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Chowmi's Blog

Michelle's blog on swimming and other fun stuff!

My USMS info:
My team: Dallas Aquatic Masters
www.damswim.com
http://www.usms.org/people/02gam

My USA info:
My team: Dallas Mustangs
www.dmswim.com
www.ntswim.org
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASModul...d-b89e809716fa

  1. South Central Zones - meet report

    by , July 22nd, 2014 at 08:49 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Super long time no blogging!

    Well, here is how I did at the SC zone meet this weekend:

    50 back 33.73 (new zone record)
    100 fly 1:11.11 (34.36/36.75) (new zone record)
    50 free 28.76 (missed the record 28.60)
    200 fly 2:59.7 (37.79/45.40 (1:23.19)/48.68/47.89 (missed the record 2:55.29)
    50 fly 30.96 (new zone record)

    Very happy with times and quality of the swims, particularly the 100 fly. That is a very small spread so I think I could take it out faster. I had a lot left in the tank coming home. I haven't been swimming LCM and I don't like LCM. So I think I can scratch training it off my list permanently.

    50 Back - I think it was a lifetime best.

    50 Fly - super awesome and great split. Even in SCY, my split 3-4 seconds slower.

    50 free - solid. I am not going to focus too much on this.

    200 fly - I don't think I swam it efficiently at all. I want to do it again. I'd like to go a 2:50ish next time, somewhere closer to 37, low 40, 45, 45. Probably just go out faster than that 1:23, like around 1:20 and come back in 1:30. I'll have years to improve from there. It seems mid 40's is a very respectable range for a 200 fly, so start with 2:50 barrier and then inch my way down to the 40's. Most amazingly, yours truly incorporated butterfrog for parts of the last 100. For LCM, I think this is a great strategy. I can rest the front of my body since there is no turn in sight for 45+ seconds! Over time, I can wean myself off of it, but for now, hey, it works for me!

    50 fly - I was on fumes by this time, but I was super happy with the swim. I've been working my fly kick and that really saved me on this swim. I used a 4 breathing pattern, which is very different that SCY at 1 down/1 back. But for some reason, I just need the air in LCM and this pattern works well.

    I'm really happy I swam this meet. I will likely get 5 top ten times, which will put me at 190 and so I will really try to find SCM meets to go and swim as many events as possible to get to 200 by the end of 2014. I've been trying really hard to stay in decent condition and very solid race shape through the summer, with the goal to be in prime shape going INTO the SCM and then SCY seasons. Almost every year, I am "starting over" in the fall and I think a big improvement (which could mean the ability to swim many more events at meets) will be to enter the season with strong racing form.
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  2. 4 x fast 50's

    by , June 17th, 2014 at 07:29 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    What a bummer! On our way from Dallas to Breckenridge, CO, our car was having trouble! We passed Amarillo and were just past 1/2 way when we had to stop in Dalhart, TX! We got to a GMC/Chevy dealer who hooked our Cadillac up to their computers but couldn't really find what exactly was wrong. We were worried about making it over the mountains, so we turned back. What a bummer!!!!!

    Well, we have decided to go again in about 2 weeks.

    In other news, today was an awesome workout -really just up my alley!
    The main set was essentially 4x 50's one each stroke from the blocks, with about 10 minutes worth of a set in between each!

    SCM
    50 fly 31.8
    50 back 34.5
    50 breast 39.2
    50 free 29.1

    For some reason, we all went by ourselves or only with 1 other person. I went by myself and for some other random reason, was slightly ahead of everyone else. But maybe that was by design so the coach could time each person by themselves. Well, I was quite pleased with the times in a SCM workout. It also was good to see where I was bogging down or needed to focus attention.

    Fly - need a breathing pattern for SCM. I have it for SCY 1/1 or the 100 (every 2) but SCM is a bit more difficult to make it 1/1 so I am thinking 1/2 or 2/2

    Back - just need to do USRPT here! not used to really going bonkers in 50 back enough.

    Breast - quite solid! Just make sure to stay really entact from the turns and to be very aggressive.

    Free - very solid; need to work on turn and in/out of wall; don't breath on 2nd length too soon.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Here's another pretty good set for building up to a 100 fly: I did a 50 easy every time you see 100 easy.

    100 easy 1:30
    25 fast :30
    100 easy
    50 fast 1:00
    100 easy
    75 fast 1:30
    100 easy
    100 fast 2:00

    Twice through.
    Fly: 16, 36, 55, 1:15
    Breast: 22,44, ?, 1:30
    I'd like to get this set to pushing 50 at the 75 and 1:10 at the 100
    breast - maybe get to 1:25
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  3. Fast IM before Breckenridge CO

    by , June 9th, 2014 at 03:03 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, it's time for the first vacation of the summer. So.... I modified the last several workouts to do "Things I can't/won't do while on Vacation".

    Sunday, LCM converted in to SCM - YEAH!
    I went to workout mainly just to check the box of coached workout before going on vacation. To my delight they put a bulkhead in the LCM pool so scrambled for the deep end and recruited 2 friends to do our own workout in our own lane.
    _________________________________________
    The main set was
    4 x 100's on 3:00 ==>I did them free
    100 straight 1:13
    50/10/50 1:10
    50/10/25/5/25 1:07
    4 x 25 5 sec 1:04

    4 x dives + break outs
    1 at a time and giving feedback

    That was fun!

    I wasn't very fast on the 100's, but not so far off and not out of control either. I think it's a great place to be for now, and hopefully I can hold on until the fall and improve. I'd like to be 1:07 or :08 on the straight 100, and down to 1:00 or sub on the broken 4 x 25's.
    __________________________________
    Today I basically did 3 x 100 fast IMs

    1:17, 1:16, 1:16

    Those were around a bunch of other 100's the lane was doing. Very solid, but i'd like to be even faster. My best ever was recent and a 1:14. That was a serious crankin' it day but we were all doing IMs so I had good racing.

    3 x strong 50's, about 1:30ish
    fly/back/br
    33/36/43

    The fly was really promising at 33. I haven't been there in awhile and am getting back into it. I'd like to breakthrough later this year, finally getting past the 32/33 mark and going 31's from a push.

    I didn't have enough rest to have a snappy back/breast, so those were a bit slower.
    _____________________________________
    In Breckenridge, i'll just do garbage yardage but lots of kick. I think i'm around 23 miiles or so towards the 50 mile club. I can usually do 2 miles each workout, which they use 1800 as a mile.

    See you later!!!
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  4. Hangin' with AZTIMM - on flyertalk!

    by , June 4th, 2014 at 03:51 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Super long time no post!

    I have been too busy lurking on flyertalk.com to post here. Guess who found me there?!!! AZTIMM!!!! haha!

    I am on a mission to earn mega AA miles. I decimated my current balance due to our Hawaii trip. There was no way no how my husband was going to go economy or even MCE, so I used every squeezy drop of my miles to get us first class.

    Swimming wise, i've just been doing some USRPT, miscellaneous sprinting, lots of fly kick, and stroke work. With no meets to gear up for, i'm just trying to stay in overall conditioning, stroke, and sprint shape so I won't be starting all over again in the fall. We are going to Colorado this month, Pittsburgh next month, and then Hawaii for vacations, so I can't see any reason to get seriously into it for 3 weeks just to take a week off in between each.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    *Today I went a 28 high/29 super flat 50 free so I was happy with that.
    *My fly has been really coming along. Before zones this year (late March 2014), I could barely do a 37-38 but now I can do that quite comfortably, and push 35's respectably. In my best shape, I could do 32/33's strong 50's fly. I'd like to hold this conditioning and speed going into the fall.

    But the most pressing thought I have is this question:
    Would it be bad form if we traveled 2 in business class and 2 in Economy main cabin extra on our trip to Paris, France in July 2015? My girls wouldn't care about being separated from us, and really, it's not like they are going to get lost on an airplane. I may be short on the miles, and I don't want to wait until I get enough to book the last 2 tickets. I just won't have enough to book everyone business class.
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  5. AZ State meet results

    by , April 7th, 2014 at 10:30 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I had a great time visiting chowsh!!

    It was so nice to visit my faaavorite (and only) sister, and have free food, lodging, and transportation! We had fun eating out and I started my own drawer at her house. I left my tall UGGs and a pair of wind-resistant sweat pants (I have another pair at home). I bought 2 pairs of flip flops and left 1 pair at her house. In the future, i'll probably leave underwear, sneakers, and assorted bottoms. I can always borrow tees and tops from chowsh!

    Well, here's how I did:

    50 free split (100 free) 25.19 good
    Better! Getting close to 24.99. Tall Paul said I caught a big wave from the incoming field and that I probably should do a split from a slower event and heat, which I agree. I thought it was just me and that I was plankton feeding off the breakout, but perhaps part of it was the big wave as well. I wasn't sure if I was going for a split or not, so I entered at the midway with a 1:00.00.

    100 breast 1:14.94 (34.98 39.96) ouch!
    I think I tried too hard and was turning over and slipping. I should have taken longer and stronger pull--kick and instead was spinning my wheels. Well, at least now I know! I think my 1:14.8 from last week will stand for top ten this year.

    50 fly 27.60 meh
    I was actually going to skip this but decided nearly at the last minute to get up and get another trial 50 fly under my belt. I was glad I did, because I totally did NOT breakout smooth on the dive or the turn - I did one of the too-deep-pop ups. It startled me, but I wasn't entirely surprised. As I have been getting my fly mojo back, i've also painfully noticed I need to start feeling to breakout better, and certainly this race showed I am not there yet.

    Skipped 50 breast.

    200 fly 2:25.06 (32.23 37.96 (1:10.19) 38.87 36.00 (1:14.87)) solid
    I was very happy with this time. I think it will stand for top ten this year, which is what I was going for. I haven't swum it SCY since 2007, so just like my 200 breast, I backed way off on the 2nd 50, probably too much, as I had a lot (relatively) left in the tank to make it look good on the last 50. I think a 5.5 second spread is too much, and that set up the 3rd 50 at a slower pace as well.

    Day 2
    100 IM 1:03.50 (29.31 34.19)
    I was really happy with this time. I think it's in line with my 100 back/100 fly, where historically I am just a bit slower than my 100 back and about a second slower than my 100 fly. My sister said that I went too deep on the backstroke but also did not go very fast or far on the underwater. But everything else was pretty good, and my breast was not so rushed and I didn't "spin and slip" like the 100 breast.

    Skip 50 free
    Skip 200 breast

    100 back 1:02.78 (30.43 32.35) very good
    I was super happy with the outdoor 100 back. Perhaps pwbrundage was right about the sun, I don't know, except that I really couldn't see anything and just didn't worry about going straight, but I suppose I did. I could see well enough for around when I was under the flags, but didn't even think about when exactly that was. I just turned on "about 2" strokes under the flags, whenever that was, and when my face was in the water, then i'd very quickly adjust my arm speed to how close/far I was from the wall and move in a continuous motion. I had too many other things to worry about, like when my butt was about to fall off from the pain and not sitting up. I think it was a quality split. I could really tell my lack of race-pace training. The last turn, I totally bagged the UW kicks and just kicked freestlye, or at least I was telling myself to, because I was pretty numb down there. And then said, crimey, i'm a lousy 1/2 way under the flags off this last turn.

    The end.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Done with SCY! I think I will get 12 top ten times.i Major goal is to get to 200 as soon as possible. If these all make it, I will have about 12 to go.

    50/100 free 25.19 56.3
    50/100/200 back 29.5 1:02.7 2:19
    50/100/200 breast 34.5 1:14.8 2:44.2 ==>iffy. will have to wait and see.
    50/100/200 fly 27.4 1:02.1 2:25.0
    100 IM 1:03.5

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I don't want to train long course. It does not sound fun to swim outside in crowded lanes with people going less than 5 seconds apart. I might just stay out of the sun in the 25 SCM pool and do race pace stuff!
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  6. South Central Zone meet results!

    by , March 31st, 2014 at 12:10 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, here is how I did!

    100 free 56.34 (26.36/29.98)
    Ok, this was so incredibly painful. I certainly don't train for a 100 and I have decided not to. I would rather suffer for 56 seconds once a year, rather than suffer daily training. That save me, like hundreds of hours! The cost/benefit continum is misaligned. At 55, 54, and even 53 or lower, there is no amount of 100 free training I am willing to do to improve. Unless there is some spillover effect from IM training!

    50 back 29.51
    Very solid, but I really thought I could go 28.99 or better. I'll continue to keep this on my main events! South Central Zone record.

    50 fly 27.40
    I was SUPER happy with this time!!! I really lost my fly ability after the gall bladder came out. I went a 28.3 last year and didn't even make top ten. I really only started to be able to swim 25's and 50's fly in practice around late Jan/Feb this year. I think i'm back! I am so looking forward to working down to a 26.99 or better! South Central zone record.

    Scatched 200 IM

    50 free split: 25.42
    This was actually very strong. The official was standing right in between my lane and the next, but I guess he was really bored or something and had to get closer to the action. He'd bend over slightly when we touched, and I swear, he was totally in my space when Janie was coming in. It freaked me out, 'cause it was like, hey official, you're in my personal space! So I waited wayyy to long, and Janie was totally touching the wall and I was still standing straight up until the official got out of my space!

    50 free: Scratch!
    I needed all the rest for the 100 fly!

    100 fly: 1:02.14 (28.84/33.30)
    I was super happy with this time! I knew i'd have to be really fresh and aggressive on the first 50. The thing is, no matter how bad I do on the 2nd 50, it's going to be in the 33 or 34 range. So I need to bank all my speed on the first 50 and then bring it home. I felt really good, but slowed down more than I thought I would on the 2nd 50. New zone record. I'd like to go 28.5 or better, and then bring it home 32 range. Then i'll be in shooting distance of the 1:00.00 mark!

    50 breast: 34.50
    Ouch! This was quite close to the 100 fly, and I simply had nothing left. I'd say this was actually a bad swim, because I went out in 34.7 in the 100 breast at a meet the month before.

    100 IM scratch
    Save my energy for the 200 breast. Took 2 hot showers and made a historical analysis of top ten 200 breasts in the meantime.

    200 breast: 2:44.25 (37.75/42.62 (1:20.37) 42.30/41.58 (1:23.88)
    I was super happy with this. It was my first 200 breast ever. I think I was a bit conservative, because it didn't hurt very much. Looking at my splits, I probably should not have backed off so much on the 2nd 50, which set up the range of speed for the 3rd and 4th 50's. Perhaps go closer to 40/41's next time! New zone record.

    50 free split: 25.35 relay
    Awesome! Well, not really. Viva la mid 25's!

    50 free split: 25.62 relay
    Yeah! Back to back relays and I could still do it for the team!

    So, some very solid and promising times. I feel I can improve in many events, variety of distances. 4 new zone records. I hope to get the 50/100 free, 100 IM, 200 fly, maybe 100 back,100 breast during my waning 40's. If I can get 8 total, that's quite respectable!

    Next up: Arizona state meet this weekend! I am going to focus on the 50 free, 50/100 breast, and 100 IM for sure. I should be able to get top ten times in those. I entered some other events but I don't want to spread myself too thin and just miss the 50/100 breast when I am right now on the bubble.
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  7. Ready for Meet Season

    by , March 24th, 2014 at 09:47 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Not sure how fast i'll swim, but at least I feel pretty good and I finally can swim fly pretty well! It's not such a struggle and I am starting to feel my old self again; it will take more time than the next 2 weeks, but hopefully racing fly will give me another big boost and over the hump to better fly!

    Let's see....
    I went 13+ from a dive on 25's fly, so that was promising.
    I went a 38.2 to 38.5 on a 50 breast fast. That was also a good swim.
    I got my mojo going on some 25's back and went 16's. That's as fast as I ever have. Never hit 15's yet.
    Free is still a struggle. I'm still fighting myself but going 14-15's, so at least I can muscle and thrash my way to half decent times.

    I'd like to just see where my times are. Since I turned 45 this year, and since it's been 12 years (2002) since I started racing after having kids, maybe consider this a "reset" year, so all "best times"?
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  8. More sprint stuff

    by , March 12th, 2014 at 07:24 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I am continuing with sprint stuff. Yesterday I was focusing on doing IM sprints, and today is a day off and yoga. But not until I digest some of this panang, pad thai, and tom yum something or other. You know, the tart chicken soup with coconut milk.

    Fly set (it's fraternity of flyers month!)
    16 x 25's
    Odd smooth free
    even alternate drill/swim fast

    IM set.
    I customized a boring 12 x 75's into
    1 fast broken 75 IM (3 total) 25/5 seconds
    easy swim
    so roughly, about every 4:30 i'd be going a sprint 75 IM.

    58
    56
    54

    You can extrapolate and say, maybe between 16-18 seconds for a 25 free to get a 100IM time. But it's not exact. Sometimes i'd be short/long on the 5 seconds. But roughly there. Well under 1:00 but well over :50. This is a great set for me. I was able to really dig deep on the last one. Was able to really engage sprinting, especially on the breastroke. But still off from doing a race-pace IM - i'd like to be closer to :50. Maybe aim for holding this set :55 to :50 as a goal in the future, without compromising the 5 seconds rest.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I'm feeling a lot better, more energy but I can tell my body isn't rested to it's peak swimming prowess just yet. Have to be careful to really rest my legs!
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  9. Putting on the brakes!

    by , March 10th, 2014 at 11:53 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    The good news - I did get a free pair of goggles after all! They included a blue pair of vanquisher goggles. I didn't look carefully whether they were V2's or not, but who cares, free is free!!

    The new suit with comfort straps will be interesting. The straps are thicker but completely smooth. It immediately reminded me of the straps that must be on those super huge cupped ladies' bras who need ginormous over the shoulder boulder holder straps.

    In other news, I have been completely run down and tired. I have decided to put the brakes on and go full throttle taper sit around and talk to the coaches about my swimming mode. I would much rather overtaper and be completely out of shape, than to still be tired and not at my best for the 2 meets coming up. Awake, alert, and peppy - that is my goal. I just want to feel fully engaged and ready to give a 100% effort on race day.

    Friday:
    From Rich Abraham's PS favorite sets (pure speed):
    8 x 25's on 1:00
    12.5 fast
    odd free (from dive)
    even kick (pushoff)

    50 fast free (29 flat)

    8 x25's on 1:00
    odd fly (from dive)
    even fly (from pushoff)

    50 fast kick - free w/board (46)

    This was a good reset and quite sprinty. Coach came out on deck early, and watched/video'd all my dives and gave me pointers, so it was on more than 1 minute per, but I got a free 1/2 lesson on my dives!!!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sunday
    LCM, SMU outdoors
    YIKES!!!! I have not swum LCM in a long time! I made sure I didn't overdo it.

    400 warm up
    10 x 50 kick w/fins 1:10 fast last 12.5 (38-41s)

    Main set:
    swim 4 x 50 strong 50's from a start, 1 each stroke, for the last 40 minutes or so.
    fly: 36
    back :41
    breast :47
    free :33

    YIKES again! Those were not very fast at all, given I was going 92.5ish effort! But, a great starting point for LCM. It proved 2 things - 1. I was tired. Not engaged mentally to really go 100%. 2. Just plain too slow! But then again, it will be fun to drop time from there. This is my baseline set from which to improve. I ought to do this set at least once a week. I don't think it would get boring, since the alternative was to do 300, 3 x 100, 200, 3 x 100, 100, 3 x 100 so I think i'd pick 4 x 50's on 10 minutes every time!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I cleaned out my closet and took 4 big bags to goodwill. I feel so good about myself. but I completely lost steam and can't bring myself to align the empty spaces or sort the pants/tops. They're all still mismashed. Last week was a major update for my kids. I cleared out their closet, and replaced all the baby hangers with adult hangers.
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  10. Tips for ordering Technical Suit!

    by , March 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I just ordered a new technical racing suit! I haven't in several years, gloating how I my existing ones have lasted so long. But alas, they are way too stretched out and so used that they show that disintegration like your old lycra suits used to! Yuck!

    *Only interested in Speedo
    *Don't like the new closed back suit. I think it would make me look thick, fat, and sausage-like. Also the most expensive at $449.
    *Don't like the colored suits. They would make my colored thigh look fat.
    *Do want an Elite 2. Mostly because it's the newest. Must be in black.
    *Comfort straps are intriguing. Is it worth the difference between $395 and $429? Yes, I think so. And I don't think they would make me look fat.

    Goal:
    No tax
    Free shipping, and not a rush order so who cares 2 day or 7 day
    Any coupon, which is hard for a technical suit

    SUCCESS!
    Metroswimshop
    Go to retailmenot and get that coupon code (before 03/31!). I couldn't figure out the free goggle thing, which it wouldn't seem to give me, but I didn't want to pass this suit discount of 10%!

    So I got the $429 suit for a total of $386.10. I think they gave me an extra dollar off.

    +++++++++++++++++++
    This is Fraternity of Flyers month!
    Today's main fly set was

    3 rounds
    8 x 50's on :55
    2 x fly/free
    2 easy free
    3 x fly/free
    1 easy free

    Sprint the fly bits.

    Now, this sounds easy as you only do 5 x 25's fast fly for the entire round, but for some reason I was dying, just absolutely dying through this set. Maybe because I was doing it right. It was one of those days where if someone poked you with a pinky, you'd probably just collapse. And I was really irritated with my lane. The girl behind me was doing all free. So was the next guy. Then the next guy was doing backstroke with fins. Then the next guy was swimming freestyle with a snorkel swimming up the backstroker's backside. I thin there might have been someone else after that but maybe it was just a manifestation of a composite irritating swimmer.

    I have decided that I am not going to swim tomorrow or Wednesday, if I am going to be in this bad of a mood and irritated with my lanemates!
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  11. So Mad about Hotel Deception!

    by , March 1st, 2014 at 09:19 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I am sooo mad!!!

    I entered the South Central zone meet, then went to make my hotel reservation. I have stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, The Woodlands, many times and was all set to do so again. So I searched for it, and THOUGHT I went directly to their website. I booked an awesome rate ($107 plus fees, etc), and then realized upon getting the confirm that it was with some service called Reservation Counter, and not directly with the hotel! I swear, the website looked JUST like it! So a few hours later, I called the hotel directly to make sure they had my reservation. They did, but it still irks me! And the web address was so similar that you know they were trying to fool you!!!

    For those who want the finer points - remember your reservation is with the service, and not necessarily with the hotel itself. This service could just take your money and not make a booking. Or go out of business or file bankruptcy and not make your reservation. You would hope, but you aren't necessariy going to get your hotel room. And it cost a whopping $12 more for their stupid service vs. booking through the hotel itself, grrrr!!!!!!!

    In the end i'll be alright, worst case rarely happens, and plus I used my credit card, so if something does go wrong and I end up with no room, I don't have to pay it. But you just don't want that aggravation going into your big zone meet! I guess this also shows how being a bankruptcy trustee, you know the finer points of how these things can happen!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    In training news, i'm continuing my kick/IM/sprint days. I've gone back over Rich Abaraham's 2 articles from 2010 and 2011 on racing. The part i'm paying attention to is which zone you are in. I think of it as 3 zones - pure power zone (anaerobic; like powering through the 1st 15 meters of a race, or a 1/2 length blow out sprint), zone 2, which is racing zone; and zone 3, which is the "80% yardarage zone". And even though they aren't mutually exclusive, you have to train the appropriate amount of time in the right zone (zone 2), and not be stuck in zone 3 for me as a short sprinter (50/100's).

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    We did a set of IM -
    4 rounds
    4 x 25's 1 each stroke (.35)
    2 x 50 on 1:05 (fly/back and breast/free)
    1 x 100 IM fast on 2:30

    1:19
    1:19
    1:16
    1:14

    The first 2 rounds I did the set. But I found myself more in zone 3 than in zone 2. I was just trying to get through the IM at the end. So the next 2 sets I started to drop the IM bits and did easy free instead, to set myself up for a truly fast 100 IM. It worked! The 1:14 was my best 100 IM in practice!

    I'm glad I made that decision part way through the set to make it meaningful for me. I think it's a great set to do as proscribed if i'm building a base for the 400IM, or the 200IM. But this year it's all about the 100IM!
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  12. Changing focus when frustrated

    by , February 26th, 2014 at 12:52 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I've been kicking. ALOT. I got sick of trying to work through my freestyle sprint. From 2008-2011, i've been moaning of why I can't break 24 (24.4-24.1). From 2012 to present, I have only gone 25.3-25.6. I've decided to give it a break and do something different!

    My new thing is to kick at least 1 full workout. I swim 3x per week. So on Mondays, I totally kick it. I usually use my Speedo Optimus fins and kick with or without a board (without is faster, so I use these if the interval is really tight). I started out by moving down a lane, going last, and dropping the last 50 if needed. But now I worked my way back up to staying in my own lane and making the swim intervals. It's fun to have my head out of the water and I can look around, but usually I am huffing and puffing and I have to concentrate really hard to kick fast.

    My conditioning is really good because of all this self-inflicted kicking. (Probably why I could neg split a 200 back). Just like all the stories you hear about people getting injured, only kicking for months, then coming back with awesomeness because they were forced to kick so much - that's me in a mini-way. The other benefit is the alternate days I actually do most of the whole workout. Even the NEXT lane over marvels and makes comments about how I did the entire set. My arms almost always feel fresh because they were in a perpetual streamline the day before.

    Day 2 of the week I try to make sure I get in one of the IM days (Tues or Thurs). Since I am swimming more events, it just makes sense to do more stroke work, plus I really don't want to go down the freestyle path unless absolutely necessary. I also find an unaccustomed desire to swim it all, swim fast, and with a positive can-do attitude. It's a great motivator when you know this is the only practice you are going to swim the 1 hour with your arms!

    Day 3 is a mixed bag. I also make sure that I get in short, burst, pure sprinting and/or kicking, no matter what. If the workout isn't sprint, i'll modify the set, or if there is a set in particular I want to do, then I will swim on my own.

    I really like the 3 days per week focus. It makes each workout more purposeful and I can do different things! I'll probably stick to this for awhile. Next season, I may have to do more swimming bits, since i'd like to attempt the 200 free and 400 IM. In 2015 it will be a full 20 years since I last swam a real 200 free, and 10 full years since I swam the 400 IM!

    I'm still doing P90X3! I am on the final month! It's so much fun that I am going to do another round after I finish this one! But I haven't lost any weight. Probably because I haven't changed my eating habits and I really didn't start it as a weight loss program. I love junk food too much.
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  13. Super long time no blog and MEET REPORT!

    by , February 24th, 2014 at 10:12 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hello everyone! I have been swimming just as much (or as little?) as ever, but just not blogging about it!

    Yours truly is going after QUANTITY this year! Feeling so crummy in the 50 free, I figure it's ok to switch gears and swim a schlew of events, hoping to hit some good times and/or top tens along the way! I have 174 TTT, inclusive of the preliminary SCM 2013. So with 26 to go, it's time to ramp up different events! Goal is to reach 200 mark ASAP.

    I am going to both the South Central zone meet and infilitrating the AZ state meet, and yahoo, the official meet entry is finally UP!

    This weekend I swam some "off events" at the DAMM one day SCY meet. It's hard to get really focused. My older daughter was at a sleepover, so there's that low grade anxiety and "on call" feeling of picking her up right around my last event. My younger daughter was "getting an award" at the Texas Black Film Festival - she entered the Sixth Floor Museum (of JFK shooting fame)'s youth oral history challenge and was a "finalist", where they included part of her interview in the official video!

    Anyway, here is how I did:

    100 breast 1:14.8
    200 back 2:19.1
    100 fly 1:04.1

    The 200 back was the best. That will stand for a top ten, under 2:20 has always made it safely w/large cushion room. I can scratch that event off my list! The shocker was I went out in a 1:10, and I think it was like, a 1:10.4. So someone do the math, but I had to really boogie on the back end to get under 2:20!

    The 100 breast/fly would make top ten - in a moderate year. But I don't know if that will be the case. Yours trulys' analysis is that no one is aging out, but at least 3 faster 44-now-45 girls are aging up, so I am resigned to swimming these 2 events again.

    Given I have 2 big meets for top ten chances, I envision myself napping for long periods in my deck chair and lurking in the hot showers at the Woodlands (SC zones). It's going to be my 4 x 50 meet, plus whatever other events I can get for top tens. But I am going to approach this with Fortness - that is, make the 50's really, really count, and not worry too much about the quantity of events. I need to swim really fast to make 50 TTT's, so I don't want to get to piggy about other events!
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  14. Started P90X3!!!

    by , January 2nd, 2014 at 03:11 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Long time no blog post!

    I got the flu right after the Christmas relay meet, started feeling bad on Saturday December 14th. I still don't feel 100%, but I can do modified workouts and manage my rest so I don't overdo it on my comeback.

    I started P90X3 and it's awesome! I must say, 30 minutes is really just right. There's no need to do more or longer which I think is just diminishing return at around the 45 minute mark. The hard part is doing any of these programs AND swimming at the same time.

    I've been workout out on my own because of the flu and then doing P90X3. I'd rather keep up the speed over yardage or reps, so here's a few of my main sets:

    New Years Eve:
    4 x 100's on 5 minutes, with TYR Burners, SCM
    1st straight 1:12
    2nd 50/10/50 1:08
    3rd 50/10/25/5/25 1:04
    4th 4 x 25, 5 secs 1:02

    Day after New Years (Today):
    4 x 50's from a dive, no interval, but around 3-4 mins.
    broken 25/5/25
    fly 32
    back 35
    breast 40
    free 28

    I was quite spent after those sets, but glad I did not waste my time with 200's and 100's of no real speed. That would have been garbage yardage for me. I just want to try to keep up my speed since I have no energy to spare, and i'm pretty tired with 2000 to 2500 total SCM.

    If I don't feel much better, i'll probably strictly adhere to 4 x 50's, the 100 IM, and 100/200 backstroke. Anything else just feels so terribly difficult. I've already swum a 100 fly this season, so I don't feel the pressure to have to swim it again if I don't feel up to it.

    I am also so woefully heavy - a whopping 143 lbs now - so I need to really watch the junk food for awhile, or at least moderate it to get back under 140. With P90X3, swimming consistently, and a bit of self-control, surely that is good for an "easy" first 5 lbs?
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  15. Post Thanksgiving Report

    by , November 30th, 2013 at 10:03 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Happy post thanksgiving! Chowsh is here visiting and getting bossed around by yours truly! Swimming-wise, just maintaining this week and trying to stay in good to top condition through the New Years.

    My times from our SCM meet were relatively strong - I now have 2 x #2 times, and 2 x #3 times, so what a bonus for 4 more TTs on my way to 200 lifetime TTs! I suspect they will hold in the top ten, but maybe move down a few places by the close of the season.

    I will not be able to swim my big swim meet in December. I will be going to Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC for a memorial service 12/05 to 12/10.

    Instead, I will use the DAMM relay meet as a tune-up to bridge the gap from Nov to my next swim meet, which who knows when that will be. I requested the 200 free, fly, back, and breast relays, and to put my in anything else. I won't wear my fast suit, but i'll take racing seriously and do my best effort. They have almost always used the electronic timing system, in the event another team wants to get times to count for USMS. I hope they do this year, so I can get my lead off or split time as a gauge.

    I tried a quasi-race pace set, but in retrospect, the morning after Thanksgiving wasn't the best time to start! Yours truly felt like a beached whale whilst in the water, with peanut sized lungs due to overcapacity Thanksgiving food still making its way through my system!

    The set I tried was

    4 times through, 1 set each stroke:
    100 straight swim, working on the turns;
    4 x 25's race pace on :30
    easy 50 in between; total time 3 minutes

    The free wasn't too bad - 14 15 15 16
    The fly was a complete fail 16 18 18 20
    The back was off before the 1st 25 18 20 20 20
    The breast was who knows 21 23 23 23

    While we have done fast 25's on :30 for years, it's completely different when you go that elusive extra to go true race pace. Obviously I have a long way to go! And that's just 4 measly 25's!!!

    Then I did "Rich Abrahams" starts - start with 4 strokes, 6, strokes, 8 strokes.

    Then I did a 50 free fast
    30 flat.

    Well, i'd like to say it was Thanksgiving eating and playing host, but then again, there is always some handicap, and I haven't gotten any faster. How many times have I posted I did a :30? Ugh. Well, at least i'm not getting slower.
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  16. DAMM SCM Meet report!

    by , November 16th, 2013 at 01:27 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Here's how I did! These should all make top ten!

    50 fly 31.00
    50 free #1: 28.67
    50 free #2: 28.39
    50 back: 33.2
    100 IM: 1:12.4

    I swam next to Stewart Carroll in the 50 back and 100 IM! I swam between him and another really fast guy in the 100IM. I think they went 1:02, 1:04, so I thought I was sucking big time. But lo, I turned around and saw the 1:12, which was super strong and better than I was expecting for my 5th event!

    I'm a bit bummed about the 50 frees, as I thought I could go faster. It is so hard getting up in the pool where I practice. Motivation is a bit tough!

    I am hoping to go 24.99 or better at the local A meet in 3 weeks. I'm going to swim a "full" line up - 100 back/50 free; 100 fly/100 free. That is tough for me as I don't swim 100's but all I need are solid A times, so the times should be very do-able.

    Wish me luck on 24.99!!!!!!!!!!!
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  17. First meet free vs. Frequent Meet Punchchard?

    by , November 15th, 2013 at 03:40 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    In North Texas, we have a "first meet free" ongoing promotion that our current President enacted when she took office. I don't disagree with it, as any promotion is a good thing to get people to participate.

    But I wish there was also a frequent punchcard, honored by either NT LMSC or perhaps all the LMSCs within a zone, and then you get some prize at each award level, like a patch at 10 meets, a towel at 20 meets, a bag a 50 meets, and a knesskin at 100 meets! There would be a firm start date, such as 01/01/14 and then the punches go into effect. No retroactive punches.

    The former only rewards the newbie, and there just aren't that many! How about giving me a reward for sticking around and registering USMS YOY since 1992! We don't get any prizes, and I just don't think someone who's never swum a meet should get something for free when I don't.
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  18. Meet Report!

    by , November 14th, 2013 at 11:01 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Here is how I did at the local USA A meet:

    50 free 25.3
    100 fly 1:02.2
    100 back 1:03.4

    I was disappointed with the 50 free as I thought I could rather easily go under 25 and get a current season Sectionals cut (24.99). I have a current bonus cut (25.79) but on principle I like to get a current season time.

    The fly was awesome! I haven't swum the 100 fly since 01/2011, so it's been a long time, and I had to relearn fly after a long break post-gall bladder surgery. They say you recover in about 6-8 weeks, but my guts felt like spilling out of my belly button for months afterwards, which is why I swam so much backstroke last year.

    The back was just ok. I think I have much more in me, but my timing was off and so I was resigned to gutting it out at the end of the race.

    I don't know my splits yet, but that will indicate the "quality" of the swims.

    I don't think I had any mental obstacles, as I felt ready to go, even with various "handicaps". This always happens, so it didn't seem like a big deal to overcome all the Friday hurdles for the 50 free. But maybe it did affect me physically? I had a normal work week. I did normal drop off/pick up at school. I went to work. I ran errands. I helped Helen with her homework. I sat in Friday night traffic on the way to the meet. I swam in shallow pool, heat 1 lane 1 at 7:45pm for the 50 free. So maybe all those things did make me more tired than usual. Anyway, i'm looking forward to swimming the next USA meet in December!

    Next up: DAMM SCM Masters meet! This one is going to be to just gut it out at 8AM in the morning for some USMS top ten times. I entered the 50 fly and 50 free, and they are back to back events. Also the 100 free just in case I want to get a split request, but that's back to back with the 50 back. And I threw in an entry for the 100 IM, since it's one price entry so you might as well enter 5 and see if you want to show up for that 100 IM at the end.

    Here are my goal times:
    30.99 or better 50 fly
    27.99 or better 50 free
    27.99 or better 2nd chance 50 free
    32.99 or better 50 back
    1:14 or better 100 IM

    I'll go about 95% on the fly and hope that's enough to get a top ten time. But I need to turn around in about 7 minutes for the 50 free and go sub 28 if possible. Then take a mini nap, hang out in the ladies room, take a hot shower, then another mini nap in 35 minutes to get up for the last 100free/50back/100 IM. I estimate i'll have to do all those 3 in about 25 minutes total.

    Wish me luck!!!!
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  19. SPLASH FOR CA$H

    by , October 22nd, 2013 at 10:20 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Having been gone so long, I decided to wait until I had a good time to report.

    Rules are:
    $10 bucks paid to challenge swimmer if you make the goal time, within range
    $20 buck paid to coach if you are out of the range

    My stated goal time: 28.9 SCM
    Coach's grace time: .5 spanning your goal time
    Range: 28.7 to 29.2

    My time: 28.69

    So technically, I was out of the range!
    Consider it a penalty for setting too modest a goal time by .01!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I am going to swim our 1-day SCM meet, and the order of events totally sucks for 4 x 50ers. The fly/free and breast/back are back to back. So i'll do that anyway, and i've been "training" to go fast 50's in that order within 2 to 4 minutes. If 2 mins, then I typically do a 25/5sec/25. If longer, then I do a blast-o 50. I have been going 31/32 on the flys, and 29/30 on the frees; 40/41 on breast and 35/36 backs, so I think I can still muster a strong 2nd 50 for each pair in the meet. I'll probably also do the 100IM, and just gut it out with anything I have left. If I can do pretty solid 1:19 and under in workouts, I would say that's anywhere from 1:09 to 1:14 in a meet.
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  20. Maintaining as must as possible

    by , October 8th, 2013 at 03:43 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hello! Long time no blog!

    I've been trying to keep up the speed and peppy-ness even though i've been so busy and traveling for a wedding. I'm tired and just spent all the time. Anyway, I figure a fast 50 here and there is better for me that trying to do full workouts.

    Today I went
    28.9 on the coach's watch. Nice it was under 29, but about 1 second off where i'd like to be on a coach's GO. I'd like to be 28.0 or better. I'd say today's time puts me at a mid to high 27 in a real race. Since I went 28.6LCM, I think that's about right. Also, my competitive advantage is SCM, since I train it year round!

    I am happy to report that I am getting my fly back! I have been swimming fly with fins sometimes, and that seems to really help! I went 1:18 and 1:17 yesterday and today on a straight 100 fly, without completely killing myself. I think that's pretty good and would translate to about a 1:12 to 1:08, ranging from a strong but controlled swim to a gut-busting time if my life depended on it. Given that a 1:12 woudl make top ten, i'll lean towards 1:10 to 1:12.

    Oddly, my back is totally sucky right now.

    In breaststroke news, that wonderful double kick sensation is a reality, and totally no benefit of a doubt disqualifable. Not sure how I got into that habit, but I have decided to just brazenly do whatever my body is going to do, DQ be darned! I asked my coach to watch it and see if I could still pass as legal, and the consensus was no, not at all.

    My first meet will be a USA meet Nov 8-10. I've entered the 50 free, 100 fly, and 100 back. The 50 free is on a Friday night, and hopefully i'll be able to go under 25.0 as I didn't break that last year!
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