Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Summary

I was all the way into the town of Cleveland (50-miles from Greenwood) before it ever entered into my mind that DSU just might be closed for Good Friday. It was. OK, I'm a genius. I sat in front of the natatorium for a few minutes and felt like weeping. Then Dan'l Murray walked out. Dan'l coaches the DSU squad as well as the DAC team. I asked about swimming. He said they were closed. He hesitated, and I could tell he had some sympathy for me. Then he told me he had a practice at 2:00 with just a few swimmers and I could swim then. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Dan'l. I swam

10 X 150 medium paddles @ 3:00
15 X 100 small paddles @ 2:00
4 X 50 swim @ 1:00
I was done at this point and cooled down with an easy 200 for a total of 5,600 meters.

This practice was both encouraging and discouraging. I was as done as burnt toast when I tapped out on the 50s. Not good. However, this is exactly the kind of work I need to jump start my endurance build that has to take place for me to complete the Chicot Challenge. And with that swim, I got my first 20,000 meter week of 2013.

Saturday was the running of the second Viking Half Marathon and 5K. Last year I was only up for the 5K. This year I have been able to run more and although Randy Beets was out of pocket costing me a chance at kicking his hinder parts, my son was in the run and since he beat me for the first time ever in our last head to head, he would be an adequate adversary for the day. I went out at a pace that I knew would be hard to hold, and I managed not to die like I did at the Mississippi River Half only a little more than a month ago. I beat my Greenville time by a over seven minutes and left my son in the dust. Yeehaa. I ain't ready to be a real old man just yet. Although my 2:05:11 was not good enough to place in my age group, it was a satisfying run and one heck of a workout. Good cross training.

After some serious napping with my cat, Luvie, I got up and did some major back yard gym work that afternoon. All in all, it was a very good week of training, and maybe my first ever 20/20. By 20/20 I mean 20 miles running and 20,000 meters swimming. I never did that last year. The only other year I may have ever done that would be 2007 and I have not yet gone back in my records to check. I hope it is just the first of many 20/20 weeks for the upcoming months.

For the week I
ran 21.88  and walked 11.79 miles
swam 20,214.54 meters and
lifted weights one time.

My goal for the first week of April is to repeat at 20/20.

For the year I am at
167,443.73 meters swimming and
267.38 miles running.

Compared to last year I am
+32,509.42 meters swimming and
+175.31 miles running.

The running is going pretty well. After four years (!!!) finally I am over Achilles tendonosis. Four years. Thank God. However, my knee caps are constantly bothering me. Sigh. If it's not one thing, it's two. And don't tell me to ice. My body does not like ice and it always makes everything worse for me. Also I am tired of taking NSAIDs. No more. Just ain't doing it. I like my liver. That leaves message and not running. My current choice is message via a foam roller. This really does help, but has not been a total cure. Something else that could help would be some warn weather. I have noticed over the years that my patellae tendons have been growing increasingly sensitive to cold. If I can get my knee tendons healthy, I can kick butt and take names this summer. I'm tired of getting my butt kicked by fat ladies. This is the year of pay back and you know what they say about that.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Paradise Lost

I went to the pond Thursday, broke the zipper on my wetsuit, and froze out in record time making it only .82 miles before tapping out like a cold-water-sissy. To make matters worse, just as I was climbing out, two huge diesel fish trucks drove up along with a pickup loaded with workers from the fish farm. They asked me what I was doing, and I managed to convince them that I was checking the pond for bull sharks. Really. I've gotten to where I tell terrific lies, and I really must repent. Bull sharks do in fact frequent fresh water and have been found in the Mississippi River as far north as Indiana. Since some of these ponds where I swim border the Quiver River, I convinced the farm workers that these athletic sharks could possibly jump the pond levees during periods of  high water.
Paradise Lost

That's the good news. The bad news is they were there to deliver 28,000 more fish to my favorite pond. Dang it! Now I am in search of a new swimming hole.

To back up, Monday I did a little 2.2 mile shuffle, and Tuesday I ran 2.33 and went to DSU where I swam

8 X 50
800 breathing 9, 7, 5, 3 by 25s
2 X 400 same breathing pattern
8 X 100 @ 2:30 breathing
1,600 back kick/swim with fins
Total: 5,600 meters.

Wednesday I had a meeting on campus in Moorhead so I planned a visit to one of my old haunts. Back in 2007 when I did my first marathon swim, I trained at a pond near Moorhead on Nobile Fish Farm. I went back for the first time in years and swam 1.24 miles. Amazingly the water temp was 59 degrees, several degrees higher than the air temp had been in days. That's what sunshine does to fish ponds.

Thursday I planned a double so although I got only 1319.38 meters at the pond, there was still DSU that night where I did

8 X 50
400 pull
4 X 50 from middle of pool
300 pull
4 X 50 from middle
200 pull
4 X 50 from middle
100 pull
4 X 50 from middle. Then on my own I swan
1,800 straight with small paddles for a total of 5,700 at the pool plus the pond = 7,019.38 meters. Yeehaa!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

If You Stole Spring, Please Return Her

It is Sunday afternoon and my wife and I just got home from church and lunch at the college with some old friends, the Rowes, who came over for a visit. It was really nice. It was really cold. If we don't get some spring soon, not only am I in danger of being dangerous, but I am getting a little antsy about the Chicot Challenge. The water temperature gap between this year and last year has now grown to twenty degrees. Twenty degrees! What's up with that?

Thursday I got in the pool at DSU as early as I could and planned to stay untill they threw me out. They did, but first I swam

5 X 200 pull with paddles @ 4:00
2 X 50 kick no fins
6 X 150 pull with paddles @ 3:00
2 X 50 kick no fins
8 X 100 swim dec 1-4 (tied PR with 1:28 2x)
end of masters practice. On my own I continued with
500 back kick/swim with fins
10 X 100 assorted paddles @ 2:00
400 small paddles

This is not a great pic,
but I only had my phone and didn't want to enter the yard.
Total: 6,000 long course meters.

This was the kind of work I need, only more often. Friday I attended the Mississippi Humanities Commission banquet in Jackson to receive my certificate and check (YES!) for being named MDCC's Humanities Teacher of the Year for 2012. It was a nice deal with VP Abraham, Dr. Barnett, Mary Ruth Brindly, and our new college president, Dr Nabors, all in attendance. I felt very honored and enjoyed myself tremendously. The celebration did, however, mean no training. After the banquet, I spent the afternoon shopping with my wife. For dinner we went to Aladdin's where we enjoyed some Greek cuisine. Before we left, we drove down old Canton Blvd and I found a side street where I had seen a stunning tree a year before. Last spring when Mom was hospitalized at St Dominic's, when she would go for physical rehab, I would take a run. On one such run, I saw this stunningly strange pine tree which had bark that looked like some sort of hardwood tree bark. I remembered that from a year ago and Penny and I found the tree and took some pics. I even knocked on the door to ask questions, but alas, no one was home. All in all, it was a nice day.

Saturday I would have loved to gone to  the pond, but it was threatening and delivered some severe weather. Before the weather went crazy, I got in a 9.4 mile run and did a huge upper body weight workout. Then I checked the ten day forecast. It doesn't look good.

Actually, training is substantially ahead of last year at this same time. However, it needs to be ahead of last year, and we are entering the time when I really need to start going crazy with distance. The outdoor water temps are just too cold for me to stay in very long, even when I wear a wetsuit. And since my access to indoor pools is so limited, I am starting to get nervous, concerned if I will be able to pull off a 16-mile swim by the first of June. Oh well, all I can do is all I can do.

For the week I
swam 14,075.32 meters
walked 6.08 and ran 14.88 miles
and lifted weights one time.

For the year I am at
147,229.19 meters swimming and
245.5 miles running.

Compared to last year I am
+27,936.42 meters swimming and
+160.83 miles running.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Global Warming Please

I got up early Monday morning, early for me that is, with the idea that I would lift some weights. Since it was relatively warm and still dark (I forgot about the switch in time), I decided not to lift because I know several people who have had West Nile and believe me, it ain't good. Instead I took a little short walk. In the afternoon, I did a little 3.43 mile run. I would like to have gone to the pond, but it was threatening rain and cooling off. Still a sissy.

Tuesday I went to the pond and managed two laps before I decided I didn't want to be cold anymore. I then took a little two-mile shuffle around the levees and afterwards went to see my grandchildren. At Masters, no one was at the pool until the Mad Swimming Scientist arrived so I not only couldn't start early, I couldn't even get in the building until coach came. Then we swam

5 X 50
2 X 100 pull
2 X 50
2 X 150 pull
2 X 50
2 Xx 200 pull
2 X 50
400 no wall
On my own I swam another 600 with small paddles.
Total: 3,200 at Masters; 2,381.32 at pond for 5,581.32 meters for the day and week.

Wednesday I went back to the pond and the water temperature had dropped five degrees. Dang I'm tired of this, and I really need some distance. I just can't stay in as long as I need to. The water temps are now running 11 degrees below last year at this time. Please give us some global warming. Every night the temps are down into the 30s sucking all the warmth from the water.


Well, today is Thursday and I already told my wife I will be late coming in. I plan on closing the pool down; I have to. I can't wait any longer, but must start now building my endurance up. the base is there, the speed is there, the desire is there. Now I must have the miles in the water.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break Week

It was a week off work but one that was not nearly as productive as I had hoped. I did get to spend some nice relaxing time with family at Natchez State Park, but while there I ate too much food, swam only once, and did pitiful little running due to some soreness in my patella tendons. Considering how much better things are than last year, however, life is definitely good. At this time a year ago, I was running even less (due to injuries) and my mom's illnesses kept me and my sister and my brother-in-law, RT, on the go, spending nights in hospitals, and generally living life stressed to the max. What a difference a year makes.

Monday I took a long walk and circumnavigated the park, racking up six miles on foot. Although I spend much of the day Tuesday getting my mom back to  Greenwood, I nevertheless drove to DSU after I got home where I swam

20 X 50
8 X 100
Total: 3,000 meters.

Since it was Spring Break week and no life-guards were on duty, I had to leave after practice without getting any extra distance done. But the pool is now set up for long course and believe me that is a huge plus for endurance training.

Wednesday was my first day at home. I guess it's a sign that I'm getting old, but I like home, my routine, and my cat, and I almost grieved that the week was half over and I was just getting to spend some time at home. I even missed my wife a little bit. Although I did only a short run/hike Wednesday morning, I did do a monster upper body weight session that left me sore and stiff Thursday when I got in a four mile run and then night went back to DSU and swam

One of the dead birds I saw.
Notice the remains of a large catfish in his mouth.
8 X 50 @ 1:30 decline 1-4
10 X 100 @ 2:30
800 back kick/swim by 50s with fins
Total:3,600 meters.

Friday I did a slow-start day, drinking coffee, hanging out with Luvie, and finishing Young Woman and the Sea which is a book about Gertrude Ederle and her swim across the English Channel. I then drove to the pond and swan 2.67 miles without break making that my longest continuous swim of 2013. The limiting factor thus far has been the water temperature which is running ten degrees colder than this same time last year. After the swim I took a little run of 4.2 miles and saw all manner of waterfowl, both living and dead. It was a good workout that left me hungry for food and hungry for more open water swimming.

Saturday I had breakfast and coffee with an old friend and then stayed pretty close to the house for most of the remainder of the day. I did manage to lift weights, work in the yard some, and do a 3.61 mile shuffle.

For the week I
swam 10,896.03 meters
ran 11.99 and
walked 10.16 miles.

For the year I have
swum 133,153.87 meters and
run 230.62 miles

Although my week was lighter than I had planned, compared to last year I am

+ 26,514.54 meters swimming and
+ 147.35 miles running.

Next week I hope to get into the open water two or three times and start stretching it out a little farther. One thing I did do last week was to work the top of my wrists. Last year on my Chicot Challenge, I had severe hand pain during and swollen tendons on the top of my wrists after the swim. I have never even heard of anyone else having that problem, but it has popped up on several of my longer swims taking all the joy out of an otherwise glorious experience. I think the issue has to do with muscle weaknesses/imbalances on the top side of my forearms compared to the inside of the wrists. If I can conquer this problem, my long swims will go much better. Yehaa.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Outlaw Swim

This is as long as I have ever been without a blog update. To all two of my readers, I offer my sincere apologies. My last post related my Monday morning run. That Tuesday I swam 4,000 yards at DSU and ran an additional 8.13 miles. Wednesday I drove across the Tallahatchie bridge and parked on Wade Road and ran 3.24 miles all on turn rows. These are nice and soft and easy on the legs. Thursday I ran an additional 6.17 miles and at DSU swan 4,700 yards. Friday I went back the DSU and swam

250 back kick/swim with fins
250 back kick/swim with fins
Total: 6,550 yards.

Saturday, we, my mom, dad, and I, left for Natchez State Park to meet my sister, brother and his family for our annual spring break-family-get-together. Because of limited vacation time, my wife stayed home, and due to my mom's poor health, I drove her SUV with her on a mattress in the back. I worried a lot about the impact this trip might have on her, but whe was determined to go and made the trip without apparent undue stress. It was cold and late when we got there so I didn't run or swim.
The scene of my crime.
Sunday, however, I was determined to get in a swim. I don't know how it is in other states, but in Mississippi you cannot swim in a state park lake. They have little areas roped off for "swimming," but real swimming, going into the open water, is not allowed. Ever. Screw them.

I had to be sneaky because two years ago I got dragged out of a lake, marched, almost naked, like a little boy being led to the princpal's office before an onlooking crowd of fishermen to the park ranger's truck, and driven to my cabin. So this time I stayed in the backwater area of the lake far away from the manager's residence and far, farther away from the park rangers' station. Having forgotten to bring my thermometer, I can only estimate the water temp, but my guess is it was 58 to 60. Still, even with my wetsuit, I only managed 1.26 miles before my hands sort of stopped working. Sigh. One thing I really got a kick out of was swimming up on my brother, dad, and two nephews who were fishing from a boat. I was yards from them before they saw me. I told them where to fish because one area I swam through was really warm. They never took my advice or caught any fish.

For the week, I
swam 15,965.84 meters
ran 23.06 miles and
walked a mere 1.5 miles.

For the year, I am at
122,257.84 miles swimming and
218.63 miles running.

Compared to last year, I am
+25,874.34 meters swimming and
+143.19 running. Yee haa!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Great Start, I Thought

I'm not a morning person. Really, I'm not. In fact, without a long suffering, understanding wife, I probably would be single right now. Sometimes I don't even speak until I've had a quart of coffee or more. So when I got up early this morning and ran 3.23 miles, I was not unexpectedly proud of myself. As I shuffled along and watched the sun come up, my mind filled with a list of things I could accomplish this afternoon: bike trainer riding, walking, weight lifting, grading papers, loving on my cat, running errands, preparing for class tonight, checking on Mom and Dad, etc. My mind was filled with possibilities, my soul was excited, and my expectations were high.

Until I got to work.

And was reminded of a faculty/staff meeting this afternoon.


Haven't I said the harder I try, the less I get done? Yeah, I think so. Last week I

Ran- 20.51
Walked- 5.37
Biked- 24-minutes
lifted weights- 3 times, and
swam- 14,395.5 meters.

For the year I am

195.51 miles running and
106,292 meters swimming.

Compared to last year, I am

+125.93 miles running and
+23,298.5 meters swimming. Yeehaa.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Typical Week Thus far

Monday I did a little 3.15 mile shuffle and then did a new weight routine I call a Swim-Complex. Basically a complex, when referring to weight lifting, is a specialized circuit that involves one muscle group or a few related muscle groups. The circuit starts with an overload and moves from exercise to exercise with each new move becoming lighter and more dynamic, eventually finishing with an endurance set.

Tuesday I didn't run because of a sore knee cap. Instead I did a really easy 24-minute spin on the bike trainer and then went to masters where I swam

8 X 50 decline 1-4
200 pull
200 swim the 200s X 4
200 easy
broken 400 as 200 r :10; 100 r :5; 100 (5:54 total time)
500 XL paddles
500 L paddles
Total: 4,750 yards = 4,341.5 meters

Wednesday I did a 7.36 multi-paced run and an anti-swim-complex.

Thursday it was to Jackson for Capital Day with MDCC and then I stopped in Moorhead at the church, changed clothes and took a short 2.23 mile shuffle. Then it was off to Skene to hug the grandchildren and Smu and to Masters for

8 X 50 progressive
2 X 400 @ 7:00 negative split (got PR on second one- 5:46)
4 X 50 all out @ :50
2 X 300 no wall
4 X 50 @ :50
2 X 200 decline by 50s
1,100 S paddles
Total: 5,200 yards = 4,752.8 meters.

Going back today. Yehaa.