Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pool time

A very good swim workout this morning at the CU pool. I only discovered this secret early-morning thrice-weekly swim session in early August, and it solves a lot of problems for me about where and how to swim. (The evening pool hours are so crowded that I get lane rage half the time; besides, it's better to do a real workout with a group...)

I look forward to the day when I can remember every swim workout with insane clarity, but at this point the details run through my mind like a knife through butter, so I will certainly not be able to chronicle every twist and turn of the workout narrative. But I can say that I made a good stab at some warmup lengths that included hapless bits of backstroke and breast (I don't really know how to do these properly, and I don't know how to do butterfly at all!), and that there was a very good main set.

With pull buoy, a freestyle stroke count drill:

25 at default stroke count (for me, around 20-21 or so?)
50 at T-1 (i.e. 19)
75 at T-2 (18)
100 at T-3 (17)
125 at T-4 (16)
150 at T-5 (well, can't really hit 15 reliably, but 16s and some 15s)

and then repeat whole set. Very good stuff--really makes you concentrate on the catch and the glide part of the stroke, I enjoy this extremely...

(I have been having a very good feeling the last few weeks of being really strong in the water. Some technical stuff just kind of came together--in the early summer my conditioning was improving faster than my technique, I think, but the technique has caught up and the front crawl thing is now working, I would have to say, pretty well. Though I am optimistic that if I keep working hard it will get quite a lot faster!)

I flaked out on the last set--a couple people got out, the strongest swimmer in the lane went to see what the next part of the workout was but got distracted by people's small children who were hanging around, I went to look at the blackboard myself (tho it is an effort to remember it even long enough to get started, I have to say it to myself a lot of times and also just mentally struggle to understand the concept, because of course if you understand then it's much easier to remember...) but by that time we had really lost momentum and it was not really in any case a workout I can do yet.

(I don't know enough.)

(And also I suddenly got nervous about the presentation I had to make at lunchtime and kind of felt like I'd better hare off home and get moving on it...)

But I'm writing the workout down here so that a month from now I can look back and do it on my own--I have the first of four or five one-on-one swim lessons starting tomorrow (well, I might have more than that if I'm feeling extravagant) where I am going to learn the other strokes, learn to do a super-fast open turn for now and start working on a really good flip turn for soon, etc. etc.

So: I promise to do this workout one month from now...

24 x 50:

6 fly (1 kick, 2 drill, 3 swim)
6 back (1 kick, 2 drill, 3 swim)
6 breast (1 kick, 2 drill, 3 swim)
6 free (1 kick, 2 drill, 3 swim)

Right now I am so ignorant I really don't even know what the drills are for the non-freestyle strokes. So this is a thing to start on properly at the lesson tomorrow.

I am just finding myself very much in love with swimming recently, I think it's going to be a big priority this fall--my heart is set on becoming a proper swimmer, I love the terminology aside from everything else and I will feel very proud of myself the day that I can actually do, oh, what's a good example, 200 "IM"!

(There is no point having athletic regrets, and for the most part it is fair enough that my endurance-sport-obsession has only come on me fairly recently. Yes, it's a pity I was not a regular runner in my 20s--but I think if I'd done it in my teens, I would have become dangerously obsessed and in any case I never would have been fast, not fast enough to do well on a team. But I guess I do have a couple sport-related regrets. One is that I did not discover yoga sooner, especially Iyengar yoga--I think it would have been greatly to my mental-health benefit as a teenager. The other is that I didn't get to be on a swim team as a kid. I just think I would have really loved it and also been pretty decent at it--I loved swimming when I was little, I learned a pretty OK freestyle at age 5 and greeted swimming thereafter with immense enthusiasm, but scarcely swam at all after age 8 or 9 or so and certainly never swam laps in a pool. Mildly traumatic memory: going with my third-grade friend D. after school one day to her swim-team practice. She was a serious swimmer, and had been tantalizing me with descriptions of how amazing it would be--and there was nothing I wanted more than to go with her and do it also, I really did love swimming. But of course there I was and I was a pitiful swimmer compared to those kids! Pitiful! Though I kept up as best I could, I was on the verge of tears for almost the whole time, I was so much worse than everyone else, it was awful--though I must have been eight I still remember it vividly--because of course then as now I did not really know the strokes, and I really didn't know how to do butterfly, and I was filled with shame! So now I am going to learn 'em all for real, and it will be good... In retrospect it is hardly surprising, I had probably not swum for months and months and those kids swam for hours every day! Just on conditioning alone I could not have done it! But this is only one of a host of horrible fitness-related experiences that led to my childhood self coming to believe that she was the worst athlete in the world, a belief that has been eroded by my experiences in the last year or so but that still has some underlying hold on me.)


Unknown said...

I have to log my workouts as soon as I get home or they are lost to me! In fact, first practice of the season this week I kept losing count. (I blame drill sets. So busy focussing on what I'm doing, I can't count. Plus going third person touches first goes messes with my clock reliance.)

Childhood experiences don't let go easily. (And they can come back to bite you when you least expect it.)

Jenny Davidson said...

I feel that there must be lots of mental tricks people have for remembering them--I'm going to mull this over and see what might suit me...

It's funny, the last year or so I really feel like I am finally tackling the whole legacy of childhood awfulness at sports--I am annoyed in retrospect with gym teachers, as we have discussed before! How could they all have just let me straggle along being so bad at everything? I was a hard worker, I was a thoughtful learner, if someone had actually explained things to me and helped me think about how to get better I feel sure I would have been average rather than always, like, second-to-worst!

Unknown said...

I find being lane leader helps.

At least in my educational experience, the gym teachers helped those most who had natural aptitude and/or who played on the teams they coached. (The swim team was not coached by a gym teacher.) Hopefully that's not true now ...

Becca said...

Wait, did you swim AND run this morning?? I went out for breakfast...

M is trying a new swim team on Monday. She swam on a team in third grade back where we used to live and loved it, but when we moved here, the team I found was super-crowded and became the object of a huge part of her move-related anxiety and thus was dropped. I was oddly invested in her swim teamness, though I fear if she gets into it, it will be the hugest logistical hassle which I of course will have to shoulder alone...