Feb 26, 2010

Just checking in...open water is creeping closer

Workouts keep coming at +/- 5000 yards a day (a little shy of 3miles) consistently now 5 times a week. So I have jumped from the 20k to 25k weekly average and good news is that its mostly being done in single longer workouts of 90 minutes each. While this step-up has been seemingly small I have found that the winter doldrums are here and I'm tired. Its just another step I suspect but even on days when i don't feel so hot I am still clipping off 1:20 - 1:25 100's pace with little to no rest over the entire distance so not too hard on myself.

The left shoulder is slowly getting better as I have been doing inner and out rotator cuff stretch cords consistently as well as stretching specifically for this. Keep working on other core as well and will add in weights slowly. I am back down to my college weight and eating everything in sight. Been starting taking cold only showers and it was horrible but now peanuts. Its amazing how mental some of this stuff is...

Still planning open waters swims but for sure looks like the US masters nationals in Indianapolis (6 miles but in warm dirty lake water, This could tough as warm water swims very different than cold); training in san fran bay for a week or two & golden gate to oakland bay bride race in July which will be a cold water (<60f); maybe huntington mile in Indiana for kicks; possible harbor springs 10k in upper lake michigan which would be cold; Lake Wawasee double crossing late spring while water is cool; big shoulders in lake michigan in Sept. and then in October my 6 plus hours (actually 8 plus just to really test the meatballs) qualifying attempt for the channel.

Finally, Year to date I have booked 99.73 miles of swimming (175,532 yards)...who could have thunk...keeps me out of trouble.

Feb 6, 2010

Kicking, Kicking and more Kicking

Finished the week with just over 25,000 yards (just about 15 miles) and year to date 61 miles under the watchful eye of coach Marcia Cleveland during a nice long 6100 yard workout that included 2000 yards of stressed fin kicking. Needless to say I had my lunch handed to me but kept a good pace throughout.

Marcia tells me that stressing kicking now will have big pay-off later. Now it lets me work through big yardage without over stressing my shoulders (which my left is still tender but getting better with stretch cord work on the interior rotator muscles) but also helping me become more balanced in my freestyle stroke when breathing on both sides.

Continue planning open water swims for 2010 leading up to my 6 hour cold water qualifier in October. In July there is the Golden gate bridge to Oakland Bridge race that is 6 plus miles (but and this is a big but...its with a flood tide of almost 4 knots, which in open water swimming is like flying) so you end up swimming a little over 3 miles. The water is expected to be 55f to 61f and without a wetsuit possibly a good early look at some extended cold water time in rough SF Bay.

May 1st if water is above 50f its time to "take a dunk" a begin the cold water...CRAZY. I figure April no more warm showers should be a good start...

Feb 1, 2010

US Masters 1 Hour "Postal" Race

During the month of January the US Masters Swim organization sponsors a 1 hour national race (i.e. swim as far as you can in 1 hour) which I participated.

I enlisted my daughter, Rachel, in a little pay-back effort to keep track of all my splits for each 100. I ended the hour swimming 4350 yards or just a hair shy of 2.5 miles (similar to an ironman tri-athlon distance). This was a good distance for me, so happy. Goal was to swim 100's at a steady pace below 1:30's and ended up clocking them off at a modest 1:24 per 100 in a very comfortable, long and steady swim. Could have easily kept on going.

Focused on breathing ever other side or rotating sides (not easy for me) to learn how extended periods of doing this lesson stress on my shoulders. It worked great, plus it was a nice distraction from going back and forth for an hour. As for the mental "blaa's" of going back and forth this was not what I expected. Once I got going, I was trying to track distance but simply gave this up and just relaxed and swam. I was comfortable enough to not look at the clock all but 3-4 times. This was good practice of "letting go, mentally" but I suspect much more of this will come in the months ahead.

We'll see how I stack up against others nationally when the results come out in March. I'll bet my coach, Marcia Cleveland and some of her fellow swimmers kicked my butt... They are very accomplished and this makes for good training goals although I am learning this is really just about "me".

On the fund raising/charity side, appears I have good interest from one national organization and keep working or organizing others. I would hope formalize these after I complete my successful 6 hour "qualifying" channel swim later this year.