Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"No relief for gas pains."

That was a recent headline in our local newspaper, for an article about local gas prices and shortages, courtesy of hurricane Ike. Now the Patient Partner walks around the house devising other political headlines that can sound like commentary on one's, uhm, bodily functioning. I will spare you the details.

I do not know how things are where you live, but every other gas station around here is out of gas, or has only diesel. I have been trying to hold off filling up until the prices come down some (they are still up around $4 per gallon at most stations), but now I am thinking that if the shortages are going to persist, that may not be possible.

But this is not really a post about the southeastern U.S. gas shortages. It is about running out of gas in the pool. Scott warned me last week to be careful not to overdo it, and my body seems to have been thinking the same thing. I am still so tired from last week's swimming, that it is pretty much impossible for me to overdo things this week. But I'm listening, so I have dialed things back a bit.

This morning's practice contained yet more skill work, which I am loving. First, we worked on freestyle hand placement--placing your hand and forearm as a sort of paddle, or (if you are a more efficient swimmer than I am) even an anchor, such that you can truly pull your body to your hand, rather than vice versa. (I am, I'm sorry to say, all about the vice versa.)

Then it was on to breaststroke kick, where I am still trying to undo years of practice kicking the wrong way--or at least, the old-school way. The right way means keeping as straight a line as possible from your core through your hip and down your thigh. The old style--what I learned to do as a kid--had you bend more at the hip, so that (sadly) your thigh would become a sort of block to real hydrodynamic efficiency. And this old kick style is even more problematic if you, like I, have big honking legs. Also, I am trying to learn to keep my kick narrower: coach says that the power gained by the big wide kick is effectively undone by the loss in streamlinability (your new word for the day).

But he also says that he can see real improvement in my swim mechanics already this season, and that I am moving more like a swimmer. That is nice to hear.

Warm-up: 1000 with long fins (300 s)
First skill set: 400 swim/kick: 4 x 100, first 50 = technique free, second 50 = choice kick (200s)
Second skill set: 400 swim/kick: 8 x 50, first 25 = technique breast, second 25 = choice kick (200s)
Main set: 800 kick/swim: 4 rounds of 4 x 50, 1st three = kick, last one = swim; odds = build, evens = fast (200s)
Cool-down: 200 with long fins
TOTAL: 2800 yards (900 swim)


rebeccapaul said...

Up here in NJ, I have heard nothing about gas shortages, and prices are a bit about $3.50. However, I think driving up here to fill up might be counterproductive...

Also, there ia a Dr. Isis elsewhere in the blogging world. I think it is time for a showdown.

tjarrett said...

My parents (NC) are feeling the shortage too, but it isn't in effect in Massachusetts. Gas is, as far as we can tell, plentiful, and regular is about $3.55 a gallon.

You do need to share some of the other headlines, you know.