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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. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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

  7. 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!"
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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....
  12. 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........

  13. 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.

  14. 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????
  15. Tuesday stroke day 08/23/11

    by , August 23rd, 2011 at 03:36 PM (Chowmi's Blog)

    Took yesterday "off" but really was as busy and productive as ever!

    Here is the workout today. Tues/Thurs are stroke days.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Billy Glasstetter on deck

    400 warm up

    Transition set I:
    6 x 125's
    75 kick/25 drill
    (alternated free/back kick and free/back drill)

    Transition set II:
    4 x 200 pull on 3:00
    ==> no.
    ==>4 x 100 swim with paddles

    I was so disappointed that I lost my pull strap. I don't know when or where; I haven't used it in awhile and did one of those take-everything-out-of-your-swim-bag and even then look forelornly into the empty bag, look inside the shoes, look inside the flippers, and still no strap. But somehow I have 5 swim caps. I am incredibly bummed out about it.

    Main set:
    20 x 50's on 1:00
    5 rounds of 4
    1, 3, 5 IM
    2, 4 recovery free

    The End

    I felt really tired today! But I really focused on the details and still went pretty fast on the 3 sets of IM 50s.

    Yesterday was a big day - the first day of school! And this year, both my girls are at the same school (William B. Travis TAG Magnet) in 4th and 5th grade! Hooray! No more wheel-squealing across town to make 2 pickups!

    Next up: takin' tomorrow off from swimming. Will probably do light drylands. My plan is to swim Sun/Tues/Thurs and one flex day this week. I did drylands on Sun, light on Wed, and either one of the free introductory classes at karate on Saturday (for the grand opening of the new DOJO in Lakewood, Dallas, TX); or another flex day for drylands. Just something in the not-swimming category.
  16. Sunday sprint day 08/21/11

    by , August 21st, 2011 at 05:14 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today was again Sunday sprint/distance day!

    LCM, SMU outdoor pool

    Distance lanes 5-8: Lianna McStravick
    Sprint lanes 1-4: Bobby Patten

    Warm up:

    Transition set I:
    8 x 50's 25 kick/25 swim

    Transition set II:
    200/150/100/50 pull :50 base
    ==> NO!
    Went to the diving well and did
    6 x Running Dives with Breakout

    Main set:
    8 x 100's on 2:30 with fins
    12.5 kick/12.5 fast swim/25 easy
    reverse order on 2nd 50

    Easy 100

    50 sprint from the blocks
    30.6 ouch!

    Easy 50

    The End

    This was a great workout. I was so glad I bagged the garbage pull, and instead worked on dives + breakout. Given that the D+BO is 1/3 of my 50 race, I think it is well worth replacing that set with actual dive work. I can only do these running starts at SMU.

    I really liked the 8 x 100's. The 2nd 50 is much harder than it looks on paper! It's easy to start out as gangbusters, quite a different thing to do a fast 12/5 then another 12.5 kick UW, all with very little breathing! I focused on staying mentally tough and kicking fast, hard, and no breathers to the wall.

    I was disgusted with myself on the 50 free at the end. Not because I went a slow time, but because I waffled between waiting until the last heat and instead got up in the first heat, right after that main set. And, I was thinking I should have asked my friend Scott to go in the same (later) heat and race head to head. I knew better but didn't do anything about it, and this day, that opportunity is gone.

    From now on, I am going to pay just as much attention to what heat and against whom (who?) I swim in those last sprints. An extra 5 minutes and getting pumped with your bestest/most compatible racing lineup is just as key to staying focused on what type of sets to get in during a workout. I'm excited for next Sunday!

    But in promising news, I scurried to Baylor Fitness Center after dropping Claire off at her playdate. It was a mad rush to get to the one free Sunday paper in the ladies lounge for the coupon insert. I was completely deflated when I walked in and saw a lady looking throught it! But, I decided all is right with the world after a trip to the real ladies room, and decided to check one more time - maybe she wouldn't take the coupons that I really wanted. So I went back out, and she had put it down!

    Yours truly is the 2-time Champion Coupon Insert Swiper at Baylor Fitness Center!!!

    And even though I wasn't even planning on working out, I did an entire dry land circuit to work off all the fat bits from my rib eye steak!!!!!!!! yeah!
  17. Vasa Trainer day!

    by , August 19th, 2011 at 05:43 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I was not in the mood to swim yesterday or today after 2 hard workouts. But I was in the mood to do a full routine on my vasa!

    I decided to re-read the Vasa Manual. I had gotten into a rut with only a few selected exercises besides the traditional freestyle and fly arms. Did you know there are about 80 pages of exercises you can do on the vasa machine?????

    I have a kickplate and so I did a bunch of leg exercises like:

    Plyometric squats
    Single leg with arm movement squats
    side squats
    calve raises
    track starts

    These were so awesome. Taking the advice to not go past 90 degree angle works wonders!

    They have ab exericses/shoulder excercises where you essentiall sit facing front or side saddle and pull different ways, like:

    Torso twist
    Cross body shoulder raises
    cross cable bend
    side saddle twist forehand & backhand!
    pull ups/chin ups
    super ab crunches
    biceps curl
    oblique exericses

    A full arm and core workout!

    And of course I did the traditional
    freestyle pull
    butterfly pull

    I probably should also read the page How to Get on and Off your Vasa every so often as well, for obvious reasons too embarrassing to write about. A near face-plant was not on my training agenda for the day, heh heh!

    I think I will get the ankle straps (for additional leg exercises) and the weight bracket so I can add additional weights. I would rather do power/strength work with less reps, and not use the vasa for endurance.

    Next up: Swim tomorrow on my own! TBD; either a light workout with targeted sets, or a free swim day with the girls.
  18. Today's Workout

    by , August 17th, 2011 at 03:01 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I got to workout late again today.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jim Montgomery on Deck

    Missed the 500 warmup

    8 x 50 kick on 1 min
    repeat twice:
    12 1/2 fast
    25 fast
    37 1/2 fast
    50 fast

    7 x 100's
    3 on 1:30
    1 easy on 1:45
    3 on 1:20 (held around 12-13's)

    What! That wasn't the main set? Crap!

    Main set:
    3 times through
    150 on 2:15
    100 on 1:30
    50 fast on 1:30
    Was tired today and no zing to my sprint! Held solid 33 high to 34's on the fast

    300 easy pull (no)
    ==> goofed around with my fins, about 150

    2 times through
    75 on 1:15
    50 on :50
    25 fast (I don't get my 25 times)

    The End
    I really don't have anything to say except it was a solid effort but I know for sure I am not swimming tomorrow. I don't even want to think about swimming for the next 24 hours. I'll do my vasa and other drylands at home tomorrow. I'll take Friday off now that I am thinking about it. Most likely the next swim will be on Saturday, and i'll probably do fine-tune work on my own.

    We are going to Colorado over Labor Day weekend. I am going to carry on all my stuff. Frontier is awesome. We'll probably do another hike.
  19. Back from Vacation!

    by , August 16th, 2011 at 03:12 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    HOORAY! We are back from AZ!

    The highlight excursion of our trip was a jaunt from Scottsdale back to my sis's house in Chandler so we could "regroup" and watch TIVO'd swimming on TV and do laundry. And of course hang out at Lifetime Fitness!

    In the meantime my husband:
    1. Washed all the sheets!
    2. Did laundry!
    3. Washed my car AND filled it up with gas! Although he took out my BeeGees album for some of his music. Yeck!
    4. Bought groceries!
    5. A special treat for me - chips and dip!

    And now:



    I must say, I have the greatest husband in the world. I didn't say "person", because depending on who you are, he's either wonderful or a complete jerk. For instance, you can always count on him to be the most vocal going thru TSA or getting irate with service in a restaurant. Any restaurant. But he's always been extra kind to me! When the luggage mishap happenned, he was so careful to yell at everyone except for me. No blame whatsoever against yours truly, except the following comments:

    1. "We should get insurance" (not the you stupid idiot, why didn't YOU get insurance! Or the quintesential rhetorical question, How could you lose your jewelry!!!) and;
    2. "Well, jewelry was meant to be worn. It makes no sense to have it if you never wear it."

    and for everyone else:

    1. "SOMEONE IN BAGGAGE CLAIM STOLE IT!" to anyone that would listen and;
    2. "I THINK WE SHOULD CALL THE POLICE!" I admit that was a bit embarrassing and at that point, all I could think of was that this guy wouldn't make the baggage handler's day, but we also probably wouldn't make the top 10 of Baggage Wars, either.

    Well, the saga came to a wimper at the end. AA delivered to our office and jewelry AND dirty undewear made it back. No one apparently wants semi-hersheys whipped kids underwear, either. When does that end, anyway?


    Now, for more interesting things: today's workout!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Coach Jenn Christensen on deck

    500 warm up
    (talked with Bobby on deck; only did about 200)

    8 x 50 kick on 1 min
    1 each stroke twice around

    12 x 75
    3 x fly/free/fly on 1:20 (held 1:00)
    3 x back/free/back on 1:20 (descend 1:08 to 1:02)
    3 x br/free/br on 1:30 (easy back/free/back)
    3 x all free on 1:20 (held 56 to 54)

    6 x 200 pull
    3 on 3:00
    3 on 2:50 (no!)
    ==> 3 x 150 kick with fins descend to 2:00
    ==> 3 x 100 kick with fins descend to 1:13

    easy 50

    The End
    I was tired but didn't feel too bad! I'm not sure I am actually getting faster at kicking, maybe just getting used to the fins. Anyway, still attempting to go swim speed on the fin kicking. I was dilgent about stretching while on vacation, so I think that really helped!

    PS - I did more of the workout on my back/with fins because I forgot my goggles.

    Next Up: I might be able to go the Mesa SCM meet in late September!!!

    Updated August 16th, 2011 at 03:27 PM by chowmi

  20. Workouts & Highlights of Vacation - so far

    by , August 14th, 2011 at 05:40 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    We are having a great time in AZ!

    I swam 2 "workouts" that I made my sister do with me.

    SCM, Lifetime Fitness Center
    Somewhere in Tempe? Close to her place in Chandler. Next to the Ikea.

    Day "One"

    400 warmup

    8 x 50 kick/swim

    6 x 75 kick/drill/swim

    8 x 25 kick drills

    50 easy

    The End

    Day "Two"

    Warm up:
    200 swim
    100 kick
    100 drill
    100 kick

    8 x 50 kick/swim and swim/kick

    12 x 25 as 4 rounds of:
    kick drill
    easy swim
    reverse catch up drill
    easy swim

    200 choice pull/swim

    We are going to Fogo de Chao tonight! It's going to be our last blow-out meal of the vacation!

    I am completely enamoured with chowsh's Lifetime Fitness Club. It is only $55 a month (but not racquetball and climbing wall). However, as choosy mothers like me know, it's all about the childcare! And here....IT'S FREE!!!!! You have no idea what a value that is, until you have to pay $3.50 per hour for 2 girls! I used to pay 2 hours for each girl, 4x per week in addition to the gym fee! Plus, they could only take 1 or 2 kids under 12 months, depending on if they had enough staff. Chowsh's place is awesome. They take a crapload of kids in their kids club! And their indoor and outdoor pools are awesome for family swim. Slides, waterfalls, and cascading mushrooms (albeit in the pee zone)....!!!!
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