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  1. Friday, July 23

    by , July 23rd, 2010 at 06:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Whew, as expected, I was bushed today. Just did a couple quickie easy workouts. Did a recovery swim at our summer league pool. At least I had a lane. I dislike swimming outside though. My eyes are very sensitive to light, and I refuse to do any backstroke.


    30 minutes, aerobic mode


    Warm up:

    500 various

    Main Sets:

    6 x 100 free w/paddles

    6 x 75, drill-kick-swim fly

    8 x 50 evil w/fins

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 2000 meters



    It's official. I signed up for Zones today, all four 50s. I would have liked to get in a 100 back but, as Chris noted awhile ago, there is some fly-back discrimination going on and 100 back is too close to 50 fly. I seeded myself with my Pro times, as I doubt I'll be close to my B70/Jaked times with the new suits and without the same intensity and consistency of training. Jimby and Stud are visiting for Zones. And even Poolraat is considering coming.

    The summer league season is winding down. We have our last Saturday A meet tomorrow. After the girls swim, I am heading to Pittsburgh for a high school grad party. Jimby and I have a date to swim at 4:30 on Sunday. I am slightly concerned that this involves an outdoor pool ...

    I am leaving for the beach after Divisional Champs the following week, and am compiling my reading list. So far, I have:

    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larrson
    A Reliable Wife (which I'm half way through), Robert Goolrick
    Julian, Gore Vidal
    The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery

    Any other good suggestions? I also found this good list: And I've now heard that The Help and Under the Dome are good.

    My red locks seems to have taken a beating this summer. They were a lovely bright ginger in the Baltic. I am now a strawberry blonde. my hair seems to want to revert to a lighter color. But I battle on ...

    Here are some final shots from Stockholm. Pics are the a street in Stockholm (with the beautiful variety of color and styles and roof lines), the Nobel Museum, The Nordic Museum and a couple shots from a canal cruise.

    Updated July 23rd, 2010 at 09:25 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
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    by , July 23rd, 2010 at 04:37 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    I like the feel of the day called Friday! It just seems like everyone I run into is in a better mood and ready to celebrate ANYTHING! YIPPEE!

    This morning I signed up for the Big Shoulder's 5K, and the Lakeside Masters Meet(Louisville, KY). Lakeside is a very unusual facility. The outdoor 50 meter pool is the offspring of a quarry in the middle of an older (but very classy) neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky. The facility has an additional 25 meter outdoor pool and I believe at least one indoor pool somewhere on the property. The complex is named after Mary T. Meagher although I'm not sure of the proper name. My kids used to swim there in a couple of meets during the summer. The parents would take noodles and rafts and float in the main quarry whilst the meet was being contested. We would try to keep track of our kids events so we could hop out and cheer for them when the time was right! LOL! I'm luring my oldest daughter to go with me by promising some power shopping although she claims she just wants to float in the quarry sipping a rum and coke and laugh at me! My main attraction to the meet, besides the quarry was the 1500 freestyle! This will be my first 1500 as a 55 year old. I'm really not 55 till Sept. 10th but I guess LCM ages me up.

    I've swum solo all week at Carmel Aquatic Center. The stifling heat here in Indiana has turned the outdoor pools into a thick, mucus-like snott-a-stew-yuckious liquid. In the spirit of swimming with effort I have moved indoors.
    I basically did the same workout yesterday as I did today. I did almost all freestyle yesterday but an assortment of all the strokes today. Here's the selection from today:

    **800 Freestyle Swim (smooth, bi-lateral)
    **10 X 50 Stroke drill/swim on 1:00 (left arm/ right arm/ fist/ catch-up/ drag)
    **5 X 100 Freestyle on 1:45 interval
    **400 Freestyle (Paddles)
    **8 X 25 Butterfly Drill Cycle (Kris Houchins) on :45
    **8 X 25 Butterfly on :40
    **100 IM recovery
    **400 Freestyle (Pull Buoy)
    **8 X 25 Backstroke Drill Cycle (Kris Houchins) on :40
    **8 X 50 Backstroke on 1:00
    **100 IM recovery
    **400 Freestyle (plain)
    **8 X 25 Drill Cycle (Kris Houchins)
    **2 X 50 Breastroke on 1:10
    **ez 100 IM cooldown
    4,500 scy

    **an interesting note: I've noticed the side I thought was my better breathing side is the side I have problems with in 1 arm freestyle. I believe all my freestyle problems are linked-up to my kick. I rarely kick hard and sometimes (when I'm not thinking) throw in a scissors kick! (they used to call this the trudgen crawl) I have to really stay in the moment to stop this weird kick from occuring during my longer swims.

    I'm going to attempt to continue with these LONGER practices till school starts. At that point I probably won't have the time to go much over 3,500 but I'll try to increase quality and decrease the stroke work.

    Updated July 23rd, 2010 at 04:42 PM by Bobinator

  3. Friday, 7/23/10

    by , July 23rd, 2010 at 02:29 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    Recovery day

    Warm up
    1 x 500 Choice
    (did free and back)

    Main Set:
    100 swim free;
    200 pull free and back;
    300 kick flutter with board and on back;
    400 swim as 200 IM + 200 rev IM;
    500 pull free and back;
    400 kick dolphin on back w/ fins;
    300 swim free and back;
    200 pull free and back;
    100 kick flutter w/board

    Total: 3000 meters
  4. Mellow Friday morning workout

    I went to the morning AGUA lcm workout. It was not very crowded today—I started in a lane with 6, then switched to one with 4. Here’s what we did:

    800 lcm warmup

    3 x (3 x 50 DR + 100 build), odd rounds FR, evens ST

    150 easy / lane change

    4 x 100 kick (2 FR, 2 BR) @ 2:10-2:30 [this was actually a swim set involving build 75s + 25 easy that I adapted]

    2 x (3 x 150 @ 3:00 + 2 x 50 easy) [This was a free set, but I did IMs on the 150s the first time through and ST/FR/ST, IM order the 2nd time through.]

    50 fast backstroke

    250 warmdown

    At sunset last night I went down to the pretty little track in Riverside park and took some baby steps towards restarting a plyo routine. This cinder track is 220 yards around, with very sharp turns at the ends, and gets limited use. It’s ideal for doing short sprint pieces of about 40-50 yards or so. I ran a few laps to warmup, then 3 x 40 sprints (going 75, 85, and 90 percent of max speed), then 3 x 40 of unspecialized skipping. I haven’t done any plyo since spring of 2009, so I’m trying to be pretty cautious and patient as I build back up to doing some power leg work. It’s always tempting to do more, because skipping and sprinting feels so fun!

    Off to the gym now for weights. It’s amazing how deciding to swim shorter events at Zones has made me more excited about lifting and building strength and power!
  5. Just one set today

    by , July 23rd, 2010 at 08:02 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I didn't want to have to think today.

    6x[1x200@3:40 Free
    ....[2x100@1:50 Free
    ....[4x50@:55 Free

    1 minute rest after round 2 and 4
    #1&2 Swim
    #3&4 Kick w/fins
    #5 w/snorkle & bouy
    #6 w/bouy

    6x15 from dive 15 meter breakouts

    Total 3700 meters
  6. Traffic Minimum day July 22, 2010

    by , July 23rd, 2010 at 01:14 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Aquasol 6:40pm-7:25pm

    Way late, traffic was snarled for miles. I usually hit the water between 5:45pm - 6:00pm

    Warm 2x100FR

    Cup of water BK drills.
    4x25 Cup of water on forehead BK Kick.
    4x25 Cup of water on forehead BK swim
    Ball under chin (small squishy ball) BR
    3x50 Ball tucked under chin drill BR swim
    1x50 Fly Kick with small ball between thighs
    1x50 Fly kick with small ball between calf's

    10x50 FR K on 1:10
    6x75 FR on 1:05
    50 cool


    Not much time, and extra time in the car makes it blaa to begin with!
    Coach has been getting me to really work a proper BR and get my FR faster.
  7. Blasted, Thursday, July 22

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 11:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Got in about approx. 50 minutes of core work with Mini Fort:

    2 x through:

    long arm crunches, 50
    windshield wipers, 15
    twisting squat swings w/25 lb plate, 15
    flutter kicks on bosu, 50
    pull ins in push up position w/15 lb DBs, 30
    lunges w/20 lb DBs, 15
    elevated hip lifts, 15
    plyo jumps, 15
    med ball slams, 15
    body rows, 15
    back extensions w/25 lb plate, 15

    regular RC work


    Warm up:

    6 x 200 (150 swim + 50 kick)

    I did about half of this b/c I arrived slightly late and chatted with my coach for awhile.

    Kick Set:

    12 x 50 kick w/fins @ 1:00
    25 meters underwater, alternate belly and back

    50 EZ

    I used my MF (remembered to bring it!) on these and did them all on my back. I took 19-20 SDKs and seemed to get to about the 30 meter mark (judging from the lifeguard chair). I was still warming up on the first few, and my legs felt tired. Went 29-31 on the first 4, then held 28-29 on the last 8. Gasping for breath despite the 30+ seconds rest.

    Sprint Set:

    A rare sprint set in the middle of practice. Loved it, though it killed me.

    6 x 150 @ 3:00 or so, done as 50 drill, 50 build, rest for awhile and regroup, + 50 AFAP off blocks or from push

    I did them 50 kick, 50 drill + 50 AFAP w/fins from a push. Tried 110%. Was really gasping for breath to the point where an OW swimmer asked me if I was OK. lol. On the 6 x 50 AFAP, I went 3 back and 3 fly. Back were 29, 29, 28. Fly were 29, 28, 28. Still pleased with the speed as I've only been back at it a couple weeks. But was totally utterly gassed after this set and spent about half of the next set recovering.

    Aerobic Stroke Set:

    9 x 100 @ 2:00

    3 x through
    50 fly + 50 back
    50 back + 50 breast
    50 breast + 50 free

    I kicked the first 100, doing fly-kick. After those sprints, I didn't have any fly in me. The second half of this set was quite a bit faster than the first for me, though I did it in purely aerobic mode.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3150 meters (with the missed warm up)



    I am absolutely totally gassed after that LC workout. That was the most concerted effort I've put into a workout since my 2 week vacation.

    Random thoughts:

    1. I love swimming LC after such a long SC season, and despite my good walls, I seem to be better at LC 50s. Though perhaps not this year.

    2. I hate DC traffic. My car needs to go in the shop again. I think that's the third time this year -- I've been rear ended twice and hit & run in a parking lot. Between that and driving with Mini Fort with her learner's permit, I'm not that excited about getting in the car.

    3. I miss yoga. I haven't been in ages. And they didn't offer any real yoga on the cruise. I may try to sneak in a bikram session tomorrow b/c I have a feeling I won't feel like swimming after tonight. Though I have to head to Pittsburgh on Saturday am after our A meet for a high school grad party and likely won't get any swimming in on Saturday ... But I am hoping to meet my dear Jimby for a swim on Sunday.

    4. Mr. Fort got a new bike. I guess his repeat accidents have not deterred him.

    5. I went to sign up for the B2B iron relay. It was about $650. Sheesh!

    6. After my frustrations with swimming pools this summer, I am actually looking forward to my open water swims at Wrightsville Beach. We leave for 2 weeks on July 31, right after our SL Divisional Champs. I'm tentatively hoping to be a regular at the 1.7 mile pier to pier swim with a run back. Though I know I should go to the Y periodically for some speed work in SCY. I'm just not motivated to go there too often right now. Really hoping for good beach weather.

    7. Just watched the end of stage 17 of the TdF. I'm glad Contador "let" Schleck win tonight. I still think he's a bit of an ass for breaking tour protocol and taking advantage of Schleck's chain problems. And it would be somewhat anti-climatic if the tour results rest on a chain issue. That is a reality of most sports, of course, but there is this unwritten Tour protocol that most follow.

    8. I am resisting finishing Lisbeth Salander series to save some for the beach.

    9. Fort Son finished rowing for the summer. His team is not taking lightweights to the Henley. Serious discrimination against lightweights! He "celebrated" with a 10 mile run this am to prep for cross country season. Nothing like easing into it ...

    Updated July 22nd, 2010 at 11:28 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  8. 7/22/2010 workout

    Was unable to swim yesterday due to I had to go up to Cleveland and do some work. This evening I did P90x (Kenpo) first, then ran a casual 4 miles on treadmill. Starting my mini taper for next weekends meet. I will be just swimming thru meet this Saturday.

    25yard pool

    500 free
    10x50's @ 50 drill/swim

    Main Sets
    8x100's @ 1:30 75 fast/25 easy, first 4 were fly, last 4 were free. The 75 was to be under 45 for both fly and free

    100 easy perfect stroke free

    6x50's free @ 40 work on pace

    100 easy perfect stroke free

    4x200's fly @ 4:00 broken
    #1 broken 100/100 20 seconds in between 100
    #2 broken 75/75/50 rest 15 and 15
    #3 broken 50/50/50/50 rest 10 inbetween 50's
    #4 broken 50/50/25/25/25/25 rest 10 between 50's, 5 seconds between 25's

    100 easy perfect stroke

    3x100's pull @ 1:30

    200 warmdown

    3700 yards
  9. Thursday, 7/22/10

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 05:15 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    Warm up
    300 swim
    (did 200 free, 100 back)
    3 x 100/1:45 Build
    (did 2 free @ 1:25-6, 1 back @ 1:37)
    8 x 25/20 every 4th FAST
    (1-4 free, 5-8 back)

    Drowned Salamanders
    8 x 75 /2:00; 25-underwater/25-free/25-no breath free
    (was doing these around 1:20, 1st 25 about 15m underwater was the best I could do, on the last 25 did them on 2 breaths)

    6 x 100 flutter/15sr
    Build each to strong
    (alternated with board and on back without, times were 1:00-1:05)

    IM Set
    8 x 25 Back/40 with Fins - FAST
    (was around 18-19)
    8 x 25 Brst Pulls w/ Fins/10sr
    (around 25 on these)
    8 x 25 Back/ 40 with Fins-FAST
    (was around 18-19)
    (was also supposed to do 8x25 fly but ran out of time)

    Warm Down
    100 easy free/100 easy back

    Total: 2800 meters
  10. New Forum Pic + Swim Across America + What now?!

    Well - it seemed like a really good idea at the time and for once - it was!

    Swim Across America - a late night of softball (missed my party because it ran so late) where I tore up my left knee and leg sliding into home, followed by a drive to chicago where I slept for a few hours, and was up at 5:20 AM and down at Navy Pier by 5:40 AM.

    I actually got some really cool pics of the harbor that morning. You can check them out at my Picasa Web Gallery. I'll be adding more as I get the hi-res versions available. All the pictures taken early in the morning were taken with my phone though. I like how they turned out!

    The swim went decently! I learned a lot of neat things on Saturday as a result.
    Lesson 1: I LOVE wetsuits! I rented my $5 wetsuit, put it on and immediately took a walk in the water - I was incredibly buoyant! Each step my legs felt lighter and lighter as the suit made picking my feet out of the water easier and easier! During the swim - this would help fix my body position and put me in a great place to just coast my way through the middle half mile.
    Lesson 2: Drafing ROCKS! Getting in the water - I had no idea how the swim was going to go. So I immediately started in the back of the pack. When you have 15 people swimming in front of you and dragging you along for the first (roughly) 1/4 mile... it's AMAZING. I was putting in virtually no effort, and just swimming along. Before too long, I was passing people left and right and I think I found myself towards the front of the pack when it came to miler swimmers.
    Lesson 3: Those wet suits are very VERY tight. Seriously, I got out of the water tired, disoriented, dizzy, and feeling drunk - sans the fun of having drank. Within a minute of me finally pulling the zipper open on the back of my suit - my chest opened up a LOT and suddenly oxygen was rushing through my body. It was kind of a cool feeling! Although - pulling the plants off my head and body was rather annoying in my disoriented state. I remember having a conversation with Coach Catie as I tried to walk inland:
    Me: Did I win?
    Catie: Good job Mike!
    Me: Yeah but did I win? (trying to stand without falling)
    Catie: Sure Mike, you won..... Are you okay?
    Me: (Stumbling past Catie) Yeah I think so...
    It took me about 5-6 minutes to regain my footing, and once I was able to breath and on dry land I was in much better shape. Speaking of being in better shape - that new forum/profile pic I have posted is actually my taken right after I got out of the water - hence why I look like I feel like I'm going to die.

    So I've decided I'm not a huge open water fan. I might do Big Shoulders just so I have competition to swim for in September. I'm kind of undecided about it all. I'm not a huge OW fan to start. Things like plant life, choppy water, weather.... those things aren't really my most favorite things in the world.

    That leads me to the most important topic: What now?!
    Some important things to know: 1) Our season ends August 1st. Next season doesn't start up until August 12th(ish). I am NOT taking 12 (or more) days off. If anything - I need to ramp up my swimming even more. SCY season is going to be here and I need to be able to destroy my times from last year!!!!

    So I'm going to shift my training to Lake Forest High School pool. The resident annual pass is $260, so I may just buck that out. That'll get me through next summer of doing up to 6 days a week of swimming (and even 2/days!!!) Since my masters team doesn't practice nearly enough for my liking. I'll probably see if I can pull some of my teammates in with me.

    As far as dry land goes: I'm going to talk to my trainer tonight. I'm thinking I should adjust my training to be far more plyometric in nature. I want to be able to build my sprints as much as possible this year - so by building those fast twitch muscles - I'm hoping to finally build up the ability to sprint (rather than whatever it is you say I do).

    I'm also not going to be doing the extra sports from now on. I've kind of made the decision for now I just want to focus on swimming and only swimming. Basketball has been fun, as well as softball - but they get in the way of my dryland and swimming workouts - and that drives me NUTS!

    Wow - that was a novel of a post! If you made it this far thank you! You win a cookie:
  11. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -07/26/10

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 03:17 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    Two weeks from the first day of Summer Nationals.

    WARM UP:
    2 X 250 4:15
    5 X 100 1:45

    4 X 200 free 3:30
    Fins optional

    6 X 50 kick 1:15
    1 X 100 easy swim

    5 X 100 Choice 2:15
    Swim at 85/90%

    2 X 50 @ race pace from the blocks

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
    Swim Workouts
  12. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -07/23/10

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 03:13 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    We are limited to 1 hour due to the kids meet today.

    WARM UP:
    2 X 200 3:30
    2 X 150 2:30
    2 X 50 faster 1:00

    6 X 100 free 1:45
    Descend in sets of three. Descend only to 80%

    6 X 50 kick 1:15

    6 X 100 2:15
    odd: choice @ 85/90%
    even: easy free

    1 X 50 @race pace, from the blocks

    Quick swim down
    Swim Workouts
  13. Official Slacker Week

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 02:23 PM (Adventures in Swimming)
    I miss 2 days in a row and I feel like I'm slacking.
    I got up this morning and I felt tired.
    I made the decision to go swim before I started work.
    I'm working at home today so I can work whenever I want.

    I swam a modified version of one of
    [ame=""]coachkopie's[/ame] workouts.

    Thanks Coach!!!!

    I basically swam practice I

    I actually used a pull buoy for a change. They had some kiefer Pull buoy's on deck.
    I liked it. I have to try it again to make sure.
    Right now, I'd buy one.

    I swam back instead of fly/breast on a couple

    Felt Great!

    I definitely feel a difference when I workout in the morning.
    I have more energy.

    Sharks will be swimming this Friday
  14. Unfriendly Waters, Wed., July 21

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 10:14 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As predicted, the only time I had to swim yesterday was during camp-zoo-noodle time. Because I had been out of the water, I did venture to the pool, albeit with much trepidation. At first, the screaming kids were huddled down in the "beach" end of the pool away from the lap lanes. Then they descended on us, taking over 4 lanes and the diving area and removing all the backstroke flags. I had to move out of my favored lane in the deep end. There was one man who appeared to be aqua jogging with fist gloves. I couldn't tell what he was actually trying to accomplish ... But he was gesticulating wildly to displaced swimmers, telling them not to go in his lane. One lane was occupied by a noodler almost as wide as the lane. Another lap swimmer whose lane I tried to join wouldn't stop when I tried to get his attention to share. I find this behavior infuriating and just leapt into the lane in a splashy way. During my warm up, kids came by and helped themselves to my kid board and monofin. WTH?! I wish the life guards would monitor this sort of behavior. A monofin is not a toy. The pool was appalling loud, which has to be one of the most unpleasant ways to work out. I changed my planned workout, and just got through a quick hour or so and left.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 100
    odds = pull, smooth, @ 1:30
    evens - kick fast @ 1:45

    50 EZ

    24 x 50, done as:

    6 x 50, 25 AFAP free + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, russian breast drill
    6 x 50, double shooters on belly

    100 EZ

    Total: 3050

    Bike, 30 minutes


    Needless to say, I am praying for no thunder so that I can go to a real pool tonight. And I will hit the gym today as well. I'm finding it difficult to get into a good routine this summer.

    Interesting article on youth sports:
    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  15. Thu Jul 22nd 2010

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 09:02 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thu Jul 22nd 2010

    2010 MEETS:

    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas
    Days till LCM ZONES
    fri 400 im
    sat 50 br 50 bk 100 fl
    sun 50 fr 200 im 50 fl

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    swam Wed Jul 21st
    did around 1500

    Whitney Coached
    5:30 TO 7:00
    Austin UT Swim Center div well
    swam with tyler, larry, mike, chris, ned
    wore a brief
    dove in at 7:05



    assigned: 4 x 200 fr desc
    did 100 fr, skip, skip,
    100 fr easy speed
    went 1:07

    100 k

    assigned: 4 x 150 fr desc
    did 50, 50, 50
    150 fr done 125 easy speed 25 mod

    100 k

    assigned: 4 x 100
    did 100 easy
    skip, skip,
    100 easy speed went 62

    100 k

    assigned 4 x 50
    did 50 easy 50 easy speed
    went 28

    100 k
    Swim Workouts
  16. Catalina 15:37:11

    ------------------------------------part 1, the start----------------------------------------

    I really don't know where to start, so forgive me if it takes a few entries to put it all together. I will invite Tobey and John and any other crew members to add their thoughts as my perspective is only one of many, and I never felt the presence of so many others as being THE most important factor in having a successful swim before.

    I'll start at the beginning:

    This is going to be a popular year for Catalina Swimming. According to pilot John Pittman, he has never had so many bookings, the 3 swimmers in 3 days of which I had the final booking was unprecedented. I had been following reports for weeks and knew that the weather and sea temps and currents were not behaving as they usually do, so I was expecting a bit of adversity.... no big deal, so I thought.... but when Morgan, the first in our trio of attempts had her swim reversed for the start and would be swimming from the mainland to Catalina Island, I began to get a little nervous. There is a drop in temperature of a few degrees near the mainland and I always thought it would be easier to acclimate in the sunlight at the end of a swim than at midnight at the start. Since Morgan is from Berkely and I assume trains in the SF bay, I didn't think the temps would bother her, but I have been training in NY where the recent heat wave has every body of water at or approaching 80 degrees. I don't know if I could have handled this shock. Fortunately, I didn't have to find out. Morgan's attempt was cut short, but still over 4 hours of cold water and a chop that put her at odds with her feeds. The next evening (sunday, July 18th), The Outrider, with Capt John Pittman and crew would be accompanying swimmer Suzie Dods. The currents were still erratic and it it was decided that Suzie would also swim from the Mainland to Catalina though the water had warmed a couple of degrees. At this point, I fully expected that I too would be starting on the mainland as well, and was grasping at little optimistic, glass-half-full kind of affirmations: Craig Lenning suggested this one: "sounds good... get the cold water out of the way early". Some others: Catalina is teeming with aquatic life.... better to see it in the day time. You will get to sleep on the boat for 2 hours on the way back.... etc. Eventually, I accepted that either way there were pros and cons, and I would just go with the flow.

    I followed Suzie's swim as best I could and spoke to John Pittman a couple of times during her swim. He said the currents were reversing and that it was still impossible to say which direction we would be starting in. He also said that the water had warmed up a bunch since Morgan's swim the day before and that Suzie was still swimming strong (GO SUZIE!)

    On our end, Tobey's flight had issues in Chicago and would be delayed a few hours we packed our gear, tried to get some rest, picked up Tobey at Santa Ana airport and headed for the 22nd st landing. We actually had a bit of time to grab a bite and I called John Pittman one last time to make sure things were still on track. John was still out with Suzie and expected to docking around 7 PM... the same time that my whole gang was meeting there. At the landing, everyone showed up right on time including John Pittman and the Outrider with Suzie and crew aboard. As they filed off, we made introductions and shared our congratulations. Everyone looked exhausted but Suzie had the smile of victory.... 18 hrs 36 mins 28 secs. Clearly the conditions were difficult and the currents tricky, but they would be returning to normal now, or between now and my splash time in 5 hours... so I hoped.

    The boat's crew was busy scrubbing away and loading provisions for the next trip. Capt John had gone home to check forecasts and would be returning in a couple of hours. He would then decide which direction I would swim.... C-M or M-C. We were able to start loading up our gear and went below and started choosing bunks. I left my feed bags above so that I might give one final presentation to everyone as to how I would like to see this all work.

    I laid out my bottles and explained that I would be taking my feeds hot. This meant from the boat with bottles on a string. I identified the bottles marked with blue tape as the "main feed".... concentrated 1st Endurance EFS that would be diluted by 50% with hot water before being tossed to me. I would receive this tethered to another bottle with just plain H2O on 20 minute intervals. Every 3rd feed, for a little variety and to reduce the amount of electrolyte I would be consuming, my "mix bottle" would contain ginger tea with agave nectar, again served up hot. Both calculated to give me 90 - 95 calories per feed, or 270 - 285 cals/hr. On each 2 hour interval, I would have a Hammer Nutrition Tissue Rejuvenator added to the mix. I broke out two bundles of glow sticks.... one red and one green and a couple of small strobes that I thought would attach to the kayaks... my presentation was done.

    Next up, Jim Fitzpatrick, Observer. Jim listened with great attention during my presentation and examined my feed, my feed system, glow sticks and strobes. He explained that a blinking light on the kayaks might be disorienting after a while so we decided to use them to signal, 1 minute to feed time. He explained the details of how swimmers would exit and enter the water, how the kayak exchanges would be made, where the boat would be positioned during each of these activities, etc. He went over the rules of the swim: how it starts and finishes, where my companion swimmers should position themselves (between me and the boat), how they would fall back during feeds, etc.

    Finally, Capt. Pittman gave the rules of the boat, how the head works, what not to flush, no wet clothes down below, keep the galley clear, life jackets, etc.

    We would be starting from Catalina Island and it would be about a 2 hour ride.... last chance, rest up.

    I drank a mix of 3 scoops Hammer Sustained Energy and 1 scoop of 1st Endurance Pre-Race.

    I chose one of the larger bunks and while I can't say that I actually slept, I did fall into a well executed "savasana"
    The ride was smooth and I felt relaxed and refreshed when I heard the engines winding down and I went upstairs to see what was happening. We were at Catalina Island. The boat was shining spotlights all around... rocky cliffs gave way to a small pebble beach, a white floating dock stood between us and that beach. There were lots of fish in the water... attracted by the lights... flying fish, squid, some strange phytoplankton links and a few larger fish below. Suit up, ear plugs, sunscreen (seemed silly at midnight) grease, glow sticks, cap and goggles. Tobey would be starting the swim with me, we would follow kayaker Peter Phillips to the beach, exit the water, turn toward the boat, raise one arm, pause..... lower the arm, shout "SWIMMING!", enter the water...... ready or not... California here I come.

    --------------------------------------to be continued-----------------------------
  17. Flyin again...

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 07:27 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Had the desire to swim some fly today. The lungs had to work though.

    10x100@1:50 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins as 50Easy/50Mod/50Fast
    5x100@:10 Fly kick w/fins #1&4 kick on side, #2&5 on back, #3 rotate every 10 kicks
    5x100@2:00 Fly w/fins as 50 skull drill/50 swim fast
    400 Free w/snorkle easy
    4x25 Fly from a dive and walk back 15 meter sprint

    Total 3000 meters
  18. Wednesday July 21, 2010 workout

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 11:31 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Aquasol 5:45 - 7:20pm

    Cooler, about 88 today.

    150FR, 200IM Drill, 50FR K, 50BK, 50BR K, 50FR, 50Fly K,
    50BR, 50BK K, 50 fly
    75's 5 off 1:10 early set (750/1500)
    10x75FR on 1:05 (:54 - 1:00) This set got painful.
    transitions set (650/2150)
    12x50 Fly/BK, BK/BR, BR/FR on 1:00
    50 ez
    Drills (1050/3200)
    20x50 Odds single arm rt/25, lt/25. Evens swim on 1:00

    50 cool

    Tried the Pure Sport Recovery for a pre-workout and got the lead/heavy feeling through the first 2 sets, then I felt much better going into the drill set. As soon as I'm able Im going back on G2 workout or Cytomax for my pre-load.
    Pure Sport may be OK for Mr Phelps (like he really uses it) but for this ol' fish, I'll use whatever works, as long as its drug-free.
    The Sonora USA meet is in about 2-3 weeks, coach wants me to max out on the events which I think is 6 or 8, she said don't worry about times or messing up, but I would like to better my 50, 100 FR and 100Im times. This meet will be the first time I will do 200IM and 100BK SCY.
  19. Tri Pie and Fair Die

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 09:57 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    A Vindication of the Rights of Swimmers: A Modest Proposal for Jim’s Fair Ironman

    An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon (WTC) consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a 26 miles 385 yard run, raced in that order and without a break.

    The current Ironman world record was set in 1997 by Belgian Luc Van Lierde. He set his world record at Ironman Europe with a time of 7:50:27 (0:44 swim, 4:28 bike, 2:36 run, plus transition).

    The total time Luc spent moving and changing outfits and footwear that day was 470 minutes, give or take a few seconds.

    The swim portion thus comprised approximately 9 percent of the total race; the bike 57 percent; and the run 33 percent. I am leaving out the wardrobe changes for simplicity’s sake, but let us just assume that he was also a world class ecdysiast as well as a fast swimmer, bicycle enthusiast, and runner. See pie chart:

    Of the three separate endurance disciplines, it appears that running, which took up exactly one-third the total time, was the only sport equitably represented. Swimming, at under one-tenth of the total time, got ludicrously short shrift. Indeed, it appears to serve as little more than a momentary spit bath at the start of the competition, designed, one might think, to cool the competitors off before the real work starts.

    Biking, well, biking—you are quite the disgusting pig, aren’t you, bogarting with your grotesque truffle-snorting nostrils nearly twice as much of the available spotlight time as running and nearly six times as much as swimming.

    To rectify this, here is what I propose: the development of what I hope will become widely known as Jim’s Fair Triathlon, a just competition that gives each of its sporting segments equal time to shine. Certainly, other sports jurisprudential philosophers before me have proposed this before, especially (I have to imagine) the small handful of top notch triathletes that come from a swimming background as opposed to a running or biking one.

    Obviously, I have no illusions that such appeals for the establishment of a Fair Triathlon will get anywhere. The greasy bike wheel (and surely grease-demanding bikes are by far the most expensive of all the highly-priced gear already necessary in this modern day Sport of Kings; indeed, with the possible exception of polo ponies and/or skeet shooting Hugenot peasants, I am not sure what sport exists today more geared to the success of the affluent than triathlons!) is always greased.

    I suppose my prime hope is to just get a discussion rolling amongst our triathlete-performing masters swimming peers, along with the closeted underbelly of tri-haters (you know who you are!), and along with the vast ranks of swim-phobic USAT types who, if anything, would like to further minimize swimming’s role, perhaps replace it entirely with kayaking (now there’s something we could charge a fortune for--Tri kayaks fabricated out of Kevlar so they weigh no more than 7 ounces!)

    My proposal has two steps, the first hardly novel; the second arguably slightly further from the well-worn path.

    Step 1: Rebalance the Event Distance Portfolio

    To do this, I checked some distance records for top swimmers, bikers, and runners. As indicated earlier, the World Record time for an Ironman is currently about 470 minutes. Divide this into thirds, and you come up with three equal segments of 156 minutes each, or 2 hours and 36 minutes. How far can the world’s top swimmers, bikers, and runners respectively cover in this allotted time?

    Getting exactly accurate apples-to-oranges comparisons here has proved surprisingly difficult, as I learned after roughly 8 minute of intensive Google searching. Nevertheless, I found enough data upon which I believe I can build a rough but reasonable preliminary estimate.

    Swimming: In the 2010 FINA 10K Marathon Swimming championships held in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 28, Germany’s Thomas Lurz sprinted to a gold medal in a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, and 5 seconds. This means he was covering slightly less than 100 m per minute. Assuming he could maintain close to this pace for the next 35 minutes, this would leave him with a total swim distance of 13,500 meters (about 8.4 miles) in his allotted 2 hours and 36 minutes.

    I herewith propose that the swim portion of Jim’s Fair Triathalon cover 8.4 miles (an increase of 6 miles from current Ironman)

    Biking: One site I found suggested that top pros can average 35 mph on the flats almost indefinitely. This sounded a bit vague to me, so for further amplification, I found a Time Trial from the Tour de France, Stage 19. Here are the times by top competitors racing 55 kilometers:


    1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 1:06:49
    2. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile, 01:01
    3. Andréas Klöden (G), T-Mobile, 01:27
    4. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 02:25
    5. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, 02:48
    6. Ivan Basso (I), CSC, 02:50
    7. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 03:19
    8. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 03:33
    9. Rubiera José Luis (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 03:40
    10. Azevedo José (P), U.S. Postal Service, 03:49

    55 kilometers translates into 34 miles. I am not sure how flat this course was, but it would appear that Lance’s remarkable achievement suggests he was traveling at a bit less than 35 mph. Let us give bikers a bit of a break here and stipulate that top pros could probably average 30 mph for an extended period of time. Thus, during the 2 hours and 36 minutes of the biking portion of Jim’s Fair Triathlon, they would be expected to cover about 78 miles.

    I herewith propose that the bike portion of Jim’s Fair Triathalon cover 78 miles (a decrease of 34 miles from current Ironman.)

    Running. The current marathon world record is held by Ethiopian runner, Haile Gebrselassie, who on September 28, 2008, completed the Berlin marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes and 59 seconds. If Haile had been allowed to run for another 32 minutes, assuming his pace dropped off from fatigue to 5 minute miles, he would have still covered at least another six miles.

    I herewith propose that the run portion of Jim’s Fair Triathalon cover 32 miles (an increase of 6 miles from current Ironman.)

    Step 2: Make the Event Order Fairer

    Currently, the swim portion of every Ironman proceeds, by fiat, in an inviolate order: swim, bike, run. If football were governed by such a rule, the home team would always get the first possession—hardly fair, I think any fair-minded person would have to agree. Much better to give either team an equal chance. Thus, the flip of a coin has a long and storied role in all fair sports.

    Triathons, to be sure, have three possibilities, and there is no such thing as a three-headed coin. True, but there is now, thanks to the ingenuity of yours truly, the Jim Fair Triathlon Die.

    See sketch:

    Approximately five minutes before the start of every Fair Triathlon, the Order of Events official will roll the die to decide what event will lead off this particular race. Since the die has six sides, two of which are labeled swim, bike, run, the official will continue to roll the die until the next sport comes up. The final leg will thus be decided by elimination.

    The race finishers, too, might be thusly decided. Perhaps literally.

    As masters swimmer/Mayo Clinic internist/all around nice guy, Dr. Tom “Jaegermeister” Jaeger, MD, recently emailed me, researchers reported last April in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the swimming leg, albeit an afterthought in current triathlons, is nevertheless the singlemost ruthless test of participant survival. As the JAMA paper reported:

    “A total of 959 214 participants were analyzed (mean [SD], 323 [444] per race); 59% were men. Forty five percent competed in short (swim <750 m), 40% in intermediate (swim 750-1500 m), and 15% in long (swim >1500 m) triathlon races.... Fourteen participants died during 14 triathlons (rate, 1.5 per 100 000 participants; 95% CI, 0.9-2.5), including 13 while swimming and 1 biking... Although the contribution of cardiovascular abnormalities cannot be definitively excluded in some cases, logistical factors and adverse environmental conditions may have been responsible for these events, given that about 95% of triathlon fatalities occurred during the swimming segment. Furthermore, deaths were more common in triathlons involving greater numbers of competitors. Because triathlons begin with chaotic, highly dense mass starts, involving up to 2000 largely novice competitors entering the water simultaneously, there is opportunity for bodily contact and exposure to cold turbulent water.”

    It is, perhaps, inevitable, that if Jim’s Fair Triathlon wins general acceptance and over time usurps the current Ironman, or Patently Unfair Triathlon, approach in vogue today, the cavalcade of slaughter due to drownings is likely to increase a bit. Offsetting this, perhaps, is the likelihood that at least one third of the time, the swimming leg will be the final part of the race, guaranteeing that the participants will have spread themselves out considerably by then, reducing the likelihood of “chaotic, highly dense mass” swimming conditions where intentional drowning of despised competitors is no doubt as common as it is difficult to detect forensically and criminally prosecute.

    In any event, regardless of death toll, I think we can all agree that sporting fairness really should take precedence over human life, at least where triathletes are concerned. As the name Ironman implies, swimming has always been a tertiary citizen in the world of triathlons (with a specific gravity of 7.7, twice as much as Portland cement, a true “Ironman” is designed to sink, not swim). It is time to change this.
  20. Salvaging the Summer

    by , July 21st, 2010 at 06:14 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    I started training last spring for the National 10K OW Championship's to be held July 17th in Noblesville, Indiana. Due to a series of circumstances (cracked ribs in April, Sinus/double ear/strep infections late May, and scratched cornea July) I ended up not swimming the race. In June I was considering the 5K instead of the 10K. On my final lake 5K swim I some how scraped the cornea of my eye. This was the most painful injury I've ever had in my life! I wanted to kiss the ER doc when he numbed my eyeball to examine it! Too bad the anesthesia only lasted 15 minutes or so!!!!!
    In an effort to put a positive spin on some of this misfortune I have decided to dedicate this summer to stroke efficiency improvement.
    For the last 6 weeks I have been working on stroke drills, perfecting bi-lateral breathing, and integrating more powerful kicking into my strokes. I have been feeling the fruits of my labours on my most recent swims.
    I swim on an un-coached master's team. We have a posted workout which we swim together but without a coach on deck to help with stroke flaws, etc. Normally we rarely do more than 200 meters of kicking, drilling, or stroke work. If we ever do it's usually on an interval speed too fast for me to learn the drill and stay with the group so I normally just swim.
    I have been doing a lot of solo swimming which has given me the opportunity to learn the drills and set the intervals to my needs.
    If you are a swimmer who would like to improve your strokes I can recommend all the workouts in the "Workout" section of the forum. I have used all of SJ Blacks drills and Kris Houchins "Mojo Flyer" drills and workouts. I copied the formatted drill sequences, laminated them and take them to the pool with me. Both threads provide adequate directions on how to do the drills.
    I integrate the drills in short spurts with regular swims; it's amazing how this helps you feel what you are doing right!!!!
    I am going to continue this plan for a couple more weeks then hire a friend of mine who coaches AG swimming to look over my strokes and make sure I'm headed down the right path.
    All things said I've known I needed to do this ever since I started swimming. As an older swimmer I so often get caught up in completing the workout with the team and forget the need to swim properly.
    If I'm working toward a meet or OW event I get caught up in the yardage concept but ignore the most important part of swimming: good solid technique.
    I will also say my yardage lately has averaged 3,500 to 4,500 per workout yet my shoulders feel better than ever. The ability to comfortably bi-lateral breath while freestyling significantly helps that issue!
    I give credit to my "Star" paddles in helping me get "over the hump" with bi-lateral breathing. I started out doing some swims with the paddles and a pull buoy; this makes bi-lateral breathing easy to manage. I later cut down to "just the buoy", or "just the paddles". I mixed in regular swims but held steady on the bilateral stuff. Somehow after several weeks of persisting this routine it started feeling normal!
    I know I've rambled on here but I know there are others out in the forum who struggle with stroke issues and swim without a coach.
    I don't know how much faster I will swim with my freshly improved strokes but I am feeling a happy sense of accomplishment.
    I am planning to swim the Big Shoulder's 5K on September 11th!

    Today's workout:

    **500 Freestyle Swim
    **500 Freestyle Swim w/ Star Paddles playing with 3/5/7 breathing patterns
    **300 Flutter Kick
    **200 Freestyle Hard
    **100 IM
    **8 X 75 Freestyle (Drill/Swim/Drill) alternating Fist, catch-up, finger drag, and 1 arm free drills. 1:30 interval.
    **8 X 50 Drill/Free (use the same drills as above but drill 1st 25, swim 2nd 25) on 1:00
    **10 X 25 Ten Kick and Roll Drill on :40.
    **24 X 50 (alternate Freestyle 50 and stroke 50(IM Order). Rest :15 after each.
    **ez 200 IM

    4,200 scy in a nice, very cool pool!