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  1. Nada, Oct. 24

    by , October 4th, 2010 at 06:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Finally gave in and decided to rest. Too many coughing, breathing and asthma issues. So today is my 4th day out of the water. I don't think 30 minutes on Saturday really counts. Not sure I'll get in tomorrow either, as I'm in Lil Fort's class in the am and getting my foot jabbed in the pm. In light of all this, I think Indy at the end of the month is out for me. I won't be ready and I had wanted to attempt to swim fairly fast there. So I guess I'll reboot and aim for another SCM meet in December.

    Updated October 4th, 2010 at 06:09 PM by The Fortress

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  2. Saturday, Sept. 18

    by , September 18th, 2010 at 07:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I'm sitting on the deck of a lovely cabin on Deep Creek Lake watching the sun set. The weather this afternoon was spectacular -- sunny and mid-70s. (Though we've been warned it will be frosty in the morning.)

    I hopped in the lake around 2:45 pm and swam the .9 mile course. Having done it once, it doesn't seem quite as intimidating as last year. Judging from the number of Cervelos in the transition area, there are a lot of serious bikers here. Mr. Fort was looking longingly at the tri bikes. Dave Scott, multiple time Kona champ, is also in the race.

    The water seemed a bit choppy this morning, but it's calmer now. Hope there's no fog in the morning. I can't tell what temp the water is. I've read it can be 68 in Sept., but it didn't feel that cold. Maybe low70s.

    We've got the cowbells ready for the Westernport wall. (Sorry Geek, the girls love them.). I am expecting Mr. Fort to be faster this year, so I hope I make it there in time to see him!

    Updated September 18th, 2010 at 08:02 PM by The Fortress

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  3. Friday, Sept. 17

    by , September 17th, 2010 at 04:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No swim today. Had to see my chiro and ENT and get ready for Mr. Fort's birthday. Still need to pack for Savageman. We're leaving right after Lil Fort's 8:30 am soccer game.

    I hadn't been to my ART chiro for body work in several months. (Well, I didn't train that much in the summer, so I didn't feel the need.) He said my shoulders still felt very stable. We talked about my foot. I've had increasing pain in the first toe of my right foot over the years. It began with the MF incident, developed into tendonitis and I ignored it b/c I couldn't get a cortisone shot given my then meet schedule. As I understand it, cortisone is most effective if done immediately post injury. Now I get toe/foot pain when I run and jump (or wear high heels ). I'm having an MRI done next week. The suspected diagnosis is tenosynovitis/tendinopathy, aka degeneration of the tendons. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001242.htm. If that's what the MRI shows, I will need PRP, platelet rich plasma, therapy to fix it. http://www.treatingpain.com/diagnosi...ch-plasma.html. This is, as I have previously noted, a controversial therapy. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/he...0plasma&st=cse. But it seemed to work on my shoulder. And therefore I would definitely try it again. It should be much less costly and time consuming than a shoulder as well.

    I have succeeded in making a cake that looks (somewhat) like a Jamis bike. Now I am off to finish present wrapping and pack. I am feeling slightly more savage after a good night's sleep.

    Oh, I've discovered a couple new smoothie ingredients: beet greens and leek greens. They go well with cherries, red grapes, pineapple and berries. My allergist told me to stop using Amazing Meal b/c it has grass in it, and I'm allergic to grasses. Doh. I was unable to do a skin test for food allergies earlier this week (too much histamine in my system), but did submit blood for this purpose and for routine labs. Hopefully, it will rule out food allergies, as they are there so rare in adults. And, of course, Jimslie considers the entire topic pure quackery.
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  4. Sunday, Aug. 15

    by , August 15th, 2010 at 07:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Because of my outdoor pool phobia, I drove to OakMarr this afternoon to catch a shortish taper swim. Upon arriving, I was informed the pool was closed due to kid poop -- again -- and wouldn't open for awhile. So I trudged back home. Seriously, twice in a week this happens to me?! So blighted, I decided to just 1 up QBrain by taking the entire day to pretend I was retired and happy. Tapering always makes me exceedingly lazy anyway. I didn't do even a lick of RC exercises or stretching while at the beach. I see no reason to start now.

    I only have a very short window of opportunity to swim tomorrow b/c of broken car/broken AC and getting our kitten. If need be, I'll just go to my gym pool and swim at night.

    I enjoyed the article on suits in the Washington Post. [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=17351"]Fina rulemaking: How to run swimming into the ground - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]. I daresay us masters will be more effected by it than the elites. And I am quite glad I have my TRX ready to go after Zones. Core, core, core ...
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  5. Thunder, Friday, Aug. 6

    by , August 6th, 2010 at 08:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    After a decent morning at the beach, thunder foiled my plans for both a swim in the ocean or a swim at the Y. So I took an involuntary rest day. The weather is supposed to be somewhat sketchy tomorrow, so I plan to get to the Y whenever it is open.

    In the meantime, I:

    1. Am almost done with the Stieg Larsson series. Sniff. sniff. Next up: The Dead End Gene Pool.

    2. On Julie O'Roddin's recommendation, I purchased a black running skirt. Much cooler and more comfy than shorts. Can't wait to try it out running or at the gym.

    3. I returned a sugoi swimsuit. Hated the way it fit.

    4. Am getting ready to dine at a restaurant on the pier and hoping not to get rained on.

    5. I saw Inception last night. Quite liked it, though I kept wondering about whether it really took that much effort to plant the seed of an idea in someone's head ... I ordered The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as it is not rentable. here.
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  6. First LC Workout, Wed., June 22

    by , June 22nd, 2010 at 11:29 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/LCM/Team:

    2 x 25 abs
    1:00 plank
    50 flutter kicks on back
    30 med ball tosses

    Warm up:

    600 swim, middle 200 stroke

    600 kick, middle 200 w/o board
    (I didn't use a board.)

    200 IM, 25 drill/25 swim

    Main Sets:

    4 x 50 kick w/fins @ 1:00
    (I worked them pretty hard -- went 32-33.)

    300 w/fins
    (Went out too fast, felt dreadful.)

    4 x 50 kick, no fins, use paddles as a "kickboard"

    300 pull

    12 x 100 @ 2:00

    3 x through:
    75 free/25 stroke
    50 free/50 stroke
    25 free/75 stroke
    100 fast

    We were supposed to descend 1-4. I didn't do that. I went a mod cruise pace on 1-3 and went fast on the last one. I did numbers 4 and 8 backstroke with fins and went 1:11 and 1:08. On the last four, my arms were tired and i kicked them. On 12, I kicked backstroke and went a 1:05. I was really gasping for breath after the fast ones. And I was exceedingly surprised by my times -- much faster than I thought I'd go. My lanemate did all the stroke portions
    fly.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3700 meters

    -------------------------------------------------------
    Commentary:

    The pool was so long. So long. It almost made me glad I'm not focusing on LC this summer.

    I may try to sneak in one more swim tomorrow morning. But it might feel pretty dismal coming so close on the heels of this workout.

    I'm blogging from my iPhone. My Internet service was down today, broken router. It's damn inconvenient timing. Mr. Fort had to go to a friend's house to print out our boarding passes. We also got an ipad for the trip, but our computer won't recognize it. Bummer cuz I can't download anything.

    Back to packing!

    Updated June 22nd, 2010 at 11:39 PM by The Fortress

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  7. Kenpo, June 16

    by , June 16th, 2010 at 07:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    P90X, Kenpo:

    Decided I needed something different today, so I popped in the P90X Kenpo DVD, which I've never done before. It's definitely one of the easier P90X routines. Mostly a lot of punching, kicking and jumping. The X jumping jack plyo is a great exercise. It did seem like a good overall body workout, with good focus on balance and speed.

    Here's a description and the list of exercises:

    http://www.fitnessdestinations.com/p...day-6-kenpo-x/.

    I was not inspired to try this martial arts type workout by Karate Kid. I almost fell asleep during that slow snoozer of a movie.

    I wanted to do some P90X yoga, but got too busy doing kid things. In any event, my body appears intolerant of a training load increase right now. I've decided the legs are the most difficult to get back in shape. They seem to require the most conditioning and then, conversely, the most rest before meets. The upper body seems to snap back faster. (This is, of course, purely anecdotal and not supported by well controlled scientific data. Or, if the data does exists, which I'm sure it doesn't wrt swimming, I haven't bothered to look for it. )

    Does anyone have any good tips for a father's day gift for a runner/cyclist?

    I may do one of Patrick's workouts tomorrow (not the 400 free one!) and then swim with Speedo on Friday before subjecting myself to a crushingly busy weekend.

    Day 6 of detox ...

    I've attached a pic of a cute Maine Coone kitten we'll be getting soon (we're getting one of the white chested females pictured). I'm only mildly allergic to cats, and tolerate our Siamese well. I can't do dogs at all. My youngest has really been jonesing for a new kitty, so I caved. Hope I can still breath with it in the house.

    Updated June 16th, 2010 at 09:00 PM by The Fortress

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  8. "Sleep It Off" June 2, 2010

    by , June 2nd, 2010 at 05:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I consulted my doctor today about my ongoing malaise, for which JimRude has taken responsibility. He said there is a nasty 2 week malaise like virus going around and that I should just "sleep it off." I will do my best in this respect; I would just like it to be gone by the weekend during which a malaise is decidedly contra-indicated. Though Jim gallantly took full blame, I wonder if it is the result of some funk from Nationals? Several people I know have come home and been quite ill.

    Mike left an interesting link to an article in the NYT re: massage. The article, which reports on a scientific study, concludes that post exercise massage “actually impairs removal of lactic acid from exercised muscle.” http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0...=me&ref=health. So it made me wonder whether massage really does speed recovery (as I was opining after my post Zones massage). I suppose it could speed recovery for reasons unrelated to lactic acid. I certainly have been going the passive recovery route ... and am currently re-watching Lost with Mini.

    Mike suggested that massage might help sickness. Anyone have experience with this? I've heard that, if you have symptoms, it can bring on the illness like gangbusters ...

    Given that this is the lengthiest time off I've had in ages, I'm hoping it doesn't hinder my workout mojo when I return and make me a wuss. My son opined that this was a likely result of taking complete rest as opposed to recovery type exercise. Of course, none of his opinions have any valid basis either. I am trying to stave off being a "wuss" by being a Snotty Forum Poster.

    BTW, Dr. Jaeger (who teaches Evidence Based Medicine at Mayo) reported back to me that Metagenics products are sold in the Mayo store, not the Mayo pharmacy. He's not sure how they got the product space. I agree with him that the marketing of supplements is far ahead of the scientific study of such supplements. Nonetheless, I have received my 7 Exfuze sample and took my first shot today!

    Ok, time to get off the couch and go back to my almost full time chauffeuring duties.
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  9. Going Nowhere, June 1

    by , June 1st, 2010 at 04:34 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blech, blech, blech. Still sick. I'm trying to fend off what seems to have devolved into a sinus infection/bronchitis. Not one stitch of exercise since my last blog entry.

    The only swimming related things I've done are to purchase lifeguards suits, purchase summer league suits, and purchase practice suits. Our summer league kick off meeting is tonight.

    I am also getting massive pressure to be a referee this summer, which sounds decidedly un-fun. Though perhaps over-ruling S&T judges that don't know WTH they're doing would be somewhat satisfying. (evil smile).

    I can't believe it's June 1 already ...

    I received my 3 week trial supply of 7 Exfuse in the mail today. I'm thinking I should wait till I'm healthy to start using it in my smoothies.

    Saw an article in the Post on veggie contamination, akin to the article posted in the GS on protein supplements being contaminated:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...053101914.html

    Updated June 9th, 2010 at 08:37 PM by The Fortress

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  10. Sick, May 29

    by , May 29th, 2010 at 05:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Well, I haven't been feeling so hot for a couple days and I've had a sore throat. Today, I woke up (after some decent sleep) and just knew I was sick. I feel sort of like I did in March when I had swine flu -- sore throat, cough, sinus pain, mild fever, headaches and lethargy/fatigue. It's kind of a bummer because I have a lot of social events planned this weekend. Laid on the couch most of today and will try to muddle through a friend's birthday barbecue tonight. I feel like maybe Atlanta, and all the excitement and sleep deprivation, maybe just zapped my immune system and/or depleted me mentally and physically ... It's also my new theory that starting a big taper meet off with a double whammy or huge disappointment is difficult mentally. Instead of having momentum that literally (or I guess, figuratively) carries you through the rest of the meet, you're immediately in a hole battling back. Eupohoria is easier than resiliency.

    Given this development, I've decided my two weeks of relative rest -- no strenuous exercise -- is going to be now (including this week), not on vacation. The cruise ship has a fantastic workout facility, so I will be able to cross train and do drylands there, even if pool swimming is out.

    Kudos to Speedo, the Littel Roddin Devil and Geek for their great swimming so far this weekend!

    Updated May 29th, 2010 at 05:57 PM by The Fortress

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  11. Bittersweet, Day 1 & 2 of Nationals

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 10:46 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 11:00 AM by The Fortress

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  12. Atlanta, May 20

    by , May 20th, 2010 at 06:39 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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  13. Vids + Monday, April 26

    by , April 26th, 2010 at 11:58 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 27th, 2010 at 12:22 AM by The Fortress

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  14. Sunday, March 28

    by , March 28th, 2010 at 09:52 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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  15. Friday, March 26

    by , March 26th, 2010 at 07:02 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 09:07 PM by The Fortress

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  16. Sunday, Mar. 14

    by , March 14th, 2010 at 07:15 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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  17. Still on the Couch, Friday, March 12

    by , March 12th, 2010 at 05:17 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 06:32 PM by The Fortress

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  18. Immobile, Thursday, March 11

    by , March 11th, 2010 at 06:03 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 06:30 PM by The Fortress

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  19. Monday, March 1

    by , March 1st, 2010 at 06:18 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 09:09 PM by The Fortress

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  20. Nutrition Ramblings, Friday, Feb. 26

    by , February 26th, 2010 at 07:18 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 11:13 PM by The Fortress

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