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swimsuit addict

About a year after beginning this blog, I got interested in open-water swimming, and it's been my passion ever since. Here's a list of some swims I've done.

  1. A pleasant LC morning

    This morning I swam the LCM workout with the AGUA masters. I swam a lane down, for taper purposes. Here’s what we did:

    600 LCM warmup

    3 x (2 x 100 smooth @ 2:15, 1 x 200 fast @ 4:00) [I did FR on the 1st round, FR/BK halfsies on the 2nd, and BK on round 3.]

    8 x 50 Kick w/ fins @ 1:30, done as 2 x (25 ez/ 25 fast, 25 fast/ 50 easy, 50 easy, 50 fast), 1st round FR, 2nd round FL

    10 x 50 choice, odds superfast turnover for 6 stroke cycles at beginning and end of length but easy in the middle, evens build to strong finish

    3 x 500 @ 9:00? [I just did 2 of these as an extended warmdown—I mostly played on the first one, then swam my 400 scy IM in my head while doing the second (I did the turns @ 400 IM pace, but the rest easy free).

    I enjoyed this workout, plus got to check off all the little things I had hoped to work on today.

    Tomorrow I’m going out to Brighton Beach to swim—my first open water swimming of the season! The water temp is reportedly in the 50s, but there have also been reports of jellies already. I’m hoping to have a short, pleasant, and sting-free swim!
  2. Grab-bag workout

    I did an easy short swim at the Y today on my own. I started with my standard 1000 scy warmup (400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 rev. IM drill/swim), then did about another mix-and-match 1000 or so that included the following:

    twirling fly kicks a la Fortress, only without a monofin [I managed not to stray into other lanes on this, although it would have been particularly easy in this pool, with its narrow lanes that do not correspond to the lines on the bottom! Next time I do these I will bring my nose clip!]

    some 50 free/back halfsies, focusing on keeping my knee bent at the same angle as I flip my legs over on my turn [sometimes I bend my knees a skunch more right as my feet are about to make contact with the wall—probably defensive reflex from heeling the wall one too many times—and then spend a split-second drifting into the wall, rather than simply flipping over and making solid contact. When I focus on keeping my knee position the same, my turns feel way more bouncy.]

    breaststroke at different turnover speeds, focusing on watching my hands recover right under my face (to work on head position, and keeping rhythm efficient as I speed up my stroke)

    some backwards kicking (FL, BR, and FR), followed by a feet-first 25 IM (just for fun)

    a couple build 50 BKs, focusing on pretty technique

    some dolphin dive 25s

    100 corkscrew IM

    and just some easy, dreamy swimming

    It was a good session. I’ll get back into working-semi-hard mode tomorrow—today my goal was just to have fun and get loose enough so that I could have a good stretching session after.

    Tonight I went to ballet class—probably my last one til after Atlanta.
  3. The smooth delicious center of the IM

    I swam the noon masters workout at AG today. I started out working on my BK and BR sprinting, since I'm swimming 50s of both at nationals, then combined the 2 strokes with an eye towards working on the middle part of my 2IM. Here’s how it went:

    600 scy warmup

    7 x 75 k/d/s @ :15, odds FR, evens FL/BK/BR

    75 easy swim

    16 x 25 fastish @ :30, odds BK, evens BR
    100 easy @ 2:00
    6 x 50 fast @ 1:00, 2 back, 2 breast, 2 back [I the odds build and the evens fast]
    100 easy
    3 x 100 fast @ 1:50 [I did these as BK/BR halfsies, and skipped a 50 of the last one]
    100 easy
    95 from blocks for time [I did an IM middle, ie 50BK/50BR]
    200 warmdown

    Taper superstitions: Although I really like playing with numbers during most of my swim season, and am usually watching the clock to note my splits on anything over 100, I don’t like knowing what times I’m swimming during my taper. This is particularly true of any swims that I will be doing at the meet I’m tapering for—ie, I don’t want to know my time for a 200 IM from the blocks in practice if that’s an event I’ll be swimming. In fact, I often refuse to swim the exact distances or strokes that I’ll be doing in the meet, preferring to practice my races in pieces instead.

    I don’t know that this is completely a superstition on my part—I don’t really believe that knowing my times will magically jinx me at the meet or anything. Rather, I do it mostly because I know myself well enough to realize that if I have data to play with, I will worry about it. It is analogous to peeking at the scoreboard at meets during the backstroke leg of the IMs in order to see the FL split. I finally convinced myself to stop doing this, because I know that there is no number in the world that I can see up there that will make me feel more confident and relaxed in my swim. If the split is over or under my goal split, I worry that I’m pacing the race wrong, and if even it’s right on the number that I was aiming for, I just find something else to worry about, like whether my perceived effort is too great for that particular time. In short, numbers can turn me into a worrywart.

    It’s the same during taper—if my times are slow, I worry that my taper is not going right, and if they’re fast, I worry that I’ve tapered too soon or that I’m working too hard. I find it easier to just ignore the stopwatch and trust that I’ve put in the work, and that it will all come together at the meet.

    Is anyone else a stopwatch-phobe during taper?
  4. The pool felt so wonderfully cool this morning

    I went to AGUA’s early morning practice this morning. The weekend had been really hot and humid here, and our apartment building has not switched over to air conditioning yet, so I was super glad to crawl out of bed this morning and head to the pool. Here’s what we did:

    600 scy warmup

    9 x 75 K/D/S @ :15 rest interval (2 FL, 2 BK, 2 BR, 2 FR, 1 IM)

    Then we divided into 2 groups, distance FR and ST/IM. I chose the latter. We did the following set:
    6 x 50 fast @ :35 [I did odds FL, BK, BR, evens FR]
    3 x 100 @ 1:40, [I did odds IM, evens BK]
    2 x 200 @ 3:20, [odd BK, even IM]
    300 IM
    6 x 50 fast @ :35 [same as above]
    300 easy FR
    2 x 200 easy FR
    4 z 100 ST fast @ 2:00 [I did odds IM (1:21, 1:18?), evens BK (1:17, 1:16)]

    250 warmdown

    I’ve been looking at the timeline for Atlanta and thinking about what suits I want to wear for each race. I have to decide which events are far enough apart to warrant costume changes in between—I don’t like sitting around in my tech suit if there’s tons and tons of time between events. How do other people handle this? In spite of my general love of swimsuits, figuring out how many costume changes I should plan for and how many and which suits to bring (because putting back on the same wet tight tech suit seems pretty impossible) is not one of my favorite big-meet-associated tasks.

    I am pretty pleased with the timing of my events: On Friday, my races start at 8am (400 IM, I always like swimming the first event on my first day at a meet, rather than waiting around), 12:15pm (50 BR), and 1:20 (200 BK). It looks like I’ll have a nice lunch break between the IM and before the 50 BR that day. On Saturday I get to sleep in, then swim the last 3 events back-to-back-to-back, at 12:50, 2:20, and 3:55. I might get to swim some relays in there as well. I think it will be a fun few days!

    Yesterday afternoon I did the following rowing workout with Mr. Addict. It is the second time we’ve attempted to do 6 x (2 minutes hard, 2 minutes rest), and both times I’ve bailed before I finished the set. The first time I tried to do 2 sets of 3 descending 2s, and I went 1:57 on the 3rd one, which is a very good time for me, but then was just too drained and wheezy to carry on. Yesterday my goal was just to go sub-2:10 on the odds and <2:05 on the evens, which I thought would be doable. I think I just got too overheated—the air conditioning at the Y has not been turned on yet, either. I ended up giving myself a get-out-time on the 4th rep, made it, and just did the last 2 easy. Mr. Addict was suffering too, but he powered through the whole thing.

    6-minute warmup and drills
    2-minute rest
    8-minute piece build and pace work
    6 x (2-minute piece, 2-minute rest) [2:08, 2:03, 2:08, 2:03, 2:30, 2:25]
    8-minute warmdown [I skipped this since I’d already warmed down]
  5. Imaginary walls

    I swam this morning with AGUA masters. Saturdays are a 2-hour LCM workout here’s what we did:

    700 LCM warmup

    3 x (100 flutter K on back, 200 drill, 300 swim desc. by 100s, w/ :15 rest after each part), odd rounds FR, even rounds ST [the last round got shortened to 100/100/200]

    10 x 45m @ 1:10: started at flags, prone w/ feet at surface & sculling w/ hands, then at sendoff kicked hard for 3 sec to start forward motion before beginning stroke with hands and swimming strong to wall [Coach Craig said the point of this set was to reinforce that speed starts w/ the kick, not the armstroke.]

    6 x 160 IM @ :20 rest: These were IMs starting, turning, and ending at flags—the point was to do regular IM turns without the wall to help you out

    7 x 100 @ 1:50, 1-4 pull desc., 5-7 swim desc.

    200 warmdown

    I actually like doing no-wall turns—I like trying to make my motions as precise as divers’ are when tucking and twisting, and not worrying about where the wall is really helps me focus just on what my body is doing in relation to itself, if that makes sense. I also especially liked doing these off-the-wall sets in this particular practice—since it’s long course, we have lots of people in each lane, and since this pool is all deep and everyone prefers hanging on the wall after finishing instead of treading or hanging on a laneline, it sometimes gets difficult to make sure that everyone gets wall space to finish. Starting at the 5m mark fixed that problem.

    To celebrate Kentucky Derby day I broke out my new roses suit for today’s workout:

    (Although the way this race will be run—20 horses starting in a pack, having to bank around a curve less than 30 seconds after the start—reminds me of what I like least about open water swimming.)

    I’m still waiting for the beaches in my area to reach Janet-suitable temps, ie. into the 50s. This weekend is supposed to be very warm, so maybe by next weekend it will happen!
  6. Off the blocks!

    I swam the noon AGUA workout with Coach Craig today. Here’s what we did:

    500 warmup

    400 done as 4 x (25 build + 25 easy + 50 fast), odd 100s FR, evens ST

    chalk talk on body position in different strokes

    8 x 50 (25 easy, 25 fast) @ :50, 1st 4 = FR, 2nd 4 = ST [I did BR, worked on looking at my hands while recovering]

    dive technique review

    3 x (200 easy + 50 sprint from blocks) [I did these all FR]

    250 warmdown

    I was really glad to get to do some dives—I think this is the first time since December that I’ve gotten to practice starts outside of meets. I feel like an excited little kid whenever the coach announces that we get to go off the blocks!

    Some of my dives could have had a cleaner entry—I'm not terribly consistent, and will work on that before nats. I was happy with my breakouts on the sprints. I do need to work on remembering to breathe all my air out before taking a breath in on sprinting—on the last 50 I found myself really desperate for a breath, only to realize that had exhale once I turned my head before I could get air in.
  7. The IM option

    This morning I swam the early AGUA workout. Since the faster lanes were pretty crowded, I moved over a few lanes to share with just 1 other swimmer, and modified the sets accordingly. Here’s the workout, and what I did with it:

    550 warmup

    4 x 100 (75 FR / 25 fast stroke, IM order) @ :15 rest

    3 x 75 @ :15 rest, odds FR, evens IM-FR [did the middle 25 kick]

    25 easy

    4 x 150 FR @ 2:45, desc. 1-2 and 3-4 [I did these as kick sandwiches too (middle 50 kick), went 2:17, 2:08, 2:18, 2:07]

    4 x 100 K @ 2:30, alternating prone and supine by 25 [took advantage of the interval to do these all BR kick, experimenting with width of kick and hip angle]

    5 x 300 @ 5:20, FR except for last 75 BR or BK [This was a set where the whole pool did the same interval, with different distances assigned for each lane. I just did 300 IMs, and brought them in at 4:33, 4:31, 4:30, 4:26, 4:21. I worked on increasing my FL and BR tempo within the 75s. My goals were to descend these and to go <4:20 on the last on, so I was 1 for 2.]

    300 warmdown

  8. Weekend workouts

    Today I swam a midmorning workout with TNYA. Here’s what we did:

    800 scy warmup

    4 x 50 FR finger-tip-drag @ :15 rest
    1 x 100 BR/FL/BR/FL, working on pressing chest @ :15 rest
    3 x 50 FTD drill @ :15 rest
    2 x 100 BR / FL / BR / FL, pressing chest @ :15 rest
    2 x 50 FTD @ :15 rest

    6 x 50 BK kick @ 1:00
    150 quality BK @ 2:45
    5 x 50 BR kick @ 1:00
    100 quality BR @ 2:00

    1 x 200 FR @ 2:40
    2 x 150 FR @ 2:00
    3 x 100 FR @ 1:20
    4 x 50 FR @ :45

    4 x 50 FL kick @ 1:10
    1 x 50 FL quality

    25 FR K / 75 BR swim
    50 FR K / 50 BR swim
    75 FR K /25 BR swim
    100 FR K
    (Kicks on all the above were fast; took a about :20 rest in between each hundred)

    50 swimdown

    Yesterday I didn’t swim, but in the afternoon I did a rowing workout the Y with Mr. Addict. Mr. A seems to have gotten it into his head that one day I will be interested in doing a 2000M rowing piece all out on the erg, just to see what I can do. He’s a good endurance athlete and enjoys doing things like that; I’m a wimp and tend to avoid things that involve 8+ minutes of pain. Anyway, the goal of yesterday’s workout was to keep the hard pieces at my theoretical goal 2000M pace, which he thought would be between 2:05-2:10 per 500m. I actually ended up going a little faster than that towards the end. Here’s how it went:

    6 minutes warmup w/ drills
    2 minutes rest
    6 minutes piece, build [2:16 avg]
    2 minuts rest
    2 minute hard piece [2:08]
    2 minute easy row/rest
    3 minute hard piece [2:06]
    3 minute easy row/rest
    1 minute hard piece [2:08]
    1 minute easy row/rest
    3 minute hard piece [2:03]
    3 minute easy row/rest
    1 minute hard piece [2:06]
    1 minute easy row/rest
    2 minute hard piece [2:03]
    2 minute easy row/rest
    8 minute row-out

    I’m really enjoying the rowing but will probably cut it out sometime over the next couple of weeks as I taper for nationals.
    Tags: rowing
  9. Swim + ballet

    I swam again at lunch today with the team. Here’s what I did:

    700 scy warmup

    5 x 150 (75 ST ez/m/f, 75 FR f/m/ez) @ 2:45 [did the last 50 of each kick]

    Chalk talk on FR and BK entry and exit

    4 x (100 BK @ :30 rest, 200 IM @ :30 rest), odd sets EZ focusing on technique, even sets fast

    200 warmdown

    I like the technique-focused chalk talks we get—they’re about 5 minutes long, and always give me something good to focus on during the rest of the workout (and often the rest of the week and beyond). I know I should be focusing on technique keys while I swim in any case, but my attention is prone to wandering to other stuff going on in the pool, and the chalk talks help it find its way back to more pertinent matters.

    Tonight I did ballet class, which always leaves me happy and energized. We did lots of jumping. I need to stretch my legs out well tonight and tomorrow—last week they stayed really tight after ballet for several days.

    Good luck to all you colonists and others doing meets this weekend!

    Tags: ballet, noon
  10. Central Park report, and swim

    I swam again at the AGUA lunchtime workout today—it’s getting to be a habit. On pretty days, I try to make time to walk over to the pool and/or back. Today I did both, and saw the following things in Central Park:

    5 saxophonists (one of whom was playing Michael Jackson songs and moonwalking)
    2 violinists
    1 erhu (I think) player
    1 person practicing javelin throwing (just the throwing motion, not the run-up, so his throws weren’t going super far, thank goodness. He looked like he knew what he was doing, and had 4 javelins with him.)
    2 people with personal trainers doing planks and lunges and other Fortress-worthy exercises
    1 toddler wailing because her caregiver refused to let her wander over and join in the plank funness
    6 adult softball teams in full uniform, all taking their games very seriously
    Too many picnickers to count
    1 person carrying a bunny rabbit cradled in his arms
    2 professional photo shoots (looked like they were both for clothing ads)
    4 wedding photo shoots
    2 people walking on stilts and holding hands
    and lots of people jogging or biking or walking and enjoying the sunshine

    Here’s the workout we did today:

    400 warmup

    9 x 75 @ :15 rest, done as 3 x (75 kick, 75 drill, 75 swim), building within each 75 [I did the first set of 3 FL, the second BK, the third BR]

    25 easy

    15 x 50 FR: 5 @ :45, 5 @ :40, 5 @ :35 [I came very close to making the 35s—I missed the 4th send-off by a second, then caught back up to touch right at :35 on the 5th.]

    50 easy

    5 x 200 (150 FR build, 50 ST fast) @ 3:00 [ST = BK for me, since I’m swimming a 200 BK at nats]

    200 warmdown

    I really enjoyed getting to mix up speeds a lot today.
  11. Tuesday noontime swim

    I swam the lunchtime workout today—here’s what we did:

    600 scy warmup

    7 x 50 (odds kick IM order on back, evens FR drill 25 right arm, 25 left arm) @ :20 rest

    5 x 400/300 (odds = 400 FRs, desc., evens = 3 x 25 sprint kick ST/25 ez FR/25 sprint ST/25 easy FR) @ :30 rest [went 1:25-1:30 pace on 1st 400, then 5:18 and 5:08 on last 2]

    250 warmdown

    That was it! More swimming tomorrow.

    It has been so pretty here that I’ve gotten antsy to do some open water swimming. Maybe this weekend, if the weather stays nice.

    Tags: noon
  12. Saturday morning workout with team

    I swam a LCM workout with my team this morning. Saturday is the only day of the week that I do a 2-hour workout, and for the last 2 weekends I had cut this practice short because of meets. Today I stayed for the whole enchilada, and I’m really feeling it now. Here’s what we did:

    900 LCM warmup

    5 x 200 FR @ 3:30, desc. [3:15, 3:10 (actually this was more like a 3:06—I waited to touch the wall until the 10 because I went into the set wanting to descend by :05 on each one, but after doing that I admitted to myself that it was silly to manipulate my times that way), 3:03, 3:01, 2:56]

    10 x 50 ST (16.7 build, 16.7 sprint, 16.6 easy) @ 1:30 [We had cones dividing the pool into thirds for this one. I did BK.]

    100 easy

    8 x 100 IM (16.7 fly, 16.7 back, 16.6 breast, 50 FR) @ 2:00 [Used the cones again for the first length of each, then the 50 FR was fast. I could have used more rest on these.]

    6 x 50 easy @ 1:00

    3 x 500 FR @ 9:00 [This was long slow distance swimming. I did the 1st one all FR and maintained a 1:40/100 pace; my attention wandered a bit on the last two, and I amused myself by mixing in some BK and combining FL and BR kicks with my FR.]

    100 warmdown

    During the IM set Coach Craig pointed out that my left-hand FR entry was too wide. This was feeling pretty difficult to correct consistently. After some experimentation (plenty of opportunity for that on those 500s), I realized that when I breathe in I relax my core muscles a bit, and allow my back to arch. Since I usually 2-stroke breathe to my right, this happens every time I’m placing my left hand into the water. Arching my back makes it hard to both place my hand in front of my shoulder and keep my elbow higher than my wrist, so I compensate by entering wider. So focusing on keeping my core strong while I breathe seemed to help me correct the left hand entry, Thinking about not looking forward before or during my breath also seemed to help, since that’s another thing that leads to back arch.
    Tags: technique
  13. I worked hard this morning

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

    600 LCM warmup

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

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

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

    350 warmdown

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

    Today I swam the noontime AG workout again. We’ve been having glorious spring weather, and all the flowering trees are heavy with blossoms, so I enjoyed a beautiful walk across Central Park to the pool and back. I so love the city during the springtime.

    Today’s workout was stroke technique focused—Coach Craig talked about breathing on FL, BK, and BR, and we worked on transitioning from relaxed careful stroke with correct breathing to faster swims with correct breathing. I chose to work on BK, which seems like it should be easier than BR or FL to breathe on, but the set made me realize that as I work harder I tend to become more tense and not breathe out or in fully sometimes, especially into and out of turns. (I think sometimes I try to hoard my air right before turns, trying to breathe more in without breathing fully out first, and of course that is counterproductive.) It was good to work on that, and today’s workout gives me some idea of how to approach that problem going forward. Here’s what we did:

    400 warmup

    5 x 200 FR desc. @ 2:50 [2:38, 2:33, 2:30, 2:28, 2:26, 2:23]

    Breathing chalk talk

    6 x 150 ST @ biggish rest: 1st = 125 ez/25 fast; 2nd=100 ez/50 fast, etc. up to 150 fast

    200 warmdown

    That was it--short and sweet, with a bit of hard swimming, and some technique stuff to mull over during my next few swims. I’m really getting to like this noontime swimming!
  15. IMs for lunch

    Today I went over to Asphalt Green for the noon masters workout. When I signed up with this team, I wondered whether it would really be worth my while to travel across town for a workout that just lasts an hour (the commute takes about 45 minutes each way). But today’s workout packed a lot of quality swimming into 60 minutes—it was definitely just what I was looking for to break up my day. Here’s what we did:

    500 warmup

    4 x 175 (50 Swim / 75 Kick / 50 drill), IM order, @ :15 rest

    IM pyramid: [The goal on this set was to maintain the same pace per 100 on the IMs going up, then descend that pace on each IM on the way down.]
    100 IM @ 1:30 [1:29]
    50 easy FR @ 1:00
    200 IM @ 3:00 [2:57]
    50 easy FR @ 1:00
    300 IM @ 4:30 [4:23]
    50 easy @ 1:00
    400 IM @ 6:00 [5:45]
    50 easy @ 1:00
    300 IM @ 4:30 [4:17]
    50 easy @ 1:00+ [took an extra minute here as we decided not to skip the 200, even though that ran us slightly over on time]
    200 IM @ 3:00 [2:48]
    50 easy @ 1:00
    100 IM @ 1:30 [1:17]

    200 easy warmdown

    Tonight I’ll probably go to the Y and do rowing class + weights and stretching.

    Rowing update: I did make it to rowing class, and our main hard thing was 2 x 10-minute pieces with 2 min. rest in between. I averaged 2:17.9 on the first and 2:18.3 for the second--good numbers for me for that long a rowing piece.
    Now I'm tired and ready for Glee. I think tomorrow will be a rest day.

    Updated April 13th, 2010 at 09:03 PM by swimsuit addict

    Tags: ims, rowing
  16. I spent the morning trying to bounce off walls

    This morning I swam the 5:45 workout with AG masters. I was sore in my shoulders and neck, and very tight in my hip flexors after yesterday’s meet, but everything loosened up eventually. Here’s what I did:

    500 scy warmup

    6 x 200 @ 3:00 [I alternated FR/BK by 25s, then by 50s, then by 100s, twice through]

    8 x 50, 1st 25 = stroke chimera (arms/kick = FL/FR, BK/FL, BR/FL, FR/FR, twice through), 2nd 25 = FR, all flutter kicking = fast

    4 x 100 Kick @ 2:00, alternating kicking on belly, side, back, side by 25

    8 x 100 FR @ 1:35, gliding in streamline position off walls as far as possible [I really loved this set. I was all superglidy bliss during it—I spent about half of each length with no stroking or kicking, just enjoying feeling the water around me and listening to all the various underwater noises before surfacing. It was like that wonderful moment of underwater stillness in BR pullouts, only times ten! Plus I finally felt all stretched out by the set’s end. I need to remember to do this on my own if I’m feeling tight or stressed.]

    4 x 100 FR @ 1:30 with great underwaters [The idea was to keep the great streamlines off walls, and add underwaters and breakouts. The rest of the swimming was easy, which was good because working underwaters and breakouts really tires me out.]

    200 warmdown

    I entered nationals this morning—I’m swimming 400 IM, 50 BR, 200 BK on Friday, and 200 IM, 100 FR, 50 BK on Saturday. Also, I was looking over the meet information printed in the magazine, and noticed that the description of Zoo Atlanta is pretty hilarious.
    Tags: atlanta, turns
  17. Meet Report and New Graph

    Today I swam a scy meet sponsored by the NYC Parks Department at the beautiful swimming pool/ice rink in Queens. This is a newish pool, built when NYC was pursuing the 2012 Olympic bid (it would have been the water polo facility had we won). It is a cheerful place to swim, with lots of glass windows looking out on the surrounding park. Today’s meet was a lot of fun, and was probably the best attended local meet of the season.

    One of the cool things about the Parks Department sponsoring this meet is that there are no entry fees. Another is that it always kicks off with the “Commissioner’s Trophy Relay,” which is a 200 FR relay open to any teams of 2 men and 2 women whose combined ages equal at least 160. It’s not an official masters event, times from it are not submitted for top 10, and you are allowed to mix and match teams without regard for USMS affiliation, which often makes for some spirited last-minute scrambling. Today was the 26th annual running of the relay. I swam the event with some TNYA teammates, and we ended up winning in 1:43-high. It would have been a great race with the 2nd-place team (1:44-low), had we not been in different heats.

    The second part of the whole relay deal is the trophy presentation. Every year, they stop the entire meet partway through for a grand ceremony. Last year’s featured the familiar NBC Olymipic theme song on tape and podiums that required steps to climb. This year there was no music or podiums, but all the familiar loot was there. The top six teams all get commemorative t-shirts, along with huge trophies much too big for any event not involving children. (A kind teammate who had driven to the meet ferried most of our team’s haul back to the city, so I didn’t have spend my subway ride back to the city holding the ginormous swimming award.) All the teams are also required to pose for official photographs. All that for swimming a 50 free!

    Anyway, that was the relay. (I swam a 26.8 split according to the guy hand-timing our heat. I'm not sure if I'll get an official split as the timing system was being balky). Here are the results from the rest of my swims in the meet proper:

    200 IM: 2:32.56 (33.27, 38.31, 45.19, 35.79)
    This is definitely an improvement over my previous season best of 3:37.5. I didn’t feel it was a terribly well swum race. I wanted to approach this more aggressively, but probably went overboard. I took out my fly too hard, didn’t breathe enough, and was definitely feeling it on the BR and FR legs. All told, I’m surprised my time wasn’t worse considering how bad I felt on the last half of this race. This time is a bit off last year’s best of 2:31.16, but I’ll have another crack at swimming it at nats.

    100 BK: 1:08.74 (33.56, 35.18)
    I was pleased with this time. Last week I swam a 1:11.2 at the time trials, and felt like I took out that race too timidly (35.35, 35.86). My goal going into this race was to swim the first half more aggressively, and I did. I went out 1.8 seconds faster, and was able to bring it home quicker as well. I did mess up 2 of my turns. They announced after warmup that the backstroke flags were a few inches off, but I hadn’t noticed any difference in the IM. On this race, though, I was way far from the wall on the 1st turn, so then decided that I would take an extra stroke going into the 3rd turn. That was a mistake, as I really scary close to the wall. This time is about half a second off last season’s best.

    100 IM: 1:09.43 (32.46, 36.97)
    This was a season best time by a tenth. It was an ok race—100 IMs are always fun. (So today BK beat IM. BK is on a roll--last week it beat FL.)

    50 BR: 36.01
    The last time I swam this, my turnover felt sluggish; today it felt rushed. I definitely want to work on my sprint breaststroke rhythm some more before nationals, in hopes of making it just right.

    That was it for my swimming. It was great seeing all the usual Masters swimming suspects all together today, and there were some sparkling swims. John Craig broke a national record in the 200 FL (2:04-high), so I was really happy for him. I felt really relaxed at this meet and spent a lot of time visiting with swim buddies past and present.

    Here’s my revised list of season best times and the graph of this season’s swim ratings:

    FR: 27.25 / 59.56 / 2:17.58 / 6:11.42
    BK: 31.62 / 1:08.74
    BR: 35.52 / 1:19.74
    FL: 30.08 / 1:11.51
    IM: 1:09.43 / 2:32.56 / 5:33.43

  18. Nice way to start the weekend

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

    Here’s what I did:

    800 LCM warmup

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

    100 easy

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

    50 easy

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

    300 easy

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

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

    800 LCM warmup

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

    4 x 50 FR build @ 1:00

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

    300 warmdown

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

    Tonight I swam the late workout with TNYA at John Jay College. Here’s what I did:

    650 warmup (200 FR, 50 FL, 2 x 100 BK/BR, 200 K)

    6 x 100 pull @ 1:30

    5 x 50 dolphin kick @ 1:15

    I got out at this point because I was having some sinus/allergy problems. The water quality wasn’t very good, so that might have been what was causing them (it was cloudy and smelled and tasted funny.) I figured it was best to bail and live to swim another day, but I was frustrated because I really liked what the next set was going to be. I told Scott I was stealing it to swim another time.

    Tonight’s experience notwithstanding, I have been excited about swimming this week, because over the weekend I decided that I would go to nationals. I have been pretty lackadaisical this season about making any long-term swimming plans, in part because I’ve had some more pressing issues to deal with, but also because I was enjoying just swimming the workouts for themselves and simply planning my swimming life from one meet to the next. (Plentiful local meets this season definitely contributed to this enjoyment—thank you Metro meet directors!). But over the weekend I realized that it wasn’t too late to enter nats, that I would enjoy swimming a last scy meet this season, and that I could combine the meet with a trip home to see my folks that I need to make around that time anyway. Bingo! I’m going.

    I’ll probably do the meet as a 2-day affair, swimming all my individual events on Friday and Saturday. The only events that look attractive on Sunday—50 FR and less so 100 BK—are relatively late on the schedule, and I don’t want to have to either plan a really late flight home, or worry about missing an earlier one. So right now I’m leaning towards doing the 400 IM, 50 BR, and either 200 BK or 100 FL on Friday, and the 2IM, 100 FR, and 50 BK on Saturday. That will give me a pleasantly chewy schedule, as well as plenty of stuff to work over the next 6 weeks. I already have my flight, hotel, and car reservations, but will probably wait til after my meet on Sunday to enter in hopes of getting a better official time in the 200 IM to seed myself with.

    And yesterday I actually tried on my 2 tech suits—I have a B70 and a Finis. They’re both new—the B70 is a replacement suit for the one that ripped in Portland. (I've managed to avoid wearing it for the last year and a half). The B70 donning experience wasn’t as bad as I remembered, maybe because I made a scarecrow by stuffing the legs of the suit with a foam roller and a stretching mat and the body of the suit with a few towels. I zipped it up and left it like that for a couple of hours before I tried it on, and it seemed to have stretched out at least a bit. It was still very tight, but getting it on only took about 10 minutes. Plus I didn’t feel like the circulation to my ankles was completely cut off. (I had put water bottles in the cuffs to stretch them). The Finis suit might benefit from a similar scarecrow treatment. I do find the “stabilizing strips” in that suit a little bizarre.

    So . . . onward and upward. Atlanta here I come!
    Tags: atlanta