The dog days of summer were upon me. Summer was always my favorite season of swimming. Meets every other weekend, the once a week lake swim with our coach instead of a traditional pool practice, and of course, no school to sap your time and energy. It would only seem appropriate that I would choose to begin swimming again during the summer.
As I drove down to the aquatic center, I was slightly nervous. This was a new pool with people I didn't know. How many people would be there swimming laps? Would they be college students doing full, blown-out practices including a mandatory 200 meter fly for time? Would they be what I had encountered at the YMCA in 2008, a bunch of self-righteous "I own the pool" people who refuse to budge from swimming an entire practice backstroke? Maybe they wouldn't be swimmers at all. The lady who yells at you not to splash too much because she doesn't want to get her hair wet. The creepy old man who "swims" just so he can wear a speedo and oogle at women. Or maybe they'd be like me. A "former" swimmer. And although I had never thought of myself like that, I realized that the time I had been away was greater than the time I had actually been one.
You see, I started swimming at the age of 11. I practiced 1 hour a day with a group of kids who were from 7 to 12 years old. I didn't start off fast, but I was consistent and swimming was fun. By the time I was 13, I had moved to the "senior" group which consisted of the 13-18 year olds. In order to get into that group, you had to do a set of 20x100s on a 1:30 or 1:35. I had managed to do the set, but had just about killed myself in the process. Needless to say, I was one of the slower swimmers in the group. I continued to work hard and improved quickly once I was in high school. By the time I graduated, I was definitely faster and confident that I would continue improving.
I left home and went to a college 2000 miles away from my hometown. It was a division III school as I had never bothered to see if I could get a swimming scholarship; I received far more academic scholarships and the concept of a "full-ride" on an athletic scholarship was no longer possible, even for many of the best swimmers.
I swam with my college team for 2 years and was exposed to some of the hardest workouts. I had been branded a "distance" swimmer while in high school and hated it. The 500 free wasn't a bad or hard event, I just didn't find it fun. So, I had determined to make myself a sprinter. It worked. Although my coach noticed that I had a stroke that was ideal for the 200 yard free, my times in the 50 and 100 were just better. At the end of my sophomore year, I posted all best times in every event I swam with the exception of the butterfly, my worst stroke. But I was tired. I had planned to study abroad the spring semester of my junior year and knew that I could swim with the team in October-December at the start of the season and miss out on the conference championships in February, or I could just not swim at all. It was a surprisingly easy decision to make, given the brutal workouts. I swam to compete and was sick of training. There was no way I was going to endure all that just to endure it. In February of 2004, I raced my last races. I did extremely good and felt it was time to move on from swimming.
Going back to that first day, all the nervousness faded once I saw the pool and the people. They were like me. Maybe slower or not as technically proficient, but they were enjoying it. That's what I had missed.
Updated October 22nd, 2014 at 12:56 PM by mo89564
So achy this morning!. Hadn't been to the gym in over a week due to travel etc., so when I went this morning (late, bcs I stayed up waaay too late last night) it was super crowded & stretching out was actually not pleasant, but rather painful. The old body would happy for me to be a lazy butt. Went to the pool around 1pm & swam solo - the water was lovely & I got in a nice 3000 - focusing on the EVF again & comparing my speed & feel for the water with different paddles and stuff.
6 x 100 kick and drill
2 x 300 pull
200 easy breast
3 x 300, pull no paddles, then alt different paddles
100 easy & then out
I had the best night of sleep this week and woke feeling pretty good. My thigh had even stopped hurting overnight. The original game plan today was T30 to compare where we are this year against last, but I was able to talk Tom out of this due to my thigh problem. Most of the main set today I pulled and as I write this my thigh is feeling pretty good. Fingers crossed a few more days of going easy and I should be back to normal.
400 free with snorkel(add cardio cap to my snorkel yesterday)
6x50 catchup on :45
10x50 drill build on 1min
8x50 free on :40
4x(200 pull AFAP on 2:40 but me going 20 seconds behind everyone else, 6x25 no breathers on :40 AFAP)
8x50 breast on :50
I tend not to be a complainer at practice and I think I took Tom off guard with my request to not do the T30. I think I can honestly say this is the first time I have asked not to do a set for any reason. Instead of the T30 we did a fun little set with me pulling when everyone else was swimming. Basically everyone was told to do the 200 AFAP on 2:40 and I had to leave 20 seconds after everyone else and try to catch them. One of our guys was having a great workout today going 2:07-2:08s so there was no way I was going to catch him with that much of a start but I sure did give it a good go. I got closer and closer as the set went on and I think I helped him go quicker than he usually does. I went 1:55,1:53,1:53,1:52. On the no breathers I was going 12-13s. On the breast I was coming in on 38-39s. I surprised myself on my breast being able to hold high 30s. Ironically my daughters 11-12 age group did something similar to this workout yesterday but they had to do the 200s fly on 3mins but did the breast on the same interval. On one hand it's exciting my daughter is getting quick but on the other it's depressing that we are adults yet her group is doing the same sets as our masters team. Oh the joys of getting old.
Received not the greatest news at the doctor's today. I not only have tendonitis (which I knew), but also a rotator cuff tear and extreme degradation of the bicep tendon. It's a partial tear of the subscapularis, which is a rare rotator cuff tear (usually it's the infraspinatus or the supraspinatus). I have an appt on Tuesday with a surgeon/PRP expert, Dr. Bradley. I am hopeful that it is not surgical bc it's only a partial tear. I also have the name of the Pittsburgh Pirates doctor who is a shoulder expert. So I may get a second opinion. It just doesn't seem bad enough to warrant surgery to me. We'll see ... I also seem to have strained my left quad muscle, so I am going to skip the gym this weekend and head to the pool.
Discouraged by this news, I went on a 30 minute run instead of heading to the pool. Man, was it hot!
Here's an interesting article questioning Rushall's stance on drylands:
Updated September 6th, 2014 at 12:48 PM by The Fortress
What an interesting two months it has been. After ten years out of the water, it was hard to know what to expect. What was my body capable of? Would I have the desire to continue? Did I really want to get back into a sport I burned out on?
For years, it just wasn't possible. My job required me to work 12 hours a day and with an hour commute each way, finding time for sleep was difficult. Then there was the problem of where to swim. I lived about an hour away from the nearest pool and given my work schedule, it was not surprising that the pool would be closing the same time I got off work and opened a half-hour before I was supposed to be at work. I let it go. I took up other hobbies. I fulfilled my dream of becoming a pilot. I became an avid photographer. I traveled the world and took places off my bucket list. I had made one half-hearted attempt in 2008 by signing up as a USMS member. I went to an old 20-yard YMCA pool without lane lines and did about 500 yards, dodging elderly people doing backstroke diagonally and left after too many near misses.
I still missed swimming. Not necessarily the workouts or two times a day practices that I had endured, as I suspect was what burnt me out, but non-tangible things.
I was lucky to move to the city I work in back in January. The 12-hour days had been reduced to 11-hours and I had a five-minute commute. The city had just built a beautiful aquatic center that boasted a 50 meter by 25 yard pool. It was just 10 minutes from my house, and open from 5:30 am to 7 pm for lap swimming.
In July I decided I needed to swim again. I pulled out a big box with probably about 15 old swimsuits that I had acquired during my 8-year career as a swimmer. My swimsuit from my senior year of high school was in the box. As I went through the suits, I quickly realized that while most of them still fit, they were just too old and were falling apart. Had it really been that long? I found two brand-new Nike swimsuits that I had purchased in 2003 off of ebay. They still had the tags on, but I could hear the fabric "stretching out" as I managed to wiggle it on. It was way too tight to pass off as a practice suit. I had forgotten about the days when swimmers would try to squeeze into the tiniest suit possible and it made me chuckle to think of myself doing that.
Realizing that I couldn't swim without a "real" suit (my poor Victoria's Secret bikinis would have to wait for the beach), and also needing a new cap and set of goggles, I headed to the Sports Authority in town. I had no idea what my suit size was anymore, so my usual ordering online was out of the question.
I picked out a swimsuit, two pairs of goggles, and two caps to purchase. I had no idea why, at that moment, I started to feel a sense of excitement. Was it because I was finally doing it? Stopped making excuses not to? Or was it just exciting to go do something I once loved? I couldn't answer that question then. I would have to find out.
To be continued.
Updated October 22nd, 2014 at 12:43 PM by mo89564
3 X 100 1:40 1:30
2 X 150 2:30 2:15
1 X 200 3:00 --
Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.
1 X 200 kick 4:30
8 X 50 kick 4 on 1:10 4 on 1:00
12 X 50 choice 1:00
#3-6-9-12 are fast
1 X 300 free 4:30
1 X 100 IM 1:45
1 X 200 free 3:00
1 X 200 IM 3:30
1 x 100 free 1:30
1 X 300 IM --
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
Fast Fri Sep 4th 2014
TSC SCY 6:00 am - 7:30
Swam with Kelly & AlleyCat
Beside Tyler, Mike, Ned, Larry, Dick and Dale
14 x (25 on 30, 25 on 25, 25 on 20)
14 rounds of
(100 fast on 1:30, 50 easy on 1:30, 50 easy on 1:30)
did several free went 57's & 56
kicked 1 went 1:07
did the rest IM & was 1:01 to 1:03s
Last night I picked my daughter up from the pool and then as a family we went to steak and shake for dinner. Definitely not my favorite place to eat but the kids made the decision and they actually agreed so my wife and I went along with it. I ate a burger for the first time at a restaurant for the first time in a long long long time. It was surprisingly good and I even ate the skinny fries they have which were good. It will probably be a very long time til I eat fast food again but it was fun.
I had had a good nights sleep and the allergy meds seem to be helping.
Todays workout out was very hard and once again my left thigh is hurting really bad. It's gone from a twinge to a full blown hurt. I am trying to swim through it as best as I can and it does not seem to slow me down but it sure does hurt. It's weird it's in the upper portion of the thigh at the front. I have iced after practice three days this week but today it really hurt. I was fine during the warmup and did not feel it at all. On the 50s fly I pushed off at the turn on number 2 and as I kicked down I felt it and it just got worse as the workout went on. I hurt less on free than fly! Oh well another little niggle to deal with. This getting old stuff sucks.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on :45
4x(4x50 on 1min IM order by round, 4x25 free on 30 at 200 pace)
3x(2x100 AFAP on 2mins, 2x50 kick on 1min)
6x50 doggy paddle down, perfect free back with snorkel and cardio cap on 1min
As well as the muscle injury this workout was tougher than it looked. The 50s IM order I was holding 31s on the fly, 32s on the back, 39s on the breast and on the last round I did IM order by 25 instead of free. On the 25s at 200 speed I was holding 13s. When Tom told us the AFAP 100s set you could see the pain on everyone's faces. I like doing sets where we swim as a group and this was one of these where no matter your swim time we all went on the same send off. These sets have an energy of there own with people encouraging each other and it's quite energizing. Despite the pain in my thigh I held 55s throughout the AFAP 100s. I was very happy with this but I think I can go faster than this during this training cycle and hope to be able to work towards dropping a second or two on sets like this. It's more like a best average set although I swim them all out. The kick was equally hard and I was holding 40s. The hardest part was the transition from kick to swim and the first in each round was harder than the second for some reason. At the end of practice Tom asked if we enjoyed the workout which I really had to think about; it was definitely one of those workouts in hindsight that was awesome and you look at with some pride but during the workout it's awful. I am not sure if I would call it fun, but in a sick way it was satisfying if that makes sense.
Lane space was at a premium today since it was LCM and the keds team was back so I swam in with Savannah Masters today.
6x100 as 25 sprint when everyone is in the middle 50 sprint then dolphin kicks off bottom 25 EZ
100 back EZ
4x100@1:45 free descend
300 free moderate
100 free fast
300 free moderate
4x100@1:45 free descend
Total 3200 meters
I had a better night of sleep but still woke before my alarm went off today. Unfortunately I did not feel that special in the pool and despite swimming quick I had to work really hard throughout todays workout. I donít mind working but when everything feels like a big effort it makes for a long workout.
4x300 free with snorkel on 4mins
4x(3x50 kick on :55, 1x200 IM on 3mins)
4x200 pull on 4mins AFAP
I was going quicker than usual in the warm-up and ended up descending the 300ís. I started out at 3:30 and dropped to 3:15 by the last one. On the main set I was holding 42-43 on the kick and then went 2:25, 2:24, 2:22, 2:20 on the IMís. I took a couple of minutes rest after the IM set and then went into the 200ís. During my paint balling on Saturday I got hit in the thigh and yesterday I felt a twinge in the thigh muscle (I think itís just a bruise) but I ended up pulling the 200s today even though the set was written as swim free. I felt quite tired but ended up swimming some good times and went 1:56, 1:55, 1:56, 1:55.
40 each box jumps @ 0:15 on to 37" surface (10 minutes)
1/2 mile jog, most of it done with arms extended and stretched forward
uses torso muscles intensively that I can't otherwise engage, so it must be good
worked back and rear shoulders
Driving to Clemson with daughter tomorrow for a tour - 4 hours each way. A reserve weekend follows so I may have several days break from my already spotty swimming routine.
1 X 250 4:00 3:45
1 X 150 2:30 2:15
3 X 100 1:40 1:30
Two rounds. Round 1 interval left, 2 right.
6 X 100 kick 2:15
1 x 100 swim
1 X 100 fast 2:00
1 x 100 easy 2:00
8 x 25 sprint :40 #8 is easy on 1:20
1 X 400 6:00 5:20
4 x 100 1:30 1:20
Two rounds, swim or pull
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
Updated September 5th, 2014 at 03:45 PM by SharksMasters
Today Walt and I were trying to figure out why I push a mound of water in front of me on breaststroke. The only thing I can figure is it has to be something from my wide kick which is due to my knee issue I have always had since blowing my knees out as a kid doing the whip kick. Walt said it looked really good except for the water I push.
500 free kick w/zoomers
10x50@1:15 breast pull w/zoomers
300 breast kick w/br fins
4x50@1:15 breast held 54's
300 free EZ
2x50 breast for analysis
100 free EZ
Total 2500 yards
streamline crunches, 2 x 50
russian twists on incline, 25 x 3 x 25
kneeling ab crunches, 130 x 1 x 15 (I felt like this was pulling on my shoulder a bit so didn't do any more reps)
explosive leg press 175 x 3 x 15
good mornings, 85 x 3 x6
bulgarians in streamline position, 3 x 10 each leg
hip abductor, 100 x 4 x6
leg curls, 60 x 4 x 8
standing broad jumps, 10
knee tuck jumps, 10
Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt
4 x 25 shooters w/fins
20 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ 1:00
-- 5 right side, 5 belly, 5 back, 5 belly
4 x (25 AFAP backstroke kick (SDK to 15 m) + 25 EZ) @ 2:30
-- went 13 high-14 flats
1 x 50 AFAP backstroke kick
-- went :30
3 x (3 x 100) kick w/fins @ 1:45
1-2 = 75 dolphin kick on back + :5 rest + 25 fast
3 = all EZ
10 x 25 free w/fins, 1 breath @ :30
I was pretty pleased with my AFAP backstroke efforts today. Not sure I'll have any time to work out tomorrow, too many things to do including an MRI and working on getting all my security clearances again. Thanks Sandusky for causing me to waste my time on this stuff every year. I don't even work with kids!
Weights and P90 abs before work.
This evening at the pool we had two options. I chose to swim the sprint group for a change.
500 mix up
400 swim/kick by 100
-went free on the first 200 and BR on the second
500 pull breath 3/5 by 100
16 x 25 @ 40 (1 sprint/1 EZ)
-went four of each stroke
8 x 125 @ 2:30 (25 sprint/100 moderate)
-went 2 of each stroke but 100 was all free
50 double arm backstroke
8 x 75 pull @ 1:15 strong
8 x 25 @ 60 sprint
-went 2 of each stroke
Not too bad tonight. Plenty of rest so we could really push the sprint stuff. Kinda fun for a change
Hard to believe summer is done for 2014. I don't feel like I got to enjoy it very much, with all the responsibilities that occupied my weekends this year. Humph. I won't mind a little bit cooler weather though, so I can go through my garage (to clean it out) without dying from heat exhaustion.
Went to a clinic this weekend with Sheila Taormina. It was really nice, and I was lucky that the attendance was only about 18 people, so a lot of individual attention was available. I was also happy to hear that my stroke doesn't really need a lot of tweaking (which I had already suspected) but it was a cheap way to get to meet one of my idols! She is very down to earth & I had a nice time. Bought myself some new stretch cords while I was there, as she had them available for about half price, and my son stole mine & took them to college with him!!!
So I only got in about 500 yards this weekend (at the clinic) with a 9 hour drive (each way) to Clarksville, TN to visit my son. Got in this morning serious about fixing my stroke, and amazingly enough, even though I was sorta slowing it down a bit, to focus on EVF etc., my repeats were about the same as usual. This is quite encouraging, because I suspect that once I recover the EVF (I'm sure I must've swum this was as a kid - else why was I so much faster?!!!) I will drop time in my events. At the moment, in practice, it seems to take off about 3 seconds per 100 yards. The only problem is that I'm out of breath, because I forget to breathe - I'm watching my stroke so much, lol!!
Hijacked off ATAC this morning, so it wasn't a complete solo swim, just a "beside them" solo swim.
12 x 50 kick @ 1:00
7 x 200 pull on 2:50
300 breast/free various
500 odds & ends
10 minutes warmup
600 free with snorkel + 50 drill
6x (3 x 25 on 0:20 + 25 easy) on 3:00
15 to 17's16 15 16 was bestdidn't make the 6th onethese times suck, want to go 15's straight on at least 5 x (3 x 25 + 25 ez) on 3:00
40 sec VK with fins
8 x 25 on 0:40 HUDKF with fins and snorkel
Weights and running yesterday
Some weights and stretching today
Pool I swam in just over a month ago in Aruba. It had unusual bottom geometries having two distinct areas of sharp angled depth changes (the pic illustrates this). If you have deep UW's you will definately need to look out as you could actually run into it. The lanelines also had tiny floats:
deeply miss the island, still
Updated September 3rd, 2014 at 11:04 PM by __steve__
1 X 200 3:00 3:00
3 X 100 1:40 1:30
4 X 75 1:15 1:05
Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right
1 X 400 kick + 100 swim
1 X 300 IM 5:15
1 X 150 2:45
4 X 25 :40 #4 on 1:40
150's: fl/ba/br by 50
25's: round 1 fly, 2 back, 3 breast
10 X 100
3 on 1:30
3 on 1:20
3 on 1:15
#10 is swim down
Last night my wife had to attend my sonís open house at the school and met all his teachers. I was on daddy duty and made my kids day by taking them to steak and shake for dinner. Despite my wife preparing stouffers lasagna which is my daughters favorite they were both open to fast food. I decided to not eat fast food and instead watched my son and daughter devour burgers, fries and milk shakes while I drank water. I ended up eating some of the lasagna when I got home L. I had a better night of sleep but woke up at 4:15am and was wide awake so instead of tossing and turning I decided to get up. I was anticipating a tough workout today based on the fact that my daughters group does our workout the day before on slightly adjusted times and she had a tough one yesterday. I felt pretty crappy during the warm up but got going on the main set again.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on :45
10x50 build on 1min
15x100 swum as 5x100 on 1:20, 4x100 on 1:15, 3x100 on 1:10, 2x100 on 1:05, 1x100 on 1min
8x100 kick with fins on 1:30 alternating board and back by 100
I finally loosened up on the 10x50s transition set. It helped having one of the young newer guys swimming next to me who is a good swimmer and I think when he gets his aerobic base up will push me on everything. We swam side by side in adjacent lanes and swam stroke for stroke through the build 50ís and were building to 30s each 50. On the 5,4,3,2,1 set I was the only one on these times and I was under instructions to hold low 1mins throughout and then see if I could make the last 100. Tom said my goal this year should be under 1min throughout; we shall see. Today I held 1:01s throughout and then on the last one dropped to :59. On this set I typically try to stay relaxed until the second 100 on 1:05 but today I was huffing and puffing all the way down. In hindsight it felt good but during the set it was tough. On the kick set with fins I was swimming these relaxed and was holding 1:05 on the 100s with the board and 57-59s on the 100s on my back.
Just a good quality workout today.
500 free kick w/zoomers
3 times thru
4x100@1:45 free w/strapless padles & bouy descend 1-4
2x50@1:30 free sprint
R1-1:35, 1:29, 1:26, 1:25, 40, 38
R2-1:26, 1:25, 1:22, 1:21, 38, 35
R3-1:25, 1:25, 1:22, 1:20, 37, 36
300 free easy w/snorkle
200 free kick w/zoomers
Total 3000 yards