I’ve spent most of the day bussing tables in between headache-inducing bouts of writing about Steven Pinker’s new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes.
During the few spare moments this has left free in my schedule, I’ve posted the odd thought, on Facebook, concerning the Penn State University pedophilia scandal ("As a Michigan graduate, I'm proud to boast: we are… NOT Penn State!”), then responding to the peevishness such reasonable comments inevitably provoke in the sentimental and self-deluded.
I’m not sure why, but for whatever reason, my capacity for outrage, at this point, is nearly spent. And yet I shall force myself to motor onwards like a rusted jalopy fueled by french fry grease and bile, a metaphor that is, frankly, not all that far from the mark.
So where were we?
Oh, yes, my 5th grade classroom, under Mr. Glarow’s desk, staring at clumps of my blond hair between his clenched simian fingers.
Let’s now segue, shall we, to last April, 2011…when
our annual Amish mudhole masters swimming championships was, as usual, being held at Clarion University, a Division III swimming school, whose pool’s official measurement with a steel tape was on file with the college’s coach, easily satisfying the mandate USMS requires for official competitions.
Moreover, two fully credentialed officials, dressed in neat white linen swim official/insane asylum guard-quality uniforms, were parading up and down the pool deck, their raptor eyes unblinking in search of even the tiniest of infractions. There was, in addition, a certified starter similarly attired and several USMS-qualified meet observers in attendance.
The first event of the day was the 1000 yard freestyle. Despite the recent outlawing of full body suits, with my freshly depilated body crammed into a jammer, I somehow flukishly managed to swim this event the fastest I have done in five years.
Before continuing, indulge a quick digression here. I am no swimming ubermensch, no Leslie “the Fortress” Livingston, no Chris “the Greek Olympian” Stevenson, no Dr. Kurt “Dr. Kirk Duxon, D.O.” Dixon, MD. I am but one of those multitudinous fellows whose swimming career was, throughout youth, considerably below mediocrity.
It is only because of obsessive-compulsive tendencies that persist in the face of heavy dose SNRI treatment that this status has changed even slightly with the passing of time. I have, in short, remained wedded to the sport of swimming throughout most of my life and have thusly managed to deteriorate at a slightly slower rate than many of my former, infinitely superior peers.
This is why I've been able to do in my dotage what was an impossible dream for me in my youth: crack the top 10 on the odd occasion. I have, in short, outlasted some, though by no means all, of my fellow bastards.
In yards, clearly the most difficult course to make the top 10, the best placements I have to date managed has been 6th place—invariably accomplished during the first or second year of “aging up.” When I finished last spring's mudhole 1000, and I looked up and saw my time, 11:18.15, it occurred to me that just possibly I would finally exceed this personal TT best.
Here are the results from the Clarion University state-of-the-art timing system:
1000 SCY Free
Heat 1, Lane 4
I was confident this swim would net me a top 10, and cautiously optimistic I might even place higher—for the first time in my life—higher than 6th. I was, it turns out, half right.
Here are the final listings for the 1000 SCY free from last spring:
1000 Freestyle SCY Men 55-59 (2011)
Michael T Mann
Tim P Buckley
Paul G Karas
Michael J Blatt
Mike J Ryder
Peter M Guadagni
The observant reader will quickly notice two things.
First, my time of 11:18.15 would have placed me fourth in my age group, the best showing – – to my knowledge – – that anybody in my genetic line has ever finished in a national sporting inventory of this caliber.
Second, there is, of course, no Jim Thornton listed on this roster.
At the risk of beating off a dead horse, which, frankly, I don’t think anyone wants to see, let me just stipulate that whatever paperwork was necessary to get this entirely run-by-the-book and completely kosher USMS-sanctionable (though not sanctioned) swimming meet to actually count--well, somehow, let us just say, the balls were dropped.
Actually, I am being overly generous here. The balls were never so much as picked up in the first place, rendering the possibility of dropping them moot.
The Clarion meet is by far the largest Masters meet within several hundred miles of Pittsburgh, and whoever is supposed to represent our USMS interests in this backwater region, whoever it is that takes our membership dues and puts these to whatever use membership dues are put, for reasons perhaps perfectly legitimate but perhaps, too, perfectly illegitimate—said persons, whoever they may be, did not pick up the ball and/or drop the ball. There was no ball. The meet didn’t count.
Live and learn, I eventually concluded.
Never again would I rely on my immediate vicinity, or any meet within Western Pennsylvania, for that matter, to count for TT. I would not make that boneheaded mistake again!
Refuse to pick up the ball and drop it once, shame on you! Refuse to pick up the ball and drop it twice, shame on me.
Next summer, I was determined to swim at least one, absolutely 100 percent, no question about it, guaranteed to be certified USMS certified LCM swimming meet….
Sorry, I must take a break from this vlog.
The local police just called to tell us that they arrested two grifters from Erie who apparently burglarized the Hotel of the Unfortunates, a dilapidated property we own and use to store heirlooms.
I will resume tomorrow after I see how much we have lost.
It is probably fitting that I don't overload my dear readers with too much outrage at one time anyhow. The last thing I want is for my misfortunes to haunt your dreams.
Updated November 10th, 2011 at 10:24 PM by jim thornton
Finally to that point in the taper where I'm starting to feel good and feeling fast. Now if I can just sleep well the next few nights maybe I'll get some good swims this weekend.
300 swim free & back
200 kick on back alternating dolphin and flutter by 25's
6 x 50/1:00 pace - did 1-3 free @36±, 4-6 back at 41±
4 x 25/40 free
#1 12.5 fast 12.5 easy
#2 12.5 easy 12.5 fast
200 easy swim
4 x 50/2:00 as sprint through turn & breakout then easy back to start
#1 & 2 fly, #3 back, #4 free
600 easy swim alternating 100 free/100 back
Total: 1900 yards
Today I swam at Riverbank with Rondi. I had intended to get in some basic aerobic work today, but after the first round of our set I decided the water was just too hot for that (it was 84 today). So I switched gears and did some sprint and technique work, which was fun and engaging. Here’s how it went:
900 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 100im)
500 FR swim
300 FR pull
4 x 50 build FR
100 kick w/ fins
12 x 12-second sprints (+ rest of 50 easy):
1-4 w/ fins, odds UDK on stomach, evens dolphin on back
4-8 barefoot, odds UDK on stomach, evens dolphin on back
9 FR breakout + short sprint w/ fins
10 BK breakout + short sprint w/ fins
11 FR breakout + short sprint barefoot
12 BK breakout + short sprint barefoot
[used my tempo trainer to time these]
16 x 50 w/ snorkel, playing with tempo trainer and stroke cadences [increased SR from 1.25 sec. to .90 sec., feeling changes in rotation and kicking rhythm as I went along]
100 warmdown + play
ART, 30 minutes
Wasn't as psyched as usual about going to ART as I'm still not feeling well. But the timing with heavy weights yesterday was good. He worked on the muscles around my elbows and my back, which was a bit sore from the squats/deadlifts. He used something called an arthur stem along my spine: [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkYDHDe4MAQ"]Arthur stem adjustment - YouTube[/nomedia]. We also talked a bit about LED light therapy for athletes, which is very cutting edge. http://www.activerelease.com/leahy_recommends.asp.
-- tired, wore fins
15 x 50 @ :50
1-5 = free w/paddles
6-10 = flutter kick w/board
11-15 = free w/paddles
15 x 50
1-5 = fly/back @ 1:00
6-10 = dolphin kick w/board @ :50
11-15 = breast/free @ 1:00
15 x 50 @ 1:00
1-5 = single arm fly
6-10 = 25 shooter + 25 EZ
11-15 = single arm fly
Mini Speed Set:
10 x burst 25s @ 1:00
6 swim, 4 flutter kick w/board
Not really any better. Doubling up on mucinex, Metagenics cold & flu and echinacea tea. Feeling somewhat better after the swim though. I wanted to do That Guy's IM pyramid set today but IMs seemed too exhausting. Hopefully, I can do some real speed work tomorrow. Need more
I wore my 2XU compression tights last night for a couple hours. Very different and tighter than the Skins. My legs felt pretty good today as a result despite all the squats & deadlifts.
20 Most Overrated Supplements:
Updated November 10th, 2011 at 08:37 PM by The Fortress
My workout today isn't even worth mentioning. I got to the Tarrytown YMCA and felt like dirt. This time change still has me tired out, and my shoulders aren't feeling so great, so I did my warm-up very slowly, and then I did some butterfly drills and backstroke to shake it out.
So in other news, this is something I keep posted next to my computer. SCY Nationals qualifying times in pen, my PR's in pencil, hopefully to be altered as the season progresses.
Earlier today, I signed up for a SCM meet at the Nassau County Aquatic Center on Sunday, November 20th. I'm swimming 200 free, 100 fly, 200IM, 50 back, and 200 breast.
The 200 free is all I really care about. The others are to complete some items on my personal check-off challenge to do each event in each course at least once in this age group. I'm not that worried about the times on this one. I'll save that for NE Champs if I go.
Tomorrow, I'm hitting the pool hard.
So, I realize that I've gotten much better at doing workouts as they are written without going to my fins or cutting distance as a matter of routine anymore. That's a good thing. But... there are still days when I actually get through a workout as written (typically with much cajoling from my coach) and am really proud of myself. Today was one of those days!
Here's what we did:
2 x 50 Free on 1:00
2 x 50 Kick on 1:00
2 x 50 Pull on 1:00
2 x 50 Free on 1:00
8 x 100 Free on 2:00, maintain best average (held 1:19-1:20s)
6 x 100 Free on 1:50, hold best average (held 1:19-1:20s)
4 x 100 Free on 1:40, hold best average (held 1:20-1:22s)
3 x 100 Free on 1:30, hold best average (held 1:22-1:24s)
2 x 100 Free on 1:20, hold best average (did 1:19, 1:24)
Total Yards - 3250
The only change I made to this workout was a shortened cool-down because I had to get back to the house to make sure my kids were up and ready for the bus. I wish the second of the 2 x 100 on 1:20 had been under 1:20, but I was really happy to have made the first one. Had there been another 100 after that second one.... well, I probably would have cut the 100s to 75s. As it was, I was looking for my fins when we got to the 1:20s round, which my coach had "conveniently" moved out of arm's reach. Huh.... I must say, though, that having a coach on deck who believes I'm capable of more than I give myself credit for (while really annoying sometimes) is such a blessing - and I've seen incredible strides in the last few months. Thanks, Coach B. I really appreciate you on deck!
Enjoy your swims today!
Had about 40 minutes for this
Lifetime SCM Solo
- 500 free
- 200 kick
- 200 back
- 5x50 on :50 descend 1-4 to 35, 5 ez
-- 2x100 on 1:15 ((13,15),(13,15),(12,14),(11,13))
-- 50 q-break on 1:30
- 100 ez kick
- 100 ez swim
Today was a better workout although short. Taking pwb's advice, I drank two glasses of wine last night to ramp up my tolerance.
I'm pretty sore after yesterday's adventure in plumbing project, Part 1. It was an all day long adventure, with my father and I putting in almost 12 hours.
400 Free Pull
200 IM Drill
did this fairly easy (at least the intervals), I was sharing with another girl, she was a distance swimmer on club team with me years ago, but isn't quite up to my kind of speed. I was okay with swimming easy today though, plus I should be relaxing a little anyway for my taper/shave this Sunday.
3 x 175 Free @ 2:40
3 x 125 Free @ 2:00 (1:28-:29s)
3 x 75 Free @ 1:15 (:52s)
3 x 25 Free @ :25
I made it safe. Snow on the ground. Just swam.
200 free w/snorkle kick/swim
5x200@3:00 free w/paddles and bouy held 2:39 last one 2:34
300 free kick high/surface/low
Total 2700 yards
Swam w/ Dave and Dave. Pool temp ~84. Wore Aquablade jammer.
A cold front passed through last night and the pools HVAC system went down. With no HVAC to keep up internal air pressure, cool air seeped through all the cracks turning the warm pool into a giant fog machine. Eventually, the lifeguards could no longer see more than 15 yards and they closed the pool .
Occasionally I have really good days. 100s on 1:15 are effortless. Today, 100s on 1:12 were effortless and with a little extra, I was making 1:05 to 1:07. Felt like I could do it all day (although I doubt I really could). Dave B usually cruises at the 1:10 speed. He is a far better swimmer than I am. But some days, he is a little off and I'm on and I can stay ahead of him. Today was one of those days. But it wasn't meant to last. The fog rolled in and cut my day of triumph short. Maybe I'll still have it tomorrow. For now, I call "foul"!
500 Warm up
2 Times through
* 2 Times through
** 100 - 1:30
** 100 - 1:25
** 100 - 1:20
** 100 - 1:15
* 1:00 Break
The focus for tonight was to work the last part of our swims. Only two to a lane tonight again, which is kind of nice. My regular lane mate moved to one of our new sprint lanes. I swam with our teams distance diva even though I am not a distance swimmer and got my butt kicked. Since we had different intervals it was like swimming on my own.
10 min. choice
5 x 100 kick w/fins @ 1:40
--cruise 85 yards, blast the last 15
6 x 300 @ 4:30
--250 at 80% rest 5 then 50 AFAP
--Every 4th 50 is AFAP
--Went bouy only
10 x 50 @ 50 Fast
I felt like I owned the set of 300's until midway through number 5 then I lost some control. The 1000 was pretty smooth but I wa thinking about the 50's that were coming up and probably didn't work it as much as I should have. I think I held my own on the final set and was happy to hit the showers afterward.
Solo at Rec (scy)
200 FR/200 BK/100 FL and 100 BR drill w/u
4 x 100 kick
(1700 total, 30 min) ----------
Another early morning swim with the pool packed. This am there were 4 tri's that were doing a workout, so I was able to find room for my swimming. Still no real intervals, just trying to stay out of the way of others and myself. I am feeling tired and didn't sleep well the last two nights, so just a quick swim before school drop-offs and work this am at 8.
Today's swim took me about 2000 yards before I felt like I was actually warmed up and ready to swim. And then I had about 150 yards of glory before my arms felt like they were made of lead. But in those 150 yards, life was beautiful.
This workout was copied from a Tall Paul workout earlier this week. (Which I just typed as "Taul Pall," and would like to keep that way.)
500 warm-up swim & kick
2 x (4 x 100's)
- round #1 25scull/25swim/25drill/25swim @ R:20
- round #2 swim descend 1-4 @ 1:30
3 x (4 x 50's)
- round #1 kick @ 1:00
- round #2 swim IM order @ :50
- round #3 swim w/fins or paddles or snorkels or pull
4 x (4 x 75's @ 1:30)
- Round #1 = #1 first 25 at 100 race pace/50 cruise, #2 second 25, #3 third 25, #4 all fast at 200 race pace
- Round #2 same as above but stroke option
- Round #3 same as Rd#1
- Round #4 more of a warm-down than anything, really
And with that, I hit 350 miles for the year!
I tried out the new turn with deeper feet, and it was kind of magical. I kept up with the guy who I have deemed my personal pace rabbit for most of the swim, with the exception of a few sets where he left me with something to aspire to. (And the sets where he wore his fins, being that I forgot mine at home.
Thanks to the commenters yesterday for the post-workout food suggestions! I'm persuaded enough to try to drink chocolate milk again for the first time in decades, starting.... tomorrow. Bananas are still out, as they are the fruit of the devil. Today, I admit, I went to Dunkin Donuts and got egg and cheese on a bagel. I'm not even going to try to justify that, and I'm not even going to pretend that I didn't also get a pumpkin donut as well. I craved, I caved, it happened.
But during lunch, I went to the store and I stocked up on coconut milk, chocolate milk, cottage cheese, and some berries that I plan on freezing for later use. I've also got some nuts and dried fruits, which I predict will be a lovely replacement for those stupid bars.
I swam with the team today! I won't be able to the rest of the week, so it was great to get in 2x this week!
SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
Billy Glasstetter coached
200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
2 rounds of 4 x 150's on 2:20
1st 100/50 fast
2nd 50/50 fast/50
3rd probably 50 fast/100?
4th either all easy or all fast?
I wasn't really listening, so I did them all strong descend, and did 1/2 of the set ( 4 x 150) held 1:55 to 1:50. used pull buoy and green paddles
no. did 2 x 50 for every 150 same interval
fly kick with fins & snorkel no board
6 x 75 on 1:30
25 fast, 50 smooth
Sprint set, hooray!
12 x 50
1-4 12.5 fast on 1:00
5-8 25 fast on :50
9-12 50 fast on :40 held 35's
Today was a good workout. I did some pulling, and that was sort of fun, as long as no one was drafting off of me. I led lane 2, going on 2:20 vs. 2:15. It wasn't so much the interval, but the mix of lane. I didn't know 2 of the 5 people, and so it was easier to go first in the next lane than risk miscalculating the order, and end up behind or in front of the wrong speed person.
Then moved back to lane 1 and led the kick set, went 2nd on the sprint set, since a fin-wearer led, but then he dropped out so I got to lead on the fast-pace 50's on 40, which was great since I was leading and no draft handicap. Great times for me today, and very punchy on the fast bits at the end.
Next up: a 4 hour roundtrip to Tyler, TX tomorrow for a surprise office party. I won't get to swim, but I that's why I made the effort to go today.
Here is the Texas Senior Circuit times for this season:
So I have a current auto in the 50 free, albeit a relatively slow first meet time. Last year I had auto/bonus in the 50/100 free, 100 fly, and 100 back. This helps to keep me focused on goal times.
This morning I swam with Rondi at the Y. We had our own lane for almost the entire workout. Here’s what I did:
800 scy warmup
6 x 500, done as 2x thru
500, prime-numbered lengths = kick, non-prime lengths = FR [focus: maintaining strong kick when swimming]
500, all FR except multiples of 3 = BR, multiples of 4 = BK, multiples of 7 = FL [focus: 1st time through, reviewing keys for non-FR strokes; 2nd time through, IM turns]
500, all FR except first, last, and middles 50s = BK [focus: alt breathing on FR and rotation on both strokes]
While we were doing this set I invented a grand finale 500 for it, which combined all three schemes (with the BK of the last 500 becoming sprint), but time was running short and we decided to save it for another day.
500 pull, alternating w/paddles and without
500 various FR drills
400 warmdown + play
Afterwards I went upstairs to the gym for light weights and a long stretching session.
Then around lunchtime I began to get a hankering for going to the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day here, with temps in the 60s, and I really wanted to swim in the cool water at Brighton. So I did!
When I first arrived there was a US Navy blimp flying very low over the sand. Not sure what the purpose of this was, but it was flying close enough to tell that the top part really was just a big inflated thing instead of a solid surface—it was billowing a bit in the wind.
There was also a kite-surfing-type kite flying, and I looked in the water to see who was using it, but instead discovered it was attached to a little cart that someone was riding down the beach in. It was definitely windy, but there were still a few folks on the sand, and several playing in the water. And the boardwalk was hopping!
I bought a day pass at the Shorefront Y (which turned out to be just $12, not the $20 I’d been told), and changed and stashed most of my stuff there. A few weeks ago I had bought this swim safety device (an inflatable dry bag with waist strap), and I was able to put the clothes and shoes I wore down to the beach in it so that I didn’t have to worry about leaving anything unattended while in the water. Today was my first time testing it out. It was a little annoying to swim with—there was a lot of chop, and it got tossed around and pulled on the waist strap a bit. But it was really nice to not have to worry about my stuff, and it kept my clothes dry. And it does help with visibility—there were no jet skis out today, but I don’t count on that being the case.
I swam a little less than a mile then headed in for a shower. I was glad I went out and tried out the Y-and-buoy system—that’s a good option to have when I don’t have swim buddies to head out to the beach with. And it was great to spend a little time in the ocean on such a fine sunny day.
push press, 50 x 1 x 10, 60 x 1 x 10, 70 x 1 x 8, 80 x 1 x 4
deadlift, 145 x 2 x 6, 155 x 1 x 5, 165 x 1, 175 x 1, 185 x 1, 190 x 1
HS hi row, 180 x 1 x 8, 185 x 1 x 8, 190 x 1 x 6, 195 x 1 x 6, 200 x 1 x 5
squats, 220 x 1 x 8, 240 x 1 x 8, 260 x 1 x 8
hip abductor, 120 x 3x 10
back extensions, 25 3 x 15
10 minutes on ellipse
Feeling only marginally better and aerobic work sounded too energetic. Took Speedo's advice and tried the gym. Much better, I could move in slow mo and take as much rest between sets as I wanted.
I have been underperforming in the weight room. Not sure exactly why ... So I tried to be more aggressive with the weight today. Went up 30 pounds on the push press. Really, I was embarrassed into this by this extremely ripped woman who was pushing 95 pounds. I think my previous best 1RM in the deadlift was 155-160? Blasted past that today, helped along, I think, by trying the correct grip (1 hand under, 1 hand over). And I pulled quite a bit for me on the HS hi row. No energy for jumping or plyos though.
Can anyone suggest a good aerobic workout for me for tomorrow that has nothing to do with 30 x 100 @ 1:10? :-) I'm feeling better tonight than I was in the am, so hoping I can have a somewhat productive day in the pool tomorrow.
Just got my 2XU compression recovery tights and arm sleeves in the mail. Will be lounging on the couch in them tonight.
Booked hotels for both SCY and LCM Nationals in 2012.
Updated November 9th, 2011 at 08:25 PM by The Fortress
214 days until Day 1 of the FINA World Masters Championships
Tuesday, Nov 8
Kinsmen Aquatic Centre
East Warmup Pool (25m)
(25 slow motion recovery freestyle @ :45,
25 finger drag freestyle @ :45,
25 slow motion recovery freestyle @ :45,
25 swim freestyle @ :45)
(75 finger drag freestyle build @ 1:15,
25 free FAST! @ :40)
7 x 50 kick with fins @ 1:10
7 x 50 swim with fins @ 1:10
4 x 50 drill IM order @ :60
200 IM @ 3:30
4 x 50 drill IM order @ :60
200 IM @ 3:20
4 x 50 drill IM order @ :60
200 IM FAST!
Total Distance = 4300m
Comments: The 8 broken 100s are harder than they look, especially if you build the 75 drill!
This was not a very good workout for me.
Team practice SCY, swam with Josh
- 200 swim
- 200 kick
- 200 swim
- 200 swim/catchup/fist/swim
- 1000 for time (11:44)
-- 17 seconds faster than last time
-- 17 seconds slower than Josh
-- not even 1:10 pace
Main Set 2
- 4x150 on 2:15 descend (1:45 on the last one)
- 4x150 on 2:00 descend
- 300 ez
I drank 3 glasses of wine last night. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it also seems to have negatively impacted my swimming this morning.
Not being under 1:10 pace the entire workout isn't really acceptable. Not breaking 11:40 was very disappointing.
Felt better today. Slept well last night am not as sore as I was a few days ago.
3 x 100/1:40 build
6 x 50/1:00 desc 3
4 x 25/40 strong
4 x 25/1:30 odds fast w/dive
Evens build to fast finish
4 x 25/1:00 as 12.5 as fast as possible, 12.5 coast
Total: 2000 yards
Updated November 9th, 2011 at 04:27 PM by poolraat
2 rounds of:
300 Free Pull
w/ masters group:
Did a 5 minute kick w/ board, alternating 1 min fast, 1 min eazy, etc.
The first minute I made it ~70 yards - pretty good for me. Other fast minutes were about 60-65 or so yards each time. Total distance covered in the 5 minutes was 300 Yards. I stopped with (at 4:50) 10 seconds left, but knew I wasn't going to complete another length anyway.
While a group of guys warmed up, I did:
4 x 200 Free Pull @ 2:30, (went 2:12, 2:10, 2:10, 2:05)
From this point on, my lane had 6-7 people in it, so things were going to be wavy and crazy!
400 Fly*** This is for Peony's birthday swim. The whole team on her birthday does a 400 Fly of some sort in her honor. I usually do a 400 Fly straight, but the other guys were going to do it by 25s(and use fins), so I just joined them (no fins).
16 x 25 Fly @ :30 (held :15/:16s)
500 Free Pull EZ - went about 5:55, but had to avoid people like crazy and do interesting passing on the turns. At least the others are aware that I'm there and coming so they get out of the way for the most part.
5 x 100 Free @ 1:30 - went 1:04/1:03/1:01/1:00/:58
10 x 50 Kick w/ zoomers @ :45 got about :05 seconds rest - not too tough
8 x 25 Fast - every other one from the blocks at the deep end.
4400 Yards in about 90 minutes
Now its time to start replacing the water pipes in the basement of my house.
How fun!! I mean...
Updated November 9th, 2011 at 09:10 PM by jaadams1
(Added Psych Sheet)