The first swim of the season is a yearly tradition that I've been participating in for seven or eight years now. To ring in 2011, a school of 27 of us swam 111 x 50s on the :50 seconds in a very warm pool- mid 80s. This swim requires an icy water bottle and a lot of patience. We had six swimmers in our lane, so we each took turns leading six 50s and rotated leaders after every six (so every 6th one is on the :45 seconds, while the previous leader moves to back the lane). Following tradition, lots of us went out for a New Years Day breakfast to celebrate.
The flip turns on Saturday did a number on my lower back, so I've pretty much had a flipturnless 2011 after that set. Every swim seems a lot longer doing open turns and I'm getting quite bored. To combat the boredom of the slower walls, I've done a few swims with a great new toy from my in-laws, Finis' SwiMP3. It's a small waterproof mp3 player (clips onto my goggles) that uses bone-conduction technology to transmit sound underneath the water. The playlist took a little tweaking after my first swim with tunes. I was so excited when I first got it, I just loaded mp3s that I had on my computer. I remember laughing out loud when the songs went from artists Toby Keith, to Mis-Teeq, to Josh Groban to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." I couldn't stop laughing at the end of the pool. Speed up... slow down....speed up.....slow down. That swim was like driving on Orchard Lake Road. I think the playlist is figured out now. Yesterday when the song "Bottom's Up" came on, I thought, "I should be doing flipturns" to this tune.
It's January and the gym parking lots are packed, the exercise classes are filled and many people have made resolutions to shed a few pounds. For aspiring Channel swimmers, who are about to swim in very cold water over a long period of time, they recommend gaining a few pounds. Not by eating junk, but healthy high fat foods. I just read a Channel swimming posting that said, "A sucessfull crossing requires hours of training in pretty chilly water and an extra layer or two of blubber definitely helps." Now that's a resolution.