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  1. 08.05.13 - Monday workout

    by , August 5th, 2013 at 12:51 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Sam and Carlile. Dave hurt his shoulder so he and Brook helped me with backstroke some on Saturday. Sadly I seem to be a lost cause. It kind of bothers me that I'm swimming it wrong but I'm not sure how to fix it. I did play soccer some last night. It used to be I was one of the better players that showed up. Now, we seem to be attracting players from the local adult leagues wanting a little extra practice. I have trouble keeping up with the speed of the game but I'm becoming a better player. Fortunately, my knees took last nights game better than for the last two weeks. While my knees held out well, I didn't seem to have much energy for swimming today.

    Saturday workout:


    500 warm up
    200 Kick/200 Drill/200 Swim

    4 x 100 Kick
    4 x 50 Fly - 1:00
    4 x 100 Free - 1:20

    3 x 100 Kick
    4 x 50 Bk - 1:00
    400 Free (~4:50)

    2 x 100 Kick
    4 x 50 Br - 1:00
    400 Free (~4:50)

    1 x 100 Kick
    4 x 50 IM Order - 1:00
    4 x 100 Free - 1:20

    ~ 500 yards of backstroke kick, drills etc.

    100 Cool down

    (5100 Total)

    Monday workout:

    600 Warm up

    125 Free - 2:00
    125 Free - 1:55
    2 x 200 Free/50 Fly - 4:00
    125 Free - 1:50
    125 Free - 1:45
    50 Easy - 1:30
    50 Bk/75 Free - 2:00
    2 x 200 Free/50 Kick - 4:00
    50 Easy - 2:00
    50 Br/75 Free - 2:00
    50 Fly/100 Free/50 Fly - 4:00
    50 Easy

    3 Rounds of:
    * 3 x 100 - 1:20
    * 1:00 Rest
    50 Easy

    5 x (100 Hard Pull - 1:20, 50 Easy Pull - :50)
    50 Easy

    8 x 50 Kick w/ fins - :50
    8 x 50 IM Order - 1:00

    100 Cool down

    (5400 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  2. Monday, Aug 5th & Sat, Aug 3rd, 2013

    by , August 5th, 2013 at 10:13 AM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    I actually had an amazing workout ALL BY MYSELF on Saturday. That's a first. Kids had the usual pool occupied w/a meet, so had to go way out to Morcom - nice pool, just a drive.

    500 back/free
    500 breast/free
    5 x 200 P on 3:05
    100 easy
    12 x 50 K @ 1:05
    100 easy
    4 x 300, P no paddles, S, P w/paddles, Zoomers
    w/50 easy between each
    300 breast/free
    Total: 4500 LCM

    Today at 5:30am w/Jenna (no ATAC for a week)

    600 back/free
    2 x 300 P
    400 K
    100 easy
    6 x 100 stroke/free @ 1:50
    12 x 50 K @ 1:10
    100 easy
    3 x 500, P no paddles, P w/paddles, zoomers
    300 easy
    Total: 4800 LCM
  3. Week 45 - Monday

    by , August 5th, 2013 at 08:36 AM (After a long rest)
    I woke this morning feeling pretty good. This feeling lasted through warmup and by the end of today's workout I was tired. Nothing like last week but still pretty tired.

    warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 45
    6x100 free on 1.30 build

    Main set
    5x100 on 1.20
    4x100 on 1.15
    3x100 on 1.10
    2x100 on 1.05
    1x100 on 1min
    200 easy
    4x(50 with fins on 40, 100 kick on 2mins going under 1min with fins)

    Warm down
    400 breathing 3,5 by 25

    The 5,4,3,2,1 set is one of my coaches favorite test sets and I was off today. I have been able to make this one recently but today I was only able to get to 1.03 on the last 100, making all the others. I just felt tired, especially my legs. The kick set was fun and I descended by 1 second from 57 and was really pleased to go 54 on the last one.

    Our pool is closed next week so I will be looking for another place to train in Dallas next week. SMU is near where I work so I will try that one but I know some of the Plano swimmers so may go there instead. I will make some enquiries this week.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Open Water update...

    by , August 5th, 2013 at 12:01 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    Just a quick note on the weekend's lake swims. I signed up for the Madison Open Water Swim (MOWS) that is going to be on Saturday, August 17th. I'm looking forward to it. I signed up for the 2.4-mile non-wetsuit wave again. But all this got me to thinking I really need to increase my time in lake water over the next couple of weeks.... just to be ready for whatever Lake Mendota (or was it Lake Monona? I always get the two mixed up... since I don't get over to Madison that much)... whatever the lake has to throw at us.

    Saturday morning's 2K recovery swim in Lake Andrea was in gorgeous conditions (one could only hope for such weather, water--calm, glass-like waters, cool temps for both air and water 60s/70s).

    This morning's swim in the same venue could not have been more different... cloudy skies made the cool air seem, well, cool... and a nice little chop was coming in from the east... this was a lot more challenging, had me experimenting with shorter, quicker strokes against the current. To make it even tougher I sprinkled in 3 x 400 IM over the two miles... 100 fly is considerably more challenging without a wall and working against the waves in one direction. Here's what I did:

    400 EZ free
    :30 rest
    400 IM
    :30 rest
    400 free
    1:00 rest
    400 IM
    <:30 rest
    400 free
    1:00 rest
    400 IM
    <:30 rest
    1000 fr, cruise w/ waves, up-tempo against
    100 bk/br

    3500 yards/70 minutes
    Saturday afternoon we said goodbye to our "little" boy again. He's headed off for his sophomore year in college. Here's a picture we took just before the drive down to Chicago O'Hare... I joked with the family afterward that, of course, it couldn't be a family picture unless we were all squinting into the sun... why do we do that? Also took a picture of Andrew with his two brothers... they grow up fast!

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  5. 8|4|13 SCM

    Didn't get enough sleep last night. Today I worked all afternoon on a baking aircraft pylon fishing out a seal the prior shift dropped into it and then changing a shut off valve to the bleed air. It was hot and heavy work - pushing stands around and working in awkward positions, but I felt accomplished completing tasks the younger coworkers failed. Flexibility pays

    Felt drained but I swam anyway

    500 warmup
    500 drill
    8 x 25 on 2:00 swim golf free
    • got a couple 28's (16 + 12)

    200 drill/bk
    12 block starts
    100 flutter kick

    good night
  6. LCM Meet report!

    by , August 4th, 2013 at 08:18 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hooray for me! I decided to enter the last local LCM USA-S meet because I didn't want to go all summer without racing. So even though I have barely swum any LCM, I decided to just go anyway.

    100 back - 1:14.2
    This was a very good swim! I haven't swum LCM 100 back since 2007. I think it's my best time. I felt really good about this swim because I know I can do better. Rarely swim it, didn't swim LCM, had to swim in the slowest heat with my SCY time, so was all by my lonesome.

    50 free: 28.6 (I think.)
    I was really happy about this. I didn't die until about the 42 mark - and that's amazing for me! I actually felt pretty good! It was a bit slow, but in line with what i've done the last year.

    Next up:
    BRECKENRIDGE! That is the one time I go for mileage. I am trying to make the 50 mile club AFAP. But you can only count yardage you do at the Breck rec center. And I can only swim about 3600, which is 2 miles. So it will take awhile and several trips to rack up 25 times to the pool.
  7. Saturday's Sandpoint, ID Longbridge Swim

    by , August 4th, 2013 at 12:08 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Another OW swim in the books. I've only done a handful of these, so adding another is a big thing for me.

    • August 2011 - CAST Classic 5K - DNF - I wasn't having a good time, out of shape, and pulled myself out of the race after 1 lap.
    • June 2012 - Steve Omi Swim 1 Mile - 1st in age group (19-34)
    • August 2012 - Longbridge Swim 1.76 Mile - 1st in age group (30-39), 21st of 900+ overall
    • September 2012 - Lake Chelan Swim 1.5 Mile - 3rd overall
    • August 2013 - Longbridge Swim 1.76 Mile - 1st in age group (30-39), 6th of 820 overall

    I got up around 5:00am in Spokane where I stayed overnight, and went outside to find a nice drizzle of rain falling. Oh great, hopefully this won't be accompanied by thunder and lightning. I drove another hour and a half to Sandpoint, Idaho to get checked in for the race and numbered. I was #6, alphabetically of course. I joked with a few of my friends that they had given my number based on placement overall.

    By the time the race was getting started, the rain had stopped, but it was still plenty overcast, and probably in the 60s for air temp. Not sure about the water, probably about 70 or so. Earlier in the week, people said it was warmer, but with a few days of rain and no sun, things can change a lot. I'm glad I had a good wetsuit for sure!! I got a good coupon code on the internet from Tom Patterson for an XTERRA wetsuit for almost 75% off, saving me tons of money. It was well worth it to have a real swimming wetsuit vs. the "play around in the water" wetsuit I used last year.

    I lined up at the starting line to the far right side, alongside the kayakers. A majority of the people were at the left or middle so they could go alongside the bridge. It doesn't really matter where you start because it's the same straight line across the lake.

    As the gun went off, I took off, probably "sprinting" for about 300-400 yards or so before even looking around. I was sighting of course a bit during this initial run, but I wasn't looking at any other competitors, just making sure I was straight with the bridge. After I felt I was at a strong breakaway, I went into cruise mode. Looking ahead I could see 1 or 2 splashing swimmers ahead of me, and then I rolled over for backstroke to look behind me. NO ONE!! We were a long distance ahead of the whole pack, so I just turned back over and swam on. As it turned out, I was in 4th position at this point, but didn't actually know that. In my head I was telling myself I was in 2nd or 3rd place, and just keep going.

    The bridge itself is 1.2 miles long, so I just kept going, trying to maintain a strong kick and relieve some of the muscle fatigue in my arms. It was a bit wavy out there at times, but much better than the year prior when we had a headwind the whole way. For the swim, it was very uneventful. I could see a kayaker staying alongside me off to the right side, and I'm glad it was there, since I had no one else around me for a while. I kept a pattern going of about 40 strokes Freestyle, with about 10 strokes Backstroke, maybe 1 or 2 Breaststokes, and back to Free again. In a 50 meter pool I can maintain about 38 strokes per length under calm conditions, so I figured each of these cycles I was doing was approximately 50 meters. I'd stop to clear goggles on occasion, and look behind me to see a few swimmers back there. Still far enough back to not worry too much.

    At the end of the bridge, my power was fading, and I was wishing the swim could be done now. I could see two swimmers pulling alongside me, though they were about 15-20 yards off to my right side. I knew them both: It was Don Morovec (53yr), and Larry Krauser (60yr). They were doing a draft train the whole way. I've been chasing Don's 30-34, and 35-39 LMSC age group records in the pool events, and able to get a few of them, but not all of them. Larry has all of the freestyle pool records from the 40-44 through the 60-64 age group, and they're pretty tough.

    I knew I had no chance to hang with them as they went by, and just let them go on. I was a solo swimmer from the beginning to the end of the whole race, and that was tough. It would've been nice to have a draft person at times, but it just didn't work out for me this year. The final 1/2 mile or so is alongside the shoreline to the finish point. There are 12 or so pilings along the route marking the shallow water as well as a underwater rock barrier wall. At times these rocks were very near the water surface. I used a few of the rocks to jump off and dive forward. My body was dying at this point, just wanting to finish. I was doing more and more switching from free to back, clearing goggles, looking behind me at the upcoming pack of swimmers. Had to keep going. From the last piling to the finish I didn't look back, didn't change strokes, just swam onward, kicking and pulling as best as I could, till I couldn't stroke anymore. Push up, stand up, get up the beach and cross the finish line. DONE...!!!!

    The congratulations from the crowd were sure nice to hear. I saw Larry standing there, he said I was the #6 finisher, and I had 3 more swimmers who must've made a break for me at the end, because #7, 8, and 9 were a few seconds behind me crossing the line.

    The results:

    I really like how they did the results this year. You can see everyone, where they're from, and times. Not a whole lot of super fast age groupers this year. They had Zone Champs, prepping for Jr. and Sr. Nationals as well right now, so they were probably pushed away from this swim by their coaches.

    I finished 1st in my age group, and 6th overall out of 820 swimmers. I was really happy with the result, though I'm still not gung-ho about doing OW swims that much more. I'm sure I'll still make an appearance at Longbridge year to year. We'll just have to see how things go each season.

    My award:
  8. Getting ready for IGLA

    My focus event this summer—the IGLA championships in Seattle August 13-18—is just 9 days away, and I’ve been making final plans and preparations for that event. I’ll be competing in 3 different aquatic disciplines—pool swimming, open water swimming, and diving--plus it looks like I might do the in-water choreography for our team’s entry in the closing Pink Flamingo competition. Here’s what my schedule will look like:

    • Arrive Monday 12 August evening

    • Tuesday 13 August: dive practice + easy swim at competition facility, counting for teammates’ 1500s

    • Wednesday 14 August: 100 FL, 50 BK, 200 IM, (4 x 200 FR relay)

    • Thursday 15 August: 50 fly, (4 x 100 medley relay), 1m dive competition

    • Friday 16 August: (4 x 100 FR relay), (4 x 50 medley relay), 3m dive competition

    • Saturday 17 August: 50 breast, (4 x 50 free relay), dive exhibition?, Pink Flamingo

    • Sunday 18 August: 2-mile open water swim

    Here’s how things are looking:


    It was a race to the wire to learn enough dives to compete in the 3m competition as well as the 1m. Last Sunday I learned a back dive with a half twist from both boards, which gave me a seventh dive, and one from the twisting category, on the higher board. So now I’m good to go.

    (As a woman, my competition lists will include 6 official, scored dives on each board. But because FINA requires 7 dives for men, women at IGLA are given the opportunity to do a seventh unofficial “equality” dive to protest this gender equality. In addition, all five groups of dives--forward, backward, inward, reverse, and twisting--should be included among the 7).

    So on the 3m my dives will be:

    • Front dive tuck
    • Front 1½ somersault tuck
    • Back dive straight
    • Back flip straight
    • Reverse dive tuck
    • Inward dive tuck
    • Back dive straight with ½ twist

    This has to be among the lowest degree-of-difficulty dive lists you’ll ever see—but hey, I’m just thrilled to be competing!

    On the 1m I might replace the twisty back dive with a front somersault with a full or half twist—I have some choices there—and I do the back flip in a tuck position rather than lay-out. I have three more practices to make everything better and to practice doing the different dives one after the other, rather than working on just one or two per practice.

    As for the competition itself, Federal Way is a great diving facility—Olympic Trials were held there in 2012. Competition runs from 1 to 2:30 each day, and there are platform and synchro competitions as well (both on Friday). I know there are 16 divers total (about half from my team, half from various elsewheres); I’m not sure if there will be anyone else in my age group. My goal is to do all my dives legally, and to maybe hit one or two really well from each height. Whatever I do, since this is my first official meet, my scores will automatically be lifetime PRs!

    Oh, and Kent Ferguson (former world champion on 3m and 92 Olympian) will be one of the judges at the competition. Very cool!

    Swim Meet

    This is a short course meters meet, with 2 courses going simultaneously. Men’s and women’s events are separate, and championship seeding (by age groups) is generally used for the shorter events. Turns will be guttered rather FINA walls, and starting blocks will have wedges (my first time using those). Swim competition is scheduled to run from 8:30 to 12:30 each day. Federal Way is supposed to be a fast pool.

    My goals here are to score points for my team and to have fun racing. Team New York won the swim competition at last year’s IGLA in Iceland by a huge margin, but this year we come into the meet as underdogs—the DC squad has 69 swimmers to our 61, and also has way more women. (Women at IGLA meets are key, since the swim meet skews about 80-85 percent men—women typically score points in any event they swim, whereas the men’s events, especially in the 20s-40s age groups, can go several dozen deep). So my focus is on placing as well as I can in all my events, and contributing what I can to relays.

    I picked my events (50 FL/BK/BR, 100 FL, 2IM) to avoid swimming too much on days I have diving, and to avoid having swim events that overlap with diving warm-ups. (Some relays might be going on at the same time as diving warm-ups, in which case I’ll shuttle back-and-forth between the diving well and competition pool as needed.) My swim training has taken a back seat to dive training and to rehabbing a calf injury this past month, and I was a little worried about my endurance in the 100 fly, especially since it’s not one of my usual events. So I have to admit I was a little relieved when the psych sheets came out, and I was listed as the only one swimming the 100 fly in my age group.

    The two events where competition will be toughest are in the 50 BK and 50 FL. I’ve been trying to do very focused work for these events, but it’s been hampered by not being able to do many wall push-offs yet. Luckily my calf is healing well, and I’m hopeful that by the time I arrive in Seattle I will be swimming pain-free, if not as well prepared as I might like. I’m imagining that the swim events will feel like a comfortable respite from the diving, where everything is new and a little scary. Some diving teammates are in the opposite situation, new to swim competitions but old hats at diving—it will be nice to look to them for mutual support and encouragement.

    In addition to my 5 events, we are allowed to swim 4 of the 5 relays. With 60+ swimmers and all the combinations of ages and genders possible, doing the relay assignments is a huge task—I don’t envy Coach Scott in the coming days! I’ve told him I’m happy swimming anything, and am looking forward to swimming with friends old and new.

    Open Water

    After 5 days in an indoor pool, I get to cap off the week with a 2-mile swim in Lake Washington. What a treat!

    Other stuff

    IGLA competitions always come with plenty of social events, and the Seattle crew seems to have done a ton of event planning. There’s an opening party at the Seattle Aquarium, hosted dinners with local swimmers, a women’s Garden Party and dinner near Alki Beach, a sunset cruise in the sound, closing banquet, etc. I’m singed up for all of those except the cruise (it runs too late for someone who never seems to adjust to west coast time when I'm out there). I'm also looking forward to making a trip to Colman Pool to try out the water slide, swimming in the sound (hoping to find a local guide for that!), and doing some other touristy stuff. Back at the pool, there will be water polo (go TNYA!) and synchro competitions in the afternoons, plus Pink Flamingo rehearsals. I have to get out my guidebook and the IGLA schedule and see what other things I want to shoehorn in.

    Some links:

    Questions for anyone who has read this far:

    • Does anyone have any recommendations for things to do near Seattle that I shouldn’t miss? I’ve stayed downtown lots of times and have seen most of the things within walking distance of the downtown hotels. This time I’ll have a car and am interested in stuff within easy driving distance from Federal Way.

    • Any advice on starting from wedge blocks? What do you do differently from a regular track start?

    Updated August 4th, 2013 at 11:20 AM by swimsuit addict

  9. Strait of Juan de Fuca: The swim

    by , August 3rd, 2013 at 04:13 PM (Please tap on the glass)

    We set out of Sequim harbor on the morning of Sunday, 28 July 2013 with a light fog and headed into last night’s lingering waves. The wind had only been 18kts – less than I’d originally feared – so the seas were choppy but manageable. We went in and out of fog banks on the way out as I sat in the back and watched Caitlin spell “F-U-C-A” to the Canadian Border Service on the phone and then call up Vessel Traffic (VTS). I ate a sausage egg and cheese as our little boat pounded her way through the thickening fog.

    All of a sudden, the sun peaked out and then there it was, the coast of Vancouver Island. Along shore, the weather was bright and clear with little or no wind and flat water. The rocky cliffs were lower than I’d imagined they would be, and the combination of teal water, grey rocks, tall Northwestern pines, and blue sky set me at ease. It was perfect. Behind us, however, lay a thick bank of fog, just as I’d feared.

    Caitlin had been on and off the phone with VTS about the fog for a while now, and they were requesting a mile of visibility to begin the swim. After a while, Caitlin convinced them to allow the swim to start and we’d deal with the fog if and when we reached it. It was a great move, because it allowed me to do the thing I’d been most hoping to do for months now.

    We launched the kayak as I gulped down a tin of sardines and quickly read the rules of the swim aloud to the crew and reminded everyone how serious I was about them (they knew, already). Cap on, Caitlin asked if I didn’t want something thicker than the thin Latex one I was wearing. Yes, she was right. My mind was still in training mode (make it harder for yourself) and switched to a thicker silicone cap.

    The boat faced east. I faced west. We were only about 25m from shore when I jumped, the swim through the kelp went quick and I hauled myself out on the rocks next to a Canadian fisherman. We shook hands and I told him I was swimming to America. Before he let it set in, I turned around and set my goggles. Kayaker Steve bumped the shore with his boat (he wanted to make the full crossing as well), and I dove back into the smooth green water.

    The sun was on my back and a huge smile was on my face. Victory! Eight months of planning and here we were. Sandwiched between blue sky and the sea, surrounded by a qualified and passionate support crew, the coast of Canada behind me, the American shore some twelve miles distant. As promised, I did some good reflecting on everything and everyone who helped me get here as I slid through the flat water.

    Somewhere around the first half hour I began to notice the cold. About the same time, so did my crew. The ships thermometer was reading between 46 and 47F (8 to 9C). On the boat, some jaws reportedly dropped. This was 5 degrees colder than I’d been expecting, and almost 8 degrees colder than what I’d seen on the buoys in the weeks leading up. Cleverly, my crew did NOT tell me this and let me go on thinking it was about 51 and I was just being a wimp.

    At around half an hour, we said farewell to the sun and entered the fog. To my left was the water, blending into the sky. To my right was Steve, blending into the fog, blending into the sky. For the second time now, Steve was the perfect kayaker. He knew what needed to be done and did it. And his aim with a water bottle was flawless. Steve provided a huge amount of mental warmth, something about seeing that red and yellow kayak 10m away made me feel safe. When he’d disappear to get a new water bottle, I felt cold. And alone. It was eerie out there.

    During one feed, I was finishing up yet another bottle of calories when I heard a BWWWWAAAAAaaaaaaa from behind Steve’s left shoulder. “Don’t worry. It’s about two miles away. They’re keeping an eye on them.” Stoic. Well, who am I to argue? Face in the water, move on.

    Little did I know, but they were really watching out for me. VTS and Caitlin were hard at work moving mountains of steel. The Traffic Separation Scheme has an inbound and outbound lane in the Strait with a median-like separation zone in between. While I swam in the shipping lanes, vessels were being sent out into the separation zone to avoid me. Pause for a moment to reflect upon the awesomeness of this…

    Shortly after two hours, the shivering began. I was now gulping down half a water bottle of calories every fifteen minutes and emptying a full bladder in the same interval. My metabolism was maxed out and I wasn’t getting any warmer. But I’ve shivered a long time before and was set to deal with it again. I was over thirty minutes ahead of schedule and knew I could hold out to the end.

    Around four and a half hours, I broke my rule and asked how much farther. I needed the motivation. My thigh flexors were screaming from the shivering, and all I could think of was how I wanted to curl up in a wingback chair bundled under a heavy blanket and doze off while pretending to read. “One point eight miles,” Steve said curtly, “you’re doing great, keep going.” Emotion wasn’t what I needed, just a voice gently telling me to keep going. So I did. I could do another hour.

    I asked Steve to stay by my side. I needed the company and the distraction he provided as we made our way quietly through the fog over gently rolling swells. The water had reached 50 at one point early on, but was now back in the high 40s.

    With thirty more minutes behind me, I needed to hear I was under a mile. The shoreline was too foggy to see. “One point five,” Steve said, “keep going, you’re almost there.” The numbers didn’t add up, but I could do another 45 minutes. A little more of this game was played and at six hours, I asked again. A confused murmur went through the crew, “You need to swim fast,” or “you’re doing great,” or “just over a mile.”

    That hurt. By now I could tell that something wasn’t right, we were moving too slowly to make this work. My ears had been filled with a high ringing for over a half hour and my vision was getting unreliable. I had a mile left in me, but the swim had more than a mile left in it. At six hours and ten minutes, I took my goggles off and looked at my crew, then at Steve, then I grabbed on to the front of the kayak. Clinging to the deck, he paddled me back to the boat.

    What went wrong? Not a lot. I did exactly what I wanted to do. I set out from Vancouver Island in a speedo, cap, and goggles and swam for twelve miles and longer than six hours. The only thing I didn’t do was to reach the other shore. We got started an hour late and I hadn’t given a clear course to follow for that time. Both an 8am course and 10 am course would have been handy, allowing us to swim between the two rather than just guessing “stay east.” With that we might have avoided what I assume was an eddy pushing us off shore. With that, I’ll be on shore in under five hours next time.

    What went right? Everything else. Sure, we’ve got little things to work on, but given the scale and complexity of this swim, and the fact that none of us had ever attempted to plan something like this from scratch, we did an awesome job!
    From that December evening I picked out two points on a map and declared to myself I am going to swim that, to dinner with friends in Port Angeles after Customs checked us back into the US, this has been a fantastic journey. Thank you for letting me share it with you.

    And next time, I’ll remember to pack a towel.

    Andrew still resides and swims in Seattle, and continues to be unable to thank his crew enough for what they’ve done. His next attempt will be in the Summer of 2014. #SJDF2014
  10. Workout 08/03/13: morning

    by , August 3rd, 2013 at 01:15 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Started the morning again over at the college, helping to unload some desks (they had expected two, but ended up getting eight plus some tables and chairs, all donated) then leveling floors on the fourth floor where offices are going in.
    Headed over to the Rec for Masters:

    200 Swim, 3 x 50 kick, 3 x 50 pull (all :20 SR)

    1 x 400 into 4 x 25 @0:30
    1 x 300 into 4 x 50 @1:15
    1 x 200 into 4 x 75 @ 1:45
    1 x 100 into 4 x 100 @ 2:15
    (200 extra in there for me )
    4 x 50 Active Recovery and out
    (Masters/Rec/2900 yds/75 min)

    Nice workout today with GregJS and Kevin. Been kinda lonely this summer, but we're keeping the water moving The goal on the distance was to work DPS, with the third 1/4 pull, kick, stroke, kick down the list. The repeats were basically AFAP, although modified slightly as the distance increased. I did the last one IM, netting a 4:57 add up. Talked with the guys about getting into a lake, which I've called off for tomorrow.

    This afternoon I will be helping with a block party at the Willowbrook housing community through the church plant - they have a huge bouncy obstacle course, some horse rides, hot dogs/snow cones/popcorn, and other games and face painting stations. The weather looks to cooperate so it should be a great afternoon!

    Updated August 4th, 2013 at 08:52 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  11. Shout out to USMS bloggers...

    by , August 3rd, 2013 at 01:32 AM (Alex's swim journal)
    One of the reasons I love perusing the blogs on USMS is that, in addition to some great sets and workout ideas, there's always a juicy little nugget or link that can come in handy.

    Yesterday's lake swim was an adaptation of a set from one of ekw's blogs this week (who in turn took the set from Swimsuit Addict). I couldn't keep track of times because I was in the lake, but at least had the 50-yard swim lane to keep track of distance. I used perceived effort as my guide, treating the swims between 2IM segments as recovery swims:

    WU: 200 EZ swim

    MS (2500):
    50 fly--150 fr--50 bk--150 ft--50 br--150 fr--50 fr hard--150 fr recovery
    :20 rest
    50 fly--100 fr--50 bk--100 fr--50 br--100 fr--50 fr hard--100 fr recovery
    :30-:45 rest
    50 fly--50 fr--50 bk--50 fr--50 br--50 fr--50 fr hard--50 fr recovery
    :30-:45 rest
    200 IM
    :30 rest
    500 fr cruising speed

    CD (300): 100 bk, 100 br, 100 fr

    3000 yards/60 minuutes

    It was a beautiful day--water like glass, crisp, cool air, blue skies, water temps probably around mid-70s--and I had the lap swim area all to myself... except for a water jogger who I've seen there before and who watches out for me... during the rests today I talked with her briefly and, though wondered if my swimming might be interrupting the solitude of the beautiful day for her, she mentioned that she liked it when I was swimming b/c it helped the time pass faster for her; she was there well after I left.


    I got this one from the Jul/Aug 2013 volume of Splash magazine. I got to it via a comment from PWB on ekw's blog about why swimming makes us so hungry. PWB linked the page from Splash with a short article about the effect of swimming on appetite. Of course that caught my interest, but it also led me to this great recipe on the same page... for a seasonal Quinoa salad, including cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamatta olives, a little lemon juice and EVOO. I adapted it for vegan by leaving out the feta cheese. I've been looking for an excuse to use quinoa... We tried it out tonight on some non-vegan dinner guests and they weren't completely turned off by it. Yay. But there's still enough left over for the next couple of days! I liked it. Anyway, as I said, surprising and useful little nuggets of information abound among my fellow bloggers... thanks guys!


    In the excitement of a couple of new recipes and a fun dinner party, I almost forgot about the most exciting thing that happened today... I did a repeat of my 20 x 100 on 1:40 at 1650 goal-pace workout with surprising improvements. Last week I had a hard time holding the 1:25/100 goal pace, lots of 1:27-28, even a couple of 1:30-31 at the end. This week, only three reps over 1:25, all at 1:26. Here's how the workout went:

    WU (1000):
    4 x 100 on 1:40 EZ (1:36-1:38 fr, pull, fr, pull); :20 rest, then...
    4 x 100 IM on 2:15 (desc from 1:40 to 1:36)
    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:39, :38, :36, :38)

    MS (2000):
    20 x 100 on 1:40 (mostly 1:24-1:25; reps 14, 15, and 20 were 1:26)

    CD (1000):
    200 recovery swim (pull)
    4 x 100 IM on 2:00 (1:39-1:46)
    400 EZ swim (pull, bk pull, bk, fr)

    4000 SCY/75 minutes
  12. Friday 8/2/13

    Friday 8/2

    AM LCM and PM SCY

    AM swim:

    300 swim w/ snorkel
    6x50 @ 1:00 FR kick w/ board
    4x100 @ :05 rest drill/swim w/ fins

    8x25 @ :40 V.S.
    100 EZ

    16x50 @ 1:00 I.M. order
    1 - kick
    2 - drill
    1 - STRONG (32.5, 37.0, 40.2, 29.1)

    8x50 A.R.
    2 @ :45
    2 @ :55
    2 @ 1:05
    2 @ 1:15

    200 EZ

    PM swim:

    300 swim
    300 pull w/ buoy + paddles + snorkel
    200 swim
    200 FR kick w/ board
    100 swim
    100 I.M. drill

    8x25 @ :40 under H2O kick N.S. w/ fins

    6x200 @ 2:30 pull w/ buoy + paddles + snorkel

    400 EZ

    Total: 3000
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 08/02/03: noon

    by , August 2nd, 2013 at 10:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a busy few days at work, and happy to (almost) have a day off*today*- more on that later.* So I've mentioned the new church plant that I have been involved with.* Well, one of the board members that helped establish the plant is the driving force behind bringing a Christian College* to our town, a great vision that has been dependant on prayer and the help from multiple mission teams (mostly from NC) over the past few years and especially this summer.* We helped out this morning painting rooms at the library (which used to be a restaurant in town), then priming a bathroom at the college (which is on two floors above my son's school, in*a former Ramada Inn) to get it ready for tiling.* It's amazing to see what God has done in our community to bring this option for not only grade school but now college as well.

    Got in for a special lunchtime swim:*
    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
    4 x 100 FR on*1:30*(aerobic) with snorkel
    400 Pull with buoy
    100 Back
    with my old high school coach, how is now the college coach
    200 (kick/swim)
    3*x 100 Pull with buoy
    1000 (using different toys/strokes every 200)
    5 x 100 Fr on*1:45*with Brent
    100 EZ*
    (Solo/Williams/3600 LCM/80 min)
    * I finally got in to swim at the (Williams College) Muir-Samuelson**pool, which I have been trying to do since I hopped back into the water four years ago, and at this point it is set up LCM.* My buddy Brent, known to some of the FISH Masters, invited me to check it out.* I haven't splashed here since I was in high school, and then only SCY.* The water was perfect, 81 and clear, and mostly one to two people per lane for the entire time we were there.* Since I am not a member of the college community, I am able to get in as a guest.*

    Brent was swimming 1000's, and I basically swam straight through until the final pull set and the last 100's.* He has such a powerful kick!* This is only my second time EVER swimming LCM, and it was not too bad.* I mentioned to Brent how much more I like swimming the*OW*stuff, because it is just swimming.* LCM is nice because the walls are farther away, but nothing beats a good lake, river, or ocean swim in my book these days.*

    Drove home quickly then hopped on the motorcycle to cover the store in Rutland again.* Remember that one of their pharmacists quit a month ago; turns out a pharmacist in Burlington quit last week, so they sent me to Rutland and the Rutland pharmacist to Burlington.* Oh well, a few extra bucks plus getting paid to ride = not too bad.***
    (I don't know why all these * showed up. Sorry)

    Updated August 2nd, 2013 at 11:04 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  14. Strait of Juan de Fuca: T-minus one week and counting

    by , August 2nd, 2013 at 10:46 PM (Please tap on the glass)

    Sunday night was a good night for sleeping. Yeah, I was a bit tired from what I’d done that day, but for the first time in a long time my mind was calm while I slept. It is nice to have this part of my story behind me; I’m excited for a bit of quiet.

    To contrast, last week was anything but quiet. At the suggestion of a Seattle Times employee, I sent out a dinky little press release Wednesday morning to a few local news outlets. The time spent on the press release was roughly eight minutes, sixty percent of which was Wikapedia-ing “press release” for instructions. Eight minutes was all I really wanted to spend on media the week before my swim as I wrapped up my training, assembled my crew and packed my bags. My bad.

    By Friday afternoon when we got on the ferry to the Olympic Peninsula, I’d spoken with two newspapers, been interviewed before my last workout, accidentally given a live talk-radio interview, and had snuck out of work mid-day to do a second, lengthier television interview. I did not realize so many people cared about the swim, but I like it! It reminds me of how things were in the 1950’s when this swim was big, and how things should be again for such an amazingly challenging sport.

    Any good adventure is a combination of man versus himself, man versus nature, and man versus machine. This swim was no exception. The hours rushing up to Sunday, media aside, were an exhausting, frightening time to be me.

    My long-stated goal for that week was to leave the Canadian shore in a bathing suit aiming for America, but the weather forecast was making the chances of that happening dim. NOAA was forecasting gale force winds (over 30kts) almost every night that week which wouldn’t diminish until around midnight. Those winds would certainly make some treacherous waves. On top of that, add the unpredictable fog that had been coming and going willy-nilly for weeks, and you can begin to see why I’d be terrified that this planning was all for nothing.

    I made the decision (and my adrenaline is rushing just recounting it now) to go on Sunday. The forecast for that day looked the least-bad. Also to the captain, and to the Coast Guard, and to kayaker Steve, who reminded me that NOAA is always conservative on their forecasts, and all that added up to a small bit of reassurance. The decision for when to go was ultimately mine, and I’d only be able to blame myself if I got it wrong. So, I went for it, but pushed back the start from 6am to 8am to allow the winds a bit more time to lay down and the rumpled water to be ironed out.

    The change in start time meant a change to my refined 24-page plan, which meant recalculating the currents, recalculating the route, and then plotting it to get some coordinates for my crew, plus running it all by the Coast Guard for their approval. Which then meant a few late nights trying to finish this up AND finish everything I’d already planned to do that week.

    There was a huge amount of relief by Friday afternoon knowing that whatever the weather and waves were like, I’d already set a time and date. I’d let Future Andrew yell at Past Andrew later on, if need be, for his lack of clairvoyance, but right now my decision was set in stone and we were moving forward.

    Now here, there are some dull details that every swimmer goes through before a big event. Grocery shopping, crew meeting, loading the boat, pre-swim dinner (enchiladas and beer), hunting for a pre-swim sausage egg and cheese, hike to a secluded beach to hunt for rocks, trying my best to not get injured, and a trip to the laundromat. If you’ve ever done a crew-assisted marathon swim, you know what went on here. If you haven’t…what are you waiting for, go do one!

    Sunday morning. Alarm rings at 5am. Caitlin doesn’t even let me snooze once and we’re up, getting packed, suit on, and at the marina by 6am. We meet the Captain as he walks up in his snazzy captain’s shirt. “Well, I’ve gotta look the part,” he says. Don’t we all. My bathing suit is a size too small.

    Good morning, Strait of Juan de Fuca! Let’s go!

    The swim itself deserves its own post. And that is just what it’ll get.

    On a final note, the best thing that came from all of this was the first line of the front-page above-the-fold article on Sunday’s Peninsula Daily News. The line reads: “Andrew Malinak is not crazy.” I assume it has been fact-checked.

  15. 8|2|13 SCM - weights - LCM


    Warmed up lightly as free, WFPS for 500

    Did not count, about 20 dives from block
    • some included breakout with a few strokes
    • the last 6 of them I recorded with my phone (still waiting for them to load)


    Joined up with my wife at the gym to lift weights. Some of my muscle groups were still recovering from the load earlier this week, so I took it easy here and there, mostly encouraging her.

    I noticed her going through her sets with little rest, using light weight and high reps. I suggested she should rest at least one minute (or more, if possible), use heavier weights and do reps form 8 - 12, hinting what she was doing is no different than laboring away on cardio equipment. Hesitant at first, stating she didn't want to "bulk up" - would rather tone up and burn fat. I explained it would be very unlikely in her case, furthermore building muscle mass and power itself would consume fat a heck of a lot faster than she would think.

    I finally convinced her by using my toothpick physique for anecdotal evidence that heavy lifting does not always "bulk" one up. She's not even 120lbs and has nothing to worry about. Hope I'm not wrong though, I would be in some deep Scheiße!


    10 x 50 on about 3:00
    • all free except the 9th (bk)
    • 8th and 10th with 2- beat kick
    • focused on easy speed, being relaxed, and breath control, applying force at correct time and position
    • got down to 0:34 with 37 strokes, bk was about 0:45, and 2 - beat's were 0:35 and 0:36 with 37 and 39 strokes (surprisingly).
  16. Week 44 - Friday

    by , August 2nd, 2013 at 09:34 PM (After a long rest)
    I was tired this morning but felt a lot better. Later in the day I found out its not swimmers ear but is an inner ear infection and I was put on a series of antibiotics. the pool was stupid as scy.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 45

    Main sets
    6x100 swum as 75 fast on 1.05, 25 streamline kick with 10 seconds rest)
    3x200 fast on 2.30
    12x50 shark fin drill
    16x25 no breath on 40
    8x50 kick on 1min

    Warm down
    100 easy

    Total 3400scy

    I went 42s on the first two and then dropped to 40s on the fast 75s. The 200s did not feel very good but I went 2.02,2.01,2.00.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Aug 1-2

    by , August 2nd, 2013 at 04:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    60 minute spin

    Friday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Lebo pool

    600 various
    4 x 50 scull w/agility paddles
    4 x 50 caterpillar fly drill
    8 x 50 free w/agility paddles @ 200 pace @ 1:00
    50 EZ
    8 x 50 burst SDK + cruise w/fins @ 1:00
    50 EZ
    3 x (50 AFAP + 100 EZ) @ 3:00
    -- was a second off my usual times, no surprise
    50 EZ
    5 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ)
    150 EZ

    Total: 3050


    Almost unpacked! Swam today at the outdoor pool. It was shallow, choppy and windy. I won't even bother with back SDKs or DPK SDKs in a shallow pool.

    Some good news -- looks like I will be coaching Team Pitt Masters in the evening starting in September. I think it will be great fun and I should then have access to the pool (at least after practice, perhaps in the afternoon as well, details being worked out).

    Heading off to NoVa for the weekend for NVSL All Stars.
    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  18. 08.02.13 - Friday workout

    by , August 2nd, 2013 at 02:19 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave and Carlile. Dave B had the freestyle cranked up. I just couldn't keep up today. I guess I was saving for the 2 x 100 fly. But Dave M beat me on those. I did however have a pretty good warm up. I think I won that. And some of my 50 easys were spectacular.


    600 Warm up

    4 Rounds of:
    * 6 Rounds of:
    ** 100 free - 1:20 (1:15s w/ occasional 1:13s)
    ** 25 free - :30 (did stroke on the first 2 rounds)
    * 50 Easy - 2:00
    * 2 x 100 fly - 1:30
    * 50 Easy - 2:00
    On the last round, we made the 2 x 100 fly a 200 timed fly. It was my idea and a poor one at that. Made 2:46. Had Dave M beat through 175. He made a great surge on the last 25 and I didn't have enough to stay with him.

    10 x 50 Kick w/ fins - 1:00

    200 Cool down

    (5500 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  19. Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout: 08/05/2013

    by , August 2nd, 2013 at 01:38 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    This will be my last post until I return from Nationals in Mission Viejo.

    4 X 50
    4 X 100
    3 X 50
    3 X 100
    2 X 50
    2 X 100
    1 X 50
    1 X 100
    50's: 1:00
    100's: 1:50

    6 X 50 kick 1:20
    1 X 100 swim 2:00
    6 X 50 kick 1:20

    12 X 50
    odd: free 1:00
    even: stroke 1:15

    1 X 200 3:30
    4 X 50 fast 1:15
    Three rounds, swim or pull

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
    Swim Workouts
  20. Back at it

    by , August 2nd, 2013 at 11:54 AM (One Stroke at a Time)
    Thursday August 1st

    Long Course
    8 x 100 on 2:00 25 kick/25 drill/25 swim/25 free IM order by 100
    2 x (3 x 4 x 50) odds stroke evens free swim second stroke 50 faster than the first
    Round 1 pull on 1:00 (was supposed to be fly but I pulled instead)
    Round 2 on 1:10 back
    Round 3 on 1:20 breast
    200 easy
    2700 meters

    I was happy to sneak a swim in prior to having chemo today (This is cycle #6 which will complete the first round). My vacation was fantastic. The temps were in the 50s and 60s so quite a change from the triple digits here in Houston. It had been raining a lot so all of the waterfalls were flowing. I hiked/walked and kayaked. There was no swimming. My kids got in and splashed in the waves. My husband swam in a full wetsuit and described his experience as the following: First my feet went numb and then my hands after that I could not feel my face so I had to turn over and swim backstroke. When we got to my parents, there was a bald eagle on the island in front of their house (You can't really see it but it is the little white head in the second tallest tree in the second picture) and right before we were leaving, there was a tall ship going by in front of my parents house.

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    Updated August 2nd, 2013 at 12:05 PM by MaryR