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  1. getting back in the pool while expecting

    by , September 20th, 2013 at 01:16 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    So last week my husband and I got back in the pool after taking the summer off to spend time at the beach with our daughter, she is obsessed with the ocean and boogie boarding with her dad even though she is only 2 lol. I am currently 12 wks 5 days pregnant with our second one (exciting), and I also plan that to be our last if everything goes well, so staying in somewhat good shape is exciting because I know that its not all for nothing in the future. These past four practices I have to stop when I get tired and basically take it down a whole notch. I did not swim through the pregnancy with my first child, so not really sure how it will go. While I do get out of breath much easier than normal and have to make stops, yesterdays Masters practice didn't go too bad. I did a 400 free warmup (with like 2 stops) then 8x 50 (free drill/back drill) on 1.00 and then 3 x (200 free, 100 IM and 4x 25s fly sprint) ( I didn't do any of this set on any real interval just got enough rest.) Its great to be back in!!
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  2. meet at Ocean County Y this weekend!

    by , February 6th, 2013 at 05:03 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    This weekend I have a swimmeet at the Ocean County Y.

    I am swimming the 50 fly, 500 free, then literally these right in a row, the 200 breast, 200 IM and 100 fly. It stinks I will have to do a 100 fly right after those two, I can imagine the piano falling hard haha. My 200 IM is what I am most looking forward to improving, in practice I have been doing a good amount of each stroke. So we will see. I guess I should not sign up for so many things if I really want to do better lol, but I am still used to signing up for a million things and doing everything from when I was young. At least the 50 fly sprint I get to do first. My goal is to just improve my times from things I swam in October.

    The past few weeks I have managed to try and get into the habit of gym and pool once a day, 4x a week if possible. Running has seemed to help with controlling my breathing when in the pool (for some reason I was always feeling out of breath). Anyways, I wish everyone a good weekend of training or swim meet!
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  3. Practice #2

    by , January 5th, 2013 at 01:21 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    This is not in the order of the training trip. The real next practice, the pm session had like 4x75s with a pipe, one you can get at home depot, fill with a bit of sand, use stoppers, and then you do catchup with it, its actually fun but I dont have it at the moment.

    So this would have been day 3, am session, thats what Im going to do for this afternoon. (times made for longcourse so, do whatever works for you, I'm doing it in a yards pool and I dont think I would even make the intervals right now depending on what it is haha, ill just take a few seconds rest)

    Its

    2 x

    2x 150 @ 2.20
    4x 50 bk (6 kick and switch) @ .55
    2 x 150 @ 2.00 (strokes then 10 kicks in streamline underwater)
    4x 50 breast @ .55
    2x 150 @2.20 swim free with fists
    4x 50 (right, left arm fly) @ .55 (repeat set as stated)

    then
    10x 100 @ 1.35 ALL OUT free

    then

    4x 75 catchup @ 1.15
    2x 200 kick @3.50/4
    4x 75 @1.00 free
    2x 200 kick @ 1.55/2
    4x 75 IM @1.15
    2x 50 @.55

    yardage around 7,000 yards? (havent recounted it since log entry)
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  4. Lets make this year a great one :-)

    by , January 5th, 2013 at 12:57 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    Going to start off this year using some old practices from my former coach, will edit them a bit (ie take off a round/repeat where needed lol) These practices from this training trip honestly took my swimming from where I was going nowhere to havign my best season ever. So I found my old log book and decided to start the new year with them.

    Yesterday I did this practice and it felt great. Took me like two hours at the pool though, did have to share the lane at one point. (The 250s helped with breathing, it was a bit hard because I would be in the middle of the 20 kicks underwater and then have to go right into a flip turn and keep holding my breath which was good.)

    There were time intervals but it was made for longcourse and for young chickens so I just took five seconds rest.

    Here it is....

    500 warmup (i added), 3 lengths free, 1 bk

    2 x

    250 (5 strokes then 20 kicks in a streamline underwater)
    150 backstroke
    150 race free
    150 breastroke
    250 (3 strokes then 10 kicks streamline underwater)
    50 fly (repeat set as stated)

    2 x

    6x 50 catchup free
    2 x 150 kick (i did breast first round then free)
    6 x 75 IM on 1.15
    600 free with pull bouy and paddles (repeat set as stated)

    100 warmdown = 5,850 yards (unless I miscounted)

    I'll post what I have for this afternoon, hope this gives some people a fun practice to do.

    Updated January 5th, 2013 at 01:07 PM by Colleen Marais

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  5. Humor and friendship help meeting goals

    by , November 16th, 2012 at 12:46 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    So I watch way too much BRAVO tv, Real Housewives all of that. At the end of every practice that I do with my husband, we usually do around 12 x 25s fly sprint.

    He goes ten seconds ahead of me, and then lets me know what my time is. When I touch the wall he will tell me my time and if anyone were sitting near us they would probably be laughing their head off because we sound like an old bickering couple. It usually goes like this:

    Kyle: "Ok 13. Good."...."Mid 13"
    Me: "What do you mean?? Was it 13 or really 14? Are you lying to try to boost my confidence? My coach used to pull that, dont do that, I have to improve" (....next 25)
    Kyle: "ok you were almost at 12....but you hit on the 13..."
    Waa Waa Waa etc. LOL.

    So lately my new thing, to add humor to our 25s, is when I touch the wall, he can say a certain word when I touch depending on the time. This pretty much makes both of us choke on water at the wall with laughter. Our scale goes like this. So for a 25 fly, a 13 is greattttt. A 12 is fabulousssss. An 11 would be excellenttttttt. Now you have to imagine these words drawn out in a really hilarious over the top manner... thats where imitating characters like some of the housewives from reality shows on BRAVO comes in, really over the top. Anyways, these sorts of things do make me laugh when I'm about to do a sprint,and having fun while swimming, and having humor about it makes it worthwhile.

    I have been doing consistent 13s now. A month or so ago I was doing 14-15s. So my goal is to start hitting 12s. My ultimate life goal is 11s and I would be a happy camper.
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  6. Team hot or cold water....?

    by , November 14th, 2012 at 03:09 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    SO the past three days, I have made my poor husband come to the Y pool with me, which has been insanely busy with highschool teams, the club team...(you pretty much have to go in the morning otherwise you end up sharing a lane of a 12 lane pool with three other people but he doesnt have that option). Since Hurricane Sandy he has been working 16 hour days putting peoples power back on, and the last thing he probably wanted to do was get in the pool when he only had a few hours to sleep, but bc I havent seen him much I gave him a puppy dog face and he came with and both times he thanked me lol. So because of the pool being so busy this time of year we had a choice of either sharing one lane in the cold pool or one lane in the hot pool, with other people. Its crazy. We spent two practices in the hot pool and it was pretty nice not to be freezing my butt of. These are the times when I wish I lived somewhere really warm like Florida or California, at least I can reminisce to college days when swimming in an outdoor sunny pool was how I spent a lunch. Getting out of bed is hard in these temps! Brrrr. But the question that really came to my mind, was which type of temperature is better for training over time? I would assume warm, because it loosens your muscles etc. but then again one gets really hot and constantly has to hydrate. Hmmm..... Not important, just made me think.
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  7. old habits die hard.

    by , October 26th, 2012 at 08:14 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    Now that I am starting off fresh as a masters swimmer, I know I should be changing my training from what it was a long time ago, yes the crazy days of mega yardage, but for some reason it did work for me in the past, so I plan on using some of the crazy sets of the past occasionally maybe once a week or every other week, to build my endurance while I continue with speed work.

    This set is one from a training trip to Ft Lauderdale. 14x 1,000s. On the training trip this set was done in a long course pool, so obviously that will be different than now in a SCY pool. It wasnt as boring as a 10,000 for time, because it was broken up. There is lots of IM, 10x 100s kick, 1000 IM by 250, 1000 swim, 5x 200s, 10x 100 stroke etc. I actually need to look in my old log book to see what it was. Im going to change it to 10x 1000s now.

    What sparked this desire to kick my own butt? Lets just say I am a little bit competitive and it drives me nuttttttttttttttts when I'm working hard but someone kicks my a** because I'm not working as hard as I should be. LOL. So.

    Because of Hurricane Sandy, I will have to do it tomorrow or wait, possible a week depending on what happens. My husband will have the privilege of watching our daughter, because this will obviously take a few hours. He works for the power company so he is actually on call, and will be working crazy overtime as of Sunday so I guess I will have to do this set tomorrow if at all, otherwise in a week. So I will see if I can do it tomorrow, but I'll have to use this new pool/gym I just joined because there is an age group meet the whole weekend at my other pool. The pool is ok, small but it is cloudy as heck I felt like I was open water swimming, before every turn I had to lift my head to make sure where I was. Doing 10x 1000s in a cloudy pool might be craziness, but at the same time its a quiet place with non-swimmers so it might be pleasant.

    Tonight in that pool, because I did a lot of speedwork yesterday, I did 4x 500s mixed: 500 free (4th lap back), 500 pull w bouy, 500 breastroke (50 double kick drill, 50 swim), and 500 pull w/ bouy.
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  8. turning bright red lol

    by , October 25th, 2012 at 10:22 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    Lately in practice I have been turning red... and its in my hands and arms lol. I'm not sure if its because I havent been eating great this past week or because of getting back into shape after a week off, I dont know lol.

    Todays practice with the masters team was:

    500 free warmup (4th lap back)
    8 x 50 (evens fly drill, odds free 3 stroke, 8 kick)
    6x 50 (1 lap under, 1 lap above)
    8 x 50 choice (i did all fly) on .50
    400 free (i was dyinggggg) on 5.30
    6 x 50 choice ( i did fly) on .50
    300 free ( once again i was dyinggg) on ?
    4 x 50 fly on .50
    200 free
    2x 50 fly on .50
    and then 2x 25s race fly off the blocks

    then 100 warmdown (yeah I need to do more)

    This got my blood pumping. Its funny because on my own I will do more distance work, more pull and I might say ehhh what do I need the team practice for, but honestly I have loved joining this team so much. It keeps me doing intervals, burning, and I love the people. Its awesome. I seriously love my Ocean County YMCA Masters team, so thankful I live near a team like this!

    Updated October 25th, 2012 at 10:36 PM by Colleen Marais

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  9. Need to build endurance

    by , October 22nd, 2012 at 08:18 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    After my first swim meet this weekend and a week off, getting back into the pool today I feel like poop, and at square one. Based on my time results, I realize I have a LOT of endurance work to do. The first 50 of my 100 fly at the meet was 28 and lets just say I died…. Badly haha.
    Days of highschool and five hour practices are long behind me, I no longer have the ability to just go train for hours with having a 15 month old, so I will have to train smart to build endurance, and I never really had time restrictions on my training in the past. How am I planning on improving this?
    1. Change my warmup from a 500 free/pull to a 1,000.
    2. Instead of doing sets of 50s swim fly in practice, I will consider using my monofin and doing days with sets of 100s. I’m a bit wary of using fins because for some reason it feels like it actually makes my kick weaker. So maybe I can try just swimming it straight but I think my stroke would break down too much.
    3. I need to add time in the gym and do some running. My goal is to run 15-20mins each day before getting in the pool. Today I did 15 mins and it didn’t feel bad at all.
    4. Start doing pushups and situps.
    5. I did find another local gym with a pool so I could train at night time for a second practice or do cardio,weights, hopefully this will make a big improvement.
    If anyone has any ideas about how to build endurance when it comes to fly or in general, feel free to share J
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  10. Here I come, ready or not!

    by , October 20th, 2012 at 08:37 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    So I didnt swim this whole week except for 1,000 one day, because of recent events and not being at my home. But I figured I should still do the swim meet this weekend for fun and see how it goes.

    I didnt swim too well or well at all haha but it is a starting point!! And it was fun :-) Which is what counts I guess.

    Monday is when the work starts again! Goodluck to everyone with their week of training.
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  11. "If I could turn back time..."

    by , October 17th, 2012 at 03:36 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    Today I got back into the pool. My parents 25 meter pool. Last night I was on the way to go to practice in Toms River, but I told my husband to just keep driving up the Parkway north, and back to my parents house where my Ernie dog was laid to rest two days ago. Being alone in the silence at our new house was just miserable, how empty it was. I didnt even realize how much his presence filled up my life.
    My daughter was put down for a nap, and knowing I have a meet this weekend (that I may or may not do), I decided to get in. I walked into the pool room, a large bright room with the sun glistening off the water from the huge French doors all around. Out the French doors is the huge farm-like backyard. I am flooded with memories. Every corner I turn.
    I spent so many afternoons, spring, fall winter with him in this pool room or seeing Ernie from it. I had made it my mission that this dog was going to learn to swim seven years ago, god forbid he jumped into a random pool lol. He would jump in to be with me and I would grab his little hind legs and pull at them to make sure he kicked while he paddled with his arms. He eventually got so good he made the whole length and afterwards he would get a hot dog…and I never fed him human food.
    As I’m swimming, I use a bouy and paddles, sometimes pulling sets feels cathartic, the concentration on breathing and it always makes me feel more balanced and strong. After doing a 200 or so I have to stop. Because all I’m thinking about are all of the million memories with this dog. How I teased him that one time and jumped into the pool, stood on the bottom looking up to see if he would come after…. and in Ernie jumped, swimming circles at the surface trying to save me. Or of all the family parties or holidays when the kids would go in the pool, and in would go Ernie on a raft trying to rescue one of them and they would all laugh hysterically. If he wasn’t in the pool, he was at attention at the windows of the French doors like a little stalker, running back and forth while I swam freestyle to make sure I was alive, he always hated when I would actually start swimming and kicking instead of bobbing in the water. Or he was running around the backyard. I just keep feeling like I will see him somewhere. But hes not there. In this place, at my parents is where most of the memories were, where I would take him with me when I was on a break from college, or lawscool, back during the holidays….through moves, and people in my life, he was always there.
    I probably did a 1000 today until I had to stop because I was just getting nauseous with all of the thoughts. Later tonight I will get back in when my husband gets home from overtime at work, he can swim with me or sit by the pool and make sure I actually go through a whole practice. Being around people definitely helps and hearing the memories helps as much as it hurts and pulls at the strings in my heart. On facebook, everyone had a memory to post, because Ernie, was in fact a crazzzzy dog with attitude. My brother in law, reminded me of the time (there were three or four) when he had to take me to pick up Ernie and our other family dog from the police station on Christmas because they had run away and escaped from the electric dog fence. (Mind you of course I had dressed my dog up as Elvis that day for some weird reason, so of course the police had to mention that there was a pug dressed up as elvis)….or one of my Mom’s friends who reminded me of all the times she came to visi, he decided that her suitcase was the perfect place for him to leave a little stinky surprise.
    I will probably make a memory book for Ernie, and have all of my family members and friends make a contribution. Remembering all of the wonderful happy things, as much as it pulls at my heart, seems to be making losing his physical presence easier to accept.
    Thank you for all of the amazing love and memories, friend. RIP
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  12. how does one swim with sorrow?

    by , October 16th, 2012 at 09:25 AM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    Today I am suppoesed to be happy. I turned 28. I have practice tonight. And this weekend, my first swim meet since getting back in the pool two months ago. But I am absolutley heart broken.

    Yesterday I had to do something I always thought was so wrong in logic, put down my bestfriend who I have loved more than anything in the world for the past 7 years, my pug Ernie.

    Ernie is/was not just a dog. He literally seemed human, with his huge eyes and facial expressions, his extremely naughty behavior, he got away with murder. I bought him as a junior in college in California, kept him in the dorm as contraband until my roomie and I moved off, and he was with me through lawschool in Rhode Island, and with my family in NJ where he would run around in the backyard with the other dog. On my wedding day he was dressed in his own little tux and top hat and was stepping all over the back of my train while I yelled for someone to put him in another room lol. He just recently made it to my husband and I's first and new home, but he wasnt himself, because he was sick. Ernie had bowel disease or cancer, the vet said that basically more tests would be futile and either way it would be chemotheraphy, suffering death and somehow by bringing my crying baby daughter with me, and crying my eyes out to the vet, they perscribed steriods that gave him what seemed like a LAzarus new start, for two months until this past week when they stopped working....he stopped eating...and he was basically starving to death and losing control of his bowels. So yesterday, while at my parents house, because I took him home so he can be where there were lots of people who loved him, I knew it was beyond time to end his suffering.

    After losing control a few times he walked up to me, and I asked him if he wanted to go outside which he hasnt done in a few weeks and I did. He was sitting outside, and seemingly enjoying the fall day. And after ten minutes or so I had to go pick him up and take him to put him down. At the vet, I held him in my arms, told him I loved him soooooo much, he was such a good boy. The vet told me he would release the barbituate and within seconds ernie had died. I got this random warm feeling of intense love to the right of me, which must have been Ernie's spirit thanking me for putting him out of his misery... I buried him in our backyard in a special box with memories written all over it, with love, the pjs I had worn recently, and his first toy ever, a curly tailed racoon, literally, a toy from where I bought him that they threw in for free because when they used to let him around and run loose in the store he used to always steal it off the wall, by his head. And he is in a spot right by our outside slate porch and a rose bush, so our family and other dog will always be around him.

    Cried the whole day yesterday. And I dont think of myself as a cry baby. Its just coming out, streaming. I just will miss him so much. I had to come back to my own home, so my husband and I drove back with our daughter and when we pull up to our driveway to our home which is an hour 30 away from my parents, in the dark, the only light that is turned on, is this huge stained glass angel display in the front top window space of our house that we have never turned on since being here for two months. My husbands like "omg thats so weird" and I was just sort of like I guess that means everythings ok. Even though it may be an amazing sign, I will still miss Ernie so much. Waking up today and knowing it was my birthday, and he wasnt there to let out first thing in the morning, and his sleep pillow is just there empty in the kitchen is heart breaking. I loved him so much.

    How will I get in the pool tonight, how could I ever swim? How does one swim through grief? I dont know. I guess only time will hopefully help things.
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  13. how does one swim with sorrow?

    by , October 16th, 2012 at 09:25 AM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    Today I am suppoesed to be happy. I turned 28. I have practice tonight. And this weekend, my first swim meet since getting back in the pool two months ago. But I am absolutley heart broken.

    Yesterday I had to do something I always thought was so wrong in logic, put down my bestfriend who I have loved more than anything in the world for the past 7 years, my pug Ernie.

    Ernie is/was not just a dog. He literally seemed human, with his huge eyes and facial expressions, his extremely naughty behavior, he got away with murder. I bought him as a junior in college in California, kept him in the dorm as contraband until my roomie and I moved off, and he was with me through lawschool in Rhode Island, and with my family in NJ where he would run around in the backyard with the other dog. On my wedding day he was dressed in his own little tux and top hat and was stepping all over the back of my train while I yelled for someone to put him in another room lol. He just recently made it to my husband and I's first and new home, but he wasnt himself, because he was sick. Ernie had bowel disease or cancer, the vet said that basically more tests would be futile and either way it would be chemotheraphy, suffering death and somehow by bringing my crying baby daughter with me, and crying my eyes out to the vet, they perscribed steriods that gave him what seemed like a LAzarus new start, for two months until this past week when they stopped working....he stopped eating...and he was basically starving to death and losing control of his bowels. So yesterday, while at my parents house, because I took him home so he can be where there were lots of people who loved him, I knew it was beyond time to end his suffering.

    After losing control a few times he walked up to me, and I asked him if he wanted to go outside which he hasnt done in a few weeks and I did. He was sitting outside, and seemingly enjoying the fall day. And after ten minutes or so I had to go pick him up and take him to put him down. At the vet, I held him in my arms, told him I loved him soooooo much, he was such a good boy. The vet told me he would release the barbituate and within seconds ernie had died. I got this random warm feeling of intense love to the right of me, which must have been Ernie's spirit thanking me for putting him out of his misery... I buried him in our backyard in a special box with memories written all over it, with love, the pjs I had worn recently, and his first toy ever, a curly tailed racoon, literally, a toy from where I bought him that they threw in for free because when they used to let him around and run loose in the store he used to always steal it off the wall, by his head. And he is in a spot right by our outside slate porch and a rose bush, so our family and other dog will always be around him.

    Cried the whole day yesterday. And I dont think of myself as a cry baby. Its just coming out, streaming. I just will miss him so much. I had to come back to my own home, so my husband and I drove back with our daughter and when we pull up to our driveway to our home which is an hour 30 away from my parents, in the dark, the only light that is turned on, is this huge stained glass angel display in the front top window space of our house that we have never turned on since being here for two months. My husbands like "omg thats so weird" and I was just sort of like I guess that means everythings ok. Even though it may be an amazing sign, I will still miss Ernie so much. Waking up today and knowing it was my birthday, and he wasnt there to let out first thing in the morning, and his sleep pillow is just there empty in the kitchen is heart breaking. I loved him so much.

    How will I get in the pool tonight, how could I ever swim? How does one swim through grief? I dont know. I guess only time will hopefully help things.
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  14. maybe im crazy.

    by , October 12th, 2012 at 08:54 PM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    But I want to go 52 in the 100 fly. My best time in highschool as a junior was a 1.00.14. Obviously I dont think that is the best I can do. I wasn't training right, actually I was training a lot of distance, wasnt eating properly and didn't have all the advantages of being an adult. So we'll see how close we are next weekend at my next meet on October 20th. I'm hoping I go a .58 next weekend but I do understand that may be a bit ambitious.... Today in practice I did repetitive 25s on 14 in practice and then three 13s, which until today I thought was impossible. I think throughtout my practice I did like 12 25's, besides the pulling 200s in between. I am still sore from yesterdays 10x 75s sprint, 11x 50s fly and 12x 25s fly with 3 25s off the block. My next goal is to maintain .13s fly and hit 12!!!!!!! I can do it!
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  15. getting back into swimming....

    by , October 12th, 2012 at 12:16 AM (Colleen Conway's blog)
    Here goes my first entry. My husband, and our little one have just moved to our first home in a new place. Luckily I have found a really awesome USMS club and place to swim in nj. There are great people to swim with, all different abilities and some good swimmers. The fact that they have a child watch is the main reason I can even do this because someone is there to watch my little one, such an amazing opportunity.

    I always felt like I have had unfinished business in swimming since I quit in college and senior year of highschool I really wasnt in it, even though I was a captain, just felt like there was so much pressure about getting into college, life, it wasnt fun. So now just feels like the right time, after having had my daughter last summer, getting back in and giving myself a year or so to see how I do will be fun.

    It helps that my husband was a swimmer, a flyer too, so I have actually taken his advice about my stroke, straightening my arms and not bending them. In the past, one of my old coaches said I swam like Tom Malchow with bent arms but it was ok bc it worked for him. So when my husband pointed out my bent arms I got defensive, but then I decided to take his advice, because he was a better flyer. I've been back swimming now for two months. At first the change felt weird now it feels amazing. Now I nag him to find out what I'm doing wrong.

    My 25's in the pool (doing 5-8 in a row) have gone from in two months from a 17 to a 15, from a push to touching the wall and looking up at the clock quickly. My three 25s off the blocks tonight were 13 but my dives felt horrible. Husband said I never kicked when I dove in haha. Just dove in and glided until I started swimming. I am also able to do 10 x 50s fly swim on .55 comfortably. My next goal is to do 100s fly in practice and for the 25s pushoffs hit 14 at least once or twice. (longterm goal 12!!) Off to sleeeeeeeeeeeep. Tomorrow I plan to attempt some 5x 100s fly in my practice.