The schedule didn't call for a swim today, but it was the day to change the oil in the car, and that is really near the pool I often swim at. Plus, sometime during the night my swim slunk in. It was much neater and tidier than I had expected it to be if it had been out carousing with my inner shark. (Inner sharks tend to be very hard on their playmates.) Julies comment and the pink bow gave it away. Thanks for finding it and sending it back Julie! There will be some cookies waiting for you at the post 70.3 party.
I slept much better after writing my fingers off yesterday. This morning I woke up and knew I was going to have a better swim than it's been lately. Not sure why. When I got into the pool I said to heck with the drills and trying to think about my stroke. I'd go back to my old stroke, not worry about roll, about pushing my hand all the way to my thigh, about my hands crossing center line, about where my recovery enters the water, and all that other stuff. Well, I thought a bit about keeping my left hand to the left side, since that's the one that drifts a bit.
And whaddya know?
I had a great swim, feeling very solid and strong in the water. I admit, my stroke was a bit choppier, not quite as pretty, but geez it's faster! Today was the fastest I've been in almost 3 months; 19:10 for 1000 m. I had a really steady pace, with the first couple laps being strong, and the rest consistent at just under 60 s per lap. There were a few times I started thinking about stroke, and I was very firm with myself about that. Things got a bit shaky towards the end, but a woman swimming in the next lane was doing laps in such a way that I was chasing her a bunch. She was doing intervals or something, and swam faster than I do. I pushed hard in the last 150 m to finish strong. Oddly enough I was never out of breath, though I made a point of starting to breath deeply before it was really needed, and being conscious about doing it throughout. I felt really good and decided that a short good swim was better for me than pushing longer, and having things fall apart on me. I did another 20 minutes core work in the dive tank.
I'm not sure why a technically imperfect stroke (being generous here) works better for me than a prettier, more efficient stroke, but at this point I'll go with results. Maybe over the winter I'll get video analysis done, take my stroke apart, and put it together again for next season.