Friday, March 31, 2006

To do on St. John

A week is already looking too short. Some things I want to do while there:
See where our house used to be, at the top of the L'esperance trail, up on Centerline road overlooking Fish Bay. We would see the Jamaican red tail hawks circling over head. One could see St. Croix on clear days. Our house was a metal pre-fab house sitting on a cistern. No AC of course. Lots of mold, lizards, a beautiful hibiscus bush at the door, a terrific deck.

Hike down to the petroglyphs, rock carvings done by Africans, Caribs, Tainos, Arawaks- I don't think they know for sure. Maybe drive out Bordeaux Mt., highest point on St. John.

Go to Coral Bay for dinner; drive down to Salt Pond Bay, maybe into Lameshur.

Visit Merry at her house, built since I was there last. Have seen pictures; she built it in the style of old island architecture with stone walls and hip roof.

Hike around on Mary Point, Leinster Bay, Cinnamon Bay trail.

Do Cruz Bay, visit a few shops and eat. I'm sure it will have changed a lot.

See the archeological digs going on at Cinnamon.

Swim, snorkel, sail, motor boat, lime on the beach, drink. I need a month.

Friday March 31

Had to swim at lunch time today since we have dinner at the library for the students tonight. So I had to make it a shorter swim. Think I did about 2500 including lots of kicking towards the end. Lots of swimmers made for choppy waters and temp was too high. Got to see Lynne, Jan, and Jim. I'll try to do some walks etc this weekend.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wed. Mar. 29

Swam just over 4300 yd; did 500 wu, 200 pull, 300 kick, 1750 yd, then 500, 400, 300, 200, 100, 100 kick. Am getting kind of sore or an overextension feeling in the lats (tricep soreness has gone away). I also am getting kind of dotty and disoriented. All this being underwater. It will be much more stimulating to have fish and coral instead of a black line to look at. I keep thinking of the Charles Sprawson comment about swimmers' delusions and neuroses (seeMar. 3 post).
Hooray I have a comment. Thanks M Lou, one of my travel buds. We are now thinking of a power boat ride on the 29th to several of the BVI. Cue Miami Vice music.....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Monday March 27

Swam 4100 yds. Must do 4300 yards by end of week. Did some 100's on 1:30 with :15 rest, did some 200's and 400's and an 800, thinking about pace and taking heart rates.

Two months to go! My passport came so I am psyched to travel the globe now. Stephen and I are talking about a trip next year to northern Italy, Prague, maybe Germany- I'm getting like my friend Betty and want to always have a trip to look forward to.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Quicktime clip of underwater scenery, St. John

If you have Quicktime, you can view a swimmer's eye view of walking down to the sea, going underwater and seeing fishes and corals dem:

Click on "Snorkeling off St. John"- very cool.

Sat. Mar. 25

Swam 4000 yd today; this was the first Saturday I'd attempted in a long time; fortunately there was a lane line in and lap swimmers had half the pool- excellent. Did the Evans set plus a warm up and cool down. There were several other lap swimmers, including Sarah. I plan to add a fourth weekly workout when possible from now on.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Wed. March 22

Wed. I swam 3500 yds: 800 wu, 1 X 800, 2X400, 4X200, then 300 cool down. Used fins a lot to get done faster. Sarah is doing 6000 yd workouts now, and it is nice to have a fellow swimmer nearby. She is an amazing girl.

Thurs. I found 2 cute swim suits for my trip at Swim and Tri in Knoxville- One is an "Ugly" by Ocean and is mostly poly, and the other is by Illusions, a co. in CA that is making competition style suits in cute tropical prints for half the price of a Speedo. The woman at the store is apparently the new coach for Prime Time, the masters group at UT that I used to swim with some.

Thurs pm we had dinner with friends Doug and Susan, Jan and Dave; Doug and Susan are planning to move back into the area from Boston. I talked to her about her training for the Boston Marathon last year. They run up to 20 mi. in practice (marathon is 28). In swimming it is 6 mi. as the max needed to practice for a distance race. Glad I'm only doing 3 1/2, but I have to practice the whole 9 yards.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Monday March 20

I did 4000 yds. I did 1000 (some kicking and pulling) warm up, then swam 10 X 100 with :20 rest, held 1:30. Trying a little pace work, also checked heart rate. Then did 2 X 500, 2 X 250, 150, 100, 50. Felt pretty strong. Debra had installed a new clock- a big square wall pace clock! Thought I'd gone to swimming heaven. The angel chorus sang. I overlooked the hot water for that.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Some underwater scenes

See you in May, dudes...

Friday March 17- 3rd straight swim

Did about 200 warm up then swam my 3rd non-stop swim, this one of 3700 yds. or 2.1 mi. Took me 57 minutes; paused to say bye to Sarah and change lanes when she left, did 300 breaststroke to break things up in there. Water was hot. I worried a little about my back which had been hurt Wed., so I tried not to overreach. By 2000 yd I was feeling great again. Did a little stretching before I started. Swam about 200 cool down, for a total of 4100 yd. 6160 is starting to look possible. You go girl.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wed. March 15

Beware the Ides of March for true, me son- wrenched my back as I got out of my car this am and missed my swim for today. It has felt a little better as the day progresses. I rarely have back trouble.
This photo shows St. John's north shore on the left, with the entire route of the Beach to Beach Power Swim visible. I drew a black line showing the start at the farthest point which is Maho Bay, then coming towards us (west) into Cinnamon, then Trunk, then Hawksnest Bays.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday March 13

I am up to 3700 yards per practice now. I'm getting a bit tired! I did about 200 warm up, then I did that Janet Evans ladder again, 1X500, 2X400, 3X300, 4X200, 5X100. Easy to keep track of yardage and gets it done. Took 1 hour 15 min. I rested about .30 to 1:00 between sets. Yes I know Janet did shorter intervals! I'm getting some sensation in my lats, maybe I need to stretch more.

I'd heard that as masters swimmers age up (also runners, bikers, etc) we are able to do endurance type stuff better than sprinting. I'm finding that to be true, whether it is because of slow vs fast twitch muscles or mental toughness. I'm more concerned with finishing than being fast- the old tortoise thing.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Mar. 10

Managed to do 3500 yds today, despite not feeling that great and the chlorine level seemed high. Tried a workout I found on web recommended by Janet Evans: 1X500, 2X400, 3X300, 4X200, 1X500.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Distance swimming heroes

Janet Evans and Grant Hackett- my heroes

Wed. Mar. 8

Did 3600 yds. 500 wu, 500 kick, then a mile non-stop (1750 yd), then assorted 250 back and breaststroke, then 500 free, then 100 kick. The mile is taking 29 min. wish I could get that shorter.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Beach to Beach power swim photos

These are some scenes along the way. The web site for Friends of the VI National Park has this great course map with photos taken all along the route.

swimming in my head

My book about distance swimming by Penny Dean says that 70 to 80 percent of open water swimming is mental. I think each day of training is so mental too. I used to argue more with myself about "should I go to the pool today?" which is better now with this big goal looming, I had better go or else. It helps me to have a sort of disconnect between my head and my body. My head says "I just want to go home and lie down and eat and have a beer." My body says, "come on lets go!" My body is the little kid begging to do stuff and my head is the reluctant but indulgent parent. My head thinks, I want this huge piece of chocolate cake, but body down there don't need it. Head tends to sabotage things for body sometimes. A guest I heard on New Dimensions said to strive for integrating mind, body and spirit. Maybe during a long swim this can happen and all come together.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday March 6

Did about 3600 yds. Found a distance freestyle workout on the USMS discussion list and adapted it; was in groups of 300's and 600's, made the time go quickly. Will have to use more of those. Never really understood lots of pulling tho. My legs need the work. I wonder: does it count to use fins doing distance yardage?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fri. March 3

I don't know how far I swam or even how long I was in the pool. There were 3 of us in 2 lanes and I was on the gutter, so it was choppy and crowded, probably good practice for open water. I kept losing track of laps, couldn't see a clock. Must have done around 3200. Felt really out of touch. Made me think of these lines from Charles Sprawson's Haunts of the Black Masseur: "The swimmer's solitary training, the long hours spent semi-submerged, induce a lonely, meditative state of mind. Much of a swimmer's training takes place inside of his head, immersed as he is in a continuous dream of a world under water. So intense and concentrated are his conditions that he becomes prey to delusions and neuroses beyond the experience of other athletes."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Wed. March 1

I swam 3600 yds.: 500 wu, 250 kick, 250 pull; 500 free; 1000 free and breast; 400, 300, 200, 100; then 100 kick.

Learning to swim

I grew up far from decent pools and never thinking of myself as athletic. I couldn't play basketball, softball, or run. I could ride a bike and liked to walk. But when my mom came home one day and said she had signed me up for swimming lessons, I cried for happiness, although I don't really remember the lessons or becoming much of a swimmer at that point. These lessons were at the Spring Grill Motel outdoor pool where kids did splash and play all summer.

I do remember swimming in a lake with Steve Cornett while our families camped together; I ducked my head underwater and my glasses slipped off. I felt them slip through my fingers as they sank to the bottom. My folks really scolded me for that.

While in high school in Murfreesboro I went to a backyard pool party where I raced 2 boys down and back and beat them; one said "how did you do that?"

Then we moved to the VI, swimming paradise. Learned to snorkel, did some splashing and playing. Sometimes after school if I'd come by ferry into Caneel Bay where my mom worked in reservations, I'd swim there waiting for her to get off work. Her friend Rory was usually there and she taught me the basics of crawl and breaststroke.

Then when I got to Maryville College I passed the freshman swimming test and took water safety instructor, becoming a lifeguard at the college pool. However I don't think I swam much more than enough to pass the course and the lifeguard certification.

After graduation I worked at UT in Knoxville and joined the aquatic center where I swam occasionally but never really got into a regular routine of it. Worked on a masters in library science and became assistant librarian at Tennessee Wesleyan College, promptly joined the Y in Athens around age 30. I got a book at the public library to learn strokes better. Eventually started a masters swim group here, but our small numbers made it hard to maintain. I did attend a couple of meets in Knoxville as did Jim Johnson from here. I spent several summers swimming with the Knoxville masters group "Prime Time" coached by Jenna Johnson, 1986 Olympian.