16 May 2022
As great as the swimming was in Tampa, the travel back home on Friday night was the opposite - so many Air Canada "operational delays" that I had to switch to WestJet to have any hope of getting home that evening, something much needed given that I needed to turn around to leave Sunday morning for another business trip.
Typically, as part of my taper plan, I like to repeat my Pulse Plot / heart rate test about 5 to 7 days before the meet. That then gives me a good read on how to adapt the remaining days of my rest.
I had every intention of doing that Saturday morning the 14th, but, after landing at Toronto's Pearson airport a smidge before midnight, I was in no shape to attempt that Saturday morning. I opted instead for a floaty 1,150 yards at my local LA Fitness ... but felt this was OK as I had a grand plan to land in Indianapolis on Sunday night, grab a swim there before driving down to Louisville for the business conference started Monday morning.
Interruption #2 came on Sunday with more unexplained "operational delays" from Air Canada and my 4pm arrival into Indy turned into another near-midnight arrival. No worries, though, I thought. I'll swim Monday morning before the conference,
I was delighted to find the Southport LA Fitness location had four lanes and only two people in it. I had just finished my 1,250 yard warmup and was ready to launch into the heart rate set when the pool was attacked and invaded by ...
... a murder of water aerobicizers who sealed the death of my test set.
After Interruption #3 in the morning, I had given up on doing that set on Monday, but still wanted to get in my targeted 2,300 to 2,500 yards of swimming for the day. I had to make something work on my taper plan! So, in between the end of the day part of my conference and the evening dinner reception, I snuck out to an Esporta Fitness.
It was here that I found one of the the weirdest health club pools ever. Apparently, it was designed by visual artists who formerly directed moody 80s videos from bands like The Cure, artists who were also not fans of straight lines, nor conventional ways of being. Artists likely on something far stronger than chlorine.
My picture below makes this look far more sane than this place actually was:
To begin with, the staff claim the pool is 21.5 yards. Not 20 meters, which would be weird (and 21.9 yards), but at least somewhat explainable.
Next, they bought 25 yard length lane ropes and failed to shorten them. I swam in the tiny, unmarked "lane" at the left of the picture and when I swam freestyle, the lane rope practically reduced the poor lady's lane next to me to nothing. She wasn't happy with me.
Third, there are three lane lines on the bottom of the pool, but they put in 4 lane ropes to create 5 ultra skinny lanes ... which only exacerbated the lane rope length problem mentioned above.
Finally, my iPhone makes the lighting look far, far brighter than it actually was. It seemed as if the lighting engineer assumed all swimmers loved to go to rave bars and tuned the lights to that aesthetic.
I did get to 2,400 yards across the two swims on Monday, but what a weird three days of trying to taper it was.