Friday, July 28, 2006

Onward, Into the Fog

I haven't talked about swimming in a while, but there was a new development about two months ago.

I met the Mother Teresa of swim coaches.

She was giving a little girl a swimming lesson at the pool, and she was such a great instructor that I asked her if she was accepting any new students. She said she was, so I signed up Eli 4.09 (4.09 at the time). Then I decided to take a few lessons myself.

Eli can now swim freestyle--when he wants to. He still struggles with turning his head properly to breathe instead of lifting it out of the water, but his stroke is very strong. She works him very hard in the pool for thirty minutes each lesson, and it's remarkable how much he's improved.

She's just as good with grown-ups--this grown-up, at least. [insert usual disclaimer about how I'm not a swimmer in the sense of real swimmers. I started swimming because running decided it didn't like my knees anymore about two years ago] My PR for the 100 had been 1:37 and now it's 1:27, and I feel so much stronger in the water now.

Long-time readers of whatever this is will remember that I mentioned I wanted to swim 1600 in 30:00. At the time, I thought that was 1600 meters, which would mean a mile in thirty minutes. Well, I found out the pool in our neighborhood is not 100 meters, it's 100 yards (damn it), so it's not really a mile. Still, it's the pool where I swam 31:39 last summer, and thirty minutes is still a big goal.

Mother Teresa is moving to Houston in two weeks. So I decided to take a crack at the 1600 while she was still here. I didn't feel good in the water yesterday at all, but I wanted to see what I could swim when I didn't feel that good.

My biggest problem was that my goggles fogged over so badly that I couldn't see my splits very well (I have this very dorky way of lifting my head out of the water at the turn every 200 meters to check my time), so I had no splits for a 600 meters in the middle of the swim. And that was costly, because I wound up swimming 30:17, and if I'd gotten my 200 splits every time, I could have knocked off more than 17 seconds.

It was hard, and I'm tired today, but I can swim faster than that. I've got some anti-fog drops now. And I think next Thursday I'm going to finally break thirty minutes.

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