Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy we'll be living under the sea

snorkToday I had the joy of swimming laps with a snorkel for the first time in a very long time.  Or maybe ever.  I seem to remember attempting the "thar she blows" maneuver after a flipturn many years ago ...

What I didn't remember was how freakin' hard it is to swim the crawl stroke with a snorkel.  First I found that my general approach to keeping water out of my nose -- maintaining consistent outward pressure from my lungs -- doesn't work when my open mouth + snorkel is an escape hatch.  Next I found that once you manage to get just a bit of water into the snorkel, every subsequent breath must travel through that puddle of water and make an awful gurgling/choking sound.  Finally I realized that the super-fancy "freestyle optimized" snorkel gives you exactly two head Finis-Freestyle_81positions to choose from:

  • * a neutral head position which I had a tough time maintaining while also freaking out about keeping water out of my nose and out of the snorkel
  • * a less neutral head position that puts the tip of the snorkel underwater. Oops.

I quickly gave up on trying to do flipturns as I never seemed to have enough air or coordination to clear the snorkel.  So instead I would do an open turn while keeping my face submerged.  I managed to swim one continuous 300 in a set of 6.  It's a start.

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