Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Swim Miracle

Happy Easter!

I made it to the pool today to work out some of the soreness in my legs. I hadn't done anything but swim since Lonestar, so I started getting back at it. After a hard 4 mile run on Friday and a 31 mile bike followed by a short run yesterday, my legs were really sore.

I started out with fins, doing lots of kick drills. I have been doing a lot of side kicking to work on getting comfortable in that position and stay balanced. I also did some 'Superman glide', transitioning that to swim. I did a couple of 50's, which were a little better but still felt hard.

Donna had suggested that I swim 300 nonstop, then I would know I was ready to do Silverlake. She thinks that would be a great one for me. After the 50's I was thinking the only way I could swim 300 straight open water with no wetsuit would be with a pull buoy! And I am trying to overcome that addiction... lol

I kept doing drills and even swam 25 breast stroke. Then after half a pool length of drill, I started swimming. After I hit the wall and turned around I suddenly noticed that I could feel water splashing over my hip... it was getting air! I was swimming with my hips up, without excessively kicking, just what I had been working on! That was almost like swimming with the pull buoy, but without it! I kept going and made 6 more full laps. I had no idea I was going to be able to do that today, something finally clicked!

Now I am taking another look at Silverlake. :)


Friday, April 22, 2011

Pull Buoy Addiction

I found this article from Coach Emmett Hines about the lack of balance in the water and Pull Buoy Addiction. Well I can definitely say I am a recovering addict! Leading up to Lonestar, I started really hating swimming... unless I was using the pull buoy. I swam 500, then 1000 no problem with the buoy but would struggle to go 50 without it. Here is the article,
Of Air and Gravity, by Coach Emmett Hines

Here is another review of the pull buoy as a tool from Total Immersion
Tool Review #2: Pull Buoy — Crutch or Virtue « Swim Well and Live Well: The Blog of Total Immersion Founder Terry Laughlin

So what am I doing? I took it out of my pool bag for starters, and I am working on achieving my balance without it. It would be useful in practicing strokes, but I see that it is detrimental if overused. It can easily become a crutch, or did for me. I think my journey of learning will be faster without it.


Video: Secrets of Speed Part 1 of 9 « Swim Well and Live Well: The Blog of Total Immersion Founder Terry Laughlin

Video: Secrets of Speed Part 1 of 9 « Swim Well and Live Well: The Blog of Total Immersion Founder Terry Laughlin: "

I have been trying to improve my swim by focusing on efficiency in the water. Total Immersion is really big about that, and this video series explains it well. Now to be able to implement!


First Triathlon!

I finally completed my first triathlon, the Lonestar Sprint in Galveston, TX!

I have been working on learning to swim since November. When I started, I was struggling with half a pool length. Now thanks to Coach Melanie and working over the winter I was actually able to swim the open water 500 yards!
I did not do as well as I had hoped, I think I lost focus and had my head up way too much. But at least I got through it! Swim time: 19:11, rank 508 out of 556. I put in way too much energy and was not feeling good about it when I got out of the water.

I ran up to the wetsuit strippers, the guy was counting to three as I laid there waiting on him to pull... just pull it dude! LOL I was out of breath on the way back to transition so I ended up walking. T1 time: 4:52.

I hit the bike hard, passing several people as they were trying to get clipped in right off the bat.
There was a full headwind on the way out to the Galveston seawall, with some rough roads and a no passing zone in there too. Once I hit the seawall, it was a crosswind from the water. Then I started passing people. :) I got past quite a few from my swim wave, and even some folks with 20's on their calf. Sweet! I caught just a little bit of a tailwind on the way in too.
Bike was much better than the swim, but that is the sport I have been doing the longest too. Bike time was 45:15 for a 16.6 mph average. 290th place, almost middle!

I somehow had a super quick T2 of 1:58, and that was even with having to turn around after a couple of steps to grab the Garmin off the bike. Then I forgot to start it right when started running, oh well!

I must have started the run WAY too fast. I am not sure what happened there even. I could not maintain my intervals during the run, ended up walking more than planned. But I still PR'd the 5K in 31:09 for a 9:59 pace! 413th overall.
I ended up 48 out of 55 for my age group with an overall time of 1:42:22. The first thing Donna asks me is whether or not I am ready to do another one. I told her to ask me after a few days. Just not sure if I liked swimming enough to keep at it to do another one. Since then I have been working on getting more efficient in the water, and I think I will like it better as I get better. We'll see! I will post more on some swim stuff I have been looking into.