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  1. Tuesday, July 19

    by , July 19th, 2011 at 06:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    @ Gym:

    15 minutes of RC exercises

    30-35 minutes of stretching, yoga, foam roller

    @ Pool:

    1500 easy -- easy swimming, single arm 50s, shooters, 25s no breather free, etc.

    hottub -- not as appealing in the summer with the sun overhead!



    Just an easy boring day for me. Sprinting (I hope) with Speedo tomorrow.

    One more day and I'll be at the 2 week taper mark. I've been wondering whether I should repeat the exact workouts I did before the Albatross meet. But there seems like such a difference between SCM and LCM ... I kicked between 50-60% of my fly-back races in short course, and can't do that now obviously. I suppose there's not much I can do about the arm fatigue I'll get at the end of my LC races at this juncture.

    I'm not bored yet. But I'm sure one more week of swimming only will cause some taper angst. At least I won't have any stress about outside lanes this time.

    The timeline for Auburn looks great! No event before noon. I believe I get in early enough on Wed. night to swim in the competition pool, if it's open.

    More on pain relievers:

    Updated July 20th, 2011 at 03:57 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  2. Friday, April 1

    by , April 1st, 2011 at 06:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC exercises
    hyperextensions on yoga ball, 15 (too easy)
    explosive hypers on yoga ball, 10 (hard)
    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Explosive Hypers[/nomedia]

    reverse scoop, 25 x 2 x 15
    hip lifts on bench, 2 x 15
    deadlift, 95 x 1 x 10, 115 x 1 x 8, 135 x 1 x 6
    hip hinges, 35 x 2 x 10 each leg
    seated narrow grip row, 110 x 3 x 5
    cable twist w/yoga ball, 45 x 1 x 15 each side
    push ups, 2 x 15
    reverse overhead throw w/med ball (in racquetball court), 2 x 15
    extreme angle isometric squat, 6:00
    standing broad jumps, 10

    Stretching, 30 minutes

    stretching, yoga, foam roller



    Spent so long at the gym, I didn't have time for a slow swim. I may try to get one in tomorrow, but I'm pretty booked. Got another magnesium injection today. I think these are starting to help reduce my incidence of cramps. You are supposed to sleep like a log after getting these, but I never notice that effect.

    I really did get up early today with Lil Fort to get her off to GOTR; I just didn't work out early. I am secretly thrilled that Lil Fort recently announced she wants to try cross country. She even asked me to sign her up for another 5K so she can "practice" before she runs the 5K in Boston. She also announced that she never wants to swim 5-6 x a week, but I'm OK with that. She's only 10; I just try to keep her healthy and happy.

    On hydration:

    Updated April 1st, 2011 at 06:54 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  3. Wed., Jan. 19

    by , January 19th, 2011 at 09:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes

    Loved class today. The heat was less than 110. I even got over a mental issue with the locust pose and, for me, rocked it.

    Locust pose = [nomedia=""]YouTube - Bikram Yoga Salabhasana Locust pose[/nomedia]

    I cannot get my legs up as high as this unholy guy, but I made a big improvement today. This pose stretches your elbows (pinned under your body) like crazy. Not sure if this is good for swimming or not ... but I already have rather hypermobile elbows. I once heard SwimmieAvsfan remark that this was a characteristic of good backstrokers.

    RC Work, 15 minutes


    Both my shoulder and neck feel much better, though I do have an ART appointment tomorrow. I think it was fine, beneficial even, to take a week off lifting. Should I start back at the weight I left off at or slightly lower?

    And on a very cheery note: I have a garden variety cold. I've had it for 4-5 days and it has not descended into a grand mal debilitating event. This is some kind of victory for my immune system.

    Tomorrow, I'm meeting up with Jazz and Speedo at OakMarr. Speedo is apparently going to be all about the sprints in light of his lasik sabbatical.
  4. Wed., Jan. 12

    by , January 12th, 2011 at 05:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Had another good session today, tried to be careful of the neck, which is still tender. It seems that every instructor has a pet name for the men and women in the class. Today, the instructor called all the men "boss." Last time, another one called all the women "loves." lol. I was even allowed to walk out of the class to get more water -- such leniency!

    Wednesday seems like a good day for yoga for me. The last few weeks it's been sandwiched in between Tuesday & Thursday swim + dryland doubles and thus provided a nice break and stretch.


    Feeling a bit sluggish from yesterday's deep tissue. Hoping the neck pain will be gone tomorrow and I can get a good dryland session in.

    I continue to be a supplement junkie. I was instructed to add pharmaceutical grade iodine and L-tyrosine into the mix. They have many benefits:


    But, for me, the main purpose seems to be to support the thyroid. I am seriously looking forward to renewed energy & vigor once this thyroid problem gets fixed. Perhaps I'll be able to train more without having such huge recovery problems.

    In other news, Mini Fort is doing her first 2K on the erg today. She is hoping to make the varsity boat (which is heavyweight) in the spring even though she's a lightweight. It will be interesting to see how it goes ... her technique needs some real work as she is brand new to the sport. And right now, sport-loving Mini is really burning the candle at both ends with HS swimming, club volleyball and winter crew on Wednesdays. She certainly won't be able to do that in the spring, or next year, and will have to make some hard decisions. As for Fort Son, Dartmouth is a done deal (interestingly, he's the only kid from a public school recruited for lightweight rowing). We are now into the purchasing of copious college apparel. Mr. Fort and I have a couple friends around the country whose kids are also attending Dartmouth next year, so the parent weekend may be more fun than usual! We are all still elated. So nice to know before April.

    Updated January 12th, 2011 at 10:15 PM by The Fortress

  5. Sunday, Nov. 21

    by , November 21st, 2010 at 09:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    windshield wipers, 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 100
    tricep press negatives, 50 x 2 x 10
    bench press singles, 110 x 2 x 1, 120 x 8 x 1
    seated row, 120 x 3 x 6
    nautilus lower back, 140 x 2 x 10
    box jumps, 2 x 10
    (getting more efficient at these)
    squat jumps w/45 lb bar, 2 x 10
    squat swings w/25 lb plate, 2 x 15
    RC work

    Yoga/Stretching, 25-30 minutes:


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    8 x 50 dolphin kick w/board, no fins @ 1:00
    These hurt way more than they should have. I went right from the pool to the gym, so was probably tired from the plyos.

    50 dolphin dive

    8 x 50 free w/paddles @ :50

    50 dolphin dive

    16 x 50 @ 1:00
    1-4 = 25 fly drill + 25 free
    5-8 = 25 free + 25 back shooter
    9-12 = 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ
    13-16 = 50 breast, descend to fast

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 2350 meters

    steamroom, 10 minutes



    After early rising and 6 soccer games, I was completely unmotivated to go the gym this afternoon. Fortunately, Mr. Fort kicked me out. I felt like I had a solid dryland session, but had to restrict the pool session to recovery/aerobic work (though I felt strong in the water). I was just too tired to ramp it up in relatively hot water.

    Tentative plan for the week. I'll see if I can actually get er done.

    Mon: Bikram yoga
    Tues: gym + speed workout + massage
    Wed: swim with Sewickley Masters
    Thurs: stretch at home
    Fri: swim with Sewickley Masters
    Saturday: drylands (no legs except a few plyos) + drive home
    Sun: speed workout

    I am going to enter the Last Minute Meet. But just the 100 fly for a 50 split and to practice breakouts. Can I do anything while hanging on the wall gasping for breath before I begin the second 50? I should know this, I realize, but never had occasion to focus on the wall rule for fly. I know in backstroke you can practically pirouette without a DQ. May have to drag out my rule book.

    Attached is a pic of Lil Fort's U10 all star team. They played great and with a lot of heart. Lil Fort even wants to play indoor soccer this year.

    Updated November 22nd, 2010 at 09:29 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
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  6. Friday, Nov. 5

    by , November 6th, 2010 at 11:16 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes

    Not one of my best classes today. It was a few degrees hotter than last time, which makes a huge difference. I dislike tree pose. I don't see how, when you're dripping wet, your foot can stay where it is supposed to ...

    Hormone Talk: (sorry guys )

    Had my follow up appt with doc today. (Not the one who told me to "diet and exercise" -- I fired him.) After mega labs, it turns out I am deficient, very deficient. Deficiencies in Vitamin D, magnesium, ferritin, B12, DHEA (adrenal hormone), and potassium. This is apparently called hypovitaminosis. Learned a new word. Not sure how this happened when I have a healthy diet, though some of it may be due to avoiding foods with lactose. And further tests confirm that I am "estrogen dominant" with a (virtually complete) lack of progesterone & testosterone and I also have a T3/T4 issue, both of which should be fixable with different HRT (bioidentical progesterone) and thyroid medication. The upside is that I may be able to sleep better, not feel so tired all the time, and have an actual immune system once these problems are resolved. And my LDL cholesterol levels should return to normal. I wonder if this partially explains why I have problems with post workout recovery?

    The good news: I have 104 HDL cholesterol, no autoimmune disorders, good bone density, clean mammogram and no risk factors for cardiovascular disease or diabetes. I just have a variety of whacky hormones, which is not uncommon for my age.

    Since the article in Swimmer magazine, I've gotten a lot of questions about HRT. Feel free to PM me if you want more info. I've become somewhat of an expert in thryroid/reproductive hormone issues. Oh joy.

    Updated November 6th, 2010 at 01:11 PM by The Fortress

  7. Swim + Stretch, Wed., Nov. 3

    by , November 3rd, 2010 at 09:05 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had grandiose notions of reprising the 8 x 100 @ 2:00 LT Death Set from Sept. 30 today. Yesterday, the water was a blissfully cool 80 degrees. Today, the water was, supposedly, 84 degrees. It felt hotter. I was just not up to doing that set in these conditions (possibly at Mason on Friday). Instead, I did the following, which was a pretty fun workout:


    Warm up:

    650 various

    Transition 25s:

    10 x 25 @ :40
    odds = UW shooter (belly, back, right side, left side, twirling)
    evens = long breaststroke pull + cruise

    4 x (3 x 25)
    1st 25 = UW shooters
    2nd 25 = burst + cruise
    3rd 25 = fly drill

    3 x (4 x 25)
    1st 25 = broad jump off side and egg beater kick to wall
    2nd 25 = backstroke start,* 5-6 fast SDKs and then cruise
    3rd 25 = fast underwater free recovery w/buoy
    4th 25 = easy backstroke kick

    * At the Sprint Classic, I tried to use a neutral head position on my backstroke start and not pull in toward the wall. Like this Natalie Coughlin start:[ame=" sal_sports/"]Seebohm Wins, Coughlin Swims into Third - from Universal Sports - Video[/ame] Today, I tried it with my head tipped back slightly more. It felt perfectly natural and I seemed to get into the water cleanly. Going to keep working on this start and playing around with head position. Definitely never pulling in/tucking in again though. (See, e.g., start from NE SCM Champs last year: [nomedia=""]YouTube - Fort SCM 50 back[/nomedia])

    50 EZ

    Speed Set:

    3 x 50 fast fly w/fins, done as:

    50 fly @ 85-90% + 50 EZ @ 3:00
    50 fly @ 90-95% + 100 EZ @ 3:00
    50 fly @ 95-100% + 150 EZ @ whatever

    went 26, 25, 24
    Hard to be more precise with a pace clock.
    24 is pretty fast for me. I'm considering doing more SDKs on my next 50 fly.

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Kick Set:

    20 x 50 backstroke kick w/fins @ :45
    Held 30-32 at an easy pace.
    Went fast on the last one, no extra rest: 23 high-24

    100 EZ

    Total: 3150


    I dropped Lil Fort at swim practice, then went to the Rec Center with Mini Fort. While she swam for an hour, I did:

    15 minutes of RC work

    30 minutes of stretching and yoga



    As noted above, I was annoyed and bummed that the water was so toasty. Tyranny of the noodlers.

    Although it might not seem like much, I am quite tired after that workout. Of course, I am also sore and tired from yesterdays drylands and hypoxic kick. And I had a bout of insomnia that kept me up until 2:30 am or so. The TRX chest press did not agree with my shoulders at all. I am putting that on the "dead to me" list, along with planks.

    Tomorrow is cross country regionals. That really will be my son's last HS race and then it's on to winter crew training.

    Still mulling over NE Champs and wondering whether to swim the 100 fly or 100 IM on Saturday if I go ... And I see a couple possible split requests in my future ... not the 200 fly though!

    Updated November 3rd, 2010 at 10:51 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  8. Yoga + Meet Results, Oct. 25

    by , October 25th, 2010 at 08:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Made it to my first bikram yoga class in many months. It felt like the thing to do today, as I was tired and not all that interested in the pool. I felt pretty flexy, but my balance was more suspect than usual. I'll probably squeeze an aerobic workout in tomorrow between the scintillating tasks of getting my kitty spayed and having a bone density scan.



    Still feeling pretty psyched about the meet results. I feel somewhat more motivated to compete than I did before in my malaise. This led to two thoughts. One, I'm really hoping we have the Last Chance meet again in December to possibly obviate the need to travel to Boston (though I haven't ruled it out as I love SCM). Second, I'm going to lobby to leave for the Boston Marathon after Day 1 of Colonies Zones in April. If the order of events is the same as last year, I could swim both the 100 back (as a split on the 200) and the 100 fly on Saturday and get a 50 free split leading off a 200 free relay. And that would be a wrap on my SCY season since I'm not going to Nationals. (No desire to swim backstroke outdoors or swim in the heat.)

    Coach Cheryl has announced that next year at the Sprint Classic she's doing the Fastest Woman and Man awards as an aggregate of the time for the 4 x 25s. (This may be to prevent people skipping 25s -- I threatened to skip the 25 evil yesterday.) Just for kicks she re-calculated the results this way. Turns out, the winners would have been the same. I think my wide margin of victory in the 25 back compensated for my personal worst in the 25 breast (yep, checked previous years, this was my worst 25 breast ever, can't do evil anymore or else I really need to practice going shallower on the starts and turns).

    Here are the aggregate results:

    Women Quadathlon

    Place Name Team Total 25BK 25BR 25FLY 25FR
    ================================================== ===================================
    1 Livingston, Leslie 49 GMUP-PV 54.66 13.32 16.51 12.62 12.21
    2 Van Erden, Jayme 25 RMST-PV 55.49 14.92 15.25 13.02 12.30
    3 Conze, Margaret 39 WARD-PV 56.13 15.01 16.49 12.66 11.97
    4 Grover, Mollie 29 TERR-PV 56.14 14.73 15.72 13.18 12.51
    5 Carlson, Jennifer 31 RMST-PV 56.29 14.96 15.97 13.21 12.15

    Men Quadathlon

    Place Name Team Total 25BK 25BR 25FLY 25FR
    ================================================== ===================================
    1 Roddin, Jeffrey 41 ANCM-PV 46.91 12.25 12.79 11.25 10.62
    2 Britt, Clay 49 ANCM-PV 47.86 12.38 13.40 11.18 10.90
    3 Doane, Michael 39 TERR-PV 49.28 14.28 12.86 11.26 10.88
    4 Barley, Adam 29 VMST-VA 49.39 12.78 13.69 11.66 11.26
    5 von Loewe, Pete 40 GMUP-PV 50.41 12.98 14.49 11.93 11.01

    Meet results:

    Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters Results:

    I'm still wondering about the impact of the lack of tech suits on meet attendance. It seems that, since the ban, every meet I've heard of has lower attendance. And that includes the Sprint Classic.

    WRT the suit effect, a friend was asking if, given my 50 back, I thought the suits made virtually no difference unless you were trying to swim fast unrested and untapered. My answer is NO. I think the suits made a difference in speed and times will, generally, be slower without them. That's not to say you can't swim faster without them -- as The Little Devil proved -- just that I think they improved speed by some margin. I'm sure I'll suffer more in the 100s than in the 50s.

    I am still rocking this husky voice thing, though my cough is better today. Perhaps I sweated out some of the poison.

    Updated October 26th, 2010 at 08:42 AM by The Fortress

  9. Drylands, Sept. 23

    by , September 23rd, 2010 at 05:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands, 60-70 minutes:

    Warm up:

    broomstick twists, 25
    windshield wipers, 15
    flutter kicks (on back, arms in streamline position) on bosu, 50
    lateral hops on bench, 1:00

    Strength/Power Work:

    dead lift singles, 3 x 45, 1 x 95, 1 x 115, 1 x 135, 1 x 135, 1 x 145, 1 x 145, 1 x 155
    med ball floor slams (10 lb ball), 2 x 10
    plyo start drill w/med ball, 1 x 10*
    streamline on back on bosu, 2 x 2:00**
    bulgarian split leg squat w/10 lb plate overhead, 10 x 2 x 10 each leg

    -- next time I'll use a heavier plate, as these were relatively easy. Here's a vid of an overhead split squat: [ame=""]How to Perform an Overhead Split Squat Video –[/ame] I just used a bench for the back leg.
    -- you can do these SSs with added ROM as well -- [nomedia=""]YouTube - - Bulgarian split squats w/ added ROM[/nomedia].)

    back extensions w/plate, 25 x 1 x 15
    body rows (aka inverse pull ups), 2 x 15
    russians twists on incline w/plate, 25 x 2 x 25
    extreme angle isometric squat hold, 4:00 (effen ouch)
    extreme angle isometric push up hold, 1:45

    * I used a fairly heavy med ball when I started, but I seemed to put a crack in the drywall. . So I switched to a lighter wall and moved further away from the wall. I should probably do these in the racquetball court in the future.

    ** This is so much easier on the shoulders, and seems equally effective in building core strength, that I may never do a plank again.

    RC Work, 10 minutes:

    arm circles, scapular scrunches, seated straight arm dip, external and internal rotators.

    Yoga, 30 minutes:

    30 minutes of yoga and stretching. I had two people ask how long I'd been doing yoga -- only a year or so. I'm inclined to do shorter more frequent bouts of it rather than the whole 60-90 minute DVD.



    Got in a good gym session today. Would have liked to do a technique based swim, but didn't have time. I didn't get as fast a start this week as I was hoping after Savageman. But I still have a month before the Sprint Classic, so it is all good. Other random thoughts:

    1. I like the look of the vibrams. I might buy myself a pair for the gym. They were everywhere at Savageman.

    2. I need a more concrete plan for the next two 4 week cycles. I will focus on speed work and strength during the week with generous intervals. If I do any aerobic sets, it will be kick endurance or longer shooters. I'll try to get some aerobic work in on the weekend with my team.

    3. I may do 1-2 tabata sets during the week for a cardio boost. It's amazing that 4 minutes (of hell, to be sure) can have such a large aerobic impact.

    4. I need to throw my MF in the truck.

    5. I haven't received the FAST sprint paddles i tried to order. I need to check on that.

    6. Trying to decide what to do tomorrow at Mason. Either the 5 x 50 AFAP set or the Gary Hall Sr. kick workout from hell ... I fear the latter would require more tolerance of pain.

    7. My fav new smoothie combo has: blackberries, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, beet greens, and plum in it. My allergist told me to stop using flax and coconut water temporarily pending the allergy test results. I seem to have somewhat less GI distress from doing this.

    8. I've been pondering the isometric holds and whether to include them in my routine. I've tentatively decided that I want to keep the 2 I did today, but not the others. I may run this by Mr. Fort's trainer to see if they would still have the same benefit. I would think they still would, for the particular strength move involved. These are supposed to become easier and require less recovery if done regularly.

    9. Has anyone else been able to get on FB this afternoon?

    10. In support of ADD drylands:

    Updated September 23rd, 2010 at 08:30 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  10. Sunday, Sept. 12

    by , September 12th, 2010 at 09:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    To quote Stud, "everything hurts ... waah." This is definitely why I enjoyed shirking on strength training this summer ... I didn't swim today, as I wasn't sure I could get my arms out of the water. Instead, I did:

    P90X Stretch:

    60 minutes of light stretching and yoga
    (and didn't really feel any better after)


    I finally watched my TRX DVD. The Basic Training DVD has a workout that consists of the following exercise sequences. The exercise groups are in increasing intensity/difficulty. You can also increase or decrease difficulty by changing your body or foot position.

    squat jump
    1 legged squat
    1 legged squat jump

    sprinter's start
    sprinter's start with hop

    hamstring curl

    back row
    back row with feet on stability ball against wall
    single arm row

    chest press
    chest press push up

    T deltoid fly
    T + Y deltoid fly

    standing roll outs
    kneeling roll outs
    pike ups

    (forearm or ahnds)
    side plank
    (forearm or hands)
    moving/twisting plank

    knee ins
    (forearms or hands)
    single knee ins
    oblique crunches
    atomic push ups or oblique push ups

    More advanced exercises include:

    push ups or tricep press with kettleballs
    elevated lunges
    supine wipers
    oblique wipers (love this one)
    skater straddle push up (ouch)
    inverted shoulder press (ouch)
    extreme leg extension

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - TRX & FUNCTIONAL TRAINING: 50 exercises by Coach Miletto[/nomedia].

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Unique TRX Drills For Advanced Personal Training Clients[/nomedia].

    Having watched the DVDs and vids, I still think TRX is a great system for masters swimmers. It helps develop many key swim specific fitness elements: balance, core & shoulder stability, power, strength. However, like Chris, my initial reaction is that I think it's a supplement to, not a replacement for, strength training. But it seems like a great way to get a quick core workout or conditioning circuit in at home without a big gym.
  11. Wed., Sept. 8

    by , September 8th, 2010 at 10:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Yoga, 60 minutes:

    No time today for anything but some yoga at home. I plugged in my Rodney Yee power yoga DVD after dinner. [nomedia=""]YouTube- Power Yoga Total Body Workout[/nomedia]. Hated the music (z-z-z-z-z); I'm just not the meditative type. I prefer the cornball Tony Horton for yoga. Or Lady Gaga even! But I was pretty sore in my upper body from yesterday's killer drylands (pecs, delts, traps especially), so I felt better afterward or at least more flexy.

    MAC Dryland Workout Youtube Clip:

    I watched the MAC dryland workout for the senior team. It was:

    4 rounds of:

    front squat, 8x
    squat jump, 8x
    TRX body row, 8x

    4 rounds of:

    pull ups, 8x max
    med ball slam downs, 8x
    stability ball push ups, 8x

    sled push for time -- this look pretty cool. Wish my gym had a sled to push.

    In the sprint swim portion, they started the workout with a "cold turkey" 50 swim for time ala Jazz Hands. Nice for kids maybe, not so nice for masters methinks.

    Indy Meet:

    Still thinking of attending the Indy SCM meet over Halloween weekend. (Lil Fort seems to dislike this holiday and has a costume phobia anyway.) I have gotten spousal approval. I just need to decide whether to drive with Jimslie or fly. The drive might make the swim worthless, as I would be too tuckered out. The order of events isn't too bad, although Saturday is a little dicey with 3 50s that day and the 50 back and 100 fly back to back. I would likely opt to swim the 100 fly, although I barely believe I just had that thought.


    1. More food for thought on the "less is more"/"more is more" debate: WSJ article on chronic overtraining in endurance athletes. It also notes that many endurance athletes suffer from high levels of performance stress caused by trying to win their masters categories or always PR. I guess it's healthy that I'm not even remotely bothered by my recent personal worsts.

    2. An article in the NYT confirming the prevailing thought that static stretching prior to exercise provides no benefit:

    Speaking of running, has anyone tried these crazy 5 finger running gloves?

    3. And an article confirming that Soni swims a fast breaststroke b/c she is mimicing fly, the king of all strokes. I felt like I could somewhat swim this way with the super suits, but not without.

    Allergies, etc.:

    I'm still struggling with some sleep/hormone/allergy/GI issues. Despite my doctor phobia, I'm going to see a specialist in hormone issues if I can get in off the darn wait list. I'm also getting tested for food allergies next Tuesday. Very few adults really have food allergies I realize (in fact, Jimslie seems to think they're a myth or a product of evolution gone bad). I also know there are many false positives in this testing, so I have some qualms about it. But I feel I need to rule it out, or possibly identify other intolerances. Tests confirm that I am allergic to practically everything else, so why not certain foods? (I did have a bite of lobster ravioli the other night and had an immediate reaction. Jimslie seems to think this could be self induced. I don't know how I could cause myself to have a neck rash though ...)

    Hoping to swim with Speedo tomorrow at lunchtime. What set(s) should we do?

    Updated September 8th, 2010 at 10:33 PM by The Fortress

  12. Wednesday, Sept. 1

    by , September 1st, 2010 at 05:22 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was, quite predictably, sore today after two days in a row of vicious drylands. So I took it easy to reboot for tomorrow ...

    P90X Stretch, 60 minutes:

    Although this DVD is called the "stretch" DVD, there are quite a few yoga moves in it. And there is some overlap with the P90X Yoga DVD.

    P90X Yoga, 30 minutes:

    I did the last 30 minutes of the yoga DVD after completing the stretch DVD. I skipped the first 60 minutes, which are mostly standing and balancing postures, as I was trying to soothe not strain the muscles. There is some good core work at the end of this DVD too.

    Bike, 30 minutes:

    Didn't feel like swimming today, the arms/back were too sore. So I did a 30 minutes recovery ride on the indoor cycle while watching a decidedly dreadful movie. My legs feel a lot better than the rest of my body.


    Ahhhhhh, my muscles felt better after a nice stretch. Tomorrow, I will do drylands and go to my first team practice of the season at night.

    I am having a heat temper tantrum. My truck says the temp is 103 and it can't cool down fast enough. Since I spend so much time driving, this is most unpleasant. Poor Fort Son had to rise at 5:00 for a 6:00 cross country time trial to avoid the heat. Bring on September!

    I'm getting quite a nice collection of workouts now. I'll have to pick one out for Friday.

    And I'm putting this up for inspiration, while I mull over whether I will jump rope or not this season. Just reading the first practice -- jump for 30-60 minutes -- is a little frightening. Most likely, I will keep my tabata jump rope and do that 1x a week.

    Back in the car to travel to a volleyball game ...

    Trailer for upcoming documentary, for Geek, re: The Fatness:

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- KILLER AT LARGE trailer[/nomedia]

    And a huge congrats to Dave Chaos Barra for swimming the English Channel in 14 hours, 27 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the rare triple of marathon swimming.

    Updated September 1st, 2010 at 07:44 PM by The Fortress

    Spinning , Yoga
  13. Drylands + Yoga, Wed., Aug. 25

    by , August 25th, 2010 at 06:30 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    back extensions w/10 lb plate, 2 x 20
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    pull ins in push up position w/15 lb DBs, 2 x 20
    lunges w/15 lb DBs, 2 x 15
    step ups, 18 inch box, 2 x 25
    body rows, 2 x 15
    twisting med ball slams, 2 x 15
    skull crushers, 40 x 2 x 15
    Icarian leg abductor, 90 x 2 x 15
    squat w/10 lb med ball toss, 2 x 15
    kneeling ab crunches, 100 x 2 x 25 (weight felt more like 50)
    alternating hammers, 30 x 2 x 30
    goblet squats, 60 x 2 x 10
    Ryan Lochte, bench and reverse scoop (from between legs to above head) moves w/35 lb plate, 2 x 15 each: [nomedia=""]YouTube- Ryan Lochte Training[/nomedia] (I like some of these explosive moves.)

    RC work

    P90X Yoga, 50 minutes:

    Made it through approx 50 minutes of the 90 minute DVD before my Mom arrived for a visit. I am really tight. I need to plug my yoga DVDs in more frequently.



    I feel like that was a decent start on the road to dryland fitness. I still feel like I have some dryland strength, but not dryland conditioning. I'm not sure how important conditioning is for 50s & 100s, but it makes me feel more fit.

    And I'm still contemplating the appropriate mix of my drylands this season. I am inclined to throw in some P90X DVDs. I'm also contemplating jump roping. I think the latter might be especially good for conditioning. But I'm not sure that my toe/foot could handle it (I really need to see a podiatrist to figure out what exactly is wrong with it. ) and I'm not sure I could commit to it. I also need to get back to the pull ups and chin ups.

    Back to the pool tomorrow. I may do Patrick's workout from today.

    Updated August 25th, 2010 at 09:31 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  14. Monday, Feb. 15

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 05:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hot Yoga:

    I decided to go to hot yoga for a good stretch today. Saw one of my skinny gluten free tri/OW friends there. She mentioned that she always goes to hot yoga after a race. She also always swims before doing hot yoga, which is a policy I need to follow if possible.

    We commented about how the Reston Studio was not as hot as the Falls Church studio, maybe around 105 degrees. Well, I positively fried today. I had to use all my will power not to keep from running out of class and was quite nauseous. Turns out, the temp was at 125 degrees. That's just too much for me; I was pouring sweat. Had 2 waters during class, which was insufficient, then guzzled 2 smart waters and a coconut water after. Still feeling slightly nauseous, though I was yesterday too. Could be some stomach buggy thingie, I guess.


    I'm pretty tired from the meet, but not unduly sore. My littlest one had a nightmare and so sleep was somewhat scarce last night.

    I'm considering going to this meet if it will not result in divorce: Not sure what events to swim. A redo of the 50 free might be in order. Also, 100 IM is going to be my 6th event at Nationals. Perhaps I should swim it here ... or at Zones. I like the idea of swimming it at the end of the am instead of first thing.

    I also heard (again) that 2012 Worlds are, in fact, going to be in Italy. I have informed Mr. Fort of our destination vacation for that year.

    To add insult to yesterday's B70 fiasco, I inadvertently glutened/latosed myself last night by eating some organic chili & lime flavored corn chips. Rashes in odd places, abdominal cramps and other ills ensued.

    I've attached a couple pics that SwimShark took of me doing my ill-fated 200 back. The one shot is of the first 50 and Julie is swimming fly near me in her wedding blue cap. The other is a blurry backstroke start. The video of the 100 breast is forthcoming. The best part of that race is that I am currently ahead of SwimStud in our evil gridge.

    Splash Article:

    There was a great article in Splash Magazine with an interview with Peter Marshall. My anti-swimming daughter was so impressed with it she read it out loud to me. To sum up, is was about being creative with workouts, making swimming a game, doing something other than banging out the yardage. His prior rigid training regimen made him feel "like a thoroughbred never let allowed out of the stables except to run" and was "jut spinning his wheels." Inspired by this, my daughter wants to do fewer practices and do yoga and hit the gym with me. We'll see how that works. She informs me we're going to the gym after school tomorrow ...

    P.S. I just ordered 2 cases of coconut water.

    Updated February 15th, 2010 at 10:19 PM by The Fortress

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  15. Dirty Hippie, Sat., Jan. 9

    by , January 9th, 2010 at 06:22 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hot Yoga:

    Since I cannot be trusted to stretch alone, I went to a 90 minute hot yoga class today. The Resolutionists were out in full force. I've never been in such a crowded yoga class. One of Jazzy's friends says hot yoga is for "dirty hippies." I looked around the class today and only saw one person who might qualify for that appellation. lol Otherwise, there was a wide variety of ages, and I'm under the impression that hot yoga is somewhat trendy as opposed to the province of oldsters. Mini Fort wants me to go to cold yoga with her tomorrow, but this conflicts with my other daughter's jazz recital, which literally hogs the whole afternoon.

    I thought it might be somewhat hard for my first time back since November. But it was surprisingly fine. It was the best I'd ever done on the balancing postures. Maybe my core work is helping with these. The best part about bikram is all the back and leg stretching. I like it better than doing umpteen downward dogs. However, I am still going to do some investigation into cold yoga DVDs and will probably get one ashtanga and one vinyassa. The first 3 on this list look pretty good.

    This was my last pre-paid class at the Falls Church studio, so I may try the Reston studio next. An we all know who work in Reston. Watch out Geek!

    Physical Therapy Any Good?

    Very interesting article questioning the value or benefit of PT in many instances. Personally, I've never been much of a fan, though I think certain exercises (RC) are worthwhile.

    The article opines that icing is of virtually no benefit. It also caught my attention that eccentric exercises are beneficial. That's what Mr. Fort's trainer has him doing for hip/hamstring rehab.

    Also, poor girl, she didn't get her PRP for a tendon tear covered. Must have needed a lawyer.

    Updated January 10th, 2010 at 12:15 AM by The Fortress

  16. Yoga & Stretching Pics, Sunday, Nov. 29

    by , November 29th, 2009 at 09:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did absolutely nothing today except sleep in and drive 6+ hours home. I have no idea why driving and riding in a car should be exhausting, but it is. No time for a swim tonight. Had to help my littlest do her homework that we had forgotten about. I will force myself to do my RC exercises as my shoulder is still being stubborn. Fortunately, I will not be doing any 220 lb HS hi rows anytime soon.

    Anyhoo, Jim has taught me how to attach photos to my blog. A mighty accomplishment for those as techologically challenged as myself. Here are the shots my 9 year took with my iphone when we were doing yoga together on Saturday am. Looks like only 4 of the 7 are showing up in the blog. They are: splits, backbend crawling down wall, standing boat and head to shins. I attached the other ones.


    I really hope I feel better in the water this week. And I really hope I don't catch my youngest's nasty cold.

    Updated November 29th, 2009 at 09:52 PM by The Fortress

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  17. Wed., Oct. 14

    by , October 14th, 2009 at 04:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Hot Yoga:

    Made it to class #5. I seem a tad more flexible already. And I'm really glad my transverse colon is apparently getting a massage. lol. It still seems somewhat exhausting and harder to exercise afterward. I guess at some point it's supposed to shift from exhausting to refreshing ...

    I also had a bit of an internal chuckle when the instructor said that we were "flushing out scar tissue." Getting a little carried away there!

    I was wondering why Bikram studios must be carpeted and found this:

    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Kicking Sets:

    5 x (50 UW cruiser shooter w/fins + 15 pullouts) @ 1:15
    1 breath at the the turn

    100 EZ

    5 x vertical kick @ 1:15
    30 seconds with hands at side, 10 seconds in streamline, squat jump off bottom (12 ft deep), 20 seconds rest

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP shooter on back w/fins + 50 EZ)

    75 EZ

    Other Speed Work:

    3 x 150, done as:

    25 EZ speed power fly + 25 EZ DAB + 25 AFAP doggy paddle + 25 EZ DAB + 50 free EZ

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 fly AFAP w/fins (25ish)

    200 EZ

    100 scull

    Total: 2350 + VK-ing + 75 pullouts


    My ass and hammies are a bit sore from the plyos, lunging, and squatting. Maybe I'm just imagining it, but they feel tighter/stronger with this new regimen. (And I'm sure my ass is probably getting bigger too. )

    Found this site, which has loads of plyo info:

    Hoping to swim with both Speedo and Jazzy at noon at GMU tomorrow!


    My son just came home from cross country practice with an ankle sprain all taped up and iced. Could ruin the end of his cross country season for the second year in a row. Flexy ankles are so easy to sprain ... (Been there, done that.)

    Meanwhile, Mr. Fort, who has been battling a hip injury forever, just had an MRI. He may have some labral tearing around his hip socket. His doctor said PRP was a possibility. I hope he doesn't need surgery b/c he would be just impossible to live with!

    Injuries suck!!!

    Updated October 14th, 2009 at 08:18 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  18. Gym + Yoga, Tuesday, Oct. 6

    by , October 6th, 2009 at 05:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    hanging reverse crunches, 3 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    bicycles, 2 x 50
    rack chins, 3 x 15
    (love these!)
    burpees with push up and air squat, 2 x 10 (These are exhausting!)

    squats on FM machine (had to play around with weight), 190 x 1 x 5, 210 x 1 x 5, 230 x 1 x 5, 250 x 1 x 5, 270 x 1 x 5
    bicep curl w/BB, 50 x 5 x 5
    standing lat pulldown, 150 x 5 x 5
    leg extensions, 110 x 1 x 5, 120 x 3 x 5

    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm

    Hot Yoga:

    Day #2 of the hot yoga experiment. Wow, it was much easier today and I tolerated the heat much better. I didn't have the urge to sprint out of the room after 60 minutes or the uncomfortable feeling that my face might blow up. I also went through 3 bottles of water.

    I definitely like the heat for stretching. And the hot yoga poses don't unduly put pressure on the shoulders, which is nice (and unlike other forms of yoga). But I'm still rather klutzy in terms of balance. I think it takes awhile to acquires this skill.

    One odd thing I noticed today is that, after weights, it is somewhat difficult to constantly be holding your arms over your head in streamline position. However, this is the one thing I can do better than the yoginis. lol

    More yoga-kinis than ever today. And some dude did 2 back to back classes ...

    I still wish it wasn't such a time drain.

    Did a quick search about calorie burning and found these links:


    Hard to believe it's comparable to jogging in terms of calories burned. Of course, jogging is not running either ...

    Here are a list of the reported/supposed benefits:

    Some of the benefits of Bikram Yoga:

    Works every organ, gland, nerve, tendon, ligament and muscle in the whole body every Bikram Yoga session
    Expands your capacity to breathe deeply and fully
    Prevents injury and may prevent or improve chronic illness
    Promotes better sleep, you may even need to sleep less
    Fabulous body toning effects
    Weight loss or gain depending on your body's needs
    Improvement in posture and body awareness
    Improve the healing and regenerative powers of your body
    Improvement in T-cell function and your immune system
    Improvement in your lymphatic system
    Lengthening and strengthening of muscles
    Increased flexibility
    Improvement in peripheral circulation
    Improvement in metabolism / digestion
    Gives the body a cardiovascular workout without negative impacting forces
    Nervous system is exercised
    Endocrine and exocrine glands are massaged and stimulated to better function
    Muscular and skeletal network are enhanced
    Weight bearing exercise will help prevent osteoporosis
    Improves heart and lung function
    Improves back conditions of pain and misalignment
    Improves flexibility of your spine in its range of motion in all directions allowing the improvement in function of your central nervous system. Better nervous system communication means a better functioning body and mind
    Helps cultivate a sense of well being and a more peaceful mind
    Integration of both sides of the brain to improve memory, learning, body coordination and balance
    Builds mental strength and teaches you to hold your mind in a focused and meditative state


    Saw this on Glenn's FB page:

    I know my own head is certainly elevated some, though I recall ehoch saying there is absolutely nothing good about this type of head position.


    Hoping to go to the gym and pool tomorrow, though I have a couple other obligations. We'll see how fast I can move ...

    Mini Fort got her third game ball in volleyball last night. I fear her serious swimming days may be numbered ... she thinks volleyball is just "more fun." My littlest one, on the other hand, continues to be enamored with swimming. And it is fairly comical to watch her attempt to learn flip turns.

    Updated October 6th, 2009 at 05:34 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
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