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    WOW! So much to say about this event... I almost don't know where to start, so forgive me if this entry seems a bit disjointed.
    Many of you have met Clare at some OW event or another, so you know that it would be impossible for me to pursue these goals without her support. I thought you might like to hear her perspective, so, the blue text is Clare...

    MIMS is much more than a swim; it is an event that people train years for, and travel half way around the world (and it seems, more often than not that those who travel the furthest swim the fastest also), to participate in. It is one third of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, though the only one of the three that is held as a race.
    The entry goes on line some 6 months before race day, and closes out in less time than it takes to swim from the Bklyn Bridge to the UN Building on a flood tide.... (+/- 41 minutes for me yesterday). The international field of MIMS 2010 was stacked high with marathon swim ringers (sw-ingers?) and it was truly humbling to be surrounded by such aquatic achievement... I am honored to call many of them my friends. For most, the days before such an event are filled with jet lag, and last minute preparations but a few out-of-towners were able to find a brief window to join me and a few other CIBBOWS hosts for a couple of pre-MIMS swims at Brighton Beach... Sakura, Amanda, Leticia, Suzie, Isabel, Craig... hope you guys enjoyed our little slice of heaven.

    History - My Last Attempt:
    In 2006, I first attempted to swim MIMS. I was a six beat kicker; cocky and inexperienced and spent the week prior to the race moving my residence.... carrying heavy boxes and furniture for days. Additionally, the days leading up to and including race day were cursed with heavy rains and violent thunder storms. I drove my crew to their early morning check-in at pier 11 and walked across town to the swimmer check-in.... in flip flops... in heavy rain... wet and cold with 2 hours to go to splash time. At the start, swimmers enter the water by number (alphabetically)... i was 1st or 2nd, the water was in the high 50's and it seemed like 10 minutes (it was probably less) until we started swimming. My hamstrings were tight and I was cold from the start. Feeding from my kayaker was awkward, so my boat was tossing me my bottle, I was treading water and tossing my bottle back to the boat... very inefficient and time consuming.... and draining what time I had left on my legs. I plodded along, made the cut-offs and came into a large patch of trash (bottles, bags, leaves, dead fish, etc) at 3/4ths the way up the Harlem River. My kayaker pulled up to me and instructed me to "swim with your head up!"... I did, and negotiated my way to "clear" water (a relative term when speaking of the modern age Harlem River), but lost my legs in the process. I spent the next 30 minutes trying to stretch out the cramps... right leg-marginal... left leg- no good. Not making any progress.... I resigned. I should also add that seconds after David resigned in the Harlem River, they pulled all swimmers out due to inclement weather, so who knows that if he had stayed an extra couple of minutes or so in the H2O and had been pulled as well whether he would have reentered the race that day.

    MIMS 2010
    I wake up at 3:30... alarm is set for 4:00... start boiling water... mix up bottles... check list: Feed stick - check, towels - check, camera - check, M&M's - check (with peanuts?.... of course), etc etc ad infinitum.
    Pack bags... load car... drive to "crew check-in"... drop off Clare... hugs, kisses, good lucks, thumbs ups, good byes.
    Drive to "swimmer check-in" with fellow swimmer Craig Lenning.
    Find the "boys room"... drink my pre-race cocktail... check in... suit up... get numbered... boys room II... sunscreen... lube up... boys room III (bushes this time)... ear plugs... cap.... here come the kayakers.
    The sight of 70 kayakers squeezing into this little cove is awesome. Many swimmers can only identify their kayakers by their bib numbers, but I have been swimming with Danielle and Mike through the spring and we have our routine pretty well worked out... I'm pretty lucky. They are easy for me to spot and we exchange greetings. I know they will "pick me up" easily even in the crowd of swimmers and boats. Keep you're head down, shut up and swim David.

    We get in the water on time... it warmer than I thought it would be... much warmer than Brighton Beach. I still plan to go with hot feeds for a while... I should get used to them.
    My swim plan: Cruise the East River: Build the Harlem River: Race the Hudson River. In actuality, it went something like this: Race up the East River: Hang on in the Harlem River: Hold steady to South Cove.

    Mike and Danielle picked me up somewhere around the southern tip of Manhattan. As my race # was 1, my boat was holding the northern most position, close to the Bklyn bridge. My instructions were to link up, get into formation and on our way as a "pod" before I would take my first feed. Slightly north of the Bklyn Bridge (yes... backstroke of course), first feed at 8:02, stroke rate 70. I feel great and hold steady at 70 spm through the East River... this is a pretty high rate for me. At Hellgate, I take a line outside the cove and pass a few other swimmers. I remember being on the other side of this situation in '06, so I can say quite definitively "this is better". It seems like no time has passed and I am taking my fifth feeding, at the footbridge that crosses the Harlem RIver... time 9:23. I spent the next three hours in the Harlem River. These were the most difficult for me emotionally and physically. There is an industrial section of the Harlem river where the smell and taste of diesel fuel was quite strong. That combined with the cigar smoke (which I later discovered were coming from my boat observer) caused me to gag a few times, but I only lost my cookies once. I had to actively police my mind from dwelling on that 2006 resignation, and it was hard to find that happy place among the diesel. My stroke rate was holding and soon enough I was in the upper Harlem which is quite beautiful.

    Some landmarks and times:
    10:06 - Triboro (RFK) Bridge
    11:03 - Yankee Stadium (no more hot feeds)
    11:43 - Boathouse (pit stop for kayakers)
    12:26 - Spuytin Duyvil

    At SD, there is a very low railroad bridge, and then... The Mighty Hudson! The water changes dramatically. There is a wind from the south that makes it difficult for me to find a comfortable stroke rate and breathing pattern. I settle into something slower and more deliberate.

    For me, emotionally, the day was over. The demons of '06; gone. I did it! I just have to swim another 10 miles against the wind and climb up that aluminum ladder. Time to enjoy the ride home with Clare and Danielle and Mike.... stroke rate: 66.

    Most swimmers agree that the first hour in the Hudson is the longest stretch of the race. The George Washington Bridge plays tricks on you. It appears so close but remains out of reach. A few swimmers pass me between Spuytin Duyvil and the GW. I recognize Craig and Sakura as they go by... it feels good to see them going into the home stretch strong! (don't wait for me)

    More landmarks and times:
    12:46 - GW Bridge
    1:26 - Columbia Pres. Hospital (wave to Drs Gray and Sommers... thanks for the heart repair!)
    1:46 - Sewage Plant
    2:26 - 79st boat basin
    3:00 - Chelsea Piers

    Finish Time 8 hrs 30 mins

    .........5 weeks to Catalina.........

    Team Barracuda - Swimmer: David, Crew: Clare, Kayakers: Danielle and Mike.

    As the only support crew on board, and with the memory of 2006 at the back of my mind, my main objective was to ensure that DB get through the Harlem River and into the Hudson. The night before the race we had discussed the option of hot feeds because of the H2O temperature was a little chilly, and the feeds would be a good way to prepare for the EC. So the morning of the race, we prepared the mother-mix, (2, 64 oz containers with 12 scoops each of 1st endurance EFS) to which I would add warm H2O for the feeds. Throughout the swim DB would have the option of feeding from one bottle or taking just regular temp H2O. The plan was to place the two bottles in the "Barra feedstick" patent #409, and pass them to our kayaker for the feeds.

    Race Time
    My boat arrived around 6:30am, I and the observer boarded. I soon realised that our small vessel did not have a Loo/toilet onboard. Umm, I would have to improvise and use all my girl scout skills for the day. At Brooklyn Bridge, I soon spotted DB, as his stroke is pretty unique. He was out front in the pack, so I knew he was cruising along at a faster rate than usual and his stroke looked steady and relaxed. - He was in race mode. I wondered if that had anything to do with the pre-race drink? Nearby, I saw John Huminick's support boat, and his relay team waved and cheered "Go Dave." At the first feed I soon found that passing the bottle to the kayakers was a much easier and efficient option, so the feedstick was retired. However, I do think that the feedstick will be useful on a larger vessel for feeding a swimmer from deck, but I would like to test my hypothesis. (So, if anyone would like to do a marathon swim in Tahiti, I would be happy to crew for them.) As for the course, lucky for us, we were fortunate to have a seasoned boat captain and kayakers who guided us down the East River and got DB the best current assist. DB flew by Hell's Gate and into the Harlem River. I must admit as soon as we entered the Harlem, I knew that for DB the physical and emotional challenge began here. As he mentioned previously, the aroma and nutty favour of the river was a gastronomical hinderance, and I too could smell the fumes on deck myself. I had no idea that he could smell the cigar smoke of our boat observer, and that this helped contribute to DB upchucking his feed. I do admit that I became more alert when DB lost his lunch, but as soon as he took his next feeding, and kept that down, I soon relaxed. He cruised through the Harlem, and when he passed the section of the river where he had been pulled previously, I grew more confident. Once the Hudson was in sight, the swim was within his grasp. On the upper west side, we cruised passed Columbia Pres Hospital, where DB had had heart surgery a year ago, and I gave a quick shout out to Dr. Gray, his cardiologist. I knew the Hudson was where the race began, but I was still impressed when I saw the swimmers pick up their pace, and sprint down to the finish. As soon as I saw DB reach the finish line I said to myself: one down, two to go...

    Updated June 14th, 2010 at 09:32 AM by chaos

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  2. Sun Jun 13th 2010

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 09:12 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sun Jun 13th 2010

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Noon to 1:15
    Austin, UT Swim Center
    Bridgette Coached
    swam with Larry, Kelly & James
    dove in on time
    wore B70 jammer

    4 rounds of
    100 sw 100 sw 50 k


    16 x 25


    4 x 100


    4 x 75


    2 x 100 fast

    assigned 6 x 100
    did 6 x (2 x 25)

    25 SDK FAST
    went 10.59
    larry timed

    2010 MEETS:
    July 8 - 11, 2010
    Senior Circuit #4 Meet Info
    Austin, TX

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
    Days till LCM ZONES
  3. I Am the Rain Queen

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 08:30 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Today was a double of sorts. Swam 4100 yards this morning at ____ College, which was my attempt at one last big swim before getting some rest before the meet in two weeks. The other swim was a 500 plus 3 minutes of treading water, which was a test to join the Minnewaska Distance Swimmers Association. This is going to be my first year as a member of this venerable institution of open water lake swimmers, and I'm really looking forward to the first chance to get out there.

    Because of New York State's massive budget issues, we almost lost access to the park completely, as Minnewaska State Park was on the chopping block for a while. We still don't have a working budget, but the park is supposed to stay open for the summer anyway, thanks to many, many passionate activists who love the place.

    I think about the connection between swimming and money a lot. I think about both of those things a lot, so putting them together is only logical. It takes cash to play this sport. Any sport, really.

    Anyhoo, that's something I'm sure I'll blog about again. In the meantime, this was today's workout, which I modified from

    50 free
    50 back

    2x50 streamline kick
    200 IM
    2x50 backstroke tech

    50 EZ
    8x100 on 1:45
    5x100 kick with fins
    50 under/over

    4x100 stroke
    4x50 kick
    4x100 stroke

    100 warm down

    Thoughts on tapering:
    I have a swim meet coming up on June 25-27. It's the New England Long Course Championships at Middlebury College. (btw - is anyone else from these forums going?)

    I was talking to a friend about a good way to do a taper, based on my average daily swim of 2500-3200 yards. He said that I don't really get enough yardage in to effectively taper, so I should just eat well and rest.

    I suppose that's true, so I'll skip a few days here and there in the next two weeks, and make sure I get sleep. But I'm still a bit bummed that I can't play along, because I enjoy throwing technical terms around like I own them. (I have, while reading these blogs, often stopped to Google unfamiliar words like "DPK," "TRX" and "running.")

    Updated June 14th, 2010 at 11:36 AM by swimmerb212 (cut off my original post?)

  4. Swim + Yoga, Sunday, June 13

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 08:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I was feeling more energetic today, so I did a more Fort like workout with some speed here and there.

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Hypoxic-Speed Set:

    4 x through:

    6 x 25s
    1 & 6 = EZ
    2-5 = shooters w/MF (belly, left side, right side, back)

    1 x 50 fast double shooter, descend the 4 50s
    (went 26, 24, 21, maybe around 21 -- wiped out goggles and nose clip on the last one)

    50 EZ

    Aerobic-Technique Set:

    2 x through:

    4 x 100
    odds = free w/paddles @ :15 RI
    evens = russian breast drill @ :15 RI

    4 x 50
    odds = backstroke w/paddles @ :15 RI
    evens = front scull w/paddles @ :15 RI

    8 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens = easy DAB

    50 EZ

    Mini-Speed Set:

    4 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 50 EZ)

    50 EZ

    Total: 3550/1000 kicking

    Hot Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Went to hot yoga at 6:00 while Mr. Fort sat through Lil Fort's dress rehearsal. I was sweating like a banshee today, worst ever. Either the room was over 110 or I'm not used to it after a couple weeks off. If I had the time, I'd go every day for the rest of my detox period, but I don't see that happening ... Also, I might die of boredom. No idea how some people do it every day or 2x a day.


    The detox is coming along pretty well. I'm on day 3 where you have eliminated all refined sugars, caffeine, artificial crap, meat & fish, dairy, eggs and gluten. I'm still allowed to eat rice or quinoa today. Don't know if I'll bother. lol. Thus far, I have only a very minor headache from the caffeine withdrawal. I haven't been caffeine free since breast feeding my second child 15 years ago. I'm anticipating that days 5-9 can only eat certain veggies and fruits will be more brutal. I've been having a lot of salads -- the lettuces and basil in my garden is delicious -- and I've discovered a liking for shelled pistachios, which are great for you.

    I did make the mistake of trying mozarella cheese again the other day. Even with lactase enzymes, big mistake. I will have to stick with only eating aged cheeses, as my lactose intolerance does not seem to be improving. Oh well, lesson learned. I probably should re-test aged cheese also, in case it's a milk protein intolerance.

    I've also been taking the 7 Proformance Exfuze. First off, it's quite delicious! I put it in my smoothies for 5 days and had a 1 oz shot at night. Now, I've just been taking it at night. I'm not sure I've been able to really notice any of the supposed effects such as improved energy and mood yet. I feel better, but I've been recovering from an illness. On the other hand, I have noticed I've been sleeping better and more deeply despite going off my sleep meds; I've been having the most vivid dreams. And I'm feeling fairly energetic today despite the detox/cleanse. It's possible the 7 Exfuze is helping counter those symptoms. I suppose I'd really have to try it for 3 weeks when I'm not messing around with other variables to assess its efficacy better. But, this was the best time for the detox planning wise.

    New Running Shoes:

    I went to the Potomac River Running Store today to buy new running shoes. I decided to go there rather than order on line because I haven't been terribly thrilled with the fit of my last couple pairs of running shoes (Mizuno, Saucony). Since my last visit, they've installed a machine that electronically measures and analyzes your feet/stance. Then I tried out various pairs of shoes with varying degrees of support on the treadmill where they watch your feet on a nearby television. I apparently have a fairly rigid arch and strong ankles (tested with one legged squats), so I don't need the motion control shoes I've used in the past. I also don't over-pronate or under-pronate, and am completely neutral. Good news, I guess. I ended up purchasing The Asics Gel-Nimbus 10, which has great cushioning for my type of foot. Can't wait to give it a try. Felt like a great fit. I'm hoping the gel cushioning will be adequate to support my right metatarsal area in my right foot. I went up a half size in this shoe.

    I noticed they are stocking the Skins recovery tights in the store now. I did wear mine the earlier this week after my mega kicking session. I felt like my legs were less sore than they normally would have been. The research is, of course, completely inconclusive on whether the tights actually help or are a placebo. I do know quite a few athletes that love them.

    I also took the opportunity to stock up on Endurolytes while there. I took 3 before yoga.


    This is the text of an email Fort Son got from his rowing coach wrt recovery. Good stuff!

    "Gentlemen: I've talked a bit over the last few days about how to manage your body during these high-intensity training cycles, but I wanted to get something out to you all in writing as well to reinforce the most important points. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the single most important factor in determining the success the summer training program will be the manner in which you manage your health and wellness. The way you manage your body during the high-intensity segments of the training program will be vital to prevent injury during the on-cycle, and the way you encourage recovery during the light days between will determine whether you recoup sufficiently to attack the next phase of summer training.

    Calorie burn is not a factor for us at this point. Most of you are burning 2000-2500 calories per day during practice time alone, so your volume of food intake should not be a concern, except to make sure that you are eating enough. The crucial point is to manage WHAT you are eating, and to make sure that you are getting good value out of your meals.
    - Protein. Rowing, like any endurance activity, tears muscle fibers. The body needs to rebuild these fibers, and the key building block in muscle is protein. Fish, chicken, lean red meat are all obvious sources for protein (and fish has other significant health benefits), but some other high-protein food items are peanut butter, soy milk, whole wheat bread and broccoli.
    - anti-inflammitories in food. Muscle soreness and inflammation are often precursors to actual muscle injury. Certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties which can help to keep soreness and swelling in check without the need for medication. Cherries and blueberries are excellent sources of both anti-inflammitories and anti-oxidants, and fatty fish such as salmon is also an excellent source for these substances.
    - general eating. In addition to seeking out foods for specific needs, stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Foods which contain large amounts of processed sugar or saturated fats will make you feel full but won't give you the building blocks your body needs. Filling yourself with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is the bottom line as far as healthy eating is concerned.
    - multi-vitamins. As I mentioned yesterday, nutritionists go back and forth on the absolute value of various vitamins, but there are no studies that indicate a negative value to taking a moderate amount of a full-spectrum multi-vitamin. Vitamin C and B are both used by the body to make connective tissue, and are thus necessary to help the body repair damage. In general, its an easy way to cover your bets and make sure you are getting everything you need in your diet.

    Post-Practice nutrition: This is important enough to get its own category. Over the last 5 or 6 years, numerous studies have concluded that athletes who take in easily digested carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of the end of practice not only recover better, but actually grow stronger at a faster rate than those who do not get nutrition in this 30-minute window. We are not talking about small gains, either - in some studies the difference in strength and/or endurance gained over the course of a month varied by 20% between those who took post practice nutrition and those who did not. There are a number of substances that will do the job, and fortunately there is a new option which is relatively cheap and easily obtained. Gatorade now sells a post-practice recovery version which has the correct balance of protein and carbohydrates. There are other options: chocolate milk is fine, though its hard to keep cold, and Endurox R4 is excellent, but it's expensive. I would personally recommend that you toss a bottle of the Gatorade (either the regular Gatorade 03 or the Gatorade Pro 03) in your backpack and drink it right after we get off the water.

    Stretching, warming up and cooling down:
    As I mentioned above, we are pushing your bodies very hard during this work cycle. Just as you need to eat well to give your body what it needs to recover, you need to properly prepare your body to do work, and properly warm down afterwards.
    - Stretching and warming up. To adequately prepare for a full-pressure rowing practice, you need to spend at least 15 minutes stretching and 5 minutes spinning the erg. (If you bike to practice, you can forgo the erg). Stretching pre-practice does little for general flexibility, but it does begin to warm the muscles, and help to identify and ease sore or tight spots on the body. If you are encountering significant muscle tightness, particularly in the back or lats, you may want to stretch in the shower, and use hot water to massage the tight areas. TBC has an excellent shower room; it is not a bad idea to stretch and warm any possible trouble spots before practice.
    - Cooling down. Post practice, stretch again. This helps to cool the body down after work, and can go along way towards preventing soreness and muscle tightness the next day. Unlike pre-practice stretching, post-practice stretching WILL increase your overall flexibility, and it has been proven again and again that flexible athletes suffer less injury than their less-flexible counterparts.
    -Ice trouble spots. If any muscles feel particularly sore or tight, ice them at the end of practice for 15-20 minutes and again sometime in the evening. Don't use ice before practice, but hit anything that feels at all tight afterwards.

    Other recovery techniques-
    - Massage. If you have time during the recovery period, and a bit of money available, look into getting a massage. There is a massage school on Wisconsin Ave that does $35 student massages and $55 professional massages; their website is Deep tissue massage is really what you are looking for to get the benefit of muscle relaxation and increased circulation.
    - Leg elevation. If you keep you legs elevated above the heart for 15-20 minutes at a stretch (you can do this while watching tv or napping, for example) you can get a boost to circulation, as well as helping byproducts of muscle work to clear out of the legs more quickly.
    - REST. Sleep heals, and good sleep heals more than bad sleep. A couple ways to get better sleep:
    1. Complete darkness. Even a scrap of light can affect sleep quality, so try and turn off or cover all light sources, even the light from a clock.
    2. Wake up naturally. If possible during off days, don't set an alarm clock - just go to bed at a good time (10-10:30 PM at the latest) and let yourself wake up when the body is ready.

    You are all on the road to becoming elite athletes. This stuff is all background, but it is the foundational lifestyle work that enables you to perform at a high level. We all see olympic rowing, and can appreciate the power and technique that those individuals have developed. What isn't visible, but is nonetheless present, is the regimen that all of those athletes use to keep themselves performing at a high level. What also isn't visible is the hundreds or thousands of athletes who had the physical potential to compete at that level but did not maintain themselves well enough, and were thus sidelined by injury or simple lack of recovery speed.
    Put as much energy into your recovery as you put into your active training, and we're going to have an awesomely fast summer."

    Updated June 13th, 2010 at 09:21 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  5. sat jun 12 2010

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 05:57 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    sat jun 12

    SLEPT late woke at 6:09
    needed to leave by 5:45 to make the 6:30 practice on time

    UT Swim Center
    whitney coached

    missed warm up

    main set
    4 x 400 fr desc

    3 x 300 fr desc

    2 x 200 fr desc

    100 fr fast for time
    went 59
    Swim Workouts
  6. Taking on the heat

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 04:25 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Didn't want to stay inside today, but it is too hot to sit still by the pool outside. Decided to take a bike ride early this afternoon. Temps were 92 with 55% humidity, but biking is not bad in these temps since you get a breeze when you bike. I live out in a farmland area, so there is not much shade on the roads. Decided to take it easy, especially when my bike computer failed. Ended up riding for about 45 minutes. Going easy gave me a chance to scout out some new areas and check for dogs.

    The last two weeks, all my various gadgets seem to have died - my heart rate monitor, my watch, and my bike computer. Fortunately, I can solve this in one trip to Trussville next week where Trak Shak and Cahaba Cycles are right next door to each other. It is way past time for me to buy some shoes, so think I'll buy some new ones while I'm there.

    Speaking of shoes, I've tried them all (New Balance, Asics, Brooks) and the ones that seem to hold up best and keep me injury-free are Nike Air Structure Triax. Been using this model for 9 years post stress fracture. I bought a pair of Nike Lunarlites (Lunaracer) last year and used them on my 5k I ran last fall. They are fun, but only meant to race in because they are so light!

    Updated June 13th, 2010 at 07:11 PM by elise526

  7. Rowing + Summer meet planning

    Today I went over to the Y to try a rowing workout with Mr. Addict. Everything felt good, and hereís what we did:

    6-minute warmup
    3-minute easy/rest
    4-minute piece [2:25.8 avg. pace]
    3-minute easy/rest
    4-minute piece [2:19.5]
    3-minute easy/rest
    4-minute piece [2:16.5]
    3-minute easy/rest
    4-minute piece [2:14.2]
    3-minute easy/rest
    1-minute piece [2:04.4]
    3-minute easy/rest
    2-minute piece [2:21.1]
    3-minute easy/rest
    1-minute piece [2:01.4]
    3-minute easy/rest

    I started out pretty easy then descended, and things felt good and fairly comfortable the whole way. I was pretty happy with my times on the 4s, especially considering that it was 7 @ 2:16 pace that made me want to cry a couple of weeks ago. Today that pace felt relatively easy, although I was only holding it for 4 minutes rather than 7. I gave myself a get-out time on the first 1-minute piece of 2:05 and beat it, but ended up feeling guilty going easy on the following 2-minute piece while Mr. Addict was still working hard, so I cranked it up again for that last 1-minute row at the end.

    Iíve also been working on my summer swimming and travel plans this weekend. One thing Iím really excited about is the NE LCM champs in Middlebury, VT in a couple of weeks. Iíve really wanted to go to this meet for the last couple of summers, but other plans have gotten in the way. When I scheduled my surgery for early June, I thought it would nix that meet this year as well. Luckily, my recovery and return to swimming has been way ahead of where I thought it would be, and late registration for the meet doesnít close until this coming Friday, so Iíve decided to go. I donít think PRs will be in the works, but it will be great to spend a weekend up in Vermont swimming a long course meet. Plus, thereís a clinic by Bill Boomer leading into the meet that should be very interesting.

    At Middlebury I plan to swim longer stuff and off events (probably 200s of all four strokes, and an 800 FR and 400 IM), because I havenít been sprinting at all and donít have enough time between now and then get things sharp enough to swim shorter events well. One plus to doing this is that it gives me a shot at swimming all the LC events this summer (or at least all except for the 1500óalthough this meet allows you to swim both of the distance frees on the first day, Iím sticking with just one. And Iím not sure Iíll want to swim a 1500 later on in the season, even if I get an opportunity to. In fact Iím pretty sure I wonít.]

    So, here is my tentative meet and OWS schedule for this summer. Events in parentheses are iffy:

    Friday June 25 Ė Sunday June 27: NE LCM Championships at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT [preceded by Bill Boomer swim clinic on Thursday and Friday]

    Sunday July 11: Wilton LCM meet, Wilton, CT [BBQ after]

    Sunday August 1: Governors Island 2M OWS [This is probably my favorite of the NYSwimís summer series. It will be followed by a 10K Pro swim, along part of the same course.]

    (Saturday August 7: NY Aquarium 1M Swim [Thereís also a 5K swim, but 1 mile will be plenty for me.])

    (Sunday August 8: Jason Nessel Memorial LCM meet, Rahway, NJ)

    Saturday August 21 Ė Sunday August 22: Colonies Zone LCM Championships at College Park, MD

    Sunday September 5: John Daly 1M Ocean Swim, Long Beach, Long Island [The traditional season-ending OW swim in these parts.]

    We also have a couple of trips planned, to Lake Placid and to Victoria BC (both very easy places to get in swim workouts), so it will be a busy summer! I was toying with the idea of doing a rowing camp weekend this summer, in order to learn on-water rowing, but that will have to wait for fall, or another season altogether. I figure I should do all the LC swimming I can while I have the opportunity!
  8. Saturday, 6/12/10

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 01:42 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, with Carrie

    Warm Ė up
    1 x 300 Choice
    (did 150 free/150 back)
    3 x 100/1:45 Build each
    (went 1:25-28-29)
    6 x 50/55 desc 3
    (went 45-42-39 both times)
    8 x 25/30 strong
    (did a mix of fly-free-back)

    Main Set:
    Repeat following 2 times:
    1 x 100/2:00 smooth Ė 11 turns
    3 x 250/15sr
    4 x 25/ 30 Fast

    100 easy free cool
    Total: 3100 meters
  9. Bad Key Sunday

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 12:53 PM (Adventures in Swimming)
    The gate key I was given for the pool didn't work.
    ARGH!!!! Luckily Sully spotted someone working at the other end of the complex. We got in!!

    There are still 8 lanes of SCY ropes in so
    we decided it would be easier to just swim SCY
    rather than take out all the ropes.

    Susan made the workout today....

    200 SKIPS
    Which means 200 of each Swim, Kick, IM, Pull, Swim

    10 x 100 Odd's Free, Even's Choice (I did back)
    I did them all on 1:30

    8 x 75 K/Dr/Swim by 25 IM order :10r

    10 x 50 on :40
    A little shorter than I like but I made them all.
    I managed to hold :35-:36 on all of them

    200 Warm Down

    Updated June 13th, 2010 at 01:00 PM by Bo Martin

    Swim Workouts
  10. meet 6/12/10

    Had my first long course meet in years. Have not swam in a long course I think since Savanah. This was a somewhat small meet, started at 930am and I was done by noon. Swimming the 800free,100fly,200fly,100free and 50fly in 2 1/2 hr turned into somewhat of a survival meet.

    Got to meet Wookie (John) at the meet. Special thanks for him counting for me in the 800free. Overall, I suppose I was happy with my times.

    800free, 9:59 I used this kinda as a continuation of my warmup. found a nice steady pace and went with it. Definitely can be faster in this event if I choose to work it

    100fly 1:04 thought I would have been a little faster but solid swim for me

    200fly 2:25 this became a survival race. Although the 200yard fly is my favorite race, this one is a different beast. Had a bad attitude during race of how much this really sucks. Could have been cause I was somewhat tired from prior to races. Definitely know I can be faster in this. Need few more 2fly races long course to "learn" how to swim this.

    100free 1:00, not a sprinter so im kinda happy with this swim

    50fly 29.0 had 3 heats of 50fly after my 100free before I was up. After events I did, this last one was piece of cake

    Next meet should be July 24. Will probably cut back on the events and go for swim quality swims over quantity of swims.

    Dont plan on working out Sunday. Will probably splash around in my pool with kids. Maybe do some verticle kicking in my deep end. Plan on my 6 mile run this afternoon followed up my some dryland workouts.
  11. Quick track workout

    by , June 12th, 2010 at 11:11 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Sizzling temps here today, so husband, son, and I opted to defer our runs until the evening. At 9 p.m., we went to the track which has good lighting. Even then, it was 80 degrees, but obviously much better than 90 in the sun.

    Son and I got in a total of 2.25 miles as follows: 1/2 mile warm-up, 5 x (200 fast/200 recovery), 1/2 mile cool-down.

    The 200s were progressive. We started at an 8:40 per mile pace and worked down to a 5:04 per mile pace. I really like the progressive work as I think it allows you to get warmed up and stretched out before finishing at a fast pace.

    Really happy I could get in my 13 miles of running for the week. Next week, I'll aim for 15 or 16. On the swim end of things, I only got in about 3700 yards (estimating meters plus open water swim). After next week, hope to get the swimming back up to around 6,000 yards a week. No plans to do weights until July and when I do start, it will be light for two or three months.

    I am finding that I like running more frequently with shorter distances than running less frequently with longer distances. I ran 5 days in a row and tonight my stride felt really good. I'm taking off tomorrow and plan to start my running week on Monday.

    Updated June 12th, 2010 at 11:20 PM by elise526

  12. A little stronger every day

    Friday afternoon I went by the Y for a little swim. All I did was my usual 1000 warmup, but it felt really great. My legs suddenly seemed connected to my body again, and I was able to kick without discomfort. I could even do dolphin kick on my back! Flip turns and push offs are the only things that still felt a little tentative, and even they were doable. I felt like superman in the pool, all because I could push off past the flags and swim at sub-1:40 pace!

    But I kept my swim short, in part because I wanted to save my energy to swim with my team on Saturday morning, and also by necessity since Iíd arrived at the pool just half an hour before the kidsí swim practice closes the lap lanes. (The kidsí coach asked me if I wanted to stay and play water polo with them, which would have been pretty tempting almost any other day! It was definitely sweet of him to ask.)

    I was so excited about being able to swim again that I went home and made a celebratory dinneróseared scallops with bacon and strawberries over mixed greens, and a lemon cake with sugar flowers and raspberries on top for dessert. It was yummy!

    This morning I went to the AGUA morning workout. I felt fine the whole way through, but didnít push myself overly hard on anything. Hereís what we did:

    500 lcm warmup

    15 x 100: 5 DPS using kickboard as pull buoy and hitting board at end of each stroke; 5 pull, 5 desc.

    5 x 100 BR @ :20 rest: each 100 done as 50 DR / 50 SW [Coach Craig claimed the team set a new PR for complaining on this set, but I liked it. Drills were 2 kicks/stroke, FL kick, and FL kick]

    1000 FR, split at 500 for :30
    800 FR pull [I took an extended break here, but thatís what I usually do on long pull sets anyway.]
    400 IM

    100 warmdown

    It was great seeing teammates againóI hadnít been to an AGUA workout since before Atlanta, so missed a couple 100s on that first set chatting with friends at the wall. And I felt strong and good in the water, and really happy to be swimming long course.

    In the afternoon I went down to the river to watch the MIMS swimmers from the West 70 Street pier. I couldn't identify all the swimmers--some of the boats were too far out to pick up the race numbers, even with binoculars, and on others the banner with the race number wasn't visible. I did see Chaos, who was looking pretty strong, as well as some other NYC swim friends, both solo and on relays. And as always, other folks on the pier were amazed once they realized that people were actually swimming by in the Hudson! I spent an hour or two out there with a couple of other masters swimmers, plus a really nice woman from Toronto whose husband was doing the race.

    Tomorrow I might see how rowing feels. Onwards and upwards!
  13. Saturday Morning Fun

    by , June 12th, 2010 at 08:34 AM (Adventures in Swimming)
    Coached the Sharks today.
    Outside SCY
    Modified version of one of Onlyfree's workouts.

    Warm Up
    200 Swim
    200 Kick/Swim by 25 (no board please)
    200 Choice

    Set 1
    3 x 100 50 Drill/25 Kick/25 Swim :10 r
    4 x 50 Find your pace for the next set :15 r

    Set 2 (it's a long one)
    800 Swim Every 4th open turns to get your split, start on something even so you can track splits,
    think about when you should be finishing when you push off to start the next 100
    Should be less than 5 seconds break, Try to hold same pace for all 8 100's
    600 Swim Same as 800 but descend by 100's
    400 Swim Every 4th length Stroke
    200 Swim Build by 50's from mod to hard
    Take a Masters Minute between every swim, a little extra before the 200 is ok.

    Set 3
    6 x 50 Kick :15r
    5 x 50 Drill / Swim by 25 :15 r
    4 x 50 Kick :10r
    3 x 50 Drill Swim :10r
    2 x 50 Sprint :30 r
    1 x 50 EZ

    Warm Down

    We found a Coach!!!!
    I can swim with the team more
    Swim Workouts
  14. Guntersville swim and run

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 08:14 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Had plans to swim at the nice outdoor lap pool at the Guntersville Recreation Center which is about one hour away. I called before I left to be sure the lap pool was open, but when I arrived, I found out that somebody had thrown up in the main pool and that they had opened the lap pool up for the kids to play in. I was bummed, but improvised by going over to one of the beaches at Lake Guntersville and doing a 15 minute open water swim followed by a 3 mile run/walk. It was hot and a little bit humid - 90 degrees with near 60% humidity. Wasn't too bad as the trail was in the shade.

    With the sudden high temps, I'm going to have to be sure to hydrate well before I go outside for anything. Saw the below article and thought it gave some pretty good tips.
  15. Friday, June 11, 2010

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 06:13 PM (Keepin Track 2010)
    run 3.0
  16. Wed, June 9, 2010

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 06:12 PM (Keepin Track 2010)
    run 2.5
  17. Drylands Finally, June 11

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 05:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I finally, finally made it back to the gym. I checked my blog, which doesn't lie, and I hadn't been since April 29. Lordy! I'm a weak pile of mush. I'm sure Jim would have a fancier word for it. I tried not to overdo, but after about 60-70 minutes or so and even taking my time, I was tuckered out. I'm sure the almost 10,000 yards from the preceding days contributed.



    external & internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    3 position arm extensions, 2 x 15 each postition
    ball on the wall, 2 x 50
    prone scapular scrunches w/5 lb weights, 2 x 25
    arm circles, 2 x 50, clockwise and counter-clockwise
    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25

    About time!

    Extreme Angle Isometrics:

    deep squat, 3:00
    left lunge, 2:00
    right lunge, 1:30 (did this at the end, was tired)
    bicep/tricep hold on yoga ball, 3:00
    push up iso between 2 steps, 1:30


    straight arm plank with feet on yoga ball, 1:00
    russian twists on incline bench w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 20

    Jump rope:

    2 x 1:00

    Note to self: Do jump roping at the beginning not end of dryland workout

    5-10 minutes stretching



    It apparently is much more fun and interesting doing drylands when you are in shape than not. Hopefully, this session jump started me. I'm hoping to watch the TRX DVD this weekend, so that I can get familiar with it, and take the system on vacation. Hoping to do yoga on Saturday and swimming on Sunday. Or perhaps a run this weekend. Otherwise, I will likely be at the soccer field, swimming pool or recital hall all weekend.

    Mini Fort, who has been in a funk lately causing me no end of parental happiness, has announced that she may quit swimming (possibly even summer league). I fully support her, though am a bit sad since it's a family type sport. (The only one who doesn't swim is Mr. Fort!) But she just doesn't want to work as hard as she needs to to be at a Sectionals type level; and she doesn't want to train less and do less well. Not an atypical reaction, I guess. She plans on continuing volleyball and adding either soccer back or lacrosse. And she has a cushy lifeguard/junior swim coach/swim instructor job for the summer.

    Fort Son is trying out for a competitive rowing team on the Potomac, which will require double workouts in DC all summer. The hard ass coaches (it amuses me that Fort Son confesses to being "scared" of one) announced that they were taking the fastest rowers regardless of weight. This worried my lightweight Fort Son tremendously, but it appears (no final decision) yet, that he will be stroking a lightweight 8. I'm excited because they will be competing in the Canadian Henley this summer and it will be a great way for him to get some real experience outside his high school team.


    Today is the day. I've begun my 10 day detox. I thought this was the perfect timing. This is the plan I'm doing:

    This is a Metagenics product. I'm also taking these: I understand that the latter may help, among other things, with the headaches associated with a detox. Hopefully, I won't turn into a raving lunatic b*tch for 10 days, and will feel better afterward. I know several people who have used this detox, felt great afterward, and were able to ditch caffeine. One person I know who is a workout fiend had trouble sustaining a heavy workout schedule during the day 5-8 time period. I will try to ignore that and carry on. Wish me luck.

    Updated June 11th, 2010 at 08:06 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  18. Gu, Finger: My Two Gifts

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 04:16 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    The grasshopper blogging advice proffered in my previous entry got me to thinking about the nature of selfish altruism.

    For most of my life as a sentient being, i.e., starting around 7 or 8 when I began to speak in normal English instead of the idioglossia or "twin speech" that me and my brother John ("udder Man") Thornton used to use to communicate, anyhow, ever since then, I have understood the wisdom of the following chestnut:

    It is better to give than to receive.

    Of course, it also immediately struck the 7-year-old man-child philosopher within me that if this was, in fact, true, then the ultimate gift one might bestow upon another human being was to agree to serve as the receiver. This, by definition, allows the other to be the giver, or better person.


    If it is better to give than to receive, than it is even better still to receive than to give.

    Armed with this more sophisticated understanding of morality, an understanding that I concede many adult moral philosophers have trouble grasping, I began then, and have continued ever since, practicing selfish altruism, my motto being "take, take, take, and take some more!"

    Who knows how many people over the decades I have allowed to spiritually enrich themselves at my expense? Who knows how much largess I have accepted so that others might appear greater than me in the eyes of God?

    Which brings us back to Water Rat's recent hope that I might provide him with blogging advice. As those who read Grasshopper Vlogging Advice will surely remember, I dispensed no shortage of helpful counsel with no expectation of remuneration of any kind!

    Indeed, in the Zero Sum Game of USMS blogs, where there are only so many readers to go around, and any new blog that attracts readership to itself will surely siphon away hits from the old established staples--almost like rival religious sects trying to attract tithers--my very advice, it could be argued, would be helping Water Rat at my own expense!

    This was, in other words, a clear example of me practicing the simple-minded form of altruism--the giving not receiving kind as opposed to more complex (and morally superior) receiving so the other can be giving kind.

    Simple-minded to the point of being jejune though such generosity proved to be, it also--and I am almost embarrassed to admit this--felt good!

    In an attempt to recreate this good feeling, I would like in today's vlog to give back directly to the Greater USMS Swimming Community.

    Gift No. 1

    The first gift is endorsement
    of a product that has been a godsend to me personally. If you suffer, or know anybody who might suffer, from exercise-induced hypoglycemia, try GU five minutes before practice.

    It almost always prevents those horrific symptoms that can result from exercising with insufficient blood sugar: shakiness and trembling, weird blinking lights in the visual field reminiscent of a migraineur's aura, and feelings of ravenous starvation that come on in a twinkling.

    I originally popped a packet of GU gel before practice:

    The orange and mixed berry flavors proved the easiest for me to stomach.

    My Sewickley teammate Ben Mayhew later told me that GU had come out with a new product that was easier to take:

    These are surprisingly edible, I must say. If you have kids, and they occasionally eat fruit snacks, the GU Chomp is very close in flavor.

    Anyhow, if you do occasionally have this problem of exercise-induced hypoglycemia, get some GU of either sort and keep it with you at the pool. No need to thank me. It is, after all, better to give than receive.

    Gift No. 2

    Admittedly, the number of the exercise-induced hypoglycemic masters swimmers out there is probably not overwhelming, and of this number, those who don't already know about GU are no doubt fewer still. Thus Gift No. 1 might not affect a huge population (although the population that is affected will be affected quite positively, I believe.)

    I would like to give something else that all USMS swimmers, fitness swimmers, and swimming blog readers across the globe might benefit from.

    What could this gift be, though? What would benefit such a wide array of swimmer types, genders, and gift-receiving-preference subtypes?

    At first, I thought it might be impossible to find something that everyone would like.

    But then yesterday, at breakfast, I was reading an article about Galileo.

    Galileo while evidently still in possession of all his fingers

    The article was actually less about Galileo in his entirety than it was about Galileo and one of his fingers.

    Some background:

    Fans of the least famous of mortal sins, simony, or the sales of religious relics including the mummified body parts of Saints, will recalls that Luther was so at odds with this practice that it drove him to establish Lutheranism.

    I actually had occasion to see St. Andrew's finger in a small church in Italy when I was 11.

    Later that same summer, I saw another St. Andrew's finger in yet another small Italian church.

    By the end of the summer, I had seen so many fingers that I became convinced St. Andrew suffered from polydactyism.

    I assure you, I am no polydactyle myself! Just an ordinary man with 10 ordinary manual and 1 subordinary urological digits!

    But enough meandering and shilly shallying discourse here. The main point that I am trying to circle around to is that the newspaper article on Galileo said that his finger is now in the possession of somebody or some institution or some country or something--I did not read the whole article.

    I stopped as soon as I realized that giving your finger to posterity is something that I actually could do, myself.

    Could do, and, in point of fact, should do.

    Galileo's actual finger in display case.

    I wish I could say that the recent economic downturn has not affected my fortunes too greatly, that a half century of practicing the complex form of altruism had allowed me to save up enough to afford such a dazzling display case, with its golden accouterments and whatnot!

    Alas, I have fallen upon hard times financially and otherwise.

    I am not sure how much longer I have, but I would formally like to announce in today's vlog my intention to give USMS my finger upon my passing.

    If someone would like to organize a fund raiser to purchase a suitable display case where my gift could be housed, possibly in the new USMS offices in Saratoga, possibly in the museum portion of the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale (maybe they could have my finger next to Duke Kahanamoku's surfboard?), I would happily provide no shortage of finger pictures to use in the campaign.

    Note the body suit on the Olympic great, Duke, AKA the Big Kahuna.

    On an entirely unrelated note, if for any reason USMS cannot accept my gift, I would happily give my finger instead to FINA.
  19. Double FAST FRIDAY Jun 11th 2010

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 03:08 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    FAST FRIDAY Jun 11th 2010

    Today the swim center lane 1 had one of those omega blocks with the wedge set up. I put a pic of it on:
    Did a start off it in warmup, the block is a top section on top of an old swim center block. The front grip is an issue because it is about 4 inches below the top of the block which is way too far. So you start with no hand grip or you reach way down. (Jim Henry told me about this before I even tried the block or figured it out for myself. The temporary solution is to shift the top of the block forward by an inch or 2 so swimmers can have a place to grab the front of the block. I definitely got more back leg power with the wedge.

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Zones are in 6 weeks
    3 or 4 weeks to train hard
    2 or 3 weeks to rest

    Noon to 1:15
    Austin, UT Swim Center
    TYLER Coached
    swam with Larry, Chris, James, Steve
    dove in on time
    wore B70 legs

    swim till 12:20
    took it easier


    200 fr FAST for time, 200 fr easy on 9:00
    went 2:17

    100 fr FAST for time, 100 fr easy on 5:00
    went 62.5

    decided to skip the 50's

    ASSIGNED: 050 fr FAST for time, 50 fr easy on 3:00
    DID Nothing

    200 fr FAST for time, 200 fr easy on 9:00
    went 2:10

    2 beat kicked 125, 6 beat the last 75

    Got an extra minute rest

    100 fr FAST for time, 100 fr easy on 5:00
    went 59.8

    Got an extra minute rest

    050 FL FAST for time, 50 fr easy on 3:00
    went 26.2

    assigned 10 x 100 fr on 1:40
    did skipped it

    50 SDK
    tyler timed
    went 29.0
    felt pretty bad
    ran out of air, surfaced at the flags

    2010 MEETS:
    July 8 - 11, 2010
    Senior Circuit #4 Meet Info
    Austin, TX

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
    Days till LCM ZONES

    Updated June 11th, 2010 at 04:44 PM by ande

  20. Friday, 6/11/10

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 12:00 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    300 Choice
    (did 150 free/150 back)
    3 x 100/1:45 build
    (did free, ave was 1:31)
    4 x 50/1:00 desc.
    (backstroke, went 49-47-46-44)
    8 x 25/30 1st 25-1st 12 Ĺ fast, 2nd 25-2nd j12 Ĺ fast, 3rd 25- 25 smooth,4th 25- 25 fast
    (1-4 free, 5-8 back)

    Main Set:
    12 x 100/1:45 comfortable pace
    (all free, swam these at 1:28-29)

    8 x 50/1:00 free
    Middle 17 yd fast (turn); no breath

    10 Minutes of Vertical Kicking
    20 sec on – 10 sec rest
    (flutter kick with every 4th dolphin)

    Cool Down
    200 easy
    Total: 2800 meters

    2.5 mile run at noon. Felt pretty good considering I haven't cone any running for almost 2 months.

    Updated June 11th, 2010 at 04:13 PM by poolraat