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FindingMyInnerFish
May 21st, 2005, 08:10 PM
Hello all!

I'm 54, and I began a masters' swimming program in February--it was a spur of the moment decision. I'm more runner than swimmer, but I happened to see a notice at my local Y about a masters' swim team forming. Checked w/ my running coach to see what he'd think of my adding the swimming, and he said to give it a try. But first I wanted to see what sort of group it was...would there be a lot of ex-Olympic ringers? ;) (Okay, ex-college team ringers....) Would I be so blown out of the water that I'd embarrass myself? I used to swim laps and got away from it when I got involved with running. And during a period a few years ago when I had a running injury, I'd worked my way to a mile, so decided to try a mile open water swim. (Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, what can I say?) I was second to last, but still enjoyed the experience. The weather was gorgeous, the water a managable temp, and when I was finished, although tired, it was a different sort of tiredness than when I ran a race. I recovered pretty quickly too, no post race soreness.

Remembering that experience, I thought it might be interesting to find out if the swiming could help my running. It has! And it's (duh!) also helped my swimming!

Wasn't sure at first if it was going to kill me rather than make me stronger. The coach of the masters' group said the same thing as the running coach--give it a try. He was going to start off light (actually about 2k yards, but I guess that was light for some. My first day I thought my arms were made of jelly by the end).

But guess what! I don't feel as if I'm going backward when I use a kickboard. I am starting to get the flip turn (couldn't even do a sommersault under water when I started.) My times are improving. Okay, nothing impressive by the standards of folks in this board. Just looked at the thread about kicking--and people doing 50s with a kickboard in times that I do it *without*! But as I see the times go downward, I get a boost in confidence not only in the water, but on land. I'm running faster (after a period of slowing down due to various injuries). I recover faster from running workouts and races. Sometimes I'll go right from a hard swim workout to a hard running workout, and still feel pretty strong and ready for them both. And now I am addicted to TWO sports, not just one. That's a bit dangerous, budgetwise, but what an adventure!

I give a lot of credit to my masters' swim coach. He's incredibly positive and encouraging. His workouts are pretty demanding, but he never doubts you can get through them. I'll wonder if there's another fifty left in me or think "yikes, not butterfly!" (My butterfly isn't a thing of beauty to be honest.) But he just keeps us on task, focused, and enthusiastic. I feel very lucky to have found him.

geochuck
May 21st, 2005, 08:59 PM
When I go out to the Masters practices I slip into the beginners group. They are pretty slow and I can do my own thing there. Even though I was in the Olympics and raced all my life. I don't feel embarrased swimming in what every one calls the duffers lane. The thing about the master swimming programs is that everybody is welcome. May I be the first to welcome you.

FindingMyInnerFish
May 22nd, 2005, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by geochuck
When I go out to the Masters practices I slip into the beginners group. They are pretty slow and I can do my own thing there. Even though I was in the Olympics and raced all my life. I don't feel embarrased swimming in what every one calls the duffers lane. The thing about the master swimming programs is that everybody is welcome. May I be the first to welcome you.

Thanks much, George!

The Olympics! How cool! Must have been an incredible experience to take part! I also like your outlook. You seem to be in it for your enjoyment, not worrying about how others see you.

My coach always heads his practice sheets with "do the best that you can do, don't worry about what others are doing." And he puts that into practice by the way he works w/ us, taking each of us seriously, whatever our level. On my first day, I didn't know what a pull buoy was, and he explained it to me in a friendly, not condescending way.

Our group is very small, so we're kind of a "one-room schoolhouse." No former Olympians, but we do have one former college swimmer who coaches h.s. When I first came in, I was, in fact, the slowest person. Now there's one person I can keep up with sometimes. A little step forward.

Seagurl51
May 22nd, 2005, 02:45 PM
Welcome to the boards and the water! Glad to hear you're getting hooked! Best of luck on all your future endeavors. Hopefully we'll see you at some meets in the future? Keep swimming!!

FindingMyInnerFish
May 22nd, 2005, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
Welcome to the boards and the water! Glad to hear you're getting hooked! Best of luck on all your future endeavors. Hopefully we'll see you at some meets in the future? Keep swimming!!

Thanks, Seagurl! I hope to try a meet or two during the summer--want to try the 50 free...not b/c I'm so fast but b/c no one will get more than 50 yards ahead lol! (And the pain will end quickly....) ;)

And if I get brave, the Plunge for Patients in NJ on 6/26. I'm not comfortable w/ ocean swimming, but the masters' coach has been encouraging us to try it.

Also looking into some run/swim combos. (No tri's--never got much into the cycling.)

ande
May 22nd, 2005, 05:43 PM
welcome

you'll find some friendly folks round these parts

I hope you find your fish and swim faster faster.

ande