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

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!