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Alex's swim journal

Grains, Pyramids, Ziggurats

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by , August 7th, 2013 at 06:44 PM (203 Views)
Meh. Sometimes you just have days like that. After having a pretty tough workout on Monday, yesterday wasn't going to be that great. I did 2000 at the lake, mostly ez swimming. I managed to work in a couple of 200 IMs, a 200 back, a 200 breast... the rest was freestyle, just trying to stay acclimated to the lake water. With temps dropping over the last week and a few more overcast days than we normally get this time of year, the lake temps are starting to drop too. I wouldn't be surprised if the water was in the low 70s, maybe even 68-69 in places yesterday evening. It felt great after warm-up, but I stood in the shallows a couple of extra minutes to psych myself up. I almost envied the triathletes with wetsuits who showed up toward the end of my swim. Almost.

BARLEY AND RED BEAN DISASTER:

Last night I got home and planned to have a salad with three different varieties of lettuce I picked up at the farmer's market; just add some chopped tomatoes (our first of the season from the backyard garden!), a little cilantro, avocado, sprinkle over it some ground flaxseed and pepper. To give the salad a little more heft I was going to add some red beans and barley... unfortunately we didn't have any canned red beans... I forgot I had gotten dry beans the last time I went to the store to economize a little. No problem... just put them in a pot with water and boil away, right? Well, I read the directions wrong and since I've been cooking lentils lately (which are pretty well done after 25-30 minutes) I thought this was a thirty minute thing. Turns out the directions on the package were boil on low for thirty minutes, then add a bunch of pork products, then simmer for another 30 minutes. It only donned on me that something might have gone wrong after I drained and rinsed my little red rocks! Crap. Had to put them back in the pot with some fresh water and bring the whole thing to a boil (no added pork, thank you). Meanwhile the barley was coming along pretty slowly too... I thought it would cook more like oatmeal, was not prepared for it to be so crunchy after 30 minutes (the last time I made barley was in the split pea soup so I wasn't really aware of the actual cooking time of the barley on its own. Yeah, the salad was OK, but there was a lot of chewing... and it took me a lot longer than a salad should take to make. Next time I'll have the red beans and barley cooked ahead of time. Yeah, gotta have those days every now and again to appreciate it when things go off without a hitch. Live and learn!

THE BRUTALITY OF PYRAMIDS

In going from paleolithic to neolithic with my diet (no meat, more grains and greens) I recall the great civilizations that were made possible by the agricultural revolution six or seven millennia ago. Pyramids and Ziggurats dotted the ceremonial centers and graveyards of the great grain producing centers of Egypt, Mesopotamia. I contemplated this as I crunched through my big bowl of mixed whole grains this morning... I wondered if the Egyptians or Sumerians ever swam pyramids/ziggurats inspired by their monumental architecture.

The workout that Scotty and I met for this morning/afternoon (11:15-12:45... a real power lunch!) was brutalizing... think whips and chains from the old sword and sandal epics of the late fifties... Yul Brenner as Pharaoh (Scotty actually has his hairdo). We call it a pyramid, but I think technically it's a ziggurat because it has a platform top, rather than a point. If pyramids commemorate the dead and perhaps act as conduits to the afterlife, ziggurats were for the living, well at least the living of the priestly class that used their high plateaus to lift themselves above the alluvial plain and give them access to the gods in heaven. What does this have to do with our workout? (1) It was killer, which almost gave me direct access to the afterlife... and I didn't even have my Book of the Dead with me. And (2) at the top of each ziggurat we had quasi-mystical experiences, leaving us gasping for air, before returning us to reality. Here's what we did:

WU (1000): 200 fr, 200 pull, 100 bk pull, 100 bk, 100 br pull, 100 single-arm fly, 2 x 100 IM on 2:00 (mid 1:30s).

MS:
500 Fly Pyramid*
100 recovery
500 BK pyramid*
master's minute
500 BR pyramid*
master's minute
500 FR pyramid*

CD (500): 100 pull, 100 bk pull, 100 bk, 100 fr, 100 pull

TOTAL: 3600 SCY

*The ladders in these sets were 25-50-75-100-100-75-50-25 with the interval set at :45/25... My 100s fly were 1:34 and 1:37. 100s bk were in 1:34 and 1:29. 100s br were about 5-6 seconds faster than last week at 1:40-1:41, but the 100s fr came in a second slower at 1:18...

The fly seemed less brutal this week, I was not pushing it, admittedly. But the BK and BR had my thighs screaming for mercy by the end (I could feel Anubis hot on my tail), where my times improved slightly over the last time I did this workout. I don't feel great about the FR, but I also wasn't pushing it really hard by that point (just "sort of hard" or "hard enough to save my pride, but not enough to launch myself into a celestial revery").

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Updated August 7th, 2013 at 06:50 PM by mcnair

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