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  1. Tuesday, 11/1/11

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 01:53 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Good workout today. Felt really strong in the water.


    Warm up: (800)
    300 swim free & back
    100 kick build
    8 x 25/30 strong
    - 1-4 free, 5-8 back
    2 x 50 back/1:00 15 fast - 20 ez - 15 fast (focus on breakout kick and finish!)
    2 x 50 free/1:00 15 ez - 20 fast - 15 ez (focus on fast turn)

    Set #1 (1350)
    8 x 50 free/50 desc. 4: #4 from blocks
    - went from around 42± to ±37 to <34 both times
    8 x 25 free/1:00 with turn
    - was seeing ±18 on the clock as I surfaced from turn

    6 x 50 back/1:00 desc 3 #3 from blocks
    - went from 43± to ±38 to <36 both times
    6 x 25/1:00
    Odds: fast breakout - ez - fast finish with flip turn
    Evens: build to fast with hand touch finish
    - no times on this

    4 x 50/1:30; 25 AFAP fly from blocks through turn, then 25 easy free

    Set #2 Kick (300)
    1 x 300 build
    - flutter kick with board and snorkel (6:03)

    Warm down
    150 easy back & free

    Total: 2500 yards

    Updated November 1st, 2011 at 01:59 PM by poolraat

  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -11/02/11

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 01:53 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 100 1:40 1:30
    1 X 150 2:30 2:15
    1 X 200 3:20 3:00
    Three rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2/3 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:30
    10 X 50 kick 5 on 1:00 5 on :55
    1 X 100 swim

    2 X 100 moderate 2;00
    2 X 50 build to fast 1:10
    8 X 25 sprint :40
    Two rounds, choice.
    Break between rounds.

    4 X 200 3:00
    4 X 150 2:30
    4 X 100 2:00
    200's: negative split
    150's: swim 3rd 50 fast
    100's: Fast. Broken :10 at 50

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  3. 11/1/11

    I got back in the pool this morning for a little light swim. I wasn't motivated enough yesterday to do anything in the morning and last night was spent with the girls trick or treating. I swam the following with the intent of just cruising along and getting about 10 sec. rest.

    300 IM drill
    200 kick

    The rest was straight through.
    6 x 50
    odds back @ 50
    evens breast @ 55
    6 x 100
    back @ 1:40
    breast @ 1:45
    free @ 1:30
    300 w/buoy @ 4:15
    6 x 25 fly @ 35
    150 w/bouy build @ 2:00

    200 w/d


    It felt good to get back in after our Dixie Zone SCM meet. All in all I think I had a successful meet. Here are some of my thoughts.

    1. Very well run meet! Hats of to Jerry Clark and his staff.

    2. Swam my first 800 free and now need to do more core exercises since I could feel my abs working in over drive.

    3. Swam my first 4IM and lived to tell about it. It hurt as much as I thought it would. My goggles filled up with water on the start. What am I six years old? I have NEVER had that problem. That pair is now a practice pair. I have to give my team some props for keeping me calm while waiting to swim this. The nerves were killing me. Not a very pretty or fast swim but this one was for ME.

    4. I had some good relay splits for me. I don't swim the 50 ever but the relays are always fun.

    5. I got to visit with some people I have met throughout the years on other teams and it is always fun to talk with them.

    6. My other swims were all off my best times but I was able to race with better technique. I will take that as a victory.
  4. 3km in 45 minutes

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 11:50 AM (Random Nonsense)
    From the time I jumped in to the time I needed to be back out was 45 minutes to the second.

    Lifetime Solo SCM

    Warm up
    - 500 free on 7:30
    Main Set
    - 5x100 on 1:30 make it
    - 5x100 on 1:30 hold 1:20 (exact)
    - 5x100 on 1:30 hold 1:15 (17,16,15,15,15)
    - 5x100 on 1:30 hold 1:20 (15,16,sub 20s)
    Cool down
    - 5x100 on 1:30 ascend (22-26)

    Hitting 1:20 exactly 5x was kinda funny as I was not getting much rest earlier and was worried about making the first one. Finding 15s was difficult and after being sick, staying there was difficult too.

    Very much aerobic, finding my stroke again after being out of the water so much.
  5. Distance Day (w NO fins!)

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 10:37 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    So, if you regularly read this, you know that I am trying to limit the use of my fins (in order to build both my kick and my endurance). Today was just such a day. I must say that it's really great to have a coach on deck that can get you to do things you don't want to do. He had no problem with me shortening the 400s to 375s or the 300s to 275s in order to get ~0:15 rest between swims. For the final set of 200s, my initial plan was to put on my fins and kick. When he just rolled his eyes (and said nothing), that somehow got to me. I took my fins back off and swam the final set of 200s. YAY for me! They hurt and my shoulders were aching... but it was another good mental workout - to know (and have proven again) that my mind gives out before my body does.

    Here's what I did today:
    350 Warm-Up
    4 x 375 Free on 6:00
    4 x 275 Pull on 4:30
    4 x 200 Free on 3:10
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3850

    The original set was written as 400s and 300s on the intervals above, then the 200s on 3:00.

    Whew! That was a lot for this morning. Then, just because I am who I am, I did 10 miles of spinning before getting ready for work. Happy thought there is that those times are getting faster (and the intensity level programmed is going up). YAY! Now, we'll see how the legs hold up for tomorrow's swim.

    Enjoy your swims today and I'll check in tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
  6. 11.1.11 Tuesday Workout

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 09:18 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam next to Dave and Dave. Pool temp a bit warm but I didn't check it so I won't whine about that today. No drag suit.


    500 Warm up

    125 Fr - 2:00
    125 Fr - 1:55
    2 x 200 Fr/50 Fly - 4:00
    125 Fr - 1:50
    125 Fr - 1:45
    50 Easy - 1:30

    50 bk/75 Fr - 2:00
    2 x 200 Fr/50 Kick - 4:00
    50 Easy - 2:00

    50 Br/75 Fr - 2:00
    50 Fly/150 Fr/ 50 Fly - 4:00
    50 Easy

    3 Times through
    * 100 Fr - 1:20
    * 1:00 Break

    1st time through, I did 1:18s
    2nd time through, I did 1:14s
    3rd time through, I did 1:09s

    100 Cool down

    (3650 total)
    Swim Workouts
  7. Sore and may have pulled something but still swimming

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 07:27 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    A muscle in my upper back/neck needs to be worked out badlly today. About mid way through practice I could feel it but I kept on pushing thru.

    10x100@1:45 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 fast
    5x100@1:45 Fly w/fins as 25 rt arm/25 lt arm/25 kick/25 swim fast held 1:28's
    10x50@1:15 Free w/snorkle as 25 kick/25 swim w/6 beat kick
    500 Free w/6 beat kick easy arms

    Total 3000 yards
  8. What's Your Word? (November-December 2011)

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    Recently we posted a question on Facebook: “What adjective best describes swimming?” We received nearly 100 responses. Not all were adjectives and some posters couldn’t limit themselves to just one word.

    Single words have a long history of summarizing our physical and emotional behavior. Stop. Love. Yield. Yes. No. Fire. (Insert your favorite curse word here.). We use single words to simplify—to reduce a complex series of events or a complicated emotional response into one neat and tidy package that gives us direction, inspires us, triggers action, or simply lets anyone within earshot know just how painful smashing our shin into that coffee table was.

    When describing something meaningful, our language offers a cornucopia of words—and there is no right or wrong. Some of the words our members use to describe swimming easily convey why they might get up before the chickens to get to the pool. Others clearly have a special meaning just for that person. “Exhilarating” was the most-used word.

    This tag cloud (thank you, shows the responses we received. The larger the word, the more times it was found among the responses.
    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	1784 
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ID:	8751

    Updated December 30th, 2016 at 12:11 PM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
  9. Planning 2012

    This is the season.... almost daily, reports are posted of "the last swim of the season" on blogs, tweets and FB. Photos of shivering swimmers under bare trees or skipping through the snow to a sacred splash site are popping up as well.
    Though I haven't been in the OW since Oct. 22, I have plans to get another couple of Coney Island swims in before December hits. Still.... thoughts are deep into the 2012 season.

    Rondi and I have begun planning the 2nd annual 8 Bridges event, and we have an updated website
    Plans to open the stages to more swimmers this year will likely mean that I spend a few of the days on the water coordinating swimmer safety with our boaters and kayakers. I am excited to be able to offer OW swimmers the opportunity to experience the beauty of the middle and lower Hudson from our unique perspective.

    So... not knowing exactly how much swimming I'll get in during that week, I've started looking more seriously at a few things that have been on the back burner for a while. Logistically, its fairly easy to book a swim with a well established federation and approved pilot. There may very well be a long waiting period, but the process is a given, and one can draw upon the experiences of others to measure expectations. On the other end, planning a new route requires research and on site recon test swims and observations. Without the enthusiastic support of other swim-explorers, I couldn't imagine spending all the time and resources necessary to realize these swims that have yet to be done.

    Though NYC Swim's MIMS is a leg of the Triple Crown, the northeast of the US really doesn't have a swim to compete with the English Channel. California has Catalina, and a bunch of other possible swims from the chain of islands that make up the Santa Barbara Channel, and so with that in mind I started to look for something that would be as challenging. After a little research, I think I found something that might work. The Cape Cod Bay sees water temps that might reach the mid 60's in the summer, and from what I've read, a current that swirls in a counter-clockwise direction which could make the finish "interesting". I have the enthusiastic support of two swimmer friends (both who spend a good amount of time on the Cape) Mo Siegal, and Eileen Burke. Both have been talking about about a swim across the bay, and so with our combined effort, I think we can make it happen this year. Though we haven't formulated our plan yet, this mission will take at least a couple of slow boat rides along the planned route to measure current speeds at different stages of the tides. The good thing about this is we don't have to wait for the water to warm up to "swimmable" temps, and I think late winter/early spring would be a lovely time to be floating around in a dinghy in the middle of the bay. As the "founders" of the swim, we will also have to decide where the start and finish should be. There appear to be a couple of more obvious options for the start: Whitehorse Beach to Provincetown is just over 19 miles, Gray's Beach to Provincetown is 25+ miles. I think we are all leaning toward the latter which will put the start a few miles deep into Plymouth Bay and Kingston Bay. This might give the swimmer a couple of hours of tidal assist on an outgoing tide until they exit Plymouth Bay... then the whole anti-clockwise swirl will begin, and we might need to follow a heading due east in order to ride the sweep north to the "fist" for the finish. This is all speculative at this point, and I won't really know how this all works until we spend a little time on the water.

    The number of Finger Lakes is either 11 or 12. [ame][/ame] I've only swum in one of them... Canandaigua for a 2 mile USMS national championship a couple of years ago. Due to a lightning event, the race was cut short and results relied heavily on the honor system. A few revisions were made days after the event, but still, I'm pretty certain I was robbed... I won't name names. Moving forward.....
    Originally, I was trying to put together a plan to do all 11 (or 12) of them, but after last year's 8 Bridges, I am pretty resolved to limit my efforts to just a week.
    Luckily, there are 6 big'uns so my thoughts are to swim one per day with a break in the middle:

    SKANEATELES - 16 miles
    OWASCO - 11 miles
    CAYUGA - 40 miles
    ***rest day***
    SENECA - 38 miles
    KEUKA - 20 miles
    CANANDAIGUA - 15.5 miles

    I have a ton of legwork to do, including finding boat launches, training crews, water temps, prevailing wind directions, etc

    There are a few other swims I'm looking at, but I'll save them for another post. I've also been spending a lot of time looking at support equipment (boats), so stay tuned.............
  10. Vids, Monday, Oct. 31

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 07:16 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    700 various

    4 x 50 free drill (turtles)
    4 x 25 free DPS
    100 back kick, 12.5-15 UW each 25

    4 x 50 back drill (turtles)
    4 x 25 back DPS
    100 back kick, 12.5-15 UW each 25

    4 x 50 breast drill (alternate dolphin & whip kick)
    4x 25 breast DPS
    100 back kick, 12.5-15 UW each 25

    4 x 50 fly drill (single arm)
    4 x 25 fly DPS
    100 back kick, 12.5-15 UW each 25

    4 x 50 free w/paddles
    4 x 25 front scull w/paddles
    100 back kick, 12.5-15 UW each 25

    5 x 100 IM smooth @ 1:45

    100 EZ

    Total: 3300


    Opted for a recovery swim instead of yoga. Unlike Speedo, I'm still kinda tired and sore. I saw last year it took me a couple days to really boot back up.

    But on to more interesting things: videos:

    Jazz & Pete's 50 free:
    Jazz in 5 (white cap), Pete in 8 (Partially obscured by spectators even though I yelled at them. )
    -- I am green with envy over Speedo's start.
    -- Jazzy on the other hand may need remedial start lessons like me. But he exploded after the breakout and had a very fast turn after stressing about it in warm up.
    -- I also must say that Jazz and Speedo are both looking more buff than I've ever seen them.

    My 50 back:
    Me in lane 5, uber backstroker friend Susan Williams in lane 4.
    -- She got me on the second underwater. I did flop on my back a bit on the start as Speedo noted. Not sure if I should have taken another stroke at the finish or not. Looks like I also hesitated slightly at the flags trying to gage the finish.
    -- Mr. Fort was saying that the perfect race probably only comes along "once in a millennium." (If so, I had mine at the Albatross meet.)


    As Q predicted, I'm more stoked about my 50 back time and broken 100 IM today. I am slightly bummed that I swam with a tear in my suit during the meet. I've only used the suit at LC Nationals, so it was pretty new. On other note: I forgot to take my thyroid medicine yesterday am in my hurry to get out the door. T3 doesn't stay in your system long, so that might have accounted for some sight fatigue.

    And there was success on the Halloween front. I managed to get red contacts in Lil Fort's eyes and she happily went off as Jane of the Volturi into the mega candy night with her withy friends.

    Updated November 1st, 2011 at 10:17 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  11. Monday, 10/31/11

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 04:52 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Was a bit sluggish and slow during warmup but felt pretty good for main set.


    Warm up (1200)
    300 swim choice
    3 x 100/1:40 ds
    6 x 50: 3 free/:55 ds, 3 back/1:00 ds
    12 x 25/40 ds 3, did IM order by 3's

    Kick NO Fins (400)
    6 x 50/1:10 moderate consistent effort
    - on back, around 52-53
    100 easy free

    Main Set: (1125)
    1 x 200 free/3:00, neg split
    - went 2:43
    2 x 100 back/2:30, build each
    - went 1:24, 1:23
    1 x 150 free/2:15, neg split
    - went 2:01
    2 x 75 back/2:00, strong build
    - went 1:01, :59
    1 x 100 free/1:30, easy build
    - went 1:20
    2 x 50 back/2:00, FAST
    - went :39, :38
    1 x 50 free/1:15 easy
    4 x 25 back/1:00, FASTER
    - went under 18 on these
    1 x 25, easy
    4 x 12 ½ back/45, EVEN FASTER!!!

    Warm down (300)
    300 easy free & back

    Total: 3025 yards
  12. Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 5:00am

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 04:40 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Felt like another Monday this morning.
    I did do the Ab Ripper X DVD last night before Sunday Night Football. It's been a while since I've done that and am feeling it today. I'm in great shape, but just haven't worked it like that in a while.

    200 Free
    200 Kick w/ board
    200 Free Pull

    5 x 100 Free @ 1:20
    had a hard time even going 1:09-1:11 on these

    Mini Hill Kick: up the hill w/ board, 100 and down the hill kick on back
    @ :30 per 25
    25, 50, 75, 100, 75, 50, 25

    10 x 50 Back @ :50 (held :39/:40s) actually did 3-4 SDKs off each wall on these
    Much better than the 0-1 that I usually do in backstroke!

    600 Free Pull and out

    2600 Yards

    Trick or Treat at the mall with the kids tonight. Best place to go, safe, warm, and convenience. Only have to walk about 20-30 feet and get more candy...if you're aching for more, just take two laps of the mall!
  13. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -11/01/11

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 02:44 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    1 X 250 4:15 3:45
    Three rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2&3 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:30
    3 X 100 kick 2:15
    1 X 100 swim

    2 X 100 1:40 2:00
    2 X 50 fast 1:00 1:10
    Four rounds. Rounds 1/2: free Rounds 3/4: stroke
    Break between rounds.

    10 X 100 2:15
    odd: easy
    even: fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  14. Friday,10/28/11

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 11:45 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Warm up (900)
    500 free & back
    200 kick flutter/dolphin by 50's
    8 x 25/30 strong
    - did 1-4 free, 5-8 back

    Swim Set #1 (1100)
    4 x 25 fly fast off blocks + 25 ez free/1:30
    100 free/2:00 smooth
    4 x 25 back fast from blocks +25 easy/1:30 - pwerful kickout
    100 free/2:00 smooth
    4 x 25 brst/50 odds off blocks
    100 free/2:00 smooth
    4 x 25 free fast off blocks + 25 easy/1:30
    100 smooth

    Kick Set
    500 continuous
    - did this flutter with board and snorkel. 10:15

    200 warm down

    Total: 2700 yards
  15. 10.31.11 Monday Workout

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 11:02 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave next to Dave and Roger. Kent swam 2 lanes over. Pool temp 86 . No drag suit. Roger is back from Indonesia. Good to have him with us again.

    Took the whole weekend off to run a soccer tournament. It went well for the most part. Top 4 teams moved on (including my team) to a bigger tournament next weekend. On Sunday I was told only three teams were invited so being the coordinator, I had to tell a coach his team was disinvited. That's never any fun or a win for anyone.

    Good workout for the pool temp. Always had a few seconds to pop my head up and cool off on a wall. 2 x 100 fly on 1:30 is a bit beyond me still. It's more like 1 x 200 fly on 3:05. On the second and third times through, I caught Dave's rebound wave with 50 yards to go and ended up coughing up a lung at the wall.


    450 Warmup

    4 Times through
    * 6 Times through
    ** 100 Fr - 1:20
    ** 25 Stroke - :30
    * 50 Easy - 2:00
    * 2 x 100 Fly - 1:30
    * 50 Easy - 2:00

    100 cool down

    (4750 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  16. The Dreaded Thirty Minute Swim....

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 09:48 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Since I didn't check in over the weekend, a quick update. I did one of my very favorite sets on Saturday. It's a little ladder that seems to go pretty fast - and piles up the yardage too. And... it's pretty easy to do when you have to share a lane at the Y. Here's what I did on Saturday:

    400 Warm-Up
    4 sets:
    - 4 x 25 Kick on :30
    - 1 x 100 IM on 2:00
    4 sets (1 & 3 - free, 2 & 4 Fly w/ fins):
    - 1 x 25 on :30
    - 1 x 50 on 1:00
    - 1 x 75 on 1:20
    - 1 x 100 on 1:40
    - 1 x 200 on 3:30 (1 & 3 pull, 2 & 4 kick)
    - 1 x 100 on 1:40
    - 1 x 75 on 1:20
    - 1 x 50 on 1:00
    - 1 x 25 on :30
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 4400

    Of course, after getting out of the pool, my husband and I headed to Terre Haute, Indiana, to cheer on the HSE Cross Country team as they competed in the State meet. The boys' team finished 2nd overall and the girls' team (who had never reached the State meet before) finished 6th out of the 24 teams who reached State. My daughter blew away her personal best time at this particular course by running a full three minutes under what she had run previously this year. WAY TO GO! All in all, a great weekend!

    Back to the pool this morning, only to find that the scheduled workout was the always-fun, never-boring (ahem...) 30-minute swim. Actually, since I'm trying to build up my endurance and speed for open water, I've been trying to do 2000 yards straight every other weekend. It was much easier swimming this when the entire team kept going instead of when I just have to tell myself to keep going on my own. My goal was to get in 2000 yards in under 30 minutes - I got 2050! YAY! This is the first 30-minute swim when I actually not only hit 2000 yards, but went over 2000 yards. (I typically had been getting 1800-1850 or so.) What I'm realizing is that my body is much stronger than my mind. Shocking isn't it?

    Anyway, here's what we did today:

    350 Warm-Up
    8 x 50 Fist Drill / Free on 1:00
    6 x 50 Kick on 1:00, 1>3, 4>6
    1 x THIRTY MINUTE SWIM (got 2050 yds)
    400 Cool-Down
    My Total Yards - 3500

    Enjoy your workouts today and be careful tonight as the kids are out and about trick-or-treating.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Second day of meet and a great morning workout

    by , October 31st, 2011 at 07:36 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Did well Sunday too. Broke 30 in the 50 Free finally, the last two meets were dreadful but this was good. Had a strong 100 back and 100 Fly. Was quiet happy over all.

    Today should have been a recovery day but since I was feeling good I took advantage of it.

    500 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 fast
    4x[50@1:00 Free w/fins FAST all were 29
    ....[200@4:00 Free w/fins EASY recovery
    10x100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy held 1:24-22
    100 Free kick w/snorkle
    400 Free w/snorkle

    Total 3500 yards

    I know I will feel this in Tuesday morning but for now all is GOOD!
  18. Saturday Oct 29th, 2011 LCM with UT men

    by , October 30th, 2011 at 11:00 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Saturday Oct 29th, 2011

    Upcoming Meet

    35 DAYS AWAY / 5 weeks
    Sat Dec 3rd & Sun Dec 4th
    2011 South Central SCM Regional Invitational
    San Antonio, TX

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Eddie Reese Coached
    UT Swim Center: main pool
    9:00 -11
    wore jammer
    trained with Jimmy fiegen & Cole cragin

    Fr / K / Bk / K
    100 100 100 100
    200 100 200 100
    100 100 100 100

    8 x 50.

    Main SET: scy

    3 x (300 FR on 4:00 / 200 k on 3:45 / 100 e on 1:45)

    8 x 100 on 2:00
    done 30 FAST 20 easy with 3 breaths
    15 sdk 35 mod with 5 breaths
    This was difficult
    Swim Workouts
  19. Snow Swim!

    Today I had a wonderful beach swim at Brighton. It was a chilly morning, in the 30s, and there was still a dusting of snow on the tops of cars and trees, and some ice on the sidewalks. As I passed by Central Park on the way to the subway, I saw lots of tree branches that had fallen down—heavy snow plus fully-leaved trees are a dangerous combo. But it was a bright sunny day, and I hoped the temperature would rise by the time I got out to the beach.

    At Brighton the boardwalk was covered with ice. I saw one lady slip down, so I took careful tiny baby steps as I walked over it to the sand. I was hoping for snow on the beach, and I got my wish--much of the sand was covered with a light layer of snowy ice that glittered in the bright sunlight.

    I was very happy to see a group of CIBBOWS swimmers already there and standing around on the strip of wet sand between the water and snow. Tom had already swum and was getting out and drying off when I arrived, and the rest were getting ready to go in. I greeted everyone and went about getting ready to go in. Double cap—check, earplugs—check, inhaler—check, lube—check, quickly strip down to my suit, ready to go! The sand was cold on my feet, so I ran into the water as quickly as I could

    I was expecting a few degrees colder than last week, but when Cara waded in with her thermometer she announced that it was between 50 and 51--quite a bit colder! I’m usually wimpy about the getting-in-cold-water part, but today something brushed my foot as I was wading in, so I picked my feet up off the bottom and started swimming right away. I’m more scared of getting pinched by crabs than cold water, I guess! I don’t usually have a gasping reflex but I did a bit today, not enough to swim with my head up, but enough to make the breaths feel really welcome as I swam along. I soon settled into a good pace and headed out towards the white building to the east.

    I had forgotten how exhilarating being immersed in cold water feels—I don’t think I’ve felt quite this good in the water since it warmed up last spring. It felt like being home again. I stroked along happily, and the current must have been with me because I was past the big jetty before I even realized it. Soon I was at the turnaround point, and I stopped for a moment to locate the other swimmers. I didn’t wait for them though, I just turned around and headed back to the starting point—I was enjoying just being out by myself in the wonderfully cold water.

    It was a little choppier on the way back, but the water still felt great, so when I got back to the starting place I went a little further, out to the first jetty, then turned around and headed back to the towels on the beach. The sky was brilliant blue, and the sun was shining strong down into the water and making suspended sand particles all sparkly. My fingers and feet were beginning to feel a little cold, but the rest of me felt warm. I still didn’t want to get out, so I again went back past my starting point to the shark rocks, turned around again, then finally decided it was time to come on in.

    When I got out the first thing I noticed was that the snow on the beach had almost all melted. I’m glad I got there early enough to see it! I dressed quickly—the air was still in the low 40s, and the wind had picked up a bit. But after I got out of my suit and into ski pants and swim parka and boots, I was actually pretty comfortable. Jogging up and down the beach a couple of times helped the warming-up process along. I was pleasantly surprised not to have any post-swim shivering today, although it did take a bit for my fingers and toes to stop feeling cold.

    We all warmed up on the beach, played a little footfall, shared hot drinks, and chatted. Then came the highlight of the day—John had brought homemade clam chowder, enough to share with everyone! We all sat bundled up on the beach enjoying the soup in our post-swim blissiness, and life seemed very very good. Hurray for an early start to winter swimming!

    Since I started cold-water swimming last fall, my gear bag has evolved a bit, and I’ve found a post-swim warming routing that works for me. Here’s what my beach bag currently contains:

    Changing skirt: A wool camisole and a short pull-on skirt make for quick and easy deck changes. I use these in the summer as well, but I especially appreciate their advantages over a wrapped towel when it’s windy, or when my fingers are numb.

    Warm wool clothes: Wool seems to slip on over damp skin easier than other materials. I have a long-sleeved wool shirt and long underwear as my base layers, over which I layer a sweater and pants—ski pants if it’s especially cold or windy.

    Swim parka: One of the top 10 inventions ever! You can stand on it if need be while putting on other layers.

    Boots or clogs: Anything I can put on quickly with numb fingers is good—shoelaces can be challenging. Shearling lined is good for cold wet feet. I keep a pair of clogs that I only wear at the beach, so I don’t worry about getting sand in them.

    Hat with earflaps: I just put this on over my swimcap until the rest of me is dressed.

    Pop-top mittens: Easy to uncover just your fingers when you need them for getting dressed, holding warm drinks, or playing football. The type with a thumb slot are the best.

    Fabric shower curtain: I use this as a beach blanket, and also lay my clothes out on it when undressing before I get in, so that they’re easy to access once I’m back on shore. Also useful to stand on while getting dressed—it’s definitely warmer than the wet sand. It folds down small for easy transit to and from beach.

    Hot snapz: These reusable liquid-filled packs provide instant heat through the magic of chemistry—you break the metal disk inside, and the liquid turns cloudy, semi-solid, and warm. I put them inside my pop-top mittens or boots, tuck them under my armpits, or put them under my hat once I’m dressed if I’m having trouble warming up.

    Thermoses: I’ve amassed an impressive collection of thermoses since I started open-water swimming. I usually bring a couple—one filled with hot tea or cocoa, the other with soup. Getting something hot in you helps you warm up quickly! I like the Thermos Nissan beverage bottles and food jars--they work well and are a good weight and shape for packing.

    Miniature football: Doing something active helps the body warm up, and playing catch on the beach is just plain fun. I also like tossing the football around before getting in to warmup body and arms.

    That’s all my warming-up secrets! If anyone has any others please share!
  20. Sprint Classic Results, Oct. 30

    by , October 30th, 2011 at 08:59 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    50 back, 28.23:

    My only goal for the meet was to break the national record in the 50 back, which was 28.7. Happy to have that in the bag!

    The 28.2 was .1 slower than I swam at this meet last year. I looked back at my comments and see that I swam a near perfect race last year. Today, not so. Flat-ish start (took a few kicks to get up to speed) and two iffy breakouts (confirmed by Speedo & Josh). Definitely felt some racing rust. But this does not bother me unduly because it means I have room for improvement later in the year!

    Because my execution was off, I decided to scratch the 50 fly and swim the 50 back again in my 100 ...

    Second 50 back, 28.4:

    ... but when I found myself behind the blocks I was strangely un-excited for a re-do. Subpar breakouts again and I was only under 14 m + 12 m, a bit short for me. Still, this swim was under the NR too.

    Battle of the True Drop Dead Sprinters:

    Fastest woman and man determined by the aggregate time of the 25s. Using an aggregate is generally advantageous for me because I can hammer out a good 25 back to get a starting edge. After a goodish rest, I actually felt a bit more awake and psyched to race. And I grabbed a nice USMS tech shirt as a prize!

    25 back
    Last year: 13.3
    This year: 13.4

    25 breast:
    Last year, 16.5.
    This year, 15.7.

    Boom! This .8 improvement was due completely to the fact that I had a great start -- fast off the blocks, clean entry and great distance. My breakout wasn't the best as I had to jerk up my head to get to the surface.

    25 fly::

    Last year, 12.6.
    This year 13.0 with a long glidey finish. Decent start.

    25 free:

    Last year: 12.2
    This year: 12.2.
    My usual shallow start.

    Aggregate time:

    Last year: 54.6
    This year: 54.5
    Right on the same time in my dotage.



    1. Really happy to get the NR right outta the box this season. Mission accomplished and can happily soldier on.

    2. I felt slightly discombobulated and choppy in the water. I'm thinking that's due to being sick for a good bit, and out of the water. I basically was forced to do a short drop taper, which would not have been my choice. I also felt slightly "off" racing mid morning. I always swim better in the afternoon, which is when I practice generally.

    3. Though I did my usual warm up, I didn't have that "firing on all cylinders" feeling for my first race. I'm wondering if I need to do more speed work in warm up when I race in the am? Jazz mentioned he did a 50 @ 90-95% in warm up. Or, more likely, maybe it's just rare to feel that way.

    4. Dropping .8 in the 25 breaststroke by nailing the start really underscored that I am under-performing in my 50 fly and 50 free with subpar forward starts. But the only away to improve starts is by practicing them -- always a thorn in my side.

    Definitely going to yoga tomorrow as I'm sure I'll be sore!

    Speedo posted some fast times. Jazz threw down a fast 50 free as well. I video'd this with my iPhone. Will upload later.

    Updated October 31st, 2011 at 11:36 AM by The Fortress

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