Monday, March 15, 2010

Intervals were this Morning's Burden

I got up early this morning to do intervals. The workout called for five sets of five high-intensity intervals (25 total) on an ascending clock. The first five were on 1:15 with five seconds of recovery, followed by two sets of five on 1:20 with five seconds rest, and then two sets at 1:25 with 15 seconds recovery. This would roughly translate to heart rates in zone 5c, 5b, 5a.

The throw down began after a ten minute warm up. As any of you know who've done intervals, it takes a few before your heart rate catches up to what's going on. The first felt silky smooth with lots of power and low heart rate, but by the fourth interval, the voice in your head transforms from the tranquil civility of an NPR talk show host to shouting death metal lyrics with heavy electric guitar distortion.

So it was this morning.

On interval #12, Erin was waiting at the wall and grabbed my leg as I flip-turned. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that these are swimming intervals.) Anyway, I'm was leading the lane and on our third set of 100s, Erin stops me to yell, 'THIS INTERVAL IS SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE 1:40.*'

The lactic acid in my blood violently spikes. 'Excuse me?' -- but before the rebuttal's out, she pushed off the wall. A strong stench of freshly released chlorine permeates the air, possibly from the water boiling around me.

Death metal/Cookie Monster voice in now violently shouting in my head

Only ten minutes beforehand, the group had decided to do the sets in ascending order. The initial 15 intervals weren't going to be easy, but that's what we agreed upon. So I thought. Apparently to some, ascending order meant 1:20, 1:25, 1:40, 1:25, 1:40.

By the end of practice, apologies were plenty and everybody was all huggy-huggy again.

There, for those of you who've wondered what a Masters' swim practice is like at 5:30 AM, now you know.

Like Munson on the bike, I swim better when I'm angry.

* exclamation marks are yesterday's burden, but all-caps are not. Hi Fred.

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