Friday, February 27, 2009

It's back

My shoulder pain is back. I staved it off for more than a year. Last time it was a impingement of the supraspinatus muscle in my rotator cuff. I've got an appointment with the PT next friday to get back on track with my exercises. And thanks to Kathy I am getting a massage next week- thank you!

The things that I think are contributing factors are:
*typing too much at work
*bad ergonomic set up at my desk?
*poor posture
*stress on my neck and upper shoulders from some cord exercises I have been doing for the past two weeks
*anatomy - I've got super flexible loose shoulders

Given that I experienced no problems all summer and fall, I think the biggest factors are working on the computer and stability of my shoulder -- I don't work in the summer and wear a wet suit all summer for swimming which stabilizes my shoulder I have discovered. It got better last winter with physical therapy so I expect it will this year. It is just frustrating. Especially as I am trying to gear up for New Englands. I haven't been doing much yardage as a result of my shoulder.

I did practice starts today and made some significant changes which I think will really help. Coach suggested I place my hands inside of my feet on the blocks and not grab tight to the block as I was trained to do way back when. Also he noticed I was bringing my arms in to my chest first when I really should be throwing them straight out immediately. Just these few changes really did feel faster. After I master this I'd like to try to incorporate better streamlining of my legs and feet so I can make a clean entry. Check out this video recently posted on Go Swim.

Starts - Clean Up the Feet from Glenn Mills on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I love what happened in the pool this morning.

I learned something new from a fellow swimmer. My backstroke has been hurting. The practice immediately before our last meet I hyperextended my elbow twice in practice. Or that is what my coach told me. I didn't really understand what he was talking about. Today we were on our own for practice so I searched the web and pieced together a practice that I thought would be more conditioning as we are working on sprints Wed and Friday.

600 w/u (300 swim/300 pull)
4 x 150 (50 back kick no fins, 50 catch-up, 25 tarzan, 25 stiff arm dog paddle)
400 swim 80% effort
4 x 50 fly on 1
300 swim 80% effort
4 x 50 back on 1
200 swim 85% effort
4 x 50 breast on 1

We made it as far as the set of 50 back and a lap swim regular joined us. He is really fast but his doctor has asked him to slow down on account of his heart. He is 70 (or maybe older I'm not sure!) and he is the one who showed me something new today! I just love that. Age passing on experience (well I can pretend I am still nubile and young right?)

I have been rotating and hyperextending my whole arm across the midline up above my head, along with bending my hand at the wrist as if to scoop more water. This whole motion in turn has been torquing my shoulder and hurting! Thank god for Eric noticing and pointing it out. He even had a great way to get the right feel for correcting it. Swim along the lane line on your back -- right along it -- and with your arm extended grab the lane line and pull your self along. Your hand position and rotation are just right.

Here is a video that illustrates the proper technique with a double arm drill. The GoSwim site is great if you haven't already checked it out. A plethora of videos, drills, workouts and expert swim advice.

Backstroke - Double Arm from Glenn Mills on Vimeo.

Let me know what you think.

And for those of you who actually read this probably boring post.... here is a great lead I got from a fellow blogger....go to TYR to enter to win a new TYR Tracer speedsuit. Good luck!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm registered

Signed up for New Englands yesterday.
Here's the line up....

50 back (to warm-up for fly)
100 fly
400 free relay?

100 free
100 back (just for fun)
200 free relay?

50 fly
50 free
400 medley relay?

My best shots are in the 50 fly and 50 free. There are a few very fast women that went last year and posted some good times so I have my work cut out for me.

I am excited because we've got a good size group going from our club. Jim, Gary, Ted, Matt, Coach, Ann, Lisa, Tandy.... anyone else? I'd love to see Maine win again.

I've contacted Splish to get a lobster graphic up so I can design a suit! As far as I know we just have caps. If anyone is graphically inclined shoot me an email please!

About one in two million lobsters are blue.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Very funny video making light of the unfortunate Phelps situation....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cape Sprint Meet Report

Richards Community Pool, Cape Eilzabeth

It was great to be on home turf. There was a huge turn out and lots of very fast people which was inspiring. It was also wonderful to see so many from my own Masters team who swam in there first swim meet ever. Way to go guys!! The best was swimming with Ange and Mary again. If they hadn't gotten obsessed with triathlons I probably wouldn't be swimming again. That's what friends are for. Love you guys! This meet brought back so many memories.

Me, Mary and Ange post-meet. Yes I think it is time for me to get a new suit!

During warm-up I pulled a muscle in my back -- really I think I slept on it funny and having been sick with strep for a week my muscles were a little screwy from missing several practices. Given all that I was happy with my times....

100 fly 1:07.57 (PR and Maine Masters 35-39 women's record I think)
50 fly 29.60 (.5 off PR)
50 back 33.7
50 breast 40.1
100 IM 1:13

I purposely didn't swim the 50 and 100 free on account of being sick. I consider myself first and foremost a freestyle sprinter so I'd like to be in better condition for these. The 50 breast, 50 back and 100 IM were just for fun events. I haven't swum these in 20 years or more so I had no idea how I'd fare. And hey there were fun!

From our team, Deb blew away some Maine Master's records with her 50 breast and 100 breast -- 34 and 1:17 respectively! Awesome job!! Matt did a great time in the 50 free - 26.4 and Jim beat Kerry in the 50 breast by a few hundredths of a second. That was a fun race to watch!

Looking forward to the NE SCY Championships in March I'd really like to get my 100 fly closer to my HS time of 1:05. I just need to build up my endurance and strength.

A big thanks to Coach Kerry for organizing the meet and also to all those swimmers who traveled from near and far to make this meet a real event!
And also thanks to Mike MacDonald of Team Nor'easter for some great pictures.

Ange and I on the blocks before the 100 fly.... major HS memories!!

Me in the 50 back

Me in the 100 fly

Deb and I (not looking our best)

Friday, February 6, 2009

New race schedule

I think I've nailed down my race schedule through the summer now. I found a great sprint triathlon in Norway Maine -- it has a long-ish swim (.62 miles), short bike (9 miles) and a normal run (3 miles). Hopefully I won't have to walk! Now I have lots of time to train -- ha ha! What will be most fun is that Ange will be racing this one too, surely leading the pack.

Harvard's Blodgett Pool

As for swimming I think I will try to buckle down and do some serious swimming for the next 5-6 weeks to get me to the NE SCY Championships at Harvard at the end of March. So far there are about 55 Maine Masters team members going down and they are shooting for 80 people total. For the past 3 years we have won but this year our main rivals -- Red Tide from NY (really why name your team after a toxic flora?) -- is going all out to beat us. We'll see about that. I am really in awe of the speed our team has so it should be a very fun meet either way.

After that I'm going to go to the Colonies Championship in Fairfax VA for a couple of swims and to visit my dear friend Tanya who graciously agreed to swim with me. I might have all 3 kids in tow so that should be interesting!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Olympic Pool?

Looks like there is a group angling to get a new Olympic pool in Westbrook sometime in the next few year. Maine is the only state without an Olympic size pool! It would be put in place of an aging middle school that is currently being rebuilt on a new site. Along with the pool the planning committee wants to see a new ice rink go in as well. Of course the city of Westbrook just laid off nine employees so it doesn't have the money to even make repairs to the aging middle school let alone tear it down and build a new sports complex.

As for me I signed up for my first meet of the year which will be next weekend. I'm coming off a bout of strep throat which caused me to miss a whole week of swimming-- the first I realized since last winter. I have been swimming pretty consistently so that was disappointing. For my line-up I've got: 50 fly, 50 breast, 50 back, 100 fly and 100IM. I don't think I have swum the 50 breast ever so that should be a fun one! What will be especially nice is to swim with Mary and Ange who are making special trips back home for this meet. I think we ought to have a fast relay too!