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  1. Afternoon w/Jimby, Sat., Nov. 28

    by , November 29th, 2009 at 12:00 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Yoga:

    I did about 25-30 minutes of yoga and stretching today with my littlest one. Really worked over the back. I have some photos from this session, but I can't seem to upload them from this computer ...

    PM: Core & Swim:

    I drove to the Sewickley Y today to give Jimby tips on core exercises since he's decided I'm right. The poor man was literally in the dark without a clue! I tried to demo some of my favs and then he would attempt them (or some of them). He had his flip video camera with him, so this will no doubt end up on youtube. He was quite anxious to bounce quarters, but he seemed to think this had to be done from a prone rather than standing position? His gym was missing a couple key pieces of equipment (like a back extension bench, med balls and a bosu), but we did quite a few things including:

    hanging reverse crunches & straight leg raises
    squat X press
    squat swing w/plate
    overhead squat
    reverse decline crunches & knee ins
    russian twists on incline bench
    superman banana
    dead bugs
    box jumps

    I can't remember what else. I know I left out lunges, but Jim's back and legs will no doubt be grateful. Then we walked to the pool, Jimby all asweat, to do the following workout, which I stole and modified long ago from JMiller's Fun & Fast workout thread. It seemed like a good taper workout for me, and I think Jim liked having easier intervals and being able to focus on stroke technique and the like.

    Swim SCY @ Sewickley:

    Warm up:

    600 variety

    10 x 25 shooters
    (Jim did flutter kick)

    Main set:

    4 x 75 free @ 1:30
    1 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)
    4 x 75 evil @ 1:30
    2 x (25 AFAP free/evil + 25 EZ)
    4 x 75 back @ 1:30
    3 x (25 AFAP back + 25 EZ)
    4 x 75 fly drill @ 1:30
    2 x (25 AFAP fly + 25 EZ)
    4 x 75 SDK on back @ 1:15
    1 x (25 AFAP free +25 EZ)

    50 EZ


    Total: 2850



    I felt slightly better in the water today. I just cruised all the 75s, working on streamlines and underwater work. I'm hoping I didn't do too much in the gym to fatigue the legs. I'm sure I'll be fatigued tomorrow anyway, as I went straight from the pool to drinks with one set of friends and dinner with another set of friends. Chard overdose.

    I have a really long drive ahead of me tomorrow, I know. I might try to hit the gym for a very easy swim if I get home in town. But that will completely depend on traffic.

    NE CHamps:

    The psych sheets for NE Champs are up at:

    I should have plenty of rest. My events start at:


    11:29: 100 IM
    3:35: 50 back
    4:59: 50 free


    11:08: 50 fly
    12:45: 100 back
    2:33: 50/100 evil
    3:32: 50/100 free

    I'm a little taken back by how much time I have between the 100 IM and 50 back on Saturday. I'm not sure I've ever had that much rest between events at a meet. I'll obviously have to get in and loosen up inbetween, but I'm not exactly sure how much and when. However, the last time I sat around for 2.5 hours was before my 31.7 in the 50 back SCM last year, so maybe that bodes well. I was somewhat surprised to be seeded first in the 50/100 back. I think there must be some sandbagging going on. But at least I have a good lane. Unlike my 50 free!

    Updated November 29th, 2009 at 12:22 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  2. friday and saturday's summary

    by , November 28th, 2009 at 09:35 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Friday I was up by 6:00 am in a chard-induced fogginess. (black friday) I hopped in my car and journeyed over to HSE High School (the only pool known to be open in Hamilton County and where NASTI'S were holding practice.) I arrived early only to be disappointed by a very late lifeguard who couldn't get the door open. We ended up having 35 minutes of swimming time. Here's what I did:
    *1,800 straight swim, all free and steady
    *10 X 50 on :50
    I will do better tomorrow.
    I spent the rest of the day prepping for our family Thanksgiving Dinner. I made 2 seperate meals! (vegan and regular) Girls arrived around 1:30 to help. My son and a couple vegan buddies came around 4:00. The food was awesome! We all had fun just laughing and goofing around the hacienda. I love Thanksgiving!
    After the festivities my youngest daughter and I raided the closets and put 10 outfits together for her senior picture photo-shoot tomorrow. (3.75 hours complete with make-up/hair) We were having a hard time making choices so we took lots and lots of stuff!
    Hopped out of bed at 6:18! I needed to swim early so I could run w/Sarah and get ready for Studio K! I found a cool workout group at the Monon Center (a few ISF swimmers and other random swimmers) who usually go alot further than Nasti practice. I decided to swim with them today. Here's the workout although it's a bit vague to me:
    *10 X 50 Free on 1:00
    *300 Free Swim
    *6 X 100 Free on 1;45
    *6 x 50 Free on :55
    *300 Swim (alt kick/pull/swim)
    *6 X 100 Freestyle Swim on 1;40
    * 6 X 50 Freestyle on :50
    *300 IM roll swim
    3,200 scy (The others kept going. I had to go meet Sarah and run)
    I hopped into my running stuff, pulled a cap on my wet locks and took off running w/Sarah. We only ran 22 minutes but it was a lovely 22 minutes.
    Jumped into the shower (with the dog) and finished in record time to head down to Studio K in Beech Grove for the photo shoot. This was a blast! She had 10 outfit changes. It was a model's portfolio type shoot. Great music on the ipod, lots of snacks, and a very cool antimated photographer and assistant who pumped Sarah's ego and made her feel like a princess. They even gave her flowers when she was done!
    After the photo's we found a burger joint with bottomless orders of fries and pigged out!
    A beautiful day!

    Updated November 28th, 2009 at 10:23 PM by Bobinator (another pic I hope)

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  3. Saturday Nov 28th, 2009

    by , November 28th, 2009 at 03:30 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Saturday Nov 28th, 2009


    Long Beach is Next Friday, we leave Thursday afternoon

    December 4th - 6th, 2009
    2009 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships at
    Long Beach

    5 Days till Long Beach


    3. Menís 200 m Individual Medley
    8. 800 m Freestyle Relay

    12. Menís 50 m Butterfly
    13. 400m Freestyle Relay
    15. Menís 100 m Backstroke
    20. 200 m Medley Relay
    22. Menís 50 m Freestyle

    26. Menís 100 m Butterfly
    29. 400m Medley Relay
    37. Menís 100 m Individual Medley
    38. 200 m Freestyle Relay


    SCY UT Swim Center
    Whitney coached
    swam with Mike, Todd, Marcio, Larry, Paul, & Max
    7:30 - 9:00

    Warm Up
    3 rounds of 200 fr, 50 k, 50 IM
    went 33 on one of the 50's K

    changed into B70 Full with a rip

    Main Set

    5 x 200 fr desc on 4:15

    1) 100
    2) 200 2:08
    3) skip
    4) skip
    5) 200 125 2 beat kick, 75 6 beat kick
    out in 52
    went 1:48
    which is my best in practice 200 in years

    assigned 800
    did around 200 or 3

    5 x 100 fr desc on 2:15

    skipped 1 - 4
    #5) 100 bk easy speed
    SDK counts were 10 10 10 9
    went 52.6
    my best in practice 100 bk in years

    100 easy
    Swim Workouts
  4. Sore Saturday

    by , November 28th, 2009 at 12:44 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    I was sore this morning. The distance set yesterday took alot out of me. That made today very slow.

    5x100@1:45 Free
    5x100@1:45 Free w/paddles & bouy
    40x25 10 of each stroke Drills
    250 kick
    250 free easy

    Total 2500 yards
  5. Quick Saturday morning LC workout

    I got to Riverbank late this morning so just squeezed in some easy swimming and some speed work. Here's what I did:

    1000 warmup

    200 kick with Zura fins, each 25 building easy to fast

    8 x 50 w/ fins, 30 very fast, 20 easy, on big rest (did FR, BK, and FL)

    300 warmdown

    It has been a while since I used my fins, and I enjoyed how fast they made me feel. I tried to work on my streamline position, focusing especially on keeping my back as straight as possible and not arched.

    Now I'll do my light Pilates routine and stretching, and that's it for today.
  6. Sewickley Redux

    by , November 28th, 2009 at 12:22 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Went to swim with Sewickley Masters again tonight. Got to see Mermaid this time too.

    SCY @ Sewickley Y:

    Warm up:

    700 variety + chat w/Mermaid

    8 x 50 kick @ 1:00

    Main sets:

    6 x 50 kick @ 1:30
    odds = fast
    evens = EZ
    (Jim had to check to make sure I didn't have fins on when I gave him an arse kicking on these. lol)

    8 x 50 swim @ :55
    1-6 cruise
    7 fast (went :24 back w/fins)
    8 easy

    6 x 50 swim @ :45
    1-5 cruise
    6 fast (went :24ish back w/fins)
    7 easy

    5 x 50 swim @ :35
    (what? I never do this interval. lol)
    1-3 cruise, make interval
    4 fast
    5 easy

    I crashed into Mermaid on #3 and missed the interval, so I rested for another minute and did a fast 25 + easy 25

    50 EZ

    50 fast evil w/fins (:31)

    50 EZ


    Total: 2500



    I saw a bunch of people running in the am today. I happened to comment that I hate seeing people running when I can't. Mr. Fort said "why can't you run?" I just rolled my eyes ...

    Still felt ploddish in the water, like I have for awhile, though my 50s were still pretty fast. Fly still feels dreadful. Could be the sugar high from yesterday, which carried on today with Xmas cookie baking and frosting. Blimp icon? And had plenty of pizza for dinner after practice with the gang too!

    Tomorrow, I'm going to meet Jim at the Y and hopefully, if it's not too crowded, swim for more than 1 hour. I need more time to get all my easy swimming and lazy intervals in.

    I will bring quarters.

    This is probably quite odd, but I like being in my own pool and in my own house when I'm tapering ...

    Updated November 28th, 2009 at 11:24 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. Working off the FOOD!

    by , November 27th, 2009 at 08:42 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Went to the Y today but they were not opening the pool until later so I decided to come back about 2 hours before the kids I coach come in. Had to go work off all of that good food.

    10x100@1:45 Free long and loose
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 sprint
    10x200 Free w/paddles and bouy as 1-3@3:15, 4-7@3:00, 8-10@2:45 went 2:55, 2:46, 2:45, 2:45, 2:45, 2:45, 2:45, 2:37, 2:36, 2:36
    200 Free drill w/fins 6 kicks on each side
    200 Back EZ w/fins
    200 Fly kick w/fins
    200 Free EZ w/fins
    200 Back EZ w/fins

    Total 4500 yards

    Coached the kids then home for more pie!

    I swam with MAC again today. I arrived there a little bit early and got a nice long warm-up in.

    The first set was 6x250 as:
    1&2) 25fl/25bk/25br/100fr/25fl/25bk/25br
    3&4) 50k/50sw/50k/50sw/50k
    5&6) alt 25ez/25fast

    second set 12x200 as:
    3x200 on 2:45
    3x200 on 2:40
    3x200 on 2:35
    3x200 on 2:30

    continuous...descend each set of 3

    3rd of each went 2:13, 2:15, 2:18, 2:21
    (yup... hurtin' by the last one)

    Got in 5500yds with warm up and cool downs
  9. Mini-mini triathlon

    by , November 27th, 2009 at 02:57 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Went to the Y to get in a quick workout before the Iron Bowl.

    First, did a 1,000 swim:

    Reverse 400 I.M. (one-arm on fly)

    4 x 100 fly drill on 2:00 - 3 rt/3 lt/3 full

    200 easy kick with fins

    Next, hopped out, quickly changed, went upstairs to the weight room, and jumped on the bike for a 10 minute spin. Held RPMs between 85 and 95.

    Jumped on the treadmill and did a 7:41 mile.

    Cooled down with a 3 minute walk


    1. I was still tired from the 10,000 yard workout on Wednesday. Could not have done a hard swim workout today.

    2. Miss the bike. May have to incorporate some spinning into the weekly workout.

    3. Like the idea of doing fast, short runs to maintain my running instead of slower, longer runs at a 10 minute per mile pace.

    4. Need to get to the weight room 2-3 weeks instead of once a week like I've been doing lately.
  10. Friday Nov 27th, 2009

    by , November 27th, 2009 at 11:14 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Friday Nov 27th, 2009

    Did not swim or lift on Thursday

    Got a mention in the Morning Swim Show on Tue Nov. 24, 2009

    Long Beach is a week away, I leave Thursday

    December 4th - 6th, 2009
    2009 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships at
    Long Beach

    6 Days till Long Beach


    3. Men’s 200 m Individual Medley
    8. 800 m Freestyle Relay* (Women, Men, Mixed)

    12. Men’s 50 m Butterfly
    13. 400m Freestyle Relay (Women, Men, Mixed)
    15. Men’s 100 m Backstroke
    20. 200 m Medley Relay* (Women, Men, Mixed)
    22. Men’s 50 m Freestyle

    26. Men’s 100 m Butterfly
    29. 400m Medley Relay (Women, Men, Mixed)
    37. Men’s 100 m Individual Medley
    38. 200 m Freestyle Relay (Women, Men, Mixed)


    Stacy Pool
    33 1/3 yard pool
    NO coach
    No team mates
    8:10 - 8:35

    WORE brief

    Warm Up
    just got in and splashed around
    probably did 500 - 700
    just keeping the feel
    worked on some turns, did some SDK

    Updated November 27th, 2009 at 12:19 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  11. Thanksgiving Day

    by , November 27th, 2009 at 09:52 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    1 x 20 minutes stretching w/ Lil lil Fort
    (She has a flexy back and shoulders and inflexible legs. Must have gotten that from her father.)

    1 x 15-20 minutes RC exercises

    0 x 1 dried out white turkey

    0 x 1 mashed potatos

    0 x 1 sweet potatos

    0 x 1 stuffing

    0 x 1 gravy

    1 x 1 sauteed veggies

    1 x 1 apple pie

    1 x 1 chocolate pie

    1 x pumpkin pie

    1 x 2 chard

    1 x 1 New Moon

    Going to a real live diner this am for brunch (and much tastier food)! The house will shortly thereafter be bursting with young childern and I will escape in due course to bucolic (as much as there is bucolic in Pittsburgh) Sewickley for swimming and pizza.

    Chaos sent me this video on FB:

    [ame=""]YouTube- Freediving - Dynamic Apnea[/ame]

    It's quite lovely. I have no idea how the guy did it though. It does give me competitive monofin lust/envy. I think that one retails for $300 though.

    Updated November 27th, 2009 at 10:16 AM by The Fortress

  12. Thanksgiving Day.....sort of

    by , November 26th, 2009 at 06:05 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    My offspring (2 girls,18 and 23/1 boy, 22) are with their father's family today for the holiday. I will get my time with them tomorrow! I have currently baked a pumpkin pie, pecan pie, greenbean casserole, vege tray, cut stuff for dressing up, par boiled sweet potatoes (high in beta carotene), made a really good cranberry casserole, fed 2 neighbors animals (and am getting ready to do it again) and am assembling homeade vegan lasagna. (for my son and his sweetie tomorrow) Oh I managed a run and complete a low-life swim today too! ( and I'm polishing off a bottle of chard simultaneously)
    The carnivore menu will be cooked tomorrow w/daughters assistance (I hope)!
    I like having T-day off. I'm not ready for T-day Wednesday night and I appreciate having the actual day to get organized and ready. I have a great pic of my kids (I'm so proud of them) that I'd like to post off a blackberry if I can figure out how.
    Here's my lame workouts for the day:
    RUN: I took a run w/Sarah (18) She runs short but way too fast for me now days. We went 24:19 in the golf course behind my house. I don't know how far; I was just gulping O2 and hanging on for dear life. (9:48 am)
    SWIM: LA Fitness Solo
    *200 Free/200 Back/200 Breast/8 X 25 Fly (I don't like to practice butter-struggle)o n :30
    *150 Free/ 150 Back/ 150 Breast/ 6 X 25 Fly on :35
    *100 Free/ 100 Back/ 100 Breast/ 4 X 25 fly on :40
    *50 Free/ 50 Back/ 50 Breast/ 50 Fly
    --15 sec rest between al swims
    *8 X 75 Backstroke on 1:30
    *ez 200 cd
    2,800 scy
    I'm gonna go feed the cats, have more chard, and pray for a better economy! Oh.............I'm gonna go see "Men Who stare at Goats" too!
    How's that for white trash?
  13. Even More Thanksgiving Wishes

    by , November 26th, 2009 at 03:05 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    My brother Johnny boy already posted this in the comments section of yesterday's blog, Happy Thanksgiving One and All, which regular readers will recall featured harlots in lordosis configurations and other things we can be happy about.

    As an antidote to the occasional snifter of impropriety that our DNA has taken via the Jim morph, I present to you the utter wholesome and unadulterated joi de vivre life view of my twin, one of the nicest people to ever grace the planet earth.

    I am still trying to find out if John wrote this song on Garage Band, but I am 99 percent sure he did, for it has all the hallmarks of a John Thornton song: stirring melody, Noel Cowardly lyrics exhilarating in their brevity and cleverness, and a middle 8 that makes one think of the Beatles at their best, all of this ladled over with the kind of charming cornpone quality that made Woodie Guthrie such a giant at Communist union organizing rallies.

    At the risk of biasing your opinion of this film, I strongly urge you to gather your loved ones around the computer, which you have stuck for this occasion into your fireplace so as to symbolically turn the Internet into the very hearth of modernity, and play this instant classic of a Thanksgiving song for the gathered multitude of relatives, singing along as soon as you get a knack for the lyrics.

    Then throw away your BMI scales and engorge happily.

    We are humans.

    This is what humans have for Thanksgiving!

    [ame=""]YouTube- What Humans Have For Thanksgiving![/ame]
  14. Wednesday

    by , November 25th, 2009 at 11:01 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Finally I'm home! I worked from 6:45 a.m. till 4:30.
    Worked out at LA Fitness Solo from 4:52 till 6:08.
    Showered and grabbed a bite at the deli. Shopped for T-day at the grocery store. Ran a couple more errands. Helped Sarah pick-up her car at the shop.
    Now it's 10:38 and I'm finally home w/groceries in the fridge and sitting on my purple blogging chair.

    I took 2 days off exercise (except for the stuff I do at school with the kids) and finally hit the pool today. This was definitely the right thing to do. I felt good today! Here's the workout:

    *2 X the following set:
    1) 400 Free rest 20 seconds
    2) 2 X 200 free on 3;30 interval
    3) 4 X 100 free on 1:45 interval
    4) 8 X 50 free on :55 interval
    1 minute rest THEN do 2 X 200 Backstroke rest 20 seconds inbetween. Repeat above freestyle set.
    3,600 scy

    I hope everyone has a truly wonderful day tomorrow celebrating Thanksgiving with their friends, family, and loved ones
  15. Easy Breezy Chicken Cutlets

    by , November 25th, 2009 at 09:55 PM (Chicken's Nuggets)
    [ame=""]YouTube- Chicken Cutlets[/ame]
  16. Sewickley Swim, Wed., Nov. 25

    by , November 25th, 2009 at 09:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Had a nice long drive to Pittsburgh with only moments of sheer brain numbing traffic hell. Better than the usual Thanksgiving debacle getting out of metro DC. Then drove to Sewickley to swim with the Sewickley Masters, coached by speedster Bill White, with whom I shared a lane.

    SCY w/Sewickley Masters:

    Warm up:

    50 EZ (rather than my usual 700)

    12 x 50 swim @ :55, reverse IM order
    (I drilled the fly; I can't do fly w/o a proper warm up.)

    8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, IM order, no fins

    Main sets:

    8 x 50 @ 1:00, IM order
    (I did the fly, back & free as double shooters w/fins; the others were doing 1/2 of each 25 SDK.)

    8 x 50 @ 1:00, IM order
    25 DPS + 25 SDK build to sprint
    (I did the last 25 as a fast shooter)

    4 x 100 @ 2:00
    25 SDK, 50 choice EZ, 25 sprint (IM order)

    4 x 100 @ 2:00
    assigned: 75 choice, 25 sprint kick (IM order)
    did: 25 shooter on back, 50 back, 25 shooter on back fast

    50 EZ

    Total: 2700



    This was a perfect workout for me after many hours in the car. I was still tired from yesterday's fast kicking, so it was a nice maintenance workout with some hypoxic work, IM work, and a few sprints. Because they only get an hour to practice, SM have a very structured warm up, which of course I'm not used to. I like my leisurely warm ups.

    I was able to watch Jimby's SDK efforts from underwater. He has a very nice streamline, but no power coming from the core. There may be some hope. I had him to a few squats on deck, and he somewhat managed them without cantilevering his knees too far over his feet. Saturday I will show him the ropes a bit more.

    We adjourned to the coed steam room and whirlpool -- very nice for a Y -- where we discussed myriad things. Among those repeatable were the upcoming suit ban. Jimby is still quite defiant about men not getting equal coverage as women under the FINA committee proposal. He also predicts that my next new event will be the 200 fly -- done all kicking. I told Bill that this was perfectly legal according to Wolfy (as long as you don't violate the 15 meter rule). He was suspicious, but to my knowledge it is legal to kick the entire way in a streamline position. Might be a fun experiment. Much less painful than forcing the poor shoulders to do all that work!

    I plan to take tomorrow completely off. I will swim with the Sewickley Masters again on Friday and then with Jimby and BIll on Saturday. Even though this week will be a comparatively easy week without a gym visit, I'm still fairly tired. (Of course, it's only Wed.) I was fretting about possible overtraining and leg fatigue to Mr. Fort. He just scoffed since I have another 2+ weeks to rest. I guess he's likely right ...
    Swim Workouts
  17. Tuesday's and Wednesday's Workouts

    by , November 25th, 2009 at 08:32 PM (My Passion)
    Tuesday , I joined the 11:30 - 12:30 group practice. The coach was out of town, so we made up our own workout. It was a ladder, freestyle stokes with bouy on the odds and choice on evens. This is what I did:

    325 - free style pull
    300 - breast stroke
    275 - free style pull
    250 - breast stroke
    225 - free style pull
    200 - breast stroke
    175 - free style pull
    150 - breast stroke
    125 - free style pull
    100 - breast stroke
    75 - free style pull
    50 - breast stroke
    50 - breast kick

    Today was an easy practice before Thanksgiving:
    5X200 breast
    5X100 breast kick with streamlined arms
    2X100 breast sprint
    1X200 breast kick with kickboard - then off to Starbucks with the team

    I have an appointment on Friday around noon and there is no morning practice, so my next swim will be Saturday morning with my other team. Looking forward to swimming with them after missing last week due to the meet.

    I am thinking about running and biking tomorrow and Friday - let's see if my 'thinking' turns into 'doing'. I have a 3.5 - 25 - 3.5 run-bike-run duathalon on the 12th, so need to be in that kind of shape for that kind of event and my good intentions have gone all to H***.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Punishment in advance for tomorrow

    by , November 25th, 2009 at 05:37 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    since I'm sure to eat and drink way more than I should.


    This one kicked my butt!

    SCY with Carrie

    300 swim free
    300 kick alternating free/breast by 75
    300 pull; 150 free w/p&b, 150 back w/buoy only
    300 IM drill

    5 sets of 5 x 50
    1:00 rest in between sets:
    set 1 free on 50: hold fastest average
    (went 35-37 on these)
    set 2 back on 1:00: hold fastest average
    (went 39-40 on these)
    set 3 pull free on 50 keep the stroke nice and smooth
    (did these on 35-36)
    set 4 free on 1:00: hold fastest average
    (did these on 35-36)
    set 5 choice on 1:15: hold fastest average
    (went 1, 3, 5 back @ 39, 2, 4 free @ 35)

    swim down 300 VERY easy
    Total: 2750 yards
  19. Kicken with mac

    I arrived at MAC today around 11:50, did a brief warm up and jumped in for a couple of pre-masters 100's w/ geek and seth. they felt awful... i need a lot more warm up time before i can do a set like that.

    today's main set goal was to try and hit a 100 fr time for 75yds of fast kicking. we have done this kind of thing with the gunks a few times this year, so i wasn't surprised to find that my 75 kick times were greater than 10 seconds higher than my 100 fr time. i also fall below average when it comes to pull sets.

    i have spent a great deal of time and effort (over the past 4 years) integrating my stroke with a 2 beat kick.... (i think i almost got it). during this period, i have managed to improve my practice times steadily and increase my endurance while reducing the frequency of leg cramping (which used to be a big issue for me).

    i've swam with lots of people who can kick or pull at very impressive speeds, but for me, these seem to be isolated skills that don't carry over into whole stroke swimming. (i'm ok with this, but i am always disappointed when i can't give a coach their desired results from my performance)

    is this typical of distance swimmers?

    i drove to Copperhead Island Park (on Lake Wylie) looking for a good spot for some OW. it looks like a good spot, and the water felt like it was around 60, so if the weather is good, i might go for a swim there tomorrow after MAC's morning practice..... LCM!!!! for X-giving!
  20. Happy Thanksgiving One and All!

    by , November 25th, 2009 at 04:25 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Like Frank Sinatra's conspicuous absence of singing in the shower, or a busman's decision not to drive on holiday, or perhaps a harlot's avoidance of intimacy during rare leisure moments when the urge for vertical body postures must become overwhelming in its intensity--so has it been with this vlogger of late: the dictates of writing for a living have all but overwhelmed any time or inclination to indulge in tip-tap-tip-tapping of keystrokes for free.

    Even though I much prefer the latter, having not yet developed the "learned helplessness" that so frequently accompanies human endeavor in the paid environment.

    Sing this ditty, Frank! Contort your buttocks into this appealing lordosis configuration, harlot! Never again in the history of the world again utter the word Stetari, lackey!

    And so forth.

    I am sure everybody understands, with the possible exception of those who spend their days teaching 2nd graders how to draw finger turkeys, what I mean.

    On the other hand, it has been recently pointed out to me, by a person whose perspicacity is beyond dispute, that I have, of late, been inclined to a certain churlish sulkiness.

    Oh, how I wish not to be thusly inclined, not even for a moment!

    As one distantly former girlfriend once called me in apparent affection: Oh, Jim! My horrid little flower!

    Horrid, yes. Flower, true enough. Little, again, check! Especially if little is being directed at my generosity of spirit and not my guttage.

    But do not flowers, even little horrid ones, give back to the world a cheerfulness and color that brings only smiles to onlookers and ravenous pollinators, dusty with lemon-colored crumbs?

    In this spirit, that is to say, my flower side, and less my little horrid sulky side, I offer the following Thanksgiving greetings to my fellow swimmers the world over in the hopes you will find within this offering a smile, a cheerfulness, and a color--orange, as luck would have it--that might have otherwise gone unnoticed in this busy, busy time of Thanksgiving!

    It is a drawing by my step great nephew Cameron.

    I am not sure the Dramatis Personnae in his description of his drawing is super important, but to keep things straight:

    • I am Uncle Steppy.
    • Aunt Lizie is the beloved little sister of me (Uncle Steppy) and my twin brother John (Steppy)
    • Granny, AKA, Nancy, is the biological grandmother of Cameron and wife of my brother John (Steppy)
    • Daddy is Cameron's father and Nancy's son Darrin by her first marriage

    I am pretty sure that Cameron, after drawing the picture and getting John to scan it and email it to me, dictated verbatim his explanation for what is going on. I shall post this below the artwork.

    Hi Uncle Steppy and Aunt Lizie. The one in the orange is Uncle Steppy. And he has a hole in his underwear. Everybody is sticking out his tongue at him. Granny (middle) pulled down Uncle Steppy's pants. Granny has a silly hat. Daddy has a rotten nose. The cloud and the sun is sticking their tongue out at Uncle Steppy. The clouds are wearing sunglasses because the sun is shining right at the clouds.
    PS Happy Thanksgiving!

    Final note: in the original version of Cameron's email, my beloved brother John dropped the "Uncle" after its first reference. I think he did this to spare my feelings, to make it seem as if it were him and not me whose pants had been dropped down, earning him ridicule from every corner of the firmament. But it is quite clear upon whom such ridicule belongs, so I have restored it to the accurate state.

    On this note, it is back to my labors on the drawbacks to novel hypnotics, irresistible as they continue to prove to be to the sulky likes of me.