I had my best yardage total ever back in 2008, the year after I hurt my neck. I topped 520,000 yards for the year. Last year was very good - 405,000 yards, my third-best total ever - but not up to the blowout standard set in 2008.
2010 is shaping up to be a monstrous year for me. I'm only two months in, and I've already logged 115,200 yards. January was my best single month ever, and February was my third best by only 900 yards. One more workout would have made it my second best month; as it was, Feb 2010 was the best February total I've ever had.
I would have made it too, except for unfortunate circumstances on Friday night. I was planning to attend a Masters swim after work. But I just missed catching the first bus from work back to my commuter lot. The snowy conditions and traffic had the second bus crawling along the highway, so I didn't get to my car until fifteen minutes before the workout started. It takes 35 minutes on a good day to drive from the commuter lot to the pool, so I knew I'd be late. And, to top it off, I did a 2500 yard workout before work. I was planning to "double up" and squeeze in two swims in one day.
I was already tired from a long week. So I got into my car, drove home, ate linguini with clam sauce for dinner, and drank wine while watching "Copenhagen", starring Daniel Craig as Heisenberg an Stephen Rea as Bohr.
If I extrapolate this total, I'll approach 700,000 yards for the year.
I don't expect to be able to keep up this pace. Spring is coming, and if all goes according to plan I'll be riding my bicycle to work two days a week. It will shave two workouts off my torrid pace until summer ends.
But I'm very happy with my efforts so far. Three factors have contributed:
- I've been healthy. I haven't missed a workday of swimming yet.
- I've increased my morning workout from 2000 to 2500 yards every day. The extra 500 yards of kicking and drills only takes another 13 minutes, but the yards add up.
- I've managed two Masters swims a week. Those give a big boost to the yardage total, because they're at least 4000 yards each.
If only I could manage to apply the same dedication and consistent effort to other areas of my life, like my technical and learning aspirations. They don't lend themselves as easily to the tracking and measurement that motivate me so much in my athletic pursuits.