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  1. Monday, Aug 9

    by , August 9th, 2010 at 09:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Another beautiful beach day. I had no desire to make the trek to the Y today, so I braved the ocean. Probably not so wise. It was a yellow flag day and very choppy. Plus, I was swimming against the current somewhat. I felt like I was going nowhere. I swam about halfway to the far pier in almost the same time it took to go the whole way last week. No idea how OW swimmers do this all the time ... I'll head back to the Y tomorrow for some sprints.

    Mr. Fort had much better luck. He rode part of the B2B course, going 68 miles and averaging 22.3 mph. He's anxious to see how fast he'll be with zipps.

    Heading home on Friday. I'll be beached out by then. I've managed to weasel out of a small family reunion that weekend involving travel and young children. I need to get back to my own pool, dammit! And I need to start plotting some good 3-4 day escapes for the rest of the year. I also need to start formulating a training plan like Patricks. Not sure what my meet agenda will be (although I will plan on the Sprint Classic).
    Swim Workouts
  2. Sunday, Aug. 8

    by , August 8th, 2010 at 06:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Travelled to the Wilmington Y again and lined up at the door with the triathletes when it opened at 1:00 pm.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Set:

    16 x 50 drill, 4 of each stroke

    8 x 50, done as 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ

    50 EZ

    Speed Set:

    3 x (1 x 50 AFAP + 2 x 50 EZ)
    (1 breast, 1 back kick and 1 back -- times were OK, given the shallow pool and wall lane)

    6 x (25 AFAP + 25 EZ)

    Warm down:

    3 x 100 free w/paddles

    6 x 50, done as 25 dolphin dive + 25 breast drill (1 pull, 3 kicks UW)

    50 EZ

    Total: 3350



    Hit the beach in the morning and then went to the Y. There were mostly tris and perhaps one masters swimmer there. And then, alas, a noodler happened into the lap pool. She came to my lane and asked (albeit sweetly) if it was OK if she noodled around at one end of my lane; she was "sure" this would not effect my workout. WTF?! Seriously inane, as she had seen me (and other real lap swimmers) actually "swimming." I said (likewise sweetly) "no, that wouldn't work at all." For a change, the lifeguard backed me up and told her to noodle in the ramp area.

    Had a smoothie and returned to the beach. Getting ready to dine out. I'm trying not to cook much on this vacation.

    I looked at the results for Worlds. The times look significantly slower than last year's FINA rankings, that's for sure. The winning time in the 50 back in my age group was 34.1. There's been much speculation about who (men or women) and what type of swimmer will be most effected by the suit change. I have to think it would be more significant in LCM than SCY for masters, despite the suits helping on the walls.

    Interesting article in the NYT about experience trumping hedonic adaptation if happiness is your goal. We should attend swim meets instead of buying fancy cars.

    NYT article on Jessica Hardy:

    Updated August 9th, 2010 at 09:34 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  3. Twice Foiled! Sat., Aug. 7

    by , August 7th, 2010 at 07:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was foiled twice today in my attempts to swim. But this time it wasn't thunder and lightening. Much more prosaic -- the dreaded kid pooping in the pool mid workout and a red flag day at the beach. I seem to get more aggravated with every increasing kid incident. (And, for the record, my 3 kids never closed down a pool.) And this time, the kids weren't even supposed to be in the lap pool at the Y ... So all I got in was the following warm up, which was supposed to precede some fast 25s and 50s.


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Sets:

    5 x 50 single arm fly @ :15 RI

    5 x 50 breast drill (alternating dolphin kick and breast kick) @ 1:00

    3 x:

    1 x 50 breast pull w/buoy
    1 x 100 free w/paddles

    Total: 1650

    Kid turd interruption ... I guess I'm officially "tapering" now ...

    I dashed back to the beach to hop in and do a pier to pier swim, but no dice. It was a red flag day and the lifeguards weren't letting swimmers out very deep, certainly not past the surfers. So, another poor swimming day. I plan to attempt to hit the Y again tomorrow, as I suspect it will be another red flag day due to tropical storms at sea. In the meantime, I did finish the Stieg Larsson series and we did manage to rent the Swedish movie of book #1. I wouldn't be surprised if there were ultimately other books written, as he apparently left copious notes upon his death. I read somewhere that Daniel Craig will play Michael Blomkvist. Wrt the trilogy, I basically agree with the NYT:

    And another NYT article about disgusting side effects of gym going:

    Updated August 7th, 2010 at 11:45 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  4. Thunder, Friday, Aug. 6

    by , August 6th, 2010 at 07:09 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.
  5. Return to the Pool, Thursday, Aug. 5

    by , August 5th, 2010 at 06:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I reluctantly dragged myself away from the beach today to venture to the Wilmington YMCA.


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Transition Sets:

    8 x (25 shooter + 25 front scull)

    8 x 50 breast drill (regular breast pull and alternating dolphin kick and breast kick) @ 1:05

    10 x 50 kick-swim w/fins @ :50
    odds = back kick
    evens = back swim

    My backstroke felt inexplicably great and very smooth. This seemed odd since I've done so little of it lately.

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    6 x through:

    1 x 25 easy speed fly
    1 x 25 EZ DAB
    1 x 25 AFAP free
    1 x 50 EZ

    5 x 50, done as 25 fast breast pull w/buoy + 25 EZ kick

    50 EZ

    3 x through:

    1 x 50 fast flutter kick w/board
    1 x 100 free w/paddles

    100 EZ

    Total: 3550



    The Y was pretty crowded today, and I made the mistake of overlapping with the lunch Tri Group, so I had to share a lane the entire time. The Tri Group had some pretty decent swimmers. No desire to join in their workout though as the first set was 2 x 800.

    It felt fabulous to be in a pool swimming after 4 days of the ocean. I tried to work on my stroke technique after getting jostled around so much in the ocean. My legs, unfortunately, did have some lingering fatigue from 4 days of running (albeit very short distances). I probably need to knock off the running as Zones is only 2+ weeks away.

    I hadn't really given any thoughts to tapering. Right now I seem to have some raw speed and some endurance, but not much speed endurance. I guess I'll try to get in some speed work this weekend and next week and then just be lazy when I return from the beach. I've already dropped drylands obviously. I really have no idea what to expect at Zones. I don't feel like I can really compare my times to last year's Indy times b/c my training has been so different. Between that and the suit change, my times could be quite a bit slower. C'est la vie. It'll actually be nice to have a low pressure meet and hang out with friends.

    Tom left me a great link to Ryan Lochte's drylands:

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- ‪Ryan Lochte Training‬‎[/nomedia]

    After that non-rigorous workout, I sat on the beach for several hours. I'm about 2/3 of the way through The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, which is a page turner. I like this volume better than the second volume.

    Now, it's margarita time!

    Updated August 9th, 2010 at 09:35 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  6. Tues & Wed, Aug 3-4

    by , August 4th, 2010 at 11:36 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Did my usual "1.7" mile pier to pier swim followed by a pier to pier run. The water was extremely choppy yesterday. The swim felt almost like a weight workout. After that, I decided to give OW swims a break for a bit. (Of course, this morning the ocean is relatively calm.) At one point, I saw one of the lifeguards dash into the water to get some kids away from a rip tide.

    Later in the day, went on a 3 mile walk with the 4 little kids to get ice cream and later attempted to surf with the 4 teenage girls in the house. Epic fail. Felt like a clod.


    Having resolved to skip an OW swim today, I ventured out for a pier to pier to pier run of 3.5129 miles. I wore my running shoes b/c it was not a super low tide. It was way too hot. If I had a brain in my head, I would've run barefoot and in my swimsuit so that I could have taken a dip half way through.

    I may go the Y later today, if I feel like it. Mr. Fort and I are going to a tri store later today as well. I'm hoping they have suits. I just killed one of my speedo endurance suits after 2+ years. The elastic just gave out. Mr. Fort has become a complete bike addict. Yesterday, he went 75 miles up to speeds of 28 mph, getting used to his new aero bars. Today, he was doing intervals.

    Off to make a smoothie ...

    Edit: Didn't make it to the Y; didn't feel like it. Did a short swim in the ocean instead. It was quite rough this afternoon. Tried swimming against the current for the heck of it. No thanks.

    Updated August 4th, 2010 at 04:55 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
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  7. P2P Redux, Monday, Aug. 2

    by , August 2nd, 2010 at 09:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Beach Swim/Run:

    It was a gorgeous day here in NC. About 85 degrees and sunny -- perfect beach day. After sleeping in, I headed to the beach. After a good bit of Stieg Larsson reading, I headed out for my "1.7" pier to pier swim and run. This time, I added some of what Jazz calls "burst" freestyle where I'd go fast for 15 meters or so. After all the interval work I do, and long rest interval work at that, being in the ocean and swimming virtually non-stop is quite odd. I still feel no inclination to go to the Y, though, so I'll stick to the ocean for another couple days. Perhaps tomorrow, I'll swim to the pier, take a break, and then swim back. IF the current isn't too bad. Today, it was fairly neutral and it wasn't as choppy.

    Looks like the was temps for the race I'm contemplating here in November is 60-low 70s.

    Almost done with "The Girl That Played With Fire," and then off to the next volume.


    Updated August 2nd, 2010 at 09:18 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. P2P Redux, Monday, Aug. 2

    by , August 2nd, 2010 at 09:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It was a gorgeous day here in NC. About 85 degrees and sunny -- perfect beach day. After sleeping in, I headed to the beach. After a good bit of Stieg Larsson reading, I headed out for my "1.7" pier to pier swim and run. This time, I added some of what Jazz calls "burst" freestyle where I'd go fast for 15 meters or so. After all the interval work I do, and long rest interval work at that, being in the ocean and swimming virtually non-stop is quite odd. I still feel no inclination to go to the Y, though, so I'll stick to the ocean for another couple days. Perhaps tomorrow, I'll swim to the pier, take a break, and then swim back. IF the current isn't too bad. Today, it was fairly neutral and it wasn't as choppy.

    Almost done with "The Girl That Played With Fire," and then off to the next volume.

    Swim Workouts
  9. Pier to Pier, Sunday, Aug. 1

    by , August 1st, 2010 at 04:34 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Made it to the beach after a hectic day yesterday. It's rather cloudy today, but no matter -- the salt water, the sand, the ocean air ... aaaahhhh.

    I did my favorite ocean workout -- swimming from pier to pier and then running back on the beach. Pier to pier is 1.7 miles, and I definitely went more than that as the waves were choppy, the current was strong and, well, I can't swim straight. I used my gold metallic B70 OW goggles, which I love. I swam about 2/3 free and 1/3 breast. I like doing breast in the ocean because I can see where I'm going! To my dismay, Mr. Fort took my MF out of the car (which did only have a dead battery) when he was packing up, so I can't play with it in the ocean.

    And I'm done with SL swimming! Our Divisional Champs were yesterday. Mini Fort did surprisingly well. She's been on the Jazz Hands program (swim 1x a week and hit the gym 2-3x per week). She dropped 1.5 seconds off her 50 fly time. More anecdotal proof that actual swim workouts are not necessarily needed for 50 sprints.

    NYT Article on Amanda Beard:

    Was checking on the B2B website. It mentions that swim booties and neoprene caps are allowed. What on earth are "swim booties"?

    Updated August 1st, 2010 at 06:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  10. Cursed, Friday, July 30

    by , July 30th, 2010 at 08:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bike, 30 minutes



    That was all I could squeeze in, despite my grandiose plans for today. I would exercise tonight, but I've found the last two night practices I've been up to 1:00 am or later. Exercise does not make me sleep!

    And I've decided I'm cursed or jinxed since getting off the ship ... I've had an enormous amount of dumb bad luck: Mr. Fort's bike accident, my car was hit and run (why do people do this?!), my car broke down tonight on the eve of vacation and I had to hoof it home, Garmin lost, door broken, freezer broken, teenagers gone bonkers as teenagers do, daughter to doc with eye problems similar to mine, SL politics, etc. etc. When I get to the beach, I am going to nothing except make sure my little one doesn't drown, read my books (have a pile of 10 now) and exercise. I packed my wetsuit just in case the water is not too hot and the jellyfish are out.

    One bright note is that I did book a vacation for next summer. This will interfere somewhat with my training plans for Auburn LCM Nationals in 2011, but I should have a good month to re-train and re-boot. My focus meet for 2010 will be a SCM meet in December, either CZ or NE Champs.

    I'm sure most of you have read the USMS Swimmer magazine. I tried and reported on 3 of the new tech suit substitutes. To my chagrin, I liked the Speedo LZR Elite best. (This will make JimRude slightly nauseous, I know.) So that is the suit I plan to wear at LCM Zones on Aug. 21-22 with 2 back ups.

    And, its official, my GMUP team has been restored and it's in writing. The new deal is better in some respects and worse in others. The people like Speedo who used the 4:45 am spot will have to find other options, and I feel badly for them. But the Sprint Classic and Zones are on! I'm happy to train (albeit periodically and sporadically) in a great facility with a great coach. I love the new Friday open swim option. Training on your own at GMU is typically vastly easier than one of the local rec centers.

    Article on Katie Hoff:

    And this sucks on the GF front:

    I have not been doing well staying GF lately.

    Updated July 31st, 2010 at 01:20 PM by The Fortress

  11. Thursday, July 29

    by , July 29th, 2010 at 11:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Zippo! I was foiled in my plan for afternoon drylands by the bizarre rantings of ConnieKat. (The most hilarious were her haughty aspersions on my join date. lol) Probably for the best anyway, as my legs and hammies are still sore.


    I made it out to Mason for my last LCM workout before turning into a lazy beach turd. One of our teammates was beginning his 10 day taper for PR, so we had a taperish/sprint workout in his honor. I loved it, though this "200 pace" thingie is all highly theoretical in my case.

    Warm up:

    2 x (300 swim + 100 kick)

    2 x (100 pull w/buoy + 50 scull)

    I missed about 200 of this, as usual.

    Transition Sets:

    4 x 50 free @ 1:15, done as 25 closed fists + 25 regular free

    4 x 100 kick @ 2:15, done as 50 choice and 50 fast

    I did backstroke kick. I didn't have a fast gear, though, so I went at a fast mod clip.

    Main Set:

    100 drill in stroke you are doing on following set

    8 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace +2 seconds

    200 EZ

    6 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace +1

    200 EZ

    4 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace

    200 EZ

    2 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace -1

    Theoretically, these were supposed to be all the same stroke. I swam with fins. I did the first set back and went 34, 35, 35, 35, 35, 35, 35, 34. I guesstimate that is likely somewhat faster than my 200 pace. I swam the 6 50s breaststroke. (Yes, this may be the first time in my masters career that I've swum fast LCM breast in practice!) I went 35, 36, 37, 37, 37, 37. On the 4 50s, I went back to backstroke and tried for 100 pace. Went 32, 33, 33, 33. On the 2 50s, I swam evil again @ 100 pace and went 34, 35. The set was intended to prep everyone for their LCM 200 races. I just swam hard and liked the set. I'm super tired after that effort again.

    200 EZ

    Total: 3400



    No comment today. I am all commented out on the forum.

    Updated July 30th, 2010 at 11:22 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. Ratfink! Wed., July 28

    by , July 29th, 2010 at 11:36 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Set:

    4 x through:

    100 free w/paddles @ 1:45
    50 russian breast drill @ 1:00
    50 double shooter @ 1:00
    25 scull + 25 underwater recovery free @ 1:15

    Sprint Set:

    8 x (25 AFAP + 50 EZ)

    I did 4 free and 4 breast. Worked on eliminating undulation on the pull down. The only way to completely eliminate this is to not pull down very hard, which rots.

    100 EZ

    Total: 2400



    I was, as predicted, rather sore after Tuesday's yoga + LCM double, especially the hammies. So I stuck with my plan to get in a quickie sprint workout.

    I then went home and made a dazzlingly healthy dinner, cracked open some Mulderbosch, and played 3 vicious games of scrabble with my BFF. After one round of regular scrabble, we played a round of "terms of abuse" scrabble and a round of "terms of disgruntlement or bliss." I was extremely proud to play "Ratfink." Since there is slightly more latitude given in themed scrabble, I insisted that this be accepted as a one word bingo. It is surprisingly harder to think of terms of bliss than abuse ... Given the ratfink precedent, I was forced to permit the playing of "givers," which made me slightly nauseous. Which perhaps was the point.

    Some drylands today and my last team LCM practice before I leave for the beach.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Yoga + LCM, Tuesday, July 27

    by , July 27th, 2010 at 10:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Made it to yoga today for the noon class. It was a bit of a shock to my chakra. Surprisingly, my balance was still pretty good. Not surprisingly, my back is less flexible after my recent long no yoga/no stretching stint. I liked today's instructor, but I have no idea how to "puff out my kidneys."


    Warm up:

    500 swim
    500, done 50 kick + 50 drill
    3 x 50 build
    1 x 50 scull

    (I missed about 300 of this while chatting with Cheryl. Though nothing is in writing yet, it sounds very promising our team will be intact with some schedule modifications (that I actually prefer). Complaining was very effective in this case.)

    Main Sets:

    12 x 100 @ 2:00, done as 4 x through:

    25 fast fly + 50 free + 25 fast fly
    25 fast back + 50 free + 25 fast back
    25 fast breast + 50 free + 25 fast breast

    On the fly & back 100s, I did the middle 50 as a 50 kick instead of 50 free. After a weekend of dogs and gluten, I am wheezing and needed more air. I ended up descending the fly and breast 100s and ascending the back 100s.

    50 EZ

    6 x 50 kick @ 1:15, done as:

    25 kick w/board + 25 kick holding board in air with 2 hands. I find this latter drill nearly impossible.

    50 EZ

    9 x 100 free, done as:

    4 x 100 @ 1:40
    3 x 100 @ 1:35
    2 x 100 @ 1:30

    I used my paddles on these. Always surprised to see me on a Tuesday freestyle night anyway, my coach jokingly asked if I was doing the 400 free at Zones. Ew.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3500 meters



    Today whooped my ass good. I'm hoping to spend tomorrow just making like a sprinter.

    I really wish there were more time in life. I need to see an internist, dentist, podiatrist, opthamologist, get a mammogram (which I am apparently too "muscular" to get any reliable results for), etc. I wish someone else could do this for me ... My opthamologist is always urging Mini and me to use prescription goggles. I finally broke down and told him at my last visit that virtually everyone swims with their contacts in.

    Here's Glenn Mills' report on the Kingdom 10 mile swim in Vermont. Good article on the anniversary of the 1980 Olympic team that wasn't as well.

    Updated July 29th, 2010 at 12:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  14. Monday, July 26

    by , July 26th, 2010 at 10:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bike, 30 minutes


    Failure of any real exercise. Just no time. I spent hours driving back from Pittsburgh (why is driving so very exhausting?!?!) while Mr. Fort stayed for some work. Then I hopped on the bike only briefly and had to run off to our last Monday night meet. Only one meet left on Saturday, Divisional Champs and then "I'm free, free at last." We're skipping All Stars this year for the beach.

    And happily, it appears that the complaints and hubbub that ensued when the Aquatic Center abruptly and inexplicably terminated our masters program (and proposed a workout blog with a "life fitness" coach) have resulted in an about face. They have "re-hired" Cheryl after advertising the position. Our proposed new practice hours are slightly different (a late morning practice on Sat. after the pool officially opens at 10:30) and a Friday open make up day for weekends when the pool is closed for meets. The 4:45 am practices are still not on the schedule, but that too is under discussion. I know many are bummed about the Saturday practice, but I may actually attend it more, though it is distance free day. I could use it as distance kick day.

    The whole incident was preposterous and political. What was really irksome is that one got the feeling the pool staff thought they were running a retirement community where everyone had to take what is offered ... The suggestion of a "life fitness" coach to a team with many competitors on a regional, national and international basis was just ludicrous. I'm at least glad that my kids will grow up not thinking that adults are virtual invalids.

    I plan to go to bikram yoga and my evening practice tomorrow.

    On other news, Mr. Fort is agitating to do the Reston century ride on Aug. 22 with his new bike. This conflicts with Zones, but Fort Son is in charge of my youngest, which means that he will do nothing other than keep her alive.

    Updated July 27th, 2010 at 10:05 AM by The Fortress

  15. Masters PR, Possessed, Sunday, July 25

    by , July 25th, 2010 at 05:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I officiated a summer league meet in the morning on one of the hottest days of the summer. Shockingly, I didn't DQ anyone. Almost 4 hours, dripping wet, took endurolytes after. Then I spent 5 hours driving to Pittsburgh, with my usual bad traffic luck. No workouts at all. Spent the evening trying a new suavignon blanc at a high school grad party.


    Swim/SCY/Jimby & Solo @ Sewickley Y:

    I have no idea what came over me, or possessed me. Perhaps it was the quiet and cool of the pool. Or perhaps I needed water therapy. But I set a masters PR with 2.25 hours of swimming and 6700+ yards. Whodathunk?

    Warm up:


    lol, arrived a bit late and Jimby and I went right into the Jimby set.

    Jimby Set:

    10 x through (I used fins):

    100 free @ 1:30
    2 x 50 @ :45
    On the 50s, I alterated 2 kick and 2 stroke

    50 EZ

    Jimby left to attend a very important water volleyball tournament at a summer league pool.

    Leslie Set:
    (Combining a bit of technique, speed & endurance)

    6 x (10 x 50) + 50 EZ between each set of 10

    1-10 = breast pull w/buoy
    (worked on lunging and DPS, 4 strokes per length)

    11-20 = backstroke kick, no fins @ 1:00
    25 fast + 25 easy

    21-30 = easy speed fly + EZ
    (my fly felt fantastic, really long and easy, first time in forever)

    31-40 = dolphin kick w/board, no fins @ 1:0
    25 fast + 25 easy

    41-50 = breast pull w/buoy @ 1:00
    (same as above)

    51-60 = 25 shooter + 25 easy @ 1:00
    alternate belly & back shooters

    Paddle Set:

    8 x through:

    1 x 100 free w/paddles @ 1:30
    1 x 50 easy kick w/paddles as kickboard @ 1:00

    (went about 75%+ on #4, went 1:02; went about 80%+ on #8, went 1:00)

    Halfway through this set, the backstroke flags were removed (so no back w/paddles) and the huge teenagers and adults started going off the diving board. It's unbelievable how much wake this produces in the adjacent lane.

    125 EZ

    Total: 6750



    I was rather amazed when I added up the yardage. Feel sort of like a distance swimmer. Haha. I am a bit tired now, but it was nice not to feel so frustrated swimming. Off to have dinner with friends. Not sure what I'll be able to squeeze in tomorrow, as I have to drive back to DC and get to our last Monday night summer league meet. Hopefully, I'll have time for something in between.

    Congrats to all those doing the OW swims in Vermont or surviving the DC cesspool which is Hains Point.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Friday, July 23

    by , July 23rd, 2010 at 06:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Whew, as expected, I was bushed today. Just did a couple quickie easy workouts. Did a recovery swim at our summer league pool. At least I had a lane. I dislike swimming outside though. My eyes are very sensitive to light, and I refuse to do any backstroke.


    30 minutes, aerobic mode


    Warm up:

    500 various

    Main Sets:

    6 x 100 free w/paddles

    6 x 75, drill-kick-swim fly

    8 x 50 evil w/fins

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 2000 meters



    It's official. I signed up for Zones today, all four 50s. I would have liked to get in a 100 back but, as Chris noted awhile ago, there is some fly-back discrimination going on and 100 back is too close to 50 fly. I seeded myself with my Pro times, as I doubt I'll be close to my B70/Jaked times with the new suits and without the same intensity and consistency of training. Jimby and Stud are visiting for Zones. And even Poolraat is considering coming.

    The summer league season is winding down. We have our last Saturday A meet tomorrow. After the girls swim, I am heading to Pittsburgh for a high school grad party. Jimby and I have a date to swim at 4:30 on Sunday. I am slightly concerned that this involves an outdoor pool ...

    I am leaving for the beach after Divisional Champs the following week, and am compiling my reading list. So far, I have:

    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larrson
    A Reliable Wife (which I'm half way through), Robert Goolrick
    Julian, Gore Vidal
    The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery

    Any other good suggestions? I also found this good list: And I've now heard that The Help and Under the Dome are good.

    My red locks seems to have taken a beating this summer. They were a lovely bright ginger in the Baltic. I am now a strawberry blonde. my hair seems to want to revert to a lighter color. But I battle on ...

    Here are some final shots from Stockholm. Pics are the a street in Stockholm (with the beautiful variety of color and styles and roof lines), the Nobel Museum, The Nordic Museum and a couple shots from a canal cruise.

    Updated July 23rd, 2010 at 09:25 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
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  17. Blasted, Thursday, July 22

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 11:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Got in about approx. 50 minutes of core work with Mini Fort:

    2 x through:

    long arm crunches, 50
    windshield wipers, 15
    twisting squat swings w/25 lb plate, 15
    flutter kicks on bosu, 50
    pull ins in push up position w/15 lb DBs, 30
    lunges w/20 lb DBs, 15
    elevated hip lifts, 15
    plyo jumps, 15
    med ball slams, 15
    body rows, 15
    back extensions w/25 lb plate, 15

    regular RC work


    Warm up:

    6 x 200 (150 swim + 50 kick)

    I did about half of this b/c I arrived slightly late and chatted with my coach for awhile.

    Kick Set:

    12 x 50 kick w/fins @ 1:00
    25 meters underwater, alternate belly and back

    50 EZ

    I used my MF (remembered to bring it!) on these and did them all on my back. I took 19-20 SDKs and seemed to get to about the 30 meter mark (judging from the lifeguard chair). I was still warming up on the first few, and my legs felt tired. Went 29-31 on the first 4, then held 28-29 on the last 8. Gasping for breath despite the 30+ seconds rest.

    Sprint Set:

    A rare sprint set in the middle of practice. Loved it, though it killed me.

    6 x 150 @ 3:00 or so, done as 50 drill, 50 build, rest for awhile and regroup, + 50 AFAP off blocks or from push

    I did them 50 kick, 50 drill + 50 AFAP w/fins from a push. Tried 110%. Was really gasping for breath to the point where an OW swimmer asked me if I was OK. lol. On the 6 x 50 AFAP, I went 3 back and 3 fly. Back were 29, 29, 28. Fly were 29, 28, 28. Still pleased with the speed as I've only been back at it a couple weeks. But was totally utterly gassed after this set and spent about half of the next set recovering.

    Aerobic Stroke Set:

    9 x 100 @ 2:00

    3 x through
    50 fly + 50 back
    50 back + 50 breast
    50 breast + 50 free

    I kicked the first 100, doing fly-kick. After those sprints, I didn't have any fly in me. The second half of this set was quite a bit faster than the first for me, though I did it in purely aerobic mode.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3150 meters (with the missed warm up)



    I am absolutely totally gassed after that LC workout. That was the most concerted effort I've put into a workout since my 2 week vacation.

    Random thoughts:

    1. I love swimming LC after such a long SC season, and despite my good walls, I seem to be better at LC 50s. Though perhaps not this year.

    2. I hate DC traffic. My car needs to go in the shop again. I think that's the third time this year -- I've been rear ended twice and hit & run in a parking lot. Between that and driving with Mini Fort with her learner's permit, I'm not that excited about getting in the car.

    3. I miss yoga. I haven't been in ages. And they didn't offer any real yoga on the cruise. I may try to sneak in a bikram session tomorrow b/c I have a feeling I won't feel like swimming after tonight. Though I have to head to Pittsburgh on Saturday am after our A meet for a high school grad party and likely won't get any swimming in on Saturday ... But I am hoping to meet my dear Jimby for a swim on Sunday.

    4. Mr. Fort got a new bike. I guess his repeat accidents have not deterred him.

    5. I went to sign up for the B2B iron relay. It was about $650. Sheesh!

    6. After my frustrations with swimming pools this summer, I am actually looking forward to my open water swims at Wrightsville Beach. We leave for 2 weeks on July 31, right after our SL Divisional Champs. I'm tentatively hoping to be a regular at the 1.7 mile pier to pier swim with a run back. Though I know I should go to the Y periodically for some speed work in SCY. I'm just not motivated to go there too often right now. Really hoping for good beach weather.

    7. Just watched the end of stage 17 of the TdF. I'm glad Contador "let" Schleck win tonight. I still think he's a bit of an ass for breaking tour protocol and taking advantage of Schleck's chain problems. And it would be somewhat anti-climatic if the tour results rest on a chain issue. That is a reality of most sports, of course, but there is this unwritten Tour protocol that most follow.

    8. I am resisting finishing Lisbeth Salander series to save some for the beach.

    9. Fort Son finished rowing for the summer. His team is not taking lightweights to the Henley. Serious discrimination against lightweights! He "celebrated" with a 10 mile run this am to prep for cross country season. Nothing like easing into it ...

    Updated July 22nd, 2010 at 11:28 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  18. Unfriendly Waters, Wed., July 21

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 10:14 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As predicted, the only time I had to swim yesterday was during camp-zoo-noodle time. Because I had been out of the water, I did venture to the pool, albeit with much trepidation. At first, the screaming kids were huddled down in the "beach" end of the pool away from the lap lanes. Then they descended on us, taking over 4 lanes and the diving area and removing all the backstroke flags. I had to move out of my favored lane in the deep end. There was one man who appeared to be aqua jogging with fist gloves. I couldn't tell what he was actually trying to accomplish ... But he was gesticulating wildly to displaced swimmers, telling them not to go in his lane. One lane was occupied by a noodler almost as wide as the lane. Another lap swimmer whose lane I tried to join wouldn't stop when I tried to get his attention to share. I find this behavior infuriating and just leapt into the lane in a splashy way. During my warm up, kids came by and helped themselves to my kid board and monofin. WTH?! I wish the life guards would monitor this sort of behavior. A monofin is not a toy. The pool was appalling loud, which has to be one of the most unpleasant ways to work out. I changed my planned workout, and just got through a quick hour or so and left.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 100
    odds = pull, smooth, @ 1:30
    evens - kick fast @ 1:45

    50 EZ

    24 x 50, done as:

    6 x 50, 25 AFAP free + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, russian breast drill
    6 x 50, double shooters on belly

    100 EZ

    Total: 3050

    Bike, 30 minutes


    Needless to say, I am praying for no thunder so that I can go to a real pool tonight. And I will hit the gym today as well. I'm finding it difficult to get into a good routine this summer.

    Interesting article on youth sports:
    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  19. Vexed, Tuesday, July 20

    by , July 20th, 2010 at 10:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    60 minutes aerobic



    I am vexed. I was forced to take 2 days off entirely and 3 days off swimming due to a variety of circumstances. And collectively, they probably amount to a pile of excuses. (But Mr. Fort going to the emergency room again for another bike accident was not pleasant and he is seriously banged up.) I was all set to head to GMU for practice tonight, but the forecast was for thunderstorms and it appeared about ready to burst any minute. I didn't want to do a hour+ drive for nothing, so I did an hour on my bike instead. Big mistake! The storms never came. The only time I can swim tomorrow, with my kids' schedules, is during the psycho camp time. Hmm ... I am, unfortunately, not as happy in my semi-enforced laziness as Patrick and Elise. I wish I could get into a solid routine.

    I usually love summer, but the oppressive weather is putting a major damper on my spirits. I had to engage in retail therapy today to counteract this issue, if even in a very short lived way.

    I got my USMS Swimmer mag today. Any news?

    Off to watch the end of the TdF.

    Meat loves beware:

    Updated July 21st, 2010 at 10:18 AM by The Fortress

  20. Saturday, July 17

    by , July 17th, 2010 at 04:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I spent the morning absolutely sweating my ass off at our Saturday A summer league meet for 3.5 hours. I can remember last summer, at times, thinking "where the heat?" This summer, in contrast, has been almost unrelentingly oppressive. The only enjoyable moment was watching Lil Fort, my 9 year old, drop 5 seconds in her 50 meter free. I guess being out of the water for 2+ weeks didn't bother her at all. Didn't see that coming ... I was rather worried I'd be dehydrated, but after lunch I drove to the pool for a mellow recovery workout. I was kicked out of the deep end for a lifeguarding class.


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Hypoxic/Streamlining Set w/MF:

    50 x 25 @ 15 or so RI, done as:

    10 x 25 belly shooter
    10 x 25 back shooter
    10 x 25 shooter, alternate left and right side
    10 x 25 twirling shoooter
    10 x 25 glide drill + scull

    50 EZ

    Pull Set:

    5 x 200 w/paddles @ 3:00, smooth

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100



    I had been tempted to do Geek's set #3 from today, but I decided to stick to the recovery workout plan and do that set next week. I also think it's time to add in more speed.

    I am slightly worried that my usual pool will be closing from August to October 17 for some needed renovation work. Quite a long time. I suspect my other nearby rec pool, Oak Marr, will really be packed in August. GMU is closed the first two weeks of August as well.

    I got to chat with Nuthin' But 50s for awhile too. He's aged up this season, is swimming 5x a week and doing 3-4 LC meets this summer. I told him I'd be doing nuthin but 50s at Zones.

    Attached are some more pics form Stockholm showing the Royal Palace, the changing of the guards and a couple interior shots of Storkytkan, a 700 year old cathedral with a huge carved statue of St. George & the Dragon.
    Swim Workouts
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