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Chowmi's Blog

Michelle's blog on swimming and other fun stuff!

My USMS info:
My team: Dallas Aquatic Masters

My USA info:
My team: Dallas Mustangs

  1. Stealing from Fort - Video!

    by , October 1st, 2011 at 10:10 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I loved Fort's post and her upload so much that here it is again!

    It is a video of Natalie Coughlin's dryland exericises. Some real gems in the why-we-do-this commentary.

    Some highlight take-a-ways:

    1. Endurance is a much as it's going to be - POWER IS WHERE THE IMPROVEMENT WILL COME FROM

    2. Movement based exercises vs. just lifting a weight up and down.

    3. Lots of legs, legs, legs and hip exercises. I can modify most with my walkers and work up to doing them without any support! Lunges, sled, and the "lunge platform", as I call it.

    4. Strength, stability, and transference to the pool.

    5. Water exercises: running dives, weight belt kicking with head up, sculling with no legs.

    6. That cord thing. Haven't seen it at my gym, but they typically get the latest and greatest and then it disappears. Like the TRX. Hope no one steals my walker. I am not yet weaned!!!

    Note: She says she loves being a pro and training 5-6 hours a day, mixing it up with things outside the pool. Ok, so that means, i'm having to figure out what is best FOR ME to reduce it to 1 hour a day! Both in selection, which day to replace swimming, how intense, etc etc....that is where the art of swimming comes in as a masters swimmer! But wait, I think I see a 23.99 in there somewhere!

    Yesterday's workout:

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon
    Steve Barnicoat coached

    300 warm up

    Designated Garbage Yardage Set:
    (Yes, straight from the coach's mouth - just get through this set!)

    300 1:30 base
    2 x 50 on 40

    200 1:30 base
    2 x 50 on 45
    2 x 50 on 40

    100 1:30 base
    2 x 50 on 50
    2 x 50 on 45
    2 x 50 on 40

    ============NO, N. O. spells NOOOOOO!!!!

    Easy goof around everyone else on the 3, 2,1 and strong "sprinter conditioning" on the 50's. Held all at 35 or less.

    200 easy kick, no fins

    12x 25's WITH FINS! Coach said, everyone get your fins!
    2 sets of 6 on 1 minute (and without a mutiny!!!)
    First 3
    6 beat kick, legs at 60% arms at 80%
    I actually did 100% legs arms at 50%
    2 ALL OUT
    1 Easy recovery

    Bonus for me:
    2 more all out, easy swim back

    The End

    I don't know why I never swam with fins. I am totaly a fin sprint swim convert now! After getting used to swimming with them on, I can clearly see how it's not cheating, not a crutch, same as how I use them for kicking. It truly got me up to race speed, similar to the assisted cords that pull you back, so you are up at true speed and can work work work that sprint without totally grinding yourself down. I loved it so much I did 2 more! I will have to go to FSS (Fin Sprint Swimmers) Anonymous soon it this keeps up!
  2. Your mindset

    by , September 29th, 2011 at 10:28 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today's post is to reinforce your state of mind. I think it is often overlooked and we tend to focus on the physical training, recovery, and nutrition much more. Heck, I even blog about my couponing and other totally random thoughts more than what I am actually thinking about swimming. And most comments are reactionary - just commenting on what I thought on what set I already did.

    So today i'm going to jot down some things that help put me in the right frame of mind. And that is very hard to do, given that I am doing something no one else on a daily basis is doing, and while there is support, there is no one but me to follow through day after day, both physically, but also mentally to stay "tough" and "on track".


    50% of swimmers will look at what you do like you just grew another head or laid a golden egg- they can't even fathom what you are trying to do;
    the next 25% will acknowledge it but won't do it for a myriad of reasons;
    the next 20% will to varying degrees of success do what you are doing;
    and the last 5% are doing it better than you.

    Strive for the top 95th percentile. Or higher!


    I was preparing my girls for the Talented & Gifted Magnet school. We are so proud they got in. There are 4 measures: GPA, standardized test score (ITBS), on-site essay, and the NNAT (nonverbal test). 66 slots for 4th grade. From our girls' feeder school and the quandrant of the school district, it is the most difficult and most competitive group. Even kids that were in their school's magnet program, scored over 95th blended ITBS, and 95 GPA average in core subjects did not get in. (Slightly off topic but so irksome i'm going to blog it! Neither of our girls got into their feeder school magnet program. They were recommended to test (not by us) every year, twice a year. Finally after another rejection letter, we went in to visit with the tag teacher. One of the key failing factors was the parent survey. We flunked. Mark demanded that he and I "retest". They refused. After that, we refused to complete the required parent survey. Our girls didn't test again.)

    In the end, it comes down to one night, one essay, and one pick-the-pattern test that determines whether you are labeled a TAG kid or not.

    I just need one race to join the 23 club. There is no award for could have, would have, should have. It's not about deserving, it's about earning it on race day.


    Once they got in, I told them:

    At Travis, everyone will be just as smart as you. But everyone will have strengths and weakinesses. Out of 20 new things, 10 will come easily. Just like at your feeder school, you will immediately get the concept with no effort. The next 5 things will take a bit of thinking about and some work, but not terrribly difficult. The last 5 things will be way over your head. It will frustrate you because everyone else "gets it". You will have to work twice as long and twice as hard just to score in the middle of the pack. How you handle yourself over these 5 things will be the most important things you learn, because it will test you and help define you as a person. You will learn how to study, and undertand what hard work really is like, because you've never had to work this hard. It also teaches you coping skils and the power to endure difficult situations.

    That is the same with swimming. If I want to go 23.99, then I have to do the things that are really hard for me, that are the most deficient. And perhaps it is exactly because of this that I have been taking great offense to "sprinter jabs" of late, because no one seems to realize how hard kicking with fins is for me (when I started, I was slower with fins than without), but with what I think is the right track, I refused to accept that anymore and said to myself, I know this is going to be harder for me than most of my competiors, but it is not impossible! I accept that I have to work harder at it to even just be at the 50th percentile of fin kicking against my peer group.

    24.1 2008
    24.1 2009
    24.4 2010
    24.2 2011

    It is TIME FOR 23.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Masters coaches are the best. Most will help you as much as you help youself. I suppose they are also very patient, because they understand you swim around your life, and not swimming first.

    The untapped potential for many swimmers is they don't engage their coaches enough in their lives, and other goals. You cannot have an effective coach if they have no idea idea whether you have kids or not, whether you are married, and a general understanding of what you do for a living (and the toll on your energy & time) or other elements that impact the time and energy on your swimming. But it is YOUR responsibility to talk with your coach.

    And swimming should be collaborative at our age. You have a voice and can articulate things on an adult to adult level with coaches. There is always the respect for the coach's position, but you aren't taking orders like an age grouper or even a college coach.

    Coaches WANT to help. It must get boring for them too, to give one bland one-size-fits-all workout to everyone. But here comes a swimmer on deck with a real goal and sense of urgency, wants your help to do things differently, a real challenge of a situation, and as a coach, that enthusisam and working towards that dream is something refreshing and fun and why you like coaching! At least, that's what i'd like to think as the swimmer! So share your dreams with your coach, and give feedback and updates. Relationships are not one way, and you have to take the initiative to engage your coach.


    In some ways, you have all the time in the world! And in others, you have none. Just make sure if you have a specific goal, that you do things in the right category!

    For instance, i've been in the low 24's for many years. Too many years! In case you haven't heard, just in case you missed it above, ppsst! I'm going for 23.99! Yeah!

    Now, I have all the time in the world to try different things. There is no limit such as "If I don't go 23.99 by 2012 season, i'm quitting!". I believe I can go 23.99. Going 24 again this season or next won't devastate me, won't discourage me, won't change my belief, even if you showed me statistial
    evidence to the contrary. I believe I can! So in some things, don't limit your time frame. If and when I do go 23.99, it does not mean I could have skipped years 2008 through 2011. It means the cumulative time was a required element to going my goal time.

    However, I have a sense of urgency within a practice to not lose that opportunity. The clock is ticking, and every set should have a direct tie, a direct impact as if you could "connect the dots" from that set to my 23.99.

    I need practice on this. I just blew a 4 x 150 crappy kick set yesterday. I would have gotten more out of 4 x 25's all out.


    Well, that's all for now!

    Random craving: I am totally into "natural peanut butter", and it has to be the kind that is refrigerated and you stir up. It tastes so good!!! On really fresh bread, yum.
  3. Another sprint modification 09/28/11

    by , September 28th, 2011 at 03:23 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I am not swimming tomorrow. I can say that right now. Wowie, am I tired!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon
    Jim Montgomery coached

    200ish warm up

    4 x 200 kick if you use fins, or
    4 x 150 kick without fins
    sort of.
    =>4 x 150's kick goofin' off
    All 4 people were doing something different, starting late, I still have no idea what happenned on that set?

    4 x 200 "swim"
    nary a leg without pull buoy.
    4 sets of 4 x 25
    Set 1 % descends
    Set 2 all easy
    Set 3 variables
    Set 4 all easy

    3 x 200 pull
    100 easy
    4 x 50 37.5 smooth/12.5 kick or swim sprint to wall

    2 x 200 fast swim
    100 smooth 1:14
    4 x 25 5 sec rest 1:04

    3 x dive 12.5's

    The End
    Today was much harder to modify due to 4 people in the lane, and one of them a bigger modifier than even me! Hard to believe, I know! I was a bit over-tired at the end of workout - bordering on grinding vs. happy-swim-punchy-sprinting. It helped I had someone in the lane next to me so I was totally racing him even with my 5 sec rest.

    I'm full up for the week. Maybe just swim easy one more time but I think that's enough for me.

    IMPORTANT NOTE!!! North Texas LMSC might not have anyone submitting top ten results. The last TT recorder stepped down 06/2011. Don't look at me, I did it for 3 years before this last year. Step up and do your tour of duty!
  4. Sprint modification 09/27/11

    by , September 27th, 2011 at 10:54 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Back to the pool!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jenn Christensen coached

    300 warm up

    Pull set (no, no and no!) and one more no
    4 x 200 around 3:00
    4 x (100 + easy 50) on above interval
    1st 100 moderate
    2nd 100 4 x 25 5 sec rest 1:11
    3rd 100 4 x 25 10 sec rest 1:06
    4th 100 4 x 25 10 sec rest 1:06

    Main set:
    12 x 100's
    4 x 100 stroke choice 1:40
    4 x 100 IM 1:45
    4 x 100 free 1:30
    ==>12 x 50's on above interval
    4 x 50 fly
    12.5 fast/37.5 easy free
    25 fast/25 easy free
    37.5 fast/12.5 easy free
    50 fast all fly 35

    4 x 50 kick with board no fins
    s/a/a 47 on last 50

    4 x 50 free
    backwards, so end with 12.5 to the wall fast

    50 easy

    Sprint set I!
    10 x 25 on 45
    12.5 underwater fast kick/easy to wall

    Sprint set II!
    8 x 25 on 40
    15 m fast, 10 easy
    sometimes I did the whole 25 fast
    every odd from a dive

    The End

    First day back from AZ meet, and no better time to start right in on The Plan!

    This was a great workout to customize to my new targeted sprint training. I must say, I am indeed not exhausted, but I really punched it on every sprinty bit. I didn't get a chance to use my swim cord, and i'm glad I didn't because I finished my last errand just in time to get in carpool line.

    The 100's were a starting point, and 1:06's are really not very good. I need to work them down to 1:00.0!! My goal is to work down to 30-32 for 50 fly's from a push, and 29-31's for 50 frees. I also should be able to get up and going sprint after sprint, all strokes from a dive with punch! I think i'm much more focused on that now.

    Next up: USA meet on 10/09. I will swim 50 free and 100 fly SCY.
  5. Day 2 of 2 at Mesa!

    by , September 25th, 2011 at 09:45 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, i'm back home now!

    Here's how I did today:

    100 fly 1:10.3
    50 back 33.8 or 33.9 can't remember
    50 fly 31.5

    The 100 fly was certainly the best of the three. I swam all 3 events within 30 minutes, maybe less. I was so mindblown after the 100 fly that I almost missed my 50 back heat!

    I was about 1 second off my best times in all three events. And holy crap there was only 1 heat of 400 IM between the first event and 1 heat of 200 breast before the 50 fly! Well, I debated skipping the 50 back to get more rest, but in the end I thought I could grind it for an extra top ten time, but I had to be really careful not to get shut out out of 2 top tens! I think all my times as they stand will make it; they would have in the past 3 years (2008, 09, 10 top ten results).

    Edit: I forgot my insights. There are times when you are simply not as fast as others, and today was that day. I can't point out any glaring technical elements; my turns were businesslike and solid, breathing was fine, just not so fast. I'm not disappointed, because it was good effort and I wasn't slacking off! But I simply didn't go my fastest.

    Next up:
    Most likely i'll pick one of these themes for our DAMM 1-day SCM meet:

    1. 50/100 breast
    2. 4 x 50's. This is still a hard one since the 50 fly/free and 50 back/breast are nearly back to back events.

    There is an awesome Chinatown in Mesa at Main & Dobson. I suggest you walk inside the air conditioned mall area and then go see where to eat. They have Chinese, Thai, Vietnamse, and sit-down and fast-food places. Plus a big grocery store. Best of all, at least 2 places have boba tea!!!! I got a lychee slushee with boba today. And braised hamhocks. Yum! Not as good as mom's, but real chinese! Chowsh got sesame chicken; her combo was a better deal because it came with soup and an egg roll. And speaking of eggs, she kept asking me if I was going to eat my brown egg. So I let her have it!


    Now I am home! Ahhhh it feels so good to be in my own house. My girls were so happy to see me! I ate potato chips, flamin' hot cheetos, 2 cheese sticks, a muffin, and a sprinkle of jelly beans for dinner. Definately not working out tomorrow!

    It took the entire plane ride (in crappy coach!) to do Sodoku #291 but I totally conquered!!!
  6. Day 1 of 2 at Mesa!

    by , September 24th, 2011 at 05:09 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Done with Day 1!

    Here's the skinny:

    Scratch 100 free
    50 free: 27.7
    100 back 1:11.9

    I am glad I scratched the 100 free to have a really fresh, really peppy 50 free. That is a very solid time for me, a shoe-in top ten and check it off my list for SCM.

    The 100 back was good and bad. Overall time seems slow, in my opinion I am capable of swimming it much faster. The analysis was that my 1st two turns were good, only the 3d was the proverbial pop up early. So I have a good start, and 2 good turns with long underwaters to the breakout. Well, I suppose you have to start with 2 turns before you can conquer all 3. I don't know what my splits were.

    The 50 is right in there and solid for an early season/non-season culminating swim. No technical errors but can always be stronger, faster reaction, etc etc. It was a very business-like solid 50. But not awe inspired or jaw dropping wow-who-was-that kind of swim.

    The 100 back was a great experience. I am so glad that I scratched the 100 free, because then even with the 50 free, I wasn't dead tired at the start. I felt comfortable on my back, not completely helpless and that I just wanna flip on my tummy! feeling. For the first time I started getting really nitpicking about it, like I knew I could and should go deeper on the UWs, and that I don't have the RACE SPEED endurance at the 3rd turn. The other thing was that I was totally out of breath, that feeling you hear about when runners say the "aren't running efficiently" and that was exactly the case today. By the last lap, my arms weren't tired at all, but I had "nothing left". This I attribute entirely to NOT SWIMMING BACKSTROKE AT RACE SPEED enough in workout, therefore when I tried to do it in a real race, I didn't have the efficiency and precise timing down to unleash the power that I have. My arms still aren't tired.

    Here is how i'm going to incorporate what I learned today into my workouts:

    I need to get up to race speed BUT WITHOUT KILLING MYSELF OR WEARING MYSELF DOWN to the point that I have to take 3 days off. I think doing lots of 25's (like Fort!!!) is the way to go. So for example,

    8 x 100's
    100 strong
    4 x 25 5 secs
    4 x 25 10 secs
    4 x 25 15 secs
    easy swim recovery....
    repeat, with fins
    Goals are at 100 time on 1st set;
    Goals are under 100 time on 2nd set.

    Go on an interval with plenty of rest, like 2:30 or even 3 minutes.

    *I don't think I need to do a continuous 100 fast in workout to get to a faster 100 back in a meet.

    *The goal isn't how fast you can go with back to back 100's, but rather how fast can you swim all 4 x 25's for ONE 100 fast? And that would be, especially the LAST 25!!!

    *NOT a conditioning set, it's to get up at race speed with the timing of your strokes you'd actually use in a race. Get it so you are swimming like a well-oiled racing machine!

    *Edit insert: There is a difference between "training to win practice" and "training to win a race". I'm certainly in the latter category. So I really need to do this type of set, perhaps around what everyone else is doing, in order to get the precise type of conditioning that I need. For 4 lengths of the pool. In a meet.
    Having a great time with chowsh. She wore one of the two Yingfa suits I gave her. She did really good! Her technique is quite good! I just think she needs some weight bearing good ol' fashion strength training, of which she does none. She went 37 in the 50 free and 46 in the 50 breast. Tomorrow she will be one of the officials.
    We went to Trader Joes and I got the girls a box of 18-flavor jellybeans. Couldn't get a lot; have to carry it on back home!
    NExt up: Day 2!
    100 fly
    50 back
    50 fly

    Updated September 24th, 2011 at 05:15 PM by chowmi

  7. Last practice before Mesa

    by , September 22nd, 2011 at 02:32 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    noon workout
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    500 warm up

    Main Set:
    4 x 100 50 stroke/50 free 1:45
    extra 30 sec rest
    4 x 50 25 stroke/25 free 1:00
    extra 30 sec rest
    4 x 25 IM stroke :30
    Easy 50

    (the whole set repeat twice, but I was done. Not sure what else they did past 35 minutes)

    Easy 250

    The End
    I feel really tired but not too slow. Like I just need to take a weeks' worth of naps and good nights sleep. Unfortunately no naps and only 2 nights before the swim meet. Will have to make do with the last 2 nights! Only rest will help me now.

    Saturday I will either go for it in the 100 free, or scratch completely. With the tight timeline, you have to punch that first event.

    I wasn't entered in the 200 free. But that's ok. I'd like to go for a good time in the 100 fly, which is first up on Sunday.

    Drat! I did not get upgraded. On the stupid standby list which means no upgrade. Oh well.
  8. Easy swim on my own

    by , September 21st, 2011 at 08:24 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    swam on my own, got a lane to myself, but was in the crappy shallow lane

    400 warm up

    200 easy kick

    8 x 25 swim easy with snorkel no interval

    8 x 25 kick with fins fly mixing sides

    8 x 25 IM easy

    8 x 25 alt free swim/back swim easy

    50 easy

    The End

    No pun intended to Fort's hair mishap, but the highlight of my day: Haircut and eyebrow wax!

    It looks exactly the same. I have not started coloring my hair just yet. satisfying when your ends are even and properly layered again (tossing my salon blowout around at you). And my eyebrows are great (see me raising them at you). However, I was all tense while getting pampered. I felt as tight and tired as when I got my root canals.

    Then I ate lunch at McDonald's, and went swimming too soon afterwards. Sitting so heavy in my tummy. I could barely kick with a kickboard as it seemed to squeeze everything up (almost tossing my cookies) or the other way (not a good thing. by the way, did you know that the average age when hemmorioids start is 30? My business school marketing professor told us that. Amazing the things you remember.).

    Less than 24 hours and I can "check in" on American Airlines. We shall see if I get lucky again and upgraded to first class!
  9. Monday, 09/19/11 & Meet commentary

    by , September 20th, 2011 at 10:00 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I swam yesterday instead of today.
    Major adjustments to the proscribed workout!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon workout
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    300 warm up

    Pull yardage set:
    6 x 150 pull on 2:20
    6 x 100 50 fist drill/50 swim (1:19 to 1:14)

    Easy 50

    Main Set:
    200 on 3:00
    2 x 150 on 2:30?
    3 x 100 on something?
    4 x 50 on 1 min
    200 kick on back with fins 2:43
    2 x 100 kick on back with fins 1:21ish
    3 x 50 fly 37 35 34
    3 x easy 50; 1 strong back 36

    Easy 50

    Kick Set:
    6 x 75 on 1:30
    2 x 75 free kick w/board 1:20
    2 x 75 back kick 1:15
    float around on last 2

    Easy 50

    The End
    I felt much more peppy today, probably because I had an easier Sunday and no vasa doubled up. Today is a rest day, then easy swim on Wed, a modified workout on Thurs, travel day on Fri. MESA HERE I COME!!!!

    I plan on swimming 3 events per day.

    Here's what I entered:

    100 free
    50 free
    100 back

    (200 free for split purposes only)
    100 fly
    50 back
    50 fly

    The theme is 50/100 free, back, fly!

    And nobody really cares except chowsh, but i'll post here just 'cause I like to hear myself type. The USA meet order of events really suck so far.

    10/08-09 I will likely enter 3 events on Sun 100 back/50 free/100 fly.

    10/30 100 fly/100 back and I think i'm in the crappy shallow end this year.

    On my watch list:

    11/13-14 The Woodlands/Shenandoah!
    Depending on whether I care for more top ten times. Otherwise, stay in town for another USA meet.

    11/19 DAMM SCM meet. I may do a really off event or two here. Not sure, but will definately swim something.

    Outside chance
    12/10-11 AZ state meet, though i'm not a big fan of the iffy outdoor weather at that time. Maybe just stay in town for the DAMM fun xmas relay meet.

    I won't go to any masters meets 12/04-05 (Long Beach, San Antonio). There is a strong USA meet locally that I typically swim very well, so not worth traveling.

    I will see how strong my 50 free is; if I feel really good and swim under 24 in time for entires, I might go to the Cheasapeake Pro/Am (12/17). Last year I went 24.28 and placed 10th. You have to be top 8 to make it to the shoot out. I won't go unless I have a really good chance at the shoot out. That would be up to FOUR 50 frees!
  10. My own sprint day, Sun 09/18/11

    by , September 18th, 2011 at 04:44 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    There was no swim practice today. I don't know why; probably some event going on at SMU.

    SCM Baylor Fitness Center
    On my own

    Alas, I had to share a lane today! They had lanes reserved for lifegaurds so everyone had to double up. I quickly picked a petite woman who looked like she knew what she was doing. She has swim gear. I don't think she spoke English, but the universal point-sit down-put-your-toes-in-the-water signal seemed to work. My other choices were

    a. a really hairy bald guy doing breastroke with fins on;

    b. a mom with her kid;

    c. a sunglasses and hat wearing water walker (at an indoor pool?) who looked suspiciously like the "don't splash me type";

    d. a large snorkel-wearing woman. so large it would have been very difficult to swim on my side of the lane.

    What a cast of characters.

    I was REALLY REALLY TIRED today. I did my vasa yesterday and made it to 11 minutes. I vaguely remember this feeling, like you can barely lift your arms out of the water.

    But, that did not dissuade me from my sprinty and peppy workout!

    400 warm up

    6 x 50 kick/swim fly/back/free

    8 x 25's free
    4 x % descends
    4 x variables
    easy 50

    8 x 25's fly
    same as above
    easy 50

    8 x 25's back
    same as above
    easy 50

    easy swim

    4 x 25's free
    12.5 meters fast
    15 meters fast
    25 all fast
    easy 50

    4 x 25's fly
    same as above
    easy 50

    4 x 25's back
    same as above
    easy 150

    The End

    I purposely do not count nor post yardage. And this day was all about getting up and going when you're not ready to get up and go. So no intervals, just rest as much as I needed and left in reasonable time frame. Not about conditioning at all, absolutely about just getting up and going.

    If you want to read about the party I am hosting, continue on. Otherwise, stop here.

    Yesterday I ordered the cake for our New Office Party and Mark's 50th Birthday. It is going to be on October 2, which is also our 12th anniversary. The cake is going to be shaped like the new office - a near exact replica. Don't tell my husband, but it cost $450.00. I could have gotten the "flat sheet cake" with raised detail, but there is just something so over the top about getting it to scale with all the details and of course his logo, which he is so proud of. Do you think they screwed me on the price? I didn't really think about it at the time. I could have paid $175 or $450 and it was a big jump, but there is no wow factor in a flat cake, no matter how nice the picture. And it has to be a big cake. A really big cake. And it has to be from Dallas Affaires. Most of the guests will appreciate the name brand cake.

    I am a bit freaked out by the whole RSVP thing. The actual RSVP number is at 17, but when I count all the people who either said they are coming and didn't RSVP, or those you just have to include, it totals to 35ish. The big swings are the non-RSVP families that swing the count by 3 to 5.
  11. Yesterday's workout 09/15/11

    by , September 16th, 2011 at 08:15 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Too busy to blog yesterday! So going backwards, this is Thursday:

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon workout
    Billy Glasstetter on deck

    400 warm up

    Kick Set:
    4 x 100 kick on 2 min
    back; no fins 1:43-1:41

    Main Set:
    2 x 300
    50 fly/50 free
    50 back/50 free
    50 br/50 free

    2 x 200
    25 fly/25 free
    25 back/25 free
    25 br/25 free

    2 x 100 IM
    I did these all back instead: 1:23 and 1:21

    Pull Set:

    2 x 100 easy
    Had my own lane at this point, so made good use of the ability to do fast 25's from a dive; about 5 or so.

    The End
    On Wednesday, I did my vasa for 10 minutes and vasa leg, core, other arm exercises. 1 hour.

    What a relief I must have just been extra tired last weekend. It wasn't easy, but not so hard to get to 10 minutes total on the vasa.
    Not sure if I will workout today or not. Trying to think of what I need to fill in the gaps of the week - sprint? kick? drills? dives? turns? I am thinking a recovery day is worth more than any of those right now.

    About a week until Mesa! I am excited to visit chowsh again. In fact, I got an email my daughter's airlines miles will expire since they've had no activity - they have been flying, but all on my miles so I have to use Helen's miles quick for some flight - maybe back to AZ in Dec for the state meet??? We shall see!
  12. Tuesday stroke day 09/13/11

    by , September 13th, 2011 at 03:27 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    A pretty good turn out and more people coming back to the noon workout.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jenn Christensen coached

    400 warm up

    Warm uppy set:
    8 x 100 on 2 min
    IM order
    25 kick/25 build/25 easy

    Pull lots of yardage set:
    2 x 200 on 3:00
    4 x 100 on 1:30
    8 x 50 on ???
    ==> a big no.
    did the 200's and 100's as kick on back with fins, made the intervals
    held 2:43
    held 1:21 to 1:25
    easy 4 x 50 swim while waiting for everyone else to finish the 8 x 50's

    Main IM Set:
    5 times thru:
    50 stroke smooth on 1:00
    100 Im strong on 1:45

    I did a challenge 100 fly set:
    50 easy back
    100 fly 1:23
    2 x 50 easy back/free
    100 fly 1:19
    3 x 50 easy back/free
    100 fly 1:17

    3 x 50 easy swim

    The End
    For some reason, many people started leaving during the pull set. I ended up with my own lane so I decided to do 100's fly. It is rare to get to completely customize a fly set; so even though I wasn't super ready, I did the entire 100's fly. If you wait until you're ready, you'll never be ready.

    I bought an American Airlines gift certificate today. We will see how well these work. I plan on using it to buy my Omaha ticket. Flight schedule is UP!

    Let's see if I can upload these links correctly. After Mesa SCM Masters meet, here are the next two local USA A meets I will enter one day each.

    This one I will probably enter
    100 back
    50 free
    100 fly

    This next one the order and days totally suck. I am not missing my kids activites and fighting rush hour traffic for the 50 free on Fri. And I swam this meet last year and waited around forever for the stupid 100 free on Sat. So it looks like the 100 fly and 100 back are my best bet on Sun.

    Updated September 13th, 2011 at 03:34 PM by chowmi

  13. Sprint Sunday 9/11/11 & weekly recap

    by , September 11th, 2011 at 06:39 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today was another sprint/distance day at SMU outdoor pool, LCM

    Bobby Patten, sprint
    Lianna McStravick, distance

    Warm up:
    400 warm up

    Transition set:
    8 x 50 25 swim/25 kick on 1:00

    300 easy swim or pull

    Main sets:
    5 x 100 on 2:20
    4 as 75 fast/25 easy (fly/back)
    1 easy recovery;

    5 x 100 on 2:30
    4 as 50 fast /50 easy (fly/back)
    1 easy recovery;

    5 x 100 on 2:20
    4 as 25 fast/75 easy (fly/back)
    1 easy recovery

    Bonus for me:
    50 from the blocks (free)

    50 swim back easy

    The End
    Today I was really sore from doing my vasa in "endurance mode"; ie, trying to go 10 minutes but I stopped with 3:54 left on the watch. I did all the sprinty bits fly odds and back evens, you know it's a rough day when fly and back are easier than doing freestyle!

    I also got a massage today, and walked for 25 minutes at White Rock Lake.

    Then I did my vasa again; this time I only got to 3:30 before having to take a break, then did 30 strokes fly, another break, and then mustered the strength and willpower to do 3:30 free stroke for a total elapsed time of 10 minutes.

    Yesterday I swam on my own:

    500 warm up
    200 easy kick

    100 kick with shoes on the 1:00 per 25 base, attempting to keep the 25 pace up to the 100.

    100 kick no shoes on the 1:00 per 25 base, attempting to kick really fast!

    100 easy
    4 x 50 back/free continued recovery; rest 15 secs between each

    lots of backstroke starts and several swims with 6-fast stroke cycles.

    The End

    I didn't really want to load up on the vasa all at once, but this week I am busy and probably won't get to do any drylands, so the only option was to do them 2 days in a row.

    Mesa SCM meet in 2 weeks, that will be fun! I'm not particularly working through it but i'm not really resting for it either.

    Tonight for dinner - Roti Grill, just as soon as Mark gets back from picking it up! Another day of my cooking that no Agee has to suffer. I'm having Lamb vindaloo, hot, Tx size, with naan bread. Yum!!!!!

    Today's Sunday paper was chocked full of good coupons! It's soup coupon season! Helen loves those Campbell's soups. She says, Hot stuff for my lunch mommy!"
  14. Stroke day, 09/08/11

    by , September 8th, 2011 at 03:38 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Light attendance at workouts due to everyone taking time off after the Hawaii swims.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    200 swim
    200 kick
    200 pull

    Transition Set:
    12 x 25 on 35
    4 x IM drill
    4 x IM kick
    4 x IM swim

    Main Set:
    12 x 75's on 1:30
    IM's xfree on odds
    evens easy free
    ==> I did all fly/all back on the stroke 75's
    held 56 to 58 on fly;
    held 58 to 59 on backs

    Yardage Set:
    4 x 150 on 2:10
    3 x 150 on 2:00 or whatever you can hold
    4 x 100 kick on back with fins
    3 x 75 kick on back no fins + easy 25

    several backstroke starts

    The End
    Today was better than on Tuesday! I felt much better in the water and not so bloated. I really like to do 75's fly in practice. Mostly because it's long enough I can blast-o away from most everyone else, but still short enough I have no trouble actually making it all legal fly, and that includes 2 good turns, not that sloppy struggling type of swimming.

    Today I miss my girls. Usual school day but I can't wait to see them. That's the best part of my day when they come running to the car. Off to carpool line, 'bye!
  15. Back from Labor Day vacation!

    by , September 6th, 2011 at 09:03 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Back in the water today!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon workout
    Jenn Christenson on deck

    500 warm up

    Transition Pull:
    100 1:30
    200 3:00
    300 4:30
    200 2:50
    100 1:25
    ==> I did these all kick on back with fins and made the intervals!

    Transition Kick/Drill:
    400 IM 50 kick/50 drill

    Main Set:
    12 x 100's 1:30
    50 stroke/50 free IM order

    The End

    I felt pretty tired from the beginning, so I worked the pull set as a kick with fin set, attempting to make the intervals at nearly swim speed. The last set was suppose to be on 1:45, but the lane leader went on the 1:30, i'd rather have more rest, but since we left later than the next lane, it would have been too lonely to do the set all by myself, so I went on the faster interval as well.

    Breckenridge was great as usual. I took Helen swimming one day, but was not at all disappointed when the lifegaurd stopped me from getting in my lane, saying in 3 minutes all the lanes would come out for 1 hour due to the rope swing! So my almost workout turned into rope swings, hot tubbing, and a few rounds of hide & seek.

    We conquored Lily Pad! Or at least we think so. We got to a big pond with lily pads.

    No one had to suffer my cooking on this trip. We ate out for 2 dinners and that was that. The girls love Taipei Tokyo and Mark got wine & beer at the liquor store. Did I tell you that our condo is right about the chinese restaurant and a liquor store? Location, location, location.

    This week i'll probably make 1 other workout and 1 dryland. A light week, but can't really do much more.
  16. Wednesday bonus kick-emphasis day, 08/31/11

    by , August 31st, 2011 at 03:24 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Drat! I have to go to a deposition tomorrow so I know I will miss workout. I hope they have cookies and some drinks. It always sucks to have to put a suit on. Business suit, that is! But at least it's my attorneys taking someone else's depo, and not someone wanting to take mine!

    So to recap this week so far I:

    Swam/massage/drylands Sun
    Off on Mon
    Swam Tues
    Swam Wed; switch with Thurs
    TBD light Vasa or off on Thurs
    TBD swim on Fri
    then board plane for Colorado!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon workout
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    300 warm up

    2 x 100 moderate
    100 easy

    4 x 100 kick on 2:00
    (no fins, on back; descended 1:45 to 1:40 -that's mucho grando fasto for me)
    100 easy

    6 x 100 swim on 1:30 desc 1-3, 4-6
    (desc from 1:20 to 1:13)
    100 easy

    8 x 100 pull on 1:30 every other strong
    ==>no. kicked on back with fins
    fast odd, 50 smooth on evens, held 1:18 average
    100 easy

    12 x 25 on :35
    four rounds:
    25 underwater
    25 drill
    25 fast
    25 easy

    The End
    This was a much more do-able workout. I picked the kicking bits to really emphasize and go strong/fast. The swim bits were more moderate to somewhat strong. I did a couple of backstroke dives and the feedback was they looked pretty bad.

    I think I need remedial lessons for my backstroke start. I've been just faking them and falling in, or throwing all caution to the wind and hurling myself in. I'm going to have every coach take a look at my starts after each pratice and give me some honest opinions and pointers. For now, one of the best things I can do is simply to get comfortable going off the block. So to protect my back, i'll hurl myself with some good 'ol Nestle plunges, play with leg position, arms to the side and over head, and trying to get the backside out, up, into that one hole and just play around with it until I feel more comfortable. Considering I cannot recall practicing backstroke dives last year, I think this is a good idea!! I can now do backbends pretty well. I have moved up a level from the can-I-even-do-this-without-popping-my-head-off to now attempting to increase the arch and get feet/arms closer together while not turning my head into a grape.

    And just for The Bob, here is what I ate/will eat today:

    1 single serving Dannon/Oikos Honey flavored greek yogurt;
    1 large cup coffee - Folger's coffee tea bag and flavored creamer to taste;
    1 stick of Sargento string cheese;
    1 large peach with skin;
    1 medium bowl fried rice (white rice, egg, chicken, no veggies since this was the leftover batch);
    6 oz coke (save the other half for tomorrow);

    Coming up:
    1 big Central Market white chocolate & apricot muffin;
    1 large glass lactose free reduced fat milk;
    1/3 of Central Market meal for 2 split with the girls;

    Combination of all or some of these selected after dinner items:
    Handful of candied pecans;
    1 Big bag microwave popcorn, less approximately 2 x 10 year old sized handfuls of popcorn and whatever they can't grab that lands on the floor;
    Another yogurt
    Remaining grapes in frig

    Today is a very reasonable nutrition day!
  17. Mostly Back Stroke day, 08/30/11

    by , August 30th, 2011 at 03:41 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    My guts still hurt. I might have a cramp or something. If it doesn't go away, i'll take the girls for some ice cream after Kumon.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center - noon
    Ross Myers coaching - yeah!

    400 warmup

    Additional warm up:
    2 x 200 IM kick

    Set I:
    8 x 50 1:00 min
    IM order drill/stroke

    Set II:
    8 x 75 on 1:15
    Odds: free/fly free
    Evens: back/br/free
    ==> No. I did:
    Odds: 25 free/50 fly very strong 57 57 57 58
    Evens: all recovery

    4 x 25's ??? recovery something
    No one quite heard it, so we all faked it

    Set III:
    4 x 150 on 2:45
    Something mixy like set above, but I decided to go all back and descend:
    2:23 2:22 2:15 2:09

    2 x 100 easy

    Fast Swim:
    100 fast choice
    100 back with the start 1:14 high

    Easy 50

    The End
    This workout was not entirely my cup of tea. But I made the most of it by modifying and I working the 8 x 75's as the second 50 of a 100 fly. On the 4 x 150's I was like, what? what? And the thing that seemed to hurt the least was doing them all backstroke. At that point my tummy was feeling crampy and I almost tossed my string cheese stick (which I got on sale! $5.99 Sargento string cheese, on sale for $3.99, plus a .$50 coupon and $.50 store multiplier for a final price of $2.99!), so backstroke seemed the most strategic choice for today.

    It was FUN swimming backstroke, even with a tummy ache. I had more in the tank than I thought, and I know I didn't tap into my backstroke power until at the end. I probably should have started at 2:15's and descended to a challenge 2:05 or under. My UWs were quite good and I didn't panic. I give my breakouts a 7, but the good news is I didn't start out at a 10 and degrade down to a 5. They were all 7's so at least I have "breakout conditioning"! Now I just have to get them to 8-9-10's!

    My other good couponing deals: *Dannon/Oikos on sale at Alberson's $.88, used $.50 coupon-for-2, plus $.50 multipler.
    *KC Masterpiece on sale at Alb's; $.88, $.50 coupon, multiplier limited to price at $.38! Free!
    *Kraft Mayo, reg price $5.xx; on sale $1.99, $1.00 coupon made it $.99!

    The problem I am having as an extreme couponer in training, is that (1) it is difficult to get the requisite # of coupons. I usually can get 3 or maybe 4, but I don't want to resort to buying them or dumpster diving. How can I get 20??? and (2) it is hard to identify stockpile-worthy items. I've got tampons till menopause. Scratch that off the list. Next in my list - Tide/Downy/paper towels/toilet paper/soy sauce/white rice/shampoo/conditioner/body wash/hand soaps. We don't eat much frozen foods. The 1 jar of mayo, 3 jars of salad dressing will last us for 1 calendar year. Not sure what else....maybe plastic bags and garbage bags. Will have to start watching the prices more closely....
  18. Sunday sprint day, 08/28/11

    by , August 28th, 2011 at 07:54 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Another great workout! The pool was again very crowded today.

    LCM, SMU outdoor pool
    Bobby Patten sprint; Lianna McStravick distance

    300 warm up

    Transition set I:
    12 x 50 swim
    3 rounds of 4

    Transition set II:
    300 pull
    ==> no. went to diving well and did 3 running dives with breakouts.

    Sprint / Kick Set I:
    12 x 50 same intervals as above
    fins, 12.5 fast then easy

    Sprint / Kick Set II:
    6 x 100 on 2:20
    1st and last 15 meters of each 50 fast
    use fins if you have them

    Recovery Set:
    4 x 50 swim no equipment on 1:00

    DIVE 50!

    Easy 50

    The End
    Commentary: 29.1 is mucho grando better than last week! A very solid time! Stuck to my strategy of resting 3 heats and then going in the last and 4th heat. What a difference 3 extra minutes make. I had a strong finish.

    Today I got a massage (Massage Envy). Then I went to Baylor but alas, no Sunday paper!! Today would have been a good multiple insert haul - Red Plum, Smart Source, AND a P&G coupon insert.

    I lifted weights for slightly over 1 hour.
    My plan this week:

    Sunday - sprint swim/massage/Baylor weights
    Monday - off
    Tuesday - swim
    Wednesday - off or light vasa day
    Thursday - swim
    Friday - swim or vasa day (to Colorado!)
    Sat/Sun/Mon Labor day - "off" in Colorado!

    A bit loaded during the week, since I don't plan on doing anything in Colorado. We are intent on conquering the beginner level trail called "Lily Pad" (could also be called Lily Pond). We didn't quite make it last time. I suppose you have to first conquer Lily Pad before conquering Mt. Everset.

    Michelle's Random Tip on Making the Most of a Bring-Your-Own-Sidedish Party:

    If you are not a very good cook like me, it is always a bit stressful to figure out what to bring. I find it is just better to buy pre-made, and get something GOOD. Not a crappy veggie platter or the cheapy pepperoni & cheese plates. There will already be 3 others of each brought by someone else. Usually a young bachelor.

    Now, it might be racial profiling, but if I bring anything asian, or asian-inspired, then all of a sudden everything thinks it's something good just 'cause I brought it. It's like when I yell, this has good fung shei! And even though I have no idea what I am talking about, and I meant it as a joke, everyone seems to think I am serious and feel the harmony of furniture placement. Folks, it still amazes me how people fall for that line when I say it!

    So if you are of German descent, or Italian, or Greek, etc...bring something inspired by your heritage, even if you bought it pre-made!

    If it is a large party, like DAMM's 30th anniversary party will be, and it is a come & go type venue, I suggest arriving 1/2 hour LATE. but no later than 1 1/2 hours past the initial start time. You want to arrive at the OPTIMAL time. That is when most of the food has arrived (along with the accompanying friend who brought it), but not so late that the good stuff is all gone. And in the event you are a young bachelor reading my blog and arriving with your veggie platter, you can quickly hide it on the table with all the other stuff, and only with the minimal amount of people will it register that you brought a staple crappy item for the buffet spread. I shoud say bachelorette, since that is me I am talking about, sans a few decades, heh heh!

    I am thinking some gourmet spring rolls with do nicely on the buffet table........

  19. Fine tune workout, Sat 08/27/11

    by , August 27th, 2011 at 10:10 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I swam on my own; I felt I needed to fine tune without anyone pushing interval or speed on me.

    Warm up:
    500 free/back/free/breast/free

    Kicky set:
    8 x 25 kick with shoes - all strong
    8 x 25 kick regular odd fast
    8 x 25 kick with fins alt back/fly

    Emphasis set:
    2 times thru, start from the middle of the pool, emphasis is on turns

    Relaxing set:
    4 x 50 IM order drill/swim

    The End
    Yesterday I did about 30 minutes of resistance stretching/regular stretching.

    And also yesterday, an example of how I periodically fall off the bandwagon, but balance it out with good eating other days: I was in a super junk food mood, so I had 2 bowls of big puffy cheetos, 1/2 bag of Swedish goldfish, 6 gourmet malted milkballs, and about 10 hard coffee candies for dinner. It was a total junk food meal. I feel so re-set and my normal self after doing that. Sometimes you just need a total junk food fix and nothing else will do. Just don't do it the night before your big swim meet!

    Today was the grand opening of the Lakewood Dojo. I took my girls to karate class and it was fun to see a lot of the other families. Kind of like going to a masters polar bear New Years Day swim and seeing everyone at practice. That evening, I took Helen back for the party. And this is where it's important to read above what I ate on Friday night, so you wouldn't be mislead in wondering how I could pass up on all that free food at the party.

  20. Thursday 08/25/11 Workout

    by , August 25th, 2011 at 03:21 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Another great day for the pile.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon workout
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    Warm up
    supposed to be
    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    ==> 400 warm up

    Main Set
    3 times through:
    4 x 50 drill/swim IM order
    100 easy
    100 IM fast ==> 100 fly instead
    (1:19, 1:17 and 1:15 fly)

    50 easy

    6 x 50 kick
    3 on :60
    3 on :55

    3 x 250 pull descend (no)
    ==> goofed around with my fins, 3 x 150

    bonus for me:
    2 x dives + breakouts

    The End
    That was very solid. I did an easy vasa trainer day yesterday, just as planned, so I wasn't too worn out today. Tomorrow is a flex day, so I will see how I feel and either swim, lift, or do nothing!

    Sent in my meet entry for the MAC East Valley Invite SCM meet 09/24-25/11.

    I entered:
    Sat: 100 free/50 free/100 back
    Sun: 200 free/100 fly/50 back/50 fly

    Michelle's random tip on accumulating American Airlines miles:

    I usually discard all sorts of junk mail from Citibank wanting me to open another account for some miles. So I was at first skeptical of the offer on my existing account that I could earn 3 miles per dollar spent through 11/30/11. They also gave me a $20.00 gift card for doin' nothing. (I spent it at Toys R Us). So of course I signed up for that!

    Next I signed up for the AAdvantage Shopping. If you click through their website to a bunch of other websites and buy, you get whatever the miles multiplier is (usually 3 miles per dollar) plus if I do it during the time I get my 3 miles on my card, that's like, a good amount of miles. You multi-dip if you buy American Airlines gift certificates; the multiplier is 3x. I think i'm going to see if I can prepay a year of karate for my girls and a year of Kumon in the next couple of days. Maybe even go to annual billing at Baylor. Then buy up a bunch of AA gift cards, which I will use anyway. So let's just do the math on AA gift cards:

    3 x $250 => annual pilgrimmage to PIT to see my parents;
    1 x $250 =>at least one trip to AZ
    1 x $250 xmas gift to my mother in law
    So that's 5 x $250 = $1,250.00
    (excludes service fee, round to $15.00)

    1,250 x 3 mileage multipler (MM) = 3750 miles
    1,250 x 3 citicard multiplier (CM) = 3750 miles
    1,200 annual karate fee x CM = 3,600 miles
    2,640 annual Kumon x CM = 7,920 miles
    1,000 annual Baylor Fee x CM = 3,000 miles
    Total miles 22,020 miles, which is almost a free ticket. Is my calculation off? That sounds like a pretty good deal.

    But the main point is that since I fly American most of the time except to Denver, CO, then it makes sense to always buy the gift certs and get the 3x mileage multiplier and at least 4x (the 4th being when I use my citicard and just get the dollar for dollar miles). Oh yeah, and then you get the miles for the flight, right????
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