When it comes to running, I'm extremely good at pacing. When it comes to the bike, I'm pretty good. When I'm swimming, however, I usually think I'm pacing well, but I'm not even close.
When I first started getting coached on the swim, I saw huge, measurable improvements. In a matter of a few months, I went from swimming 500 metres in 15:00 minutes to swimming it in 12:00. I had constant breakthroughs, and they showed in my times.
Lately, the improvements aren't quite as measurable. My feel for the water has improved incredible amounts since the fall, but truth is, I'm not that much faster. Intellectually, I know that I will never see the same leaps that I did when I was brand new. Intellectually, I also know that improving my pace by a few seconds per hundred is now considered a great improvement.
And, that's what I'd like to see: a few seconds per hundred.
Because, I have yet to break 2 minutes on a hundred metres. The best I've done is 2:02. I easily break 30 seconds on 25, and I consistently break 1 minute on 50, but that 2:00 per hundred has remained out of reach.
Monday night, I thought it might be my night. I went in feeling great. We were doing some speed work and some pacing work. We were doing a lot of 100s, so I figured I'd have a great chance. But, I just couldn't get it. First we were supposed to do them at a steady effort, then negative splits, then fast.
Here's the thing, when I try to negative split, I fail miserably and relatively consistently. I always start off thinking I'm swimming strong, but pacing well. I generally finish the first half at a faster pace then I can sustain for the whole thing. Then, I try to hold it together. I try to go faster, and think I am, but end up slower in the second half. Arg!
When I got home, I told my husband that, just once, I'd like to see a 100 metre time under 2 minutes. That's a lie though. I would like to see it once. Then, I'd like to see it consistently. Then, I'd like to see an average pace under 2:00/100 on a longer distance.
It will come.