Monday, June 15, 2009

Swimming Lessons

I signed up for some swimming lessons last Tuesday. I missed the first lesson as I had arranged to meet up with a couple of other women who are also signed up for the Danskin triathlon in July. We met in a pub on a cold, rainy and blustery Tuesday. We chatted about our training, compared notes and arranged to meet for a few open water swims. I do not know about the weather in other parts of the US, but here in New England, it is still winter. It rains almost every day, and you still have to wear woolly jumpers! If there is one sunny day, rest assured it will rain for the next two weeks. With the open water swims on the back burner, I went to my first swim lesson on Thursday.
I got the time wrong and arrived an hour early. That was perfect, as I could swim my 40 laps. Funny thing is the first 10 laps feel awful, the last 10 were the best, and I could actually swim without stopping. The same seems true of running. It takes me ages to get into the swing of things, by which time the race is over! I am not one of those lucky people who hit the sweet spot immediately. In fact, after my laps, I felt quite fresh, and walked over to where our instructor was waiting.
I found the lesson immensely helpful. Victoria our instructor taught us some swimming drills, and for me that is one of the key elements missing from my training. As I have stated before, my form is truly awful - I have no idea where to start, there are so many things which are off. How do I know this? Well, at the Triathlon by the Sea, Cathy made a short video of me swimming, and it was painful to watch. I had no idea I looked that bad. I look like someone who actually cannot swim!
Thursday was a really good day. I enjoyed the lesson, and Victoria is a very good teacher. The surprising thing is my back stroke. Many people have commented on it, and said the technique is good. I always feel ungainly in the water. Victoria seems to think my back stroke is awesome. I have no idea how this can be, but when she told me to draw my arms closer to my ears when I stroked, it suddenly felt right. It's nice to be able to do one stroke decently, but I still do not feel that my stroke is particularly powerful - I would never swim like this in the sea. unless it is the Dead Sea. Well more on this tomorrow, after my second lesson.

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