Friday, August 15, 2008

Going straight

Yesterday I made sure that my therapist worked on both sides of my back and neck, hoping the symmetry would help me during my swim. The deep tissue work and electrical stim left me feeling sore but flexible. I could turn my head from side to side for the first time in weeks and my back pain was reduced to a dull throbbing.

Claudia and I showed up at Shadow Scum Cliffs earlier than the scheduled time, simply because we were done with work and didn't want to wait around. One of our teammates was also there. It was crowded since it was around a gazillion degrees out. Even with the water level so low it's still a lake and many families were wading and picnicking and watching the weirdos trying to squeeze into wetsuits.

We discovered that it's much tougher to pull on a wetsuit when you're already hot and sweaty. It sticks, everywhere. What was easy last week took forever this week. There were quite a few of the people who are allowed to swim across the lake, people in their green caps, people who looked at us as the amateurs that we are. I think they were amused with our newbie struggles too.

We finally waded up to the swim lane and took off. We had decided to just swim a mile which would be about 6 laps. I let them set off first since I'm slower and wanted to work on my form. After a few strokes I realized I was swimming much straighter than I had last week. As long as I paid attention to what I was doing. When I settled into swimming, quit sighting, relaxed, I was going off at angles. So along with just swimming I worked hard at swimming well. I practiced sighting (which is tough since I really can't see distances too well), kicking when I sighted and not jumping out of my skin every time someone else swam by (I don't know why I do this, just reaction and impulse). I worked on full arm movements, steady pace, body rotation. By the time I finished a couple of laps I was feeling good about my swimming.

It was really too warm for a wetsuit and periodically I pulled out the neckline and let water flow in. That's a very strange sensation, feeling water oozing and trickling down and out the legs and arms. But it was very cooling and rather than overheat I continued to do it.

We finally completed our 6 laps and decided that we deserved a treat. I haven't managed to eat dinner at all this week, too many late workouts and what's the point of dinner at 9pm or later. So we scurried to rinse off and change and drove back to where we'd met. We sat and had cheap fast Chinese food. Yum, a great reward for hard work!

Our long bike ride is tomorrow with a short run afterward and a longer run on Sunday. I'm looking forward to doing some run/walking, so much better than walking! I hope it cools down some before then.

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