Thursday, June 29, 2006

I Was A Fish In My Last Life

I just had to be. I LOVE the water. I LOVE swimming... LOVE. IT.

Apart from the fact that I've slept thru both my morning swims this week, swimming is the best. Before you go all "that's-scandalous-where's-your-accountability?" on me, let me assure you that my masters team also meets in the evening and I went Tuesday evening, I'm going tonight, and I had open water swims last Friday evening and last night. The lake wins over the pool, HANDS DOWN. It's so amazing to be out there... I can't wait to do more.

Last night Maintenance Girl and I met on short notice and got probably about 1500 yards in. From the beach at the lake, we've discovered about 5 swimming floats and a buoy - all about 20 yards out from the shore and anchored in about 7 feet of water - that are around 200 yards apart. We discovered that we can "float hop" quite nicely, regrouping at each float...and 200 yards at a shot is plenty of time to get in a good groove and practice each component of open water swimming. Once we got to the 5th float, we turned around and hopped back. It's also a good way to stay out of the way of motorboats. Last night I was focusing on breathing and sighting to my weak side. It was so quiet and peaceful... it rained all day long and was still a little drizzly but totally calm and misty. Kind of an out-of-body experience. The light was ethereal... wow. It was the kind of evening that makes you glad to be alive, to be living, to be OUT there. I want to go again RIGHT NOW.

Alas, tonight I will venture to the pool for an hour. I did have an amazing pool swim on Tuesday evening was a small crowd and I actually had my own lane. The practice was especially fun and might interest some of you who don't have access to open water. It was an open water simulation designed for a 1500 yard open water swim and it went like this:

Warmup on your own for 10 minutes

Tri set: 4 x 25 EZ, sight every stroke as if you're in open water
Main Set:
6 x 100 yds with :25 seconds of rest after each 100. Pick a pace that you can manage pretty easily, as if you were pacing yourself for a 1500 yard swim. Hold your times. I picked a 1:40 and held about 1:36-1:40 throughout so I started on a 2:05 interval (1:40 + :25 seconds).

100 EZ recovery with fins, dolphin kick on your back or stomach

5 x 100 yds with :20 seconds rest. Hold your same time as above, even though you're getting less rest. This simulates race fatigue... hopefully the pace you picked is still manageable. I swam on a 2:00 interval.

100 EZ recovery with fins,

4 x 100 yds with :15 seconds rest. Hold your times. Push yourself on the last two as if you're passing the last people in the wave ahead of you, finish strong. (1:55 interval)

100-200 warmdown

This felt really good. I think I'm finally getting a handle on my left hand catch/pull problem and that free speed I was talking about is showing up as a few extra seconds per 100. Cool.

Heading to the ocean this weekend...looking forward to an open water ocean swim!!! Apart from the salt water, should be just as nice!

Train hard!


Blogger Flatman said...


:) hee.

Great job...I wish I was near a decent lake...

3:36 PM GMT-5

Blogger Bolder said...

ooooo, you just reminded me, i need to try and talk Roman into doing some open water swims with me -- NOT in a race scenario...

4:06 PM GMT-5

Blogger Cliff said...

Lane to i envy you :)...for some reason..when i swim..there is always 5-8 ppl in the same lane as me..and half of them are slow. It feels more like an obstacle course than swimming ;D.

4:10 PM GMT-5

Blogger JC said...

awesome swim, Spence. I wish I had a lake around here to swim in. I'll just have to come up there to visit and race you to the next buoy. You'd kick my ass, but I'd step up and try not to be emasculated by the resounding defeat. On second thought... happy swimming. =P

9:49 AM GMT-5

Blogger Barb said...

I really envy the fact that you can jump in a lake and just swim, without regard to lake sharks like I have to deal with! Ha!

Will this be your first ocean swim? I would think it would be a lot more difficult than swimming in a lake. Can't wait to hear about it!

11:48 PM GMT-5

Blogger Scott said...

I can visualize the ethereal light, mist etc. NICE! I'm all over the idea of feeling good to be alive.

6:37 AM GMT-5

Blogger christine said...

I do have a lake to practice there goes that excuse! I'm pretty new to swimming just learned over the past few months.I struggle still with making the switch from the pool to the lake.
This post does make the lake more enticing...and a what a kickass pool workout! Yesterday I did 6x50 (w/restbreaks in between.)in the pool and that kicked my butt!

8:41 AM GMT-5

Blogger christine said...

oooh, i just watched the video....very very cool...i've thought about doing that myself....there is alot to focus on in the swim isn't there???......i'm such a guppy!

8:56 AM GMT-5

Blogger Joe said...

I love that photo. You always have such great photos to share.

12:16 PM GMT-5

Blogger tarheeltri said...

What a great location to swim! Reminds me of some lakes we used to vacation at as a kid.

9:55 AM GMT-5


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