It's a funny thing, how easily the groove goes away, and how hard it is to get back. Back in May I was swimming well, coming off some shoulder cranky. Then June and July it totally fell apart, and I struggled through August and September. It was rare to swim more than 500 m at once, it felt slow and weak.
I started getting a bit more regular with the run and the swim, and added water running to my swim. It's been getting much better. A week ago, 500 m took 9 minutes without working too hard, or being out of breath, and I could have gone on. That is what I normally think of as race pace, and it happened because the water feel was there. The groove was back.
Then Monday I forced myself to swim 500 a bit slow so I could focus on some 100 m intervals. That 500 was 9:20 and felt so easy. Pushed myself in the rest of the workouts, getting the focus back for the 100 m intervals.
Then Wednesday I felt so good and relaxed at 500 m (9:20) I kept going, and finished the 1K in 18:40, nice and relaxed. In the pool again today, same thing, nice and relaxed, but 500 in 9:10, and the 1 K in 18:20, and could have kept going. A couple years ago I swam 3K at an 18:30 pace.
So I'm not swimming faster than I have been, but I think I'm getting it together here and swimming better. I do know my stroke changed and is staying more consistent, though I'm still having to think about it just now. It used to be I could not even think about my stroke, and next thing I knew one, or two, or maybe even 3 K would be done.
There was nobody I knew at the pool Friday, so mostly I thought about the novel. I've got the event sequence sorted out and the text sorted out. I think. I've had a couple other sequences come to mind, and I was working with one of them while water running and basking in the hot tub.
I was also thinking about some of the winter photo projects I want to work on. It should be fun.