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Of Swimming Bondage

bondage:

  • dictionary.com: the state of being bound by or subjected to some external power or control

Though I swore at 22 I would hang my suit up forever, I am compelled to swim, to relish in the pain/pleasure continuum across workouts and meets, to be forever & happily enslaved by this odd sport.

In my 50s now, I've created this blog to keep me motivated, chart my progress and, possibly, offer some insight to others.

  1. Two-pool morning

    by , May 3rd, 2017 at 02:41 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I flew out to Newark late on Monday evening on a delayed flight and had a very rough time getting in my "run" day workout on Tuesday, but I pushed through it and did it on a little more than 5 hours of sleep. The upside of the short night of sleep Monday and then an all-day planning meeting followed by late team dinner meant that I was completely knackered by 10:30pm local time on Tuesday night, enabling me to get a robust 7 hours of sleep before walking 1.5 miles over to the Somerset Hills YMCA. This hotel's a bit out of the way from my company's office and usually a little pricier than I'd like to spend, but a good deal on Expedia and the fact the hotel offered a free day pass to the YMCA hooked me. I was particularly excited because this allowed me to get in two pools.

    The only bummer about the morning was that I forgot to pack a pair of googles. This was particularly galling to me as my wife and I had done a deep spring cleaning recently and I had uncovered a handful of pairs of goggles left behind by my older two daughters when they left for university. I probably have 10 pairs now at home. The one thing, though, that I have found always reliable about YMCAs is that, thanks to all of their kids' aquatic programs, there's always a robust lost and found. One the lifeguards hooked me up with a hot pink pair of kids goggles that served my needs!

    Warmup in the Englehard pool
    This was described on the Y schedule as the warmer pool and it was certainly a tad warmer, but it was not too warm (nor was the Chandor pool as cool as I'd prefer). Both pools were 6 lanes x 25 yards, with this one being older (I think), but very functional:



    I did the following here:
    • 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill
    • 2 rounds of:
      • 1 x 100: on 2:10, breaststroke kick w/snorkel and finis band around knees, focused on narrow kick
      • 2 x 50: on 0:55, breaststroke pull
      • 4 x 25: on 0:35, breaststroke swim (round 1 w/finis band)

    TOTAL: 1,000 SCY

    Continued in Chandor Pool



    ... where I continued from the last set:

    • 1 round of:
      • 1 x 100: on 2:10, breaststroke kick w/snorkel and finis band around knees, focused on narrow kick
      • 2 x 50: on 0:55, breaststroke pull
      • 4 x 25: on 0:35, breaststroke swim (round 1 w/finis band)

    • 5 x 50: on 0:50, free swim, gentle descend from about 0:35 to 0:31, 1st three w/snorkel
    • 4 x 100: on 1:45, IM kick on back descend
    • 4 x 50: on 0:50, back swim, gentle descend from about 0:37 to 0:35
    • 1 x 50: cool-down

    TOTAL: 1,200 SCY

    I suspect I'll come back here again; it was a great center and they appear to have generous open lap lanes.
    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  2. SLAPped and Celebration

    by , April 26th, 2017 at 09:32 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I have deftly managed to avoid being sucked to either Vegas or Orlando for a business conference for the last three years (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?330...her-such-stuff), but couldn't avoid it this year. Other than having a lot of hotel rooms and meeting rooms, I still find it odd to have conferences in these locations for a variety of reasons:
    • Thanks to all of the tourists, traveling into or out of either city's airport is a pain
    • Orlando, in particular, is almost always expensive
    • Our conference events run from ~8am until ~10pm each day, so we're not seeing any of the sights of these cities
    • Particularly in Vegas, when conference participants do 'enjoy' the city, you see dramatic reduction in participation as the days go on


    The only upside for me is that I can add some pools to my www.1001pools.com list! On my recovery plan, I'm up to a planned total of 6,650 yards this entire week, spread over 4 workouts. I got in two of these between 1,250 SCM yesterday at the Celebration Fitness Center ...



    ... and then my longest workout of the year, 1750 SCY with Swim Like A Pro Masters (http://www.swim-like-a-pro.com/) at the Windermere Prep School ...



    I am swimming pain free, if very slowly right now, and happy to be on my road to recovery.
    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. Karma, kale & the deep echo

    by , November 3rd, 2016 at 11:49 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    It's been another busy biz travel week that had me overnight in San Francisco Sunday for a Monday morning client meeting. I just did a quick maybe 1.25 - 1.5 mile run walk along the shorefront at my SFO-area hotel and my AM yoga routine and then flew back to Phoenix to be home for Halloween evening.

    Tuesday had me back on a plane in the morning, but this time to Burbank. It was a pretty exciting day, work-wise, as we had three new staff members start with us, adding 20% more staff in a single day. Most importantly for yours truly, I have finally recruited a guy who will take over day-to-day management of the team and clients in the greater LA area. While this won't reduce my travel in the short term, it should help reduce it over the medium to longer term.

    We did a team lunch at a very good Indian restaurant (Karma) right near our office in Thousand Oaks. And, while the food and company was great, I took a little too many liberties with the buffet and was still feeling bloated when I dove into the Ventura Aquatic Center at 7 that evening. I ran through my Aussie 200 main set, done as IMs, and really didn't feel decent enough until the last round, where I was like 0:30+, 0:33, 0:37+, 0:28++ on the 4 x 50 on 1:00s. Those aren't great times if this was an add-up 200 IM, but fine enough if I could imagine them as a pace I could hold in a 400 IM!

    I was probably not wise in trying to do the overnight double, but my only opportunity to swim on Wednesday was to be at Pleasant Valley Aquatic Center at 6am. I had fully intended to do my Broken Mile workout, but was feeling very tight from the prior night's workout. On the first round (which is 3 x 50 on 0:45, 2 x 100 on 1:25, 1 x 150 on 2:05), I was barely managing 31s on the 50s and then went 1:05 on my first 100. This is SCY where my aim would be to feel easy - 1650 perceived effort - and go 0:30 average per 50 across all distances. I bagged the rest of the set and just did drills until I got to 2,000 yards total.

    Thanks to a great confluence of work and reality, I managed to catch my parents in downtown Los Angeles as they were overnighting here. While we didn't go anywhere fancy - just a hotel restaurant near the USC campus - the conversation was what the night was about as we haven't seen each other since this summer when I was in Virginia.

    I couldn't convince my Dad to join me this morning for a SCAQ Masters workout (http://www.swim.net/scaq.cfm), but I felt MUCH improved over 2,500 yards at the very nice Echo Park Deep - http://www.1001pools.com/pool-pics?l...aItem-iv2i4qgn. The workout was exactly what I needed at this stage - speed work - with a main set of 16 x 50 on 1:00, where every 4th one was all out and the remaining were 25 AFAP - 25 easy. I hit 0:27s on the 50s free (which is very fast for me from a push in a workout) and was solid 0:30s on the 50s back (which is exceptional for me in a workout); must have been the kale salad the night before that powered me. I also quite liked the pool and, as with every SCAQ workout I've been to, the coaching was great and there were folks to race with!

    Updated November 3rd, 2016 at 07:55 PM by pwb

    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  4. #260 overall, #41 in 2016

    by , October 28th, 2016 at 02:01 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I've been a busy pool tourist this year and notched pool #260 overall and my 41st new pool in 2016 last night with a great evening workout the Bay Masters (http://www.baymasters.org/) at the very cool rooftop pool at the UCSF Bakar Fitness Center in Mission Bay area of San Francisco -



    Coach Brad was on deck and demonstrated that great kind of commitment you love in a Masters coach with a creative workout, enthusiasm and good advice, all while standing in the rain. I never know what to expect when I drop in with a new Masters team, but don't typically get an inventive 4,600 yard workout in. I had originally planned to just cruise through the swim as I had already done a hard run on the treadmill in the early morning, but I got revved up and started pushing various efforts after about the 2,000 yard mark of the workout. The workout group was small - only 6 or 7 of us across three lanes, but one of the guys next to me pushed me on the sprint efforts.

    I was actually so tired last night after that swim (and probably residual from Wednesday's longer workout) that I set my alarm for 7am this morning, telling myself that if my body woke me up by 5:30, I'd go grab a workout at Burlingame, but, if I slept till 7, I'd just roll with the idea that my body needed the rest.

    Clearly, my body needed the rest today!
    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  5. 40s in the Poconos

    by , October 13th, 2016 at 10:00 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    We had our company's annual strategic planning meetings this week on Tuesday through Thursday. Last year, we did this about 45 minutes west of our office in Berkeley Heights, NJ, but that was close enough that many people who lived in the area didn't stay at the hotel. Our CEO wanted us all together and so he booked us into what turned out to be a nice resort up in Pennsylvania (Woodloch Pines), which is a solid two hour drive from Newark, so we were locked away and focused on the business as desired.

    Fortunately, in spite of a relative dearth of pools in this part of the world, I managed to keep my fitness up fairly well:
    • On Monday, I flew in Newark and headed out to Stroudsburg, strategically chosen as it offered the twin benefits of places to swim and cheap hotels for the night (since our meetings didn't start until Tuesday mid-morning). I was about 15 minutes late to the Masters workout held at East Stroudsburg University, but still got in a solid 2,500 yard workout in a solid and brightly colored & lit 6 lane, 25 yard pool. The group was small - maybe 12 people - but coached and exceedingly friendly. In my experience, even though I generally don't know people at most places I drop into at random and they don't know me, visiting a Masters workout is often like a Cheers experience - while everyone doesn't always know my name, key lyrics resonate with the experience:
      • Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot ... and they're always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same.

    • On Tuesday morning I discovered the Pocono Family YMCA had a 3 lane, 20 yard pool; was practically next door to the only Starbucks within miles and allowed non-YMCA members in for a $10 drop-in fee. I wanted to get in a run, so I did my requisite 2 miles on the treadmill and then got in my standard 1,500 yard warmup in the pool.
    • By Wednesday morning, I was up at the resort and they had another 20 yard pool, though this was one of the weirder ones I've swum in. On the positive side, it was a Myrtha pool, but it was primarily a leisure pool and had steps going into the pool at the shallow end, which made about 80% of the width of the pool impossible for swimming laps. However, they had two lane lines on the bottom, one on each side of the steps so you could swim straight, but no lane ropes. When I got there, there were 4 people trying to swim laps and one guy floating / water-shuffling (while floating on a life preserver-looking thing) precisely over one of the two lanes. I was probably a bit obnoxious in how close I swam to him, but I was quite irritated that he was barely moving mostly in place, but taking up one of the two actual swimming spaces. There was no pace clock, so I did my workout by perceived effort, but I still managed to get in a pretty decent effort on my ~3K Broken Mile workout. As fate would have it, by the last round of the main set, everyone vacated the pool (including the water-shuffler) and I could swim straight.
    • This morning, Thursday, having swum 8 days in a row and not looking forward to a sub-par swim experience, I just hit the gym and did another 2 mile run.


    I need to get the last pool updated, but a couple of decent (I think) photos are posted to http://www.1001pools.com/pool-pics. Feel free to view and, if you've got time and thoughts, add comments to my blog posts there - http://www.1001pools.com/freestyle. In addition to just using that site as an aggregation and documentation of my progress to my goal, I'm trying to educate myself on website analytics ... so, the more visitors and comments I get, the more analytics I can peruse and learn from
    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  6. No plan B

    by , September 23rd, 2016 at 05:05 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    It should have been a better week for training, but instead of getting in some Whoop-Ass-Workouts, I got another mainlined infusion of Whoop-Ass-Work.

    I was in the SF Bay Area at the start of the week for some recruiting at Cal-Berkeley on Monday night and client meetings in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday. Thanks to Oracle driving hotel rates through the roof with its OpenWorld conference attendees snapping up all of the rooms on the west side of the Bay, the Berkeley City Club (http://berkeleycityclub.com/) looked quite reasonable and I got to swim a wavy 2K in the 1930's era, lane-rope-less pool ...



    ... an aquatic church designed by Julia Morgan, the same architect who designed the stunning pools at the Hearst Castle (http://www.visitcalifornia.com/attra...-hearst-castle).

    I was sufficiently fried on my one day at home, Wednesday, that I only squeezed in 750 meters and then I flew out to Atlanta on Thursday, where I managed to do an actual workout (my go-to 3K Broken Mile workout) in the very nice Washington Park Natatorium (#255 on www.1001pools.com), mere minutes from downtown -



    ... but then failed in my attempts this morning to swim in Alpharetta by not having a Plan B pool. I had confirmed (or so I thought) there was lap swimming starting at 5:30am at a pool near my hotel, but when I finally found the location (it was a bit hidden, I think), the doors were locked, the pool dark and I had no backup pool in mind. Kind of a bummer, but the client meeting went well enough that maybe I'll get invited back

    On the upbeat note, because this random trip to Atlanta (I haven't been there for work since 2002, I think) coincided with USAS convention, I got to have dinner with some of my committed AZ LMSC compatriots. Somehow I've gotten myself into the position of being the only person running for Chair of our LMSC for next year, so I figured I'd better start learning a thing or two about how USMS works. I've got a steep learning curve!

    I'm heading down to the Jamina Winston Meet tomorrow for about an hour or so in Mesa - https://www.clubassistant.com/club/m...2202&smid=8106 - for three purposes only:
    1. Bid in the silent auction and support the charity
    2. Do something aquatic
    3. Register at least one time for my missing three events (2free, 2breast, 4IM) in Stage Three of the Postal Swimtathlon League (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...E-THREE-UPDATE).
    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Worst swim-blogger

    by , September 16th, 2016 at 09:42 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I am now 16 days past my 6 year anniversary of starting up this company and I really thought that years 1-3 were going to be the hyper-years of the startup experience, but I was wrong. Well, maybe I was right, as they were hyper, but now I'm in the "Warp Speed Mr. Sulu!" / "Punch It Chewie!" speed years as we try to scale our team and business. All this work / growth focus, while exhilarating and challenge-worthy, is having a detrimental impact on my training.

    My energy's quite depleted from work, but, on the flip side, my www.1001pools.com goal at least motivates me to get out of bed. Here's what's happened in Twitteresque summary since I last checked in 10 days ago:
    • Sep 7th - no swim, 2 miles on the treadmill
    • Sep 8th - Nabbed the Embarcadero YMCA as a new pool in the AM; got my $20 day-pass value with yoga in the PM
    • Sep 9th - ZipFizz 200s @ Burlingame + an excellent 3.5 mile roundtrip walk from my fave Airbnb in the world
    • Sep 10th - slug, sloth, but managed 2 miles on the lovely VOSJCC treadmills
    • Sep 11th - head cold, Dayquil, mustered 800 slow SCM
    • Sep 12th - see Sep 11th, Nyquil + Dayquil
    • Sep 13th - basic 1500 SCM warmup at home, slower than maybe my 8 year old self, feeling sorry for my crudded-up head
    • Sep 14th - A new pool, San Fernando Regional Pool (http://www.sfrcs.com/park-facilities...pool-facility/) got me out of bed and through a 2K; need to come back here. 2,000 yards.
    • Sep 15th - A new pool, another great advantage of knowing this most important of LA area swim teams - http://www.swim.net/scaq.cfm - got me a bit more at the excellent Loyola Marymount pool, practically on the runway of America's crappiest airport, LAX. 2,350 yards.
    • Sep 16th - I gotta love my VOSJCC (www.vosjcc.org) membership as it let me into the JCC of Central NJ pool, a great 6 lane x 25 yard pool with literally no other swimmer in the pool except me. My performance was sub-par below what anyone everyone expected par to be. 2500 yards.


    Check out www.1001pools.com later this weekend once I get the new pictures up.
    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  8. Rose Bowl 10K and the old 3 by 3

    by , September 4th, 2016 at 08:58 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    My plans for a special swim in my 250th pool could not have worked out more perfectly on Friday morning as I got in a massive 5,600 LCM workout with Rose Bowl Masters (http://www.1001pools.com/#!Milestone...7b6964fd22e4db), not quite the 10K the rest of the group was doing, but a great workout for me.

    I got in a great yoga class and treadmill run on Saturday before attempting my 3 x 300 test set in SCM this morning:

    Warmup sets (1,750 set)


    • 1 x 400: IM kick-drill
    • 4 x 100: on 1:30, gentle descend pull w/snorkel & paddles (1:20 -> 1:15)
    • 16 x 25: on 0:35, w/monofin, SDK on belly, in sets of 4 as #1 moderate 2 breaths, #2 moderate 0 breaths, #3 moderate 1 breath, #4 AFAP 0 breaths
    • 6 x 50: on 1:00, #1 & #6 easy free on 1:00, #2 to #5 build IM (0:40, 0:39, 0:46, 0:34)
    • 6 x 25: on 0:30, 5-6-7-8 AFAP strokes off the walls w/paddles then easy rest of 25, 5th one easy, 6th on all fast
    • 1 x 100: easy


    3 x 300 Test Set (950 set / 2,800 total)


    3 x 300: free on 4:30, fast pace aiming to even split as much as possible
    Aim to determine your 100 aerobic workout pace:


    • 08-07-09: 3:36, 3:34+, 3:33
    • 09-01-09: 3:27, 3:25+, 3:26
    • 11-16-09: 3:47, 3:49, 3:51
    • 12-08-09: 3:31, 3:32, 3:30
    • 01-10-10: 3:32, 3:30, 3:31
    • 01-21-10: 3:28+, 3:26+, 3:23 (w/B70 leggings)
    • 03-02-10: 3:28, 3:29, 3:27 (w/TYR leggings)
    • 04-09-10: 3:34, 3:28, 3:27 (w/endurance jammers)
    • 08-16-10: 3:34+, 3:37, 3:38 (w/endurance jammers)
    • 05-06-11: 3:32, 3:29, 3:31 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 06-03-11: 3:27+, 3:26+, 3:26 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 07-04-11: 3:30, 3:36, 3:42 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 09-07-11: 3:41, 3:37, 3:37
    • 10-07-11: 3:42, 3:39, 3:36
    • 11-10-11: 3:30, 3:26+, 3:27 (Yingfa jammers)
    • 11-29-11: 3:30, 3:34, 3:37 (Yingfa jammers)
    • 01-02-12: 3:46, 3:44, 3:41+ (Yingfa jammers)
    • 01-31-12: 3:39, 3:36, 3:35 (Yingfa jammers)
    • 02-27-12: 3:34, 3:30+, 3:27+ (Nike lycra brief)
    • 03-26-12: 3:28, 3:25, 3:24 (ancient paper jammers) best non-tech-suit performance
    • 05-19-12: 3:32, 3:34, 3:35 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 06-19-12: 3:30, 3:28, 3:25+ (Nike lycra brief)
    • 07-12-12: 3:44, 3:42, 3:30 (Yingfa jammers)
    • 08-19-12: 3:32, 3:31, 3:33 (Nike lycra brief)
    • 09-14-12: 3:31+, 3:31, 3:29 (Nike lycra brief)
    • 03-25-13: 4:05, 4:00+, 3:57 (Nike lycra brief)
    • 04-12-13: 3:48, 3:45, 3:42 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 05-10-13: 3:42+, 3:39, 3:40 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 08-11-13: 3:50, 3:45, 3:40 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 08-31-13: 3:39, 3:37, 3:34+ (ancient paper jammers)
    • 10-05-13: 3:38+, 3:33+, 3:32(ancient paper jammers)
    • 11-09-13: 3:28, 3:31, 3:29 (ancient paper jammers)
    • 03-29-14: 3:39, 3:35, 3:33 (Yingfa jammers plus silicon cap)
    • 05-06-14: 3:37, 3:39, 3:38
    • 06-03-14: 3:30, 3:28+, 3:28 (endurance jammers)
    • 07-10-14: 3:27, 3:25, 3:26+ (Finis Hydrospeed jammer)
    • 08-19-14: 3:37, 3:34, 3:33 (Finis Hydrospeed jammer)
    • 05-03-15: 3:40, 3:34, 3:30 (Finis Hydrospeed hammer)
    • 07-06-15: 3:32, 3:36, ... skipped (Finis hydrospeed jammer)
    • 08-16-15: 3:38, 3:35, 3:32 (endurance jammers)
    • 09-14-15: 3:32+, 3:32+, 3:29 (endurance jammers)
    • 10-19-15: 3:27, 3:28, 3:31 (endurance jammers)
    • 03-13-16: 3:35, 3:33, 3:33 (old TYR Tracer Light)
    • 05-10-16: 3:44, 3:42, 3:38 (endurance jammers)
    • 06-14-16: 3:32, 3:30, 3:28 (old B70 tech jammers)
    • 08-07-16: 3:34, 3:37, 3:35 (old B70 tech jammers)
    • 09-04-16: 3:38, 3:34, 3:33 (old B70 tech jammers)


    3 x 50: active recovery

    TOTAL: 2,800 SCM

    Comments:
    • On the face of it, this was a flat result versus last month, but I was definitely feeling the effects of both Friday's long swim and Saturday's harder-than-anticipated yoga. Very happy with how this week of training unfolded and looking forward to getting deeper back into the groove of training.

  9. Reset #3 - The final re-start?

    by , August 24th, 2016 at 07:19 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Life does have a habit of getting in the way. It's now been two weeks since I last posted and, while that doesn't mean I've been totally dry, I haven't been nearly as wet as I would have liked.

    I had a long trip that ran from Friday the 12th through Saturday the 20th that included
    • Celebrating my in-laws' Golden Anniversary in lovely Lethbridge, Alberta.
      • No swimming, good wine, too much food, too much fun, gobs of awe for the happy couple.
      • My wife and I are so fortunate to have both sets of our parents alive, healthy and having crossed this magical marital threshold.

    • Getting stuck in Toronto trying to get to New Jersey from Alberta thanks to thunderstorms in NYC. This happened on Sunday night and started off a crappy week of training.
    • Getting delayed horribly as I tried to get to NYC a second time on Monday evening on my re-scheduled flight. I didn't get to my hotel until 1am and this meant another day Tuesday of no swimming.
    • I did manage to add a new pool in New Jersey, swimming a slow, but complete Broken Mile workout at the Metrowest JCC in West Orange.
    • Spending a couple of days back up in Toronto helping #2 daughter get setup in apartment. I got a good tour of Toronto's western suburbs as we hit every box store imaginable and then had the joy of navigating back through downtown and the special torture that is IKEA construction!
    • Still, in addition to the positive of time with my daughter, I managed to swim in two new pools:
      • Downtown/Grosvenor YMCA with a nice, airy 25 meter course, but I was pretty tired and only managed 1500 SCM.
      • North York's conveniently located (right off a subway stop) long course Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre. Swimming here made it my 249th pool on my www.1001pools.com list. It's rare, at least in my experience, to see a 6 lane long course pool and this was really crowded (probably because they had very limited lap times), but the two-lane setup worked well as I got to swim up the center quite often and practice my open water sighting over a 2,500 LCM swim.


    Toronto YMCA ...



    Douglas Snow ...



    I got back home on Saturday and did a very slow 2,500 workout Sunday followed by almost as slow over my 2,750 SCM workout on Monday. I did a mixture of running, longer dog walks, some pushups and planks yesterday.

    Today I did my Broken Mile workout (e.g., http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?393...it-broken-mile) and didn't even have the drag suit to blame for my performance. My 50s were 36+ -> 38s, my 100s were 1:16 -> 1:18 and I was 1:55, 1:57, 1:56 on my 150s.

    Feeling and like it's going to be a long road back. The nice thing is that, thanks to some commitments my wife has this week, I am grounded from business travel and enjoying being home.

    Looking ahead to the fall, I think I can see more opportunities to be consistent about my training. My racing plans are completely up in the air. Thanks to another trip to NJ, I am now not going to be able to race the Dana Point / Salt Creek open water swims.

    Looking at our AZ calendar - http://azlmsc.org/events/ - I know I'll enter and race the Ron Johnson meet. I'd like to see if I can focus my training and just point to that one. I'll try to get to the Oct 1st and Oct 23rd open water swims, but we'll see what life brings.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. Crash courses for the 200 fly

    by , July 23rd, 2016 at 11:48 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I am committed to swimming both the 50 fly and 200 fly at the last day of the Pacific Masters Champs (http://www.swimphone.com/mobile/meet....cfm?smid=8079), but still on the fence about the 400 free.

    After I finally got home on Thursday following the Great Southwest Glitch, I had little time during the day nor energy to do more than a 400 IM kick-drill. Late that evening, a wave of paranoia about my ability to even make a long course 200 fly swept over me and so I did a fly version of my Aussie 200 set on Friday at my home pool in SCM. While it started roughly with a 0:39 on my first 'fast' 50 fly, as the rounds went on, I managed to get down to the 0:35+/0:36- range. That's not stellar for me, but it gave me some hope that I won't have to resort to butter-frog tomorrow.

    While I certainly didn't need to get back on another plane, a long planned and important summer camp for daughter #3 kicked off this afternoon (Saturday) in Livermore, California and I'm back out in the Bay Area. It was infinitely more pleasurable traveling with her than my typical business flights and I got her settled in well to the camp. After doing that, I managed to add pool #245 to my list (www.1001pools.com) by visiting the Robert Livermore Community Pool -



    ... and doing a "Aussie 100" fly workout where, instead of going through rounds of 16 x 50, 12 x 50, etc., I did them as 25s.

    My picture doesn't do justice to the shedload of people there as I was walking out nearing closing hours, but the guards did a good job of preserving 3-4 lanes for lap swimming and I had my own lane the entire time. The water was warm-ish and not feeling/looking all that squeaky clean, and the linguine with clam sauce I had had for lunch was definitely not creating optimal conditions for the ab work needed to swim butterfly, but I felt great once I finished. I still can't say I'm entirely looking forward to the 200 fly tomorrow, but I think I shall survive!
    Tags: pool list
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  11. 5 pounds, 3 pools, 1 Bernie, 1 Ron

    by , July 16th, 2016 at 02:49 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    This might be one of my longest breaks from my training blog, but it doesn't mean I wasn't training. That's not to imply, though, that I was training either hard or much. My wife and I left for a whirlwind New England vacation on July 1st, spending nights/time in Boston, Rochester (VT), Woodstock (VT), Bedford (NH), as well as stopping into the lovely Vermont towns of Middlebury, Burlington and Waterbury, before zipping down to Virginia to pickup #3 daughter from her extended summer camp. Highlights of those 10 days include:

    Solid 5 pound weight gain thanks to copious cheese and ice cream intake. Lovely as Vermont is, I don't think I'd have the willpower to avoid OD'ing on all the great dairy products were I to live there. On the upside, should I ever get it into my head to attempt the English Channel, I figure I could settle down near Lake Champlain for a few months of weight gain and cold water training

    I 'nabbed' three new pools with workouts at ...

    Harvard's Blodgett Pool - got in a nice Sunday morning workout with the Cambridge Masters Swim Club. I had swum an age group meet here back in either my junior or senior year of high school (e.g., ~30 years ago!), so this wasn't the first time I've been here ... just the first time since I officially started tracking this.



    The Woodstock (VT) Recreation Center
    - this was pure luck and one of the rare pools I have found that is not on SwimmersGuide. I was walking through the 'town green' and saw a whiteboard announcing that the summer pool was now open. For their morning lap swim, they had no lifeguards, but a simple rule that you could not swim alone. I was the second person there, but the 6 lane, 25 yard pool soon filled up with about 8-10 total swimmers.



    Darmouth's Spaulding Pool
    - I am pretty sure that this pool is the oldest pool I've ever swum in, though I need to research the construction date of USC's Physical Education Department Indoor pool tomorrow when I'm there watching my oldest daughter swim at the LA Invite, as well as check on the date for the Hearst Pool on the Cal-Berkeley campus. Spaulding was constructed in 1919, making it darn near a century old. While I did get in a great workout and I really loved the well-maintained pool, I was really bummed that the main competition pool was closed for repairs. I guess I have to come back!



    Other highlights included being in a Fourth of July parade led by none other than Bernie Sanders (though I was at the back of the parade and didn't get to see him) and then standing in line for ice cream behind the one and only Ron Howard at the Ben & Jerry's Factory.

    I have managed to get in some pretty pathetic (time-wise) workouts every day this week and am going to try to ramp-up my training for the next three weeks. My competition plans are pretty limited, but I should get in a couple of days racing:
    • Pacific Masters Champs (https://www.clubassistant.com/club/m...1725&smid=8079) - I'm dropping #3 child off at another summer camp in NorCal on the 23rd afternoon and am hoping I can make it in time to swim the 800 that night. I will for sure swim Sunday and have entered the 400 free, 50 fly and 200 fly.
    • AZ State Masters Champs (https://www.clubassistant.com/club/m...2094&smid=8125). I am entered in both days, but will probably only swim one. Based upon the order of events, I am pretty sure I'll plan on Saturday and do the 200 free, 200 back and 200 IM.

    I am also entered in the SPMA Champs as I was hoping to snag either the 1500 or 400 IM on the Friday night, but I don't think my work travel will have me in LA that week.
    Tags: pool list
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  12. Shaky Broken Mile

    by , June 22nd, 2016 at 05:41 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Ever since I got chastised a few years back by the Cal-Berkeley 'Pool Picture Police' for taking a picture of the Golden Bear pool, I've been sure to get in my workout first and then quickly snap a photo on my way out. Unfortunately, what that means is that my hands are often shaking from the extreme effort I always put out and I end up with blurry pictures like this one from the RF Wilkinson YMCA in Williamsburg, VA ...



    What you can't see in this photo (or, let's face it, any pool photo) is that the separate lap pool was kept at a perfect 79/80 degrees. That perfect temperature, though, didn't stop me from heating up, even though my performance on my Broken Mile test wasn't so hot!

    Warmup sets (1,250 set)

    • 1 x 300: IM, kick-drill-swim
    • 3 x 100: on 1:20, free swim, descend w/snorkel (1:10 -> 1:06)
    • 6 x 50: on 0:55, kick, descend in 3s, dolphin-flutter, 3 w/board, 3 on back
    • 12 x 25: on 0:30, odds easy, evens fast fly-back-free, twice through
    • 1 x 50: easy w/snorkel


    Broken Mile (1,500 set / 2,750 total)

    3 rounds of:

    • 3 x 50: on 0:45
    • 2 x 100: on 1:25
    • 1 x 150: on 2:05

    50s

    • 11-05-15 - SCY - 0:30s
    • 11-12-15 - SCY - solid 0:29s, maybe one 0:28+ and one 0:30-
    • 11-25-15 - SCY- 0:30+/0:31 on round 1, 0:30s on round 2 w/snorkel, 0:29s on round 3
    • 12-01-15 - SCY - all 0:30s
    • 12-29-15 - SCY - 31+ to 31++++++++
    • 01-16-15 - SCY - all 0:29s
    • 03-29-16 - SCY - 0:30, 0:31, 0:30, 0:30+, 0:30+, 0:30+, 0:30+, 0:31, 0:31+
    • 04-20-16 - SCY - 0:28+, 0:29, 0:29, rest were 0:30 flats
    • 06-22-16 - SCY - 0:30 flats on the first 4 then 0:31/2 on last 2

    100s

    • 11-05-15 - SCY - 1:00/1:01s
    • 11-12-15 - SCY - 0:59s/1:00-s
    • 11-25-15 - SCY - 1:02/1:00+ on round 1, 1:02s on round 2 w/snorkel, 1:01s on round 3
    • 12-01-15 - SCY - all 1:00+/1:01s
    • 12-29-15 - SCY - 1:04 to 1:04+
    • 01-16-16 - SCY - 1:00, 1:01, 1:02, 1:01+, 1:02, 1:02
    • 03-29-16 - SCY - 1:01, 1:02, 1:02+, 1:02, went last round easy
    • 04-20-16 - SCY - 1:00 flats all the way
    • 06-22-16 - SCY - 1:02s on the first 4 then 1:03/3+ on last 2

    150s

    • 11-05-15 - SCY - 1:33, 1:32, 1:33
    • 11-12-15 - SCY - 1:30, 1:29, 1:28+
    • 11-25-15 - SCY - 1:32, 1:37 (w/snorkel), 1:33
    • 12-01-15 - SCY - 1:32+, 1:32+, 1:30 (pushed the last one harder)
    • 12-29-15 - SCY - 1:40, 1:37, 1:37
    • 01-16-16 - SCY - 1:33, 1:33, 1:32
    • 03-29-16 - SCY - 1:35+, 1:34, loafed last round
    • 04-20-16 - SCY - 1:30-, 1:30+, 1:28-
    • 06-22-16 - SCY - 1:35, 1:35, 1:37


    Cool-down (250 set / 3,000 total)
    5 x 50: active recovery w/snorkel on 0:40, 0:45, 0:50, 0:55

    TOTAL: 3,000 SCY

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  13. Virgina pool-a-palooza

    by , June 20th, 2016 at 11:01 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After my test set last Tuesday, I had another short day of training on the 15th with only 1,000 gotten in before a long day to and from San Francisco. I somehow managed a decent enough 2,800 SCM on Thursday the 16th, but was shut out of all exercise on Friday as I flew east to Virginia for the triple purpose of dropping #3 daughter at a summer camp, seeing my parents and seeing my brother.

    Things keep coming in threes as I added three new pools over the last three days - http://goo.gl/bHkNyY.

    My swim on Sunday at Christiansburg was supposed to be my full run at my ZipFizz 200s (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?38406-Skipped-a-Zip), but time conspired against me. I had this grand plan of dropping my daughter off at camp, getting in an hour-ish long swim and then stopping into Roanoke to see my old coach before heading all the way to Williamsburg in time for dinner with my brother. I ended up taking about 45 minutes longer getting my daughter to and situated in her camp than I had expected. I cut my swim down to a little more than 30 minutes, getting through the round of 5 x 200 on 2:20 with a respectable 2:07, 2:09, 2:09, 2:10, 2:10 performance. I would have been back on time at that point, except I noticed when I got back in the car that my daughter had left her water bottle in the car. As she's away for her first extended camp, a 3 week affair in a classic, rustic setting, I didn't want her to be without that and so then burned up the hour I had thought I'd spend reminiscing with my old coach running the water bottle to camp and back. I did manage to make dinner with my brother almost spot on time!

    Today's workout was a variation on my 6 x 600 workout from here - http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...-1-Week-2-of-5 - except that I changed the last three rounds so that the 150s were free swim w/snorkel and the 100s were free best average. My legs were cramping big time from having been in the car so long on Sunday, but I still performed fairly well (e.g., 1:05s on the IM best average, 1:37/35/33 on the 150s free, and 1:02/00/59 on the 100s free best average).

    I'm going to try to nab a fourth new pool tomorrow if I can, but, even if I don't, there's a good community center near my brother's house that I've swum at before which will provide me with both a treadmill to do my twenty minute run on and a very good pool in which to swim.
    Tags: pool list
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  14. New Jersey now worth visiting

    by , June 3rd, 2016 at 10:26 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Since 2002, I have worked for companies that were HQd in the north-centralish NJ area (Bridgewater / Basking Ridge / Berkeley Heights). While there was a period when the Masters program at Rutgers existed and/or lap swimming at the fine Sonny Werblin center was allowed, in general I have found this area to be a wasteland when it comes to good pools in which to train. (I know I'm a spoiled southwesterner). After many years and lots of struggles, though, the Berkeley Aquatic Club finally has their new pool - an exceptional 10 lane x 50 meter gem - open in the heart of New Providence ...



    ... and I managed to squeeze in a 1,500 LCM workout this morning before my business meetings. I wished for two things as I swam ...
    • Presently, that the lap swimming would've opened earlier so I could've swum longer as the 8am opening time didn't allow me much swim-time before my 9am meetings.
    • In the past, that this pool would've opened 6 years ago as it is literally right next door to the office where my current company started back in 2010. (Even now, it's only 10 minutes from our HQ).


    While my work doesn't require me to be in NJ that much these days, it will certainly be a helluva lot better coming here with this great pool waiting for me!
    Tags: pool list
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  15. New pool + SF sun & 50% to a bonk

    by , June 2nd, 2016 at 08:06 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I resolved to do a little work on strengthening my legs (which fell apart over the course of the four days at Nationals), as well as add some variety to my aerobic work and started back on the treadmill on Tuesday morning at the JCC. I just did a 20 minute variant like I have done in the past ...
    • 5 minutes walking warmup at 15:00/mile pace
    • 6 rounds of
      • 1 minute running at 10:00/mile pace
      • 1 minute walk at 15:00/mile pace

    • 3 minutes additional cool-down at 15:00/mile pace

    ... and then went for my first swim (my standard 1,500 warmup sets) in the re-designed, expanded and re-built pool ...



    ... making that my 232nd pool. As I swam and thought about this number, I also realized that I need to pick-up the pace if I'm to reach my 1,001 pools goal - http://www.1001pools.com/#!2016-Summ...f255d230f132c2.

    On Wednesday, I was back in San Francisco, but after getting in late the night before, couldn't rouse myself for either Stanford's 5:20am or Burlingame's 5:30am workouts. Fortunately, Burlingame had a 7am workout and I got in a great 3,750 SCY with Corey Ferrara coaching. The only thing I didn't count on was bright sunshine - it's usually still cloudy at the time of morning - and was a little afraid I was going to show up to my client meeting with a red face as I had not packed sunblock. I guess all my years swimming in the more powerful AZ sun helped as a barrier as I just browned up a little.

    As I'm now heading to New Jersey for a Friday - Saturday mid-year strategy meeting and unsure of how much pool time I'm going to get, I made another attempt this morning at Stewart's 20 x 100 set (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?379...rday&bt=121071), but I probably should've taken the day off as I started to get a pain in the left shoulder, right in the ball & socket joint, mid-way through the second round of four. I was holding decent times - 1:05/06 in SCM - but the pain got pretty searing on round three and so I switched to kick midway through that, and then kicked the fourth round. I haven't had that kind of pain since 2013 and I certainly don't want a repeat of that. I've probably overdone it a bit over the last 11 days. In a good way, my work meetings will force me to take it easy, athletically at least, for the next two days!
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  16. Rye high and the achy-breaky mile

    by , April 13th, 2016 at 09:09 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Toronto really was a blur of family fun, city exploration and swimming. I managed to squeeze in a fourth day of swimming this past Saturday there, logging a pretty slow partial version (3K total) of my 400 IM test set in a rare 25 yard pool at Ryerson University -


    (photo linked from the Ryerson Recreation website)

    I didn't complete the entire workout for two reasons. First, I was slow and so that tends to reduce my motivation to do a straight 400 IM in workout. Second, it took me awhile to find the pool as it appears that the complete recreation facility was underground. I reached the address location - 50 Gould Street - and figured I'd see a massive building, but, instead found a grassy park. I walked around for a bit, back out to the main streets until I finally figured out that I had to go underground to check into the rec center, down another level to the locker rooms and another level to the pool. This 'dungeon-like' old pool reminded me in some ways of one of my favorite pools I used to swim in growing up, the tiny & cramped Virginia Commonwealth University pool (now gone the way of the wrecking ball) ...


    (photo linked from the VCU website)

    There was always a meet there in early January and I'd come off mega-distance winter training, do a very small drop taper and simply rock my distance events. I only wish I had had that feeling while swimming at Ryerson.

    I got back home on Sunday, took a planned day out of the pool then and could only carve out 20 minutes for a 1,000 on Monday as I tried (and am still doing so) to dig myself out of the vacation hole at work. I attempted my Broken Mile test set on Tuesday (most recent notes from SCM version here - http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?381...en-Monday-Mile) and was really running pretty well on this:
    • 50s - 32, 32, 31+, 32, 32+, 32+, 32, 32+, 32)
    • 100s - 1:05, 1:06+, 1:06, 1:07, 1:07+
    • 150s - 1:39+, 1:42


    ... but had persistent leg cramps throughout the set and blew off the last 100 and 150.
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  17. Tales from the great white north

    by , April 8th, 2016 at 11:08 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Life has been a whirlwind of travel, family, pools (for me, only) and fun times watching my oldest daughter race up at the Canadian Olympic Trials.

    My training has actually been better than anticipated:
    • Monday - got in a good set of Aussie 200 IMs before my wife and I got on our flight to Toronto, which, in hindsight, I really needed as we had flight delays and snafus throughout the journey. The bright smile of daughter #2 meeting us for a very late dinner in Chinatown helped also to erase the pain of the travel.
    • Tuesday - took the day off training and had a great time connecting with my parents and my wife's parents and aunt & uncle as we watched my oldest daughter swim the 400 free. While she was off her best time in prelims, she qualified 17th and made it back for the B final. At night, she swam a much better race, her second best time ever, and moved up significantly, finishing 2nd in the B final.
    • Wednesday - We had a day off from the meet and played tourist in the middle part of the day, taking in a great food tour in and around St. Lawrence Market. Before that all started, I joined the Toronto Masters of the Universe (https://mytmu.wordpress.com/) for an excellent speed-oriented workout in a SCM setup of the U of T Aquatic Center. I saw a 'pool innovation' here that I think all backstrokers would love - lane lines on the ceiling -


    • Thursday - As with Tuesday, the highlight of the day was watching Trials and my daughter swim. We had three more family members to join the cheering section - my wife's sister, cousin and cousin's husband - and my daughter swam very well in both prelims and finals, notching a best time in the morning for another 17th place there and then moving up again in the evening to place 4th in the B final. That morning, I went to a 5 lane pool near our apartment - the University Settlement - and had probably the best results I've ever had on my ZipFizz 200s set.
    • Friday - #2 daughter, showing great support for my 1001 pools goals, gave me a great birthday gift - a new U of T Varsity Blues towel and a trip to a new pool with her. We went to the pretty new and beautiful Regent Park Aquatic Centre for their open lap swim. While the pool was crowded and I couldn't go 100s or more at speed, I did get in a solid 2,250 SCM. While #1 daughter's 800 didn't go as well as her 200 and 400, she still swam a time that, prior to her excellent swims in February (where she had had huge drops), would've been a great swim.


    We've got a couple more days here, one more race for #1 (100 free tomorrow) and, hopefully, one more new pool for me. I've added three pics of the new pools here - http://www.1001pools.com/#!pool-pics/q17v5 - and updated the master list here - http://www.1001pools.com/#!pool-list/etprs.
    Tags: pool list
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  18. Swimming history lesson for the day - Bud Kearns pool

    by , March 8th, 2016 at 10:40 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I wrapped up meetings in San Diego today and had about 45 minutes to squeeze into the uniquely dimensioned (22 yards x 40 meters) Bud Kearns Municipal Pool ...



    ... before catching a later flight back home.

    My workout was nothing special - a 440 IM warmup followed by 11 x 220 done as:
    • 3 rounds of 3 x 220
      • 2 on 2:45, one swim, one pull
      • 1 on 3:45, mixed kick

    • 1 swim free on 2:45
    • 1 mixed kick

    -- but I quite enjoyed the pool and the park setting. I came across a short video from the local PBS station about this 84 year old community gem -

    http://www.pbs.org/video/2365356766/

    I'm kind of doing a 'just stay in shape' week of training this week as I'm heading out on a camping trip with my daughter tomorrow after work through Saturday. I did a version of Workout #1 from here http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...-Start-Mar-7th on Monday and will try to squeeze in a swim tomorrow. My aim is to get back into a serious training cycle by Sunday.

    My updated pool list - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
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  19. Cal State Northridge & Sprinter Psych

    by , March 3rd, 2016 at 12:40 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I remember my father, back in the days when he golfed, making the comment to the effect that, even if the game didn't go so well, it was often relaxing just to be golfing in a beautiful setting. As I sucked so horribly at golf and am horribly competitive, I never quite reached that level of golf zen, but I do feel the same way about swimming. It's even more rewarding when you come across a new pool in a sweet setting and then swim well, as I did this morning when I dropped into the Cal State U - Northridge's Plaza Pool for a morning swim -



    I had the pool almost completely to myself and did this taper-like workout:
    • 1 x 300: fly-back-free by 100, kick-drill by 25
    • 3 x 100: on 1:20, descend w/snorkel (1:11 -> 1:02)
    • 4 x 75: on 1:15, kick on back descend, odd laps dolphin, even laps backstroke kick
    • 6 x 50: on 0:55, #1 and #6 cruise, #2 to #5 as fly (0:30), free (0:30), back (0:32+), free (0:29+)
    • 12 x 25: on 0:30, odds easy, evens done strong fly, free, back, free, fly, free
    • 1 x 50: easy
    • 3 rounds of:
      • 2 x 50: on 0:45, hold 0:30 lows (did that w/a couple 0:29+)
      • 1 x 100: on 1:30, hold 1:01s (did that; target 1000 pace)
      • 1 x 50: on 1:30, w/snorkel, floppy fish drill

    • 4 x 50: on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55, active recovery and drills

    TOTAL: 2,500 SCY

    Comments:
    • Felt pretty good this morning and really liked this pool, more for the setting as it was an old-school, no gutter pool, but it's a nice addition to my list and good to know about as they have generous lap hours and, according to the lifeguard and one other patron, it is rarely crowded.
    • Psych sheets are up (and attached) for this Sunday's sprint meet. Naturally, I wish Kurt or Sean Justice or some other fast swimmer was there to race the 1000 with me, but I'm feeling more optimistic about that and hope I can notch a good time. I will choose my Nationals events and submit my entry later on Sunday or Monday based upon how that 1000 and 200 fly go.
    • The pace set felt pretty good. If I can get under my 10:22.0 time from last year this Sunday (which is also my Masters best), I'll be happy, but I'd really like to get under 10:10 so I can, if I choose to swim it at Nationals, get seeded with the studs.


    Updated pool list - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
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  20. New pool, re-teaching the old dog/old tricks

    by , March 1st, 2016 at 01:10 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    It's been a few years since I had a technique lesson with my Freestyle Whisperer, Anne Wilson of Camelback Coaching (http://www.camelbackcoaching.com/about/), but I've been feeling sloppier lately and figured it was time to get a refresher. With the JCC's pool still under re-construction, Anne is doing her lessons out of a community pool in DC Ranch, the Desert Camp Community Center pool ...



    ... which, while shallow, definitely gets a rave review from me in terms of setting.

    I'll wait for Anne's more detailed summary later, but there were four key things we focused on:
    • Head down - I have a tendency to lift my eyes forward, particularly when my left arm is extended
    • "Shoulder-forward" recovery - while many swimmers don't rotate enough, I often over-rotate. What seemed to help today was to think about starting my recovery from my shoulder (e.g., think about moving that forward first) versus thinking about starting my recovery from my hand exiting the water.
    • Not splaying my legs on my kick - a downside of over rotation for me is that I compensate for that (e.g., to achieve balance) by splaying my feet. We focused a lot on keeping my leg position inside my hips. We did a lot of work on the 'Floppy Fish' drill which helps both with kick and balance.
    • Not splaying my hands, particularly thumbs and right hand pinky on entry - I have been feeling my thumb go wide, but she also noticed that my right hand pinky, the one I dislocated at the end of 2015, is splaying too wide and also dragging the next finger along with it. While you don't want your fingers rigidly pressed together on the entry, catch and pull, I am spreading so wide that I'm hurting the streamline of my hand.


    It was a great lesson and I hope to get a few more sessions in with her before Nationals. While none of the information was new and, yes, I should be remembering all of this stuff all of the time, it is extremely helpful to be reminded, Anne picks up on issues I had forgotten about and does an exceptional job of then targeting the right drills that help me both feel the issue and then make the correction.

    Also, as I'm sure my fellow bloggers are getting sick of the length of my posts whenever I update my pool list, I am working on migrating this list to a Google Sheet -

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

    I am also going to work on adding more pools to this list from my years before I turned 40 (which is when I originally started tracking).
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