Found an incredible pool!

Oh so much has happened! I found a team, and a great time to swim (mornings), but then I was disallowed to continue swimming due to work commitments, so I had to find other avenues.

Then I found Long Bridge Aquatics and Fitness Center. Holy crap. Beautiful. When set to 25 yards (yes, you heard me), it has 24 lanes. When set to 50 meters (oy!), it’s got 8. Oh, and if you’re one of those diver geeks, it has a diving well with a 10m tower, 5m, 2 x 3m springboards and 2 x 1m springboards. The place is awesome.

Bought a membership today because I turned 55, and that reduces the prices due to me being all old and all. But basically I’m paying $7.02 per visit now. Instead of $10+, so that’s nice.

It’s been weeks and weeks so I only did 3000. Actually I did 55 laps (get it?) and then a 250y cool down. And now I feel like I’d lifted upper body for two hours. Ouch!

Slowly but surely

Still swimming. Managing three times a week, about 9000 yards. That’s good enough for now.

Apparently it is definitely good enough! This morning we had to do a bunch of 100s. At the end of the workout, pretty much 55 minutes in (~2400 yards), I managed a 100 (SCY) in 1:26. I don’t know that I’ve ever done that.

In addition, I’m lifting five days a week. I went from three days a week to five because we have a home gym. My wife or I can go into the garage at any point, lift for a bit, then go back to the kitchen or living room or wherever.

So now Monday thru Friday I’m lifting. And usually Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday swimming. Even better, I’m lifting heavy. Just last week my main set for strict military press was 1 x 3 @ 96lbs, 1 x 3 @ 102lbs, 1 x 1 @ 108lbs, and 1 x 1 @ 115lbs. And that 115 went up easily. Months ago that was my max and it hurt. But now, I’m doing “rep” with 115. ha!

Yes, I’m alive

I am still here, dear reader(s). Fell out of love with swimming for a bit, then got Omicron over Christmas (totally worth it), and just getting back to it and getting to the point again where it is habit vs. debating with myself at 0530 in the morning, “Do I really need to get up in 25 minutes to go swim?” The answer now: Yes.

Look at that beautiful pool I swim in now. Ain’t it purty?

Back in the pool

I was in a funk. Out of the pool for about two months. Just wasn’t feeling it.

But found a team. More importantly, found a masters team with good workout times: 0630-0730, M-Th. All other possibilities here were either 0500-0600 or 1930-2030. One time slot got in the way of my sleep, while the other, well, got in the way of my sleep. Too early or too late.

But not Lane-4. I can do two swims workdays with them and even do Saturdays (0730-0830). Nice to be back in the pool. And holy crap, two months of no swimming. I hurt so bad!

Just on Saturday, one of the other guys in my lane asked me my 100 time, and I said 1:45-1:50. Sadly, what he really asked was what interval I wanted to swim at. What followed was

100 on 1:45, then 50 easy

Twelve times! So :05 or less of rest each rep. Pain. Arms killed me for the rest of the day. I took two naps instead of my usual one. Sacrifice!

All Moved In

We recently moved to northern Virginia. I miss some parts of the Boston area. But with the recent issues up there, especially with respect to the recent legislation against open water swimming in Massachusetts-owned bodies of water, I’m glad to be down here. This is home.

Been swimming with WaveOne since getting here. I’ve also swum once with Alexandria Masters. Was going to swim a second time with ALEX, but the pool where they swim is closed until 11 September. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the pool was closed. Waste of a drive.

For these WaveOne swims (pics above), I’ve been using the RunKeeper app. For this, I have to start the tracking, then place it in my swim buoy, then close the buoy and blow it up, then jump in, strap on, and go swim. Point is, take 5-10 min off those times above. Because when I finish swimming, I also sometimes hang out in the water, maybe I’m peeing, maybe not, but again, point is, those aren’t my real times for those distances.

I’ve got Swim the Suck in October. Hopefully I will have swum enough in prep for it. Only time will tell!

Vermont is done

Went back up to Vermont to pick up our daughter, who was working there for the summer. We’re in “move mode,” meaning, we’re not long for New England. So I had to get some more lake swims in. Which I did!

That was Friday, my second day in that reservoir (Westbury Center Reservoir).

And this was the first day up there.

I had forgotten my Garmin on this trip to Vermont, and didn’t want to miss out on mapping a lake swim. This Runkeeper app is really nice, it actually has a swimming function. I was concerned if I just pressed Start, it would know that I couldn’t be running in a lake and wouldn’t record. Nope, swimming function to the rescue.

The interesting part is the app talks to you. At one point on Thursday I heard someone speaking to me. I stopped and looked around, assuming a paddle-boarder was near me. Nope, it was the app telling me how slow I was.

I’ve since used it also on a hike with the dog, and I really like it. I can certainly recommend it. Oh, and yes, I started it, then sealed my safety buoy, and the app still recorded everything. I think I’ll retire the 10+ year old Garmin.

Long time…

…no blogging.

Sorry ’bout that. I have been swimming. Some open water, too. Been enjoying it. Swam in the North East Kingdom, too!

My first foray into open water this year, and 64F was cold! Pleasure Bay, just to feel the water.

Did two more Pleasure Bay swims, too. To include a swim where I found myself in the middle of a dozen of jellyfish. Turns out, after the fact, they were “simply Lion’s Mane” jellyfish. That was supposed to make me feel better. Told to me by a man in full wetsuit. I didn’t trust him.

End of May I was in DC, and swam the opening night of WaveOne’s summer swim nights. WaveOne, run by marathon swimmer extraordinaire Denis Crean, holds OW swims Tue/Thur nights and Sun mornings in National Harbor, MD. 27 May was the opening night, and I got to swim!

Did 11 laps in the hour-plus, making that roughly 3200 meters. So. Much. Fun.

Went up to Vermont to drop our daughter off at her summer job, and got a swim in at lake Memphramagog. Home to the NEKOWSA Kingdom Swims every year.

Did a couple swim at Revere Beach. No jellies! I’ve missed swimming in open water.

Soon, the crazy-length pool near work, Mirabella, will open, and I’ll be able to swim before work. Can’t wait!

Back in the open water

Did a half-mile or so today to get re-acclimatized to cold (and salt) water.

The water near the beach was 64F-ish. Then I started to swim toward the bridge. Oy! Tide was coming in and it was cold. Pool thermometer read 60F, and was heading down.

Been since November the last time I’ve been in open water, and salt water at that. 30 minutes was long enough. Will try again in a week or so. Who knows, maybe the water will be in the mid-60s by then?!

Back in the open water…kinda

Tried my hand at a dip in the ocean today. Revere Beach was practically empty. The water was also very cold. 50F when I first walked in. Brrr…

I managed to get a bit deeper, waist-high, and the water was 48F. Way too cold. Two years ago I did 31 minutes in 51F at Winthrop. No way I could do that now. My seven months in Africa, and three open water swims there in 80+ water, sure didn’t help me keep my adaptation to cold(er) water!

That wave coming in? Straight punch to the cockles. Oy!

Did a short little video here.


Apparently you can get faster by going slower. Never knew that.

During my entire time in Africa, I swam pretty much LSD. Every once in a while I’d “push” it a bit, but rarely. Didn’t really do anything fast except when I was doing those timed swims.

Before I deployed, whenever I did USRPT, my 100 repeats would be 1:38 on 2:00 interval. And I could do 12 or so before failing one. Most of my 100s were 1:35-1:36. And I’d fail completely by 18 or so.

Since getting back I’ve been doing USRPT once a week. Same pool as before I left. But now, my repeats are 1:24-1:28. I even did some on 1:50. But mostly on 2:00. But really, I get back to the wall and wonder Who is swimming here?  Cutting 8-11 seconds per 100?

The only answer is consistency. I swam 5-6 times a week in Africa. And here so far I’ve managed 4-5 times a week, and at least 2000 to 2500 yards per 40-min reservation.

I swam 151 miles in Africa, more than most 6-month periods in my life. That has to be the reason my 100 times have gone down. All I know is, I’m happy, and will continue to try and get that 100 down even further.

All I am is a body adrift in water, salt & sky