Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Four and a Half Hours

Monday mornings are especially dark. Darker than any other morning of the week. They are especially cold as well. It's just the way it is.

On Monday morning I woke at 4:48am and looked at the alarm. It was going to start singing at 4:50am so I reached to turn it off so as not to wake Doug. Doug, at the same moment, shifted and got up for a quick bathroom trip before I went in. He crawled back into bed. I crawled out. He whispered "have a nice swim baby" and I whispered "I'll try".

Another week had begun.

There were more of us than usual at the pool. We warmed up for 1050m and, while we worked our way through the warmup, the main set was being written on the board and buckets were being tied together for us.

The main set was the following:
3x50m (with buckets) on 2:00
8x100m (without buckets) on 2:00
3x50m (with buckets) on 2:00
4x200m (without buckets) on 4:00
3x50m (with buckets) on 2:00
1x400m (without buckets) on 8:00

Keep in mind that this is the third workout using my 'new and improved' body roll. I am still in the growing pain stage where nothing feels quite natural and my feel for the water is non-existent.

There were three people in my lane, including me. It didn't take long for them to figure out that I should be third.

The part of the set with the buckets went fairly well because everyone is really slow and it's as much about power as it is about technique. I made up in power what I lacked in technique and managed to keep up.

During the no buckets part of the set, I fell behind but not horribly so. I got every one done under the cutoff time and the person in front of me never got more than about 30m ahead.

During the 8x100m I was told that I did one of the 100m in 1:49.

I know it's only been a week of swimming slowly but I have already lost track of my 'old times' and didn't remember if 1:49 was good or not. I think it's acceptable but nowhere near my faster times. I feel like 1:42s was more my speed...but I could be wrong.

I had been three workouts now since my stroke correction.

I still lag behind...but not as much.

It still feels depressing that I push as hard as I can and still feel sloppy and slow...but not as much.

I still miss my old, comfortable stroke...but not as much. Partly because I'm caught between my old and my new one and neither feels quite right anymore.

The good news is that there is enough of an improvement after each session that I'm excited for the next one to see how much better I can get with another hour and a half worth of practice. Twelve hours is apparently the magic number of hours of practice it takes to make a real change in a swimming stroke. I'm up to 4.5.

Getting there.

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