adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Archive for the ‘open water swimming’ Category

Mighty Mac Training Reflection

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Me with the Mighty Mac bridge in the background.

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Mighty Mac Training Week of 7.5.15

I choked on my morning coffee a little when I read a FB post reminiscing about the Mac swim one of the previous Mighty Mac swimmers posted on her wall last week. I flashed through the statistics…5 hours of swimming, 1 mile left, 51 degree water, crazy currents…I swallowed hard and thought, “WTF am I doing?”  I mean I am the first person to support challenging your limits, but I seriously considered that maybe I don’t have what it takes to finish this challenge.

I have received numerous photos and texts from friends and acquaintances passing over the Mackinac Bridge that say something to the effect of “Thinking of you!” over the spring and summer. And every time I receive one of those texts, I inwardly cringe. After the latest one I thought, I shouldn’t be less than 60 days away from this event and still inwardly cringe! My list of “shoulds” was getting pretty big, and then I remember my older sister’s best advice: “Don’t should all over yourself.” 

mighty mac swim

Thinking of you swimming across!

So I go back to doing what I do best, which is putting my head down and doing the work. I will do all the work I can do that fits into my world, and it’s OK that I don’t have the best wetsuit, or swim every weekend on a Great Lake, or log 5 miles swimming 3 times a week. I am doing everything I can do that is within my ability, and past experience tells me that it will be OK and it will be enough.

My long swims are going by kilometers. It’s just way easier to measure in my world. Which is Google maps. Because no one bought me a Garmin Swim for my birthday. 😉

Sunday 7/5: 6.5K open water. Felt really good. A little boring, but really good.
Monday 7/6: 45 minute run — I mixed this in because I didn’t feel much like swimming and that ear is still bugging me.
Tuesday 7/7: Strength. I might be ready to talk about this soon. 😉
Wednesday 7/8: Swim- open water, about 2 miles. Might have been a little short, so I added about 20 minutes of kettlebell swings and some other stuff.
Thursday 7/9: Strength.
Friday: rest/ prepare for one of the littles birthday parties!
Saturday: Strength.
Sunday 7/11: 7K swim. HA! This is where things got interesting. Total mental block at 7K because I can’t remember the last time I swam 7K. If ever? Probably I have, but it escapes me. So Mr. Prepared was totally my hero, and I wouldn’t have finished (or escaped my two seaweed panic attacks) without him. He canoed the first circumnavigation of the lake with the girls in front (loaded up with snacks I packed).  Then he did a couple out and backs with me. Then the girls got out to play in the yard. He switched to the paddleboard. It was obvious to everyone this was becoming an epic, not just a workout session.

I quit at about 6.4K because I was sick of the rub from my wetsuit on my neck and I saw a CARP the size of my upper body about 4 feet below.  I got out of the water. He sent me inside with the directions to eat something, take off my wetsuit, and come back out. He had the boat out to idle alongside me, and I was like, “I can’t do anymore.” He just waited me out, and finally I got my cap and googles back on and finished the last out and back.

Thank goodness he was there because I had put the limit on myself that 7K wasn’t gonna happen, and he stood by me until it did happen.

Takeaways: Beware the limits you set on yourself! And– high-quality deli meat sits pretty well as a salty, high protein food that won’t upset your horizontal stomach. Word. 🙂

bruce lee limit quote

Limits are self-imposed. Courtesy of Motivation Grid.

 

Mighty Mac Training Back half of June 2015

Well I know I skipped a week there but I didn’t skip a week of training. It’s actually perfect this time of year to get out in our local lakes and I took my last swim with a wetsuit for a while on Monday.

My schedule shifted pretty dramatically with the girls getting out of school June 19, but I got in some great swims last week with the push of a few friends.

Week of June 15-21

Tuesday: Long swim – about 3.5 miles in my lake. Received the expected talking-to when I got out of the water from my well-meaning neighbors, who told me I needed to tell someone when I would be out there (I did), and what if I got a cramp (it wouldn’t be the first time, but I plan for it and now it doesn’t happen), etc. My shoulders and everything felt really strong and smooth throughout.

Thursday: Speed and stroke work swim – 3300 yards. I was thinking this might be my last visit to Hartland pool for a bit, so I headed in with the intention of doing my last 800 time trial. After warmup and about a quarter of the way in, I realized it might have been a mistake. After the tri on Sunday and the big swim Tuesday, the choice to do this on that day was not the best choice. And it showed: time was 10:43, not my fastest time. I just flipped the rest of my workout to stroke work and IMs after the time trial. I didn’t have it in my to do more freestyle.

  • 400 WU, 8×50 build
  • 800 Time Trial time: 10:43
  • 8×200 IM -25 drill, 25 swim
  • 100 cool down

Sunday: (almost) Half distance swim- open water swim 1.5 miles.

Week of June 22-29

Last week I switched my schedule around for work and the kids’ vacation. In addition I am getting some coaching on lifting so my lifting days moved to Tuesday and Thursday. This makes swimming on the other days tricky because I have morning clients, so the swimming has to happen at night. Thank goodness I had some help and motivation from some friends. Claudia, Jo, and Scott all swam with me and that was HUGE. Unfortunately, by Friday  morning it was clear I had an ear infection. So I subbed in some running for swimming speed work over the weekend.

Monday: Half distance swim- Claudia swam with me at my lake and I had the chance to do some chasing/speed work with it.  And probably my last wetsuit swim for a while.

susan ogilvie mighty mac swim

Claudia and I getting our open water swimming done!

Wednesday my friend Jo texted me about a swim and we wiggled our way onto Winans Lake, which is a non motorized lake and that’s sweet because you don’t have to have that paranoid fear you might be sliced in half by a drunken boater. I swam a while with Jo and she pulled off when we caught up to Scott, who started a little after us. Scott and I swam until it was about dark. I swam based on time because I’m not sure how long the distances were on that lake- Scott had his GPS watch on, so I got a little bit of feedback. Either way, about 1:25 of actual swim time meant I had hit my long swim for the week.

Friday I ran because of the ear. Felt pretty darn good and splits were good.

Monday before I left for my parents I ran again, also felt amazing. Very weird- I haven’t been running all summer. Running comfortable sub 9:00 mile splits is pretty amazing for me without any run training this spring and summer.

Tuesday and Wednesday- I am at the 50m pool at my parents. Today was 3200m  before I felt like I might pass out- it’s 110 here and the pools cooling unit is broken, making it about 89 degrees for swimming. Definitely felt the cramps coming on and didn’t bring any electrolytes, which seem to keep the cramps away. Tomorrow I will be smarter.

Tuesday: 600 WU/200 drill/4×50 build/

  • 5×400 100 easy/100 moderate/100 easy/100 hard
  • 200 cool down

Last week my big girl swam across our lake- about a quarter mile one way with her dad canoeing beside. Pretty proud of her, but hoping my craziness doesn’t rub off on her. 😜

swimming torch lake

My daughter, future open water swimmer!

Mighty Mac Training Update 6.6.15

This was a great training week! Consistency is the name of the game for me, both in workouts and nutrition. Nutrition was pretty spot on this week, with the exception being the UH-mazing birthday dinner for Mr. Prepared we ate last night downtown. But how often do birthdays come around, right? 🙂

A big thanks to my husband, Mr. Prepared, for being the clutch player this week. He knows I become slightly insane if I get off schedule, and he has been awesome at helping me to get done what I need in addition to the fact he’s prepping for his own 100 mile run in July. Today he was my canoe guide through the Saturday afternoon chop on our lake. He said it was fun and a decent upper body workout, so I’m throwing it out there if you want to accompany me on a few laps of the lake anytime, I’m taking offers for help!

My left shoulder has been giving me some issues, but it went from feeling like crap midweek last week to getting fixed up by Shawn at Synergy Movement Therapy last Thursday to feeling awesome. For shoulders that see a good bit of use anyways. 😉 If you have an ongoing injury and you haven’t tried NeuroKinetic Therapy as a tool for actually fixing the problem, you should check it out.

Workouts this week:

Sunday: KB workout

Monday: Strength workout. Like a real workout in the gym. My coach says that one is still better than none in addition to the swings. I think I can be successful at one a week right now.

Tuesday: 400 WU, 400 drills

Main Set: 6×400 – 50 sprint, 250 moderate, 100 sprint, :40 RI
I bastardized this from a triathlon website (being honest), but these were hard as HELL. After the first one, I was like, “I’m screwed”. But I kept one and tried to keep them even splits. Died the last one.  400 cooldown.

Wednesday: Swings set, 300 swings + goblet squats, etc. I can break it down for anyone who is interested, but that’s not the primary purpose of this blog.

Thursday: 400 WU, 400 drills, 4×50 build

Main Set: 10×250- Inside/Outside Corners, 10×250, :30 RI
Odds: First 2.5 lengths sprint, middle 5 lengths moderate, last 2.5 lengths sprint

Evens: First 2.5 lengths moderate, middle 5 lengths sprint, last 2.5 lengths easy
Again, not as easy. The evens were the really challenging ones. 400 cooldown.

So I have created two workouts with work sets of variable intensity of 30+ minutes, which is where I need to hang for now. I have been sitting at a pace plateau for about 6-9 weeks, and I can feel it crumbling apart with sets like these under my belt. It feels awful while I’m doing the sets, but I have done swim/run/etc. prep enough times to know that for me, feeling awful = verge of a speed breakthrough.

Saturday: Open water swim, 2 miles ish. We calculated the distance across our lake via Google Maps, which is about .5 miles round trip. I like the accompanied swim, truly because our lake is an all sports lake, which is cool, but I don’t want to freak out jet skiers or boats- I feel safer for them and for me with a canoe or paddleboard out in the water nearby.

 

Mighty Mac Training-May 2015

So I am actually going to work on making this a habit, so I don’t have a month + go by without a post. I don’t write my workouts down (being as it’s wet and all when you’re swimming), so trying to hold them in memory for more than a week is an exercise in futility. 😉

A few highlights from May:

  • First open water swims are in. 3 so far
  • April 28- 800 pool time trial was 10:41.
  • I have switched over from 3x week strength to 4-5x week swings with higher rep basic strength stuff- goblet squats, presses, pushups, planks. Mostly squats, LOL. It’s a scaled version of Dan John’s 10K swings‘ new edition that he gave us at SW MI Strength and Conditioning Clinic. I am toying with the idea of writing a new program called Swing, Squat, Swim. I think it will be really popular. With like 3 people.
First OWS.

First OWS

May 25.2015-May 31.2015

Monday: MTB ride

Tuesday: Swings/squats/press + swim- 500 WU, 100/200/300/400/500/400/300/200/100- middle 25% of the distance is sprint/ fast, 500 cooldown

Thursday: Swings, squats, etc.  + 2.4 mile OWS at Trout Lake.

Some of you know that I have had a fear of open water swimming from earlier posts. I know, right? Seems so ridiculous and yet this irrational fear still hovers over me a bit. Trout Lake is pretty clear to the bottom of the lake. Being clear is actually more scary for me than water you can’t see through. So I only screamed in surprise twice, LOL.

Friday: Swings/Squats + road ride ending in beer. 🙂

Saturday: Pool swim- 400 warmup, 400 drills, Broken Mile, 400 cooldown. I did my first broken mile in late March with a time 22:05. Today’s time was 21:45. So some improvement, not exactly where i want it to be, but if I am honest, 2 of the last 9 weeks did not include any swim training at all. So it’s a fair improvement given the work I put in.

Sunday: Currently it’s raining hard. looking like a swing day and maybe a pool swim.

Post up your comments or questions, or your coupon codes for wetsuits. I’m in the market for a new full sleeve, but feeling pretty cheap about it.

Mighty Mac Training – April Pt. 1

Hahaha…as you can see, I have been a bit remiss about posting up my training on here. I had a stomach bug that flattened me for about a week the second week of April, and it’s been tough coming back. In addition, I changed up my strength training a bit last week and thus was able to *directly* pinpoint the movement that aggravates my shoulder. Yikes. I used to really, really like pushups. 😉

Here’s a few workouts from the last couple of weeks. I did go 4/13-4/17 without swimming at all because I was so sick.

Saturday 4/11
500 WU
6×200- variable speed 50s- slow, med, fast, slow. 1st one has 2 slow 50s, 2nd one has 2 medium 50s, 3 one has 2 fast 50s, Randomize. Repeat
6×150- 50 fast, 50 drill, 50 medium
6×100- Descending 100s 1-3
100 cool down

I had some pain in my low back during flipturns and felt myself starting to compensate to complete the movement. I stopped doing flipturns and went for open turns. This change slowed me down a bit, but better than not doing anything.

Saturday 4/18
400 WU
4×400 alternate swim/pull, descending time 1-2 (make the second swim or pull 400 faster than the first)
9×150 50 med, 50 stroke- fast (alternate fly, back, breast), 50 medium
8×50 25 scull/25 sprint
100 Cooldown

Sculling is supposed to improve your “feel” for the water. I honestly don’t know if it does. I know that it helps me with a few inefficiencies in my stroke, but I think “feel” is something is either born (genetics) or learned over millions of reps. I’m sure no new swimmer wants to hear that, but that is what I know. Here’s a good sculling video- they explain how to do it as a forward motion about 3 minutes in:

Wednesday 4/22

400 WarmUp
Here’s the only set I remember, LOL.
2x (300 drill, 250-50 fast/50 ez, 200 kick, 150 -25 fast/25 ex, 100 scull , 50 sprint)

Friday 4/24 
World’s shortest workout 😉
400 warmup
16×100 Descending time 1-4 (repeat 4 times)–
These I held pretty steadily, which I take as a good sign of improved endurance. I could hold the same times for all the 100s as I could in the first set by the 4th set. In fact, I wasn’t even going to do a 4th set, but I had a little extra time and wanted to see if I could go. Which I did. 2 months ago I was not able to do this across more than 2 sets of these.

Mighty Mac Training week of 3.30.15

As usual, this week was a week of juggling expectations with reality. I was only able to lift 2 of my 3 planned days because I got behind in my week and the gym is closed today. I swam my longest workout to date since the beginning of the year on Wednesday, so while my swim on Monday was short, I had two decently long workouts on Wednesday and Saturday.

Monday 3.30.15- 1200 yards- warmup, drills, stroke set

Wednesday 4.1.15

6x .5 mile – #1 and 2- every 12th length backstroke, #3 and 4 every 8th length backstroke, #5 and 6 every 4th length back.  The last half-mile may or may not have been counted correctly. LOL. Just putting in miles and time in the shark tank. My hair and my brain will be happy when I can get out of there for my long swims!  (Total:  5200ish)

open water swimming michigan

Long swims here I come! Better when your backyard is your training facility.

Overhead pressing fell on the day after this swim- in hindsight, not a great combination. I have to be a better planner for the whole week- I was simply taking advantage of a few cancellations in my schedule to get that long swim in on Wednesday. I didn’t feel so bad on Thursday, but my shoulders were still a little tired on Saturday.

Saturday 4.4.15

500 WarmUp
8×50- 25 drill/ 25 build
Broken Mile- modified “Davis Mile”, courtesy of USMS Swimmer:

11 lengths :15RI, 10 lengths :15RI, 9 lengths :15RI, 8 lengths :15RI, 7 lengths :10RI, 6 lengths :10RI, 5  lengths :10RI, 4 lengths :10RI, 3 lengths :10RI, 2 lengths :10RI, 1 length

Total rest time was 2 minutes, broken mile time (minus rest interval): 22:04

This set was tough. Ladders of any variety are tough, and I wasn’t feeling particularly into it. It’s a good benchmark swim though, and my time wasn’t too far off what I would expect.

150 recovery
8×50- 50 eyes closed alternated with 50 1/2 heads up swim (Total: 3200)

So I missed my day to deadlift, which particularly sucks because my friend Shawn helped re-cue (aka rescue) my deadlift this week and now I am excited to see what I can do there.

Next week, the husband travels and the kids are on spring break. I am going to have to be creative with my workouts for the next 5 days. There will be less swimming and more on the bike trainer and kettlebells at home.

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