Friday, March 9, 2012

On Becoming a Fish...

Anyone remember the Japanese cartoon "Marine Boy" from the late sixties?   The English dubbed version was apparently screened on television in the US, UK and Australia.  In this series Marine Boy (with a friendly dolphin whose name escapes me and "Neptina" the mermaid) patrols the oceans and can swim for hours with the aid of "Oxy-Gum"......

Well, today I must have had a little Oxy-Gum in my breakfast cereal, as I had what I am thinking of as a breakthrough swim workout of 3,200 yards, including a 1,000 yard freestyle continuous set.   Nothing spectacular for many of my triathon friends who think nothing of ripping out 2.4 mile open water swims, but for me this was a big milestone!

This time last year I was just starting to get "back in the pool" and struggling mightily.   I was in no danger of drowning, but my freestyle form was average and my endurance was lousy - the two are related of course!
My swim struggles at the White Lake Triathlon have been well documented in this blog and, to be honest, going to the pool to workout felt like a chore. 

Going in to this season I was determined to improve and I have been taking my swim sessions much more seriously.  Basically I told myself to "HTFU" and do the work needed to improve.  Discovering Raleigh's Optimist pool instead of having to go to the dreary Millbrook Exchange has certainly helped.   The Puppeteer had me doing two sessions a week (typically 2,000 to 2,400 yards each) until recently, when I asked her to add a third.  I have workd hard on my drills and am definitely "longer" in the water and stronger in my catch and it's finally paying dividends!   I did a pool session with The Puppeteer a couple of weeks back and was very encouraged about what she said about my stroke and form.

It felt great to complete the 1,000 yard set with good form today.  Not only that, but I ripped off 2 x 500 yard sets with swim paddles immediately afterwards and felt strong.  Perhaps, as The Puppeteer is fond of saying, I'm "becoming a fish" and "growing gills".   She told me that it would come if I kept at it and so will from hereon be known as "Doctor Fate".... 

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