Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday December 31, 2009

Lifted weights last night. Swam at Nitro with Steve, Zach, David, and Jeff. Cruised most of this except for the last set. Clint coached.

300 SKP
400 swim, focusing on turns
8 x 50 kick @ 1:00
400 pull, breathing every 5th
4 x 125 IM @ 2:00
4 x 100 back @ 1:40
4 x 100 breast @ 1:45
8 x 50 @ :40, held :34, very smooth
200 easy

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday December 30, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Zach. The workout was written on the white board, but we did not have a coach on deck today.

300 swim, 200 kick, 100 pull
8 x 100 with fins @ 1:30, kick/swim by 50
8 x (50 free @ :50/25 kick with board, no fins @ :30)
Main set, swam this straight through with no more than :20 additional rest between rounds:
400 free @ 5:30, went 4:59
4 x 25 @ :20
300 free @ 4:20, went 3:41
6 x 25 @ :20
200 free @ 2:45, went 2:22, felt strong
8 x 25 @ :20
100 free @ 1:30, went 1:07, very smooth
10 x 25 @ :20
200 easy

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Did they really say that?

"The system worked." Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security. I would like to nominate Jasper Schuringa, the Dutch passenger aboard the Northwest flight, as her replacement. Not only does he understand that our system failed, but he also has first hand experience fighting terrorists.

"I can access a femoral artery." An unnamed general surgeon overheard in the physicians' dining room discussing Medicare reimbursement rates and expressing his view that cardiologists are over compensated as it is for cardiac caths. Ironically, I had just implanted a stent in a patient's left main coronary artery and was recently notified that I had been re-certified in interventional cardiology, a year long process which includes submission of a case log, continuing medical education, and a comprehensive eight hour exam. Seems like a lot of effort for something apparently so easy a caveman can do it.

Lifted weights last night, omitting bench press, then iced my right shoulder at bedtime. Swam at Nitro with Jeff, James, Tom, and Zach. Steve coached.

400 swim, 400 IM kick/drill, 400 swim with 6-8 SDK off each turn
8 x 75 @ 1:15, odds free, evens choice/free/choice
Main set, no breaks:
300 free @ 4:15, swam these moderate and held 3:45s
4 x 25 IM order @ :30
300 free @ 4:15
4 x 50 IM order @ 1:00
300 free @ 4:15
4 x 75 IM (fly/back/breast) @ 1:15
300 free @ 4:15
4 x 100 IM @ 1:30, held 1:19, was able to swim fly today without any discomfort in my right shoulder
200 easy

Monday, December 28, 2009

Forgettable

Morning, that is. Swam at Nitro with Steve and Jeff. Steve coached. Not a memorable workout. Still bothered by tendinitis in my right shoulder, particularly when I try to swim fly. Later I was treated to a twenty minute synopsis of weekend call by one of my partners who works harder than everyone else on the planet. I, on the other hand, am a slacker (but a slacker who is on call every night this week).

300 swim, 4 x 100 IM drill @ 1:45, 4 x 100 Popov drill @ 1:45
2 x 400 @ 5:20, 2 x 200 @ 2:40, 2 x 100 @ 1:20--really no idea what the purpose of this set was; I swam these at a moderate pace, holding 1:15/100
2:00 break
2 x 100 kick @ 1:30
2 x 200 pull @ 3:00, I swam these, held 2:30
2 x 400 pull @ 6:00, I pulled the first one, swam the second in 4:50 and felt pretty strong
100 easy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday December 26, 2009

Slept in again this morning and swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool. Although I prefer to swim with a team, it is difficult to get out of bed at 4:30 and drive thirty minutes to practice on a day that I don't have to go to work.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
8 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim
15 x 100 @1:30, held 1:20, no problem
200 easy


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good one!

Slept in today and swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
8 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim
8 x 300 @ 4:30, very tough set to swim solo, went 4:13, 4:10, 4:10, 4:08, 4:08, 4:08, 4:08, 4:06
200 easy

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Good News!

This time tomorrow we will have a health care reform bill signed by the Senate. Of course, between the lack of a public option and the "sweetheart deals" with the likes of Senator Nelson of Nebraska, this is hardly the reform that we so badly needed. Needless to say our tax dollars will still be paying for it. But the good news is that as a physician I will have less income to be taxed.

Swam at Nitro with David. Steve left early with shoulder problems. Tom coached.

400 swim, 100 kick, 300 build
Main set:
4 x 25 kick @ :40, odds fast, evens moderate
6 x 50 @ :35, made 'em, but really should have swum these on :40
4 x 25 lung busters @ :30
6 x 50 @ :45, held :33s
4 x 25 kick @ :40
6 x 50 @ :55, held :31s
4 x 25 lung busters @ :30
6 x 50 @ 1:05, held :30s
4 x 25 kick @ :40
6 x 50 @ 1:15, held :29s
200 easy

The other good news is that I passed my interventional cardiology boards and am recertified for another ten years.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday December 22, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Jeff, Tom, and Steve. Steve coached.

400 swim
8 x 50 @ 1:00, odds drill, evens choice
8 x 50 @ 1:00, odds free, evens kick
6 x 200, odds free @ 2:40, evens IM @ 3:00; nice En2 set
6 x 200 pull @ 2:45, descend 1-3, 4-6 (went 2:24, 2:22, 2:20)
200 easy

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Monday December 21, 2009

Reading an editorial by Frank Rich in Sunday's New York Times ("Tiger Woods, Person of the Year"), I was reminded of a quote from The Shawshank Redemption which I watched again the other night: "Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." And that, I believe, is why we continually allow ourselves to be taken in by people like this . Without the hope that the image of discipline and perfection that Tiger created of himself is real, that our economy rests securely on the shoulders of the best and the brightest on Wall Street, or even that the promise of a better America that Obama offered us is within our grasp, what do we have left? It is within our nature to cling to hope. And that may not be such a bad thing, for without it we risk becoming a nation of cynics when reality intrudes, as it invariably does.

Swam at Nitro with David, Tom, Steve, and James. Steve coached.

300 swim, 200 kick, 100 pull
8 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim
Main set #1:
8 x 25 @ :20
2 x 200 @ 2:40
8 x 25 @ :30
2 x 200 @ 2:20
8 x 25 @ :20
2 x 200 @ 2:40
Main set #2:
8 x 100 @ 1:20, held 1:10-1:11
100 easy

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday December 19, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Jeff, Tom, David, Steve, and Kirk. Clint coached.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
10 x 100 IM @ 1:40, cruised these, averaging 1:20
6 x 200 @ 2:45, held 2:23-4, my best set of 200s on this interval yet
200 easy

Currently ranked 13th in the nation in my age group for the 400 free. I just missed the top ten for the second year in a row, but back in the day who would have ever guessed?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday December 18, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, Chuck, Tom, and Zach. Clint coached. Shoulder felt better today after doing my RC exercises and icing it last night.

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
5 x 400 @ 5:45, first and fourth 100 strong (interesting variation); descended these 4:57, 4:55, 4:52, 4:51, and 4:49. This was my best set of 400s yet, all under 5:00.
5 x 100 kick with fins @ 1:30
4 x 25 sprint @ :30
200 easy

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tired

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David and Jeff. Tom coached.

Written warmup was 5 x 200, but I got in a bit late and swam a straight 600; my right shoulder (which is the better of the two) was a bit sore today, so I will need to ice it tonight. I have been doing rotator cuff exercises with Thera Bands for over five years, but I still get flare ups of tendinitis on occasion.
6 x 50 @ 1:00, odds underwater lung buster/free by 25, evens stroke drill/stroke (IM order) by 25
16 x 25 @ :30 IM order
3 x (3 x 50 @ :50) rolling IM by 25
8 x 100, odds swim @ 1:45 IM order (I swam these free), evens kick without board or fins @ 2:00
3 x 200 IM @ 3:30, descend, went 2:30 on # 3, edged out by David who went 2:27
200 easy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good stuff

Swam at Nitro with Lynne, David, Steve, Chuck, Zach, and James. Tom coached and wrote an excellent workout. I was still a bit sore from weight lifting earlier in the week, primarily because I had stopped lifting a month ago when I started my taper.

400 swim, 100 kick, 200 swim building to 75%, 100 kick, 200 swim building to 85%, 100 kick, 200 swim building to 90%, 100 kick
Main set: 4 x (4 x 125 @ 1:50, #1 75 moderate/50 fast, #2 50 moderate/75 fast, #3 25 moderate/100 fast, #4 125 fast), no break between rounds; I descended from 1:28 to 1:26 within each set of 4 (all 16 were under 1650 race pace). This was my best set of 125s yet.
4 x (4 x 25, #1 @ :30, #2 @ :25, #3 @ :20, #4 @ :15), no break between rounds
100 easy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday December 15, 2009

Lifted weights last night. Still tired from Sunday's 800s. Swam at Nitro with Lynne, David, Steve, and Zach. Steve coached.

400 swim, 200 kick
5 x 100 @ 1:30, streamline past fourth black line on each turn
4 x 100 kick @ 2:00, no fins
3 x 350 pull @ 4:30, descended to 4:11
3 x (2 x 25 @ :30, 2 x 50 @ 1:00, 2:75 @ 1:15, 2 x 50 @ 1:00, 2 x 25 @ :30): round 1 back, round 2 fly, round 3 breast; I had to leave for work after round 2
100 easy

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday December 14, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom, James, Chuck, and Zach. Steve coached.

Warmup: 6 x (50 swim at 1:00/50 kick @ 1:00)--I swam a straight 600 instead
Main set:
4 x 25 @ :20
4 x 50 @ :50
4 x 75 @ 1:20
4 x 100 @ 1:20, held 1:11-12 ; :40 break, then left on the top
4 x 200 @ 2:40, held 2:25-26
8 x 100 @ 1:30, odds fly/free, evens back/free
6 x 75 kick @ 1:30
200 easy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Deposit

Slept in yesterday and skipped practice. Thought about swimming at Barton Springs this morning but heard that the Channel swimmers would be using wetsuits, so I decided to swim at Life Time in the 25 meter pool instead.

400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull
8 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim
3 x 800 @ 14:00, went 11:10, 11:07, 11:10; two months ago I swam these on 13:00 and went 11:20, 11:17, 11:17. At long course Nationals in 2004 I went 11:14.79 wearing FSI legskins. Would like to be able to hold these under 11:00.
200 easy

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hannukah!

Swam at Nitro with Lynne, David, Steve, and James. Clint coached.

500 swim, 200 kick, 500 pull (missed part of this--arrived a bit late because we'd had a power outage late last night)
6 x 300 @ 4:30, went 3:48, 3:44, 3:42, 3:41, 3:37, 3:36 (1650 race pace)--solid effort, did not have to put the hammer down on these
500 for time, went 5:59 (1650 race pace), one of the few times I have been under 6:00 in practice; I was out in 2:20 but couldn't hang on to that pace.
200 easy

Difficult week--glad this one is over.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday December 10, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, and Tom. Clint coached.

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
5 x 200 @ 2:40, moderate/En2, held 2:29
10 x 50 kick @ 1:00, no fins
16 x 50 @ 1:30 IM order, fast; held :33 for the fly, :29 for the free
200 easy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What we value

Driving back to the hospital at midnight to open an occluded right coronary artery for a gentleman who was having a heart attack, I reflected on the Tiger Woods scandal and the ongoing debate about whether he will lose any of his endorsements, which total $100 million annually. Surprisingly, no one has asked how he can justify income like that in the first place. The short answer is that he doesn't need to, because our society has decided he is worth that much. Which begs the question, has he ever been awakened in the middle of the night to sink a clutch putt, when failure to do so becomes a matter of life and death? Of course not. We are told that corporations pay him for his image, which is one of perfection and control. Perhaps I am simply sleep deprived, but after last night's trip to the cath lab, which was ultimately successful, I find that entire notion ludicrous.

Swam at Nitro (on three hours sleep--my answer to high altitude training!) with Lynne, David, Steve, James, Chuck, and Grant. Tom coached, and did an excellent job as always.

600 swim, 200 kick, 400 swim moderate/build by 50
3 x (800 swim, 200 kick with fins), 1:00 rest between rounds:
#1 broken :10 at the 100, swam them on 1:20 and held 1:11-1:12
#2 broken :15 at the 200, swam them on 2:40 and held 2:25
#3 broken :20 at the 400, negative split, went 5:00/4:51
100 easy

Great endurance workout!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Faster

Slept in yesterday (still tired from the weekend) and only swam an easy 1200 meters at Life Time. Swam this morning at Nitro with David, Tom, Jeff, and Zach. Greg Goulet coached. I arrived a bit late and missed part of warmup.

800 free
8 x 50 kick
4 x 400 @ 5:30, went 5:09, 5:03, 4:53, 4:46
8 x 100 @ 1:30, held 1:09
4 x 100 @ 1:15, went 1:06, 1:07, 1:08, 1:09; Greg suggested 1:10, but I didn't think I could make the interval...perhaps I could have
200 easy

Today's workout was a bit of a milestone for me, solid from start to finish. I am feeling stronger in the water and credit the following:
  • Consistency--I have missed very few practices; fortunately I was able to receive both flu vaccines (and took a course of Tamiflu when my daughter was home sick over ACL weekend).
  • Endurance--the overdistance En2 work I began in October is beginning to pay off, and I have been swimming rather than pulling sets like today's 400s.
  • Season planning--the three week taper has allowed me to see some results from the work that came before. Training cycles really do work.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Personal best

Went 5:30.71 in the 500 at Belton, a Masters personal best and 2 1/2 seconds faster than at Nationals last year in Austin. This is nearly six seconds faster than I was midway through my freshman year in college. I split a 2:09.65 (1:03.46/1:06.19) for the first 200, which is exactly where I wanted to be, but I paid for it on the back half, splitting 2:14.50 (1:07.11/1:07.39) on the last 200. I deck entered and swam in heat 1, lane 6 without any competition, so I just had to swim my own race. While this time will not stand up for the top ten rankings at the end of the season, I closed the gap a bit more with the guys at the top of my age group (in 2004 I swam my first Masters 500 in 5:59.82 at Zones). The journey continues...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ready

Slept in this morning since I have the day off after taking call over Thanksgiving weekend. Swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool.

400 swim, 200 pull, 200 kick
8 x 50 @ 1:00, drill/swim
8 x 50 @ 1:10, 400 race pace, held :35-:36 comfortably (converts to :32 in yards), HR under 150
200 easy

The 500 is the first event tomorrow at the Belton meet which begins at 2:00. Plan to split the first 200 in 2:09, comparable to my pace in the 400 at the DAM meet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday December 3, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, Tom, and Zach. We are continuing our taper in preparation for the Belton meet. I stopped lifting weights three weeks ago but will resume next week. The forecast is calling for an inch of snow tomorrow afternoon, but Saturday will be in the 50s.

400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull
10 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim
6 x 50 @ 1:30, held :31-:32 comfortably
300 easy

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday December 2, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, who is also tapering for Belton. We swam our own workout today.

400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull
6 x 100 @ 1:40, drill/swim
8 x 50 @ 1:00, held :32 comfortably, HR = 150
300 easy

My plan for the 500 is :30.9, :32+, :33, :33, :33, :33, :33, :33, :33, :32+ (5:28). I need to be out in a 2:09 for the first 200, which was my pace (converted from scm) for the first half of my 400 in Dallas (I split 2:23/2:24).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday December 1, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, Tom, David, James, and Alex. Steve and I modified the written workout.

300 SKP
6 x 100 @ 1:40 drill/swim
8 x 50 @ 1:00, 500 race pace, held :32
2 x 100 @ 2:30, 500 race pace, went 1:05, 1:04
200 easy

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday November 30, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Tom, and Lynne. Steve coached. Tom and I modified the workout for our taper.

200 swim, 100 kick (too short for a warm up, but that was what was written)
4 x 50 @ :50, swam these drill/swim
3 x 300 @ 4:30, pulled these without paddles
3 x 200 @ 2:50, held 2:27 comfortably
3 x 150 @ 2:00, swam 100s instead and went 1:08, 1:06, 1:06; felt smooth
3 x 100 @ 1:20, swam 50s instead and held :32s (500 race pace)
3 x 50 @ 1:00, held :32s
200 easy

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday November 28, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David and Larry. Tom coached.

500 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull
8 x 100 @ 1:45 drill/swim
Drop down 50's beginning at 1:00, made it to :34, held :34s throughout (1000 race pace)
200 kick
100 easy

Friday, November 27, 2009

Call daze

Swam at Nitro with Tom and Zach. Clint coached.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
8 x 50 @ :50; missed most of these to answer a page about whether a woman who had fractured her shoulder should have a stress test before surgery (seriously)
800 swim, broken :20 at the 400, negative split, went 5:05/5:00
600 pull, broken :10 at the 200
400 swim, broken :10 at the 100, negative split, went 1:14/1:11/1:07/1:05
8 x 50 @ :45, 500 race pace, held :32-:33
200 easy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday November 26, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Zach, Tom, Clint (Masters coach), Mike (Koleber, Nitro head coach), and Tripp (Montgomery, age group coach). We started later today because of the holiday. I had to get out a bit early to start rounds.

400 swim, 300 kick, 200 pull, 100 swim.
10 x 100 @ 1:30, held 1:10-1:11 comfortably.
10 x 100 IM @ 2:00, held 1:15-1:16; went 1:12 on #10. This was my best set of IMs yet.
200 easy.

Spoke with the National group coach, Tim O'Brien, about breathing patterns. He strongly recommends bilateral breathing for distance events (500 and up). He believes that the elite swimmers breathe every other because they have strong six beat kicks. After four years training that way it feels very natural, so I will continue to do so.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NQT

Swam at Nitro with Lynne and David. Tom coached.

400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 swim
12 x 50 @ :50, odds build, evens moderate
1650 for time, went 20:37 holding 1:15s from start to finish, good enough to qualify for Nationals (20:44). I have not been able to hold that pace in practice beyond 1000. David took off fast, splitting 6:00 for the first 500, but I let him go (which was difficult mentally); he faded on the second 500 and actually stopped at 1000. I fought off my own demons at 1000 and for the last 450 just concentrated on chipping away at the remaining distance one 50 at a time.
500 kick with fins
200 easy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday November 24, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Kirk, David, and Tom. Steve coached. I am not a big fan of mixed sets like this (what I call the buffet approach to workouts). I plan to swim a couple of 1650s tomorrow. As it turns out I may not be able to make it to Nationals in the spring because of the call schedule; although I write it, there is as always one physician (or his wife) who cannot comprehend that others may actually have plans of their own. Invariably, after accomodating each and every one of their requests and finalizing the call schedule, I receive a frantic email or phone call asking to switch weekends due to yet another event that positively cannot be missed. Fortunately, Zones will be at the Woodlands in April in a brand new facility; I believe that the 1650 will be in the morning, which works out well for me.

200 swim/200 kick
4 x 50 @ 1:00 drill
4 x 25 @ :30 build
8 x 75 @ 1:00, held :51
300 pull
4 x 150 @ 2:15, held 1:47
8 x 50 @ :50, held :34 (my new 1000 pace)
300 pull
2 x (100 IM @ 1:40--went 1:17, 2 x 75 kick/drill/swim @ 1:20, 3 x 50 @ :50, 4 x 25 @ :40 IM order)
100 easy

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back to work

Swam at Nitro with Lynne, David, Tom, Chuck, and Zach. Steve coached. The pool was set up long course. I actually felt very good this morning. I plan to train moderately hard this week, then taper again next week for the 500 at Belton. I would like to break 5:30 before the suit ban goes into effect.

500 swim, 100 kick, 200 pull
4 x (4 x 150 @ 2:15/4 x 50 @ :45)
After the first round, I held 2:01s for the 150s. I did get a draft from Lynne as we were going 5 seconds apart with so many swimmers in the lane.
200 easy
4200 meters

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Piano man

DNF. That's what the final results will record for my first 1500 in three decades. Here's what happened. I had planned to split it 5:15, 10:35 (5:20), 15:55 (5:20), 19:55. My first 400 was a 5:12 and felt easy, like a warm up. I was breathing every third and taking one SDK off of the wall on every turn. I was in lane 3; the guy in lane 2 was way out in front in 5:01, but the girl in lane 4 was even with me. The second 400 felt very good, and I established a significant lead over lane 4. I lost track of lane 2 but found out later that I was reeling him in (he finished in 19:20). I thought lane 4 had faded, but actually I had begun splitting 1:16s for a 5:06 for the second 400. Too fast. At the 900 I realized it was over, that I could not swim another 600, and I stopped at the 1000. My time, 12:52, converts to 11:35 (5:51/5:44) in yards, a Masters best, nearly 20 seconds faster than my planned pace. While the three hour drive to Dallas, the late start for the event (6:30 pm), and only one decent meal (breakfast) beforehand didn't help, my biggest problem was inexperience with this event. I have only swum the 1500 once before in competition, and that was back in the summer of 1978.

On Saturday I swam the 400 free and went 4:47.14, a Master best by 0.6 seconds, splitting :34, :36, :36, :36, :36, :36, :36, :34 (2:23/2:24), getting touched out by the 35 year old who had been in lane 2 during the 1500. The over distance training I have been doing definitely helped; I was able to sprint the last 50 and swam the whole race breathing every third.

I plan to swim at least one 1650/week in practice and continue the over distance training. Next time I will pace the mile correctly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday November 19, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, and Tom. We continued our taper yesterday and today.

Yesterday's workout:
400 swim/200 kick/400 pull
8 x 75 @ 1:15 drill/swim
5 x 100 @ 1:30, 1650 race pace, held 1:11-1:12
10 x 50 @ :40, held :36
200 easy

Today's workout:
300 SKP
5 x 100 @ 1:40 drill/swim, held 1:15
5 x 100 @ 1:30, 1650 race pace, held 1:11, HR 150
200 easy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday November 17, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom, David, and Steve. We wrote our own taper workout.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
10 x 50 drill/swim @ 1:00
8 x 100 @ 1:30, 1650 race pace, held 1:12, breathing every third, moderate intensity (HR 156)
200 easy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday November 16, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom, David, and Ron. Steve coached.

400 swim, 300 kick
8 x 150 @ 2:30 moderate, held 1:50
8 x 100 @ 1:40, 1650 race pace, averaged 1:11
400 pull
200 easy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Joshua!

Swam at Nitro with David, Tom, Ron, and Steve. Clint coached.

200 SKP
4 x 300 @ 4:30, went 3:46, 3:42, 3:39, 3:36 (1650 race pace)
10 x 50 kick @ 1:00
10 x 25 kick @ :30
10 x 50 @ :45, 1650 race pace, held :35 comfortably (HR 138)
200 easy

Taper begins on Monday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

One week to go

Swam at Nitro with Steve, Tom, and Ron. Clint coached. Not tapering yet, but worked on race pace for the 1500 next Friday.

300 SKP
8 x 100 @ 1:30, held 1:11, HR was 156
8 x 100 kick @ 2:00, no fins
4 x 100 @ 1:30, held 1:09, HR was 156, felt better than the first set of 8
4 x 100 IM @ 1:30, held 1:19
8 x 25 @ :30, 1-4 with a drag chute
200 easy

My goal splits are 5:15, 10:35 (5:20), 15:55 (5:20), and 19:55.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday November 12, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom, David, and Steve. Clint coached.

400 SKP
4 x 75 breaststroke drill (with pull buoy) @ 1:20
4 x 200 @ 3:00, went 2:26, 2:24, 2:23, 2:19
600 pull
8 x 25 @ 1:00, 1-4 with a drag chute, 5-8 sprint
4 x 100 @ 1:40 held 1:09 comfortably
100 easy

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Walk with me

My son, who has CP, is raising money for Walk With Me Austin, an event which supports the Easter Seals. Contributions can be made on the Team Yellow Dog website:

http://www.easterseals.com/site/TR/WalkWithMe/WWMAustinTX?pg=team&fr_id=2638&team_id=90075

We had a meeting at the high school this morning, so I swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool. The water was a little warmer than usual.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
8 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim
20 x 100 @ 1:40, 1500 race pace, held 1:18-1:19; didn't feel great today, but my HR at the end was only 156
100 easy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday November 10, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, Tom, Lynne, and James. Coach Steve wrote the workout and was on deck.

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
2 x 200 @ 3:00, went 2:30
4 x 50 @ :50 easy/fast by 25
6 x 75 pull at 1:00
1 x 500 "for time"--swam it strong, went 6:08
12 x 25 @ :40, 1 - 4 SDK, 5 - 12 fast
4 x 200 IM @ 3:00, averaged 2:42-2:44
200 easy

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday November 9, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, Ron, Tom, Lynne, and James. The pool was set up long course. Coach Steve was on deck and wrote the workout.

200 swim
4 x (3 x 50 kick @ 1:15/2 x 100 swim @ 1:45)
16 x 50 @ 1:00, 1-4 drill, 5-8 swim, 9-12 drill, 13-16 swim
10 x 50 @ 1:00, held :37s (400 race pace)
4 x 100 pull @ 1:30, held 1:18
100 easy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drove to Houston yesterday after practice to visit my dad who fell last week and fractured his left hip. He now has matching titanium hip prostheses. He should be back in the pool by the end of the year; perhaps he will be motivated to train for Nationals in Atlanta. I'll see what I can do.

Friday was a recovery day:
1000 swim, 500 kick, 1000 pull
10 x 50 from the middle of the pool @ 1:00
6 x 25 @ :45 lung busters
100 easy

Saturday I swam with Tom, David, and Steve. Clint coached.
300 SKP
Main set, 1:30 base:
100 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull, 400 swim (5:02), 500 swim (6:10), 400 swim (4:56), 300 pull, 200 kick, 100 swim
10 x 55 (two turns, ending at the flags) @ 1:00, 1500 scm race pace, held :37
200 easy

DAM meet at Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center is in two weeks. Plan to swim the 1500 and the 400.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Recovery--not

Swam at Nitro with Tom, Larry, Eryn, David, Steve, James, and Kirk. Clint coached. Thought this would be a recovery day, but it didn't work out that way.

400 swim, 200 IM, 400 pull
10 x 50 @ 1:00 moderate
2 x 300 IM/200 IM/100 IM at 1:30 base
400 swim, broken :10 at each 100, went 1:16, 1:15, 1:09 and 1:06
2 x 100 fast @ 1:45/75 faster @ 1:30/50 fastest @ 1:15, went 1:04/:47/:29-:30
100 easy

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Twenty five

Swam at Nitro with Chuck, David, Steve, and James. Tom coached.

600 swim
5 x 100 @ 1:30 moderate
Main set--25 x 100:
15 x 100 @ 1:20, held 1:11 (1650 race pace) breathing every third and taking 1 SDK off the wall on every turn; the last four were tough but my pace and stroke rate remained constant
100 easy
6 x 100 @ 1:20, held 1:11, felt pretty strong on these
100 easy
3 x 100 @ 1:20, held 1:09
100 easy
1 x 100 fast, went 1:02
100 easy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday November 3, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Eryn, Tom, Steve, David, and James. Coach Steve was on deck and wrote the workout.

5 x 100 @ 1:30, averaged 1:15
4 x 100 drill with fins @ 1:30
4 x 75 kick (no fins) @ 1:30
4 x 50 @ :50
4 x 25 @ :20
8 x 75 rolling IM @ 1:15, averaged 1:00
4 x 25 IM order @ :30
4 x 50 IM order @ 1:00
4 x 75 kick IM order @ 1:30
4 x 100 IM drill with fins @ 1:45
5 x 100 IM @ 1:30, held 1:17, my best IM set yet
400 recovery

As a (middle) distance swimmer I don't usually like this much variety, but it was a (nearly) painless way to get in 4000 yards. Next time I would swim the workout without any breaks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday November 2, 2009

Lifted weights yesterday. Swam at Nitro this morning with Steve, Tom, David, and Lynne. The pool was set up long course. Missed part of warm up answering a page. Clint and Steve coached.

400 SKP
400 IM
4 x 300, swam these free instead of stroke @ 6:00, descended all four and split each one evenly, went 4:15, 4:10, 4:05, and 3:59--my best set of long course 300s
400 kick (no fins)
8 x 50 @ :50, averaged :37-:38
100 easy

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday October 31, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, Tom, and Kirk. Clint coached.

500 swim, 300 pull
12 x 50 fast/50 active recovery @ 2:00, averaged :29s
100 fast, from a push, went 1:00
8 x 50 @ 1:00 from the center of the pool, averaged :33-:34
100 easy

Friday, October 30, 2009

Progress

Swam at Nitro with Lynne, Steve, Kirk, and David. Tom coached. Lynne and I modified the workout, eliminating the IM portion and swimming free instead.

300 swim, 200 drill, 300 pull
1100 swim, 25 easy/25 hard, 50 easy/50 hard, 100 easy/100 hard, 200 easy/200 hard, 100 easy/100 hard, 50 easy/50 hard, 25 easy/25 hard; went 12:35 for the 1000 which is right at En2--5 seconds slower than my T-1000 but 25 seconds faster than my split on the T-3000.
12 x 150 @ 1650 pace (1:48), 1-4 @ 2:20, 5-8 @ 2:10, 100 easy, then 9-12 @ 2:00
8 x 50 kick @ 1:10
200 easy

Since I am done with my interventional boards, I have been reading Strunk & White's The Elements of Style and have written three pages of Peer Review which don't suck.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday October 29, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, Tom, James, Jean, and Eryn. Clint coached. Before I arrived at the pool yesterday morning the assistant age group coach apologized to the Masters team for his behavior last Saturday but apparently told them that he didn't know the swimmers who had jumped in our lane and that they said they hadn't done it anyway. Or something like that. Today he passed me in the locker room without speaking to or acknowledging me. You know, I love traditions, and tradition would dictate that, having been dishonored, he should fall on his sword.

200 SKP
6 x 200 @ 2:45, swam these moderate, averaged 2:30 or better
4 x 75 fly drill @ 1:20
4 x 75 fly @ 1:20
4 x 75 back drill @ 1:20
4 x 75 back @ 1:20
12 x 25 kick @ :40 alternating fly/back
200 easy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

100 years to live

Almost missed practice this morning when I was called to the ER at 4 am to evaluate a 99 year old gentleman from a local nursing home who had already been resuscitated once before I arrived. Fortunately, although the ER physician felt that his hands were tied because the family (reached by phone) was indecisive regarding the level of care that should be provided, the patient very clearly (and appropriately) asked that he not be shocked again. He was subsequently admitted to the floor for comfort care.

Swam at Nitro with Lynne, Steve, David, Chuck, and a professional triathlete from Brazil. Tom coached.

250 SKP
5 x 50 @ :50 build
Main set: 5 x 600, #1, 3, and 5 swim, #2 kick with fins, #4 pull; Lynne and I decided to swim all 5 @ 8:30. I averaged 7:36, which is a 1:16 pace (En2), but was not able to descend these.
200 easy

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday October 27, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, Tom, Lynne, and Jean. Clint coached.

200 swim, 200 kick/swim IM, 200 drill free
400 IM broken :10 at the 100, :30 rest
300 IM, :30 rest
200 IM, :30 rest
100 IM
12 x 75 free, 4 @ 1:15, 4 @ 1:10, 4 @ 1:05, held :53 (1650 pace); would have been an even better set with another four @ 1:00
3 x 200 pull @ 3:00, went 2:22, 2:18, 2:16--very good effort for me, didn't feel that fast
4 x 100 kick (no fins) @ 2:00
200 easy

I believe that Pete Orscheidt, my college coach, was right--the 500 is a sprint. Training for the mile will require a different approach.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday October 27, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Tom, Steve, Grant, Chuck, and Ron. The pool was set up long course. I did not get into any fights, and later in the morning I received an apology via email from the assistant coach who had called me out on Saturday.

400 SKP
200 IM kick
Ladder on a :45 base, 50/100/150/200/200/150/100/50, went 1:23s on the 100s, 2:48 and 2:47 on the 200s--good long course En2 set for me
50 fly/100 fly
100 back/50 back
50 breast/100 breast
100 free (1:21)/50 free (:39)
6 x 50 @ 1:00, held :37-:38 (400 race pace), felt smooth
100 easy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ouch

Swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
3 x 800 @ 13:00, went 11:21, 11:17 and 11:17 (splitting 5:35/5:42), HR 180; in 2004 I went 11:14 at long course Nationals in Savannah wearing FSI legskins
200 easy

Time for a nap. I am beginning to dread the last 300 of the 1500. Wonder if anyone will notice if I exit the pool early.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fight Club

So I had another run in today with one of the Nitro coaches. Toward the end of practice, we were told to move over two lanes for the age groupers, which we did. But shortly after, as I flipped and pushed off the wall, one of them jumped in beside me. Apparently we had not moved over far enough. So I flagged down their coach and asked him to give me a little warning in the future, at which point he became quite angry and told me it wasn't his job. I replied that he was after all the coach and was responsible for the safety of the swimmers in the pool. He refused to accept blame for the incident and, after exchanging some more words, asked me if I wanted to step outside. Seriously. I considered this for about 11 seconds, climbed on deck and gestured to him: "Let's go." (My high school coach, Pete Payne, had been a bully, but at sixteen there wasn't anything I could do about it. I'll be damned if I am going to tolerate that now, and I do have a black belt.) As I stood there looking at him he turned away, saying that he was working. Figures.

This is what I remember from today's practice:

400 swim
8 x 75 @ 1:15, two each fly/free/fly, back/free/back, etc
8 x 100, 2 each @ 1:40, 1:30, 1:20, 1:10, held 1:11s on the first six, made #7
400 pull
400 kick*

Plan to get in a good distance workout at Life Time tomorrow. My wife told me I should try to play nice with the other kids.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday October 22, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David and Tom. Clint coached.

400 swim
9 x 100 IM drill @ 1:45
400 IM pull
4 x 100 fly @ 2:00
4 x 100 back @ 1:45
4 x 100 breast @ 2:00
4 x 100 free @ 1:20, 1650 pace, went 1:09, 1:11, 1:11, 1:11
200 easy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday October 21, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, Ron, James, Lynn, and Chuck. Tom coached. I don't think I had fully recovered from yesterday afternoon's practice.

200 SKIPS
10 x 50 @ :55, odds build/moderate by 25, evens no breather/moderate by 25
Main set, 1:30 base:
200 moderate, went 2:26
2 x 100 @ 85%, averaged 1:09
4 x 50 fast, averaged :32s
Two minutes rest
4 x 50 moderate, averaged :35
200 @ 85%, went 2:20
2 x 100 fast, averaged 1:06
Two minutes rest
2 x 100 moderate, averaged 1:11
4 x 50 @ 85%, averaged :33-:34
200 fast, went 2:17
100 easy
3 x 4 x 25 @ :30, #1 fast/easy, #2 easy/fast, #3 fast, #4 easy
100 easy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Testing day

Skipped the morning practice at Nitro because I had to take my re-certification board exam in interventional cardiology. Sitting for the six hour exam requires proof of an adequate number of procedures (150 in the preceding two years) and 100 points worth of continuing education. Assuming I passed, the certificate will be valid until 2019, when I will be 61 (but still not as old as my good friend and teammate Tom).

Swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool. Trying to concentrate on anaerobic threshold sets in preparation for the 1500.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
8 x 300 @ 4:30 (first time I have done this set in Masters), holding 4:07 (1:22/100 pace=En2); HR at the end was 168
200 easy

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday October 19, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, Ron, Melanie, Tom, and Chuck. Clint coached. Since I am now training for the mile (an anaerobic threshold event), I have been trying to swim more sets at a moderate (En2) pace with relatively short (<20 sec) rest.

200 SKP
400 reverse IM, kick/swim by 50
Main set #1 (no breaks):
2 x 400 @ 5:30, pull/swim (went 4:56, 4:59)
2 x 200 @ 2:45, pull/swim (went 2:26, 2:27)
2 x 100 @ 1:30, pull/swim (went 1:11, 1:06
4 x 100 kick no fins @ 2:00
8 x 50 @ :50 breathing every 4th, averaged :33-:34 (breathing to the weak side)
16 x 25 @ :30 IM order
100 easy

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday October 16, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, James, and Tom. Clint coached.

400 SKP
5 x 400 @ 5:30, #1 moderate, #2 and #3 broken :20 at the 200, #4 broken :10 at the 100; went 5:03, 4:52, 4:48 (2:24/2:24=1650 race pace), and 4:42 (1:10/1:10/1:11/1:11)
400 pull
6 x 75 kick @ 1:30
200 easy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday October 15, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Kirk, Steve, David, James, and Tom. Clint coached.

300 swim/300 pull
5 x 300, odds free @ 4:00, evens fly/back/breast by 100 @ 4:45, swam the free moderate/En2 and held 3:45 comfortably
6 x 75 @ 1:10, 3 breaths on the third 25
6 x 50 @ 1:00 IM order
4 x 25 sprint with an easy 50 in between; I swam these with an eight beat kick and held :12-:13
100 easy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday October 14, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Chuck, Jean, Steve, and Ron. Tom wrote the workout and coached.

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
10 x 50 @ 1:00, breathing 5x/4x/3x/2x/1x/1x/2x/3x/4x/5x per 50
20 x 50 @ :40, held :36s
5 x 50 @ 1:00, breathing 5x/4x/3x/2x/1x per 50
10 x 50 @ :40, held :34s
3 x 50 @ 1:00 easy
4 x 50 @ :35, held :34s
200 easy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday October 13, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Tom, Lynne, Steve, and James. Clint coached. We are averaging close to 4000 yards now.

300 SKP
6 x 200 @ 3:00 moderate pace, averaged 2:27
8 x 100 @ 1:45: #1 IM, #2 fly/free by 25, #3 back/free, #4 breast/free, #5 free (went 1:11), #6 IM, #7 reverse IM, #8 IM fast (went 1:14)
400 pull
8 x 50 IM order @ 1:00, went :31 and :29 on the free
100 easy

Monday, October 12, 2009

Go the distance

Over the weekend I decided to shift my focus to the 1500/1650; I believe it will take a 19:30 (1:18 pace/100) for a top ten time this year in the 1500 (scm) and a 20:00 or faster (1:12+ pace/100) in the 1650 to place at Nationals. I will need to do more aerobic (En1) swimming and longer race pace sets. I have not swum the mile in competition since 1978 when I placed second with a fairly slow time in a very warm pool at the Woodlands (the only thing missing when I finished was the Hollandaise sauce--and an English muffin).

On Sunday I swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool.

400 swim/200 kick/400 pull
30 x 50 @ :45, 1500 race pace, averaged :39s
200 easy

This morning I swam at Nitro with Ron, Steve, Tom, and Lynne. The pool was set up long course. Clint coached.

300 SKP
10 x 100 drill @ 1:45
10 x 50 kick @ 1:10
4 x 150 pull @ 2:20, I did these breathing 3/5/7 by 50
500 for time, went 6:52 (1:20, 1:23, 1:24, 1:24, 1:21) , HR 156--probably should have been able to hold 1:22s on the middle three 100s
200 easy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hey, we won!

Of course the debate has already begun: Does President Obama really deserve the Nobel Peace Prize after only nine months in office? Sure he does, and more importantly, so do we, because we elected him and by doing so sent a clear message that we wanted the country to move in a different direction. The Nobel Committee recognized what the rest of the world has known for some time--that he, and by extension we the American people, embrace ideals that were not apparent in the foreign policy of the Bush administration. Not to mention the fact that the election of the nation's first African-American president is a measure of just how far we have come in dealing with the prejudices and social injustices of our past.

Swam at Nitro with Tom, David, Steve, Ron, James. Clint coached.

200 SKPI
8 x 150 build @ 2:15, descended from 1:48 to 1:46
16 x 50 kick IM order @ 1:00
400 pull, breathing 3/5/3/7
4 x 150 fly/back/breast by 50 @ 2:30, averaged 2:06
4 x 50 fast @ 1:00, went :31, :31, :30, :30
100 easy

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday October 8, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Jordan, Kirk, Ron, Steve, and David. Mary Anne coached.

400 SKP
8 x 50 IM order @ :50
4 x 75 IM @ 1:30, descended from 1:04 to :57
12 x 100 free, 1-3 @ 1:30, 4-6 @ 1:25, 7-9 @ 1:20, 10-12 @ 1:20, held 1:11
4 x 75 kick @ 1:30 no fins
4 x 50 descend @ 1:00, went :32, :31, :30, :29
100 easy

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Too much?

Are specialists overpaid? The government believes that they are, as evidenced by the proposed 2010 Medicare fee schedule that will significantly reduce payments to both cardiologists (a 20-40% pay cut) and oncologists, all of which is a bit ironic when you consider that the two leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer. Unfortunately this question is usually framed in the context of primary care reimbursement, which arguably is too low; the government's solution is a proverbial case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. But as the population ages, both primary care physicians and specialists will be needed, and both should be fairly compensated for their work. Does the additional training and expertise (not to mention the greater liability exposure) of a specialist justify a higher income? In the end that is for society to judge.

Lifted weights last night. Swam at Nitro this morning with James, Steve, Lynne, and David. Clint coached.

300 SKP
5 x 500 @ 7:00; pulled #2 and #4, went 6:37, 6:16, 6:13, 6:04, and 6:06 (out in 3:38)
200 easy

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday October 6, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Ron, James, Steve, and Lynne. Clint coached.

400 swim/300 kick/400 pull
16 x 50 IM order, 1-8 drill, 9-16 swim, @ :50
8 x 125 IM @ 1:45 (Ron picked this interval...I basically swam a 1000 IM)
400 IM kick
16 x 25 sprint IM order @ :30
100 easy

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday October 5, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, and Tom. Clint coached.

300 SKP
4 x 250 @ 3:45, 200 swim/50 drill
6 x 75 kick @ 1:30
6 x 250 @ 3:45, 200 moderate/50 fast, held 3:04s (out in under 1:30)
100 easy

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Austin City Limits Festival: The Airborne Toxic Event


This is one of our favorite groups (check them out), and we were able to catch their show Saturday afternoon before the rains came. We are on the front row--that's my wife in the white shirt standing next to my son in the gray jacket.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm not happy...

...with my health insurance, despite the fact that polls supposedly indicate that the majority of Americans are happy with theirs. Yesterday we tried to fill a prescription for my son and were told by the pharmacist that we owed $942 because Humana required pre-authorization for this particular medication. So his physician will need to call the insurance company and ask for approval from a nurse who has never met my son and is unfamiliar with his medical condition. Now his physician has absolutely no financial incentive to prescribe one drug over another--she selects the one that she believes is best for him (in this case a slow release form of a medication that he had been taking twice daily). The insurance company, on the other hand, would prefer a cheaper drug to maximize their profit margin; his health and well being are really not their primary concerns.

Swam at Nitro with Tom, Jordan, Ron, Steve, and Lynne. Clint coached.

400 swim/300 kick/400 pull
2 x 500 @ 7:00, went 6:25 and 6:16
10 x 50 kick (no fins) @ 1:00
3 x 300 @ 4:30, 200 moderate/100 fast, held 3:39
100 easy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday October 1, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Tom, Lynne, Jeanne and James. Clint coached.

400 swim/300 kick/400 pull
10 x 100 IM @ 1:45, descended from 1:22 to 1:16
400 IM pull
10 x 75 kick IM order (no fins) @ 1:30
400 IM pull
16 x 25 sprint IM order @ :30
100 easy

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"All wind and smoke."

In case you missed it, health care reform was dealt a fatal blow yesterday when the Senate Finance Committee, led by Senator Max Baucus (representing one of the country's least populous states), not once but twice rejected the so-called public option. Without a public option, there can be no meaningful reform. Without a public option, private insurers will continue to run roughshod over consumers, unencumbered by the threat of real competition. Without a public option, there can be no federal mandate that all individuals purchase coverage. Without a public option, tens of millions of Americans will remain uninsured. The last election was a repudiation of eight years of Republican politics, yet the Democrats lack the courage to lead with the public mandate they were given, instead capitulating to their conservative counterparts for fear of losing their re-election bids (and the generous campaign contributions from the insurance industry). And here I agree with Howard Dean: no tax dollars should be wasted on health care reform if there is no public option.

Swam at Nitro this morning with Lynne, Steve, Ron, David, Chuck, and Jordan. Tom coached. The main set was my suggestion, a favorite of my coach in New Bern, Frank McGrath.

300 SKP
20 x 25: 1-4 @ :40, 5-8 @ :35, 9-12 @ :30, 13-16 @ :25, 17-20 @ :20, first three in each round no breathers, number four easy; made all of them except the last no breather on :20
Main Set:
10 x 4 x 50 @ :50, descend 1-4 in each round (no breaks in between rounds) as follows: #1 En2, # 2 En3, #3 En3-1, and #4 En3-2. Averaged :37/:35/:33/:31-:32 and on the last round went :36/:34/:32/:30
100 easy

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday September 29, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, and Tom. Clint coached.

300 SKP
8 x 125 @ 1:45, 100 free/25 fly; tough first set, averaged 1:35s
8 x 50 @ 1:00 IM order
8 x 175 @ 2:45, 100 free/75 choice (I swam back), had to leave after #4 but averaged 1:08s on the free and swam the back easy

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hungry

Since today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (which is a day of fasting), I didn't swim. On this day we pray that our names (collectively) will be written in the Book of Life for the next year. Which reminds me of a joke my son heard at school (Jews always tell jokes in times of hardship). Two baseball fans are debating whether there is baseball in heaven. They make a pact that whichever one of them dies first will check it out and report back to the other. Some time passes, and one of them dies. He goes to heaven and, after having a look around, returns to find his friend. He tells him, "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there is indeed baseball in heaven." "That's great," his friend says, "But what's the bad news?" "You're pitching tomorrow."

Anyway, I did swim at Life Time yesterday afternoon in the indoor 25 meter pool.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
15 x 100 @ 1:30--held them all under 1:20; this was my best effort in quite a while. A few years ago I swam a similar set in New Bern at the YMCA (scy) with my training partners Mark Doyle and Andrea Packard--15 x 100 @ 1:20 holding 1:10s; they led the lane for most of that set so I did pick up a bit of a draft.
200 easy

Swam at Nitro on Saturday with Steve, David, Greg, Tom, and Larry. Clint coached.

500 SKP
Drop down 50s:
12 x 50 @ 2:00, subtracting 5 seconds from the interval after each 50, swam these fly
12 x 50 @ 1:00, subtracting 2, swam these free
12 x 50 @ 1:00, same way
Started a final round beginning at :50, dropping 2 seconds after each until we missed the interval, but the age groupers arrived and we had to leave

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday September 25, 2009

Skipped practice yesterday because I was fighting off a cold. Felt better this morning and swam at Nitro with Dave, Kirk, and Ron; Tom coached (and did an excellent job, as always).

250 SKP
1000 free: 25 easy/25 hard, 50 easy/50 hard, 75 easy/75 hard, 100 easy/100 hard, 100 easy/100 hard, 75 easy/75 hard, 50 easy/50 hard, 25 easy/25 hard; went 13:03
500 pull: 25 easy/25 hard...100 easy/100 hard
500 kick (no fins), same way
4 x 250 @ 3:45 descend, went 3:13, 3:07, 3:03, 2:54 (one of my fastest 250s I believe)
100 easy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Born to Run

Today the Boss turns 60, which is a bit surreal--almost as surreal as seeing the cover of the Born to Run album (released when I was a senior in high school) framed and hanging in my daughter's college dorm room.

Swam at Nitro next to Steve and Ron. Tom coached.

400 SKP
12 x 50, 1-3 @ :55, 4-6 @ :50, 7-9 @ :45, 10-12 @ :40
8 x 25 @ :30 build
6 x 100 @ 4:30 best possible effort with active recovery after each one, went 1:03, 1:02, 1:02, 1:02, 1:01, and 1:01
200 easy

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Personal best

Swam my fastest 200 IM in three decades today in practice. We have increased our yardage to 4000 on average, and it is paying off. Had my own lane and swam next to David, Steve, Tom, Eryn, and Jeanne. Clint coached.

400 SKP
6 x 275 @ 4:00, 200 free (averaged 2:24)/75 back
100 IM drill
400 IM pull
100 IM drill
200 IM kick (no fins)
100 IM drill
200 IM for time, went 2:28
200 easy

Next meet will be the weekend of November 21-22, short course meters, either San Antonio or Dallas. The meet in San Antonio is closer and will be a two day format, so I could swim both the 800 and the 400 free as well as the 200 free. Probably my last shot at a top ten time until I age up again in 2013 (and possibly my last chance to wear my Blue Seventy).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday September 21, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, and Tom. Clint coached.

300 SKP (got in late and swam about 400)
2 x 500 moderate @ 7:00, went 6:24 and 6:14
400 pull
3 x 250 (200 swim/50 drill) @ 3:30, went 2:23 on the second 200 and 2:21 on the third
5 x 50 kick @ 1:00 no fins
6 x 75 fast @ 1:10, averaged :48-:49
200 easy

Saturday, September 19, 2009

L'Shana Tova (Happy New Year)

To anyone I have wronged in the past year, accept my apologies. (This is a tradition on the Jewish New Year; you know who you are--no response necessary!)

Slept in this morning, then swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
8 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim
12 x 100:
1-4 @ 1:40, 5-8 @ 1:30, held 1:18s
1:00 rest
9-12 @ 1:20, made 'em
200 easy

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday September 18, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom, Steve, David, and Kirk. Clint coached.

400 swim, 300 kick, 400 pull
10 x 125 @ 2:00 breathing 3/6 by 50 then 9 on the last 25
300 pull
8 x 75 @ 1:10 breathing 3/6/9 by 25
300 kick
5 x 50 fast @ 1:00 breathing 6/9, held :31s
4 x 25 lung busters
200 easy

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday September 17, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, Jordan, James, and Tom. Clint coached.

500 swim, 300 kick, 500 pull
8 x 75 @ 1:15, 50 free/25 choice
10 x 100 @ 1:45, reverse IM order
8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, reverse IM order, no fins
10 x 25 fast @ :35, reverse IM order
200 easy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday September 16, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, Ron, Chuck, Jordan and James. Tom coached.

400 swim
8 x 50 @ :50 build
8 x 100 @ 1:15, made 'em
8 x 25 kick (no fins) @ :30, odds build, evens fast
8 x 75 @ :55, made the first four, then swam the last four on 1:00
4 x 5o kick @ 1:10
8 x 50 @ :40
2 x 100 kick @ 2:10
8 x 25 @ :18, made 'em
1 x 200 kick
200 easy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday September 15, 2009

One of the nice things about Nitro is that the pool is open for lap swimming from 9 until 3 during the school year, so on days like today (when I missed the Masters workout because of an emergency case) I can swim on my own later in the morning. For some reason Mike (Koleber), the head coach, reassured me before I started that the AED was functional and that he would ask the instructors in the lessons pool to keep an eye on me. He must know something I don't. Anyway, I had the main pool to myself and followed Clint's workout. And I remembered to swim away from the light.

300 SKP
8 x 150 @ 2:30, 100 free/50 stroke (IM order), averaged 1:10 on the free
50 sprint, went :28
8 x 100 IM pull @ 1:45, averaged 1:23
50 sprint, went :29
400 kick IM
50 easy
200 IM fast, went 2:30, a personal best
100 easy

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday September 14, 2009

Just finished reading Every Patient Tells a Story which illustrates how all too often we as physicians rely on test results rather than actually listening to and examining our patients. This morning I was called to see an elderly woman who was transferred in by helicopter from an outlying hospital where she had been admitted after a fall. She had injured her shoulder and was scheduled for surgery later today, but the computer-generated interpretation of a routine pre-operative ECG incorrectly stated that she was having a heart attack, or STEMI, prompting the emergent (and unnecessary) transfer.

Swam at Nitro with Tom and Eric, next to Steve, David, Lynne, Greg, Ron, and Kirk. Clint coached.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 swim
3 x 400 @ 4:00 "easy", averaged 3:50
500 kick, no fins
5 x 200 @ 2:30, made 4 of them
500 pull
100 easy

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday September 12, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Jeanne, Tom, David, Ron, Chuck, and Steve (both Ron and Steve are national champions). Clint coached. He intended for this to be a recovery workout.
800 swim
5 x 100 @ 1:30, #1 and 2 twinkies (breathing 2/3/4/5 by 25), # 3 easy, #4 and 5 zingers (breathing 5/4/3/2 by 25)
500 kick
400 pull
300 back
200 kick
100 pull
200 swim, went strong on this one for a 2:21
300 kick
400 pull
500 swim, went strong on the first 400 for a 4:49, then 100 easy
600 pull, breathing 3/5/3/7 by 100
100 easy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday September 10, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Kirk, James, Tom and Jordan. Clint coached.

500 swim, 200 kick, 500 pull
8 x 150 @ 2:15, 100 free (held 1:10)/50 IM order
10 x 50 kick IM order @ 1:00
2 x 400 IM pull
1 x 200 IM fast, went 2:31
100 easy

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday September 9, 2009

Lifted weights last night. Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, and James. Tom wrote the workout and coached. We are averaging 4000 yards these days.

200 SKP
3 x 500 @ 7:30, went 6:26, 6:16, 6:08
150 easy
2 x 500 @ 7:30, went 6:19 and 6:13
150 easy
1 x 500, went 6:06 (first 300 was under 3:35, but I fell off the pace after that)
150 easy

My goal for some time has been to consistently hold a 1:10 pace/100 in practice, but this has been elusive for repeat distances greater than a 150. I have decided to try for a 1:12 pace/100, which would be fast enough to break 20:00 in the 1650.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday September 8, 2009

Slept in yesterday and swam at Life Time in the outdoor 25 meter pool. I couldn't find a pace clock, so I did a 2000 straight, then an 800 pull, then 8 x 25 fly, then a 200 warm down. This morning I swam at Nitro next to Tom, David, Jordan, Jeanne, Eryn, and Melanie. Clint coached.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 pull
10 x 100 IM drill @ 1:45
6 x {200 IM @ 3:00 followed by a 25 lung buster @ 1:00}, averaged 2:45 or better on the IMs, went 2:39 on number 6
4 x 50 free @ 1:10, averaged :29-:30
100 easy

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday September 5, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, Greg, and Tom. Clint coached.

500 swim, 300 kick, 300 pull
5 x 100 drill @ 1:45
8 x 200, 1-4 @ 3:00 (descended from 2:30 to 2:21) and 5-8 @ 2:45 (descended from 2:26 to 2:20); Greg and Steve swam 10 @ 2:30, descending to 2:02; David (aka Sammy Save Up) went 2:39 on number 7, then blasted number 8 for a 2:12; Tom pulled these and descended to a 2:08.
8 x 25 lung busters @ :45
100 easy

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Days gone by

Back in the day we were taught that caring for patients is a privilege. And traditionally, caring for another physician or a physician's family member was considered a special privilege. Perhaps this sentiment has become obsolete. My son has been recovering from reconstructive surgery on his foot and was excited about the prospect of pin removal and application of a walking cast which would free him from the wheelchair he has been forced to use the past month. He had an appointment yesterday in San Antonio with his orthopedist, but we learned the night before that his surgeon was in fact out of town, consequently he would be seen by one of his associates. We confirmed that the plan was to remove his pins at the time of the visit. After waiting 2 1/2 hours to see the overbooked orthopedist yesterday (without any updates during that wait), my wife and son were told that it had only been three weeks (when in fact it had been four) since the surgery and that the pins would not be removed. When I questioned the surgeon by phone, he reiterated that he was only "helping out" and could not explain why the appointment had been scheduled for that day. I told him that my son (who was pretty upset by now) was in fact his patient that day and that I would appreciate it if he would stop telling me that he was just helping out, at which point he hung up on me. He proceeded to tell my wife that he had been on call the night before, had performed surgery that morning (which is what surgeons do, he added), and was seeing 42 patients in clinic. Consequently, he did not believe that he deserved the "grief" he was receiving.

Swam at Nitro yesterday morning with David, Kirk, Eric, and Tom. Clint coached.

500 swim, 300 kick, 400 pull
8 x 150 @ 2:15, 100 free/50 stroke IM order, held 1:10 pace on the freestyle
4 x 200 IM pull @ 3:15
400 IM broken :10 at the 100
200 easy

This morning I shared a lane with Tom, next to David, Steve, Larry, Eryn and Kirk. Clint coached. This was intended to be a recovery workout.

1000 swim
3 x 300 @ 4:00, swam these at a moderate pace, averaged 3:45
200 kick
500 pull
12 x 50 @ 1:00 from the middle of the pool, did 2 SDKs off the wall on each turn, averaged :31-:32
200 easy

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday September 2, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom, next to Greg, Steve, and David. Clint coached. I told Tom (who is about ten months older than me) that sharing a lane with him reminded me of what my Dad likes to say about Florida--too many old people.

400 SKP
10 x 100 @ 1:30, kicking at the wall for :10 before the next 100, averaged 1:15s
500 pull
5 x 200 @ 3:00, 1 & 2 moderate (went 2:26), 3 & 4 easy (went 2:33), 5 fast (went 2:17)
200 easy

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday September 1, 2009

Swam at Nitro next to Tom and David. Clint wrote the workout and coached.

500 SKP
5 x 100 IM drill @ 1:45
200 back
200 breast (leaving on Clint's send off, which wasn't much rest)
200 free (pull)
200 fly, broken :10 at each 25
12 x 50 kick, IM order, @ 1:00 (no fins)
16 x 25 @ :30 sprint, held :14
200 easy

Monday, August 31, 2009

Did somebody mention healthcare reform?

One of the interventional cardiologists at our hospital (who is neither formally trained nor board certified in interventional cardiology) parked a brand new Lexus LS 450 (base MSRP $77,260) in the physician's lot this morning. Almost as disturbing as the Ferrari owned by one of the other cardiologists who holds no board certification whatsoever.

Swam at Nitro next to Eric, Steve, and Greg. Tom coached. I suggested the main set, which is a favorite of mine used by my old coach in New Bern, Frank McGrath.

1000 warm up
10 x 50 @ 1:00 build
10 x 200 @ 3:00 swum as follows:
4 x 200, held 2:26
100 easy/active recovery
3 x 200, held 2:23
100 easy
2 x 200, held 2:22
100 easy
1 x 200, went 2:17 (1:06+/1:10)
100 easy

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two degrees of separation

In the film Six Degrees of Separation we are told that everyone on the planet is separated from each other by no more than six people. I was reflecting on this today while I watched coverasge of Senator Kennedy's funeral. During freshman week in college back in 1976, my roommate Daniel Smith and I decided that we should meet Caroline Kennedy. We would use the pretense that we were inviting classmates to a party that evening at our dorm. Anyway, it seemed like a good idea at the time. So we grabbed a shuttle bus to Radcliffe, located her dorm, and obtained her room number from a student working at the front desk. We knocked on her door, and it was opened by a casually dressed young woman wearing a pink shower cap. To her credit she was extremely polite, introducing herself and shaking our hands. She didn't attend the party, and our paths never crossed again. Nevertheless, I suppose that anyone who knows me (or Daniel) is separated from the late Senator by only two degrees.


Yesterday was pyramid Friday, a recovery day (100, 200, 300, 400, 400, 500, 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100). Swam at Nitro this morning with Steve, David, Greg, Kirk, and Tom. Clint coached.


Warmup was a "snake" (575 yards)
800 pull
5 x 100 kick @ 2:20
16 x 50s starting in the middle of the pool @ 1:00, 500 race pace, held :33 or better
10 x 50s stroke (back/fly) @ 1:00 starting in the middle of the pool
4 x 25 from a dive
200 easy

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why IM...tired

Swam at Nitro next to Steve, Kirk, and Melanie. Tom wrote the workout and coached.

200 SKIPS
8 x 50 IM drill @ 1:00
200 IM easy @ 3:30
100 fly fast @ 2:30, went 1:11
200 IM easy @ 3:30
100 back fast @ 2:30, went 1:16
200 IM easy @ 3:30
100 breast fast @ 2:30, went 1:24
200 IM easy @ 3:30
100 free fast @ 2:30, went 1:02
100 easy
200 IM for time, went 2:32, which is I believe a Masters personal best
200 easy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The 300

Swam at Nitro next to Greg, Steve, and David. Tom coached.

500 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull, 500 swim (smooth/build by 50)
8 x 300:
#1 pull breathing 3/5/7
#2 build by 100, went 3:42
#3 kick
#4 negative split, went 3:35
#5 drill
#6 moderate/smooth/moderate by 100, went 3:34
#7 easy free/stroke by 50
#8 fast, went 3:27, a Masters personal best
100 easy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday August 25, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, Greg, David, and Tom. Clint coached.

300 SKP
8 x 100 IM drill @ 1:45
8 x 50 pull IM order @ 1:00
8 x 50 kick IM order @ 1:00
5 x 200 IM, 1-3 @ 2:45 (tough interval, went too fast on the first one--2:38), 4-5 @ 3:00
200 easy

Monday, August 24, 2009

A bit sore today...

...after moving my daughter into her fourth floor dorm room yesterday. Good cross training, I suppose. It was a bit surreal to see a Bruce Springsteen poster (the cover photo from Born to Run) hanging on her wall. My son and I play a lot of table hockey (which I prefer to video games); we had a highlight reel play last night when the head came flying off of one of my players and rolled across the "ice", a career-ending injury one would assume. Amazingly he was able to continue playing, but his head just wasn't in the game.

Swam at Nitro this morning next to Greg, Steve, David, et al. We each had our own lane (short course), but that will change next week when the high schoolers begin practicing early in the morning. Clint coached.

400 SKP
10 x 100 @ 1:30, breathing 3/6/9/3 by 25, averaged 1:16
800 pull
16 x 25 sprint @ :30, first 10 stroke (did fly/back), last 6 free
200 easy

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Tell me everything is all taken care of by those qualified to take care of it all."

Another line from the new Dave Matthews cd. I have been thinking about this a lot lately in relation to events at work and in the news. Yesterday I performed a complex coronary intervention on one of my patients with whom I have become very well acquainted over the past two years; the success of the procedure was a product of my training, seventeen years of experience, and continuing education in the form of conferences, self study, and the board certification (and recertification) process. Patients should be able to make the assumption that we are qualified to "take care of it all" (although there are practicing interventional cardiologists who are neither board certified nor formally trained) just as we should be able to place our confidence in our elected leaders.

Yesterday morning I swam at Nitro next to Greg and James. Clint coached. He called it "Pyramid Friday."

800 swim
700 pull
600 swim, alternate 100 free/100 breast
500 pull, went 6:12
400 free, alternate 100 free, 100 back
300 pull, went 3:40
200 swim, alternate 50 free, 50 fly
100 pull
50 fast
200 easy

Swam at Nitro this morning. Clint coached. The pool was set up short course.

Warm up was a "snake" with a push up on the deck after each 25. I went first and was not supposed to let anyone catch me. Steve started third or fourth in line but quickly moved into second. He is a national champion in the 50 free, so I knew I would need some help. As I got out after each 25, I shoved a gear bag in his way to slow him down. When I ran out of gear bags, I threw a water bottle which (unintentionally) hit his goggles. In truth, I believe he swam into the water bottle, although he may dispute this version. He caught me in the last few yards (575 total).
8 x 75 drill @ 1:15
600 pull
400 kick
5 x 200 @ 3:30 broken 10 sec at the 50, averaged 2:10
5 x 25 sprint from a dive, worked on my track start which is coming along
100 easy

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You cannot be serious

A Scottish judge today released the convicted Lockerbie bomber so that he may return to Libya to be with his family. Apparently he has terminal prostate cancer with only months to live. It is unfortunate that his victims on Pan Am flight 103 were not shown the same mercy before their deaths. Trading lives for oil--again.

Lifted weights last night. Swam at Nitro this morning with Steve, David, Greg, James, Tom, and Eric. Clint wrote the workout and coached. Long course season appears to be over.

300 SKP
10 x 100 IM drill @ 2:00, averaged 1:24
10 x 50 @ 1:00 starting in the middle of the pool and working on turns, did 1 SDK off the wall on each turn
5 x 75 kick with fins @ 1:10
20 x 25 @ :30, odds sprint IM order (I swam most of them fly), evens lung busters underwater
200 easy

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday August 18, 2009

Swam at Nitro next to Steve, David, Lynne, and Tom. Clint coached. The pool was set up short course.

200 SKP
10 x 200s: 1 & 2 free @ 3:00, 3 & 4 back @ 3:00, 5 & 6 breast @ 3:30, 7 fly broken at the 50, 8 fly broken at the 25, 9 IM (went 2:40), 10 IM kick
200 easy (had to leave early for a meeting)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Breathless

Swam at Nitro next to David, Steve, Greg, Eric, Eryn, Larry, and Melanie. Tom wrote the workout and coached. The pool was set up short course.

200 swim/200 drill/200 pull/200 swim
5 x 4 x 25, odd rounds build @ :30, evens kick @ :35
12 x 25 no breathers, 1-3 @ :40, 4-6 @ :35, 7-9 @ :30, 10-12 @ :25
12 x 100, 1-3 @ 1:25, 4-6 @ 1:20, 7-9 @ 1:15, 10-12 @ 1:10, made ten of 'em
8 x 50 @ 1:00 breath control, 5 breaths on 1 & 5, 4 breaths on 2 & 6, 3 breaths on 3 & 7, 2 breaths on 4 & 8
200 easy

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good one

Swam in the indoor 25 meter pool at Life Time. I really enjoy training short course meters, and the pool is maintained at a constant 79-80 degrees (which makes a big difference).

400 swim/200 kick/400 pull
5 x 100 @ 2:00, 1 & 2 twinkies, 3 easy, 4 & 5 zingers
4 x 4 x 100 @ 1:45, descend within each round (En 2, En 3, En 3-1, En 3-2), averaged 1:22/1:20/1:18/1:15, went 1:12 on the last 100 (400 race pace). Did 1 SDK off the wall on each turn
200 easy

Planning to combine two of my posts ("Second Opinion" and "Funny the way it is") and submit a letter to the New York Times. Very unsettling to watch our elected representatives (and the country as a whole) discuss an issue (health care) which I know intimately. It is becoming clearer to me how we as a nation have made some of the missteps, both foreign and domestic, of the past few decades.

Saturday August 15, 2009

Swam at Nitro next to Steve, Greg, Tom, and Jeanne. Clint wrote the workout and coached. The pool was set up short course.

15 minute warm up; I went 800 yards
4 x 200s "for time, 10 sec rest"; since I wasn't really warmed up at this point without a transition set, and 10 sec isn't enough rest for fast repeats, I decided to swim them on 3:30 and descended from 2:25 to 2:20.
10 x 150s "75 easy, 75 fast, 10 sec rest"; we swam these on 2:15, and with Steve's help I worked on taking one SDK off the wall on each turn
800 pull, no interval; I did breath control (3/5/3/7)
5 x 50s sprint from a dive
200 easy

Ordered Mastering Swimming by Jim Montgomery and Mo Chambers. Planning to swim at Life Time tomorrow.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Funny the way it is, if you think about it..."

In the "debate" over end of life discussions, neither party has it right.  The Democrats have proposed payment to physicians when they perform this task (presumably because they believe it will reduce health care costs in the long run), while the Republicans have invoked the specter of a "death panel" and insisted that these decisions should be left to the patients and their families.  Under the current fee for service model of health care, I am paid for the actual work I do, whether that work involves a consultation, a diagnostic study, an invasive procedure, or a follow up visit.  I have always viewed end of life discussions as an ongoing narrative rather than a isolated piece of work.  They are an integral part of what we as physicians do in caring for elderly patients with a deteriorating quality of life and dwindling therapeutic options.  The octogenarian described in "Second Opinion" had been seeing me for quite some time, and we had had frank discussions about his prognosis and his wishes over the course of many hospital and office visits.  Unlike the hospitalist who works an eight to twelve hour shift, meets patients for the first time when they are admitted with an acute illness or progression of a chronic condition, and does not see them again in follow up upon discharge from the hospital, I am able to develop long term relationships with my patients that afford me a unique perspective on their care.  Carving out the end of life discussion (and reimbursing me for it) as an entity separate from the rest of my daily routine is unnecessary and awkward.

Patients have the right to decide how they will die.  But lacking medical training and experience, they need the advice of their physicians in order to make the best possible decision. No family member can supplant this, regardless of how well meaning they may be.  I believe my patient's daughter did him a disservice,  subjecting him to a battery of invasive and noninvasive procedures that in the end had no impact on his quality of life or life expectancy.  (As one of my attendings was fond of saying, "Beware the daughter from out of town.")  As for the cardiovascular specialists who recommended these procedures, only to decide in the end that he was not a surgical candidate, I can only say that the patient and I had reached the same conclusion months earlier.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday August 13, 2009

Swam at Nitro next to James, Steve, David, and Greg. The pool was set up long course. Clint coached.

400 SKP
10 x 75 @ 1:15 50 free/25 stroke drill
10 x 100 IM @ 1:45, last five were all 1:18 or better
5 x 25 sprint @ :30, did the first two no breather
200 easy

Would like to start adding 500-1000 yards at the end of practice, and I may start using my drag chute occasionally.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday August 12, 2009

Swam at Nitro next to Steve, Greg, and Chuck. Tom coached. The pool was set up short course today.


4 x 150 swim/50 kick
3 x 100 @ 1:30, easy/build by 50, fast/easy by 25, easy/fast by 25
4 x 100 kick without fins @ 2:00 (could not make this interval back in the day, so some things do improve with age)
2 x 150 swim @ 2:30 easy/six beat kick/easy, six beat kick/easy/six beat kick by 50
3 x 100 kick @ 2:00
2 x 150 swim @ 2:30 easy/build/easy, build/easy/build by 50
2 x 100 kick @ 2:00
2 x 150 swim @ 2:30 easy/build/easy, build/easy/build by 50
1 x 100 kick
2 x 150 swim @ 2:30 easy/build/easy, then fast for time, went 1:39 (31+/34/34)
150 easy

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Second opinion

Last summer an elderly patient of mine managed to survive an out of hospital arrest and received an implantable defibrillator. He was in his eighties, had undergone a prior bypass, and was not in the best of health. He had developed significant valvular disease with congestive heart failure but was doing reasonably well with medical therapy. I knew him well and did not believe that he would survive a second operation; consequently, I recommended conservative management. We discussed his situation at length, and he agreed with my recommendation. When he missed a subsequent follow up appointment, I was not particularly concerned as I knew that his wife had a number of medical issues, and he did return to the pacemaker clinic for routine interrogation of his defibrillator.


Yesterday I learned that his daughter had arranged for him to have a second and a third opinion, a process which over the past several months included a cardiac catheterization, a transesophageal echocardiogram, a trip to the OR (without actually undergoing surgery), an evaluation at the Mayo Clinic, and consultations with two different groups of surgeons. After being seen by a dozen or so cardiovascular specialists, none of whom ever tried to contact me, the verdict was that he was a poor surgical candidate and should be treated medically.


Lifted weights and did crunches last night. Swam at Nitro this morning with Tom, next to Greg and Tripp (one of the age group coaches), James and Larry. Clint wrote the workout and coached. The pool was set up long course.


200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull
8 x 50 @ 1:00 drill with fins, IM order
Main set:
8 x 200 IM @ 3:10 with fins, each followed by a 50 lung buster (underwater) ; fastest was 2:52
400 easy

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday August 10, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom, next to Greg and Jordan, Steve and Lynne. Water temp was 83 degrees. The pool was set up long course.

400 swim, 400 kick
16 x 50 @ :55 drill/swim by 25
6 x 250 free @ 4:00 descend 1-3 and 4-6, went 3:39/3:37/3:34, 3:42/3:38/3:31
4 x 100 @ 2:00 easy

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday August 6, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Tom and Jordan, next to Larry and Melanie. The pool is still set up long course.

600 swim/200 kick/200 IM drill
8 x 50 kick with fins @ :50
100 easy
10 x 100 IM @ 1:45, averaged 1:31-32
5 x 100 stroke @ 2:00, went fly/back, averaged 1:31
100 easy

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday August 5, 2009

Lifted weights and did crunches last night. Swam at Nitro this morning with Jordan and Chuck. Tom wrote the workout and coached.

200 swim/100 drill/200 kick/100 drill/200 pull/100 drill
8 x 50 @ 1:00, odds DPS (36 strokes), evens build to 85%
3 x 50 @ :50 smooth
2 x 50 @ :45 build
1 x 50 fast
1:00 rest
3 x 100 @ 1:40 smooth, averaged 1:24-25
2 x 100 @ 1:30, held 1:21
1 x 100 fast, went 1:19
1:00 rest
3 x 200 @ 3:20 smooth, averaged 2:54
2 x 200 @ 3:00, went 2:48 and 2:51
2:00 rest
1 x 200 fast, went 2:40, split it 1:19/1:21
100 easy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sword boat captain

In The Perfect Storm, George Clooney's character, Billy Tyne, tells Linda Greenlaw, a woman sword boat captain, what he finds special about his job:

The fog's just lifting. Throw off your bow line; throw off your stern. You head out to South Channel...the guys are busy; you're in charge. You know what? You're a goddam sword boat captain! Is there anything better in the world?

At the core of medical jurisprudence is the concept that the physician is the "captain of the ship," meaning that the ultimate responsibility for the fate of a patient rests with him or her. We may delegate tasks to other health care professionals, but when there is a bad outcome, we are the ones held liable. And this is how it should be. Yet today, in the politically correct environment of a modern hospital, we are told that we are to function as a team, unrestricted by the traditional hierarchy. Any and all members of that team can and should question the decisions of the physician, according to this new paradigm.

Last night I received a call from a hospital pharmacist regarding an order written by one of my partners earlier in the day. The patient was a gentleman with refractory heart failure which was not responding to conventional treatment. My colleague appropriately chose to initiate an infusion of a drug indicated for just such a condition. The pharmacist had called to tell me that the drug would need to be brought in from another facility, but then proceeded to share with me her opinion regarding the patient's care and our choice of treatment (which did not meet with her approval). She informed me that as a pharmacist she was qualified to do more than simply comment on drug interactions and incompatibilities.

After our conversation, I found it ironic that although I stayed at the helm as it were for the remainder of my call night, she finished her shift and left. As Linda Greenlaw wrote in her book The Hungry Ocean, never ask the crew of a sword boat if the hold is full, because "the crew always want to go home."

Swam at Nitro with Tom and Jordan, next to Lynne and Steve.

400 swim, 400 kick, 400 pull
16 x 50 @ 1:00 IM order, drill/swim by 25
3 x 200 IM @ 4:00, went 3:08, 3:04, 2:59, averaged :38-:39 for the fly
2 x 50 "lung busters" kicking underwater with fins, made it about halfway

Monday, August 3, 2009

Heat wave

Swam at Nitro with Jordan and Tom, next to Steve, Lynne, and Greg. Melanie wrote today's workout since Mike is on vacation. The pool was set up long course. The water temp was a balmy 84 degrees.

600 swim, 200 kick
Main set:
300/2 x 200/2 x 100/4 x 50 @ :50 base/50
100 easy
4 x 50/2 x 100/2 x 200/300 @ :45 base
100 easy

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Swimming with the fishes

Swam at Barton Springs (about a ten minute drive from my house) this morning with Channel swimmers Lynne Smith and David Blanke.  Here's an interesting fact:  fewer than 1000 people have successfully swum across the English Channel, compared to over 1500 who have climbed Mt. Everest.  We began at 5:30 while it was still dark and swam 12 round trips of 400 meters each for a total of 4800 meters, finishing shortly after 7:00.  Since I have trouble swimming in a straight line in open water, especially in the dark, I probably swam at least 10% more than that.  After each round trip, Lynne likes to announce the total ("That's one!"), sort of like the Phelps Visa commercial where he is swimming "laps" across the Atlantic.  I actually did lose count at one point, somewhere around number 7 or 8.  I had this song stuck in my head from the new Dave Matthews CD, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King:

I grew from monkey into man 
Then I crushed 15 million with a wave of my hand
I grew drunk on water turned into wine 
'Til I was slave and master at the same damn time

It's why I am 
It's why I am 
Why I am still here dancing with the Groogrux King 



Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday July 31, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David, Steve, Eryn, and Melanie. The pool was set up long course.

800 swim, worked on weak side breathing
8 x 50 kick with fins @ :50
8 x 150 pull @ 2:30, fastest was 1:56
4 x 200 @ 4:00--#1 straight, #2 broken :15 at the 100, #3 broken :05 at the 50, and #4 straight; went 2:46, 2:44, 2:42, 2:41
100 easy

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nothing special

Swam at Nitro with Steve, next to Greg and Jeanne. The pool was set up long course. Water temp was 82. We really don't have a coach on deck (Clint gives instruction to a handful of novice swimmers in the lesson pool and tells us when our time is up), but Mike Koleber writes our workouts on a white board the night before.

500 swim, 500 kick
10 x 50 @ 1:00, worked on six beat kick and weak side breathing
10 x 50 @ 1:00 pull
10 x 50 @ :55, worked on six beat kick and weak side breathing again, averaged :40
10 x 50 @ 1:05 choice, odds fly, evens easy back; averaged :40 on the fly
100 easy

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Howdy!

That is how you are greeted as you walk through the A & M campus--a really nice tradition.  While I was there, I also learned about the Corps, Aggie Muster, the Twelfth Man, and Midnight Yell, all great traditions, too.  I am ready to trade in my crimson for maroon.  And, of course, I swam at the natatorium (for free) last night and again this morning.  The pool was set up long course, with a water temp of 80 degrees, and I even had a lane to myself.

Tuesday night:
800 warm up
200 kick
4 x 200 pull @ 3:30, held 2:41
3 x 200 swim @ 3:30, held 2:48
2 x 200 swim @ 3:30, held 2:46
1 x 200 swim @ 3:30, went 2:46, HR 160 (felt bad on this set, maybe because I'm not used to swimming in the evening, or maybe because I hadn't eaten much during the day)
100 easy

Wednesday morning:
400 swim
8 x 50 drill @ 1:00
10 x 100 swim @ 1:40, held 1:21 (but not easily), HR 160
100 easy
8 x 50 @ :45
100 easy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday July 27, 2009

Lifted weights and did crunches yesterday, then played volleyball with my kids in the Life Time gym. Swam at Nitro this morning with David, next to Steve and Greg.

600 swim, 300 kick
6 x 250 pull @ 4:00; I descended 1-3 and 4-6, fastest was 3:20
6 x 150 swim, middle 50 sprint kick in streamline position, @ 2:30--not a lot of rest on these
4 x 50 @ 1:00, odds fast, evens easy, went :34s on the fast ones
100 easy

I will be with my daughter in College Station on Tuesday and Wednesday as she registers for classes. Gig 'em!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday July 25, 2009

Slept in this morning and swam in the indoor 25 meter pool at Life Time with my daughter.  

400 warm up
8 x 25 kick @ :35
400 pull, breathing 3/5/3/7
4 x 75 @ 1:30, drill/DPS (15 SPL)/build by 25
Main set, 3 x 4 x 150 @ 2:30
1st round held 2:00
2nd round held 1:58
3rd round held 1:55, went 1:54 on the last one
100 easy

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday July 24, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, and Tom. The pool was set up long course.

600 swim
8 x 50 kick @ :50
Main set, which I decided to pull:
400 easy, 400 for time, went 5:15
300 easy, 300 for time, went 3:57
200 easy, 200 for time, went 2:35
100 easy, 100 for time, swam this one and went 1:15
4 x 50 @ :45
100 easy

Have not really cranked on a pull set like that since Carter was in the White House. I have to thank my physical therapist (Jennifer Smart) and the orthopedic surgeon who referred me to her (instead of recommending an operation).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday July 23, 2009

Swam at Nitro with David and Tom, next to Steve. The pool was set up long course.

500 swim, 300 kick
3 x 300 pull @ 5:00, breathing 3/5/7 by 100, descend; went 4:20, 4:10, 4:04
4 x 200 IM @ 4:00, drill one 50 of each 200
8 x 100 IM @ 1:45, average 1:27
100 easy



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday July 22, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, Greg and Louis. Tom coached. The pool was set up long course.

500 swim, 500 kick
5 x 100 pull @ 1:30
500 swim, went 7:22, then 2 x 50 kick fast with :10 rest in between
1:00 rest
400 swim, went 5:49, then 2 x 50 kick fast
1:00 rest
300 swim, went 4:20, then 2 x 50 kick fast
1:00 rest
200 swim, went 2:46, then 2 x 50 kick fast
1:00 rest
100 swim, went 1:15.1
100 easy

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No end in sight

At this point, I am not sure which is worse: the story on msnbc.com about the arrest of a Harvard professor at his home in Cambridge, arguably the victim of racial profiling, or the readers' comments that followed. On the heels of the widely publicized story earlier this month about the inner city kids in Philadelphia who were asked not to return to the swimming pool at the Valley Club, it should be obvious that the election of an African-American President does not signal an end to racism.

Swam at Nitro with David and Steve. Tom coached. The pool was set up long course.

800 swim
8 x 50 kick with fins @ :50
8 x 50 pull @ :50
3 x 200 IM @ 3:30, held 3:11, felt sluggish on these
2 x 200 IM @ 3:15, went 3:04 and 3:05
1 x 200 IM, went 2:55--possibly a workout PB
8 x 50 @ 1:00, odds fast, evens easy, averaged :36s on the fast ones, went :34 high on number 7
100 easy

Monday, July 20, 2009

More boring swim stuff

Swam at Nitro next to Steve, Tom, Eric, and Jordan. The pool was set up long course. We had our own lanes again.

500 swim, 400 kick
4 x 250 @ 4:30, 100 free/50 fast kick/100 free; held 1:23s on the first 100 of each 250 but went 1:21 on number four
4 x 250 @ 4:15, 100 free/25 "surf" kick, 25 head-up free/100 free; held 1:21s on the first 100 of each 250
10 x 50 @ :50, odds 400 race pace (held :38s), evens easy back
100 easy

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday July 19, 2009

We modified our call rotation so that we have two physicians sharing call on weekends. Consequently, after rounds I was able to join my family for breakfast at the Counter Cafe--one of our favorite spots--and later went to Life Time for a swim.

800 swim, 200 kick, 500 pull
Main set, "Double Up"--50/100/200--three times through on 1:00 base/50
Round one:  :42/1:24/2:48
Round two:  :38/1:18/2:38
Rested an extra minute,
Round three: :37/1:16/2:31
150 easy
8 x 25 fly @ :45
100 easy

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday July 18, 2009

Swam at Nitro this morning next to Chuck, David, Steve, Tom, and Louis.  We had our own lanes since the turnout was light.  Several swimmers were at Zones in Houston.

500 swim, 300 kick, 400 pull
Main set, three rounds of 50/100/150/200/150/100/50:
Round 1 moderate free @ :50 base
Round 2 kick with fins @ :50 base
Round 3 free @ :45 base, went :38/1:22/2:07/2:47/2:05/1:23?/:42?
100 easy

Lifted weights and did crunches at Life Time after I finished rounds.  I plan to continue lifting at least twice weekly.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday July 16, 2009

Lifted weights last night. Swam at Nitro this morning with Kirk, next to Greg and Eryn. The pool was set up long course.

400 swim, 400 kick
16 x 50 @ 1:00 drill/swim by 25
10 x 150 @ 2:30, decided to work the free--
Odds fly/free/back, held around 2:17
Evens free/back/free, held 2:08s
100 easy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday July 14, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Greg and Lynne. We chose the free option instead of the IMs for the main set. The pool was set up long course.

800 swim
8 x 50 kick @ :50
8 x 100 pull @ 1:30
4 x 300 @ 4:30; not enough rest to descend these, so I held 4:17s
8 x 50 @ 1:10, no breaths first 25/easy second 25

Monday, July 13, 2009

Three miles


Swam at Barton Springs yesterday with Lynne (Smith, Channel swimmer), Jack Lee and Henry McCreedy. The water there is a constant 68 degrees which feels pretty good this time of year. We began at 5:30 am when it was still dark and finished around 7:15. We swam a total of 14 laps, 400 meters in length, to equal 5600 meters, my highest total in Masters swimming. Felt like I could have swum a few more laps when we finished.

This morning I swam at Nitro with Tom and Larry, next to Steve, David and Lynne. The pool was set up long course.

600 swim, 300 kick, 300 pull
10 x 150, odds free (technique) @ 2:30, evens choice/kick without board/free by 50 @ 2:45
10 x 50 @ :45, held :39-:40
100 easy

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hot town, summer in the city

Swam at Nitro with Larry and Tom, next to Steve, Kirk, and David. The water was warm. We modified the workout because it didn't look like much fun (the main set as written was 500/400/300/200/100 without any intervals). Clint didn't seem to notice. The pool was set up long course.

1000 swim
500 kick with fins
400 pull, then 4 x 100 @ 1:30, pretty ugly, averaged 1:24
300 pull, then 3 x 100 @ 1:30, about the same as the first four
200 pull, then 2 x 100 @ 1:30, went 1:19/1:20, experimented with a higher elbow on the recovery which I think helps me rotate more (if I'd had a coach on deck he would have been able to tell me)
100 pull, then 1 x 100, went 1:17 (I didn't sprint this one)
100 easy

May sleep in tomorrow and swim in the nice cool waters of Life Time. I think I am a short course swimmer. Or maybe I am just getting old.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Flying away...

To New Zealand. Or maybe France. I was in the doctors' dining room today and overheard two physicians discussing Sarah Palin. One said, "She had some really good ideas." Then perhaps she should have expressed them using punctuation and words you can find in a dictionary. The other one replied, "They [the media?] just scared the **** out of her." The woman who shoots wolves from a helicopter and can field dress a moose? Coincidentally, last night I began reading The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet. They speak English in New Zealand, but I can brush up on my French with Rosetta Stone.

Swam at Nitro with Steve, David, and Tom. Water temp was 86, which is too warm. The pool was set up long course.

800 warm up, every 4th 50 nonfree
4 x 100 kick with fins @ 1:45
4 x 150 pull @ 2:30 breathing 3/5/7 by 50
8 x 100 fly/back @ 2:00
8 x 50 nonfree @ 1:30, swam odds fly and averaged :39s, evens back
100 easy

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Read the sign

Not a great workout for me this morning. Felt sluggish during warm up--possibly still recovering from weights on Sunday, the set of 300s on Monday, and the long course fly yesterday. Actually had my own lane at Nitro today because the age groupers came in later than usual. Swam next to David on one side and Greg on the other. Tom coached.

200 swim/100 kick
200 swim/100 pull
6 x 50 @ :50, build

Main set, 4 x through:
4 x 50 @ :55 descend
1 x 200 for time, negative split
1:00 rest

600 kick with fins: 50 easy/50 hard, 100 easy/100 hard, 100 easy/100 hard, 50 easy/50 hard
100 easy warm down

Held 2:40s on the 200s (splitting 1:19/1:21). Had a much better set of 200s at Life Time (short course meters) two weeks ago, averaging 2:40 for a set of three 200s @ 2:50. My HR today after the third one was 156 which means I was still only in the En2 training zone (despite my perceived level of effort).

If you find yourself near the Embarcadero in San Francisco, check out the Fog City Diner. Cool decor, great comfort food, and they do take American Express.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday July 7, 2009

Swam at Nitro with Steve, Kirk, David and Tom. The pool was set up long course. The thermometer read 82 degrees, but the water felt warmer than that. Still better than an outdoor pool.

400 swim, 400 kick
8 x 100 pull @ 1:30, held 1:18-1:19
8 x 200, odds 100 fly/100 back, evens 50 back/150 free, @ 4:00
100 easy

Would like to be able to swim smooth 100 fly repeats long course; not quite there yet.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Aging up

My good friend Paco, a fellow time traveler, celebrated his seventh birthday yesterday, which means that he and I are in the same age group. It also means that he qualifies for AARP and will be taking advantage of the early bird special at local restaurants. Of course he already becomes agitated when his dinner is delayed past 5 pm.

Lifted weights and did crunches yesterday. Slept in this morning, then swam in the indoor 25 meter pool at Life Time after rounds and before clinic.

400 swim, 200 kick, 400 swim
16 x 25 kick (no fins) @ :35
5 x 300 @ 5:00, descend; went 4:12/4:09/4:05/4:02/3:59
100 easy

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday July 4, 2009

Woke up at the usual time, which was a real struggle this morning.  On STEMI call this weekend, which means I do not have to make rounds but need to be available (arriving in the ER within thirty minutes) if a patient presents with a heart attack.  The national D2B (door-to-balloon) initiative requires that we have re-established blood flow to the heart muscle by inflating a balloon inside the occluded coronary artery within ninety minutes of the patient's arrival in the ER.  The data is maintained in a national data base.  Ninety one minutes is labeled a failure.  So I swim with my pager in a water proof pouch on the pool deck and a pair of scrubs in my gym bag.

Swam with Steve, Jeanne, and Eryn, next to Greg, David, and Tom.  The pool was set up long course.  The main set is a modification of one written by my old coach in New Bern, Frank McGrath.

100 swim/50 fly kick/100 swim/50 back kick/100 swim/50 breast kick/100 swim/50 free kick
8 x 50 kick @ 1:15 (no fins)

Main set, 4 x through:
200 aerobic (En2) @ 3:30 averaged 2:50, number 4 was 2:47
100 moderate (En3) @ 1:30, went 1:20/1:19/1:18/1:18
50 fast @ :40, averaged :38s
50 easy, 1:00 rest

50 fast from a dive, went :32.15
100 easy