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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. Easing back into workouts!

    by , November 29th, 2012 at 02:42 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hello everyone! I am back in the water. Sort of. I am happy to report that my wounds are healing nicely, and I feel fine! However, I still have little motivation to "get back to it!" I know this because I don't miss workouts at all, and as far as the social element, which arguably is the biggest, I don't feel like i'm missing anything or anyone. I'll see everyone at the xmas party!

    The interesting this is that swimming easy really activiates my big muscles, they are like saying, yeah! feels good! bring it on! But my joints and little muscles are like, ouch! That pinches! Careful there! So I think I need to take it really easy and get my body used to the motions again.

    Here's the measly bits I have done:

    500 warmup
    8 x 50 kick/swim IM order
    4 x 25 1 each stroke
    50 easy

    500 warm up
    4 x 50 kick
    8 x 25
    easy 100

    Most of my emotional energy has been in deal-sifting during the holiday shopping. I buy nothing without a 30% or more discount and free shipping. I did buy a pair of skinny jeans in bright orange from H&M. That place is so cheap! And not expensive, either, haha! How much would you pay for a pair of bright orange skinny jeans? I wear them like leggings. They were $10! I ran around the store looking only at things in my size (duh!) and with the special $10 or $15 labels.
  2. Gallbadder news! (or lack thereof)

    by , November 14th, 2012 at 11:57 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hello All!

    This will be a lone post for awhile. I don't have much to report and who really cares about my daily belly button update (except chowsh!)

    I had my gallbladder removed!!

    On Halloween at 2:45pm as I was sitting in primo location in carpool line doing my black belt sudoku, I felt a pain in my diaphragm area. It very quickly got so bad I was nearly in shock! I was sweating profusely and my hands were curling up. I was almost blacking out from the pain. It was as bad as labor pains, except it never stopped and I certainly wasn't going to have a baby.

    I managed to move the car and call my husband to come and get me and the kids. I unlocked the car doors in case I passed out, then I quickly ripped open the bag of Halloween candy and ate a Smarties, just in case it was my last! I was really pretty out of it as I was thinking, there's a pack of candy corn in my eye. I think I had falled over onto the bag of candy and yes, there was a packet of candy corn right there in my eye. This was no time for dignity. I didn't want bean sprouts to have been my last meal on earth.

    We got to the emergency room at about 3:30 and they did an EKG and then ordered up the chest x-rays and a sonogram. The ER doctor got really interested when I said my sis had GB surgery; Maybe bad GBs are hereditary! Once the results came back, they said it was indeed my GB and the pains I had were classic GB case. So I got checked in that night and had the surgery the next day around noon. They do 4 incisions in your abdomen, with one of them thru your belly button. They also have to blow you up with gas I guess to have more room inside of you. So afterwards, your entire abdomen is just completely shocked.

    It may be a relatively common procedure, but recovery is slow. They did just take out an organ! So I'll be out of the water for about a month but I'm actually looking forward to doing limited physical stuff for a change. I look at it as "active recovery" period, about a month or so! The belly button incision was quite annoying. At first you feel like your guts are going to spill out your belly button and you have to walk around with a pillow pressed against it. Luckily, we have an arsenal of choices, and an ugly doll works quite well. My daughter has like, 6, so I can color coordinate my ugly doll and sweat outfits. But now I am much better and just taking it easy. Time has really flown and it's already been nearly 2 weeks. I may even stay out of the water longer, not having any desire to use those core muscles right now!

    It's not really the getting old factor, but just when your GB has hit the skids. In my case, I could eat food but the extreme pain was from not having the bile squirt out and thus it caused the organs to swell, press up against the nerves and the feeling was in the diaphragm area muscles. Wowie did it ever hurt!

    On a positive note, everyone from the ER room to nurses and doctors were amazed at my low resting heart rate, which is just about at 50. When it would dip under 50, it would beep really loud, usually as I was just about to doze off and wake me up. I guess that is a warning for them to look in on me like my heart is stopping or something. So Id wiggle my toes around to keep my heart rate at 50 and over so that stupid machine would shut up.

    Timeline? I can do all the hard core exercises at week 4, and that is right after Thanksgiving. Now that I think about it, I may need to excersize off that holiday meal and leftovers! I do not plan on swimming any meets the rest of this year, so no SCM and no xmas relay fun meet. I will likely just go back into normal workout routine with all my usual bad habits in the new year. I think I will swim our Feb meet and the zone meet in Austin in April/May. I don't plan on going to nationals.

    It is funny what a brush with death (or what you thought might be death) can do. Most people suddenly find the God of Exericse/Nutrition and start eating healthy and running a marathon or something like that. I am just the opposite. I have no competitive drive right now and no desire to get back to working out. I do enjoying spending lots of time in the ladies' locker room, drying my hair, and taking naps at the time of my workouts. I also was tentative with my nutritional intake at first, but now have gone back entirely to my old ways. So far, my body can handle all the foods it did before. This week, I feel strong enough and looking forward to Golden Corral on Friday. Since my belly button is back to an inny, I am really in the mood for a multi-plate meal.

    I wish everyone a happy and healthy rest of 2012 and SCM season!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. This week's main set updates

    by , October 28th, 2012 at 10:35 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Busy all week with work and other non-blogging stuff, heh heh. Here's a brief update on what I did:

    When in doubt, it was probably easy swim, drill, or hanging on the wall telling the coach I was doing easy swim or drills instead of the main set.

    SCM Main sets:
    2 "fast" days Tue & Fri:

    4 times through:
    150 IM FAST 2:30 fly/back/br
    100 easy swim 2:00

    so essentially you are doing a fast 150 IM every 4:30

    2:11 2:11 2:10 2:10

    wow did these hurt like I haven't hurt in years. It's a big difference from 100 IMs or 75ims!!! the rest was short for all outtedness. i would rather have done 2 x 100 easy on 2:00 and gone fast every 6:30.

    12 x 25's on :35 various
    easy stuff
    6 x 50 2 fast, 1 easy
    I did them as fly/back and br/free
    34/38 and 35/27 or 1:12 combined

    1 x 75 all out
    I did 75 IM fly/back/br :56

    This was better. Lots of bursty sprints in there.

    The End
    I have decided that an hour of P90X is just too long if I am also swimming and trying to have good speed days. Plyo X and a few others are very good to do exactly 1/2, since there are 2 rounds. Plus, I am done in about 45 minutes, with an 8 min warmup, about 20 min of meat workout, and then cooldown/misc stretches.

    Next up:
    I still haven't decided on events for our local SCM meet. I do feel compelled to swim the 100 IM after so much IM'ing this fall. I may do the 200 back and 100 IM. The meet starts really early and I don't like to be swimming my first event at 8:15am. Yuck!
  4. One frustration after another

    by , October 20th, 2012 at 09:09 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Moving on from the omniconsuming grade rumination post, I now have a new pet peeve/quest. This is the 2nd time in a row when Golden Coral never replaced the sweet potatoes during our visit. What a bummer. It was a scraped out pan with marshmallow remnants on the sides. I never even got a bite. The carrot mash next to it was and always is virtually untouched. If they put a heap of marshmallows on it, that would be a completely acceptable substitute.

    Thurs' IM day

    300 warm up

    8 x 50 rotate IM

    Main set early, just for me, thanks coach!
    Two times through:

    3 x 75's on 1:30
    rotate IM order
    50 fly/25 back
    50 back/25 breast
    50 breast/25 free

    100 IM FAST

    25 easy

    1:16, 1:15

    This ties my best in-practice 100 IM at 1:15. And even nicer, I could goof off the entire rest of workout....

    6 x 150 pull
    ===>no. I did 2 x 50 with short fins to every 150.

    6x 50 on 1:00 stroke
    not sure what this set was suppose to be. I wasn't listening, and when I finally decided what I wanted to do, everyone was kicking, pulling, stroking, freestyling, or getting out. There wasn't a unified theme at all. Like the UN of do-what-you-want. Maybe getting out was most popular. Well, I tried to do 2 x fast back, 2 easy, 2 fast back, but I was pretty pooped out and went 38-39's.

    IMS:The key is the breast. That's my worst stroke, and so I tried to work every turn and sprint the breast, where arguably the most time is lost.

    Why do I swim with short fins (TYR Burners) so slow? I don't go any faster than without, and in fact, I have to work harder to go the same speed. My lungs are about ready to burst, and I can't use my arms that much except in an all-out sprint. Does that mean that I have weak core and simply need to condition myself up to it? I could not do those straight 150's and had to take a mini break within each one. I was getting a little better by #4 and going 32-33, so maybe it's just getting use to the subtle change in timing as well.

    Next up: I am not motivated to swim in meets at all right now. My next meet is going to be the DAMM meet and I don't know what I want to swim. The good thing is entries aren't due until that Wed before.
  5. Recovery days and other musings

    by , October 18th, 2012 at 11:21 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I usually don't post my recovery days, but since my "training" is so unusual, I thought i'd give those who might like to see what I really do on MY recovery days.

    I do think getting in for even a short swim is very beneficial. Not only do I still get a great shower & not have to use my own towels at home, but even very modest yardarge and time helps set me up for the next "real" workout.


    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    300 warm up
    4 x 50 swim with short fins
    4 x 25 back/free
    50 easy

    The End.

    Later.....30 minutes of yoga. This is short for "yoga inspired stretching and yoga-like poses".

    Emphasis is on not getting tired out. Thinking about how going "easy" today will set me up for an explosive tomorrow.


    The World According to Chowmi: Talking with teachers. The girls' school is very strict with late/missing assignments. I won't go into all the rules, but essentially you get major grade reductions if you turn in late work or missing work. My older daughter had a very unsual case - where it was truly teacher error. She did turn in her work, but the teacher said it was missing and she would get a zero. This is devastating, if you think about it! Anyway, the teacher actually had it in her stack, and it was marked with a 100. She said she'd correct it and enter the grade. It wasn't. Daughter asked her again, and she corrected it on the spot, in class, on the computer. It still was not reflected in parent portal. Apparently, it didn't save! Long story short, grades come out and it wasn't reflected. I talked to the teacher about it. Teacher said she would fix it. Ok, like i've heard that before. But now we are at your mercy to fix it. And it needs principal approval, etc. Very annoying. I don't know what else to do. I then sent an email reminder to the teacher and printed it out and put it in her mailbox. Here is the exact text!

    Ms. XXX,

    Thank you for taking the time to correct Claire's final grade due to the inputting error for the missing assignment grade. I appreciate your consideration. I should have also checked with you when it did not update after Claire told me she watched you perform the change in class last week. Could you tell me what her adjusted grade will be?

    And also thank you for feedback on Claire's in-class behavior and constructive comments. Last period is tough to stay disciplined and i'll make an effort to remind her to focus on her work, not talk unnecessarily/socially, and to strive to continue consistency in your class.

    Thank you again,

    Claire's mom

    I must say, I am a model of diplomacy and tact, if I do say so myself. The initial reaction when I saw the report....just image Yosemite Sam! Worst case is she changes her mind and doesn't change the grade. And by the way, the current grade is an 88, but should have been 95-96. Question, dear blog readers, what should I do - let it go or not? On one hand, getting a B in the 6th grades means very little. It is a great life lesson that sometimes, yes, you do get screwed, and guess what, even mom and dad can't fix it for you even though you were right, and yes, it's not fair. On the other hand, making A honor roll is VERY VERY difficult. And my daughters have made high honor roll each year (straight A's for the entire year). So this is very important to them, and to me. And let's face it, I think it's entirely ok to say it's about me, too!

    The World According to Chowmi: in response to Lance Armstrong/drugs in general: I really don't care about the Lance thing. Just more noise in my already busy life. See immediate paragraph above for the most pressing issue in the forefront of my mind. Drugs. Let's see. As my husband says, they do a have a side effect - greatness! Actually, it's not on principle that I wouldn't take drugs. It's that they have no practical purpose for me. (This is sort of a joke as well.) If drugs either help you train longer, get strong, or recover faster, those aren't what I am looking for. I don't need to recover faster. I can skip workout, or see very beginning of post - that seems so skelatal, who needs to recover any faster than that? Do I want to train longer? That would be no. Do I want to actually have to work harder, lift more? Ditto no. I would like the drug where you can swallow it, or even better, it's like a sweet Flinstone chewable or gummy vitamin. Then I don't have to train or do anything, increasing the amount of time to be a helicopter parent, or watch more TV. Then enter meets and swim sensational. That's the drug I want! I wonder if Speedo agrees with me. And last, the drugs that might actually help you go totally crazy fast in a race are illegal, addictive, and nonspecific. I really would not do those kinds of drugs! If I took some illegal drug, I may swim faster, but it's more likely i'd never make it to the pool as I go racing down the highway on foot screaming that there are bugs under my skin.

    Next up:
    Playground monitoring today! And then it's off to a workout, IM day!
  6. Boo hoo! Bad 50 free!

    by , October 15th, 2012 at 09:58 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    It is rare I a have a bad swim; here it is:

    25.41 SCY

    What happenned???!!!!

    Actually, it is one of those swims that is going to happen every so many hundred races. I totally slipped on the blocks! It was one of those, oh crap, am I going to clear my back foot off the front of the block???!!!! And then an embarrassing spruce goose smacking landing. Actually, I had a good swim part, even though I lost the entire best 15 yards of the race (off the blocks and first 12.5 yards) and had to basically creep back up from everyone's knees to gut my way to a 4th in the heat. So the bad was that there is no way to recover from that poor a start. But the good is that I didn't hurt myself and I still executed the swim bits pretty good - I didn't panic and I didn't give up. Still kept to the 1/1 breathing and strong finish to eek in competitively with my heat. Overall, i'm still glad I went; I was not in the mood to even go to the meet but went because it has been awhile since I raced.

    So, what can I do? Well, nothing really. That was really fluky. I think my timing was ever so slightly off - I think I tried too hard to get off the block with my front foot too soon, and thus left the back one "behind", and that is why it slipped, and why I couldn't salvage the dive with my front leg, because it had taken off too soon. So just a bit more emphasis with making sure the sequence is well-timed.

    Next up:
    Not sure. Most likely a local A meet so that I don't have to travel. Not my favorite order of events, and I may end up doing a 100 event - whatever is the most convenient in the order of events. I'd like to keep it short and in/out in 3 hours or less roundtrip.

    Alterations to training? Not really. I'll probably continue with what I have been doing and doing very sprinty bits with very modified in between stuff. I don't think I need to do more or less, just to stay as consistent as possible with what I have been doing.
  7. A day of 50 frees

    by , October 1st, 2012 at 11:32 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I've been IMming so much lately that I had to take a day and specifically do fast 50 frees from a dive.

    Sat - I cleaned the house! That was so tiring. In fact, I marked it down in my drylands column. I thought doing drylands after that would be counterproductive. And who's to say that rubbing your arms up and down in a cleaning pattern while swaying your butt side to side isn't as good as traditional core/curl/lifting?

    Sun - SCM, Baylor Fitness Center on my own.

    500 warm up

    4 x 50 kick
    4 x 50 pull
    100 easy

    4 x 25 % increases
    4 x 25 variables

    FAST 50 FROM A DIVE: 30
    200 easy

    FAST 50 FROM A DIVE: 29
    200 easy

    FAST 50 FROM A DIVE: 29
    200 easy
    50 easy

    Ok! That was quite good! I was very pleased that I was solidy under 30, but then, one is never satisfied and wondering now what it will take to get to 28's in workout. It is also very irksome that I have to start myself. So I have been waiting to the 7 and on the 7 count 1, 2, 3, Go (so going on 4, not on 3), which if counted just right, i'm leaving on the 00 mark. It is quite distracting, up there with walking and chewing gum. Well, that's actually not very hard, so more like rubbing your tummy and patting your head.

    If I were to race today, i'd be really disappointed if I wasn't faster than 27.5 SCM in a race. That's better than my recent times, but I do think i've been more focused on actually sprinting into elusive speed territory that I should set my goals this high.

    Not sure about meets. I think I will wait until after the first USA meet (50 free/100 fly) to decide what I want to do as far as SCM meets. There is one in the Woodlands (about 3+ hours drive) at a good pool, great order of events, but it's a very small meet so limits what is realistic to swim and get times close to my max potential.

    In other news, not sure how I really feel about it except wow, i'd better start really committing myself if this is my goal....the USA grand prix cuts have come out. They are making a statement and no longer is it easy to make the cuts!! As of now, i'm limited to only local A meets and maybe Sectionals depending on the cuts, which I think won't change too much.
  8. More IM and Key Lime Pie Update

    by , September 28th, 2012 at 01:44 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, I have been super busy but the only things that are probably of any interest are my workouts and Quest for Key Lime Pie

    First things first:

    Highlight sets from workouts this week:
    Yesterday, SCM
    12 x 50 on 1:20
    odd IM fast
    even easy free
    1:04, 2, 59, 2, 2, 59
    HOORAY! I got under a minute!
    I must say, I am completely enamoured with 75's IM. You really punch them harder than the no-man's land of a full 100IM. Plus, I really work the breast!

    Tues, SCM
    500 continuous
    100 easy/100IM sprint/100 easy/100 IMsprint/100 easy
    This was super hard. I think my IM;s were about 1:20 to 1:22.

    And now, what you have all been waiting for - my key lime pie update. I finally bought it! I have been eating a piece per day and it's 1/2 gone. The best are the merangue and the graham cracker crust. The key lime is just sort of the creamy sour punch middle that keep the merangue and crust from bumping into each other. I will happily eat the rest, but I can already tell I will be over it when I am done. Then onto something else. Maybe coconut cream pie or something.

    When's my next meet? Oct 14 - local A meet and I have entered the 50 free and 100 fly. After that will be a meet in mid Nov but there are several choices for USA and USMS and travel/no travel. Right now I don't feel like committing my entire day to a meet, so I am leaning towards doing a local A meet and getting in/out in 3 hours roundtrip.
  9. More IM!

    by , September 20th, 2012 at 03:24 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    A few extra moments so here it is! It's been really IMmy lately, but that's 'cause I happen to be going on Tue/Thurs.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    IM day!

    400 warm up

    12 x 50 on 1:00
    3 rounds of 4
    fly/back; back/br; br/free; free/fly

    50/100/150/200/200/150/100/50 pull :45 base
    ====>you have got to be kidding me. no. absolutely not. I did every other 50 and made the 4 x 50 of the 2 x 200 very strong; descend 35 to 31.

    5 x 100 on 2:00
    1, 3, 5 fast IM
    2, 4 recovery
    1:19, :19, :17

    8 x 50 kick on 1:00
    ==>not really. I was so wiped out I flopped and did all sorts of not-what-the-set-is-suppose-to-be 50's.

    The End

    Ok! That was pretty strong IMming for me today. Not the greatest, not any breakthroughs, but strong. If I keep this up, then I would like to get closer to 1:15s. Not sure how long this IM/stroke phase will be.

    I still haven't gotten my key lime pie. I did get some interesting kettle style waffle chips, but they are sort of hard to eat. You really have to concentrate on the bite, instead of the lazy fly-dissolving action of eating something like Lays. I'm used to putting my tongue between the waves, but when it's waffled, that makes it confusing which way to bite!

    Next up: Golden Corral tomorrow!
  10. Fast 75's IM and Stroke

    by , September 13th, 2012 at 03:19 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I have 15 extra minutes, so blogging again!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Thurs - IM/Stroke day

    400 warm up

    6 x 125 pull on 2:00
    ==>egads, no!
    modify with 6 x 75's pull on same interval;
    descend 1-3, 4-6; held about 55 to 51

    10 x 75 on 1:20
    Odds IM
    Evens easy free
    1:06, 06, 04, 02, 00

    100 easy

    6 x 75 on 1:45
    Odds in IM order, same stroke for full 75
    fly :55
    back :56
    breast 1:07

    6 x 50 kick
    no fins; mix board/no board

    The End
    Today was a great workout. I got my own lane so no one swimming up my butt on the easy frees. I also "banked" time on the sets, so I pushed off a few seconds after the fast bits to get more time on the easy swims. I really like doing that.

    I very likely went faster on the back. Maybe even a 54 high. I was expecting to go about 1:00, so was completely confused when I saw the clock. I just couldn't register why I was in the mid numbers. It was 56 that I clearly remembered after a moment of confusion, so that's what I can safely say I did at the very worst.

    I still think about that key lime pie I didn't buy a few days ago. Soon very soon, I should have a report about it.
  11. IM sprinty set

    by , September 12th, 2012 at 05:00 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Ok, so here's the week recap so far!

    Mon - easy swim on my own
    Tues - SCM Baylor workout
    Wed - today, easy swim on my own

    IM/stroke day

    400 warm up

    10 x 50 kick on 1:00
    no fins; board odds, back odd
    held 47-52's

    3 x 200 pull
    ==>no. 6 x 50 every other 50

    4 x 100 kick
    2 moderate with fins, your choice
    2 x 100 IM kick, no board no fins
    1:45 and 1:38

    3 x 150 choice
    ==>no, did every other 50 easy

    4 x 75 on 1:30
    IM no free
    1:10, 1:05, 1:03, 1:00

    3 x 100 choice
    ==>no, 3 x 50's.

    2 x 25's fast
    1 free
    1 fly

    The End
    Starting to like the Stretch X and modifying it as needed. I'm too pooped during the week to do much else except yoga and stretching. Currently spending 2+ hours a night with the girls on their schoolwork, yuck! Cuts into my snackin' in front of the TV time as well. That's not a bad thing!
  12. 29 happy 29 sad

    by , September 9th, 2012 at 03:41 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    LCM, SMU outdoor pool

    400 warm up

    12 x 50 on 1:00
    12.5 kick/easy swim
    25 kick/easy swim
    37.5 kick/easy swim
    repeat 4 times.

    2 x 300 pull on 5:00
    ==> NO! went to diving well and did Modified Fort sprints: this was a sampler of her workout with speed work from the middle of the pool.
    3 rounds:
    "25" from a running start;
    turn around, scull slightly off wall, take 3 breaths, then
    "25" from a dead start back to the wall in 1 breath.
    I really liked this, but didn't have that much time. I need a lot of rest, and could only do 3 w/in the 10 minutes.

    Rejoined the group....

    10 x 50's on :50/1:20
    1st 50: make the interval;
    2nd 50: blasto first 25, easy 25.
    emphasis was on "back half" sprinting when you are not entirely fresh from that first 50.

    Fast 50 on coach's watch

    The End
    I have no idea why I set my target times the way they are. I was very happy with a SCM 29 from a wall dive on Friday, yet today I did a bonus LCM 50 at the end of workout on coach's watch, went 29.7 (same as last week) and was disappointed. You would think I should be happier with the LCM 29, but for some reason I am quite disappointed.

    Bobby said my head was too low on the first 1/3 and I was having to plow my way down the pike. I guess I should not dip so low but also not just raise my head. I was also pretty tired. I think I need to start doing the fast bits in the middle or at the beginning of workout when I am fresh, and then maybe a 2nd effort at the end. I was happy with the breathing (3) with the last coming right past the 12.5m line.

    Next up: This week will try to get to SCM 28 in workout. If I can stay disciplined, maybe take 1 workout and do 4 x 50's on 10 min or so to attempt this aggressive goal. I'll also do some fly sprinty bits, continuing a long trek back to fly shape.
  13. Recovery day but eeked out a good 50 free!

    by , September 7th, 2012 at 03:22 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Blogging again!

    I am utterly flabbergasted I actually went to 4 workouts in a row!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    Amazingly, today was specficially a recovery workout! But, I couldn't help myself and did a few bits of sprint.

    400 warm up

    4 x 200 pull
    ====> I did the first one, then lost interest. I put on a bunch of different equipment and swam easy or drills, so total was 200 and then 3 x 100's.

    8 x 50 on 1:00
    I used my Speedo Optimus fins;
    UW kick no breaths/swim easy

    4 x150's swim or pull
    ====>That would be absolutely not.
    Me: 3 x 75 easy; 25 blast from a wall dive; fly/back/free
    Then: easy 100 free
    Grand Finale: 1 blast 50 from a wall dive
    truly a 29

    6 x 50 on 1:00
    kick/drill odds
    swim/kick evens
    I used SO fins again and mixed free/fly/backs

    50 easy

    That was extremely promising. I have rarely been under 30, and this one was solidly so. Now I just have to work it down to a 28 - that would be really good in workout. Best of all, it didn't kill me. I was accelerating (or at least, not wheezing in at the end) into the finish instead of completely dying and just trying to hang on. That said, I didn't really have another one in me. My turn doesn't feel super sharp; sort of "I hope it goes ok" instead of really "owning it!"

    Next up:
    P90X tonight and tomorrow. Fridays I don't have to help with schoolwork so I feel so free. I'm going to do P90X then eat a bunch of junk food and watch TV. I've got wafer hazelnut cookies, Lays potato chips and Cheeto puffs. I may go up to Chinatown to get my moon cakes - double yolk red bean all the way!!!
  14. Fast IMs and back

    by , September 6th, 2012 at 03:12 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Wow! Now i'm a posting fiend!

    Today's workout!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    400 warm up

    12 x 50s on 1:00
    I used Speedo Optimus fins, kick on tummy and fist drills

    3 x 100 on 1:45
    1st IM
    2nd easy free
    3rd stroke (back)
    =>I wasn't sure what the program was, so decided to just go smooth - 1:26, 1:??, 1:30ish

    4 x 150 pull on ??
    =====>>> That would be a big no. I did 4 x 25's from a dive off the wall, fast to the 12.5, attempting to get some height and get my body (feet) up and over the water on the dive.

    3 x 100's on 1:45
    Ok, now it is clear what the theme is for the day!
    100 IM 1:20
    100 free recovery
    100 back 1:19
    Did these snappy without killing myself.

    4 x 100 on 1:30
    ===>>>>No. I interpreted this set as rest up for another blasto set of 3.
    Did 4x 50 easy; 1 dive

    3 x 100 on 1:45
    100 IM 1:18
    100 free easy
    100 back 1:17

    Easy 50 free

    The End

    This was pretty tough. Going from set 1 to 2 was pretty strong, but to eek out just a couple extra seconds was really tough on the 3rd set. Not bad IM times, given I haven't done much IM last year. I didn't even swim it in a meet last year. I might swim it this year. I think i'll keep the 100 back on the list as well.

    Tonight is meet the teacher night. I am excited to rotate around for my 6th grader's middle school schedule.
  15. Fast 25 frees!!!

    by , September 6th, 2012 at 09:47 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I'll write this down here in my blog so's I don't forgets what I did:

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    bright lights and still no blocks

    missed warmup

    8 x 50 on :45
    => I warmed up on this

    16 x 25 on :30
    2 fast w/6beat kick; 1 easy
    I know; it doesn't round to 16, but so what.

    200 easy kick

    10 x 50 pull or swim on :45
    => I went every other easy - savin' up for maybe another 25 free set comin' up! And if not, well, I didn't want to do 10 anyways.

    12 x 25 on :30
    2 fast w/6beat kick; 1 easy

    200 easy kick

    8 x 25 on :30
    2 fast w/6beat kick; 1 easy

    Easy 50

    Emphasis was on doing the 2 fast 25's with serious punch. The main focus was to have a super strong steady fast kick, so on those I went 100% legs/90% arms on #1 and 100%/100% on #2's, but holding the same time if possible. The 2nd 25 was the key 25. It's easy to do #1, but to hold on #2 is the back half of that 50 free. Also attention to breathing - ie, no breath or 1 breath which took great concentration before pushing off. I thought :30 was a bit tough with the breathing (self-imposed). If I were doing this set on my own, i'd do the easy on :45 and make a point of going no breath/1 breath on the 2 fast ones.

    This was a great workout for me. Just up my alley again!

    First day of my girls' Swimming Kidz program, so I did 30 min of yoga/stretching on my own during their workout.
  16. HOORAY! Back to SCM!

    by , September 4th, 2012 at 03:20 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    HOORAY! Baylor pool re-opened today. It was annual maintainance, but I can't tell any difference in the pool. The lights are brighter from the ceiling, and the starting blocks are not back in yet.

    Today was a stroke day, as Tues/Thurs are typically stroke/IM days at Baylor noon workouts.

    400 warmup

    Alright! Cut the fat and get right to business!!

    Main set:

    Three times through:

    4 x 50 on 1:00
    =>Me: yes, I did these fly/free. Very solid on the 25 fly and smooth on the frees; about 39's.

    200 pull
    =>Me: no. I went 150 easy kick with fins

    3 x 100 on 1:45
    middle 100 is IM
    =>Me: almost, but no. I did 50/100/50
    100s all fly, broken 5 sec at the 25's
    subtracted times: 1:13, 1:11, 1:09

    I must say, this set was right up my alley today. I was quite excited about doing this fly set. A big key to going fast on the 100 fly was to go easy on the kick (pull part) and go easy 50's instead of the full 100's so I would be all rested up and ready to GO!

    easy 50 recovery

    6 x 75 kick on 1:40
    board and no fins
    just get through it after all that fast fly!

    Yes, I have been daydreaming of skipping stuff while everyone else is swimming the back of half of 100's or more. I have been getting in a worse and worse mood from swimming full sets outdoors in LCM. Today I feel so reset after doing some 25's and from being able to hang on the wall more than anyone else. The blasto bits are totally fun!

    I really have to work back into fly shape. I've done virtually no fly lately and in past years, i'd swim almost as much fast fly as free. So I guess lots of 25/5's and then introducing some 50's and building back up to a full 100. Actually, i'll probably just build back up to 75's and then hang on for the last 25 if and when I feel compelled to swim a 100 fly.
  17. One fast 50 free

    by , September 3rd, 2012 at 10:31 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Sunday, 09/02/12
    LCM, SMU Outdoor pool

    I was feeling somewhat tired after the previous day's 3 x 100 fast effort. Although the main set was a good one for me, I didn't think it was a good one considering I had only one good 50 in me!

    500 warm up
    ==>petered out at 400 and goofed off in the corner again.

    12 x 50 kick on 1:00
    odds smooth
    evens 25 fast/25 easy
    Speedo optimus fins

    100/200/300/200/100 pull
    ==>that would be a huge no. i went to the diving well and did:

    4 x "25s" % increase
    4 x "25s" variables
    4 x running dives
    easy swims

    then came back 1/2 way thru the main set of

    12 x 50's, some easy some sprint

    there was an empty lane, as the 10k people had just finished, so I took it. I did

    3 x DIVES up to 25m

    and then did a

    FAST 50
    on coach's watch


    Commentary: that did not feel so unpleasant. Knowing I was doing just one, with a coach starting me and using the stopwatch really helped. Sprinting more free has really helped, but I could have just as easily sat down in a lounge chair or taken a nap, so I wasn't really raring to go, but I made myself get up and go, like taking my medicine. I was pleased with my breath control (3 breaths) and that made a big difference in not thrashing at the end. But, again, it isn't a very fast time. It wasn't very inspired, either, just takin' care of business and coming down the pike at a good clip. I think I should target 28 mid for 50's done this way. And by that I mean my baseline, any-Sunday fast 50 time...that would ultimately put me in the mid to low/under 27 in meets. As the USA cut times get faster, I really need to get a stairstep faster!

    Later: Did Back & Biceps X and Ab Ripper X. I substitute most of the back exercises for my swim bench.

    Today: No swimming on Labor Day. I'll take a walk and do CoreX and my own stretching.

    HOORAY! Baylor should be open tomorrow. Finally, back to clean fluffly towels and good shower pressure!
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
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