Thursday, 20 January 2011

So many possible titles for this post!

Options include:
  • How to Avoid Cramps When Swimming by Eating Supper
  • The Butterfly Stroke - Satan's Greatest Gag
  • Lane Dividers - World's Strongest Plastic
  • How Being Stubborn is Related to Physical Fatigue
I worked from home today since I had someone clean the ducts and furnace in my new home (it had NEVER been done before in the 10 years - EVER). The work finished late and my wife and I headed out to The Works at about 2pm for the best burgers in town. Come supper time, I wasn't really hungry so I had about a cup of rice and some peas. Yeah, that's not nearly enough for a tough swim workout. It didn't take long for the muscles to feel wiped, and the cramping wasn't far from that point either. Inner thigh, quads, and feet. I actually had a cramp on the TOP of my foot! I've never even heard of that. In fact, when I had that one, I also had one on the bottom of the foot. One cramp pulled my big toe down and out, and the other pulled my little toe up and over - I must have looked like a circus freak.

Today's workout was all IM stuff. While it was dominantly freestyle, it was generously sprinkled with the other three strokes. And that damned butterfly was taunting me horribly! Tonight was one of those nights where I felt that I'd never get that damned stroke figured out - and I think the coach caught that vibe. She was giving me a lot of pointers and advice! I certainly appreciated it, and on each 50m I focused on what she had told me.

That's when I realized that swimming is a lot like golf - when you focus on one thing in your stroke, the rest falls into the crapper! I worked my ass off trying to get that damned smooth rhythm down, hard kicks, powerful arms, back out of the water. All I got was power ostriches on every stroke. (A "power ostrich" is an old BMX term for slamming yourself headfirst into the ground over your bars.)

On the second set, I was bound and determined to make progress in this damned stroke, and I knew the coach was watching me. I focused only on my stroke, slowed things down, and made every move deliberate. One stroke - out of the water and smooth re-entry with the arms! Yes!!! Second stroke - out of the water, not quite as much, and not so smooth back in. I nailed the lane divider again. I thought for sure I broke something that time, but that didn't stop me. I kept trying to get that dolphin-like rhythm, the arms and back cleanly out of the water. But alas, I just couldn't. I was sucking air so hard I couldn't swim anymore in that length.

Turns out my arm movement is getting much better, but I'm relying on my knee bend FAR too much on the kick. Good to hear. 'Cause I'm going to get that damned stroke figured out before I die! :D


JohnP said...

I feel like such a knob everytime I strike the lane divider lol. I wonder if it's making a loud THWAP when I smack it and people are staring at me. lol

I HATE TOE CRAMPS! Calve cramps I can stretch out and still keep swimming forward, same with quads but when the toes start to curl there is no avoiding it - I have to stop and I always struggle to bend em' the right way. I have to use my hand to force it lol. They're the worst!!

Closet Artist said...

Hmm what was the question I asked you before you left?
I think it was something along the line of "Have you eaten enough tonight?"
Ah I love being the one in the pair who is always RIGHT!!!!