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  1. Just Not Feeling it

    You know those days when you are tired or sore from the previous day's workout and you get to the pool, and you just aren't feeling it? Well, it seems that a lot of that was going around at our 10:00 AM Masters workout yesterday. I was headed for the pool deck, when I passed my lane mate, Roberta. She looked at me and said, "I'm not feeling it today. And, I just saw Judy (another lane mate) and she isn't feeling it either, so it's up to you. Translation: I am leading the lane today. Perfect. I said, "But, wait! I'm not feeling it either!" Well, I did my workout with as much effort as I could muster. And, we took turns leading the lane. It wasn't a banner workout. However, it was a workout. We did a fly drill set with fins that felt extra tiring. After that, we did a long-ish main set involving sprinting various distances and 200 yard easy/recoverys in between. After practice, several of us were chatting about how exhausted we were to start off the week. So, it wasn't just our lane, we all had a case of the “not feeling its.” This then led to a short discussion on the toll doing certain fitness regimens can take on our now older bodies and about cross training. Yep. We are all getting older. I was mentioning how I need to lift weights two times a week, even if I'd rather be swimming. And, something along the lines of, “Swimming makes me happy.” And, one of my swimmer friends, who swims a lane or two away from me, said something like, “Oh, yes. I know. You look happy when you're swimming.” This comment took me by surprise, especially today when I wasn't feeling particularly happy or accomplished in the water. But, the thing is, even on a bad swimming day, I'm usually happy after, if not during. This made me remember that back in November, I had started a list of how swimming makes me feel at any given moment. Here is my list (in no particular order): Swimming Makes Me Feel…
    Strong
    Graceful
    Competent
    Happy
    Tired
    Relaxed
    Accomplished
    Cool
    Fast
    Slow
    Exhausted
    Mentally free…of earthly issues, concerns, people, places, appointments, etc.
    Meditative
    Successful
    Owned by/a slave to the clock
    Filled with joy
    Energized
    Stress free
    Hungry
    So good afterwards, I want to spend as much time as possible doing it.
    I hope to keep adding to this list as I think of new ways swimming makes me feel. It is almost a my “Benefits of Swimming List.” I'm sure other swimmers (and runners, skaters, skiers, walkers, and etc.) would have similar lists. For example, I don't know any swimmers who would say that swimming doesn't make them hungry. Swimmers are usually always hungry. At least they are after they swim. So, even though I started out “not feeling it,” I was feeling pretty happy and accomplished after practice. And, I'm grateful to my swimmer friends for reminding me why I swim. Happy Swimming to all of you! AngieKozBlogs
  2. Caps (and Goggles) off to Coach!

    If you are a Masters swimmer, you know there are a lot of swim meets during the winter months that you can choose (or not) to participate in. In our area, we have a series of meets that start in November and go through March. There is one meet per month. Our Coach, Sue, usually trains our group in such a way that those who wish to compete in the meets are prepared to do so. There is an extra boost to this training that starts in January. That means interval speed training, starts of the blocks, IM sets (or stroke sets-doing something other than Freestyle), and general technique work. Meanwhile, back at the U.S. Masters - national level, there is a competition called the 1 Hour Postal Swim that runs from 1-31 January. Yes, that's right. You guessed it. We are training for meets, but we (many of us, anyway) are going to participate in the Hour Postal, as well. We don't often get much in the area of long swims to prepare for the Postal because we are stroking it out and doing shorter distances to prep for meets. This year, thanks to Sue (and the wonderful management at our pool), we are being given the opportunity to train for the Postal. We are getting an extra hour of practice one day a week for the next couple of weeks to do some long swims. Yay! I am so excited! Wish us luck! And, here's hoping the weather doesn't ruin our long swim training time!
  3. Strait of Juan de Fuca: training, part 2 of 2

    by , July 15th, 2013 at 09:14 PM (Please tap on the glass)

    WooHoo! It’s taper time! [Cue Team America music, cleverly sing “Taper Time!” instead of “Americuh!”]

    Actually, pretty much every other week has been a taper since the last training entry, and the reason is counter-intuitive. I stopped moving around. Yes folks, I’ve not travelled for work in over five weeks. Once again, I have a permanent address (and my new mattress is being delivered in a few hours). But with the open schedule comes a choice of how to spend my time; I can all of a sudden choose when to train, and not let departure times dictate when I must train. It took a few days to relearn that skill.​

    Making it harder to set a regular training schedule, the water in the Sound has been changing. Seattle has had an amazingly sunny spring (amazing if you’re into that sort of thing). Sun is something both Seattleites and algae love, and therefore Alki beach has been crowded with both. And where the algae bloom, so do the jellyfish.

    Before we get to the jellies, let’s talk about the temperature. The endless sun here has been causing me a bit of trouble. In the evenings, with the downtown buoy reading 53F, the water at Alki (3 miles away) feels downright warm. Naturally, if you want to swim in cold water, you resort to waking at 4am to swim at 4:30 before the 5:11 sunrise. And with great pain (consider, bed to 53F in under 30min at 4am) comes great beauty. The beach at that hour is gorgeous. And all mine, no crowds.

    Getting out of bed at 4am is a complicated set of mental gymnastics. “My waterbottles aren’t filled,” was my first excuse that kept me in bed. Lesson learned. “Jellyfish,” was the next, and legitimately so. I’d been doing a Matrix-style front crawl for days dodging the three to twelve inch blobs of terror, and had no emergency vinegar on hand. Turns out, those blobs don’t hurt. The egg-yolk jellies sting so weakly they can’t be felt anywhere but on the thinnest of skin, which is excellent because by mid-June they were unavoidable. There were days where I’d be wrist-deep in one while shaking off another that had draped itself across my goggles. I even managed to get a tentacle up the nose at one point (only mild irritation).

    The height of my training was a test swim with SJDF kayaker Steve at the end of June. We left Alki and headed around the lighthouse and south to Lincoln Park on the flood tide, and returned four hours and 13.5km later on the ebb. Although I was tired after, it felt great. All of the experience from the past three years is paying off. And the best part: no Advil and no sore joints! My shoulder was pretty bad after MIMS last year, but I’ve been working on, no, conscious of technique since then and it’s paying off.

    Following the four-hour swim, I promptly got on a plane and took a week-long roadtrip, then returned to Seattle for a few more days of solid training. One last big push. The 90min to 120min swims have been mentally draining after a long day at work, so I traded once-or-twice-weekly for daily short swims (60min to 90min). In addition, I tried making them more fun. I’ve been doing runs up the seawall stairs every kilometer, or swimming to the Anchor Park pier (2.5km), jumping off it, and swimming back. It’s very different than just doing 2, 3, or 4 trips to the lighthouse, and exactly what I needed to keep my focus as we approach…Taper Week! Woot!

    Looking back, the past few months has held the minimum amount of training required to make this swim a success. Normally, I’d be disappointed with this. As I learned in the Chesapeake Bay swim a few years back, I’m a better swimmer than “made it out of the water alive,” and hence should act accordingly. But this swim has been about so much more than yardage. You’ve seen the posts about planning, right? Victory in this swim will be defined as jumping in and touching Canada. After the start, it’s easy. After the start, it’s just a 6 hour swim.

    Updated July 15th, 2013 at 09:31 PM by andrewmalinak (typo)

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  4. come fly with me

    by , May 6th, 2012 at 03:16 AM (Bad Ass Blog)
    taken from http://john-badassrides.blogspot.com...y-with-me.html

    As a young man swimming defined my schedule, my goals, my friendships, even my ego. So on 1 April 2012 when I stepped onto a starting block for the first time in over 20 years... I was coming home.

    check out the rest of this article at http://john-badassrides.blogspot.com...y-with-me.html and show your support by clicking on an ad at the end of the article
  5. Can I still get there from here?

    by , May 6th, 2012 at 03:12 AM (Bad Ass Blog)
    taken from http://john-badassrides.blogspot.com...from-here.html

    Today was not exactly what I would call a banner day on the road less traveled. That would be the road to being a superhero (or at least the one toward being forever out of load-pile-land). In fact from where I sat at two I would have said "you can't get there from here."

    if you would like to see more please check out my blog at http://john-badassrides.blogspot.com...from-here.html Don't forget to show your support by clicking on an ad at the end of the entry. thanks!
  6. Rowdy Gaines - Triple Olympic Gold Medalist

    New Dates added for Triple Gold Medalist, Rowdy Gaines - July 4th -8th. Ages 14 to 100 welcome to join in this week long swim camp. Experience Rowdy, one on one, face to face and elbow to elbow. You will never have a coaching experience like this one....space is limited to 25.

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9NimE7eK7s"]YouTube - Costa Rica Dream Swim Camps[/nomedia]