Anyway, my response to panic is to review my workouts and make sure I'm working out enough/long enough/hard enough/whatever.
I can think of worse ways to deal.
In reviewing workouts, I realized that while I'm putting in frequency, I'm totally not putting in distance. So, Saturdays are now dedicated to this noble purpose.
What a Real Swimmer calls distance and what I am calling distance aren't quite the same thing, so Real Swimmers can control their snickers, thanks so very much.
I did 3600 yards this morning. I kinda mentally tag it as two miles. I know for some people that's a lunchtime workout. See the title of my blog? Yeah.
On the other hand, I'm not so slow as once I was.
This was the first time I swam two miles in a pool a bit over a year ago. I was wondering if I could and I was happy with the swim. Yes, I could. I enjoyed it and it helped me relax about a swim I was going to do that summer. But I won't say this wasn't a challenge. I was pretty worn out after it, I got cramps in my calf and I took a pretty epic nap that afternoon.
Fast forward to today. Was I pushing? Well, yeah, it was a workout, and if you're training for something specific, you do need to push yourself some. But was I pushing like I would if I were racing? Hell, no. There was no question I could, and for all that I was joking this morning about doing an EPIC SWIM then taking an EPIC NAP, I'm not really wanting anything other than lunch and to spend the afternoon knitting while watching historical documentaries and brainless superhero films.
Part of the speed increase is simply that I don't fall back to slower strokes as often. I'm almost to the point where I can do front crawl just about forever. I don't because it's not really a great idea not to mix things up. 5/6 of the workout was free.
I'm somewhat less panicked, now, about next summer. For the Son of a Swim in June, the real prep work other than my regular workouts, is to take the heavier freestyle volume into the open water and trust my kayaker to navigate.
For the Alcatraz swim in August? I dunno. Open water swims, cold showers and try not to think about sharks. We've got a lot of lakes near where I live, so open water isn't a problem. I'll be in Virginia Beach a couple of weeks before that swim, so lots of ocean training is not a problem, either. Thing is, the water is a lot warmer in the Southeast than it is in SF Bay.
Cold showers and as much lake training up in New England as I can get in, I guess...