Main image for First Swim of 2018 CLT Training Time to Read: ~4 min

Back in the pool

I had hoped to get into the pool long before this but things have been so busy with school and Emoticakes that I didn't activate the one month pass that Scott bought me at the May Day 5 & 5 until today! In fact, I almost changed my mind about even starting today. As I was walking out of my exercise class at FLX I mentioned to the owner that I was going to go to swim for the first time. I told her about the pass and she said, "aren't they closing the pool for maintenance soon?" Oh my goodness she is right I thought. I've always been confused by this practice. They close it before the lake is warm enough that people are really swimming regularly in it and while everyone is gearing up for Women Swimmin' training and the Cayuga Lake Triathlon training. I think the 2nd week in August would be a much better time for seasonal updates.

Summoning the courage

Anyway, I almost just bailed when I realized it was closed from the 28th of June through July 1st but I called Scott to ask his opinion. He correctly pointed out that "Hey the cert expires in December so when else will you use it?" Ok ok I may as well push myself into the pool. I drove over with a pit in my stomach - it is hard to go back to a gym you left even if you do need their pool and to do something that is hard but I was going to summon the courage. Luckily when I walked in one of the women from my Les Mills training class was coming in as well. She was surprised to see me and I was happy to learn that she is now teaching BodyPump there. I explained that I had decided not to use the certification and she understood. Then she shared that she was going to be on a team for the CLT - running. She shared that she wasn't a strong swimmer. "Oh you should totally take Shane's class!" I said. "He'll give you amazing instruction and practice and he'll be your weekly dose of zen."

I bopped my way back to the locker room, suddenly feeling pretty ok about this whole swimming thing. I have such fond memories from my Total Immersion days with Shane. The first swim couldn't be that bad. I got ready and hopped into a lane only to suddenly realize that I basically had to swim a mile in the lake - 1500 meters to be precise. With the pool closing imminently for 5 days it seemed prudent to swim a mile today. What was my pool fitness like? Would I be able to swim at all?

It wasn't so bad

I decided to start with a 400 and time it with my stopwatch/lap feature. I got into a pretty comfortable groove with a 9 minute time for the distance. I wasn't worn out and it wasn't unpleasant. Suddenly I realized that the Tom Tom had a counting feature - I could set the length of the pool and count a .25 mile distance (or any distance). For the 2nd quarter mile I used this. That would allow me not to focus on counting laps but just on swimming. My 2nd set looked like this. Not bad - 9:18 for 411 yards (average of 2:15 for 100 yards). For my last section I realized I should not give myself even a bit of rest time and I set it for .5 mile. I started this set off counting strokes - not typically a good idea unless the numbers are what one would like to see. My stroked ranged from 18-22. Nothing has changed from the past. My best stroke count was the occasional 16 but really the typical was more toward 20. This set was the slowest of them all. It did include a couple of stops to sort out goggles and look around to make sure no one needed to share my lane (the pool was starting to get crowded) and I averaged 2:26 per 100 yards.

Thanks to Shane I won't drown

Just earlier that morning I had been in a BodyPump with my friend Jessica teaching class. A women had recently returned to class after an absence. Jess kept calling her out in a joking way "if you are just returning to class..." and I asked her how long she had been out and why. She shared that she had broken her ankle badly and it was a long recovery. I thought about her as I was swimming. It is hard to go back after an injury or an absence for any reason but things come back quickly. I feel eternally grateful to my former self for signing up for Shane's classes and to Shane for teaching them! I can still swim as well as I could when I left class (though I have a LONG LONG way to go to improve) and it wasn't unpleasant.

Some observations - when I dance I feel like I'm moving but I am really not moving. My family jokes about my "dancing" that it is just standing really. I must feel the movements in a more exaggerated way in my head. When I swim I am not rotating enough. I watched the guy next to me as he rocked from side to side, gliding through the water. I know I don't look like him. I look like a flat body on top of the water even though I feel like I'm rotating. I know I favor my right side strongly from Shane and from the fact that my right shoulder was tired from the swim. These are all things to work on when I go back on Wednesday!!

The lake is next

I'll try to hit the pool a couple of times a week all month and get to the lake after Elizabeth gets home from camp in early July. It should be plenty warm by then and I'll have my kayak buddy with me. A bonus is that she can drive down Kathey's driveway now so I can just be chauffeured home after my swim (she reminded me of this). I am hopeful that our practice sessions will help me keep my head calm in the actual race this year. Last year I was light on practice and the water/air was cold and I got kicked hard, losing my googles and panicking for a bit. A mile in the lake is a long way ... and there is the visual part that can freak me out.