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  1. Alternating current

    by , June 3rd, 2015 at 07:33 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I cannot tell if I'm excited by what I'm doing for training ... or not. On the one hand, I've got a nice little mix of swimming, yoga, core and cycling going. I pretty much enjoy each of these while I'm doing them, but I can find very little to comment about any of my yoga, core or cycling classes beyond - it was great or I sucked. They are certainly workouts, but, as they are each so one dimensional, they don't lend themselves to commentary. And, my swimming time, while I'm in the water practically every day, is taking a back seat to the dryland time and, hence, there's not much to write about.

    If any of you read the Flat Abs and Flat Screens editorial by Mike Gustafson in this month's Swimmer, my mindset is very similar to his when it comes to alternate forms of exercise.
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  2. Trying to find a dryland groove

    by , May 26th, 2015 at 02:38 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Ever since Nationals, when I decided that I would try to emphasize more strength and conditioning work out of the pool, I have really only succeeded in doing less work in the pool. I haven't really found a groove yet for my dryland work. There are multiple reasons ... um, excuses ... for this, but the overriding one has been that I just cannot seem to find the same joy in any form of training other than swimming. I really just find most other forms of training a bit boring and monotonous, but I think that's primarily because I don't know enough about them to figure out the nuances that can make them interesting.

    I have had some success getting into yoga of late, but the main driver of that was because I found some people to "compete" against. That is fine and it works for me, but I prefer training where I can be internally motivated.

    But, then, I did learn something new this morning ... or re-learn something: when trying something new, persistence is paramount. I finally I had a cycling class where everything seemed to click, where I found myself interested enough to stay on the bike for the whole class and where I found that good-old aerobic groove where I got myself just on the threshhold of crashing and burning while able to hang onto that razor's edge for a long time, kind of like I used to feel with old-school animal lane sets. I think that this was more about me having done a handful of cycling workouts lately and finally getting the "feel" for both the bike and the way these classes run. It was a great workout.

    I also did something for my dryland work that I always try to do each week for my swimming - I mapped out what I intend to do each day, and I've mixed it up between cycling, yoga and strength work. I think this plan might have a higher degree of success.

    Later in the afternoon, I did my "1500" set with the 10 x 50 on 1:05 done as butterfly. My original aim on this set has been to hold 0:33 SCM, which I've not yet attained. After going 0:33 on #1 and 0:34+ on #2, I cruised #3. I then decided to just be happy holding 0:34+ and made all the last 7 on that. I think that ended up being a better set than trying, but likely failing to make 0:33s and doing a lot more easy work.

    A good day of training.
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  3. Long workout of the week

    by , May 9th, 2015 at 09:28 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    My wife and I had an awesome morning picking about 60 pounds of peaches down at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek. We are having extremely unseasonable weather - very cool (for us) - so it was actually a tad chilly when we started around 7:30am. The trees were full and the picking was easy, but the best part was biting into a fresh from the tree peach once we were done.

    Later in the day, I got in my one "long swim" of the week, taking a go at my Broken Mile set in my pool, trying to continue my focus on breathing every 2 and kicking strongly throughout the stroke:

    Warmup Sets (1,500 SCM)
    • 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill by 25s
    • 4 x 100: on 1:30, free descend swim with snorkel (1:18, 1:15, 1:11, 1:07+)
    • 4 x 100: on 2:00, descend IM kick w/board (1:40 -> 1:32)
    • 6 x 50: on 1:00, #1 and #6 free easy with snorkel, #2 to #5 IM order strong (0:34, 0:36, 0:40, 0:33)


    Broken Mile (1,500 set / 3,000 total)
    3 rounds of:
    • 3 x 50: on 0:50, aim to hold 0:33s - did that on round 1 and 2, but was 0:33+/0:34 on round 3
    • 2 x 100: on 1:35, aim to hold 1:08s - again, made it on the first 2 rounds, but was 1:09, 1:10 on round 3
    • 1 x 150: on 2:20, aim to hold 1:45 and was 1:45, 1:43, 1:45


    Cool-down (200 set / 3,200 total)
    • 4 x 50: active recovery w/snorkel on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55


    TOTAL: 3,200 SCM

    Commentary:
    • I only feel smooth up to about a 60-75 when trying to breathe every two, but I think I'll get the hang of this.
    • I will do some real dryland / bodyweight exercises tomorrow and formulate some sort of consistent plan for out-of-water work.
    Tags: broken mile
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  4. Cruciate ligament

    by , May 8th, 2015 at 09:10 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I almost wish it was me instead of my 7-8 year old lab, Buddy, who injured his cruciate ligament, but, alas, it's the big dog. It's one of his back legs and the vet is advising an "R&R" strategy for the next 6-8 weeks along with pain meds to see if it heals. There was no precipitating event (that we know of), the vet doesn't think it's torn and has had success with this approach (vs. going right to surgery that could be $$$). Buddy seems to have modulated his own activity and the other two dogs also seem to recognize he's injured and are not bugging him to play. Like a dog, his spirits still seem pretty high, though, and when he does need to get around, he gamely prances to his food bowl on his three good legs.

    I did a couple of things today for my workout:
    • 1,500 workout variation with the fast 10 x 50 fly in SCM
      • Last week, I never hit my target time of 0:33, but ended up going 0:34 on the odds and easy on the evens
      • Today I got a slightly better pattern going 0:33, 0:34, easy three times through with an extra fast one on 0:33 for #10
      • My stroke felt awesome and powerful on the first 25 of every 50 where I went 0:33, but then degraded

    • Later in the day, I made it through 35 minutes of an hour long spin class. My legs and body were actually holding up well enough to have stayed the full hour, but this instructor had the music at a volume that I just couldn't take any more. As this was the first time I had been in her class and the rest of the crowd seemed to be her regulars, I didn't complain (she couldn't have heard me anyways), but I'll talk to her before the next class I do. I actually really liked her workout, style and the music itself was good, just too damn loud.


    It's open season on peaches tomorrow. I am not sure how many bushels/baskets my wife and I will pick, but, as long as I don't burn myself out doing that, I should be able to get in a good swim and some bodyweight drylands later in the day. The cool weather we have right now (70s) should make for a perfect morning for the harvest.
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  5. Happy hour ruined my swim

    by , May 7th, 2015 at 12:37 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I found a great little yoga studio in San Bruno, CA to drop into this morning for a nearly private session (only one other person showed up for the class) and was glad for it.

    I had these grand visions of wrapping up my meetings in downtown SF with enough time to trek down to Palo Alto to swim the evening workout with Stanford Masters. As that workout was scheduled for 6:30pm and this particular client seems to live in this wonderful 1950s world where everyone clears out by 5pm, I thought this was a slam dunk, double-workout day.

    My failure to understand that tonight was the monthly happy hour for my client's team made my workout plans a bust, but I had a great time getting to know many of my clients on an ever-so-slightly-deeper level than we normally get to in the office thanks to the Shallow Grave Porter I was drinking and various other lubricants imbibed around the table.

    While the evening was very fun and worth it, merely 5 swims into the month and I've already blown my heretofore unwritten goal of swimming every day in May. I guess I'll have to reset that goal for June!
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  6. Not ready to face the music

    by , March 31st, 2015 at 11:26 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I spoke too soon last week (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?355...y-way-out-soon) and wasn't able to get in the water Thursday through Sunday. I did manage to cut out time for a 1,650 SCM swim yesterday (e.g., 1 x 500 IM, 10 x 100 on 1:30 descend, 3 x 50 recovery) and did my 48 x 25 workout (#2 from to celebrate my birthday today. I wasn't ready to face how slow I'd be from the four days out of the water and so wore my old B70 Nero Comp. I'll call that my birthday present to myself and hope that time frees up more as this week unfolds.
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  7. Buried alive ... claw my way out soon?

    by , March 26th, 2015 at 08:02 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I think I am about to break through the dirt. I might be able to see the light of day by Saturday. I've been buried alive in work since last week with a hugely important, hugely complex and almost ... maybe by Monday ... completed project. I managed to get a couple of non-descript 3K workouts done last Saturday and Sunday, but was so wasted at the end of Tuesday and Wednesday this week that I struggled, energy-less through my 1500 warmup and called each workout done at that. Between work and now me being under the weather, I am not even going to try to swim today.

    The positive side of this is that I think I'll have time to watch finals of the men's NCAA's tonight, since I'm not training today and I have a gap in my day before I have to head out to an evening work presentation. I will use that time to visualize my future swimming success and hope that I can achieve the impressive results these visualizing finger exercisers did - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14998709

    Thanks to Leslie for alerting me to the psych sheets being up. Reviewing them reminded me that we need to start a forum thread for the biggest sandbagger at Nationals and so I've done that - http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...938#post304938
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  8. Lumbering at Latoff

    by , February 26th, 2015 at 07:28 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Part of the reason my access to pools generally sucks when I'm in Chicago lately is because I'm working downtown and just use public transit to get to and around the city. The other part is that Chicago just doesn't have great, easily accessible by the public pools in the Loop. I realize I am really spoiled by California and Arizona, but, as much as I love my client in the Loop (and, truly, I cannot think of an organization or project mission I have ever been more jazzed about), I do not like the impact it has on my swim training.

    My rant about swim training this week, though, is also partly my own fault. After my mega-training (by my standards) up in Victoria, I intentionally took Monday off. I had a great plan and time blocked on my calendar on Tuesday to swim before I jumped on a plane up to Chicago, but #3 daughter was sick and needed to see a doctor. Thanks to him being 45 minutes late to our appointment, any shred of hope for a swim was dashed. I knew I wouldn't have time for anything more than a 1,000 in the ~16 to 17 yard Holiday Inn pool on Wednesday and, while I did do that, it was far less than satisfying.

    Relief came today, though, in the form of a last minute opportunity to try to "close" a candidate over lunch today outside of the city. After grabbing a car downtown and making my best pitch to her, I had time to head over to a pool I've been meaning to get to for years, the Latoff YMCA in Des Plaines ...



    It might sound odd that I've been wanting to swim at this particular YMCA, but I've flown in and out of O'Hare too many times to count and it always comes up as the closest place to swim. I've just never been able to make it work until today, but I am so glad that I did.

    In my swim travels, there is certainly a great amount of joy in swimming in a fast pool, but, like Tolstoy said with happy families, most fast pools have a certain "sameness" about them. I also really enjoy swimming in unique pools, regardless of their speediness. The Latoff Y, which for you road warriors offer 3 free visits per year, has an aquatics complex that consists of three 25 yard pools -
    • 2 separate, 4 lane pools that appear to be reserved for lessons
    • 1 separate, 6 lane pool (the one in the picture above) devoted to lap swimming


    The aquatic center has a cool, retro, funky feel with all sorts of odd angles - in the ceiling and in the pool bottom - with 60's era colored glass and other assorted tiling around and in the pool. I made an attempt at my Broken Mile workout from last week (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?352...mp-Broken-Mile) along with some extra kicking to grab a total of 4,200 yards. My times were absolutely abysmal and I felt like a barge lumbering through the water, but the combination of the sun glinting through the windows, the snow outside and the myriad colors streaming through the glass made for a magical swim. I might have swum like utter crap in the water, but I felt like a shining diamond when I left the pool.

    =====================================
    Pools I've trained and/or competed in since 2007

    1. Cactus Aquatic Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
    2. Brophy Sports Campus (Phoenix, AZ)
    3. Lifetime Fitness (Scottsdale, AZ)
    4. Lifetime Fitness (Skokie, IL)
    5. Lifetime Fitness (Austin, TX)
    6. Somerville YMCA (Somerville, NJ)
    7. Raritan Valley Community College (Branchburg, NJ)
    8. IUPUI Natatorium (Indianapolis, IN)
    9. UT Swim Center (Austin, TX)
    10. U of Arizona Hillebrand Swim Center (Tucson, AZ)
    11. Talisman Centre Competition Pool (Calgary, Alberta)
    12. U of Lethbridge Max Bell Swim Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
    13. Crystal Pool (Victoria, British Columbia)
    14. Oaks Christian School (Westlake Village, CA)
    15. Lifetime Fitness (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
    16. Jewish Community Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
    17. McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
    18. Desert Breeze Pool (Las Vegas, NV)
    19. The Olympic Club (San Francisco)
    20. Janet Evans Sports Complex (Fullerton, CA)
    21. Woollett Aquatic Center / Irvine High School (Irvine, CA)
    22. Bruce Hazard Pool @ Mission Valley YMCA (San Diego)
    23. UCSD Canyonview Pool (San Diego)
    24. Villanova University (Philadelphia, PA)
    25. Kino Aquatic Center (Mesa, AZ)
    26. Hilton Head Island Rec Center (Hilton Head, SC)
    27. YMCA Aquatic Center - 25M Diving Tank course (Orlando, FL)
    28. Westin Sohna-Gurgaon (India)
    29. Reading Central Pool (Reading, England)
    30. Optimist Park (Raleigh, NC)
    31. Pullen Aquatic Center (Raleigh, NC)
    32. NOVA Aquatics Center shallow pool (Richmond, VA)
    33. Lifetime Fitness (Cary, NC)
    34. Philadelphia Airport Marriott
    35. Berkeley Aquatic Club (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
    36. Chatham County Aquatic Center (Savannah, GA)
    37. Lifetime Fitness (Tempe, AZ)
    38. Clarke Swim Center 25 SCY course (Walnut Creek, CA)
    39. Holy Names University (Oakland, CA w/Manatee Masters)
    40. B.A.D.A.S.S. Pool (Scottsdale, AZ)
    41. Summit YMCA (Summit, NJ)
    42. George Washington Rec Center (Alexandria, VA)
    43. ACAC -- old 50M pool (Midlothian, VA)
    44. Centennial Indoor Pool (Cranford, NJ)
    45. Mission Viejo Dive Tank pool (Mission Viejo, CA)
    46. Mesa Carson Westwood Aquatic Complex (Mesa, AZ)
    47. Lifetime Fitness (Goodyear, AZ)
    48. Victoria YMCA (Victoria, BC)
    49. Issaquah Julius Boehm Pool (Issaquah, WA)
    50. Charles Hadley Pool (Miami, FL)
    51. Pompano Beach Aquatic Center (FL)
    52. Culver City Municipal Plunge (CA)
    53. Stanford Avery Aquatic Center - Baker Pool (Palo Alto, CA)
    54. Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center (Beaverton, OR)
    55. Mt Hood Aquatic Center (Gresham, OR)
    56. Juniper Swim & Fitness Center (Bend, Or)
    57. George Haines International Swim Center (Santa Clara, CA)
    58. Renaissance Club Sport (Aliso Viejo, CA)
    59. Rengstorff Pool (Mountain View, CA)
    60. Coronado Municipal Pool (Coronado, CA)
    61. Eagle Park (Mountain View, CA)
    62. James City / Williamsburg Community Center (Williamsburg, VA)
    63. NOVA Aquatics Center deep pool (Richmond, VA)
    64. Belmont Plaza outdoor pool (Long Beach, CA)
    65. Laguna Beach HS Pool (CA)
    66. Lifetime Fitness (Florham Park, NJ)
    67. USF Koret Aquatic Center (San Fran)
    68. Lifetime Athletic (Vernon Hills, IL)
    69. Stanford Avery Aquatic Center - Bellardi Pool (Palo Alto, CA)
    70. Fremont Hills Country Club (Los Altos Hills, CA)
    71. Rinconada Pool (Palo Alto, CA)
    72. Burlingame Aquatic Center (Burlingame, CA)
    73. Medgar Evers Pool (Seattle, WA)
    74. McGill Memorial Pool (Montreal, QC)
    75. Montreal Downtown YMCA (Montreal, QC)
    76. College of San Mateo (CA)
    77. Greensboro Aquatic Center (NC)
    78. Josh Davis Natatorium (San Antonio, TX)
    79. Bill Walker Pool (San Antonio, TX)
    80. JCC of San Diego
    81. 2012 Olympic Trials Pool (Omaha)
    82. El Pomar Natatorium (University of Denver)
    83. Mt Lebanon Swim Center (PA)
    84. Fritz Sick Memorial Pool (Lethbridge, Alberta)
    85. University of Calgary Aquatic Centre (Alberta)
    86. Kinsmen Aquatic Centre (Edmonton, Alberta)
    87. Eau Claire YMCA (Calgary, Alberta)
    88. Talisman Centre Training Pool (Calgary, Alberta)
    89. Burgess Memorial Pool (Menlo Park, CA)
    90. Kona Kai Resort (San Diego, CA)
    91. Sierra Recreation Center (Mission Viejo, CA)
    92. ACAC -- new (2012) 25M pool (Midlothian, VA)
    93. Greater Richmond Aquatic Partnership / 2008 Olympic Trials Pool (Richmond, VA)
    94. Golden Bear Pool (Berkeley, CA)
    95. Cal Lutheran University Community Pool (Thousand Oaks, CA)
    96. North Beach Pool (San Francisco, CA)
    97. Calgary Winter Club (Calgary, Canada)
    98. Orange Memorial Pool (South San Francisco, CA)
    99. Hamilton Pool (San Francisco, CA)
    100. Jean Brink / Oceana Pool (Pacifica, CA)
    101. City of Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center (Calabasas, CA)
    102. Oro Valley Aquatic Center (Oro Valley, AZ)
    103. Ventura Aquatic Center (CA)
    104. Claremont Resort (Berkeley, CA)
    105. Plantation Aquatic Center (Plantation, FL)
    106. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point (Bonita Springs, FL)
    107. Florida Gulf Coast University Aquatic Center (Fort Meyers, FL)
    108. Club One Union Square (San Francisco, CA)
    109. Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center (Charlotte, NC)
    110. Sunset Canyon Recreation Center LCM pool (UCLA)
    111. Chickahominy YMCA (Sandston, VA)
    112. Soda Aquatic Center (Moraga, CA)
    113. Salt Lake City/Steiner Aquatic Center (Utah)
    114. Splash Montana "The Lake" Pool (Missoula, MT)
    115. Grizzly Pool / U of Montana (Missoula, MT)
    116. Daland Swim School (1000 Oaks, CA)
    117. Rancho Simi Community Pool (Simi Valley, CA)
    118. Brisbane Community Swim Center (Brisbane, CA)
    119. Cal Lutheran University Samuelson Aquatic Center (Thousand Oaks, CA)
    120. ASU Mona Plummer (Tempe, AZ)
    121. Rutger's Sonny Werblin (Piscataway, NJ)
    122. Mission Viejo Nadadores (Mission Viejo, CA)
    123. Phoenix Swim Club (Phoenix, AZ)
    124. Clovis North High School (Fresno, CA)
    125. YMCA Aquatic Center (Orlando, FL)
    126. Georgia Tech Aquatic Center (Atlanta, GA)
    127. Saanich Commonwealth Place (Victoria, BC)
    128. Glendale Foothills Aquatic Center (Glendale, AZ)
    129. Greensboro Aquatic Center (NC)
    130. UC-Irvine Crawford Pool (Irvine, CA)
    131. 2012 Olympic Trials Pool (Omaha)
    132. Clarke Swim Center 25M pool (Walnut Creek, CA)
    133. Santa Clarita Aquatic Center (Santa Clarita, CA)
    134. Wall Aquatic Center (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ)
    135. Sedona Community Pool (Sedona, AZ)
    136. Chinatown YMCA (New York, NY)
    137. Westmoor Giammona Pool (Daly City, CA)
    138. El Dorado Aquatic Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
    139. Desert Foothills Family YMCA (Carefree/Scottsdale, AZ)
    140. UCLA Student Activities Center Pool (Los Angeles, CA)
    141. Brenda Villa Aquatic Center (Commerce, CA)
    142. Vanderbilt YMCA East Pool (Manhattan)
    143. USC Physical Education Department Indoor Pool (Los Angeles, CA)
    144. Santa Monica Swim Center (Santa Monica, CA)
    145. Los Angeles Swimming Stadium (CA)
    146. Thad Terry Pool (Tucson, AZ)
    147. U of A Student Recreation Center (Tucson, AZ)
    148. Palm Desert Aquatic Center (Palm Desert, CA)
    149. Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center (Pacific Palisades, CA)
    150. Verdugo Aquatic Center (Burbank, CA)
    151. Concord Community Pool (Concord, CA)
    152. YMCA Aquatic Center - 50M course (Orlando, FL)
    153. Sand Hollow Aquatic Center (St. George, UT)
    154. Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Pool (Sherman Oaks, CA)
    155. Spieker Aquatic Center (Cal - Berkeley)
    156. Hearst North Pool (Cal-Berkeley)
    157. Kitsilano Pool (Vancouver, Canada)
    158. UBC Aquatic Centre circa 2014 (Vancouver, Canada)
    159. Hillcrest Aquatic Centre (Vancouver, Canada)
    160. Canada Games Pool (New Westminster, BC, Canada)
    161. Oxnard Aquatic Center (Oxnard, CA)
    162. Fortune Select Excalibur Hotel (Gurgaon, India)
    163. London Aquatic Centre - Training Pool (London, England)
    164. London Aquatic Centre - Competition Pool (London, England
    165. Woodbridge Community Center (Woodbridge, NJ)
    166. Raritan Bay YMCA (Perth Amboy, NJ)
    167. Pleasant Valley Aquatic Center (Camarillo, CA)
    168. Phoenix Country Day School Aquatic Center (Phoenix, AZ)
    169. Alga Norte Aquatic Center (Carlsbad, CA)
    170. East Bank Club (Chicago, IL)
    171. Holiday Inn Mart Plaza (Chicago, IL)
    172. Belmont Temporary Outdoor Pool 2014 (Long Beach, CA)
    173. UIC Natatorium (Chicago, IL)
    174. Sunnyvale Swim Complex (Sunnyvale, CA)
    175. Nitro Swimming (Cedar Park, TX)
    176. Peninsula JCC (Foster City, CA)
    177. Norris Aquatic Center (Evanston, IL)
    178. Trefethen Aquatic Center (Mills College, Oakland, CA)
    179. McKinnon Indoor Pool (University of Victoria, British Columbia)
    180. Juan de Fuca Community Pool (Victoria, British Columbia)
    181. Esquimalt Recreation Centre (Victoria, British Columbia)
    182. Latoff YMCA (Des Plaines, IL)


    Open water courses trained/competed since 2007

    1. Tempe Town Lake (Tempe, AZ)
    2. Lake Pend Oreille (Sandpoint, ID)
    3. La Jolla Cove / Pacific Ocean (La Jolla, CA)
    4. Greenwich Cove (Greenwich, CT)
    5. Flathead Lake (Montana), both Somers Bay (training) & Polson Bay (competing)
    6. Saguaro Lake (Arizona)
    7. Lake Pleasant (Peoria, AZ)
    8. Atlantic Ocean - Ft. Lauderdale
    9. Elk Lake (Oregon)
    10. Canyon Lake (Arizona)
    11. Roosevelt Lake (Arizona)
    12. Castaic Lake (California)
    Tags: pool list
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  9. Back to coaching (virtually)

    by , January 8th, 2015 at 01:35 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I had the good fortune of having my first work commitment at 8:30am today (and a phone call at that) and so set my alarm for 8am. There was a yoga class at a nearby gym scheduled for 7am, but, as I have been training very consistently and not taken a day off since December 25th, I figured I would go to it only if my body woke me up in time. After a glorious 9 hours of sleep, I awoke refreshed and not the least bit guilty about taking today off.

    My only 'workout' plan for today is to start to layout next week's workouts for the Stroke and IM Workouts thread - http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay....trick-Brundage. After a year off from doing online workouts (when I did the High Volume Workouts in 2012 and 2013), I'm back "coaching." I am looking forward to this, particularly since it selfishly aligns with my training goals for this spring. I encourage any of you to try them, critique them and/or give me suggestions for great workouts to include.
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  10. Benioff, Hillary & kind-of-me

    by , October 14th, 2014 at 10:17 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    So, I flew into Oakland on Sunday afternoon to support our company's first-ever appearance at Salesforce.com's (SFDC, in the Silicon Valley vernacular) HUGE annual conference, Dreamforce (www.dreamforce.com). We made a decision awhile back to invest a pretty significant amount of our R&D into leveraging SFDC's Force.com as a key "application development" platform for our products and services; while we've done some pretty good stuff on other parts of our business, this decision has been a key contributor to our growth over the last 12-18 months. As a "math guy" by training and not a "software guy," I didn't really appreciate what a good decision this was until we started seeing our customers take up our offerings in a bigger way. I didn't really get the full force of the impact of this "pivot" in our strategy until I saw the well over 100,000 people overtake downtown San Francisco this week (http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-for...ard-1413160311). I spent the last two days talking with customers and potential customers in just one of the many exhibit halls they have.

    For those of you familiar with San Francisco, not only does this conference take up the entirety of the Moscone Center, they have commandeered multiple hotels and a 24 screen instance of AMC Theaters to accommodate the speakers. For those of you not familiar with San Fran or SFDC, the keynote speakers and attractions included ...
    • Hillary Clinton - today
    • An odd panel discussion coming up on Thursday that includes Neil Young (yes, the aging rocker), Al Gore and Arianna Huffington
    • A concert this evening with Bruno Mars (meh) and Cake (damn sad I am missing these guys)
    • A "how I applied tech" talk by will.i.am
    • ... and much, much more


    In short, it is a "trade show" unlike almost any other.

    As for the swimming impact on yours truly, it has been good and bad:
    • Monday = Good - I hit the Burlingame Masters' morning workout and managed to hold up pretty well with the long course setup over 3,200 meter. I even managed to see a 1:09 on a 100 free.
    • Tuesday = Bad and OK = I was so wiped from the long day on the exhibit hall floor on Monday that I slept through the morning workout. On the positive/OK side, since hotel rates were stupid, stupid, crazy, stupid, astronomically high, I found a cool place in San Mateo to stay on airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4054289) that afforded me the opportunity to do a walkabout in next-door Hillsborough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough,_California).
      • For those of you into the whole rental/sharing space mode and swimming, this place on airbnb is only 1.5 ish miles from Burlingame Aquatic Club.


    I'm not staying the entire conference, but heading back home shortly. I've been in a bit of a doldrums, training-wise, lately, but the LCM swim on Monday re-kindled a desire in me to start training hard again.

    ... we'll see how that all works out over the next few days.

    Updated October 14th, 2014 at 10:34 PM by pwb

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  11. Gone skiing

    by , August 12th, 2014 at 09:12 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Got back home on Sunday night from a week full of this in Montana ...



    ... and need to start putting down some plans for the future. Aside from swimming about 150 meters most days from the dock near our place around the nearby "No Wake" buoy as my 'wake-up' swim and swimming back to the the various pieces of equipment I fell off (e.g., skis, surfboard, tube), I didn't do any formal swimming workouts after the Polson open water race. We did hike Big Mountain and I did do some very limited dryland work every other day, but, otherwise, I just enjoyed the lake fun.

    Back at home, I got in 750SCM on Monday and 1,500 SCM today. I'll ease back into things this week and start working my way back into real training.
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  12. Front row seat to the fun

    by , April 25th, 2014 at 10:03 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    While I had a planned day out of the water, I also had a great 'student of the sport' educational opportunity being a timer for the finals sessions at the Mesa Grand Prix. I must have been about the very first person to answer the call many months ago for volunteers as I had the lane 4 timer's slot for the entire finals session. Truth be told, I think I probably started angling for this slot before last year's meet was even over! I'll be timing for each of the finals session this year and Saturday's prelim session. Hopefully, some of the fast swimming mojo will rub off on me before Nationals

    The most public highlight of the evening, of course, was Mr. Phelps return and battle in the 100 fly ...



    ... which was the first time I've ever seen Michael swim live. Of course this was cool and great, but there were so many other great swims from the night, including:
    • Both the women's and men's 100 frees were stacked heats of stars, but the women's 100, I think minus only maybe Missy and Megan Romano, could've been an Olympic Trials final given the superstar swimmers who were in there. The sun was bright (the pool faces almost due west) and so I couldn't really watch the underwaters, but Natalie's start continues to impress. I loved seeing Allison Schmitt back in (at least) short distance freestyle form and it'll be cool to see if Katie Ledecky can continue to improve her 100 to the point where she could make the relay team on this in '16.
    • Nathan Adrian's a beast. Just nothing more to say about that. Beyond that, according to one of my teenaged daughter and her friends, he's the fan-girl favorite and, along with Lochte, one of the best about stopping and posing for photos.
    • I was disappointed that Kevin Cordes scratched, but stoked to see David Guthrie in the D final of the 200 breast, as well as 38-year-old Cynthia Lewis. With the cuts at this meet being Junior National times, anyone making the meet as a Masters swimmer is just crazy .
    • Katy Ledecky's 400 was great, but I was more in awe of what the distance lane must be like at NBAC - 5 of the 8 women's finalists in the 400 were from that team and read as a who's who of current and future mid-distance to distance stars. That final should have been renamed the 'Mid-Atlantic 400' as all of the women except the lone representative from Florida were from either Virginia, the DC or Baltimore area.
    • I was hoping for a bigger battle betwen McBroom and Dwyer in the 400, but it wasn't McBroom who let me down - he took control of this race early and swam a very impressive 400.
    • After all the hype, cameras and many of the fans were gone (e.g., A and B finals over), there were some very good races. I don't have a sense of how all of these times fit with best times, but the races were fun to watch, including:
      • Michael Andrew in the 100 free -- I'd always thought his stroke looked a bit choppy on the various videos I saw, but his DPS and underwater catch/pull looked very impressive. His stroke is noticeably different even up close from most other sprinters as he swims with much less 'clearance' between his arms and the water - almost in the original 'crawl' sense of the stroke, he seems to use that 'shorter path' from hand exit to hand entry to drive his stroke rate higher.
      • While much has been made of Mr. Andrew's height and physical development, he struck me as a kid who still has room to grow - he's definitely tall and strong, but, when you compare him to the really big guys and the musculature on them, I'd say he's still got plenty of upside.
      • Matt Grevers vs. Michael Andrew in the 100 fly was fun to watch and I was happy to see Mr. Grevers stick around for the less glamorous C final.
      • Got to see a handful of kids from my kids' club team make it back for the C and D final. Speaking of future mid-distance stars, remember the name Taylor Ruck and watch out for her - she dropped her 400 free time again to 4:20.99 as a 13 year old!
    Tags: meetminus8, taper
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  13. Home pool advantage

    by , March 30th, 2014 at 02:37 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Well, my beloved Longhorns did not enjoy a home pool advantage in the final session of the men's NCAAs as Cal had simply an awesome evening of swimming, but they still had some stellar swims over the weekend and really swam (and dove) well above what the pundits were saying they would do before the meet started.

    I, though, finally got to enjoy my own home pool once I got home from California. This has been a little late in the year for me to get the heaters cranked up and back swimming at home, but my March travel just kept me from it. With a week ahead, I think, of no business travel, I should be able to get some solid workouts in.

    I had no idea what to expect from myself after only 3,000 easy yards since last Sunday, so I did my 3 x 300 test set just as a benchmark:


    • Warmup sets (1,700):
      • 1 x 400: IM kick-drill
      • 4 x 100: on 1:40, gentle descend
        • 1:21, 1:17, 1:14+, 1:10

      • 16 x 25: on 0:35, w/monofin in sets of 4, 2 breaths moderate, 0 breaths build, 1 breath moderate, 0 breaths fast
      • 6 x 50: on 1:00, #1 & #6 easy free on 1:00, #2 to #5 build IM
        • 36, 37, 42, 33

      • 6 x 25: w/long fins, 5-6-7-8 AFAP strokes off each wall w/Zoomers and agility paddles, then two going 5 and 8 strokes AFAP w/Zoomers alone
      • 1 x 50: easy

    • TEST SET 3 x 300: free on 4:30, fast pace aiming to even split as much as possible
      • Aim to determine your 100 aerobic workout pace
      • 08-07-09: 3:36, 3:34+, 3:33
      • 09-01-09: 3:27, 3:25+, 3:26
      • 11-16-09: 3:47, 3:49, 3:51
      • 12-08-09: 3:31, 3:32, 3:30
      • 01-10-10: 3:32, 3:30, 3:31
      • 01-21-10: 3:28+, 3:26+, 3:23 (w/B70 leggings)
      • 03-02-10: 3:28, 3:29, 3:27 (w/TYR leggings)
      • 04-09-10: 3:34, 3:28, 3:27 (w/endurance jammers)
      • 08-16-10: 3:34+, 3:37, 3:38 (w/endurance jammers)
      • 05-06-11: 3:32, 3:29, 3:31 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 06-03-11: 3:27+, 3:26+, 3:26 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 07-04-11: 3:30, 3:36, 3:42 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 09-07-11: 3:41, 3:37, 3:37
      • 10-07-11: 3:42, 3:39, 3:36
      • 11-10-11: 3:30, 3:26+, 3:27 (Yingfa jammers)
      • 11-29-11: 3:30, 3:34, 3:37 (Yingfa jammers)
      • 01-02-12: 3:46, 3:44, 3:41+ (Yingfa jammers)
      • 01-31-12: 3:39, 3:36, 3:35 (Yingfa jammers)
      • 02-27-12: 3:34, 3:30+, 3:27+ (Nike lycra brief)
      • 03-26-12: 3:28, 3:25, 3:24 (ancient paper jammers) best non-tech suit performance
      • 05-19-12: 3:32, 3:34, 3:35 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 06-19-12: 3:30, 3:28, 3:25+ (Nike lycra brief)
      • 07-12-12: 3:44, 3:42, 3:30 (Yingfa jammers)
      • 08-19-12: 3:32, 3:31, 3:33 (Nike lycra brief)
      • 09-14-12: 3:31+, 3:31, 3:29 (Nike lycra brief)
      • 03-25-13: 4:05, 4:00+, 3:57 (Nike lycra brief)
      • 04-12-13: 3:48, 3:45, 3:42 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 05-10-13: 3:42+, 3:39, 3:40 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 08-11-13: 3:50, 3:45, 3:40 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 08-31-13: 3:39, 3:37, 3:34+ (ancient paper jammers)
      • 10-05-13: 3:38+, 3:33+, 3:32(ancient paper jammers)
      • 11-09-13: 3:28, 3:31, 3:29 (ancient paper jammers)
      • 03-29-14: 3:39, 3:35, 3:33 (Yingfa jammers plus silicon cap)

    • 8 x 50: 2 on 0:45, 4 on 0:50, 2 on 0:55, active recovery


    TOTAL: 3,000 SCM

    Commentary:
    • While the times weren't great, I was actually pretty pleased with this. I kind of expected the 3:39 pace across the entire set, so was happy when I got faster on #2 and #3.
    • Back on the NCAA front, I really loved watching Connor Jaeger swim his 1650 and the fact I got to see the entire race. He has such a beautiful stroke and, in all the 800 to 1650s I have seen of his, he always evidences such a noticeable change in stroke length and stroke rate over the race - he was very measured for the first 1000 or so tonight holding 10-11 SPL, but then increased his stroke rate to the 12 SPL range over the next 500. I forgot to count his SPLs on his last 100 as I was just enjoying the beauty of him crushing the field so fluidly.
    Tags: test 3 x 300
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  14. Sitting, not swimming

    by , March 12th, 2014 at 12:02 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I should've gotten up this morning to swim at a 6am open lap lane, but soooo wanted my sleep and thought that I would be able to hit an evening lap swim ... alas, my supposed 5pm day end is still going here at 8pm. It's a good thing I at least stretched and did a few crunches and bird dogs this morning. I think I have 6am to 7am open on my schedule tomorrow and will try to squeeze a short swim in at Hamilton Pool in San Francisco.
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  15. Real distance 300s

    by , February 27th, 2014 at 05:28 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Unlike Tuesday's funky-lengthed pool (http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?321...imming-Stadium), I swam in boring old Cactus's traditional 25 yard length diving well today for my re-hash of a 3 x 300 test set. I had the time and need to start training some other strokes, so I added a 'Half Hackett' set of 200 IMs at the end:

    Warmup Sets (1,700 segment)


    • 1 x 400: IM k-d, reverse order
    • 4 x 100: on 1:30, descend free (1:11, 1:10, 1:08+, 1:07) w/agility paddles
    • 4 x 100: on 1:45, supposed to be descend IM kick w/board but was steady 1:35s on all of these
    • 6 x 50: on 0:50, #1 and #6 cruise free, #2 to #5 build IM order (33, 33, 37+, 31)
    • 4 x 25: on 0:30, 5-6-7-8 AFAP strokes off the wall free w/Zoomers and agility paddles
    • 1 x 100: easy


    3 x 300 Test Set (1,100 segment / 2,800 total)


    • 3 x 300: on 4:00
      • On #1, goal was to hold 12 SPL, but jumped up to 13 SPL around the 150 mark and just went with that - 3:16
      • #2, I decided to stick with 13 SPL and, aside from the 1st (11) and last (14) laps, held that - 3:12
      • #3, committed to the 13SPL for the first 200 and then went to 14 SPL for the next 75 and 15SPL on the last lap - 3:10+

    • 4 x 50: active recovery on 0:40, 0:45, 0:50


    Half Hackett (1,200 segment / 4,000 total)


    • 12 x 50: on 0:50, 2 easy free - 1 strong IM order
      • 31,31,37, 29 = 2:08

    • 8 x 50: on 0:55, 1 easy free - 1 strong IM order
      • 30,31+,36, 28 = 2:05+

    • 4 x 50: active recovery on 0:45, 0:50, 0:55


    TOTAL: 4,000 SCY

    Commentary:


    • I actually felt really good on those 300s, which was surprising as I was feeling the burn from yesterday morning's race pace work during the warmup. I never felt more than sluggish in the warmup sets, but just zoned into a stroke count focus on the first 300 and kept feeling better as the workout went on.
    • Virtually all of my efforts on this test set have been in SCM, but I figure this converts to about 3:37, 3:32+, 3:30+, which holds up pretty well against efforts back in 2012:
      • 01-31-12: 3:39, 3:36, 3:35
      • 02-27-12: 3:34, 3:30+, 3:27+

    • During my swim today, I think I came up with both a commitment to an order of events and goals for Nationals.
      • I've been struggling with the order of events on Sunday as I'd like to swim the 500, 200 free and 200 IM except that I don't want to swim all three of those events on the last day of the meet.
      • As I missed 200 IMs at both Austin and Mesa due to flights, but will not be flying out until Monday or Tuesday after the meet due to work plans, I locked in the 200 IM to the lineup. The question really was if I should do the 500 or the 200 on Sunday.
      • I've also had it in my mind that I should swim all the 200s of every stroke.
      • As I swam today, a cool goal - stretchy for sure - came into my mind: go sub 2:00 on each of the 200 back (Friday), 200 fly (Saturday) and 200 IM (Sunday). I like the idea of having one 'focus' event each day and one 'fun' event.
      • Given that I've only got 9 weeks to go, I just don't think making the 500 as my 'fun' event on Sunday is going to tee me up for a great 200 IM at the end of that day.
      • So, while I haven't yet entered, I've committed emotionally to the following:
        • SuperFun Friday - 400 IM (the most fun event), 200 back
        • Short Axis Saturday - 200 breast, 200 fly
        • Sprinting Sunday - 200 free, 200 IM


    Tags: test 3 x 300
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  16. Canadian Kidnappers

    by , January 8th, 2014 at 09:17 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    My wife turned me onto a 2012 novel by a Canadian author, The Professionals (see http://owenlaukkanen.com/index.html), that I packed in my bag for my business trip on Monday night. I had a late flight over to Burbank Monday evening and never intended to swim on Tuesday, but had planned on hitting the Ventura Masters' Wednesday morning workout. That plan was kidnapped, though, by Arthur Pender, Marie McAllister, Mouse, Sawyer and the other characters from this debut book. I stayed up until around 1am reading and just couldn't rouse myself to swim this morning. I'll try to finish it on my late flight back to Phoenix tonight so I don't have an excuse for not swimming tomorrow.
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  17. YouTube Mojo-tivators

    by , November 18th, 2013 at 10:52 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Have an extra 30 minutes on my hand at the airport tonight on a long day that started in Phoenix, included the bulk of the day in Ventura County and will end (hopefully) with me sleeping near the San Francisco airport early enough to want to get up to swim tomorrow morning. As for today, it was a day off, both to kick off my taper and because there's no way I had time today to swim.

    The sub-title of this post should be, "Top 5 Reasons I'm Going to Swim Fast This Weekend," but if you want to listen to a couple of great women talk about how to deal with stress in a positive manner and how to use your own body language for positive results, check out:
    • Kelly McGonigal on stress --
    • Then look at the first comment below because apparently I can only include one video in a post!


    My wife turned me onto both of these as she used them with some of the students she teachers, but I've been trying to employ the core messages in my life. So far, these ideas are working well for me.

    So, why am I going to swim fast this weekend?
    1. I've done more race pace training leading up to this meet than I think I've done leading up to any other masters meet
    2. I am happy and excited to race a fun line up of events. In fact, the whole order of events seems tailor made for me.
    3. I love racing at ASU
    4. Through both the La Jolla mile and 3K postal, I've demonstrated to myself that my endurance is there.
    5. If I'm going to go to the trouble of shaving and showing up, what the hell else do I have to do but swim fast??


    Getting excited.

    Updated November 19th, 2013 at 02:02 AM by pwb

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  18. Emerging from the Great Swamp

    by , October 24th, 2013 at 10:11 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After Tuesday in NYC, I was out to Berkeley Heights, NJ for my company's 2014 planning meetings. In addition to being a black hole of sorts for pools (unless you're a YMCA member or Rutgers' alumnus), this part of NJ is a black hole for reasonably-priced (e.g., suitable for an entrepreneur), decent hotels. There's a perfectly suitable and perfectly uniform Marriott Courtyard about 15-20 minutes from my company's office, but it's routinely well over $200, a price I really can't justify (we want to keep the ethos of spending the company's money as if it were our own), so I branched out and found this awesome room on airbnb.com (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3091) that was closer, cheaper and all around better. Unfortunately, while the bed was great and I slept beautifully when I was in it, the 3 hour time difference and the long days meant I didn't rouse myself in the morning to go swim with the Drew Masters team on Wednesday morning (http://www.rangeraquatics.com/mastersswimming.htm). I then missed Wednesday evening with Berkeley Masters (http://www.teamunify.com/SubTabGener..._stabid_=63739) because we were having too much fun celebrating the achievement of some pretty important company milestones ... which, of course, put me in no mood to get up this morning to swim. Two days out of the water is not uncommon for me, but I need to get back in the swing of things tomorrow once I'm home.

    On the upside, the probability of me being able to attend a day (maybe two) of the New England Masters champs in Boston in mid-December notched a little higher this week. I'm trying to pull off a time-alignment-trifecta of a personal commitment in Boston with a client commitment in New York and this meet. Since I'm in the midst of reading Nate Silver's simply awesome The Signal and the Noise (http://www.amazon.com/The-Signal-Noi.../dp/159420411X) and need to think more like a Bayesian, I've adjusted my probability of pulling off this feat from 5% to 15%.

    On the downside, in keeping with my fine tradition of leaving electronics in hotel rooms, I'm pretty sure I left my iPod in my New York hotel. I didn't realize that until today, though, so the probability it's still sitting in their lost & found and not in someone's pocket is fast approaching, if not already zero.
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  19. Shutout & shutdown

    by , October 4th, 2013 at 07:47 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    As expected, I was shutout of swimming in San Francisco today. I wasn't man enough to skip sleep to hit a morning swim nor to risk p***ing off my wife by missing my flight just to grab a late afternoon swim (there were open lap hours here http://sfrecpark.org/destination/bay...-king-jr-pool/ from 3-4 that, in theory, I could have made, but making my 5pm flight after that seemed exceedingly risky).

    My grand camping plans with #3 daughter next weekend had a bit of a Shutdown Detour to them as I was hoping to camp on some great US Forest Service campgrounds north of Sedona. Thankfully, I've camped enough around the state with the older two to know that one of my favorite (albeit a bit pricey for tenting) campgrounds is private (www.lolomai.com) and I've now got reservations there. Here's hoping #3 and I grab a dip in the nearby Sedona Pool (http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sedonacms/index.aspx?page=147) over our 4 day weekend just to bulk up my pool list

    Gotta get thru security now and rest up for a hike tomorrow morning with my brother, who is in town for a business meeting. One of the many joys of living in Arizona is that so many people eventually make it here for business or pleasure. Gotta love the valley of the sun.
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  20. No SUIT for you!

    by , September 30th, 2013 at 10:13 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)


    I have finally caught my FLOG up to my spreadsheet and I'm at a measly 240 miles thru today, so NO SUIT FOR YOU, says the FLOG Nazi.

    Ahhhh, but what an enjoyable lazy day (swimming/workout wise) I had today. I kind of really wanted to swim today, but, as I also want to wake up tomorrow morning to swim in California (new pool for me), I denied myself the sweet nectar of chlorine for the taste of it to motivate me out of bed at 5am tomorrow.
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