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  1. Fearful Symmetry

    There was a beautiful huge moon setting over the Hudson this morning as I walked from the subway over to Riverbank State Park. I think it would have been worth being up and out in the cold and dark just to see it. Luckily I got in a good swim too. Today was my last time swimming at Riverbank for a while, and this was what I did as a solo, goodbye-to-the-pool workout:

    1000 lcm warmup (400 S, 200 K, 200 P, 200 rev. IM drill/swim by 50)

    Pyramid: 200-400-600-800-1000-800-600-400-200, all FR except BK on last 50 of each, :20-:30 rest between swims

    1000 warmdown

    I surprised myself this morning by craving some long FR swimming. On the way up the pyramid, I thought of doing it as a ladder and ending at the 1000, but I was enjoying myself enough that I decided to make things symmetrical instead. (I suppose it would have been even better symmetry to put the 50 back on the front of the swims on the way down, and in the middle of the 1000, but I like to keep the BK at the end as a little reward. I did end up doing my warmdown at a bit brisker pace than usual in order to get in 1000 before the pool closed in order to match my warmup distance, and end with with nice round number.)

    If all goes smoothly with my travel tomorrow I should be swimming with my Florida masters team by tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!
  2. Back to work even with tweekie shoulders and elbows

    by , December 20th, 2010 at 08:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Spent some time on the TENS unit this weekend to loosen things up a bit so I wanted to test things out. Part of the problem this weekend is when I swim these meets with my entire team in the same session I don't get proper warmups or warmdowns and that really hurts.

    Borrowed this one from Kris today.

    500 Free
    5 minute kick did 200 (not my strong suit)
    10x75@1:10 Free kick w/fins
    50 Free easy

    4x[1x75@1:20 Free
    ....[3x25@:40 Round 1 Fly, 2 back, 3 breast, 4 IM
    ....[1x75@1:30 Round 1 Fly, 2 back, 3 breast, 4 IM
    4x200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy desc 1-4 went 2:53, 2:47, 2:40, 2:34
    3x100 w/fins #1 kick #2free #3back EASY

    Total 3500 yards
  3. Trained with UT Men Sunday Dec 19th 2010

    by , December 20th, 2010 at 12:38 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sunday Dec 19th 2010

    got a bit of a cold, I'm coughing and sneezing, bit of a sore throat

    in yesterday's blog I wrote
    tomorrow at 2:00 pm I'm going to work out with UT Men, we are doing a
    300 fast,
    150 fast,
    100 fast & a
    50 fast

    Eddie Reese and Kris Kubik Coached
    UT Swim Center, diving well
    2:00 to 4:00 dove in on time
    trained with
    beside Kathleen Hersey and Dax Hill
    wore FS PRO Jammer

    started with 100's on 1:30 done 75 fr
    did around 8

    8 x 75 k
    4 on 1:15, 4 on 1:20

    took a 10 minute break

    Main SET:

    300 fr fast
    went 2:51
    split it 54 58 59 was 28.0 on last 50

    after the swim eddie told me I should have warmed up more

    300 easy swim down

    rest 10 minutes

    150 back
    went 1:24.8
    split it 25.5 54.8

    rest 15 min

    50 SDK
    went 23.3

    50 easy

    Next meets are:

    Fri Apr 1 - Sun 3, 2011
    South Central Zone SCY Championships
    Josh Davis Natatorium, San Antonio, TX

    Thu Apr 28 - Sun May 1, 2011
    2011 USMS SCY Spring Nationals
    Kino Aquatic Complex, Mesa, AZ
    Order of Events
    Swim Workouts
  4. Sunday, 12/19/10

    by , December 19th, 2010 at 11:35 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, in Boise with Coach Kelsey.

    200 swim, 200 kick, 200 scull, 200 pull
    1 x 100/1:30 free build
    2 x 50/50 free #2 faster than #1
    4 x 25/30 free strong
    1 x 100/2:00 back build
    4 x 25/30 back strong

    Main set
    21 x 50/1:00 alt free and back
    1-4 smooth, 5 fast
    6-8 smooth, 9-10 fast
    11-12 smooth, 13-15 fast
    16-20 smooth
    fast free was 5 breaths down, 3 breaths back
    21 free fastest
    with 3 breaths down, 2 breaths back
    100 easy free

    Kick set 10 sec rest after each
    25 uw sdk 10sr 50 flutter kick on back 10 sr
    25 uw sdk 10 sr 100 kick on back 10 sr
    25 uw sdk 10 sr 150 kick on back 10 sr
    25 uw sdk

    Cool down
    200 easy free and back

    Total: 3050 yards
  5. Saturday, 12/18/10

    by , December 19th, 2010 at 12:29 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, in Boise, with Coach Kelsey

    Warm up
    200 swim, 100 kick
    9 x 50 desc by 3, 3/55, 3/50, 3/45
    12 x 25/30 every 4th fast stroke, did fly-back-fly on fast ones free and back on the others

    Broken swims
    2 x 150/3:00 back, 100 build to strong - 10sr - 50 strong
    4 x 75/10 sr smooth
    3 x 100/2:30, 50 build to strong - 10sr - 25 strong - 10sr - 25 fast
    1 & 3 fly, 2 back
    4 x 75/10sr smooth

    Kick set
    12 x 25/40 uw sdk w/monofin
    25 on back/25on side/25 other side/25 on front, focus on tight streamline

    Cool down
    100 easy

    Total: 2500 yards

    I began my strength training program at the gym this week and was very, very sore. Other than that, this swim felt pretty good. I'm feeling the effect of not swimming regularly but it was good to get a hard workout in. I'll do another with Kelsey Sunday before returning to Elko. 2 more weeks until Elko's pool re-opens.

    I'll be spending Christmas in Boise so I plan to get to the pool 2-3 times more during the weekend.
  6. Not a good meet but atleast my shoulder is good

    by , December 18th, 2010 at 05:30 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    My shoulder did not hurt today which was good news. The kids did great. I did horrid and that is ok. My main goal today was not too feel pain in my right shoulder and left elbow. I think I finally got most of the knots out of the muscles but still have a few more to work out.

    Total of 1500 yards today.
  7. Holiday potpourri

    Today I was happy to once again have a swim buddy to workout with up at Riverbank. Here’s what I did:

    800 lcm warmup (400 S, 200 K, 200 P)

    400 FR
    300 (100 BK / 200 FR)
    400 FR
    300 (100 BK / 200 FR)
    400 FR
    [On the 400s my goal was to use a strong kick on every odd length; the BK on the 300s was then easy.]

    7 x 200 pacman FR > IM > FR

    5 x 150, done as 50 FR / 50 BK / 50 FR

    50 easy

    5 x 100: 1st 3 ST/FR IM order, 4th one easy, 5th one fast FR [1:18]

    400 warmdown

    The water was just a bit warm today, but the pool was pretty crowded. Still, we had good lanemates and everything worked out well. I also got to chat with a hardy fellow CIBBOWS swimmer who was getting in some meters before heading out to the beach. When I felt overheated during the workout, I just reminded myself that 83 degrees was preferable to 43!
  8. Saturday Dec 18th 2010

    by , December 18th, 2010 at 03:50 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Saturday Dec 18th 2010

    tomorrow at 2:00 pm I'm going to work out with UT Men, we are doing a
    300 fast,
    150 fast,
    100 fast & a
    50 fast

    Today after practice at 9:00 we had a team breakfast & white elephant gift exchange at Kerby Lane Cafe on the Drag, shot a few photos which are on my Facebook, I wound up with the KGSR Volume 18 CD

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    just renewed my USMS membership for 2011
    Don't have a masters team?
    Register with Longhorn Masters

    whitney Coached
    UT Swim Center, started in MAIN POOL pool then moved to diving well
    7:00 to 8:30 dove in on time dove in 6:35ish
    trained with Max, Marcio, Sharon,
    beside Larry, Amy, Tyler Paul and Chris
    WORE yingfa jammer

    300 fr easy

    Main SET:

    20 x 100 on 2:00
    1 - 3 fr best ave
    4 non free fast, kicked fl no board
    5 easy
    held 57's & 58's on fr & went 9, 8, 7, 6 on kicks

    diving well
    5 x (4 x 25 k on 20, followed by 100 easy with 4 SDKs off each wall)

    assigned 600 pull
    did 6 x 50 FR with 5 SDKs off each wall

    Next meets are:

    Fri Apr 1 - Sun 3, 2011
    South Central Zone SCY Championships
    Josh Davis Natatorium, San Antonio, TX

    Thu Apr 28 - Sun May 1, 2011
    2011 USMS SCY Spring Nationals
    Kino Aquatic Complex, Mesa, AZ
    Order of Events
  9. Hanging Up My Suit, Dec. 18

    by , December 18th, 2010 at 03:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hanging up my suit ... through the weekend.

    I must have overdid it Thursday because I woke up worse instead of better (as I expected) on Friday. After skipping a workout and officiating a Friday night swim meet, I feel just as crappy today. So I'm ditching all thought of working out this weekend. I'm not even sure I could get to a pool without an hour commute each way in any event. The roads here in urban suburbia are absolute gridlock with the weekend holiday shopping traffic. It's frightening.

    Poor Mini Fort is the latest target of the nasty family cold and, unfortunately, has another swim meet tonight. I've asked for a substitute official for me. Still hoping I don't succumb to another long round of bronchitis. Or I will be very very crabby and grinch like. Ho ho ho. Off to wrap presents and sip green tea.
  10. DOUBLE FAST Friday Dec 17th 2010

    by , December 17th, 2010 at 05:23 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    DOUBLE FAST Friday Dec 17th 2010

    LIFTED WEIGHTS this morning

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    just renewed my USMS membership for 2011
    Don't have a masters team?
    Register with Longhorn Masters

    tyler Coached
    UT Swim Center, MAIN POOL pool, swam in a lane that had a starting block
    NOON to 1:15 dove in on time
    trained Andrew
    beside Larry, Amy, & James
    WORE FS PRO jammer

    10 min choice
    did easy 50's

    Main SET:

    swam in the lane that had a starting block & DOVE all fast swims and kicks off it

    8 x 50 FR FAST on 2:00
    from a dive
    5 or 6 SDKs off each start &
    3 or 4 off each turn
    went 25, 24, 23, 23, 23, 23, 23, 23

    assigned 10 minutes pull
    did: easy 50's on :50 & :60

    3 rounds of
    50 fast fr, on 1:30 5 SDKs off each start
    50 fast k on 1:30
    50 easy on 1:30 ish
    100 fast fr on 2:30 5 SDKs off each start
    100 fast k on 2:30
    100 easy on 2:30 ish
    dove all fast swims and kicks from blocks

    50 fr 26, 25, 25
    50 k 27, 26, 26
    100 fr 53, 52, 51
    100 k went 63, 62,
    rested an extra 5 minutes
    before my last kick &
    went 58.2 out in 26.9

    50 easy

    Next meets are:

    Fri Apr 1 - Sun 3, 2011
    South Central Zone SCY Championships
    Josh Davis Natatorium, San Antonio, TX

    Thu Apr 28 - Sun May 1, 2011
    2011 USMS SCY Spring Nationals
    Kino Aquatic Complex, Mesa, AZ
    Order of Events

    Does anyone ever read my blog to the end?

    Updated December 17th, 2010 at 05:31 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  11. FAST Friday Dec 17th 2010

    by , December 17th, 2010 at 12:37 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    FAST Friday Dec 17th 2010

    Missed Thursday practice

    LIFTED WEIGHTS this morning

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    just renewed my USMS membership for 2011
    Don't have a masters team?
    Register with Longhorn Masters

    whitney Coached
    UT Swim Center, started in main pool then switched to diving well
    6:30 - 8:00 dove in 6:33 ish
    trained Mike, Tyler, Todd, Marcio & Brad
    WORE yingfa jammer

    10 min choice
    did easy 50's

    Main SET:

    8 x 50 FR FAST on 2:00
    swam in lane that had a starting block
    went 26, 26, 24, 24, 24, 23, 23, 24

    switched to diving well

    10 minutes swim
    did easy 50's

    4 rounds of
    50 fast fr on 1:30
    50 fast k on 1:30
    50 easy on 2:00 ish
    100 fast fr on 2:30
    100 fast k on 2:30
    100 easy on 3:00 ish
    dove all the fast
    25's on 50 fr fast
    28's on the 50 k fast
    54's & 5's on 100 fr fast went 53 on last
    66's on 100 k went 65 on last and ran into Ed on last 25

    thinking about doubling

    Next meets are:

    Fri Apr 1 - Sun 3, 2011
    South Central Zone SCY Championships
    Josh Davis Natatorium, San Antonio, TX

    Thu Apr 28 - Sun May 1, 2011
    2011 USMS SCY Spring Nationals
    Kino Aquatic Complex, Mesa, AZ
    Order of Events
    not real thrilled with Sunday's order of events
  12. Thursday, 12/16/10

    by , December 17th, 2010 at 12:25 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Solo, SCY

    Warm - up
    1 x 200 swim, alternate 50 free/50 back
    1 x 150 pull with catch paddles alternate 25 free/25 back
    1 x 150 dolphin kick
    10 x 25/30 desc 4 (free) - 3 (back) - 3 (free)

    Back Kick:
    6 x 100/30sr
    25 SDK
    25 right side
    25 left side
    25 fast dolphin kick breakouts into flutter on back

    IM Swim:
    6 x 100 IM/2:00

    Back drills & Pulls
    3 x the following set:
    25 Left arm scull/20
    25 right arm scull/20
    25 left arm swim/20
    25 right arm swim/20
    100 Pull with Bouy and Catch Paddles/15sr

    Warm down 100

    Total: 2650 yards
  13. More IMing

    Today was another solo swim for me today at Riverbank. I’ve been thinking I might see some TNYA teammates at lap swim up there, since one of our regular pools is closed (yet again!) for maintenance issues for a couple of weeks. But nope, just the usual RB suspects today. Here’s what I did:

    1200 lcm warmup (400 swim, 200 IM kick, 200 pull, 200 rev. IM drill, 200 IM swim)

    4 x through, one round each stroke IM order
    4 x 50, odds ST K @ 1:10, evens ST drill @ 1:05
    3 x 100, done as 1 FR @ 1:45, 1 50FR/50ST @ 1:45, 1 ST @ 2:00
    1 x 200 IM @ 3:45, working current + any previous rounds’ ST
    1 x 300 FR @ 4:45
    :30 or 1:00 rest

    800 warmdown BK/FR by 50s

    The water was very warm today, but otherwise this was a very satisfying swim. Doing a long IM workout for the second day in a row was maybe a smidgeon less fun than yesterday, but it was still nice, and I felt very calm and relaxed throughout. I might have to think up another approach for tomorrow’s workout, though—3 straight days of IMing might be a bit much.
  14. Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 5:15am

    by , December 17th, 2010 at 11:56 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    I decided today was a day to sit on the bench with the rest of the folks and talk for a while this morning about how cold the pool looks. This is a daily ritual for most of them, so I guess I might as well join them once in a while. That left me not very motivated to do much.

    400 Free warmup

    2 x 250 Free Pull @ 3:15 (I did 2:46, 2:43) <--I saw that Tjrpatt did these the other day and they look fun, which they were

    200 Free EZ

    (25 EZ, 25 Fly sprint from dive) x2

    100 Back :30 rest
    100 Breast :30 rest
    100 Free
    all of these were just relaxed swimming back and forth, back and forth (It's Friday)
    6 x 2-turn 50s with the group
    2 free, 2 back, 2 fly or breast working on streamlines
    I did about 8-9 kicks of each turn which is a lot for me, but they felt good. I usually only do a couple on fly in a race. Maybe I'll try to make a change for my New Years resolution.
    1800 yards

    Updated December 17th, 2010 at 01:54 PM by jaadams1

    Swim Workouts , Daily Practices
  15. 12/17/10

    by , December 17th, 2010 at 11:01 AM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Warm Up
    400 IM Drill (did it non fly)

    16 x 50 Fr/choice Drill :50/1:00
    I did the first 4 BR on 1:00 to set broken 200 time/target :41, :41, :40:, :41 so I think I can improve my 200BR 2:45 just from those numbers.
    400 K 200 no fins/200 fins
    400 Pull 200 Fr/200 Choice
    8 x 100 1:30 descend
    5 x 100 Kick 1:50 descend
    5 x 100 Pull descend 1:40

    300 Cool
  16. No crazy swimming this Friday

    by , December 17th, 2010 at 10:08 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Tomorrow I have a meet and the first event is the one for me 50 Fly. I am in a heat with 2 girls who just got back from Jr. Nat's and one of the boys I coach will be in my heat too so I have to be presentable.

    Only easy painfree swimming today.

    100,200,300,400 Free on :15R
    500 Free kick w/fins & snorkle work the legs build each 100
    600 Back kick w/fins as 100 fashion model/100 partial recovery/100 streamline
    100,200,300,200,100 Free on :10R alt 50 Drill/50 Swim

    Total 3000 meters
  17. PM Swim at GMU, Thurs., Dec. 16

    by , December 16th, 2010 at 10:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Slept in today, trying to battle my cold. And I think it's holding at just a cold. Woke up to snow and schools closed 2 hours early. Was feeling slightly better, so decided to head to practice at Mason tonight. And, honestly, I didn't feel like thinking up my own practice. And I definitely didn't feel like any sprint work. It'll just be aerobic & technique work for a couple weeks as I regroup.

    Got there early -- no traffic, everyone scared of 2 inches of snow -- did 15 minutes of core work and stretching while chatting with Melanie.

    Swim @ Mason:

    Warm up:

    600 swim, middle 200 no free

    400 IM, 50 kick/50 drill

    600 pull
    I didn't have my paddles and wouldn't have pulled in any event w/o getting my RC exercises going again. So instead did 6 x 100 back kick w/fins @ mod pace @ 1:30.

    Main Sets:

    6 x 150, done as 100 IM + 50 dolphin kick on back w/fins @ 2:15 (It's been so long since I did a 100 IM in practice, I'd almost forgotten how to do one.)

    50 EZ

    7 x 100 @ 1:50
    1-3 kick, no fins, descend to fast
    4 = easy free
    5-7 kick, no fins, descend to fast

    I descended to medium. Went 10-8-8-8 SDK per 25.

    50 EZ

    Starting to feel absolutely gassed and crampy here ...

    3 x through:
    2 x 75 medium @ 1:15
    2 x 25 fast @ :30
    30 seconds extra rest between rounds
    wore fins, very tired

    round 1 = free
    round 2 = non free (did breast)
    round 3 = kick

    I had no fast gear and did all the 25s as easy speed UW shooters

    100 EZ

    Total: 4100/1950 kick



    I'd almost forgot what a regular workout was like ... Thursday nights at Mason are always fun b/c Cheryl gives a mix of stroke/kick/sprint. I'm beat from that effort and pretty glad that school is already delayed 2 hours in the am. More sleep!

    Updated December 17th, 2010 at 04:27 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  18. When the cat's away, the mice will . . .

    . . . do IM sets!

    This morning I had zero swimming buddies and swam all by myself up at Riverbank. Literally so—I had my own lane for much of the lap swim session. Here’s what I did:

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

    8 x 150 FR/x/FR @ 2:45, with x=Kick rev. IM order on odds, Swim rev. IM order on evens

    6 x 200 @ 3:30, odds FR, evens IM
    [Goal was to keep FRs under 3:00 (yes, barely) and descend IMs (3:25, 3:17, 3:15)]

    2000 straight, every 5th length ST (IM order), first 1000 pull, second 1000 swim, no intervals or clock-watching, all open turns done “backwards” ŕ la Gigi

    400 IM K/S by 50

    300 play + warmdown

    During the 200s set there was someone I didn’t know in the next lane racing me on every other lap. It reminded me of this Kara Goucher blog entry that my husband emailed me, which I quite liked. She seems to have such a great attitude!
  19. 2 Christmas Cards plus Lefty the Christmas Pug: A Tale

    by , December 16th, 2010 at 01:56 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    I have never been one of those types who send out Christmas cards on a regular basis or, for that matter, on an irregular basis.

    Something about finding a suitable card, scribbling a suitably festive message thereupon, getting envelopes, getting stamps, the orgy of licking that ensues, the pasty mouth that makes it hard to swallow and causes you to imagine you have become transformed into an iguana, the trip down to the Post Office to stand in line and make sure you have weighed things correctly, all of this, well, has conspired to turn me into one of those 58-year-olds who eschews Christmas cardery of the Traditional Sort.

    But this year, thanks to technology, I have decided to send all my friends in the USMS greater swimming community not one (1), but two (2), count them! two (2) Christmas cards.

    Christmas Card Greetings No. 1:

    Jim uses an open fire to burn the hair off a monkey prior to machete chopping it into body parts for boiling in a Christmas cauldron! Here's wishing that your Traditional Christmas Feasting Foodstuff o' Choice does not have fingerprints, which makes swallowing difficult.

    I am hoping that this first Christmas card--a traditional favorite of mine--will serve more than just to put you into an appreciative mood regarding the astringent cold waves that are now gripping much of the east coast. I hope, as well, that it will help to jump start the inevitable diet that comes in the wake of Yuletide cookies-marinated-in-nog overindulgence.

    Christmas Card Greetings No. 2:

    Here is a homemade greeting card that invites a certain amount of mental interactivity. Enjoy piling on additional clothing until even the vaguest trace of my hidden existence becomes an unsustainable article of faith!

    And finally...

    This morning's anecdote retold as a Christmas story:

    Lefty the Christmas Pug

    Here are our two pugs, Lefty and Biscuit, playing with Mollie Nadler a few weeks ago (Mollie was doing some house painting and took a break to play with the dogs.)

    Sorry for tilt here. I can't figure out how to fix it. That said, Mollie does look better in the horizontal position.

    About three weeks ago, on the coldest night of the winter up till that point, I fed Lefty and Biscuit their dinners outside and left for swimming practice, confident my sons would let the little pugs in from the dark, cold night and the surrounding forest in which bobcats and coyotes are rumored to prowl.

    When I got back from swimming practice, Lefty--the plump male pug--was indeed in his spot in the kitchen, gnawing on a ham bone. But Biscuit, the lithe female pug, was not in her usual spot, that being the heating register where she regularly stokes herself with hot forced air.

    I went outside into the previously described night and called for her. Unfortunately, her hearing is not that great these days, and no manner of shouts or whistles managed to summon her.

    I called both sons on their respective cells--they had gone out to respective friends' houses--and asked them where Biscuit was. They both told me they had searched for her to no avail.

    Lefty, the amiable but dumb pug, began begging for a dog treat. He is an adorable dog, but can be pretty annoying what with his insatiable appetite for food, and his nearly endless whimpering cries and beseeching for same!

    "Lefty," I said, "how is it that you are here and Biscuit is out there somewhere, possibly being eaten? I thought she was the smart one, and you the dumb one, but here you are, and who knows where she is?"

    We went out looking for her. I put on my headlamp and bushwhacked through the dark woods above our house, but to no avail, Lefty all the while at my heels. Then we reversed course and headed into the dark woods beneath our house. At one point, I could no longer see Lefty and feared that he, too, might be lost.

    Finally, I managed to find Lefty, but his little female bride remained irretrievable.

    Lefty and I went home, hungry and disconsolate, respectively.

    It was so bitterly cold out!

    I tortured myself with images of poor little Biscuit out there in the night, a smart and keen eyed pug whose greatest pleasure in life--more so even than food and treats--was her perch by the heating register.

    I fell asleep, depressed, already in a state of pre-mourning.

    Sometime around 4 a.m., I awoke and went downstairs to check the three doors to our house, hoping against hope Biscuit had somehow made her way back and was patiently shivering in wait to be let in.

    Front door? No Biscuit!

    Patio door? No Biscuit!

    Kitchen door....but no sooner had I entered the kitchen, which serves by night as our pugs' bedroom, than I saw not one (1) but two (2) pugs in their twin pug beds!!!!

    Biscuit was home and back inside!

    In the morning, I learned from my older son Ben that when he got home at 3 a.m., Biscuit was waiting by the back door, and he let her in.

    Safe and sound!

    Flash forward approximately three weeks to this very morning, Dec. 16h, 2010. My younger son Jack, now a high school senior and future Tarheel (accepted yesterday via early decision to his top choice, U. North Carolina-Ashville!), needed a ride to school.

    We put the pugs outside and drove down to Leetsdale, locus of Quaker Valley High School, at 7:30 a.m.

    I was back home by 7:45, and as I drove up the driveway, I beeped the horn several times to alert the pugs that I was back, that it was time for them to gather at the homestead, and that I would feed them their breakfast.

    The temperature was 12 degrees F.

    The pugs did not answer the beep.

    They were not in their Dogloo outside.

    I could not find them shivering in the garage.


    The beloved pugs, on the new coldest morning of the year, one week and one day before Christmas, were gone!

    I whistled and yelled for them, to no avail. I went inside and started making coffee. Sometimes, I think they can smell the coffee brewing and know that their breakfast cannot be far behind once this olfactory stimulus hits the air.

    And like clockwork, I soon heard an insistent scratching of pug nails against frigid aluminum! They were back, robustly alive, uneaten by either coyotes or bobcats!

    But when I threw open the door to see what was accounting for all the clatter, there was only one (1) not two (2) pug dogs there to greet me!

    A shivering Lefty, who immediately began his pleading intercessions for victuals.

    I let Lefty in and he begged even more frenetically.

    "Where's Biscuit, Lefty?" I asked him, the entire horror-show of three weeks ago back in a flash of deja vu misery!

    Lefty replied" "Rrrreee yelpppp roofffff arrrryllllll arrrppp!"

    Then he stamped his little feet in a food frenzy dance and began to yawn boisterously in a fashion my wife has taught him. It is adorable to hear him yawn in this desperate way--a signal that usually nets him food.

    Hopeless, I said to Lefty, "I know you are a little dumb, Lefty. And I do not believe this will get through that thick occipital bone that cradles your brain pan. But please!

    "Find Biscuit. Find Biscuit. Find Biscuit."

    And then I sent him back outside without food. I imagined he would just hover by the door and start scratching it again to be let in. But to my amazement, Lefty trotted off with what almost seemed like purpose.

    Two minutes later, the scratching renewed. When I threw the door open to let him back in, I was absolutely astonished to see not one (1) but two (2) pug dogs waiting patiently to be let in!

    Perhaps it was coincidence, Perhaps Biscuit chose this very moment to come back, completely independent of any search party efforts on Lefty's part.

    But I don't think this was the case.

    I think Lefty did, indeed, find Biscuit.

    I think Lefty is, indeed, smart after all!

    It is, I am convinced, a True Christmas Pug Miracle!

    I fed them a fine bowl of assorted meats and meat byproducts followed up by dog treats for them both!

    They are now downstairs cuddled together by the heat register, taking a long winter's nap.

    And I, for the first time in many, many a year, find myself in something that faintly borders the Christmas spirit!

    May all my swimming friends capture a similar sentiment this season as well! Here's wishing you all a faint bordering brush with the Christmas spirit!

    Updated December 16th, 2010 at 03:00 PM by jim thornton

  20. Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010

    by , December 16th, 2010 at 11:58 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)

    20 x 100 stay on interval throughout
    5 @ 1:30 Swim
    5 @ 1:25 Pull
    5 @ 1:20 Swim
    5 @ 1:15 Pull

    5 x 100 Kick w/ fins @ 1:40

    5 x 100 (50 Fly/50 Breast) @ 1:45 stretch out

    200 EZ