Now that my SCM season is done and I’ve had a few days to mull things over, I’ve decided that my three highest priorities for the next few months are to (1) do more sprinting in workouts, (2) re-establish some kind of aerobic cross-training routine, and (3) make it a priority to do weights consistently. Injuries had prevented me from doing much weight-bearing exercise or from rowing since early summer. I actually got the ok from my ortho and PT to resume these about 2 weeks ago, but I put off restarting them until after my taper. The trick now is to be disciplined enough to ramp things up gradually, so that I don’t injure myself again.
I did lift weights through the fall until I tweaked my arm about 5 weeks ago, so it’s just a matter of resuming that routine after the layoff. As for the more sprinting—my 50 times have slowed ever since I stopped playing water polo a few years ago. I don’t know if I’m quite ready to take up that sport again, but I can work more of the anaerobic training that polo involves into my swim workouts. Sometimes I get discouraged that team workouts do not involve more real sprinting, but I should instead focus on getting what I need by swimming on my own and by tweaking the group workouts to create opportunities for speed.
With those thoughts in mind, today I went to gym and did arm and leg weights, rowed on the erg machine for 8 minutes, and did a thorough stretch. The rowing was a test—last time I tried it, it didn’t hurt as I was doing it, but made my heel sore the next day (my injury was to the sheeting that attaches the Achilles tendon to the bone, and it’s the range of motion involved in rowing that can irritate it). So I just did a bit today, and will evaluate how things feel tomorrow.
Then I just had time for a mini swim workout. Here’s what I did:
1000 warmup (400S/200K/200P/200S)
12 x 25 @ :30, odds easy FR, evens sprint FR
That was it! The swimming felt good after the weights.
Good luck to everyone headed off to a meet this weekend! I hope you all amaze and delight yourselves with your performances!
This afternoon, I went into our kitchen to check on the three quadrapedes: lefty, the male pug; biscuit the little female pug; and linus, the guinea pig who is convinced he, too, is a pug, albeit one who prefers vegetative matter to hard to described meat byproducts.
The twelve legs were all in the kitchen. Left and Biscuit had dog pillows upon which to lay about when the mood for rest strikes then. sometimes, in a rare expression of drive, Lefty will sit in one dog bed and grab the other dog bed in his mouth, and shake it brusquely, as it attempting to snap its spinal cord. these pillows have sheeps hair and do look, like pracice murder scenes, must give them that much.
The ambien dance has begun, theletters swimnging bosa nova style, swayingagainst one anotherscurvesand indetations and convexities invaginating conccavite, and with squintimng the imeprssion is fmoredd.
so cure, this camily of mistamtched creasedtusethat iasste markign onwaerds tlike armu ants ofrlleadrfdctter ant.sll i ccnanan;t aaseee what thsi all abot now. the whole jump;ing ni==hmjjjjiiveing stufss. teh ''
the huger is raising p a a bit..
so whatis next cucmbers and gargazono with ambine andn dskldsalllk;fjjjajjjjjthekvikiking shiops with speekrs fread o float what is gereek for swine snowt'
It's 12:33 p.m., and I am sitting around at my desk here in wintry Pittsburgh waiting for experts on lost person behaviour to call me back. I spell it with the British "u" because many of these fellows are Canadian, possibly because there are so many places to get lost in Canada. My hypothesis for why: the absence of nocturnal light pollution and similar whatnot to guide one to a mall or other safe haven of human civilization.
During this period of waiting, it occurred to me that a rare (of late) un-Ambienated vlog might be in order, if for no other reason than to test the ongoing functionality of whatever rational faculties I have left.
As my fellow devotees of novel hypnotics may know first hand, these drugs can have some heavy duty discombobulating and bamboozling effects. In my case, oftentimes the first things to go are those items to which I have only the weakest tether lines under the best, most rational of circumstances. Propriety, the hope not to offend others for the pure mean-spirited joy this can bring me, self-pity, and finally what in male dogs is sometimes described as "that little red thing"--all these tend to change drastically in me under the influence of zolpidem. The first two (propriety; kindness) run for the hills; the second two (self pity, ribaldry) burst out in ways that are hard to restrain. I have been de-friended on Facebook because of such boorishness and indecency.
In fact, the only things that reliably restrain self pity, libidinous inappropriateness, jabberwocky, and the like is the phenomenon dubbed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic as a new drug-aided variation on SRED, or sleep related eating disorder. This morning, I went down to the kitchen and found a bottle of Real Lemon lemonade, my favorite beverage, stowed not in the refrigerator where it belonged, but rather in the cupboard beside the cups and glasses.
I suppose it could have been worse.
Some of us so-called Ambien Zombies have been known to pour a glass of bleach in the night, the better to chase down the buttered cigarette sandwich we have made for ourselves as a snack.
I am digressing a bit here.
VIA, or vlogging under in the influence of ambien, has a good side and some bad sides.
On the good side, I have now--on at least two separate occasions--discovered vlogs that "I" have written but which I have almost no memory of having written. I can thus read such entries the way I imagine the non-Jim reading audience reads them: with total amusement and the utmost respect for the writer, perhaps even just a smidgen of jealousy for his evident genius! Oh, if only I could write like this "Jim" in his full reverie mode.
Actually, just joking about that. Reading these amnestically-penned vlogs, in truth, only gives me the chance to do what I really DO imagine my readers often do: Laugh AT me, not WITH me.
It's nice when a blowhard can laugh AT himself without totally feeling responsible for it. I suppose what I am really doing on such occasions is laughing at my reptilian brain in action. What a peculiar fellow this nutcase is...though I do admire his lack of self-censure.
The bad sides of Ambien have already been suggested. One additional example: I seem to have made an enemy of the brother of a female swimmer I occasionally correspond with on Facebook. It appears I will not be attending that family's Christmas party this or any other year in the foreseeable future.
The cure for all this, of course, is simple. Either stop taking Ambien, or take it and immediately go to sleep. The problem is that I have found that taking Ambien and fighting off sleep leaves me in the Tiger Woodsian Ambien haze. Though I have no floosy to enjoy myself with while thusly enfogged, I nevertheless enjoy the tranquility and relaxation and freedom from worry this mood bestows. I enjoy it so much, in fact, that I know it will be a while before I am able to wean myself from it.
Note: Ambien and its cousins are not benzodiazepines like Valium, though they target one of the brain's many subtypes of benzodiazepine receptors in the GABA system. Sleep researchers maintain there is no evidence that Ambien and the other Z-drugs are anxiolytic, or anxiety relieving. Thus it is entirely possible that my perception of calm is either a placebo response or idiosyncratic. That said, I will add one penultimate wrinkle here for those, like me, who include amongst your various hobbies an interest in amateur psychopharmacology.
Zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, has been shown to trigger speech in a certain type of schizophrenic patient who is suffering mutism because of catatonia. It might have helped Al Pacino, for instance, at the end of Scarecrow.
Perhaps my reaction is simply some variation on a positive Zolpidem Test.
Now, final wrinkle: though I do believe that this drug is, in some regards, capable of reducing my control over my behavior somewhat, it is clear to me that my decision to keep taking the pill and vlogging and/or otherwise accosting the etherous internet world at large is something of which I am fully culpable. As an expert in the burgeoning field of sleep forensics told me, there is voluntary and involuntary intoxication.
Taking the pill exactly as directed and then going on a blue streak of mayhem is involuntary intoxication, especially the first time it happens.
But taking the pill the way I have been lately, knowing the likely consequences, and doing it anyway, qualifies as voluntary intoxication. In fact, one might argue my case is very voluntary intoxication.
Let me know if I go too far.
Note: this is NOT a cry for help.
Now, on another note, after last night's 4100 yards, I asked some of my swimming teammates if they might help me identify my elbow bone. We could not, for the life of us, decide whether the pointy bone is attached to the upper arm bone or one of the lower arm bones.
So I took a picture with my finger right on the painful jabby bone in the hopes that Drs. Dixon and Jaegermeister, and fellow sufferer Jim Matysek, might better zero in on a diagnosis.
PS what do you think about my peace symbol within a heart medallion?
Merry Humanist Christmas one and all.
I suspect today's vlog may not be exactly the "big present" you were hoping for.
In fact, it might not even qualify as much of a "stocking stuffer" for those of you whose minds are "right."
However, if somewhere out there in the greater community of swimmers there exists a single seasonally affected soul, and if this solitary seasonally affected soul have already watched ad nauseam Its a Wonderful Night and/or A Christmas Story and/or any of the other innumerably rerun TV shows that are on tonight and tomorrow night and every night for the foreseeable future, it is to you--fellow traveler in this veil of tears!--that I dedicate this brand new Yuletide triple feature.
The first film is a brief introduction by me to the second film, which is an overly long review of some of the current psychiatric literature on mood improvement.
You will note I have left out some of the strategies that have received attention of late, particularly data from the TC-5214 phase 2 trial, which indicated that targeting Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors may prove to be a beneficial augmentation treatment with promise for providing relief to millions of patients who do not respond well to first-line SSRI therapy.
Everyone is familiar with that research, so I have concentrated my droning lecture on other findings that are not only of scientific note but which will perhaps prove a little more actionable in the near term for patients like you and me.
The final, and without doubt best, of tonight's triple feature is yet another Christmas mood enhancing charmer by my twin brother John.
I think those of you who live in hot house climes like California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona may find this brisk little glimpse into the world of snow quite refreshing and soul cleansing.
Again, Merry Christmas one and all! And I will not be at all offended if you use my two filmic contributions as a form of sleep aid. I have been told that my haltingly monotonous lecture style may soon attract the attention of regulators at the FDA itself, so powerfully soporific is its influence of listeners.
Turn the lights down low, get under your comforter, click the first film, and....
You are getting very sleepy....
1. Introduction to Jim's Seasonal Mood Tips for Swimmers:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb8es8vh778"]YouTube- Introduction to Jim's Seasonal Mood Tips for Swimmers[/ame]
2. Jim's Seasonal Mood Tips for Swimmers:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kfa-R_yOS8"]YouTube- Video 17[/ame]
3. Jingle All the Way:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoA3WUda6OU"]YouTube- Snow Day[/ame]
Our dear Leslie is thinking of changing her hair color for the 2010 swimming season. In an effort to help her decide which way to go, I asked my brother to put together a sampling of some of the more fetching colors worn by fashionable women this season.
Please vote for your favorite, and provide a rationale in the comments section below.
To make voting easier, simply indicate either:
Aquamarine/Scope MouthwashLady Carrot TopPapal Purple
Scott's Turf Builder
Note: to vote, please visit this thread by clicking here: [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=202158#post202158"]Leslie "The Fortress" Hair Color Poll - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]
I think the one thing we can all agree is that all of these colors would look great on our Leslie--she really can't go wrong with any of them.
Updated December 26th, 2009 at 07:08 PM by jim thornton
When I first got on Facebook, what we young people who text and so forth refer to as a "social networking site," I accidentally replaced what is known as my "wall" with an alternative known as the "advanced wall" or maybe the "super wall" or possibly the "fun wall" or the "amazing wall."
The one benefit of this advanced, super, fun, and/or amazing "wall" was that it allowed you to do cartoons, albeit ones that must be drawn with the mouse.
As regular viewers might note, I have trouble drawing recognizable features, such as, for instance, a squirrel or a gall bladder, under ideal conditions.
Drawing a squirrel or gall bladder with a mouse proved to be exceptionally challenging.
In any event, I did a series of nightly mouse drawn cartoons that required captions to make even a little wee tiny corpuscle of sense.
My beloved brother John collected these together, asked me to provide a capsule description of the cartoon itself and the circumstances under which I drew it, and then posted the entire collection on the web.
Eventually, I realized that none of my Facebook friends had an "advanced" "super" "fun" or "amazing" wall, and thus none of them ever got any of my messages. Nor did they ever respond to me in any way! It was almost as if they were giving me what the prison authorities gave Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky after his arrest for alleged subversion to Tsar Nicholas: i.e., the "silent treatment" where the guards even wore velvet-soled boots!
Utterly ignored for two years -- all the while me thinking it was only because I was pathetically unpopular!
It took quite a while, but finally I figured out how to restore my "wall" without adjectives--or as our British friend SwimStud might say, in his continental way--without sans adjectives.
I have not been able to do mouse drawn cartoons since.
If you would like to befriend me on Facebook, please do a search for James Scott Thornton--my full name, which narrows the possibilities down from 12,842,117 Jim Thorntons to merely 87,423 James Scott Thorntons.
I like to think of myself as The James Scott Thornton, but the use of the article will not refine your Facebook search for me.
Do not worry about befriending an "unpopular" person, whose "unpopularity" might somehow wipe off on you, tainting, staining, and causing to putrefy your own reputation.
I am actually quite the Facebook dandy, if I do say so myself, averaging at least one "notification" per month, and often two. Plus, if you look at the advertisements that adorn the right hand of my "profile," you will be pleased to note that an ever revolving assortment of women appear to be trying to find me, though I do not remember ever meeting these women. If I did, it must have been at a medical convention of incredibly beautiful 20 somethings seeking breast reduction surgery, for this appears to be their one common feature.
But I babble.
Here is the lost treasure trove of mouse drawn cartoons with explicatory subcaptions, rediscovered by me accidentally several minutes before I wrote this word here.
There are worse ways to spend the end of 2009 than to read and view my lost but found cartoon corpus of work. I am not sure exactly what these worse ways are, but I am certain they exist.
State-dependent memory is a phenomenon that at least partly explains why ones life, when viewed from the perspective of current happiness and triumph, seems to have been always thus; likewise, present suckiness seems to trigger recollections of nothing but former suckiness, thus lending the impression that it's all been a Full Catastrophe from the get-go.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHAqdZ2f5cM"]YouTube- Zorba - "the full catastrophe"[/ame]
No stranger, me, to state-dependent memory's bamboozling effects in both the up-and-down directions, as well as the full catastrophe's dual nature, for without said catastrophe, would there be any point whatsoever?
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VscVP_Gt_s&feature=related"]YouTube- Peggy Lee - â™« Is That All There Is â™«[/ame]
It is against this waffling backdrop (Life tastes great! Life's less filling! Tastes great! Less filling!) that I momentarily cast aside the feigned cheerfulness of recent vlogs to assess the Aughts.
My knee jerk analysis here is that the decade between Y2K's unfulfilled promise of global high tech disaster to 2009's unfulfilled swine flu monster plague, and all the pointless if passionate rancor in between, has been the most dispiriting decade in memory.
I'm not much of a reader of literature myself, but every once in a while, I will read something that strikes me as particularly insightful. The following quote, by Louis Ferdinand Celine, seems to my state-dependent-melancholic side to perfectly sum up the past ten years and the effect this has had on me and all my grubby personal aspirations, career and otherwise:
“I didn’t understand. I was being hornswoggled by everything and everybody, women, money, and ideas. I was a sucker, and I didn’t like it. I still run into Musyne now and then, every two years or so she crosses my path, as people one has known well tend to. Two years is the time it takes to perceive at one glance, a glance as sure as instinct, the ugliness that can come over a face, even one that was delicious in its day.
“For a moment you hesitate, then you accept the face as it has become, with its repugnant cumulative disharmony. What can you do but acquiesce in this slow, painstaking caricature which two years have etched, but accept the passage of time, that portrait of ourselves. Then we can say that we’ve really recognized each other (like some foreign banknote that one hesitates to accept at first sight), that we hadn’t taken a wrong turn, that each on his own we’d traveled the right road, the inevitable road to decay, for another two years. That’s all there is to it.”
But then I ask myself, is such a view of the past ten years really accurate? Or is what is actually hornswaggling me not so much money and ideas and all the other literal and metaphorical Musynes of the world, but rather my own sense of X--whatever X might be, character defect or unreasonable sense of entitlement or some other thing that cries out to be filled, or perhaps more accurately, plugged?
If forced to make a list of my personal ups and downs of the Aughts, the former would clearly outnumber the latter. In early 2000, for example, I got to go to the jungles of Ecuador and made it out without being speared by the Taigeri; in late 2009 I got to go blindfolded into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area and made it out without being disembowled by wolverines.
In between, I enjoyed innumerable other little adventures, and if the price for doing so was to have to write, then rewrite, about these experiences, only an utter ingrate would complain too much. I watched my beloved sons grow into young men, and made a number of wonderful friends--many of them among the incredibly likable ranks of USMS. Along these line, I managed, by fluke of the timing of national meets, to place 4th in the World in a couple FINA masters tabulations (twice in LCM and once in SCM).
Throughout the decade, I suspect I have worried more than perhaps the average fellow that something horrible might happen. But these worries, for the most part--no, for the entire part--have come to naught.
Into every life, some rain must fall--but realistically looking at things, there was no more rain falling in mine from 2000 to 2009 than in any preceding decade.
In fact, were my present (and transiently disconcerting, I admit!) circumstances just a wee bit rosier, I dare say it would be easy to sum up the past decade as the best decade in the history of the world.
Of course, you cannot always be making love to a young Ursula Andress while simultaneously eating a Baby Ruth candy bar and taking a phone call from the National Magazine Awards committee informing you of your lifetime achievement award--or similar set of circumstances that, for me, at least, tends to recallibrate my own state dependent memory in another direction entirely.
Still, there is no reason besides fear itself to imagine that the coming decade will be anything but a new grand adventure for us all, with worries as always but worries that invariably come to naught--a bit of endurance and ability to cope with a bit of pain, the hallmarks of swimmers, to be sure: best wishes for the teens, or whatever the next decade is likely to be called.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zetcb-ny0Fg"]YouTube- Celebration - Ronald Bell (Greatest Hits)[/ame]
Age/ Yearly Miles/ Weekly Average/ Best 100 SCY free / age rating / suit
46 / 221.11 / 4.25 / 53.68 ... 86.4 Speedo briefs
47 / 207.78 / 4.00 / 54.42 ... 85.6 Speedo briefs
48 / 264.34 / 5.08 / 52.09 ... 89.8 aquablade
49 / 374.77 / 7.21 / 52.46 ... 89.5 aquablade
50 / 411.77 / 7.92 / 53.02 ... 89.0 FS1
51 / 390.04 / 7.50 / 52.83 ... 89.7 FS1
52 / 363.90 / 7.00 / 52.87 ... 90.1 FS1
53 / 272.42 / 5.24 / 53.97 ... 88.7 FS1
54 / 373.28 / 7.18 / 52.69 ... 91.4 FS1
55 / 372.07 / 7.16 / 52.90 ... 91.6 FS1
56 / 406.70 / 7.82 / 52.86 ... 92.2 B-70
57 / 330.59 / 6.36 / 54.08 ... 90.7 B-70
Greek Olympian and man-god Chris Stevenson posted this age ranking calculator athttp://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi He includes an explanation for how it works and plenty of cautionary language about why not to take it too seriously, etc.
You can use Chris's brain child to age grade any of your different races in all three courses. But for the sake of this vlog, I decided to just pick the 100 SCY freestyle. If you are getting to the point where your times are starting to plateau a wee bit, you might find this age grading stuff to be a fresh source of motivation.
A couple different factors seem to clearly correlate with my personal swimming performance. The first one that jumps out is the introduction of the first speed suit, the Speedo Aquablade. My time dropped by a little over 2 seconds from the age of 47 to 48, and my age graded ratings jumped from the mid 80s to the cusp of 90--mainly because the norms were probably based on non-speed suit swimmers (thus giving me an artificial advantage once I started wearing one.)
With the FS1, my times also improved relative to my age, and I think part of this was the faster suit, but my training--inspired, I am sure, by times I hadn't done since my young youth--also escalated significantly. The first time I cracked the "90" rating barrier was at age 52 in a FS1. The next year, however, I dropped back to an 88.7 rating in the same suit. The difference seems, that year at least, to be explained by a significant drop in yearly mileage--from 364 to 272. Clearly, the suit matters greatly for me, but training apparently makes some difference, too.
My highest rating of all was a 92.2, achieved last spring at Colony Zones Championships. This was the first meet where I ever wore a B70. The year before, in a FS1, I swam only .04 slower. Was it the faster suit--or the increase in yearly mileage (from 372 to 406) that allowed me to swim a tiny bit faster at age 56 than I had at age 55?
Soon, it seems fairly certain, speed suits of any sort are going to be outlawed. It is hard to know for sure what effect this is likely to have on my swimming performance, but it would be nice to at least discount the psychological change.
So far, at age 57, I have swum the 100 at a couple of our local Y meets, and I've worn my B70 while doing so. It's been a bit disappointing for me because even with this advantage, my best 100 this fall/winter season has been a 54.08, albeit in less than ideal swimming conditions.
Until today's exercise in Big Picture assemblage of personal swimming statistics, I have been dreading to think how truly slow I will become once the suit is outlawed.
But let's say that I do end up adding roughly 2.5 seconds to my 100 post body suit ban. This is about what I subtracted in my 100 time from age 47 to 48 when the Aquablade was first introduced.
I would thus be swimming, say, a 56.5 for the 100 free, which seems to me truly awful. But when I plug this number into Chris's age rating calculator, it cranks out an 86.8. This is almost exactly what I was doing, age-graded wise, at 46, before the speed suits were even introduced.
So it would be just a return to historical norms.
Perhaps this past decade in swimming performance, not just for me but for all who have "benefited" from suit enhancement of their swimming times, will be viewed by future historians as just another bubble of our bubble-bursting era of excess!
And in the meantime, I shall set my sights on breaking 56.5 in jammers!
My talks with industry are going very well indeed.
1. Warm up:
1 x 25 broomstick twists
3 x through:
100 jump ropes
alternating hammers, 15 x 3 x 15, each arm
3 position arm extensions (15 reps each position)
10 minutes stretching
reverse lunges w/straight arm twist w/15 lb DB, 2 x 15 (this was from my "crazy core" link -- http://www.ab-core-and-stomach-exerc...-workouts.html)
straight leg raises in captain's chair (forgot ab slings), 2 x 25
squat swing w/25 lb plate, 2 x 15
russian twist on incline bench w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25
snatch windmill, 15 x 2 x 15
back extensions w/25 lb plate, 2 x 15
push ups, 2 x 25
internal & external rotators
3. Cross Fit WOD (Workout of the Day): "Swimming Tabata Death"
5 rounds of 5 exercises done tabata style (20 seconds @ 100% + 20 seconds rest). Rest until heart rate returns to normal between rounds. I stretched between rounds.
1. med ball slams
2. jump rope
4. lateral bench hops*
* I substituted these for push ups. That many fast push ups is contra-indicated for my shoulders.
** I did this on the seated rowing machine with the weight set at 60 pounds. It was like explosive lifting.
The original tabata protocol involves the following:
•5 minutes of warm-up
•8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest
•2 minutes cool-down
This would be very inadequate warm up for me. Though perhaps I should have done the WOD prior to my core work today ...
Commentary: As Geek would say, this WOD was a mother scratcher. Every exercise was hard, but the lateral bench hops were the worst. My legs were burning. Jump roping is an absolutely fantastic tabata exercise. You don't have to worry about form degradation the way you have to with other exercises. For exercise #1, I was getting about 25 slams per 20 seconds. For exercise #3, I was doing 23-24 crunches per 20 seconds. For exercise #4, I was getting in 30-35 hops on the first 3 rounds and then went down to about 25.
For today's PM swim, I stole one of Tall Paul's recent workouts. It was a good one too. I modified it to do main set #1 as kick instead of swim.
TP Main Set #1:
4 x through:
1 x 200 dolphin kick w/MF & board @ 3:15 descend
1 x 100 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 2:00 ascend
I ended at 2:11 on the board kicks (#4 = pain) and started with :55 on the 100s (forgot Fortina).
TP Main Set #2:
6 x through:
1 x 100 back w/fins @ 2:00
1 x 50 evil w/fins @ 1:00
I ended at :55 on the 100 backs (dead legs and a cramp) and started at :33 on the 50 evils.
Mini Speed Set:
3 x (4 x 25 AFAP + 25 EZ)
AFAPs = free & fast doggy paddle drill
Nuthin to say except that I am absolutely dead and, as my daughter would say, "can't move my legs." I think I will slather them in Traumeel tonight and take some ibuprofen. Or liberally use my new Stick. http://www.performbetter.com/detail....tegoryID_E_201
Tomorrow is definitely a recovery day. Then, on Thursday, I'll do Geek's lactate set with Speedo. I miss all the sleep I was getting over the long holiday break. Quality sleep makes such a difference!
P.S. I am completely pissed off that licorice, my fav treat, is not gluten free.
Running Shoes Bad?
Updated January 5th, 2010 at 10:34 PM by The Fortress
I guess I should sit down and come up with some goals for the new year.
But before I do maybe a short recap of last year would be in order.
I was still able to swim a few personal bests though not as many as in previous years. These were as follows:
50 Fly - Tie with previous best.
200 Back - An event I just started competing in with my first race at this distance being in November 2008.
50 Free - Bettered my previous best for this distance by 0.60 sec.
200 Free - A race that I had never done in this course and only swam it once this past year. My time converts to nearly the same as what I had swam for a 200 SCY in 2006, the last time I swam this distance in a meet.
50 Back - Bettered my previous best for this distance by 0.57 sec.
Goals for 2010
I'm not going to set specific time goals for this year. If I swim a PB I'll be very pleased but am going into this year with no time expectations. What I do want to do is add a new event or 2.
So with that in mind, I'm going to focus on 2 new distances, the 200 Free and the 100 Fly.
I also want to do more open water swimming. With respect to that goal I began the New Year by swimming the Ft. Lauderdale Rough Water Swim on January 2nd. It was an ocean swim, my first ever and I finished 2nd in my age group (55-59) and was also 2nd of all men over 50.
So the new year is off to a good start, though I've yet to do a pool workout. I hope to get that in tonight.
Chicken O'C rides again!!!!
I was lucky enough to land a spot in the 2010 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (www.nycswim.org).
This year I'll be raising money for the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (www.macular.org), an organisation that raises awareness and supports research into the disease that took my grandfather's eyesight and, only a few months ago, a great deal of my mother's.
I won't start begging for donations until about April, but in the meantime my training has begun in earnest. Poor Earnest.
Not one to suffer alone, I plan to document my entire training process in painfully boring detail on this blog, including sudoku breaks, cups of coffee consumed, and visits to the loo.
Youtube provided my inspiration tonight, and I'd like to share the motivational interlude I found. This is how three nautical chappies see New York in just one day.
I hope I can also see New York in just one day on June 12th!!
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v7QfCxuvLo"]YouTube- Gene Kelly Frank Sinatra - "New York, New York"[/ame]
Yesterday I drove up to Alabama for lunch with my mom and aunt. It’s a pretty drive, past lots of farms, without much traffic—between towns I saw maybe one other car every couple minutes or so. Two of the little towns I pass though on the way to visit my folks are Ebro, famous locally for its dog track, and Vernon, which was featured in the documentary “Vernon, Florida” by Errol Morris . Between towns, I saw lots of little goats and calves, and the farm that a decade ago had emus now seems to be heavily invested in miniature horses. I wanted to bring home some of all of the above, or at least stop and pet them.
Actually, there used to be a menagerie just a few miles down the road from where I’m staying. It was called Patrones, and had goats and peacocks and bunny rabbits and one truly ginormous hog. You couldn’t pet the animals—they were shy—but for 50 cents you could buy a bag of popcorn to feed them. Admission was free—you could just walk in and wander about. It seemed like something straight out of Flannery O’Connor. I did worry about the pig’s quality of life. As far as I could tell it spent its days lying on its side and being scaled by the goats, who loved standing atop it.
After my four hours of driving to Alabama and back and a lunch of fried chicken, fried okra, and fried cornbread, I felt like I was beginning to turn into that hog. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t kidnap any little goats to bring home with me. In any case, I was super ready for a workout. I made it back in time for the masters group’s evening workout at 5:30. Here’s what I did::
600 scy warmup
8 x 50 (25 build, 25 easy) @ :55
8 x 100 kick w/ fins @ 1:45, desc. 1-4 and 5-8 [1:24, 1:20, 1:14, 1:11, 1:30, 1:20, 1:17, 1:12]
4 x 200 pull @ 3:00 [2:45, 2:45, 2:40, 2:42]
2 x 400, 1st FR, 2nd IM, build both 400s by 100s
2 x 50 sprint FR [?, 30.6]
The air temp tonight was about 40 when we got in, and about 35 when we got out (steam rose off everyone’s body when they exited the pool), but the water temp was fine. It was fun swimming in the cold, and really great seeing the pool absolutely filled with swimmers on such a chilly evening. Between the kids team and masters and the visiting college team, all 20 lanes were filled.
When they first built this pool (about 4 years ago), I couldn’t believe they would really keep it open year round. This is an area without a deep competitive swimming tradition, and during the first winter I often found myself swimming all alone by or with just one other swimmer. Locals thought I was absolutely nuts for swimming outdoors in the winter, even when it was just in the 50s and sunny. So kudos to Panama City Beach for building this great facility and making it successful! All I could think when I saw the pool full of happy swimmers tonight was that Field of Dreams got it right—If you build it, they will come!
Well I didn't blog yesterday but I did 40 minutes elliptical and 20 mins core work.
Today I went swimming again...and as I sit here listening to lyrics mentioning something about being "Knocked out by American thighs" I can't help but think of my poor aching gams...I still felt the kick set from Monday yesterday and then the elliptical didn't improve matters..so I took to the water with the oomph and grace of a walrus on land.
So I tortured myself thusly:
200 Swim felt a bit whacked on this but took the time to work my rotation and hand placement. It nearly caused me to ram the wall with my loaf due to not noticing the turn mark.
200 Kick Did this all free moderate speed not like the hard set on Monday. Felt good, tried to keep a good rhythm and pace while focusing on scooping with my plates and Bromleys.
200 Pull Stuck the Styrofoam plug between my bacon and eggs and got on with the set.
6 x 100 FR 1:30 so I managed all of these although finishing rep numbers 2 and 3 left me as a touch and go I got a couple of second after #4 and 5 secs after #5. Only did 6 as this was 1 more than my previous tally on this interval and also it was a 600 block (my pattern for the day).
200 EZ after a little rest nothing too exciting here just more focus on rotation.
4 x 50 3 BR/3 FL no interval here just trying to find a nice rhythm.
4 x 50 FL 1:15 I got through these in an ungraceful fashion (see Walrus on land quip) but I think I have found something in my pull...need to go into EVF I think .
200 EZ Even less to report on this other than I was truly gearing up for the last set.
4 times through:
100 IM 2:00
100 FR 2:00
managed this swimming in 1:40 to 1:45 I definitely was tired and drained from previous work outs and the 6 x 100.
4 x 50 K FL did these with the board sans fins took a few seconds between 50's. Didn't go fast just tried to work the undulation.
4x 50 EZ just loafing off to end.
Not too bad but a good workout that got me huffing and puffing but I probably wasn't up to a greater ordeal.
Went to lift afterwards
Wide Pull ups 8,7,6 on 1:00
Close Chin ups 6, 5,5 on 1:00
Legpress/calf press 3x12 @ 300lb
Leg Extn 3x12 @ 95lb each rep include a full and terminal extn. e.g.full up, half down, back up, full down.
Leg Curl 3x12 @ 95lb
Adduct/Abduct 3x12 @ 110lbs supersetting them back to back no rest
Chest Press M/C 10, 8, 6 @ 140lb plus 6 more at 80lb
Ab Machine 3x15@ 45lbs..I go by feel and burn than trying to lift weight so I don't know if that is the correct weight but it's ballpark.
Pec-dec; 3x15 @ 3 plates (guessing 45ish) again I go for burn and full range of motion than weight here....
Used Accelerade during swim and lift and then guzzled an Endurox post lifting.
PS I know it's 2010.
Posted January 6th, 2010 at 09:33 PM by Chicken of the Sea
As the self appointed Chicago branch of the Sewickley SeaDragons, I've been receiving Bill White's excellent workouts via email on a daily basis.
Bill was on holidays over the recent Christmas break, though, so I was in a bit of a panic until Vlog the Inhaler stepped in with the Jimcentric "B" level mediocre workout. I received this fabulous looking workout on Dec 28th and was so excited that I raced to the pool two days later to do it.
About 10 minutes into the swim, I was ejected from my lane by a noodler class consisting of 4 ladies. A polite plea for compassion from the instructor resulted in "YES WE NEED 2 LANES FOR THIS CLASS YES OF COURSE WE DO!!!!!!". Said instructor then moved 2 of the women into the second lane so as to occupy it and I had to wait until a nice man offered to share his swimming lane.
Anyway......I was very grumpy and, although I got to finish the workout, I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have.
So yesterday I did a do-over!!!
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1952 Vintage Brand Magazine Writer Identity: Jim Thornton ™
Date: 2010-01-08, 9:08PM EST
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At this point, even the slightest ability to put simple sentences together with the occasional period, question mark, or exclamation point in the general vicinity of the end of word chains should be more than sufficient to guarantee any Jim Thornton™ brand-assumer work and kill fees for weeks, maybe even a month, to come.
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If you ever find yourself in the following situation, wasting an entire day alternating between--
--the consumption of red meat;
---puzzling over which dubious expenses go into which suspect category of peri-legal deductions in your Quicken files so as to minimize your tax payments from a cache of money that you do not possess,
--trying to talk people into reading a vlog 28 times in a row, at which point continued reading is likely to become habitual (but oh, how they whimper and beg to be excused those first 27 times!)
If you have done any of these, or anything similar to any of these, and find yourself by day's end in need of a Cure for the Malaise that now defines you--
then you know that The Rapture is not some obscure religious mythology, but an actual event that can be found in the Holy Waters of your local swimming pool.
With thanks to my teammate, Jessie Coppola McKelvey, photographer extraordinaire, who managed to capture my own moment of ascent towards heaven after practice!
The Swimmer's Rapture
(Note: I am pretty sure that is a bubble on my right pectoral area, otherwise I will need to be checked soon by a specialist in AWND, or asymmetrical white nipple disorder, or as we laymen like to call it, "a bad sign.")
Sat Jan 16th, 2010
[ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=203729&postcount=1334"]FINA BANNED full body tech suits for masters [/ame]
PRACTICE & Meet
scy diving well
6 - 7:30
swam with paul, brandon, and nate
beside tyler todd marcio larry & max
dove in 6:10ish
wore leg skins to take it easy
4 x 400 on 5:00 desc
4:40 4:28 4:23 4:13
assigned 6 x 200 100 k 100 sw
did 6 x ( 100k, 50 rest, 50 swim)
8 x 100 on 1:20 hold mile pace
16 x 50
3 on :35 1 easy on 1:00
2010 ST TXLA New Years Classic
Rasmussen, Ande 46 TXLA-ST 2:06.03
went out slow and died, disappointing
42 Rasmussen, Ande 46 TXLA-ST 51.88
# 22D Men 15 & Over 50 Free 21.99Y
# 25D Men 15 & Over 100 Fly 51.80Y
# 32D Men 15 & Over 200 Free 1:50.70Y
# 34D Men 15 & Over 100 Back 53.32Y
With FINA's ban today of high tech body suits for masters swimmers, I know that my swimming times will add a bit of time--several decades, actually, per event.
I didn't think this prospect would make me sad, but I find it is, in fact.
Oh, it seems like only yesterday when the Speedo Corporation came out with its kneeskin Aquablades, quickly dubbed "girlie suits" by all the guys on our team, and almost as quickly adopted as our new favorite items of clothing!
But too close to the sun old Speedo's Icarus flew! Too far from girly, too proximate to cheating!
I would write my own elegy for the loss of these suits, the loss of my youth, the sudden emergence of the old man who has long hidden himself with high school times inside these Ponce de Leon raiments!
So instead I shall just quote some lines from Elegists all dead themselves now.
Let us hope that after a while, hedonic adjustments will take place, and that each of us, in our own way, will grow content once more inside our withering, slowing flesh, no longer quick but not yet dead!
From: Ave Atque Vale
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
For thee, O now a silent soul, my brother,
Take at my hands this garland, and farewell.
Thin is the leaf, and chill the wintry smell,
And chill the solemn earth, a fatal mother,
With sadder than the Niobean womb,
And in the hollow of her breasts a tomb.
Content thee, howsoe'er, whose days are done;
There lies not any troublous thing before,
Nor sight nor sound to war against thee more,
For whom all winds are quiet as the sun,
All waters as the shore.
by Anne Brontë
Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
'Tis still a comfort to have seen;
And though thy transient life is o'er,
'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;
To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair,
United to a heart like thine,
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T S Eliot
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old… I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without”
It has been a busy weekend processing entries and planning for the meet. Tropical themed music is played during warmups and during the break in the middle of the meet. Trying to keep the meet fresh, new music is substituted in and out of our play list each year. There are the annual standards (Margaritaville, Limbo Rock, Jump In The Line), but there are always a few new ones thrown in. Because the song list is now large, we can retire a tune and bring it back in a few years so the play list always changes.
This year, the new ones include Wipeout (surfing tune), Under The Sea (Little Mermaid), Luna Barranquillera (Columbian salsa), and the Macerena. I had to edit the last one down - my brain can only listen to about 2 minutes of it.
The play list is not just thrown together. No, no, no! It is carefully assembled with thought and tested like a fine cabernet. The warmups begin slowly as swimmers are entering the pool, stretching, and getting their bearings. Reggae, and melodic Hawaiian tunes start out from the sound system to tease the palate. As warmups progress, the noise level increases, and sprint lanes are started, the rocking calypso and latin rhythms are belted out. Later the pool begins to clear and swimmers begin settling in - the mellow steel drum tunes then drift through the air. The playlist for this year is now set. I've always wanted to be a DJ.
Problem entries to date:With the online USMS registration, there have been no outdated registration cards submitted to date. However, three entries did arrive without registration cards. Emails were sent to all. The first swimmer eventually sent in a copy of her card, but unfortunately, it arrived after the 500 free that she entered was filled. I told her she would be placed on standby - if one of the Florida swimmers on hold (who entered the 500) decides not to come, she's in.The second swimmer said she was registered, but had not yet received her card. I pointed her to the USMS web site to download a copy last week. Nothing yet - I think she just pulled an excuse out of . . .The third was a bit of a problem. The guy sent the payment receipt for his registration attached to his entry. After contacting him by email, he said he would send me the card. Minutes later, I received yet another copy of his payment receipt. I wrote back explaining that the payment receipt does not indicate his team, age, USMS number, and is not his card. I attached a copy of my card as a sample. No reply to date.
The baseball caps and maracas pens arrived on Friday for our new swimmer souvenirs and coconut relay prizes.
Still no lap counter cards. The local high schools have their regional season end meet the day before our meet (not at this pool). That means Plan B - borrowing their lap counter cards - may not be possible - from any high school. This issue is turning into one big headache.
More workers were recruited with another email and with personal pleas after Saturday's workout. Still some slots need filling.
66 entries to date, and 2 pending
Expecting a boatload of entries the day after Monday's holiday and after weekend
Updated January 17th, 2010 at 10:22 PM by Rnovitske