SwimLabs, part 2

I first visited SwimLabs on September 29th. The whole thing came about when I finished up the main part of my season and in sum was pretty frustrated with my swim progress this year. I really didn’t understand what was wrong with my swim, I thought I was swimming correctly, but knew that I probably wasn’t. I didn’t know what to change, or how to go about changing it. I had never truly felt the “pull of the water”.

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I was also scared of working on it. Without a clear direction and without knowing what to spend my time working on, I was a bit stuck. In fact, I was asking the twitter-sphere whether I should even go to Budapest next year (2010 ITU Oly distance Worlds, qualified at USAT Age group Nationals in 09) or maybe just go the direction of Iron distance races where the swim is less of an impact (even though my swim is what kept me from a Kona slot in Canada).

After a tweet from a fellow twitter follower (@sexykitsonly) telling me “Rev3 won’t get u a kona slot for yur work & pain, u are 31st in the world with a below avg. Swim this yr, u can top 10 easily. Itu”

It motivated me. At the time it almost felt a little harsh. It made me cry, although he didn’t mean to. I had a heart-to-heart with Troy and he asked me what was holding me up from delving into my swim. I told him and he said “Those are just excuses, quit making excuses”. If you have ever met my husband you are probably rolling on the floor from shock right now. Troy is the kindest, nicest person you will ever meet. He is never harsh with me, only loving and caring. I walked over to the computer, went online and made an appointment for SwimLabs.

We put the money aside for extra masters sessions, for Swim Labs sessions, and for a strength coach with a swim background. We decided to hit it from all angles.

Now, a month has gone by. I went back to SwimLabs for the second time last night to see myself again on the screen. Seeing myself on video with Mike pointing out the issues really helps me. My weights sessions with my Masters coach Paul have been very rewarding and refreshing (when I’m not sore… but it’s a good sore). The extra masters sessions are great. I’m now swimming with Paul 3X a week, and then over with Susan Williams (Olympic bronze medalist in triathlon) 2X a week.

Things are happening. I am proud to say that 100’s in the 1:40’s are a thing of the past (yard pool), even on long sets. My catch is greatly improved with still some work to be done. I am still dropping my right elbow and pulling with my shoulder. My breathing is effecting this, so I have some drills to help get my head in the water a little quicker after my breath. My bum is moving up towards the surface, but there is still a ways to go there too. Things are lining up, but they aren’t “there”. Perfect news.

The best part of the SwimLabs session on Friday was to get through the first filming session and to see Mike say “This is strong”, “This is good”, “I love seeing this”. It was so nice to get some positive reinforcement. For some reason, the black line on the bottom of the pool doesn’t seem to talk back much. I praise, and dote on it, but it remains silent.

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The second best part of the session was getting back in the car after it was over and to see Troy grinning. He gave me this huge hug and said “You are doing it, I saw so much progress”. Insert warm fuzzy feelings [here]. It was the first time in a month he has seen me swim. To Troy, my swimming consists of the lack of a warm body next to him in bed from 4:30am-7:30am.

From Sept 29 Swim Labs to Oct 30 SwimLabs I swam masters 22 times, and did 3 solitary swims. My shoulders do not hurt in the slightest. My lats and “underarms” are sore after strong sessions, but I tend to bounce back in 24 hours. My masters sessions with Paul range from 4800-5900yds per session, and the ones with Susan are 3000-4000yds. In the last month I have PRed in my 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 750, and all during the middle (or at the end) of a masters session.

I still have a long ways to go, and I still have many things that need fixing, but I am finally on the right road. I feel it. I’m excited about it, I am happy to get to the pool in the morning (after I down a Mix1 on the drive and listen to music REALLY loud).

Below is my SwimLab video from Oct 30th.I am in the black cap. The video from 1 month ago is here.

I am interested in your thoughts. Anything here that is glaring to you? I am taking advise from all sources at this time, and filing them in my arsenal. After all, I spend quite a few hours every week thinking about every stroke I make. I would love to “think” about your comments as well!

First Endurance

I got notice this week that First Endurance is teaming up with Trakkers as the first official sponsor of Team Trakkers, which I am a blissful member of. Team Trakkers is a pretty cool team because rather than being the being a group with the highest level of race results, we all excel in the “electronic” world. We are a team of bloggers, twitterers and facebookers, who happen to train their fannies off (and blog about it) in triathlon.

So, First Endurance must be pretty sure of it’s product. Because by sponsoring Team Trakkers that means that 30-40 blog-aficionados will be testing their products, using them like crazy, and then blogging and tweeting the honest to goodness truth about them. Bold move, First Endurance!

So, when I think “First Endurance” I think Michael Lovato. What really sticks in my mind is that a “shipment” would be delivered to his condo in Kona when he was there for World Championships. I thought that was an amazingly rock star triathlete thing to do…rather than packing your goods in your bag, to actually be cool enough that your sponsor would ship you a box of goodies right to your location. I know, I’m easily impressed.

I wanted to learn a bit about First Endurance before we got to select some free goods to test out. I started by joining Team First Endurance. This is a place for athletes to educate, research, and commune. They have a “facebook” like setup on the Team FE site. You can create a profile, add friends, and post blog posts about your experiences. It’s really quite cool and is so much more helpful than just a message board. Check out the profile I made:

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Once my profile was made I started searching around. I found a great blog entry by none other than the Michael Lovato himself, outlining his Kona nutrition strategy.

I added myself to the Team Trakkers Group, and the Rev3 Group.

Then I clicked on Programs. This section REALLY impressed me. You can pick a program topic (Caffeine, Gluten, Sodium Loading, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, and Low Carbo Training). I picked Caffeine. They had an article summarizing and explaining the “Caffeine issue” including common misconceptions, and the history of it being a banned substance (in high levels by the US Olympic committe..now unbanned). There were recommendations on safe use, and a huge list of references. Then, the next link was “How to Implement a Caffeine Test” with great instructions on how to test it within your own body. Finally a link to their forum where the issue is discussed and a survey to take after you complete the test (along with the survey results). I was just really impressed.

Now I’m all giddy and excited to perform some of the tests, and to report my results.

My overall impression thus far is that they really take “individual” nutrition seriously, not only recognizing that each person is different, but providing a tool that athletes can use to educate themselves, and mingle with others to discuss issues.

Check out their site. And check out Team First Endurance.

Training for Clearwater

I have one race left this year, Clearwater 70.3 World Championships. Training in Colorado for a race this late is a little tough. The weather starts to get bad, and unpredictable. You have to reset your homepage to weather.com, and you can’t be afraid to change your ride to a trainer ride at the last minute. OR, my personal favorite, you head out for a two hour ride, only to come back an hour later shaking because you are as frozen as a popscicle, where you put your bike on the trainer, and 30 minutes later you are sweating up a storm and in your sportsbra and shorts. You’ve gotta be flexable.

I’ve also been swimming a lot. My body feels better than ever in the pool as I am finally learning how to swim with my back, my abs, and my lats, rather than my shoulders (and dropping those to boot). All the time in the pool has really started bonding me to the sport. I had a few days last week where I was full of excitment on the way to practice…which starts at 5:15am. Wow. The form changes have resulted in some progress, as I have PRed in my 100, 200, 300, 500, and 750 in the last 10 days. And that’s just during normal main sets, so clearly something is starting to come together. I still have so far to go, but I am hoping to really keep this momentum going through the entire winter.

The last few weeks Steve has thrown yet another opportunity/challenge my direction. Motorpacing. The pros do it. I’ll admit, when I finished our first session I was pretty proud of myself, but during the actual ride, I have never thought so many cuss words in my life. Sarah was our moped driver and I never knew that such a small girl could inflict so much pain on me. It’s a good thing that she’s so nice, because during the first session when I thought of her name, about 5 cuss words followed it.

So tiny, so much pain.
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Motorpacing can be kinda dangerous. I mean, there is a moped involved, and the point is sorta to ride as close to the moped as possible. We knew it was business time, when Steve put on his helmet.

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The motorpacing is a lot like a bike race. The first time, as Sarah was getting used to driving (it’s a pretty challenging job and she has done well with it) she would accelerate a little to quick, or wouldn’t back off enough on inclines and we would blow up trying to hang onto her. The second time we were in a much better rhythm and I only blew up once, instead of the 4 times I blew up before. Also, when you are the third man back (uhh…woman I mean) the draft is less, so you are fighting harder to stay on. The nicest place to be is right on the moped’s wheel. The second best place to be is on Steve’s wheel, and the toughest place to be is on Tony’s wheel. Tony can respond to whatever the moped dishes out and his power accelerations are strong and quick, AKA easy to get dropped! Here he is showing off what an angry motorpacing monster he can be. Just kidding, Tony is a nice as they come (but man is he strong).

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The ride that we have been doing is slightly downhill home and boy can you fly down that road. I’m in my biggest gear, spinning, on a relatively flat road. We are going as fast as the cars pretty much and you should see the looks on other cyclist faces when the steam engine rolls by. Pretty wild. Here’s Tony just coming off a pull…if you can call it that, really the moped is pulling the whole way.
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However, when the pace gets out of my league, and I am holding on for dear life, it’s just me and my legs. I can barely keep track of the road, or what gear I’m in. My form goes to crap and I just focus on pushing my legs as hard as I can. It’s scrappy, but it’s good for me.

There may be snow on the ground here in Colorado, but you can bet it’s not slowing me down. I’m still training hard, working on my weak spots, and aiming to get faster. Plus, I’m having fun, look where I live.

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Trakkers at Denver Marathon

Sunday morning was the final installment of the Denver Marathon before it turns into the “Denver Rock and Roll Marathon”. I have run this race the past two years (the full in 07, and the 1/2 in 08). It’s great with 10,000 people, most of them in the 1/2 marathon. This year I didn’t race, but I decided to spectate. Trakkers was doing a beta test at this race so I wanted to head down to help Carole collect Trakkers units and to represent Trakkers with style!

At 4:30 am I hit the road from my house running. I wanted to get my 18 mile long run in before the race so that Troy could get his in later so I decided to run down to the race start. It’s kinda scary running at 4:30am on the bike paths through the shady areas of town. I had one scare where a guy came up on me in the dark on a bike and yelled “Hey” so that I could hear him. He scared me, I went on the defensive, cussed him out, put up my dukes to fight, then realized he was friendly. I appologized and we had a good laugh while he asked me what the hell I was doing. Heh Heh, crazy is hard to describe.

I got there just in time to do a nice warmup with Michelle Ford (PIC). She was racing the half, and was wearing a Trakkers unit and a Trakkers hat. I ran into Gaye too, also wearing a Trakkers unit. Michelle and I did some active warm up plyo stuff and it was time to get her into the corral.

Here she is all excited and stuff, with her new light pink Trakkers hat on (one that I don’t even have, gonna have to work on that)!
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I saw Randi and Ross on their way to the start. Randi was doing the full, Ross the half. I helped them up and over the fences into the corral and they were ready to go. Randi was testing a Trakkers unit as well.

Then I took off running. I made it down to the 1 mile mark, check out how many runners there are. This is just a TINY sampling of them.

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Then I ran up to the 4 mile mark. I was getting some great mileage in. The best part was that I was wearing my BRIGHT green Trakkers top and everyone I knew recognized me and would yell hello as they ran by. I saw so many friends out there, it was great to cheer for them all. the mens leader was flying. It was great to see Framke and Cyrus in the front, as was Matt Reed!
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When my fellow Phidippides Track Club member Jay ran by he had me laughing up a storm. He was ROCKING the green Trakkers visor, and the Trakkers unit on his race belt. What a spokesperson, eh? The dude is 50 years old, but he’s HOT! Jay ran a 3:09 marathon yesterday, whoosh!

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I ran on over to mile 11 where I started getting “Your everywhere” comments from the runners. Love it! I was cheering up a storm. Saw Matty go by me flying (he went 1:14).

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Then PIC Michelle came running by…FAST. I hopped in with her and gave her a little push (not literally). Just a little “drop your arms”, “pick up your cadence”. Before she could slaughter me, I pulled off to the side and booked it to the finish so I could see her cross the line. Michelle was gunning for sub 1:40 and she went 1:41:18. SOOOO Close. And her Garmin had her right on pace, but the course marked a little long on the Garmins. We’ll get her there!

I love this shot of her.
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After she finished I hung out and collected some Trakkers units, then Tyler and I hit up the marathon course. We sat outside on the curb, ate breakfast, and cheered. After cheering for Randi who rocked the marathon hard, just 6 days after Steve had her run 24 miles, I headed up the road to swap with Troy. I hopped in the car, he hopped out. He ran home, I drove!

It was great to see the Trakkers units out on my home course. As with technology, beta testing is a “process” and I’m confident that Trakkers will produce a great product when beta testing is complete.

On that note, here’s a parting photo. He ran the MARATHON, I saw him like 5 times on the course. I’m wondering if he lost some sort of bet?
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Pink Chase Fundraiser

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Amy Dannwolf, Michelle Ford and I have teamed up for the Pink Chase Fundraiser at Keystone resort on December 12th. We are racing as Team Bunnies for Boobies and folks, because you know me, we want to win the grand prize. The pink Chase raises money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. They are a foundation committed to finding a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide. That’s something I can stand behind.

What is this race? Well, it’s a race where teams of three women compete against each other by trying to ski the most vertical in a day. There are checkpoints around the mountain and you log your vertical while trying to make certain checkpoints for extra bonus points. Teams also compete for the most money raised and the best costumes. But, there is a grand prize (clearly what we are going for) and it’s a combination of all three: vertical, fundraising and costumes.

Now I know that we are just a bunch of triathletes, but we just happen to be some pretty bas ass skiers too. And well, the costumes we have planned, yea, they are going to rock the house. We already have received some phenomenal support from Powder 7, and Smith Optics. They have supported our efforts and now, I need you!! There is a button with a link at the upper right hand side of my blog. It links to our fundraising page. We also plan to raffle off some products to donate to our fundraising efforts as well. If you happen to work for a company that would be willing to donate products to raffle, please contact me.

Not to tell too much, because this isn’t totally my story to tell, and my moms kinda a private person, and this blog is getting a little popular, BUT, (whew, lots of commas) my mom battled Breast Cancer. I was in my senior year of high school, and she handled it like a total champ, but, we have “been there” as a family. She had just finished radiation when I moved into the dorms. In fact she slept in my dorm bed the first night I was in college because she was exhausted from radiation while I was off at some “new college girl” meeting, and she was the first to discover the five foot phallic symbol that had been painted on our wall with glow in the dark paint. BUT, I digress.

Yes, this cancer is not fun. You have seen my rather minor involvement with Amy and her cancer, she’s in the middle of this crap and will be for a little while longer.

We need a cure. This is a disease close to my heart (duh, your boob is like right next to your heart). I feel it is a worthy cause to donate time, money, sweat and tears to (oh and don’t forget hair).

Breast Cancer needs a cure, and to do that we need research. Please consider a donation.

If you need skiis this season, consider Powder 7, a company that didn’t hesitate one minute to support the Breast Cancer cause.

If you need goggles or helmets, travel on over to Smith Optics, a sponsor of the Pink Chase, and a company that helped us out as well.

BUT, before you do any of that, remember that the link in the upper right corner of my blog goes directly to our donation page.

Guest Blogging for Amy!

Today is an exciting day! After the Race for the Cure this weekend Amber from Mile High Mamas asked if I would write a guest blog post for Breast Cancer awareness month. I wrote it up and today my post is on the front page of Mile High Mamas. Read the full story here.

Please give it a read, and maybe a comment, if you so choose. I feel very thankful that I was given this platform to spread Amy’s story, and thus increase her “sphere of love and support”.

Race for the Cure was a huge success, with Team Amy’s Chemo Sabes raising more than $8,000 and walking with 87 Amy supporters. Amy herself was out in full Amy glamor, pushing Ty, with a huge smile on her face.

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I also was lucky to win the overall woman in the Race for the Cure 5K…in all my baldness. The highlight was that 9news interviewed me and I got to tell Amy’s story to the greater Denver area. We are working on trying to get 9news to upload the footage, so Amy can actually see it. Cross your fingers on that one.

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And, next on tap. What does epic skiing & breast cancer research have to do with each other? It’s called the Pink Chase Fundraiser and my two favorite stud triathlete/skier girlfriends and I are teaming up together for a day of epic proportions. On Dec 12th, teams of 3 women will compete against each other by trying to ski the most vertical feet, raise the most money, and have the best costumes, all for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. You can count on Pro triathlete and ski shop owner Amy D, skiing before she could walk and top 20 in the world triathlete PIC, and me to bring our A game! We need a name…help!

(Donation page will be posted when we sign up…after we come up with a NAME!!!)

Read the guest blog at Mile High Mamas here.

A Little Help From Your Friends

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I have been racing for the past few weeks for my friend Amy who is currently battling breast cancer. Since day one Amy has made it known that she wanted to have a head shaving party. I told her, “Allright I’m in”. Then I got home and thought, “Really, I’m gonna shave my head”. I started thinking about the concept and several things came to me.

One…Amy doesn’t have a choice. It’s a part of this horrible disease for her, her hair is going to leave her whether she likes it or not.

Two, it’s hair, come one people, it’s hair. Hats are quite prevalent in these parts. Please, it’s hair.

Three, the biggest one, if shaving my head can give Amy a giggle, or a laugh, something to make this process just a little bit easier, I’m in. She is my friend and has been there for me through some of my dark times.

So, with those thoughts in mind, last night I attended Amys head shaving party, and I lined up with 12 other people to have my hair buzzed. Amy’s husband Brian went first, he was the “warm up”. Then Amy, then Hillary, and then me. I must say, us three ladies were clearly the “Main Event” of the night. Then 9 other men jumped in the seat one after another and buzzed it all off. We were lucky to have one of Amys friends from high school who is a hairdresser do all the shaving, she was very gracious to donate her time and clippers to our crazy antics.

I have said all along that I shaved my head for Amy not because it’s this huge monumental thing, but to remind her that “It’s just hair”. People say that to cancer patients a lot, and I say “If it’s just hair, then shave yours off too”. The rest of this post will be photos of the experience. At the end is a video of me getting shaved.

We are all racing the Race for a Cure tomorrow on a team called Amy’s Chemo Sabes. We have 84 people racing the 1 mile walk tomorrow as part of Amy’s Chemo Sabes. We are just a little short of our fundraising goal. If you would like to help, you can donate here.

The Before Picture
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Hil getting her hair put in ponytails so that all the hair gets properly donated to Locks of Love, or Children with Hair loss.
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Brian (Amy’s hubby) cutting her ponytails
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And the shaving begins for Amy
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Almost all gone
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Amy rockin the bald look!
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Hil in the shaving chair
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Amy enjoying cutting Hils hair off a little too much!
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Hil enjoying having her hair cut off WAY too much!
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She’s bald
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Big hugs for Hil from Amy
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Hil and Amy cutting off Sonja’s ponytails
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Celebration, down with the hair!
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Amy with her butchered ponytails
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Here goes Sonjas hair
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Amy watching with glee!
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And it’s off
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The three ladies AFTER, hair GONE.
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Hil and I
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Amy and her hubby Brian
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Amy and I, my fav pic of the night
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The carnage!
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Enjoyed it? How about a little donation here?

Video of my hair chop chop. You gotta watch the end, it makes me a little teary. I find it slightly frightening that it has 350 views before I have even posted the link here.

What an amazing way to spend an evening. I walked out of their house that evening feeling so hyped up about life. Amy has so many amazing friends that have helped in so many ways, I applaud all of them. Amy is going to beat this cancer, she’s going to live a long and blissful life with her two beautiful children and her loving husband. She knows that one day one of us will call her and say “I have Breast Cancer”, but she hopes that this disease can be cured.

To donate to Amy’s Chemo Sabes…again, the link.

Swim Labs, A Stroke Analysis

I have been reading Stephen Covey recently. He is such a modern genius, I really love his insight. One thing he talks about is the notion of paradigms.

Each of us has many, many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values….We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are, or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of those assumptions.
–Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 24

Sometimes with new information our paradigm can change or shift in an instant. It can be called the “Aha!” experience. Covey references Thomas Kuhn’s book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”:

Kuhn shows how almost every significant breakthrough in the field of scientific endeavor is first a break with tradition, with old ways of thinking, with old paradigms.
–Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 29

Check out this great site where people have recorded their Aha! Moments. Pretty cool.

I have known for some time that my paradigm needed to shift regarding swimming. Actually several paradigms that I have concerning the sport needed to shift. I need to seek new information until I have an “Aha!” moment. I need to listen to many and all opinions until I strike gold. Some of my paradigms:

1) “There is one right swim stroke”. In the past when I have talked to people about swim stroke I have received lots of different information. A lot of it has conflicted (head down, head up, head in the middle, ect). I have to change my paradigm. In the past I have let these differing opinions paralyze me, literally. I have been in the pool completely confused with what to practice and the next time it was time to go to the pool, I just didn’t go. I have now accepted that everyone is going to tell me something different, that I need to expect this and as a result, listen to all of it. If I am open to all ideas, I firmly believe the right one will present itself.

2) “I’m not a very good swimmer”. This has got to change. I swim in a Masters program where I am the slowest person in the slowest lane and it has a way of convincing me that I am something I am not. I swam from Alcatraz to shore, all by my little self, I swam 8,000 meters in the open water in one swim, I can swim. I’m a good swimmer, and I choose to want to be better.

So, the first step. Information. I went to SwimLabs. This was a place that I knew about, but had been afraid to go to because I was afraid of getting yet another confusing opinion. Well, I booked a session, and I just willed myself there. And guess what (Duh), it was awesome.

They have an endless pool and Mike, the owner, worked with me. He has multiple Masters World Records, and he looks at swim strokes all day for a living. Why was I not living on this guys front portch? (Your paradigms can be paralyzing, think about it). So he got me in there and over the 1/2 hour session he got me going with some great tips. The big one is that I drop my elbow, and I don’t get my hand under my elbow before I pull my arm through the water. When I drop the elbow, I pull my arm through the water with my shoulder. He gave me some drills to work on this, and I practiced the drills there. Basically I need to think “Get your hand under your elbow, pointing straight down”, now, “pull with your core and not your shoulder”.

And then he showed me, step by step, milisecond, by millisecond, just what I was doing. Troy was there watching too, taking notes and keeping Annie from misbehaving herself. Troy walked out of there so jazzed (that’s big for Troy). He really liked Mike and liked the way that they treated me in the session.

Before I left, Mike packed me up a little CD to take home so I can watch myself over and over. Wanna see? Of course you do! I’m in the green swimsuit with the pink cap.

Swim labs video
– Initial shot, left is new, right is old (see the bubbles going everywhere)
-some drills in there with video on how to do the drill
– some slow drilling
– the last shot is my fav, I can see that more power will come

So, it’s one little piece. I’ll be back at SwimLabs as soon as I feel better about working on this little suggestion. It will be an ongoing process.

One more thing. I wanted to work on changing my paradigm that I’m not a good swimmer. I wanted to work on my confidence a little. So I attended a different Masters. This one with Susan Williams, who has an Olympic bronze medal in triathlon, is a phenomenally fast swimmer, has a nice motherly attitude, and whom I really like. I went to her class, and low and behold I am in the middle lane. It was a little boost for me, plus she believes in the same stroke that SwimLabs teaches and can help me reinforce that.

I’m working on things here. But it’s a work in progress. I am moving forward, trying to leave my cautiousness, and apprehension behind. Go big or go home!

Obvious

Winter has arrived in Denver. I took off on my ride today and it was an arm warmer, leg warmer, gloves, and hat under the helmet kind of day. But it was sunny, so I was happy. I’m cruising along, listening to my new pink iPod that Troy got me (I swear you need a new one of these every year if you are a triathlete). All of the sudden this comes on:

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Oh, the pain in my heart. I haven’t heard this album in months and for it to come on today just about knocked me off my bike. All the super stellar triathletes on twitter have been arriving in Kona this week and I am just so darn jealous. Here I am riding through the wind in this:

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and they are out there riding the winds on the Queen K, motorpacing around, and having a jolly old time out here:

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It seemed just a little ironic, like the triathlon gods are telling me something. As I rode through Cherry Creek park I’m thinking about why I’m not in Kona, although, I know why. I’m thinking that the trigods just wanted to throw a little wind and cold in my face to remind me that in order to get to the sun and sand I need to be here: a lot.

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Right before I started getting too bummed I ran into my favorite swimmer around, PIC Michelle. She was out running, which is funny because that’s what she needs to be doing if she wants to get to Kona in 2011. I’m also thinking the trigods would like PIC and I to head to Kona together, they are just giving us the time to really work on our weaknesses.

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So, with excitement and enthusiasm, and with sun and sand on the brain, you can now affectionately refer to me as Sonja “lives in the pool down the street” Wieck. Yes, my new apartment is a little wet, but, the walls are a pretty blue, and the stripes are so very mooo-dern. Too bad Michelles new apartment has the nice view.

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So, raise you glasses folks, here’s to a winter of really working on my swimming. No more excuses, no more letting all the different opinions on swim stroke paralyze me. It’s time to take this positive attitude of mine, this huge grin that I constantly sport, and get in the pool. The triathlon gods have been blunt this year. A 30 minute worlds swim, a 43 minute nationals swim, missing Kona by 8 minutes when the lady ahead of me who got the last spot swam 8 minutes faster. The trigods can only be so blunt. It’s time.