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Year Three: The Road Back

"Sometimes God calms the storm. At other times, he calms the sailor. And, sometimes he makes us swim. " - Author Unknown

Having killed my knees running half-marathons, I turned to swimming at the ripe young age of 39. I attended my first Masters' practice in August of 2009 and competed in my first ever swim meet in January 2010. My second year focused on training, improving, and competing. My third year... that will be another story.

  1. Goal Set Today

    by , September 1st, 2011 at 12:07 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Today was a day not to be missed. (Please read the intended sarcasm into that.) But... today was one of those "necessary workout" kind of days. (No sarcasm intended.) Here's what we did:

    250 Warm-Up
    6 x 50 Kick on 1:00
    20 x 50 Goal Pace Free Set on 1:30
    4 x 200 Pull on 3:15
    450 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 2800

    My first 50 in the goal set was a blisteringly slow :38. Note that the goal is to maintain the same (i.e. QUICK) pace throughout the set. A :38 was just not good. On the next 50, I really focused on the push-off and dropped to :36.5 and was able to maintain a :36-:36.5 over the next 10 50s. For the next 8 50s (#12-19), I dropped the :36-:36.5s to :35.5-:36. Whoo hoo! On the last one, I dropped to a :34. YAY! While I wish the overall times could have been slightly lower (i.e. maintaining :34s throughout), I was happy to find my groove again and re-establish the breathing pattern I've been using for sprinting (i.e. 3 breaths only on the first 25). I know many of you will say that 3 breaths is too many. I agree, but it's better than I've been doing lately and it was nice to re-establish that baseline. Now I feel like I can work on getting that down to 2 breaths on the 1st 25. What I like about re-establishing that pattern is that I know exactly when the wall is coming up and am able to maintain more speed into the flip turn.

    Better focus? Two breaths into the wall or three breaths out of the wall? Currently, I'm breathing with just about every right-side stroke coming back. What do you think? Where is the additional speed to be found?

    Enjoy your swims today and I'll check in after another happy stroke day tomorrow!
    Swim Workouts
  2. After Yesterday's Success... Ugh...

    by , August 31st, 2011 at 11:26 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Going into today's workout, I knew I would probably be a bit worn out from yesterday's distance day. Therefore, I purposely did NOT bike yesterday or do anything overly strenuous. Did it matter when I hit the water today.... not really. I felt really sluggish - like my legs wouldn't work and my hands couldn't catch the water... pesky stuff kept slipping through my fingers....

    Anyway, here's what we did today:

    500 Warm-Up
    1 x 850 Free/Kick/Pull/Free by 200s on 14:00 (miscounted)
    Two sets:
    4 x 25 h/e, e/h on :35
    4 x 25 4,3,2,1 breaths x 25 on :45
    4 x 25 tarzen drill on :35
    4 x 25 Stroke on :35 (did back, free, back, free - no fins)
    Four sets:
    1 x 50 ALL OUT FREE on 1:30 (:34, :35, :34, :33)
    1 x 50 Easy Free on 1:30
    6 x 50 Kick on 1:15, 1>6
    350 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3200

    I hate to say it, but this is one workout that I couldn't wait to end. I wasn't particularly pleased with my ALL OUT 50s either. I've been faster than that from a push start - by a bunch... it just wasn't in the cards today. I also never felt like I could generate any power or momentum off the start or turn walls. Huh... guess we'll just chalk today's efforts up to the inevitable "bad day" that everyone has from time to time and see what tomorrow brings.

    Thanks for listening (or rather reading) my rants. I hope you enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  3. Distance Extravaganza

    by , August 30th, 2011 at 11:34 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Whew! I made it! While I'd love to leave it at that, you probably want more details, eh?

    Today's Tuesday workout was one of only a handful of distance day swims that I have actually completed sans fins or pulling. Here's what we did:

    400 Warm-Up
    10 x 50 Free on :50
    5 x 500 Free on 8:00 (did 7:30, 7:30, 7:30, 7:29, 7:28)
    10 x 50 Free FAST on :50
    200 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 4100

    I swim with a number of people who prefer not to know what the workouts are ahead of time. I am not one of those people. Take today... and my new push to increase my endurance and start lowering my distance times.... Had I simply gotten to the pool and heard the workout, there is no way I would have lasted. As it was, by knowing the workout ahead of time, I was able to not only psych myself up for it, but give me a mental edge up when the inevitable breaking point came (which was around 1200 yards or so). It happened during the open water 2K on Sunday too. I was so tired of battling the chop and breathing in what felt like gasoline, I just wanted to swim to a kayak and quit. BUT... I DIDN'T. And, having that experience behind me, I knew I could physically do this set and that I should be able to hold the 1:35 or so pace that the 8:00 interval allowed for. And, I did. I actually was so consistent holding a 1:30 per 100 pace that my coach started giving me my times to the tenth of a second (until the last two when I "descended" by finishing 1 and 2 seconds "early" respectively).

    I must say that I'm really proud of myself for not quitting today and grabbing my fins. Going in, I knew I could do it and when the going got tough, I used that knowledge to power through - just like I tell my daughter when she's running. Maybe this is the start of a swimming breakthrough of sorts. If nothing else, I'm actually contemplating competing a pool race longer than 200 meters for the first time. Guess my second year of swimming is also going to be full of firsts!

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  4. What a Weekend!

    by , August 29th, 2011 at 12:25 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Such an awesome weekend. My daughter finished 3rd overall in the high school meet she ran in and I finished 1st (HOLY COW!) in my first ever open water race! Who would have thought?!

    Talk about a learning experience! First of all, don't bother getting to the lake when it's still dark out. Warm-ups at 6am don't really mean warm-ups at 6am when the sun is not up. Also, warming up when the air temp is in the middle 60's is just not possible. Therefore, do not strip down to the swimsuit too early.....

    Second, it's probably a good idea to actually swim where you will race if you can. People told me that Morse was not clear, but I have never before swam where I couldn't see past my elbow - let alone those people swimming around me.

    Third, mass starts?! Just go and hope for the best. When I got over the panic from the mass start and calmed myself down, I was able to find a really good rhythm. That was great. My sighting? Oh well, with enough people swimming around me, I basically looked for water splashing and followed that until I could finally spot the buoys.

    Finally, when getting ready for a swim in a reservoir, do a few swims that are not in a clear, calm lake. The choppiness of the water (and the wake from motorboats) made for some interesting breaths.

    Today, was back in the water and back at it. It was a heavy stroke day, but I replaced the stroke in the second set with free and added distance. Here's what I did:

    400 Warm-Up
    8 x 50 Drill/Swim on 1:00
    1 x 100 25 Kick/75 IM Stroke Order on 2:30
    1 x 100 50 Kick/50 Fly on 2:30
    1 x 100 75 Kick/25 Fly on 2:30
    1 x 100 Kick on 2:30
    1 x 100 25 Fly/75 Kick on 2:30
    1 x 100 50 Fly/50 Kick on 2:30
    1 x 100 75 IM Stroke Order/25 Kick on 2:30
    1 x 100 IM on 2:30
    4 x 150 Pull on 2:30
    4 x 125 Free on 2:30
    16 x 25 Stroke on :40 (see below)
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3500

    Did stroke set w/ fins. Did first 8 x 25 w/ fins. Did last 8 x 25 w/o fins as fly, back, free.

    All in all, a pretty good day in the pool - and I'm still grinning from the weekend! Guess there is something to this open water thing after all. And, I didn't get bit by any fishies!

    Swimming - it's such an adventure!
    Swim Workouts
  5. A Recovery Day

    by , August 26th, 2011 at 09:22 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    So... after being wiped out this week, I elected to rest on the couch yesterday afternoon and get lost in a really good book and then use today as a recovery day instead of a sprint workout. Here's what we did:

    400 Warm-Up
    6 sets:
    - 1 x 50 Fist Drill on 1:00
    - 1 x 50 Free on 1:00
    - 1 x 50 Kick on 1:00
    16 x 50 Free on :50 (held :42-:44s)
    12 x 50 Free on :55 (held :42-:44s)
    8 x 50 Free on 1:00 (held :40-:42s)
    4 x 50 Free on 1:30 (:42, :40, :37, :35)
    300 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3600

    The original set was written as follows:
    16 x 50s had every 4th an all out sprint
    12 x 50s had every 3rd an all out sprint
    8 x 50s had every other an all out sprint
    4 x 50s had every one as an all out sprint

    With the 2K race coming up this weekend, I figure that I need to be more steady than speedy. Therefore, I decided to go for consistency over pure speed. Actually, I was pretty pleased that I was holding :42-43 average (with a couple slips to :44). Here was my reasoning.... if I can hold :42s repeatedly (granted there was a few seconds of rest between 50s), then that makes my 100s pace a 1:24. So... if my goal is to finish the 2K in under 30 minutes (keeping an average under 1:30 per 100), then I might have enough of a differential to make up for my off-course wanderings and sighting slow-downs. That was my theory anyway. Tomorrow is a total rest day and then my first ever open water race is bright and early on Sunday morning.

    Question - water temp is predicted to be roughly 82 degrees. Do I wear my Yingfa kneeskin or go with a tight practice suit? Let me know your thoughts and thanks for your input.

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  6. Whew... I'm Tired

    by , August 25th, 2011 at 08:24 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    So much for taking it easy. That was my plan for the end of the week in order to rest up for Sunday's 2K open water race. Then, I decided that it would be fun to bike to FHS to watch the crosstown-rival tennis match between the town's two high schools. What I didn't count on was the wind.... I should have known it felt too easy and too good for the first part of my ride. Turning into the wind almost knocked me down - and took everything I had to keep going. Needless to say that going into today's swim practice, my legs were pretty much jelly. Here's what we did:

    400 Warm-Up
    4 sets:
    - 1 x 50 Drill on 1:00 (did catch-up, fist, catch-up, fist)
    - 1 x 50 Kick on 1:00
    - 1 x 50 Free on 1:00 (descend throughout set)
    4 sets (did back w/ fins, free, pull, kick):
    - 1 x 300 on 4:00
    - 3 x 100 on 1:45
    300 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3700

    I knew I was in trouble when my legs were hurting during the first set. But... my coach was wonderfully encouraging and kept me going so I didn't quit. Don't know if he realizes that, but I do - and I really like having him on deck.

    Tomorrow is slated to be a stroke/sprint workout, but coach has already told me that it's a recovery day for me. Whew! And, Saturday will be a complete day off. Hopefully, that will be enough to recover my legs before Sunday.

    Time to go to work - and stay awake, then come home and take a nap!

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  7. Brokenness Rules....

    by , August 24th, 2011 at 11:58 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    apparently. Yesterday's 1000 was broken every 100 and today's 200s were broken every 50. Guess it's this week's theme, eh?

    Anyhoo.... here's what we did today:

    400 Warm-Up
    12 x 50 Kick on 1:00, every 3rd fast
    3 sets:
    - 1 x 200 Drill/Swim by 25s on 4:00
    - 1 x 200 Moderate Free on 4:00
    - 1 x 200 Broken at 50 for :10 FAST on 6:00
    1 x 50 Recovery Free between 2nd & 3rd sets
    450 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3300

    I hit the water for my warm-up today and felt pretty lousy after the first 50. Needless to say, I knew what was coming (because I like to know what's coming so I can mentally prepare) and was pretty well dreading the workout.

    Shock of all shocks, it went so much better than I expected. That doesn't mean it didn't hurt - it did - A LOT! But, I purposely took it easy on the drill/swim and moderate 200s and went as fast as I could on the broken 200. My 50s hovered around 30 (from a push) and my final 50 was a 28. HOLY COW! I don't think I've ever had that kind of time from a push in practice before. In fact, my best ever off-the-blocks with a relay start time is a high :27. WOW! Now, I will say that many minutes elapsed between that final 50 and when I was able to get enough air to even think about starting my cool-down. But still, It's a happy smilies kind of day! Guess all of those push-ups and pull-ups are paying off, eh? Plus... I'm finding that having a smaller practice makes me very aware that our coach can actually watch me specifically - and I must admit that makes me push harder. And, one day I will actually catch-up to MW's feet. I will.... I'm determined.

    Hope your day in the water is as encouraging as mine.

    Enjoy your swims!
    Swim Workouts
  8. Distance Tuesday

    by , August 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Well, today's distance Tuesday had a bit of stroke thrown in just to mix things up a bit. I'm still loving swimming at FHS - and am trying to find ways to spread the word that IAM now has an early am practice at FHS. That's why my cool-down is only 100 yards. I was talking with the coach on deck about ways to connect with people on this side of town and let them know we are here. Anyhoo..... here's what we did today:

    400 Warm-Up
    11 x 100 Free; :10 between
    1 x 400 Pull on 7:00

    1 x 100 IM w/ fins on 2:00

    1 x 300 Pull on 5:30

    1 x 200 Kick on 4:00

    1 x 200 Pull on 3:30

    1 x 300 Drill Cycle IM Order w/ fins (one drill length per stroke) on 6:00

    1 x 100 Free on 1:45

    1 x 400 Drill Cycle IM Order w/ fins on 8:00

    100 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3600

    You're probably wondering why 11 x 100s Free, eh? Because the coach told me to go an extra 100. It's just that simple. Actually, it made me feel pretty good that he added a 100 for me (he added 2 x 100 for MW in the lane next to me). That meant I was going pretty well (was holding 1:22-1:27s) and had extra time while waiting for the others to finish. So.... guess that extra yardage can't hurt, eh? But... I was certainly hurting by the end of all 11 100s.

    That's why I pulled the decreasing ladder (was written as free) and used fins on the increasing ladder (was written as IM or Stroke; I chose drill cycle ). You gotta love Masters' swimming, eh?

    Anyway, other than my aching shoulders, life is pretty good. We're starting to settle back into the school days routine - and both girls seem to be doing great in their new grades. Whew!

    Oh well, back to work. Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  9. Back to FHS - YAY!

    by , August 22nd, 2011 at 10:58 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Sorry for not writing much last week, but it was a bit of an insane week for me and the family. School is now back in session, so we were running back and forth to the store to get school supplies, etc. And, my oldest is running cross country for her high school, so her days at school are getting longer and longer. She had her first meet on Saturday and finished 3rd among the school's JV runners - much better than she thought she would do.

    As for me, I'm thrilled. After losing Fishers HS as a workout site for a multitude of reasons having nothing to do with the Masters' team, we are now back at that site. It's an amazingly beautiful pool - and it's really close to my house. BONUS! So good to be back and see "new again" teammates who found other places to train when we lost the site over a year ago.

    Here's what we did today:
    500 Warm-Up

    2 x 200 Drill/Swim Free by 100's on 3:30
    2 x 200 Pull on 3:30
    2 x 200 Kick on 4:00
    8 x 100 IM (w/ fins) on 2:00
    4 x 50 Fly (w/ fins) on 1:00
    4 x 50 Back (w/ fins) on 1:00
    4 x 50 Breast/Free (w/o fins) on 1:00
    4 x 50 Free (w/o fins, 1>4) on 1:00 - descended from :40 to :34
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3700

    Overall, I was pretty pleased with how I swam since this makes my 8th day in a row of swimming. I was planning to take yesterday off (as I usually do), but an open water group invited me to swim with them and I wanted one more open water experience before my first ever open water race (doing the 2K version) next Sunday. One thing I know for sure - my sighting is still horrible! Oh well... the mass start should be an interesting experience and I'm really looking forward to it. This is all part of my original "face your fishies fear" that has morphed into "huh, aquabikes would be fun to race". Conquering the open water fear is definitely a first step in the aquabike direction too. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate on Sunday and the fishies will find someone yummier to taste.

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  10. Ugh... That's About All There Is To Say

    by , August 16th, 2011 at 11:43 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Don't know what is up with me today, but I couldn't seem to get going this morning at all. I was just not feeling right at all (and still am not). But... here's what we did today.

    250 Warm-Up
    1 x 300 Kick on 5:30
    3 sets:
    - 4 x 75 Free on 1:20
    - 2 x 125 Free on 2:15
    - 1 x 250 Free on 4:30
    12 x 25 Fly/Back/Kick rotation on :35
    50 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3300

    It was supposed to be a 3700 yard day, but I lost a little due to a short warm-up and then shortened distances down from 150 to 125 and 300 to 250. Still was a challenge to make that and I left the pool feeling pretty frustrated with my swimming. When I was swimming scy last week, I was holding 100s on 1:23-1:25 without too much trouble. That certainly wasn't the case today. Then again, when I got out of the pool, I was a bit woozy... there may be something else going on than just a bad swim day. The aspirin seems to help though.

    At least it's a beautiful day out today. The high school tennis team my husband coaches has their second match of the season today (they won yesterday!) against what should be a really tough opponent. I was planning to take the girls over to the high school this afternoon to watch for a little while. That depends, of course, on if my daughter has her summer homework done - as school starts in the morning. How crazy is that?! Homework over the summer that is due on the first day of school?! Ugh....

    That's enough ranting for today.... I'll check in (hopefully much happier for you) tomorrow.

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  11. Back in Indiana....

    by , August 15th, 2011 at 12:40 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    I love vacations! They are absolutely little bits of heaven. My family and I just returned from 10 days spent lounging pond- and ocean-side in Cape Cod. My husband's family has a house there and we go every summer. There's nothing like recharging by the ocean, is there?

    I did manage to swim quite a bit. My husband thinks I'm nuts because I still got up while on vacation Monday-Thursday and drove to the Cape's YMCA to swim. I did anywhere between 3400-4000 scy each day and capped the week off with a roughly 4325 meter open-water swim in Sheep Pond. In truth, it was farther than I should have gone on my own, but I managed to swim close to shore most of the time, so I could put my feet down if things got hairy. But... I made it and I was proud of myself. And... I decided that I'm definitely swimming the 2K (instead of the 4K) as my first open water racing adventure at the end of this month.

    As for today, it was back to the pool with my team. We are now back to scy instead of lcm. You forget just how quickly the flip turns come, don't you? Anyway, here's what we did:

    200 Warm-Up
    4 x 100 Free/Kick by 50 on 1:50
    3 sets (free, pull w/o paddles, kick w/ fins):
    - 4 x 100 Steady Pace on 1:40
    - 4 x 50 Descend 1-4 on 1:00
    - 4 x 50 Fast on :50
    8 x 50 Drill/Swim on 1:00 as Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3400

    This will be a lesser yardage week for me as school is starting up on Wednesday and I will need to be getting out early to be home in time to make sure the girls get on their busses. Can't believe my oldest is starting high school! E-gads.... where does the time go?

    As I ponder these things, I hope you enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  12. Do You Like 100s?

    by , August 4th, 2011 at 11:31 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Today was Happy 100s Day! There is nothing like doing 24 100s (in theory) in a row to really get your morning off right! Here's what we did:

    200 Warm-Up
    1 x 300 Kick
    6 x 100 on 2:00 - odd: fly/back by 50, even: moderate free
    6 x 100 Pull on 1:50
    6 x 75 Free on 1:40
    6 x 100 Free on 1:50
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3150

    I was actually feeling pretty sluggish this morning. I'm still trying to figure out my freestyle stroke so my right arm goes in the water correctly, I have a decent catch, and it doesn't throw my left shoulder into protest. Anyhoo....

    I was debating doing the 3rd set of 100's as a kick set, but elected to really focus on a "strong" stroke and swam 75s instead. These actually ended up feeling pretty good! I was pleased, but tired.

    So, for the next set, I again debated kicking or pulling... the only caveat from the coach was that the lane HAD to swim 100s. We could decide what interval we wanted to swim that would give us about 10 seconds rest between 100s. My lane chose 1:50 intervals, which had me coming in with 10-12 seconds rest. Not bad.... Did I mention that I fought through the mental "wanna take it easy" moments and swam the entire last set of 100s freestyle - NO fins and NO pulling?! I was proud of myself!

    All in all, a good morning at the pool! Hope your swims are just as good for you today.

    Swim Workouts
  13. Tuesday and Wednesday Workouts

    by , August 3rd, 2011 at 02:47 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Life has been crazy these days. I have three girls coming and going - all at the same time - and a job that has gone nuts! Sheesh! It's a good thing I can still find time to get in the water. That's my sanity time right now. So... this will be short and sweet.

    Here's what we did yesterday
    200 Warm-Up
    2 x 250 Free on 4:45
    1 x 250 Free on 4:30
    1 x 225 Free on 4:30
    2 x 250 Kick/Free by 50 on 4:15
    2 x 250 Pull on 4:45
    2 x 250 Kick/Free/Kick/Back/Kick on 4:30
    2 x 225 Pull on 4:15
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3525

    I must admit that I was a little disappointed at having to drop a 25 on the second set of 250's. But, my endurance is slowly getting better and I didn't have to cut distance all the time. That was a positive from today. Coach mentioned that my right arm on freestyle is entering the water way past the mid-point of my body. Trying to work on that and losing speed while I concentrate on my hand entry too.

    And today:
    200 Warm-Up
    8 x 50 Free on 1:05
    4 sets:
    - 1 x 50 Catch-Up Drill on 1:05
    - 1 x 50 Catch-Up/Kick by 25 on 1:05
    - 1 x 50 Fast Kick on 1:05
    3 sets (all were on 2:10 interval):
    - 1 x 100 Free broken at 50 for :15
    - 1 x 100 Free broken at 50 for :10
    - 1 x 100 Free broken at 50 for :05
    - 1 x 100 Easy Free
    - 1 x 100 AFAP Free (1:27, 1:25, 1:23)
    350 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3050

    I must say that I was pretty pleased that the 100s ALL OUT were that good. I felt pretty nasty from when I jumped in the water and my coach has been trying to fix my freestyle. I've apparently been crossing my right arm in front of my body when my hand enters the water. Whoops! So, I'm trying to keep it out to the side where it supposed to be. However, I don't always feel the water well as yet. I'm sure it will come as I can focus more on the catch and less on the hand entry. Still... 1:23 is pretty good for me, especially when it's at the end of a practice!

    Take care and I'll check in tomorrow.

    Happy swims!
    Swim Workouts
  14. Monday Morning IM

    by , August 1st, 2011 at 12:50 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Whew! Today was kind of a brutal way to start the week. It was an IM-oriented workout written by one of our coaches. After taking yesterday totally off, I was hoping to feel a little better today, but the workout absolutely pushed me. I did, however, do all the ladder going up as stroke (albeit wearing my fins). Here's what we did:

    300 Warm-Up
    1 x 450 Kick on 9:00
    4 x 25 Fly (w/ fins) on :40
    4 x 50 Breast (w/ fins) on 1:10
    4 x 100 Back (w/ fins) on 2:15
    4 x 200 IM (w/ fins) on 4:15
    4 x 100 Pull on 2:10
    4 x 50 Pull on 1:05
    4 x 25 Pull on :35
    300 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3250

    To be honest, coming down the ladder was supposed to be IM too, but I elected to do it as a pull set. I'm trying to strengthen both my freestyle pull and my endurance in order to compete in my first ever open water swim the end of the month.

    Getting slammed at work - and at home - right now, but I did want to get the workout out for you - in case you want it. Take my word for it though - it will beat you up!

    Swim Workouts
  15. Saturday On My Own

    by , July 30th, 2011 at 04:26 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    With no lake swim set up for this morning, I elected to swim early on my own instead of waiting for the 10am team practice. What I decided during the night was to re-swim the 30-minute swim we did on Tuesday, as I wasn't really happy with my result. Of course, that's easier decided in a nice, warm bed than in the crisp, not-really-cool water of the YMCA. So, while I had planned to do a warm-up, kick set, then start the 30-minute swim, what I did was actually a bit different. Here's what my workout ended up being:

    400 Warm-Up
    10 x 50 Kick on 1:00
    5 x 50 Drill/Swim Fly on 1:00 (w/ fins)
    5 x 50 Drill/Swim Back on 1:00 (w/ fins)
    1 x 100 Easy Kick
    4 x 50 Drill/Swim Free on 1:00
    3 x 100 Fist Drill/Free by 50 on 2:00
    1 x 2000 Free - did in 30:00.07 (on my watch timer)
    500 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 4500

    I did many more drill/swims than I had originally intended while talking myself into the long swim. What I ended up deciding was that instead of doing a "30-minute swim", I would swim a straight 2000 yards and see how long it took. I picked 2000 yards because that's what I was hoping to swim (SCY) in 30 minutes. When we did the swim last Tuesday, my 30-minute distance ended up being 1725 LCM. That I hit the wall and turned off my timer at 30:00.07 for my 2000 yards made me pretty happy today. The other thing I noticed is that I had enough energy at the very end (knowing it was the very end) to actually speed up my last 50 - and especially my last 25 into the wall. Happy with that too.

    The other thing that was really obvious is just how many more flip turns are required in SCY than LCM. It seems stupid to say it, but I was not ready for the walls to be there. Guess I've gotten used to doing the LCM set-up. Huh....

    Just received a text that an open water group is swimming tomorrow morning. Sundays are typically my total day off, yet I will admit that I'm tempted to go. Probably won't go.... just not totally sure.

    I was also completely excited to see that the Miami Redfin Masters fall meet is finally up! The pool at Miami University is totally awesome and that meet last year was a great meet for me. I was hoping the date wouldn't conflict with the GRIN Fall Classic - and it DOESN'T!

    Today is definitely a good day!

    Hope yours is going great too. Enjoy your swims!
    Swim Workouts
  16. IM Day

    by , July 29th, 2011 at 01:06 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    So, first things first.... WE WON BOTH GAMES! It didn't even seem to matter that the heat index was approaching 110 degrees; the other team was just as wilted as we were and I personally had a great couple of games - better than I'm used to playing! The first game was 16-10; second was 6-2. Semi-finals.... here we come!

    Now, you must realize that a softball doubleheader in that heat makes it pretty clear that my thighs and shoulders were hurting a bit as I got to the pool this morning. Once I got in the water, I realized I was completely worn out. Since it was an IM day, I just decided to leave my fins on the whole time.... so I did. Here's what we did:

    200 Warm-Up
    6 x 50 Kick on 1:10, 1>3, 4>6
    4 sets (all w/ fins):
    - 4 x 100 on 2:30 (IM, Free, IM, IM)
    - 4 x 50 on 1:10 (Fly, Back, Breast, Free)
    300 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3200

    It was actually a pretty good workout, and by the end, I was exhausted - but in a good way. My shoulders were comfortably numb and my thighs had actually loosened up a bit while I swam. YAY!

    I had been debating whether to swim with the team tomorrow, but I'm thinking a nice, recovery type of swim early tomorrow morning might be a nice way to start the weekend. Then, it's back-to-school shopping time. E-gads... where did the summer go?

    That's it for now.... enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  17. Not a Bad Day....

    by , July 28th, 2011 at 10:46 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Just not able to keep up as much as I would have liked. Although, I did realize the beauty of cutting a 200 down to a 175, so I could get enough rest between sets to actually descend as we were supposed to. Here's what we did:

    300 Warm-Up
    4 x 100 Free on 1:45, 1>4

    4 x 175 Free on 3:30, 1>4
    6 x 100 Free on 1:45, 1>3, 4>6

    4 x 200 Kick on 3:30
    4 x 100 Pull on 1:45
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3300

    On the first set of 100 Free's, I was coming into the wall about 1:40, so I just concentrated on holding that pace instead of descending. I switched that up on the next set. They were supposed to be 200s. I swam 175s instead, so I could actually try to descend them. Success! The third set of 100 Free's, I put on my fins and descended them. Since my shoulder was feeling a bit raw by that point, I did the next set, which was supposed to be a pull set, as a kick set. I did descend those too. On the final set of 100 Pull's, I felt really good and was able to descend those without doing a touch and go. Pretty pleased with the way the workout ended.

    Tomorrow I think is an IM day, but I have softball doubleheader potentially tonight. We are to the single elimination part of the tournament, so if we lose the first game, we are done. If we win, we play a doubleheader. Of course, the temperature is supposed to reach 97 degrees today. Ugh... already drinking as much water as I can stand!

    Enjoy your swims today and I'll let you know how we did tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Earlier This Week

    by , July 27th, 2011 at 03:18 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    The beginning of the week was a few days of pretty sluggish workouts. While I wasn't particularly sore from Saturday's 6000 meter extravaganza, I felt nasty in the water - really slow, unable to find a good catch, etc. Actually, on Tuesday we did a 30-minute swim. Going free, I only got 1725 (roughly a 1:44 per 100 pace). I used to get 2000 scy during a 30-minute swim, so I was pretty disappointed with this swim. Ugh.

    Today, it wasn't totally better, but we did fast 100s and I was okay with my times. Here's what we did:

    200 Warm-Up
    1 x 450 Kick on 6:30
    6 x 50 Kick Fast on 1:10
    5 sets:
    - 1 x 100 Drill/Swim Free by 50 on 2:30
    - 1 x 100 Free Moderate on 2:00
    - 1 x 100 Free AFAP on 2:00 (got 1:23, 1:24, 1:23, 1:23, 1:13 - last only w/ fins)
    500 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 2950

    I was hoping that the last 100 AFAP would be faster and moved in front of a few people in the lane who weren't wearing fins. I didn't think there was any way that I would catch K in front of me, but I did by the flip turn. That time (w/ fins) should have been faster.... I know for next time.

    On a bummer note, my first ever open water race just got cancelled. Of course, I totally understand why - between the reservoir's water temperature hovering around 88-89 degrees and an algae bloom - I appreciate the organizers not putting me in jeopardy. However, I am a bit bummed that I have to wait until the end of August to do my first open water race. My only debate is whether to do the 2K or the 4K. LM is encouraging me to do the 4K, but I'm not sure I'll have a straight 4K in me. Guess time will tell. The registration deadline is not for a while and I'm planning on doing several open water swims in the next few weeks, so I guess I'll try to do a 4K and see how it goes - and base my race decision on that. Thoughts?

    Enjoy your swims and I'll check in tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
  19. IM Day

    by , July 22nd, 2011 at 11:19 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Well, first of all, kudos to me for going to the pool today at all. Yesterday, I pulled one of my thigh muscles during a sprint set, but it felt pretty good throughout the rest of the day.... until I got to softball. Yes, softball. Thankfully, we were scheduled for a doubleheader and the team for the first game didn't bother to show up - the entire team! Would have been nice to know that ahead of time, so we could have stayed in air conditioning longer. Nothing makes me want to play softball like waiting for over an hour in 100+ degree heat.

    But, the second game finally got underway and I played 3rd base. My legs felt fine - until I had to move really fast to snag a ball hit down the line. Then, I knew I was in trouble. Hitting went fine... it was the running to first base that was an issue. So... my husband advised taking today off from the pool. Did I listen? Nope.

    Today, we did an IM set - albeit I did it with my fins on to help my sinking legs float. Here's what we did:

    200 Warm-Up
    6 x 50 Kick on 1:05
    1 x 100 IM Drill on 2:30
    1 x 200 IM Drill/Swim by 25 on 4:30
    1 x 300 IM Drill 25/Swim 50 on 6:30
    1 x 400 IM Drill 25/Swim 75 on 9:00
    1 x 300 IM Drill 50/Swim 25 on 6:30
    1 x 200 IM Drill 25/Swim 25 on 4:30
    1 x 100 IM Drill on 2:30
    4 x 100 Pull on 1:45
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 2900

    The real workout started with a 400 warm-up and 10x50 kick, but I was talking with the coach about articles I am writing for the team's website regarding drills. Thus, with her inputs and edits, and my questions, I did the first 4 "kicks" as warm-up.

    I must say, this workout kicked my butt. It was really tough. I find that usually the workouts that look pretty good on paper are the toughest ones for me. Huh, who knew?

    Oh well, back to work. Still swimming an open water early morning swim tomorrow and then a team pool practice. My folks arrive tonight and stay through most of next week, and my girls come back from their father's house on Sunday. Whew! Busy times ahead. I just keep looking at my calendar and see my vacation creeping ever closer.

    Enjoy your swims this weekend!
    Swim Workouts
  20. Two Sprint Days in a Row?

    by , July 21st, 2011 at 10:15 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Yep... that's exactly what today was. Actually, here's what today was (for me):

    350 Warm-Up
    1 x 300 Kick Moderate on 6:00
    6 x 50 Kick Fast w/o fins on 1:20 (made them all - barely)
    8 x 50 Catch-Up Drill/Swim on 1:05
    20 x 50 Free Test Set on 1:30 (did as sprints - held :40 - :41 average, :38-:43 range
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 2750

    The option on the set of 20 was to either swim it as sprints, at a middle distance pace and do 75s. I chose the sprints of 50. All told, being able to hang my hat on a :40-:41 average ended up being pretty good. About 8 swims into the set, I felt something in my left thigh kind of pop... pulled the next two (which were obviously the slower speeds)... and then finished out the set in a bit of pain. However, every time I felt like simply cashing in, I just looked one lane over. For whatever reason, BC decided to swim the entire set (on a 1:30 interval) as 100s. By the end, he was really beat... but he made every single one! There was no way I could loaf when he was putting in that kind of effort.

    I got home, iced and stretched pretty good, and am now sitting at my desk. It's not hurting right now, but I did certainly feel some pain when I was coming down the stairs at home. But.... time will tell. Hopefully it will loosen itself out as the day wears on (because I am supposed to be playing a softball doubleheader tonight in 95+ degree heat). What I'm really hoping is that it doesn't interfere with my swimming tomorrow (IM day) and my open water swim on Saturday. I guess time will tell... and hopefully heal!

    That's it for now. I'll check in tomorrow.

    Happy swims to you!
    Swim Workouts
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