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AngieK

  1. April is Adult Learn-To-Swim Month!! What Will You Do?

    We at our Masters club (the Columbia Masters in Howard County, MD) are very excited that the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation has declared April Adult Learn-To-Swim month. We think that many adults would like to learn how to swim, but maybe haven't had an opportunity to do so... Until now. We are using this nationwide campaign as the impetus to develop programs we can use to get interested adults in the pool. And, we hope to expand the opportunities to swim that we already offer. The ability to bring this life (and lifesaving) skill to an adult population is exciting and something we are eager to do.

    Has your club offered adult learn-to-swim lessons? Is it a Swimming Saves Lives Foundation partner? If so, what types of programs have you offered. What types of programming is the most popular with your population/in your area?

    I would love to hear from you about your Adult Learn-to-Swim successes! Thanks! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
  2. How Cold is Too Cold - When the Pool Temperature Dips?

    There is an almost constant battle at our pool between the Masters swimmers and the Aqua Fitness/pleasure lap swimmers with whom we share our pool over pool water temperatures. Our Masters group would like to have cooler water for our strenuous workouts. This cooler pool water temperature is between 79 and 81 degrees. The Aqua Fitness group is made up of older men and women, who prefer a warmer pool water temperature. The battle raged for what seemed like forever. Finally, it appeared that management was able to mostly appease everyone. They kept one pool, where we have practice, slightly cooler and the other pool is kept quite warm. Now for the mechanical snafu.
    The word came via Twitter and Facebook before practice. It said, basically that the water temperature of the PP (Program Pool, where we practice) is a brisk 76 degrees. You may bring your wetsuit if you so desire. Well, I don't own a wetsuit (yet?). I wasn't sure if I would need one, but I was sure that 76 was about what the projected temperature of Mirror Lake (in Lake Placid) is in August. I am hoping to do the two mile cable swim there at that time. So my first thought was, “Yay! I can find out if I'm going to need to rent a wet suit or not for that swim!” My second thought was, I wonder if it will be too cold for me to swim. I haven't really had a lot of opportunities to swim in colder or "brisk" water. So, I was looking forward to the challenge. It took me a lot longer than usual to warm up, but I guess I sort of eventually did. We had two people leave to swim in the hot pool, which was an awful 86 degrees. I could not practice in water that warm. My skin felt cool the whole practice, but I liked it, I was comfortable. It was so much better than swimming in warm water. When we got out of the pool, the walk to the locker was so much more pleasant. We are usually freezing, but after the chilly water, we were fine. The same was true of the locker room. I could get used to that temperature, I think… At the very least, now I know that I can swim for 75 minutes in 76 degree water. Good to know. What about you? Are you a cold water or warm water swimmer?

  3. Last Long Swim Day

    Today was the last of our planned long swim days to prepare for the One Hour Postal Swim. We hope to have one long swim a month down the road (maybe starting in March) to prepare for the Chesapeake Bay Swim, among other open water swims some members of our Masters club are planning for this summer. I had high hopes for myself today after enjoying a really good post practice long swim last week. However, due to a couple of "game-changers," I opted for a different goal. My original plan was to swim for 45 minutes and see how I did. Game Changer number one was that I started to come down with a cold this week, and while I've been diligently taking my Zicam for the past two days, I must admit to not being 100 percent. The great news is that I've been taking Zicam and felt good enough to be able to swim today. Game Changer number two was the killer workout Sue had for us today. Whew! It was a 3900 yard day, with the main set that looked like this: 4X 100 on 1:40 & 200 on 3:30 (Work the 100s); Then do a 100 or 200 easy followed by 4X 100 on 2:00 & 200 on 3:15 (Work the 200s). So, needless to say, I had a lot less left in the tank for the post-practice long swim than I did last week. However, since I am always competing with myself, I had to at least swim the same number of yards as last week's all time (practice) high. So, I set out to swim a 1000 and see how I felt after that. I did it and felt pretty tired. I was able to get the additional yardage in for the 5300 yard grand total, which is great. I didn't know what to expect, but am pretty happy. Not as happy as last week, mind you, but happy. Next week we will be doing the One Hour Postal Swim! Hopefully, I'll be in form for it. Happy Friday! ~AngieKozBlogs
  4. A Personal Best At Practice

    The other day I wasn't feeling it for practice. I didn't feel like I had had anything particularly awesome about the swim itself afterwards, either. But, today. I had awesomeness. Today was the first Friday we were given the chance to do a long swim after our normal Masters practice to prepare for our 1 Hour Postal swim at the end of the month. So, we did 3300 yards for practice. It wasn't too demanding of a practice because we have several swimmers competing in a meet this weekend. But, it was still work. I tried to be very realistic about what I'd be able to do after the practice. I didn't want to completely fall apart, physically. So, I asked our Coach, Sue, to set her watch for 30 minutes. I decided I wanted to see how I'd do at that point. My hopes were that I would be at a mile or a little over. And, I felt really pretty good. I kept a pretty steady pace for the first bunch of 100s. I ended up with 1750 yards in 30 minutes! I'm so happy and proud of myself. I did a 250 yard cool down after for 2000 extra yards, which, added to the 3300 practice yards, is the most I've logged in a single practice in my adult swimming life. I am really excited to see how I do next week. I'm going to have Sue set the clock at 45 minutes for me. Hour Postal, here I come!! ~AngieKozblogs
  5. Just Not Feeling it

    You know those days when you are tired or sore from the previous day's workout and you get to the pool, and you just aren't feeling it? Well, it seems that a lot of that was going around at our 10:00 AM Masters workout yesterday. I was headed for the pool deck, when I passed my lane mate, Roberta. She looked at me and said, "I'm not feeling it today. And, I just saw Judy (another lane mate) and she isn't feeling it either, so it's up to you. Translation: I am leading the lane today. Perfect. I said, "But, wait! I'm not feeling it either!" Well, I did my workout with as much effort as I could muster. And, we took turns leading the lane. It wasn't a banner workout. However, it was a workout. We did a fly drill set with fins that felt extra tiring. After that, we did a long-ish main set involving sprinting various distances and 200 yard easy/recoverys in between. After practice, several of us were chatting about how exhausted we were to start off the week. So, it wasn't just our lane, we all had a case of the “not feeling its.” This then led to a short discussion on the toll doing certain fitness regimens can take on our now older bodies and about cross training. Yep. We are all getting older. I was mentioning how I need to lift weights two times a week, even if I'd rather be swimming. And, something along the lines of, “Swimming makes me happy.” And, one of my swimmer friends, who swims a lane or two away from me, said something like, “Oh, yes. I know. You look happy when you're swimming.” This comment took me by surprise, especially today when I wasn't feeling particularly happy or accomplished in the water. But, the thing is, even on a bad swimming day, I'm usually happy after, if not during. This made me remember that back in November, I had started a list of how swimming makes me feel at any given moment. Here is my list (in no particular order): Swimming Makes Me Feel…
    Strong
    Graceful
    Competent
    Happy
    Tired
    Relaxed
    Accomplished
    Cool
    Fast
    Slow
    Exhausted
    Mentally free…of earthly issues, concerns, people, places, appointments, etc.
    Meditative
    Successful
    Owned by/a slave to the clock
    Filled with joy
    Energized
    Stress free
    Hungry
    So good afterwards, I want to spend as much time as possible doing it.
    I hope to keep adding to this list as I think of new ways swimming makes me feel. It is almost a my “Benefits of Swimming List.” I'm sure other swimmers (and runners, skaters, skiers, walkers, and etc.) would have similar lists. For example, I don't know any swimmers who would say that swimming doesn't make them hungry. Swimmers are usually always hungry. At least they are after they swim. So, even though I started out “not feeling it,” I was feeling pretty happy and accomplished after practice. And, I'm grateful to my swimmer friends for reminding me why I swim. Happy Swimming to all of you! AngieKozBlogs
  6. Caps (and Goggles) off to Coach!

    If you are a Masters swimmer, you know there are a lot of swim meets during the winter months that you can choose (or not) to participate in. In our area, we have a series of meets that start in November and go through March. There is one meet per month. Our Coach, Sue, usually trains our group in such a way that those who wish to compete in the meets are prepared to do so. There is an extra boost to this training that starts in January. That means interval speed training, starts of the blocks, IM sets (or stroke sets-doing something other than Freestyle), and general technique work. Meanwhile, back at the U.S. Masters - national level, there is a competition called the 1 Hour Postal Swim that runs from 1-31 January. Yes, that's right. You guessed it. We are training for meets, but we (many of us, anyway) are going to participate in the Hour Postal, as well. We don't often get much in the area of long swims to prepare for the Postal because we are stroking it out and doing shorter distances to prep for meets. This year, thanks to Sue (and the wonderful management at our pool), we are being given the opportunity to train for the Postal. We are getting an extra hour of practice one day a week for the next couple of weeks to do some long swims. Yay! I am so excited! Wish us luck! And, here's hoping the weather doesn't ruin our long swim training time!