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Alex's swim journal

Back on the blog...

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by , November 16th, 2013 at 08:16 PM (797 Views)
Wow, it's been a month since I've had a chance to blog any of my workouts. Things have been so busy that I've had barely enough time to get in the workouts, much less sit down to write about them. My goals have changed a lot since I last wrote... basically, just being realistic about what I can get done as I go through a particularly stressful and busy stretch with work and home.

Work has been nuts; taking on the extra class this fall for adjunct pay is only making a slight dent in the income lost from budget cuts and the fact that one of my summer school classes didn't meet minimum enrollment and was cancelled (more time to swim in July and August, but tough to make bills in September). Haven't had to take on a part time job outside of school yet, but that may be coming here pretty soon. I'm also going back out on the academic job market for the first time in 14 years, see if I can land a job at a university that is not projected to be broke in the next two years. But making applications has been a huge drain on my time in the last month. Hope it comes to something.

This is Anthony's last year at home and so we have been trying to enjoy him and help him with all the college application stuff... while catching as many of his activities. I think it's somewhat weird that he and I are both applying to colleges, though in different capacities, at the same time. He finished up a busy cross country season at the end of October and we are super proud of him. He finally earned his varsity letter and was even one of the captains of the team. The team banquet was last Thursday night and the coaches had such nice things to say about him. And if taking the ACT, a full load of advanced classes, running XC, and trying to finish up his college applications isn't enough... he also finished his eagle scout service project and is turning in the paperwork for that. He'll be our second eagle scout in the family, which is pretty cool, but getting the project done was crazy... and although Anthony got lots of volunteers to help him out, for his mother and me it was still like having an additional part-time job on the weekends for about 3-4 weeks there in September and October.

The swimming has been sporadic. Where I averaged 6-7 swims a week for most of the year, the last month I have only gotten in 4-5 per week. GTD is not happy with me. I'm now 10 miles behind my goal pace. At 472 miles, though, I still feel pretty good about the year... and though I may not reach 550 (who knows? I could pull a comeback) I will certainly get to 500 for the second straight year. And the rest might be doing me good now anyway...

A couple of Sundays ago I swam a 400 IM of the blocks at the end of a really hard workout (80 x 25, 20 of each stroke) with Scotty. I PR'd by 9 seconds with a 6:33. And my backstroke is getting a lot better... when I have gotten in, I've been focusing my workouts around improving technique and endurance for backstroke (with sets like 10 x 100 on 2:00) and I think its starting to pay off in my 200 times. Today's workout was a repeat of one I did last Sunday, but the backstroke 200s were 5-10 seconds faster:

WU (1000):
200 fr/pull
200 bk/pull
200 br
4 x 50 fly on 1:00 (:48-:49)
4 x 50 drill bk and fr
1:00 rest

MS (2000/35:00)
4 x
200 bk + 50 fr pull recovery on 4:30 (BKs = 3:18, 3:19, 3:19, 3:20)
4 x
200 fr + 50 bk pull recovery on 4:15 (FRs = 3:03, 3:03, 3:07, 3:06)

CD (1000)
4 x 50 drill, bk/fr
4 x 50 fly on 1:00 (:49s)
200 bk
200 br
200 fr pull

I've been doing a lot of moderate paced, short interval, mid-distance stuff lately... mostly because that's my comfort zone... training at the 500-1500 paces. What I'm happy about is the fact that I'm doing these workouts now with backstroke; which means my endurance in that stroke is getting a lot better, even as my body gets a break from the really hard, fast 50 repeats I had been doing to improve my 200 times. I'm definitely in striking distance of 3:00 for 200 back (I time-trialed a 3:09 way back at the beginning of September and I feel much stronger now).

I was going to do an SCM meet in Illinois the first weekend in November, but I also had a conference that weekend in Milwaukee, so I thought it would be best just to save my energy. Our plan is to head up to the SCM state meet for WI at the beginning of December. 1500 is already closed (they're only taking 12 swimmers I think), but that's OK, because Scotty and I have concocted a little competition to make things interesting. My back versus his breast; we'll each swim the 50, 100, and 200 for our respective strokes and add up the times (and they should be pretty close, we often swim head-to-head br v bk in practice to make things interesting. The 400 IM will be handicapped somehow b/c we're about :30 apart on that event... I'm thinking add only our improvement from 400 IM at the LCM state meet. So, I could still win if he beats me by :30, but I swim :10 faster than my previous time and he only swims :09 faster. We'll see, we're just trying to keep it fresh and keep pushing.

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  1. ekw's Avatar
    Sorry to hear about the work woes. I got a new cookbook - Isa Does It. You might give it a look. I made some really good vegan tacos a few nights ago.
  2. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Welcome back Alex. Sorry things have been tough but I am glad you are still swimming and dropping times. I wish you all the best with your search.
  3. mcnair's Avatar
    Thanks, guys, things could be worse, so I'm trying to stay upbeat. I'm still vegan and after four months my weight has finally bottomed out and stabilized somewhere around my high school weight... that's something to be happy about!