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  1. Wednesday, April 21

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 11:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    8 x 50 fly drills @ 1:00
    (chest press, caterpillar, one arm and plyo drill, which I've decided is good for working on pulling straight down)

    50 dolphin dive

    10 x 25 UW shooters, dolphin kick on side

    50 dolphin dive

    10 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly w/fins
    evens = EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP evil + 50 EZ)

    175 EZ

    Total: 2000



    Felt pretty mermaid-ish in the water today despite (TMI alert) the effen unexpected arrival of AF.

    I am readying the place for the arrival of Stud, Chicken and Jimi. Stud in the green room with his boxing gloves, Jimi in the red room with his hallucinogenics and the pony, and Chicken in the guest cottage with her HTFU gear. Scarlet, as Jimi has taken to calling me, will attempt to sleep in her usual place of repose.

    Now, complete non sequitor: What age should teenage girls be allowed to date? My 15 year old freshman teen is criticizing my "strict" choice of 16 for solo dating ... On the upside, she's had her permit for awhile now and, despite terrorizing me, hasn't killed me.
    Swim Workouts
  2. Jim! The acclaimed new HBO series

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 11:12 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Tomorrow I leave for Colony Zones. I am hoping that when I return on Sunday night, or possibly Monday afternoon, that I will have excellent news awaiting me regarding a new acclaimed HBO miniseries based on my life.

    You may say I'm a dreamer....
    But I'm not the only one...

    -John Lennon

    Here is how this rapidly developing news began developing rapidly:

    Magazine has been serializing little video clips from my time in the Wilderness last fall. In an effort to let my various acquaintances know about this, I sent out innumerable Facebook postings, and when these went largely ignored, decided to try a more direct approach, that is to say, a mass emailing.

    Here is what I wrote:


    Dearest Munificent Swimming Friends of Jim,

    How I treasure each and every one of you!

    Great news!!! (Though I should say at the outset here you will not hurt my feelings if you delete this unread!)

    Part 2.
    of my Lost in the Wilderness video diary is ready for your viewing at the Backpacker magazine web site!

    In fact, you can also find
    The Trailer and Part at this web site also:

    Part 3—the Finale
    --is going to be posted on April 26th. I can’t wait to see if I live or die!

    For those of you who like to read, I will also attach
    the .pdf of the actual story. Feel free, of course, to delete this unread if you have reached this point in today’s email and are having second thoughts and cold feet!

    {Note from Jim--if you want me to send you, too, a .pdf of the actual story, just send me your email address and I will!}

    My feelings are impervious to insult! You won’t hurt them by deleting any of this at any time!

    However, if you can leave a nice comment on the
    Backpacker web site, it might help secure my employment for future oddventures that – assuming they don’t kill, maim, or completely dement me – you might find future amusement in living vicariously through my sufferings.

    I am, for instance, trying to talk them into sending me to Death Valley this summer to hike around and see just how thirst quenching mirages are...

    Again, videos here:

    (Comments are moderated so won’t appear immediately.)

    PS If you want to be removed from any of the very infrequent mailings of mine in the future, just send me a note to this effect. If, however, you want to add some of your friends, you can send me a note to that effect as well.

    No wonder I treasure each of you so!

    Jim Thornton

    Jim's USMS Masters Swimming Vlog:


    This mass emailing, alas, provoked a...less than mass response.

    However, quantity is not the only measure of a response. There is also quality to consider.

    And one of the few respondents that actually did write me back was the lovely
    swimming star, Cheryl Kupan. You can look up Cheryl's astonishing masters swimming record here:

    As remarkable as her swimming has been, what is even more intriguing to me is her life among the New York Glitterati.

    This is what Cheryl recently posted as her "status" on Facebook:

    Cheryl Kupan is wondering if she can find date/friend for the Entourage premiere...

    Naturally, I thought she meant the kind of thing we little people mean when we say things like this on Facebook--i.e., can anyone out there in Coraopolis, Leetsdale, Edgeworth, Emsworth, etc. with cable, HBO, and, preferably, a High Definition TV, invite me over to watch Vince, Drama, E, and Turtle when they resume their mildly amusing lives of leisure and privilege?

    (from left to right: Hodding Carter, Rahm Emmanuel, Mike Ross, Michael Schmidt, Jim Thornton)

    But it turns out that Cheryl is not like the little people. She means the actual, live, Entourage premier somewhere out in Los Angeles.

    She told me that she works for Time Warner, which owns HBO, which makes Entourage. And furthermore, I managed to wheedle out of her that "the HBO chicks" love her.

    Could I somehow finagle a
    Munchhausen by proxy syndrome pathological love spin-off sort of arrangement for me?

    Could I?


    Okay, so, with the above background in mind, and the premise set up, here is our subsequent correspondence.

    Cheryl, I hope you don't mind. And I
    really hope that the HBO chicks that love you/by-extension-us don't mind.
    Jim's inaugural gambit: sent out mass emailing, see above.
    Cheryl's reply:

    In a message dated 4/21/2010 1:48:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
    Part 3—the Finale--is going to be posted on April 26th. I can’t wait to see if I live or die!

    Wow! Real life Drama! I have lots of catching up to do. I'm the reading type, so I'll take if for the train ride/snooze home.

    I too will wait in anticipation for April 26th to see your fate. Is there a "Will Jim Live or Die" pool that I can put a wager in?

    {note from Jim--Cheryl picked out this pretty-in-pink font color expressly for me. At least I am pretty sure she did.}

    Jim's reply:

    Insider tip: Bet on him not making it.

    Send your wager to me, and if I don’t make it out of Idaho, I will pay you your winnings within 24 hours!

    PS Consider floating The Jim Thornton Story/Experience to your friends at HBO. This has mini series written all over it!

    Cheryl's reply:

    Let me read through it first -- HBO does do quirky.
    Is this more like Hung, or Curb, or redneck Sopranos?
    I can't wait for my train ride home to start reading all about your adventures....

    {note from Jim: she has abandoned the pretty-in-pink font color to a business-like black. My heart skips a beat}

    Jim's measured reply:

    It’s a little like Hung meets Survivor Man only I am neither hung nor a survivor but rather loser freelance writer forced to go on these oddventurous trips to keep from losing his house. A few of the other ones I’ve done over the years:

    · Lay down with dead cows in the Chihuahuan desert in hopes of coaxing vultures into landing on me

    · Jetskiied to Siberia where I was held at gun point by Kalashnikov-toting Soviets

    · Set my own personal land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in a 69 Mustang with a Lincoln Continental engine tweaked to burn Nitrous

    · Blowgun monkey hunted in the Ecuadorian Amazon

    · Almost got electrocuted testing out a shark-repelling device while swimming through a feeding frenzy of sharks

    · Scissored through a half-pipe at Breckenridge, twice, on a “snow bike” after breaking my ribs on the thing 20 minutes earlier

    I also have done the same kind of thing with countless unnecessary medical procedures—from virtual colonoscopies to anti-impotence “trans-urethral micro-suppository pellets” (not actually impotent, so in order to simulate this, I had my wife sing Ethel Merman songs in bed).

    I will attach a few pictures!

    Desperation breeds desperate measures—as enthralled viewers of HBO’s new acclaimed seriesJIM! will surely attest to!

    Joking aside, I have so many of these first person experiential stories I’ve written over the decades that we could do easily do 5 years worth of episodes in visually spectacular locales. Throw in some (fictitious) love interests, like the cruelly beautiful publicist for HBO who keeps threatening to cut my show, and a Dickensian assortment of Smallweed-like rapacious creditors, and I think we have the next American Masterpiece on our hands!


    Cheryl's reply:

    You had me at Hung, then lost me at not hung.


    Jim's reply: {note--I am not proud of this, but Hollywood is a cruel town. You do what you must to secure yourself a place on the casting couch.}

    What I meant was that I am not hung. I’m HUNG!!!!
    But I was afraid this would scare the Japanese side of your family tree.


    Cheryl's reply:
    But I was afraid this would scare the Japanese side of your family tree. --good memory.

    All right. As of now, the ball, or perhaps balls, for I have floated quite a few concepts here, are in Cheryl's lovely court/cougar cave.

    Who knows what the high-powered beautiful media mavens of Manhattan are thinking?

    If I had to venture a guess, she's on the horn with her stiletto-heeled HBO chick mafia, telling them even now about this sad sack rube who has blundered onto a pot of gold with his sad sack life.

    They may even be debating ways of negotiating a low-ball rock-bottom option for my life story.

    Let me take the angst out of the equation for you, Cheryl.

    You are correct. I am no "sophisticate" with even the most rudimentary understanding of "moral obligation bonds backed by collateralized Burger King Limited Partnership swap derivative shares amortized against the yen."

    These kinds of money things baffle and daze me.

    My life story is my gift to the world.

    I will let it go in a heartbeat for an option in the very, very low seven figures.

    Cheryl's reply to
    JIM! ?

    Apparently, she is still thinking it over.

    But when I get back from Colony Zones, I am confident everybody's gonna get well!
  3. Things will get better! 4/21/10

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 09:33 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well it's the week of crap: the volcanic ash cloud wrecking my Mother's trip to the uncle dies the day after being informed he has cancer...I'm worrying about what doom event number 3 will be...ugh!

    Warm Up
    2 x 150 2:30 100 P/50 Swim
    3 x 100 1:50 50 DR/50 SW
    2 x 50 SWIM :50

    Set 2--All Free
    50 K 1:30
    50 Swim :45
    50 K 1:30
    100 Swim 1:35
    50 K 1:30
    150 Swim 2:20
    50 K 1:30
    200 Swim 3:15
    50 K 1:30
    150 Swim 2:20
    50 K 1:30
    100 Swim 1:35
    50 K 1:30
    50 Swim :45

    Set 3 All BR
    4 x 100 Pull 2:30
    4 x 75 Build 2:00
    2 x 50 Swim 3&4 15 yard sprints EZ to wall

    Free Sprints
    4 x 15 yard fist sprints & EZ to wall.

    400 EZ Fin Kick
    4 x 50 EZ

    Lifted 1 set of each exercise and stretched off. Muscle milk.

    Change of Plans for Zones...I'll be flying solo...better for swimming.
  4. Central Park report, and swim

    I swam again at the AGUA lunchtime workout today—it’s getting to be a habit. On pretty days, I try to make time to walk over to the pool and/or back. Today I did both, and saw the following things in Central Park:

    5 saxophonists (one of whom was playing Michael Jackson songs and moonwalking)
    2 violinists
    1 erhu (I think) player
    1 person practicing javelin throwing (just the throwing motion, not the run-up, so his throws weren’t going super far, thank goodness. He looked like he knew what he was doing, and had 4 javelins with him.)
    2 people with personal trainers doing planks and lunges and other Fortress-worthy exercises
    1 toddler wailing because her caregiver refused to let her wander over and join in the plank funness
    6 adult softball teams in full uniform, all taking their games very seriously
    Too many picnickers to count
    1 person carrying a bunny rabbit cradled in his arms
    2 professional photo shoots (looked like they were both for clothing ads)
    4 wedding photo shoots
    2 people walking on stilts and holding hands
    and lots of people jogging or biking or walking and enjoying the sunshine

    Here’s the workout we did today:

    400 warmup

    9 x 75 @ :15 rest, done as 3 x (75 kick, 75 drill, 75 swim), building within each 75 [I did the first set of 3 FL, the second BK, the third BR]

    25 easy

    15 x 50 FR: 5 @ :45, 5 @ :40, 5 @ :35 [I came very close to making the 35s—I missed the 4th send-off by a second, then caught back up to touch right at :35 on the 5th.]

    50 easy

    5 x 200 (150 FR build, 50 ST fast) @ 3:00 [ST = BK for me, since I’m swimming a 200 BK at nats]

    200 warmdown

    I really enjoyed getting to mix up speeds a lot today.
  5. Tuesday April 20, 2010

    Swam solo before coaching ... turns have felt like crap so that was my main focus.

    1000 w/u:
    300 free
    200 IM drill
    4 x 50 kick/build
    100 fly drill
    100 back drill
    100 ez

    6 x (12.5 fast, 25 fast, 12.5 fast)
    This set allows me to work breakouts, turns and finishes well rested for each. I love this set. I do it LCM, too, doubling the distances.

    I went free, fly, back, fly, fly, free.

    Then I did 4 x 25 from the middle of the pool. Turns FINALLY started feeling better. In working on my turns during all the longer stuff done earlier this season I began staying on my side longer and was having trouble getting to my stomach to start fast swimming.

    I finally got it down - hope it sticks.

    C/D ?

    State meet this weekend. Swimming all four 50s, 100 free and IM and 200 free. No relays since I'm swimming unattached.

    Massage today - THANK THE HEAVENS!!! So stoked. Need to get a couple more in before nats.

    Ready to thrown on the B70 and see what happens.

    Planning on swimming Thursday and taking Friday off. Cross your fingers I don't suck this weekend!!!
  6. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout -04/22/10

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 01:45 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)

    WARM UP:
    4 X 150 2:45
    4 X 100 1:45
    4 X 50 1:00

    2 X 200 kick 5:00
    2 X 300 IM 6:00
    2 X 400 free 6:40

    9 X 100 free 1:40
    1-3: moderate
    4-6: negative split
    7-9: fast

    12 X 50 1:10
    choice stroke/no free

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  7. Wed Apr 21st 2010 overslept

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 01:38 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wed Apr 21st 2010

    Went to bed too last last night & over slept, I woke at 6:21 & need to leave my house by 5:45 to arrive on time. My plan was to leave at 5:15 & lift weights then go to practice, today I just got ready & drove straight to practice.

    2010 Short Course National Championships
    Thu May 20 - Sun 23, 2010
    Nats are in 4 weeks & 2 days, it's
    30 DAYS away,
    time to get fast, strong, skinny, & rested
    Days Till Nats

    Psych Sheets

    Team Website

    Campus Map

    Team Roster i.e. my team longhorn aquatics is TXLA

    2010 SCY South Central Zones Results are up


    Swim Center
    scy main pool
    Chris coached, Whitney is a away being inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
    7:30 - 8:00
    dove in at 7:30 right at the start of a new set
    swam with Kristyn, Joe, Dale, & Mary
    beside tenille, Marcio, & doug
    Nate & Chris were leaving when I arrived
    wore briefs


    swam easy a lane over from where I normally do, which I consider gentle aerobic

    8 x 100 fr on 1:15

    50 easy

    8 x 150
    odds 100k 50 fr on 2:20
    evens 150 fr on 2:10

    50 easy

    2010 MEETS:

    May 20 - 23, 2010 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech Aquatic Center COUNTDOWN
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Order of Events
    Swim Workouts
  8. Things to think about this week...

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 01:37 PM (Keepin Track 2010)
    As Nationals approaches I have a new bag of techniques and skills to prepare. Some have been given by Coach Russell, some by Dan, some by Laren, some by Mykleby, some by Adam Mania, and some by little old me! lol.

    Just to document goes:
    1. thumbs up on recovery of breaststroke and land with palms down.
    2. anchor catch of breastroke wide and well with elbows high over hips.
    3. on breaststroke turns (and all turns) place feet high on the wall.
    4. on breast turns, allow feet to be above head on initial pushoff until snap the dolphin kick, then neutralize head position and be sure to EXPLODE out into the stroke not use a long stretched out pull to begin race/swim.
    5. on free turns, try to cease snapping the flip. Legs working too hard and too far from wall to be of good use. Come closer to walls and roll turns tighter without snaps.

    As for races...I had a good showing at Y Nationals last weekend. Things I learned and want to repeat:

    be sure to get at least 200 dolphin or flutter kick in before even trying BR kick. Need blood to the legs. Pay lots of attention to warming BR up adequately. Groin and Hip Flexors need help. Also, for freestyle do several 50's or 25 in which I up-tempo my stroke a few times per length until really turning over by end of length.
    Buildups essential. Stay warm till events. Wear more clothes.

    50 FR: Starting to use strong rapid dolphin off start with amplitude. Ride the B70 glide and explode to the surface. take one or two strokes on top of water to settle into sprint tempo. As approach flags, BREATHE, and up tempo to charge the wall. Feet high on turn and two to three dolphins before flutter and breakout. Get hips rolling on breakout and continue using hip action thru rest of 50. Keep hips from dragging and concentrate on good catches, fast tempo, and high elbows.

    100 FR: Dolphins off start and turns are a new must! Ride the glide to surface and stay HUGE in stroke feel the height of the body position. Keep kick relaxed but useful, breathe 4, 2, 2, 2. On second 25 remember to breathe and not get ahead of self on tempo. Work 2nd turn and explode into up tempo 2nd 50 swim. Employ strong and fast legs and keep hips rolling and arms stretched to good catch. Pay attention to finish, plan for it but charge to it.

    100 IM: This race still eludes me a bit. I need to practice up tempo-ing my fly to get out faster. DOlphin off the backstroke walls and ride the glide. Faster underwater for sure than me swimming backstroke! LOL. relax the fast turnover. Need help on better catch. Lead with shoulders instead of flat. Be certain of stroke count and BA/BR turn. Take 3 buildup strokes to breast sprint. Roll hips and employ every last effort for FR. Stay HIGH!!

    50 BR: key is warm up here. must work on build ups in warm up to have mental security in stroke. After exploding out of underwater dolphin and surfacing, take 1 big catch ans set hips stroke, then 2 build up stroke to sprint tempo. Employ same after turn except only one buildup stroke. Remember to keep hips high on surface. Must practice BR kick WITHOUT board to do this. SHOOT hands relaxed.
    Anticipate finish.

    100 BR: Think 100 free approach here. The key is NOT a slower tempo stroke with long glide to stretch out first 50. INSTEAD keep tempo up and have confidence in how strong I am. Keep hips high and swim gorgeous. On second 50 worry then about fatigue. Better to go out too fast than too slow. Work 3rd turn hard and dolphin and accelerate to finish. Keep head low always! No looking ahead or to side. Face down.

    50 FLY: I have been leaving this event to chance. The competition is too fierce to do that so....I plan to practice up-tempo-ing my fly this week and next and in HQ doing at least ONE 50 FLY. This should help the IM too. Increase ability to hold amplitude in underwater dolphin at a fast pace. Race pace dolphin kick practice a must! Ride glides. B70 will be gone before I know it.

    HYDRATION: sipping water good for a time. If 1-2 hours, then water fine. After 2 hours, need Gatorade (orange was fine) Sip slowly and then back to water.
  9. Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 01:13 PM (Keepin Track 2010)
    Hard practice last night. 2400 main set left my legs too tired and on verge of cramps to kick well. Went back in this am to add to that yardage and think thru some drills and wall work that I had been given at Y Nats.

    Borrowed Laren's Monday workout.

    YOGA 1 hour

    300 WU
    300 Pull WU with paddles

    8x100 drill
    1. br kick
    2. br drill (sculling)
    3. br drill (two kicks per pull)
    4. br drill (alt dolphin kick with br kick by strokes)
    5. bro drill ( 2under 2 over)
    6. FLY
    7. BACK
    8. FREE

    4x100 KICK
    25 flutter on back, 25 flutter on stomach, 25 fly on back, 25 fly on stomach

    2x25 hard on :30
    1x50 easy free on 1:00

    200 WD
  10. Wednesday, 4/21/10

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 12:14 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, with Carrie
    A bit of pace work today with a few sprints thrown in.

    500 swim free
    300 IM drill
    200 kick rev IM

    6 x 50 on 1:00 alt. drill/build by 25: odds free, evens choice
    (went fly-back-breast on non-free)

    swim 8 x 50 free on :50 at a comfortable pace
    (39-40 on these holding 16 spl)
    100 easy

    repeat 2x on 4:00
    swim 50 free FAST off the blocks
    100 easy
    (went 29 on both)

    swim 8 x 50 back on 1:00, best average
    (held 41± w/16-17 spl)
    100 easy

    swim 50 fly FAST off the blocks
    (went 32)
    50 easy

    pull 4 x 75 free smooth on 1:30
    (14 spl)
    Total: 3000 yards

    Updated April 21st, 2010 at 01:21 PM by poolraat

  11. Added the fins back but only in moderation

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 08:33 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This workout was alittle tougher than usual when I put the effort into it. No leg issues today, I have to thank ART and massage to the healing process.

    400 Free pull w/board
    9x50@1:15 1/2 pull 1/2 kick Fl/Bk; Bk/Br; Br/Fr
    4x25@:45 Fly w/fins
    100 Fly w/fins for time 1:13
    250 Free easy
    400, 300, 200, 100@:30R Free w/paddles & bouy
    200 Fly w/fins for time 2:51
    500 Back w/paddles & board
    4x25@:45 Fly w/fins went 17,16,15,15
    2x100@:15R Free EASY

    Total 3300 yards
  12. Tuesday, 4/20/10

    by , April 21st, 2010 at 12:03 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo
    Another split session workout, one at noon and the rest after work tonight.

    200 swim free
    200 kick choice
    200 pull alt. 100 free/100 back
    200 drill, free and back
    swim 4 x 50 free descend 1-4 to fast on 1:00
    (went from around 37->34)
    100 easy

    swim 10 x 75 on 1:40: odds 25 fly fast, 50 easy free; evens 50 easy free, 25 back fast; the fast 25s are all out.

    (not sure of the 25 times here but the time for the 75's was right around 1:00 for the whole set)

    200 easy choice

    kick 4 x 50 on 1:05 choice

    100 easy swim down

    200 swim free & back
    200 drill free and back
    200 pull free and back
    8 x 25 free on 30, as 12.5 fast/12.5 easy, 12.5 easy/12.5 fast
    100 easy

    Speed set
    25 back all out from blocks/25 easy on 2:00
    50 back all out from blocks/50 easy on 4:00
    75 back all out from blocks/75 easy on 6:00
    100 back all out from blocks/100 easy on 8:00
    (25-:16; 50-:34; 75-:54; 100-1:13)

    300 easy free and back


    Total for today: 4150 yards