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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. Happy to be part of a busy pool

    It was a beautiful day at the PCBAC pool—mid-40s, with sun-kissed clouds striping the sky. The pool was rocking, too—between the kids team, masters/lap swimmers, and the Aqua Zumba class, I think all 20 lanes were occupied (although the masters and lappers were all swimming one per lane, per local custom). If anyone is wondering what the difference is between Aqua Zumba and plain old water aerobics, I couldn’t tell any. But the competing boomboxes from that class and the kids workout (my lane was about at the midpoint between the two) did keep me amused and dancing during the rest intervals of the following, which I swam with Mark and Paul:

    650 warmup (400s, 200k, 50p)

    3 x 100 (50k/50s) @ 2:00

    5 x 200 @ 3:20: 3 desc., 1 easy, 1 fast [2:50, 2:39, 2:31, ez, 2:28]

    6 x 75 k/scull/drill @ 1:45

    5 x 50 fast @ 1:10, FL/BK/BR/BK/FL [I worked FL and BR, took it easy on BK: 36, x, 41, x, 35]

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it!

    I’m in Swimmer magazine this month, along with some of the other Riverbank morning crew. Check it out online here (if you're a USMS member). We’re on page 9, illustrating an article about pool tourist’s 40 pools blog:

    Despite my moniker, I think I have the least interesting suit of the bunch. I'll have to work on that.
    Swim Workouts
  2. Rainy LCM workout

    After an extended relaxing/dreamy/lazy weekend, I decided it was time to get back to work in the pool today. And there’s nothing like a drive through the dark cold rain to drive home the point that I’m actually somewhat serious about this swimming stuff—not because I’m willing to put up with such conditions to get to masters workout, but because there was absolutely nothing I could think of that I’d rather be doing than swimming a workout outdoors in those conditions! Luckily—that one black-eyed pea I left on my plate on New Year’s must have been working—the pool was open, and was set up long course, and Coach Phil was on deck with his umbrella, ready and enthusiastic.

    Air temps were in the 40s, but the pool was quite warm, around 82. I started the workout under the stadium lights, against which the predawn sky seemed pitch black. Gradually the sky lightened, the rain stopped, and I enjoyed watching clouds move across the sky as I did backstroke. Here’s how the workout went:

    500 lcm warmup

    8 x 50, odds drill, evens build [I did 2 each stroke IM order]

    Happy New Year’s set—lucky 13
    13 x 150, done as

    • 4 descend [FR/BK/FR sandwiches @ 2:45, went 2:20 on fastest]
    • 1 easy
    • 3 descend [IM minus FR @ 3:00, went 2:40 on fastest
    • 1 easy
    • 2 descend [backstroke sandwiches again, 2:17]
    • 1 easy
    • 1 descend [IM – FR, 2:36]

    50 easy

    6 x 100 (50 kick / 50 swim with kick)

    300 warmdown + play

    I would have liked to stay in longer, but higher on the agenda today was a drive up to Alabama to visit my relatives. Looking forward to more LCM swimming next week!
  3. Fish are jumping . . .

    Today I had two swims, both short, but both very satisfying. Around lunchtime I went for a swim in the gulf, doing what is becoming my “usual,” a mile roundtrip to the beach flag and back. I managed to get in just as the sun was beginning to make its way through an overcast sky, and the water was a very milky green in the pale light. There were some gentle swells out beyond the sandbar, and I enjoyed the sensation of being suspended in an emerald bath as I stroked gently along. It was a very peaceful, lulling swim. The water temp seems to have risen since I dipped on New Year’s day, and although it felt chilly getting in, once I was swimming I didn’t think about being cold or warm, or really much of anything, as I moseyed along.

    The air temp was around 60, without much wind, so getting out wasn’t a problem—everything seemed very pleasant today. Later on I went to the pool—open again after a 3-day closure—and enjoyed a nice session of easy drills. The water there was quite warm after being covered for 3 days, but since I wasn’t aiming to do a hard workout that was ok. The college team from IUPUI is in town for their winter training trip, and the kids were wearing some fantastic swimsuits—lots of neon polka dots, especially on the guys.

    Then this evening as I was walking on the beach at sunset I saw something really cool—a ray leapt repeatedly out of the water, going about 2 feet above the surface every 5 seconds or so. It looked like a dark stone skipping in slow motion across the surface, but with its wings beating in the air. It was just beyond the sandbar when it started, and continued until it got about 2/3 of the way to the second sandbar. I stopped and watched it, then noticed a couple of other rays in the breaking surf, about 10 yards or so away from shore. I waited for some more jumping action, but didn’t see any, so I went back up to the condo. From the balcony there we could see the outlines of several dark rays as they swam very close to the water’s edge, in the space between the sand and the first sandbar where the waves were breaking. I watched until the light grew dim. So many amazing things to see out there!
  4. Happy Birthday (in meters) to us all!

    There is a so-called polar bear swim here in Walton County—if you can call an event that takes place in conditions that would melt an actual polar bear that—but this year it got cancelled because of surf and currents. I went in for my own private New Year’s Day swim anyway, enjoying a mile barefoot run on the sand before a brief dip this morning. Winds were brisk from the southeast, but the air was warm, low-70s already by mid-morning. I didn’t swim much, just played and let the waves toss me around for a bit before heading in. It was a good way to start the new year!

  5. Where dolphins swim

    The weather down here usually involves tradeoffs. You can have warm, but that usually also means wet and/or windy, or you can have chilly, which usually brings brilliant sunshine. I prefer the latter, because it means very swimmable conditions in the gulf, with the colder north wind creating very calm water conditions in my south-facing beach. (Since the water is fairly shallow, strong winds from the south can make for surf that breaks unpredictably until you get a couple of hundred yards out, and they can also blow in massive man-of-war invasions).

    And cold and clear is exactly what I got today. Shortly after sunrise I could see mist rising up from the gulf, there being that much difference between the water temps (around 60) and air temps (around 30). While I was sitting on the balcony admiring the view I noticed a pod of dolphins swimming and bobbing in the water in front of me. They stayed between the first and second sandbars—ie where I swim when I venture in--and were moving back and forth very slowly. I watched them for about 20 minutes before they moved further down the beach.

    By early afternoon the air had warmed up to the 50s, and the water was very calm, almost glassy.

    View to the east

    I decided it was time to go for a swim. I was expecting water temps in the low-60s, but double capped and wore earplugs just in case. I was glad I did, because the water seemed a little chillier than that. I swam the same mile-plus course as last week, down to the beach flag to the east, then back. I swam a little further out from shore than last time, hoping to avoid any hooks and lines from the guys who were surfcasting. The water was more blue than green today, and a little cloudier than last week—I could see the bottom, but couldn’t make out the shrimp tunnels or furrows on it once I got out to swimmable depths.

    It was easy going both ways—there was some wind from the north, more noticeable in the water than on the beach, which is sheltered by a 30-foot bluff, but there were no waves or swells. It almost felt like swimming in a big pool. I swam with less skittishness today than last week, and halfway hoped I would see the dolphins that had swum in the same area this morning. I didn’t though, nor did I see any skates, although the mermaids’ purses I saw washed up on the sand suggest they’re out there somewhere. The water felt cold on my skin the whole time, but I never felt cold inside, just happy to be out swimming under the welcoming sun. I stayed in and floated on my back a little after I was done, then waded the 50m or so over the sandbar to get back on shore. It was a good day.
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  6. Under cloudy skies

    Today I enjoyed a mid-morning solo swim at the Panama City Beach pool. The sky was full of layers of different types of clouds passing quickly overhead, which lifted by the end of my workout. Here’s what I did:

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

    12 x 25 @ :30, 3 each stroke, IM order, desc. within each 3

    200 IM: scattered, smothered, and covered*
    1 x 50 fly fast @ :50
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    2 x 50 back, desc., @ :50
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    3 x 50 breast, desc., @ :55
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    4 x 50 free, desc., @ :50
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:30
    [This set doesn’t lack for 200 IMs, but the one that matters is the broken one comprised of the four fast 50s stroke. Today I went 37-36-41-34, for a 2:28 total.]

    100 easy

    8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, 1-4 RIMO, 5-8 IMO

    500 warmdown + drills + play

    *Another reason I love my pool: Driving home from it takes me by not one but two Waffle Houses!
    Swim Workouts
  7. Mid-day swim

    I had a pleasant mid-afternoon swim today—mostly solo, but I got to share the first part with Paul, who was the very first masters swimmer I met down here. He remains a favorite seasonal swim buddy, so it was a treat to get to swim with him some today. Here’s what I did:

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

    10 x 50 FR:

    • 3 long and relaxed @ :55
    • 3 moderate @ :50
    • 3 fast @ :45 [held 35s]
    • 1 easy

    Pace set—goal was to swim FRs < 1:20 pace
    100 FR @ 1:30
    100 IM easy @ 2:00
    200 FR @ 3:00
    100 IM easy @ 2:00
    300 FR @ 4:00
    100 IM easy @ 2:00
    400 FR @ 5:20
    100 IM easy

    Kick set
    8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, odds IM order, evens RIMO

    300 warmdown plus play

    Today was overcast, but last night was gloriously clear. We went out for a beach walk after the full moon was up, and marveled at how bright the beach was. I wasn’t sure if I was seeing bioluminescence in the water, or just the moon’s light reflecting in the breaking waves, but it was beautiful whatever it was.

    I got a nice compliment at the grocery store today, from the check-out clerk: “I think that’s the healthiest buggy I’ve seen all week long!” (Grocery carts are called buggies down here.)
    Swim Workouts
  8. Sunrise 7K

    I had a delightful sunrise LCM swim this morning at the Panama City Beach outdoor pool. The air was a windy 33 degrees, but the water was perfect, right around 80—the steam coming off the pool as I drove up in the dark this morning was a beautiful sight. Since the reduced winter hours and holiday closings made this the only LC opportunity of the week, I was determined to make the most of it. Here’s what I did:

    First, with the PCST masters group (all two of us):

    500 LCM warmup

    12 x 50 @ :10 RI, odds drill, evens build to sprint [I alternated twosomes of FR with twosomes of BK BR and FL]

    2x thru
    300 FR @ 5:00, neg. split
    4 x 50 kick IM order @ 1:15, build within each 50
    3 x 100 FR fast @ 1:40 [held 1:24s on 1st round, 1:25-6s on 2nd]

    4 x 200 pull w/ bilat breathing

    5 x 100 warmdown with increasing rest intervals

    That was it. But I wasn’t ready to get out! (It wasn’t warm enough yet to leave the pool, for one thing. Plus I was having too much fun swimming.) So I stayed in and did the following hodgepodge on my own:

    7 x 150 stroke sandwiches (FR/ST/FR, with ST = FL BK BR FR BR BK FL) @ :15 RI, all at basic aerobic pace

    50 easy

    8 x 100: odds BK fast @ 2:00, 1:50, 1:40, 1:30, evens FR easy @ 2:00 [Made it! 1:28 on fastest BK]

    5 x 200 pacman IM kick > FR swim, with kick at a mod-fast pace, swimming easy

    100 extra warmdown + play [to round it off to 7k for the morning—woohoo!]
    Swim Workouts
  9. Pie of IM

    We had some wild and wooly weather here the last few days—we managed to dodge the tornados on the Christmas drive to and from Alabama, although there were spottings both near here and at our destination. I’m not sure if the surf ever reached the 7-9 feet that was predicted today—that’s a lot for this stretch of beach, which is quite shallow for a long ways out—but I heeded the broadcast warnings that the waves and currents “WILL BE LIFE THREATENING TO ANYONE ENTERING THE WATER” and didn’t go in. Meanwhile, the temperature is supposed to drop from today’s high (at 12:01 am) of 71 down to below freezing tonight. Tomorrow morning’s 6 am practice will be chilly.

    But today I had a nice relaxing solo swim at the pool. When I arrived in the early afternoon just one of the 20 lanes was being used, by a visiting age grouper whose mom was sitting in a deck chair at the end of her lane reading a book. (It was in the low 50s, and very windy out, so I can’t imagine that was much fun.) I chose a lane at the other end of the pool to do the following:

    1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 d/s by 50)

    IM set—I didn’t have time for my full Pieces of IM set, so I just did the first half
    8 x 25 @ :30, 2 each stroke, IM order, odds pretty, evens fast

    7 x 50 IM pieces (FL/FL, FL/BK, BK/BK, BK/BR, etc) @ :55
    6 x 75 IM pieces, odds K/S/K, evens S/K/S, @ 1:20
    5 x 100 IM pieces @ 1:40 [avg 1:24]

    300 warmdown + play

    That was it! It was fun swimming in the deep end and diving all the way down to the bottom of the pool during my warmdown. The age-group team was doing drylands all during my workout, which gave me something amusing to watch (and be glad I wasn’t doing) during my rest intervals.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Gulf swim

    Today I enjoyed a very fun swim in the gulf. It was an overcast day, with a brisk wind out of the southeast, and air temps in the mid-50s. The gulf had been calm in the morning, but was developing some rolling wind-induced waves as I was getting prepared to swim in the early afternoon. I got ready up at the condo, then wore just my suit and parka down to the sand. Once there, I quickly put on my cap and goggles and headed into the surf.

    One of the difficult things about swimming here on cold days is that you have to go past the first sandbar to swim at all. So you head into the cold water, brave it up to your thighs to chest, depending on where the tide is, then reemerge into the cold blustery air as you walk over the sandbar (usually less than knee deep) before getting to water that is reliably deep enough to swim in. To top it off, that first water you hit is usually quite cold—I’d estimate mid-50s or so today. Once past the sandbar, though, the water gets deep enough to plunge into and swim, and is also warmer as well (the shallower water is more affected by air temps). So the getting-in portion of my swims, which is drawn-out and tortured enough at Brighton, is probably even worse down here.

    But once I was out past the sandbar and stroking along, the water was fairly comfortable—probably low- to mid-60s. I swam east towards the nearest beach flag, a little over a half-mile away. At first, swimming into the wind, I felt like I was being battered by chop, and resigned myself to a difficult trip out. But after about 100 yards I relaxed and began to enjoy the ocean tossing me around, and eventually felt like I was playing with the water rather than swimming against it.

    Often I get skittish down here swimming by myself. Today I sometimes felt uneasy, but I did a good job of telling myself to just put my head down and swim, and of minding those instructions. The water was very clear, and I could see the white sandy bottom the whole way. It sloped off to the right, and I alternated between wanting to swim further out to see what was there (nothing but more furrowed sandy bottom, as it turned out), and longing to head closer to shore where I felt more secure. (Further out also meant warmer and less bumpy water, so there were multiple incentives to conquer my skittishness.) I think I zigzagged more than usual out to my turnaround point.

    The way back was easy, with waves pushing me from behind, although I had to be careful they didn’t push me too far in. I could see people walking along the beach, and watched the familiar buildings pass by as I headed back to my starting place. I saw no signs of wildlife other than the funnel-shaped outcroppings that mark the entrances to tunnel shrimp burrows. At one point when I had gotten a little close to shore I spotted something odd ahead, and stopped and walked carefully around it. It was a stray buoy, about 20 yards from shore, anchored by something buried underneath the sand—I didn’t dig down to see what. The buoy was bearded with algae, and at first glance I was worried that it was a dead bird floating in the waves. I’m glad it wasn’t.

    Soon I was back at my starting point. I floated a bit, and looked around, happy to be surrounded by the green-blue water that was reflecting the grayness of today’s sky. Then, feeling a bit chilled, I headed back up to the condo, where a pot of hot tea and a warm shower awaited.

    A couple of hours after my swim I walked the same stretch of beach, and found a single man-of-war washed ashore. I hope he’s not the advance scout for an invasion! I only see them when there’s sustained wind from the south, which there was today. Other wildlife sightings today included a great blue heron that flew in and perched on the beach right in front of the condo this morning. I love watching those ungainly creatures take off and land, and then delicately work their way along the strand..

    Tomorrow is supposed to be very windy and stormy—I’m not sure if I’ll get to swim at all. That’s probably just as well, as I have a lot of cooking and prep to do for Christmas dinner. My relatives’ increasing age and frailty means that we’re no longer able to celebrate the holiday at the beach, but I’m proud that they still let me cook for them, even though that means hauling a dinner’s worth of food up to Alabama Tuesday morning. Today I cooked the eggbread for the dressing, and tomorrow’s weather looks perfect for finishing up the rest of Christmas dinner prep. Cue the carols!
  11. No Doominess Here!

    I awoke with a marvelous idea for today’s solo workout--inspired by Ellen and James, I would try out That Guy’s IM Chasm of Doom. But after reviewing the set, and thinking that it really seemed like an awful lot of fly (duh!), I decided that I would tweak it to make it more Janet-suitable. The Total IM Eclipse was the result. The first half follows the Chasm, except for the friendlier intervals, but on the way back up the first obscured is the first to reappear, just like a lunar or solar eclipse.

    Air temps were in the low-40s when I arrived at the pool midmorning, and the wind was blowing strong, which made judging backstroke turns interesting—I had to subtract 1 stroke from my usual count on one end, and add one on the other. But the sun was brilliant, and I gloried in getting to swim outdoors, with a cloudless blue sky as my roof. Here’s how my workout went:

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

    Total Eclipse of the IM
    200 IM
    50 FL / 50 BK / 50 BR / 25 FR
    50 FL / 50 BK / 50 BR
    50 FL / 50 BK / 25 BR
    50 FL / 50 BK
    50 FL / 25 BK
    50 FL
    25 FL
    Masters minute (“the essence of the eclipse which was its perfect darkness”)
    25 FR
    50 FR
    25 BR / 50 FR
    50 BR / 50 FR
    25 BK / 50 BR / 50 FR
    50 BK / 50 BR / 50 FR
    25 FL / 50 BK / 50 BK / 50 FR
    200 IM for time [2:47]
    Intervals: I went on 1 second /yard + :10 on the way down, and on 1 second/yard on the way back up.

    100 easy

    Kick set
    50 FL kick
    100 BK (50 K / 50 S)
    150 BR (50 K / 50 S / 50 K)
    200 FR (50 K / 50 S / 50 K / 50 S)
    Kicks were moderate fast, swims easy

    8 x 200:
    Odds = FR pull with paddles
    Evens = FR/BK halfsies
    [Goal of this set was to work on breathing timing and earlier rotation, backstroke was easy reward for 300y of focusing.]

    200 warmdown + play

    That was it! By the time I got out around noon the morning’s strong winds had died down, but it was still in the 40s. I ended up staying in longer than I had planned because the pool was so pleasant, and everyone who got out earlier seemed so cold.

    In the afternoon I played in the gulf. The water near shore was in the high-50s, but out just 50-75 yards or so it seemed a comfortable mid-60s. Since what wind there was was out of the north, the waves were tamped down, and the surface was almost glassy. I hope to swim in the gulf more over the next few days, since the pool will be closed until after Christmas.
  12. Florida

    I arrived in northwest Florida on Tuesday, and was happy to land in lovely 70s-and-sunny weather. That lasted for a day and a half, and I was lucky to get in a short swim in the beautiful green Gulf yesterday in nearly perfect conditions—water in the mid-60s, very clear, gentle waves, sunny skies. Today the storms rolled in, and air temps are supposed to drop 40+ degrees tonight into more seasonable ranges for the next week. I got to watch an impressive storm over the gulf mid-day today. I love the beach here in any weather, and feel very grateful to get to spend some time down this way over the holidays. And this year I was soooo ready to be out of the city and in a warmer, calmer place.

    I’ve swum at my beloved Panama City Beach Aquatic Center every day since I arrived. After several years of low attendance, they finally reduced their winter hours, cutting the LCM morning lap swim to just twice a week, and closing altogether on Sunday. The good news is that there are masters workouts once again—6 a week---and I worked out with the team last night and this morning. It’s wonderful to be swimming outdoors again.

    Last night’s workout went like this:

    500 scy early warmup on my own (400s, 100k)

    2nd warmup with team: 3 x 200, 1 swim 1 kick 1 pull

    12 x 50 (fast from walls to mid-pool, easy from mid-pool to walls), odds K, evens S, @ :20 RI

    5 x 200 CH @ 3:30, desc. 1-3, 4 easy, 5 fast
    [I did all FR, and went 2:58, 2:43, 2:33 (instructions were to descend big!), then 2:26 on last (goal was under 2:30).]

    4 x 100 wd w/breathing pattern

    This morning was too grey for a proper sunrise, but it was still cool to watch the sky get lighter as I did the following:

    500 lcm warmup

    4 x 150 desc. @ :20 RI [I did FR/BK/FR sandwiches]

    3x thru—all on :10-:20 RI
    200 long easy swim, emphasizing dps
    4 x 50 K fast
    4 x 50 swim, odds fast (integrating kick from previous 50s), evens ez
    [Did 1st round FR, 2nd BK, 3rd IM]

    100 easy

    Then on my own

    4 x 150 FR/ST/FR sandwich, ST = IM order

    700 wd with lots of play

    It’s been fun to see all my Florida swimming friends—every trip to the pool has been a chance to catch up with seasonal swim buddies whom I haven’t seen since last February.

    Today I signed up for TNYA’s One Hour Swim event on January 26. There’s a little over a month to get in shape. I’m aiming for 4500y this year. I have some work to do.

    Safe travels to everyone hitting the road (or the skies or rails) for travel over the holidays!
  13. Foggy beach day

    I had a wonderful swim at a fogged-in Brighton Beach today. The air temp was around 50, and the water felt a degree or two colder than last week. There were just a half-dozen of us out in the drizzly weather today, but the swimming was cold and glorious. The squawks of the seagulls were accompanied by the foghorns out in the shipping channel and we prepped to get in. I got in slowly, then swam for about 20 minutes, heading westward against the current to one of the jetties before turning around for a quick trip back. The water was fairly clear, and I loved how the spooky misty air seemed to envelope me as I swam along.

    When I got back to my starting place I wanted to stay in, but knew I should probably get out, as my hands and feet were getting a little numb. So I did, and was able to get dressed before the shivering and teeth chattering set in. Neither was too violent today, but it did seem to take a long time to warm up—probably because there was no sun helping with the process. But eventually the shivering worked its warming magic, and I was able to enjoy a bit of time on the beach before heading back home on the subway. I love winter swimming!

    Good luck to everyone swimming in meets this weekend!
  14. Fun Friday

    This morning I enjoyed a fun Riverbank workout with Rondi, Hannah, and John. It’s a quick turnaround from Thursday night diving, which ends at 10pm out in the far reaches of Queens, and the 6:30 am opening of Riverbank in West Harlem, but the chance to swim with friends this morning and breakfast after was worth the abbreviated sleep. Here’s what I did:

    300 lcm warmup

    5 x 200 swim > kick pacman: 200s, 50k/150s, 100k/100s, 150k/50s, 200k [These were more like 175s for me, as I took the opportunity to practice my mid-pool turning technique in order to keep up.]

    IM reunion set
    800, done as 4 x (150 fr / 50 st), with st = IM order
    600, done as 4 x (100 fr / 50 st), with st = IM order
    400, done as 4 x (50 fr / 50 st), with st = IM order
    200 IM
    [Took 10-20 seconds rest between swims. I was finally feeling good in the water by the end of this set.]

    Then came the belated birthday set: a 47m backwards (feet-first) IM. I led this set! It was fun watching everyone’s progress as they worked their way down the pool. By the time we finished there were swimmers in the adjacent lane trying to swim backwards, and the lifeguard was just shaking his head, as if we had contaged the entire pool.

    300 warmdown + play

    Diving last night was a blast. I learned two new skills. I fell off the 3m springboard backwards—on purpose! I’d been doing this forwards for several practices, and we learned the reverse version last night. Basically, you stand backwards on the very end of the board with your heels hanging off, then rise up on your tippy toes. Keeping your body rigid, you fall backwards. Once you reach horizontal, you put your hands above your head, and end up entering the water in a nice hollowed-out diving position (“hollowed-out” being to diving what streamlined is to swimming). It worked almost perfectly for me the first time. Our beginner group also graduated from doing simply tuck dives to pike dives off the 1m. And the timing on my hurdles (approaches) is definitely getting better. Onwards and upwards!
  15. Un-birthday workout

    Today’s my birthday, but I decided to forego the obligatory 47-themed workout for the following mellow swim at the Y. I wasn’t sure I wanted to swim at all—morning workout plus late diving practice on Thursdays can bookend a looong day—but in the end I decided I did want to get in at least a few birthday laps. Here’s what I did:

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

    4 x 75 k/d/s @ 1:20, IM order

    20 x 100 FR:
    4 @ 1:35
    3 @ 1:30
    2 @ 1:25
    1 @ 1:20
    4 @ 1:30
    3 @ 1:25
    2 @ 1:20
    1 @ 1:15

    300 warmdown + play

    That was it! Looking forward to diving tonight!
  16. Mid-day IM interlude

    Today I enjoyed a mid-day solo workout at the Y:

    1000 scy warmup (400s, 200k, 200s, 200d/s)

    8 x 75
    2 x 75 FR @ 1:15
    2 x 75 FR/FR/BR @ 1:20
    2 x 75 FR/BK/BR @ 1:25
    2 x 75 FL/BK/BR @ 1:30
    All freestyle = moderate pace with bilat breathing; on other strokes, on odds aim for pretty, on evens go fast

    100 easy

    IM set
    1 x 50 FL, fast, @ :50
    1 x 200 IM easy-mod @ 3:30
    2 x 50 BK @ :50, desc.
    1 x 200 IM easy-mod @ 3:30
    3 x 50 BR @ :55, desc.
    1 x 200 IM easy-mod @ 3:30
    4 x 50 FR @ :50, desc.
    1 x 200 IM easy @ 3:30
    [Goal was to descend each set of 50s to 200 IM race pace. I went :37, :36, :41, :32. Once I did the math and discovered those added up to 2:26, which is probably way faster than I could go right now, I was happier with my swims here.]

    300 warmdown + play
  17. Riverbank morning

    I had a nice swim at Riverbank this morning. The water was cooler, and I got to share a lane with Rondi and Andrew. Here’s what I did:

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

    10 x 50 FR: 3 @ :55, 3 @ :50, 3 @ :45, 1 easy

    200 FR @ 3:30
    1 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    200 FR pull w/paddles @ 3:30
    2 x 100 FR @ 1:30
    200 FR pull w/paddles @ 3:30
    3 x 100 FR, odds @ 1:30, even @ 1:35
    200 FR pull w/paddles @ 3:30
    4 x 100 FR, odds @ 1:30, evens @ 1:35
    [I was hoping to do 1:30s on all the 100s, but that turned out to be a little too ambitious.]

    200 easy swim
    100 upside-down IM

    10 x 50 (25 sprint, 25 easy) @ plenty-of-rest, sprinty parts done 3 fly, 3 back, 3 breast, 1 free

    350 warmdown + play

    I signed up for the Asphalt Green mini-meet this coming Sunday evening, opting for a lineup of it’s-good-to-be-a-masters-swimmer events: 50 FL, 50 BK, 50 BR, and 100 IM. Should be a fun time, and a chance to finally see some of my meet buddies who swim for other area teams!
  18. Back to the beach

    I had a nice but short swim at Brighton Beach today. I had been very lucky to get in a 5-mile swim a couple of days before Hurricane Sandy struck in late October, and this was my first time back there to swim since. The water has dropped to 46 degrees—more than 10 degrees lower than the last time I was in—and my body hasn’t had a chance to acclimate to the lower temps, so I decided that I would be conservative about how much time I spent in the water today.

    The train ride out was an adventure, and was punctuated by several unexpected changes of trains and a 40-minute wait at a station in Brooklyn. Luckily I had a fellow CIBBOWS swimmer keeping me company—Pauline and I found each other while waiting and had a nice chat. Finally we arrived at the beach, where we found a half-dozen swimmers getting dressing and shivering after their swims, and a couple of others still in. The foggy day was mild in comparison to recent ones, with air temps in the low 50s. I chatted a bit while getting prepared to go in, then headed out into the water.

    It was cold. Walking into the water just plain hurt. I took my time getting in, and after my feet and legs numbed up a bit I found the courage to put my head in and start swimming. Once I started stroking it was better—wading in and dunking really is the hardest part! I swam towards the big jetty to the east, and after a few minutes began to feel a nice warmth suffusing my core and eventually spreading to my face. It really felt as though I were swimming over hot springs. I’ve had that reaction to swimming in cold water before, although not in a while—it tends to go away the more acclimated to the cold I get. I savored the warm feeling and enjoyed swimming easily along in the flat water.

    When I got to the jetty I was feeling great, and thought about continuing along to the white building. But I reminded myself that I was being conservative today, so turned around. I swam back, a little closer to shore now, and watched the bottom swaying under me as the gentle waves carried me along. When I got back to my starting place I could see Hannah on shore, holding my swim parka for me in case I wanted to get out, but I was still enjoying the water so I continued on. I saw some birds congregated on the water ahead of me, so stopped and swam around them, then swam about half-way to the next jetty. I was still pretty warm, but my feet and legs were starting to feel tingly with cold, so I decided to turn back around.

    I swam back to my starting point, did a few strokes of backstroke, contemplated swimming further, but decided it was best to leave myself longing for more ocean swimming than to get too chilled my first time back. I’d swum about 1K. I got out, gratefully accepted my parka, then went back up to my blanket to quickly get dressed before the shivering set in.

    Once dressed, I walked up and down the beach until the shivering was almost gone—it wasn’t too violent today, but my teeth were definitely chattering. I hung out with the rest of the CIBBOWS crew, enjoyed some food, then we headed back up to the subway. The trains were behaving better on the way home, but today’s ratio of travel time to time in the water still might have set a record. It was totally worth it though! I have missed the beach, and was so grateful to be back in the water and back among friends out on the sand today.
  19. Vanderbilt YMCA

    I had a nice mid-morning swim at the Vanderbilt Y (on East 47th between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) today. I hadn’t been to this pool in a few years--it's across town, a couple of subway trains away--and getting over there turned out to be an adventure in lostness. I got lost trying to find the elusive Northwest Passage (yes it’s called that) out of Grand Central Station (which I was determined to use to avoid walking a couple of extra blocks outside, in the cold--did I mention it's winter here now?) I was confused again trying to find the women’s locker room once I got to the Y. After I’d changed, it was down into the sub-basement and through a maze of corridors before I finally stumbled upon the pool … oops, the wrong pool … then some more wandering around until I finally found the lap swimming pool. There I was very happy to find Hannah, Ken, and Yuta colonizing the fast lane. They kindly stopped to explain the mega-set in progress to me. I joined in, customizing it as follows:

    600 scy warmup (6 x 25 back/75 free)
    400 FR drill with peppy turns
    300 IM sandwich (100fr/100im/100fr) @ 4:30
    3 x 100 free/back halfsies @ 1:30
    400 IM play
    300 IM sandwich @ 4:30
    3 x 100 FR/BK halfsies @ 1:30
    6 x 50 FR @ :45, switching leader every 50
    3 x 100 FR/BK halfsies @ 1:25, 1:30, 1:35

    4 x 50 @ 1:15 to warm back up after chatting

    Then I did this last bit on my own:

    4 x 50 IM order @ :55 (25 build into turn, fast turn, rest easy)

    6 x 25 BR, working on pullouts and finishes

    400 FR drill + warmdown

    I felt good and smooth by the end of this workout. The pool was pleasantly cool, and it was nice swimming with a group of friends after doing a lot of solo swimming this week.

    Updated December 2nd, 2012 at 07:21 AM by swimsuit addict

  20. Like swimming through molasses it was

    I had a nice but tired swim at Riverbank this morning with Rondi. It was a clear and cold morning, and through the pool windows we were able to watch the full moon setting over the river during breaks during the first set. Here’s what I did:

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

    1 x 500 FR, mod. pace
    2 x 300, done as 50 ST (IM order) / 50 FR [I did the first one long and easy, and intended to do the 2nd one as 25 build + 25 fast + 50 easy, but it was clear by the 150 that I had no fast swimming in me this morning—I gave in and decided to make it a long slow swimming day rather than fight with the water.]
    3 x 200 IM, with 1st 100 kick on 1st, middle 100 kick on 2nd, last 100 kick on 3rd
    4 x 150 FR/BK/FR at drill pace, working on rotation and strong core
    5 x 100, odds IM, evens kick

    400 warmdown + play

    That was it!

    The reason I was so tired this morning is that I did a breaststroke clinic last night from 8-9. It was so worth it! The clinic was taught by my team’s head coach Scott, and was billed as an advanced clinic focused on racing technique. I learned that I was dipping my hands down too much on the recovery, thus creating drag with my arms during the glide phase—I am working on keeping my arms parallel to, and very near, the surface of the water. (This tests the limits of my shoulder flexibility, and left me a little sore). I worked on throwing my head into the water after each breath when sprinting—this helps drive turnover. Also got some tips on the pullout (changed the timing of my dolphin kick, and altered my hand placement after the pulldown from beside my thighs to the front) and on timing the approach to the wall at the start and finish. It was an hour well spent, and made me want to go to the other advanced clinics that are offered. But it did involve a lot of swimming at top speed, and I was definitely feeling the effects of that plus the lack of sleep this morning.
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