Swimming for the Whale Sharks

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I am supposed to run for the whale sharks. However, my calf muscles do not want to run for almost two weeks now, so I am swimming instead.

While friends happily run on the oval across the road, I had an Olympic-sized pool all to myself. Normally I would have loved the solitude, but leg misery loves company and I would not have minded other souls wallowing with me. I actually like crowded pools now - the better for me to practice swimming with sharks like in an aquathlon or triathlon. I also like to help my new-found military friends - lifeguards/coaches in the pool of the Phil Army Wellness Center. I figured if more people use the facilities, the swim fees will somehow trickle to them (I hope).

I did 20 X 50m swim intervals. I aimed for speed and timed myself. I normally only use my legs to keep me afloat so I am not sure how helpful these swim drills are in preparing me for my Skyway run. But I do not have much choice, so I swam ahead with the belief that doing so will at least keep me fit for the run. I aimed to swim each 50m lap within a minute. Lucky me managed to do that 16 times out of 20, and averaged well within a minute. I even trimmed my 2-week old lap record by a second. My 56 seconds is still light years away from the Philippine record of 22 seconds, but what the heck it is still a PR for me. My worst lap at 1:03 is not so bad either.

I did the butterfly next. The self-taught me never really learned/mastered the fly. The fly properly executed is poetry in motion -- a jaw-dropping combination of power and elegance. When poorly done, it is a sorry sight. Having grown watching the Man from Atlantis do dolphin kicks, I think I have a passable rendition of the kick. The challenge for me has always been to do the essense of the stroke - to soar above water and fly. With my excess weight and incommensurate strength, I am simply not strong enough to fly. I picture myself more as a caterpillar bobbing through water, rather than a butterfly in flight. I was tired after the free style, but I tried to soar above water. I thought if I could finally soar I would be race ready for the Skyway. If I fly above water, I can run on the Sky. I had not flown that night - not yet - but I'll get there.

If I could not run, I would fly.

I believe I can fly.


Jinoe March 6, 2009 at 1:04 AM  

The butterfly. Haaay... Pareha tayo rico. Caterpillar sa tubig.

Rico Villanueva March 7, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

Haha, ako botchog na caterpillar :-)

JavyO March 10, 2009 at 8:51 AM  


You're getting fast! That's my pace as well :) Keep it up!

Rico Villanueva March 10, 2009 at 11:50 PM  

Thanks, Javy. I just hope my body will remember that pace come race time. Buntot and draft along na lang ako sa iyo hehe :)

Running Diva March 16, 2009 at 3:54 PM  

Whoa, you're fast! How much is the entrance fee? I haven't mastered the butterfly. I'm only up to breast stroke. Though, I'm into running now, I still love swimming.

Rico Villanueva March 16, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

Hi Roselle. I am still trying to master the fly. I am trying to go fast free style, but breast stroke is still my favorite. Army pool fee is Php75 daytime, Php100 night time for civilian, everyday open. Pool is half-occupied every TTh nights though by underwater hockey club.

Anonymous March 25, 2009 at 4:32 PM  

Hey Eric! It's your beloved sister. Hehe! Josh has been doing butterfly strokes in swimming lessons now and he's doing pretty good. But he has yet to master it as he has done the breast stroke and backstroke. His dolphin kicks are pretty good too! Strong legs he has. Remember he's only 9!

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