Yesterday's run was truly rubbish, and I felt crap about it all afternoon. I had a long stressful day after that, and this morning didn't go much better. I wasn't even supposed to be in the office, really we get Thursday and Tuesday as additional closure days, but I had too much to do. I planned to leave at lunchtime via the pool, but finally hauled my arse away from my desk at 3pm. I nearly, SO nearly just went home, but my swim stuff was right there... I gave myself a swift talking to, ignored the fact that I hadn't had any lunch (I'd had a banana and my two remaining Graze punnets, hardly starving), and went up to the pool for at least a short swim.
Once in there, I realised this may well be the last swim I get before the tri, seeing as I am away from Weds 27th to Fri 6th, just 2 days before. So, time for one last time trial, even if I'm not feeling up for it - 2 slow lengths to check goggles and nose clip (pah), and then off.
It was hard going. My stroke felt scrappy, desperate even. I had to fumble my nose clip back on twice, and then dumped it in passing at the end of one length in disgust - immediately getting water up my nose. I was breathing hard, every 2 strokes almost, and it felt like my legs were not kicking so much as having some kind of fit. I knew it was going to be bad, but I forced myself to push on. "If you can't swim fast, at least swim strong" was what I was telling myself as I reached and grabbed on to the water in as big handfuls as I could manage, but it felt leaden and messy, not at all efficient or smooth.
I counted lengths all the way, determined not to mess up like last time. Four, I'm a quarter there... eight, that's half... ten, into double figures... twelve, that's three-quarters done... fourteen, come on, last two... push that last one all the way to the end... grab, stop the watch, squint at it... HUH?
No way. Is there any way I could have miscounted, should have swum an 8:46? No. It felt slow but not that slow. So 7:46 it is. That's 10 seconds off - insane.
After that I did four recovery lengths in a state of shock (and exhaustion), and then chanced my arm with 5 x 25m sprints - all at 23-24 seconds. Another four recovery and I called it a day and went home. Still stunned.
So, a rough and scrappy, slow-feeling 400m - 7:46.
Goes to show you never can tell... sounds like the cue for a song :)
Photo: The water's on fire! by Mukumbura, on Flickr