Friday, November 30, 2012

Slow Start Day

It is Friday morning and I am sipping coffee, hanging out with my cat and dog, and watching one of my film noir movies. Life is good.

Wednesday I did a short shuffle and some dry-land training. By dry-land, I mean the swim pull, some cord work, ball slams, and pullups, sports specific stuff. Thursday I ran 6.51 miles in multi-paced fashion. I then drove to Skene, hugged my grandchildren, and went to Masters. Cagri, the Mad-Swimming-Scientist, who was AWOL Tuesday, was on deck early Thursday. I swam

4 X 150 as 50 kick with fins/100 swim, :10 rest
18 X 50 as 4 @ 1:00, 2 @ :45, 3 times through with fins
400 decline 1-4 by 25s
4 X 200 as 50 fast each 200, 1 (first 50), 2 (second 50), 3 (third 50), 4 (fourth 50)
200 easy
Total: 4,000 yards = 3,656 meters.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Dog Named Smu

Hanging out. That is Smu in the background.
Monday I shuffled 2.2 miles and did some weightlifting. Tuesday I ran 6.25 in a multi-paced fashion and felt pretty good. Then I drove to Skeen and got to hang out with Smu and my granddaughter before swim practice. Smu meets me at my truck and climbs in when I open the door. That little turd-eater has won my heart. I always pick her up and carry her indoors where we hang out with Caitlin and watch Square Bob Sponge Pants, hug, and eat candy.

I got to the pool a little early and started warming up. Mark Blackwood and Ricky Smith showed up when I had already done 500. I kept swimming, but stopped at 1500 when I saw Mark on the wall. Cagri was not there yet, which is most unusual for him. Consequently, we decided to keep swimming and did 10 X 50 kick with fins thinking coach might show up while we kicked. While going up and down the pool, we made up the rest of the practice since the Mad-Swimming-Scientist was a no-show. We did

10 X 50 kick with fins
3 X 400 as 1 with paddles, 2 with fins, 3 swim
10 X 50 fast @ 1:00
100 easy
Total: 3,900 yards = 3,564.6 meters.

When I dressed and got to my truck, I saw a text from Cagri saying he was running late. Way late. It felt good to be back in the water, and I am hungry to bust out a big one Thursday.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Summary

For the first time all year, I went a week without swimming. It was not my choice, at least not totally, and I am not happy to say the least. I not only want to swim, it seems I also need to. Our masters group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays so Thanksgiving knocked out one practice. But Tuesday's session was allegedly cancelled due to a broken heater at the pool. I say "allegedly" because every year at this exact time the heater breaks. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

Luvie also loves film noir.
Yes, I could have gone to the pond, but my motivation to freeze myself nearly to death while having no one even to witness my death has slowly vanished with the fading day length. OK, a little hyperbole there, but really not that much.

Friday I did an easy 3.21 mile shuffle and lifted some weights. Saturday I ran 6.14 straight, did some setups and squats, and then gorged myself on a smorgasbord of college football. Almost all the football was good with the SEC serving out butt-whippings to everyone they played. The dark spot was Mississippi State getting lit up by our in-state rivals. Dreadful.

Since Saturday night was dark, I felt drawn to some dark entertainment. Like last Sunday, I took a mild three-mile walk in the afternoon after eating several pounds of popcorn and watching another movie in my Film Noir collection. My cat watched Quicksand, starring Micky Rooney, with me. He likes the genre also and thought it was Rooney's all-time best role. The movie is a morality tale that vividly details the misery which comes from choosing the bad girl over the good one. Alas, however, there was a happy ending. The movie I mean.

For the week I ran 23.48 and walked 10.15 miles. I also did upper body weight work three times.

I can't wait to get back into the pool next week. Maybe I shouldn't get too antsy; this is my off season, and I probably need an off season. My schedule for the spring semester is giving me the first period off, so if I get into MVSU's  pool (something I've been working on), I can do some major swimming before work everyday. If that prooves to be the case, I may up the distance on the Chicot Challenge, which now is set at sixteen-miles.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Break

Everyday on Facebook I read people's posts of things for which they are thankful. I am thankful, among other things, that I get a whole week off for Thanksgiving. Yeeha!. Monday I didn't do too much but take some naps and shuffle 2.1 miles followed by some weightlifting. Tuesday I decided to ride over to Lake Village, Arkansas and try to finalize some details concerning next year's fundraising birthday swim. For one, I have not yet worked out a route that enthuses me. I did some measuring, acquired some maps, and worked out  a route. Also I met the Superintendent of the Lake Chicot State Park, and met the managers of the Lake Chicot County Park. They are all on board with the swim.

Previously I had talked with Ocee Hunter, the state park man, over the phone. It was good to meet him in person because I am pretty sure now he will not forget me. I found the county park, which is way south and on the opposite bank of the lake. The plan is to start at the state park, swim to downtown Lake Village, then to the landing at the Copper Penny, proceed south to Ditch Bayou, go another mile or so past the bayou, then cross the lake and turn north finishing at the county park.

Having a point to point course complicates the logistics a little bit, but is mentally easier than an out-and-back course and is what I have been trying to work out for awhile now. I'm happy with the course and now can work on other details of the swim.

Wednesday I drove to Grenada and found The Print Shop where I discussed my T-shirt design with the girl there. Tina Garrett recommended her so I thought I would give her the business. The swim is still more than six months away, but I'm trying to get everything done that I can. When I got home from the T-shirt mission, I ran 3.05 and did some dry-land training.

My old running buddy
Thanksgiving Day arrived with a clear sky and some cool but warming temperatures. We eat thanksgiving lunch with the in-laws who live in the Carroll County hills about fourteen plus miles from our home in Greenwood. I decided to ambulate all the way. Since I am not that fit right now, I knew I would have to walk a good bit of this. My goal was to run about eight of the fourteen miles so I left the house at 9:13 a.m. with my Nathan hydration pack and four PowerBar Gels. I walked the first 2.3 miles to warm my legs up before I started shuffling. When I got far out Humphry's Highway and turned onto the lonely gravel road, I soon met an old friend.

We met one cold, stormy night when I got caught running in the dark up a wilderness road where I had seen a large cougar the spring before. I became very frightened, but this dog came out from the last house on the road and went with me all the way. When I arrived at my destination, he stopped at the drive way and watched me until I went inside the house. As long as he was there, I felt totally safe. The dog and I have become good friends and he loves to run up the road with me. I even wrote a short story, "Up the Road," about our runs. My affection for the dog is so strong, I let him narrate the story. Maybe I will post it here sometime.

I ran 8.92 and walked 5.56 miles to create some room for Thanksgiving lunch. I got to hug the grandchildren and everyone was in a good humor. After lunch, I napped until Caitlin hit me with a pillow. For the evening meal, we went to Mom's. My brother, Quinton, and his family were there and we had a nice time sinning with too much food.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday Summary

Wednesday I had an English faculty meeting and that managed to knock me out of any kind of workout. Thursday, however, I got a good run in and did 5.77 miles. At DSU, I did

12 X 25 as 2 drill/1 fast
3 X 25 fast/25 easy
       50 fast/50 easy
       75 fast/75 easy
       100 fast/100 easy
100 easy
Total: 4,300 yards = 3,930.2 meters.

Friday I did a little 3.04 mile shuffle and a little bit of dryland work. Saturday the weather was gorgeous and I did a shuffle/hike getting in 7.17 miles of running and 4.03 miles of walking out Money Road and back.Usaully I do nothing on Sunday but this week I did an easy 2.65 mile walk.

For the week, I ran 24.07 and walked 11.22 miles, swam 8,957.2 meters, and lifted some weights. For the year I have swum 518 and run 596 miles.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cold Weather

My weeping tomcat
Winter has arrived here in the Deep South, and just the idea of swimming outdoors causes me to curl up in the fetal position and weep uncontrollably. At least I have a fat tomcat to weep with me.

Monday I shuffled 2.5 miles and Tuesday I did 5.58. Wow! Maybe this time I really am on the way back. After my run, I drove to Skene with a backseat full of clothing. My wife, who is the best and most selfless person I have ever known, recently received a pay raise on her job and spends every penny of her new finances on our two grandchildren. Caitlin tried on every outfit and looked good in them all, even the one she put on backwards.

I arrived at the pool early and Mark Blackwood was already there. We changed and walked out on deck only to find Cagri, the Mad-Swimming-Scientist, at poolside with a stack of printed workouts. Seriously, it took an entire 8 X 11 sheet of paper to write that practice. His practices are complicated and long. I'm not complaining, just sayin'. We/I did

250 swim
250 pull
250 kick
250 swim
4 X 300 as 50 back/50 free
12 X 25 @ :40 as 2 drill/2 fast
5 X 100 pull with paddles @ 2:00
        2 X 50 swim- build @ 1:00
        4 X 25 race @ ;30
600 as 50 kick/50 back/ 50 free with fins
10 X 50 as 25 underwater kick/25 swim
500 small paddles
Total 5,500 yards = 5,027 meters

I have come to notice that whenever I do some serious running, Cagri somehow knows and tries to get us to wear and fins out in a single session. If you run before coming to our Masters practice, expect to go home without your legs. They will still be in the pool kicking while your butt drives home.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Summary

Recently I posted a comment in Marathon Swimmer Forum that Water Girl didn't post often enough. Actually, I feel the same about all the bloggers I follow. I like to swim, and I like to read about swimming. It entertains me, inspires me, encourages me. Water Girl responded by writing a new post and mentioning me by name even. Thanks Water Girl; I enjoyed the post

In my last post, Friday, I mentioned that I was trying to muster energy to drive out to the pond and take a swim. Finally, I did cruise out and take four temp readings (60, 57, 58, 58) in different spots. Then I sat in the truck and failed to gain the umph to get into the water.

Call me a sissy or sorry or whatever, but in my defense, I am a sissy. Not only that, but I was alone and tired, very tired like in needing to stay in bed all day. So I went home and got in bed with my fat tomcat and took a nap. When I got up, I ate some junk food and went back to bed. I think I'm losing it.

Saturday I managed a slow shuffle/walk. I impersonated a runner for 5.89 miles and ambulated 3.08 more miles. After a protein shake and some college football, I went back outside and lifted weights.

Normally on Sundays I don't do anything physical. I preach in the morning, eat lunch with my wife, and nap with my cat all afternoon watching some real quality television like Finding Bigfoot. This Sunday was different, however, because Randal Beets wanted to swim and since I am so often alone, I agreed to meet him on the fish farm. We took a temp reading (61) then I discovered I had forgotten my swim bag. Who does that? Randy had no extra goggles. I would have tried it without goggles but I had no swim cap and just didn't think I could take it. The last time I got into cold water without a cap, my head hurt so terribly it felt like my noggin was being squeezed by a muscle man in a giant vice.

We took a run instead to give ourselves time to think over our options. I agreed to get in the water and attempt swimming, and even if I failed, to stay in the water until Randal finished. By the time we wrapped up running, however, it was getting dark and stormy so we abandoned the idea of swimming. For the week, I went to bat twice and struck out both times. Yee Haa.

Overall I

ran 22.7 miles
swam 9,367.5 meters
walked 9.11 miles
and lifted weights 2 X.

I also gained some unwanted weight. Maybe with my run coming back up, I can get rid of that. My cat doesn't seem to mind, however. The weight that is. The fatter the better seems to be what he thinks. And his opinion is important.

Friday, November 9, 2012


This is Luvie, my sweetie tomcat.
I'm trying to decide if it's courage I lack or laziness I possess, but right now I am drinking coffee, hanging out with my cat, and daydreaming about warmer times. Also I'm trying to muster enough umph to go to the pond this afternoon. The cat is sweet, the bed is soft, and the coffee is good.

Wednesday I ran 1.51 miles, mowed the back lawn, and did some weightlifting. I was too much of a coward to drive to the pond. Thursday I ran 5.31 miles but I'm not sure it was wise. I drove to Skene and hugged my grandchildren and Smu, then was off to Masters swim where I did

8 X 50 progression (1-4 by 12.5 yards)
400 pull with paddles
4 X 100 hard :30 rest
300 pull with paddles
3 X 100 hard :30 rest
200 pull with paddles
2 X 100 hard :30 rest
100 pull
100 all out (1:18)
850 easy with small paddles
Total: 5,050 yards = 4,615.7 meters.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Brag alert! If a little boasting disagrees with you, maybe you want to skip this post. Normally I don't crow too much except when I best Randal Beets in some sort of swimming event. And I am well aware that any real swimmers who happen to see this blog will think my times are a) shockingly slow, b) pathetic, or c) embarrassing. Probably the correct answer is d) all of the above.

But I am an adult-onset swimmer, and I'm excited about the progress I have made especially over the past year. At Masters practice last night, I broke my 400 short course PR not once but twice. And I wasn't even swimming all out. The instruction from our coach was to go hard but not full speed.

I never can remember my own records, but I dutifully record my workouts and records in a training dairy. Among other things, we swam 3 X 400 hard but not full speed. When I got home and checked my records, I discovered I had broken my 400 time not once, but twice, from 5:52 to 5:50 and then 5:48. It's been a good year like that.

It was 2006 when I joined the Masters group at DSU. I didn't swim that much in '06, but it was the most I ever had swum. Each year I did a little more. Only in 2010 did I swim enough that I started totalling everything up. I swam 311 miles in 2010, 409 miles in 2011, and this year I am at 506 miles and counting. I guess you can see the trend.

This year I have set all sorts of distance records like most meters in one week (42,000), most distance in one day (13.94 miles), biggest pool workout (12,100 long course meters) and many others. Also, almost every distance I have swum for time has produced a new PR. Long course has seen me PR in 50, 100, 400, and 500. For short course, I PRd in 300, 400, 500, and 800. In the open water last July, I smashed my half-mile best by 46 seconds at the Heart O' Dixie Triathlon lowering it to 11:56.

I'm a little excited.

I hope the records continue to fall, but I know at some point they will fail to do so. When that happens, I'm sure I can still be happy because I love to swim for its own sake. In fact, I love that all-day pace more than the lung busting effort it takes to set a PR in the pool. I'd rather swim long than fast. What I really want, however, is to swim long and fast at the effort I love to swim at now. That feeling I get when I am swimming smooth and feel like I can go all day is one I can't get enough of.

Well, If you've read to this point, the brag is over. Last night we swam

1,400 warm up
2 X 800 as first 800 50 back kick/50 swim with fins; second as 25 kick/75 swim with fins
5 X 400 as 1,3,5 hard, 2 and 4 as 50 back kick/50 swim no fins
200 easy
Total: 5,200 yards = 4,752.8 meters

Also, Monday I ran 2.01 and Tuesday I ran 4.32 miles. Today, I need to lift some weights.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Summary

To all  two of my readers, I really wanted to post more often this week, but I have been tied up caring for my mom while Dad was out of town. Maybe it's no big deal to you, but I become grieved when the bloggers I read don't post often.

Thursday I didn't run because something was sore, I don't remember what. But I did see the grandchildren, and I managed to get into the pool a little early. Cagri has gotten pretty laid back about warm ups, but is anything but on the main set. Typically, I get in and swim till I see him hanging around on deck. Thursday I just kept swimming and swimming. Finally I saw him on deck but he was talking with his high schoolers. So I swam some more. When he ambled down to my end of the pool, I stopped and he gave me the main set. I did

2,050 warm up
900 pull with paddles
300 for time 4:09 (PR)
150 easy kick/swim with fins
300 for time (4:10)
150 easy kick/swim with fins
300 for time (4:09)
150 easy kick/swim with fins
3 X 200 as 50 kick/50 drill/100 swim with fins
500 kick/swim with fins
300 kick with fins
Total: 5,700 yards = 5,209.8 meters

Friday was nice and warm so I went to the pond after I got Mom fed. I swam three plus laps. The water was 62 degrees where I got in, but it varied wildly from side to side, from end to end. On one side, it was so cold my feet would go numb. On the far end, it was so warm my feet would thaw out and then re-numb swimming up the next side. Wild. I did get 2.62 miles of straight swimming for 4,215.58 meters.

After the swim I did a little 2.76 shuffle around PD lake. This was the first time going around the back side of the lake. It was pretty and reminded me of squirrel hunting. Alas, I can't do it all.

Saturday, after getting Mom fed, I did a run/walk out Money Road and back for 5.21 miles of running and 1.82 miles of walking. I added a little stiff-legged deadlift set and a few squats to the end. I watched some college football, mowed the lawn, and took a nap.

For the week, I

ran 17.19
swam 15,597.9 meters
walked 4.19 miles
and lifted weights 1X.

For the year, I have swum 815,553.93 meters (506.87 miles) and run 551.6 miles. Already I am planning my big birthday swim. Next week I will be writing about my latest plans and things I have done to start the promotion, which is someting I know next to nothing about so if anyone out there can give me some tips, I would greatly appreciate it.