At the pool this morning, I quickly learned that I hadn't really heard or understood what the stroke doctor had said. Raimey (a former Cal Swimmer and amazing athlete) heard me explain about not using your arms and just about died laughing. During her critique, she had been smart enough to take notes while the "doctor" spoke, so she had a much better recollection and understanding. But I am still happy with what I came away with from the session. I am surprised at how tired my arms are. I think I was trying a lot of new things. My primary focus was to point my fingers down towards the bottom of the pool, and start the catch earlier and with a high elbow. That plus keeping your neck extended, tightening your core, rotating more, kicking with a smaller amplitude...the list goes on forever. It is fun to be charged up about new ideas even if I can't do them or explain them. I am looking forward to the email with the video and the stroke analysis and the drill recommendations. Then I can really get confused.
I got a phone call today from Bob Roper, a San Francisco icon in the open water world. And he has a spot for me on a reverse Bay to Breakers swim on March 31st. This is great news. Bob does a lot of longer swims with a very small group of swimmers and I have been trying to break into his crowd. He asked me to wear fins, so I think he is worried that I am not fast enough to keep up with his group. I don't mind. It's still important practice of feeding and swimming in big water. All of which I need. I had spoken to him about a private swim from the Richmond San Rafael Bridge to Point Bonita on April 4th, but now that I am swimming Point Bonita to the Club on the 27th and a Reverse Bay to Breakers on the 31st...I don't think I should add an even longer swim as soon as April 4th. I will ask him to reschedule it for late April or early May. I hope to have Bob pilot me for my 6+ hour swim in the bay when the time comes. This Reverse Bay to Breakers will be a good start.
Yesterday I met another Channel swimmer who swims with my masters team, Steve Walker. This is such good news. It is so wonderful to have yet another person to get advice and information from. He is very encouraging and supportive. Quite a lucky find so close to home.
Yesterday, Joe Butler (SERC friend and Lake Tahoe crossing partner) sent out something written by "JP" that explained his training ideas for distance events. It is a great resource. And after reading it and Steve Walker's recounting of his training and swim, I think I should reduce the number of days that I am swimming. I think more variety of workouts and less swimming might make me stronger, and give my shoulders a break. I also have several long swims coming up, so I plan to cut out one pool day and replace it with a spinning class at the gym. I will try it tomorrow for the first time and report back.