Saturday, December 17, 2011

swimming spirit: Holiday swim workout!

My friend Toby posted a link to this article on the top 10 things successful people do to reach their dreams. I loved the article and wanted to remember it here, and bookmark it to check on these next few years as I work to achieve my dream of competing at an elite level in triathlon. This post touches on "thing" #3: Early mornings & late nights. Because nearly every early morning at 6am, I hit the pool to work on something that has not come easily to me. But I love it. I love that I have to work reeeeaaallly hard to see tangible results in the pool. I also love that I have a great Master's swimming program to wake up to and make the work a little lot more fun. Let's face it: Swimming alone sucks! (to me).

You know what gets me in the Christmas spirit more than anything else? Master's swimming. Yes. Hear me out.
It all starts on December 1st when the "countdown to Christmas" 50s begin. On December 1st there are 25 x 50s (a "50" means you swim 50yards which is 2 lengths). The Christmas 50s preceed the main set ( main set=the bulk of the swim workout, the part where you usually are close to puking). Every day until the 25th, you swim one less 50 in the countdown. So today (Saturday the 17th, 8 days till Christmas, we swam 8 x50s).

Now, I know this whole "Christmas 50" thing is a little denominational and all, but heck, it IS the YMCA pool, so I guess they're allowed. Maybe at the JCC they swim Hannukah Hundreds? I think I'd love those too.
We've got a great indoor/outdoor situation going on. AND this is less than  3 minutes  WALK from my front door.  don't hate! 

Swimming doesn't get much airtime on this here blog. I think maybe because it's hard to take a camera in the pool, you know? But it should, because I'm LOVING swimming lately. I still have SO much work to do in the pool, but the coaches and my lane mates make it fun every day. AND, I just got a new teal Betty Designs signature one-piece that brightened up the pool this week. 

Anyway, back to the Christmas  50s. Well, I love them. I also love how every day, Coach Hux shows up with some evil Santa workout. You never know what to expect. In fact, I've been swimming masters at the Y for 3 years now and NEVER have seen a workout repeated. Seriously. AND, each session he pays attention to all 50 of us, running around, knowing all our intervals, and juggling 3 stopwatches to get everyones times. It's awesome motivation.

The Elf himself: Coach Hux sporting the So Cal winter look- board shorts, uggs, &gloves

About my lanemates. I'd like to also take this swimming air time to thank them for letting me be the caboose whenever I ask, for grabbing my ankles and pulling me under water to keep me on my toes, for not making too much fun of me for still not really knowing how to flip turn, for being patient as I played "fake it 'till you make it" the past 3months in "their" lane. I think I can finally say I "made it" in the 1:25 lane (lane 3).You should all know that I started in the 1:55 lane 3 years ago. And you bet I've  got my eyes on lane 2 for 2012...Not just yet though, one stroke at a time... (for those of you who don't swim- the 1:25, say, is your "base interval", a pace you should be able to swim comfortably for 50 yards. All the workouts are based off of this time. As you get faster, your base interval should decrease.)

Now, back to coach Hux & his workouts. Yesterday's holiday pain was the following. Give it a shot!
500 warm up
The Christmas 50s: 9 x 50 - 3kick, 3 drill, 3 swim on 5 seconds rest
The "Polar Express": 1000 continuous "train" with your lanemates, switching leaders every 100yards.
The "Egg Nog":
4 x 150 on base + 5
3 x 150 on base + 5 , 100 FAST (on base MINUS 10)
2 x 150 on base + 5, 2 x 100 FAST (on base -10)
1 x 150 on base + 5, 3 x 100 FAST (on base -10)
                                 4 x 100 FAST (on base -5)

100 warm down

total: 4550 yards (if you did the whole thing. I had to get out at 3800 yards and go to work. Darn job! truth: I was a bit relieved since the 4x100 was a little gnarly for my taste on that morning. But I DID do all my FAST 100s between 1:08 and 1:10- not bad for a girl from the 1:55 lane! )


hillary biscay said...

damn girl! that is some fast swimming! i am impressed! love it love it.

SixTwoThree said...

Exciting Saturday night...reading your blog! (kidding) Ah, you give me hope and inspiration. (as usual) Nice post!

Jill Costantino said...

That is SO fantastic. 1:08 Awesome job Chica! Merry Christmas (we say that around here I'm not so politically correct when it comes to that saying) to you and James:)

Damie said...

Beth! This was so well timed- thank you for posting that article. Especially #10 on Risk....that really resonated with me today. Cheers!!!!

GoBigGreen said...

Damn girl that is some fast swimming. Good inspiration to the girl who totally has a R shoulder girdle strong enough to swim in circles :) Now to get the L one to keep up!

Beth said...

Christmas 50's sound evil, but I bet you get even MORE excited as christmas gets closer. Only 10 50's today...

Those look like some kick-ass workouts. Nice swim!

Yasi said...

A few things:
I didn't know you lived that close to the YMCA! I swam in it once out there and loved it. Also, that coach is pretty cool. Although, he thought Whitney and I were girlfriends, quite funny.
We will have swim practice on Christmas Eve and have the kids do 'the 12 swims of Christmas' (eventhough many of them are Jewish). 12x100, 11x100, 10x100 etc. each of them a different kind of 100. Fun times!
Lastly, I'm going to write down that set and bring it in for practice, or do it myself! Looks great.

And, I love your website.

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