Setting the Scene:
Ensconced in bucolic Deep Creek Lake woods, the Vienna Geezer Jocks began their second assault on the Savagemen coed HIM relay race. Last year, we finished 5th behind some stellar teams. This year, we finished first in 5:10, much to our shock. This was completely due to the huge improvements of Mr. Fort on the bike and our good friend, Chris McKee (and speedy Boston marathoner), on the run portion.
We had a lovely day Saturday settling into our cottage, picking up our packets, warming up on our race sites. The only glitch that day was that one of the sensors on Mr. Fort's bike seemed to be malfunctioning. Fortunately, they had scads of bike gear at the inspection site and he was able to replace the battery. We enjoyed our cottage, hot tubbed, sat on the deck overlooking the river, went to dinner, etc. I apparently ate something that didn't agree because I had immediate bloating and rash symptoms. Ugh. I suspect it was ingestion of lactose, as the risotto I had seemed too creamy and I had a couple bites of cheese. I took lactase enzymes to no avail.
Later, I settled down with my book (in retrospect, a horribly written thing) to attempt sleep. Just as I was getting drowsy, around, 11:45, our neighbors started setting off fireworks and screaming. And it didn't stop. Being an incredibly light sleeper, this did not sit well with me. In fact, as my blog readers would expect, it did not sit well with me at all. When it did not desist, I went out side and, making no attempt to be nice or patient, told them to shut the f*ck up because it was nearly midnight and we had a race. After several rounds of fireworks and my rather loud voice, there was blissful dead silence and I recommenced the effort to fall asleep.
The next morning all went as planned. Mr. Fort woke me up around 6:15, I got up around 6:30, we caffeinated, ate and went off to the race site. I did do a very short warm up swim to, as Jimslie would say, "open the capillaries." So far, all was well. I went off in wave two. The first 1/3 of the race went better than last year. I didn't sprint too much at the start, but began at a controlled yet good clip. I had placed myself next to some of the other relays girls and was with or ahead of them. Then, about halfway through, quite suddenly, I began having trouble breathing. I was gasping on every breath, my chest started tightening and my arms felt like lead. At first, I thought I had overdone it at the start like last year. I quickly realized that this was not the case and that I was having asthma problems. I was panicked and dismayed. I haven't really had any wheezing problems except for last March at the Albatross meet and last May when I was sick after Nats. I had even stopped using Asthmanex.
What to do when this happens in an OW race? I was at least smart enough to flop on my back, float a bit and slow my pace way down before bringing on a full attack. (Full attack = no way can you carry on.) I considered waving to the kayakers and getting out. I did some slow backstroke, tried to get my breathing under control. Tons of people went past me at this juncture. I felt slightly better and decided to muddle on slowly and cautiously. I gave up all notions of having a fast-ish swim. At first, I felt slightly guilty about this. But this feeling quickly disappeared as my only thought became survival and finishing. I did a combination of very slow backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle to finish the race. I'm quite sure I set the course record for most distance covered in a non freestyle manner. But I just couldn't breathe very well when swimming free, so I had to flop on my back numerous times. Not to be a martyr, but every stroke felt like agony. I'm assuming this was due to lack of oxygen to the muscles.
The worst part of the Savageman swim is the long uphill run to the transition area. Last year, I blasted out of the swim and ran up the hill with a super fast transition time. This year, it was, well frankly, embarrassing. I staggered over the time pad and up the hill. Thank god there was a railing part of the way because I used it. The trail and steps seemed endless. I had several people ask if I was OK, and I just choked out the word "asthma" several times. I made it to the transition area, but was so out of it I couldn't remember where Mr. Fort's bike was. Later, my relay mates told me that they knew something was dreadfully wrong. They began waving frantically and finally I saw them and continued staggering forward to have our runner remove the timing chip.
Finishing this race was, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done in sport.
Mr. Fort took off on the bike. I was the 8th relay swimmer to come in. We had planned to drive to the Westernport Wall. Unfortunately, because I was in distress, we couldn't get there in time to see Mr. Fort and we might have missed him anyway because he was much faster this year. Our runner, Chris, literally had to half carry me to the car. I still couldn't get my breathing under control. And, again reflecting my stupidity and hubris, I had left my rescue inhaler in my purse instead of at the transition area or in my parka. After getting in the car, I pulled down my wetsuit and we started off. I drank my electrolyte filled water.
This was apparently the wrong move. I immediately became ill and vomited in the car. We pulled over and I continued with the same. I had to have help removing my wetsuit because my body seemed incapable of movement. I'm not sure why this happened. I suppose it was because my body was in complete distress and I filled it with liquids which it wasn't ready for?
Anyway, after these travails, the day improved dramatically. Mr. Fort passed all but one other relay team on the bike leg. He absolutely destroyed it, finishing in 3:01. Last year, he went 3:24 after only 2-3 months of cycling. Since the pros were in the 2:40s on this super hilly course, I think this is pretty damn impressive. he said he was about 2 mph faster on average than last year. He said he had no problem making it over the Westernport Wall, but that it was more difficult than last year because there were so many bikers making the attempt at the same time. It's easiest to go straight up with no one around you. We did see a spectacular 4 bike collision later when we were at the wall later. Mr. Fort did say that Killer Miller almost killed him.
The only problem was that his speed caught us a bit by surprise. Chris wasn't ready in the transition area when Scott biked in way ahead of when he was expected. He had to sprint back to our spot and then, inexplicably, forgot momentarily how to untie the chip. lol. This gave him a huge shot of adrenlin and he literally bolted out of the transition area.
Chris took off with only one relay team ahead of him on the run and picked him off before the 3 mile mark. He just carried it home in a 1:36, which was the second fastest relay time. He had run 1:28 in a training half marathon race the week before. He rested somewhat for this race, but was astounded, once again, by the unrelenting hills.
There was much joy among us that we had won, despite my initial F up on the swim. We were also faster than last year's winning team. When the results came up, I saw that my swim time was 31:09. Quite horrible, yet I was surprised to see that it was only 1:25 slower than last year. I theorize that this means I had a better front half of the race than last year. Having no sense of pace whatsoever, and knowing I had done a lot of non-freestyle, I had expected to be 35+ or worse. In any event, I had done a serviceable enough job to put the guys in a position to win. And they were beyond thrilled.
We hung out, ate lunch, and attended the award ceremony. Some pics are below.
As I recall, we were also the only true masters relay. Every other team had at least one young ringer. We were beaten by one male relay team (with a kid throwing down a 1:21 on the run), but they were all in their 20s. Our collective age was 141 (51/49/41).
I wish I could have watched the swim! John Kenney, a pro, was the first one out of the water in 20:54. He was a former Cornell cross country runner and swimmer, who is now getting seriously into triathlon. In college, he was a national champion in the OW 25K. I'm told he appeared to be sighting almost every 4th stroke. Two other pros threw down some 21s.
There were numerous competitors about to go to Kona in 3 weeks. Billy Graves from the UK won the men's division, setting a course record on the bike. On the women's side, there was a stud woman from Colorado (Deidre something, I had heard of her) who set course records on the bike and run. She had never biked the course before and said it was "like watching a scary movie and wondering what would jump out at you next."
Post Race Thoughts:
My post race thoughts are this:
1. I am definitely married to a very studly biker if this is what he does after only 1+ years on the bike on a very technical hilly course.
2. I did not manage my allergies & asthma for this race wisely. My fall allergies were really bothering me, which I know can occasionally trigger wheezing. I saw my ENT doctor on Friday, but didn't have time to fill my scrip for Singulair before leaving. I didn't use my inhaler pre-race and left it in the car. This was all unbelievably stupid in retrospect. I was just coasting on the fact that I'd been symptom free for awhile.
3. I think it was also a bit of perfect storm that triggered the breathing problems -- I had some sort of food allergy/intolerance the night before (which inflames the airways), I hadn't take the proper medication and the water was very cold. I noticed some difficulty breathing last year, but nothing like what happened this time. The swimmers in the water were guesstimating that the water temp was 68. Air temp was 53. I'm used to swimming in 83-84 degree water most of the time except at Mason where it is 80. My feet did freeze during the race. I tried to kick more on the back half, but my feet were just frozen and leaden. I will definitely need swim booties if I ever venture into OW again.
4. And, speaking of OW, I now have immense trepidation about B2B. I have barely any business swimming in a 1.2 mile race. What if this happened in a 2.4 race? If anyone is interested in racing with two uber studs, please let me know! Jimslie? Geekity? Others?
5. Training for 50/100s is not compatible with "racing" a 1.2 mile swim. Perhaps it's compatible with cruising a 1.2 mile swim. This seems analogous to having a 5K specialist run a marathon. If we do this next year, and plans are already in the works with the enthusiasm of the two real endurance studs running high, I might just cruise the whole thing and not alter my training regimen. A few minutes one way or the other doesn't seem to make much difference as the swim is fairly inconsequential in this race. Really, I could make that up just by booking up the hill at transition. It took me almost 2 1/2 minutes to crawl and stagger up that hill this year.
6. I'm not sure it was the greatest thing that Lil Fort was at the finish of the swim leg trying to cheer me on with her best friend. She was completely freaked out by what happened to me. I'm just hopeful she can take away from it that I didn't quit and soldiered on. She told me I was "super brave."
7. This was the most unpleasant swim experience of my life. It makes my safe pool seem very compelling!
8. This is a great very festival like event in a beautiful setting.
9. 2009 was a charmed year for me. 2010 seems jinxed!
10. Vibrams -- they were everywhere!
Updated September 20th, 2010 at 08:54 PM by The Fortress
(another quite modified Tall Paul set)
6 x 100 free @ 1:40
4 x 50 kick, done as 50 UW shooters w/fins @ 1:00
2 x 50 drill @ 1:00
6 x 100 free @ 1:30
4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
4 x 50 breast drill @ 1:05
3 x 100 back w/fins @ 1:20
(I intended to do 6 of these, but completely bonked and cramped, and so desisted.)
4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
6 x 50 fly & free drills @ 1:00
Just cruised through this workout today, but am still feeling surprisingly tired. I think it's because I sleep like a beached seal on coke.
Any advice on workouts to do the couple days before an OW swim? Was wondering if maybe I should attempt another wetsuit swim tomorrow ...
I glanced through my workouts from this time last September and it appears that I was indeed in better shape back then, as I suspected. I also found this race report: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=46...gcategoryid=53.
I was perusing Bicycle magazine today and found a blurb on a sample Lance Armstrong endurance and conditioning circuit. The exercises included:
back extension & hold
walk out plank & hold
bulgarian split squat with weights
(I've done this one, very tortuous, but have used DBs instead of an overhead weight.)
one foot hamstring curls on stability ball
med ball squat & push press
med ball slam
And, speaking of cycling, Lil Fort and I are in the process of making a bike cake for Mr. Fort's birthday tomorrow. It's a bit of a PITA; I hope it every so vaguely resembles his Jamis. I was mildly depressed by the fact that our combined birthdays total 100 years. lol
If anyone is interested in attending the Sprint Classic at GMU (and, more importantly competing in "The Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters"), the entry form is at:
I still haven't pulled the trigger on the Indy meet yet. My tentative plan is to swim very few events at the Sprint Classic and then go to Indy the next weekend. Mr. Fort has a two week trial in October, so he will be AWOL during the Sprint Classic. I try to swim something different there every year. The order of events is always the same, which is not exactly to my liking. I suggested to Tim T. that we have unofficial 100 relays one year along with the unofficial 25s.
Updated September 16th, 2010 at 11:14 PM by The Fortress
Just sitting down for the first time today. With a largish glass of New Zealand SB.
Made it to Oak Marr this afternoon and did a modified Tall Paul workout. I'm quite ready to get back to some faster speed work next week and take out my toys. I'm renewing my resolve to conquer the dorkel. I am not taking on the tempo trainer.
8 x 50's @ 1:10
odds = 25 back drill + 25 SDK on back
evens = 25 back swim + 25 free swim
1 x 500 cruise free w/fins
8 x 50's @ 1:00
odds = 25 breast pull w/flutter kick + 25 free
evens = 25 two kicks/1 pull breaststroke + 25 free
1 x 500 cruiser backstroke kick w/fins
(managed to miscount and stop at 450, going 5:10)
8 x 50's @ 1:10
odds = 25 right arm fly + 25 left arm fly
evens = chest press fly
1 x 500
50 flutter kick w/board + 50 free, :05 between 100s
8 x 25 cruiser free w/overbeat kick, sighting twice per 25
Feeling a little better in the water now with the muscular pain subsiding.
The weather for Savageman this weekend is supposed to be amazing, though a bit chilly in the am. I see that I am going to be in a practically all male wave with the 25-29 year old men again. Not my fav; last year drafting seemed difficult as I felt caught in no mans land between the fast guys and the tri swimmers.
SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon Waves:
Wave 1: 8:30 AM (day-glo green): Pro, Elite, Clydesdale, Athena, Aquavelo, M55+, All Females
Wave 2: 8:37 AM (silver): M25-29, M50-54, Relays
Wave 3: 8:44 AM (red): M30-39
Wave 4: 8:51 AM (blue): M40-49
Need to search for the body glide ...
Had a beastly day. :/
However, at around 8:00 tonight, I finally got out to the only pool open around: my gym pool. It was actually quite lovely. The air was cool, the water was cool, and it was pitch black with the lights flickering on the water. When I was SDK-ing on my back, I could see my reflection on the water's surface.
Had my own lane and did the following quick swim:
100 swim, 50 kick
2 x (5 x 100) @ :15-20 RI
3 x free, 1 x kick, 1 x stroke
10 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = evil w/fins
evens = back w/fins
10 x 25 UW shooters w/fins
odds = back
evens = belly
8 x 50 fly drill
Total: 3000 meters
10 minutes hottub/steam
Felt much better after a swim. There is nothing like exercise to relieve stress! Had one funny Jimslie moment. My left shoulder was bothering me somewhat during my swim, and the omnipresent and reflexive shoulder paranoia emerged. Then, I realized it was just soreness from the flu shot I had this afternoon. lol
This pool is only 3-4 feet deep, so I was unable to take the Geekity 10 second vertical kick challenge. But very soon!
I am having some lab work tomorrow, so I am very grudgingly going off to fast now. No flamin' cheetos or chips for me tonight.
I think this is the first time I've really sat down all day ... hoping to survive this excruciatingly busy week. All kids activities and sports are now in high gear.
Took my wrecked body to Oak Marr late this am for a slow aerobic swim, which I rationalized by remembering that Rich Abrahams says this is good for us 1x week. Did the following, (although I went so slow I'm having trouble remembering exactly what I did):
5 x (3 x 50) @ :15 RI
1 = free
2 = kick
3 = stroke
5 x 100 @ 1:50, done as:
25 (10 UW belly SDKs + cruise to wall) + 50 breast w/long pullouts + 25 free w/long streamlines
(got this idea from Speedo's blog)
5 x 100 free w/overkick @ 1:50
8 x 100 w/fins @ :20 RI
odds = smooth free (can't really remember though)
evens = 50 flutter kick w/board + 50 free
8 x 25 easy free, sighting 2x per 25
Still feeling sore from overdoing the drylands on Saturday. But, thank Zeus, I got in for a deep tissue massage today b/c there was a cancellation. So now I figure I may feel decent by Thursday or so. This is my relative rest week, so I will attempt to keep yardage up, but intensity down. No drylands until after the event on Sunday.
I'm feeling a bit of a hot mess after having to give up being Aunty Histamine and still sleeping like crap. I am attempting to partially remedy the latter with Silenor, a new sleep maintenance aid for which Jimslie is already up in arms about the marketing strategy. After I am tested for food allergies tomorrow afternoon, no one will be able to wrest my allegy meds from my hands.
I haven't looked at the Savageman details yet. But, according to my running relay mate, whom I chatted with at our girls' first swim practice tonight, I'm in wave 2 again with the 25-29 year old guys. Woohoo! No matter what, I am starting off more slowly this time. I may still want to crawl out at 500 yards, but perhaps I won't be in complete lactic acid shock. Patrick has me concerned about needing swim booties now. I should probably check the temp at Deep Creek.
I have been ridiculously obsessing about FortSon's senior ad for the yearbook. I had no idea this was such a big deal. Since I refuse to say something prosaic like "we're so (or so very very) proud of you," I have to come up with something better. I scoured The Perfect Mile for some good quotes, and may have a couple. I have found an appropriately humiliating baby picture and other good sports shots. Now I can turn my attention to obsessing over something actually important like having FortSon finalize his list of colleges and figure out where he wants to use his early decision. What fun, no? And then, of course, there's shopping for the perfect Homecoming dress coming soon.
Updated September 14th, 2010 at 09:54 AM by The Fortress
Swim/SCY/Solo @ Mason:
Arrived and put on the 2XU wetsuit. Wetsuits are so much easier to get on than B70s.
8 x 50
odds = free @ :50
evens = backstroke kick @ 1:00
1 x 100 good cruise
I had contemplated doing a long freestyle set with my wetsuit on. But, that was a non starter. Even though the water was 80, I was roasting after 1200. So I stripped off the wetsuit and carried on with my "freestyle veggies" workout, which I did solely out of a sense of obligation to my Savageman relay mates.
30 x 100, done as:
2 rounds of:
5 x 100 free @ 1:20
5 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:20
5 x 100 free w/paddles & fins @ 1:20
:20 seconds transition between sets of 5
50 EZ between the sets of 15
I broke it up this way to not drown of boredom and to avoid losing count. I started off easy, basically cruised the kicks (by far the easiest part), and then picked up the last 5. I was holding 1:06-07s on #11-15 each set. I was faster if I remembered to kick, something I frequently forget to do in freestyle. I didn't push it too much, as I was trying to get into a good rhythm. I am very pace impaired sort.
Short rest freestyle is absolutely dull as hell to do on your own. No idea how anyone does it. I do not enjoy this type of solo workout. It would be much more palatable with a team.
And, wow, was that wetsuit floaty. Compared to my workout suit, I was very buoyant. Much more so than a tech suit. But I felt very uncomfortable around the neck, like I was vaguely choking. I hope I can ignore this sensation. Hopefully, it's because I'm not used to wetsuits, at all.
I've also resolved to do somewhat more freestyle without fins just focusing on kicking. I've always tended to do long freestyle sets or long aerobic sets with fins b/c of stress on the shoulders, sore shoulders, shoulder paranoia, shoulder anxiety, actual shoulder issues, etc. And it's certainly produced a lot of leg strength (and can ramp up the cardio). But, as I was telling Speedo the other day, my shoulders feel surprisingly good these days. I think next week, which is a relative rest week after killing myself for 3 weeks, I will do some mellow pace freestyle really focusing on kicking. (This also makes sense according to Chowmi's post on the Myth #9 Busted thread.) I do plenty of dolphin kicking and backstroke kicking, but very little freestyle kicking integrated with freestyle swimming. Of course, I say this now ... I may be sick to death of freestyle after doing (for me) an insane amount of it lately. I'm a sprint stroker at heart.
I can't go to my team practice tomorrow because it conflicts with Fort Son's race. So I will hit the gym and hope to get to my team practice on Sunday.
Happy weekend! Good luck to everyone at Big Shoulders.
Updated September 10th, 2010 at 10:09 PM by The Fortress
I hauled my unrefreshed, allergy addled, geriatric feeling (Jimslie) body to the pool for a lunchtime swim with Speedo. We did the following:
Swim/SCY @ Oak Marr:
8 x 25 shooters w/fins
Pete and I did a portion of a kick workout we did frequently last year. I thought it was 5 x 200 kick, but it was 6. I took a nature break and did an easy 100 during #6, as I wasn't expecting it. My times were faster than I expected.
5 x 200 backstroke kick, no fins @ 3:30
I cruised #1, and immediately cramped. (I fear my allergy meds are causing dehydration.)
Then I went: 2:56, 2:53, 2:52, 2:51.
I looked back at a couple of my previous sets. I usually cruise #1-2 and then go.
On 2/4, I went 2:56, 2:53, 2:56, 2:51
On 12/28, I went 2:59, 2:56, 2:55, 2:53
So today's set was a slight improvement over last time. I didn't kill the SDKs. I took 8+ on the first 25 and then 6 (usually) thereafter.
20 x 50 Petra Paddle Drill Set @ :45
Extra :15 between sets of 5 to switch paddles
I left my fins on to float my shoulders, which are still sore, but didn't kick much.
1-5 w/strokemaker paddles (I don't use Pete's he man version)
6-10 reverse paddle drill
11-20 swim (I joined Pete in ditching the paddles)
The last 5 I tried to pick up the pace and went high 30s, breathing every stroke.
It was great to swim with Pete again today and we mulled over a number of topics such as:
1. If fins increase your leg strength and endurance, do paddles increase you shoulder strength and endurance? And is that why Petra (Mason sprint coach) is obsessed with them?
2. What nickname is Geek going to come up with to ride Pete about Gaga?
3. Why do Mrs. Speedo and I so get irked when our children or spouses eat something before dinner or fail to eat the delicious food we make them?
4. How much dryland work is sufficient? Pete is considering cutting back to 2x per week. I am thinking my sessions are too long and that I can't recover quickly enough. I perused my last 80 minute session and see that I started off with 3 x 75 med ball slams and 75 push ups before I even hit the weight room ...
5. Life would be infinitely improved if we could have a daily massage.
6. Pete needs to keep taking his 100 back out fast to keep putting up stellar times. I need to do this as well (I did it, finally, in Atlanta) and not die the last 15 yards.
7. Pete and I agreed that "that perfect blend of caring and not caring" (from Andre Agassi's autobiography) produces the best meet prep and results.
8. Petra really likes to train her sprinters with hypoxic freestyle. Pete likes oxygen. And, despite my love of underwater dolphin work, I insist on breathing every stroke in freestyle, except during a race or timed swim. I just don't buy those 3-5-7 breathing sets, so refuse to do them.
Tomorrow, I am going to haul myself out to Mason to swim in a cool pool and do some aerobic set. Trying to decide whether to swim in regular suit, B70 or wetsuit. I saw a couple tris using full sleeve wetsuits today at Oak Marr. No idea how they do that when the pool is 84 degrees ...
400 reverse IM kick
200 IM drill
8 x 75 IM switch @ 1:15
#4 & #8 FAST
3 x 300 w/fins @ :30 RI
done 100 stroke, 100 kick, 100 kick
minimum of 6 SDK each length
Normally, I'm happy to see a set like this. But yesterday, not so much, as I had done plenty of SDK work in the days before. And 6 SDK with fins did not prove that easy. I did them 100 back + 200 backstroke kick.
6 x 75 @ 1:50
odds = 25 UW dolphin + 25 Nemo drill + 25 fast fly
evens = 25 UW flutter + 25 tricep drill + 25 fast free
Plenty of rest on these so that the 25s could be very fast.
8 x 50 kick @ 1:05
25 AFAP dolphin kick + 25 EZ
Everyone did these on different intervals. Barb and I decided to do them on 1:05 together.
Loved this more speed and stroke oriented workout after Saturday's aerobic emphasis. I was worried I'd feel gassed, but I hung in there decently. That said, I am really really glad I'm having a day of rest today. Definitely need it. Then back to the gym on Tuesday.
I went to my first Saturday team practice in, well, maybe ever. Saturday is typically D day (though now our practices are 1.5 instead of 2 hours) and they used to be early. Instead, I happily cruised in at 10:15 after dropping Mini off at volleyball practice. I feel like I'm getting some endurance back. Just some, but some is better than none as my date with 1.2 miles looms. I have reminded my tri relay mates that I am not in the same shape I was last year.
2 x through
100 IM drill
This may also be the first ever time I've done the assigned warm up.
3 x through:
2 x 250 pull @ 3:30
2 x 150 K/S/K w/fins @ 2:30
(I did them all kick and had a ton of rest, but I didn't mind because I wanted to descend the 50s well.)
3 x 50 stroke descend @ 1:00
(I left my fins on for these)
On the sets of 50s, I went back (:29, :27, :25), breast (:36, :33, :31) and back (:30, :28, :25 high)
Extra set: 8 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30
Since that only took us about 65 minutes, I did an extra set. Same set as yesterday, 8 x 100 backstroke kick. But this time I did it with fins @ 1:30 with 8/7/7/6 SDKs (which is probably fairly equivalent to the 10 SDKs I took yesterday). I cramped a bit, but was really happy I kicked reasonably fast and long after all that aerobic work.
Went: 1:03, 1:03, 1:03, 1:03, 1:02, 1:02, 1:01, 1:00.
Total: 4950/1900 kicking
15 minutes in hottub
15 minutes of stretching
I felt so much better today when I woke up than yesterday. I felt like I was dragging myself through yesterday's workout. Plus, it was so nice to swim in a deep cool pool. I always swim faster at Mason, it seems, than at our Rec Center pools where the temp hovers at 83-84.
Mr. Fort got out his bike after I got home, and he's been gone for almost 4 hours ... And since he did the Reston Century ride, he seems to be on their email list. He recommended I do this tomorrow: http://www.restontriathlon.org/tri/. But unlike Geek, I just can't rise at the jimmy jack crack of dawn.
I'm tentatively planning on going to my team practice tomorrow instead. Sunday is typically my favorite day as it's stroke and sprint oriented. I could use that after today.
This week's totals:
swim, 5x, 18,350 yards
I have full on fall allergy symptoms and I'm hoping it's due to ragweed and such and not my new kitty (with whom I'm unreasonably besotted).
Updated September 4th, 2010 at 09:01 PM by The Fortress
8 x 50 fly drills @ 1:00
6 x 150 free w/paddles @ 2:20
Hypoxic Kick Set:
8 x 100 backstroke kick, no fins @ 2:15
SDKs = 10, 10, 10, 10 per 25
(I really should have done 12 on the first 25. I don't think it would have made any difference, except perhaps causing me to go faster.)
I knew it would be a tough set, as I cramped on the first one and then on #4 and #6. Took a few seconds extra rest on those. It wasn't a matter of dehydration; my legs were just fatigued from yesterday's double and the P90X plyos.
I went 1:26, 1:24, 1:22, 1:22, 1:23, 1:22, 1:21-22, 1:20-21.
I hadn't done a longer rep, longer hypoxic set in awhile, and this was tough, even kicking moderately after surfacing after the SDKs. On the last 3, I only managed 9 SDKs on the final 25. Still, I was happy I got this in, per Chris' suggestion. As he noted on his blog, this is much harder than stringing together 25 shooters.
I was very very tired today (didn't sleep well either) and considered taking the day off. In retrospect, perhaps I should have and worked out both Sat & Sun. But I generally prefer to take a day off on the weekend to have more family time. So I "ate my veggies" today, as Speedo puts it and got this workout in. My only focus today was the kick set.
Improving 100 fly/back pianos:
Chris gave me some good tips for improving my 100 fly and back, particularly, the last 25, on his blog. They are:
1. Do more lactate tolerance work -- reproduce the spike of lactate that occurs in a real race. Example: 3-5 100s AFAP 1x per week with plenty of rest. (Not sure I am willing to suffer enough to do this set 2x a week.)
2. Do longer reps on kick sets and fast kicks beyond 50s.
3. Do 75s and 100s hypoxic kick/shooters.
4. Do broken 100s. Last year, Speedo and I did a Rich Abrahams set that I liked quite a bit, and I hope to do this one more often. I know it was broken at the 50 and 75, but I will have to look up the amount of rest he used. Chris suggests 10 seconds at either the 50 or 75.
5. Do more 50s at 95% pace to reproduce the first controlled 50 of a 100 race.
On another note, I have been abysmal about workout and post-workout nutrition of late. I've just been drinking water at practice because gatorade and vitamin water don't agree with me. I ordered some Gu Brew (blueberry pomegranate flavor), which I like, and also decided to try e-fuel, a product from Crank. http://www.cranksports.com/. I'm told that e-fuel is much less sweet than Gatorade. Inevitably, gatorade gives me heartburn and an upset tummy and part of the reason is the sweetness, I think. Mr. Fort uses this product for his cycling. I also ordered some Proasis for post workout, which I've used before. http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/st...oductId=677439. Lately, the thought of eating food immediately after getting out of the pool has not been appealing.
Lastly, my other Speedo endurance suit, in Mason colors, has also expired. So I ordered two new endurance suits on line, one Nike and one Speedo. Both all black. I'm much more boring than Swimsuit Addict. But a friend did send me a link to some great grab bag deals on some suits at Toad Hollow: http://www.toadhollowathletics.com/phpsupercart/
And, WSJ review of a book on perfecting sports performance:
Updated September 3rd, 2010 at 10:14 PM by The Fortress
Yoga Ball Warm Up:
torso twister on yoga ball, 2 x 25
med ball rotation on yoga ball, 2 x 25
(on back, rotate med ball to the left, back up, to the right, repeat)
iron monkey aka crunch-pass-leg drop, 1 x 25
oblique yoga ball crunch, 1 x 25
P90X Plyos, 50 minutes:
Yikes, I hadn't done this routine since Jan. 10, which I can confirm thanks to the wonders of the blog sub-categories. It was, er, rather challenging, especially given that I was still sore today.
The routine goes:
(4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
(4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
(4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
(4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
(4 exercises: 30s|30s|30s|1min) x 2
The exercises are:
1) Jump squat, run stance squat, airborne heisman (lateral leaping), swing kick
2) Squat reach jump, run stance squat with direction switch, double airborne heisman, circle run
3) Jump knee tuck. jumping lunge, leapfrog squat, twist combo
4) Rock star hop, gap jump, squat jack, military march
5) Run squat with 180 jump, lateral leapfrog, monster truck tire, hot foot
JimRude hates the Mary Katherine jumping lunges. But I have the most trouble with the "run stance squat with direction switch." Brutal. Needless to say, I did not "pick up the pace" on anything. Well, I tried, valiantly, on the knee tuck jumps. I skipped the "bonus" sports round, as it seems irrelevant.
200 IM drill
4 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = kick, drill
evens = build
12 x 25 w/fins @ :40
3 x fast UW, 1x EZ
I went 10s on my back and 11s on my belly on the fast shooters. These seemed really hard tonight, despite only having to do 9 fast ones.
Main Set, Aerobic:
8 x through:
75, done as 25 drill + 50 swim (IM order, 2 of each stroke) @ 1:20
25 dolphin kick @ :30
100 free @ 1:30
I felt pretty rough at the beginning of this set, but was pleasantly surprised that I was able to go faster as it progressed. I cruised the 75s and 25s and tried to work the 100 frees.
6 x 25 @ :30
odds = fast
evens = easy
I didn't feel up to swimming, so did these flutter kick w/fins & board. Went high 11s.
There was an optional 2 x 300 pull. But I was beat and didn't feel like it would add anything, so I skipped it.
This was our first team workout of the 2010-11 season. Our team had no masters practices in August. So Cheryl was trying to start us off a bit easy. I feel like I've been working very hard since Zones, and can now say that every muscle in my body hurts. Today was my 4th dryland workout of the week if I count the P90X yoga/stretch day + bike day. Not sure what I should do tomorrow ... I may attempt to get myself to hot yoga, since I plan to attend team practices this weekend. I have already informed Mr. Fort that if he doesn't want me to drown in Deep Creek Lake, he will have to bike and run around my schedule.
On the child front, my high schoolers have received their class schedules and there is shockingly little complaint. Fort Son, my scholastic minimalist, has 4 AP classes, so may be forced to study more. Mini spent the day in Ocean City playing beach volleyball with her team (thereby reducing my daily driving burden substantially). Lil Fort has her 4th grade open house tomorrow. She is happy to have the teacher she wanted and her best friend in her class. I am contemplating what I will be forced to sign up for ... After 15+ years of volunteering at numerous schools, I would really like to bury my head in the sand. Where's the emoticon for that? hehe
Updated September 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 PM by The Fortress
pull ups, 3 x 4
I did these in my garage. I'm a complete and utter weakling after not doing any pull ups or chin ups for many months.
push ups, 1 x 25
power wheel roll outs, 2 x 25
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPw1MORcD7c"]YouTube- Steve Maxwell Power Wheel Roll-Outs[/nomedia]
(these really work the forearms as well as the core)
power wheel pike ups, 2 x 10
(holding the pike up as they mention here would be absolute torture!)
power wheel knee tucks or jackknifes, 2 x 15
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl1C3ROI4zs"]YouTube- Power Wheel Pt.2[/nomedia].
power wheel hamstring curls, 2 x 15
Summary: power wheel = device of torture!
P90X Kenpo, 60 minutes:
This is a fun martial arts type workout with 10 minutes of stretching at the beginning and 45 minutes of cardio. This is my second time doing this DVD and I like the balancing/speed elements of it.
Although I was slightly apprehensive after the vigorous drylands, I stuck with my plan of doing a modified Tall Paul workout focusing on fast kicking. I didn't give out until the very end.
8 x 75 @ 1:20 w/fins
25 stroke + 25 easy free + 25 underwater dolphin kick
I did the 25 strokes in IM order.
I did 4 belly & 4 back UW shooters.
It was surprisingly hard to do the last 25 underwater despite coffee breaking the second turn.
16 x 25 kick, no fins @ :35
3 moderate + 1 fast
I did them flutter kick w/board
50 fast evil w/fins (:31)
8 x 50 kick, no fins @ 1:30
I did them backstroke kick, 14 + 12 SDK per 25, and went 33 high on all of them. (Might have left half a second early on a couple.) I took 1 stroke at the turn and did a one stroke backstroke finish (though I don't think the latter helped my times any). I was really happy with these times, faster than I would have expected after the drylands.
50 fast evil w/fins (high 31-32)
2 x 100 kick w/fins @ 2:00
These were supposed to be 4 x 100 fast @ 3:00 in Paul's workout. But my legs were gassed and cramping. So I did one fast with fins (:58) and one easy. I didn't feel like too much of a quitter though.
Exercise looked rather bleak at the start of the day. I spent the morning and early afternoon driving to and fro and filling out school forms. I was planning on a swim in the afternoon, but my babysitter, Mini Fort, got called in to work 3 hours early and my son was at cross country practice. Mini is "making bank" this summer. So I was stuck at home for hours with two 10 year olds. At first, I was a bit growly about this situation. But I got out the instrument of torture and started on drylands. Epic fail on pull ups. But then I was always better at chin ups anyway ... Then I fired up the fast moving Kenpo DVD. At around 5:00, I headed to the pool, a bit worried that it would be packed. Happily, it was not and I had my own lane for all but the transition set. My arms were pretty dead from drylands yesterday, so a fast kicking workout was probably ideal. But I was gassed by the end. Can't believe it was only 2850. I feel like it was double that. It probably didn't help to only have about 30 minutes between the Kenpo and the swim, but that was the only way I was swimming.
Tomorrow is booked solid too ... Ideally, I'd like to get in a recovery/technique swim and some yoga. Perhaps I can finally train with Speedo on Thursday?
WSJ Article on Exercise Equipment including TRX:
5 nose clips (speedo competition)
Finis Z2 zoomer fins (for fast 25s), http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/3568.htm
FAST paddles (for sprinting), http://www.tropicalpenguin.com/FAST_...im_Paddle.html
Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom
Updated August 31st, 2010 at 11:37 PM by The Fortress
It is a beautiful day here. Nonetheless, I drove to an indoor pool to do an endurance workout. I swiped this one from Geekity.
Main Set w/fins:
1 x 600 free @ 8:30 (went 7:26)
6 x 50 kick @ 1:00, did flutter w/board (held 30s)
1 x 500 free @ 7:00 (went 5:57)
5 x 50 kick @ 1:00, backstroke kick (31s)
1 x 400 free @ 6:00 (I recall that I went 4:26, but that seems awfully fast, although this was definitely my best effort of the set. Maybe it was 4:36?)
4 x 50 kick @ 1:00, went flutter kick w/board (held 31s)
1 x 300 free @ 5:00 (went 3:24) -- cramped and the wheels starting falling off
3 x 50 kick @ 1:00 (cruised)
1 x 200 free @ 3:00 (went 2:12)
2 x 50 kick @ 1:00 (cruised)
1 x 100 @ 2:00 (went 1:00)
1 x 50 kick (cruised)
Gawd, I forgot how hard it is to swim at a decent clip for more than 100 yards. Geek was right that this set has a compounding effect, and I was utterly gassed by the end. Actually, I had trouble starting at the 300 free. I thought I would pick up the kicks as they went. No way, I just cruised the last 6. I had contemplated doing drylands today, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow. (If I do any, I'll update my blog later.) The modifications that I made to Geek's set were that I did it all free (no backstroke) and I used fins throughout. I was attempting to get in a manageable rhythm so I wasn't just swimming in slow mo and to hold a 4 beat kick. I feel like I somewhat accomplished this. I may do a couple more of these type workouts before Savageman on Sept. 19. But, geez, what a loooong main set.
I was worried about losing count on these. So instead of counting lengths like a sprinter, I counted by 100s. Isn't that how you D folks do it?
First week back: 5 x swim, 2 x drylands and 1x yoga. Still want to shift into more drylands, but I can't do this right out of the box. I took one rest day -- yesterday -- because I was tired and beat up from the drylands on Friday. I typically use Saturday as my rest day anyway. Onward!
Updated August 29th, 2010 at 05:09 PM by The Fortress
broomstick twists, 1 x 25
RC work (internal & external rotators, seated straight arm dips, scapular scrunches, arm circles)
flutter kicks on back on bosu, 2 x 50
dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
long arm crunches, 2 x 50
twisting pole vaulters w/45 lb pole, 2 x 25
med ball slams, 2 x 10
Ryan Lochte, bench/bent over row/reverse scoop w/ 35 lb plate, 2 x 10+10+10
standing lat pulldown, 120 x 3 x 15
overhead squats w/broomstick,* 2 x 15
hanging knee ins,** 2 x 15
back extensions w/25 lb plate, 2 x 15
hip hinges w/10 lb DBs, 1 x 15 each leg
* I decided to re-commence this exercise using a broomstick instead of the 45 lb bar to make sure my form was good.
** My un-callused hands are no longer used to hanging! And I forgot my weight lifting gloves.
This looked like kind of an interesting exercise -- stability ball twister -- that was posted on the DF: [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYhTHh0IgRI"]YouTube- Dryland Exercises for Swimmers[/nomedia]
Later in the day, and despite hating to swim outside, I trudged over to our neighborhood pool club and did the following:
20 x 50 free w/paddles @ 1:00 or so
(no pace clock, took some extra seconds for paddle changes)
1-5 regular paddles
6-10 reverse paddle drill
11-15 regular paddles + hypoxic
16-20 reverse paddle drill + hypoxic
I wasn't sure what Speedo meant by hypoxic when describing this set, so I interpreted it to be 2 breaths per length. I'm not used to doing restricted breathing in freestyle, so it wasn't all that easy. I used my small green Strokemaster paddles for the regular swim. I used the larger red Catalyst paddles that I found around the house for the reverse paddle drill. The felt somewhat like I imagine the fulcrum paddles would feel like -- forcing more EVF than normal. I had better DPS with this method.
Speedo posted this link on my blog yesterday, and I'm thinking of getting some of these paddles: http://www.tropicalpenguin.com/FAST_...im_Paddle.html
20 x 25 w/fins @ :40
odds = dolphin kick on belly
evens = flutter kick on belly
50 dolphin dive
Total: 2100 meters
I wasn't too tired after the drylands, but I feel pretty bushed now after the swim. Still, I feel like I got in a good day of working out. My shoulders are tired, but not sore. I'm hoping to go to bikram yoga tomorrow and do swim + drylands on Sunday. Feeling fierce and motivated again.
Updated August 27th, 2010 at 10:50 PM by The Fortress
I swiped Patrick's Whoop Ass Wednesday workout today. I had somewhat sore legs (especially hammies, probably from yoga) going in, so was slightly worried. But there is no time to start conquering "fear of the effect of dryland soreness on swim practice performance" like the present. So I stuck to the plan and did this workout:
10 x 50 @ :55
odds = stroke
evens = kick
6 x 75 free w/paddles @ 1:00
1 x 100 flutter kick fast w/fins & board @ 2:00 (went 1:01)
4 x 25 UW shooters @ :35
6 x 75 fly w/fins @ 2:00*
2 x 100 flutter kick w/fins & board, 1 moderate and one fast @ 2:00 (went 1:00 on the fast one, could hardly feel my legs the last 25)
6 x 25 UW shooters @ :35
* In Patrick's workout, he did these "best effort" @ 1:20. I thought this would make a good fly set, but increased the interval to 2:00 to make sure I could hold good form. I started off a little tentative, but ended up descending the set to a pretty fast pace (for me). Went: 49, 47, 47, 46, 44, 43, 42. I used a lot of SDKs on these so my arms wouldn't go into rigormortis. I was very lucky to have the lane to myself during this set.
1 x 50 AFAP @ 1:00 (did 50 back w/fins and went a high 24)
1 x 100 flutter kick w/fins & board @ 75% effort (went 1:08)
8 x 25 UW shooters @ :35
I'm feeling pretty beat right now after that workout. I hope that tomorrow I'll feel better than Patrick did today! I plan to hit the gym tomorrow again and hopefully get in a recovery type swim. I may do the 20 x 50 paddle set that Speedo discussed on his blog along with Patrick's 20 x 25 hypoxic set alternating dolphin and flutter kick. At least that is the tentative plan ... Now, I must dash off to the second volleyball scrimmage of the year. I'm not sure I'm ready for all the school sports to shift into high gear.
Updated August 26th, 2010 at 05:30 PM by The Fortress
I was feeling tired, bored and listless this am, so slamming med balls seemed like a good idea. I did 2 x 25 and then realized I was too tired for rigorous drylands. For me, they require sleep. It takes awhile for me to get out of a bad sleep cycle and into a good one. Planning to head to the gym tomorrow and start down the long road to fitness and strength. Need to get fierce.
I'm considering really emphasizing drylands and reducing pool time this fall. I haven't decided yet, but I'm considering 3-4 x drylands and 1-2 x yoga per week, if I can realistically fit that in. With 4 x swim. The mix of drylands is not yet determined. I may combine some of my pre-Indy strength routine with TRX. Wrt weight lifting, I'm not sure if I should follow my usual ADD pattern and do many different exercises or whether I should focus on a few and then direct my ADD bent to core exercises. Mulling it over ...
8 x 100 @ 1:45
odds = free w/paddles
evens= kick w/paddles as kickboard
Kick Set, Test Set:
Inspired by Chris, I have decided I need to do/track more test sets this next year. Not sure what they should consist of, but I'd like to have 3-4 sets. Any suggestions? Inspired by Geek, I decided my first one of the year would be 10 x 50 kick. However, I gave it a sprint endurance spin and did them, without fins, on the 1:15. I think this is the correct interval for a sprint endurance type set, but would happily hear other ideas. 1:00 wouldn't work as well b/c of the hypoxic element.
10 x 50 backstroke kick, no fins @ 1:15
Though I'd like to keep this as a test set, I didn't kill it today. Of course, it's hard to kill 10 of them ... I'd call today's effort a "good effort" set.
Times: 39, 39, 38, 38, 38, 37, 37, 36, 37, 36
1st 25 = 12 SDK, 2nd 25 = 9-10 DK
4 x through:
50 russian breast drill @ 1:00
50 roll backstroke drill @ 1:00
50 kick, done as 25 fast dolphin w/board (went 11-12s) + 25 EZ
I was reasonably pleased to get this workout in given that I have felt somewhat unmotivated and directionless lately. It's still almost 2 weeks until school starts, and I am having trouble savoring the rest of summer instead of wishing it away.
Aside from dead lifts, squats and back extensions, can anyone suggest other specific drylands for strengthening the hip extensors and back extensors? Perhaps TRX, core, overhead squats, and yoga would hit the back extensors sufficiently? (I feel like I never made any real progress in my overhead squats, which are very hard.)
Found this on a quick google:
This looks like a good exercise as well. The turkish get up: http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/...stability.html
Article on Phelps: http://ht.ly/2tUI4
Updated August 24th, 2010 at 07:53 PM by The Fortress
20 x 50 @ :50 w/fins
odds = back kick
evens = back
100 IM/Stroke @ 1:45
100 kick w/fins pretty fast @ 1:30
50 fly drill
12 x 25 shooters
I am rather exhausted and out of sorts from a week of very poor sleep. (Maybe from Jimsley/Stud/Michelina deprivation too. ) I contemplated snoozing on the couch this afternoon, but thought better of that and drove to OakMarr. I felt much better in the water and after swimming, though I am yawning again now.
Mr. Fort informed me that Savageman is Sept. 19. I had thought it was the week after. Had I known that, I would have approached last week differently. And regardless of that, I likely shouldn't have done so many taper workouts last week. If I had a do over, I would have done more pace & speed work Sat-Wed and just rested a couple days for the meet. Live and learn.
I still have the blahs a bit too, probably from fatigue. But I think I need to get my meets/goals in order so I can put a little fire into my training. Jimsley brought up the idea of swimming in the SCM meet in Indy at the end of October. I may consider doing this meet, which is the week after the Sprint Classic (Oct. 24). I also read that the fastest woman in the world in the 50 fly in my age group is dead lifting 255, showing the importance of hip extensors and back extensors in fly. I had better get my dryland ass in gear! I'm a weakling by comparison.
Are there any more meets in the LCM season? I'm hoping not as, according to the event rankings, my 50s are all hanging in there for TT. I'm rather surprised about my slip and fall 50 evil. I guess no one wants to swim LC evilstroke.
Updated August 24th, 2010 at 11:52 AM by The Fortress
8 x 50 fly drills
8 x 25 shooters
3 x (25 AFAP w/fins + 50 EZ)
The weekend cannot come soon enough! I can't stand this week's dull taper workouts. I just want to get back to regular training. In retrospect, I wonder if I should have just returned to fairly normal training this week ... I felt like I had more speed when I was doing the Mason workouts or even at the beach. Still feel extremely sloggish and tired in the water now.
I may have to stop reading blogs as I am having some workout envy. Even Speedo's workout sounded appealing.
I really enjoyed watching the Pan Pacs last night. It was interesting to see some of the different fly strokes. Cielo has the odd high elbows. And Kukla had a high recovery, almost windmill like, fly. Not many masters have a high recovery fly (Chris and I come to mind). Although I've tried to get away from this somewhat in SCY, Kukla certainly had some amazing momentum using this approach, so it seems fairly suited for a LCM sprint. And the winning Aussie backstroker had a nose clip! I would appreciate it very much if those attending Zones would remind me to wear mine before the 50 back on Sunday.
On Phelps' failure to qualify for the 400 IM final:
Updated August 19th, 2010 at 06:00 PM by The Fortress
3 x (4 x 25)
25s = long breast pullout, shooter, fly drill, glide drill
3 x (4 x 25)
25s = easy speed fly, easy, fast breast, easy
1 x 50 back kick @ 80% w/fins (26)
I felt awful in the water today. No speed at all, and my fly felt anemic. Likely just the taper blahs and post-massage blahs (though I didn't have a deep tissue). 3 days to recover and hope some speed comes back. Or, I could be shamed in my duel with the Stud ...
I was thinking today that I'm so glad I don't have to even think about a turn at Zones this weekend.
Despite the fact that I'm a wimpy sprinter, I did register our geezer relay for the Beach 2 Battleship Iron Tri today. I'm praying for a strong current. I think I need to recruit another relay member for the crazed distance geeks on my team. I don't plan on training for this at all really. I might do some quasi "base building" in September. But my focus will be a SCM meet in Dec. Next year, when I'm 50 (can't come soon enough), I may not engage in this diversion. Thank goodness wetsuits are de rigueur!
Pan Pac News & Links:
Updated August 18th, 2010 at 08:10 PM by The Fortress
6 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = fly drill
evens = breast drill
6 x 25 shooters
3 x (25 AFAP + 50 EZ)
Had a massage for the first time since Nats. I was told I was very "tight" and that my neck was a "mess." About what I expected since I haven't done much yoga or stretching all summer. That's OK, I needed a mental break this summer from the constant need to be super flexy.
I felt a little better in the water today. Just a few more taper workouts to get through. I'm now officially psyched for Zones since the preliminary psych sheets have come out:
The way things stand at the moment, I'm quite pleased with my seeds and heats. I have some friends and competitors in all my heats. And it appears that Stud and I will go mano-a-womano in the 50 free. Excellent! (Jimby is in the next faster heat because he has a Speedo LZR jammer. )
We're celebrating the second of my 3 children's August birthdays tomorrow. Lil Fort ages up to 10. I told her she's still my "kitten."
Article on stress:
My take home lesson wrt swimming: If I get deeked yet again breast, I will have a good laugh this time. (For the record, I am still going to pre-kick. I've been practicing non-undulation on the pulldown.)
Updated August 17th, 2010 at 08:11 PM by The Fortress