Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"We get old all at once
And it comes like a punch
In the gut, in the back, in the face." 

The Airborne Toxic Event, All At Once.

Last Monday I swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool despite continued discomfort in the region of my right rhomboid major.  I went 3300 meters, including a strong set of 6 x 300 @ 4:30, averaging 4:10.  The discomfort was tolerable while I was swimming, but I experienced significantly more pain when I finished.  Against my better judgment I scheduled an appointment the following day with a chiropractor who has treated many of the local triathletes as well as a few of my training partners at Nitro. I actually felt better after some deep tissue massage, but then he decided to work on my spine.  Unlike physicians, chiropractors believe that misalignment of the spine contributes to many common afflictions, and he proceeded to "realign" my vertebral column, rendering me speechless (and breathless) in the process.  This was followed by ten useless minutes of "e-stim" and a few more minutes of ultrasound therapy.  I was in agony on the drive home, and I was in so much pain that evening that I was unable to find any comfortable position whatsoever; I found myself considering the possibility that my swimming "career" was at an end. 

I decided to rest the next four days and stayed out of the water and away from the weight room.  I stretched, applied ice, and continued twice daily dosing of Aleve.  The discomfort gradually returned to a more tolerable level, just about where it was before my Monday evening swim.  I swam at Nitro on Saturday morning but kept the pace moderate and applied ice immediately after practice.  Since Barton Springs was closed on Sunday due to the recent heavy rains, I rested again but continued my routine of stretching, ice, and Aleve. 

I swam at Nitro yesterday morning with David, Steve, Zach, Jeff, and Anthony.  Jordan coached.  The discomfort was tolerable.

400 swim, 300 pull, 200 kick, 100 swim
5 x (1 x 200 @ 2:40/1 x 50 @ :40), held 2:30 on the 200s (En2) and felt smooth
6 x 125 @ 1:50, averaged 1:31
200 easy

This morning I swam with Steve, David, Jeff, and Kirk.  Jordan coached again.  I have noticed that I experience more discomfort when I stop than I do while I am actually swimming.  I am beginning to think that this may be more of a tendinitis than a muscle strain. 

6 x (1 x 25 kick @ :30/1 x 50 swim @ :45)
5 x 200 @ 3:00, swam these a bit faster than En2 and averaged 2:27
6 x (1 x 50 kick @ 1:00/1 x 100 swim @ 1:40); I swam the 100s free instead of IM and held 1:11s with moderate effort
100 easy

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday January 20, 2012

Swam about 3000 yards yesterday, mostly at a moderate pace; when I tried to push it a bit on a set of 150s I noticed more discomfort in my rhomboid.  This morning I swam at Nitro with Zach, Anthony, Jackie, and David.  Tom coached.  This was a great endurance workout and one of my favorites so far.

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
16 x 100 @ 1:30; swam these at En2 and held 1:15s with an HR of 1:32
1 x 1650, went 21:19, a solid effort both mentally and physically.  I approached the last 500 as 5 x 100s.  Averaged a 1:18 pace and felt in control throughout despite some persistent discomfort from my rhomboid strain. 
100 easy

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pain management

I have been nursing a minor injury to my right rhomboid major the past few days; I believe that this is simply a strain and have decided to swim through it as I have done in the past.  I first noticed it on Sunday after swimming at Barton Springs with Anthony and David.  As always we raced our ninth lap, and Anthony and I finished together, passing David near the finish.  I was really digging deep over the last 50 meters and had begun breathing every stroke to my strong (left) side at that point--another reason why bilateral breathing is so important. 

I had an early morning meeting in Austin on Monday morning, so I swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool.  I managed close to 3000 meters but was experiencing a fair amount of pain toward the end of a set of 6 x 200s @ 3:00.  I still averaged 2:46 (En2).  I had another early morning meeting yesterday so I swam at Life Time in the late afternoon.  I had skipped weights Monday evening but was still feeling some pain; consequently, I limited my workout to about 1400 meters.

This morning I swam at Nitro with Anthony, Zach, David, and Ron.  Jordan coached.  I was still sore but feeling a bit better thanks to Aleve and a massage last night. 

400 swim, 100 kick, 200 pull
1 x 500, broken :10 at 50/100/50/.100/50/100/50, went 6:05 after subtracting the rest.  Didn't push this too hard.
10 x 50 kick @ 1:00
6 x 100, 1 & 2 @ 1:25, 3 & 4 @ 1:15, 5 & 6 @ 1:25, made them but again didn't push too hard on these
1 x 500, broken as before, went 5:52 after subtracting the rest; this was a better effort and felt pretty good;  I was breathing more to my weak (right) side which takes pressure off of the ipsilateral rhomboid major
10 x 50 pull @ :45, cruised these with a buoy but no paddles
100 easy

Overall I would say that my injury is better, so I will stay in the water this week.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Missed yesterday's practice because of an emergency case. Drove my son to school this morning and swam at Nitro during adult lap swim; the instructors were teaching in the lesson pool so I had the entire main pool to myself. How sweet is that?

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull, 200 swim
Transition set, courtesy of Tom Kristek (and an excellent one at that):
4 x (2 x 25 sprint kick @ :35, 2 x 75 swim @ 1:10); descended the 75s by round from :53 to :50
Main set, courtesy of Maglischo's Swimming Fastest and one that I have been wanting to try for awhile:
25 x 100 @ 1:30, holding 1:09-1:10 (1650 race pace), HR was 162
100 easy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday January 11, 2012

Lifted weights last night.  Swam at Nitro this morning with Anthony, Tom, Zach, Steve, and David.  Jordan coached.

300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
8 x 25 @ :25
8 x 25 kick @ :35
Nitro Whistle Set--went 1750
8 x 25 @ :20
8 x 25 kick @ :35
8 x 75 kick/drill/swim @ 1:15
100 easy

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday January 10, 2012

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

400 swim, 100 kick, 300 pull
12 x 75 @ 1:15, continuous IM
6 x 150 @ 2:20, 100 swim/50 kick; held 1:09-1:10 on the 100s
3 x 300 @ 4:20, 100 IM/100 free/100 IM, went 3:59-4:03
200 easy

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday January 9, 2012

A solid practice at Nitro on Saturday followed by 4000 yards at Barton Springs on Sunday.  There were a lot of ducks in the water, which made me a little nervous as I had prepared Ming Tsai's Red Roast Duck the night before for my wife's birthday.  This is a wonderful dish, by the way, very flavorful and really not that difficult to make (but don't tell her that!).  This morning I swam at Nitro with Steve, Anthony, Zach, Tom, Stefan, Jeff, and David.  Jordan coached.

400 swim, 300 pull
Vertical kicking
5 x 100 @ 1:20, held 1:10 (1650 race pace)
5 x 50 kick
5 x 75 @ 1:00, held :53
5 x 50 pull
5 x 100 @ 1:15, held 1:10; I concentrated on my turns and felt strong on these.  Actually thought about swimming a few more.
100 easy

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday January 6, 2012

Swam at Nitro this morning with Anthony and Zach; Tom coached.  The pool was set up long course.

500 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
Set 1:
4 x 100 @ 1:40, averaged 1:24
4 x 100 @ 1:30, averaged 1:24
4 x 100 @ 1:25, missed the interval on at least one of these
1:00 rest
1 x 400, went 5:48
1 x 100 easy
Set 2:
3 x 100 @ 1:30
3 x 100 @ 1:25, missed the interval on one of these
1:00 rest
1 x 300, went 4:18 which was faster than my 400 pace
1 x 100 easy
Set 3:
2 x 100 @ 1:25, went 1:21 and 1:23
1:00 rest
1 x 200, went 2:41, a strong effort at the end of a long practive
1 x 100 easy

I should be holding closer to 1:20 on 100 repeats, but my endurance is good, and I was able to descend the longer swims which all felt pretty strong.  Plan to lift weights tonight after work. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday January 5, 2012

Attempted swimming a double yesterday evening at Life Time but didn't have much left in the tank after the morning workout.  Managed an easy 400 and a couple of 100s on 1:30.  After a tough morning practice, it would have made more sense to choose an easier interval.  I swam this morning at Nitro with David, Tom, Jeff, Steve, and Ron.  Jordan coached.  It took me awhile to warm up but I felt stronger toward the end of the workout.

400 swim, 400 pull
12 x 25 kick @ :30
12 x 50 @ :50, holding :34s toward the end
12 x 75 @ 1:20, stroke/free/stroke (IM order)
10 x 100 @ 1:30, swam these instead of pulling and held 1:11s, close to 1650 race pace; felt strong on these
100 easy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday January 4, 2012

We swam an IM workout yesterday; at the end we did 2 x 200 IM fast; I went 2:38 and 2:36.  Lifted weights last night.  Lifting twice weekly has definitely made me stronger, but I have been cautious about increasing the amount of resistance.  I did manage to tweak my left triceps, probably a micro tear, but was able to shake it off overnight.  Swam at Nitro this morning with Steve, David, Anthony, Tom, and Zach.  Jordan coached.  This was my best workout performance in several weeks. 

400 swim, 400 pull
12 x 125 @ 1:45, held 1:29-1:30, went 1:28 and 1:27 on the last  two repeats--close to 1650 race pace
18 x "54" @ :45 with fins--basically 50s with two turns; good endurance set
100 easy (there was another set but I had an early case at the hospital)

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

Still struggling a bit in the pool but making some progress. 

I swam at Nitro on Friday with Steve, Jackie, and Jean.  The pool was set up long course.  Scott coached.  After a transition set of 5 x 100 @ 1:45 (averaged 1:24) we swam a 1000 for time.  I felt sluggish and only managed a 14:54, which was right at my 5K pace from last year.  I really should be able to hold a 1:25 pace/100.  I lifted weights Friday evening but missed the Saturday morning practice at Nitro because I was called into the hospital at 1:30 am so I slept in and swam at Life Time in the indoor 25 meter pool.  My main set was 8 x 200 @ 3:00 averaging 2:45 which was a solid effort.

This morning I swam at Nitro with Jennifer, who is planning to swim with her club team this semester, next to David, Steve, Zach, and Tom.  Stephen coached.  We are swimming short course again.

400 swim, 100 kick, 400 pull
10 x 100 @ 1:30, averaged 1:11-1:12
8 x 75 @ 1:15, kick/drill/swim, IM order
10 x 100 @ 1:30, odds free, evens IM; averaged 1:11 on the free and 1:21 on the IM, felt stronger than I did on the first set of 100s
400 pull, breathing 3/5/3/7
100 easy

Just over 15 weeks until I will begin tapering for Nationals.  There is still much work to be done.