I went with Heather to the local pool today. Heather is training for a sprint triathlon in June, where she swims 400m, bikes 20km and runs 5km. I've signed up to be her training partner. I'd like to participate in the event myself, but my shoulder and knee have been given me problems, and I'm so incredibly out of shape I'd probably pass out in the water and drown in the first six minutes of the swim.
So, Heather has a training plan. She used to swim, so has experience in the water. I have no water experience except for lake swims with the Kleins and the two swim tests I had to take, once in college, the other in junior high school. The "swim tests" were actually recruiting swims, for the coaches to see who had potential as swimmer or polo players.
My lack of experience meant I had to follow Heather's lead. Fortunately, Heather leads well.
After purchasing a punch card so that we can swim lots of times for less, I went into the lockerroom to change. Heather was wise enough to come dressed for the swim in her suit. This was the start of a long list of "things to do correctly next time." This list also includes "bring bottle of water," "bring goggles," "bring swim cap," and "show up wearing swimsuit."
Along those links of "show up wearing swimsuit," I need to add "buy a swimsuit that fits." I bought my swimsuit according to the instructions and measurements on the website. Problem is, the breasts don't match the rib cage, and the sizing instructions don't really take the ribcage into account. Eh, once in the water, no one could tell, fortunately.
I swam either 450m or 500m. I swam at least half on my back, taking between 18 and 22 strokes from end to end on the pool. I varied what I was doing, with some freestyle, some breast stroke and down and back side stroke laps. My speed was mostly a constant slow, except for a few times where I tried to swim as fast as I could, either to catch up to Heather, or touch the side of the pool before the person in the next lane (a "J Liu") touched.
Heather swam a bit more than I did, testing out the fins to work on her breathing as well as many more freestyle laps than I did. I "helped" her with her traiing by out swimming next to her, bumping here, grabbing her leg, poking her, in an attempt to help her experience the open water, group lake swim start, where many people all try to start at the same time, swimming and kicking and grabbing to get into the water. Just as Marc how well not practicing the multi-person start goes.
I have no idea if I'll be tired or sore tonight or tomorrow. I'm happy to have gone, happy to have swum even that short distance, and happy to be a little bit of a training partner with Heather.