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  1. 2020 Swimming Year in Review

    by , January 3rd, 2021 at 05:50 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Haven't posted in months. I've been swimming, but mostly longer sets, more geared for open water swimming.

    I used to do a wrap-up for swimming, so here goes:

    Pools/open water I swam at in 2020 (roughly in order from Jan 1 onward):

    * 24 Hour Fitness: Round Rock, Texas
    * Sendero Springs Pool: Round Rock, Texas
    * Barton Springs Pool: Austin, Texas
    * Oryx Airport Hotel Swimming Pool, Doha Qatar
    * Brunswick Baths: Melbourne, VIC Australia
    * Williamstown Beach: Melbourne, VIC Australia
    * Portsea Beach: Portsea, VIC Australia (2500 & 1500m o/w swim events)
    * Centenary Aquatic Center: Brisbane, QLD Australia
    * The Valley Pool: Brisbane, QLD Australia
    * Port Willunga Beach: Port Willunga, SA Australia
    * Olympic Aquatics Centre, London UK
    * Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, TX
    * Emma Long Park/Lake Austin: Austin, TX
    * Creek Side Pool: Round Rock, TX
    * Low Water Crossing/Fritz Hughes Park/Lake Austin: Austin, TX
    * Scenic & Matthews Park/Lake Austin: Austin, TX
    * Highlands at Mayfield Ranch Community Pool: Round Rock, TX
    * Abiquiu Lake: Abiquiu, NM
    * Lake Nighthorse: Durango, CO
    * Bear Lake: Garden City, UT (the Bear Lake Monster swim event, 10k)
    * Rifle Gap Reservoir: Rifle, CO
    * Deer Creek Reservoir: Wallsburg, UT (the Deer Creek 10k swim event)
    * Strawberry Reservoir: Heber City, UT
    * Great Salt Lake: Magna, UT
    * Tennessee River: Chattanooga, TN

    All of the swims are in the USA, unless noted otherwise (I traveled to Australia and London in January).

    Despite limited swimming in March (I swam 17 days in March, my last on 3/18) and April (I got back in Lake Austin at Emma Long Park on 4/6 and swam 10 times/32 miles in April) the year ended up being by far my highest volume year ever. I've been keeping track since 2011, and I certainly don't think I swam this much prior to that:

    My 24 Hour Fitness gym has closed permanently; they have re-opened some other locations in town, but I just didn't feel comfortable going they are much further. I bought a 2 year pass from Costco, and they gave me a refund for half of it (I had used more than that).

    My local pool, Sendero Springs, re-opened on May 18. Initially they had some very generous hours, but unfortunately that didn't last. I really can't complain though, as I pay $60/year for my pool pass, and the hours are good enough that I can work with them.

    Austin pools briefly re-opened in early June. I swam at Barton Springs once; you had to reserve a session (the sessions were 90 minutes), they cleared the pool between sessions, etc. I did it once, it was ok, but then I decided the lakes were better.

    I've lived in metro Austin for 5 years now, and before this year I had only swum in local lakes for organized swim events. When the pools were closed a friend told me that he was swimming in Lake Austin at Emma Long park. I looked it up... The water temp was a bit brisk when I first swam (low/mid 60s), but it was either that or no swimming. I adjusted, and actually liked swimming there. Until late May, when the lake got too busy with boats, jet skis, and other stuff. So I moved upriver to Low Water Crossing. This is just beneath the Mansfield Dam, that forms Lake Travis. The water comes from deep down in Travis, so it is very cold...some readings we had were 58-64F. Since I had signed up for the Bear Lake swim, the cool water swimming worked perfectly.

    I swam 2 more organized swims, in July and August, both in Utah. The Bear Lake Monster (10k) swim was simply amazing, but tough. The water was so clear, and very blue. It was my slowest 10k swim yet, as there is considerable chop (tons of boat traffic, and it is a big lake), but I really enjoyed it. Deer Creek is another good swim; the lake conditions are pretty good. Most of this swim takes place in a cove without boat traffic. I'd highly recommend both of these swims.

    Overall, as far as swimming in 2020, I can't complain at all. I made the most of it.

    Here is a list of events I'm thinking of for 2021:

    * the SC_R legs of the SCAR Lake Swims in Arizona
    * The USMS open water championship (both days) in Boerne, TX
    * Great Salt Lake 10k
    * Bear Lake Monster swim 10k
    * Deer Creek reservoir 10 mile (with this I'd complete the Utah, "triple crown")
    * Swim the Suck, 10 miles on the Tennessee river near Chattanooga
    * at least some (or maybe all) of the Highland Lakes Challenge, here near Austin, TX

    It is a bit aggressive, with something every month from April to October, except September. We'll see what events actually happen, and what happens with my body through the year, and go from there.

    Not sure what the local meet schedule will look like. If there's a local LCM meet at the Austin Swim Club again (and I feel safe doing it), I'll do that one, usually in June. Our zone usually has a meet in late July/early August, and again, I'll probably do that if I can work it in with everything else.

    Here's a collage of some swimming memories from 2020:

    Updated January 5th, 2021 at 09:36 PM by aztimm

    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  2. 2019: Year in Review

    by , December 31st, 2019 at 03:57 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Although I hadn't been blogging nearly as much, 2019 was probably my biggest swimming year ever!

    Here is the list of pools that I've swum in:
    1. Highlands @ Mayfiled Ranch Community Pool, Round Rock, TX
    2. Sendero Springs Community Pool, Brushy Creek TX
    3. Georgetown (TX) City Pool (indoor), Georgetown TX
    4. 24 Hour Fitness Round Rock, Round Rock, TX
    5. Creekside Pool, Brushy Creek TX
    6. Deep Eddy Pool, Austin TX
    7. Barton Springs Pool, Austin, TX
    8. Walker Pool, Temple TX
    9. Kino Aquatic Center, Mesa AZ
    10. Eldorado Pool, Scottsdale AZ
    11. CYC Pool, Wilkes-Barre PA
    12. Austin Swim Club, Austin TX
    13. Fuller Park Pool, Ann Arbor MI

    (no international travel for me in 2019, but that will change in 2020)

    I swam in the following events in 2019:
    1. Attempt at Saguaro Lake, SCAR swim, AZ (made it about 9.5 miles)
    2. Roosevelt Lake, SCAR swim, AZ (10k)
    3. USMS Spring Nationals, Kino Aquatic Center, Mesa AZ
    4. South Texas Summer LCM Meet, Austin Swim Club, Austin TX
    5. Swim to the Moon (10k), Hell MI
    6. Bridges to Bluffs (10k), Knoxville TN
    7. Lake LBJ (3 miles) of Highland Lakes Challenge, Kingsland TX
    8. Lake Marble Falls (2 miles) of Highland Lakes Challenge, Marble Falls TX
    9. Lake Travis (5k) of Highland Lakes Challenge, Spicewood TX

    All-in, I swam over 641 miles in 2019, which is 110 miles more than my previous record, back in 2014. I hit record months of swimming for 7 months of the year (and no record lows). Here is my GTD Summary:

    Some highlights (other than the events):
    * I did my longest swims ever this year! Longest pool swim, longest o/w swim, etc.
    * This was the most swimming events that I've ever done in a year. Heck, 2 meets a year is nearly a record for me alone, but add in all the o/w events, and it certainly is a record.
    * Along with all of the swimming, I got involved in both my USMS LMSC and became a member of a national USMS committee (the D&I committee). I attended my first USMS convention, which was an experience in itself.
    * I met some incredible people throughout the year, all with a passion for the sport. Sure some are super athletes, while others are new. I'm always in awe at USMS nationals when the 80+ year-old heats swim.
    * I swam at Barton Springs more in 2019 than all other years combined. Almost every Sunday over the summer I made an early morning trek down, sometimes swimming 3+ hours. It is an incredible venue to have close by (about 30 min away), and great for o/w training.
    * I really enjoyed repeating the Highland Lakes swim. I hadn't done shorter o/w swim events in a few years, and after swimming longer stuff during the year, the short stuff at the end felt so fun. Plus it is nice to sleep at home and drive out in the morning. And Marble Falls is such a great place! (if anyone wants a good o/w swim, I can't recommend this one enough)
    * For the first time in my life (that I can recall), I swam on Christmas Day! Barton Springs was open ('swim at own risk') and it was such a blissful way to spend the day.

    Looking forward to 2020, here is what I'm looking at:
    * I'll swim my earliest o/w event (probably any swimming event) in the year ever. I'll be in Australia in a few weeks and a friend signed me up for the Portsea 2500m swim (outside of Melbourne). This will also be my first international swimming event.
    * I signed up for the S and R (Saguaro and Roosevelt) legs of SCAR again. We'll see if I'm successful with Saguaro if I want to do any longer swims. Otherwise, I don't mind just doing 10k events
    * Tentatively looking at the Deer Lake, Utah (10k) o/w swim in August
    * Considering either a repeat of Bridges to Bluffs (10k) or Swim the Suck (10 miles) in the fall of 2020. If I get in (sounds like it sells out in minutes), I'll do Suck, otherwise I really enjoyed B2B (so rare to have an o/w event where I can stay downtown and walk to the race start!)
    * Probably do Highland Lakes again to finish up 2020. Maybe I'll do the whole thing? That would be a change, Buchanan (the first) is a 10k!
    * As for meets, I'll probably swim in our Zone SCY meet in March (at University of Houston), and probably our local LCM meet again over the summer. Maybe a day or 2 at USMS spring nationals in San Antonio (this is the week before SCAR).

    I met a separate goal this year. It was very silly, but without even trying, I was getting close to visiting all 50 states. With doing B2B this year, I was adding Tennessee, and I visited a cousin in Kentucky around that event. So we made trips to Montana, Iowa, and Nebraska, and I ended up turning 50 in my 50th state (and visited 2 gals I went to high school with too).
    On that note, I'd like to try doing a swimming event of some sort (meet or o/w) in every state. I've only done this in a few so far, so I'm building up again.

    Most important of all, my most recent mantra has been, "keep it fun." Years ago I thought I wanted to swim the English Channel some day. Well after 4+ hours in Saguaro in April, and the aftermath of that, I wasn't having much fun and don't think I want to think of the English Channel (solo, I'd definitely consider a relay). So I'm looking for swimming events that are mostly 10k or less (and an occasional 10 mile).
    A lifeguard recently asked me, "are you training for something or do you just like to swim?" I didn't know how to answer the question. If I don't like to swim, why would I train for anything? But I do like having some things on my calendar, it gives me a reason to get myself out of bed, especially on dark/chilly mornings, or on days when I'd rather turn over and sleep in (sleeping in is good sometimes too!)

    Updated December 31st, 2019 at 04:33 PM by aztimm

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  3. Monday 12312018 & 2018 Wrap-up

    by , December 31st, 2018 at 04:51 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Monday AM solo swim @ gym pool

    1200 w/u, with quite a bit of breast & back

    100 kick w/fins + board
    75 easy swim w/fins
    25 fast fly w/fins

    2 x 125 w/fins, done as 25 drill/25 swim/25 back/25 swim/25 drill
    25 easy swim w/fins
    25 fast fly w/fins

    100 kick w/fins + board
    75 easy swim w/fins
    25 fast fly w/fins

    3 rounds of:
    * 50 free @ :45
    * 50 breast @ :55
    * 50 free @ :50
    * 50 back @ :50
    * 100 free @ 1:30
    * 200 pull @ 3:00 w/buoy + Agility paddles

    2 rounds:
    * 50 free @ :45
    * 50 breast @ :55

    100 easy

    200 pull w/buoy + Catalyst paddles

    200 w/d

    TTL: 4200 yards

    Fly: 75 yards
    Back: 300 yards
    Breast: 425 yards
    Free: 3200 yards
    Kick: 200 yards

    I was playing around with the USMS GTD numbers and put together a nifty spreadsheet for all of my activity from 2010 to present:

    2018 was my 2nd best year (volume-wise) since I've been using GTD, and I had 2 record high months (also one record low). I mostly just swam 3x/week, with small recovery swims after weights. The most swimming happened in the run-up to the 10k. Hoping to continue the trend for 2019.
    Interesting that my 2nd high came right after my lowest.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  4. Wednesday 12192018 & hit 500 miles!

    by , December 19th, 2018 at 09:17 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    Wednesday AM solo swim @ Sendero Springs

    arrived and the lifeguards told me that there had been a problem with the natural gas at the facility. no hot water (or heat) in the locker rooms, and they said the pool water temp was 78. some guys who were there before me were already leaving. I figured that I've swum in far colder water, so 78 shouldn't be a big deal.

    I think it might have been about 76. certainly still doable, but I didn't want to linger too long between sets.

    1200 w/u, mixed in a bit of breast and back (plus with the cool water I just felt i needed a longer set)

    100 kick w/fins + board
    75 easy swim w/fins
    25 fast fly (w/fins)
    2 x 125, done as 25 drill/25 free/25 back/25 free/25 drill
    25 easy swim w/fins
    25 fast fly w/fins
    100 kick w/fins + board
    75 easy swim w/fins
    25 fast fly (w/fins)

    100 easy

    500 @ 8:00, done 75 free/25 breast
    500 @ 7:30, done 75 moderate/25 fast
    500 @ 8:00, done 75 free/25 breast

    100 easy

    5 x 200 @ 2:55, w/Agility paddles + buoy

    300 w/d

    TTL: 4900 yards
    (yea I thought about another 100 to make it an even 5000, but then thought that would just be silly)

    After my swim last Wednesday (which was cut short, since the lifeguards said the chlorine level was too high), I hit 500+ miles on my GTD. First time in about 4-5 years I think. I had been hitting it regularly, but then life got in the way.
    Here is my monthly breakdown:

    And here is my pool list for 2018:
    1. Sendero Springs Pool, Round Rock, TX
    2. 24 Hour Fitness Pool, Round Rock, TX
    3. YMCA of Central Texas, Round Rock, TX
    4. Creekside Pool, Round Rock, TX
    5. Georgetown Parks & Recreation, Georgetown, TX
    6. Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, TX
    7. Barton Springs Pool (I use the term, "pool," loosely), Austin, TX
    8. Pickney Recreation Area, Hell, MI (for Swim to the Moon)
    9. Pool at the Conrad Singapore
    10. Open water at Dewata Beach, near Galle, Sri Lanka (Indian Ocean)
    11. Melbourne City Baths, Melbourne Australia
    12. Brunswick Baths, Brunswick Australia (about a 20 min tram ride from Melbourne)
    13. Tobruk Memorial Pool, Cairns Australia
    14. Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Cairns Australia
    15. Open water at the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Cairns Australia (Pacific Ocean)
    16. Andrew Boy Charlton Pool, Sydney Australia
    17. North Sydney Olympic Pool, North Sydney Australia
    18. Bondi Icebergs, Sydney Australia
    19. Xinghai Swimming Complex, Suzhou China
    20. How could I forget my neighborhood pool? Highlands at Mayfield Ranch swim center. About a 5 minute walk from home.

    probably the 2 most iconic pools I swam in this year were North Sydney and Bondi #17[/URL] & [/URL]:

    I'm signed up for the first and last legs of the SCAR swim in April 2019, so that will kick my swimming into gear early in the year. Saguaro is about 10 miles, and Roosevelt is just a 10k.
    USMS Nationals will be in Mesa at the same time, and I'm toying with the idea of swimming some events. More likely, I'll just volunteer to help out for a few hours (after swimming 10 miles, I just can't imagine racing 100 yards ).
    If anyone will be going to nationals, give me a shout. I swam with the masters team at Kino for about 6-7 years so I know the pool quite well.
    When I upped my distance to train for Swim to the Moon (10k) this past summer, I dropped about 5-10 pounds (not sure I want to drop more for SCAR as those lakes are a bit cooler).

    Updated December 20th, 2018 at 12:00 PM by aztimm

    Swim Workouts , Planning
  5. Workout 03/31/18: morning

    by , March 31st, 2018 at 01:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Life has been busy as expected since the Harvard meet. Finally able to get into the water this week with the team, which is great considering that our own home mini meet happens next Saturday in southwestern Vermont.

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull/200 choice

    Fort Speed Set:
    Swim: Fins optional, pick your own interval for max rest or don't bother to look at the clock in between hard efforts

    1 x 25 AFAP
    1 x 50 EZ
    1 x 50 AFAP
    2 x 50 EZ
    1 x 75 AFAP
    3 x 50 EZ
    1 x 100 @ 90%
    4 x 50 EZ (worked on turns)

    5 x 50 (odds fast from blocks, evens ez)

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/1900 yds/75 min]

    I love using this speed set heading into a meet...thanks again Leslie! Only Greg, Sean and Rebecca in the water today.

    Preparations for the swim meet are coming along as well as expected at this point. The biggest concern I have is director is making sure that there are enough timers; because I run this swim meet as a benefit for the local age group swim team, whose season has already ended, we rely on them to run the meet while I do my best to get people here to swim in it. I don't get to really see the communication on their side so this aspect of being a director gives me the most anxiety. Right now we have 13 people who have signed up, but I'm still expecting more entries from Regional workout groups in the Adirondacks, New Hampshire, and the Berkshires. Hard to believe it's going to be our 7th annual meet this year!

    Happy Passover and Easter everyone
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  6. 03/16-18/2018: New England scy Champs

    by , March 18th, 2018 at 10:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back from a fun weekend of racing in Boston at the annual Harvard meet. With my schedule allowing, I was able to swim all three days of the main meet this year (as opposed to driving down for the day as I have been doing in the recent past). That third big snowstorm didn't materialize here in our area, but in trying to more more wood pellets from the basement to the living room (so my daughter didn't have to while the rest of us went on the trip) I tweaked my back on Wednesday, to the point that it was painful to bend over to tie my shoes. I was able to make it to Masters on Tuesday for a warmup and some burst and cruise swims, but wasn't able to make it back to the pool before the meet. We made the 3 hour drive to Boston on Friday morning in time for event check-in...


    100 Free: 53.94 - 3rd (26.33, 27.71)
    -- This was the first event and my back was still tight, even after warmups. I popped a 24.6 at the New Year's meet in January, so these splits seem right on. I need to work the 2nd wall more for a faster 3rd lap when I swim this next. I didn't attack the walls due to the back tightness.

    50 Fly: 27.10 - 5th
    - My start was good and my stroke felt long and powerful. The turn was good, but I need to get some more sdk's in. I was short to the wall and decided to glide...probably should have taken an extra quick stroke.

    100 Back: 1:00.93 - 2nd (29.89, 31.04)
    - I opted not to use the backstroke ledges since I have no experience with them (other than a YouTube video that I watched online). The splits were good, but each wall was horrible and I did not reach my sdk counts. It probably didn't help that I was being conservative as to not agrivate my back. I think I can get back under a minute, especially if I take it out a little faster.

    [My warmup in the regular pool was 1200 yds, and I did a total of 26 laps in the 29yd diving well lanes between events and for warmdown] After my day in the pool was complete we drove into Harvard Square to fart around and grab a late lunch before heading to the hotel to relax.

    50 Breast: 25.23 - 4th
    - On of these days I will make good on my threat to actually learn to swim this stroke more efficiently (and hopefully faster), but I swam this mostly to get a time for the Flow Swimmers online event that I signed up for. I really worked the walls and tried to get through the event without having my knee protest, and I accomplished both goals.

    200 Back: 2:14.88 - 2nd (31.58, 34.45, 34.54, 34.31)
    - I wanted to get under 2:15 and I did with a beautifully split race (1:06.03, 1:08:85)! So I did a sprint during warmups to try the ledge, and was in lane one. I remember telling my wife that lane was horrible because the flags only reached halfway across the lane. Of course that set me up to swim in lane 1! Anyways, I took it out without much legs and built into it as I planned. The turns were better (as my back was not as sore) and I am I really happy with the swim. I missed swimming with my buddy Trent from RI, but did run into Doug who came down from Maine for the day.

    [Warmups of 1600 yds, plus an additional 18 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown]. We drove over near BU and picked up a guitar that my son was looking at online before heading back to the hotel to drop off the car. I made reservations online for Hard Rock and we took the T into the city, battleing the drunken St. Patty's Day crowds and pub-crawls. I am happy I made reservations because we bypassed the huge line and were seated and served a lot faster that I expected. After a little shopping we went back to the hotel and vegged out, except for a little walk my son and I took in search for some cookies before bed.

    50 Back: 27.10 - 2nd
    - I used the ledges again and tried to not stay under as long as I usually do on the second lap. While I wanted to get under 27, I am really happy with this time as I find it so difficult to sprint anything.

    100 IM: 1:02.17 - 3rd (27.22, 34.95)
    - Back in lane 1 and I did my usual out fast then lose it all on breast. I wanted to get under 1:03 and did, beating my time from January. Oh well, this is a top 3 fastest time in the event in my lifetime so I am happy.

    [Warmups of 1300 yards and 22 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown] After the swims we watched Donna, an 84-year young lady from Maine, crush the 200 fly before driving home.

    Total swimming:
    Warmups: 4100 yds
    Racing: 650 yds
    Warmdown: 1914 yds (66 laps in the well)

    - I aged up to the 40-44 group and swam my 100th race as a Masters swimmer with this meet. I have written before that I swam here as an age-grouper and feel blessed with the chance to swim here now. I am amazed to see the certificates from David Berkoff hanging on the walls behind the stands and to take in the brand new score board this year. It is just awesome for me to swim here. It is a very well run meet, this year having more than 650 swimmers, and great folks behing the blocks timing, reffing, and working to make sure everything runs smoothly.
    - My wife and son made the trip. It is funny that in the locker room so many guys talked about their families not being on board to coming to watch. It is a boring meet, even for us swimmers, so I know how our families must feel. Even so, it means a lot to me to see my wife in the stands and know that she is cheering me on.
    - Based on above, I tried to plan my swims so that I wasn't swimming in the first "distance" events of the day, pick back to back events, and avoid sitting at the pool all day. I accomplished that goal! Trying to then plan on when to warm up, try to get in some sprints from the blocks once the main competition pool is open, and then follow the estimated timeline takes some thought. I was able to get on deck before check-ins closed (no online option with this meet) and had some down time between events to not only hang out with my family but check in with my swimming buddies. I even met Guy from a facebook swimgroup and we checked in throughout the meet, even racing side by side in the 100 IM - he touched me out! Dan from Pittsfield aged up to 70 and was breaking lmsc records all weekend long...he might even be gunning from more at our meet in a few weeks.
    - Swimming-wise, I am satisfied with my efforts and performances. After feeling like crap after the WPI scm meet in December, I have committed to swim more Tuesday night practices and the every other Saturday swims that my work schedule allows for. Like Ande has said, I need to stop lugging around this extra 10-15 points which will help make me faster in and of itself. I think that as the weather gets warmer I will be able to get back on the bike and schedule some 5k's to help with overall fitness and weight management. I also need to be more proactive with shoulder and knee exercises as both issues have not been too bothersome, although the long meet has reminded me of them. I also need to figure out breastroke.

    Well, that's a wrap from Harvard. I'm really pleased with the meet and the opportunity to get some racing in after all the hours of training.

    Updated March 19th, 2018 at 10:17 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  7. 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!
  8. 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
  9. 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

  10. Friday, July 15, 2016 - Reset & Goals

    by , July 15th, 2016 at 12:28 PM (I swim, therefore I am)
    As always, the summer progresses more quickly than preferred. Our family vacations to Shanghai, Japan, and NJ (Princeton & Monmouth Junction) are over. I'm now in the second week of restarting fitness activity after nearly a three months lapse.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Workouts from July 6 - this post
    *Alternated on days 7/6-13, both daily from 7/14

    1. 1,000-1,500 (100s/200s as FR-Swim/BF-K or BR-K) in HOA pool
    2. 1-2 mile walk/jog in neighborhood **Thanks to the savvy Speedsters local running community I recently brought Roka Clifton 2 at nearly 50% discount. These running shoes are amazing! For first time ever, I can run with such comfort and far less aching afterwards.

    *1-3x Daily (morning-afternoon-evening)

    1. Bands - lighter resistance upper body
    2. 10-20 Squats, 5-10 Pushups,
    3. 10 min stretching, poses, planks

    *Previous benchmarks from March 2016:

    • Swimming - 60 minute SCY swim at 1:15/100
    • Running - 60 minute run at 9:15/mile

    Short Term Goals - by 9/1/2106

    1. Log or journal fitness and training to sustain momentum.
    2. Return to weekly OWS at Vanderbilt Beach ASAP.
    3. Support my friends by volunteering at local triathlons, running events.
    4. Lose the 20 pounds gained during time off.
    5. Get stronger, begin moderate weight training.
    6. Get more flexible, specifically core area & lower body - consult with a trainer.
    7. Run with Speedsters 1-3 times weekly.

    Goals before 10/1/2016

    • Swim 60min at 1:15, Run 60min at 9:15
    • Join Masters and/or Tri swim training group(s) either am or pm.
    • Enter an OWS or USMS meet with a friend(s).
    • Enter a local area 5K along with Speedsters.

    Longer term, before April 1, 2017

    1. Borrow a bike to tryout riding in some shorter tri group training rides (I used to ride extensively in teens, 20s & early 30s). Could lead to buying a bike to make riding an ongoing activity.
    2. Complete a one hour swim at 1:12/100 pace.
    3. Participate in a half marathon.

    I have a lifelong recurring boom and bust cycles with fitness activity relative to life circumstances. My prior cycle of uninterrupted training and fitness was almost two years partly to encountering a great network of friends through the SWFL OWS FB group I joined in 2015. One upside during this time away from fitness activities and training has been increasing professional opportunity and growth.

    MFI Hearing Aids
    An added dimension to my running is the MFI (made for iPhone) hearing aids which recently replaced my six years old HAs. Any audio generated from the iPhone can be transmitted directly through the HAs via a proprietary bluetooth connection. Needless to say, it provides a wonderful experience to run with music or anything one would to listen to while running.

    Even more basic - but so magical for me, it very effectively makes phone calls much more clear and less intimidating. In fact recently I was able watch a webinar on my large screen via PC and also simultaneously on my iPhone via youTube where I could hear everything so well without any captions while typing notes notes the entire session.

    Updated July 15th, 2016 at 01:45 PM by fdtotten

    Swim Workouts , About Me , Planning
  11. 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
  12. Workout 03/30/16: evening

    by , March 30th, 2016 at 09:36 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Since spring has sprung we are getting a head start on outdoor cleaning. We had a guy come in and thin out some trees, remove some out-of-control compost piles, and prep for some fence installation. I've done it all before, but I was amazed that all of it was done in half a day! We'll have a clean canvas to add some landscaping that my wife has been planning for a bit. Pool tonight and no circle swimming!

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM Drill

    6 x 75 on 1:15
    - 1-4 = IM rotation strong
    - 5-6 = FR/BK DPS

    1 x 50 EZ
    8 x 50 FR on 1:10
    - odds = DPS/EZ speed, evens = AFAP

    1 x 50 EZ
    6 x 50 BK on 1:10
    - odds = DPS/EZ speed, evens = AFAP
    100 kick

    1 x 50 EZ
    6 x 25 Burst and cruise on 1:00
    - IMO, then FR and BK to complete

    3 x 50 Active Recovery
    (Solo/Rec/2300 yds/50 min)

    Beating the proverbial bushes for our meet next weekend. Right now we have eleven entries, and I know that everyone waits until the last minute to sign up but...I still want to make sure that we have as good of a crowd as possible. Last year we ended up with 29 swimmers, I am hoping to hit 25 this year. If you live near VT, come by and swim fast with us!
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  13. Workout 02/26/16: noon

    by , February 26th, 2016 at 03:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The wild winter weather is continuing here in western New England. Wednesday night saw thunderstorms after a day of rain, and the temp on my way to work yesterday morning was 58! This morning my wife and I went to a local cafe for a breakfast treat, and we talked with a guy from CA that was passing through the area. I was able to get to the pool...

    200 free/200 back
    2 x [with snorkel]
    - 100 kick with AK, 200 swim with AP (r/l/b/b), 100 pull

    10 x 50 on :45
    - 1-9: pace holding :32
    - extra 30sr before #10: fast at :28

    2 x [on :05sr]
    25 skull, 25 build up, 25 build down, 25 FAST

    150 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2050 yds/40 min)
    Felt good in the water, despite a poor weak of sleep. We had a visitor today from 1776 at the lunch lap swim who also knows my buddy Tom from Philly. Always neat to meet other swimmers...six degrees of separation!

    I registered for the Harvard meet, but just for two days. I decided I'd rather sleep than swim the 500! I'll be able to swim two of the backs, try yet again to get closer to :60 in the 100 IM, and then cap off the meet with a DPS distance fly (maybe a gridge with Tom?).

    Friday, March 18, 2016
    8 Men 50 free
    10 Men 100 back
    14 Men 50 fly

    Saturday, March 19, 2016
    20 Men 50 back
    22 Men 100 IM
    24 Men 200 fly
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  14. Workout 02/23/16: evening

    by , February 23rd, 2016 at 10:58 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a crummy night's sleep but was able to function well enough during the Rx Abuse Task Force meeting this morning. After getting recycling loaded into the van I did some errands with my wife and then we enjoyed a great lunch. I am in the process of reorganizing paperwork, condensing, and shredding to get rid of excess...maybe I don't need to keep my tax returns from 2001? Made it to Masters tonight...

    - 100 demonstration of streamling/sdk with the age group team as they head to end of season champs. I will spend the day with them on Thursday of next week.
    - 200 swim/100 kick/200 pull with AP and snorkel
    - 16 x 25 on :35 [4 x build, descend, easy, fast]
    - 6 x 75 on 1:10 [fast last lap, snorkel on first four FR, last two back]
    - 8 x 50 on :45 [pull]
    - 2 x 150 on 2:05 even split [did 50 fr/bk/fr, held 1:48]
    - 2 x 25 from blocks [working starts]
    - 100 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2300 yds/55 min)

    Light turn out tonight with MG (back from Canada) doing the workout with me and Matt on his own, until we worked on starts. I will be signing up for the Harvard/New England Champs for Friday/Sat events...will miss th 200 back on Sunday but am satisfied for 3 events a day and only one night in a hotel. Should have plenty of time to relax after the meet and explore Boston a bit with the family. Right now I'm thinking of entering...
    50 free, 100 back, 50 fly on Friday (my knees will not be up for the 200 breast)
    50 back, 100 IM, 200 fly on Saturday (planning to skip the 500 so I can sleep in! might decide to swim it backstroke.)
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  15. 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.
  16. Workout 07/29/15: morning

    by , July 29th, 2015 at 09:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick swim this morning before work.
    200 free/200 back/200*im drill/200 kick
    2 x
    75*DPS into 25 AFAP
    100 kick
    25*AFAP into 25*Ez into 50 DPS
    100 kick
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1600 yds/30 min)
    Trying to work in some speed in preparation*for my first Nationals (and second ever lcm meet). I am not following my usual two-week taper plan, but I do feel like I am a bit peppier in the water as compared to the lcm meet I did last year. At least I have a more robust base laid down at this point. In order to swim the trip, I swapped weekends so will be pulling a James Adams and 73 hours from now through Tuesday, then hopping in the car Wednesday morning for the 8 hour drive to Ohio. I plan to make it for a quick swim on Wed night and perhaps the pre-meet meeting, then will swim the 800 on Thursday*followed by the 400im, 50 free, and 200 back on Friday (plus maybe a relay). Then my son and I will be heading into Cleveland to catch some ball games and a visit to the*R&R HOF,*but most importantly for a college visit. I might try to drop in on a Masters workout while in town.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  17. Workout 05/28/15: evening

    by , May 28th, 2015 at 10:55 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Some items on my agenda today changed, so I stayed flexible and went with the flow. I was able to go out for a nice 50 mile motorcycle ride with my neighbor and managed to avoid the thunder showers. Hit the pool tonight for a redo of a practice a few weeks ago...

    200 free, 200 back, 200 im drill
    2 x 100 pull (focus on pull) with snorkel
    1 x 200 swim DPS with snorkel
    1 x 400 neg split (2:34, 2:26= 5, did'nt have Brent pushing me)
    1 x 200 breath control (6,5,4,4, repeat)
    2 x 100 pull (focus on pull)
    4 x 50 descend on :50 back
    200 loosen
    (Solo/Rec/2200 yds/50 min)
    Greg was at the pool as well so I spend a little bit of time between sets chatting with him. This was a good workout and I had actually forgotten that we did it before as a group until I hit that 400 negative split; I was about 4sec faster a couple of weeks ago.

    If all goes as currently planned I should have a busy swim itinerary this summer...
    WAM scm in June (
    Jenny Thompson lcm in July
    USMS nats lcm in Aug
    LGOWS 2.5km nats in Aug (

    Still staying quiet on the marathon swim front, but I am looking forward to Wednesday nights in the Berkshires as well as some open water swim with my team here in the southern Vermont area.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  18. Workout 05/04/15: evening

    by , May 4th, 2015 at 10:20 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Took the week off from the pool last week, and finally went to the doctor to get my neck checked out. Was probably more serious than I originally figured, but I was given a small supply of anti-spasm meds that have really done the job of loosening it up and increasing my range of motion. Still a little tender, but overall much better. I also had the motorcycle serviced (and Lena picked out a riding jacket, so more rides with her this summer ) and most of the outside yardwork done.

    I went to the pool tonight and didn't have to share the lane. The fact that we had our first 80-degree day since September likely contributed to the empty water ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    600 shark swim with snorkel
    10 x 50 on :50 descend in pairs
    50 easy
    4 x 50 IMO sprint down,25 easy back
    50 easy
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2100 yds/40 min)

    I felt pretty good in the water. With my improved focus on nutrition, I have dropped another 5 pounds so I have about 15 pounds to go. I should be able to start jogging again and also riding my bicycle to work as other ways to get some aerobics in.

    It is looking like I am 95% in for swimming my first Nationals this summer as I have the time off for an Ohio college visit/road trip to Cleveland with my son. We are also looking at catching an Indians game and maybe a trip to the Football Hall Of Fame on the way home. I also am planning to swim the OW Nationals at Lake George at the end of August, so a few meets. I am bummed that I have to work during the Baystate Games, which are at Harvard in July.
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  19. 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
  20. Meet: 04/25/15: Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , April 25th, 2015 at 03:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The culmination of many months of planning and anticipation was realized this morning with the start of our 4th annual mini meet here at my hometown pool. Overall attendance was down from previous years, but we ended up with more than 25 swimmers and a lot of fun! There are always great stories from any Masters meet, as evidenced at our meet as some folks came out to their first competition, others met with friends and family for an annual splash, and we even welcomed an English Channel swimmer with her new start-up team!

    As meet director (and brainchild of the meet), there are certain stresses that I have in addition to actually swimming. We had our main official (and the woman with the most knowledge of running the computer/timing system) back out a few weeks ago due to family vacation, so many others needed to step into new positions in order to make the meet come together. I confirmed that the facility would be opened early so that we could setup in time for 9am warmups, and our lifeguard was there when requested. Some mild headaches as the printer ink cartridges were dried up, and after not being able to use the facility's equipment my wife and son hurried home to get our wireless printer, which worked! So a minor delay in the start of the meet, but we were able to get the relays off and then I filled in some space with my list of "thank you"s and info on our community, so everyone was very understanding and patient.

    I try to keep the meet in line with our USMS hashtag #FunnestSport by offering some great prizes and fun events. I bought some USMS silicone caps with my discount earlier in the year, the age group coach donated some maple syrup that she made this spring, and I was able to secure (yet again) some Stroopwafels from our local Dutch bakery, Bakkerij Krijnen. These all went out to our first registrant, farthest traveled (our buddy Lisa from NJ), first time entrant, and the winners of our Sprint challenges.

    I again had the privilege in roping my one of my brothers, my sister and her partner, and my daughter into swimming so that we had an All-Leake medley and free relay, as well as a morning to catch up and get some exercise together in a pool that we spent most of our childhood in. It was great catching up and seeing how their swimming abilities have not diminished even thought this is the only time of the year that they get wet! Lena and the boys were our cheerleaders.

    Our local team was well represented with Greg, Kevin, Ashley, and Amanda (with Melissa and Rachel helping out as timers). Greg made his famous Magic Bars for the concession stand and had some great swims as well, even after helping me get things set up in the morning - nice job, Greg!

    Due to the delayed meet start I scratched the 200 IM to help move things along. I did the 500 fly (7:04, I think, slower than a couple of years ago), and was surprised that Bethany did fly as well! My only other event was the 100 fly (1:02) but was wiped out and could not get the SDK's going. We also had a blast doing the Medley and Free Relays together.

    All in all, another great event for Masters swimming! Looking forward to next years addition!

    Things to remember for next year:
    check printer cartridges, batteries before meet
    order more latex caps from national office
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