Random Thoughts While Swimming

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Earlier this week, I read a thread on Slowtwitch that focused on what people think about when they are swimming, biking or running.  The thread was pretty interesting.  Some people talked about how they get into a “Zen” and get really self reflective.  Others comment that they focus on their form, what they’re trying to accomplish during the workout, and such.

Me?

Apparently, I’m nowhere near as deep as some of those folks.

I decided that I’d sort of keep track of things I thought of during last night’s swim; randomness prevailed.  Some things were focused on what I was doing….and others were, well, just random.

For your reading pleasure, a few of the really random things that popped in my head during the 75 minutes I was in the pool:

“Man- it’s really windy tonight”

“This water is colder today than it was Tuesday”

“Why are lane lines black?”

“Breathe on 4 strokes, then 2”

“That was a great lap!”

“Don’t cross the arm over center”

“High elbows”

“Why is the swim coach yelling at his kids?”

“I love warm water coming out of the jets”

“I need to pee”

“I wonder how many people just go in the pool?”

“90 degree elbows on the pull”

“Ugh – that burp tasted like peanut butter”

“What lap was this?”

“I love that Yoda knit cap that coach has on”

“I wonder what swimming in Lake Erie will be like?”

“Earth has no burdens that Heaven can’t heal” – lyric from a David Crowder song

“Blow out from your nose”

“Tuck your chin”

“Last set!”

“It’s gonna be cold when I get out!”

 

 

 

Blazing Speed in the Pool

The US Open, NCAA, SEC, and American records were all broken in the 50 SCY Free yesterday at the SEC championships.

Caeleb Dressel – an 18 year old (EIGHTEEN) kid from Jacksonville, who swims for the University of Florida – went a crazy-fast 18.23 seconds in the finals, breaking his own record of 18.39 seconds (set during morning preliminies yesterday).

You can watch the video of this amazing speed below.  Caeleb is in lane 4.

This time is wicked fast.

For comparison purposes, this swim – if considered in a non-swimming context – is sort of like a NFL running back going 4.0 seconds in the 40 yard dash.  Or a golfer making two holes-in-one in a row.  Or a baseball pitcher throwing a 110mph fastball.  Basically, it’s off the chart.

After watching this last night, I thought comparing Dressel’s time to my personal swimming ability might be fun.  It’s actually very humbling.

During my swim workout last night, I was turning 100 yards in 1:20.  That equates to about 20 seconds per 25 yards.  Caeleb covered TWICE that distance, and still beat me by the equivalent of a body length or so.  Said differently, I could race Caeleb where I’d swim 25 yards and he’d swim 50 yards – and he would win.  Handily.  Easily.

It’s mind boggling to me how fast that is.  And frankly, I suspect he’ll go faster.  Word has it that Caeleb was not shaved and tapered.  I don’t think he was wearing a speed suit.  He’s saving all that for the NCAA meet next month.  How fast will he go?  You never know, but my money is that he becomes the first sub-18 second swimmer ever.  I’m calling it now:  17.92 will be his finals time at NCAA.

Talk about blazing speed!

Project Swim

credit: dailynews.openwaterswimming.com

credit: dailynews.openwaterswimming.com

As we approach December, most North American & European triathletes begin to hunker down into the off-season.  We use this time to focus on trouble areas, to recharge our batteries, and to take advantages of cross-training opportunities (such as cyclocross, cross country running, and skiing).

For me, this is actually the beginning of my 2014 season.  See, 2013 never really happened due to injury.  I’m still “technically” injured; I can’t run due to ongoing issues with my foot.  As a result of this bum foot, I didn’t race at all this year.  Frankly, I missed racing.  Heck – I miss the simple act of going for a run!

Alas, I’m going to start prepping for 2014 as if I will be healthy.

This winter is the season where I will become a swimmer again.

Over the next three months, I’m planning on swimming a ton.  I’ll do drills.  I’ll do short sets.  I’ll go hypoxic.  I’ll do endurance sets.  I’ll swim with a band.  I’ll do pull sets.  I’ll do swim-specific dry-land exercises.  I may even learn how to do a flip turn (but don’t hold your breath for that one).

More to come, but this week kicks off “Project Swim”

Hey, Mr. Announcer Guy!

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend time at a swim meet.

And if you have ever been to a swim meet, you know that they last forever.  And ever.  And ever.  They are just so SSSSSS-LLLLLLL-OOOOOO-WWWWWW.  I mean, I think paint dries faster.

Over the years, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time at meets.  My son swims, and typically is in half a dozen or more meets per year.  I typically just sit in the stands with the other parents (he’s too old to want to sit with Dad any longer), only getting up to go watch him race.  It makes for a long, long day typically.

So here’s the kicker about this past Saturday’s swim meet:  My son wasn’t swimming.  And I still spend the entire morning there.

I was called upon to be the meet announcer.  I had the opportunity to be the “voice” of the meet.  You know – the guy introducing the races, announcing the results, telling people where the bathrooms and snack bar are, giving shout-outs.  That guy.

SwimMike

It was a BLAST!

It was a chance for me to rekindle my fondness for talking into a microphone.  To hear my voice broadcast across open space.  To remember my days as a radio DJ.

TriMadness in the studio at WASU-FM (the campus station at Appalachian State University) in 1991.

TriMadness in the studio at WASU-FM (the campus station at Appalachian State University) in 1991.

Apparently, I was using my “DJ voice”, as I had lots of kids come up to me just to tell me that I sounded so different over the PA system.  Maybe I was just channeling my inner James Earl Jones.  Perhaps there was a lot of bass in the speakers.  Who knows?

This may well be the way I choose to spend many more of my Saturday mornings.

Just hand me the mic.

Topics You Won’t See on Triathlon Websites

So, you’ve been a triathlete for a while.  Or maybe you’re brand new to the sport.  Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve heard of, visited, or maybe participated on some of the popular tri-related websites.  The two “biggies” for folks in the US are Slowtwitch and Beginner Triathlete.  Of course, there are others out there, too. I’m sure that there are others worldwide.

These sites are often very informative, giving tips for training, equipment, or race locations.  They also present an opportunity for bragging about personal accomplishments, ranting about perceived (or real) issues with races or products, and a unique forum for equipment vendors and race directors to interact directly with their customers.

As with many things on the internet, these sites also offer up a bevy of humor and other off-color topics.  You’ll find threads about how to deal with big boobs while running, how much leg a guy should shave, how much triathlon training impacts our marriages, how to pick up and date other triathletes, and many, many more.

But what you won’t find (but should) are discussion topics like these:

  • GUYS ONLY:  I’ve got lots of “junk”.  How to keep that under control while running
  • Normal things that I’ve seen on a run/bike
  • What do I have to do if I need to poop in the middle of a race?
  • Belly hair – if I shave it will I be more aerodynamic?
  • Triathlon lube – safe for internal use?
  • 700 or 701, whatever it takes – a primer on wheel diameter
  • Body fairings – critical advancements in how to optimize personal aerodynamics
  • Is dog paddling my IM swim OK?
  • My nose always runs when I’m cycling when it’s cold.  Why?
  • The runner hat versus visor conundrum
  • Yes!  I aged up!
  • Beer mile strategies – how to not barf
  • Traveling to a race – tips for packing your clothes
  • Races in Florida – drafting is legal there, right?
  • I killed a squirrel today on my bike ride!
  • Flying mounts (or how not to rack yourself)
  • Guess the number of times I’ll walk in my race!
  • Help!  How do I do a snot rocket?
  • Best workouts to keep me from qualifying for AG Nats!
  • Tri kit & bike color coordination tips
  • PSA – Car drivers hate cyclists
  • Why doesn’t my OWS have a black line to follow?
  • Bike speed: Need tips to increase from 20.1 MPH to 20.2 MPH
  • Battle scars – show me your road rash

Surely there are some other topics that you likely won’t see, but should.  What are your thoughts?