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  1. Bittersweet, Day 1 & 2 of Nationals

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 09:46 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blogging from my iPhone as I tried to sleep in, but couldn't really.

    First off, the social side of things is fabulous. I've seen old friends, new friends and met many new people and forumites. I've watched and cheered for both the Olympians and my good friends alike. Super proud of my buddies for ripping up the pool. I think I'm proudest of my wolfpack mate, SwimStud, for breaking 1:00 in the 100 free.

    Day 1: 50 breast/100 fly

    I can't say the meet started off well. On my 50 evil, I couldn't hear the starters beep. It is rather muted and soft. So I pulled a Jimby like statue of liberty and just stood there as everyone else swam. I actually thought there was a false start and just jumped off the blocks. I was literally shell shocked to see my heat racing. This has never happened to me as a master. I just stood there stunned. A super nice official saw me and sat me down, telling me they'd try to get me in another heat. That came about 2 minutes latter, when I was still not exactly in a racing frame of mind.

    Nonetheless, I got up on the blocks and did my best. And I went very fast, cutting almost a second off my time from Zones with a 32.8. My extremely fleeting joy was immediately extinguished when I saw an official looming over my lane announcing that I had been DQ'd for taking two dolphin kicks.

    Just to be clear, I did not take two dolphin kicks nor intend to. Unfortunately, it appears that way because of my body undulation. My sequence is: dive in, separate hands, huge dolphin kick, ride the glide, huge pulldown, then breaststroke kick up. Unfortunately, my pulldown is very strong and it causes my body to undulate. I prefer this sequence because it maximizes my time underwater. Someone told me I was close to the 20 meter mark on the start.

    On the upside, both Ahelee and Ande told me my stroke looked good, that I was undulating and getting a lot of forward momentum. Ande said I looked like a mini Roque.

    I was extremely angry about the DQ for 15 minutes and then brushed it off for the rest of the day. But it is somewhat of a downer to start a meet this way -- with a double shocker of missing your heat and then a DQ. I would have placed 4th.

    On to 100 fly. I was very happy with this race, especially since I don't train in any conventional way for this race. I swam a 1:01.3, which equalled my time from last year which had been a huge drop and was 1.4 faster than Zones (same suit). I had a great start (for me), nice breakout, and good walls. I died at the end, but it was a mini piano. I was out in a 28.6, which felt very easy and made me feel I would have a blazing 50 fly on Saturday.

    We had a mixed 200 free relay after this. I was
    and felt a bit lackluster. It takes me forever to recover from a 100 fly. My shoulders feel beat up afterward.


    Day 2:

    I arrived at the pool just in time for the second warm up after the distance events. I decided to slip on my B70 and warm up in it because the relay was the first event after warm up. More bad luck ... I blew a hole in my suit putting it on. I literally ran to the B70 kiosk and asked for a new suit and they gave me one. However, because it was new, it took almost as long to get on as my Jaked. Didn't get the best warm up.

    Since I was doing the breast leg on the relay, I had no choice but to play it safe with a conventional pulldown. I must say this did not agree with me. I surfaced a good 5 yards earlier and was slower. Also felt like I was spinning my arms some. So I'm in a quandry about breaststroke. I honestly feel like there's a difference between natural body undulation and an intentional dolphin kick. But the officials have a hard time distinguishing it. I've put some substantial effort into practicing this pulldown and am not inclined to change it. So I have to decide whether to retire from evil, which will be different without the suits anyway, or continue risking DQs. Because I am stubborn as a mule, I'm not inclined to change my pullout at this time. BTW, this was a different DQ from Zones where the official said I took 2 evil kicks underwater then re-wrote the DQ slip to say I didn't surface in time. So this is in fact, the first time, I've been called for a double dolphin kick, and I've been doing this for awhile. It didn't help my cause that I was in a slow heat and my long pullouts draw attention.

    50 fly, 27.0:

    This equals my PB from last year. But I was disappointed with my race. I had a terrible start, very flat and a bad breakout. So I began the race a half body behind. With the caliber of swimmers in my heat, this is not advisable. Had a good second length but ran out of room.

    I chatted with Rich Abrahams after. He said it was one of the worst starts he's seen ... He thought with a good start, I would gave been 26.4 or 26.5. Oh well, same old story. I can't fix this without some on deck coaching and an opportunity to do starts. This race left me oddly deflated and I tried to get back in a positive race for my best event, 50 back.

    50 back:

    I approached the blocks ready to race and, in an instant, was completely discombobulated. I forgot my nose clip. Of the various frustrations of this meet, this was by far the worst, a huge mental error. I was unglued at the start, freaked out and panicked. This manifested itself initially by my changing hand positions from the vertical bars to the horizontal bars. I took off and my SDKs felt choppy. I took 15 instead if 13, hurried to the surface and spent the rest of the race thinking I was DQ'd. My time was 27.2, but that's nit much faster than I went at the Sprint Classic. I think thus race qualifies as my first ever true choke. I usually swim well under pressure. Mental errors did me in here. I wish I had this race to swim over. Not surprisingly, this sequence of events was disappointing and I couldn't shake it off as quickly as the 50 breast DQ. I will be stashing my pockets with nose clips for the 100 back today.

    I'm going to scratch the 100 IM today. I'm not mentally up for it and I'm tired from the last two days. I'm going to save up and try to execute properly on my 100 back today. I'd like to end the meet with a PB. Plus, I can't have Geek
    winning our gridge!

    On a physical note, I think I hit my taper and have the requisite speed. I'm also feeling fine except for a perpetually wrenched left side of the neck. This isn't effecting my swimming, but I've had a persistent headache and suspect this is the culprit.

    Good luck to everyone today!!!

    I apologize in advance for iPhone typos ... I see one above. My back was a 28.2, for 3rd place.

    Updated May 23rd, 2010 at 10:00 AM by The Fortress

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  2. Atlanta, May 20

    by , May 20th, 2010 at 05:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had an easy trip to Atlanta on a flight with my teammate Barb and Jazzy. Jazz was very psyched to learn that Speedo had procured him a LZR for his upcoming grueling 200 free.

    We headed straight from the airport to the pool. Got there with sufficient time to check in, register our relays and swim for 30 minutes in the competition pool. The pool is sweet and feels very fast. I felt pretty good in the water. My backstroke was a little funky at first, but then smoothed out. I did 2 forward starts, one good and one blah. The backstroke starts will be interesting. They've got both vertical and horizontal bars. I'm going to use the vertical ones. However, the FINA wall is somewhat slippery. I did one start with my feet placed high on the wall, but felt like I went too deep. I may try and do another start tomorrow when the day's events are over. Otherwise, I'll put my feet a bit lower.

    Off soon for dinner with friends. Then time to let 'er rip!

    I've met some new people, and hope to meet more. Hopefully no one will want to punch me like they do Geek.
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  3. Vids + Monday, April 26

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 10:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Massage:

    Had a massage scheduled today to try and work out the kinks from Zones quickly. I had tight calves, quads, pecs and sore shoulders. I was dead afterward and took the rest of the day off. I'll be back at the gym and in the water tomorrow. At least that's my plan!

    100 fly, 1:02.7:

    Here is my 100 fly video from Zones, courtesy of Chicken of the Sea. [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1nzq-a8yLY"]YouTube- Leslie's 100 Fly at Zones 2010[/nomedia].

    My previous fastest untapered time was 1:04.4 (and I rested a few days for that). So I was happy with the 1:02.7. And I was in a heat with all 30 & unders, save 1 other I believe. I am coming up too high to breathe, I can see. I'm not as flat as when I swim the 50. I wasn't really slamming my underwater SDKs, but more trying to stay under and conserve energy on them. I may work those harder at Nats, since it's my arms that always seem to fail. I thought the piano was worse than it appears on vid. Still, always a painful race for me as a master, though it was my fav as a youth.

    50 free, 25.6:

    Here is my 3rd 50 free of the meet, at the end of a trying day on Sunday. I was really tired. Lane 8 in the deep end isn't so bad though. There is just the slippery steel wall to contend with. This was only .1 faster than my 50 free at the end of Saturday with a kneeskin that was a size too large. I have to conclude that choice of suit doesn't effect my 50 free unduly.

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZl1HyvvV7s"]YouTube- Fort 50 FR.AVI[/nomedia]


    Amanda video'd my 50 evil as well, so we can see my none DQ version of the stroke at some point.

    Here are some photos of Stud and I duking it out before our 50 evil gridge and a classic shot of Stud commenting for Tom's 1650.

    Updated April 26th, 2010 at 11:22 PM by The Fortress

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  4. Sunday, March 28

    by , March 28th, 2010 at 08:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands:

    Did a quick core workout at the rec cehte before I swam.

    straight leg raises in captains chair, 2 x 20
    good morning darlings balancing on yoga ball, 2 x 25
    power wheel roll outs, 3 x 25
    power wheel pike ups, 1 x 15
    straight arm plank w/legs on yoga ball, 2 x 1:00
    wall squat against yoga ball w/med ball on thighs, 2 x 1:00
    tricep push ups on med ball, 1 x 10
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm

    Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Didnt go to my team practice today because there was a meet and they were swimming in the diving well. Did a drill/recovery workout on my own.

    Warm up;

    700 various

    Main set:

    36 x 50, done as:

    6 x 50 @ 1:00
    breaststroke pull with buoy

    6 x 50 @ 1:15
    25 glide drill, 25 scull

    6 x 50 @ 1:00
    25 easy speed fly, 25 easy

    6 x 50 @ 1:15
    25 fast doggy paddle drill/underwater free recovery drill, 25 easy

    6 x 50 @ 1:00
    Russian breast drill

    6 x 50 @ 1:15
    25 UW shooter, 25 dolphin kick on side with hands at side

    50 EZ

    Vertical kicking:

    3 x 1:00
    alternate 30 second evil and 30 seconds fast eggbeater. The latter felt very hard.

    50 EZ

    Total: 2600

    -----------------------------------------

    Commentary:

    I am heading to Pittsburgh for a few
    days. Jimi informed me that there would be an effulgently brutal workout tomorrow (translation: short rest free), so I decided to take it easy today.

    I did send in my entries for the Sunfish Masters meet on April 10 at the Freedom Center. I entered the 50 fly, 200 breast (for a 100 split), 50 breast and 50 free. The last two events are very close together, so I'll probably only do one of them. I view this meet as start practice. I was bummed I couldn't go to my team practice to do some starts today. Next weekend ... Maybe I can actually go off the blocks at Jimis
    pool.

    Wow, I just realized I swam 6x this week! Plus 3 drylands and 1 yoga. And I didn't skip my rest day!

    Sorry for any typos ... Blogging from iPhone.
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  5. Friday, March 26

    by , March 26th, 2010 at 06:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I threw in the white towel today. Between attending Sectionals, driving 4+ hours and then being caught in a wicked traffic jam, I'm taking today off instead of tomorrow. I may throw in the P90X stretch DVD in a few minutes. I'm pretty sore from my new exercises from yesterday.

    Speedo Sectionals was an expensive meet for me. Mini stayed at a hotel last night with her friend. She frantically texted and called me this morning while I was running around saying she forgot her back up FSII tank and that the the nascent hole in her LZR Elite kneeskin had become a real one. The tank was centuries old, and I couldn't find it. So I sped to the pool, parked illegally, and ran in to buy her a new suit 30 minutes before she was scheduled to swim.

    Rant Warning: I effen hate the new suits and the new suit rules. They are crap. They stretch out immediately and are prone to ripping because they're so fragile. Mini's first suit lasted 2-3 meets (only 6-7 events) before tearing and stretching out over 3 inches. (It was huge compared to my, now stolen, B70.) Even the guy who sold it to me said they stretch out immediately. Ugh. 2 LZR Elites + 1 stolen B70 represents $1050 + taxes and mailing fees. Oh joy. Maybe now the purists will realize rubber suits were, in fact, more economical. I still have an ancient B70. Oh, and I got a parking ticket. Rant off.

    Suit composition at the meet for women: 98% in the LZR Elite, 1% in B70 Nero TX and 1% in tanks (mostly evilstrokers). I expected to see more B70s. Why aren't the USS kids wearing the B70?! I thought they were selling like hotcakes ...

    Tomorrow is FortSon's first regatta of the season. Then, I will be forced to brave the county rec center pool, which is always packed on weekends.

    Good luck to those of you at NE Champs! I already heard Stud PB'd his 50 free.

    Article:

    Train your age:

    http://running.competitor.com/2010/0...-your-age_9141.

    Seems like this could easily apply to swimming as well.

    Diet/Nutrition:

    http://www.active.com/fitness/Articl...tm_medium=feed

    http://ow.ly/1qPaY

    Supplements (athlete blog):

    http://www.elasticsteel.net/ProductD...ntsDescription

    It was the norovirus!

    http://collegeswimming.com/news/2010...its-norovirus/

    Updated March 26th, 2010 at 08:07 PM by The Fortress

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  6. Sunday, Mar. 14

    by , March 14th, 2010 at 06:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No change, except for my head cold feels better. I think I have some version of the flu, since I still have a fever and funk. I couldn't get up for even a small swim today. As I understand it, the flu usually hits you like a ton of bricks, very fast. That's basically what happened to me. I was swimming fast one day and very sick the next.

    I know this is a typical paranoia when you're sick, but I feel like I am totally out of shape and have lost all conditioning after some relative rest and then getting sick ... We'll see. My daughter, who is in a funk herself, says I shouldn't swim next weekend because I'll be disappointed swimming after the flu and in an inferior suit. She must have been talking to Jimi! If I'm over this, I'll probably still go and swim my 50s just for fun. I'm not so sure about the theory of "sick + rest + subsequent PBs" as it applies to masters though.

    On an odd note, one of Mini's friends at Senior Champs was DQ'd for "unsportsmanlike conduct." I asked Mini about it. Turns out, her friend was DQ'd for wearing an FS II kneeskin that she didn't know wasn't on the approved list. Of course, the FS II is actually slower than the Pro/Pro-Elite that most are wearing, so it makes no sense ... And, grr, my kid snagged her (our) kneeskin on something during warm up and there is a hole in the first layer of material. Wow, got a LOT of use out of that suit, which was almost as expensive as a real cheatin' B70 ... And I had been planning on wearing it next weekend.

    No matter what, I'm going to drag myself to the pool tomorrow. Going to attempt to do some RC exercises for 5 minutes now.
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  7. Still on the Couch, Friday, March 12

    by , March 12th, 2010 at 04:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still a couch potato. Still neti potting. Still not swimming. My face hurts, which I hope is not a precursor to a sinus infection. This was not the kind of "rest" I had anticipated before my meet next weekend ... and I hate not being able to exercise. The meet is still a week+ away. But I definitely won't swim sick -- not worth it unless it's a taper meet. Glad I signed up for a lot of 50s!

    Here's an article about body fat analysis that I thought might interest Q and Tim:

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bod...lyzers/AN01789

    And an interesting article on dieting myths:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...ng-health.html

    I thought Gull's article on circadian rhythms and athletic performance was good too.

    http://www.the-aps.org/press/journal/07/8.htm

    I didn't think my night owl tendencies were all in my head!

    And for recovery after runs:

    http://www.active.com/running/Articl...tm_medium=feed

    Updated March 12th, 2010 at 05:32 PM by The Fortress

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  8. Immobile, Thursday, March 11

    by , March 11th, 2010 at 05:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Commentary Only:

    Well, this cold hit me like a ton of bricks and I am practically immobile. I am a couch potato; all thoughts of exercise have vanished. I think this is the kind of cold that will take some time to recover from. I just hope I can get out of bed to go to my kid's meet tomorrow am.

    The good news is that, despite some people's public gloating over my suit problem, I have ordered a new suit. And -- thanks to the fabulous Eney Jones -- I have a new back up B70 in my size, a leftover from her high school team. So I will be well clad at my champ meets and covered in the event of a blow out, no thanks to B70 customer service though.

    1. Here's a variation of burpees, called "warrior burpees" that looked interesting:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMsSqEWndWo"]YouTube- Body Weight Culture.com-Warrior Burpees Workout rosstraining[/ame]


    2. I also ran across this article on papaya, which I love:

    http://www.myfoxaustin.com/dpps/news...100309_6475829


    3. Cutting Edge gear: Check out this cool 2010 tri gear from 2XU:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1258446196

    4. Eat your veggies!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rip-es..._b_170910.html


    5. Sprint Advice: I also have to record Michelle Chow's absolutely excellent sprint advice here so that I can re-read it. Thanks Michelle, you rock!

    Remember EVERY race starts with a dive. Or a backstroke start. Not just the 50 free. You knock 1/5 second off your start and breakout, that is 1/2 second of any event. Welcome to 59.50!!!

    You have one fast turn in a 50. But you have THREE in a 100. Even more reason to work on your turns!!!

    How to do it? Try these!

    Do 6 x, 8x, or even 10x if you can handle the body jarring - dive/breakout/FOUR fast strokes. Emphasis is on gettting the right angle of entry, streamline position, and up and into your race pace immediately, then shut it off. I find that doing 25's or even 12 1/2's sometimes inhibits me from getting that real blast-off feeling. It may not be practical to always do dives, but if you only do fast stuff from the wall.....you aren't starting from the wall in a race! NOT the same angle!!

    It sounds like your problem isn't so much getting the arms going, but if you have bad starts and splatting-turns, you are essentially doing 3 races from a dead start each time (at the official start, again when you break out, and once more after your turn). If you are "flailing" as you say, it may be because you haven't "set up" your initial momentum, so you have no choice but to start flailing to get your speed.

    Turn work: break it down completely. Start at the wall, get under the water in the EXACT streamline position (feet on the wall) you would PUSH OFF the wall on a flip turn. Take a big breath, now! Get under the water, and start from a DEAD start, and PUSH off, kick, break out, and take FOUR strokes. Same theory. You will feel EVERY inefficiency from a dead start.
    3. Reverse it, and practice going into the wall. Do it with stopping with your feet at the wall, or do the turn pushing off on your back. I like to focus on staying in alignment and not getting lazing and slapping my legs every which way and what the heck are my arms doing?

    Start with both hands on the wall. Kick freestlye, really hard, no breathing! Then have someone randomly yell, GO! and then you do an open turn as fast as you possibly can, kick off the wall, and take 4 fast strokes. It works best kicking freestyle, turning and going fly or breast.

    Dive, dive, dive. Again, it's part of every race! I usually take a day and do all those special things by myself. If you do 1 dive a day, that's hundreds a year. It will make a huge difference.

    Underwaters. I am a huge fan of these. I usually do 25's underwater right after my basic warmup (400 or 500). Usually 4 x 25 on 45 or 1 minute (SCM). I use that time to do a "body scan", and think about my joints loosening up, and to relax from my hectic schedule, and open up my lungs.

    Mental toughness! Do you know your breathing pattern for your 50 and 100's? You should. Do you execute them, without fail? In a race, do you know exactly where you are? These are things you can train your mind. It requires no physical effort! I like that!

    Think of it this way: You have to find the right 10 hits to put on your greatest hits album. You have to pick and chose the best (or lowest hanging fruit) 10 things to do that will maximize your performance in your chosen events, and you cannot have a profound weakness in any one area. Doing things you are already good at isn't going to make you better - but doing the things you really hate and are not good at will improve your performance! (And while I am on my soapbox - if you are doing "drills" on the same interval as you swim, then you either aren't doing them right or you are doing drills you are already good at, so pick something else! And don't swim on my feet! Grr!)

    Think about it this way: start & breakout & 4 strokes? 15 meters. In & out of 3 turns? 3 x 10 meters = 30 meters. The finish? 5 meters. That's 50 meters, or HALF of your race!!! I would classify these as more in the "mental" category - simply because it is a LAPSE of attention here that will impact your peformance. The middle swimming bits - you almost never hear people say - "I forgot to swim fast in the middle!" or "I really blew the middle swimming bits but I did hit my start, turns, and wow, did you see that finish?"

    Updated March 11th, 2010 at 05:30 PM by The Fortress

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  9. Monday, March 1

    by , March 1st, 2010 at 05:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I'm apparently still feeling the effects of the conventional lifting with Mini Fort. I'm still sore and tired -- good reason not to do that again! lol Next time I take her, I'll just watch her form and stick to this season's dryland plan. Anyhoo, I just did a very slow swim. I'm not one of those masters who can't go slow when I'm supposed to! Thinking of Rich Abrahams' famous quote here.

    Swim/Solo/SCY:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Drill Sets:

    200 chest press fly
    200 hand lead caterpillar fly drill
    200 evil kick, no board
    200 scull
    200 glide drill on belly
    200 glide drill on back

    50 EZ

    Total: 1850

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Random Commentary:

    1. I was thinking today about my fatigue. (Though I feel much perkier this afternoon after that mellow swim than I did this am). I was wondering if trying to do intense dryland + yoga + swim is too much. Sort of like when I was trying to do weights + run + swim, and I have to give up running. Power yoga is somewhat tiring. Something to mull over.

    2. Every time I go to bikram yoga, there is a sign in the room, saying something to the effect "if you go to yoga every day for 30 days, it will change your body; if you go every day for 60 days, it will change your life." I've wondered about this. How would your body feel if you did it every day rather than just a couple x a week? Maybe one season, I'll give up drylands and just do yoga and swimming and see what happens.

    3. I'm not going to the Warrenton meet. Would like to, but it conflicts with Senior Champs on Sunday, and the weekend would just be too busy and hectic. So I may never do the 100 evil again! I wanted one more shot at it before retiring from evil.

    4. I'm going to look at my workouts from before the Albatross meet and replicate them this year for a nice comparison. I'm swimming different events this year. But I will have my once a year 100 meter fly that I did last year and will do this year.

    5. At the Albatross meet, I'm swimming (subject to scratching one of course) 100 fly, 50 back, 50 fly, 50 free.

    Pro Bodysuit times:

    100 fly, 1:12.1
    50 back, 33.2
    50 fly, 31.3
    50 free, 28.7

    B70 times:

    100 fly, 1:09.8
    50 back, 31.1
    50 fly, 29.6 (Jaked), 29.9 (B70)
    50 free, 28.2

    Will be interesting to see where my never before worn kneeskin times fall within this spectrum.

    6. New core exercise: Get the heaviest weight stretch cord you can find. Tie one end to a post about shoulder height. Grab the other end (if it has a handle that is best) and step sideways away from the post until the cord is good and taught. Now, with arms locked straight and legs slightly wider than shoulder width and also locked straight, rotate your body until your arms are directly in front of your chest. The resistance should be fairly difficult. Now hold for 45 seconds for each side and repeat. Great for deep core work and for spine stability.

    7. Exercises for Strong hips/hammies:
    (for Tim and anyone else)

    * one legged squats with one foot on bench and the other in lunge position. with DBs. go down slowly on a 4 count and back up fast. I believe these are called Bulgarian one legged squats.

    * one legged squats with one foot on bench and other in lunge position. with DBs. hold in one leg lunge position, working up to 3:00.

    * stand with knees slightly bent with a light barbell on shoulders. stick ass out and arch back. bend down very slowly until you're looking at the floor and then up very slowly. repeat.

    * hip hinges (I think I've explained this one before).

    8. I'm mulling over events for Zones. Right now, I'm leaning toward: Sat: 100 free for 50 split, 50 breast, and 100 fly, Sun: 100 IM, 5 fly, 100 back. I'm swimming relays, so don't want to load up too much on individual events. I hope to get a 50 back split leading off a relay to see where I'm at. I remember I was plastered last year after Zones. Not sure how much I'll rest for that meet. Suggestions? Seems to close to Nats for a double taper. Maybe just the 3-5 day rest.

    9. I heard gossip from the Texas World Champs meet that the Race Club may start having its elite swimmers do the med ball game!

    10. I may be up in the Pittsburgh area around the end of March. If so, I may make an appointment with Ron De Angelo for some strength/core training ideas. http://www.upmc.com/MEDIARELATIONS/E...px?expertid=60

    11. Garrett Weber-Gale on eating like an Olympian. http://garrettwebergale.blogspot.com/

    12. Haven't gotten my darn B70 replacement yet. Will start fretting in 2 days.

    13. One of the bad girlz from Team HotTub is doing P90X and loving it!

    Updated March 1st, 2010 at 08:09 PM by The Fortress

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  10. Nutrition Ramblings, Friday, Feb. 26

    by , February 26th, 2010 at 06:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I have the blahs today. Jimi believes this is because I am "inside a small [winter] box." I believe it due to the stress of raising girls. In light of the blahs, and partially and uncharacteristically paralyzed by them, I decided to take an off day. And forgive myself in advance for failing to stretch. In fact, after consulting my blog, I see that I haven't had a complete rest day since Feb. 8, so I am probably due. Tomorrow, I will back in the gym with my oldest daughter, who thinks after 2 visits, she already has muscles.

    So, instead of discussing swimming or drylands, I will have a nice nutrition ramble.

    Food Rules:

    I read the next part of the Michael Pollan book.

    1. Funny Rules:

    "The whiter the bread, the sooner you'll die."

    "Eating what stands on one leg is better than eating what stands on two leg which is even better than eating what stands on four legs."

    "Avoid food products containing ingredients that a thrd grader cannot pronounce."

    "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." (I've heard this one before. Epic fail for me.)

    P90X also urges eating nothing 3 hours before sleeping. Here is their advice:

    "Here at Beachbody, we're always drilling the "no eating for 3 hours before bedtime" rule into your head and, sure enough, it's important not to go to bed with undigested food in your stomach, especially carbohydrates and fat. So what about those nights when you're so hungry that if you don't eat, you know it will affect your sleep?

    The answer is a protein shake. Usually, truly feeling hungry is a sign indicating a lot of muscle breakdown. When you have muscle breakdown you need protein, especially at night, which is when your muscles do most of their recovering. So if you are famished, a small protein shake with no added ingredients, like fruit or milk, will not only allow you to sleep but speed up your recovery process as well."

    2. Fav Rules:

    "Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi."

    -- This is why I've begun taking probiotics. They help reduce allergic reactions, aid the function of the digestive and immune system and reduce inflammation.

    "Have a glass of wine at dinner."

    --"There is now considerable scientific benefits of alcohol ... People who drink moderately and regularly live longer and suffer considerably less heart disease than teetotalers ... Drinking some every day is better than drinking a lot of weekends."

    3. Rule I'm ambivalent about:

    "Be the kind of person who taken supplements and then skip the supplements"

    Apparently, people who take supplements are healthier than those that don't, but not necessarily b/c of the supplements. However, he does note that nutrition becomes more important as you age and that you can develop specific nutritional deficiencies -- Vitamin D, Calcium, Vitamin B. Also, as we age, our need for antioxidants increases while our ability to absorb them declines. Since I've started with my supplement & antioxidant infused smoothies, I've been healthier. So I'm sticking with it, just like Geek.


    WSJ Article:

    There was an interesting article in the WSJ on Tuesday about evolution being responsible for obesity. Apparently, when we shifted from being hunter and gathers to agriculture, a carb rich diet became the norm and we grew tubbier.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...obesity+darwin

    Some interesting speculation about procreating early and often being the driver of evolutionary change as well ...

    And, boo hoo, Gatorade dropped Tiger Woods.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...NewsCollection. There was a hilarious article about him in www.theonion.com -- not really re-printable here. lol


    Meets:

    I've been uncharacteristically wishy washy about meets as well. I had finally decided to swim the 100 evil and 100 IM or 50 back at the Warrenton meet, and now I see it's the same weekend as PV Senior Champs.

    Night Owl vs. Early Bird:

    An interesting study to confirm we're different!

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0623150621.htm

    Updated February 26th, 2010 at 10:13 PM by The Fortress

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  11. Argh! Monday, Feb. 8

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 07:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Whining:

    OK, it's not fun anymore. The main streets still have snow on them, there are no sidewalks, we're supposed to get 10-20 inches of snow again tomorrow and schools are pre-emptively closed on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. The roads to the Rec Centers were fine today, but they were nonetheless closed. They typically close if the county schools close. So, no pool.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...020600683.html

    I'm really not happy about this. I have a meet this weekend and need to get in the water. I am NOT supposed to be cross-training this week and doing so would only fry my legs more. I am going to pray that the Freedom Center is open tomorrow am and drive all the way out there. Or hope the local rec centers are somehow open. Crap!

    On the upside, since there was no pool to go to today, I called and was able to get a long overdue massage. So at least my poor legs got some TLC.

    Albatross SCM Meet:

    I entered the Albatross meet on line today. I took Neill's advice and entered: 100 fly/50 back/100 back/50 free. I sandbagged all my times. I don't want to be in the last heat and be drowned by Chris/Clay/Jeff/Neill/Wolfy, etc. Past experience has shown me this will happen if I enter my real in season times. So hopefully I'll end up with the fast chicks in the second to last heat.

    P90X:

    Big score last night! I am now in possession of the entire P90X series, which was gifted to me. So I have a couple duplicate DVDs. Bob, have you found any yet? I also have an aquaitance doing the Insanity series of DVDs (not by Tony Horton though). They're 30 minutes long and he says he is "dead" after.

    BTW, Pink does P90X and Dreya (from the DVDs) performed with her at the Grammys.

    RedHead Update:

    Thought I'd give a brief update, since I know some swimmer chicks are wondering about the viability of red hair. I got my hair colored after the first week of fading on Jan. 19. The color took much better the second time; it was almost too dark. I've attached a couple pics taken on photo booth a couple days ago. There is some, but not too much, fading.

    Here's what I've been doing:

    1. Use mega conditioning shampoo and conditioner for dry hair.
    2. Don't wash my hair on days I'm not in the pool.
    3. Put conditioner in my hair before I swim.
    4. Use Pureology's anti-fade complex
    5. Use Bumble & Bumble's hair powder for red heads to brighten up the color.

    So, so far, I'd say it's worth the battle with the chorine. I'll likely have to go in every 5-6 weeks, but that's typical. And I love being a redhead.

    Updated February 8th, 2010 at 10:08 PM by The Fortress

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  12. Rough Day, Monday, Feb. 1

    by , February 1st, 2010 at 05:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Not a sterling day for me. Woke up and my eyes were killing me. They've been somewhat painful the last couple days. But when I woke up this am, I knew I had either iritis or keratitis. I was lucky enough to get an emergency appointment with my opthamologist, which resulted in prescriptions for restasis (for dry eye) and tobradex (steroid drops). I seem very prone to this condition ... seems to happen every year or so. I'm not supposed to swim until Wed. at the very earliest. Opthamologists think swimming is an evil sport ... We couldn't really figure out what caused the attack, but it could have been a change in pool chemicals.

    Then, just to add insult to injury, I came home and pulled a Q. I was heading to take out the garbage and I slipped on ice on my step and fell forward, catching myself on my right wrist. Very painful and swollen. Took myself in to get an x-ray, which was negative. Looks like a sprain. &*%$&*#

    I was, in fact, due for a rest day. But I would have preferred the real deal ...

    I will now be putting hot towels on my eyes and ice on my wrist.


    January Totals:

    Chris inspired me to look at my Jan totals, which were:

    Swim, 18x, 64,350+ yards
    Dryland, 13x
    Yoga, 8x
    Spin/Run, 3x

    I think this means I've been swimming more like 4x a week instead of 5x. Perhaps I've been too consumed with my dryland obsession lately? 24x cross training is fairly substantial. But I do feel like I'm in decent shape all around.

    I am doing pretty well on my new year's resolutions:

    New Years Resolutions: (1/1)

    1. stretch more
    2. improve my fly SDK
    3. go gluten & lactose free
    4. get the potato chip addiction under control
    5. try life as a redhead
    6. discover coping mechanisms to deal with strong willed drama queen teenage daughter who gets her cdriving permit this year.

    Updated February 1st, 2010 at 09:56 PM by The Fortress

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  13. Quick Kick, Friday, Jan 15

    by , January 16th, 2010 at 11:58 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    700 variety

    Main Set 1: hypoxic kick w/MF

    10 x 25 shooters on back @ :30
    10 x 25 easy speed fly @ :30
    10 x 25 shooter on belly @ :30
    10 x 25 easy speed fly @ :30
    10 x 25 shooter on back @ :30

    50 EZ

    Love this set! One of my favs.

    Main Set 2: Endurance Kick: The Chris Stevenson set:

    dolphin kick w/MF & board

    1 x 50 @ :45
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    1 x 300 @ 4:30
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 50 @ :45

    100 EZ

    Total: 3200

    -----------------------------------


    Commentary:

    Blogging from my iPhone. Please ignore typos, Jimi.

    I had to get up very early to drop some of my brood at the airport for their ski trip. No idea at all how some of you regularly rise when it's dark!

    I wanted to do another set, but ran out of time. I had to attend a memorial service for a friends whose kids were my kids' friends and teammates. Very sad.

    I also ran into the mysterious Cage Fighter. He's gone hard core and is practicing with the Fish -- lots if distance free. He looks leaner than ever. I had to remind him to renew his masters registration so he could come swim at Zones with us.

    I flew to Chicago yesterday. Today, I'm touring Northwestern with FortSon, my sister and nieces and then tooling around Chicago. Cheers!
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  14. No Watching! Wed., Jan. 6

    by , January 6th, 2010 at 08:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    9:00 to 3:00: Caught up on errands today. Didn't work out. I was about due for a rest day anyway, much as I hate them.

    3:15: Dropped 15 year old off at senior swim practice. Didn't watch or hover.

    4:30: Dropped 9 year old off at jazz dance. Didn't watch or hover. Drove home. (Why spoil it when the recital is Sunday?)

    5:15: Fort Son arrived home from winter crew practice. We didn't discuss it. I'm already on notice that erg-ing is an evil and disliked necessity in crew. I did inquire how his ankle was after his run yesterday.

    5:30 Picked up my 9 year old from jazz dance and took her to swim practice. (We don't care about homework apparently on Wednesdays.) Dropped her off and didn't watch or hover. Had to stay for 15 minutes waiting for 15 year old to finish practice. Got lectured by 15 year old for sitting in the bleachers for even this wee bit of time. Drove 3 loud teenagers home and eavesdropped on swim gossip.

    6:45: Ordered pizza for children as I had no time (or inclination particularly with today's driving schedule) to cook for my family. Was slightly bitter about the fact that I couldn't eat any of it.

    7:30: Picked up my 9 year old from swim practice. She announced she was excited about doing back flip turns. Otherwise, no discussion of swimming.

    8:00: Helped 9 year old study for math test. This effort didn't last long. She claimed she knew it all, and I chose to believe her.

    8:30: Made myself an omelet. Took a lactate pill and put cheese in my omelet. Started itching 30 minutes later -- I give up. There will be an attempt to stretch and do RC work tonight after 9 year old goes to bed. I like my new Stick.

    Updated January 7th, 2010 at 08:34 AM by The Fortress

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  15. 2009 Recap, Friday, Jan 1

    by , January 1st, 2010 at 10:32 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Happy New Year everyone!

    Geek inspired me to do a year in review of swimming 2009.

    Events:

    1. Jan. Open (USA): Swam the 200 back and 200 IM with the kiddies for the first time as a master.

    2. Auburn Invitational: I tapered for this SCY meet since I wasn't going to Nats. Big breakthrough meet for me with 6 PBs and a 1:01 100 fly.

    3. Albatross meet: Broke 1:11 in the 100 back for the first time in SCM in a close race.

    4. Colonies Zones: Debuted Fortina and fell in love.

    5. Fish Invitational (USA): Swam 200 back in LCM for the first time as a master.

    6. Terrapin Cup: Rested 10 days for this meet, suffered a LZR zipper explosion and missed the backstroke events.

    7. Junior Champs (USA): Swam my annual 100 fly in LCM where I prayed I wouldn't DQ the last 10 yards.

    8. Nationals in Indy: great meet/great time with friends.

    9. Savageman Half Iron Relay: Did my first OW swim. Loved the tri atmosphere.

    10. Fall Ball: Swam a few events including a "100 free" and introduced the newly re-located Jazz to the PV folks.

    11. Sprint Classic: Defended my Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters title.

    12. NE Champs: Great meet w/6 PBs.

    13. Like Geek, 10 billion summer league meets, USA meets, regattas, cross country races, road races, jazz dance recitals, volleyball games, etc.

    The List:

    1. Best Event: 50 back LCM. First AA and giant slaying.

    2. Worst Event: 200 IM

    3. Most Fun Event: 50 backs with Fortina at CZ

    4. Least Fun Event: 100 back at LCM Nats with mega cramps

    5. Most Surprisingly Event: 50 breasts at CZ and NE Champs

    6. Funniest Moments: Stud showing off hot swimmer bod in skimpy British flag brief and squeezing into my B70.

    7. Sweetest Moment: Attending the wedding of two wonderful master swimmer friends

    8. Worst Moment: LZR zipper explosion moments before my heat of the 50 back.

    9. Best Time: Hanging out with a great team and all my friends in Indy.

    10. New Event(s): 200 back SCM, maybe a 200 fly kick

    11. Retired Event(s): 200 IM, maybe the evilstroke events if my beloved suit is banned.

    12. Smartest Move: Blogging! I am very thankful for all the fabulous advice and encouragement I have received.

    New Years Resolutions:

    1. stretch more
    2. improve my fly SDK
    3. go gluten & lactose free
    4. get the potato chip addiction under control
    5. try life as a redhead
    6. discover coping mechanisms to deal with strong willed drama queen teenage daughter who gets her cdriving permit this year.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Today, I'm journeying to the Sewickly Y to do a Jimcentric workout with Jimby.

    Updated January 1st, 2010 at 09:04 PM by The Fortress

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  16. P90X Day, Wed., Dec. 23

    by , December 23rd, 2009 at 05:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I picked my Mom up at the airport last night very late. Didn't have the heart to leave her to go to the gym or pool today. So instead I made her exercise with me some at home.

    P90X Core Synergistics, 60 minutes

    Exercises include:

    http://stanford.wellsphere.com/exerc...ergistics/9917

    I didn't do the chataranga planks or the walking push ups and instead did 1:00 of bicycles, good morning darlings and dead bugs during that part of the DVD.

    My Mom did pretty well. Lil lil Fort joined in too. She has no balance, but she loves superman bananas.


    P90X Plus Interval X:
    40 minute DVD; I did 20 minutes

    This is the DVD for Crazyman!

    It's somewhat similar to a tabata workout. You do 1:00 of 15 exercises. You are supposed to do 20 seconds easy, 20 seconds medium, and 20 seconds fast. Since I had just done Core Synergistics, I skipped the medium and just did 40 seconds of slow recovery. The exercises included running in place, burpees, pushups, various kinds of squats, plyo lunges, plyo jacks, side step-kick combos, etc. I look forward to doing the second half another time.

    I'm hoping to get to the pool tomorrow late am for a quickie workout. We'll see ...
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  17. Tuesday, Dec. 8

    by , December 8th, 2009 at 10:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Couldn't get to the pool today. Was stuck at home waiting for a delivery. Then had a massage at 12:30. The rest of the day was taken up with kid activities and decorating the Xmas tree (another allergen, lol). (Speedo, I had Suzie today; she was pretty good, but I think Erica is better.) I apparently have tight calves, pecs and neck. No surprise, as I haven't stretched much this week and swimmers are known for their chronically tight necks.

    I did do my RC exercises. The left shoulder is slowly coming around. I do have a little twinge in my right knee that I've had for awhile. Not sure, but I am thinking it is due to some of the Bikram yoga moves (sitting Japanese style and all the locking of the knees). I can't think what else could have triggered it ... I don't think it will effect anything, just noting it.

    Q, I had a gluten free bagel with peanut butter today and it wasn't that bad. I think I'll bring some along to the meet along with my rice crispie bars.

    As seen in the recent thread on the DF, I am actually considering doing a 200 fly. It seems that pulling is optional. Does anyone have any ideas about the right combination of kicking and swimming that would maximize speed, save the shoulders and be easiest? I might do it at this meet: http://www.pvswim.org/0910meet/10-31-ma.htm All us "13 & Overs" get to swim in the afternoon, so that's pretty sweet for me as the pool is not close.

    Results from TYR SCM meet in Chicago:

    http://www.tyrgrandprix.com/files/20...%20Results.htm

    I think everyone has seen the LB and CZ results. I got bumped a couple spots in the 100 fly by speedsters AJ Block and Lisa Ward. I'm always amazed at people who can take their 100 fly out close to their 50 time and just keep going ... I can't do that at all. Of course, AJ and Lisa, are much more mid-D to D specialists.

    Updated December 8th, 2009 at 11:49 PM by The Fortress

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  18. Thanksgiving Day

    by , November 27th, 2009 at 09:52 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    1 x 20 minutes stretching w/ Lil lil Fort
    (She has a flexy back and shoulders and inflexible legs. Must have gotten that from her father.)

    1 x 15-20 minutes RC exercises

    0 x 1 dried out white turkey

    0 x 1 mashed potatos

    0 x 1 sweet potatos

    0 x 1 stuffing

    0 x 1 gravy

    1 x 1 sauteed veggies

    1 x 1 apple pie

    1 x 1 chocolate pie

    1 x pumpkin pie

    1 x 2 chard

    1 x 1 New Moon

    Going to a real live diner this am for brunch (and much tastier food)! http://www.pamelasdiner.com/Menus/MtLeb.cfm The house will shortly thereafter be bursting with young childern and I will escape in due course to bucolic (as much as there is bucolic in Pittsburgh) Sewickley for swimming and pizza.

    Chaos sent me this video on FB:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaGocIrdg6E"]YouTube- Freediving - Dynamic Apnea[/ame]

    It's quite lovely. I have no idea how the guy did it though. It does give me competitive monofin lust/envy. I think that one retails for $300 though.

    Updated November 27th, 2009 at 10:16 AM by The Fortress

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  19. Saturday, Oct. 31

    by , October 31st, 2009 at 04:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    After eating Halloween candy for lunch today, I decided I wasn't owed a day off. I would have preferred to go to hot yoga today, but I didn't have much time. So I went off for a 5 mile run, which was fantastic. Despite thrashing my legs yesterday, I felt more sprightly on the running trail than usual. Maybe the plyos help the running?

    Now, having carved the pumpkins, I am off to transform my youngest into Spock and party with friends after our kids trick or treat.

    I am slightly worried I am going to be strong armed into more open water swimming. Mr. Fort will likely have to have surgery on his bum hip after a ski trip in January. He and our Savageman partner were busy planning tri relays for post-surgery motivation at our kids' soccer game today. Is it really possible to swim 2.4 miles in an ocean?
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  20. Sunday, Oct. 18

    by , October 18th, 2009 at 05:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    A whole weekend went by ... and I did nuthin'.

    I had sort of planned to work out today in some minimal way. But I didn't get out of bed until really late and had to cart kids to the movies in light of the disgusting bone chilling rainy weather we've had lately. So I decided, using Speedo and Beth's examples, to give my body 2 days rest. I've been pretty tired from the high intensity training, so maybe it's a good thing.

    I also had 2+ glasses of chard last night and apple pie and chocolate pie for lunch today. No dessert though. Stud thinks this may somehow weight me down for our 50 evil gridge ...

    I'll go back to my good girl ways and the Ande plan tomorrow tomorrow.

    Oh, I finally got the flu mist vaccine on Friday. Has anyone had the swine flu vaccine?

    And in other news, Mr. Fort and my other Savageman relay mate are now plotting an Ironman relay and think the Wrightsville Beach Iron would be ideal. I love Wrightsville Beach and all, but, really, is there no limit to my obligation to be a good wife?!

    Updated October 18th, 2009 at 06:38 PM by The Fortress

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