Enough of this taper garbage...I'm ready to race already!!
I haven't gone over 1700 yards in the last week, which is supposed to be a good thing. The problem is that my knee is killing me now, and that is due to the crap I have to do at work. There's always some variable out there that you have no control over.
100 Fly Drill EZ
100 Free EZ
6 x 100 Free Pull
1 @ each interval - 1:30, 1:25, 1:20, 1:15, 1:10, 1:05.
I started off with easy with the first 3 at 1:05/:06ish, #4 @ 1:04, #5 & 6 at 1:02s.
I was happy with this.
400 Yards of swimming EZ
Didn't do too much kick as the inside of my right knee hurts. It's the part directly to the inside/left of the kneecap. I could just amputate it, that would stop the pain, but it wouldn't help me with other things in life.
Plane leaves in 8 days for Phoenix. Getting excited.
Sat. 200 Fly, 100 Back, 200 Free
Sun. 500 Free, 100 Fly, 200 IM
Our pool opens at 6 a.m. and that's when I usually go. Mrs. Jethro gets up at around 6:15 to wake the kids up for school. When I wake up around 5:30 and try to slip out the door quietly, apparently I'm never quite quiet enough. Every day I wake her up 45 minutes early, and that's not enough time for her to fall asleep again knowing the alarm will go off soon.
I'm all about compromising when necessary, so we tried something different this morning. I woke up at 4:30 instead, then went downstairs for a while before heading to the pool at the usual time. That way, if I happened to be noisy, there was plenty of time for her to go back to sleep.
That part worked great. She didn't hear me at all this morning.
Anyway, I showed up at the pool a few minutes before 6 o'clock, and it was as crowded as I have ever seen it. Totally jam packed. Even worse, the only lane that had any space available is one against the wall, where the wall runs halfway down the lane before opening up into the diving pool. In that particular lane, the corner of the wall (before the diving pool begins) sticks about two or three inches in from the lane rope, so if you tend to hug the lane rope when sharing (as I do), you tend to have close encounters with the corner of that wall (as I have).
So between sharing a lane with a noodler, immersed in 85 degree water, and being in constant peril of smacking a wall, I was not exactly motivated to do much this morning. So I didn't. After doing a 400 swim and 300 pull as part of my warmup, I said screw it and left. Yes, I could have asked to switch sides, but I decided not to. Meh.
Fortunately, it's been a pretty slow day at work, so around 11 I went back and did another 2,800 yards. The pool was STILL packed, so rather than do the fly-heavy workout I had planned for today, I improvised a bit, changing up full stroke to kicking and drills. I guess I just picked the wrong day to swim, but it was better than not swimming at all.
Tomorrow will be better.
1 X 250 4:10
2 X 200 3:20
1 X 150 2:15
2 X 100 1:30
5 X 100 free 1:30
5 X 100 kick 2:15
5 X 100 IM or stroke 2:00
4 X 50 1:00
1 X 100 easy 2:30
Three rounds. Round 1 50's fly, 2 back, 3 breast.
1 X 200 free 3:00
1 X 200 IM 3:30
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
One thing that I learned at Y Nationals is that I die in the last 25 of a 100 Fly race (as does everyone else). So, one of my new goals is to do longer fly sets (swims and drills) in practice to try to improve my 100 fly time. I also want to begin racing the 200 IM, which will clearly require more work on my back and breast strokes. So... with no coach in today, I heavily modified the workout to cater to both of those new goals. Here's what I was supposed to do:
- 1 x 100 Drill/Swim/Drill/Swim by 25s IM order on 2:00
- 1 x 100 Swim/Drill/Swim/Drill by 25s IM order on 2:00
- 1 x 150 on 2:45 1st 50 FAST/100 moderate Free
- 1 x 150 on 2:45 50 moderate/50 fast/50 moderate Free
- 1 x 150 on 2:45 100 moderate/50 fast Free
- 1 x 150 on 2:45 all fast Free
- :30 rest between sets
8 x 50 Kick Reverse IM Order on 1:00
Total Yards - 3600
What I ended up doing on the first main set was to replace the drill with breaststroke and swim freestyle. Actually felt like I wasn't going backwards during my breaststroke kick, so maybe there is hope for me yet.
Here's the really crazy part I did on the next main set.... I replaced the "Fast" with full stroke and the "Moderate" with drill. I put my fins on and did round #1 Fly, round #2 Fly/Back Mix, round #3 Back, and round #4 Fly/Back Mix. I don't think I have ever swam as much Fly in one workout (with or without fins) before in my life. I must say, my arms did feel like they wanted to fall off, but they didn't and my arms did clear the water for each fly stroke - even at the very end!
To be honest, I need to thank my lane mate, Julie, today for simply being there. She swam the workout as written (with a little backstroke thrown in here and there due to boredom), but I had told her what I was planning to do. It helps so much to be accountable because I wanted to simply stop after the 2nd set. Then, because I didn't want to take off my fins, I made myself continue to do stroke instead of switching to free. All in all, a really hard practice for me - and one I am now proud of myself for getting through.
After work, it's off to bake some cookies, then head over to the track to watch my daughter's team race. While it's cool today, at least it's not windy - that should improve her time over the last meet tremendously. The wind on Monday was insane!
Happy swimming to you!
Storms again yesterday sabotaged practice. Did really well today. I don't pull but I made the first two 300's anyway. After the second one, I was going to put fins on since I was getting tired. Someone needed my lane so I swam behing Dave on the third one and made 3:35... no fins! Finished the last two at around 3:38.
400 Warm up
5 times through
* 300 Pull - 3:45
* 50 Easy - 1:15
* 100 IM Kick - 2:00
* 100 Stroke - 1:30
* 50 Easy - 1:00
* 100 IM Kick - 2:00
200 Cool Down
Yes the yardage is down but I am mixing it up more and reinvigorating my workouts. The biggest challenge is letting go of the mega yardage mentality.
....[5x100@:05Rest IM pull to kick
20x25@:40 Fly w/paddles
8x50@:55 Back every 3rd FAST
6x50@1:00 Breast pull w/fins
200 Free EASY
Total 3000 yards
16 x 50 @ :55-1:00
4 of each stroke, drill fly
9 x 75 back kick w/fins @ 1:15
1-3 shooter on 3rd length
4-6 shooter on 2nd length
7-9 shooter on 3rd length
10 x jumps (200)
odds = broad jump off pool + squat jump off bottom
evens = grab start off side
6 x 50
25 EZ speed fly or belly shooter w/fins @ 100 pace + 25 EZ (felt dreadful)
Did not want to attempt speed work, but forced myself.
2 x (50 fast w/fins + 100 EZ) @ 3:00
breast, :31 (not bad)
free, high 24 (bad turn)
4 x (25 fast free /fins + 25 EZ)
Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes
Didn't feel as dreadful as I usually do after a layoff. Still can't do standing head to knee for very long without a more consistent practice.
I was lacking all motivation this morning. This seems to be a common occurrence when I get thrown out of my usual routine. David Guthrie suggested I start my 5 week taper. (Yes, he really does that.) Eney Jones suggested I just go robotic for a couple days. My very first masters coach told me to "do it OR ELSE." I opted for a combo of the last two. I actually feel better after the 2 workouts.
I haven't had time to blog since spring break! By the time my rear hits the seat at night I've been falling asleep with laptop in bed! I think driving non-stop to and back home from Tamp/St. Pete (15 hours each way) took its toll on me. I have been swimming pretty much daily and for that I am pleased!
Here's tonight's workout:
Solo @ Monon
**400 IM warm-up( in 100 IM form non-stop and stretchy)
**500 Free moderate
4 X 125 @ 2:15 interval
**400 Free pull
4 X 100 @ 1:45 interval
**300 Free hard
4 X 75 free @ 1:20 interval
**200 Free easy
4 X 50 @ 1:00 interval
**100 Free easy
4 X 25 free hard @ :30 interval
**4 X 25 Perfect Fly @ :40 interval
I have a new "Student Teacher" who was a pitcher in College. I am picking his brain for good shoulder and rotator cuff exercises. I'll post anything news-worthy he shares!
I just had my first barefoot run. Date night got canceled, so I decided to try out what I learned in "Born to Run."
I grabbed a pair of ballet flat slippers and went to the freshly paved (and clean after the rain) rail trail to trot along the .6 mile stretch to see how it felt.
Usually when I run I have to stop because of knee pain, hip pain, or ankle pain. Or because I can't breathe.
Running the first half in slippers, I concentrated on keeping my torso smooth, having a short and quick cadence, and not flipping stepping on anything! The only thing that hurt were my lungs, so I slowed down to walk for bits. When I got to the end of the trail, I started to feel like my toes were a little constricted in the slippers. And knowing that I passed no broken glass or stones or anything really nasty, I took them off to run back to the car barefoot.
The second half felt fantastic on my joints! That is, there was none of that familiar knee pain that always sets in after 10 minutes. However, my legs were burning a little, they're still sore from the squats on Monday night. I was going very, very slowly to pay attention to the ground in front of me, and I wonder if that was keeping me from having proper form. The wet pavement felt like running on a pumice stone, which started out feeling like massage to scratching and then burning by the last few yards. That's also about the time that my calves tightened up and for the first time I felt like stopping because of pain other than my breathing.
I got home, washed my feet, gave thanks for the handy inhaler, and massaged my calves. Time will tell if I wake up with new sore parts, but the time I spent on the path was exhilarating, and I would do it again, or possibly invest in a pair of shoes that offer a barefoot feeling and protection. I don't think these ballet slippers will last more than a few outings.
And tomorrow, it's back to the swimming!
(Teaser shots to whet the appetite for more. With thanks to Allison Simpson Moore, my photographic Boswell at the recent Colonies Zones championships.)
In preparation for the mixed 45+ 800 freestyle relay, Jim convinces Vibeke L Swanson to "Sampson" him by lending her locks. Here is Jim in the pre-Sampson coaxing phase.
Jim with a gloriously full head of Vibeke hair. Get away from me, you harridan Delilahs! Ye shant shorn these locks before I have broken 2:00 yet again in the third of three 200 SCY freestyles in a row! (A relay, the individual 200, then this relay.)
Enough preliminary teasing...for now. Let us now begin the vlog proper.
When Henri Matisse became too old to paint, he took a pair of scissors and began creating his famous cutouts. I, Jim Thornton, have become elderly myself, and my capacities have begun to fray. No longer able to type without irritation, I have recently purchased the Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 speech recognition software package, and I have begun to write my vlog by speaking rather than typing it.
This particular blog is mainly a captioned pictorial recount of the high times experienced by me – and those lucky enough to be around me – during the recent Colonies Zone championships.
A brief preamble: none of the pictures below actually show me swimming.
Let's face it: we are all swimmers here, and although we pay lip service to the accomplishments of our lessers and our betters alike, we all mainly care about ourselves.
What the pictures do depict is my attempt to come up with some way to subsidize the cost of my swimming meet schedule.
Swimming is a rich man's sport. Those of us who toil away in the cloudy waters of the Amish mudhole community in western Pennsylvania must swim largely in antiquated pools in competitions that have no prayer of being recognized by USMS.
Because of this, the only way we have a chance to qualify for the national, albeit meaningless, recognition of a potential Top 10 Time is to travel as far as we can afford the gasoline to get to. A certain degree of shameless begging is also a sine qua non for those of us nomadic swimmers wandering about in our junkers in search of a legal swimming venue.
That is why I have talked the wonderful and altruistic Leslie "the Fortress" Livingston into giving me ownership of 14 percent of her house--as well as the equally wonderful and altruistic Bobinator into providing similar accommodation in her Compound Midwest in Carmel, Indiana.
In any event, besides trying to swim my best at the meet, despite two weeks of uninterrupted sickness following the conclusion of our unrecognized Y championship meet, during which I did my best times since 2006 in both the 500 and 1000, I was preoccupied by financial worries.
By the time my little Honda and I rolled into the Compound’s driveway, the automobile flashing its check engine light impotently, I sneezing and coughing and wracked with myalgia, I could not help but wonder: How might I hope to recoup the $49 in gas and $40 entry fees I had spent to get to this point?
The next day, thanks to Leslie's kindly offer to lend me her Ugg boots, I had my answer.
Many of these pictures that you shall see below might be construed as erotic. Rest assured: I have no intention of putting them on the market thusly.
Instead, I have two alternative markets in mind for resale that do not require me to descend into the Hades of sex work.
1. The Ugg Corporation itself, which I am confident is in need of an attractive model for its products.
2. A future edition of AARP: the Magazine after its merger with Cosmopolitan--an inevitability, I feel, in today's dog-eat-dog magazine climate. As soon as this occurs, men like me and that septuagenarian Dr. Six-Pack guy who pedals HGH in Las Vegas will become a new kind of currency.
Without further preamble, let me begin pasting in the pictures and appending captions as needed for clarity purposes.
Note: in another vlog very soon, I hope to discourse more voluminously on swimming and justice. But for now, please simply enjoy these photos and feel free to forward them to any connections you might have within the supermodel industry. I suspect I could use a few connections to get my camel's toe into the tent, or whatever that cliche is.
Swimming hard and financial stress has temporarily tuckered this little fella out!
It's amazing how many young women at this meet keep asking me to tell them, in great detail, about my tick.
Jim recaps poses he has seen other models of his caliber attempt in pictorial spreads. Not many of them have pulled it off quite so handsomely, though! Doesn't this just scream: Buy UGG Boots Now!!!
Work with me, work with me! whispers photographer, Alison Simpson Moore.
And Jim sure does!
This is worth so much more than a thousand words!
In this final classic shot from the series, Jim's fellow U. Michigan alumnus-swimmer, Carolyn Voorhees, lends him her iPhone cued up to play Nancy Sinatra's classic.
In fact, why not click on this link below, and look at the pictures while listening to the perfect musical accompaniment to today's compendium of swimming wisdom?
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRkovnss7sg"]YouTube - Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking (1966)[/nomedia]
And on this note, it's time to cart my camel's toe off to the swimming practice tent, or whatever that expression is.
Updated April 21st, 2011 at 08:53 AM by jim thornton
4 X 100 1:45
4 X 50 kick 1:15
4 X 150 50 free/50 stroke/50 free 2:45
4 X 100 kick 2:15
1 X 300 free negative split 4:30
3 X 100 IM 1:45
3 X 100 free 1:30
1 X 300 IM
Two times through with a break
10 X 50 1;00
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
9 days to go!
Warm up (this is essentially my meet warm up)
300 swim back and free
200 kick on back
4 x 50/1:00 build
4 x 25/30 strong
200 easy swim
Broken 100 Free
50 (10sr) - 25 (5sr) - 25
- total time was 1:18 (-15sr=1:03 swim time)
200 easy swim
Kick, no fins:
8 x 50/1:15, streamline with fast breakout kicks and strong finish (moderate effort kick in between)
- was averaging 53 on these with 7-10 SDK off walls
2 x 25 FAST OFF BLOCKS
- did free for both using tempo trainer for a starter. Feet to the wall at just under 14. swam easy 75 after each
- did 300 mix of free, back, and breast
Total: 2200 yards
Last night's severe thunderstorms/tornado siren alerts didn't make for the best sleeping environment that I've ever experienced. That being said, when I arrived at the pool at my usual 5am, I was in a less than stellar, less than functioning mood. I was, however, the only person besides the coach who actually arrived at the pool. We did the following workout with a few extra rests thrown in as I'm still trying to recover from the intense sprinting over the weekend. Here's what I did:
5 sets (all done w/o fins):
- 1 x 25 Fly on :30
- 1 x 25 Free on :30
- 1 x 25 Back on :30
- 1 x 25 Free on :30
- 1 x 25 Breast on :30 (made these!)
- 3 x 25 Free on :30
5 sets (all done w/o fins):
- 1 x 50 Free on 1:00
- 1 x 50 Free on :55
- 1 x 50 Free on 1:00
- 1 x 50 Free on :50
- 1 x 50 Free on 1:00
- 1 x 50 Free on :45
- 1 x 50 Free on 1:00
- 1 x 50 Free on :45 (supposed to be :40 )
Total Yards - 3800
While my FLOG is still not quite happy with me, the last two days were back to normal yardage-wise. In these two sets, I put an extra :30-:60 rest between the 2nd and 3rd times through of each. On the plus side, the workout went really fast. On the minus side, I found myself wishing I was still tapering and could just get out. BUT.... I stayed in, finished the sets, and never resorted to using fins when I got tired. Today, that was a big accomplishment for me.
The nice thing about having a one-on-one session with a coach is that we discussed my Y National swims - as well as what I learned I need to be working on (such as correct splitting, endurance, and the (*&$(#*&$ breaststroke kick). Now, he's aware of my new goals... and there should be some accountability in that.
On a totally different note, now that my taper is over, I guess it's time to actually mow the lawn. Come on rain!
Enjoy your swims today and I'll check in tomorrow!
This morning I swam at Riverbank with a couple of friends. Here’s what I did:
1200 lcm swim (400s, 200k, 300p, 200IM, 100p)
6 x 50 (25 build, 25 easy) @ :30 rest (1-4 kick, 5-6 swim)
100 FR perfect form
I paused partway through my warmup as my two lanemates were discussing today’s main set. The choices were broken 1100s or 7 x 500. It had never occurred to me that it was possible to have nuanced views on the relative merits of such sets. We went with the broken swims. I finished my warmup during the first one, then joined in for the rest, changing things up as needed to do the same intervals.
800 FR swim, 200 stroke
700 FR swim, 300 FR/ST/FR
600 FR swim, 400 FR pull
500 FR swim, 500 FR pull
(about :20-:40 rest after each)
300 warmdown + play
I actually enjoyed this workout. That’s progress—I think the first time I did this set back in the fall it made me want to cry, because it seemed like it would never end. On some of the long swims today I played around with breathing and kicking patterns, and on others I just zoned out and swam. It was calm and relaxing in a way that seemed to harmonize nicely with today’s misty weather.
I got my first GTD prize in the mail yesterday—a 50 mile cap. In a couple of weeks I can sharpie in a “2” to update it! (I’m currently some 70 miles ahead of pace for getting a swimsuit. I’ve considered updating my goal, but so far I’m enjoying being a flog overachiever.)
Getting back to the old workouts showed me my kick is the reason my 50 is heading backup to the 30 second mark.
I am going back to focusing on quality not quantity.
On warm up my back was giving me fits but then it calmed down 1/2 way thru.
10x25@:45 Free kick FAST could only hold :30's
10x100 Free w/paddles & bouy #1-4@1:30, #5-7@1:25, #8-9@1:20, #10@1:15 not. Held 1:24's on 1-4, 1:20's on 5-7, 1:18 on 8, 1:20 on 9 and 1:22 on 10
200 Free Easy
10x25@:45 Free kick FAST held :29's
300 Free Easy
Total 3000 yards
I took this morning off for an extra hour of sleep. I was still feeling crummy from this little sickness crap I had over the weekend...
Here's my workout...I had fun.
200 Pull (felt strong)
100 Fly Drill (smooth feeling)
200 Pull (again, strong)
Basically a broken 500:
8 x 50s Free @ :45
1st 4 held all at :30
2nd 4 :30s and :31s
I took an extra :15 seconds of rest off the last 50s interval and did
1 x 100 Free - went :59
I felt really good by this point. I'm actually feeling that sub-5:00 is a possibility.
200 EZ (100 Kick/100 Swim)
Talked w/ lifeguard for almost 10 minutes...
Decided to try a fast 200, which I've never really done in practice.
200 Free for time from a push
1:58!!!! **(I did take off my drag suit for the swim)
Cool down in the showers.
1700 Yards - 45 minutes
The guard said I was out in a :57 at the 100. I saw the 1:58, and kinda had to do a double take...and confirm with the guard. He said yep...1:58.
I didn't really take it out that hard 'cause I was afraid of dying in the lap lane and getting laughed at.
The best I've done this season in a 200 Free is a 1:56.1, and that was right after my 1650 in February. So, to come within 2 seconds of that today is great! I'm getting ready to rock n roll at Nationals!! Woohoo!!
Updated April 20th, 2011 at 09:51 AM by jaadams1
Had a fabulous weekend in Boston! The city was packed with runners and the atmosphere was great. All the first timers, including Mr. Fort, couldn't believe the level of crowd support. There were crowds cheering every inch of the way. It was also a beautiful day for running and spectating (unlike today).
Mr. Fort was hoping to go a 3:30, but ended up at 3:40. I thought 3:30 was optimistic given that he'd hardy run in 3 weeks. But he was on pace until the Newton Hills. Oddly, he had no hamstring issues -- it was his quads that betrayed him after the long downhills. His training partner completely blew up on mile 18. In fact, I didn't hear very many people that were happy with their times. Still, he was happy to finish, and very happy that he and Lil Fort got to run the 5K on Sunday. He has to now re-evaluate whether he wants to run another marathon to get a BQ for next year (maybe Lehigh in Sept.) or continue to focus on biking as he did most of last year.
As I predicted, I didn't swim for 3 days. I estimate that I got about 10 miles of walking in though, so that was probably good for the legs. I sat in the whirlpool for a long time on Sunday, but only did about 10 laps in the hotel pool -- too crowded. Unfortunately, I got very little sleep and am now extremely tired. I can't sleep in hotels at all.
I'm also having some second thoughts about Canadian Nationals. May-June is going to be a very busy time (regattas, soccer, trip to Dartmouth, summer swim starting, mom visiting, graduation), not a good time for a trip. And I just realized today, doh, that the meet is the same weekend as the Stotesbury Regatta in Philly where both my kids will be rowing. http://www.boathouserow.org/rega11/scr11.html. On the the other hand, if I don't go, I likely will not have a masters meet until late August. The other option is to re-join USAS and do either the local VA or MD LC State Champs the end of May or beginning of June. I'll have to mull it over. Maybe after a couple days sleep, I'll be dying to go.
I received my Speedo silicone low profile nose clips in the mail. They are absolute crap too -- way too big. I need to return those and the TYR clips. My regular Speedo competition nose clip is sold out almost everywhere, but I finally found a site that had them in stock and ordered 8.
Updated April 19th, 2011 at 09:35 PM by The Fortress
So, the asthma is back under control, but now I can barely voice even a whisper. Thank you Symbicort. My patient's thank you too.
Was lucky to get out of the office to swim today, we fired my nurse yesterday, and the MA's were having trouble keeping up with me. But I did get to the pool for a 30 minute dose of sunshine. Only 2200 yards - but I'm feeling stronger and stronger, thanks to swimming with ATAC. Now, I only hope it shows at the ATAC practice in the morning!!
4 broken 500s 1:20 base
4 x 50 under overs
A quick little freestyle workout with the team. It was all about pacing today.
12 x 25 kick w/fins @ 30
alternate front, back, and side
500 pull @ 6:45
500 swim @ 6:45
10 x 100 @ 1:25
500 swim @ 6:45 breathe 1/3
500 pull @ 6:45 breathe 1/3
I have found that bilateral breathing really kills me. It is getting easier for me but it is hard to teach a old dog new tricks. I figure even if I don't do it in a race, doing it in practice will even my stroke out.
3 X 250 4:00
3 X 100 1:30
5 X 50 :50
1 X 400 free 6:00
4 X 100 free 1:30
1 X 200 kick 4:30
2 X 100 kick 2:15
1 X 50 swim 1:00
1 X 300 IM 5:15
3 X 100 stroke(choice) 2:00
9 X 100 free 1:45
1 X 500 pull
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00