Finally, I have my swim stroke. An article in the Hammer Nutrition newsletter, a brief conversation with my wife, and suddenly, it all clicked. What my coach was telling me about pushing down the T and how you had to have bent elbows to get the catch right. How the T was coming up because the catch was starting to soon and pushing me up. Jack helped me correct so many things about my stroke but I never quite put it all together.
I guess I'm a visual learner.
I climbed out of the pool Monday with a strange combination of excitement and frustration. On one hand, I'd just swum under 30 minutes for 30 laps, again, a big deal for me. On the other hand, I've been a miserable swimmer for what, seven years ? And now it comes to me ? Now ?
Of course, I know. I can't retrain my entire stroke in 3 weeks. I am not going to get in the ocean and do anything different than I have done in any other Ironman. At the end of the day, my swim won't be any better.
I have to accept that. I have to focus on retraining my swimming over the entire winter and hope it really will be better next year and that means plenty of open water swimming to get a new stroke to work in that alien, otherworld environment that is not a clear three-foot deep pool.
It's OK. I have learned something that could- COULD- make me a much better triathlete. Just not November 1st 2008.
Relax. Take your time. Enjoy that day- and then get to work. And somehow, not regret what's gone by. Not feel like I've been phoning it in the last seven years in the pool. The wasted years of modified dog-paddling ? Can't get those back...