I had kind of an awkward moment in Masters swimming this morning. We did a ton of drills, focusing on our stroke. At the end of one set, the coach told me I looked good. Nice!
I've really been working on my stroke for the past several months, and have taken all of the constructive criticism I received from the coach to heart. Now my elbows are more bent, my arms go into the water wider, I concentrate on lengthening my arm at the end of each stroke before I pull down, and I no longer let my left arm drift toward the bottom of the pool when I breathe on the right. I didn't even realize I did that last one until our coach showed me a video of me swimming. Every time I breathe now, I consciously think about holding that left arm out straight. Hopefully, eventually it will become so ingrained that I won't have to think about it so much.
Today there were only two of us in my lane, so we were swimming together. I'll call the other person "B". She is the woman I wrote about before who didn't seem thrilled that I got moved up a lane, but who seems to have accepted me now that I've shown I can keep up.
At the end of the next set, the coach stopped us and told B to synchronize her stroke with mine. B is a fast swimmer, and part of that is due to her rapidly cycling arms. The coach said B needs to slow her arms down and be more efficient like me.
I kind of grinned sheepishly at B, and she and I took off on our next set. I realized that when B's arms slowed down, so did she, and I had to slow way down and wait for her so that she could stay parallel to me. The coach had us do that several more times throughout the workout, and I could tell B was not thrilled. She was nice about it, but it's never fun to be told you're doing it wrong, and, oh yeah, that person swimming next to you is doing it right, so do it like her.
Hopefully this won't mar the friendliness that B and I have now.
On the upside, though, I'm swimming really well lately. The last few workouts I've done, I've felt like everything was really coming together. I'm not kicking too hard, my stroke is more efficient, I'm breathing fewer times - everything is flowing nicely.