Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Suffering for the Sport

With my fly ‘in progress’ I turned my attentions last night to learning the ‘new’ backstroke turn. When I swam competitively the rules for backstroke forbade any movement off the back while swimming the stroke. This meant using what is called the open turn (still used in racing the individual medley), which is in reality more of a ‘swivel-turn’, where the swimmer first touches the wall on reaching in, rotates bringing the feet around to the wall, and then pushes off, all the while remaining on his or her back. Now a much more efficient and safer turn is allowed called the rollover turn. For this turn the swimmer rolls over onto his or her front just before the wall and makes the normal flip turn, and then pushes off the wall on their back. The problem I have is when I’m coming off the wall on my back after the flip turn. If you’re swimming crawl you leave the wall on your front and natural air pressure pretty well prevents any water coming up your nose with only a snort of air exhaled during the actual flip, but when you’re on your back… well, that pressure isn’t there. The first few times it felt like somebody had stuck a water hose up my nose. Coach Brad told me to breathe out through my nose during the entire turn, but I’ve always expelled most of my air during the flip; now apparently I have to ration it! Too much air expelled too early means I run out of air to force out my nose, and too little means insufficient pressure – and either way spells disaster! To add insult to injury Brad then observed my streamlining coming out of the turn was poor and instructed me to bring my head back in line with my body rather than holding it up. Fool that I am I actually listened to him and discovered when you get a lot of water up the sinuses your eyes will hurt too (probably bulging out with pain)! Well, this isn’t something you practice for very long at any one time. I figure if I try the turn a half dozen times at the end of each practice I should be able to perform the turn without drowning in time for our first swim meet. Let’s cross our fingers!

I also tried out my knee today, when this morning I took my dog out for his morning constitutional and, seeing him waiting for me on the corner to start running, I realized I had unconsciously put on my running gear before going out (Tuesday morning = run). Since I was dressed for it I decided to give it a try but it took less than half a block to cancel any plans for running in the near future. So I finished the walk with my dog bouncing up and down trying to remind me we had a run scheduled. Sorry about that Kaz.

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