As I was conquering my distance goal last week, I pondered if I would be able to improve my time. It seemed a distinct possibility as I had picked up my pace for those last couple hundred metres and begun to feel my body move the way it’s meant to.
So I set myself a new goal. To swim 1000 metres as fast as I could. I didn’t have a target time, I just wanted to see what I was capable of doing.
I slipped into the pool with some anxiety but the clock clicked to 15:40 and I pushed off boldly, focussing on making my stroke as efficient as possible and controlling my breath.
It was hard, but felt good to push myself. I found myself sliding into complacency at times and challenged myself to stay focussed and keep a steady stroke rate.
On each turn I glimpsed the clock and was impressed to find I was maintaining a rate of around a minute for each 50 metres. Sure I could do that for a couple hundred metres, but it was unlikely to last the whole kilometre although I was curious to see how long I could maintain it.
But even as the distance built up, I saw I was maintaining my pace at each turn, and it fuelled me to achieve it for another lap, grinning underwater as I exhaled.
I pushed my speed for the last lap, lungs bursting, cheeks burning, arms aching and lifted my head to see 16:02. While it was oh so much harder than it used to be, I had swum 1000 metres at my pre-surgery pace of 22 minutes! Is it sustainable for a longer distance though? Let’s find out.
Distance swum since last post: 1.3km
Distance swum to date: 13.2km
Distance to go: 186.8km