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Year Three: The Road Back

"Sometimes God calms the storm. At other times, he calms the sailor. And, sometimes he makes us swim. " - Author Unknown

Having killed my knees running half-marathons, I turned to swimming at the ripe young age of 39. I attended my first Masters' practice in August of 2009 and competed in my first ever swim meet in January 2010. My second year focused on training, improving, and competing. My third year... that will be another story.

  1. It WAS a Happy FLOG Time...No More

    by , May 11th, 2012 at 10:15 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    But... that's not a bad thing. I decided since I not only reached my target pace for 250 miles this year, but was starting to get ahead of pace that I should continue to challenge myself on this road of recovery by upping my GTD goal by 25 miles. That being said, I'm once again not having a happy FLOG, but I get to see how I am slowly gaining on the new goal - and when I catch and pass that, I will probably up it again. I am just needing to remember to swim smart and when my shoulder starts hurting (not getting tired, but hurting) that I need to stop and kick the rest of practice. I'm learning.... and my kick is getting much better without fins. It's almost a win-win situation.... minus the injury, of course.

    Here's what I did today:

    300 Warm-Up
    8 x 50 Drill on 1:05 (odd: one arm fly, even: free catch-up) - no fins
    6 Sets (odd: one arm fly, even: free) - no fins
    - 1 x 50 on 1:10
    - 4 x 25 on :40
    5 x 100 Kick on 2:00 (did as 50 back dolphin, 50 back flutter) - w/ fins
    1 x 100 Free on 2:10
    1 x 450 Kick w/o fins (while everyone else finished final free set)
    200 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 2850

    All in all, today's practice was quick-paced and fun. I only wish that I had been able to do full fly instead of one arm. That flat shoulder rotation is just not coming back quickly.

    I also think my freestyle may come back quicker if I can spend my time in the water focusing on the details of my stroke instead of worrying about when to breathe. Therefore, I'm toying with the idea of getting a snorkel. Any thoughts, suggestions?

    Enjoy your weekend and happy laps to you!
    Swim Workouts
  2. It's a Happy FLOG! (finally)

    by , May 8th, 2012 at 12:54 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)

    Enough said? Well... maybe not. But, for the first time since having shoulder surgery (and cutting my Go the Distance goal in half - to 250 miles), my FLOG IS HAPPY! (My shoulders were another story during warm-ups - tight & tense - so today became more of a kicking day than a swimming day.) That being said, I'm still very happy with myself and my legs are still sore from today's workout. Here's what I did:

    300 Warm-Up
    4 x 200 Kick w/ fins on 3:30
    4 x 50 Free Fast (w/o fins on 1:30 - did :47, :47, :45, :43)
    4 x 350 Kick (w/ fins - odd: flutter w/ board, even: dolphin w/ board)
    2 x 175 Free (w/o fins)
    150 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3200

    I am actually starting to feel stronger when I swim freestyle in the water - like my pull is actually doing something for both arms. Again, woo hoo! What I really need to work on now is endurance. I'm just not able to go very far with what feels like a good pull yet. My shoulder gets tired and sore very quickly. I guess that will come with time too. The truth is that only a few short months ago, I was in an immobilizer sling - feeling a strong pull for even a few lengths is still a good thing!

    It's back to the pool again tonight to coach the 10 and Under's. I'm am having such a blast coaching the club kids that I wish I had discovered coaching sooner. Oh well, better late than never, eh?

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  3. My FLOG is Almost Happy!

    by , May 7th, 2012 at 01:15 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    After having surgery in January and being completely out of the water for most of the year's first quarter (AND completely re-doing my "goal" for the year), my FLOG is almost happy with me again.

    My original goal for the year was 500 miles, which is 125 miles less than last year. However, I didn't anticipate how long I would be completely out of the water and just how long it would take to get back to swimming. (Even now, I am kicking almost half of each practice....) So, I redid my "goal" for the year again and slated it for 250 miles. And, I'm within 0.5 mile of the target pace. Woo-Hoo!

    I know it's really stupid that a computer telling me to pick up the pace bothers me, but it does... which may be why the FLOG is so effective in getting me to the pool on those days I really would rather stay in bed.

    With that being said, I started today's workout with about 1350 meters of freestyle (w/o fins), which is the most I have done of freestyle without a break since January. After that, of course, it was time to kick and give my shoulder a break for the rest of the workout (kind-of). Here's what I did:

    400 Warm-Up (all free w/o fins)
    1 x 450 Free (w/o fins) on 8:30
    8 x 50 Free (w/o fins) on 1:05
    1 x 500 Kick (w/ fins) on 8:30
    4 x 50 Sighting drill Free (w/o fins) on 1:05
    6 x 50 Kick (w/ fins) on 1:05
    1 x 300 Kick (w/o fins) on 8:30
    8 x 50 on 1:05 (odd: one-arm fly w/ fins fast; even: dolphin kick on back fast w/ fins)
    150 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3100

    Hope you enjoy your swims today as much as I enjoyed mine!
    Swim Workouts
  4. Test Set - Kick-Style

    by , May 3rd, 2012 at 02:06 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    For today's workout, I was planning to mainly kick the first part and see if I could do the 20x50 Free test set at the end of the workout. As the workout got underway, however, I had to rethink my plans as my shoulder was fairly achy from the beginning. Therefore, I did a little free in the workout and did the test set as a 20x75 Kick on 1:30 (wearing short fins). I was able to hold 1:11's throughout (and finished on a 1:08). Pretty happy with that, but slightly bummed that my shoulder wasn't up to the test set. Anyway, here's what we did today:

    100 Warm-Up
    1 x 200 KIck on 4:00
    1 x 50 Drill on 1:05
    1 x 200 One-Arm Fly w/ fins on 4:00
    1 x 50 Kick on 1:05
    1 x 200 Kick on 4:00
    1 x 50 Kick on 1:05
    5 Sets - all w/o fins
    - 1 x 25 on :30 Kick
    - 1 x 25 on :30 Drill
    - 1 x 50 on 1:00 Swim-Build Speed
    20 x 75 Kick on 1:30 Predictor Set - Hold Best Ave. (w/ fins held 1:11s)
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Meters: 2950

    On another happy note, I reset my Go the Distance goal to 250 miles (down from the 500 miles originally) and have still been behind since the beginning of the year. I am now within 5 miles of my goal pace. Of course, the weekend is coming.....

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  5. Almost More Swimming than Kicking....

    by , May 2nd, 2012 at 12:38 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    And so the progress continues.

    In the last few days, I've been able to flatten out my left arm for fly a bit (doing one-arm drill) and even do a 25m of full fly (wearing fins). On the freestyle front, I swam a continuous 600 meters two days ago (which is 300 meters longer than my previous continuous swim) and actually was able to descend 6x75 Free today. I'm still not "fast", but am feeling more comfortable in the water and am starting to slowly play with my stroke speed and not have too much fear that my shoulder will blow out again. So.... it's coming, but I'm still trying to be patient and continue with the baby steps (although "bigger" baby steps).

    I am also trying to both play around with longer fins (so I can remember what speed feels like) and going without fins (so I build back my endurance and strength). Kind of a tricky balancing act, but I think it's working so far. Again, it's a work in progress.

    Odd thing though is that for the first time, I can really feel the underwater catch of my fly. YAY! I guess I didn't know what I was missing, but I'm really looking forward to putting the entire stroke back together and seeing how fast I can go. I'm also getting much better at feeling a strong catch with my freestyle. I guess when you are forced to go slow and pay attention to the little details of how you place your hand, rotate your shoulder, etc., the little things you never took time to figure out before become really evident.

    Can you tell that my confidence is going through the roof? I'm not back yet by any means, but I'm no longer wondering "if" I'll get back, but "when" I'll get back. Maybe the end of open water season this year? If not, then definitely for 2013 USMS SCY Nationals - which are being hosted by my team in my backyard! What better motivation could there be?

    Anyhoo, here's what we did today:

    400 Warm-Up
    8 x 50 Drill / Swim w/ fins (rotated through fly, back, breast) on 1:05
    12 x 25 Kick Hard on :30
    4 x 50 Kick on 1:30 ALL OUT FAST!
    1 x 50 Free on 1:00 Easy
    Main Set
    - 6 x 100 Fly w/ fins on 2:00 1>3,4>6 (fastest was 1:22!)
    - 1 x 50 Fly w/o fins on 1:00 Easy
    - 6 x 75 Free w/o fins on 1:40, 1>3, 4>6
    - 1 x 50 Free w/o fins on 1:00 Easy
    - 6 x 50 Kick on 1:00 1>3,4>6
    50 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 2850

    Enjoy your swims today!

    Updated May 3rd, 2012 at 01:53 PM by kgernert

    Swim Workouts