Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Hawai, the Big Island

I am in Kona on the Big Island. Our instructors are all very knowledgeable and we will learn a lot this week. They are videotaping us so that we can clearly see our mistakes.

In Total Immersion swimming there is three principles. The first is to be balanced in the water. We worked on this aspect yesterday. I tend to lift my head up and have started to over compensate and actually pressed my chin down to my chest. This mistake was corrected and I learned to just relax in the water so that the water supports me.

The second aspect is streamlining. That is as Dinah explained to balance the water around you. To master this we practice the correct skating position. I have already realized that I was stacking my shoulders when doing this and that the rotation should be less. I was aiming for a 45 degree rotation but Dinah said it is even less. She helped me to get the correct rotation. We also worked on a relaxed arm recovery and a lengthening of the body forward with the leading arm.

This afternoon we did a long swim focussing on these aspects. Where I was spinning wheels yesterday I was really shooting through the water today. This is why I came to this Open water camp. I realized that I needed help to improve my technique. I am overjoyed that I can already feel a difference in the ease that I move through the water.

The underwater sea life is so distracting. There is the most beautiful variety of fish in the coral. I saw a small snake curling around and under some rocks in the water. It is difficult to concentrate on our focus points when one has this beautiful things to look at.

When I arrived here I had a day off before the swim camp start and went on a tour of the island. We went to the vulcano sight were there is smoke coming out of several places. We also saw beautiful rainforests and waterfalls. I would like to show the photos I took but my technical skills to do this is lacking.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

I am off to see the Wizard.....

I am leaving for the USA on Monday. I signed up for an Open Water Camp ran by Total Immersion in Kona Hawai. When I realized I will fly Over the USA to reach Kona I decided to combine the swim trip with a quilting trip. My two passions in one go- how lucky can one be.

My husband was invited to join me on the first part of the trip in Hawaii, but he decided to stay home instead. Luckily two quilting friend will join me on the last quilting part of the trip.

I will leave on Monday night and will arrive in Lancaster PA  on Tuesday evening. There I will stay at a hotel with a heated outdoor pool- how lucky can a swimmer be. I believe it is still winter in the USA so although I like a chilly swim- the after effects will put a spanner in my wheels.

In Lancaster I will attend Quilt Week, a quilt show organized by AQS. I will have the opportunity to visit surrounding Amish Towns. I have made an in depth study of Amish quilts and there lifestyle. I could see many similarities with the Afrikaner way of life.

On the 15th I will leave for Kona. I am there a day before our training start and will use it to go on an Island tour, visiting the vulcano as well.

Then it is CAMP. Two hours of swim training and swimming in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. I have swum on average 2 km every day for the last month. The problem is I am swimming very "leisurely" so I am not tired after a swim session. Now I will have to keep up with the rest of the group. I am scared that they will all be younger and fitter and that I will be left out.

I have realised that I am rotating to much. I also did not place my hands out wide enough so I wasn't stable and balanced enough. (Wide tracks) Since I corrected this, it feel as if I am flying through the water. I had my Garmin forerunner fixed (why I am so unlucky with my devices, I do not know) and will hopefully recieve it before I leave. Then I can check if this sensation that I move at a high speed in the water is indeed so, or just a "feeling".

If I can manage to blog from my iPad I will do so and show how Hawaii look.

I took part in 1SOMS on the first Sunday in March. The wind was blowing the buyos away and two paddlers marked the route. Most swimmers was in wetsuits. Some swimmers left the water early. I managed an hour and 6 laps in the stormy sea. It was thrilling and another opportunity to built confidence. (The after effects got me, but my down duvet and hot water bottles, stored in the car, saved me)