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  1. Back to Killer Mode, April 27

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 08:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    skull crushers, 50 x 2 x 15
    goblet squats, 65 x 2 x 15
    standing lat pulldown, 140 x 2 x 12
    box jumps, 1 x 10
    altitude drops, 1 x 15
    straight arm plank with feet on yoga ball, 2 x 1:00
    wall squats, 2 x 1:00 (too easy, need to do this much longer)
    lateral bunny hops over bench (ouch!), 1 x 1:00
    pole vaulters w/45 lb bar, 45 x 2 x 25
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    twisting med ball slams, 1 x 15
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    good morning darlings on bosu, 2 x 50
    (need to add ankle weights to these)
    russian twists w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25

    15 minutes of various RC exercises, including the ones Mollie showed me at the meet.

    Ate an energy bar and banana and drove to the pool ...


    I ripped off & remixed Geek's workout from today. I love the blogs for this reason -- you can steal a workout outright or use the structure and adapt it to your own training needs. This is so very valuable when you're training solo.

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Aerobic Set:

    3 rounds (fly w/fins, back, breast)

    2 x 100 kick
    2 x 100 drill
    2 x 100 pull (except didn't pull fly; did single arm fly again)

    I used about a :20 RI

    Speed Set:

    With fins, 2 rounds of:

    1 x 100 fast kick
    1 x 100 EZ
    1 x 100, done as 50 fast kick + 50 EZ
    1 x 100 pull
    4 x fast 25s @ :45
    1 x 50 EZ

    1st round = flutter w/board. Went :58, :25 and 11s on the fast stuff.
    2nd round = backstroke kick. Went :56, :25 and not sure of times on the 25s.

    The 100s really hurt. I didn't pay attention to intervals on these and took plenty of rest.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3650

    Got out right at 4:00 as the FISH were starting their practice. Kate Zeigler said hi and hopped in my lane.



    I slept in a bit more this am after getting my youngest off to school and felt relatively good at both workouts. I seem to have recovered much more quickly from Zones this year than last year. Last year, I was blasted for days. I think the fewer events and post-meet massage helped.


    Here is the youtube link to the GMUP 200 free relay at Zones. I led off and was wearing my Speedo kneeskin. I wore it to get a comparison to my other bodysuit 50 free swims. It was closer than I expected. Jim Thornton narrates. For some reason, he was worried I wouldn't "attack" the race (perhaps because of the reverse placebo effect?). But I would never let relay mates down! The women next to me is a speedy Red Tide swimmer. It looks like she got me coming off the turn when I was too deep. But I was happy with my reaction time on the start. It seemed faster than my open 50 free the next day that was also video'd.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- 200 free relay Zones 2010[/nomedia].


    Does anyone remember if leadoff splits from free relays at Nats are automatically put into the database? Or do we have to submit a split request? I know this was discussed recently on the forums, but can't remember what was said. I think it's automatic? I have one more shot at the 50 free at Nats. And I need it because there were some crazy fast ladies in my age group at IL States, including a super speedy new 45 year old.


    I got notification today that two of my chick relays are officially AA. And with 2 different teams! One was my Women's 400 medley relay with GMUP. The other was my ABM Women's 200 free relay from Indy. It was an honor to swim with such fast chicks!

    Interesting blurbs:

    Customizing Workouts:

    Strict plans may slow your progress, according to a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

    A group of people in a weight-training class were given identical workout lists; half could choose their workouts, while the others were told which to do. After 12 weeks, the group that could choose had greater strength gains compared with the guided group.

    The author says the reason is that they could opt for easier moves when they were tired, saving tougher sessions for when they felt ready. Listen when your body tells you it is due for a slower pace workout. You’ll recover better and get more from your workouts.

    Vitamin D:

    Another Dryland Study Abstract:

    Zampagni, ML, Casino, D, Benelli, P, Visani, A, Marcacci, M, and De Vito, G.

    "Anthropometric and strength variables to predict freestyle performance times in elite master swimmers. J Strength Cond Res 22: 1298–1307, 2008—The aims of this study were to determine in elite master swimmers of both genders whether, using anthropometric variables and the hand grip strength measure, it was possible to predict freestyle performance time, whether the considered predictors were related similarly to different events (50, 100, 200, 400, 800 m), and whether they were the same in male and female master swimmers. The relationships between performance times and age, body mass, height, arm length, forearm length, forearm muscle volume, and hand grip strength were examined in 135 elite master swimmers. Pearson’s simple correlation coefficients were calculated and then prediction equations were developed. Age, height, and hand grip strength were the best predictors in short-distance events, whereas only age and height were predictors in middle- and long-distance events. The correspond- ing coefficient of determination (R2) of performance times were 0.84 in the 50-m event, 0.73 in the 100-m event, 0.75 in the 200-m event, 0.66 in the 400-m event, and 0.63 in the 800-m event. These regression equations were then cross-validated in a control group of 126 nonelite, age-matched swimmers, obtaining significant and good correlations for all distances (range, r = 0.67 and 0.83; p , 0.01), indicating that predictors are valid in an extended sample of master swimmers. Differences between sexes were not found in 50-m event, but were present in all other events. These models might be useful to determine individual performance times by contributing to improving the individual’s training program and the selection of master swimmers. Coaches could have better accuracy in determining whether an athlete needs a strength training program in order to optimize performance time."

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 10:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -04/28/10

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 02:55 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    4 X 150 2:30
    4 X 100 1:30
    4 X 75 1:15
    Build last 50 on 75's

    1 X 500 free 7:30
    4 X 200 free 3:00
    Break 30 additional seconds
    1 X 400 IM 7:00
    4 X 125 IM 2:15
    Rotate 50 of each stroke on 125's


    5 X 100 kick 2:30

    8 X 100 free 1:40
    Descend 1-4/5-8

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    5000 Y/M
    Swim Workouts
  3. Jim: The Classics Illustrated Version

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 02:36 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Okay, after this, I will take a break from swimming self-aggrandizement and move onto other areas of self-aggrandizement so vlog followers won't get sick of me.

    But I can't help myself.

    I must post footage of what proved to be the greatest meet experience of my life.

    Many many thanks to the munificent Chicken of the Sea, Amanda "HTFU" Hunt, who filmed all these races.

    Swim #1. 1000 yard freestyle (Friday night)

    Fortunately, this does not include the 1000.

    Even I would be hard pressed to watch me plodding back and forth for 11:22.39 Z

    Swim #2. 100 yard freestyle (Saturday morning)

    I was sort of out of it for this swim. I got up on the blocks late after some confusion about what heat I was in and was still semi-putting my goggles on when the starter, perhaps noting my discombobulation, had one of the only quick interludes of the whole meet between the "take your marks" and the "go."

    So, I did not have time to remind myself to keep my eyes open. You will see on the third length that I hit the lap lane. What you can't see is that the turns on the far end of the pool were all wobbly because of this slippy metal rim that the GMU pool has around its perimeter.

    When I finished the race, I looked up at the clock and thought I had done a 53.35, slower than two weeks earlier in our Amish mudhole. I was horribly disappointed and instantly groggy and bedraggled.

    A half hour later, when they posted the results, I saw that I had been looking at the wrong time on the board. I had actually swum a 52.43Z, which turns out to be my fastest ever electronically timed 100 as a masters swimmer. (I went a 52.09 hand-timed at CMU when I was 50.)

    This time beat my old zone's record of 52.90, but it was crushed by the great sprinter, Paul Trevisan in the next heat. Still, I had a new Zones record for about 1 minute!

    Anyhow, great joy for me here-- and a tincture of what might have been had I had time to remind myself to keep my eyes opened:

    Swim #3. 500 Freestyle (Saturday afternoon)

    I swam this race, like the 1000, not in my B70 but rather a FS1 I had purchased in the pre-B70 era but never worn before. My goal was to man up for this race and not coddle myself too much, vis a vis pain avoidance. But I also didn't want to suffer arm lockjaw half way through and require mechanical hoist water evacuation. Thus I attempted, as best I could, to adopt a metronomic death march kind of approach, with a bit of a sprint at the end if there was anything left.

    Note: I am putting these videos in order of how I swam the races, but you might want to save watching this one for last and take the precaution of cushioning the floor around you with throw pillows in case it causes you to nod off.

    My time--5:23.18Z--beat my old Zones record in this event.

    Swim #4. 200 Freestyle (Sunday morning)

    This was the high point of my swimming life--a new zones record (beating my time of 1:56.07 from last year.

    Event 32 Men 55-59 200 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 1:56.07 4/26/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 1:50.85 5/14/2006 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 1:58.90 1:54.89Z
    26.55 55.39 (28.84)
    1:25.44 (30.05) 1:54.89 (29.45)

    'Nuff said.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Jim's 200 free[/nomedia]

    Immediate aftermath:

    Aftermath continued:

    Swim #5. 50 Freestyle (Sunday afternoon)

    Being as I had absolutely no chance to make the Top 10 in the 50--and doubt I could have made the Top 100 in this pure sprinter's event--I decided to end the meet on a note that might preminisce my FINA-legal future.

    And so it was for the first time since I was 47, and the Speedo Aquablade body suit had not yet been invented, that I actually raced something in a jammer.

    The suit was the new Speedo racing jammer, which had a peculiar feel. People who have raced in so-called paper suits told me its got a similar tactile sensation to this. I have a size 34 gut (if I am being generous to myself), so I wore a size 30 jammer.

    It got on easily, perhaps too easily.

    My initial concern with this suit was that it compresses and miniaturizes the one part of my body that needs not further miniaturization. Moreover, by compacting the flesh here, it only served--like a pasta extruder--to push more fat out where I suspected it might be flubbering and blubbering like a sail that has lost one of its lines in a gale.

    In other words, I did not think I would be swimming with the sleekness of an orca but more with the inelegance of a sumo.

    My best times this year previous to today were a 24.81 and a 24.50, both swum in Amish mudholes with my B70 kneeskin.

    I figured that if I could break 26.0 in the jammers, I would be doing okay.

    To give myself some additional boost, I first took some Jolt, the use of which is illustrated in the following, where I instructed Leslie in the proper application of the gum:

    Next, I did the pre-50 weigh in on the George Mason University cattle scale. Why they have this thing in the natatorium baffles me, but I used it anyhow.

    Finally, I moved to the blocks for the first of what would prove two starts in the 50:

    Then the second start and actual race:

    Followed by the aftermath:

    My time of 24.78 is the best jammer time I have done as a master. I don't know what the discrepancy between this and a B70 time would be. Last year, my 50 in the b70 was a 24.17, so if we compare these, it's a .61 second difference.

    However, I also swam the 100 and 200 slower last year, so it is possible I might have beaten my 24.17 this year had I done it in a B70. I doubt I would have beaten the time by anymore than roughly have the time I beat my 100 by (52.90-52.43=.47/2=.23). So saying I might have done a 24.17-.23 = 23.94 in the B70, that would suggest that switching to jammers cost me .84 seconds per 50.

    Not great, but I suspect learning to keep my eyes open could make up some of this, shaving off chest hair a little more, and losing the gut maybe a wee bit more.

    But such is fodder for future vlogs. This is the time to reap, not to sow!

    Updated April 28th, 2010 at 04:02 PM by jim thornton

  4. State and Monday's Recovery

    The IL state meet was this past weekend. Overall I am happy with my non-tapered swims. I think the races were good, the details need work. It's a good place to be in just over three weeks out.

    50 Free - AWFUL start, breakout and turn - again it's the details. Turn needs to increase.

    100 Free - One off turn, better turns than the 50, Turn over needs to increase, legs were great.

    200 Free - blah who really cares. The next to me totally sandbagged. I thought I was swimming way crappier than I was. It was right about my best time. I haven't swum this race tapered SCY in years.

    50 fly - AWFUL turn and finish. Needed an extra stroke on both. I need to channel Phelps not Cavic and drill that wall.

    100 IM - first race. First race always sucks. Arms were hurting. Not really a race I focus on or care about.

    50 Back - not bad ... need to work on my finish.

    50 breast - had fun not worried about times.

    Was supposed to have a private pilates reformer session ... she forgot the door over at the gym is a spa. They had a last minute cancelation so I got a massage instead. It was not a great massage but it helped.

    Got in the water and did 1,000 yards or so easy. Did a bunch of fly drills, some turns and finishes.

    Tonight I have my last training appt. before nats and a solo swim session. Going to go right back into killer mode ... hope my body is in one piece after.
  5. Tuesday, 4/27/10

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 11:47 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, solo

    Sprinting and kicking

    200 free swim
    200 IM alt. kick/drill by 25
    400 pull alt. 100 free/100 back

    12 x 25 on 45: odds free, evens back; on all 25s go 12.5 kicking underwater, then swim the rest of the way at about 75%

    pull 2 x 200 back smooth w/30 sec. rest: hold stroke count
    ( went 3:10, 3:05)

    kick 12 x 25 on :40 as 3x around
    {(did round 1-2 free w/board, 3-4 on back)
    #1 at 75% (free - 26, back - 30)
    #2 at 85% (free - 24, back - 27)
    #3 at 95% (free - 22, back - 25)
    #4 all out (free <20, back <22 )}

    swim 2 x 200 back smooth w/30 sec. rest: hold stroke count the same on both, but make #2 faster than #1
    (went 3:02, 2:57 )
    50 easy choice

    swim 8 x 25 on 1:00 all out: odds free off blocks, evens back
    (free was 14-15, on back was 15-16)

    swim down 250 easy choice
    Total: 2700 yards

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 04:01 PM by poolraat

  6. Tue Apr 27th 2010

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 11:26 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Apr 27th 2010

    Upcoming Travel
    May 13 - 16 Grand Canyon, AZ
    May 16 - 19 Scottsdale, AZ
    May 20 - 24 Atlanta

    Lifted weights monday afternoon


    Swim Center
    SCY diving well
    WHITNEY coached
    6:30 - 8:00 dove in 6:33ish
    swam with Jon, Tenille & Mike Varozza who's doing Waterloo Swim School in North West Austin
    beside Tyler, Todd, Marcio, & Ned
    wore B70 jammer

    Warm UP
    2 rounds of 175 fr 25 fl, 125 fr 25 bk, 75 fr 25 br


    Start at 1:00 drop 1 sec each round
    stopped at 36

    4 rounds of
    1 min vert kick (took it easy)
    25 stroke fast
    25 no breath
    100 easy

    assigned 16 x 50
    50 swim, 50 r 50 l 50 swim
    did 50 fast in each round
    fl 27 bk 26 br skip fr 22.9

    100 easy

    2010 MEETS:

    [2010 Short Course National Championships
    Thu May 20 - Sun 23, 2010
    Nats are in 3 weeks & 3 days or 24 DAYS
    time to get fast, strong, skinny, & rested
    Days Till Nats
    FRI 050 BR 100 FL
    SAT 200 IM 050 BK
    SUN 100 IM 050 FR

    July 8 - 11, 2010
    Senior Circuit #4
    Austin, TX

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
    Swim Workouts
  7. Mile High

    Amazing class last night. We did a broken 1650 as part of our workout, which I did with all flip turns, and my time worked out to an average of 1:55 for each 100 yds, faster split times than what I usually do in an hour swim. I really felt like I was cranking. Finally getting the hang of body roll, arm extension, early catch. Not perfect, but when I do it right, I can feel the subtle differences in stroke power. Ditto backstroke. I still have a long way to go before I do all this consistently, but at least I have a sense of how it should feel.

    Also, my cardio fitness in general feels much better. My flip turns were pretty good, too, and again, I know how they should feel when done right,and I know what I'm doing wrong when they go a little wonky. Not bad, considering I was sharing a lane with a much more powerful swimmer than myself, and there was a lot of turbulence being kicked up--lots of swimmers in a fairly small pool.

    Updated April 27th, 2010 at 10:35 AM by Nancy H. (Verbs are your friend!)

    Swim Workouts
  8. 4/27: Solo workout and Asian workout recaps

    Asia Trip: I have notes, pictures and video that needs to be organized. Quite a bit of this has already been done, but it will probably be the weekend before I finish everything up and post it.

    I missed leaving for the team workout by about 25 minutes yesterday morning. Went to bed before 8pm last night and woke up for good around 2am.

    Lifetime SCM
    In the water before 4am.

    Warm up
    - 500 free
    - 400 as 2x 50 kick 150 back
    - 300 as 3x 100 IM
    - 200 kick with board no fins
    - 100 back
    Main Set
    - 10x100 on 1:30 (5 sec rest 1-5, 10 sec on 6 & 7, 1:18 on the 10th) tried to maintain a easy long stroke
    Cool down
    - 100 kick
    - 100 back
    - 100 kick
    - 50 free
    - 50 back
    - 50 free
    - 50 back

    Asia workouts
    - lifted 3 times using machines
    - ab workout about 6 times
    - 6-8 hours stationary bike spread over 4-5 workouts
    - 2 tethered swims
    - 2 pool swims
    - 1 ocean swim
    - 90 minutes of kayaking in Halong Bay
    - lots of walking

    Here are the details of 3 of the swims. I didn't write down the details of the second tethered swim, but I do remember that the water temp was only 84 and I only swam for about 15 minutes because LW wanted to go to breakfast as soon as the dining room opened.

    Ritz Carlton 4/10 Swim

    Started a little after 6am when the pool first opened. The sun had not come up yet and I was swimming alone with the pool lights for the first half of the workout. Water was a couple of degrees cooler today.

    500 free
    200 kick back
    500 free
    225 kick back
    10x100 IM
    175 kick back
    5x100 free ascend

    Tethered Swim 4/12

    This was a very short swim. I was only in the water for 20 minutes and felt horrible afterward. The pool thermometer was reading over 90.

    2 minute tethered swim warm up
    10x100 strokes 30 seconds rest

    Ko Kood Thailand Open Water 4/16

    There were two sets of buoys in the cove, so I swam between the two. I guess they were about 100 yards apart, but I have no good point of reference. I did 5 laps in about 30 minutes, or 3:00/100.
  9. Trying to sprint but just not there

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 07:33 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My sprints feel so bad right now. I know I am still lifting and hopefully the next 3 weeks will come around.

    10x100@1:45 Free every 3rd back
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 sprint kick
    10x50 from dive alt fly / free 20 yard sprint then easy free
    5x100@1:30 as 50free/50back w/paddles & bouy this was strong
    500 kick w/fins as 100bk,100fl,100fr,100bk,100fl
    200 Free w/paddles & bouy
    150 Free
    100 Free fist drill
    50 Free kick

    Total 3500 yards
  10. Trying to sprint but just not there

    by , April 27th, 2010 at 07:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My sprints feel so bad right now. I know I am still lifting and hopefully the next 3 weeks will come around.

    10x100@1:45 Free every 3rd back
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 sprint kick
    10x50 from dive alt fly / free 20 yard sprint then easy free
    5x100@1:30 as 50free/50back w/paddles & bouy this was strong
    500 kick w/fins as 100bk,100fl,100fr,100bk,100fl
    200 Free w/paddles & bouy
    150 Free
    100 Free fist drill
    50 Free kick

    Total 3500 yards
  11. Vids + Monday, April 26

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 10:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Had a massage scheduled today to try and work out the kinks from Zones quickly. I had tight calves, quads, pecs and sore shoulders. I was dead afterward and took the rest of the day off. I'll be back at the gym and in the water tomorrow. At least that's my plan!

    100 fly, 1:02.7:

    Here is my 100 fly video from Zones, courtesy of Chicken of the Sea. [nomedia=""]YouTube- Leslie's 100 Fly at Zones 2010[/nomedia].

    My previous fastest untapered time was 1:04.4 (and I rested a few days for that). So I was happy with the 1:02.7. And I was in a heat with all 30 & unders, save 1 other I believe. I am coming up too high to breathe, I can see. I'm not as flat as when I swim the 50. I wasn't really slamming my underwater SDKs, but more trying to stay under and conserve energy on them. I may work those harder at Nats, since it's my arms that always seem to fail. I thought the piano was worse than it appears on vid. Still, always a painful race for me as a master, though it was my fav as a youth.

    50 free, 25.6:

    Here is my 3rd 50 free of the meet, at the end of a trying day on Sunday. I was really tired. Lane 8 in the deep end isn't so bad though. There is just the slippery steel wall to contend with. This was only .1 faster than my 50 free at the end of Saturday with a kneeskin that was a size too large. I have to conclude that choice of suit doesn't effect my 50 free unduly.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Fort 50 FR.AVI[/nomedia]

    Amanda video'd my 50 evil as well, so we can see my none DQ version of the stroke at some point.

    Here are some photos of Stud and I duking it out before our 50 evil gridge and a classic shot of Stud commenting for Tom's 1650.

    Updated April 26th, 2010 at 11:22 PM by The Fortress

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  12. Zones..the aftermath...4/26/10

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 09:40 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well I din't rest today. I drove home 6 hours in the rain and avoiding death via a Bolt Bus Coach that tried to just force me to brake so he could pass on the right of me...that's why I dive shift...into fourth and buh-bye....(I hate the NJ Turnpike) but thankfuly avoided any major traffic headaches...anyway I got in a little after midnight and hit the hay by 1am.

    I had a good night's sleep for all the excitement and caffeine...but I think during the night, though, someone must have visited me, rolled me in the mattress and given me a going over with a rubber hose...damn.

    Anyhow I went to to pool for a good swim...thusly.

    Warm Up/Recovery
    12x200 no interval but I guess 3:30
    Fin Kick, Paddle Pull, Snorkel Swim. I mixed up the kick a bit with Back, Fly and Free but held a good steady speed. I focus on hand entry with the paddles...finger loops only...and breathing and head position on the snorkel stuff.

    Main Set
    10 x 100 FR 1:45 I held these around 1:25 and went sub 1:20 on the last one as I descended a little.

    Kick Set

    200 Kick no fin with board...legs felt this even though it was just a moderate kick.

    Cool Down

    Did various swims EZ including a 50 BR with a side dive...I went out to about 12-13 yards trying to get where Fort was on her start...something to practice and try.
    A good 4000 in 85 minutes.

    After this I hit the gym and lifted well and at my usual weights. I felt pretty damn strong considering the meet and aeverything else. I really think the kick, pull, swim helps me recover.

    Lastly...the usual Muscle Milk to end....Speedo/Matt...are you believers yet?

    Below are my Swims that got Videoed at Zones:
    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Me 50FR.wmv[/nomedia]
    B70, Yellow cap.

    200 BR
    Um, I think you'll spot me

    100 IM
    Watch for the wiggle...
  13. 57 years, 7 months, lifetime best!

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 05:31 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    I have spent much of my life as a late bloomer subscribing to a basic philosophy:

    What is mediocre in youth becomes steadily less so provided you can hang onto it.

    In my very mediocre life of swimming, my best high school time in the 200 freestyle was a 1:56.00 via hand timing. The only time I got to swim it in college was even worse--1:57 something.

    When I resumed competing in masters, I have a video from our little Y championships where I did, at age 45 or 46, a 2:08.

    I did not make it into the 1:55's till age 49, when I did a 1:55.11 at Y Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale.

    At 50, my best time was a 1:55.48.

    At 51, a 1:55.42

    At 52, a 1:56.41.

    At 53, a 1:57.07.

    At 54, a 1:57.09.

    At 55, a 1:58.03

    The momentum of the Grim Reaper at this point seemed clear and inexorable.

    But then, with the help and inspiration of my friend and swimming coach nonpareil, Bill White, I began once again to train a bit harder, hoping to redeem myself in the new age group....

    At 56, a 1:56.07...a new Zones record at last year's Colonies Zone meet, and a time I was sure would be the high water mark for me for the rest of my life.

    But then, plagued by mysterious groin lesions and isolated systolic hypertension and excessive daytime sleepiness and massive financial misgivings and the influx of impossibly fast Super Hero swimmers like Jack Groselle and Michael Mann into a once geriatric age group that could actually field a pretty competitve Jr. College swimming team of semi-centenarian-pluses...

    I decided to try to overcome my personal decrepitudes and recapture, perchance even build upon, my 20-something swimming mediocrity...

    And thus it was, on Sunday morning, April 26, at approximately 10:15 a.m., I readied myself for my best event. I was a bit tired out already from the previous two days.

    On Friday, I had already swum my personal age group best in the 1000, in the process setting the new Zones record!

    Event 1 Men 55-59 1000 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 11:23.72 4/20/1997 Drury Gallagher
    NATL: ! 10:07.36 5/14/2006 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 11:44.00 11:22.39Z
    29.39 1:03.28 (33.89)
    1:37.64 (34.36) 2:11.32 (33.68)
    2:46.34 (35.02) 3:21.41 (35.07)
    3:56.55 (35.14) 4:30.46 (33.91)
    5:05.95 (35.49) 5:41.17 (35.22)
    6:15.69 (34.52) 6:49.54 (33.85)
    7:24.64 (35.10) 7:59.90 (35.26)
    8:35.16 (35.26) 9:09.60 (34.44)
    9:44.21 (34.61) 10:18.27 (34.06)
    10:51.76 (33.49) 11:22.39 (30.63)

    On Saturday, I had set my personal age group bests in the 100 and 500 as well:

    Event 6 Men 55-59 100 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 52.86 4/25/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 48.37 4/30/2000 RICHARD ABRAHAMS
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Trevisan, Paul 58 COLONIALS 1776 51.10 50.24Z
    24.25 50.24 (25.99)
    2 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 53.35 52.43Z
    25.39 52.43 (27.04)

    (I broke my own zones record here, but lost it to the remarkable god-like swimming god, Paul Trevisan, in the next heat)

    Event 18 Men 55-59 500 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 5:24.84 4/25/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 4:57.82 5/20/2007 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 5:32.00 5:23.18Z
    28.94 1:01.25 (32.31)
    1:34.60 (33.35) 2:07.93 (33.33)
    2:41.22 (33.29) 3:14.34 (33.12)
    3:47.97 (33.63) 4:20.96 (32.99)
    4:53.64 (32.68) 5:23.18 (29.54)

    (I broke my Zones record and fortunately Paul does not swim anything longer than the 100. So this one stood.)

    I am not particularly fast, nor do I boast particularly good endurance. But somewhere in the intersection of "somewhat fast" and "somewhat good endurance" is the perfect distance for me: the 200.

    And so it was I woke Sunday morning with an semi-digested full platter of Mephis-style dry ribs still in my digestive tract and feeling a bit nervous and crickity as is my wont.

    I would like to give a big thanks to Rich "SwimStud" Bell, who suggested a strategy for swimming the 200 about 10 minutes before my heat: he said to build the final 75. Regular readers of this vlog know that I generally try to really stretch and stay smooth on the 3rd 50, then blast out the final 50 sprint. But Rich convinced me to start building earlier.

    I would also like to thank Leslie "The Fortress" Livingston for keeping our house in fine shape during my absence, and for feeding me her proprietary Mystery Smoothy in the morning, with its various secret greens, coconutty water admixtures, whey and hemp protein, berries of various stripes, and a little of this and a little of that.

    And I also want to thank Chicken of the Sea, Amanda Hunt, who in her aboriginal HTFU Aussie wisdom finally managed to communicate to me another bit of advice that others have been suggesting for years: i.e., that you will swim faster in you keep your eyes open.

    In the 100, for instance, I was bemoaning my lousy time, having glanced at the scoreboard and seen somebody else's time--a 53:35, worse than what I had swum two weeks ago in the Amish mudhole.

    Amanda tried to console me by saying that I had actually swum 103 yards. (When the film has been processed, I will post my various swims, but the 100, in particular, was very erratic. There was a collission in which I appear like a salmon in rut with lane line.) Anyhow, her words sunk in, and even after I learned I had actually swum a 52.43, I realized I might have gone faster if I had limited the race to 100 yards.

    But enough preamble. I mounted the blocks chanting the words, "Eyes open, eyes open, eyes open."

    The race started.

    1:54.89 later it was over for me.

    It was the fastest 200 of my life.

    Possibly the shortest 200 of my life as well, as the footage will show: I swam right on the line the whole way.

    I also feel I split it perfectly for me--out in 55.39 and back in 59.50:

    Event 32 Men 55-59 200 Yard Freestyle
    ================================================== ================
    ZONE: Z 1:56.07 4/26/2009 James Thornton, TPIT
    NATL: ! 1:50.85 5/14/2006 JIM MCCONICA
    Name Age Team Seed Finals
    ================================================== ================
    1 Thornton, James 57 TEAM PITTSBURGH 1:58.90 1:54.89Z
    26.55 55.39 (28.84)
    1:25.44 (30.05) 1:54.89 (29.45)

    Sorry for going on so long about this. I know that even my fellow swimmers tend to suffer eye-glazing when reading about the swimming performances of people outside their own age groups.

    But I never, ever thought I could do this.

    And I know this sounds like one massive bragging session (we all know the sound of two hands clapping, but who knows the sound of one hand clapping? Well, I do, actually. Since I usually clap it most loudly on my own back...)

    Anyhow, I offer this vlog to all my fellow masters swimmers, afflicted as we all are with some various species of infirmity and woe and calamity and weakness.

    It is possible, with the help of your friends like Bill and Leslie and Amanda and Rich and all the others we see at these meets and correspond with on these forums...

    It is possible to hold onto your youthful mediocrity much longer than you might imagine, and by so doing, wait it out and transcend it.
  14. Let the healing begin!

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 04:28 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Got to go to my first massage in over six months. Figured it was about time to get one to start the "being kinder to my body" phase of training. The last eight months, I've been kind of hard on my body with the combining of running and swimming in the fall, swimming with the kids since August, and lifting heavy weights during the fall, winter, and spring. The old body was starting to feel a little achy.

    Had a one hour massage primarily working the lower back and hip area. When she was done, I felt absolutely marvelous! I plan to get another one later in the week.

    My husband has suggested to me that since I really did not rest yesterday that I should take off today. I guess he is right. Think I'll enjoy the relaxed feeling for the rest of the day and wait until tomorrow to hit the pool.

    Ahhh....the life of a lazy sprinter.

    Updated April 28th, 2010 at 07:12 PM by elise526

  15. Another Monday April 26, 2010

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 02:31 PM (Keepin Track 2010)
    Mondays are such a phenomenon. I fresh start of a new week, keeping us moving right along into another go of it all.

    I've read that "God's mercies are new every morning", and I think Mondays are the prverbial MORNING of each week, offering us all a fresh start!

    So, that in's not a swim day for me.

    Off to YOGA at 8am

    • I was especially careful with my left shoulder and knee-trying to protect them from renewed aches.

    COFFEE at 9:30

    I plan to walk the kids around the park on their scooters later in place of running and likely doing weights while they are doing homework. Just not so sure what the run is contributing to the knees and such. Hate the idea of the trade off to my aerobic training, but...
  16. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -04/27/10

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 01:59 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 1:45
    2 X 200 3:00
    1 X 400 -

    5 X 200 free 3:00
    5 X 100 free 1:30
    1-2: moderate
    3-4-5: descend

    4 X 100 kick 2:15
    4 X 50 kick 1:15


    1 X 200 stroke 4:00
    1 X 100 stroke 2:00
    2 X 50 stroke/build 1:15
    Twice through. Same stroke within each round.


    2 X 400 free 7:00
    Simulate race pace.

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    4300 Y/M
    Swim Workouts
  17. Monday, 4/26/10

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 12:10 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, with Carrie

    Not sure what was going on with my swimming today. My times were in the same range as usual, but my stroke count was up by about 2 spl on both free and back.

    300 swim alt. 75 free/25 back
    200 kick alt. 50 free/50 back
    300 pull alt. 25 free/75 back

    swim 6 x 50 build on :50: odds free, evens back
    (went 35-37-37 on free, 42± on back )
    100 easy choice

    swim 4 x 100 free on 1:45: on each 100, keep the first 50 moderately smooth, and then sprint the 2nd 50
    (didn't feel too sprinty. went 1:15-1:20-1:17-1:18. 2nd 50 was faster but not sure by how much.)
    100 easy choice

    swim 4 x 100 back on 2:00, same as the 100s free above
    (this was better. 1:22-1:23 for all 4)
    100 easy choice

    pull 12 x 50 on 1:00: #3 and 8 fast free; #5 and 11 fast back; do the rest free breathing 3/5 by 25
    (40's on the B3/5, 35 on the fast free, 40 on fast back)

    swim down 200 choice
    Total: 3000 yards

    Went back after work to get some starts practice in. I found that I could use the tempo trainer and not need someone to give me the commands. It's nice that they let me use the blocks at my pool.

    swim 300 free and back
    kick 12 x 25 on back with 10-15 sec rest
    using the tempo trainer to set the kick cadence
    8 x 50 on 1:00 1-4 free, 5-8 back
    again with the tempo trainer. setting it at increasing beat and holding dps. was doing free at 16 spl around 36 and back around 40 and 17 spl

    8 x 25 all out off the blocks. did 2 fly, 2 free, and 4 back

    200 easy

    4 x 50 kick with MF. wanted to get all under 30 but cramped on one and had to stop and stretch. others were under.

    200 easy

    Total: 1800 yards

    Total for the day: 4800 yards

    Updated April 26th, 2010 at 11:30 PM by poolraat

  18. Day 2, CZ

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 12:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Had a wonderful time watching The Hangover with my wolf pack and got a decent night's sleep. But, unfortunately, I woke up with major GI issues that lasted throughout the meet. I'm not sure what triggered it. I didn't do or eat anything really differently. And I had confirmed that the barbecue sauce at our RH&B post-Sat meal was gluten free. I can only think it was the extra magnesium I took in an effort to ward off calf cramps. This has never happened to me to this degree at a meet, and it was a real drag.

    100 IM

    missed it due to GI issues

    100 breast, 1:15, DQ

    The time was slower than I had secretly hoped, but I think I was dehydrated. I also went way too deep on every pullout and had to float and jerk my head up to get to the surface. This led to a huge dead spot every length. Clearly, I need more practice off the blocks in a tech suit.

    I would have won this event, but, to my chagrin, I was DQ'd. If there had been some reasonable explanation, as in when Chris was DQ'd in his 400 IM, I would have shrugged it off. But this was such a bogus DQ, I was ticked off. The S&T judge, who was also doubling as deck ref, said I took "two complete breaststroke stroke cycles underwater" and wrote "pull, kick, pull, kick." He was dead wrong. I'm not an 8&U and I know better than this. I don't even do that drill in practice. After a few moments of fuming, I went to talk to him. I told him what I do every length --- scull hands slightly out to be sure the judge can see this, dolphin kick, pull down, and kick up. I thought perhaps he had confused this for two stroke cycles since I had unusually long pullouts past the 15 meter mark. No, he insisted I took 2 breaststroke kicks. No way.

    Because I was certain he was wrong, I decided to protest. Unfortunately, since he was also the deck ref, there was no ref on my pool (who would have seen the swim) to protest to. I raised my protest to the meet ref on the men's pool. He wouldn't reverse the call b/c he hadn't seen it and it was a judgment call. Not unexpected. Then I had a convo with Paul Wolf and we went to look at the exact wording on the DQ slip. The language was written as above, no box checked. So the DQ was not, as it should be, "written to the rule." I protested again to the deck ref, who admitted this was true and then to the meet ref. The meet ref agreed to talk to the deck ref at the end of the meet. But he refused to overturn the DQ on this technical basis. I felt better for having tried to reverse the situation though.

    In reality, the 100 breast isn't big deal for me; I was just ticked off on principle.

    100 back, NS:

    Since I wasn't feeling well, I had decided to do a 50 back split and count SDKs. But the meet was moving so fast on the women's side of the pool (a pet peeve of mine about this meet) that I missed this event while lodging various protests and talking to my meet director-coach.

    50 free, 25.6

    I decided to swim this event again, since I had missed backstroke. I was quite tired and and really needed to run to the loo, but swam anyway.

    This was almost exactly the same time I swam in the kneeskin at the end of the day Saturday. But it was nice to log 3 x 50 frees under 26.

    Women's 200 medley relay:

    We finished 2nd in our age group, which was 25+. I swam the fly leg and went 27.3 with a very safe start. I did do it as a no breather. I should have taken one more SDK on the second length as my right arm was stuck underwater a little at the breakout, probably costing me a few tenths. It wasn't that hard to do as a no breather. But it made picking up the walls more difficult.



    day 1 = very good
    day 2 = frustrating

    Still, I was having trouble getting excited for this meet with Nats looming, and logged some good times. My legs were still tired with only a week rest and having done hot yoga the Sunday before. I'm looking forward to a week of regular workouts this week. Today, though, I'm thinking the massage I have booked to get the lactic acid out and work over my sore shoulders sounds pretty good. Thankfully, I don't feel nearly as thrashed as last year when I swam more events and think I will be rebound more quickly.

    I have resolved not to use this meet as a taper meet next year. With two pools, and the women's pool running so fast, it is not a good match for me. I'm always frustrated by the lack of sufficient rest. I am thinking about NE SCY Champs. Alternately, if travel is nixed or frowned upon by the fam, I'll just swim the 4 50 and forget my 100s. (I am kind of tickled to have the Zone records in all 4 50s.) In any event, next year I'll be more focused on meters than yards since I'll be FINA 50.

    I'm feeling a little star crossed lately. I'm really hoping I can avoid cramping, goggle issues, the flu, pool closures, lost contacts and GI issues at Nats. But I guess if it happens, I'll be well used to it.

    On a different note, my son's lightweight 8 won their race on the Potomac this weekend. But on the way back, on of the fasteners for the boat broke, it rolled out onto the road and was driven over by 3 cars and ruined. It's covered by insurance, but it takes awhile to get a new boat. I think they're hoping to borrow one, but that could put a crimp in their season. Really bizarre freak accident.

    Updated April 26th, 2010 at 02:12 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. Mon Apr 26th 2010

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 11:49 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Apr 26th 2010

    added 2 LCM meets below
    Today's workout started at 5:30 AM

    NEW Work out schedule April 26th - May 2nd
    MON 5:30 - 6:30am or 7:00 if there is room
    TUE 6:30 - 8 am in diving well
    WED 6:30 - 7 am in main pool 7 - 8 am in diving well
    THU 5:30 - 6:30am or 7:00 if there is room
    FRI 6:30 - 7 am in main pool 7 - 8 am in diving well
    Sat meet at UT, we're at Dick Nichols
    Sun none meet at UT

    Upcoming Travel
    May 13 - 16 Grand Canyon, AZ
    May 16 - 19 Scottsdale, AZ
    May 20 - 24 Atlanta


    Swim Center
    SCY diving well
    Chris coached
    Noon to 1:15
    dove in 5:45ish
    swam with Tenille, Mike Varozza who's doing Waterloo Swim School in North West Austin
    beside Tyler, Todd, Marcio, Beth, Amy, Doug, & Nate
    wore B70 jammer

    Warm UP
    missed most of it did a 50


    assigned 600 fr on 7:00
    DID: 3 x (150 fr 50 skip)

    100 easy
    100 k went 69
    100 easy
    100 k went 65

    assigned 2 x 300 on 3:30
    did 2 x (100 fr 50 skip 100 fr 50 skip)

    400 easy

    assigned 3 x 200 on 2:20
    did 3 x (150 fr 50 skip)

    400 easy

    assigned 6 x 100 on 1:10
    did 6 x 50 k on 1:10
    held 31's & 2's

    16 x 25 on :30
    1) 12.5 fast SDK
    2) 12.5 fast SDK
    3) easy
    4) no breath

    50 easy

    as I walked out
    UT women were doing
    15 x 100 k on 3:00 Best Ave
    stopped & watched a 2 rounds

    2010 MEETS:

    [2010 Short Course National Championships
    Thu May 20 - Sun 23, 2010
    Nats are in 3 weeks & 4 days or 25 DAYS
    time to get fast, strong, skinny, & rested
    Days Till Nats
    FRI 050 BR 100 FL
    SAT 200 IM 050 BK
    SUN 100 IM 050 FR

    July 8 - 11, 2010
    Senior Circuit #4
    Austin, TX

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
    Swim Workouts
  20. The IM option

    This morning I swam the early AGUA workout. Since the faster lanes were pretty crowded, I moved over a few lanes to share with just 1 other swimmer, and modified the sets accordingly. Here’s the workout, and what I did with it:

    550 warmup

    4 x 100 (75 FR / 25 fast stroke, IM order) @ :15 rest

    3 x 75 @ :15 rest, odds FR, evens IM-FR [did the middle 25 kick]

    25 easy

    4 x 150 FR @ 2:45, desc. 1-2 and 3-4 [I did these as kick sandwiches too (middle 50 kick), went 2:17, 2:08, 2:18, 2:07]

    4 x 100 K @ 2:30, alternating prone and supine by 25 [took advantage of the interval to do these all BR kick, experimenting with width of kick and hip angle]

    5 x 300 @ 5:20, FR except for last 75 BR or BK [This was a set where the whole pool did the same interval, with different distances assigned for each lane. I just did 300 IMs, and brought them in at 4:33, 4:31, 4:30, 4:26, 4:21. I worked on increasing my FL and BR tempo within the 75s. My goals were to descend these and to go <4:20 on the last on, so I was 1 for 2.]

    300 warmdown