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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. Sunday Sprint Day 07/24/11

    by , July 24th, 2011 at 02:43 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Has it really been over 3 weeks of blogging! Here we are again, another split Sunday sprint/distance workout LCM at SMU!

    But first: Yesterday, Sat 07/23
    Half of my vasa & dryland workout

    Now, back to today:
    Coach Brian

    3 x 200 warmup swim/kick/swim

    4 x 100 25 kick/25 drill/50 swim

    12 x 50's
    4 x 60 sec 12 1/2 fast
    4 x 55 sec 25 fast
    4 x 50 sec 37 1/2 fast

    easy 100

    6 x 50 on 1 min
    1-2 breath every 3
    3-4 breath every 5
    5-6 breath every 7

    easy 100

    3 x 50 fast on 2 min
    1 and 3 from a dive;
    2 from the wall
    32 free ??? fly 31 free

    easy 150

    The End

    Today was a solid day. The fast 50's at the end were more like sprint/fast pace 100 than true race-pace 50s.

    I went shopping and now blogging to kill some time in order to avoid catching up to real time on TIVO for the swimming on TV.

    Our annual Swim for Distance month always ends with the 2K/5K/10k. In recent years the 10k was dropped, but back on for this year as a relay! I remember, the two times I did the 10k, it was a rather light turn out! Well, this year, DAMM capped it to 16 relay entries, and are full-up. They will have FUN!!!
  2. A solid workout day!

    by , July 22nd, 2011 at 06:18 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I felt great today! Not particularly strong, but overall quite solid.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jim Montgomery on deck

    400 warm up

    3 times thru
    200 swim 100 kick on 5 min.
    2:38 2:32 2:31 on the 200's
    I did this set strong as my aerobic set. Plus always testing to make sure the old girl still has some conditioning.

    Pull set: but not for me!

    Instead ==>
    4 x 50 pull with strap; about 38-40
    3 x 50 strong fly 38 36 36 not very fast
    2 x 50 easy
    100 fast 1:07 great for me!

    easy 50

    2 x thru:
    200 moderate (I did 100 easy swim/flop)
    2 x 50 kick
    100 fast 1:09 (oops! caught Bill G in front of me); 1:07 high per Jim

    50 easy

    The End

    Really reinforces the day off concept. I didn't feel that strong, but was ready to swim assertively and very strong 100's. Plus I really wanted to take a shower, so off to the club!

    One week until Sectionals. I hear they did a roll call on the USA team for Sectional participants but I wasn't there. I think I get a team t-shirt!

    In other promising news, there is an A/BB Championship meet at a good pool in 3 weeks. Rumor is that they expect it to be a big meet, so included language in the meet information that they could basically run prelims in any way - and I hear they might do 2 pools in SCY!!!! I may have to enter more events, in case it really is indeed SCY!

    More on this exciting news later!
  3. Mandatory Day off!

    by , July 21st, 2011 at 12:17 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Now, don't laugh, but I think i've been working pretty hard lately! So i'm going to take the day off and rest!

    The girls are at ASI gymnastics camp (where they don't do any gymnastics). The best part is that Braum's ice cream in en route. I see an adult size cone with Cherries Jubilee!!!


    Good luck to all my friends at South Central Zone Masters! Here is the webpage with roster, psyche sheet, etc:

    SWIM FAST!!!!!!!!
  4. Mini Sprint Day

    by , July 20th, 2011 at 06:28 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    On my own, SCM Baylor Fitness Center
    The Lanes were nearly full, so I had to use a crappy shallow lane

    500 warm up with fins

    8 x 25 underwaters

    4 x 75 25 kick/50 swim

    50 easy

    4 x 25 % build
    50 easy

    4 x 25 variable fly
    50 easy

    2 x 50 free from a dive
    31/31 I left late both times, gotta get my countdown down.

    50 easy

    The End
    I was pretty tired today, swam very late.

    I'm totally pissed at something that happened at work today. The general gripe is employees who phone it in, and think that just passing you a message is good enough, instead of actually following through.

    Tonight: Dallas Summer Musicals - Guys and Dolls. I'm not that excited about it. We've had season tickets for so many years and each time my mother in law and I square off for who's going to be the first to say, "Let's not go". We usually only stay for the first 1/2. But for me, i'm about done after eating the buffet dinner. The meat carvers know me. And the only reason I renewed this year? The season tix holders next to us asked if I was going to renew, since they want our seats (we got really good seats, perfect for quick exit and leg room). That would be a YES, and NO, you can't have my seats! Do you know how many years it took to get them? Geez!
  5. Basic loosen up swim day

    by , July 19th, 2011 at 04:14 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Here's a noncontroversial blog post - well, maybe good for a big yawn!

    Swam on my own.
    SCM at Baylor Fitness Center

    500 warmup free/back/free/fly/free

    8 x 25 underwaters

    4 x 75 kick/drill/swim free/fly*

    100 easy kick

    4 x 50 pull with strap

    4x 50 swim with fins

    100 easy kick
    100 easy swim

    2x dives, finish the 50

    The End

    Just a miscellaneous easy day. *Lost my motivation after succesfully keeping the water walkers out of my lane.

    My girls did good at All Stars. Just making it was the big deal. Claire got DQ'd in the 100 IM, but it was time - she'd squeeked by either barely legal or not getting caught, so it was a good wake up call.

    Here is the link:

    Decided for sure to go to Sectionals instead of Zones. I'd have to swim really well in prelims to make finals.

    My strategy: JUST RISE TO THE OCCASION! Not a bad strategy, if I do say so myself! I see no reason why I shouldn't occupy a slot in the top 32. It's not about who deserves it, it's who goes out and earns it! You gotta do it in prelims to earn a slot!!!

    Meet info:

    Last year's results:
  6. What if your goggles snapped before OW?

    by , July 19th, 2011 at 11:18 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Random thought for the day:

    A fellow swimmer told me that one of our swimmers went to an open water swim. He was earmarked for superstar; could have ("could have, should have, would have") won, maybe.

    His goggles snapped and broke right at the start. There was a staggered start, so he asked another swimmer, who was going in a later heat, and who he did not know, if he could borrow his goggles. The other swimmer said no. (As the story was told to me, the swimmer would have finished in time to give that guy his goggles back).

    So he didn't swim.

    I said nothing at the time, but really wondered about it. What a shame to train and travel and then not even swim.

    Some swimmers blamed the other guy for not giving him a pair of goggles. HUH????? So blame another guy??????????????

    And what about the decision to swim or not? I can see it either way. If your goal was to go and WIN, and you were immediately out of the running, then maybe it's just not worth it to swim. But if you came all that way, then perhaps you'd just run back up to your OWN bag, get your OWN spare goggles, and then start at the back of the pack.

    This is interesting because it highlights the commonness of equipment failure - caps and goggles. Happens periodically, and could easily happen for any race. Your race!
  7. Sunday Sprint Day

    by , July 17th, 2011 at 12:43 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today was the usual split lanes of distance and sprint workout.

    Brian coached
    see our coaching staff here:

    LCM at SMU:
    300 warm up with fins
    3 x 100 kick
    8 x 50 drill odds, build evens

    main set:
    4 x 25's variables
    1 fast 50 free
    150 easy

    4 x 25's variables
    2 x 50 fast
    100 easy

    4 x 25's variables
    3 x 50 fast
    50 easy

    100 easy

    4 x 100 pull (no)
    =>4 x 50 kick with shoes instead

    Bonus: 1 dive with breakout

    The End

    Lots of people today. I committed to swimming fast to stay at the front of the lane to have clear water and clean intervals. I can't stand the corrupted intervals at the back of the lane. The 10 sets apart rule seems to break down and I can't stand someone going 3-5 behind on all-out sets. Geez! Who are you fooling??!!!!

    HOORAY! My mother-in-law is coming back today to pick up the dogs.

    Also: double up and doin' my Vasa today. Summer league All-Stars are tommorow so I will take the day off. I have a massage scheduled today as well.

    Random couponing tip: In addition to using a binder for your coupons, keep one page at the top for "check out aisle" stuff, like candy, lighters, and all those random sorts of things. I got 4 free 3-Muskateer bars (2 x $.50-off-two coupons, doubled at Kroger, special price on selected candy bars was 2 for $1.00). There is nothing so tasty as a Couponing Victory Free Candy Bar!
  8. Inaugural Race Day!

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 03:30 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I decided to make it my Race Pace Day!

    SCM at Baylor Fitness Center
    Brought my stopwatch, but no one around to time me.

    300 fins
    200 kick
    100 swim

    8 x 50 IM stroke/free

    8 x 25 50%/60%/70%/80%
    100 easy

    8 x 25 variables
    100 easy

    4 x 50 from a dive on 4 minutes
    easy swim in between each

    50 easy

    The End.

    Commentary: The logistics aren't ideal to get someone to time you. So I "started" on the 57 - when the clock got to 57, i'd take my mark, pause, then go. Anyway, if I am consistent in the start, then I can gauge relative time this way.

    I think a good goal is to go under 30's, if my first day was right at the 30 mark. I'll try to grab someone, anyone to time me with my stopwatch.

    Here are my times:
    Recent years' range: SCM 27.2-28.1
    Lifetime best 1995 SCM 26.65 (former masters world record)

    My girls did make all stars, see here:
  9. Kick Day

    by , July 14th, 2011 at 06:38 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I decided to kick. A lot. Only.

    Billy Glasstetter coached.

    400 warm up with fins.

    6 x 150's on ?? (no. a big no)
    =>6 x 100 kick with fins on back/tummy/sides

    250; 100 strong/150 easy (no)
    =>2 x 50 fast kick with board

    2 x 200; 100 strong/100 easy (no)
    => 4 x 50 fast kick with board

    3 x 150; 100 strong/50 easy (no)
    =>6 x 25 with shoes; easy 50

    4 x 100; fast 100's on 2min (you'd think, but no)
    =>4 x 25 with shoes kick on back

    Easy 100 (why yes, I will)

    Bonus for me:
    8 x 25 underwaters

    About 1900 mostly kick. That's really good, if I do say so myself!

    The End.

    Random cooking tip: Fried rice can be the world's most complete food. Depends on what you make it with! I only eat white rice. No way no how on substituiting there. Add cubes of lean leftover steak or any meat. Cut your meat when cold or slightly frozen to get better bite size pieces. Use any veggies. I have frozen peas. Eggs. So the key is that is not ideal to use freshly made rice, unless you make it pretty dry. It will be too sticky and just mash if you try to stir fry with it right away. Best to use leftover rice. Also, you should use just enough rice as the "binding agent" instead of a huge mound of rice with bits of other stuff in it. Load up on the veggies or whatever else you have, and just use enough rice to keep it together. Use little cooking oil, since you will probably be adding sesame, hot chili oil for seasoning.

    Then you can feel so good about what you ate, especially if you're getting back on the bandwagon, or intending to fall off of it....


    We are watching my mother in law's dogs while she is visiting her daughter (my sister in law). The dogs pooped in my husband's office. Not the wipe-able entryway, or back hallway, or a discrete area. Right smack in his office.
  10. Recovery workout

    by , July 13th, 2011 at 03:11 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Back to the pool today!
    So....let's see, recap this week:

    Sun: sprint workout + vasa at home
    Mon: nothing. My kid's summer league swim meet
    Tues: Big day at Court. Vasa at night.
    Wed: hey, that's today!

    SCM at Baylor.
    Jim Montgomery on deck

    Something for warm up. I dunno; late on deck.

    Main set:
    3 x 300 moderate
    100 easy
    2 x 300 85%
    100 easy
    1 x 300 strong/fast
    100 easy

    => Was there ever any doubt?
    I can't recall the yardage. But during that entire set I:
    1. Used my snorkel; reverse catch up;
    2. Kick on my back with fins;
    3. Swam easy;
    4. Got out and watched my 50 free from last weekend. Jim was there to watch his son, so he filmed me as well!
    5. Yours truly actually did the entire last 300!

    6 x 100 drafting in the lane
    Three in my lane, so I led on 2 and 5.

    The End.

    Today was more of a recovery day. The given sets were a total bummer so I just swam around everyone.

    My girls' summer league champs were fun. There were 3 teams in our division (largest teams). We have to wait for results of the other 4 in order to see if they made All-Stars (roughly explained as the Top 16; actually the #1 from each of the 5 Divs, and then the fastest 11).

    Here is the link:

    They were in Division A.
    Claire & Helen Agee, 10& under girls.

    Gooooooooo Agees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Sunday Sprint Workout

    by , July 10th, 2011 at 09:44 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I went to the Sunday Sprint/Distance workout (pool split between you guessed it! Sprint workout and distance workout!).

    500 warm up WITH FINS! I rarely wear fins, but today I just felt like it!

    4 x 150 100 swim/50 kick
    15 sec rest, but we took more. no complaints from me!

    8 x 50 on the 1:10
    25 strong/25 easy

    200 recover - WITH FINS!

    8 x 50 on the 1:30?
    25 fast/25 easy
    37.5 fast/12.5 easy
    50 fast
    50 easy
    round 1 free, round 2 fly

    100 recover - WITH FINS!

    8 x 50 on the 1:30
    odd fast
    even easy

    The End.

    To clarify for previous comments, my SCY MEET SEASON spans 6-8 weeks, ending by early to mid December. In that time, I can swim at least 5 USA meets and 2 USMS meets, and only one is a travel meet! That is bang for your training! I plan on a break after that.

    I am focusing on the 50's and 100's. Mostly the 50 free, then the 100 fly/free. It's what I am going to race the most. If I go to the Chesapeake Pro Am again this year, it also makes the most sense to do 4 x 50 free sets - because of the shoot out (I tied for 10th in prelims last year; you have to make top 8). Plus, for our local masters meets, you are swimming 4 events in about 1 1/2 hours.

    Congratulations to JEFF COMMINGS on qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials! My sister bought my tix and selected our hotel:

    Element Omaha Midtown Crossing:
  12. 50 free: 28.33

    by , July 9th, 2011 at 10:04 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I was able to swim the 50 free! I took the girls to early summer league practice, then did some work before going to the meet.


    Commentary: Another 28.3 for the pile! Very pleased with a solid time, and a gutsy swim. Yours truly was keen on winning a ribbon today!!

    Given this summer's "interim" swimming phase, I am very satistfied with the way I approached the swim, mentally and especially a relatively strong finish at the end (for me, that is!), plus staying under auto sectional cuts.


    The suit: I have been wearing my middle-oldest LZR Racer Kneeskin all summer. I see no reason to wear my 2 newest, nor the 2 oldest. So this suit has gone through 6 summer swims, plus about 3 other meets in SCY. It has lasted a long time! It is at the perfect not-fully-stretched-out-but-easy-to-get-on-and-wear-for-non-championship-meets stage.


    How to improve? From Rich A's definition of 3 systems, the one I am deficient in is the Race Speed. While I have raced quite a bit this summer, I will need to add a dedicated day of Race Speed workout (I'm thinking once per week) NOW, so that when I begin my 6-8 week SCY "season", i'll already be well into Race Shape, and not starting it from the 1st of those 6 weeks.

    I'm thinking:

    4 x 50 on the 5 minutes;
    10 x 100's, every 1, 4, 7, and 10 fast with the 2 in between as recovery; from fast swim to the next fast swim at 10 minute intervals.

    But ultimately, the gut-check is: if I were asked to do a get out swim, would I embrace it or would I dread it? The times I am in really great racing shape, i'd think to myself, "Pick me! Pick me!".
  13. Short workout swimming around lanemates

    by , July 8th, 2011 at 03:58 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    It is going to be a long July swimming around my lanemates....but not long in yardage!

    SCM at Baylor
    Jim Montgomery on deck

    Skipped (400 warmup)
    I just can't resist talking about my training instead of training.
    3 x 150 kick/drill/swim

    (Legend: => is what I actually did in lieu of the set)

    3 x 100 1:30
    2 x 200 recovery
    3 x 100 1:25

    =>3x75 50 fly strong/25 free easy
    2 x 100easy
    3 x 50 strong free

    3 x 50 on 45
    2 x 100 recovery
    3 x 50 on 40

    => 5 x dive 25's around my lanemates
    chit chat with Jim some more re: estimated timeline for meet.

    3 x 25 on 30
    2 x 100 recovery
    3 x 25 on 25

    => Did the first 3, but felt so bad that I just did a 100 kick and called it a day, beating everyone to the showers.


    I am entered in the 50 free this weekend; hope the meet is not too long. We have a tenant moving in this weekend, summer league champs on are on Monday, and I have several big hearings on Tuesday. It's a crappy draw to have the 50 free last on Sat, so I am not certain I can make it given how much I have to prepare now in order to be ready for Tuesday.
  14. Modifying DAMM's Swim for Distance Month

    by , July 7th, 2011 at 03:31 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    This is DAMM's swim for distance month!

    Yours truly will definately be modifying every workout. Legend: ==> the modified bits

    SCM at Baylor Fitness Center

    (Did this) 400 warm up
    (Did this) 6 x 100 kick/drill/build/DPS

    The main set:

    400 pull
    400 swim negative split

    Instead, I did:
    ==> 4 x 50 reverse catch up drill/swim
    ==> 4 x 50 all fly descend 1 to 4

    300 pull
    300 swim negative split

    Instead, I did:
    ==> 6 x 50 1 foot fin

    200 pull
    200 swim negative split

    Instead, I did:
    ==> 4 x 50
    37.5 free/12.5 all out kick
    25 free/25 all out kick
    12.5 swim/37.5 all out kick
    50 all out kick

    100 pull
    100 swim negative split

    Instead, I did:
    ==> easy 50
    ==> 100 strong

    On my own:
    4 x 25 from a dive, 12. 5 fast free/fly/free/fly
    walk back
    easy 50

    I am going to be the spotlight in Chris Phelan's The Phast Times newletter sometime in the upcoming months. Last night we took pictures and if he uses any of the swimming ones, it will be hilarious. I had to slowly swim by, posing yet keeping a straight face.

    Chris is the the founder of the Ride of Silence, see here:
  15. Back from Breck, recovery workout!

    by , July 6th, 2011 at 03:41 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    These blogs are great! I'm going to start hanging out here and reading everyone's blogs! Someone just PM me where there is something particularly insightful or inciteful on the forums! I will thread hijack upon request...

    We are back from Breck!

    I missed the workout today, so did a quick recovery workout on my own:

    400 warm up
    100 kick
    4 x 50 free kick w/snorkel/swim
    4 x 50 kick on back/swim
    4 x 50 pull with strap
    4 x 25 1/2 fly kick 1/2 swim with fins
    2 x 25 fly/free
    2 x 25 free
    played with my toes a few minutes. pretended to look busy but really just relaxing. had that stony eye-of-the-tiger/don't get in my lane look, but was really quite happy inside.
    4 x 25's from a dive, 1/2 fast free, 1/2 easy
    with walk-backs.
    50 easy

    Did you get your USMS magazine? There are some great human interest stories as well as another article on stretching.
  16. Breck, continued

    by , July 3rd, 2011 at 10:59 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Happy Day Before the 4th!

    Today we went on a hike, see how beautiful:

    Then, Part II of Silverthorne Outlet shopping

    Dinner at Fatty's after two who will not be mentioned strongly vetoed mom's cooking for a third night in a row.

    Upcoming swim meet; A LCM Invitiational

    Chosing between two meets after that, both at Conroe ISD: South Central Zones or USA Sectionals. Most likely the latter due to schedule of the 50 free.
  17. 4th of July in Breck, 2011

    by , July 2nd, 2011 at 10:51 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I am a firm believer in not attempting any hard core/yardage training during vacations. It takes away from the other fun stuff, like how fast I can do Colorado's Largest Human Maze at Peak 8 fun park! My legs are still sore!

    Between the four of us, we won 2 pinwheels, 1 jumping frog, one gummy jumper, 1 disk shooter, and mom took one for the team and won the snake-on-a-string!!!

    Thur, 6/30 13 hour drive to Breck, Co!
    Fri, 7/1 Peak 8 Fun Park & Shopping
    Sat 7/2 Breck Recreation Center and Silverthorne outlet shopping and Target

    400 warm up mix strokes
    200 kick, broken by 50 w/kickboard
    200 kick, broken by 50 back/sides
    100 swim, broken by 25
    100 assertive fly ie, don't get in my lane, broken by 25's
    100 easy

    This is typical of what I do when I go on vacation. This trip I am much better about stretching in the AM and PM for about 15 minutes. I do the Dara Torres Resistance stretching exercises, as well as my own combination of yoga inspired stretches. I have been doing the DT video exercises religously since I bought it, several years ago.

    While it's not a lot in the water or on land, I am usually pretty good about "not losing it" or "crossing over to the darkside" or "having to start over again" when I return from vacations.

    Andf now, for my pledge of excellence. Not not swimming related.

    I do solemnly swear, as an extreme couponer in training, to never forget my coupon book again.

    Best extreme buy of the trip so far: photo frames, originally $5.95 marked down to $.50 and with entire store 20% off, they were $.40 each!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  18. Chowmi's favorite sets

    by , June 29th, 2011 at 03:09 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Huh? Well, I guess i'll know if i'm actually posting something when I hit enter.

    The FLOG isn't as robust at looking at past sets, so maybe this will work better.

    Skippping to the highlight sets, here are my favorite parts.

    For now......
    This summer, doing whatever the proscribed workout is, modified when necessary. Mostly in the "train to train" mode as well as sprint mode, and have limited the race mode to truly just the actual races.

    Next goal.....
    Staying in arguably the best "train to train" mode in years, and sustaining current model until 08/22/11, when the girls go back to school. Will then target 6 (up to 8) weeks of modified Rich A training (for example, 1 race day, 1 sprint day, 1 aerobic day, and 1 flex day for 4 swims per week, 1 or 2 dryland per week, and between 3-6 stretching sessions). Have banked 3 or 4 free massages so will also incorporate those for that period. Don't want to waste those freebies in case Massage Envy goes out of biz before then.

    Last Friday
    SCM 50/100/150/200 x 2 45 base. I swam all over Ross's feet. I felt guilty about that, but sometimes you just miscalculate so I took one for the lane on the next one....
    challenge part: 1 time thru on the 40 base
    I led the lane! I did the entire set! Busted my guts so no one could draft! What a whooper!

    Nothing Saturday => oops totally forgot I stopped by the LCM meet and did the 400 free! That was fun!

    Sunday sprint day
    Was more like strong pace day
    Main bits:
    LCM 8 x 50 (variables); 1/2 easy/fast; fast/easy, all fast, all easy
    6 x 100 2 easy 1 hard on 2 mins; modified this as 2 x 50 easy, 1 hard fly on the same intervals. Mostly to see the Truth of a 100 LCM fly. I never cheat on fly.
    1 fast 50 fly at the end from a push
    Took a 15 minute walk, and did my Vasa since we'll be gone for the rest of the week.

    Monday nothing

    SCM 4 x 200 1st and last 25 stroke (fly)
    Next set was same thing, 1st and last 50 stroke on same interval; modified as 2 x 50 fly fast with an easy 50 free in between on the same total interval; this worked out well, Bobby P led and did all free, another guy did 50 back/100 free/50 back, and I "skipped" one middle 50 free.

    Last set 3 x 100 descend on 2 minutes; modified as 1 easy free, 1 all out 100 fly; me first, Bobby on the last 100. Amazing how you have just that extra umph when someone is cheering for you. Push time 1:12 on coach Jim & Bobby's count.

    Wednesday, today -nothing.

    Next up: Colorado vacation! Probably just goof around in the gym and do whatever machines there are, and swim 25's easy/kick. Not one for busting my lungs in high altitude training.

    I'll be back on next Wed night, so probably one workout before...Will have a race on Sat/Sun of next weekend. Will be 6th 50 free 'o the season.

    Updated June 29th, 2011 at 04:35 PM by chowmi

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