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  1. Sunday, July 17

    by , July 17th, 2011 at 07:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    8 x 50
    odds = drill
    evens = kick

    Main Sets:

    4 x 100 dolphin kick w/board & fins @ 1:45
    -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th 25 fast
    4 x 50 fly drill @ 1:00
    8 x 25 shooters on belly
    8 x 25 burst dolphin kick on belly @ 1:00

    4 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:45
    -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th 25 fast
    4 x 50 back drill @ 1:00
    8 x 25 shooters on back
    8 x 25 burst dolphin kick on back @ 1:00

    4 x 50 russian breast drill @ 1:15
    8 x 25 long breast pull outs
    4 x 25 fast breast pull w/buoy
    (Had to abbreviate this third part b/c I was heading to the Harry Potter finale.)

    100 EZ

    Total: 3600



    Just did a super boring workout in a crowded indoor public pool while all my PV friends like Jazz and Speedo frolicked at beautific Hains Point. (Though I did hear the sun was blinding for backstrokers and that it was very hot.) As I said on Jazzy's blog, the front of my right shoulder is still somewhat painful. I didn't want to risk aggravating it on dive starts or all out sprints today when my taper meet is 2 1/2 weeks away. I've never actually scratched a meet before to my recollection ... I also reasoned that if I eff up a start or race at Nationals, I have the Terrapin Cup 2 weeks later to redeem myself. Really glad the schedule worked out that way! Less pressure all around.

    Made the decision to scratch last night, so Mr. Fort could do his long 20+ mile run this am. My shoulder actually feels somewhat better after my workout today which, though largely kick driven, got the shoulder moving. I did feel pretty lethargic in the water though. But the week was pretty full with sprint workouts + nasty massage + explosive weights + bikram. I'm actually looking forward to resting some. I've also decided I need to stretch more, so may hit the gym for some RC + stretch sessions. I did a ton of stretching before the Albatross meet after giving up bikram. For tonight, the foam roller and stick will do.

    Oooh, I tried the new shellac polish for nails on my toes. So far no damage from fins or other things!

    Updated July 17th, 2011 at 08:35 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Grimaldo's Mile Ocean Race

    This morning I went out to Coney Island for the Grimaldo’s Mile ocean swim. It was a clear beautiful morning, and the near-full moon was setting as I walked across the boardwalk to check in. There were lots of friends doing the race and volunteering at the event, and it was a sociable morning as we all mingled on the boardwalk, applied sunscreen, and got ready to swim.

    Around 7:45 we were told to drop our bags off and head down to the beach. The race was a straightaway course parallel to shore, starting just east of the pier and ending past Grimaldo’s chair at the Shorefront Y. This was familiar territory, since it’s where I do most of my open-water training—Grimaldo’s chair is the usual meet-up point for CIBBOWS swimmers. (Sadly, the Grimaldo for whom the chair and race is named—a former beach lifeguard--is no longer with us. He passed away two years ago at the all-too-young age of 34. Unlike many memorial swims, this race was established and named for Grimaldo when he was still alive and healthy, to honor his friendship and assistance to swimmers training out at Brighton.)

    Soon after 8 we lined up by the water for the start. The countdown came, and I stroked out to the turn buoy without getting into too much traffic. In the 300 yards after the buoy I passed about a half-dozen swimmers (probably those who had sprinted all-out at the start—that seems to be a popular strategy). After that I just swam along the course, enjoying the pretty day and the clear water, and only seeing a couple of other swimmers the whole rest of the way in.

    The course was well marked, and the finish easy to navigate. I finished in 26:47, which placed me 8th overall, and 2nd woman. For my efforts I won a pass for 5 free tickets (or 10 kiddie tickets) to one of the Coney Island amusement parks—I gave them away to a fellow swimmer who has young child, after failing to find four other adults in the crowd who wanted to go ride the rides. After some yummy food and awards I went back out to the beach, and swam to the pier and back with some friends.

    Afterwards I convinced a bunch of CIBBOWS regulars to get back in the water for a little beach synchro. Today’s revelation was that one of my swim pals did water shows when he was growing up in New York! He taught us a few new moves, including the “oyster,” which involves floating on your back, piking so that your hands and feet meet, then sinking butt first under the waves. We made up a little routine and practiced it a few times. Much fun and giggles!

    After another dip (the beach was hot today, and the water cool) it was time to go. I said goodbye to the beach, got a quick bite to eat with a couple of my favorite swimmers, then headed back to Manhattan. I love beach days!
  3. Meet 3 reporting

    by , July 17th, 2011 at 05:50 PM (Workout Swimmer)
    Decided to swim in a "developmental meet" in Ocala yesterday - swam tired, with furry legs & workout suit. Water conditions: water was ok temp wise, but the average depth of the pool was 3-4 feet. This did not stop Jason Goltz from breaking 3 fly records in the 30-35 age group tho!! He was impressive! I, not so much. But then again, I am old, he is young.
    200 free - added 4-5 secs from Sarasota
    50 fly - first time swimming it, went a 42 - which was better than I expected, so was pleasantly surprised
    100 breast - added one sec from Sarasota
    400 free - almost scratched this, then decided to use it as just "distance" or workout, went out moderate & held my pace - only added 3 sec from Sarasota - which is an interesting commentary. I need to learn to control those butterflies in my stomach - I do MUCH better without them!!
  4. Sunday Sprint Day

    by , July 17th, 2011 at 12:43 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today was the usual split lanes of distance and sprint workout.

    Brian coached
    see our coaching staff here:

    LCM at SMU:
    300 warm up with fins
    3 x 100 kick
    8 x 50 drill odds, build evens

    main set:
    4 x 25's variables
    1 fast 50 free
    150 easy

    4 x 25's variables
    2 x 50 fast
    100 easy

    4 x 25's variables
    3 x 50 fast
    50 easy

    100 easy

    4 x 100 pull (no)
    =>4 x 50 kick with shoes instead

    Bonus: 1 dive with breakout

    The End

    Lots of people today. I committed to swimming fast to stay at the front of the lane to have clear water and clean intervals. I can't stand the corrupted intervals at the back of the lane. The 10 sets apart rule seems to break down and I can't stand someone going 3-5 behind on all-out sets. Geez! Who are you fooling??!!!!

    HOORAY! My mother-in-law is coming back today to pick up the dogs.

    Also: double up and doin' my Vasa today. Summer league All-Stars are tommorow so I will take the day off. I have a massage scheduled today as well.

    Random couponing tip: In addition to using a binder for your coupons, keep one page at the top for "check out aisle" stuff, like candy, lighters, and all those random sorts of things. I got 4 free 3-Muskateer bars (2 x $.50-off-two coupons, doubled at Kroger, special price on selected candy bars was 2 for $1.00). There is nothing so tasty as a Couponing Victory Free Candy Bar!
  5. Open Water is a Blast. Who Knew?

    by , July 17th, 2011 at 12:16 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    First of all, I will freely admit to completely enjoying the fact that I am not swimming at all today! It's been a pretty brutal week - with lots of IM mixed into our practices and a softball double-header on Thursday that left me multi-colored (note to self: do not lose a ball in the sun again!). On top of that, I'm designing a new product catalog from scratch at work and that has been fairly mentally draining for me - but also a LOT of fun!

    With all that being said, I was not really sure how I'd feel on Saturday morning when I was invited to an open water swim with a few of my teammates. Not wanting to miss swimming two days in a row (since I never swim on Sundays) and having really enjoyed the open water practice the week before, I decided to do the open water swim, but wear fins. I must interrupt myself to say that playing third base really leaves your legs feeling nasty tight - at least it did mine. It was like an almost continual squat for the entire game!

    Anyhoo, we swam in a lake quarry off of a dock that belonged to a friend of a swimmer. The water was beautiful, amazingly clear, and nicely warm. I've decided that I love the early morning outdoor swims where all you hear are the birds singing and water splashing. There ended up being five total swimmers - everyone else being an accomplished and experienced open water racer. So, I was very glad that I made the decision to wear my fins. We ended up going around the lake twice and they estimated the total distance was about 4000 meters. With my fins on, I was able to keep up without struggling and really feel and stretch out my stroke. A great time!

    So, that's where I am. What I'm really liking about open water swimming is the lack of a clock, which makes the entire swim that much more relaxing for me. I'm now debating whether or not to enter the Planet Adventure 1/2K and 2/4K events just to see how I'd do. Open water compares to half marathon training in that you just keep going - adjust your pace as necessary - but just keep going. And, I like that. Who knew? I'm as shocked as anyone that I'm liking this so much - and that the fishies are not nibbling on me as I swim by. YAY!

    Well, those are my thoughts for the day. I'll try to be more regularly posting the workouts again this coming week.

    Until then, happy swims to you!
    Swim Workouts
  6. Open Water 400

    by , July 16th, 2011 at 07:49 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Did the swim for a triathlon team this morning. It was just a 400m swim in open water on the Tennessee river. We had a lot of storms last night so the air was cooler and less muggy that it has been in a while. I wore my speedo aquablade jammer w/ the provided yellow swim cap. Broke in a new set of goggles hoping the anti-fog will last through Nationals. It was nice to drop the drag suit for a change. Didn't bother shaving... I'll do that in a couple weeks.

    I put in a time of 5:30 for my seeding. I don't like to be first but I didn't want to end up in the middle of the pack. They seeded me 22nd. Swimmers left every 5 seconds in order that they were seeded. I started wondering if I'd get blown away because pretty much everyone ahead of me looked to be in very good shape. We started from the beach and swam out 200m along a rope w/ bouys and back. After that, we had to run about 150m to the transition area. A decent breeze out of the southeast created some small waves but it wasn't too bad. I only passed a couple people up to the end bouy. Figured that would be the case. The surprise was on the way back I was passing groups of 3-5 swimmers. Ended up coming out third. Swim plus run was 6:00 flat. Next closest to me was 40 seconds back.

    Our team did great. We were second place overall and lost to a team of high school and college kids. All of us were over 40. I beat their swimmer but their cyclist and runner were amazing. Had lots of fun and look forward to more of it.
    Swim Workouts
  7. 7/16/11

    Small turn out at practice today. I think there was only eight of us at the pool this morning. I guess everyone has crazy schedules with company coming in town or getting themselves out of town.

    The format of todays workout was a little different then usual. It was fun to mix in the toys and get a little bit of stroke work and some speed.

    400 choice

    Kick w/fins
    6 x 100 build then verticle kick for 1:30
    -- I really worked these, legs were fried

    1000 Pull (I went bouy only and felt strong)
    1 length fast , 1 ez
    2 fast , 2 ez
    3 fast , 3 ez
    4 fast , 4 ez
    4 fast , 4 ez
    3 fast , 3 ez
    2 fast , 2 ez
    1 fast , 1 ez

    8 x the following
    75 (fl/bk/br) @ 1:30 90%
    50 fr @ 50 90+%
    25 fr @ 30 ALL OUT
    75 choice @ 2:00 active recovery

    300 w/d


    Not a whole lot to say except that I am so glad that the weekend is here. The house is now clean again so now it is time to get myself and the kids out of it before it gets destroyed.
  8. Lovely beach day

    I had a beautiful swim at Brighton Beach today. It was bright and sunny with little puffy clouds dappling the sky. Air temp was around 80, the water was very clear and near 70, and there were lots of folks out enjoying the nice summer day—from the water all the beach umbrellas lined up in the sand looked quite festive.

    I swam easy to the pier and back (2M), stopping a couple of times to chat with friends—Melissa on the way out, Alan on the way back. The water’s warm enough now that it’s possible to stop and visit for as long as you want without getting cold—I treaded water for 5-10 minutes each time. Meeting up with pals in the water is one of my favorite parts of swimming at Brighton. We talked swim plans—Alan has a swim scheduled for later this season that I’m very interested in following, as I could want to do something similar next year.

    After I completed my mini-loop I swam a little extra in order to refresh my memory of what the race finish will look like from the water tomorrow. Once back on the beach I got to visit with other CIBBOWS buddies as they were coming and going from their own swims. It was a pretty perfect morning, and life feels good!

    Tomorrow: Grimaldo’s Mile at Coney Island
  9. Friday Night, July 15, 2011 6:00pm

    by , July 16th, 2011 at 12:00 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    At the YMCA, solo (literally). I had my pick of the 6 lanes. I could tell that the lifeguards were thrilled that I showed up to swim. They actually had to get their butts off the chairs in the office, and go sit out by the pool.

    100 Free
    100 Back
    300 Free Pull

    5 x 100 Kick w/ training fins on back (Dolphin/Flutter by 25s) @ :15 rest

    GDanner Set repeated (part 2 - even harder than this morning)

    20 x 50s as:
    1 x 50 Free EZ @ 1:00
    1 x 50 Fly @ :40
    1 x 50 Free EZ @ 1:00
    1 x 50 Fly @ :40
    1 x 50 Free @ :35
    1 x 50 Free EZ @ 1:00
    1 x 50 Fly @ :40
    2 x 50 Free @ :35
    1 x 50 Free EZ @ 1:00
    1 x 50 Fly @ :40
    3 x 50 Free @ :35
    1 x 50 Free EZ @ 1:00
    1 x 50 Fly @ :40
    4 x 50 Free @ :35

    100 EZ and out
    2100 Yards

    The freestyles on the :35 were tough, touch n go somewhat. I was holding :32s on the Fly & :33s on the Free

    Tough set. But I'm very happy with it. I liked doing this much better in SCY than the LCM.

    Updated July 16th, 2011 at 12:05 AM by jaadams1

    Swim Workouts , Daily Practices
  10. Friday, July 15

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 08:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    6 x 50 single arm drills

    10 x 25 shooters

    12 x 50
    3 x drill IM order

    50 EZ

    Total: 1800



    Just did an easy swim today. Still feeling pretty beat up from that deep tissue. My right pec/front deltoid area still hurts. I can feel it when I raise my arm or pull. I don't mind swimming in a meet tired (for sprint practice), but I don't want to swim in pain. Hopefully, it will be gone by Sunday am. Oh, I did enter the meet -- 50 free/50 fly/50 breast -- will do 2 of these most likely.

    I'm wondering if deep tissue massages are really worth it? They effect my ability to train, and don't seem like they promote recovery that much. Indeed, I have to spend substantial time recovering from them. And it's not like I have an upper body injury that needs work. I may stick with more mellow ones in the future. Thoughts?

    Mr. Fort mentioned that his trainer told him about a variation of the bulgarian single leg squat that "would be great for me, the sprinter." It is a continuous exercise to failure. You begin by doing several full single leg squats to warm up. Then you divide the squat depth into 3 segments. You do squats for 10-20 seconds in the only bottom 1/3, then do squats for 10-20 seconds in the middle 1/3, then 10-20 second in the top 1/3. Repeat -- if you can! This seems like a nasty lactate set to me. He said you have to use less DB weight than usual. I will definitely add this into my routine when I get back to it in September. (I'm assuming I won't lift between Nationals and the Terrapin Cup, but that could change.)

    I've attached a few pics of details of Sagrada Familia -- Gaudi's astonishing gothic-like (and still unfinished) Basilica. This was definitely the highlight of our day in Barcelona, and one of the most amazing cathedrals I've ever seen.
    Swim Workouts
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  11. DOUBLE FAST FRI Jul 15th 2011 SCY

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 04:43 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    DOUBLE FAST FRI Jul 15th 2011 SCY

    weighed 218 after practice

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

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, main pool
    noon - 1:15 dove in 12:05
    wore B70 Racing jammer
    swam with Jack beside David, Beth Max, Bob & Stan

    the board said:
    10 min swim, 8 min pull, 4 min k
    did easy 50's

    Main SET: SCY

    assigned: 20 x 100 on 2:15
    odds FAST
    DID: 50 FR from a dive held, 24's, 23's & a couple 22's

    assigned: 8 x 50 on 1:15
    odds: fast evens: easy
    DID: 25 SDK on 1, 3, & 5
    50 fr on #7 went 22

    100 easy


    2011 South Central Zone LCM Championships INFO
    Fri Jul 22 - Sun 24, 2011 in
    Shenandoah (Houston), TX
    South Central LCM Zones: DAYS AWAY
    Swim Workouts
  12. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -07/18/11

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 04:20 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    Taper/Rest workout
    WARM UP:
    2 X 150 2:45
    2 X 250 4:15
    4 X 50 faster 1:00

    5 X 200 4:20
    100 swim/100 kick

    8 X 100 2:00
    Pull free or swim IM

    3 X {Start-turn-finish}

    1 X 400 free or 300 IM
    Focus on great turns

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  13. Inaugural Race Day!

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 03:30 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Today I decided to make it my Race Pace Day!

    SCM at Baylor Fitness Center
    Brought my stopwatch, but no one around to time me.

    300 fins
    200 kick
    100 swim

    8 x 50 IM stroke/free

    8 x 25 50%/60%/70%/80%
    100 easy

    8 x 25 variables
    100 easy

    4 x 50 from a dive on 4 minutes
    easy swim in between each

    50 easy

    The End.

    Commentary: The logistics aren't ideal to get someone to time you. So I "started" on the 57 - when the clock got to 57, i'd take my mark, pause, then go. Anyway, if I am consistent in the start, then I can gauge relative time this way.

    I think a good goal is to go under 30's, if my first day was right at the 30 mark. I'll try to grab someone, anyone to time me with my stopwatch.

    Here are my times:
    Recent years' range: SCM 27.2-28.1
    Lifetime best 1995 SCM 26.65 (former masters world record)

    My girls did make all stars, see here:
  14. Friday, July 15, 2011 6:00am Thx GDanner!!

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 02:17 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    This is GDanner's set from the other day:
    20 x 50

    • 1 on 1:00 easy
    • 1 on :40 fly
    • 1 on 1:00 easy
    • 2 on :40 (1 fly, 1 free)
    • 1 on 1:00 easy
    • 3 on :40 (1 fly, 2 free)
    • 1 on 1:00 easy
    • 4 on :40 (1 fly, 3 free)
    • 1 on 1:00 easy
    • 5 on :40 (1 fly, 4 free)
    I did:
    5 x 100 Free @ :10 rest

    20 x 50
    1 on 1:00 easy
    1 on :45 fly
    1 on 1:00 easy
    2 on :45 (1 fly, 1 free)
    1 on 1:00 easy
    3 on :45 (1 fly, 2 free)
    1 on 1:00 easy
    4 on :45 (1 fly, 3 free)
    1 on 1:00 easy
    5 on :45 (1 fly, 4 free)

    100 EZ and off to work
    1600 LCMeters in 25-30 minutes

    Exactly the same as Greg did, except I opted for the :45 second interval. It was still challenging.
  15. LC workout with team

    Today I swam the early lcm workout with AGUA masters. Here’s how it went:

    500 lcm warmup

    10 x 50 @ 1:10: Strong and long UDK off wall, counting # of kicks, followed by that # of fast stroke cycles, then rest of 50 easy swim [I did these FR, but we had option of doing them BK or FL. I did 8-10 UDKs off the walls.]

    2 x 50 K @ 1:10, 2nd faster than 1st
    2 x 100 K @ 2:20, 2nd faster than 1st
    2 x 200 K @ 5:00, 2nd faster than 1st [We got a bigger interval mid-way through this set to remedy lane taffying.]

    7 x 300 FR @ 5:00 [I did 4 as 250 FR + 50 BK, and held 4:30-4:35s, then did 200s (stroke and then warmdown) for the last 3—I’m tapering!]

    100 warmdown

    On long freestyle sets like today’s I’ll often go at the back of the lane, so that I can switch up strokes when I like without worrying about going too slow for swimmers behind me. Today I was leading the lane, but it looked like I would get enough separation to do some backstroke on the end of the 300s. However, the second swimmer in the lane started the set doing whatever was necessary to stay right behind me, which foiled my plans. I asked him after the first 300 why he was turning around before the wall to swim on my feet. I didn’t exactly get an answer, but he apologized and stopped doing that, and the latter is what I was after. I’m not always good about speaking up when something bugs me, but I was glad I did today instead of just being annoyed for umpteen lengths.

    In general, I am still glowing from the 8B swims, and pleased as all get-out for Dave and Rondi that the event went so well. They finished the last stage yesterday afternoon. Such an amazing event, with so many great people involved! I already know I want to be part of it next year.
  16. Friday, 7/15/11

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 11:54 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)

    Storm last night blew a bunch of leaves and trash into the outdoor pool so I had to swim inside this morning while the guards were cleaning it. The indoor pool is so gross; warm & cloudy! yuck!

    Warm up (1000)
    400 swim free
    300 pull w/buoy and freestyler paddles
    200 kick all flutter on back in streamline
    100 drill fist & 1-arm free

    Main Set: (1200)
    4 x 300 Free/20sr build each
    - swam all 4 between 4:25-4:30

    Pull: (300)
    300 continuous
    (50 free pull - 25 non free pull)
    - did back for non pull, buoy only, no paddles

    Kick (400)
    400 continuous
    (50 flutter - 25 dolphin)
    - all on back in streamline

    Warm down
    100 easy back

    Total: 3000 yards
  17. Lefty Lazarus

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 11:30 AM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    When my son Ben and I carried Lefty, trembling and feverish, anorexic and unable to stand without help, from the grounds of our estate, it crossed my mind that Lefty might not ever return again to Pugs' Escape at the Maplery. Ben later confessed that he also wondered if Lefty was dying. For 12 years, this wonderful little pug chap had been a constant and comical member of our family, his life as a dog paralleling Ben's odyssey from the 4th grade to the cusp of college graduation; Jack's trek from kindergarten to the start of college; and my own pilgrimage from monkey-grilling Oddventure writer to bankruptcy-fearing worrywart.

    As noted previously in Vicissitudes, we first took Lefty to a local vet who ran a variety of tests but concluded that she did not have the expertise and apparatus to know for certain what the main cause of his suffering was. A quick test of Lyme Disease was positive, but she feared that a more life-threatening problem was a possible bezoar of guinea pig litter. The X-ray of Lefty's stomach showed his stomach was so engorged with stuff that this normally small oblong organ had been shifted over to the right and was swollen to the size of a softball. Moreover, his liver was inflamed and his gall bladder was riddled with stippling, whatever that means.

    {Bezoar, by the way, is a term I'd never heard until this whole ordeal began. To save you a trip to Wikipedia, here's what it means:

    A bezoar is a mass found trapped in the [ame=""]gastrointestinal system[/ame] (usually the [ame=""]stomach[/ame]), though it can occur in other locations.

    It comes from a Persian word meaning "protection from poison," and therapeutic bezoars were once prescribed to absorb poisons in the gut before they could dispatch the poisoned. The term "caveat emptor" actually comes from a famous 1603 lawsuit in which a man sued another for providing him with a fraudulent bezoar. But enough on this subject.}

    Lefty's bezoar was by no means therapeutic. The local vet referred us to an emergency veterinary hospital about 45 minutes away. Not only did this have more sophisticated scanning apparatus but there was a staff surgeon on hand in the event opening up Lefty's stomach to remove the contents proved necessary to save his life.

    By the time we got there, Lefty was suffering greatly. His eyes were cloudy and smeared with mucous. His body was hot and he could not stop panting. His back legs were trembling nonstop as if he were shivering to keep himself from freezing to death. His breathing at times seemed ragged. I could not help but remember the death rattle sound of my father's last hours of breath.

    An incredibly nice vet, Dr. Lisa Sepesy, met with us and went over a treatment plan. If you are a fan of Law & Order, Dr. Sepesy looks a little like that affable middle aged blonde woman who plays the medical examiner.

    She explained that she wanted to run more tests--she suspected Lefty might have thyroid insufficiency and a urinary infection along with his other problems. She said they needed to keep Lefty hospitalized overnight. Ben and I both gave him a kiss and surrendered our buddy to the ministrations of veterinary science.

    Lefty's bivouac at the hospital would eventually last for two days. But as early as the first night, Dr. Sepesy phoned us to say he was improving.

    She had put him on intravenous fluids and started him on an antibiotic for his Lyme Disease. She also gave him anti-inflammatory medicine--doggie NSAIDs--for his joint pain. By the first night, Dr. Sepesy said, he was feeling better enough to actually eat a little. And though he had not yet evacuated his bowels, the occasional wafting of flatulence suggested that his system was not 100 percent blocked.

    Dr. Sepesy called again the next morning with more good news. X-rays now showed the bezoar had begun to break up, obviating the need for surgery. She wanted to keep him one more night to further hydrate and medicate him and see if peristalsis might further progress his internal burden towards liberation.

    It did!

    On the morning of the second day, she called to tell us Lefty was doing much better, still limping a bit but eating and showing signs of liveliness. He could come home!

    She arranged for us to pick him up at 2 p.m.

    Ben and I drove back to get Lefty, glad that he was doing so much better, both of us incredibly anxious to see him. The vet had cautioned us he was by no means 100 percent, and that he would need to be on medicines for the next couple weeks, and furthermore he could not "overdo it" with exercise. Keep him inside resting most of the time, with occasional quick sorties outside to relieve himself.

    As we drove back to pick him up, Ben and I both wondered if Lefty's brush with pain and mortality would leave him changed. Would Lefty, in other words, still be Lefty? Or a sobered shell of his former blustery self?

    As is, I suspect, the case with many dog owners, we had embellished Lefty's Christian name over the years with various additions and refinements.

    We had added, for instance, a last name: Lumpkins, i.e., Lefty Lumpkins. And for those occasions that required more pomp and circumstance--for example, during the annual televised Westminster Dog Show--we gave him a title, Sir Lefty Lumpkins. For our Hispanic friends, he became simply Senor Lumpkins.

    Besides wondering if Lefty would still be Lefty, we also wondered if he would still be Sir Lefty and/or Senor Lumpkins.

    I used my camera phone to document our moment of reunion. Here is video of Lefty emerging from his recovery room. He is doped up, a bit wobbly, and discombobulated by his changed environment. But both Ben and I could tell immediately: Lefty was still Lefty!

    [nomedia=""]‪Lefty Lazarus!‬‏ - YouTube[/nomedia]

    Ben holds a revitalized Lefty as Dr. Sepesy tells us which medicines to give Lefty and on what time schedule. Ben, who is wearing a BallouSkies charity wrist band on his arm-- --later says that Lefty's I.V. bandage reminds him of the elbow brace that Allen Iverson wore when playing for the Sixers.

    Like Allen, Lefty wears his therapeutic bandage on the front right limb.

    I realize this vlog entry has gone on at some length here, and it hasn't mentioned swimming yet. So let me just mention that.


    Now back to Senor Lefty Lumpkins. In the interest of keeping this account as complete as I can make it, here is Dr. Sepesy's summary of Lefty's travails and instructions for his ongoing treatment at home. I will also appendage the various tests and other expenses associated with his care:

    (Please note the highlighted sentence above. Most pet owners believe their pets are the best, but here we have a woman of science, with an extensive background in animal analysis, officially proclaiming that Lefty is a sweet dog.)

    (Note: in addition to the $2286.08 paid so far to the veterinary hospital, the original local vet charged $241.)

    When we arrived back home, a real estate agent had arranged to show our house to a prospective renter (we're trying to rent our ancestral home, Pugs' Escape at the Maplery, in order to pay our usurious health insurance premiums), so I carried Lefty up to a platform we built in the woods. Biscuit, our other pug, joined us, wagging her tail somewhat nonchalantly at Lefty's return. Within several minutes, both pugs were using their compact four-wheel-drive style bodies to snorfle around the surrounding hillside. Lefty then circled several times and...evacuated his bowels! He looked so happy and relieved!

    Ben started to laugh. "Well," he said, "that was a $2500 ****."

    Actually, $2527.08.

    And worth every penny we don't have.

    At this point, Jack and his rocker musician friends also joined us on the platform and suggested throwing a Concert for Lefty to help pay the bills.

    The real estate agent never showed. We carried Lefty down the stairs, I fixed his dinner with its extravaganza of medicinal condiment additives, and we tried to coax him to go to sleep. Debbie had bought him a Beanie Baby to carry around in his mouth and throttle, a cute little koala bear. Lefty curled up next to the koala and sort of rested for a little while, then he started begging for Milkbone treats. I gave him one or two or maybe five.

    The next morning, I went down to kitchen, prepared to clean up whatever combination of revolting byproducts had left Lefty's various orifices overnight. To my delight, there were no accidents of any sort upon our kitchen floor. Lefty stood at full attention, trembling with excitement and total alertness, his signature voracious appetite having returned in full force.

    Back in his puppyhood, Lefty got so excited at the prospect of being fed that he emitted these loud humorous yawns, as if anticipation of eating was tapping all the energy he could muster: a narcoleptic's catalepsy. Debbie found his yawns so adorable that she began to reward them.

    Now, whenever Lefty believes food is imminent, he emits these wild yawning sounds that have nothing to do with sleepiness.

    This morning, Lefty was yawning up a storm! He seemed more full of vim than he had been in years.

    There was only one disconcerting sign: Biscuit was nowhere to be found. Unlike Lefty, who has never figured out how to open the kitchen door, Biscuit has mastered this trick and goes to sleep in the living room if we forget to prop a chair against the door. I searched the house for her but could find no signs. Then I looked in the garage and around the immediate outside vicinity. Again, no Biscuit.

    Yikes! How awful the prospect to bring Lefty back from Death's doormat only to have his healthy bride disappear forever!

    I made Lefty's breakfast of beef Alpo, pills, and elixirs, put Biscuit's breakfast in her bowl where he couldn't steal it, and hoped she would eventually show up. While doing some work in my office, I noticed Ben wasn't in his bed, which is very strange given that it was 8 a.m., and he usually doesn't get up much before 1 or 2 in the afternoon. That's when I realized where Biscuit might be.

    Ben and his two friends, Will and Nick, decided to camp out on the platform the first night of Lefty's return. Knowing that Lefty was doctor-ordered to take it easy, but still wanting some dog companionship, they had carried Biscuit's dog basket up with them, where she spent the night. Though I told Lefty to stay at the bottom on the hill, he climbed up most of the way -- I carried him the last six steps --and began snorfling around the boys and his pug bride. I left them all to continue sleeping up there. A half hour later, Biscuit and Lefty both showed up at the kitchen door. I gave Biscuit her breakfast and gave Lefty some treats and tried to get him to rest.

    Lefty proudly displays his koala bear and front leg bandage, the latter which somehow worked itself off overnight.

    Epilogue: Lefty has continued to improve ever since he got home. This short video (please excuse the poor focus) gives a sense of his return to his former self. Perhaps it is the effect of his drugs, but since this was taken yesterday, he has become, in anything, more robust than I have seen him in years.

    Jack, my younger son, said when Lefty was in his most extreme extremis, "He's a resilient pug. He'll be okay."

    Jack was right, and I suspect this resilience applies to more than just pugs. We are all, in our fashion, resilient if mortal creatures. None of us can escape our fates forever, but until that day comes, perhaps the lesson of Lefty is that we won't give up the ghost easily, no matter how much we may sometimes feel inclined to do so.

    Welcome back, Lefty! Welcome back everyone who has sidled up to the brink! Let us all resolve to live our lives as best we can without needless worry!

    Just stay away from the temptation of guinea pig poop in whatever form this might take.

    [nomedia=""]‪Lefty the next morning! Lefty's back!‬‏ - YouTube[/nomedia]
  18. FAST FRI Jul 15th 2011 LCM

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 10:39 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    FAST FRI Jul 15th 2011 LCM

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

    Since I'm doing longer events and lots of events at Zones, I trained harder and plan to rest less, but I won't do much next week.

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, main pool
    6:00 - 7:30 dove in 6:04
    wore B70 Racing jammer
    swam with Chris nate mike & brad
    beside Marcio, Jim & Larry

    the board said:
    15 min swim, 10 min pull, 5 min k
    did 50's

    Main SET: LCM

    20 x 100 on 2:15
    odds FAST all from a PUSH
    went 1:10, 1:09, 1:08, 1:07, 1:06, 1:06, 1:06, 1:04, 1:04, 1:02
    (got faster because I started
    doing SDK's on my push offs &
    6 beat kicks sooner on the 2nd lengths)
    evens did easy 50's

    8 x 50 on 1:15
    odds: fast went 32, 31, 30, 28
    evens: easy

    200 easy


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

    Updated July 15th, 2011 at 10:46 AM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  19. Thu Jul 14th 2011 LCM

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 10:32 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thu Jul 14th 2011 LCM

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

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, main pool
    6:00 - 7:30 dove in 6:10
    wore B70 Racing jammer
    swam with Chris


    Main SET: LCM

    assigned: 16 x 50
    1 - 7 odds 35 evens 40 & 8 easy, break regroup
    Did: 2 rounds of 4 strong & smooth, 1 easy

    10 x 50
    odds: DPS, most were 24, but my lowest stroke count was 13 for 50 LCM, with a 2 beat kick

    assigned: 10 x 100
    2 rounds of 1 - 4 on 1:15, #5 easy, plus a break to regroup
    Did: 2 rounds, swam 1 & 2, skip 3 swam 4, # 5 easy

    500 easy

    assigned: 6 x 200
    2 rounds of 2 on 2:30, #3 easy, plus a break to regroup
    Did: 100's instead of 200's, swam # 3 easy


    2011 South Central Zone LCM Championships INFO
    Fri Jul 22 - Sun 24, 2011 in
    Shenandoah (Houston), TX
    South Central LCM Zones: DAYS AWAY
  20. Wednesday and Thursday

    by , July 15th, 2011 at 09:24 AM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    I had a tastee Garden Burger and Air Fries at a vegan fast food joint here in St. Pete. My son would like to open a place like this in Chicago-land. He'll need lots more money and experience before that's going to happen but I'd go up and help! It would be worth it for the food!
    Thursday's workout was taken from Coach Sue and done solo at North Beach Pool:
    **500 Free warm-up swim
    **2 X through:
    2 X 50 (fly-ba1st time, Br-fr 2nd)
    2 X 75 IM roll @ 1:30
    1 X 100 IM
    **4 X 50 Free @ :55
    2 X 25 Fast @ :30
    1 X 100 easy @ 2:00
    **3 X 50 Free @ :50
    4 X 25 fast @ :30
    1 X 100 easy @ 2:00
    **2 X 50 Free @ :45
    6 X 25 Fast @ :30
    1 X 100 easy
    **1 X 50 free @ :40
    8 X 25 free @ :30
    1 X 100 easy
    **8 X 50 Kick @ 1:00
    **300 easy pull
    **100 IM

    3,400 scm

    Wednesday I practiced w/SPM. This team is so cool!!

    **8 X 150 on 3:10 (100 free/50 stroke)
    **10 X 100 fast kick @ 2:00 (zoomer)
    **12 X 50 on 1:00 in sets of 4
    **2 X through:
    4 X 50 on :55 race pace free
    4 X 50 on 1:00 faster race pace
    1 X 200 on 5:00 stretch free swim

    4,000 LCM (too many 50's for me)

    I helped my daughter take an on-line test in anat/phys2, she aced it!!
    I am enjoying my "Nook" during this trip!!!! I've basically been swimming, eating well, painting a little, and READING! Relaxation is good!
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