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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. Uncharted territory: 100 LCM Free

    by , September 2nd, 2012 at 08:55 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    This is the last weekend in purgatory. I am making the best of our time away from Baylor and SCM noon workouts. Yesterday and today i'm swimming LCM workouts at SMU.

    I decided to have a good positive attitude about the workout's main focus of 3 x 100s. While my attention span and internal clock are set to under :30, I made the most of it and tried my best!

    Here is what we did yesterday:

    800 warm up
    200 swim/pull/kick/swim
    ==>no. 800 was too much for me. I stopped at 600 and goofed around in the corner.

    8 x 50 on 1:00 kick/drill
    I used my Speedo optimus fins. Drill was alternating scull or 1 arm; other arm at the side.

    5 x 100's on your lane's interval plus 15
    (fastest lane started at 1:40; our lane rounded up to 2:00)

    1:35, 1:25, 1:11, 1:25, 1:35

    QUESTION: is 1:11 a good time?

    2 x 200 pull
    ==>no. I walked to the deep end and did 2 x DIVES PLUS BREAKOUTS

    3 x 100 on same interval above

    1:30, 1:25, 1:11

    QUESTION: same question.

    6 x 50 on :55 recovery

    1 x 100 all out

    1:08 high according to coach. I would have said 1:09 flat so that makes sense.

    QUESTION: is this a good time? I think it's solid, given I never swim a fast 100 LCM, and I haven't swum it in a meet since USMS Nationals, LCM in 1998 (and I did a 1:02 at that meet). If I even split, that 34.5s. Assuming that I didn't, then I would say a 32, 36 split seems reasonable. I doubt I went out any faster than a 32, maybe 31, but I could not have come home any slower than 36 or 37, which sounds quite good to me from a push 100.

    I think my goal is to go 1:05 or even under in workout. That would mean a 30 or 31 but doing it with less effort, then coming back in 33 to 35. That seems a very reasonable and doable time with more LCM and comfort for a full 100.

    But do I really care? Only if I decided to actually swim the 100 in a meet. It may be my bonus event, so maybe I should add it to the list.

    Today I am not sure what will happen. I think there is some group that is going to be doing a 10k overlapping our workout, so I am resigned to squashed lanes and not doing what I want. I am prepared to just slog through yardarge, as there is no other swim option today (and doin' that 10k isn't one of them!!) and there's no workout tomorrow.

    Should I do another full cycle of P90X or just order stupid Insanity now and stop talking about it? What is the meaning of life? How much do I need for retirement? Such are the questions I ask myself these days.
  2. Long time no blog!

    by , August 30th, 2012 at 03:26 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I have 12 extra minutes before school pickup, so here it is!

    LCM, SMU on my own
    Baylor has been closed for 2 weeks due to annual maintainance.

    400 warm up
    4 x 100 kick
    8 x 50 pull

    4 x 50
    2 build
    2 as first and last 12.5 fast

    easy 50

    all out 50
    could be anywhere from 29 high to 33
    stupid clocks are not aligned and they aren't uniform (slow movement then a click up 3 seconds). if I had to guess, i'd round it to a 31.

    easy 100

    The End
    I am just going to ride out the off-schedule until Baylor pool opens again. I don't like swimming with a bunch of weirdos at SMU and there is always some lecher trying to talk to me and share my lane.

    Great news! Baylor is finally going to screw everyone else over and have 1 uniform fee - $55 per month. The spread of "group rates" really turned a lot of people off. Some were paying $40 while I have been paying $85 for 20 years. Anyway, now everyone has to pay $55 and I get the reduced rate!

    Other: I have been doing a mini-Insanity workout, which is 7 exercises for 30 seconds and you do it 3 times. I read it wrong the first time around and thoughtyou do 30 sec on 30 sec off with 30 sec between rounds. Boyw as that easy!Duh1 It was as little rest as possible, then 30 sec between rounds. I have modified to 30 sec on, 10 sec rest, 2 minutes between sets. I marvel at my modificationess.

    See you later!
  3. Starting focus on SCY season

    by , August 5th, 2012 at 03:55 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I have put pen to paper and outlined my workout approach for the next season. Recall my longer term goal, assuming everything stays at steady-state of busyness, is that I will blast-o SCY USA in Oct/Nov/Dec, then switch to LCM for Austin Grand Prix (Jan) and Mesa Grand Prix (April) with any local USMS meets as they come along.

    Since my event is really

    50 free

    and bonus tag-along events are

    50's stroke
    100 free
    100 back
    maybe 100 fly but unlikey

    and way out there new event is

    200 back,

    i'll be focusing all training on that 50 free.

    Now, it is widely known that I customize most workouts. But it has been bothering me that I haven't been able to get in EXACTLY what I want to do, and thus began the "make-up" workouts on my own to fill in the blanks. I also rarely add up yardage, as that just isn't really a relevant factor for me. It's the time in the water and specific events. That said, I am limited to 1 hour per workout on average.

    You may also recall I made the analogy of putting together the top ten greatest hits (ie, the top ten things that are critical to your race performance) and having to hit those without the luxury of "fluff stuff" you had as a college/age group swimmer. From 9 water workouts pushing 20 hours excluding weights to maybe 4 workouts a week at 1 hour must choose wisely what to do!!!

    So I put together a spreadsheet! Across the top are columns. There are 10 categories in this order:

    1. STARTS (includes dives, reaction drills, visualization behind the blocks, breakouts up to 15 m);
    2. SPRINTS (this is a big category. includes race pace, conditioning sprint, back half sprints, power generation sprints - I may need to elevate several categories to their stand-alone number later);
    3. BREATH CONTROL (race, set control, lead up into);
    4. TURNS (isolated; accelarate to wall, speed, streamlining and line counts, breakouts);
    5. RECOVERY (yes, lots)
    6. KICK (all types)
    7. DRILLS
    8. PULL (all types)

    Down the left side of the page are the days of the week, starting with Saturday. This is because the Sat/Sun outdoor at SMU workouts will be my "cornerstone" workouts for the week, and it is much easier to modify workouts during the week. That said, I did a great job of customizing them this week.

    If you like yardage counts, I have roughly organized the amounts, but more as a very general and rough guideline - more like, how much "time", "yardage", or even "effort" I spend doing what. Not that the categories are mutually exclusive. More on that later.

    Yardage lovers, here it is:
    Ideally I swim 4 x hour, average 3 workouts at 2,500 and 1 on my own at 1,500. That makes 9,000 a week, but considering that I don't always make 4x per week, let's round down to 8,000.

    In categories 1-4, I estimate doing 2,000 per week. I've got the numbers by category and subs but that's way too boring for everyone to read about although I find it so fascinating myself. Recovery #5 is 1 for 1, so count that as 2,000. Kick is at least 1,500 (and that seems way too low!). That leaves 1,500 for Pull, Conditioning swimming, and miscellaneous fun other stuff.

    So the key is to not fill up on crappy sets like, 10 x 100's on the 1:30 pull and then the next day do 6 x 200's pull and then other day 400/300/200/100 pull, etc....because the time spent on these sets eat up too much of my 1 hour, and they don't benefit my 50 free as much as categories 1-4. Now, I could do a set a week. And better to double up - such as doing a set with breath control - 3/5 and 3/7 by 50. Then it's not a total waste. But arguably, i'd be better off doing 8 x 25's underwaters, which is also breath control and kicking, and a category of sprint set as well! And when you are talking about limited time, you have to pick and chose. So.......

    Today was a great example of my spreadsheet at work. Here was workout:

    LCM, SMU outdoor

    400 warm up

    5 x 100's on 2:00
    25 kick/50 swim/25 kick
    emphasis on strong kick and really good turn with same kick off walls into breakout
    (so categories of kick/turns, conditioning swim)

    last 25 fast
    ==> no. did 4 dives + B/O 15m

    Main set:
    4 rounds of 4 x 50's
    1 x 50 on 1:00
    1 x 50 on 1:10
    1 x 50 on 1:20
    1 x 50 on 1:30
    descend 1-3, easy on #4
    (this counted as sprint type set with bits of recovery, but probably just cite the set and put it under the sprint column)

    100 easy

    Yesterday part of the workout was 4 x 200's pull. That was incredibly annoying and I did 6 x Dives + B/o increasing to the 25. We just did a stupid 6 x 200 pull set on Monday. I didn't want to waste 15 minutes of my precious 60 minutes doing another pull set, but I did want to get in my 15-20 dives per week, so I did 6 to start off the week (and then 4 more today).

    Now I must say if you are doing Hawaii or other open water swims or just wanting to do a conditioning workout, then the 200's pull are just for you. But not for me!

    I was also really irked that the lane balked when I wanted to do this set on the 1:15 instead of the 1:00:

    6 x 50's first and last 12.5 fast
    #7 at 80%
    #8 at 100%.

    I felt that that was an ok conditioning sprint set, but I would rather have done them on 1:15 and 1:30 on #7 to really get up to a true 100%. I could only muster going about 92.5% but I could tell I had more in the tank. How can I get truly well-oiled sprint speed if I am having to press the interval too much? I still need to do my own sets, and you can bet this one is a fav on my list but i'll be doing it on at least 1:15's!!! I don't need the conditioning to turn around and come back, I just need the proper training to get to Elusive speed and drive it the last 12.5 meters of a 50 meter race. The machine gun empties at the 50. I don't need anything left in it at that point.

    Has anyone been to Argentina or New Zealand for vacation? Any strategy on flights? We simply don't have the miles for first/biz class for 4 people. There are virtually no 62.5 mile options (Argentina), and only 100k but that would be 800k and we only have 275k now.
  4. Back from Pittsburgh!

    by , July 31st, 2012 at 01:53 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    It was a great vacation. We went to Kennywood and were so lucky to hit a 4 hour window with great weather! It rained a lot while we were there.

    I swam on Monday when I got back. I didn't workout while I was there. So last workout before was Tues 07/24 and then back to the pool on Mon 07/30.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon workout

    400 warm up

    600 swim on 1:30 base
    ==>yes, I actually did this. It was so miserable and I lost count at the 150ish and was in agony of where the heck are we the rest of the time.

    3 x 300's on 1:30 base
    ==>kicked 100 for each 150

    6 x 200 on 1:30 base
    I pulled these! Held 2:32 and 2:31's on 5 of them then picked it up on #6 to go 2:28. That was very good, considering the time out from water and vacation.

    6 x 50 kick on 1:00
    I just got thru these and did warm down on the last one.

    The End
    Not much else. Watching the Olympics. So much drama with surprises in all televised events.

    Just in a holding pattern for the next 2 weeks, continuing doing the workouts with nothing really specific in mind. Breckenridge vacation coming up in 2 weeks. We'll be gone for an entire week.
  5. Monday on my own

    by , July 23rd, 2012 at 11:28 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today was a very busy day so I did my own workout:

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    400 warmup

    200 kick
    8 x 25 kick on :45 fast

    200 pull
    4 x 25's with stretch cord
    catch the ride back
    these you have to do hard and fast

    200 swim
    4 x 25's UW on :45
    4 x 15 sec on wall, into fast 25 no breath until the end (about 30 secs total) (1:15 each)

    5 x dives + sprint to the 15;
    immediately climb out and walk back

    extra minute, but not too long into..

    1 x 50 from a dive
    31. sort of dissappointing, actually.

    Today I was not exactly peppy, and swimming at an odd time due to my schedule, so I was quite happy with making myself get up and out of the water on the dives, then finishing with a fast 50. It was not as fast as I would like, and I knew right away I simply didn't have the umph and speed, but it was a solid effort. Plus it is so hard to start yourself and know really when you left!

    I can hardly wait for my trip to Pittsburgh! I take the girls every year, and we always go to Kennywood! A few weeks later we will go to Breckenridge and chowsh will join us this year. Then one more blow out at Great Wolf Lodge!!!

    I am going to get my haircut, eyebrows waxed, and a massage as part of a spa gift certificate from xmas. It's actually been a pain to try to schedule it as it cuts into my TV watching on the weekends. I think i'd rather just get more exercise stuff!
  6. Sun LCM workout nonmodified again!

    by , July 22nd, 2012 at 07:46 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I know, I know. I didn't modify the workout and it was kind of fun today - just my type of sprint day.

    LCM, Sunday 9am practice

    400 warm up

    12 x 50's on 1:00
    kick/drill odds
    build evens

    300/200/100 pull on 1:40 base
    sub 4:00, sub 2:40, 1:14ish
    buoy and green paddles. I had a blow out on the 300 so that one was quite fast, considering.

    4 rounds of:
    4 x 50 in 1:15
    12.5 fast, 25 fast, 37.5 fast, 50 fast
    100 easy on 2:00

    50's fast slowest was under 35, fastest was on coach's count at 32 high.

    This last set I was quite proud of myself. It was acceptable times for now, but the biggest thing was the comfort of the swim. I didn't feel that uncomfortable, but wasn't quite acclimated to the entire LCM thing! It was also very difficult with this modest rest to have a really good breathe pattern on the all fast 50. I take 2 breaths in a race, but could only go the first 30+ and then it was a struggle due to wanting more air. Must work on that! I would like to be 32 to 30's and that would be very strong indeed.

    Then later,

    25 minute walk

    I have decide my game plan for next season. All subject to change if I have to take extra cases or appointments, or something super busy family-wise. But, assuming the steady state of busy-ness, here it is:

    Note that these are IDEALS:

    SCY goal: 23.9 or less by 12/31/12 in USA meets (nontapered);

    Enter & Swim Austin Grand Prix;
    if SCY/LCM format, make any final heat 27.5 or better LCM

    Enter & Swim Mesa Grand Prix;
    assuming LCM format, 26.9 or better

    My masters life? Swim whatever comes along, and my fav choices this year are (in this order):

    1. 50 free - as fast as possible
    2. 100 free- see what I can do but i'm not killing myself
    3. 200 back - top ten 10 and for fun
    4. 50's of any other stroke to get my entry fee's worth

    All events at Republic of Texas World Champs, if 3rd annual takes place.

    Try to make top ten in at least 5 events to keep moving towards 200. I didn't swim any meets in LCM this year, and I don't mix my USA and USMS times, a personal thing. (I like to keep them separate).

    So now that I have my IDEAL goals, I have been rejuvenated and feel a more concrete sense of purpose and strategy for my workouts. I am "taking my medicine" of LCM right now, after years of squandering my talent and rarely swimming LCM, other than Sunday sprint days. But now my goal is to go Sats/Sundays, and maybe Wed sprint evenings for a whopping THREE LCM workouts per week for the entire year!!! That ought to help my 50 tremendously! It seems it might really work out well, as the key 3 are LCM, then I can go on my own and do SCM starts, turns, and very targeted sprint stuff 1 or 2 other days per week, or the stroke days (Tues/Thurs) during the day. I'd like to keep up with my P90X workouts:

    (or CardioX substitute if I am too tired)
    2 of the other 5 (rotate thru 4 arms and 1 leg X's) plus AbRipperX.

    which makes 4x per week.

    Was thinking to start Insanity on 01/01/13, but not sure whether to start then, or wait unti 07/01/13 (after my LCM season) and finishing up by 09/01/13? Depending on how I do by 12/31/12, i'll decide to either continue with current training, or whether I can try a new routine.
  7. Losing my Modifying Touch

    by , July 21st, 2012 at 07:54 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    What is wrong with me? I did the entire Saturday workout. Again! Well, I guess leading the lane you are rather committed. And they aren't used to my modifying shinanigans.

    LCM, SMU outdoor pool

    500 warmup
    did the entire thing!
    got to practice in plenty-o-time. amazing how lack of parking will incentivize me to show up early for a coveted free parallel parking space!

    400 pull

    5x 150 on 2:30
    this wasn't easy, but I only held 2:10 to a 2:03!

    4 x 100 easy on 1:45

    5 x 150 on 2:30
    swam #1 on 2:05
    kick with Speedo Optimus fins on back
    held 2:15ish to 2:10 on last one

    2 x 100 easy

    I was surprised I wasn't faster. But, it shows i'm not in the greatest of vanilla-set shape. I was thinking 40 base per 50 would be more like it, so I should be working towards starting nearer to 2:00 and then working down under for the fastest ones.

    I can't even remember my "old" LCM paces. I haven't really swum LCM workouts other than sprint LCM days since circa 1998 before I was married. So a 40 base seems a key marker, seeming to be the equivalent of around a 37 SCM.. but it depends on the set as well....

    25 minute walk
    Plyo X!

    and then....
    I cleaned all the bathrooms in the house, except for my husband's shower. Ran out of magic eraser pads, and I won't clean any shower without them now! I was going to get my girls to help, but I simply forgot and was on a roll with my cleaning routine.

    watched the Magnificent Ambersons for about the 8th time, and the ending to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which i've seen maybe at least 10 times now. There is nothing so thrilling as the human race getting kicked by the apes.

    Next up:
    Sunday LCM workout! Will I do the entire workout again? Boy, that makes my posts super boring!
  8. Another unmodified workout

    by , July 20th, 2012 at 09:42 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    It is ironic that the full workouts I have done are during Swim for Distance Month. Here was another good day, and my kind of "nonspecific conditioning" type of day:

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    (Recall Tue/Thurs are stroke days)

    300 warmup

    12 x 50's on 1:00
    4 x IM drill down/swim back
    4 x choice (I kicked with fins)
    4 x IM drill down/swim back

    300 kick
    alt free/br/fly combo way too complicated to explain. we had to stop every 100 to ask the order again.

    12 x 50's on :55
    same as above
    Pattern starting here....

    300 pull
    50 back/50 free

    12 x 50's on :50
    4 x free/IM
    4 x drill/free
    4 x free/IM

    I think I am missing something, but this is the meat of it.

    For some reason, fly is really uncomfortable these days. This used to be the only stroke that felt pretty good but now it feels bad - and not just because i'm not in the best of fly shape. So today's drill/swim was just right.

    Later.....25 min walk and Chest & Back X + Ab Ripper X!

    Today: at Creditors' Meetings. 39 Debtors today a light docket.

  9. Utterly Flabbergasted - I did D-Workout!!!

    by , July 15th, 2012 at 08:44 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Not sure how this happenned or why. I actually did and lead the entire distance workout on Saturday. Recall it is Swim for Distance Month

    LCM, SMU outdoor pool

    500 swim/kick/swim/kick/swim
    Unbelievably, I did this entire thing.

    3 x 300
    kick/swim with fins
    there was an interval, i forgot it now, but whatever it was, i did it.

    3x 300 pull 5:00 (1:40 base)
    paddles and buoy.
    held 1:20 average; final time 4:00
    ***I can see the attraction. It was like cheating I was going so fast!!!!

    400/300/200/100 1:40 base
    descend each one
    I was pretty pooped at the end, and did a 1:17. ouch!

    The End

    Then......25 minute walk
    Followed by.......CoreX!


    Last night TV was really bad and I wasn't in the mood for any of my DVR'd stuff and too lazy to pop in any videos, so I watched infomercials for Insanity and Jillian what's her names workout videos. I must say, those infomercials are quite effective. Now I am trying to decide which one to buy, but I think the answer is to ask for Insanity for xmas (so I can start it 01/01/13) and buy the Jillian one for my sister. I like the marketing - Insanity is for those already in really good shape (meatheads) and Jillian is for Biggest Loser fans and overweight people. Not that chowsh is either (she's a mini version of me), but the fact that it's 30 minutes - that is quite appealing!!! I also like that they say there is no equipment in Insanity. And it's 40 minutes, which will feel really short compared to P90X at 1 hour+ with ab ripperX . That makes for good travel DVD's and I can do them downstairs in the bedroom. Currently, I can only do cardioX and plyoX without equipment (I don't do the kenpoX one).

    Today I am going to LCM workout again. I am worried the coach is going to force me to move to the 1:30 base lane. I much prefer additional rest and to put some punch into my speed, along with increasing the degree of difficulty (working on breath pattern, for example). that extra 10 seconds makes a huge difference. I think 1:40 is my swim number (get it? like sleep number bed, haha!)
  10. Wed, 07/11/12

    by , July 11th, 2012 at 03:39 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    The most exciting thing is how my girls did at the summer league championship meet. Here are the results, they are in A division, and you'd have to know their last name since it isn't Chow.

    Anyway, they both made all stars and did great, IMO. Next up: All stars!

    Today I swam the noon workout. I have changed my mind (yes, again!) and now I am enjoying Swim for Distance month. There is so much yardage that doing exactly 1/2 is just the right modification for me.

    SCM, Jim Montgomery on deck

    Warm Up:
    300 swim
    200 kick
    ===>no, i really goofed around. I did a dive, then some stroke, then a few fast turns. maybe 300 total?

    Transition set:
    10 x 50's on :55
    done as 2 sets of 5, count strokes and drop 1 each time.

    Main set: all on the 1:30 per 100 pace
    100 strong ==>50/10/50 1:08
    100 moderate
    100 strong ==>50/10/50 1:07
    200 moderate
    100 strong ==>50/10/50 1:06
    300 moderate
    100 strong ==>50/10/50 1:04
    400 moderate
    ***extra 1:30 rest
    100 strong ==>4x25, 5 sec 1:00
    300 moderate
    100 strong ==>3x25, 5 sec :45
    200 moderate
    100 strong ==>50 all out 29.8 coach's watch
    100 moderate

    I worked the 100's broken and the 75, and 50. The moderate stuff I did every other 50 easy. So doing 1/2 of the moderate stuff was just the right rest for me!

    The End

    Ok, that was a really good workout for me. Really making the opportunity to swim fast and not wait until sometime mid season to push the 1:00 barrier/under 50 for a push 50. Next up: get solidly under 1:00/28/range.

    And now, off to pick up lunch at Roti Grill. Lamb korma, Texas sized portion!!!

    Updated July 11th, 2012 at 04:07 PM by chowmi

  11. Sunday, 07/08 LCM

    by , July 8th, 2012 at 07:38 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I went to the Sunday SMU LCM 9am workout and braced myself for a July Swim for Distance Workout. It wasn't too bad since there were only a few people in the lane and I had lots of clear space to do dives.

    500 warmup
    ==>no, 200 was enough.
    and an inside joke for chowsh, "not enough! not enough!"

    12 x 50 on 1:00

    ok, so here is my huge pet peeve, not swimming with most of these folks at Baylor noons. anyone not using a kickboard was essentially doing 1 arm drills on the kick, and swimming on the drill. to top that off, the guy next to me was leaving 2 seconds early. not a shade or 1 second early, like 2 seconds as in his wind up started nearly at 4 seconds till. it drove me CRAZY!!!

    Main set:

    2 times through:
    3 x 100's
    6 x 50's
    ============>no. absolutely not. skip conditioning and go straight to speed work. for the rest of the year.

    Set 1:
    My main emphasis was during the 400's
    4 x dives + 12.5's to 25's
    2 x 100's fly drill
    6 x 50 easy

    Set 2:
    2 x fast 50's from a dive.
    Coach said I did 31's but I thought it was slower. Boy was that hard!!! I am totally out of LCM shape.

    2 x 100 fly drill
    4 x 50 fly drill

    The End

    Ok, that was totally better than doing 2 x 400's. I really got a better feel for my dives from the SMU blocks, which have more of a universal slope than the relatively flat Baylor blocks.

    I swam on Friday, and did mix 25's and some with my monofin, and the main set was 6 dives with plenty of rest. The last one I did as a full 50 and went 30 flat, quite possibly a 29 as I was in mid air said to myself, "crap, I left late." but, i didn't see a 29, so i don't count as it such.

    I was extremely tired from Friday to now. For the very FIRST time, I actually stopped the P90X tape midway on Saturday. I have NEVER done that before. I will not swim tomorrow, and probably not on Tuesday, due to my kids' summer swim league divisionals.

    Here are their events, SCY:
    11 yr old 50 free 34; 100 IM 1:24; 50 fly 40
    10 yr old 100 IM 1:33; 25 back 19; 25 fly 20

    The important thing is they are swimming the 100 IM, and I think that is the best bang for your summer league bucks and get to swim all 4 strokes and that's good practice.

    Going to Pittsburgh in less than 2 weeks. Then going to Breckenridge in one month. I may swim with my brother or my old club team while home in Pittsburgh, but maybe not. Will watch the Olympics!!!
  12. Report from Omaha

    by , July 5th, 2012 at 11:49 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    See the forum entry I made earlier today for most of the Trials commentary. It's in one of the 2012 Olympic Trials threads.

    Anyway, it was worth going to see in person. We stayed at the Element (Westin) hotel, and it was nice. The bed was quite plush and the breakfast buffet was good. The room had a kitchenette, not just a micro & fridge. It was a full size fridge, dishwasher, sink, micro, and stove. There is a grocery store on the other side of the hotel, and you can get to it through the garage or thru the hotel and 2 elevator banks. The nice thing is they have Boar's head deli meats even though I didn't make a sandwich this trip. And they had everything else!

    I was enamoured with Omaha and how they really laid out the red carpet for the Trials. USA swimming, for once, seems to realize what works and what they should be looking for. The mid-size city model works really well - and it seemed all of Omaha was really welcoming for Trials attendees. They also need seating capacity for 10k+ people, yet they also note that they have to have the facility dedicated for the entire month before trials (for a test run meet, such as the Omaha invitational). And cities that aren't really big swim-cities are not excluded - again, I point out that they filled to 9k+ prelims and 12k++ finals in Omaha! It's not like they have to go back to Long Beach for the "build in market".

    I personally would like to see it back in Omaha, but I think that's less likely, since it seems they also want to move it around the country. I don't have any particular preference.

    They should announce location in spring of 2013. I would prefer to stay in a walking distance hotel. Having to drive and park was too much for prelims/finals, particularly since certain members wanted to stay for the entire thing at night, where I would have been happy to escape right after the last actual swim and be in my jammies by 8pm and watching TV. Maybe even swimming on TV, but the point is i'd be in my comfy bed with snacks. I really don't care to watch the awards ceremonies or hear Summer Sanders interview people. For those of you who stayed home, you got way better inteviews. Way way better.

    Now, what have I been doing? I'm doing the P90X's that I like, and nothing really specific since I have 2 more vacations coming up. I'm also trying to stay in good speed shape. It's a bit unrealistic to be in the best sprint shape, since I am not consistent enough even for that. My joints are still really tight from sitting so much at Trials, so I am not doing dives right now. But, I am keeping up my speed rather well.

    Tuesday, 07/03
    Even after getting up at 3:45am and flying back, then going straight to work, I made the noon workout! The main set was:

    4 rounds:
    4 x 25 on :30
    50 on 1:00
    100 fast on 2:30

    I could not do the 4 x 25's fast AND the 100's fast. That set just didn't work for me. So I did smooth on the 25's and the 50, then descended on the 100's:
    1:13, 1:10, 1:10, 1:08
    So essentially I was doing strong 100's on the 5:30. Someone check my math.

    Wed, 07/04
    Walk 30 minutes
    P90X Shoulders & Arms, Ab RipperX

    Thurs, 07/05

    300ish warm up

    3 x 200 no interval
    50 kick/50 drill fly/50 kick/50 drill free

    50/100/150/200/250/250/200/150/100/50 pull on :45 base
    ===>no. It is Swim for Distance Month and i can spot those sets a mile away. Get it, hahaha!!! I did every other 50 with paddles held backwards (maybe this is what is called turtles)

    Main swim set:
    16 x 50's
    4 x 50 on 1:00 (kick with fins)
    4 x 50 on :50 easy swim
    4 x 50 on :40 very strong. held high 33's/34's but never hit 35
    4 x 50 on 1:00 just go easy really no interval

    The challenge set was my most awesome ever. I have never held under 35's so commandingly. I went 2nd/last and gave 10 seconds. However, I think I should shoot for 32-33's, and be able to do a serious challenge set on the :35's and still come in right at the 2:20 total elapsed time. That would be a huge stairstep interval but I think I can do it. If I keep feeling this strong and in control, even with being tired, then I think I might try the 100 free again this year, and not as a joke event.

    I have had to modify due to it being Swim for Distance Month. I don't think i'm even going to sign up for a t-shirt. You have to average 4 workouts a week plus a mileage goal. The 4x per week is a deal killer. I do not like swimming that many workouts a week. I will continue with gearing up for one really good set each time I swim.
  13. Last workout before Omaha!

    by , June 27th, 2012 at 03:06 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    It's been awhile, but here's a blog post to tie you over until Omaha commentary!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jim Montogomery on deck
    No, he isn't going to Trials. He has jury duty.

    300 warm up
    ==> I did about 200

    300 pull
    ==>no, did 3 x 50's pull

    300 kick

    200 swim
    200 pull
    200 kick
    Yes, I had to lead these and boy was that miserable.

    100 swim
    100 pull
    100 kick
    Yes, I lead again and this wasn't so bad

    Main set:
    4 rounds
    100 moderate 1:30
    50 build :45
    2 x 25 's on :25
    1 easy 50 no interval

    I did the first round, but this set wasn't working for me. It was too fast before the 25's and I felt I wasn't getting anything out of the set so I did this for the last 3 rounds:

    100: no, easy 50
    50: smooth 50
    2 x 25's: broken 50 25/5/25
    times: 31 31 30very flat

    That was a decent set, and times that would be good "in season". But alas, the sub :30 still eludes me. I did not actually see the 9, so I don't count it as a 29 even though it might have been, since there is a delay from finish to looking at the clock. I don't count it as 29 unless i see it. Emphasis was going as smooth but fast as possible on the 1st 25, then blast it on the 2nd 25.

    Next up: Pack for Omaha!

    For some reason I have been craving beans - black beans, refried beans, sweet bbq beans, you name it. What do you think this means? I probably need the protein?

    Ice cream:
    Soft serve vs. traditional. the nice thing about soft serve in a cake cup is how it's all perfectly mushed into the bottom bee-hive area. (That is, as long as you don't move the cone as the soft serve is being packed in.) The problem with some of the traditional ice cream is if they don't fill up the bottom first, then you have to very carefully lick-down the ice cream and jam it into the bottom while also licking the ice cream. The muffin top adds anxiety when I eat it because it could either melt or fall off. With soft serve, you only have to stick out your tongue, and twirl the cone around to keep the ice cream squarely centered in the cone with no drip areas.

    One way to solve this is to get the upgraded waffle cone, then your ice cream is safely nestled inside the waffle. But it is still a race against the clock, as it may drip out the bottom when you have a pointy cone. Drumsticks are awesome for this reason, since they inject that chocolate stopper at the bottom.

    Next up: Funnel cake and other delights in Omaha!!

    Updated June 27th, 2012 at 11:52 PM by chowmi

  14. Wednesday, 06/20 workout

    by , June 21st, 2012 at 10:45 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Yesterday I made workout again!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jim Montgomery coached

    400 warm up
    ==> 250 instead

    8 x 75 pull on 1:10
    ==>4 x 75's with paddles & buoy
    53 53 51 50(veryflat but I didn't see goal time 49)

    4 times thru:
    50 easy kick
    3 x 25 fast kick on :30
    no equipment
    started at 25 then down to 21/22 on last set. goal: 20flat and under

    Choice of equipment - this miffed me. It was deliberately so that the PBA's could use equipment on a swim set. Geez, we already did a pull set first already!

    300 "good" on 4:30
    2 x 200 "better" 3:00
    3 x 100 "best" 1:45
    This is Jim's kind of sets. He likes the mid-D.
    In lieu of the 300:
    3 x 50's fly drill (every other 50 in the 300)

    In lieu of the 200's:
    4 x 50's on 1:30 done as:
    12.5 fly sprint/easy
    25 fly sprint/easy
    37.5 fly sprint/easy
    50 fly sprint
    :36 on the last one, which is shockingly slow but incredibly painful. Yours truly could do these pretty comfortably at 32/33 in other seasons. Not sure why so slow and painful. Perhaps just need to build back up to it. New goal: 35 range and under. Then we'll set the next goal back to 32/33's.

    In lieu of the 100's:
    3 x dive 25's; choice of to 12.5 or 25 fast
    walk back and wait for next 1:45.
    This was a bit tricky diving in at the end of the lane and moving enough from the middle to not barge into the first person.

    50 easy

    The End
    Swedish fish:
    I am really into swedish fish. I ate almost a whole bag (the size that hangs on the rack with the Life Saver gummies, Black Forset gummies,, etc and other candy in the chewy category). Although they probably make them at the same plant, the large size ones are far superior to the double large bag of small swedish fish. The small ones you have to put 2 in your mouth, like the old flouride swabs, in each cheek. You only get one satsifying chop before it's split in two. The big ones are great. They fill your entire mouth and you can just rest, super lazy and not have to chew or anything. Then you can swivel them around in your mouth and make a swedish fish retainer and cover your entire teeth, slowing turning the swedish fish into a swedish eel. In the event you accidentally almost swallow one, it is so large that the tail usually is still stuck in your throat and you can pull it back up.

    Next up: Thoughts on ice cream vs. soft serve.
  15. Monday workout 06/18/12

    by , June 19th, 2012 at 12:16 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    This week I hope to make 3 workouts on MWF.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Billy G coached

    400 warm up
    ==>no, did about 250.

    5 x 200 pull on 3:00
    ==> no, 5 x 100 descend paddles & pull buoy
    1:16, :13, :10, :09, :08

    10 x 50 kick on 1:00
    alt back/tummy with Speedo Optimus fins
    did 9 miscounted

    20 x 50's swim freestyle
    1 on 1:00 easy
    1 on :40 strong
    2 on :100 easy
    2 on :40 strong
    3 on 1:00 easy
    3 on :40 strong
    4 on 1:00 easy
    4 x :40 strong
    :34 :34 :34 :33high

    2 x Dives plus breakout

    The end

    I was quite pleased with myself and my modifyingness today. The 100's pull were quite strong for me. I'd never been under 1:10. Quite possibly the motivation was proving to a paddle and buoy addict "PBA" swimmer that it isn't so tough to beat me when I am swimming, as I am totally kicking your XXX when I am also wearing the same equipment.

    The 50's at the end were good, too. It is rare to go sub :35's on that kind of set, but I was solidly under :35 today. I went 3rd, but we were 10 seconds apart and that's far enough you actually have to keep track of your own interval and can't mooch off the person in front of you. I probably gutted to the :33 since PBA would be watching me come in, and since he wore paddles and buoy on that swim set, too, I had to beat his time, whatever it was.

    Now, onto the more interesting aspects of my life:
    mid PM - Yumlicious; mix of peanut butter and lyche yogurt and 4 mix ins.
    late PM - Golden Corral. BONANZA!!! They were making an entire griddle of Texas Toast! Me and my girls inhaled 6 pieces total. Unfortunately, the cotton candy machine wasn't on. But the girls were stuffed anyway. I also got a totally coveted piece of grilled pork chop that was mostly fat. And need I even go on with the green beans and corn. What a treat. Growing up, it was all stir fry fresh vegatables. What a delight to eat canned mushy dull colored vegatables, as opposed to my regular life of fresh veggies and healthy stir fry.The mac & cheese is pretty good, but if you're going to fall off the bandwagon, then i'd have liked it a little less mooshy, more salty, and more cheesy. Crusty would be fine, too, since it's a bit too moosy.

    Then, home to do Legs & Back and Ab Ripper.

    Other fascinating factoids:
    Last night was the inaugural ponytail in braids. My hair is so long I can't sleep anymore with it loose, or else I choke myself or it itches in out-of-range-back-area. I'm going to be like those older mature women who turn into hippies because they won't cut their hair.
  16. Quickie blog post

    by , June 15th, 2012 at 04:51 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I have absolutely nothing special to say, but 22 extra minutes before leaving for my girls' swim practice!

    Let's recap the week,

    see Monday, last post

    Tues, SCM stroke day
    IM'y set, 4 x 100 IMs descend
    1:27, 1:24, 1:22, 1:17
    wowie did that hurt!

    Nothing Wed

    Thurs: Chest & Back, Ab ripperX

    Friday, today
    So unpleasantly sore from yesterday.

    600 warm up
    I skipped most of it and did 250

    6 x 125's on 1:45
    ==> 6 x 75 moderate descend 57-54 and it wasn't easy!

    400 pull
    ==>every other 50 pull

    6 rounds:
    50 on :45
    25 fast on :30
    25 as 12.5 fast 12. 5 easy :30
    50 easy 1:30

    I did these, but they end was so pooped out that I had to turn around at the 12.5 and do only 25's on the easy last 50.

    50 fast single swimmer from a push
    I was in 2nd group
    30.? Lanemates and Bobby got me at a :30
    but that is clearly not a :29

    I will probably sound like a broken record, but I want to be solid :29 to get down to high :28 in workouts.

    Today I was very glad to bag everything for the max available remainder on the last 50. I would have been mad at myself if I forced myself to actually do the workout and gasp my way to a 32 or 33. I'll take one solid 50 over everything else.

    I was emotionally exhausted before coming today. It was a very stressful week and then I made the big move for all my trustee business to another banking institution!

    I told Bobby I felt like one of those 2-person cow costumes, where one person is the front and another is the back and they are fighting each other the whole way. I felt like that today and my arms and legs felt really way off. Bobby said that it looked like I was trying to find my stroke/path during the fast 50. Very true! Maybe because my back is tired, and my core, than I am lacking the strength to "keep it together" today. I had the hardest time even holding a streamline on my turns. It took all my might (mite?) but I was still collapsing out of my turn!

    Next up:
    I must make an appointment for a massage!
  17. End of LCM season

    by , June 11th, 2012 at 11:27 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, here's how I did:


    That was pretty sucky, but boy did it hurt! Plus, quite painful without a turn! Nowhere to hide in LCM!

    So this "season"
    28.84 yesterday
    28.6 in april
    28.5 in jan

    Last year:

    2 Years before:

    I attribute my slowingdownedness to:
    1. Focus on P90x instead of swimming;
    2. Lack of swimming consistency, specificity
    3. Lack of LCM conditioning

    The question is, what am I going to do about it?

    To address #1:
    From now to Dec, transition focus back to swimming, with P90X workouts and other dryland exercises worked around my swimming. Actually, I have 2 weeks left of my "90 day" cycle, so I will finish those, take pix, and that actually co-incides with leaving to watch Olympic Trials, so it will be a natural and convenient break!

    To address: #2:
    See #1. Plus, who really cares about LCM anyway. Outdoor swimming has never been my favorite. One less bug down my suit.

    To address #3:
    See #2. On the cost/benefit continuum, it is just not worth going to LCM workouts unless there are dedicated sprint/distance lanes. DAMM stopped Sunday AM year round sprint, and that is a very likely cause of results this year - so I simply stopped going. In past years, I went most Sundays year round, and then one summer dedicated 1 weeknight on sprint nights in the summer. That made a huge difference and multi sub-28 times. Without that critical specific training, it is like a different sport once reaching the 25 meter mark.....

    Next up:
    Just maintain swimming the next 2 weeks, do my P90X, crunch time to drop last 2 lbs, and then Great Wolf Lodge, then to Trials. I will modify workouts for sprint/sprint conditioning/specific drills. I'd like to start my SCM/SCY season ready to go sub :30's in workout from a push. That is a very aggressive goal, since i've never done that. But with last weeks 33 33 31 31 31 31 30, it is entirely possible, but I have to actually try pretty hard! That element I am willing to go out on the cost/benefit continuum.

    I saw Prometheus yesterday. Unfortunately for the likes of Ridley Scott, you can never one-up the original Alien. It's like M. Knight Shalaman never being able to one-up The Sixth Sense. It was one of those defining movies in history of how to make a sci fi horror movie and the forumla has worked countless times. (Crew goes out somewhere looking for something/accidentally gets sent somewhere/lost. Cryosleep is a must. Wake up from cyrosleep and weaker characters puke; stronger ones immediately start pull ups, push ups, etc. Next stop: Mess hall. Food is always bad and made fun of. Further character introduction and very quickly size up who's who. Get to planet/destination and immediately begin touching, tasting, smelling, and bringing back stuff that leads to the demise of nearly every crew member, one by one.

    Ahhh, I never get tired of these movies. It's like the Halloween/Friday the 13 of horror movies.

    It's like Avatar. Gotta see it for just seeing it on the big screen, but you have to carefully power down your mind to about operating life sustaining activities only. (And to conduct peristalsis for the popcorn, slurpee, and raisinettes/milk duds/sour patch kids, plus the repetitive arm motion to get the food up there.

    Think (or rather, don't think too hard) of it like how George Lucas finally says that the technology is now available to do what he couldn't do in the original Star Wars, and then makes a totally pictureque and visually stunning Star Wars episode I, puts in not-too bad acting, but a profoundly deficient script and story line. One thanks goodness the tech wasn't available back then, or else maybe he would have written out "Luke, I am your father!"

    But, it is still worth seeing. I amazed my girls and chowsh with my knowlege of the entire Aliens series. You just have to go in knowing it's never going to be up there with the original in terms of originality, but it is still worth seeing. You also have to poke fun at all the ways they break the rules of what NOT to do in a scary sci fi adventure. I wish there were more Commando type scripts and storylines. Where you can really root for the characters because they aren't so cliched stupid.

    I can't wait for the sequel!!
  18. One swim practice this week!

    by , June 6th, 2012 at 04:32 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, I made it to one swim practice this week!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Bobby Patten coached

    250 warm up
    suppose to be 400 total, but I didn't get it all in

    6 x 75 kick on 1:30
    no fins kick on back

    400 pull
    ==> pull every other 50

    Main set:

    6 times through:
    100 on 1:20
    50 fast on 1:20
    ===>I did 50 moderate, 50 fast
    33 33 31 31 31 30

    100 easy

    6 times through:
    75 on 1:00
    25 on 1:00
    ==>25 easy/25 fast
    15 15 14 14 14superflat 14superflat

    Easy 50

    The End
    I am totally going back to my old ways. There is no point in swimming moderately strong 150's and 100's when my main focus is a 50. I was able to really put punch into my sprints today, plus Bobby made some recommendations for my sprint. He said it looked a bit wierd I was holding too long in front and rotating a bit too much for a dead sprint, so even though I was going 31's at first, I did a 30 on the last one with just that subtle change.

    I do plan on going to the Texas Senior Circuit #4 this Sunday. It's in Mansfield, about 45 mins away but an easy drive. Hopefully I won't feel bad on that day, as I have been sickly and inconsistent day over day. I'm not going to swim tomorrow, just to make sure I won't overdo it before the meet. At this point, I am better off just resting!!
  19. Missed my swim meet!

    by , June 3rd, 2012 at 08:46 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, I decided to skip the 50 free on Saturday. I ate way too much junk food on Thursday, and then was awake in the middle of the night with a terrible stomach ache, which continued into Friday and was really bad by the time I finished my creditors' meetings. Along with handling all their IDs, I think that tipped me over the edge. I took a 2 hr nap which I thought would ruin my nighttime (5-7pm) but I had no trouble passing out by 10pm. So I decided to skip the early morning 50 free. I woke up and mentally calculated I had a low 28 in me, but then i'd be set back for days of discomfort, which I cannot afford with this weeks activities: trial set, the 1st summer league, swim meet, annual mammogram, and a bunch of other time criticial must-be-in-the-office work stuff.

    I swam ZERO workouts last week! I did get in on Tuesday and swam 1000 on my own. The next time I swam was

    Today, Sun, 06/03 on my own
    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    500 warmup

    8 x 50 on :50
    Speedo Optimus Fins, snorkel, and paddles

    16 x 25
    evens fast on :30
    odds easy on :45
    2 fast each stroke

    100 easy

    4 x 50 fast from a dive
    easy 100 in between
    no interval, but around 4 min per 50
    free 32
    fly 32
    free 30
    fly 33

    That was pretty good! I was quite pleased with my modest speed. Not as far off as I thought I would be, and solid times. I am very pleased with holding speed close to where I want to START training. I think a huge stairstep is to get 50 free's under 30 in practice for this type of set, and the 50 flys at 31's or even 30's.

    Both my girls did awesome in school this year. They both go the the William B. Travis (of the Alamo fame) Vanguard (which is what they call the 4-5 grade school, then Academy for 6-8). They both made Straight A Honor Roll, which is a really big deal! They are now doing summer league swimming and karate 2x per week. I don't really believe in over-enrichment during the summer. They want to read every book on their summer reading list (a few required, but they have learned early on to get every extra credit point!) and they are continuing with their daily Kumon. I'm going to watch Trials with chowsh, a solo vacation for me! And then we are going to Pittsburgh to see my parents and back to Breckenridge for our summer vacation - and this year chowsh is joining us! As usual, i'm going to boss her around.
  20. Sunday LCM; P90X end week "9"

    by , May 27th, 2012 at 03:22 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I put that in quotes since I went straight to weeks #9 and #10, and now doing the 2 recovery weeks #8 and #13, then back to #11, #12 after my 2 swim meets.

    Today I went to LCM SMU workout at 9AM. That was hard because we went out to eat last night and I got the stuffed jalepenos as my meal, not wanting to share the 6 fried delights. Boy did I pay for that!!!

    500 warm up
    but I stopped at 300
    just didn't feel like swimming any more warmup

    10 x 100's
    1 easy on 1:45
    1 strong on 1:40
    1 easy on 1:45
    2 strong on 1:35
    1 easy on 1:45
    3 strong on 1:30

    1 easy on 1:45

    That was sort of hard. Averaged 1:20s on the fast ones.
    But I felt a bit better after the set!

    8 x 50's on 1:10
    first 1/3 UW kick; easy swim/fast feet & sprint last 10 meters (held under :35 total time; used Speedo Optimus fins)

    12 x 50's
    3 on 1:10 stroke "descend"
    1 easy on 1:15
    fly :37/back :40/breast ???
    Not super fast.

    The End

    That was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I much prefer swimming in a slower lane, going first with clear water, and getting longer intervals and put some umph into them. There is something so nice about the people in lane 3 and lower. They don't have the egos of lanes 1 and 2.

    I went to the movie theatre which is something I rarely do. We saw Men in Black III and it was great - just like the other MIBs.


    I have decided that once I am through the first cycle of P90X, here is roughly what I will target:

    1 upper body, rotating through the 4: Chest & Back, Shoulders & Arms, Back & Biceps, and Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps; + ab ripper X,
    1 Legs and Back + ab ripper X

    Twice on Weekdays:
    Plyo X
    Core X

    Plus, selected exercises on my own for warm up/warm downs each time from:
    Yoga X
    Stretch X
    my own stretching

    I don't think it is sustainable to continue every night with P90X. But I think it would be very manageable to do it on the weekends for sure, and then the 2 days per week for 4 days total. I'm starting to memorize a lot of the moves, and over time, I might even stop the videos and simply write a list with reps or time for my own workouts. The key is with the small decrease in P90X shape, that I conciously replace it with speed and refinement in swim speed. The point is to back off of nonspecfici dryland conditioning, and picking it back up in the pool!!!
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