Archive for the swimming Category

Glub, glub: At the apex

Posted in back squats, competition, dead lifts, overhead squats, rowing, running, swimming on August 9, 2012 by coughingsparks

I’m back, y’all. The Cayuga Lake Triathlon was on Sunday and it was…interesting. Since the last time I posted, I’ve been lifting and doing Crossfit only sporadically, with embarrassing numbers due to the fact that 1.) I’ve been swimming at least three times weekly and 2.) swimming doesn’t use legs at all. And no, I still don’t like it. But, the triathlon. The water was 76.5 degrees, which was perfect, because at 78, you’re not allowed to wear a wetsuit and it was a good thing that I could, because I would have drowned without it, the water was so effing choppy. It was windy, with big, giant waves. See, kiddies, a triathlon wetsuit is designed to give you buoyancy, and it does a really, really good job at that, so you barely have to kick at all to stay afloat. And the lake was trying to dunk me under that day. I took two giant mouthfuls of water right out the gate trying to freestyle and thought, yeah…no.

So I breast stroked almost the entire thing, particularly on the way out when the current and the wind were against me. It was the longest swim ever. I’d like to say that my training in the pool was useless because I didn’t freestyle hardly at all, but I think that’s BS because I shudder to think how I would have fared if I hadn’t gotten ready for the water for the past three or four months. So I thought I did really badly because I did have to breast stroke almost the entire thing, BUT, my breast stroke was faster than some of the athletes’ freestyle. I didn’t even check my time the day of, because I thought I did it in, like, 24 minutes at least based on my watch. But I certainly wasn’t last, and when I did finally find out, it was actually 20:51, not too shabby, puts me in, like, the 40th percentile for the relay, which isn’t great, but considering I’m not a swimmer, it’s not bad either. And I didn’t drown.

Actually, it was a really cool scene, with 800 athletes participating from, like, 12 to 75 years old. And I’m pretty lucky to secure one of those 800 spots because it filled up in the middle of March and there were 100 people on the wait list. And triathlon is a whole different sport. I hate endurance, and it’s a shame because it’s sort of what I’m built for. I mean, I love to lift, but I am constantly fighting nature due to my long arms and legs. I should love the long distance, but I just get bored. And I can’t run, so there’s that.

Anyway, back in the gym on Monday, after a long break (also going on vacation for a week). Started with a pitiful 5×5 back squat:


Tuesday I did OHS, kept it real simple:


Then press:


I failed on 85, but did lower reps anyway. Finished with a slow 2K row at 8:04.

Wednesday (yesterday), did DL, which was as sucky as expected after hitting legs on Monday after a break:


Finished with a glacially slow mile run at 8:39.

Today, stupidly, I put Katrina (now at 22# or thereabouts) on my back in the infant carrier and schlepped her up Buttermilk on this beautiful, like, 95-degree day. My legs are fried and it was no picnic. But I am really deconditioned from all the swimming and badly need to catch up.

On the other hand, on our relay team for the triathlon, we had the fastest cyclist, doing the 15-mile ride in 42:15, which was sort of inspiring. So I dusted off my bike, put on a child rack and sent the whole mess over to my dad with a pan of brownies so he’s going to tune it up, because it’s rusty from not riding it in two years.

I am totally hungry right now.


Swimming is Hard Barbie/Rowing

Posted in rowing, swimming with tags , on May 8, 2012 by coughingsparks

Yesterday was pretty bad. My back is not helping at all; I can’t really do much of anything. I tried to back squat, which was 3s, only got to 115×1 and it hurt too bad, so I stopped and tried to think what I could do. So I rowed a 2K at 8:00, pretty slow. I didn’t know what else to do.

Today, I had help in the pool from a work buddy named Kristin. She has been doing triathlons for a while, doing them well, the sprints, which is 750m swim, 5k run, 15 mile bike ride. She also rowed in college and maybe high school too. She’s 5’10” and we have a similar body type. She taught me how to kick and says that I am too in the water and need to flatten out. I need to use my quads more kicking and go elbow first out of the water on the stroke. Those two things made swimming much more efficient already but really tiring, and I thought I was in good shape.

I really need to re-vamp my training to accommodate things that will help swimming because I need all the help I can get. Maybe the Crossfit Forum has some ideas.

Swimming/Bear Complex

Posted in bear complex, presses, swimming with tags , , on May 5, 2012 by coughingsparks

My lower back is not so great. But, I have an appointment with the chiro next Friday, so hopefully all will be well soon.

I did a swim yesterday, which was not timed; I was just trying to get from one end of the pool to the other. Not so easy when you suck at freestyle. But I persevered, even though I was frustrated and I can do one lap of freestyle without stopping. That’s down, but not back. More practice is needed.

Today, I did a 5×3 press, which was a pretty poor showing:


Got the 95 up just barely. Finished with a Bear Complex that was actually pretty good, five rounds for weight of:

-7 HPC
-7 PP
-7 FS
-7 PP
-7 BS

I did 45-55-60-65-70, 10# heavier than last time and 5# from my PR. Not too shabby.

Swimming/”Fly, you fools!”

Posted in rest day, swimming with tags , on May 3, 2012 by coughingsparks

Yesterday, I swam the distance again, this time without breaks. I did breast stroke the whole time, because I need to learn how to do freestyle, and I wasn’t really going as fast as I possibly could (I really do need to learn freestyle); I was just trying not to hit 1.) the wall next to me and 2.) the elderly lady who conned me into swimming next to the wall as we shared the lane. Anyway, I did it in 24:12, which is pretty fracking slow. But I really just wanted to see how it felt to swim that distance. And I didn’t get any water up my nose although I did get a good gulp of it around lap 12 or so.

Today was technically a rest day, but I ended up exercising not once, but twice. I got to hike in the very beautiful Hammond Hill Forest, which is clear across the county from where I live but I did day camp there as a kid, and haven’t really been back there much since. There are fields of flowers and a whole section of pine trees in the forest with moss on them that look like a cathedral. Very pretty. Katrina dug it too. And my dad, who walked with us.

My second workout was an unplanned WoD called Beat the Storm. Here’s how that went down:

1920 hours
Jeff: I’m going to try and mow the lawn [with his dad’s riding mower] before dinner, OK?
Me: OK

1940 hours
Me: [gesturing to Jeff on the riding mower that dinner’s ready by waving frantically, pointing at my watch and mimicking stuffing food in my mouth]
Jeff: [thumbs up]

1943 hours
Jeff: Wouldn’t you know it? Just as I finished up by the road, the mower ran out of gas. Hey, did you do any swimming or Crossfit today?
Me: Nope.
Jeff: Well, we might have to push the mower, ha ha ha…
Me: OK, but I need to put on my good sneakers.
Jeff: I was kidding; I’ll just go out after dinner and get some gas for it.
Me: Whatever.

1948 hours
Jeff: These salmon cakes are really good, honey.
Me: Thanks. Hey, it’s really dark all of a sudden.
Jeff: Yeah, we’re under a big cloud that’s moving fast.
Weather: [menaces]
Me: So we might really have to push the mower.
Jeff: Yeah maybe…
Me: Like, stat, or like, after dinner.
Jeff: [looks outside] Probably after dinner.
Weather: Rawr.
Me: Um, I think we have minutes, if we’re lucky.

So, I put on my shoes, and Jeff puts on his shoes, we drop our forks and sprint outside. There’s this sort of pinkish light to the northeast and this big black cloud directly over head and haze to the south. We sprint to the mower, parked by the road and Jeff puts it in neutral and we push it from the road to the back of the warehouse, where it’s kept under an overhang. It was freaking hilarious. Jeff’s like, “We’re almost there, keep pushing. A little bit more.” And I’m thinking that this is no different than most Crossfit workouts. So, it’s starting to sprinkle and we get around the side of the warehouse and get the mower safely under cover. I say, “Run, run, RUN!” And I go tearing towards the house like a maniac, my quads fried from pushing the stupid mower. Jeff saunters back in like I’m a crazy person.

Not two minutes later, it starts pouring and about a minute after that, hail the size of ping-pong balls. Seriously, have never seen hail that big in New York. It sounded like machine gun fire and woke up the baby. I held her for a while, but she was more intrigued than scared, so I took her to the window.

In the end, the mower was OK. Could we be bigger rednecks?

Swimming the distance/Front Squat/Burpees

Posted in box jumps, burpees, front squats, push press, swimming with tags , , , , on May 1, 2012 by coughingsparks

Yesterday went much better. I got up 15 minutes early, and had help with feeding and changing Katrina, so I had much more time at the gym than usual. That said, I decided to swim yesterday. I actually swam the distance of the race, 750m or 16.4 there-and-back laps. I took breaks, it’s true, but a lot of it was because my goggles were fogging up. I did breast stroke too, which is the least efficient but the one that I know a lot better than freestyle, which I hate. It wasn’t too bad, a good workout, really, but I wish I had some music and waterproof headphones.

Today, I did a fairly horrible front squat:


It just was not good and I probably shouldn’t have attempted it.

Finished with yesterday’s CFNYC WoD of 14 minutes of:

-30 Box jumps 24″
-10 Push press 95/65
-20 Box jumps
-20 Push press
-10 Box jumps
-30 Push press

Use the remaining time to do as many burpees as possible; final score is number of burpees. I got 36. This WoD is brilliant in its way but sucky because you feel like it’s sort of unfair to have to do burpees after what is actually a pretty tough WoD in its own right.

DL/Triplet Hell/Swimming Class

Posted in dead lifts, swimming, triplet hell with tags , , on April 27, 2012 by coughingsparks

Today was a double header for me, gym-wise. I started out with a morning workout with a 5×3+20 DL, so-so:


Although I didn’t do as well as last time, I really like the +20. It’s hard! I finished with a mash-up of two other WoDs that I will call triplet hell, which is three rounds for time (when I have more time, I’ll probably make it 5) of:

-5 Thrusters 65#
-7 HPC 65#
-10 SDLHP 65#
-30 DU

I did it in 9:24.

My second foray to the gym was for an hour-long swimming class, and it’s a good thing I went because, as stated in the last post about swimming, I don’t know what I’m doing. So, it was a really nice, low-key sort of set of drills. Mostly, I just need to get in the water and be comfortable there. That’s all. And do more long-distance stuff. The swim in August is 750 meters, which is 16.4 there-and-back laps in the pool at Island. So that’s a good thing to shoot for.

Now I am freezing, starving, and exhausted. But in a good way. Also, this would be a great time to razor down my calluses.

12.1 Revisited and Swimming

Posted in back squats, burpees, swimming with tags , , on April 24, 2012 by coughingsparks

Yesterday, I had a somewhat OK back squat:


The last one had two good reps and one that didn’t break the plane. So I can’t really count it. I went on to revisit 12.1, which is AMRepsAP in 7 minutes of burpees and I got 78, which is one more than last time. That’s sort of sucky but I think my strategy wasn’t very good. I was going for 12 each minute but I think it was a waste of time on the first minute and maybe I could have done more. IDK.

Today I finally swam in the swimming pool. The people were nice and accommodating, but I suck. And swimming is really, really hard. I need a coach is what. There are actual classes down there so I should start doing that when I can. When my mother-in-law gets back to town in a couple of weeks for the summer, it’s going to get easier to fit in training sessions as she can usually watch the baby at the drop of a hat, for hours. 😀

So anyway, I farted around for about half an hour, kicking up and down and doing some half-assed different strokes that I randomly remember from a long time ago. The breathing thing is the hardest. Yeah, I’m going to need a helper.