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swimsuit addict

  1. In my Easter bonnet

    This morning I enjoyed a short solo swim at the Y. The pool seemed to have more than its share of grumpy clueless lap swimmers today—there were several mild arguments, and once I looked over to see some woman wagging her finger at the lifeguard, who was trying to restore order to the slow lane. But happily the fast lane was a model of friendly cooperation for the duration of my swim, with the two guys I shared with (one during warmup, the other during warmdown) being competent and willing circlers. Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup (400s, 200 rev. IM kick, 200 pull, 200 IM drill/swim by 25)

    8 x 75 (25 kick, 25 build, 25 AFAP) @ :45 RI, 2 of each stroke

    400 warmdown + play

    Sprints felt good.

    Afterwards I went upstairs for weights and stretching. I’m stoked to be seeing some progress in the weight room--here’s where I am on my currently (all the sets of less than 6 were done until failure, except for bench press where I’m aiming for 10/8/6):

    Military press 1 set of 12 @ 15-lbs, 1 set of 6 @ 17.5 pounds
    Butterfly 1 set of 12 @ 12.5, 1 set of 7 @ 15
    Bicep curls, 1 set of 12 @ 15, 1 set of 5 (right) / 6 (left) @ 15
    Single arm rows: 2 sets of 12 @ 17.5
    Forward/sidewards/rear deltoid raises: 2 sets of 12 @ 7.5 lbs
    Lat pull-downs (on machine): 2 sets of 12 @ 65
    Bench press: 12 @ 45 (warmup + form check), 10 @ 55, 8 @ 60, 5 @ 65

    Bench press stabilization: 2 sets of 30 @ 30 lbs
    Lat/scapular stabilization: 2 sets of 40 @ 40 lbs
    Wrist curlicues: with 3-lb weights


    . . . because if not today, when?
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  2. Back at the beach

    Today I went out to Brighton for my first CIBBOWS swim of the season. The water has been slow to warm up this year—it was just 39-40 today. (Last year we had gotten up to 50 by this time.) My “swim” was more like a brief dip, but then I spent a couple of hours out on the beach enjoying the beautiful sunny day. I counted 16 of us out swimming today, for durations ranging from half a minute to half an hour. It was a nice way to begin the season. Looking forward to some longer swims as the water begins warming up and I begin to reacclimate to swimming in colder temps.

    Updated March 30th, 2013 at 06:08 PM by swimsuit addict

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  3. Easy morning swim

    This morning I swam an easy 5k workout at the Y with a friend. We had a lane to ourselves for all but the first 100 or so of warmup. In contrast to Monday, today the long set seemed easy and gentle on my body. Here’s how it went:

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

    IM-is-initially-outnumbered-but-perseveres-and-outlasts-the-FR set
    1000 (4 x (200 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    800 (4 x (150 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    600 (4 x (100 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    400 (4 x (50 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    200 IM (4 x (0 fr + 50 stroke), stroke IM order)
    [We took about :30 to 1:00 rest between swims.]

    1000 pull with paddles

    50 dolphin-dive warmdown

    The IM set was very calm and relaxing—I’m often annoyed by all the turns when swimming scy, but today they seemed to put me in a pleasant trance. I had to remind myself to count every now and again.

    Afterwards I went upstairs for weights and stretching. I’m still a little sore in my triceps and upper arms from the diving, but it’s much much better. The bruises are fading too.

    My legs and abs seem completely recovered, just in time for tonight’s diving practice. A few months ago some videographers came to one of our practices in order to get some footage of adults diving to include in a music video. This week we finally saw the result: http://touch.baeblemusic.com/baeblem...f4be7169423b9c. I didn’t make it to the final cut, but there are a few cool shots of some of my teammates going off the boards and breaking through the water. I may not be on Splash, but I definitely dive with stars!
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    Swim Workouts
  4. A struggly day

    Some days at the pool are all-fun-all-the-time, some turn out great once you drag yourself there, and some just seem a struggle from beginning to end. I had one of the last kind this morning. Besides still being painfully sore from Saturday’s 3-hour diving clinic, I had woken up way too early this morning, which gave me ample time to eat breakfast, get some work done, and get sleepy again just as it was time to head out the door. On the upside, I had an friend to share the workout with, and the pool was a decent temperature. This is what I managed:

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

    2.5 times thru:
    300 FR swim
    300 FR pull with paddles
    300 FR swim
    200 kick
    [The interval for these was 5:00 mostly, which wasn’t easy today. Somehow my triceps ended up being the sorest part of my body, and it took some willpower to find technique keys to focus on during the swims and pulls instead of simply saying “ow, ow, ow, ow” to myself on every stroke. (Plus I had done that during most of warmup, and it got old). I could just hear the voice of my ballet teacher, who likes to ask towards the end of excruciating barre excercises “You’re not feeling sorry for yourselves are you?” I decided to minimize the self-pity and find some good in this set by focusing on my head position when breathing and on using my legs during the swims.]

    400 warmdown + play

    I would have given a lot for a post-practice hot tub this morning. Alas, that’s not among Riverbank’s amenities yet.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  5. Dive Clinic

    Yesterday I drove up to West Point for a springboard diving clinic. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect—I had learned about the clinic through an email sent out by my TNYA diving coach, but none of my teammates were going (many are attending to our upcoming week-long swim/diving camp in Fort Lauderdale, the lucky ducks). I had explained to the organizers that I was a beginning masters diver, and they had let me know that I would be very welcome. An email to participants on Friday mentioned that there would be a broad mix of abilities and ages. It turned out that I was the only masters, and I was a little self-conscious in the beginning about being both the oldest and the least experienced diver, but that quickly disappeared as we all got to work on improving and learning new skills. I’m kind of glad I didn’t know ahead of time that I would be the only adult, because that might have discouraged me from participating in what turned out to be a great experience.

    Coach Ron and his assistant Melissa first had the 10 of us sit in a circle and introduce ourselves, giving our names and few other tidbits of personal info (it had been a long time since I thought about what my favorite color was—I chose turquoise). Then after a bit of dryland we got to work on jumping technique—first on land, then off of springboards that were placed in front of big soft mats, then on the trampoline, then finally off a 1m platform and 1 and 3m boards into the pool. We then started working lineups into the pool, while Ron worked with individuals at the boards-with-mats setup, this time strapping us into harnesses and working on actual dives. The chance to work on the ropes was one of the things that attracted me to the clinic, as we don’t have that kind of set-up at our regular practice pool.

    When my turn came to work in the harness, I worked on my inward dive some (key: through arms down center of body before tucking, not to sides like I’m doing a butterfly stroke). Then we moved on to forward one-and-a-half’s. This was what I was really looking forward to working on while in the belt, as I’ve never experienced the sensation of doing more than a single flip in the air. Ron corrected some things with my flipping technique, then I did some 1½s, with him signaling me when to kick out of my tuck. After a few, I went directly to the 1m board and did the same thing, not roped in. I was able to complete the required rotations and go in headfirst, but without being in a very good diving position. I was told we’d return to those once I practiced some line-ups.

    So I did some line-ups and easy dives off the 1m, then was told to try my back dive off the 3m. I’d never done this before, but Ron’s philosophy seems to be that once you’ve done something successfully off the 1m, you should immediately go do it off the 3. So I climbed up onto the higher board, did my back-approach-arm-swinging-and oscillation routine, paused, then did the tiniest of hops off the board into a back dive. Luckily I landed it ok. I was sent back up to do it with more conviction, and after a few more tries got comfortable with the notion of doing a back dive from the greater height. Woohoo! That had just doubled the number of dives I can do off the 3m.

    But I wasn’t yet done. I came back down to the 1m to try my forward 1½ again, this time with a two-step approach (I had been just jumping from the end of the board before). With the more height that gave me I could complete the rotation and do a semblance of a dive position into the water. I did several of these until I felt comfortable with them, and was feeling proud that I would have a new dive to show off to my coach and teammates at the next practice.

    I should have seen what was coming next, but somehow I didn’t. When I exited the pool after my fifth attempt, Ron told me to go do it off the 3m. I stood there slack-jawed for a moment, until he told me again. I started climbing up the ladder, not sure if my shaking legs would carry me up. I was still in shock that I was being asked to do this, and reminded myself that I was after all a grown-up, and didn’t really have to do anything that I didn’t want to do. But with that thought came the realization that this was something I wanted to do—maybe not today, but eventually. But opportunities don’t always come about exactly when you want them, and the chance to try this skill was being offered here, now. I stepped up into position, ready to try. Ron told me to dive with conviction, just the way I had done it off the 1m. I took a deep breath, did my approach, and flung myself into the air.

    You know how at swim meets there always seems to be an octogenarian butterflyer who can barely get her arms out the water on each recovery, and who takes many painful minutes to complete a 50? And how by the middle of the second lap the whole pool is mesmerized by the struggle, and bursts into applause once that final stroke is taken? Well, on Saturday, that applause was for me, given by my young clinic-mates when I completed my first 1½ off the high board. And reader, I relished it.

    I did a few more of those dives, gaining confidence with each and getting a better sense of my bearings in the air. And I realized that, much as I hated to admit it, the dive was actually easier from the 3 than from the lower board—I had more time in the air to complete the dive, and enjoy it. It makes me look forward to learning more dives off the 3, and maybe even working up a competition dive list at that height as well.

    In the showers I was literally shaking from the adrenaline rush of the dives, but beaming from all the new skills I’d learned. I had a beautiful drive back to the city, and can’t wait to try some of this stuff again at diving practice on Thursday.

    And, since this is nominally a swimming blog, here’s the short workout I did at the Y today.

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

    4x through
    100 FR @ 1:30
    50 K @ 1:00
    100 IM @ 1:45
    50 K @ 1:00
    [Kicks were IM order + reverse IM order. I had planned to do all the 100s on 1:30, but I just didn’t have any fast IMs in me today.]

    300 warmdown + play

    My set today used to be my go-to set years ago whenever I swam alone, and I enjoyed revisiting it today. Unsurprisingly, I was very sore today, and felt tight in the water—my triceps especially are feeling it, I think from too many times of failing to get into a full locked-out dive position before I hit the water yesterday. The swimming felt good though and loosened me up a little, as did the post-swim steam and stretch.
  6. Recovery day

    I had a good diving session last night, learning two new skills: an inward tuck dive off the 1m, and a forward tuck dive off the 3m. The latter is the first actual dive I’ve done off the higher board—til now the beginners have stuck to various line-ups (falling down headfirst from standing or sitting positions) and approaches. Doing the forward tuck was just a matter of getting up my nerve and being told I was allowed to, as it is a skill I’m very comfortable with on the lower board. It went fine from the get-go. The speed with which I can travel through the water upon entering from that height is still one of my favorite parts of diving—maybe I’m still a swimmer at heart. I wish the pool were deeper so I could enjoy that longer!

    The inward dive was a little trickier. After doing the build-up skills, I was still a little tentative on my first few, and managed to do just a quarter rotation, landing on the water on all fours. After a bit I got the hang of entering headfirst, and could reliably do a legal inward by the end of the session, though not a pretty one. I need to work on getting more height on my back approach and on getting my hips up on the tuck, so that I can have more time in the air to come fully and gracefully out of that tuck position.

    Some Friday mornings after diving I feel like a truck hit me—I think it’s a combination of the impacts with the water the night before, muscle soreness from the explosive movements, and the unaccustomed late activity and resulting sleep deprivation. But this morning I was able to sleep in, and felt fairly good when I woke up—maybe my body is finally adapting to doing this every week. I got in an easy swim at the Y today in that magic 1-2 pm hour when no one much is around. Here’s what I did:

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

    1000 various drills (working on early breathing and balance)

    That was it. Afterwards I had a leisurely stretching session upstairs in the gym, which felt wonderful.

    Tomorrow morning I’m attending a diving clinic upstate. There we’ll be able to use belts on the boards, so I’m hoping to pick up a few more skills.
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  7. Short solo workout

    This morning I did weights and a short swim at the Y. This is my third week back doing weights; I used the initial 2 weeks as an easy getting-back-into-this period where I started very easy and lifted progressively more weight, doing 2 sets of 15 reps of each exercise. Now I am aiming to do 2 x 12 reps at each new weight for two sessions in a row. Once I am able to do that, I’ll increase the weight on the second round and lift until failure or 12 reps, whichever comes first. Once I can do one round of 12, I try to do two at the next session, and so on and so forth. (There are a few exceptions, like the scapular stabilization stuff, where my goal is to do lots of reps of little weight, and bench press, where I do fewer reps of bigger weights.) My plan right now is to do this for 3 weeks, have a week where I do something lighter or different, then repeat.

    I have a routine that I’m pretty happy with for the arm weights; for legs, I’m still figuring out what I want to do. Diving and ballet already leave me sore for several days each week, and I mostly do just lunges on days when I’m at the gym and don’t have one of those activities scheduled. Today I saw no need to pre-sore my legs before tonight’s diving session, so I just stuck to arms. Here’s what I did—all exercises are with dumbbells unless indicated:

    Military press 2 sets of 12 @ 15-lbs

    Butterfly 2 sets of 12 @ 12.5 (increase weight next session)

    Bicep curls, 1 set of 12 @ 12.5, 1 set of 10 @ 15

    Single arm rows: 2 sets of 12 @ 15 (increase weight next session)

    Forward/sidewards/rear deltoid raises: 2 sets of 12 @ 6 lbs (increase next session)

    Wrist curlicues: with 3-lb weights, rotating wrists (both direction) until current song on sound system stops or I get completely bored

    Lat pull-downs (on Nautilus-era machine): 2 sets of 12 @ 60 (increase next session)

    Lat scapular stabilization (basically the first part of the lat pull-down, keeping arms straight and drawing shoulder blades together—weights move about 3 inches): 2 sets of 40 @ 40 lbs

    Bench press: 12 @ 45 (warmup + form check); 10 @ 50, 8 @ 55, 6 @ 60

    Bench press stabilization (pushing bar up as far as it will go with straight arms, bar moves just a few inches): 2 sets of 20 @ 45 lbs [probably should hunt me up a bar that weighs less for these, or just use individual dummbbells—goal is 2 sets of 40]

    Afterwards I skipped the abs—we’ll do plenty of drylands tonight—and did a quick 10-minute stretch before hopping in the pool for the following:

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

    Pie of IM
    8 x 25 @ :30, 2 of each stroke IM order, odds pretty, evens sprint
    7 x 50 kick IM pieces @ 1:00 (FL, FL/BK, BK, BK/BR, BR, BR/FR)
    6 x 75 IM pieces @ 1:25, done build/fast/easy by 25s (fl/fl/bk, fl/bk/bk, bk/bk/br, bk/br/br, br/br/fr, br/fr/fr)
    5 x 100 IM pieces @ 1:45, steady pace throughout

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it!

    My main key at diving tonight is to keep my eyes open longer and learn to visually spot my entrances. I have long had a fear of opening my eyes underwater—I think as a kid it was drilled into me that if I lost a contact while swimming I would bring financial ruin upon my family, not that I had ever been that keen on putting my face in the water anyway. (There was a reason I stuck to backstroke!) It took me several years of playing polo as an adult to discover that water could get into my eyes with absolutely no ill effects (ok, some blurriness and redness, but the contacts stayed in and my eyeballs didn’t explode). Last week, I realized that despite my coaches’ instructions about what visual cues to use to time particular movements during dives, I was shutting my eyes tight as soon as I went off the board and just relying on hope and my internal gyroscope to make things end up ok. That worked well enough until I tried doing a simple twist—rotating in two directions took away my sense of where I was in the air. So tonight—eyes wide open, until just before I enter the water!
  8. Welcome spring!

    We had a full house in our lane at Riverbank this morning—I had four friends to swim and celebrate spring with today. We repeated the same main set we did last Wednesday, only with more people. Here’s what I did:

    600 lcm warmup (400s, 200k)

    500 FR, negative split
    400 IM fast
    100 easy
    400 FR, negative split
    300 IM fast
    100 easy
    300 FR, negative split
    200 IM fast
    100 easy
    200 FR negative split
    100 IM fast
    100 easy
    100 FR negative split
    0 IM fast
    100 easy

    300 pull with paddles

    200 play

    At this point an odd thing happened. We were all basically done with our workouts, and were lingering at the end of the pool waiting for the guards to blow the whistle indicating that lap swim was over, as were the swimmers in the adjacent lanes . . . as if we couldn’t get out of the pool without a signal. Everyone seemed to be having these "Why haven't they blown the whitle yet" conversations when finally someone hypothesized that maybe the pool was closing at 8:30 today rather than 8:15, because of spring break. (Why RB has lap lanes for 15 minutes extra on holidays is yet another question). I confirmed this with the guard, and it was true. Woohoo—extra play time! We did a little 4-person synchro circle in our lane, then several of us moved over to one of the empty-by-now lanes to practice more synchro and backwards swimming and kicking.

    50m ballet legs with sculling, oysters, twirls, backwards freestyle, backwards FR, BR, and FL kicking, etc

    50m backwards (feet-first) IM for time [2:00, which is 7 seconds slower than my PR. Clearly this needs more practice.]

    Then it was truly time to get out.
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    Swim Workouts
  9. Saturday team workout

    This morning I went to floor/barre class (a ballet-centric core and legs workout). It was my first in quite a while, so I expect I’ll be sore for the next few days.

    This afternoon TNYA had an all-women’s workout and social. Called “Ladies Who Swim and Lunch,” it brought together women from our polo, swim, and diving teams, plus any other women interested in swimming with TNYA, for an hour-long swim workout plus an outing to a nearby Greek restaurant afterwards. Ours is a big team—around 600 last I knew—and we have 18 swim workouts a week in 4 different pools spread over the city, plus polo and diving workouts in yet different facilities, so there are plenty of people I never see outside of competitions and social events. Plus women are a distinct minority on our team, so it was nice to get many of us together at this one very social workout—we had a very full pool. Here’s what my lane did:

    500 warmup (100s, 100k, 100 stroke, 200 fr)

    9 x 50 (3 FR / 3 BK / 3 FR) @ :45/:50/:45

    4 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    1 x 100 IM @ 1:40
    Masters minute
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:40
    Masters minute
    2 x 200 FR @ 3:00
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:25
    1 x 100 IM @ 1:35
    100 warmdown

    I had a good diving session Thursday night. I learned one new dive—a front layout dive with a half twist. It’s not as consistent as my others, and needs more work. This makes 4 of the 6 dives on my first competition list that I have learned: front dive, back dive, front flip, and front dive with twist. I have 2 more to learn—inward dive, and back flip. Once I get those down I will have perhaps the easiest competition list possible, but it’s a start. And I acquired no new bruises this week—always a plus!
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  10. Peaches and IMs

    This morning I swam at Riverbank with a couple of friends and enjoyed a good workout with them. We must have made the following set look fun--one of the regulars in the neighboring lane dubbed us “the trio with brio.” (He’s the same guy who came up with “It goggles the mind.” It’s fun sharing the pool with nice people who like wordplay.)

    Here’s what I did:

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

    500 FR, negative split
    400 IM fast
    100 easy
    400 FR, negative split
    300 IM fast
    100 easy
    300 FR, negative split
    200 IM fast
    100 easy
    200 FR negative split
    100 IM fast
    100 easy
    100 FR negative split
    0 IM fast [I used this time to practice my synchro moves*]
    100 easy
    [This set originally had paired FR swims separated by 100s easy—I substituted an (n-100) IM for the n FR in each pair, but stayed on the same interval as my friends who were doing all free. That worked out well—I liked getting more and more rest as the set progressed, and my IMs felt powerful today.]

    400 there-and-back-again IM kick (200 IM + 200 reverse IM)

    200 warmdown + play

    *The synchro moves at today’s workout were inspired by the Brooklyn Peaches practices I’ve been attending the last couple of weeks. They are a for-fun synchro group—think synchro without any of the unpleasant stuff, like having to hold your breath for eons. It’s a smidge more serious than beach synchro, mostly because it’s taught by a couple of women who actually have some background in the sport. We’re learning a routine to David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” It’s a real hoot, and worth trekking out to Brooklyn for every Tuesday night.

    The Peaches practices are part of an effort to diversify what I do for exercise this spring. I finally admitted to myself over the winter that I had become pretty burnt-out with open-water stuff, and that the anxiety associated with those swims had come to rival the pleasure I got from them. I floundered about for a bit, initially thinking entering some pool competitions would restore my motivation to train, but I ultimately decided that what I really needed was a break. So I’m de-emphasizing the swimming for now, and trying out other stuff that seems fun to me. Activities that involve learning lots of complex new movements are especially appealing. Currently my night-time schedule looks like this: Monday—ballet, Tuesday—synchro, Thursday—diving. (I thought I could wedge in adult gymnastics on Wednesdays as well, but my gym has stopped offering that class). I’m also emphasizing weights (3x week) and stretching (more flexibility would be good for my diving). So far, this new regimen seems to agree with me—after a couple of months of taking it easy on the swimming in Florida, I seem to be finding some joy and ease in the water again.
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  11. Back to swimming before sunrise!

    I enjoyed a very pleasant workout at Riverbank this morning with a friend. After a couple straight days of doing team practices, I was due for a nice long easy swim, and that's exactly what I got, as I did the following with no intervals or clock-watching, just a nice steady pace throughout:

    1100 LCM warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 d/s, 100 IM)

    500 FR
    4 x 50 (2 kick w/fins, 2 swim)
    500 (200 FR / 100 IM kick / 200 FR)
    4 x 50, IM order
    500 (150 FR / 200 IM kick / 150 FR)
    4 x 50, IM order
    500 (100 FR / 300 IM kick / 100 FR)
    4 x 50, odds BK, evens FR
    500 (50 FR / 400 IM kick / 50 FR)

    That was it. I felt calm and relaxed and at home in the water today, and wanted to stay in longer. It was a good feeling.

    DST has us going to practice in the dark again. Here's my pre-workout view of the George Washington Bridge, last Monday and today:
    

    last week--view upriver


    the effects of springing forward

    I'm not complaining--they're both an inspiring way to begin the day. But I am looking forward to watching that latter view become the former again over the next few weeks. Hurray for spring, and lengthening days!
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  12. Weekend Workouts

    I had two good workouts this weekend with TNYA. On Saturday I swam at John Jay College. We were six in our scy lane, but everyone was friendly and of similar speeds so it turned out to be one of those energizing crowded workouts with good esprit de lane.

    1000 warmup

    10 x 50 FR @ (1:10--1:05--1:00, 1:10--1:00--:50, 1:10--:55--:40, 1:10)

    6 x 100 kick @ 2:15, 2x thru FL/BK, BK/BR, BR/FR [1:40-1:45]

    4 x 100 pull w/paddles @ 1:25
    50 easy @ 2:00
    100 FR fast @ 1:15
    [1:08]
    50 easy @ 1:45
    3 x 100 pull w/paddles @ 1:25
    50 easy @ 2:00
    100 FR fast @ 1:15
    [1:09]
    50 easy @ 1:45

    [Set continued on with through two more rounds, but I had to get out early.]

    Today I enjoyed a nice workout at City College. The water was much too warm, but the pool was relatively uncrowded, which is rare with team workouts. I moved down from a lane of 5 to share with one other swimmer, and enjoyed using the slower intervals in order to push my pace on some of the swims. Here's how it went:

    500 warmup (400s, 100k)

    6 x 50 BR working pullouts @ :20 RI
    6 x 50 BK with fins (25K / 25S) @ :20 RI
    6 x 50 FR with fins @ :20 RI, desc. 1-3 and 4-6

    400 pull with paddles @ 6:15
    [practiced left-side breathing]
    4 x 100 IM fast @ 2:00
    [goal was to keep all under 1:25, and I did--fastest was 1:20]
    8 x 50 (25 kick / 25 swim), easy, @ 1:15
    [nice to have the slower interval on these to cool down--I switched to my ventilated cap here and that helped too]
    300 pull with paddles @ 4:45
    [left-side breathing]
    3 x 100 IM fast @ 2:00
    [2:23s and a 2:24]
    6 x 50 (25 kick / 25 swim) warmdown


    That was it!

    I've been back in the city a week, and was very happy to resume diving practice last Thursday night. I'm making good progress, and need to learn 3 more dives so that I can compete at an upcoming meet. I'm definitely eager, and have lost some of that initial fear of going off the boards. I did smack for the first time this past week--water is surprisingly hard when you hit it wrong--but luckily it was only from the 1m, and only on my shins (I was trying to do a back dive tuck, but kicked out too late and ended up almost doing a back flip, hitting the water awkwardly shins first). It hurt, but didn't keep me from getting back up and trying again. The resulting bruises somehow go more than 180 degrees around my lower legs--not sure how that happened from a single impact.

    I'm also back coaching some with TNYA now. I had been a regular weekly coach for them some years ago, but after 6 years or so of that decided I needed a break. The invitation to rejoin the coaching staff came last fall just as I was feeling a little guilty for not giving back to the swimming community more, and casting about for a way to do so that didn't involve attending meetings--I'm allergic to those. I put off starting until I was back from the Florida, so last Thursday was my first morning back on deck. I also subbed in for the team's weekly LPZ workout on Saturday, after swimming the regular workout. So far I'm really enjoying it, and am finding that giving technique feedback gives me added focus in my own workouts. It's also something of a confidence boost to feel like I have knowledge and experience that can help others. For now I'm just subbing for other coaches when they can't make their regular practices. That situation seems pretty ideal--since we have 18 workouts a week, that means I can do as much or as little as I'm inclined to do, without making a regular commitment yet.
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