I estimated that I would complete the 50x50 during week 38 of pregnancy if I increased by 2 every week. Even with holidays throwing off my normal week’s schedule, I made sure I got my 50’s in, and a few weeks I even increased by 3, which has made me able to complete it 4 weeks earlier than I originally anticipated – at 34.5 weeks of pregnancy (one week shy of 8 months)! After spending 5 months working on this, I’m ecstatic to say I’M DONE – I DID IT!
Fortunately, for my final 3 weeks I had company in the pool for the sets of 46, 48, and 50. And as long as my swim buddy could stick it out for the duration of the set, I didn’t care if they adapted it, took some easy, took some off, or wore fins for some of it. I should also add that this was done in an 84-degree pool, which is extremely warm for any type of intense sets of swimming. It’s the type of temperature where you feel you are sweating in the water and your face gets hot. Even when I got up to 50 sprints, I still aimed to hit as close to 37 seconds as I could for each one.
I was impressed with my partners for the final sets. My set of 46 was done with the company of a former volleyball player of mine, who had only swum once since she was in swim club in 4th grade. I had her mix up what she was doing (descend 1-3, 4th was choice swim, and 5th was off), and after the first couple round of 5 she put on some fins and was golden for the rest. My aquatic director swam with me for the sets of 48 and 50 – a former swimmer, who is fast, but was not currently accustomed to this type of training and didn’t have the endurance built up. She suffered through the first session with me, and she came ready to rock for the final session, pushing hard, only taking every 11th off – very impressive! In her words, “Mom’s rule.”
There is a lot of satisfaction in conquering a challenge, or succeeding with a big undertaking, for the first time. Challenges need to be tough, but also attainable if we keep working towards it over time. It keeps motivation alive, but you’ll need your own determination to stick with it. There will be suffering in the journey, but the end reward and satisfaction is worth the pain. Keep challenging yourself, and you’ll keep realizing you are capable of far more than you dreamed possible.