Why Would You Invite Me to Swim 6.2 Miles for “Fun”

I received an event invite on Facebook from a triathlete friend named Laura (not the same Laura who monologued me at Ironman Canada this year), who I highlighted in my Futile Quest for Abs post for having one of the most glorious set of stomach muscles I’d ever seen. She and I often overlap in age groups, meaning I get my ass kicked six ways from Sunday (or is it to Sunday? I get my ass kicked, that’s the main thing) in every race we both happen to be at. She’s raced at Kona and above all else is a seriously sick swimmer. I was hoping the event invite had to do with a brownie eating contest or perhaps a “Celebrate the holidays with a Christmas Story marathon and inappropriate amounts of yuletide booze,” but no, it’s some bullshit swimming thing.

Correction, it’s not some bullshit swimming thing, it’s the ultimate bullshit swimming thing; specifically, the “Fourth Annual 100×100/10k Swim Holiday Extravaganza.” Never mind the fact that my brain cannot comprehend the notion of swimming 6.2 miles in a single day (or week, or month, for that matter, but I digress), or the twisted idea that this is supposed to be a “fun” gathering. No, what I don’t understand is why the hell someone like Laura would invite a swimmer like me to this horrible, horrible event.

Is it like hazing? Some sort of sacrifice, maybe, where a fast swimmer must offer up a slow lamb to the Swimming Gods every year so she can continue to bust out sub-55 minute Ironman splits? Because I really don’t understand why this fast pod of swimmers would want to invite a manatee to hang out with their dolphin group.

To get an idea of why this event is utter crap, here’s how Laura plans to organize the swim workout:

Here is how the breakdown will work (tentatively set to be TWO pace groups, Group A and Group B). Please RSVP with your Pace group selection. If there is enough demand for a faster/slower sendoff, then we will have another lane…first come first served, 40 PEOPLE MAXIMUM…don’t miss out!
In the past, we have done:
10×100 Warmup on 1:40, 1:50
20×100 free on 1:30, 1:40
5×100 kick on 2:00, 2:00
20×100 free on 1:25, 1:35
5×100 choice of stroke on 1:45, 1:55
20×100 free on 1:30, 1:40
5×100 choice on 1:45, 1:55
10×100 free on 1:20, 1:30
“10×100 free on 1:25, 1:30 (for those going 10k)”
5×100 warmdown on 1:40, 1:50
Group A will go on the faster sendoff. Group B will will on the slower sendoffs. At these sendoffs with no breaks between sets, Group A will finish in 2:35, while Group B will need 2:51.
As always, some of the group opts to go 110×100’s to equal 10k. Your option to stop at 100 or finish 110.

Some points:

  1. First of all, I am not fast enough to swim with Group A or Group B. I’m not even worthy enough to hand them their towels when they’re done. If I participated, I’d be looking at being an Army of One in Group Triple J.
  2. Secondly, I can’t hit 10×100 on 1:40 or 1:50 as a warmup. I can’t even do that as a main workout set because I am slow as shit. I could probably bust out a couple at most, but after that I’d be panting on the sidelines.
  3. Thirdly, 20×100 on 1:25 – 1:40? Twice?! My fastest standalone 100 ever has been like a 1:32 – 1:35, and that was in a short pool so I got to push off more. Eff that. Seriously. Nobody should be able to swim that fast and still be considered human.

When I was all “WTF Laura, why you tryin’ to make me suffer up in here,” she said she thought it would make for a fun Mediocre Athlete blog post. I don’t think I’d even survive swimming 6.2 miles in a single workout, so the chances of me dragging my half-drowned ass out of the pool before it closed (not just for the day, but for Christmas) and having enough muscle control left to command my pruney fingers to type a “Well That Fucking Sucked” summary for the blog seems pretty slim.

Even if I were able to get my own slowpoke lane, I’d probably only be able to get through half of the workout at best before all of the fast assholes finished the entire set. They’d be all giggles and hot chocolate and cookies while I flail and cry in the deep end because I got a foot cramp after 75 meters. I can already imagine them looking all lean and gorgeous as they shake their magically unfried hair out of their swim caps, exclaiming “Tee hee, wasn’t that fun?” as I try not to burp-vomit a gallon of chlorinated water mixed with a morning packet of oatmeal back into the pool.

…I put myself down as a “maybe.”