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An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey

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  1. Week of 10/16/2011 - 10/22/2011

    by , October 23rd, 2011 at 01:44 AM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    Monday, October 17, 2011
    2650 SCY
    I wasn't feeling very good tonight. The tendinitis in my foot is slowly disappearing, but I still didn't feel 100%. I also got in late thanks to a miscommunication between our coach and myself, so I kept the total yardage on the low side. So this workout is a strictly improvised workout. My kicking work has been neglected lately, so I decided to spend the bulk of the workout doing kicks.
    400 free, easy
    100 breaststroke kick
    100 free
    8 x 25 "15 meter" drill

    Main Set
    2 x {
    200 free pull w/paddles and buoy
    200 breaststroke kick
    200 free, 80% effort
    8 x 50 kick, IM order

    Cool down
    250 free, easy

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    3050 SCY
    My foot is feeling much better today and I was one of the first people to the pool today, so I was able to get in early and get the complete work-out in before 9PM rolled around. In spite of the longer distances, I actually enjoyed the gradually decreasing distances with the sets. The timed sets were very to difficult to make; I ended up just doing my best to get in, wait 5 seconds, and then going off on the next one.
    400 free, easy
    200 Kick, IM order
    6 x 25 "15 meter" drill

    Main Set
    400 free
    300 pull, free
    200 kick
    100 drill
    10 x 50 free (25 fast - 25 easy) on 1:10
    8 x 75 free on 1:25

    Cool down
    200 free, easy

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    3050 SCY
    The 200s in the main set were so much easier to swim, as Nick made the stroke our choice. I did breast/free/breast/free so I would have some variety. I've really been hankering to do some kicking, so the kick set was a welcome work-out.
    400 free, easy
    200 Kick, IM order
    6 x 25 "15 meter" drill

    Main Set
    4 x 200 choice w/ 0:20 rest
    8 x 50 kick @ 1:15 (descend 1-4. 5-8)
    6 x 50 drill @ 1:05
    4 x 50 swim @ 1:00 (descend 1-4)
    4 x 150 @ 2:40 (free/breast/free by 50)

    Cool down
    200 free, easy

    This week I got the chance to get a new member of our team. Luca and I attend the same college, we both have interest in computer programming, and we both swam when we were youngsters. Friday after practice we ended up getting a late dinner and chatting. One of my goals for returning to swimming and now joining a Masters team was to meet new people and make new friends, and so far it's working well. Go The Distance update
    I am currently at 79.06 miles on GTD. My goal is make 100 miles by the end of the year, which I will probably do if I keep up this rate. As long as my class schedule cooperates with the swim schedule, I'd like to make 250 miles my goal in 2012. I didn't start tracking my yards until late May, and we really really increased the daily yardage in August, so in a relatively short period of time I was able to make it to 50 miles and eventually to 100. Next year I will gunning for 250 miles, and maybe even 365 miles if I can.

    This Wednesday my college class didn't meet and lucky for me it was a YHS water polo game day, so I brought my camera out for the game and of course worked my magic with the camera. I love watching this sport! Game photos from Wednesday

    Updated October 24th, 2011 at 03:01 PM by tuna

    Swim Workouts
  2. Week of 10/2/2011 - 10/8/2011

    by , October 8th, 2011 at 01:53 PM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    Monday, October 3, 2011
    2900 SCY
    I liked today's work out up until I read the sets of 500s.... I'm not a distance swimmer. I tend to either go out too fast or too slow, and either way my times end up reflecting that I didn't plan right. The 50s were great though; they allow you to get your heart rate up and pumping.
    400 free, easy
    4 x 50 IM order
    6 x 25 "15 meter" drill

    Main Set
    4 x 25 "15 meter" drill
    5 x 50 fast
    5 x 50 faster
    2 x 500 rest... pull, swim
    5 x 50 build up sprints 0:30 rest
    5 x 50 build up sprints 0:30 rest stroke
    3 x 50 easy recovery

    Cool down
    200 free, easy
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
    3350 SCY
    Wow it's cold tonight!!! This afternoon as I drove to my college class, it poured rain. I mean a lot! I could barely see 25 feet in front of my truck. It was crazy! Of course, I still made it to swimming tonight in spite of the strong urge to go home after class to escape the rain. By the time practice rolled around, the rain had let up and there was only an occasional breeze. Apparently most of the swimmers were scared away, as there were only two other swimmers (both Masters swimmers) in the pool with me: Danielle and Ed. I was able to get in the whole workout, but the worst part was getting out. It was a cold dash from the pool to my bag, and from there to the locker room.
    400 free, easy
    1 x 200 IM
    6 x 50 "15 meter" drill

    Main Set
    400 swim
    300 pull
    200 kick
    100 drill
    9 x 100 swim w/0:15 sec rest (1 easy, 1 STRONG, repeat)
    5 easy
    8 x 50 w/0:20 rest (free/non-free by 25)

    Cool down
    100 free, easy

    I know that regular readers of my blog will be thinking "What happened to Friday's workout?!". I didn't swim Friday night because my boss had a birthday at his house. I wanted to go, and since I was going to be taking care of my Dad and step-mom's dogs that weekend, I was hoping to get a work-out in on Saturday. I did some looking around in the Redlands and Yucaipa area, and the only place I could find that listed public lap swim was the University of Redlands. I called the number to verify and the recording said the pool was only open to students, staff, and alumni, and that it was going to be closed this weekend for the men's water polo game. Darn it!

    Updated October 24th, 2011 at 02:37 PM by tuna

    Swim Workouts
  3. Week of 9/25/11 - 10/1/11

    by , October 1st, 2011 at 12:17 PM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    Monday, September 26, 2011
    3400 SCY
    The first main set was a little difficult to grasp at first, at least until I recognised the pattern. Of course doing fly is never easy for me, but that was only an issue when it came to the longer distances. I'm just happy I didn't have to do fly twice in the 150! The next set I ended up doing it all breaststroke, yes that's 1100 yds of breaststroke! I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow!!

    400 free, easy
    8 x 50 IM order

    Main Set
    with 0:15 rest in between
    25 fly
    50 (bck/brst)
    75 (fr/fly/bck)
    100 (brst/fr/fly/bck)
    150 (brst/fr/fly/bck/brst/fr)

    with 1:00 rest in between
    all stroke or IM
    200, 250, 300, 350

    with 1:15 rest in between
    all free 400, 500

    Cool down
    200 free, easy

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    3200 SCY
    Today was the day of 200s! I really enjoyed the kick sets, as it gives me time to concentrate on one lacking facet of my swim technique. I've always swam primarily with my arms and shoulders. I don't know why that is, but as long as I remember, my kick has been marginal at best.

    400 free, easy
    8 x 50 IM order

    Main Set
    10 x 50 free (5 on the 0:55, 5 on the 0:50)
    3 x 200 IM kick 0:30 rest
    2 x 200 pull on the 3:30
    2 x 200 free descending 0:45 rest
    3 x 100 stroke (for time)

    Cool down
    200 free, easy

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    3300 SCY
    Friday is here and it's payday for me! Whew! I was happy to see that Nick didn't make the sets with large butterfly yardage, but just enough to allow me to work on my technique. We finished the main set with a drill that we hadn't done in a while: a pyramid.
    400 free, easy
    8 x 50 IM order

    Main Set
    5 x 50 on 0:50
    5 x 50 on 0:45

    with 0:15 rest in between
    50 fly
    100 back
    150 breast
    200 free

    50 fly (kick)
    100 back (kick)
    150 breast (kick)
    200 free (kick)

    alternating swim-kick-swim:
    50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 50

    Cool down
    200 free, easy

    Dang it! It wasn't until right now that I realized that my weekly total was 9900 yds! I really need to add up my yardage throughout the week and if I'm going to be close on Friday, I need to do that little extra to get me into the 10K region.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Week of 9/18/2011 - 9/24/2011

    by , September 26th, 2011 at 05:50 PM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    Oh boy! This week marks the most yardage I've done in one week since I started back this year! Friday's workout placed me at 9,850 yds, just shy of 10,000 yds. If I had realized that, I probably would have done a few more yards on Wed or Fri to get there.

    Monday, 9/19/2011
    3650 SCY - I finally broke the two mile mark! We have a new assistant coach today and this was his first day writing the workout. The workout he came up with totalled 4350 yds, but I knew that I'd never be able to finish that yardage. I made it into the pool early enough, so I decided to seize the opportunity and see if I could break that two mile (~3500yds) mark. I did the sets as they came, but the intervals were just too fast for me. The assistant coach is a young man, so he's probably used to seeing workouts for in shape college swimmers, not for a group of swimmers who are looking to get into shape, let alone like an uber-clyde like myself.

    Warm-up (700 SCY)
    Repeat 2x:
    150 Free
    6 x 25 Kick
    50 scull

    Main set (2850 SCY)
    5 x 100 @ 2:10 Free
    2x100 IM
    4 x 100 @ 2:05 Free
    2x100 IM
    3 x 100 @2:00 Free
    2x100 IM
    2 x 100 @ 1:55 Free
    2x100 IM
    1 x 100 @ 1:50 Free
    300 Kick, easy w/board
    6 x 25 kick (25 fast/25 easy)
    4 x 25 free (fast) w/fins & paddles

    Cool down (100 SCY)
    100 Free, easy
    Wednesday, 9/21/2011
    3050 SCY - Today's workout was more in our ballpark for what we can get done. Nick (the new assistant coach) introduced us to a new drill that he does for college. He calls them "15 meter drills". It's pretty simple: you swim dolphin kick as far as you can to the second set of rings on the lane line (~15 meters). Once you get there, or once you break the surface, you swim free the remainder of the way in. I usually made it to about the 10 meter mark, so I would catch a breath, then dive and finish to the 15m mark doing dolphin. From there I'd sprint into the wall. I still got the breathing benefit (which he says is the point) with my modifications, otherwise I would have been swimming for most of the lap.

    Warm-up (700 SCY)
    200 Free
    100 Free pull
    200 flutter kick
    2 x 100 IM

    Main Set (2250 SCY)
    10 x 25 "15 meter" drill, 5 sec rest between
    10 x 50 free, descending interval
    3 x 200 free pull
    3 x 200 free, descending interval
    3 x 100 kick, breaststroke

    Cool down (100 SCY)
    100 Free, easy

    Friday, 9/23/2011

    3150 SCY - Nick's workout for us this night included a lot of stroke work. We ended up doing over 1000 yds of our choice (no free) and 600 yds of stroke kick (no free). I felt pretty good doing it, though I could feel the muscles in the back of my calve starting to cramp. I didn't think too much about it until the next morning. Was I ever sore!! I was hoping to get a photo of the workout, but the sheets disappeared before I could get my phone out.

    Warm up (800 SCY)
    400 Free
    2x200 IM

    Main set (2650 SCY)
    6 x 25 "15 meter" drill, 0:15-0:20 rest
    10 x 50 Free on 1:10
    6 x 100 Kick (3 must be stroke)
    6 x 50 stroke on 1:30
    6 x 100 stroke 2:45

    Cool down (200 SCY)
    200 Free, easy
    2011 Go The Distance:
    60.26 miles


    The increase in yardage this week was confirmation that I am becoming more in shape. If I had said to myself in March that I'd be doing close to 10,000 hard yds in one week, I would have thought I was crazy!! It's slowly working but I'm eager to get even faster, especially with the meet on November 6 in Mission Viejo.

    That brings up another issue that I'm struggling with: suits. As a guy my size, there really are to good options for swim suits. My current (that's a little big) are 5x swim trunk from Casual Male store. Even if I go a size smaller, I'm afraid that I'm going to have an issue with keeping the suit on when I dive in. I wish I could find a more "performance" oriented suit in my size.

    It's the whole chicken-egg conundrum. I'm probably one of only a couple people my size who are enthusiastic Masters swimmers, so there isn't enough of a market to offer. I wouldn't mind a swim parka in my size for the upcoming seasons.

    This is probably my last photo of water polo until the last game of the season. My university class starts Monday and meets the exact days that the boys water polo games are. I'm really bummed about that, as I really enjoy watching the games, cheering on the team, taking the photos, and sharing the photos with the team. I feel like it's my contribution to keep this cool sport going.

    This Thursday Yucaipa High (my work) played against Redlands High. Redlands has been quite dominant in aquatics for many years, but this day YHS came out on top. The YHS boys rallied and when the final horn blew, the final score was 19-13. It was a great game to watch as a TBird fan!

    Check out my Picasa gallery for this game if you want to see more.

    Updated September 27th, 2011 at 11:05 AM by tuna

    Swim Workouts
  5. Week of 9/11/2011 - 9/17/2011

    by , September 19th, 2011 at 12:06 AM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    This has been a tough week. The late night practices make for a tough morning. We practice from 7:30PM to 9:00PM. so by the time I shower and drive home, it's approaching 10:00PM. Those late nights make it really difficult to get up the following morning at 5:00AM. I wish there was an alternative to this schedule, but my job has a fixed schedule and the Masters team only meets at this time period.

    This Tuesday was also a late night because I had to stick around work to finish updating one of my computer labs with updates and new software. I wish I could have left it over night, but this lab is used for an early bird class at 6:55AM.

    Monday, 9/11/2011
    3000 SCY - We got off to a slow start. The number of lap swimmers has increased, and they are now doing swim lessons at the same time, so we don't have the luxury of the number of lanes we normally do. Once the lessons were over, a few lanes were made available and we were able to have lanemates of our level. I didn't feel well doing the IM and 500 free sets.

    Wednesday, 9/13/2011
    2400 SCY - I got a little distracted at home, so I didn't get to the pool on time. The late start meant I had to adjust the main set so that I would finish on time. Coach Alex had us doing some strange kick/pull sets, like breaststroke pull and dolphin kick. It felt really strange. I can feel the sleep deprivation is definitely taking it's toll.

    Friday, 9/15/2011
    2700 SCY - Tonight I felt a lot better. I was able to get to bed early last night, so the sleep was the key. Tonight's sets were very much to my liking, including sets of 25s, 50s, and 100s. We did a 4x100 IM set, which is good for me, as I was able to finish the one lap of butterfly without totally dying. The last set before cooldown was a 8x25 "lungbusters". I've learned that instead of flopping around to make it to the other side of the pool and making the lap hurt, I discovered that if I relax, take a big breath on push off, and keep relaxed, I can make it to the other side of the pool without gasping and panting at the other end. I'm able to make the set with fewer breaths, so it's obviously working.

    2011 Go The Distance:
    54.66 miles


    The lesson of the week: get your sleep!

    Of side note: this week I started my photographing of the boys water polo team games from work. The team had two home games this week, Tuesday and Wednesday. This is one of the things I love to do. I shoot the games, combining my passion for water polo and my passion for photography. At the end of the season, I give the best photos to the team's coach, which he uses in a slideshow at the team's end of season banquet. In exchange, I get a team t-shirt. It's a fair trade!

    Here's one of the photos I took:

    Wednesday's game photos

    Tuesday's game photos

    Updated September 19th, 2011 at 12:26 AM by tuna

    Swim Workouts
  6. Week of 9/4/2011 - 9/10/2011

    by , September 10th, 2011 at 06:25 PM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    Made my first goal of my return to swimming: I reached the first milestone (50 miles) of Go The Distance.

    Monday, 9/5/2011
    3000 SCY - This evening I once again did the most yardage in one night (well, since getting back into the swim habit). We did a workout I found on Twitter from I did extend a few of the sets in order to get more yardage. I am now 5100 yds from that 50 mile mark on GTD.

    Thursday, 9/8/2011
    2800 SCY - This workout was supposed to take place on Wednesday, but a malfunctioning chlorination system closed the pool just as I was getting in. I just delayed the work out one day to get my yards in. Tonight's sprints really worked my lungs, but I was satisfied with my times and effort. One more workout of at least 2300 yds and I've made it to my first USMS goal: the 50mile mark on GTD.

    Friday, 9/9/2011
    2400 SCY - What a night! This was the night I would make my 50 mile GTD mark. Our team is steadily growing,and even with two of our regulars gone, we were occupying three lanes with at least three people per lane. As I was going into my set that would push me in the 50 mile mark, my teammates gathered around and cheered for me as I swam the final 100. It was great to have them cheering me on! On the last lap, I gave a nod to our couch and mid-lap I changed from breaststroke and finished with butterfly. It put a great smile on his face! The pool was closing in 5 minutes by that time, as I did a 100 cool down which places me at 50.06 miles!
    <still waiting for image>


    So I did it! 50 miles on the GTD feels great! Along the way I've felt the side effects of feeling healthier, losing weight, and having a great time with my great team. The next goal is to do 100 miles before the end of the year. I did a few calculations and I think I can do another 50 miles in less than 3 months at the pace I've been swimming the last couple of months.

    Swim Workouts
  7. Week of 8/28/11 - 9/3/11

    by , September 5th, 2011 at 12:51 AM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    A new week is upon us, so it's time for my first blog about my swim workouts.

    2300 SCY - The main set consisting of nothing but 50s was crazy! It seemed like it was one sprint to the next. I was able to make the intervals, but man I was really pushing it hard. The great part was we had a lot of new faces. The team is continuing to grow.

    2800 SCY - Coach really changed things up today. Our warm up set almost seemed like a warm up set and a mild first set. Tonight's workout was almost my longest (which is 3000 SCY). I was finishing my cool down as the lifeguards were blowing their whistles for the closing of the pool.


    2600 SCY - Friday's workout had an even longer warm-up but I really enjoyed the whole workout. I liked that I was able to get some breaststroke in, and even made coach happy with a few laps of butterfly.

    Go The Distance progress
    45.4 miles

    No matter how much I try and how hard my coach pushes and encourages me, I can't seem to get the hang of doing butterfly for any more than one lap. He says I have a good stroke, and even says it's better than his.

    I either don't do it, or it's 100% sprint. Anything in between and my stroke becomes bobbing for apples. On Friday we had to do a 200 IM and I was spent by the first lap of the butterfly. I can pace myself with the other three strokes, but there is something about fly that makes me crazy!

    Other news, this time good news, hopefully!
    Apparently the pool manager is looking to put together a masters water polo team, so I hope we can get enough people to make it fly. I'd love to get into the pool once a week and play some water polo. It was my other sport of choice in high school and the sport I love to watch (in person or on tv).

    If you are in the Fontana/Rancho Cucamonga/Ontario area and you'd like to join us, let me know. It'll be a fun way to spend a Sunday.


    Updated September 6th, 2011 at 10:27 AM by tuna

    Swim Workouts
  8. Introduction

    by , August 30th, 2011 at 05:37 PM (An Uber Clydesdale Swimmer's Journey)
    Hey everyone!

    Well, I thought I'd start my first expedition into USMS membership by introducing myself.

    I swam age group from age 9-17, played high school water polo/swimming, and even played water polo for first year of college. I wasn't a great swimmer, just a middle of the road swimmer. My best time in high school for the 100 yard free was a 1:00.09 (yes, the 0.09 really bugged me).

    After then I started working 30+ hours a week and was going to college full time. I put on a few pounds and ended up joining a Masters swim team in Loma Linda, CA. I swam with them for a few years, until 1996. I even swam the 1996 La Jolla Rough Water Swim open water event, doing the 1 mile in just over 30 minutes.

    (Here's me during a bike ride in Feb 2011)

    So from '96 to '11, I didn't swim at all. I got into a very sedentary lifestyle and put on a lot of weight. I've gained a few health issues that are most likely related to the weight.

    The beginning of this year I weighed over 400 lbs! The last couple of years have been particularly stressful and 2011 was my year to change all of that.

    Back into Swimming

    I started looking around for somewhere to swim, as I knew it would be something I would do and not chicken out of. Swimming was always something I enjoyed to do and I knew if I enjoyed it, I would stick with it. I discovered that the city I live in has a pretty nice pool facility that is open 12 months/yr.

    This last March I started swimming at that pool 3 days a week. I was very self conscientious about being seen in a swimsuit in public but I realised I'm not there for a beefcake contest; I was there to get healthier!
    The lifeguards got to know me and would always say encouraging things.

    The first couple of months I was doing about 1600-1700 yards per workout. Mostly free and breaststroke stuff, just working my way up. I also started using Twitter to keep track of my yardage.

    Joining a new Masters Team

    The end of June I discovered that the pool was looking to start a Masters team, so I immediately joined them. For a while I was the only regular swimmer there but we've gradually built up a group of 5 regulars.

    I regularly swim 2100-2800 yards a night (three nights a week), in the span of 60-90 minutes. My coach is really good at tailoring the workout to my strengths and weaknesses. He even tweets a copy of the whiteboard with that night's workout so I have a copy of it. I'm also participating in this year's Go The Distance. As of today I'm at 42.3 miles, I'm looking forward to that swim cap at 50 miles.

    A friend who I knew in high school has motivated me into joining the USMS and to start competing next year in a few SCY events. I now have plans at swimming at a meet in Mission Viejo November 6th. I'm really nervous about the meet, as it's been over 20 years since I last competed.

    The good news is I'm starting to feel better and I'm down to 375 lbs which means I've lost 25 lbs! I'm moving closer to my goal of 225 lbs. (which I feel is a reasonable weight for a guy 6'2" and a husky build). I'm also having a lot of fun with my fellow teammates.

    I'm looking forward to hanging out here and meeting everyone.