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  1. Stage 5

    What a week it has been so far! We have had perfect weather... hot and sunny mostly as summers in NY typically are. All the swimmers and kayakers and boat crews have exceeded my expectations and I'm so honored by their enthusiastic support of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim!

    For many of the swimmers, the stages they participated in were the longest swims they have ever done... and all against the clock as the unforgiving afternoon flood tide waits patiently for the chance to battle and thwart our progress.

    I knew stage 5 (Bear Mt Bridge to Tappan Zee) would likely be the biggest challenge of the week... this statement is possibly premature, as there are still 2 stages to go. Rondi, Janet and I did a test run of this stage with Captain Greg Porteus, and Mates Wayne and Ritchie a few weeks ago, and we fell a bit short... 3 miles of the Tappan Zee. The data gained was useful, and we were able to adjust our plan to give us the best chance for success yesterday.

    We all gave it our best shot, and John (who swam yesterday as well) and Tobey (who will be swimming Catalina in a week) both powered their way to the finish. I resigned at about 9.5 hours with .2 miles to go... but my progress was slowed to a rate of <.1 miles/ 30 minutes. It became clear that I would have at least another hour if I was going to make it at all.

    Knowing that John finished, and Tobey was ever closer satisfied me... the stage was a success, even if my own efforts fell short, and I was able to resign a few hundred yards short of passing through the Tappan Zee's shadow.

    I will splash today, where I left off... adding a little bit extra to stage 6 and continue the attempt to complete the 120 miles. No Stage 5 ribbon for me, but I'm feeling good physically. We wind down to just 2 swimmers for the next 2 days. This will be much easier logistically, but I will miss the company and camaraderie. It had been a joyus week!

    I will write up a more detailed report of each stage once Rondi and I have a chance to review and debrief.

    http://tarrytown.patch.com/articles/...days-120-miles
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  2. Stage 5

    What a week it has been so far! We have had perfect weather... hot and sunny mostly as summers in NY typically are. All the swimmers and kayakers and boat crews have exceeded my expectations and I'm so honored by their enthusiastic support of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim!

    For many of the swimmers, the stages they participated in were the longest swims they have ever done... and all against the clock as the unforgiving afternoon flood tide waits patiently for the chance to battle and thwart our progress.

    I knew stage 5 (Bear Mt Bridge to Tappan Zee) would likely be the biggest challenge of the week... this statement is possibly premature, as there are still 2 stages to go. Rondi, Janet and I did a test run of this stage with Captain Greg Porteus, and Mates Wayne and Ritchie a few weeks ago, and we fell a bit short... 3 miles of the Tappan Zee. The data gained was useful, and we were able to adjust our plan to give us the best chance for success yesterday.

    We all gave it our best shot, and John (who swam yesterday as well) and Tobey (who will be swimming Catalina in a week) both powered their way to the finish. I resigned at about 9.5 hours with .2 miles to go... but my progress was slowed to a rate of <.1 miles/ 30 minutes. It became clear that I would have at least another hour if I was going to make it at all.

    Knowing that John finished, and Tobey was ever closer satisfied me... the stage was a success, even if my own efforts fell short, and I was able to resign a few hundred yards short of passing through the Tappan Zee's shadow.

    I will splash today, where I left off... adding a little bit extra to stage 6 and continue the attempt to complete the 120 miles. No Stage 5 ribbon for me, but I'm feeling good physically. We wind down to just 2 swimmers for the next 2 days. This will be much easier logistically, but I will miss the company and camaraderie. It had been a joyus week!

    I will write up a more detailed report of each stage once Rondi and I have a chance to review and debrief.

    http://tarrytown.patch.com/articles/...days-120-miles
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  3. The Sluggard is still with me....its me.

    by , July 13th, 2011 at 07:39 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Felt sluggish again today. No energy and no speed.

    10x100@2:00 Free realy slow on this
    200 Free kick w/fins on side
    10x100@1:40 Free w/paddles & bouy barely able to hold 1:35's yuck
    500 Free kick w/fins
    8x25 from block 4 free 4 fly
    100 Free easy

    Total 3000 meters
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  4. A Newsworthy Blog

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 10:45 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Last week was a crazy week! Saturday I attended a funeral in the morning followed by a big whooping outdoor wedding in the evening. The day finally ended with a huge thunderstorm.
    Monday I had to put my beautiful bi-eyed kitty named "Caspurr "to sleep.
    The poor kitty had cancer and was finally starting to suffer. I feel good about ending the suffering but so sad to lose such a wonderful friend.
    Tuesday I got married! Marty and I have been together for 14 years and have meant to get married for a while. We finally paid our friend Dan (a Superior Court Judge) a visit and got the deed done. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. Sorry, I have no pictures from this event.
    Thursday we started driving down to Florida to visit my youngest daughter. This trip seemed to take forever! As we hit the Florida border we were greeted by a torrential downpour! The rain kept pouring till we pulled into Madiera Beach. I felt like a soggy noodle.
    Saturday/Sunday I participated in a meet down here. I hadn't been in the pool for 4 days and I felt the tightness caused by the20 hour car ride. I managed to do okay in the 1500 but it was totally downhill from there. Long course meters is not my thing.
    It's been sunny and sultry each day down here. I've had some good swims at North Beach Pool. Tonight I swam with the St. Pete master's group; here's what we did:

    **2 X 300 @ 5:15
    **10 X 50 Kick @ 1:00
    **10 X 50 Drill @ 1:00
    **20 X 100 Free @ 1:45 interval (alternate hard / long and stretchy)
    **8 X 25 Hard (2 Each IMO) @ :40
    **200 cool-down swim

    4,000
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  5. Tuesday, July 12

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 09:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands:

    RC exercises
    power wheel roll outs, 2 x 25
    power wheel pike ups, 2 x 10
    explosive leg press, 210 x 3 x 10
    explosive narrow grip row, 70 x 2 x 10
    box jumps, 10
    altitude drops, 10
    knee tuck jumps, 10
    handstands, 10
    extreme angle isometric squat, 5:00

    med ball slamming for 10:00 in racquetball court


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This was my last drylands session (mostly explosive stuff) since taper starts tomorrow! Technically, I may go to yoga one more time. But otherwise, I'm letting the muscles recover out of the water.

    Had a deep tissue massage later in the day. I was/am really flattened after. Thought about a nighttime swim, but was not sufficiently motivated. Hoping for a good snooze tonight.

    Muppet and SwimmieAvsFan announced today that their team will host the Terrapin Cup LCM Meet on Aug 20-21 at U of Md. Even though I'm swimming in Nats, I'm definitely attending. No idea what events to sign up for; I'll probably wait until after Nats to decide. The meet entry form will be available in a couple days. I'm hoping both SwimStud and Jimby will attend.

    Still haven't signed up for the Hains Point meet, though I know I "should" for a pre-Nats tune up. It's hard for me to get excited about swimming outside in the heat in that particular pool ... But racing is racing, I guess.

    Attached are a few photos from Nice -- one of the 13th century wine cellar in which we had a delicious wine tasting.
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  6. Another magical day on the Hudson

    Yesterday was stage 4 of the 8 Bridges Hudson River swim. There are 7 stages in all, and I signed up for 2 of them—I had done stage 1 last Friday. Yesterday’s leg covered 15.2 miles, from the Beacon-Newburgh Bridge to the Bear Mountain Bridge. Although this stage was about 3 miles shorter than Friday’s swim, the currents are less swift along this portion of river, so the swim length looked like it might be about the same. It’s an interesting stretch, winding around several bends and passing by some prominent landmarks, including Bannerman Castle, the US Military Academy at West Point, and Storm King Mountain.

    The day was forecast to be hot and sunny, with some wind kicking up in the afternoon. I took the first train of the morning up to Beacon, NY to the meet-up point at the docks (conveniently right by the train station). Since the train tracks run right along the east coast of the river, I got a preview of nearly the entire stage en route. Once in Beacon, I rendezvoused with the other swimmers, and we chatted some while sunscreening up. We had 7 swimmers for the stage—besides me there was Lisa from Toronto (who had swum stage 1 too); my MIMS relay partner John; Laeticia, an ow veteran from Mexico City whom I knew from other NYC-area swims; CIBBOWS swim pal Lori; and of course Rondi and Dave. I was happy to be swimming with friends. It was a beautiful hazy morning by the river, and while we were waiting to depart I spotted an otter ambling along the riverbank.

    Soon we had loaded the boat, our kayakers were assigned, and we were motoring off towards the bridge that marked the start of the swim. I once again had Teddy as my kayaker—he had been a great guide on Friday, encouraging, and patient about following my feed schedule, which was a wee bit on the complicated side for OW swimmers. We waited on the boat some once we got to the start point, as the current was still flowing north. I was really eager to get into the water at this point, because it was already hot and sunny and the river looked cool and inviting.

    Finally the call to splash came, and we each jumped in and headed to the far span of the double bridge for the race start. The current was still going north, and I had to swim some breaststroke to stay in place while awaiting the countdown. Finally we were off—hurray! It seemed to take a long time to pass under both spans of the bridge, and I worried that I would tire myself out swimming against the current without going much of anywhere. I decided to just put my head down and swim, and stop worrying, and soon I was a ways away from the bridge. It was slow going, but we were definitely putting the bridge behind us, and making steady progress.

    At my first feed Teddy asked if I might be going a little too hard at the start of a multi-hour swim. He had seen me start out very slowly and cautiously on Friday. I explained that I had been nervous and uncertain that day about swimming so far, but that I was feeling more confident today about swimming strong for a long stretch. And I was. I felt good and strong in the water, and swimming a little faster just made the whole experience seem more joyful.

    Soon after the first feeding Dave and I found each other, and we swam together for a long stretch, synching our strokes up for the first hour or so of that time. As mesmerizing as it can be just stroking along for long stretches in the river by yourself, it’s even more so when you’re also watching someone beside you who’s doing exactly the same thing. Here’s a picture from that part of the race taken by my kayaker, Ted Gruber. David's kayaker Gary is behind me:



    We swam to the east of the little island where Bannerman Castle sits, which gave us the best view of the ruins of that 19th century fortress built by a NYC munitions baron. This structure has always intrigued me when I see it from the train, so I was glad to get a closer view. I some backstroke as we headed further south just to see it from that angle.





    We passed through little cold patches here and there, but for the most part the water was warm—probably upper 70s. This part of the Hudson is more populated than Friday’s section, and there were small hamlets dotting both shores, with church steeples visible over the rolling green hills and rock faces. The water was pretty flat here, and it was truly glorious just stroking along in the sunshine with the beautiful scenery passing by.

    My feeds were going well—I did a schedule similar to Friday’s, with a few substitutions. The menu included sweetened herb tea, honeyed vanilla milk, fruit puree (banana/peach/mango), pb&j pop, graham crackers with peanut butter, and pear puree. (I didn’t swim long enough to get to the dried coconut cubes or the cookie, but I ate them on the train ride home). I used more tea feedings and less juice ones than before, just because the cold tea seemed like a lighter option on a hot day. I brew my tea from an herb blend that includes chamomile, mint, and lemon, to which I add dried ginger. I sweeten it heavily with agave nectar so that it gives me good energy—it’s as sweet as southern sweet tea, with a more interesting flavor. The fruit purees are from the “Happy Baby/Happy Tot” line of organic baby foods—I now think of that brand as “Happy Swimmer.” They come in little pouches that are shelf-stable and easy to handle in the water. All my feeds tasted good to me, and I liked having the variety—it kept things interesting as the day went along.

    Several hours into the swim we met up with the Riverkeeper boat and stopped to do an in-water interview with the reporters on board. The three lead swimmers had already stopped and talked to the press a bit while waiting for me and Dave to catch up, so it was nice to check in with my friends and hear that they were having a good day on the water too. I had an extended feed and stretch-and-play-in-the-water break while Dave told reporters a little about the 8 Bridges event, and the causes it supports. (He had to tread water while doing this—getting out or holding onto the boat would have disqualified it as an official swim for him). Soon that was wrapped up, and we headed downriver once again.

    By this time the wind was picking up, and the water started being much choppier. We were definitely swimming with a good current now as well—things on shore started moving by at a faster clip. The current was moving south, but the wind was blowing north and west, which eventually made for some pretty unorganized water. I found I was able to take 2 or 3 good strokes, then suddenly on the next one my recovering arm would be stopped dead by a wall of water, or my head wouldn’t clear the surface when I turned to breathe.

    I worked at being patient in this section and trying out different strategies to make the going as easy as possible—I experimented with using an earlier, firmer, and more angled hand entry into the water, seeing if a steady kick would stabilize me (that seems to work for Rondi when I see her swim in chop), breathing on my left more (the chop was often hitting me from my right), and doing more of a catch-up stroke where I waited to make sure I was getting good purchase on the water before each pull. All these seemed to help a bit, and it was interesting seeing how altering things just a little bit made my swim experience feel different.

    But whatever I did, this section was just plain rough swimming. My kayaker did an amazing job of keeping the kayak steady in the wind, especially with the added constraint of travelling at swimmer pace. He was also having to periodically get feeds out for me, and signal me as to what route to take—the latter job was made more difficult by the fact that there were often waves blocking my sightlines to someone even just a few feet away, so he had to continue his hand signals through several stroke cycles. But he seemed game for not only doing this, but also for finding me the fastest currents to swim in. Even though these stage swims are not really races, I think kayakers who are experienced swim escorts pride themselves on helping out their swimmers as much as possible by finding the most advantageous currents. It’s a cool and complex skill to have, and one I would like to understand better.

    (In addition to all their other tasks, kayakers had to report our stroke rate to the observer on the boat every ½ hour. Mine ranged from 55 to 60 per minute during this swim, and from 56 to 59.5 during the previous stage. Kayaker humor: “Hey, they just asked me your stroke count—I told them about 2400 so far!”)

    On my right I passed by West Point, which towers majestically above the river. As a high-schooler, I semi-seriously considered going there as I was casting about for a way to pay for college. I eventually decided it wasn’t for me. I still have a picture of my 17-year-old self perched on one of the campus’s scenic spots that overlooks the Hudson. It was taken during a week-long summer program I was invited to before senior year. I imagine my life would be very different now if I had made a different decision, and I waved to that road not taken as I swam by.




    Soon afterthat we rounded a bend in the river and the wind started gradually calming down. I could see the finish bridge ahead, and felt a little pang of sadness that my great adventure was nearing an end. As the water flattened out I started swimming strong and hard towards the bridge, and felt a sense of great joy moving through the water as I picked up the pace. I knew at this point that I would finish, and I didn’t have anything to save myself for. I fed one last time—a quick swig of tea—then waved off my last feeding as the bridge got nearer and nearer. I went under the span after 5h35m in the river. I felt completely exuberant, and a little amazed, and the thought immediately crossed my mind that I could maybe even do a longer swim! Someday. , ,

    I took my time stretching out and flipping in the water after I was finished, so much so that the captain sent a kayak out to tow me back to the boat (which had actually moved a bit upriver to pick up another swimmer who had just finished, while I had continued drifting downriver in the current). The kayak tow-in was fun—sort of like waterskiing in very slow motion. Once aboard the boat, I hugged friends and we compared our experiences on the river. I felt a little sore, and still do today, but less so than after stage 1. Mostly, I’m still just feeling so happy that I decided to try these swims, and proud that I was able to do them.

    When I got home last night and was enthusing over it all to my husband, he looked at me and said “You don’t look tired at all! You’d like to go back and swim another stage wouldn’t you!” I just got a big smile on my face. One of my swim friends warned me when I was planning my season that this OW stuff could get addictive. He was right! I’m definitely hooked, and now my task to figure out what long swim I’d like to attempt next!
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  7. Vicissitudes

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 04:45 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    "Life," my dear father used to say, "is vicissitudinal."

    And so it is.

    Brief vlog today with only the most tangential of references to swimming.

    The swimming reference has to do with the fact that so many of our fraternity here--CremePuff, Bobinator, Ande, and countless others--have pugs as pets. There is something in the breed that seems to make a perfect companion for masters swimmers.

    Whereas all dogs offer their human packmates unconditional positive regard, pugs have one additional advantage.

    No matter how bad you might be swimming at any particular juncture in your life, your pug(s) will never beat you. Even if they could, the wouldn't. But that is moot.

    Because a pug can't beat you at swimming.

    Also, they are exceptionally friendly dogs, as the video below begins to suggest. They make friends with anybody they encounter.

    Between not beating us in swimming, and providing companionship to people who, let's face it, can be hard to like because of our competitive natures, the pug is the perfect match

    And herein lies the most recent trough in life's vicissitudes.

    Our beloved dog, Lefty, familiar to many of you from previous vlogs, is in the veterinary emergency room, receiving anti-inflammatories and electrolytes and no shortage of tests. He tested positive for Lyme Disease, which may account for his sudden inability to put much weight on his back left leg. He also has low thyroid levels, which I suspect our friend Leslie can explain is no picnic. These combined anomalies might also account for his fever, lethargy, elevated white blood cells, and assorted other problems.



    My son Ben, who was in the fourth grade when Lefty was whelped, tries to ease his abdominal pains and calm him.



    Ben lets Lefty know he is loved, as both of us in the hospital waiting room become increasingly verklempt.

    These test findings, however, do not account for Lefty's loss of appetite. I have never in my life seen Lefty not hungry before. His gluttony is at the heart of what Lefty is: an eater, a scrounger, a beggar, a relentless snorfler for morsels of unattended foodstuff, no matter what form these might take. I have seen Lefty vomit and then, without a moment's hesitation, begin lapping up what he so recently lost, as if he could not conceive of any victuals within his reach being allowed to stay outside his stomach.

    This hunger of his, I think, may be at the root of his main problem. To wit, he has long had a taste for guinea pig poop, something that I find utterly revolting but which Lefty and his bride, Biscuit, and others of their snub-nosed, child-faced, Chinese-bred ilk consider a delicacy.

    Last week, Lefty may have snarfed down some new guinea pig bedding in the course of snacking on this repugnant delicacy. Alas, the bedding in question was an artificial kind we hadn't used before, designed to absorb liquids.

    Indeed, Lefty's initial X-rays showed that his stomach was distended to the size of a softball (quite big for a 22-pounder), swollen up by a mystery bolus he could rid himself of neither through mouth nor the normal point of egress.

    Many dogs, I learned from the vet, also get in trouble by eating Gorilla Glue, which turns into something like cement in their bellies and must be extracted surgically. It's possible, she told us, that the bedding might be creating a similar blockage.

    Lefty was weakened, in pain, and almost 12 years old--not an ideal candidate for surgery.


    Lefty, dehydrated and feverish, pants to cool off.


    The good news is that he had a good night at the hospital, and this morning's X-rays indicate the wad of stuff has broken up and will likely pass naturally, obviating the need for surgery. When I spoke with the vet this morning, she told me he had even eaten a little, which she said was good because it would help with the intestinal motility, etc. and get the bad stuff out of there.

    They are keeping him another night, hydrating him with more electrolytes, starting doxycylin for his Lyme Disease, and giving him some anti-inflammatories for his sore hind leg. (The doctor told me one of the symptoms of LD in dogs is "wandering limb pain"--they limp on one leg for a few days, then this switched to another leg. Lefty had shown some signs of this.)

    Though Lefty is not an on-screen character in this movie (a somewhat cowardly fellow, he lets his bride Biscuit take the lead in confronting wild animals, like the time she attacked a rabid raccoon, precipitating our need for a family pack of rabies shots).

    But you can feel Lefty's presence here, hovering by the filmmaker's leg (i.e., me.).



    Last week,I happened to glance out my window and saw Biscuit had made a new woodland friend: a baby ground hog. My son Jack and I went out to see if the little creature was rabid, but it seemed quite healthy. Biscuit has caught squirrels and birds before, but she showed no predatorial behavior towards this little one. We think that the long companionship between our pugs (Lefty and Biscuit) and our pigs (Linus and Spaceman) may have left Biscuit thinking that this wild rodent was another guinea pig, mercifully one with no need for artificial bedding. The short YouTube video to follow documents the nature of their interaction, proof positive, I would argue, that pugs are the world's friendliest dogs!

    For what it's worth, Lefty is doing considerably better, and we hope he will be okay very soon. They are keeping him one more night. I shall keep you posted.

    In the meantime, please watch this little movie and forward it to your friends. It's just about the cutest thing you will ever see.

    With luck, yesterday's trough will begin to give way a new and building wave peak in life's relentlessly vicissitudinal way!

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nJNsYSayag"]YouTube - &#x202a;Biscuit the Pug and her Baby Groundhog Friend&#x202c;&rlm;[/nomedia]
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  8. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -07/13/11

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 04:31 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    Sorry for not posting Tuesday workout...bad day for the coach.

    LC Nationals in Auburn start three weeks from today, we will begin our taper/rest phase with this workout.

    LCM
    WARM UP:
    1 X 250 4:30 4:15
    1 X 150 2:45 2:30
    1 X 100 2:00 -
    Twice through. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    10 X 100 FREE 2:15
    1-7: swim at 80/90%
    #8: at 100%
    9-10: easy, warm down pace

    3 X 100 kick 2:30
    4 X 50 kick 1:15
    50's: 25 fast/25 easy

    8 X 50 1:30
    Choice stroke
    Swim @ 80/90%
    IM'ers: 2 of each

    2 X 100 2:15
    Swim down pace

    4 X 50 1:30
    25 sprint/25 easy
    Choice/blocks optional

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    3500M
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  9. Tuesday, July 12, 2011 6:00am

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 03:20 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Was able to get in for 30 minutes this morning before work...it's better than nothing!!

    The second hand on the pace clock at the pool got knocked off and was sitting in the bottom of the clock, so no intervals today.

    400 Free
    4 x 100 Free w/ training fins @ :15 rest
    4 x 50 odd Fly, even Back @ :15 rest
    6 x 100 Free @ :15 rest
    ---------------
    1600 LCMeters

    I also signed up for my first ever Open Water swim at the end of August...the CAST Classic in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. 5K is the distance I picked. I should be able to handle that. Here's the link:

    http://www.swimcast.net/TabGeneric.j...83&team=iecast
  10. Tuesday, 7/12/11

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 12:47 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM

    Warm up:
    1000 continuous swim
    - 17.00 min

    Kick: 5 min choice kick
    - flutter kick on belly with board and snorkel, 250 m in 5:35

    Main Set: Ladder - stay focused on turns and DPS
    500 - 400 -300 - 200 - 100 with 10 - 20sr each (desc set)
    - took 15 sr between swims went:
    - 500 - 8:15 / 400 - 6:30 / 300 - 4:50 / 200 - 3:10 / 100 - 1:28.

    Last set if time:
    N x 200 Pull/10sr build
    - did 2, using buoy and Freestyler paddles, swam at 3:10±

    Warm down
    100 easy back

    Total: 3250 meters
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  11. The 1:30 base lane

    I started the day out yesterday with some weights before work and then swam with the team afterwork. Took it a little easy in the weight room but could still really feel the effects in the pool.

    In the pool.....

    3 times through
    150 choice @ 2:30
    2 x 50 drill @ 60

    8 x 50 @ 60 scull/swim by 25

    4 x 100 w/fins @ 1:35 build within 100
    -- 4 to 5 sdk off of each wall

    200 EZ

    2 x 100 @ 1:30
    2 x 200 @ 3:00
    2 x 400 @ 6:00
    2 x 200 @ 3:00
    2 x 100 @ 1:30
    This set was only at 80% but I think I put a little more effort into the latter part of the set.

    200 w/d

    4400 scy

    Side note....

    Don't ever do P90 AB RIPPER with your 8 year old gymnist daughter. I was struggling while she was laughing saying "Is this ALL we have to do Daddy?" I was very humbled.
    I am getting old!
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  12. Thoughts from the Past Few Days....

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 12:04 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Life just gets really busy all of a sudden, doesn't it? Sorry I haven't posted anything since last Friday....

    On Saturday, I did my very first Open Water swim. Our team had an open water practice that began with one of our coaches going over open water tips and techniques (including drafting and sighting) before letting us loose on the lake. I must say, I liked the open water swim much more than I had anticipated - and am really looking forward to the next open water practice. Then, in a really dumb move, I ended up going to the team's pool practice - and spent much of the afternoon napping. Two practices in one day - haven't done that since the February Fitness Challenge ended. It definitely tuckered me out. All told, it was about 5100 meters (not much to some of you... a bunch to me ).

    When Monday rolled around, I headed to the pool as always, but was slightly disappointed to find it still set up for SCY. Today's workout focused on IM - and I decided to wear my fins for a lot of it, but I did take them off for the backstroke at the end. Then, during my cool-down, I worked with my coach on my breaststroke kick for a few minutes. There must be hope for me yet because he keeps saying "almost there" - I just doing go anywhere yet. Oh well, here's what we did on Monday:

    300 Warm-Up
    2 sets:
    - 1 x 150 Kick
    - 1 x 200 Swim (1st as free, 2nd w/ fins as 50 Breast/50 Free)
    8 x 50 Drill/Swim on 1:05
    6 x 200 IM (w/ fins)
    4 x 50 Back (w/o fins) on 1:05
    4 x 50 Free on 1:05
    300 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3300


    Today (and for the rest of the summer), the pool will be set for LCM. YAY! Today's practice was distance focused, but I shortened some of the distances and did a bunch of stroke instead. Here's what I did today:

    200 Warm-Up
    1 x 500 Free on 10:00
    1 x 300 on 5:00 (50 fly, 50 sdk, 50 back, 50 back kick, 50 breast, 50 free - w/ fins)
    2 x 250 on 5:00 (50 fly, 50 sdk, 50 back, 50 back kick, 50 breast - w/ fins)
    1 x 500 Pull on 10:00
    2 x 250 on 5:00 (50 fly, 50 sdk, 50 back, 50 back kick, 50 breast - w/ fins)
    1 x 500 Pull on 10:00
    1 x 300 on 5:00 (50 fly, 50 sdk, 50 back, 50 back kick, 50 fly, 50 free - w/ fins)
    300 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3600


    It was just fun today. I am really enjoying doing stroke and wanted to focus on that. It was, however, absolutely exhausting and my shoulders are definitely still feeling my efforts in the pool hours ago.


    Oh well... live, learn, and swim!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  13. Tuesday workout

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 11:14 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Not much special today. Worked a lot with breast stroke pull. Trying to get a good feel for where my hands need to be.

    LCM

    600 Free/Stroke warm up
    300 Kick

    600 IM Order down/free back

    12 x 100 Odds IM order drill down/Stroke back, Evens free
    4 x 50 Stroke (2 Easy/2 hard)

    Three times through
    * 2 x 50 Stroke (#1 Fly, #2 Back, #3 Breast)
    * 200 (#1 Pull, #2 Kick, #3 Drill)
    * 2 x 50 Stroke (#1 Fly, #2 Back, #3 Breast)
    4 x 50 Free (2 easy/2 hard)

    3 x 200 Breast Smooth/Fast work on walls

    9 x 100 Pull - Odds Breast, Evens Free

    200 IM Cool down

    (6000m total)
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  14. Tue Jul 12th 2011 LCM

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 10:43 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Jul 12th 2011 LCM

    weighed 216 after practice today

    Doubled yesterday
    did straight 200's on the 4 x 50 repeats,
    on 2nd round dove &
    went 2:21, 2:20, 2:21, 2:18
    got out after 2nd round of 4 x 50's
    skipped the 2nd 400 to make an appointment


    This past Sunday I found out my gym closed.
    I'll start lifting at another place.


    South Central LCM Zones: DAYS AWAY
    I leave for Houston next Thursday.
    meet starts Friday at 4:00


    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, main pool
    6:00 - 7:30 dove in 6:08
    wore FS PRO legs
    swam with Chris, Todd, mike, & Nate
    beside Larry & Jim


    WARM UP
    4 x 200

    Main SET: LCM

    4 x 100 fr on 1:25
    4 x 50 on 1:00 done 25 fly fast 25 k on bk

    rest 1:00

    4 x 100 fr on 1:20
    4 x 50 on 1:00 done 25 bk fast 25 k on bk

    rest 1:00

    4 x 100 fr on 1:25
    4 x 50 on 1:00 done 25 br fast 25 k on bk

    rest 1:00

    4 x 100 fr on 1:20
    4 x 50 on 1:00 done 25 fr fast 25 k on bk

    assigned: 900
    did: 5 x (50 easy, rest 1:00, 50 easy speed smooth)

    50 fly easy speed
    went 28

    50 easy

    Meets

    2011 South Central Zone LCM Championships INFO
    Fri Jul 22 - Sun 24, 2011 in
    Shenandoah (Houston), TX
    South Central LCM Zones: DAYS AWAY
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  15. Grateful to have swimming in my life

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 08:23 AM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    On my own today:

    800 back/free; breast/free
    4 x 200 pull on 3:10
    4 x 100 kick w/zoomers on 2:00
    200 easy
    5 x 200 IM - 2 w/zoomers, & last 3 w/out
    200 easy

    Total: 3400 LCM

    Commentary - having a hard time staying focused in the pool today - for starters - I was basically on my own, no little feet to chase, no coach looking over my shoulder. For seconders, the arches of my feet kept cramping up - weird. And lastly, they fired my MA yesterday - in fact 6 people were let go at my soon to be ex-employers office & I just really didn't want to come in to work today. Glad I only have 5-6 weeks left myself. Last day is August 26th, and between now & then I will have a vaca in Cancun, and 4 days in Auburn - Thank Goodness. Need to get more focused tho. I think after Nationals I will be really getting into the dryland thing - weights, maybe running (at least on the tennis courts) - something to add more oomph to my swimming. I probably won't enter a pool meet until October or November, so I'll have plenty of time to get used to the extra work. Oh - I do have the 10 mile river swim in Chattanooga, TN on Oct 8th - but that's more an endurance than speed thing, the way I look at it.
    Must say, I'm grateful to have swimming in my life. With all the ups and downs with my job, my kid's drama's, Church stuff, swimming is my escape - it's the one thing (other than my wonderful husband) that is stable in my life.

    Went back to the pool at lunch today - got in another 2000 - it was soooo nice to swim in the sunshine!!

    Updated July 12th, 2011 at 08:00 PM by Celestial

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  16. Sprint attempt

    by , July 12th, 2011 at 07:29 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I tried to sprint today. My Free felt great and strong but my fly felt uncoordinated. I know what I have to work on.

    The Aquatic center put in the blocks but in the wrong lane so I only have acess to them twice a week, since another group uses that lane M, W, F.

    400,300,200,100@:10R Free
    500 Fly kick w/fins
    10x50 from dive alt free/fly sprint 25 then easy free back
    400 Free w/snorkle, paddles & bouy
    100 Free EASY

    total 2500 meters
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  17. 07/11/11

    by , July 11th, 2011 at 06:10 PM (Trying to Train Smarter, Not Just Harder)
    Mondays are getting boring - but I had my share of humiliation today - Reisa R was swimming circles around me on the 300's - pretty fast little girl considering how often she turns around in the middle of the pool.

    600 back/free
    600 pull
    400 kick
    8 x 100 stroke/free on 1:40 (I did back free for 4, then breast/free & did NOT keep a 1:40 on the last 4)
    200 easy
    4 x 300 on 5:30 descend 1-4
    200 easy


    Total:4000 LCM


    Had a lot of fun watching the kids at the meet this weekend - got to see Ryan Lochte, Peter Vanderkay, Gemma Spofforth, Connor Dwyer, Shaune Forster & lots of other Olympic Trials qualifiers - and some from Brazil who came up and were definite Olympic contenders as well. This one guy, Fernando something, did a :50+ on his 100 m free - he left everyone so far behind, you kinda wondered how they ended up in the same heat! And it was the FINALS heat. Wow. So inspiring!
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  18. Monday, July 11

    by , July 11th, 2011 at 04:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    600 various
    6 x 50 single arm fly/free/back
    8 x 25 shooters

    Speed Work:

    3 x (4 x burst 25) -- hand speed
    torque drill
    back spin drill
    breast pull w/buoy
    doggie paddle drill

    100 EZ

    10 x burst 25 w/fins -- leg speed
    -- 12 high cycle fast kicks + cruise
    odds = dolphin kick on back
    evens = dolphin kick on belly

    100 EZ

    8 x (25 AFAP w/fins + 75 EZ) @ 3:30-4:00
    6 free/2 breast

    5 x 50
    25 torque drill w/paddles + 25 easy back kick

    50 EZ

    Total: 2950

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Just worked on raw speed today. And despite the low yardage, I'm a bit tired! No rest for the weary though -- I'm about to go officiate a Monday night meet.

    I adore summer though. And I have much more free time than I used to with Mini driving now and being able to drop Lil Fort off at the pool solo now that she's 10. The other day she was there for 8 hours between a meet and playing with her friends.

    I've decided to sign up for the meet in the hairball pool -- 50 fly and 50 free. (No backstroke outdoors.) Jazz mentioned that a couple of the blocks looked completely broken. That should be interesting ...

    Attached are a few more pics from Villefranche.

    Updated July 11th, 2011 at 05:05 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
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  19. Monday, 7/11/11

    by , July 11th, 2011 at 11:43 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM

    Warm up (800)
    200 swim - free
    200 kick - in streamline on back
    200 drill/swim - back and free, drills were 1 arm and fist
    200 pull/scull by 50's

    Set #1 (600)
    12 x 50/1:00
    1 drill - 1 steady build - 1 blast 1st and last meters
    - 1-3, 7-9 were free, others were back

    Set#2 (600)
    6 x 100 #1 50 1 arm drill/50 back swim/2:10
    #2 backstroke/2:00
    #3 reverse IM/2:10
    - went 2:00 on the drill/swim, 1:40 on the backstroke, 1:50 on the rev IM

    Set#3 (800)
    800 swim with fins (goal -1:35 base)
    - all free, went 11:50 (ave. 1:29's)

    Warm down
    100 easy free & back

    Total: 2900 meters
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  20. Mon Jul 11th 2011 LCM

    by , July 11th, 2011 at 11:29 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Jul 11th 2011 LCM

    Fri lifted, did not swim
    Sat did not swim
    Sun did not swim or lift, found out my gym closed, now what?

    Zones is getting closer. 10 days away.
    leave for Houston next Thursday.
    meet starts Friday afternoon

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, main pool
    6:00 - 7:30 dove in 6:02
    wore FS PRO legs
    swam with Tyler, Todd, mike, chris & jason
    beside Larry & Jim


    WARM UP
    3 x 400

    Main SET: LCM

    20 x 50 fr
    done 4 on a fast interval, 1 easy kick
    pretty much did 200's straight ave 2:25
    on 2:00 strong best ave

    400 fr easy

    20 x 50 fr
    done 4 on a fast interval, 1 easy kick
    pretty much did 200's straight ave 2:25
    on 2:00 strong best ave

    400 fr take 50 breaths

    50 on 40 right into
    100 on 1:20 right into
    150 on 2:00 right into
    200 on 2:40
    made em

    100 easy


    Meets

    2011 South Central Zone LCM Championships INFO
    Fri Jul 22 - Sun 24, 2011 in
    Shenandoah (Houston), TX

    Updated July 11th, 2011 at 06:44 PM by ande

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    Uncategorized