I enjoyed the long weekend, and managed to get in good swims every day. On the Fourth I ventured out with a few pool tourism buddies to the Red Hook pool, where we did a fun workout before hitting the food trucks for a late lunch. Among the city’s summer outdoor pools Red Hook is special because it has lap swimming (40m lengths) during all open hours. It was lovely swimming almost-LCM outdoors on the sunny holiday, and the pool was a peaceful and oh-so-blue oasis on a hot summer day.
On Friday I went out to Brighton Beach and swam what was maybe the easiest 5k loop I’ve ever done. The water was flat, the current was negligible the entire time I was out, and it seemed like the distance just flew by. The surface of the water was so smooth and reflective—I enjoyed watching the small undulations reflecting the light on every breath. It was another hot sunny day—we’ve been having what I think of as good, honest summer weather this week, by Alabama standards—but the beach wasn’t too crowded, and everyone seemed very mellow. I got there early and left early, before the sand became painful to walk on.
On Saturday I stayed here in the city to coach and do a pool workout. My team had three consecutive workouts at the John Jay College pool. I coached the middle one, which was aimed at newish masters swimmers (I got to explain pace clocks and intervals, which I always get a kick out off—it’s easy to forget how foreign so many conventions of swim workouts seem those outside our community). I was then glad to jump into the water for the third session. That was a rare uncrowded TNYA workout—I had my own lane, which never ever happens. Unfortunately, I’m not enjoying my pool swims as much as usual these days because I have a calf issue that keeps me from pushing off walls with any force—it’s frustrating when I’m trying to go fast but essentially have to come to a near standstill after each turn. Still, it was nice to swim with some longtime teammates, and again, the water was a cool respite on a toasty day. It’s good to be a swimmer in the summer!
Finally, today I went out to Brighton again for another loop. I arrived early, and bought a day pass at the Shorefront Y so that I could stash my stuff in a locker there and have a place to shower afterwards. That worked out well. I swam a loop—a difficult one this time, with some strong current against in both directions. On the way to the pier, I stopped at the cormorants’ jetty to say good morning to the birds, and watched as the current carried me swiftly backwards as soon as I stopped stroking. At the pier, I stopped to chat with Pauline and Melinda, and we were carried almost back to the next jetty (luckily in the direction we were about swim) during our chat. During the second half of the swim, I struggled for a while to make my way past the long jetty and then out to the white building, but then I just flew on the way back. There were some occasional swells when the wind kicked up, and I enjoyed swimming with them and then through them.
Through it all, I actually kind of relished the way the ocean thwarted my sense of expected progress. It made the experience kind of dreamy and surreal, since I felt like there wasn’t much relation between my swimming motions and how fast I was moving. I certainly had the sense (and it was mostly just a suspicion, since I don’t wear a watch when I’m swimming) that this loop was taking longer than usual, but that didn’t bother me—I didn’t have a deadline I had to finish by, I was confident I would get there eventually, and the water was a joy to be swimming in, so bonus swim time was in some ways a plus. It was freeing to realize that I wasn’t very much in control of when I finished this swim, and that it was just a matter of stroking along until I was done.
Afterwards, I floated in a cold patch until I got chill bumps, then lay on the warm sand until I was hot (that took about 10 minutes), then got in and cooled off again before heading out. The water here is getting warmer—the occasional cooler patches were a treat. Time to head up to Maine to find some colder ocean, which is exactly what I plan to do in a couple of weeks. I’ve signed up for the 2.4 mile Nubble Light Challenge on July 20, and have even secured an official wetsuit exemption for the event. It looks like a beautiful swim, and I’m excited to be going to an area of the country I’ve never visited before. It will be a quick trip this year, but if the area as pleasant as expected it might turn out to be a place for future vacations.
My other events this year are IGLA in Seattle (pool swimming, diving, and 2-mile OW swim) in August and the CIBBOWS Aquarium Swim in September. There are a few other OW 10k-ish swims in the area during September that I might choose to enter as well, but for the most part this is an off year for me on the OW front. I’m beginning to feel the glimmerings of the desire to do longer swims again, though, so I might start looking for a big swim to do in 2014.
As far as diving progress—well, things were going well, and I had even discovered a way to dive as many days of the week as I wanted, by supplementing TNYA workouts practices with the kids team practices at Columbia. The latest trick I’ve learned is a somersault with a full twist off the 1m, which I can do consistently legally but not very well. But my desire to dive more often seems to have gotten ahead of my body’s ability to do so. My left calf is injured, and swells up painfully behind the knee when I do much with it. After a week and a half’s rest it’s somewhat better, but still not healed enough to dive again, I’m getting it checked out this week, and will know more about when I can return to the boards after I see my doc and pt. (Breaststroke, hard kicking, and pushoffs are also painful, so I hope I can get this resolved soon). Until then, I’m glad I’m enjoying the OW swimming again. I guess it’s good in any case to have multiple things you enjoy doing, all the more so with an aging and injury-prone body.
I had a nice swim at the beach today. I went out early, and spent some time lounging on the uncrowded sands before swimming out to the Wonder Wheel and back. I had originally planned on going to the pier, but it is still under construction after part of it was washed away during Hurricane Sandy. This morning there was a big barge out there with a crane, and they were driving pilings into the ocean bed at the far end of the pier. It was extremely loud underwater, and I figured it was probably best not to get too near whatever was being stirred up by the activity, so I turned around a bit early.
The water was very green today, and there was a west wind creating some fun swells that were breaking over my head on the way out. Coming back was super fast and easy, with the wind and current carrying me along almost effortlessly. The water was around 63, and I felt comfortable and calm the whole way. I had to leave earlier than I wanted—there were tons of CIBBOWS out, and I would have liked to stay longer and visit.
I’ve been all quiet on the blog front recently, mostly because this week has been light on the swimming, and the workouts I’ve done haven’t been that interesting. My big news is that I ran—yes ran!--a 5k race Wednesday evening. I’m not at all a runner—my training for this consisted of jogging a mile on Monday afternoon—and I wasn’t at all sure if I would be able to run the entire way. I did, almost—it was a hilly course, and my husband, who was volunteering at the race, suggested that I walk the uphills if I wasn’t feeling confident in my conditioning. So I did that for a couple of hills on the first half of the out-and-back course, but on the way back I was feeling really great so I just ran the whole way. And it was really fun! My very conservative goal was to finish in less than half the time it took me to swim a 5k a few weeks ago (did I mention I’m not a runner?), and I beat that handily. And the race itself was just a joy to be a part of—the sort of small informal affair (less than 100 runners) that can be hard to come by in the city. (For comparisons sake, the Chase Corporate Challenge on the same night drew over 15,000). I’ve now ordered some real running shoes and am looking forward to adding that activity to my training occasionally, since I enjoyed it so much during the race.
Next week we’ll be visiting my husband’s family in Columbus, and I’m looking forward to getting in a swim at Alum Creek State Park. Has anyone out there ever swum there?
I enjoyed a wonderful swim today at Brighton Beach with CIBBOWS. The day was sunny with a high in the low 80s, and the water was 62—pretty perfect conditions, in my book. We had a big crowd out, and I enjoyed chatting with other swimmers and hearing their experiences and perspectives on the big swim race yesterday (many of us had helped out in various capacities). I also got to catch up with a few swimmers I hadn’t seen in quite a while.
Once sunscreened and lubed, I set out towards the pier. The water had some nice gentle swells that were fun to swim into. I got into a good rhythm almost immediately and enjoyed watching the scenery roll by, appreciating the calm and solitude. With a current assist I was down by the Coney Island amusement parks, and then the pier, almost before I realized it. I could see people on the pier and was surprised they had reopened it already, but when I got closer I saw they were all workers in hard hats, and that the end of the pier was still not yet completed. I stopped and watched them for a few minutes from the water before turning around and heading back.
On the return trip the swells were with me and seemed to want to surf me along I soon saw my friend Mike, and he turned around and swam with me back to Grimaldo’s chair. Since I was feeling good and not ready to get out, I then headed down to the white building. I was easily finding the kind of serene and joyful feeling today that made me fall in love with open-water swimming in the first place—with the sun shining on me and waves at my back, it was easy to lose myself in the water and appreciate the beauty and joy of stroking along through it.
At the white building I turned around and headed back, passing a steady stream of swimmers during my swim back in. Hard to believe it was my first loop of the season, with June is already almost half-way over! On the beach I was delighted to see Evmo, and to meet Paul, the winner of yesterday’s MIMS swim. I chatted with them a bit and with the crowd of CIBBOWS there, and shared some cookies before coaxing nearly a dozen people back into the water for some beach synchro. We made up a little routine and had an in-water giggle fest performing it What a perfect beach day!
The beach was glorious this morning. I got to go out to Brighton for a mid-week swim—always a treat, and especially so today, because I got to meet several of the marathon swimmers in town for this Saturday’s swim around Manhattan (MIMS). In addition to three other CIBBOWS swimmers, we had 3 swimmers from Perth, one from Ottawa, and one from Brazil out enjoying the crisp waters off of Brighton.
The morning was cool, around 60 and a bit cloudy, with water temps were about the same. The Aussies were just getting in as I arrived, and I got in for about 20 minutes with them. I swam a little bit to the east before reversing course and heading for the big jetty to the west. As I neared it, I noticed a parks department ATV vehicle at the surf line, stopped and seemingly talking to one of the fishermen on shore near the jetty. I guessed he was telling him he couldn’t go out on the rocks, and I thought about how lucky we were that, although official policy forbids swimming before that lifeguards come on duty at 10, we’ve never been hassled about getting in early. At the big jetty I turned around and headed back. I wanted to swim more, but thought it would be a good idea to check and see if anyone else had arrived at the meeting spot before I headed out further.
As I got close to the starting point, I noticed the same ATV crawling slowly along shore, directly inland from me. Hmmm—maybe I wasn’t so lucky today. I was nearly back at my starting point, so I stopped and looked towards shore to see what was going on. One of the Perth swimmers was by the ATV and signaling me to come in, so I did. Once I got ashore, the parks department employee on the ATV told me there was no swimming, and that I needed to stay out of the water for 15 minutes until the life guards arrived. Ok then.
I made my way up to the blanket, and found that everyone else had been pulled 10 minutes or so before me. I felt bad for our visitors who had come on the rare day that swimming rules were being enforced. At least there were cookies to enjoy during the interlude!
During my time onshore I noticed a little bulge in my suit at my right ribcage. I had felt something hit the neckline of my suit while swimming, but I didn’t pay much attention---there always seem to be pieces of seaweed or little twigs that bounce off of you out at Brighton, and I’ve learned to just ignore them. But now it seemed like something had, improbably, gotten into my suit. I reached in to fish it out, and pulled out something that was silvery and a little gunky. My first thought was that it was some crumpled up duct tape that had been in the water too long and gotten mushy. But when I looked closer, I noticed a small dot at one end. Oh dear, surely that wasn’t an eye? And that looked like a tail on the other end. I didn’t want to believe it was a fish, but it was, a little silvery fish squashed dead between rib and lycra. When I first started open-water swimming this find probably would have produced hysterics, but today it was mostly funny, and just a little gross, that I had spent the last 10 minutes with a dead fish inside my suit.
We exchanged wildlife stories and snacked (not on sushi) until the guards arrived. When I got back in, a little chilled from my time out of the water, I was joined by MIMS swimmer Giuliana and CIBBOWS pals Robert and Patti. We all swam out to the white building, where we enjoyed a meet / chat / synchro session, then swam back to the chair. I went a little past the starting point, then swam back. The water was wonderfully clear and green, and I enjoyed swimming beside Giuliana--we seemed to match our strokes effortlessly.
When I got out I was just a little chilled—not enough to shiver, just enough to enjoy bundling up a bit. It was my favorite kind of beach weather, cool and cloudy enough to enjoy wearing clothes and picnicking after a swim while delighting in being out on the sand, all without worrying too much about sunburn. It was definitely worth taking a morning off to enjoy this!
Updated June 7th, 2013 at 03:31 PM by swimsuit addict
I enjoyed a pleasant workout this morning at Riverbank with Hannah. It was a relatively quiet day there; we had 5 cooperative swimmers in our long-course lane. Here’s what I did:
1000 lcm warmup (400s 200k 200p 200 rev. IM d/s by 25)
3 x 100 FR @ 2:00, desc.
4 x 50 K fl/bk by 25 @ 1:30
150 (50 FR swim / 50 ST kick / 50 FR swim)150 (50 FR swim / 50 ST swim / 50 FR swim)
Stroke = IM order for 1st 4 rounds, then 50 IM on last round
3 x 300 pull with paddles
100 warmdown + play
I had a terrific experience yesterday at the 2 Bridges Swim in the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie. The event featured an afternoon start time, which allowed those of us from the city to catch a late-morning MetroNorth train from Grand Central. The day was gorgeous, making for a beautiful ride up, with the train tracks running along the east side of the Hudson. I always bring a book on the train, but I don’t think I read more than a few pages—mostly I chilled out and watched the river roll by during the hour-and-a-half trip up.
I got to Poughkeepsie on the early side, and ran into my friend and Iceland teammate Amanda in the train station. We made our way down to the river together (an easy 5-minute walk from the train station.) Once there, I saw race directors Rondi and Dave and a bunch of CIBBBOWS volunteers, and made myself helpful by helping tote drinks down to the registration area. There were already a number of swimmers gathered in the pavilion, seeking relief in the shade (the race coincided with a heat wave). Susan from Maine recognized me and introduced me to her teammates Kirsten and John, and I was happy to chat with them for a bit, and admire their very cool matching swimsuits. Maybe slknight will post a picture on her blog?
I checked in and got my number, enjoyed visiting with other swimmers and volunteers, and eventually changed into my suit and got ready to swim. Soon we all made our way down to the dock for the pre-race meeting and 3 pm start.
Poughkeepsie has two bridges spanning the Hudson that are located just 900 meters apart. The Walkway over the Hudson, now a pedestrian span, is a restored 19th-century railroad bridge. To the south, the Mid-Hudson Bridge carries car traffic. Yesterday’s 5K race started near the midpoint of the two, on the east bank of the river, and had us swimming 2 counter-clockwise loops around each of the two bridges’ easternmost stanchions (one loop for the 2.5k). Three buoys were placed in a triangle around each of the stanchions to keep us well away from them (something about a security zone there). The race was scheduled for the slack between ebb and flood, so the tides were changing from south to north over the course of the swim.
The race had an in-water start and an on-land official finish, though the race director requested that we honor our swim-finish order when exiting the water via the boat ramp. The race instructions were given right by the boat ramp, and while listening to them most of us swimmers were huddled into the little rectangle of shade afforded by a nearby building—it was a very sunny afternoon, with temps in the low 90s, and the swimmers in wetsuits especially were wilting a bit. I was very happy when we were allowed to enter the water for the start. The river at 65 degrees felt very refreshing. I paddled around a bit while waiting for the start countdown to begin. Near shore we were sheltered from the wind, but the flag on the pedestrian bridge was blowing stiffly, and Willie pointed out to everyone in our wave (all the 5k’ers) how the buoy we were to round before heading from the bridge was pulling northward on its anchor cable—not from the current, which was headed the other way, but from the wind—and that taking a wide berth to the south of it to avoid the cable would be wise.
Once the race started I stayed wide of the field, which stretched out pretty quickly. At the first bridge stanchion I saw my CIBBOWS buddy Eli, but after that I didn’t see any other swimmers much for the rest of the swim. Swimming north, with the wind, was easy—gentle swells seemed to just push us along—but everyone agreed that swimming south against the wind was harder. I enjoyed the bouncy ride against the swells as they broke over me, though, and appreciated the contrast between the two as I changed directions.
On the first lap I swam easily, and took in the sights—the church steeples rising from the town of Poughkeepsie, the bridges, the big flat barge passing by as I made rounded the Mid-Hudson Bridge stanchion for the first time. In the shadow of the bridges it was noticeably cooler. I did some backstroke in those spots, and admired their arching grace. The water seemed very clean and pleasant. About half way through the second lap I got my first taste of it and was surprised that it wasn’t salty—I’m so used to swimming in the ocean that the season’s first taste of freshwater came as a bit of a shock.
On the second lap I picked up the pace a bit, and especially enjoyed swimming aggressively against the chop on the backstretch. The swells made it difficult to spot other swimmers, but I decided that if there were any within catching distance now would be the time to go after them. (It turned out there weren’t, or at least not any I saw, but the faster pace was ended up being enjoyable for its own sake). I took a better line on the second loop—on the first I had swung out a bit wide out into the river. As I neared the last stanchion I could tell by my progress towards it that the tide had definitely turned northward. I kept near to shore on the final stretch so that I wouldn’t have too far to go in after rounding the finish buoy.
I stretched out on the last half-leg, and was enjoying the ride in with both the current and wind assist. As I was swimming the final stretch into shoreh, I turned over to do some backstroke, and caught sight of my friend Yuta making up ground quickly behind me, so I turned back over and swam honest freestyle to the finish, maintaining a few strokes lead. He was the first swimmer in my wave I had seen since roughly 500m into the 5k swim (I had passed by a few of the 2.5k’ers, who started after us).
We exited carefully on the boat ramp, assisted by CIBBOWS stalwarts Tom and Patty. On shore there were bunches of excited swimmers to chat with, and more swimmers coming in to cheer for. The sky clouded over for a bit and threatened a rainstorm, but it never materialized. Soon all the finishers were in, and it was time for dinner and awards at the lovely dockside restaurant after.
I finished up 10th overall in the non-wetsuit 5k, and 3rd woman behind Susan and Hannah. My TNYA teammate Charles won the non-wetsuit 5k overall. It was fun hanging out with everyone—swimmers, kayakers, volunteers—afterwards. I saw a lot of smiles, and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Kudos to Rondi and Dave for another exceptionally well-run event!
I enjoyed a good workout with TNYA at John Jay College this morning. I was part of a friendly and cooperative lane of 5, with Coach Brad on deck. Here’s what I did:
700 scy warmup, various stuff
20 x 100, done as 4x thru (no rest between rounds)
100 IM @ 1:45100 FR @ 1:35100 FR @ 1:30100 FR @ 1:25100 IM @ 1:45
[I kept all of the FRs 1:15-1:20, and the IMs 1:22-1:30. This set went deceptively quickly, and was good practice for maintaining some kick in FR on tired legs.]
5 x 200 FR pull with paddles on 3:10, option for IMing middle 200 [of course I did!]
2 x (100 kick, 75 kick, 50 kick, 25 kick)
200 warmdown, including 100 synchro BK and FR with Hannah [sweet finish to a good practice]
That was it!
I’m looking forward to diving practice tonight. Tomorrow I might do a stretch-out swim at Y, but I think this was my last real workout before Saturday’s 5k 2 Bridges Swim. My current anxieties for that event revolve around whether it will coincide with the emergence of the 17-year cicadas. If so, I really hope they don’t decide to go for a swim while I’m in the river!
This morning was almost like old times at Riverbank, with a guest appearance from fellow blogger and former RB regular Andrew. I got to swim with him and Hannah, and enjoyed their company while I did the following:
1000 lcm warmup
500 swim (FR/BK/FR/BK/FR by 100s)
400 swim (mixture of FR and BK)
300 FR pull with paddles
300 FR pull with paddles
3 x 200, various strokes with some sprinting mixed in
3 x 100 K
During the first 500 of the main set I whacked my head pretty hard on the wall—I saw the backstroke flags but was just sort of oblivious to their significance and kept going hard until swim cap hit metal. It made a nice thwack sound, but I was fine. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. Letting your mind wander too much on backstroke can be dangerous.
Today I swam 2 miles out at Brighton Beach with some CIBBOWS friends. The water continues to get colder instead of warmer—today Cara measured it at 52, down 2-3 degrees from last week. Strange, but I'm not complaining--I think this extended cold water season is pretty nice.
It was a beautiful day to be at the beach, sunny, calm, and with air temps nearing 80. The water was clear and green and refreshing, and I enjoyed the familiar swim down past the Coney Island attractions and back. The water temperature seemed very mottled, with distinct patches of warm and cold.
We had a big group out today, nearly 30 people. Otherwise, the beach wasn’t too crowded, and very few other people were out in the water. I didn’t see any sea life today, but a few patches smelled distinctly fishy. There were some nice swells and even some whitecaps pushing me along for the last half-mile or so, which was odd because it didn’t seem too windy out today.
I enjoyed warming up on the beach and chatting with friends old and new before heading back into the city. I really love the sensation of getting chilled through, then feeling the sun and sand warm me up from the outside in. Summer finally feels like it’s here, with our big group back for weekend swims, and various races approaching. My first OW swim of the season (a 5k) is next weekend in the Hudson, and many of the people out at the beach today are either swimming MIMS in a couple of weeks or involved in supporting it (I’ll be a boat observer for that). The season is here!
I got a cool cookbook last week that looks like it might be useful for open-water feeds. Called “Feed Zone Portables: A Cookbook of On-the-Go Food for Athletes,” it’s full of little snacks that look tasty and suitable for eating while exercising (as the title suggests). It’s written with an eye towards cycling nutrition, but with the right containers many of the recipes could be adapted for in-water feeds. I almost want to sign up for a swim long enough to involve feeds again so that I can try things like the blueberry and chocolate coconut rice cakes, or tiny potato and leek frittatas (made in muffin cups). For this summer those will have to just be meet treats or boat snacks, but I’ll be keeping them in mind if I ever plan another long swim.
I had a good swim at Riverbank today with Hannah and John. It was a lightly attended morning at the pool, and I enjoyed doing the following:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 IM d/s)
1 x 500 FR neg split
1 x 400 IM
1 x 500 FR neg split
5 x 300, most done as fr-bk-fr sandwiches, working the bk
15 x 100, odds = st + fr (im order thru strokes), evens = all free
This was my first 5k+ workout in a while, and gives me some confidence going into next weekend’s 2 Bridges swim in the Hudson. Although I wasn't rationally concerned about completing that distance, it's nice to have done at least swim of that length going into it. The Riverbank pool was very hot this morning, but it didn’t bother me as much as usual. I think less ocean swimming this season has reduced my cold-water hardiness, but maybe also increased my warm-water tolerance. That’s a trade-off I’m happy to make this season—it’s nice being able to swim at RB even on warm days and not feel like I’m sweltering.
When I arrived at the pool several of the lifeguards were arguing fairly vehemently over the merits of Xbox 6 vs another model. Best line of dialogue: "You're just talking with your emotions and not the facts!" I kept on thinking of that during my long swims and giggling.
Tomorrow: pool swim in the morning + diving session in the afternoon.
Happy Holiday weekend everyone!
Updated May 25th, 2013 at 05:52 PM by swimsuit addict
I had a good swim this morning at Riverbank. It was a crowded pool today—it seems like the Columbia U. pool is closed, and RB is getting some spillover this week of young swimmers. But Hannah, John, and I found space in one of the fast lanes, and I got in the following workout:
900 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 100 d/s)
2 x 200 IM
10 x 100 @ 1:45: odds FR/BK fast, evens easy FR
600 kick (br/bk/fl, 4x through)
Sprint interlude: 4 x (20m sprint + 30m easy), 1-3 FR, 4 FL
4 x 200 FR > IM pacman
It was too cold and drizzly to stretch on the playground this morning, but I got in some good stretching after weights this afternoon at the Y. My body feels just the right amount of exercised today!
I enjoyed a good swim at Riverbank this morning. I didn’t have any workout buddies per se, but the pool was full of familiar faces, some of them former teammates whom I hadn’t seen in a while, so I felt like I was swimming with friends even though I did a solo workout. Today’s sets were of the spur of the moment as-my-mood-dictates sort which sometimes leaves me unmotivated and aimless, but today I stayed focused and felt like I got in some good work on some technique areas that needed addressing. Here’s what I did:
1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 4 x 50 drill/swim RIMO)
8 x 50, 2 of each stroke IM order, odds = kick 25 fast / 25 easy, evens = swim build
100 FR pull with paddles, 3-stroke breathing, working on good catch on non-breathing side
50 fast FR swim with paddles (strong kick), focusing on early hip rotation
50 FR kickboard-as-buoy pull with paddles, focusing on hip rotation
8 x 50 kick, 25 fast + 25 easy, 1-4 rev IM order, 5-8 IM order
100 FR pull with paddles, 3-stroke breathing, working on good catch on non-breathing side
2 x 50 FR fast swim with paddles and strong kick, focusing on early hip rotation
8 x 50, #s 1,4,6,8 fast kick, reverse IM order, #s 2,3,5,7 easy swim (order manipulated for kickboard-at-the-right-end-of-pool purposes)
100 FR pull with paddles, 3-stroke breathing, working on good catch on non-breathing side
2 x 50 FR fast swim with paddles and strong kick, focusing on early hip rotation
2 x 50 FR kickboard-as-buoy pull with paddles, focusing on hip rotation
2 x 50 FR with strong kick, working on all of the above
I was really enjoying kicking long course today. My fastest 50 kicks were right at :50 (FR and FL), but my BR kick was slow and seemed like a stranger to me today. I’ll have to start spending more time with it so that we will become friends again.
After my early swim I stretched, had a little nap, enjoyed a diner brunch, then headed out to Brooklyn for diving practice. This wasn’t our regular TNYA workout, but one with a small group of masters divers at St. Francis College. Two of their divers had visited my team’s workout this past Thursday, and had invited me to come to their Sunday afternoon practice. I took them up on it, and was glad I did—I enjoyed a good hour of going off the boards, working on my front approach. With just 4 divers and 2 boards, I got plenty of reps in, and plenty of good feedback. When I started diving my coach said that the approach and takeoff were the hardest part of diving, and the one that takes the longest to master—and that all that flipping and twisting in the air afterwards is simple by comparison. I’m beginning to see his point. I did hit a few good approaches today and could clearly feel the difference—now I need to work on doing that consistently instead of by chance
The Saint Francis pool is super easy to get to—it’s about a half-hour door-to-door from my apartment. And now I have dived, swum a workout, and played in a polo tournament there! The coach was not sure yet what the summer schedule for diving would be out there, but I hope it’s at a time when I can go, and which doesn’t conflict with TNYA’s workouts—it would be great to get in 3 diving practices a week!
I enjoyed a calm but chilly nearly-2-mile swim today at Brighton Beach. Contrary to the forecasts, it was an overcast day. The crowd of CIBBOWS swimmers that turned up this morning were looking for the sun to come out as the day, and our swims, progressed, but it stayed stubbornly hidden behind the low-lying clouds. But the beach has its own beauty that shines in any weather, and I enjoyed being in and near the water on this silvery palette-ed day.
Cara measured the water temp as we were getting in, and it was a little colder than anyone expected—between 54 and 55. This was a bit of a drop from last week. Although swimming a loop today would have boosted my confidence for the 5k swim I am doing in a couple of weeks, I was focused more on being cautious about getting too cold, and the temp reading just strengthened that resolve. I haven’t swum outdoors much this season, so I am not as confident as I might otherwise be in my cold-water acclimation. I have also been getting uncharacteristically cold in the pool this week—on Thursday at Riverbank, when Rondi and Hannah were sighing over the too-warm water, I was quite comfortable, and even grew a little chilled when we stopped to chat. So I decided today was a day to pay special attention to my body and how it was feeling, and to be sensible about turning back if I was getting chilled.
Cara, Richard, Melissa, and I set out towards the pier. There was a lot of activity down that way, with two barges stationed towards the pier’s end, repairing the damage to it that hurricane Sandy did last fall. There was also a lot of other activity on the water today, with police boats paralleling our swim route and helicopters flying low overhead. Thankfully no jet skis out today though—one benefit of the cloudy cool day! Melissa and I separated from the others after a bit, and ended up swimming together past the aquarium and to Coney Island. It seemed like a very long time since I had been out this way, and I was glad to see the familiar sight of the Cyclone and the rest of the amusement park as we passed by. By the time we reached the WonderWheel, just a couple of jetties short of the pier, I was beginning to get chilled and was ready to turn around. Melissa decided to come with me, so we reversed course and headed back to our starting point.
I was a little worried about the cold I was feeling, but also enjoying the sensation, and glad I had a swim buddy with me today. We made good progress, even against the current—I was ready to be back at this point and was swimming harder, rather than being the sight-seer I’d been on the way out. We were swimming a bit further out now, but as we passed by the jetties I could still detect a fishy smell at each one. A couple of times I turned over and backstroked in order to watch the helicopters swooping low over us, and wondered what they were doing, and if they were watching us swim below. After the last long jetty I pointed myself towards the pavilion on shore. I could see the group of CIBBOWs swimmers congregated on the sand, and I was glad I was close to the end.
When I got out I got dressed quickly on the beach. Melissa and I had been in about an hour. I had packed plenty of warm clothes and a down jacket, even though I hadn’t been sure I would need them today. I shivered as I drank my thermos of hot tea and welcomed the others as they trickled back in from their swims. I had gotten chilled through, but not unpleasantly so. Several of us compared our mottled skin as blood flow returned the surface unevenly and made interesting patterns on our legs.
I didn’t have time to hang out much afterwards, but enjoyed the subway ride back with my pal John. The trains were packed with finishers from the Brooklyn half-marathon, which finished at Coney Island and attracted over 20,000 runners. A couple of today’s swimmers today ran that race, then swam with us afterwards!
It’s unusual that the water is warming up so late this year. The first race in the area takes place next weekend—the Great Hudson River swim, put on by NYCSwim. It’s short, and allows wetsuits, but even so I hope the water is out of the 50s by then, because temps like today’s can be a shock to swimmers unused to them, no matter what they are wearing.
On Fridays I usually sleep in and enjoy an easy mid-day swim after Thursday night’s late-night diving practice, and that’s what I did today. (For this mostly-early-morning swimmer, anything that ends at 10pm qualifies as “late night,” especially if it’s in the far reaches of Queens.) I swam at the Y in the early afternoon, and did the following:
1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 RIM d/s by 25)
1000 straight, done as (4 x 50 build / 25 fast / 25 easy) + 600 moderate free
100 warmdown + dolphin dives
I had intended to do 6 x 100 (50 build / 25 fast / 25 easy) as my main set, but after enjoying my own lane for most of the warmup I ended up with 3 lanemates in the Y’s narrow fast lane for the rest of my swim. They were all ultra polite, though, and tended to stop at the wall to let me pass anytime I was anywhere near them. On my first few 100s, someone had just stopped to let me go by as I was ending each one, so I kept on going. (The alternative, stopping for 10 seconds rest or so only to catch them on the next lap if they went, or causing them wait even longer time if they wanted to go behind me, seemed like it would discourage their politeness. I’m all for having lanemates who are aware of where others are in the lane and willing to stop and let faster swimmers ease by at the walls, especially at this pool where there’s little room to pass to the straightaway.)
By the time this happened a fourth time, I was beginning to wonder if there were a conspiracy afoot to keep me from ever getting any rest at the wall! But I decided if my lanemates were somehow in cahoots to keep me swimming, I would just roll with it. So instead of trying to continue with my original set, I turned it into a lovely long easy swim, and enjoyed never having to worry about catching or passing anyone. It was very relaxing, and just what my sore muscles needed.
After swimming, I went upstairs for stretching and arm weights—making some inroads in both areas.
I had a good diving practice last night. I finally learned how to do a full forward approach—until now I had been using an abbreviated two-step takeoff (lunge + hurdle). By the end of last night I was getting the hang of adding three steps and a backwards arm swing before that motion, and finding a bit more height off the board as a result. I did my best one-and-a-half yet off the 1m board, and want to add that to my dive list at the next practice meet, now that I can do it without crashing into the water forehead first. Progress is sweet!
Today was a birthday swim morning at Riverbank for one of my lanemates. Two friends and I put on our festive flowery swim caps and did the following set to celebrate:
800 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, photo op)
43 x 50 @ whenever-lane-space-permitted intervals (usually 5-10 sec. rest, with a few chat/calculation breaks), with all FR except prime numbers = non-free
[I did BK for the non-free lengths, and sprinted the triangular numbers and kicked the cubes just for good measure.
This set really brought out my high-school-math-team-geek tendencies. Since all my sprints but one ended up being free, I wondered if 3 were the only prime triangular number. It seemed like that had to be so, but it took me a few 50s to work out a proof. After the set was over we noticed that our ages were all now prime—I wondered if this had happened before (the answer is yes, it was in fact the fourth time during our lifetimes). It would be nice to think we’ll be around to celebrate the next occurrence, but that's a ways off—I would be competing in the 105-109 age group by then!
I had a very pleasant swim with a friend at Riverbank this morning. I had done some easy swimming on my own the last couple of days, but this was my first real workout, and my first chance to swim with a swim buddy, in nearly two weeks. Here’s how it went:
1000 LCM warmup (found an earring on the bottom of the pool)
300 FR / BK / FR sandwich, BK fast
300 BK / FR / BK sandwich, BK fast
300 FR easy pull with paddles
I followed this up with a nice long stretch on the playground outside the pool, enjoying the sunny morning and the view of the river.
I have been exhausted and very sore the last few days, and have had trouble sleeping because of some neck pain. But with this swim I finally began feeling like myself again in the water. A massage this afternoon helped too. Looking forward to getting back into a happy routine with the swimming, diving, and weights.
I got back to NYC yesterday evening after a difficult five days with hospitalized relative in Alabama. Fortunately, that situation reachd a happy conclusion, and back in NYC I was able to totally switch gears and go out this morning to do a mock dive meet at the Flushing Meadows Pool in Queens. This event was an opportunity for local divers to get experience diving in a meet format and getting scores for each dive, but results were not official, and totals weren’t tallied. It was run by one of the local kids’ diving clubs (I had to join AAU to participate), and my dive coach was to be one of the judges. I almost didn’t go—I’m still exhausted and body-sore from several nights spent on hospital couches—but I figured that we don’t always get perfect circumstances to compete in, so I should take whatever opportunities that come up to practice competing. There were supposed to be 3 of us masters divers attending, but I was the only one that ended up going. I was a little nervous, but not too much—mostly I was just grateful to be there, amused by the kids, and thrilled to have an opportunity to practice going off the boards again. I consulted Coach Croft about my dive list—the meet offered the chance to do 7 dives, off either or both boards—and learned how to fill out a dive sheet. Then I warmed up, got some feedback, and got myself ready to go.
We were given an order—I was the first diver of 13 in each round—and things started. My first couple of dives were good, the next two were shaky, but I finished up strongly with three solid dives. Here are my scores—the first six dives are from 1m, the last from 3m:
· Forward dive tuck (101C) 5.5, 5.5, 5.5
· Forward flip tuck (102C) 6 6 6
· Forward flip with half twist (5121D) 4 3.5 4
· Back dive straight (201A) 4 3 3.5
· Inward dive tuck (401C) 5 6 5
· Back flip tuck (202C) 5.5 6 5.5
· Forward dive tuck from 3m (101C) 5.5 5.5 5.5
Afterwards, we had a little extra time, so we practiced synchro diving off the 1m just for fun. I had never tried diving with a partner before. I was paired up with a young diver who was a very good sport. She had to modify her approaches to match mine—our back approaches are different, and I’m not doing a full forward approach yet—but she was a quick and willing learner, and was able to match my movements. We did an inward tuck dive and a forward tuck dive together, and it was so much fun that now I want to do synchro diving at IGLA as well.
At the end of the mock meet mock awards were given. I ended up with an orange and a balloon. The whole morning was a blast, and the best thing is that these will be a monthly happening. I definitely want to go out and do this again!
Updated May 26th, 2013 at 10:18 AM by swimsuit addict
I was able to get out for a little lunchtime swim at Westgate Rec Center in Dothan, Al again today. I'm still at the hospital with my aunt, but things are looking better. It seems she has pneumonia, but she is responding well to treatment and will probably be able to go home (with some home health care help) in the next couple of days. In the meanwhile, I was glad to get the opportunity to take a break while my mom was here during the day. Here's what I did:
200 stroke/free by 25
200 reverse IM drill/swim by 25
4 x 50 free, desc
4 x 100 FR @ 1:45, desc.
2 x 200 FR @ 3:30, build each one
400 FR, alt 25 fast, 25 easy
100 IM kick
200 IM swim
I had more company at the pool today. Lap swim hours are from 11-1; but if you come before 12 it only costs $1 instead of $2, so the earlier time ends up more crowded. I was next to a woman swimming heads-up breaststroke, and felt self-conscious about doing butterfly and making waves in the laneline-less pool. Once she left I switched to IM. Another woman replaced her soon after, but I figured she could see what she was getting into swimming beside me. I try to be be on my best behavior here, since I'm a visitor and there aren't many serious adult swimmers at the pool. If they ever contemplate adding a masters team, I'd like for the lap swimmers to be enthusiastic about it.
I'll be staying a few more days than planned down here. I hope to be here when my aunt gets released, and help get her get settled back in at home. I feel so lucky that I packed a swimsuit on this trip. I did so only because I was originally planning to go directly from the airport to diving practice on my return flight. Swimsuits--never leave home without them!
Good luck to everyone going to Indy! I'll be looking at the results online and virtually cheering on all my fellow bloggers.
Today's workout was short on yardage but long on gratitude. I flew down to Atlanta early Monday morning for a visit with my mom and aunt in southeast Alabama. Upon landing I had a voicemail from my sister. It turned out that my 93-year-old aunt had been admitted to the hospital late Sunday night for chest pains. So I drove directly to the hospital in Dothan, about 3.5 hours away, and have been here staying with her ever since. My aunt is doing better, and I'm hopeful she'll be kicked loose in the next few days. Meanwhile, I'm glad that I'm able to be here to help out, which lets my mom at least go back home to sleep at night. It can be hard being a plane flight instead of a drive away when emergencies happen with my family, so at least this time I was already on my way south when things started going south.
I'm very lucky that the hospital is within a couple miles of the only pool available for lap swimming in these parts. I was able to get in a lunchtime workout at the Westgate Recreation Center, an 8-lane 25y indoor pool. There were no lane lines, no clock, and only one set of backstroke flags, but the side panels of the building were partly open on this warm sunny day, and I chose an empty end lane to swim in because it was the most light-filled patch of water. After a day spent traveling and sitting in a hospital room, plus night spent on a hospital room couch, it felt so very good to stretch out and move around in the water. Here's what I did:
1000 warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 RIM d/s by 25)
10 x 100 FR: 2@ 1:40, 2@ 1:35, . . . 2@ 1:20
100 IM kick
5 x 100 IM desc. @ 1:45
Before I left the city I had a good diving practice Sunday night. Our team added a second weekly practice a few weeks ago, on Sundays from 6-7:45pm, and this was the first opportunity I'd had to take advantage of it. I love being at the beautiful Flushing Meadows facility, with its wall of glass that faces the park, when it's still light out (our other weekly workout is from 8-10 on a weeknight). I love even more getting home at a reasonable hour. My commute to and from the pool takes about an hour to an hour and a half each way, depending on whether there's express trains running. Nights when there are Mets games are great, because Citifield is at the same subway stop at the pool, and the MTA runs special express trains back into the city after games.
My goal Sunday was to learn a front flip with a half twist off the 1m. We had a group viewing of an instructional diving video last Wednesday, and I was intrigued by the twisting dives. I'd learned a simple straight forward dive with a half twist last January, but I don't have a lot of confidence in that dive, and I wanted to learn another twister for what will be my eventual dive list for IGLA. Plus, I just wanted to feel what rotating in two different planes at the same time felt like. When watching the video, I could imagine doing the various somersaulting dives, but it was tough to get my brain around how the twisting dives actually worked. I wanted to feel it for myself so that I could understand the motion better.
I started off by doing front flips in an open pike position, then added a half twist in the middle. The movement feels very much like a round-off, only without putting your hands down on anything. I was able to hit the dive in the first try, but need to work on getting more height. My instinct when I try new stuff is to start small, and be timid in my approach and jump off the board. I know this instinct is absolutely wrongheaded--it would be both easier and safer if I approached the dive with conviction and get a bigger bounce off the board--but it's tough to change that natural inclination to start small then build up when trying new skills.
I had a day of total fun out at Brighton Beach today. It was a gorgeous sunny morning here, with air temps in the high 50s when we started out and in the high 60s by the time we called it a day. The wind was a little gusty, but that just made the unorganized swirly swells more fun to play in. It was a day for trying out new things—new suit (a two-piece, which I loved), new goggles (some Zoggs I got for free, which worked fine but didn’t top my regular goggles, so they’re Patty’s now), new post-swim tricks on the beach (more about that later).
Cara measured the water temp at 53. That felt waaay warmer than last week—funny how a few degrees can make a big difference--and getting in was not too difficult. The water was a deep green, with unpredictable swells and some odd foamy patches here and there. I didn’t want to push things today, so just swam gently towards the big jetty to the west. Right before I reached it, I saw a fellow CIBBOWS swimmer heading back, so swam with him for a bit before he headed in. I turned over and did some easy backstroke, swam a little ways east, practiced some synchro moves, and just generally enjoyed feeling the sun beaming down upon me while the water tossed me around. It was heavenly.
Eventually I got cold just floating, so swam a bit more, floated a bit more, then got out. I probably went only about three-quarters of a mile today, but that was enough to make me feel blissy and happy to be in the ocean again. A bonus to the short distance and warmer water temp was no shivering. I got dressed in all my layers, then lay down and let the sun work its warming magic on me.
We had a dozen or more people out today, so I chatted for a bit, then started playing around on the sand, doing cartwheels and handstands, and balancing on the rocks of the nearby jetty. A few others followed my lead, and we spent a good hour playing around and trying different tumbling, leaping, and balancing feats. We had a huge swath of beach mostly to ourselves, and it was like being kids on a playground again. His-Ling and John wowed us with their tandem balancing act, and I learned that Caitlin can juggle! I worked up to doing a round-off, which I hope will help me with learning a twisting dive tomorrow. Unfortunately, I tweaked my left hamstring a bit on my last cartwheel (which was why it was my last). It seems more flexibility would help in my quest to do “good” cartwheels on my off side.
No one saw the humpback whale that had been spotted a few miles away off the Rockaways a couple of days ago, although we all looked for it, during our swims and after. But that might have been the only magic missing from the glorious day in the sun. The weekends that we have the sand to ourselves are numbered—the official beach season will start in a few more short weeks—so it was nice to enjoy this lovely day with my swim buddies on the sand and in the water.
Updated May 5th, 2013 at 11:54 AM by swimsuit addict