Tuesday, August 12, 2008

400m free 1 month from today!

It's been awhile since I last wrote on this blog and I have to admit it's because I have been spending every spare minute watching the Olympics.  I am very happy with all the swimming coverage on CBC although it is being quite detrimental to my sleep.  It is exciting to see our Olympian swimmers doing so well and breaking so many Canadian records.  It gets me all jazzed up about getting there and seeing what I can do in that pool.  That is one reason that I am very happy that the Paralympics take place after the Olympics. I get a preview of the aquatics complex so I have some idea of what I will be experiencing once I get there.
As for my back, it is getting better every day.  My chiropractor has magic hands and says that my back should be pretty much 100% before I leave for staging camp on Aug 21st.  
Training has been up and down over the past week.  My backstroke is feeling awesome and my training times have been quite good.  Meanwhile freestyle has been a struggle, which makes me a little nervous as my best event the 400m freestyle takes place one month from today.  My coach Andrew Craven, isn't worried so I shouldn't be either.  I just need to trust my training and focus on the things I can control between now and Sept 12th.  

Before I sign off, I want to wish all competitors at the Ontario Summer Games the best of luck!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Second Week of Training Camp and Since

The second week of training camp in Victoria went pretty well.  The majority of the practices were quite aerobic with a little bit of sprinting thrown in to add variety.  Overall I thought that the training camp went quite well.  I really enjoyed training with my team mates and getting to hang out with long time friends again.  I thought that my body was standing up pretty well until the last three days of camp when I began to feel my back muscles start to tighten up.  On the final day of training camp my back finally gave out and I ended up spending the day in bed and getting treatments from the massage therapist.  Since coming home last Monday I have seen my chiropractor three times and my massage therapist once.  I have been trying to ice it as often as possible and today it is finally starting to feel significantly better.  I am hoping to get back into the gym tomorrow and to begin doing flip turns again this week.  With less then three weeks to go before we leave for staging in Osaka Japan, I am mostly trying to get my body healed and ready to swim fast.  My back going out was not in the plans but it is just another example of being prepared for the unexpected and maintaining my focus on my goals.  

Monday, July 21, 2008

Training Camp Week 1 Summary

The first week of training camp is now complete.  Overall, it went quite well.  While we had more pool practices and did more mileage then I do on a regular basis I thought it went by quite quickly and my body was able to handle the extra demands placed on it.  I think the main reason I was able to physically and mentally get through last week was having adequate recovery.  Since being at training camp I have gotten way more sleep then I normally do, at least 8 hours every night plus a mandatory 1 hour quiet time in the afternoon which for me equates to another hour of sleep.  We have been training from 11am-1pm and 7:30-9pm so the meals have been a little bit screwy.  We eat our big dinner meal at 2pm and have a light lunch type meal at 9:30pm.  I think that this will actually help us going into China as finals most nights won't be over until after 9pm so we will be eating late there too and will already be in the habit of eating late.  We had Sunday off which I spent doing a little bit of shopping and had dinner down on the harbour front.  It was nice to have a day away from the pool and to think about and talk about something other than swimming.  When you spend 24/7 doing nothing but hanging out with swimmers and being at a pool, it can get to be a bit much so having a day away can really help to recharge your batteries.
So today is the first day of the second week of training and I am just about to head to the pool.  I hope to be able to keep the high quality training going as well as continue to get adequate rest.

Monday, July 14, 2008

CAN AM in Victoria

This past weekend was the CAN AM meet in Victoria.  There were swimmers from nine countries in attendance including Germany and Malaysia.  Overall it was a pretty successful meet for me.  I did a best time in both my 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke and all of my other swims were good in-season times so overall I am happy with the meet.  Now I am attending a training camp for the next two weeks in Victoria with the rest of the Paralympic team.  Today we had a recovery workout and I did a weight training session.  The rest of the training camp should be quite interesting.  We are training from 11am-1pm and 7:30-9:30pm.  Training later at night makes sense as we will be racing finals around 8pm at the Paralympics so it will get us ready for those late sessions.  Overall, the next few weeks should be fun but challenging.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Congratulations to all Provincials swimmers. I hope that everyone swam their best and are happy with their results. No matter what the results know that you gave it all you had that day and be happy simply to have been in the race. I remember my first provincials which were also in Thunder Bay back in 1993 before SWAD and able bodied provincials were integrated. It was a great experience. I can still picture the pool and remember the beautiful landscape around the city. The one thing I don't remember is how I swam. I don't remember the events I swam and I don't remember the times that I went. What I do remember is how much fun I had and how it fueled my desire to keep swimming so that I could compete at that meet again.

Have a fun and safe summer both in the pool and out!!

P.S Joe Barker is just pants pants pants.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Today it's raining again and for some reason the rain makes me think of writing on this blog. This week training has been going pretty well and I have not had any real issues with my breathing. Over the past few weeks I have had several doctors appointments and tests to see if I have asthma (which my doctor unofficially diagnosed about a year and a bit ago), how bad it is and if it is effected by exercise. The answers so far are yes I have asthma and yes it is effected quite a bit by exercise. Having these official test results will be very important going into Beijing because they verify that I do have breathing issues and I need to be taking my inhalers. I am a little worried about the air quality in China and how it will affect my performance so I am going to take all the precautions I can such as having my puffers on me at all times and taking them whenever I feel the need and before my races, having a small air purifier for my bedroom, wearing a personal air purifier around my neck and I am even considering wearing a mask. It may seem like overkill but if I want to swim fast in China I need to be proactive regarding the air quality and my ability to breath.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The joys of being a swimmer

As usual, this morning I had morning swim practice however it being summer there were a few twists. 1) Practice started at 7:30am (YEAh for sleeping in!!) 2) Practice took place at an outdoor pool (Working on the tan!!) 3) It rained for almost the entire practice :(
It was one practice during which I was very happy to be the swimmer and not the coach who had to stand on the deck and get rained on for 2 hours.
Overall it was a pretty decent practice. I was happy to be consistent with my times while doing fast 50s of backstroke in an outdoor pool, which has always been difficult for me because try as I may I have never found swimming backstroke in a straight line very easy, especially outdoors where there is nothing straight above you to follow. Swimming backstroke in a straight line without anything but the lane ropes to follow is actually something I am working very hard on leading up to Beijing as all of the pictures I have seen of the Water Cube do not show any straight lines on the ceiling to follow.
Speaking of the Water Cube, I am quite excited about getting to see that building in just over 2 months. I heard that the bubbles on the walls are squishy so that will be very cool to get to see and touch.

Now it's on with the rest of my weekend!