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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. Colonies Zones LCM meet report

    Over the weekend I competed at Colonies LC Zones at College Park, MD. It was a fun and well run meet in a pool that I very much liked. I got to see a bunch of folks from the blogs and forums, many of whom I was meeting in person for the first time, so that was great. I also had a few teammates and a coach at the meet, which was really nice. My favorite fashion statement at the meet was Jim T.ís fuzzy-pink-socks-with-leather-sandals combo.

    The trip down by train was easy, and I got a zipcar once I got to College Park. (I love love love Zipcars, btw). I arrived on Friday afternoon, and by Saturday morning I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas as I waited around for the meet to start that afternoon (noon warm-ups, 1pm start). Hereís my Saturday events and how I swam them:

    100 Breaststroke: 1:30.10 (41.78, 48.32)
    This was a solid time drop from my 1:34.0 (44.8, 49.3) at Middlebury. I was happy with this swim, but need to continue refining my br technique. Since Middlebury I have gone to a narrower kick, and the new way of doing things hasnít quite settled in yetóI feel like Iím still experimenting around, and doing something slightly different on every single stroke. Coach Craig also said Iím separating my hands too early in my strokeóI need to hold my streamline a scooch longer to take advantage of that position during the most propulsive part of my kick. It was encouraging to swim a decent time on this and still feel like thereís a lot of room for improvement.

    100 Backstroke: 1:18.40 (38.27, 40.13)
    This might have been the best BK start Iíve ever done, and definitely the longest underwater off a start Iíve ever tried. For the last month or so Iíve tried rotating about 45 degrees to the left on my udk, and this seems to make it easier for me. (This was a Boomer idea, with the rationale that you want to be using slightly different stabilizing muscles, or using them slightly differently, during the udk than the ones youíre using during your regular stroke, to avoid fatiguing them if possible. I also find that it somehow helps me keep water out of my nose, and puts me in a more natural position to start my first armstroke on the breakout). Leslie mentioned that my breakout might could still be a little smoother (ie more horizontal, less of a popping out), and Iím sure thatís something I need to continue to work on.
    The time bettered my swim at Wilton last month 1:19.79 (39.3, 40.5).

    50 Free: 30.89
    This was an ok effortóIím glad to be under 31, hope to get back under 30 eventually, but nothing about my training led me to believe that would happen at this meet. My freestyle felt a little raggedy, as it has in training this summer, but I felt like I was getting some good power on at least some strokes, so thereís some hope there.

    After my events Saturday I had a relaxing swim in the outdoor pool at the rec center (one of the perks of staying at the on-campus hotel) in the sunshine, and then an early dinner with my friend Andrea from New Jersey. I was back at the hotel and asleep by 8:30!

    And that was good, because things started early the next morning (7:30 warmup, 8:30 start):

    50 Breaststroke: 41.10
    Again, my stroke technique was just feeling a bit uncertain. I as actually hoping for a better time after going out 41.7 in my 100 BR.

    200 IM: 2:53.45 (39.47, 43.48, 51.03, 39.47)
    I was happy with this race. The fly was as relaxed a fly leg as I have swum in quite a while, and finding some easy speed there has been a real challenge for me for the last couple of years. Midway through the backstroke I had one of those ďOh no, my arms feel really tired, and I have soooo far left to goĒ wailing to myself moments, but I just told myself I had swum with tired arms before and to keep on working it. I kept up the turnover on my breaststroke, and willed myself to kick all the way on my freestyle. My time is a nice drop from the 3:01 I swam earlier this season (43.9, 45.8, 52.8, 39.0), although I actually finished stronger on that one. My coach was excited that I exactly matched my FL and FR splits.

    50 Backstroke: 36.62
    This was an ok swim, not a great one. Itís a bit over a second faster than I swam mid-season, so Iíll take it. I did a fairly good job of keeping some rotation while I speeded up my turnover, but this swim just lacked the gung-ho feeling that 50s feel like they should have. I also did an even longer underwater kick than on my 100 backstroke, and I think I need to get someone with a stopwatch to time me doing various numbers of kicks to see what is optimal for a 50óit might be that Iím not a good enough dolphin kicker to warrant all that time underwater.

    That was itó6 events in less than 24 hours!

    When I looked at the event rankings Iím currently at 8-10 in several events, so Iíll see if any of those hold up. It is cool that swims from this meet are already in the rankings. I was also glad to see that my Wilton results are now included. That gives me an almost-complete event set in the USMS database from this LCM season:

    http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/indre...=45&highage=49

    Graphs might be forthcoming!

    I should go for a recovery swim todayóIím pretty sore. I do have a massage scheduled for this afternoon.

    Tomorrow we head out to Vancouver Island for week for a family wedding plus vacation. Iím not sure how much Iíll swim. Asphalt Green is closed until after Labor Day once I return, so this might just be a good time to take a break from the pool.
    Tags: lcm, meet report
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  2. Wednesday LCM workout

    I went to the 5:30 AGUA workout this morning. Hereís what we did:

    500 lcm warmup

    6 x 50 FR (25 overkick, 25 dps) @ 1:00

    6 x 50 ST (IM order twice thru, 25 fast, 25 easy) @ 1:10

    1 x 300 pull
    2 x 200 pull
    3 x 100 pull

    1 x 200 kick w/ fins flutter
    2 x 100 kick w fins dolphin
    4 x 50 kick w/o fins breaststroke

    1 x 300 FL/FR/BK/FR/BR/FR
    2 x 200 IM
    3 x 100 choice

    200 warmdown

    Yesterday I went to the Y and did weights, and also got in a mini swim workout. Hereís what I did:

    800 scy warmup

    8 x 25 kick, odds very fast UDK, evens easy

    16 x 25 swim, odds very fast IM order, evens easy

    400 warmdown

    I entered the Colonies Zones meetóI decided to swim just 6 events (50/100 BK, 50/100 BR, 50 FR, 200 IM). I had thought about adding the 4IM and maybe a 200 stroke as well, but Iím excited about having a more focused group of events to concentrate on during the next few weeks of training. Plus, with the first day starting at noon, Iím guessing I'll end up swimming 5 or even all 6 of my events within 24 hours, and will be glad I haven't committed myself to more.


    Iím also looking at open water races in September and possibly on through the fall. Iíve always been bummed that LC season and OW season are at the same timeótheyíre my 2 favorite modes of swimming, and I always feel like Iím missing out on one by focusing on the other. This summer Iíve mainly done LC meetsóIíve only been out open water swimming once (although I do have a 2-mile race coming up this weekend). But once summer is over, Iíll be able to swim with the CIBBOWS group on weekends for as long as I want. They have a race at Coney Island on November 6th, and it would be really cool to swim that. So Iím toying with the idea of extending my open-water season through the fall as long as possible. Itís been a while since Iíve acclimated myself to cold water, but I know it can be done.
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  3. Long-course Saturday

    I went to the early-morning LCM workout at Asphalt Green. Once again, I saw tons and tons of people milling around near the park during my cab ride over. I have been wondering each of the last few weeks why so many folks are out on the street at 5:45 on a weekend morning, but I have finally solved the mystery: they are waiting in line to wait in line for free Shakespeare in the Park tickets. Apparently Central Park is officially closed until 6 am (who knew?!), at which point all these folks stream into the park to camp out and wait until tickets are distributed at 1 for that nightís performance. Mystery solved!

    Hereís the workout I did this morning:

    500 lcm warmup

    8 x 50 FR (25 heads up / 25 dps)

    8 x 50 BK w/ 15m uw kick off walls [I actually managed to get close to 15m underwater, and experimented with different angles off the wall]

    100 sculling

    100 easy

    Vertical kicking (flutter): :10 kick / :10 rest / :20 kick / :20 rest / :30 kick

    200 reverse IM drill

    400 FR pull, negative split

    Vertical kicking (dolphin): :10 kick / :10 rest / :20 kick / :20 rest / :30 kick

    200 reverse IM drill

    400 FR pull

    12 x 100 FR: 4 @ 1:50, 4 @ 1:45, 4 @ 1:40 [I did every 4th one FR/BK]

    Warmdown: 8 x 50, 2 @ :55, 2 @ 1:00, 2 @ 1:05, 2 @ 1:10

    I am feeling pretty tired and sore today, and more just did this workout rather than looking for specific opportunities to work on my individual goals. I did get in some good work on the 50s backstroke, and used the final 12 x 100 to think about my upcoming 2m OW race.
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  4. Mellow Friday morning workout

    I went to the morning AGUA lcm workout. It was not very crowded todayóI started in a lane with 6, then switched to one with 4. Hereís what we did:

    800 lcm warmup

    3 x (3 x 50 DR + 100 build), odd rounds FR, evens ST

    150 easy / lane change

    4 x 100 kick (2 FR, 2 BR) @ 2:10-2:30 [this was actually a swim set involving build 75s + 25 easy that I adapted]

    2 x (3 x 150 @ 3:00 + 2 x 50 easy) [This was a free set, but I did IMs on the 150s the first time through and ST/FR/ST, IM order the 2nd time through.]

    50 fast backstroke

    250 warmdown

    At sunset last night I went down to the pretty little track in Riverside park and took some baby steps towards restarting a plyo routine. This cinder track is 220 yards around, with very sharp turns at the ends, and gets limited use. Itís ideal for doing short sprint pieces of about 40-50 yards or so. I ran a few laps to warmup, then 3 x 40 sprints (going 75, 85, and 90 percent of max speed), then 3 x 40 of unspecialized skipping. I havenít done any plyo since spring of 2009, so Iím trying to be pretty cautious and patient as I build back up to doing some power leg work. Itís always tempting to do more, because skipping and sprinting feels so fun!

    Off to the gym now for weights. Itís amazing how deciding to swim shorter events at Zones has made me more excited about lifting and building strength and power!
  5. Playing with speed

    I went to the early-morning lcm workout at Asphalt Green. Hereís how it went:

    700 lcm warmup

    400 FR speed play: 6 stroke cycles slow, 6 stroke cycles fast for 1st 100; 5 slow/5 fast on 2nd 100; 4/4 on 3rd, and 3/3 on 4th [I liked thisóit really made me think about where I was generating power from each time I switched from slow to fast, and how increasing tempo helped increase power, as well as the other way around]

    6 x 100 @ 2:20, done as 2 x (75 FL + 25 FR; 75 BK + 25 FR; 75 BR + 25 FR), with ST= long and relaxed, FR =sprinting [my lane only made it through 5 of these]

    2 x 50 FR Sprint @ 1:30 [37, 36]
    100 easy
    4 x 50 FR Fast @ 1:30 [held 38-39]
    200 easy
    8 x 50 FR Fast @ 1:20 [I did odds sprint, evens moderate. I went in the back of my lane and so just got my time to the flags (too many people to get to the wall): 34, 32, 32, 32]
    400 easy [300]
    4 x 50 BR fast @ 1:40
    200 easy
    Then I skipped the last 2 x 50 Fast + 100 easy because my body had had enough fast swimming for one day!

    100 warmdown

    Our coach, Craig Keller, leaves for Sweden at the end of this week to coach USMS swimmers at Worlds, then is headed to Puerto Rico for nats. I think Iíll see him again about a week before I go to Zones, so Iím trying to get all the good advice I can from him this now! I think we will have a substitute coach coming in from out of town to handle workouts during his absence. If anyone reading this is Worlds-bound, I hope you enjoy Craigís great knowledge and enthusiasm. It sounds like you will have tons of fun there!

    I have to figure out what to swim at Zones. Iíd like to do 50 FR/BK/BR, 100 BK/BR, and 200/400 IMs. The only back-to-back events among those are the 400 IM and 100 BK, but thatís a pretty tough one. I could just drop the 400 IM notion and give myself an easier schedule.

    On the swim-every-event front, between the Middlebury and Wilton meets IĒve already swum the following LC events this summer: 100/200/400/800 FR, 50/100/200 BK, 100/200 BR, 50/100/200 FL, and 200/400 IM. Iím ok with skipping the 1500 FR this season, and will definitely get in the other 2 eventsó50 FR and 50 BRóat Zones. If all goes as planned, Iíll also get in 1M and 2M open-water swims this summer. Thatís a happy-making amount of racing, and has helped keep my interest up in training.
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  6. Saturday morning technique workout

    I swam the early (6am) AGUA workout. Long course is heavenly, and worth getting up at dawn for. (And I love this time of year, when the sun rises not only before practice ends but before it even starts!) Hereís what I did:

    800 lcm warmup

    Chalk talk on FR breathing / head position and flip turns

    300 FR swim focusing on those things

    Demonstration of proper technique by teammates

    100 extra-slow FR swim w/ good breathing technique that finally satisfied our coach

    400 reverse IM done as 50 K / 50 S

    1000 kick done as 400 flutter on back with fins / 300 side kicking w/ fins / 200 ďgutbusterĒ kicking w/ fins (FL kick on back holding pull-buoy between legs) / 100 easy K w/out fins [I ended up doing about 700 of assorted barefoot kick in the slowest lane, since I didnít have my own fins with me, and those at the pool give me stigmata. I practiced balancing at a 45 degree angle (ie halfway between on my back and on my side) while kickingóitís easy towards the left, but difficult towards the right for me.]

    12 x 100 @ :45ish rest:
    1-4 50 FL / 50 BK
    5-8 50 BK / 50 BR
    9-10 50 BR / 50 FR
    11-12 IM
    [There were originally 16 of these, with 4 of each type of 50, but we ran out of time to do the whole set. We did a 50 easy after #s 4 and 8 to regroup. I got extra rest on this set because I had stayed in a slower lane after the kicking above, and enjoyed really pushing the pace on the IM pieces.]

    200 warmdown

    I was really happy today to see a former lanemate at workoutóit had probably been a couple of years since I saw him last. Heís back for the summer, so it will be nice swimming with him again!

    Tomorrow I might get in my first outdoor pool swimming of the seasonóRiverbankís 25 yard outdoor pool is open, so now thereís a choice there in the mornings of doing indoor LCM in warmish water or outdoor scy in colder water. I often end up swimming in both pools during the course of a workout. If only I didn't have to choose, but could combine the sunshine, cold water temps, and minimal turningóbut I guess thatís what OW is for!
    Tags: blissy, lcm, technique
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  7. Weekend workouts

    I swam the Saturday morning LCM workout with AGUA. Hereís what we did:

    400 lcm warmup

    5 x 100 FR @ 2:00ish: odds 50 DR / 50 ST, evens 100 mindful swimming

    10 x 50 @ 1:10: odds DPS, evens build [I did these IM order by 2s, with extra FL at the end. Stroke count was 13, 37, 16, 38, 14 on the odds.]

    Chalk talk on FR technique

    4 x 600:
    #1 = 100 FL/ 200 BK / 100 BR / 200 FR [I did this 300S / 250 K / 50 S]
    #2 = all FR [9:27]
    #3 = 200 FL / 100 BK / 200 BR / 100 FR [200 S / 50 K / 250 S / 100 K]
    #4 = all FR [I actually did 4 x 100 FR / 50 BK, didnít get time]

    100 easy

    4 x 50 sprint @ 2:00 [did IM order]

    200 warmdown

    Iíd been wanting to do some longcourse FL to give myself confidence that I could swim a 200 at the Middlebury meet, so today was perfect for thatóI got to practice lots of easy relaxed fly, which is what Iíll need. I was also happy with the pace on my 600 FR [a little under 1:35 pace]. If I can swim my 800 at that pace at the meet Iíll be happy.

    It was a nice relaxed workout with good, mellow lanemates, and I really enjoyed it. I like sets where the swimming itself rather than simply making the intervals is the focusótoday we either had very generous intervals, or simply regrouped after each swim and went at :30 or so rest. I also learned this morning that all the morning AGUA workouts from here on out will be LCMóhooray! Thatís worth waking up early and getting myself across town for.

    On Sunday morning I went up to Riverbank for a short swimójust 1200 warmup, focusing on my FR technique, and a bit of kickingóthen had a nice stretch out back overlooking the Hudson. It was gloriously uncrowded up thereóI shared a LCM lane with just 2 other swimmersóbut the pool was full of hair. Yuck! Itís tempting to bring a butterfly net to clean out my lane the next time I go up there.

    Sunday afternoon I did a rowing workout with Mr. Addict. I told him I wanted to work on rowing pieces that would be the equivalent of swimming 200 lcm stroke races, plus do a bit of power work at the end. Hereís what he came up with (focus pieces are in redómy goal was to descend the 3 3s and go all out on the :30s, which I did):

    7-minute warmup
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2:19.5 avg pace/500m]
    3-minute easy/rest
    3-minute piece [2:14.9]
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2.15.7]
    3-minute easy/rest
    3-minute piece [2:08.9]
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2:17.9]
    3-minute easy/rest
    3-minute piece [2:05.0]
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2:42.1]
    3-minute easy/rest
    1-miute piece [2:07.6]
    3-minute easy/rest
    :30 piece [1:49.4]
    3-minute easy/rest
    :30 piece [1:49.4]
    3-minute warmdown

    I was happy with this workout, and realized that I should really be doing more swimming workouts that were structured like this.
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  8. I worked hard this morning

    This morning I swam the early longcourse workout with AG masters. My legs already felt fatigued after ballet class last night, and this IM-heavy workout made them even more so. But I love LCM IMs so muchótheyíre worth tiring out my legs for. Hereís what we did:

    600 LCM warmup

    500 FR breathing 3/5/7 by 50s [I just did 400 of this]

    6 x 100 @ :20 rest: odds = ST (50 drill / 25 K / 25 S), evens = FR desc. [1:34, 1:28, 1:24]

    6 x 100 FR @ 1:45, desc. 1-3 and 4-6 [26, 24, 22, 34, 26, 21]
    200 FR moderate
    5 x 150 @ :15 rest, odds = 200 IM Ė FR, evens = FR
    200 FR moderate
    4 x 200 IM @ :15ish rest [3:22, 3:27, 3:26, 3:21]
    200 FR fast [2:46!]

    350 warmdown

    Afterwards, I was slow in the locker room, and got reminded how much of a difference taking the cross-town bus 10-15 minutes later in the morning makes. At 7:40 or so, the bus is uncrowded and reasonably quick; when it gets nearer 8, there are tons more commuters, plus school kids, and everyone is packed in and anxious about being late, plus the streets are more trafficky to boot. If I want to dawdle warming down and changing after weekday morning practices here, I just need to be prepared to walk homeóit would probably be just as quick, and far more pleasant!
    Tags: ballet, ims, lcm
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  9. Nice way to start the weekend

    I swam the 6am LCM workout at Asphalt Green this morning. Itís an early start to a weekend morning, but itís nice to be done by 8 and have the whole day ahead of you. In my case, I was done at 7:15 this morning, since Coach Craig told all of us doing the meet tomorrow to get out early.

    Hereís what I did:

    800 LCM warmup

    10 x 50 ďgutbustersĒ (dolphin kick on back w/ fins while holding pull buoy between thighs) @ 1:20

    100 easy

    IM/FR ladder:
    50/100/150/200/250/300 swim, multiples of 100 are FR, rest are IM w/ no FR (ie 50 FL, 150 FL/BK/BR, 250 FL/BK/BR/FL/BK) @ go-when-3rd-swimmer-gets-in

    50 easy

    4 x 50 choice, fast between flags, @ 1:05 [I did these w/ fins. There were actually 10 of these, but I the last 6 as warmdown, below]

    300 easy

    Tomorrow Iím swimming a scy meet in Queens. Iíve signed up for 200 IM, 100 BK, 100 IM (might skip), and 50 BR. Iíll probably also do a 50 FR on a relay. This will most likely be the last meet I do before nationals, and a last crack at a good 100 BK time for the season, since Iím not swimming that event in Atlanta.
    Tags: lcm
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  10. IMing with Friends

    This morning I swam a LC workout with the AG masters. It was one of those rare days when all four of my strokes felt goodóusually one or two of them seem to be lagging behind the others. Today all four were my BFFs. (Iím hoping to stay on good terms with them all for a while, and not slip back into frenemy territory with fly.) Hereís what we did:

    800 LCM warmup

    10 x 50 FR @ 1:00, odds drill, evens hypoxic [I did these stroke, rev. IM order (with an extra 2 free]

    4 x 50 FR build @ 1:00

    3 times thru:
    400 FR @ 7:30 [This got changed to a 450 after the 1st one; I went 6:02 and 6:50 on the first two then just did 150 of the last one, because I wanted to work the IMs]
    4 x 100 IM @ go when 3rd person gets in [I tried to hold 1:35s on these and mostly succeeded; I was getting about 20-30 sec. rest]

    300 warmdown

    Iím getting a massage this afternoon, and golly do I need it. I had spasms in my upper back on Wednesday night after my aborted workout, and am really feeling tight today. Maybe my body is missing the rowing this weekóit does seem to help stretch out my lats and upper back.
    Tags: ims, lcm
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