Monday, July 30, 2012

What Not to do at the Olympics

The Olympic spirit has taken hold at MIT Masters, as evidenced by the packed pool this morning and chatter on the pool deck about the past weekend's events. Some of us were so inspired by the swimmers that we actually tried to change our stroke or turns. We also got to talking about a few gaffes that happened, which leads me to today's post. Without further ado, here are five things you should not do at (or during) the Olympics. #5. Do not glance back at the Peloton when you are 100 yards from the finish line. Doh! That was hard to watch. #4. Don't play the South Korean anthem before the North Korean soccer match. I mean, if it was another dictatorship like Cuba it would have been amusing, but really, South Korea? Oops. #3. Do not wear a tiger-print t-shirt to watch your daughter in gymnastics. Or, if you are going to wear a tiger-print t-shirt, at least have it say "USA" on it. #2. If you get a silver medal in a relay, act like you got a silver medal, not like your dog just died. It's pretty darn awesome to get a silver medal. And, the #1 thing not to do during the Olympics: Do not send an email to a listserv with the results of a big race in the subject line. Perhaps next time you could say "spoiler alert!" so we don't open it. And now, for today's workout:

8 x 50 reverse IM order
3 x 100 drill/swim choice by 25
5 x 200 on 3:20
3 x 200 IM on 3:30
2 x 200 IM on 3:20
1 x 200 IM on 3;10
100 easy

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our Own Olympian

We are pretty darn excited that the Olympics is here! The swimming starts tomorrow, and most of us will be dialed in to see some fantastic events. What many MIT Master's swimmers (who don't swim in the morning) may not know is that we have an Olympic gold medalist among us! Yes, Mike Austin won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics for the 4 x 100 men's relay. Oh, and they set a world record too. Mike is a pretty impressive guy, and even this morning the workout was a bit of an homage to him, as we counted our strokes and did a little breath control. As we all agree, Mike has the most efficient stroke at the pool. My guess is that he could cover 50 meters in 10 strokes, max. Compare that to my 42 strokes, and I look like a hand mixer. He also gave us the tip that you should exhale at the last minute to increase your bouyancy. I forgot that he also has a wicked turn and resurfaces about 20 yards after his turn. So as we prepare for a fun two weeks of competition, a shout out to our own Olympian, Mike Austin!

Today's workout

200 warmup
3 x (4 x 50) going:
50 side kick
50 free count strokes
50 choice drill
50 free
4 x 100 going 50 stroke/50 free
15 100's going:
1-5 on 1:40
6-7 on 1:30
8-9 on 1:25
9-11 on  1:45
12-15 on 1:30
4 x 50 going:
9 breaths
7 breaths
5 breaths
3 breaths
2 x 50 easy

Congrats to Callie for doing NO breaths!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back to my Happy Place

I want to close the loop on the traumatic locker situation from last week. To recap: I was booted from my locker accidentally (oops! sorry!), but thankfully it all worked out and I (and my suits) are back in business. As evidence of this, please see the photo on the right. A special thanks to Grace and Maggie for their help in staging my locker for the photo shoot. In all honesty, if a stranger had walked in on us they might have thought that we were doing a photo shoot for Swim Lockers Monthly, because it took a few times to get the money shot. Of particular note is the placement of the new Aveda products, new shelf from the Container Store, and of course my suits from The little stickers are courtesy of E. And in case you are wondering why the product placement is so important, I am seeking sponsors for my new memoir entitled Lane 3: The Real Story. Today's practice gave me a lot of material (yes, Don Johnson made an appearance). Here is the workout:

200 swim
100 stroke
150 drill/swim
50 back
100 swim
2 x 250 on :40r going:
100 free
50 stroke
100 free
1500 swim (we did a pattern: 200 easy, 100 fast, 100 easy, 100 fast x 3)
500 going odds stroke, evens free

Bill suggested that we watch this 1500 race. Well worth it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good Luck SB!!!

Our friend and lane mate SB is in Lake Placid this weekend doing a little race called an Ironman. We are all very excited for him and expect great things, especially with his swim. Several of us did the over/under this morning and while it would be great to see SB break an hour, with one massive swim wave and a very narrow course (read: it's a line at the bottom of the lake) we settled on 1:05. We also should factor in that he does not have his wubbie with him. His little blue friend has seen Steve through a lot of good times and bad, through 50 x 100 on his 50th, and through a number of IM sets where he had no business using a bouy. Nonetheless, We created an honorary wubbie for him with lots of positive energy and good thoughts for a great race!

300 swim
200 drill/swim by 50
2 x 50 stroke
100 free
2 x 50 free
100 drill/swim
12 x 50 going:
1-3 free on :60, :55, 50
4-6 stroke on 1:05, :60, :55
7-9 free on :50, :45, :40
10-12 stroke on :60, :55, :50
4 x 100 descend on 1:35
4 x 100 hold pace on 1:30
4 x 50 stroke/free on :60
3 x 100 on 1:30
3 x 100 on 1:25
2 x 50 easy
3 x 100 cool down

I want to make a special shout-out to Mrs. Edwina O'Toole, a follower from the great state of Virginia. I am happy to report that her daughter attended swim practice today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You and your stuff - Get Out!

I am still trying to recover from the harsh reality of being evicted from my pool locker on Monday. In short, I arrived at the pool to find my lock had been cut off and all of the contents removed. Poof! Gone. When I inquired at the front desk (while presenting the evidence that I renewed my contract weeks ago), I was met with blank looks and a large trash bag with all of my items. Quickly realizing their mistake, the front desk re-assigned me to my locker and gave me a new lock and combination. It must have been pretty hilarious to see my dragging this bag (I had a lot of stuff in that little locker) past the pool where my lane mates were looking quizzically at me. The hard part was going through the suits, goggles, swim caps, and other items and realizing that several of the shampoo/soap caps were not on tightly when they gently (said with sarcasm) and unceremoniously dumped the contents. I can just see the aforementioned dumper saying maniacally  “take that, lawbreaker. That will teach you not to renew your locker! Wuahhahahahaha”.  So, to whoever had to do the dirty deed, there is a silver lining to all of this: new hair care products and a trip to the Container Store!

200 swim
6 x 100 going:
50 fly/50back
50 back/50 breast
50 breast/50 free
16 x 50 going:
1-4 on :50
5-8 on :45
9-12 on :60
13-16 on :55 holding pace of 5-8
1000 swim each 250 do something different; I alternated fast/easy by 100
400 ascend by 100

Monday, July 2, 2012

Heat Advisory

Those of you who know me know that I rarely complain about the heat and always complain about the cold. I love 100 degree temps and consider the Heat Miser my buddy. Mr. Freeze, not so much. So it is with some wariness that I report that this heat wave we are experiencing has hit home, with home being the Z-center pool.  It was just darn hot today, even for me. Even the air was warm. Adding insult to injury, there were two huge hairballs the size of Plymouth Rock in the deep end. Overall, not a particularly welcoming swim environment.  Juxtapose that with a little 20 minute swim I did with E2 in the harbor on Saturday where the temps were in the upper 50s upon entering the water, literally taking my breath away. It's therefore only fitting that Mr. Freeze and Heat Miser appear together in this photo.

200 warmup
8 x 50 going:
25 drill/25 swim
25 drill one arm/25 swim
25 drill choice/25 stroke
25 drill stroke/25 stroke
6 x 100 on :30r
50 fly/50back
50 back/50breast
2 x 50 choice on :60
100 fast on 1:50
4 x 50 choice on :55
100 fast on :50
6 x 50 choice on :45
100 fast
3 x 400 going
200 fast/200 cruise on 7:00
100 cruise/200 fast/100 cruise on 7:00
200 cruise/200 fast on 7:00