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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. The joy of 10 seconds

    Last night I swam the evening TNYA workout at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx. This pool was added to our team’s rotation a few weeks ago after the closure of the City College pool cancelled our workouts there. It’s a nice 6-lane 25yd facility, a little on the warm side last night. The best thing about it is that since it’s new and a bit out of the way, practices are uncrowded. Last night I enjoyed swimming with just two lanemates, and we got to go 10 seconds apart! I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that in a NYC masters workout. For someone who likes space around them when they swim, it was heaven. Scott was on deck, and here’s what I did:

    750 scy warmup (various)

    8 x 50 @ :55, odds d/s IM order, evens FR shoulder touch drill

    300 pull @ some rest-allowing interval
    3 x 150 desc. @ 2:35 [I did FR/BK/FR]
    100 easy
    2 x 100 IM fast @ 3:00 [1:20s]
    100 easy

    4 x 100 FR @ 1:35
    4 x 50 @ 1:25: 25ez/25 fast BK, 25 fast BK/25 ez, 50 fast BK, 50 easy
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    4 x 50 @ 1:25 as above
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    4 x 50 @ 1:25 as above
    [went :34, :34, :35 on the fast 50s BK]

    100 synchro swim with Hannah

    That was it!

    This morning I swam at Riverbank, sharing a lane with Rondi and John but doing my own thing. I started out pretty tired but perked up during the 200s. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, long stretching interlude, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    10 x 200 @ :20-:30 rest: 2 pull with paddles, 1 FR/BK halfsie, 1 pwp, 1 FR/BK halsie, 1 IM kick, 1 pwp, 1 FR/BK halfsie, 1 IM kick, 1 IM swim

    300 warmdown + play

    That was it. I reached my GTD goal of 365 miles today. Looking forward to a beach + massage day tomorrow!
  2. pm/am double

    Last night I went to the Team New York evening workout at John Jay. TNYA is such a big team—there’s around 500 of us—that there are whole subgroups outside of the John Jay pool morning crowd that I don’t see very often. So it was a treat to see and swim with old friends who are primarily evening swimmers, plus I enjoyed the actual workout as well (thanks to coaches BJ and Matt!). Here’s what I did:

    Warmup: 400 scy swim, 4 x 75 k/d/s (I did IM order), 200 IM

    2x thru
    3 x 50 K @ 1:10
    2 x 50 BK/BR @ :55
    1 x 50 FR breathe every stroke [This was useful, and something I don’t often do—I tried to work on mimicking my right (good) side breaths with my left side breaths, at least until I inhaled water doing that. Apparently the right side of my mouth isn’t as practiced at keeping out water as the left side is, which explains why I normally get more of my face out of the water when breathing left.]

    Pull-with-Paddles pyramid: 50-100-150-200-150-100-50, all on :45/50 interval [I pulled on the way up, then ditches the paddles and buoy and swam 50fr/50bk/50fr, 25fr/50bk/25fr, 50bk on the way down.]

    3x thru
    400 FR long and relaxed @ 6:30
    200 FR fast[er] @ 3:30 [2:38-2:40]
    100 FR sprint @ 1:15 [1:10, 1:08, 1:07]

    100 warmdown + 50 synchro FR with Richard and Cara

    The workout ended at 9, so I wasn’t planning on swimming this morning, but my body felt like it wanted to swim when I woke up, so off to the pool I went. I was delighted to find Rondi at Riverbank when I got there, and we shared a lane while I did the following long easy workout:

    600 warmup (400s, 200k)

    900 (200 FR + 50 FL + 200 FR + 50 BK + 200 FR + 50 BR + 150 FR)
    700 (150 FR + 50 FL + 150 FR + 50 BK + 150 FR + 50 BR + 100 FR)
    500 (100 FR + 50 FL + 100 FR + 50 BK + 100 FR + 50 BR + 50 FR)
    300 (50 FR + 50 FL + 50 FR + 50 BK + 50 FR + 50 BR)
    200 IM

    400 Kick (200 IM + 200 RIM)
    6 x 50 Pull with paddles, focusing on bilateral breathing and post-breathing rotation
    200 Swim, alt FR/BK by 50
    100 scull + play
  3. Change of plans

    For the second time this week I found myself opting out of a beach swim at the last minute. This morning I was packed and ready to head out the door when I remembered to check the subways. Turned out my usual train wasn’t running, and getting to the beach would involve more time and hassle and shuttle buses than I wanted to invest in a short swim. (That was at least an improvement over Monday, when I felt unwell half way out to Brighton and had to just around and come back.) Luckily there was a swim practice near my house midday today that I went to instead. It was packed—we had six or more per lane. I ended up with five good lanemates, and enjoyed the workout a lot. Here’s what I did:

    900 scy warmup, various

    12 x 50 @ :55, IM progression (4 x (fl/bk, bk/br, br/fr, fr/fl))

    400 IM kick

    2 x 100 @ 1:50
    1 x 150 @ 1:50
    1 x 50 @ 1:50
    4 x 100 @ 1:50
    1 x 150 @ 1:50
    1 x 50 @ 1:50
    4 x 100 @ 1:50
    1 x 150 @ 1:50
    1 x 50 @ 1:50
    2 x 100 @ 1:50
    [This set looks confusing, but it was actually very cool. On each swim, the first person in the lane did a 150, the last person in the lane did a 50, and everyone in the middle did 100s, all on the same interval (1:50). After each swim the first person moved to the back, and we cycled around 3 times, so it was essentially 3 fast 150s with lots of active rest in between. I just barely made mine (1:47-1:48). I really enjoyed the esprit de lane this set created—we all got to encourage whoever was doing their fast swim, and congratulate them when they came in.]

    8 x 50 ST, #s 4 and 8 fast [BK on first 4 (35), BK/BR on second 4 (39+)]

    200 warmdown

    I was very happy after workout to remember that the lunch I had packed for the beach was in my beach bag waiting for me. It all worked out in the end!
  4. Bubble rings!

    Today I managed to blow bubble rings for the first time! I did a prosaic mid-day workout at the Y, and afterwards enjoyed having my own lane to scull and play in. I tried lying on the bottom and blowing bubble rings, which I’ve done before, and this time they actually came out as rings rather than just big bubbles. Cool! I was just in the shallow end today—I’ll have to work on my sinking skills so that I can do this in the deep end as well. I’m not yet as skilled as these guys . . .

    …but it’s a start!

    My workout today:

    1000 scy warmup

    4 x (3 x 50 FR @ 1:00, desc.)

    4 x (3 x 25 @ :30 desc., stroke IM order)

    400 experiment, scull, play
  5. Chilly beach day

    The beach was really lovely today. The weather is definitely turning colder, and with air temps in the 40s and an overcast sky the CIBBOWS crowd was thin. The water was flat and very clear and pretty, but chilly—it seems to have dropped a bit this week. I swam west (heading into the wind and current) first, going as far as the WonderWheel before deciding it might be smart to head back. When I reached my starting place I wasn’t quite ready to get out, though, so I swam on to the big jetty, then about half-way to the next. I had been thinking of going to the white building that usually marks the eastern endpoint of our loop, but I decided that I was getting chilled enough and ready to head in, so I did. It ended up being a truncated-at-both-ends loop, a little over 2 miles. It felt wonderfully calming and peaceful out there. I especially enjoyed watching a large three-tiered tugboat and barge combo go by, and was lulled by the dim sun glancing off the water when it peeked out from time to time.

    I dressed and warmed up quickly on the beach, with Hsi-Ling leading me in some kung-fu exercises that seemed to get warm blood flowing throughout my limbs quicker than jogging around. I can’t wait to get back out there—there’s just something about swimming in chilly water that is amazing and addictive. Hurray for November beach days!
  6. Twos and threes

    I swam at the Y today solo, doing the workout I coached on Tuesday morning, with a few modifications. Here’s how it went:

    1050 warmup (200fr, 200 st/fr by 25, 200 IM kick, 200 FR pull, 200 RIM d/s by 25, + extra 50 FR)

    4 x 50 FR, desc., @ :50
    3 x 100 ST/FR IM order @ 1:35
    2 x 75 (FL/BK/BR, BK/BR/FR) @ 2:30
    1 x 200 IM

    2 x 50 kick @ 1:00
    3 x 100 FR desc. @ 1:30
    2 x 50 K @ 1:00
    3 x 150 FR/BK/FR steady pace @ 1:30
    2 x 50 K @ 1:00
    3 x 200 FR desc. @ 3:00 [2:54, 2:40, 2:34]
    2 x 50 K @ 1:00
    3 x 150 FR/BK/FR steady pace @ 2:20
    2 x 50 K @ 1:00
    3 x 100 FR desc. @ 1:30 [1:13 on fastest]

    400 SKPS warmdown

    That was it

    I chose the Y today because Riverbank is doing some bulkhead repairs and so is set up scy in the morning for a while. They still have the same number of lanes open though (7 or 8), so things are a lot more crowded. I’m willing to travel and swim in warmish water for LCM, but if I’m swimming short I might as well stick closer to home and enjoy a cooler and less crowded pool. Signs at RB say the repairs will take 3-4 weeks, but the lifeguards are saying it should be more like 1. I hope they’re right—and in the meantime I’m feeling lucky to have other good pool options.
  7. Workout with team

    Today I swam the morning TNYA workout at John Jay College. My lane had 6 friendly and well-matched swimmers, and Brad was on deck. Here’s how it went:

    950 warmup (3 x (200fr + 75 fl/bk/br + 25 sdk) + 50 extra play)

    12 x 100:
    2 x (100 FR @ 1:40, 2 x 100 IM @ 1:45, 2 x 100 FR @ 1:35, 1:30, 1 x 100 IM @ 1:45)

    12 x 75 (25 kick + 25 fly swim + 25 kick) @ 1:30

    6 x 200, done as 2 x (50fr/100bk/50fr @ 3:20, 100fr/50bk/50fr @ 3:10, 200 fr @ 3:00)

    100 wd

    2 x 50 synchro swim with Hannah

    That was it!

    Things I’m grateful for today include rain boots, rain puddles, and play dates at the pool with small people.
  8. Short and sprinty

    Today I went to the Y midday for a long stretching session and a solo swim. Here’s how the latter went:

    900 scy warmup (200fr, 300 st/fr by 25, 200 kick, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    3x thru
    4 x 25 FR @ :25, 1-3 desc. to sprint, 4 easy
    3 x 50 FR @ 50, desc to sprint [fastest improved each round: 34, 33, 32]
    3 x 50 K @ 1:00, desc to sprint [fastest was 46 (FL kick on back)]
    50 easy

    100 warmdown

    The sprinting felt good, although I had to remind myself not to get pokey on the turnover during the last half, both kicking and swimming. I haven’t done much all-out swimming since IGLA. Looking forward to improving the times as I work on this part of my swimming more.

    I’ve been enjoying the earlier sunrise since the time changed, but hadn’t been able to adjust my sleeping to the new hours. I can tell myself that I’m an early riser when I wake up at 4:30, and I generally enjoy having a bonus half-hour or so of quiet time to plan my day and prioritize desk stuff before heading off to swim. But 3:30am —well, there’s no way to spin that as anything but insomnia. Finally this morning I slept until 5, so maybe my body’s gotten the memo about that whole falling back thing!
  9. Beach day

    This morning I coached the early TNYA workout, then headed out to the beach with Hannah. We took turns swimming from Grimaldo’s chair. I went to the aquarium and back, and enjoyed a good shiver on the beach after. The water was crisp and had some movement to it—not quite “sporty,” but at least a little jaunty. The sun was in and out, and with air temps in the 50s the beach was fairly empty. It felt like such a privilege to have the whole beautiful place to ourselves—or at least to share it with a few territorial seagulls, one of which kept trying to grab the edge of my beach blanket in its beak. Afterwards we went by the spa just a block from the beach that offers good $35 hour-long massages, then picked up a knish for the subway ride home. I treasure these fall beach days.
  10. Riverbank morning

    I had a good swim this morning at Riverbank State Park, sharing a lane and most of a workout with Rondi and Hannah. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200 RIMk, 200p, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    1 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 fr @ 1:00
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 fr @ 1:00
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 fr @ 1:00
    4 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 fr @ 1:00
    5 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 fr @ 1:00
    [My goal was to keep all the 100s under 1:30—I made 14 of 15. Pleased, as I was having trouble just making the interval on these a month ago.]

    50 easy swim

    12 x 100 fr/bk halfsies, descend each set of 3, @ 1:50 (first 7) and 1:45 (last 5)

    400 IM kick/swim by 50
    300 fr pull
    200 IM kick
    100 warmdown + play

    It was such a pretty morning that I walked home from Riverbank—about 4 miles—on the footpath by the Hudson, enjoying the brilliant foliage and the white-capped river.

    Things I’m grateful for today: good lanemates who are also good friends, toe socks, and race directors who hold swims in interesting conditions. In that last category is Andy Davis, who put on the first-ever 2.6-mile Cold Water Challenge in Fairfield, CT this past Saturday. It was a really beautiful swim and I enjoyed it greatly. Water in the sound was flat and in the mid- to high-50s. Hope it becomes an annual tradition!