...runs through my physical therapist's office.
Well things are not 100% but I feel like I turned a healing corner today...which probably means I'll feel like crap when I wake up!
Still don't feel like I have my core power back yet, but I got 3000 in today
10 x 100 1:40 held 1:35's . Tried to keep good form and breathe easily without holding breath. I think my spasm and discomfort has messed up my relaxed feeling in the water. I don't feel I am swimming as well mechanically as I was 3 weeks ago, and it sucks.
500 K with fins and board.
10 x 50 :45 last 4 were touch and goes.
3 x 100 Snorkel
4 x 50 Paddles
Earlier in the day, I did 4 miles of running. Did a 1/2 mile warm-up and then did a 2 mile tempo run in 15:37 on the road. Followed tempo run with a 1.5 mile easy run as my cool-down.
Really pleased I ran 2 miles in 15:37 as my goal was to just break 16 minutes. The course was an out-and-back with a slight incline going out. Went out in a 7:56 and came back in a 7:41.
Late this afternoon did a 2,200 yard swim. Gave my legs a break after the run today and made use of lots of my equipment. As I was swimming, I started to understand why triathletes love swim equipment. It sure does give the legs a break.
400 warm-up: reverse 400 I.M. - one-arm on fly
6 x 100 freestyle pull (with buoy only) on 20 seconds rest
6 x 25 fly pull (with buoy only) on :45
2 x 25 press-the-chest drill on 15 seconds rest
4 x 25 fly - perfect stroke on :45
6 x 50 back with fins and paddles on 1:00
2 x 50 breast pull with fins on 1:00
2 x 50 breast kick with pull buoy on 15 sec. rest
4 x 25 breast - perfect stroke on :45
3 x 50 - fly-back, back-breast, breast-free on 1:00
I'm much happier with my running now and particularly happy that in the last month I have dropped 5 pounds.
Updated March 23rd, 2009 at 10:45 PM by elise526
5x100 IM@2:15 Drill for FL
6x50 Kick BR/FR@1:15
4x25 FR Fast/Easy@:40
4x25 BK/FR Easy@:45
Actually felt like I was sort of swimming today!!!
5 mile trail run
Starting up after 9 days off. Went 10 pounds lighter in a few exercises
bench press, 80 x 2 x 12
tricep press, 45 x 2 x 15
standing lat pulldown/press, 110 x 2 x 15
seated narrow grip row, 100 x 2 x 12
goblet squat, 25 x 2 x 15
chin ups, 2 x 10 (10 neutral grip, 10 regular grip) -- Is there supposed to be a difference in difficulty depending on the grip for these?
russian twist w/med ball, 2 x 50
incline bench crunches, 2 x 25
dead bug on bosu, 2 x 25
V Ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
crunch on bench w/10 lb weight held by feet, 2 x 15
long arm crunches, 2 x 25
prone scapular scrunch, 1 x 25
external rotators, 10 x 1 x 15, each arm
seated straight arm dip, 60 x 2 x 25
5 minutes of stretching (I realize I am terrible about doing this if I'm not at the gym ...)
PM Swim in SCM Gym Pool:
Recovery swim. I'm still tired from the meet, hectic weekend, getting up early, etc.
700 variety swim, kick, drill
20 x 25 shooters on back w/MF & nose clip
1 x 200 back @ 3:15
2 x 100 back @ 1:45
4 x 50 back @ :50
6 x 50 dolphin kick w/board & MF @ :50
8 x (25 easy speed fly + easy)
Total: 2750 meters
Post Meet Thoughts:
1. I have to make more of an effort to push more deeply off the turns when swimming backstroke in practice. I'm pushing off "flat." I believe I could have SDK'd further in the 100 backstroke last weekend, even without a nose clip, if I had. The B70 seems to make me pop up faster. Need to work on the "suit surge."
2. I was mulling over using the Jimby strategy for the 100 back. It occurred to me that if one is going to use a strategy of markedly changing pace in a race it would beneficial to do speed play and speed variables in practice. I do this sometimes, but think I need to do even more. I did a 6 x 100 backstoke this way last week (Quick also does this set); the speed play is harder than you would think.
3. The last couple meets I've warmed up differently because I've been swimming the first event each day and had to get out early and/or start warming up early. I basically did some 25 build kicks and sprints, but did no all out sprints off the blocks. This warm up seemed to work just as well or better than previous ones. Maybe not as tiring?
Sprinter Periodization Cycles:
Q and I briefly chatted yesterday about periodization cycles for sprinters. I was wondering what would happen to times if a 1 or 2 month cycle were used. For example, on a 1 month cycle, you would train like crazy for 2 weeks, maintain for one, rest for one. We both thought strength gains might diminish. Although Jazz's non-linear weight training suggests perhaps not ...
I may do this for the next 5 weeks. I have Zones in a bit less than 4 weeks and a SCM meet where I'd like to swim some fast 50s in 5 weeks (May 3). So I may train like crazy for 3 weeks, time permitting (I have a vacation in AZ in there), maintain/rest some for one, and then taper for one. Any thoughts?
The other "non-periodized" option would be to do what Ande does -- "maintain speed and strength" and not get broken down. Is this
preferable to re-starting a training cycle? Or is the re-start more like a re-taper? Seems like many swimmers are successful with a double taper 6 weeks apart.
A friend recommended I had the burpee exercise to the dryland regimen. It's a whole body type exercise. You essentially jump back into a plank, do a push up, then jump back to standing.
I did get to see Jack Conger break Matt Grevers' 200 back national record in the 13-14 age group. What a swim! 1:46.8. The kid didn't even have his hands in a perfect streamline off his turns ...
Updated March 23rd, 2009 at 06:32 PM by The Fortress
Good workout today with some starts and fast 25's
(did this 1/2 free and1/2 back)
200 kick no board choice
(on my back alt. flutter/dolpin by 25's)
300 pull alt. 75 free/75 back
swim 8x50 on 1:00 build: #3 and 6 no free
(did back on #3 and fly on #6 around :40 on both, around :36 on the free)
swim 6x around:
50 swim free smooth
25 fast off blocks (mix these up)
rest 10 sec.
25 (same stroke as the one off the blocks) with fast breakout, swim easy to wall
(other than the 10 sec between 25's, wasn't sure about how much rest to take on these. started out with a 2:30 for each round and about halfway went to 3:00
did 2x (fly-back-free). didn't get times but they were around 15-16 for all the fast 25's)
100 easy choice
pull 6x100 free on 1:40 breathe 3/5 by 25
went 1:20-22 on these
swim 200 easy
(did all backstroke)
Total: 2800 yards
Mon Mar 23rd, 2009
Getting better but still coughing
throat no longer hurts
Saturday: did not swim
Sunday: Swam with SMU 9:00 at Dallas,
went around 1,200
2009 South Central Zone USMS Championships
Friday March 27 - Sun March 29, 2009
4 days away
USMS MASTERS NATIONALS
May 8 - 10
46 days away
TODAYS SWIM PRACTICE
6:30 - 8:00
scy TSC diving well
swam with max & mike
dove in at 7:40
200 warm up
5 x 50 fr on 1:10
took 6 or more SDKs off each wall
went 31 or faster
8 x 50
FS PRO JAMMERS
Updated March 25th, 2009 at 11:10 AM by ande
I had big plans/hopes for my meet on Saturday. I have been getting in the pool more regularly and my free and fly have been feeling pretty good. I've had some fast times in practice and feel like I am almost where I want to be. I was almost done warming up and decided to do a little breaststroke drill seeing as my first event was the 100 IM.
I was about 20 yards down the pool when I felt pain in my right leg - then it got worse I barely was able to drag my sorry booty out of the pool - I pulled my medial hamstring according to my "personal physical thearapist" as I like to refer to her.
GR!!! I still swam the 50/100 free and 50 fly none were worth writing home about. I am trying to take solace in the fact that my free felt like crap last year until I tapered then I dropped a lot of time ... we'll see. I think it's time to let this season go and think about long course.
Oh well ... not sure I'll swim tonight since I have an appointment at 6 a half hour away from the pool ... we'll see. I'm also not sure how my leg will feel after a day of being on my feet.
End rant ...
Today I worked on my dive. Trying something new. I had learned the flat dive as a kid and have been getting red thighs and goggles coming off. So Bernie and the coach showed me the track start then dive through the peach basket. Head needs to be way down with left foot forward. It is hard to trust new things, but man it felt like hitting the sweet spot when I met the water. A nice glide without much effort under water. Seem impossible that this could be faster, but once I hit the water there was a natural force pulling me forward. Kinda like the twilight zone dodo dodo.....
4 minutes each
and then my shoulder said "stop"
With Flippers I did
50's swim, kick, free
75 free did some 1:02's 10sec rest
50 swim rest 10 sec
45 rest in bween sets
Divin' for peaches!!!
abs leg lifts and curls 50lbs 5 x 10 reps
I've been working at GE Global Research for the last 7 days and have three more days until I hit the road for home and warmer weather. And the Dona Ana County Senior Olympic swimming games.
I was searching the internet for pools and if you are on the road, I highly recommend www.swimmersguide.com. It's a great resource for swimming road warriors (not that I am in the road warrior category).
I was thinking of swimming at Union College and it was the first stop after landing at Albany International Airport. The campus is very scenic and the pool looks fab. They had some D3 qualifiers and I think they scored! Unfortunately, spring break was starting and the pool was on limited hours. It has been cold and snowy in the area and just as a rough measure of how the students were starved for sun, a glance at the athletic field revealed students in shorts and t-shirts playing softball and jogging on an artificial turf - surrounded by huge piles of old snow. They were have a good time and it was a warm (45), sunny, crystal clear sky. Everybody seemed pretty happy.
Well, the next stop was the Niskayuna High School pool. It is a beautiful facility- 25 yards by 8 lanes. 13 feet in deep and a bulkhead that partitions the shallow (1ft). The pool is all tile and really nice and clean. The pool officially opens at 6:00am and closes at 7:00am (with additional hours that I counld not make). Did I mention indoors? Nice clean locker rooms and backstroke flags. The only thing missing - a pace clock.
So my workouts are based on breathing cycles. Take 5 breaths and go for the next rep in a set. Kick, pull, swim - the stuff that makes up a good workout.
The local swimmers are pretty stunned in the early hour, so I haven't had much of a chance to talk, but I have made friends with a retired GE engineer. Niskayuna has had several high school AAs in the 2004-2007 seasons. The times are excellent and I think the coach and pool managers are doing a great job.
I'm looking forward to my 6:00am flight departure time and returning to the land of chile and warm weather.
This is the time I like but I don't. I am 3 weeks out from Y Nationals and once again I am trying to taper but still be able to do the distance events.
The one thing in the mix is a meet this coming weekend at Dynamo and one the next weekend at Hilton Head. Dynamo I hope to do ok hopefully not hitting that yucky feeling I usually get the second week. Hilton Head is just for fun.
5x200 @ 3:30 Free went 3:05, 3:05, 3:03, 2:57, 2:57 takes me a while to get moving
10x50 @ :55 Free right paddle on with 4 kicks on the paddle hand
200 kick free
10x50 @ :55 Free left paddle on with 4 kicks on the paddle hand
8x25 @ 1:00 SDK's trying to get to 15 meters but only got to about 1/2 of 25 yard pool on my best ones
500 Free every 3rd back with paddles and bouy
8x50 from a dive 2 of each stroke fast breakout then easy for the rest
300 Free EZ
Total 3600 yards
Apologies to those of you who may have read this already in Leslie's blog. But here is an idea I have to test out the efficacy of the B70 as a putative time-enhancing swimming mechanism, that is, above and beyond existing non-LSR speed suits.
To wit, since I can get nobody who has swum PRs in a B70 to agree to swim one meet where he/she swims the same events (via time trials, or lead off relay starts, or sprinting the first half of a 100 or 200 as a way to compare to a 50 or 100 of the same event on the previous or successive day), I propose the following:
I will swim Colony Zones in a B70 that someone lends me for purposes of just this experiment.
I am not in better shape than last year; there is good reason, in fact, to suspectI am in worse shape (more on this below). I am also a year older than my glory days as a Zonesman.
If, with this borrowed B70, I swim better than last year--and I will do the exact same events--then we will have to acknowledge that, at least for me, Jim Thornton, the B70 confers an advantage over a new FS1, which is the most expensive and fastest suit I have every raced in (with the sole exception of a FastSkin Pro, which got stolen on the first day of a meet last summer, and which did not seem to give me appreciably faster times in Day 1's events than I swam on Day 2 in my backup FS1 suit.)
On the other hand, if I do the same or worse, I will publicly agree with anyone who will listen to me that the B70 makes no significant difference.
In the event I go slower in the B70, I will furthermore make no excuses, from fever to the 4-hour erectile problems I have been accused to complaining about, but in point of fact have never suffered, and simply acknowledge that I WAS WRONG!
How many people do you know willing to subject themselves to such stakes?!
What is needed for this experiment to proceed:
Someone to lend my a b70. I am 6' 1" (actually, I shrank a tiny bit due to age; I am really 5' 15/16") and weigh 183 before practice, and 180 after practice and a steam bath.
I am thinking a size 28 would probably be ideal, but in a pinch, I could probably make due with a size 30. Heather Rietz has already offered to lend me one of her women's size 26 B70s, but I think I will use this only as an absolute last option, because I don't want to be accused of suit stacking. And I am pretty sure the swimmers attending the meet do not want to be PTSD'd by an untimely suit rip.
So, please, check your drawers and attics and friends' houses for an unattended B70 that you could filch for me. Unlike the blackguard who stole my Pro, I will return the suit!
Leslie, for her part, responded to my new challenge with the following comment:
I don't think this analysis is correct, Jimby! You have showed consistent improvement in all your events during the last year and your rankings reflect that. I would expect you to keep improving, as you're on the "curve." So you could not attribute all improvement to B70 use.
BTW, I know you only had a couple swims in it, but how do you think the Pro compared with the FS I?
I would actually consider doing the 50 fly/B70 and the 50 fly/Pro at Zones. But I'm not entering the 100 fly or 200 IM to get a split. Way too painful, and not consistent with other important events I want to swim like the 50 breast.
She Puff took your challenge. 50 fly poly tank vs. 50 fly B70. There was a .5 difference. This difference would obviously be less if she had been wearing a Pro instead of a poly tank.
Plus, I do believe the suit helps some more than others. Paul Smith agrees that for someone my size (5'4", size 4), it has a smaller effect than for others. I think Wolfy really misses his B70.
I am not sure how exactly to make my experiment totally fair to all parties. The closest I can come is to print my times this year and last year at comparable moments in the season. Leslie is correct that I did pretty well at two meets this year, both last fall. The first was the Sprint Classic, where I swam the 100, 50, and 200 free, all in a good pool. The second was Colony Zones SCM at Rutgers (made most famous, I think, to readers of this vlog by the movie still atop my page and which documents Leslie's sub 30 second performance in the 50 SCM butterfly.
I didn't swim either of those meets the previous year, so I can't compare my times this year with the previous one. However, a number of other meets have been comparable both years.
For instance, this year I did 4700 yards in the hour swim; the year before I did 4825.
This year I did a 19:54 in the 1650; the previous year a 19:47.
Here are my SCY time results in all USMS sanctioned meets listed on my member area:
SCY Results for 55-59 Age Group
James Thornton 2008-10-26 (20081026SPRINTY) 56 TPIT 50 Free H8 / L4 24.53 1
James Thornton 2008-04-11 (20080411PVCZONY) 55 TPIT 50 Free H11 / L3 24.69 1
James Thornton 2008-04-11 (20080411PVCZONY) 55 TPIT 100 Free H17 / L3 52.90 1
James Thornton 2008-10-26 (20081026SPRINTY) 56 TPIT 100 Free H7 / L3 53.25 1
James Thornton 2008-10-26 (20081026SPRINTY) 56 TPIT 200 Free H3 / L5 1:57.44 1
James Thornton 2008-04-11 (20080411PVCZONY) 55 TPIT 200 Free H9 / L4 1:58.14 2
James Thornton 2008-04-11 (20080411PVCZONY) 55 TPIT 500 Free H8 / L7 5:27.37 1
James Thornton 2008-04-11 (20080411PVCZONY) 55 TPIT 1000 Free H3 / L6 11:31.29 1
SCY Results for 50-54 Age Group
James Thornton 2007-04-13 (20070413PVCOLCY) 54 TPIT 50 Free H11 / L2 24.36 4
James Thornton 2005-04-21 (20050421YMCANTY) 52 AMAM 50 Free H9 / L6 24.63 3
James Thornton 2007-04-13 (20070413PVCOLCY) 54 TPIT 100 Free H13 / L1 52.69 3
James Thornton 2005-04-21 (20050421YMCANTY) 52 AMAM 100 Free H9 / L7 52.87 3
James Thornton 2005-04-21 (20050421YMCANTY) 52 AMAM 200 Free H9 / L1 1:56.41 3
James Thornton 2007-04-13 (20070413PVCOLCY) 54 TPIT 200 Free H8 / L3 1:57.09 3
James Thornton 2005-04-21 (20050421YMCANTY) 52 AMAM 500 Free H10 / L7 5:23.76 3
James Thornton 2007-04-13 (20070413PVCOLCY) 54 TPIT 500 Free H7 / L6 5:32.10 3
James Thornton 2005-04-21 (20050421YMCANTY) 52 AMAM 1000 Free H6 / L3 11:16.85 2
James Thornton 2007-04-13 (20070413PVCOLCY) 54 TPIT 1000 Free H3 / L5 11:26.04 1
James Thornton 2005-04-21 (20050421YMCANTY) 52 AMAM 200 Breast H6 / L1 2:48.48 9
I think I wore a FS1 in all these meets. If you want to factor in the pool conditions, you can look at just the Colony Zone times, which were all swum at George Mason University.
Believe me, I am not trying to "cheat" in this experiment. From year to year, there always seem to be a little fluctuation, and for me, at least, sometimes when I am in the best distance shape, I don't seem to swim the shorter distances as well, and vice versa. Who knows? The distance events are early, so if you swim a really hard 1000 on Day 1 of a meet (because you've spent time training for this and really want to do well), maybe it tires you out for the 100 or 200 the next day?
In any event, in 2007 and 2008, I manged to just squeak under 53 in the 100 free. My 200s have been closer to 1:58s, a significant departure from the 1:55s and 1:56s I swam 5-6 years ago. The longer stuff has been affected even more.
This year, I have done a 24.53, 53.25, and 1:57.44 for the 50, 100, and 200 free at GMU at the sprint classic last fall. I swam all these in a brand new $60 Tyr body suit. I am certainly in no better shape than I was then, after being sick for a month, the IRS audit, and assorted other mental stresses and financial strains.
If you can think of any codicils to add to the Jimby Challenge to make it fair, please let me know.
I honestly have a good sense of what would be a good time for me at this stage of my swimming life. If I could do the times I did last year at Zones, or the ones I did last fall at the sprint classic, I would be thrilled.
Part of me would like to believe that with a B70, I could do better, perhaps a lot better.
Final note, and this is of a somewhat philosophical nature, so please do not read on if swimming times are a major part of your identity.
In Eugene O' Neill's classic play, The Iceman Cometh, a bunch of characters hang out in Harry Hope's bar, drinking and talking about their dreams and how good their lives will soon become.
None, however, can get up the courage to actually leave the bar and put their ambitions to the test.
Only one of the characters, the anarchist, calls the others on it, eventually goading them all into tentatively creeping out just long enough to realize they've been deluding themselves with pipe dreams for years. One by one, they come back, their lives shattered, knowing they will no longer be able to comfort themselves with illusions.
To me, the competitve aspects of masters swimming can be tremendously motivating and fun. I, perhaps more than many, derive self satisfaction from doing times today in my dotage that are not too far off from my high school and college days.
But I know in the back of my mind that I am getting a great boost from even yesteryear's once "golden" speed suit, be this the aquablade, the FS1, or the heavily discounted TYR thing I wore at Rutgers.
I don't mean to serve as the anarchist at Harry Hope's bar, out to wreck other people's sense that these suits only help a little, that it is primarily just talent and hard work.
I agree that talent and hard work are the key. But lets be honest, when you're swimming reasonably fast, and a suit can make even a .5 second difference in a 50, or a second or two in the 100, that's huge. We are talking a 2-4 percent drop in times.
I think even those who don't think that the B70 represents all that much of a leap ahead of earlier suits will agree that any decent racing suit, for most swimmers, will drop times significantly.
Those who swim in B70s, in my mind, do not want to think that this gives them much advantage over those who swim in other racing suits. At this point, I think most of us who are "non purists" look over at someone in a polyester suit and no longer feel bad--that's their decision, I think. They could swim faster with an affordable discounted alternative, but if they don't choose to, it's not something that is going to make me lose sleep.
But what about racing someone you have always been more or less neck-and-neck with, a nemesis in your ballpark? You stand up in your discounted Tyr and look over and see Mr. X or Ms. Y in a dolphin-skin-neoprene-impermeable B70 you don't have the money for yourself. And you wonder...is this a fair fight?
I am not talking about fair in the greater scheme of things, like poor countries vs. rich countries, or swimmers who get subsidized with the latest form fitting suits, etc.
I mean me vs. X, in some otherwise meaningless contest.
Or, perhaps, me vs. me--in my pursuit to keep swimming fast as long as possible, and not surrender to the passing years, would such a suit provide another year or two postponement in the inevitable slowing?
And if I get one, swim great, and it becomes illegal, is it really going to hit me hard when reality comes back?
It is for these reasons I would like to borrow a size 28 B70 and try my experiment.
Updated March 23rd, 2009 at 12:13 AM by jim thornton
I didn't post last week due to a combination of being too busy/worn out from work and the fact that all my workouts just seemed like the same thing over and over (boring!) I will keep reading your workouts and get some good ideas to emulate .
Last weeks swimming totalled 15,800 yds/ 2 runs of approximately 45:00 at about 8 min. pace. No strength work (i need to work on that), and some rc shoulder stretching and tube strengthning work. I did a fair amount of jumprope and wall climbing at school with my classes during their warm-ups. (I have 10-13 classes per day).
I guess we (Nasti's) are tapering this week for our state meet. (Sat. and Sunday at Fishers Aquatic Center*a beautiful facility*!) Today I swam about 2,500 of sets with lots of rest, then did some starts off the blocks. I have a couple questions about some silly things......here we go:
1) I have been given a free Blue Seventy speed skin suit. The suit is the knee length type and sleeveless. (I forget its proper name) Someone told me to get a Nero but the rep gave me the one I described above. He said it's the best one for open water. Should I go ahead and wear this one or hold out for the Nero? My favorite events in this meet are the 1650, 1,000, 500, and 200 Free's. The rest of my events are just for the heck of it.
2) How many total yards should I swim this week to get a decent taper/rest. I have been averaging around 15,000 since the first of the year. I probably will not jog this week.
3) What type of warm-up do you do before the 1,650(Sat), and the 1,000(Sun.)? In previous years I have passed on warm-up before the long races to conserve strength for the rest of the meet. I did do easy cool-downs on my back after the swims. I am doing 4 ind. swims and 2 relays per day. Like I mentioned I am focusing on the 2 long swims, everything else I just give whatever I have left.
Any of your advice would be appreciated!
My favorite cool-down after a 2 day meet is with my fellow NASTI'S!!
Made it out to MAC for the annual Albatross SCM meet. I love this meet because it's local and in the afternoon. As Chris and Onefish noted, the water was a bit too warm. Swam two events, don't have official times or splits yet. Felt pretty good during warm up. My legs felt heavy/tight though. This just confirms my thought that the legs need a LOT of rest/tapering to be really ready to go fast. A mini taper is good, but just not enough rest.
Edit: Put in splits
100 fly SCM, 1:09.80
As usual, thoughts of scratching filtered into my head. The 100 fly in meters is just so painful for me. Thankfully, it was the first event, so I didn't have to sit around for hours dwelling on it. I promised myself I could retire this event for 2009 if I swam it. Probably will do just that!
Anyway, went 1:09.8. Previous best was 1:12.1 from the Albatross meet the year before. I hoped to improve my time since I had not swum the event in a year, but not by this much with only a mini-taper. Very happy with the time. As usual, I died on the last 25, but a 4.2 second difference per 50 in fly in meters is not that bad for me. Chris suggested that as I continue to swim more, this may be less of a problem. I certainly don't see any evidence of that! I think I'd have to do more than 25s and 50s in practice. I haven't even done many 50s lately.
I did count my SDKs. I had planned or estimated that I would use a 9-7-7-7 pattern. I ended up using a 9-7-7 & 5-6ish pattern. I didn't push deep enough off my third turn, popped up prematurely, and had an awkward breakout.
My prior time was swum in a Pro and done before I started lifting heavy. Jimby is already yanking my chain and saying the 2.3 second improvement is all B70 assist. lol Maybe so, but I'll take the time! Speedster Michelina totally made my day by telling me my fly was pretty.
100 back SCM, 1:10.94
Since I was bumped out of the Chris-Clay heat, I had a nice race with Lisa Van Pelt-Diller. I decided to use Jimby's strategy for racing the 100 free that he had posted on the discussion forum. I may have taken it out a bit too easy on the first 50, but it's hard to tell as I have no idea what my splits were. The strategy seemed to work well and it was slightly less painful.
Edit: Got my splits. Yes, out too easy on the first 50. With my start, this race is effectively an even split for me. However, I really enjoyed swimming it this way and powering home the last 25.
It was a fun race. I would pull ahead of Lisa on the start/underwaters and she would catch me on the surface. I tried to speed into the final turn and then really pick up the turnover. Had a good last 25, and beat her by about .8 or so maybe. I didn't take that many SDKs off my turns. No idea how many, as I was too busy racin' to count. (I did do 12 on the start.) But the fact that the ones I did were effective suggests to me that I should do more. Need to work on the nose clip angle. I was told I was "looking" too much.
This was a PB as well. My previous best was a 1:11.7 last June in a B70 with a mini taper. So conditions were pretty equivalent. I swam the 1:11.7 at U of Md, which is a faster pool.
On a funny note, someone (can't remember who now) told me my race with Lisa was very similar to Chris' race with Clay.
Had to dash off without any warm down after the 100 back. Made it to my kid's meet with 15 minutes to spare in time to see her swim 2 PBs at finals. So a good swim day for the fam!
Updated March 22nd, 2009 at 11:37 AM by The Fortress
As habitual vlog readers/viewers/olefactory sensors may recall, the past several weeks have been characterized by various tribulations and unsettlements in the life of your correspondent. In fact, dealing with these is one of the chief reasons I have been MIA from my vlogging obligations of late.
Though none of the individual areas of concern have what could be described as definitive resolutions yet, there has been some slight movement towards same.
Let me plink off a few of these developments now, and for those who would like to see them at least tangentially related to my swimming, permit me to add that as the stress levels become even slightly less crushing, I am finding a few more corpuscles of blood are able to escape the hypertensive constriction my circumstances have been placing upon my cardiovasculature. And with this ever so slight easing, there is more oxygen and nutrients available to my alleged (and, as you shall soon see) increasingly neutered musculature, and thus allows me to swim a wee bit better in practice lately.
Hormonal Limbo: Part 1.
As part of my investigations into soy protein and its attendant phytoestrogens, you may recall that I had my blood tested for testosterone (both the total level and the so-called "free" or more biologically available amount) as well as my estrogen (both estradiol and estrone, the distinction between which I do not fully understand.) Both genders have both of these sex hormones, of course, it's just that normal men tend to have higher t and lower e, and normal women tend to have the opposite pattern.
Normal is expressed in a lab's "reference range"--the upper and lower limits that hopefully bracket your own readings. Here are my "Before Soy Milk Guzzling" readings:
This may be hard to read, but suffice it to say that both my testosterone and estrogen fell within normal limits.
IRS Limbo: Part 1.
For the next month, I worked on writing my article, trying to make sense of bewildering (and often contradictory) study findings on the health benefits (and putative harms) of soy protein and phytoestrogens on bodily systems. These range from cognition to erections (the latter measured in rats force fed daidzein in puberty; this is, sadly, a remarkably close animal model for my own teenage years only instead of daidzein, you need to substitute prep school swill.)
In the middle of my journalistic labors, I got a notice from the IRS that they were auditing my 2006 tax return, with an eye on 2007, as well. I don't want to go into the clammy fevers and prison terrors this seemingly innocent request by my own government precipitated within my manly breast. But suffice it to day, it was... horrible.
A postcard sent to me by the wonderful Amanda Hunt, AKA, Chicken of the Sea, a fellow USMS vlogger who hails from Australia, and thus most likely comes from prison stock herself. This, at least, is what I imagine to be the source of her epistolary kindness and empathy.
Hormonal Limbo: Part 2.
At the end of the month, I returned for the follow up hormone tests.
For those of you who somehow managed to miss the blood extraction process by which a local nurse secured the test sample, I invite you to watch--or indeed, rewatch--the film at the bottom of this earlier vlog: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=1973
The fact that I fainted during the hypodermic needling, which the lab technician assured me was manly, had me convinced at the time that my initial normal results--man-like T, man-like E--would not have changed after one short month of relatively moderate soy protein ingestion (20-30 grams a day, or about as much as you would find in 4-6 cups of soy milk.)
The results, alas, were to prove nothing short of....flabbergasting
Again, this may be a little hard to read, so let me summarize. Rather than increasing my estrogen levels, as I hypothesized all this soy might, my E plummeted to the absolute bottom of the normal limits for males. In one fell swoop, my dream of swimming as a woman in future USMS competitions, where presumably I could rise one or two places in the TOP 10 listings in the penis-free division, well, these dreams were completely cut off at the roots, leaving all former sense of hope stump-like.
Despite initial disappointment, a wee bit of macho pride, I must concede, eventually began to burgeon up.
I've always felt that maybe I am a wee bit of a girly man. Now I had proof, however, that I was as far from girly manhood as one can chemically be and still maintain tenuous contact with the elastic cusp of normalcy.
It was at this moment of chagrin (can't race women) and pride (I am no pussy!) that it occurred to me I should check out my other hormone level result post-soy hyper indulgence. At first I couldn't find this and assumed the doctor had foregone testing my T the second time around because I had only expressed interest in my E.
But then I found it.
I wish I had not.
My testosterone levels had also plummeted. But unlike my E, which was still technically normal, both my "free" and total testosterone were so whoppingly below the bottom definition of manhood that I am not sure I qualify as a mammal anymore. Or a crustacean.
I am, in other words, a gender freak: not a man without gender, nor a woman, but a neuter, as comfortable guarding a harem for a sultan as I would be guarding a harem for, well, a woman with a harem, be these male or female concubines.
I am an "it" with no juice. Perhaps this is why CreamPuff left Facebook so abruptly and no longer seems to come for visits to the Vlog. She must have sensed something. Poor concupiscient tart! She must be devastated.
As would I be, that is, if I had any hormones whatsoever to encourage me to give a whup.
And that is when it occurred to me: I am quite possible the fastest Neuter in USMS history. You will not see my records in the Men's listings. Nor will you see them in the Women's, where Leslie (here is the I-told-you-so moment) and her supposedly minor assist of a B70 suit just got a PR today in the 100 SCM fly.
You will not, in fact, see my No. 1 times IN ALL USMS RECOGNIZED EVENTS, for the simple reason that we hormonal cypher-mutants have not been given our human rights yet. But in our hearts, I think we will all agree that in future years, the following will be said of Jim Thornton, swimmer circa 2009:
"Rarely has there been a swimmer so dominant in its category as Jim Thornton was when it swam in the 55-59 age group. It was truly an outstanding athlete. We will not see its likes soon again...Magnificent!"
Updated March 21st, 2009 at 10:36 PM by jim thornton
Hit the track for 3.5 miles of running. Did the following:
1 mile warm-up
1.5 mile run - alternate 400 meters hard and 200 meters easy, getting faster with each 400 meters
1 mile cool-down
Was encouraged I was able to pick up speed on each 400. Went 1:56, 1:46, 1:42, 1:35.
Getting ready to go hear my husband's band perform outside on a city square.
Friday night my son decided to go to a dance at the Y so I had a little less than an hour while the pool was still open so I swam a little.
6x200 mostly kicking free
trying to build my kick stronger
Total of 1200 yards
The girls met me at the pool this morning and we worked on our strokes
30x25 drill 10 fly, 10 back, 10 breast
work on starts and dolphin kick out
350 Fly with fins
200 free Ez
Total 2800 yards
I am set to begin more regular vlogging as soon as I recover from my recent life.
In the meantime, in these here dire times of ours, I think it's best to remember we have had dire times before and rose to the occasion.
Not me, personally.
But my brother John did. He rose time and again to the occasion. And rose some more.
For some strange peculiarites of the puberty process, John matured a lot earlier than me. My parents feared I'd get hurt during our childish games of what our father called "Grab Ass." I guess if we played this kind of thing today, what with me being so little and cherubic still, and John practically a grown man with arms hairier than most ape species, well the neighbors would have probably put out an amber alert.
I always thought my parents sent John away somewhere, maybe to work as a stevedore or hog butcher to the world or skullcracker in a cathouse. I missed my big twin something feirce, the way the Brain, I am sure, would have missed Pinky if the two them got separated.
I didn't hold it again my parents--hell, if Fightin' John had hung around waiting for my own growth spurt to make me safe from beatings in his company, I probably would still be dead.
When I found out the truth, of course, I was flabbergasted. My parents didn't send him off. He went down to the enlistment office, faked his age, and got sent to fight the war.
Here's a film he just finished where he opens up about this for the first time in his life.
And the irony of it, his heroism and all: I know I could kick his ass from Here to Eternity. But I also know I never will.
God bless Fightin' John Thornton, my identical twin. If I can someday show just one wee bit of his courage in the pool, y'all better watch the **** out!
Enjoy yourselves. The show starts now!
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00QBtmUs38U"]YouTube - Fightin' John's War Diaries[/ame]
4 mile run on course with rolling hills and some flat straight-aways. Total time: 35:39 (8:55/mi. pace)
Warm-up: 20 x 25 on :30 (Jumped in on tail-end of somebody's workout and used as a warm-up.) Did a variety of drills and easy swimming.
3 x 200 freestyle (descending) on 3:00
4 x 150 freestyle on 2:10 (hold pace)
6 x 100 freestyle with fins and paddles on 1:20
4 x 50 back - 25 rt. arm/25 lt.arm - 20 seconds rest
4 x 50 kick - alt. 8 kicks on back, 8 kicks on right side, 8 kicks on back, 8 kicks on left side - 20 seconds rest
6 x 50 back on 1:00 - work on quicksilver stroke-technique tip (high and dry shoulder - shoulder brushing cheek)
4 x 75 back dolphin with fins on 1:00
Total yards: 3400
As I was swimming this afternoon, I pondered a point raised by a study that Jim Thornton posted on the weight reduction thread a week ago. The study is discussed more below. An implication of the study was that body composition changes had a significant impact on a female's ability to sprint.
In my experience, cycling and/or running seem to be pretty effective at lowering body fat measurements, particularly in the thigh. I know there is no such thing as spot reducing, but from my own experience, I can't help but wonder if there are hormonal/chemical changes in women that occur when they start to run or cycle that lead to a reduction of body fat in the lower body.
As a masters swimmer, I had my best sprinting performance at Auburn in 2003 when I swam a 28.57(SCY) in 50 fly and a 1:07.80 in the 100 I.M.(no tech suit on either swim). With the exception of the week before the meet, I was running 20 to 25 miles per week. My weight was pretty much the same as it had been in the prior years (within 3 pounds) and the two years immediately following. My average yardage and weight-lifting routine was pretty much the same. The only difference was that in all other years, I was not doing any cardio outside the pool or I was doing very little, i.e. running 8 miles or less during the week.
I'm convinced I was carrying less body fat in 2003 due to the running and that it made a difference in my sprint ability that year. I would be curious to know if other female sprinters find cardio outside the pool helpful in keeping their body composition at an ideal level for sprinting.
Anyway, here is the study that Jim posted:
4. Sprint performance may be affected more in females than in males.
Siders, W.A., H.C. Lukaski and W.W. Bolonchuk. (1993). Relationships among swimming performance, body composition and somatotype in competitive collegiate swimmers. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 33:166-171.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between body composition and sprint swimming performance. Seventy-four collegiate-level male and female sprinters were weighed underwater and tested on a single 100-y time trial of the swimmer’s main competitive stroke.
Sprint performance was significantly related to height, weight in water, fat-free weight and body fatness in females.The taller, heavier in water, the more fat-free tissue and the less body fat (within 25+5.3%), the faster they swam.These trends were also present for the males (¿=14.1+2.9%), but the relationships were not significant.Implications
Percent body fat can impact performance, but it doesn’t have to be extremely low for a swimmer to perform well.The effects of body composition changes on sprint performance may be more pronounced in females than in males.
Updated March 20th, 2009 at 10:36 PM by elise526
...it dawned on me halfway to getting my ass handed to me that they are the ones going to zones and to nats...it was a taper workout--thankfully, or I may not have been here to post this.
600 swim w/u I don't know what the time was but I'm sure it was a PB!!!
400 IM K/S/D/S by 25 I did FR on the FL swims.
6 x 100 1:45 I am fairly sure I came in on 1:25 on all which is good for me.
4 x 50 HIHOs 1:30
Perhaps the hardest 2000 I've ever done in 45-50 minutes...
Updated March 20th, 2009 at 07:25 PM by SwimStud
Just a quick swim today:
700 warm up
8 x 25, alternate backstroke shooter with nose clip and easy
Backstroke start, lost nose clip, couldn't find it on bottom of pool, not going to use it tomorrow
10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly and easy
4 x 25, alternate build free and easy
4 x 25, alternate AFAP free and easy
Felt crappy in the water today. Could be the effect of the unintended five day mini taper instead of the planned three day mini taper. Or maybe it's just the stressful week with kids with the flu and a hugely jam packed weekend, including JOs.
Will just swim the 100 fly and 100 back tomorrow. 100 back starts at 4:55 and I have to be at finals at 6:15. On a happy note, Mini-Fort who has struggled as a 13-14, made her sectional/quad A cut in the evilstroke this am. So there is happiness instead of teenage angst.
Hoping for a decent nights sleep.