I went to the pool tonight (I was the ONLY one there for a while, I am SOSOSO dedicated huh?) and swam a mile, and retested my 500. I paid much more attention to my breathing, and for most of it I managed to breathe every other stroke instead of my usual every stroke. There were a few times I thought I might die, but mostly, at least the first 400, I didn't panic. The result? 10:35. Still not anything, but a :59 improvement! Thanks for the comments, the advice, and the reminders that swimming really is hard! I hope by the end of this 10 week session to feel comfortable swimming this "new" way.
As for the 500 time...11:34 was my first ever attempt, so I really had no idea how to pace myself, etc. I think 10:35 is more indicative of my level, as a one minute improvement in 9 days isn't exactly real. I'll chalk that minute up to experience and mental issues, and use 10:35 as my benchmark. We retest in 3 weeks and again at the end, in 6 weeks. I hope to have a time of 9:30, which is 1:54/100. That doesn't sound too ambitious, it sounds pretty attainable to me IF I work at it. So, I will rededicate myself to 2 pool sessions a week on my own. Unfortunately, Friday nights will probably be one of them, and either Sunday afternoon or Monday nights for the other. That sucks, but there's no way to do it in the morning what with school starting at 7:30, and the pool not being open for lap swimming in the afternoons. I know I'll look back on this time in a year and feel proud of being dedicated to something that is inconvenient and not nearly as fun as running, so that's keeping me going.
Andra LOVES swimming. We went today, and she is now a HUGE fan of sitting on the side of the pool and jumping in. She is still, at 14 months almost, an ankle- and wrist-twirler, and when I sit her up there, she gets the biggest, goofiest grin, twirls away, and then lunges into the water. She tries to swim away from me once she's in, but when I almost let go, she almost sinks, so we're not quite there yet.