Maybe I'll see Michael Phelps? My friend Tanya belongs to his aquatic club so maybe I'll drop in for a swim? That would be something. I'll bring my Sharpie pen for an autograph just in case. Ha!
Back in the real world we have been doing lots of stroke work. I have been fiddling around with my entry and angle of pull, as well as my head position. I just can't seem to get used to looking down at the tiles, as Karlyn recommends, I feel like I don't know where I am going. However I do feel the difference it makes in my speed and my hips elevating more.
As far as kicking off the wall I am starting to think that maybe there is more bang for my buck by doing a solid streamline -- really squeezing my arms to my ears and thumb locking my hands together -- than there is for doing a dolphin kick. During a race, like the 425 I just did, I get so tired by the end that I am not getting extra power from the dolphin kick b/c it is not quick enough -- it actually slows me down by breaking the streamline. I am going to practice tight streamlined pushoffs instead.
And on the core strengthening goal, I hurt my back this morning doing the "plank" -- a nifty exercise that my Tri friend Carrie taught me. It is like an immobilized pushup, you "rest" on your forearms and hold the raised pushup pose for 60 seconds. Sounded good. I tried 15 seconds on the side of the pool. Since two hours later my back has been in agony. Ugh. I think I better start slow with crunches. And as for the "wheel of torture" that John recommended... hmmmm.... I think I'll wait on that too. If anyone has any other good core exercises to start slowly with, let me know!