Monday, March 2, 2009

A fun visualization

And no, I'm not talking about Jenna's new suit that didn't quite work out as she had expected.

I'm plan free at the moment, so technically, I could swim anything I wanted. I really was thinking about doing drills. But my lane-mates were stupid this morning. I hate it when slow people swim in the fast lane. And yes, I realize in some company I'm a very slow swimmer, and you can be assured I'll be in the correct lane. Compared to some of my buddies, I don't even get a lane, I go straight to the kiddie pool. Neither of these people clued in when I lapped them several times. As I was warming up. I wanted the swim lane Nazi to yank them out and shake some sense into them. Alas, I was disappointed, and didn't feel like pulling a Shannon to impose some order. I was there to swim. Eventually I moved over one lane since that girl is considerate and swims about the speed I do. We cruised back and forth happily.

So by now, I was in no mood to do drill. My inner shark had come out, and I wanted to be fast, at least for today. I'd been thinking about this whole swimming from the core thing, and other technical bits of stroke. So kept on going, pushing fairly hard, projecting a 'I will eat you if you get in my way' aura. But mainly I was watching my stroke. Tinkering with the roll, since I don't roll enough. Using my core to get my arm forward and into the water and catch and pull all in one smooth motion. Trying to keep my hands moving smoothly to the appropriate hip, with no waggle or squoogilyness. Trying to keep my head down, and my push offs strong. And what do you know, 1500 m in 29:30. Did some pretty cool down stroke, trying to get my elbows high out of the water on recovery. Throughout, I visualized the water flowing around me smoothly, constantly. Did another 15 minutes core work in the dive tank.

My arms were a bit tired after that, but not the big pulling muscles. What I think of as the stabalizing muscles, that prevent squoogilyness were tired. This was a moderately hard push for effort, still breathing well, and not gasping.

Right at the nicest part of the day I went for a run along the 37th St path. Lots of dogs out again. Footing was great, though the sidewalks between here and where the path starts were wet and slushy. Lots of water running. I was out in shorts and a tech shirt, and felt a bit over dressed, it was that warm.

I'd thought about what to do, and decided think about running smoothly, with light feet. My visualization for this was to imagine a little cart being driven along the path ahead of me with a big bungee cord connected to my navel. For some reason I'd been thinking of ballroom dance. Linda and I were teaching assistants for many years, and got to interact with some amazing instructors. Some of these people have an amazing grasp of how the body works, and unbelievable muscle control. One of the exercises is to always be on top of your feet as you go through the dance steps. It's harder than it sounds. The other is to move from your core. If you do that, it becomes very difficult to step on your partner's feet.

That's what I was trying to do today, move my navel forward, imagining the little cart pulling me along with the bungee cord, and have my feet and legs just being the instrument to hold me up. Well, that got very interesting. I was running at whatever pace my legs and lungs could agree on. I didn't want to get winded, or puke, but I did want to push myself a bit.

I was really pleased with how it turned out. It's still slow compared to lots of you, but I went a lot further, well, at least some further in an hours run than I've ever done before. And could have kept going. Breathing and heart rate were under control, but my feet were getting tired. And the little guy in the cart was thinking I was stalking him for some perverted purpose.

Walked before and after. Stretched 15 minutes after, and will do more this evening before bed. Things feel pretty good.

I have to say this, but in the nicest way. Several of my blogger buddies (and you'll know who you are in a minute) are being teases. No audio track of the singing heart; I'm dying of curiosity here. Talk of peanut butter and dark chocolate, together, but without a pic of the label or describing the mail order procedures. Talk of a peekaboo swim suit, but no evidentiary photos. They don't have have to be 'naughty'. And discussion of mystical 'muscles at the top of thigh' exercises that would make us faster runners while hardly breathing at all. No Canmore cross country skiing photos. Telling us about a ride called Fruit Loops, but without a map or photos; I mean, how could you??! Talk of how beautiful Fish Creek park is, but no photo. I guess this being provocative, hoping to increase readership through mystery, and leaving a bit to the imagination.

But, in fairness, I have to say we did get a photo of pink compression socks. Life is good.


  1. hey! i put up photos of the ski trip. sheesh. you will have to come skiing with me to hear my heart sing. :P

    love the visualization! i may try the dancing one... very cool.

  2. Does your wife know of these thoughts?? is the site on the jar,,,Enjoy!!!

  3. Ahhhhhh, Fruit Loops, and I don't mean the cereal! I couldn't find a map and forgot I had a camera until we got back to the car. (In all fairness I did enjoy Susi's pics so I will remember my camera next time.)

    Great job on the swim - I hate getting annoyed at lane mates but you made the best of it!


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