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Planning

Goals, Periodization, Lessons Learned

  1. It's a Wrap for January, Jan. 31

    by , January 31st, 2011 at 07:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCM/Solo:

    Just did a Rich A. slow mo recovery swim with fins:

    700 various

    10 x 100 @ 1:45
    odds = backstroke
    evens = backstroke kick

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = breast
    evens = free

    100 dolphin dive

    Total: 2200 meters

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Commentary:

    I may have gone a wee bit crazy with drylands yesterday. Oddly, I thought it was a leg dominant workout, but my shoulders and back are much more sore (despite getting a mini massage from Mr. Fort). I guess med ball slamming and handstanding is a better upper body workout that what I've been doing in the gym? Anyhoo, I thought it best just to do a Rich A. slow mo type recovery workout to help flush lactic acid. We are expecting a wintery mix tonight. I just hope this doesn't foil my plans to HTFU and get in a sprint workout tomorrow.


    Monthly FLOG Totals:

    Swimming, 20x
    31.68 miles/55,764 yards
    17,525 yards kicking (31%)
    4,525 yard race pace(8%)*

    Weights, 8x
    Cycling, 1x
    Yoga, 10x

    Total workouts = 39

    * I define race pace to be between 90-100%, which would be my 50 or 100 pace. So these are all close to all out efforts.

    This was a very solid month of training for me. I swam 4-5 times per week, which is my max, of fairly low yardage. If I swim more than that, I am not mentally sharp enough for AFAP efforts and some burnout sets in. I did many doubles (12) and took 1 day off each week. That's definitely the most yoga I've done in a month. 8x isn't too bad for drylands since I intentionally took one week off.

    One more month of hard training, and then I plan to taper in March.


    Upcoming Spring Meets/Tentative Events:

    Warrenton Meet SCY, 3/6
    (cruising in late for some speed work off the blocks)
    100 breast (50 split)
    100 IM

    Albatross Meet SCM, 3/19
    50 back
    100 back
    200 back (if needed)
    50 fly

    Colonies Zones SCY, 4/16
    100 free (50 split)
    100 back
    50 fly
    2 chick relays

    Canadian Nats SCM, 5/20-22
    possibility, still waiting for meet info
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  2. Sunny Day

    by , January 16th, 2011 at 09:35 PM (Grandma Got Run Over By A Swim Team)
    Sunday Morning @ Meyers Park
    Surprise! Amber was there - matter of fact, there were a BUNCH of people there! Could've been quite social, except that most of them are on the slower side - but like I said, Amber was there & her husband Drew - so that made workout much more exciting. Got there a little bit late & so missed the first 2 100's

    Warm up: 350 yds - it was supposed to be 5 x 100 on 2:00 I think, but Amber was doing 150's, so I joined her in that midway on the 3rd 150.
    Then we did 5 x 100 on a very slow interval but what the heck, it was my warm up (2 x 150 on 2 min is not a nice relaxing warmup for me!)
    The main set was (7 times through) supposed to be a 150 followed by a 50 on the following intervals: 1 min for each 50, and the 150's were: 2:30, 2:40, 2:50, 3:00, 2:50, 2:40, 2:30; we decided to do a 200 while they were doing 150's, and on #3 & 5, we did IM twitch, & number 4 was just a plain 200 IM. I don't know if Amber & I were trying to show off or what, but we kicked it today! It was awesome! I mean, seriously - a 2:20 for a 200 free? For me? Even though I had little mini-fins on, I still feel very good about that set!
    Last set was 12 x 50 on :55, and I did stroke/free by 25's, mostly fly/free.

    Total: 3150

    You may be wondering why I was at the pool on Sunday morning, when I said last week that I wasn't going to swim on Sundays anymore, in hopes of helping my elbows heal faster. Well, what can I say, it was beautiful outside, and I feel so much happier when I swim, that I just had to go. And really, it made my day! I had a great, productive day afterwards - enjoyed Church, fixed a nice dinner, even made cookies & had the Home Teachers over. Wow. Now, if only I could make myself read the Scriptures some on Sunday like a good girl. . .

    Updated January 19th, 2011 at 12:54 PM by Celestial

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  3. Slomo Today

    by , January 14th, 2011 at 08:12 AM (Grandma Got Run Over By A Swim Team)
    It was below 25 when I left the house this morning, but a nice trip to the tropics when I dove into 82-83 degree water at Meyers Park - plus the bonus of being under the bubble! Had some problems with motivation today, my elbow was in serious pain after Weds workout & so I took off Thurs; still a bit sore yesterday, so I was not too inclined to kill myself today. Plus, since I took that Amrix (slow release Flexeril) I think I'm sorta in slomo! But I did swim, and a crappy day in the water is always better than a good day in the office.

    800 warmup (150 free, 25 back, 25 breast repeat)
    Two times through:
    3 x 200
    3 x 100
    3 x 50
    (first group was free, second IM)

    100 cool down

    TOTAL 3000
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  4. Ruminations: my love/hate relationship with my job!

    by , January 10th, 2011 at 09:42 PM (Grandma Got Run Over By A Swim Team)
    I love being a nurse practitioner! Truly! I think my patients like me too. Most of the time I enjoy patient teaching, and finding ways to help people live better, healthier (more pain free?) lives. Today, however I was just so frustrated! Ever since I got this job (last July) I have been trying to find a way to swim at lunch again. Mannn! I miss swimming at lunch! I miss the sunshine, I miss the camaraderie, I miss the competition! I love how swimming at lunch really breaks up your day, too. Anyways, I knew I had a light schedule today, only about 9 patients this morning, and the last one was scheduled at 11:15. (Practice starts at about 11:30ish & it takes me 12 minutes to get to the pool from my office.) So around 11:05, I notice this last AM patient has signed in, and I'm thinking, cool, I'm gonna get in a double today! After all urgent visits are usually short, sweet & to the point, right? They are sick! They want their prescription, and then they want to go home and back to bed. Well, my nurse finally gets the patient back at 11:31, & I get to see her at 11:35, and at 11:58 after talking waaay too long about why you don't use chairs with wheels on them to stand on to rearrange your closet shelves & that she was lucky she didn't break her osteoporotic neck! I finally was "free" for my lunch break. And of course, once again, it is much too late to even bother going to the pool. Frustration!! I swear, in February, after all the stupid insurance verifications have been done & the schedule is a bit more reliable, I am going to get up the nerve & just TELL them, that I will be leaving at 11:15 on Mondays and Wednesdays to swim. I will see an extra person or two on Tuesday or Thursday if they want, but I need to get the heck out of Dodge! Geez!

    So this morning, I swam in the (cold) rain, LCM:
    600 WU
    5 x 400 - #1&2 swim, #3 pull no paddles, #4 pull w/paddles, #5 fins (Leisurely interval of 6:30)
    100 EZ
    6 x 50 kick @ 1:00
    300 cool down (50 Br/50 Fr/100 Br/50 Fr/50 Br)
    TOTAL: 3300 LCM

    Updated January 11th, 2011 at 06:49 PM by Celestial

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  5. Ruminations

    by , January 8th, 2011 at 09:38 PM (Grandma Got Run Over By A Swim Team)
    I've erased all my old "blogs" and moved them to the "FLOG" page. Silly me, I thought that was what this was for!

    I find that I am becoming addicted to the Discussion Forum. I've been reading it for a few years, but only started posting on it this last fall. I realized I was in the wrong place for posting my workouts when I saw something about the GTD (Go The Distance)in a post & thought I would do that too, but good grief, I don't even have the faintest idea how much I should put for my goal. My real goal is to have the guts to go to an actual swim meet! I have no idea how truly slow I am, and I'm not sure I really want to find out! What kind of times do I put on the entry form? I know I will seem like I'm sand bagging, especially in the first meet, but, there we have it - I have no idea how fast or slow I may go, and I don't want to embarrass myself!

    This empty nester stuff is really getting to me. I can't really live vicariously through my son anymore, so I need to find some way to put a little extra meaning in my life. After having 5 kids, and only two of them swimmers, I kinda wish they were the first two, so I wouldn't feel so depressed. I miss talking about our workouts together, son of mine! Wish you would call home more often and share stories of your workouts, and workout buddies in college!! Fortunately, my sweet husband is, funny enough, actually interested in my goofy stories from work and the pool, and listens to me for hours. I feel like I have no direction right now. Wes & I basically "graduated" at the same time, and as he went off to college, I started my new career - but life is very empty when I come home to a very quiet house in the evening - and both my hubbie & I are on diets - so I (shouldn't) don't even get to bake treats any more!

    My biggest gripes about swimming right now:
    1) I have to swim in the mornings, mostly all by myself, in the dark, alone, at 5:30 AM. Plus, right now, it's **** cold outside, so it's cold & dark & lonely.
    2) I don't get to swim at lunch with friends who would push me to try harder - and I also miss that camaraderie. (Hmmm, sounds a lot like gripe #1)
    3) My elbows hate me. I have bilateral medial epicondylitis. I've had this for going on 15 months now. They wake me up at night, they interfere with my shopping, and doing my job, and of course, they interfere with my swimming. If they didn't hurt, I might be able to do weights. If they weren't injured, I probably would be faster, because I think I have lost some strength from the injury.


    So, GOALS for the new year. These are not resolutions (like, I resolve to get to the gym more. . .) these are goals with a plan.
    1) Lose the weight and get back down to 125lbs. And stay there. Less weight means, less drag in the water, and swimsuits won't have to always be black!
    2) Go to at least 5 meats this year.
    3) Do the 10 mile OW swim in Tennessee in September 2011
    4) Figure out how to swim at lunch at least twice a week
    5) Well, I would put goal times here - but I don't have a baseline, so that will have to wait. I did fairly well in the New Years 5000 swim, holding about a 1:10 for the 1:20's, and I would like to think that means I can seriously aim for under 6:00 in the 500 free - but we shall see.


    ~Me~


    Updated January 16th, 2011 at 09:40 PM by Celestial

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  6. Monday, Jan. 3

    by , January 3rd, 2011 at 05:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands:

    HS single leg extension, 30 x 2 x 8, each leg
    total ab machine, 130 x 2 x 15
    lower back machine, 140 x 2 x 15
    squat swing w/plate, 25 x 1 x 15
    reverse scoop, 25 x 2 x 15
    flutter kicks on bosu, 50
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    russian twists w/plate on incline bench, 25 x 2 x 25
    bicep curls, 40 x 2 x 8
    extreme angle isometric squat, 3:00
    (this bothered my shins, which are feeling kind of shin splinty after all that kicking with fins yesterday)

    RC work, 15 minutes

    Stretching, 20 minutes


    Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Only had an hour to swim. Did the exact opposite of yesterday.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Hypoxic Kick with long MF:

    16 x 25 shooters
    4 belly, 4 back, 4 right side, 4 left side

    50 EZ

    4 x broken 100 shooter
    5 seconds rest at each 25, all UW

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    ATP-CP Set:
    10 x 25 free w/15 meter burst @ :45

    -- Forgot what the RA recommended interval was for this set. They were supposed to be on 1:00, not :45. I was wondering, as it seemed too little rest given the effort level. Felt sort of out of sync on these.

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 back w/fins AFAP (went 25)

    -- This time reflects the fact that I haven't done any speed work for 3 weeks.

    200 EZ

    Total: 2200/1000 kick

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Commentary:

    My left shoulder was a bit twinge-y, most likely from paddle use yesterday. I used the red strokemakers instead of the green ones. Probably better advised to stick with the smaller green ones. (Though I think they've disappeared in Mini Fort's equipment bag.) So I didn't do any push/pulls at the gym today and stuck with mostly core & leg work.

    New Year's Resolutions:

    I don't usually make these, as I'm pretty self motivated. But I think I can improve in 2 areas: go to sleep earlier and less SB/chard/pinot. I kicked this off by falling asleep at 11:30 pm last night, fairly early for me. I'm usually asleep at 12:30-1:00. I'll attempt a complete alcohol ban for awhile. I believe Speedo is doing this too until Zones? I see the benefits as improved sleep, minor weight loss, less dehydration (and hence possibly less cramping) and better absorption of vitamins.

    Tentative 2011 Meets:

    Very tentative revised plan, which has me at 9 meets, but 3-4 are multi-day. This is pushing it on the family front somewhat, and I doubt I'll make them all. I've never done this many travel meets before. But this gives me plenty to mull over, and I can adjust and subtract as needed. So far, there are no conflicts with Mr. Fort's running events through the marathon.

    March 6, Warrenton Meet SCY
    -- cruise in late to swim a couple events.

    March 19, Albatross Open SCM
    -- Probably rest 10 days or depending on how I feel. I suspect I'll need a major rest from training at this point.

    April 16, Colonies Zones SCY
    -- I'll only compete on Saturday b/c I have to leave that afternoon for Boston for the marathon.

    May 20-23, Canadian Nationals SCM (Montreal)
    -- Very tentative. Have to run this by Mr. Fort. This meet appeals to me b/c of location and b/c it's SCM. Need to get a link to the order of events. If I go, I'd do a full taper.

    June 18-June 31, Cruise in Europe
    -- This throws a real wrench in LCM Nats in early August. I can see being forced to do something in the small ship pool, while hammering the drylands and cycle.

    August 4-6, LCM Nats at Auburn
    -- I won't be in ideal shape for 100s with the timing of my vacation, but hopefully my speed won't disappear.

    Late August, Colonies Zones, LCM, U of Md
    -- Assuming we have CZ at U of Md again this year, this would be better timing for a taper meet than Auburn. The only downside is that this meet is smaller and hence less rest. Other possible complications are a week at the beach and taking Fort Son to college.

    September, Savageman Triathlon
    -- This year, I won't train for this event at all beyond doing 4 x 500 free one day or so. I will just hop in and go, hopefully without asthma problems this time. I have informed the two relay zealots of this fact.

    October 15-16, Rowdy Gaines Classic SCM
    -- Probably won't go to this if I go to Canadian Nats. But I have already run this meet by Mr. Fort. Or I could do this meet in lieu of a December meet.

    October 30, Sprint Classic, GMU, SCY

    Mid-December, NE Champs or CZ Champs or local Last Minute Meet, SCM

    Updated January 10th, 2011 at 10:34 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Planning
  7. Tuesday, Nov. 9

    by , November 9th, 2010 at 05:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes

    Yowsa, it was really hot in there today. The temperature seems to vary by instructor. I prefer it closer to 105 than 110. My face was extremely red at the end. And, although I was planning on venturing to the gym tonight, I'm too zonked. The stretch felt good though, as I was/am still sore from weights. Tomorrow, I have a swim-ART-and PM gym with Mini planned. Thursday, I have a PRP appt for my foot. I'm dreading it b/c it was so painful last time. I may ask them to put a lidocaine patch on my foot before the procedure.


    Meets:

    Just booked my flight to Boston for $134. Pretty decent price; deals on JetBlue and AirTran end today. And, after booking it, I just saw that we are having a SCM meet in PV: [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=17792"]PV/DCRP Last Chance SCM meet (Dec 4, 2010) - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]. Oh well, too late, but it is just a Sat am only meet. Maybe I'll just swim one event there depending on the line up. This has Speedo's name on it!

    Looking ahead, I've also discussed logistics for the Boston Marathon, which is the Monday following CZ SCY Champs in April next year. We're going to leave Saturday after the meet, so I'll be able to get a few events in and see the folks staying at the abode. Maybe I'll swim a distance event Friday night ... with a Chowmi type split request of course.

    So, meets for the year are stacking up like this so far:

    December 11-12: NE/CZ Champs SCM, Boston
    March 19: Albatross Open SCM, MD
    April 15-16: CZ SCY Champs, VA (taper)
    August 4-6: LCM Nats at Auburn (taper)

    I need to find a meet between April and August; it may have to be a USAS LC meet if there is nothing else local (don't want to swim in the outdoor hairball pool). The meet in December will be my final meet in meters in my current age group. Moving on!

    Updated November 9th, 2010 at 09:44 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Yoga , Planning
  8. You'd think I had a job or something....

    In the past several weeks, I've had to make some adjustments to my workout. Work is finally starting to ramp up and attempt that "utilization to his full potential" crap that the authority figures in my life have always talked about (Parents... teachers... professors... coaches... etc...) Which has ultimately lead to a rise in the number of hours working.

    For about 2 straight weeks I was driving down to Oak Park outside of Chicago. So this would cut into my sleep schedule and thus my morning lifts were gone. Instead - they were replaced with the 80-90 MPH drive down 294 and 290. I think most people didn't even see my car, it was more of a silver blur at 6 in the morning.

    For those two weeks, I was unable to lift at all, and I was lucky to make practice. Sleep was cut to about 4-5 hours per night, and maybe an hour before practice (if I was lucky). I made it through those two weeks and straight into the Sink Or Swim Classic and another week of more of the same and shot immediately into the GRIN Fall Classic. As you all saw - I did really well for me.

    Well starting after the GRIN Fall Classic I was "able" to jump back into lifting. The problem was - I wasn't falling asleep after practice. I had also gotten used to sleeping in a little (til 6:00 AM instead of getting up at 5:00 AM) as a result of my travels and not lifting. So I've adjusted my workout schedule AGAIN.
    Trying to double up on lifting/swimming on days where I have to work just seem relatively useless since I was always just so exhausted. I felt like my work, my workouts and my swims were all suffering as a result of the schedule.

    So now:
    Swim:Sunday 7:30-9:00 PM, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 8:30-9:30 PM
    Lift: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday (Sunday will be optional)
    Core: 6 Days a week with a floating free day.

    I lift now whenever its convenient (Evenings on Mondays and Fridays). My new gym has a massive collection of weights and machines. So if I can't find something to do - I'm obviously not using my creativity.
    I wake up almost every morning between 6 and 6:30. That means I can eat a light breakfast and be ready to do core by 7:00 AM. I make sure I put in at least a half an hour of straight core work. I enjoy it because it gives me an endorphin rush in the morning, preps my mind for the day and helps to maintain the efforts I've taken so far in my swimming.
    I think its a pretty ambitious plan, but I also think I can handle it pretty well. I'm currently 8 days in and so far so good

    My next meet and the rundown has been decided! I will be swimming at the West Bend Short Course Meters Meet. I'll be swimming the 50 fly, 200 free, 50 breast, 200 IM, and finally - the 1500 Free. There will be more on that later though. I'm not ready to start blogging those goals for that meet though. That will come! This will be my first competition 200 IM!

    What do you do for your workout? How do you compensate for friends/family/job/swimming?
  9. Sink Or Swim Classic Premeet Prep

    Those of you who talk with me on the forums have probably seen my signature promoting the Libertyville Masters Sink or Swim Classic in Vernon Hills Illinois. Those of you who know me REALLY well (and now everyone) will know that I will be wearing this brief during the meet:

    To all of you who think that this is ridiculous - YOU'RE WELCOME, I've now opened your mind.
    To all of you who believe that this is awesome and classy - THANK YOU.

    Fun Fact: All summer I swam SCM at Vernon Hill High School - the very pool where this meet will be held. Since September we have been swimming SCY.

    I decided to sign up for as many events as I could - including relays for this meet. It's going to be a blast and I figure "Why not? I don't plan on winning anything - I just plan on pushing myself through this and making it a fun time."

    Events And Goals
    400m Free
    So I decided I wanted my first swim of the day to be the longest swim of the meet. I plan on using this event as a double whammy.
    1) It'll be a PR. No matter what.
    2) It'll be a great warm up before the 50 free which is my next event.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in 7:00. That will be an average 100 around 1:45
    It seems like this might be an easy goal for many of you, but its hard to say for me since I'm so used to swimming SCY, I come in around 1:30-1:35 on the 100 during practice, so I'm hoping that extra 7 foot or so won't equate to much more than 10 seconds.

    50m Free
    The 50m free is placed perfectly. Its a race I really like and a race I would like to do well in. I learned some painful lessons this summer swimming it in LCM and I'm excited to give it another go.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in under 36 seconds
    When I swam SCY in march, I swam my 50 (tapered) in roughly around 33 seconds. I don't see any reason why I couldn't beat that now non-tapered. I can swim a 35 at the end of practice these days (so I'm already exhausted and its a push off the wall).

    50m Breast
    I'm not good at breast stroke. I'm very aware of it. I know I should take the time, I just haven't. I'll admit it fully and readily. That being said:
    My goal in this event is to beat my LCM time of 59.57 seconds
    I shall not fear the event! I shall embrace it!

    100m IM
    Even though the 50 is the event I want to do the most well in, the 100 IM is the event I'm most excited about! I've more or less just learned butterfly in the last couple months and I'm excited about the prospect of finally getting to do it in a race! I practiced my transition off the wall from fly to back once the other night and its a LOT of fun!
    My goal in this event is to swim it in under 2 minutes.
    The 100 IM is just the stepping stone. By January I'm hoping to be able to do the 200 IM and stick with that event for a while while I build up my strength/endurance to do the 400 IM.

    50m Back
    The 50 Back is one of those events I like - but I'm not great at. This will have been after all of my other 4 events + 2 relays. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be more of a flooded kayak than swimmer at this point.
    My goal in this event - given the circumstances - is survival. That being said, I'd like to swim it in under 50 seconds

    Thanks for reading! I hope to have video of this!
  10. Get it together mcdonnell!

    So the past two to three weeks I've been seriously in a funk, out of the loop, whatever you want to call it.
    We've pushed up to 4 practices a week in the pool. I'm really thankful for it. I love swimming so much that another day is very welcomed! My times are dropping little by little and my endurance is building up pretty quickly. I'm doing my best to beat everyone around me. I have some serious competition though. Brian's been keeping pretty much even with me in everything. Anne and Laura have been kicking my butt unless its in pull mostly because I rock pull something fierce.

    However

    As a result of me gaining strength in swimming: I can afford to go on less sleep (significantly less sleep). When I don't sleep well, I don't eat well. When I don't eat well, I don't feel as good. When I don't feel good, I don't lift. If I don't lift, I don't sleep as well.... its a vicious cycle. I've also been drinking more than enough. I've also been eating a TON. I've been more hungry these past couple weeks than I was all summer long.

    So - time to reset. I'm a little hungover this morning so I didn't go in to work.
    Goal 1) Lift at least 5 times by next Saturday.
    I have swimming Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
    I have basketball on Wednesday.
    So I should be able to lift today, Saturday, Sunday and maybe Monday.
    I'll take Tuesday and Wednesday off to make sure I can play basketball (its the semi finals for our basketball league) and swim immediately following.
    Then I should be able to lift Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
    This is great! I should be able to get back on my 3 days on, 1 days off pattern as recommended by my trainer
    Goal 2) Get my diet reorganized.
    I'm going to focus back on intelligent eating. I need turkey, chicken, a loaf of bread, tons of veggies, bananas, berries, and a gallon of milk.
    Goal 3) Get my rest. (~8 hours a night)
    Before I started swimming I could pretty much function pretty efficiently on 3-4 hours of sleep a day. Once I started - I had to start getting more like 8-9 hours of sleep. Now that I'm finally starting to get stronger in my swimming, I'm starting to drift back down to about 6-7 hours of sleep and my body is letting me know that that's not cool.

    Alright - that's my trinity of goals. There's absolutely no reason why I should not be able to make those goals with the exception of me holding myself back.

    Okay. Time to eat breakfast finally and make these goals a reality!
  11. Tue Aug 24, 2010

    by , August 24th, 2010 at 11:28 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Aug 24, 2010

    Sat Aug 21 swam
    Sun Aug 22 no practice
    Mon Aug 23 missed practice & stayed home
    tue Aug 24th slept in

    Dear Friends,

    I'm sorry, lately I've been very stressed & distracted & just not that into swimming after the 2010 LCM season ended.

    I planned to lose weight & get stronger, but haven't hit the gym in a while.


    My weight loss has been going great, recently I've weighed under 200 lbs & as low as 197ish. The stress helped me lose weight. I weighed around 224 at 2010 SCY Nats. Think I'll hover between 195 to 200.

    Sunday night, I had a personal crisis come to a head, barely slept maybe from 3 to 5. Monday was difficult, slept well last night & today is even better. It's forcing some positive changes.

    I hope to train tomorrow and get back on track.

    Soon I will figure out my 2010 SCM goals.
    Categories
    Planning
  12. Since its been over a week....

    So the last two weeks have been a little off kilter thus far. My roommates have gone out of town and left me with their dog Sophie.

    Now - I love Sophie. She's seriously the most awesome dog in the world. She's a complete sweetheart and pretty much the only girl who likes me these days anyway


    However - with the sweet comes the slightly annoying. She wants a lot of my attention. Last week - I was just kind of getting into the swing of things just being her and I and I wasn't thinking too clearly. She pretty much monopolized my after work time when I wasn't working on computers. I felt bad just leaving her in the cage all day, so this was a combo effect all across the board. The only things I made time for that week were team events: swim practice, basketball and softball.
    I actually found myself in a bit of a funk as a result of not lifting. I was feeling generally in nature and my attempts to correct or alleviate the situation were only met with more problems and things just getting in my way.
    HOWEVER on the flip side. Thursday night's swim practice was probably the fast I've swam ever. I don't think I've ever really taken the time to give myself enough rest for meets now that I'm thinking about it. I swam roughly 10% faster as a result!

    Then swimming ended last Sunday. Its been difficult to get in the pool just due to time constraints. However this time - I've got a strategy. I put up the money and threw Sophie into a puppy day care so she'd be nice and tired by the time we got home. This has actually worked mostly. I've been busy with a lot of other things as well (car needed oil change, worked a 23 hour shift on tuesday, etc...) So I have been able to get in 2 weight lifts (and one more tonight) this week. I'm hoping that next week will give me even more time to do this as I kind of pick up things to do.

    I also went to the Lake Forest High School pool. I was sorely disappointed to find out that the LFHS pool is closed until August 10th.... So that means I have to turn around and go back to Lake Bluff where I have no lane lines and no ceiling. <ugh>

    I guess I'll be getting really good at my sprints and my breast stroke form then!
  13. SCY GOAL TIME!

    So SCY season is upon us soon! I'm already starting to plan out my goals and ideas!
    Since I like to break things down logically (being that logic is my job) I'm going to start by labeling my high level goals and then giving slightly more detailed goals that I have within those goals.

    Simple goals:
    1) Get Faster (in Swimming)
    2) Get Stronger
    3) Get Skinnier
    4) Build a giant robot that can take over.... .err never mind. (Remember Mike - this is PUBLIC)

    My physical stats and goals:
    Height: 6'3ish <-- I was 6'2 going into college, grew another inch freshman year
    Weight: 210ish <-- Lightest EVER
    Shoe Size: 15 <-- Sucks to buy shoes
    Waist Line: 34 <-- WOW! I'm so pumped!
    Body Fat (as of 7/22/2010): 17.5% <--- GRRR

    My body fat is a frustrating one. I have a lot of loose skin - so I honestly feel that it probably skewed the results of the 7 point pinch test. Especially when I can't imagine myself still having another 35 pounds of fat on my body. Regardless - I still have to keep working out anyway. Otherwise how can I get stronger? (What just happened?)

    My strength goals:
    I don't do a good job keeping stats (like 1MR) of my lifts. I'm not concerned so much with building up that kind of strength. All of my strength goals are to build my body so I can focus more intensively on swimming. So even though my curl is at 12x70 (35 in each hand) using an underhand grip and my lat pull down is at 12x115 - I honestly just want to see those numbers continue to rise on a biweekly to triweekly basis as I spend my 6 days a week at the gym, focusing on developing my extremities while strengthening my core as much as possible. If I can continue lifting and growing stronger - its only going to help me swim faster! (ANOTHER TRANSITION? What's he doing!?)

    Swimming stats and goals
    Alright - So my only SCY times are in the IL State Meet in April. That was long enough ago - and I've lost 20 pounds since then and have gained a lot of strength. I have a few LCM times - but rather than worrying about converting them. Lets just say I'd better beat them when it comes to SCY. The official times are still there:
    Code:
    50 Free: 32.97
    100 Free 1:18.42
    I have my goal times for the year to reach for.
    Code:
    50 Free: < 30 sec
    100 Free: < 1:10
    50 Back: < 50 sec
    100 Back: < 1:50
    50 Breast: < 55 sec
    100 Breast: < 2:00
    *Note - if I beat those times, then I just want to continue improvement. If I don't - its fine. I'm just looking forward to trying! Lastly for swimming; I want to learn how to do butterfly by next April for the Illinois state meet. I'd like to be able to do the 50 free in fly. We'll see what I can get my coach to teach me!
    Outside of swimming - I'm going to be working up to no less than 5 days a week swimming and if I can - 2 practices per day. We'll see how that lines up with sleep as one can't swim all of those events well if you don't have proper rest and nutrition! (He did it again! That son of a big guy!)

    Rest and Nutrional Goals
    Now - nutritional goals are nothing new for me. Rest goals however totally are. To help me focus better on my swimming and to allow me to swim more often and more effectively - I need to be properly rested and well nourished.
    So to help me rest more - I'm giving up organized recreation outside of swimming for now. As soon as my seasons are over for basketball and both of my softball leagues, I'm going to forgo other offers so I can just primarily focus on my swimming and my workout (lifting and possibly running).
    Nutrionally - I need to focus on making sure I keep a solid grip on the reality of my situation - I have to maintain healthy eating habits. I know from experience now that when I do splurge - I end up feeling kind of sick and tired within a few hours. If I'm going to perform - I need to be on top of my game!
    I also need to make sure I sleep enough. Which is such a tear for me. One the one hand - if I get up early - get to work early and get home early - I get to have the afternoon to accomplish what needs to be done. On the other hand - my masters team meets at 8:30 at night. That means practice goes til 9:30, and I'm awake til 11 minimum. A 5 AM wake up just doesn't happen on that these days. So especially once basketball and softball are done, I'll take some time to really focus on how I'm going to actually implement these ideas.

    Thanks for reading again! Today's post isn't as long - but I still appreciate you reading! So today I'm offering a dinosaur:
  14. New Forum Pic + Swim Across America + What now?!

    Well - it seemed like a really good idea at the time and for once - it was!

    Swim Across America - a late night of softball (missed my party because it ran so late) where I tore up my left knee and leg sliding into home, followed by a drive to chicago where I slept for a few hours, and was up at 5:20 AM and down at Navy Pier by 5:40 AM.

    I actually got some really cool pics of the harbor that morning. You can check them out at my Picasa Web Gallery. I'll be adding more as I get the hi-res versions available. All the pictures taken early in the morning were taken with my phone though. I like how they turned out!

    The swim went decently! I learned a lot of neat things on Saturday as a result.
    Lesson 1: I LOVE wetsuits! I rented my $5 wetsuit, put it on and immediately took a walk in the water - I was incredibly buoyant! Each step my legs felt lighter and lighter as the suit made picking my feet out of the water easier and easier! During the swim - this would help fix my body position and put me in a great place to just coast my way through the middle half mile.
    Lesson 2: Drafing ROCKS! Getting in the water - I had no idea how the swim was going to go. So I immediately started in the back of the pack. When you have 15 people swimming in front of you and dragging you along for the first (roughly) 1/4 mile... it's AMAZING. I was putting in virtually no effort, and just swimming along. Before too long, I was passing people left and right and I think I found myself towards the front of the pack when it came to miler swimmers.
    Lesson 3: Those wet suits are very VERY tight. Seriously, I got out of the water tired, disoriented, dizzy, and feeling drunk - sans the fun of having drank. Within a minute of me finally pulling the zipper open on the back of my suit - my chest opened up a LOT and suddenly oxygen was rushing through my body. It was kind of a cool feeling! Although - pulling the plants off my head and body was rather annoying in my disoriented state. I remember having a conversation with Coach Catie as I tried to walk inland:
    Me: Did I win?
    Catie: Good job Mike!
    Me: Yeah but did I win? (trying to stand without falling)
    Catie: Sure Mike, you won..... Are you okay?
    Me: (Stumbling past Catie) Yeah I think so...
    It took me about 5-6 minutes to regain my footing, and once I was able to breath and on dry land I was in much better shape. Speaking of being in better shape - that new forum/profile pic I have posted is actually my taken right after I got out of the water - hence why I look like I feel like I'm going to die.

    So I've decided I'm not a huge open water fan. I might do Big Shoulders just so I have competition to swim for in September. I'm kind of undecided about it all. I'm not a huge OW fan to start. Things like plant life, choppy water, weather.... those things aren't really my most favorite things in the world.

    That leads me to the most important topic: What now?!
    Some important things to know: 1) Our season ends August 1st. Next season doesn't start up until August 12th(ish). I am NOT taking 12 (or more) days off. If anything - I need to ramp up my swimming even more. SCY season is going to be here and I need to be able to destroy my times from last year!!!!

    So I'm going to shift my training to Lake Forest High School pool. The resident annual pass is $260, so I may just buck that out. That'll get me through next summer of doing up to 6 days a week of swimming (and even 2/days!!!) Since my masters team doesn't practice nearly enough for my liking. I'll probably see if I can pull some of my teammates in with me.

    As far as dry land goes: I'm going to talk to my trainer tonight. I'm thinking I should adjust my training to be far more plyometric in nature. I want to be able to build my sprints as much as possible this year - so by building those fast twitch muscles - I'm hoping to finally build up the ability to sprint (rather than whatever it is you say I do).

    I'm also not going to be doing the extra sports from now on. I've kind of made the decision for now I just want to focus on swimming and only swimming. Basketball has been fun, as well as softball - but they get in the way of my dryland and swimming workouts - and that drives me NUTS!

    Wow - that was a novel of a post! If you made it this far thank you! You win a cookie:
  15. Wednesday July 21, 2010 workout

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 11:31 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Aquasol 5:45 - 7:20pm

    Cooler, about 88 today.

    Warm(750)
    150FR, 200IM Drill, 50FR K, 50BK, 50BR K, 50FR, 50Fly K,
    50BR, 50BK K, 50 fly
    75's 5 off 1:10 early set (750/1500)
    10x75FR on 1:05 (:54 - 1:00) This set got painful.
    transitions set (650/2150)
    12x50 Fly/BK, BK/BR, BR/FR on 1:00
    50 ez
    Drills (1050/3200)
    20x50 Odds single arm rt/25, lt/25. Evens swim on 1:00
    50ez

    50 cool

    Tried the Pure Sport Recovery for a pre-workout and got the lead/heavy feeling through the first 2 sets, then I felt much better going into the drill set. As soon as I'm able Im going back on G2 workout or Cytomax for my pre-load.
    Pure Sport may be OK for Mr Phelps (like he really uses it) but for this ol' fish, I'll use whatever works, as long as its drug-free.
    The Sonora USA meet is in about 2-3 weeks, coach wants me to max out on the events which I think is 6 or 8, she said don't worry about times or messing up, but I would like to better my 50, 100 FR and 100Im times. This meet will be the first time I will do 200IM and 100BK SCY.
  16. Swim Across America

    Swim Across America is tomorrow....HOLY COW! SWIM ACROSS AMERICA IS TOMORROW!

    I'm NOT prepared for this at all! I'm supposed to be doing my first OW tomorrow, swimming a mile in Lake Michigan, and I haven't even thought about anything aside from the fact that I have to be there to help set up at 6 AM tomorrow.

    I'm going to be jumping into this one like I tend to do the rest of my life - without a single extra thought. (Lets hope I jump IN the water, not too soon or I'll just be eating sand.)

    So here's my schedule for tonight through tomorrow:
    Leave work in about 20-30.
    Get to Runner's Edge so I can try on wet suits so I know what size to rent tomorrow.
    Go home, mow the lawn.
    Shower, Lift at the gym (if I have time, legs tonight!)
    6:00 PM Play two softball games
    Go home, shower (again, I know)
    Get to Milwaukee for a party I'm helping host (You should come! PM me if you're interested!)
    11:30ish PM: Head down to home, pick up Greg from his mom's house (he's dog sitting) and go to his place in Chicago so I can sleep.
    5:30 AM UP AND ATOM! Time to help set up for Chicago's very own Swim Across America!
    7:00 AM Rent my wetsuit!
    9:00 AM Swim
    10:00 AM Call for help while swimming
    6:00 PM Leave hospital.... Oh wait, scratch these last two.
    10:00 AM-11:30 AM tear down, eat lunch and head home.

    So you can see - things usually get interesting. I have this weird tendency to over-commit myself. I get it from my mom.

    See you all (or not) tomorrow at S.A.A! Hopefully I won't be drowning!
  17. Back To Action!

    So after my 6 day hiatus on swimming due to my trip and my 7* day hiatus on lifting, I'm getting back into it today.

    I've made some adjustments though:
    1) I'm starting on the P90X Phase 2 Nutrition program as of today.
    a) I'm also making sure that my nutrition has a greater variance from day to day - keeping my body on edge about what it may burn at any given time. I hope this will help burn fat more effectively... I noticed that's how they do it in the week by week plans for the P90X nutrition program; in that program every day is completely different.
    2) To double check I'm not over consuming - I checked my RMR and Daily Activity Burn on the P90X formula. I'm still in Level 3, but I only have to lose 11 more pounds to put myself into Level 2. (Which is significantly less food per day.... yikes!)
    3) I'm restructuring my dryland workout template to add in plyometrics and adding 1 extra ab workout per circuit.
    So a single circuit for chest/shoulders/back could look like this (example):
    Code:
    Circuit X {
      Medium/Heavy Lift For Chest x 12 (Incline Bench Press)
      Medium/Heavy Lift For Back x 12 (Lateral Pull Down)
      Medium/Heavy Lift For Shoulders x 12 (Front and Lateral Raises)
      Repeated Ab Exercise x 15-20 (Exercise Ball Crunches)
      Plyometric Exercise Targeting Shoulders (Medicine Ball Slams)
      Endurance Based Ab Exercise (2pt Plank - 30 seconds ascending to a minute per rotation)
    }
    Last night I finally got back in the pool. (I didn't lift because I fell asleep ) It was so nice for the first 1600 meters (600s, 200k, 200p, 8x75k/d/s). Seriously I loved it! It was so nice to feel the water "hugging" me again! Then the hard set came: 6x250 descending (3 moderate, 2 hard, 1 killer). By the last 250 I thought I was going to die. That's the last time I ever take a week off from swimming! 3100m is not that much!

    Unfortunately the rest of the week is going to be very variable. I'm going to have to figure out how to make practice on Thursday while helping my friend Sara move, get to a trainer appointment, and potentially playing a softball game. It could potentially be a very long day!

    Starting next week I'll be getting back on the strokes and sprints cycle I started. I know there are a lot of issues with the pool, and I've found a new home, I'm just waiting for my current pool to close on September 6th. In the mean time, I'll make due. I actually have been tired enough since my vacation I've felt it necessary to have to "ramp back up" into my workout so I'll just be doing the standard Master's practices this week. This is why I never let myself relax!

    So those of you who are vigilant may have noticed that I put an * next to the 7 on my 7 days of lifting. I actually lifted Monday night when I returned from Oregon, however I feel it was such a pitiful attempt at lifting - I'm not counting it. I spent most of my time staring off in to space from the exhaustion that it was hardly worth my time to have been there at all. I did end up walking between 6 and 7 miles that night though, so that was at least something!

    Speaking of walking - I need to start running the mile and a half to the gym instead of walking it. Its not that far to run, and it will be a far better workout - especially considering how much I need to be running anyway!

    Lifting C/S/B + Basketball tonight!
    Thanks for reading!
  18. Strokes and Sprints

    I've decided that my 3/wk with the Libertyville Masters is just not enough anymore. While I do thoroughly enjoy swimming with them, I feel that I need/want more. So I've decided on any day I can (M/W/Sat) I'm going to do my own workout to help build technique and speed. My current focus is going to be on strokes (Back, Breast and Butterfly), and sprints (freestyle for now).

    I'm operating under 2 assumptions: 1) Good form is built by proper execution of drills. 2) Form breaks down when fatigued unless good form is consciously sought after and executed carefully.

    The idea behind all of my stroke workouts will be based on kicking and drills. If I build up strength and endurance in my kick, then it won't be as big of a fatiguing factor when I'm swimming. If I build proper form in my drills, then when I do take the time to combine it together, the proper form should (ideally) build on the experience from the drills and the strength from the kicking.

    The idea behind my sprint workouts will be based on short distance (right now - 25y) and are to be executed with the following mindset: "move your arms as fast as you can and kick as hard as you can and breath as few times as possible." I'm not concerned with things like dolphin off the wall, or timing my flip turns right now. I want my sole focus to be building those fast twitch muscles in those sprint workouts.

    The park district pool I currently swim in on my own is a 4 Lane 25 SCY pool, no lane lines or flags in the lap swim area. I usually am only one of two maybe 3 people, but the openness of everything makes it kind of tough to swim. Its pretty choppy compliments of the kids playing in the rest of the pool to the east, and the kids diving in the diving well to the west. (Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...)

    My workout last Monday looked like this:

    Warm Up:
    600 swim
    200 pull
    100 catchup drill ([ame=http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=33665&postcount=3]I don't use a kickboard[/ame])

    Back Stroke Set
    Due to the fact that there are no flags, I swim right next to the one lane line which is next to the kids playing in the pool so I can make sure I don't bash into the wall
    8x25 kick
    8x25 long axis drill (I need to learn more backstroke drills)
    4x25 swim (no flags == kind of scary to turn)

    Breast Stroke Set
    8x25 kick
    8x25 breast stroke pull with flutter kick (I also need to learn more breast stroke drills)
    2x50 swim

    Sprint Set
    8x25 pull
    2x100 easy swim
    8x25 sprint

    Cool Down
    50 easy swim
    1.5 Mile walk back home.

    So from all of you who are far more experienced than me - would you care to give any suggestions? I'm all ears!
  19. A fun and quick little story:

    So last weekend I swam at the Badger State Games in Appleton Wisconsin. It was my first LCM Meet where I did sprints. You all have seen the times from my previous post Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?! So we all know - they weren't really that good.

    So because there was no one else in my age group for any race except the 50 free and my relay won, I was able to achieve 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal for the meet.

    So the other day I get an email saying "results are up from the badger state games!"

    Naturally - I'm excited so I check the link: Results and even as of 9:20 AM on July 2nd, they most certainly are not!

    However I was playing around the website and I see this:
    Did you win a medal at The Badger State Winter or Summer Games?
    If so, you may qualify for the State Games Of America!

    In order to qualify for the State Games of America, participants must have won a gold, silver or bronze medal in a SGA sport in their local State Games in a qualifying year (2009 or 2010 Summer, 2010 or 2011 Winter). The State Games of America will take place in San Diego, August , 2011. For a complete listing of sports and more information visit www.stategames.org.
    So following a few links I found this:
    California State Games/State Games of America

    So August 5th-7th in 2011, I guess I'll be swimming in San Diego! Hopefully by then I'll be a much better swimmer - maybe I'll even be able to give [ame="http://forums.usms.org/member.php?u=18385"]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame] a run for her money in the breast stroke!

    Does anyone know anywhere in Illinois where I can consistently train in LCM?
  20. Meet Prep!

    So I'm not going to lie, I'm VERY excited for this weekend. Even if I'm a little sick I'm going to go in there and kick some serious rear! I'm not slowing my training for this either. The summer is all about doing everything I physically can. (As you can tell from all of my other posts, I don't leave much time to slow down.

    However - that doesn't mean I won't be taking these meets seriously! I've already established my goals (and have since learned they may be unrealistic in an LCM...) and I've already figured out what I'm going to eat and when to help make sure my body is ready to roll.

    The only problem I may have now is actually sleeping. Its by no means an issue of not being tired, or not even being in my bed. Its a matter of containing the excitement before these meets!

    Normally - I'm usually really chill. I don't usually allow myself to get excited until the precipice of the event. It keeps me from having this exact same problem! The whole night I had visions of swimming and flip turns. I spent a lot of time laying in bed with my eyes closed just trying to let go and I couldn't. I remember when my email click went off on my phone around 1 AM, then a few facebook posts around 2 or 3 AM..... I had already decided around midnight to just shut off my alarm, since I wasn't getting to sleep and just wake up whenever (my job offers me a lot of flexibility).

    I couldn't lay there anymore around 4:30-5:00 AM and ended up just making breakfast and going into work early. So here I sit now, not TERRIBLY exhausted (much less exhausted than I thought I would be) but still tired.

    The only part about this that really drives me wild is that I still have 2 nights of trying to sleep before I even get to the Park Ridge 1500, let alone the Badger State Games! I remember I was like this before the Illinois state meet back in April, but I just had problems sleeping the night before the meet, not the week of the meet!

    I think what triggered it was my performance during practice last night. We did 20x100 and I was supposed to be on 2:15. Well - due to some ankle issues I've had to swap in and out of using the pull buoy. I'm MUCH faster on pull than I am on my standard swim. So I was doing my pulls on 1:30 and my swims on 1:55. I ended up finishing way ahead of time - which was such a COOL experience for me. I was driven enough by it that I managed to pre-make my meals for today, do the dishes, and take out the trash after practice all before 11 PM after practice last night. (I get home around 10:15).

    What gets you excited? What gets you pumped for a meet?
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