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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. LCM after months away!

    by , April 28th, 2013 at 08:07 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I did a LCM workout! Finally went again this Sunday since it's back to sprinty stuff instead of the one size doesn't fit sprinters LCM of winter season.

    warmup, maybe a 200

    8 x 50 kick on 1:10
    held roughly 50s kicking backstroke no equipment.

    3 rounds of
    4 x 50's, 100 easy
    :55 set 1, :50 set 2; :45 set 3
    I did them all backstoke, and actually made the 3rd set, whoopie for me!

    4 rounds of
    50, 100, 50, 50 on :50 base; sprinting the last 50 of each round.
    I basically swam bits easy, skipped a lot, and then did 3 x fast 50's from a dive; held 32 to 30ish. maybe faster. but not sure so it was no slower than those times.

    The End

    Whoopie for me! I can still book it down the pike, albeit 1 ways!
  2. INSANITY and ho hum swimming now

    by , April 25th, 2013 at 11:13 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I've started INSANITY!! I must say, P90X really helped me get into land-shape! I can tell because I can actually do the warmup bits (3 rounds total 12 mins) without dying. I am really bad at Level 2 drills, ski abs, and in-and-outs, but the last is probably so hard b/c it comes at the very bitter end of a series.

    Swimming has been ok! I am doing some workouts on my own, because I didn't do quite as much pure sprinting this year and it showed. But my 200 back is a very strong top ten contender! A 2:20 has always made it and I am at 2:17.8!

    Here's what I did yesterday:

    warmup - maybe 250?

    6 x 100 kick/swim
    ==No. I didn't feel like it. so i did 50's kick/swim. Then decided that was too much so put on my fins and went the same slow speed.

    5 x 100 pull
    ===> no. put on my parachute and did 50s.

    Main set:
    4 rounds of 4 x 50's and 200 easy
    Set 1: 50's on :40
    I had to do these free. Held 35-36

    Set 2:50's on :50
    Did these backstroke! Held 39-42

    Set 3: 50's on 1:00
    cheaty 50's- 25 easy free, 25 fast fly

    Set 4: 50's on 1:10
    did 25 strong, broken 5 seconds, 25 fast. held 30-31.

    The End
    I've been able to Insanity at night and still swim during the day. I think when school is out, I will try to lift lift lift meaning strength training. Maybe make it the cornerstone for a change. I think i'm just not strong enough. I need to make a really good effort to stick with it the entire summer!

    I age up for meters this year! I turn 45 in May. It's nice to get into a new age group but nothing new since there are fast women, arguably more fast women in my new age group in my favorite events. But, if you aren't #1, who really cares if you are #2 or #10. I would like to do a serous SCM meet this year. 2 day format with lots-o-rest in between events and seasoned meet people who get all my splitsy requests.
  3. Meet Report!

    by , April 7th, 2013 at 06:52 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, here are my meet results!

    500 free 5:49
    200 back 2:17.8
    50 free split 25.3
    50 back 29.5

    50 free split 25.3
    100 back 1:02.6
    50 free 25.3
    50 fly split 28.3

    Here are the full results:

    Commentary: 500 free
    I'm really glad I swam this. It felt pretty good, which is probably why it wasn't super fast. At about the 75, I thought, now I see why people train for this. After the swim, I decided i would definately swim this from time to time. However, I don't feel compelled to train for it at all. That would be hours of work to drop 20 seconds. I'll take the 20 seconds and spend those hours doing sprinty stuff.

    200 back
    Swim-o-the-meet! This may end up being my best contender in top tens! A very strong swim. Still need to get out faster!

    50 free split #1:
    I think I am stuck in a rut. A time warp of 25.3's. I felt peppy but no strength. And it felt LONG, like that one extra second just takes it out of me. I'm sure I haven't done enough strength training and hours of sitting on the pool deck talking about my training.

    50 back: Holly cow I can hardly believe I actually swam 4 events in one day. I was just trying not to SIT UP in the race I was pretty tired!


    200 free? No way! Time for another split request! I decided to tweak my stroke and went with a total 80's stroke. It felt so good, like an old friend. I was quite tired but tried to go fast anyway.

    100 back: This one I wanted to do a good time. I started to really die at the end, but I was abl to gut, grunt, and just go to the end. A very solid time and definately a top tener.

    50 free: This was fun to swim against my friend Laura Zook, formerly Glass, maiden name Holt. Kept the 80's crossover kick since I didn't have the strength to kick straight legs.

    50 fly split: Ok! At this point I was going to bail, but with SO MANY scratches, yours truly was purely on a medal haul. Did the split, and it was not a natural swim at all. I haven't done much fly this year, since it still is a bit uncomforable in my belly button. I think he sewed me up funny. My belly button inside folds don't look the same anymore either. This I can tell when I clean out my belly button! But, back to the swim - oh yeah, so notice my splits that I scurried home in the last 50 free, thinking it may come down to that for a 1st place medal!

    TOTAL HAUL: 7 gold medals and a 4th place in the 100 free (50 free split).

    I think i've had a good time and did some great backstroking. But, i'll very likely go back to the 4 x 50's, as the base events.

    I will now watch whatever I saved on DVR and eat an entire Godiva solid chocolate easter bunny, potato chips and dip, and coconut water. Tomorrow: INSANITY!!!!
  4. 500 free: swim smart or be the crowd pleaser?

    by , April 3rd, 2013 at 11:46 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, Easter eating really pounded me up! I am an absolute whopping 144 lbs but the 2 chocolate bunnies, sour lemonheads, and low grade tummy ache were worth it.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center.

    My joints actually HURT. And that would be knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. It is also amazing how emotionally fragile I am after a 4 day school vacation and holiday festivities. I had to take it super easy and do short sprints. That said, I did about 6 dives off the blocks. I did 1 fast 50 and lanemates said it was a 28 low, but I thought it was so bad I didn't look at the clock right away, and when I did it was on the :30 so I think that it true I did a 28 high.

    MUCH BETTER! No sharp stabbing pains or tummy ache today. But I didn't want to do any dives nor any blast-o sprints. So I did a fast 200/150/100 backstroke and went 2:48/2:04 and 1:19.

    Wednesday: That's today!
    Major goofing off!

    HOORAY! Pysche sheets are up and the timeline. I am really excited to do the 500 free. Everyone is telling me not to do my usual sprinty MO and go easy at the beginning. However, I am really toying with just going as fast I can - even if it's too fast. I'm not sure if I would feel very happy to have a lot left in the tank and go a mediocre time. I'd rather blast it out and die a horrible swim-death. Honestly! It would be like, dramatic irony where everyone in the natatorium knows what's going to happen except the person swimming way too fast in the 500. Then the climax to the anvil. But before then, i'd enjoy the absolute THRILL of being so far ahead of everyone else! I'm not sure I want to be on the leader's feet and then just slowly fall back further and further....why not add drama and spice to heat 1 of the 2013 south central zone meet! I'm also not sure about the other events. I think no matter what I do the 500 will take so much out of me. I may skip the 200 back, split the 100 free (50) and do the the 50 back. The next day, I might split the 200 free (50 free), swim the 100 back and then decide to stick around for 2 more 50's or to go home. I'm not that excited about swimming anything beyond the 500 free and at least 1 peppy 50 free.
  5. Update pre-bunny day

    by , March 28th, 2013 at 11:52 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    It's one week away!

    South Central Zones. A name of interest in the roster. Guess who it is. Besides yours truly, heh heh....

    The default search is ok, but I don't know how useful it really is to see who's on your team that is going. I'd rather be able to see who's in my age group.

    I can't say I have any thrilling breakthru sets or any amazing 50 free times. I did one from the blocks that may have been 28ish but since i'm not sure i'll safely say a solid 29 from the blocks diving over my lanemates' heads which was quite pointless as it was so incredibly distracting. And dangerous.

    This week i've been extremely tired. So tired that I have decided to hit the brakes and literally just do bobs and light 50's and 25's up to about 1/2 hour. There is no point in grinding through sets this last week.

    I'm really excited for the 500. I am still leaning on no counter, but perhaps telling some people to watch me and yell at the end if I am a 50 short. I think I should bring more substantial snacks, just in case I am actually really hungry. I wonder if it would look strange if I took out a chicken leg and started eating it on the pool deck. That would be more discrete than say, one of those Fair-sized turkey legs. Maybe roll up some ham and cheese cubes, or a sandwich of some sort. I just have this strange feeling that a power bar isn't going to cut it.

    I will be so excited to travel for a meet I haven't gone away for a meet since last year's Colonies Zone meet, which was great fun. I would like to do that meet in the future, but it was too close to this meet and Austin is hard to pass up.

    Hope everyone is doing well, and good luck if you are swimming your zone meet the next week as well!!!
  6. Distance swimming in Breckenridge

    by , March 14th, 2013 at 03:56 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today is our last day in Breckenridge. I am up to 16 cumulative miles towards the 50 mile club. Xmas/New Years 9 miles, this trip 7 miles. I don't have much in terms of thrilling speed or times; the main goal was to get the mileage in. It took me just over 1 hour to swim 2 miles. I have to go really slow to not feel the lack-of-oxygen burn. Other than my 1easy 1 mile day, I would do 3600 yards as 600 warm up, then 3000 left in blocks of 500 or 1000 sets. I did work on my pushoffs a bit, now that I am swimming the 500 free, the goal is to swim as little of it as possible but going as efficiently while not actually doing the swim bits. So if I can get my hips and body aligned really good, then it makes a noticable difference in the distance on my pushoff and breakouts. That's one less line to have to swim!

    Next up: 13 hour drive back to Dallas! Two weeks of very busy work to the end of my fiscal year 03/31. South Central Zones is on the mega zone meet weekend across the US 04-05 to 04-07. Once all those meet results are up, i'll know about where I stand for the year.
  7. South Central Zone Events Decided!

    by , March 5th, 2013 at 11:00 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I entered the meet! Set your faces to stun!

    500 free (5:40)
    200 back (2:19)
    100 free (1:00) possible splt
    50 back (29.3)

    200 free (2:05)
    100 back (1:02.5)
    50 free (24.50)
    200 IM (2:45?) possible 50 fly split

    Time to try something new! If PWB can swim 25's, then I can do a 500!!!! I have no idea what I can do. I last swam the 500 in April 2002 and the 200 free in May, 1995! Can you beleive it has been that long since a real 200 free? Notice I end with 2 x 50's at the end of each day. I reserve the right to skip a bunch of stuff. But i'm really curious what I can do in the 500. I don't swim short course, but for SCM, I can easily hold 1:20 base in workout for a 400. I probably can't unless i'm just about puking to hold a 1:15 - that is super tough. Because a 2:30 in SCM is a strong swim. So maybe I could average a 1:17.5 for a very strong SCM 400 free in workout. Not sure what that converts to for a 500? I think 1:10's in SCY? That puts me at a 5:50 in workout.
  8. 200 back splits

    by , February 26th, 2013 at 11:52 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, results are up, and I was right when I peeked at the 100!

    200 back, SCY
    1:10.14 (35.94)
    1:46.52 (36.38)
    2:19.64 (33.12) (1:09.50)

    Ok, so even a bigger negative split than my inaugural 200 back swim of 1:12.01/1:12.04! I think I need to take it out faster! Just not sure how much I have left in the tank, so it will take some more swims to get used to how fast I can really push it. Geez, my last 50 was over a second faster than my first 50!

    Yesterday I tried a very strong 200 back in workout (SCM). I went a 2:44. I was right at 2:00 at the 150, but then was so intent on looking at the clock that I nearly bonked my head, so I think I lost some time there going into the last 50. I wonder, what is the translation between a workout 200 and a race 200? 10 seconds at least. But how much more? If I was 2:00, then that is an average of 40 per 50, or 1:20 at the 100. I might try a fast 100 to see where I am.

    I was thinking to try the 200 free. But I can barely even visualize it. I was trying to go some strong 200's free yesterday as well. I am so wimpy that in sets of 3, I had to sit out the middle one and rest in order to do 2 strong ones. No conditioning to go 3 in a row on 3:00, 2:50, 2:45. I found I didn't have an efficient 80% speed. I think I may try to 200 free and just see where I am. There is no Truth like actually racing it and seeing what you do.
  9. Meet Report!

    by , February 23rd, 2013 at 06:35 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Here are my results!

    SCY, SMU indoor pool 1-day meet:

    50 back: 29.4
    50 free (from a split): 25.3
    20 back: 2:19.6

    Best swim was certainly the 200 back. I swam next to my old college suitemate, and 200 back school record holder! So it was nice to have someone to chase. I think that is why I tried harder whereas the 50's I was essentially all by myself.

    My goal was to try to get a top ten time, and i'd be really surprised if I didn't. A 2:20 has always made it in, and I will likely enter this event at the zone meet. I'll have to get back to you on the splits. I looked up at the board and I swear it said 1:10 at the 100, which means I really negative split it! Then again, that could have been the running time or I could have been completely wrong. I had way to much left in the tank and did a complete sprint-o for the last 25.

    Next up: nothing new. Pretty much the same stuff and shenanigans at workout, and hopefully i'll know my 200 back splits and what I will enter at zones!
  10. Entered local SCY meet!

    by , February 18th, 2013 at 03:18 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I entered our 1 day SCY meet:

    50 back
    100 free (50 free split)
    200 back
    50 free
    200 free (50 free split)

    I'll do the 50 back and see how it goes. I might just do the 200 back for fun and call it a day. If I feel pretty good, then i'll do any combo of the 3 x 50 free opportunities. You have to enter upfront so might as well pick 5 for one price entry! Yours truly may need to take a little nap in between so better to enter that last 200 free, too!

    I am happy to report that the 2 x 50 frees a week have been doable and a good choice for me. I can hardly commit to anything and have very poor consistency, but I can just about always make myself do 2 x 50's a week! I can do the 1/1 consistently now, and today I went a 28 solid on my count. If I had to pick a number, i'd say 28.3

    I have decided that I only want to do ONE "conditioning" set per week. Last week it was an IM'y type of set with 200's and 150's. I was so impatient to finish that the joke was on me and I ended up blasting my way to first in the lane. Sometimes it's harder to swim it moderate than to just go over the hump and go blast-o.
  11. 2 x fast 50 free a week

    by , February 6th, 2013 at 11:06 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Here I am again!

    It's hard to get used to the new layout on this website!

    My new goal is doing 2 x fast 50 frees a week. The hard part is that I don't have anyone to race or start me, but if you are at least consistent with how you start yourself, then it's comparable. And who's to say what's the translation between a workout time and a true meet time anyway? Is it one second difference? Two? Half?

    So, basically I get up and do a 50 free from the block. I am quite pleased with the exponential improvement in some things - mainly in the discipline to always go 1 breath down/2 back. I have done this without fail for at least 5 50s. Yesterday was the first day I thought, I can hold it coming back, and did 1/1 instead. yippee! The way I figure, just "training out the breath" is like dropping 1-2 tenths at least!

    So I have done at least 4 at 29, 1 at 28 and yeterday i was quite pooped but tried one anyone and did a 30 flat. What a major disappointment but nice that a 30 is realtively sucky compared to the sub 30 swims. I think my goal is to get in the 27 high/28 solidly-all-the-time range. That would be really good!

    How do I do it? Well, I basically watch the clock and when it hits the 6, I stop looking and count 7-8-9-AND-Go! I want to actually leave the block after the 00, to simulate that you'd have a reaction time where you are truly leaving between the 0 and 1, and not leaving on the 00 exactly. That is why I add the AND count. It's not a full second, since you get revved up to go so you are counting faster than every second, but not a full second ahead, so it's like leaving on the .5ish. And I finish first, then look. None of this raise my head 2 feet from the wall stuff. If I do this every time, it's not the time itself, but the improvement from 29 flats to whatever I can do. I must admit, the 28 swim was with the coach watching, whereas all the other swims I did on my own either after workout or completely by myself.

    I think my 30 was bad for 2 main reasons - mental lapse at the turn - I was short and literally did a slow raise the head and bob the body around - very uncharateristic of me, and then salvaged to even a 30 by bearing down on the 2nd lap and only taking 1 breath. My turns are not my relative strength. But, the good news is I had to confidence to say, oh crap this could be really bad and I cannot afford that 2nd breath, but I know I can steambarrel it in on one breath if I have to! The other reason it was bad was I was mentally done before I started. I had to switch lanes and find one no one was warming down in. Then I was already worried about taking extra time because I wanted to see my husband before he left town at 3PM, so I was already thinking of my superman style quick change in the locker room as I was using precious time to get ready for the 50.

    Well, I am finally excited about a goal, and so now is my new quest for 27/28 50 free blasts in practice! I'm still not excited at all about going to meets right now. My DVR is constantly full of good stuff to watch and going to a swim meet cuts into my TV and Doin' Nuthin' time.
  12. Still trying to find a theme

    by , January 22nd, 2013 at 10:17 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hello again! Long time no post! I'v gotten out o the habit of reading posts on the forums/blogs as I have slowly become more and more addicted to parent portal. One time I was checking it and saw the grade CHANGE! How thrilling.

    I still haven't found my motivation of what to do - quest for 23 50 free, max top ten times, fly theme, 200 back, final frontier 200 breast, win workouts (ie, join the equipment crowd), or do another round of P90X? I just can't decide!

    In the meantime, I have been doing more fly, mostly because I only want to do 1/2 of the sets, and not for any goal in particular. The coralary to sickfish's training for the fly, I am doing fly as endurance for free but at 1/2 the yardage.

    Here was yesterday's workout: SCM Baylor Fitness Center

    600 warm up

    14 x 100's done as
    4 x 1:30
    1 easy
    3 x 1:25
    1 easy
    2 x 1:20
    1 easy
    1 : 15
    1 easy
    ===> That would be a serious no. I did the 100's as 50 flys, decending by each set. Started at 39 and worked down to 35 on the last one. Summary: I am out of fly shape! I was pretty tired by the last one. And they were sort of hard!

    4 x 150 on 3 min:
    100 kick/50 swim
    I put on my fins and went a modest speed. This entire set was a recovery set.

    10 x 50's as:1:00/1:30(?)
    2 x fast
    1 easy
    2 x fast
    1 easy
    2 x fast
    1 easy
    1 fast
    ======> The set was about to start so I had to come up with an answer right quick, so I said, "I'm doing something that does not including doing the full set! You guys go!" And then the pressure was on to think of something, and that something was:
    4 x 50's fast within the same time, so I would average 2:30 per 50. Now, stupid me, I should have just done #1, 4, 7, and 10 fast, but I banked a bit of rest and did #1, 3, 7 and 10 fast, descending free 50's. I went 38 36 31 31. I thought if it hurts this bad, just bite the bullet and go as low as you can, skipping over the 35-32 range. 31 isn't so great, but after the first fly set, I was more tired than I thought. I just didn't have it at the end!

    Easy 50
    The End

    The frustrating thing is that the constant state of being is in "almost good shape". AGS is the new elite conditioing. I did the legs and back P90x routine and now my rear end is entirely sore. A few weeks ago, at my non-peak muscly stage, I was swimming faster. So not that I am attempting to get in good overall shape, it's an effort to swim at modest AGS speed. I am thinking I should not worry about "training" so much as doing drylands to simply stay in good middle age woman shape, and always swim at the high end of AGS.
  13. No man's land of not training yet

    by , December 28th, 2012 at 10:36 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hello everyone! Hope you all are having a good holiday season!

    My "training" has been to simply stay in relatively decent condition; no sense getting in really good shape before going to Breckenridge for a week and off-routine again. I've been doing strokes, drills, and some designated workouts and some on my own. Have not resumed drylands/weights yet except for my yoga/stretching. Again, no sense getting in great shape only to take a week off! We are going to Breck tomorrow.


    I got a parachute and softball/whiffle balls for xmas! The parachute is great! It says it is "flipturn compatable" for soft items, like the 'chute, clothing, etc, but that you should NOT flip turn with a hard drag object, like a bucket. You can indeed flipturn, but it is quite distracting. I like it better for fast 25's anyway. I like 25's period!

    The whiffle balls are awesome. They are like "anti-paddles" and essentially are a drill to work your core/legs since you can't balance, breathe, or get very much pull anyway. When you take the off, you feel incrdedibly balanced and your hands feel like giant spatulas! I got a package of 6; I am thinking to put them all in my bag and on certain days, suggest my small lane of 3 all use them! (since we have 2 hands, 6 balls, you get it....)

    Here is yesterday's workout:

    400 warm up (skipped the last 100; no reason, just skipped it 'cause I was tired)

    2 rounds of:
    3 x 50's each of
    done as kick/drill/swim

    2 x 200
    3 x 100
    ====>no, I did every other 50 with my whiffle balls

    10 x 50's
    3, 5, 7, 9, 10 fast
    ===>no, I did these the same way as 25's and walk back each time.

    The End

    That was a good workout for me. Just the kind of stuff I like! And enought skipping bits to feel proud that I did much less than everyone else. That said, I was arguably doing "more" with my whiffle balls!


    On to Breck tomorrow! I am going to start the 50 mile club thing. You mark your yardage and they put your name up on a board when you hit 50 miles. It's really dumb for us because of course we can easily do 50 miles every 2 months, even at my yardage rate. But you can only count yards swum at the Breck Recreation Center, so it's going to take me a few years. You can swim any stroke and use any equipment, just no motorized stuff. You can take as much time as you want, but i'd rather just get as much yardage in as I can. DID I REALLY JUST SAY THAT????!!!! HO HO HO!!! I'll probably wear big fins, paddles, and my snorkel and just swim away.


  14. Back into the "routine"!

    by , December 11th, 2012 at 11:36 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, I am happy to report I am on target to average 2 workouts a week. Strategically, I try to go on Tues/Thurs which are IM/stroke day.

    My freestyle is feeling pretty good. I have slight twinges on the turns, but no sharp stabbing pains. Back and breast feel pretty good as well. It's a bit of a surprise, but fly is where I feel my wounds the most. Partly from the continuous motion, my guts aren't sure which incision to spill out of - bellybutton is the frontrunner but the upper middle chest one is a contender as well. Guess I better just swim faster and get to the wall sooner!

    I had some really good times the first 2 days back - maybe because I was actually rested, if not in fine-tuned shape! I did a broken 50 to a set of 125's (about 4 min interal or so). 25 5 sec 25 and descended 33 to 30 flat, so I would say my theoretical speed is intact. I think i'll add that to my standard vocabulary - theoretical speed. Not to be confused with one-step-away from speed. I give myself one year grace period to cite the gallbladder episode.

    And now, onto other interesting updates!

    1. Claire took it upon herself to get her grade changed!!!! She was completely miffed when her 2nd report card did not show the grade change. So before the end of the day, she went to the principal and vice-principal all by herself and asked them to change it. They said they would and to check back with them. I was quite amazed but really glad she didn't need help from me. Her teacher has been out sick for the last 8 weeks! I guess changing a kid's grade from an 88 to a 93 is pretty low on the totem pole if you are that sick! It is indeed changed in the official records. Hooray for Claire!

    2. Almost done xmas shopping! Thank god for amazon, zappos, and frontier airline gift certificates. What else to get the man of the house!!

    3. Check out these cool swimming t-shirts! I got one for my kids' swim coach.

  15. 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.
  16. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
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