Monday, January 13, 2014

Thanks so much and just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

Happy belated New Year!! Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I am constantly being asked about the World's in London and I always respond with; it was amazing, a chance of a lifetime and how I couldn’t have had that experience with out the support of my community, friends and family, so THANK YOU ALL for allowing me to represent my country and race at the international level!! If you have time be sure to read my post on the whole week and race experience in London-click here.

Training has been a bit sporadic recently which is out of the ordinary for me having missed only two days of training in a whole year preparing for Worlds. I was sick for a little while and every week for the last four weeks I have gone home to Connecticut to help my Gramma get through her chemo treatments which are 6 hours long. I've been doing a little running, a few spins and a some Nordic skiing at work. I’ve been trying to swim three times a week. Those are morning classes beginning at 5:30am and 5am on Fridays because I need to arrive at work by 6:30 for Great Glen's morning snow report.

Steve is still coaching me out of the kindness of his heart, and Regina plans to manage again. I will never be able to thank them enough! Steve and I have been really focused on my swim technique and I am truly excited to get in the pool every time despite the early hour. It still amazes me how much there is to swimming or training in any sport for that matter. Some people ask me how do I just go back and forth in the pool, doesn’t it get boring? There is so much to think about that it doesn’t. I’m constantly aware of my position and how I’m feeling the water on my hands, arms, legs and feet. Just to list a few things I have to think about: early vertical forearm-keeping my elbows high/90° angle when pulling under the water, “throwing” the water back at the end of my pull. Recovering to the next stroke semi quickly while keeping my arm relaxed. Keeping my hand relaxed while letting just a little water run through my fingers. Keeping my hands at a slight angle so I feel the water on my pinky and ring finger. When pulling use my core as much as possible not just my arms. Extend and push through with opposite hand. Rotate hips with each stroke. I’m still working on my kick. Steve has been trying to have me work on keeping my knees from bending and to kick from my hip flexors. My ankles need to flex a lot more and I need work on pushing the water down as well as up. So no I don’t get bored when swimming! Plus we are using all sorts of fun toys to mix it up! Stretch cords for strength, pull bouys-used to keep your legs up while just pulling in the water, a pull up bar, kickboards, ankle bands which work on keeping your body level. Sometimes my feet drag on the bottom by the time I get to the other side of the pool. It's so frustrating but I feel I'm getting better. Improving my swim time and gaining more power is a major goal.

I'm looking ahead to the summer and working on my race schedule! I can't wait to be on the start line again, but until then I have a lot of work to do!

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