after quite a few random drills that were probably laughable, I decided to say, “FUGGIT! JUST GO!”
so, that I did.
1×25 no stopping and only breathing to the left.
1×25 no stopping bilateral breathing…WAS OK WITH OCCASIONAL WATER SWALLOW!
REPEAT LAST 2 STEPS TWICE!
3X25 BACK TO BACK!!! WOO HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
THAT! IS! ALL!
…that’s comforting to hear especially because I almost cancelled this morning’s swim lesson because I wasn’t confident and my left shoulder hurts!
The lack of confidence comes from my frustration at the work I put in at the pool this week.
However, after I got the ‘kudos’ from Marcia this morning, it reminded me of the frustration that I had when I was training as a professional musician.
A lot of the time, you think you’re not making progress. However, the time (EFFICIENT AND FOCUSED TIME) you’re putting in provides several baby steps toward the goal in mind.
The baby steps only make your thinking more in tune with the task at hand and you begin to pick everything apart…often to the point of driving yourself crazy… So, as you think that you’re not making progress, you probably have! It’s just that you’ve become hyper aware and are continually fine tuning.
The analogy I often heard in conservatory was this… peeling the onion piece by piece, it is practically never-ending because there is a lot of surface area to address in each of those layers. There is always room for improvement and there is practically NO such thing as perfect!
That goal was this morning’s lesson!
Nevermind the anxiety I had from being late because I timed my morning ride poorly.
Honestly, I thought that the fatigue on my legs from the ride (which involved 25 sets of strength and endurance intervals), the total 1.5 hours in the saddle, the sore shoulder, AND the 30 minute tardiness all were a recipe for disaster. Yet, I had that “throw your hands in the air” feeling that said to me, “What else can go wrong?!?”
This is often the point where we think less…or do less over-thinking…and we surprise ourselves. We hope/trust in the work we did and can only control so much.
So, there it was… a quick and efficient lesson where I seemed to surprise Marcia by the numerous 25 meter laps I accomplished with okay breathing.
We re-introduced catch up drills with the kick board to work on my bilateral breathing (aka WSB); the “bug” motion with my stroke so I didn’t reach too far down into the pool; and a wing type motion when my arms are coming out of the water and re-approaching their entrance.
I’m hoping the “wing thing” will solve this soreness I’ve been having in my anterior shoulder. Otherwise, I’ll beg for a break from the pool and/or recommended strengthening to address it.
I actually notice the soreness more so when lifting my arm up, particularly laterally, or when pushing myself up from laying down with that left arm… SO, not so much, if at all, during swimming!
Yeah…this randomness of a blog will now end because my train stop arrives. But, don’t blame a guy for being efficient and logging all this geeky data out of his head…
Yes, I’m sending this to Coaches Dan Litwora and Marcia Cleveland for further analysis!
Thanks for reading and supporting me on my journey!!!
Extracted from my note to my coach:
I was able to do the first full 25 meters with minimal panic and didn’t have to stop.
I went into this swim thinking that I was going to consciously think of a minimal kick “within the box” and from the hips.
I think focusing on that helped me through the first 25.
I started to think about breathing and other stuff and had a harder time not stopping once to quickly catch my breath for most of the subsequent 25 meter laps I attempted.
I was able to do 2 more, not back to back, 25 meter lengths…but they weren’t super comfortable and required fight especially toward the end of each as I would begin to panic.
It’s definitely difficult!!!
FIGHT, KEN! FIGHT!!!
Ironman Wisconsin 2011 first timer (ironman period) added hope to my bucket this morning…
“…a year ago, I wasn’t comfortable with 25 meters [in the pool] either…”
When I hear things like that, it definitely puts me at ease even though the battle getting there and day of will be chock full of challenges!
Logged this in Training Peaks for my coach:
“Spent about 30 mins in the pool working on “figuring it out”. Found that my breathing is more comfortable/easier on the right every 4 strokes. Also tried to think more of allowing hip/torso turn so I could breathe more easily from the side vs lifting my head out of the water. I was able to do 25 meters twice with some trial and error before between and after each successful one. I found that I was more successful when my kick was more violent/faster because I was moving faster. I tried to be aware of using my hips moreso than my knees.”
It’s all about baby steps, fight,.determination, patience etc. Gotta put in the work so the light at the end of the tunnel can begin showing its face. Otherwise, it’ll stay tucked away.