Monday, March 25, 2019

3/18 - 3/24

This was the week. My first swim meet is three weeks out and for my other athletic adventures, this is where I always wanted the most volume as well as a lot of quality of training. I got it, at least I swam more that week than anytime since Chicot Challenge VI in 2017.

Monday I lifted weights and swam 3,473 meters. The swim included some tough sets. Tuesday I did more weightlifting and swam 4,113 meters. Again, there was a healthy dose of quality in those meters.

Wednesday I only swam but I hit the pool for 4,615 meters. For the first time in years I did the old 20 X 100 set. The interval was a little slow but I actually swam 21 X. Thursday I lifted more weights and swam another 3,650 meters.

Friday is endurance day and I swam 8,200 yards straight. From the start, I was thinking of throwing in the towel, of tapping out. But I kept going and even finished with a little juice. These swim not only produce that all-day endurance needed for the Chicot Challenge, but they produce the patience of mind needed to just keep going. 

Yesterday I posted about Saturday's big training. I did the Viking 5K, rode bicycles with my son, lifted weights, and swam. A good day it was, I awoke Monday morning weighing less than I have on a Monday morning in two full years. I am always my heaviest on Monday morning so I am looking forward to some good numbers on the scale and in the pool this week.

For the week, I

ran - 3.0 (I know a 5K is supposed to be 3.1, but ours is not),
biked - 3:00 minutes on the stationary and 9.47 miles on the road bike,
lifted weights - four times (all upper body, not lower body because of the knee),
swam - 26,184 meters = 16.27 miles.

That's real training right there. I don't care who you are. I need another big week in the water before my taper next week to be at a peak for the swim meet in Biloxi. Thank you, Jesus for good weather, good health, and good energy.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Quad for the Bod

Saturday I worked out four times.

Four. Times. In. One. Day.

That should help me unfat a little. Maybe.

It all started with the Viking Half Marathon and 5K.

My son wanted to do it so we signed up. Then my knee went gimpy Monday and I didn't run or do squats all week, and doubted I would even make it to the starting line. 
Father and son before the start

I did, however, show up at the start but was unsure if I could run or if I could run if I could finish. Forrest has had his own knee issues with surgery two years ago. This was his first 5K in that much time. So we were two guys who hobbled.

Of course we raced. It's what sons and dads do. If you want to save money on auto insurance you call Gyco. But it you want to race, you run with your son. That's what you do.

Trailing Forrest early in the run.
I started just shuffling a bit and was surprised when I looked at my Garmin and saw I was running an 11:something per mile pace. Lately I can't seem to crack a 14:00 mile. Yeah, that slow. When I spotted Forrest ahead of me, I tucked in behind him and ran on his heels for a bit. Then I noticed the Garmin read a ten something per mile pace. I was huffing like my wife does when she sees I've been to Academy Sports and bought some more weights. But that's what you do, huff, if you run a good 5K. If you want to save money on car insurance, . . . .

We went through the first mile at 10:08. Then I pulled ahead a little. I remember not long after that Forrest said he had to walk some. I said OK and pressed it a little. At that point I was thinking, if I can just get to the halfway point ahead of him

At the half way point I was still ahead. When we made the dogleg onto Lelfore Avenue, I looked back and saw he was about 150 meters behind me. Early on Lelfore we passed the two-mile mark, and I was running scared. River Road is the final leg of the 5K, and when we got there I just kept pushing afraid he would catch me and pass me. River Road turns into Front Street when it crossed Fulton. I was looking at the finish line. But one of my symptoms of old age is that I can no longer move my head enough to look behind me. When I ran past Regions Bank, I looked at my reflection in their big glass front. I knew from that that he was at least thirty feet back when I didn't see his reflection behind mine. 

I crossed the finish line in 29:56. To say I was surprised is an understatement. I was shocked, but in a good way. I expected to run 36 or 37 minutes. With the rare miles I put in, I can only assume a few things about my performance.

  1. The weightlifting, particularly the squats, must have helped a lot. My legs are as strong as they have ever been, and as Mark Bell says, "Strength is never a weakness."

  2. I dropped a few pounds over the past three weeks and there is no speculation that that has helped. Lose weight, run distances faster. It's not socket rience.

  3. Saturday one week ago I ran up Woodall Mountain. That was a Vo2Max workout and no doubt helped me a lot.

It was a great day to run: cool, dry, sunny. After the race Forrest and I ate Larry's Fish and Hot Tamales from Honest Abe's. Then we left. First I checked my status and found out that I had won my age division. But we didn't stay for the awards ceremony because Forrest wanted to make a bicycle ride. He has a new bike and was eager to try it out.

Food Alley after the run

We drove up to Money and rode one of the side roads. It was windy, nevertheless, we had a nice ride. We only did 9.47 miles but on top of that hard-run 5K, I felt like my legs were pretty much done. 

On the way back to town, we hatched the idea to lift some weights at Plate City. I did benches, shrugs, lateral raises, pullups, lat pull downs, and the Swim Pull. Notice there is no leg work in there. Running and cycling took care of that.

So we did three workouts. Forrest had to go to work after a short session for him. I stayed and lifted more then I went inside, took some nutrition, and rested for workout number four.

Workout number four was-- drumroll -- a swim. Are you surprised? At the pool, I swam

200 for time 2:56 (1:28)
300 small paddles
6 X 100 @1:53 (the first two @ 1:52)
300 small paddles
4 X 25 dive start
6 X 50 @ 1:09 medium paddles
total: 3,100 yards = 2.833 meters.

Well, that sure topped off a busy week. If memory serves me correctly, this is the first time I ever did four workouts in one day. It was fun. I am tired. I am grateful. God gave me both the health and the energy to have that much fun in one day. I am blessed. Thank you, Jesus.

Saturday, March 23, 2019


Friday morning I went to the pastors' breakfast at North Carrollton Baptist Church. That means I did not get to sleep late. After the breakfast,  I went on a search for combination locks. 

Don't give me advice. Just don't.

I did go to the pool about 1:00 o'clock when I stopped looking for combination locks. I swam. And I swam. And I did not stop until I had gone 8,200 yards in 2:32:09. That is my longest, since June of 2017, almost two years.  

It felt real.

It felt good.

But it didn't feel real good.

Friday's swim puts me at a pretty good training volume for the week if I swim not another single stroke. But I do plan to swim another stroke, several.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Axle Bar

I wrote a little about the axle bar in my last post. Here it is. This is a simple piece of equipment that I had made at Leflore Steel in Greenwood, Mississippi. All it is is a schedule forty pipe cut to length with a washer welded on each side for a stop. This is a strongman tool that they use to develop grip strength while doing other stuff like dead lifts and presses. The fat bar works the grip like crazy. I made the purchase when Trevor was working out with me because he became interested in strongman stuff. I finally used it Thursday, and it added some variety to my workout.

Plate City keeps blowing, going, and growing. Praise the Lord.

Free Thursday

Thursday I finally got to go home and be free. I took a nap. Really, that was the first time in weeks that I felt the need to snooze before I could get out and do some stuff. The first stuff I did was at Plate City where I benched

20 X 45
8 X 65
10 X 95
12 X 100
10 X 105
10 X 110
10 X 110
10 X 110
10 X 110
10 X 110
10 X 110
11 X 110

I think that is the most volume I have ever done on the bench. I also dead lifted and played with the axle bar for the first time. I pulled

5 X 50 ab (axle bar)
6 X 70 ab
7 X 81 ab
2 X 135 rb (regular bar)
2 X 91 ab
1 X 140 rb
3 X 100 ab
1 X 145 rb
2 X 100 ab
1 X 150 rb
2 X 100 ab

The axle bar is 1.9 inches in diameter all the way so that holding it is difficult. When I went above 70 pounds, I switched to a reverse grip to hold it.

I also did three sets of Swim Pull and some rotator cuff work.

At the pool I had a nice swim. I started with

1,100 warm up, then
6 X 50 @ 55 swim time 4:31 (1:30/100 yard)
200 small paddles
6 X 50 @ 59 4:22 (1:27)
250 small paddles
6 X 50 @ 1:03 4:19 (1:25)
300 small paddles
8 X 50 @ 1:06 5:53 (1:27)
350 small paddles
4 X 50 @ 1:09 2:57 (1:28)
100 medium paddles
200 easy
total: 4,000 yards = 3,650 meters.

A lot of quality there. I believe this is the most 50s (30) I have ever done is a practice. However, it is not as many quality yards as I did last night in my 21 X 100 set - 2,100 vs 1,500). Nevertheless, the quality (speed) in 50s is a bit higher than in 100s. 

All in all, it was a good training day that I thank my Lord Jesus for.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

An Old Favorite Returns

Wednesday I had to go to Carroll County to change locks on the gate to the Ski Lodge. Another day of errands. I also bought gas and went to the bank. Today I play. While in Carroll County, I thought about taking a run, but my knee is still a bit gimpy so I walked .6 of a mile instead. Yeah, it's that bad and I am signed up for the Viking 5K this Saturday.

At the pool, I warmed up with a long 2,500 yards. Then I did something I haven't done in I don't know how long. I swam 100s hard on a not too long repeat. For the longest of years, 20 X 100 @ 2:00 was my favorite workout. It is a tough one, but it makes you strong. Maybe I haven't been doing it since by comeback because I tried it late last summer in the outdoor pool, and I could not make the interval. In the past, I did them @ 2:00 in both short course and long course pools. But I could not even get back to the wall in two minutes much less turn around at that time. So I sort of let my old standby slide. I have been doing some 100s, but usually six or eight, and the interval has been at 2:05. 

I screwed up my courage and knocked off 21 @ 2:05. They felt tough. They felt good. Now I am back to a workout that is guaranteed to pay dividends. I should do this at least once per week. For the Heart O' Dixie, I will swim this a lot, possibly adding more reps and lowering the interval a second at a time until I get it back to 2:00 flat or lower even.

After the tough set, I swam 250 with the finger paddles and then 150 with the small paddles. That gave me 5,050 for the day. Enough. Thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

More Stuff

Tuesday was another one of those days where life happened. Of course, I like to come home and play rather than having to take care of business. Monday I had to take care of business. Tuesday I had to take care of more business. Today I still have to take care of business. I just want to play.

Despite going to the vets Monday, I had to go again Tuesday. Bear needed to go and I am trying to clear my schedule out so I can, you guess it, play. Not only did I have to go back to the vets, I had to wait again for the electrician to come back and install a light in our living room. You can't do that? you ask. Not after seeing our old one catch on fire, literally. I punted to ball to someone who can handle it.

About 4:00 pm, I finally made my way to Plate City for some serious weight training. I did seven sets of lat pull downs, sex sets of T-bar rowing, and some pull ups and the Swim Pull. That gave me about an hour to get some nutrition and recover a bit before going to the pool.

I didn't even get to the pool until after 6:30 and the babies were still there. They do lessons now on Saturday and Sunday even. My fear is that they will keep doing lessons after the first week in April when it was announced the baby lesson would end. The reason I think that is the schedule was supposed to be Monday through Friday until 6:10 with the lessons ending at 6:20. Now they go every day of the week and later than advertised. My guess it they will last all summer.

Sigh. Enough whining. It really isn't that big of an imposition. I have more access to water now than ever. Pretty soon, the ponds will be open. I. Can't. Wait.

At the pool, I swam

1,700 30:59 (1:48)
700 for time 10:59 (1:33)
700 small paddles
200 for time 3:07 (1:33)
300 small paddles
600 easy
total: 4,500 yards = 4,113 meters.

A double is not bad. Thank you, Jesus. I hope for a double today. The knee is still too gimpy to run.