There was a peculiar set of circumstances yesterday morning, leading to a pair of photos that you might think odd. That's ok, you can comment and tell me if you like them or not.
I was sitting facing our front window. I'd been doing something with the camera so it was to hand, but while doing something else I looked up to see Curtis watching me. This can be quite disconcerting because he has a very direct look, and it's almost like he's on the verge of figuring out some human secret that cats have been working for generations. The light was hazy but quite strong, so he was almost completely silhouetted, but I could see a gleam in his eye, and a hint of colour in his fur.
Of course, by playing with the camera exposure settings I could have got a 'normal' photo of him, but that isn't the point. I wanted to capture what I had seen. Technically it's under exposed. The window framing isn't square, but I didn't want to crop it out. I tried dropping it into B&W just to see what that would do and I like it, but in a different way. There is a faint aura around him is a digital artifact that I'd normally reject, but it looks sort of neat here.
My swim mojo has been coming back gradually. The other day I was working on my old CSS pace workouts. I went 9 x 100 m in 1:45 or less, starting every 2 minutes. The first few were faster, then the rest were right on 1:44 or 1:45. The deal with myself is I have to stop if I see 1:46 or slower on the clock, unless I know I blew a flip turn, then I'll do one more but it has to be faster than the 1:45 by as much as that one was slower. My last of the nine was 1:47, and I could feel it a little in my arms and in my lungs. So that's about the right pace for now and I called it done. I'll do that pace till I can do 15 or 18 or so of those, without struggling to meet 1:45. Then it gets tougher. I'll tell you when I get there.
Today we shared a lane with a guy that swims a bit slower than Michelle. I gave her some advice about drafting up to his toes, hanging out for a bit and figure out where I (or any other swimmers that might have joined us) are, see if he pauses at the turn, then burst past him in a sprint and recover at regular pace. That's a new thing for her, to be consistently swimming faster than someone.
And why is that? Because she's swimming FASTER than she used to! Yay her!
Today my inner shark showed up for the first time in a while. I think the combination of swimming back at nearly my old pace again, and passing a slower swimmer had him checking in. Even though the guy tried to speed up (I could see more thrash and splash) when I passed, it didn't work. I hope he wasn't demoralized when Michelle passed him on the turn, then I passed him and Michelle in one go. My inner shark was muttering about prey, but I was busy.
I'm not sure how far or fast I swam in the shared lane. Maybe 1000 m or so, relaxed and thinking about stroke and roll, head down, trying to feel my butt powering my kick. Still working on that last. I've been doing some research on cranky low back and hamstrings, and one of the causes is a weak butt and sitting too much. Hole in one there. Trying to get more consistent about water running and doing some kick drill during the pool time, and some core work on the mat at home.
Then after the pools cleared out a bit, and some hot tub time, I was back in the pool for a timed 500 m in a short course pool, meaning 25 m long. 9 minutes even, feeling relaxed and strong. Yay me! I could have gone on, but the secret to going further and faster and avoiding injuries is to stop before you have to stop.