Despite waking up fairly stiff and inflexable, I manage 4 decent swims in workout today, everything else was recovery and mobility.
10x100@1:45 Free w/4 beat kick
500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd moderate
3x[100@2:30 as 50 fly chest press/50 fly kick on back w/fins
....[100@2:00 fly w/fins for time went 1:21, 1:18, 1:18
300 Free kick w/fins easy
100 Fly w/fins for time 1:12
500 Free w/snorkle, paddles & bouy easy recovery
500 Free Drills w/fins
Total 3000 yards
This morning I got in a last swim at my beloved Florida pool before heading back to New York tomorrow. It was hopping during am lap swim--I actually had to split a lane for part of my workout, which is rare here. Hereís what I did:
1000 lcm warmup
8 x 100: odds FR @ 2:00, evens FR/BK at 2:00, 1:50, 1:40, 1:30
Then I joined up with a couple of my winter swimming buddies who were at the pool for the following:
3 x 400 @ 7:30 [I did the first FR, the 2nd FR/BK by 50s, the 3rd FR/BK by 100s]
I had an aha moment on the first of those 400s. I was trying to maintain a 6-beat kick on my FR. My usual kick is more of a 2-beat foot plunk, and Iíve always found switching to a 6-beat frustrating because it tires me out without making me go much faster. I think this is because I have let this kick flatten out my stroke; if I focus on using two of those six beats to rotate myself, then my kick suddenly feels more powerful.
Also, for the 400s I moved over to a lane under the short-course flags so that I could swim by the others doing the set. This meant I had backstroke flags (for the poolís scy setup) strung right over my lane. The only drawback to swimming outdoors, for me, is the lack of any ceiling to keep me on the straight and narrow during backstroke. Swimming in lanes 2 or 7, where the backstroke flags for the perpendicular short course lanes are strung, solves this problem perfectly. I think hosts of outdoor meets could easily recoup a significant portion of their meet expenditures by auctioning off the rights to swim in these lanes for backstroke events.
Tomorrow is a travel dayóno swimming. But I have enjoyed working out in this outdoor pool, and look forward to returning here this winter.
8 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = swim
evens = kick
10 x (25 AFAP + 25 EZ), no interval
3 free, 3 breast, 3 UW kick, 1 fly fast
I only had time for a very quick swim today; the rest of the day was booked solid. (And I still have red, not Gaga, hair.) So, it seemed like the perfect time to pop in a 10 x 25 fast. I wish I had felt fast, but at least it's a start. I'm ready to get back to basics -- strength & speed! But, unlike Patrick, I plan to use actual weights.
I glanced at a few workouts from last year in late Sept. In particular, I was looking to see what I went on my fast 50s with fins for Q. I found this set from Sept. 29:
5 x (50 AFAP w/fins + 100 EZ)
50 SDK on back, :23
50 back, high :24
50 free, :25 (missed turn)
50 SDK, :23
50 back, :25 (tired)
I highly doubt I could do that right now. But I plan to do this set on Friday along with some other speed work and maybe some high intensity vertical kicking. I feel the need to do more than 31 kicks in 10 seconds, or I will have to concede defeat to Geek and send him a cap.
To get myself out of my demi-funk, I am entering some meets. I am going to do an abbreviated line up at the Sprint Classic and go to Indy with Jimslie the following weekend. I will be staying at the famous Bobinator's house and Chicken of the Sea, FlyQueen, Bzaks and others may attend as well. If Bill White doesn't come with Jimslie and me, I will plan something evil for my next Sewickley Masters workout over Thanksgiving.
Sprint Classic Events, Oct. 24:
GRIN Fall Classic at Indy, SCM, Oct. 30-31:
50 breast (as split request in the 100)
The weather sucks! It was 90 and humid today. It thundered as I was heading to watch FortSon's cross country race. It was delayed, causing me to miss the race because I had to take Lil Fort and friend to swim practice. Grrr ... He said he had a good race, but died in the heat. We fair skinned folk do not like exercising in heat.
I haven't received my Swimmer magazine yet, and I am just dying to read "Swimming Through Menopause."
I am getting some crap for being mental about the cold water and opting not to do the B2B race. I can only hope that certain people know that if I die, our relay will get DQ'd.
And, finally ... drumroll ... Ryan Lochte will be at a local swim shop on Saturday from 11-2. Mini is urging a trip there after my swim practice.
Updated September 22nd, 2010 at 09:51 PM by The Fortress
1 X 300 4:30
2 X 150 2:15
3 X 100 1:30
6 X 50 descend 1-3/4-6 :50
2 X 200 kick 4:15
3 X 100 kick 2:10
4 X 50 kick 1:00
1 X 400 6:00
8 X 50 descend 1-4/5-8 1:00
1 X 300 4:30
6 X 50 descend 1-3/4-6 :55
1 X 200 3:00
4 X 50 descend 1-4 :50
1 X 100 1:30
2 X 50 fast 1:00
16 X 50 1:05
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
1 x 200 Kick w/Fins - 50 smooth - 50 strong build
1 x 200 Swim w/Fins- 50 build - 25 fast - 25 smooth
Main Set: Free & Back
Repeat following twice:
free on round 1, back on round 2
4 x 25/30 Build with strong kick
4 x 25/30 desc. with strong kick
(took 1 min extra rest both rounds)
1 x 100 free - Fast/3:00
(free 1:10, back)1:20
4 x 50/1:00 Build with strong kick
(free 37-38, back 44-45)
4 x 50/1:00 desc. with strong kick
(free 40->35, back 45->41)
(took 1 min extra rest both rounds)
1 x 100 Free - Fast/3:00
(free 1:11, back 1:19)
1 x 100 easy
Total: 2800 yards
Wed Sep 22 2010
Did not swim on Tuesday
Congrats to Whitney Hedgepeth for her Backstroke article in the USMS Swimmer magazine September / October 2010 issue
"What You Don't See Can Hurt You
Most Common Backstroke Mistakes Are Often Easiest to Miss"
Congrats to Tyler the Miler Blessing on being the Cover Boy & featured swimmer in her article.
Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog
6:00 TO 7:30 am
Austin Mabel Davis pool
swam with MIKE V, larry, todd, tyler, Marcio, james, jim, nate, ned, & Bob
dove in around 6:20
400 6 SDKs
400 6 SDKs
12 x 100
200 br k
I am on the fence if this workout is a Fort workout. I think the last set makes it a no.
- 300 free
- 300 kick on back no fins
- 300 back
- 300 swim
- 100 free off the blocks (:56.5)
- 10x50 odd ez, even fast with fins on 1:00 (sub 28s)
- 150 ez
- 4x200 odd fast, even ez on 3:00 (2:10, 2:08)
Thanks to Damien, we might have a race every practice off the blocks. The plan is to do the 100 back Friday, which Damien is very good at. After the 100 free, he told me he thought I was dogging the race because he was only half a body length behind, but didn't think that on the back half His goal is to break 1:00 and he went 1:00.2 today, so just cleaning up his turns should do it.
Didn't worry about the times on the 50s with fins too much since we rarely do sets like that, I don't have a reference for what fast really is. Fun set for me.
That second 200 hurt and felt like a 2:30 as my arms slowly started to grind to a stop during the last 50.
Not much yardage, but good quality today. This goes in the great practice bucket for me.
Registered for my first SCY meet of the season and penultimate USAS meet of the year.
Updated September 22nd, 2010 at 12:20 PM by qbrain
Well yesterday I ran 4 .5 miles and did core work. So when I got to the pool this morning I had some carry over tiredness.
300 FR/BK by 50
4 x 50 FLY 1:30
10 x 50 K 1:30
The kicking was slower today but with a drag suit on and after a run the day before--I wasn't surprised.
100 to 500 to 100 Ladder/Pyarmid whatever you call it. 1:42 pace.
I swam it around the 1:30-1:35 mark. So rest was good on the longer swims and I recovered from the kick set to put in some nice effort. I descended the back half by a few seconds per 100 too
500 Fin Kick
4 x 50 EZ
Updated September 23rd, 2010 at 08:02 AM by SwimStud
I did it anyway. I am now glad I did since I got my body moving better than I have in a while.
6x100@1:30 Free kick w/fins
300 Free kick w/fins easy
100 Free kick w/fins for time 1:14
10x50@1:00 Fly w/fins as 25 skull drill/25 swim fast
10x100 Free w/paddles & bouy
#1-4@1:30 held 1:25's
#5-7@1:25 held 1:20's
#8-9@1:20 held 1:15's
#10@1:15 went 1:14
300 Free easy w/snorkle
Total 3800 yards
The previous neap tide was a complete blow out, as was the following spring tide. I fell into a little funk as swimmers scheduled for this window came to the reality one by one that they would not have the opportunity to swim. With much training and treasure spent, obviously disappointed, they all left Dover with grace and the understanding that chance is still a large factor of any channel attempt. The best wishes from Jordan and Liz and Bryan before their departures strengthened my resolve to give it all I could if/when I got the call.
On Saturday, 9/28 six boats went out with relays competing in a London to Paris triathlon. The conditions were not ideal, but it was the first activity since my arrival a week ago and there was suddenly a buzz in the air. Word on the street was Monday or Tuesday were looking likely for solos in the #1 slot. Since my pilot, Paul Foreman, was able to get a few of his bookings in for their swims earlier in the season, I had been bumped up to #2... lucky me! I was now looking at a Wednesday morning start, though at 2 AM, it really felt like a Tuesday night.
Captain Paul took out a San Francisco swimmer, Joe Locke, at 1:00 AM Monday morning. Since Joe was also staying at Varne Ridge, I had the pleasure to chat with him a bit and compare notes on the schedule, etc. Joe had an excellent swim, and I imagine conditions were pretty good as at least 3 swimmers broke 10 hours this day. I got a call from Paul Foreman after Joe had landed, and though the connection was spotty, I understood the gist of it.... I'd be meeting him some time Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning for an early splash on Sept 1. There were 4 flags flying at Varne Ridge... UK, USA, Ireland and Australia. Four of my five neighbors were successful, and as far as i could tell from the forecasts; tomorrow was going to be even better.
As per the tide changes, starting times generally shift about an hour per day, so, on 8/31, Joe's splash time was +/- 1 AM; 9/1, my splash time would be +/- 2 AM. Sharroz, John, and I met Fiona and Betsy at the marina at 1:30, loaded up the boat and were on our way to Shakespeare Beach which took no time at all.
I was anxious to get started, so stripped down, inserted ear plugs, applied a bit of channel grease to my pits, shoulders, jaw, neck, upper back, groin, etc. wiped my hands, put on my cap, turned on the green strobe that was attached to my goggle strap, clipped on a belt (and tucked it into my suit) with a couple of glow lights, and jumped in. It was only a short swim to the beach, and after just a few seconds, I was on my way to France. Though I'm a much stronger left breather, Paul requested that I swim on the left side of the boat. This was a position that made it easy for him to keep his eye on me, and I complied without complaint. My plan was to breathe every 3 strokes and keep my stroke rate between 65 and 70. The adrenaline kicked in, and I felt like I was moving at a good clip though kicking a bit too much. I wanted to get warm fast (though the 62 degree water never felt cold) and after 2.5 hours, got a major cramp in my left hamstring.... the same thing that forced my resignation from the 2006 MIMS. Four years wiser, I was able to massage out the cramp and continue along with minimal leg movement (for the next 12 hours). Dodged a bullet!
The first mate would blind me with a spotlight to indicate feed time. (should have worked out a better signal) I would be alternating between 1st Endurance EFS and ginger tea with agave nectar every 20 minutes. The feeds were coming to me warm; not as hot as I expected them to be but since the temperature of the water didn't seem to be an issue, I didn't request them to be any hotter. The string I packed for this trip was a thin lacing cord that tangled up terribly, sometimes causing my feed stops to be a bit awkward. Additionally, my sinus was a bit irritated from the salty irrigations of harbor water for the past 10 days, so breathing through my nose was not happening; this prevented me from chugging my 11 oz feeds as quickly as I would have liked to. Oh well, I wasn't going to break any records anyway.
Swimming on the port side of the Pace Arrow gave me an unobstructed view of the horizon. I have never experienced a clear sunrise from a fish eye view before. It was nothing short of magnificent. I thought standing on french sand (or pebbles) would be the emotional climax, but tears of joy were filling up my goggles as the sky lit up red and orange. I saw Roz and Fiona had the cameras going but know that photographs could never convey this feeling of swimming through the darkness. The fresh morning suggested warmth, though I don't think the temperature changed at all.
The channel is rather shallow <180 feet (compare to Catalina +/- 3000 ft!) and there aren't a lot of things to look at except white cliffs at either coast and the passing ships and ferries. Now in the daylight, I could see the cliffs of Dover when I would roll on my back to feed though its impossible to gauge the distance covered. Still, I quickly remind myself not to look toward France. Though the shipping lanes are wide, the direction of traffic indicates when we are in English or French waters. I lost count of how many ships crossed our path, but it was more than a dozen. It surprised me that their wakes were barely perceivable although they seemed to pass quickly and closely.
I broke my first rule (DON"T LOOK TOWARD THE FINISH) and looked at France. It seemed so close.... for so long; the lighthouse atop Cap Gris Nez a welcome sight. At my next feed Fiona shouted a few words of encouragement "you're almost there!", which prompted me to ask "how many more feeds?". This was not part of my communication plan and I think also qualifies as breaking rule #2... (JUST SHUT UP AND SWIM), but I wanted to know if I could start consuming fewer calories as we seemed to be in the home stretch. John was caught off guard by my inquiry; "two more" he shouted. So now in my mind, I'm thinking I've got another 40 minutes to an hour of swimming left. I could cruise in on what I've consumed so far and let the next two feeds go back to the boat after just a few sips. The hour has passed, and the view of the lighthouse hasn't changed at all. There would be another ten feeds coming my way, and I went back to drinking it all down. During this futile siege I noticed Capt. Paul changing the position of the boat relative to the Cap... trying to find a break in the currents that would allow us passage. At one point, he pulled around to my left, and I saw for the first time the giant woven nylon parachute that he was dragging behind the boat. This was preventing the boat from turning into the wind and current.
We missed hitting the Cap, (I don't think anyone hit it directly that day), and the wind was picking up. I thought of the possibility that I might have to hold this position for up to six hours and wait for the tide to change (based on stories of swims past) and laughed to myself as I watched the boat bouncing up and down in the six to eight foot swells... it must suck being on that boat... wasn't I the lucky one!
Finally, we got through the currents and entered into a shallow cove just north of Cap Gris Nez. I saw John suiting up to escort me to the finish and in front of us, a street that ended in a boat ramp with a few houses on the right and, a restaurant (La Sirene) on the left. I kept sighting on the boat ramp, and was rewarded with a sandy/pebbly beach to walk up. There were a few people standing at the top of the ramp, and from their gestures, I thought they were inviting us to come have a drink.... John says this was purely my imagination, and anyway, Paul was already sounding the horn for us to swim the hundred or so yards back to the boat. We grabbed a few rocks and started swimming.
THE RIDE BACK
The Pace Arrow is one of the fastest boats of all the channel pilots, and Paul was in a hurry to get back. We were getting bounced around pretty good, but still, after a trip to the head and wiping the grease off me, I was out like a light. Sharoz and Fiona took lots of video and stills and along with John and Betsy were tremendous support. I've said it before, but it can't be overstated: I could have never completed any of these swims without the enthusiastic support of so many friends and family. I am humbled in the presence of such love and generosity.
I'm not sure who came up with the "Triple Crown", http://www.triplecrownofopenwaterswimming.com/ but it seems to have become a motivating force for marathon swimmers. Catalina has seen large increases in the number of swimmers scheduling attempts, MIMS fills up in an hour or so, and the EC is booked up for a couple of years in advance. I was inspired by Antonio Arguelles who I met at MIMS last year whose goal was to swim the three in one year. This seemed to make sense to me, and since I had aN EC booking, all I had to do was get into MIMS and find a Catalina date somewhere in the middle. It was 82 days from MIMS to my EC crossing. Steve Munatones did a nice write up... thanks Steve! http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimm...et-enough.html
Colorado swimmer Craig Lenning completed the TC in less than a year as well. http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimm...rown-club.html
I had the pleasure of swimming with him at MIMS and Tampa Bay this year.
...... up next; La Sirene, the Serp, the Thames, etc
Updated September 22nd, 2010 at 08:30 PM by chaos
This morning I swam solo outdoors. Hereís what I did:
1200 LC warmup: 400 easy swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 400 RIM drill/swim by 50
8 x 50 FR w/snorkel w/ :20-:30 rest, 12-beat kick on 1st, 11-beat kick on 2nd, and so on down to 6-beat kick on 7th and 8th [This was an interesting experimentóI had intended to start out with very slow arm strokes and focus on great form as I sped them up, but ended up mostly counting kicks and trying to get them to work out like they were supposed to.]
4 x 150 (50 Swim / 50 Kick / 50 Swim), odds BK, evens FR
200 easy pull
8 x 100 @ 2:00: odds easy FR/BK, maintaining kick on FR; evens fast BK/BR [the goal was to keep the BK/BR under 1:45; I made 3 out of 4]
When I got to the pool this morning there were only 2 other swimmers there; they got out pretty soon, and I had the whole pool to myself for over an hour. When that happens in the winter here in NW Florida I attribute it to the cold weather, but this morning it was beautiful and sunny and in the 70s. How can there be so few swimmers in such great conditions? (The pool entrance is $4, or $135 for the whole year for residents, so it probably isnít the cost.) It is a puzzlement.
SCM, with Carrie
300 Swim back & free
200 IM Drill
4 x 50/1:00 ds
(all free - 43-41-40-37)
All 50's were back
1 x 400/8:00 free smooth build (6:05)
4 x 50/1:00 strong - back (49-50)
1 x 300/6:00 free smooth build (4:45)
3 x 50/1:00 stronger - back (46-47)
1 x 200/4:00 free smooth build (3:05)
2 x 50/1:00 even stronger - back (45-46)
1 x 100/2:00 free smooth build (1:29)
1 x 50/1:00 Fast - back (42)
6 minutes vertical kicking - 20 sec kick: 10 sec rest
(did 2 min flutter and 1 min fly - 2x through)
Pull - Back with bouy and paddles
4 x 100/20sr back pull
(around 1:45 on these)
Total: 2700 meters
10 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = stroke drill
(1 arm fly or russian breast)
evens = kick
30 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :30, done as:
10 x 25
odds = back
evens = belly
10 x 25
flutter kick shooter
10 x 25
1:00 rest between sets of 10
10 x 50
odds = stroke drill
evens = kick
I had considered doing some speed work today, but I am not recovered from the events of the weekend. Why does it take so long to recover from races/travel? I need to get back on track, but am oddly demotivated. Thankfully, it is only Sept. 21. Still a month to the Sprint Classic. I'm going to take a look at some of my CVDB workouts from last fall to get ideas for sprint workouts. Or, I could just read Patrick's blog.
I did speak at length to my ENT doctor today. He confirmed that cold air & cold water can be an asthma trigger, especially if combined with fall allergies. He re-prescribed Asthmanax and rescue inhalers to use as needed. He thought the B2B swim would be "risky." It's possible that taking the meds prior to swimming could stave off/prevent an attack or breathing problems. Or it might not, given the length of the swim and the cold temps. He advised pre-testing, i.e., taking the meds and having at a long cold swim. This doesn't really seem feasible for me. I'm just not comfortable doing this race right now. So I'm going to be a wimp and bail and beg beg beg for a replacement!
Here are a few more pics from the tri, one of Mr. Fort's Jamis bike cake, and a shot of Mr. Fort and me where we do not look post race bedraggled. You can sort of see how steep the Westernport Wall is in the devil pictures.
I am scheduled for a long visit with my hair stylist tomorrow. Maintaining red hair is difficult. I love it, but I am slightly frustrated with the major fading problem. Considering another color at year end. Thoughts?
Updated September 21st, 2010 at 04:52 PM by The Fortress
So life has been wickedly busy for me lately - and I'm proud to say I've compensated. Since swimming has turn into a four times a week activity, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday just seem to fly by. It also was taxing my body and mind a lot more than it used to. So I had to figure out what to do. If i kept on the daily track and schedule I was on I was starting to crash and burn. If I lifted, my swims sucked, and if I didn't swim... well, I wasn't swimming and that's not really that much help to my goals.
So I've adjusted, adapted if you will to a schedule that maximizes my rest and allows me to get more out of my day.
I now wake up at 4:30 every morning.
*Oof* I now wake up at 4:30 every morning.
Sorry - I had to do that for dramatic impact. Try imagining the slow-mo punch to the face from Rocky 4 with the helpful visual below.
The schedule is pretty simple: 3 days in a row, get up, eat, find something to keep me busy from 4:45-5:20. Then get my rear on the bike, get to the gym and start lifting. As soon as I get done at the gym, I go home, shower and get to work. Which I will assure you is very very hard work!
Afterwards, depending on my energy level, I will take a nap when I get home usually until swim practice (or church meetings, or until I feel like doing freelance work).
This has also helped me keep my diet in control! That means that I've been seeing 205 on the scale a lot more often than I've been seeing 210. Its definitely helped my confidence in the pool and in general.
Speaking of the pool - being that this is a swimming blog. I've noticed a significant drop in my times since the summer. I swim an average of 1:35 per 100scy! To most people that's still slow as sin. In fact, to some people swimming that slow IS a sin. Since I'm already planning on going to hell eventually - this works out.
However - this is progress. Like a salmon swimming upriver to spawn, eventually they make it up a waterfall. I have personally seen my times fall from around 1:55 per / 100scy to this ~1:30 time in the last 9 months. So if we take my 100scy time at state (1:18 or 78 seconds) and apply the fact that my times in practice were roughly 1:55 (115 seconds) per 100scy. That means my taper induced a a 32.2% increase in speed (or reduction in time). If that holds true - that means my tapered swim times right now would be roughly a 1:03.65. That means I'm only a mere second off of qualifying for nationals (assuming the NQTs from last year are not too much faster than this year)
So cross your fingers cowboys and girls! I might actually earn my way to Nationals this year! I've got a pool, a plan and a dream!
Updated September 22nd, 2010 at 08:33 AM by bzaks1424
1 X 300 4:30
1 X 200 3:00
4 X 150 2:15
4 X 100 1:30
1 X 200 kick 4:15
3 X 100 kick 2:10
8 X 25 sprint kick :45
2 X 100 stroke 2:00
1 X 100 free 2:00
4 X 75 stroke 1:30
1 X 100 free 2:00
6 X 50 stroke 1:00
1 X 100 free -
15 X 100 free
5 on 1:25
5 on 1:20
5 on 1:15
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
I was running late today so I crammed what I could in.
10x200@3:30 Free w/min 4 beat kick
500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd lap moderate
4x200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy
200 Free Easy
Total 3500 yards
Setting the Scene:
Ensconced in bucolic Deep Creek Lake woods, the Vienna Geezer Jocks began their second assault on the Savagemen coed HIM relay race. Last year, we finished 5th behind some stellar teams. This year, we finished first in 5:10, much to our shock. This was completely due to the huge improvements of Mr. Fort on the bike and our good friend, Chris McKee (and speedy Boston marathoner), on the run portion.
We had a lovely day Saturday settling into our cottage, picking up our packets, warming up on our race sites. The only glitch that day was that one of the sensors on Mr. Fort's bike seemed to be malfunctioning. Fortunately, they had scads of bike gear at the inspection site and he was able to replace the battery. We enjoyed our cottage, hot tubbed, sat on the deck overlooking the river, went to dinner, etc. I apparently ate something that didn't agree because I had immediate bloating and rash symptoms. Ugh. I suspect it was ingestion of lactose, as the risotto I had seemed too creamy and I had a couple bites of cheese. I took lactase enzymes to no avail.
Later, I settled down with my book (in retrospect, a horribly written thing) to attempt sleep. Just as I was getting drowsy, around, 11:45, our neighbors started setting off fireworks and screaming. And it didn't stop. Being an incredibly light sleeper, this did not sit well with me. In fact, as my blog readers would expect, it did not sit well with me at all. When it did not desist, I went out side and, making no attempt to be nice or patient, told them to shut the f*ck up because it was nearly midnight and we had a race. After several rounds of fireworks and my rather loud voice, there was blissful dead silence and I recommenced the effort to fall asleep.
The next morning all went as planned. Mr. Fort woke me up around 6:15, I got up around 6:30, we caffeinated, ate and went off to the race site. I did do a very short warm up swim to, as Jimslie would say, "open the capillaries." So far, all was well. I went off in wave two. The first 1/3 of the race went better than last year. I didn't sprint too much at the start, but began at a controlled yet good clip. I had placed myself next to some of the other relays girls and was with or ahead of them. Then, about halfway through, quite suddenly, I began having trouble breathing. I was gasping on every breath, my chest started tightening and my arms felt like lead. At first, I thought I had overdone it at the start like last year. I quickly realized that this was not the case and that I was having asthma problems. I was panicked and dismayed. I haven't really had any wheezing problems except for last March at the Albatross meet and last May when I was sick after Nats. I had even stopped using Asthmanex.
What to do when this happens in an OW race? I was at least smart enough to flop on my back, float a bit and slow my pace way down before bringing on a full attack. (Full attack = no way can you carry on.) I considered waving to the kayakers and getting out. I did some slow backstroke, tried to get my breathing under control. Tons of people went past me at this juncture. I felt slightly better and decided to muddle on slowly and cautiously. I gave up all notions of having a fast-ish swim. At first, I felt slightly guilty about this. But this feeling quickly disappeared as my only thought became survival and finishing. I did a combination of very slow backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle to finish the race. I'm quite sure I set the course record for most distance covered in a non freestyle manner. But I just couldn't breathe very well when swimming free, so I had to flop on my back numerous times. Not to be a martyr, but every stroke felt like agony. I'm assuming this was due to lack of oxygen to the muscles.
The worst part of the Savageman swim is the long uphill run to the transition area. Last year, I blasted out of the swim and ran up the hill with a super fast transition time. This year, it was, well frankly, embarrassing. I staggered over the time pad and up the hill. Thank god there was a railing part of the way because I used it. The trail and steps seemed endless. I had several people ask if I was OK, and I just choked out the word "asthma" several times. I made it to the transition area, but was so out of it I couldn't remember where Mr. Fort's bike was. Later, my relay mates told me that they knew something was dreadfully wrong. They began waving frantically and finally I saw them and continued staggering forward to have our runner remove the timing chip.
Finishing this race was, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done in sport.
Mr. Fort took off on the bike. I was the 8th relay swimmer to come in. We had planned to drive to the Westernport Wall. Unfortunately, because I was in distress, we couldn't get there in time to see Mr. Fort and we might have missed him anyway because he was much faster this year. Our runner, Chris, literally had to half carry me to the car. I still couldn't get my breathing under control. And, again reflecting my stupidity and hubris, I had left my rescue inhaler in my purse instead of at the transition area or in my parka. After getting in the car, I pulled down my wetsuit and we started off. I drank my electrolyte filled water.
This was apparently the wrong move. I immediately became ill and vomited in the car. We pulled over and I continued with the same. I had to have help removing my wetsuit because my body seemed incapable of movement. I'm not sure why this happened. I suppose it was because my body was in complete distress and I filled it with liquids which it wasn't ready for?
Anyway, after these travails, the day improved dramatically. Mr. Fort passed all but one other relay team on the bike leg. He absolutely destroyed it, finishing in 3:01. Last year, he went 3:24 after only 2-3 months of cycling. Since the pros were in the 2:40s on this super hilly course, I think this is pretty damn impressive. he said he was about 2 mph faster on average than last year. He said he had no problem making it over the Westernport Wall, but that it was more difficult than last year because there were so many bikers making the attempt at the same time. It's easiest to go straight up with no one around you. We did see a spectacular 4 bike collision later when we were at the wall later. Mr. Fort did say that Killer Miller almost killed him.
The only problem was that his speed caught us a bit by surprise. Chris wasn't ready in the transition area when Scott biked in way ahead of when he was expected. He had to sprint back to our spot and then, inexplicably, forgot momentarily how to untie the chip. lol. This gave him a huge shot of adrenlin and he literally bolted out of the transition area.
Chris took off with only one relay team ahead of him on the run and picked him off before the 3 mile mark. He just carried it home in a 1:36, which was the second fastest relay time. He had run 1:28 in a training half marathon race the week before. He rested somewhat for this race, but was astounded, once again, by the unrelenting hills.
There was much joy among us that we had won, despite my initial F up on the swim. We were also faster than last year's winning team. When the results came up, I saw that my swim time was 31:09. Quite horrible, yet I was surprised to see that it was only 1:25 slower than last year. I theorize that this means I had a better front half of the race than last year. Having no sense of pace whatsoever, and knowing I had done a lot of non-freestyle, I had expected to be 35+ or worse. In any event, I had done a serviceable enough job to put the guys in a position to win. And they were beyond thrilled.
We hung out, ate lunch, and attended the award ceremony. Some pics are below.
As I recall, we were also the only true masters relay. Every other team had at least one young ringer. We were beaten by one male relay team (with a kid throwing down a 1:21 on the run), but they were all in their 20s. Our collective age was 141 (51/49/41).
I wish I could have watched the swim! John Kenney, a pro, was the first one out of the water in 20:54. He was a former Cornell cross country runner and swimmer, who is now getting seriously into triathlon. In college, he was a national champion in the OW 25K. I'm told he appeared to be sighting almost every 4th stroke. Two other pros threw down some 21s.
There were numerous competitors about to go to Kona in 3 weeks. Billy Graves from the UK won the men's division, setting a course record on the bike. On the women's side, there was a stud woman from Colorado (Deidre something, I had heard of her) who set course records on the bike and run. She had never biked the course before and said it was "like watching a scary movie and wondering what would jump out at you next."
Post Race Thoughts:
My post race thoughts are this:
1. I am definitely married to a very studly biker if this is what he does after only 1+ years on the bike on a very technical hilly course.
2. I did not manage my allergies & asthma for this race wisely. My fall allergies were really bothering me, which I know can occasionally trigger wheezing. I saw my ENT doctor on Friday, but didn't have time to fill my scrip for Singulair before leaving. I didn't use my inhaler pre-race and left it in the car. This was all unbelievably stupid in retrospect. I was just coasting on the fact that I'd been symptom free for awhile.
3. I think it was also a bit of perfect storm that triggered the breathing problems -- I had some sort of food allergy/intolerance the night before (which inflames the airways), I hadn't take the proper medication and the water was very cold. I noticed some difficulty breathing last year, but nothing like what happened this time. The swimmers in the water were guesstimating that the water temp was 68. Air temp was 53. I'm used to swimming in 83-84 degree water most of the time except at Mason where it is 80. My feet did freeze during the race. I tried to kick more on the back half, but my feet were just frozen and leaden. I will definitely need swim booties if I ever venture into OW again.
4. And, speaking of OW, I now have immense trepidation about B2B. I have barely any business swimming in a 1.2 mile race. What if this happened in a 2.4 race? If anyone is interested in racing with two uber studs, please let me know! Jimslie? Geekity? Others?
5. Training for 50/100s is not compatible with "racing" a 1.2 mile swim. Perhaps it's compatible with cruising a 1.2 mile swim. This seems analogous to having a 5K specialist run a marathon. If we do this next year, and plans are already in the works with the enthusiasm of the two real endurance studs running high, I might just cruise the whole thing and not alter my training regimen. A few minutes one way or the other doesn't seem to make much difference as the swim is fairly inconsequential in this race. Really, I could make that up just by booking up the hill at transition. It took me almost 2 1/2 minutes to crawl and stagger up that hill this year.
6. I'm not sure it was the greatest thing that Lil Fort was at the finish of the swim leg trying to cheer me on with her best friend. She was completely freaked out by what happened to me. I'm just hopeful she can take away from it that I didn't quit and soldiered on. She told me I was "super brave."
7. This was the most unpleasant swim experience of my life. It makes my safe pool seem very compelling!
8. This is a great very festival like event in a beautiful setting.
9. 2009 was a charmed year for me. 2010 seems jinxed!
10. Vibrams -- they were everywhere!
Updated September 20th, 2010 at 08:54 PM by The Fortress
Mon Sep 20 2010
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6:00 TO 7:30 am
Austin Mabel Davis pool
swam with MIKE V, tenielle, larry, todd, doug, Marcio, ned, nate, ned, chris, tyler, amy, & Brandon
dove in around 6:20
400 on 5:20
2 x 200 on 2:40
4 x 100 on 1:20
didnt make it, swam easy to warm up
switched lanes for easier intervals
400 on 5:40
2 x 200 on 2:50
4 x 100 on 1:25
4 x 100 on 1:20
2 x 200 on 2:45
400 on 5:35
The bad thing about this time of year is its dark when I go to swim and I have to swim inside. If the outdoor pool was lighted I would be able to go out in the morning.
Fins: 2 x 50 (25 back side scull fast hands on back - 25 backstroke)/10sr
Fins: 6 x 100 free/1:40 - last 3 add paddles
? x 100 swim
#1 on 1:50, #2 on 1:48, #3 on 1:46, #4 on 1:44, #5 on 1:42, #6 on 1:40, #7 on 1:38, # 8 on 1:36, #9 on 1:34 - if you can keep going down, go!
(I did 12, was going 1:18-20 on most until the last few when I was seeing 1:22. Probably could have done a few more, but after #12 by the time I looked up and focused on the clock, the second hand had already passed the startout time. This is a set where I need a coach on deck telling me when to go so I don't have to think about anything but swim)
8 x 100
# 1 25 back - 25 R side kick - 25 L side kick - 25 back/10sr
#2 50 back - 25 R side kick - 25 L side kick/10sr
#3 75 back - 25 free/10sr
#4 100 back
(#1-2, 5-6 was around 1:50-55, 3-4, 7-8 around 1:30-35)
2 x 50 fly, 42, 40
Total: 3200 yards
I swam this morning in one of my very favorite poolsóthe Panama City Beach Aquatic Center. Iím down here for a few days visiting my Alabama relatives (or rather, theyíre visiting meóI rented a condo at the beach for a few days and invited them down to stay with me). The pool is as nice as I remember. I actually got in a quick workout when I arrived last FridayóI drove straight from the new airport (ECP, just opened in May) to the pool, and was delighted to find one of my winter swimming buddies there. We did the following set together:
4 x through:
200 scy FR @ 3:00
2 x 100 ST @ 1:40 (we did odd rounds BK, evens IM)
2 x 50 K @ 1:05
Since Iím usually here in the winter, I wasnít sure how nice the pool would be to swim in during hot weather. It turns out that itís cooled to very pleasant temps during the summeróeven though itís been very hot and very sunny here, the pool stays a comfortable 81 degrees. You can feel the cooler water coming out of the vents at the bottom of the pool, and underwater breakouts take you to slightly cooler layers of water.
This morning was my first LCM swim in the pool. I arrived right at 6 and got to watch sunrise during my warmup and first set. There were also a bunch of birds singing, and pelicans and egrets flying overhead. I love swimming outdoors! Hereís what I did:
1000 lcm warmup
4 x 150 K/D/S, reverse IM order
4 x 200, odds FR w/ toys (snorkel, buoy, paddles), evens ST sandwiches (50 FR, 100 ST, 50 FR)
4 x 200 IM pacman kick set (50K/150S, 100K/100S, 150K/50S, 200K), with the kick = fast, swim = ez on each
Before this trip, I wasnít sure if I wanted to swim in the gulf this visit. There has been minimal visible impact here from the oil spillósome tarballs were sighted several months ago, but there was never the huge muddy oil slicks that made the news other places (although that didnít stop one of the Baldwin brothers from coming to demonstrate his own invention for cleaning up the oil spill a few weeks ago). Still, I wasnít sure about how much dispersants and other invisible stuff might be in the water, and whether it would be good to swim in it. As it turns out, itís a moot pointóthe water in the gulf is really yucky hot, and Iím not tempted to swim there at all. The paper reports the offshore temp as 85 degrees, and I it gets even warmer in the shallower water near the beach. Itís kind of yucky even to wade in. Iím definitely more of a fan of this beach in wintertime. For now, Iím happy in my pool!