Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sea Hunt

Here's Becky and Martha doing sea hunt, helping me win. I must remember to act surprised.

Day sail is scheduled

Yesterday we managed to get our day sail scheduled for May 31 with the Wayward Sailor, Capt. Phil. We kind of had a hard time finding an outfit that would take us to Jost Van Dyke, but Phil will. He does a snorkel stop, lunch at Foxy's, & a short walk on Jost. This is part of the original fantasy of sailing the Caribbean. I'm hoping he'll let me dive off the side.

Monday Feb. 27

Swam 3500 yd. 500 warm up, 5 X 100 with fins, 5 X 100 (timed at 1:36 to 1:32), 2 X 500 (timed each at 8:01) and then 4 X 200 (timed 2 at 3:11), 200.
That was wild how each 500 and 200 was exactly the same time. I found a pace chart on the USMS site which shows what each 100 yd. should be to be a certain time in the longer distances. For example, if I average 1 min. 35 sec. per 100 yd, I will come in at around 1 hour 35 min. in a 6000 yd swim.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Phase 2 starts tomorrow

In Jan. and Feb. I managed to swim usually 3 days a week and increased to 3400 yd. per workout, well once or twice anyway. I did 2 non-stop swims of 2500 and 3200. Friday was a bust; had too good a time with Lynne and Kiki "whining and wining" Thursday night, so missed a workout and was mad at myself. But starting tomorrow I begin the push for longer workouts leading up to 6000 yd by May 13.

Met with Martha and Becky yesterday for lunch at the Northshore Brasserie. We compared packing lists, discussed day sail plans, and talked about other plans for trip. They are up for the bbq after the swim and after their shark activities helping disable my competition. Martha says, Julie remember to act surprised when you win. Just hope they yank out those little kids' snorkels.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Swimming in perspective

3.5 mi probably doesn't sound like a lot to a runner or biker; however, a swim coach I read said that swimming 1 mile is equal in effort and energy to running 4 miles. So this event will be more like running 14 mi. As a non-runner, I don't know if that is a lot to run. I probably could not run one mile. I do think that triathlons are disproportionate in terms of swim length versus run and bike lengths. I'd rather a longer swim myself, but most triathletes hate swimming from what I have heard. If only I could run. But I always hated all that bouncing around, girls flopping, and all that sweat.

Wed. Feb. 22

Managed to do 3400 yd. today: 500 wu, 500 kick, 500 pull, then 5-4-3-2-100, then 100. No that is 3100. Fortunately starting now the high school team is done practicing so I can get into the water at 5 instead of 6, so can swim longer and not get home so late. A window opens.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Plan for coming months

My training plan:
Week of Feb. 19- 3400 yd per practice
Feb. 26 - 3500
Mar. 5- 3500
Mar 12- 3700; 3rd straight swim
Mar 19- 4000
Mar 26-4300
Apr 2- 4500
Apr 9- 4700; 4th straight swim
Apr 16- 5000
Apr 23- 5300
Apr 30- 5600
May 7- 6000; 5th straight swim
May 14- begin taper- 4000
May 21- 3000; rest a lot
May 28: The event

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mon. Feb. 20

Today I swam almost 3000; I did 500 wu, then a ladder 100,200,300,400,500,400,300,200,then it was time to get out. This was at lunch time so time was limited. It was crowded and choppy, so probably good training for open water. This week I need to start increasing to 3400.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cinnamon Bay

Cinnamon Bay is the first bay along the way after leaving Maho. The national park campground is here. We'll swim in from the left ( in the lower photo), go between the cay and beach, then on to the right and on to Trunk Bay.
I worked in the campground cafeteria one summer, visiting with Sharon Edwards and kids between shifts. My dad would give slide shows for the campers in the evening.
We could hike from our house up at L'esperance down the Cinnamon Bay trail to the beach. Our house got blown away in a hurricane (long after we left of course).

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay is the 2nd beach along the way from Maho to Hawksnest. I worked there one summer, running a concession stand 2 days a week. I was working for Doug Cleland who ran the stand for Caneel Bay. That's where I learned to make rum punch in big quantities. We'd feed tour bus crowds. Got to chat with park employees such as Rudy de Windt and Louis; got to watch the mongooses. I recall Carl the bus driver who swore that one can swim just as fast without kicking- I've often thought he was right.

Friday Feb. 17 - 2nd straight swim

Yesterday was my 2nd non-stop swim, 3200 yd. this time. I did maybe 200 warm up and then began. Counted using "beach2beachpowerswim" (1000 yd) 3 times, plus 200 yd. (orca). The first 1000 took about 15 min., kind of lost track after that. In all, 50 min.

Felt pretty strong, had to tread water a few times to pull my cap back on, did 100 yd breaststroke at end of first 2 1000's. My triceps were yelling. I felt victorious and wanted to shout when I got out. The guards are starting to be amazed by me.

So I can do 3200 straight; 2 months ago I'd not have believed it. Today I doubt I can do 6000 straight by mid May, but in a couple of months, perhaps anything is possible...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wed. Feb. 15; stroke and kick

I did about 2500 yards; had a headache so got out a little early. Did the 1750 in 29 min. I feel kind of tired today, hope I am not getting sick.

I maintain a 19 stroke per 50 yd. count, never seems to change a lot. Think my kick is getting a bit stronger, tho, that should help.

In freestyle a swimmer has either a 2, 4 or 6 beat kick. That means the number of kicks per arm stroke. Distance swimmers usually have 2 or 4 beat kicks, while sprinters have 4 or 6. I have always had the 6; freestyle is like a waltz to me. I can't seem to relearn this. My book says that the big muscles of the legs use more oxygen, so they should work less than the arms. However I think about long hikes and how my legs do all the work all day, so I am not really afraid of tiring my legs. My quads can get a little sore, but my triceps are what gets really sore from swimming. A good sore though: like they have worked. I do have a good stroke, keep my elbow high and pull with the entire forearm; so many swimmers I see have the typical dropped elbow.

Blogging is great. As I told my friends, what better way to blather on endlessly about your favorite topic, your own self?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday Feb. 13

Did 3200 yards: 500 wu, 3 x 500 free, 1 x 1000, 200. I often spell things to keep up with laps, like my name, or other words, since I forget numbers, and words make it more interesting. My name and St. John Swim are 10 letters (10 laps =500 yard). Whales = 300, dolphins = 400.

Felt pretty good doing the increase, although got home later. On Wed. and Fri. I can get into the pool sooner, I hope. And soon (Mar. 10) the swim team will be finished, so 4 - 6 pm will revert to rec/lap swim. My friend and former coach Debra is the aquatics director; she will swim some then too. I am glad to have a real swimmer as the Y's aquatics person now. Swimmers used to be the last people our Y considered.

I did a few weight machines before my swim; not sure if that is a good idea at this point. I don't know at what point I stop the weights. Made my shoulder a little sore.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Fri. Feb. 10

I swam with Lynne at lunch time; did about 2300 yards. Can't get enough time in on my lunch hour.. We were going out that evening to friends house for dinner, so had to go at lunch.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Here is beautiful Hawksnest Bay where the race ends, at the farther beach; to the left is Oppenheimer, I think, the scientist owned it. Hawksnest was a favorite beach when I lived there, not visited a lot by the tourists.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Increase of distance per week

Last night I did 3000 yards: 600 warm up, 1750 yd (1 mi) in about 29 min., then more to get the 3000.
I figured up how much to increase each week, according to my Open Water Swimming book by Penny Dean which says one can increase by 5 to 15% each week. I can increase by 6% each week to get up to 6000 yards by May 13, the day of my last long swim. It isn't so much the yardage that scares me but finding the time to get such long workouts in. Some days I can only do an hour due to work/home/pool schedule; other days I will need to be in the water for 1 1/2 hours or more. Saturdays may be the time for that, making sure they give me a lane line since Sat. is only rec swim. I have to plan ahead so there is food at home ready to heat up too.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The zen of swimming

Swimming is the best kept secret of the exercise world. If everyone swam, the world would be a healthier, happier place. It is relatively injury free, develops great lung capacity, tones up the whole bod, gives you a certain weightless high, keeps the fat down, gets those endorphins buzzing. I imagine that it almost feels like flying. I was looking through a runners catalog and was amazed at all the stuff they sold for injuries to feet, knees, hamstrings, shins, ankles, etc. You don't see any of that in swimming catalogs. And one can study each stroke for years making little changes and never quite perfecting it.

The Beach to Beach Power Swim

Here is the map of the swim- on their web site it is so cool, you can click on places along the route and see a photo of the water level view from there. As the pelican flies, the route might be only a couple of miles, but apparently when you wind in and out of the bays it is more like 3 1/2 mi.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Psyched again

OK so I swam last night, did 3,000 yards and I am psyched for this again. Did 500 warm up, then a 100,200,300,400,500 ladder, then 500, 200,200,then 100 kick. Had a few pesky rec swimmers and the parent-tot crowds on either side of the lap lanes. Sarah is a high schooler preparing for state competition, nice to have her to swim with. Got enthused again. I will need to start doing more like 1 1/2 hour workouts somehow; used to do that with the Knox. masters team up at UT long ago. Need to increase to 3500 by Feb 18, 4000 by Mar. 18, 5000 by Apr. 15, 6000 by May 13, then taper.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Back in the swim

Friday was a waste as I had forgotten my swim stuff, drove home after work to get it, and never got back out of the house. Got my period too. I did do long walks on Friday and Sunday, plus got some exercise Sat. pm contra dancing. It was nice to walk with Stephen and Sadie and bond with them. Swimming's kind of lonely. So back to it today. Need to start increasing to 3000 yd per workout at this point.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wed. Feb. 1

I did a little over 2500 yds. on my lunch hour; did 500 warm up, 1750 (1 mi) in almost 27 min., then a cool down. I sometimes lose count on the longer swim. I hope I am not crazy to do this. At this point I can't imagine swimming 3 1/2 times as much as that mile I did without stopping. And in the ocean it will be so different, I must look for buoys marking the course, not kick the coral, deal with waves and other swimmers, no walls or flip turns. And when I get nervous my heart beats faster and I get worn out more quickly. Having dark doubts....