Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 68

The triathlon.  Well it's not next April which must mean I didn't completely humiliate myself.  Let me walk you through the 24 hours before my event started.  In the morning, when I should have been doing anything else but this, I was watching You Tube clips of "how to swim freestyle".  It's screams "desperate" right?  Interestingly enough, the guy who had the most insights for me, was a guy covered in tattoos in his home pool.  Never judge a book folks.
Next step, I headed to my local pool to practice what I'd just learnt.  This actually involved twisting my arm in a unique way that I have never, ever attempted before.  Needless to say, after a couple of hundred metres, I was feeling an ache in those dormant muscles that I thought couldn't be a good thing just before an event.
The day of, we are sitting waiting at the pool.  I am number 991, there are 981 girls ahead of me before I can even touch water.   And there are all shapes and sizes and abilities in the pool.  Some girls are breaststroking, some are back stroking and there are zillions in the pool.  We were chatting about techniques, when a woman we were sitting with, started giving some useful tips.  We laughed about how crazy we are leaving our swim training to the last minute.  My friend Mia was 700 and something, so she headed away before me, leaving me sitting on my own with my nerves and 500 other women for company.  Until, the winner of the event I hadn't even started yet, came and sat by me and started chatting.  She was recovering so she could do the event after the one she'd just won.  And I swear, just before my number was called, she gave me a wee last minute tip "just stay behind someone and you'll be in their draft, stay close to someone's toes".  "Well that's not going to be a problem", I thought.

And look I'm not going to bore you with the detail of how I "sliced not slapped" the water (although my slice was the wrong way), nor how I did stay on everyone's toes (for the first 25 metres until they blew me off and I was swimming alone again), but what I will say is that I actually swam.  I focused, I reminded myself stuff and I got to the end without completely humiliating myself.  Slow but respectable is my sum up.  And hell, after my last attempt, I'll bank that.

So what did I find out in my last minute training (and folks, these are my own words and interpretation so please don't (a) correct me or (b) follow this as gospel or (c) read this if you are a good swimmer and know you will see me in the school yard (and that's you Ashley ok?).

But who knows if you do, you too may have visions of being the first 40+ year old at London in 2012 winning gold in the 200 "fly"although I'll only go if I don't have to wear those boob flattening, butt enhancing one piece wetsuit things.

Slice don't slap the water - in other words, keep your palm  perpendicular to the water rather than slapping it with a flat palm.  And have your palm facing away from your body.  (so it can push the water away)
Stretch out your body when you're turning for a breath.
Swivel your body when breathing - as if it is attached to a pole and can only turn in either direction a little bit.
Little butterfly kicks - fast, strong but not big.

And even though I do have great faith in the learning powers of You Tube, I had my first stroke correction class at my local pool today.  More on this after my next triathlon in two weeks.  Or maybe not.

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