Monday was the final time my alarm would jolt me awake at 4:45 a.m. for swim class in 2009. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to sleeping past 5 a.m. next Monday.
It was the last swim class of the year and it was a kind of low-key class. Warm up at our own pace. We choose how far. We had 30 minutes from the start of class until the time trial started, and while there was some warm up swimming, there was also a lot of hanging by the wall, chatting.
I think I ended up doing about 700 yards with lots of breaks before getting ready for the 900 yard time trial.
When we first did this a few weeks ago, I finished the 900 yards in 21 minutes, 40 seconds. While I haven't really been working too much on speed the last few weeks, I wanted to shave a few seconds off my time. Heck. Even shaving a second off my time would have made me a happy girl.
Since there were a total of 5 of us in class, we all got our own lane, so no worries about circle swimming or running into your lane partner.
The clock hit 6 a.m., Coach said go and we were off.
And 15 yards in to the swim I had a problem. A goggle malfunction. As in the right goggle was filling up with water. And while I guess I could have continued swimming for the remaining 885 yards with one eye squinted shut, I knew that wasn't going to be very comfortable. So I hit the wall and paused. Ripped the goggles off my head, emptied the water and put them back on. Making sure they were tight against my face this time.
And started to swim again. No water in my goggles this time.
The swim was feeling good. I tried to mix it up. A "fast" 100 yards followed by a nice easy pace. Sometimes I did the "fast" sets. Other times I forgot. Mixing up my speed isn't the only thing I forgot. Around 600 yards in, I totally lost count of where I was. And when I came to the wall I had to pause. I looked at the kick board I had set up with the pennies I was using as counters. And I thought to myself. Am I supposed to move a penny now or in another 50 yards? Looking back, I shouldn't have questioned it. It was time to move that penny. But I sat there and thought about it. Finally I moved the penny and kept swimming.
Goggle malfunction - check. Forgetting how to count - check.
The last 300 yards were uneventful. As I came off the wall for the final turn I had a quick glimpse of the clock which told me I had 20 seconds before equaling my time from the last time trial.
Knowing it would be almost impossible, I didn't give up. I pushed it. Swam as fast as I could.
And hit the final wall in 22 minutes, 2 seconds.
Ugh. 23 seconds is what stood between me and my goal of finishing the time trial 1 second faster. Made me wonder what my time would have been had I not had the goggle malfunction or forgotten how to count.
Next time there will be no goggle malfunctions. And no counting errors. Next time the numbers on the clock will tell me I swam the time trial faster. Next time. In 2010.