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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:
3. Cutting Edge gear: Check out this cool 2010 tri gear from 2XU:
4. Eat your veggies!
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 06:30 PM by The Fortress
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.
200 chest press fly
200 hand lead caterpillar fly drill
200 evil kick, no board
200 glide drill on belly
200 glide drill on back
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
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 09:09 PM by The Fortress
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Updated February 26th, 2010 at 11:13 PM by The Fortress
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.
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.
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.
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 11:08 PM by The Fortress
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.
Chris inspired me to look at my Jan totals, which were:
Swim, 18x, 64,350+ yards
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 10:56 PM by The Fortress
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
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
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!
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 09:34 AM by The Fortress
Happy New Year everyone!
Geek inspired me to do a year in review of swimming 2009.
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.
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 10:04 PM by The Fortress
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
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 ...
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:
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 9th, 2009 at 12:49 AM by The Fortress
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 11:16 AM by The Fortress
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?
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 07:38 PM by The Fortress
So I jumped way out of my comfort zone and into Deep Creek Lake ... (where's the "take the plunge" emotion, Anna Lea?).
First off, I want to say I had a fabulous time at the event, which had a wonderful festival like atmosphere and beautiful setting. And I appreciate all the great advice everyone took the time and effort to give me! Many thanks on that score!
But what happens if you put a drop dead sprinter in the OW for the first time at age 48?*
(*I'm not sure I even qualify as a drop dead sprinter using Ande's calculations. My 200 back time is worse than 2 x my 100 back + 14 seconds ... Does that make me a drop drop dead sprinter or a drop dead dead sprinter?)
Here's the recap:
The Vienna Geezer Jocks finished 5th in the coed relay for the half iron division. Our overall time was 5:36. (We would have been 4th in the all male division. lol) We were the #1 all masters relay. All the teams that beat us had a 20 something youngster -- my running relay mate did all the internet research and observation at transition.
Note: Quicksilver accurately predicted my time!
I was the first female relay contestant out of the water with a 29:44. I was actually thrilled to go under 30 minutes, as I said I would be. But, boy, I made absolutely every rookie mistake in the book and am a stinky OW swimmer:
1. I sprinted at the start. NOT a good idea for a drop drop dead sprinter. I should have listened to Jimby and I promptly texted him with permission to say "I told you so." I went into lactic acid pain after 200 yards or so. The next 500 I was wishing I could climb out! lol I vaguely settled into a groove later. I think the race would have been more pleasant and less painful if I had built into it like I did in my 22 x 100 pool swim.
2. I didn't/couldn't draft except for the smallest portion. The fast 25-29 guys and the faster male relay swimmers were just too far ahead, and I had trouble seeing anyone else. As a result, I felt like I was slightly in no man's land. I did draft off a guy for awhile. He apparently didn't like this as he swung wide. There was another (much younger) woman who was very close to me in the swim (29:48). We actually chatted at the start. She is an OW swimmer. I should have known she was reasonably fast and tried to keep track of her when she lined up at the right front at the start. In fact, she was ahead of me the whole race until the last 200 yards. How do I know this?
3. I did quite a bit of evilstroke! 100 lashings. I couldn't see where the F I was, so occasionally I took a couple evilstrokes to check the field and look for other swimmers. (I recognized her goggles at various junctures.) In fact, she was breaststroking around the huge inflatable turtle at the first turnaround point and I was right behind her, forced to evilstroke as well. (But, Bob, it didn't make my legs feel bad at all!)
4. Trouble at the first buoy. In my attempt not to swim 20 feet away from the buoy, I was rather close on the first one. In fact, the swimmer in front of me smacked his/her head right into it. Yikes! This caused me to evilstroke for a few seconds as well as that person stopped abruptly. I seemed to be reasonably close to the other buoys without going way way off course. Though I definitely wasn't swimming straight and had to keep correctly some. I love my lane lines.
5. I didn't kick enough. I realized this after. I was so preoccupied with feeling adrift and staying on course, I forgot this basic thing. I think it would have helped me. On the other hand, I'm not used to either LD freestyle or kicking on LD freestyle, so I tend (even if the pool) to lapse into a 2 beat kick. But this meant my legs were somewhat fresh and I could hightail it up that nasty hill toward the bike transition area. I was one of the few running. The tris, very understandably, seemed to be recovering before hopping on their bikes. All except the other relay girl who came out of the water right after me. I wasn't going to let her pass me on the run!
5. mj's advice about taking a few seconds before starting the run up the hill was good. I got out of the water very slowly, and was able to start running pretty quickly. Well, jogging is more accurate.
6. I guess the thing I disliked the most was that I felt like I was swimming in the dark. The lake seemed black to me and I couldn't see anything underwater. And I'm an unskilled sighter. Upon reflection, I think I preferred swimming in the ocean at Wrightsville beach despite the waves. The ocean water is so much lighter and clearer, I didn't feel like I was in the dark.
7. The water temp and air temp were ideal. Thanks to my wetsuit, I didn't feel cold at all.
For Ande: I just wore my Title IX sport bikini under my 2XU. I didn't have time to change at transition. I just ripped off my wet suit, pulled on running shorts and hopped in the car to get to the Western Port wall in time to see Mr. Fort. We got there only a few minutes before he arrived, and I also got to see Julie try to summit it.
How my time stacked up:
I had the fastest women's relay time, as I noted. There were three female Pros who swam faster with 24:11, 26:21 and 28:06. The 24 was by Susan Williams, 2000 triathlon bronze medalist. She was amazing and I got to see her a couple times on the course. The other Olympic triathlete (from 2004) swam the course in 32:55. Julie swam the course in 31:22, though the poor thing had her googles break. (Her fiance Jeff really rocked the swim!) Note: Julie swam WAY faster that that b/c they messed up her swim/transition time, for the second year in a row. She was a 28+, which is smoking and much more consistent with her other times. She is a great distance swimmer. (And, as aside from the Western Wall where she put in max effort, she had a very good bike leg.)
One other real female swimmer in the relays (from what our intelligence gleaned) was 20 years old and a 500 freestyler in high school. She swam a 34:49 for the winning coed relay, Team Generation XYZ.
Mr. Fort did great. He's only been cycling for a few months and chose a super hard course for his first bike race. He completed the 55 mile course in 3:25. He said he gained ground on the hills and got clobbered on the descents. He knew this was coming because he didn't have the technical skills of the other riders. He also didn't have the gear. He was on a 2005 Trek with no aero bars. Everyone else in the bike rack for the relays had serious bikes, aero bars, bibs and those cone helmets. But I think he was super pleased with how he did. He summited the Western Port Wall fairly easily. He went straight up and was very glad no one was weaving in front of him. He was hurting on the Killer Miller climb.
One relay cyclist (from the winning coed team and a master) was crazy fast. He biked a 2:49 on the course. I think the winning Pro (Bjorn Anderson), who is in his prime, set the course record and biked a 2:43.
Our runner did wonderfully well. He struggled more on the hills than he anticipated (though he had run the course before). He is a much better runner on the flats. But he ran a hilly half marathon in 1:39, which was the 3rd fastest time among the relay runners. He passed several relay teams to pull us up in the standings.
He was very fortunate. About a mile into his race, he paired up with one of the ironman racers (a 46 year old Kona qualifer, who went on to finish 10th overall, I believe). They paced each other and drafted the rest of the way.
1. Watching at the Western Port Wall was amazing. There were huge crowds. Many many folks with cowbells. Despite Geek's admonition, I purchased an annoying cowbell for our girls and they whacked away at it for every biker attempting the climb. So many people just fell over as they were riding slowly up the hill. I had never seen anything like it before. And, when you're clipped in, it looks like it really hurts. There were people dressed as "devils" encouraging the bikers as they made their way up the hill.
2. Even elite Pros make mistakes -- I saw one guy fall off his bike when dismounting to transition to the run. I saw one guy fall off his trainer that he was warming up on in the transition area.
3. The hills were brutal. Truly, the triathletes there participating are a of a different breed. I was told the blogs and discussion boards had many comments saying some tris just wouldn't do Savageman because it was too hard.
4. I didn't see anyone that wasn't in a wetsuit. I did notice that there weren't that many people warming up. I guess some tris use the swim as their warm up.
5. Today I feel like someone took a hammer to my back and shoulders. lol. And my lats were burning after the race. Don't think I'll be doing a test set with Pete tomorrow. I will be cruising and trying to recover for the Fall Ball.
6. Super glad to have done it. Enjoyed our relay comraderie and the convivial atmosphere. But it was tough! My previous longest race was 2:20+, so this was a big jump to say the least.
7. Oh, and my B70 goggles were great. I didn't have any trouble with fogging or the sun.
8. I did get chaffing around the back of my neck at the hairline where I didn't put body glide. So I guess I needed it!
Updated September 22nd, 2009 at 12:35 AM by The Fortress
Drove to Deep Creek this morning arriving at 1:30 just in time to pick up our packets and attend the athlete briefing. It's so beautiful here ... Temps in the upper 60s, sunshine, foliage -- should be very good race conditions tomorrow, though possibly warm for the run.
I went on a swim in the course. Swam about one mile. Here's what I found out:
1. I can't swim straight. Without frequent sighting I'll end up in the middle of the lake!
2. I need to stay much closer to the buoys or I'll be going way more than 1.2 miles.
3. It's freaking dark in a lake. I can barely see someone swimming next to me! That's very odd after the pool ...
4. I have no idea how to pace this race. Not unexpected as I'm a sprinter. But at least I'll know when I'm at the 3/4 mark because there's a buoy fir the international finish.
5. There will be no dolphin diving to the finish. There's rocks all over at the start and finish.
6. The transition will be murder. You get out of the water and there's about 1/3 mile straight uphill to the bike transition area.
7. It's more tiring to swim in OW than a pool. No surprise there!
8. Triathlete love B70 wetsuits. Saw loads of them there.
9. Julie and Jeff swam this am. Julie had major trouble with her goggles fogging. Hope that doesn't happen tomorrow am.
I'm now ensconced in a lovely little cabin overlooking the bucolic lake. The girls are making a poster for us Vienna Geezer Jocks. The names of some of the coed teams are hilarious. One of my favs is "In the name of the donut."
My biggest challenge will be getting up at the crack of dawn. I'm not nervous at all, nothing like before a big meet. I think this reflects the fact that my inner control freak is subsiding over time.
I think swimming this race, in all my ignorance, should allow me to escape mocking fir being a wimpy sprinter fir at least one week!
Yesterday, I took my scheduled Saturday off.
Today, I slept through my team workout. Can't seem to get up at a reasonable hour at all. Oh well, I stole and modified one of Ande's workouts and got a good speed workout in later in the afternoon. Tomorrow will be weights & an aerobic workout hopefully -- if I can wake up! lol Friends over for a barbecue in the late afternoon so I can't dally all day.
700 variety swim, kick, drill
5 x 100 backstroke kick @ 1:45 @ 70-75% w/10-8-8-8 SDKs per 25
6 x (25 AFAP fly + 25 EZ)
4 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:15 @ 85-90% w/12, 10, 10, 10, 10 SDKs per 25
(Went 58, 58, 56, 56)
(Had meant these to be at 80%, but missed the boat on the first one, so just kept going at the slightly higher speed)
6 x (25 AFAP back + 25 EZ)
3 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:15 @ 90% w/12, 10, 10, 10 SDKs
6 x (25 AFAP breast + 25 EZ)
2 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:30 @ 95% w/ 13, 11, 11, 11 SDKs per 25
50 EZ inbetween
(Went 56, 55)
6 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)
1 x 100 backstroke kick @ 100% w/ 14, 12, 12 12 SDKs per 25
Swim = 1750
Kick = 2500
I ordered a wetsuit! Decided to buy instead of rent b/c I think I'll have occasion to use it again.
Had my iphone stolen at the movies last night. It rots when grown adults or teenagers have to steal someone's cell phone. I left it for only a few seconds ... Got a new iphone today with a tracking device. It's ever stolen again, I will hunt the thief down.
Updated September 7th, 2009 at 09:51 PM by The Fortress
Took a rest day yesterday to drive to the beach.
Wanted to swim today. No go. Couldn't swim in the ocean. It was too rough, and they closed the beach for awhile. There were jet skis circling for a long while -- I hope it wasn't a drowning.
Tried to go swim at the Wilmington YMCA. Drove there and thunderstorm started. Even though it is an indoor pool, they closed it, so I was out of luck. The Y is closed starting Monday for the rest of the week.
Thought about going on a run. But after sitting on the beach all day, running is TOO hard. I have no running legs. I'm sort of worried they're gone for good.
I'm going to investigate other places to swim around here if the ocean stays like this. I think it is supposed to be calmer later in the week. Really hoping this week isn't going to be a workout disaster, since I already took one week off.
Surfing would be good core work -- but I haven't surfed in many years.
Updated August 22nd, 2009 at 08:21 PM by The Fortress
Drove out to Mason with my little one in tow.
2 x 150 kick
2 x 75 drill
2 x 75 ? (I did shooters)
400 IM kick
75 kick/25 swim
I was somewhat flabbergasted to see this set at the start of a SCY season after the pool had been closed for two weeks! I thought I'd be lounging around doing aerobic work ...
24 x 50 @ 1:00
2 EZ, 1 AFAP (every other AFAP from a dive, extra 30 seconds rest on dive ones)
I did all the fast ones backstroke with fins. Went 6 24s and 2 25s.
2 x 250 pull w/some breathing pattern
I did backstroke kick at a pretty quick pace instead.
I'm leaving for the beach in NC for a week tomorrow. I plan to swim in the ocean some. I may look for a wet suit when I'm down there. There's also a Y close by that I swam at last year. My only concern is the weights. I think there was a really subpar weight room at the Y. My hammies are still slightly sore from the squats the other day.
Fall Meet Plan:
I have a tentative meet plan for the fall:
1. Sept. 26 DCAC's Fall Ball
(I may swim the 100 and 200 back at this meet. There are no 50s except for the 50 free and I'll sort of be in aerobic mode. Well, for me.)
2. Oct. 27 Sprint Classic at GMU
(unless Mr. Fort runs the MCM)
(Looked at the order of events. Not sure whether to start with 50 back or 100 fly. Last year, I opted for the 100 fly.)
3. Nov., Thanksgiving SCM Meet at Freedom Center
4. Dec, SCM Zones at Flushing Meadow Queens, NY
(This is the pool I almost swam at last May before my meet entries were lost. Not sure exactly when the meet is yet, but I know a bid has been placed. I may only swim one day at this meet, depending on life. I hope it's not the first weekend of Dec. immediately after the Thanksgiving meet here.)
Updated August 20th, 2009 at 11:15 PM by The Fortress
No exercise to report. However, I did expend a tremendous amount of mental energy reading an article in the latest Rowing News magazine. It set forth highlights from the meeting of the ACSM last May. I'm sure many of you have seen them, but if you haven't, here are some that caught my eye:
1. Many athletes believe they need protein to build muscle. Yet a study showed that taking recovery protein (from Endurox or whatever) had no performance or muscle building advantages. I guess this is distinguishable, however, from its possible muscle recovery properties. This could be some of the research Jazz was alluding to when he announced that protein may not help build strength and changed his diet to exclude most protein, or at least meat.
2. Fruits, berries and black currants have antioxidant and anti-inflammantory properties. Real shocker there.
3. Actual food is more health protective than supplements. Q and Jazz say this all the time!
4. Almonds are awesome, particularly pre-exercise. Must be why Quicksilver munches them at his desk while sipping green tea ...
5. Athletes who exercise in the heat should hyper-hydrate, but make sure their sport drink contains a substantial amount of sodium.
6. Man athletic trainers use pickle juice to treat cramps. SwimmerGirlKT mentioned this on her blog awhile ago. Some report that 1-2 ounces can relieve cramping in seconds. The actual mechanism for this is illusive and indeterminate.
7. Chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. Wow, who'd a thunk?
8. Glutamine reportedly enhances recovery, yet a study comparing beverages with and without glutamine during and after exercise did not confirm this.
9. During exercise, an energy bar, sport drink or gel are all pretty much equally effective.
10. Exercise apparently improves learning based on studies done with younger children.
11. And check this out:
"Many youth swimmers spend hours training for relatively short competitive events. A six-week study with 9-12 year olds suggests high intensity/low volume training offers the same benefits as lower intensity/high volume training."
So don't burn young kids out! Wonder how this applies going forward as the pre-teens age?
Updated August 13th, 2009 at 06:58 PM by The Fortress
This will be my third day in a row of no exercise! I didn't take a break after Zones in April and think that caused me more fatigue when I started up again. So I'm going to take a few days off. I am heading up to the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh this afternoon. I hope to get in a mellow swim or two at the Sewickley Y with my Pittsburgh buddies, Jimby and Bill White, while I'm in Pittsburgh over the weekend. (I have a family get together as well.)
I've attached a couple pics of two forum dinners and some of the Academy Bullets doing our strong arm thing. ABM finished 4th overall in the club team rankings!
Only 2 other thoughts about Nats:
It was freezing in the natatorium. I wish I had brought my parka and Ugg boots (if they're good enough for Rob Butcher ...), but they didn't fit in the suitcase, which already weighed 49.9 pounds.
I forgot to put my good luck nose clip on before my 50 back split on Thursday. I'm sure that made all the difference!