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  1. Meathead Ignoramus Workout, Tuesday, Nov. 10

    by , November 10th, 2009 at 05:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Since I hadn't been to the gym in a few days, I made sure to get in a real meathead ignoramus extraordinaire workout today. I suspect I'll be dead later as usual.


    HS hi row, warm ups sets, 210 x 1 x 5, 220 x 2 x 5 (PR)
    Dara yoga ball twist on cable machine, 50 x 1 x 15, each side, 60 x 1 x 15, each side
    one legged squats w/15 lb DBs, 2 x 10 each leg
    lying overhead tricep press, 20 x 1 x 15, 30 x 1 x 15, 40 x 1 x 15
    leg press, warm up sets, 410 x 2 x 10 (PR)
    (this is the max weight on this machine)
    deadlift, 135 x 2 x 8
    push ups, 3 x 25
    body rows, 2 x 15

    bicycles, 2 x 50
    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    elevated knee ins w/10 lb weight held by feet, 2 x 25
    good morning darlings, 1 x 50

    box jumps on high box, 1 x 10
    rock star jumps, 2 x 10

    plyo circuit: 3 x through:

    30 seconds lateral jumps over bench w/hands on bench (did 45-47 jumps)
    30 seconds rest
    1:00 jumping jills
    30 seconds rest
    30 seconds squat press w/15 lb med ball throwing up and catching it
    30 seconds rest

    power wheel:

    roll outs, 1 x 15, 1 x 25
    pike ups, 1 x 15

    As I was getting ready to do the pike ups, a guy came over and declared the power wheel "an absolute instrument of torture." lol I started a second set of the pike ups, but felt an abdominal
    muscle strain on the left side, so I stopped. This is a very hard exercise if you roll up and out all the way. (Well, FortSon just told me I wasn't supposed to go completely flat ...)

    prone scapular scrunches, 3 x 25
    3 position arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15, each arm
    scapular wall slides, 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm

    I then trudged into the hot gym pool and did the following very slowly:


    Warm up:

    600 variety

    Slow aerobic work:

    10 x 25 twirling 4 point shooters

    5 x 100 on :20 RI done as 50 backstroke kick/50 back

    10 x 25 twirling 4 point shooters

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 1650 meters

    5 minutes hot tub
    5 minutes steam room


    Now, I would love a good massage and an ice bath. Alas, that is not happening, and I fear I will be sore tomorrow. But, unlike Jimby, I will not be weak.

    I drank my pure sort workout and recovery drinks during the workout. I was famished after and made my own recovery smoothie with a banana, fresh blackberries, mixed frozen berries, coconut water, mangosteen juice, walnuts, glutamine, flax seed oil and whey protein.

    Tomorrow, I'm planning to head to Mason to work out with Speedo, Wolfy and maybe Cage Fighter. Some vertical kicking is on the menu, including vertical kicking with med balls. We may alternate some endurance vertical kicking (as Ande did in one of his circuits recently) with some sprint kicking with the head above water in a streamline position. Wolfy has already announced he will be "moaning." But it will be good for him!

    Updated November 10th, 2009 at 06:09 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  2. Tuesday, 11/10/09

    by , November 10th, 2009 at 01:25 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, solo

    500 swim alternating free and back
    200 kick IM order all on back, no board
    200 IM drill
    200 pull free w/buoy only

    swim 5 sets of 3 x 50:
    set 1 build free on 1:00
    (ave 37)
    set 2 back, desc. 1-3 on :55
    set 3 smooth free on 50 (make the interval)
    (just barely made interval)
    set 4 back, descend 1-3 on :55
    (about the same as above, took an extra 30 sec rest before next round)
    set 5 25 fly fast/25 free easy on 1:00

    swim 200 easy

    swim 4 x 25 fast on 1:00 choice
    (did back (16), free (14), fly (16), free (15)
    back from race start, the rest from a push)

    swim down 300
    Total: 2450 yards
  3. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout -11/11/09 -SCY

    by , November 10th, 2009 at 01:24 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    4 x 100 1:40
    4 X 50 :50
    4 X 100 1:30
    4 X 50 :45

    6 X 50 kick 1:15

    4 X 100 free 2:00
    #1 moderate
    #2 75 moderate/25 fast
    #3 50 moderate/50 fast
    #4 25 moderate/75 fast

    8 X 25
    odd: build to race finish
    even: Blocks, sprint 20 yards

    400/1500 swimmers:
    8 X 50 1:00
    odd: easy, perfect stroke
    even: race pace

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  4. Tuesday morning workout with team

    This morning I went to practice chanting my new mantra: “I’m a sprinter—I need my rest!” My teammates rolled their eyes, but I swam down a lane from my usual one and felt good with the more generous intervals. Here is what I did:

    600 warmup

    12 x 25, starting & ending mid-pool @ :30 [These were to work on IM-transition turns—we did 4 of each type. I focused on starting slow and increasing my speed on each one within each set of 4, and on staying calm and smooth while increasing my speed.]

    12 x 75: 3 x BK/BR/FR @ 1:15; 3 x FR @ 1:10 @; 3 x FL/BK/BR @ 1:15 [More focus on smooth and efficient turns]

    4 x (50 K @ 1:15; 50 K @ 1:05; 50 K @ :55). (One of my lanemates today is a polo player, and did leg work in the deep end of our lane during this set. I high-fived him with my kick board on the slow and medium 50s. No matter how high I put my kickboard, he could always leap up and hit the top of it!)

    2 x (200 easy FR @ 3:20, 2 x 100 fast @ 1:25) [I focused on keeping the fast 100s under 1:15, and tried to keep them nearer 1:10. This set actually called for 4 rounds of 200/100/100, but during the 2nd round my left arm started feeling twingy, so I bailed on the last two rounds and warmed down, preparing to get out. It never feels great to stop in the middle of a set, but sometimes when things aren’t feeling right with your body it’s better to shut things down, and live to swim another day!]

    Then I noticed that all the swimmers in lane 5 had left early, so I was able to practice a few BK starts. On these, I focused on curling my thumbs (as well as my fingers) over the bar, rather than gripping it with my thumbs underneath. This helps me think about pushing downward and outward with my hands immediately on the start, rather than using them to pull myself up higher on the wall. When my first motion is a push downward, it helps me get my hands back over my head in time to enter the water with streamlined arms. Pulling myself up on the wall, on the other hand, often results in my hands arriving to their streamline late, plus I think it also increases the chances of my feet slipping down the wall. It’s funny how such a little change—thumb wrapped over rather than under—can make such a big difference in my starts.

    I did 5 practice starts, and the last 3 of them felt good—it seemed like I was able to preserve a lot of my momentum into the water. On my breakouts I concentrated on keeping the amplitude of my dolphin kick small, and making the kicks really quick. I did these starts on my own, so had plenty of time to set myself and think about what I wanted to do before each start. The next step is being able to do all this on a starter’s timing, so I’ll ask one of my coaches to give the starting commands next time I practice BK starts.

    Then I did another quick warmdown and left practice happy. I'm coddling my arm for the rest of today in hopes that it will be up to some sprinting tomorrow.
  5. Tue Nov 10th, 2009

    by , November 10th, 2009 at 10:43 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Nov 10th, 2009

    have a little cold or allergies

    Weights World Gym
    lat press 8 x 40 8 x 45 8 x 50 6 x 55
    lat pull 6 x 167 6 x 207 4 x 217
    bench press 6 x 135 6 x 185 3 x 200
    leg press 8 x 230 6 x 320 6 x 410


    FOUR OR MORE SDKs off EVERY wall

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    dove in on time
    swam with Nate & Mike beside Tyler Todd Larry Amy Max & Paul

    WORE briefs

    Warm Up
    300 fr inx 3 SDKs off each wall, I did 4
    100 IM k
    300 fr
    100 IM

    assigned 4 x 400 desc done 75 fr 25 stroke mod interval
    did 4 x (4 x 50 fr with 6 SDKs off each wall)

    assigned assigned 4 x 300 desc mod interval did 4 x (3 x 25 easy 25 SDK from a dive)

    got out rested 12 minutes

    put on B70 legs

    50 FL FAST
    Mike V timed
    10 SDKS / 7 SDKS
    went 23.8

    50 easy

    got out early to make a 8:00 meeting


    Saturday, November 21 & Sunday 22, 2009
    University of the Incarnate Word (SCM) Masters Meet

    10 Days till San Antonio

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

    23 Days till Long Beach
  6. Challenging myself

    by , November 10th, 2009 at 07:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Today I decided to challenge myself alittle at the end and actually get back up to 4000 today. Tomorrow the pool will be closed for the holiday so no swimming in the morning.

    10x100@1:45 Free nice and long
    5x100@:05R Back drills w/fins fashion model, partial recovery, underwater recovery, double arm and arms perpendicular kicking
    500 kick as 25 free/25 fly middle 100 sprint kick

    Work on getting a good pull here
    5x100@2:00 Back w/paddles as 25 right arm, 25 left arm, 50 swim

    Push set
    5x100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy
    3x100@1:25 Free w/paddles & bouy
    2x100@1:20 Free w/paddles & bouy

    500 Free Easy

    Total 4000 yards
  7. Monday, November 9

    by , November 9th, 2009 at 09:24 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Got to practice some with the kids today. Felt kind of bad that I got there late. They had a long warm-up of 1600 yards and I only got 100 in before starting on the first set.

    Warm-up: easy 100

    Four rounds of the following set:

    300 free pull on 4:00
    200 free negative split on 3:30
    100 I.M. - ALL OUT (held within 4 to 7 seconds of masters best on I.M.)
    50 easy

    6 x 100 kick with fins on 1:30 - hold 1:15 or better - did 3 dolphin on back, 3 free kick

    100 easy

    6 x 150 free with fins on 1:55 - We were supposed to hold 1:40, 1:30, 1:20 for 1-3, and repeat for 4-6. This was a little tough for most of us to do. I was happy just to be making the set!

    300 easy

    4600 yards

    I really liked the first set. Seemed like a good combo of aerobic and anaerobic work.
  8. Monday, Nov. 9

    by , November 9th, 2009 at 05:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety

    Hypoxic/Aerobic Kick:

    20 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :30
    10 belly, 10 back

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    5 x 50 @ 1:00
    25 AFAP flutter kick w/board + 25 EZ kick

    10 x 50 back @ 1:00
    # 3, 6, 9 fast @ 90%
    (went 25, 25, 24.5ish)
    the other 50s EZ
    30 seconds extra rest

    5 x 50 @ 1:10
    25 AFAP free w/fins + 25 EZ

    10 x 50 @ 1:10
    # 3, 6, 9 fast dolphin kick w/board & fins (went 26.5-27ish)
    the other 50s EZ
    30 seconds extra rest

    5 x 50 @ 1:10
    25 fast evil + 25 EZ,
    working on pullouts

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ
    working on breakouts
    30 seconds extra rest

    5 x (50 hypoxic w/fins + 50 EZ)
    50 hypoxic done on back as 25 EZ shooter + 25 AFAP shooter)

    100 EZ

    Total: 4100, 1750 kicking, only 700 fast



    Got some decent sleep last night, but my legs were still pretty tired when I woke up today. I still feel like I banked a reasonably high quality sprint workout today with a large percentage of kicking. I made up this workout, and rather like it. I had thought about coming home and doing some power wheel work. But I'm going to save that for tomorrow and force myself to do RC work tonight while watching House.

    Child #2 (Mini Fort) has now come down with swine flu.


    My Savageman relay mates were on line checking the BTB ironman tri results. The swim times were sick fast, between 44 minutes and 1:07. I can only imagine that this is due to a very strong current. Otherwise, I'll get owned big time in that "race."

    I am apparently now expected/signed up to do both Savageman and BTB next year. I have warned my relay mates that I am extracting a big travel meet in return for this sacrifice. My running buddy asked how much I was aiming to improve in the Savageman swim leg. I said "one second." This apparently did not go over well. lmao. I've tried to explain to these clowns that I just can't train enough free for these crazy events without shoulder surgery! Indeed, if there's a nice current at BTB, I see no reason to not do part of the race backstroke!

    Jimby vs Fort:

    I received my USMS mag today and read the "Both Sides of the Lane Line" feature where Jimby and I went mano-a-mano. Mini-Fort said I got "owned" by Jimby, but she appreciates funny and is under the influence of piggy flu. Fort Son agreed with me, but then he likes weights. Jim has already announced on FB that he "crushed" me. Proof's in the pudding though. :-P

    Chaos mentioned on FB that, after reading the debate, he had flashbacks to Jane Curtain/Dan Ackroyd. lol

    Updated November 9th, 2009 at 10:25 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  9. Is this what being a sprinter looks like?

    Swimmers new to masters swimming often ask me what events they should do at meets. I generally tell them some version of “Whatever you think will be fun and challenging for you!” Often, though, what I think they are driving at is that age-old question: What am I really good at? What sort of swimmer am I?

    One of the great things about masters swimming is that we don’t have to pigeon-hole ourselves as simply a backstroker, a distance freestyler, a breaststroker/IMer. We’re free to swim events that we’re awful at, or that we’ve never even tried. That’s a good thing—it would get awfully boring to swim the same 3 events from now until our 90s. But I also sometimes wonder, what is it that I’m best at? I generally think of myself as a backstroker/IMer/sprinter, and oh, yeah, I like breaststroke too. But that’s a pretty mushy way to self-identify, so this past weekend I decided to turn to Chris Stevenson’s nifty ratings calculator at the Virginia LSMC website for some answers.

    I put in all my top LCM and SCM performances, along with the age at which I swam them, to determine my best rating for each event. (I combined LCM and SCM in order to have a fuller set of data). I then charted those ratings with the handy graph-making tool at, and came up with the following:

    The horizontal axis lists the distances; the vertical axis is the ratings (higher is better).

    Some observations:

    1. I’m definitely a sprinter! The ratings go down as the distances go up across the board. (The one exception is the 100/200 IM, where my rating is 0.1 higher for the 200. I attribute this to not being able to swim a 100 IM LCM—my ratings are generally better in the longer pool).

    2. My ratings decline less sharply from 50 to 100 in my long-axis strokes. Is there something I can learn there to make my 100 BR and 100 FL better?

    3. Perhaps I'm a better freestyler than I give myself credit for. I generally think of it as being little better than my butterfly.

    4. Someone definitely needs to work on her fly!

    I’m looking forward to plugging in the numbers after my upcoming meets to see how my swims compare with each other, and with these rating-PRs!

    Updated November 12th, 2009 at 02:12 PM by swimsuit addict

  10. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout -11/10/09 -SCY

    by , November 9th, 2009 at 02:48 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    2 X 200 3:20
    3 X 100 1:30
    4 X 75 *25free/25 stroke/25free* 1:30

    3 X 100 kick 2:15

    10 X 50 1:15
    #3-6-9 are fast. All others perfect stroke.

    8 X 25
    odd: build to race finish
    even: blocks-sprint 20

    **Race pace swim**
    1 X 50 from the blocks

    400/1500 swimmers: 8 X 50 odd: perfect stroke even: race pace 1:00

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  11. Monday, 11/9/09

    by , November 9th, 2009 at 02:31 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Starting to wind down a bit as I have meets the next 2 weekends. Not really a taper just cut back slightly on the intensity.

    SCY, Solo

    200 swim free
    300 kick/swim by 25
    (went free-breast-back by 100)
    300 pull choice
    200 swim back

    2x150 free smooth on 2:45
    2x75 build back on 1:30
    2x150 free smooth on 2:45
    2x50 free at 85-90% on 1:00
    2x150 free smooth on 2:45
    take 30 sec. rest
    swim 2x25 fly FAST on 45
    (150's ave 2:05-10
    75's went 1:05
    50's went 35-6,
    25 went 16-7

    swim down 300 easy
    Total: 2500 yards
  12. Proper Form

    by , November 9th, 2009 at 10:58 AM (Meet Director's Path to Tranquility)
    "I could say things with color and shapes that I could not say any other way - things I had no words for."
    -Georgia O'Keefe
    Meet Entry
    Entry Form

    The last step in getting the sanction this year was to submit the meet entry form. Since essentially the same form is used each year, only minor modifications need to be made: '2009' dates changed to '2010,' and some fonts and colors changed. Of course after Eric gave us our sanction, I realized one of the dates did not get changed on the form sent to him for approval, or maybe he wanted to restrict to masters swimmers with an expired registration. It was corrected before uploading to the web site.

    The entry form was another area where I took a fresh approach. I wanted a stylish, more user-friendly form than other meets had. It was a brand new meet and we needed to grab attention. Most meet directors will launch Microsoft Word, and after the Times New Roman font comes up, start typing. I picked up a typeface from a font web site for the Tropical Splash title that shouted fun, lively, and 'tropical.' It happened to be named Ultimatum (as in ransom notes). OK, no one needs to know that. This would become the branded logo title for our subsequent meets.

    Next, I saw that every meet entry was black text on white. I wanted to convey a message that our meet was going to be different and colorful. Since we dream in color (except for those 'Times New Roman' meet directors), the title used tropical colors. (The first meet always seemed a dream to me until two events jolted it into reality - to be discussed later.) Tropical sun-washed colors look great on a Bermuda house, but are difficult to read on a white background. The second attempt at a colorful meet entry looked like I did it while tripping on acid (like some people's blog colors.) Too much of a good thing. I eventually got the balance of colors right.

    Subject headings were colored and used another fun-looking font. In fact, each year the smaller headings font is changed, again, to try to keep the meet fresh (although most people probably do not notice this subtle change.) Times Roman with its serifs was too formal looking, and our meet was going to be fun and informal, so the rest of the meet entry used sans-serif Arial font.

    I wanted enough space in the blanks for swimmers to write information without crowding into another line, and I wanted to be able to read it, therefore, an adequate line spacing was given to do so. Handwriting consideration turned out to be important, given that most people ask their chickens to fill in their entry forms. And, some swimmers make up their minds after seed times and events are already scratched in.

    Again, my experience ruled the decisions on this meet:
    Ever searched through an entire entry form to find if the meet was SCM or SCY? (Keep 'em guessing.) Our SCY course would be listed at the top of the page. In addition, the events would be 50-yd xxx instead of just 50 xxx.

    Did you ever leave a meet early because it lasted longer than anyone imagined? We placed an estimated end time on the entry form.

    "Staple your card here" was the instruction on some entry forms, although the space alloted was smaller than a cracker. Ample space was given on our form after measuring a USMS card.

    Where does the entry get sent? Who is the check made out to? What is the deadline? Instead of forcing swimmers to play "Where's Waldo" on the entry form, this important info was placed in an area set aside at the bottom of our page. And in keeping with Potomac Valley tradition, a two page document using a full page of info and full page for the entry was assembled.

    • Try filling out and attaching your card to your own meet entry form (or test on others) before forcing swimmers to do so.
    • Graphically style your entry form to match the character of your meet.

    Updated November 10th, 2009 at 07:08 AM by Rnovitske

  13. Mon Nov 9th, 2009

    by , November 9th, 2009 at 10:13 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Nov 9th, 2009

    Met Jon Urbanchek this morning at the UT swim center after practice, he was observing the UT mens practice. He works as Mark Schubert's assistant for USA Swimming National team. I got to speak with him for a bit. Over 10 National team members train at UT.

    Jon said if you want to swim fast,
    swim fast in practice.

    He's going to run a few practices, do some race pace type sets.

    We talked about dolphin kicking & he said small rapid kicks are best. I said like Ian Crocker & he said Ian was the best.

    He also highly recommended this book
    "The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How" by Daniel Coyle


    FOUR OR MORE SDKs off EVERY wall

    5:30 to 6:40
    Whitney coached
    dove in on time
    swam with Nate & Mike beside Tyler & Todd

    WORE briefs

    warm up
    200 fr
    200 fr
    100 feet first scull
    200 fr
    100 k

    assigned: 15 min swim done 75 swim then get out & dive in sprint 25
    did: 25 easy, 50 rest, 25 fast

    assigned: 10 x 100 fr on 1:15
    did 10 x 50 fr on on 1:15 6 SDKs off each wall
    went 30's & 31's

    assigned 4 x ( 25 fast followed by 1:00 vertical kick)

    50 easy


    Saturday, November 21 & Sunday 22, 2009
    University of the Incarnate Word (SCM) Masters Meet

    11 Days till San Antonio

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

    24 Days till Long Beach

    Updated November 9th, 2009 at 04:33 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  14. Weekend and Monday November 9, 2009

    I ran on Saturday. I did not swim or do yoga Oh well.

    Got in almost on time this morning!?!

    200 Swim
    400 Reverse IM (kick/swim by 25)
    100 Non-free

    2 x 150 fr on 2:15
    2 x 75 build on 1:15
    2 x 150 fr on 2:15
    2 x 50 fr on :45
    2 x 150 fr on 2:15
    2 x 25 fast on :45
    50 ez

    6 x 75 kick on 2:00 (it was 75 or 100 and the interval was a bit tight for 100s but too easy for 75s)

    6 x 50 ez (I did 3 or 4 50s then did a couple of 100s ez)

    Felt really good to get in the water and push and swim some good yardage. Sometimes I forget how much I love swimming and the water. Felt awesome!

    I am coaching tonight so the plan is to at the very least run a bit before coaching but I am hoping to get some weights in too.
  15. Good mix this morning

    by , November 9th, 2009 at 07:30 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Felt fairly good today but started with no clock. Going to still focus on the legs this week and also working the abs since I need to get rid of this muffin top look!

    500 Free every 3rd 25 back
    5x100@2:00 Free 1/2 pull 1/2 kick
    5x100@1:30 Free kick w/fins went 1:16, 1:21, 1:21, 1:20, 1:19
    500 fly kick streamline w/fins every 3rd 25 fast
    2x[3x100@1:30 Free w/paddles&bouy held 1:22's
    ....[200@2:45 Free w/paddles&bouy held 2:35's
    500 Back every 3rd 25 drill alternate double arm and arms perpendicular kick
    300 Free Easy

    Total 3800 yards
  16. 4x the fun

    With my accepted entry to MIMS, my 2010 plans are all coming together.
    The 4 marathons I hope to complete are:
    Tampa Bay on April 17
    The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS) on June 12
    The Catalina Channel (a date has not been set as the tide charts are not yet available) looking for a date sometime mid to late July.
    The English Channel sometime between Aug 25 and Sept 10.

    My first Tampa Bay experience was last year as a 2 person relay with Patricia Sener. As the date for this swim was just over 3 months post-op, I wasn't sure I'd be in any kind of shape to attempt a solo, so I put out the word "looking for a relay-mate" on FB... got lots of responses, and Patty was the first and most enthusiastic! We had a great time in Tampa. This event seems to be a perennial favorite of many CIBBOWS swimmers, so it kind of felt like we were in Brighton Beach with palm trees. Patty was kind enough to let me swim the bridges (is that where the critters hang out?)
    This is a true 24 mile swim with no current assist, and early enough in the season to have plenty of time to figure out a recovery program for the summer's Triple Crown.

    I attempted MIMS in 2006 but resigned with a hamstring issue in the Harlem River. It was a truly nasty day (week), but swimming up the east river in that torrential downpour was quite wonderful. Last year, I had the pleasure of watching the swim from a press boat that followed John Van Wisse and Penny Palfrey. I am very excited to jump in again this year with so many friends included in the field.

    As mentioned above; the tide charts are not yet available to the pilots for the Catalina Channel, so booking a date is not possible. I would like to shoot for the third week in July, as that would pretty much be right in the middle of MIMS and the EC. This is the one swim that I have absolutely zero experience with. The furthest south that I've swum on the west coast is Santa Cruz. I've watched a few youtube vids and followed the reports and tweets of Anne Cleveland and Ahelee Sue Osbourn, but thats it. I know that of these 4 swims, Catalina is the most likely location for wildlife viewing. (not including tourists on the deck of the Intrepid)

    The English Channel in September will wrap things up if all goes well. Each of these swims promise
    to pose their own challenges, and I hope to gain valuable lessons from each for the next, so it seems fitting that the EC should be last.

    Stats for today: Waking pulse 39, and I weighed in at 173lbs this morning.... 10 lbs above my "fighting weight". For the last 2 weeks, I've dropped down to about 35,000 yds/week. It hasn't been easy to put on these pounds, and I would like to have a reserve of at least another 10 starting with MIMS. I have a phobia about weight gain and don't want to carry more than I will need to, but since it has been difficult to get to this point, I might try to hold on to it. So far it hasn't had a negative effect on my practice times.
  17. Lowering your standards

    by , November 8th, 2009 at 08:30 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    In graduate school at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, a poet named Marvin Bell came up with a piece of advice that quickly spread like pink eye through the ranks of prone-to-writer's-block neurotic students like me.

    When you are having trouble writing, he suggested, lower your standards.

    I think this somewhat paradoxical maxim deserves a lot of serious consideration, especially by those of us prone to judging ourselves harshly. And I don't mean just in our literary endeavors, though god knows this has been one area where I have had to endlessly apply the motto.

    Swimming, it seems to me, is an excellent place to use the notion of lowering ones standards. Other candidates: the pursuit of a good night's sleep; the apparent musculature of your abdominal regions; life's overall sense of happiness; health; the SAT scores of your children; and the cleanliness of your underwear.

    Really, I ask you, where, in any of these areas, are you likely to go wrong by simply lowering, perhaps even abandoning altogether, your standards?

    A couple before and after statements might show how helpful this cognitive restructuring can be:

    Before: I must beat my swimming nemesis X by Y number of seconds in Z event, and furthermore, I must do a Personal Record best time in addition to this beat down of X.

    After: X can lap me--of what concern is this of mine?

    Before: I must get 8 hours of wholesome, refreshing sleep

    After: Thrashing fitfully throughout the night, slipping occasionally into spells of sleep apnea so deep that I stop breathing for four minutes at a time will allow me to train hypoxically while X is sloughing off and coddling his brain with oxygen and rest.

    Before: Underwear in its immaculate cleanliness should be as blindingly white as the beard of God, and, furthermore, it must be changed every five to ten minutes

    After: There is nothing wrong with earth tones for garments that no one but you will ever see. Lighten up!

    Before: I must be loved!

    After: There is nothing wrong with spending vast amounts of time annoying people, followed by even vaster amounts of time when it is almost as if you have become invisible to the human race, as if you don't matter at all, and never will! It is just a different part of the spectrum from being loved. A little shift over.
    At one time in my younger youth, I was convinced that the "lowering your standards" motto applied to those whose standards were so unattainably high in the first place that they were constantly setting themselves up to fail. In such individuals, I believed, getting rid of the most ludicrous of ambitions would free them up to accomplish more, not less, because they would no longer be strive-cringing in the shadow of their own self-flagellation cat-o-nine-tails poised to swipe.

    I was less inclined to think it applied to writers like this poet I met once on a bus, who informed me he had written 1000 poems, all of the very good, "but only about half of them extraordinarily good, and of these, only another half exquisite" and so forth, till he wearily acknowledged with his artist's weltzshmerzy soul that only a dozen of his poems ranked among the top the world has ever seen.

    And some of these, he admitted, didn't even rhyme!

    The self-satisfied, the smug, the lazy, the entitled, the deluded, the silver-spoon-mouth-plugged: surely lowering their standards would do such fellows no good at all, only make them that much more prone to self-congratulation for less-than-zero accomplishments.

    I am not sure when I realized that I was a member of this latter category. There was no moment of eureka or epiphany, just a slow dawning upon me (like when you realize the borderline enjoyable jazz music you turned on the radio 45 minutes ago has somehow transformed into cacophonous fusion that has been annoying, in a low grade way, the bejesus out of you for a good while now) that I have always been more or less smugly satisfied with my accomplishments, or at least lately I have been, even though there is no ostensible reason for such satisfaction!

    And this is when I did actually have an actual eureka moment.

    We can all benefit from lowering our standards, even those of us who don't really have very high ones to begin with.

    Sure, try to get better at swimming. Try to be a nicer person, get stronger, do good things, eat more exotic fruits and recovery potions, etc. ad nauseam.

    But realize that everything becomes easier, and your chances of true improvement almost always increase, if you take that little priestly superego guy, your internal editor, your homonculus that looks like you but sports a halo, or the soul of a kindly grandparent that comes to guide you in moments of trouble, or whatever other entity within you that says: you can do better!--if you simply take this well-meaning entity, place your hands around his or her strangely wrinkled neck, and choke it till even you can recognize the petechial hemorrhaging in the whites of its damnably judgmental eyes!

  18. Sun Nov 8th, 2009

    by , November 8th, 2009 at 06:59 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sun Nov 8th, 2009

    lifted weights after swim practice
    lat press
    leg press
    bench press
    lat pull


    FOUR OR MORE SDKs off EVERY wall

    noon to 1:15
    Bridgette coached
    dove in on time

    WORE briefs

    today Larry did the postal 6k
    so Jon & I alternated 50's
    larry asked me to stick a kick board in the water on each 1000 and at 5500

    so todays work out was
    53 x 50 on about 1:10 with 1:00 break after every 9
    held 30's to 32's


    University of the Incarnate Word (SCM) Masters Meet
    Saturday, November 21 & Sunday 22, 2009
    12 Days till San Antonio

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

    25 Days till Long Beach
  19. Weights

    by , November 8th, 2009 at 06:31 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Warmed up with a 7:49 mile on the treadmill (Started at 7 mph and worked my way up to 9 mph.)

    Bench press: 2 sets of 75 x 15

    Lat high row: 90 x 5, 2 sets of 120 x 15

    Triceps pull-down: 2 sets of 40 x 15

    Alt. hammer curls: 2 sets of 15 x 15

    Military press: 2 sets of 40 x 15

    Push ups: 1 set of 10 with bosu ball

    1 set of 100 bicycle crunches

    1 set of 10 back extensions

    Updated November 8th, 2009 at 07:41 PM by elise526

  20. Sunday, Nov.8

    by , November 8th, 2009 at 05:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    bicycles, 2 x 50
    chops on yoga ball w/3 lb weights, 2 x 15, thumbs up and thumbs down
    prone scapular scrunches w/3 lb weights, 3 x 25
    3 position arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15, each arm
    soft med ball toss against wall, 1 x 25
    scapular wall slides, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25
    internal and external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    1 legged squats resting other foot on yoga ball, 1 x 15 (Just tried these out. I think Jazz is right, and these would be good to add in addition to the other squats I do)


    800 EZ

    10 minutes in hottub
    5 minutes in steamroom



    I might have indulged in some Patrick-like hubris yesterday in doing both hot yoga and a run the day after doing the P90X plyo DVD. My alarm rang at 8:00 to go to practice at Mason today, and I just shut it off and went back to sleep. I've been exhausted all day. So, I just did a mini RC/recovery swim that I probably should have done yesterday. I hope I don't have to take tomorrow off. I'd like to get in a short, but quality, sprint workout.

    That said, I think my legs feel stronger than they ever have from the plyos. I am, however, having a bit of left shoulder breakdown. I'm fairly certain this is due to failure to do adequate RC exercises. Whenever I get lazy and lapse in this area, I usually pay the price. (Hence, today's workout.) But Mr. Fort has been gone for 2 weeks, and sometimes I don't sit down till 10:30 pm. Unlike Chris, I can't get myself to do RC work at that time. And I don't think the yoga is aggravating the shoulder ... Bikram yoga doesn't have any of those umpteen thousand downward dogs they do in other types of yoga.


    My husband mentioned that he had read an article in the NYT suggesting that dynamic stretching was no longer being advocated over static stretching. I'm not sure which article he was referring to. It could have been mentioned in the article on cooling down that was discussed on the forum. There were a lot of reader comments posted wrt that article.