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.

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

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)

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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:

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.