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Little fishy I am not

I had chosen a swim workout for last night's first official entry into the pool for training. It was recommended as a good beginner one...4 x 25 meters warmup, then a ladder of 25m, 50m, 50m, 25m. I did it. And then some...but it was ugly. Really ugly. Hence the reason for the "and then some." Me trying to fix my form. I wasn't wheezing and struggling and barely able to make it across the pool like you sometimes hear.

That's not the problem. In fact, if anything, my fitness is working against me. Because I know what it feels like to run 26.2 miles. Or bike for 30 miles. So, being a swim newbie, the outcome isn't exactly matching my non-level of technical skill. So I have the endurance and the confidence to, literally, hack my way through that above workout--totally frustrated.

By the time I finished and had gotten out of the pool to shower, I was ready to stop by the desk and ask about private lessons with a swim instructor. I'd been pricing a few swim coaches in the area and my gym's instructors actually come in significantly lower than the going rate. Even their Triathlon Swimming specific class isn't overly expensive, all things considered. We'd briefly considered signing me up for it, but I'm afraid of playing too much "catch up" with the class. A group of experienced swimmers learning to get better is not currently where I'm at.

No, what I really need is some very basic stroke skills. My breathing especially. Learning how to get my head to the side to take in air instead of water. More economical arm positions. Getting my body at the right angle.

It's tough for someone like me to ask for help. I'm self-coached, motivated, with a somewhat cavalier attitude towards sports authority...I'm completely confident and experienced enough in running, especially, to know what works for me and what doesn't. So I can throw out what isn't useful and keep what is. Swimming, I'm a bit blind and need someone to cut through to show me what's going to probably work for me. (Cycling is more about comfort and efficiency and cycling drills are a lot less risky to experiment with on a ride...you know, less drowning!)

I've heard you get to be a stronger swimming simply by showing up to the pool regularly and doing the work. True perhaps. But I think that's the goal of this new experiment I'm in with something new is that when it's something completely foreign, my instinct is to not just get through it. I want to master it. Ok, maybe not master it...too strong a word. But I want my actual ability in the pool to leave me feeling less vulnerable on that leg of the race. It's not that I'm afraid of the water now or most nervous about the swim now. People usually describe it that way, but that's not really the way I feel. Familiar. Maybe that's the word. I want the ability to be in a pack of 2,000 people and swim my race...just like I've gained over the last 5 years the ability to not get caught up in the excitement and know what my Mile 1 needs to feel like to have the Mile 26 I want to have.

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On a side note, Leda had her 15 month doctor appointment today which went well. Mostly boring talk about sleep and eating and all that. She's got 8 teeth. Growing nicely even if tiny. It's amusing to watch her little dots on the development graph...solid, consistent growth every visit along the upward line. Of course, it's the 10% line. She's small, but steady.

Perhaps a lesson there for endurance sports and life?

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