Day 115 of the Great Big Marathon 10km Swimming Adventure: Just a perfect day …with Sammy Save-Up

(You don’t have to hum Lou Reed as you are reading this, but now you can’t help but hear the song in your head, right? Right??)

Oh it was just a perfect day. Certainly the start. Woke up ahead of the alarm clock, refreshed and ready. Left well on time and got to thepool just ahead of the gym’s opening time at 6am. And then had the whole pool to myself at first! I guess lots of people are off on their Easter hols this week. Felt really good and grateful to be able to carve up the lane like this so I decided to enjoy the situation as long as I could and skipped my warm up and stretches for the main set, a straight-up 5k swim. 

After about 1.5k or twenty-odd minutes one other regular joined in, just as I was getting bored. I took this as a sign to keep going. She did her usual morning rounds, then left soon after a friendly old guy (who always pops in for a round of awkward back paddling) rocked up. At this stage, my brain zoned out again for another k, and I experienced that awesome “flow”, to use the pop-psychological concept. Except that I did so both figuratively and literally, of course. 

You can actually buy Sammy Save-Up caps!

 And, just as I was about to approach the 3k mark, cruising comfortably and all alone again, a young chap jumped into the one swimming lane with me. He clearly not only felt like he was too fast for swimming in the now completely empty normal pool. Oh no. Like these guys (they’re always guys, never girls) usually do, he also thought he needed to keep up with me. And yes, he tried really hard! Sprinting like mad, he almost could keep up with me for about 25 m, then would slow down, then would either stop and wait for a few laps to try again or add in a lap of breast stroke. I just kept cruising. This went on for about 20 minutes and kept me somewhat entertained. The Sammy Save-Up, as this particular swimmer type is known, is a classic.  Then, after a brief attempt of using his gigantic pull-buoy to keep up, he left again. 

The last 1k or so I was left alone in my lane again, though some other guys hit the pool, and I swam out the full 5k in 1:23 hours, with a nice sprint over the last 200m. 

Since I had a bit of time and energy left, I added some backstroke variations, some butterfly arm drills with the pull buoy …and a short cool down. I clocked 6k in total, and felt great. 

Need I mention that after the swim I quickly found an excellent parking spot too, had a decent subway seat and was at work very nice and early?