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swimsuit addict

About a year after beginning this blog, I got interested in open-water swimming, and it's been my passion ever since. Here's a list of some swims I've done.

  1. Swim Index

    I wanted to collect links to the OW swims I've done over the last few years in one place. Here they are:

    2010 swims


    2011 swims




    2012 swims:




    2013 swims
    After a couple of busy seasons I took a break from marathon swimming and focused on something completely different: springboard diving! My first-ever competition was at the IGLA championships in Seattle. But I still did a few shorter OW swims:



    2014 swims
    I dipped a toe back into marathon swimming this year, and was part of some really wonderful events. I took a break from the blog—but feel free to PM me if you’re looking for details about any of these swims:

    • Bay Bridge to Golden Gate swim (6 miles)
    • 2 Bridges 5K swim, Hudson River, Poughkeepsie, NY (results)
    • Stage 6 of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim (Tappan Zee Bridge to George Washington Bridge, 15.7 miles) (results)
    • Swim the Kingdom Week--45 miles in 8 lakes over 9 days in Vermont and Quebec: Crystal Lake, VT (5 miles), Island Pond (4 miles), Echo Lake (12K), Lake Seymour (10K), Lac Massawippi (9 miles), Memphremagog (10K), Lake Willoughby (5 miles), and Caspian Lake (3 miles) (DNOWS article)
    • September: CIBBOWS Triple Dip 10K (results)

    Updated November 2nd, 2014 at 07:58 AM by swimsuit addict

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  2. First Brighton swim of 2014

    Yesterday I double dipped, swimming in both the pool and the ocean. The day started at Riverbank, where it was decently cool and uncrowded—for most of the session John, Rondi, and I had our own lcm lane. The workout was inspired by a vintage HVT workout (2012.37.4).. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 d/s IM)

    9 x 100 FR: 3 @ 1:45, 3 @ 1:40, 3 @ 1:35
    50 easy

    700, FR except every 4th 50 ST (IM order)
    500, FR except every 3rd 50 ST (IM order)
    400, FR except every 2nd 50 ST (order)
    200 IM

    400 various warmdown

    Floating practice, with equipment

    After that I headed directly to the beach, happily meeting up with a couple of other beach-bound CIBBOWS swimmers on the subway ride. It was my first time out since December, and I relished once again seeing the familiar sights and stations on the Q line as I we wended our way out. It was a nice day, still chilly (air temps in the 40s), but very sunny and without much wind.

    With the cold weather, the water has been slow to warm up this spring—it just topped 40 in recent days--and up until Saturday night I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to go the beach yet. I have a race coming up in 4 weeks (a 5-miler in CT) that I would like to be acclimating for, but I’m dubious that dipping for a few minutes in truly frigid water will actually help prepare my body for hours-plus efforts in water warm enough to sustain body temperature through exertion (which is what I hope I’ll find in CT).

    So it was instead sheer impatience to be in the ocean again, even if just for a brief swim, that brought me out Sunday. And it was worth it. The water at 42F was bracing, painful even, and I swam for only about 200 meters, but the salt water immersion worked its usual magic, softening me up, opening my heart, and making me receptive to the beauty and wonder all around. Lying on the sand afterwards, basking in the sun and surrounded by friends, was so very sweet.

    There were eight of us out on Sunday, 5 who had been coming out throughout the winter, and two others, like me, who were beginning their season. Times in the water ranged from about a minute to over 20—there are some hardy winter swimmers in these parts! Two among us, Cara and Brad, had recently returned from winter swimming championships in Russia and Finland, so I got to hear all about their experiences in that sport. (If you’ve never heard of winter swimming competitions, think of a swim meet held outdoors, in freezing temperatures, in a big swimming-pool sized hole cut in a frozen-over lake, outfitted with lane lines and timers and the whole works. Pretty amazing!)

    Sunday’s experience just whetted my appetite for more beach days, and for water warm enough that I can combine my workout and my outdoor swim instead of getting them in sequentially. I love this time of year when there is the whole season to look forward to, and just more and more people coming out to the beach each weekend.
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  3. San Francisco from the water

    I enjoyed a wonderful weekend of swimming in San Francisco. Things got off to a bit of a hectic start last Saturday, with some rental car drama as we were returning from Sonoma to the city. Luckily, the car’s problems (it ultimately decided that first was its only gear) occurred very near the airport—I was dropping my husband off for his return flight to NYC before driving up to the swim’s start. I was able drop him at curbside, limp the car over to the return lot, and get a cab up to the swim start in time. Whew!

    On the ride to the meet-up near Fisherman’s Wharf, as it became clear that I would make it in time, my fluster and annoyance gave way to feelings of relief and gratitude that things hadn’t been worse. As the sky lightened I caught glimpses of the Bay Bridge and the water I started to feel excited about the coming swim. As far as I could see, the bay seemed flat and calm, and very beautiful.

    By 7:30 I had found Leslie from Swim Art and fellow swimmer Matthew. Leslie went over the course and procedures with us, and introduced us to our kayakers as they arrived. Everything was very calm and low-key, and I enjoyed getting to know everyone a bit as we prepared to head out. Both Leslie and Barry, my kayaker, encouraged me to sightsee as much as I wanted and enjoy the swim, which was exactly my plan.

    We walked down to the dock, where we met our captain, Brent. We all hopped aboard his inflatable, which took us to the swim start on the far (south) side of the Bay Bridge. The morning was sunny, with air temps in the 50s, and the water was flat and glassy. We saw swimmers heading into Aquatic Park as we were leaving—I learned the next day they were South Enders coming in from a swim from Fort Mason.

    As the kayakers were getting into the water, I got undressed (I’d been wearing my suit since we headed out at 4:30 that morning), lubed up, put in my earplugs (water temp was around 57), and got ready to go. Since it was an informal swim, we each splashed as soon as we got ready. I had been feeling a little nervous about my acclimation—I haven’t been swimming outdoors here since December, and the water temps during my time down in Florida were mostly in the 60s—but as soon as I hit the water I knew I would be fine. It felt nice and cool in a friendly way. I stroked and let the bay water wash all the morning’s worries away from me.

    I got to do freestyle for a minute or so to the bridge before swimming backstroke under it. I stopped briefly directly underneath and appreciated its curving span and its sheer massiveness before continuing on. Barry turned out to be a great kayaker and a wonderful tour guide. Every time I stopped to look around, he would tell me something interesting about the part of the city we were looking at. It was a very conversational and informative swim, and I had a ball just stroking along and seeing new sights and learning new things. We paused for a photo op and synchro moment near the Ferry Building.

    The water was very easy to swim in. We had a strong ebb current with us, with very little wind, and I enjoyed watching the reflective water surface on each breath. There was so much to look at—the San Francisco skyline, the bridge behind me (I turned over to do backstroke every now and again to see how much smaller it had gotten), Alcatraz up ahead (we were more or less heading directly towards it until we rounded the corner near Pier 39). During the briefing Leslie had told us that they were keeping track of a huge tanker that was scheduled to come into the Bay during our swim, about halfway through it passed close by us. Not scary-close, but cool-I-can-see-this-big-ship-up-close-close. We stopped and watched it float by. I waved to whomever was on board, and Barry remarked that this was as near as you ever wanted to be to such a huge ship. I noted its name—“Florida Voyager”—and looked it up after. It’s 600 feet long.

    (I also learned a bit about how such big ships are brought into the Bay. Navigating through the Golden Gate is quite tricky, and there are local pilots—bar pilots—who board the vessels in the open sea, 11 miles out, and pilot them into the bay. The boats from which they board--pilot boats--accompany the larger boats through the channel, and once huge craft is safely through, the bar pilot gets back on the pilot boat to go back out and drive another ship in. There are only around 60 bar pilots, and it’s a demanding and lucrative profession—they earn about half a million a year.)

    Barry was spotting lots of seals and sea lions around us—a juvenile seal apparently followed me closely for a while. I only caught a glimpse or two of their heads above the water, once when he pointed a nearby one out, and another time on a random breath. I was thrilled—seals! I’ve always wanted to swim with one, and out here there were lots.

    As we rounded the corner the Golden Gate Bridge came into view, majestic and orange. We passed Aquatic Park, and Barry pointed out its landmarks, as well as the Marina ahead. There were lots of sailboats out, with some larger ones just beginning a race to the Farallones and back. As I got nearer I could see just how big these larger boats were, and it was thrilling to be swimming parallel to them. They weren’t going very fast, as there was almost no wind—Barry remarked that they were simply riding the same ebb current we were towards the bridge.

    Very soon we were near the Presidio, the huge park from which the GG Bridge sprouts. Alcatraz was behind us, Sausalito and the Marin headlands were up to the right, San Francisco on the left, the bridge ahead and approaching quickly. I found myself doing 1-stroke breathing and sighting frequently, trying to look in every direction and take it all in. We were getting closer to the large sailboats—they were apparently sending them off at intervals with gunshots, although with my earplugs I hadn’t heard the firing. I stopped and looked around, and just delighted in being out in the water amidst it all.

    My route under the bridge seemed to take us among the sailboats, and I just thought to myself how amazing this all was—swimming under the Golden Gate, through a sailboat race, on such a glorious sunny day. I felt very small, and surrounded by awesomely big things. But there’s room for us all in the bay! Right as we went under the bridge the water seemed to develop a little more movement to it, and looking ahead I could see some small swells forming. I think on many swims this part of the bay can be a whirlpool of chop, but on this day it was all easy swimming, and I enjoyed doing backstroke and looking up at the huge bridge above as I finished up. Before I got out I looked longingly at the sailboats that were continuing on out to sea, then climbed up the ladder of the inflatable to head back to land.

    (The sailboats might have been as fascinated with me as I was with them. As I was getting ready to post this entry, I looked online for something about the yacht race to link to. I found a race report, and as I scrolled down it, I found . . . a picture of me, just after I’d swum under the Golden Gate! Apparently someone was up on the bridge photographing the boats, and they included the picture of a swimmer in the final article, without comment. You can see how well supported I was during the finish here, with the kayak on my right and the rib to my left.)

    Several times during the swim my kayaker remarked that this was the calmest he’d ever seen the bay—I really lucked out with both the weather and water temperature, which was higher than normal for this time of year. As a result, this swim was simply easy and pleasant the whole way—nothing felt like a stretch, and I was glad to begin my season with an all-fun-all-the-time outing. Challenging swims bring their own joys, but there’s definitely something to be said for simply relishing a really delightful outing in the water. A big shout-out to Leslie, Barry, and boat captain Brent for their seamless support out in the water.

    The swim was also a great way to start off my stay. I’d only visited the city once before this trip (for a polo tournament in Oakland that left little time for sight-seeing) and didn’t know much about it. I knew the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges were iconic and that it would be beautiful to swim under them, but I didn’t realize to what extent they really bracketed the heart of the city. All during the rest of my (too short!) stay, whatever sight I went to see, I found myself remembering seeing it from the water, and recalling the tidbits Barry had told me it.

    The rest of my stay in San Francisco also featured plenty of time in the water. On Sunday I enjoyed a swim at China Beach, on the ocean side of the city. It’s an absolutely gorgeous beach, with postcard views of the Golden Gate to the north. Locals know various dolphins and porpoises there by name. After a thrilling motorcycle ride out, I had a wonderfully chatty swim with Zina and Jim, then snacked on the communal spread while I met other members of the delightful pod of OW swimmers who congregate there. Zina had described this group to me as being more into the spiritual side of swimming, and I found that description apt. It was a sweet and relaxing way to spend a lazy sunny afternoon.

    After the beach Jim took me to the South End Rowing Club and gave me a tour of the place, along with a quick peek at the Dolphin Club next door. SERC is an amazing facility, and I loved hearing about the club’s various swims and other activities, looking at the historic photos on the wall and appreciating how long people have been passionate about swimming in the Bay’s waters.

    The next morning I went back to SERC for a swim in Aquatic Park. The cove was surprisingly well populated with swimmers for a weekday morning. The previous day I had heard a small boy trying to convince his parents to let him go swim in the ocean: “It’s not cold! There are twenty-seven people out there. It can’t be cold!” It was too foggy to count swimmers on the morning I swam, but I saw plenty of others out enjoying the 50-something water, both in wetsuits and not, and met lots of friendly people in the locker room. What a great city for open-water swimming, and what a great community of welcoming swimmers I got to spend time with, both in and out of the water! I hope to go back again soon.
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  4. Brrrrrrrr!

    This is my fifth day back in the city. It’s been too cold to blog.

    This morning I swam at Riverbank with Rondi and Hannah, with a couple of other ow swimmers rounding out the lane. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200d/s)

    Stretch

    8 x (100 FR @ 1:30, 50 easy @ 1:00) [made them all—woohoo!]

    6 x 300, done as 2 x (1 pull, 1 IM/FR by 50s, 1 IM kick)

    Magic 1000 warmdown + play, alternating FR/BK

    That was it!

    It’s been great being back in the city and seeing my swim friends again! That’s even been worth putting up with this crazy cold weather. I still wish I didn’t have to swim with a roof over my head—but summer will be here eventually!
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  5. Sunny morning workout

    I enjoyed a good team workout + bonus solo sets at the Panama City Beach pool this morning. Here’s how it went:

    500 lcm warmup (300 swim, 200 IM kick)

    10 x 50 FR pull w/paddles @ 1:00, counting strokes and decreasing by 1 on each 50 [I went from 41 to 34 on the first 8, descending my times as well from 46 to 42, then couldn’t get my stroke count any lower—it stayed the same or increased on the last 2, plus my times got slower. 34 was my sweet spot.]
    5 x 100 FR @ 2:00, desc. [1:32, 1:31, 1:28, 1:26, 1:27]

    100 easy

    10 x 50 BK @ 1:00, counting strokes and decreasing stroke count by 1 on each 50 [results were similar to FR—did my lowest stroke count and fastest time on #8 (39/:47)]
    5 x 100 BK @ 2:10, desc. [1:51>1:37]

    100 easy

    That was it for the team workout, but I liked this set enough that I decided to do another round. Since 1000 of either BR or FL seemed daunting, I combined them for the following:

    6 x 50 BR @ 1:15, decreasing stroke count each 50 [22>18]
    4 x 50 FL @ 1:15, holding stroke count at 16 but descending
    5 x 100 IM @ 2:10, desc. [1:51, 48, 45, 42, 39—After descending by 3 seconds on each of the first 4, I was really hoping to see that 39 on the last one to make this descend pretty, and was glad to get it. I love the pool’s new digital pace clocks!]

    100 easy

    6 x 200 FR @ 3:30, odds = pull with paddles concentrating on DPS, evens = no toys focusing on increased turnover

    2 x 200 K @ 5:00, odd IM, even RIM

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it! I was feeling pretty tired and tight in my upper back and neck after this, as well as chafed on my collarbones by my swim suit straps (polyester suits occasionally do that to me, even in pools). A midday yoga class fixed the first problem and distracted me from the second.
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  6. Rainy day workout

    Yesterday’s planned swim in the gulf turned into a meet-and-greet with the hordes of small translucent jellyfish that had amassed just beyond the sandbar. The water was positively thick with them. It was so clear that I could see them in great detail, their white ribs and borders pulsating gently or simply floating along, closed up like little drink parasols. The sight brought out my inner naturalist, and I experimented to see what would make them pulsate—a gentle touch on their back (no), additional pressure on their backs (yes), water directed at their back or undersides (usually), water moving nearby (more often than not, but I couldn’t figure out if directing water from different directions made them travel in different directions), bubbles directed up at them (yes). It was a fun way to spend some time in the gulf on a warm sunny day when I wasn’t feeling much like swimming seriously among gelatinousness.

    Once the afternoon cooled off I followed up with a short solo pool session:

    1000 scy warmup

    1 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    1 x 50 ez @ 1:00
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    1 x 50 ez @ 1:00
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    1 x 50 ez @ 1:00
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    1 x 50 ez @ 1:00
    1 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    1 x 50 ez @ 1:00

    100 warmdown + play

    Today it was colder, rainy, and windy. I went to the pool in the afternoon, and did the following solo:

    1000 scy warmup

    5 x 500 @ 8:00, as follows

    • 200 FR + 100 BK + 200 FR
    • 150 FR + 50 BK + 100 IM + 50 BK + 150 FR
    • 100 FR + 50 BK + 200 IM + 50 BK + 100 FR
    • 150 FR + 50 BK + 300 IM + 50 BK + 50 FR
    • 50 BK + 400 IM + 50 BK


    12 x 50 K @ 1:00:

    • 1-4 IMO
    • 5-8 RIMO
    • 9-12 FL/BK, BR/FR, FR/BR, BK/FL


    250 warmdown + play

    My time here is almost up—I head back to New York this weekend. The last few days are always a little bittersweet—amongst the goodbyes and the packing, and trying to put together meals that use up the remaining food, I’m also looking to enjoy the outdoors all I can before heading back to the cold up north. It’s definitely been a good month here, but I’m feeling eager to get back to my regular routine in the city soon!

    Updated February 27th, 2014 at 08:32 PM by swimsuit addict

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  7. Hurray for progress

    I had a very enjoyable swim this morning—the first part with the PCST masters, then on my own for the last bit. It was a warm and foggy morning, Kelcee was on deck, and I had a couple of good workout mates to share the first couple of sets with. Here is how it went:

    500 lcm warmup, various

    3x thru (odd rounds FR, even IM-no-free):
    3 x 50 drill @ 1:10
    150 build @ 2:45

    4x thru, with fins
    2 x 50 kick-as-far-as-you-can-underwater + rest of length FR
    1 x 50 sprint (FR on odd rounds, FL on even rounds)
    [I took my fins off after 400 of this—I think I went faster on the fly sprint without fins than with.]

    200 easy

    2x thru (broken magic 700s)
    50 FR @ :45
    50 easy back @ 1:15
    100 FR @ 1:30
    50 easy back @ 1:15
    150 FR @ 2:15
    50 easy back @ 1:15
    200 FR @ 3:00
    50 easy back @ 1:15
    [I have been struggling to get back to a fitness level where 1:30/lcm 100 pace feels taxing but doable. I’m not there yet, but I can see some progress. On the first round of this set I didn’t make all the FR times—I was -3, +1, +3, and +3 seconds on my 50/100/150/200 intervals. I didn’t think I could work harder on the second round, so I focused on finding what I could relax while still going fast, and that worked--I was able to go -2/-1/0/0.]

    200 IM kick

    12 x 100 @ 2:15:

    • 3 FL/BK
    • 3 BK/BR
    • 3 BR/FR
    • 3 IM
    • Descend each set of 3


    600 warmdown + play + figure-skating-inspired twirliness

    That was it!

    I’ve been away from my blog for the last week, but not from swimming—one of my goals while I’m down here is to get in a good bit of yardage, both in the pool and in the gulf when conditions are good. I signed up for my first swim of the season, Stage 6 of 8 Bridges in late June, so now there’s something long and fun to train for.

    One of my other goals for this month has been to start back doing yoga. I was dismayed to discover a couple of months ago that I was no longer able to get up off the floor without using my arms. I decided that I really needed to do something about feeling so rickety and decrepit, so when I got here in early February I signed up for the all-you-can-asana monthly deal at the small yoga studio that is conveniently on the way to the pool. I’ve been going to 2 or 3 classes a week, trying different styles, and am enjoying it a lot. The classes are very small—3-5 people is not unusual—and we occasionally have live sitar music provided by a local kid. (It’s sometimes mindbending how much the “Redneck Riviera” has changed over the last few decades).

    My body feels good, and seeing some progress in flexibility and strength is encouraging--plus I can once again stand up from sitting crosslegged with no help from my arms. Woohoo! Saturday, if the weather holds, I’ll get to try SUP yoga--that should be a blast.
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  8. Still ten for ten on toes

    It was cloudy, cold, and windy this morning at our 6am masters workout. With the full moon, I was hoping for a simultaneous moonset and sunrise, but the clouds revealed neither. Still, the dramatic dark clouds moving across the sky were plenty entertaining to watch as I did the following team+solo combo workout:

    400 lcm warmup

    4 x 150 (kick/swim/kick)

    50 easy

    5 x 100 FR @ 1:45, best average [1:28-1:30, avg. 1:29]

    5 x 50 non-free @ 1:10

    4 x 100 drill/swim, choice

    400 FR pull w/paddles

    12 x 100 FR/BK halfsies, 3 each @ 2:00, 1:55, 1:50, 1:45, desc. each set of 3 [1:36, 37, 37, 36 on fast ones]

    Magic 700, alternating fast FR / easy BK

    800 warmdown + play

    That was it! On the warmdown I was backstroking along, watching what I first took as a bird-shaped kite flying nearby. It turned out to be our resident bald eagle air-surfing the gusty breezes. After I turned over and did a few strokes of freestyle, I thought about my feet trailing behind me, and how they might look vaguely fish-shaped from above, and decided to kick a little harder instead of just letting them trail behind me. It must have worked!
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  9. Bambi and Thumper and more

    It was wonderfully foggy this morning in the predawn dark as I left for the pool. In the parking lot a rabbit darted in front of my car, then stopped, cocked its head, and gazed at me, rooted in place. I turned my lights on and off to see if that would scare it off, but it didn’t move, so I drove slowly around the little creature on the way out. On the way to the pool silvery outlines of deer took shape on the side of the road—a sight I’m used to, only today instead of grazing at the highway’s shoulder, they were walking along the breakdown lane on a mile-long bridge over an inlet. Go figure!

    The pool was crowded—people had to actually circle!--and I ended up sharing a lane with 3 other masters swimmers for the following workout:

    300 lcm warmup

    16 x 50 @ 1:00, alternating 2 BK, 2 FR

    3x thru, descending 200s
    200 FR
    2 x 50 ST

    4 x 400, alternating pull with paddles and FR/BK swim

    That was it. My back was feeling better this morning, but kicking and flip turns still hurt so I didn’t do much of them. I’m encouraged that things are improving though. On the wringing-lemonade-from-lemons front, this injury does help me realize when I'm arching my back and losing my core support on my stroke (almost always on my right-arm catch when breathing to my left). But it's definitely annoying that after a year of springboard diving I ended up hurting myself going off a silly starting block!

    During workout a bald eagle was hanging out near the pool, flying in circles and roosting for stretched at the small pond that’s nearby. (I saw the age group coach watching something over there, and asked him what was going on). Very cool!
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  10. Okey dokey, artichokies

    I enjoyed a really fun practice with the PCST masters on Saturday. We had 11 swimmers—apparently a near-record for a masters workout at this pool! It was a warm sunny morning, and there was a nice sense of camaraderie as we did the following workout:

    350 scy warmup [There was something longer, but I cut this short so I could start the set with two swim buddies in the next lane.]

    200 pull w/ paddles @ 3:00
    2 x 100 kick @ 2:00 [officially with fins, but I didn’t have any]
    4 x 50 with all equipment @ :55

    6 x 75 (k/s/s) @ 1:20 [fl/bk/br/br/bk/fl]

    6 x 50 d/s @ 1:00

    Then, since several swimmers are headed to Auburn next weekend, we all headed to the far end of the pool for some start/turn workout. And afterwards—a 6 x 50 free relay race! It was a fun morning.

    (And today's blog title? That was the coach's way of checking that we had understood one of the above sets. I like this team!)

    Unfortunately, I tweaked my lower back on one of my starts. The acute pain lasted just a few minutes, but I’ve been having dull achiness ever since, and am still moving around gingerly.

    This afternoon instead of heading back to the pool I opted for a swim in the gulf. It was a nice sunny day, with air temps in the low 60s, and water temp about the same (it’s warmed up quickly in the recent warm weather). I was in for about an hour, swimming back and forth along the stretch of beach where the depth is sufficient to swim on the near side of the sandbar. There was a bit of surf, enough to make the water bumpy, which at first felt uncomfortable with my back, but either it loosened up or I got blissy enough as the swim went along that I forgot about it.

    There was some current today and some wind, enough to make it noticeably more difficult going east, then easy and fast going west. Every now and again I would turn over and do a few strokes of backstroke, just to admire the sky and catch a glimpse of the happy snowbirds strolling along on the beach. (Afterwards a couple told me the sight of me swimming had prompted them to get outside for a beach walk!) When I finally decided I had had enough, I got out and warmed in the sun for awhile on my beach, then headed up to the hot tub for a nice relaxing soak. I’m definitely enjoying the cushy OW swimming life here!
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  11. Short swim in the gulf

    I had a very blissy swim in the gulf today. Yesterday’s steady rain was gone, and the day was brilliantly sunny. By noon, the overnight freezing temps had warmed up to the low 50s, and water temps were in the mid-50s. A strong north wind tamped down the waves, leaving just ripples on the surface. The tide was high, making the water deep enough to swim on the near side of the first sandbar. I ended up swimming back and forth along a 300m stretch of beach, staying in for about 30 minutes. The water was very clear, but there wasn’t much to see—I encountered one jellyfish, white with pale yellow tentacles, that was floating about 3 feet under the surface, and a small white fish that swam by underneath me.

    It was very peaceful out in the water. I did some backstroke, ducking my head entirely under the water to see the ripples on the surface, then turning back over for some freestyle, where I watched the rippled sand beneath me. Swimming along was as easy as in a pool, with no current or waves to speak of. It was a lot different from a couple of days ago, when I got in just to play in the surf, and let the waves rock me around as I floated on the surface.
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  12. Good morning north wind!

    After a few days of very warm temperatures, today’s windy, 37-degree predawn air reminded me how much I love my swim parka. I smiled at the steam coming off the pool as I drove up this morning for the PCST masters practice. The coach looked chilly on deck, so I let her keep my parka warm as I jumped into the pool for the following:

    600 lcm warmup (300s, 300k)

    2x thru:
    4 x 100 FR fast @ 2:30
    4 x 50 non-FR fast @ 1:30
    [I went 1:24/25 on most of these—I was consistent if not fast—and a 44 on my best 50 back. It was nice having a workoutmate in the next lane to swim with—I postponed 2 of my first set of 50s til the end of the set so that we could swim together on the second round, and we both ended up going a little faster.]

    That was it for the team workout. I stuck around in the now-otherwise-empty pool and did the following on my own:

    400 pull with paddles
    3 x magic 700 [free w/back, IM w/free, fr w/ kick]
    400 pull with paddles
    200 IM kick
    100 warmdown + play

    It was quite windy—I had trouble keeping my pool toys at the end of the lane—and with the wind and pool directions almost perfectly aligned, I enjoyed seeing how different strokes felt going with the wind vs going against it. When kicking freestyle with a board, the spray from my feet was blown against my head and neck—kind of a neat sensation. By the time I left a few other swimmers had come, which was a good thing—I had felt guilty watching the guards look cold, and knowing that they could have hung out inside if I hadn’t been there. They used to have little guard houses poolside that they used on cold days (just clear vinyl hung around guard chairs), but they’re not there this year.
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  13. Swimmer as wind-up toy

    I enjoyed a good swim at the PCB pool this morning. I came at 6am for the PCST masters workout, then stayed for some solo swimming. Here’s how it went:

    Warmup: 5 x 100 lcm, odds FR, evens BK

    12 x 50 various fly stuff @ 1:00:
    4 FL kick on BK
    4 1-arm fly
    4 goggle drill: 1 stroke no breath, 1 stroke just bringing goggles above water, 1 stroke breathing with as minimal head movement as possible [I liked this drill, but left out the no-breath stroke, and upped the interval.]

    4 x 150 BK/BR/FR

    4 x 100 pull with bilat breathing pattern @ 2:00

    4 x 50 sprint BK @ 1:10

    That ended practice. I skipped the 200 warmdown, and did the following solo:

    Extended IM riff
    4 x 150 stroke sandwiches (FR/ST/FR) @ 2:50
    4 x 150 IM @ 3:10

    • 25 FL / 50BK / 50BR / 25FR
    • 50 FL / 25 BK / 25 BR / 50 FR
    • 25 FL / 50 BK / 25 BR / 50 FR
    • 50 FL / 25 BK / 50 BR / 25 FR

    200 kick RIM
    6 x 200, odds IM desc. @ 4:00, evens FR pull @ 3:45 [3:33 on fastest IM]

    Magic 700, alt. IM/FR

    200 kick
    200 warmdown + play

    I was feeling fatigued and a little loopy by the time I reached the magic 700, and decided to just focus on the rhythmic elements of each stroke. I imagined my body as some sort of perpetual motion machine, all cogs and gears and levers, with each movement leading automatically to the next, and the next, and the next. I tried to imagine the forces interacting with my body—gravity, inertia, the resistance of the water—and to imagine my body working with those forces in various ways. It was a nice meditative way to end a long workout. I closed my eyes for much of this swim, and did not run into a lane line even once. (The lanes are wide here, and I had my own, so felt pretty safe swimming blind.).
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  14. Wrong-way breaststroke

    I had a nice solo swim at the Panama City Beach pool today—my first since I arrived, since the pool is closed on Sundays. It was extremely foggy and warm, with a little misting at the beginning that didn’t morph into the threatened thundershowers. Here’s what I did:

    1000 scy warmup

    5x thru

    • 500 swim
    • :20 rest
    • 2 x 50 kick @ 1:00

    [The kicks were all FL/BK, and the 500s were my usual traveling-backstroke set, except the part between the BKs was IM, as follows:

    • 200 FR / 50 BK / 0 IM / 50 BK / 200 FR
    • 150 FR / 50 BK / 100 IM / 50 BK / 150 FR
    • 100 FR / 50 BK / 200 IM / 50 BK / 100 FR
    • 50 FR / 50 BK / 300 IM / 50 BK / 50 FR
    • 0 FR / 50 BK / 400 IM / 50 BK / 0 FR

    I worked the IM, did the rest moderate.]

    150 warmdown + bonus 100 lcm (see below)

    Because I was the only one in the pool (and had been for most of the workout), I decided to end with a LCM 100, even though the lanelines were set perpendicularly for scy. I started out swimming underwater, coming up every three or so lanes for a breath, but I then discovered I could easily do breaststroke, gliding under each lane line and breathing once in each short course lane, without changing my stroke much. (Fly didn’t work so well—I couldn’t keep my stroke short enough). This was fun! I think I could be happy doing a breaststroke set this way, if the opportunity presents itself again.
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  15. Workout with team

    I swam the morning workout at John Jay with Team New York. I had four nice lane mates for the following:

    600 scy warmup

    200 FR @ 2:50
    4 X 50 FL/BK @ :55
    200 FR @ 2:50
    4 x 50 BK/BR @ :55
    200 FR @ 2:50
    4 x 50 BR/FR @ :55
    200 FR @ 2:50
    8 x 50 FR fast @ 1:00 [I did odds fastish, evens moderate]

    300 kick, alternating right side / left side / back by 25s

    4 x 125 pull @ 2:00

    4 x 125 (3 IM with rotating extra 25, 1 all stroke choice) @ 2:20

    250 warmdown + synchro swim with Hannah

    That was it! It was the good way to start a busy day.

    I leave for another extended stay in Florida / Alabama tomorrow. I’m very lucky I didn’t try to go a couple of days earlier—it sounds like things have been an icy mess both at the beach and in my hometown in southeast Alabama, with roads closed countywide in both places. It looks like temps are forecast to get back to seasonal highs (60s +/- 10) by the time I’m down there. I’m hoping to get in a good amount of outdoor swimming over the next month.

    Correction to yesterday’s fun fact: Mr. Addict pointed out that I’m in fact older than the Super Bowl. It was born in 1967, a little over a year later than me, but it started out as Super Bowl I, while my age at birth was 0, hence the confusion. Oh well!
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  16. V x D, and other fun stuff

    We had a sprinkling of snow overnight, so I enjoyed walking through some crunchy untrampled whiteness on my way to Riverbank this morning. You gotta get up early in this town to do that! I shared a lane with Rondi and a rotating cast of one or two other swimmers. Here’s what I did:

    1200 lcm warmup

    5 x 500, FR with traveling 2 x 50 back:

    • 50 BK / 400 FR / 50 BK
    • 50 FR / 50 BK / 300 FR / 50 BK / 50 FR
    • 100 FR / 50 BK / 200 FR / 50 BK / 100 FR
    • 150 FR / 50 BK / 100 FR / 50 BK / 150 FR
    • 200 FR / 100 BK / 200 FR


    300 pull

    6 x 100 K/S, kicks moderate, swims fastish, odds flutter/FR, evens dolphin/BK

    500 warmdown + play

    I felt good in the water today, and powerful on my freestyle. I’m finally get back into good enough shape that I feel like I can control my pacing on longer pieces, adding some surges when I want to, rather than just trudging through them.

    Fun fact of the day: The Super Bowl and I are the same age! (At least in yards). I can’t believe it’s taken me XLVIII years to realize this.

    Updated January 29th, 2014 at 12:19 PM by swimsuit addict

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  17. Bring on the IM

    I had a good solo swim at Riverbank this morning. I’ve been grooving on longer things lately, and today was no exception. Here’s how it went:

    1000 lcm warmup

    4 x 150 k/d/s, IM order

    800, every 4th 50 ST, IM order
    600, every 3rd 50 ST, IM order
    400, alternating FR/ST (ST IM order)
    200 IM
    400 alt. ST/FR (ST IM order)
    600 IM, substituting FR for every 3rd 50
    800 IM, substituting FR for every 4th 50
    [No intervals—took about 1:00 rest between each piece. Idea was to work ST and keep FR recovery-to-moderate pace throughout set.]

    400 warmdown + play

    That was it! I was nicely tired afterwards.

    On some of the freestyle today I worked on exhaling fully underwater, and discovered that was quite different than what I usually do. I could maintain 3-stroke breathing when doing that and swimming with moderate effort. Something to work further on!
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  18. Short and sweet

    I had just an hour for this quick solo workout at Riverbank this morning:

    1000 lcm warmup

    12 x 100, done as

    • 3 x FR @ 1:45, desc.
    • 3 x FR/BK @ 1:45, desc.
    • 3 x FR/BR @ 2:00, desc.
    • 3 x IM @ 2:00, desc.


    Magic 700, alt. FR/ST

    100 warmdown
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  19. Frozen hair

    I had been hesitant to venture up to Riverbank after Tuesday’s foot of snow. While the sidewalks and streets in my neighborhood were quickly shoveled and salted, I was worried about the walk to Riverbank. Its snow maintenance, which is done by the State Parks Dept rather than the city, has always tended to be substandard—they typically seem to just drive over the paths with some sort of golf cart, compacting the snow and making things icier with each refreeze. This time, though, they got things right. When I got to the pedestrian bridge leading to the park, I was amazed—it was completely cleared and dry, as were the paths through the park. Go figure--It was as if they had used all the salt they had stockpiled over the last 5 years in one fell swoop. (Every locker had a crusty of salt on the bottom from people’s shoes.) In any case, I was very glad not to have to negotiate slippery sidewalks in the dark.

    The pool was very quiet—the cold is keeping people inside this week—and very warm. I shared a lane with Rondi and one other good circle swimmer, and did the following:

    3 x LCM 1000, odds reverse magic 1000s (fr/bk), even regular magic 1000 (fr/bk)

    5 x 400, done as
    1—alt kick/swim and IM/free by 50s
    2—IM, alt k/s by 50s
    3—swim, alt free/IM by 50s
    4—IM, alt k/s by 50s
    5—IM swim

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it! And yes, my hair did freeze today in the 3 blocks between the subway and my apartment. The good news is that the rest of me wasn’t cold at all—I guess 30 years of living “up north” (Michigan, Chicago, Ithaca, NYC) has at least taught me how to dress for cold weather, or at least the version of it that we get here (I don't think I'm ready for Maine or Minnesota winters yet, or for the worst of the the Midwest polar vortex). The bad news is that I only have one pair of ski pants, and I’m going to get tired of wearing them every day for the next week! I’m not sure when temps are going to get above freezing here again.
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  20. Before the snowstorm

    I had been looking forward to swimming the Tuesday night workout with my team today, but with a snowstorm looming it seemed safer to go ahead and get in a workout this morning, to avoid possible pool closures or transit hassles. I was able to stay and swim solo after I coached at John Jay this morning, adapting the main set of the workout I had just coached to swim the following:

    1000 scy warmup

    8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, IM order + RIM order

    6 x 50 free @ :55, desc. 1-3 then hold 4-6 steady
    6 x 100 BK/FR @ 1:35
    6 X 150 FR @ 2:15, desc. by 3s
    6 x 100 IM, 2 @ 1:45, 2 @ 1:40, 2 @ 1:35
    6 x 50 free @ :50, smooth and efficient

    100 easy

    8 x 100 k/s/k/s @ 2:00, IM order twice through, ascending to warmdown pace

    200 warmdown / play / twirly swim

    That was it! I enjoyed being back on deck this morning and seeing my swimmers after a month away, and it was good to be able to get in a swim afterwards without trekking to another pool. The pool was mostly empty during the lap swim—I had my own lane, and saw just 2 other swimmers the entire time I was there.

    When I left the snow was already falling and had accumulated some. It’s supposed to keep coming down the rest of the day, so I’m happy with my decision to exercise early rather than later! Also glad to have finally caught up on my GtD goal pace.
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