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  1. Found out my open water time was actually...

    1:06 and not 1:32. Closer to my goal of one hour!

    I also realized I hit my ring toe so hard on a rock that it is more purple than Tom thumbs' plum! Unbelievable.

    I was hoping my shoulder would feel better by now. I havn't been doing my rotator exercises and it shows. I must do those.

    Today I tried my best adaptation of "Help my speed is horrible start up.

    After warming up
    I timed my 25 yd and 50 yd.
    My 25 is 18sec
    My 50 is 36 sec. The same since I started this journal in Jan. pretty much.

    did 12 x 25's 18 secs in 45 intervals every single one no change. Heartrate at end of set about 138 secs.

    Various 200's- swim, kick, sdk,
    Reported my observations to Ande's thread.

    Wasn't focused on yardage today.

    Updated June 1st, 2009 at 06:19 PM by flippergirl

  2. First open water race 3k Pinehearst NC

    The course was straight up and back to the big orange bouy 3 times.
    "Thats six laps?" I ask the person next to me.
    "Yep." They said.
    Wow, that thing is really down there and that is alot of times to go up and back. I thought to myself.

    Masses of kids piled in before us small group of meandering Masters. Then our turn to hit the water came. I felt like I was having touble staying behind the starting line (In sailbaot racing they take this very seriously) I was treading backwards when....buzzz!!! What a slow start I had as everyone flew by me.

    After about 200 yards I start to get panicky and had to tell myself to relax. You know the kind when you think the ship is really going down. "Think you are in worrries and wearing fins! " I get this way every time I start a race over 50 yds. (except the 100 IM)I just don't have the pace thing down. Well,I was sure gonna get practice now.

    After a while between constantly checking if I was going to hit someone I started thinking about my stroke.

    I found it so hard to kick because my head was always bobbing to watchout for others. I think my legs did nothing the first part of the race but drift and drag.

    Several people before the race told me to draft. Lots of luck. I could't catch a one of those legs with bubble flying off into the distance. However, toward the end of the race I got my freestlye on. That was the sweet spot of the day. All clear infront and I felt safe enough to streamline, kick, glide. Dang! My goggles fogged up so I stopped suddenly to fix them. A split second later I was surround by a litter of little ones, slipping around me. I think I must have been Mother Goose for a while! Now that was fun!

    Anyway, Knelson helped me with my seed time of one hour and I was over it just by 32 seconds. I can live with that!

    This blogging has kept me hanging in there and not be a quitter. Thanks, more than you know.

    Next week I am starting the "My speed is horrible" plan. If I can't find some one to time me I will just have to use the clock on the wall.
    Can't let excuses stop you.

    Updated May 31st, 2009 at 01:47 PM by flippergirl

  3. OW swim off the coast of Cozumel Isle,Mexico

    The water is torquoise blue while beautiful, unusual fish swim twenty feet under me tempting a free dive down every so often. I slide and glide as I follow after their yellow and silver schools. Although the tourist season is slow due to no cruise ships as a result of the swine flu I must watchout for dive boats heading in and out to the protected coral reefs. I wave to a boat and the native driver acknowledges me and smiles back. Mostly I stay very close to the rocky shore where it is more than safe from boats. It is easy to keep my head down to watch creatures floating, soaring or asleep below me. I have a bad habit of keeping my head too high in the water. This is a great way to change that.
    The current is challenging as I swim south past my first goal, a stout white lighthouse on shore. Feeling good I scope out another destiny to reach. Just one more goal before heading home. I see a bouy in the distance and make that it. Its taking longer than expected as I go further into unknown territory . The water gets deeper and feels colder. My heart beats faster as I push onward against the current. I must do what I set out to do. The current is testing my will as well as my stamina. Stroke, kick, stroke, kick ...finally my index finger swipes the surface of the towering yellow bell shaped bouy. I then proceed to give it a good smack. My insides cheer hooray for me now lets get outta here. Heading home with the current going north I fly by the staypuff marshmellow man lighthouse with the current in my favor. The tempture is 77degrees. They say an octupus has a garden down there. I will have to look for him on my next trip to Cozumel.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 09:56 AM by flippergirl

  4. When will I get faster?

    I am feeling frustrated as I am coming up on my six months review (end of June) and I am not any faster. I have joined a Masters swim group, I lift legs weights, I swim a least three times a week and always swim over 2500 yds at a clip, I have gone to a swim clinic, I blog, I read blogs, and still I feel confused about my stroke and can't seem to make any headway timewise. I see other newbies with leaps and bounds. I remain stagnet and now I am sad.

    Today's workout
    On my own after being away on vacation for 7 days I was glad to be back in the pool, but still the same ole hare here.

    100 IM warm up
    500 free warm up
    250 kick wiht fins
    250 kick
    10 x 50's on 45sec
    10 x 25's on 25secs
    (felt out of shape on these)
    Past month or so my lungs hurt when I take a deep breath.
    2 400 IMs
    450 swim
    3100 yds.

    First OW swim 3k in Pinhearst this week-end. I will do what I can...I guess.
  5. I just had to try and get into the ultraswim this morn...

    I am rushing around getting ready for Mexico and taking care of ususal duties as well, when my legs just jumped in the ole 1995 318BMW that just keeps on tickin 165,000 miles and smooth as molasses. I had to park far a way and ran to the entrance of the Aquatic Center.The ticket guy said it was almost over, I gave him the big dissapointment eyes, he gave me a discount* and in I went!* There was still a lot of great swimming going on.I watched the women and men 200 IM LCM meter heats. Amazing to watch the talent and little inuendos in strokes. I think the men in the breathstroke don't glide as much and maybe bring their legs up sooner than the woman. I saw alot of woman high forams (almost elbows)This is just my observation.In the butterfly I saw one fast swimmer actually leading with her wrist and fingers wide in the approach. Go figure...she was good though.I heard school names like University of VA and thought of our swimmers (Chris) and coaches from this board. Germantown and Peddie my old highschool rivals and I am sure their were more familiar cities and up and coming swimmers. Some from UVA qualified by the way!
    Something I didn't expect to see was a guy in a plain white bathrobe and white cap step up to the block. He tossed off the robe and whipped his arms like a race car reving its engine. I swear I heard the vvvrrmmm, but that might have been from Lowes big race week end down the road.Yes in lane four Michael Phelps dove into the 100 meter butterfly preliminary.* I happened to be way down at the turn end of the pool and from where I was I think he was third to hit the wall. Standing on the bleacher on tippy toe I was sure he didn't have the lead. Two other quys looked awful close. Then sure enough I looked at the board and he was first to touch. He must do some wildthing glide move into his finishes.
    Well, they had some suits on sale outside. I got my huband a couple to fit under his neoprene scuba gear.
    "Don't get me anything too tight." he said.
    It's just a swim suit, what is the big deal? blog/jounal. Until I catch up with you later.* I look forward to seeing how long I can OW swim in Cozumel.

    Updated May 15th, 2009 at 10:42 PM by flippergirl

  6. Ultraswim is comin to town...

    so practice will be off until next week. They are really spiffin up the place. Paintin' the lines on the pavement out front and puttin down fresh sod. They say the tickets are sold out. I hope to go to the prelims Thurs or Fri. as I am leaving for Cozumel for a scuba trip Sat. Hope to do some OW water swimming...but should I be afraid of sharks?
    Warm up
    200 choice

    I think we did this 3 times:
    100 Free
    50 stk
    100 Free

    100 stk
    50 free
    100 skk

    kick 2 sets of
    3 times 50 on 1:10
    3 times 50 on 1:20
    3 times 50 on 1:30

    some other kicking
    and then I worked on the stroke from Karlyn's seminar. During practice I also concentrated on changing my stroke. It is shorter faster strokes and no shoulder rotation. On the first 25yds I love it. I feel powerful and in control. But shorter, faster stroke might take more endurance. Maybe that is just me. THe stroke feels good to my body but maybe because I am pensive or tense I wear out. I love the secret weapon flip turn.
    I believe that on a rested and relaxed 50, plus the bullet flip turn I may have knocked 2 seconds off my usual 50. But before I come to any conclusions I want to do this consistently. Also I worry about anything over 50 yds, but I might just be tense and hesitant that I am using correct position. This may or may not make any sense.

    Updated May 13th, 2009 at 10:12 AM by flippergirl

  7. Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen's technique struck a bell with me...

    I am so glad I journeyed to Durham this past weekend to learn from one of the masters of Masters.
    DAMA (Durham Area Masters) invited me to join their workout Friday night before the seminar. Am I glad I did. Karlyn, in a lively colored suit was there in the pool with a group of swimmers working on relay drills the night before the actual seminar. It was the end of practice and they all looked like they were having fun. Then came the opportunity of a life time for me. She scooted into the empty lane I was in, gently took me by my shoulders and told me to lie flat in the water. She told me to pretend I was paddling a surfboard. Something about that rang so true to this beach blanket bingo baby. I imagined myself back as a teenager at the Jersey Shore paddling my boyfriend's board.
    She instructed me to paddle forward. I started to envision the waves coming at me that I had to get over. Woosh! I felt my upper body strength get into gear. I knew I had come to the right place to study swimming faster and with more ease.

    The next day was spent with a group doing drills feeling the difference between various stroke syles and learning what works. What can I say...I like her style!

    We worked on catch and release theory, and relaxed ankles instead of pointed toes.

    Now I plan on seeing if I can take what I learned and see improvement. Today in practice I was able to not fall back into my old habit...but it takes energy to learn something new. I was certainly not any does this mean I can only get faster as I get more comfortable? I am going to use the video she has. I really like this so far!

    Updated May 11th, 2009 at 12:17 PM by flippergirl

  8. Swam hard...

    Warm up
    400 yds

    4 x 2(25 Kick, drill, swim) 35 sec.

    4 x another kick set of 75 on 1:30, 2 50's on 1:30, 1 25 on 30 sec.

    2 x 75 on 1:20
    2 x 75 on 1:30
    2 x 75 on 1:40
    2 x 75 on 1:50
    2 x 75 on 1:60 ha ha

    cool down
    appox 2600 yds.
  9. Four months and 3 meets...

    I asked Fort, "Why are my times not improving." (There is also a great thread on this) She put these questions to me.* But first she said give time its due. Its a little early in my career to think I've peaked. Well, when your 52 you worry about these things.
    Question no. 1
    How many times a week are you training now?Answer:
    I am swimming with the team MWF for 1 1/2 hours. However, I just added a Saturday morning. If I keep that up it will be swimming four times a week approx 2700-3200 yards each practice.
    Question 2
    Are you doing anaerobic work or just regular masters practices with scads of medium pace aerobic work?
    Not any regimented anaerobic until today. I* Land Excercises this morning with the group. It meets T and F mornings. We did core strenthening, balance and some jump work. I used the lat pull down bar, leg lift and leg curl machine also. In practice I would say I work a bit harder than a medium pace with occassional very hard sets.
    Question 3
    Are you working on technique?I don't know what to work on or how to apply it when at practice. However,I am looking forward to next I signed up for a swim clinic with Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen and Eric Neilsen.
    Question 4
    Have you identified technique changes you should make? I hope to do this in some part on Saturday...otherwise I have not clearly identified issues.
    Question 5
    How is your kicking?I think in the Freestyle I am pretty good. I concentrate on pointing my toes and beating my legs rapidly. My endurance is also good.I would like to have my fly and breaststroke kick analyzed.
    Question 6
    How are your starts, turns and streamlines?I learned a new way of diving in Masters and I feel pretty good about it. I find when I swim alone my turns stay strong...but when I swim with a team they get lost in the circle training.* My very first meet I had not trained much with a group and I thought turns was one of my strong points. Now I feel I am not sure where to hit the wall. I don't come in with the power I used to when I worked out alone. Because of my RC problems I haven't been pulling and don't feel I work on streamlining and reaching as a result.
    I see there is alot to work on to improve. I know only way to get the time is to do the time.

    Updated May 5th, 2009 at 03:14 PM by flippergirl

  10. Over the Wall...

    Sunday my husband and I being newly certified (note: not certifiable) went to a nearby quarry to dive. Once again swimming showed to me it's gift. The quarry manager happened to be there and is an expert diver. While my husband needed to find his comfort level in the water and stayed close to the surface and shore I was taken on an underwater tour of the place. I swam through big pipes and sat on an underwater platform. I saw a sunken Volkswagon Beetle and then a Van. I saw purposely sunk boats and even a Rocking Horse?! That was really bizzare. It is definetly strange down there...but the most daring thing I did was after we came to the surface he asked me it I wanted to "Go over the Wall".
    Over the wall the quarry drops about 90 feet or more. I saw husband's huge yellow finns flopping in the air on the surface in the distance. I figured he was alright so I replied,
    It seem to go by very fast as we descend down, down, down. It was getting colder and colder. My hands went numb and then my calf started to cramp. We came to yet another lonely sunken fiberglass boat. I put my depth guage in its bottom. I was at sixty feet and 50 degrees. I looked into the quarry managers mask and his eyes gazed upward. That is where I was ready to go. We took our time as not to get the bends. Another first for me.

    I was late for this morning workout but I was there.
    I can't remember everything we did however
    A bunch of 100's free and 25 drills
    kick for15 minutes with free and stroke variety.
    kick 25's about 10 on 30 sec
    4 X 100 free
    25 stk
    75 free
    25 stk
    50 free
    25 stk
    rest 40 sec between each set
    Some other set.
    Cool down
    Hot tub and tomorow I promise myself to get up to go do land excercise with the team.

    Updated May 4th, 2009 at 09:59 AM by flippergirl

  11. Training for a new kind of triathalon?

    A girl dolphin's dream scheme...swim, scuba and whitewater kayak! Yesterday I swam with Saturday's CSM group and today my husband and I go to the bottom of the quarry for the first time by ourselves. So, if you don't hear from me Monday after practice, that is where I am. Whitewater kayaked last weekend, got a wild ride in the M wave by accident and held my own. It was the little curl at the the top of the Wilderness Channel that trashed me and ended with water rushing up the schnozz!!

    Sat workout:

    Warm up S-300 K-200 P-200

    Swim 20 X 75 in 4 sets
    2@fast (1:01-1:05)rest to 1:10, 1EZ+10 1Sprint+20
    400 K,S D
    20 X 25 3 kick on 30, 1 swim EZ, 1 swim sprint

    200 Ez

    3200 yds approx.

    Updated May 3rd, 2009 at 12:13 PM by flippergirl

  12. Thoughts of Openwater are dancing in my head...

    I went up to Lake Norman trying to gear myself up to sail our 30 foot Catalina Capri on my own. But I still get shakey about it, so the winds have to be just right. I have two solo sails under my belt from last season...but our new slip is really tricky to get into. That is my biggest concern. I will get comfortable again as the summer progresses.
    I thought of "Chicken of the Sea" and decided to test the water. It was cold, but not terrible. No red bumps showing. I swim back and forth behind yachts of various size, shape, beauty and decrepity. I see Mast clanging and catchy names on the back of boats strung together as I take each breath. They protect me from the motor boats, although one stopped and said he thought I was a fish.
    "Dolphin" I replied.
    So I am contiplating the NC Openwater at Pinehearst. Another first for me!

    Swam this morning
    We did a lot of interval building slow to fast.
    Kicked, kicked, and more kick. Leslie inspired me today. Thanks!

    Worked on all the strokes as I like the IM.
    My Butterfly definitely needs a look at.
    So does my breaststroke.
    Maybe 2500 yds
  13. PACING...

    I notice that when I do a drill first it helps me to focus on one part of my stroke. I feel calm and centered by this and maybe it is more beneficial for muscle memory before doing intervals.
    Spoke to someone after the workout today about pacing. This is the story he relayed to me. His big goal was to do the 100 Free under a 1:00. So when he was standing on the blocks at a race he mentioned this to the swimmer next to him. The stranger said, “Follow me…”. My friend started out holding his form well and giving it all he had until his body felt totally depleted. With the dark shadow at his side and only 40 yards left to go there was nothing else to do but finish strong. This carried him home. He did it in 59.99.
    800 Warm up
    4 time 5 100’s First 400 100’s on 1:30 odds pull, even stroke
    Last 100 kick with fins.
    Wow 2800 just like that.
    Cooldown with wallside story.
  14. I opened a whole new can of butteflies yesterday....

    I swam the 100 IM in the Raleigh meet yesterday. I feel elated and overwhelmed! To me the meets are such a gift. A chance to test myself and uncover the vast amounts of challenges that await not only my body but my brain. While my body is the race car, my mind is the guys behind the scenes making the motor run and the chasy streamlined as possible on the aqua track.
    So today I went to the pool and swam by myself instead of with the team. I need to allow my body to tell the guys upstairs where the problems lie. The good new is there are alot of issue that need to be tweaked. At least the engineers see the problems now. Some can be fixed by them, but the rest of the job needs to be out sourced to coaches, reading material and this forum. Oh and lots of time in the pool.
    Turns, strokes, starts you name it. This to me means I can only get faster with time and effort. Alot of details have come to the surface for me to work on.
    I did well yesterday, but in the 50 free and 50 back I seem to have plateaued. Well, if two races can be called that. I have to find a way to slice away some seconds!

    Here is a question...I was told I was "hanging on the walls in my turns" on the IM. What do you do to prevent this elapsed time?

    Updated April 20th, 2009 at 07:33 PM by flippergirl

  15. Any day I get up and swim with my team is a good start.

    And if I don't do weights and abs I get reminded by this forum when I journal. Ugh...okay into the weightroom I must go Friday after practice.
    We did some vertical jumps. That was fun.
    We did kick,drill, swims
    100's, 50's and 25's over and over.

    2 x 100's eight times + 05 0n 145's.
    and other stuff.

    Gotta do taxes
    Keep putting it off.

    Gotta send in sheet for Raleigh Apr 18th 19th.

    Oh, open water
    Scuba dive in Fla!
    Fri drive,
    Sat and Sun dive.
    Hope I make it to practice. Should be able to.
    I'm beat...

    Updated April 1st, 2009 at 01:30 PM by flippergirl

  16. Overcoming my choke on the 500

    I decided to get in the pool this morning and just do it. However the LC course was set up so...

    200meter warm up

    500 meter free 7:51
    race time Sat 500 yds 7.49:57!

    4x 50 meters
    1-50sec on 1:00 interval
    2-110sec on 1:20 interval
    3-51sec on 1:15
    4 53sec on 1:15
    Learned I need more recovery time in intervals.

    400 free plus kick with flippers and w/out

    50 meter breast on a 1:50
    200 breast

    I need someone to show me the new style breast, teach me correct fly and check all my strokes. I am thinking of getting a private coach for a while. Someone who will correct my stroke very specifically.

    300 cool down
    Will swim with the team tomorrow morn.
  17. The Devil Splash at Duke

    They put me in lane 1 of the second heat of the 500 free. It was the first race of the day. Ugh...there is nothing like sloshing around and looking to your left only to see everybody lapping you. I now know the definition of physical pain, ego deflation, and shock all shutting down your lungs. I am throwing my favorite pair of goggles in the river as no matter how hard I tried to tuck my chin they blew off. As I crawled into the wall I heard Bernie my counter's concern.
    "Are you okay?"
    I wasn't.
    I told myself to relax and on the 6th lap with as much dignity as I could muster I fixed my specs. I reverted to regular turns for an eternity until one rare special moment came my way. All of us were aligned like the stars and I charged for about 20 feet with the best of them into the final flip turn. I finished a 7.49. One second under my seed time.
    My teammate was head to head for the 100 fly finish and I was so busy rooting and rubbernecking I missed the whistle of my 50 breast. It felt like slow motion as I sprinted through the timers, leaped onto the block and dove in. When I finished the race and started to get out of the pool a man in a white polo shirt was starring down at me. Dead silence. I shly asked,
    "Am I disqualified?"
    He paused.
    "Yes, but we would have put you in another heat."
    Actually I was double DQed because I had added a touch of flutter to my start. The computer guy at the table said I was about 3 secs. late on the start with a 50.01. So 47?
    I think I am a 50 backstroker as I won my heat and finished with a 41.02
    But the best was yet to come. I wanted to do the 50 free in a 34. and I did.
  18. It's getting closer....

    I got up and went to the work out I committed to however no sparks are flying here. Maybe my body is shutting down so I am just going to go with it. I am packing and planning and taking my time.
    I will rock tomorrow. I will rock tomorrow.
  19. I must go to my master work out...I must go to my

    master workout tomorrow or I just won't feel right for the meet Saturday at Duke. I want to be lazy and say "part of your taper plan, baby. Take a vacation!"
    But you see, it is the strength I gain from numbers, the other swimmers that will carry me through the 500 free, the 50 free and the 50 breast. I know it will provide the confidence I need. I've written it down and now there is no backing off. I know I don't have to work too hard. Few sprints, turns, focus on stroke and plans. Talk to the coach and say goodbye until Monday. Well, this is it. Here I go! Why is my heart in my throat already?
    P.S. I am really not a girly girl but I painted my toenails peach so I would remember to keep my head down and dive for the peaches in the basket.

    Updated March 26th, 2009 at 03:52 PM by flippergirl

  20. Peach Basket Dive

    Today I worked on my dive. Trying something new. I had learned the flat dive as a kid and have been getting red thighs and goggles coming off. So Bernie and the coach showed me the track start then dive through the peach basket. Head needs to be way down with left foot forward. It is hard to trust new things, but man it felt like hitting the sweet spot when I met the water. A nice glide without much effort under water. Seem impossible that this could be faster, but once I hit the water there was a natural force pulling me forward. Kinda like the twilight zone dodo dodo.....
    Let see
    4 x

    4 minutes each
    and then my shoulder said "stop"
    With Flippers I did
    Katy's drill
    underwater hypoxic?
    dolphin kicks

    50's swim, kick, free

    75 free did some 1:02's 10sec rest
    25 kick
    50 swim rest 10 sec
    45 rest in bween sets

    Divin' for peaches!!!

    cool down
    weight machine
    abs leg lifts and curls 50lbs 5 x 10 reps
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