August 2014

Aug
22

Biking and weight loss

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 8:07am (August 22nd, 2014)
Biking and weight loss

I've started riding the bike at the gym.  The silly "video biking" will probably motivate me to purchase an actual road bike.  The gym I frequent only has the video biking.  I'm sure some people love this, but I find it annoying to have a huge screen in my face and the need to steer.  I personally just want to hunker down and pedal when I'm in a weight room.  I don't want to pretend I'm doing a race outdoors, this is just silly.

I saw "186 lbs" for the first time in a very long time, perhaps since I broke my ankle.  I've held that weight for two days now.  I'm certainly on a downward trend that I hope continues for a bit.  I feel and look much healthier in the past week.  I'm headed in the right direction.

Session Weight Information
Post-Practice Weight: 186.6 lbs
Aug
22

Remember those new excercises? I'm still recovering...

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 8:00am (August 22nd, 2014)
Remember those new excercises?  I'm still recovering...

Seven days ago, I tried some interval weight lifting that I had been considering for quite some time.  I pushed it pretty hard in the gym and went home feeling great.  It hit me a day or two later when my lats were quite sore.  Here we are 7-days later and I'm still not certain I'm ready for anoter workout like that. 

On the upside, I've been in the pool 6-days a week for two weeks now.  I'm motivated and making time for excercise. I've had a few great days out at Fuller pool enjoying the sunshine as well.

Practice Information
Dist: 2,500 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Aug
15

Great gym session, new exercises!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 1:21pm (August 15th, 2014)

It's been an exciting week for my training.  Attending world championships was suprisingly motivating.  It clarified to me that I'm not content swimming average times (for me).  I'm consider myself goal oriented and I need to bring my training in line with the rest of my life.

My evening involved some new weight exercises.  While coaching the other day, I recommended "interval training" to a friend.  I took my own advice and developed some interval training of my own. 

After being motivated by the Triathalon I spectated, I chose to bike instead of doing the eliptical.  It's a choice I'll continue to make.  I got a much higher intensity workout from the bike!

I ended my evening with a 15 minute ab workout from P90X.  It was a heck of a workout day!

Aug
14

A rushed practice but I still made time for it

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 9:13pm (August 14th, 2014)

I try to swim for an hour each day.  Today I had about 40 minutes.  I find that sometimes I get even more out of a short workout.  I sprint the whole thing.  I'm more worn out from a sprint 40 minute workout than a leasurely 60 minutes.  I did 4 x [50m Fly fast + 50m free slow] today and really enjoyed some fast swimming.  I had a great 5 x 100's of kicking with a board as well.  I've spent months losing a little weight but I'm ready to do some fast training.  I still have about 15 lbs to lose before I'm at a great power/weight ratio.  With this latest training push, I will make progress on that topic quickly.

Heading to the gym for workout #2 today :)

Session Weight Information
Pre-Practice Weight: 188.2 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 2,200 SCY - (Short Course 25 Yards)
Aug
13

Spectated my first Triathalon today!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 7:07pm (August 13th, 2014)

I might be hooked that easy...

I headed over to Island Lake to spectate a friend competing in a "sprint" triathalon.  For those as ignorant as I was on the topic.  A sprint tri is a:

750-meter (0.47-mile) swim, 20-kilometer (12-mile) bike, 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run

As any swimmer would agree that's a real quick swim followed by a brutal bike and a horrible run.  I'm fearful and excited to attempt one of these competitions.  I've been thinking about it for years, it's almost time to make a move.  I still lack a bicycle, I might need one of those first.

Aug
13

A flawless day at Fuller Pool

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 5:58pm (August 13th, 2014)

Regardless of where I stand in my training, I always make time to spend an hour or so at Fuller pool on a flawless summer day.  There's just something about staring up at the sun and clouds while swimming backstroke.  I packed in 2200 meters before stopping to help my friend Tim prepare for his first Triathalon.  I truly enjoy how coaching helps me further my understanding of swimming by teaching it.  I find myself deconstructing the stroke to help a swimmer understand how the body can move through the water best.

Great job today Timmy!

Practice Information
Dist: 2,200 LCM - (Long Course 50 Meters)
Aug
11

Energized and making time for training!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 2:58pm (August 11th, 2014)

Last night I was in the gym for 1.5 hours trying out some new endurance exercises I've been considering for the last few months.  I ended with 30 minutes on the elliptical machine.  Today I swam a 1.0 hour 3,000 meter workout.  I'm motivated to improve, I want to be proud of my times and this is the way to do it.

Session Weight Information
Post-Practice Weight: 186.8 lbs
Practice Information
Dist: 3,000 SCM - (Short Course 25 Meters)
Aug
9

2014 FINA World Championships - 50 Back LCM

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:14am (August 9th, 2014)

We'll I'm certainly not proud of this one!

I finished up the 100 Back on Friday in 5th place, it was a respectable ranking.  I wanted to feel better about my 50 Back and perhaps even rank higher.  Therefore I put in a maximum preparation effort leading up to the race.  I ate well, I relaxed, I stretched, I checked my start time, I got to bed early, woke up, shaved down (including my face!), and took my daily subway ride over to the pool.  I arrived on schedule and warmed up a 500m.  I dried off and stretched as I waited to hear the occasional announcment of the heats being marshalled.  I waited, and waited.  After a few minutes, I walked over to the tent to find.... nothing.  There were no heats being marshalled.  I was confused, especially since there was an event even after mine.  I walked over to the information table and inquired.  I asked "Shouldn't the 50 back be in the water?" The woman looked just as confused, she replied "it's already over, it ran ahead of schedule".  I was blown away.  There wasn't a single event (that I saw) all week that ran ahead of schedule.  There was a 1.5 hour delay on relays in fact.  I was disapointed and mad at myself.   I stayed a whole extra day and was looking forward to this race the most out of all the events, and yet I dropped the ball.  I sat down on the deck to reflect on my error for a few minutes.  I've never made a mistake like this before.  I let myself be angry for a few minutes, it was ok to feel this way.  I considered requesting a time trial, all I really wanted was a time.  Yet, the pool was calm, the timers and officals were taking a break, it seemed pointless and rude to ask.  I'm certainly not the only swimmer out of 6,000 who would have liked a time trial.  I opted to not even ask.  I headed for the locker room to shower.  As I stood there in the cold shower (a hot one would have been great), I reflected on all the important races I was on time for.  Although this is a big meet, I was not trained and tapered for this meet.  I can forgive myself for this error.  I could have missed the 2008 Olympic Trials 100 backstroke, or the 2012 Masters Long Course Nationals 50 Back.  Missing either of those would have devistated me.  Today was certainly an error, but a forgiveable one.  The upside is that I am 100% rested for my 10 hour drive home!

I would later learn that 12 out of 24 swimmers missed the event, a 58% increase over other events.  It helps a bit to know I'm not alone in my miscalculation.

I'm done at the meet, thank you Montreal!

Aug
8

2014 FINA World Championships - 100 Back LCM

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 10:51am (August 8th, 2014)

This was my first 100m race in the secondary pool. Since the pool is a ways away from the main action, it adds a level of stress to the afternoon. It requires you to plan your warmup and then the trip over there. Since you have no idea when the heats before you swim, you move your schedule forward to accommodate any scheduling irregularities. In the case of this swim, I didn’t want to walk 15 minutes, then swim a 100 Back. Normally I would see a 15 minute walk as “great exercise”. Yet, when I’m preparing for my most painful race, I have no intention of wearing my legs out any more than I need to. Therefore, I opted to take the bus. A decision I don’t know if I would repeat. It added an extra layer of stress to my pre-event preparation. As I mentioned above, the bus doesn’t leave till it’s full. When I got on the bus, I took the last seat. I honestly thought we would leave within a moment… I was wrong. We sat there for nearly 15 minutes as people trickled onto an already full bus. Only when we couldn’t fit another living, and intact, human body on the bus, did it start to move forward. I was amazed, there were people spilling onto each other, faces with butts right in front of them, people uncomfortably touching strangers, it was just silly. Meanwhile I’m stressing out about getting to my race on time. We made the trip and I sort of jogged the rest of the way to the pool. I was sweaty when I arrived. I tossed on my race suit and headed to the marshalling area. I arrived JUST in time as they called my heat up. I almost walked on the deck still wearing my sunglasses on my head. I might have just swam with them up there if I had arrived any later. I felt a bit out of breath as I hopped in the water for my race. It wasn’t an ideal race-prep that I did. I positioned myself on the horrible “Omega” timing pad and prepared to slip off it and ruin my race. Miraculously I managed a conservative (slow) but non-slip start to flip at the 50 in 29.60. I gave that last 50 everything I had as I reached in for the finish to see a 1:01.92 on the board. I had a feeling I was going to be a 1:01.xx. It’s a long way from my 57.44 a few years ago but still respectable for minimal training. As I passed my friend Eric who competes in the 75 year old age bracket, I told him about my mediocre 1:01 race as he and his friend chuckled at my disappointment considering that time would be superhuman for his age group, it was a light-hearted moment that we all smiled at. I congratulated a few other backstrokers on my way out and headed back to the main pool to warm down. I’m struck with how wishing somebody a “good job” is sort of universal with regard to languages. In each one of my races, I touched the wall and reached over to my competitor and either shook their hand or gave them a “thumbs up”. I know a majority of them didn’t speak English, yet we always shared a smile. It just feels good to share a good-will moment with somebody who hails from the other side of the planet. We’re so different, yet all the same in that instant.

I was out in a 29.60 and finished in a 1:01.92 for a 5th place finish

Aug
7

2014 FINA World Championships - All Relays

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 9:55pm (August 7th, 2014)
2014 FINA World Championships - All Relays

What a long day...

Today I swam 4 relays over the course of 8 hours.  I enjoyed about 70% of the day today.  Hanging out with my "team" from Michigan Masters, seeing old swimming friends, being in the sun, and the racing itself was all enjoyable and brought me plenty of smiles.  Yet, the sitting around for hours on end is the 30% that frankly kinda stunk.  The meet was behind schedule 60 minutes, and a little thunder and a momentary downpour of rain delayed a very long day another 30 minutes.  The short version is:

50 Back LCM: 28.97 (flat start)

50 Free LCM: 25.18 (flat start)

50 Free LCM: 25.18 (relay exchange)

50 FLY LCM:  27.10 (relay exchange)

I'm generally happy with my times today.  I didn't take today especially seriously and that's ok. Time for bed.

Aug
6

2014 FINA World Championships - 100 Fly LCM

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 10:46am (August 6th, 2014)
2014 FINA World Championships - 100 Fly LCM

Back-to-back butterfly days!  Fly is becoming my favorite stroke.  I find that I'm more consistent in my butterfly races and I worry a lot less about my start.  Naturally since this meet is a "FINA" meet, we are cursed with the horrible "Omega" touchpads.  In short, these are the worst designed touchpads the world has ever seen.  How the landed the FINA contract must have either involved bribes or widespread ignorance toward the laws of physics.  Moving on...

100m Butterfly RACE RECAP

My day today was relaxed with a 4:28pm estimated heat start time.  I got to get a bunch of work done and began my 30 minute subway ride around 3pm.  I did a short but sufficient warmup and began my contortionist ritual to get into my race suit.  I videotaped a friend Jim who swam 20 heats before me and then relaxed before my heat was called.  While waiting for my race, I ran into a few fellow masters swimmers.  A few short light-hearted conversations took any stress away from the pre-race feeling.  We were marched out to the deck and I found my place behind lane 8.  The two minutes I waited to begin my race might have been the most annoying pre-race situation ever.  I was swarmed by little gnats or fruit flies landing all over my face and body, they were everywhere.  I was swatting these things away every 5 seconds, it just felt a bit disgusting.  I've never been so eager to jump in the water.

We were called up on the blocks and the gun went off.  Again, I entered with what I thought was a fair time, but turned out to be a slower seed time than I was capable of.  I entered with a 1:01.70, I was out in a 26.96 and home in a 32.46.  I touched the wall in 59.42, although a far cry from my 54.83 in 2012, it was a respectable time.  Before the race I told myself I would be satisfied with any 59.xx, therefore I'm contractually required to be satisfied with my performance.  I finished first in my heat but that's only because I miscalculated my abilities when signing up.  I waited 5 hours for results to post and found out I finished 3rd in my age group.

Tomorrow I have 4 relays spanning my entire day. It will be a long one considering the venue can't keep the wifi running for more than a few seconds at a time.  I fear I'll have to communicate with another human face-to-face without the help of technology.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Aug
5

2014 FINA World Championships - 50 Fly LCM

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 10:59pm (August 5th, 2014)
2014 FINA World Championships - 50 Fly LCM

Although I was busy all day with work, today was a relaxing swimming day.  I was scheduled to swim at 7:18pm so I had the whole day to occupy my mind with other interests.  I headed over to the pool around 5:30pm.  After some scmoozing with fellow swimmers, I headed to the warmup pool to do a leasurely 500m warmup.  I practiced a few burst sprints to ensure I had a little speed on tap.  Due to the number of swimmers warming up, I wasn't able to do any finishes, something I would later learn was a critical piece of my race.

50m FLY RACE RECAP

I headed over to the secondary competition pool at 6:30pm, around 45 minutes before my race.  The secondary pool is a temporary facility in a field separated by a long bridge to an island.  It's a 15 minutes walk or a 5 minute bus ride away from the main pool.  All I can say is that the pool itself is just fine.  Everything surrounding the pool leaves plenty to be desired.  Some rain earlier in the day made the grounds a muddy mess.  The "ready room" (a large, low tent), combined with all the mud, has never quite felt so much like a cattle processing facility.  I waited among many bouncing swimmers (just relax guys, no need to do so much jumping).  When heat 84 was called in three different languages, I found my #7 chair and took a seat.  I was surrounded by jackets representing countless other countries.  I enjoy the global feeling you get at this meet.  My heat was called and we arose to march up a flight of stairs onto the pool deck.  We were instructed to put our belongings at the finish end of the pool and walk to the far side to start the race.  As I walked past the 25m mark a staff member asked my lane to check if I was present.  I arrived behind lane 7 and did some final stretching.  As my heat was called up, lane 8 was missing, we were held on the blocks for a good 20 seconds as we waited for Mr. Late to arrive.  The race itself was uneventful.  I chose a slow seed time while underestimating my out-of-shape abilities so I was out in front of the pack almost immediately.  I took two breaths, just as I planned.  I nicked the right hand lane line with my fingertips once, a clear indication that I still circle swim my races.  I buried my head and finished the last 10 meters as strong as I could.  The glide into the wall was inneficient and poorly timed.  I should have taken that last stroke.  My head was up before I hit the wall, pathetic.  As I turned around to see my time, the lane timer lady pleasantly said: "it was a twenty six".  I figured she was rounding.  I looked at the clock and sure enough it said "26.00".  I had mentioned to my teammates that I wanted to break 27 today.  I think it was a 25 second race but I'll take a 26 flat considering my training level lately.  My best swim remains my 2012 nationals time of 24.59.

 

The technology isn't the greatest at this meet.  The wifi crashes, the website crashes, the results are severely delayed.  I still don't know how I placed today.  The 100 Butterfly is tomorrow, it will hurt but I'm looking forward to it.


EDIT:
It took 5 hours to post results apparently.  I took 2nd in my age group by 0.06 seconds.... that darn finish

Aug
5

2014 FINA World Championships - 100 Free LCM

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 3:29pm (August 5th, 2014)
2014 FINA World Championships - 100 Free LCM

Almost surprisingly, my first swim went as well as can be expected considering my training level.  I entered the event with a 56.51, a conservative time based on some recent SCM meet performances.  2 years ago at long course nationals, I swam a lifetime best of 51.59, a time I considered downright epic for my capabilities.

100M FREE SWIM RECAP

I took it out very controlled.  I was concerned that I would get too worked up and rush the first 50m.  I've been known to take out this race fast and die at the end.  I dove in, took a few butterfly kicks and found myself almost a body length ahead of my competition when I brokeout.  The rest of the first 50m I was smooth and long through the water.  Watching the video later I saw that my arm/leg speed was much slower than my heat, a fact that I'm comfortable with.  By the first wall, I was in 5th position in my heat.  Since I had planned my race, I was relaxed about that.  I began to pile on the effort coming home, all while gaughing my energy level to ensure it wasn't too ugly the last few meters.  I had started to gain on the 5 swimmers that were ahead of me by the time the last 15m buoy passed.  I set my sights on a swimmer to my left and sprinted to the finish.  In hindsight I should have made that last effort sooner.  Teammates watching me told me later how much I gained on the pack in the last 5 meters.  I had too much energy left at the end.  I touched the wall in a 56.26 and finished 2nd in my heat, passing all but one swimmer in the last 5 meters.  Although I'm happy with my swim, it should have been a 55 second race.

I finished 14th in my age group, a stat I can accept.  I'm wishing I had at least lost some weight for this meet.  I'm attempting to tow around too much fat.  I need to lose about 15 lbs.