Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Basket

Happy Belated Easter!

Easter has always been my favorite holiday. I always liked little things (buttons, beads, Polly Pockets, Beanie Babies, etc.) and anything colorful as a kid, so a holiday where everything was small and in bright colors really spoke to a young me.

Instead of doing anything big for Valentine's Day, Francis and I decided to do Easter baskets. He came up with an amazing basket stuffer: a bunny shaped hot/cold pack! Pain comes with the territory of training, so this gift is not only adorable, but really functional. We saw it at the Container Store (of all places!) a few weeks before Easter, and he went back to get it right before Easter. The bunny is named Barry, and he has already come in handy! For the record, I got him a cool action figure of Leonardo from Ninja Turtles and a Guinness pouring spoon :)

Hold Fast,

Barry the Soothing Bunny

Thursday, April 3, 2014

So, What Is This Stage 6 You Keep Talking About?

On June 24th, 2014, I will be attempting my first marathon swim. 

A marathon swim is considered to be any swim over 10K (6 miles). I completed my first 10K in September, The Little Red Lighthouse Swim (72nd Street Boat Basin in Manhattan to 207th Street). I swam it in an awesome time and felt really good afterwards, so I decided that this was the year to really start to go for my longer swimming goals. 

My first marathon swim will be Stage 6 of the 8 Bridges Swim. 8 Bridges is an event put on by my swim team CIBBOWS (Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers). The swim strings together the Rip Van Winkle, Kingston-Rhinecliff, Mid-Hudson, Newburgh-Beacon, Bear Mountain, Tappan Zee, George Washington, and Verrazano Narrows Bridges (Credit: 8 Bridges).

My stage is Stage 6: The Tappan Zee Bridge to the George Washington Bridge. I selected this stage for a few reasons:

1. When I was 10, my mom took me to an awesome science enrichment program (aka nerd camp) sponsored by Johns Hopkins at the Maritime Aquarium in Connecticut. We went over the Tappan Zee Bridge on our way there, and I was completely mesmerized! It is the widest area of the Hudson River, and therefore, one of the most scenic.
2. In terms of distance, it is close to the Ederle Swim (15 miles compared to 17.5)
3. It is the easiest stage to to get to, and offers a great tidal assist
4. My first apartment in Manhattan was right by the GW in Washington Heights. It is also awesome to end up right where my longer distance swimming career really began, since the LRL Swim ends about a mile north of the GW.

Coach Bonnie will be in a kayak right next to me, and Francis will be on a safety support vessel. I also know many of the swimmers in this leg, so there will be no shortage of safety and emotional support on this one!

Stage 6 Info

Stage 6 Map

It is going to be a challenge, but I like to think of a great line from "A League of Their Own" when I contemplate this distance: 'If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."

Hold Fast,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Sets

Here are the sets I am currently working on. I usually mix up the main sets to keep myself from getting bored.

400 Warm Up
6 x 50 kick (with a board) after warm up before your main set. (Work up to 10 of these)
Main Set

 *Work with 1:45 per 100m pace.

1.  10 x 100 on 1:45


2.  5 x 400

        1.  400 swim on  7:00
        2.  2 x 200  on  3:30
        3.  4 x 100  on  1:45
        4.  8 x 50    on :50 
        5  16 x 25   on :30  (desc* 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16)
*Descend = get faster on each 25 in groups of 4.  so, if you go :25 on the first one, then you should go :24, :23, :22 on the next 3.  You can drop more time on each one, but you must drop each time.  Number 5 could go back  to around a 25, and repeat.

3.  500 on 8:45
400 on  7:00  1 x 100 FAST on  1:55
300 on  5:15  2 x 100 FAST on  1:50
200 on  3:30  3 x 100 FAST on  1:45
100 on  1:45  4 x 100 FAST on  1:40 ("touch and go" is ok)

Finish with some hypoxic:  either breathing patterns, no breathers, etc)

Pretty fun! 

Also, this is the number of bananas Francis and I went through last week alone. Not a single banana went bad! This is what happens when a girl training for a 15 mile swim and a boy training for an Olympic triathlon cohabitate. 

Hold Fast,