View RSS Feed

All Blog Entries

  1. Thursday 3/5 - A sluggish start for a pace day

    by , March 5th, 2009 at 08:46 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    As normal I had a sluggish start and could not even make the first 2 on the interval for the 1st set, but knowing I tend to get faster I stayed on the interval and caught up by number 3. Here is how it went.

    I can tell I did alot of quality kicking when my legs start to itch alot. I guess getting the blood moving does it.

    10x100 @ 2:00 Free 1/2 pull 1/2 kick (did not make 1st 2)

    500 Fly kick with fins streamline (my abs are killing me)
    500 Free kick with fins at a strong pace

    10x100 @ 1:30 Free paddles and bouy went 1:22, 1:22, 1:23, 1:23, 1:22, 1:22, 1:20, 1:19, 1:18, 1:18

    10x50 @ :55 Free using a 6 beat kick (remember I am a non kicker most of the time that is the reason for all this kicking)
    500 Free Drill by 100 catch up, fists, fingertip drag, 6 kicks each side, alternate breathing EZ

    100 Breast kick
    100 Free kick

    Total 4200 yards
  2. Deliverance

    by , March 5th, 2009 at 03:10 AM (Chicken's Nuggets)
    February 7th dawned bright and sunny in Austin, Tx. This was to be the day I'd attempt a polar bear swim in the frigid waters of Lake Austin in my seemingly endless quest to acclimatize myself to the cold.

    Several hours later I actually woke up and my friend LeighAnn and I headed to the Low Water crossing under Mansfield damn to meet my new swim buddy Lynne.

    Steep, rocky bluffs on either side of the lake made for quite a stunning setting. Mansfield Dam loomed overhead, a concrete colossus. The drought in Texas made it unlikely that the floodgates would be opened, but I was still a little apprehensive about the possibility of being swept away in a torrent of icy water.

    Having been assured that an alarm sounds prior to any such release, I waded in a few feet to dangle my trusty thermometer in the lake. 53 degrees. Hmmmm. Lynne's thermometer read 51 degrees. A scary prospect in either case!

    Procrastination is my middle name, and I lived up to my moniker like a champion!! Eventually Lynne asked if it would help to do a countdown in the hopes of getting me in the water. The thought of her counting to several thousand while standing hip deep in freezing water seemed downright cruel, so I took the plunge.

    In the words of the most annoying person on the planet --- BAM!!!!!!!

    How did that elephant get on my chest!? Get it off, I can't breathe! My skin stung all over. Head up breaststroke for a few minutes relaxed me enough to breathe and eventually put my head in and swim freestyle.

    There was a large bloom of duckweed to swim over before reaching the clearer water. I believe Michael Phelps swears by it and I plan to harvest some and dry it out for personal use next time I visit.

    Once the initial shock wore off, I began to feel quite good. A couple of hundred yards along I took the time to admire the houses perched on the bluffs. Very nice! I was very excited and did more talking than swimming, which was probably a big mistake. At one point we discussed when to turn around and decided on a jetty that was a little way ahead. I thought it best to warn Lynne that when I turn hypothermic, the symptoms come on very quickly indeed.

    We turned around and headed back. BAM! In the space of a few minutes I went from feeling fine to shivering, losing my stroke, and hyperventilating.

    Weirdly panicked, I announced that I was getting out right there and then!!!

    After wresting with another bloom of duckweed, we landed on the shore in amongst a group of nice lakefront houses.

    It's probably not everyday that two women in full swimming regalia (one hyperventilating) approach your house out of nowhere to ask for directions but our rescuer dealt with the situation very calmly. He didn't even shoot us.

    I wish I could say our saviour was a squinty eyed toothless wretch sitting on the porch playing Dueling Banjos but I think that's a different part of the country. Instead, we'd happened upon a very nice young man loading up a truck. We explained that we'd been swimming and decided to get out. He politely asked "how'd that work for you?", and offered to drive us back to our cars. His wife brought us towels.

    Imagine my friend LeighAnn's surprise when we were delivered back to her via a truck!

    After thanking our deliverer profusely, I wrapped up in fleece and had some hot soup from my dear friend Stanley (my thermos).

    Time in water - 25 minutes. Temperature - 51 ish.

    (I've got lots of pictures currently imprisoned in my recently deceased laptop. Hopefully I'll release them soon)
  3. Alternative You's

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 11:40 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Did you ever wonder what else you could have been had you taken other paths in life, made different choices here and there, pursued other career avenues, taken more or less or different risks, found refuge in a different set of arms, become a runner instead of a swimmer, etc.?

    As an identical twin, I have the ability to glimpse answers to such wonderings via the miracle of nature that is human cloning.

    To be sure, researchers now know that a variety of transcription factors can turn various genes on and off in complex ways mediated by the environment, so that identical twins slowly become less alike over the decades. Still, we started off with identical DNA, and even though it is likely that we are not currently expressing exactly the same complement of genes, we do represent something of a living laboratory for the study of a single organism taking two different paths in life.

    Those who know John and me also know that it is John who has blundered onto the better road, the high road, if you will, while I have meandered along the potholed low road, stumble-bumbling my way along, havoc and disharmony in my wake, like a comet's polluted tail, or, less grandiosely, the flatulent clouds that follow a nervous steer down the chutes of the abattoir.

    In tonight's vlog, I present my twin brother John's recent film wherein he reimagines a myriad of even more alternative routes he himself (and by extension, me, his trollish clone!) might have taken had we been born at different points in the history of art.

    John, as I think I may have posted somewhere earlier in the vloggish memoir, was a swimmer at one point in his life, a member of the Junior Varsity at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where his greatest athetic achievement was not so much as a swimmer but as the inventor of the game John Ball.

    Mitch Kupchack was one of many members of the Tarheels bball team to play John Ball, which involved a hand ball, the elevator banks at Granville Towers which housed the basketball team, and horrified co-eds, before the game was permanently banned from campus.

    Still, John's swimming accomplishments are no small matter. He still holds Thornton family records in the 100 freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly.

    That's neither here nor there, I suppose, at this stage of our lives. As indicated earlier, John's charming new film highlights many other scenarios that, as fate would have it, are also neither here nor there but quite possible could have been both here and there had we been here or there...

    We (and by we, I mean he) herewith presents more Alternative Us's to give you fodder for rumination about your own Alternative You's, and in so doing, find a portion of contentment in your actual lot:

    [ame=""]YouTube - John Thornton Takes You on a Wild Art History Tour![/ame]
  4. Aborted Workout Attempt 3/4/09

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 11:34 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    School was lots of fun today (this week!) We are focusing on cardio-vascular health! Jump Rope For Heart (annual fund raiser for American Heart Association) is coming up soon so heart health is also on my daily dialog with the kids! I love to watch the Kinders use their "human heart rate moniters" and show me how hard they worked on their warm-up walk/run. I try to get them to count 10 second heart rates but most of them get some crazy numbers. (375, etc.) They get competitive and try to beat the person's number next to them.
    I finally got my USMS Swimmer magazine today! I am so proud to be a NASTI! How cool is it to be the "featured team" in my favorite mag! Hopefully NASTI'S will be in full force this summer for the LC Nats and you will get to meet us in our natural habitat!
    Tonight I attempted to swim a workout at LA Fitness Center. The first 3 months after this place opened I would normally have the entire pool to myself or maybe 1 other swimmer might be there. Lately it has been dreadfully crowded! I had an elderly quasi- aqua jogger , a very slow string bikini clad lap swimmer , and a man lying on top of a board trying to kick in my lane. The pool is only 3 lanes wide, has no gutters, and sports loose old fashioned lane lines. We were all trying to be nice and make room for each other, but it just wasn't working for me at all. I swam 2,125 yards straight with alot of open turns (waiting for 2 to pass each other) before I finally gave up and called it a day. I think people may be trying to get in shape for spring break. I hope it dies down after April!
    I am all in favor of EVERYONE in America working out (it would drastically reduce insurance/health care rates if everyone could just get as little as 15-30 minutes of walking per day) I really have to bite my lips and force myself to stay cool and calm when noodler type swimmer's workouts and poor lane ettiquette affect my ability to do my workout. I guess if that's the worse thing that happens to me today I should be grateful for my good health and welfare and leave it alone.
    Thought for the day:

    "If you don't take care of your body where will you live?" (I'm not sure who's quote that is?!)
  5. Wed Mar 4th

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 09:43 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wed Mar 4th, 2009

    probably going to scratch the 100 fl to rest up for the 200 IM, also doing 100 bk relay lead off

    1 day till Austin Grand Prix Psych Sheet Thu Mar 5th

    still coughing

    Sun Mar 1
    in orlando
    lifted weights
    swam around 700 in hotel pool

    Mon Mar 2nd
    in orlando
    lifted weights
    swam 3 times in hotel pool
    did around 500 each time

    Tue Mar 3rd
    in orlando
    did bands
    swam 2 times in hotel pool
    did around 500 each time

    Wed Mar 4th
    in orlando
    swam at noon in hotel pool
    mostly easy

    USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix Austin TX
    Thursday March 5 - Saturday March 7, 2009
    1 day away
    Meet format: Short Course AM, Long Course PM
    entered the following events
    THU #05 100 Butterfly 52.63 #08 200 IM 2:00.32
    FRI #18 100 Backstroke 54.05
    SAT #24 200 Backstroke 2:21.04 #26 100 Freestyle 48.85

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

    May 8 - 10
    67 days away

    Updated March 4th, 2009 at 11:26 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  6. Another good session at the pool

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 09:31 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Late in the afternoon, did an easy 1.5 mile jog/walk with my 10 year old son. Walked 1/4 mile, jogged a mile in 9:46, and walked 1/4 mile. Jumped in the car and headed to the pool where I did the following workout:

    Warm-up: 200 (got there a little late)
    4 x 25 build on :30

    10 x 100 back on 1:40 (held 1:15-1:20; last one was 1:14)

    100 easy

    10 x 100 50 free/50 fly kick with board (no fins) on 1:40 (held 1:20 to 1:22)

    100 easy

    6 x 25 on :30 hard

    150 easy

    4 x 50: alternate 50 free pull, 50 fly pull on 1:30. Focused on perfect form.

    4 x 25: 12.5 underwater/12.5 fast fly (with fins) on :45

    200 easy cool-down

    Total yards: 3300
    Workout time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
    Average HR: 146 (minimum HR was 81 and max was 189)

    I have noticed my legs seem to be the first to go in a race, so on second set of 100s, put the 50 kick on end. Also, thought it would be some good core work. The set with the kicks was harder than I thought it would be. Didn't realize how much energy kicking uses!

    Updated March 6th, 2009 at 12:26 PM by elise526

  7. Wed., March 4

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 05:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Not much time to work out today. Probably just as well. My legs/glutes are a bit sore from the squatting and lunging. And how often is one supposed to do these damn things anyway? Every time we lift?

    Swim, SCY, solo:

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    150 fly drills

    12 x 25 4 point shooters w/MF, working on amplitude/hands

    Main sets:

    3 x (4 x 50) @ 1:00, IM Order
    #1 fly/back
    #2 back/evilstroke
    #3 evilstroke/free
    #4 free/fly

    (It occurred to me after I completed this set that it would be a good set to emphasize "fast turns," the downfall of my 100 IM. Maybe next time.)

    50 EZ

    8 x 1:00 @ 1:50, last 25 fast
    odds backstroke, evens backstroke kick

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 @ :45, tempo dolphin kick w/MF & board

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100

    hot tub + 12 oz gatorade


    Backstroke SDKs:

    Still mulling over my issues with backstroke SDKs. It still feels unnatural to use my hands/arms on my back as opposed to on my belly. But the real issue is still breathing. It occurred to me today that perhaps I was exhaling through the nose too much on my turn and initial push off and thus "bleeding" air too quickly. When I tried just holding my breath more, I went farther. I can't do the Ande trick to prevent "bleeding." I think I could be a candidate for a nose plug on 100-200 back. Every time I've tried one, though, I can't keep it on my nose ... Anyone use one for backstroke? If so, how long did it take to acclimate to it?
  8. SCY Nationals....It's on!!!

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 05:53 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    I've reserved my hotel room and submitted my entry. I'm swimming the usual 5 sprints again plus I will attempt the 200 back, an event I have swam only once before in competition.

    Here's the lineup:

    50 Fly - :30.23
    100 Back - 1:09.48

    200 back - 2:46.41
    50 Free - :26.45

    100 free - 1:00.22
    50 back - :30.58

    Since I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to Indy for Long Course Nationals this is my big meet of the year.
  9. 3-4-09 Freestyle

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 02:01 PM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    11:00 AM to noon at the Downtown YMCA (SCM) coached by my wife!:-)

    400 free - every 4th wrist flip and fingertip drag

    Main Set:
    Twice through
    200 free on 4:00 - negative split
    200 flutter kick on 4:00
    4x75 free on 1:30
    12x25 free on :25
    100 free on 2:15
    150 free on 3:15 (last time through is warmdown)

    2900 meters

    Notes: My wife has agreed to take over the Masters practices until Priscilla comes back or until the Y finds a permanent replacement. This was an extremely challenging workout. The 25s on :25 are just at my threshold, so I was only getting 2-3 seconds rest. I don't think I was cut out to be a great distance swimmer because the pace sets in which you're only supposed to get 2-4 seconds rest are beyond me! This workout was written by Priscilla and I think she wanted to leave us something to remember her by! I think I have made this comment before, but since I've started working on getting a good catch, my deltoids and traps fatigue much sooner than the rest of me. I also felt today's practice in my chest, which I normally don't feel too much. I can't decide if I'm just fighting off a bug or if I've changed my stroke that significantly that it's hitting different muscles! Until Friday...
    Swim Workouts
  10. A bit of fast swimming

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 12:26 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    A short workout with some fast 50's

    SCY, Solo

    200 swim free
    400 Reverse IM alt. kick/swim by 25
    300 pull free breathe every 3
    swim 4x75 on 1:30 build by 25 to about 80% on each
    100 easy

    2x around:
    4x50 off blocks on 2:00
    200 easy
    2 minutes rest between rounds;
    Set #1 free, (swam these at :30-:31)
    Set #2 back; (swam these at :34-:35)
    try to keep up the speed as much as possible and not to fall off by the 4th one

    swim 12x25 on 40 in sets of 4:
    #1 first 12.5 fast fly
    #2 2nd 12.5 fast fly
    #3-4 easy free

    100 easy

    2500 yards

    Weight training with my trainer tonight
  11. Blogonator Tuesday

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 09:29 AM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    A good day at school! Spring is in the air and the kids are energetic!

    Tuesday Nite Swim With nASTI'S:

    1) 500 Free Warm-up Swim-I was swimming as hard as I culd, I started 100 down.
    2) 3 X 200 on 4:00 (2 Free and 1 IM)
    3) 200 IM-100 IM- 4x50 kick IM order
    4)4 x 75 IM roll 1:30 int.
    5) 4x50 Free on :50
    6) Super 500 (25's done all fly) :30 per 25 int.
    2,700 Weird practice, it didn't have any flow to it(or maybe I didn't)

    home/glass wine(my favorite recovery drink/then lights out
  12. Wednesday 3/4 - The moderately dark side

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 08:36 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This morning my only goal was to get 4000 in but still work some breaststroke into the workout. Here is what I came up with.

    1000 Free as swim/pull/swim/kick/swim by 200

    10x50 @ 1:05 Breast with fins (building into using these more)
    10x100 @ 1:30 Free with paddles and bouy went 1:22, 1:22, 1:22, 1:22, 1:21, 1:21, 1:21, 1:20, 1:22, 1:20

    200 breast kick
    300 fly kick on back with fins (work the abs) this was not a leasurely kick

    4x200 @ 3:30 as 150 Free/50 Breast held 3:10's
    200 EZ Free

    Total 4000 yards
  13. Masters in a downpour...March 3rd, 2009

    by , March 4th, 2009 at 01:53 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Just a quick Hats Off to our coaches, they show up in the pouring rain / freezing cold wind and manage to encourage and keep focused on us swimmers. Who by the way are staying warm and cozy in the nice pool.
    Coach Janine braved the cold down pours, that got really heavy at times for just 2-3 Aquasol Masters and a handful of USA age-groupers

    Wm up choice (did 300 free)
    6x200 (2x 200FR, 200IM 200A stroke) on 3:45
    10 x 50 K w/ fins on :50
    6x75 FR on 1:15 ( just for me)
    3x50 BK one arm drill

    I think the fun part was swimming in the rain, especially during the heavy stuff. These were my first unassisted 200IM's; usually I wear fins! But I'm not as winded after the 50 Fly's.

    I'm signed up for the Strawberry Fields Aquatic Masters meet in Berkeley on March 21 st, this time I signed up for 4 events and I will swim those events!

    #4 100 yd Individual Medley
    #10 100 yd Freestyle
    #12 50 yd Backstroke
    #24 50 yd Freestyle
  14. The Live Comedic Swim Stylings of Jim

    by , March 3rd, 2009 at 10:02 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    For those so lacking in impulse control that you simply cannot wait, go ahead and click the play button.

    However, you might want to first read the explanatory comments below, which may well enhance your viewing experience in a way similar to taking a college course in Classical Music can make it possible to sit through a concert without immediately succumbing to narcolepsy.

    [ame=""]YouTube - High Noon at the New Castle Y[/ame]

    Okay, I am assuming that if you have reached this point in today's vlog, you have not yet clicked the start button. You have wisely chosen to extend your pleasure by postpoining it!

    In the process, you have opted to become educated in the nuances of the admittedly palsied footage you are about to see and hear. Good for you! I, for one, am proud of you. I don't know if I personally could have resisted pressing the start button already myself. But I admire people like you who can!

    Let us begin with the Dramatis Personnae and Narrative Overview of our little drama, and so forth.

    The film opens with the protagonist, Jim "Aging Golden Boy" Thornton, now known behind his back simply as Jim "Fool's Golden Boy" Thornton, pointing out several of the features of the New Castle YMCA swimming facility--its five lanes, the narrowness of same, the impotent gutters that seem, if anything, more designed to augment rather than dampen waves, etc.

    What the film does not, in fact, cannot show is how hot the water is. During warm up, or perhaps more accurately, hot up, I felt like a queasy chunk of semi-digested flotsam in the belly of a dyspeptic whale.

    But just as such flotsam, under the right conditions, can be vomited out of the leviathan, found by explorers, gathered up and sold to the finest perfumeries in France, and end up converted into Chanel No. 5 and spritzed on the slender necks and elbow crooks of the world's most enticing would Jim "Fool's Golden Boy" Thornton make something magical out of the ambergris of his being...

    After the set up, we cut to the Men's 200 Freestyle Relay in the 180-219 additive man years division. The Sewickley YMCA has fielded many a glorious team in this legendary race since the circa 1982 founding of the Allegheny Mountain YMCA Masters Swimming Association, or AMYMSA (pronounced "Amy Missa")

    A quick check of the all-time Top 10 relay results clearly bears this out:

    Men 200 free.relay Total Age: 180-219

    1 SEWY Andre Weisbrod Jim Thornton Bill White Kevin Robertson18104-05CLAR1:39.16

    SEWY Bill White Dale Sirinek Jim Thornton Preston Test18011-02GRBG1:39.21

    SEWY Ronald Jacobs Jim Thornton Dick Lynn Andre Weisbrod18309-00SEWY1:39.71

    SH Robert Casey Bob Jenner Bill Herzer Gary Matyko18604-97CU1:41.03

    5 SEWY Ronald Jacobs Andre Weisbrod Dale Sirinek Jim Thornton19904-03CLAR1:41.90

    SEWY Andre Weisbrod Jim Thornton Bill White Dale Sirinek19604-04CLAR1:42.54

    Note 1. With the exception of SH, or South Hills, which placed 4th all time and which I have highlited in pink, SEWY, or Sewickley, has all but one of the top 6 all time finishes in our league. It is of some curiosity to note that all of these have occurred since the arrival of one swimmer in particular, who returned to his boyhood home of Sewickley from St. Paul, MN in 1995, like a magnificent male salmon who, despite prodigious quantities of milt, dodged grizzlies and powered up cataracts via powerful flicks of his tail flukes, to arrive at last upstream where he started.

    Note 2. I have taken the liberty of highlighting this one milt-laden salmonid-like swimmer in Royal Blue.

    Note 3. The relay swimmers in the video appear in the following order:

    1. Lead off: Bill White, 38. Adjective: Magnificent. Our team's coach, a harsh but lovable task master who is on almost as many of the Top 10 Relays as the individual highlighted in Royal Blue
    2. Next: Dan Nadler, 58. Adjective: Avuncular. Our team's absolutely brilliant and generous eye doctor, the former YMCA Pennsylvania state champion in the 14-15 age group (yes, they did have this age group 43-44 years ago when Dan's peri-pubertal morph emerged victorious in the York YMCA pool waters) is also the uncle (hence avuncular) of Mollie Nadler, who makes a to-die-for cameo later in the video
    3. Next: Jim Thornton, 56. Adjective: Spiritualeaderish. Your's truly, about whom if you do not yet know something, you are not keeping up sufficiently with this vlog. Of particular importance filmically: I am wearing a red swimming cap borrowed at the last minute from the lovely Jamie Heil [ame=""]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame] of the Cranberry YMCA masters team. She leant it to me after I realized I had forgoten to bring a cap with me to the blocks.
    4. Anchor: Mark Cox, 40. Adjective: Dimpled. A new recruit to the Sewickley Y, Mark has been compared to Clark Kent by the young women on our team--a serious fellow with his glasses on, but once these are removed, his movie star good looks and high wattage amiability reveal an underlying superhero quality. Bequeathed his three gorgeous little daughters with dimples, too.

    Together, the four of us are much more than our individual parts. Together, we are one lean, mean 192-year-old man you do not want to mess with.

    The old record to beat: 1:39.16

    Splits in the relay:

    Coach Bill 23.49

    Uncle Dannny 26.94

    Golden Boy 23.87

    Mark the Coxman: 23.53

    Total: 1:37.83

    Record: Smashed so far beyond all recognition that even the Pittsburgh CSI had trouble identifying it.


    The film then cuts to my next event, the 50 yard butterfly. Narration for this scene is provided by the lovely Mermaid [ame=""]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame] whom some of you may have met at last year's USMS convention and/or Albatross Meet. If so, I am sure you remember her. A forrmer Miss Teen Age Pennsylvania, it is fair to say she cuts an unforgettable figure in the minds of men.

    To my side is Coach Bill, who also flanked me during the later 100 yard butterfly swim. Unfortunately, Mermaid, who assured me that she would film this event too, got caught up in other activities when the time for the latter money shot came. How quickly the young girls forget your narrator Jimby's attempts to preserve his glory for posterity! It is as if they want absolutely nothing to do whatsover with anything involving my posterior!

    Oh, well. It's okay. My disappointing time in the 50 fly--27.78--allows for an easy DIY simulation of my 100.

    Simply watch the 50 in its entirety, rewind back to its start, pause exactly 5.24 seconds, then watch the 50 again.

    My time for the 100 was 1:00.80, and if the above math is correct [(2 x 27.78} + 5.24 = 1.00.80], the above should allow you to relive the experience vicariously down the the nearest hundredth of a second. Just make sure to time your blinking so it doesn't look like I get to dive twice, which I am pretty sure is a rule violation.


    This meet experience, especially the 100 fly that didn't get filmed, does give me hope that with a little more butterfly practice, I have a prayer of breaking a minute again in the 100 before I die.

    Hell, if I can secure financing out of TARP funds to pay for a B70, there's a good chance I can break :50.

    For those of you who love a good story of adversity overcome and impossible dreams realized, stay tuned.

    For the rest of you, I will try to get Mollie to make another cameo.

  15. Tuesday, 3/3/09

    by , March 3rd, 2009 at 06:45 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY with Carrie

    100 swim free
    200 kick with board (did all flutter)
    300 swim alt. 75 free/75 back
    400 pull free w/paddles breathe 3/5 by 25
    300 IM alt. drill/kick/swim by 25
    200 free build by 50 to about 80-85% (did this in about 2:40)
    4x25 on 30 choice

    The main set, although kinda short, focuses on pulling:
    pull 3 sets of 4x75:

    set #1 pull with paddles, breathe 3/5/7 by 25 on 1:20 -> do the breathing pattern (go slower if you have to so you make it)
    (the hypoxic swimming stuff is getting easier. Maybe only once or twice through this set did I grab a cheater breath.)

    set #2 pull with paddles backstroke on 1:20 - try to hold the stroke together at about 75-80%
    (swam these around 1:05. I was finding it hard to get any speed up with the paddles until I started focusing on a faster recovery)

    set #3 pull free without paddles, descend 1-4 to all out #4
    (started around 1:00 and dropped to about :52 I'm getting a little better at not letting the buoy flatten out my rotation)

    swim down 200

    I might run a little bit tonight before going to a yoga class.
  16. Leg Overload, Tuesday, Mar. 3

    by , March 3rd, 2009 at 05:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Dead Legs:

    Took yesterday off. Thought that would do the trick, but apparently not. I may have been a *bit* too manic/OCD last week on the training front. I get this way after tapers ... On the upside, upper body wasn't too sore yesterday after lifting Sunday. But my legs are thoroughly thrashed. The combo of run/spin/lower body weights last week and this am was deadly. Felt absolutely dreadful in the water today. I have a really really hard time doing lactate sets and fast swimming with dead legs or soreness from weights. It feels like torture; it's so much easier to just do aerobic work. Ah well, I won't be running this week as it's freaking freezing out again.

    I had planned on doing one of Paul's kick workouts, but knew during warm up that wasn't going to happen. Swiped a couple of his other sets, one that Ahelee used in a workout last week. Intended to do both, but had to modify the second set, as it was just too hard for this wimpy sprinter today.

    Unlike Hulk, I'm definitely not doing weights the week of the Albatross meet. Refuse to go into a meet feeling like this! lol

    Core/Dryland Work:

    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25

    russian twists w/med ball, 2 x 25

    superman streamlines on bosu, hold streamline 5 seconds, 1 x 15

    front lunges w/ 12.5 weights, 2 x 15 each leg
    (saw someone doing this with the lead foot on a bosu. looked harder)

    squat presses w/yoga ball and med ball, raising med ball over head as you stand, 2 x 25 -- this is one of the cross fit exercises; Tall Paul recommends doing it w/ med ball

    cavic fly exercise w/3 lb weights, 2 x 25

    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm

    iron monkeys, 2 x 25

    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 15

    Here's the dead bug exercise, which a friend recommended. I did it on the bosu to make it harder.

    PM Swim:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    150 fly drills

    Main sets:

    4 x 200 back @ 3:30
    (Ahelee set)

    #1 fast first 50
    #2 fast turns
    #3 fast last 50
    #4 200 fast (mine wasn't really)

    100 EZ

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    1st 25 = easy speed/fast fly, 2nd 25 = DAB

    50 EZ

    6 x 100 @ 2:00
    odds, backstroke kick w/fins AFAP
    evens, easy swim

    went :59. :58, 57.5 ish on the kicks. this was sheer torture. meant to do more. just couldn't force myself to.

    200 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 3400


    Why are you immediately fatigued after a swim workout, but weight workouts tend to hit you the next day?

    I'm beginning to see why some of the guys taper so much longer than the women now. If you're lifting heavily, it seems your body needs a lot more rest.

    Updated March 3rd, 2009 at 08:34 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  17. I don't think or want to ever lose that urgent...

    desire to swim as fast as I can, however there comes the enevitable day when you are forced to take a look at your stroke technique. Whether it be injury, or your not getting any faster in the world's time even though it feels like you are in water, or your just plan tired at the moment. When all three of these collide at the same time something wonderful can happen.
    As I was warming up I was thinking about how I hadn't done anything to stretch out my poor wounded rotator cuff. What was I gonna do...I hate being flat on my stomach on the hard floor making tiny little repetitive movements. Suddenly it came to me. Hey, I am on my stomach in the water. Why not kick with my flippers gently and do the excercises in the water while I am swimming.
    Well, that's what I did. Raising my arms ever so slightly in the positions required on land.
    I was able to do a fair amount, not get bored, and get some yardage in. This slowed me down so I could think about what some one said to me. Maybe I was pulling my arm arcross the horizontal line of my body. Yes in fact, I had been doing that. So after,
    800 yard easy various strokes
    300 dolphin kick with fins underwater
    600 of experimenting with RC excercises
    I did
    10 X 25's on 30 sec.
    I had never done 25 sets before. This allowed me to stop focusing on getting through my flip turn and fighting my way back the second lap as 50's sets do. I then turn my focus to pulling my arm straight. I am not sure if my stroke is right but my arm didn't get that sharp pain. Unfortunately this threw my body rotation to being flat. All this time I was using my arm to pull and rotate my body sidways. It was doing the work. I now have to find a better way to roll my body for streamlining. Another thing to explore.

    Updated March 3rd, 2009 at 04:41 PM by flippergirl (editing)

  18. Tuesday 3/3 - back to back

    by , March 3rd, 2009 at 08:52 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Yes it was a backstroke day today. My warmup felt slow and sluggish but that is becoming more the norm for me. Once I am warmed up I become a different swimmer. I guess as I age warmup will become more important.

    5x200 @ 3:30 Free could not get under 3:05 for anything

    8x25 @ :45 free kick every 3rd fast went 27, 26
    10x50 @ 1:00 Back with paddles 25 right arm/25 left arm

    8x25 @ :45 free kick every other fast went 28,27,26,26
    5x100 @ 2:00 Back went 1:39, 1:41, 1:41, 1:40, 1:39

    100 free kick EZ
    500 Free with paddles and bouy every 3rd lap back
    500 Free alternate 50 swim / 50 drill

    200 free kick with fins EZ

    Total 3700 yards
  19. Mea Culpa

    by , March 3rd, 2009 at 12:29 AM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    For those looking foward to seeing the comedic swim stylings of Jimby, especially as he thrashes about in the 200 freestyle relay--like a little water spider gone amuk!--and later in the 50 fly--a splashing dynamo of ineptitude!--I greatly apologize for the technical problems.

    The film is made!

    My co-record-breaking teammates and I--all 192 aging man years of us in our crepey skin and swimming suits!--have been suitably documented.

    There is even a nice bit of cheesecake rewarding the viewer who can fight off motion sickness (the videographer is not that steady handed a shootist!) to the end!

    Alas, YouTube is having trouble processing this 4 minute opus, and thus I will have to try again tomorrow.


    I don't expect you to read this.

    I certainly do not expect any of you who have read this to re-read this.

    And I absolutely certainly do not expect any of you who have read this and re-read this to recommend it to your friends.

    But we are living in strange times indeed.

    Nothing would surprise me at this point.


    Well, next to nothing.

    An Oscar nomination for short film cinematography for my upcoming vlog, if YouTube ever finishes processing it, would surpise the mother ****ing ****ity **** **** bejeebers out of me.

    Strange as our times have become, that would, I admit, surprise me.
  20. Monday March 2, 2009

    300 w/u

    3 x 200 on 3:00
    50 ez

    4 x (50 non-free (I did fly) on 1:00 2 x 50 kick on 1:00 75 free fast on 1:20)

    50 ez

    1 on 1:15
    1 on 1:10
    1 on 1:05
    1 on 1:00
    1 on :55
    1 on :50

    Missed the send off for the last one
    100 ez

    10 x 25 from the middle of the pool on :45
    free, fly, back x 3 +1 extra fly

    100 EZ