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  1. Swim + Detox Over! Sunday, June 20

    by , June 21st, 2010 at 09:01 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Blew Speedo off, as he reported on his blog. Just had zero energy on day 8 of detox.


    No chance for exercise. Spent the entire day getting fried on soccer fields and sitting in a dance recital. I think Lil Fort is going to forsake dance for another sport. Fine with me, I don't like costume sports much and have no aptitude for being a stage mother.

    I have no idea how people run in this heat. The heat has really zapped any desire I might have had to run. It's just too freakin' hot. I'm glad I'm headed somewhere where the temp is 70ish during the day.


    More soccer and then:


    Warm up:

    600 various

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = fly drill
    evens = breast drill

    Main Set:

    5 x 100 free w/paddles @ 1:20
    50 EZ
    2 x (4 x 25 fast @ :30), 1:00 rest between sets of 4, did breast
    50 EZ
    5 x 100 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 1:20
    50 EZ
    2 x (4 x 25 fast @ :30), 1:00 rest between sets of 4, did fly
    50 EZ
    5 x 100 back w/paddles @ 1:20
    50 EZ

    Technique/Recovery Set:

    5 x 150 @ :15-20 RI
    done as 50 scull + 50 chest press fly + 50 fly kick on side

    50 EZ

    Total: 3950



    Relieved to be done with detox! I only cheated once: I had to have a cup of coffee on Sunday morning (day 10) after getting up early both weekend days for soccer. Q is right. Breakfast is just better with coffee. And it's nice to be eating some real food again. I've had more energy the last couple days even with much less sleep.

    I hope to get a couple swims in the next few days before I embark on my 2 week vaca swim fast. I meant to get started on TRX, but I'm just too busy right now to focus on something new. I'll have to get started later this summer. I plan on signing up for the Colonies Zones LC and the B2B tri before I go. I heard the half iron was already full, so I hope it's not too late for an iron relay. From what I gather, the relays spots fill up more slowly.

    Here's the lineup for CZ: As Chris noted on his blog, it's not favorable to fly-back swimmers. I was thinking of swimming the 100 back, but don't think it's doable as it's squashed between 50 fly and 50 free on Saturday and I just wouldn't get enough rest. This meet is much smaller than the SCY meet and runs fast. So I will probably just stick with the 4 50s and hope to get in a relay or two. Alternatively, I could mull over the options for doing a split request.

    I'm gearing up for my first very long summer league meet tonight (2 big teams with a zillion 8 & unders). Probably going to have to DQ more flyers than usual with this new interpretation of the butterfly rule:

    "Article 101.3.2 requires that, in the butterfly stroke, “both arms” must be brought forward “over the water" and pulled back simultaneously. For purposes of Article 101.3.2, as it relates to the recovery of the arms in the butterfly stroke, it is the interpretation of the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Committee that the “arm” is that portion of the body which extends from the shoulder to the wrist. It is also the interpretation of the Committee that "over the water" means that the arm, as defined above, must break the surface of the water during the recovery phase of each stroke."

    Updated June 21st, 2010 at 09:57 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Swim, Thursday, June 17

    by , June 17th, 2010 at 09:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = fly drill
    evens = breast drill

    100 scull

    Main set:

    3 x 100 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 2:00
    cruise, fast @ 80%, cruise

    4 x 50 single arm fly

    3 x 100 breast w/MF @ 2:00
    cruise, fast @ 80%, cruise

    4 x 50 back w/paddles @ :50

    3 x 100 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 2:00
    cruise, fast @ 80%, cruise

    4 x 50 russian breast drill

    50 EZ

    Pull set:

    5 x 150 free w/paddles @ 2:30

    I just cruised, trying to focus on head position and kicking through my breath. I also, maybe for one of the first times ever, focused on body roll in freestyle. OMG, I had much better DPS and the tiniest ephemeral glimpse into the mindset of a 200 freestyler. I'm so used to only sprinting free, that I've completely forgotten this "gait" as Swimsuit Addict would call it. I find it rather hard to "lope" in paddles though; I swim more symmetrically with them on.

    50 EZ

    Total: 3150




    Detox sucks! I am just dead, and dead in the water. Very enervated. I had planned on doing more kicking today, but my legs were sore from Kenpo and my left hamstring was, to use Stud's terms, ever so slightly dodgy. I only went about :56 on my quasi fast dolphin kicks, which is fairly slow for me. I just had no fast gear or any energy. So broccoli stalks and pears are not a good training diet. Tomorrow, I get to add back more fruits and veggies and white rice. Woohoo! (sarcasm)

    On the upside, my GI symptoms have resolved, and I feel like I've lost weight. Probably haven't; I'm likely just not bloated from whatever food I'm intolerant of. Since I've eliminated gluten largely, I think it's milk products such as whey and casein that are the culprit. I'm inclined to get tested for food allergies when I return from vacation. I just fear that that could produce some false positives, and there's enough food I already have to avoid.

    So, I'm re-ditching anything with whey protein in it, and sticking with hemp protein:

    "Manitoba Harvest Hemp PRO 70is easy for the body to digest and assimilate because it doesn’t contain gluten or added sugars, and it’s free of the enzyme inhibitor found in soy and other legumes and grains that can prevent protein absorption and cause bloating and digestive challenges. Unlike many other protein powders on the market today, hemp is not known to be an allergen for people with food sensitivities. Hemp PRO 70 has been made without the use of Hexane, a petrochemical commonly used to make soy and other protein isolates."

    I think my Proasis shots look safe as well: Most other protein shots contain whey.

    On a related note, I chatted with a mom with a gluten intolerance while supervising the "Roman Shot Put" at my third grader's end of the school year Olympic party. She said that Whole Foods was now stocking a gluten free bread that is actually edible, called Udi's. I bought some today to try. In fact, it may be the first thing I have on Day 9 of the detox when I can add back grains. I'm dying for some carbs!

    I may just take tomorrow off if I'm feeling this way again and do some last minute shopping/errands for vacation. But Saturday looks bleak for exercise too with a soccer tournament and a dance recital. I may compromise and do P90X Stretch or P90X Yoga or another of my yoga DVDs. I think hot yoga would not be the best option, as it's so taxing.

    My shoulders/back can feel the paddle work. Not in a scary, my RCs are hurt way; just in a fatigued sort of way.

    Exercise Not Enough To Lose Weight:

    Sugar Free Foods Suck:,7648192.story

    Updated June 17th, 2010 at 09:30 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  3. Kenpo, June 16

    by , June 16th, 2010 at 06:58 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:

    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 08:00 PM by The Fortress

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  4. More Drylands, June 15

    by , June 15th, 2010 at 06:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Hit the raquetball court first and did:

    5-7 minutes of med ball slamming
    5 x 100 jump rope hops
    5-7 minutes of med ball slamming
    5 x 100 jump rope hops
    5-7 minutes of med ball slamming.

    With the med ball, I did standing slams, forward slams, standing twisting slams and twisting slams against the walls ala the RA med ball game.

    Other Core:

    back extensions w/10 lb plate, 2 x 15
    flutter kick on bosu, 2 x 50 (this is a really good core exercise; going to add ankle weights next time -- if I can find mine)
    plank with feet on yoga ball, 2 x 1:00
    wall sit against bosu w/med ball on lap, 2 x 1:00 (Water Rat, if you're reading, try your wall sits this way. It's harder!)
    box jumps, 1 x 10
    altitude drops, 1 x 10
    elevated push ups, 2 x 15
    skull crushers, 40 x 2 x 15


    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25
    internal and external rotators, 10 x 1 x 15, each side
    ball on wall, 1 x 50
    arm circles, 2 x 50 each way

    10 minutes stretching

    20 minutes on bike



    I am in sad jump roping shape ... My legs felt pretty dead on the first set, but I persevered and it got a bit easier. Med ball slams rock.

    I'm still lacking some energy from the detox. Just had an exciting dinner of asparagus and pear before I cook the fam food I can't eat. The caffeine withdrawal is still proceeding better than expected. I miss salmon, steak and chard the most. Potato chips too, of course.

    Not sure if I'll make it to the pool tomorrow, as I have to fuss with my hair. I love being a "ginger," but it is a fair bit of maintenance. Plus, I keep tinkering with the color somewhat.

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

    Managed to do some shopping without Q ...

    Updated June 15th, 2010 at 07:42 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
  5. Zonked, Monday, June 14

    by , June 14th, 2010 at 10:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Well, getting up early without coffee sucks.

    That sentence deserved a whole paragraph. I had a boatload to do today and am only just sitting down now. I had an hour to work out. I had thought, perhaps, I'd do some kicking or speed work. No dice. I was dead in the water. My legs were sore from yesterday's double with yoga. And I had no energy -- possibly from the detox or from the accumulated week of work after my 2 week viral malaise. So, instead of being Fort-like, I decided to be Rich Abrahams-like and do a very SLOW recovery workout, keeping my heart rate way below normal. I left my monofin in the car. It went thusly:


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Technique Set:

    9 x 50 fly drills
    1-3 = chest press fly
    4-6 = caterpillar
    7-9 = single arm

    6 x 50 evil
    odds = evil pull w/buoy
    evens = evil kick on back

    Main Loafer Set:

    8 x through:

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

    I thought about doing the 50s as double shooters. Tried one, no way, legs too tired.

    50 EZ

    Total: 2600



    I think my lack of energy is likely detox related. And I'm really looking forward to 4 days of only having Ultra/Adva Clear + pears, apples, lettuce and broccoli. It will be an exciting trip to the grocery store tomorrow. I just hope my energy level isn't like this for the whole time. I'm kind of busy with the kids, and have some very important shopping & reading to do.

    Since I emerged from my virus/malais ridden bed, I've done the following the last 8 days:

    1 x run
    5 x swim (18,400)
    1 x dryland
    1 x yoga

    I saw that it might dip below 90 degrees tomorrow, so I'm hopeful for a run.

    Updated June 15th, 2010 at 09:50 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  6. Swim + Yoga, Sunday, June 13

    by , June 13th, 2010 at 08:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I was feeling more energetic today, so I did a more Fort like workout with some speed here and there.

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Hypoxic-Speed Set:

    4 x through:

    6 x 25s
    1 & 6 = EZ
    2-5 = shooters w/MF (belly, left side, right side, back)

    1 x 50 fast double shooter, descend the 4 50s
    (went 26, 24, 21, maybe around 21 -- wiped out goggles and nose clip on the last one)

    50 EZ

    Aerobic-Technique Set:

    2 x through:

    4 x 100
    odds = free w/paddles @ :15 RI
    evens = russian breast drill @ :15 RI

    4 x 50
    odds = backstroke w/paddles @ :15 RI
    evens = front scull w/paddles @ :15 RI

    8 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens = easy DAB

    50 EZ

    Mini-Speed Set:

    4 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 50 EZ)

    50 EZ

    Total: 3550/1000 kicking

    Hot Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Went to hot yoga at 6:00 while Mr. Fort sat through Lil Fort's dress rehearsal. I was sweating like a banshee today, worst ever. Either the room was over 110 or I'm not used to it after a couple weeks off. If I had the time, I'd go every day for the rest of my detox period, but I don't see that happening ... Also, I might die of boredom. No idea how some people do it every day or 2x a day.


    The detox is coming along pretty well. I'm on day 3 where you have eliminated all refined sugars, caffeine, artificial crap, meat & fish, dairy, eggs and gluten. I'm still allowed to eat rice or quinoa today. Don't know if I'll bother. lol. Thus far, I have only a very minor headache from the caffeine withdrawal. I haven't been caffeine free since breast feeding my second child 15 years ago. I'm anticipating that days 5-9 can only eat certain veggies and fruits will be more brutal. I've been having a lot of salads -- the lettuces and basil in my garden is delicious -- and I've discovered a liking for shelled pistachios, which are great for you.

    I did make the mistake of trying mozarella cheese again the other day. Even with lactase enzymes, big mistake. I will have to stick with only eating aged cheeses, as my lactose intolerance does not seem to be improving. Oh well, lesson learned. I probably should re-test aged cheese also, in case it's a milk protein intolerance.

    I've also been taking the 7 Proformance Exfuze. First off, it's quite delicious! I put it in my smoothies for 5 days and had a 1 oz shot at night. Now, I've just been taking it at night. I'm not sure I've been able to really notice any of the supposed effects such as improved energy and mood yet. I feel better, but I've been recovering from an illness. On the other hand, I have noticed I've been sleeping better and more deeply despite going off my sleep meds; I've been having the most vivid dreams. And I'm feeling fairly energetic today despite the detox/cleanse. It's possible the 7 Exfuze is helping counter those symptoms. I suppose I'd really have to try it for 3 weeks when I'm not messing around with other variables to assess its efficacy better. But, this was the best time for the detox planning wise.

    New Running Shoes:

    I went to the Potomac River Running Store today to buy new running shoes. I decided to go there rather than order on line because I haven't been terribly thrilled with the fit of my last couple pairs of running shoes (Mizuno, Saucony). Since my last visit, they've installed a machine that electronically measures and analyzes your feet/stance. Then I tried out various pairs of shoes with varying degrees of support on the treadmill where they watch your feet on a nearby television. I apparently have a fairly rigid arch and strong ankles (tested with one legged squats), so I don't need the motion control shoes I've used in the past. I also don't over-pronate or under-pronate, and am completely neutral. Good news, I guess. I ended up purchasing The Asics Gel-Nimbus 10, which has great cushioning for my type of foot. Can't wait to give it a try. Felt like a great fit. I'm hoping the gel cushioning will be adequate to support my right metatarsal area in my right foot. I went up a half size in this shoe.

    I noticed they are stocking the Skins recovery tights in the store now. I did wear mine the earlier this week after my mega kicking session. I felt like my legs were less sore than they normally would have been. The research is, of course, completely inconclusive on whether the tights actually help or are a placebo. I do know quite a few athletes that love them.

    I also took the opportunity to stock up on Endurolytes while there. I took 3 before yoga.


    This is the text of an email Fort Son got from his rowing coach wrt recovery. Good stuff!

    "Gentlemen: I've talked a bit over the last few days about how to manage your body during these high-intensity training cycles, but I wanted to get something out to you all in writing as well to reinforce the most important points. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the single most important factor in determining the success the summer training program will be the manner in which you manage your health and wellness. The way you manage your body during the high-intensity segments of the training program will be vital to prevent injury during the on-cycle, and the way you encourage recovery during the light days between will determine whether you recoup sufficiently to attack the next phase of summer training.

    Calorie burn is not a factor for us at this point. Most of you are burning 2000-2500 calories per day during practice time alone, so your volume of food intake should not be a concern, except to make sure that you are eating enough. The crucial point is to manage WHAT you are eating, and to make sure that you are getting good value out of your meals.
    - Protein. Rowing, like any endurance activity, tears muscle fibers. The body needs to rebuild these fibers, and the key building block in muscle is protein. Fish, chicken, lean red meat are all obvious sources for protein (and fish has other significant health benefits), but some other high-protein food items are peanut butter, soy milk, whole wheat bread and broccoli.
    - anti-inflammitories in food. Muscle soreness and inflammation are often precursors to actual muscle injury. Certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties which can help to keep soreness and swelling in check without the need for medication. Cherries and blueberries are excellent sources of both anti-inflammitories and anti-oxidants, and fatty fish such as salmon is also an excellent source for these substances.
    - general eating. In addition to seeking out foods for specific needs, stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Foods which contain large amounts of processed sugar or saturated fats will make you feel full but won't give you the building blocks your body needs. Filling yourself with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is the bottom line as far as healthy eating is concerned.
    - multi-vitamins. As I mentioned yesterday, nutritionists go back and forth on the absolute value of various vitamins, but there are no studies that indicate a negative value to taking a moderate amount of a full-spectrum multi-vitamin. Vitamin C and B are both used by the body to make connective tissue, and are thus necessary to help the body repair damage. In general, its an easy way to cover your bets and make sure you are getting everything you need in your diet.

    Post-Practice nutrition: This is important enough to get its own category. Over the last 5 or 6 years, numerous studies have concluded that athletes who take in easily digested carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of the end of practice not only recover better, but actually grow stronger at a faster rate than those who do not get nutrition in this 30-minute window. We are not talking about small gains, either - in some studies the difference in strength and/or endurance gained over the course of a month varied by 20% between those who took post practice nutrition and those who did not. There are a number of substances that will do the job, and fortunately there is a new option which is relatively cheap and easily obtained. Gatorade now sells a post-practice recovery version which has the correct balance of protein and carbohydrates. There are other options: chocolate milk is fine, though its hard to keep cold, and Endurox R4 is excellent, but it's expensive. I would personally recommend that you toss a bottle of the Gatorade (either the regular Gatorade 03 or the Gatorade Pro 03) in your backpack and drink it right after we get off the water.

    Stretching, warming up and cooling down:
    As I mentioned above, we are pushing your bodies very hard during this work cycle. Just as you need to eat well to give your body what it needs to recover, you need to properly prepare your body to do work, and properly warm down afterwards.
    - Stretching and warming up. To adequately prepare for a full-pressure rowing practice, you need to spend at least 15 minutes stretching and 5 minutes spinning the erg. (If you bike to practice, you can forgo the erg). Stretching pre-practice does little for general flexibility, but it does begin to warm the muscles, and help to identify and ease sore or tight spots on the body. If you are encountering significant muscle tightness, particularly in the back or lats, you may want to stretch in the shower, and use hot water to massage the tight areas. TBC has an excellent shower room; it is not a bad idea to stretch and warm any possible trouble spots before practice.
    - Cooling down. Post practice, stretch again. This helps to cool the body down after work, and can go along way towards preventing soreness and muscle tightness the next day. Unlike pre-practice stretching, post-practice stretching WILL increase your overall flexibility, and it has been proven again and again that flexible athletes suffer less injury than their less-flexible counterparts.
    -Ice trouble spots. If any muscles feel particularly sore or tight, ice them at the end of practice for 15-20 minutes and again sometime in the evening. Don't use ice before practice, but hit anything that feels at all tight afterwards.

    Other recovery techniques-
    - Massage. If you have time during the recovery period, and a bit of money available, look into getting a massage. There is a massage school on Wisconsin Ave that does $35 student massages and $55 professional massages; their website is Deep tissue massage is really what you are looking for to get the benefit of muscle relaxation and increased circulation.
    - Leg elevation. If you keep you legs elevated above the heart for 15-20 minutes at a stretch (you can do this while watching tv or napping, for example) you can get a boost to circulation, as well as helping byproducts of muscle work to clear out of the legs more quickly.
    - REST. Sleep heals, and good sleep heals more than bad sleep. A couple ways to get better sleep:
    1. Complete darkness. Even a scrap of light can affect sleep quality, so try and turn off or cover all light sources, even the light from a clock.
    2. Wake up naturally. If possible during off days, don't set an alarm clock - just go to bed at a good time (10-10:30 PM at the latest) and let yourself wake up when the body is ready.

    You are all on the road to becoming elite athletes. This stuff is all background, but it is the foundational lifestyle work that enables you to perform at a high level. We all see olympic rowing, and can appreciate the power and technique that those individuals have developed. What isn't visible, but is nonetheless present, is the regimen that all of those athletes use to keep themselves performing at a high level. What also isn't visible is the hundreds or thousands of athletes who had the physical potential to compete at that level but did not maintain themselves well enough, and were thus sidelined by injury or simple lack of recovery speed.
    Put as much energy into your recovery as you put into your active training, and we're going to have an awesomely fast summer."

    Updated June 13th, 2010 at 09:21 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  7. Drylands Finally, June 11

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 05:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I finally, finally made it back to the gym. I checked my blog, which doesn't lie, and I hadn't been since April 29. Lordy! I'm a weak pile of mush. I'm sure Jim would have a fancier word for it. I tried not to overdo, but after about 60-70 minutes or so and even taking my time, I was tuckered out. I'm sure the almost 10,000 yards from the preceding days contributed.



    external & internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    3 position arm extensions, 2 x 15 each postition
    ball on the wall, 2 x 50
    prone scapular scrunches w/5 lb weights, 2 x 25
    arm circles, 2 x 50, clockwise and counter-clockwise
    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25

    About time!

    Extreme Angle Isometrics:

    deep squat, 3:00
    left lunge, 2:00
    right lunge, 1:30 (did this at the end, was tired)
    bicep/tricep hold on yoga ball, 3:00
    push up iso between 2 steps, 1:30


    straight arm plank with feet on yoga ball, 1:00
    russian twists on incline bench w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 20

    Jump rope:

    2 x 1:00

    Note to self: Do jump roping at the beginning not end of dryland workout

    5-10 minutes stretching



    It apparently is much more fun and interesting doing drylands when you are in shape than not. Hopefully, this session jump started me. I'm hoping to watch the TRX DVD this weekend, so that I can get familiar with it, and take the system on vacation. Hoping to do yoga on Saturday and swimming on Sunday. Or perhaps a run this weekend. Otherwise, I will likely be at the soccer field, swimming pool or recital hall all weekend.

    Mini Fort, who has been in a funk lately causing me no end of parental happiness, has announced that she may quit swimming (possibly even summer league). I fully support her, though am a bit sad since it's a family type sport. (The only one who doesn't swim is Mr. Fort!) But she just doesn't want to work as hard as she needs to to be at a Sectionals type level; and she doesn't want to train less and do less well. Not an atypical reaction, I guess. She plans on continuing volleyball and adding either soccer back or lacrosse. And she has a cushy lifeguard/junior swim coach/swim instructor job for the summer.

    Fort Son is trying out for a competitive rowing team on the Potomac, which will require double workouts in DC all summer. The hard ass coaches (it amuses me that Fort Son confesses to being "scared" of one) announced that they were taking the fastest rowers regardless of weight. This worried my lightweight Fort Son tremendously, but it appears (no final decision) yet, that he will be stroking a lightweight 8. I'm excited because they will be competing in the Canadian Henley this summer and it will be a great way for him to get some real experience outside his high school team.


    Today is the day. I've begun my 10 day detox. I thought this was the perfect timing. This is the plan I'm doing:

    This is a Metagenics product. I'm also taking these: I understand that the latter may help, among other things, with the headaches associated with a detox. Hopefully, I won't turn into a raving lunatic b*tch for 10 days, and will feel better afterward. I know several people who have used this detox, felt great afterward, and were able to ditch caffeine. One person I know who is a workout fiend had trouble sustaining a heavy workout schedule during the day 5-8 time period. I will try to ignore that and carry on. Wish me luck.

    Updated June 11th, 2010 at 08:06 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  8. Not Very Sprinterly! June 10

    by , June 10th, 2010 at 04:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    My Thursday training partner Speedo has the dread viral malaise. So I journeyed to the rec center do a long solo workout today. I was debating between Geek's sets today or Ande's main set. I opted for Ande's, as I don't really feel like IM work right now and I won't swim one maybe until December.


    Warm up:

    500 various

    Technique Work:

    30 x 50 w/MF, done as:

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = breast, working on lunging
    evens = chest press fly

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    double shooters, breath at the turn
    just cruised, working on streamlining (went 27-29s)

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = breast, working on lunging
    evens = chest press fly

    50 EZ

    Main Set:

    8 x 100 free w/paddles @ 1:30

    4 x 50, flutter kick w/board @ :50
    #3 @ 85% effort

    8 x 100 kick w/fins @ 1:30
    odds = backstroke w/8, 8, 9, 10 SDKs per 25
    evens = dolphin kick w/board
    (started getting a little tired and hungry at the end of this set)

    4 x 50, single arm fly @ :50

    8 x 100 free w/paddles & fins @ 1:30
    (started cramping right at the end)

    100 EZ

    Total: 5000, 1450+kick



    Still "base" building. I think that may be the most freestyle I've done in practice and the most yardage since last summer. I usually avoid freestyle sets like the plague, except for 25s. But I like pulling free with paddles. (I realize I have to be careful not to overdo it though.) My legs started to wear out in the kick set ... probably due to the large volume of kicking yesterday. But I'm going to persist with the kicking over the summer. I doubt that will help my OW swims much, but hopefully it will help my SCM season this fall. I agree with That Guy's statement on the Butterfly lane thread that kicking is the "locomotive" for fly.

    One thing I hate about mega aerobic work is that it makes me famished. I ate a huge lunch and I'm still starving!

    After hitting the pool 3 days in a row, I think I'll take a break tomorrow and do yoga.

    Was a bit peeved today when a fat noodler (if you could even call him a noodler he was so slow and mostly hung on the walls) complained to the lifeguard that the pool was too cool. It felt around 82. The lifeguard seemed sympathetic, so I was forced to comment that it was actually a decent temperature for those of us actually swimming (who far out numbered this guy).

    Updated June 10th, 2010 at 04:41 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  9. Wednesday, June 9

    by , June 9th, 2010 at 03:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Technique Set:

    24 x 50 @ 10-15 RI, done as:

    8 x 50 fly drills

    8 x 50
    odds = breast pull w/buoy
    evens = breast kick on back

    8 x 50
    odds = free pull w/paddles
    evens = back pull w/paddles

    50 EZ

    Endurance Kick Mountain w/MF:

    Did this fairly mod speed, getting used to kicking again. Alternating dolphin kicking on back and kicking w/board.

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

    50 EZ

    Kick-Swim Set:

    10 x 100 @ 1:30, done as 50 flutter kick w/fins & board + open turn + 50 free (went 1:05, then 1:08-09s)

    Got my heart rate up more on these. They didn't even feel too bad, despite the prior kick set. I'm working on switching to my "LC free." Instead of straight arm, I do a loping type stroke and breath every stroke to the left. Breathing to the left is easier on my left shoulder and seems to promote a slightly more bent arm on that side. I have to really focus on kicking through my breath when I swim this way.

    150 EZ

    Total: 4350/2200 kicking



    Still working my way back to fitness. I have a lingering cough and fatigue, but the headaches are gone.

    I was hoping to do my first LC workout this weekend, but practices are cancelled at GMU this due to a USA-S meet. Also found out that GMUP is bidding for Zones for April 15-17. This will conflict with the Boston marathon, which is April 18. Perhaps I can swim one day, depending on when we go up. (Or swim the 50 free as part of the 1000 on Friday. That would make everyone happy. ) I have a feeling, though, the plan is to spend the entire weekend in Boston. I guess the Wolfpack can stay in the Fort house and swim without me ... So it looks like I will be in the market for a SCY taper meet.

    Does it seem like there's been a proliferation of new blogs since Nats?

    Updated June 9th, 2010 at 05:11 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  10. Tuesday, June 8

    by , June 8th, 2010 at 09:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I dutifully trudged to the pool, despite some swim apathy, with no particular workout in mind. Helpful suggestions included:

    5 x 100 + 500 pull + 5 x 100 + 500 pull + 5 x 100

    and "millions of 25s".

    I opted for sort of a combo of both:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    5 x 100 backstroke @ 1:45

    1 x 500 pull (didn't even lose count!)

    5 x 100 breaststroke w/dolphin kick @ 2:00

    1 x 500 kick w/MF, done as
    20 x 25 shooter @ :40 or so. 4 each on back, belly, right side, left side, twirling

    5 x 50 single arm fly @ :50

    50 EZ

    Total: 2900



    I had no intention of doing anything speedy today. And I forgot my fins. I knew I wouldn't feel great in the water, but I didn't feel quite as bad as I expected. The shooters felt quite happily mermaid-ish. Solar Energy would say this is "base" building. I think of it as re-establishing feel.

    I had meant to do 5 x 100 fly at the end, but rushed out to take Mini to "work." Got home, and she actually wasn't scheduled to work today. Thought about doing some drylands, but I'm making some, probably vain, attempt not to overdo after the long layoff. (I'm still not fully recovered and tired.) I do plan on starting up the extreme angle isometrics (referenced below) again, along with the TRX.

    Got a kick out of seeing Lil Fort smoke everyone on the running portion of her first all star soccer practice today. She's a speedy devil. Unfortunately, she is not aggressive wrt ball sports. Still, she's having fun. Opting out of travel soccer with daughter #2.

    My legs weren't too sore from running today. My foot (right big toe) hurt some; I think I need some insoles with my new running shoes to support the front of my foot. I did cramp a bit while swimming -- I need to re-stock Endurolytes!

    Backstroke Flutter Kick:

    Ahelee and I were discussing backstroke kick a bit at Nats. We both have a minimal flutter kick style with a narrow kick and toes just poking out of the water. I noticed, however, in my 10 back video from Nats that the speedy new national record holder in this event, Ellen Reynolds, has a much splashier and seemingly stronger kick. [nomedia=""]YouTube- Les 100 BK[/nomedia]. Ahelee mentioned that this was discussed at SwimFest. She says you need a lot of power and lift to do a fast, deeper flutter kick. I couldn't tell from the video how "deep" Ellen's flutter kick is, but this is something I might play around with.

    (This time watching I heard SwimStud saying "see any hands up?" A DQ in that event would have made a sort of mixed nationals end on a really sour note ...)

    Dryland Studies:

    Just a reminder for Jimby that occasionally I post science-based articles. :-P I fully admit to being an instinctual swimmer, but it appears there is little fact based info in swimming anyway.

    Zampagni, ML, Casino, D, Benelli, P, Visani, A, Marcacci, M, and De Vito, G.

    "Anthropometric and strength variables to predict freestyle performance times in elite master swimmers. J Strength Cond Res 22: 1298–1307, 2008—The aims of this study were to determine in elite master swimmers of both genders whether, using anthropometric variables and the hand grip strength measure, it was possible to predict freestyle performance time, whether the considered predictors were related similarly to different events (50, 100, 200, 400, 800 m), and whether they were the same in male and female master swimmers. The relationships between performance times and age, body mass, height, arm length, forearm length, forearm muscle volume, and hand grip strength were examined in 135 elite master swimmers. Pearson’s simple correlation coefficients were calculated and then prediction equations were developed. Age, height, and hand grip strength were the best predictors in short-distance events, whereas only age and height were predictors in middle- and long-distance events. The correspond- ing coefficient of determination (R2) of performance times were 0.84 in the 50-m event, 0.73 in the 100-m event, 0.75 in the 200-m event, 0.66 in the 400-m event, and 0.63 in the 800-m event. These regression equations were then cross-validated in a control group of 126 nonelite, age-matched swimmers, obtaining significant and good correlations for all distances (range, r = 0.67 and 0.83; p , 0.01), indicating that predictors are valid in an extended sample of master swimmers. Differences between sexes were not found in 50-m event, but were present in all other events. These models might be useful to determine individual performance times by contributing to improving the individual’s training program and the selection of master swimmers. Coaches could have better accuracy in determining whether an athlete needs a strength training program in order to optimize performance time."

    Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
    ABSTRACT. Girold, S., D. Maurin, B. Dugue ́, J.-C. Chatard, and G. Millet. Effects of dry-land vs. resisted- and assisted-sprint exercises on swimming sprint performances. J. Strength Cond. Res. 21(2):599–605. 2007.—This study was undertaken to compare the effects of dry-land strength training with a combined in-water resisted- and assisted-sprint program in swimmer ath- letes. Twenty-one swimmers from regional to national level par- ticipated in this study. They were randomly assigned to 3 groups: the strength (S) group that was involved in a dry-land strength training program where barbells were used, the resist- ed- and assisted-sprint (RAS) group that got involved in a spe- cific water training program where elastic tubes were used to generate resistance and assistance while swimming, and the control (C) group which was involved in an aerobic cycling pro- gram. During 12 weeks, the athletes performed 6 training ses- sions per week on separate days. All of them combined the same aerobic dominant work for their basic training in swimming and running with their specific training. Athletes were evaluated 3 times: before the training program started, after 6 weeks of training, and at the end of the training program. The outcome values were the strength of the elbow flexors and extensors eval- uated using an isokinetic dynamometer, and the speed, stroke rate, stroke length, and stroke depth observed during a 50-meter sprint. No changes were observed after 6 weeks of training. At the end of the training period, we observed significant increases in swimming velocity, and strength of elbow flexors and exten- sors both in the S and RAS groups. However, stroke depth de- creased both in the S and RAS groups. Stroke rate increased in the RAS but not in the S group. However, no significant differ- ences in the swimming performances between the S and RAS groups were observed. No significant changes occurred in C. Altogether, programs combining swimming with dry-land strength or with in-water resisted- and assisted-sprint exercises led to a similar gain in sprint performance and are more efficient than traditional swimming training methods alone.

    Extreme Angle Isometrics:

    Changes in torque and electromyographic activity of the quadriceps femoris muscles following isometric training.Bandy WD, Hanten WP.
    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Central Arkansas, Conway 72035-0001.

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of isometric training of the quadriceps femoris muscles, at different joint angles, on torque production and electromyographic (EMG) activity. SUBJECTS. One hundred seven women were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Three groups trained with isometric contractions three times per week at a knee flexion angle of 30, 60, or 90 degrees. The fourth group, which served as a control, did not exercise. METHODS. Isometric torque was measured using a dynamometer, and EMG activity was measured using a multichannel EMG system. Measurements were obtained during maximal isometric contraction of the quadriceps femoris muscles at 15-degree increments from 15 to 105 degrees of knee flexion. Measurements were taken before and after 8 weeks of training. RESULTS. Following isometric exercise, increased torque and EMG activity occurred not only at the angle at which subjects exercised, but also at angles in the range of motion at which exercise did occur. Further analyses indicated that exercising in the lengthened position for the quadriceps femoris muscles (90 degrees of knee flexion) produced increased torque across all angles measured and appeared to be the more effective position for transferring strength and EMG activity to adjacent angles following isometric training as compared with the shorter positions of the muscle (30 degrees and 60 degrees of knee flexion). CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION. These findings suggest that an efficient method for increasing isometric knee extension torque and EMG activity throughout the entire range of motion is to exercise with the quadriceps femoris muscles in the lengthened position.

    PMID: 8316579 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] This suggests that isometrics done at the greatest joint angle will, in fact, increase strength throughout the entire range of motion.

    Updated June 8th, 2010 at 11:36 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  11. Masters PR Ends

    by , June 7th, 2010 at 02:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Run + Bike:

    The viral malaise, which still lingers, caused me to set a masters sloth PR for most consecutive days with no exercise. I would probably have pushed it sooner, but I decided to stick with my 2 weeks of prescribed recovery. It helped that I was ridiculously busy last weekend, attending among other things Speedo's 80s themed 40th birthday party! Definitely had some blog withdrawal!

    Because the temps fell below 90, I decided it was time for the "post meet run." This used to be a tradition, but I consulted my FB Run Logger and I see that I haven't run since Jan. 23. Egads! In any event, I muddled through my usual 5 mile loop with some walking during water breaks and on an up. Then I came home and hit the indoor bike for 30 minutes. I plan on venturing to the pool tomorrow for some pre-vacation swimming. Note: I am definitely in need of new running shoes, as my shoes have been battered by my gym workouts.

    Meet/OW Schedule:

    I was muddling over my tentative meet schedule for the next year or so. Coach Cheryl told me that Zones was going to be earlier this year, so I'm worried it will conflict with the Boston Marathon on April 18. If so, I will either need another taper meet or bag tapering for SCY. I will be FINA 50 next year, so meters is definitely more appealing at the moment. Of course, if our ED prevails in re-visiting tech suits for SCY (besides for the boys who want their short johns), I may have to reassess.

    Since I just took 2 weeks off and am taking 4 weeks of vacation this summer, I'm definitely de-emphasizing LCM meets this season and don't care much about my times. This is quite fine, as I'm been feeling a bit meeted out from short course and want to do things that are not purely sprint focused. (No, this does not mean I'll be swimming the 1000 free at Zones ... or even the 200.) Still wondering about the advisability of 2 OW swims, but I apparently need to do this to ensure marital bliss ... I will definitely be wearing a wetsuit, , as will basically everyone in these events. I've also heard that B70 is coming out with "something special" for OW.

    So far, I'm thinking:

    Aug. 21-22: LCM Zones at UMD

    Sept. 19: Savageman 1/2 Iron Triathlon (relay)

    Oct. 24: GMUP Sprint Classic (SCY)

    Nov. 13: Beach 2 Battlefield Ironman Triathlon (relay -- seriously that race better have one heck of a current ...)

    Early-mid Dec.: NE SCM Champs in Boston or CZ Champs if it's at Rutgers this year. Does anyone know yet?

    March: Albatross SCM Meet (not sure when this is yet)

    March or April: If I taper for SCY and depending on the actual dates, either NE SCY Champs or Colonies Zones. Not sure I can do both the Albatross meet and the NE meet though ... depends on dates. No back to back meets for me.

    July: Some LCM meet hopefully. May have to do a kid meet if there are no local meets.

    Aug: LCM Nats at Auburn.

    My taper focus will likely be Dec. 2009 for SCM and August 2010 for LCM, though I'll probably rest some for whatever meet I do in March-April.

    Any other good meet ideas?

    Updated June 7th, 2010 at 03:02 PM by The Fortress

    Running , Spinning
  12. "Sleep It Off" June 2, 2010

    by , June 2nd, 2010 at 04:20 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.” 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.
  13. Going Nowhere, June 1

    by , June 1st, 2010 at 03:34 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:

    Updated June 9th, 2010 at 07:37 PM by The Fortress

  14. Sick, May 29

    by , May 29th, 2010 at 04:13 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 04:57 PM by The Fortress

  15. Mini Swim + Yoga, May 28

    by , May 28th, 2010 at 04:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Dragged myself to the pool today for no other reason than to try a new suit. I might feel the need to evangelize (or not) about the kneeskins soon.

    700 various

    10-15 minutes in the locker room putting on kneeskin suit. Not sure, might have had the wrong size.

    200 w/suit

    Hot Yoga, 90 minutes:

    This felt pretty sweet overall. But the instructor was super chatty and annoyed me. He also caused class to run 20 minutes late. I chuckled when he said that some clients have objected to the new flooring as unauthentic. I vastly prefer it.



    I felt absolutely appalling in the water today. No residual taper buzz left at all. And I still feel rather appalling in general, like I have a case of mono. This situation was worsened by being woken up an hour early today by Lil Fort. I need some big time quality sleep this weekend to jolt myself out of this post Atlanta malaise. Yoga doesn't seem to be working. I probably should have booked a post meet massage, which I did after Zones and snapped back faster.

    Dinner tonight with friends and then some rounds of barbecues this weekend. No pool till next week.

    Updated May 28th, 2010 at 05:07 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  16. Thursday, May 27

    by , May 27th, 2010 at 10:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    P90X Yoga, 60 minutes:

    Stuck with my yoga only mode today. Still feeling tired since getting back on Monday. I thought about a run, but it was 90 degrees here. I think I need a slightly cooler temperature to begin this project.

    Jump roping:

    I read with interest Androvski's post about the benefits of jump roping. I did try, at Q's urging, to do some jump roping last season with the occasional tabata jump rope session incorporated into my drylands. But I think I could do even more.

    Here was Androvski's link, which I need to spend some time reading:

    I still have yet to watch my TRX DVD. I just need my mental week off.


    Got my Q Swimwear suit today. It is decidedly different than the B70 or Speedo LZR Elite. From what I have heard, it's more similar to the fabric used in the new Jaked "Shark" suit. The Shark is the Italian national team suit, but it doesn't appear yet on the Jaked website. May give it a whirl in the pool tomorrow. If I can get myself there. Still not much urge to swim at the moment and sticking to my full week off from the pool.

    Funny Teenager Quote:

    This one really had me chuckling. Mini Fort asked me for a shoulder massage at 10:00 pm last night after a short lifting session. When I declined due to exhaustion, she said "You're not my real mother." lol

    I sent my son off to Nationals at 5:30 am this morning. Hope he has a good experience there. Wish it wasn't so far away.

    I am girding myself for the next month -- the absolute most brutal month of the year in terms of kids events.
  17. 50 Back Vid + Yoga May 26

    by , May 26th, 2010 at 06:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hot Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Made it to the bikram studio for my first yoga class in 5 weeks. Didn't have any trouble with the positions particularly, but the class seemed interminably long. I did notice that they replaced the carpet with beautiful wood floors. Apparently, this renders the studio not true to the spirit of Bikram, but I like the change. It lowers the dirty hippie quotient of the whole enterprise.

    50 Back Video:

    Water Rat kindly took a video of my 50 back at Nats. It didn't look as bad as it felt. You can tell I was nervous about not having my nose clip b/c I fidgeted and moved my hand position on the start. I thought I had gone past the 15 meter mark, so swam the rest of the race thinking I was DQ'd. This was incorrect as the video shows, but my initial SDKs were panicked and sloppy and exceeded the # I intended to take (they were much better, I think, in my 100 back). It also looks like I slowed down to judge the finish somewhat as well. I was right between Val Jenkins and Sue Walsh. I still wish I had that race back again ... In some ways, I feel like this race shows, to channel Lost, the folly of "master plans." An undue focus on one event can indeed be frustrating.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- USMS Nationals - Fort's 50 Backstroke[/nomedia]



    I'm still wiped out from the meet & travels. I think it's mostly sleep deprivation as, per usual, I didn't sleep well during the meet and I basically pulled an all nighter on Sunday with the late night & early Monday flight combo. I had a great time Sunday night though, dining at Rosa Mexicano (great food!) and then imbibing with PV buddies and others. Even met and chatted with Geek's & Stud's nemesis, CF.

    I'm hoping I can summon the energy to go on a wee jog soon ...

    My only other gripe about the Nats experience is that is totally trashed my hair. My hair, which is longer than usual right now, got completely tangled up/matted with all the double capping, etc. I literally couldn't detangle some of it when showering, so yanked some out. And being in and out of the water constantly for days, not putting conditioner in my hair, etc, trashed the color and caused some chlorine damage. LW advised me to braid my hair. I did this on the 3rd day and the damage wasn't as bad. But still!

    I'm feeling a little bit of the post Atlanta blues. There's so much preparation and anticipation and then it's just OVER. Trying to deflect this with some vacation planning. I'm leaving on June 24, and there will be no swimming for 2 weeks. The fitness center on the ship is huge and beautiful and there are yoga/pilates classes. I think I mentioned previously that my chiro advised taking a complete 2 week break from any strenuous exercise to let the body heal. At the moment, I feel like taking that now rather than on the cruise ...

    I'm still planning on doing a detox. But I need to catch up on sleep before depriving myself of caffeine. I'm also being sent a free 3 week supply of Exfuse 7 + Proformance to try out. I'm told you can add it to smoothies or take it solo. Among other things, it claims to promotes deep sleep. I'm not the supplement critic that Jimby is, but I'm skeptical about the ability of any herbal type remedy to keep me asleep.

    And on tech suit news, Roque Santos is sending me one of his new Q Swimwear kneeskins. I'm looking forward to trying it out. On examination at Nats, the fabric seemed very different and more sturdy than the B70 or Speedo "paper" suits.

    Updated May 26th, 2010 at 10:32 PM by The Fortress

  18. 100 back Vid + Mon-Tues, May 24-25

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 01:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Monday Workout:

    Big cuddle and chat with Lil Fort after getting home in time to pick her up from school.

    2 hour nap.

    1.5+ hours watching Lost series finale on the DVR with Mini Fort.

    Watched Mr. Fort cook dinner.

    Tuesday Workout:

    Got up early to get Lil Fort off to school and went back to bed.

    Got up too late to go to hot yoga.

    Spent 2.0 hours contemplating whether to run. But decided against it as I'm still feeling like I was hit by a mac truck.

    100 back Video:

    Here's a video of my 100 back from Nats taken by Stud. I was pleased with my underwaters. Not so thrilled with the second turn (where you can see I missed the wall) or my last 5 yards where my arms wouldn't move. But still super thrilled with the time.

    I can't tell from the angle of the video, but I might have overshot the 15 meter mark on the first 25. I think you have to be on the side of the pool to really tell.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Les 100 BK[/nomedia]

    I've also attached a cool pic of 2 backstroke mermaids. Ahelee gave me plenty of encouragement during the meet while coaching her other swimmers. In fact, I have to thank all my team hottub buddies and others for their words of encouragement throughout the meet. I love my swimmer friends!

    Few other pics too, and 2 taken by my friend Norm at the start and turn of the 50 fly.

    Updated May 25th, 2010 at 05:06 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  19. Day 3 and Nats Recap

    by , May 24th, 2010 at 02:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 3:

    As planned, I scratched the 100 IM. I've never scratched an event at Nationals before, but with 6 events behind me and some emotional ups and downs, I felt wiped out. I had reserves for one race, but not 2. I was actually ranked higher in the 100 IM than the 100 back, but I felt like I had some unfinished business with my nose clip. A friend suggested getting a 50 split to make up for the semi-fiasco on Saturday, but I just wanted to swim my 100 back. I had done a 1:04 previously this year at the Fall Ball in my B70, but that time didn't count for TT because, I believe, the pool wasn't measured (not entirely sure on that).

    In any event, I arrived at the pool late and carried my nose clip around all day. I planned to swim the 100 back just like I did at NE Champs, and that's exactly what I did: lots of kicking. I got a good start. Someone told me my reaction time was .6+. No problem with slippage on the wall and I didn't stagger my feet.

    The race went as planned: the full 15 meters on the first 25 and at least halfway on the next 3 25s. I was out fast in 29.3 and felt like I had great easy speed. The last 10 yards, however, I was totally gassed and died. I wish I had seen Sue Walsh and Val Jenkins on the other side of the pool because they passed me right then, Sue out-touching me by .1. Perhaps if I had seen them, I could have summoned something extra. But I didn't feel like I left anything in the pool. I finished in 1:01.9, my best time by a second.

    The only glitch in the race was that I missed the wall at the 50 -- was too far away. I compensated by taking a huge dolphin kick from the hips and that allowed me to get back into a good streamline and then return to high cycle kicks. But it probably cost me a few tenths.

    I was very happy to end Nats on a good note and of course to win my cyber gridge with the Geekity one.



    50 fly: 27.0, 3rd
    100 fly: 1:01.3, 2nd
    50 back, 28.2, 3rd
    100 back, 1:01.9, 4th
    50 breast, 32.8, woulda been 4th without the DQ

    I felt like I hit my taper well and had great raw speed. Unfortunately, my 50s were marred: fly (horrible start), back (forgot nose clip), and breast (double whammy -- missed heat & DQ). On the upside, the fly was really the only technical miscue. My other starts, walls, and breakouts were pretty good. I was just an incredible dumb ass on the 50 back and feel like I got robbed on the other (though I realize reasonable minds can differ).

    If I could have one race back, it would be the 50 back. Allen Stark watched my race and gave me some good feedback. He said I rocked the underwaters, but lacked the arm speed I showed at Indy. He said I was the shortest one there and needed the most turnover to compensate, but was way too slow. And he was right. I was unglued at the start and was not thinking during the race. I was also worried that I had gone past the 15 on the start. I forgot about tempo and was just finishing the race.

    Everyone seems to think I train mostly for 50s, and I do like my 50s, but I think my 100s were very solid and I was most pleased with them. Very pleased actually. I think my "best" event was actually my 50 breast b/c dropping a second in a month from a previous PB is huge. As I mentioned in my own blog comments from yesterday, I think it is unfortunate more masters haven't worked on developing long pullouts. I think this prejudices me b/c officials (and swimmers) think it can't be done.

    Kinda bummed I didn't get a 100 IM time this season. But I still think I did the right thing by scratching it.

    Stud video'd my 50 and 100 back (I believe), so I hope to see those later. He taped a lot of races between absolutely tearing up the pool himself, which was very nice.

    Meet Details:

    -- Hotel was great.
    -- Trolley was great and so convenient.
    -- Air quality at the pool seemed fine.
    -- The pool was pretty fast, but I wasn't as impressed as Geek, and think Auburn is faster.
    -- I had no trouble myself on the dreaded flat slippery walls, but know that others did.
    -- I was really happy not to be a freestyler at this meet with all the troubles so many people had on the bulkheads.
    -- The meet was well run.
    -- The starts were abysmal, as others have remarked: commands were inconsistent and hard to heard, the beep was very quiet and they couldn't increase the volume, many heats were held too long. I only had the one issue on breaststroke, but I was fairly paranoid after that and tried to listen intently.
    -- The officiating seemed a little inconsistent. Aside from my own issue, I heard a couple other instances where DQ slips weren't properly written, someone wasn't told of their DQ and only found out by looking at the results, and there wasn't always an official by the 15 meter mark. (I wish they'd dump that rule myself.)

    I've mulled over what should be done when someone just can't hear the starting commands. It seems like the officials go out of their way to give the swimmer another chance to swim. But this can backfire too, as one friend I know did a re-swim only to have that swim thrown out on a different technicality after it was OK'd by the deck ref. Perhaps, despite the bitterness of it, you should just be DQ'd and move on with the meet ...

    I still had a fantastic time socializing and seeing old and new friends. And I'll probably be happier with my 50 times later in the week. For the moment, I'm looking forward to a change in training this summer and a short break from all the intensive sprint training. I plan to take my creaky fatigued body to yoga every day this week and, when my energy level improves, hit the pavement for a train wreck run ala Geek. (I'm dead right now from late night celebrating and an early wake up call to get to the airport.) No swimming this week! I think the re-focusing and cross training this summer will help me feel fresh in the fall. I will probably only do one meet here at the end of August.

    Sorry the suits are gone. They were bloody fun! But I can still dolphin kick without them. And I'm looking forward to trying Roque's new Q Swimwear kneeskin!

    And, whilst I was sprinting and socializing in Atlanta, Fort Son's lightweight 8 had a great State Champs and qualified for Nationals this weekend. And my wee little one was selected for the soccer All Star team. Proud mommy!

    Updated May 24th, 2010 at 02:38 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. Bittersweet, Day 1 & 2 of Nationals

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

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

    Day 1: 50 breast/100 fly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Day 2:

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

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

    50 fly, 27.0:

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

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

    50 back:

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

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

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

    Good luck to everyone today!!!

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

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