So after sitting on my butt on my bike trainer for 3-1/4 hours on Saturday (thankyouthankyouthankyou Game of Thrones), I not only had a sore tush...er....parts....I had to jump off, slam a snack and scurry off to my swim check up.
As I pulled on my swim cap, I was a little alarmed to see a blueish tinge to my lips in the mirror. I sweat *a lot* and of course got quite chilled on the way to the pool. I was so relieved when the swim instructor gestured me over to the instructional pool (87 degrees!) as opposed to the performance pool (80 degrees). The water felt nice and toasty as I slid in to warm up.
After a quick chat about what I was looking for in the lesson....um, I want to swim faster, smoother, I did a few laps so that she could take a look at my stroke. The good news is that I have a "beautiful stroke", "very smooth". She made a couple of small adjustments, one to my hands (fingers a little more closed), one to my neck (RELAX it!), and would like to see just a little more rotation. The neck will be tough, the others are doable. For the most part though, she was very happy with my stroke. What's the bad news? That she was very happy with my stroke. There isn't much to change that will make me faster. What will make me faster? Well...swimming faster. I need to get some power in my stroke. I did a drill, and then some swimming really focusing on the pull to get a bit more power. She timed some of my 50s, before the focus on the pull and after. More good news, that yes, I could hold my pace ALL DAY LONG. But I'm not going to get any faster just swimming my pace. I have to swim faster to get faster. Swimming on my own, that will mean doing some timed intervals even if I'm not technically supposed to be timing myself.
Of course the email I get back from coach is short and to the point..."MASTERS". *sigh* The ELF makes a point though when she says "I don't want you swimming pretty, I want you swimming fast." I guess tri is the wrong sport if I'm looking for style points. So now I start researching Masters programs....again. I may end up back at Menlo, although the locker rooms there are awful and so tiny for as many swimmers as there typically are. I'd love to find a program that has evening swims. One of the things I like about swimming on my own is the convenience. I can swim whenever I want. Which is usually late afternoon. You know, when there are ZERO Masters groups meeting. Arf.
The other thing, which is bad, is that I have a hard time wanting to dedicate a big chunk of time to getting faster in the pool when the swim is the shortest part of any tri. I could gain much more ground on either the bike or the run. Bad attitude, I know. I mean any improvement is a good thing, no matter how small. My internal debate continues.