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aztimm's training blog

I've been swimming with USMS teams since 1998. I lifeguarded and played water polo in college, but never really swam as a sport until I began masters swimming. I swim mostly just for exercise and the benefits that provides. I do occasionally swim in meets, but really enjoy open water swimming.
Currently I train with a small local team, along with some solo swims.

I also lift weights, mostly to complement swimming, and to give my upper body some form. Nearly all the time I lift at one of the local 24 Hour Fitness locations.

This blog has some info on my swimming adventures, with some real-life experiences thrown in. I love to travel, and usually try to fit in swimming/working out in different places.

  1. Building back up

    by , February 11th, 2020 at 04:40 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    After not swimming as much in December and January, I'm ramping my swims back up for the year.
    I registered for the first and last legs of the SCAR swim in late April. That's 10 miles, then a 10k. And I'll be paddling for another swimmer on the 3rd day (Apache, about 18 miles!)

    I had a nice 4.25 mile swim at Barton Springs this past Sunday morning. My goal was to swim for about 2 hours or 16 laps. I did that and thought, "why not one more just for kicks?" So that added an extra 1/4 mile The swim took about 2:15.
    Water temp is about the same all the time there; my guess is about 70F. Because it is winter, and weather that day wasn't the best (gray, steady drizzle, with a few downpours), I counted 10 swimmers (including myself) when I got in, and 6 when I got out. The lifeguards did not look happy.


    I had a whirlwind trip to Australia in January, and as luck would have it I did some o/w swims there.
    A friend from a Facebook swim group met me at the airport, I stayed at an Airbnb about a 10 min walk from his house (and 3 minutes from the pool). He carted me around, and even dropped me at the airport when I left Melbourne. Arrived late on a Thursday:

    1. Friday AM: early LCM swim @ Brunswick Baths (3500m), with their masters team

    2. Saturday: he had registered us both for the Portsea 2500m Gold Swim: http://www.portseasurf.com.au/portsea-swim-classic/. I liked it so much that I then self-registered and swam the 1500m shortly after. Due to currents, I recorded my best swims ever for those distances. 2500m (26:07) 1500m (16:32, started a little late and had to catch the group).
    The 2500m was a mass start, about 400 swimmers, into some serious chop, and water temp about 68F. I hadn't done that in a while, and it kind of freaked me out at first. I took (and I'm sure gave) some punches, kicks, and had to stop to adjust my goggles once after a serious blow. But once we got going, I was able to break free of the mosh pit and chased people nearly the whole way to the finish, with some major current assist.
    After I finished, I toyed with doing the 1500m, and as my friend said, "how often are you in Australia with a chance to do this?" That sold me, and I paid the same-day fee (a bit costly for a 1500m!), and got on a bus for the start. By the time I figured out where to go for the start, they were already starting, and I nearly ran into a buoy line. But once I got into it, I was chasing down a bunch of fast guys (this was men-only, 50 to 69 I think).
    Here is the map for the 2500m swim; the 1500m was the same course but started after that first bay (where you see that notch):


    3. The morning I was flying out of MEL (to BNE), my friend took me to Williamstown Beach for more o/w swimming. We swam out quite a bit, and were headed back (against the current), when he spotted a jellyfish. I was swimming along after that and thought I bumped my friend; I stopped only to see him too far off to have bumped him, and I was a bit freaked out at that point. I stuck near him and we headed into shore. Only got in about a mile, but it was still nice to see some local haunts. Here is the map of this swim:


    4. First morning in Brisbane, I swam at Centenary Aquatic Center (LCM), and historic pool in town. https://centenarypool.com.au/
    Got in 3200m

    5. Before leaving Brisbane, I decided to try a different pool and ended up at Valley Pool (LCM) for 3300m: https://www.valleypoolbrisbane.com.au/

    6. Flew to Adelaide, had an incredible lunch at Star of Greece, and couldn't resist the water; after walking along the beach for a bit (to recover from lunch), I changed and got in just a short o/w swim. Water was beautiful! Could see the sandy bottom from the surface even at 20 feet deep, and temp was about 75F. Since I had swum that morning, I just did a short swim:

    And here is what that beach looked like:



    After that trip, I had a short trip to London, and of course had to swim in the 2012 Olympic Pool:

    It is a 10-lane pool. They had the right 4 lanes reserved for a team. The remaining 6 lanes were organized by speed, 2 easy, 2 med, 2 fast, with the left of each as counter-clockwise, the right as clockwise. I went in lane 4 (the leftmost is lane 0), the fast counter-clockwise lane, and swam 3300m.
    It was probably the best indoor pool in the world that I've ever been in (the Brown Univ pool in Providence is pretty good though...) I was just wanting a shake-out workout, but I still felt fast in the water. The water temp was a little cool for a pool, I'm guessing about 75F.

    Now to get serious about training! ScaR (just Saguaro and Roosevelt) in April, then I did get into Swim the Suck in October. Maybe a 10k over the summer to round things out.
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