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swimsuit addict

  1. 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

  2. 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...
  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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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


    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!
  10. 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
  11. 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)


    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!