And I spent pretty much the whole hour practicing (attempting?) flip turns!
I asked the coach before I got in to warm up whether she might help me with 'em sometime in the next few weeks, and it turned out there was another woman who was also interested, so after the warmup (300 choice--I did 100 free, 100 fly down breast back and 100 back--200 IM drill-swim, 100 kick-swim) we had a rather comical and frolicky stint of trying various things... made me feel like a little kid playing in a swimming pool, in a good way!
(Slight water-up-the-nose problem makes me distinctly nostalgic. I'm serious!)
(At first they got worse, which I find is par for the course with anything one does not know how to do properly--you get a sort of beginner's luck effect on the first few, and then once you really start paying attention they deteriorate--but I persisted, and after about thirty-five minutes did suddenly find there was rather an improvement. Still a ways to go--a long ways! But it is a start.)
(Counterintuitive to come off the wall upside-down and on your back, I'm thinking this is why my body always kind of twists me sideways before I have properly finished turning in the first place!)
But it was coming clear to me last week that I am never going to learn how to do them if I do not, horribly, make myself do them. I was sorry to miss an actual workout this evening, but it seemed like it would be a cop-out to pass up the external encouragement and the good lane company to work on this funny and wretched little skill that I am anxious to learn.
So I am making an evil resolution, which will be moderated by common sense as needed. Resolved: during this semester at CU masters swim, and any time I get a quiet spot in a lane elsewhere, I will always do flip turns on my freestyle warmup lengths, and will start adding turns as I can face them in other freestyle bits.
And it also seems to me that in the weeks when I can go to the Saturday afternoon workout, which is 1.5 hours rather than 1.0 like the weekday ones, I could easily take the last fifteen minutes for working on turns--given the amount of basic technique improvement still to go, and the length of the race I'm training for, I think that the benefits of a 3000-3500-yard workout are more notional than real, I should really just go up to about 2500 and then use the last twenty minutes on something technique-related that I need to practice...
My goal for the next week: calm down!