I’m going to ramble today.

I have a bunch of stuff going on and no ordered thoughts, so I’ll just spill what I have.

I’m currently planning my race schedule for the year. I’m generally the type of person that tries to do a million things at once, so I really need to sit down and focus on a few goals at a time and plan my races around that instead of – oh, I don’t know – trying to race everything in my city.

I’m definitely doing another marathon next year and I’d really to travel for it if it’s at all financially possible. I also want to do a half to set a PR and I want to race all the regular distances in VFFs, and again barefoot.

I don’t think I can do all that one year, especially since winter is approaching and races in my area are quickly disappearing, so at the moment I’ve been sticking with barefoot running and training in my VFFs. There’s a 10 mile race in Whitby at the end of this month that I’d like to run in my Vibrams.

Today was definitely a rest day for me. I am completely sore from the waist down, and my arms are a little sore too. I wanted to take an Epsom salt bath but I couldn’t because I have tiny cuts and scrapes all over my hands and shins from my trail race and I can’t take that kind of stinging. I’m a mess.

I think I’m going to look into getting some compression socks so my calves can stop hating me. I have a tentative group run tomorrow night at my local running store, and if I go I’ll show up in Vibrams. I’m heard that my local running store is very anti-barefoot and/or minimalist shoe movements (they sell shoes of course), so I’m curious about what kind of response I’ll get in my VFFs.

I had another swimming lesson yesterday and the tips I’ve picked up from Total Immersion continue to pay off. I’m swimming at least two extra laps in the time it takes everyone else to finish their set quota. I’ve noticed a few people struggling with things that can easily be corrected, but my instructor doesn’t seem to pay much attention to form.

For example, there was one guy who was behind yesterday and my swimming instructor kept yelling at him to go, go, go! Push harder and go faster! But in this person’s attempt to pick up speed, his form really suffered and near the end he was only lifting one arm out of the water. The second hard was doing his stroke completely submerged, which is of course completely counter productive since you’re pushing yourself back for every stroke you make going forward.

Another girl was asking the instructor for help on the whip kick because she wasn’t moving anywhere. He tried to explain it to her, but she didn’t get it. As I watched her, I could see the problem was that she was creating too much resistance in the water. So she couldn’t glide off of her kick because she was bending her body and that was holding her back. In the end she just gave up.

I feel like I want to say something, but I don’t want to come across as a really annoying person who thinks she knows everything. I don’t really want to contradict everything the instructor says either. So I’m a little torn. I have actually made friends with the people that were struggling though, so I’m thinking that next time instead of swimming extra laps I can stick close to them and help them out a bit more.

I have a theory that most of the people in my class who struggle with the swimming techniques have some sort of psychological problem with the water, which I think plays a big role in their ability to learn. I tested this theory yesterday by talking to some of the slower swimmers and learning a bit more about them. I learned that the guy that swam with one arm was thrown into a pool by his swimming instructor in Iran when he was 11. He almost drowned and he doesn’t really trust swimming instructors anymore. I thought that was interesting.

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