Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I think I am a swimmer......

For a lot of triathletes the swim is the challenge, I am no exception!the shorter the distance the worse I am off as I loose so much time in the swim it is hard to make it up on the bike and run!
Pink caps females at the start of a 6.2 mile ocean swim
When I lived in Puerto Rico I used to swim 2 miles every morning in the Bay of Boqueron it was a slice of Paradise..swimming like that is not going to make me faster but it gave me endurance!
Pool at tri masters Covina
So when I moved to California and was not with in 5 minutes of a white sand beach I joined various health clubs for their pools and different university or collage pools I finally joined a Masters Swim program
getting ready to start a cool down
SO here is the deal, I learn t pool jargon, so I could do sets of 100s on 2:15, always 500 warm up, sometimes 10 50s with 10 seconds rest. I do stroke technique, high elbow, reach I use a pull buoy and paddles, a kick board and even fins, in the hope my swimming will one day become acceptable, but I am human and in the other lanes are lean swimming machines, adults that were high school swimmers or athletes that have been coached from the beginning on stroke technique.

Somedays I feel like I do not belong, as I struggle through the sets and work outs I go home disillusioned then there are other days when all the stars are aligned and I manage to do the complete work out that I go home happy.

But on the days I feel upset and wonder why I bother to get up so early in the morning to swim I must remind myself of my personnel journey to get to where I am today in the pool. When I first started Covina Masters I could not kick across the pool now I can do 500, its not fast but at least I move!
I like to think I have improved and must really focus on the lane I am in and not look at all the other swimmers swimming so fast!

I was once compared to a pressure cooker, it seems I just cannot go THAT fast that I want to puke and not faint! so before I reach my max output I let out my steam and go into cruise control.

I once signed up for the Survival of the Shawangunks in upstate New York....why? because it predominately featured several cold lake swims in between running I am not afraid to challenge myself. Brrr lake swimming was an interesting eye opener to fresh water swimming!! I have also done 3 mile swims in Grand Cayman and beach to Beach swims in St John, I can swim it just is not fast!!

 At least in California a wet suit is allowed in most of the triathlons and I cannot see myself swimming the Catalina Channel any time soon were wet suits are not allowed! 
Some of my swimming gear....

So now I try to imagine the Olympian swimmers were their hands enter the water or how their bodies rotate.
I do not mind doing back stroke although on more than one occasion I have whacked myself on the pool dividers, it is quite a nice stroke actually and sometimes I get to see green parrots flying over head!
Breast stroke , mm if I thought my free style was slow then my breast stroke is like molasses!!!
Attempting butterfly stroke would surely result in a visit to the local emergency room!
I actually like doing one armed drills, superman kicks, catch up stroke etc its all good in a painful way!!! I just want to be more efficient in the swim portion so I can do a good bike and great run....
If only I could wear my scuba gear for the triathlon swim portion that would even out the field!!
 The most beautiful place I have competed in has to be Kona Hawaii as that 6.2 mile swim although long and the currents and jelly fish sometimes play havoc there is clear ocean, marine life I could watch all day to detract from swimming, dolphins, whales reef fish turtles and yes even sharks, sure beats the dotted line in the pool!!!

I have made some fantastic friends who are World class swimmers and below is a video taken a few years ago in Hawaii in an endless pool
I have also spent many hours reading about stroke technique and watching videos
just some of my swimming gems...
At the end of the day yes I am still a swimmer I could just concentrate on biking and running but I actually like the challenge of the swim!!! I do not always smell like chlorine but I am still a swimmer!!
So I still go to practice, as I know that if I keep going one day something will click!!

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