The past 2 weeks have been tough training. Last week we swam our longest distance (4.5km) in the Ocean, and I added a few days in the pool doing drills/speed as well. It was interesting for me getting back into the pool however. As much as I loathe those pesky walls at the end of a measly 25 meters in soupy chlorinated water and playing a game of dodge with other ‘less courteous’ swimmers, it actually helped to remind me of HOW to swim.
Wetsuits are great for buoyancy, but you do tend to develop a few bad habits; like not lifting your elbows/arms out of the water as high because even though wetsuits are designed for the swimming range of motion, you are still wrapped in neoprene and it is never the same as being ‘free’. Or not rotating as much as you should to slice through the water because you are more focused on not being flipped over when combating current, chop and waves. Or not pulling efficiently and/or shortening your stroke because you are caught in a current and your immediate reaction is to swim MORE, instead of swimming LESS (i.e. LONGER). All of these ‘little’ things in a pool are ‘easy to remember' to do, but far less ‘automatic’ in the open water, and as it turned out, was exactly what I needed to do to get myself back on track. No wonder I had been feeling so S-L-O-W and uncoordinated in the Ocean over the past few weeks! A little reminder is all the body needed. Phew!
Today’s swim was a sweet short distance (bring on the taper!) in the lowest tide I have seen in a long time. The double prize-bonus too was the crystal clear water. It was more like snorkeling, and it was AWESOME! Blooms of seaweed were doing their slow-motion-under-water dance as fish and crabs scattered away from us. Our seal too was even out for a few laps. I have to admit I was a little nervous that because it was so clear we would finally see him/her swimming beside us, or maybe even under us, but I guess it decided that we were better off not knowing exactly how it paces us. Maybe its some kind of seal code. Who am I to judge? :)
This Wednesday will be our last swim together before race day Saturday. We are drawing straws (popsicle sticks in this case) for our relay positions. GULP. Here we go! Get ready Shipping Lanes….here we come!