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  1. Being a Pool Tourist

    Last night I joined up with three swim pals and ventured out to Staten Island to one of the city’s WPA-era public pools. I have a teammate who arranges “Pool Tourism” outings during the summer, and this was well worth the trip. We had a gorgeous ferry ride over and back, and the Lyons pool was just a short walk from the ferry terminal. Here’s a description of it the pool from the NYC Park Department website:

    Joseph H. Lyons Pool, the largest public pool on Staten Island, was built in 1936. Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Lyons Pool was one of eleven pools that opened throughout New York City in a single summer during the Great Depression. The pools were among the most remarkable public recreational facilities in the country and represented the forefront of design and technology. The main pool measures 165 feet long and 100 feet wide, while both the wading and diving pools are 100 feet by 68 feet. The pool is designed to accommodate 2,800 bathers at a time; during the first summer, crowds averaged 5,707 people each day. The influence of the WPA pools extended throughout entire communities, attracting aspiring athletes and neighborhood children, and changing the way millions of New Yorkers spent their leisure time.
    From 1984 to 1986, Lyons Pool underwent a $6.7 million restoration, which included reconstruction of the three pools and locker room facilities, and installation of new plumbing, filtration, and electrical systems. Lyons Pool is a symbol of Robert Moses' influence in park design.

    Luckily, there were not 2,800 swimmers there last night. We shared the pool with just a handful of other lap swimmers—I’m not sure if that was because the evening had turned a little cool, or if this pool is just typically uncrowded. The pool had no lane lines; there were 13 black stripes painted on the bottom that extended all the way to the walls (no crosses at the end of the lines or on the walls, so flip-turns were a little tricky). We did a minimal, fun workout that involved lots of goofy swimming, then rode the ferry back after dark. It was a beautiful night to be swimming outdoors at dusk, and it’s always fun to swim in new pools!

    This morning I went up to Riverbank State Park for a little solo taper workout. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup

    8 x 100 (50 FR / 50 BK) @ 1:50-2:00: FR = relaxed, BK = steady kick, desc. 1-4 and 5-8

    100 easy

    200 virtual IM w/ full-speed turns

    200 warmdown

    It was a nice, calm morning up at Riverbank.

    I’m ready for Zones to be here already!
  2. Playing with speed

    I went to the early-morning lcm workout at Asphalt Green. Here’s how it went:

    700 lcm warmup

    400 FR speed play: 6 stroke cycles slow, 6 stroke cycles fast for 1st 100; 5 slow/5 fast on 2nd 100; 4/4 on 3rd, and 3/3 on 4th [I liked this—it really made me think about where I was generating power from each time I switched from slow to fast, and how increasing tempo helped increase power, as well as the other way around]

    6 x 100 @ 2:20, done as 2 x (75 FL + 25 FR; 75 BK + 25 FR; 75 BR + 25 FR), with ST= long and relaxed, FR =sprinting [my lane only made it through 5 of these]

    2 x 50 FR Sprint @ 1:30 [37, 36]
    100 easy
    4 x 50 FR Fast @ 1:30 [held 38-39]
    200 easy
    8 x 50 FR Fast @ 1:20 [I did odds sprint, evens moderate. I went in the back of my lane and so just got my time to the flags (too many people to get to the wall): 34, 32, 32, 32]
    400 easy [300]
    4 x 50 BR fast @ 1:40
    200 easy
    Then I skipped the last 2 x 50 Fast + 100 easy because my body had had enough fast swimming for one day!

    100 warmdown

    Our coach, Craig Keller, leaves for Sweden at the end of this week to coach USMS swimmers at Worlds, then is headed to Puerto Rico for nats. I think I’ll see him again about a week before I go to Zones, so I’m trying to get all the good advice I can from him this now! I think we will have a substitute coach coming in from out of town to handle workouts during his absence. If anyone reading this is Worlds-bound, I hope you enjoy Craig’s great knowledge and enthusiasm. It sounds like you will have tons of fun there!

    I have to figure out what to swim at Zones. I’d like to do 50 FR/BK/BR, 100 BK/BR, and 200/400 IMs. The only back-to-back events among those are the 400 IM and 100 BK, but that’s a pretty tough one. I could just drop the 400 IM notion and give myself an easier schedule.

    On the swim-every-event front, between the Middlebury and Wilton meets I”ve already swum the following LC events this summer: 100/200/400/800 FR, 50/100/200 BK, 100/200 BR, 50/100/200 FL, and 200/400 IM. I’m ok with skipping the 1500 FR this season, and will definitely get in the other 2 events—50 FR and 50 BR—at Zones. If all goes as planned, I’ll also get in 1M and 2M open-water swims this summer. That’s a happy-making amount of racing, and has helped keep my interest up in training.
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