A nagging suspicion that I have been developing an arm problem has kept me out of the pool off and on over the past few months. Mostly, I've felt it prudent to limit swims to three or four a week instead of the five (or six!) I prefer.
But after a lot of experimentation, I think I've isolated the cause to a glitch in the breathing part of my stroke. I've apparently fallen into a habit of sort of looking up to the side to breathe in instead of looking over my shoulder, more or less. The over-the-shoulder way completely eliminates the twinge I've been feeling in my left arm, which although it hasn't been particularly painful has worried me.
Now all I have to do is get over-the-shoulder burned into my muscle memory and I'll be all set. I hope. Oh, an added plus: Washing out my sinuses more thoroughly pays off. I've had much less congestion, although I have had to take Claritin each evening. I plan to launch a multi-month experiment to try to cut back on how many doses I go through in a week. I'm not concerned about the long-term effect of the drugs, but they aren't cheap (about a buck a dose, even on sale) and I'm not keen on ingesting meth ingredients every day that I swim.
Anyway, this week has been very good in the pool, with no need at all to take a day off. Katy's puppyhood is tiring (and very worth it!), but I find that the swims help keep me in an easygoing frame of mind, even if I am a bit worn.