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  1. Fast Aerobic Free

    by , January 26th, 2009 at 01:02 PM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    11:00 AM to Noon at the Jamerson YMCA (SCY)

    400 free - every fourth length, one arm free, breathing to non-stroke side
    8x50 free descend by 2s on :55 - I started at :49 and descended to :39 or :38

    2x75 free fast on 1:15/1:30 - went 1:00 for the first and slowed to 1:04 for the second
    4x50 free on :55 - form over speed - I maintained ~:47s or :48s for all the 50s

    2x75 free fast on 1:15/1:30 - went ~1:04 to 1:05
    3x50 free on :55 - same as above

    2x75 free fast on 1:15/1:30 - went ~1:04 to 1:05
    2x50 free on :55 - same as above

    2x75 free fast on 1:15/1:30 - went ~1:04 to 1:05
    1x50 free on :55 - same as above

    4x100 on 1:45 - 50 kick/50 free
    (I did the first two all kick with fins, the third, 50 kick with fins/50 free with fins, but tried not to kick at all, and the fourth, 50 kick with fins/50 free)

    5x25 free drill (partial-full recovery)
    25 free

    2450 yards

    Notes: I’ve got to work more on my kick. My ankles are getting more flexible, but now I get frustrated at how slowly I move when I don’t have fins on and I try to flutter kick. I just have to work on my kicking with the same intensity I have on a long mountain bike climb! It’s just pain and it’s only temporary!

    Updated January 27th, 2009 at 09:35 AM by Iwannafly

    Swim Workouts
  2. Monday 1/26 - One Hour Postal

    by , January 26th, 2009 at 07:23 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Well today was the day to do the 1 hour postal swim. Chlorine level was on the high side and started feeling it getting harder to breath mid way thru the swim but did maintain my attempt at holding my 1:30 pace.

    4000 in 59:48 stopped after that since I didn't want to figure out a partial lap.

    500 kick with fins 100fr/100fl/100fr/100fl/100fr
    500 EZ as 100fr/100bk/100fr/100bk/100fr

    Total 5000 yards

    To my team: this is not the workout tonight.
  3. Rowdy Gaines, Ian Crocker, and Me: Chattings

    by , January 25th, 2009 at 11:35 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    In a very rare, in fact, unheard of double vlog posting in one day, I present to you breaking news from the cutting edge of swimming celebrity journalism!

    I, your humble gossip-mongering Masters swimming vlogger, feel I simply can't sit on this story. It is THAT timely and topical.

    Tonight, while wasting time on Facebook, I noted that two of my "friends" were on at the same time I was. These two friends were:

    Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines

    And Ian "Guitar Neck Penis" Crocker

    What initially caught my eye and inspired me to talk to Ambrose was a product he was apparently hawking:

    Blu Frog Energy (Easy Cash Opportunity)

    Ambrose, AKA, Rowdy, is listed as one of the administers of a marketing site on Facebook set up to sell this stuff. I found this a bit, well, disgusting. So I began the chat and will reproduce it in its entirety for your vicarious reading pleasure:

    Ambrose 'Rowdy' Gaines

    hop on over to the new energy drink, "Blu Frog"! TLC's all new healthy energy drink! 9826. about an hour ago
    10:31pm James how much do you get paid for this?

    10:32pm Ambrose
    hey there, you are paid in commission for every case you sell
    there is a whole set of commission rates

    good luck

    oh i'm not apart of the selling at all. i'm just sharing the opportunity with other people

    okay. well, good luck to them then

    haha. alrighty then

    hahahaha. don't mean to be a hard ass here or a sumbitch. nothing wrong with money

    10:35pmAmbrose haha i gotchya brother...

    10:35pmJames is this the actual ambrose, or is it an ambrose impersonator? part of Ambrose Rowdy Gaines Amalgamated Enterprise LPC INC Holding Co.?

    10:36pmAmbrose i'll let you decide that

    10:36pmJames I think this is a wholely owned subsidiary of Ambrose Inc. Which is still closer to celebrity than I have gotten all day

    10:37pmAmbrose LOL hey i'll be right back

    The real Ambrose should be out with supermodels or practicing his annoucing diction



    Ian Crocker
    is bored out of his mind.7 minutes ago

    Is this the actual Ian Crocker who is bored out of his mind?
    Ian? Mr. Crocker?
    Mr. Ian "Bored out of his mind" Crocker?
    Say, there!
    Mr. Ian Crocker!
    Eee Eee!
    Is this Mr. Chokablock o' Crockadock Eee Crocker?
    Theory: Ian Crocker's people put out on Facebook that Ian Crocker is bored out his mind and within nanoseconds swimming groupies descend upon him and...
    Ian? Ian!
    This is your mother, young man!
    I am over at Jim Thornton's house and--no, it's none of your business what I am doing at Jim Thornton's house at this hour, Ian.
    Ian, you impertinent little...
    Go to your room!
    You come over here, and I will give you something to be bored about.



    10:44pmJames I just attempted a conversation with another, albeit somewhat less famous, swimming legend, Mr. Ian, Bored out of His Mind, Crocker. No progress was made.

    10:45pm James I see that the Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines Incorporated Amalgamation Inc. Off Shore Licensing and Leasing Company is off helping other Facebook friends hop on over to Blu Frog Energy Drink Sales and Riches!

    Later, brother!


    Maybe I am being unfair. Okay, I acknowledge that it is possible I am being unfair. It is now 11:14, almost a full half hour since Ambrose promised to get right back to me.

    I will quickly check Facebook to see what Rowdy and Ambrose have to say. I am sure all is forgiven and forgotten, that we are best buddies again, and that they will probably be asking me for videos of my swimming strokes so that they can provide free pointers.

    Be right back!


    Please join me in boycotting Blu Frog Energy Drink. As for you Ian, I could have saved you, man. It was only boredom. You didn't have to die. If only you'd replied just once so I could have triangulated your location and notified 9 1 1.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Crocker. Where you're going now, I hear boredom is the least of the problems--and all they give you down there to slake your considerable thirst? You guessed it! Blu Frog Energy Drink, the choice of damned swimmers everywhere.

    Updated January 25th, 2009 at 11:47 PM by jim thornton

  4. Sunday, Jan. 25

    by , January 25th, 2009 at 08:50 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Slept through my team practice. I was just out and up too late last night ... Woke up with a sore neck/trap again, this time on the left side. Argh! It felt better after swimming.

    Went with my son to the gym. Took it rather easy, as I've been to the gym a LOT this week. Did about 35-40 minutes, mostly core work. Since I had someone to hold my legs, I also did the Cavic fly exercise on the yoga ball (3 x 25). [ame=""]YouTube - Milorad Cavic - Serbian Silver Medalist trains at The Race Club[/ame] at 5:30 mark.

    Went to the pool in the late afternoon:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main Sets:

    40 x 50, done as:

    8 x 50 backstroke @ :55
    8 x 50 breaststroke kick @ 1:00
    (These sucked! I can't do a breaststroke kick to save my life .... lol .. no excuse either ... strong legs and good knees.)
    8 x 50 back @ 55
    8 x 50 dolphin kick on back w/MF best average @ 1:00 (went 26-27s).
    8 x 50 back @ 1:00 best average w/fins (went 28s)

    100 EZ

    10 x 25, alternate easy speed fly/easy

    50 EZ

    Had to get out then to coach the summer league kids. They were all obsessed with my MF.

    Total: 3100


    Feeling a bit fatigued. Didn't feel up to any AFAP work today, and the pool was pretty crowded. Looking back, I did swim about 19K this week even with a recovery day and an off day. That's quite a bit for me. In general, though, I think the increased aerobic work and perhaps swimming more frequently than pre-Austin has helped my swimming.

    Updated February 10th, 2009 at 10:25 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. post-op post-al

    the hour postal is a very popular event by USMS standards and some of my swim-mates planned to take it head on. a few bailed at the last minute and i too considered joining the ranks of the observers......
    what made me face these 3600 seconds of certain disappointment with abandon? ....can't say for sure.

    the first 500 was smooth, but shortly after, my cap started to catch water and tug on my goggles. my stroke started to shorten and my push-offs also became less dynamic, in part to try to retain said latex cap for the duration of the hour. my hair is long and the thought of doing that dreaded hair flick for every breath was enough to scare me into taking such defensive measures. yes i could have just stopped and fixed it and honestly, i cannot justify not having done so, but then again, i once swam an entire 10k with a leaky left goggle unwilling to take the 10 second rest to reset the silicon gasket resulting in two days of that "i think there is a piece of barley in my eye" feeling.
    another mental distraction (and it occupied my thoughts for over two thousand yards) was trying to remember if the last time i shaved was december 19th or december 20th. i'm still not sure.

    well anyway i logged another 4400 yards on my new septal occulater 19 days post-op. that might be a record (or at least a top 10).

    (i forgot to mention the rib, i'm saving that for the new season of queen for a day i will be going up against jim thornton so stay tuned)
  6. Of Tai Chi swimming and comebacks

    by , January 25th, 2009 at 01:42 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    1.After my recent and seemingly interminable throat-bubo-nausea interlude, I’ve emerged into a more normal state of Jimnitude, which is to say:

    2.To make up for my indolence in the water, I have tried to use last Sunday’s hour swim followed by YMCA masters meet to jump start a return to reasonable monthly yardage. Last year, my Go The Distance miles totaled 43.3 miles for January. This year, I have managed only 25.89 so far, though I have a few more practices remaining in January to try to bridge some of this deficit.

    3.One way I have been trying to up the miles without completely breaking down is to alternate regular practices with relatively slow, easy technique days. For example, on Thursday, I did a very slow 1000 warm-up using my trademarked Tai Chi SwimmingTM technique. At some point, I hope to be offering workshops on this exciting new swimming program. But for those of you who either can’t wait or are still saving up the $1299.99 cost for a half day seminar, I will give you a teaser hint: just swim as slowly as you possibly can without drowning.

    4.After tai-chi-ing for 20 minutes or so, I did 7 sets of 5 x 50 concentrating on different aspects of my freestyle: 1) head down, 2) high elbow catch, 3) six-beat kick, 4) stream lined push off, 5) tight tuck during flip turn, 6) stream lined push off with two tiny SDKs, and finally 7) put all this stuff together. Then I did some trademarked Meditatively Hypoxic Ommm Cool Down 50sTM. Again, I plan on eventually hosting expensive (but worth it!) seminars on this, but for those of you on a swimming budget, the teaser idea here is this: Hold your breath on the first 25 while chanting your personal mantra; open turn, a few restorative cleansing breaths on the wall, streamlined pushoff, followed by a return 25 where you can breathe ad libertum while chanting your other personal mantra.

    • Note: as part of your enrollment in my future seminars, I will provide you with your own unique Meditatively Hypoxic Ommm Cool Down 50sTM MantrasTM, both one for going down during the breath holding portion, and one for coming back during the re-oxygenation ad libertum portion. Until you receive your unique mantras, feel free to use the generic “bearers bonds” and “spirochetes”. Note: do your best not to dwell on the meaning of these mantras, which were chosen purely for the sound the words make in the silent resonating chambers of a swimmer’s skull.

    5.It is now 1:20 p.m.—time to pack up my bolsa—the ultimate in both masters swimming bags and Mexican Mercado shopping containers ( and head down to the Sewickley YMCA ( ) and repeat this same easy practice, only doing it as 25s this time and not 50s.
  7. Saturday 1/24 - A Little broken up

    by , January 24th, 2009 at 05:58 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Well I started with some drill work with the kids, Sandra and McKaylin joined me for some drill work. One of the younger kids then joined us Dale who was actually there to work with one of the other instructors and since his instructor did not show I just filled in for a bit. Then got a good hour in by my self.

    800 as 200 swim/200 pull/200 kick/200 swim
    20x25 as various drills alternating fly and free

    the girls swam with the grudge belt then did some sets next while I worked with Dale.

    5x100 @ 2:00 Free with parachute went 1:45, 1:45, 1:46, 1:50, 1:52
    500 Kick alternate free/fly with fins
    3x200 @ 3:30 Desc 1-3 Free with paddles and bouy went 2:50, 2:45, 2:31
    200 Free EZ with paddles and bouy
    200 Back with paddles and board went 3:30 on this one
    100 Fly drill
    100 Free EZ

    Total 3500 yards

    Updated January 24th, 2009 at 09:24 PM by Donna

  8. Saturday, Jan. 24

    by , January 24th, 2009 at 05:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Realized I'd been in the pool 7 days in a row, so decided to give it a rest. Instead, went to the gym.

    45 minutes of weights, core and RC work
    (even used the pullover machine! did rather more core work today)

    30 minutes on ellipse and bike (machines are soooo dull)

    10 minutes of stretching
    used the foam roller on the quads and IT bands

    Now I'm headed out to dinner and a movie with a friend.


    I figure I've got one more week of hard training, then I have to start thinking about resting for Auburn. Not sure what taper plan to follow (I never am!). Might go back and see what I did before Rutgers and try to replicate that with a bit more rest.

    Updated February 10th, 2009 at 10:25 AM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  9. 1 hour postal swim

    by , January 24th, 2009 at 12:11 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sat Jan 24th 2009

    did the postal hour swim in today's practice

    will blog todays practice at:
    short cut to Ande's Swimming Blog

    NEXT MEET: USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix Austin TX
    March 5 - 7, 2009
    40 days away
    Meet format: Short Course AM, Long Course PM
    Meet Events: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center main pool NO Blocks
    swam beside Larry Amy & Brandon

    wore blue seventy nero comp

    warmed up till 6:52

    we started the one hour swim at 6:55
    tried to stay long smooth and relaxed
    whitney counted
    started out easy didn't want to die
    hoped to keep up with larry
    in the first 1000 I had arm cramps then they went away, I wound up lapping Larry 3 times
    towards the end I felt like I was close to getting calf cramps but I didn't get a full on cramp

    whitney put a kick board in the water after each 1,000

    here's my 500 / 1000 / 1650 splits

    500 5:43.1

    1000 11:23.1 5:40.0

    1500 17:00.2 5:27.1

    1650 18:40.0

    2000 22:33.1 11:10.0 5:32.9

    2500 28:06.5 5:33.4

    3000 33:35.5 11:02.4 5:29.0

    3300 36:54.2 18:14.2

    3500 39:09.1 5:33.6

    4000 44:38.4 11:03.9 5:29.3

    4500 50:12.4 5:33.3

    4950 55:11.1 18:16.9

    5000 55:43.3 11:04.9 5:30.9

    5350 59:36.2

    which is much further than I thought I'd go

    easy 100

    Updated January 24th, 2009 at 12:25 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. Slow Friday

    by , January 24th, 2009 at 10:07 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Just some easy aerobic swimming today.
    SCY with Carrie

    1 x 300 choice

    6 x 50 Drill, RI :10
    6 x 50 Kick, RI :10

    Main Set
    1 x 400 on 6:30 Free/Pull
    2 x 200 on 3:15 Free- Pace (±2:50)
    4 x 100 on 1:45 Free- Pace (±1:22)
    8 x 50 on :55 Free- Pace (±:40)
    8 x 25 on :40 odd: fast, (about 95%)did 2 free, 1 back, 1 fly; evens easy

    1 x 100 easy swim

    2,800 Yards

  11. Friday, Jan. 23

    by , January 23rd, 2009 at 10:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Had a wicked bad case of insomnia last night. Hate when that happens! It seems I can never sleep well when I know I have to get up early. Finally fell asleep around 3:00 am and got up at 6:00 am to take Mr. Fort and Fort girls to the airport. Fortunately, I went home and went back to bed. (Yes, I know this is bad sleep hygiene, but I plan on sleeping in whilst the fam is away!) Unlike Patrick, weights (or exercise even) have no correlation with my ability to fall or stay asleep.


    Went to the gym. Did about 35 minutes of weights and core work. Did different exercises than the day before. Even did a mini bench press with 15 pound free weights, at Stud's suggestion. Didn't tweak anything, so I may persevere on the bench pressing at light weights. I feel a little wimpy about it, as I used to bench press well more than my weight in college. But c'est la vie! Did some leg extensions today too. Need to do these more as they are good for dolphin kicking.

    Later PM:

    Dropped kids off at the movies and went to the gym pool. SCM -- I generally add 10 seconds to my usual intervals. Did a longish (for me) workout since I wasn't rushed.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    5 x 100 single arm fly drill @ 2:00

    Kick Mountain Endurance set:
    (did the climb dolphin kick with board and the descend dolphin kick on my back. all at 20 second RIs)

    50 kick
    100 kick
    150 kick
    200 kick
    200 kick
    150 kick
    100 kick
    50 kick

    Aerobic Sets:
    (modified and shortened a set of Chris's from earlier in the week)

    4 x 100 back @ 1:50
    4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:10
    fast, EZ, fast, EZ
    3 x 100 back @ 2:00
    (5 seconds faster than previous set)
    4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:10
    fast, EZ, fast, EZ
    (was hacking due to poor air quality. bubble pool. had to get out and use my inhaler. put on fins)
    2 x 100 back @ 2:00 (went 1:10s)
    2 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:10, fast, EZ
    1 x 100 EZ
    (meant to do this fast, but was hacking and worried about a full blown asthma attack, so backed off.)

    20 x 25, alternate easy speed fly, easy, working on DPS and staying flat

    100 C/D

    Total: 4300 meters

    Updated February 10th, 2009 at 10:25 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  12. This has been a long week!

    by , January 23rd, 2009 at 07:29 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    When I remember that I was at 2 early start meets last weekend. It's no wonder I am feeling it this evening. That said I got most of my work done today:
    Am Swim:
    500 FR
    4 x 50 K IMO 1:20
    4 x 50 D IMO 1:30
    4 x 50 S IMO 1:00
    6 x 100 FR 1:45 Swam with buddy who took me on a good desc ( I just can't do it alone) think we went sub 1:25's on the lot...maybe down to 1:20 for the last.
    2 x 100 EZ
    3 x 200 3:15 I kicked the last with fins...I'd had it!
    1 x 100 EZ
    8 x 25 :30
    4 x 50 EZ

    Break Swim:
    4 x 50
    12 x 25 K :45 no fins ev 4th fast. I had legs-o-lead today!
    4 x 50 Snorkel; Working catch and arm swing timing.
    4 x 50 Paddles; Working same as above.
    4 x 50 BR Drill; Hip thrust down/ full swim back.
    4 x 50 cool SBR/DAB (submerged BR/Double arm BK)

    Post Work:
    40 minutes elliptical...HR >140.
    4 x 20 crunch machine.
    Oh, and I'm getting a massage tomorrow!

    Updated January 23rd, 2009 at 07:42 PM by SwimStud

  13. Nausea vs. Hope

    by , January 23rd, 2009 at 04:41 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Very short vlog today, with only a tiny bit of swimming relevance.

    As perhaps the most sickly human being in Christendom, I find myself having to tighten my esophageal sphyncter by pure force of will to keep today's foodstuffs--one (1) cold leftover grilled pork chop; the remainder of a carton of cottage cheese; a frozen and semi-thawed Gatorade, red color; and a packet of GU--from making their egress from my stomach in the wrong direction.

    Will this keep me from going to swimming practice?

    No, one thousand million times no!

    I am made of sterner, albeit more nauseated, stuff.

    To bolster my resolve, I will take comfort from the new wind blowing across the fruited plains, which promise to minimize the ruination to come and help us overcome the ruination we have already been subjected too.

    I say, put the scalawags into the debtor's prisons, and let us debtors get to spend our incarcerations in the country club prisons where the CEOs used to go.

    Criss cross, guy! Criss cross!

    With any luck at all, I will be put into a California prison with a swimming pool, where I can represent the prison league in masters competitions with other incacerated but well-meaning debtors nationwide!

    On this note, my twin brother's latest filmic homage to our times: a real charmer featuring young Cameron, the same little vunderkind who appeared in the classic "Sunk" video posted a while ago.


  14. Aerobic Free/Back

    by , January 23rd, 2009 at 12:59 PM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    11:00 AM to Noon at the Downtown YMCA (SCM)

    Twice through -
    150 free
    50 one arm back
    50 one arm free

    Four times through -
    • 2x75 free on 1:25 (went 1:10 on the first (oops) and about 1:15 to 1:16 on the rest)
    • 2x50 back on 1:05 (I barely made these and had to do free/back on one of them)
    • 2x25 free or back kick on :45
    4x100 fr/bk/fr/bk on 2:15 (My backstroke felt very strong on these (to me at least) and I finished them all just under 2:00)

    Warm down
    2x75 on 1:30

    2450 meters

    Notes: My backstroke feels lopsided. I don't roll to my right very well so my left shoulder doesn't get out of the water like I think it should. Despite how the sense of flailing on my backstroke, my coach tells me it's improving and I can make a majority of the intervals assigned. It's just completely fatiguing! I'm slowly getting the hang of it. Now if I just improve faster than SwimStud, I may be able to beat him at something!!!
    Swim Workouts

    by , January 23rd, 2009 at 12:29 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Fri Jan 23rd 2009

    trying to decide whether to do the postal swim or not tomorrow
    That is the work out

    I think the little pain in my left upper shoulder / lower neck is from sleeping, didn't hurt much today

    will blog todays practice at:
    short cut to Ande's Swimming Blog

    NEXT MEET: USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix Austin TX
    March 5 - 7, 2009
    41 days away
    Meet format: Short Course AM, Long Course PM
    Meet Events: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

    5:30 - 7:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center diving well NO Blocks
    swam beside Todd, Tyler, Chris, Doug & Max
    dove in at on time

    1000 done 75 fr 50 IM 75 fr 50 k

    put on FS PRO JAMMERS

    5 x 100 fr on 2:00 best ave
    went 57's & 56

    100 easy on 2:00

    4 x 100 fr on 2:00 best ave drop 1 sec
    went 57's & 56

    100 easy on 2:00

    3 x 100 fr on 2:00 best ave drop 1 sec
    went 55's & 56's

    100 easy on 2:00

    2 x 100 fr on 2:00 best ave
    dove drop 1 sec
    went 55's

    100 easy on 2:00

    100 fr on 2:00
    went 53

    5 x 50 fr on 1:00 best ave
    went 28's & 29's

    50 easy on 1:00

    4 x 50 fr on 1:00 best ave drop 1 sec
    went 28's

    50 easy on 1:00

    3 x 50 fr on 1:00 best ave drop 1 sec
    went 28's

    100 easy on 1:00

    2 x 50 fr on 1:00 best ave
    push drop 1 sec
    went 26's

    50 easy on 1:00

    50 fr on 1:00
    went 23

    50 easy
    Swim Workouts
  16. Friday 1/23 - Sprint Day or was it...

    by , January 23rd, 2009 at 08:02 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was not the workout I had planned but since they had the pool SCY instead of the friday usual LCM I had to pick a different workout.

    I just felt like I couldn't get moving today. Kicking wise I did great, the arms just wouldn't move.

    2x300 @ 5:30 Free
    10x25 @ 1:00 Sprint 4 fly(held 20), 3 back(held 22), 2 breast(held 25), 1 free (16)
    100 @ 3:00 IM for time 1:25
    2x200 @ 4:30 Free 1/2 Pull 1/2 Kick
    8x50 @ 1:15 2 of each stroke
    14x25 @ :45 free kick every 3rd fast went 25, 26, 25, 27
    100 @ 3:00 Free for time 1:15 felt slow
    8x25 @ :45 free kick every other fast went 25, 26, 25, 24
    2x50 @ 1:30 Free for time :36, :35
    4x25 @ :45 free kick fast held 25
    400 free EZ

    Total 3100 yards
  17. Iwannafly in Erlangen

    by , January 22nd, 2009 at 11:23 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Theme: It's a small world after all.

    When I swam last year with Team Pitt Masters in Pittsburgh, I got to know a number of incredibly nice swimmers from not only Western PA but all over the world. Two such fellows are Yiu Law and Bodo Reitz (no relation to Heather, I am pretty sure). Yiu, pronounced "You," is originally from the Far East; Bodo is from Germany.

    Here is a picture of the three of us after practice one winter night as we prepare to go out into the cold:

    Bodo recently moved back to Germany to work for Siemens, I am pretty sure, or some other company that uses extremely smart physicists for medical imaging technology type work. He told us where in Germany he was moving back to, but I don't spreken zee Deutsch all that well myself, and it didn't sound like Munich, Berlin, or Hamburger, so I was pretty sure I wouldn't know where it was even if I could remember it.

    Time moves forward.

    A couple days ago, I got wind through Leslie Livingston that our mutual friend TJ Morton--see picture below with TJ on the right and Aquageek on the left:

    --anyhow, I got wind that TJ, whom I'd met at Colony Zones SCY Championships in years past, was moving to Germany for 2-3 years starting next July.

    As sad as this is for us Americans, I figured the Germans would be very encouraged by TJ's immigration. I decided to email three swimming friends--Bodo, who I knew resides now somewhere in Germany, and Lydia & Craig Holley (alas, no pictures available) who used to work for military intelligence in Germany and swam there on a masters team for a number of years.

    Even as I tip-tapped out my email, I figured the chances were tiny either Bodo or Lydia or Craig would know of swimming possibilities in TJ's future town of Erlangen, which I personally had never heard of and figured it must be some Bavarian backwater where villagers with rakes and torches still hunt wild boars and fear vampires.

    Bracing myself for ridicule--"You know, Jim, Germany is a large country, how are we supposed to know masters swimming teams in--what did you call it? Erlangen!!!"--I nevertheless did what I figured was my duty: connect TJ with a replacement group of like-minded aquatic buddies in the pacified Fatherland.

    Here is what I wrote:


    Dear Bodo, Craig, Lydia, and TJ,

    A quick word of introduction:

    TJ Morton is a great guy I have become friends with at USMS swimming meets in the D.C. area. He is moving to Germany this summer and is trying to figure out the masters opportunities there.

    Bodo, Lydia, and Craig are all swimmers with ties to both the Pittsburgh area and Germany. Bodo just moved back to his native land; Lydia and Craig lived in Germany for many years before relocating here to Sewickley.

    I am not sure exactly where Erlangen is, but if you guys could drop TJ a line and let him know any advice you have for him swimming in Germany, we would both be very grateful.




    Within a couple hours, Bodo wrote us back:


    Hi TJ,

    this is Bodo writing, I just moved from Pittsburgh back to Germany early last year, actually I ended up just in the same area you are heading to - some 12 miles away from the 50 m indoor pool in Erlangen (although I usually go to the pool which is located 1.5 miles away from my apartment).

    So this should already demonstrate that there are plenty of opportunities to get into the water - within city limits of Erlangen there are at least two indoor facilities (open in winter) and several outdoor pools (open in summer) and most villages around have public pools as well. The Roethelheimbad (50 m indoor pool , open the whole year around plus an outdoor facility in the summer) is actually close to the Areva site.

    This is a link, to get a few pictures of the public pools in Erlangen:

    (sorry, only the navigation is available in english, the description itself is still in German)

    There are several swim teams in Erlangen, I don't know them, but I am sure that they have either a masters program or another program you like - I will check the next time I go to the pool (I happen to have training in Erlangen this week) for a list of teams, and whether they have their own web site.

    Feel free to email me any questions you might have about the area, I am happy to try to answer them.




    By the time I found Bodo's letter in my email box, TJ had already replied:


    Thank you Bodo. I am very excited about moving to Europe. As a matter of fact, the ONLY thing holding me here has been my masters swim team and the friends I have made at meets.

    As the time for us to move approaches, I will have more questions. I believe that we will visit in May for one or two weeks to find a place and to see the area. Most of the American AREVA employees that I know of, live in Nurnberg, but we would enjoy living in a small town in the countryside too.

    I look forward to meeting you.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

    T.J. Morton

    Thanks, Bodo.

    TJ, Bodo is an incredibly nice guy. I had no idea that he had moved so close to where you are going, but now you will know a wonderful friend when you and your family are in Germany!

    Small world!

    The next day, Craig responded, too:


    Erlangen is just outside, (north), of most German cities it will have a swim club with a website and contact info. Masters swimming in Germany is everywhere, very well developed, and lots of fun. let me find their website with contact numbers and I'll get back to you.


    their website is,

    their masters group is run by
    Jürgen Thiel, they have contact info etc on the site.


    Thanks again for putting me in touch with Bodo and Craig. I will miss my swim team and meet friends, but I'm sure I'll make new ones. Plus, it's only 2-3 years.
    See ya' Jim,


    Time and again, it truly amazes and inspires me how our goofy sport of plodding back and forth in the water seems to unite and cement friendships in people who would otherwise have a nil probability of ever even seeing, let alone meeting each other.

    TJ, AKA, Iwannafly, please do stay in touch with all of us here on the forums and let us know about your new German swimming friends.



    I actually saw Craig's wife Lydia at the Y pool today. She hadn't seen the emails, but when I explained the situation, she told me she LOVED swimming masters in Germany. "They don't really get into the training so much as over here," she told me. "You might have scheduled practices two times a week. But they REALLY get into the meets. And the food they prepare afterwards is all home-cooked andwonderful."

    Lydia also said that the Germans are extremely fastidious about their suits. The moment they finish a race, they take off a wet suit and put on a dry one. The men, she says, change on the deck! They wrap a modesty towel around their waists, drop the wet suit, then shimmy the dry one up unseen.

    TJ, perhaps you might want to practice this maneuver at home before moving.
    Final notes:

    I was going to go onto Babelfish and translate this whole page into what would surely be unreadable German. But I see that, as always, I have gone on a bit long in my vlog today!!!

    Or as TJ might soon be saying this, Aber ich sehe, dass, als immer, ich auf eine Spitze lang in meinem vlog heute gegangen bin!!!

    So, I shall just end with a few more pix gleaned from the Erlangen masters web site. These evidently show a bracing summer meet in a land thus far untouched by global warming:

  18. Triple, Thursday, Jan. 22

    by , January 22nd, 2009 at 06:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Worked all morning, but had the afternoon clear until 4:30 -- a rarity. Took advantage and did a triple -- run, weights, swim.

    First, went on a 5 mile trail run. I haven't been running since Dec. 25. Very unusual for me, but the cold weather has just turned me off. Today, it broke 40 and was sunny.

    Drove to the Rec Center and lifted weights for 25-30 minutes. (see, Q, ). Intended to go swimming there, but forgot my swimsuit. Argh. Had to drive home to get it and go swimming in the hot gym pool instead. Ripped off and remixed a set that Chris did yesterday.

    SCM, solo:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    10 x 25 UW fly spin drill w/MF

    Main set:

    4 x 100 IM @ 2:10, broken at the 50 for 10 seconds (used this to get the heart rate up)
    4 x 50 back @ 1:10, @ 200 pace
    (went 39ish)
    100 EZ
    2 x 200 dolphin kick @ 4:00 w/board & MF, break at 50 for 10 seconds
    (went 32, 32, 33, 34 on both 200s. these hurt. had to do a 50 EZ after)
    4 x 50 fly @ 1:10, @ 200 pace
    (went 32s with fins)
    100 EZ
    4 x 100 back @ 2:10 w/ fins, broken at the 50 for 10 seconds
    (went 35-36 for first 3 and 34-35 on last one)
    (ran out of time for the last set of 4 x 50s)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3000 meters

    Updated February 10th, 2009 at 10:28 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  19. Short and sweet..

    by , January 22nd, 2009 at 04:10 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Felt tired today. I guess my routine is taking a bit of adjusting too.
    I still managed a nice stretch off 1200 though:

    4 x 50
    200 K
    with board no fins
    4 x 50

    4 x 50 Bk 1:30 went about :50 working form if you've seen my backstroke you know form is a vague description!
    8 x 25 Fr on 1:00 went 12's and 13's took extra :30 on the last and I think went a high 11 or low 12. Either way I think my 50 should be faster than :28.xx
    4 x 50 cool off free... incl 1x 25 of underwater.
  20. 25 SDK FAST went 10.1

    by , January 22nd, 2009 at 01:46 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thu Jan 22nd 2009

    have a little pain in my left upper shoulder / lower neck

    will blog todays practice at:
    short cut to Ande's Swimming Blog

    NEXT MEET: USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix Austin TX
    March 5 - 7, 2009
    42 days away
    Meet format: Short Course AM, Long Course PM
    Meet Events: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center main pool, NO Blocks
    swam with Andrew Todd & Mike
    beside Ned doug tyler Mike Lovato
    dove in at on time

    900 done 150 sw 50 k 100 fist closed

    400 fr 80% went 4:29

    rest 45 sec

    400 fr 80% went 4:26

    rest 45 sec

    400 IM drill

    400 fr 85% went 4:23

    rest 45 sec

    400 fr 85% went 4:21

    rest 45 sec

    assigned 400 done 50 best 50 worst
    did 200 done 50 fr 50 br
    got out put on FS PRO jammer

    400 fr 90% went 4:14

    rest 1:45 sec

    400 fr 90% went 4:14

    rest 45 sec

    400 choice
    chose easy / skipped some

    assigned 8 x 125
    did 8 x (50 fr easy, 50 rest, 25 SDK from a dive fast/easy speed 4 belly 4 back
    held 12's & 13's)

    50 easy

    25 SDK FAST
    roll start
    whitney timed
    went 10.1

    50 easy