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aztimm's training blog

I've been swimming with USMS teams since 1998. I lifeguarded and played water polo in college, but never really swam as a sport until I began masters swimming. I swim mostly just for exercise and the benefits that provides. I do occasionally swim in meets, but really enjoy open water swimming.
Currently I train with a small local team, along with some solo swims.

I also lift weights, mostly to complement swimming, and to give my upper body some form. Nearly all the time I lift at one of the local 24 Hour Fitness locations.

This blog has some info on my swimming adventures, with some real-life experiences thrown in. I love to travel, and usually try to fit in swimming/working out in different places.

  1. Sunday 07282019

    by , July 28th, 2019 at 06:18 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Wow, it has been a while since I've posted here!!!

    I've been swimming. Generally:
    * M-W-F 3500 to 4200 at the nearby Sendero Springs pool (they kick us out at 7am, for another few weeks)
    * Tues/Thurs about 1000 after I'm done with everything else at the gym
    * Sundays: my long swims at Barton Springs

    I swam about 5-1/2 miles last week; I wasn't sure if I'd do a repeat of that or start to taper down (I'm swimming a 10k in 3 weeks).

    Arrived and splashed around 7:15am today. It seemed pretty busy when I started, and got crazy busy from about 7:45 to 8:30am (free entry until 8am, and lots of people seem to arrive just before then). So busy that I was thinking of bailing early. Around that point it got pretty cloudy; I thought it might rain (maybe it did sprinkle a bit). Then the crowds really thinned out. So I stuck with it, but didn't stop much, trying to take advantage of swimming, in case I'd get kicked out.
    I did 15 loops before I took any breaks/feeds. That's a tie for me; I did that once last year, but then stopped. Today I stopped, did feeds, and added fins for 3 loops.
    On the back half of my 18th loop I caught a guy who was about my speed (I was wearing fins), and I stuck with him a bit. I stopped, did feeds, took off the fins, and added paddles...and he waited for me. Did 2 loops with Agility paddles, and held with him rather easily. Then I stopped, more feeds, and went toyless for a last loop. I kept up with him, but it was a struggle (not sure if I was quite close enough to get any draft). The last 100m we pretty much sprinted into the shallow area. Then I took off my cap and goggles and told him I was done. He said, "already?" I said, "where were you at 7am???" (he then had a different tone, as I was a bit spent by the time I caught him).
    So it was another 5-1/2 miles today, and the last mile at near race conditions.
    I feel much more prepared for Swim to the Moon this year than I was last year. Well last year it was my longest swim ever. This year, I've already swum 2 x 10k's, plus an 8+ mile attempt at Saguaro.

    Here's a picture of Barton Springs when I arrived:

    And here when I finished:

    Air temp was around 78F when I started, 89F when I finished.
    Water temp was a brisk 71F when I started (about the same when I finished). It always takes my breath away when I first get in. I do a little breaststroke, then ease my way into freestyle. But each time I go I feel more and more comfortable with it. Heck, I remember when I was training there last year and let out some choice words when I entered. None of that today.
    Tags: open water
    Swim Workouts
  2. Saturday 09192015

    by , September 19th, 2015 at 06:20 AM (aztimm's training blog)
    got in a nice swim in the Mediterranean Sea in Barcelona:

    We arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday, but stayed right in town for the first few days. Moved to a hotel practically right on the sea yesterday. we went for a walk along the water, and I chatted with a lifeguard about swimming.

    went down today with very little...just t-shirt, shorts, sneakers, sunglasses, goggles, and a towel. left all but goggles on the beach and went in the water.
    the water felt a bit chilly at first, but once I got moving I felt fine. I'd guess the temp was about 70F.
    there's buoys a ways out, I mostly stayed about halfway between the shore and the buoys. I stayed in an area between 2 jetties and did 2 laps (I'm guessing each way was 500m, so the whole swim about 2000m).
    there were a few other people swimming a little, but no one swimming out near me, well definitely no one got in my way.
    I can't remember when I was last in salt water. the Mediterranean definitely has more salt than the Atlantic near Coney Island
    there are showers (with warm water) nearby so I was able to rinse off before going back to the hotel.

    I'll probably try to get out and swim at least every morning while we're here. it is just way too convenient.
    also planning to swim in the Olympic pool at Montjuic (I swam in a warm-up pool there before but the main pool was closed).
    Tags: open water
  3. Friday 06012012: o/w swim in The Serpentine

    by , June 1st, 2012 at 04:49 AM (aztimm's training blog)
    I ended up skipping the Otter team swim last night, in lieu of going to swim in The Serpentine this morning.

    I got up early, headed out to the Tube, took it to Knightsbridge (the same as Harrod's), and went north to Hyde Park. I got to the Serpentine and snapped this picture:

    Walked over to the main swimming area, and found 2 guys who directed me to the changing area. I stowed my backpack, put on my drag suit, grabbed my goggles, and went to the water.

    There's a little dock-type structure with a ladder on the end. There were 3-4 people in the water when I started. I went down the ladder...which I hate because it exposed me to the cold water gradually--I'd rather jump in and get it over all at once (like ripping off a Band-Aid).

    Online the water temp was listed as 20C, which is around 68-70F. I've been in 65F water before, not pleasant but doable. The water today felt around 70F I'd guess.

    I got in the water, started with a little freestyle, but my lungs briefly started to seize up. I switched to some breaststroke to calm myself down, and after 5-6 strokes I switched back to free.

    So the swim...
    There's a 55 yard course setup within buoys. As there weren't many people when I started, I just stayed in that area. 55 yards down, then the same back...13 times.
    I was thinking of getting out, when on that 13th time, a guy just faster than me went under the buoy...and went nearly to the bridge (I guess another 55 yards). So I followed him down, then went back, but stayed just outside the buoys, but followed the course back to about that area.

    So I'd guess my total was 1760 yards.

    (edited: right around 3500 yards, I'm too lazy to add it all up)

    After I climbed out, I looked around and there were just tons of people in the water, about 70% wearing wetsuits, and several more about to go in. I went over to the outside shower, which was even colder than the Serpentine water, so I barely rinsed off, then went back to the changing area (was glad I brought a rugby shirt), got dressed.

    Before I left, I went back and chatted with the gal who was sitting kinda guarding the dock (she wasn't there when I got there). She said they'd be doing relay races tomorrow, but just inside the buoy'ed area...and anyone can swim as long as they don't interfere. I guess I'll decide if I want to get up early to go over for this again.

    Updated June 1st, 2012 at 12:50 PM by aztimm

    Tags: open water
    Swim Workouts