Yet another swimming exercise and etiquette question.
I wanted to start swimming because I was tired of doing an hour a day on the elliptical machine. I have read Total Immersion, read the Masters Swimming site, and all the relevant previous questions
With that said, I have some questions. The first is I'd like to know what etiquette should I be observing at the pool? I go later at night so I have my own lane, I have my hair in a cap, and I shower before going in. What are things that would be obvious to a swimmer that I wouldn't know? For example, last night was the first time I went. I didn't have a watch, so the only way I knew it was time to leave was when someone who worked there told me the pool was closing. Was that a terrible breach of protocol, or does it not matter that much if I get out when they tell me to?
I have glasses, but I bought goggles. The problem is that I have truly terrible vision, and without my glasses I can't see anything at all. If I don't wear my goggles, can I wear my glasses in the pool, or would that look too goofy until I get an water-resistant watch?
Then there's the odd fact that I was prepared to be exhausted after a few minutes and a single lap, as everyone had told me I would. However I swam laps, only pausing for about twenty seconds at either end, for forty-five minutes without a break. My arms are a little sore this morning, but that's all. I can't swim very well and I'm extremely slow, but I can manage to do a shoddy imitation of a crawl or a backstroke and an awkward breaststroke. I have been going to the gym for years, but I thought the conventional wisdom was that swimming exhausted non-swimmers. Is it possible that I am swimming incorrectly enough that I'm not making enough effort for it to count as exercise?
And finally, I am having enormous trouble figuring out how to swim, and I'm trying to remember how to do it correctly. Other than doing my breaststroke, which I try to manage so as not to disrupt other lanes, am I bothering other swimmers with my ineptitude? Is the pool sort of like the weight room, in that at a certain level of incompetence no one notices or cares? For some reason I'm hypersensitive about looking ridiculous in the water. Is there any reason to think that other swimmers care at all about how badly I swim? I am enormously, hideously fat, so I am already used to a certain level of bizarre side glances when I work out, but something about the near-nudity of swimming makes the thought of people critiquing my swimming and person far worse.