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  1. April is Adult Learn-To-Swim Month!! What Will You Do?

    We at our Masters club (the Columbia Masters in Howard County, MD) are very excited that the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation has declared April Adult Learn-To-Swim month. We think that many adults would like to learn how to swim, but maybe haven't had an opportunity to do so... Until now. We are using this nationwide campaign as the impetus to develop programs we can use to get interested adults in the pool. And, we hope to expand the opportunities to swim that we already offer. The ability to bring this life (and lifesaving) skill to an adult population is exciting and something we are eager to do.

    Has your club offered adult learn-to-swim lessons? Is it a Swimming Saves Lives Foundation partner? If so, what types of programs have you offered. What types of programming is the most popular with your population/in your area?

    I would love to hear from you about your Adult Learn-to-Swim successes! Thanks! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
  2. Sink Or Swim Classic Premeet Prep

    Those of you who talk with me on the forums have probably seen my signature promoting the Libertyville Masters Sink or Swim Classic in Vernon Hills Illinois. Those of you who know me REALLY well (and now everyone) will know that I will be wearing this brief during the meet:

    To all of you who think that this is ridiculous - YOU'RE WELCOME, I've now opened your mind.
    To all of you who believe that this is awesome and classy - THANK YOU.

    Fun Fact: All summer I swam SCM at Vernon Hill High School - the very pool where this meet will be held. Since September we have been swimming SCY.

    I decided to sign up for as many events as I could - including relays for this meet. It's going to be a blast and I figure "Why not? I don't plan on winning anything - I just plan on pushing myself through this and making it a fun time."

    Events And Goals
    400m Free
    So I decided I wanted my first swim of the day to be the longest swim of the meet. I plan on using this event as a double whammy.
    1) It'll be a PR. No matter what.
    2) It'll be a great warm up before the 50 free which is my next event.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in 7:00. That will be an average 100 around 1:45
    It seems like this might be an easy goal for many of you, but its hard to say for me since I'm so used to swimming SCY, I come in around 1:30-1:35 on the 100 during practice, so I'm hoping that extra 7 foot or so won't equate to much more than 10 seconds.

    50m Free
    The 50m free is placed perfectly. Its a race I really like and a race I would like to do well in. I learned some painful lessons this summer swimming it in LCM and I'm excited to give it another go.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in under 36 seconds
    When I swam SCY in march, I swam my 50 (tapered) in roughly around 33 seconds. I don't see any reason why I couldn't beat that now non-tapered. I can swim a 35 at the end of practice these days (so I'm already exhausted and its a push off the wall).

    50m Breast
    I'm not good at breast stroke. I'm very aware of it. I know I should take the time, I just haven't. I'll admit it fully and readily. That being said:
    My goal in this event is to beat my LCM time of 59.57 seconds
    I shall not fear the event! I shall embrace it!

    100m IM
    Even though the 50 is the event I want to do the most well in, the 100 IM is the event I'm most excited about! I've more or less just learned butterfly in the last couple months and I'm excited about the prospect of finally getting to do it in a race! I practiced my transition off the wall from fly to back once the other night and its a LOT of fun!
    My goal in this event is to swim it in under 2 minutes.
    The 100 IM is just the stepping stone. By January I'm hoping to be able to do the 200 IM and stick with that event for a while while I build up my strength/endurance to do the 400 IM.

    50m Back
    The 50 Back is one of those events I like - but I'm not great at. This will have been after all of my other 4 events + 2 relays. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be more of a flooded kayak than swimmer at this point.
    My goal in this event - given the circumstances - is survival. That being said, I'd like to swim it in under 50 seconds

    Thanks for reading! I hope to have video of this!
  3. The "Prettiest Waitress @ Denny's"

    Last night was the inaugural Wednesday practice for the Libertyville Masters! It was a relatively empty pool, but it was honestly a GREAT practice for me! I couldn't make Tuesday night's practice due to other (wasted) obligations so I was excited to not have to wait until Thursday night's practice.

    Yesterday I worked a little later than I expected to. So by the time I got home at 5:30, I realized that if I ate and then went to the gym and lifted as usual I would have less than an hour of recovery before swim practice. Now - I'm not REALLY that concerned about being slow at practice. I've been that for months now. I am however concerned with feeling like crap during practice because my muscles couldn't recover before another assault on them.

    That was probably the best choice I could've made last night!

    So I ate supper at 5:30ish, played drums for about an hour, and then started packing BECAUSE I GET TO MOVE INTO MY OWN PLACE! and left for practice around 7:45ish. So getting to practice - I was already hungry, I forgot a water bottle, and I was really tired. Even with all of those factors - I must've still brought my swimming "A" game.

    I was the "fastest of the slow lanes" (hence the title) last night! It was a pretty big difference too! I was getting back on average 5-7 seconds faster per lap than anyone else. So when we did a 12x100 set, I was getting back between 10 and 15 seconds faster than anyone else in the "slow lanes".

    It was a pretty cool feeling! I've definitely been getting faster - but I was coming in on 1:35/1:40 at the end of that 12x100 set! I think comparatively at the beginning of summer I was coming in on 1:50/2:00 for my 100s..... wait a minute.... This is really just hitting me like a ton of bricks (you're getting the raw data from the brain to the fingers here). We just switched from SCM to SCY. <Sigh>

    Alright - well it doesn't change the fact that I'm still the prettiest waitress at my own Denny's. Hopefully tonight will give me more opportunities to really rock it out in the pool. Since I'll be apartment hunting - I don't know if I'll get a good chance to do my lift tonight (again :-/). Its okay though - as long as I can get my swim in the night is not a total loss.

    Up next - my excitement for the SCY Season increases as some of the first meets are being put on the board!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  4. SCY GOAL TIME!

    So SCY season is upon us soon! I'm already starting to plan out my goals and ideas!
    Since I like to break things down logically (being that logic is my job) I'm going to start by labeling my high level goals and then giving slightly more detailed goals that I have within those goals.

    Simple goals:
    1) Get Faster (in Swimming)
    2) Get Stronger
    3) Get Skinnier
    4) Build a giant robot that can take over.... .err never mind. (Remember Mike - this is PUBLIC)

    My physical stats and goals:
    Height: 6'3ish <-- I was 6'2 going into college, grew another inch freshman year
    Weight: 210ish <-- Lightest EVER
    Shoe Size: 15 <-- Sucks to buy shoes
    Waist Line: 34 <-- WOW! I'm so pumped!
    Body Fat (as of 7/22/2010): 17.5% <--- GRRR

    My body fat is a frustrating one. I have a lot of loose skin - so I honestly feel that it probably skewed the results of the 7 point pinch test. Especially when I can't imagine myself still having another 35 pounds of fat on my body. Regardless - I still have to keep working out anyway. Otherwise how can I get stronger? (What just happened?)

    My strength goals:
    I don't do a good job keeping stats (like 1MR) of my lifts. I'm not concerned so much with building up that kind of strength. All of my strength goals are to build my body so I can focus more intensively on swimming. So even though my curl is at 12x70 (35 in each hand) using an underhand grip and my lat pull down is at 12x115 - I honestly just want to see those numbers continue to rise on a biweekly to triweekly basis as I spend my 6 days a week at the gym, focusing on developing my extremities while strengthening my core as much as possible. If I can continue lifting and growing stronger - its only going to help me swim faster! (ANOTHER TRANSITION? What's he doing!?)

    Swimming stats and goals
    Alright - So my only SCY times are in the IL State Meet in April. That was long enough ago - and I've lost 20 pounds since then and have gained a lot of strength. I have a few LCM times - but rather than worrying about converting them. Lets just say I'd better beat them when it comes to SCY. The official times are still there:
    Code:
    50 Free: 32.97
    100 Free 1:18.42
    I have my goal times for the year to reach for.
    Code:
    50 Free: < 30 sec
    100 Free: < 1:10
    50 Back: < 50 sec
    100 Back: < 1:50
    50 Breast: < 55 sec
    100 Breast: < 2:00
    *Note - if I beat those times, then I just want to continue improvement. If I don't - its fine. I'm just looking forward to trying! Lastly for swimming; I want to learn how to do butterfly by next April for the Illinois state meet. I'd like to be able to do the 50 free in fly. We'll see what I can get my coach to teach me!
    Outside of swimming - I'm going to be working up to no less than 5 days a week swimming and if I can - 2 practices per day. We'll see how that lines up with sleep as one can't swim all of those events well if you don't have proper rest and nutrition! (He did it again! That son of a big guy!)

    Rest and Nutrional Goals
    Now - nutritional goals are nothing new for me. Rest goals however totally are. To help me focus better on my swimming and to allow me to swim more often and more effectively - I need to be properly rested and well nourished.
    So to help me rest more - I'm giving up organized recreation outside of swimming for now. As soon as my seasons are over for basketball and both of my softball leagues, I'm going to forgo other offers so I can just primarily focus on my swimming and my workout (lifting and possibly running).
    Nutrionally - I need to focus on making sure I keep a solid grip on the reality of my situation - I have to maintain healthy eating habits. I know from experience now that when I do splurge - I end up feeling kind of sick and tired within a few hours. If I'm going to perform - I need to be on top of my game!
    I also need to make sure I sleep enough. Which is such a tear for me. One the one hand - if I get up early - get to work early and get home early - I get to have the afternoon to accomplish what needs to be done. On the other hand - my masters team meets at 8:30 at night. That means practice goes til 9:30, and I'm awake til 11 minimum. A 5 AM wake up just doesn't happen on that these days. So especially once basketball and softball are done, I'll take some time to really focus on how I'm going to actually implement these ideas.

    Thanks for reading again! Today's post isn't as long - but I still appreciate you reading! So today I'm offering a dinosaur:
  5. New Forum Pic + Swim Across America + What now?!

    Well - it seemed like a really good idea at the time and for once - it was!

    Swim Across America - a late night of softball (missed my party because it ran so late) where I tore up my left knee and leg sliding into home, followed by a drive to chicago where I slept for a few hours, and was up at 5:20 AM and down at Navy Pier by 5:40 AM.

    I actually got some really cool pics of the harbor that morning. You can check them out at my Picasa Web Gallery. I'll be adding more as I get the hi-res versions available. All the pictures taken early in the morning were taken with my phone though. I like how they turned out!

    The swim went decently! I learned a lot of neat things on Saturday as a result.
    Lesson 1: I LOVE wetsuits! I rented my $5 wetsuit, put it on and immediately took a walk in the water - I was incredibly buoyant! Each step my legs felt lighter and lighter as the suit made picking my feet out of the water easier and easier! During the swim - this would help fix my body position and put me in a great place to just coast my way through the middle half mile.
    Lesson 2: Drafing ROCKS! Getting in the water - I had no idea how the swim was going to go. So I immediately started in the back of the pack. When you have 15 people swimming in front of you and dragging you along for the first (roughly) 1/4 mile... it's AMAZING. I was putting in virtually no effort, and just swimming along. Before too long, I was passing people left and right and I think I found myself towards the front of the pack when it came to miler swimmers.
    Lesson 3: Those wet suits are very VERY tight. Seriously, I got out of the water tired, disoriented, dizzy, and feeling drunk - sans the fun of having drank. Within a minute of me finally pulling the zipper open on the back of my suit - my chest opened up a LOT and suddenly oxygen was rushing through my body. It was kind of a cool feeling! Although - pulling the plants off my head and body was rather annoying in my disoriented state. I remember having a conversation with Coach Catie as I tried to walk inland:
    Me: Did I win?
    Catie: Good job Mike!
    Me: Yeah but did I win? (trying to stand without falling)
    Catie: Sure Mike, you won..... Are you okay?
    Me: (Stumbling past Catie) Yeah I think so...
    It took me about 5-6 minutes to regain my footing, and once I was able to breath and on dry land I was in much better shape. Speaking of being in better shape - that new forum/profile pic I have posted is actually my taken right after I got out of the water - hence why I look like I feel like I'm going to die.

    So I've decided I'm not a huge open water fan. I might do Big Shoulders just so I have competition to swim for in September. I'm kind of undecided about it all. I'm not a huge OW fan to start. Things like plant life, choppy water, weather.... those things aren't really my most favorite things in the world.

    That leads me to the most important topic: What now?!
    Some important things to know: 1) Our season ends August 1st. Next season doesn't start up until August 12th(ish). I am NOT taking 12 (or more) days off. If anything - I need to ramp up my swimming even more. SCY season is going to be here and I need to be able to destroy my times from last year!!!!

    So I'm going to shift my training to Lake Forest High School pool. The resident annual pass is $260, so I may just buck that out. That'll get me through next summer of doing up to 6 days a week of swimming (and even 2/days!!!) Since my masters team doesn't practice nearly enough for my liking. I'll probably see if I can pull some of my teammates in with me.

    As far as dry land goes: I'm going to talk to my trainer tonight. I'm thinking I should adjust my training to be far more plyometric in nature. I want to be able to build my sprints as much as possible this year - so by building those fast twitch muscles - I'm hoping to finally build up the ability to sprint (rather than whatever it is you say I do).

    I'm also not going to be doing the extra sports from now on. I've kind of made the decision for now I just want to focus on swimming and only swimming. Basketball has been fun, as well as softball - but they get in the way of my dryland and swimming workouts - and that drives me NUTS!

    Wow - that was a novel of a post! If you made it this far thank you! You win a cookie:
  6. Meet Prep for the IndySwimFit

    I'm currently stuck in training at work. Its about how to run some monitoring application. Honestly - my efforts are better spent in about 50,000 different places, but I'm stuck here for the rest of the week. I'm going to do some prep for this weekends meet.

    I will be swimming the following races:
    • 50 Back
    • 100 Back
    • 50 Free
    • 50 Breast
    • 100 free


    I also did some reading, and it appears I can sign up for at 1 relay. I know I'm going to be completely cashed by this point, but I'm totally signing up for another relay at this meet. I loved swimming it last weekend. It was fun meeting the new people as I swam it as well!

    Goals
    50 Back
    I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane.
    100 Back
    I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!
    50 Free
    I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)
    50 Breast
    Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward.
    100 free
    I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25

    My goal for every race
    Push through the O2 deprivation. I'll have at LEAST 2-3 minutes to catch my breath after every race - so O2 debt is not going to be a major concern. I can catch my breath later!

    Nutritionally - I'm going to play it a little differently. Last meet I did not come prepared to consume enough fast acting carbs so I felt that my recovery was not nearly as fast as it should have been. So this time - I'm going to prepare again with a healthy balanced breakfast around 6 AM. Warm up around 8 AM, have a banana around 9 AM, and be ready to destroy my old record (hahaha only record) at 9:30-9:45 when the 50 back comes up.

    So I'm ready... going to train on my own tonight, practice tomorrow night, and I get on a train at 2:20 Friday to head to Chicago to catch the 5 PM to Indy from Chicago. I might even lift Friday morning before work. We'll see if I can sleep after practice.