Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I *Heart* Swimming

Well it's September. I figure I better go ahead and get my September post up since a once a month posting is about my average these days.

After my first triathlon, I sat down and thought about what worked and what didn't work for me during the race.

Here's what worked:

1.) The bike. My average MPH wasn't bad, it could be faster, but that will come with more bike training.
2.) My nutrition. I think I know the right amount of fluids and nutrition that I need during the bike and run.
3.) My T2 transition time of 38 seconds. I had the fastest in my age group and fourth fastest overall. I think I should get a medal for this.

What didn't work:

1.) Lolly gagging around during the swim. There's no reason to be thinking about the mud and plants under my feet or all the decaying dead bodies at the bottom of the lake that were staring up at me as I was swimming over them (I need to stop watching Forensic Files)
2.) Sitting down and staring at my feet in T1.
3.) Having to walk/run the run portion.

I think the run portion will work itself out as my cardio comes back to me. I'm not sure what to say about the feet thing in T1, hopefully that won't happen again, so I guess the one thing left to really work on is the swim part. I need to get some confidence in my swimming.

Here's what usually happens when I go to the pool:

Oh look at me, playing around taking pictures under the water. Thank goodness I shaved my armpits.

My friend Jill and me. Lookie at our pink kick boards, aren't they pretty? They are kids sized, but we ordered them anyway because everyone needs a pink kick board.

I decided that I am going to get serious about swimming, so I signed up at "The Swim Labs" swim school to have my swim stroke analyzed. The unique thing that the Swim Lab does is they put you into a giant tank of water also known as the endless pool, which creates a current down the middle of the pool. This current allows you to swim in the endless pool while a swim instructor evaluates your swim stroke and video equipment record you as you are swimming so that you can see the areas of inefficiency and what needs to be improved upon.

I walked up in there pretty excited about my lesson and the first thing I notice is all the little kids running around. I'm the only adult with a swimsuit on. Peachy. The rest of the adults are gathered around a huge glass plated window where they are able to view all lessons that are happening in the endless pools.

Well shit.

Then I notice all of the TV monitors located above the viewing area where you could watch as they video taped the swim lesson/analysis.

Well crap.

My swim instructor came out to get me and I immediately ask him about the cameras.

"Yes, those are there so that parents can watch their children" he replied.

"But my parents aren't here! Does my lesson have to be broadcast!!!"

I must have looked absolutely mortified because he assured me that the parents would be watching their children and not my lesson.

Right. Why would you watch your kids when there is a floundering whale trying to stay afloat in the middle tank.

I quickly forget that I was in a giant fishbowl with an audience once I became absorbed in my lesson. The lesson itself was pretty cool and it was neat to be able to swim and then watch the video replay on the monitors. He also put me swimming side by side with an Olympic swimmer and pointed out what I needed to improve on. Overall, my stroke is actually pretty good and he gave me a few pointers and swim drills that I could work with the next time I go to the pool.

If you are a competitive swimmer or just suck like I do in the pool and want to improve, I would highly recommend finding a place similar to the swim lab and having your stroke analyzed. I found it to be a fun and useful experience.

Well this has gotten to be a novel and I'm sure no one really wants to read a book on a swim lesson, so I'll be signing off now.


ShutUpandRun said...

LMFAO. "But my parents aren't here!!"

I am SO doing this and I know Ken will too. Great suggestion.

And your T2 time WAS amazing. I still think it's cause you didn't put on your bib. :) Well, even if you had you still would have been the fastest. I don't know what the hell I was doing.

Jill said...

Once a month post? Um, I think it was about 4 months with no post this summer.. just sayin'. Hope you're back to being a better blogger!!

I didn't know you went to the swim lab?!?!??? How dare you not tell me. When did you do that? Too bad your parents weren't there, I'd sure they'd give you a big "nice job, honey!" :)

ajh said...

Funny post! I would be terrified people were watching me. Glad to see you posting.

Heidi Nicole said...

I suck at swimming...like I can maybe swim to save myself. I really need to work on that and it is the primary reason I am terrified yet fascinated by tris. Some day I will get my butt into a swimming lesson...but I might have to make my mom come visit so she can be a proud parent! ;)

And then I might even get half way decent at swimming and be able to justify a swim lab visit!

Christine said...

You made me laugh so hard :) What a great idea with the swim analysis!!

Molly said...

the first time I opened my goggled eyes at an open water swim, I thought of the sketchy, creepy underwater opening credits of True Blood. It looked JUST like that.

I am so surprised at how much I love to swim. I'm determined to hit up open swim at the high school this summer to keep up my swim fitnesss. Very cool that you had your stroke analyzed. Mike was the captain of his swim team in high school, and my Dad swam for chapel hill. One day this summer, the two of them sat at the side of the lap lane, and analyzed my stroke. But compared to you, I got off easy : )

Well, this comment is turning into a novel, but if this is the only post for the month, I've gotta do what I can.

Meg said...

You always crack me up...I'm sure all of those parents were totally impressed with your tight bod and massive swim strokes(???). YOu probably inspired all of them to get off their fannies and into the pool rather than watching the tv the whole time and gossiping.
Do they analyze doggy paddlers?

HappyTrails said...

Why yes, you did a fine job in remembering to shave your pits. And I am with you in imagining all the gross things living (or not living in the reservoir) - like how much poopy water I was swallowing, etc. and what kind of nasty intestinal virus I would end up with. Those kind of things. But you shouldn't think about those things, right?
I am liking yours and Jill's matching pink kick boards - very nice! I kind of like noodles, myself. Seriously, though, keep up the great work!

TX Runner Mom said...

I would also be mortified! I have to admit, I sometimes watch the older kids do drills when my kids are in swim class...I learn a lot from watching them. I definitely need to seek out a swim lab!

Jennifer said...

Ha ha cameras in the pool. I would be more afraid of them catching an underwater fart! Good to "see" you again! You look great!

Anonymous said...

You should have called us! Dad and I would have been there for your lesson, LOL.


Meg said...

YES, come do the half marathon, it's gorgeous! You can stay with us as well!!!
I'm not taking NO for an answer, you can have a girls get away with JILL(and me!)!

Teamarcia said...

Swim stroke. I'm not taking my dog paddle anywhere.
Very cool that you did this, especially with the uninvited audience. And yes, a medal for sure for that awesome T1!
Miss you!!!

Sarah Grecco said...

Ok, the fact that you used the word "lolly gagging' makes me instantly like you. That word is GREAT! My first tri swimming kicked my BEHIND!

Love hearing your perspective.

Get Up & Go

Fruit Fly said...

You totally just lived through my fear! I seriously cannot swim. I do water aerobics 3 mornings a week, but we never actually do laps. I don't even know that I could. SO I thought of doing swimming lessons but didn't want to be that strange 30-something in a class of 7 year olds whose parents are all in the observation area watching.

Kudos to you for doing it!! Awesome post!

Keri said...

OMG, the pool where I swim has swim lessons all Summer. I walked in there for my second swim session and saw on the parents. I just knew they would be staring at me while I tried to keep from drowning with my body parts flying around in the water.

There was one day where I pulled into the parking lot and just turned around and left. I called Ken and told him there were too many mini vans in the parking lot!

I did get mistaken for a child during one of the sessions. I was swimming along and kids were all around me. The instructor did not say anything to them until she saw me keep swimming laps and then apologized because she thought I was one of the kids. Nice lady, I know I am small but, my boobs are a little bigger than the eight year olds.