Posts tagged ‘Mighty Mac Swim’
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.”
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!
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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)
World’s shortest workout 😉
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
So this week was better and slightly more consistent than the previous two weeks. I hit most of my key workouts, with the exception of my early in the week swim- it just didn’t happen on Monday. My workout schedule basically goes lift/swim/lift/swim, etc. I mix some kettlebell swinging and other kinds of “finishers” into my lifting days. You could say I have a hard time following a strict regimen, so although it’s all written down, I don’t always follow it to a “T”. I do a lot of listening to how I feel, how much sleep I have had, or how my eating is going. For example, Monday I was supposed to swim, but I didn’t get to it in time to hit it before the aerobics ladies got in the pool, and there were several annoying incidents that led to that delay, so I was pretty irritated by the time I got to workout. So I put myself through a pretty grueling set of swings, followed by a few rounds of tabata, some intervals on the Jacob’s Ladder, etc. I felt a million times better after that– something I probably would not have achieved swimming.
On that note, Friday’s quickie swim was another example of listening to your body. After a week of little sleep and busy schedules, I felt a little depleted today. I figured I could knock out an intense, shorter session with the time I had available. The main set was supposed to be 12×100, sets of 4, descending 1-4 (meaning each one is faster than the one before). By #6, my HR was sky high and I was tired. I knew I should scrap the set and so I did. I swam for the remainder of the time I had left very slowly and resolved to get a better night’s sleep for Saturday’s morning swim.
Saturday was a treat because I took a friend up to Hartland to swim at the “real” pool– the one with salt water and 6 WHOLE lanes. We got there right on time, and I plowed through as much yardage as I could make in an hour.
Saturday, March 28
800 Time Trial — this is one of my progress meters. Todays time: 10:52
2×400 – 50 swim, 50 drill
400 Cooldown- backstroke/ breastroke
So about 2 miles in an hour.
From Wednesday, March 25:
Variable Speed 50s Pyramid- 50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 50 (speeds were fast, medium, slow in a made up pattern)
4×200 IM- 25 drill, 25 swim (because let’s be honest, I don’t think I could swim a whole 50 fly very pretty) 😉
My shoulders feel excellent. They are not tired after a 3000+ yard workout anymore. That’s a very good sign of progress.
Even though my energy was a little low this week from terrible sleeping, I did have some motivation arrive in the mail. Since our swim is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, I have received a couple of letters and pictures from the families that we will be helping. This one arrived this week, and it gave me goosebumps!