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  1. Final Day of Nationals

    by , August 12th, 2010 at 04:19 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Started off today with a relay lead off close to my best time in the 50 free. Then it was the 200 Fly which was off my best by .3 and it felt good. Good meet over all and had a great time.

    Good friends, good food, good times. All of you who missed this need to plan to come the next time we go to a nice vacation destination.
  2. Thursday, 8/12/10

    by , August 12th, 2010 at 11:57 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    Swim 300 Free/15sr
    (did free and back)
    Kick 3 x 100 IM
    (was doing these around 2:15 w about 5 sr)between each
    8 x 25 IM order/30 strong

    Swim Free
    1 x 300/ 5:00 build (4:55 - slow!)
    3 x 100/1:45 strong (1:32±)

    1 x 300/5:00 build (4:52)
    4 x 75/1:20 strong (1:10±)

    1 x 300/5:00 build (4:50)
    6 x 50/1:00 strong (44±)

    1 x 300/5:00 build (4:55)
    12 x 25/30 strong (:21±)

    Cool down
    100 easy

    Total: 3300 meters
  3. Watching bubbles

    This morning I went up to Riverbank State Park to swim. The lifeguards opened up another lane shortly after I arrived, so I ended up swimming with just one other swimmer most of the workout. Here’s what I did:

    1000 lcm warmup (400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 rev. IM drill/swim by 25

    200 kick with fins

    6 x 50 (25 fast / 25 easy) FR @ fins @ big rest

    6 x 50 (25 fast / 25 easy) BK without fins, working on turnover/rotation puzzle

    200 easy swim and dolphin dives

    Switch to outdoor pool

    Extra 200 warmdown, plus floating and sculling

    When I was doing the udk on my fast backstroke breakouts this morning, I noticed that the bubbles from my exhalation came in spurts that coincided with my undulations. When I dolphin kick hard, it seems to force a bit of air out of my lungs on each contraction—probably ab muscles are causing my diaphragm to press against my lungs. I hadn’t noticed that before.

    I remember a few years ago I was reading a book by Bernd Heinrich, where he talked about how various animals run. Many of them are built so that they have to time up their strides and their breathing, because their lungs can expand only in certain phases of their strides, since some of the muscles involved are the same. Humans are exceptional in that their running and breathing motions are independent of each other. Heinrich, an ultramarathoner as well as a biologist, experimented with different ways of timing up the two as part of his training. This made me wonder if loping freestylers who breathe every stroke are actually unconsciously incorporating some sort of diaphragm contraction into their stroke movement.

    (I don’t run much, but when I do jog I breathe in and out on every 2nd or 3rd footfall—much the same way I time up breathing and armstrokes when swimming. Mr. Addict, who is a runner but not a swimmer, thinks of this as a weird holdover from my swimming background).

    9 more days til Zones! I’m done with weights and plyo and rowing and anything but swimming and stretching at this point.
  4. Catalina Part III

    Catalina Channel Part III

    Since I had planned to have little feedback and conversation while swimming, I was completely in the dark as to how much longer I might be in the water. I had read many accounts of English Channel swimmers spending three/four/five/six hours fighting the last half mile only to surrender unsuccessfully... close enough to smell the croissants baking, but this isn't the EC. It isn't supposed to be like this! With no visual reference, I didn't know if I was gaining toward the mainland at all, and I wondered if I would be pulled for lack of progress. No matter, I was going to swim until I hit land, got pulled, or my arms fell off.

    As it turns out, I was making progress. The Outrider was on auto-pilot and we were creeping slowly toward my rocky exit. As the current swept northwest, we turned southeast to face it, and so, inched sideways toward the California coast which was mostly blocked from my view by the boat on my left.

    I tried to keep my pace steady and my stroke rate held in the mid 60's throughout. My neck was getting sore. I tweeked it a bit the day before my swim in a sneezing fit (of all things) and though I managed to keep it loose for a good 12 hours, it was time to quit alternate breathing and go to my old standby left only for the home stretch. I hoped my kayakers, paddling on my right side, would not be offended. I could see the hull of the kayak under water and follow easily.

    Tobey jumped in again, and sensing that I was in need of some encouraging words said the perfect thing: "Hey, lets just go for a swim." We did. I felt a surge of energy and picked my stroke rate up a bit. The end didn't matter to me now and I was able to enjoy just moving through the water.... finally the Zen moment! I felt briefly that the coast would get in the way of my finding out just how long I could keep going and started to feel sorry for all those poor bastards whose swim is over after nine or ten hours.

    A strange thing happens when one is engaged in a singular activity for hours on end, and its the exact opposite of what one would expect; time accelerates. The time between feeds passed so quickly now and loud cheering now accompanied each chug-a-lug like a frat party drinking contest. I can only assume we are getting closer to the beach and try to keep up the pace. Jim gives me a two fists in the air salute and holds it until I respond with a thumbs up. It feels good to have the officials so solidly in my corner.

    I deliberately avoid looking forward but hope to see some kelp soon.... No kelp, but the end is near. John, Tobey and Harris were all in the water to escort me the last 200 yards to the rocky beach. The surf was slight, but I lacked the balance to deal with it, so I crawled slowly on all fours until I could find some footing. There were a few people sitting nearby in some beach chairs; they looked pretty relaxed.

    After a very brief respite, we swim back to the Outrider.

    Back aboard the Outrider, hot chocolate, mini snickers, degrease, and a hot shower... yes a hot shower! Everyone was exhausted and I'm sure looking forward to terra firma followed by a soft bed... as was I. The boat ride back to the dock wasn't long enough to fully express my appreciation to everyone on board. Before the swim, I had thought it would be fun to buy everyone a few rounds at some dockside bar and grill, but we were deep into double overtime, and I could sense that everyone was anxious to get on with the rest of their lives. Feet dragging but spirits high, we cleared our gear from the deck of the Outrider and made our way to our vehicles that waited patiently for us, parked across the road in a newly paved lot. It is unlikely that we, as a group, will ever find ourselves in the same place at the same time again, though John, Ian and Roz will be in Dover with me shortly.

    I know that I'll be back to Catalina sometime soon to swim or crew with some friends......

    Updated August 12th, 2010 at 05:07 PM by chaos

  5. Just having too much fun here

    by , August 11th, 2010 at 09:52 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Day 3 was off to a sour start as I got heartburn just before the 200 Back so not a good swim but for how I was feeling it was good. 3:12.72 which kept me in 7th place. Even with a best time I would still have gotten the same place so I'll take that.

    The 100 Fly hurt like #&*@ but it was a personal best with a 1:35.69 for 4th place. I went out much harder than I had planned. Steve said my first 50 looked like I was swimming a 50 only. Then came the wall....

    After a long day at the pool with my teammates it was off to the old city of San Juan and some site seeing and dinner. Too much fun hanging out with the GAJA crew and some of our adopted friends.

    Last event for my is the 200 Fly tomorrow. I am tempted to learn butterfrog. Nope I just can't bring myself to do it yet.
  6. Wed., Aug. 11

    by , August 11th, 2010 at 07:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    That's it. I'm beyond tired of applying sunscreen. I think 10 days at the beach is enough for me. 1 week is slightly too short to achieve max relaxation; 2 weeks is slightly too long. Unless you're somewhere else perhaps. I spent most of the day reading my book and floating over waves or on an inner tube.

    Anyhoo, as I had done a couple speed workouts in a row, I opted for a "recovery" ocean swim today. I swam from the Johnny Mercer pier to the other end of the island and walked back. No idea how far that was. It seemed like quite a bit, and I got bored. I'm naturally happier in the pool. Mr. Fort made some noises about me converting to OW swimming in my old age. I brushed this off, and believe he was thinking quite selfishly in suggesting this. hehe

    I hope I wake up and actually get psyched when I get home for Zones. A certain ennui has set in with so much vacationing and inadequate training & training goals. I am a bit jealous of those in PR; it sounds like a fabulous time. And the PV contingent is acquitting themselves very well.

    A related article on happiness:

    Updated August 18th, 2010 at 06:51 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. Wednesday, 8/11/10

    by , August 11th, 2010 at 04:32 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    Warm up
    600 Choice
    (Alternated free and back)
    6 x 100/1:45 pace w/distance per stroke
    held 16-17 spl and ave 1:32

    1 x 800 swim negative split/20sr moderate
    [went 12:37, splits by 200 were: 3:10 - 6:25 (3:15) - 9:35 (3:10) - 12:37 (3:02)]

    4 x 200/3:45 negative split strong
    (did free on #1 & 3, 3:10 - 3:12; back on #2 & 4, 3:15, 3:20)

    Cool down
    200 easy mix of all strokes

    Total: 3000 meters
  8. Wed aug 11th

    by , August 11th, 2010 at 01:04 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wed aug 11th

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- ‪USMS Nationals 2010 SCY - 100 Fly M45-49 - New Record‬‎[/nomedia]

    whitney coached
    garrison pool 86 degrees

    warm up
    4 x (150 fr 50k)
    missed 300

    main set
    4 rounds of
    4 x 50 fr
    1 4 breaths
    2 3 breaths
    3 2 breaths
    4 1 breath
    6 x 50 12 strokes fast for br & fl, 24 strokes fast for fr & bk
    200 DPS

    i was really hot & skipped parts to cool off
    Swim Workouts
  9. 8/11 Workout

    by , August 11th, 2010 at 12:25 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Another one for Geek to like and Fort to hate.

    Warm Up
    - 500 free
    - 200 back kick with fins
    - 300 back
    - 4x50 drill/kick
    Main Set
    - 400 on 5:00
    - 2x250 on 3:10
    - 200 on 2:30
    - 2x250 on 3:10
    - 400 on 5:00
    Cool down
    - 300 ez middle 100 stroke

    There was only around 6-7 seconds rest on most of the main set, with 8 seconds on the 200 and 12 seconds on the last 400. The 250s exemplify my ability to automatically swim as slow as the interval will allow. This isn't a good thing, I should have had more rest on the 250s.


    Got a delayed indirect compliment from Mark that was reenacted for me today. After I left on my 600 Monday, he said to the girl in the next lane "Yeah, I need more rest before starting the 600. I am not a ing machine like Mike." Very funny since Mark is a machine who has only made about six practices this summer, doesn't have a swimming background and still made most of the set on the hardest interval.

    Swam with Anna and Gerald today, which surprised me because Anna has specifically told me she does not like swimming with me, but she does enjoy coming up with hard practices when the regular coach is out of town.

    My indirect compliment from Anna at the end of practice.

    Me: "How'd you do?"
    Anna: "I couldn't keep up... I did 200s on the 250s... I didn't swim much much this summer."
    Me: "I know, you were standing on the side yelling at us to go faster."
    Anna: "It worked! You did!"
  10. Getting in some sprinting

    This morning I went to the early AGUA practice. Here’s what we did (mutatis mutandis for taper):

    200 lcm warmup

    300 FR + 200 IM drill (2nd warmup)

    8 x 50, 2 of each stroke, IM order, @ :20ish rest

    5x thru:
    200 IM
    100 FR
    50 Stroke (IM order)
    50 easy FR
    [I took an on-deck stretching interlude during the first 200 IM, and thereafter did the rest of the set, substituting 200 stroke drills/easy swim with fast IM turns for the IM, and doing sprint BR or BK for the 50 stroke.]

    300 warmdown + sculling + play

    My sprint breaststroke timing was feeling good today for the first time in a while—I felt like I was able to turn over quickly without losing water. I’m still working on getting my backstroke turnover right. After my 50 BK at the Wilton meet, Coach Craig told me that I was swimming too flat, and shouldn’t sacrifice rotation for arm speed (or at least not to the extent that I was doing). My body and I still seem to be negotiating what rate of turnover still allows me to get enough body rotation when I’m sprinting.

    Yesterday afternoon I went over to the Y for a short on-my-own swim. I did

    1000 warmup

    8 x 25 FR, odds build quickly to sprint, evens easy

    400 warmdown

    I would usually do the sprint 25s to feet, but I realized one thing I’m glad about for Zones is that I will not have to do any flipturns in any of my races! (I don’t count backstroke turns as flipturns). For some reason, freestyle turns are my least favorite of all the swim turns. I will get to do all the other 5 possible turns (that’s counting butterfly and breaststroke turns as the same) exactly once over the course of my 6 races.

    (Math question of the day: How many possible combinations of events would the above info hold true for?)

    10 more days til Zones!
    Tags: math, taper, turnover
  11. tue aug 10th 2010

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 10:51 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    tue aug 10th

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- ‪USMS Nationals 2010 SCY - 100 Fly M45-49 - New Record‬‎[/nomedia]

    swam mon

    main set
    10 x 100

    10 x 50 walk on deck, 50 easy speed from dive

    arrived late missed warm up
    pool 86 degrees

    400 easy
    4 x 100 fr
    400 im drill

    300 easy
    3 x 100 fr
    300 im drill

    200 easy
    2 x 100 fr
    200 Im drill

    100 fr easy speed
    100 fr went 1:01
    100 easy

    Updated August 10th, 2010 at 11:02 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  12. Swim, Tuesday, Aug. 10

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 08:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Y:

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Set:

    8 x 100 @ 2:00, aerobic mode

    2 each of 100 free w/paddles, 100 russian breast drill, 100 back, 100 kick

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    10 x 50 @ 1:15, working on hand speed
    odds = 25 power breast pull w/buoy + 25 EZ
    evens = 15 backstroke spin drill + 35 easy

    6 x 50 breast kick, cruise
    odds = 1 pull, 3 kicks UW
    evens = kick on back

    3 x through w/fins:

    1 x 25 AFAP free
    1 x 50 EZ
    1 x 25 easy speed fly
    1 x 50 EZ

    100 EZ

    Mini Hypoxic Set:

    8 x 25 shooters w/fins

    50 EZ

    Total: 3200



    Same routine as yesterday. I was on the beach for a couple hours, ate lunch and headed to the Y for a little speed work. I timed it to arrive after the Tri Group, and ended up having a lane of my own. No noodler incidents. Then headed back to the beach. I finished reading Dead End Gene Pool, which you must read if you think your family is dysfunctional. Started reading Open, Andre Agassi's autobiography. Planning on watching A Single Man tonight. Life feels very lazy. I will be quite quite spoiled when I get back to the inexorable routine of food gathering and preparing and chauffeuring. Fortunately, summer doesn't end until after Labor Day in DC, which, btw, is a good place to be away from right now.

    Here's a P90X article on nutrition that I saw on FB:

    My son turns 18 tomorrow. I can hardly believe it ...
    Swim Workouts
  13. Day 2 at Nationals

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 05:34 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    More hardware today. After a leasurely warm up of 500 then another 500 later started with the 50 Fly in 37.30 for 6th place. The 100 Back I jammed the turn really bad, I was so close when I rolled over I almost hit the wall with my head. Still managed a 1:31.84 for 8th place.

    Next up were relays we did a Mixed Medley where I did fly and split a 36.89 and we placed 8th and the womens free relay I split 31.70 and we placed 6th!

    Great day looking forward to tomorrow.
  14. Tuesday, 8/10/10

    by , August 10th, 2010 at 11:38 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, with Carrie

    Warm up
    300 free
    200 Kick w/board
    100 Scull/Pull Free
    200 Back
    200 Kick on back
    100 Scull/Pull Back

    10 x 50
    3 x 50/50 build
    1 x 50/45 fast
    2 x 50/50 build
    1 x 50/40 Faster
    1 x 50/50 build
    1 x 50/35 fastest
    1 x 50 easy

    4 x 100 Kick 10m underwater
    3 x 100 10 fast kicks into 4 fast strokes then kick moderate into wall
    (1 free, 1 fly, 1 back)
    time 100 fast kick
    (on back, went 1:50)

    Cool down
    100 easy

    Total: 2500 meters
  15. Sunk Redux: End of the Summer Open Water Swim

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 11:40 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years that matter.

    --Anonymous, date unknown

    How quickly my once proudest boast, "There is not one ounce of fat on this boy!" has transformed into "There is not one ounce of boy in this fat!"

    --Jim Thornton, 1983


    The summer continues to pass by in a humid blink. With each passing year, the acceleration of time's flow becomes that much more bamboozlingly rapid. For a FINA-58-year-old like me, no sooner have I had such thoughts than a natural worry comes to mind. To wit, how will I possibly have time to make my burial preparations, so quickly are the nanosecond-like years speeding by.

    But then I think: Oh, what an impractical worry you are torturing yourself with, Jim! Given the speed of time's passing, the friction alone will burn you to bits, a spontaneous combustion that all but eliminates the need for any additional mortuary science!

    And I find peace in this.

    It seems like only a half hour ago since the Range War! of inchoate animosities broke out on the forum, stoked by misunderstandings and turf battling nincompoopitude that very few, if any of us, understood. Not that it stopped very entertaining criss-crossing spurts of bile from ejaculating into every corner of the forumite community!

    It seems like only a second ago that I contributed two new slogans to the USMS greater community--one, of course, not mine at all, but rather a "found" gem, like Marcel DuChamps legendary "readymades," the most famous of which was arguably:

    Fountain by Marcel DuChamp

    USMS Forums:

    A cesspool full of combative weirdoes and irrelevant losers!

    Forum T-Shirt Slogan "Found"by Jim Thornton

    [ame=""]Forum T-Shirt Logo Poll - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    USMS! Where Sad Old Men Go to Die

    Advertising campaign tag line ideated by Jim Thornton

    [ame=""]What Does USMS Needs to do to grow to 100,000+ Members? - Page 2 - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    Perhaps such ideas are ahead of their time; in any event, they garnered little interest at the time of their posting, and I suspect they will garner little interest now. I include them here only so that 1,000 years from now, swimming cultural anthropologists might perhaps unearth from the rubble of today's ephemerata valuable clues as to how the sport evolved to what they are doing then from what we are doing now.

    I daresay such historians will look upon today's strokes with the same bemusement we now regard the doggie paddle!

    But enough speculation.

    Let me get to the point of today's entry: the official announcement of The Jim Thornton Annual Pre-Birthday Open Rough Water Shark and Snapper Blue 2-Mile Swim.

    Two quick modifications. I thought that last year was the first time I did this, but it turns out it was two years ago. Moreover, for the second event, I am planning to change it from a 2-mile swim to a 5K swim.

    Thus the new name--and the way I hope you will note the event on your desk calendar, Blackberry-like device, and other reminder technologies is:

    The Jim Thornton Bi-Annual (not to be confused with Semi-Annual, as I almost did) Pre-Birthday Open Rough Water Shark and Snapper Blue 5K Swim.

    Here are the particulars:

    1. The JTBA(ntbcwsaaiad)PBORWSaSB5KS (for short) will be held sometime during the week of August 23-29th, that is, after the Colony Zones LCM Championships are over at the U. Maryland.
    2. The venue for the swim is Ocean City, New Jersey, not too terribly far from my twin brother's house, in the Atlantic Ocean, with the finish line being the pier at 52nd Street, I am pretty sure, though it's possible the pier is on 53rd, 54th, 55th, or 56th Street. This detail will be worked out before the starter's signal blasts or tweets.
    3. Chances are fairly good that I will be tired from the LCM meet and probably won't want to hold my event on Monday, or even Tuesday, though these days cannot be ruled out. The actual day will be announced here on my blog at least 24 hours in advance of the actual race.
    4. The starting time for the event will be after 5 p.m., because you don't need to pay for a beach tag after 5.
    5. On the day of the race, I will ascertain whether the rip currents are yanking swimmers in a generally north to south direction, or reverse. I will then use my brother's car to drive 3.1 miles up or down the beach accordingly (we will be swimming with the current, not against it) to establish the starting point.
    6. This event is not sanctioned, not recognized, not safe, not protected by life guards, and possibly fatal for a variety of reasons foreseeable and unforeseeable.
    7. This event is not really an event. It is more of a communal coincidence. If you want to do a purely personal swimming challenge entirely of your own volition, and you want to coincidentally do this when I do it too, and perhaps even race against me, why then I cannot stop you! It is a free (and under normal circumstances a litigious) country, though there are absolutely no grounds whatsoever for litigation with my communally coincidental swimming thingy.
    8. The above notwithstanding, I will have indemnification papers and liability waivers for you to sign if, in fact, you act against my strongest recommendations TO NOT DO THIS UNSAFE ACTIVITY, which could involved run ins with sea life including, but not limited to, snapper blues, sharks, selkies, and crabs.
    9. My cell phone number is (412) 651-2100 and my email address is (If you haven't already, please befriend me on Facebook, too, at James Scott Thornton.) If you are going to be anywhere near Ocean City that week and want to swim, let me know and I will send you a text when I figure out the day.
    10. My twin brother John might be cajoled into filming the event.
    11. He does have a garage. Knowing John, I think he would consider a reasonable rent for anyone who wants to camp out in his garage the night before or after the race. I should add that my son Jack once said when he was 6 or 7, "Uncle John, you have a serious green head problem"--green heads being these biting flies that thrive on the salt marshes against which John's garage abuts. Again, there will be waiver and indemnity forms to sign for any potential garage campers.
    12. Finally, unlike most OW events where the most threatening form of life one is likely to collide with is the Brooklyn Whitefish (AKA Coney Island Whitefish), the real challenge of the JTBA(ntbcwsaaiad)PBORWSaSB5KS is not the swim itself, which should be relatively easy, especially if the current is strong, but rather dealing with the psychological creepiness of the venue. To wit, you have to go out a fair distance to reach water that is not being buffeted by breaking waves. The water, though extremely clean, is nevertheless murky; and in this murk, the shadows of monsters do occasionally appear to play about. Once, when I was swimming through the pier pilings, trying to avoid being dashed against the razor barnacles encrusting the wood, I saw something about 6 feet across float by right underneathe my body. It was a large ray of some sort. But by the time I realized it meant me no harm, there were a few involuntary palpitations triggered by proximity to such a murk-dwelling leviathan! I guarantee that anyone who signs up for the swim will have phantoms, real or imaginary, to deal with. They become all the more sinister, I must say, when one has swum so far off shore to avoid the crashing surf that land itself occasionally disappears totally from view when one sinks into a wave trough!
    13. But still, it's very fun, and the water is a wonderful cool temperature, the perfect antidote to this summer heat and global warming foreshadowing!
    14. Here is a vlog from yesteryear about the first official race, which I must say I won handily. I will also separately link the film my brother made of that special day, a film he named simply, Sunk!

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- ‪Sunk‬‎[/nomedia]

    Updated August 10th, 2010 at 12:09 AM by jim thornton

  16. Monday, Aug 9

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 09:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Another beautiful beach day. I had no desire to make the trek to the Y today, so I braved the ocean. Probably not so wise. It was a yellow flag day and very choppy. Plus, I was swimming against the current somewhat. I felt like I was going nowhere. I swam about halfway to the far pier in almost the same time it took to go the whole way last week. No idea how OW swimmers do this all the time ... I'll head back to the Y tomorrow for some sprints.

    Mr. Fort had much better luck. He rode part of the B2B course, going 68 miles and averaging 22.3 mph. He's anxious to see how fast he'll be with zipps.

    Heading home on Friday. I'll be beached out by then. I've managed to weasel out of a small family reunion that weekend involving travel and young children. I need to get back to my own pool, dammit! And I need to start plotting some good 3-4 day escapes for the rest of the year. I also need to start formulating a training plan like Patricks. Not sure what my meet agenda will be (although I will plan on the Sprint Classic).
    Swim Workouts
  17. Monday, Aug 9

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 09:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Another beautiful beach day. I had no desire to make the trek to the Y today, so I braved the ocean. Probably not so wise. It was a yellow flag day and very choppy. Plus, I was swimming against the current somewhat. I felt like I was going nowhere. I swam about halfway to the far pier in almost the same time it took to go the whole way last week. No idea how OW swimmers do this all the time ... I'll head back to the Y tomorrow for some sprints.

    Mr. Fort had much better luck. He rode part of the B2B course, going 68 miles and averaging 22.3 mph. He's anxious to see how fast he'll be with zipps.

    Heading home on Friday. I'll be beached out by then. I've managed to weasel out of a small family reunion that weekend involving travel and young children. I need to get back to my own pool, dammit! And I need to start plotting some good 3-4 day escapes for the rest of the year. I also need to start formulating a training plan like Patricks. Not sure what my meet agenda will be (although I will plan on the Sprint Classic).
    Swim Workouts
  18. Good start for Nationals

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 04:44 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Got in late yesterday so I was only able to to 1200 meters yesterday.

    Today managed a good 1500 Free in 22:55.85 for 4th place. Had a little difficulty breathing half way thru and had to slow down but after I got my breathing under control it was back to normal pace. When I looked at the splits I held 45-46 per 50 with one 48 (breathing issue here). Very pleased with the swim over all.

    With warm up and warm down went 3000 meters today.
  19. 8/9 Workout

    This was a sneaky workout.

    Warm up
    - 4x
    -- 100 swim
    -- 50 kick no board
    -- 50 stroke
    Main Set
    -- Goal to hold the same pace the entire set
    -- 15 seconds rest
    -- I picked 1:10 pace (wisely?)
    - 12x50 on :50 (held :35s without problem)
    - 6x100 on 1:25 (1:10s-1:12s)
    - 3x200 on 2:35 (2:21-2:23s)
    - 40 seconds extra rest (waiting for Mark was my excuse)
    - 1x600 on 7:15 (7:20 oops)
    Cool down
    - 200 ez

    This doesn't look like a hard set and I was worried during the 50s that I picked a pace that was too easy. During the end of the 100s I started to worry and I held back just a little during the 200s knowing that 600 was yet to come. I am very happy with the set, and I probably would have made 7:15 if I hadn't had to raise my head so many times to check to clock to figure out where in the 600 I was. All the clocks short course are on the end walls, with none on the side walls so no checking the clock on a breath.

    Mark did this on the same intervals, but didn't grasp what doing the 50s on 50 meant for the 200s. He had a rough time during the 200s and took a couple minute break before the 600 as a result. This is the first time since Lazy Wife stopped swimming that someone has swam a set on my intervals which was nice, especially with the set being as long as it was.

    Non-swimming nonsense

    I read Fort's article on finding happiness in life and there are two things that were pointed out that I have done (accidentally).

    First, when we bought our current house, a prime consideration was its proximity to a masters team. Activities bring happiness, and close proximity to those activities encourages you to more frequently participate in them (from the article).

    Second, taking two 3-4 day vacations instead of a 7 day vacation or longer. Our reasoning behind this taking 2 trips instead of one is outside the scope of this forum, but the first trip worked out great, and next year we are planning on taking several short trips instead of longer trips. The idea is that a lot of pleasure from trips is derived from the anticipation that goes along with them, thus more frequent is better. From my experience, after about 5 days on most vacations I don't want to be vacationing anymore. Asia was an exception.

    Thanks for the article Fort.

    Updated August 9th, 2010 at 03:53 PM by qbrain

  20. Toys galore

    This morning I swam the early AGUA workout. August is such a nice peaceful month in the city—the pool felt very spacious this morning, with just 4-5 swimmers per lc lane. We had a treat this morning—Coach Frank from Curl-Burke guest coached (our regular coach, Craig, is away with our “national team” in Puerto Rico). Frank was super nice and full of energy, at 5:30 in the morning no less. I adapted the workout as necessary for my taper. Here’s what we did:

    500 lcm warmup

    5 x 100 (50 K / 50 easy swim) @ :20 rest

    4 x 200 wrap-around, skip-stroke IMs @ 4:00: 1st 200 = FL/BK/BR/FL, 2nd = BK/BR/FR/BK, 3rd = BR/FR/FL/BR, 4th = FR/FL/BK/FR

    4 x 300 w/ paddles:
    First we had a technique talk on correct paddle technique (keep elbows high and rotate, should feel it in the lats, not the shoulders)
    --On the first 300, we wore a paddle on our right hand only, and swam 100 right-arm only (50 w/ left arm at side, 50 w/ left arm in front), 100 left-arm only (50 w/ rt. arm at side, 50 w/ rt. arm in front), then 100 using both arms.
    --On the 2nd 300, we wore a paddle on our left hand only, and did the mirror-image of the above
    --On the 3rd 300, we wore paddles on both hands and otherwise did the same thing as on #1
    --The 4th 300 was paddles on both hands, 200 back build + 100 FR
    [Doing the one-arm drills with just one paddle on felt confusing, plus I was getting remarkably far behind my lanemates, so I got out mid-way through the 2nd 300 and watched how my teammates did these drills for a bit. Keeping the motion continuous and fluid seemed to be the key—I think I was stopping and starting too much with each single arm stroke. Then I noticed that two of our swimmers who were PR-bound today were doing some fast swims from a dive in another lane, so I went over there and practiced a few dives and got some good pointers. I hopped back into my lane near the end of the 3rd 300. On the 4th 300, I ditched the paddles and did 4 x 50 BK (25 sprint, 25 easy) + 100 FR easy

    4 x 200 w/ fins (150 kick + 50 swim choice)
    [I just did the first of these with fins, and really hammered the 50 swim (FR), which was majorly fun. I then warmed down finless for the last two.]

    Midway through my warmdown I was submerged under the water doing breaststroke on my back, and I happened to look backwards and saw one of my lanemates doing fly with fins swimming towards me. It looked really cool! After that, I tried lying on the pool bottom and watching several of my friends as they swam by. It’s a neat effect.

    Over the weekend I watched U.S. nats on tv. Here’s some thoughts:

    --I wondered what Lochte could go for a 200 BR—that stroke looked great on both of his IMs.

    --My disapproval of earlier tech suits on purely aesthetic grounds still stands for the current generation. I don’t at all like seeing all 8 finalists wearing the same solid black suit. If Speedo can make sparkly emerald green sneakers for Lochte, can’t they custom-make some colorful graphic-y suits for their stars? (Or if not custom make—I think that might run afoul of FINA regs, alas—at least produce their suits in a variety of colors and patterns, a la their very successful Flipturns line?) For $375 you should get pretty suit, not just a fast one!
    On one night that swimming was not on Universal Sports, they carried a track meet from Stockholm at which Usain Bolt was wearing a cool custom designed singlet. It would be neat to see something similar done with our tech suits.

    --The thinner parts of the Speedo suit are very sheer, especially in the sunlight at outdoor meets. Some of the guys almost looked like they were wearing black nylon stockings over codpieces.

    --The Arena women’s suit (worn by Rebecca Soni) is very aggressively cut in on the sides. Arena racing suits were always cut like that in the 80s and 90s, but it’s interesting that they went back to that minimal-fabric back design once zippers were outlawed.

    --I want to try those starting blocks with the slanted bit in the back. Do any pools that host masters meets in the northeast have them?

    Yesterday I went over to my 220y track and did plyo. I had planned to plyo while on vacation in Lake Placid—I had even chosen the grassy infield of the Olympic speed-skating oval as my venue—but had to postpone it for a few days after stubbing my toe on a heavy wooden Adirondack chair. Nothing broken, but the toe swelled up under the nail and was painful for a few days. I was worried that I might lose the toenail, but now it seems fine, and I can once again wear running shoes without pain.

    Here’s what I did yesterday:


    4 x 40y sprint (85, 90, 95, 100%)

    5 x 40y skip:
    warmup skip
    skipping for height, both legs
    skipping for height, right leg
    skipping for height, left leg
    skipping for distance, both legs

    I left off the one-legged skips for distance, because my right knee was feeling a little wonky right at the place (MCL) where it was injured last summer. It feels ok today, though, so I’m glad of that. I’m still very nervous about injuring myself with the plyo, so am being pretty conservative about how much and how quickly I add stuff. I might get in one more plyo session before Zones, if my legs feel good this Wednesday or Thursday, or this might be the last one for a couple of weeks.