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  1. Round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning!

    by , December 22nd, 2008 at 08:00 AM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Yikes it was cold at 4:30 today!
    I gingerly made my way to the pool and got going...the water was warm but I felt cold for a bit due to the weather. The vent was letting air in, and it was so cold out it appeared like there was dry ice machine in the vent!

    Anyway, all FR:
    3 x 100 S
    100 P
    100 K

    2 x 200 S 4:00 desc. by 100
    150 DR, K, S 3:00
    100 AFAP 2:00 (1:10 from push)
    50 Recovery 1:00

    10 x Black Line 50's 1:00 (Star in ctr)

    8 x 25 on :30 Used fins for speed feel

    500 EZ Drill-swim, with fins: worked on catch and rotation.

    300 K w fins 150 FR, 50 FL, 50 FR, 50 FL

    Out, shower, and home through biting cold for a cup of tea! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    Part Deux:
    1 mile run
    45 min weights
    4 supersets of Leg press and toe/calf press
    Leg ext
    Leg Curl
    Lat pulldowns
    Ab Crunches
    Pullovers and done...laid off the chest press for my shoulder's sake.

    Updated December 22nd, 2008 at 10:14 PM by SwimStud

  2. Monday - 12/22 started out great

    by , December 22nd, 2008 at 07:26 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    After a meet this weekend were I just didn't have any energy and it showed, I actually started out with a great strong workout. Had planned to do about 4000 but as things would go I pushed too hard and set my heart rate up too high and just backed off and out.

    10x100 @ 1:40 free holding 1:25's a little on the fast side for me for a warm up
    100 for time 1:11
    10x100 @ 1:45 kick with fins on back alternate fly/free by 100 held 1:25's here too really worked the legs
    5x200 @ 3:00 free with paddles and bouy went 2:39, 2:37, 2:37, 2:35 then set heart too high and just kicked easy on back for last 200

    Total 3100 yards

    Ended it there since the heart rate stayed up too long. Upon leaving the facility my old masters coach and I were talking and I had to catch him twice as he almost fell down the stairs.

    My issues are nutritional I am sure since I got too busy yesterday to eat dinner. Hopefully tomorrow will be better for both of us.
  3. Extremely Unhappy and Disappointed

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 11:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was just informed today that my 50 fly time trial at Zones will not count and will not be recognized by either USMS or FINA. I am very unhappy about this. I have swum the 50 fly in SCM twice this year, at IGLA and Zones. Neither time will count for FINA. My 50 and 100 backstroke times will not be counted by FINA either. So, with respect to FINA, it is as if I never swam my 3 best events. USMS will not recognize the 29.99 I just swam in the 50 fly.

    Here is the sequence of events:

    Background Facts:

    I swam the 50 fly in a time trial at Rutgers. I approached the meet director and referee during the meet and requested a time trial. I had been urged by some knowledgeable masters swimmers to request a time trial. The meet director and referee both granted the request and asked for all my information so that the time would count. They said I could swim the time trial at the end of the meet after the relays.

    When the meet results were initially submitted, my 50 fly time appeared in the USMS event rankings database on Tuesday following the meet. On Wednesday, it disappeared from the database. When this occurred, I sent emails to various people in USMS and on the forum asking what the problem could be. I got a HUGE range of responses, e.g., "time trials definitely count," "time trials should count, there must be some mistake," "time trials don't count," "maybe there's an admin error." I also got myriad possible rules that might govern -- different interpretations from everyone. Nothing consistent at all. No one seemed very sure about the rules.

    I was also concerned, and this concern was shared, that possibly someone had read my blog and complained about the time trial. If this was so, I was inclined to delete my blog. Who would do that to a competitor?! Should I maintain a blog if this were a possibility?

    I canvassed many masters swimmers I knew and found that time trials had been permitted, events had been added to meets that were not on the entry form, meet results had been submitted when the pool was not measured, etc. In other words, times definitely counted when the rules weren't followed. (I would not, however, use any of these as example or precedent since I would not want a fellow masters swimmer's times possibly disallowed. What normal decent person would?)

    LMSC Response:

    I sent an email to the LMSC Chair asking about the issue and asking what had happened to my time. He was very sympathetic and discussed it with the meet director and referee. They all felt the time should count, took a pro-swimmer approach and approved seeking a post-meet sanction/recognition for the time trial. But someone on the NJ LMSC Board did not agree with the LMSC Chair's recommendation, and it was submitted to the USMS Rules Committee for consideration.

    Rules Committee Response:

    I just heard from the Rules Committee (Rules Chair, Kathy Casey) and they will not recognize the time trial. Tellingly, to me, as a lawyer, she "looked through the rule book to see if this could be done" rather than looking to see if anything prohibited it. Not a pro swimmer approach. Moreover, generally, as a legal matter, if something is not prohibited, it is permissible. She cited two rules allegedly governing "trials/finals," Rules 102.10.1A and 102.6. The referee has "discretion" over the running of the meet. However, he/she cannot "change the order of events."

    I don't have my own copy of the rules, and need to print an online copy. However, I'm not sure the analysis is correct. I'm not sure the time trial "changed the order of events" (it was at the end of the meet) and I'm not sure it can really even be considered an "event." It is possibly more analogous to a "heat," which meet officials control. However, it may also not fall into either category.

    In fact, from what I understand, there is no actual rule(s): (1) explicitly governing time trials; (2) mandating that an announcement of a time trial must be made at the meet; or (3) saying that post meet event recognition is impermissible. If true, the time trial need not have been disallowed at all.

    In addition, Ms. Casey stated that the "real problem" was that, if I was doing it for top ten purposes, I could knock someone out of the top ten. Well, this is ridiculous. My prior 30.76 was easily in the USMS top ten. I would have knocked no one out if my 29.99 had counted. So the self-professed is pretty nonsensical.

    I was also told -- and this really takes the cake -- that, according to the skeptical NJ board member who requested the referral to the Rule Committee in the first place (or else it would have been approved), that this was tantamount to a non-USMS swimmer seeking recognition for a time they swam at an non-USMS meet to register for USMS after the fact to have the time "count." What?! A request for event recognition that was approved by the meet director, meet referee and NJ Chair was sent to the Rules Committee on this basis?!

    My situation is in no way comparable. I am a USMS swimmer swimming at a USMS sanctioned meet in a race that was in a legal measured pool, with officials and timers in place, and I was acting in reliance on the meet officials and meet referee. In this situation, I feel it is the meet personnel who should be penalized, not the swimmer. All meet conditions were in place and the supposed "real problem" did not exist.

    I fee that I've been "ruled" against based on non-existent rules. It would have been just as easy, and more logical, to construe the rules in my favor.


    Moreover, I have no idea how this even became an issue in the first place, whether someone protested it and whether that protest was in writing. Here is the protest rule, which was not complied with, as my time disappeared days after the meet:

    "Any other protest arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the alleged infraction took place."


    '"Protests concerning interpretation of the rules...shal be submitted in writing (on paper or in an electronic file) within 10 days to the USMS Rules Committee chair, who shall issue a decision in writing within five days of the date of receipt of such protest, unless the USMS Rules Committee chair notifies the parties that the issue must come before the entire committee. The ruling shall be final and binding on all parties."

    Problems raised by this issue:

    This presents a myriad of problems:

    1. Why are the swimmers penalized instead of the meet officials? Why aren't the rules interpreted in a pro-swimmer manner?

    2. Why is there such inconsistency in treatment? Some times, even recent ones, were not done in accordance with the rules, and yet they count. Meets and meet directors do not follow the same rules; they all run differently. How can this be fixed? Are swimmers really expected to bring their own rule books and lasers to the pool? Why is mine singled out when I was acting in good faith and relying on meet officials? And why can I not learn precisely why there even became a "problem" with my time in the first place and why it disappeared from the event ranking database?

    3. How can times just disappear without swimmers being notified? It's like being DQ'd after the fact and not being told of the DQ. If I can be DQ'd and it's not my fault, I don't want to participate in the first place.

    4. What the heck are the rules anyway? Of the myriad people I consulted, I got many different answers. Only one gave me the answer the Rules Committee ultimately issued. Maybe there should be a "pitfalls" section on meet entry forms? Obviously, most masters swimmers are not aware of the actual rules.

    5. It is troublesome that even the rules enforcers don't know the rules -- even those running Zones Championships meets. How about these people learn the rules? If they don't know the rules, penalize them and not the swimmers. But to throw a legal swim out after the fact? On the other hand, if an explicit "rule" on time trials is not in the rule book, how can they know the rule?

    6. Rules need to be drafted or modified with respect to time trials. Instead of interpreting or stretching existing rules or offering rationalizations or underlying but non-codified "real reasons" (not in the rules) why something "must" be done, spell it out: "time trials will only count in X circumstances." Otherwise, inequities will continue to occur. In general, I think time trials should either count or not, one way or the other. Having them count "sometimes" and "depending" will only create problems.

    I am just disgusted. My 3 best events in SCM will not only not appear in the FINA lists for 2008, they will not appear in the all time top ten list where they belong. It's not that much consolation right now to say, "well, you know what you swam." Yes, I do. But we swimmers swim for time and compete against the clock. We swim at meets, and taper for meets, and prepare for meets, and travel to meets (sometimes at our family's expense), so that our times "count" and so that we can measure ourselves against our competitors in the nation and world wide. To have them thrown out after the fact and without notice, is dismal.

    I have no idea if there is a right of appeal. But I have inquired.

    Updated December 22nd, 2008 at 03:49 PM by The Fortress

  4. Drylands...sorta!

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 07:51 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well due to the storms and other commitments I could not swim this weekend. It's no big deal as it's Christmas soon and to me that means laying about in a semi-drunken stupor and gorging myself on sugary things for at least a week! Anyhow I'll be swimming in the morning.

    My dryland routine was tough however, as I had to go out at least 3 times with the snowblower and clear the drive--especially the "ploughed back in" part at the front!

    Being the good neighbour I also went and cleared my neighbour's driveway as he drives plough's in another town and his wife was I did that 3 times too!

    It was worth it as today we all got to hang out together at a neighbourhood cookie exchange party where my drylands included spiked eggnog, vodka and cranberry juice and some seasonal beers!
  5. Aqua V cap sizing difficulties

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 12:53 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    I am looking into getting a slightly better video system than the kind i have now, which, I must say, works well with Skype but not quite so well with YouTube. In any event, if you can endure a certain dyssynchrony of image and voice, which actually reflects the way I am feeling today with my splitting Nyquil hangover, I invite you to watch today's vlog.

    PS I once read that Mr. Rogers made his show purposely slowed down and laconic because he felt that kids in this hyper stressed world of ours never got a chance to just watch something soothing and langorously monotone and, well, . It is in this spirit that I present today's video.


    PS Word of the Day: laconic. I thought I knew what this word meant, but it turns out I was completely wrong. To wit:

    A "laconic phrase" is a very concise or terse statement, named after Laconia (a.k.a. Lacedaemon [Greek Λακεδαίμων]), a polis of ancient Greece (and region of modern Greece) surrounding the city of Sparta proper. In common usage, Sparta referred both to Lacedaemon and Sparta. ...

    I don't always "fact check" what I write, so please use this as a cautionary example of why you should never take what I recommend seriously without at leave three second opinions from actually knowledgable sources.

    Updated December 29th, 2008 at 11:59 AM by jim thornton

  6. Stroke Day, December 21

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 12:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam with my team this morning. First time in ages as our pool's been close for USS meets most weekends in December.

    Warm up:

    1200 of various swim, kick, pulls, drills, scull was assigned. I did 700.

    Main Set:

    4 x through:

    1 x 200 IM on 3:00
    4 x 50 choice on :50
    4 x 25 AFAP on :30
    #1 fly
    #2 back
    #3 breast
    #4 free
    extra 30 seconds rest

    (I really enjoyed this set. Worked the 200 IMs and 25s. Cruised the 50s doing backstroke with good technique.)

    50 EZ

    Kick Set:

    1 x 300 kick on 5:30
    3 x 100 kick on 1:50
    4 x 24 kick on 1:00 AFAP

    200 C/D

    15 minutes in the hottub trying to ease the calf muscles and yucking with a couple teammates.

    Total: 3650


    The kick set was sort of a waste for me. I was getting calf cramps throughout, and had to skip a couple 50s. On reflection, I think this was partly because the kick set was at the very end of practice. I'm used to doing kick sets after warm up or in the middle of my own practices. My lanemate had the same issues and swam the set instead.

    Was mulling over the "two meet taper" approach. Ande did very well swimming at Ron John and Long Beach just "holding" his speed/taper. Wally Dicks swam at the Dolan meet, and did very well, and then went to a meet last weekend at the Cantonville Y in MD (crap pool) and swam 26.3 in the 50 breast -- a huge PB. He called it his "6 week taper." Sometime I'd like to try this approach and see what happens, although it would be a whole lot of tapering.

    Was sore today from weights. Still wheezing a little. Didn't bother to SDK much at all.
  7. Saturday, December 20

    by , December 20th, 2008 at 03:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    35-40 minutes at the gym doing weights and core (yes, I did weights 3x this week!)

    30 minutes on the ellipse. Had been planning on the treadmill, but wasn't wearing my running shoes.

    5-10 minutes of stretching

    Absolutely no hychondriacal issues to report. Feel great. Having dinner with friends tonight, and going to my team practice tomorrow for the first time in ages.
  8. Polar Bear Preview

    by , December 20th, 2008 at 11:37 AM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Five days before Christmas, and many of us here in the Northeastern United States find our wistful thoughts turning to open water swimming season.

    This begins, of course, with the annual Sea Isle City Polar Bear Swim in February.

    Here is footage from last year's pilgrimage to the frozen Jersey shore, with some bonus scenes towards the end of girl on girl scissoring, a great way to limber up for any kind of swimming performance, I must say.

    Apologies to those of you who have already seen this. I hope soon to be posting new video. For now, I hope this helps inspire my subscribers to sign up for a polar bear dip themselves.

    the PG rated musical version:

    the scrofulous version with girl on girl scissoring bonus scenes:

    Updated December 29th, 2008 at 12:03 PM by jim thornton

  9. Friday, December 19

    by , December 19th, 2008 at 03:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Just got in an hour at the gym today. No cardio. Did weights and core work.

    Saw someone I knew back when I was a shark corporate lawyer and he said, "Wow, what have you been doing? You're so buff." Hmmm .... This only further proves my theory that swimming makes me a tank and that weights definitely make you buff. So Paul Smith and the lovely Laura are dead wrong!

    Decided to sneak into a USS meet (PV January Open) to do my first 200 backstroke where no masters swimmers can hoot and howl and make fun of me. (Of course Mini-Fort and her coaches may have a good yuck, but that's another matter.) No idea what to put down as a seed time, really. But, safe to say, I do not plan on taking it out fast. I thought about swimming the 200 IM on Sunday for one very fleeting moment, but quickly came to my senses and decided to go to my team practice that day instead.
  10. Just spin today

    by , December 19th, 2008 at 02:17 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Went to the gym at 6:00 am for 45 min. spin class followed by about 15 min. of abs work.
    That's it for today.
  11. Friday Dec 19th 2008 FAST FRIDAY

    by , December 19th, 2008 at 09:57 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Friday Dec 19th 2008

    will blog this practice later today at:

    got a mention in Today's Austin American Statesman sports section

    Weighed 214 after practice

    WEIGHTS (may do more later today )
    lat press 8 x 35 8 x 40 8 x 45 8 x 50
    lat pull 8 x 167 5 x 207
    bench press 8 x 135 5 x 185
    leg press 8 x 180 8 x 270

    Today's Practice

    6:00 pm - 8:30
    whitney coached
    swim center SCY diving well
    swam with brandon, brad, larry and ned
    dove in around 6:05

    warm up
    assigned 15 minute swim choice
    did 10 minute swim choice did 50's on 50

    50 drop down set
    start at 60
    1) on 60
    2) on 59 ... keep going till you fail
    made it to 32 (had sore arms & a distaste for anything that resembles distance training)

    100 easy

    20 x 50 on 1:00
    Best average hold 3 seconds faster than what you dropped down to
    held 28's on 1 - 10
    she gave us an extra minute after #10
    I changed into FS PRO legs
    held 27's on the next 10

    easy 200

    5 x 100 on 2:00
    best average
    held 58's
    went 55 or 6 on #5

    100 easy

    Updated December 19th, 2008 at 10:16 AM by ande

  12. Friday - 12/19 legs, legs, legs

    by , December 19th, 2008 at 08:12 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Tried to focus on improving my kicking today rather than just dragging my legs as I normally do.

    10x100 @ 1:45 Free every 3rd IM
    8x50 from a start work the start and breakout then shut it down at the 20 yard mark EZ 30 yards
    8x25 @ 1:00 Back kick arms perpendicular
    500 kick with fins as 200 fly/100 free/200 fly
    5x200 @ 3:30 Free pull with paddles use the kick went 3:00, 2:57, 2:50, 2:47, 2:42
    400 x100 swim/pull/kick/swim

    Total 3500 yards
  13. The calm before the storm...

    by , December 19th, 2008 at 07:53 AM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Yes with the impending "Day After Tomorrow" storm heading in, I got to the pool at 5 am. Much talking on deck delayed the start by 15 minutes but we did a good workout:

    100 to 500 to 100 pyramid, ended up going on 1:40's. I just really start to die and struggle on the back half...I can never descend.

    Followed that with 5 x 200 Max SDK off walls EZ FR on 2:00

    Then did 4 x 100 DAB (double arm back) with fins to cool.

    Got home and had bacon and eggs with a big mug of tea!

    School is cancelled so naturally the kids got up an hour earlier than usual...
  14. The 1200 yards of Christmas...

    by , December 18th, 2008 at 06:07 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well had my normal 1200 yard Drill n stretch this morning.

    Got in and swam easy free and worked DPS. I can get down to 10 or 12 and if I SDK extra I can get to 8.

    Not sure how this works...does it magically work into my regular stroke and mean I become more efficient?

    I then did some BR and worked on my hip thrust and insweep. I am getting 25 done in 5 pulls and I can get to 4 but it's very slow.

    Tossed in a 3 x 100 Kick 75 cruise/25 sprint. My kick has gotten better...thanks Ande!
    Finished with some pulling to work on roation and hand entry.

    Hopefully this will all pay off in my stroke!
  15. Maintenance, Thursday, December 18

    by , December 18th, 2008 at 03:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Arrived at the pool and did not feel any FAF whatsoever. lol Still wheezy. A bit tired too perhaps, haven't had a day off since Zones. But I need my endorphins right now. Decided to do more aerobic/maintenance type work. I may stay on this course, at least with swimming, through the holidays with just a little speed here and there.

    Warm up:

    700 swim, kick, drill

    5 x 100 single arm fly drill on 1:45

    Aerobic Sets:

    4 x 100 dolphin kick on back with MF on 1:30
    3 x 100 IM on 1:45
    2 x 100 backstroke kick on 1:45
    1 x 100 backstroke, somewhat fast
    2 x 100 backstroke kick on 1:45
    3 x 100 IM on 1:45
    4 x 100 dolphin kick with board on 1:45

    50 EZ

    500 fartlek dolphin kick on back with MF

    100 EZ

    Total: 3750
  16. Finally!!

    by , December 18th, 2008 at 12:35 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    I finally managed to get my sorry a** to the pool this morning for a short workout.

    250 free
    250 back
    10 x 50 kick on RI 15, odds flutter w/board, evens flutter on back, no board
    10 x 50 on RI :15 1-5 free, 6-10 back
    10 x 25 as 12.5 fly sprint, 12.5 easy free
    8 x 25 as 12.5 UW SDK, 12.5 easy free
    50 easy free

    2000 meters

    Will do 1 hour yoga class tonight
  17. Thursday 12/18 - too long a week

    by , December 18th, 2008 at 07:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    After starting off Sunday with a 15 hour work day the rest of the week is now dragging by.

    Was really tired today but did try my hand at 2 all out fin swims and was pleasantly surprised.

    1000 broken up by 200's as swim/pull/swim/kick/swim

    100 free with fins for time went 1:03

    8x50 @ :55 1/2 free 1/2 back pull with paddles and bouy
    10x50 @ :55 free swim with paddle on right hand kick 4 times on the paddle hand
    10x50 @ :55 free swim with paddle on left hand kick 4 times on the paddle hand
    500 kick with fins alternate by 100 fly/free

    100 free with fins for time went 1:00

    400 broken up by 100's as swim/pull/kick/swim

    total 3500 yards

    For me the 100's were very good. I will probably try to incorporate more of these into my workouts in the future. This is to get the feel of going faster. Goal is to break 1:00 in the 100 Free this year.
  18. Triple Psycho!

    by , December 17th, 2008 at 11:37 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Swim, Run and Lift--12/17/08
    No this isn't some sort of advert for a sports bra it's what I did today!

    Yes the am 1200 of drill and focus on FLY...the water aerobics girls moved away from the lane lines...

    Well then after my shift I took off for a 1 miler indoors...I hate running so don't rag me and tell me to run more... YOU run more

    I then lifted for an hour 4 sets of leg press, leg ext, leg curl, adductor/abductor, pullovers, seated row, bench press and ab curl...
    I hit the sauna for 10 and then went to coach the kids...
    I felt a bit thirsty...
  19. Macho Week- to 12/17

    by , December 17th, 2008 at 11:32 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    IM alright are you?
    Well so far every morning on my break this week I've done at least 1200 of drills and tech work; mostly on Fly as my shoulder needs me to find the fault and fix it.
    Got a good workout in last night at master's practice which consisted of me and my Speedo..but I got to say hi to some of the college kids who I swam with in the summer as they are home for Xmas.

    600 Fr/Non-FR by 100 I did mine BACKSTROKE...that's right Backstroke, Chris Stevenson, I've got you in my sights!
    100 IM
    150 RIMO 25 Fly, 50 BK, 50 BR, 25 FR
    100 EZ
    6 x 50 IM transition.
    200 IM
    100 EZ
    5 x 100 FR 2:00 , 100 IM 2:30 (Interval could have been tighter but I'm working on quality too).
    450 Cool off.

    Slept well!
  20. It's not about how fast you swim...

    by , December 17th, 2008 at 11:23 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Jersey Gunk--Early December
    Well swam at Colony Zones and had a decent meet since I was battling a cold or something.
    Had some fair results I guess abit off my best but considered my head wasn't in the game I was fairly happy. I made improvements over last year still so some of my LCM gains have remained.

    I got back in the water late last week doing a few 1200 yard drill/kick workouts.
    Took until Sunday 14th to get a real workout in and I stole Fort's which she stole from Chris but I used human intervals for the kicking but I did it all and felt pretty manly considering I'd been ill.
    Warm up:

    750 variety warm up of swim, kick, drills, builds

    Speed Set:

    8 x 25 AFAP,
    2 of each stroke, 25 easy after each

    50 EZ

    Endurance Kick Set: Kick Mountain
    50 kick on :45
    100 kick on 1:40
    150 kick on 2:30
    200 kick on 3:00
    150 kick on 2:30
    100 kick on 1:40
    50 kick on :45

    100 EZ
    Speed Set #2:
    5 x (3 x 50) on 1:00
    #1 easy
    #2 drill
    #3 fast,
    100 EZ

    500 dolphin kick on back with MF 100 EZ

    Total: 3550