Tuesday, September 30, 2014


For the first time in about a decade I got in a pool to swim & work out today.  We joined a local health club with a (5 lane, 25 meter) pool and childcare, and I decided to take advantage.

Tadpole enjoyed her new play space.  I have a few doubts about how long she'll enjoy it after the novelty wears off, but we shall see.
Sprout got the "younger sister dragged on other people's schedules" treatment today as we ended up at a park with a friend of Tadpole's for much of the early afternoon, perked up with a snack, then headed to the gym.  She apparently slept after minimal crying.  This will not be our typical schedule if I make a habit of this.

Which ... I think I'd like to.  It's abundantly clear that I have no endurance compared to when I was on the team in high school.  I can't right now work out hard enough to tire any muscles.  But I can build endurance, and I still have pretty good form.

Brief digression to extend my incredible gratitude to coaches Jeff, Scott & Joel who coached me in high school and drilled us constantly on body position in the water.  I was rolling all over the place (as intended) and have a lot of control over when/where my hands and arms are moving for both freestyle and backstroke.  I did a length of butterfly, which was a mistake, but also did some one-arm fly which felt good, and I can manage a passable length of breaststroke (always a weakness).

I "swam" for about 20 minutes, by which I mean I was moving pretty consistently.  In the middle, there were definitely times where I walked at least half the length, in large part because I didn't want to swim with bad form.

I have one issue with form (a holdover from high school days) - when I breathe on my right, I hunch my shoulder up a bit and make small, weak muscles do work they shouldn't have to.  I'm going to work on getting out of this habit, but also just mostly breathe to the left for now.

So what can I do:
I can finish a lap of freestyle, but only about a length with form that feels good.  (Partly because I don't have the rhythm & spacing for flip turns back yet)
I can do about a length of backstroke, previously my favorite.  Form here doesn't feel as good, but it's still fine.
I can do a length of breaststroke.  Breaststroke never really clicked for me, but I have a good space to work from.
I can finish a length of butterfly if I want to, and I still have a fine dolphin kick.

About 10 minutes in, I was really struggling with breathing and endurance, and nothing felt good, but I kept going, give myself permission to walk or keep my head out to breathe, and refocused on a few drills I remembered, and by the end I was remembering why I enjoyed swimming so much.  It felt good!

Now I just need to figure out if there's a way to get to the pool around school and nap schedules, and how often I can go before either Tadpole or Sprout decides it's too much ...

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