Counting. Counting my breaths, counting my strokes, counting my laps. It is just a jumble of numbers in my head. That's really all I ever seem to do when I swim in the pool. Was that number 12 or 14? Have I done 100 or 150? How does one ever manage to keep it straight? Well, sadly, sometimes I don't. Let's face it, when you're doing a 500 in a pool that requires 6 lengths before you even reach 100 sometimes it ends up being a 400 set. Maybe I should invest in one of those lap counters...hmm, novel thought.
Surprisingly, more often than not, I nail it. It's a miracle I tell you...or is it just extreme focus? Or maybe I'm secretly Count von Count... The other day was a 'nail it' kind of day. I originally set out to swim my laps in the ridiculously small athletic club pool but after glancing at what was in store I quickly bailed on that idea and set my sights on Arne Hanna. My main set was 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100. There was no way I was subjecting my poor little head to counting in the athletic club's poor excuse for a pool. In addition, swimming a 500 in an overly hot, miniature in every aspect, and dirty as all get out pool is not ideal. Hey, do we think I dislike the club pool?
Right, back to counting. Regardless of the length and quality of the pool I am still left with counting lap after lap. If I stray, even for a moment, and start counting my strokes I lose complete track of laps. It's sad. The result - for an entire hour I get to hear myself thinking '1, 2, 3, 4 (100), 1, 2, 3, 4 (200)...' It's meditative for the most part but sometimes it just gets old.
But wait, it gets better. I realized (same day as the swim) that I even count when I'm running!!! 30 minutes for a warm-up, 3 x 5 minute intervals, 2 minutes left - keep going, 1 minute left, 30, 29, 28, 27... That's right folks. I count down my intervals. It helps me get through them. What drives me crazy is when I count faster than the Garmin. I intentionally count really slow now so that way when I look down at my watch I have less time to maintain my misery than I think. It's a great psychological game I like to play with myself.
So as my swims and runs get longer I'm pretty sure I WILL be slowly going crazy. And if you catch me counting while NOT working out, slap me!
Crazy going slowly am I, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, switch.