Monday, January 2, 2012

California Dreamin'

Date: Monday, January 2, 2012
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
175 days to Olympic Trials

I spent New Year's weekend in Los Angeles with my partner, Geoff Glaser, and it was great to get a change of scenery for a few days. I did a search of the various Masters programs in the area, and I came upon UCLA Masters. They were doing their Saturday workout at the new Spieker Aquatics Center, and since I had always wanted to check it out, I decided that was the place to be.

Unfortunately, the GPS in our car could not recognize the pool's address, and as such, it took us through Beverly Hills, which I was confident was not the way to go as we were driving. When the guidance system ended the trip in an alley, I was livid. It was 10:45, and workout started at 11. It took us another 40 minutes to make our way to campus, find a parking spot and get into the pool. Here's the workout we managed to get on New Year's Eve:

(Short Course Yards)
Four rounds:
4x125 free on 1:35
4x50 stroke descend on :50
Rounds 1-2: backstroke descended to :31
Rounds 3-4: breaststroke descended to :33

200 easy

Total: 3,000 yards (45 minutes)

That was a tough workout! If we had gotten to the pool in time, that set wouldn't have been as difficult as it was. To dive in and do 125s on 1:35 was tough, but after two rounds, I was ready to go.

On New Year's Day, we had no plans to swim. We had fallen asleep at 11:15 p.m. on New Year's Eve and woke up at 7:30 the next morning. We used the gym at the Westin hotel, which isn't fully stocked with all the amenities, but was adequate enough for some free weight chest presses, free weight lunges and a few sets of breaststroke strokes with five-pound dumbbells while laying on the therapy ball.

I probably shouldn't have done the lunges that morning. We spent about seven hours at Six Flags Magic Mountain on New Year's Day, which was a great thing to do that day. The weather was 80 degrees during the day, and all the rollercoasters were thrilling. I'm like a kid in a candy store at amusement parks, especially Magic Mountain, which has the most rollercoasters in the world. The best one in the park was Green Lantern: First Flight. We did a lot of walking around that amusement park, including up a fairly steep hill.

When I woke up this morning, my glutes and hamstrings were very tight. This is the price I pay for having loads of fun at Six Flags. I did some dynamic stretching as soon as I got out of bed to get the blood flowing, since we had to be at the UCLA rec pool for a final California workout at 10 a.m. Just to be on the safe side, we got there 30 minutes early!

Here's a photo of the pool:

Does this pool look familiar? It should be if you've seen the movie "Minority Report." This pool was part of a crucial scene in the movie that I probably shouldn't reveal, but if you see the movie, you will recognize it. I swam in this pool back when I was in college. We had a dual meet against the now-defunct UCLA men's team in early January, I believe. I remember it being in the early afternoon and being somewhat warm.

UCLA Masters is coached by two-time Olympian Erika Hansen, and she's very committed to the team. She spent the entire time encouraging every swimmer, and didn't exclude me just because I had "experience." I enjoyed swimming with the team, and might come back on a future trip to LA!

Here's today's workout:

(Short Course Meters)
500 warmup

5x100 with :10 rest
75 free/25 kick fast

Six rounds:
1x150 free on 2:40
2x25 free no breath on :30

3x100 free on 1:25
3x50 fly descend on :55 (descended to :34)
2x100 free on 1:25
3x50 fly descend on 1:00 (descended to :34)
1x100 free on 1:25
3x50 fly descend 1:05 (descended to :33)

 200 warmdown

Total: 3,350 meters (65 minutes)

Lots of butterfly today! This was a typical Monday workout for UCLA Masters, which was not what I was expecting. Most Masters team make Mondays their distance day, and on the drive to the pool, I was mentally preparing for a long set of 500s. My legs weren't as sore as I thought they would be when I pushed off the walls, but the kicking was tough on my glutes. On the whole, the workout wasn't too bad, or at least as bad as I was expecting. It was a good way to say goodbye to southern California.

Now, it's time to get back into the rhythm of real life. I've got to get ready for the Austin Grand Prix, which is a little less than two weeks away!

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