Monday, June 13, 2011

Tradewinds article

The article in Tradewinds has a photo of the intermediate group starting:

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Photos from the race

The Friends of the VI National Park has placed lots of photos of the race on its Facebook page.  Caught a glimpse of my green suit in #28.

Other photos from race day although no moi:

Back at the Y

Swimming addict that I am I just had to get back in the water, lousy hot chlorinated pool or no.  Once the summer swim league kids cleared out I had a lane to myself and accomplished a good swim with swimp3 player on once again.  Got to keep this up.  I have to start pestering them to "cool the pool", or someone may wind up floating.  And it won't be me.

Friday, June 03, 2011

I've been looking over the race results; my time in the intermediate course (2 1/4 mi) was 1:05:34 and my pace was 29:08 per mile- I'm very happy with that! I'd figured it would take me 5 min. longer.  As it turns out, there were 9 women in my age group, and one was in the top three overall, so that put me first among the other 8 in the age group.  I see now that I was 5th out of 20 women and 7th out of 34 men and women combined!  Woo hoo.

We had a celebrity in the long course race, Jamie Patrick from California, an ultra distance swimmer who gave a workshop the day before the race and also spoke at the pre race meeting the night before.  He does some crazy long swims. I love how distance swimmers are not too too thin- they have to have a little flotation on to keep from sinking.

Another little celebrity was a teen from Trinidad who is participating in all 4 of the West Indies Bluewater Swim Series in St John, Trinidad, Nevis, and the Turks & Caicos.  She was staying at Maho with her family.  Good luck in your swims Chelsea.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

2011 Beach to Beach Power Swim

Should have been a runner so I could wear makeup at 7:30 am. I think that is Jamie Patrick standing behind me- he does ultra marathon swimming and gave a talk at the pre-race meeting.
Trunk Bay- the end of the intermediate course.
Trunk Cay
Cool race T painted by island artist Les Anderson.  
Mom and Merry
Race results

Lille Maho Bay

The Race!

I flew in last night from the Caribbean with a little tan and some sand on my feet... and a swimmer's high that has lasted for several days.  Sunday's race went well, lots in attendance, and I even managed to win a prize.  Race results don't really reflect the beauty of the day but here's a link.

Mom and I were camped at Maho Bay and I was a bit nervous about getting next door to Greater Maho beach, but she managed the Goat Trail with minimal complaints and from there she got rides with the shuttle in service.  We found Merry and chatted with her.  My stomach felt a little upset after my cereal and so I did not want anything else (my power bar I'd brought).  The long course group started off and I had 2 minutes to wait and fiddle with my goggles, then it was warm-up/splash time.  It was a little hectic at the start, and I tickled  someone's toes in front of me.  A diver with camera was under us shooting up at us as we went round the first buoy.  I felt tired and sluggish and began to wonder how I would get to the other end of Maho beach, much less all the way to Trunk Bay... but I remembered how in practice I'd start off slowly, then get my old bones into the groove later.  Sure enough, that is how it happened.

I swam over beautiful orange starfish as we went along Maho beach.  I found that, as before, I fell in with other nearby swimmers with similar pace to mine, including a guy in black shorts and then curly long haired guy.  There did not seem to be a buoy on this leg out of Maho so I had to look for the kayak guardians and hope for the best.  I remember having to cough some; maybe it was that very salty water.  We swam around the point into Cinnamon and it seemed a long haul but I was getting some energy and feeling better by then.  They direct you way out around the points to keep clear of rocks.  I did some breaststroke along the way frequently to be able to see better.

Heading out of Cinnamon Bay the water had some swells and it seemed dark and deep, harder to see the bottom.  I saw those same two guys then was on my own a while, then swam some with a girl that turned out to be Jude whom I'd met 5 years ago.  Sometimes I felt like I wasn't moving much, but just kept powering my arms and concentrating on technique if I felt tired. I sighted on the notch in those cays that they tell you to look for.  Finally I rounded into Trunk and a kayaker was there pointing the way, thank goodness, for it was a little confusing.  Found out later he was Rafe Boulon who now works for the NPS and I'd known of his family back when we lived here.

I swam toward Trunk Bay beach with the cay on my right.  The current was running out strong like before and I was conscious of not wanting to get too close to the rocks.  As I breathed to the right I pretended I saw Daddy over there snorkeling and then sitting on Trunk Cay waving me on.  That gave me a lift!  I smiled and tried to keep swimming strong into the beach, glad that I was stopping here and not going on to Hawksnest in the long course....

Had to get really close to the water's edge before I could stand up, then slowly trotted through the finishing line.  The volunteers are great, they clap and hand each of us a water bottle and a medal.   Then I saw Mom who was of course relieved that I had not drowned or been eaten by a shark.  Had to wait until the ceremony at Oppenheimer Beach to find out that I'd gotten a prize, first in my age group!  Big surprise.  Just glad to have finished without dying after only training for 3 months....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Taper time

Had a pretty crummy swim Saturday due to the pool being too hot again.  Can getting mad while swimming raise the blood pressure and get you even more dehydrated?  I think of Fran Crippen who died during a competition in Greece probably due to hot water temps.  Good thing this race is almost here.  This week I just need to do some short swims perhaps some "sprints" - well, a little faster laps in my case.  I will go today and then I may just wait until Friday to swim again when I get down to Maho Bay.

I joked that I don't act much like an athlete preparing for a competition... but for me swimming is more of a spiritual experience than an athletic one.  I do have to be in good aerobic shape and have good technique, but beyond that it is more for that swimmer's high.  I want to enjoy the water, be around other swimmers, see the gorgeous scenery above and below the surface, and feel that feeling of flying that I get sometimes.  I hope to get in lots of time in the water in the VI.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yesterday I found once again that I still can start off a bit sluggish but should not despair because I get warmed up and get going, and can have an amazing swim.  I thought it would be a chore to do even 2000 yards but then I didn't want to get out of the pool.  I wanted to swim all night.  My wings kicked in and I felt like flying.
The lifeguard commented as I left on my swimming and asked if I'd been a college swimmer-  made my day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday's swim

Monday I took it sort of easy and did 500 warm up then 3 X 500 plus another about 500 and kicking.  Love to do that underwater porpoising with fins.  Guess I'll never grow up.  I tried timing a 100 free versus a 100 breast; free still much faster of course at about 1:30; closer to 2:00 for the breaststroke.  
It is looking rainy in the VI now; hope we have sunny weather while we are there.  Am getting my carry-on ready with lots of large bottles of explosive flammable liquids.  Ha ha.  I wonder what they think I might try to carry in my Bullfrog sunscreen bottle which exceeds the 3.4 oz. limit....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

OMG the West Indies Swim Series....

Must win lottery... must win lottery....
Nevis, Trinidad, Turks and Caicos, and St John.  I could get used to that lifestyle.

Found a good blog on open water swimming:

Two weeks to go

I had a good long swim yesterday:  short warm up; then 3 X 1000 yards plus some, so should be just over 2 miles total.  Felt pretty strong, not fast but steady.  Arms began to tire.   Probably not kicking enough.  Sometimes I "drive" with my arms and other times I find I'm driving with my legs- hard to explain, just a mental trick mostly.
I now have 2 weeks until race day.  This week I'll continue with Monday and Wednesday normal swims of long sets like 5 X 500 or some such.  Then next Saturday I'll need to do some more 1000's I guess, then some shortish workouts Monday and Wednesday the 23rd and 24th, fly on the 26th.  Ahhh- the taper, what makes it all worthwhile--  short swims and lots of food.  MMM.
I have trimmed up a bit, sure needed to, and happy to see my muffin top shrinking a little.  I need to keep this up for my physical and mental well being.  Fun to be able to eat plenty and know I'll burn it off.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Trunk Bay, Jan. 2008

Lobster red- ugh.  The Virgin Divers shirt is about 30 years old.... I wore it proudly!  The intermediate race ends at Trunk.

Hawksnest Bay, St. John

Finally starting to feel like a swimmer again.  The degree or 2 cooler temp in the pool helped a lot yesterday.  I did a ladder of 800+700+600+500 with some warm up and cool down.  Felt pretty strong!  Two weeks from today we'll fly down there.  Hoping to meet up with some high school friends!

My SwimP3

The perfect toy for someone who love swimming and music is my little SwimP3 made by Finis.  I'm on my second one now and can't do these longer yardage days without it.  Certain songs work well for swimming and others don't.  I used to collect just songs that had to do with water, swimming, the sea or lake or river.  But now any feel good song is a candidate.  I especially like 3/4 time cuz it sort of matches my stroke.  A favorite is Walk on the Ocean.  Other stuff I have on  there now is Decemberists (several from the last 2 albums), REM, Counting Crows, Richard Thompson and F.C., U2, Sheryl Crow, When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin, Donovan's Atlantis a perennial favorite for swimming, plus several of my friend Allan Watson's songs such as Affirmation Waystation, Dream Slow, All Things Mechanical.  Will add some new ones he sent soon.
I had issues with the thing not playing but it has done better lately, since now I charge it more often and use the reset button to make sure it is off.  Would I wear it in the race?  Nah- might be too tempted to stop and fiddle with settings, and I'll be entertained enough with the goings on and scenery.  Plus I might need to hear the guys in the kayaks yelling at me to look out for the shark.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Just 3 weeks from yesterday... and hot pool temps

Saturday I did a good hour swim without many little stops, just to adjust my music player or take a sip of water. I lost count of yardage, but I was doing 500's (400 free + 100 breast) and did at least 5 of those, so I hope I got in about 3000 yards.  I have less than 3 weeks left.

The water is still so hot; I spoke to the YMCA aquatics manager about it Friday and hope they will adjust it down a few degrees soon.  JEEZ it is like swimming through a vat of pea soup.  Pee soup more like it probably... can't go there. How must runners feel on a 95 degree day with high humidity?  It is almost impossible to train for any sort of distance race at this Y.  I know swimmers are a rare breed, but are there no triathletes in Athens?  Apparently I'm the only one to complain.

The Caribbean and Atlantic waters around St. John will be cooler... can't wait.  They'll be warmer than they were in January but as I recall late May was very comfortable.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Aquatic Ape

I just learned of the "aquatic ape theory" by which our ancestors may have progressed through a seaside watery stage in which they adapted to living in and near the water instead of roaming the desert savannas as the standard story goes.  This theory could explain our becoming hairless and acquiring a subcutaneous fat layer, just 2 of the traits we share with aquatic mammals such as dolphins.  Well, the theory is scoffed upon in the scientific community, although a few such as Desmond Morris are supporters

As a swimmer,  I rather like the idea and choose to entertain thoughts of myself related more closely to the dolphin.  Hey, life's a fantasy, anyway.  Dream it and be it.  Maybe I'm the missing link- I feel more comfortable in the water than on the land and think we should all be swimmers for our physical, mental and spiritual health.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Training Lite

My training is nothing like five years ago- I was a swimming machine then.  This time it's more like, well I'll do a few yards and get out... but seriously, I'm doing ok considering I just returned to the pool in early March.  Last week was a down week, but this week I seem to have energy again.  Felt some strains in one leg and in my arm. But my goal this time is not to win the race but to take my time and enjoy the scenery along the way.  I want to be able to admire the hawksbill turtles and parrotfish and barracudas instead of flying past them.  I can do some breaststroke instead of freestyle part of the time and be able to look at the beaches and hillsides and pelicans and boobies and frigatebirds.  How often does one have kayak support nearby to wait on me hand and foot if I need them.  But then there's my competitive side that kicks in.... I always want to race the other swimmers in the pool and pass them to put them in their place especially if they get in my lane.  What a bitch swimmer.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Training for St. John again

I'm actually doing it!  I'll do the swim again May 29.  Mom and I are going to St. John to take my dad's ashes since it was his favorite national park he worked in.  I can't believe this blog is still here- thanks, Blogger.

I started swimming again in early March after not doing much all winter, in fact, I've been a slacker for a couple of years compared to what I used to do.  Hard to get to the pool in the winter anyway.  But in March, it was either start swimming again or start taking Prozac.  My girlfriends, when I told them Mom and I were going to St. John, said, "are you doing the swim again?"  To which I replied- NOO!  But it got under my skin and I returned to the pool that afternoon.  And within the throes of my swimmer's high with endorphins raging, I decided, yeah!  I'll do it.  And a few days later I thought "I must be crazy!" I could only do 100 yards and had to stop and pant.   Actually I'm crazy if I don't swim, so this is therapy for me.

So- I've increased yardage and sets over the weeks.  I'm up to doing 500 repeats now and it is going ok... doing about 2000 to 2500 yd each workout, 3 days per week usually.  With this short amount of preparation time I'm opting for the intermediate version of the Beach to Beach Power Swim, just 2 1/4 miles as opposed to the 3.5 mi. long course.  I keep worrying that my competitive side will regret this choice; but to be practical I need to stick to the shorter course.

Mom and I are staying at Maho Bay Camps, will visit with our friend Merry again, and see our former home and haunts.  Our friend Ellen and her husband have raised money for a bench to be placed at L'esperance, our house site, which is now an astronomy viewing platform.  The bench honors my dad, Don Adams, who was park ranger there from 1972 - 1978.