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  1. Cloudy morning swim

    This morning I had a good swim at the PCB Aquatic Center. I was hoping to swim in the rain, but it was mostly gray with just a few drops. At least the forecast thunderstorms didn’t show up! Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200IM K, 200p, 200IM d/s)

    4 x 150 (K/Build/easy), IM order
    8 x 200 @ 3:45, odds IM desc, evens FR < 3:20

    10 x 50 w/zoomers @ 1:05, odds K, evens K w/ arms

    100 easy

    6 x 100 FR/BK, desc. 1-3 and 4-6 @ 1:50

    100 easy

    3 x 200, odds pull w/ paddles, even FR/BK by 50s

    100 warmdown

    I had my own lane for all but the last 500 or so of this—when the visiting Sewanee team showed up I moved over to split a lane with another lap swimmer. The visiting college swimmers must envy the teams that actually go somewhere warm for their winter training trip—it’s been rainy and cool for most of their stay, and while the sun is coming back tomorrow, it will be chilly! I prefer this weather to tropical climes, but I think I’m in the minority on that!
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  2. Strokeful workout

    I swam a fun workout this morning with the PCST masters—Kelcie was on deck, and I had my own lane, with two fast young guys in the lanes on either side to share intervals with. Here’s what I did:

    800 scy warmup (300s, 200k, 300p)

    6 x 50 FR with bilateral breathing, smooth, @ :45
    6 x 50 BK focusing on rotation and catch @ :50
    6 x 50 BR with double pullouts @ :55
    6 x 25 FL fast @ :30

    50 easy

    3 x 75 FR (kick, drill, swim) @ 1:30
    200 IM @ 3:30
    3 x 75 BR (kick, drill, swim) @ 1:30
    200 IM @ 3:30
    3 x 75 BK (kick, drill, swim) @ 1:30
    200 IM @ 3:30
    3 x 75 FL (kick, drill, swim) @ 1:30
    200 IM @ 3:30
    [We only got through 2 rounds before the hour-long masters workout ended, so I did the last two rounds by myself. I was wondering if the faster of my workout companions would lap me on the IMs, and he did indeed on the second one!]

    4 x 100 FR, playing with turtle paddles
    2 x 100 FR, focusing on technique
    200 warmdown +play

    I celebrated Christmas twice this past week—on Christmas Day with my aunt, mom, younger sister, and husband up in Alabama, and again on Friday with all of the above plus my older sister and her family. I miss the days when we could host everyone in our rented condo and have Christmas at the beach. This year, we ended up decorating a conference room at the nursing home where my aunt lives and brought in Christmas dinner there. It was very sweet being with all my family, and although we continued our family tradition of swapping stories rather than gifts, I somehow ended up with an gorgeous aquatic-themed quilt that my sister made for me.
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  3. Didn't want to leave the pool this morning

    This morning I took advantage of the early (6-9am) LCM lap swim hours at the PCB Aquatic Center. Air temps were in the mid-40s and it was dark when I arrived, but the water was toasty: holiday closings meant that it had stayed under its covers for the past couple of days. The new-this-season poolside digital water temp billboard told me exactly how toasty—it read 83.99 degrees before I jumped in, and 84.03 immediately after. By my exacting calculations, for my body temperature to have raised the water temp 0.04F in approximately 0.95 seconds, must have meant there was just 4.7026038 gallons of water in the pool. Nonetheless, I was able to get in a satisfying workout as I completed the following:

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

    1 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 BK @ 1:15ish
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 BK @ 1:15ish
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 BK @ 1:15ish
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    1 x 50 BK @ 1:15ish
    1 x 100 FR @ 1:40
    100 BK easy
    [The FR was all with 6-beat kick and bilateral breathing. The 50s BK were easy, and welcome, since 6-beat kicking is still difficult for me. (The ish’s were due to the clocks at each end being out of sync.)]

    4 x 150 FR/ST/FR, IM order, ST = build, FR = mod
    4 x 150 ST/FR/ST, IM order, done as build/ez/fast
    4 x 150 ST, IM order, build each 150
    200 IM kick

    3 x 100 FR/BK halfsie @ 2:00, desc.
    3 x 100 FR/BK halfsie @ 1:55, desc.
    3 x 100 FR/BK halfsie @ 1:50, desc.

    Magic 700, alternating build-an-IM (strong)/FR (easy) (fr-FR-br/fr-FR-bk/br/fr-FR-fl/bk/br/fr-FR)

    2x through
    3 x 50 FR @ 1:00, desc.
    3 x 50 BK @ 1:00, desc.
    [Turkey buzzards started circling overhead during this set. I wasn’t moving that slow!]

    500 warmdown + play

    That was it! Those last few sets I did simply because I was enjoying staying in the water, and getting out didn't seem like much fun--it was still in the 40s, and the wind had picked up, making the pool the place to be. (I couldn't read the water temp display once the sun rose, but it seemed like it had fallen a bit, for which I was thankful). Watching the sky gradually lighten during sunrise and the seeing the clouds on backstroke and kicks still seems just amazing to me, and I’m treasuring my time down here where that is possible.

    I mostly had the pool to myself this morning—sometimes there was 1, and once 2, other swimmers in the other 7 lanes, and I don’t think there were more than 6 of us altogether during the 3-hour session. They’ve reduced the morning LC hours to just twice a week during the winter, and I hope the numbers are better once the holidays or over, or it will be hard to justify opening the pool at all. For now, though, I’m enjoying having my own lane (or 6)!
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  4. Christmas Eve OW mile

    I enjoyed a really lovely swim in the gulf today. Yesterday’s cold front chased away the heavy southern winds that had stirred up waves too big for ocean swimming over the last week (at least too big for someone who doesn’t enjoy getting tumbled by the surf). But last week’s relatively warm water was still out there for me to enjoy—even though the air was in the 40s at mid-morning, water temps were in the mid-60s. Getting in and out was nippy, especially since I had to wade out to waist deep water, then walk over a shallow sandbar before reaching swimmable depths--but once in things couldn’t have been better. The water was extremely clear, with light ripples on the surface. I swam out a ways, then down the beach to the first beach flag and back, about a mile altogether.

    On the way back I was startled by a fish swimming underneath me—I think it was what the shore fishermen call a whiting, which is what they’ve been catching (if anything) in the past few days. I squealed when I saw it, and it flinched at the sound and darted away. My goal for my next swim is not to frighten any fish I encounter!

    Other than the fish I saw no other creatures in the gulf while I was swimming, just lots of shrimp tunnels on the sandy bottom. I did see a bald eagle soaring overhead as I was driving today, which was pretty cool. And there were pelicans and herons that flew by us at sunset. It was such a treat to spend most of this beautiful sunny Christmas Eve outdoors enjoying the glorious day.
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  5. Solstice workout

    Another scy workout with PCST Masters today—unseasonably warm air temps (in the 70s at 9 am) and windy skies signaled an approaching storm system. I enjoyed the warm sunny weather and tried to remember to adjust my backstroke turns in the windy conditions during the following:

    500 scy warmup

    5 x 100 BR/FR combo (25/75, 50/50, 75/25, 50/50, 25/75) @ 1:45

    400 IM drill
    100 easy
    400 rev IM drill [50dr/25k/25 perfect stroke]
    100 easy

    2x thru
    100 FR sprint @ 3:00 [1:15, 1:13]
    2 x 50 FR sprint @ 1:30 [34,33,32,32]

    300 IM kick

    400 swim + play [I did lots of backstroke and sculling on my back here, watching the clouds race through the sky.]

    It’s supposed to storm all day tomorrow. The pool is closed on Sundays anyway, and it’s been too wavy to swim out in the gulf. My project for the day will be making dressing and ambrosia for Christmas dinner, so I’m glad it will be a good day to stay inside and cook and sing along with carols.
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  6. No lords aleaping in today's countdown

    I enjoyed a short but fun workout today with the midday swim crew at the sunny PCB pool. Here’s how it went:

    500 scy warmup

    Broken 1650
    11 lengths [odd lengths FR, even lengths fl-bk-br-bk-fl]
    10 lengths [skskssksss]
    9 lengths [fl-fr-fl-bk-fr-bk-br-fr-br]
    8 lengths [200 IM]
    7 lengths [sksksks]
    6 lengths [fl-fr-br-fr-bk-fr]
    5 lengths [fr-bk-fr-bk-fr]
    4 lengths [100 IM]
    3 lengths [warmdown]
    2 lengths [warmdown]
    1 length [warmdown]

    We took :20-1:00 rest in between each swim, and I enjoyed thinking of different patterns to do on each on.
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  7. Sunrise LCM workout

    A 6 am flight Tuesday morning got me out of NYC before the latest snow started there, and after a night in Alabama I arrived yesterday afternoon in Northwest Florida to bask in some warmer weather. This morning I got to swim at the wonderful Panama City Beach Aquatic Center, which was set up long course. Masters workout was from 6-7, then I stayed a little longer to enjoy the sunny morning. Air temps were in the high 30s when I got in but had risen to around 50 by the time I got out—definitely an incentive to do more laps! I enjoyed watching the sunrise and the setting moon while I did the following:

    600 lcm warmup (200fr, 100bk, 200 fr, 100 bk)

    4 x 100 with traveling 25 FL @ 1:45
    4 x 100 BK fast @ 2:05 [held 1:40s]
    4 x 100 BR drill/swim
    6 x 50 pull, odds FR, evens BK
    6 x 50 kick, odds BK, evens BR

    3 x 100 FR/BK desc. @ 1:50
    1 x 100 FR/BK easy

    3 x 100 FL/BK desc @ 2:00 [I ended up doing 200 re-warmup in the middle of these after an extended chat break.],
    3 x 100 BK/BR desc. @ 2:00
    3 x 100 BR/FR desc. @ 2:00
    3 x 100 IM desc. @ 2:00

    200 FR pull
    200 IM kick
    200 FR pull
    200 warmdown + play

    It’s really good to be back here. I enjoyed catching up with swimmers I last saw in February, and the pool itself feels like an old friend—I know exactly where in each length to expect lifeguard chairs and other features, where the small crack in the black line that marks 25m is, etc., and all those little familiarities are comforting. And getting to swim outdoors again is just bliss!
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  8. Hot chocolate and 300s

    It started snowing hard here in the city, and it’s supposed to last all day, maybe all weekend. I left the beach snow swim to others this morning in favor of staying in the warm apartment, but I did drag myself away from the hot cocoa long enough to walk over to mid-day TNYA practice at John Jay. BJ was on deck, I led the middle lane of 5 fun swimmers, and here’s what we did:

    1000 warmup: 200s, 4 x 50 d/s, 200k, 4 x 50 d/s, 200s

    3x thru
    (100 kick with board + 25 sprint kick w/o board + 25 swim easy) @ 3:20
    (50 kick with board + 25 sprint kick w/o board + 25 swim easy) @ 2:20

    4 x 200 pull with breathing pattern [I just did bilateral breathing]

    Freestyle set—6 x broken 300s
    3 x 100 @ 1:30
    100 easy @ 2:15
    150 fast @ 2:00 [1:50]
    50 easy @ 1:30
    4 x 75 @ 1:10
    100 easy @ 2:15
    150 fast @ 2:00 [1:48]
    50 easy @ 1:30
    6 x 50 @ :45
    100 easy @ 2:15
    150 fast @ 2:00 [1:48]
    50 easy @ 1:30

    50 warmdown
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  9. 100s test set

    This morning I swam at Riverbank with Rondi and Hannah. We tested out different goggles, and I did the following:

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

    1 x 100 @ 1:35
    1 x 50 @ 1:00
    2 x 100 @ 1:35
    1 x 50 @ 1:00
    3 x 100 @ 1:35
    1 x 50 @ 1:00
    4 x 100 @ 1:35
    1 x 50 @ 1:00
    5 x 100 @ 1:35
    100 easy
    [My goal was to keep the 100s at 1:30 or under, and I did that on most but not all of them.]

    I was pleased with that set, but it really took the stuffing out of me—afterwards I just did the following extended warmdown.

    300 pull
    100 kick
    200 swim
    100 kick
    100 swim
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  10. Evening workout with team

    I enjoyed a fun TNYA practice at John Jay last night. I’m much more a natural morning swimmer—I never want to go back out in the evening, especially into the cold and dark this time of year—but I’m always glad when I do, and last night was no exception. (It helps that the pool is a 10-block walk from my apartment!) Chester was on deck, and there was good camaraderie in our lane of four for the following:

    Extended warmup
    400 swim
    4 x 50 kick @ 1:05
    300 pull
    4 x 50 kick @ 1:05
    200 IM drill
    4 x 50 kick @ 1:05
    100 swim

    4 x 100 FR swim @ 1:25 [kept these 1:17 or under]
    2 x 50 active recovery with good form @ 1:00
    4 x 100 IM or BK swim @ 1:35
    2 x 50 active recovery with good form @ 1:00
    4 x 100 FR pull @ 1:20
    2 x 50 active recovery with good form @ 1:00
    4 x 100 IM or BK swim @ 1:30 [kept these 1:25 or under]
    4 x 50 easy @ 1:00

    3 x 100 kick @ 2:15 (1st = 5 UDK off each wall, 2nd = 6, 3rd = 7)
    200 pull with breathing pattern @ 3:00
    3 x 50 kick @ 1:10 with same kick pattern
    100 pull with breathing pattern @ 1:30

    50 synchro swim with Cara
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  11. Magic 600s

    This morning I swam at Riverbank with Rondi. Yesterday’s snow turned to a wintry mix overnight here, and the footing on the pedestrian bridge leading into the park and in the park itself was a little dicey. The city is very aggressive about salting, but to get to the pool you have to leave city property and walk through what is technically state park land (actually not really land, but landscaped terrain built over the sewage treatment plant, which was built over the river). You can definitely tell where the boundary is.

    I was pretty sore and tired this morning. Here’s what I did:

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

    4 x magic 600:

    • First one was actually a magic 700, because I miscounted, so FR/BK in a 1-1-2-1-3-1-4-1 pattern
    • Second one was a backwards magic 700 minus 100, alternating FR and BK in a 2-1-3-1-2-1-1-1 (lengths) pattern
    • Numbers 3 and 4 were magic 600s, alternating FR and BK in a 1-1/2-1/1-1/2-1/1-1 (lengths) pattern

    [I invented the magic 600s today, and liked them because they give me an extra backstroke length vs dropping a 100 from the magic 7s.I experimented with left-side breathing and 4- and 6-beat kicking on the freestyle lengths, and just doing 100 at a time made that seem manageable.]

    6 x 100 IM @ 2:00, desc. 1-3 [1:50, 1:45, 1:40, 1:51, 1:45, 1:41]
    200 IM kick

    300 warmdown + play
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  12. From the sublime to the ridiculous . . . and back again

    This morning I enjoyed a glorious cold swim at Brighton Beach. The day was not that promising—clouded over and grey, breezy, with drizzle threatening—and did I mention cold? Thirty-degree air and 44-degree water definitely met Evmo’s combined-100-and-under criterion for cold swims. Getting ready on the beach was a challenge—earplugs were cold going in, caps were cold, fingers got chilled with all the preparation. But once I was in and stroking—no dawdling today!—the sensation of being surrounded by water felt simply magnificent. I swam to the big jetty to the west and back (a bit over 1k) with Cristian, Melissa, and Brad. I was tempted to go further, but was nervous about rewarming in the cold, so got back out when we got back to our starting point.

    After dressing on the beach I elected to go rewarm in the car. Generally I like warming from the inside out, relying on jogging or exercising on the beach post-swim to make enough body heat to get my temp back up to normal. That usually works well, but with the wind and temp today and with my feet painfully cold I worried it would prove challenging to keep from losing heat faster than I could generate it. I was lucky to have swimmates willing to share their car heaters with me, so I opted for that method. I shivered for a bit, and had to take off some of the clothes I had put on so that the warm air could reach me, but eventually I warmed back up. A massage afterwards rubbed away some of the shivering tightness, and I basked in the warmth of the subway car on the ride home, grateful for another wonderful morning spent with the ocean and my ocean-loving friends.

    That was the sublime. This afternoon was the ridiculous. There was a fun meet scheduled at Asphalt Green that I had contemplated swimming, but I ultimately decided against it, in part because my LMSC has devolved to such disarray this year, and I didn’t want to spend time among people who were sure to want to talk to me about the situation. (If I were gung ho about my pool swimming I wouldn’t have let that stop me, but as someone on the fence about competing the infighting is tempering my enthusiasm for participating in masters events in my area.) As it turned out, though, there was a members-wide vote on new bylaws scheduled to take place during the meet, and two of the groups I swim with were urging their members to come out and vote. So in the end I felt obliged to stop by the anyway.

    When I arrived at Asphalt Green, there was a group of people outside arguing—some were handing out leaflets, others were trying to stop them, and our LMSC chair was ordering confused newcomers to go inside. I stopped and took a leaflet from a friend urging me to vote no, then was scarcely inside the door before another swimmer friend stopped me and told me to vote yes. When I got the ballot, I discovered that in addition to the bylaws, the membership was also being asked to vote on minutes from the last two meetings, because there has been too much contentiousness among the board to even get minutes approved. (I was not completely surprised by this, as I had been to part of the general membership meeting, and was appalled at how uncivil and ugly it was—I left halfway through). Before I left Asphalt Green today I heard from several people that the police had been called to stop swimmers from handing out fliers—I’m not sure if that was true, but in any case I imagine that the NYPD has more pressing matters to attend to than Masters swimming infighting. Ugh—I have no stomach for conflict, and wish that I could simply switch from Metro to a less dysfunctional LMSC. If anyone is reading this whose LMSC works well consider yourself fortunate, and consider thanking your board members (or give yourself a pat on the back if you are one).

    This situation has definitely made me grateful for the groups I swim with that do run efficiently and where people tend to get along and appreciate each other. So to end on a happier note I will write about the Team New York workout I attended yesterday. We have occasional “ladies only” workouts to bring the women from the team together from our various workout locales. Yesterday’s was also one of two free holiday workouts the team is giving their members, and it was held at John Jay and coached by David. It was nice to reunite with teammates I hadn’t seen in a while, and I enjoyed having Hannah and Elisabeth as lanemates for the following:

    600 scy warmup, various

    4x thru
    200 (50 scull + 150 FR) @ 4:00, odds w/buoy, evens w/out
    4 x 50 (k/d) @ 1:05, IM order by round

    2x through
    250 (100 FR moderate + 50 K fast + 100 IM moderate) @ 4:15
    3 x 50, desc. @ :55 (1st round FR, 2nd round BK) [30, 34 on fasts]
    4 x 25 @ :40, odds ez, evens dps

    4 x 75 FR with no-wall turns [on these, my lane took turns leading on the first three, then synchro-swam the last one three abreast—fun!]

    And our coach brought us cookies for after!

    Updated December 8th, 2013 at 08:30 PM by swimsuit addict

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  13. Birthday workout

    This morning I enjoyed a birthday swim at Riverbank with Rondi and Hannah. We wore our fancy swim caps to celebrate my 48th, as follows:

    1100 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 IM d/s by 25, 100 fr)

    48 x 50 @ last-person-in intervals:
    multiples of 3 = breaststroke
    multiples of 4 = backstroke
    multiples of 7 = fly
    (strokes earlier in IM trump those later in IM)
    primes = kick for 1-24, drill for 25-48

    9 x 100 fr/bk @ 2:00, desc. by 3s [this was a set of 12, but I made my get-out time (<1:30) on the 9th so opted to skip the last 3 and do a longer warmdown]

    400 SKPS warmdown + play

    That was it! I felt lucky to start out the day surrounded by water and friends and mathiness.
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  14. Flyful evening workout

    Last night I enjoyed swimming the evening JJC workout with TNYA. BJ and Matt were on deck, and I had 3 good lanemates for the following:

    800 scy warmup, varied

    16 x 25 @ 30ish, S/K/D/S IM order

    2 x (75 kick with board + 25 fast kick on stomach w/o board + 25 swim) @ 2:15
    2 x (50 kick with board + 25 fast kick on stomach w/o board + 25 swim) @ 1:55
    2 x (25 kick with board + 25 fast kick on stomach w/o board + 25 swim) @ 1:35

    8 x 25 fly drill (one-arm fly breathing forward and not rotating body)
    50 easy
    6 x 25 fly drill (same)
    50 easy

    4 x 150 pull w/o paddles @ 2:15, holding low stroke count [14s/25]

    12 x 50 @ 1:00, done as 3 x (3 ez CH 1 sprint FL) [34/35]

    100 warmdown
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  15. Riverbank swim

    This morning I had a good workout at Riverbank. I started out very tight and tired (my age group swim coach claims that when he first met me my southern accent was such that he couldn’t distinguish between my pronunciation of those two words). It took about 2000 to start to feel loose and good, but eventually I did, and by the end I was enjoying swimming enough I would have stayed longer if they didn’t throw us out at 8:30. I shared a lane with Rondi and John but did my own thing as they did a long freestyle set that was (1) too fast (2) too long and (3) too freestyle for me today. Here’s how my workout went:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    12 x 150:
    First four = FR/ST/FR, IM order @ 2:45
    Middles four = ST/FR/ST, IM order @ 3:00
    Last four = all stroke IM order @ 3:00
    (rest/stretching as desired between each set of four)
    200 IM for time [3:23]

    100 easy

    4 x 200: odds = FR pull w/paddles, 2 = swim FR/BK by 50, 4 = IM kick

    6 x 100 FR/BK halfsies @ 2:00, desc 1-3 and 4-6 [1:48, 1:43, 1:35, 1:55, 1:45, 1:31]

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it! I left feeling much better than when I started.

    I didn’t blog much Thanksgiving week, but I did swim. Here are the highlights:

    Wednesday: turducken!

    Thursday: easy swim at the Y; could hear the Thanksgiving parade going down Central Park West from the locker room

    Friday: blissy rest day

    Saturday: attempted a lcm set of 10 x (200 @ 3:05, 150 @ 3:05) but gave up after just 6 rounds when the crowded lane plus the fatigue made going on tight intervals too frustrating. This was more tiring than it seems like it should be--I might revisit it when I'm in Florida.

    Sunday: swam a mile at Brighton Beach (water and air temp both 45). Swimming hard in the cold plus shivering afterwards maybe accounts for the sore muscles this morning.
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  16. The joy of 10 seconds

    Last night I swam the evening TNYA workout at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx. This pool was added to our team’s rotation a few weeks ago after the closure of the City College pool cancelled our workouts there. It’s a nice 6-lane 25yd facility, a little on the warm side last night. The best thing about it is that since it’s new and a bit out of the way, practices are uncrowded. Last night I enjoyed swimming with just two lanemates, and we got to go 10 seconds apart! I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that in a NYC masters workout. For someone who likes space around them when they swim, it was heaven. Scott was on deck, and here’s what I did:

    750 scy warmup (various)

    8 x 50 @ :55, odds d/s IM order, evens FR shoulder touch drill

    300 pull @ some rest-allowing interval
    3 x 150 desc. @ 2:35 [I did FR/BK/FR]
    100 easy
    2 x 100 IM fast @ 3:00 [1:20s]
    100 easy

    4 x 100 FR @ 1:35
    4 x 50 @ 1:25: 25ez/25 fast BK, 25 fast BK/25 ez, 50 fast BK, 50 easy
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    4 x 50 @ 1:25 as above
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    4 x 50 @ 1:25 as above
    [went :34, :34, :35 on the fast 50s BK]

    100 synchro swim with Hannah

    That was it!

    This morning I swam at Riverbank, sharing a lane with Rondi and John but doing my own thing. I started out pretty tired but perked up during the 200s. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, long stretching interlude, 200 IM d/s by 25)

    10 x 200 @ :20-:30 rest: 2 pull with paddles, 1 FR/BK halfsie, 1 pwp, 1 FR/BK halsie, 1 IM kick, 1 pwp, 1 FR/BK halfsie, 1 IM kick, 1 IM swim

    300 warmdown + play

    That was it. I reached my GTD goal of 365 miles today. Looking forward to a beach + massage day tomorrow!
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  17. pm/am double

    Last night I went to the Team New York evening workout at John Jay. TNYA is such a big team—there’s around 500 of us—that there are whole subgroups outside of the John Jay pool morning crowd that I don’t see very often. So it was a treat to see and swim with old friends who are primarily evening swimmers, plus I enjoyed the actual workout as well (thanks to coaches BJ and Matt!). Here’s what I did:

    Warmup: 400 scy swim, 4 x 75 k/d/s (I did IM order), 200 IM

    2x thru
    3 x 50 K @ 1:10
    2 x 50 BK/BR @ :55
    1 x 50 FR breathe every stroke [This was useful, and something I don’t often do—I tried to work on mimicking my right (good) side breaths with my left side breaths, at least until I inhaled water doing that. Apparently the right side of my mouth isn’t as practiced at keeping out water as the left side is, which explains why I normally get more of my face out of the water when breathing left.]

    Pull-with-Paddles pyramid: 50-100-150-200-150-100-50, all on :45/50 interval [I pulled on the way up, then ditches the paddles and buoy and swam 50fr/50bk/50fr, 25fr/50bk/25fr, 50bk on the way down.]

    3x thru
    400 FR long and relaxed @ 6:30
    200 FR fast[er] @ 3:30 [2:38-2:40]
    100 FR sprint @ 1:15 [1:10, 1:08, 1:07]

    100 warmdown + 50 synchro FR with Richard and Cara

    The workout ended at 9, so I wasn’t planning on swimming this morning, but my body felt like it wanted to swim when I woke up, so off to the pool I went. I was delighted to find Rondi at Riverbank when I got there, and we shared a lane while I did the following long easy workout:

    600 warmup (400s, 200k)

    900 (200 FR + 50 FL + 200 FR + 50 BK + 200 FR + 50 BR + 150 FR)
    700 (150 FR + 50 FL + 150 FR + 50 BK + 150 FR + 50 BR + 100 FR)
    500 (100 FR + 50 FL + 100 FR + 50 BK + 100 FR + 50 BR + 50 FR)
    300 (50 FR + 50 FL + 50 FR + 50 BK + 50 FR + 50 BR)
    200 IM

    400 Kick (200 IM + 200 RIM)
    6 x 50 Pull with paddles, focusing on bilateral breathing and post-breathing rotation
    200 Swim, alt FR/BK by 50
    100 scull + play
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  18. Change of plans

    For the second time this week I found myself opting out of a beach swim at the last minute. This morning I was packed and ready to head out the door when I remembered to check the subways. Turned out my usual train wasn’t running, and getting to the beach would involve more time and hassle and shuttle buses than I wanted to invest in a short swim. (That was at least an improvement over Monday, when I felt unwell half way out to Brighton and had to just around and come back.) Luckily there was a swim practice near my house midday today that I went to instead. It was packed—we had six or more per lane. I ended up with five good lanemates, and enjoyed the workout a lot. Here’s what I did:

    900 scy warmup, various

    12 x 50 @ :55, IM progression (4 x (fl/bk, bk/br, br/fr, fr/fl))

    400 IM kick

    2 x 100 @ 1:50
    1 x 150 @ 1:50
    1 x 50 @ 1:50
    4 x 100 @ 1:50
    1 x 150 @ 1:50
    1 x 50 @ 1:50
    4 x 100 @ 1:50
    1 x 150 @ 1:50
    1 x 50 @ 1:50
    2 x 100 @ 1:50
    [This set looks confusing, but it was actually very cool. On each swim, the first person in the lane did a 150, the last person in the lane did a 50, and everyone in the middle did 100s, all on the same interval (1:50). After each swim the first person moved to the back, and we cycled around 3 times, so it was essentially 3 fast 150s with lots of active rest in between. I just barely made mine (1:47-1:48). I really enjoyed the esprit de lane this set created—we all got to encourage whoever was doing their fast swim, and congratulate them when they came in.]

    8 x 50 ST, #s 4 and 8 fast [BK on first 4 (35), BK/BR on second 4 (39+)]

    200 warmdown

    I was very happy after workout to remember that the lunch I had packed for the beach was in my beach bag waiting for me. It all worked out in the end!
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  19. Bubble rings!

    Today I managed to blow bubble rings for the first time! I did a prosaic mid-day workout at the Y, and afterwards enjoyed having my own lane to scull and play in. I tried lying on the bottom and blowing bubble rings, which I’ve done before, and this time they actually came out as rings rather than just big bubbles. Cool! I was just in the shallow end today—I’ll have to work on my sinking skills so that I can do this in the deep end as well. I’m not yet as skilled as these guys . . .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMCf7...D1&app=desktop

    …but it’s a start!

    My workout today:

    1000 scy warmup

    4 x (3 x 50 FR @ 1:00, desc.)

    4 x (3 x 25 @ :30 desc., stroke IM order)

    400 experiment, scull, play
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  20. Chilly beach day

    The beach was really lovely today. The weather is definitely turning colder, and with air temps in the 40s and an overcast sky the CIBBOWS crowd was thin. The water was flat and very clear and pretty, but chilly—it seems to have dropped a bit this week. I swam west (heading into the wind and current) first, going as far as the WonderWheel before deciding it might be smart to head back. When I reached my starting place I wasn’t quite ready to get out, though, so I swam on to the big jetty, then about half-way to the next. I had been thinking of going to the white building that usually marks the eastern endpoint of our loop, but I decided that I was getting chilled enough and ready to head in, so I did. It ended up being a truncated-at-both-ends loop, a little over 2 miles. It felt wonderfully calming and peaceful out there. I especially enjoyed watching a large three-tiered tugboat and barge combo go by, and was lulled by the dim sun glancing off the water when it peeked out from time to time.

    I dressed and warmed up quickly on the beach, with Hsi-Ling leading me in some kung-fu exercises that seemed to get warm blood flowing throughout my limbs quicker than jogging around. I can’t wait to get back out there—there’s just something about swimming in chilly water that is amazing and addictive. Hurray for November beach days!
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