Friday, December 23, 2011

To the Left, To the Left

Date: Friday, December 23, 2011
Time: 5:45 a.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Long Course Meters
185 days to Olympic Trials

300 warmup

6x150 on 2:30
Flip turn at 25 meters

Twelve minutes:
30 seconds breast kick (no board)
30 seconds back kick
30 seconds breast vertical kick
(about 400 meters, not including vertical kick) 

8x50 breast pull with short fins on 1:10
(averaged :39)

300 easy

Three rounds:
4x50 back on 1:00 descend 1-4 (descended to :37)
150 free on 2:30 descend by rounds (2:00, 1:46, 1:40)

250 easy (with stretching)

Total: 3,600 meters (not including vertical kicking) (80 minutes)

I had planned to swim with Coley Stickel's group at Phoenix Swim Club yesterday, but discovered that because the kids are out of school, the workout was moved to mid-morning, which I couldn't make. It gave me a day of rest, which my left shoulder needs. I really did some tough dryland on Tuesday and Wednesday, and my left arm, shoulder and back are still quite sore. My goal is to make that side stronger in the next month or two, doing plenty of dryland exercises to help that. In addition, I'll do more Power Tower work.

When I work up this morning, I had a desire to do one of the sets today breaststroke pull with short fins. I never know if there will be a set in the workout that will work with that, and I was lucky that it happened today. Instead of kicking the set of 50s (as nearly everyone else did), I did breast pull, working on the catch and insweep. Because of my sore muscles, I didn't feel particularly strong, but I felt like I was holding more water, and that is important. The interval prevented me from going any faster. I have done a 50-meter breast pull with short fins in the 34-second range. Maybe soon I'll go for that. I learned today that we have two more weeks of long course training ahead of us, and that will help me get ready for the Austin Grand Prix.

This afternoon, I went to get some bodywork done with Tod Miller, specifically to increase mobility in my upper left side. Training will be getting tougher in the next few months, and I want to make sure my range of motion in my shoulder and back muscles is close to its best. When Tod stands on my back and puts all of his weight on my muscles, I can feel the nerve endings waking up, which in turn bring more blood flow to those muscles. That helps stretch out the muscles, especially the ones in my shoulder in back that I have not properly been treating since my tendonitis diagnosis in 2009. Following that up with some deep tissue massage really did the trick today, and I'm sure it will only help.

After the massage, Tod suggested some acupuncture, and I agreed to it. Tod had given me some acupuncture therapy once before, just before I made my Olympic Trials cut. I don't have a fear of needles, but don't like the thought of something piercing my skin. About 20 needles went into my shoulders, arms, legs and the space between my toes. Tod puts a cloth over my eyes during the procedure, to keep me from being blinded by the bright lights on the ceiling. I'm glad he does this, because the last thing I want to do is be tempted to look at these needles sticking out of my skin. Once they are in my skin, I don't feel them, but the weird thing is during the 20 minutes or so while I am lying motionless on the table, a few of my muscles start twitching. Tod told me the many reasons why the acupuncture is good for me, but I don't remember them all. I think it's to allow my nervous system to work better with my muscles. The best thing about the acupuncture session was the ability to take a 15-minute nap!

Tomorrow, my muscles might feel a bit achy, but that's what happens when they re-adjust to their elasticity.

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