Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the Road Again

I did a little shuffle Tuesday. It felt nice to run again. I ran 4.21 and walked 1.5 miles. Then I did a 22 X 30 set of squats. I should have done more, but I have been a bit lazy of late. Next I drove to the my grandkids' house and watched Square Bob Sponge Pants and hugged Smu and Caitlin. Chagri sent a text saying he had an emergency at work. He texted the practice. I did

9 X 200 as 100 pull @ 2:00, 2 X 50 swim @ 1:00
100 easy
500 kick with fins
500 swim for time (I did 7:07.16, a new PR for me)
100 easy
500 small paddles
Total: 4,500 yards = 4,113 meters.

This put me just over 500 miles for the year. Wu Hoo!

I chatted with Vladimir a bit after practice. He is a distance swimmer, and he was extolling the virtues of running for swimmers. He said the legs consume a lot of oxygen so they need to be in the best condition possible. He is correct, of course, but my kick is so light it seems to make little difference. For me, I just like to run for its own sake. I like the endomorphs I get from a long run, and it does a body good. In the very short time my running has taken a down turn of late, my weight has started trending upward which is another reason to run. All in all, a marathon swimmer should be in top shape: running, swimming, and weight lifting. That is what I generally strive for, but doing the extra dryland training with consistency is what I find the most difficult. It is so easy to get lazy and just do a little running and a little swimming.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sissy Still?

The water was 54 degrees in the pond today, and I was alone. At least there was some sunshine although the wind blew fiercely. A glance at the thermometer, I almost backed out and I knew it was a wetsuit day for sure. In fact, this is an all-time cold water record for me.

Even with a sleeveless wetsuit, starting swimming was most difficult. The water burned my arms and face like being way too close to a bonfire, like being in the fire and my breathing was rapid and shallow for a quarter of a mile before I could settle into a bilateral pattern. Eventually, I did get comfortable but with the chop on the water, the added buoyancy from the wetsuit made me bob like a cork in a bed of little, hungry pan fish.

I managed only thirty-six minutes and was not euphoric upon climbing out of the water. In fact, I felt a little ill and my hands were so weak from the cold that I had great difficulty extracting myself from the suit. I towelled, put on dry clothes, and drove home with the heater on top setting.

This was not very encouraging. It is only October and I feel as if I've already bumped up against my limit. I don't know if I can go any lower or if I even want to. I will, however, try it at least one more time. The weather forecast calls for a warming trend over the next few days. Maybe the water temp will come up a little. I pray.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Summary

I went in to work Friday to set up for ACT. My intention was to leave there and go to the pond. I think I might could have pulled it off, but I locked the keys in the truck and was delayed for over an hour. When I finally got free, the weather had turned really cold. That, the overcast skies, and the high wind was just more than this cold-water-sissy could face. I went home and took a nap.

After ACT Saturday, I met Randy at the new pond. The temp was somewhere around 58 to 60 and the wind was high. But at least the sun was out and that always gives me some courage. However, when we checked the thermometer I had left out soaking, it read 60 degrees. Thursday the water temp was 72, and two days later it was 60.

Randy and I had a strategy session. We sat in the truck with the heater on and decided to wade in and let out lower bodies numb out. Then we would start swimming head out for a little while. Stepping into the water was incredibly painful. We got in waist deep and stood there a minute or two while our lower bodies numbed. When I asked Randy what he thought, he answered, "I don't know." I knew then that we were a dog's hair from not swimming.

I pushed off before we could back out and swam head up for a while. My upper body felt like it was on fire, but when I put my head down, it wasn't any worse. Breathing, however, was difficult for a minute or two. I could only take short breathes. Finally, I was able to breath normally and switch to bilateral breathing.

We had agreed to swim down one side, avoiding much of the downwind chop, and then swim back. When I got to the end of the pond, I felt totally comfortable in the water. I pulled up and saw Randy who said he felt great also. We swam back to the truck and decided to go back for one more length.

Swimming back felt good but about the time we turned around, I was starting to feel a little cool. I felt it more and more on the swim back to the truck. For some reason, I became a little frightened. This cold water swimming is new to me, and I was aware that my body was reacting in a considerable fashion. When we waded out, we both were already shivering before we exited the water.

We grabbed our towels, dried off and jumped in the truck. It took at least fifteen, maybe eighteen minutes before we were warm enough to put our running shoes on and do a little one-mile shuffle.

I'm glad we did it but I'm not highly confident in my ability to keep up this kind of thing. Next week I will try to swim some more outdoors, but without Randy I doubt I will even attempt 60 degrees without a wetsuit. Having someone with you in the water gives me a lot of push. With a wetsuit, I think I can do it, and even suited up, there is still some cold water exposure.

Last week I

Swam 19,149 meters
Ran only 7.16 miles
Lifter weights 1 X.

It was a light week except for the swimming. The swimming distance isn't that high but it is way above what I normally do this time of year. If I can keep the outdoor swimming up, who knows what may be possible next spring and summer. I want to do at least 16-miles on my next Chicot Challenge. The biggest hold back there is my wrists. I felt them some during the Suck. Since the Chicot swim, I have done a lot of stretching. That has helped, but they are still an issue. I think a strength imbalance is part of the problem.

Besides the Chicot swim, I have at least toyed with the idea of doing the Tampa Bay Swim. That is a serious swim (24-miles), it is in April (early for that kind of endurance), and expensive ($1,500 entry fee). That is a lot of money but way cheap compared to what it would cost to do an English Channel swim. I could take my stipend I am to receive for my award and add that to some bait-money I have and do it. But it's a real big deal. I will have to totally solve the hand pain issue, and I will have to swim outdoor all winter. I will have to have a life best endurance level and be cold water acclimated. Even In Florida, the average water temp for Tampa Bay in April is 75. That is not too cold for me now, but for 24 miles, you have to be able to take it.

Totals for the year are:

Swim: 799,956 meters = 497 miles
Run: 534 miles.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pond, Pool, and Suck II

I love Thursdays because the weekend starts for me when I leave the Greenwood Center sometimes around noon. Today, my wife treated me to lunch at the Park Ave Cafe. After that I went home and Luvie and Jeff and I took a nap. Those babies love to nap.

I made it to the pond and got in the water about 3:30. The water on the warm end was 72. It just keeps rising, but that is about to change. we are in for some much colder weather and next week will be the test, the proving time. Next week I will know if I am still a cold water sissy or not. Anyway, I did three plus laps today for 2.41 miles (3,877.69 meters). The water felt good. I think I am acclimating a little.

I made it to the grandkids and then to DSU where I did

4 X 250 pull @ 4:00 decline 1-4
50 easy
4 X 75 hard @ 1:10/25 easy @ 1:00
50 easy
4 X 250 @  4:00
2 X 250 easy
300 as 25/25 back kick swim with fins
Total: 4,300 yards = 3,930 meters
Total for day = 7,807.89 meters

Swim the Suck Part II
After supper, Penny and Martin both gave presentations. I found the two fascinating but wished they each had more time. I also wish we could have had some question and answer, though we did a little of that with Martin. I am curious about Penny’s dry land training. I know she does some because I’ve read to that effect on Facebook and on her blog, but I’m interested in some details. For one thing, I want to know if those guns of hers are natural or the result of hard work. She has bigger biceps than I do. Well, I suppose almost everyone has bigger biceps than I do. But I would love to sit down with her and pick her brains on the details of her training both in and out of the water.
Forrest fed me at forty-five minutes then I noticed a woman swimming to my right. When she breathed to her left, she looked like Penny. That fired me up through the roof. I was thinking, it doesn’t get any better than this. I am swimming beside one of the greatest swimmers in the world. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and pulled my head up.
“Who is that?” I yelled at her pilot.
“My name is Charlotte,” the paddler responded.
I took a couple of more strokes then pulled up again.
“I mean the swimmer,” I shouted back.
“Her name is Nancy,” the pilot answered.
 Awe shucks, I thought. I shouldn’t have asked. Turns out, Penny Palfrey finished about a Tennessee County and a half ahead of me. How could I have been so delusional to think I could swim beside her? But it was a great thrill while it lasted, and I felt like the champion of the world when I believed I was swimming beside a world-class athlete.
Somewhere about this time, Forrest told me I was ahead of Martin. What?!? That made me really put it in gear, as if I weren’t already swimming hard enough. I didn’t even take time to ask him how he knew this. I even had some suspicions he may have been lying to me. But there would be time for questions later. Now was the time to swim, and I fought for every second. Turns out that Martin climbed into a motorboat at around three-miles. When Forrest asked his pilot what happened, she replied that, “He just said he needed a beer and got out.” Barut was right: “Martin is fat and drinks too much beer.”
Not long after this, I noticed my miles were slowing down. I didn’t know for sure at the time, but the cut current was catching us plus my early torrid pace was taking a terrible toll. When I realized I wasn’t swimming as fast, I tried to force the pace back up which only resulted in my rear deltoids feeling like they had been bitten off my a dog. I could swim a moderate pace with no issues. In fact, I felt like I could swim that pace all day long, and I did exactly that last June in my Chicot Challenge when I swam for eight hours and twenty-four minutes. But when I tried to push, tried to reel in a swimmer ahead of me, my deltoids screamed in protest.
I’m guessing now that in addition to a bone headed start, I didn’t do enough pace work. Last year, besides a more sane swimming strategy, I did lots of 100s on everything from 2:30- to 1:55. Anything 2:00 and below is fast for me in a long course pool. Next year, I plan to go back to that and try some longer intervals also. I need to learn to hold pace when fatigued. And I know which muscles will get the most attention in my back yard gym over the next year.
It wasn’t too long after I noticed my miles slowing that I lost my ability to run the numbers in my head. That always happens, on land or on water, if I am really going hard. Then my Garmin vibrated and a few minutes later it vibrated again. This confused me and I essentially became lost at that point. I really didn’t know how far I had been because I didn’t trust the watch. I don’t know if it lost and regained the satellite signal or what but I knew that it had malfunctioned, something very rare for that instrument, and I couldn’t make sense of things anymore.  
I did notice the Pot House, the place of the post swim party, and I remembered being told that it is approximately half way. Forrest, who also was wearing a Garmin GPS watch, told me then that his Garmin showed 5.26 miles. The Garmin under my cap had buzzed six or seven times so I wasn’t sure what to think.
Since I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t think and just swam. After another hour or so, we came to a place in the river I recognized. There is this huge bolder out a little way into the channel and when I saw it I knew that we were getting close. Then we came to another area, I don’t know what to call it, I think it’s the water outlet for Raccoon Mountain which is about a mile from the finish. But when I looked down the long straight away, I couldn’t spot the red buoy that was supposed to mark the finish. Eventually when the buoy did come into view, it seemed to keep moving downstream. It was discouraging to see it and never seem to draw any closer. After the swim, I heard another swimmer, Jeff Williams from Newburgh, Indiana, say the same thing.
Finally, I did start drawing closer and at some point after glancing at the Garmin on my wrist, I realized I was not going to break last year’s time. Still, it was a great satisfaction finally to touch that big red buoy, and know it was over, all the training and planning and dreaming had come to a resolution, a conclusion.   
Unlike last year, the water was a few degrees warmer, but the day was much cooler. Someone had started a fire, which felt really good to stand beside, and there was also a changing tent this year so we were able to get into dry clothes after being wet for almost five hours. In fact, I was on my way to the changing tent when Robin Bond called my name. I was surprised but not shocked to see Randy coming in so soon. He improved much over the past year. He was as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine until he saw me and knew that once again, Zane Hodge was the Fattie-ASS  Champion of the World, not him.  
When Randy got out of the water and finally quit weeping, we stood around the fire and talked to Victoria Rian for a while. She won the race last year and was fourth this year a few seconds ahead of Penny Palfrey even. In other words, she’s a major swimmer. We found out that she did MIMS (Manhattan Island Marathon Swim) this year and she trains up to 70,000 meters per week. Do what??? My all-time record is 42,000 and that pretty much wiped me out for a couple of weeks. She also swims outdoors, in Indiana, until the water temperature dips below 50 degrees. Dude, she is one bad chick.  
After watching almost everyone come in, Forrest and I ran to the Pot House four-and-a-half miles away for the post-race party. There we ate food and heard tales of Martin, who was inside, drinking everyone under the table. In my mind, once more I heard Barut Strel say,“Martin is fat and drinks too much beer.” Then some red-eyed, slurry-speeched swimmer stumbled out of the house and said, “Don’t go in there. Martin finished the beer and is working on the wine.”
Shortly after that, Forrest and I hitched a ride to the Suck Creek Boat Ramp where we got the truck and made our way back to the Delta Queen. We bathed, napped, and then went out to eat. We walked to a restaurant which is not difficult to do in Chattanooga because they are everywhere. When the ticket came, my son Forrest picked it up.
“Let me have it,” I protested.
“No Dad. I’ve got it.”
Wow. That had never happened before.
I learned a lot on this trip. Among other things, I found out that:
1.   Martin Strel is fat and drinks too much beer.

2.   Martin Strel is just as wild and crazy and he is presented in Big River Man.

3.   Despite all my training, ten-miles is still a long way on water.

4.   Sane pacing is important in an endurance swim.

5.   Pace work is needful to swim fast and far at the same time.

6.   Randal Beets is rapidly improving as a swimmer and if I am to beat him again next year, I’ll have to train harder than ever.

7.   My son, Forrest, is growing up and I am very proud of him.

I hope we get to do this again next year. I hope then to cut some time off my swim. I hope also to beat Randal Beets in 2013. I suppose that is another thing I’ve learned. Long swims give me hope.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Swim the Suck Part I

Wednesday after work and after napping with Luvie and Jeff, I went to the pond. The water on the warm side was 71 degrees. I swam three laps for a total of 2.24 miles which equals 3,604 meters. Seventy one felt pretty warm. Most of the pond was a bit cooler, but I didn't take time to measure it. It is always warmer on the  downwind side if the sun is shining.

Swim the Suck Part I
I never did get my hands on the underwater rope we were supposed to hold at the start. In fact I barely got in line when the horn sounded and we, seventy-four of us, were off on our ten mile trip down the beautiful Tennessee River. Like last year, we started at the Suck Creek Boat Ramp. Unlike last year, I went out hard, really hard, swimming like I was doing 100 meter sprints in the pool.
The plan, the hope was to go swiftly from the start and hold on. That’s the strategy I used at the Heart O’ Dixie Triathlon this year where I smashed my half-mile open water personal record by forth six seconds. I went out then like I was doing pool 50s and held on for dear life. Also I was thinking about the current. We started the third annual Swim the Suck Open Water Marathon near Chattanooga, TN at 9:00 am, the exact time the TVA was scheduled to cut off the river’s the water flow. My thought was if I swam hard enough, maybe I could keep up with the good current we had at the time.
Another thing different from last year was that Forrest and I were on time for the pre-race Friday night banquet. We hooked up with Randy Beets and his pilot, Robin Bond, and found a seat inside Outdoor Chattanooga. When “Big River Man” Martin Strel walked by, I jumped up quickly and asked him for a photo. He was very gracious and obliged. Martin is a marathon swimmer form Slovenia who has swum from end to end the Yangtze in China, the Danube in Europe, the Mississippi in America, and the Amazon in South America. A documentary on him, Big River Man, is one of the most inspiring and funniest things I’ve ever seen. Narrated by his son Barut, one of the opening statements in the movie is: “Martin is fat and drinks too much beer.” My favorite line from the film, though, is “Martin in drunk and driving 100 miles an hour.” A shot of Martin behind the wheel cuts to the car’s speedometer. “Martin is also studying English,” Barut adds, “and doing breathing exercises.” You gotta see this film.
If my Garmin was accurate, I swam the first mile in something like twenty-two minutes. I had my Garmin 310X under my swim cap and it was set to lap, buzz, and vibrate every mile. When it vibrated, I glanced at my Garmin 910 on my left wrist and saw the number 22. Now I am well aware that I can’t swim that fast, but we had good current at the start, and I was trying to bank all the time I could.
That unbelievable time fired me up so that I swam even harder. Forrest was scheduled to feed me at forty-five minutes for the first two feedings and then at every thirty minutes after that. When the Garmin buzzed the second time and I still had not had fed, I knew I was flying.
Not only did I get a picture with Martin Strel, but Penny Palfrey was there. She is my hero. At my age, I don’t have many heroes left and we live in a world that seems desperate to destroy anyone worthy of the title. I enjoy the ball sports, especially college football, but I do not idolize ball players. Neither do I idolize movie actors or writers even although I admire and respect both groups. My heroes are endurance athletes, but not the kind most people think of when they hear the term endurance athlete. It is not the marathoner or professional cyclist that sits atop the thrown of my admiration. I am drawn, rather, to a sub-culture of what most people know nothing of and if they have had any exposure to it at all think of it as extreme. They are right, it is extreme.
Ultra-marathoners, swimmers and runners mostly, are the group of people I hold in highest regard. Swimmers especially since they are the rarest breed. It is a world I have slowly entered and the farther in I go in, the more intrigued and admiring I become. These are the people who inspire me to step higher, who open my thoughts to new possibilities, whose exploits ignite my imagination into a forest fire of new worlds and challenges. Penny Palfrey is chief among these.
She has swum all the major channels, English (twice), Catalina, Molakai (twice), the Straits of Gibraltar and others, many others. She swam from Little Cayman Island to Grand Cayman Island, a distance of 67.25 miles. She even came to and swam Swim the Suck in Tennessee. She inspires me to dream big, far beyond what I previously had thought even possible, and to chase my dreams with faith.
I felt like a stalker as I watched her from afar, seeking an opportunity for a picture. We lined up for our pasta dinner, and since the line was long, I decided to make a trip back to the restroom. When I did, I found Penny Palfrey alone at her table. My heart skipped a beat, skipped two beats. Heck, I almost swooned. “Penny, may I have a picture, please?” She was very gracious and posed for a photo. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I was star-struck, totally star-struck. When I got back in the food line and showed Randy, Robin, and Forrest my photo, their jaws dropped.

Temptation Overcome

He loves to take a nap. I do too.
I took a nap with the cat and dog and then did a little shuffle Tuesday. I broke down again. Don't ask. Earlier I had considered going to the pond and DSU, but then I decided I just wasn't that energetic and overcame the temptation. At DSU, I got in the water a little late and only managed

450 warm up (I like to do at least 1,000)
800 pull
4 X 50 @ 1:00
600 swim with paddles
8 X 50 @ 1:00
400 swim
12 X 50 @ 1:00
4 X 100 breathing 2, 5, and 9
Total: 3,850 yards = 3518.9 meters

We were short on lanes. What are we going to do when the pool goes back to long course? I swam with Margarette and the other girl (sorry, I can't remember her name). Swimming two per lane is one thing, but this is the first time I have swum three per lane. It wasn't that bad except on the longer swims (800 and 600) when Margarette and I had to lap. Then it was a little crowded. But overall, it wasn't that bad.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Still a Cold Water Sissy

After taking a nap with my cat, I lifted weights and then loaded up and drove to the pond Monday afternoon. Once there, I did a 2.52-mile shuffle and then took a swim. While I was running, I had my thermometer in the water to get an accurate reading. The water on that end of the pond was 68, an increase of three degrees over Friday. It didn't feel any warmer to me.

As I've mentioned before, one idea I had for naming this blog was ColdWaterSissy. The reason for that name is I admire cold water swimmers and have tried myself, unsuccessfully, to become one. I've done more cold water swimming this year than ever, but I'm still a long way from being able to handle sub-70 degree water for any length of time.

Due to time constraints, I swam only two laps, 1.5 miles. At least I did something but with the cool pool swimming and the cold pond swimming, I was hoping the water would feel warmer. It didn't and neither did I. But the plan is to swim again Wednesday. As long as the weather is so delightful, it seems wrong not to swim whenever possible. Tonight I head to DSU. I am tempted to go to the pond AND DSU. But I need a longish run and I need to see the grandchildren. I suppose if I was really energetic enough, I could do it all. We'll see.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Summary

Saturday, I had originally planned to make another trip to the pond and get some more cold water swimming in. However, I was just feeling lazy, so I drank a lot of coffee and hung out with my wife and helped clean up. I also watched some football, Texas A&M vs LSU, until half time then I went outside and did a pretty substantial weight session. With every rep and every set, I had the Chicot Challenge and the Swim the Suck in the back of my mind. Although my yardage is by necessity way down from now until next spring, I am training for these events already.

Originally, I had planned to do next year's birthday swim at Ross Barnett. Now the plan is to go back to Chicot. Although Chicot solves a host of logistical issues, a number of those still exists. The main issue is starting earlier than last year. The store at the state park doesn't open until 9:00. This is where my pilots rented their kayaks. Last June we didn't actually start swimming until about 9:50. I want to up the distance to at least 16-miles, maybe farther. To do that and have time to contact Bob Darden early enough for him to write a follow up article, requires at least an 8:00 am start. How to get the kayaks? I own one, but need three. That's right; it looks like I will have three pilots instead of two next year. Great. The more kayakers, the safer I am.

Penny's brother, Brice, came down from Nashville so we went to Carroll County in the afternoon. I got out of the truck just before the bridge over Pelucia Creek and shuffled and walked 9.16 miles going up the big paved hill. For the week I did

Run: 15.06
Walk: 3.87
Swim: 15,822.34 meters
Weights: 2 X

For the year, I have 527 miles running and 485.27 miles swimming.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Pond

Getting ready to get in the new pond.
Randy and I have a new body of water down on the fish farm. Our favorite pond has become too dangerous to swim. In the summer of 2011, we started swimming what immediately became our favorite. It was large and since the farm had just pumped it up, the water was cool and the fish were small. Now the fish are large, the water is crowded, and if something spooks them or excites them, you get hit a lot by rapidly moving fish. Usually being hit is mostly an annoyance but it can be, and recently was, more than that.

The new pond was just stocked late this summer, and David tells me the head count is about half of what our old pond has. Since both ponds are the same size, there was no reason not to change.

The water was 65 degrees today, but I got in alone and did two laps and another trip down the short levee and back for 1.76 miles. I wore a light, partial neoprene shirt which gave a little protection, mostly from the initial shock when just starting. I wanted to swim, and I'm glad I took the plunge. Maybe I can keep some outdoor swimming up through the fall and who knows, maybe all winter. I have a wetsuit if the water, and it will, drops too much more. If the weather stays warm like it is now, the water temps should drop slowly and possibly I can acclimate to the colder temperatures a little at a time. Some people, in other parts of the country and in England, swim outdoors year round.

After the swim, I did a little run of 3.35 miles followed by a short walk. The run and walk helped me warm up. I was still shivering after ten minutes of jogging. When I got home, I took a nap with Jeff and Luvie. Jeff has been sick and is on some major meds. He acts like he's feeling a little better. This should make my wive happy. You know what they say, if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What?? Too Cold??

The weather has been so warm and the Twin Rivers pool so clean I went back Wednesday to do a killer practice. They were draining the pool. Turns out that 85 degree weather and 73 degree water is too cold. Unbelievable. I'm pretty much a cold water sissy. In fact, that was one of the names I seriously considered naming this blog. But even I can swim in 73 degrees. And this has to be the warmest October ever. Not to be stopped by common sense, Twin Rivers pulled the plug and ruined my fun. I'm telling you, there is a vast right and left wing conspiracy to keep me from experiencing pleasure.

Since I couldn't swim, I went home, redressed, and took a little shuffle. I did

2.12 miles and walked .29
I then did some weights
   Overhead press: 8 X 50
   Chin up: 4
   Dumbbell shrugs: 22 X 50
   All three times through

Thursday I shuffled 3.37 and walked .23 Then I went to DSU and did

600 paddles
400 as 50 free/50 back
200 hard
200 hard
400 as 50 free/25 breast/25 back
600 paddles
800 for time I did 11:29 which was a PR by six seconds
800 easy
Total: 4,800 yards = 4,392 meters

Randy was there for the first time since early summer. It was nice to see him, and he brought the gift certificate for David who takes care of us at the catfish pond. We gave him one last year. Speaking of catfish ponds, David tells me they have some empty ones at PD. I am going to try to find one tomorrow and swim test it I hope. I really am not eager to get back in what was our favorite, number 29, because the fish are getting so crazy in there. David says there is about 200,000 pounds of fish in that pond and the last time we swam it I got severely finned. My hand was paralyzed for maybe eighteen minutes and the pain was just below kidney stone level.

I just finished a draft of the Swim the Suck report and will serialize it probably starting next week. It was an interesting experience that I learned much from and I'm eager to share it with you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Great Weather

Since the weather has been so good, and the water relatively warm, I have swum more than normal this time of year. Last year, I pretty much shut it down after the Suck and only did the Masters two times per week. The water temp at Twin rivers was 70 Friday and 74 Saturday. That once was cold enough to keep me out, but not anymore. Monday afternoon I swam and the water was 73. That is starting to feel pretty warm. Brent was there swimming in his wetsuit. He's pretty lean, so I understand, but 73 is really not wetsuit temp. Monday I did

20 X 100 @ 1:54
Total: 3,800

The 1:54 interval is the fastest I have ever done long course 100s on. It wasn't that bad, but my times were not very good. It's just really hard to push yourself when you are the only one. Brent was there, but he was doing his own thing. Towards the end of the set, I was only getting six seconds rest. But at the pace I was swimming, plus the cool water, that was no problem.  My plan is to work my interval times down on the 100s and add reps which should build endurance and some speed, in other words: stamina. I am breaking mental barriers now which should help me next summer.

Tuesday (today) I gave my presentation at MDCC. I tried very hard to keep the time down and left out so much I wanted to share. Still it lasted 1:08. That's hours not minutes. I did my best and I feel a bit more free now. It was nice and they gave me cookies afterwards. Cookies always make me happy. Preparation kept me from running Monday, and our dog kept me from running today. After the program, I came home and took a nap with Jeff our weenie dog. He is ill, and I was very concerned about him. If something were to happen to this dog, I am not sure my wife would survive it. She is extremely attached to the little fellow as am I. He was better than this morning so I decided not to take him to  the vet. He  just isn't feeling well or eating much. He had perked up some this afternoon but was still not his usual self.

I went to DSU and did

10 X 100 pull @ 2:00
400 @ 8:00
4 X 100 as 1) @ 1:55, 2) @ 1:50, 3) @ 1:45 with fins, 4) @ 1:40 with fins
400 @ 8:00
4 X 100 @ 1:50
400 @ 8:00
4 X 100 @ 1:45 with fins
Total: 5,250 yards = 4,798.5 meters

You gotta love Cagri. I do. He works us pretty hard which is what I want.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Sumamry

With my hero, Penny Palfrey, the night before Swim the Suck
It was not a good week of training. Not to worry, recovery is the chief thing right now. But my running has collapsed again and that is a real strain on my psyche. I can't even talk or write about it. Monday I shuffled 2.86 miles. Tuesday I took off from running and went to DSU. There I did 4,100 yards = 3,747.4 meters. Wednesday I tried to run again and broke down after 3.59 miles.

The bright spot of the training week was Thursday at Masters. I had a good chat with Cagri before practice. He is going to help Randy and me get faster for next year's race. He talked about us doing 10,000 in the pool sometimes. What!?! We did

1,000 warm up
30 X 100 @ 2:00 We took our pulse after every other 100. Cagri wrote every thing down.
200 easy
4,200 yards = 3,838.8 meters.

I couldn't believe my ears when Cagri said 30 X 100. The most we ever did with Petya was 20 X 100. Cagri's practices are longer and I like that a lot. He also shows some interest in helping Randy and me train for the longer open water stuff. Most pool swimmers don't really care anything about that sort of thing.

Friday I went to Twin Rivers. The water was 70 degrees and I did an easy 2,700 straight. Saturday I went back and did

16 X 100 @ 1:55
500 easy
3,200 LCMs

Water temp hit 74 by the time I left. Later in the afternoon, I lifted weights for the first time in a couple of weeks. Then I shuffled 1.47 miles to Dad's to watch MSU beat Tennessee.

Still to come is the Swim the Suck write up. I have a major presentation to make at work Tuesday, and until that is done, pretty much everything else is on hold.

I swam 13,486.2 meters
Ran 7.92 miles
walked 1.87 miles
Lifted weights 1 X
and ate way too much food. That is just one reason I need to run. Whenever I am running, I am much more circumspect about what I put into my mouth. As soon as the running goes south, I fall off the wagon when it comes to a decent diet. I'm not sure why that is, but it has always been that way with me.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Summary

The Big River Man himself, Martin Strel
Thursday I ran 6.37 miles and intended to go to the pool but just didn't make it. Friday was travel day to Chattanooga. Forrest and I left about 9:00 and just did get there in time. Penny Palfrey and Martin Strel were there. I will do a full report and post more pictures later. Right now, here is a pic of Randy and me with Martin. I also got one with Penny. For the first time in my life, I was star-struck.

Forrest and I stayed on the Delta Queen again this year. Saturday, the swim went OK, although I was a bit disappointed that my time was six minutes slower than last year. The reason for that is two-fold: 1) I went out hard, really hard with the hope that I could hold. I could not. 2) The water flow was really low. By the time we finished, we were swimming in a lake. I did beat Randy Beets, but he swam much better than last year and cut the gap between us in half. If he does that again next year, we will be sprinting each other at the finish.

The water temp was 75, a bit warm for all the people from the North, but for me it was still cool but doable. Forrest and I ran the 4.57 miles from the swim end back to the Pot House.

For the week, I swam 19, 025 meters and completed my second Swim the Suck Ten-Miler. I ran 25.7 miles and walked 3.93 miles. Since it was race week, I did no weightlifting.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Suck Week Started

Being Suck week, I am radically tapering down, but I also have the goal of keeping my running up. Monday was chilly and raining so I didn't even attempt to go to the pool. I did shuffle an easy 4.14 miles. Weights, which I often do on Mondays, are off the agenda this week also. Tuesday I shuffled 6.6 miles with a 1.37 mile segment of M-pace work and one .25 interval of T-pace. It was a nice run and I thanked God for the opportunity to enjoy His creation both inside and outside of this body. At DSU, I did a total of 3,300 SCYs which comes out to 3,016 meters.