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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
  6. Happy Kind-of A No-Fins Friday!

    by , April 20th, 2012 at 01:23 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    To be honest, while I've done kicking on top of kicking lately, it's been wearing fins. Now, I typically wear the short fins - not the really long ones I started out with. That being said, I was amazed at how much harder my legs were (read: how sore my legs felt) after doing yesterday's entire workout sans fins.

    So... today I decided that I would try to do at least part of the workout sans fins. Not only does it help my blisters heal, but it really works my legs so much better than kicking with fins. Who knew?

    Here's what I did today:

    350 Warm-Up
    1 x 300 Free / Fly / Free / Fly (w/ fins) on 6:00
    2 Sets (w/ fins and board):
    - 1 x 100 Dolphin Kick on 2:00
    - 1 x 100 Flutter Kick on 2:00
    10 x 25 One-Arm Fly (w/o fins) on :40
    1 x 250 One-Arm Fly (w/ fins) on 5:00
    1 x 250 Alternating Fly & Free by 50 (w/ fins) on 5:00
    2 x 200 Alternating Dolphin & Flutter Kick by 50 (w/o fins) on 5:00
    8 x 50 on 1:20 (odd: one arm fly; even: free - w/o fins)
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Meters: 2700

    All in all, it was not a bad day in the pool. And - - I was able to string together 4 full fly strokes in a row (before going back to one-arm fly due to the "message" coming from my left shoulder). It felt great to do full fly, even if only for a little while. And, I was able to do more one-arm fly with my left arm today than before. The extra body rotation with one-arm fly really helps, but I know it's still a process and it's getting better - just not as fast as I would like. AND... I did (albeit wearing fins) a full 250 one-arm fly (right arm) today. Not quite sure why I thought that would be a good idea, but I made it.

    Anyhoo, this weekend will be full of pool time as I'm coaching the age group swimmers tonight, and attending both the Fitter & Faster Tour on Saturday and the Advanced Freestyle Clinic on Sunday - both of which are taking place at the Fishers High School pool where I train with my Masters team and coach my Age Group swimmers. Too cool!

    Whatever you do this weekend, enjoy!
    Swim Workouts
  7. A "NO FINS" Day

    by , April 19th, 2012 at 02:36 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    So, I got myself a new pair of TYR fins, as my other ClubSwim fins were ripping. Love the TYR fins. My feet loving them, however, are another story right now. Day one using my fins (Tuesday) left me with blisters on my heel. Not really worried about it, as they will callous and no longer be a problem. How did I elect to solve the problem of a raw heel? Swim socks.

    Day two (Wednesday), I wore my (granted they are old) TYR swim socks under my fins. If you've seen these TYR socks, they have seams over the toes and down the sides of your foot. Well, the over the toe seam left a raw and torn blister by the end of yesterday's practice. So....

    It was a NO FIN day today! Actually, I was pretty proud of myself for leaving them off all morning and could really tell the difference in how hard my legs were working. I may have to take more NO FIN days, especially as I get back my shoulder strength and begin to regain a little speed... and get back to competing.

    Here's what I did today:
    8 x 50 Drill / Swim on 1:05
    8 x 75 Kick on 1:55 (Alternated between flutter and dolphin w/ board)
    4 Sets:
    - 1 x 50 Free on 1:05
    - 1 x 75 Kick on 1:55
    - 1 x 50 Free on 1:00
    6 x 75 Kick on 2:00
    100 Free Cool-Down
    Total Meters: 2250

    I realize it doesn't seem like a lot to many of you, but considering my shoulder was in an immobilizer sling just over 2 months ago, I'm pretty proud that I could do the 8x50 drill/swim freestyle w/o fins and make the interval.

    It's nice when baby steps are rewarded... and I'm learning such an appreciation for the little things that make swimming great - AND - I'm rebuilding my stroke from the ground up. I think when I get back to full strength, the mechanics of my freestyle (and therefore my speed) will be better than ever. Here's to hoping!

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  8. Back At It...

    by , April 13th, 2012 at 12:14 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    After a day of biking on Wednesday and a day of coaching on Thursday, I was ready to get back in the water today. I met with the surgeon earlier this week and he was very pleased with my progress and released me from even physical therapy (which my therapist and I expected, so he gave me lists of exercises to continue on my own). The surgeon told me I could go as hard as I wanted in the water - my shoulder is good to go. So.... here's what I did today:

    250 Warm-Up
    1 x 400 Pull on 8:00 (did 75 free of each 100, 25 kick)
    12 x 25 on :40 (3 each stroke w/ fins)
    4 Sets (wore fins for all):
    - 4 x 50 Stroke on 1:10 (1 - IM, 2 - Fly, 3 & 4 - Fly & Kick)
    - 1 x 200 on 3:30 (1 - IM, 2 - Fly / Free by 50, 3 - Fly / Kick by 50, 4 - One Arm Fly)
    6 x 50 Free (all w/o fins) on 1:05
    300 Cool-Down
    Total Meters - 3150

    I did get about 8 full strokes of fly in a row today, but my shoulder got pretty sore, so I backed off to one-arm fly. I don't know what possessed me to do the last 200 as a one-arm fly, but by the 150 I was getting really tired - and really determined to actually do it. Full disclosure - I have never done any kind of 200 fly in my life. Getting this one this morning felt great!

    I also did pretty well with the 6 x 50 w/o fins swimming free at the end of practice. It felt better - like I was actually getting a little pull from my left arm instead of just letting it slip through the water. And, I'm much more conscious of getting a good body rotation in free than I ever was before. Upside... better stroke and easier to breathe to my "bad" side. Another silver lining? Perhaps! All in all, I'm still taking baby steps ... but it's all good.

    My shoulder is pretty tender right now, so I'm actually okay with tomorrow being a crazy track and softball filled day for my kids. A day out of the water will be fine - and I'll compensate by swimming with a buddy on Sunday (which is my usual day off).

    On a completely unexpected note... I got offered an Age Group coaching spot! WOO-HOO! I start on Monday and can't believe how excited I am! This Friday the 13th has been AWESOME! Hope yours is going great too!

    Enjoy your swims and your weekend!
    Swim Workouts
  9. Another Good Day... But I Need a Rest Day

    by , April 10th, 2012 at 02:57 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Today in the pool was another good day. My plan is to slowly increase the length of the freestyle swims I can accomplish without fins. Now, when I say slowly, I mean S - L - O - W - L - Y. Of course, it feels so much slower than that. But... I also have now swam two days in a row and while my shoulder is not hurting (as in "Uh oh... messed it up again), it is hurting (as in "I need to take the day off tomorrow"). So, that is my plan.

    I also get to coach Wednesday, Thursday, and next Monday. It makes it so much easier to give myself permission to not swim when I get to be on deck helping others achieve their goals. My goals will come... but not if I push too hard and do further damage. So...

    Here's what I did today:

    100 Warm-Up (chatting again....)
    12 x 50 on 1:05 (1 & 2 one arm fly w/ fins, 3 & 4 back w/ fins, 5 kick, 6 one arm fly w/ fins; 7-12 same pattern)
    5 x 100 on 1:50 (odd: free pull using fins to float legs; even: kick)
    8 x 50 on 1:05 (1 & 2 one arm fly w/ fins, 3 & 4 back w/ fins; 5-8 same pattern)
    1 x 200 Kick on 4:00
    8 x 25 Kick fast on :40
    8 x 50 on 1:20 - NO FINS ROUND (odd: freestyle; even: one arm fly)
    200 Cool-Down

    Whew.... one arm fly is one thing with fins on - with fins off, it's still a blast! Here's to hoping that once I can get back to full fly stroke all the one-arm fly drills will really pay off!

    Off to see my shoulder surgeon for another post-op check up. Wish me luck!

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  10. YAY! It's Monday!

    by , April 9th, 2012 at 01:45 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    So... I realize the title is not a typical Monday morning sentiment, but I had a big day in the pool. I did my first 100 Free without fins or resorting to one-arm drills since my surgery! And... it was long course, too!

    Most of my "swimming" since getting back in the water has been either kicking, one-arm drills, or easy stroke wearing fins to give me added lift in the water. I had managed a fin-free 50 Free last week, but my shoulder was tired after that. The water felt pretty good today and I managed to do 4 left arm only (the bad shoulder) fly drill strokes in a row. I can string together a few one-arm fly drill strokes, but still don't have the strength to get an actual fly full stroke going. I still need the extra body rotation I get from doing the drill one-armed. I know... I know... baby steps.

    Other than the 100 Free, here's what else I did today:

    200 Warm-Up ('cuz I was chatting...)
    5 x 200 on 3:30 (wearing fins - odds: fly/back drills by 50; evens: kick)
    6 x 50 Drill/swim by 25 (w/ fins) on 1:10
    1 x 200 Kick fast on ?:??? (don't remember, but I made the interval )
    2 x 50 Kick faster on 1:15
    4 x 25 Kick fastest on :30
    4 x 25 Sprint on 1:00 (did one-arm fly w/ fins)
    1 x 150 Free w/o fins (YAY! Took a break at the 100 for :10, swam easy 50)
    400 Cool-Down

    Then, I went home and did my shoulder strengthening exercises. Right now, my shoulder feels pretty good. We'll see how it is after Round 2 of the strengthening goes.

    On another happy note - I am now a certified Level 1 USA coach!!! Benefit to being out of the water... I realized how much I like being on deck too! YAY! Going for ASCA Level II and USMS certification at the Indianapolis class in June. Woo-hoo!

    Enjoy your swims today and happy Monday!
    Swim Workouts
  11. Recapping the Last Few Months

    by , April 6th, 2012 at 09:04 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    You may have noticed that I haven't posted anything since last December - and my last few entry topics surrounded the issues I was having with my shoulder. Unfortunately, rest didn't help a thing. My shoulder never got better and on January 19, I had surgery to repair a 75% torn rotator cuff. The doc took pictures of the remaining 25% and how it was shredding too. Now, with two screws holding my left shoulder together, I am cleared to get back in the water. Before you cringe... I'm mainly kicking - and slowly testing the "shoulder" waters.

    I actually got back in the water a few weeks ago and have been trying to increase what I can do day by day (actually every other day - I'm trying really hard to limit myself to 3-4 days per week max in the pool).

    My victory yesterday - I swam an entire 50 Free without fins to aid my shoulder. It wasn't fast - only a :45, but it was a full 50.

    My struggle today - pain. Not good. I went back to a few unassisted 25 Frees with a 25 Kick to get back to the wall. I find myself doing a lot of one-arm fly and one-arm back. I can do about 4 left-arm fly strokes before my shoulder gets tired, but I still don't have the strength to get both of my shoulders out of the water - on the same timing schedule - to be able to swim full fly strokes yet. Those of you who read this last year know that fly is my favorite stroke. Ugh....

    I had high hopes for this season - great SCY times culminating in our Indiana State Meet (missed the entire SCY season), my first Aquabike in May (not happening), the USMS LCM Nationals in Omaha (highly, highly unlikely), and a great Open Water season (for which I am still holding out a bit of hope to be back by the end of summer). So... needless to say, Year 3 is not what I expected. Stay tuned... we'll see where I go from here.
  12. Getting Better... I Think

    by , December 1st, 2011 at 02:49 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    When I hit the water this morning, my shoulder actually felt pretty good. Too good, in fact, because I ended up pushing it a little more than I should have on the last 2 75s (did :57s), but my shoulder was aching after that. Fortunately, up next was a kick set. Unfortunately, the last 9 Pulls turned into Kicks to be on the safer side. Here's what I did:

    300 Warm-Up
    10 x 50 Drill / Swim on 1:00
    10 x 75 Free on 2:00 GOAL SET (held :57 - 1:00)
    1 x 50 Free Easy on 2:00
    1 x 300 Kick on 6:00 w/ fins
    6 x 50 Kick on 1:10 w/o fins
    2 x 50 Pull on :55 (shoulder went bad here)
    9 x 50 Kick on :55
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 2850

    A shorter day, but I think I need to ease back into full swimming - and fast swimming - one stroke at a time. A shorter day isn't going to kill me and a longer / faster day at this point just might. One step at a time, right?

    Enjoy your swims today and I'll check in tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
  13. The "Watch Your Shoulder" Swim

    by , November 30th, 2011 at 11:35 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    After yesterday's fairly severe shoulder pain (I basically had my arm hanging by my side all day long), I was a little hesitant to get in the water today, but told myself I would stop and kick whenever I started to feel any shoulder twinges at all. I actually listened to my body, adjusted my stroke somewhat, didn't push my stroke for speed, and basically hung on. It went pretty well and swam farther than I thought I would. The only set below written as a kick set was the 6x50 Kick on 1:10 without fins. The other kicks were supposed to be freestyle, but I elected to kick and give my shoulder a break. Here's what I did:

    250 Warm-Up
    2 sets:

    - 2 x 50 Fist Drill on 1:00
    - 4 x 50 Free on :50
    - 2 x 50 Fist Drill on 1:00
    - 4 x 50 Free on 1:00, 1>4
    2 x 50 Kick on 1:00
    4 x 50 Kick on :50
    1 x 50 Free Easy on 1:00
    1 x 50 Kick ALL OUT on 2:00 (did :30 w/ fins)

    1 x 50 Free Easy on 1:00
    6 x 50 Kick on 1:10 (w/o fins)
    6 x 100 Pull on 1:40
    2 x 100 Kick on 1:40
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3100

    All in all, not a bad day in the water. And.... I came home and really stretched out well. Hopefully tomorrow will be another improvement.

    And... thankfully, the snow last night stayed to our north... no shoveling was necessary!

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  14. Ouch...

    by , November 29th, 2011 at 10:51 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Today's distance day proved to be much more painful than I wanted. My shoulder was smarting a bit from yesterday still, but I went to the pool anyway figuring that I'd just cut distance and go at an easier pace - not pushing too hard. That was the plan anyway.... and it worked well throughout the warm-up and most of the first set. Then, my left shoulder basically went on strike. It hurt, it ached, it basically said STOP!

    Here's what I actually managed to do in the pool today:

    400 Warm-Up
    3 x 200 Free on 3:00
    4 x 50 Free on 1:00
    1 x 550 Free on 9:00 (supposed to be a 600)

    4 x 75 Free on 1:30 (supposed to be 100s)

    3 x 200 Kick on 3:00
    4 x 50 Kick on 1:00
    1 x 600 Kick on 9:00
    1 x 50 Supposedly Free - ended up being mainly kick

    Total Yards - 3500

    On the 4 x 100s that were supposed to be on 1:30, I did 75s. That was okay. I decided to do the next set of 200s as a kick set to give my shoulder a break. Then, I was planning to do the 4 x 50s on a 1:00 as backstroke (with my fins on). MISTAKE!!!!! After the second pull, my shoulder simply SCREAMED! Don't know if I pulled or tore something or what. It basically hurt to move my arm over my head - and then hurt to move it back to my arm back to my side, so I gave up and just kicked the remainder of the set (3 50s and 1 600). I wanted to swim the last 4 x 75s, but even easy freestyle hurt, so I gave up the ghost, went home and took a bunch of aspirin. Hopefully, a little rest will help.

    Now... if the snow just stays away, so I don't have to shovel tonight....

    Enjoy your swims for me today!
    Swim Workouts
  15. Back to Normal....

    by , November 28th, 2011 at 12:42 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    While I really enjoy Thanksgiving, there is something to be said to getting back to "normal" - with practices at the normal time and the kids back to school (and earlier bedtimes).

    Thursday's Thanksgiving practice was a mad dash for lane space. There must have been 55-65 people there because all 10 lanes had at least 5 people - with some lanes as many as 7. It was good practice, but with so much turbulence, my stroke - and therefore my shoulder - got messed up.

    Friday's practice (one of 4 that day) was also really well attended, but I managed to get in a lane with only one other person. Much better turbulence-wise, but my shoulder was aching and I elected to kick some of the free set in order to rest my shoulder.

    Saturday, I did an easy 4400 swim that alternated between kicking and free. I really worked on my stroke mechanics for the free and my shoulder didn't ache as much at the end.

    Sunday was a total day off. Woo-hoo!

    Here's what we did today:
    400 Warm-Up
    8 x 50 Drill / Swim on 1:00
    12 x 50 Kick on 1:10, did as 1>4, 5>8 w fins, 9-12 NO FINS - made them!
    1 x 100 Fist Drill on 2:00
    1 x 100 Free on 1:30
    2 x 100 All Drill on 2:00 (did both catch-up)
    2 x 100 Free on 1:30
    3 x 100 All Drill on 2:00 (did catch-up, fist, catch-up)
    3 x 100 Free on 1:30
    4 x 100 All Drill on 2:00 (catch-up, fist, catch-up, fist)
    1 x 100 Free on 1:30
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3200

    I was actually pretty happy on the kick without fins, but I know that I need to do the kick sets sans fins more often. The 1:10 interval today made it an easy decision. So... yay for me!

    As to the rest of it... a pretty easy way to ease into the week. I managed to hold 1:20-1:22s on my 100 Free's without much shoulder ache. Happy with that. Of course, my shoulder is aching now as I sit at my desk.

    Tomorrow's distance day may become more of a kick-fest. I guess only time will tell.....

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  16. Harder Than It Should Have Been

    by , November 23rd, 2011 at 08:50 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    The title for this entry pretty much says it all. It shouldn't have been a brutal set, yet that's the way it turned out. Here's what we did:

    300 Warm-Up
    1 x 300 Kick on 6:00, every other 50 fast
    2 x 400 Free on 6:30, broken at 200 for :05
    2 x 200 Free on 3:10, broken at 100 for :05
    4 x 100 Free on 1:45, broken at 50 for :05
    1 x 300 Drill/Swim on 6:00, left arm only, right arm only, free by 25s
    1 x 200 FAST Free on 4:00, broken at 50 for :10 (got 2:34)
    1 x 300 Kick on 6:00, every other 50 fast
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3400

    I was actually (especially on the 400s) doing the second 200 at a negative split as we were supposed to. That got harder and harder the tireder I got. But... I still managed to do negative splitting (albeit by 1-2 seconds max).

    I was not expecting much at all from the Broken 200 for time at the end of the workout. However, the 2:34 was pretty respectable for me. So... at least the workout ended on a good note.

    Tomorrow being Thanksgiving, there is only one team workout. It's slated for 4600 yards in 90 minutes. Hopefully, my legs will feel better in the morning. I guess time will tell.

    Enjoy your swims today and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Swim Workouts
  17. Tuesday's Distance Day

    by , November 22nd, 2011 at 12:06 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Well... I must say that this one was a struggle from the get-go. So... knowing that... I decided to focus on swimming the 500s strong (read as: making the interval) and shortening the 100s (read as: swam as 75s). The original plan was two sets of: 2 x 500 on 7:30 followed by 10 x 100 on 1:30. When I missed the very first of the 100s, I decided to swim the next as a 50, then shorten the rest down to 75s. Here's what I ended up doing:

    300 Warm-Up
    2 x 500 Free on 7:30
    1 x 100 Free on 1:30 (actually on 1:32)
    1 x 50 Free on 1:30 (catching my breath)
    8 x 75 Free on 1:30
    1 x 500 Kick on 7:30
    1 x 500 Pull on 7:30
    6 x 75 Free on 1:30
    100 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3600

    All in all, not a bad distance for a 60 minute swim (give or take a few minutes). With everything being on a 1:30 base, it was tough. Here's the weird thing though. When I'm swimming by myself (like when I was doing the Postal swims), I was basically doing 100 repeats on the 1:25 with no break in between. Does that make sense? Maybe I'm just more relaxed when swimming for myself. When I'm swimming on an interval that I think will be tight.... those are typically the workouts I have trouble with. Huh.... something to mull over.

    It's raining in Central Indiana today. It could b worse... my folks got more snow in Minnesota. Hope it's sunny and warm where you are.

    Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  18. Meet Results and Monday's Workout

    by , November 21st, 2011 at 01:23 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Having decided to take a relaxing, stretch-out swim on Saturday (total yards 2200 - nothing taxing), I headed to Louisville, KY, with 6 of my teammates for the Louisville Invitational. In keeping with my theme of getting outside my comfort zone, I decided to race the 50, 100, 200, and 400 Free events (SCM). I had never done a 200 in SCM or a 400 in any format. The 400 was up first, followed by the 50, 100, then 200.

    400 Free - 5:57.12 - Not bad for the first time out. I learned that I can go a bit harder in the 2nd and 3rd hundred, but was really happy that my last 100 was faster than my 2nd or 3rd. (And, I actually lapped the guy next to me.... huh... that felt good )

    50 Free - 34.92 - Decent. It's only 0.3 seconds off my best ever 50 Free SCM. Can't complain about that. My only complaint here is that I feel like I could have gone harder and it didn't hurt as bad as it could have.

    100 Free - 1:16.76 - Not bad, although this one REALLY hurt. It was 0.1 seconds faster than my previous best time.

    200 Free - 2:49.21 - This was great. It felt relaxed, but ended up being faster than I had expected. A great way to end the meet.

    My only real issue with this meet was that I never got a great flip turn. There is a metal edge at the top of the pool and I was slipping all over the place. Ugh.....

    Then, I woke up this morning with fairly sore shoulders, but headed to the pool anyway. Joy of joys.... my husband came with me! He's thinking of joining my team and wanted to see what our workouts were like! Here's what we did today:

    400 Warm-Up
    4 x 100 Free on 1:40
    4 x 100 Free on 1:50
    4 x 100 Pull on 1:40
    4 x 100 Kick on 1:50
    1 x 200 All Drill IM on 4:00
    4 x 50 Fly on 1:05
    4 x 50 Breast on 1:00
    4 x 50 Back on :55
    4 x 50 Free on :50
    4 x 25 Breast on :40
    4 x 25 Fly on :35
    4 x 25 Back on :30
    4 x 25 Free on :25
    200 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3500

    This wasn't exactly the meet warm-down swim I was looking for, as it was exhausting. Probably would have been fine most other days, but it almost did me in today.

    That's it for now. Enjoy your swims today!
    Swim Workouts
  19. A 10 x 75 Test Set....

    by , November 17th, 2011 at 09:06 AM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    I had gone into this workout thinking that today would be a shorter, taper-type of workout. Huh.... good intentions and all..... Here's what we ended up doing.

    400 Warm-Up
    6 x 150 on 2:30 as Kick / Drill / Swim by 50s
    10 x 75 Fast Free on 1:30, hold best average (did :57s)
    100 Easy Free
    4 x 50 BR Arms w/ Fly Kick on 1:10
    8 x 50 Fly Kick on Back on 1:10
    4 x 50 Underwater Streamline Kick on 1:10
    6 x 50 Free on :50
    300 Pull Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3550

    I was actually really happy with the :57s on the 10 x 75 set. The last time I swam a set like this, I skated between :58s and 1:05s. The discrepancy was pretty big during the 10 swims. This time, the range was :56-:58s, with the vast majority (at least 7) coming in at :57. I was really happy with the consistency - especially as the clock seemed to go faster and faster between swims.

    As to the kick sets, etc. that came later, I used those as an extended cool-down and didn't push too hard. The 6x50 on :50s set - I made them all in around :40. Not pushing too hard, but it was a little push.

    Tomorrow, I need to take it a bit easier in practice.....

    Enjoy your swims and I'll check in then.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Wednesday with Fast Broken 100s

    by , November 16th, 2011 at 12:46 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    Well, today was the day that I gave myself until to decide whether or not to swim the Louisville meet this coming weekend. I figured if my calves were cramping on the Fast 100s, I would skip the meet. They didn't, so I'm going..... For the first time in a long time, I'm just not excited to compete. I think this will be my last competition until the new year starts. Maybe then I can get back the desire to compete. It feels like I've been focusing on endurance (thus the 3K and 6K Postals) and have forgotten how to be fast. Of course, that being said, the Broken Fast 100s today were all between 1:13-1:15, which isn't bad for me from a push at all. So.... maybe "feeling" fast isn't the best indicator.

    Here's what we did today:
    350 Warm-Up
    1 x 300 IM Order by 75s (did fly drill, back, free) x 4 on 6:00
    16 x 25 Free on :30; odd: perfect stroke, even: hard
    2 sets:
    - 1 x 100 Kick on 2:00
    - 1 x 200 Drill/Swim by 50s on 4:00
    - 3 x 100 Free on 1:40, 1>3
    4 sets:
    - 1 x 100 Free Moderate on 2:00
    - 1 x 100 Free FAST on 2:30, broken for :10 at 50 (did 1:15, 1:14, 1:13, 1:13)
    400 Cool-Down
    Total Yards - 3450

    So, I'm signing up to swim the Freestyle events on Sunday - the 50, 100, 200, and 400. Should be an interesting day. I've never done a 400 in competition before and haven't done a 200 in close to two years. Guess we'll see what happens!

    Enjoy your swims today and I'll check in tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
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