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:
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

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tune Time

Most swimmers have experienced RASS (Repetitive Annoying Song Syndrome) at some point during a workout. Several of us were experiencing RASS this morning, so we decided to play a little game, where between sets we'd announce the next song to be sung in our head. It was really fun for awhile. Rachel started us off with some Lady Gaga, I followed with Katy Perry, and as the workout went on we experienced a little Michael Jackson and Sting as well. But then the game turned ugly. Without any warning, someone from my lane (who will remain nameless) threw out "Muskrat Love". I don't know about you, but there are about 10 other Captain and Tennille songs that would actually work during swim practice (e.g. "Love Will Keep us Together"), but Muskrat Love is not one of them. And perhaps that was the point. Getting a terrible song stuck in someone's head is so evil and so genius that I have to give props to the person who did this. I just hope he is now singing "The Girl from Ipanema" all day. Thankfully, Rachel brought us all back to life with the fan favorite "Eye of the Tiger". Today's takeaway:  Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past, you must fight just to keep them alive.

6 x 50 drill/swim by 25 on :55
6 x 50 stroke drill/swim on 1:05
100 50 stroke/50 free on 1:40
200 stretch out on 3:00
300 IM
400 pull hypoxic (7,3,5,3) on 6:00
500 fast on 7:05
400 pull hypoxic (7,3,5,3) on 6:00
500 fast on 7:05
300 IM on :20r
200 pace on 3:00
100 stroke/free