Thursday, November 18, 2010

Right, left, whatever

In my last post I described the goofy behavior of my right hand while running.  Only if you look at the accompanying picture, it's actually my left hand.  Though in an earlier picture it's my right hand.  Conclusion: both my hands look goofy when I run.

Speaking of looking goofy, today I swam early in the morning, before teaching class.  The master's swim group was there, being coached by my college's swim coach (the college where I work, that is).  When I was about halfway through my own little workout, the coach showed up at the end of my lane and said, "Two things."  Then he proceeded to tell me two things I was doing wrong with my stroke.  But he didn't just tell me--he had me stand there and practice some stuff with my stroke, then a couple minutes later he came back and had me do a little swimming while he corrected my form.  And then he gave me some drills to do.  How awesome is that?

My swim is pretty clearly the weakest link in my triathlon, but in the past couple years I haven't given it a ton of thought.  I've worked at swimming, and I've improved a lot, mostly because I started from a position of total ineptitude.  But I think I'm at a point now where I need to be a lot more intentional about it--there's stuff I need to fix, and the returns aren't going to be as big if I just keep plugging away with what I'm doing.

It was really stark for me to watch my last triathlon performance of the season on Zumtri--if you haven't seen this, it allows you to watch yourself race as a little red dot that starts with all the other racers, so you can see how you're faring at any given time compared to everyone else in the race (or compared to specific other racers, if that's your thing).  My red dot started out so happy and peppy looking, and then it got totally spanked by all the other dots in the water.  It looked like my red dot must be wearing a flowery cap and doing the sidestroke.  I wanted to smack it on its spherical red self and tell it to get a move on.

Of course it's not quite that bad--there were plenty of other earnest dots plugging away at paces as pedestrian as mine or even slower.  It's just that all the people I ended up near at the end were leaving me dramatically in their wake.  I could have a very different race if I were nearer to that front pack.

All of this went through my mind as I continued my workout, feeling how much more water I can pull when I don't do the weird foldy-in thing I was doing with my left arm.  But mostly I just thought how nice it was of the coach to take time to help me out.   I suspect it might be hell to stand on the side of a pool and watch the myriad ways civilians like me screw up our swim strokes.  I also suspect that "Two things" really stood for "Out of the 18 obvious things you're doing wrong, here are the two most egregious."

Three more days of work before Thanksgiving break.  This red dot could not be more ready.

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