This is not me bragging.
I have nothing to brag about! My times aren't very good.
This is simply me talking about how practice makes 'perfect' and how great progress feels.
Back at the back end of September when I had only been swimming again for around two months and I was getting ready for Swim Britain. I timed myself doing 10 lengths of the pool (250m) which was the distance I would be swimming (4 times) as part of the Swim Britain event.
At that time I was able to complete 10 lengths of the pool (while using a pull buoy) in 4min 6secs. I was pretty sure that I could beat 4mins if I really went for it (easily without the pull buoy) but with the pull buoy between my legs, the fastest I completed it was 4min 6secs. I also timed myself without the pull buoy and I can't remember the exact time but it was somewhere around 3min 45secs.
I always time myself in the pool. There are two main reasons for this.
1. I am still currently training on my own and so swimming against the clock helps me try and keep my intensity up. Swimming with someone(s) of similar or slightly faster speed would definitely be better but I don't have that option at the moment.
2. I am terrible at keeping count of how many laps I have done and so knowing how many laps I should have done at a certain time sometimes helps me to keep count.
So that brings me to last Wednesday (5th February) - 6 months or so into my training - when I again timed myself doing 10 lengths. I don't normally do 10 lengths - 8, 16, 32 but not 10 - but I didn't have much time to swim before starting a lifeguard shift - I got a puncture on my way to the pool and had to walk the last couple of miles - and because I could only do a mini swim, I decided to do some 10 length sprints.
And to my surprise I swam the first 250m in 3mins 42.8secs.
Which although might not be the most impressive time when you consider that the men's short course 200m freestyle world record stands at 1:39.37 and I can probably do it - without a pull buoy - at around 2min 30secs (at a guess).
It does however show an improvement of 24seconds in 4 months. Which is a fairly impressive progression... I think? It certainly feels like good progress which makes me feel pretty great about the way my training is going and makes me want to continue swimming... twice as hard!
I need to try and break the 3mins 30sec barrier :)