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Goals, Periodization, Lessons Learned

  1. Lucky 7 to Indy

    by , March 11th, 2018 at 10:28 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After some great progress building back into my training over December and January, I hit some snags over the month of February.

    On January 28th, I went down to Tucson and competed in the annual Polar Bear meet. I was actually quite happy with most of my swims - 50 fly (26.43), 50 back (29.18), 400 IM (4:32.17) and 500 free (5:12.76). The only time that was a tad disappointing was the 500, but I took it out too slow and negative split it (2:38/2:34+).

    As solid as I felt during the meet, I woke up on the Monday after and could barely move - my lower back was in major pain, wracked with spasms. I barely swam the week of January 29th, mustering only 5,000 yards, but then felt better and had two good weeks (Feb 5th and 12th weeks), culminating in the Matt & Annie Grevers Meet in Mesa where I swam, in about 3 hours total, all of the IMs (1:00.8, 2:12.3, 4:34.3) and the 50 breast (31.9).

    As if on cue - do a good meet, have some pain - I then suffered through two plus weeks of my head full of gunk, with much of it concentrated in my sinuses to the point where going any amount under water was painful. I managed 7,500 yards during the week of Feb 19th (as the stuff was starting), 4K during the week of Feb 26th and really only started to feel like my old self again this weekend, notching up a little less than 10K for the week.

    We are 9 weeks away from Indianapolis Nationals, which means I have to somehow put in 7 weeks of consistent training so that I can do some semblance of a taper. I am 100% committed to being in Indy and put my entries in this weekend:
    • Friday
      • 400 IM
      • 100 fly

    • Saturday
      • 100 free (6th event)
      • 200 fly

    • Sunday
      • 50 fly
      • 200 IM

    I figure with the above line-up, I can put some focus around my training, and swim many of my favorite events. I am really hoping that, by skipping the 500 on Sunday morning and keeping a lighter schedule, I can swim a decent 200 IM, something I haven't done at Nationals in a long time.

    I'm ready to train and aiming to blog along with it. All roads lead to Indy!
  2. Eye of the baby tiger

    by , August 19th, 2017 at 03:53 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I can't consider my 6 workouts this week totaling 9,425 yards equivalents as really worthy of me cuing up Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," but I will exit this week tomorrow with about the highest level of motivation I've had this entire year. Call it baby tiger motivation.

    I did variations of Monday's workout on each of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, but had to cut Wednesday's workout short due to a day trip to San Francisco. This morning, though, I did a 'mega' workout at home in SCM ...

    • 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill by 25
    • 4 x 100: on 1:40, free descend w/snorkel (#1-#3) and swim #4, 1:22 - 1:21 - 1:19 - 1:17
    • 8 x 50: on 0:55, w/monofin doing SDKs going 10 AFAP kicks off each wall and then easy the rest of the way; odd laps on belly into flip turn to even laps on back
    • Breaststroke set:
      • 1 x 100 on 2:15 going odd laps doing the Rebecca Soni / Race Club drill using snorkel and band kick, with even laps pull only
      • See this great video -
      • 2 x 25: on 0:45, breast swim using Finis band
      • 1 x 100: same as above
      • 2 x 25: on 0:45, breast swim without band
      • 1 x 100: same as above

    • 8 x 50: on 0:55, backstroke descend swim

    TOTAL: 2,000 SCM

    • I have been bad this week about both running and PT, but will focus on that tomorrow.
    • A big reason for my increased motivation is that my shoulder feels super-fine and I am looking forward to getting back into competition mode. In September, I have signed up for
  3. Year in Review / Preview

    by , January 4th, 2017 at 09:03 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Unfortunately, there was a little prophecy from my Year in Review / 2016 Preview ( as the post ended with a paragraph that included, "...Unless I have blown my shoulders out..." I should be more careful of what I write!

    2016 Year in Review

    High-level metrics for 2016:

    • I had an absolute banner year for adding pools - with 49 new pools bringing my total up to 268. Check out the post here -
    • In aggregate, I worked out in 64 different pools over the year. The top 10 pools I trained in were:

    1. My pool - 123 swims
    2. Cactus - 22 swims
    3. Valley of the Sun JCC - 19 swims
    4. Burlingame Aquatic Center (CA) - 9 swims
    5. Pleasant Valley Aquatic Center (CA) - 8 swims
    6. Stanford - 5 swims
    7. Westmoor Giammona (CA) - 5 swims
    8. Greensboro Aquatic Center - 4 swims (e.g., 4 days of Nats)
    9. McDowell Mountain Ranch (AZ) - 4 swims
    10. Ventura Aquatic Center (CA) - 3 swims

    • Swam 267 days of the year, which is pretty much my average for the last 5 years, but I would have been much higher had I not almost stopped swimming for most of December once I got my MRI results.
    • Total yardage swim was 780K SCY-equivalents which is right where I wanted to be (e.g., averaging 15K per week) and my 4th longest year:

      1. 2011 - 968K SCY equivalents
      2. 2012 - 901K SCY equivalents
      3. 2010 - 789K SCY equivalents
      4. 2016 - 780K SCY equivalents
      5. 2009 - 762K SCY equivalents
      6. 2014 - 753K SCY equivalents
      7. 2015 - 712K SCY equivalents
      8. 2013 - 641K SCY equivalents
      9. 2008 - 555K SCY equivalents
      10. 2007 - 456K SCY equivalents
      11. 2001 - 426K SCY equivalents
      12. 2002 - 313K SCY equivalents
      13. 2003 - 274K SCY equivalents
      14. 2004 - 251K SCY equivalents

    Note that I swam so little in 2005 and 2006 that I didn't even track it; those were the super-high-growth years of my last company and years where I was shuttling back & forth between US, Europe, India and Japan a lot.

    • On the business travel front, it wasn't such a hot year as I recorded my max days of any business travel (112 vs. 105 last year) in the last decade since I've been tracking that. That is definitely going in the wrong direction as I was 89 days in 2012, then 100, 101, and 105 over 2013-2015.
    • On the upside, I guess I managed to do more day trips and/or flew more early morning flights as I only slept away from home on business trips 66 nights, which is down from 72 nights last year. Whoo-hoo! Almost a week more in my own bed

    On the competition front, I managed to race well in the SCY season and still managed to record some Masters best times:

    • 1000 free
    • 1650 free
    • 50 back

    I suspect that I am going to have to soon give up the hope of still being able to improve my times as I continue to age, as this list keeps getting shorter.

    2017 Preview (aka Rehab for Indy)

    As referenced in my last post, I am finally in the process of fixing my long ailing left shoulder. While the MRI results looked ominous, my appointment with my orthopedist was, all things considered, better than I expected. The high-level / best news is that he doesn't seem too concerned about the partial tear. He did caveat that, as he has no baseline MRI other than this, he cannot tell if it this is a recent 'trauma-based' tear, if it's due to long-term overuse or, even if it's just natural decay that many of us get as we age. He believes that the two major contributors to my pain are bicep tendinosis and rotator cuff tendinitis. For now, he's prescribed PT, some slightly stronger NSAIDs and he strongly cautioned me to plan for ...

    • 6~8 weeks of no swimming and no other sports with rotation (I can kick)
    • Not to start back swimming until I feel pain free and the PT feels like he thinks I'm ready to do so
    • ... and when I start back, to do so very gradually

    As this definitely shoots my SCY season to hell and as I never really train for LCM, I've set my mind on 2017 as my Year of Rehab with a longer-term racing plan to be back in top form by Indianapolis Nationals in 2018. I might get there sooner, but I also want to take the time to fix this now (in service of my ultra-long-term goal of finally setting a National Record when I hit the 90-94 age group!).

    For the time being, I'm going to focus on the PT and mix together yoga (which he OK'd), treadmill running, dog-walking and hiking for some semblance of aerobic activity. When I get the opportunity to go to a new pool (, I'll do a 1500 kick, but I find pure kicking workouts so boring that I doubt I'll be in the water much unless it is to 'bag' a new pool.

    Updated January 4th, 2017 at 09:41 PM by pwb

  4. Recovering from Greensboro

    by , May 6th, 2016 at 08:16 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After 4-5 days focused on family, friends and racing last week, I needed to hunker back down behind the computer this week to try to get my arms back around all of my "real" work. I think I finally felt some semblance of control by the end of the day Thursday and so can hopefully get back into a more balanced groove of work, family and training. Until today, I alternated between light yoga (Monday/Wednesday) and light swimming (Tuesday 1K, Thursday 2K), but I dove in this morning and tried to see what I had left in the tank for my Broken Mile set:

    Warmup sets (1,500 set)

    • 1 x 400: IM, kick drill
    • 4 x 100: on 1:30, free swim, descend w/buoy, paddles, snorkel
    • 8 x 50: on 0:50, w/monofin 10 USDKs AFAP off first wall on belly then easy into a fast turn and & 10 USDKs AFAP on back
    • 6 x 50: on 1:00, #1 and #6 easy, #2 to #5 strong IM order (0:35, 0:37+, 0:43, 0:35)

    Broken Mile (1,500 set / 3,000 total)

    • 3 rounds of:
      • 3 x 50: on 0:50
      • 2 x 100: on 1:35
      • 1 x 150: on 2:20

    • 50s
      • 04-12-12 - 0:32 to 0:33+
      • 04-18-14 - Round 1 solid 33s, Round 2 at 33+, Round 3 at 33+/34
      • 08-25-14 - 0:35s on rounds 1 and 2, 0:34s on round 3
      • 08-26-15 - 0:35s on all rounds
      • 09-02-15 - 0:33 to 0:33+ on all rounds
      • 09-09-15 - solid 33s on round 1 and 2, then 0:33+ to 0:34+ on round 3
      • 09-19-15 - 0:35s on round 1, 0:35, 0:34+, 0:34, 0:34 on round 2, 0:34s on round 3
      • 09-25-15 - 0:35s on round 1, 0:34+ on round 2 and 0:33s on round 3
      • 09-30-15 - 0:33s on rounds 1 and 2, 0:33+ to 0:34 on round 3
      • 10-06-15 - 0:32+ on round 1; 0:33 then 0:32+ on round2; 0:32s on round 3
      • 10-21-15 - 0:32+ on rounds 1 and 2; 0:32s on round 3
      • 02-15-16 - 32+, 33, 34, 35, 35, 35, 35, 35, 35+
      • 05-06-16 - 36, then a mix of 34+/35s

    • 100s
      • 04-12-12 -- were 1:06 to 1:08, those bookends each occurred once
      • 04-18-14 - Round 1 1:07s, Round 2 1:07+, Round 3 1:08, 1:08+
      • 08-25-14 - 1:11s on round 1, 1:12s on round 2, 1:10+ on round 3
      • 08-26-15 - 1:11s round 1, 1:12-1:10+ round 2, 1:12s round 3
      • 09-02-15 - 1:08 to 1:08+ on all rounds
      • 09-09-15 - 1:07 & 1:07+ on round 1, 1:08s on round 2, then 1:09+ and 1:11 on round 3
      • 09-19-15 - 1:12+, 1:11, 1:12, 1:10+, 1:10+, 1:10
      • 09-25-15 - 1:12, 1:10, 1:10+, 1:10, 1:08, 1:08
      • 09-30-15 - 1:07, 1:07, 1:07+, 1:07+, 1:09+, 1:11 (last one w/buoy)
      • 10-06-15 - 1:06+, 1:06+, 1:06+, 1:07, 1:06+, 1:06+
      • 10-21-15 - 1:07, 1:06, 1:07+, 1:05+, 1:06, 1:05
      • 02-15-16 - 1:10, 1:10+, 1:12, 1:12, 1:12, 1:12
      • 05-06-16 - 1:14, then 1:12s with the odd 1:11 in there

    • 150s
      • 04-12-12 - 1:41, 1:41, 1:40
      • 04-18-14 - 1:42, :142+, 1:43
      • 08-25-14 - 1:48, 1:50, 1:46
      • 08-26-15 - 1:51, 1:47, 1:50
      • 09-02-15 - 1:43, 1:43, 1:42
      • 09-09-15 - 1:43, 1:43+, 1:49 (even though I put on a buoy and paddles to try to help my failing arms)
      • 09-19-15 - 1:48, 1:46+, 1:45
      • 09-25-15 - 1:46+, 1:46+, 1:41+
      • 09-30-15 - 1:42+, 1:43, 1:50 (last one w/buoy & paddles)
      • 10-06-15 - 1:40+, 1:40, 1:40
      • 10-21-15 - 1:40, 1:39+, 1:37+
      • 02-15-16 - 1:48, 1:48+, 1:50
      • 05-06-16 - 1:50, 1:48, 1:43 (but I really pushed the last one hard)

    Cool-down 250

    TOTAL: 3,250 SCM


    • My goal today was to see if I could comfortably hold around 1:12 pace per 100 and I kind of did that.
    • My summer racing plans are going to be hit & miss (mostly misses) with a bunch of either single event days or single day attendance at meets. My primary focus this summer will be training for endurance so that I can be ready to do the Daily Double (1 mile and 5K Gatorman) at La Jolla in early September, but I still want to keep my racing chops well-tuned.
    • Here's what I'm thinking of for summer racing:
      • May 14th - 4,500 open water race at Canyon Lake (
      • May 30th - I'm going to enter the 1500 at the USAS Cactus Classic meet and see what I can do.
      • June right now is a vast wasteland of no racing as of now. There's a chance I'll get in a 400 IM at a local USAS meet.
      • July has a few things in play:
        • July 24th - I should be around San Mateo and able to race that day of the Pacific Masters Champs
        • July 29th - not sure I'll be able to swing this, but Stewart pointed out the meet at Texas A&M and I'd love to fly in for an evening that included both the 400 IM and 1500
        • July 28th/29th - the more likely scenario is I swim some events at the AZ USAS Senior State Champs.

      • August has two possibilities
        • August 5th - attend Friday events at Mission Viejo at Southwest Zone Meet.
        • August 6th/7th - attend one day of the AZ State Champs down at U of A.

    • I don't see any path to me getting to Portland for Nationals, but there's a non-zero, very low probability of me dropping into Vancouver to swim at the America's Masters Games ( I'd be more excited about the latter if it was going to be sanctioned, but apparently not.
    Tags: broken mile
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  5. 4K in under an hour

    by , February 1st, 2016 at 10:43 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    It was a cold, windy and spitting mid-morning when Kurt and I walked onto the deck at Cactus Aquatic Center. In the 20+ lap lanes, there was just one other swimmer and the lifeguards did not look too pleased to see two more. Whatever ... no lightning and warm water, so we got in and cranked through this short rest workout, one that I had written here - - and apparently adapted from a prior workout done with Burlingame Masters

    Warmup Sets (1,200)
    1 x 200: IM, kick-drill
    Get your equipment lined up and ready to roll through the next three straight on the interval - I used a snorkel for all and added the buoy for the 300
    1 x 300: on 3:45, free pull, make it (3:31)
    2 x 200: on 2:25, free swim, make it (2:19s)
    3 x 100: on 1:10, make it (1:05s)

    Main Set (2,800 set / 4,000 total)
    3 rounds of
    • 1 x 150: no-free IM kick on 3:00, build each 50 to fast
    • 3 x 200: free swim, make these and descend these on the intervals
      • #1 on 2:25
      • #2 on 2:20
      • #3 on 2:15
      • Round 1 - 2:14, 2:112, 2:11
      • Round 2 - 2:12, 2:11, 2:07
      • Round 3 - 2:11, 2:09, 2:05

    • 3 x 50: on 1:00, #1 and #3 are cruise free, #2 is BLAST FAST stroke, fly-back-breast by round
      • None of my 'blast fast' were fast

    1 x 100: float down with snorkel

    TOTAL: 4,000 SCY

    • Always great to swim with Kurt and we just plowed through this; it wasn't a 'touch-and-go' workout, but we didn't get a lot of rest. After taking Sunday off, this was a good way to get going.
    • Originally, there was supposed to be a Masters Meet in Mesa over the Valentine's Day/President's Day weekend, but they're not hosting it. That means I've got 5 weeks until we hopefully have the Swim Devil Sprint Meet and then another 4 weeks after that will be our State Championships. Meet flyers aren't up for either of those so I'm not sure what will be offered, but I'm really hoping it will work out that I can swim the 1000 at the Swim Devil meet and then the 1650 at the State meet.
    • Originally, our State Meet was the March 26th/27th weekend, which was going to be perfect as it would have allowed me to see how I did in each of the 1000 and the 1650 before the Nationals entry deadline so I could pick the right one for Friday of the meet.
    • As I won't be able to do that, I'm pretty sure my Nationals line up will be:
      • Thursday - 1000 free
      • Friday - I'm debating just making this a fun day and doing the 50 back and 100 free, but the siren song of the 200 fly is very seductive.
      • Saturday - I figure I have to swim the 500 free and the 200 IM. It's rare the 200 IM is not the last event on Sunday and I can't pass up the opportunity for a good race in the 500 (plus, I'll be in better shape than I was last year)
      • Sunday - With promises to myself to moderate my expectations, much like Saturday, I can't pass up the opportunity to swim the 400 IM.

    • Even better than my individual events at Nationals, though, will be the resurrection of "Brundage Swim Masters" and mixed relays with my Dad and my two sisters.
  6. Trend break strategies?

    by , April 30th, 2015 at 06:04 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    So, while part of me is happy (enough) that I haven't appreciably slowed down over the last 14 years as a Masters swimmer ( and, in some cases, gotten faster, the big question is this: what can I do to break the trend and, at least for sometime, get appreciably faster?

    I know the basic answer is this: don't keep doing what you're doing; do something different.

    The challenge is figuring out what that different thing or things must be? Some initial musings below, nothing rocket-science here:
    • Karl_s made a comment about my "goals" post a few days before San Antonio ( -
      Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S
      Um, I though goals were something you set at the beginning of the season.
      - and he is right. Since 2012, I haven't had the right mix of focus, predictability of my end-of-season plans or commitment to really plan a season and stick to the plan.
    • Mark Cox and I were talking one day of Nationals about what leads to great swimming / racing / results and the elements were pretty simple (to write) - consistency in training regimen and a great coach on deck (if possible).
    • Though the results from 2009/2010 were confounded by the miracle of tech suits, I was far more consistent about a combination of weight training, core work and some other form of aerobic work outside of the pool (e.g., vs. recent non-existence of dryland work). As I talked at the meet with Sam Perry, a former AZ Masters guy who decamped to Fort Worth, we both lamented the loss of strength that comes with age ... unless you do something about it.
    • In the process of training for some measure of strength, I can afford to drop 5-10 lbs ... gotta lug less lard.
    • I did learn, though, from this past season that I don't need to do high volume to swim fast enough ... race pace training and race pace training at shorter repeats can work. I don't think I'm ready to jump on the USRPT bandwagon, but I rarely did a fast repeat over a 50 or a 100 this season and managed to produce solid times from the 200 up to the 1000.
    • From watching both the pros at events like the Arena Pro Swim Series and speedsters in San Antonio, as well as from feeling what seems to produce the most power and speed for me in the water, I am committed to once and for all learning how to swim freestyle breathing only to one side, every two and with a strong kick.

    I still have to ponder this all more. The one thing I am going to do, I am really, truly going to attempt, I swear, is to not focus on a "big meet" until Greensboro next spring. Whenever I think there is the next big meet in X weeks, I get focused on only swimming, fearing that anything I do outside of the water might detract from the time and effort in the water. I will still probably do a small meet this summer where I rest and swim some fun events, and I imagine I'll do the same in the SCM season, but I really want to devote a long cycle to building strength, re-configuring my freestyle, dropping a few pounds and oriented towards a longer-timeframe.

    This week has been a week of transition that included:

    • Monday - hot yoga and a smooth 3 x 500 SCM pull at home
    • Tuesday - a nice 2,600 SCM workout with my spring-to-fall sometimes training partner, Peter.
    • Wednesday - In SCM, a quick 750 warmup (300 IM k/d, 3 x 100 descend w/snorkel, 6 x 25 odds fast from block) followed by 10 x 50 on 1:00 attempting to hold 30- while breathing every two (made 3, then was 30+ on 4th, easy on 5th; repeated) and then a 150 easy
    • Thursday - core class at the JCC followed by the same workout as Wednesday with the fast efforts breaststroke (aiming for 0:38 from a push in SCM, but ended up doing 1 at 0:39/0:40 followed by one easy and never saw 0:38)

    I'll put something more concrete in place for next week, the summer and the year ahead of Greensboro. I just wish there was an order of events up for Greensboro so I could create a theme based upon the likely events I'd swim, e.g.,
    • "Get 3 Under 2" - break 2 minutes in each of the 200 fly, back and IM
    • "Go For States at Nats" - while the National records are beyond reach for me, there are a couple of AZ State Records that are either possibly achievable (e.g., 1000 is 10:09) or a reach that would be fun to go for (e.g., Paul Smith's 4:45 in the 500).

    ... it is far enough away that I don't really need the OOE, but it would really fit well with my desire to think long term if it was there to plan for!

    Updated April 30th, 2015 at 06:12 PM by pwb

    Swim Workouts , Planning
  7. Nationals & nada

    by , March 19th, 2015 at 07:27 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    It doesn't look like I will be able to carve out any time to train today - all work and no workout is going to make me a dull boy, so hopefully I get some better training in tomorrow and through the weekend.

    My training, therefore, was in visualizing success as I entered Nationals. I figured that I wasn't having any success in coming up with a rational decision of which events to enter and so I may as well go with what "felt" right. Here's what's in the system now:

    Friday, April 24, 2015
    #9 200 Freestyle 1:48.81
    #11 50 Breaststroke 30.82
    #13 100 Backstroke 58.74

    Saturday, April 25, 2015
    #19 500 Freestyle 4:50.18
    #25 100 Breaststroke 1:07.41
    #27 50 Freestyle 22.77 - Sixth Event

    The hardest decision was the 400 IM versus the 200 free. I actually almost submitted the 400 IM, but decided at the last minute that I was more excited about the 200 free. In addition, that 1:48.8 time is my non-tech-suit best and dates from 2008 Nationals in Austin. I would really like to get back under that and, based upon my freestyle races thus far, feel like I had a higher likelihood of success than in getting under my 4:15.1 400 IM time from Greensboro. This is clearly not an order of events designed to maximize my medal haul, but I think I can maximize my joy.
  8. Splits and split decision

    by , March 17th, 2015 at 08:36 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Got the splits from my 1000 this weekend and I am now even happier with how evenly I swam it:
    • By 500s
      • 5:11.52
      • 5:10.53

    • By 200s
      • 2:03.8
      • 2:05.4
      • 2:04.5
      • 2:05.1
      • 2:03.2

    • 100s
      • Average 1:02.0
      • Fastest 1:00.26 (last 100)
      • Slowest 1:03.90 (3rd 100)

    The odd thing is that I have been doing almost no "traditional" endurance training. I haven't been doing USRPT, but certainly have (when not loafing or cut short) been doing the majority of my workouts with a shorter distance repeat and a race pace focus. Whatever I have been doing, though, I've got enough endurance. It also shows me that the 12 SPL on my first three 100s is probably too low and creates too slow a stroke rate. That's good feedback.

    As for the split decision, I am internally debating what events I should actually enter at Nationals. Here's what I know:
    • I will only enter events on Friday and Saturday
      • Primarily to limit my travel time
      • Secondarily because I think the OOE on Sunday isn't compelling enough to stick around for

    • I want to have one "core" event each day and two fun/off events
      • Those fun/off events will be events I've never raced shaved/tapered/suited up in my Masters career

    • Here's what I am struggling with on Friday
      • Fun events will be - 50 breast and 100 back
      • Core event - I cannot decide between the 400 IM and the 200 free.
        • Normally, this is a no brainer and I do the 400 IM. The only Nationals I went to where I didn't swim the 400 IM was 2011 in Mesa (where I pretended to be a sprinter) and it was somewhat difficult for me to watch the race.
        • On the other hand, the only race that truly sucked for me at Santa Clara was the 400 IM, so maybe I need to take a year away from it?
        • My freestyle is feeling great this year and I really have enjoyed all of the freestyle racing I have done so far.

    • Saturday
      • The core event is absolutely the 500 since I already committed to the Blue Bell / Shiner Bock challenge
      • After that, though, I really struggle.
        • I think I should skip both the 200 fly and 200 back since I just swam them in San Antonio.
        • The 100 IM is always fun, but I've got some "history" with that event that might make it more "core" than "fun."
        • That leaves the 100 breast, which I can get behind, and the 50 free, which usually ends up being frustrating because I miss a start or a turn.

    As for actual training, I am pleased to say that my home pool was warm enough on Monday morning for a 1,500 warmup swim before flying over to Burbank. Today will end up being a wash for training as I had to do a day trip between Burbank and San Diego. I will say that the flight down was one of the best I've done - a 9 seater Cessna hugging the coast line on Sea Port Airlines. Hopefully, the flight back north is just as beautiful and I get in a good workout tomorrow morning.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  9. Western hemisphere acclimatization complete

    by , October 2nd, 2014 at 08:20 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Last week was a rough one as I think it took me until Monday (29th)before I felt like I had re-acclimatized to the time zone in Arizona. On top of the severe jet lag since my return from India on the 21st, I came down with a mild (but still VERY annoying) head cold of sorts last Thursday and that didn't break until my swim on Monday - thanks, wonder-drug Chlorine

    This past weekend ended up being a bit of a bust when it came to swimming for my family. We had two Masters events scheduled for the weekend - an SCM meet at Kino on Saturday and our first ever State Masters OW champs scheduled for Sunday. As my youngest daughter had a meet scheduled for both days, she and I compromised and agreed that she would swim one day and I'd swim the other. We chose Saturday for her meet and for me to do the OW on Sunday.

    As she's recently turned 11, she chose Saturday, in part, because she'd have the opportunity to swim her first ever 400 IM (I've been brainwashing her!). The meet started off great as she dropped time in her 100 breast and then swam her first-ever 200 back. She enjoyed the 200 back so much that she said she was getting more excited for the 400 IM. Her coach had put all of her friends in the IM and the kids had this cool mix of excited resignation, fear and machismo as they talked about it. There was a 2.5 hour wait after the 200 back before the 400 IM.

    ... and then the thunderstorms that have helped make the greater Phoenix area a darling of the national "crazy weather" news this summer rolled in. There was literally one heat of boys 10 & under 200 IMs to be swum before my daughter was to race her 400 IM ... and the meet was paused for a lightning delay. After 30 more minutes, it was clear the storm was here to stay and the meet was called!

    That same rain storm, unfortunately, then contributed to the OW swim being cancelled for Sunday morning as the City of Tempe requires a re-test of the water for safety 24 hours after an accumulation of more than 0.2 inches. I was more bummed for my daughter than for my missed swim (as I'm not in any shape to race). The silver lining is that we're working on re-scheduling the OW event for later this month ... and maybe I'll be able to race some portion of it!

    While I know I'm not exactly starting from ground zero, it feels that way. It also feels like I'm too far behind the 8 ball in my training to make anything substantive of the SCM season, were I to focus on my usual events. Outside of the possible re-scheduled OW swim, it looks like the only meet I'll be able to swim is the Ron Johnson meet (, coming up in a very short 6 weeks. So, I've decided I'll be a breaststroker for the next 6 weeks and have entered the following events, with a few extra events thrown in because it is a flat, entry fee
    • Saturday
      • 50 breast
      • 100 breast
      • 50 free - won't swim this unless there's lots of heats of 100 back
      • 100 back - I realized that I still haven't swum a non-bodysuit 100 SCM back in my Masters career!

    • ​Sunday
      • 50 fly
      • 400 free - though my plan is to swim this breaststroke to see how I stack up against the Aussies (their National record in SCM is 5:51.59)
      • 200 breast
      • 100 free

    As for my training, rather than put in a grand plan, I'm going to try to do the following:
    • Alternate swim days as
      • Day 1 = sprint day, primary focus on breaststroke or non-freestyle
      • Day 2 = 30 minutes of drills/kicking

    • On drilling/kicking days, alternate dryland exercises and yoga class by day

    My times thus far this week are not worth mentioning, but I felt pretty good this morning in my yoga class and look forward to jumping in the pool later this evening for the drills/kicking.

    I'll try to pick back up with regular workout reporting tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  10. Bonking on Jochums

    by , June 29th, 2014 at 02:54 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After yesterday's good workout and even through the warmup today, I thought I had a shot at making the 'Jochums Revenge' set that Peter and I had tried last Sunday ( It was still not to be, but, on the whole, this was a better effort than last week. Done with Peter by my side in SCM (except when he was kicking my ass and taking my good name to the cleaners):

    Warmup sets (1,300 set)
    • 1 x 400: IM, k/d
    • 12 x 25: on 0:30, in sets of 4 as build to fast, decelerate from fast, all easy, all fast
    • 6 x 50: on 0:50, descend in sets of 3, I did these w/buoy and paddles and was 0:38 -> 0:33 on 1st 3, 0:37 -> 0:31+ on next 3
    • 3 x 100: on 1:30, steady pace swim w/snorkel
      • I was 1:09 and then 1:10+/1:11 on the next two

    Jochums Revenge (3,600* set / 4,900* total)
    • Goal was 100-200-300-400-500-600-700-800 on 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00 7:15 8:30 9:45
    • Last week, I was 1:21, 2:34, 3:48, 4:53, 6:10 (where I missed the interval), at which time I bagged the rest of the set and switched to a kick set
    • Peter and I agreed that if we missed an interval, we'd sit out for a 50 or 100 and then try to get back on pace
    • I did the 1-2-3 with my snorkel and felt smooth and solid, going 1:20, 2:30, 3:43
    • My goal was to then swim the 400 and 500 and try to make the intervals
    • The 400 felt pretty solid, but I came into the wall at 4:58
    • I got nothing going on the 500 and, candidly, gave up around the 300 mark and was 6:23
    • I skipped the first 100 of the 600, threw on my buoy and paddles, and pushed off at the 1:10 mark with Peter. I stuck with Peter (mostly) for the rest of this and thought that we'd come in right around the 7:15 interval, but we touched at 7:22 (making that 500 I pulled a bit more respectable at 6:12 or so). We agreed to go on the 7:30 interval.
    • The 700 should have been on 8:30, but I finished around 8:42 and so we went that on 9:00
    • I was pretty locked into that 1:15 pace and then went a 10:02 on the 800.

    * So, my total on this set was 3,500.

    Cool-down 200 w/snorkel

    TOTAL: 5,000 SCM

    • I am determined to make this set. I don't know when I'll do it next as I'll be racing each of the next couple of weekends, but I am going to change my strategy on it by throwing on my paddles for the 500 to see if that helps me get under that interval.
    • This was a great, endurance workout, though, and I'm glad I got back into the set after sitting out the 100, even if I still couldn't quite cut the mustard on the intervals.
    • Looking ahead to this week, I think I will plan this:
      • Monday - hot yoga
      • Tuesday - some kind of IM oriented quality workout
      • Wednesday - Peter's going to bring a workout
      • Thursday - Take a run at my 8 x 100 heart rate test set
      • Friday - Just go a workout composed of my 'long form' 1,750 warmup sets
      • Saturday - Race the 400 IM
      • Sunday - Race the 200 IM and 1,500

  11. Summer Race Plan

    by , May 22nd, 2014 at 05:26 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After 5 days a row in the water, I'm taking a day to stay dry, but, of course, my mind is still on swimming. I've cobbled together a bit of a race plan for the summer thus far ...

    June 7th & 8th - Southwest Classic in Tucson - confirmed
    As my oldest daughter is swimming the Southwest Classic at the U of A (, it's cross-sanctioned with USMS and I'm dropping #3 daughter and her friend off at the U of A swim camp that Sunday, I've entered a few events:

    • Saturday - 50 free and 400 IM
    • Sunday - 200 IM

    June 21st - Fast Times in the Cool Pines in Flagstaff - confirmed
    Everyone in the country really should descend upon the glorious mountain town on Flagstaff to have the ultimate swimming test - racing LCM at 7,000 feet. The entry form is up here -- -- and I've entered the following eclectic mix of events:

    • 400 free
    • 50 fly
    • 100 breast
    • 50 back
    • 100 free

    June 27th - Pacific Masters LCM Champs - possible (but not likely)
    If my business travel aligns in time to enter this meet (, I'll drop in to swim the 1,500 that Friday morning.

    July 3rd - Arizona State Senior Champs - USAS - possible (but not likely)
    The meet flyer's not up for this, but I'll see what event they are having on July 3rd and how it fits with my work and life. I had to register for USAS this year to swim the Southwest Classic, so I may as well go swim something. I'm hoping they have the 800 free on the 3rd as that would be fun to do. The meet's at ASU, which has excellent chillers for summer racing.

    July 12th-13th - Swim Devil Heatstroker - highly unlikely
    I am really bummed about this. For the first time in my 17 years of living in Arizona, there is a Masters meet being hosted (by Swim Devil Masters) at Cactus Pool, the wonderful LCM pool less than a mile from my house - Unfortunately, I am heading to India for work on July 4th and will get back home the evening of July 12th. In addition, #3 daughter will have her big meet of the summer that same weekend, so I'm 99% sure I will not be able to race here.

    July 26th or 27th - AZ State Meet in Tucson - fairly likely
    I should be around Arizona this weekend, don't appear to have any kid meet or vacation conflicts and should be able to head down to Tucson for at least one day of our State Championships meet -- I don't think I want to go down for both days, so will probably just pick whichever day imposes less 'hardship' on the household and then choose 4 events that look fun.

    This weekend's fun race watching
    I've got the joy of announcing the finals for this weekend's Cactus Classic meet at Cactus Pool - This will be much more awesome than recent years as the Ford team is coming up (e.g., with Grevers, Cordes, Steele, Geer, etc. entered), as well as some of the swimmers from ASU along with studs from Phoenix Swim Club like Roland Schoeman. It's certainly raised the bar for the club team swimmers to make the 'A' finals, but that's an awesome thing.

    Tonight's reminder I'm getting old
    #1 daughter has her high school graduation tonight. If that's not a nudge that I'm getting older, I don't know what else is. She is so stoked, though, to have this phase of life behind her and very much looking forward to starting at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver this fall. She'll swim there, of course, and I think it's going to be an awesome fit for her. So papa-proud of her!
  12. At least I can enter meets!

    by , January 28th, 2014 at 09:56 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I never really liked pulling even when my coaches asked me to do it; being forced to pull now because I can't kick is the definition of torture. But, I did get in the water on Saturday (1,000 SCY), Monday (1,500 SCY) and today (1,750 SCY), so that's progress. I am walking fine and pretty much without pain in my foot, as long as I don't try to flex it forward beyond 90 degrees. The better, look-to-the-future news is that I actually did a couple of laps tonight where I took the buoy out and sort of, kind of swam, with a nice left foot kick snap and a semi-up and semi-down more than just floaty motion on my right (injured) foot.

    If I can't swim much, at least I can enter meets and signed up for the Sun Devil Sprinter Spectacular on Feb 23rd (
    • 1000 free - but only because there is no 400 IM. I'll swim 400 IM and then cool down
    • 25 Fly
    • 25 Back
    • 50 'anything goes' free (definitely wearing the B70 Nero Comp)
    • 100 'any order of strokes' IM (am thinking breast, fly, free, back)
    • 25 Breast
    • 100 free (*really, a real event*)
    • 25 Free
    • 25 Back

    Given that this meet is less than a month away, the 25s might be the only thing I really end up swimming!
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  13. Today I plan, tomorrow I swim?

    by , January 24th, 2014 at 10:03 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    On the good news front, I have been off the crutches since Sunday night, stopped limping around Tuesday evening and the 'cankle' and swelling in my foot are almost gone. The bad news is that, while I can walk normally, there's still no real flexion I can put in my ankle. I had thought I was going to be able to try swimming this morning, but I'm going to hold off one more day.

    This makes a run of 8 days that I will be out of the water. The last time I was out for that long was when I took pretty much the entire summer of 2008 off. It'll be weird when I get back into the pool and I suspect the next week will still be tentative in terms of being able to push anything. While that sucks, that will still give me 12 weeks to train and 1 week to taper for Nationals, more than enough time.

    My swimming investment today, then, was to plan my spring racing season, which finally looks like it is coming into shape:
    • Late February (probably Feb 23/24 weekend) - Sun Devil Masters Sprinter Invite, a one day meet that usually has a pretty full order of events along with fun events like 25 free and 25 kick.
    • Matt Biondi Masters Classic (March 23rd, Simi Valley, CA) - I have deftly organized a camping trip for my daughter's spring break to start on the beach north of LA right after this meet! I entered last night and signed up for a full set of 5 events:
      • 200 free
      • 100 back
      • 50 breast
      • 400 IM
      • 50 free

    • AZ Masters State Meet (April 4th to 6th) at Kino/Mesa - Order of events is still being finalized, but, after reading Water Rat's report of his 1,650 in workout and realizing I've only ever raced three 1,650s in my life as a Masters' swimmer, I'm going to plan on entering both the 1,000 and 1,650 at this meet. Paul Smith is working the order of events so distance folks can do this.
    • Nationals - Still thinking about 200s of each of the strokes and the 200 and 400 IM. Still debating whether I change that up on Sunday and opt for the 500 free instead of the 200 free.

    If I can (though I won't buy the t-shirt), I'm going to see if I can accomplish the 'check off challenge' across these 4 meets and swim every event at least once, with the constraint being that I will swim the 400 IM at every meet where it is offered because I just can't pass up that sublime event.
  14. Training / Teaching Weekends

    by , January 10th, 2014 at 01:29 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    All right, I've been bad about swimming this week. As noted earlier, I missed both Tuesday and Wednesday and then only managed 2,000 SCY at Cactus yesterday. However, I will begin to make up for that today and have a couple of weekends planned where I'm going to totally geek out on swimming training and education before I re-engage in a committed training plan for Santa Clara. Despite my slow start to 2014, I am incredibly excited about how I think this winter and spring will unfold.

    Swim Geek Out Weekend #1 - This Weekend (Jan 10th to 12th)
    Ask and ye shall receive.

    At one of my last lessons last fall with Anne Wilson, TI trained coach for Camelback Coaching (, I had told her that, at some point in the future, I wanted to get some training on coaching, both to assist me with my own swimming, but also with an idea that I might start to do some technique coaching later in life. Realistically, I was thinking something like 5-10 years down the road, but an opportunity came up this weekend that is too good to pass up. Terry Laughlin, founder of TI, is going to be in the area doing some work with USA Triathlon and has offered to do an intensive, 3 day program for a very small group of swimmers and wanna-be coaches. We're going to have about 10+ hours in the pool (targeting two 105 minute sessions each day) and another chunk talking over working lunches. I think I've organized my work and family life to start that this afternoon and am really looking forward to it.

    Swim Geek Out Weekend #2 - Next Weekend (Jan 16th to 20th)
    This weekend's going to be educational in a very different way - I get to be one of the chaperones for my about a dozen or so swimmers from my daughters' team to the Austin Grand Prix. Yes, I'm going to be ferrying kids to and from the meet and, no, I'm not sure what kind of working out I'll get to do in Austin, but it will be a blast to go watch this meet. I am hoping, though, that I can get in at least one workout while I'm there. The psych sheets aren't out, but the expected line up looks great ( Plus, how bad can a weekend in Austin be?

    Looking ahead - The Plan
    Try as I might (I'm on a competition committee for Arizona Masters), we're still not locked down on a spring SCY meet schedule. I am, unfortunately, going to miss the Tucson Polar Bear meet this year as it got moved up a week and will happen when I am in Austin, instead of the last weekend in January when it normally happens. I suspect we'll have a meet in February or early March as Sun Devil Masters usually hosts one and we'll have our state meet in early April. I have, however, worked out a plan so that I can attend the 'Inaugural Matt Biondi Classic' ( on March 23rd and will use that as a mid-season 'check-in' meet. With my full-time training starting in earnest on January 20th, that gives me 9 weeks until Matt Biondi meet and then another 5.5 weeks from that meet until Nationals. That's plenty of time to get ready to race fast. If my training goes as planned, I think I'll do a very quick drop-taper for Biondi, shave down and see what I learn from racing there.

    Speaking of swim geeking out, I'm really enjoying Becca Mann's blog posts on SwimSwam about her experiences with USRPT (see, and
  15. Years in Numbers

    by , January 3rd, 2014 at 02:20 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    The cold/flu/infection that was brewing hit me hard last night with all sorts of lovely waves of chills, sweats and muscle aches, so I'm definitely out of the water today, but have the energy to take a look back on 2013, do a little 'year in numbers' review and to plan for 2014.

    High-level metrics for 2013:
    • Swam 267 days of the year
    • Steadily increased by average yardage per swim from about 2,000 yards in Q1 and Q2 to 2,450 in Q3 and 3,100 in Q4
    • Total yardage swim was 641K which is not horrible and slots it in as my 5th longest year of volume since returning to Masters in 2001. Below are other years:
      1. 2011 - 968K SCY equivalents
      2. 2012 - 901K SCY equivalents
      3. 2010 - 789K SCY equivalents
      4. 2009 - 762K SCY equivalents
      5. 2013 - 641K SCY equivalents
      6. 2008 - 555K SCY equivalents
      7. 2007 - 456K SCY equivalents
      8. 2001 - 426K SCY equivalents
      9. 2002 - 313K SCY equivalents
      10. 2003 - 274K SCY equivalents
      11. 2004 - 251K SCY equivalents

    Note that I swam so little in 2005 and 2006 that I didn't even track it; those were the super-high-growth years of my last company and years where I was shuttling back & forth between US, Europe, India and Japan a lot.

    • On the business travel front, I did some sort of travel for 100 days of the year and spent 59 nights in hotels for work. This is better than my previous company (2002 to 2010) where I was typically in hotels for 65 to 75 nights a year, but still a bit higher than I'd like. The biggest difference for my swimming, though, is that most of these nights were in California and near to good pools and teams to train with.
    • Speaking of pools, in 2013, I trained and/or competed in 51 different pools over the course of the year; while many of them (28) were single swims, the top 10 pools I trained in were:
      • My pool - 122 swims
      • Cactus - 22 swims
      • Lifetime Fitness - 18 swims
      • Kino - 11 swims
      • Scottsdale Jewish Community Center - 9 swims
      • Burlingame - 4 swims
      • Ventura - 4 swims
      • San Francisco North Beach - 4 swims
      • ASU - 4 swims (these were all meets)
      • Irvine - 4 swims

    On the competition front, once I got healthy and able to train (after LCM), I ended up having a pretty good SCM season with:
    • 5 best times - 50 back & breast, 100 & 400 IM, 200 back
    • My 400 IM, at least as of now, puts me tied for the 5th best all-time in the world, the highest I've ever been. I don't think I could ever approach the world record (4:31 vs. my 4:46), but I still think I've got a shot at going much lower in the 4:40s later this year.
    • Though I didn't really do an sets or workouts that would qualify as USRPT, I did far more high quality, race pace training at shorter repeat distances than ever before. I do think I'll be able to take this idea and apply it even more aggressively in SCY for some even faster swimming this spring.

    Looking ahead to this year, I envision three seasons of training and competition:
    • My big meet for the year will be Santa Clara Nationals. Even though the pool's kind of crappy by today's standards, this is a sentimental favorite for me as I attended my first ever Masters Nationals there in 2001, and also swam well here in my IMs and fly back in the summer of 1986. I am still toying around with event plan, but my current thinking is to do the 200s of each stroke and the 200 and 400 IM, as follows:
      • Friday - 400 IM and 200 back
      • Saturday - 200 breast and 200 fly
      • Sunday - 200 free and 200 IM

    • The only real question in my mind with the above is if I'll do the 200 free or 500 free on the Sunday. My hope is that I can swim the 500 at the Arizona State meet in early April and be happy enough with that swim.
    • Long course will again be a bust for me given that the timing of Worlds and Nationals don't work with my family vacation and my plans to take my oldest daughter off to university in late August. Rather than worry about trying to cobble together an LCM racing plan, I'm going to use the summer to try to get into good open water racing shape so that I don't die when I do the daily double of the 1 mile and 3 mile races at La Jolla in early September.
    • I hope then to be able to return to a pool focus for the SCM season and to be able race the full weekend at Long Beach/Southern Pacific for their championship meet. I'd prefer not to go through another season-ending meet outside in the cold like I did this year with Ron Johnson, but we'll see how that pans out.
  16. The semi-off season

    by , December 10th, 2013 at 05:54 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Before jumping into the semi-off season plan, I need to catch up on all the nice comments from my swims last Friday. This weekend ended up being a blur with my oldest and youngest daughters racing in frigid temperatures, but I did read and appreciate all the thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem
    Excellent 2back! It's always nice to have the visual cues above to make lane position a non-issue.
    Thanks, Mike, and, yes, the ceiling was an immense help. That didn't stop me from both jamming a few turns and going dangerously long on one turn, but it still helped between the flags.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1
    Wow! Nice going!
    I appreciate it, but am not worthy of this as you probably would've not only raced the 100, but also done it fly!

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    I thought your IM was a nice swim, but that 2 back is outstanding. Nice job!
    Kirk, I couldn't agree more. I just hope whatever backstroke I had last Friday sticks around for the SCY season.

    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    Awesome meet Patrick.
    Thanks, Stewart. It's a real bummer you got iced out of your meet.

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmieAvsFan
    I was a bit worried when I was snooping on SwimPhone and saw your 100 free. Guess I shouldn't have been! Awesome 200s!
    Too funny. My dad said he saw you at a meet; hope your swims went well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat
    great meet patrick. hard to cap off a meet with your best swim at the end (at least for me!)
    Thanks, but it wasn't like I was at the end of a grueling 3 day affair.

    Quote Originally Posted by KEWebb18
    Great job!

    As for what I'm calling the semi-off season, I often find the mid-December to mid-January a bit of a no-man's land when it comes to training. Unlike my age group and collegiate years when this was a period of heavy training, this seems to be a time where I want to ratchet down the training, but not too much. I want to make sure I don't lose some of the hard-won conditioning and speed I've built, but also want to try out some new things. I think my general plan will be this:
    • I really want to get consistent about yoga -- not so much for my swimming, but because it just leaves me feeling better and more relaxed all around. I'm going to try hard, starting this week, to get to two classes a week.
    • Though I swam fast without any dryland work aside from my shoulder injury stretch cords this fall, I'm finally feeling stable enough and without pain (almost always). Again, more for overall conditioning than necessarily sport specific work, I want to build in a consistent body-weight based dryland program that incorporates some plyometrics.
    • On the pool side, again because I feel more confident in my shoulder, I want to build back to some more traditional and longer aerobic sets. As fast as I swam this fall, I think the back half of my races was generally not as strong as it should be.

    On Sunday, I got in 3,000 SCY at Cactus as follows:
    • 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill by 25s
    • 6 x 100: on 1:20, free, descended from 1:09 to 1:01
    • 6 x 100: on 1:40, 3 IM kick w/board descend, 3 dolphin-flutter kick w/board descend
    • 1 x 50: easy
    • 6 x 200: on 2:30, swim free w/agility paddles -- held about 2:14-2:16 on most and pushed a 2:10 on the last one
    • 3 x 50: active recovery

    On Monday I got in my stretch cord work, light yoga and this HUGE dryland set:
    • 5 squats
    • 5 pushups
    • 5 plyometric squat jumps to streamline

    Today, I did the 500 Six ways workout from my HVT thread, taking no breaks between sets except as noted

    • 1 x 500: IM, k-d-k-d-s
    • 5 x 100: on 1:20, free, did 3 at 1:07, 1 at 1:04, 1 at 1:00
    • 0:40 rest
    • 4 x 125: on 1:50, IM order (1:27, 1:28, 1:40, 1:23)
    • 2 x 250: on 3:00, w/agility paddles, was 2:44 then 2:42
    • 5 x 100: on 1:30, #1 cruise free, #2 to #5 IM order for add up (1:06, 1:06+, 1:17, 1:00 = 4:29)
    • 10 x 50: on 0:50, going 1 easy, 1 fast fly (0:28+), 2 easy, 2 fast (back at 0:30, breast at 0:36, 4 easy free)

    Might snag another new pool tomorrow!
  17. Begone Ennui & Angst, you evil twins of despair!

    by , June 10th, 2013 at 06:16 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I was bumming after Saturday's little meet-like workout, but I slept well Sunday, turned my mind completely away from swimming (other than to write this week's HVT workouts) and focused on other things. I saw a great movie, The Stories We Tell, with my wife, cooked up a nice BBQ meal for the family and then capped off a day of sloth by watching an episode of The Idiot Abroad ( Good times indeed and a great way to banish ennui and angst from my mind.

    I woke up reinvigorated today, walked all three dogs (about an hour in total), did my PT exercises and did a light swim:
    • 1 x 200: IM kick
    • 6 x 100: on 1:45, w/snorkel focusing on technique (key points: strong kick connection to hip role, entry of hands, pulling back straight and w/high elbow)
    • 6 x 50: on 0:50, w/snorkel and agility paddles focusing on technique
    • 8 x 25: on 0:30, w/monofin, underwater SDK, odds cruise with 1 breath, evens fast no breath
    • 4 x 50: on 0:50, gentle descend freestyle swim without equipment

    TOTAL: 1,500 SCM

    I'll do something fast tomorrow.

    I'm looking ahead to a decent summer racing schedule and will try to remain Zen-detached from the results:
    • June 22nd / 23rd -- Colonies Zones LCM
    • July 20th -- McCall Mile High Mile OW Swim (
      • This should be fun as I've convinced my wife to drive through here on the way back from our summer vacation. McCall, Idaho is home to the Brundage Mountain ski resort (; while I haven't traced the family connection, I'll at least be able to get some good photos of Brundages on Brundage Mountain!

    • July 28th -- Grand Canyon State Games LCM (
    • Aug 8th to 10th -- Summer Nationals
      • I'm still unsure if I'll be able to attend, but I'm going to enter some events on Thursday through Saturday so that, if I can be there, I can do some relays.
      • Contemplating
        • Thursday -- 100 breast, 200 IM
        • Friday -- 50 breast, 200 back
        • Saturday -- 400 IM, 50 free

    Updated June 10th, 2013 at 06:22 PM by pwb

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  18. April racing plans

    by , March 5th, 2013 at 10:58 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    The Sprinters Spectacular really jazzed me up again about swimming and I'm looking forward to a couple of local meets in April. I'm really hoping I can get my shoulder back in shape -- a good ART session yesterday and then an even better technique session with Anne Wilson were exactly the right things to do the day after the meet.

    Next meet up is the Arizona State Championships ( at a newly revamped pool near Tucson (rendering here: Most likely, I will only swim Saturday, but the "one size fits all entry fee" encouraged me to enter events on Sunday in case I can swing a weekend in Tucson. As the order of events stands, though, Saturday is perfect for me:
    • 50 fly
    • 50 free
    • 50 back
    • 400 IM

    I'm not a fan of for swimming event entries as none of the e-receipts spit back what you entered. I believe I entered 200 IM, 100 IM and 200 fly on Sunday.

    Aside from likely family commitments preventing me from swimming two days in Tucson, the other reason is the MAC Masters "Grand Prix" Invite the following Sunday ( I've signed up to time all finals sessions at the real Grand Prix (along with my wife and two of my daughters), so I am hoping I learn a few things from my lane-side seats watching the pros. I begged Paul and Erin to put the 400 IM at the start of the meet and so entered that along with the 50 back, 50 free and 100 back. Paul's got it in his mind that we're going to put together a strong men's 200 medley relay in Mission Viejo this summer and I guess I'm the designated backstroker. I figure I had better start working on that.

    My lesson with Anne yesterday was simply awesome. She shot some quick videos on her iPhone that I have yet to see, but I think we were really able to isolate a stroke flaw that is likely both slowing me down and exacerbating my shoulder. In a nutshell, when I am breathing to my right side, I over-rotate my right shoulder; doing this causes me to then sweep my left arm out very wide (I guess as a counter-balance) and start my pull with that arm in such a way that we think I'm engaging relatively little of my back/lat, but quite a lot of the rotator cup/shoulder area. I'm not sure I'm describing it well. However, when I focused on keeping the right shoulder more flat, I was able to track much straighter with my left arm. Once I got that tracking and initial engagement with the correct/bigger muscles, we also started working on an earlier vertical forearm as I was also dropping my left arm down straight and not getting a high-elbow catch. It felt hugely better by the end of the hour session.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  19. Willing my shoulder well

    by , February 18th, 2013 at 09:15 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    This is guaranteed not to work, but I've entered a couple of meets on the off chance the fact of the entry will convince my body to heal itself.

    Sun Devil Sprinter Spectacular -- March 3rd, SCY
    I don't know how many of these I will actually swim, but I've entered:

    • 25 Fly
    • 50 Free
    • 25 Back
    • 50 free with fins
    • 50 Fly
    • 25 Free

    Colonies Zone LCM Champs -- June 22nd to 23rd at the GRAP
    This is longer away and it is my since hope that I've fully healed myself by April 1st so that I can then have a 10 week gradual training cycle for this:
    • Saturday
      • 1500 free -- will either
        • Split request a 400 free -- my goal,
        • Split request a 50 free -- if I'm not in shape for a 400,
        • Scratch this, or
        • If the event fills up and tjrpatt didn't get in, gift my entry to him

      • 200 fly
      • 200 free

    • Sunday
      • 100 free
      • 100 fly
      • 400 IM

    As for today's exercise, I got in a solid core class at Lifetime, some excellent stretching, meditation and stretch-cord pre-hab work. I think I'll be moving up the intervention scale later this week, going beyond acupuncture and massage to see the ART guy about my shoulder.
  20. Indy Off / 2013 Vision

    by , January 7th, 2013 at 07:40 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    It really pains me to write this, but Indianapolis Nationals is going to be a no-go for me. This bums me out to no end as Indy remains my favorite pool in the country and I was really, really, really looking forward to racing there. Beyond that, my absence breaks by 5-in-a-row streak for attending spring Nationals. On the bright side, the reason is kind of good as I had a talk accepted at a geeky conference that my company likes to make a splash at each year. The downside is that the conference is May 5th to 8th; while I technically could jet over to Indy after that, I know two things to be true:
    • This conference is draining -- it's a big selling / customer engagement opportunity for us so I am usually running (and on my feet) from pre-breakfast meetings until late in the evening. I would be physically wasted if I showed up in Indy.
    • With the amount that I travel, tossing a full week away from home would not be fair to my family.

    So, while I'm bummed from a swimming perspective, I'll adapt. In fact, I've already begun to develop a backup plan:
    • I'm going to use my SCY season as a re-building effort. In part, I need to do this because of the nagging shoulder problem. I intend to use this time, as well, toL
      • Focus on my technique.
      • Play around with new technology/toys
      • Experiment with different training approaches in and out of the pool

    • I'll race in meets locally through April. Although the AZ calendar's not up yet, we should have

    • I'll set my sights, though, on trying to race fast in a June LCM meet ... hopefully the Colonies Zone Championships in Richmond.
    • I may or may not show up for some part of the Mission Viejo Nationals; if I do, it will probably only be to swim relays and for 2 days max as that time of the year is full-on-family time.

    Today's efforts ended up being all on the dry-side:
    • 30 minutes yoga + meditation
    • My routine of pre-hab / injury prevention stretch cords
    • My first (very limited) time back with weights, doing 10 reps each of
      • Bench w/15 lb dumbbells
      • Rows w/15 lb dumbbells
      • Tricep press w/15 lb dumbbells
      • Hammer curls w/10 lb dumbbells
      • Calf raises

    I did the weight work for two reasons:
    • I wanted to see which exercises (rows and traditional curls) caused pain and where in my left arm (forearm on both). I'll be scheduling some time with an ART guy ( in the next week or so and want to be able to tell him what causes the pain.
    • Once I have my shoulder/arm healed, I do want to build back into a weight-lifting routine. One of the things I want to play around with this spring is better overall / total body fitness vs. just training to swim fast.

    I really, really, really also dislike the extra spaces the new blog formatting introduces seemingly randomly between paragraphs.
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