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  1. IM/Kick day

    by , September 14th, 2011 at 10:04 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Just Dave M and myself today. No drag suit. Current drag suit completely fell apart yesterday. I'll be without one until I can get a new one ordered. Water getting warmer but a cold front moving in should keep it from getting too warm. No power hour today but might as well have had one. Lots of IM and kick. Timed IM felt great. Completely botched the last flip turn but I still managed a 2:36. Not my fastest but it probably would have been if I didn't miss the wall and have to accelerate from a complete stop. The latest swimmer magazine article on fly helped out a lot. I'd have never worked down to a 2:40 IM on the main set without some of the tips and advice I got from reading it yesterday. Still can't kick IM below a 3:30. Had to change it to br kick but I did make the final 3:10.


    500 Warm Up

    200 Free - 3:00
    200 IM - 3:15 200 IM Kick - 3:45
    200 IM - 3:10 200 IM Kick - 3:40
    200 IM - 3:05 200 IM Kick - 3:35
    200 IM - 3:00 200 IM Kick - 3:30
    150 Easy

    200 IM - 2:55 200 IM Kick - 3:25
    200 IM - 2:50 200 IM Kick - 3:20
    200 IM - 2:45 200 IM Kick - 3:15
    200 IM - 2:40 200 IM Kick - 3:10
    100 Easy

    200 IM Timed - 2:36

    100 Cool Down

    (4450 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  2. Made it thru the workout

    by , September 14th, 2011 at 08:30 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Nothing special today but did need to do some fly.

    500 Free
    500 Fly kick w/fins streamline
    10x50@1:00 Fly drill w/fins 25 underwater recovery/25 skull drill yes I made these on a minute
    5x200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy
    5x100@:15R Free with easy arms and over kicking

    Total 3000 yards
  3. I'm No Dara, Tuesday, Sept. 13

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 10:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    9 x 50
    3 x single arm fly/single arm back/SSR drill

    3 x (10 x 25 back shooters w/MF @ :30)

    200 EZ

    5 x 100 IM drill @ 2:00

    100 EZ

    Total: 2600

    Stretching & Foam Roller, 30 minutes


    I must be getting old. I can't even do two days in a row of drylands without feeling hammered. I was very sore today and so just did the scheduled recovery workout. I'm not sure whether to work through it or take a recovery week wrt weights right now, but I'm inclined to do the latter. And I'll probably shift my lactate workout from tomorrow until Friday depending on how I feel tomorrow.

    Seems like I frequently get overzealous wrt drylands. Will I ever learn? I expect to be sore, but it's not particularly smart to do them back to back. Is it impossible for a master's body to adjust to that?

    I'm also pretty sure the high rep lower weight upper body exercises are harder for me than the low rep higher weight ones I was doing last season. Shoulders feel more fatigued.

    On other news, Fort Son seems happy and starts freshman week orientation tomorrow. He's probably ready for the year to start since he's been on campus since his freshman trip ended Sept 8. My girls have started their fall sports. My skinny sprouting Lil Fort is doing cross country for the first time, and reports loving to run in the woods. She was also all smiles after her first swim team workout yesterday. Mini Fort is swimming and erging this fall to prep for high school swimming and winter crew training.

    Here's another swimming dryland that Q and Jazz can mull over:

    Updated September 14th, 2011 at 12:28 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  4. Tuesday, 9/13/11

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 06:27 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Swim went well this morning! I started out a bit sore (from yesterday's gym workout?) and stiff but after warmup was ok.

    Warm up (750)
    300 swim
    - 150 free/150 back
    3 x 100/1:35
    - swam free, went ±1:20 on these
    3 x 50/50
    - Swam back, went ±40 on these

    Fly Set with fins(500)
    4 x 50/1:20, try to go 10y underwater off walls
    - 35-37 on these
    4 x 25 as 4K/1Pull
    2 x 100/2:00 #1-50 fly/50 free; #2- 25 fly/75 free
    - 1:16 on both

    4 x 50/1:00 with variable speeds counting strokes (ez, mod, strong, fast)
    - #1 - :43 & 31 Strokes, #2 - :38 & 32 Strokes, #3 - :35 & 34 strokes, #4 :32 & 37 strokes.
    Main Set:
    10 x 100 free as 1/1:25, 1/1:30, 1/1:35, 1/1:40, 1/1:45 1st 100 is the slowest and 5th being fast of each round of 5
    - was 1:20-22 on these.

    2 x 100 with snorkle (hold board in front)/2:20
    - 1:58, 1:56
    2 x 100 choice/2:00 then 2:20
    - on back in streamline, 1:54, 1:52

    Warm down
    150 easy back & free

    Total: 3000 yards
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -09/14/11

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 05:18 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 150 2:30
    3 X 100 1:40
    2 X 200 3:00
    3 X 100 1:30
    4 X 50 descend 1-4 1:00

    1 X 200 kick followed by 100 easy swim

    4 X {3 X 50 1:15
    Swim each round as 2 fast/1 easy all choice.

    16 X 25 :30
    #4-8-12-16 are easy

    9 X 100 1:50
    Alternate: IM-stroke-free by 100

    5 X 250 pull 3:20

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  6. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -09/14/11

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 05:18 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 150 2:30
    3 X 100 1:40
    2 X 200 3:00
    3 X 100 1:30
    4 X 50 descend 1-4 1:00

    1 X 200 kick followed by 100 easy swim

    4 X {3 X 50 1:15
    Swim each round as 2 fast/1 easy all choice.

    16 X 25 :30
    #4-8-12-16 are easy

    9 X 100 1:50
    Alternate: IM-stroke-free by 100

    5 X 250 pull 3:20

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

  7. Tuesday stroke day 09/13/11

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 04:27 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    A pretty good turn out and more people coming back to the noon workout.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jenn Christensen coached

    400 warm up

    Warm uppy set:
    8 x 100 on 2 min
    IM order
    25 kick/25 build/25 easy

    Pull lots of yardage set:
    2 x 200 on 3:00
    4 x 100 on 1:30
    8 x 50 on ???
    ==> a big no.
    did the 200's and 100's as kick on back with fins, made the intervals
    held 2:43
    held 1:21 to 1:25
    easy 4 x 50 swim while waiting for everyone else to finish the 8 x 50's

    Main IM Set:
    5 times thru:
    50 stroke smooth on 1:00
    100 Im strong on 1:45

    I did a challenge 100 fly set:
    50 easy back
    100 fly 1:23
    2 x 50 easy back/free
    100 fly 1:19
    3 x 50 easy back/free
    100 fly 1:17

    3 x 50 easy swim

    The End
    For some reason, many people started leaving during the pull set. I ended up with my own lane so I decided to do 100's fly. It is rare to get to completely customize a fly set; so even though I wasn't super ready, I did the entire 100's fly. If you wait until you're ready, you'll never be ready.

    I bought an American Airlines gift certificate today. We will see how well these work. I plan on using it to buy my Omaha ticket. Flight schedule is UP!

    Let's see if I can upload these links correctly. After Mesa SCM Masters meet, here are the next two local USA A meets I will enter one day each.

    This one I will probably enter
    100 back
    50 free
    100 fly

    This next one the order and days totally suck. I am not missing my kids activites and fighting rush hour traffic for the 50 free on Fri. And I swam this meet last year and waited around forever for the stupid 100 free on Sat. So it looks like the 100 fly and 100 back are my best bet on Sun.

    Updated September 13th, 2011 at 04:34 PM by chowmi

  8. Gentle morning workout

    This morning I swam at the Y with Rondi and Hannah. We had our own lane for the entire workout, which was nice. Here’s how it went:

    1000 scy warmup

    5x thru
    400 FR fast(ish)
    100 CH easy
    :30 rest

    500, prime-numbered lengths kick, everything else FR

    mathy stroke 500: lengths that are multiples of 3 = BR; multiples of 4 = BK, multimples of 7 = FL

    500 pull / warmdown

    I did most of the workout at easy-moderate pace--I still have some soreness and some neck pain from the swim on Sunday. As always, it was fun to share a workout with friends and have someone to giggle with between sets. I am missing swimming long course at Riverbank—it will probably be another couple of weeks until they reopen.
  9. Distance Tuesday... Sort of

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 12:57 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Tuesday's are traditionally distance days with average workouts being 4000+ yards. Today started out that way... initially. Here's what I did:

    400 Warm-Up
    8 x 50 Kick on 1:00 - even w/o board
    1 x 1000 Free pace on 18:00 Broken at 400 for :30, 300 for :20, 200 for :10, final 100 faster (did last 100 on 1:24)
    8 sets:
    - 1 x 50 Free FAST on 1:00 (did mainly :34s)
    - 1 x 100 Free EZ on 2:00
    3 x 100 Free on 2:30 (supposed to be decreasing breaths per 25 - not so much for me)
    200 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3500

    The broken 1000 was written as each segment (400, 300, 200, 100) as a different stroke, but I am doing a 500meter race this weekend as part of a Sprint Tri relay team and wanted to focus on maintaining (and increasing) pace over a longer swim. So... pretty happy with the 1:24 at the end and happy to be able to hold under 1:30 pace over the entire 1000 swim.

    As to the :34s for the Fast 50s. Wish they were faster, but I did give it my all on those and think I may have figured out a slight tweak in my freestyle speedy stroke that might help. Stay tuned while I play with it. There is, I think, more speed work on tap for tomorrow.....

    Then, getting home, I went into "Aquabike training" mode and did 10 miles on the basement bike in 34 minutes. Happy with that too. One of these days, I need to actually get biking outside, but when trying to balance the extra distance with actually getting to work on time.... morning bikes in the basement avoid the problem of overestimating how far I can go in the allotted time. Biking outside will have to be - for now - during those weeks that my girls are visiting their father.

    Enjoy your swims today and I'll check in tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 5:00am

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 10:51 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Felt like kicking my own butt this morning. 3rd practice over a 24 hour period...loads of fun!


    5 x 100 Free @ 1:30 (held 1:15s)
    4 x 100 Free @ 1:25 (1:12s)
    3 x 100 Free @ 1:20 (1:11/1:12)
    2 x 100 Free @ 1:15 (1:08/1:09)
    1 x 100 Free @ 1:10 (1:06)

    5 x 200 Free Pull @ 2:30 (held 2:20s)

    100 EZ

    2 x 100 Fly @ 1:30 (1:11/1:13)
    4 x 50 Fly @ :45 (:35s)
    8 x 25 Fly @ :30 (:16s)

    For this fly stuff, I had my buddy in the next lane over doing the same thing freestyle, so it kept me going that way. Started hurting halfway through the set.

    8 x 25 SDK on back @ :15 rest

    100 EZ
    3500 Yards
  11. Great Tuesday Workout

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 10:22 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave and Dave. Water temp just below 82... been awesome all week (we are used to 86). Made the last of the 4 400's on 5:00 with my drag suit. The 16 x 75s were supposed to be all free but I went ahead and did stroke/free/stroke to push it a little. Best part was the timed 400. Dave asked me what I thought I would go so he wouldn't chase me too much. I figured a 4:45 would be good to shoot for. 1st 100 was smooth and very fast. Only problem was my goggles were not adjusted quite right and were taking on a little water on every turn. By 200 yds, they were half full and I was having a tough time judging my distance to the walls. Despite a couple bad turns, I was feeling very strong and pushed hard for the second 200. Touched the wall and yanked off my goggles (they were pretty much full at this point) as the clock hit 4:40! Very excited about that. My best meet time is 5:54 so I was set to break that near the end of practice (I had plenty left to go another 100 but was glad to be able to empty my goggles).


    450 Warm up

    400 Fr - 6:00 (5:30)
    400 Fr - 5:45 (5:20)
    400 Fr - 5:30 (5:10)
    400 Fr - 5:15 (5:00)

    50 Easy

    16 x 75 - 1:10 (Stroke/Free/Stroke IM Order)

    2:00 Rest

    400 Fr Timed (4:40)

    16 x 50 Pull - :50 (2 Easy/2 Hard)

    200 Cool Down

    (4700 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  12. Quite sore today

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 08:40 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I guess I just have to remember what I have put myself thru with both the meet and the weightlifting. Patience is just not my strength.

    500 Free broken
    500 IM broken
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 fast (no energy on this today)
    10x100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy held 1:22-23 did not feel strong
    200 free kick w/snorkle
    300 Free easy

    Total 3000 yards
  13. Monday Sept. 12, 2011 Aquasol

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 01:03 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Coach Janine

    We almost lost tonights workout with a last minute waterpolo game,
    the director of the YMCA got involved and stopped it. Whew...

    Warm 100FR, 100BK, 150K, 150P (500)
    200 Fly kick w/ board (200/700)
    20x50 First 10 BR w/ Free kick, / Second 10 Fly Kick on 1:00/1:10(1000/1700)
    16x100 BK/FR Alternate BK on 2:00, FR on 1:45 (1600/3300)
    20x75 Pull Breath on off-side (paddles and buoy) on 1:10 (1500/4800)
    200 cool


    Felt good to get some decent yardage in for a change
  14. Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 5:00pm (Round #2)

    by , September 12th, 2011 at 11:24 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    I had a quick 30 minutes to get in a second swim before I had to be off to coach my son's soccer practice at 6, so I made the most of my time.


    100 Free
    100 Back
    100 Free
    100 Back
    200 IM

    Itty bitty fly set:
    4 x 75 @ 1:10 (Fly, Free, Free by 25s) held :54/:55
    4 x 75 @ 1:05 (Fly, Free, Free) :54/:55
    4 x 75 @ 1:00 (Free, Free, Fly) last 2 were :53 and :51
    4 x 75 @ :55 (All Free) :50-:52
    no rest between rounds, and changed it up for the fly portion on the 3rd round for an added degree of difficulty, but did just fine.

    100 EZ
    1900 Yards - 30 minutes
    + 3500 Yards from the a.m.
    5400 for the day

    Updated September 12th, 2011 at 11:33 PM by jaadams1

    Swim Workouts , Daily Practices
  15. New England 10K in two weeks

    by , September 12th, 2011 at 09:45 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After a successful 2.4 mile swim at the Peaks to Portland (Maine) in July, in which I swam without a wetsuit in 62-64 degree Atlantic Ocean water in a time of 49:54, I am now looking towards my first 6.2 mile swim on Sunday, 9/25, in Rhode Island.

    Ray, the race coordinator, gave me a call last night and mentioned that 40+ folks are registered for either the 5K or 10K swims. I am going to be able to have my buddy Bob join me as my kayaker for the event, which I am really happy about.

    I have been reading the Open Water forums for helpful hints for this distance. I have had limited training this month due to Hurricane Irene pummeling Vermont. Our town had no main water supply for 7 days, and the Rec center where I train was closed for 2 weeks (one for yearly maintenance, the other since we had no water). Finally the major road traversing the southern border of Vermont, from Bennington to Brattelboro, was reopened this past weekend. Today my wife and I traveled it on my motorcycle - totally different landscape with roads washed out and buildings gone. We were blessed to only have rain and wind at my home, so I thank God for his protection.

    If anyone has additional tips for this long swim please feel free to leave them for me. I was able to get in a 3600yd swim tonight in less than one hour, alternating focus on 8x200 power swims and 9x100 sprints.

    Anyone else planning to swim?

    Updated September 12th, 2011 at 09:51 PM by rxleakem (wanted to add a category to the entry - still trying to figure out how to navigate these blogs. :))

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  16. Monday, Sept. 12

    by , September 12th, 2011 at 06:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC exercises
    assisted dips, 20 assist 1 x 8, 30 assist 2 x 12
    Cavic horizontal cable raise, 20 x 3 x 25
    (I took 26 strokes in my last 100 fly)
    HS hi row, 90 x 3 x 20
    "Leaper machine" -- don't know what this new machine at my gym is called. It's a squat machine, but with a flat surface to stand on and you can set the weight in 1 lb increments. I arbitrarily set it at 50 and did 2 x 15 squat jumps. Hard, but v cool way to do plyos. Was just trying it out today as I did plyos yesterday.
    extreme angle iso squat w/15 DB, 5:00
    extreme angle left lunge, 3:00*
    extreme angle push up hold, 1:00
    extreme angle bicep hold w/5 lb DBs, 3:00

    * I am eliminating the extreme angle iso lunges. They are too tortuous and I dislike them. I'd rather substitute the extreme angle step ups with DBs, which I've done on many occasions and serve the same purpose of building eccentric strength.


    Warm up:

    800 various

    10 x 25 shooter on back

    Speed Sets:

    4 x 50 backstroke spin drill + cruise

    50 EZ

    3 x (5 x 50 @ 1:30)
    1st set: free, 6/7/8/9/10 strokes fast + cruise
    2nd set: dolphin kick on stomach, 9/10/11/12/13 kicks fast + cruise
    3rd set: free, 6/7/8/9/10 strokes fast + cruise

    50 EZ

    8 x (25 fast + 25 EZ) @ 1:30
    odds = fast hands breast
    evens = fast doggy paddle

    warmed down in hot tub for 10 min

    Total: 2500



    Miscalculated. I should have left the drylands for Tuesday. I was really tired in the pool after a double yesterday and drylands today. Almost abandoned the workout and did a recovery swim, but was worried I might feel worst tomorrow. It actually felt a bit better as I went along. The 3 x (5 x 50) set is a favorite of Rich A.

    I'm struggling to get into a routine, and I need one now that summer is over. And I would prefer one where the drylands wouldn't kill my speed in the pool. Looking at my flog, I did 4 dryland workouts and a couple days of parachute work in 8 days. Not consistent with my plan of doing 2 x weights + 1 core. I guess I've been happy to get back to the gym after that month of only swimming? And I feel like I might need a recovery week soon. If I take it next week, then I could hit it hard for 4 weeks and take a week off before the Sprint Classic.

    Tentative plan for the week:

    Monday: weights/speed
    Tuesday: slow recovery swim/yoga
    Wed: lactate set/stretch
    Thursday: weights/plyos (can't go to my team practice b/c of Back to School night)
    Friday: speed/yoga
    Saturday: off
    Sunday: team practice

    Speedo -- want to meet on Friday?

    Updated September 12th, 2011 at 08:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  17. Mon Sep 12th, 2011 SCY

    by , September 12th, 2011 at 05:29 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Sep 12th, 2011 scy

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, main pool scy
    6:00 - 7:30 dove in on time
    wore training jammer
    swam with Mike
    Beside Amy, Kellie, Jim, Tyler & Larry

    2 rounds of 200 fr, 50, 50k 200, 50IM 50 3 breaths
    did 300 extra

    Main SET: scy

    8 x 175 on 2:00
    (she told us to go as far as we could on 2:00
    I did 2 175s, then did a 150, but mike turned so I pushed off 5 sec behind him & made the next 6

    4 x 25 on 30 with 1 breath

    6 x 150 on 1:50
    swam them made em

    4 x 25 6 strokes fast

    4 x (1 150, 2 125, 3 125, 4 150) on 1:40

    4 x 25 k

    assigned 800 neg split
    did 4 x 100 flutter k with a board fast on 2:30
    went 1:17, 1:16, 1:15, 1:12


    100 flutter k with a board fast from a belly flop dive, went 1:09

    plan to do more fast 25's 50's 75's & 100's flutter kicking with a board,
    when I've raced the 100 FR kicking hard
    I feel like my legs give out on the 3rd & 4th 50's when I kick hard from the start
    will also do some fast kick interval stuff

    Updated September 14th, 2011 at 04:55 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  18. Coney Island 10K

    Yesterday I went out to Coney Island for the New York Harbor 5K/10K swim. I had swum out at Brighton the day before, and the water had been so gentle and calm, and the day so warm and balmy. Yesterday was a different story altogether. The sky was overcast and the wind had kicked up—it was a raw, blustery day. For some reason the Ernie Banks quote kept on going through my head: “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame—let’s play two!” (It’s a beautiful day for a loop? Let’s swim two!)

    My day got off to a somewhat somber start, seeing TSA agents joining the ranks of machine-gun-toting police stationed at my local subway stop. My backpack was swabbed and approved before I was allowed through the turnstiles. The heightened security in the city for the last few days has just underscored the sadness of the 9/11 anniversary for me. Layered atop that was the sense that my day’s swim was in some small way a memorial swim—late summer races at the beach always remind me of my AGUA lanemate Andrew, who was killed in the 9/11 attacks--my last memories of him were of tossing the football around and hanging out after a beach race scarcely a week before the towers fell. I always try to approach my swimming with a sense of gratitude—for being here, for being healthy, for being fortunate enough to have the opportunity and means to participate in a sport I love—and that sense was deepened by the reminder that not everyone has been so lucky.

    I was glad when I was finally on a train and heading out to the beach, and even felt a strange sense of affection for my fellow subway riders who were simply going about their business of doing whatever it was that required being on the subway so early on a Sunday morning. And I was interrupted from too much brooding by a text from my friend Rondi. She was also headed out to the race on a D train, and for the second day in a row I swapped messages back and forth with someone while heading out to Coney Island, trying to determine if we were on the same train. (There’s no reception while in the tunnels, so inevitably you get someone’s message that “I’m now on the bridge” only when you’ve surfaced and are on the bridge, by which time . . . well, you get the picture). Turned out she was on a train ahead of me, but I was cheered up swapping messages and playing wwf with her once the trains surfaced again in Brooklyn. By the time I was nearing Coney Island, I was happy and looking forward to seeing and sharing the day with so many friends and fellow swimmers.

    As I neared the race headquarters at the Aquarium I saw some swimmers hanging around outside—stopped to chat a bit, then headed inside to check in and get numbered. Yesterday’s race was quite small—just 16 swimmers—so there were more volunteers than swimmers about. Usually I ask for a smiley-face in or around my race number from whomever is marking me, but yesterday the markers had plenty of time and creativity to really jazz things up:

    8 is for Octopus

    (My other arm featured an 8-turned-alien, and I had tri-color snowmen on both sides of my cap.)

    The race was designed to be either a 5K or 10K—swimmers had the choice of swimming one or two loops. We were asked which we were doing when we checked, but were allowed to change our minds mid-course if we wanted. I signed up for the 10K at check-in—I was hoping to swim that distance, but was prepared to be happy with whatever the ocean would allow me—with OW you never know what conditions might be like and how you’ll react to them. I hung out for a bit chatting, put on sunscreen (and got teased for my optimism, given the weather), did my inhalers, lubed up, and hung around some more before it was time to head outside to the beach.

    It was chilly standing around with just our suits on, and I huddled up with some others while awaiting the start. Drops of water were hitting us, and there was a brief discussion about whether it was rain or just ocean being blown at us by the wind. (It was rain). Out in the distance you could see a distinct line between brown and blue water—the former being the sediment plume that had cancelled the Governors Island swim the day before. Conditions didn’t look real promising—during the pre-race meeting we had been given instructions on what signals we would be given if we had to get out in case of lightning, which seemed like a real possibility.

    The wait on the beach was mercifully short—soon there was a countdown, and a whistle, and we were off and headed towards the pier. We were with the wind, so it was easy going, if a bit slow. It wasn’t far to the turnaround buoy that marked the western end of the course. Once around it, I started heading back into the wind, and it became clear that the long backstretch of the swim was not going to be so easy.

    There was considerable disorganized chop in this direction. It was hard to sight—I could see the buoy that marked the start maybe 1 in 3 times I looked up, and I couldn’t see the jetties at all unless I did breaststroke. The waves kept spinning me around, and I would find myself heading out away from shore, towards New Jersey. The jetskis that were patrolling the outside of the course had to keep telling me to head further in, and I kept trying to, but the water seemed to have different ideas about where I should be heading. (In retrospect, I realize that I was watching the jetski to see if they were still waving me in once I had passed by them, and that by looking behind me while breathing to my right I was probably throwing myself off course in that direction).

    By the time I had gotten about ¼ mile from the pier I couldn’t see any other swimmers, and no kayakers. This didn’t worry me—I know this course well, and swim it solo often, and knew as long as I could see the shoreline to my left when I breathed that way every now and then that I was heading the right way (the course runs parallel to shore). So I swam along for a while, trying out different technique strategies for dealing with the chop. I tried not to pick up my head to sight too often, since I knew that would eventually make my neck sore if I did it throughout the 10k, especially with the water knocking against me so unpredictably.

    After about a mile a kayak came and paddled beside, and that made sighting unnecessary. (We had 10 kayakers who were sort of roving around the field of 16 swimmers.) After a bit she moved ahead of me and paddled beside another swimmer who was about 15 yards away—I hadn’t seen him until she moved up beside him. I didn’t really like having the kayak ahead of me—couldn’t see it for sighting help, and was afraid I might run into it—so I picked up my pace and passed that swimmer, at which point the kayak hung out with me again. It was a long tough swim up to the turn-around buoy at the eastern end of the course, but it was comforting to pass familiar landmarks—I had a sense of making progress. And by this time I had settled down and was enjoying the swimming, appreciating the greenness of the water, and looking around and marveling, as I watched the kayaker struggle in the chop, that we were all out doing this on such a raw gray day. It seemed splendidly absurd.

    Finally I got to the turnaround buoy. There was a boat nearby, and someone from it asked if I wanted some water. I didn’t—I was holding out for the juice/water mixture that was one of my planned feeds. Once I found out it wasn’t on the boat, I figured it was maybe on the kayak stationed at the race’s start point, and decided that I could wait til there, so I rounded the buoy and headed back towards the start. It was so much easier going in this direction! Suddenly I could sight easily, and the water just seemed to push me forward with every stroke. I had lost the kayaker again, but I didn’t need one, and was happy just having it be me and the water as I swam along.

    After a bit I began assessing how my body felt, and was a little nervous to sense that my arms and back were more fatigued than I was expecting them to be—I still hadn’t finished even one loop out of two! I was also a little nervous about finding my feeds, and what I would do if I didn’t. But then I reminded myself of one of the most useful things I’ve learned about OW swimming: discomforts (tiredness, muscle aches, hunger, cold, etc.) don’t get progressively worse, as I often worry they will, but tend to ebb and flow as the swim goes along. Which is to say that things often get better by themselves, if you just keep swimming. So rather than extrapolate from my present fatigue, I decided to distract myself by playing around with my stroke a bit, and by watching the octopus and alien that were marked on my arm and imagining a race between them. As for the feeds, I knew if they weren’t at the start, that I could at least get some water there, and if I got really hungry I could eat the gel that Rondi had convinced me to tuck into my cap before the start.

    After a bit I heard a jetski approaching. It was Jonathan, who had checked in on me at the turnaround buoy while I was asking about feeds. He hadn’t known where they were then, but had gone and found my bottle (it had indeed been on the kayak near the start) and brought it to me. I took a few swigs and thanked him. Hurray!

    I started swimming again, and very soon I noticed that the greenish, relatively clear water I had been swimming in abruptly changed to brown cloudy water. After a few strokes I also noticed that it had a sort of unpleasant chalky taste to it. Uh-oh—I figured that the sediment-laden water we had seen offshore at the beginning of the race had moved in towards the beach and found us. (This was confirmed by the people onshore after the race—they watched as it moved in, and marveled at how distinct the boundary stayed as it moved along). I also ran into some leafy branches and other debris along here. On each armstroke I could still see my hands moving below the water, but definitely not as clearly as before. I hoped that on my second loop I would pass back through this boundary into clearer water again, but it was not to be—the rest of the race was swum in murky brown water.

    Finally I got back to the start point—one loop down, one to go. Patty was there in her kayak offering feeds. I didn’t want anything, but it occurred to me that my second feed was probably with her, and I decided to ask for it on the way back out—it was a new feed that I was looking forward to trying out on this swim. I began my second loop by heading out towards the pier. Once I reached the buoy there I stopped for a few seconds to assess the current by seeing which way I was drifting relative to shore. As I suspected, it was going the way I had been swimming, so I was about to head back into it as well as into the chop.

    As I turned around I remembered what had been so challenging about the first loop—I had been lulled by swimming with the wind into thinking that conditions had improved dramatically. They were actually a little better the second time around, but I was also definitely more tired. I got to try my second feed on the way back—the fig-nutella-marshmallow pop is a keeper!—but the rest of this portion was something of a slog. I did manage to stay in close to shore—less wandering around this time as I stayed in tight to the jetties.

    Midway through this leg my left deltoid started feeling sore, so I worked on rotating more to my left (my non-breathing side, usually) and letting that elbow bend on the recovery rather than swinging my arm wide around. That helped. Midway through this leg another kayaker picked me up. He paddled on my left for awhile until I asked if we could change sides. He stayed with me for the rest of the race, which was nice. By the time I was mid-way through this leg I knew that I would finish the swim, and was glad of that, but I couldn’t wait to get the turn-around point and have things become easy again.

    And did become very easy once I rounded the buoy. I was so glad to be headed back to the aquarium for a final time, and I felt strong and grateful and joyful as I stroked along. Landmarks went by—the Y, Grimaldo’s chair, bathhouse, 1st big jetty, more jetties. I could see kite-surfers up ahead—usually I would be nervous about swimming anywhere near them, but I knew with the race course being patrolled that they would probably be kept out of my way today. Finally I neared the buoy marking the finish. I stopped and did a couple of strokes of breaststroke to see exactly where I was expected to make landfall, thanked my paddler for kayaking with me, and headed on in. There were about 20 people shivering onshore cheering for me as I walked up the beach, and I decided that maybe I should jog it in since they were making such a fuss. Done! The 10K took me 3:19, and I was 4th out of 8 official finishers (the 8 other swimmers finished the 5K).

    I chatted onshore for bit, went over to an adjacent bay to float around and watch the sky, then helped bring in a buoy (those anchors are heavy!) before heading in to a delicious CIBBOWS post-race feast. It was great to sit around and visit with fellow swimmers and talk about plans for the fall and next season. And at the awards I finally got a CIBBOWS baseball cap! I had been wanting one forever but always seemed to miss out by a place or two one way or the other. Now that I have swum a double loop and won a cap my summer seems complete!

    Updated September 12th, 2011 at 03:15 PM by swimsuit addict

  19. Not Bad for a Monday....

    by , September 12th, 2011 at 02:42 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    I definitely did not feel like getting up this morning. This was one of those rare days when my alarm clock actually got the chance to wake me up. Sad as it is, I've been getting up at 4:30am for so long now that sleeping in on weekends until the cats wake me up at 6:00 is actually sleeping in!

    But... I got up and headed to the pool - still half asleep when I got there and expecting a less-than-great workout. Here's what we did:

    350 Warm-Up
    4 sets:
    - 1 x 400 on 7:00 (did 2 pull, 2 kick)
    - 1 x 200 on 4:00 (did 1st 100 IM, 2nd 100 free)
    - 1 x 100 Free Easy on 2:00
    - 1 x 50 Free FAST! on 1:00 (did :35, :35, :35, :34)
    350 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3700

    All in all, it went better than I expected. My shoulders were getting a little sore with all the pulling, so I kicked the last two 400s. Here's the weird thing. When it's an "easy" free like our 100s today, my stroke felt amazing - and I did the "easy" free on 1:25 without a problem. Why is it than when it's all ALL OUT or I think the interval will be tight, my stroke doesn't feel nearly as good and I fight to hold 1:25s. Must have something to do with being more relaxed, but I could feel the water and was getting a great catch! If only I could always duplicate that feeling (and speed it up too). Oh well... at least I have something to work on.

    Now for my , I went home and decided to do a short (7.5 mile) spin on our exercise bike downstairs. Nothing felt off or weird as I biked - but my knee started smarting when I was walking back up the stairs and it's definitely not feeling great right now. I have a history of knee problems which is why I stopped running and started swimming in the first place. I'm hoping this is no big deal because I really want to train for and do the Aquabikes next summer. Just not sure if my knee is reacting to the breaststroke kick or the biking. I guess only time will tell.... I am definitely hoping for the best. I've rather enjoyed this time away from running where I've been able to walk without my knees aching. It's been blissful. If that starts to happen as I add biking... ugh... maybe it's a good thing I haven't upgraded to a road bike yet.

    That's my grumble for the day. Hope your day goes well and you enjoy your swims!
    Swim Workouts
  20. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -09/13/11

    by , September 12th, 2011 at 02:24 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 1:40
    1 X 200 3:20
    4 X 100 1:30
    1 X 300 4:30
    4 X 50 descend 1-4 1:00

    2 X 200 kick 4:15
    4 X 50 kick :55
    1 x 50 swim

    1 X 200 IM 3:30
    1 X 100 2:00
    Four times through.
    100's: 1 of each IM order

    1 X 300 4:15
    3 X 200 2:45
    1 X 300 4:15
    3 X 100 1:15 or 1:20

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts