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  1. 10/13 Practice

    by , October 13th, 2010 at 09:09 AM (Random Nonsense)
    Warm up
    - 150 free
    - 150 back
    - 150 kick w/fins
    - 150 back
    - 150 free
    Main Set
    -- base 1:20 hold 1:10 pace
    - 4x50
    - 3x100
    - 2x150
    - 1x200
    - 1x200 kick ez w/fins on 5:00
    - 1x200
    - 2x150
    - 3x100
    - 4x50
    Cool down
    - 300 ez

    The main set should have been easier or faster, but I was barely coming in on 35 during the last set of 50s. My aerobic endurance needs some work.
  2. Meet with the kids

    After 4 glorious days of OW swimming over the long weekend, I headed back to the pool yesterday evening for something completely different--a fun meet with the combined AGUA masters and kids teams. The event was part of this yearís Swim for the Future program, which is a swim scholarship program for kids on our age-group team. It was established in 2001 in memory of two of our masters teammates, Andrew Fisher and Doug Irgang, who died in the 9/11 attacks. Nearly 10 years later, itís helped quite a few kids swim with the wonderful AGUA age-group team who couldnít otherwise afford it.

    The meet itself was an absolute blast. Between the kids and the grownups, we had around 70 swimmers. Before the meet, organizers had collected 100 FR times and divided us up into 2 teams (think of lining everyone up by time and counting off 1-2-1-2, only in this case the computer did that for us). Everyone swam all 4 events (25 FL, 50 BK, 75 BR, and 100 FR) plus a final relay. All the events were seeded by 100 FR times, so everyoneís heat and lane assignments stayed the same for all 4 events, and adults and kids were mixed together in every heat. The kids who participated ranged from tiny 8-and-unders to some very fast senior swimmers, and there was a good mix of masters as well.

    I definitely came away with a number of fun new cheers, and a renewed appreciation for what really great kids we have on the age-group team.

    As for my times, I have no idea what I swam, except for a 1:03 in my 75 BR. (We had hand-timers, and team scores were computed by adding all the times together). One puzzling thing about the evening was that I was seeded in a heat that definitely seemed too slow for me, even though I had submitted a real 100 FR time. Mostly I was racing 10 year olds and masters teammates who swim down a few lanes from me, and it made me a little self-conscious. When I got home I figured out what had happened. I had initially entered the meet by just RSVPing to a fundraising letter; I was later contacted by email and asked for a 100 meter FR time. There was also an actual entry form the kids and some masters swimmers used, and it asked for a 100 yards time. So I was racing swimmers whose best 100y free times were around 1:13. I think the same thing must have happened in a few other heats, judging by who was swimming where.

    But I donít think anyone really cared, we were all having too much fun swimming and cheering. And the kids were definitely not fazed by racing grown-ups twice their size, but I didnít expect them to be. Our training times overlap, and they see the workouts we do, and sometimes pretend to be jealous of our generous (to-them!) intervals. If anything, some of our masters swimmers were nervous about getting beaten by a 9-year-old in the next lane. (I fortunately didn't have to worry about that, since the really fast 9-year-olds were seeded in later heats!)

    (I once had a Russian-ťmigrť masters coach look at me and pronounce gravely, ďIn swimming, you are 12.Ē Iím not sure if I lived up to that swimming age last night or notóI suspect not. Itís possible Iíve regressed to 11 in swimming years since his evaluation.)

    The meet was my second wonderful swimming experience of the week. The first was a swim Monday up in the Hudson River, north of the city. It was an absolutely gorgeous and exhilarating experience. I was a little nervous about the water temperature going into the swim, because it was about 5 degrees cooler than the water I had gotten used to at Brighton Beach. But other than a bit of initial shock getting in, the water felt absolutely wonderful. I ended up swimming for nearly an hour at around 60 degrees, I think. There was just one point near where we turned around where my toes felt a little cold, but otherwise I felt comfortable during and afterwards. It was a big confidence booster for being able to do the 11/6 race.

    Now Iím antsy for the weekend to get here so I can go swim outdoors again!

    Updated October 13th, 2010 at 09:01 AM by swimsuit addict

  3. Slept in and still got to the pool

    by , October 13th, 2010 at 07:20 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Not a good day but my back was not as bad as yesterday. Gave in to the sleep, then on the way in found a cheaper gas station so had to take advantage of the price.

    10x100@1:40 Free added a kick and 2 dolphin kicks off each wall
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd lap Fast
    5x200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy descend 1-5 went 2:52, 2:48, 2:44, 2:39, 2:34
    200 Fly kick w/fins streamline
    300 Free w/fins swim long and loose

    Total 3000 yards
  4. Swim, Oct. 12

    by , October 12th, 2010 at 08:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/Solo/SCY @ Oak Marr:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    5 x 100 free w/paddles & fins @ 1:30

    Main Set:

    8 x 25
    odds = EZ speed fly w/fins
    (I hesitate even to label this "fly" as it felt foreign and horrible)
    evens = UW shooter w/fins
    coughing fit

    100 russian breast drill

    8 x 25
    odds = back
    evens = back kick
    coughing fit

    100 russian breast drill

    8 x 25
    odds = breast pull
    evens = flutter kick shooter

    100 chest press fly

    8 x 25
    all free w/overkick

    100 chest press fly

    8 x 25 flutter kick w/board @ :30

    100 EZ

    Total: 2600



    Made it back to the pool again. Did not do anything even remotely fast. I feel better, maybe 60%. I guess it's better to do this than stay out of the pool. More exhausting than swimming was the post swimming: pick Mini up from HS, go to grocery, drop Mini back at HS for game, go home to feed other kids dinner, go back to HS to watch volleyball game, come home and do dishes and pack lunches and read Fort Son's college application essay. Seriously, I need a wife.

    This latest bout of illness made me realize how much illness or injuries can ruin a season or a year. Last year, I was healthy most of the year. This year, I've had three major epidsodes where I've been out of the water for long periods of time. I just hope next year is back to healthy.

    I still doubt I'll swim the Sprint Classic. But I was wondering whether the "unofficial" 25s can be swum in "unofficial" suits, i.e., tech suits. Logically, I would think they could be since they don't count. I was thinking maybe I should force myself to do the 25s just to get some start work in. Maybe I'll feel more positive about this next week.

    Saw this on FB on the P90X page:

    It's rather depressing to think that most lean meats and fish are bad for us. I have read elsewhere that they are just loaded with chemicals though.

    As for the gluten advice, since I am not allergic to gluten and am allergic to pomegranates, I decided to give gluten another try. No, I cannot tolerate the stuff at all. So I will just carry on avoiding gluten and lactose.

    Updated October 12th, 2010 at 08:11 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. My kind of practice .... Until

    I was pumped when coach handed us this workout. I was ready and motivated to tackle anything she handed me. Then I feel apart during round two of the main set. I let my lane partner move on while I altered my intervals a little in order to maintain somewhat of a decent stroke.

    400 CHOICE
    4 X 75 W/10
    200 BACK W/10

    12 X 50 KICK W/FINS

    200 @2:45
    5O @ 45
    200 @2:45
    2 X 50 @ 45
    200 @2:45
    3 X 50 @ 45
    200 @2:45
    4 X 50 @45

    200 W/D


  6. Tuesday, 10/12/10

    by , October 12th, 2010 at 05:27 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, with Carrie

    Warm up
    300 Swim free
    1 x 100 smooth drill/2:00 (did 1 arm fly drill)
    2 x 50 swim/ 50 strong (1st free - 40, 2nd fly - 42)
    1 x 100 smooth drill/2:00 (did back drill - 1 arm and catch up)
    2 x 50 swim/55 strong (1st free - 38, 2nd back - 41)
    1 x 100 smooth drill/2:00 (did free drill - 1 arm and catch up)
    2 x 50 swim/1:00 strong (both free - 38-37)

    Main Set:
    4 x 200/3:30 build
    (did 1, 3 back; 2, 4 free. back 2:55, 2:57, free 2:50 for both)

    9 x 100/2:15 as:
    25 under water (did dolphin kick alternating on back and on belly, was only getting about halfway before doming up for air, kicked on surface the rest of the 25)
    25 kick above (flutter kick on back)
    25 swim
    25 swim with overkick
    (alternated free and back on swim parts. was averaging 1:45 on these)

    12 x 25/1:00 Free Sprints with 3 Turns per 25!
    (was hitting these at about 20-22 was fun and provided lots of entertainment for the others in the pool)

    Warm down
    100 easy

    Total: 3000 yards
  7. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -10/13/10

    by , October 12th, 2010 at 04:12 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 1:40
    4 x 100 1:30
    6 X 50 :45
    6 X 50 :40

    1 X 500
    Alternate 50 easy/50 fast. Choice.

    3 X 200 2:50 2:40 2:30
    1 X 100 easy 2:00
    Three times through. Round 1 intervals left, 2 middle, 3 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:00
    4 X 75 kick 1:40

    12 X 50 1:10
    odd: easy
    even: fast
    Choice. Fins optional

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  8. Tue Oct 12, 2010

    by , October 12th, 2010 at 11:05 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Oct 12, 2010

    Whitney Coached
    6:30 to 8:00
    UT Swim Center main pool
    arrived on time
    swam with tenielle Mike paul & sharon
    beside todd, tyler, larry, & chris

    4 rounds of 150 fr 100 krls


    8 x 25 on 30
    odds fl fast
    evens underwater one breath
    right into
    400 fr 75%

    1:00 break

    8 x 25 on 30
    odds bk fast
    evens fr one breath
    400 fr 80%

    1:00 break

    8 x 25 on 35
    odds br fast
    evens underwater one breath
    right into
    400 fr 85%

    1:00 break

    8 x 25 on 30
    odds fr fast
    evens underwater one breath
    right into
    400 fr 75%

    100 easy

    8 x 100 k on 1:40
    desc 1 - 4 hold 5 - 8 strong
    kept em all under 1:20
    went 1;13 on last one

    100 easy

    assigned 8 x 100
    did 100 then got out to make a 8:00 meeting
    Swim Workouts
  9. Could barely get up the steps this morning

    by , October 12th, 2010 at 07:34 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My back was so locked up I felt pain every step I took. During practice it just took a while to loosen up some, but still was agrevating.

    After it is all over, showered and changed I am feeling much better but still not 100%. Oh well that is my life.

    400,300,200,100@:15R Free
    500 Free kick w/fins as 25EZ,25Mod,25Fast

    goal on this next set LOOSEN UP!
    500 Fly w/fins drills skull, rt/lt arm, kick on back, chest press, rt/lt arm
    10x50@1:00 Fly w/fins & paddles
    4x100@1:30 Free kick w/fins
    4x100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy
    200 Free EASY

    Total 3500 yards
  10. Swim, Monday, Oct. 11

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 08:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Back in the water for a very slow short swim:

    Swim/Solo/SCY @ OakMarr

    Warm up:

    600 various
    10 x 25 shooters w/fins

    Main sets:

    Solo Social Mini Mountain Kick:

    all dolphin kick w/board @ :15-20 RI
    1 x 50
    1 x 100
    1 x 150
    1 x 200
    5 x 1:00 vertical kick (breast, dolphin, flutter, dolphin, breast)
    1 x 200
    1 x 150
    1 x 100
    1 x 50

    10 x 50 @ 1:0
    odds = free
    evens = back

    6 x 25 breast
    alternating dolphin and whip kick

    50 EZ

    Total: 2550



    Well, it's a start. My throat and lungs are still burning. Cough is slightly better. It's very non-productive, so it needs to just stop soon. Getting healthy feels like a fairly interminable process.

    Just to cheer myself up, I checked the LCM rankings and my 4 x 50 from Zones are still in the top ten. I think this reflects a lack of participation in long course this summer. I'll be curious to see if that continues this short course season. Apparently, according to the convention votes, most people don't like the suits. If so, they should be lining up to swim now.

    Also, on a whim, I checked the all time FINA rankings and was surprised to find this: Some of these will no doubt change with all the fast chicks entering my age group.


    50 SCM BACK:

    30.58 K.PIPES-NEILSEN USA 2007
    31.45 BARBARA OPITZ GER 2006
    32.54 VIBEKE SWANSON USA 2006
    32.59 K.ANDRUS-HUGHES USA 2006
    32.61 SUSANNA ROSEN SWE 2009
    32.65 L VAN PELT-DILLER USA 2003
    32.67 LAURA VAL USA 1999

    100 SCM BACK:

    1:04.46 K.PIPES-NEILSEN FRA 2009
    1:07.21 ELLEN REYNOLDS USA 2009
    1:09.20 VIBEKE SWANSON USA 2006
    1:09.27 VERA CAPKOVA BEL 2006
    1:09.58 LESLIE LIVINGSTON USA 2009
    1:09.68 KARIN SEICK GER 2007
    1:09.90 L.PELT-DILLER USA 2006
    1:10.17 LISA WARD USA 2009
    1:10.33 LISA DIXON-WELLS CAN 2006
    1:10.40 SUSANNA ROSEN SWE 2009

    50 SCM FLY:

    29.40 K.PIPES-NEILSEN FRA 2009
    29.97 USCHI DUMIG GER 2005
    30.02 KARIN SEICK GER 2006
    30.18 LISA DAHL USA 2006
    30.24 TRACI GRANGER USA 2007
    30.37 ARLENE DELMAGE USA 2008


    50 LCM BACK:

    31.71 VALERIE JENKINS USA 2008
    31.85 SUSAN WALSH USA 2007
    32.10 K.PIPES-NEILSEN USA 2007
    32.65 VERA CAPKOVA BEL 2006
    32.93 LAURA VAL USA 1997
    33.18 KARIN SEICK GER 2006
    33.34 K.ANDRUS-HUGHES USA 2006
    33.40 CATHY SHEEHAN CAN 2005

    50 LCM FLY:

    29.52 K.PIPES-NEILSEN USA 2008
    29.57 LISA DAHL USA 2009
    29.84 SUSAN WALSH USA 2007
    30.01 LISA WARD USA 2009
    30.04 ARLENE DELMAGE USA 2008
    30.30 ANGELA ZINGLER GER 2001
    30.40 ROBIN PARISI USA 2002
    Swim Workouts
  11. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -10/12/10

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 07:04 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 1:40 1:30
    2 X 200 3:20 3:00
    Twice through. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 400 5:40
    2 X 200 2:50
    1 X 300 4:00
    2 X 150 2:00
    1 X 200 2:30
    2 X 100 1:15

    2 X 100 kick 2:10
    4 X 50 kick 1:10
    8 X 25 sprint kick :50

    1 X 200 50 stroke/50 free 3:30
    4 X 50 1 of each 1:00
    Three times through

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  12. 10/11/10

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 04:06 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    600 Warm up
    3X 200 free 3:00
    100 kick 2:00

    10x50s fast free :50

    8 x 100 2:00 odds free, evens IM

    3X 200 free 3:00
    100 kick 2:00

    300 cool down
  13. Pacemakers and ICDs

    I had open heart surgery (quadruple by-pass) in 2004 and was given a pacemaker. I weghted 265 lbs. at the time. ( I weighted 305 lbs. in 1992). I started rehab and lost 35 lbs. I started swimming (no high school or college experience).

    My heart continued to get weaker and in 2006 they gave me an ICD (Implantable Cardio Difribullator).

    By 2008, I had dropped my weight to 195 lbs. and had learned all the strokes. I went to the Nationals in Austin that year and won 5 medals including the 50 yard butterfly. (I had disc surgery on my back in 1976.)

    The Yale Medical school is conducting a study on athletes from ages 10-60 who compete on a regular basis. (I am 69 and there is a runner 80.) After several years of recruiting, they currently have 300 athletes but only two (2) swimmers. They want 100 more athletes.

    I would like to here from any swimmers who compete with these devices or from anyone who might know of someone who competes with these devices. There are 100,000 ICDs implanted every year and almost all recipents chose to sit on their big fat sofas!

    I want to get the word out that this device is not a "death sentence".

    Jim Oster
    a/k/a - Mr. Pacemaker
  14. Mon Oct 11, 2010

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 12:14 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Oct 11, 2010

    did not swim on Saturday or Sunday

    Went to ACL Festival Sun Afternoon & evening

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    7:30 to 9:00
    UT Swim Center main pool
    arrived 8:30 missed warm up
    swam with marcio and Mike
    beside larry, teneille jon max & ritchie



    400 fr

    100 k went 1:13

    300 fr

    100 k went 1;12

    200 fr

    100 easy

    8 x 25 no breather

    100 k pretty fast
    went 1:04
  15. 10/11 Practice

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 10:19 AM (Random Nonsense)
    Warm up
    - 2x150 swim/kick/swim
    - 4x50 drill swim
    - 200 pull
    - 100 kick
    (Time trial was supposed to be 100 bk, but we were not setup for competition and worse, no backstroke flags. No one time trialed).
    - 200 build (2:07) (I built from strong to all out)
    Main Set
    - 4x150 swim on 2:00
    - 4x150 pull w/paddles and buoy on 2:00
    - 100 kick w/ fins ez
    - 6x50 swim w/fins on 1:10 (29,28,27,28,27,27)
    - 100 kick w/fins ez
    - 4x50 swim w/fins on 1:05 (26,26,26,25)
    - 100 kick w/fins ez
    - 2x50 swim w/fins on 1:00 (25,25)
    - 100 kick w/fins ez
    Cool down
    - 200 ez

    The 50s were fast, faster and fastest. This doesn't seem like quite enough rest to be speed work, but I don't know what else to call it.

    I noticed my flip tuns seem to slam when I am wearing fins, aka I go into the wall with much more torque on the turn. This makes me think that I am depending on my arms to pull me over without using my legs to push me over during my flips. Lifetime is closed this week and I would like to play around and video tape my flip turn, but I might have to make a note to do this at the beginning of November.

    Not shaving for the Halloween meet.
  16. Monday, 10/11/10

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 09:57 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, in Boise with masters group

    2 x (100 swim-50 kick-50 drill)

    600 pull neg. split

    5 x 50 @ :50, :45, :50, :40, :50


    600 neg. split, 30 sr (8:17)

    3 x 200 neg. split, 20 sr (ave 2:45)

    6 x 100 strong 10 sr (ave 1:22)

    4 x 100 @ 2:15 25 back kick/25 back drills

    Cool down
    100 easy

    Total: 3550 yards
  17. To swim or not to swim on a holiday

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 07:26 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Our aquatic center has been closed on some strange holidays since the county took it over again. I expected to see it closed but did not remember any signs up so I took a chance and it was open! Even so I was late this morning by about 15 minutes.

    10x100@1:40 Free holding 1:30's
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd lap FAST

    next set was decending
    100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy in 1:25
    200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy in 2:50
    100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy in 1:20
    200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy in 2:40
    100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy in 1:17
    200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy in 2:35
    100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy in 1:15

    300 Breast kick w/fins ouch my thighs still hurt from Saturday
    200 free as alternate 25 1 arm drill/25 swim

    Total 3000 yards
  18. Update, Oct. 10

    by , October 10th, 2010 at 10:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No news is not good news is the blogging world, generally. I'm still struggling with bronchitis and asthma. Thought I was substantially better today. Then I left my house without my inhaler (stacked on the counter with other medication) and had an asthma problem. My chest and lungs are burning. Still, I feel like the illness has abated. So if I can just stop coughing, I will try to hit the pool tomorrow, though my kids are out of school. At this point, I doubt I'll swim the Sprint Classic on Oct. 24. I've been out of the water too long (10 days now) and don't feel like swimming completely unprepared or with creaky lungs. It will probably just be better to ramp it up slowly and aim for December. This has not been my year.

    I also feel bad for my Savageman relay mate who was attempting to PR in the Chicago marathon today. He was on pace for a sub 3:00 marathon, but got shooting cramps in the hamstrings at the 25K mark and had to go to the medical tent.

    All is not easy in the world of sport. But, as masters, there are always plenty more chances.

    I did spend most of Saturday glued to the computer watching Kona, which was awesome and inspiring.
  19. Outdoors still! in WI

    by , October 10th, 2010 at 06:38 PM (Keepin Track 2010)
    A beautiful morning in WI. 80 degrees expected for today. Though I would try for a few more outdoor workouts.

    700 WU (last 200 kick)

    4x (250 Pull FR, 4x25 execution style)

    250 = mod to easy concentrate on keeping low heart rate and maintaining good form

    4x25 2 sets FR 2 sets BR work on component of stroke well and build to fast holding that component.

    easy 100
  20. Hot cocoa and cool breezes

    The November 6th Veterans Day swim race I signed up for is less than a month away, and so I made the most of the lovely sunny weather we’ve had this weekend to get in as much OW swimming as possible. The water was a bit colder than last weekend, but at 64-66 degrees is still pretty comfortable.

    On Friday morning I went out to Brighton Beach with a couple of swim buddies and got in about 1.5 miles. We were different speeds, so since there were just the 3 of us in the water I would swim for a while then circle back so we never got too far apart. The day was warm and sunny, and it was comfortable just standing around on the beach when I got out. You don’t expect that here in October!

    On Saturday morning I swam with the CIBBOWS group, and ended up doing the whole 5K loop with a couple of other swimmers of similar speeds. The water was beautiful and clear, with just a few nonstinging jellies hanging around about 2 feet below the surface. At the far end of the loop, you swim by various Coney Island attractions, such as the Wonder Wheel (a big ferris wheel), the Cyclone, and the Parachute Drop. That’s definitely my favorite part of the swim—the scenery makes up for having to swim near the fishy-smelling pier, which always scares me a little.

    For today’s swim, I did an aquarium IM. I was inspired by reading this story about the swimmers who did a Golden Gate Bridge IM (one bridge span, or about a mile, of each stroke). I have always loved doing all 4 strokes in open water, and even once swam IM in an open-water race (the 2009 Liberty Island swim). But a mile of each stroke in water as cold as San Francisco’s is really impressive. It’s beyond what I can do now, but I would love to train and race for a swim like that!

    So this morning I did a mini version by swimming down to the New York Aquarium, which is enclosed by a long low wall (about 300m long if I got my Google Pedometer points right) that runs parallel to shore and is easily visible from the water. I then swam one length of the wall each stroke. Both my fly and breast lengths were swum into some rolling swells, and I developed a pretty good feel for gliding after each stroke until I was cresting the next wave, then popping out and breathing and diving back down into the water. It was totally fun. And swimming backstroke while looking up at the sunny blue sky is just wonderful. Luckily I didn’t run (literally) into any other swimmers while swimming on my back, although I think a few had to dodge me. There were a lot of us out bouncing around in the waves.

    Commuting out to the beach and back everyday has netted me a lot of subway time this weekend. The trip out takes just about an hour if the trains are running right. It’s actually pretty ride, or at least parts of it are. The train surfaces between Manhattan and Brooklyn to go across the Manhattan Bridge, with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and of Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty to the south. Seeing the water shining in the distance makes me feel excited and impatient to get out to the beach and swim in it myself. The train goes back underground on the Brooklyn side, but then resurfaces about half way to the beach, travelling through the sort of gracious neighborhoods with single family houses and tree-lined streets that it’s easy to forget exist when you live in Manhattan. I’m looking forward to watching the leaves change each week as I ride out for my open-water swims.

    The long subway ride also gave me plenty of time to read the sports page this morning, and it was full of good news. Yankees sweep the Twins, my Spartans trounce U. of M., Auburn wins, Bama loses. Plus, there was a sweet article about Joan Benoit—it turns out she does a bit of open water swimming off the coast of Maine after her runs. Maine! When I read that, I decided that whatever the water temp was today, I wouldn’t complain, because it has to be way warmer here than Maine, plus I am much better insulated than any sub-3hour marathoner could possibly be. (Joanie ran a 2:47 today in Chicago, at age 53. )

    So that’s three straight days of OW swimming, plus another planned for tomorrow. So far I haven’t had any problems with the cold, because there hasn’t been much. The only time I felt a bit chilled was when I stopped too long to chat and bask in the middle of Saturday’s 5K, and a few minutes of hard swimming fixed that.

    Even in these relatively mild conditions, I'm thankful for the thermos of hot cocoa I've been packing for the end of my swims. Wearing earplugs also seems to suit me well, and may have been one of the reasons I haven't been feeling cold after my swims. Mostly, I’m just happy to get in lots of comfortable swim time now, and store up memories of swimming while the sun is shining and the water is inviting, because I think those memories will help sustain me as the weather and water turn inevitably colder during the coming weeks.