Slowly. My technique is coming along! Today I swam another 2200 yards, bringing my weekly swim total up to just about the distance I swam for the whole MONTH of January! It's much more fun when you feel like you're finally making progress, though, isn't it?
Changing my stroke to adopt an improved, elevated elbow position has given me some free speed. That's what happens when you add another 12-18 inches of pull at the top of the stroke, apparently! 500 meters at a comfortable steady pace with open turns was an easy 14:29 today, instead of my usual time of over 15 minutes. (Yes, converted to meters - swimming as I do in one metric pool and one English pool gets confusing!) (With a pull buoy 500m was 13:25 - which tells me I still have some body-balancing to achieve).
Every stroke now I think about the catch. Was that a solid catch? Did my elbow move OUT, or DOWN? Did I get a strong pull from well in front of my head all the way to my thigh? Most of the time I do pretty well except when I take a breath, and that's when my entire arm plunges toward the bottom of the pool. But now when I'm swimming mindfully I usually get in two good pulls before the next time an arm uselessly sinks to the bottom.
I still have to remember to take it gradually and not overdo the swim distance, though, because I'm putting some new stresses on my elbows and shoulders. They'll need time to adapt if I'm going to avoid bursitis or tendonitis.
I also talked to another swimmer there about their local YMCA master's swim program. They're starting some more weekend practices, along with some multisport/endurance emphasis, so maybe I can start doing some workouts with them. That would be fun!