This morning I did Patrick’s workout #3 for this week, “[ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=20226"]Fun with 500s[/ame]”—only I adapted it a bit for LCM. As on Monday, I was accompanied by a double shift of local swim buddies—Mark joined me for the last part of the warmup through the 150s on the main set, and Bill wandered in as I was warming down and convinced me to swim a bit more so he would have a pace partner. If they don’t start coordinating their workout times I will be one tired and sore swimmer by the time I return to the city!
Here’s how it went—I only changed up the warmup a little bit today:
400 easy swim (200 FR, 50 BK, 50 FR, 50 BK, 50 BR/FR)
200 reverse IM kick/drill by 25
4 x 100 FR @ 2:00, gentle descend [1:45 > 1:35]
4 x 100 K @ 2:30, desc. , alternating 25 FL / 25 BK [I did evens BR/FR and odds FL/BK]
6 x 50: 1 FR, 4 IM order build within each, 1 FR
4 x 25 w/ fins: 5-6-7-8 strokes AFAP off wall [or from middle of pool on evens]
4 x 100 @ 2:00, hold 1:30 or under [1:29, 1:28, 1:28, 1:27]
200 easy pull
3 x 150 @ 3:00, hold 2:15 or under [2:15, 2:14-high, 2:12]
250 easy swim/pull
2 x 200 @ 4:30, hold 3:00 or under [2:59, 3:00-high, it was frustrating to miss the pace on the last swim!]
200 easy pull
[My main challenge with this set was not to dread what was coming, since I was trying to hold the same pace over increasing distances. It was tough to imagine adding a length or two to the 100s, which were already pretty taxing. I managed to hold my pace until the very last swim—I could see on the mid-pool clock that it would be close, but I came in just over my goal time. I tried not to be too chagrinned about that—my greatest weakness as a mid-d swimmer is wanting to save too much to the last (I’m an excellent negative splitter), so putting in enough effort at the beginning of a set that I reach failure at the end of it is actually a good thing for me. Or at least that’s how I tried to spin it to myself!
I then decided to reward myself for the hard effort with a couple of my favorite 700s:
1 x 700 FR/BK, switching up strokes in a 1/1/2/1/3/1/4/1 (lengths) pattern, done at whatever-feels-good speed
I had grabbed a kickboard and was about to embark on a similar 700 with FR and BR kick when Bill arrived. I first told him I was too tired to swim with him, but when he asked about my workout I showed it to him, and suggested the main set done backwards, with effort increasing as the intervals decreased, as a very Bill-suitable set (he likes to swim around 2000 total, and doesn’t kick or do strokes.) But after stopping and chatting with him long enough to explain all that, I felt momentarily revivied and decided that I would do at least part of the set with him. I substituted shorter kicks for his 200 pulls, but we did the 200s/150s/100s together:
100 easy kick
2 x 200 @ 3:30, staying under 3:20 (1:40 pace) [3:19, 3:19]
100 easy kick
3 x 150 @ 3:00, staying under 2:30 (1:35 pace) [2:28, 2:25]
50 easy kick
4 x 100 @ 2:00, staying under 1:30 [1:31, 1:30-high, 1:32, 1:32]
[I was pretty tired by this point—couldn’t make my goal on any of the last 100s.]
300 warmdown + play
Yesterday afternoon I was too tired to swim in the gulf, so I just got in and floated on my back for a while. That might be today’s plan as well.
Yesterday, I hadn’t realized there was a Mardi Gras snowbird gathering at the little restaurant that overlooks the beach here. When I looked up mid-float, I could see a couple dozen of them gathered at the top of the stairs pointing at and watching me. It made me wish I were doing something more impressive than floating—actual swimming, maybe. I hadn’t even brought my goggles with me though. I thought briefly about doing some beach synchro, but instead I just waved. Hoping for fewer spectators this afternoon!
This morning I made up my workout as I went along. I think doing that sometimes is valuable—it lets me attend to how my body is feeling and gives me the flexibility to design sets around that. I probably use that approach too often—yesterday made me think about the advantages of having a workout planned when I get to the pool, and being able to think ahead of time about how I wanted to approach it and feel excited about what I might be able to do with it.
But this morning I was feeling fatigued and wanted a little more flexibility. My two goals were to work on my fly technique and do at least a little quality IM work. Here’s what I did:
1200 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 4 x 100 d/s RIM order)
100 kick with fins (50 fl, 50 flutter)
4 x 50 @ 1:10 with fins, each done as a combo of quality FL and easy FR: 6 strokes FL on #1, 8 strokes on #2, 10 on #3, and 12 on #4
4 x 50 @ 1:15 without fins, same as above
[I’d gotten into the habit of luxuriating in a long, glide-y fly, with a hesitation in my kick. I used fins for 4 50s to remind myself of what body position can feel like when doing fly well, then tried to achieve that without fins on the last 4 50s. Keys: maintain constant strong kick; arm entry a little wide of shoulders]
8 x 100 @ 2:00: odds IM desc., evens FR maintaining 1:40 or under
[Went 50, 45, 45, 40 on IMs (got distracted on that 3rd one by thinking about whether mid-pool transitions should occur when hands or feet were above the midline of the pool), 40, 37, 33, 38 on FRs]
I enjoyed the IMs more and more as they got faster, and was tempted to follow-up with a longer IM set or fast IM, but decided to let that desire simmer for a few days for a workout later in the week—I thought I’d done as much good fly as I could expect out of my body today, and should probably stop while the going was good.
Since I was feeling energetic, I instead tried a little sprint work:
6 x 50 FR @ 1:24 (12 seconds all-out sprint, rest of length very easy) [I did this with my tempo trainer set to :12, hence the odd interval. My arms were pretty fried after 5, so I did the last one kick. These felt surprisingly good.]
2 x 500 FR pull with paddles, 1st build from very easy to moderate, 2nd maintain honest pace throughout, bilateral breathe on both [During these I pondered why I like pulling with paddles when my arms are fatigued—it seems counterintuitive. I think it’s because paddles allow me to swim without trying to accelerate my hands throughout the stroke—I can just maintain a steady easy pressure on the water, and that is restful for my arm muscles. It also explains why I don’t like trying to go fast with paddles—it’s difficult for me to accelerate my hands when I’m wearing them, and that’s one of the things I unconsciously do more of when I’m trying to speed up.
(I don’t think the difficulty accelerating with paddles is simply a matter of strength—I also seem to change the orientation of my palm a bit at the same time I’m accelerating, and paddles make it more difficult to do that while holding on to the water. But it’s possible that I’m normally slipping my hands through the water a bit when I attempt to speed them up—if so I need to fix that.)
As an experiment, after the pulling I tried swimming without paddles in the same way that I pull, keeping just a steady pressure on the water, and felt like I was falling a bit each time I breathe. Perhaps that’s a flaw with my breathing technique—I seem to be using a combo of hand acceleration, slightly changing the angle of my palm, and probably the plonking foot of my 2-beat kick to compensate for some change my balance when I breathe. Maybe I’m holding my head a bit too high? I need to investigate this further.]
300 warmdown + play
The latest news at the pool is that masters workouts will be starting up again, this time organized by the head coach of the kids swim team. Hurray! They will start up March 12, too late to benefit me this year, but I hope the team will be going strong by the time I revisit the area. My swim buddies are all very excited about having organized workouts again (5 a week, 2 mornings and 3 evenings). I’m glad for them—I know they’ve been frustrated by the lack of swim programs for adults in the area.
Last week the mornings were so cloudy that I lost track of how early sunrise is getting to be here. I was reminded as I drove in to the pool this morning—at a little before 6 the dark had totally disappeared, and the entire eastern sky was a glorious predawn pink, with strata of orange clouds that glowed brighter and brighter as I drove along. It was nice to have such a beautiful clear and crisp morning to enjoy the sunrise from the pool—it finally showed itself about 400m in to my warmup.
I found today’s swim when looking at the workout section of the forums yesterday—I hadn’t paid much attention to the great group of new online workout gurus USMS recruited this year until now, because I found it a little depressing to scroll through workouts that I couldn’t really attempt. But now that I’m back healthy and looking for a challenge I plan to take full advantage. Today’s practice came from Patrick’s section, and was designated as tomorrow’s workout. I chose it over today’s because that one involved doing 2 200s at 100% effort, and I just didn’t want to face that today. (My rationalizing excuse was that Monday’s also called for a waterproof writing surface, which I don’t have here, but the real reason was 200phobia—duocentiphobia?)
I chose 1:35 as my BASE. I wasn’t totally sure what BASE was supposed to be, but I assumed it was the fastest pace I could do 100s FR on. (I will look back at the beginning and investigate this further—didn’t do my homework before doing the workout).* I initially wrote down the workout as if 1:30 was my BASE, but then remembered that that was then and this is now, and reminded myself that using aspiraational intervals rather than realistic ones would result in a not-fun morning at the pool. The 1:35 BASE and the various additions and subtractions worked well throughout—intervals were challenging but achievable. So this is what I ended up doing:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200 RIM kick, 200 pull, 200 RIM drill/swim) [The original had a 400 here, but I like the 1000 I start every session with and stuck to it.]
5 x 100: odds BK @ 1:55, desc. [1:50 > 1:35]; evens FR @ 1:45 desc.[1:37, 1:30]
9 x 50 K @ 1:15; 1-3 FL desc.; 4-6 BK desc.; 7-9 BR desc.
5 x 50 FR: 1 easy @ 1:15; 3 cruise @ :50; 1 easy
400 FR @ 6:40 [6:20, 6:19, 6:14-high]
3 x 100 BK @ 1:55 [Needed to change this to 2:00 on round 2.]
3 x 50 dolphin kick @ 1:10
1 x 50 FR @ 3:00ish
[I did the 400s pace-blind, as the pace clock I was using was behind the starting end of the pool. That always annoys me a little bit on mid-distance swims for time—I like seeing my splits every 100, every 50 if I can. The first 2 were difficult, but I was determined to go 6:15 on the last, and I did. My friend Mark joined me for part of the warmup and the first round, then had to leave for work, so I did the last two rounds solo.]
4 x 50 FR @ :55, 1:00, 1:05, 1:10
[combined this with the last 50 FR of the last round to make 5 x 50, the first four swim and the last one kick in order to retrieve my kickboard from the far end of the pool (where it had been since the BR kicking of the warmup. I focused on keeping my core tight and straight on the swims, and did the last few as slow as I could while keeping good form.]
It was a pretty morning and I didn’t want to get out, so I added on a very relaxed
500 pull with paddles, breathing every 3rd stroke and focusing on keeping neck relaxed and letting water support head [I did this by thinking about my neck muscles, and whenever it felt like they were tense, dunking my head a bit and letting it bob to the surface, then trying to keep that feeling of the water holding my head up.]
I was ready to warm down and get out when my friends Bill and Deb arrived. Bill needed a swim buddy, so I did with him
400/300/200/100 FR, increasing pace as distance goes down [I didn’t do any of these fast—I think I went from 6:50 on the 400 to 1:35 on the 100, so I wasn’t much of a pacer to Bill on the latter ones—he managed a 1:23 on the 100. It was still feeling good to swim along in the sunshine, but my arms let me know during the course of this set that they considered their work done for the day.]
Then, just to get to a nice round number for the day, I warm downed with a
Because I had miscounted, I ended up a little over my intended total, but that was ok—it was just one of those gorgeous mornings when I never wanted to get out of the pool, and if the end of my 600 hadn’t coincided with the end of lap swim I’m not sure if I would have stopped then. By the end of the workout it had gotten windy, and the air temp hadn’t budged from the 42 it had been before sunrise—so swimming a bit more kept on being preferable to getting out in any case.
This afternoon I went for a little swim in the gulf. It’s still around 61, and today it was a bright opaque green. A couple of days of high winds over the weekend stirred up the sand and water, and it will take a few days to settle out. I couldn’t see the bottom at all when I swam—it reminded me of Brighton on sunny days when it just seems green all around you as you stroke along. There was just enough surf to make it interesting getting in and out, especially since the sand bar had turned pretty mushy and dropped away unexpectedly in a few places as I navigated over it. I went east to the second staircase beyond the zigzag one, then back west to my starting point. It was wonderful being carried along by the waves—I turned over and backstroked for a long stretch and appreciated the blue sky and puffy clouds above me.
The air temps were in the 60s too, so I spent a while on the beach warming up and enjoying the sunshine.
*Ok, now I have looked at the sticky and see that BASE is a little more complicated than that--I'm not sure what mine is right now, as my conditioning is in a transitional state, but I might need to change it to 1:40 for near-future workouts.
Updated February 20th, 2012 at 10:31 PM by swimsuit addict
It’s been a week of grey overcast mornings at the PCB pool—we seem to be stuck in a warm cloudy weather pattern. On Thursday I was looking forward to swimming in pouring rain—and managed to get in all of 30 meters before a lightning flash cleared the pool. I swam back to the end of the pool, for a total of 60m that day. Yesterday I had better luck—there were just a few drizzles in the middle of my swim. I had a nice lc workout—mostly solo, but with some company for one set. Here’s what I did:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200d/s)
4 x 150 k/d/s, rev. IM order, emphasize legs on all and build swim
8 x 150 fr/bk/fr @ 2:45, keeping swims under 2:30 [this was challenging but I managed]
10 x 100 FR @ 2:00, 3 x (desc. 1-3) + 1 easy [I joined swim buddies Bill and John for this set—we took an extra minute after #6 to regroup. I went 37/36/34 on the easys and 28/28/25 on the fasts. I was pleased with this—now that I’m comfortable swimming a full workout’s worth of yardage again I’ve been doing more sets with the clock this week. It hasn’t been pretty--I was working hard to go 1:40s a few days ago. So I was pleased to be faster while feeling relaxed on the front of the descends in this set. I’ve been struggling to stay optimistic about my swimming as I work to get back in shape, and was relieved to be feeling more like myself in the water today.]
200 rev. IM kick
500 pull with paddles
500 warmdown + play
I had another ART session yesterday afternoon, and the pain and numbness in my left arm is definitely getting better. It feels fine when I swim, and is worst when I wake up in the mornings or lounge around too much. That’s definitely an incentive to keep exercising!
Earlier this morning I watched about a dozen dolphins or porpoises frolicking around in the gulf—they were bobbing around and occasionally leaping out, but generally stayed roughly in one place for about half an hour before moving on. They were just a little further out than I usually swim. I also saw a ray or a skate in the shallower water when I was wading in it while walking on the beach. I’m about 95 percent sure it was an actual animal, not a ziplock bag like last time. It was shy and wouldn’t let me get very close to it, and only a bit bigger than my hand, with a long tail. It was tan, a little darker than the sand.
At lunchtime, about an hour after seeing the dolphins I went for a pre-storm swim in the gulf. The gulf is back up to 61 now, and the gathering wind was beginning to stir up some nice swells. The water was a dull green under the leaden sky, and since it was low tide I waded out to the sandbar and over it before diving into the waves. We don’t often get nice big rolling waves here, but by swimming just to the far side of the first sandbar, just before the point where the waves were breaking, I was able to find some fun water to swim in. I did my usual mile course, watching the sandy bottom getting closer and receding as the water carried me up and down. No dolphins approached me, which was both a relief and a little disappointing. Afterwards I hit the hot tub before heading in—I’m going to be thoroughly spoiled by the time I leave here. The whole post-swim-shivering-on-the-cold-beach routine will come as a shock when I next swim at Brighton.
Now we’re watching the storm blow in over the gulf. Have candles if necessary. It should be a show!
This morning I swam in the gulf again. The air was a chilly 40 degrees when I ventured out around 10am, and the sky was lightly overcast, with a shy sun occasionally peeking out from behind the clouds. The water was a beautiful jade green, and a brisk wind from the east was creating nice rolling swells almost perpendicular to shore. Last night’s low had dipped into the twenties again, and the nearest buoy had the temp at 58 degrees.
I set up my chair on the beach and stripped down to my suit as quickly as possible—it was chilly standing around on the beach in the wind. My first steps into the water were painful—the shallow water trapped on the inland side of the sandbar can get quite cold overnight! I waded, then swam through it, then headed on out the sandbars other side. Once there, I swam eastward to the first zigzag staircase. I swam over two large cannonball jellyfish that had pressed themselves flat against the sandy bottom. One was all white, but the other had rust-colored spots radiating out from its center. They were both pretty large—definitely bigger than dinner plates. I usually see one or two of those washed up on the beach when I go for beach walks, so I wasn’t surprised to see them in the water.
I turned around at the staircase and headed back to my starting point. Now I was swimming with the swells. Although I have enjoyed swimming in the glass-smooth water for the last week or so, today I was relishing being in water with some movement in it—it felt like a living thing I was swimming with, rather than just in. I occasionally did some dive-y breaststroke or some dolphin kick with freestyle arms in order to better feel how the swells were helping me along.
Too soon I was back at my starting point. I stood up, took my goggles off to look around, and decided that I wasn’t ready yet to get out, so I started stroking westward. I swam up to Alys Beach, then turned around and headed back. Altogether I was in for about a half hour today, and it felt great. I got a little chilled on the way in as I swam back through the shallow water nearest to shore—it might well have been in the high-40s, it was downright painful to swim through. I transitioned from swimming to wading sooner than I strictly needed to because it was sending needly sensations through my face and arms.
I wrapped up in my parka and towel to make my way up to the hot tub. I had decided to forego the boots and mittens today, as they seemed overkill for the 3-5 minutes it takes to get from the beach to the pool area. But I could have used them—my fingers and toes got cold enough during the transition that it hurt a bit when I dipped them in the warm water. I remember someone telling me once that it isn’t high temperatures per se that cause burns on your skin, but rather the difference between your skin’s temperature and what it comes into contact with, so that very cold skin could be burned by things that were not actually very hot. I don’t know if that’s true, but next time it’s in the 40s I’ll probably go back to the mittens and boots to warm up my extremities a bit before I subject them to the hot tub.
This afternoon I stopped by the pool for a quick swim. The kids team were practicing, and a lot of the masters swimmers I know down here were there as well. I shared a lane with Amanda, and was glad to finally get to see Chuck, whose coaching I very much enjoyed last year. He confirmed that he was taking a break from coaching—he was at the pool to swim today. Everyone was in a state because the pool’s temp was down to 78—horrors! I thought it was delightful, and had a wonderfully relaxing sunset workout. Here’s what I did:
1000 scy warmup
4 x 350, done as 1 length x / 1 length y / 2x / 1y / 3x / 1y / 4x / 1y:
Round 1: x = FR, y = BK, work turns
Round 2: x = flutter kick fast, y = breast kick easy
Round 3: x = back, y = breast (build backs, work breast)
Round 4: x = easy FR, y = fast FR
600 SKPS warmdown
The downside of the water temp tonight is that the pool will be closed tomorrow morning so that it can sleep under its covers for a little longer and warm up to its accustomed temp of 81-82. That means no LCM time tomorrow—I hope the warmer weather on the way will mean that the morning lcm lap swim will be restored soon. If not, I’ll just keep swimming in the gulf!
It was the ocean, not the pool, that was calling to me today. A couple of chilly days and nights had dropped the water temp by 5 degrees, down to 59 . . . but that was still plenty warm for a little dip. I waited until noontime, when the sun was out in full force and the air temp had warmed up from the high-20s into the mid-40s. There was a gentle breeze from the west, but the water was flat and sparkly, and the sky impossibly blue.
I got undressed quickly once I was got down to the sand. A woman walking by warned me the water was cold as I was getting in—you’d think someone immersed up to her knees might know that already, no? I just agreed with her and waded on in, then swam a few strokes, then waded some more to get over the sandbar before setting off for good. (That second wading bit was a little chilly as the wind hit wet skin!)
The water was absolutely clear, and I watched the play of sunlight and surface ripples as I swam over the white sandy bottom. I didn’t feel at all skittish today, just calm and at peace and a little curious about what I might see as I stroked along. I swam east down to the diagonal staircase at Rosemary Beach, then turned around and headed back—about a mile. I was a little worried that the trip back might be a little more difficult because it was into the wind, but it wasn’t really—both ways seemed fast to me today.
The only sea life I saw was a couple of tiny jellyfish—they were cylindrical and mostly transparent, with just a little cream coloring around their edges and middle. Both were about the length of my thumb. I hovered over them and watched them pulsate along—it was very beautiful. There was also a tuft of neon green feathery grass seemingly growing out of the sand, but I think that might have been a fishing lure.
After I finished my swim I floated for a bit, then stood on the sandbar and appreciated the wide expanse of turquoise all around me. I didn’t want to get out, but the hot tub was calling, so I swam in, parka-ed up, and climbed the staircase over the dunes to find some warmer water. I stayed in the hot tub for about 20 minutes, relaxing and enjoying the sun and the warmth.
I love conditions like today, when the air is very clear and crisp and colder than the water. But I hope this weather pattern doesn’t last too long, if only because morning lap swim at the pool gets cancelled when the weather gets too cold. It’s already been called off for tomorrow, so I’ll have to choose between swimming scy later in the day, or having another beach swim.
This morning I swam once again at the PCB outdoor pool. I decided to attempt my birthday workout from early December—I had been sick then and missed it. Being Dave’s concoction, this workout bore some definite hallmarks of his too-much-is-never-enough approach. Nonetheless, John was kind enough to agree to do it a second time to keep me company. This is what we did:
800 lcm warmup [The original generously specified a “choice100 to get loose,” but overachiever that I am, I did an extra 700 here.]
6 x (50 / 100 / 150 / 200 / 250)
Round 1: 50 FL, 100 fast, 150 FR, 200 BR, 250 BK
Round 2: 50 BK, 100 easy, 150 fast, 200 FR, 250 BR
Round 3: 50 BR, 100 FL, 150 easy, 200 fast, 250 FR
Round 4: 50 FR, 100 BK, 150 FL, 200 easy, 250 fast
Round 5: 50 fast, 100 BR, 150 BK, 200 FL, 250 easy
Round 6: 50 easy, 100 FR, 150 BR, 200 BK, 250 FL
Instructions were to negative split each everything except the fast swims, which were to be even split. I took 5-45 seconds between each swim.
Since John is significantly faster than me, I worried he was getting too much rest and urged him to do an extra 100 on the fast swims (which would conveniently give me more rest). He only fell for that once.
One of my local swim buddies, Bill, joined us for most of round four, and paced me nicely for the 250 fast that ended that round. He declined to finish the set with us after that though.
It was a fun workout, and a gorgeous morning at the pool—we stayed in through a beautiful sunrise and several cycles of sunny and cloudy weather. The sun broke through a final time on the final 250 fly, and it was a heartening sight.
Afterwards I felt fully a year older—maybe more. To end things I enjoyed a
300 easy warmdown + play,
then a well deserved trip to the nearby Waffle House!
Both yesterday and today the moon woke me up early—it was so bright and shines into the window as it is setting. So I had a leisurely breakfast on the balcony and a pre-swim stretch before heading over to the pool. It was a great way to start the morning.
The Panama City Beach aquatic center was hopping when we arrived, but here that means there was almost a swimmer per lane. We snagged the last open one, and I did the following:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200s)
16 x 50 Kick @ 1:20
Odds = moderate pace
Evens = 25 fast / 25 easy
[I did the rounds FR – BK – BR – FL, twice through]
200 IM drill
Stroke sub pyramid
100 – 200 – 300 – 400 – 300 – 200 – 100
The 100 is IM, then on each successive swim you sub in FR for one of the non-free strokes (swimmer's choice), until the 400 is all FR. On the way down you sub the strokes back in again, in the same order they were subbed out, so the last 100 is a proper IM again. (That way the NF strokes get almost equal playing time.)
[So my pyramid looked like this:
50 FL / 50 FR / 50 BR / 50 FR
150 FR / 75 BR / 75 FR
75 FR / 75 BK / 150 FR
50 FL / 50 BK / 100 FR
I did these on a :15/:20/:25/:30/:25/:20/:15 rest interval]
Then 400 IM as the set’s grand finale!
700 FR playing with tempo trainer and varying stroke rate
800 SKPS warmdown + play
It was grey and cold when we got out—temps were in the 40s this morning—but the sun is out now and it’s warming up nicely. Hope to get in a gulf swim this afternoon!
This morning I had a great sunrise swim at the PCB aquatic center. John and I arrived a little after 6 this morning and shared a lane for a bit before an adjacent one opened up. I then ended up having a lane of my own for the rest of the workout—and that was a good thing, as I used every bit of during my backstroke today. Usually I swim pretty straight, even in an oudoor pool, but today I think I would visited all the lanes during the backstroke bits if those pesky lanelines hadn’t been in my way.
Here’s what I did:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200d/s) [During the pull I did an open turn and saw a little bird out of the corner of my eye hopping around on the pool deck. I stopped and hung on the wall and talked to it a bit—it was investigating all the dark spots on the concrete to see if they were specks of food. It hopped towards me and stopped about a foot away and looked at me expectantly, as if I might be a source of birdseed, which made me wish I had some to offer.]
5 x 200 FR > BK pacman
5 x 200 IM kick > FR swim pacman
400/300/200/100 FR, increase pace with each swim [I did this with local swim buddy Bill—we started at about 1:40 pace and finished the last 100 on 1:27, synchro swimming for much of the set, which was fun--we paced each other nicely.]
Extended warmdown: 400 SKPS + 700 FR/BK in 11213141 pattern + 50 skull
Today was one of those gorgeous sunny mornings when I simply didn’t want to get out of the pool. I also felt better in the water today than I have in quite a while—it took me about 2k to loosen up, but after that I was swimming without any pain for most of the workout.
Then late this morning I swam out to the second sandbar with John to look for sand dollars, which he wanted to give to one of our regular training partners. We didn’t find any, but had fun swimming out so far—it was amazing to be surrounded by the brilliant blue water of the Gulf. About an hour later a pod of dolphins swam slowly by, right out near where we had been! Very cool.
This morning I had a nice sunrise swim at the PCB pool—all that was missing was the sun, which was hiding somewhere behind a misty sky that gradually lightened to a bleached-out white. Here’s what I did:
1000 lcm warmup
4 x (3 x 50 FR desc @ 1:00)
12 x 150:
7-8: 50 FR + 25 FL + 25 BK + 50 FR
9-10: 50 FR + 25 BK + 25 BR + 50 FR
11-12: 50 flutter kick / 50 dolphin kick / 50 flutter kick w/ fins
200 easy swim
700 kick, no fins, switching free/dolphin in a 11213141 pattern
6 x 100 FR:
1 @ 1:55
2 @ 1:50
3 @ 1:45
Trying to hold all under 1:30
Two good things happened today. I found an ART guy down this way whom I really liked, and who helped me out with the neck and upper back issues I’ve been having. (His reaction after checking out my lateral neck flexibility: “Well, that’s just TERRIBLE!” in a big booming southern drawl.) And this afternoon a NYC swim buddy arrived—woohoo! John and I swam in the gulf this afternoon and then played in the hot tub and lagoon pool at the complex where I’m staying. The lagoon pool is unheated, and so it’s about the same temp as the gulf—low 60s. We had it to ourselves. You can swim figure eights around its two islands!
I swam outdoors this morning at the Panama City Beach Aquatic Center. The fog was so thick you could almost chew the air. I waited a bit to wait sure the lane I was going to get in was empty—I couldn’t tell if there was a swimmer at the other end of the pool or not—then got in and looked underwater just to be sure. Here’s what I did:
2 x 700, 1/1/2/1/3/1/4/1 (lengths) pattern, first one with snorkel combining FR and kick; 2nd one no snorkel combining FR and BK
200 warmdown + play
Current injury report: The lungs seem to be off my body’s DL for good and are once again performing well in some early season starts; intercostals muscles still have a few cobwebs after their extended injury break; neck and left shoulder are day-to-day with limited playing time. Hoping to get the whole team healthy and playing well together soon!
Updated February 3rd, 2012 at 11:29 AM by swimsuit addict
I swam at Riverbank again this morning and did Pool Tourist’s “Visions of Iceland” set, which pretty much took up the entire session. Here’s how it went:
400 lcm warmup
100 IM [drill, still warming up]
300 free fastish
400 fast free
100 fast free
200 fast free
400 warmdown + play
I had a nice swim at Riverbank this morning—got to see a pretty sunrise reflected off New Jersey buildings across the Hudson as I swam. The pool was peaceful, the water temp good. Here’s what I did:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200d/s)
4 x 350 inside-out IMs (fr / br / bk / fl / bk / br / fr), odds work FR and BK, evens work BR and FL
3 x 200 @ 3:20, desc. [3:16 > 3:10]
100 moderate kick
2 x 200 @ 3:15, steady pace [3:12, 3:11]
100 moderate kick
1 x 200 @ 3:10, fast [3:04]
100 moderate kick
[I was really struggling to find any kind of speed on these today.]
700, done as 1 length FR / 1 length BK / 2 FR / 1 BK / 3 FR / 1 BK / 4 FR / 1 BK
[just because I didn’t get my fill of these on Friday]
4 x 50 “tantrum” kicks (streamline on stomach underwater and flutter kick as fast and furiously as possible until you need to breathe, then surface and finish length easy on back—goal is to maximize foot speed)
400 warmdown + play
I was extra-motivated to swim the whole 2-hours session today by my experience at TNYA’s One Hour Swim extravaganza yesterday. I didn’t swim the event this year, but got to cheer on teammates and count for my swim buddy Hannah in her second OHS of this year. Watching people swim back and forth for an hour seems like it would be one step up (maybe) from watching paint dry, but it’s actually pretty cool and inspiring to watch teammates push limits and test themselves, plus Team New York always manages to make their happenings fun to be part of. Much as I hate to admit, I hope I’ll be back to swimming this next year!
I’m once again feeling like a Riverbank regular—today was my fourth day in a row at morning lap swim. The pool temp has been great all week long—that’s probably a record of some sort. I felt like doing some easy long swimming today, so that’s exactly what I did. Here’s how it went:
1000 lcm warmup (400s 200k 200p 200d/s)
3 x 700 @ :10ish rest, all done as (1 length fr, 1 length bk, 2 fr, 1 bk, 3 fr, 1 bk, 4 fr, 1 bk)
400 skips warmdown + play
The long swimming was relaxing, almost meditative. Flipturns are getting more comfortable, and now I really appreciate being able to keep some momentum from one length to the next. I felt like I would have been happy doing 700s indefinitely, but I had to get out early today. Another time!
I swam solo again this morning at Riverbank. I missed my usual swim buddies, but in their absence, and because I was swimming in a lane other than my usual one, I ended up chatting with some of the other Riverbank regulars, so the pool still felt like a friendly place. (One of the Columbia coaches brought a couple of his guys to lap swim this morning, and they took over the “very fast” lane.) My goal today was to try a little sprinting and see how it felt. The answer—very sludgy (it’s been awhile), but nothing hurt. That was good news!
So my goal was accomplished less than 1500 into the workout—the rest was just playing around because I was enjoying being in the pool and didn’t want to get out! Here’s how it went:
1000 warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 d/s)
8 x 50 FR, odds = 25 build / 25 easy, evens = 25 very fast / 25 easy
200 easy pull
8 x 150 (50 kick + 100 FR swim with kick) @ :30 rest
350 inside-out IM (fr/br/bk/fl/bk/br/fr), push even lengths a little harder than odd lengths
250 swim + play
300 scull and balance drills
300 warmdown + play
I had a nice solo swim at Riverbank this morning:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200 RIM k, 200p, 200d/s RIM order)
4 x 150 (50 kick + 50 drill + 50 swim build), reverse IM order, focusing on 1 technique key for each stroke during the drill and swim
7 x 400, featuring pieces of IM
400 FR pull
400 (200 FR pull + 100 BR + 100 FR swim)
400 (100 FR pull + 100 BK + 200 FR swim)
400 (100 FL + 300 FR swim)
400 (100 FR pull + 100 BK + 100 BR + 100 FR swim)
400 (100 FL + 100 BK + 200 FR swim)
[I want to revisit this set on a day when I can really work the stroke portions—today the pattern mostly functioned as a way to break up a long aerobic swim.]
100 warmdown + play
I had a very pleasant swim today up at Riverbank. It was a mellow morning there, and Rondi and I had our own lane for much of the session. Here’s what I did:
800 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p)
100 (50 FL / 50 BK)
200 (50 FR + 100 K + 50 FR)
300 (100 FR + 50 BK / 50 BR + 100 FR)
400 (150 FR + 100 K + 150 FR)
500 (150 FR + 200 IM + 150 FR)
400 (100 FR + 200 K + 100 FR)
300 (100 FR + 50 FL / 50 BK + 100 FR)
200 (0 FR + 200 K + 0 FR)
100 (50 BK / 50 BR)
[This set was loosely inspired by one of pwb’s pyramid workouts that alternated IM and free, but I changed it up (ie watered it down) considerably.]
4 x 150 k/d/s, IM order
300 warmdown + play
After workout I went by for a session with my chiro/ART guy. He worked out a knot in my upper back that had been plaguing me for the last week and a half, and worked on my intercostals (rib muscles) some as well. The latter was pretty painful—certainly not as bad as the muscle spasms I was having there before Christmas, but still pretty excruciating. But if it ends up helping then I’m all for it!
I have applied for Stage Two of the 8 Bridges swim this summer. It felt like a leap of faith to sign up for a marathon swim right now, given the last couple of months—but I know that by June there’s every chance I’ll be back in good swimming form and the last few months of illness and injury will be a distant memory. I worried that signing up would make me more nervous and impatient about getting back in shape, but so far it’s had the opposite effect. Looking out at the Hudson from the Riverbank pool, and recalling how fun and amazing the 8Bridges swims were was last year, has made me calmer and more hopeful about my recovery, and genuinely hopeful that more good times lie ahead. I was definitely enjoying that this morning while I swam along!
. . . the chance to make the very first set of footprints in new-fallen snow!
That was me this morning—or at least I was among the first. I arrived back in the city yesterday, just in time for the first significant snowfall of the season (not counting the freaky snow back in October). This morning I enjoyed tromping through the sparkly white powder on my way to Riverbank. Luckily the subway was running and the pool open, and I enjoyed a nice swim, sharing a lane with Rondi and one or two other well behaved swimmers. Here’s what I did:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200d)
12 x 50 @ 1:00, desc. in sets of 3 [did first 3 sets FR, last set BK]
500-400-300-200-100, middle 100 of each swim BK, rest FR
400-300-200-100 FR, middle 100 of each fast
300-200-100 FR. middle 100 of each kick
200 warmdown + play
My goal today—and probably for the next few weeks--is to rebuild aerobic endurance while keeping things gentle enough to let my ribs finish healing. Freestyle feels good up through medium-fast speeds—sprinting still needs to wait a bit.
The snow was still falling when I left Riverbank—I think we've gotten about 5-6 inches so far. I love riding the elevated part of the train and seeing the snow accumulations of the rooftops! So pretty!
Today’s workout was a belated celebration of Hannah’s birthday. We enjoyed having our own side-by-side LCM lanes at the PCB aquatic center for the following swim:
100 IM piece (50 FL + 50 BK)
100 IM piece (50 BK + 50 BR)
Rounds 1-2 are warmup (drills for stroke if desired)
Rounds 3, 5, 7, and 9 are fast FR, easy ST
Rounds 4 and 8 are easy FR, fast ST
Round 6 is kick
Round 10 is warmdown
It was a fun set, and a good one to have a similarly paced workout buddy to swim with. I managed to complete everything except the kick—I missed 200 of that, for a 4800 lcm workout. We celebrated with a post-swim breakfast at the nearby Waffle House. It was packed at 9:30 this morning—I think we got the last two places at the counter!
This was the first of two belated birthday workouts on my agenda—I’ll do my own soon, once I can manage more than a 50 fly at once.
I was sad to see my NYC friends leave today--my one frustration with being down here where there are so many great places to swim is that I have to import swim buddies to enjoy them with me! But I’m going back to the city soon myself. I’m going to relish these last few days of outdoor swimming before heading back up to real winter.
Today was another two-swimsuit day. This morning I swam with Janet and Hannah in the gulf—Hannah and I swam ½ mile to the east, then back, all well beyond the first sand bar. The water was 58 degrees, air temp in the low 50s, but the sun was strong and there was little wind. The water was a little cloudy, but it was a delicious green, especially in the shallower parts, and I could see the sandy bottom from time to time. Janet said that a pelican flew right behind us for a while before it lost interest—I never saw it. There was also a flock of diving ducks floating in the water that we swam past as we went in. Afterwards warming up we picnicked on the beach—a great way to celebrate a glorious morning.
This afternoon we went over to the PCB aquatic center for a quick swim. Janet designed the workout, which I liked a lot. I stopped a little early because I was feeling sore in my ribs—sometimes I forget and do my flipturns a little too hard still. Here’s how it went:
800 scy warmup [I did 700]
4 x 100 FR/BK by 25s
4x through, ST = IM order
400 swim, done as 2 x (175 FR + 25 ST)
50 ST kick
50 ST drill
50 ST build
50 ST fast
[I made it though 3.5 of the rounds before warming down.]
4 x 100 something
The pool was great—the air temp had warmed up to the 60s, and there were a few clouds in the sky to keep things interesting. During warmup I spotted a big group of buzzards circling around something west of the pool—there must have been about 20 of them.