It has been three weeks since I last went to the gym, given the two weeks away in France and the extremely hectic week since I got back. But yesterday, perhaps inspired by the lack of frost on the car, I did make it there at just after 6:30.
As expected, the first session back was pretty tough going. After less than 10 lengths, a number of muscle aches had appeared. Some of these gradually subsided as I warmed up more, but my left shoulder hurt more or less all the time I was there. Nonetheless, I was able to do 60 lengths, though my speed wasn't very good - maybe 6 minutes slower than it had been for this distance.
Day two was a big improvement. No early swimming aches, better rythmn, a stronger stroke, slightly faster. So another 60 lengths, maybe 4 minutes faster than the previous day.
When I was swimming a few weeks back, there had been one regular there who was already in the pool whenever I arrived, no matter how close to 6:30 I tried to time my arrival. She wasn't there yesterday - the first time I haven't seen her for over 30 trips. But she was there today. She swims a fast doggy-paddle / breast stroke and clocks up 40-50 lengths while I am there. Perhaps the most regular of the regulars I see.
There are maybe 10 morning regulars out of a morning session that usually attracts about 20 people. About half are faster than me and plough up and down the fast lane doing front crawl. 5 or 6 are slower and swim breast stroke in the slow lane. I am in the middle lane swimming a strong and steady breast stroke. I would really like to be able to swim front crawl though.