Monday, March 5, 2007

Hour of Payne

I met my swim coach, Ms. Payne (pronounced pain) on Saturday. This woman was ripped. That, plus the fact that she swam a mile in 19:30 (!?!?! WTF ?!?!?), made her a very intimidating picture to soft, non-swimmer me. My fear, it turns out, was relatively unfounded. She actually made me feel very comfortable in the water, she didn't make me swim harder than I could handle, and she pointed out a few things that I need to work on. OK, a LOT of things I need to work on. My head is too low, I'm twisting my arm upon entry to go in thumb first (???), I bend my knees on the kick, I breathe at 5:00 and 7:00 instead of 3:00 and 9:00, and I dig too deep and too far outside of my body. Oh, and my left arm crosses center sometimes. Yeah.

The good news is, I do one thing right. My rotation is very good. So there.

It was amazing though, how seemingly small tweaks equal big results. The first thing she changed was my kick - and I swear I went from rowboat to motor boat almost immediately. That change enabled me to do one armed drills for an entire length - a feat I had never been able to manage before. The problem is, there's so much to remember in the water and I'm not sure how I can ever implement everything she gave me.

I worked the drills this morning before my intervals and I definitely notice an improvement in my speed - I didn't time anything, but I could feel myself moving faster - and I was kicking the guy in the next lane's butt. I used to only kick "Floaty Lady's" butt. Floaty Lady is this elderly, relatively rotund woman who swims nearly everyday - at least every day I swim, she's there. You've got to honor the woman's commitment if not her form. I dubbed her Floaty Lady because she just sort of floats and moves her arms and legs in semi-freestyle type movements. I shouldn't make fun, but, especially underwater, its an amusing picture. And, she makes me look fast. But then, my seven year old passed her doing the dog paddle, so, you get the idea. But I digress.

The discouraging part of my Hour of Payne is that I couldn't seem to "swim easy" this morning. For sure I felt myself gliding through the water - and I could still be feeling some fatigue from my recent battle with The Crud. (Phoenix v. Crud - I finally won that showdown, but it took some doing.) STILL, I couldn't get into that place I found where I can just swim and breathe and go forever. I was up to a mile - feeling winded but like I definitely had some more in me - just a week or two ago. This morning, 200 felt exhausting. Do you think its just my muscles learning new tricks? Or maybe I'm still doing it wrong (I vote for this one)? My coach is unavailable for at least two weeks so I have some time to mull over this in the water.


Bolder said...

ok, how does a 'soft, non-swimmer me' match up with 'I can just swim and breathe and go forever. I was up to a mile - feeling winded but like I definitely had some more in me'???

sounds like you've got some swim in you, and Major Payne is gonna bring more of it all out!

i'm scheduled for a 1000yd TT today... have you done one? if you want to track your improvements, it's the way to go.

Phoenix said...

That sounds painful! What's the protcol?