also, i've done that at races. i find that i keep going back and forth with someone - i'll get ahead, and then she'll get ahead, and vice versa. ultimately, i'll try to beat her though!

Adam 7:52 PM, March 30, 2009  

For me 'that guy' is always in the locker room.

Dude, put on a towel, it is RIGHT THERE by your pants. In fact, just put on either!

Run For Life 9:00 PM, March 30, 2009  

That is a fabulous pace, I'm sure both you and Pharmie will do great at NO 70.3!

I try not to let those people annoy me and use it to my advantage but sometimes you just want to yell at them!

When someone mentions an old guy that shouldn't be wearing a Speedo I get the disturbing image of the old guy at my pool who has a "sky and clouds" print on his is NOT a nice sight.

Just to make this already inappropriately long comment longer I think that your site probably gets way more amusing search terms than mine! Today I got "stupid running" and that's no competition for "my wife has a stinky butt" haha.

Darcy Franklin 9:39 AM, March 31, 2009  

Nice work on the swim! It is great to have those break through workouts. Makes all of the grueling ones worth it!

Runner Leana 10:42 AM, March 31, 2009  

Oh yeah, that guy was at my pool this morning. Good luck in NO!!!!!

sRod 7:54 PM, March 31, 2009  

I read your last bold comment real fast and thought it said "I'm no 70.3" instead of IM NO 70.3. Just a funny misread.

Makes me happy that there's no pool at my gym.

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