Friday Morning Short Swim

My body was up at 4:30am ready to go, but I figured another 30 minutes until the alarm went off would be helpful, especially given some sore knees from last night’s run. At 5:40, I woke up again bewildered at why my 5am alarm didn’t wake me. It looks like after carefully setting the alarm, I failed to turn it “on” the night before. I jumped out of bed and decided to get in as much workout as I could.

At Highlands Ranch Aquatic Center, the master’s team has been swimming without a coach on M-W-F. I was late and only had 50 minutes so I just jumped in an open lap swim lane and swam my own set:
200 warm up
5 x 100 yds on 1:30 descending 1-5
5 x 100 yds on 1:20 descending 1-5
4 x 250 yds pull on 3:30
5 x 100 kick on 1:30
10 x 50 on :45 decending 1-5, 6-10
200 warm down
=3,400 yards (abt 2 miles)

Plans on Saturday call for a 5,000 yard intensive workout at Wollett Aquatic Center in Irvine and a 1.5 mile swim off Newport in the morning with Dave and a 50 mile bike ride around OC in the afternoon.

Half Half-Marathon

I slept through my alarms for swim workouts on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. I think my body was telling me it needed more sleep and recuperation time from the food poisoning. Tonight I needed a workout! With the Canyonlands Half Marathon 10 days from now, and very few runs in my schedule this year, I decided I’d better get in a decent jog. I ran in the hotel workout room for an hour and covered just under 7 miles. I obviously have missed any hope of serious training and taper for the race, but my sister Kellie and I have a modest sub-2 hour goal for the race. The real fun will be getting our families together in Moab for a long weekend.

Tuesday Snow Bad Bowels

Travelled back to Colorado early Monday morning. On Tuesday morning, I pushed the several inches of snow accumulation off my car and headed to the workout. I did just shy of 4,000 yards at Highlands Ranch despite my bowels making threatening sounds and forcing me to take a break mid workout.

On Monday night I had scarfed a huge Indian meal of deep-fried paneer, chicken and shimp tikka masala, naan, rice, a mango lassi for my first real meal after getting over food poisoning. Not smart.


My determination to swim a few miles and do a 50 miler “no matter what” were frustrated by food poisoning. A bad meal after rock climbing on Friday night was to blame. I was up all night with aches and vomiting. I spent the day in bed with a fever. I haven’t been sick in a long time. It made me appreciate my health.

6,000 to 6 feet

On Thursday morning I did about 4,500 yards of swimming in Highlands Ranch before work. I left a 50 degree Denver for a 50 degree and raining Los Angeles.

On Friday, rain forced Dave Galli and I to cancel a planned 3 mile ocean swim in Corona Del Mar. It also caused me to cancel a 50 mile bike ride through Santiago Canyon with Shane Fishbein. Tomorrow it is 5,000 yards of swimming at Soka no matter what, and, unless it is raining in the afternoon, a 50 mile ride with Shane.

I did get in a little exercise on Friday- I took the family to a rock climbing gym.

“Not So Fresh Feeling”

In the 5:30am practice at Highlands Ranch, one swimmer commented that he had that “not so fresh feeling”. I was in the same boat, a little fatigued and a sore shoulder. I have found myself a little out of breath during the days. It is the altitude? We did a self-coached workout as head coach Matt Beck has left the Highlands Ranch Recreation in recent days.

Did 4,400 yards with several IM, fly, back, breast sets in the mix.

Denver & OC the same temperature?

Yes, today it was high 50s in both Denver and the OC. I did the 6-7:15 swim workout at Highlands Ranch’s Northridge Club. Lots of short stuff- I liked it:
100 yd warm up
500 yd with every 5th length non-free
18 x 25 yds (2x (3 drill, 3 kick, 3 swim))
6 x 75 yds (2 pull, 2 IM, 2 swim)
6 x 50 yds, 300 yd pull
6 x 50 yds, 2 x 150 yds
6 x 50 yds, 3 x 100 yds
3 x (4 x 25 yds, 1 x 100 yds)
100 warm down
=4,100 yards

From Denver Cold to Warm Beaches in 12 hours

I had a horrific trip home from Denver Friday night which included:

  • Being charged $130 to get back into my rental car, which I had accidentally locked with the keys still sitting on the front seat. After both of my roadside assistance programs refused to assist me, the $55 dollar locksmith quote I got myself was raised at the last minute because it was a rental car.
  • My Treo 755p cell phone was liberated from me by the “friendly” Dollar Rental Car cleaning crew of Mexican and Somali gangsters who kindly pointed out that several members of the team (all still there) had handled my car since I left my phone in it minutes before. The manager calmly noted that they would open lost and found on Monday morning.
  • After the fruitless attempts to retreive my cell phone from Dollar, I narrowly made my flight because an end-of-shift, 18 year-old United customer service agent decided to become a self-appointed TSA agent and refused to let me get in line to obtain a boarding pass for the last United departure of the evening because I was 3 minutes late for the 30 minute check-in deadline.

Doing some good reading on the flight, spending an evening with my ever sympathic and understanding wife, giving myself a little extra shut-eye Saturday morning, and then swimming 2.5 – 3 miles in the 57-degree, 30-foot visibility water off Newport in the bright Southern California sunshine with the ever-positive Dave Galli was extremely therapeutic. Thank God for weather and the beautiful ocean, and people like Ellie and Dave for their friendship so my appreciation of life and my faith in people could be restored.

Breaking the Ice to go Swimming

Unintimidated by an overnight storm, I left my hotel at 5:30 for a 6:00am practice at Highlands Ranch. Unfortunately, a layer of ice covering all of the car’s windows and handles delayed my departure. After hacking at the ice for 15 minutes, I made a low visibility, high slippage drive to the aquatic center, but joined the lighter than usual practice only a few minutes late.

The workout:
4 x 125 yds (free/back/breast mix)
20 x 50 yds (4x drill on :55, 4x drill/ez on :50, 4x swim/ez on :45, 4x swim on :40, 4X pull on :35)
4 x 75 yds kick
10 x 100 yds pull (2 x 1:30, 3 x 1:20, 2 x 1:30, 3 x 1:15)
3 x 300 yds swim (4:30, 4:00, 3:30)
200 yd cool down
= 3,900 yards

Olympic Triathlon Medalist Workout

The Tuesday and Thursday practices at Highlands Ranch are led by Olympic medalist, Susan Williams. I love my Nova coaches, but I am always impressed by the other nice folks I meet through masters swimming.

During the 6:00 to 7:15 workout in Highlands Ranch, CO, I was still adjusting to the altitude so I felt a little winded on the 10 x 50 on 40 seconds. Here’s the workout:

300 swim
10 x 50 on :50 (2 fast, 2 easy)
300 kick
10 x 50 on :40 (2 fast, 2 easy)
300 swim
3 x 25 quick turnover
1 x 100 (50 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 75 (25 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 50 fast
300 pull
3 x 25 quick turnover
1 x 100 (50 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 75 (25 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 50 fast

300 kick/drill
3 x 25 quick turnover
1 x 100 (50 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 75 (25 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 50 fast

300 pull
3 x 25 quick turnover
1 x 100 (50 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 75 (25 easy, 50 fast)
1 x 50 fast

200 warm down
=4,500 yards