Here are my results:
- Warmup, 500 yards: 2:17/100 yard pace: fairly comfortable unrushed pace.
- Frogger neoprene-lycra webbed gloves, 200 yards: 2:18/100 yard pace: Very warm, but very comfortable to swim with. Felt like my hands were sweaty. Didn't improve my speed any.
- Neoprene socks, 2 mm, 200 yards: 2:24/100 yard pace: They were slightly large, and felt like swimming with floppy plastic bags on my feet. Uncomfortably warm, like sleeping in bed with wool socks on. Slowed me down slightly, but they didn't seem like they were in any danger of ballooning with water or slipping off my feet.
- Body Glove neoprene hood, hooked under chin, 200 yards: 2:29/100 yard pace: The chin strap was slightly uncomfortable and constrictive, but not too bad. Didn't seem like it would chafe. Very warm also. I swam much slower than I thought with it on - the sound of the water was different in my ears and that may have affected my perception of pace.
- Body Glove neoprene hood, unfastened and loose, 200 yards: 2:29/100 yard pace: Just to see what would happen if I got too hot or couldn't breathe well mid-race, I tried swimming with the chin parts loose and flopping. That did feel much cooler, and didn't slow me down any compared to swimming with it fastened. Good to know for emergencies, although I'll need to use two hands to unfasten it.
- Pull buoy only, 200 yards: 2:10/100 yard pace: I wanted to check if I was slowing down just because I was getting tired. I guess not.
- Breast stroke, 200 yards: 2:54/100 yard pace: I have to resort to this occasionally during swims for sighting, but use it rarely now. It feels clumsy and slow, and it is slow - 27% slower than my normal freestyle stroke.
I also want to try a practice swim using earplugs. Some people say that cold water in their ears affects their swimming and balance. Although I haven't experienced that yet, I'd certainly like to avoid it.