All aspects of the race were covered and many questions were answered. Most of those present will be swimming the race for the first time, so the clinic was very informative. After the discussion, swim caps were given out and we headed for the water.
For the swimming portion of the clinic, two of our hosts were on paddle boards--one at the front leading the way and the other bringing up the rear. Another swam with the group. They led us out the Hilton Hotel channel, stopping along the way to point out navigation aids, discuss waves and currents and possible routes to best make it to the finish line.
It was a good experience to be sure. Not only did I learn a great deal about the race, but finally got to swim a portion of the course. To my great relief, the training I've been doing served me very well. I felt very comfortable and there were no surprises. At the end of the swim, one of the mentors offered me some tips to improve my technique. I had no idea what a horrible swimmer I was! He said my breathing was terrible and later, that I was a "weak swimmer". I have no idea why I was singled out for this "help". I dunno...maybe he didn't like my face. :)
I explained that my "horrible breathing technique" came from a book written by a highly-respected swimming coach. He was a little older than me and my thought was he was incapable of believing there could be anything knew, different, or better than his way. By the way, "his way" is the old standard free-style method. Nothing wrong with it, but I'm not set in my ways from a swimming standpoint, unlike him. I told him that I'd been training by swimming the full-length of the race, in a decent time, but he either didn't hear me or had already decided it could not be possible. Instead, he recommended I go to Ala Moana Beach Park and work there?
I was curious to hear him say that, and asked why that would that be better than training at Ft. DeRussy. He muttered something about swimming from one point to another over there and it would add up to a mile. I chuckled, and repeated my current training regimen, certain now that he just didn't hear me the first time. About then, one of the younger mentors jumped in and asked me if I swam the eight laps non-stop. I answered him and his response was, "Wow!".
That stopped the older gentleman from saying anything else. My primary goal in signing-up for the race was to simply finish. Not anymore! In no way do I think I can beat the time of this old veteran of the race, but I'm certainly going to try...REALLY HARD!!
This past Tuesday, I once again swam the full-length of the race in just over 2.5-hours. That makes five times. Michele's trainer suggested that one needn't run a full marathon while training for one. Weak swimmer, indeed! Different strokes for different folks, I always say!
To leave this subject on a positive note...Thanks to the race committee for setting up the clinic and to the mentors who took the time to show us the ropes.
And here are some photos taken in recent days:
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress departing at sunset.
Have a wonderful weekend!