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  1. Back in my normal pool

    by , November 3rd, 2010 at 08:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Back at the CCAC in Savannah. Water was good temperature. Decided on a mostly drill & leg workout of sorts. Stayed off of intervals until the clocks were turned on.

    500 Free broken on :10R 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,1,2,1
    500 Free every 3rd 25 one arm breath on opposite side
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 fast
    5x100@1:45 Fashion model back kick w/fins
    5x100@1:45 Back w/paddles & bouy held 1:37's
    200 Breast kick w/brfins
    200 Breast swim w/brfins
    100 Breast kick w/brfins
    100 Breast swim w/brfins
    400 Free as 50 swim/50 drill choose 4 different drills (fists, fingertip drag, arm stretch, catchup)

    Total 3500 yards
  2. Nov 2

    by , November 3rd, 2010 at 12:32 AM (Keepin Track 2010)
    20 min wu
    4x50 free drills
    Kick50,100,150,200 with flips
    Pull300, swim 6x50 (1:30 base)
    Pull200, swim 4x50 same
    Pull 100, swim 2 x 50 same

    Easy 50

    Drill100 fly, 4x 25 fly on :30
    Drill 100 back, 4x25 back on same
    Drill 100 br, swim 4x25 br
    Drilln100 fr, swim 4x25 fr

    Breakouts and finishes. 1of each stroke.
  3. Gym + Swim, Tuesday, Nov. 2

    by , November 2nd, 2010 at 10:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Made it to the gym and pool with Mini Fort today.


    med ball game in racquetball court, 10 minutes
    (Mini was "bored." )
    tricep passes w/med ball, 15
    flutter kicks in streamline on back on bosu, 2 x 100
    back extensions, 25 x 2 x 15
    total ab machine, 110 x 1 x 25, 120 x 1 x 25
    HS single leg extensions, 35 x 2 x 10, each leg
    standing lat pulldown, 140 x 2 x 10
    overhead squats, 45 x 2 x 10
    TRX body rows, 15
    TRX one legged squats, 15 each leg
    TRX chest press -- ugh! These are harder than they look and feel quite stressful on my shoulders.

    The TRX has been set up in my gym more frequently lately. They seem popular with the trainers; Q would call them "trendy." I need to review my exercise list, so I can try out some more things.

    Mini refused to stretch with me. Couldn't be bothered.

    I can tell I need to do RC exercises more regularly ... Shoulders are a bit twingey. These look like some good ones, if you want a change from standing and doing them:


    Swam with Mini, but did separate workouts b/c she's not an SDK freak. Didn't have much time b/c we went during Lil Fort's soccer practice (which is now 90 minutes). The pool was a cool 80 degrees.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Hypoxic Sets:

    8 x 100 @ 2:00
    odds = each 25, dolphin kick on belly to 15+ meters, cruise free to wall & open turn
    evens = each 25, dolphin kick on back to 15+ meters, easy backstroke to wall with back flip turn

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 w/fins @ 1:10
    odds = 25 easy speed fly (kick to 15 meters) + 25 UW shooter on back
    evens = 25 breast with pullout to 15 meters + 25 free, 1 breath

    50 EZ

    Mini Speed Set:

    4 x (25 AFAP kick + 25 EZ)
    2 flutter kick shooters
    2 backstroke kick, no SDK

    I would've done more, but was trying to give Mini tips on sprint free. She is not a sprint freestyler, all short axis.

    100 EZ

    Total: 2300



    Was happy to get in two workouts today, though the swim was short. I'm actually fairly tired right now. Perhaps I'll actually bust out a workout over 3000 soon. Last one was Oct. 16 ...

    Updated November 3rd, 2010 at 12:29 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  4. Summer plans

    This morning I had a nice swim at Riverbank State Park with a couple of swim buddies. Here’s what I did:

    600 lcm warmup

    3 x 400 (150 FR / 100 kick / 150 FR) @ 8:00ish

    3 x 200 FR desc
    2 x 50 kick
    2 x 200 FR steady
    2 x 50 kick
    1 x 200 FR fast [2:50]

    4 x (3 x 100, 1st = FR, 2nd = 50FR/50ST, 3rd = ST), one round each stroke IM order

    300 warmdown

    It was a fun and hard workout. I was glad to get some kicking in, as my legs are always a little tight on Tuesday mornings after Monday night ballet class, and kicking a decent amount seems to help them recover.

    Late yesterday I found out that I’ve been accepted as part of a 2-person relay for the 2011 around-Manhattan swim. I’m feeling really excited and grateful about getting the chance to participate in such a cool event, and also a little overwhelmed at how quickly all this has happened! This will definitely give me some long-term training goals, and affect how I want to shape my winter and spring swimming seasons.

    This Saturday is the CIBBOWS Veterans’ Day swim at Coney Island. The weather has been chilly here, and I’ve heard the water temps are dropping rapidly—they were mid-50s last weekend. I’m hoping to be able to swim the whole 5K, but am glad the event gives swimmers the option of picking what distance (1M, 2M, 5K) we want to swim during the race depending on how we feel. I really have no idea how I'll like temps in the lower 50s, or what my tolerance for water that cold will be, but if this weather holds it looks like I could get an opportunity to find out!

  5. Tuesday, 11/2/10

    by , November 2nd, 2010 at 06:02 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    Warm up (600)
    300 swim free and back
    300 drill
    (did 200 IM drill then 100 back spin drill)

    Main Set: Back/Free (800)
    With Fins:
    8 x 100/20sr
    Build 1 - ds 3
    (1-4 free, went 1:20-1:17-1:13-1:08
    5-8 back, went 1:25-1:22-1:20-1:18)

    Pull/Kick (800)
    4 x 200/30sr
    odds pull, evens kick streamline (no board)
    (did 1-2 free, used snorkel for pull and kick; 3-4 back)

    Swim (200)
    8 x 25/40
    Odds:12 1/2 sprint - 12 1/2 easy
    Evens: 12 1/2 easy - 12 1/2 sprint
    (1-2 fly, 3-4 back, 5-8 free)

    Warm down
    200 free and back

    Total: 2800 yards
  6. Tuesday Nov 2nd 2010

    by , November 2nd, 2010 at 03:27 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tuesday Nov 2nd 2010

    just added a new meet to my schedule
    it's less than 3 weeks out
    so it's time to work on speed & strength

    Just entered the 2010 Ron Johnson Invitational Arizona and Southwest Zone SCM Championship
    Sat 11/20/2010 & Sun 11/21/2010
    Tempe AZ
    Got Hotel, flight, & car rental
    found a killer deal
    3 star hotel, serves breakfast, 5 miles from pool for $43 a night!
    3 100 SCM Fly
    5 50 SCM Back
    9 400 SCM IM
    12 50 SCM Free
    17 100 SCM IM
    19 50 SCM Fly
    26 200 SCM IM

    Also going to swim in the
    Masters of South Central Regional SCM Championships
    Dec 4th & 5th
    San Antonio, TX
    Hosted by MOST

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    whitney Coached
    UT swim Center div well & main pool
    6:30 to 8:00 dove in 6:45ish
    with todd & kevin beside tyler chris larry & jim
    WORE yingfa Jammer



    15 x 100
    1 - 4 free on 1:20
    100 IM FAST
    1:00 break
    went 1:03 & 1:00 on IMs

    assigned 700
    did 7 x 50 fr 4 to 6 SDKs off wall

    15 x 100
    1 - 4 IM on 1:30 mod
    100 FR FAST
    1:00 break
    went 56, 56, 55

    assigned 700
    did 7 x 50 fr easy

    rested 5 minutes

    100 SDK strong from a dive
    went 57.8
    out in 27.9

    Updated November 2nd, 2010 at 03:45 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  7. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -11/03/10

    by , November 2nd, 2010 at 02:44 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    4 X 150 2:30
    4 X 100 1:30
    8 X 50 :50
    1-4: long/smooth
    5-8: descend to fast

    4 X 200 free 3:30
    Negative split each swim

    8 X 50 kick 1:15

    6 X 50 build 1:05

    6 X 25
    odd: build to race finish
    even: blocks-sprint 20 yards

    Easy 75
    1 X 100 from the blocks @ race pace
    Easy 75

    1500 swimmers: 12 X 50 1:00
    odd: perfect stroke/easy
    even: race pace

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
    Swim Workouts
  8. Had to wake up the guard

    by , November 2nd, 2010 at 10:09 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    One of my swimmers was the guard this morning and I had to call him to make sure he was coming so I could work out before going to vote. Needless to say I swam at the Y today.

    1000 Free as 200 SPSKS
    500 Fly kick w/fins
    5x200@4:00 Fly as 50 rt arm/50 lt arm/50 kick/50 sprint went 3:10, 3:01, 2:58, 2:50, 2:44
    5x100@1:30 w/paddles & bouy as 50 free/50 back held 1:23's on these
    200 Free easy

    Total 3200 yards
  9. 11/1/10--A little something like this

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 09:27 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Warm Up
    600 FR
    10 x 50 K 1:30
    100 EZ
    2 x 150 100 P/50 Swim
    500 Fin Kick--I moved this up as a partner joined in and wanted a warm up before the aero set
    10 x 50 :45 desc 1-4, 5 EZ
    100 EZ
    10 x 100 1:30
    100 EZ
    300 EZ
  10. Monday, 11/1/10

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 05:52 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    Pool is still a bit cool, 76 again today. Makes these long sets a lot easier to get through. I was a bit slow and sluggish though. Thought my times should have been faster than they were.

    Warm – up (600)
    200 free
    With Fins:
    100 Free – 100 IM Kick – 100 IM Drill - 100 Back

    Kick (600)
    1 x 400 Continuous Moderately Strong – No Fins
    (did 200 free with board and snorkel, then 200 on back. Time was just under 8:00)
    8 x 25/:40 Kicking Under Water With monofin, odds on back, evens on belly. (times were around 15 each way)

    Main Set:
    1 x 400/6:00 Strong
    (did 100 back/300 free, 6:08 so went on 6:30)
    2 x 300/4:30 Strong
    (did both of these all free, 4:15 for each)
    3 x 200/3:00 Strong
    (did 50 back in each of these, times were 2:55-2:52)
    4 x 100/1:30 smooth
    (did 25 of each back, times were 1:25-1:27)

    Cool down
    100 easy free and back

    Total: 3300 yards
  11. Swim w/Mini Fort, Monday, Nov. 1

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 05:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim w/Mini Fort:

    School is out for the next two days. Mini, who is planning on high school swimming, decided to join me today. We did different warm up sets and then did the fast 50s together.

    Warm up:

    700 various


    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = single arm fly
    evens = 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ

    50 EZ

    6 x 50 @ 1:00
    15 burst of various strokes and kicks + rest EZ

    50 EZ

    2 x 10 second AFAP vertical dolphin kick + 50 EZ

    Speed Set:

    6 x (50 AFAP kick w/board & fins + 50 EZ)
    2 dolphin, 2 flutter, 2 dolphin
    Went all 25s on all, high 25 on last one

    Normally, I wouldn't do this entire set with a board. But Mini needs to work on her dolphin kick and I was trying to encourage her to do some fast dolphin kicking with fins (her fly is largely upper body type fly). Unlike me, and perhaps b/c of her knee issues for years, she is fin-averse. But she seems to be growing out of the syndrome as the doctors predicted -- she can even do a real squat now!

    Recovery Aerobic:

    5 x 100 free w/paddles @ 1:45

    100 EZ

    Total: 2750



    I apparently had a little too much fun at the Halloween party last night, and was dragging a bit today. Or something. I didn't feel rested at all after a day off. Still have my gravelly voice. Hitting the gym with Mini tomorrow and perhaps a short swim if I can manage it with Lil Fort home. It might be time to introduce Mini Fort to the RA med ball game.

    Line of the day: I inadvertently ran over a squirrel on the way home. Mini says, "You are a bad person. That was someone's daughter." I tried to explain that squirrels are just rabid rats with puffy tails.

    Just voted for Dave "Chaos" Barra for OW swimmer of the year! What an amazing season he had!

    And this is cool, we are getting a tracking device so that we spectators/support team can see the speed and position of our runner and biker at B2B:

    Updated November 1st, 2010 at 11:01 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -11/02/10

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 05:29 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 250 4:00
    2 X 150 2:15
    2 X 100 1:30

    4 X 150 3:00
    100 kick/50 swim
    Fins optional

    5 X 100 free: 1:45 stroke: 2:00
    Choice, focus on perfect technique.

    6 X 25
    odd: build to race finish
    even: blocks, sprint 20

    1 X 75 easy
    1 X 50 from the blocks
    1 X 75 easy

    Race Pace Set:
    3 X 200 broken @ race pace 5:00
    Broken :10 at each 50

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
    Swim Workouts
  13. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -11/02/10

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 05:29 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 250 4:00
    2 X 150 2:15
    2 X 100 1:30

    4 X 150 3:00
    100 kick/50 swim
    Fins optional

    5 X 100 free: 1:45 stroke: 2:00
    Choice, focus on perfect technique.

    6 X 25
    odd: build to race finish
    even: blocks, sprint 20

    1 X 75 easy
    1 X 50 from the blocks
    1 X 75 easy

    Race Pace Set:
    3 X 200 broken @ race pace 5:00
    Broken :10 at each 50

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
    Swim Workouts
  14. Monday Nov 1, 2010

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 03:08 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Monday Nov 1 2010

    did not swim Sun

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    whitney Coached
    UT swim Center
    5:15 to 6:30 dove in 5:25ish
    with todd beside marcio & Max
    WORE yingfa Jammer

    200 swim
    100 k
    100 swim

    100 SDK strong from a dive
    went 1:00


    400 Right arm

    8 x 50 k on 40

    400 left arm

    assigned 8 x 50 swim
    did 400 fr straight went 4:21

    (did a set here can't remember what it was)

    assigned 8 x 125
    did 8 x (50 easy 50 rest 25 FAST)

    50 easy
    Swim Workouts
  15. SoSC Post Mortem

    So in the wake of the project that has been waking me up at 5 in the morning and working until 6 PM most nights, I'm finally free of some responsibility until things start breaking... Which means I may have about 10-15 minutes to type this out.

    So my day at the meet was definitely a crazy one. I walked in the door at 7:30 and was told I was announcing the meet! (Who would've guessed I'm good at talking?). I was also asked to sing the Nation Anthem ( Something else I think I'm good at ).

    After singing the National Anthem and announcing the first event, I immediately jump up on the blocks. Time for the 400 Free!

    But I digress from the whole point of this post - Lessons Learned, times reviewed, etc...

    400m Free
    So before this race - my friend Chad was kind enough to count for me. Here's the talk we had
    Chad: So when I go like this (waves the counter side to side) it means swim faster.
    Me: Okay, and if I don't?
    Chad: It means I'm going to throw the counter at you the next time down.
    So coming off the blocks, I was ready for this race, first race of the day and I was warm enough to rock it. Within seconds of my dive in - I recognize VERY quickly: I have forgotten to tie my suit. A quick peak at my splits show that I was coasting relatively easily (I should've been doing minimum 0:45 per 50) as per my fear of losing my VERY classy suit. During my final 100, Chad waved the counter, and you'd better believe I started moving a lot harder!
    Goal Time: ~7:00.00
    Final Time: 6:30.27
    Beat my goal time! This made me very happy, but in retrospect, I could've probably swam a 6:00 had I had my suit tied and I wasn't so nervous.

    50m Free
    The 50 free went well, my SDK off the walls wasn't awful and I just got up on the water and started swimming (Thanks knelson).
    Seed Time: 36.60
    Goal Time: < 36.00
    Final Time: 36.14
    I was happy to have swam it faster than my seed, but I would have been happier to break 36.

    200m Medley Relay
    Now - of all strokes - I swam the 50 breast during our 200m Medley Relay. If any of you have been following this - you know that breast stroke is easily my worst stroke. And the others are pretty bad as well. In any case - I was voted "most likely to be best breast stroker on our relay"
    Split Seed Time: 58.57 (my 50 Breast seed)
    Goal Time: Survival
    Split Time: N/A
    My goggles flooded, but only half way. So The entire race I was forced to keep my head down to see... It actually worked really well for me.

    50m Breast
    I swam this 50 about 10 minutes after the Relay above.
    Seed Time: 58.57
    Goal Time: 59.57
    Final Time: 53.59
    I can't complain! That was pretty good all things considered! I wish I knew which was faster - my relay or my individual event. I'm actually betting it was the individual. I actually got in two full pullouts on this one.

    100m IM
    I was finally starting to feel the fatigue by this point. It had been a long day with absolutely no swim downs... mainly because the minute I was done swimming - I had to go and start announcing back at the table again. So I just did my best to keep my body warm and mental energy up.
    Goal Time: < 2:00.00
    Final Time: 1:47.77 DQ
    I flip turned on my back to breast stroke transition. Won't do that again!

    200m Free Relay
    I lead off the relay. It was a FANTASTIC time. My only kludge was as I was coming back down from the first flip turn, I forgot that the 2nd person diving in would dive in from the side, not the blocks, so I had to veer from one side of the lane to another.
    Split Seed Time: 36.14 (my 50 free seed)
    Goal Time: <36
    Split Time: 37.99
    I was super disappointed in that time. Especially since I looked the board and thought I saw 34.**. Oh well - there's always next time.

    50m Backstroke
    I swam this 50 about 10 minutes after the Relay above.
    Seed Time: 52.61
    Goal Time: Survival - Not to become a flooded kayak
    Final Time: 53.81
    Well, that was event #7 for the day. I was completely cashed. When I came up after the flip on the 25, I came up tangled in the lane line and was completely disoriented. So so a survival race it was. I would've liked to have beaten my seed time, but that wasn't going to happen that day.

    All in all
    All in all - a great race day. I was happy with my results and I knew I would get another shot in a week at the GRIN Fall Classic (Post Mortem coming very soon!).
    For those of you who missed the meet:

    Updated November 2nd, 2010 at 08:43 AM by bzaks1424

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  16. Just taking longer to warm up these days

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 08:21 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Some of my fellow swimmers find it funny that I can barely move, walkup the stairs or bend over in the morning yet after a workout I am a different person.

    10x100@1:40 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd lap fast
    5x100@1:30 Free kick w/fins
    4x[100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy
    ....[200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy
    once again I decended these but it was unintentional, went 1:22, 2:50, 1:20, 2:47, 1:18, 2:37, 1:15, 2:33
    300 choice w/fins EASY

    Total 3500 yards
  17. On the Road (November-December 2010)

    by , November 1st, 2010 at 01:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    This fall, I had the extreme good fortune to travel and meet USMS members and coaches in the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding communities. Each club has a unique flavor and each coach a different style. All were amazing. In speaking with the coaches and swimmers, I learned more about what makes our sport so special. During November, look for video interviews with swimmers and coaches from these clubs on our YouTube channel, at

    First stop was the Marin Pirates Masters, with Head Coach Cokie Lepinski and Assistant Coach Susie Powell. They brought a basket of Finis Tempo Trainers to the pool and we did the entire workout with them. The kick sets left my legs feeling quite rubbery, but the enthusiasm level was palpable and infectious—we had a great time.

    The next day was with the Los Altos Mountain View Masters. Coach Jose Bonpua had both age group and Masters in the pool. While I swam in a designated Masters lane, he kept a sharp eye on me. When I thought he wasn’t looking and backed off a little, he encouraged me to drop to an interval I often avoid at my home pool. His attention made me feel like one of the kids, which, at 46, is a lot of fun.

    Courtside Club, a tennis and sports resort in Los Gatos, has its own registered USMS club. Their coach, Dave Meck, normally coaches age groupers in Santa Clara, but zips over to Courtside to coach Masters as well. Most of the swimmers there don’t compete in meets, but their solid commitment to fitness, fun and their coach was evident.

    The Strawberry Canyon Aquatic Masters practice at Cal Berkeley, whose aquatics director, Danksi Perez, also swims on the team. She spoke of a sense of community in the swimming world and how much having a team and structured practices means to her. SCAM had lanes to accommodate every level of swimmer, with printed workouts for each lane and Assistant Coach Jeremy Cohen manning the deck.

    Next stop was inland, due east. At Davis Aquatic Masters, I arrived just in time to find out that it was sprint backstroke week there—anathema to a distance breaststroker—but I persevered and learned more about the stroke I love to hate. Head Coach Stu Kahn welcomed his group with a video of Aaron Peirsol looped on a poolside TV cart, and instructions on what to pay attention to in the video and in the water during the main set.

    Lastly, another Marin County team, North Bay Aquatics, welcomed me to their Saturday morning workout at a local high school. Assistant Coach Michael Sugrue kept me honest as my stroke fell apart on a descending set that I started too quickly.

    Special thanks to all the coaches and swimmers I met for embodying the spirit of USMS and providing great Masters swimming experiences in their communities.

    Updated July 1st, 2014 at 11:54 AM by Editor

    Tags: clubs, coaches, travel
    Staff Blogs
  18. I, Restaurateur: A photo essay

    by , October 31st, 2010 at 09:59 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)

    I, restaurateur, also remain a magazine writer whose current assignment is on the vagaries of moral psychology and the vociferous arguments that such so often provokes. The combination of physical and mental labor, and many more hours of both, has required me to make some sacrifices in my discretionary time. Gone now are daytime naps, hours spent crafting assorted bon mots on Facebook and the USMS forums, offering succor to women who I perceive to be in need, and using the bathroom.

    Good and evil: my beloved twin brother, John, whose art skills have immensely upped the entertainment value of my vlog (movies, PhotoShop images, and the like), arrived with his movie camera to document the "soft opening" of our new restaurant in Ambridge, the Old Economy Cafe. Here is a link to the movie John made about that day:

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Old Economy Cafe[/nomedia]

    While preparing the Cafe's delectable Russian Chicken Potato Salad, my wife Debbie sliced into a potato and to her astonishment found that it had an uncanny resemblance to me. She did not cook that spud. Instead, she gave it to me. I immediately dubbed it my Potato Avatar Spirit God, and the two of us became inseparable.

    An early customer, whose office is a short distance down the street from the Cafe, is state Representative, Robert Matzie, from the 16th Legislative District. He agreed to pose for this picture whereby I appear to be "buying him off" with some sort of restaurant graft; by agreeing to thusly pose, he earned my vote in perpetuity.

    Please feel free to send money to him in care of his web site:
    Rob Matzie - 16 Legislative District

    (Note: I am not sure what party he is, but the fact that his web site doesn't immediately make this obvious make me think he is a fellow Democrat. I could, however, be wrong.)

    A wonderful charcoal drawing of my twin brother, our father, and me done by John's roommate from their art school days at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Our father passed away several years after Edgar Jerrins did this great work. A couple items to observe: 1) this is our ancestral home, where my father lived from 1953 till his death. 2) My family and I now live in this same house, though financial vicissitudes being what they are, I am not sure we can hang onto it forever. 3) Our father has begun the descent downstairs. I am next in line. It is hard to look at the curved closet wall in which I am framed and not imagine that it will be Jimbo next in the Thornton men casket. I say this metaphorically, of course, because we Thornton men do not allow ourselves to molder in a box in the cold ground! We prefer cremation and sprinkling. Much, much, much more affordable!

    Bill White, breaststroker-and-masters-coach extraordinaire, has been impressed into duty at the enterprise. Here the two of us show just how manly aprons can look on the chiseled male swimmer physique. (In one of our cases, indeed, the apron and concealing undergarments are necessary to provide a manly appearance given how much these are able to hide the fatted moobs.)

    I, restaurateur, learn that sometimes you have to do more than coax and cajole money out of your customers. Sometimes you have to grab it and tug with all you got. Here, I attempt to get payment from muscular roofer, Marty Kuzmkowski, brother of less muscular swimmer, John Kusmkowski. Bill looks on, ready (I hope) to continue the wrestling process should I fatigue and need to "tag" my fellow wrestler.

    I won't lie to you: physical labor, especially in an unrefrigerated atmosphere, does age a guy and his Potato Avatar Spirit God. A few days later, when my doppelganger PASG began to smell a little funny, he preceded me in death and was buried in a Hefty 30 Gallon trash can bag with some of his fellow root vegetables.

    Fortunately, with sumptuous victuals like the above, I do not feel it is too imminent that I shall be joining my Potato likeness.

    If you are ever in the Pittsburgh area strike zone, keep us in mind! Ditto for our Old Economy Inn, a bed and breakfast about 5 blocks or so from the restaurant. If my fellow swimmers let me know in time, I will try to arrange for a free guess pass at our Y, too, so you can not only eat our food, sleep in our bed, but swim in the Amish Mud Hole that has made Bill such a powerful force to be reckoned with in his age group, and me such a, well, not powerful, exactly, and not a force, but something! That mud hole has definitely made me something!

    Updated October 31st, 2010 at 10:22 PM by jim thornton

  19. Halloween at the beach

    This weekend I had two beautiful swims out at Brighton Beach with CIBBOWS.

    On Saturday I went out to do a qualifier swim for a possible MIMS 2-person relay for next year. I was a little nervous about this, since I’m not sure I had ever in my life done any sort of exercise for 2.5 hours straight. (Probably not even walking.) But the swim in fact went fine, and was even fun. I had lots of waves to play in, and kind people frequently brought me hot chocolate and cookies, so the time went by quickly, and I found that I really enjoyed swimming out in the sunshine for that long.

    Today I went out again for a short dip. I only swam about 1000 yards, then floated on my back for awhile and stared up at the sky. It is such a trippy feeling to be immersed in cold water and yet feel warm inside. It was a beautiful if windy day, and there was a surprisingly large group out for a Halloween swim. We threw the football around afterwards to warm up.

    My only disappointment this weekend was that the Halloween mask I brought today wouldn’t stay on in the wind. I had planned to swim as Jimmy Carter's aquatic attack rabbit[ame=""] (Jimmy Carter’s aquatic attack rabbit[/ame]), but the weather just didn’t cooperate.

    Just one more week until the CIBBOWS Veteran’s Day race.

    Happy Halloween everyone! Watch out for bunny rabbits!
  20. Saturday, 10/30/10

    by , October 31st, 2010 at 12:51 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    I was a bit tired and sore this morning. And the water was even colder (74) than yesterday. Took a long time to warm up.

    Warm up
    With Fins
    200 Swim, 200 IM Kick, 200 Back Kick
    No Fins
    3 x 100 Free/1:40 Build
    (Went 1:20 on these)
    3 x 150/3:00: 50 Drill/50 Strong Build Swim/ 50 Very Strong Kick
    (Did 1 each: free, back, fly)

    12 x 25/:40: odds Fly, evens back - Very Strong
    (Was going around 19-20 on both)
    1 x 200/3:30 smooth

    12 x 25/:40: odds Back, evens Free - Even Stronger
    (Under 20 on back around 17 on free)
    1 x 200/3:30 smooth

    12 x 25/:40: all Free - Faster
    (Around 15-16)
    1 x 200/3:30 smooth

    (There was more in the planned workout but I was cold and almost out of time so stopped here)

    Total: 3150 yards