June 19, 2008

Take a Deep Breath

My training was a bit derailed today by life. I had planned to hit the pool in the morning for some breathing drills and then had a group run scheduled tonight. I also had to prepare to leave town early Friday morning and had a work meeting scheduled right in the middle of the day. I tried to get some things done this morning and ended up being too late to get to the pool. So I got ready for my day instead, packed, had my meeting and ran errands. I then decided to skip the group run and run alone, but then changed my mind and settled on going to the pool instead. After all, swimming is my weakness and you have to train your weakness.

I was absolutely amazed by how empty the pool was. Apparently, I may want to reconsider my scheduling. It was great to have the place virtually to myself and I was able to get a lot of tips from the lifeguard as well. I told her I was just learning and she said I looked like I had been swimming for awhile. I think a tear came to my eye when she said that. It was a proud moment to know I no longer look like I'm flailing around in the water.

I didn't go to the pool tonight to swim, but rather to do breathing drills. I got some great advice from an online triathlete community I joined and I could not wait to try it out. I did some breathing work just standing in the pool with my hands on the side, face in the water. I did a variation of this floating and facing the wall so I could rotate a little while breathing. Then I swam several laps of a breathing drill where you swim on your side, the bottom arm straight ahead and the top arm resting on your hip. You put your face in the water and kick, and rotate up to breathe as needed. Since you are on your side, you're already in position to rotate up to the surface so it's more natural. I then put all of this to work on a few regular laps, with very deliberate focus on body rotation and breathing without lifting my head. It works! It was amazing how easy those laps were. I wasn't breathless and my heart wasn't pounding out of my chest. For the first time ever, I thought I could get in an swim multiple lengths without stopping. I can't wait to practice more. This might be the elusive breakthrough I've been so desperately seeking. The only downside was the amount of pool water I drank. I hope the toddler swim wasn't right before adult swim.

I got yet another new pair of goggles today since my slick, new Speedo Vanquishers vanquished my face, or rather my eye sockets. I got the highly raved about AquaSphere Kaiman's, what clearly must be the most popular goggles. I was like a kid on Christmas morning, barely able to wait to get home to unwrap them and play with them. I burst through the door and still wearing a dress, I put on my swim cap and got my new goggles out for a try-on. It took several adjustments and they seemed good so I put them on at the pool and jumped in. At first, they were great. But then about 3 laps in, they started taking on water, a dribble at first, but then Titanic-like proportions. I had to pull them off to get the chlorine out of my eyes and reluctantly put the Vanquishers on. I'm going to give them another try after playing with the fit a little. I figured one out of the three pairs I now own have to come through for me in the end. Otherwise, swimming with my eyes closed is started to sound pretty good.

Sport - Swimming; breathing drills
Distance - I wasn't counting
Time - 30:00

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