Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah!

I feel very lucky to swim at MIT Masters with wonderful people. We have fun, we work hard, and get to swim in the best pool in town with coach Bill. So l'chaim to my teammates celebrating Hannukah and Feliz Navidad to those who celebrate Christmas! Today's pool temp a bit up from Monday but still cool. Hopefully in ten days it will be up to a balmy 79 degrees.

800 warmup (600 in warm pool, 200 in cold pool)
200 free on :20r
200 stroke on :20r
200 kick on :20r
2 x 100 free on :15r
2 x 50 back :10r
2 x 100 free :15r
2 x 50 breast on :15r
12 x 150 going:
1-4 on 2:50
5-8 on 2:40
9-12 on 2:30

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wetsuits Optional

It started before practice, with a sign on the door of the locker room. "WARNING" the sign said, "POOL TEMPERATURE IS 75 DEGREES. IT COULD TAKE A COUPLE OF DAYS TO WARM UP". It's ironic how this coincides with the coldest night of the year. Undaunted, we all plunged into the crisp, clear cold water. It was almost like swimming outside except we weren't outside, we were inside, where the water is supposed to be warm. Some of us (me) even went to the warm pool first. But a funny thing happened. We never really warmed up. Usually after a 500 even the 79 degree pool feels good. Several people got out and nobody really seemed to enjoy it. So please - next time you swim, bring a cup of hot, steaming water and pour it in the pool. That should do it. Coach Bill wasn't there today so we made up our own workout. Hope all is ok, CB!

500-700 "warmup"
10 x 50 drill/swim by 25 on :60
10 x 200 going:
1-2 free on 3:30
3-4 IM on 4:00
5-6 pull on 3:15
7-10 odds free on 3:30, evens IM on 4:00
"cool down": 4 x 50 stroke

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rehashing a Favorite

So the good thing about swimming on your own is that you get to pick the workout, which I gladly did this morning when a bunch of us went to Alumni pool because the Z center was closed. When I said that I wanted to do one of my favorites, BB already knew what was coming. E probably did too. And everyone else knows I love 200s and I love variety, so this workout was a combination of everything. Today's workout was a little like those Russian Matryoshka dolls, you keep opening it up and you get something you love, but just smaller (or shorter, in this case). But never fear, if you didn't like this I have other favorites that I am happy to share! Special shout out to E and Grace who were there with me at 6am sharp!

400 warmup
5 x 200 (you were right, BB!)on :20r
200 drill/swim by 50
200 swim
200 pull
200 IM or stroke
200 choice
Main set: 4 x 500 broken
500 swim on 7:30
2 x 250 pull on 3:45
5 x 100 free odds free on 1:30, evens IM on 1:45
50 easy
10 x 50 odds sprint on :45, evens easy on :60
2 x 75 on :60
2 x 75 on 1:05
2 x 75 on 1:10

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa's watching?

I really thought that the only person who saw me cut out part of the kick set today was Ian. And when I chose to pull one of the 200s to break it up a bit, again, I only thought Ian noticed. But as we finished the set, all I heard was "Santa is watching". Of course this harkened me back to my earliest memory of my mom picking up the phone to call Santa when we were misbehaving (no, she was not on the phone with Santa ALL the time). And to this day, I still think the big guy was on the other line, because instead of getting the pretty pink ballet tutu like my sister did, I got the black one, and then my family filmed me dancing gracefully into the Christmas tree. True story. Black swan had a totally different meaning back in 1970. Anyway, I'll try to atone for my kick set, SC. Plus, I think he was a little busy with the 800 age group swimmers who descended on deck at 7:15am.

400 on own
6 x 50 drill/swim on :60
6 x 75 - 2 on 1:30, 2 on 1:10, 2 on :60
4 x 75 kick (or in my case, 3 x 75 and one by 50)
Eight times thru:
200 on 2:55
25 on :45
6 x 50 going underwater 25, swim 25

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wha happen?

There are some things in life that are to be expected. For instance, when you go to the tropics, you expect sun and surf, when you eat ice cream every day, you expect to gain weight, and when you go to Whole Foods, you expect fresh vegetables and impatient people. Most importantly, when you swim at MIT masters on Wednesdays, you expect distance. So you can only imagine our surprise when we got to the pool and the workout was short/sprint/stroke. Due to the swim meet (is anyone actually swimming in the meet besides E?) coach Bill mixed it up for us this week. Surprise! I usually love surprises, but in this case it was just tolerable. But sprints are good for us, so is stroke, so here we go:
400 warmup
twice thru:
4 x 25 drill :30
2 x 50 sroke :60
2 x 50 free :60
100 on 1:35
4 x 75 on 1:20
12 x 100 going:
1-3 and 7-9 fly/back, back/breast, breast free on 1:55
4-6 and 10-12 free on 1:35
2 x 25 sprint fly on :25
1 easy on :40
2 x 25 sprint back on :25
1 easy on :40
2 x 25 sprint breast on :25
1 easy on :40
2 x 25 sprint free on :25
1 easy on :40
3 x 25 sprint fly on :30
1 easy on :40
3 x 25 sprint back on :30
1 easy on :40
3 x 25 sprint breast on :30
1 easy on :40
3 x 25 sprint free on :30
1 easy on :40

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Colder than Walden in May

The pool has been pretty cold lately, but today it seemed a bit colder than normal. Sure, there were the usual screams of "zoinks!" and "wowza!" coming from the swimmers as they jumped in, but there was a bit more of an edge today. But how, you ask, did I know it was colder than Walden in May? Because R, after finishing one 50, came to the wall and (reflecting the general sentiment of all swimmers) said "holy (bleep)(bleep)! This (bleep) is so (bleep)(bleep)!" Now I have swam with R at Walden in May, but I have never heard any of that come out of her mouth so I know it's cold. Henry David Thoreau might have awakened from his resting spot if so. But it's funny, once you warm up, the sentiment for all swimmers changes to "what a delightful workout in this refreshing pool!"

350 warmup
12 x 50 odds free :50, evens stroke :50
5 x 200 going:
odd free hypoxic 5,7,3,5 on 3:00
events stroke/stroke on 3:40
50 easy
Four times thru:
50 fast on :40
75 cruise on 1:2
50 stroke fast on :45
75 cruise on 1:35
2 x 100 on 1:20
2 x 100 on 1:30
2 x 100 on 1:40

Great bleeping job, everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Day Without Precious?

This is a story about addiction, and I warn you it isn't pretty. This morning, somewhere near Harvard Square on my way into swimming, I realized that I forgot my phone. This is the same phone that someone who will remain nameless nicknamed "precious". Upon first hearing this nickname I was offended, especially after this unnamed person said I "got the shakes" and "freaked out" when I couldn't find my phone. But maybe he is right, because upon realizing I was without precious, I began to think "what if my car breaks down? Where is my first meeting of the day? What if my sister wants to play Words? What if BB texts me after practice?" Clearly not trivial matters. Then I met for coffee with two colleagues from MIT who, upon learning of my phone fate, said they could not IMAGINE going through their day without their phone. So what did I do? I went home before going to work to retrieve precious, and sure enough, there was a message on my phone that it was my move in Words. Phew. I'd hate to make her wait.

300 warmup
12 x 50 IM order on :60
6 x 75 on 1:15 descend 1-3, 4-6
2 x 50 elbow pop on 1:05
6 x 75 on 1:10 descend 1-3, 4-6
2 x 50 extend on 1:05
6 x 100 on 1:40 going odds 50 cruise/50 fast; event 50 fast/50 cruise
6 x 100 IM on 1:55 going odds 50 cruise/50 fast; event 50 fast/50 cruise
50 easy

Small but hearty group there today. Oh, feel free to text or call me if you'd like, little P is right here with me. Sorry BLGIK!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nobody wants to be Jan

Six people in the lane today, a bit of a brady bunch split with three boys and three gals. Not sure about what role each of the ladies fulfills, but I am going to go out on a limb and say Dr. Bob is Greg, Joel is Peter, and Joe is Bobby. None of the gals want to be Jan, so for today we're all Marcia or Mrs. Brady. Props go out to Bill for some excellent workouts lately, today was a great example:

200 on own
Four times thru:
7 drill/swim/drill on :20r
50 fly (then IM order) on :15r
25 free build :10r
6 x 50 from middle pool working turns on :60
400 swim on 6:00 third 100 fast
2 x 200 on 3:05, third 50 fast
400 IM
4 x 100 on 1:35 set goal pace and keep it
8 x 50 IM order on :60

And there is another E in town - what to do? There will always be only one E, so new Elaine will be E2 henceforth and forevermore. Welcome E2.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Back in Operation

After three weeks of being defunct, the suit spinner in the ladies locker room is working again! You don't really appreciate the suit spinner until it breaks, but boy do you miss it. I've had to go old school, wringing out my suit and hanging it from my locker like in high school. Others who aren't as fortunate have dealt with putting on damp suits and pools of water in their bags. Ok, so I admit this is a first world problem, and in the grand scheme of things it feels kind of silly to even express happiness that the spinner is back. But I am happy about it, and am not afraid to admit it.

250 on own
3 x(3 x75) on :20r
2 drill, 25 swim, 25 drill
50 stroke, 25 free
50 free, 25 stroke
4 x 250 on 3:45 - sprint the third 50 of each
Three times thru:
100 free (75% effort) on 1:30
75 free (85%) on 1:10
50 free (90%) on :50
25 free (100%) on :40
100 going 50 stroke/50 free (75%) on 1:40
75 going 25 stroke, 25 free, 2 stroke (85%) on 1:20
50 going 2 stroke, 25 free (90%) on :60
25 stroke (100%) on :45
50 easy


Monday, September 26, 2011

A Swim Buffet

I used to love buffets. So much variety! Eggs, fruit, bacon, pancakes AND french toast! It's too good to be true! As I got older I realized it was too good to be true, that these places were making a ton of money off of me because I just can't down that much food anymore and you fill up too quickly. Today's workout was like a buffet. If you started off going too hard on the first set, then your eyes were bigger than your stomach, so to speak, and you wouldn't have enough in the tank (or room in the tummy) for the last set. Paced correctly, it was fun. And it has something for everyone - sprint, stroke, mid-distance.

300 swim (75 stroke, 75 swim, repeat)
200 drill/swim by 50
100 drill/swim by 25
6 x 50 count strokes :50
4 x 50 stroke :60
100 fly
4 x 75 on 1:05
4 x 75 going 1:20, 1:15, 1:10, 1:05
4 x 75 on :60
2 x 75 on 1:25
2 x 75 on :55 (ouch)
50 easy
100 fly
5 x 200 on 3:00
100 fly

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I picked the wrong day to stop drinking coffee

As I was leaving the pool today Joel asked "did you feel spunky today Katie?" and I really didn't have a good answer. I was more worried about what would happen when I got a half-caff coffee instead of my full strength caffeine fix after swimming. You see, I am trying to give up caffeine, just for awhile, and it all started by me NOT having coffee before I swam, leading me to feel out-of-sorts and sluggish during the warmup and first set. Then I got to work and found out that my hard drive crashed. Cause and effect? I think so, but I am not one to give up easily. Except for that time when I crashed on my mountain bike and sold it the next day, or wiped out on my rollerblades and immediately gave them to a friend, or took off my skis and walked down the mountain rather than do moguls my first time out. But caffeine, I can do. Really.

600 warm up
4 x 75 50 free, 25 drill choice
4 x 75 50 stroke, 25 drill choice
50 fly on :60
50 free on :50
4 x 50 stroke on :60
6 x 50 free on :45
4 x 50 stroke on :60
50 free on :50
50 fly on :60
200 on 2:45, 25 easy on :40
200 on 2:45, 25 easy on :40
200 on 2:45, 25 easy on :40
30 seconds rest between sets then:
200 on 2:40, 25 easy on :40
200 on 2:40, 25 easy on :40
200 on 2:40, 25 easy on :40
9 x 50 going:
1-3 on :50
4-6 on :60
7-9 on 1:05

Monday, August 22, 2011

Piece of Cake

How many 45-year olds celebrate their birthday by getting up at the crack of dawn and swimming 4500 yards? This one did, with the help of her loyal friends E and BB. This has become a bit of a tradition in the lane, last year we celebrated SB's 50th by doing 50 x 100 meters. The best birthday present of all was having BB and E come early to do a long warmup, then stay until we all did the distance. And the icing on the cake was BB, with his broken toe, finishing it off with a 50 fly. For the record, even in my advanced age I still bring the average age of the lane down. :) Missed all the other regulars, though. Where is everyone?


1200 warmup on own
All on :15r:
25 fingertip drag
50 8 kick gallop
75 count strokes
100 IM or stroke
25 8 kick gallop
50 count strokes
75 1 arm/1arm, front quad
2 x 100 IM or stroke
25 fingertip drag
50 8 kick gallop
75 count strokes
100 IM or stroke
Fins on:
3 x 50 fly kick :60
3 x 50 back kick :60
3 x 50 free kick :60
3 x 50 fly swim :60
Twice thru:
150 fast on 2:00
2 x 50 choice on 1:05
100 fast on 1:20
50 choice on 1:05
100 fast stroke on 1:35
50 choice on 1:05
50 fast free on :45
50 choice 1:05
50 fast stroke :50
50 choice on 1:05
4 x 25 fast on :25
50 easy
100 cool down

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Au Revoir, long course

It was a great final day for long course this summer, but it's hard to see it go. No more 10 second intervals (those went out the window today anyway!), no more uncrowded lanes, no more feeling like open water. It's back to flip turns (ugh) and shorter distances. Long course, we hardly knew ye. Great workout, coach Bill. I'll add to my favorites

Three times thru:
100 swim 25 drill/25 swim on :20r
100 stroke 25 drill/25 swim on :20r
18 x 50 going:
6 count strokes on :60
6 IM no free on 1:10
6 kick on 1:20
Three times thru:
300 fast on 4:40
300 pace on 5:20

3300 total

Really fun workout. Thanks to Bill G for the draft today for the first two fast 300s.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thanks for the Draught

Today was extra sparse in lane 3, so thankfully Hubbard and Joel came over to swim with me and Dr. Bob. And after today, I now truly appreciate drafting, and want to get me some more of that! Hubbard led the 10 x 200 set and held a nice pace the whole time. It was really fun.

50 back on :15r
50 free on :15r
50 back on :15r
50 free on :15r
200 front quad on :20r
100 think entry :20r
100 think catch :20r
100 think pull :20r
100 think power :20r
10 x 200 going:
1-4 on 3:10
5-8 on 3:20
9-10 on 3:30
6 x 50 sprint on 1:20

Monday, August 15, 2011

We Love You, Pete

I write this entry with a heavy heart, because Peter Cadwell, a dear friend to many of us, died suddenly and unexpectedly last week. He was 40 years old. Those who knew Pete would describe a man with a heart of gold, a sense of humor who could make the most stoic person smile, and a person who loved life and his family beyond words. He leaves his amazing wife MB and his two twin 3 year-old boys, Hayden and Ethan. We had lots of nicknames for Pete but one was Fast Pete - he was FAST. He was a true sprinter, and swam age group and high school in Nashua, NH before swimming NCAA at the University of South Carolina. We had a lot of fun watching Pete in a 200 (he thought that was distance)- he would blow out the competition in the first 100 and then cling to victory during the last 100.

Our friend is gone and we are all very sad. Pete did a lot of living in his short life, and we are thankful to have been a part of it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Cannot Be Serious

I'm going to start a new occasional series on the blog which highlights things that really annoy me. Today's topic involves a running shower. Yes, for the last two weeks I have arrived at the locker room to find one of the showers running. Not dripping like what annoyed Bert and Ernie in Sesame Street, but running hot water. You cannot be serious! Would you do this at home? I doubt it. I know it's a 6am rec swimmer, because none of the master's swimmers take the required State of Massachusetts Health Department shower before jumping in the pool (sorry!). It's irked me so much that I may actually arrive early and stalk the person who is doing this, make them explain to the people of Texas who have no water why she is leaving the shower running. The next topic in this series: running the suit spinner until the motor nearly burns out.

400 warmup on own
4 x (3 x 50)
1-3 count strokes on 1:05
4-6 descend on :60
7-9 drill/swim on 1:05
10-12 descend on :60
500 pull hypoxic 9,3,7,5 on 8:00
2 x 50 on 1:15
500 fast on 7:30
2 x 50 on 1:15
5 x 100 on 1:45
2 x 50 on 1:15
500 fast on 7:15 (right!!!!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Writer's Block

I have writer's block. Which wouldn't be so bad if my writer's block only impacted the lane three blog. But unfortunately it has affected my academic work too. My research proposal was due at the end of June, and I missed the deadline. My new deadline is the end of August, so I hope that writing it here, in public, I will hold myself accountable. I wish there was some magic shot I could take to jolt me back into writing mode. Caffeine does not do it, so maybe public shame will. The good news is that I have a lot of time to think about how much I slack off on my writing during swim practice, and today's workout gave us ample time to think.

300 on own
4 x 50 on 1:05
100 IM/Stroke on 2:00
4 x 50 drill/swim on :60
100 IM/stroke on 2:00
4 x 50 kick on 1:20
8 x 100 keep pace on 1:55
2 x 50 easy
8 x 100 on 1:50 (we pulled odds)
2 x 50 easy
8 x 100 on 1:45 going:
descend 1-4, 5-8 (I only had time for 6: descend 1-3, 4-6)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not-so-shameless Plug

This weekend is the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 190 mile bike ride from Sturbridge, MA to Provincetown which benefits the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This organization is near and dear to my heart, and many MIT masters peeps are involved: I work at the Sturbridge site and have been a rider, Bill is at the Provincetown site, and Jimmy (morning lifeguard) is a rider. Many more of us have ridden in the past. This is not your usual athletic fundraising event - this is the gold standard by which other events are compared. 100% of every dollar you contribute goes directly to to Dana Farber. 100%. That is unheard of in the fundraising business. The goal this year is to raise 34 million dollars for cancer research. So if someone you know has asked you to support them in the PMC, I urge you to give what you can. WCVB (Channel 5 in Boston) will be covering the opening ceremonies live at 7pm, and this year Lance Armstrong will be riding the PMC and participating in the opening ceremony.

Just me and Sarah today - thank goodness she was there or I would NOT have finished the workout!

600 on own
200 going 75 free, 50 stroke, 75 free on :25r
150 (25 drill/25 swim) on :20r
150 (25 drill/25 stroke)
3 x 100 descend on 1:50
400 pull hypoxic 9,3,7,9
4 x 50 stroke on :60
100 free on 1:50
200 IM on 3:40
4 x 50 free on :50
100 stroke on 2:10
200 free on 3:20
2 x 50 easy
4 x 50 stroke on :60
100 free on 1:50
200 IM on 3:40

Monday, August 1, 2011

Growing old together

The kids weren't here today, so it was old school, literally, in the lane. With the exception of Sarah, all of us are in our 40s and three are in their 50s (they all have a "B" in their initials, btw). I've been swimming with some of these people for almost 15 years! It got me to thinking what we would all be like if we were all still together in a retirement community, sitting by the pool. C and I would still be arguing about that workout back in 2006 and KBB would still be shaking his head in disgust. BB would be playing scrabble and shuffleboard in a very loud speedo with an umbrella drink. E would be sunning herself with no more than 15spf while SB would be clinging to one of those swim noodles, his bouy long gone and still complaining about his injured calf. Coach Bill would stroll in 10-15 minutes late to happy hour. Dr. Bob would be the most popular guy at the pool because he still had prescription privileges. Oh, and Sarah would have to visit because she's too young to live there.

400 warmup on own
Three times thru:
2 x 50 front quad on :15r
100 drill/build by 25 on :20r
4 x 100 on 1:40
50 on 1:20
100 on 1:25
50 on 1:20
5 x 100 on 1:45
50 on 1:20
100 on 1:25
50 on 1:20
6 x 100 on 1:50
50 on 1:20
100 on 1:25
50 on 1:20

To break this up, we pulled some of the ones in the final sets. I made the first two 1:25 touch and go, and missed the last one at 1:27.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Too Hot in the Hot Tub


The water temperature in our beloved pool has been pretty darn high over the past 2 weeks, and today was no exception. On Wednesday, SB and I swam a 50 and looked at each other and both thought: we should be drinking a margarita and leisurely looking out into the ocean with the water this warm. But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, so we persist. The heat does a number on my memory, though, so I will rely on KBB to correct the workout.

300 on own
3 x (4 x 50)on :15
50 side kick
50 front quad
50 drill/drill
50 build
400 kick
400 descend by 100
6 x 50 going 25 sprint/25 easy
1-2 on :60
3-4 on 1:10
5-6 on 1:20
8 x 100 descend by pairs going:
1-2 50 stroke/50 free on 2:05
3-4 free on 1:40
5-6 50 stroke/50 free on 2:00
7-8 free on 1:30
6 x 50 sprint going:
1-2 on 1:20
3-4 on 1:30
5-6 on 1:40

Our friend from Stanford masters said there was "attitude" in our lane, or strong personalities, or something of the like. We keep it real here at MIT, keeps us coming back.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rules of the Road

I imagine coming to Massachusetts can make people crazy, especially if you are an international visitor. Like figuring out how to navigate a rotary here (yes, it's different), or that a yellow light means floor it, or that a left turn on green in front of oncoming traffic just means you are a more astute driver than the guy going straight. But I have a hard time imagining that the rules of the pool are SO different around the world. But apparently, they are. Today we had a guest from Brazil who was very nice, but then did things that we consider exceptionally rude, like push off in front of us as we are trying to make an interval, leaving 1 second behind on the sendoff, or not doing the workout. And after all of that, we were still very nice. Just trying to do our part for international relations. Just make sure he's in another lane tomorrow, coach Bill.

400 on own
6 x 50 count strokes :15 r (1-3 free, 4-6 stroke)
4 x 100 drill/swim by 24 on :20r
200 front quad
50 easy on 1:20
50 fly on 1:15
3 x 100 on 1:30
50 easy on 1:20
50 fly on 1:15
4 x 100 on 1:40
50 easy on 1:20
50 fly on 1:15
5 x 100 on 1:45
50 easy on 1:20
50 fly on 1:15
6 x 100 on 1:30

To make the last interval we pulled and it was essentially a straight swim.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Check that off the bucket list

Rarely do you get a chance to go back in time for a do-over. But recently, I've had this feeling that I am experiencing something that I wanted to do but never did. What is that? Swimming in college. Yep, I did not have the chance to swim in college because I was far too studious and spent nearly all my time in the library, except for that time I flew to the moon on the space shuttle. Anyway, when you swim with college swimmers, as we are doing now, you have a choice: feel old compared to them or feel really awesome that you can actually swim with them. Some days it's the former, today was the latter. And I think they are often surprised that we are still hanging in at the end of the workout.

200 on own
4 x 150 pull hypoxic 7,3,5 on :20r
12 x 50 on :20r going:
2 x 50 drill/swim
4 x 50 7 breaths max
4 x 50 reverse IM order
2 x 50 drill/swim
10 x 100 fast going:
2 on 1:45
3 on 1:40
3 on 1:35
2 on 1:50 FAST
4 x 50 sprint on 1:30
4 x 50 on :45

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Beauty of the Warmup

Back when I was young, warming up seemed silly. I used to think it was a waste of time and just stood in the way of my workout. Now, I can't even think of starting the workout without a solid warmup. The recent age gap in our lane (we are talking a 20-plus year difference) has exposed the stark differences between the young and the not-young (that sounds better than old) with regard to the pace of our warmup. Think: speed racer versus Sunday stroll. I think it is a bad sign when I am gasping for air during the warmup set, which happened today. Thankfully we settled into a decent distance set afterwards.

300 on own
14 x 50 going:
1-2 swim on :60
3 faster on :55
4-5 stroke on 1:05
6-7 faster on :50
8-9 stroke on 1:05
10-12 faster on :45
13-14 stroke
800 going:
400 pace
200 pick it up
200 faster
4 x 100
50 fly/50 back on 2:00
50 back/50 br on 2:10
50 br/50 free on 2:00
50 fly/50 choice
800 free going:
200 swim descend each 50 :20r
200 pull :20r
200 even pace swim :20r
200 pull hypoxic (11,3,9,5):20r
400 negative split

Monday, July 11, 2011


The challenge today, my friends, is to see how good my memory is. As I write this it's 4:30 and I have not had a free moment to post the workout from today. But I have a temporary lull and will try it now. I trust my lanemates will correct me if I get this wrong.

500 on own (that is what getting in at 6:18 can do for you!)
200 pull :20r
2 x 100 swim :20r
2 x 50 br on :20r
2 x 50 brick on :20r
5 x 100 drill/swim by 50 on :20r
Three times thru:
200 on 3:30
50 on :50
50 stroke on :60
2 x 100 free on 1:35
50 free on :55
50 stroke on 1:05

Looks easy, doesn't it? Well it wasn't! The only time we had decent rest in the entire set was the 200 free. So you got to rest 20 seconds each of the set. We were originally supposed to do this four times but ran out of time, thankfully.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Distance and Speed Don't Mix

Some things don't go together, like oil and water, pancakes and ketchup, or a polar bear on a hot beach. And on distance day, things that don't go together are the words "speed" and "distance". There is a mindset on distance day, one that says "I am here to swim long, and I intend on going hard but not that hard." Bill had other things in mind.

200 on own
4 x 50 descend 1-4 on :60
4 x 100 kick 50, drill 50 on :30r
4 x 50 descend 1-4 on :50
800 free pace, get time. Then:
400 free faster than your 800 time halved. Then:
200 free even faster than your 400 time halved. Then:
100 free even faster than your 200 time.
4 x 100 IM on :20r

I didn't stay for the IM's - too much speed on distance day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Magic Number

We usually spend a few minutes after each set adding up the workout. Not only does it give us a little brain activity early in the morning it gives us an extra minute of rest. Yet the suspense at the end of the workout is the most fun. How many meters? 3500? More? Well today, we hit the biggie - 4000. Some went over that, but there is something about 4000 that just feels good. Not good as in how you feel swimming, but in an accomplishment. Well done E, G, and T. Special shout out to G who keeps reminding us that we are more than twice T's age and can still make it happen.

300 on own
2 x 50 5 breaths max on :20
200 drill/swim by 25 on :30r
2 x 50 stroke on :20r
200 pace
3 x 50 on :45
50 on 1:10
4 x 50 on :45
50 on 1:10
5 x 50 on :50
50 on 1:10
6 x 50 on :50
50 easy
5 x 400 going:
Odds broken:
200 fast on 3:20
100 technique on 2:10
100 fast on 1:30
Evens: Pull


Friday, July 1, 2011

Baby You're a Firework!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Fireworks were going off in the lanes today, per BB's request of coach Bill to give us a celebratory and patriotic workout. You the reader can figure out which is which. All I know is that our lane was not the only one surprised at the last set.

200 on own
Twice thru:
50 6 breaths max :15r
50 drill/swim :15r
2 x 100 stroke/free on :25r
Next set theme: Red, White, and Blue
Red: 400 free pull hypoxic 9,3,7,3 :40r
White: 2 x 200 IM :30r
Blue: 400 free each 100 fastah
4 x 150 on
100 easy
Surprise! Nobody noticed that we were doing this TWICE THRU. We changed the interval slightly:
4 x 150 on

When I say nobody noticed, I mean lanes 2, 3, and 4 all worked the first set and were leisurely hanging out at the wall chatting and laughing when someone noticed those two words "twice thru". Not sure what is better - to know or not to know. I'm glad I didn't know.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


A little trivia question for today: what is the catchy 80s song by the group in the title above? Well, if you can guess it you will be singing it all day whether you want to or not. Just like I did at practice today. I blame Rachel for inserting this into our heads. And what really peeved me was that I couldn't remember the words, so I kept singing the refrain over and over. I am not sure there are any words. Anyway, today was a toughie.

300 warmup on own
10 x 50 free various on 1:05
6 x 50 easy/sprint by 25 on 1:10
800 free pace on :60r
2 x 50 easy on 1:10
400 pull on 7:00
400 swim descend by 100s on 7:00
2 x 50 easy on 1:10
4 x 200 on 3:30
2 x 50 easy

The answer to the trivia question (why make you google it?) is "Ive got the Power". Have a great day. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Word of the Day: Golgotha

1. A place or occasion of great suffering.
2. A burial place.
It's funny how apropos the word of the day is today. BB gets an email and it's usually a fun, informative way to learn something new and keep those brain cells from dying of old age. But today, it was all of us who found ourselves in a place of great suffering, ready to be buried. It's almost not fair giving us this workout on a Monday. All I can say is ouch. Here you go. Special note: bill was there at 6:10am!

500 on own
3 x 100 going 50br/50free :25 r
3 x 100 going 50bk/50 free :25r
3 x 100 going 50fly/50free :25r
3 x 200 going 50 high elbow, 50 build on 3:30
12 minute swim - as far as you can
100 easy
12 minute swim - as far as you can

I knew when he gave us the first one that there was way too much time to just do this once, so the second 12-er was not a total surprise. First one was ~740 (11:45 as I left :15 behind)and the second one was ~765 (11:55 leaving :05 behind), but I pulled the first 400 so it's not comparable.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Everybody Loves a Parade!

We live in the city of champions. The latest evidence of this is the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. Within the last decade the Pats, Sox, Celts, and now Bruins are the best of the best. We are definitely getting spoiled. And with a win the team gets - you guessed it - a duck boat parade through Boston and into the Charles River. That is the same river Dr. Bob and I swam in just 2 weeks ago (how's that for tying a totally unrelated issue to swimming?). So it's a pretty exciting time around here, and we celebrated with a wonderful Friday workout:

400 on own
4(2 x 100)on :25r
1-2 50 fly/50 back
3-4 free
5-6 50 back/50 breast
7-8 free
12 x 50 going:
1-4 fast pull under water on :60
5-8 drill choice on 1:05
9-12 25 ez/25 sprint on :55
400 negative split on 6:30
2 x 200 descend (pull) on 3:20
4 x 100 descend 1-4 on 1:50
8 x 50 going:
Descend 1-4 and 5-8 on 1:05
100 easy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ladies Day in the Lane

It was ladies day in the lane today with me, E, and Sarah, which frankly is nice to have once in awhile because there is little drama (sorry boys). We jump in early, negotiate our order in the lane peacefully, make our intervals, and finish the set tired by happy. That's us dancing in the photo after practice - that is how happy we were. It's not that we don't have these things when the men are there, it just feels different that's all. I'm not starting a gender war here because I love my male lanemates, just musing on how different it is!

200 on own
16 x 50 on :15r
2 back
1 free
2 breast
1 free
2 fly
1 free
2 drill
1 free
2 choice
1 free
1 choice
300 swim steady on 5:15
300 pull on 5:05
300 descend by 100 on 4:55
300 pull on 5:05
300 negative split on 4:55
300 kick
300 fastest of the day

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Flattery will get you everywhere

This is "penalty week" at MIT Masters. It one of the weeks of the year where Bill gets all tough about being on deck early, getting in the pool by 6:18am, and actually swimming the workout as he designed it. The consequences for tardiness or errant bouy use are a penalty of $5 per transgression, which will go to charity. Those of us who already break the rules frequently (think SB and Dr. Bob) have the option to pay a waiver of $15. Seems reasonable, as some have already racked up tens of dollars of fines. And buttering the coach up doesn't work, as evidenced by E telling Bill he looked skinny on Monday. That kind of flagrant brown-nosing really annoys me. Bill is such a great coach and we shouldn't cheapen his role by flattery to get out of a fine. By the way, have you noticed that he has started to look a bit like Ben Affleck? Seriously, I was half expecting Jennifer Garner to stop by the workout this morning.

400 on own
Twice thru:
100 drill on :25r
100 stroke/drill on :25r
100 free/build on :25r
8 x 50 kick going easy/fast
200 free on 3:30
400 free on 7:00
800 free on 13:30
400 free on 7:00
200 free on 3:30
300 swim easy

3700 meters. Hooray!

Monday, June 6, 2011


BB did it! He swam 12.5 miles AROUND Key West on Saturday. This is a pretty monumental accomplishment in swimming, and he did it in a stunning 5 hours and 10 minutes. All done by training in a pool. You can see the before and after photos - that is 40% zinc oxide (with the oh-so-fashionable blue stripe on the head) to protect him. Apparently all was protected except for a small area around the suit line, making for a painful 4 hours flight home. Congrats, Bob. We are all so proud of you!
Here is our workout today - I post it because it's a good one:

3 x 100 swim :15r
6 x 50 stroke :15r
6 x 50 1-3 free; 4-6 drill/free
2 x 100 swim on :15r
6 x 200 descend by pairs on 3:30
5 x 150
1-2 on 1:40 swim
3-4 on 1:30 pull
150 IM order no free

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Love That (not so dirty!) Water

The third annual Charles River One-mile Swim happened on Saturday. Dr. Bob and I represented the lane well, and the conditions were perfect for a swim. Just a decade ago, nobody would even think about swimming in the Charles. High levels of bacteria and phosphorus made it unsafe for people to enjoy. In 1995, the EPA gave the Charles a grade of D, which has slowly improved over the last few years and it is currently a B+. The best part of the swim was rounding the bouy and seeing the city during each breath. It was really something! Over 100 swimmers participated. The water was 72 degrees and felt refreshing. Congrats to the Charles River Swimming Club for their efforts in making this happen, especially our MIT masters teammate Ulla Hester. Hopefully, in a few years we'll be able to enjoy the river all summer.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

12 miles is a long way

Today was distance day, and we ended up doing 3700 meters. That felt really long to me. But when I stack it up against what BB will be doing this weekend in Key West, it's a mere sprint. BB will be doing 19,200 yards in his 12 mile swim AROUND Key West. His training is done, his Kayak is ready, his zinc oxide (40%) is fully stocked, and all he has to do is swim. It's pretty unbelievable, and the water temperature is in the low to mid 80's. We'll all be pulling for him this Saturday - make MIT Master's proud, BB!

Today's short workout:

300 on own
200 swim on :20r
100 free on :15r
2 x 50 breast
100 free on :15r
2 x 50 breast
100 free on :15r
2 x 50 breast
2 x 100 descend on 1:45
2 x 200 descend on 3:30
2 x 300 pull on 5:05
2 x 400 swim on 6:25
500 fastest of the day

I'm pooped! Good job everyone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Going legit

The time has come to pay the piper. And by the piper, I mean the MIT parking and transportation office. After years of taking our chances that the police would not be up at 6am to ticket our cars, not only have we received lots of tickets of late but BB had his car towed. Yep, towed, as in off-to-Somerville towed, with a hefty price tag of $200. He seemed to take it all in stride (as many repentent law breakers do upon getting caught) and has agreed to join me in paying for parking. How does this relate to a swim blog? Well, no car = no swimming. How's that?

Distance day today

200 warmup on own
2 x (4 x 50) on :55
2 x (4 x 50) on :60
1-4 IM order
5-8 stroke
800 free on 1:30r
100 easy on 2:45
800 free on 1:30r
100 easy
6 x 50

Tough, but fun.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mixin' it Up

I am not sure why Coach Bill feels the need to apologize to us freestyle swimmers every time he gives a stroke set. Really, it's not so bad. I am often asked by non-swimming friends why any distance swimmer or triathlete would ever do a stroke workout. My initial reaction is that anyone who calls themself a swimmer should be doing all of the strokes. But truth be told, mixing it up with different strokes makes you a stronger swimmer overall. And our lanemates who love stroke put up with us and our distance freestyle sets, so all is fair.

300 warmup
200 free pace on :20r
2 x 100 IM on :15r
6 x 50 count strokes on :10r
200 kick on :20r
2 x 100 free
5 x 100 fly/back on 2:10
4 x 100 free on 1:50
5 x 100 back/breast on 2:15
4 x 100 free on 1:50

It was especially nice to swim with people who swam the whole set, thank you BB, KBB, and S (plus our other friend). Dr. Bob we hardly knew ye!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Seemed like more than it was...

I'm having one of those days. As I write this blog entry it's 1:15pm, but it feels like 5pm. I've done so much since I got in this morning that I feel that the time of day should reflect the amount of work I have accomplished. The same could be said for today's workout. When we finished, I thought, "wow, we just did 4000 meters!" But then we added it up, and without including our 300 warmup, it was only 2900 meters. I wasn't the only one surprised, KBB added it up twice. Maybe it was the number of sheets Bill put up in front of us, but it felt longer.

300 on own
Three times thru:
2 x 50 front quad :15r
100 going 25 drill/25 build :20r
4 x 50 on :45
4 x 50 on 1:05
4 x 50 on :50
4 x 50 on 1:05
4 x 100 on 1:45
2 x 50 easy on 1:20
4 x 100 on 1:40
2 x 50 easy on 1:20
4 x 100 on 1:45
2 x 50 easy on 1:20

That's 3200 meters total. E said "only the strong survived today." True, except SB who tore his calf (not swimming) which really stinks. But my favorite saying still holds true: it's not how you start, it's how you finish.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Long Course is Back!

To the delight of some, and to the dismay of others, the pool was converted to long course meters today for the entire summer. It's like a gift that keeps on giving for 4 months. But even to those of us who love distance, the end of the pool can seem very, very far away. But we did it - of the six who started in our lane, only three survived.

300 warmup on own
5 x 100 drill/swim by 25 on :25r
Three times thru:
50 swim 7 breaths max on 1:10
50 build on 1:05
50 stroke on :60
50 fast on 1:05
3 x 300 steady pace on 5:20
4 x 200 DESCEND on 3:30

Great job E DESCENDING the last set! Descending (for those who need a refresher) means that you go SLOW on the first one, a little bit faster on the second, even faster on the third and the last one is FAST. Believe me, it is not easy to do as you are pretty darn tired at the end.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Seis de Mayo

The day after Cinco de Mayo is always a bit tough if you've had one of the items pictured to the right the night before. And it was only fitting that Bill gave us five 400s to remind us of the venerable holiday, which contrary to popular belief is NOT to celebrate Mexico's Independence Day. It's to celebrate Mexico's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. There you go.

Good to swim with E, C, and Dr. Bob today.

400 swim (only E did this)
5 x 100 IM odds break at 50 for 10 sec on :20r
5 x 100 free, odds break at 50 for 5 sec on :15r
5 x 400*
400 swim steady pace on 6:20
4 x 100 descend on 1:40
400 faster than the first on 6:00
6 x 75 odds on :60, evens on 1:15 (*450)
400 fastest of the day
100 cool down

Happy Friday and weekend, everyone! Nice job today by all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It was my first distance day in over 7 months today, and it was so painful that I had to go to my happy place. This particular happy place is where I get a good night's sleep, I don't ever get parking tickets, and I can eat banana splits anytime I want. Banana splits are a perfect food, in my opinion, and I don't eat them nearly enough. Anyway, splits describes the workout today. I saw my splits increase as the workout went on, I saw everyone elses splits decrease, as they should. And SB split before the end of the set, just when I needed him most.

200 on own
8 x 75 on :15r
1-2 25 drill, 25 swim, 25 stroke
3-4 25 drill stroke, stroke, drill stroke
5-6 I forget but it's drill/stroke something
7-8 Free, descend by 25 within the 75
6 x 50 middle of the pool working on flip turns (E!!)
4 x 500 (here is where the pain starts)
Odds swim on 7:40
Evens pull on 7:30
10 x 25 sprint odds, swim even on :25, :35
10 x 25 swim cool down

A harsh welcome back, plus I got a parking ticket! The nerve of me parking where I shouldn't!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Snap? More like crackle and pop

Today we were supposed to "snap our hips" during one of the sets. I had a lot less snap and a whole lot more crackle and pop. The reality of returning to the pool hit today, even though I remain delighted that I am there. And I got to swim with my favorite peeps too! I hope I remember the set:

200 on own
2 x 75 first 50 fly, 25 free on 1:30
4 x 50 on :55
2 x 75 50 breast/25 free on 1:35
4 x 50 on :55
2 x 75 50 back/25 free on 1:35
3 x 200 hypoxic going 3, 7, 3, 5 on 3:20
3 x 100 counting strokes on :30r
100 fast on 1:15 (this is where it starts to hurt)
50 stroke on 1;05
2 x 25 easy on :35
100 fast on 1:20
50 stroke on 1:05
2 x 25 easy on :35
100 fast on 1:15
50 stroke on 1:05
2 x 25 easy on :35
100 fast on 1:20
50 stroke on 1:05
2 x 25 easy on :35
Then I think they did 4 x 50 underwater swim?

Happy Monday. Great job making the intervals Joel, E, and KBB.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dr. Bob and His Little Gray Paddles

That is a nice title for a children's book, and given that Dr. Bob works with kids, I began to think about how fun it would be to write a kids book series. Dr. Bob could read the books to the kids at the hospital and they could learn about swimming, and the gray paddles could have lots of adventures and do open water swims, surf in Hawaii, or save someone from drowning. But right when I was scripting out the plot, Dr. Bob said "yeah, I found these in the bottom of my locker. Who KNOWS what else is in there". I then realized that the follow up book "Dr. Bob cleans out his locker" isn't nearly as compelling as the tale of the paddles, so I went on to focus on the workout.

6 x 50 count strokes free :60
4 x 50 count strokes stroke :60
8 x 75 on 1:30
0dds 50 free build, 25 stroke
Evens 50 stroke, 25 free
6 x 200 on 3:15
6 x 150 broken going:
100 free on :05r
50 stroke on :60

3200 total. I couldn't have done this without Dr. Bob and his little gray paddles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New appreciation

When you are injured and can't do what you love to do, you often find yourself appreciating the little things you took for granted before. Being out of a healthy routine was the biggest, but there were a few other things that I realized during my 6-month sabbatical. First, I appreciate the elliptical machine. I used to make fun of people who used the elliptical, but truth be told, it got me through the winter when I couldn't do much else. So now I don't mock the people bouncing around reading magazines nearly as much as I used to. Second, I have a new appreciation for dry, chlorinated skin. Moisturized skin is overrated. It means you probably slept in, had a liesurely shower, and put lotion on at the perfect time for maximum benefit. Finally (for now), I appreciate accountability. When you don't show up for practice for a few days, you get ribbed by your lanemates. When you don't show up to the gym, nobody cares. In fact, they are happy because one prime location machine is open.

Today's workout:

200 on own
100 counting strokes free on 1:40
2 x 25 fly (choice)
50 drill
50 fly
100 counting strokes free on 1:40
2 x 25 back
50 drill
50 back
100 counting strokes free on 1:40
2 x 25 breast
50 drill
50 breast
2 times thru:
75 free on 1:15
75 free faster on 1:10
75 IM order no free 1:30
75 stroke on 1:30
75 stroke faster on 1;25
75 free fast pon 1:10
8 x 150 (descend in pairs of two)
1-2 on 2:25
3-4 on 2:10
5-6 on 2:20
7-8 on 2:10

Great job KBB, and great to swim with you! Of course what I really appreciate most is my MIT masters lanemates.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Back in the saddle?

The old saying "don't count your chickens before they hatch" is one that I take to heart. Particularly this week, when I began my slow return to swimming with my friends at MIT masters. And even when the chickens do hatch, as I witnessed last week when I was at the Museum of Science, the little guys stumble around and run into the walls and generally seem bewildered at what just happened. That kind of describes me at the pool today, but hey, we all have to start somewhere!

12 x 25 on :30
4 x 150 odds free on :20r, evens all stroke on :20r

Main set:
(Three times thru)
3 x 100 on 1:30 descend
50 easy
2 x 75 stroke on 1:25
50 easy
4 x 25 fly
4 x 25 back
4 x 25 breast
4 x 25 free

It was fun to be back, to see coach Bill (and hubba, hubba, does he look great!) and all my friends. Wonderful to swim with E, and there was an extra special treat in seeing BB and his friend Pat. I am cautiously optimistic.