Monday, January 27, 2014

Trying to get educated on MIMS

Definitely not to scale, but a rough draft of the shape of
the island with the rivers that surround it.
My knowledge of New York and the rivers around Manhattan is very limited.  Yes I saw the Kramer clip and yes I've heard a few stories.  But I still know close to nothing about this race that will be my BIG
EVENT for 2014.  I have studied the course from NYC Swim several times and decided that I really should draw this thing up so I can see it each and every day to get myself prepared mentally for this awesome adventure.

I requested some folks to provide some simple tips of information that might be handy and I was pleasantly surprised to see some real experts weigh in.

Up until last summer I had always assumed that this race was run by David Barra, but Evan corrected me and told me it was organized by Morty Berger.  However David runs a series called 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, so he definitely is a gem of information.  Here's some of the nuggets of info I got:

David Barra - "Cruise the East River, build in the Harlem, Hammer the Hudson. Breathe left for the best views in the East and Hudson, right in the Harlem (Yankee Stadium, The big “C”)"

Greg O'Conner (fellow GSL Swimmer too!) - "Sprint up the East. You can ease off in the Harlem (it is warm, stinky and narrow). It will be fast and bumpy down the Hudson. Listen to Dave re the views."

Sarah Thomas (2013 Barra award winner) - "Enjoy the East, suffer through the Harlem (and don't swallow), and surf the Hudson. If you make the turn into the Hudson, you're basically home free."

Janet Manning - "it really doesn't SEEM as gross as I always expect. But yes, when it rains you know it's going to be bad. I always do a shot of straight vodka post swim and I swear it kills everything I've ingested. Haven't gotten sick yet. Since you will be swimming in the East & Harlem Rivers, I recommend, hmmm, 5-6 shots."
Well, since I don't drink, this won't be an option.  But I'll definitely go with Sarah's suggestion of NOT swallowing the water anywhere and especially in the Harlem River.  
There are a few places out there with priceless information:

Paul Newsome's 2013 report
Evan's 5 page report from his 2011 report:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

With a field with the likes of Grace van der BylSuzanne Heim-Bowen, and Mallory Mead, I have no chance whatsoever in winning this thing, in fact its a complete honor to even be in the same water with them.  I'm like the little girl who got a spear through the chest in Hunger Games.  I'm swimming with pros, and I'm just a chump hoping to at least see their bubbles up ahead.  There are some other serious swimmers that I've not heard of, but with some impressive background: Karen ZemlinSamir Barel and Ernie Hoftyzer to name a few.

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyFitness
I mapped out the course in MapMyFitness and the course appears to be nearly 29.4 miles.  Based on that here are some goal breakdowns.  I also realize that the currents are significantly different in different portions of the course, so this graph doesn't take any of that into consideration.  However, while I may not hit my goal in the Harlem River which is slower, I should be able to make up for it in the Hudson.  If the current were equal, here would be my breakdown:

River Distance Percentage of total course Goal time
East River @9 miles 30.61% < 2:26
Harlem River @7 miles 23.8% < 1:52
Hudson River @13.4 miles 45.60% < 3:37
Total 29.4 miles

< 7:57

This morning's swim was excellent.  Coach Kirsten came up with this one:

(After swimming a solid 2200 yards prior to masters):

300 warmup
500 - 2 x (10 x 25's kicking with fins on :30/:25)

:10 STRICT rest interval from here on out!
100 free good form
200 free pick up the pace
300 strong
400 pull really strong
500 pull all out
400 pull strong
300 free no equipment.  Try to not get lapped by Matt.
200 free 90% effort
100 free 90% effort

300 easy

Then moved to the north side of the pool and did:
300 easy
400 kick with fins
500  - 5 x 100's on 1:22.5
150 grandpa swimming

7,150 yards total

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