One Man's Garbage...
by, February 8th, 2012 at 06:34 PM (6554 Views)
...yards are another man's source of high-quality exhaustion.
I am curious if my readers out there in water worlds throughout the dripping universe have any opinions on this topic.
What, exactly, constitutes "garbage yards" from your perspective, assuming, that is, you believe these actually exist.
Some, I suspect, subscribe to an opposite point of view, i.e., any yard is a good yard, especially when traversed under one's own power without assistive technology like this, this, and this:
Taking SDKs to a whole new level!
Bladefish! The choice of eunuchs and guys who really don't want to share a lane!
After his excellent work in Dr. Strangelove, Slim Pickens was almost cast for the part of Chief Brody in Jaws.
There are several reasons why I am asking about these so-called garbage yards.
First, I am pretty sure that if these do indeed exist, they are pretty much all I swim these days.
Second, if I am a chronic garbage man these days, and I suspect I am, does such an approach confer any benefit whatsoever to swimming performance other, that is, than to maybe allow one to get a tiny bit better at swimming garbage yards? Are there any competitions for these?
Third, why do these garbage yards hurt so much? In yesteryear, swimming these same distances at these same speeds were the stuff of child's play! I could plod along, lap after desultory lap, contenting myself to try to coax one of my brain's hemispheres into sleeping, dolphin-style, then switch to the other: a form of swim-napping, if you will.
But now, I am too tired by the not-terribly-difficult swimming sets I have designed for myself on off days, and my coach Bill designs for us all on actual swimming practice days, to even consider napping while trying to finish them.
What has happened to me?
Has anything remotely like this happened to you?
Two theories, maybe three:
1. Something is profoundly wrong with me. I've suddenly gotten old, for instance, the decrepitude I have felt stalking me for decades has at last caught up and thrown me off balance, like one of those high speed chases between a lion (decrepitude) and a sick baby wildebeest (me: decrepitude's prey)--just a slight paw brush by the lion is enough to knock me off balance, and then I am surrounded by red faced felines licking their chops as the light on the savannah goes black...
If not age, it could be something else, like a sickness of some sort, me being no stranger to any of these:
the state of feeling sick or of having a disease
an illness that affects people or animals, especially one that is caused by an infection
a condition in which you have an illness
a disease or other medical condition that is caused by bacteria or by a virus or a parasite
an illness or medical condition
an illness or other medical problem
an illness or health problem that lasts a long time and affects the way you live
an illness, usually not a serious one
a situation in which a disease spreads very quickly and infects many people
a disease that can be spread from one person to another through touch or through the air
2. I am simply tired out by training reasonably hard at a time when assorted other demands on my physiology, like tax preparation and deadline obligations, are also sucking the life out of me. Could I, in fact, be overtraining?
Last year in mid-January, I suffered a detached retina, which forced me out of the water for two weeks.
When I got the go ahead to swim again, I did my best to catch up on my Go the Distance goal in February:
To diehards, this 50 miles might seem paltry, but it's actually a rather significant amount for me.
That spring, I did my best times in the 500 and 1000 in years, though the swims (as regularly readers might recall) did not count for Top 10 consideration because the meet wasn't recognized.
I did these times without a body suit, too, which in some regards made them seem all the better to me since the cheatin' suits always did provide my blubberous flapping body a bit of a lift.
Flash forward to this season. No detached retinas in January, so this is what I swam in the same time period where I managed only 19 miles last year:
Over 22 miles more, in other words, which should technically put me into better shape than I was in at the same time period last year.
So far this February, I have been swimming every day and hope to continue doing so throughout the entire month of February, perchance to exceed last year's total. Here is the data so far:
I have missed a total of 7 days in 2012 so far and averaged just a wee bit over 1.5 swimming miles per day.
A few other bits of data.
I got fat. 185 this year vs. 179 last year at the same time.
Also, my Amish Mudhole swimming times are a bit slower at this time this year comparable to what I did last year.
Consider the 2011 vs 2012 mid season times:
- 50 free 25.15 then vs. 25.65 now
- 100 free 55.27 then vs. 55.09 now
- 200 free 1:59.81 then vs. 2:01.60 now
- 500 free 5:33.84 then vs. 5:42.21 now
- 1650 free 20:03.90 then vs. ?
Well, it is time for practice, so I must be signing off to go put in my daily garbage yards.
I am signed up for the 1650 at the end of the month.
Then there is the Albatross meet in March, and I will see how this year's times compare to last year's. This will be the first time I can swim in the next age group up, so I am hoping to do good.
Then there are the various championships coming up in the later spring.
I don't know if swimming as much as I have been will prove helpful or not.
Maybe it was the enforced two weeks off because of the retina last year that was the real reason for good times them?
Time will tell. But meanwhile, if you have any thoughts on my situation here, please feel free to give me the benefit of them!