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Swim Swam Swum & January is done

Posted Feb 01 2011 12:00am

The last several days I (water)logged a lot of time in the pool. 
I struggle with my swim-mentally, mostly. I don't feel confidant with my swimming technique and I feel terribly inadequate in the water at times. I will have 2 or 3 consecutive swim sessions where I feel great, strong or zen-like in the water and then Bang! I feel like any sort of progress I make is for naught and I have a terrible session.
This knee injury has also forced my hand and made me focus on my weakest triathlon discipline. So I will research swimming until my brain is bordering on explosion. I watch all kinds of videos, read, re-read and then try to do everything at once that I think I need to fix. I get too much conflicting information and I end up with paralysis by analysis.

Saturday, Dawn and I hit the pool together. Not a lot of yardage but she helped me with some drills and gave me some good feedback on my stroke and elbow position. I love to watch her swim. She is so smooth and graceful in the water. I feel like a water buffalo splishing and splashing around. I moan and groan about this or that but Dawn tells me I am actually a good swimmer and I just need to refine a few things. I just chalk her talk up to her being my friend and not wanting to hurt my feelings -- or since she is super competitive MAYBE she is telling me I'm doing well just to sabotage my swim ??? (just kidding....maybe). So Saturday we brought the camera to the pool on Saturday to review and analyze what we were doing in the water.

Sunday was a Total Immersion clinic and I finally got to go! I have been wanting to attend one of these monthly lessons but it just has not worked out for me until this weekend. There were several of my tri club peeps there and of course, Dawn too. I was really nervous about going to this clinic for many reasons. One being I don't know a WHOLE lot of the TI techniques. Two, I did not want to hold anyone in the class back. Three, I just felt very insecure about it.
Celeste, the instructor was quite clear with her instructions and the agenda for the day. She had the class start with simple drills, things I could easily understand. As we proceed with the drills and then incorporating said drills into actual swimming, she walked around the pool giving feedback. I am not getting very much feedback or critique from her - I am expecting a lot of corrections. I figure it is because I am doing a drop-in class 1/2 way through the 5 or 6 month session. Dawn and I are sharing a lane so I tell her about my concerns and Dawn tells me to relax since Celeste would tell me if I was doing something wrong. So I would watch the instructor watching me and as she circled the pool...Still nothing. I guess I was half expecting her to tell me to get out of the pool, come back when I mastered some basic TI techniques and to stop wasting her time.

We worked on supermans, hip rotation, head position, breathing and it was a really enjoyable class. I felt like I got a good base of info to work with and certainly feeling more comfortable with my swim. Then came time for Celeste to tape each swimmer and provide feedback based on the lessons of the day and what our focus or concerns were.

My turn came and I actually did not think it was ME on the screen. The person swimming looked too smooth to be me. Interestingly enough, my feedback was NOT what I expected either. I was told that I had great head position and balance, my hips looked good and I just need to tweak my stroke timing and work on my pull a bit.
You mean I am not some giant water buffalo? A big old mess in the water??
I was dumbfounded.

The class was definitely a great learning experience for me and I feel a lot better about my swim now. Maybe the positive feedback will help since I will not be filled with self doubt every time I am in the pool. I have some simple drills to work on and I know what I actually AM doing wrong and not just imagined. With just this SMALL amount of information, I will focus on these things over the next couple weeks and look forward to the next class in February.
So how did January shape up for me?
I only ran 41 miles this month. Considering I was dealing with a knee injury and took several weeks off well...better than expected. Hoping February is a much more productive month for running!
As for swimming in January, it was my most productive swim month ever. 9.48 miles = 16,703.76 yards plus an additional 2.5 hours of unmeasured swimming. Considering my biggest month ever was 3 (measly) miles, this is a big jump.
Cycling was my most exciting workout this month! I got a new bike and spent time on the trainer getting to know her. I logged my first indoor cycling session yesterday with a couple triclub peeps. My first class was a doosey too! 10 minute warm-up and then LT intervals: 10 mins at 100-105% of lactate threshold with 2 minutes recovery x3 with a 10 minute cooldown and then stretching. An absolute sweat fest and I loved every minute of it! January's miles on the trainer? 177 miles.
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