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  1. Geek Copycat, Sunday, Aug. 29

    by , August 29th, 2010 at 04:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It is a beautiful day here. Nonetheless, I drove to an indoor pool to do an endurance workout. I swiped this one from Geekity.


    Warm Up:

    750 various

    Main Set w/fins:

    1 x 600 free @ 8:30 (went 7:26)
    6 x 50 kick @ 1:00, did flutter w/board (held 30s)
    1 x 500 free @ 7:00 (went 5:57)
    5 x 50 kick @ 1:00, backstroke kick (31s)
    1 x 400 free @ 6:00 (I recall that I went 4:26, but that seems awfully fast, although this was definitely my best effort of the set. Maybe it was 4:36?)
    4 x 50 kick @ 1:00, went flutter kick w/board (held 31s)
    1 x 300 free @ 5:00 (went 3:24) -- cramped and the wheels starting falling off
    3 x 50 kick @ 1:00 (cruised)
    1 x 200 free @ 3:00 (went 2:12)
    2 x 50 kick @ 1:00 (cruised)
    1 x 100 @ 2:00 (went 1:00)
    1 x 50 kick (cruised)

    150 EZ

    Total: 4000



    Gawd, I forgot how hard it is to swim at a decent clip for more than 100 yards. Geek was right that this set has a compounding effect, and I was utterly gassed by the end. Actually, I had trouble starting at the 300 free. I thought I would pick up the kicks as they went. No way, I just cruised the last 6. I had contemplated doing drylands today, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow. (If I do any, I'll update my blog later.) The modifications that I made to Geek's set were that I did it all free (no backstroke) and I used fins throughout. I was attempting to get in a manageable rhythm so I wasn't just swimming in slow mo and to hold a 4 beat kick. I feel like I somewhat accomplished this. I may do a couple more of these type workouts before Savageman on Sept. 19. But, geez, what a loooong main set.

    I was worried about losing count on these. So instead of counting lengths like a sprinter, I counted by 100s. Isn't that how you D folks do it?

    First week back: 5 x swim, 2 x drylands and 1x yoga. Still want to shift into more drylands, but I can't do this right out of the box. I took one rest day -- yesterday -- because I was tired and beat up from the drylands on Friday. I typically use Saturday as my rest day anyway. Onward!

    Updated August 29th, 2010 at 05:09 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout- 08/30/10

    by , August 29th, 2010 at 12:03 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 100 1:40 1:30
    1 X 150 2:30 2:15
    Four times through. Round 1/2 intervals left, rounds 3/4 right.

    1 X 500 swim

    6 minute vertical kick 50 seconds on/10 off
    1 X 200 kick 4:15
    8 X 25 sprint kick :45

    1 X 300 4:30
    3 X 100 1:30
    6 X 50 descend 1-3/4-6 :45
    Twice through

    1 X 100 easy 2:00
    2 X 50 fast 1:00
    4 X 25 fast :45
    Choice. Three times through.

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  3. Real work today

    by , August 28th, 2010 at 12:04 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    I desided to get 3000 done before the girls arrived. Wow

    500 Free broken as 25,50,75,200,25,50,75,25,50,25
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 25 fast
    10x200@3:00 Free w/paddles & fins went 2:45, 2:42, 2:45, 2:41, 2:40, 2:39, 2:40, 2:40, 2:37, 2:31
    The girls finally came
    500 Free broken as 25,50,75,200,25,50,75,25,50,25
    50 free race I just got out touch by one but beat the other
    10x25 Fly drills
    100 kick
    10x25 Back drills

    Total 4150 yards
  4. Drylands + Swim, Friday, Aug. 27

    by , August 27th, 2010 at 09:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    broomstick twists, 1 x 25
    RC work (internal & external rotators, seated straight arm dips, scapular scrunches, arm circles)
    flutter kicks on back on bosu, 2 x 50
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    twisting pole vaulters w/45 lb pole, 2 x 25
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    Ryan Lochte, bench/bent over row/reverse scoop w/ 35 lb plate, 2 x 10+10+10
    standing lat pulldown, 120 x 3 x 15
    overhead squats w/broomstick,* 2 x 15
    hanging knee ins,** 2 x 15
    back extensions w/25 lb plate, 2 x 15
    hip hinges w/10 lb DBs, 1 x 15 each leg

    * I decided to re-commence this exercise using a broomstick instead of the 45 lb bar to make sure my form was good.

    ** My un-callused hands are no longer used to hanging! And I forgot my weight lifting gloves.

    This looked like kind of an interesting exercise -- stability ball twister -- that was posted on the DF: [nomedia=""]YouTube- Dryland Exercises for Swimmers[/nomedia]


    Later in the day, and despite hating to swim outside, I trudged over to our neighborhood pool club and did the following:

    Warm up:

    500 various

    Petra Set:

    20 x 50 free w/paddles @ 1:00 or so
    (no pace clock, took some extra seconds for paddle changes)

    1-5 regular paddles
    6-10 reverse paddle drill
    11-15 regular paddles + hypoxic
    16-20 reverse paddle drill + hypoxic

    I wasn't sure what Speedo meant by hypoxic when describing this set, so I interpreted it to be 2 breaths per length. I'm not used to doing restricted breathing in freestyle, so it wasn't all that easy. I used my small green Strokemaster paddles for the regular swim. I used the larger red Catalyst paddles that I found around the house for the reverse paddle drill. The felt somewhat like I imagine the fulcrum paddles would feel like -- forcing more EVF than normal. I had better DPS with this method.

    Speedo posted this link on my blog yesterday, and I'm thinking of getting some of these paddles:

    50 EZ

    Hypoxic Kick:

    20 x 25 w/fins @ :40
    odds = dolphin kick on belly
    evens = flutter kick on belly

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 2100 meters



    I wasn't too tired after the drylands, but I feel pretty bushed now after the swim. Still, I feel like I got in a good day of working out. My shoulders are tired, but not sore. I'm hoping to go to bikram yoga tomorrow and do swim + drylands on Sunday. Feeling fierce and motivated again.

    Updated August 27th, 2010 at 10:50 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  5. Shark Attack!!!!

    by , August 27th, 2010 at 08:34 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    haha, I got you! I thought a catchy title might inspire more people to read my blog.

    I haven't posted since school started; part too busy/tired, part just the fact that all my workouts seem to be the same and quite boring.
    I have been swimming a lot for me! (18-24 thousand meters a week) and I've come to the conclusion that quantity doesn't make me happy or faster. I plan to cut back and rest up the week before Big Shoulder's but right now I'd have to predict I'm going to have a disappointing swim.
    If I make it to Gino's East deep dish pizza, get a brownie from the place at Water Tower, and buy some cute clothing item I will consider the trip a victory!
    Oh Big Shoulder's will be my first race as a 55 year old! I will consider that some sort of personal victory too!
  6. Friday, 8/27/10

    by , August 27th, 2010 at 12:36 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM Solo

    300 swim
    (alt. back and free)
    200 IM drill
    6 x 50/1:00 – 15-20-15
    (alt. back and free )

    Set 1
    6 x 200/30 sr desc 3
    (went 3:10-3:05-2:58, 3:10-3:06-3:01)

    Kick set
    1 x 200 smooth IM/5:00 (went 4:45)
    1 x 200 smooth /5:00 – major stroke (on back went 4:30)
    8 x 50/2:00 – FAST
    (alternated flutter w/board, flutter on back
    with board went 55-53-52-51; on back went 54-53-55-51)

    Cool Down
    100 easy free and back

    Total: 2900 meters

    Updated August 27th, 2010 at 01:49 PM by poolraat

  7. Thursday, 8/26/10

    by , August 27th, 2010 at 12:32 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM & SCY Solo

    Warm up
    400 Choice
    (started outside but had to move indoors after this because of the weather)

    8 x 50/1:00
    1) 25 fast - 25 easy
    2) 25 easy - 25 fast
    3) 50 easy
    4) 49.9 ? fast!
    (did 1-4 free, 5-8 back; fast free was 35, fast back was 38)

    Major Set #1:
    3 x 400/30sr Choice - NS each 400
    {did free on 1 and 2; #1 went 5:45 (2:55-2:50); #2 went 5:40 (2:50-2:50)
    Back on #3; went 6:15 (3:10-3:05)}

    Major Set #2:
    6 x 50/1:15 Fly (15 Fast Fly - 20 Fly Drill - 15 Fast Fly)
    (did 1 arm for drill ave 45 on these)
    6 x 50/1:15 Breaststroke strong ds 3
    (did these between 55 and 50)
    6 x 50/1:15 Back strong ds 3
    (went 44-42-39 both times through)

    Kick Set
    4 x 100 w/10sr
    (odds flutter with board, evens flutter on back)

    Cool down
    100 easy back and free

    Total: 400 meters, 2600 yards
  8. 8/27 Workout

    by , August 27th, 2010 at 12:14 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Warm up
    - 6x50 drill swim*
    - 4x75 kick with fins (did an extra 50)
    - 4x150 ?? (don't remember what the end of warm up was)
    Main Set
    - 10x100 on 1:20 (first 1:07, rest 1:09/1:10, goal was sub 1:10, so I was a little slow)
    - 4x50 kick with fins on :45
    - 4x50 back on :50
    - 200 reverse IM
    - 2x150 on 2:00 (1:40, 1:40)
    Cool down
    - 200 back ez

    * Swimming 50s during warm up is like pouring icewater down my pants. I don't do it because it is too cold. Swam non-stop drill swim.

    Swam with Mark, Gerald and Anna on the main set today. Mark said he was just going to try to survive 1:20s and Anna made funny faces. All made it (Gerald did 75s).
    Swim Workouts
  9. FRI Aug 27th, 2010

    by , August 27th, 2010 at 11:10 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Did not swim today
    got this email last night

    From: Whitney Hedgepeth
    Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 12:14 PM
    Subject: [txla-masters] practice cancelled on FRIDAY & SATURDAY

    Practices are cancelled tomorrow and Saturday. TXLA has not been able to get a finalized contract from the city for use of any of their pools. We hope to have this in place by Monday morning. I will send out updates as soon as I get them. Please forward to anyone not on the email list.
    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    we also got this email too

    Just in case you can find somewhere to swim on your own. Sorry again!

    FAST FRIDAY 8/27

    300 free swim
    100 RA
    300 free pull
    100 LA
    300 free drag fingertips
    100 kick

    Main Set
    1 x 400 free FAST
    100 easy
    500 with fins(75 kick/25 strong swim)
    2 x 200 FAST rest 3:00 between
    100 easy
    500 IM(50 kick/50 drill/25 swim)
    4 x 100 FAST rest 2:00 between
    100 easy
    500 pull(75 free/25 back)

    Saturday 8/28

    200 free
    75 kick(IM order)
    25 FAST swim(IM order)
    above x 4

    Main Set
    20 x 100 @ 1:20-2:20
    1-4 free aerobic pace(mile pace) moderate interval

    800 with fins(300 kick/100 IM swim) x 2

    10 x 100
    1 @ 1:25
    1 @ 1:15
    1 @ 1:10
    1 @ 1:05
    down is swim; rest 1:00 go back up pulling
    100 cooldown
  10. Get it together mcdonnell!

    So the past two to three weeks I've been seriously in a funk, out of the loop, whatever you want to call it.
    We've pushed up to 4 practices a week in the pool. I'm really thankful for it. I love swimming so much that another day is very welcomed! My times are dropping little by little and my endurance is building up pretty quickly. I'm doing my best to beat everyone around me. I have some serious competition though. Brian's been keeping pretty much even with me in everything. Anne and Laura have been kicking my butt unless its in pull mostly because I rock pull something fierce.


    As a result of me gaining strength in swimming: I can afford to go on less sleep (significantly less sleep). When I don't sleep well, I don't eat well. When I don't eat well, I don't feel as good. When I don't feel good, I don't lift. If I don't lift, I don't sleep as well.... its a vicious cycle. I've also been drinking more than enough. I've also been eating a TON. I've been more hungry these past couple weeks than I was all summer long.

    So - time to reset. I'm a little hungover this morning so I didn't go in to work.
    Goal 1) Lift at least 5 times by next Saturday.
    I have swimming Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
    I have basketball on Wednesday.
    So I should be able to lift today, Saturday, Sunday and maybe Monday.
    I'll take Tuesday and Wednesday off to make sure I can play basketball (its the semi finals for our basketball league) and swim immediately following.
    Then I should be able to lift Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
    This is great! I should be able to get back on my 3 days on, 1 days off pattern as recommended by my trainer
    Goal 2) Get my diet reorganized.
    I'm going to focus back on intelligent eating. I need turkey, chicken, a loaf of bread, tons of veggies, bananas, berries, and a gallon of milk.
    Goal 3) Get my rest. (~8 hours a night)
    Before I started swimming I could pretty much function pretty efficiently on 3-4 hours of sleep a day. Once I started - I had to start getting more like 8-9 hours of sleep. Now that I'm finally starting to get stronger in my swimming, I'm starting to drift back down to about 6-7 hours of sleep and my body is letting me know that that's not cool.

    Alright - that's my trinity of goals. There's absolutely no reason why I should not be able to make those goals with the exception of me holding myself back.

    Okay. Time to eat breakfast finally and make these goals a reality!
  11. A good fast day!

    by , August 27th, 2010 at 08:34 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Just felt fast as I got into the workout more. Still having the same aches and pains through.

    1000 Free as 200 swim/pull/swim/kick/swim
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 50 fast rest moderate
    5x200@4:00 Fly w/fins as 50 rt arm/50 lt arm/50 kick on back/50 fast swim went 3:31, 3:30, 3:27, 3:27, 3:17
    2x400@7:00 Free w/paddles & bouy went 6:14 and 5:56
    200 Free easy

    Total 3500 meters
  12. Dover day 8

    Day 8, and the weather is still pretty crappy though it looks like things will open up next week. Alternating strong winds and rain have been the story thus far and I'm very sad to say that a bunch of swimmers have run out of time and left Dover without their shot at a crossing.... east coast friends Jordan Waxman and Liz Fry among them. Jordan's departure hit me especially hard as we have been training together since spring at Brighton Beach, the Hudson River, and Lake Minnewaska. We both swam MIMS and the CIBBOWS 5k finishing within a couple of minutes of each other and seconds apart... respectively. Liz was planning a double and required a window of clear weather of > 20 hours.

    Still, swimmers of the next tidal window (my tide) are arriving daily and another CIBBOWS swimmer, Jim Meier, has just e-mailed me with his plans to go for swim this afternoon.... I'll join him in the harbor around 5PM.

    I've got 3 different sources for weather forecasts, and I check each several times daily:

    ..... such is the life of a EC aspirant.

    There appears to be a window opening next week, and as per my pilot Paul Foreman, it is possible to go out with winds predicted at 10 - 15 mph with a bit of 20 mph. With that in mind, it looks to me like the first swimmer will not have the best conditions, so, Paul might opt to take a relay, or offer it to the #1 slot (who happens to be an american, Joe L. from SF). If Joe passes, I have the option, and the way things have been the past several weeks, there is no way I'll turn it down.

    Roz arrives this afternoon, so I'll have a solid support crew with her and John... like a mini Catalina reunion!
  13. Sprint Day

    by , August 26th, 2010 at 07:56 PM (Adventures in Swimming)
    Swam with the Sharks
    Coach Alex

    4 x 200 SKPS

    10 x 50

    Something Else here

    then 4 x through this

    3 x 100 Pace Short rest :05 or so
    1 x 50 ez
    1 x 50 Sprint
    1 Min between repeats

    Warm Down

    We did the 100's on 1:20
    I don't have a lot of sprint in me.
    But I did do the 50's fast and HARD

    I tried to work the 100's also.

    Good set. I felt really good today.
    I've been using the Star Paddles and I really
    like them!!
  14. Whoop Ass Workout Whooped My Ass, Thurs., Aug. 26

    by , August 26th, 2010 at 05:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I swiped Patrick's Whoop Ass Wednesday workout today. I had somewhat sore legs (especially hammies, probably from yoga) going in, so was slightly worried. But there is no time to start conquering "fear of the effect of dryland soreness on swim practice performance" like the present. So I stuck to the plan and did this workout:


    Warm up:

    700 various

    10 x 50 @ :55
    odds = stroke
    evens = kick

    Main Sets:

    6 x 75 free w/paddles @ 1:00
    :30 rest
    1 x 100 flutter kick fast w/fins & board @ 2:00 (went 1:01)
    :30 rest
    4 x 25 UW shooters @ :35
    100 EZ

    6 x 75 fly w/fins @ 2:00*
    :30 rest
    2 x 100 flutter kick w/fins & board, 1 moderate and one fast @ 2:00 (went 1:00 on the fast one, could hardly feel my legs the last 25)
    :30 rest
    6 x 25 UW shooters @ :35
    100 EZ

    * In Patrick's workout, he did these "best effort" @ 1:20. I thought this would make a good fly set, but increased the interval to 2:00 to make sure I could hold good form. I started off a little tentative, but ended up descending the set to a pretty fast pace (for me). Went: 49, 47, 47, 46, 44, 43, 42. I used a lot of SDKs on these so my arms wouldn't go into rigormortis. I was very lucky to have the lane to myself during this set.

    1 x 50 AFAP @ 1:00 (did 50 back w/fins and went a high 24)
    :30 rest
    1 x 100 flutter kick w/fins & board @ 75% effort (went 1:08)
    :30 rest
    8 x 25 UW shooters @ :35
    100 EZ

    Total: 3300



    I'm feeling pretty beat right now after that workout. I hope that tomorrow I'll feel better than Patrick did today! I plan to hit the gym tomorrow again and hopefully get in a recovery type swim. I may do the 20 x 50 paddle set that Speedo discussed on his blog along with Patrick's 20 x 25 hypoxic set alternating dolphin and flutter kick. At least that is the tentative plan ... Now, I must dash off to the second volleyball scrimmage of the year. I'm not sure I'm ready for all the school sports to shift into high gear.

    Updated August 26th, 2010 at 05:30 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -08/27/10

    by , August 26th, 2010 at 04:01 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 1:40 1:30
    1 X 300 5:00 -
    Twice through. Round 1 left, round 2 right.

    7 minute vertical kick: 50 seconds on/10 off

    1 X 100 kick 2:15
    8 X 25 sprint kick :45
    1 X 100 easy swim

    1 X 400 IM 7:00
    1 X 300 IM 5:15
    1 X 200 IM 3:30
    1 X 100 IM -

    1 X 100 moderate/easy 1:45
    1 X 75 easy 1:30
    1 X 75 fast 1:30
    1 X 50 fast 1:00
    Three times through. Choice.

    20 X 25 :40
    Sprint 20 yards, no breath.
    Break 1 minute after 10.

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  16. Thu Aug 26th 2010

    by , August 26th, 2010 at 10:28 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thu Aug 26th 2010

    DID NOT SWIM WED, so I missed Mon, Tue & Wed.

    thanks to my friends who reached out to me with calls, PMs, FB messages, texts & emails
    I appreciate it. Things are a bit better.

    whitney coached
    Mabel Davis
    much cooler, but not well lit
    6:00 to :00
    todd, marcio, larry, andrew, chris, & paul dove in around 6:15


    500 easy


    4 x 100 fr 85% on 2:20

    100 easy

    4 x 100 fr 90% on 2:10

    100 easy

    4 x 100 fr 95% on 2:00

    100 easy
    Swim Workouts
  17. Just wanted to stay in bed

    by , August 26th, 2010 at 07:35 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I hit the snooze button the first time then the second time I turned it off but still did not get out of bed. After laying there and realizing I needed to swim to get my body loose I finally got up.

    I don't think I ever really woke up completely until the end but with my left elbow hurting, left ankle stiff and right knee acting like it did when I was a kid. There was not much to swim with that didn't hurt. The joys of aches and pains of age. STINKS!

    10x100@1:45 Free got faster as I work thru the aches
    500 Free kick w/fins as 25easy/25mod/25fast
    500 Free kick w/fins alt 100 on sides/6kicks then stroke
    10x50 from block sprint 20 meters rest easy free. 5 fly and 5 free
    3x200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy desc 1-3 went 2:51, 2:47, 2:35
    4x100@1:45 Free easy

    Total 3500 yards

    Updated August 26th, 2010 at 11:13 AM by Donna

  18. Jimsley's Inferno, Day 1

    by , August 25th, 2010 at 11:05 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    On Friday, August 20th, 2010, your narrator mounted his Honda CRV and headed to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, destination destiny.

    After 4.5 hours, I was six miles away from my second home in Vienna, Va. One additional hour of rush hour traffic, I emerged from the Honda feeling a bit like a crucifixion victim allowed to come off the cross.

    Leslie greeted me warmly, then a blond bombshell walked by, and I wondered why extras from Mad Men were also staying at the home Leslie owns through marriage and toil, and I own through squatter's rights, not that this bothered me.

    (Brief aside: I am on hold with the Norton anti-virus company, and I can't do anything else but sit here and type, and I am going to make no effort whatsoever to restrain myself in the verbiage here. I am, in other words, going full 18th Century on my readers, that wonderful time of yore when readers had attention spans, and writers were paid by the word, the more the better. Ready yourself for a long, long, long and gloriously meandering read here, occasionally interrupted by the lady's voice on the telephone offering me other options for accessing Norton via online chat, email, etc.)

    Anyhow, the Blondie turned out to be Ali, Leslie's not yet 16-year-old daughter, the kind of a babe that probably statutorially entrapped Jack Nicholson's into the Cuckoo's Nest and his Ratchety punishment.

    So anyhow, I opted to stay in Leslie's son's room, who was sleeping over elsewhere, and when I went up to unload my stuff, Ali said, "I can't believe you are sleeping in my brother's bed."

    I asked her why. She said because it was unbelievably disgusting. "Do you know what bad things he does there?"

    I could not imagine.

    Before I could self-edit, I found myself singing the lyric from the True Blood theme song: I wanna do bad things with you.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- True Blood Opening Credits[/nomedia]

    Ali ogled me peculiarly.

    Rich arrived soon thereafter.

    Let me quickly say at the outset here, before the wall of words becomes too overwhelming and I begin to shed readers like head hairs (I am still waiting for the next available customer service representative, by the way, on hold now for 25 continuous minutes and counting) that Rich Swim Stud Bell is an absolutely capital chap, and if you ever, ever have the chance to meet him in the flesh, your life will have taken one giant step towards fulfilling completion.

    Rich SwimStud in a pensive mood.

    Rich and I started discussing how lucky we were to be staying at Leslie's house for Colonies Zones, then I happened to mention that I technically was part owner of the compound, and that to be fully accurate, he, Rich, was lucky to be staying at Jim and Leslie's house, and I explained the squatter's rights business.

    (Damn this Norton woman is annoying.)

    Anyhow, Rich said there was just a court case in Connecticut where someone was a guest in someone else's house for two weeks, and that when the owner tried to get the deadbeat schnorrer out ( [ame][/ame] ), it turned out that if after 2 weeks tenancy, you are a legal resident and have to be legally evicted!

    I quickly made sure that Leslie knew I had been living in the Compound since SCY Colonies Zones championships the past April and had simply gone out for a bottle of milk and gotten lost, but that technically, I had been living there uninterruptedly for four months!

    By the way, at that meet, readers may recall that I did my lifetime best in the 200 yard freestyle, breaking 1:55 for the first and only time. On the "event rankings" and later the "preliminary Top 10" list, this was good enough to earn me a tentative 10th place in the Top 10.

    I am thrilled to announce this held:
    200 Freestyle SCY Men 55-59 (2010)
    # Name Age Club LMSC Time
    1 Michael T Mann 55 CMS Colorado 1:48.79
    2 Jack R Groselle 55 O*H* Lake Erie 1:49.76
    3 Phil L Dodson 57 IM Illinois 1:51.71
    3 Brad Horner 56 WMAC Wisconsin 1:51.71
    5 Paul G Karas 55 MICH Michigan 1:52.01
    6 Jim Mc Conica 59 VCM Southern Pacific 1:52.32
    7 Larry B Krauser 56 HMS Inland Northwest 1:54.03
    8 Larry W Wood 56 TXLA South Texas 1:54.48
    9 Donald B Gilchrist 56 NCMS North Carolina 1:54.73
    10 James Thornton 57 TPIT Allegheny 1:54.89

    (Norton hold time: 45 minutes and counting. Basically, what I am trying to do is this. I just renewed my subscription to the tune of about $48. Then, this morning, I learned I get a better version of Norton for free through Comcast. I want to get my money back. Boy, they do not like to talk to you when the moolah is being regurgitated!}

    So, time passed, Leslie cooked an absolutely delicious dinner for us, jokes were made, suit changes were discussed, bowels were nervously evacuated, hot flashes were experienced, reading glasses were misplaced, and the air conditioning setting was lowered to Arctic levels.

    I went up to the bed where bad things have been rumored to have been done...



    Okay, it's roughly nine hours and 200 years later, and I have my computer now protected by a new free Norton suite complimentary with Comcast Business Class, and I have had my payment for renewing my old Norton antivirus rebated to my credit card.

    Let me make modern short shrift of what had earlier in the day looked to be a 678 page Gothic novel of swim meet remembrances.

    • I slept in Zak's bed with the air conditioning turned to 66 degrees, the arctic blast evidently blowing from an overhead duct directly upon my socks-less feet.
    • Leslie, Rich, and I ate breakfast, lollygagged, then drove to the meet at the U. Maryland.
    • Rich shaved my back in showers. It was an unbelievably kind gesture. I had hoped for Ali and a couple of her friends in bikinis to do this, possibly humming the True Blood "I wanna do bad things with you" theme song, but when the chips were down, it was Rich Counter-Homophobic-SwimStud nonpareil who actually did this for me. You, sir, are a capital chap in an era where capital--the rich uncle of cash--is the King of Kings.
    • During the first 10 feet of my warm up, my toes and arches began cramping. I told myself this would go away. Some1600 meters of warm up later, my distant appendages continued to do a St. Vitus' Dance of their own, no conscious input from me whatsoever.
    • Last year at Indy, the only event I made the Top 10 in was the 200 LCM free. It was my first event in this meet, too.
    • Put on the speed jammer and hoped for the best in my dolphin-like hairless slick. Dolphins, however, do not get dorsal fin cramps.
    • On the start, I felt my legs cramping, but they semi-calmed down. I knew with the FINA mandated suit change, I would be slower this year than last year, but I didn't want to wimp out. I took the first 50 out fairly briskly, did a flip turn, and...
    • felt my left toe barely graze the wall. I actually wondered if I had touched the pad hard enough to register my presence. I almost went back to touch the nearly missed wall again, but then realized I would just argue my case afterwards.
    • I began kicking in a frenzy, my little arms joining the frenzy in an effort to accelerate from a dead stop to some actual forward progress.
    • This was a mistake.
    • Both sets of piggies, their attendant arches, and the calf-bones-connected-to-the-ankle-bones all fired a coordinated spasming attack cramp. For the next 50, I swam in a panic, all arms, my feet at right angles to my shins, trying to work out the cramps and soldier on.
    • Nearing the 100 m. mark, I realized that I was getting exhausted from this exercise in frenzied but mysteriously slow swimming, and realized I had to slow down a little or I wouldn't be able to finish.
    • The third length, I tried to lengthen out my stroke as I continued to work out the foot cramps.
    • The final turn was good, but I pushed off gingerly, hoping not to fire up a fresh insurrection of angry muscles. Once safely off the wall, I began to speed up, and found myself hoping against hope that I might actually have salvaged a mediocre time out of this, my best-chance-by-far-historically-speaking for making the Top 10 at the advanced age of 58 (deep into the heart of an age group whose members move, with relentless inexorability, ever closer to frailty and death with each passing day.)
    • This false hope was not to be.
    • Last year's time and splits in a B70 kneeskin:

    Leg Cumulative Subtractive
    1 32.37 32.37
    2 1:07.06 34.69
    3 1:42.01 34.95
    4 2:14.73 32.72

    • This year's pathetic performance swum in a Speedo LSR loaner jammer, with shaved back and literally cold feet:

    Leg Cumulative Subtractive
    1 31.51 31.51
    2 1:10.03 38.52
    3 1:49.50 39.47
    4 2:25.80 36.30

    • I was utterly miserable. This was a much slower time than I had done earlier in the week, at the end of practice, from a push off!
    • As much as I am prone to making excuses, I rarely believe them. Leslie and Rich told me that my 200 was bad because of the missed turn and the cramps; I knew the real reason. My 200 was bad because I was a bad swimmer. I seriously considered quitting forever. The thought that I have been fooling myself for nearly a decade now, thinking I was a mediocre swimmer as opposed to a bad, bad, bad swimmer, a beneficiary, if you will, of a cheating suit technology that provides approximately 6 seconds of help per 100 meters...well, it was too much for me to bear.
    • Flash forward to the 50.
    • Last year's time, again in B70 body suit, was a 27.76. This year's time, in a jammer, was a 28.26--exactly one-half second slower.
    • This did improve my mood a bit, I do concede. Not only did I still do an okay for me 50 in the old fashioned swimming costume, but my differential between Leslie actually widened. Her time last year: 28.67, which means that I beat her then by .91 seconds. This year, Leslie's time was a 30.02, which means I beat her now by 1.76 seconds.
    • A new measuring stick instantly suggested itself: The Leslie Unit, subsequently renamed the Leslie Coefficient. Rather than measuring myself by the number of seconds it takes me to swim a particular race, I will look at the differential between Leslie and me back in the glory years when she had a closetful assortment pack of then FINA-legal body kayaks to choose from, and I had the legendary Neill Williams' hand-me-down B70 kneeskin to compete in. As long as I maintained that Leslie Coefficient differential, or beat it, then I could feel I was holding ground against the Reaper!
    • Later I would discover than my 50 also widened its lead over the legendary Eney Jones, whose best times of last year and this year, respectively, were 28.42 and 30.09. If anything, my Eney Coefficient is even more impressive than my Leslie Coefficient, despite the fact that those two (one a former professional athlete, might I add) continue to be allowed by FINA to swatch vast swaths of their feminine hairless musculature with body suit fabric.
    • Speaking of Eney, here she is in the moments before beating me by over 3 minutes in the 2-mile cable swim:

    Eney Jones, specimen extraordinaire, and Jim Thornton, ordinary specimen, prepare to swim

    Jim tries to trick Eney into racing the 2 miles under water, but evidently she only pretends to fall for the ploy.

    After her victory, Eney earns the right to manhandle my girlish moobs. This kind of thing is not about sex. It is about power.

    • Anyhow, as the golfers know, drive for show, putt for dough, and I think Eney and Leslie both know who among our little tripartite menage is the real putter now.
    • Which brings us to the final event of Day 1: the 1500 with automatic filing for free of the 800 split.
    • Regular readers of these forums will recall that distance is not necessarily my bag, baby. Not my bag at all. I never would have signed up for the 1500 if the 800 had been available. On the other hand, I had something of a grudge match going with Eney, who did not finish (that is to day, DNF'd) the 1500 in Puerto Rico. In order to win, not just the 1500 but the 800 as well, all I had to do was finish. As Amanda pointed out on Facebook, if I simply F'd, Eney would have lost in one fell swoop another two legs of the five-legged LCM freestyle chair. (I should note that her 2:17.53 in Puerto Rico was probably sufficient to hold up a table by itself, but who really wants a one-legged table?)
    • Jeff Strahota, aka Muppet, aka the meet director, was a bit cold to my idea of going out hard for the 800, then spending the next hour or two cooling down on the final 700. I was afraid that if I went out too fast on the 800, without leaving myself enough energy to finish in time to keep the meet on schedule, I might not be able to finish at all. I, like Eney, would thus have DNF'd. But in my competition with Eney, I really, really, really wanted to F.
    • I opted for a mixed strategy: try a bit out of my comfort zone on the 800, reevaluate, and either loaf or finish up strong in the 1500.
    • Leslie was counting for me.
    • On lap No. 19, her little underwater counter sign said 17. I couldn't believe I'd miscounted.
    • The rest of that agonizing swim, I chanted the word Snakebit over and over. I recounted and became convinced Leslie, not me, had miscounted. On my lap 25, which Leslie said was 23, I did an open turn and said I thought she had miscounted. I finished the race, and somebody started yelling I had two more to go.
    • Afterwards, I checked with the computer operator and it turned out...
    • I had been right all along, Leslie less so. So I did a horrible time on my 1600 m, and not a whole lot better on my 1500.
    • Alas, so bad are this year's times in my age group, that if I had finished a bit stronger in both, I might have squeaked in for a Top 10 in both the 800 and 1500, this despite the truly pathetic cool down speed of my snakebit day.
    • We returned to the Compound where I attempted to unkink my crushed little legs and arms and rekindle my energies like the squashed cockroach I was. Only one semi-decent swim of Day 1: the 50. And that, I told myself, was probably the real fluke.

    After my assorted failures, Leslie tries to coax me into once again believing in myself, but once one loses faith in a false deity like me, it is very hard for even us most gullible of sheep to rekindle it.

    • Without the magic cheating suit, guys like me, I figured, are as pathetic in reality as we once believed ourselves great in imagination.
    • Back home, I got Leslie to lend me some socks, which were pink, and kept my extremities warm all night in that bed where bad things are rumored to have taken place but in my case didn't, really, I can assure you of that! A few pages of The Girl Who Played with Fire, then the nasal pillows went in my nostrils, the CPAP was turned on, and out I went for the night, shivering.
    • I also borrowed a little red jacket that didn't fit me very well. I thought someone had snapped a picture of me in my borrowed pink socks and Leslie jacket, but this picture can't at the moment be found. In any event, this was the genesis of Jimsley, an amalgam of me with the trappings of Leslie. It is also spelled Jimslie, though my brother Johnny boy, who coined the neologism, originally just went with Jimsley.
    • Tomorrow, I thought as I drifted off with 8 cm of water pressure blowing up my nose, was another day...and another opportunity for races to get F'd by Jimsley, pink socks notwithstanding.
    • More on this soon. (Readers of Dante's Inferno, in whose ranks I admit I am not a member myself, can look forward to a change of fortunes on Day 2, in which our protagonistic Jimsley, like Euridyce or whoever the guy was in the Dante book, makes his way up from Hell and into the very thick of Purgatorio!)
    • Oh, for those wondering, the following is my bag, baby, thanks to the incredibly generous Amanda Chicken of the Sea Hunt. When you think about it, between Rich shaving my back, and Amanda giving me kangaroo scrotums (so that when people tell me to grow a pair, I will have a place to put the seeds and Miracle Grow fertilizer), anyhow, between the two of these wonderful Queen-fearing British Empirians, it really does make you think we American hicks should have remained under King George's rule. It was a mistake to try going it on our own. We just aren't civilized enough.

    Updated August 26th, 2010 at 08:34 AM by jim thornton

  19. Drylands + Yoga, Wed., Aug. 25

    by , August 25th, 2010 at 06:30 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    back extensions w/10 lb plate, 2 x 20
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    pull ins in push up position w/15 lb DBs, 2 x 20
    lunges w/15 lb DBs, 2 x 15
    step ups, 18 inch box, 2 x 25
    body rows, 2 x 15
    twisting med ball slams, 2 x 15
    skull crushers, 40 x 2 x 15
    Icarian leg abductor, 90 x 2 x 15
    squat w/10 lb med ball toss, 2 x 15
    kneeling ab crunches, 100 x 2 x 25 (weight felt more like 50)
    alternating hammers, 30 x 2 x 30
    goblet squats, 60 x 2 x 10
    Ryan Lochte, bench and reverse scoop (from between legs to above head) moves w/35 lb plate, 2 x 15 each: [nomedia=""]YouTube- Ryan Lochte Training[/nomedia] (I like some of these explosive moves.)

    RC work

    P90X Yoga, 50 minutes:

    Made it through approx 50 minutes of the 90 minute DVD before my Mom arrived for a visit. I am really tight. I need to plug my yoga DVDs in more frequently.



    I feel like that was a decent start on the road to dryland fitness. I still feel like I have some dryland strength, but not dryland conditioning. I'm not sure how important conditioning is for 50s & 100s, but it makes me feel more fit.

    And I'm still contemplating the appropriate mix of my drylands this season. I am inclined to throw in some P90X DVDs. I'm also contemplating jump roping. I think the latter might be especially good for conditioning. But I'm not sure that my toe/foot could handle it (I really need to see a podiatrist to figure out what exactly is wrong with it. ) and I'm not sure I could commit to it. I also need to get back to the pull ups and chin ups.

    Back to the pool tomorrow. I may do Patrick's workout from today.

    Updated August 25th, 2010 at 09:31 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  20. Wednesday, 8/25/10

    by , August 25th, 2010 at 04:24 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    Warm up
    300 Swim, mixed free and back
    3 x 100/1:35 Build w/Fins

    Kick & Drills
    Kick 3 x 100/2:00 Strong - Flutter w/fins, no board, rotating side to side w/arms by side
    Drill 1 x 100/10sr - Back
    Kick 6 x 50/1:15 Very Strong - Flutter on back

    Swim Free
    9 x 100/1:40 Strong - (70% - 80%)
    4 x 50/50 smooth

    8 x 50/1:00 Odds - 25 smooth - 25 Fast Finishes Evens - 25 fast Breakouts - 25 smooth
    (did 1-6 free, 7-8 back)

    Warm down
    100 easy free/back

    Total: 2900 meters