I'm hesitant to blog this, because it was only one workout, but it was the first time in a LONG time that I finished a swim workout not completely disgusted with the sport of swimming (I'm telling you, it's a love-hate relationship).
I did my 300 yd warmup. I have a race in a couple of weeks and the swim is 300yds. So I decided to time it...so much for the warmup :). I did it in 6:40, which is just a tad over 1:06 per lap. A pretty decent time for me. I did my drills -I've been really focusing on my rotation in the water. I am more comfortable rotating to my right than my left and I think that's causing some issues in my stroke. I have no idea how many yards of drills I did, I was just trying to create muscle memory by repetition. Then I started stroke count lengths (remember, a lap is one circuit of your lane, a length is just down to one end). The fewer strokes I use during one length means that I am swimming efficiently (i.e. gliding and not wasting energy by moving my arms too much). My stroke count has consistently been between 26-28. That's high.
I pushed off from the wall and started counting strokes (every time a hand enters the water, that's a stroke). I focused on rotation, high elbows, hand entry - all the stuff I have been drilling). I reached the wall...at 21. What!? WHAT!? 21? Fluke. Got to be. I turned around and headed back. 21 again. And again. And again. For at least 300 yds I hit 21 strokes on every length. And celebrated each 21 with a little "oh wow!" or "oh cool". Out loud. Pretty sure the rest of the pool thought that the girl in the purple swim cap was just a bit too excited about making it from one side of the pool to the other. I timed a couple of laps and I was going at a 1:05 pace. That's a big difference from my 1:12 pace a few weeks ago. I tried to speed up my pace but my stroke count quickly increased, so I obviously don't have the whole balance between stroke count and speed down yet.
I hope it sticks :). And what a blessing - here I have been whining and complaining and feeling like I have reached the end of my rope with swimming and I get this little glimmer. Thanks God.