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  1. Swallow

    by , January 7th, 2009 at 12:02 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    There are many fluid media in our world today. Obviously, viewers of this vlog are most interested in the aquatic medium, which is at once natural and foreign to us. We spend the first 40 weeks or so floating about in a sea of our own urine, possibly sporting gills for a short while in the "ontology recapitulates phylogeny" process.

    Fascinating but possibly off the subject explanation:

    [Note to those who took Science for Dummies
    TM in college and somehow escaped learning this magical phrase. What it basically means is that our development in the womb, or ontogeny, repeats, or recapitulates, the evolution of ever more complex life forms, or phylogeny, of earth's animal life. We start off as one-celled organisms, progress into something a bit more like a sponge-like ball of cells, progress even further to the gilled salamander stage, etc. until we come out as humanoids 9 months later.

    If you ever want to make someone think you are either smart or pompous, you can't do better than to memorize "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" and use it at every possible opportunity.]

    Back to fluid media

    Only during this womb submersion in the amniotic brine are we totally at home as sea creatures. Once born, we become largely terrestrial life forms, dependent on air, unable to swim without lessons at the Y that once again recapitulate a certain phylogeny--starfish, guppies, eels, pikes, sharks, dolphins.

    Fascinating but possibly off the subject reverie:

    [More fodder for digression. How many of us did, in point of fact, learn to swim at a Y? I can remember like it was yesterday the half century ago when 6-year-old Jimby took his first breaststroke-like pull in the tiny basement Sewickley YMCA pool, achieved propulsion, and quickly taught my twin brother John how to swim! I don't know what was more satisfying? As the surgeons say, "See one, Do one, Teach one!" To this day, I credit teaching my brother how to swim as one of my signature life achievements.]

    Penultimate desperate attempt to justify today's video:

    We never regain our vestigial gills, alas; never again regain that amphibean-like blind cave frog nature, the blissful subconsious memories of which, I am convinced, are the chief cause for the return to the womb fantasies guys like me chronically suffer.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, I try to return to the womb every chance I get.

    Where was I?

    Wrapping things up quickly here, let me restate today's vlog's central theses:

    1. We are born from tiny seas of our own creation
    2. I taught my brother how to swim
    3. Air is also a fluid medium
    4. Swimmers like to flock together
    5. Please enjoy my twin brother's latest charming and short YouTube film, narrated by the irrepressible Cameron, who students of this vlog will recall pronounced me "Sunk" during my inaugural open water swimming event.
    6. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.


    Updated January 7th, 2009 at 12:08 PM by jim thornton

  2. 4 fast 100's, 4 fast 50's IM Order

    by , January 7th, 2009 at 10:42 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wednesday Jan 7th, 2009

    10 days away
    Saturday January 17 - Monday 19th
    Austin TX
    USS Meet Longhorn Aquatics New Year's Classic
    training on through (no rest)
    #4 Boys 200 IM 2:00.85
    #6 Boys 50 Free 22.58
    #18 Boys 200 Free 1:50.70
    #32 Boys 100 Fly 53.18

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

    will blog todays practice at:
    short cut to Ande's Swimming Blog is
    It's OK to Comment there

    Planned to lift weights today but goofed around on the computer this morning

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center main pool, NO Blocks
    swam with Todd, Brad, beside Tyler Nate, Paul Desiree, Andrew, Mary and Ned
    arrived EARLY
    dove in on time

    Did a lot of SDK today

    warm up
    800 done 75 free 25 foot first scull

    4 rounds of (one each stroke IM order)
    100 kick,
    100 drill
    REST 1 minute (this was the same as a 200 on 4:00)
    100 fast
    fl 58 bk 57 br 71 fr 54

    800 done 50 with 4 breaths / 50 bk / 50 with 2 breaths / 50 scull

    assigned 400 aerobic
    did 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr

    4 x 50 fl on 1:00 desc
    went 26 on #4

    assigned 300 aerobic
    went 3 x 50

    assigned 4 x 50 bk on 1:00 desc
    did: changed into FS PRO Jammers
    50 bk fast
    went 25 on #4

    assigned 200 aerobic
    did 2 x 50

    4 x 50 br on 1:00
    went 31 on #4

    assigned 100 aerobic
    did 50 easy

    2 x 50
    went 23

    50 easy

    remembered what Whitney said said to me yesterday about breath control sets and did them correctly today

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    UT Women trained at 8:00
    Think UT men came in at 8:30

    Updated January 7th, 2009 at 05:49 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  3. Wednesday - 1/7 recovery Day?

    by , January 7th, 2009 at 09:30 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Needed to recover from yesterdays fly workout but was this really recovery?

    4x500 @ :20 Rest Free #1 & 4 Swim, #2 pull, #3 kick
    8x25 @ :45 Fly
    3x100 @ 1:40 Free held 1:32ish
    8x25 @ :45 Back
    3x100 @ 2:00 IM held 1:38ish
    8x25 @ :45 Breast
    6x100 @ 1:30 Free paddles and bouy went 1:24, 1:22, 1:22, 1:21, 1:20, 1:18
    200 EZ

    Total 4000 yards
  4. Fat Man not in the Pool tonight

    by , January 6th, 2009 at 10:23 PM (Fat Man back in the Pool)
    Don't know if we got to breaststroke month or not. I had a Church Vestry meeting to approve the 2009 budget instead. Back in the water on Thursday.
  5. 1400 or was it 1500...

    by , January 6th, 2009 at 04:28 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    I lost count today but I thought I did 1500 although I am only blogging 1400...chlorine saturation...
    Continuing the snorkel, fin and paddle fun as I work on my head position and underwater pull...

    200 swim. Pool was empty so I did a 150 doing 25 in each lane and going under the lines...It was hard work as I had to stay low and get momentum...I then did a 50 to round off.

    6 x 50 swim with snorkel
    12 x 25 K no fins on :45 every 4th sprint--went 30-31's on the sprints.
    3 x 100 K with fins AFAP :20 RI
    50 swim AFAP w/ fins went a :26 from push.
    3 x 50 P fins and paddles
    50 w/Paddles
    50 No gear

    I may have done an extra 100 yards but I can't recall so if you lose didn't happen, right?

    Updated January 6th, 2009 at 05:49 PM by SwimStud

  6. Tuesday, Jan. 6

    by , January 6th, 2009 at 03:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Made it to the pool today. Still a bit tired and sore.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim/kick/drill

    3 x 100 single arm fly @ 1:45

    Main Sets:

    Stole a pace 50s set from Chris, except with more human intervals.

    20 x 50 backstroke:
    (Tried to go 2 seconds faster on each set of 50s. Definitely gasping for breath at the end.)

    4 x 50 @ :50
    1 x 50 easy @ 1:30
    4 x 50 on :55
    1 x 50 easy @ 1:30
    4 x 50 @ 1:00
    1 x 50 easy @ 1:30
    4 x 50 @ 1:10
    1 x 50 easy on 1:30

    100 EZ

    6 x 200 kick @ 3:00 w/MF
    (held a pretty casual 1:10-1:12 pace per 100)

    50 EZ

    10 x 25 UW fly spin drill,
    5 spinning every 2 kicks, 5 spinning every 4 kicks

    100 C/D

    Total: 3700


    Thought on "hypoxic" work: Was discussing SDKs with Jim Thornton and lamenting my seemingly diminished lung capacity of late. The "heyday" of my SDKs seems to have been about 1 and 1/2 years ago or so. At least that's my perception. (Judging from a couple videos, I was a little SDK happy at Austin I guess, but I'm not sure it made me faster.) He suggested that, with the amount of anaerobic work I do, the oxygen receptor nerves/muscles (can't remember exactly -- maybe he'll elaborate) aren't triggered enough. In other words, speed work is contra-indicated if you want to be an SDK ninja. Don't know, but I have done a lot more speed work in the last 1 1/2 years. More likely, the problem is that I dislike doing the hard core CO2 tolerance sets that Chris does. Used to like them more, not sure what happened. They just are harder now.

    Updated January 6th, 2009 at 03:46 PM by The Fortress

  7. 2 sets of 8 x 150's fast on 4 - 8

    by , January 6th, 2009 at 10:43 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tuesday Jan 6th, 2009

    11 days away
    Saturday January 17 - Monday 19th
    USS Meet Longhorn Aquatics New Year's Classic
    training through it (no rest)

    58 days away
    March 5-7, 2009
    USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix
    Meet format: Short Course AM, Long Course PM
    Meet Events: Thursday, Friday, Saturday
    (will rest some for this)

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

    Planned to lift weights today but went to bed at 12:30 last night because I picked up my dau at the airport late last night, her flight was delayed

    How about the Longhorn's down to the wire nail biter Fiesta Bowl victory?

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center main pool, NO Blocks
    swam with Mike Varozza, Andrew, and Russell, beside Larry, Ned Mark, Mary and Doug

    warm up went around 600

    8 x 150 fr on 2:00
    desc 1 - 4 hold 5 - 8
    went around 1:35's

    500 done 100 k 25 fast

    8 x 150 fr on 2:05
    desc 1 - 4 hold 5 - 8
    hurtin on this round skipped a 50 on #6
    went 1:34 on #8

    500 fr take 4 breaths each 25

    4 rounds of
    75 fr on :60 "5 SDKs off each wall"
    50 IM on :50
    25 fr fast no breath on :30

    100 easy

    Whitney said I should to do the breath control sets and it might make a difference

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    UT Men trained this morning, Russell Mark USA Swimming's biomechanics coordinator was on deck.

    UT Women are back from Colorado Springs

    Updated January 6th, 2009 at 06:13 PM by ande

  8. Tuesday 1/6 - A day to FLY

    by , January 6th, 2009 at 07:46 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    The Aquatic Center opened late since someone decided to . After a 10 minute nap in the car I could finally get in.

    10x100 @ 1:40 Free
    20x50 @ 1:00 Fly with fins after 11 I got paged and had to take a call only a delay of 4 minutes
    10x50 @ 1:00 Fly kick on back with fins good ab work
    20x25 @ :45 Fly with paddles wow what a workout
    500 EZ Free

    Total of 3500 Yards
  9. Tired and Tested!

    by , January 5th, 2009 at 10:29 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well had a double of sorts today. I did my normal 1200 yards this morning including some kicking tests to see if I am faster on my 25's...I am!

    25 Y Results 9/21
    Dive from side--No board flutter :26
    Push--w/Board flutter :24
    Dive from side--SDK :24
    Dive from side--Swim :15

    25 Y Results 1/04
    Dive from side--No board flutter :20.32
    Push--w/Board flutter :20.1
    Dive from side--SDK <:21
    Dive from side--Swim :14.5

    I got these from a watch vs the pace clock in September, but even if you give me a margin of error of 2 seconds on the pace clock. I am still faster!

    Workout 1
    4 x 50 W Snorkel
    2 x 50 Snorkel and paddles
    200 above kick testing incl. EZ
    25s swim backs.
    3 x 100 K no fins
    100 K broken and I did a test 50 K w fins went :32
    4 x 50P Snorkel, fins and paddles.
    2 x 50P Snorkel and fin
    1 x 50 Snorkel
    1 x 50 No gear

    Workout 2
    Ladder 100 to 500 to 100 (2500)
    I tried 1:38's but after the 300 I had a wicked headache and had to back down to 140's and eventually about 1:45. I didn't eat properly before and I think it was a factor.
    I finished off with a nice EZ 500:
    3 x 100 with full gear.
    4 x 50 removing the gear by 50's fins, paddles, snorkel. Last 50 "naked" in the David Barra sense of the word!

    Updated January 5th, 2009 at 11:13 PM by SwimStud

  10. Big Day -- NOT

    by , January 5th, 2009 at 01:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Too damn tired to do a thing today!! My upper back is still sore from weights on Saturday and was shocked back to reality with an early wake up ... I'm always a tad gloomy after a holiday/vacation. Getting a deep tissue massage tomorrow -- that should help!

    But I did get my USA Swimming card in the mail today. So I'm set for the Jan. Open.

    Also am sending in my entries for Auburn:


    100 IM
    50 free
    100 back
    50 fly

    (Will scratch either the 50 free or 100 back. Probably the 100 back as there's only one event between that and the 50 fly.)


    100 fly
    50 back
    50 breast
    200 IM

    (Will do either the 50 breast or 200 IM. There's nothing I'm really dying to swim after the 50 back and the 100 free is right after and thus not an option. Guess I could also do a split request in my 200 IM.)

    Updated January 5th, 2009 at 01:41 PM by The Fortress

  11. Sprint Day (Don't laugh at my slow times!);-)

    by , January 5th, 2009 at 12:50 PM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    11:00 to Noon at the Jamerson YMCA (SCY)

    Warm up
    400 free - different breathing pattern every 100 - I cannot breathe to my left very well. I sink after I breathe and I think it's because I lift my head rather than roll on my axis.
    4x25 dps on :35
    4x25 descend on :30 (19high to 17low)

    4x50 on 1:30 - Coach's instructions were to go hard but not sprint and go under :40 for each (I went :38s and :39s)
    100 ez Free

    8x25 on 1:00 sprints - Evens from the blocks. Coach timed the odds from a push(I went 15.1, 15.4, 15,9, 15.4).
    100 ez Free

    10x50 on 1:00 - 25 drill/25 free

    8x3/4 length sprints on :40 (I don't know my times, but I worked turns and streamlines).
    4x25 dps - Decrease # of strokes by 1 each length, except drop by 2 on last (I did 17, 15, 13, and 11 - I've never made 11, maybe my stroke's getting better).

    100 ez warm down

    2050 yards

    Updated January 5th, 2009 at 02:24 PM by Iwannafly (Computer trouble (or was it operator error) and bad memory too and just because I'm obsessive!)

    Swim Workouts
  12. Back in the pool

    by , January 5th, 2009 at 12:01 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Finally!!! Pool reopened for the year today.

    SCY with Carrie
    300 swim, did 200 free, 100 back
    4 x (25 kick/25 drill) IM order no board
    8 x 50 RI :15 Odds IMO as 25 dps/25 build
    Evens free, descend 1-4

    2 x 400 free on 7:00, #1 pull w/buoy only, #2 add paddles. Focus on dps
    4 x 200 free on RI 1:00 count strokes and focus on holding the SC through the set. Also focus on taking 2 dolphin kicks off each wall.
    Cool down
    100 kick w/ board
    100 easy IM

    2700 yards

    Did 40 minute spinning class during my lunch hour

    Updated January 7th, 2009 at 12:12 PM by poolraat

  13. hard 300 free

    by , January 5th, 2009 at 10:19 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Monday Jan 5th, 2009

    my next meet is
    Saturday January 17 - Monday 19th
    USS Meet Longhorn Aquatics New Year's Classic
    12 days away
    plan to train through it (no rest)

    will blog todays practice at:
    the short cut to my blog is
    It's OK to comment there

    Tyler emailed this morning to let me know that the USMS record keeper updated our SCM relay records and my individual records
    I guess it's official now, it's nice when records last longer than 3 hours.

    lifted weights yesterday

    6:30 - 8:00
    Whitney coached
    SCY swim center main pool, NO Blocks
    swam with Todd "the breastroke god" Bartee, Mike, Brandon & Amy beside
    Larry, Nate, Paul and a new swimmer Annie Getter Brown, even Doug returned several lanes over from hernia surgery and about a month off
    dove in around 6:38ish

    200 missed
    100 k missed
    200 started here
    100 k
    100 k

    16 x 25 on :25
    3 fl drill or free
    1 fly fast

    4 x 75 fr on 1:00 desc (moderate interval)
    went 44 on #4

    16 x 25 on :25
    3 bk mod
    1 bk fast

    4 x 150 fr on 2:00 desc (moderate interval)
    went 1:40, 1:38, 1:37, 1:30

    16 x 25 on :25
    3 br drill or free
    1 br fast went 15's & 16's

    4 x 300 fr on 4:00 desc
    went 3:25, 3:18, 3:11,
    took an extra 30 sec rest before #4
    went 3:01

    16 x 25 fr on :25
    3 fr mod
    1 fr fast

    easy 100

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    UT Men were training and Russell Mark USA Swimming's biomechanics coordinator was on deck.

    Updated January 5th, 2009 at 10:44 AM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  14. Monday 1/5 - Making it up as I went

    by , January 5th, 2009 at 07:59 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I had a workout all written up and I left it at home so I put this one together as I went.

    1000 done by 200's swim/pull/swim/kick/swim

    8x25 @ :45 Breast Kick
    8x25 @ :45 Breast
    1 minute rest
    100 Breast for time went 1:41
    500 Free with paddles every 3rd lap Breast

    8x25 @ :45 Back Kick just barely made these
    8x25 @ :45 Back
    1 minute rest
    100 Back for time went 1:32
    500 Free with paddles every 3rd lap Back

    500 Kick with fins alternate 100's fly/free

    Total 3500 yards

    I am not going to worry about the yards only the quality of the workout and the quality of the stroke work this year. I guess you could say quality strokes and kick are my new years resolution for practices.
  15. January 6 is the day

    i sent this out to everyone on my e-mail list last week but thought i would post it here as well.

    thanks everyone for your advise and cover me; i'm going in!

    > its cardiac update time!
    > after a couple of months of tests i think i've finally
    > got a good diagnosis and treatment plan. i can't thank
    > enough all those who have helped me get to this point by
    > sharing their personal experiences with this condition, and
    > negotiating their way around the health care and insurance
    > system; altogether a good argument for full disclosure. a
    > couple of false positive test results sent me a little way
    > down the wrong path including an echo-cardiogram indicating
    > severe pulmonary hypertension and a nuclear stress test
    > indicating a left ventricular ejection fraction of 32%.
    > there is now pretty clear evedence that an ASD is the
    > primary cause of my symptoms.
    > on january 6th i will be heading to n.y. presbetyrian to
    > undergo another cardiac cathether procedure. this one will
    > involve a slightly larger incision in the femorial vein than
    > the last, but recovery is pretty much the same. if my last
    > cath was typical, i anticipate some very colorful brusing of
    > the groin area and might just have a rorschach type of
    > psyco-analysis test prepared. (sign up early to participate)
    > though i will not be going to rochester, the link describes
    > the procedure:
    > best wishes for a peaceful '09
    > david
  16. Part 3. Note--please read Parts 1 and 2 and 3 in order

    by , January 4th, 2009 at 09:04 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    (Note: If you are reading this without first going back in time and reading Part 1 and Part 2, I warn you that today's tripartite swimming video-less vlog dependent on emoticons will make even less sense than it should. --Jimby)

    Alas, the whole thing has left me with an exertional headache and some residual fatigue that keeps me from for joy, or, for that matter, even myself, and certainly not telling myself I am not , though the truth is, I probably could tell myself this, and not even the 's would find fault with my reasoning!

    Anyhow, I had hoped to cap off the night with some butterfly kicking drills, but it looks like that's not in the cards. And so I will probably just head off to before a quick visit to parts of the Internet to help me visualize said kicking drills.

    Your video-less vlogger, signing off. Check back here soon for more .
  17. Part 2. Visualizing My Temporarily Non-Video Swimming Vlog

    by , January 4th, 2009 at 09:00 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    (Sorry for making you read this backwards. --Jimby)

    In any event, I the previous record holder of the 100 I.M. from the #1 spot in our league , which was something of a pyrric victory, because it was --embarrassing for a humble guy like me to to admit--my own record.

    This was followed by a mediocre 50 fly, an okay 25 free --a staple of our league, since we aren't so as to think such a distance is beneath us!

    But then I swam the 400 I.M., setting a new record (not my own!) by 9 seconds, with a rather pathetic 5:11 in the 55-59 age group.

    If I were not a teetotaller, I would have to propose a to my personal best post-diarrhea/nausea/sore throat performance in a pool measuring 18" deep (in the shallow end; I literally scraped my knuckles during warm up!)
  18. Part 1. Visualizing My Temporarily Non-Video Swimming Vlog

    by , January 4th, 2009 at 08:57 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    (Note: Just found out while attempting to preview this that I can only use 10 emoticons at a time, so must divide today's vlog into three mini installments. Sorry for the bother. --Jimby)

    Okay, no footage today, no still photography, no cartoons, no hieroglyphics. I am trying to figure out the cheapest, most portable, best, and least easily stolen & destroyed camcorder to buy, and it is proving surprisingly difficult.

    So, today's vlog will be made up of words and emoticons.

    I swam a meet today after having awakened from uneasy dreams and drunken three mugs of . I should have eaten a because I tend to get foot cramps a lot, especially when the water is and I don't drink enough . I was how I would swim, because for the past four days I had been feeling , laid low by in my inner ear, that caused a certain nausea and need to to the bathroom fairly frequently, plus I had a sore throat. In fact when we arrived at the meet, i actually had to to the bathroom. But maybe this is more than you care to know.
  19. Team Practice, Sunday, Jan. 4

    by , January 4th, 2009 at 12:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Managed to drag myself out of bed in time for team practice. Felt a little tired from the weights/swim from yesterday afternoon. I think it's preferable to have a whole 24 hours in between workouts. Still, got in a decent swim with a little speedwork despite the fatigue and revelry of last night.

    Warm up:

    800 of swim, kick & drills.
    Skipped a 600 or so of pulling while chit chatting.

    Main Sets:

    10 tuck jumps off blocks

    12 x 50 kick @ 1:00
    2 choice, 1 fast free

    10 pike jumps off blocks (this was rather amusing to watch, lol, helps to be an ex gymnast/diver)

    12 x 75 @ 1:15
    25 fast fly, 50 DPS free
    25 fast back, 50 DPS free
    25 fast breast, 50 DPS free
    (I did the DPS 50s all backstroke)

    300 social kick. Must swim in a different lane with someone you don't know that well. I met a new 25 year old on the team who's an evilstroker/IMer and plans to compete in meets.

    15 x 25 with fins @ 40
    4 UW switching lanes, 1 swim
    (this had some real crashing potential!)

    100 C/D

    Did some starts off the blocks

    Total: 3200


    Mr. Fort ran his first 10 mile race in many many years on Saturday. He loved the Garmin Forerunner. Kept him on pace and beeped at him every mile. Since he's only been training for a month or so, he did very well, holding about a 6:55 pace despite some hilly parts.

    Updated January 4th, 2009 at 01:15 PM by The Fortress

  20. Saturday, January 3

    by , January 3rd, 2009 at 05:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    75 minutes at gym doing weights, core, RC and some stretching.

    Hopped in the hot SCM pool for a very short workout:

    Warm up:

    600 swim, kick, builds

    Sprint Set:

    10 x (25 AFAP + 25 easy), no interval

    (Didn't feel so great. Might not have been warmed up enough and the water was way too hot. No matter, needed to do some sprinting. And that was all I had time for anyway!)

    50 EZ

    Kick Set:

    500 dolphin kick on back with MF

    100 EZ

    Total: 1750 meters

    Hit the steam room and neti pot after. This is a bubble pool and, like Wolfy, I always feel congested after swimming in it.

    Hoping to go to my team practice if I can get myself out of bed. I've been up outrageously late lately ... Probably will be again tonight as I'm going to a Twelfth Night party.