My old nemesis is back. The warm, wet air, the smell of chlorine, way too many swimmers per lane: yes, it's the BYU pool.
It's actually not bad, the water temperature is perfect for doing serious workouts. I've been swimming in lakes all summer, so it was quite a switch to go back to the pool. The first difference I noticed is how much easier it is! There are no big waves, no currents, no speedboats. And you can tell exactly how far you are swimming. Out in Utah Lake, I would just say to myself, "well, I guess I'll swim until I reach the end of this outcropping of rocks, and then I'll come back." Fun, in a free-form, adventurous sort of way. But not as scientific. And I'm all about science.
Seriously, though, the open water work has really helped me. Out in the drink I couldn't really focus on my form very well, because there were so many other things to worry about. But in the calm waters of the pool I could really tell I had a stronger, smoother stride than I used to, and my kick has gotten more even. Today's workout was a slow half-mile, averaging 77 seconds per lap- just a good basic zone 2 workout to get my sea-legs back after taking a week off from swimming. That's another thing that seems different about being back in the pool, long distances seem shorter. A half-mile used to seem pretty far before, but today it felt like a warm-up. I bet by Saturday I could swim a mile, no problem. It's great to realize your in better shape then you thought (especially because it almost always goes the other way!)