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  1. Back to the pool

    Today I swam in a pool again for the first time in over a week. I spent much of the last week in Lake Placid, swimming in one of my favorite spots in all the world, Mirror Lake:

    Mirror Lake is the smaller lake around which the village of Lake Placid is built. It measures about 1.5 miles by .5 miles, has a buoy line set up that makes swimming straight very easy, and doesnít allow any motorboats. All that combined, plus the 74-degree water temp (on the high side for this time of year, but still very pleasant), made it a very swimmer-friendly place to vacation. Weíve spent some time there most every summer since first visiting in 1994 for an open-water race.

    I didnít do workouts per se or record yardage while on vacation (or blog), just got in and swam however much felt good a couple of times a day. This morning when I swam in the pool things like streamlining and turning definitely felt a bit rusty!

    Hereís the workout I did this morning with the Asphalt Green masters. Since Iíve started my taper for zones in 2 weeks, I modified things as needed.

    500 lcm warmup

    500 swim, every 3rd length catch-up free

    5 x 100 FR/BK @ 1:50 [held 1:31-1:34s]

    6 x 100 (75 Kick fast / 25 easy swim) @ big rest [practices bobbing and sinking in between]

    6 x 50 choice race pace to feet @ 1:20 [I did odds fast, evens 40 easy/10 fast]

    After this, there was a longish set involving various equipment. I instead hopped over to an empty lane and did the following bit before getting out early:

    2 x (virtual 200 IM + 100 easy) [For my virtual IMs, I do the first and last 10-15 meters of each length fast stroke, the rest easy free, while mentally rehearsing my keys for the 200 IM, a race Iíll swim at Zones]

    200 warmdown

    It was nice to have a princess lane where I could do my little taper IM set without worrying about dodging other swimmers.

    Over the next couple of weeks my plan is to swim as often as possible, while increasingly limiting the amount of hard yardage Iím doing. I like playing in the water a lot while Iím tapering, and Augustówhen many people are away, and the kids team is on a more limited practice scheduleótends to be a great time to find the space to do that.
  2. O give me lane, lots of lane, under starry skies above . . .

    This morning I went to early LC workout at Asphalt Green. Hereís what we did:

    400 LCM warmup + bobbing and sinking

    600 reverse-order IM, 100 Swim + 50 Kick of each stroke

    8 x 50 drill: 2 fist, 4 tap drill, 2 dps

    2 Ĺ times through
    300 IM (50 FL, 100 BK, 50 BR, 100 FR)
    3 x 50 kick (1st round FL, 2nd round BR, 3rd round would have been BK if weíd gotten that far)
    3 x 50 easy FR, decreasing # of breaths by 2 on each successive 50

    100 warmdown

    Sometimes the numbers of swimmers in each lane at these workouts works out strangely. Today, there were 8 or 9 swimmers in each of the 2 fastest lanes, and just 2 or 3 in each of the other 2. By speed I would usually swim in the next-to-fastest lane, but today the range of speeds in that lane made efficient clumping unlikely (if the rest of the swimmers stay on each othersí feet, as they often do, I figure it really doesnít matter whether Iím sharing a lane with 2 or 12 others, as long as I make sure Iím not in the middle of the clumping).

    So I scooted over to one of the slower lanes and swam the workout there. That was fine for the drillsóIím a pretty slow drilleróbut on the IMs I was way too fast for the interval. So I compensated by doing double turns at each wall, and doing the vertical-axis strokes as 50 swim/50 kick. If Iíd stayed in my original lane, I would have gotten in more yardage, but this way I got in some additional turn and kick work. Itís a trade-off Iím happy to make.

    Sometimes I do wish teammates were less married to their usual lanes (not to mention their particular position within lanes), but it seems like itís been that way on every masters team Iíve ever swum with. When I coached, one of the least pleasant parts of the job was trying to even out overcrowded lanesóthere were always certain people you knew would have their feelings hurt or be in a snit for the rest of workout if you asked them to move down from ďtheirĒ lane, and who even preferred swimming 7 or 8 in a scy lane to switching. Iím usually happier moving to wherever I can find good space to swim, and luckily in a lcm setup thereís usually somewhere that fits that description. Plus, I get to chat with swimmers I know less well, which is always fun.

    This Sunday Iím headed out to the Wilton Summer Sizzler LCM meet and bbq. Iím signed up for 100 FR, 400 FR, 200 IM, 50 FL, and 50 FR. Iím swimming the 400 free just for the sake of doing all the events (minus the 1500) this summeróI predict that I will negative split it. The other event I donít even have any predictions for, but I know it will be a fun dayóit will be my first pool swim outdoors this season, and the Wilton folks always put on a fabulous event!

    Good luck to everyone doing the Charlottesville swim this weekend! Stay cool and swim fast!
  3. Swimming or whiskey?

    I went to early (5:30 am) LCM workout today. It seemed way too early to be up and about on a holiday. Apropos of nothing, my cab driver this morning remarked that it was good to be obsessive about swimming, but that he liked whiskey too much. (He knew I was going to a pool because he recognized the address, and I suppose he figured I was obsessive because who else takes a cab across town to swim at dawn?) You gotta love NYC cabbies.

    The pool was fairly emptyówe had only 3 or 4 swimmers per lane, and the lap lanes were pretty deserted. Hereís what we did:

    400 lcm warmup + bobbing and sinking

    500 pull

    5 x 100 kick @ 2:20

    400 pull

    6 x 100, odds ST (50 D / 50 S) @ 2:10, evens FR @ 1:55

    300 pull

    7 x 100 IM @ 2:05 [after being a lazybones for most of the above, I worked theseó1:35-1:36 on the first 5, then 1:33 and 1:30 on the last 2]

    200 pull

    4 x 100 FR @ 1:45 [held 1:28s]

    200 warmdown

    Pullingís not my favorite thing, but I seemed to get in a groove on these and was really able to pay attention to my balance and posture in the water. On some of the pulls, I alternated 100s with a buoy with 100s FR w/ dolphin kick, just to change up the feel of things.

    On the walk home, I was happy to be up and about before the heat set in. Now I get to laze the rest of the day. Brunch here I come!