I allowed myself to get talked into doing the One Hour Swim – I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Well, I did it. Phew, glad that’s over! My goal was to do 4000 yds which is a 1:30/100 yd pace. That seemed like an attainable, although challenging enough, goal. The last time I did the OHS was probably 10 years ago and I went just over 4000 yds, if memory serves (why don’t I write these things down?!), so while I know I’ve been swimming fairly consistently, 10 years older is 10 years older! So on January 13th, with the support of a good friend who diligently wrote down my splits, I took the plunge. And, guess what? I swam closer to a 1:25 pace and eked out 4225 yards! I was pretty pleased. An hour later and I was even able to move my arms around in a normal fashion.
USMS One Hour Swim: the website is kind of crappy and scary looking, but basically, you swim as much as you want or can in one hour while someone takes down your 50 splits (cumulative splits. There’s a form). You have to be a USMS member, and there are some other rules about where you can swim – check out the site for details. Swim continuously, or stop and start – it really doesn’t matter – yardage is yardage and it all adds up. A couple people who have shoulder issues kicked for the hour (can’t imagine). My regional team, New England Masters, seems to have some kind of rivalry with Davis Aquatic Masters in CA, so there’s always a big push to get as many people to swim the event as possible. I think we won last year, so Davis is out to get us this year.
Looking ahead to race season… I’m all signed up for the season! I’m doing the swim part (fun part!) on 3 Team EnVision relays, all with my super fast cycling sister, and 3 different runners .
- Escape the Cape in June (brr, but only 1/3 mile swim)
- MASS State in July (Olympic distance, yeah! .9 mile swim)
- The Sharon in August (1/2 mile swim)
- Cranberry Olympic distance Aquabike also in August (not a relay, I get to bike on this one – we’ll see if that’s a good thing…)
I hadn’t planned on registering for events so early, but people started talking about what they were going to do, and relays were getting decided, so… LEAP. No procrastinating.
Do you have your races figured out?
Read: Thereby Hangs a Tail, Spencer Quinn. Detective novel from the point of view of a dog. So fun!
Oh, and EAT! I made a variation of Frugal Feeding’s Onion Bhajis. I added some shredded carrots and beets. I don’t like to fry much, but for these? totally worth it!
I considered signing up for the Janathon challenge, but didn’t find out about it until January 1st, and I was basically a slug that day. I generally do some form of exercise (or 2) every day, which, according the “rules” is the whole point, but it seems like the focus is on running. Every day. And that’s not going to happen! I also doubt that I’d blog every day. I encourage you to take a look at the Janathon site and participants – it looks like a fun challenge and a great way to find new blogs to read.
SWIM – the usual. I try to swim most days, but end up taking a day off here and there. On my own I’ll do 2000-2500 yds; more when I swim with the team. On New Year’s Eve day, I took part in the Miles for Marly 100×100 benefit swim. A Cambridge Masters Swim Club coach was killed in a bike accident a few years ago, and a scholarship has been set up in her name at Smith College, where she did her undergrad. I did 55×100 on a 1:35 interval. I had only planned on doing 50 so I was pretty happy with that. Hey, I wanted to go out on New Year’s Eve and be able to raise my arms in celebration! Next year I might try for more 100s at a slower interval and see how it goes. Next up: USMS One Hour Swim on January 13th – unless I’m sick. I seem to be catching a cold but hope to be better by next week.
Very exciting: I got 2 new bathing suits! And I’m waiting for one more (back order). I decided to give AgonSwim grab bag another try. Unfortunately the one w/the paw prints is too big. Oh well, someone will take it off my hands for $18 (cheap, I know).
What the hell is Cimarron-Memorial anyway?! That’s the fun of grab bag. Maybe somebody will recognize it somewhere along the way.
BIKE – other than commuting my 3 miles to/from work, I’m not riding outside.
It’s just too cold. I went for a road ride when it was in the 40s and I was NOT happy by the end. I hate it when my feet turn purple. And that was WITH shoe covers! So I’ve been on my trainer a couple times and am resigned to spin classes until… June? No, probably April, though.
[RUN – I figure it’s worth mentioning when I actually do it. 3 mile run with a friend, talking most of the way. Actually fun and not horrible! And not too slow – it’s all relative, right?]
READ – Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels. The writing is beautiful, descriptions and characters are rich. But I’m not loving it. I can dive into it and get lost for a little while, but can easily put it down. And I’m not rushing to pick it up again. I’m hoping the next book I read will really grab me.
and EAT! – after run snack (aka breakfast): a banana, 1/2 an apple, 2 dates, home-made almond butter and home-made tahini. Yum! Oh, and MORE COFFEE!!!
or, how to tell if you need a new suit and what to do about it:
Early warning – it feels fine when you put it on, but seems a little looser than usual after getting wet. You might want to look it over. Closely. In the mirror. While wearing it wet.
You see some striation of the material. Time to start shopping
The outer material is no longer speaking to the inner lining – they should be as one. You really need to start shopping. Obviously this only applies to lined suits.
You feel something tickling the back of your thighs, and it’s the butt of your suit. Whoops – ‘cause by now, your suit probably isn’t doing a great job of keeping things hidden, OR in their proper places.
Believe me, I’ve seen all of the above. If you swim regularly, you probably have, too.
More subtle clues:
You get odd, sometimes pitying, looks as you walk along the deck
The lifeguards look away – or anywhere other than your suit. Or they can’t help BUT look at your suit. Maybe with a look of astonishment, embarrassment, unbridled lust or disgust… you get the picture (for better or worse).
I go through a lot of suits, and I like to have back-ups on hand. Or I should say I used to go through a lot of them until I stumbled upon suits made from tougher materials, which kind of takes the fun out of my SAD (Swimsuit Acquisition Disorder). On the other hand, it’s a lot cheaper. Now I get bored with my suits before they wear out. There are a lot of fun styles and patterns, and you can pay a lot for them. Or not. It depends on how particular you are about getting a specific design. I don’t like to pay $70+, so I search around for options, and increase my tolerance for “not me” colors. I’m still a snob about certain brands, though. I just can’t help it.
TJ MAXX, Marshalls – not reliable stock, but sometimes they have Speedo, TYR and Nike brands, and when they have them, they’re cheap.
AGONSWIM – they mainly do team suits and make extras so the grab bag option is great if you like the excitement of not knowing what you’ll get (beyond style and material). It’s like Christmas! Or your birthday! The grab bag suits are about ½ the price of choosing your own print which I find very inviting. There are a lot of options for styles and materials, so the site can be a little overwhelming. I’ve had good luck with their customer service when I’ve needed to return items. Last time I ordered from Agonswim, I found that the lycra suits wore out quicker than I expected, though. I’m thinking of giving them another try, but this time I’ll get Duramax or MaxResist material. If you go with one of the tougher materials, you might have to order a size bigger due to less stretch in the fabric.
METRO SWIM SHOP and SWIM OUTLET – very similar in terms of price and offerings. I’m often enticed by a featured suit (on sale, of course) only to find out that they don’t have my size. Grr. But persevere – the deals are there. At $28-$35 for a Speedo, Tyr, or Nike, it’s worth it. And they often have other brands for even less.
Regular store – WAY too expensive for me. I’m not spending $70 or more! Keep an eye out for sales, though – I hear they happen.
I could go on and on about swim suits and the various styles, but I’ll save that for another time. Oh, just one other thing: if you’re competing, make sure the suit you buy is legal for your event. FINA-governed competitions do not allow suits with zippers or clips, for instance. There are rules about materials and lengths and coverage and… you name it!
Happy swimming (and shopping)!