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  1. Pieces of IM, Part II

    This morning I swam in the rain solo (and I mean really solo—I was the only one in the pool for 90 percent of my workout!) Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup

    4 x 125 IM pieces @ 2:15, doing 80 build/45 easy on each one

    3 x 150 IM pieces, 50K/50S/50K

    2 x 175 IM pieces, odd lengths rightside-up, even lengths upside-down

    1 x 200 IM [The grand finale of yesterday’s and today’s sets—I swam this as beautifully as I could]

    Snorkel experimentation [see[ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=205760#post205760"] discussion forums [/ame]for details]

    200 warmdown

    I’m hoping to get in an additional swim tonight, but thunderstorms are forecast for later today. We’ll see how it goes.
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  2. Pieces of IM, Part I

    I got to the pool on the late side this morning so had to cut things short (lap swimming only lasts til 9, then the pool closes up for 2 hours). Here’s what I did (SCY, on my own):

    1000 warmup

    8 x 25 @ :30, odds K, evens build (2 of each stroke, IM order)


    7 x 50 @ :50, IM pieces (50 FL, 25 FL/25 BK, 50 BK, 25 BK/25 BR, 50 BR, etc)


    6 x 75 IM pieces @ 1:30 [50FL/25BK, 25FL/50BK, 50BK/25BR, 25BK/50BR, 50BK/25 FR, 25BK/50FR, all Kick except the 2nd 25 of each 50 of the same stroke is swim]


    5 x 100 IM pieces @ 1:40 [50FL/50BK, 25FL/50BK/25BR, 50BK/50BR, 25BK/50BR/25FR, 50BR/50FR]

    [Then I realized that the pool would be closing soon, so decided to save the 125s-200 for another day.]

    300 pull, experimenting with swim snorkel

    200 warmdown
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  3. Who'll stop the rain?

    At least the rain didn’t stop me. It was pouring when I headed out this morning, but the pool was open and was even set up long course. When I first got in it was just me and the pool vacuum in the water. (The pool vacuum is an amazing contraption. It creeps along the bottom making Darth Vader noises until it encounters a wall, then whines and rasps until a lifeguard rescues it by pulling it slowly backwards by its cord. It has a transparent bag attached to it to collect debris, so in the water it looks like some strange robot/jellyfish hybrid creature. It must do its job pretty well, because the pool here still looks sparkly after being open for 4 years.)

    After a few laps some more swimmers came, and I got to do the main set with my swim buddy Mark who’s training for the Auburn meet. Here’s the workout I swam

    1000 warmup

    6 x 50 (25 drill/25 fast)

    10 x 200 stroke sandwiches (50 FR / 100 ST / 50 FR) @ 4:00 [On the odds, I did BK for the ST 100; on the evens, I alternated 50 FL/50 BK and 50 BK / 50 BR. Since the interval was generous, I concentrated on keeping a steady kick on my FR rather than letting my feet bob behind me.]

    200 warmdown
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  4. The pool was so nice, I swam there twice

    (Well, actually it had more to do with the dismal weather predictions, but that wouldn't rhyme.)

    This morning I went to the pool to swim on my own. There was a coached workout scheduled for tonight, but heavy rain and possible thunderstorms were forecast and I wasn’t sure that the pool would be open later. So I hedged my bets by driving in for a short morning swim. I was glad I did, if just for the glorious sunrise on the way to the pool. Here’s what I did:

    1100 warmup

    Twice through:
    12 x 50 @ 1:00, done as
    1 x 50 FR Kick
    1 x 50 BR Kick
    2 x 50 (25 BR / 25 FR)
    1 x 50 BR Kick
    1 x 50 BK Kick
    2 x 50 (25 BK / 25 BR)
    1 x 50 BK Kick
    1 x 50 FL Kick
    2 x 50 (25 FL / 25 BK)

    300 SKPS warmdown

    Then this afternoon the rain held off and we got to have practice anyway. I was offered an option of sprinting or a longer IM-focused session, and I chose the sprinting:

    800 SKPS warmup

    4 x 50 (25 build/25 fast) @ :50 [I did reverse IM order]

    200 EZ

    4 x broken 100s @ 5:00 (25 /:10 rest/25/ :10 rest/ 50) [I went 1:01-low, 1:00-mid, 59-high, 59-low, and swam 100 easy between each]

    200 easy

    4 x 50 with fins and paddles (25 heads-up kick, 25 sprint swim) @ 3:00 or so

    100 easy

    4 x (12˝ sprint, 12 ˝ easy) @ 1:00

    200 warmdown

    Emphasis on all the sprinting was maintaining a great kick.

    So I did a double today, for the first time in ages, but without doing any more yardage than I would do in a long single session. And tomorrow morning I’ll be back for more! (or at least that’s the plan).
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  5. Calm Wednesday morning swim

    This morning’s 6am practice was a quick turnaround from last night’s workout, but everything felt ok and it felt good to stretch out in the water. As I had hoped, my friend the bug stayed away from the pool (or at least from my lane). Here’s the workout we did:

    900 warmup (3 x 100S/100K/100D)

    12 x 25 kick @ :40, desc. within each set of 3

    4 x 500 @ Rest :30-1:00: 1st 500 alt. drill/swim by 100; 2nd 500 is pull; 3rd 500 75S/25K; 4th 500 desc. by 100s [I did this set with my swimbuddy Ray, which made it fun—we’re very well matched for speed on freestyle, and really hammered the last 100 of that last 500.]

    10 x 100 IM @ 1:45, keep pace steady [I held 1:30 +/- :02]

    200 warmdown

    I got some good tips from Coach Chuck on my FL and BK while doing the IM set.

    The pool was hot today—I switched to my lycra cap midway through practice, and that made things a better.
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  6. Scylla and Charybdis

    Tonight I swam with the local masters group—it was great seeing my Florida swim buddies again after being away for a couple of weeks. Here’s what I did:

    600 swim + 200 kick warmup

    6 x 150 (100 easy swim/50 very fast kick) @ 3:00 [choice of stroke: I did mine FR/BK/FR/BR/FR/FL]

    6 x 50 swim @ :50, desc. 1-3 and 4-6 [I did FR on the first 3 and BK on the second 3]

    6 x 150 (100 easy swim/50 very fast kick) @ 3:00 [choice of stroke: I alternated FR and BK]

    6 x 50 swim @ :50, desc. 1-3 and 4-6 [FR on the first 3 and BK on the second 3]

    300 warmdown

    As I was warming down a huge bug swam through my lane—about 2 feet under the water, going right under me. I switched lanes, which then meant I was swimming right next to the pool covers. I had to decide which I was most scared of, the bug or the covers (and the looming darkness under them.) It then occurred to me that the bug might have come from the covers, since it was swimming away from them. I gave up and cut my warmdown a 50 short.

    I’m going to try to get up and swim early tomorrow as well. I hope Mr. Bug will still be fast asleep, and NOT trying to share a lane with me.
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  7. From the mixed-up stroke files

    Yesterday I swam at the Panama City Beach Aquatic Center. There were four fighter jets roaring overhead in tight formation when I arrived—maybe rehearsing for the Super Bowl? I swam on my back a lot hoping they would return, but they didn’t.

    I was pretty tired from Sunday’s One Hour Swim and from traveling down here yesterday, so I just did a little wiggle-around-in-the-water workout. Here’s how it went:

    1000 warmup

    Chimerical stroke set:
    Twice through:
    2 x (25 FL Kick / 25 Freestyle with fly kick / 25 Backstroke with fly kick)
    2 x (25 BR Kick / 25 Freestyle with BR kick / 25 Backstroke with BR kick)
    [I’ve been seeing a lot of plush toy chimeras lately, like this bunny/dolphin creation. Is this a trend?]

    400 SKPS warmdown

    That was it!
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  8. One Hour Swim Day

    Today I did the One-Hour Swim with Team New York Aquatics. I was in the first heat of a whole OHS extravaganza day. I ended up with 4315 yards, which was less than I’d hoped for but plenty to make me tuckered and sore. It’s a tough event, that one-hour swim.

    My strategy with coping for swimming for an hour straight is to give myself permission to do a 50 backstroke at the end of every 500. Today I ended up taking the backstroke option at the 1000, 2000, 2500, 3500, and 4000. Since I’m about as fast a backstroker as I am a distance freestyler, it doesn’t cost me much yardage but feels like such a luxury.

    After my 8am heat, I timed for my amazing friend Hannah (who took out her first 500 about as fast as I swam my 500 in last week’s meet, and then proceeded to just get stronger as the hour went on). Then for the 3rd heat I was on pom-pom duty. That was fun. (Yes, we had actual pom-poms—someone had brought an 8-pack of neon orange ones to the event. Who knew that pom-poms came in 8-packs?). However, appropriate cheers for the OHS are a bit sparse. I suggested a few:

    KEEP—THAT—PACE (clap, clap)
    KEEP—THAT—PACE (clap, clap)

    and

    (at the :40 mark)
    TWO-THIRDS DONE! (clap, clap) TWO-THIRDS DONE! (clap, clap)

    (plus similar cheers at the :45 and :50 minute mark)

    but truthfully, these were not the most compelling of chants. Does anyone have any suggestions for next year?

    Today’s swim was the first hard swimming I have done since last Sunday’s meet. I have been having problems with muscle spasms in my upper back. I’ve swum some, but easy and short. I felt lucky that once I got going today, I had no problems. I’m headed back to Florida tomorrow, so I’m hoping that some warmer weather will bring some relief.
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  9. For whom the bell tolls

    Today I swam at the Winter Blitz Meet at Eisenhower Park on Long Island (results are here). It was a fun and efficiently run meet, with about 110 swimmers, and with 10 competition lanes it ran pretty quickly—we were done before noon.

    My goals for this meet were modest—I mostly signed up for it just to give myself some motivation for training over the holidays, and was looking forward to the socializing as much as the swimming today. I opted for a fairly tough schedule, and was mostly pleased with the results.

    400 IM: 5:33.43
    FL 36.08 41.23
    BK 42.68 41.91
    BR 48.79 47.60
    FR 38.00 37.14
    The overall time seemed a little sluggish, but I was pretty happy with the way I split the race.

    500 FR: 6:11.42 (3:05.91, 3:05.51)
    I was pleased with the way I swam this, but maybe the thing that made me the very happiest was that I got to have one of those little bells rung to indicate my last lap. I don’t swim distance free events often, and when I do I’m rarely anywhere near the lead, so I’ve never—not as an age-group or a masters swimmer—been the swimmer they ring the bell for in a pool event, and in truth I’ve always felt a bit jealous of those who get to have true bell laps to end their swims. As a kid I thought it would be only fair if they rang bells for 100s too. But at this meet they had bells for all the lanes. I noticed it as I was waiting behind the block, and even asked my timer to ring it extra loud for me for me when the time came. I swam happy the whole race just thinking about that silly bell, and hearing it must have given me the extra energy I needed to knock a couple of seconds off my last split! (I was also pulled along by my swim friend Barbara in the next lane).
    (Full splits: 34.2, 36.8, 37.8, 38.5, 38.4, 36.9, 37.7, 37.7, 37.7, 35.3)

    200 IM: 2:37.49 (34.71, 39.27, 46.58, 36.93)
    This was a too comfortable swim—I just never seemed to get going, and then it was over.

    100 IM: 1:10.62 (32.41, 38.21)
    After my 200 I resolved to go after this one, and I went out fast the first 25. It felt great. The rest of the swim was ok. After a day of swimming longer stuff it reminded me how fun it is just to sprint, and not worry so much about pacing.

    Congrats to Quicksilver for his seriously fast backstroke swims!

    I think my next meet will be the March 7 Spring Fling at this same venue.
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  10. Mixing it up on Thursday

    I had a nice swim this morning with the team. Here’s what we did (scy):

    500 warmup

    4 x 150 (50 Drill + 25 K + 75 build swim), IM order, @ 2:40

    2 x 200 Pull @ 2:50
    4 x 100 @ 1:45, odds IM, evens BK
    3 x 50 FR @ :55, desc.
    3 x 50 FR @ :40
    2 min. rest
    2 x 200 IM @ 3:15 [This interval was originally 3:20, but my lanemates (mostly not IMers) were dubious we could do that. So after some negotiotion with the coach, we all agreed that the first swimmer (me on this part of the set) would go when the 4th swimmer came in. We ended up with a faster interval than the coach had originally given us!]
    4 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    3 x 50 FR @ :55, desc.
    3 x 50 FR @ :40

    4 x 50 K @ 1:00, odds kicking 25 on rt side, 25 on left side; evens stroke [This was actually a set of 8, with the evens IM order, but I got out after the first 4 to do some starts.]

    Starts from the block [It was funny to realize that I’m not doing any BK starts at Sunday’s meet—I probably should have practiced some anyway today while I had the chance. One thing I did practice was going off the block without going into sprint mode—a useful skill for the 500 (and one I often seem to lack).]

    200 warmdown

    That’s was it. Then weights and stretching at the gym, and ballet class tonight.
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  11. Happy Tuesday Morning Workout

    This morning I worked out with my team. It was a good practice—enough people to be lively, yet not so many that we felt like sardines in the pool. The practice was tough but doable, and there was lots of banter between sets. It was a good reminder about what’s great about my swimming life in NYC.

    Here’s what we did (scy):

    600 warmup

    1 x 100 @ 1:25
    2 x 25 @ :25
    2 x 100 @ 1:25
    2 x 25 @ :30
    3 x 100 @ 1:25
    2 x 25 @ :35
    4 x 100 @ 1:25
    2 x 25 @ :40
    5 x 100 @ 1:25
    2 x 25 @ :45
    6 x 100 @ 1:25
    [On each set of 100s I did the odds FR, the evens 50FR/50BK]

    100 easy upside-down IM

    6 x 100 IM @ 1:35 (1,4=reg. order; 2,5=rev IM; 3,6=MR order)

    12 x 75 (25 K/50 S): odds=FR @ 1:20; evens = ST @ 1:30

    200 warmdown

    I have 2 swim events coming up over the next two weekends. This Sunday I’m swimming in the Eisenhower Park meet. Heat sheets are up; I’m entered in all 3 IMs and the 500 FR. On 1/31 I’m doing Team New York’s One Hour Swim.

    I’m not tapering or doing much specific prep for either event—they’re both low-key, show-up-and-see-what-I-can-do affairs. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces at both events. One of the joys of perusing heat sheets is anticipating seeing friends you haven’t run into for a while!
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  12. A Fine Day for Kicking

    Today I swam the morning workout with TNYA at the John Jay College Pool. This is the pool where I will do my hour swim in 2 weeks. Although there had been some water temp issues over the holidays, today the water was just dandy, and the practice was packed. Because there were about 8 other swimmers there who were the right pace for my usual lane, I moved down to a less crowded lane, and adapted to their intervals by doing more kick and stroke. (I often do this when practices are crowded, and when I do I usually end up swimming with one of my good friends whose name is also Janet. We have an inside joke about why I do this: sometimes a pair of Janets beats a full house.)

    Here’s the workout, and what I did with it:

    400 warmup

    8 x 75 FL/BK/BR @ 1:35 [I did FL swim/BK kick/BR kick]

    2x through
    200 FR @ 3:30 [I did IMs, K/S by 25s]
    4 x 50 FL/BK @ 1:10 [I did these kick]
    200 FR @ 3:30 [IM K/S by 25]
    4 x 50 BK/BR @ 1:10 [Kick]
    200 FR @ 3:30 [IM K/S by 25]
    4 x 50 BR/FL @ 1:10 [I kicked BR/FR, because I don’t like wrap-around IMs]
    2:00 rest
    [On the second round of this set we only did 3 50s instead of 4 after each 200. My goal on this set was to keep the 50s kick <50. I made all 7 of the FL/BKs, but missed on a total of 5 of the other 14.]

    50 easy

    6 x 100 @ 2:10: odds = BK, K/S by 50s; evens = FR, S/K by 50 [My goal was to hold the FRs under 1:30 and the BKs under 1:35, but I ended up swimming all of them under 1:30.]

    100 warmdown

    I felt strong and fast in the water today, and ready for my meet next Sunday. Bring on the IMs!
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  13. IMs in the morning

    Today was the first morning the pool has been open for lap swimming in a while--if the air temp is below 35 they don't have the 6-9 am session, and the Panhandle has had hard freezing warnings every night for nearly 2 weeks. Luckily the weather warmed up enough to get in one last sunrise swim. Coach Chuck gave a special IM send-off workout for me. Here’s what I did:
    800 warmup
    12 x 25 kick desc. 1-4 @ :40
    4 x 125 IM (rotate extra 25 through strokes) @ 2:15
    4 x 200 K alt. EZ/Fast by 50 @ 4:00
    4 x 75 IM order (50Drill/25Swim) @ 1:30
    400 IM—each 100 is 75 easy, 25 build
    200 warmup
    I had to get out right at 7:30 am to finish packing and get to the airport. My flights were easy, and I got into Atlanta in time to hop on an earlier connection home. So now I’m back in NYC, and looking forward to the meet at Eisenhower Park on 1/24 and the OHS on 1/31.
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  14. Evening swim

    Tonight I worked out with the Panama City Beach masters group at their evening workout. Temps are back up to nearly normal for winter here, Coach Chuck is back in town, and all is well—except that I have to leave tomorrow! I enjoyed my last evening workout here amidst the steam rolling off the pool. Here’s what I did:

    200 scy warmup

    Valley set (the reverse of a pyramid); 175-150-125-100-75-50-25-25-50-75-100-125-150-175 [I combined FR and BK as a continuation of my warmup on the way down, and did IM on the way back up]

    4 x 400 (100K/200S/100K) @ 7:15 [I did FL/FR/BK/FR/BR/FR/FR/FR for the swim on the 1st 400, then alternated 25 fast ST/25 easy FR for the swim on the last 3, with ST=FL on #2, ST=BK on #3, and ST=BR on #4]

    4 x 200 (150 Drill/50 Swim) @ 3:30 [I did IM order]

    6 x 25 all-out Kick, heads up w/ no boards, @ big rest, odds=FR, evens=FL w/ arms behind back [this was as difficult as it sounds]

    8 x 25, odds=underwater, evens=all out FR w/ no breathing [we took about 10 seconds rest after the odds, blessedly long rest after the evens]

    200 warmdown

    That’s a total of 4550, with a decent amount of stroke and fast swimming. I’m planning to go back tomorrow at 6am to get in a workout before my flight—it will be interesting to see how the body’s feeling then.
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  15. Short and sweet

    Today I just had time for a quick swim before heading up for an overnight in Alabama. Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup

    Then I decided to have another go at my FR ->BK pacman set from yesterday’s workout. Today I gave myself a more generous interval (1:40 instead of 1:30) and was able to descend the swims nicely:

    5 x 100 @ 1:40, done as 100 FR, 75 FR/25 BK, 50FR/50BK, 25FR/75BK, 100 BK [1:27, 1:24, 1:22, 1:20, 1:16]

    200 warmdown
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  16. Looking at the pool through rose-colored goggles

    Today I tried out my mirrored red goggles. They made everything look so incredibly blue and wonderful—what started as a workout ended up turning into a long dreamy swim . Here’s how it evolved:

    1000 warmup

    5 x 100 FR pull w/ paddles desc. @ 1:30 [descended from 1:25 to 1:10]

    3 x 100 FL w/fins (25K/25 rt arm/25 left arm/25 swim] @ 1:45
    4 x 50 FL (25 drill/25swim) @ :45

    10 x 50 FR—1 each on 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30, 40, 50, 60 [didn’t quite make the 30]

    5 x 100 FR->BK pacman set (100 FR, 75 FR/25 BK, 50FR/50BK, 25FR/75BK, 100 BK) @ 1:30 [I meant for the BK to be fast on these and the FR moderate, so that the set of 5 descended, but I wasn't very focused and they ended up all being about 1:25.]

    Then a 30-minute easy swim mixing FR and BK [Here I just felt like staying in the pool and admiring the water without working hard, so that’s what I did. I’m feeling a little melancholy about leaving this wonderful outdoor facility behind and returning to NYC’s basement pools this week, so this was my way of savoring swimming in the sunshine while I still can. I didn’t even count my laps, which is very unusual for me—I usually can’t turn off that part of my brain even if I want to.]

    That was it! I like these red goggles (but I’m not sure why they make things look blue rather than pink) and will wear them some more.
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  17. Pieces of IMs

    Monday I swam solo. I had the entire pool to myself during the mid-afternoon (although only 5 lanes were uncovered). Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup

    4 x {3 x 50 w/ fins @ 1:00 (1st 25 FL with extended underwaters, descending 1-3, 2nd 25 of all easy BK} [This set confirmed my suspicion that fins are an alien species out to conquer Earth by attaching themselves to us and sucking all the oxygen out of our bodies. Even though this set had generous intervals and included only 4 25s done all out, I had trouble recovering between them.]

    3 x {3 x 75 (50 BK/25 BR) @ 1:30, 1:20, 1:10} [Goal was to do #s 3,6, and 9 under 1:00, made it but barely]

    25 easy

    6 x 100 (50 BR, 50 FR) @ 200, odds K, evens Swim [I focused on working my turns on these]

    400 pull w/ paddles

    400 IM w/ fins, alt. K/S by 50 [did FL kick instead of BR kick]

    200 warmdown
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  18. Short Sunday afternoon swim

    This morning I went to the “Breakfast with a Ranger” program at Topsail Hill State Park (one of 4 Florida state parks along this roughly 20-mile stretch of shore). I learned about coastal dune lakes and their ecosystems. These are more-or-less freshwater lakes that periodically connect to larger bodies of salt water; animals and plants living in them have various strategies of dealing with changing salinities. The bottom line—such lakes are rare (although this area is riddled with them) and complicated.

    The designated swimming area in one such lake at Grayton Beach State Park used to feature a sign saying “Alligators—Swim with Caution.”

    This afternoon I went to the pool. It was my first swim since I fell down on the ice on a walkway a couple of days ago (Yes, I managed to slip and fall on the ice--in Florida! Darn sprinklers.). I was a little worried about my ankle, which had been feeling a bit wonky, but everything felt fine in the pool.

    The lifeguards assured me it was too cold to swim (air temps in the 30s), but they were wrong. The water felt great. Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup

    10 x 100: 2 each @ 2:00, 1:50, 1:40, 1:30, 1:20, variety of strokes

    600 yards of snorkel experimentation [I tried out various things with my swim snorkel today. I think I need a nose clip if I’m going to do flipturns with it. The only thing I really enjoyed was kicking FR and BR without a board. It was useful to just keep my head in the water and focus on my kick. I do feel like the snorkel puts a lot of upward pressure on my head where the strap goes around my forehead, and I didn’t like that sensation. I’ll keep experimenting.]

    400 warmdown

    I entered the Eisenhower Park meet on 1/24—I signed up for all 3 IMs and the 500 Free.
    I’m going to focus on making my flipturns better between now and then. It should be fun!
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  19. Maybe I should move to the country and manage a petting zoo

    Yesterday I drove up to Alabama for lunch with my mom and aunt. It’s a pretty drive, past lots of farms, without much traffic—between towns I saw maybe one other car every couple minutes or so. Two of the little towns I pass though on the way to visit my folks are Ebro, famous locally for its dog track, and Vernon, which was featured in the documentary “Vernon, Florida” by Errol Morris . Between towns, I saw lots of little goats and calves, and the farm that a decade ago had emus now seems to be heavily invested in miniature horses. I wanted to bring home some of all of the above, or at least stop and pet them.

    Actually, there used to be a menagerie just a few miles down the road from where I’m staying. It was called Patrones, and had goats and peacocks and bunny rabbits and one truly ginormous hog. You couldn’t pet the animals—they were shy—but for 50 cents you could buy a bag of popcorn to feed them. Admission was free—you could just walk in and wander about. It seemed like something straight out of Flannery O’Connor. I did worry about the pig’s quality of life. As far as I could tell it spent its days lying on its side and being scaled by the goats, who loved standing atop it.

    After my four hours of driving to Alabama and back and a lunch of fried chicken, fried okra, and fried cornbread, I felt like I was beginning to turn into that hog. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t kidnap any little goats to bring home with me. In any case, I was super ready for a workout. I made it back in time for the masters group’s evening workout at 5:30. Here’s what I did::

    600 scy warmup

    8 x 50 (25 build, 25 easy) @ :55

    8 x 100 kick w/ fins @ 1:45, desc. 1-4 and 5-8 [1:24, 1:20, 1:14, 1:11, 1:30, 1:20, 1:17, 1:12]

    4 x 200 pull @ 3:00 [2:45, 2:45, 2:40, 2:42]

    2 x 400, 1st FR, 2nd IM, build both 400s by 100s

    2 x 50 sprint FR [?, 30.6]

    200 warmdown

    The air temp tonight was about 40 when we got in, and about 35 when we got out (steam rose off everyone’s body when they exited the pool), but the water temp was fine. It was fun swimming in the cold, and really great seeing the pool absolutely filled with swimmers on such a chilly evening. Between the kids team and masters and the visiting college team, all 20 lanes were filled.

    When they first built this pool (about 4 years ago), I couldn’t believe they would really keep it open year round. This is an area without a deep competitive swimming tradition, and during the first winter I often found myself swimming all alone by or with just one other swimmer. Locals thought I was absolutely nuts for swimming outdoors in the winter, even when it was just in the 50s and sunny. So kudos to Panama City Beach for building this great facility and making it successful! All I could think when I saw the pool full of happy swimmers tonight was that Field of Dreams got it right—If you build it, they will come!
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  20. Ice and Florida don't mix

    The same cold weather that is slamming the rest of the country is also reaching down to chill the Florida panhandle. This morning the air temp was in the high 20s. I watched the sprinkler system at the building where I’m staying come on as usual at 6:30—the water it sprayed on the lawn and the shrubbery and on the boardwalk that leads to the beach quickly turned to ice. The same thing happened to some of the roads that are routinely watered by nearby sprinkler systems. I drove carefully.

    I didn’t go to the pool for early lap swim, but it turned out they were open from 6-9 am as usual—it must have been pretty chilly for the swimmers and guards. The word is they will not be open tomorrow morning, so I think I’ll try the evening masters practice.

    This afternoon I swam the following scy workout solo:

    1000 warmup

    5 x 200 @ 3:15, odds FR, evens IM [My goal was to bring in the FRs under 2:40 and the IMs under 3:00, and I did this]

    12 x 50 K @ 1:05, odds FR, evens ST (FL, BK, BR, BR, BK, FL)

    400 Pull, 1st 100 w/ paddles, 2nd 100 w/ right paddle only, 3rd 100 w/ left paddle only, 4th 100 w/ both paddles [I was experimenting with my stroke symmetry here]

    100 Kick w/ fins

    8 x 25 swim w/ fins, odds sprint, evens easy

    200 warmdown

    I’m thinking of entering the Aquafit meet on 1/24. I need to decide in the next few days. I’m training for the one-hour swim on the 31st, so it might make sense to do a 500 FR as well while I’m in relatively good shape. The 500 is an event that deserves to be swum once a decade, and I’m due.
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