Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swim lessons - Day 1

Every time I lap swim or "train" for the swim leg of a triathlon, I tell myself I should sign up for lessons to improve my technique. I can swim from one end of the pool to the other so I know I'm not going backwards but sometimes it feels like it. I have to work so incredibly hard just to get down the lane.

Well, Kelly @ In a Field of Daffodils recently was thinking about signing up for a masters swim team this winter and shifting her focus from running to swimming to freshen things up and get a little break. That got me thinking...

What's stopping me from signing up for lessons? I should just do it. Right?

I called the Y yesterday and found out a class was starting today. Tonight. It's late enough that Mr. F can get home at his regular time and then I can take off without having to worry about who is going to be here while Baby F is sleeping.

I'm so glad I did it because it will give me a good opportunity to cross-train at least one night per week through the rainy Seattle fall and will make me a better swimmer so next summer I can more safely navigate Lake Padden for the annual triathlon.

After just one lesson, I have enough tips to keep me busy all fall and winter. By the end, I actually felt like I was working a little less strenuously to get down the lane but it was hard to concentrate on everything all at once. Sometimes I concentrate hard on my arms (reach, reach, reach) then forget about my legs (hips, easy, hips, easy) or vice versa. Then every once in a while I will have a zen moment where I can simultaneously concentrate on both arms and legs but then realize I'm dying because I've (gasp!) forgotten to breathe!

I really could spend months working on my first critique:
  1. Kick from the hips.
  2. Don't kick so hard/fast, take it easier unless I'm sprinting (which I'm not).
  3. Arms are led out of the water by the elbows, fingers skim the surface while really reaching forward, waaaay out there, before pulling back.


Apparently you don't move your arms like windmills? No, no, no. Think stealthy, streamlined, close to the body. Reaching way UP in the air then slapping down into the water wastes a lot of energy. Go figure.

Sadly, I didn't get a run in today. It's frustrating because it was actually my day off but I had so much junk to do...errands and chores all day long. At least I got about 30 minutes in the pool tonight. This means I need to push to get miles in later this week. I should be taking advantage of the child care at the Y and getting treadmill runs in at least, right? Even though it wouldn't be for very long, I feel bad about not spending time with Baby F when he's awake, especially since I only have him to myself two days per week. It keeps me from using the child care even though their rooms and staff are great. But maybe that's better than putting him in the jogging stroller? At least he can play with other kids. And it's only for a maximum of 1.5 hrs. :(  On weekends, I think it's nice leaving him with Mr. F so they can have their manly time together but I really cherish my weekday alone time with Baby F. Do I need to be weaned?

I should try this Friday to drop him off and see what happens. And then try not to cry on the treadmill.


  1. How exciting that you're taking swimming lessons!! I have such a hard time focusing on everything at once, too.

  2. That's great you signed up for a lesson... getting your stroke corrected makes a huge difference on speed & effort (usually less effort, more speed!!). We started the same night too... my first day was yesterday.

    Picked up the Lacuna as well, thanks for the recommendation. :)

  3. Congrats for going to a masters swim! I want to join one this fall too, I just need to go. Swimming will be great on those really good on those crappy Seattle days

  4. I have the same dilemma with T Junior. I have him to myself twice a week and I feel extremely guilty when I use the drop-in care or the gym care to go work out.

    Yay for the swimming lesson!

  5. I felt the same way when N and D were younger, but they have been going to the Y childcare since they were wee and now whenever we drive by and not stop they complain that they can't go play. The staff there are great and the kids have a great time (even if it's hard on mom).

    and I am so excited about you taking lessons. I totally need to do that, but if you want to run on treadmills with me there just give a yell.