Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oh, So That's It!

I was talking to my Master's Swim coach and begging him to watch my stroke. Ever since I modified the "catch" part of my stroke, I knew it would take some time for my arm strength in that specific maneuver to catch up and let me swim efficiently again. But it hasn't seemed to be clicking and I've been slower than ever in the pool. It's been pretty discouraging to tell the truth, because I was hoping that this year I might just participate in a swim meet or two, something I haven't done since college. But I'm slow, slow, slow in the water and everything just feels wrong. I wanted him to take a look and see if he could tell me what was going awry.

Before I could even find a time to get in the pool with him though, he mentioned my ankle injury and asked me if I thought that was the problem. I didn't think so, but on Monday when I swam, I paid close attention to what was going on with my feet. As it turns out, my ankle flexibility on the right foot is almost nil, I'm getting almost nothing out of my kick on that side. Consequently, my arm stroke is all lopsided with propulsion coming with one of my kicks, but not the other. This makes my stroke surge and retreat, giving it a very choppy feel. Additionally, I'm only pushing off of the wall with one foot, completely favoring my other ankle, so I'm getting half the glide off of my turns that I normally do. No wonder I'm swimming so much slower per 100!

I'm so much happier now that I know what the trouble is. I've gotten used to my running being compromised by my ankle, and with over a month off I'm just easing back into that. But I hadn't realized how much it impacted my swimming. Now I know I just have to give it some time. But I wouldn't have realized any of this without my swim coach asking me to give it my attention. So now I just have to have a bit more patience for awhile, and I don't think I'll be sprinting a 100 at a swim meet any time soon!

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