I hit the pool in a pretty good mood this morning, ready to roll with my regular Tuesday and Thursday morning Masters Class. Another local triathlete, Bill, has joined the group recently and it's a good match. Bill's a solid sprint specialist; younger than me (early 40s). He swims well, but hasn't been doing as much yardage, so he starts to fade towards the end of class. But it's a good match -- the inevitable friendly competition keeps me moving during the early sets, and he's getting a chance to improve his endurance.
Today's class started with a 12-minute warmup swim. 700 yards for that, keeping my pace right around 1:40/100. Then a continual 300 yard kick with the board and fins. Then a 600 yard set with the pull buoy, breathing every 3 strokes for 200 yards, then every 5 for 200, and finally gasping for air with 7 strokes for every breath over the last 200.
Warmup done. Whew.
Now the meat of the session. 18 x 100 yards. 1-6 on 1:50; 7-12 on 1:45 with paddles; 13-18 on 1:35 with fins and paddles. An easy 50 to collect ourselves between sets of 6.
1-6 nice and smooth, hitting each 100 on 1:35-1:36. Bill's drafting along and providing a nice incentive to me.
7-12 I pushed hard with the paddles and clocked each interval at 1:30. I'm tired, but this is going well.
On to the last 6, and a morning well spent. First two, coming in nicely at 1:22 and 1:23. Then on the third, BAM! I push off from the wall and caught a cramp in my right calf, and a bad one, too. I floundered around in the water for a few moments until I could finally straighten out the leg and hobble back down to the end of the pool. I collected myself enough to put in a few easy 100s to finish the day out, but the rest of my morning was shot. No post-swim run or kettlebell class for me -- this thing hurt. It was all I could do to walk without limping.
Well what to do? I got a free protein smoothie at the gym snack bar (my birthday gift from the club), then went home and took a nap before rolling into work. I guess recovery is important too!