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.