Wednesday, January 30, 2008

5am and 23 degrees?

The alarm went off at 5am so I could get to the 5:30am practice at Highlands Ranch. After throwing on the sweats, I had to head out into dark, 23-degree weather. For someone who over the past 10 years has come to believe that anything under 60 degrees is cold, it is a change.

Coach Matt Beck gave a good workout:
250 warm-up
3 x 150 free
3 x 150 (stroke/free on the 25)
3 x 150 (kick/swim on the 50)
3 X (3 x 50 (1 to 3 descending), 100 IM)
9 x 200 (every 3rd IM)
16 x 25 (broken 400 IM)
200 warmdown

= 4,750 yards

After work I ran for 30 minutes. Ran about 4 miles before going to dinner.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Swimming at 6,000 feet

Did my first workout in Colorado at the Highlands Ranch Recreation Center which is just a mile from my client. It was a nice group. (I don't think I've ever met a mean master swimmer, which says a lot about the sport.) It was crowded too, 5-7 people per lane with fairly narrow lanes. It was cold- the moisture in the nylon mesh bag that holds my swimming gear froze on the way to my SUV after practice, giving it an interesting shape as I threw it in the back seat. I did feel the altitude (6,000 ft) a little, but not as much as I feared. Hopefully spending the first 18 years of my life living in the Rockies helped.

The practice:
4 x 125 - 100 swim , 25 kick
20 x 25 on :30- (5 X 3 Fast, 1 easy)
5 x 100 on 1:30
20 x 25 on :30- (5 X 3 Fast, 1 easy)
3 x 200 on 2:50
4 x 75 pull on 1:10 (breathing 3,5,7 on the 25)
abt 3,000 yards

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Swim Before the Storm

Weather forecasts call for Flash Flood Warnings in Orange County Canyons and Winter Storm Warnings in the mountains. For practice this morning it was clear skies, temperatures in the high sixties, and not even a breeze at Soka University. I'm going to miss California weather during the week in Denver.

We did one "mega-set" that was comprised of 26 200-yard swims on some challenging intervals, specifically:
200 warm up
4 x 200 on 2:50
1 x 200 on 2:20
3 x 200 on 2:45
1 x 200 on 2:20
2 x 200 on 2:40
1 x 200 on 2:20
1 x 200 on 2:35
100 easy
4 x 200 on 2:20 w/gear
1 x 200 on 2:50 w/gear
3 x 200 on 2:20 w/gear
1 x 200 on 2:45 w/gear
2 x 200 on 2:20 w/gear
1 x 200 on 2:40 w/gear
1 x 200 on 2:20 w/gear
100 easy
=5,600 yards (3.2 miles)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Swimming in the Rain

The rain continues in Southern California, but it doesn't matter in the pool.

Did the Soka University morning swim:
200 yard warm-up
6 x 75 yds evens choice
1 x 200 kick w/fins
1 x 400, every 4th length fast w/fins
1 x 300, every 3rd length fast w/fins
1 x 200, every other length fast w/fins
1 x 100, fast w/fins
100 easy
8 x 75 on 1:15, pull gear
4 x 125 yard kick w/fins
150 cool down
= 3,200 yards

I was hoping to do an hour run yesterday or this afternoon, but weather and errands may conspire against me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Hour Postal Swim

This morning I did the US Masters Swimming 1 Hour Postal Swim. My son, Sam, was my spotter and did a fantastic job. We got up at 5:30am and went down to the pool. Only 3 Novas decided to do the race. Sam recorded my time after every lap (50 yards) despite the cold and wet of the Soka pool side.

I tried to find a nice pace that I could maintain for 8-12 hours (my "Channel Pace") I think I found it between 1:17 and 1:18 per hundred. After 1 hour I swam 4,650 yards (2.64 miles). As it is just an hour swim, I am very tempted to try it again with someone who wants to maintain a 1:15 pace or faster and see if I can knock out a 4,800-5,000 yard swim.

Got Sam home and warmed up before he had to get to school. Thanks Sam!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Morning Hike

Some much needed rain hit Orange County yesterday and last night. The run-off causes the bacteria count at OC beaches to become dangerously high so we cancelled our planned Ocean swim. Instead, I did a nice jog/walk along Laguna Canyon in the Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness Park with my honey. I never tire of the Catalina views. (You can see Catalina through the canyon if you click on the picture for a bigger view.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday, January 21st

Did the 5:45am swim at Soka:
200 yd free warm-up
500 yd mixed set, 4 lengths free, 4 fly, 3 free, 3 back, 2 free, 2 breast, 2 free.
6 x 50 yard kick with fins
12 x 25 yard turn practice
Descending Interval set:
225 yards on 3:00
225 yards on 2:50
200 yards on 2:40
200 yards on 2:30
175 yards on 2:20
175 yards on 2:00
150 yards on 1:50
125 yards on 1:40
125 yards on 1:30
100 yards on 1:20
75 yards on 1:10
75 yards on 1:00
50 yards on :50
50 yards on :40
25 yards on :30
25 yards on :20
25 yards on :10

150 yard warm-down.

Good 3,500+ yard morning.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

2 Swims and a 50 mile bike

I'm worn out. Started day with the Novaquatics "Freestyle Ironman" at 7:30 at the Soka pool. We swam a 1650, 1000, 500, 200, 100, and 50 for time. I was hoping to keep a 1:10 average per hundred. I thought is would be very doable given how good I was feeling Wednesday, but it wasn't to be. I was more of a 1:15 average guy for the long sets. Got to work on that.

At 9:30 I drove to Corona Del Mar for 1.5-2 mile swim in the ocean with Dave. It was good swim in mid-fifties water. I was able to keep up, but I felt the fatigue from the morning swim.

Showered, ate a quick Zone bar, Gu gel and headed out the door again for a bike ride. I talked with Shane Fishbein about heading east to see the effects of the big Santiago Canyon fire during the 2007 Southern California wildfires.

I met up with him near his house for the ride. We rode from Aliso Viejo up Aliso Creek to Cooks Corner biker bar at the mouth of Santiago Canyon, through the Canyon to Orange. In the canyon we saw the effects of the fires: lots of bare hillsides, black coastal oak, and "melted" cactus. Pretty sad. When we got to Tustin, we headed down the "Mountain to Sea" trail to the I-405, We then took Michelson to Laguna Canyon and down the canyon to finish up back in Aliso Viejo. It was almost exactly 50 miles. We did it in a little over 3 hours. I need a rest. :)

And if there are any women reading this- Yes, I thanked my wife (even got some roses) for putting up with this time consuming training. She's a good lady.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Swim, Bike, Run in Aliso

It's official. I'll be in Denver for a few months during the week starting in the next 7-10 days. Not a short commute, but it will be good to be on a project again. I'll have to figure out how to ensure that good training continues.

This morning I did the 5:45am Soka University swimming workout. It consisted of:
600 yd warm-up (with a strange pattern of back, breast and free)
With fins:
1 x 200 yd last 25 sprint
2 x 150 yds last 50 sprint
3 x 100 yds last 75 sprint
4 x 50 yd sprints
12 x 25 kick (1 easy 2 fast, 4 repeats)
With paddles:
100 yards easy
1 x 25
1 x 50
1 x 75
2 x 100
1 x 75
1 x 50
1 x 25
With fins:
4 x 75 kick
200 cool down
= 3,000 yards

I came home, got kids breakfast, took kids to school, made some work arrangements and then did the Laguna Canyon bike/run. I ride my moutain bike to the Aliso & Wood Canyon Wilderness Park trailhead at the top of Laguna Canyon and then run to the Top of the World Park in Laguna Beach and back. It is a beautiful run with sweeping views of the Saddleback Valley and Pacific Ocean out to Catalina. It is a 4 mile round trip ride and 4 mile round trip run. Top of the World - Catalina ViewAt Top of the World Park. That is Catalina Island on the Horizon.

Here is my half-way commentary:

video

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sharks, Whales, and Barracudas, Oh My!

It looks like I could be in Colorado during the week for the next few months. Getting some high altitude training might not be bad.

I don't think I'm neurotic about it, but I don't like sharing the water with Great White Sharks. I'm not too fond of kelp either. I actually like seeing Girbaldi, Spiny Lobsters and Dolphins. Rays, serf perch, eels are fine. However, I don't like swimming through schools of top smelt that are jumping out of the water or near seals, but only because they attract the same animals that occassionally eat people.

Myrtle Huddlestone, the first woman to swim the Channel was a 30 year old widow from Long Beach. She made the attempt on February 5th, 1927. Unable to see the boats, she drifted off and for three hours she was lost. During this time she was attacked by a barracuda. She received bites and cuts on the left side of her body. The fish kept returning and she had to beat them off with her hands.

I'm not sure how I'd react to this bit of wildlife...


Apparently while Dave and I were swimming in Corona Del Mar on Tuesday morning, a team of San Diegans was doing a Channel Relay swim. There WAS something in the water with us, just 10 miles offshore.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tripe Crown, Part III, Take 2

5am alarm clock, ouch! Headed up to the Wollett Aquatic Center in Irvine for a repeat of Triple Crown, Part III. Starting around 5:45am, we swam 100 1:15 intervals. We started with the intent to do 20 sets of 2 x 100 yds, and 3 x 75 yards. We decided to back off a little at 20 and 1 x 100 and 4 x 75. After 1 hour and 40 minutes, we still had lots of energy so we started doing every third one a 100. After 2 hours and 5 minutes, I had completed 8175 yards. It was a good 4.7 mile morning.

I missed the Soka University track workout- I'll have to make it up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Murky Water + Kelp + Paranoia = Higher Heart Rate

Did a 2 mile swim in the ocean at Corona Del Mar at 9am.

The sun was shining- it felt like almost 70. Though the water was still cold (54 degrees?) the visibility was about 5-8 feet and more gray than yellow.

Started a little sluggish, but got my rhythm after 1/4 mile. I got that "not alone" feeling out past the outer most buoy and then ran headlong into 2 huge kelp plants. I almost jumped out of the water and onto poor Dave. Good (bad?) for the heart!

Though we were in the water for only 50 minutes, Dave and I were feeling the "funny" effects of the prolonged exposure- I felt like I could hold my breath forever and Dave was feeling really warm. I got out and felt warm almost immediately- you gotta love California.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday, January 14th

Not much sleep last night...the 5:30 alarm got an accidental snooze that made me a few minutes late for the 5:45 swimming practice. I missed the first 250 warmup yards.

The workout:
Warmup
7 lengths swim 1 kick, 6 lengths swim, 1 kick, 5 lengths swim, 1 kick, 4 lengths swim, 1 kick, 3 lengths swim 1 kick, 2 lengths swim, 1 kick.
Main Set
300 on 4:00
200 on 2:50
100 on 1:40
300 on 3:50
200 on 2:40
100 on 1:30
250 on 3:30
200 on 2:30
100 on 1:20
250 on 3:20
175 on 2:20
100 on 1:10

4 x 125 pull on 1:45
100 warm down

=3,800 yards (or 3,550 for me)

Cardio / Strength Workout
I did 45 minutes on an elliptical trainer at 24 Hour fitness with Ellie and then did an upper body weights for 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday, January 12th

This morning I met up with Dave Galli and Long Distance swimming great, Jim Fitzpatrick for a dip in the Pacific at Corona Del Mar. The sun was out and the water calm. The water visibility was about 3 feet though, a murky greenish yellow. I was told the water was 54 degrees...chilly.

video

The fog started coming in about midway through our 45 minute swim. (Jim was in for over an hour.) We swam a little more than a 1 1/2 miles Invigorating!

Chris and Dave after the swim.

Chris, Jim and Dave after the swim as a fog bank passes through.

At 11:30, I met up with Shane Fishbein and did a 27 1/2 ride through Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, and Laguna Hills. We did the Pacific Island Climb, Pacific Coast Highway along the Ritz to the Golden Lantern, then up to Crown Valley, Down to Cabot, and then home again on Paseo De Valencia via Laguna Hills Dr.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2nd Week of 2008

Monday, January 7th
I did my normal Soka University swim. It was a fun swim with the usual crew: Bill, Emily, Heidi, and Roger. We were back doing yards. The workout was:
5 x 100 on 1:30
9 x 200 on 2:45
4 x 1 broken 100 IM and then a 100 IM

Overall 3,100 yards plus warm-down.

Tuesday, January 8th
Took the day off

Wednesday, January 9th
The Soka pool had a chlorine spike so I just did the track workout in the morning.
4 x 400m on 1:40 followed by stretch exercises
3 x 400m on 1:35 followed by stretch exercises
2 x 400m on 1:30 followed by stretch exercises
1 x 400m on 1:25
800m warmdown.

= 3 mile runs

In the evening I did the Northwood HS workout with Nova Masters
200 yard warmup
6 x 75 yard swim, 25 yard kick
1 x 800 yards at 60% (~10:00)
2 x 400 yards at 70% (~5:00 with 30 secs rest)
3 x 200 at 80% (~2:20 with 30 secs rest)
2 x 100 at 90% (~1:06 with 30 secs rest)
1 Fast 50 (~:27)
100 warmdown
=3,350 yards

Thursday, January 10th
I met up with Dave Galli at Corona Del Mar at 9:15. Changed out of my suit into my suit. The sun was shining and the air temperature was low sixties. We did a 45 minute swim in the ocean next to the Newport breakwater. The 55 degree water was hard to get into, but once we started, it felt great. We swam 1 1/2 to 2 miles.

Unfortunately, I lost my wedding band 300 yards out in about 25 feet of water. With visibility at 15 feet, it was gone. That is the second wedding band to be swallowed by Orange County beaches. I should learn. I guess both my sweetheart and I are going to be getting replacements this year. Go get 'em metal detector crews!

Friday, January 11th
Today was sprint and fins day. The chlorine was still pretty bad in the Soka University pool and I think it affected my memory....
200 yd warm-up
5 x 100, 75 swim 25 kick
4 x (1 x 200 with fins, 4 x 25 sprints)

4 x (3 X 150, 1st 150 moderate, 2nd 100 + 2 x 25 sprints, 3rd 100 + 1 50 sprint)
3 x (1 x 100, 4 x 25 sprint)
100 warm down

= 4400 yards

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Triple Crown, Part III


Friday, January 4th
I took the day off. My legs were still sore from the short and exercises on Wednesday (how embarassing) and I wanted to be ready for Saturday's swim.

Saturday, January 5th
The torrential rains stopped long enough in the morning for about 50 of us Nova Master to do the 3 part of the "Triple Crown", which was 100 swims on a 1:15 interval.

I repeated the pattern of:
1 x 100 yards
4 x 75 yards

for the first 85 repeats.

I was feeling very well rested despite swimming for 1 hour and 45 minutes. I was finishing the 75s on 55 seconds and the 100s on 1:10. I did a few extra 100s at the end to finish the set with 8,150 yards (4.63 miles).

Dave Galli and I after the Triple Crown, Part III

The 4.5 miles felt really good. I think I could have doubled the distance with the same pace without much difficulty. I don't know if it is fair to extrapolate a warm, pool swim 4 and 1/2 times to the 21-mile distance of the Catalina Channel, but I am feeling confident. I'll get a better sense in the coming weeks as Dave Galli and I do some special practices of 3-4 hours of swimming in prep for the Catalina attempt.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year Workouts

Monday 12/31/2007 (New Year's Eve)
I honestly forgot the workout- about 3,500 yards at Soka University.

video
Tuesday 1/1/2008 (New Years Day)
Swam 3/4 mile at Laguna Main Beach with Novaquatics. Fun 55 degree water. The air temps were approaching 70 and the water visbility was 50 feet? It doesn't get any better than that.

You can see the picts here:
Novaquatics Swim Picts - New Year's Day Polar Bears

Wednesday 1/2/2008
Swim
I was a little late for practice but got in:
5 x 100m on 1:45
6 x 500m on 8:00
1 x 100 warm down
Total 3600 meters (abt 3950 yards)

Run
We followed the swimming workout with the "Pre-Race" Track Workout (alot of MultiSport OCs are doing OC Marathons this weekend) on the Soka track. It included:
3/4 mile warmup
Exercises: Stretches, lunges, 1/4 mile in drills
4 400m on 2:30 (marathon pace for me 1:45)
Exercises: 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 crunches
3 400m on 2:30 (1/2 marathon pace for me 1:40)
Exercises: 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 crunches
2 400m on 2:30 (10K pace for me 1:35)
Exercises: 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 crunches
1 400m (5K pace for me a failed attempt at 1:30)
400m warm down jog

Total miles (3.75 miles)

Thursday 1/3/2008
I did a Triple Crown, Part II makeup at the Wollett Aquatic Center in Irvine. This consisted of 75 1:20 intervals. (For more info on the triple crown program, click here.) I did 100 yards per interval for 73 of them. I missed the interval on 1 of the 73 and did 75 yards for 2 intervals near the end after some foot cramping. Total official yardage for the Triple Crown: 7425. Total Workout Yardage: 7550.