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  1. Aug 19-20

    by , August 20th, 2013 at 04:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC ex, 10 min
    spin, 60 min

    Tuesday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Lebo Pool

    Warm up:

    600 various
    4 x 50 scull w/agility paddles
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40-:45
    75 EZ

    Main sets:

    8 x 25 burst DK + cruise @ 1:00
    50 EZ
    8 x 25 burst fast hands + cruise @ 1:00
    100 EZ

    6 x through:
    50 @ 100 pace @ 1:00
    50 EZ @ 1:00
    1:00 rest

    5 x through:
    50 @ 200 pace @ 1:00
    50 @ 100 pace @ 1:00
    50 EZ @ 1:00
    1:00 rest

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 smooth DPS free w/paddles @ 1:00
    75 EZ

    Total: 3500


    Braved the waves and cold pool temps to swim at the Lebo pool. There is a pace clock there, but very far from the lap lanes. I roughly got my times. I was going to hop on the bike again, but, whoa, I am tired from that swim. I guess 11 x 50 @ 100 pace is nothing to sneeze at in my current state of swimming fitness. I hate swimming outside in shallow pools, but that is really all that is on the menu this week. I'm flying to CA with Teen Fort this week and then I'm hoping to get back to some kind of regular schedule. Looking at my flog from August 2012, I really didn't do much swimming either until the last week.

    Updated August 20th, 2013 at 05:05 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  2. Monday, August 19, 2013

    by , August 20th, 2013 at 03:58 PM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    Kids are back in school, so ATAC practice in the morning started up again this AM. So many of the kids have gone off to college, sigh.
    It was a fairly easy practice, guess coach is just getting the kids back in to it - I, however, am feeling rather awesome in the water - not sure why, cuz my biorhythms are seriously on the way down (see below) but I'm just gonna roll with it, and enjoy the ride! Got a little meet this weekend, and am so excited! (What, am I 10 years old again?)

    So practice today:
    500 back/free
    4 x 150 P on 2:15
    4 x 100 K @ 2:00
    100 easy
    10 x 50 @ :50 (3,3,4 - 70,80,90%)
    100 easy
    2 x 500 Pull, first one no paddles, 2nd one faster than the first
    200 easy
    20 x 25 fly, w/easy 50 after each group of 4 on :30 (and w/zoomers)
    300 - 100 breast, 50 free, repeat
    Total: 4300
  3. Week 47 - Tuesday

    by , August 20th, 2013 at 03:23 PM (After a long rest)
    I woke early this morning and headed to the pool at around 4.30am. The 5am start cam equickly and the water temperature felt cold. It took me the whole warmup to get to the point of the water not feeling painfully cold, but once I warmed up I enjoyed the workout. I did not feel particularly good today but I was glad I made the workout.

    100 swim, kick, drill, pull, swim
    8x50 fly, back by 25, odds kick, evens 1 arm drill rest 15
    200 IM
    8x50 back, breast by 25 odds pull, evens fist drill rest 15
    200 IM
    8x50 breast, free by 25 odds 3-2-1, catchup, evens fast rest 15
    2x400 IM on 7 mins
    100 swim, kick, drill, pull, swim

    Total 3400 SCM

    The only really quick swims of note today were the 2x400 IM's where I held 5.23 and 5.20. At some point in the future I will need to do a competitive IM(probably start with a 200 IM).
    Swim Workouts
  4. Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout: 08/21/2013

    by , August 20th, 2013 at 01:56 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:00 3:00
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    Three rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2&3 right

    6 X 50 kick 1:10
    8 X 25 sprint kick :40
    1 X 100 swim

    2 x 100 2:00
    4 X 50 1:15
    8 X 25 :40 #8 on 1:40
    Two rounds, choice.
    All odd number swims moderate
    All even number swims fast

    1 X 100 fast
    1 X 150 moderate
    Both swims on 2:15. Choice.

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  5. wow that was a cold pool

    by , August 20th, 2013 at 07:17 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    For some reason the pool is down at the 78 degree mark. That is greatfor competition and after the first 200 or so it is good for practice too.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100@1:45 free w/strapless paddles & snorkle held 1:30's
    3x100 back kick drills w/zoomers #1 streamline, #2 fashon model, #3 arms perpendicular
    5x100@2:00 back w/strapless paddles descend went 1:50, 1:47, 1:44, 1:41, 1:37
    2x100 kick #1 breast #2 fast free
    6x50@1:00 free 15m sprint rest easy
    200 free EZ

    Total 3000 yards
    Swim Workouts
  6. Week 47 - Monday

    by , August 20th, 2013 at 07:13 AM (After a long rest)
    A late post on this one. Yesterday was a crazy busy day with our annual technology conference at the Alexandria, va Hilton. As usual I had a great time and it's always fun to see and speak with customers. Yesterday was a long day though, with a morning swim with the Alexandria Masters and then a crazy day getting ready for the round table yesterday afternoon and then customer dinner in the evening. I stuck to eating healthy despite numerous cake temptations all day and still did not have a beer(almost 9 months now). I felt stiff and sluggish yesterday morning in practice and definately not as good as last week.

    Warm up
    200 swim, kick, drill, pull, swim

    Main set
    4x400 on 6 min
    400 pace on 5.30
    200 pace on 2.45
    100 pace on 1.20
    50 pace on 35

    Warm down
    50 swim,100 kick, 50 pull, 50 drill, 50 swim

    Total 3650scm

    I held 4.45-4.50 on the 400s.

    Updated August 20th, 2013 at 07:22 AM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  7. Reverse Taper... reverse carbo-loading?!

    by , August 20th, 2013 at 12:42 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    So coming off the 2.4-mile OW swim (and btw, the official time was 1:16:02, which placed me 58th out of 100 in the non-wetsuit category and would have placed me 77th out of 289 among wet-suited swimmers... I was 4th in age group among non-wetsuite swimmers, but my time would have placed me 8th out of 42 in the wetsuit category; which I feel pretty good about!), anyway... coming off the swim Saturday I decided to impose a reverse taper. I did 2000 in Lake Andrea yesterday. 3000 at the Y today. Here's what I did:

    8/18 Lake Swim:

    400 EZ swim
    4 x (50 fly + 50 fr recovery)
    4 x (50 bk + 50 fr recovery)
    4 x (50 br + 50 fr recovery)
    400 EZ swim

    TOTAL: 2000 y/40 mins

    8/19 YMCA swim:

    WU (1000):
    200 EZ fr on 3:30
    4 x 100 IM on 2:00 (mid 1:40s)
    8 x 50 in 400 IMO on 1:00 (:46, :47, :51, :51, :55, :55, :46, :43 = 6:36)
    1:00 rest

    MS (1000):
    10 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:28-1:31; first 5 mostly 1:28-1:29, 6-10 mostly 1:30)
    :30 rest

    CD (1000):
    8 x 50 in 400 IMO on 1:00 (:47, :48, :50, :50, :54, :55, :45, :43 = 6:34)
    4 x 100 IM on 2:00 (mid 1:40s)
    200 EZ fr

    TOTAL: 3000 SCY, under 58 mins.

    I'll probably get back to the lake tomorrow morning before heading into work; the days have been a little warmer this week, so the water temps are climbing slightly again.


    I forgot to mention that after the race on Saturday I stopped into Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison. I did a search on the internet for restaurants in Madison with Vegan options. I've all but stopped going to restaurants here in Kenosha, because there are not that many vegan options... vegetarian and vegan are not the same thing and you always have to wonder if that vegetarian dish has hidden dairy or eggs. These are things that never would have occurred to me before, but I'm constantly thinking about now. Saturday night after I got back, for example, the family wanted to go out... they chose Italian, which I used to love doing. But, where eating vegetarian in Italian restaurants was always pretty easy, going completely vegan basically limited me to two items on the menu... and even those made me wonder; just because it has garden fresh vegetables, doesn't mean it wasn't swimming in butter just a few seconds before plating. To avoid those possibilities I find it easier just to stay at home and make my own.

    My family is fairly sympathetic to my diet (My wife even apologized for asking for grated cheese on the salad Saturday night... "Oh, I guess I shouldn't have done that if you wanted some"; it was ok, I was having the minestrone soup anyway), though I think they might be annoyed with me at times. They know I'm doing it for my health, which is where I began five weeks ago (today marks 35 days I have been vegan), but I'm trying to explain that it's become something much more than that now... it's coming from a place of compassion and mindfulness that is so much more powerful than mere self-discipline.

    Anyway, this is why I really appreciate places that proudly offer true vegan options on their menu. Here's the sweet potato hash with tofu scrambler with rice toast that I had at Monty's on Saturday...

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    The idea of tofu with spinach hadn't occurred to me before, but it was yummy and I'll try it again here at the house. The sweet potatoes had some yummy spices... think I detected curry.
  8. no running

    My last experiment with running (two years ago) had me wind up with an overuse injury after a 10k race on pavement.. I got physical therapy at the UW, right next to the pool I used to swim at.

    Since I no longer work in Seattle and can't get across the bridge during rush hour, I've switched from UW to the lake washington masters Redmond group.
  9. 8|19|13 remotivation

    SCM indoors at club (fins, snorkel, and paddles stayed in car)

    250 warmup

    20 x 15m turn drill on 0:30

    3 x 50 DFS free on 4:00
    • 31, 31, 29
    • breathed alot throughout

    10 x 25 DFS free on 1:00

    • hop out and walk back to same side for each
    • 14 - 15's
    • breathed every 4

    My split request for the 50 (100) fr was 29.01. This actually marks the first 50 free event slowing (for all courses) after 11 of em. I have NO reason not to be happy with the slower 12th attempt (hopefully the next will be lucky 13).
    11 consecutive PB's
    LCM 30.93
    2012-08-04 LCM 30.25
    2012-11-30 SCM 28.60
    2012-11-30 SCM 28.59 (split request)
    2013-02-08 SCY 25.48
    2013-02-08 SCY 25.03 (split request)
    2013-02-08 SCY 24.67 (relay leg 4)
    2013-02-08 SCY 24.62 (relay leg 3)
    2013-06-02 LCM 28.59
    2013-06-02 LCM 28.42 (split request)
    2013-08-17 LCM 28.34
    2013-08-17 LCM 29.01 (split request)
    Still have two years to go in the 45-49. Though my power and recovery will steadily decline, I still have room for efficiency improvement.

    Updated August 20th, 2013 at 07:52 AM by __steve__

  10. 08.19.13 - Monday workout

    by , August 19th, 2013 at 02:18 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave, Sam and my daughter. Keeping up w/ the blog over the weekend. After my Saturday workout, I coached a soccer game and refereed 3. The last game I had to center a U19 match. It got out of hand at times mostly because I'm pretty rusty and made some bad calls. By the end, I had my act together and it went smoothly. Sunday was mostly rest. Felt decent today. Dave blew me away on the fly. Just couldn't stay with him at all today. My frees felt good though and the 1:15s were not problem.


    600 Warm up

    4 x 100 Free - 1:30, 1st 25 fly
    3 x 100 - 1:20
    4 x 100 (50 Kick/50 Free) - 1:45
    3 x 100 - 1:20
    4 x 100 - 1:30, 1st 25, 1st 50, 1st 75, 1st 100 Fly
    50 Easy

    4 x 100 IM - 1:45
    3 x 100 - 1:20
    4 x 100 Free - 1:45, 1st 25, 1st 50, 1st 75, 1st 100 Kick
    3 x 100 Pull - 1:20
    1:00 Rest
    4 x 100 - 1:15
    50 Easy

    2 x 100 IM - 1:45
    1 x 100 Free - 1:20
    2 x 100 Kick - 1:45
    1 x 100 Pull - 1:20

    10 x 50 - 1:00 (2 x IM Order + Kick)

    200 Cool down

    (5600 Total)
  11. Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout: 08/20/2013

    by , August 19th, 2013 at 01:32 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 1:50 1:40
    4 X 75 1:15 1:10
    4 X 50 1:00 :50
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:45
    2 X 100 kick 2:15
    8 X 25 sprint kick :45
    1 X 100 swim

    1 X 100 moderate 2:00
    3 X 50 fast 1:00 #3 on 1:30
    Four rounds

    4 x 250 pull 4:15
    1&2: negative split
    3&4: last 100 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  12. Saturday Swim

    by , August 19th, 2013 at 10:14 AM (One Stroke at a Time)
    August 17
    300 swim
    200 kick
    12 x 75 6 on 1:20 25 drill (stroke)/50 free then 6 on 1:10 25 swim (stroke)/50 free
    100 easy
    4 x 100 pull on 1:30
    2 x 100 kick on 2:00
    5 x 100 pull on 1:30
    100 easy
    6 x 50 on 1:00
    14 x 25 on 30 1 fast fly/1 easy/2 fast fly/back/1 easy/3 fast fly/back/breast/1 easy/4 fast IM order/1 easy
    4 x 50 kick on 1:15
    150 easy
    3700 yards

    Saturdays are funny because I always mean to get out and never do. The practice is 90 minutes instead of our usual 60 so I always plan to get out after 60 (although today I missed the first 15 minutes so I only swam 15 minutes more than I had planned). The weather was nice and lots of people were there so it was just nice to see everyone and hang out a bit. I think I was a bit perplexing for my lanemates today. I swam in a different lane than usual. I really only put effort into the 25s and the kicking so after lounging at the back I suddenly perked up and led.

    Updated August 19th, 2013 at 11:39 AM by MaryR

  13. Half of a wonderful old workout

    by , August 19th, 2013 at 07:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I say half because I only have 1 hr and 15 min available but the original workout was written for 2 hrs. I hope to do more of these old Benner workouts again if my body can handle it.

    Worked on a straighter arm recovery on my fly with a wider entry.

    500 free
    14x50@:55 free every 3rd 50 fly held 45's for the free and 50's for fly
    8x100@1:40 free w/paddles held 1:28-29
    20x25@:40 odds free evens fly every 3rd AFAP the fast fr were 17 and the fast fly were 20
    20x50@:50 free #1-15 w/paddles & bouy #16-20 no equipment just make them long and loose

    Total 3500 yards
    Swim Workouts
  14. 08/17/13: Betsy Owens Swim (USMS 2mile Cable Nationa Champs)

    by , August 18th, 2013 at 09:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After a beautiful day Friday getting some errands done around time, my friend Brent stopped by the house to pick me up and we headed northwest on a three hour journey to the Adirondacks of New York, with the final destination of Lake Placid for the 2013 USMS National Championship 2 Mile Cable Swim, Betsy Owens Swim. I guided us though some great back road, agricultural settings until we hit Saratoga Springs ("Health, History, Horses") and picked up the Northway (I-87) before getting off on state route 73 through the High Peaks.

    We arrived at our home for the night, Art Devlin's Olympic Motor Lodge, and checked in, admiring the showcase that this Olympic ski jumper from the 60's acquired from all over the world and the view of the ski jumps to our south from the property. Brent swam at Betsy Owens a couple of years ago, so we ventured north into town on foot, walking past the 400m outside speed skating oval, ice arena (home of the "Miracle On Ice" game from 1980 OG), and the Olympic Center en route to the Mirror Lake, home of IronMan Lake Placid and Betsy Owens swim. It was a little cool, but the sun was hanging brilliantly in the sky just above the mountains surrounding the lake. I dipped my hands in the water, a tad cool and thankfully not really warm.

    We then checked out some of the shops downtown. Lake Placid is relatively void of major shopping outlets (only one small area with four or five shops), favoring traditional independent shops and restaurants in a town that has the hint of a European village. We ran into Jonathan, one of our Berkshire lake swimming buddies who was in town with his wife and daughter to race. He later shared that they bought a "passport" to check out the Olympic venues, and his daughter rode down the bobsled track! We ended up eating at a restaurant on the lake side, Generations, and enjoyed a relaxed pre-race meal before ice cream at Emma's Creamery and the nice stroll back to the lodge for a restful night's sleep.

    We got up a little after 7am to a brisk temperature of 46, and I grabbed some coffee and a lemon poppy muffin from the lodge as we checked out and drove to the beach for 8:15. Check in started at 8am, with warmups on the course from 8-9. There is a great grassy hill on the start end of the course, and Brent had a chair that he put down to mark our little area. After debating about "warming up," since the report race temperature was 69 degrees, we hopped in and did one loop of the 1/4 mile cable in the counter-clockwise direction that was prescribed for the race. This was my first swim of this type, and the cable was suspended about two feet below the surface of the lake, with a large orange buoy at the turning ends and small buoys every 10m along the length of the course. Since the water at Mirror Lake is very clear, the cable is very early to see as long as the sun is out.

    After drying off, we waited until the safety briefing and final attendance check-in at 9:15, where David and Ann reminded us that a total of 4 loops was needed to complete the race and that, although this is Open Water swimming, we were to be civilized or risk being DQ'd. It kinda reminded me of a scene from Lord of the Rings - we were lined up by wave (ten people) based on 1650 seed time and put into starting order, then proceeded to enter the water so that three waves were always wet. Just after 9:30am, every 30 seconds a wave is started in water (marked by a green buoy at a distance along the cable that offsets the distance to the two yellow buoys ending the race just before the beach), then the next one already in water swims up to the starting buoy and is counted down.
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    I started in the middle of the second wave of the first heat and settled into a comfortable rate, purposefully not hovering cable. Here starts the "Did you get the number of the person who ran me over?" issue, as many folks do not want to leave the cable and will be happy to engage in contact to stay on it. Incidental contact is always an issue, and if I am on the giving end I'll move around it as soon as I realize it. Others have no problem banging into you incrementally from toe to head - oh well. Expect the unexpected!

    As usual, I spend much of the swim praying as I enjoy moving through the water, especially taking in the sites of the venue around the OW event. I caught some in the end waves as I approached the end of the third lap, and went around the turn buoy on the start of the final lap and went wide to get around another pod. I increased my kick and kept the turnover strong, passing some in the first wave before turning at the far end of the course for the last time (well, I swam a couple strokes past it ). I then kept going strong into the finish, where we were handed a numbered popsicle stick and advised to stay in order, handing in the stick as our race number was recognized once on the beach. I was seeded 15th and finished the race with number 10, which could change after the second heat completed their swim.

    After a quick warmdown of 200m, I spent some time in the sun (air temp now 64) with Brent and Jonathan's family as he took off in the first wave of the second heat. I then got changed and vegged out, watching this Nascar of swimming, where folks circle around the rack and some bumping happens. Interestingly, one lady shouted that another swimmer should be DQ'd for pushing her underwater, describing in detail the man and his suit - she later, on the beach, sought him out and lambasted him a bit (to which he replied, "I was just swimming on the cable, you ran into me." to her shouts.

    So, this type of an event really does keep the spectator interested. I have come to realize that contact is indeed going to happen, especially in this more competitive atmosphere. I agreed with Brent that for many of the point to point OWswims, there is more of a sense of just swimming and enjoying the journey, rather than "racing." I am sure that some swims may not feel this way, but I rather enjoy just getting out and going. My final time was 47:34.58, good for second place in my age group, just 30 seconds behind Brent. I am happy that he is the National Champ, and that I was able to be that close to him time-wise since I consider him a much faster distance swimmer than myself.

    After the second heat finished (82yo Patrick was a great inspiration), we stayed for the great lunch that was put on for us and then the award ceremony. I met with some of the Middlebury Muffintops, as well as a Twitter friend, Alicia, that I have been following for about a year now (she was 2nd place on the women's side). New friends are great! I believe that it was announced that the 2014 National Champs will also be held during the Betsy Owens swim. I would recommend checking it out and making plans to attend next year for a great swim experience, in an area where you find fun for the whole family! If your lucky, it will not be as cold!
  15. 8|10|13 to 8|18|13 taper, meet, and (for today) scm

    My next taper will be less gentle

    Greenville Splash LCM meet

    50 free: 28.34 - new PB by 0.08
    Dive and breakout like clockwork. Everything was going smooth, on autopilot, and I didn't see anyone to my left peripheral vision from my lane 2. But as I reached stroke #25 (was counting lol) I found myself in the dilemma of where to breathe. Though at the time I didn't feel the need to breathe, I knew I better do at least one before it's too late. I took my breath.

    Then I did the single worse, instinctive, long course no-no - I looked forward for my position to the wall (which was waaay the hell down there causing my head to lift more). I was soon approaching the 40M point at this time, 36-38M perhaps, and the stretched-out speed and tempo I just had in my hands, quickly dissolved into a streamline-broken mess, fighting off my depleting momentum. All I could do was burn off my legs with kicking. I touched mid-stroke too, I could have just glided in, one less, for another couple hundredths. Anyways, I looked left and saw a few others already there, they were both low and high 26's. My son confidently said it looked like I was doing good competitively, for a just over half of the race.

    During warmdown my thighs were going, I should have changed into training jammers during my break to let the metabolic poop circulate.
    50 free (100 SR).
    Timer said it was 28.??. I don't know what it is yet, but probably 28 -high. Wasn't expecting a better performance for my legs were not 100%. My finish felt better, and this time I breathed twice instead of once, but I kept my vision too far forward the entire race. Why? I don't know, maybe I just looked forward to where I self destructed the last time around
    50 back 42 something.
    I embarrassingly placed my toes around the edge without even realizing and got called out by the ref. No DQ as of yet though. Was already finished, just swam to 1 sec under my forgiving seed. Except for first part of jumping in frigid waters without swimming, it was a pleasant swim.
    I am pleased with the entire experience. Though in the 50 free my performance did not match what I believe I can currently accomplish, it did surface some important aspects of preparation. It furthermore gave me a chance to swim with the fast swimmers.

    Post meet SCM swim - legs still dead
    6 x 50 on 1:30 (42 - 38)

    4 x 200 on 4:00 (3:02, 3:08, 3:16, 3:20)

    5 x 50 flutter kick on 2:00 (58s)

    Lifted weights
  16. Aug 16-17

    by , August 18th, 2013 at 05:22 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Was in NoVa for the weekend and got in a couple swims:


    I dropped in at SpringHill Rec in the evening thinking the pool was open until 9 as usual. Nope, only until 8. I had 50-55 minutes to work out. I almost felt like screaching with massive swimming pool frustration! Instead, I just did some luxuriously deep shooters and pulled out my "bang for your buck" parachute.

    600 various
    8 x 25 DPK back shooters w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ
    8 x 25 DPK belly shooters w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ
    6 x 50 DPS free w/paddles @ :50
    50 EZ
    16 x 25 w/parachute, fins & paddles @ 1:00
    -- did 4 of these kick with no paddles course
    -- this is the most 25s w/chutes I've done and my back can feel it today
    300 EZ

    Total: 2150

    Saturday: Swim w/Teen Fort (this may have been a mistake, lol. she didn't seem in the mood for working out and wanted tips on her long axis strokes)

    Warm up:

    600 various
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    4 x 25 scull w/paddles
    4 x 25 ??
    4 x 50 torque drill w/paddles @ 1:30
    100 caterpillar fly drill

    Main Sets:

    8 x 75 kick w/fins @ 1:15
    -- 25 flutter + 25 dolphin + 25 flutter
    -- sprint the dolphin kick 25
    100 EZ

    5-6 backstroke starts
    -- argh, very rusty since I can't do a start in any pool that I currently have access to in Pitt
    50 EZ

    -- pause while I did bungee cord pulls for Teen Fort

    8 x 25 burst dolphin kick + cruise @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP breast + 25 EZ) @ 1:30

    Total: 2550

    hottub, 20 min, trying to calm some of Teen Fort's pre-college jitters


    Not too much to write home about. But at least I was in the pool. This is actually the first time I've done two swim workouts in a row since mid-June.

    Made the long trek back to Pitt today. So sick of traveling and more ahead. Sigh. Lil Fort was somewhat despondent with her vacations ending. She seemed to cheer up when we informed her that we live next door to Sara Shepard of Pretty Little Liars fame. Very appealing stuff to 12 year olds. Wait, she turned 13 today. Round 2 of life with a teenage daughter.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Sunday, August 18, 2013 Met the famous SwimsuitAddict

    by , August 18th, 2013 at 03:37 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    IGLA Open Water Swim - 2 mile wetsuit category

    I started off the morning at 4:20am with the alarm going off. Luckily I'd packed my bag last night, 'cause I wasn't in the mood to do much this morning. I stopped at the local 7-11 to get some Gatorade for rehydration after the swim, and got stuck behind some people with the late late-night party munchies. They were quite the sight, and a bit funny.

    Well, I got going on my way toward Seattle, and got to the split where I have to choose which pass to go over. The shorter route (according to the new electronic reader board) was closed on Snoqualmie Pass due to rock blasting this morning from 5:00-8:00am. No way was I going to be able to go that way for a 7:30am checkin time. So off I went on the longer route over Stevens Pass, which also takes me quite a bit further north above Seattle. It worked out okay though. I got my McD's fix in Monroe, and then got my way to I-405 and back to I-90 to get over to Mercer Island where the swim was taking place. I still got there with plenty of time to spare. In fact, I was one of the first to arrive for the check-in.
    After walking around aimlessly, I saw a couple people wearing CIBBOWS hats, and one of them looked like Janet (only from FB pictures). We said hi to each other and talked a bit. I'm pretty boring, and she figured that out right away.

    I took a look at the course for the swim, a 1 mile triangular swim, counterclockwise, so all left handers around the course. Going down the first straightaway I noticed (along with everyone else), a huge boat (someone has $$$$) right near the line of the corner buoy. As it turns out, this was damn near spot on with the turn buoy, so it was much easier to look for the boat than the yellow turnpost in the this direction was heading right into the rising sun. The backside of the triangle looked to be pretty long, my only worry was getting lost out there. The final side back to shore was pretty easy to spot the finish buoys, so no problems there. There was a bit of plants/seaweed/crap in the water around the shallow starting/finish buoy. More annoying than anything.

    The race got off right at 9:00, as the seconds were being counted down I shouted out "Have fun guys!", and put on goggles and went for it. I started on the far left of the group, and it seemed like everyone was off to a fast start. I just kept going hard trying to breakaway from the group. I was getting my legs and feet hit a bunch, and I think it was because I was actually cutting sideways across in front of everyone without even knowing it. OOPS! My stroke naturally carries me to the right I guess. We made our way down the first leg of the course, and I was right with another guy side be side. I let him get ahead and dropped in behind him for a little draft. I stayed with him around the first buoy, made the turn looked at the next buoy and got swimming again. The leader went somewhere else though. Took too sharp of a turn and was headed back toward shore instead of across the middle of the lake. He eventually got back on track. Along the backstretch I was passed by another swimmer prior to the 2nd turn buoy. I stayed in 3rd place with the 4th place guy turning even with me at the finish buoy of lap #1.

    Now we were headed right back into the sunlight on the start of lap #2. This time the sun glare was way worse than the first time. Lucky for me I had a couple guys right in front of me, so I could follow splash bubbles underwater, or I could see their splashes ahead when I sighted. I was trying to see the big boat, but the glare was too much this time.

    On the middle of the backstretch of the 2nd lap, I was I believe in 5th place after getting passed by another person. My eyes were killing me from my goggles. I use swedes, and they were cutting into my eye sockets a bit. I'm used to pool swimming, and doing intervals, where I can usually take my goggles off for a bit every 100/200 yards or so. I'm not used to having them on me non-stop for 30-45-60 minutes at a time. I just started treading water, put my goggles on my forehead, and began talking with one of the lifeguards on a paddleboard nearby. She asked if I was fine, I said yeah, just resting my eyes from the goggles. After about 30-45 seconds of my "break", I put my goggles back on and proceeded on. At this point I went into butterfly for about 30 strokes or so. Fly with a wetsuit on is so amazing, plus doing something different with my muscles felt good too. I didn't want to wear myself out so I went back to freestyle.

    After rounding the final buoy for the turn to home, I found swimmer #6 coming up on my right hand side. Bad move buddy...that's my breathing side. If you're going to try to make a pass, you have to come by on my left. I saw him there, and knew we were close enough to the finish that I wasn't going to let him beat me. I paced right alongside him, we were looking right at each other the whole way, along with sighting forward. At this point we had two people from the 1 mile swim that we were lapping. There was enough space for me to squeeze between them, and the other guy had to go around a bit. At this point were were at the final intermediate buoy before the finish, I'd guess about 300 yards or so to the end. I poured it on, kicking like I know how to, and left the guy in the dust, not seeing him until we were on shore.

    I finished with a 46:12 for my 2 mile swim, and I believe was the #5 overall swimmer in the 2 mile category. In my age group, I was #1, and got a handmade medallion for my efforts. Someone local made all the awards for the IGLA competition, so they are unique. Melted glass, colored blue/red/white/etc. and stamped with IGLA 2013 on them.

    I was happy with the swim, and apparently I can still swim fine even on 1-2 days a week of moderate swimming...showing I don't have to be an animal age grouper anymore. Though we'll see next weekend at the Gil Young meet.
  18. 2.4-mile... MOWS 2013

    by , August 17th, 2013 at 04:15 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    YESTERDAY: Final preparations. Got into the Y at midday for a 1000 warm-up... very EZ, hoping to be completely recharged for the open water. I did need to do one last equipment check, too, because I decided to break into a new pair of goggles and use a crisp new jammer (the one I picked up for last season's meets and time trials was already starting to sag). I learned the hard way at last year's USMS 5K swim that an older pair of goggles might fog in unpredictable ways, so I've been saving a new pair I got in March for just this occasion... a pair of blue-tinted Keifer (I think the model is called Conqueror; similar to the Speedo Vanquishers I've been using). I normally like a clear goggle, but if the tint isn't too dark it would be nice in the sun. Trying it out indoors at the Y I found I was not distracted by the tint at all... a good choice! Bonus: I got this pair for free... it was my prize for winning my age group in the Winter Water Warriors fitness challenge sponsored by Wisconsin Masters. And the jammers were free, too... my 500-mile premium from last year's GTD. Mentally, this was just another reminder that I have been putting in the hard work; now it was time to relax and enjoy the experience... Wait! Not too relaxed... we'll see.

    The diet, ahem, life-style change, has been going swimmingly of late too. I carbo loaded toward the end of the week with whole-grain spaghetti and veggie tomato sauce on Thursday night. Last night I had Vegan tacos (used the last zucchini from last weekend's excursion to the farmer's market) and vegan whole-wheat pancakes with cinnamon and berries for desert. Yum. Went to bed and woke up feeling pretty good.

    PRE-RACE: This morning the alarm went off at 4:30. I got up and poured myself a cup of joe and put together my big bowl of grains and berries, almond milk... plenty of slow-burn complex carbs. I sliced an apple and took a banana and a little bit of peanut butter with me as a pre-race snack, just to make sure the batteries were completely charged. I pulled out of the driveway at 5:20 and headed into a pretty thick fog. Driving through Kenosha and Racine counties visibility was very low, the air was cool, but by the time I hit the bypass just south of Milwaukee it was already starting to thin. Sun was rising. Shortly after I turned onto the interstate headed west toward Madison the sun was glowing low on the horizon in my rearview mirror... everything in front of me was cast in a pink or golden glow. I love this time of morning.

    An hour later I was pulling into Madison. I parked at Monona Terrace parking garage and walked over to check in. Back to Monona Terrace to change and use the bathroom. As I headed back out, this was the sight that greeted me... beautiful morning on the far end of the rectangular course...
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    I still had about thirty minutes, so I ate my apple slices and peanut butter. At 15 till I would eat the banana. It was still pretty chilly in that last hour before the race, so I decided to forgo the warm-up... I thought, honestly, it might make me more anxious and that the better course would be to remind myself to use the first couple of hundred meters as a warm-up, not get caught up in the fray, find a rhythm and then slowly build. This turned out to be a great strategy for me. Plus, I didn't have to exit the water after warm-up for the mandatory pre-race briefing and then hang around getting cold and stiff for 15 minutes before heading back into the water. Being in the non-wetsuit group (by far the minority at this race) I was happy with this choice... even some of the wetsuit crowd looked to be cooling off in that gap between warm-up and start. Here's the start area at the end of warm-up:
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    THE RACE... and really I'm only racing myself... well this is what I tried to tell myself. Alex, version 2013, is in a lot better swim condition than Alex, v. 2011. But how much of a time drop would I see?

    We waded out and then swam to the start, lining up behind the buoy near the ski ramp in the picture. The non-wetsuit wave of the 2.4-mile went first, at 8:30. The wetsuit 2.4 was scheduled to go ten minutes later, and then the 1.2-mile swimmers ten minutes after that. The non-wetsuit wave was fun to chat with while we treaded water in anticipation of the start... I noticed a lot of us were jockeying for last place; nobody likes to get caught up in the scrum. No matter how we tried spreading ourselves out, though, it was crowded. That first 1/8th of a mile or so was all about finding a position and trying to get into a rhythm... but inevitably I would just get going, start feeling pretty good, and then swim up onto someone's legs. Positions seemed to sort themselves out by about the half-mile mark though, just in time for the first turn... I started seeing the same swimsuits over and over, so I knew I had settled into a group that was going at about my pace... this was reassuring... as I sighted the buoys ahead of me I could see a lot of yellow swim caps, and making the second turn (in which I somehow lost inside position and a little bit of momentum) I noticed a nice string of yellow caps still behind me... woohoo, I'm not bringing up the rear! I quickened my pace to catch up to the group that I had been swimming with in that first quarter of the race, even though I somehow fell off their pace at the second turn I worked to get back on track...

    The middle portion of the race was a lot more fun than the last time I swam MOWS, I worked to stay even with swimmers around me, if not pull ahead. Around the third turn (at about a mile) the elite swimmers in the wetsuit wave were starting to catch us. As we made the fourth turn at the half-way mark (1.2 miles) two things happened... (1) a nasty chop starting pushing into shore from the middle of the lake, which had everyone rocking and rolling for the next half mile; and (2) more wetsuits appeared. This round of wetsuits was moving at a pretty good pace, not as good as the trickle of wetsuits that had passed us about 200 meters before, but this larger group seemed to be staying together pretty well and so I tried to jump on the back end of the train and keep up. The waves were merciless though and scattered us a bit. As we approached the fifth turn there was quite a crowd jostling for position around the buoy... and out of nowhere, a blue and white swimsuit that I had been keeping pace with for the first 3/4 of a mile, and which I thought I had left behind, appeared again. I sped up. I knew he was behind me at turn six and then I started to pour it on again. I passed some wetsuits, even a couple more pink caps (the 1.2-milers), then I started pulling even with and slowly passing non-wetsuit swimmers who I'd never seen before... this is where my endurance and conditioning was really paying off I think. I felt good going into the last turn and headed to shore.

    The last time I swam MOWS I remember getting passed a lot, and hardly ever doing any passing myself. I still got passed, especially by the wetsuits, but from the time I really found a rhythm, about 2/3 of mile in, till the end I don't remember getting passed by many non-wetsuit swimmers... in fact, I was the one who seemed to be passing... I just felt so much stronger than in 2011. And, when I got back and checked my time, I was ecstatic: I beat my previous time on the same course by 12 minutes, finishing in 1 hour, 16 minutes!

    Here's a pic of the finish I took after drying off...
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    Whereas in 2011 I don't even know if I cracked the top ten in my age group, today I placed 4th... only one place short of medalling; and I'm not that far off, so maybe next year!

    Here's my self-satisfied self-portrait (notice the recent hair-cut!):
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    My lats were pretty stiff in the first few minutes after the race, but have started to loosen up... now I just feel pleasantly fatigued. Next up: Postal 5K toward the end of the week? We'll see how I feel tomorrow!
  19. Hot y pool

    by , August 17th, 2013 at 11:19 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Couldn't push it today too hot.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    5x100@1:30 free w/snorkle, paddles & bout went 1:24, 1:23,1:22,1:20,120
    300 breast kick
    200 breast pull w/zoomers
    8x25@:45 fly w/zoomers
    100 free
    100 free kick
    100 free

    Total 2500 yards
    Swim Workouts
  20. Week 46 - Saturday

    by , August 17th, 2013 at 10:09 AM (After a long rest)
    Once again I got up early yesterday and headed down to SMU for a longer practice and the weather conspired against me. This time I actually got on the pool deck before the rain, thunder and lightening started. Today the weather was much better but a cool 68F before jumping in. The water in the pool was cool also, but nice. I did not get a chance to eat before practice today(I forgot to eat and did not bring anything with me in my bag for some reason - half asleep I think).

    Warm up
    400 free
    6x100 on 1.30
    10x50 swum 25 back kick, 25 free on 1min

    Main set
    8x75 swum 50 6 beat kick fast, 25 easy on coaches send off
    6x100 pull with paddles descend 1-3, 4-6 on 1.30
    12x50 on 50 swum 50 strong, 50 6 beat kick, 50 fast

    Warm down
    200 easy

    Total 3500LCM

    On the descending 100s I went 1.08, 1.05, 1.03, 1.13(paddle came off), 1.05, 1.03. Nothing else was really worth noting. Overall I felt ok today but not like I did earlier in the week. Next week I am in DC and will swim with the Alexandria Masters. If anyone is in the DC area these guys are awesome to practice with.
    Swim Workouts