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.
It was a beautiful day at the PCBAC pool—mid-40s, with sun-kissed clouds striping the sky. The pool was rocking, too—between the kids team, masters/lap swimmers, and the Aqua Zumba class, I think all 20 lanes were occupied (although the masters and lappers were all swimming one per lane, per local custom). If anyone is wondering what the difference is between Aqua Zumba and plain old water aerobics, I couldn’t tell any. But the competing boomboxes from that class and the kids workout (my lane was about at the midpoint between the two) did keep me amused and dancing during the rest intervals of the following, which I swam with Mark and Paul:
650 warmup (400s, 200k, 50p)
3 x 100 (50k/50s) @ 2:00
5 x 200 @ 3:20: 3 desc., 1 easy, 1 fast [2:50, 2:39, 2:31, ez, 2:28]
6 x 75 k/scull/drill @ 1:45
5 x 50 fast @ 1:10, FL/BK/BR/BK/FL [I worked FL and BR, took it easy on BK: 36, x, 41, x, 35]
200 warmdown + play
That was it!
I’m in Swimmer magazine this month, along with some of the other Riverbank morning crew. Check it out online here (if you're a USMS member). We’re on page 9, illustrating an article about pool tourist’s 40 pools blog:
Despite my moniker, I think I have the least interesting suit of the bunch. I'll have to work on that.
After an extended relaxing/dreamy/lazy weekend, I decided it was time to get back to work in the pool today. And there’s nothing like a drive through the dark cold rain to drive home the point that I’m actually somewhat serious about this swimming stuff—not because I’m willing to put up with such conditions to get to masters workout, but because there was absolutely nothing I could think of that I’d rather be doing than swimming a workout outdoors in those conditions! Luckily—that one black-eyed pea I left on my plate on New Year’s must have been working—the pool was open, and was set up long course, and Coach Phil was on deck with his umbrella, ready and enthusiastic.
Air temps were in the 40s, but the pool was quite warm, around 82. I started the workout under the stadium lights, against which the predawn sky seemed pitch black. Gradually the sky lightened, the rain stopped, and I enjoyed watching clouds move across the sky as I did backstroke. Here’s how the workout went:
500 lcm warmup
8 x 50, odds drill, evens build [I did 2 each stroke IM order]
Happy New Year’s set—lucky 13
13 x 150, done as
4 descend [FR/BK/FR sandwiches @ 2:45, went 2:20 on fastest]1 easy3 descend [IM minus FR @ 3:00, went 2:40 on fastest1 easy2 descend [backstroke sandwiches again, 2:17]1 easy1 descend [IM – FR, 2:36]
6 x 100 (50 kick / 50 swim with kick)
300 warmdown + play
I would have liked to stay in longer, but higher on the agenda today was a drive up to Alabama to visit my relatives. Looking forward to more LCM swimming next week!
Today I had two swims, both short, but both very satisfying. Around lunchtime I went for a swim in the gulf, doing what is becoming my “usual,” a mile roundtrip to the beach flag and back. I managed to get in just as the sun was beginning to make its way through an overcast sky, and the water was a very milky green in the pale light. There were some gentle swells out beyond the sandbar, and I enjoyed the sensation of being suspended in an emerald bath as I stroked gently along. It was a very peaceful, lulling swim. The water temp seems to have risen since I dipped on New Year’s day, and although it felt chilly getting in, once I was swimming I didn’t think about being cold or warm, or really much of anything, as I moseyed along.
The air temp was around 60, without much wind, so getting out wasn’t a problem—everything seemed very pleasant today. Later on I went to the pool—open again after a 3-day closure—and enjoyed a nice session of easy drills. The water there was quite warm after being covered for 3 days, but since I wasn’t aiming to do a hard workout that was ok. The college team from IUPUI is in town for their winter training trip, and the kids were wearing some fantastic swimsuits—lots of neon polka dots, especially on the guys.
Then this evening as I was walking on the beach at sunset I saw something really cool—a ray leapt repeatedly out of the water, going about 2 feet above the surface every 5 seconds or so. It looked like a dark stone skipping in slow motion across the surface, but with its wings beating in the air. It was just beyond the sandbar when it started, and continued until it got about 2/3 of the way to the second sandbar. I stopped and watched it, then noticed a couple of other rays in the breaking surf, about 10 yards or so away from shore. I waited for some more jumping action, but didn’t see any, so I went back up to the condo. From the balcony there we could see the outlines of several dark rays as they swam very close to the water’s edge, in the space between the sand and the first sandbar where the waves were breaking. I watched until the light grew dim. So many amazing things to see out there!
There is a so-called polar bear swim here in Walton County—if you can call an event that takes place in conditions that would melt an actual polar bear that—but this year it got cancelled because of surf and currents. I went in for my own private New Year’s Day swim anyway, enjoying a mile barefoot run on the sand before a brief dip this morning. Winds were brisk from the southeast, but the air was warm, low-70s already by mid-morning. I didn’t swim much, just played and let the waves toss me around for a bit before heading in. It was a good way to start the new year!