Friday, September 28, 2012


I am really reading The Mental Athlete, by Kay Porter.  I will be using the daily log here to plan and discuss the thoughts, exercises, affirmations, negativity, and changes in my behavior.

Normalcy includes a full coached workout.  Thank you Chad and Trish. I discussed my left hand placement including the catch and Chad suggested  use the zipper drill in the water.  He also showed us a dryland movement/exercise to help improve the high elbow which is more difficult for me to keep without rotating my arm inward and entering the water thumb first. 

Place both hands on a flat surface.
Rotate arms outward, leading with the elbow.

I am experiencing soreness in my elbow, right now, when I am doing this exercise.

I also mentioned retraining my nervous system to coincide with the process.


800 swim

6x100 on 1:50
2x build
2x descend

4x50 stroke(back) on 1:30
  coaches input=good, a bit of head movement but otherwise, real good
100 back full speed 1:34 h/r140

300 warm down

2000 meters

Supplemental Sprint Workout


400 meter warm up
Sprint work including
 x25 free
  x25 fly
200 meter cool down

45 minutes

Thursday, September 27, 2012

? Workout Ends At 0706 ?

What. I am sure it is my fault.  We swam a typical warm up, that is a 2/2/2, 600 meters, then went right into

10x100 on 1:45

That was it.  0705 and we were told that we could go to the hot tub or do

400 warm down.
Instead, I swam
10x100 free/stroke
including butterfly.

I swim butterfly at the end of my workout.  I have had plenty of time to have warmed up. I concentrate better if I am not concerned with mechanical/physical issues.  

I am getting into a very special book that I received from published by Human KineticsThe Mental Athlete, by Kay Porter, looks to be a positive, affirming, reenforcing, publication based on science, research including interviews with influential positive athletes throughout the sports world.

I see some strong parallels in my recent behavior that mirror several of the ideas and basic lessons being used to access the inner athlete in me. 

1.  I am participating in a structured and focused group.
     I joined a workout group with dedicated teammates, and a dedicated coaching staff.
     I have never been in this situation since high school. 
     Not true, what about Spring, 2009?  I did consider DeaAnn my coach and I made most of the run
      of workouts for about a month, doesn't look like this bit of training can be considered for the time.

2. This is my team.  I will equate the process of encouraging, being encouraged, and enjoying working hard towards a common goal.  That goal may be equated to exact times, distances, personal improvement, and elite competition placement.  Our goals may be individual but the process and effort is as a team. 

3.  I wrote some goals and objectives for the SCM season, 2012 before I ever got the book.  The book says to write stuff, like a journal.  Like I do for workout, do for mental training.  Okay.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crash and Bleed Week

That is how we are supposed to finish at the wall, BAM!  Swimming is an inherently dangerous sport/activity.  Please be careful and watch out for the other guy.  Last week started with a bang. 

September 17, Monday
I finished a repetition at the wall with a hard touch and I nicked my finger on a piece of steel.  Apparently, this piece of steel is welded over a drain vent near the surface of the gutter, and I touched the wall/edge/corner of this piece hard and sliced my fingertip.  That was the end of swimming for the day and I stayed out of the water on Tuesday and Wednesday too.  I did ride the bike on
Tuesday and Wednesday I ran barefoot about a mile on the sand .  I found a package of finger condoms(cots) and I was back in the water Thursday morning. 

September 20, Thursday
Completed workout

September 21, Friday
North Bay Aquatics
Complete workout with Ken DeMont
College of Marin pool is really a lousy pool.  Narrow lanes, shallow with lots of turbulence, especially at the walls.

September 22, Saturday
Swim before the meet.

September 23 Sunday
Alan Liu Memorial SCM
Mountain View Masters

200 free 2:34.31
50 free   30.30
100 free 1:07.91

September 24, Monday
No Swim Day

September 25, Tuesday

Rose Bowl Aquatic Center Long Course, HOME pool!

1500 meter swim <25 minutes="minutes" p="p">5x200 stroke work including butterfly but no breaststroke
100 warm down

2600 meters

September 26, Wednesday
Back with the workout pod, thank you.
4x200s/p/k/stroke, 16 minutes

3x(descend, hold ascend)
4x50 kick on 1:10 no fins
100 kick for time, no fins

4x200 warm down on 3:30

2300 assigned, completed yards

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hermosa Beach Board Shorts 1 Mile Swim

The swim was very low keyed.  John Coughlin, the amputee from last years Maui Channel Swim was there as were about 40-50 other swimmers.  We all wore matching board shorts, Navy Blue, to make a statement.  It did not present any problems swimming in them and the conditions were very good.  The water was very pleasant, say 69-71 and the surf zone was not too rough.  There was no negotiable current, but the bouys were small and not easy to spot.  I should see if there are any results, nor did I did not ask for my time or place overall.

It became unbearably hot when I arrived home at noon.  I relaxed for an hour before heading to the bike festival at the LA Historical Park.  I got a bit of heat exhaustion.  The folks in charge of the volunteers saw that I was a bit woozy, as they thought I may have had too much to drink.  Alas, I was very hot, and no doubt looked poorly.  They told me that they did not need my help and maybe I should seek first aid and cold compresses.  I went straight home, although I had to ride my bike back to my car. 

I actually was fairly full of fluid when I rested for almost 3 hours under the a/c.  Heat sickness was my self diagnosis.

Sunday I am not swimming.  A physical day away from the water.

Back to swim training tomorrow.

Friday, September 14, 2012

That Was Some Workout

Oh yes, that was a good one.  No time for chit chat and we got it done.  Good job by all.


600 mixer(10 minutes)

8 times
45 second vertical kick
50 swim 1 minute

10x100 free on 1:40
hold pace, which was 1:30+-

400 free hold above pace

Warm down
6x50 on 1 minute

Hermosa Beach Pier Swim tomorrow.  Benefit for Challenged Athletes Foundation, and injured open water swimmer John Couglin.  Board Shorts 1 Mile Open Water Swim.  Tour de Fat festival at LA Historical Park too.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feel Good or Not

Yes, no, I don't know.  Just swim.  I found another Open Water Swim for the weekend.  This one is special as it benefits The Challenged Athletes Foundation, specifically John Coughlin, the swimmer injured during last seasons Maui Channel Swim.  It is the Board Shorts 1 Mile Open Water Swim. We will be swimming at Hermosa Beach.  We are all being issued board shorts that we will be required to wear while swimming.

As I try to straighten out my left hand entry to the catch of freestyle, I think the whole arm needs to be retrained.  I could feel fatigue and muscle soreness as I need to set the muscles at a slightly different angle at the catch.  This is causing my elbow to drop a bit.  Going to look up which way internal rotation is for my arms...nope, it appears that I am just lazy and I need to think more.


400 swim warm up
6x50 bsnf on 1:15
3x100 free on 1:25, last one on 1:35
200 ez
3x100 bsnf on 1:50, BACKSTROKE

50 imo/200free
last one 50free/200im

3000 meters
it only adds up to 2800 though

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I still swam.  My arrival at the pool was late, even after 0630, and I told the coach that I was not swimming workout today as I am a bit physically exhausted and a bit under the influence of a virus(sic).  There were several people that were stung by bees this morning.  WTF are those bee traps doing strapped around the light poles?  The attractant in the traps are doing just that, attracting bees to the pool deck where they are drinking.

I swam ez all morning, the first laps did not feel good.  I then worked on many of the flaws in all my strokes. 
My butterfly seems to need the most retooling.  Golf swing.
Pull scapula towards spine.
Keep elbows straight through complete recovery. 
   By bringing scapulas together, the rotator cuff is less impinged during recovery with arms straight    overhead.  Visualize and practice on deck. 
Initiate catch forward of shoulders, at neck

Worked on depth control of  breaststroke streamline
Worked on streamline with biceps squeezing ears

Freestyle left hand entry
Do I have a IR(internal rotation) problem causing the improper hand entry prior to the catch

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SICK DAY (is not a reason to miss swimming), La Jolla RWS

Perhaps a mini virus.  I think I may be a bit run down, kind of tired, I have been doing a bunch of ocean swimming the past month.  It is much harder to swim in the ocean than in a swimming pool.  I competed in 3 ocean swims the past 3 weekends.  Good.  No ill effects on my post back issue(s).  I was a mess before my surgery.
Saturday I did not swim, at all.
Sunday I swam to an age group 4th place(93rd overall Men Masters) finish at the 82nd Annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim.
I really do not like big group starts, but what can I do.  I am trying to get out as quick as possible.  I took a fairly accurate course, with the current, staying on a good line to the first white bouy.  I redirected a bit to the balloons, which were beginning to float away and rounded.  I swam off direction for about 25 meters before noticing that I should be heading back to the cove, rounding another bouy before taking the last leg into the finish.  It was a fairly accurate swim.  Swells were 1-2 feet, not too much, maybe 2-3 feet.  The start was on a little strip of sand with rocks hidden so stepping with care was necessary at the start.  The finish chute was probably cleared prior to the competition.

Please see for complete official coverage and results.

We reviewed the videos with Coach Chad.  I suck.
Too many problems with all strokes and starts.
  Head movement
  Left thumb enters at catch,
   hand needs to enter fingers first
  Right foot flutters, probably nerve problem,
  Glaring misplaced catch on video.  do I do this all the time?
    Pull is not started until hands are under torso,
    Come on, I must start the catch  at the shoulders
    Pull scapulas(blades) towards spine
    Keep elbows straight
    Drag thumbs on surface
    Less undulation
    Lifting head way too high on video; when I swim, I do try to keep my chin on the surface
    Asymetrical arm movement,  due to old shoulders
   Good hand placement at catch phase, 10 and 2 position
   some head movement, due to inattention
   Wall start, went directly too deep, with all associated issues
   Weak narrow kick, we know why now, groin strain, perhaps a strained obturator nerve sheath??
Front Start
   Lower Head
   Raise Hips

Back Start
   Use new head position; keep neck in neutral position at start

Swim 2K



Late for warm up

20 minute swim for time??
1250, maybe

8x50 kick
4x50 kick ez

400  warm down

Friday, September 7, 2012


Perhaps if I try hard I could remember yesterdays workout, alas I will not press the issue.  Too tired.  I was also impressed by the article I found in LA Observed this morning.  It presents a baby great white shark that was hooked from the pier at Manhattan Beach on Tuesday.  Uh, I swam the bouys at Lifeguard Training HQ yesterday.  I also watched the small pod of dolphins swimming inside the bouys.



400 swim
100 kick
100 swim
300 kick
100 sprint(squint) 1:24
400 IM

8x50 kick on 1:20
1-4 5 seconds faster
5-8 5 seconds slower

200 warm down

2400 meters

There was not much effort today as I am exhausted from swimming.

Monday, Labor Day Oceanside 1 mile Pier Swim.  This was a very challenging swim, especially getting out into the open water, past the break and strong cross current.
Tuesday, workout and 1500 kicking in early afternoon
Wednesday, workout and 1500 kicking in early afternoon
Thursday, darn it, I forgot what we did and 1 lap at Tower 26, MB
Friday, workout, nap after

Saturday I will be traveling to San Diego hoping to get an entry into my first La Jolla Rough Water Swim.  Unfortunately I only learned of the swim after entries had been closed.  There is a possibility that I may deck enter, but only tomorrow/Saturday, from 0900-1200, and only if the event has not reached the limit of swimmers allowed.  I think that is 650, and I already have a room. 

Perish the thought, what if I do not get entered and swim unofficially?  I have never done that. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Wednesday workouts are short course formatted.  We were videotaped today, I think we will be looking at ourselves swimming soon.  I swam kind of good and kind of sloppy.  Backstroke was best. My free was pretty clean too, we were only doing 10 second clips, I think, but all strokes and starts too.  So it was pretty simple today, with the videotaping taking about 20 minutes. 


5x200 warm up, choice, 20 minutes

video session
4x25 imo on 1:30 10 seconds apart

1 front start
1 backstroke start

5x200 warm down, choice

2300 yards

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This swim has the distinction of being one year older than the La Jolla Rough Water Swim, as Labor Day was the 83rd annual Oceanside Pier Swim.  See here for results.  It was very challenging getting out.  We were fortunate to be in the last wave of swimmers and the starter let us start much further south on the beach.  There was a very strong north current, much more so than any current at the bodysurfing event 2 weeks prior.  Many swimmers were either unaware of the strong conditions or were just overpowered by them. 
It was a battle to get out.  I did turn around, but by then I was 3/4 of the way through the break, and hey, don't do that.  Got back turned around to the first bouy, and by the time I first sighted, I was on my way.  I was not taken by the current, and I did get out of the surf. 
It was colder as the disturbance off the Baja Peninsula created some pretty swells.  There was a bit of warmer water further from shore.  I estimate it took me almost20 minutes to get out and to the first bouy, 5 minutes to the second bouy, and another 5 minutes to swim ashore.  Official time of 29:30.8.
There were some hypothermic swimmers. but it did not appear there were any swimmers in severe distress.

First Up

Trying to get into the water at or before 0615.  I made it into the pool at 0615 this morning, yeah.  We did a kick workout and there was some minor discussion after workout that we should do more kicking.  Another swimmer mentioned something about getting to the pool earlier to do some kicking.  I got my new Aqua Sphere Zip Fins.  They are not designed for fastness, but they are a good training fin. 


1000 warm up

4x25 kick on 45 sec
4x50 kick on 60 sec(?)
200 ez
4x100 kick with fins on 2 minutes
4x100 swim with(out) fins on 1:30
   I did all intervals without fins except 1:40 between 2/3
200 warm down

2700 meters