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  1. OH did I say I HATE ONCALL!!!!

    by , September 25th, 2009 at 09:49 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This is starting to present as an every other week occurance and it always happens when I am oncall. After being paged most of the night for 2 different issues I finally got an hour at the pool and a 1/2 hour nap.

    5x200@4:00 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd 50 fast
    5x100@1:45 Free w/paddles & bouy

    Total 2000 yards
  2. Well!

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 11:47 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Yippee! I finally feel okay again. No dizzy, headache, sore throat, nausea, and ear ache! I am going to swim tomorrow.
  3. 57 Year Old Heads into Wolverine Country

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 11:01 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Alarm clock set for 6 a.m., I shall be making my rendezvous with destiny and wolverines sometime beginning Saturday afternoon in the middle of the Frank Church River of No Return Wildlife Area in Idaho.

    Today was my 57th birthday, and I must say that 57 really does feel like the new 56, at least after a nap.

    On Facebook, I received so many heartfelt Happy Birthday wishes that I was unable to answer them all with individualized vlogs, so I shall simply attempt to answer the ones that find their way here with this vlog.


    You have taken the fear of death-by-wolverine out of my ruminations by showing me just how grand would be the Jimby funeral in the case that the little creatures of the like pictured below decide to mince me up as some kind of pablum for their screeching kits.

    Eat well, little kits!

    And do not cry for this old multiply pierced by wolverine claws and teeth version of Argentina! I have had as good a run as a person like me can reasonable expect to have.

    And if I do perish in the great woods, do not give up all hope that my spirit, and quite likely DNA, will be extinguished. Thanks to global warming, the Pizzly Bear is a fully recognized mutant that now roams the melting ice fields of norther Idaho, the only one of its kind, tragic really, but nevertheless the kind of compelling image that must set the hearts of teenage girls and their milfish moms aflutter with hope the ursine incubus might come a' roamin' some night for unattended garbage!

    Who knows how many Jimzies might similarly roam the desolate open spaces of the wilderness, how many Jimverines and even Jimcupines and the odd Jameskunk.

    So, enjoy my funeral in the reasonably likely event this is in the offing. And if it is not, I will be back a' vloggin' sometime in early October.

    Until then, if you need to contact me for any reason or about any topic, please do so via the comment section below.

    Leslie, I am catching up. Slowly. Surely. Inexorably.

    And if I perish in the wilderness, let this become the new Wailing Wall where all humanity itself is mourned with poesy and inappropriate jocularity!

  4. Winging it on a Thursday

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 10:21 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Swimstitute - Rancho Cordova - Solo / BYO
    I visited Sacramento's only SCM indoor pool.
    (with lockers and showers btw)

    A edited RickMiles workout today...

    Warm 4x100 1:45, 4x100 1:40
    1x200 FR K 4:30 (snorkel and just bought from the Swimstitutes store; a Finis Alignment kickboard, I like it so far.)
    2x100 K 2:15 (BK streamlined)
    8x25 K F n/b :40 IM order 2 ea.
    4x50 Fly 1:10 (taking it easy on left shoulder/fins)
    1x100 ez 2:00
    4x50 BK 1:00
    1x100 EZ 2:00
    4x50 BR 1:10
    1x100 EZ
    (skipped Quality FR, running outta time)
    12x25 :40 (Did these IM order, like a broken 100 IM)
    100 cool down
    The workout was written for SCY, its a bit of a challenge for SCM.

    This pool has become a Sunday attraction for my wife and I after church, its never crowded, so I would say its Sacramento's best kept secret.
    Since it is indoors, its great to practice backstroke here, by using the rafters which parallel the lanes as guides, I can focus on stroke without worrying about lane line collisions.
  5. Still here

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 08:43 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Haven't reported since Monday, so figured it was time to blog the workouts. Tuesday, my husband had preventative surgery done on his good eye. The doc saw some thinning in the retina, so wanted to do some surgery to prevent a retinal detachment. Surgery went well and he was able to return to work on Wednesday afternoon. We got back in late on Tuesday, so no working out that day.

    Wednesday, the Death Valley group decided to do a hill workout that involved hitting a number of really steep hills over 4 miles. We hit a total of 5 climbs. The shortest one was probably about 150 meters while the longest one was probably 600 meters. I was surprised that I was able to scoot up the hills pretty well. HR went up to 188 on one which is really not too bad. I've seen it go up over 190, so this was a good sign, especially in light of the usual hot and humid weather. The weatherman has promised fall weather next week.

    Even though I felt decent during the run, I was TIRED later that afternoon. Kind of wonder if being sick last week took more of a toll than I realized. Went to bed by 10 p.m. which is very early for a night owl like myself.

    Today, swam 2,400 yards with Senior group. I got in late to the practice and they were doing lots of drill work. Glad it was an easier practice since I have not been in the pool in almost 2 weeks.

    200 easy free
    300 reverse I.M. - drill, kick, swim

    2 x 300 free with parachute

    10 x 50 on 1:20 - all out efforts - did all free

    4 x 25 fly drill with tennis balls - 15 sec. rest
    6 x 25 fly with fins - 15 sec. rest

    6 x 25 back - perfect stroke - 15 sec. rest

    6 x 25 free - 12.5 underwater and 1 breath rest of way - 30 sec. rest

    200 easy

    Worked some starts.

    Did not feel 100% during the workout, but I'm not sure if that is because I've been sick or because I've been out of the water for almost two weeks. After next week, I plan to put some more time in the pool. I've enjoyed the break, but if I hope to swim any decent times in the next year, guess I'd better not get too lax.

    Updated September 30th, 2009 at 09:19 PM by elise526

  6. Thursday, Sept 24

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 06:29 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Like one of my very sweet blog followers, , I only had 45 minutes or so to hit the pool today. Had to take Mini-Fort in for x-rays. She may have broken her finger playing volleyball. Fortunately, she can swim with the finger just not play volleyball. lol

    Anyway, here's what I eked out:


    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Speed sets:

    5 x (25 UW shooter on back + 25 EZ), no fins

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    1 x 50 back AFAP w/fins (:24)

    200 EZ

    Total: 1600



    Still tired.

    Sheesh! Maybe I need to make like Smith and start taking Optycon or something ... Or maybe I'm coming down with something ... Or maybe I'm just old.

    Must say I was relieved to go a :24 in my 50 AFAP back. I was slightly worried I'd see a :26 pop up as I've done relatively little sprinting lately b/c of Savageman. I didn't feel real zippy in the sprints. But I did feel fine underwater.

    Fall Ball:

    Now, on to the Fall Ball. I've checked out the heat sheets and timeline. I need to revise my line up and figure out what to do. There is only 45 minutes between the 200 back and 100 back. There is no way, no matter how much I HTFU, that I can recover from a 200 back that quickly. So I either scratch the 200 back or do a split request and swim a 50. Neill Williams suggested the latter and I may take him up on that suggestion. So that would mean: 50 back, 100 back (in Neill's heat -- WTH?!) and 100 free. As previously stated, I am unmoved to do a 200 IM and will scratch that off my list.

    There are also some unofficial relays, including a 400 fly relay. I may do one of those with some friends. I'm swimming the meet Unattached, and you can team up with whomever you want as the relays are unofficial.

    But the best part of the Fall Ball is I am car pooling with Jazz Hands for his first PV meet! Can't wait to see him again. Haven't seen him, though I've clearly been taking scads of advice, since Austin.

    Now I just have to decide what suit to wear. If there really is a chance that USMS will ban suits as of Oct. 1, I really should wear my Jaked. On the other hand, I didn't like it that much for the one 50 back I swam in it at Nats ... Still, there could have been other factors there (like being freaked out by Chris' DQ and really botching my start). I'll likely just wear my B70 and gamble that the ban, if it happens, will be effective on 1/1/10. As I've said, i'll be pissed if it isn't because the rest of the world has already been swimming SCM. We shall see ... I guess it's possible FINA could take its bloody time making an announcement.

    Updated September 24th, 2009 at 06:53 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout -9/25/09 -SCY

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 03:07 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    Sorry I forgot to post our workout of 9-24. We did our annual birthday swim for yours truly:

    59 X 100 on 1:30

    We had a big group and lots of fun.


    WARM UP:
    6 X 100 free 1:40
    2 X 150 kick 3:20
    3 X 100 kick 2:10
    8 X 75 1:20
    75's: 2 each, fly, back ,breast.

    8 X 200 pull 3:00
    Descend in pairs

    400 IM 7:00
    300 IM 5:15
    200 IM 3:30

    12 X 25 :40
    Sprint 20, no breath

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  8. Thursday Sep 24nd, 2009 attempted 3 x 100 on 1:00

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 11:50 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thursday Sep 24nd, 2009

    weighed 217

    Entered this meet on Wed Sep 23rd
    2009 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships
    December 4th - 6th, 2009 at Long Beach

    70 Days till Long Beach

    Leg press 10 x 270 6 x 360
    bench press 6 x 185 5 x 190
    lat pull 6 x 205 4 x 210
    lat press 6 x 45 6 x 50


    SCY no blocks
    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    UT Swim Center
    dove in at 6:32
    Swam with Barndon, beside Tyler, Todd, Amy, ned, larry Paul & Heath (a triathlete who swam for university of minnesota he graduated in 2008, he's fast, made 100 repeats on 1:00)

    4 x (125 fr 25 underwater with 1 breath)

    Main Set

    4 rounds of the following:
    3 x 100 on a tough interval
    50 easy
    4 x 50 on 1:00 breath control, 4, 3, 2, 1
    300 done 50 rk, 50 lk, 50 ra 50 la, 100 sw
    so the focus of this set was making the interval & following the breathing pattern on the 4 x 50
    round 1, 1:05,
    round 2: 1:05,
    round 3 1:05,
    round 4: attempted 1:00 came in on 3:02

    16 x 25 on :30
    4 each stroke desc
    cruised 1, 2, 3, cranked 4

    100 easy


    looking for a couple SCM Meets in Nov or Dec?

    Plan to go to:

    1) SCM meet in San Antonio wk before

    2) SPMA Short Course Meters Championships in
    Long Beach, CA
    Friday December 4 - Sunday 6, 2009
  9. Thursday September 24, 2009 easy workout and a plan!

    Well next week is the week I really get back to kicking my butt back into shape. I did finally get up this morning after several nights of crashing well before 10.

    I got up a couple of minutes later than I should have remembered I had stuff I needed in the dryer, couldn't find the shoes I wanted, needed to check my email real quick, and so on and so on. Usually I roll out of bed and am out the door in 5 minutes or less.

    I started my car and realized I had no gas ... needless to say I dove in nearly 20 minutes late for an hour workout ... not good. Thus starting to really train next week.

    There was a long warm-up that I picked some pieces of. I did something along the lines of:
    200 swim
    100 swim (50 back/50 free)
    200 kick

    Then I began the main set which was:

    8 x 75 on 1:20 - choice
    4 x 75 (50 drill/25 swim)
    8 x 75 on 1:20 - choice
    4 x 75 kick

    I did 4 of the first 8 75s because I am a moron. I did the next 4 free/fly/free/fly. I did the next 8 and then cooled down.

    Next week when I get up early all 4 days and get into the pool on time and swim the whole workout is going to kick my butt.

    In theory I am beginning a multi-week pilates class tonight. It is basically a small private lesson. There are 3 of us and it is all on the reformer. I forgot to sign up a couple of weeks ago so I'm not sure whether or not my spot is still available. I hope the program coordinator gets back to me in time for me to know what to do.

    My next week should like this:

    Sunday - bike or swim
    Monday - Swim AM/Run PM
    Tuesday - Swim
    Wednesday - Swim AM/Run PM
    Thursday - Swim (no pilates due to work conflict)
    Friday - off
    Saturday - Swim OR Run?

    Upcoming Meets (Inspired by Ande)
    SCM in IL 10/25/09 events: considering - 400 FR, 50 FR, 100 Free, 50 Fly and if I feel like dying 200IM ... we shall see

    SCM in Indy 10/31 & 11/01 no idea about events yet

    Possible Meets
    Ron Johnson SCM Meet in Phoenix, AZ 11/21 & 11/22
    OR Louisville, KY SCM same dates

    Long Beach SCM Meet 12/4-12/6
    OR Chicago, IL SCM same dates

    Updated September 24th, 2009 at 02:23 PM by FlyQueen (Updating Meet Schedule)

  10. Trying to relax before another meet

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 08:27 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I tried to relax alittle today and seemed to be doing ok.

    10x100@1:45 Free

    500 Free Kick w/fins every 3rd 25 moderate
    10x50@1:00 Breast pull w/fins "get the dolphin motion into breast"
    12x25@:45 Fly kick w/fins & board underwater
    4x50 with start 1 of each stroke sprint 20's finish free ez

    5x100@1:45 Free w/paddles & bouy

    200 Free EZ

    Total 3200 yards
  11. 23 Sep half-workout

    by , September 24th, 2009 at 03:52 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Wanted to get in a post before this day ends...
    I wanted to do and complete a workout that I swiped from Chris this morning, however I was late to an open session at Folsom Aquatics (11:45-1:15pm) I started at 12:30.

    Warm (750) 100FR, 3x150 k/d/s BK/BR/Fly, 4x50 FR
    5x200 FR Pull paddles& buoy 2:30
    100 ez
    6x150 (3 BK & 3 BR) (BK -kicked all turns at least 3x with 8-10 kicks off the start. BR- went deep on all turns with a pull, concentrating on breakout and keeping my head down!)

    50 cool down (ran outta time)
    Wish I could have finished it, I was getting into it! Darn that clock !

    Ive been practicing underwaters & stroke technique so much, I don't get enough speed work...
    Signed up for the SAC Pentathlon at UC Davis.
    (its just 4 50's and a 100IM + 200 IM relays)
    Still working on what day to go to the Pac Masters SCM Champs...

    Updated September 24th, 2009 at 04:04 AM by EricOrca

    Swim Workouts
  12. The Endless Suit War

    I had thought once FINA issued its swimsuit rules that would end the whole argument. Silly me.

    The issue is really academic to me, personally. I'd be perfectly happy with briefs whether body suits were allowed or not. I've never had any intention of buying a tech suit. There's no real danger that I'd ever set a record or win a National Championship. So I'm really mostly interested in my own times -- and I really don't care what the guy in the next lane is wearing. And just as a matter of comfort, I don't like body suits. (I do have some misgivings about having an arms race for the "latest and greatest.")

    But, frankly, I don't see the point to arguing about it now. It seems pretty unlikely that there would be a big enoough market among Masters, for manufacturers to make the suits just for us.

    But, mostly, I'm just tired of the whole issue.
  13. A star is born, and quickly shuffled off stage

    by , September 23rd, 2009 at 11:14 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    A short vlog tonight, one that I don't think I can link to directly. But if the screen doesn't pop up automatically, just click on the inserted link at the bottom of today's writing and then start the movie entitled USAS Masters Jeopardy. It is this year's skit from the Convention in Chicago.

    Our very own special Little Mermaid, an adult-onset swimmer originally from the Alabama portion of Pennsylvania, who has subsequently landed in the big city of Pittsburgh and is struggling valiantly to learn the ways of the civilized world (secular humanism good; nutcase birther movements bad), makes a riveting screen appearance in this film beginning approximately at the 1:19 mark and ending with her being shuffled off the screen around the 1:41 mark.

    The rest of the movie, before and after, might be good too, but I think you might find yourself mesmerized by the 22 seconds that ensnared my own attention, and find that after watching this snippet several dozen times in a row, well, your life beckons and you must tear yourself away. If you can.

    Here, by the way, is a still from this performance to whet your appetites for more. Whet? I think that's how it's spelled.

    Say what you want about Alabama within Pennsylvania, but it does nurture some pretty fine womanflesh of the sort that deserves ribbons at pretty much any fair from Sewickley to Elko, Rocky Mount to the backwaters of Phoenix.

    Click here for the Little Mermaid/Vanna White chimera in languorous motion:
  14. Geekity Copycat + Pics, Wed., Sept. 23

    by , September 23rd, 2009 at 11:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Today, I pirated Geek's solo workout. Since I've stepped into OW, begun purchasing 2XU gear and am a member of USTA, I thought I must as well go whole hog.

    I treated the practice as a recovery workout essentially. I am still worn out from the weekend. I must be the slowest recovering masters swimmer ever ... I'm always dead after a meet for a few days. In light of that, I'm just going to coast the rest of this week. Awhile ago, I had mentioned that after 4-5 weeks of hard training, my body seems to demand a break. So I think this will be the week it gets it. Timing is probably good anyway as my right calf is still sore and the Fall Ball is Saturday, just 6 days after my OW escapade. I'm definitely scratching the 200 IM. Just the sound of those words makes me want to take a nap. lol. I'll get back to hard training -- and sprint training -- next week.


    Warm up:

    850 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    6 x 75 free @ 1:15

    10 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00

    50 EZ

    4 x 200 back w/fins @ 3:00, negative split

    50 EZ

    6 x 50 lungbusters = underwater dolphin kicking with a breath (but not a coffee break) at the turn @ 1:15
    odds = belly
    evens = back

    200 C/D

    Total: 3050


    I've downloaded the pics from Savageman, but haven't had a chance to look at them or edit them.

    Julie is very anxious to get her wall pic! I snapped one where she was getting up and back on the bike. She is much further than halfway up that killer hill!

    Here's a few of them, including the Western Port wall, shots of Mr. Fort and Julie heading up it, and some geezer relay shots.

    Updated September 23rd, 2009 at 11:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
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  15. Day 35

    Fly Day

    10x50 FR@1:00
    8x25 BK@:40

    4x25 FL@:45 R Arm only
    4x25 FL@:45 L Arm only
    4x25 FL@:45 Alternating Arms
    4x25 FL@:45 2R-2L-2 Reg strokes

    4x50 FL/FR@1:00 w/fins
    8x25 FL@1:00 w/fins

    4x50 FR@:50
    8x25 FR@:25

    200 Easy

    2100 SCY Indoors w/Amanda for part of it
  16. Wednesday Sep 23nd, 2009

    by , September 23rd, 2009 at 01:02 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wednesday Sep 23nd, 2009

    weighed 217

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

    got hotel and plane tix

    71 Days till Long Beach


    SCY no blocks
    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    UT Swim Center
    dove in on time
    Swam with Tyler
    beside Marcio, Nate & Paul


    Main Set

    40 x 25 10 each stroke
    4 on a tough interval 1 easy

    assigned 20 x 50 4 on a tough interval 1 easy
    did 4 rounds of 3 x 50 k on 40, rest, 1 easy

    10 x 100 on 1:30
    odds IM fast
    evens free easy


    looking for a couple SCM Meets in Nov or Dec?

    Plan to go to:

    1) SCM meet in San Antonio wk before

    2) SPMA Short Course Meters Championships in
    Long Beach, CA
    Friday December 4 - Sunday 6, 2009

    Updated September 23rd, 2009 at 03:15 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  17. A fast slug returns

    by , September 23rd, 2009 at 08:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I felt very sluggish today yet my times indicate otherwise. Go figure. The only thing that felt good was the 4 fly 20's

    1000 as 200 swim/pull/swim/kick/swim

    10x50 starts as sprint 20's stroke/ez 30's free - 4 fly, 2 back, 2, breast, 2 free (good breakouts)
    500 kick w/fins alt by 100 fly/back

    10x100@1:30 Free w/paddles & bouy long and loose got faster as I went 1:26, 1:25, 1:24, 1:23, 1:21, 1:22, 1:21, 1:19, 1:19, 1:17

    200 Free EZ
    100 Back slow
    200 Free drills

    Total 3500 yards
  18. 2 for Tuesday

    by , September 23rd, 2009 at 02:52 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Folsom Aquatic's 12:15-1:00 Solo/BYO
    Warm-900 (300FR, 200BK, 100K, 200 rev IM,
    6x75 k/d/s fly/bk/br
    100 cool

    Felt sluggish, Left shoulder was hurting, didn't want to push it.

    EDHS - 8-9p Coach Janine

    Warm 200 straight

    3x100 Fly (K/D/S) (1st was 75 swim/25 drill, 2nd&3rd Did 50swim/50 kick/drill)
    3x100 Back K/D/50Swim 2:30
    3x100 BR K/D/Swim 50 2:30
    3x100 FR swim on 1:30 (1:17, 1:17, 1:19)

    10x75 FR middle sprint on 1:15 (avg.:58) slow/FAST/slow (this was fun and challenging in the nasty water)

    4x50 BR K on back streamlined
    1x50 BK K streamlined
    50 cool down

    Our pool is getting a new boiler, so they had to close it down for a week or two. They moved practice to Union Mine High School's cross town rival; El Dorado High...(Union Mine High school is in El Dorado, El Dorado High is in Placerville... school board peeps, go figure) Any-ways the water there is really nasty, it was clear, but it tasted like soap and later I experienced a sore throat from the chemicals...
    Ive got the first kick down, and Im not missing the second kick on fly, just a little early with it; which is causing me to be late in breathing. I'm now breathing on every stroke, seems to help my timing... however still working on perfecting the fly...the more I do it, the more I like it.
    Swim Workouts
  19. Tuesday, Sept. 22

    by , September 22nd, 2009 at 11:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still feeling pretty flattened today from the race, sleep deprivation, traveling etc. Just hopped on the bike for 30 minutes and stretched a bit. Really lazy for me. Will go to the pool tomorrow afternoon. Hope most of the kinks are worked out by Saturday for the Fall Ball. This will be the first time I've swum in races on back to back weekends. I'm working on shortening my "refractory period."
  20. Take a Hike: Jim's Marching Orders Made Manifest

    by , September 22nd, 2009 at 09:30 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    I woke up today a bit stiff after yesterday's 4700 yard workout.

    Bill included an early season "test set" which I flunked:

    5 x 200 on 2:30 followed by a bit of rest and 10 x 100 on 1:20.

    I was able to do the 100s but not the 200s on that pitiless interval. I moved over into a lane of my own, which granted was not protected against possible diving board mishaps. I started early and finished late but managed to do all 5 x 200 on 2:45 with enough time left over to rejoin my 30, 39, and 41-year-old lane mates for the 10 x 100's. These I made, thanks to drafting.

    Am I getting old, or am I just getting even weaker physically and mentally and psychologically than I was when I first turned 50, oh those one score minus three years and two days ago?

    Who knows? 57 is just a number, as one guy told me recently.

    A very, very high number.

    Then again, maybe I am just tired out by accumulated exercising over the past week or two. Here's my daily inventory from Sept. 4th up through last night's practice. Note: each new line represents a new day; the line break between my 3800 and 4700 yard swimming days is the one day I completely took off and slugabedded the day away.)

    yards swimming; non swimming activities
    1 mile walk
    3 hours tennis
    3 hours 15 min tennis
    3 hours tennis
    5 hours tennis
    3 hours tennis

    Maybe I am just tired out.

    Anyhow, I decided today to skip tennis and instead break in my hiking boots, unworn since I climbed Mt. Elbert two years ago. Unlike the Mt. Elbert expedition, for which I spent a summer of nights sleeping in a hypoxic tent to pre-acclimatize to high altitude, and a summer of days traipsing around the hillocks and dales of Sewickley and Sewickley Heights in order to get my atrophied legs in shape for land exercise, this assignment came so recently that there hasn't been a whole lot of time to prepare myself for the challenges ahead.

    I am in mediocre swimming shape, and less than mediocre land shape. The fact that I can remain semi-upright during the occasional 3-5 hour tennis match, however, gives me some limited hope that I can hike around in the wilderness though hardly with much gusto.

    Perhaps if I get tired of walking in the normal way, I can take some sideways moves and suddenly leap as if "poaching" a weak return of service.

    Yes, maybe I will do that.

    After all, there won't be another human being for 100s of miles in any direction to see me poaching my way through the River of No Return Valley of the Lost.

    Oh, and if I get hot and sweaty as I did today on my preparatory exercise hike, then I can simply take off my pants and let my freak flag fly, as the poet once put it. And no one, NO ONE!, but me and the readers of this vlog will be any wiser!

    Unless, that is, I record the freakish flying on video, and then, when I make my guest appearance on the Stephen Colbert Report, he demands I show it to the world, whereupon offers from the San Fernando Valley and its famous offshoot film industry begin to filter in by the bag full!

    And my dream of quitting being a director to become an actor, albeit one who needs a "body double" for close ups, if you will, this dream will finally be realized even as Jim Thornton Goes Viral!

    But until then, I suppose we must settle for the amateurish footage of today's vlog, which I must concede that even I find a little bit laborious to watch.

    But you of rarefied sensibilities and a keen mind always on the look-out for semiotics and the like, however, may be different!

    You might get a tremendous kick out of my plodding travails. In fact, I am certain of it!

    [ame=""]YouTube - Take a Hike: Jim's Marching Orders[/ame]