View RSS Feed

All Blog Entries

  1. long course easy day ...why do i feel so slow?

    by , March 16th, 2012 at 08:56 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    No energy today. I would call this a pitiful attempt at swimming. I could still feel the knots in my shoulders and the cramping in my right quad. I know I need to work them out with the tennis ball.

    1000 free broken 1,2,34,1,2,3,1,2,1@:10R
    500 free kick w/zoomers
    3x200@5:00 fly w/zoomers as 25 rt arm/lt arm/kick/swim this was pitifuly slow
    4x50@:15R free w/snorkle as 15m kick/20m swim/15m kick this is where my quad started acting up

    Total 2300 meters

    Can't wait to get back to normal before the meet next weekend. I plan to swim through this one since it is too close to taper time. It is just for fun and I am only doing the 100 fr, 100 bk, 200 fr and 100fly.
  2. 2400 -16 Mar

    by , March 16th, 2012 at 08:54 AM (Nobody Special)
    200 warm up

    5x200 free (3:30 int)

    10x50 back-breast (1:05 int)

    4x50 fly-easy (1:10)

    500 warm down
    Swim Workouts
  3. Thursday, March 15, 2012 5:00am & 5:30pm (w/ 200 Fly Fast)

    by , March 15th, 2012 at 11:41 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    A.M. Workout

    This morning my body just didn't feel good at all. Shoulders were tight, couldn't really get moving. Threw in the towel and called this one a semi-recovery workout.

    200 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    200 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    400 Free Pull

    4 x 75 Back @ 1:15 - did 4-5 SDKs each length and went :55ish
    very tough for me!
    4 x 50 Streamline Kick on back @ 1:00

    4 x 75 (50 Breast, 25 Free) @ 1:15
    4 x 50 Breast Kick w/ board @ 1:10 I'm horrible at this

    200 EZ Free
    2200 Yards


    P.M. Workout
    Originally I wasn't even going to swim tonight, but had second thoughts at the last moment and packed my bag up and went! I'm glad I went now after how good I felt.

    My intention of tonight was to get in a solid 200 Fly for time tonight (don't know why either...just an idea that came to me).

    200 Free
    100 Kick w/ board
    200 Free Pull
    200 Fly Drill
    6 x 50 Kick w/ board @ 1:00
    • held :44-:46s on these
    • last one I was racing my lap swim buddy and pulled off a :40 Best by far!!
    I was feeling great at this point, so I figured it was now or never for the 200 Fly. I waited a couple minutes to prepare myself.

    1 x 200 Fly for time from a push (went 2:16) I was approx. 1:05 at the 100. Clock was kind of a blur on the turn.
    I felt pretty strong on the way home too.
    2 more weeks till I get to really race this one, and it'll be my second race of the day at LMSC champs.

    200 EZ swim

    4 x 100 Free @ 1:20 (held 1:06s)
    4 x 75 Free @ 1:00 (held :50-:51s)
    4 x 50 Free @ :40 (held :33-:34s)
    4 x 25 Free @ :20 (held :16-17s)

    100 EZ swim and out

    2500 Yards

    4700 Yards for the day
  4. Thursday, March 15

    by , March 15th, 2012 at 04:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    ART, 30 min:

    Doc says the shoulder area is not as inflamed. I guess some rest and body work agreed with it.


    600 various

    5 x 50 caterpillar fly @ :15 RI

    8 x 25 shooter w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ

    6 x 25 free no breath @ :40
    50 EZ

    4 x burst + cruise @ 1:00
    -- dolphin kick
    50 EZ

    4 x burst + cruise @ 1:00
    -- speed drills
    50 EZ

    3 x (25 build free + back turn + free breakout + east + 50 EZ)
    -- finally had a decent breakout on #3, but I generally seem to suck at these. it seems to work better if I wait until I'm virtually at the surface before flipping on my belly
    -- not sure if I'm ready to do attempt this in prime time ...

    100 EZ

    Total: 2200


    Felt pretty good in the water today after my second "drop taper" in 3 weeks. I'll just do an easy 1000 and a few bursts tomorrow, and be ready to go! 50 fly split request/100 back/50 free/200 mixed medley relay (fly leg). I wish that I had more than 3+ weeks to cram for Nats, but c'est la vie. I'm sure I'll be fine. I plan to start tapering on April 10, 3 days before Zones and 2+ weeks before Nats. Zones will be my last hard sprint "workout." I will keep my yardage about the same the following week, but reduce the HIT yards and increase the IG yards.

    The kids in my swim team carpool reprogramed Siri to call me "master." I am enjoying this.

    All the fast PV are folks are at the SCM meet this weekend, except Speedo and Jazzy. Here's the psych sheet and swim phone links:

    Hmm ... I seem to have double posted this blog entry.

    Updated March 15th, 2012 at 04:50 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  5. Thursday, March 15

    by , March 15th, 2012 at 04:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    ART, 30 min:

    Doc says the shoulder area is not as inflamed. I guess some rest and body work agreed with it.


    600 various

    5 x 50 caterpillar fly @ :15 RI

    8 x 25 shooter w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ

    6 x 25 free no breath @ :40
    50 EZ

    4 x burst + cruise @ 1:00
    -- dolphin kick
    50 EZ

    4 x burst + cruise @ 1:00
    -- speed drills
    50 EZ

    3 x (25 build free + back turn + free breakout + east + 50 EZ)
    -- finally had a decent breakout on #3, but I generally seem to suck at these. it seems to work better if I wait until I'm virtually at the surface before flipping on my belly
    -- not sure if I'm ready to do attempt this in prime time ...

    100 EZ

    Total: 2200


    I took yesterday off from the pool. But diligently did my rehab exercises and stretched. Does anyone know whether there is an ideal # x per week you're supposed to rehab stuff?

    Felt pretty good in the water today after my second "drop taper" in 3 weeks. I'll just do an easy 1000 and a few bursts tomorrow, and be ready to go! 50 fly split request/100 back/50 free/200 mixed medley relay (fly leg). I wish that I had more than 3+ weeks to cram for Nats, but c'est la vie. I'm sure I'll be fine. I plan to start tapering on April 10, 3 days before Zones and 2+ weeks before Nats. Zones will be my last hard sprint "workout." I will keep my yardage about the same the following week, but reduce the HIT yards and increase the IG yards.

    The kids in my swim team carpool reprogramed Siri to call me "master." I am enjoying this.

    All the fast PV are folks are at the SCM meet this weekend, except Speedo and Jazzy. Here's the psych sheet and swim phone links:

    Updated March 15th, 2012 at 04:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  6. 3200 - 15 Mar

    by , March 15th, 2012 at 11:04 AM (Nobody Special)
    * I can't remember exactly what I did on Tuesday - it was the coach's workout. Here is today's work out:

    100 warm up

    300 free (breath ev 4th)
    300 free (breath ev 3rd)
    300 free (breath right side odd laps left side even laps)

    2x (200kick/200pull)

    3x50 free (30 sec rest)
    3x50 free (25 sec rest)
    3x50 free (20 sec rest)
    3x50 free (15 sec rest)
    3x50 free (10 sec rest)
    3x50 free (5 sec rest)

    500 warm down

    Updated March 16th, 2012 at 08:51 AM by Darth Daver

  7. 03.15.12 - Thursday workout

    by , March 15th, 2012 at 09:34 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave. Roger was supposed to show but didn't make it . We did a few small things until we were conviced he wouldn't show. Then we did about half a normal workout. Lots of fly today. Pool temp 86+.


    500 Warm up

    6 x 50 - :45
    100 Easy

    200 IM
    100 Easy

    25 Kick/75 Pull (:30/1:10)
    125 - 1:50 (25 bk/100 Free)
    100 Easy Fly - 2:00
    25 Kick/75 Pull (:30/1:10)
    125 - 1:45 (25 bk/100 Free)
    200 Easy Fly - 4:00
    25 Kick/75 Pull (:30/1:10)
    125 - 1:40 (25 bk/100 Free)
    250 Easy Fly - 5:00
    25 Kick/75 Potty break (:30/1:10)
    125 - 1:35 (25 bk/100 Free)
    350 Easy Fly - 7:00
    25 Kick/75 Pull (:30/1:10)
    125 Free - 1:30
    500 Easy Fly - 9:00
    Kept the fly on about a 1:35 pace. Felt good... might have been able to go a bit faster.

    200 Cool down

    (3850 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  8. 3/14/12 50's With the Team

    10 min choice

    4 x 150 w/10
    --100 dolphin kick/ 50 swim

    16 x 25 @ 30
    1-4 descend stroke count
    5-8 12.5 sprint/ 12.5 ez
    went bk first 8, br. second 8

    12 x 50 @ 45 (1 ez, 1 sprint)
    300 turn at the "T"
    Rest about 45-60
    12 x 50 @ 50 (1 ez, 2 sprint)
    300 (50 fr/ 50 bk)
    Rest 45-60
    12 x 50 @ 55 (1 ez, 3 sprint)

    200 w/d


    We did this as a group and there were three lanes going on the same send off. It was fun to race everyone on the sprints. Pride is always a big incentive. I definitely held my own and it was a good confidence builder that I can swim fast even towards the end of practice.
  9. recovery again today

    by , March 15th, 2012 at 08:12 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I can still feel some aches to get worked out but this recovery swimming is easy.

    500 free
    500 free kick w/zoomers alt high/medium/deep kick
    8x25@:45 SDK w/zoomers seemed to naturally float to the surface at the 15 meter mark no matter how hard I tried
    100 EZ
    5x100@2:00 fly w/zoomers as 25 rt arm/25 lt arm/25 kick/25 swim felt good and loose on this
    8x25@1:00 free kick w/snorkle good body position and tight streamlines

    Total 2000 easy yards
  10. March 14, 2012

    Warm-up (1200)
    2 x 200 @ 3:15, 3:05
    4 x 100 @ 1:50, 1:45, 1:40, 1:30
    8 x 50 2 each @ 1:00, :55, :50, :45

    Set I (1200 / 2400)
    4 x 25 @ :35 finger tip drag drill
    4 x 75 @ 1:20 descend (went :56 - :52)

    4 x 25 @ : 35 single arm drill
    4 x 75 @ 1:10 descend (went :55 - :51)

    4 x 25 @ : 35 catch up drill
    4 x 75 @ 1:00 (went :56 - :53)

    Set II (900 / 3300)
    3 x 300 @ :30 sec rest
    3 x (25 back + 75 free), concentrate on core
    4 x (25 back + 50 free), concentrate on catch
    6 x (25 back + 25 free), concentrate on kick

    Wrap-up (500 / 3800)
    10 x 50 free drills

    * 3800 *


    Felt decent today - much better than on Monday anyway.

    Ahelee Sue Osborne swam with us this morning. She overheard me complaining that I must be doing something wrong with my left arm must during the one-arm drills, and offered to take a look at my stroke after the workout. She pointed several issues: my left hand crosses over my midline; mid way through the pull I bend my wrist quite a bit; my hands and wrists are extremely tense; and I don't exhale until immediately before I breath. She wondered if my frequent leg cramps might be caused by my rigid arms/hands and always holding my breath. I sometimes breath every 3, sometimes every 4, and sometimes every 5 strokes, so it does make sense that holding my breath might make me tense up... It will be nice to have some concrete issues to think about and work on.

    I signed up for the Rinconada Masters Spring Short Course Meet this weekend, my first ever Master's meet! I signed up for the 50 free, 200 free, and 100 breast. I am definitely not a sprinter, but they have a "Novice 50 free" [1] so I figured I might as well give it a shot.

    [1] "for those with no prior competitive masters experience"
    Swim Workouts
  11. GTD update; 3500 more...

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 11:56 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    Today I took a peek at GTD rankings and found myself back in the top 20 (number 19) for my age group. This in spite of all the days I've missed in the last couple of weeks. Cool.

    Today's two-miler, which put me over 110 miles on the year, included an 1100-yard warm-up working mostly on kick; after that and a minute-long break I swam the rest continuously.

    Warm-up (1100):
    100 EZ Free
    100 Free w/ fins
    400 Kick set w/ fins; 4 x 100 (alt. 50 board w/ 50 kick 12, Kick 6, Kick 6+3, back kick)
    100 Free w/ fins
    100 Free
    200 Pull
    100 Breast

    Main (2200):
    1000 Free (10 x 50 fast/50 EZ)
    100 Breast
    1000 Free (5 x 100 EZ/100 fast)
    100 Breast

    Cool-down (200):
    100 Kick series (25 ea.= side-kick 12, 6, 6+3, back)
    100 EZ Free

    Warm weather in March is extremely encouraging--our thermometer reads 69 at 9:53PM! We usually don't get weather like this until April, sometimes May.
  12. Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:15am & 5:00pm

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 11:21 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    This morning I got in a bit late...lots of standing around looking at the water today.

    5 x 100 Free @ 1:30
    1st length one SDK, 2nd length 2 SDKs, 3rd - 3 SDKs, 4th 4 SDKs.
    This was harder for me than it looks. Since I do approximately zero SDKs on a regular basis, the 4 SDKs were a killer!

    Main Set:
    1000 Free Pull for time, check the 500 split, and beat it on the 2nd half.
    • 500 Split (eyeballing the clock and adding a couple seconds from last stroke into turn) was a 5:40
    • Finished @ 11:17, so in terms of simple math...uh...5:37 or so on the second half.
    • My triceps were killing me on the 2nd half of this one, but it felt great!
    10 x 50 Kick w/ board @ 1:00 (:55s)

    20 x 25 Free @ :30 going EZ/Hard by 25s

    2500 Yards

    It was good to do that long swim today, even if it was cheating with the buoy and paddles. I don't do enough swims like this, and don't really want to do that many more either! This means I'm not a distance guy!


    P.M. Workout:

    5 x 100 Free @ 1:30

    Main Set:
    5 x 100 IM (no free) @ 1:40 Fly, Back, Back, Breast (went 1:15-1:18s)
    6 x 75 Free @ 1:00 (went :50-:51s)

    2 x 25 Free Pull @ :25
    1 x 50 Free Pull @ :45
    1 x 100 Free Pull @ 1:15 (went 1:07)
    1 x 150 Free Pull @ 1:55
    1 x 200 Free Pull @ 2:30 (went 2:20)

    10 x 50 Kick w/ board @ 1:00 (:53ish)

    Repeat 5 times, but stay on interval:
    1 x 50 @ :40
    2 x 25 @ :40
    All Fast
    • Rounds 1 & 2 were Fly (went :32 @ 50)
    • Round 3 was Back (went :36 @ 50)
    • Round 4 was Breast (went :38/:39 @ 50) pretty much had time to look up at clock, take a breath and go!
    • Round 5 was Free (went :29 @ 50)

    200 EZ and out

    3200 Yards

    5700 Yards for the day

    This evening's swim at the Y was much better than my previous one this week.
  13. Diving looks fun

    I got in a short but good swim at the Y today. I had been out of the water for several days with a sinus infection. With the help of some antibiotics, it’s gotten better enough that wearing goggles no longer seems like torture, so I decided that today would be a good time to work on figuring out why I bounce a bit when breathing on freestyle, and to what extent I can eliminate it. I did:

    600 scy warmup (400s, 200k)
    1200, done as 25s and 50s of various drills and breathing patterns
    200 easy warmdown

    I paid attention to the angle of my hands when breathing and not breathing, compared how much of my goggle was out of the water when breathing to each side, and experimented with the timing of the breath. Maybe the most useful thing I found to do was swimming while breathing every stroke, staying as smooth as possible, then trying to not change that technique when switching to 2- or 3- stroke breathing.

    Afterwards I went upstairs for weights. Lifting with a friend makes it a lot more fun—I remember aztimm mentioning a while back that he met up with a buddy to lift weights, and I’m glad that I have someone now too. Here’s what I did:

    2 sets of 10 reps military press w/ 10-lb dumbbells
    2 x 10 flies w/10
    2 x 10 curls w/10
    2 x 10 one-armed row: 1 w/10, 1w /12.5
    2 x 10 deltoid raises in 3 directions w/5
    2 x 10 lat pulldowns on machine (don’t remember weight)
    1 x 20 shoulder-blade pinches on lat machine
    2 x 10 benchpress w/45
    1 x 20 little upwards movements w/ benchpress bar

    This marks the end of my second week of doing weights, so I’m still doing pretty light stuff—none of this was to failure. Today we added in leg work too—all on machines: extensions, hamstring curls, adductors, abductors, leg press, 2 x 12 reps of all. (I’m not very good at remembering the alleged poundage on the machines.) Then we even did some ab work, which I definitely need to do more of.

    Over the weekend—before I came down sick—I attended the Aquapalooza meet put on by my team. It was my first sprint workout of the year, and my results weren’t very pretty, but I wasn’t expecting them to be. Mostly it was a chance to get together with teammates and have fun, and that I definitely did. We had 90 people from the team attending—there were lots of relays to swim, cheers to learn, tattoos to wear, and teammates to visit with. People are really getting excited about the upcoming meet in Iceland, and I think we’ll have some good numbers there. It’s fun to be part of a big team that is really intent about showing up and performing well at a focus meet, especially one in a semi-exotic locale.

    But the very coolest thing about Aquapalooza was the diving competition that followed the swimming. TNYA added a diving team about a year ago, and some of my swimming lanemates who first took up the sport then have learned enough to be able to compete. (That requires being able to do 6 different dives credibly). There are also some folks who dove in college who are just amazing to watch. I sat there mesmerized through the whole thing, and all I could think was “I have to do that!!!” I’ve never done any diving, but watching some of the relative newbies up on the boards inspired me. So I’m toying with the idea of doing the diving bootcamp that the team puts on in the fall and learning a little more about what that sport is all about.
  14. Buck up, Albatrossian! Buck up!

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 05:33 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    It is going to be a bit difficult to write today's vlog, given my recent posting in the No Whining Pledge thread of the discussion forums.

    For those of you who missed it, here is what I wrote:

    When I swam with Pitt masters at the U Pittsburgh pool, there was a morning group (up at 5 a.m.) and an evening group (practice starts at 5:30 p.m.)

    As an unconscious whiner who emitted little whimpers involuntarily, the way a person with halitosis exhales puffs of putrescent breath that he has gotten so used to that its smell seems like normal air, I was informed one day by Pitt's excellent masters coach Jen that I didn't need to be this way.

    There was, Jen told me, a legendary non-whiner who swam in the 5 a.m. practices, a fellow named Rich Durstein who never complained about anything. The man could have a spike through his head and he would not have mentioned it, nor the impact said spike would have on his ability to hold a tight interval.

    Perhaps, Jen suggested, I could try to be a
    little bit more like Rich Durstein.

    I am nothing if not suggestible!

    And from that day on, I determined to Durstein my way through the vicissitudes of life, shouldering no shortage of woe and handicap without so much as a micro twitch of my mouth corners!

    This was approximately five years ago.

    I have yet to meet Rich Durstein; indeed, I have come to wonder if he even exists.

    They say that if God did not exist, then Man would have had to invent him.

    Perhaps it is like this with Rich Durstein.

    I don't know.

    But I do know this: after five years of Dursteining my own way through life's teary veil, the thought of
    ever uttering a whine or complaint has become inconceivable to me. I am, in my own way, a model of Dursteining swimming.

    Take your pledge? No need, my good man!

    This would indicate I am capable of backsliding, of paying attention to my corporal state, my fevers and colics and headaches and cramps, and commenting about same either through soliloquy or groan!

    But I am incapable of doing either!

    Sometimes I believe that when Man felt the need to invent Rich Durstein, Man inadvertently invented me!

    If you would like help following my path, I will do my best to help. My disciple Leslie is making progress. I shall not comment on the nature of this progress. It is not the Durstein way.

    --from [ame=""]No Whining Pledge - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    Part 1. Dispassionately Related Symptomatology*

    *no judgment whatsoever of the sort that might be perceived as "complaining" or "excuse making" or the like is intended; indeed, any such judgment, if espied, is purely coincidental and/or a projection of the reader's own psychodynamic propensity for whining, kevetching, and so forth, certainly not anything that could legitimately be pinned to Mr. Thornton.
    I remain committed to Dursteining, as I have been doing for countless uninterrupted years now, but I do need to cite several medical facts of particular relevance to this week's upcoming Albatross meet. Let me sum up these facts in a plain, unadorned way, using the unemotional language of a long-time coroner who regards each new corpse with the same degree of ennui as its predecessors.

    Thornton, James, male, aged 59, considered 60 by FINA. A generally unremarkable specimen in recent months, Mr. Thornton presents with the following symptoms:

    • Sniffles and a certain gravel in the voice that caused his wife to inquire, "Have you been crying?"
    • Body aches and the episodic appearance of goose bumps, particularly when exposed to a draft.
    • Neuralgia.
    • Inability to walk up a short flight of stairs without a sensation of exhaustion in lower extremities.
    • A sense that his 2-a-day regimen of meals containing at least 8 oz. (and frequently much, much more) or red meat, much of it containing nitrates, may be fueling DNA damage throughout his frail elderliness
    • Unable to complete "child's play" like swimming practices without what he describes as "hog whimpering effort"
    • The following results from his CPAP device (see caption for explanations)

    Thanks to regular use of his CPAP machine, Thornton's AHI, or Apnea Hypopnea Index, is 7.3--most of which is accounted for by hypopneas (delayed breathing: 6.8 per hour, on average) with only a relatively small number due to full-blown apneic strangulation (cessation of breathing altogether: .5 per hour).

    Graphs of Mr. Thornton's generally unremarkable (to knowledgable doctors) CPAP results. It does seem, however, to this layman that Mr. Thornton leaks an awful lot.

    Part 2: Historical Context

    On March 15, 2011, exactly 365 or 366 days ago from today, March 14th, 2012 (Leap Year throws off my ability to calculate), I posted the following Vlog entitled simply, "Albatross" Naturally, the ideal thing would be for my readers to go back in time and reread this entry in its entirety. But I know how short-spanned the modern attentional ability is, so I shall simply excerpt a few of the choicer passages that strangely echo with today's situation:

    It almost failed to occur, this bid of mine to come back from retinal detachment, financial depression, and a recent severe case of incapacitating sniffles.

    Last Thursday, I awoke at 3 a.m., my nostrils spilling twin cataracts of Niagara-like mucous falls.

    Last Friday, I spent the entire day daubing my nasal passages with deeply absorbent tissues, and still these were not enough to stem the flow!

    Why can they not make nostril tampons for men who get colds this severe? Why is this natural market niche not being exploited? Best healthcare system in the world? Sadly laughable joke for those of us who cannot find a simple nostril tampon or maxi pad when we so desperately need them.

    On Saturday, I had not the energy to leave the couch for more than an occasional cheesecake refrigerator run.

    On Sunday, I forced myself to go to the Y where I swam an open turn 1650 in about 33 minutes--and almost could not finish, so deeply lethargic and hypoglycemic and dizzy I was in my cold!

    The entry ends on a high note, with me managing to draft my way to completion of a grueling set of 10 x 100 on 1:25 warm up; 20 x 100 on 1:20; 8 x 100 on 1:15; 4 x 50 on :40.

    It is somewhat analogous to this Monday's practice of 8 x 100 on 1:25, 300 kick, 5 x 200 on 2:40, 3 x 200 on 2:30, 3 x 200 on 2:40, 6 x 50 on :50, which I also made--mostly by the grace of god and drafting.

    Two days later, on March 17th, 2011, I posted again, showing how merely finishing practice had been flukish indeed. Again, best to reread the entire entry-- "An Albatross Around One's Neck" -- but for those of you who are pressed for time, here's the breast meat:

    After Monday's miracle practice, in which I rose Lazarus-like from the sick couch to complete, albeit with drafting assistance, a grueling workout for an aging fellow, my own pipe dreams and capacity for suspension of disbelief in myself convinced me to enter the Albatross meet.

    Alas, at last night's practice, the familiar malaise and effeteness thrust themselves upon me with renewed vengeance. Weak? Check! Shaky? Check! Hypoglycemic? Check! In no condition whatsoever to swim in a swimming meet, even one that did not first involve driving for a minimum of 5 hours? Check!

    Still, a tiny voice inside me has always urged: Forward Ho, Jim!--its sound, if anything, growing louder in proportion to the hopelessness of my mission!

    And thus, sickness be damned, I will soldier on to Bethesda and do my best to set the new 200 SCM freestyle Albatross
    meet record in the 55-59 age group. If I can accomplish this--impossible, I know, but if...--then I shall be forever known not just as a multiple Zonesman but as an Albatrossian, too!

    And it will be the Albatross who must wear me round its pallid neck, not vice versa!

    Heroically, and against all rational odds, Mr. Thornton did triumph last year, establishing a new All Time record at the Albatross meet (albeit one likely to fall this year to the ever estimable Bradford Gandee, 58-year-old youngster) in the 200 scm freestyle of 2:13:04. (Splits 30.66; 33.17; 35.04; 34.17.)

    In the process, he established himself as an Albatrossian for the first time. The question is: Will it be his last?

    Part 3: Analysis

    Does last year's eerily similar, if less severe, outbreak of pre-Albatross meet physical, mental, and spiritual contagion/weakness hold any prophetic powers for this year's bid for Albatrossian Status Redux?

    The financial community would have us believe that "past performance is no guarantee whatsoever we won't lose all your money this time"--and it is not a bad motto by which to live a good American life, I must say.

    However, let me quickly ruminate on a couple codicils to this fall-back position.

    • I do feel sicklier this year than last year, though I am not sure if you could put FINA 59-year-old Jim beside FINA 60-year-old Jim that the former could completely convince the latter of this assertion.
    • I am swimming in a presumably easier age group this year, and the aforementioned Bradford Gandee is no longer a threat (though he might well steal my record.) Paul Trevisan, human beast of sprinting magnificence, will kill me in the 50 and 100 this year just as he did last year. The difference: Paul and I are now in the same age group (he was 60 or 61 last year.) There will absolutely be no Albatrossian status possible for me in the 50 and 100; fortunately, Paul is not swimming the 200 or 400, the records for which are currently:

    • Men 60-64 200 Free 2:29.31 3/21/2009 David Harmon - ANCM-PV (Doable, I hope)
    • Men 60-64 400 Free 5:00.89 3/25/2000 Edward C Morgan - 1776-DV (Iffy)
    • I have also learned a bit this season about how to split such races better, and unless my symptoms disappear significantly by Saturday, I suspect the pressure to not go out too fast will be even greater. Two examples:
      • 200. At last year's 200 SCM, I went out in 1:03.87 and came back in 1:09.21, a differential of 5.33 seconds. In yards this year, I have had better luck with more even splitting. For example, I swam a 2:00.07 in the 200 SCY free, going out in a mid 1:58 and coming back in a mid 2:01, a differential of around 3 seconds.
      • 400/500. I didn't swim the 400 at Albatross last year, but I had my best midseason 500 in years by slightly negative splitting it 10 days ago: AGE GROUP: 55-591 JIM THORNTON 59 M SEWY 5:28.81

        • 30.82

        • 33.36
        • 33.53
        • 33.63
        • 33.39
        • 33.58
        • 33.07
        • 32.88
        • 33.41
        • 31.14

    It was after this meet at Duquesne in Pittsburgh, which was supposed to be recognized for USMS, but won't be, that the symptoms afflicting Mr. Thornton appeared to gain the upperhand. He won't complain about these, of course. But here are the words that clinicians often hear from men and women with such symptoms who are not of such a stoical mindset as Mr. Thornton:

    Ah, the body aches intensify! The gas leakage, too, even though the CPAP is not turned on.

    Indeed, the most you can coax from the likes of Jim Thornton about his upcoming trip to the Albatross meet is this:

    I shall soldier onwards the best I can--Albatrossian Redux or not, I shall embrace my fate smiling (or whatever twitching of the mouth corners I have the energy to sustain)!

    Vomitari, te salutamus!

    This, in the end, has always been an Albatrossian's proudest oath.

    And on such a note, let this vlog simply add by way of encouragement--

    Buck up, Albatrossian! Buck the **** up!

    You have been in this realm before, and by Odin's beard, ye shall be in this realm again!

    Odin, the King of Norse Gods, advises his son Thor (Old Norski for Thornton) to buck the **** up and ready his loins for Ragnarok. Thor replies in the strong but curiously low voice of men like him everywhere: Jeg vil buck den **** opp, far! Og kjempe sammen med gudene i den siste kampen som allerede er forutbestemte vi skal miste. For hva mer kan en rettferdig spør enn å dø seierrik frem?*

    *Translation: I will buck the **** up, Father! And fight alongside the Gods in the final battle that has already been preordained we shall lose. For what more can a Righteous Man ask than to die nobly?

  15. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -03/15/12

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 02:20 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    1 X 150 2:30 2:15
    1 X 200 3:20 3:00

    1 X 200 kick 4:15
    1 X 100 swim 2:00
    4 X 50 kick 1:00
    1 X 100 swim 2:00
    8 X 25-half blast kick/half swim- :45
    1 X 100 swim -

    1 X 50 -25 fast/25 easy 1:00
    1 X 75 fast 1:20
    1 X 25 easy 1:00
    Four rounds, all choice.

    1 X 75 easy
    1 X 100 blocks @ 100%
    1 X 75 easy

    4 X 200 free 3:30 "Quarters"
    #1 50 fast/150 easy
    #2 100 fast/100 easy
    #3 150 fast/50 easy
    #4 200 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  16. Wednesday 3/14/12

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 01:30 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    So this was my last real workout before Harvard...I may do and easy broken 1000 tomorrow to keep ticking over.

    I slightly modified #5 of Fort's today:

    Warm up:

    400 FR
    4 x 150 Stick, Fulcrum, Swim EZ

    Speed Sets:

    8 x 25 burst + cruise @ 1:00
    100 EZ
    I alternated FR and BR

    16 x 25 @ :45
    odds = up tempo free
    evens = EZ
    100 EZ

    On this I did the Odds as 2 FR, 2 BR, 2 FR, 2 FL
    . I felt my Fly rhythm was good, I'm forcing my hips up more when I do Fly, which even though it feels like I am over doing it...I am probably hitting the right spot...Fly just isn't a natural action for me (possibly due to old back issues and what not).
  17. Wednesday, 3/14/12

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 12:52 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    Warm up (800)
    300 choice
    - as 75 free/75 back/50 free/50 back/25 free/25 back
    4 x 75/1:30 w/fins (25 shooter / 50 swim build)
    - 1-2 free around 53; 3-4 back, around 57
    8 x 25 IM/40 STRONG

    Sprint Set: ALL SWIM AFAP except EZ swims (850)
    4 x 12.5/50 - all free
    50 EZ
    4 x 15/50 - all as 15 fly burst then ez free to wall
    50 EZ
    4 x 25/50 - all back, was under 18 on these
    50 EZ
    2 x 37.5/1:30 then ez 12.5 - free, around 22
    50 EZ
    2 x 50/2:00 - back, under 35 on both
    200 EZ

    Kick Set (500)
    2 x 250/ with fins moderate effort
    - did these as 250 flutter w/board and snorkel (3:40) then 250 flutter on back with 6-8 SDK off each wall (3:35)

    IM Set (800)
    200 Back/30sr - went 3:05±

    4 x 100 IM/30 sr ez, - around 1:40 on these

    Total: 2750 yards
  18. 03.14.12 - Wednesday workout: another pb in practice

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 09:43 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave. Pool temp 86 w/ hot water being dumped into the pool.


    400 Warmup

    4 x 100 IM - 1:40
    400 Free - 6:00 (5:03)
    2 x 100 IM - 3:10 (2:45-2:47)
    400 Free - 5:45 (4:55)
    100 Easy

    400 Free - 5:30 (5:00)
    400 IM - 6:30 (5:43)
    400 Free - 5:15 (4:57)
    100 Easy

    400 IM Timed (5:23 PB! )
    I wasn't really setting out to make a personal best and the pool conditions weren't right for it anyway. But I stayed with Dave through the 100 fly. That's kind of risky because I usually burn out when I stay on his feet. The last couple strokes of fly were tough but I was close enough to gut it out. Surprisingly I didn't suffer too bad on the back stroke and was ready to go for breaststroke. Figured with the pool temp and end of practice, I'd be around 5:30 to 5:35. 5:23 was a big shock!

    200 Cool down

    (4000 Total)
    Tags: 400, i m, timed
    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 03/14/12:

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 08:43 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    800: Abbreviated meet warmup

    2 x 25 AFAP on :60
    2 x 50 AFAP on 2:00

    200 loosen and out
    (solo/Rec/1150 yds/30 min)

    Save the long warmup, I tried to channel my inner sprinter this morning. Did one each free and back. Went 26.67 on free, 30.42 on back. Both felt strong, but I am still thinking to much about the back. Maybe I'll lose my mind by Friday.

    Updated March 30th, 2012 at 11:28 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  20. VK is tough

    by , March 14th, 2012 at 08:20 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Today the VK set felt tougher than usual. My legs just had no power.

    400 free
    8x50 odds swim@1:00 evens kick @1:15
    6x50@1:30 torque drill w/snorkle odds free evens fly
    8xVK :10 hard :30 EZ :35 rest
    100 EZ
    10x25@:45 evens tempo odds EZ
    100 EZ
    8x25@:45 burst + cruise
    100 EZ

    Total 1850 yards

    Now I have to run to a meeting at work.

    Updated March 14th, 2012 at 09:34 PM by Donna