Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Swim Swam Swum & January is done

The last several days I (water)logged a lot of time in the pool. 

I struggle with my swim-mentally, mostly. I don't feel confidant with my swimming technique and I feel terribly inadequate in the water at times. I will have 2 or 3 consecutive swim sessions where I feel great, strong or zen-like in the water and then Bang! I feel like any sort of progress I make is for naught and I have a terrible session.

This knee injury has also forced my hand and made me focus on my weakest triathlon discipline. So I will research swimming until my brain is bordering on explosion. I watch all kinds of videos, read, re-read and then try to do everything at once that I think I need to fix. I get too much conflicting information and I end up with paralysis by analysis.

Saturday, Dawn and I hit the pool together. Not a lot of yardage but she helped me with some drills and gave me some good feedback on my stroke and elbow position. I love to watch her swim. She is so smooth and graceful in the water. I feel like a water buffalo splishing and splashing around. I moan and groan about this or that but Dawn tells me I am actually a good swimmer and I just need to refine a few things. I just chalk her talk up to her being my friend and not wanting to hurt my feelings -- or since she is super competitive MAYBE she is telling me I'm doing well just to sabotage my swim ??? (just kidding....maybe). So Saturday we brought the camera to the pool on Saturday to review and analyze what we were doing in the water.

Sunday was a Total Immersion clinic and I finally got to go! I have been wanting to attend one of these monthly lessons but it just has not worked out for me until this weekend. There were several of my tri club peeps there and of course, Dawn too. I was really nervous about going to this clinic for many reasons. One being I don't know a WHOLE lot of the TI techniques. Two, I did not want to hold anyone in the class back. Three, I just felt very insecure about it.

Celeste, the instructor was quite clear with her instructions and the agenda for the day. She had the class start with simple drills, things I could easily understand. As we proceed with the drills and then incorporating said drills into actual swimming, she walked around the pool giving feedback. I am not getting very much feedback or critique from her - I am expecting a lot of corrections. I figure it is because I am doing a drop-in class 1/2 way through the 5 or 6 month session. Dawn and I are sharing a lane so I tell her about my concerns and Dawn tells me to relax since Celeste would tell me if I was doing something wrong. So I would watch the instructor watching me and as she circled the pool...Still nothing. I guess I was half expecting her to tell me to get out of the pool, come back when I mastered some basic TI techniques and to stop wasting her time.

We worked on supermans, hip rotation, head position, breathing and it was a really enjoyable class. I felt like I got a good base of info to work with and certainly feeling more comfortable with my swim. Then came time for Celeste to tape each swimmer and provide feedback based on the lessons of the day and what our focus or concerns were.

My turn came and I actually did not think it was ME on the screen. The person swimming looked too smooth to be me. Interestingly enough, my feedback was NOT what I expected either. I was told that I had great head position and balance, my hips looked good and I just need to tweak my stroke timing and work on my pull a bit.
You mean I am not some giant water buffalo? A big old mess in the water??
I was dumbfounded.

The class was definitely a great learning experience for me and I feel a lot better about my swim now. Maybe the positive feedback will help since I will not be filled with self doubt every time I am in the pool. I have some simple drills to work on and I know what I actually AM doing wrong and not just imagined. With just this SMALL amount of information, I will focus on these things over the next couple weeks and look forward to the next class in February.

So how did January shape up for me?

I only ran 41 miles this month. Considering I was dealing with a knee injury and took several weeks off well...better than expected. Hoping February is a much more productive month for running!

As for swimming in January, it was my most productive swim month ever. 9.48 miles = 16,703.76 yards plus an additional 2.5 hours of unmeasured swimming. Considering my biggest month ever was 3 (measly) miles, this is a big jump.

Cycling was my most exciting workout this month! I got a new bike and spent time on the trainer getting to know her. I logged my first indoor cycling session yesterday with a couple triclub peeps. My first class was a doosey too! 10 minute warm-up and then LT intervals: 10 mins at 100-105% of lactate threshold with 2 minutes recovery x3 with a 10 minute cooldown and then stretching. An absolute sweat fest and I loved every minute of it! January's miles on the trainer? 177 miles.


Melissa Cunningham said...

i know this month has had some setbacks for you,but i love how you are listing all the other positives here!
wtg on the swim and biking btw!
you rock!

Anonymous said...

Figures... it takes you being injured for me to out-run you in a month (and even then... just barely) ;) haha

You inspire me all the time, Jen! Keep up the good work!!!!

A Prelude To... said...

I've always wondered what I look like swimming. I would love to have a video done! I think I must look funny as I don't do things the same on both sides. My left arm does a huge S on my pull and my right arm is more straight down. Not symmetrical at all.

Carly said...

Sounds like a good month to me!
And swimming is the easiest part of a tri for me because I swam in HS so I tend to struggle with the running. All we can do is work on it, right?

Aimee said...

I'm jealous that you got to go to one of the TI clinics! That's awesome that you got a video analysis done and got positive feedback! Yay for not being a water buffalo..ha ha!
Nice job with your training numbers!

P.S. If you still want one of the tri clings, send me an email at trirunveg@gmail.com with your address and I'll mail one out to you! :)

Unknown said...

I did love the picture, it made me giggle but…

isn't it interesting when what we "think" we look like/feel like differ from reality?

Great job, girl.


I am just too damn lazy to go to the indoor pool (not sure where it is around us to tell you the truth). I guess I should figure it out, though, if I am to improve that part of my game.
Good job

Tough Chik said...

Congrats! I feel like a water buffalo too! It is so great when you realize that you are a better athlete than you give your self credit for.

Jason said...

Congrats on the swim. That is awesome.

If you don't already I suggest following Jeff (Dangle The Carrot) and Jon (SwimCycloRun) as they have videos of their swim and they have helped me a lot.

I would say I have cut-off about :15 per 200y because of their videos.

Chuck has no clue how to use social media the way you do.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

You are a machine!! Isn't it funny how critical we are of ourselves?! Great job!!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Holy Pincushions!!! 10 minutes at LT!!! and x3 on top of it!! That is no small task and my legs are burning from just reading that, That is flat out impressive

dawn said...

Are you kidding????? Me......try to sabotage YOU???????? The only way I would sabotage you is with FOOD!!! Pumpkin whoopie pies anyone?

LOL on the water buffalo pic! No, truly -- LOL. I know people just write that - but I was laughing!

Hey - can you send me the video of me actually looking like I can swim TI - style. Lord knows it falls apart if I try any sort of speed work!

Beal88 said...

Great job!!

Keith said...

I'm not a big fan of TI for me, but I know it works for some people. I've found over the last several months while I was tweaking my stroke is that you can't think of everything. I'd do 50 m concentrating on something, say my catch. Then I'd pause, think about how I did, then focus on something else. Do that a few times and come back to catch. Catch is so important. Just like in your bike workout, every now and then you have go all out on your swim. Many people get locked into thinking they swim a certain speed. And then they do. When you break through that you'll find you can swim faster all the time. It takes a lot of swimming to get really good. Hang in there.

Chris K said...

You swam like a fish in January. But, I'm not a swimmer - I'd rather go to the Dentist. Thanks for the suggestion to wear a racing skirt. After careful consideration I don't think I will :-)

Anonymous said...

thanks, very good =)