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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. The lull of Thanksgiving week

    by , November 22nd, 2011 at 12:05 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Ok, here are the results from the DAMM SCM Meet:

    And my 200 fly splits

    1:21.09 44.20
    2:07.63 46.54
    2:48.08 40.45

    Ok! So it looks like I spent more energy going slow than it would have taken me to just go smooth and faster! I can clearly see how to improve without even training more for this event - go out a wee bit faster, and go low 40's in the middle bits. I think I can lop off enough time to go under 2:40 the next time. My converted time to SCY is a 2:30 which seems awfully modest, so my goal is to go 2:25 in SCY this season. If I swim it. My daughter's swim coach video'd me. The turns were sharp, UWs good, and then it looked like I was spending a lot of energy trying to go slow and I was low in the water.

    Here is yesterday's workout:

    400 warm up

    Pull set:
    3 x 300's pull
    100 strong kick with fins on back;
    2 x 50 smooth
    per every 300

    Kick set:
    30 per 25 base, last 25 of everything fast, no fins, alt tummy with board, on back no board
    2 x 100
    2 x 75
    2 x 50
    2 x 25

    Main set:
    3 rounds
    3 x 100 1:30 1:25 1:20 by set
    2 x 50 recovery
    3 x 50 fly's (instead of the 100's)
    2 x 50 recovery
    held 35-38's

    So if I can make 50's strong well under 40 (and in the mosh pit of freestylers), and I can make 75's under 1:00 in practice, then it seems a 2:48 is way too slow. Though I have no 200 knowledge, it seems that I should be averaging under 40's per 200 in a race? Anyone?

    Perhaps a better measure would be "broken" 50 flys - it's one thing to hold 35-38's when you are going on 1:30 to 1:20 interval (only 3 plus 2 easy recovery 50's), but if I could hold those when they are on 4 x 50 on 1 min or 50 sec, then that would be a better indication of how fast I can do a 200 fly race. Something like this:

    3 sets
    4 x 50 fly
    1 min/50 sec/45 sec by round
    Trying to hold the same pace with less rest?

    In other news, a certain someone wants to room with me at the Austin Grand Prix. It totally made me excited she thought I was that fast, especially since she's been to 5 Olympics and is trying to decide if she wants to commit to going it for #6. Then she asked if I was going to Nationals, and I was awed how fast she thought I was when i'm just not close anymore to the cuts. But, now I want to live up to Martina's expecations and at least put that 23.99 back on the table. I'd like to stay close to it (goal #1) but I see absolutely nothing wrong with relying on doubling down on the sheer willpower element (plan B) when training is truncated by life. WISH ME LUCK!!!
  2. 200 fly has potential!

    by , November 20th, 2011 at 12:57 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    SCM, DAMM Meet 11/19

    I suppose one should swim a 200 fly at least once every decade!

    2:48.? I think that was me. Probably out in 1:20 low? I hit my goal of swimming it legal and a nice 90-95% effort. And I didn't miscount. I had way too much left in the tank at the end so I think I had more speed and conditioning than I thought. I think I could drop substantially just by knowing I wasnt' so tired out by the 3rd 50. Maybe out in as fast as 1:15 to 1:18 and then come back in low 1:20's. I think I should have gone out like I would have in a 400 im, rather than worrying about whether I could make the back half, which wasn't so bad!

    I might swim this in SCY. But I don't feel compelled to. I might try the 200 back next time. And it's also been a long while since I swam the 400 IM. So those are other options.

    Next up:
    SCY big local A meet; 50 free and maybe 100 fly. I'd like to drop to low 24 at least.
  3. Sunday meet result

    by , November 13th, 2011 at 10:24 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I swam a 50 free at a local USA A meet:


    I'm pretty sure that's what the scoreboard said! Much better than the first of the season (24.9) and mid 24 was a goal this meet.

    Solid, not spectacular.

    Next up for USA: Dec 12/03-04/11 local meet:

    I hope to go 24.2 or 24.3 on sheer willpower given the amount of time/energy that I can allocate to swimming right now. That would be a solid time and i'd be happy with it as a season best. The next best thing to going 23.99 is to stay within striking distance. That way i'll always be ready to stairstep it down instead of starting from scratch!

    Masters Next up:

    DAMM SCM meet on 11/19/11.

    I am going to enter the

    50 free
    200 fly

    just for fun.

    Looking forward:

    I am still toying with going to the Austin Grand Prix or just staying in town and swimming a local USA meet over MLK day in January 2012. For now, i'll probably enter both, then see what I want to do. It's worth the $10 "insurance" to enter the Austin meet, and then I can always decide at the last minute. One of the benefits of driving.
  4. Wednesday was Great!

    by , November 9th, 2011 at 06:38 PM (Chowmi's Blog)

    I swam with the team today! I won't be able to the rest of the week, so it was great to get in 2x this week!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    Warm up:
    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull

    Pull set:
    2 rounds of 4 x 150's on 2:20
    1st 100/50 fast
    2nd 50/50 fast/50
    3rd probably 50 fast/100?
    4th either all easy or all fast?

    I wasn't really listening, so I did them all strong descend, and did 1/2 of the set ( 4 x 150) held 1:55 to 1:50. used pull buoy and green paddles

    ==>2nd set:
    no. did 2 x 50 for every 150 same interval
    fly kick with fins & snorkel no board

    Kick Set:
    6 x 75 on 1:30
    25 fast, 50 smooth

    Sprint set, hooray!
    12 x 50
    1-4 12.5 fast on 1:00
    5-8 25 fast on :50
    9-12 50 fast on :40 held 35's

    The End
    Today was a good workout. I did some pulling, and that was sort of fun, as long as no one was drafting off of me. I led lane 2, going on 2:20 vs. 2:15. It wasn't so much the interval, but the mix of lane. I didn't know 2 of the 5 people, and so it was easier to go first in the next lane than risk miscalculating the order, and end up behind or in front of the wrong speed person.

    Then moved back to lane 1 and led the kick set, went 2nd on the sprint set, since a fin-wearer led, but then he dropped out so I got to lead on the fast-pace 50's on 40, which was great since I was leading and no draft handicap. Great times for me today, and very punchy on the fast bits at the end.

    Next up: a 4 hour roundtrip to Tyler, TX tomorrow for a surprise office party. I won't get to swim, but I that's why I made the effort to go today.

    Goal times/ranges:

    Here is the Texas Senior Circuit times for this season:

    So I have a current auto in the 50 free, albeit a relatively slow first meet time. Last year I had auto/bonus in the 50/100 free, 100 fly, and 100 back. This helps to keep me focused on goal times.
  5. Monday 11/07/11

    by , November 7th, 2011 at 03:42 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I swam with the team!
    I know I won't tomorrow due to a conference call. I am now on a run rate of 1 hour workout with team, 2 x 30 min on my own, and 1 vasa day. I don't think that's too bad!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    Warm up
    200 swim/kick/pull

    8 x 50 on 1:00

    4 x 200 pull; 2 on 3:00 2 on 2:45
    == tricked ya! I actually did part of this set!!!

    1-2 Pull with paddles and buoy (held 2:30
    3 Swim just under 2:35
    Disgusted with myself for actually doing the whole 200 thing, so sat out #4 and did 4 x 25s easy.

    6 x 100's pull 1:30
    ==>no! did them kick with fins;held 1:20

    8 x 50 kick on 1:00
    no fins. held 52-49

    Easy swim 50

    Today was nearly a wasted day. The lanes were so crowded with 5-6 per lane. I had no where to go except fall into line and go the entire distances. I went 3rd on the 200's. While it was nice to marvel at how fast I could pull (I haven't really pulled any sets since circa 1994), I just didn't see the point of doing 200's when I have a 50 free coming up this next weekend.

    I did bust my choppers on the kick at the end, hooray! That is a strong set to actually descend-no-matter-what on the last ones to under 50.

    Next up:
    A really lose-sleep, high anxiety rest of the week at work. Then my cameo 50 free on Sunday! After that, i'll decide what to swim at our DAMM meet. I currently have the #1 time in SCM 50 free, but i'd be surprised if it held up. Do I care? Not sure. Probably not. I'm too busy losing sleep and getting headaches over my work.
  6. Briefly back to blogging....and a little swimming

    by , November 1st, 2011 at 07:53 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hey everybody!


    I have been so busy that I haven't had much time to swim, much less blog!

    Last week recap:
    I swam 2 days on my own, about 25 minutes
    And 1 day with the team on Friday

    SCM, Baylor noon workout

    Main set:

    Round 1: everybody with fins
    4 x 50 kick on 45
    4 x 50 swim on 40
    easy 100
    fast 100 1:07 (right flipper fell off but I kept on going!)

    Round 2: no fins
    4 x 50 kick on 1:00
    4 x 50 swim on 40
    easy 100
    fast 100 1:08

    Not bad if I do say so myself!

    This set is much harder than it looks, it you do it "right". By that I mean really work the kick. Swimming ain't so easy after gut busting 4 x 50 kicks!


    This week:
    Light vasa on Sat;
    Easy 25 minute swim on Sun;
    Mon - swim with the team!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon

    300 warm up

    8 x 75 kick on 1:30
    I did these pretty hard;

    8 x 150 pull on 2:20
    ==>that would be a serious no.
    evens: 100 pull smooth
    odds: 75 strong descend fly 59 55 54 55

    15 x 50 on 1:00
    12.5 kick UW; 12.5 fast through the turn
    easy back
    YES, this is my kind of set!


    So this is the wind-down of my liquidating trustee additional job, and then I nearly fell out of my chair when I got another special gig. It's great margin business, and should end by 01/15/12, but that means i'm on the 2 x 25 minute swim and 1 real workout with my masters team per week. Well, that's life! I see plenty of people every month who can't get a job, so I really can't complain that in my mid-40's, I am now on the short list of requested examiners/receiver/trustee appointments.


    Halloween was ok. I was really tired but did my usual - stay at home and eat candy that we aren't handing out whilst pretending not to be at home. I finished Sudoku #383! And no, I don't cheat!!! Then I hoisted myself up to help the girls sort their booty when they got home. This year was very heavy on the Butterfingers. Oddly missing non-chocolate chewy and sour items. But at least they didn't get expired religous jelly beans like last year. Yuck!


    Next up: hopefully a real practice where there's no garbage yardage, lots of fast kicking, all my favorite lane mates, and I get to lead and no one drafts off of me.
  7. Sunday sprint on my own

    by , October 23rd, 2011 at 07:52 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I swam on my own today, to get in certain things I knew would be difficult with a one-practice-fits-all workout.

    This AM
    "2/3 vasa day"
    a little lite drylands

    Monthly massage at Massage Envy

    Then Baylor Fitness Center, SCM

    400 warm up

    200 kick
    8 x25's sprint kick with fins; various

    200 pull
    8 x 25 pull sprint

    4 x 50 swim emph turn + breakout
    8 x 25 swim
    1-4 sprint
    5-8 sprint with fins

    Easy swim

    The End


    I had my heart set on this sprinty round of 3 today. It has been a long time since pulling and it's fun!

    When I swim by myself, I have better focus because I already know the main set to do. I will likely swim more on my own for the next bit coming up, and try to swim on Tues/Thurs with the team for a general stroke-centric workout.


    Took Saturday off.


    I did manage to swim at noon on Friday, but was quite disgusted with the set and not being able to move anywhere to do my own thing.

    The first kick set was good;
    4 x 100's
    8 x 50 every other all out

    But then the set was

    (twice through)
    4 x 150's on 2:20
    easy 100/fast 50
    easy 50/fast 100
    fast 150

    And here are DAMM's golden rules for fast sets:
    1. Lane leader picks an interval too fast for the lane, and gets out before the end of the set;
    2. 2/3rds of the lane do not belong in the lane and don't make the interval.

    It is ridiculous. I wish the coaches would NOT give these kinds of sets when it is so crowded! You simply can't do more than 50's when a 5 second interval puts the last person going on the +25.

    So the issue I had with this set is that I don't think it will make me faster in my 50 free. While 2:20 is an easy interval, there is not enough rest to get any real speed work. And I just did the full 5 x 100's on 1:30 as my gratuitous garbage yardage of the week the set right before this one, grrr!


    So, after that, I decided that swimming around people wasn't worth the trade-off with the social aspect. I can see everyone on Tues or Thurs.


    This weekend I made apple struedel and sweet potato casserole. Yum!


    I am over my couponing fix. It's just too much work and I fell off the bandwagon while my parents were here. And last, after stocking up on tampons, Baylor now gives tampons and pads for free!!
  8. Two days in a row!

    by , October 19th, 2011 at 04:51 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    HOORAY again!

    Actually, I was motived to get my work done and swim b/c Bobby said he'd let me try his fins, but he forgot them. And no, my feet aren't that big! Not that I have Cinderella feet either.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jim Montgomery coached

    300 warm up
    200 kick

    Transition set:
    8 x 50's stroke/free (fly/back) on :55

    Main Set:
    5 x 75's on 1:00
    easy 125

    Set 1 swim
    Set 2 pull
    Set 3 choice of equipment

    ===== need I even say it? ====> no.

    Perhaps if this was a rare day that I wanted to test my endurance/conditioning, and I liked the mix of people in the lane, then perhaps I would have made the effort. But, I was intent on getting in just a few REAL all out efforts, not swim into the hour long oblivion of efficiency-85%.

    The lanes were also really crowded, the worst kind of crowd: Those Who Do Not Frequent Noon Workout. And then, it's like, 3/4 of the lane are Lane 1 people who really aren't Lane 1 people on a combined basis.

    So I completely bailed, sharing a lane with Those Who Swim at Noon but Aren't on Swim Team.

    With the same interval:

    75 strong 2:00
    50 stronger! 2:00
    25 blast-o!!!!!!! no interval
    easy 125

    Set 1: Swim first set
    Set 2: Swim with fins
    Set 3: swim regular

    8 x 50 kick on 1:15
    rotate fast 12.5
    1-4 with board
    5-8 fins on back

    Easy swims, about 200 total

    The End

    I have nothing else to add, except I was really glad Bobby gave me this customized set instead of the main set. I think 3 all out 25's and adding a kick set at the end will benefit my 50 free more than the set as given. I almost did 5 x 25's to each set, but in the end sometimes 3 really is just the right number.

    Tomorrow: Mandatory day off. That's enough swimming for me these 2 days.
  9. I did get to swim yesterday!!

    by , October 19th, 2011 at 09:37 AM (Chowmi's Blog)

    I was able to make the workout yesterday!!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Billy Glasstetter coached

    350 warm up

    12 x 50 on :55
    IM stroke/free (3 rounds)

    Kick Set!!!
    100 easy on 2:30
    4 x 25 FAST on :40

    Main IM Set:
    8 x 100 on 1:45/1:30
    IM odd/easy free

    ==>no. my lane was 3 pulling freestlyers so they did all 8 on 1:25. so I did:

    Odd: rotating 50 fly/50 free as
    1 50 fly/50 free
    3 25 free/50 fly/25 free
    5, 7 50 free/50 fly
    attempt to hold near 100 free time
    all evens were 50 easy recovery

    Misc. Pull set:
    3 x 200 on fast past

    various fin stuff - kick on back, tummy, swim with fins approx 500 total.

    The End


    TOTALLY AWESOME! Kick set was great and the fly set was just what I wanted to do today. I asked Bobby what I should be working on when swimming with fins. I think I will get new short-short fins and swim with them more often. He also said he is telling his coaching troops to add more kick, like 800 per workout, and went into a big long discussion of the importance of kick for all swimmers, not just racers. Yahoo!!!!

    Next meet in not until

    11/11-13/2011 Local A meet

    This meet will be interesting because it's rare that I will swim the afternoon session. This could be really good; will be nice to have the ol' bones all awake for the day!

    The meet after that is our DAMM meet:

    Not sure what I will enter. Themes are 4 x 50 frees, 4 x 50 strokes, or 50 free/50 fly combos. I am leaning towards entering the 50/100/200/400 free and doing 4 x 50 frees. That would be a great "workout"; the meet will be about an hour from the first 50 free to the last.
  10. Hardly swimming..not this week either!

    by , October 17th, 2011 at 02:09 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I suppose I should be thankful for all the work and existing case load. But between my parents visiting and the crush of work, I did not swim last week except for 20 minutes one day and about 25 minutes another. I did my vasa yesterday.

    This week I don't think I will make more than one workout, and will likely just swim during the girls' program if there is space or do a few days of my vasa again.

    Well, here's a combo of my weenie workouts. Notice I space it out so it look like I did more.

    500 swim

    8 x 25 kick with fins, vary back/side/belly

    New! 4 x 50 pull with paddles and a pull buoy

    Various 25's variables and/or % builds

    4 x 25's through the turn

    4 x 50's
    1st 25 on 20 sec (about 3 sec rest)
    2nd 25 blast to 1/2 way and up to the flags

    Easy kick with board

    Several dives plus breakouts to about 1/2 way

    20-25 minutes total

    The End

    My parents' visit was fun. Hopefully they will visit us once a year from now on. I just have to make sure to accumulate enough AA miles so they can come first class every year!

    We spend the entire time at various Chinatowns, Sam's, and Costco's. 25 minutes in the snack/cracker aisle. My mom says, "I don't get a chance to shop at the Asian store in Pittsburgh." Dad says, "Your mom always vetos everything I buy in Pittsburgh". Needless to say, they went home armed with 3 bags of Chinese snack foods. I guess they just need a neutral party that will allow them to buy buy buy!

    Another highlight of the week was finding a buy 2 get one free coupon for Mr. Clean products.

    I see no reason that this will affect my race speed. In fact, there's a 50/50 chance I will improve just from the "rest"!
  11. SCY meet, 10/09/11

    by , October 9th, 2011 at 07:59 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Ok, i'm back! Have been super duper busy and let's see...if I recall I last swam on Thursday, and i've been crazy busy with other stuff since!

    50 free
    1st USA "A" meet o' the season:


    I wouldn't say it was a bad swim, pretty good considering I wasn't feeling a bit rested at all, but I certainly can improve on my turn/breakout. The pool wasn't so bad at all! Really weird lack of stands so the parents were sitting with the kids. That was actually quite creepy. I sat with the coaches.

    This pool is right across from where I have my Creditors Meetings! I never knew it!!!

    My parents are coming to visit! I have been busy cleaning the house. Really cleaning! Moved furniture and vacuumed behind everything. That certainly doesn't help a sprint, but, life goes on and I have no wiggle room (mediation tomorrow, quarterly reports on Tues, and parents fly in on Wed!) so I had to clean the house yesterday and today.

    That Magic Eraser thing really IS magic!!

    I hung a window curtain all by myself. You can't even tell it's crooked! And extra drill holes in the wall? No one's going to be standing that high either.

    How could I have missed this movie???!!!

    The Human Centipede

    and now

    The Human Centipede 2

    I really want to see it! I'm a big fan of any type of horror film, from the classics to the newer shock value Saw-type movies. I just haven't had time to go to the movies, and of course none of my friends are keen on these either.

    Next up:
    I'll try to swim on Tuesday, but it depends. I still have to mop the downstairs, and find something else to Magic Erase. I can certainly see how stay-at-home moms can stay busy all the time. Once you Magic Erase the banister, light switches, and high traffic wall areas, then the next spot looks like crap and you are on an endless cycle of Magic Erasing. And don't even get me started on noticing the curtains (or lack thereof) in my house! That is like tackling another sport! I think i'll stay with my dusty 80's blinds, complete with permanent kinks and bends in them from Two Who Shall Continue to Remain Unnamed.
  12. Great DAMM Sprinty Workout, 10/06/11

    by , October 6th, 2011 at 03:44 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today's was a great workout! Sets just up my alley AND I got people to race!

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon workout
    Billy Glastetter coached

    200ish warm up (got in late)

    Transition set:
    12 x 50 on 1 min
    kick odds/drill evens mix strokes

    3 Part Main set:

    SET ONE:
    Build a 100 IM on the :30 base
    25 fly
    50 fly/back
    75 fly/ba/br
    100 IM
    ==> I did these all fly
    300 easy
    ==> something less than that

    SET TWO:
    UN-build a 100 IM on the :30 base
    100 IM backwards
    75 br/ba/fly
    50 ba/fly
    25 fly
    ==>yes! too much fun to miss out!
    300 easy
    ==>some bits.

    One more time build 100 IM on the :30 base
    ==> kick on back with fins;
    300 easy
    ==> 100 for me.

    The End

    What fun! I didn't feel very strong, being very sore and tired from those lunges and the swim cord, and then nutritionally unbalanced from my State Fair of Texas Corny Dog/Belgium Waffle (with Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Powdered Sugar)/Fried Smores dinner. I stayed for 1/2 of the Dallas Summer Musical (West Side Story) and totally made our seat-mates happy by telling them we are not renewing next year (I think this was our 8th year!). She's been eyeing our seats for her collection. They have almost 2 entire rows and so they wanted our coveted Seats With No Row in Front. Excellent leg room. Hard to give them up, but next year's line up sucked so much that i'd rather just buy tix for the one show we might go to.

    Next up: Swim meet on Sunday. I hear it's a crappy pool but that won't deter me. Fast swimmers still swim fast in crappy pools.

    And just 'cause Speed asked so nicely, some thoughts on training to drop .2 seconds in the 50 free:

    I find it hard to every "train" 100%. Partly because I can never FULLY recover. It is simply the time of my life where my energy is on work and the kids, so swimming to stay in shape is excellent, but training has been very, very difficult. How should I be training to get faster in a race, given such limiting parameters?

    One thing Bobby suggested was to really focus on ONE great workout a week. In some ways, it's easier for distance swimmers (he used himself as an example training for Hawaii swims), because they can come in any day and do a set of 100's on an interval, holding xxx pace, adjusting reps, interval, and pace to suit that day. But for me, picking THAT day, THAT set, and really hammering it is going to be the key.
  13. Too tired! Need to fine tune it!

    by , October 5th, 2011 at 10:15 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Yesterday I swam on my own. I was determined to get in a few sets*** which I can't do with the team around.

    Baylor Fitness Center
    on my own; before noon workout

    400 warm up

    Chowmi's "conditioning" set 'o the day:
    4 x 50's on the 45 free
    4 x 50's on the 50/55 IM stroke/free

    ***Enough of that, so now, let's get to the meaty bits!

    8 x 25 UW with fins
    odd on back; even fly/free on tummy

    4 x 25's with fins
    100% legs, increase % arms

    ***4 x 25 with swim cord
    return as 12.5 fast back/easy
    (Needed the entire lane)

    6 x 25's
    1, 3 from dive 1/2 fast
    2, 4, 5 easy
    6 fast with fins

    Easy 50 bits in between sets

    Bonus: 30 minutes talked with coach Bobby, who wasn't coaching and didn't really feel like swimming. Re: Getting to 23.99/Main themes: easiest pickins for .2 seconds and targeted sets, approaches to workouts, and recovery, game plan for each swim meet thru December.

    The End


    RE: 25 UW on back???? I don't have trouble holding my breath, but I can't seem to regulate the air-blowing-out-the-nose and head position on the back???? It is so distracting I know it slows me down. Also, to avoid hand-crashing and pre-arthritic-hand-saving, I have to come up and stop short of the wall. I think I need a nose clip. I had one. It was clear. The case is in my dresser. And that stupid clear clip is...drumroll please on the joke, probably right in front of my nose....mocking me in all it's clearness.

    I was actually too tired yesterday. And very tight. I did leg lunges on the lunge slide in the gym yesterday, and a fast circuit of test-your-strength on various equipment for fun. Like, do 3 pull ups, 5 dips, and leg machine exercises then repeat quickly (or rather, when the machines opened up). It was fun, and very rewarding to note that:


    However, that was 2 days of drylands so I was more tired than I "should" have been to really attack the cords, which was my main focus.

    I'm going to start really targeting ONE workout a week where I get in the MAIN training swim set. Really hit it hard.

    1. Cords

    2. The "4 x 100's": I talked about there before; like 100 straight, 4 x 25's broken 5-10 secs, at race pace

    3. "Conditioning set" 4 x 50's on 45, 40, 37.5, 35 challenge and continue fast even if you miss interval.

    4. "The back half 50": This is a critical training set for me. Do x number of 50's on 1:15 or more. Split as 20 secs on 1st 25, then SPRINT 20 meters (or vary the distance). The key is that you aren't going easy on the 1st 25. You have to work it, and then still bring it home on the 2nd 25. Anyone can do a 25 fast. You don't even have to be in shape and still go about the same speed. BUT 1 TO 1.5 SECONDS DURING THE END OF THE 2ND 25 IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. For me, it's a critical component between going 23.99 and 24 low. How many times have you heard someone tell you...."You were heading for xxxx until you reached the flags!"

    So in the next weeks, I want to get in #4 set and #3 set, then reconsider sets.

    The party was a huge hit. It was great to see everyone.
  14. Dive Sunday!

    by , October 2nd, 2011 at 12:07 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Alas, the Sunday Sprint/Distance split is now off until the Spring. I don't know why, except perhaps because they only have one coach on deck. So it's mostly Stuff I Don't Do workouts. I went anyway, hoping the diving well would be clear.

    SMU, Sunday LCM
    Lianna McStravick coached

    600 warm up

    12 x 50 kick on 1 min
    no fins

    400 pull
    ==>no, 300 fins kick on all sides

    Main Set
    50 fast
    100 easy
    150 fast
    200 easy
    repeat 200 and come back down
    I did many dives from the blocks and running dives into the diving well. It was awesome. The set was pretty boring so by the end Lianna was essentially working with me one on one in the dive well and big pool on each dive.

    I didn't bother counting how many I did, just made sure to rest before each one and start punchy rather than trying to count or rush up to do another one. I probably did 10 maybe 12 in total.

    I made sure to take in every word Lianna was saying and her feedback. You don't get these one-on-one chances very often, and on such an important part of my race!

    This turned out great for me today. 1/3 of my race will be that dive, so might as well take advantage of SMU's diving well and blocks, even if I had to swim around everyone else. I am convinced this day will help more than if I did the set as proscribed.

    Today I will also do my Vasa and some drylands at home. Baylor Fitness Center doesn't open until 12:30, too late and cuts into the day.

    We have our office party tonight. The food looks good! I just hope everyone has a good time.

  15. Stealing from Fort - Video!

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

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

    Some highlight take-a-ways:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Yesterday's workout:

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon
    Steve Barnicoat coached

    300 warm up

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

    300 1:30 base
    2 x 50 on 40

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

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

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

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

    200 easy kick, no fins

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

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

    The End

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

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

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


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

    Strive for the top 95th percentile. Or higher!


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

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

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


    Once they got in, I told them:

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

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

    24.1 2008
    24.1 2009
    24.4 2010
    24.2 2011

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


    Well, that's all for now!

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

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

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center noon
    Jim Montgomery coached

    200ish warm up

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

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

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

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

    3 x dive 12.5's

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

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

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

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

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    Jenn Christensen coached

    300 warm up

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

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

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

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

    50 easy

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

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

    The End

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

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

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

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

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

    Here's how I did today:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Here's the skinny:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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