Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Fast bathing suits and other rambling muses

When my mother was a little girl, getting new tennis shoes for the new school year was something of an event.  She and her brother and sisters, upon getting the new shoes home, would lace them up and then have races to test how "fast" those new shoes were.  Fast tennis shoes were a big and important thing in 1950s Richmond, VA, apparently.

I gave that a lot of thought in the pool today.  You see, I bought some new bathing suits.  My old one (yes, just one, and yes, I know that's a way to have your suits wear out really fast if you swim every day) had worn out badly, was sagging and was even getting to the point where it had a bit of a gap at the chest. (I am a full-figured gal, after all).

My swim speed has also been slowing down discouragingly in the past couple of months.

Well, today, I wore one of my new suits.  (Speedo ultraback -- believe you me, nuttin' fancy).

You know how tennis shoes can be fast?

So can bathing suits.   My hand to God, I made some personal records for freestyle today.  Not that this is impressive to anyone but me.  I'm pretty damn slow.

Even so, it was kinda surprising.  Yes, I know drag makes a difference, and the new suits were the way I like 'em -- slightly tight.  I like some compression in my torso for a bathing suit.

Possibly it was enough to reduce some drag.  I suspect also that feeling better after a serious cold that kept me out of the water for a bit had something more to do with it.

I cannot help but grin, though, and chalk it up to my new "fast" bathing suit.

Bathing suits still are a bit of a grumble factor for me, though.  I just bought three and spent over two hundred dollars for the damn things.  The last time I spent that much in a go for clothing, it was for fabric for a whole summer wardrobe!  I spend more on bathing suits than I do on any other single item of clothing I own.  I'd make 'em myself, but when I am honest with myself, I don't have the equipment nor the skill to make a good one that would stand up to what I do in the water -- never mind where in the world I'd find the right fabrics!

I am still considering a small modification to one of the ones I just bought, though.  It's navy blue.

When I was a little girl, I had this bathing suit I LOVED, I mean LOOOVVVEEED.  It was navy blue and had an goldfish appliqued on the front.  I just loved my fishie bathing suit so much and was furious when I got older and outgrew it.

I am so tempted to get some orange fabric an thread so I can sew a goldfish onto my navy bathing suit.

I could wear it when I do the Son of a Swim two-miler I have coming up in a few weeks.  Though I suspect that love my new fast bathing suits as I do, and how happy the orange fishie would make me, the time is simply much better spent getting my groove on for some open water work.  I still haven't spent much time in any open water training and I'm starting to get nervous about it.  I mean, I know I can swim two miles, no problem.  But there's no real substitute for getting out where there is no chlorine and lanes and learning the techniques you can't learn in a pool.

I'll be headed out to a local lake this weekend to try.   Need to pick up a kayak paddle for my husband, too, so that he can paddle along beside me and we can get some practice in as a kayak/swimmer team.   Even though it's only a short swim by marathon swimmer standards, I'd like to get some practice in with passing me a water bottle, too.  I've read about some people who use a water-bottle and retractable dog leash combination for that sort of thing, and I think it would be a good idea.   Still, want to practice.

One of our local ponds has Open Water Wednesday events in July and August where you can swim a mile of a marked course to practice your own water skills.  That comes too late for my first swimming event of the year, but I figure I'll still do it, as it'll be great for my Sharkfest swim this fall in Boston.
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