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  1. I don't feel like journaling, but it is important...

    My blogging here is a bit of a life line out of my own own head to others. It makes me feel connected and devoted to the water while I am on dry land. It reminds me who I am...part fish part human.
    This morning I am going to the orthopedist and I am dreading it. He is going to move my fins around and ask all sorts of questions. UGH! I don't want to talk about.

    Oh yes, I had a good workout yesterday morning with the masters and will plow through this lull in human lowness till tomorrow's swim.

    Updated March 10th, 2009 at 08:30 AM by flippergirl

  2. Tuesday 3/10 - Steppin UP

    by , March 10th, 2009 at 07:46 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Still felt sluggish and all I wanted to do as I drove to the pool was sleep. Once I fell into the water I woke up and that was all she wrote.

    5x100 @ :10 Rest Free Pull to Kick
    500 Breast kick with fins

    5x3x100 Free had fins on but did not really use them until the last set. That's where I knew I would need them.
    Round #
    1 @ 1:40
    2 @ 1:35
    3 @ 1:30
    4 @ 1:25
    5 @ 1:20

    500 Free every 3rd lap Back
    5x100 @ 1:30 Free with paddles and bouy
    5x100 @ :05 Rest kick with fins #1, 3, 5 Fly on back streamline, #2,4 back kick with shoulder rotation 6 kicks each side
    500 alternate by 100 Free/Back

    Total 4500 yards
  3. Monday March 9, 2009

    300 w/u

    4 x 150
    Odds Fr on 2:15
    Evens Stroke on 2:30

    6 X (50 fast on 1:00, 25 kick fast 1:00, 100 drill r:10, 25 fast on :45)
    Odds - free
    Evens - Fly

    50 ez

    2 x (50 fast with a 6 beat kick; 100 free fast on 1:30, 50 stroke fast on r:20, 25 ez)
    50 ez

    2 x 50 from middle sprint on 1:30
    150 ez

  4. Bob is Back!

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 11:35 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    I just got home from a 4 day hiatus in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida! I had the pleasure of swimming with the St. Pete Master's in their home, the awesome (and outdoor) North Shore Pool Complex. I swam with the"Fine Wines" on Sat., then bumped up a level (I forget the name of that group) on Sunday.

    Workout # 1 Sat.

    1) 4 X 200 (1st 50-kick, 2nd 50 drill, 100 Swim) on 4;00
    2) 10 X 50 Fast Kick on 1:00
    3) 4 X 150 (1st 50 EZ stroke, 100 Free hard) on 3:00
    4) 10 X 50 Dolphin Kick no board on 1:00
    5) 4 X 100 (50 Mod Stroke/50 Free Sprint) 1:00 interval
    6) 8 X 50 Choice on :50
    7) 200 free cooldown
    3,400 SC meters (that was alot of kicking for me!)

    Workout # 2 Sunday (tougher group)
    1) 4 X 200 Free (Kick/Drill/Swim 100) on 3:30
    2) 16 X 50 Fast Kick on :50 (I used fins)
    3) 4 X 150 (100 Free/50 stroke IM roll sprint) on 3:00
    4) 4 X 150 (IM Roll all swim) 3:30
    5) 2 X 150 Free (Kick/drill/swim) 3:15
    6) 100 Free 2:00 int
    7) 100 Free 1:55 int.
    8) 100 free 1:50 int.
    9) 100 Free 1:45 int.
    10) 100 Free 1:40 int.
    11) 4 X 150 (IM Roll)
    12) 400 swim down
    4,400 SC Meters (I hung on as best I could)

    monday-Tired so I took a 50 minute run on the beach walk. It was pretty, I miss running but I'm glad I can go once a week or so.

    This was fun little trip! Other activities included: College visit for sarah-17 yr. old, Britney Spears/Pussycat Dolls Concert in Tampa, daily beach time, shopping, lots of snacks and recreational eating.
  5. Week of (3/9)

    3/9 (Mon.)
    8 x 50's :55
    8 x 50's IM order 1:00 50 drill/50 swim
    100 kick
    100 swim
    1000 yards

    Tuesday 3/10
    200 swim
    200 kick
    3 x 100's 2:00 Drill/Swim (#1 fly, #2 free, #3 breast)
    100 cd
    800 yards

    Updated March 10th, 2009 at 10:29 PM by kellys

    Swim Workouts
  6. High Note On A Down Day--plus a Horror Movie!

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 09:38 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Thanks to the amazing Kristina Ulveling, AKA, CremePuff, who just alerted us FaceBookers that FINA has posted its 2008 Top 10 Masters Tabulations, I discovered that:

    A) Kristina did extremely well here, including some No. 1 in the World performances

    Kristina Ulveling, multiple world champion, resting in between "heats"

    B) Leslie also did extremely well, though not quite as well as the Puffster, but still really good

    The magnificent Leslie; if you squint and hope enough, you can almost convince yourself that is you reflected in her designer sunglasses. Almost!

    C) Soy Jimby also managed to make the Top 10 in the World in 4 separate events, including for the first time in recent memory, one involving non-freestyle.

    This sort of thing does not happen to me every day, so I am taking the liberty of posting my name in the actual tabulations for your perusal and admiration:

    Your vloggist places 6th in the World in the marquee event, the 100 meter freestyle

    He continues ascending the world hierarchy, making it to 5th in the World in the 200 free...then, alas, plateaus with a second 5th in the World in the 400 free...

    And finally, I managed to squeak in--10th place on the Planet known as Earth to you Earthlings--in the 400 IM. For what it's worth, this race was the first time in 3 or 4 years--and I am including practice here, not just meets--that I swam a continuous 100 butterfly...

    After a month of soy ingestion, Jim's resemblance to Ghandi-playing actor, Ben Kingsley, becomes impossible to ignore. Jim, too, tries to use a combination of non violent protest to beat his competitors in the pool.

    How soon will his soy ingestion finally get him the swimming world recognition as Outstanding Shim* Swimmer in the 55-59 age group, not including Laura Vall?

    Only time will tell. But here is a Thornton Brothers film that continues to make my case as one of the world's outstanding old Shims:

    (* Tom Patterson, AKA, tjrpatt, has very kindly explained to me in a previous comment that "Shim" is now the politically correct noun for us She-Males. I am so new to the community that I don't even know when I am accidentally insulting us! Sorry, guyals!)

    [ame=""]YouTube - Soymare on Elm Street[/ame]
  7. Mon Mar 9 run

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 08:54 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Finally got out and went for a run today. Didn't sleep well last night, partly due to some high winds (which blew my back door enough to set off the alarm system around 1AM), and still some lingering cough and stomach issues. My stomach felt in knots before I headed out, but once back I felt much better.

    My run is definitely a bit rusty; I hadn't run for a week, and hadn't worked out since last Wed. Very rare for me to go that long, without being on a major vacation or something.

    According to Nike+ (but it spazzed out and didn't count some)--
    distance: 8.38 miles
    time: 1 hr 21 min 50 sec
    avg pace: 9:45/mile
    calories: 1039

    The distance was more like 9.25; I think it didn't pick up properly after I stopped for a bathroom break or something. So with that in mind, it is slightly better--
    adjusted distance: 9.25 miles
    avg pace: around 8:52/mile
    Was still a bit windy out, felt like I was going right into the wind for quite a while. But I didn't walk at all, kept at least a jog going. Heck if I could have done that for my marathon, I could have cut at least 10 min off my time.

    Hoping to get to swim tomorrow morning, then to my office for a bit, before heading out for a biz trip to New Mexico. I'm planning to swim Wed morning there, but it won't be the end of the world if I don't. I'll take my running gear with me, and hopefully work on a treadmill a bit.

    Weighed in after my run, and actually not too bad. I half thought it would have been much lower, given what my body has gone through lately--
    weight: 165#
    body fat: 13%
    I take the body fat % with a major grain of salt as a realistic factor. But I do look for moves. I have a scale where if you weigh yourself barefoot, it gives you a body fat %.

    Leaning toward not doing the swim meet Sunday, but entries close tonight. Who knows, I may get a last-minute urge to register tonight. Possibly doing a State Swim Meet the weekend of Mar 27-29 (distance stuff Fri night). My next marathon is still scheduled for Steamtown/Scranton, PA in Oct, but looking for a possible before summer kicks in here.
  8. A Sense of Accomplishment

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 08:49 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    As I figured, after yesterday's bike ride, my legs were dead. This time I was o.k. with that fact. Went out for a 4 mile recovery run. Sunny with temps at 80 degrees.

    I chuckled to myself when a man passing me going the other way on the trail said, "Isn't it too hot to be running?" He was walking.

    I responded, "It probably is." He was, of course, right. I giggled, realizing that it is understandable why normal people think exercise nuts like myself are OCD.

    Anyway, went as slow as a snail, taking 41 minutes to run 4 miles. Still, I was o.k. with this, especially since I had no pains while running. I actually felt a sense of accomplishment in getting the task done with dead legs.

    Hit the pool and did a recovery swim. Talked a bunch during my warm-up and went really slow during the workout. My average HR was 119 for the whole workout.

    Here is the workout:

    600 warm-up: 400 Reverse I.M. - one-arm drill on fly; 2 x 100 build free on :30 rest.

    Main set: 4 x 300 easy free (swim perfect stroke) on :30 rest

    Easy 200 kick with fins to loosen up legs (This felt great!)

    Total: 2000 yards

    Thoughts: I am debating doing some kind of race in the next three weeks. I may do something insane like swim the 1000 at the St. Pat's Day meet in Atlanta, or I may do a 5k running race. I'm learning that it is better to compete in something more often than once every few months. Especially as I get older, I'm learning that your body has to be used to reving the engine to get the most out of a meet/race.

    Until my running legs come back, I am going to swim 3 times a week, but I think only one of those times can be hard. The other two times will have to focus on perfect stroke and drills. Same with the biking. I hope to put in 3 bike rides a week, with 2 of them being easy.

    I really would like to be going harder at everything, but as I have learned the hard way, when you are getting started on triathlon training and balancing three different sports, you really have to be careful not to overdo it on the intensity. Once you build a base, you can go to 2 intense/demanding workouts a week in each discipline.

    Hoping this week to add some "easy speed" to my running. Running at speeds of 9 or 10 minute miles is getting a little old. I may try doing an easy warm-up of a 2 miles and then see if I am comfortable running under 8:00 for one mile (I'd warm down at least a mile after doing this one.) If I'm going to do a 5k in 3 weeks, I would like to be able to run it maintaining an 8 minute pace. If I'm not there yet, then will try one in April.

    Updated March 9th, 2009 at 09:00 PM by elise526

  9. 2 Quickies + FINA

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 04:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Two quick workouts today thanks to the fact that our county elementary schools always close early on Monday. Hate that.


    standing lat press, 130 x 2 x 10
    narrow grip seated row, 120 x 2 x 10
    bench press, 80 x 2 x 12
    tricep press, 75 x 2 x 15 (I'm sure the weight was wrong on this cable machine)
    incline crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 25
    quick stretch

    Swim, SCY, Solo:

    750 variety warm up
    4 x 25 build free

    10 x (25 AFAP w/fins + 25 easy) @ 2:00

    200 C/D

    Since I had so little time to swim today, I remembered Rich Abrahams posting that "sometimes it's fine to just step up and do 10 x 25 all out." Ideally, to optimize the speed element, I think these would be done on 3:00 with more recovery swimming in between. I've seen Jonathan Miller recommend that as well.

    Total: 1550

    5 minutes hot tub for hip


    Further thought on weights:

    I re-read the article Hulk posted earlier from on not bulking up. I noticed that there is quite a few caveats in this. Apart from genetic capacity to build muscle (which, like She Puff, I seem to have), to prevent hypertrophy, you've got to watch the calorie intake and keep the volume of sets low. Based on this and my recent fatigue level, I think Q is right that I should do fewer sets in the gym each time. Unclear whether you should always do the same exercise or mix it up ... Also, I think running would help prevent bulk.

    As to the fatigue, however, I've decided I have some low grade bug. I've been slightly nauseous and overly fatigued for about 4 days now. So I don't think it's the training, especially as I cut back last week and took an extra rest day.


    Comic Note:

    On a lighter note, when I complained about my hip issue to Fort Son last night, he said "take an ice bath." He has done this during cross country season. Decided to give it a try. Holy crap!!!!! That is difficult. I couldn't stay in it for 10 minutes at all. I did 2 x 5 min. and was bright red! Still, my hip felt markedly better later in the evening and today. Have a chiro appt. tomorrow.


    FINA Rankings:

    I saw Ian Smith posted the link for 2008 Top Ten FINA Rankings.
    [ame=""]2009 FINA Rankings - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    I did better than 2007, except in the 50 free. I was really pleased as I only did mini-tapers for my SCM swims and was really sick before LC Zones and swam very few events. This year, I'm going to try to taper more for SCM. Times in general seemed much faster this year, although I haven't looked at them very closely yet. Anyway, here's how I did:

    SCM TTs:

    #2 50 back
    #6 100 back
    #3/9 50 fly (my disallowed 29.99/official 30.76)
    #10 100 fly
    #6 100 IM
    #10 50 free

    (First time I've ever made FINA TTs in the 100 IM and 100 fly.

    LCM TTs:

    #3 50 back
    #4 100 back
    #6 50 fly

    Congrats to all forumites making the list and to fellow bloggers Chris, Ande, Patrick, Jimby and Kirk!

    Updated March 9th, 2009 at 06:25 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  10. Mon Mar 9th, 2009

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 03:43 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Mar 9th, 2009

    Fina world rankings are out

    did not swim or lift on Sunday

    right knee hurt a little today
    started on leg press

    Austin Grand Prix RESULTS

    2009 South Central Zone USMS Championships
    Friday March 27 - Sun March 29, 2009
    18 days away

    May 8 - 10
    61 days away

    Program to Count Days

    WEIGHTS (San marcos world gym 7:30 - 8:00)
    bench 10 x 135 5 x 185 6 x 185
    lat pull 8 x 165 5 x 205 5 x 205
    leg press 10 x 180 8 x 270
    lat press 10 x 40 8 x 45,
    BANDS 4 sets of 10 reps with
    2 blue cords & 1 red cord

    noon - 1:15
    Whitney Coached
    scy TSC center course, diving well
    swam with Larry, Max, & Vanessa
    dove in around 12:25

    50 easy

    3 x 100 bk
    1) k
    2) dr
    3) fast went 1:06

    assigned 5 x 150 on 1:45
    did 5 x (2 x 50)

    3 x 100 br
    1) k
    2) dr
    3) fast went 1:11

    assigned 5 x 200
    did 5 x (2 x 50) taking 6 SDKs off each wall

    put on FS pro jammers

    100 free strong from a dive
    2 beat kick
    8 SDKs off each wall
    did 8 8 8 6 (this was difficult)
    went 53.6

    50 easy

    Updated March 11th, 2009 at 11:49 AM by ande

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  11. 3-9-2009 Fast Aerobic Free

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 01:17 PM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    11:00 AM to Noon at the Jamerson YMCA (SCY) coached by the best looking coach I know, my wife!!!

    200 free
    100 catchup free
    100 free
    4x50 - 25 fisted free/25 free on 1:05

    Main Set (twice through):
    2x100 fast on 1:45 - went 1:20 for both on both sets
    4x75 descend on 1:30 - went 1:05, 1:04, 1:03, and 1:00
    2x100 fast on 1:45 - go faster than the first two - went 1:18 for both on the first set, 1:17, 1:18 on the second set
    2x50 fast on 1:00 - went :38, :39 on the first set and :39s on the second set
    4x25 with a big 6 beat kick on :25

    175 free
    3 walk arounds from the blocks - did the first two back and the last fly.

    2650 yards

    I think that taking the weekend off from swimming was just what the doctor ordered. I felt better today than I have in a couple of weeks. There was a time not long ago that swimming a 100 in under 1:20 was pretty much all out for me. I swam the 100s today fast, but controlled and relaxed. That tells me that my stroke is getting more efficient. The fisted frees are getting much easier too and I feel like I am getting a good catch. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Wednesday which is a sprint back/free day!
    Swim Workouts
  12. Monday, 3/9/09

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 12:19 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY with Carrie

    800 swim free
    (I threw in a couple hundreds of back in the 2nd half)
    200 IM kick
    (did fly and back on back w/ no board, used board on the br and fr)
    200 pull no free
    (swam back)

    Main Set
    swim 12x50 on 50: hold 1-6 at the same pace, which should be about 75%; descend 7-9 and 10-12 to about 85%. Don't go all out, but keep it together without hurting yourself.
    (kept 1-6 at 40-41, desc 40-38-36 both times on 7-12)
    100 easy choice

    pull 8x75 (no paddles) on 1:30, same idea as the 50s: 1-4 at smooth pace (about 75%), #5-6 at 80%, and #7-8 at 85%
    (did back, kept 1-4, 5 &7 at 1:05, went under 1:00 for 6 & 8)
    100 easy choice

    swim 8x25 on 30: 1-4 choice, build to fast, swim 5-8 easy
    (did fly/free/fly/free for 1-4, easy free/back for 5-8)
    100 social kick with board

    2900 Yards

    Will do 45 min. spinning class at noon.
  13. Monday 3/9 - No Energy Today

    by , March 9th, 2009 at 07:38 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I guess the time change has effected me more than in the past. I just couldn't get moving at all and this was to be a sprint day. Each of those 100's took alot out of me.

    10x100 @ 1:45 Free
    8x25 @ :45 Free kick every 3rd fast went :28, :26
    100 Free with Fins for time 1:01

    5x100 @ 1:45 Free with paddles and bouy
    8x25 @ :45 Free kick every other fast went :28, :26, :26, :26
    100 Free with Fins for time 1:01

    500 Free with paddles and bouy every 3rd lap back
    8x25 @ :45 Free kick all under :30 held between :28 and :29
    100 Free with Fins for time 1:01

    500 Free every 3rd lap breast
    100 breast kick

    Total 3500 yards now time for
  14. Eureka!

    by , March 8th, 2009 at 06:08 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    A friend of mine recently referred my attention to a study that, albeit based on a relatively small sample size of 16 test subjects, may just explain a portion of what ails me better than many of my own armchair speculations (slow viruses, sickness unto death, dysthymia, weak character, etc.).

    The paper is entitled, Mental fatigue impairs physical performance in humans by Samuele M. Marcora, Walter Staiano, and Victoria Manning

    The citation, for those of you who require such things:

    J Appl Physiol 106: 857-864, 2009

    You can also download a free .pdf, at least if you act quickly, by visiting

    In a nutshell, what these British researcher wanted to see is if being mentally burned out and stressed and used up, a state of mind yours truly suffers almost nonstop of late, might have a measurable impact on purely physical performance, AKA, a bout of endurance exercise (not swimming, alas, but the easier-to-measure-in-a-laboratory-setting "sport" of stationary cycling.

    As the authors explain at one point in their manuscript:

    Mental fatigue is a psychobiological state caused by prolonged periods of demanding cognitive activity. Although the impact of mental fatigue on cognitive and skilled performance is well known, its effect on physical performance has not been thoroughly investigated....

    They go on to acknowledge that the only quasi-scientific info they could find on the subject was the more or less subjective experience of two 19th Century pointy-heads, who, like your narrator, appeared to make their living from thoughtful pontifications:

    To the best of our knowledge, the only published observations date back to 1891 when Angelo Mosso reported in his seminal book on fatigue that muscle endurance was reduced in two fellow professors of physiology after long lectures and oral examinations ...

    Because I do not want to repeat this error in my vlog today, and contribute, via pseudo professorial lecturing, even more mental fatigue to my already depleted state of mind, I shall short-shrift their experiment. Assume all random cross over and assorted other methodological precautions were taken. Then:

    1. they got 16 people to agree to get tested to exhaustion on stationary bikes
    2. before the exercise, the volunteers either underwent a mind-numbing 90 minute computerized test, which demanded vigilance and quick-wittedness; or they watched an emotionally neutral documentary. The computer test left them wrung out, cranially speaking. The movie left them relaxed and rested.
    3. during the subsequent physical test on the exercise bikes, the subjects also underwent a variety to measurements to see if their hearts, lungs, muscles, etc. were altered by either the cognitively challenging or mentally relaxing pre-tests. No physical differences emerged on any measured parameters, from heart rate and oxygen consumption to blood pressure and lactate.
    4. despite absence of any physical differences, the ones who tried to exercise while mentally tired out did much worse endurance-wise, reaching the perceived point of exhaustion 15 percent earlier than when mentally rested.

    Though the study did not identify a mechanism, the good doctors speculate that mental fatigue may affect the brain's "no mas" lobes, priming us to throw in the towel earlier than we otherwise might. Brain fatigue, they speculated, may also depress levels of dopamine, which when available in robust quantities, keep us turbocharged to continue.

    In conclusion, if I am interpreting the findings correctly, the basic maguffin is this:

    • we are designed to stop exercising when we reach the point of perceived exhaustion, i.e., when despite our best intentions, we feel we "just can't go on any further."
    • the conventional wisdom has been that this point is reached primarily when our "physical" resources have been used up--no fuel left in the tank, too much lactate in the blood, we've bumped up against the ceiling of individual VO2 max, the fast and slow twitch muscles can no longer recover sufficiently to contract again, etc.
    • now, however, it looks like prolonged mental challenges beforehand impair our ability to persevere, too, and not in trivial ways. Mental fatigue appears to do this not by sapping physical strength and endurance but rather by lowering our point of perceived exhaustion.

    Maybe my friend Bill was right after all when he observed that my worsening AT times in swim practice these past few months have been more mental than physical.

    THe study might also explain why my sprinting times do not seem to have been ruined nearly as much as my longer distance efforts. Races like the 100 freestyle, for example, are over so relatively quickly that even if I do throw in the towel at an earlier moment of perceived exhaustion, the total amount of race time spent dilly-dallying and wimping out is not enough to altogether ruin my performance. (Take, for example, the 100 free where I perceive exhaustion with 10 yards to go. Even with some slowing down, momentum alone gets me to the final wall. In the 1650, perceived exhaustion still hits me at this point, that is, 90 yards into the race. Alas, momentum alone will NOT get me through the remaining 1560 yards.)

    Perhaps a test for the theory is coming.

    A quick review of upcoming events in my life:

    • Tomorrow, March 9th, meet with new accountant to plan for IRS audit defense
    • Tomorrow, March 9th, turn in my soy story to editor
    • The upcoming week, March 10th-March 17th, most likely learn if I have been nominated for 4th consecutive National Magazine Award, the odds of which are overwhelmingly unlikely
    • The upcoming week, March 10th-March 17th, hear back from my editor about the soy story
    • March 18th, undergo the 4-hour IRS audit, AKA, Inquisition.
    • The rest of the month, March 19th-April 3rd, deal with consequences of all of the above
    • April 1st, find out if my 2-year contract, which expires April 1st, will be renewed
    • April 4th, begin the local AMYMSA regional meet
    • April 24th-26th, if I am not homeless or in a hospital for the criminally bankrupted and driven insane by the IRS, drive down and swim Colony Zones SCY championships

    Depending on how the pre-meet preliminaries turn out, it is possible that my swimming performances--especially in the longer races--could be impacted for the better or for the worse.

    For instance, if the editor hates my soy story, the IRS lady finds fault with my previous returns, I fail to get a nomination, my job contract is not renewed, I lose my house, and am driven insane, I might not swim that well.

    On the other hand, if my soy story is beloved, the IRS determines they owe me money, I not only get nominated once but twice and win for both stories, my job contract is renewed with huge raise, my house is declared a National Historical Treasure by virtue of my occupancy, with all expenses and taxes heretofore to be paid by the National Park Service, and my sanity remains thoroughly within my euphoric control, well then...

    Alas, even I see why this is not to be.


    A video showing my friend and coach Bill White racing another friend Heather Towne Fisher in the 400 IM, with Bill trying to lap Heather, and Heather trying not to be lapped.

    I call this film, The Jaguar and the Wildebeest. Really, no need to watch it. However, at approximately the 1:10-1:15 mark, you can see what the waves are like in an Eastern US podunk 5-lane YMCA pool, and be thankful for the luxurious accommodations where you get to race in your neck of the woods.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Untitled[/ame]
  15. Size vs. Determination

    by , March 8th, 2009 at 06:01 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Between 2 P.M. and 4 P.M. on Sunday afternooon is what I call "Siesta Time in the Rural South." After getting up early on Sunday morning to go to Sunday School, church, and then Sunday dinner with the family, by 2 P.M. many folks have hit the bed or couch for some nap time. Taking a nap Sunday afternoon is very much a part of the culture.

    Thought I would take advantage of Siesta Time and go for a bike ride. Took the no-aero-bars bike out for a steady state ride of 20 miles. What a beautiful day to ride! Sunny with temps in the upper 70s. Saw very little traffic and no dogs. Guess the dogs were taking a siesta with their owners.

    Info about ride:
    Rode solo
    Rolling hills
    Total time: 1:03 (19mph)
    Average HR: 160
    Out-and-back course

    Going out, I had to ride into a headwind, It took me about 34 minutes going out and only 29 only coming back. I do take a few minutes to spin at an easy speed when I start, so that probably accounts for some of the difference coming back.

    Came across the below article last night. I'm sure this is obvious to many, but still interesting to read. I was talking to somebody I know that was big into runnning and they said that the ideal running weight for men was double their inches and for women it was double their inches minus 20 pounds. So, to be at my ideal running weight, I should weigh 118 to 120? If I got that skinny, I would hope my husband would be considering committing me. I wonder how good my 50 fly would be at that weight? Not!

    I'm between 5'9" and 5'10," and the last three years, my weight has generally been between 140 and 150, although it has dropped as low as 134. I did my best triathlon at 140. Any lighter and I seem to lose my biking power. I've noticed that most of the elite female triathletes are around this weight if they are as tall as I.

    Anyway, when I read articles like the one below, it always makes me ask myself why I am bothering to run.

    Bigger Is Better, Except When It’s Not
    Filip Kwiatkowski for The New York Times

    Published: September 27, 2007
    LOOKING back, Dr. Michael Joyner thinks he chose the wrong sport when he became a distance runner. He should have been a swimmer or a rower.
    Skip to next paragraph Tim de Waele/Corbis
    Levi Leipheimer, 5-foot-7, 136-pound cyclist. He was third in this year’s Tour de France and won this year’s United States pro race.

    Enlarge This Image
    Al Bello/Getty Images
    Michael Phelps, 6-foot-4, 195-pound swimmer. Seven gold medals and five world records at this year’s world championships.

    Dr. Joyner, an anesthesiologist and exercise researcher at the Mayo Clinic, was fast — he ran a marathon in 2 hours 25 minutes. But, at 6-foot-5, and 175 pounds at his lightest, he was simply too big to be great.
    It turns out that there are rules governed by physics to explain why the best distance runners look so different from the best swimmers or rowers and why being big is beneficial for some sports and not others.
    That does not mean that parents should push their children into a sport based on their body type, exercise physiologists say. Most people who run or swim or do other sports, even competitively, do it because they love the sport, not because they are aiming for the Olympic Games. Many also choose a sport because they discover they are good at it.
    For example, Dr. Niels H. Secher, an anesthesiologist, exercise researcher and rower at the University of Copenhagen, started rowing when he was 14. He always was big — he weighs 205 pounds — and he immediately loved to row and went with it. “If it works well, you think you are great and you follow up on your success,” he said.
    But understanding why body size matters in certain sports can open your eyes to other possibilities, exercise researchers say.
    “I’ve told people: ‘You’re tall. Why not try swimming?’” Dr. Joyner said. “Anything worth doing is worth doing well and anything worth keeping a score is worth posting a good score.”
    The rules of physics say that distance cycling and distance running are for small people. Rowing and swimming are for people who are big. The physics is so exact that when Dr. Secher tried to predict how fast competitive rowers could go, based only on their sizes and the weights of their boats, he was accurate to within 1 percent.
    At first glance, a big rower (and elite male rowers can weigh as much as 250 pounds) may seem to be at a disadvantage trying to row hard enough to push a boat through the water. But because water buoys the boat, weight becomes less of an issue compared with the enormous benefits of having strong muscles.
    Their bigger muscles allow bigger people to use more oxygen, giving them more power. It’s like having a bigger motor, Dr. Secher said. Bigger muscles, with their larger cross-section, also are stronger. And bigger muscles can store more glycogen, their fuel for short intense spurts.
    The same reasoning explains why elite swimmers are big. Great male swimmers often are 6 feet 4 inches tall, and muscular. And because of the advantage that large muscles give for sprints over short distances, the shorter the distance an athlete must swim, the greater the advantage it is to be big.
    Tall swimmers also have another advantage: because swimmers are horizontal in the water, their long bodies give them an automatic edge. “It’s the difference between long canoes and short canoes,” Dr. Joyner said.
    Distance running is different. Tall people naturally have longer strides, but stride length, it turns out, does not determine speed. Running requires that you lift your body off the ground with each step, propelling yourself forward. The more you weigh, the harder you have to work to lift your body and the slower you will be.
    The best runners are small and light, with slim legs. “If you have large legs, you have to move a big load,” Dr. Secher said. “The smaller you are, the better you are.”
    Of course, there are a few exceptions to the scaling rules. There was the Australian runner Derek Clayton, who weighed 160 pounds and set a world marathon mark in 1969.
    And there is Tom Fleming (my coach) who won the New York City Marathon in 1973 and 1975. He is 6-foot-1, and while he ran his fastest marathon, 2 hours 12 minutes, weighing 159 pounds, he ran the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 14 minutes weighing 179 pounds. “I tell people that’s the fat-man record of Boston,” he said.
    The tallest elite marathoner today, Robert Cheruiyot, is 6-foot-2. But he weighs only 143 pounds. Most elite male marathoners, Dr. Joyner notes, are between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-11 and weigh between 120 and 140 pounds. In distance running, he said, “you just don’t find many big people.”
    The situation is more complicated for triathletes, who must run and cycle and swim. The size that is best for running and cycling is not good for swimming. Yet in general, swimmers have an advantage, Dr. Secher said. It is easier for a great swimmer to learn cycling and running than for a good runner or cyclist to learn to be a good swimmer. Swimming, he says, is so dependent on technique that it is hard to become proficient as an adult.
    The decision for high school coaches, said Hayden Smith, a cross-country coach at Albion College, is whether to say anything when a young teenager seems set on the wrong sport. He said he kept mum when he was coaching in high school. But, he added, the best high school athlete he ever coached initially went out for football. The football coach refused to let him join the team — he would not give the boy the equipment.
    “He told the kid, ‘You’ll be a great runner,’” Mr. Smith recalled.
    The coach was right. The boy started running and ended up one of the top 10 in the nation.
    No one ever told Dr. Joyner not to run. Injuries, though, finally forced him to look for another sport. He chose swimming, knowing that his size would be to his advantage.
    Dr. Joyner got a coach, worked hard on his technique, and recently ranked 15th swimming a mile in a United States Masters swimming championship race (for people over age 25) . He started too late, he said, to know what he might have been as a swimmer.
    But that is O.K., Dr. Joyner said. He loved running. And there is more to performance than simply having the right sort of body for the sport. There is hard work and rigorous training, and, of course, there is motivation.
    “I always remember something the late Bill Bowerman said at a clinic I attended in the late 1970s,” he added, referring to the legendary distance running coach. “Sometimes what matters is not what dog is in the fight but how much fight is in the dog.”
  16. Sunday, Mar. 8

    by , March 8th, 2009 at 05:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Been feeling pretty fatigued from the last couple weeks of workouts. Decided to have an easier weekend. Took yesterday off. Couldn't go to my team practice today, as Mini-Fort was swimming one event at Junior Champs (200 fly, dropped 5 seconds, used my Pro). In fact, I'm worried I won't get to a team practice in awhile as the next 3 weekends are Senior Champs/JOs/Senior Sectionals with a regatta and soccer mixed in. Hmmm... Going to have to beg Mr. Fort to stop traveling so much during the week.

    Spoke with Mini-Fort's coach for quite awhile today. He was grilling me about my Auburn times and training. I told him, as I've told others, that the heavier lifting + the fact that I don't use kick sets as recovery is huge. He is really urging me to swim the 50 free at Sectionals. I hadn't really realized I'd made the QT. (Oddly, I missed in the 100 fly and 100 back, my real strokes.) Think I'll probably pass though, as it's the weekend after Albatross and may conflict with Fort Son's regatta. Plus, my time is not in the SWIMS database, although he seemed untroubled by this fact. lol.

    Anyway, swam at the gym pool today, which happily was a relatively chilly 85 degrees. Just did a recovery workout.


    800 variety warm up

    Recovery Set:

    4 x (10 x 50) @ 1:00

    odds breaststroke pull
    evens single arm fly drill

    odds, 25 belly shooter, 25 easy
    evens, 25 back shooter, 25 easy

    (I couldn't find my nose clip to use on these, and was actually disappointed. May have to order in bulk.)

    all 10: 25 easy speed/DPS fly, 25 easy
    50 easy

    all ten: tempo flutter kick w/board

    100 EZ

    50 fly AFAP w/fins (went 27, felt dreadful)

    150 EZ

    Total: 3150


    Hip is still twingey. It's a 2 step forward/one step back kind of thing. May quit lower body weight work until after the Albatross meet to let it fully recover and then re-start this project slowly and carefully. Very annoying. Will see chiro this week too.


    Last 2 week summary:

    This week:

    swim, 5x, approx 17,200 yards
    weights/core, 3x

    Last week:

    swim, 5x, approx 19,200 yards
    weights/core, 4x
    run, 2x, 10 miles
    spin, 50 minutes

    OK, this confirms I overdid things a bit last week, may have overtrained. Biggest problem with the weights is it makes it really really hard to do lactate work. I feel as though I haven't gotten much in lately. Would like to get in more fast 25s and 50s this week.

    Updated March 8th, 2009 at 05:29 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  17. Austin Grand Prix Day 3

    by , March 8th, 2009 at 12:31 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sat Mar 7th, 2009

    DAY 2 Austin Grand Prix


    Psych Sheet


    wore Blue Seventy

    200 Backstroke
    56 Rasmussen, Ande 45 Longhorn Aquatic went 2:00.31
    30.34 59.73
    30.49 1:30.22
    30.09 2:00.31
    split it well but should have gone out a little harder
    SDKs for each length 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 5
    this summer or next year I'll train to take more SDKs

    got scratched into 2nd alternate but
    didn't get to swim in finals

    100 free
    was around 25 minutes after the 200 bk
    90 Rasmussen, Ande 45 Longhorn Aquatic went 48.92
    went out hard & couldn't hang on
    23.10 25.82
    2.7 sec diff isn't good

    50 free time trial
    wore rocket science suit with sleeves
    didn't really like it
    felt water slip in down my back
    felt like water got in the arms
    tyler said I was 10.4 to my feet
    came home in 11.6
    1.2 diff is not good for a 50
    they need to be under 0.5

    2009 South Central Zone USMS Championships
    Friday March 27 - Sun March 29, 2009
    20 days away

    May 8 - 10
    61 days away

    program to count days

    Updated March 8th, 2009 at 12:38 PM by ande

  18. Elko Triathlon

    by , March 8th, 2009 at 11:20 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    For the past 7 years, the EHS track team kicks off their season with a sprint triathlon. This is a fund raiser for the team as well as a way for the team members to get to know each other better. I have been doing the this as part of a team every year. I swim (of course) and my brother runs and then we find whoever we can to do the bike part. Yesterday was a clear, cold (temps in the low 30's) day with a stiff breeze. Typical for the high desert this time of year (makes me glad I'm a swimmer since the swim is done in the pool). In the adult division, my team of two 50 somethings and a 40 something finished 3rd over all and 2nd in the team division. The team that beat us is 3 kids in their 20's, and the individual ahead of us is in his 30's. And my training buddy won the women's division.

    As far as the swim went, the only ones to finish faster than I were 4 high school kids who also happen to be on swim team. My 16 yo son was the fastest of all.

    Total yards with warmup and cool down was about 1100.

    Updated March 8th, 2009 at 12:26 PM by poolraat

  19. Redemption Run

    by , March 7th, 2009 at 04:46 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Went out with my 10 year old to the wildlife park behind the mall. He rode his bike while I ran 3 miles. Much nicer than running on the road - dirt trails, boardwalk, no cars, no loose dogs, and flat!

    Ran the 3 miles in 26:42 (8:54/mile). Focused on lifting my knees higher and being light on my feet. Average heart rate at 162. No pains to report!

    We fed the ducks afterwards. A beautiful day with temps in the upper 70s!

    Thoughts: Although I would have liked to get in a little bit more running this week, I feel like I had a pretty good week. Next week, I would like to get the running back up to 15 miles per week and get a couple of more times in on the bike. Here are weekly totals:

    Swim: 3 workouts, 9500 yards
    Bike: 1 workout, 1 hour
    Run: 4 workouts, 10.75 miles
    Weights: 2 workouts

    Updated March 7th, 2009 at 06:01 PM by elise526

  20. Saturday 3/7 - Drill Day

    by , March 7th, 2009 at 04:03 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    The pool at the Y was hot and it was relaxing. Sandra and I did a brief warmup and then drill work. I cut the workout short to help test out the timing equipment for an up coming meet they plan to hold. We now know what works and what doesn't.

    5x100 @ 1:45 Free went 1:21, then held 1:25's not normal for me at all
    20x25 @ 1:00 Fly drills
    20x25 @ 1:00 Back drills
    20x25 @ 1:00 Free drills
    4x25 @ 1:00 Breast drills (this is where the interuption came)
    200 Free
    100 back
    100 Breast

    total 2500 yards