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  1. Stole Quick's set @ Sewickley, Sat., Jan 2

    by , January 3rd, 2010 at 10:38 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I ventured out to the Sewickley Y again to swim with Jimi, Bill White and speedster Mark Cox. This time, I wrote the workout after engaging in some thievery. Jim decided it was "Jimcentric enough," and meekly acquiesced.

    Swim SCY @ Sewickley Y:

    Warm up:

    650-700 variety

    Quicksilver/Speedo set:

    6 x 125 @ 2:00
    6 x 100 @ 1:30
    6 x 75 @ 1:14
    6 x 50 @ :45
    6 x 25 @ :30

    We took 1:00 between each round (though I'm not sure that was Quick's intent?) I was working at a pretty high aerobic level on these trying to keep up with the speedy freestylers (I did backstroke with fins.), so the mini-breaks were appreciated. The clocks didn't seem to be synchronized, so it was hard to get accurate tmes on the 75s and 125s. I believe I was going around 1:07-08 on the 100 backs and 31 or so on the 50 backs.

    50 EZ

    The assigned set was 16 x 50 kick (cruise 3, sprint 1). But Jimi balked at the undue length of the kicking ... So we modified it to:

    4 x (8 x 25), no fins
    rounds 1 & 3 @ :30
    rounds 2 and 4 @ :35
    1 minute between each round, which allowed for higher quality kicking.

    I did round 1 & 3 flutter kick with a board and rounds 2 & 4 backstroke kick w/11 SDKs. Jim started out like a bat out of hell, which I advised was not the way to begin. I think we went an 18 on the first one. He claims he beat me on one 25 (the last one). This is false.

    The next assigned set was 16 x 25 swim, cruise 3, sprint 1. But we wanted to get our coed steam in before they closed the steam room. So we took a 10 minute steam break. Then, we headed back to the pool to finish. Jimi and Bill (still in a Mexicoma) weren't thrilled with this idea, but I think Mark and I shamed them into it.

    16 x 25 @ :30, 3 cruise, 1 sprint w/fins
    I did free. It actually didn't feel too bad after a steam. I was expecting some sluggishness.

    no warm down, pool closing

    Total: 4150



    I enjoyed the Quick/Speedo sest and my backstroke still felt pretty good. There were no backstroke flags at one end, which was a bit challenging. I finally feel like I'm starting to get into halfway decent aerobic shape again after that ungodly long taper in late Nov. to mid-Dec. I may pop in a test set of sorts next week to see where I'm at. I'm heading to the gym today.

    I have not started on my New Years Resolutions yet. Though I'm hoping to stretch at the gym. There was an interesting article in the WSJ a couple days ago on this topic. It suggested that willpower and desire were NOT the best way to accomplish a resolution, but rather a "little bit at a time" approach was more successful in the long term.

    And I suck at eating gluten free. I unintentionally glutened myself at a restaurant last night. I think this is going to take some getting used to.

    I've attached a couple of out underwater shots. (I pulled these off facebook; they may need to be re-sized. One is the Pieta mother & child shot, naturally. The other is Bill and Jimi apparently attempting to strangle me. Jimi thinks this explains the red rash around my neck (which I myself had attributed to a gluten attack).

    Updated January 3rd, 2010 at 11:34 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
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  2. 1/3: Kick kick kick

    by , January 3rd, 2010 at 10:29 AM (Random Nonsense)
    Warm up
    - 50 walk trying to convince myself I could swim
    - 50 swim (can't really swim)
    - 50 swim w/ snorkle
    Kick set
    - 10x25 kick

    Various kick nonsense, lots of snorkle, only 4 sets with fins, everything else without fins. No AFAP, but some fast, mostly moderate pace low rest stuff.

    My ribs hurt more the longer I was in the water. I think this was because of the constant deep breathing from kicking. Doesn't feel too bad now.

    Lazy Wife did 5k, so I want to say it took me about 1:45 to do 3150.

    Off to Costco and afterward will commit hari kari (Costco puts me in a great mood) or do an hour on the bike.

    Update: 60 minutes on the bike instead of ritualized spilling of my guts.

    Updated January 3rd, 2010 at 07:00 PM by qbrain

  3. Meditations on a Swimming Bubble

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 09:36 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Age/ Yearly Miles/ Weekly Average/ Best 100 SCY free / age rating / suit

    1. 46 / 221.11 / 4.25 / 53.68 ... 86.4 Speedo briefs
    2. 47 / 207.78 / 4.00 / 54.42 ... 85.6 Speedo briefs
    3. 48 / 264.34 / 5.08 / 52.09 ... 89.8 aquablade
    4. 49 / 374.77 / 7.21 / 52.46 ... 89.5 aquablade
    5. 50 / 411.77 / 7.92 / 53.02 ... 89.0 FS1
    6. 51 / 390.04 / 7.50 / 52.83 ... 89.7 FS1
    7. 52 / 363.90 / 7.00 / 52.87 ... 90.1 FS1
    8. 53 / 272.42 / 5.24 / 53.97 ... 88.7 FS1
    9. 54 / 373.28 / 7.18 / 52.69 ... 91.4 FS1
    10. 55 / 372.07 / 7.16 / 52.90 ... 91.6 FS1
    11. 56 / 406.70 / 7.82 / 52.86 ... 92.2 B-70
    12. 57 / 330.59 / 6.36 / 54.08 ... 90.7 B-70


    Greek Olympian and man-god Chris Stevenson posted this age ranking calculator at He includes an explanation for how it works and plenty of cautionary language about why not to take it too seriously, etc.

    You can use Chris's brain child to age grade any of your different races in all three courses. But for the sake of this vlog, I decided to just pick the 100 SCY freestyle. If you are getting to the point where your times are starting to plateau a wee bit, you might find this age grading stuff to be a fresh source of motivation.

    A couple different factors seem to clearly correlate with my personal swimming performance. The first one that jumps out is the introduction of the first speed suit, the Speedo Aquablade. My time dropped by a little over 2 seconds from the age of 47 to 48, and my age graded ratings jumped from the mid 80s to the cusp of 90--mainly because the norms were probably based on non-speed suit swimmers (thus giving me an artificial advantage once I started wearing one.)

    With the FS1, my times also improved relative to my age, and I think part of this was the faster suit, but my training--inspired, I am sure, by times I hadn't done since my young youth--also escalated significantly. The first time I cracked the "90" rating barrier was at age 52 in a FS1. The next year, however, I dropped back to an 88.7 rating in the same suit. The difference seems, that year at least, to be explained by a significant drop in yearly mileage--from 364 to 272. Clearly, the suit matters greatly for me, but training apparently makes some difference, too.

    My highest rating of all was a 92.2, achieved last spring at Colony Zones Championships. This was the first meet where I ever wore a B70. The year before, in a FS1, I swam only .04 slower. Was it the faster suit--or the increase in yearly mileage (from 372 to 406) that allowed me to swim a tiny bit faster at age 56 than I had at age 55?

    Soon, it seems fairly certain, speed suits of any sort are going to be outlawed. It is hard to know for sure what effect this is likely to have on my swimming performance, but it would be nice to at least discount the psychological change.

    So far, at age 57, I have swum the 100 at a couple of our local Y meets, and I've worn my B70 while doing so. It's been a bit disappointing for me because even with this advantage, my best 100 this fall/winter season has been a 54.08, albeit in less than ideal swimming conditions.

    Until today's exercise in Big Picture assemblage of personal swimming statistics, I have been dreading to think how truly slow I will become once the suit is outlawed.

    But let's say that I do end up adding roughly 2.5 seconds to my 100 post body suit ban. This is about what I subtracted in my 100 time from age 47 to 48 when the Aquablade was first introduced.

    I would thus be swimming, say, a 56.5 for the 100 free, which seems to me truly awful. But when I plug this number into Chris's age rating calculator, it cranks out an 86.8. This is almost exactly what I was doing, age-graded wise, at 46, before the speed suits were even introduced.

    So it would be just a return to historical norms.

    Perhaps this past decade in swimming performance, not just for me but for all who have "benefited" from suit enhancement of their swimming times, will be viewed by future historians as just another bubble of our bubble-bursting era of excess!

    And in the meantime, I shall set my sights on breaking 56.5 in jammers!
  4. Confidence builder

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 09:33 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Thinking about doing some backstroke events this year. I like the 50 and the 200, but just haven't figured out how to swim the 100 very well. Anyway, decided to borrow a set from Fort to see where I am on my endurance. Pleased I was able to make the intervals. I didn't get much rest, but am just excited I made the times. It makes me feel a little bit better about trying some back events this year.

    Warm-up: 200 alternating 50 free/50 breast; 200 kick with fins alternating 50 kick on back/50 kick on side; 8 x 25 on :40 - odds are free and evens are breast

    Backstroke set:

    1 x 50 @ :45
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    2 x 200 @ 3:00
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 50 @ :45

    100 easy

    Butterfly drills/swim:

    4 x 25 double pull-buoy press drill

    4 x 25 fly swim on 1:00 - emphasize high hips and timing - 1,2 with fins - did between 10 and 11 seconds
    3, 4 - without fins - held between 13 and 14.

    100 easy

    2000 SCY
  5. 1/2: Bike and some body fat stats

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 07:16 PM (Random Nonsense)
    90 minutes stationary bike.

    Patrick and Tim were talking about the Tanita bodyfat scale, so I thought I would share some numbers.

    Date: weight/body fat %
    12/23: 191.6/11.7
    12/26: 193.2/16.2
    1/1 : 192.4/17.0
    1/2 : 194.2/12.9

    In 3 days I lost about 7 pounds of muscle and gained 9 pounds of fat?

    I need more days like the last 24 hours. I gained 9.5 lbs of muscle in one day!

    My Tanita is from 2000, so maybe Tim's is more consistent, or maybe HE is more consistent, but I would guess my bodyfat is around 13-14% right now after holiday gorging.

    My point is that the Tanita probably isn't as accurate and consistent as someone who is interested in tracking body fat would want it to be.
  6. Saturday Jan 2nd 2010

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 07:01 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Saturday Jan 2nd 2010

    recently did my online 2010 USMS Registration
    Don't have a team?
    Register with Longhorn Masters, TXLA

    Subscribe to this Blog

    I'll be in Nashville
    Sat jan 9th - Wed Jan 13th


    Whitney coached
    7:30 to 9:00
    swam with nate beside marcio larry and tyler

    wore briefs

    the board said 50's pick a pace
    30 sec break every 30 minutes

    dove in 3 min late

    30 min of 50's on 40,

    30 sec break,

    30 min of 50s on 37.5,

    30 sec break,

    30 min of 50's on 37.5,

    100 easy

    probably did around 6500

    2010 MEETS:

    January 15 – 18, 2010
    2010 ST TXLA New Years Classic
    Austin, TX

    March 4 - 6, 2010
    Austin Grand Prix
    Austin, TX

    April 9 -11
    2010 South Central Zone Short Course Championships
    The Woodlands, TX

    May 20 - 23, 2010
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Georgia Tech Aquatic Center
    Atlanta, GA
    Order of Events
  7. Sunny swim in a lively pool

    Today when I got to the pool it was really hopping. The kids team was doing an open-water exercise in 3 lanelineless lanes, a visiting college team (from Centenary College in Shreveport, LA) was working out in 4 lanes, and the one remaining LC lane was left open for lap swimmers. It worked out fine—we had 2-4 folks in the open lap lane for most of our workout. As a bonus, the college team had brought extra pace clocks with them, so we could see a clock easily from both ends of the pool. Here’s what I did:

    200 warmup

    2 x (2 x 200 Swim, 2 x 100 Kick, 2 x 200 Swim) [Swims were on 3:30; I did mine a combination of FR/BK and IM]

    10 x 50: 4 @ 1:00, 3 @ 55, 2 @ 50, 1 @ 45 [I did northbound 50s FR, southbound 50s BK]

    8 x 150 FR/ST/FR @ 3:00

    10 x 100: 4@2:00, 3@1:50, 2@1:40, 1@1:30

    200 warmdown

    That put me over 5000 meters for the workout, which is the most yardage (metrage?) I’ve swum in a while. I’m going back for more tomorrow!
  8. If you were kicking...

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 02:58 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    ...and trying to get faster, what set would you do?

    10 x 50 2:00 all out and work the interval down over time (weeks and months).

    10 x 50 at interval = :05 RI

    1 x 500 DPK

    I'm thinking doing all three not necessarily in the same workout is probably good...

    Or maybe a set like:

    1 x 50 2:00 all out
    1 x 50 :05 RI
    1 x 50 EZ
    and do through several times.

    I think I also need to do some 50 & 100 swims with kick focus etc. I like to kick 200 and hammer the last 25 too.
  9. Saturday with the Girls, really challenging

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 01:52 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Today we did a more challenging workout than our usual stroke work since we missed workout due to New Years.

    We let Maddie use fins on the 3x200 to help her keep up with us. McKaylin and Sandra were actually racing me on the fast 200's.

    5x100@1:45 Free
    3x[3x200@3:00 Free w/paddles & bouy Descend 1-3 Round 1 went 2:51, 2:43, 2:38, Round 2 went 2:50, 2:41, 2:36, Round 3 went 2:51, 2:42, 2:31
    ....[8x25@:45 Free kick Round 1 sprint every 3rd, Round 2 sprint every other, Round 3 every 3rd easy
    ....[100@2:00 Free
    ....[2x50@1:00 Free
    500 Free last 200 with parachute

    Total 4000 yards
  10. Swim w/Jimby & Bill, Friday, Jan. 2

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam awith two of my favorite swim buddies today, Jimby and Bill White at the Sewickley Y. We did a "Jimcentric" workout, though nothing was over 150.

    Swim SCY @ Sewickley Y:

    Warm up:

    8 x 100 on 1:30

    I'm not used to a structured warm up, and usually like to just amble along for awhile. I kicked about half of these.

    Aerobic Sets:

    repeat 3 x:

    150 free @ 2:00
    100 free @ 1:20
    50 @ :40
    EZ 50 regroup

    repeat 5 x:

    100 @ 1:30
    2 x 50 @ 45

    On the 100s, I swam IM, back, breast, free and fly. I went a 1:05 on the last 100 fly with fins (I never swim fly w/o fins). I kicked all the 50s.

    Speed Set:

    repeat 2x, all @ 2:00

    #1 = 100 medium easy speed
    #2 = 100 broken at 50 for 5 seconds, come in at same clock time as #1 or faster
    #3 = 100 broken at 50 and 75 for 5 seconds, come in at same clock time as #1 or faster
    #4 = 100 broken at 25, 50, and 75 for 5 seconds, come in at same clock time as #1 or faster

    I made all these, which are essentially descending sets. The first round I did backstroke, starting at 1:12. I finished with a broken :51 on the last one (with fins). I did the second set fly with 7 SDK per 25, except I started off with a medium paced free. I think I did a broken :57 on the last one. Had to do some single arm pulls to avoid whacking Bill (who was also doing fly) and Jimby.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3850


    This was a fun workout, and I was happy to swim after taking yesterday off with driving and a New Years Eve date with old friends. There was a LOT of jawing between sets. We skipped the last set to make it to the steamroom before it closed. I think we have our priorities straight.

    A couple of Sewickley masters showed up mid workout -- one with an underwater camera. So Jimby and I took some "mother & child" Pieta inspired underwater pictures. I wish I had remembered to bring my new underwater camera!

    I would've liked to stay for lunch, but the fam had plans to see all 179 minutes of Avatar. A bit like Pocahontas in space, but the forest imagery was beautiful.

    Another swim is planned for later today.
    Swim Workouts
  11. First swim in 2010

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 10:31 AM (My Passion)
    Went to the MOST practice at 6:00 am at UTSA.

    This is what we did:

    250 warm-up
    200 kick/one-arm fly
    200 free working on 2 beat kick
    8 X 25 stroke count free
    9 X 100 decending free (first 3 on 1:40, second 3 on 1:35, last 3 on 1:30)
    100 free (waiting for others to catch up)
    10 X 25 fly on 55

    Brought runner hubby for his first masters work-out. I had told him that the pool was way too warm (he hates cold water) and that some people we knew would be there, and that hardly anyone comes to Saturday practice.

    Today, the water was cool at first but great after we warmed-up (translation, way too cold for a runner who hates cold water). He knew two of the swimmers as well as the coach, but the other two he wanted to see did not show. There were 12 people at practice today - usually there are 6 to 7. Yeah - he thinks I am a liar .

    At first he said he would not come back, but the more we talk about it, I may be able to get him to swim more(I tell him the conditioning will help his running ).

    The workout was real good for me. The 10 25's of fly was the most full stroke fly I have ever done. I was tired and my shoulders are getting a little stiff now, but I did enjoy it. I felt that was a good way to build up my fly endurance.

    Tomorrow is a running day - I will probably do 6 miles, and next swim is Monday morning.

    Happy swimming
    Swim Workouts
  12. New Year's Traditions

    I ventured into the Gulf today for a (brief) New Year’s swim. The water was in the high 50s, air temp was in the high 40s, and the day was sunny with a brisk North wind. It felt great once I eased myself all the way in, and I swam a bit of free and backstroke in the shallow water near shore. Tomorrow the pool reopens, and I’m looking forward to a nice long course workout.

    Tonight we’re having the traditional southern New Year’s dinner of black-eyed peas, collard greens, and ham. (I refuse to cook hog jowl.) My family insists you should leave one pea on your plate for good luck during the coming year. I told Mr. Addict that sweet iced tea is the traditional accompaniment, but he thinks Pinot Noir is the way to go. We’ll see how that works out.

    Happy New Year to all, and Happy Birthday! (in meters) as well.

    I hope that in 2010 we will all do amazing things, both in the pool and out of it!
  13. Fri Jan 1, 2010

    by , January 1st, 2010 at 05:53 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Friday Jan 1st 2010

    recently did my online 2010 USMS Registration
    Don't have a team?
    Register with Longhorn Masters, TXLA

    Subscribe to this Blog

    I'll be in Nashville
    Sat jan 9th - Wed Jan 13th

    My 2010 Swimming Resolutions are:

    1) Lose 15 or more pounds: weighed 225 on the day I wrote these

    2) Improve my Flutter Kick

    3) Improve my 100 FREE,
    went 48.8 in 2008

    4) Get Stronger


    Whitney coached
    noon to 1:15
    swam with paul and doug
    beside jon, tyler & larry

    put on B70 full thinking it was going to be a fast friday work out

    the board said 100's pick a pace

    I dove in on time and did 100's on 1:15
    after 16 I decided to take off the B70 full & put on B70 legs
    skipped 2 100's then dove in behind doug and ken
    we made it
    did 2 more 100's
    to make up for the ones I missed

    so today's work out was
    16 x 100 on 1:15
    2:30 break
    56 x 100 on 1:15

    2010 MEETS:

    January 15 – 18, 2010
    2010 ST TXLA New Years Classic
    Austin, TX

    March 4 - 6, 2010
    Austin Grand Prix
    Austin, TX

    April 9 -11
    2010 South Central Zone Short Course Championships
    The Woodlands, TX

    May 20 - 23, 2010
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Georgia Tech Aquatic Center
    Atlanta, GA
    Order of Events
    Swim Workouts
  14. Barfing My Way To The New Year :(

    by , January 1st, 2010 at 02:24 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Wednesday late afternoon I started feeling a bit queesy. I skipped Nasti practice and figured rest would help. I could swim New Years eve at Carmel Aquatic Center and do Aquageek's fun looking workout! Well no such luck. I started throwing up around noon and continued till the ball dropped in NYC. I think it's over now and I may try some chicken noodle soup soon. Needless to say I missed swimming "out" and" in" the new year.
    Hopefully tomorrow at this time (unless I relapse) I will be halfway to Tampa driving my daughter Sarah down to get ready to start college 2nd semester.
    I am hoping ta catch a few 5 a.m. practices with the St. Pete Masters. I will try to blog on my crackberry. I am flying back next Sunday.

    In retrospect I have had a good swimming year in 2009. I must admit I have enjoyed blogging/forum activity/ and flogging.
    I reached my swimming goals for 2009 (they really weren't anything spectacular but they were mine).
    1) I reached the 400 mile mark on "Go the Distance" in fact I was a little over I think!
    2) I participated in the Long Course Nationals in Indy! I had a good 1500!
    3) I participated in the 5K open water National Championships in Chicago! I reached my time goal and had a blast!

    Right now I don;t have any specific swimming goals for 2010. I am seriously considering the 10K National Open Water Championship. I'm going to see how the training goes and "go for it" if I think I'm there.

    As a person I am going to work hard to "live in the present" and try to whole-heartedly
    appreciate everything going on around me at that moment. I'm going to try to be a positive force in my classroom, friendships, and life in general. I'm going to try to banish all negative thoughts and self depreciation I may go through.
    I am going to look for solutions and not get caught up in problems no matter how big or small.
    So there you have it. These are big goals but I've always heard "If you shoot for the moon you just might land in the stars!"

  15. 1/1/2010: New Year's Workout

    by , January 1st, 2010 at 02:07 PM (Random Nonsense)
    Lifetime SCM

    - 50 free, 50 kick, 50 back
    - 100 free, 100 kick, 100 back
    - 150 free, 150 kick, 150 back

    1800M took over 40 minutes.

    that hurt.

    What has been going on the last 5 days

    I bruised my ribs falling on the ice 12/27, luckily after getting a good workout in. It is nothing serious, just painful and this morning was the first morning that I was able to get out of bed without forming some complicated plan to prevent crying. Seemed like a good day to test the waters again swimming. Breathing to the side hurt, flip turns hurt, lifting my head up hurt and backstroke pull hurt. I was too dumb/lazy to go back in the locker room and get my snorkel. Tomorrows workout will be a 100% snorkel workout, combo free technique and kick. Another round of 200s was planned, but I was just burning calories, not helping my swimming and certainly not helping my ribs, so cut the workout off at 1800.

    2009 Review

    Discovered USMS forums, made lots of new online friends and not that many online enemies.

    Sprint training helped make my 50 and 100 faster.

    Sprint training didn't help my 200.

    I was probably in the best mid distance shape last year when training with my old team doing abbreviated USAS practices.

    What's Next?

    Between illness, injury and the holidays, I am looking pretty soft right now. I am working on a diet plan to resolve this and will share more when I have details. The goal was to worry about cutting body fat after my target meet, but with my current decrease workouts, now seems like a good time to start.

    Target Meet? I am expecting it to take about 3 weeks before I can workout at 100% in the pool and lift at all because of my ribs. Bruised ribs take a really long time to heal, and 3 weeks would be on the very quick end, but I am hoping that my fall was rather minor so I will be on the quick end. That will put me ready to workout hard right as I need to taper for the USAS champs meet. Right now, I am planning on targeting the USMS meet the last weekend of Feb instead and focusing on the 100 free.

    There is a USAS meet next Sunday that I am entered in the 200 free. If my ribs are good to go, I will swim it without any expectations.

    While my ribs recover, I will add stationary bike and elliptical which I think will be fine. Running hurts more than swimming currently, so that is out.

    The above plans will probably change a lot
  16. Last workout of 2009 in Palo Alto, Ca

    Got to swim lcm at Stanford at noon. Much better than swimming at 5:30am scy inside when it's a balmy 5 degrees outside ... I digress ...

    300 m w/u

    2 x 600 ugh! (300 swim 200 IM 100 kick)

    2 x 100 base + 5 second one faster

    9 x 50 odds cruise base + 15 evens base - 5

    I did a 150 ez at that point but the rest of the set was 9 x 100 cruise

    I want to actually get fit and swim faster this year. I am focusing more on free and less on fly. I am thinking of ignoring the 100 altogether for the scy season at least. Let's see what 2010 has to offer!
  17. 2009 Recap, Friday, Jan 1

    by , January 1st, 2010 at 10:32 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Happy New Year everyone!

    Geek inspired me to do a year in review of swimming 2009.


    1. Jan. Open (USA): Swam the 200 back and 200 IM with the kiddies for the first time as a master.

    2. Auburn Invitational: I tapered for this SCY meet since I wasn't going to Nats. Big breakthrough meet for me with 6 PBs and a 1:01 100 fly.

    3. Albatross meet: Broke 1:11 in the 100 back for the first time in SCM in a close race.

    4. Colonies Zones: Debuted Fortina and fell in love.

    5. Fish Invitational (USA): Swam 200 back in LCM for the first time as a master.

    6. Terrapin Cup: Rested 10 days for this meet, suffered a LZR zipper explosion and missed the backstroke events.

    7. Junior Champs (USA): Swam my annual 100 fly in LCM where I prayed I wouldn't DQ the last 10 yards.

    8. Nationals in Indy: great meet/great time with friends.

    9. Savageman Half Iron Relay: Did my first OW swim. Loved the tri atmosphere.

    10. Fall Ball: Swam a few events including a "100 free" and introduced the newly re-located Jazz to the PV folks.

    11. Sprint Classic: Defended my Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters title.

    12. NE Champs: Great meet w/6 PBs.

    13. Like Geek, 10 billion summer league meets, USA meets, regattas, cross country races, road races, jazz dance recitals, volleyball games, etc.

    The List:

    1. Best Event: 50 back LCM. First AA and giant slaying.

    2. Worst Event: 200 IM

    3. Most Fun Event: 50 backs with Fortina at CZ

    4. Least Fun Event: 100 back at LCM Nats with mega cramps

    5. Most Surprisingly Event: 50 breasts at CZ and NE Champs

    6. Funniest Moments: Stud showing off hot swimmer bod in skimpy British flag brief and squeezing into my B70.

    7. Sweetest Moment: Attending the wedding of two wonderful master swimmer friends

    8. Worst Moment: LZR zipper explosion moments before my heat of the 50 back.

    9. Best Time: Hanging out with a great team and all my friends in Indy.

    10. New Event(s): 200 back SCM, maybe a 200 fly kick

    11. Retired Event(s): 200 IM, maybe the evilstroke events if my beloved suit is banned.

    12. Smartest Move: Blogging! I am very thankful for all the fabulous advice and encouragement I have received.

    New Years Resolutions:

    1. stretch more
    2. improve my fly SDK
    3. go gluten & lactose free
    4. get the potato chip addiction under control
    5. try life as a redhead
    6. discover coping mechanisms to deal with strong willed drama queen teenage daughter who gets her cdriving permit this year.


    Today, I'm journeying to the Sewickly Y to do a Jimcentric workout with Jimby.

    Updated January 1st, 2010 at 09:04 PM by The Fortress

  18. The Swimming Race (January-February 2010)

    by , January 1st, 2010 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks drowning as the second leading cause of accidental death among children. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, approximately six out of 10 African-American and Hispanic/Latino children cannot swim. Children in these groups are about twice as likely to drown as Caucasian children. The rate of youth drowning deaths in ethnically diverse communities is two to three times higher than the national average.

    These grim statistics have fueled swim programs nationwide – programs with the goal of making sure all kids are water-safe. An article in this issue’s Healthy Swimmer brings us up to date on USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash program, which is providing seed money for learn-to-swim programs in underserved areas of the country. Program spokesperson, Olympian Cullen Jones, completed a six-city tour this past summer to promote awareness and kick-start programs.

    Programs and progress are encouraging, but a failure to examine the root causes of problems often creates more problems. The dearth of swimming skills among modern African-Americans has perpetuated a belief that blacks were always poor swimmers, despite evidence to the contrary. Kevin Dawson, assistant professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, contributes some of his research findings in Splashback. Professor Dawson shares accounts of skilled black swimmers dating back to the late 1600s. From the Middle Ages onward, most Europeans did not swim at all. As these Europeans came in contact with Africans, they were amazed at their swimming abilities. So what happened? How did we get to today?

    Some believe that slaves born in the U.S. were not taught to swim because they would use it as a means of escape. This may have been true in isolated cases, but Dawson says what happened during Reconstruction and on through the civil rights movement has had a bigger impact. “Bodies of water that were previously used for recreation by blacks were often repositories for victims of racial violence,” Dawson says. Water became closely associated with terror and violence.

    When people are afraid of water, their children seldom learn to swim. Ergo, many generations of African-Americans did not learn to swim. In 1969, a now widely discredited study titled “The Negro and Learning to Swim: The Buoyancy Problem Related to Reported Biological Difference,” claimed that, due to heavier bones and muscle mass, blacks were not buoyant enough to swim well. Throw segregation into the mix, with little or no access to public pools and beaches, and the lack of pools in ethnically diverse communities, and the cycle continued.

    How does this relate to Masters swimming? USMS is proud to support the USA Swimming Foundation and its efforts to eliminate childhood drowning due to unequal opportunity. The Foundation has a presence in SWIMMER, and many USMS members donate directly. USMS is a supporter of the Foundation’s annual banquet, Golden Goggles. All of us in the swimming community can work together to make sure opportunities to enjoy and be safe in water are available to everyone, regardless of race.

    Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:55 AM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
  19. New Years Swim - long and boring

    by , December 31st, 2009 at 05:44 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was my long and boring swim but it was a challenge non the less.

    50x100@1:40 Free held 1:30's

    Followed up with the following with the kids:
    20x50@1:00 Free Kick w/fins
    10x50@1:00 Fly w/fins
    10x50@1:00 Back w/fins
    10x50@1:00 Free kick w/fins

    Total 7500 yards
  20. Victus in Aughts; Invictus TK!

    by , December 31st, 2009 at 04:57 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    State-dependent memory is a phenomenon that at least partly explains why ones life, when viewed from the perspective of current happiness and triumph, seems to have been always thus; likewise, present suckiness seems to trigger recollections of nothing but former suckiness, thus lending the impression that it's all been a Full Catastrophe from the get-go.

    [ame=""]YouTube- Zorba - "the full catastrophe"[/ame]

    No stranger, me, to state-dependent memory's bamboozling effects in both the up-and-down directions, as well as the full catastrophe's dual nature, for without said catastrophe, would there be any point whatsoever?

    [ame=""]YouTube- Peggy Lee - ♫ Is That All There Is ♫[/ame]

    It is against this waffling backdrop (Life tastes great! Life's less filling! Tastes great! Less filling!) that I momentarily cast aside the feigned cheerfulness of recent vlogs to assess the Aughts.

    My knee jerk analysis here is that the decade between Y2K's unfulfilled promise of global high tech disaster to 2009's unfulfilled swine flu monster plague, and all the pointless if passionate rancor in between, has been the most dispiriting decade in memory.

    I'm not much of a reader of literature myself, but every once in a while, I will read something that strikes me as particularly insightful. The following quote, by Louis Ferdinand Celine, seems to my state-dependent-melancholic side to perfectly sum up the past ten years and the effect this has had on me and all my grubby personal aspirations, career and otherwise:

    “I didn’t understand. I was being hornswoggled by everything and everybody, women, money, and ideas. I was a sucker, and I didn’t like it. I still run into Musyne now and then, every two years or so she crosses my path, as people one has known well tend to. Two years is the time it takes to perceive at one glance, a glance as sure as instinct, the ugliness that can come over a face, even one that was delicious in its day.

    “For a moment you hesitate, then you accept the face as it has become, with its repugnant cumulative disharmony. What can you do but acquiesce in this slow, painstaking caricature which two years have etched, but accept the passage of time, that portrait of ourselves. Then we can say that we’ve really recognized each other (like some foreign banknote that one hesitates to accept at first sight), that we hadn’t taken a wrong turn, that each on his own we’d traveled the right road, the inevitable road to decay, for another two years. That’s all there is to it.”

    But then I ask myself, is such a view of the past ten years really accurate? Or is what is actually hornswaggling me not so much money and ideas and all the other literal and metaphorical Musynes of the world, but rather my own sense of X--whatever X might be, character defect or unreasonable sense of entitlement or some other thing that cries out to be filled, or perhaps more accurately, plugged?

    If forced to make a list of my personal ups and downs of the Aughts, the former would clearly outnumber the latter. In early 2000, for example, I got to go to the jungles of Ecuador and made it out without being speared by the Taigeri; in late 2009 I got to go blindfolded into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area and made it out without being disembowled by wolverines.

    In between, I enjoyed innumerable other little adventures, and if the price for doing so was to have to write, then rewrite, about these experiences, only an utter ingrate would complain too much. I watched my beloved sons grow into young men, and made a number of wonderful friends--many of them among the incredibly likable ranks of USMS. Along these line, I managed, by fluke of the timing of national meets, to place 4th in the World in a couple FINA masters tabulations (twice in LCM and once in SCM).

    Throughout the decade, I suspect I have worried more than perhaps the average fellow that something horrible might happen. But these worries, for the most part--no, for the entire part--have come to naught.

    Into every life, some rain must fall--but realistically looking at things, there was no more rain falling in mine from 2000 to 2009 than in any preceding decade.

    In fact, were my present (and transiently disconcerting, I admit!) circumstances just a wee bit rosier, I dare say it would be easy to sum up the past decade as the best decade in the history of the world.

    Of course, you cannot always be making love to a young Ursula Andress while simultaneously eating a Baby Ruth candy bar and taking a phone call from the National Magazine Awards committee informing you of your lifetime achievement award--or similar set of circumstances that, for me, at least, tends to recallibrate my own state dependent memory in another direction entirely.

    Still, there is no reason besides fear itself to imagine that the coming decade will be anything but a new grand adventure for us all, with worries as always but worries that invariably come to naught--a bit of endurance and ability to cope with a bit of pain, the hallmarks of swimmers, to be sure: best wishes for the teens, or whatever the next decade is likely to be called.

    [ame=""]YouTube- Celebration - Ronald Bell (Greatest Hits)[/ame]