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  1. John is Real, Really

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 10:04 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Thanks to the 353 (and counting) of you who viewed my last Vlog. The one criticism I received most consistently about this heartfelt homage to my fellow masters swimmers across this great pool-dappled country of ours was this:

    Great assemblage, Jim, but why so many shots of other people? Why not just concentrate only on yourself and people who look sort of like you personally?

    As one of the small handful of artists working in the rarefied medium of Masters Swimming Vlog Art, I could very easily have turned my back on such criticisms, shrugging the hues and cries of the "audience" as merely the jejune wimperings of the masses.

    But I am not like this!

    I appreciate my audience, though God knows that some of the members therein probably are so jejune they don't even know what jejune means!

    Forgive a moment of private chortling over a certain befuddled Aryan Nation friend in Arizona.

    Okay, composure regained.

    As regular readers of this vlog may eventually learn, I have a somewhat sickly nature, though I rarely mention it and never complain about it. I have been sidelined from the pool today due to a fear of explosive emissions of pretty much any stripe imaginable save the one most women who know me actually like to imagine. Thus no swimming to report on today, other, that is, than the swimming of my head. I can say without equivocation that it has Gone the Distance today!

    So what I propose to offer you today is a Vlog in the spirit of Partially Swimming Related Subject Matter, if by partial you accept the definition "not very much if at all." Instead, I am including an homage to my wonderful brother John. He is the mind behind the Leslie Livingston SCM butterfly Travesty of Travesty video, the Polar Bear Plunge (both scroffulous and musical versions), the epic Sunk, and pretty much anything you will see on this Vlog that is actually kind of good.

    John and I are identical twins, though people who have not met us in the same room often think I have made John up. Some who have met us, while acknowledging some familial resemblance, nevertheless don't think we are identical twins. However, according to the University of Minnesota Twin Study's David Lykken, Ph.D., we definitely are.

    One of is is the Good Twin; one the Evil Twin. Perhaps the hard turns my life has forced upon me accounts not only for the discrepancy in our character but in our looks.

    John no longer swims, but holds the family records for the 100 freestyle and backstroke, and probably butterfly, too. Neither of us can complete a 100 breaststroke in the alloted time frame, i.e., the length of the entire meet.

    If you are of a liberal persuasion, I strongly urge you to visit John's YouTube Channel, Rustyscupperton. If you are frothy-mouthed conservative, and for some reason you miss a swimming practice, you can still get your heart rate up to the target zone by similar visitations.

    It is all, as they say, good!

    And here is my homage to John, with a little of me in there too, satisfying the earlier request, which I shall briefly recap here again:

    Great assemblage, Jim, but why so many shots of other people? Why not just concentrate only on yourself and people who look sort of like you personally?

    Just as Trenton makes, and the world takes--so is it that You ask, and Jimby gives!

  2. Friday, Jan. 2

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 08:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drove home from Pittsburgh this afternoon. Went to the gym pool to loosen up and ended up doing a workout. Relatively easy one, nothing like the sheer torture set from a couple days ago.

    SCM, solo:

    Warm up:

    500 swim

    Main Sets:

    5 x (3 x 100)
    #1 kick: backstroke kick or dolphin kick on back @ 2:00
    #2 drill: fly or breast drill @ 2:00
    #3 swim: backstroke @ 1:45

    10 x 50 backstroke, drop down
    2 50s @ 1:05
    2 50s @ 1:00
    2 50s @ :55
    2 50s @ :50
    2 50s @ :45

    5 x 100 IM kick on 2:00
    1st 25 = UW dolphin kick on belly

    10 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy), no interval
    just worked on DPS and staying flat

    100 C/D

    Total: 3600 meters
  3. It's a new year...

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 07:26 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    500 Warm up 2 x 100 snorkel 300 swim.
    2 x 250 4:15
    3 x 100 1:45
    4 x 50 1:00 FAST...should have been :50 but I am blind, apparently.
    3 x 100 1:40 Pull with fins, snorkel & paddles.
    2 x 250 3:45 Snorkel and paddles.
    1 x 500 8:16 (1:38 pace) no gear.
    2 x 100 EZ with snorkel.

    Yes, I'm using a lot of gear but I am trying to work on a few things with my stroke.

    After work I ran 1.25 miles AGAIN, then went to lift weights.
    I'm ready for
  4. First Workout of the New Year

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 PM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    11:00 to Noon at the Downtown YMCA (SCM)

    Warm up
    400 IM drill (Did 2-1-2 fly, 1/4 arm lift back, 2 kk/pull br and fingertip drag free concentrating especially on a good catch)
    250 free

    3x50 free on 1:00
    25 fly or breast sprint on 1:00 (on the last interval, concentrate on a fast turn, wall and breakout)
    I alternated breast/fly but my timing on fly was off, so I resorted to 1 arm fly, switching arms half way down the pool. On the 50s, I worked on a good catch, strong pull and good turns/walls. Started out holding 46 and :47, but sped up to :43 and :44 as the practice progressed. My left arm feels good, but I'm still having trouble getting a good catch with my right.
    2400 meters

    Updated January 5th, 2009 at 02:05 PM by Iwannafly

    Swim Workouts
  5. Friday 1/2 - Traditional New Years set

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 12:37 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was an easy one since it is a set I have done every year except last year when I swam with the kids team.

    100x50 @ :55 Free held :45's for all of them

    A good start with a total of 5000 yards
  6. The countdown continues...

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 12:22 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    3 more days to the pool opening.

    Did 40 minutes of spinning followed by 15 minutes of core work at the gym this morning.

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 10:38 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Friday Jan 2nd, 2009

    todays practice times are blogged at:
    made a short cut to my blog

    thanks for checking out
    I Resolve / The New Year’s Resolution Song

    I'm looking to write a few swimming songs.
    Do YOU have suggestions for titles or concepts?

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    lifted weights today

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center main pool, NO Blocks
    swam with Todd "the breastroke god" Bartee and Tyler "the miler" Blessing beside
    Mike, Larry, Paul and Jon
    dove in first

    200 fr
    150 fr
    100 k
    050 bk

    050 fr
    100 fr
    150 k
    200 non free

    changed into FS PRO Jammer

    500 FR fast for time
    went 2nd 5 seconds behind tyler
    dove in and caught him pretty quick
    went _________

    should have gone first or 10 seconds behind him

    500 easy

    3 x 200 fr fast on 4:00 from a dive
    went _____, ______, _______

    400 easy

    5 x 100 fr fast from a dive on 2:00
    went ___, ___, ___, ___, ___

    500 easy

    50 fl fast on 1:15
    from a dive
    went __

    50 bk fast on 1:15
    from a dive
    went __

    50 br fast on 1:15
    from a dive
    went __

    50 fr fast on 1:15
    from a dive
    went __

    100 easy

    Updated January 2nd, 2009 at 05:56 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  8. No Swim to Ring in the New Year

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 09:42 AM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    But I did go on a 10 mile, 4 1/2 hour hike with approximately 2500 feet of climbing! My legs are tired the morning after!

    Updated January 5th, 2009 at 02:06 PM by Iwannafly

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  9. The countdown continues...

    by , January 1st, 2009 at 11:28 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    4 more days until the pool opens.

    Went to the gym tonight for a weights class. That's all for today.

    I spent a few hours outlining my swim training program for the next 4 months (to SCY Nats.). I have an 18 week program all set except for minor modifications as I go.
  10. Went 6,000 today

    by , January 1st, 2009 at 02:09 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thursday, January 1st, 2009

    blogged it at:

    Have you heard
    I Resolve / The New Year’s Resolution Song
    Play it for the one you love
    have fun following through
  11. Fat Man in the water 12/30/08

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 08:20 PM (Fat Man back in the Pool)
    Tuesday 12/30 at 12:00 First Colony Aquatic Center - 25 scy Dana coached.

    Had to wait for her to send me a copy- I could not remember the details. Fortunately we are approaching the end of backstroke month.

    500 Choice
    12x50 Fins
    (2 rounds)
    1- Streamline on back/side kick x25
    2- Streamline on back/side kick x25
    3- Streamline on back/6 kick switch x25
    4- Arms at side on back/arms at side side kick x25
    5- Arms at side on back/arms at side side kick x25
    6- Arms at side on back/arms at side 6 kick switch x25
    All Back- 3 rounds
    2x12.5 -Focus Start and Finish
    2x37.5 -Focus Turns
    3-4x50 Drill/Swim x25
    9x25 Fins
    1- Spin Drill
    2- Fast Back
    3- Easy Free
    Warm Down
    2500 SCYs
  12. 5 more days.....

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 06:18 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Did a 45 minute spin class at the gym during my lunch break. This was a hard one, left my legs a bit wobbly.

    Will probably lift 12 oz. weights tonight. lol
  13. Coach Vlog, Wednesday, Dec. 31

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 05:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam today with Sewickley Masters and Coach Wild Jim Thornton. He even made it through an entire practice with only one or two inappropriate remarks! We did a nice recovery practice, which was just what I needed. And, for the record, Jim habitually leaves early. Can't remember what swimming stereotype this is. My shoulder was sore, so I swam with fins.

    Warm up:

    OYO for 10 minutes
    (did around 600 or so)

    Main Sets:

    4 x through:
    1 x 100 @ 1:40
    2 x 50 @ :50

    10 x 100 @ 2:00
    #1 medium pace
    #2 bit faster, 5 second break at the 50
    #3 faster, 5 second break at the 50 and 75
    Goal was to come in at the same time on all of them. Did 5 IM and 5 backstroke

    10 x 50 @1:00
    25 build to a sprint finish, finish hard so that you don't lose a .001 second. Hahaha

    My shoulder was sore so I swam a few few and then kicked the rest.

    Warm down:

    8 x 50 @ 1:05: The Calming Set from his vlog:

    25 swim, no breather, chanting "peace"
    25 very easy, chanting "calm"

    Total: 3300

    Then we all sat in the co-ed steam room. Very posh for a Y!


    Updated January 2nd, 2009 at 10:04 PM by The Fortress

  14. Snuck 1 more in!

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 05:17 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    I did a recovery 2000 this ame. UI really needed it as I awoke at 3am and could not fully get back to sleep b/c of muscle aches LOL!

    I did something like this (FR unless indicated other):
    4 x 50 Swim
    4 x 50 Swim with Fins and snorkel
    8 x 50 Fins, Snorkel and Paddles
    8 x 50 Snorkel and Fins
    8 x 50 Snorkel
    2 x 50 BR SPL but mod speed
    2 50 EZ

    Tonight is party night. I am putting on my Dinner Suit and going to the neighbours...

    "Auld Lang Syne"
  15. Last workout of the year.

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 01:23 PM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    December 31st, 11:00 AM to noon at the downtown YMCA (SCM)

    500 W/U - alternate 100 fr/50 combo drill (combo drill is breathe every stroke, fingertip drag, catch up, and wrist flip)

    4x25 free descend on :40
    4x25 back descend on :40 (anyone that's seen my backstroke knows that this wasn't easy for me!)

    5x100 free on 1:45 (felt strong but faded on the last two - went 1:32, 1:33, 1:33, 1:36, 1:37)

    3x50 back on 1:30 (these should have been easy, but I was shot after the 100s so I cheated on the first one of these and did 25 back/25 free)

    5x100 free on 1:50 (went between 1:38 and 1:41 for all of them, but the last two hurt tremendously - to steal a line from Fort, I thought about crying 'mommy')

    3x100 50 free/50 back on 2:05 (I made the last one, but the first two, I had to actually do 50 free/25 back/25 free)

    6x50 free on 1:00 - first 4 fast, last two warm down (started with a :39 and dropped to ~:46)

    2450 meters

    Notes: I am starting to get my body position right on backstroke, but I still have trouble with too much tension in my neck and a poor kick. I can swim a 100 with somewhat proper turns, but it's very slow. Still significantly better than a year ago.
    I'm getting a good catch with my left arm (opposite the side I normally breathe on), but I tend to drop my right elbow as I fatigue.

    Updated December 31st, 2008 at 01:35 PM by Iwannafly

    Swim Workouts
  16. did part of a practice

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 10:51 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wednesday Dec 31st, 2008

    will blog this practice later today at:

    Play I Resolve / The New Year’s Resolution Song for the one you love close to midnight tonight

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Today I arrived super late for practice, took my daughter to the airport to catch her 7:15 am flight, helped her check her bag and get through the line

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center main pool
    swam with Todd Bartee and Mike beside Nate, Larry and Jon
    dove in at 7:15, 45 min late

    assigned 5 x 100 on 1:10
    did 4 x 75, then 100

    8 x 150
    3 fr on 2:00 desc
    1 fl bk br drill on 2:30 ish
    went 1:32, 1:29

    10 x 50
    odds fr 3 breaths
    evens IM

    did several smooth 50's free
    Swim Workouts
  17. Wet Beauty

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 09:38 AM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Here is a vlogging gift to my fellow swimmers, and an homage to 2008--a year the likes of which only our centenarian comrades have likely seen before.

    I tried to include pictures sent by the generous posting community on the forums, plus I shamelessly pilfered the photo albums of my swimming friends on Facebook. You may notice a disproportion of pictures of me and Dara Torres. I used the former for filler and the latter (which I took last January when I swam with and interviewed her for a story--pdf available on request!) as inspiration for all of us to keep striving regardless of our respective stages on the aging curve.

    Over the course of 2009, please feel free to email me swimming photos, which I will save and use to compile another assemblage. Email address:

    Better yet, consider joining Facebook, which now has tons of our swimming comrades amongst our ranks. It's free and simple. Befriend me at James Scott Thornton (Pittsburgh) and I will refer all our USMS swimmer friends as Facebook friends.

    Happy 2009! Thanks to all the contributors, including those who intended to contribute and those who didn't!

  18. Wednesday -12/31 Last Day of the year

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 08:01 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was not my usual end of year swim but then, this year the aquatic center was not set up long course like previous years.

    20x50 @ :55 Free every 3rd kick on 1:10
    5x200 @ 3:30 Free with paddles and bouy odds fast evens EZ went 2:37, 2:31 and 2:30 on the fast ones and 2:55 and 3:00 on the EZ's
    8x25 @:40 fly with fins
    10x50 @ :40 Free with paddles and fins just barely made them
    500 as 100swim/100pull/100swim/100kick/100swim
    4x25 @ :40 free with paddles and fins Fast held :14
    2x100 @ 1:20 free with paddles and fins Fast went 1:02 and 1:07 the last one was a killer
    500 EZ

    Total 4000 yards

    What a way to end the year with a total of 900.51 miles.

    Updated December 31st, 2008 at 11:35 AM by Donna

  19. Ringing out the old!

    by , December 30th, 2008 at 09:26 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Last biggie of 2008...Mary Sweat will not have to wait much longer to see if I met her expectations!!

    I did a 1200 swim with all the toys this morning:
    4 x 50 FR Snorkel--try not to drown...
    4 x 50 FR Snorkel and fins--work rotation...
    4 x 50 FR Snorkel, fins and paddles--work hand entry and balance...
    8 x 50 FR Fins and Paddles--work position and hand entry...
    4 x 50 Breast No gear--work SPL...
    All easy to moderate.

    Went back at night for the top up.
    6 x 50 with snorkel did some flip turns...I'm getting better!
    4 x 50 Swim--waiting for workout group to catch up.
    200 K FR with fins
    200 P FR
    100 FR
    100 K--did BR no fins
    100 P
    100 FR
    With warm up out of the way I did the following, all FR 2 x thru:
    3 x 100 1:35
    75 Mod :10 RI 25 Fast
    150 Mod :15 RI 50 Fast
    200 Mod :20 RI 100 Fast
    3 x 100
    2nd time through was with fins...I made the last 3x 100 all out kicking with a board.
    300 EZ to cool
    I made that to be 4000 for a total of 5200 on the day.
    I rewarded myself with a mug of tea and 2 scrumptious mince pies from London, heated and drowned in heavy cream. That was my last big swim of the year and, so as Tiny Tim observed; God bless us, everyone!
  20. 6 MORE DAYS

    by , December 30th, 2008 at 04:54 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Until the city pool re-opens.

    Did 1 hour weights class this morning and will do yoga tonight.