It doesn't go off though because I wake up at 4:52 and turn it off before it wakes Doug.
He, of course, is already awake and whispers goodbye as I slip out of bed.
Monday morning and I am due at the pool in 38 minutes.
When I get there, Christine has us do our warm-up. This time it's 200m of freestyle, 50 metres of drills, 50 metres of freestyle and then 100m of kicking.
I finish first because, well, because I'm a keener who hates being late so I was first in the pool.
She walks over. "Are you finished your warmup?".
"Great, you can try this then."
This, my friends, will apparently help correct one of my many swimming flaws. I lift my head too much when I swim. It's not aerodynamic apparently.
The idea is that, if you have this on, it will force you to swim with the proper head position. Why? Well because, if you don't, water will go up the snorkel and you will choke.
So I put the strap around my head, put the mouthpiece in my mouth (while stubbornly refusing to think where it had been last) and tried swimming.
It certainly kept my head in the proper position. It felt weird though and water kept filling (but not really going up) my nose because I couldn't figure out how to exhale through my nose and mouth at the same time. So the water just kinda hung out there feeling weird.
Swimming is so frustrating sometimes. We work on drills that help us get the feel of how our arms should enter the water, how our shoulders should rotate and, now, how our heads should be positioned. And yet, when we move from drills to a hard workout and we're swimming as fast as we can across the pool - it all goes out the window.
My head is too high.
My arms cross in front of me.
My shoulders don't rotate nicely.
I have a lot more respect for the professional swimmers out there who spend hours a day on their technique. Back and forth, back and forth, trying to make unnatural things feel natural. I wonder what goes through their head on race day...
"head, arms, kick!, rotate, damn he's beating me, head down dammit, stop crossing your arms, KICKKICKKICKKICK, yay, I'm beating him, oh wait, no I'm not, headdownheaddownheaddown, breathe, pace, crap there's water in my goggles, I can't see the clock, why is Christine waving her arms and yelling at me? have I been kicking??"
It does seem rather cruel doesn't it?