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  1. Friday at Riverbank

    I swam at RB this morning, sharing a lane with Hannah, Rondi, and John, and various other random people. I was feeling draggy and a little out of sorts, but made it through the following pwb workout:

    Warmup:
    4 x 300 @ 5:30
    8 x 100 @ 2:10, odds IM swim, evens FL/BK kick

    12 x 150, done as 4x thru

    • 50 st /50 fr /50 st @ 2:45
    • 150 free @ 2:30
    • 50 fr / 50 st / 50 fr @ 2:45,

    with ST=IM order by round
    4 x 50 FR pull @ 1:00

    4 x 200, odds = IM, evens = FR pull [3:23, 3:25 on IMs]

    300 warmdown + play

    Looking forward to some beach time this weekend!
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  2. Riverbank Thursday

    After a few days rest, I am recovered from whatever achy feverish bug was gnawing at me earlier this week and am happily back in the pool. My usual Thursday pool (John Jay) was closed, so I got to see not only Rondi and Hannah but 4 other TNYA Thursday am workout regulars at Riverbank this morning. I found another freestyle-heavy vintage HVT workout and brought it in (2012.36.3). Here’s what I did with it:

    800 lcm warmup (200fr, 200 IM k/s, 200 fr, 200 IM d/s)
    8 x 100, odds FR desc. @ 1:45-2:00, evens FL kick @ 2:15
    8 X 50 @ 1:30, 2 each stroke IMO, odds build, evens fast

    4x thru
    100 FR @ 1:40
    100 FR @ 1:35
    100 FR @ 1:30
    200 FR pull @ 4:00

    12 x 50 @ 1:00, done as 4 x (1 fastish, 2 easy), fastish = FL, BK, BR, IM by round

    400 warmdown (200k, 200s) + play
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  3. Weekend swims

    I had a wonderful swim at Brighton Beach yesterday. It was a beautiful beach day, sunny and still with air temps in the 60s. The water is still in the mid-40s, though, so no crowds cavorting in the surf—just a few of us CIBBOWS swimmers out for a dip. This week I swam a tad over a half mile, and shivered pleasantly afterwards on the beach. The water felt good, tingly but not painful. I always enjoy swimming with a greater sense of purpose in the cold—there’s no temptation to lollygag. I hope the weather is as cooperative next weekend so that I can get in some more cold water swimming before the CT race.

    Today I swam at Riverbank, but cut the workout short as I was feeling very fatigued, and trying to go fast just wasn’t feeling good. I again attempted a vintage HVT workout—here’s how far I got:

    800 lcm warmup (400s, 200 IM k, 100 p, 100 IM)
    8 x 50 @ 1:15, 2 each stroke, odds k/s, evens d/s
    3 x 150 IM (no free) @ 3:00
    50 easy

    4x through
    200 long-axis IM (25fl/75bk/25br/75fr) @ 3:50
    4 x 50 @ 1:20, done as 3 ST (IM order by round) desc., 1 easy FR
    300 warmdown

    It was probably good I stopped when I did—I took a long hard nap after I got home, and have felt achy and feverish ever since. I’m hoping in that magical thinking kind of way that everything will feel better when I wake up in the morning … we’ll see.
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  4. Riverbank Friday

    I enjoyed a good swim with Hannah at Riverbank this morning. I printed out a HVT workout, but left it on the kitchen table—luckily Hannah had a good idea for our main set! Here’s what I did:

    700 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 100p)

    400 FR, alternating 50 6bk/ 50 2bk
    4 x 100 IM @ 2:00 [held 1:40s-1:45s]
    400 FR, alternating 50 6bk/ 50 2bk
    3 x 100 IM @ 2:00 [held 1:40s-1:45s]
    400 FR, alternating 50 6bk/ 50 2bk
    2 x 100 IM @ 2:00 [held 1:40s]
    400 FR, alternating 50 6bk/ 50 2bk
    1 x 100 IM @ 2:00 [1:40]

    400 pull
    300 kick
    4 x 50 IM order buildIt
    100 warmdown + play

    This week I attended a marathon swim observer training clinic put on by 2 experts from the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation. I was really impressed by the procedures they have in place for swims, and I learned a lot that will be useful for future swims as well as observing and crewing. The sessions kept me up past my bedtime on two successive weeknights, but they were well worth it.
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  5. Magic every which way

    This morning I swam at Riverbank with Hannah and Rondi. We had our own lane for most of the session, and this is what I did:

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

    Quadruple magic 700s (ie variations on a 1/1/2/1/3/1/4/1 (lengths) theme)
    1. Fast/easy free broken magic 700:

    • 50 fast @ :45
    • 50 easy @ 1:15
    • 100 fast @ 1:30
    • 50 easy @ 1:15
    • 150 fast @ 2:15 [missed this by :02]
    • 50 easy @ 1:15
    • 200 fast @ 3:00
    • 50 easy

    2. Fast/easy free broken reverse magic 700

    • 200 fast @ 3:00
    • 50 easy @ 1:15
    • 150 fast @ 2:15
    • 50 easy @ 1:15
    • 100 fast @ 1:30
    • 50 easy @ 1:15
    • 50 fast @ :45
    • 50 easy

    3. ST (IM order) / FR magic 700—cruise pace, straight through

    • 50 FL
    • 50 FR
    • 100 BK
    • 50 FR
    • 150 BR
    • 50 FR
    • 200 FR
    • 50 FR

    4. ST (IM order) / FR double reverse magic 700 (easy pace, straight through)

    • 50 FL
    • 200 FR
    • 50 BK
    • 150 FR
    • 50 BR
    • 100 FR
    • 50 FR
    • 50 FR


    That was plenty of 700s—making the intervals on those first 2 took some effort, and I was feeling pretty spent after the fourth. I did an easy 250, contemplated getting out instead of finishing out my planned 5K, then decided to give myself a short easy set with what seemed like a doable get-out goal time:

    3 x 100 FR/BK @ 2:00, descending, <1:35 on last one to get out early [1:50, 1:41, 1:35+]

    Ugh—close but not under. Since I didn’t make the get-out time, I did an easy 50 and decided to do the set again, this time with better results:

    3 x 100 FR/BK @ 2:00, desc. [1:41, 1:34, 1:31—found my good energy again on these final swims!]

    300 warmdown + play
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  6. An IM morning

    This morning I coached the TNYA workout at John Jay, then hopped in the pool for a solo swim during the college’s lap hours, which once again begin conveniently as soon as our practice ends. (During the college swim season the schedule was a little different). Since I enjoyed Patrick’s HVT workouts so much last week, I decided to continue with them—today’s was 2012.38.1. These are giving a needed boost to my swimming intensity, as well as some variety. I felt like I was getting away with something by choosing do the IM test set on a short-course day, but it was still plenty hard! Here’s how it went:

    Extended warmup
    600 scy (200 FR, 300 IM k/d/d/, 100 FR scull/single arm)
    6 x 100 @ 1:50 w/Zura fins, odds K various, evens FR swim with paddles
    6 x 75 @ 1:30, odds bilateral breathing, evens smooth/build/fastish by 25s
    6 x 50 @ 1:10, 1 & 6 cruise FR, 2-5 IM build

    IM test set
    1 x 400 IM fast @ 6:40 [6:10, took this out a little slow (1:34 to first BK breakout)]
    6 x 50 FR: 2 @ 45, 2 @ 50, 2 @ 55
    1:20 rest
    1 x 400 IM fast @ 6:40 [6:04, 4 seconds faster on FL split]
    6 x 50 FR: 2 @ 45, 2 @ 50, 2 @ 55
    1:20 rest
    1 x 200 IM fast @ 3:20 [2:53]
    6 x 50 FR: 2 @ 45, 2 @ 50, 2 @ 55
    1:40 rest
    1 x 100 IM fast @ 1:40 [1:20]
    6 x 50 FR: 2 @ 45, 2 @ 50, 2 @ 55

    450 warmdown + play

    That was it. I had not just my own lane but my own entire pool for this workout--it was just me and the pool vacuum the entire time. (I won all our races!)

    Updated April 8th, 2014 at 01:13 PM by swimsuit addict

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  7. 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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  8. Still partying like it's . . . 2012!

    I got to swim with Hannah and Rondi at Riverbank this morning. We continued with the vintage HVT workouts from 2012. Here’s what I did:

    1200 lcm warmup:

    • 100 FR / 200 RIM k/d / 100 FR
    • 8 x 50 @ 1:15, 2 each stroke IM order, odds K, evens build swim
    • 4 x 100 @ 2:10, odds K fast, evens FR moderate


    Main set—4 x 4
    400 FR @ 6:20 [6:11]
    2 x 50 FR @ 1:20
    2 x 200 FR @ 3:20 [3:04, 3:06]
    2 x 50 BR @ 1:30
    4 x 100 FR @ 1:45 [1:31, 1:31, 1:30, 1:29]
    2 x 50 BK @ 1:30
    8 x 50 FR @ 1:00 [42s-45s, odds were consistently 2-3s faster than evens]
    2 x 50 FL @ 1:30

    4 x 100 @ 2:10, odds K fast, evens FR moderate
    300 pull easy
    200 IM kick/drill by 25
    4 x 50 fast @ 1:30, IM order [:44, :44, :53, :39]
    6 x 50 FR: 2 @ :50, 2 @ :55, 2 @ 1:00

    Warmdown: (300 IM st/fr/st/fr by 50) + (75 IM st/fr by 12.5) + (25 IM), all easy and glideful

    That was it! Happy weekend everyone!
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  9. Workout with team

    I had a good morning workout with TNYA today, at the John Jay College pool. A bunch of our team was away last week at swim camp (Ft. Lauderdale), and things were very quiet at practices. This week they’re all back, excited to build on the work they did, so workouts are crowded again, but in good way, with people who are feeling energetic and motivated.

    Brad was back on deck, and here’s what I did:

    800 scy warmup, various

    2x through
    300 pull @ 4:45
    3 x 100 swim @ 1:35
    4 x 50 kick @ 1:05
    200 fast swim [FR/BK halfsie 2:39]
    Regroup/extra rest

    8 x 150 IMish, done as 2x through
    150 fl-fr-bk-fr-br-fr @ 2:40
    150 fl-bk-bk-br-br-fr @ 2:45
    150 fl-fl-bk-bk-br-br @ 2:50
    150 fr @ 2:15

    2x through (there’s a theme here . . .)
    2 x 75 FR swim w/ breathing pattern
    1 x 75 (25 easy / 5sec./ 50 fast)
    1 x 75 (50 easy / 5sec. / 25 fast)

    That was it. I was swimming with some different lanemates today, and probably should have been more assertive about asking to go ahead, especially during the IM set, or less passive about placing myself back in the lane initially. Live and learn!

    I entered a local meet on April 27--it’s the free event that is hosted by the NYC Parks Department every spring. There’s an outing to the Mets game after (the pool is on the opposite side of the subway tracks from CitiField.) This will be my first time up on the blocks since I swam at IGLA in August, and it should be just low-key and fun. I signed up for the 50 FL, 50 BR, 100 IM, and 200 IM, so I'll have some incentive to work on my short-axis strokes over the next few weeks.
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  10. Fun with ladders

    I had a good workout this morning at Riverbank, and enjoyed swimming with lots of friends--I think it might have been the first time since before Thanksgiving that I got to share a lane with Rondi, John, and Hannah all in one morning! I continued this week’s pwb-HVT theme with the main set from “Ladder Land” (2012’s week 37). (Why that week? Because I came across a printout of it when cleaning up my study, liked it, and put it in my swimbag.) Here was my interpretation:

    Warmup (1000 lcm):

    • 350 (100 FR, 200 IM k/d by 25, 50 FR)
    • 4 x 100 FR @ 2:00, gentle descend
    • 5 x 50 @ 1:10, 1 easy FR, 4 IM order build each 50


    Ladder:

    • 100 FR @ 1:40 [1:32]
    • 200 IM d/b by 25 @ 4:00
    • 300 FR @ 5:00 [4:47]
    • 400 IM k/b/d/f by 25 @ 8:00
    • 500 FR @ 8:20 [8:02]
    • 400 IM @ 7:20 [didn’t get time—too much lane congestion]
    • 300 FR @ 5:30
    • 200 IM fast @ 3:40 [3:22]
    • 100 FR @ 1:50


    5 x 200 FR, odds pull, evens swim

    5 x 100 BK/BR @ 2:05

    100 warmdown + play

    Riverbank was hot and crowded this morning. The triathletes seem to have all come back at once. But I enjoyed the good company and energy in our lane—it’s always fun to circle with friends!
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  11. 300s test set (thanks Patrick!)

    I had a good swim at Riverbank this morning with Rondi. I dug up a Patrick 3 x 300 test set workout and did that, more or less. Here’s how it went:

    Warmup (1500 lcm):
    1 x 400 (100 FR swim, 200 IM kick/drill by 25, 100 FR swim)
    4 x 100 FR @ 2:00, gentle descend
    4 x 100 kick (FL/BK by 25) @ 2:30, desc.
    6 x 50 @ 1:10ish, 1 FR easy 4 IM build 1 FR easy

    Test set:
    3 x 300 FR @ 5:30 [4:35, 4:38, 4:37]
    6 x 50 active recovery @ ascending intervals :50 > 1:15
    [I knew I would average somewhere in between 1:30 and 1:35 per hundred on these--the only suspense was whether I would be rounding up or down to calculate my BASE. I was struggling on the last 300 and it did go through my mind that if I coasted it in for a 4:40, I would enjoy an extra :05 for my base intervals for the next month, or until whenever I repeat this. But I didn’t give in to that temptation!]

    6 x 100 @ 2:30, done as 2 x (2 x 100 K, 1 x easy swim)

    4 x 100 FR/BK @ 1:55, desc.

    400 warmdown + play

    Updated April 2nd, 2014 at 08:17 PM by swimsuit addict

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  12. Back to reality

    I enjoyed a nice swim at RB this morning with Rondi. Here’s what I did:

    900 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 100p, 200RIM)

    3 x 1000:

    • Magic 1000, combining FR/BK in a 1/1/2/1/3/1/4/1/5/1 (lengths) pattern
    • 5 x 200, pulling odds, swimming evens
    • 400/300/200/100, with middle 100 of each swim IM


    600 warmdown

    It was nice to swim LC again--I realize every time I travel how lucky we are to have the opportunity to swim LC every day, year round. (I also realize how normal it seems to large swaths of the country to swim outdoors year round, and I envy that!) This morning at Riverbank there was the usual mix of friendly (most) and annoying (a few) lap swimmers—it definitely had a sort of welcome-back-to-real-life vibe.

    I did spot a very cool suit in the next lane—a black-and-white patterned women’s suit that appeared at first glance to be festooned with jellyfish outlines. Rondi interpreted them as moose, and upon looking closer I guessed camels. Turned out they were at-ats, from Star Wars! You can see it here. Black Milk makes the coolest swimwear--it just might be time for a little spring wardrobe refreshing...
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  13. 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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  14. Sunny midmorning swim

    I swam with the Sonoma Aquatic Club masters again today, at their 9am workout, which was again wonderfully sunny and friendly. Here's what I did:


    Warmup: 200 FR, 300 swim every 4th length stroke, 200 IM kick/swim, 200 IM drill/build

    300 swim with Finis paddles, working on hip-driven stroke

    4 x 100 swim without paddles, working on same, @ 1:40

    6 x 50 @ :45, faster tempo

    4 x 125 IM, rotating extra 25 through the strokes, working the 50 stroke fast

    50 easy

    6 x 25 kick fast @ :35

    100 smooth

    2 x 50 faster
    4 x 25 various sprint

    200 warmdown

    That was it! In the afternoon we drove through the Russian River Valley to Armstrong redwood preserve, and walked through the redwood grove, then hiked a trail ridge above it. It was stunningly beautiful.

    Our week in Sonoma has been wonderful. Tomorrow is our last day here, then on Saturday I'm will try to swim from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate in San Francisco.
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  15. Another fine Sonoma workout

    I had another good workout with the Sonoma Aquatic Club masters this morning. I had the option of a 5:30 or a 9am practice, and chose the latter, and was glad I did--I enjoyed both the sleep-in and the sunshine on this crisp morning. Here's what I did:


    900 scy warmup

    6 x 50 drill/build @ 1:00, odds FR, evens non-FR

    10 x 25 kick @ :35, odds moderate, evens sprint

    6 x 75 FR pull with breathing pattern

    10 x 25, 4 @ :20, 6 @ :25
    50 easy
    200 (150 smooth, 50 sprint)

    6 x 25 @ :20
    50 easy
    150 (100 smooth, 50 sprint)

    4 x 25 @ :20
    50 easy
    100 (50 smooth, 50 sprint)


    300 warmdown


    We had 6 swimmers in 6 lanes, and I really enjoyed all the extra space, plus the lovely views at this outdoor pool. Afterwards one of my fellow swimmers showed me the hot tub, which is about 10 yards long and 5 feet deep. I could get used to life out here!
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  16. Sunny morning swim

    I enjoyed a fun workout with the masters group at Sonoma Aquatic Club this morning. It's an interesting outdoor pool--imagine a 6 lane x 25 yard pool, only with half of the lanes extending further, to 50M. This morning, though (and generally it seems), the bulkhead was set up in the middle of the 3 lcm lanes, so there were 9 lanes (6 scy, plus 3 on the other end of the bulkhead that must have been a little longer) altogether. The masters group took 5 or 6 adjacent lanes, and I relished swimming in the warm sunshine during the following:


    100 scy warmup

    4 x 100 reverse IM: 1 kick, 1 drill, 1 pull, 1 swim

    34 x 50 @ :45 [I first thought it must be someone's birthday, but there was another explanation--they're working up to 50 x 50, adding 4 each week. I did a pattern with FR and FR/BK halfsies to help me count.]


    IM pyramid: 25 fl, 50 fl/bk, 75 fl/bk/br, 100 IM, 100 IM, 75 bk/br/fr, 50 br/fr, 25 bk

    Bonus 5 x 100 FR @ 1:25


    That was it!


    Our flight out to San Francisco and drive up to Sonoma went well yesterday. It is so gorgeous around here!
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  17. Riverbank morning

    I enjoyed a nice workout with Hannah and Rondi at RB yesterday. Here's what I did:


    800 LCM warmup

    5 x 200 FR pacman easy >fast [Did 6-beat kicking in fast, bilateral breathing on easy]


    3 x magic 700: first one FR/BK, 2nd and 3rd IM/FR

    200 pull
    200 kick
    200 warmdown + play
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  18. Workout with team

    This morning winter was back, with 20-degree temps and gusty 25mph winds. I braved the beastly conditions and walked over to John Jay in the dark for the morning TNYA workout, and was glad I did. Brad was on deck with a fun workout, and I had two great lanemates for the following:

    500 warmup

    2x thru:
    400 pull w/ paddles @ 6:00
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    4 x 50 IM order @ 1:00
    4 x 25 kick @ :35
    [When I coached Tuesday, the main set had several iterations, and after the first go-round I encouraged the swimmers to come up with one thing they wanted to do better the second time through. I decided to take my own advice this morning, and resolved to keep my 100s FR all 1:18 or under on the second go-round. (The first time I had descended from 1:21 to 1:18). I made them, but just barely!]

    3x thru:
    4 x 75, done as

    • 25 FL / 50 BK @ 1:25
    • 25 BK / 50 BR @ 1:25
    • 25 BR / 50 FR @ 1:25
    • 75 FR @ 1:05, 1:00, :55 (interval gets faster each round)

    [I varied the pace as follows:

    • Round 1: ST 75s moderate; all-FR 75 fast
    • Round 2: ST 75s = 50 fast / 25 easy; all-FR 75 fast
    • Round 3: On ST 75s, sprinted middle 25 + turns; all-FR 75 fast


    400 swim with pull buoy at ankles [I compromised on calves, and did a 300]

    200 warmdown + synchro swim with Hannah and Ben
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  19. Dreaming of bridges ....

    In January my apartment building reconfigured some office space into a small fitness room, and I was very excited to find out that they included a Concept2 erg among the machines. I hadn’t rowed since the summer, but I hope I will get back into the habit now that I have such easy access to a machine. For my first short rowing workout I did the following:

    5 minutes warmup + drill

    Stretch

    4 x (500 meter row for time, 1minute recovery), desc. [2:18, 2:13, 2:11, 2:08]

    3 minutes warmdown

    That was it—still I was a little sore after!

    This morning I had an enjoyable swim at RB with Rondi. I’ve been having some breathing issues, so I just did a long easy swim, as follows:

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

    800 swim, every 5th length stroke IM order
    600 swim, every 4th length stroke IM order
    500 swim, every 3rd length stroke IM order
    300 swim, every 2nd length stroke IM order
    200 IM

    200 warmdown + play

    Next week I will be traveling to Sonoma for a week-long trip with my husband—we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary. Afterwards I will stay over in San Francisco for a few days, and I was really excited over the weekend to find out that I’ll get a chance to swim from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate while I’m there! It’s about 6 miles total, but there will be a lot of current assist. It should be a fun and beautiful. Between this swim, 2 Bridges, and the stage of 8 Bridges that I'm signed up for, 3 of my first 4 swims of the season will be bridge-to-bridge affairs!
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  20. Morning swim

    I enjoyed a good swim at Riverbank this morning. Here’s what I did:

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

    12 x 100, done as 4 x (100 FR, 2 x 100 (50 ST/50 FR), 100 FR), working the ST/FR 100s, with ST + IM order by rounds [intervals were all over the place on this as I worked around lanemates, but roughly 1:45 for the all-FR and 2:00 for the ST/FR]

    50 FR @ 1:00
    3 x 100 IM @ 1:50
    50 FR @ 1:00

    200 pull
    300 various drills

    8 x 50 (20 sprint + 30 easy), odds FL, evens FR

    500 warmdown + play
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