Elbow - Scattered Black And Whites
I've done nothing all week...deadlines and family meetings and homework, oh my. How lazy. And I've eaten terribly, too. Back to Manchester Aquatics Centre for lesson two of the Swimprove series. Different coaches this time - Sarah & Jane (I think - unfortunately I was a couple of minutes late cos I forgot I needed petrol and missed their names!). Drills til you're cross-eyed and lots of kind, gentle encouragement from people who really seem to know their stuff. I feel so lucky to have landed up with all these amazing people around me right at the beginning of my open water "career", such as it may be!
Some different drills today: turns out my right arm is dominant, what a surprise, and sculling on your front is hard. I knocked another stroke off my 50m down to 40, which was nice - again I think probably more to do with a good glide than anything else (and also I was watching video of Rebecca Adlington earlier this week and decided to try 2-3 butterfly kicks coming out of the glide like she does - feels good). I'm definitely noticing my legs are working much better now. I can really feel the kick coming from the hip and there seems to be some more power coming from my arms too. It will be interesting, if I can get the space in our pool, to see whether my lap times have come down at all. I was certainly overtaking people quite a bit tonight but you can never tell whether that's because you're improving or whether they're just slower because they're really focussing on their stroke. Only the stopwatch will tell me that. One thing I was told by the coach tonight is that I need to stab the water with my fingers a bit more - my hands are going in too flat. So that's something to look at next session.
No lesson next week because the Paralympics Team will be using the pool for training (ok, I have to say I get a little squee! of association-with-awesomeness from that!); last one is the last weekend in November. Then I have to decide whether I'm brave enough to make the leap to the intermediate lane and continue with Uswim over winter, or go back to training alone. I'm still worried about being fast enough but on the other hand I think I'd make much better progress with some discipline. The alternative would be to approach a more local Masters group, if I can get over being intimidated by the idea.
Entries open tomorrow for Great Manchester and Great North swims - and Great East down in Suffolk, but that may be a bit far for me to go next year. Certain Fitocrats are also tempting me to consider the Edinburgh Portobello to Musselburgh 2km - I used to love that stretch of coastline when we lived up there so it is truly tempting. I really hope the charity places for Great Swim open up at the same time as the ordinary places. I'm dithering about Great Manchester Run, too...I might leave that til I've been able to get back and do a few solid 5kms; if it's meant to be I'll get it together in time; if not there's always Salford at the end of the season. I have a duel going on Fitocracy with the lovely runforthequiet over the next month, which will hopefully motivate me to get back out on the road again. Damn nippy out there, mind.
Oh, the video above? It's been stuck in my head all week since I woke up from a dream with it. It struck me on the way out of the pool tonight that it's fitting I should be learning all about the physical side of me at the Aquatics Centre. After all, I lived right there for a number of years...I've learnt so much about love and life and my mind in that square mile of Manchester. It makes sense to be back there again, and Scattered Black And Whites is all about that feeling of returning.