Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Best Kept Secret

There is a community pool in Key West that is an absolute gem. It's so good that I am not disclosing the name of it and the photo at the right was taken in Tahiti. Why? Because I want it to stay hidden. It is perfectly imperfect - no lane lines, 30 yards long, no clocks or pool toys. Today I had to rescue a lounge chair from the bottom of the pool, and during my brief swim I had to dodge a sea bird who needed a calm respite from the storms of this week. The lifeguards fed him fish. That doesn't happen at other pools and I love it. The best part is that you can't do a typical workout (I mean really - who knows their 60 yard times?) so the pressure is off - you just swim. And a bonus is that it is right on the ocean. If you are coming to Key West I will let you in on the secret.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Morning in Boston

Swimmers have an ongoing debate - is it tougher to a) get out of bed in the morning or b) jump into a cold pool? I typically lean on the side of it's harder to jump into a cold pool, but today I solidly stand with the get out of bed crowd. It's October in Boston, which means that there is baseball, and the Sox have kept us up pretty late. And let's face it these games are not your typical baseball games so the emotional energy combined with the sleep deprivation can be a bit harsh. When the alarm went off at 5-something this morning I began the inner struggle/dialogue we all know too well. And who has not fallen back to sleep and dreamed that you drove to the pool and got in? I have had that dream, and it becomes a nightmare if you actually think you swam. But I wrenched myself up and got to the pool, spurred on by the win from last night. We have potentially three more mornings like this. GO SOX!!!

10 x 50 swim/stroke :55/:60
8 x 75 going 25 free/25stroke/25free on :20r
300 pull hypoxic
300 kick/choice
3 x 200  on 3:00
50 easy
3 x 200 on 3:10
50 easy
3 x 200 on 3:20
50 easy

The goal of the set is to get faster as you go, as we had a lot of rest. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Human Garmin

Many of my friends train with a Garmin, tracking distance, pace, splits, mood, and whatever else the device does. I just started to use one for my running and it delightfully tells me how slow I am. It even "auto-paused" during a hill repeat yesterday because it detected that I stopped when I didn't. In any case, I'm pretty sure that nobody else has what we at MIT Masters have in the pool - the Human Garmin, also known as Joe Kurtz. You need to hold a consistent pace for an 800? Joe can do that. Need to descend 2 seconds each 100 in a 400? Better have Joe leading. And I think the HG is more accurate than the electronic device, and the battery doesn't run out during the workout. This trusty HG frustrates swimmers who want to blast out the set fast and tend to die at the end. An unscientific poll of my lanemates found that everyone loves to swim with the HG because he is so consistent. It's a good lesson for everyone on how to swim a workout and I'm just grateful that I get to reap the benefits at swim practice!

Today's workout

Warmup (I did zero because I slept in)
8 x 75 drill/swim :15r
Twice thru:
4 x 25 fly
100 kick
800 hold consistent pace
2 x 50 free :60
8 x 25 backstroke :30
400 hold pace on 6:00
400 descend by 100 on 6:00
2 x 50 free
8 x 25 breaststroke on :30

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spinner Fail

I am not at all surprised that the suit spinner in the ladies locker room is broken. For those of you not lucky enough to have a suit spinner in your locker room, it is a neat little device that drys your suit in 3 to 5 seconds. The key to that statement is 3 to 5 seconds. My locker is right by the spinner, so I see it all. Despite the dire warning signs on the lid [DO NOT PUT IN TWO SUITS! DO NOT PRESS DOWN FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS} I swear that some people bring their laundry into the locker room to take it for a spin instead of using the traditional clothes dryer. Or, more frequently, they press down on the spinner for it seems like 5 minutes until the motor is sputtering and waning. I can almost hear the little motor in the spinner saying "help (gasp) me (gasp) somebody (gasp)!" People even do this when there is a line for the spinner, oblivious to the fact that others want their 3 to 5 seconds. Truth be told, 3 seconds is perfect, and it doesn't ruin your suit. I guess I am a little obsessed about this as evidenced by an entire blog entry, but oh well.

On the bright side, I recently discovered the absolute best deal in town next door to the pool at LaVerdes Market: A cappuccino and an egg and cheese sandwich combo for $3! That is half the cost of Starbucks and tastes better! I'm also happy that the students have reasonably priced good food.

Thank you Jacki for the workout today...

300 warmup
8 x 50 going odds drill/swim evens stroke/free on :60
4 x 500 broken going:
200 pull on 3:00
150 swim on 2:10
100 free on 1:30 (odds) and 1:45 IM (evens)
50 on :60
6 x 75 sprint or stroke first 25, 50 easy on 1:15
5 x 50 on :55 going: descend 1-3, easy 4, sprint 5
100 cool down

Monday, September 16, 2013

50 is the new 50

As I got ready to go to practice this morning I heard a story on the news about a recent study that showed that people are happiest at age 50. How perfect for today, when our friend E turns 50! I get a little annoyed at all of these phrases that say (x) is the new (-20 years younger). No, fifty is not the new thirty, 50 is the NEW 50. At some point, we have to say THIS is what fifty is - healthy, strong, wise - and embrace our years not try to push back the clock. I hope I am as fit and strong at 50 as  E is and all the others who have gone before me. :)

We had a special workout for her this morning designed by BB and Coach Bill. Lots of fun, the only time I will actually enjoy 50s.

300 warmup
6 x 100 on :30r
The Developmental Years
10x50 drill/swim by 25's  on 55
Alternate free/stroke
The Experimental Years
10x50 IM order on 55
Last two 25fly/25bk & 25br/25fr
The Racing Years
5x50 free on 45
5x50 alternate stroke/free  on 55/40
5x50 free on 40
The Transition Years
10x50 odds stroke/even free on 50/40
Gaining Perspective Years
5x50 on 50 free  fast odds free, evens stroke on 1:20
Looking ahead
1x50 choice

A special newsletter in honor of E

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just tell me what to do...

I swim with some pretty accomplished people at MIT Masters whose out-of-the pool lives are quite impressive - they are leaders in science, law, engineering, business, and healthcare to name a few. Yet there is one thing that we all have in common, particularly those who awaken at 5am to swim: we all want someone to just tell us what to do. Yep, it is true. I don't know one single person that enjoys swimming alone or who is excited about coming up with their own workout. I have witnessed some master's swimmers attempt to swim on their own and the results are not pretty. If they get in at all (50/50 chance) then they splash around looking up every so often to see if miraculously another swimmer has arrived with a workout. It is kind of sad. Eventually, they bail after adjusting their expectations for the day from swimming 4000 to being really happy to complete a solid 1500. Even if you feel like crap there is something comforting about getting that little slip of paper from your coach (or looking at the white board) and doing what you are told to do. Of course, we all know that this has its limits and some of us utilize the "masters option" when, for example, a kick set is given to us.

Today's workout is now one of my favorites - great job John for keeping it strong the whole workout!

200 warmup
3 x 25 drill :30
75 breast :20r
3 x 25 drill :30
75 back:20r
2 x 25 drill :30
75 fly :20r
4 x 100 kick :25r
400 swim 6:00
400 pull hypoxic 3,5,7,3 on 6:00
400 fast swim
8 x 50 fast on :45
300 swim 4:15
300 pull hypoxic by 75 7,3,5 on 4:15
300 fast

Monday, August 12, 2013

2013 Boston Light Swim Recap

Bye-bye, Boston!
There was a sticker in our race bags that said "8.0 - Boston Light Swim". At the race meeting a few of us relay folks joked that we would need to cut it in half (or quarters) to use it. After the swim on Saturday, it was no longer a joke. The solo swimmers - those who finished and those who Did Not Quit (thank you for that designation, Tom Currier!) - earned every mile. I am particularly proud of my MIT Masters teammates Bob Burrow and Jonathan Gladstone who trained hard and finished strong, as well as all of the swimmers, solo and relay alike. This brief write-up will happily tell the tale of Team Trident, a two person team made up of Bill Geary and me.

Bill and I did not determine our race strategy until the boat ride out to the lighthouse.Thankfully, a key part of Team Trident was our pilot crew, John and Kenny, who are experienced pilots and did the hard work of strategizing the course. Bill's wife Kathy made up the third member of our crew, keeping us positive and warm. As we left the dock, John and Kenny started whispering about wind, chop, currents, etc. but we were blissfully unaware as we marveled at how cool Boston looked as it disappeared behind us. In retrospect, we were like 2 school kids whose parents did not want to spoil the trip by scaring us. In my head all I heard was Greg's promise at the race meeting that "the first 4 miles will fly by"!

One of the coolest parts of the day was seeing all the boats arrive in front of the lighthouse. It made me proud and happy to be a swimmer, and to have the privilege to participate in this event. It was a beautiful day and people were in good spirits in all surrounding boats. As we had been warned, a boat zoomed up on us, poles and nets ready, asking what was going on. After we explained, they looked at us and said "people are swimming? To Boston?"

After consulting with the crew, we decided to do 25 minute pulls and leapfrog the course, which roughly equates to a mile at a time. The second coolest part of the day was when the horn went off and everybody jumped in. After a few expletives, Bill went off first. It took a good bit of his first pull to find clear water, but he looked strong and kept a great pace. Kathy kept time and we had a five minute signal (a waving towel) and I jumped in when Bill climbed the ladder. I was so happy to be swimming and was surprised that it was not super cold but a bit choppier than I expected given this supposed "quick trip" in the first 4 miles. The most wonderful part of this swim is that we never really had to sight - our pilots kept us on track, at times with the boat on our left and then when the current shifted on our right. I was swimming in the middle of the Harbor Islands and never felt safer. As everyone has reported, it got rough after the bridge and between Spectacle and Thompson Islands, and in the last 2 mile slog to the finish. Knowing that we could push it and then rest made it a fun event. I kept thinking about the solo swimmers and how they were faring in the conditions. I also questioned whether I could do 8 miles myself in the rough water, and honestly I don't know if I would have been able to do it.The temperature, which I worried about most, was a non-factor.

Bill and I finished together and truly enjoyed our experience. We are so grateful to our crew John, Kenny, and Kathy for all of their hard work. Greg O'Connor is an extraordinary race director, always keeping safety at the forefront. On the beach he was visibly upset that so many swimmers who trained so hard had to be pulled because of the rough conditions. All of the volunteers worked a very long day and put in many hours the night before and week before the race. They often say that it's easier to compete than it is to volunteer from a time and exhaustion standpoint, and I think that is true. A heartfelt thank you to all volunteers.

This was the most fun swim event that I have ever participated in.The camaraderie with the swimmers and volunteers, the support of the local yacht clubs and pilots, and swimming in my favorite city among the beautiful islands made for a lot of great memories. While I will wear my BLS tattoo and t-shirt with pride, I'll hold the "8.0 - Boston Light Swim" sticker for when I swim the 8 miles. Maybe next year?
The boats gather at the start
Bill swimming strong
Check out those waves!

All done!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ready, Set, Go! Boston Light Swim

The historic Boston Light Swim is this weekend and four swimmers from MIT Masters are participating. Bob B. and Jonathan G. are doing the 8-mile journey as solo swimmers (an incredibly impressive feat), while Bill G. and I are taking part as a two-person team. We also have crew members helping out the solo swimmers on their boats: Heather (BB) and Coach Bill (Jonathan) and our most famous teammate, Elaine Howley, will be on the safety boat helping out friend of MIT Masters Greg O'Connor, the race director. All of this is to say there will be lots of good karma out there. The Boston Light Swim is the oldest open water swim marathon in the United States and dates back to 1907. I won't go into all the details as doing so makes me a wee bit nervous, so if you want to know about this fun event you can check out the Boston Light Swim webpage for more info. Bill G. and I have not exactly set our strategy yet (read: we like to wait until the last minute) but thankfully our trusty boat pilot/lead strategist John is all over the planning. The forecast looks good, but as we know that can change at any minute. I have to say I am pretty excited to participate in this epic swim in the city I love so much, with people who embrace open water swimming. Godspeed to all the racers!

Today's workout:

400 drill/swim by 25 :15r
4 x 50 stroke on :60
200 kick
6 x 75 IM order no free 1:20
Three times thru: Broken 600s going:
400 easy pace :20r
200 fast on 3:20
7 x 100 working each part of the stroke on 1:40

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hammer Time

The water was nearly 100 degrees today, and by that I mean it was actually 84, which is insanely hot for our pool and for the workout we did today. Coach Bill thought we needed to toughen up, so seemed blissfully unaware of the carnage that was happening with swimmers gasping for air and sitting out to cool down in the middle of the set. This is MIT, and I simply cannot buy that "we put a work order in over 10 days ago" or "they left a side door open during the heat wave". This is the place that invented the disposable razor, the link between cancer and genetics, and the World Wide Web for heaven's sake! Turn the spigot on cold and let's get this done! Special thanks to Hubbard for reuniting me with music from the early 90s as we started the tough part of the set. We were definitely 2 legit 2 quit (hey, hey).

100 warmup

6 x 25 free focus on extension and catch
6 x 25 free focus on power (pulling motion)
6 x 25 free focus on 'finish'
4 x 50 free drill
4 x 50 stroke drill
4 x 50 free build

A.
1 x 75   1:20
1 x 75   1:15
1 x 75   1:10
5 x 75   :60

B.
1 x 75  1:20
1 x 75  1:15
1 x 75  1:10
4 x 75   :55
1 x 25 ez  :50

C.
1 x 75   1:20
1 x 75   1:15
1 x 75   1:10
5 x 75   :60
1 x 50 ez   1:20

D.
1 x 75  1:20
1 x 75  1:15
1 x 75  1:10
4 x 75   :55

Monday, July 22, 2013

Report: Nubble Light Challenge

MIT Masters and friends at Nubble Light Challenge
The 2013 Nubble Light Challenge is in the books, and definitely lived up to expectations. This was my first NLC, and I joined nearly a dozen other MIT Master's swimmers and friends in York, ME last Saturday. I did not know what to expect and when I gazed out to the lighthouse so far away I must admit I was a wee bit nervous. My teammates, many who were veterans of the race, assured me that it would be fine, and the conditions were excellent. I was in wave 2 of 5, and as I watched the large and very fast wave 1 depart, I felt like a preschooler who was watching her big brother leave for kindergarten. I wanted to go with them! Why can't I go with them? I was a newbie at the NLC. It was not to be. Two minutes later, my wave went off. The good thing about a small wave is that you have lots of room and clear ocean in front of you the whole time. The bad thing about a small wave is that you have lots of room and a clear ocean in front of you the whole time. My strategy to find a faster swimmer and draft went out the window. It was cold (60/61) at the start but felt good after standing on the hot beach in black neoprene. The race was well marked, so much so that if you went off course, there was nobody to blame but yourself (or if you were drafting, the person in front of you). The organizers said there were 2 to 4 foot swells, which look like cute, calm little waves when you are standing on the beach. But when you are swimming it feels more like an outtake from A Perfect Storm but there is no boat or George Clooney. One of the coolest parts of the swim was going through the gut, where the temperature dropped to the 50s and we all became Jacques Cousteau for about a quarter of a mile, as you could see crabs, fish, rock formations, and other cool marine life in between the island and the mainland. I loved that so many spectators were out there watching, and I gave them a wave and a smile in appreciation. After the gut, it was a long slog back to land, and my neck was starting to burn from my wetsuit. The finish was not like those highlights you see in other races, it was more like watching someone who drank too much try to run, stumble, and eventually careen their way over the line. Not pretty. Several of my teammates had on GPS devices and said that it was 2.75 miles total. In the end, I was happy to have finished strong and felt like I kept my stroke the whole time. A fantastic job by the race organizers and some impressive swims by MIT peeps and friends. I think this race will continue to grow and attract some of the best swimmers in New England.
Me and E trying to locate the first bouy
P.S. A special shout-out to Elaine Howley (E2) who swam without a wetsuit and was 3rd non-wetsuit woman! Elaine is in Scotland right now preparing for the North Channel Swim. More on that later.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lighthouse in the distance

About a dozen members of MIT Masters are competing in the Nubble Light Challenge this weekend in York, Maine. The swim is a 2.4 mile ocean swim that takes swimmers out by the Nubble Lighthouse and through the gap between mainland and the lighthouse island. The majority of my teammates who are racing have done this before, but this will be my first time and I am very excited! Conditions vary by year, and I am hopeful that we have some warm temps this year. Coach Bill gave us a distance set to get us geared up for the race. Here is the website: Nubble Light Challenge.

300 warm up
2 x 125 going:  75 free -- 50 stroke
2 x 100 going: 25 drill - 25 choice swim
3 x 50 free on :45
3 x 50 free on :40
4 x 100 going:  50 fly - 50 back
1 x 800 free on :50r
*  long strokes
*  watch your 200 splits
*  Hold consist pace
2 x 400's on 6:10
* Make sure you 'Finish' each stroke long
* Negative split
1 x 600 free on :60r
*  long strokes
*  Faster 200 splits
2 x 300's on 4:15
* Think about Roll, and 'Elbow Pop'
* Negative split

Monday, July 15, 2013

Let the Yelling Begin...

There is a  man who coaches (loosely defined) his son in the mornings while we are at practice. He paces back and forth gesticulating wildly and usually screaming at the kid. In the past, a number of us have complained because, let's face it, anyone who swam AAU as a kid remembers being yelled at by a coach and nobody wants PTSD at master's practice. Lately, however, the guy has been quiet during practice. But I discovered this morning that the moratorium of screaming apparently stops when we leave the deck, because I could hear him from the locker room today. Let me assure you - screaming at a kid to "kick, kick, KICK" will have the opposite effect and I am exhibit A. Thank goodness we swim master's where a 100 kick can magically turn into 100 drill with nary a raised voice.

400 warmup
4 x 75 kick/drill/swim :15r
6 x 125 going 50 stroke/25 kick/50 free :15r
2 x 300 on 4:20 each 100 faster
200 IM on 3;15
3 x 100 on 1:25
4 x 50 stroke on :60
4 x 75 descend on 1:15
3 x 100 on 1:50

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Importance of Context

I have just returned from a week long vacation in Duck, NC on the lovely Outer Banks. While the water was cold (61F), the sand was warm and I spent lots of leisure time watching all the people who tried to swim and then thought better of it. On one particularly warm day, a man and woman walked by and the man had on a bright red Speedo. As someone who sees small suits like this every day (and believe me, my male teammates can push the limits of fashion), I must say even I was taken aback at the sight of the scantily clad gentleman. Why is this? It's totally a cultural thing, as most American's are predisposed to dislike the Speedo outside of the pool/racing context, which is ridiculous but it is true. I saw people watching him, probably thinking he was European or didn't get the memo that it is board shorts or nothing on a family beach. Yet on a pool deck, we scoff at someone wearing board shorts to work out. And there is a double standard for women, too. If I wear my one-piece swimming suit on the beach I look out of place, but if I wear a bikini at the pool it's a thing. I frankly like the Speedo and wish it were more accepted. Thank goodness we have friends who embrace this look, as evidenced by BB who is in Turkey preparing for a big swim this week. Here he is on the podium (he's #1) showcasing one of his many fashion pieces.

Distance day in a short pool, which seems like an oxymoron but it is sadly true.

300 warmup
Three times thru:
25 drill
25 fast swim
50 count strokes
75 (50 fly/back/breast/25 free)
25 fast
3 x (4x50)
Kick no board on 1:10
count strokes :55
power :50
fast :45
600 swim on 8:00
500 on 7:05
400 on 5:30
300 on 4:00
200 on 2:50
100 on 1:25
12 x 25 going IM order on :30

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Loving the Lake

This morning I went with my friend E2 to the lake. It's not just any lake, it's THE lake, which really represents an experience more than just a swim. The hostess, Pam, is called the CEO, and for good reason. She has been organizing a large group of swimmers at her lake house for years, and they swim April to November, rain or shine, wetsuit or no-wetsuit. Many years ago I was "sponsored" (meaning I came with a regular) and remembered it being fun, but I never went back. On our way over to the lake this morning I was tutored about the basic rules: a) If you use flippers or toys, you must announce this to the group; b) faster swimmers start last and zig-zag so that everyone finishes together, and c) no pookies in the hot tub. Makes sense. What I learned, though, is that the most important rule is not to take yourself too seriously and to give as much as you take. They are - as we say in New England - a wicked fun group. They are also great swimmers, which makes it even more fun. We did about 3500 yards, I am guessing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ocean's Twelve

Nearly everyone in the metro Boston area was at MIT Masters this morning, including a number of guests and drop-ins. At one point I counted twelve people in our lane - twelve! That is insanity and thankfully coach Bill gave us a short-type workout so we were not climbing all over each other. If we were in a 25 yard pool, I am not sure how we would have done it.  Nonetheless, people are enjoying the last few weeks of long course.

400 warmup
6 x 50’s Count Strokes Free :60
3 x 100’s kicking on :20r                           
6 x 100’s on :20r                       
 1-2:  25 fist drill – 25 choice swim
 3-4:  25 fingertip drag drill – 25 choice swim
 5-6:  25 1arm drill – 25 choice swim
2 times thru:
100 free on 1:40        
100 fast free on 1:25
2 x 50 ez  on 1:10          
4 times thru:
150 fast free on 2:15
50 free on 1:10                         
*2 x 50 breast    
* Next round back
* Next round fly
* Last round choice

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Strongly Worded Letter

There is both an art and a science to an effective strongly worded letter (SWL), whether it be to your congressperson, a retailer, or the plumber that cracked a big pipe in your house. One has to convey a sense of neutrality about a situation and be able to connect emotionally, all the while being firm and clear about what you expect as a resolution. Those who take the tactic of whining or being angry rarely succeed in the strongly worded letter. Sarcasm also does not work. Why do I care? I have to write a SWL to someone (yet to be identified) about the sudden notification we received this morning about long course ending in two weeks. Yes - you heard me - no more 50 meter pool this summer. Now to some people this is no big deal, but to those of us who are distance swimmers who planned our races and training around the 50 meter pool, it is a big deal and I am mad. So mad that I am unsure if I can write this strongly worded letter in my current state of mind, because I think it's baloney. I need to count to 10 and then hit pen to paper. Stay tuned.

Nice distance day today!

200 Going:  50 stroke – 50 free
200 Going:  25 drill – 25 free
100 Going:  50 stroke – 50 free
100 Going:  25 drill – 25 free

6 x 50 kicking

TWICE THRU:
300 Free Pull Hypoxic by 50:  3, 9, 5, 7 for 200 5:00
3 x 100 free descend on 1:30
1 x 600 free long swim on 10:00
1 x 100 ez on 2:30

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Where Everybody Knows Your Name?

I went to Starbucks this morning after swim practice, something I don't do often because I also have a mortgage. Anyway, I am fourth in line and the barista greets the first person - "Good morning, Ken! Chai latte today?" Ken smiles and says yes. She then move on to the second person "Mary how are you? Toasted bagel and two pump grande cappuccino for you?" and to the third - "Joe you are late today!" which elicits laughs and excuses from Joe in a shared special moment between two close friends. Then to me. She looks at me with a look that says "who the hell are you, and what do you want?". I stammer my order, not realizing that when you order an ice coffee you have to tell them if you want sugar, fake sugar, extra ice, the whole works. I was petrified. I also glanced at those behind me in line and swear I was getting looks, if you know what I mean. It was then and there that I realized how good the coffee is at my office. How is this related to swimming, you ask? It is not, but it was distance day today and we swam distance!

300 warmup
2 x 50 kick
100 stroke
100 free
2 x 50 drill
100 stroke
100 free
2 x 50 free
800 swim, negative split
3 x 400 on 6:20 - third 100 is always fast
100 easy
400 going 50 stroke/50 free IM order
6 x 50: 1-3 on :50, 4-6 on :60
3 x 100 on 1:45

Saturday, June 1, 2013

LOVE that Clean Water!

E2, me, BB, and Dr. Bob
It was a pretty special day today in Boston as a record number of swimmers took part in the 5th Charles River one-mile swim. Thanks to the efforts of Ulla Hester, Frans Lawaetz and their team at the Charles River Swimming Club this has become an annual event that attracts swimmers from all over the region. The water quality was excellent, something that could not be said in the 1940's when the river was last open to the public to swim. We received word today that the Department of Conservation and Recreation has approved a public swim for later this summer! While the Standells "Dirty Water" is still one of my favorite songs, I find myself singing it and then reminding everyone around me that it's meaning is a thing of the past, though the overall sentiment remains as strong as ever: I love Boston.

Great to be with so many of my friends, old and new, in the swimming community today - especially my peeps from MIT! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lesson Learned

I got trapped in an elevator at work yesterday, and now all my colleagues know it because it was on the campus police blotter. Yet rather than receiving expressions of sympathy for having to endure being entrapped, most of the responses have been something like this: "What was Katie doing in an elevator? Doesn't she swim an hour in the morning? Shouldn't she be taking the stairs"? So much for empathy. I have provided endless seconds of fodder for my colleagues and frankly I deserve it. But I will have you know that there are legitimate reasons why a person would use an elevator: they are injured, they may be carrying a large load, or the top floor bathroom was unavailable and with only a minute until my meeting I knew that there was a bathroom in the basement and thought I would just zip down and back up. See? Totally legitimate. But lesson learned: take the stairs, and always take your phone to the bathroom.

200 free going 50 drill - 50 swim
200 stroke going 50 drill - 50 swim
3 x 100 going 50 stroke -- 50 free
1 x 600 going:
1st 200:  pull hypox: 9, 3, 7, 3
2nd 200: swim focus on technique (pick something)
3rd 200:  pull again... faster pace
2 x 200 im with legal turns :30r
1 x 400 free swim make 3rd 100 fast
4 x 100 IM or stroke on 1:50
1 x 400 free swim  negative split
9 x 50 choice
1-3 on :55
4-6 on : 45
7-9 on 1:05

Monday, May 13, 2013

Knowing when it's time to retire

I had to retire my favorite swimsuit this morning, the one from the 2012 Olympics which had a fun pattern made up of all things London (see photo from catalog).  E2 was there to bear witness to the parting as we thanked the suit for its service and sent it to its final resting place (which is probably and somewhat ironically a barge in the middle of the ocean somewhere). It's good to know when the time is right to say goodbye to a suit and to make the choice on your own rather than to have an unfortunate incident force you to retire it. Put bluntly, when people on deck either point and laugh or shield their children from you as you walk by, it is time to retire the suit. And while you are a good friend when you can gently tell your lanemate that a new suit is necessary, another approach is to send a note to your whole lane and say "hey - I am putting in a suit order - who is game"? My day got started a wee bit late today, but I climbed in a rec lane and swam most of the workout (what I did is below - I missed about 800 yards). It's amazing how many meters you can fit in when you don't chat at the wall.

500 swim
Twice thru:
1 x 100 Going:  25 drill – 25 free
1 x 100 Going:  25 drill – 25 stroke
1 x 200 Going:  1st 100:  Think technique
              2nd 100:  Free build
Once thru:
4  x 200 descend on 3:15
6  x 50 going 25 free sprint – 25 ez on :60
4  x 100 descend on 1:40
4  x 150 pull hypoxic on 2:30                             
2  x 100  ascend on 1:40

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Vitamin i

I keep thinking that we miss a great sponsorship opportunity when the pool changes from short course to long course. Everyone complains of muscle soreness, shoulder stress, or general emotional anxiety from the switch from 25 yards to 50 meters. Even those of us who love long course are not immune to the negative effects of the changeover, particularly when it seems our intervals are essentially the same (ahem!). I can envision some pharmaceutical rep with his/her big suitcase full of legal, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs chatting up coach Bill during the workout and keeping a keen eye on those swimmers who appear to be wincing as the meters add up. I really can't think of a more receptive audience. Case in point, it was a 600mg day for me today.

200 swim
6 x 50 count strokes :15r
4 x 100 odds IM/evens free :25r
9 x 100 going
1-3 descend on 1:25 (more like survive)
4-6 descend on 1:30 (more like make interval)
7-9 descend on 1:35 (descend)
10 x 50 kick on 1:15-1:20 (really?)
2 x 150 pull hypoxic on 2:20
3 x 50 free on :45
3 x 50 stroke on :55
100 free on 1:45
100 IM on 1:50
200 pull
100 swim

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Thrill of the Chase?

There is nothing quite like going for something and achieving it - be it in a race, finding a new job, or reaching an important milestone in life. As is often said, much of the excitement is in the journey itself, especially if you have momentum and keep building on that momentum. The same cannot always be said if you are the one being chased, although there are times when it's fun to be chased. In general, though, being chased often causes anxiety, worry, heart palpitations, and a flight mentality. Typically on distance day I embrace the former, enjoying the journey, trying to keep strong and finish strong, happy to make it to the end. But when you happen to swim with someone out of your league then you are relegated to the latter, as was the case today. I quickly realized that my whole goal during the workout was not to get caught, and this brought with it a sense of mild panic that I now know I really don't like. To be honest I'm mostly worried that Phil will show up in my nightmares and will not only catch me, but will touch my toes. The horror.

6 x 25 :15r
Underwater swim
Build up the lane (slow to fast)
Build down the lane (fast to slow)
Cruise
Fast free
Fast stroke

5 x 100 :20r
1. 25 fly/75 free
2. 50 fly/50 free
3. 75 fly/25 free
4. 100 all free
5. 100 all fly

6 x 400
1.Long swim on 5:20
2.Negative split on 5:30
3.Make 3rd 100 fast on 5:40
4. Pull: Hypoxic: 5, 7, 5, 3 on 5:50
5. Descend by 100s on 5:20
50 easy on 1:30
6. Fast on 5:00

Friday, April 26, 2013

Owning our Weirdness

Master's swimmers can be a little quirky. Given that many are organized and driven during their day jobs, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that many swimmers want some structure during workouts. Case in point, there is a general rule that you don't finish a set or a workout on a 50, like 3250 or 4650. You will always swim that extra 50. Similarly, while it is okay to finish on an odd number for a hundred, you never finish on an odd number if you are close to a big-time even number. For example, 3700 is fine, but 3900 is not fine. You are too close to 4000 so you pretty much have to swim the extra 100. This sounds crazy, but most swimmers are reading this and saying "yup". Today was a little tough for any swimmers with mild to moderate compulsive tendencies. The paper was up on the board, but we realized quickly that we would not be able to finish the workout in the allotted time. This caused a great deal of consternation amongst a majority of swimmers. So we got through 3/4 of the workout and the time expired, leaving many people wonderful "what if..."

400 warmup
2 x 100 going: 25 drill - 25 swim :20r
3 (4 x 25) IM order :30
200 free :15r
8 x 50 IM order :55
Main set:
100 on 1:40
200 on 3:00
300 on 4:15
400 on 6:00
500  on 7:05
600 on 8:30
500 on 7:05
What we did not do:
400
300
200
100


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nicely Done, Joe

Our friend and MIT Masters teammate Joe Kurtz returned to the pool today, just three days after running in the Boston Marathon. Joe had an amazing race, and those of us who saw how hard he was training knew that this day was important to him. As we saw him run by us at mile 18, he had the biggest smile on his face. But many, like Joe, most likely will never celebrate their races because of what happened. Joe penned his thoughts after the event, and I wanted to highlight them again because they capture what many of us are thinking and feeling. Well done, Joe, all around.

Read Joe's comments

Thank you to Charlie Abrahams for posting this.

The workout today:

200 swim
200 free (25 drill - 25 swim)
2 x 100 (reverse IM)
200 free (make each 50 faster)
5 x 100's  free focus on extension, catch, power, finish, recovery
Three times thru:
200 free  3:00
100 free  1:15
50 stroke  :50
100 free  1:20
50 stroke  :55
150 free   2:00
100 free   1:45
150 free   2:00
100 free   1:40
6 x 75
1-2: :60
3-4: 1:05
5-6: 1:10

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Unthinkable

Today is another beautiful spring weather day in Boston, much like the beautiful day we had yesterday before the unthinkable happened. It's hard for many of us to put into words how horrible the events of yesterday were. On Patriot's Day, the best day of the year in the best city in the country, families took their kids to watch the marathon and someone decided that their lives would end or be changed forever. Honestly, it really never crossed my mind that this would happen. Today all of my energy and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones, or who are clinging to life, or who lost their hearing, or who are still in shock over what they experienced or saw firsthand. In days to come we learn more about why this happened, hear of people we know who are impacted, and we will put our energy into helping the people and their families who bore the brunt of this evilness. We will be reminded of the psyche of this great city, which is filled with strong-willed and resilient people.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Close to Me

I absolutely love my new Keurig coffeemaker, because in addition to making a delicious cup of coffee, it makes it so fast that I can sleep in an extra 10 minutes in the morning before going to swim practice (yes, I am open to selling advertising space here  - call me!). The only problem I have found is that when I turn it on and the water starts to heat up, the noise sounds EXACTLY like the first few bars of The Cure's song "close to me", a cult favorite from the 80's. To those of you with those machines I apologize in advance, because what will happen is that you also will hear what I am talking about, and you will have that song in your head for the rest of the day. I now have to play other songs in my car on the way in to to swim to get it out of my head. I love The Cure, but not in my wildest dreams did I think that my new coffeemaker would bring me back to my college days. I got my butt kicked today, which is a good thing. I need to get back into a routine.

200 warmup
three times thru:
25 underwater swim
50 all drill
75 free: build by 25
75 IM no free
4 x 50 count strokes free on :45
4 x 50 count strokes stroke on :55
100 on 1:20
200 on 2:40
300 on 4:05
400 on 5:30
500 on 6:40
4 x 200 stroke or IM on :40r
200 pull

Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Affair to Remember

It is not unusual for master's swimmers to have one or more "swim spouses". The swim spouse is your go-to person for swimming, and you know their strengths and weaknesses and they yours. The beauty of the swim spouse is that there is nothing hidden from the full-time land spouse/partner. In fact, the land spouse sometimes gets tired of the constant chatter about sets, the incessant texting, and the drama that often comes with master's swimming. But they know it comes with the territory and are tolerant if not amused. Slightly less common is for a swimmer to have an "affair" with another teammate's swim spouse, but that is exactly what happened today. Greg, who is training for his ice swim next weekend, is the swim spouse of E2, my friend and teammate who completed her ice swim in 2012. But this morning E2 was not there at 7:30 and there was Greg, swimming alone, and there I was, sitting on the pool deck alone. As the Steven Stills song so eloquently states, "swim with the one you're with" and that is what I did. E2 did catch us in the act an hour later and had no problem with loaning her spouse out for the morning. A great set, and after being out of the water for a week it felt good to swim with someone.

Twice thru:
2 x 200 on 3:00
4 x 100 on 1:30
8 x 50 on :60
400 swim (pull) on 6:00
400 swim on 6:00 (once)
4 x 100 descend on 1:35

Friday, March 22, 2013

March Madness

We are halfway through the two craziest days of March Madness, and one of us (Elaine!) actually picked Harvard to advance. In doing so, she is one of only 6% of the population that made this wise choice. Our workout was a bit of a basketball-themed swim, as we went for three (hundreds), had a layup up on the first part of the 200, and launched the 100s at the buzzer. I will definitely add this to my favorites. And as for my bracket, there is only one team I care about advancing: Go Bucks!

200 warm up:

1st set:
2 x 50 free :50  
 2 x 25 fly  :30  
100 free   1:30
2 x 50 BR  :60  
2 x 25 fly  :30 
100 free  1:30
2 x 50 back on :60  
2 x 25 fly  :30  
100 free  1:30
2 x 50 fly  :60 
2 x 25 choice :30 
100 free   1:30
Main Set:
3 times thru:
1 x 300 free  pull: hypoxic by 50  [3, 5, 7] on 4:30
200 free negative split on 3:00
100 Free fast on  1:20
1 x 50 wicked ez on 1:20

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Literally ridiculous



Sometimes I am overly attuned to grammar and language usage, so I amusingly roll my eyes when people use terms like irregardless or phrases like somewhat unique. If you are laughing with me, read on, if not, skip directly to the workout. My newest obsession with language is the more frequent inappropriate use of the word “literally”, as in “I literally blew up during that swim workout”. If you actually did blow up that would be bad – you would die, the pool would get closed for weeks, and it would be on the news. Everyone knows what you are talking about because we have all been there (blowing up during a workout, figuratively speaking). But the truth is I have heard this word being used (not at master's of course!) of late as a throwaway exaggerator, as in “my blood was literally boiling when I heard that”. Literally means actually, and I actually do not want to see boiling blood. What’s my point here? I guess it is a suggestion for us to stick with the old tried and true figurative descriptors like “I totally bonked” or “we just swam the English Channel in that workout today”. Unless, of course, you literally did swim the English Channel, in which case you can ignore all of this.

200 warmup
6 x 25 odds free, evens stroke
6 x 50 count strokes free :55
4 x 75 IM order on 1:30
6 x 250 going:
odds: 100 easy, 50 stroke, 100 fast on 3:50
evens 100 on 1;30, 50 stroke on :55, 100 fast on 1:20
6 x 150 going:
1-3 pull on 2:20
4-6 going 50 free on :50, 50 stroke on :60, 50 fast on :40
50 easy
200 free pace on 3:00
200 pull on 3:00
200 IM/choice

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

If I knew you were coming...

Swimming a distance set well is a little like baking a birthday cake, which is a perfect analogy for today because it is Hubbard's birthday! Much like swimming, baking is all about pacing. Upon reading the cake recipe, you would probably not blast through the supermarket doing a wheelie grabbing things off shelves, then race home to throw everything in the bowl. You would take your time, knowing that this is just the first part of a process. You would probably not stir the ingredients so vigorously that your arm hurt, causing you to skimp on the most important part: the oven. For this final part, you really want the temperature and time to be just right so that you do not burn the cake. The same goes for a distance set, like the one we did today. And Bill gives us the recipe in very clear language. When the first part of the main set (which is well before 7am, I might add) is 1000 and he says "get your 500 split" you pretty much know this is just the beginning of a long set. And if you paced yourself well, the last part will be like the perfect chocolate cake with white icing (supermarket icing, not the fancy stuff), and it will definitely not be burned. Happy birthday to Hubbard, whose cake came out very well today.

200 warmup
4 x 150
odds: free 25 drill - 25 swim
evens:stroke 25 drill - 25 swim
4 x 100
odds:  free working on elbow pop
evens:  IM with legal turns
1 x 1000 free
Long swim
* watch your 200 splits
* get your 500 time
1 x 1000 again... same as above.
1 x 500 faster than 500 split
6 x 25 on :30
100 free

Monday, March 11, 2013

Daylight Savings Fail

Daylight Savings Time (DST) was initially created during World War I to save energy and resources, according to the internet (which is 100% true all the time). Growing up in Ohio I thought it had something to do with farmers and kids not going to school in the dark, but that is not what the internet says. Apparently traffic accidents and crime both go down with more daylight. But this morning I was not feeling it at all. I had to be "encouraged" to get to the pool, and as I stumbled into my car and toward the pool I sincerely worried that I may fall asleep at the wheel for the first time. DST most negatively impacts morning swimmers, in my opinion, and there were some droopy eyes today. A belated birthday to Carmen and Bob, whose birthdays were yesterday. Somehow BB did not make it to the pool today, and I am wondering if it was the 50 x 200s on Saturday or the margaritas (or both) that did him in.

6 x 75
going: 50 free -- 25 stroke
6 x 50 all drill
6 x 25 choice
1-3 on : 25
4-6 on :20
5 x 200 free on 3:00
16 x 25's on:30
odds: free build (slow to fast)
even: backstroke use starting block

twice thru  (ABC, ABC)
A:
2 x 25 free fast on :20
50 cruise on :50
2 x 75 free fast on :60
100 cruise on 1:45
B:
25 cruise on :30
2 x 50 free fast on :35
75 cruise on 1:15
2 x 100 free fast on 1:15
C:
1 x 50 ez on 1:15

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Harsh Return

Returning to practice after a week away is always rough, but a number of little things added up to form a big can of harshness this morning. For one, I flew in from the west coast just last night, so when the alarm went off at 5:30am it was really 2:30am. Then add the snowstorm and slippery roads, which were a far cry from the rolling hills of northern California, and my new reality set in. But what was really jarring was when the TSA agent at SFO needed to pat down my "abdomen area" after I went through the regular screening. Imagine the look of surprise on her face when all she found was me. Yep, I had that good of a time that a federal agent thought I was packing. Which I was, but it's called wine and cheese, and it is not easily detected by a body scanner. We were coach-less this morning, but still managed a decent workout.

400 warmup
10 x 50 going
1-4 on :60
5-7 on :55
8-9 on :45
10 x 100 going:
odds free on 1:25
evens IM on 1:50
5 x 200
1-2 on 3:00
3-4 on 2:45
5 fast
8 x 75
odds on :60
evens on 1:20


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Somewhat Awkward

So I am going to write about something that we rarely talk about but that happens to all of us: The totally unintentional, but slightly inappropriate, touching of another swimmer during the workout. I am not talking about the more benign foot touching. No, I am talking about the inadvertent butt touch under the lane line when you are doing backstroke or, possibly worse, the accidental chest touch. Every swimmer out there knows exactly what I am talking about! And yes, it is awkward, but the best response it to acknowledge what happened "hey, sorry I touched your butt there".  I've heard some humorous responses too, such as "that's the most action I have seen in months!" At the end of the day, 99.99% of these are innocuous. You'll know you are in the extremely rare .01% when it either happens multiple times and/or instead of an apology you get the sly smile and a wink. In that case, consult one of the many lawyers who swim with you.

500 warmup
200 drill/swim :30r
2 x 100 free :20r
9 x 50
1-3 stroke on :60
4-6 free on :50
7-9 choce on :55
4 x 200 going
odds pull hypoxic 7,3,5,3 :30r
evens IM or stroke :30r
Eight times thru:
100 stroke on 1:35
25 easy on :45
then there was some kind of relay thing off the blocks

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Welcome Back?

It is never a good sign when your lanemates welcome you back. And by welcome back, I mean to the wall, when you are in the middle of a breaststroke set. But that is exactly what happened this morning when I was nearly lapped on a 150 that included 100 breast. They waited so long for me at the wall that one lanemate had time to grab his phone, check his email, and make a lunch appointment. If it wasn't so true I probably would not have laughed my way through the next set, which only made me slower. Point take, people. I will work on my breaststroke but it is such a crappy stroke and isn't good for your knees, either.

500 warmup
4 x 75 swim :20r
4 x 25 count strokes :30
2 x 50 breast
2 x 50 back
4 x 50 count strokes
2 x 150 going 50 fly/25 back
2 x 150 going 50 back/25 breast
2 x 150 going 50 breast/25 free
1000 steady pace on 1:30r (get 200s and 500 split)
100 easy on 1:40
500 FAST (significantly faster than 500 split in 1000)
8 x 25 odds sprint/evens easy on :30

Monday, February 25, 2013

Substitute Teacher Week

Coach Bill is on vacation, and since we have not seen any terrible news stories about manatee/human disasters while swimming, I assume all is okay. This week we have substitute coaches on deck, and Heather was our coach this morning. But we quickly realized there was a difference between substitute teachers when we were in school and substitute coaches. For one, if we don't do the workout exactly, the sub coach doesn't really care. We were not compelled to get up at 5:30am and the law does not require us to stay in the pool for a certain amount of time. Two, if we misbehave or talk back (or, in this case, roll our eyes at a 400 kick set) to the sub coach, we probably won't be sent to the pool manager's office and our parents won't be called. Finally, we will likely have to face that person in the pool the next day as they are a fellow swimmer, whereas the substitute teacher never re-joined the class when the teacher came back. And to that point, it works both ways. The sub coach does not want to give a terrible or really tough workout because they are one of us! It was sprint day, and we sprinted.

200 swim
150 drill/swim by 25
100 stroke/swim
100 swim
4 time thru:
 3 x 25 kick hard
25 kick easy
5 x 75 on :60
75 on 1:40
4 x 75 on 1:10
50 easy on 1;10
5 x 75 on :60
75 on 1:40
2 x 75 on :55
2 x 25 on :40
2 x 75 on :55
2 x 25 on :40
Six times thru:
50 on :45
25 on :45
200 pull :15r
100 swim :15r
2 x 50 :10r


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Swimming with the Manatees

Coach Bill announced today that he will be on vacation next week, swimming with the manatees. At first I was a little confused. Bill was swimming? With manatees? I don't know about you, but I want a front row seat to that show! Especially because, as I learned from Wikipedia, manatees swim on average about 5 to 8k per hour (3 to 5 mph). However, they have been known to swim at up to 30k per hour (20 mph) in short bursts. We know from our own swimming lore that our coach can do this. But for those of us imagining coach Bill in the wilds of the ocean with these beautiful creatures, it gets better, and frankly more realistic: Half a manatee's day is spent sleeping in the water, and they spend most of the rest of the time grazing in shallow waters. Now THAT sounds like a swim vacation. Have fun, coach Bill, we will miss you!

500 warm up

Twice through:
200 going:
50 (25 sidekick - 25 other side kick)
50 (25 one arm drill - 25 other one arm drill)
50 (25 fingertip drag drill -- 25 butt touch drill)
         50 (25 free build - 25 stroke build)
200 going:
50 (stroke)
50  (free: build up the lane)
50 (kick no board)
50 ( free: build down the lane)

Main set:
A.
50 free fast :40
100 free cruise: 1:40
150 free fast 2:00
200 free cruise 3:20
6 x 25 fly*  on :35

B.
50 free cruise :55
100 free fast 1:10
150 free  cruise 2:30
200 free  fast 2:45
6 x 25 back* on :35

C.  Same as 'A' but delete fly and insert 'Breast'
D.  Same as 'B' but delete back and insert 'Choice'

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No contact? No way!

The conventional wisdom is that swimming is a non-contact sport. On the surface, this is true. We don't use helmets, face guards or knee pads and don't go after each other (physically, that is!). But I beg to differ that it is "no contact". I have seen some pretty ugly run-ins. The worst kind is the head-to-head impact when you think you are splitting the lane and your lanemate thinks you are circle swimming. A helmet would be nice there as your heads collide. Or the knife-like precision of a swim paddle whopping you mid-stroke from the other side of the lane. Ouch. Then there is the lane line, which looks bright and cheerful but is hard and stinging when it gets in your way. Today I had a minor wrist injury when Hubbard was swimming fly and I was coming off of the wall. It was little consolation that H "couldn't feel his finger" after the episode. But my wrist in a full arm cast now so I should be ready for practice tomorrow. I hope that H did not have to amputate his finger. It was not looking good.

200 warmup
3 times thru:
125 going 50 stroke, 75 free
125 going 75 free, 50 stroke
12 x 100 going:
1-3 first 25 fly on 1:40
4-6 second 25 fly on 1:30
7-9 3rd 25 fly on 1:35
10-12 last 25 fly on 1:25
6 x 200
1-3 descend on 2:40
4-6 descend on 3:10
8 x 50 going
1-4 fast on :50
5-8 ascend on :50

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Doesn't Kill You...

I saw a story the other day about trampoline dodgeball, a new adult activity with centers popping up around the country.Yes, people jump on trampolines while trying to smack each other in a dodgeball game. I don't know about you, but I think this is possibly one of the worst ideas ever. Combining two of the most hated and angst-ridden activities of elementary school phys ed class cannot have a positive outcome. Why not add rope climbing while you are at it? But to be honest, I think dodgeball made me a stronger person. It is the reason why I am a more compassionate person. It's also the reason I duck at any type of object thrown at me that I did not ask to be thrown at me (dodgeball PTSD). So if I ask for a bottle of water, please do not throw it at me unless I look you in the eye and say "ready!"  As for the trampoline, I am too damn tall to bounce on one of those things anyway so it has helped me avoid a ceiling-related neck injury. Today's workout was tough too, but unlike gym class where we had no option but to participate, we chose to take this one on. And it was hard, but when the going got tough, the tough got going and we made the set. Special props to BB for leading the final set of 10. Put that cape on today!

500 warmup
200 swim
12 x 25 drill/swim on :30
9 x 50
1-3 on :55
4-6 on :50
7-9 on :45
10 x 100 on 1:30
10 x 100 on 1:25
10 x 100 on 1:20

Shout out to E for 3300 big yards today in her rehab comeback tour!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Little Sore

Let's face it, we have become a little soft over the last two winters here in New England, with almost no snow and balmy (relatively speaking) temps. But 25+ inches of snow will wake you up, and fast. That is why many of us were a bit sore today at swim practice (or not there at all, you know who you are!). I heard groans and sighs during warmup, as many of us had used muscles we hadn't used in years trying to move the snow or ourselves in the snow. Even those who used snow blowers had something to complain about (I mean, blisters hurt, as does the emotional toll of running out of gas). But I was feeling a bit too smug for my own good this morning, after zipping in to MIT at 5:45am with no traffic or problems. I even had the nerve to call my sister after practice to tell her my commute "is a breeze" as I headed up Beacon Street. But karma is a funny thing, because once I hung up the phone (I was hands free!) and approached Cleveland Circle, everything that is bad in the world came together to make my commute a living hell: The T, every bus line in Brighton, angry drivers with one lane to navigate, and possibly worst of all, people coming out of Starbucks texting. But I am here, and happy to post today's workout which was great, thanks Coach Bill!

400 swim
100 swim
6 x 75 going:
evens: swim/drill/swim
odds: stroke/drill/stroke
6 x 100 :25r going 25 drill/25swim/25stroke/25swim
3 x 150 on 2:20
2 x 75 stroke on 1:20
3 x 150 on 2:15
2 x 75 on 1:25
3 x 150 on 2:10
2 x 75 on 1:30
7 x 125
1-3 first 25 and last 25 fly on 1:55
4-6 first 50 back on 2:00
7 first 50 breast on 2:00