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  1. Friday, March 4

    by , March 4th, 2011 at 06:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    @ Gym:

    RC work, 20 minutes

    Stretching, 30 minutes


    1000 easy

    hottub, 20 minutes



    Just taking it easy for the meet this weekend.

    Iron in Athletes:

    I started stressing about my thyroid levels earlier today. According to my recent labs, my levels of free T 3 and free T4 are worse in the last 6 weeks even though my thyroid medication was slightly increased. The only change has been adding iron to my regimen. Every doctor I've consulted seems to feel fairly strongly that my ferritin levels are simply too low. But I'm starting to wonder if the iron is preventing absorption of the thyroid hormones (a known side effect) while not helping much. Perhaps borderline anemia is my own norm? I've been that way all my life. Dr. Jimslie tends to dismiss diagnoses of anemia, saying that athletes suffer from pseudo-anemia. This is caused by a dilutional effect -- greater blood plasma volumes from training.

    I decided to do some quick googling and found this article:

    One relevant excerpt:

    "However, the most common cause of a low hematocrit (a ratio of red blood cells to whole blood) in athletes is pseudo-anemia, which is a dilution of the blood caused by plasma expansion. This is not true anemia, as the actual number of red blood cells is not decreased. (Portal 2003) Another study showed that endurance athletes were less likely than the general population to have iron deficiency. Out of 52 controls, 50% were iron deficient, and out of 126 atheletes, 26% were iron deficient. (Malczewska 2000)"

    Another article and excerpt:

    "But sports anemia is a misnomer because in most such athletes—especially men—the low hemoglobin level is a false anemia. The total volume of red cells in the body is normal, not low. Hemoglobin level is decreased because aerobic exercise expands the baseline plasma volume; this reduces the concentration of red cells, which contain the hemoglobin. In other words, the naturally lower hemoglobin level of an endurance athlete is a dilutional pseudoanemia."

    Maybe my doctors just don't think I'm an athlete?

    Updated March 4th, 2011 at 06:50 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  2. Swim w/Jazz, Thursday, Mar. 3

    by , March 3rd, 2011 at 09:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo + Jazzy:

    Warm up:

    600 various


    8 x 50 fly drills @ 1:00 or so

    10 x 25 easy speed shooters

    6 x 25 w/mini bursts

    50 EZ

    -- I did this while Jazz was in the adjacent lane banging out some fast 50 frees.

    Mini Speed Set:

    6 x (25 AFAP w/fins + 25 EZ) @ 2:00

    fly, 11
    back, 11
    breast, 11
    free, high 10
    fly, high 10
    back, high 10-11 (? can't really remember)

    200 EZ

    Total: 1950

    hottub, 20 minutes (thought the jets don't really seem to be working



    Just a nice little pre-meet drill + speed workout with lots of chatting with Jazz. That boy is getting in shape!

    I was stymied in my stretching efforts today by my two girls, both of whom drove me bonkers in their own special talented ways. (In my own experience, girls are so much harder than boys.) I'm sure I won't be able to stretch every day in the Month of the Stretch. But I'm aiming for 5x week.

    I was at Mini's swim & dive award banquet tonight and got a good swim tip. One of the fast chicks won an award for the "Glide Girl" because she uses glide to get her tight kneeskin on. That had never occurred to me. Doh. Great way to get the pesky things up and over the hips. I'm going to go hunt around the house to see if I can locate my glide.

    Psych sheet for Warrenton meet:

    WRT to the 100 fly, I think I'm going to breathe more than usual. In short course, I usually breathe every other stroke. But, with long underwaters, you can still create an oxygen debt. Chris once suggested I throw in some singles in LCM, and that worked like a charm. So I may do this weekend as well. I am thankfully in the predominantly girl heat instead of the boy heat.

    Updated March 3rd, 2011 at 09:46 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  3. Fly Centric, Wed., March 2

    by , March 2nd, 2011 at 05:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    @ GYM:

    RC work, 20 minutes

    -- get on it Speedo and That Guy!

    Stretching/Yoga, 40 minutes

    Swim/SCM/Solo @ Gym:

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Fly Centric Main Sets:

    20 x 25 dolphin kick shooters
    5x back, left side, right side, belly, twirling
    working on up kick

    50 dolphin dive

    10 x 25
    odds = fly @ 100 pace
    evens = EZ

    50 dolphin dive

    10 x 25 "bursts" @ 1:00
    - 2 free, 2 backstroke spin drill, 2 fast doggy paddle, 2 evil, 2 dolphin kick

    50 dolphin dive

    10 x 25 heads up fly drill

    -- from Lochte vid: [nomedia=""]YouTube - Ryan Lochte demonstrates stroke drills[/nomedia]

    -- I like this drill much better than regular single arm fly

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 2150 meters

    Hottub, 20 minutes



    I felt pretty swell in the water today, most likely because I didn't do drylands on Tuesday. Just going to cruise the next 3 days before the meet and take Saturday off. I really have no idea what to expect time wise on Sunday. Assuming, that is, that I actually awaken at the correct time. (I forgot to set my alarm last night and my Lil Fort had to come looking for me before she left for school.) I haven't done a race before 10:00 since I can remember. The last time I swam 100 fly on 5 days rest was Zones last year when I went a 1:02.7. But that was with what Jimslie derogatorily calls the "body kayak." I guess I'd be pretty happy to go a 1:03. No idea on the 100 IM. One would think this would be a great event for me, but I seem to underachieve and the breast leg just kills me. I seem to recall in my last 100 IM in SCM (1:11), I had a 7 second gap between 50s. (Hope Ande is not reading this.) Could be a mental thing. And, if so, what's the best way to banish this kind of mental block?

    Push up/Pull ups:

    On the hottest blog on the internet (with perhaps the dullest title -- work on that, Speedo!), Geek posted this program which has me intrigued:

    What say people about whether push ups hurt your shoulders or not?

    For awhile, I was regularly doing an isometric push up hold using steps that didn't seem to bother my shoulders. (I did this along with my 5:00 extreme angle isometric squat.) Ran across this article discussing them: Oddly, the article promotes them as active recovery, whereas they were recommended to me as increasing strength in non-isometric motions.

    The pull up program seems beyond me, though pull ups are a great exercise. But hard, that's why I haven't done them in so long. And I seem to prefer chin ups.

    Shoulder Tendonitis

    SCY Freestyler also posted an article on shoulder issues from the NYT:

    I have used PRP on my left shoulder to fairly good effect. That also coincided with me adopting a kick centric workout style and de-emphasizing freestyle. I'm not sure it works as well on the foot. Lil Fort dropped a hard cover book on my foot by accident last night and I let an F bomb fly; it was excruciating. This leads me to believe that a foot injury heals more slowly, that the trauma from the injections takes longer to subside and that recovery is prolonged because you're always using the foot and because, unlike RC tendons, you can't exactly strengthen the surrounding muscles. A very vexing problem. I may delay what I hope is my final PRP treatment until the end of May.

    Updated March 2nd, 2011 at 06:12 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  4. Swim & Supplement News, March 1

    by , March 1st, 2011 at 05:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    800 various
    done slower than even creaky Geekity

    Main Sets:

    8 x 100 @ 1:45
    odds = backstroke kick
    evens = backstroke

    8 x 100 done as:
    25 fast
    25 EZ
    50 drill

    -- Did a variety of things on the fast ones.

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 breast
    odds = with dolphin kick
    evens = with flutter kick

    150 EZ

    Total: 3000

    Stretching/Yoga, 30 minutes



    The worst month of the year is over!!! Bring on Spring.

    I was feeling pretty optimistic when I walked in today as I saw the noodlers filing out. But then I hopped in the water for my plain vanilla workout and it was much warmer than usual. Blech. Didn't feel so hot either, but I never seem to feel that great in the water after a rest day. This is a fairly new trend; I used to feel super after a day off. Just another fun aspect of being a geezer swimmer ...

    Got the results of more blood work today. I have reversed most of my vitamin deficiencies to acceptable levels, except I am still somewhat low in Vitamin D, iron, RBC magnesium. Got another injection of the latter. Unfortunately, my thyroid levels are still too low, which probably accounts in part for the fact that I can't drag myself out of bed in the morning. More T3 and T4 for me. All I have to say is that when this problem is fixed (and it's sure taking awhile) and my energy levels are restored, watch out!


    Speaking of supplements, a friend forwarded me this very interesting link, which shows the evidence (strong, good, promising, conflicting, slight) for numerous supplements. When you put your mouse on the bubble, it tells you the supplement's purported benefit. And when you click on the bubble, it takes you to the underlying scientific study.

    Interestingly, Q's favorite new supplement -- garlic -- is listed for it's cancer/cardio benefits, not its immunity benefits. I had to google the "promising" supplement NAC, as I hadn't heard of it and this is what I found:

    "NAC (the stable form of the amino acid cysteine) is a powerhouse of a supplement with potent antioxidant activity. In addition to combating exercise-induced damage to muscle tissue, it helps detoxify the liver, build connective tissue, fight viral infections, and combat the effects of age."

    Anyone using this? Seems potentially perfect for overtraining masters.

    Other recent articles: (nutrient thieves, and explaining the importance of magnesium) (cancer preventers) (superfoods) (B12 deficiency) (vitamin D for respiratory infections)

    Lochte Drills:

    In case you didn't see this link on Quick's blog, here is Ryan Lochte demonstrating some stroke drills.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Ryan Lochte demonstrates stroke drills[/nomedia]

    I'm going to try the heads up single arm fly drill. I also do the backstroke spin drill quite frequently -- either during a meet warm up or as a short "burst." Seems to get the turnover firing.

    February Totals:

    swim 17x
    bike 5x
    yoga 5x
    drylands 8x
    ART 2x

    It's interesting that my FLOG created a fictional total time for my 17 swims. I never enter a time for my workouts.

    Updated March 1st, 2011 at 07:57 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. Fort Stretching Tips

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 02:53 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As I get older, stretching and staying flexible have seemed to increase in importance. Stretching can speed recovery, help remove lactic acid build up and help the muscles generate force. I believe stretching also helps keep me more injury free and prevents tightness from negatively impacting performance. When I stretch on my own, I combine yoga poses and stretches that focus principally on stretching the back, chest, hips and legs. I rarely stretch the shoulders, so as to prevent further loosening of my loosey goosey shoulder tendons. I do these after exercising and hold the stretches for 30 seconds. I'm also a fan of the P90X stretching DVD. Here are my top 20 stretches:

    Half Moon Pose:

    Standing Separate Leg Pose:

    Standing Head to Knee Forward Bend:

    Stand and bend over grabbing heels underneath. Then touch forehead to shins keeping legs straight and knees locked.

    Standing Bow:

    Wind Removing Pose:


    Fixed Firm Pose:

    Spine Twisting:

    Sit on the ground with your legs crossed. Lift your right leg and cross it over the left, which should remain bent. Hug the right leg to your chest and twist the trunk of your body to look over your right shoulder. Change legs and repeat (i.e. looking over your left shoulder).

    Cat Stretch:

    Begin on all fours, hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.
    Inhale as you drop tummy towards the floor and look up over your head. Exhale as you bring your tummy back up, rounding your back as you tuck your chin in and tuck your tailbone in.

    [nomedia=""]Cat Stretch - YouTube[/nomedia]

    Scapular Stretch:

    Sit on floor with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place arms under knees grabbing the opposite elbow. Pull back with your back. This is a good stretch for the mid back.

    Knee Drops or Hip/trunk Twists:

    Bring the knees up and bend them to 90 degrees, shins parallel to the floor and arms out to the sides. Contract the abs and rotate the torso to lower the legs to the right, bringing them down to the floor. Bring the knees back to center and lower to the left side.

    Spinal Twist:

    While lying face up on the mat, grab the right leg (straight) with the left hand. Slowly twist the leg to the left straight to the floor while keeping both shoulders on the ground. Great stretch for the glutes and back.

    Hamstring Stretch:

    Lie on your back and place a piece of exercise tubing (or just use your hands) around the bottom of one of your feet. Pull the tubing and raise your leg at the same time until a comfortable stretch is felt. You can also pull the leg to the floor (left leg to the left side and right leg to the right side) to open up the hips.

    Piriformis Stretch:

    Lying on your back, cross your legs just as you might while sitting in a chair. Grasping the "under" leg with both hands, pull the knee toward your chest until you feel the stretch in your buttocks and hips.

    External Hip Rotation Stretch:

    Sit down with knees bent. Rest one ankle on the opposite thigh. Lean forward pushing with hands.

    Adductor Stretch:

    Sit up on the floor with legs spread. Reach forward with hands, trying to put chest on the floor. You can also bend to the right and to the left in this position to stretch the oblique muscles.

    Kenpo Quad Stretch:

    Lay on your stomach. Grab your left heel with your left hand and stretch. Do the other side. You can also do this laying on your side. To make it harder and also stretch the glutes a la P90X, tuck one knee under and then reach back for the heel. Try to place your hands on the floor in front of you.

    Gastroc (back of the calf) Stretch:

    Lean against a wall or other stationary object, both palms against the object. The leg you want to stretch is back, several feet from the wall, your heel firmly positioned on the floor. Your other leg is flexed about halfway between your back leg and the wall. Start with your back straight and gradually lunge forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. Keep your back foot straight and angled 90 degrees from the wall.

    Groin Stretch:

    Seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward with a straight back and gently press your knees toward the ground.

    Forearm Stretch:

    Get on all fours. Place hands on floor with fingers pointing back to your knees. Gently pull back, stretching forearms.


    Updated January 7th, 2012 at 12:29 PM by The Fortress

  6. Sunday, Feb. 27

    by , February 27th, 2011 at 07:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Mini Drylands, 45 minutes:

    broomstick twists & dislocations
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    bicycles on bosu, 2 x 25
    long arm crunches, 50
    hip hinges, 20 x 1 x 10, each leg

    RC work, 15 minutes (arm extensions, external rotators, chops on yoga ball with hand weights, scapular scrunches, arm circles, cavic drill with hand weights)

    Stretching/Yoga, 30 minutes:

    One day, I'll list and provide links to my stretches. Too busy now -- must watch the Oscars.

    And one of USMS's own, nationally ranked Susan Dawson-Cook, has produced her own DVD on stretching. Check it out:


    This was another "Technique Sunday."

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    3 x through:

    100 single arm (alternate left & right by 25)
    100 kick
    4 x 25 shooters
    2 x 50 drill

    #1 = fly
    #2 = back
    #3 = breast

    -- For breast, I did the "shooters" as 1 pull 3 kick. I did the 50 drills as BR pull.

    8 x 25 breast drill
    alternate dolphin kick with breast kick

    -- My timing is still off on my breaststroke kick. Though I did realize that when I'm kicking, I'm not kicking very hard but going through the motions because I'm usually focusing on a quick recovery. Doh, might go faster if I think about my kick instead.

    16 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens = easy

    8 x 25 breast drill
    alternate dolphin kick with breast kick

    8 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens - easy

    -- I wanted to do more, but there was a portly noodling type in my narrow lane. Just made it extremely difficult.

    100 EZ

    Total: 2700 meters



    Mini was at a volleyball tournament, Lil Fort at a birthday party and Mr. Fort cycling, so I headed out to the gym this afternoon. It was unusually crowded in the pool. Good thing I didn't have a serious workout planned!

    I've seen all the Oscar nominated movies except Winter's Bone. I'm torn between The Fighter and The King's Speech for best picture, though I guess the favorite may be The Social Network.

    I did finally get myself signed up for the Warrenton meet (100 fly/50 fly/100 IM) and I saw that the meet was up to 85 people. I'm hoping my foot won't hurt to go off the blocks. My right foot is in the back position, so I need to bend it and push off. This round of PRP seems to be hurting slightly longer than the previous times. Perhaps this is because the doc focused on the inside of the foot, which is always being worked. I wasn't really sure what times to enter. I rarely swim the 100 fly and 100 IM untapered. In fact, due to meet line ups and such, I haven't swum the 100 IM since December 2009. I probably ought to swim one in practice!

    Updated February 27th, 2011 at 08:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  7. Lotta Time Doing Nuthin', Saturday, Feb. 26

    by , February 26th, 2011 at 10:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    @ Gym:

    RC work, 15 minutes

    Stretching/Yoga, 45 minutes

    Hottub, 25 minutes



    Today was my off day, so I decided to work on banishing the lactic acid in the legs (which were sore after yesterday's AFAP kick fest). All this incidental cross training to keep/get the body ready is really time consuming. But I felt great after a prolonged stretch.

    Had a horrible night's sleep though, so need to try to correct that tonight. Every single person in my house was up early on a Saturday: the teens left at 6:45 for crew practice, Mr. Fort got up at 7:00 for a 22 mile run, Lil Fort was up early as usual, my house guests left early to watch the Syracuse v. Georgetown game. My house was a cacphony! I finally gave up on sleep and arose to have a major bakathon, shocking myself as I thought I had shed all vestiges of domesticity. Nothing to rival Gigi though.

    After feeling great from stretching, I've resolved to make March the Month of the Stretch. If I fail to blog that I have stretched, you are allowed to engage in vicious personal attacks, snide remarks and cast all manner of aspersions upon me. You don't even have to use the Jazzy fake smilie.

    Ahelee left me a very amusing link on Facebook from the McCaffreyCap. I am definitely in need of the "I am Tapering" shirt so that my family might let me stay off my feet. I like the idea of excusable neglect. There is also a funny bit from Eric Knight, who wrote a song about the Mid-College Thread on the college swimming messageboard being shut down. Apparently, discussion was "too passionate." I'm sure we are very tame by comparison!

    There was a very nice article in the Washington Post about Jack Conger, PV swimmer extraordinaire, who is actually one of Mini's swim buds. She's off watching him and other swim friends tonight at the Washington Metro swim and dive champs.

    Updated February 27th, 2011 at 01:26 PM by The Fortress

  8. Fast Friday w/Speedo, Feb. 25

    by , February 25th, 2011 at 03:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim w/Speedo @ OakMarr

    Warm up:

    800 various
    6 x 25 shooters
    6 x 25 with mini bursts

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    a few bursts
    10 seconds fast vertical dolphin kick

    Speed work

    1 x 50 AFAP

    Back shooter w/fins, went high 21
    Slipped a bit on the metal wall at the turn so didn't get a good push off

    450 EZ

    1 x 100 AFAP
    Went fly, 55

    450 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP

    Back shooter w/fins
    Felt like I was going faster than first one, but
    both feet slipped on the metal and I just slid down the wall and aborted the effort.

    125 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP back shooter w/fins + 75 EZ)
    Went high 9, high 9, 10

    50 EZ

    Total: 3100



    This was my first good and enjoyable workout in awhile! Well, except for sliding on the wall and not being able to crush Pete on the last 50. Conditions were not ideal though. The pool was in an odd configuration and I was swimming in the shallow end in two lanes with no lane line and 3 people. I had a rather large noodling type next to me most of the time. I'm obviously spoiled practicing in 12 foot death most of the time.

    I believe this is the first time I've cracked 22 in a shooter, though I've been going 22s for awhile. Not so long ago, I only went 22s with my monofin. The 55 in fly is my fastest practice time as well. I felt surprisingly strong given that I rarely swim this distance in practice ... until the last 10 yards of course.

    When I arrived home, there was an enormous tree limb across my driveway. It knocked out our phone and Internet service. If I had been home 5 minutes sooner and parked in my usual spot, it probably would have nailed my car.

    Updated February 25th, 2011 at 05:21 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  9. Thursday, Feb. 24

    by , February 24th, 2011 at 06:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands 1:

    Dryland 1 was the weight portion. I reduced weight and didn't do that many exercises. I'm done with weights until after the Albatross meet.

    skull crushers, 50 x 2 x 10
    explosive leg press, 210 x 2 x 10
    standing lat pulldown, 110 x 2 x 10
    total ab machine, 110 x 1 x 25
    lower back machine, 110 x 2 x 15
    step ups, 15
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    russian twist on incline, 25


    Rushed out of the weight room to head to ART. Hamstrings were very tight. Doc said the lack of yoga and stretching was letting the lactic acid build up in the legs. He told me to stretch and hit the hot tub as often as possible. He also told me I looked like I was building more muscle. Alas, since the BHRT, this seems to be true; my legs are like steel. I simply look at a weight and gain muscle. He remarked that many people would kill for this result. But, as we all know, it just makes me feel like a tank. Hence, I am resolved to avoid the weight room after Canadian Champs until the Fall. I will stick to TRX and yoga, and give myself a mental and physical break from the gym.

    On the upside, perhaps the strength will help me post some good times in short course despite being unable to "strap on a B70 without any training and go fast."

    Drylands 2:

    Went back to the gym to finish up.

    RC Work, 25 minutes

    Stretching/Yoga, 35 minutes



    My sister in law and her family are in town for a few days, which will be fun. I'm hoping to still sneak in a swim tomorrow and some yoga on Saturday while they're at the Syracuse vs. Georgtown game.
  10. Wed., Feb. 23

    by , February 23rd, 2011 at 06:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ OakMarr:

    Warm up:

    900 various

    Main Sets:

    20 x 25 easy speed shooters w/fins @ :35 or so

    50 EZ

    4 (4 x 50 drill) @ 1:00 or so
    4 of each stroke
    did all sorts of drills -- 6 kick switch, chest press fly, hesitation drill, russian breast drill, human drill

    200 back easy
    100 free easy

    Total: 2550



    Today I did the recovery workout I should have done yesterday. My legs are still suffering from DOMs. Upon reflection, I think this may have something to do with the amount of time I've spent on the indoor bike the last 10 days. I hadn't cycled in ages since I started yoga and when you do anything new ... ouch.

    It was uncommonly uncrowded for the noon swim at OakMarr. Had my own lane in the deep end. There was a very fast dude swimming right next to me doing one of my staple sets -- 20 x 25, alternate easy speed fly and easy free. (See That Guy, a smilie.) Also saw one of my old teammates who's trying to come back from a shoulder problem. Hi Sue! (She's a lurker.) But no Speedo, and I see he appeared to skip morning practice. No doubt this afternoon he was too busy responding to blog comments to exercise.

    Since at the moment, I'm a non-runner, I gave all my winter running clothes to Mini Fort who is using them for rowing. (This negated a proposed shopping spree where she apparently anticipated spending "jillions" of dollars.) Right now, she's rowing in the bow pair with Fort Son's GF on the varsity 8, which is good because our HS has excellent girl rowers (4 of whom placed 1st in various events at the Mid-Atlantic Champs). Mini is by far the smallest rower at 5'4" and one of only 2 lightweights on that boat (assuming she stays there). When her group was taking their boat to the water, her pair said "I hate you at this moment" because she can't really help carry the boat. hahaha

    And it looks like Mr Fort and I will be taking Fort Son up to Dartmouth the weekend of May 7-8 to meet and practice with the team. Should be exciting for him, and I think he'll be staying with a freshman. I'm hoping the weather will be pleasant, though Mr. Fort said that when he rowed there in May, it snowed. Noooo. I'm officially over winter.

    Going to the gym and to ART tomorrow. I'm going to focus primarily on upper body work and lighten the weight because I am a wuss.

    Updated February 23rd, 2011 at 06:48 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  11. Tuesday, Feb. 22

    by , February 22nd, 2011 at 07:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up/Transition:

    600 various

    5 x 100 free @ 1:45, just cruisin'

    8 x 50 various drills, including "human" drill

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    ATP-CP 25s:
    10 x 25 burst @ 1:00
    -- I can't do these as a true burst because I'm not pushing off with full ferocity yet.

    50 EZ

    4 x (50 AFAP w/fins + 150 EZ) @ 5:00

    back shooter, high 22
    fly, 25
    back shooter, 23
    breast, 31

    -- These were awful. I was battling cramps the whole way. One of the slowest 50 sets I've done.

    Total: 2650

    Hottub, 20 minutes



    I must have a trap door shut on part of my brain because I don't seem to be thinking clearly about the order of my workouts. In retrospect, I should have done a recovery workout today and a speed workout tomorrow. My legs were heavy and very tired from the long dryland-bike + 3,000 kicking the last 2 days. But I guess there is some merit in sprinting when you're tired? I don't usually prefer this method, but I'm going to pretend there is for peace of mind.

    And, having consulted my handy dandy month view FLOG, I see that I've done 4 weeks of weights without a recovery week and I'm into week 5. That recovery week I took in January after 3 hard weeks was great, and I swam faster than ever during it and after. I feel like I'm starting to build up some training fatigue now. Looking ahead, I think I will just muddle through this week with one more dryland session and yoga and then shut it all down for 3 weeks while I taper for the Albatross meet. I hate tapering because of my cardio addiction, but I can't say I miss the gym (+ attendant soreness and lactic acid) too much until utter taper boredom sets in.

    I really need to stretch tonight. We'll see if I can summon up the requisite energy.

    I have decided to swim the following events at my next few meets. Or, I should say, I'm going to sign up for these events, with the possibility of scratching one each meet. Will sign up for Warrenton tonight.

    Warrenton, 3/6:

    100 fly
    50 fly
    100 IM

    Albatross, 3/19:

    50 back
    100 back
    200 back
    50 fly

    Zones, 4/16

    100 free (50 split)
    50 breast
    100 back
    50 fly
    400 medley relay
    200 free relay

    -- I think I've only swum 6 events in a single day once in my life, at a Zones meet a couple years ago.

    Updated February 22nd, 2011 at 09:45 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. Virtual Holiday 5K Club, Mon., Feb. 21

    by , February 21st, 2011 at 06:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Since I had a relatively free afternoon, I decided to join the bloggers' Virtual Holiday 5K club along with Bobinator, Gigi, Swimsuit Addict and Celestial. My goal was to complete an aerobic workout with some quality that was not junk yardage. Think I accomplished that! I didn't really follow their skeleton workout, but did do the requisite 4 x "500s" in my own sprinterly way.

    Swim/SCY/Virtual Club:

    Warm up:

    alternate 100 swim/100 kick

    200 fly drills

    24 x 25 shooters
    8 back
    8 twirling
    8 belly

    50 EZ

    Main Sets:

    5 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:00

    -- At least 5 SDKs off walls, more on first wall.

    50 EZ

    4 x ("500s" + 50 EZ) done as:

    1. 20 x "25s" no fins -- in 12 foot depth, dolphin kick to bottom of pool, squat jump off bottom and dolphin kick to top fast and as high as possible

    2. 20 x 25 no fins
    odds = backstroke start and power kick to the 15 (15 kicks) + easy backstroke kick

    -- My first few backstroke starts sucked, and my goggles flew up. Then I realized I was getting a poor entry b/c I was bending my knees too

    3. 10 x (25 easy speed fly @ 100 pace + 25 EZ) @ 1:00

    4. 10 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = russian breast drill
    evens = easy flutter kick w/board

    5 x (25 "human" drill + 25 EZ) @ 1:30

    150 EZ

    Total: 5100/2900 kick



    Wow, 5K is not so horrible when you're not crunched for time and can work on things of your choice. Much better, for me, than just cranking out short rest stuff. Also, as I've been feeling somewhat out of sync in the water for awhile, it was nice to stay in longer and work on feel and technique. For the most part, my foot was still encased in fins, though it is feeling better and less swollen. Tomorrow I will be back to swimming half this amount and, hopefully, if the legs aren't completely shot, can do some speed work. I really need to stop avoiding freestyle; it feels awful right now from disuse.

    Thanks ladies for the virtual inspiration and company! Having met you all before made it very cool. For Swimsuit Addict's sake, I did not wear my usual black suit, but opted for my light blue Nike suit. No patterns in my swim wardrobe, I'm afraid.

    I forgot to do my flog for a few days, so had to catch up. I am kicking *ss on my very conservative GTD goal of 325 miles. However, I am sure I will drop way back at taper time. I have been keeping track of my kicking and race pace work on my FLOG. I just went over the 30,000 mark in kicking with 32,875 after today. Race pace work (90-100%) is at 8,225.

    I caught last the 45 minutes of Lil Fort's swim practice tonight. I almost never watch as I do the drop off portion of the drive in our carpool. They were doing a lot of dolphin kicking underwater and a lot of one arm fly into 6 kicks underwater, then up and go with the other arm. They also did underwater free recovery (aka doggy paddle drill) completely submerged. In contrast to their "dolphin" drills, they call this one "human," which made me chuckle.

    I felt sorry for Mini Fort. Her first day of crew out on the water was miserable -- low 40s, windy and raining.

    Updated February 21st, 2011 at 10:12 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  13. Sunday, Feb. 20

    by , February 20th, 2011 at 09:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    long arm curnches, 50
    windshield wipers, 25
    flutter kick on bosu, 2 x 50
    alternating hammers, 30 x 2 x 50
    HS iso lateral hi row singles, 210 (my max so far) x 10
    Nautilus lower back machine, 140 x 2 x 15
    hanging straight leg raises, 2 x 15
    hanging oblique twists, 2 x 15
    goblet squats, 70 x 2 x 15
    overhead squats, 45 x 2 x 15

    RC work, 15 minutes

    Bike, 45 minutes:

    stretching & foam roller, 20 minutes



    Mr. Fort was participating in a marathon relay (they won the men's masters division) until about 3:00, so I didn't head out until late in the afternoon. I was somewhat demotivated by then. I've generally been less motivated the last couple weeks. I was dragging my feet, and Mr. Fort said "discipline is doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do it." That got me out the door.

    I'm hoping to return to yoga this week after a stint of biking. I have way more time than usual for a Monday tomorrow because the kids are in school for a full day due to snow days and Lil Fort is heading to a friend's after school. This spring also marks the first season that my two teenagers are competing in the same sport, so that may mean less running around. (They overlapped in swimming one year, but were at different practices.) I've been waiting to sign Lil Fort up for a running program until she was a bit older. Decided to sign her up for the local "Girls on the Run" program instead of something more formal. From what I can glean, aside from track parents, running starts much later for kids here than swimming.
  14. Saturday, Feb. 19

    by , February 19th, 2011 at 11:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    800 various

    Main Sets:

    20 x 25 shooters
    10 on back, 10 on belly

    50 EZ

    20 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens = EZ

    50 EZ

    3 x w/fins:

    50 easy speed breast w/dolphin kick @ 1:00
    50 fast dolphin kick w/board @ 1:00 (went 26+s)
    50 EZ @ 1:15
    25 fast shooter + 25 EZ @ 1:00

    50 EZ

    5 x through, no fins:

    100 backstroke kick @ 1:45
    25 fast breast pull w/buoy + 25 EZ @ 1:15
    25 burst + 25 EZ

    200 EZ

    Total: 3850



    After I checked my schedule last night, I realized I couldn't go to my team practice b/c of a conflict with Lil Fort's soccer game. So I braved the noodlers, lap swimmers and lifeguard trainees at the rec center in the afternoon. It wasn't too bad actually, and I had a lane to myself for the majority of the practice. I'm still feeling out of sorts in the water (and on land), but am hoping this will soon subside.

    Not even going to try to get up tomorrow, as I've been out late with friends and just picked Mini up after returning home from States. There was some drama there. A very fast sprinter got deeked in the 100 free in prelims for double capping. I'm puzzled by this. Is this some odd high school rule b/c it's legal (I thought) in USAS and masters? It was appealed, but to no avail. And the winner of the 50 free was deeked for twitching on the start.
    Swim Workouts
  15. Friday, Feb. 18

    by , February 18th, 2011 at 03:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY @ OakMarr w/Speedo:

    Warm up:

    900-1000 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 50 moderate @ 1:00

    10 x 25 @ whatever interval Speedo was doing
    8 burst
    2 fast shooters

    300 EZ

    Total: 2050



    For a person of at least moderately sporadic intelligent, I had an off day yesterday. Trying to be efficient, I scheduled my somewhat anemic body for blood work (lots of vials) and PRP (more blood draws) on the same day. I made it worse by forgetting to take iron and having some wine last night. Result: woke up completely flattened with no energy. So, as Speedo notes in his blog, I was NOT ready for any timed efforts. I kind of slogged through this workout next to Mr. Flutter Kick and Jazz Cullen Jones. Hopefully, I can show up next week to give Pete some competition.

    The PRP is going reasonably well given the diagnosis (tenosynovitis + arthritis). After the second treatment, there was some noticeable improvement/less pain on the outer part of my big toe. So this time the doc really focused on the inner part. It always takes a few days to ramp up the swimming after PRP. I was doing one foot push offs today, so the 25s suited me just fine.

    I'm hoping I feel up to going to my team practice tomorrow to get in some basic aerobic work while my foot calms down.

    Still need to sign up for the Warrenton meet, but I can't decide what to swim. I wish 100 fly were later in the morning.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Wed., Feb. 16

    by , February 16th, 2011 at 04:53 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Pure recovery day --


    20 minutes ellipse, warm up pace

    20-25 minutes RC exercises

    broomstick twists and dislocations


    30 minute slow continuous swim

    10 minutes hottub



    Felt flattened from the long day of drylands and the deep tissue. Decided to take a pure recovery day. These days are just ungodly boring, but they seem to be necessary for me to recover and they curb my natural impulse to overtrain. Tomorrow is an off day with appointments and errands and hopefully I'll be ready to kick Speedo's butt on Friday.

    Updated February 16th, 2011 at 06:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Ellipse Machine
  17. Tuesday, Feb. 15

    by , February 15th, 2011 at 06:16 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Med ball slams on racquetball court, 15-20 minutes
    -- floor slams, overhead slams, backward rotational slams, start slams, reverse scoops
    -- I added a new one today: backward overhead throws.

    backward rotational slams: (though I stand much further away from the wall and throw it a lot harder than shown here)
    overhead backwards throw:
    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Overhead backwards med ball throw[/nomedia]

    broomstick twists
    overhead dislocations with broomstick & twisting dislocations:
    -- A trainer showed me how to do the twisting variation.
    decline reverse crunches, 25
    long arm crunches, 50
    overhead squats w/45 lb bar, 15
    squat swings w/25 lb plate, 15
    tricep press negatives, 50 x 2 x 10
    bicep curl, 40 x 2 x 15
    HS iso lateral hi row, 180 x 1 x 5 (spaced out and forgot to do further sets of this exercise)
    standing broad jumps, 10
    extreme angle lunge step ups, 2 x 10 each leg

    RC Work, 15 minutes

    Bike, 20 minutes

    Massage, 60 minutes

    Had very tight quads and hamstrings from the lack of yoga. Scapular area was the usual mess.



    Glad I got this in as I had a terrible night's sleep. Mini failed to set her alarm and I had to get up and drive her to school. (Fort Son left early.) Not cool. My new year's resolution was to attempt to get to sleep earlier, but thus far I have abjectly failed. My body seems hardwired to want to fall asleep very late and get up late. And, apart from my corporate law firm + early rising with young kids life, that's how I've always been. Throughout most of college and law school, I tried never to take courses before 10:00 am and I have never exercised in the early morning. My doc suggested that my sleep travails of the last few years may be due, in part (so many factors of course), to the reversal of stimulation. My day is now relatively quiet and my afternoon/nights are full of kids, driving, errands, etc. I'm fine if I can just sleep in (and ignore my family). Interestingly, the entire Health & Science section of the Washington Post was devoted to the topic of sleep. And there was an article on mediation that I'm including for Bobinator:

    Checking my calendar, I see I have PRP on Thursday. That is probably better for my off day, though I always feel sluggish swimming the day after a deep tissue massage.

    Got a chuckle out of this. Mini Fort is leaving Thursday for States. For the county to approve the travel trip, I must be advised and acknowledge in writing that she is participating in a water based activity with the risk of drowning and death.

    A take on the Ian Thorpe comeback:

    Updated February 15th, 2011 at 09:23 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
  18. Monday, Feb. 14

    by , February 14th, 2011 at 06:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    5 x 150 free @ 2:30
    -- Concentrated on kicking on my back off the flip turns. Not sure if this is a good strategy for the 50 free as it takes a few tenths to make the 180 degree turn to the stomach. But this may work for the 100 free (which I might swim later this year!)

    10 x "25s" done in 12 foot depth as:
    dolphin kick to bottom of pool, squat jump off bottom dolphin kicking as fast and high as possible. 10 seconds rest at wall.

    4 x 50s w/fins, done as:
    10 second speed kick at the wall right into fast 25 fly w/1 breath + 25 EZ + 15 seconds rest

    50 EZ

    4 x 150 backstroke @ 2:30
    -- Concentrated on 6 beat kicking. I'm concerned I may be 4 beat kicking on my 100s backs, so am focusing on this.

    10 x "25s" same as above

    4 x 50 w/fins, done as:
    10 second speed kick at wall right into fast 25 backstroke shooter + 25 EZ + 15 seconds rest

    50 EZ

    3 x 150 russian breast drill w/fins @ 2:45
    -- Concentrating on EVF on pull.

    10 x "25s" same as above

    4 x 50s w/fins, done as:
    10 second speed kick at wall right into fast 25 shooter on belly + 25 EZ + 15 seconds rest

    100 EZ

    Total: 4050



    I seem to be ever so gradually getting better. Felt really tired when I first got in the water so I tried to jazz up the workout with some fun sprinty type things interspersed with aerobic work. I really hope getting a cold now somehow correlates to being healthy in March when I have a couple meets.

    Though today should have been my rest day, it works better for my schedule for that to happen on Wednesday, so I'm going to hit the gym tomorrow. I also have a massage booked for tomorrow, which I think my legs will appreciate. Though I did make it through today's workout without cramping!
    Swim Workouts
  19. Sunday, Feb. 13

    by , February 13th, 2011 at 10:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blogging from my iPad during the Grammies.


    Warm up:

    750 various

    Speed Work:

    5 x 50, done as:
    1st 25 = dolphin kick UW with board halfway down pool, jump squat off bottom and sprint kick to wall
    2nd 25 = easy

    5 x 50, done as:
    1st 25 = fast heads up free with dolphin kick*
    2nd 25 = easy

    5 x 50, done as:
    1st 25: fly @ 100 pace
    2nd 25: easy

    50 EZ

    10 x (25 fast w/fins + 50 easy)
    2 free, 2 breast, 2 back shooter, 2 fly shooter, 2 free
    -- Tried to do these AFAP, but they were probably more like 95% because I was being cautious of people in my lane on some of them.

    50 EZ

    * This drill is designed to build rhythm and work the core. Not sure it's the best drill for me because it may reemphasize my tendency to bounce when sprinting free.

    Aerobic Set:

    12 x 100, done as:
    4 x 100 back kick w/fins @ 1:30
    4 x 100 breast @ 2:00
    -- long streamlines and glides left me breathless. evil is hard.
    4 x 100 flutter kick w/ board & fins @ 1:30

    100 EZ

    Total: 3650


    Slept in, as the malaise cold is still lingering. Legs were sore from drylands. Left for the pool around 4:00 hoping to avoid lifeguard classes and lessons. The pool was thankfully cooler than usual and I managed to have half a lane the whole time. I was kicked out of the deep end when a high school crew team arrived to do their water testing. Sure hope they're never in danger of drowning.

    It's been a fairly joyless week of working out. However, I'm glad that I could at least mostly train through this ailment (unlike last time in December). Still got in 5x swim (though one was very short), 2x bike/ellipse and 2x drylands. Only had one good stretching session though, and I can feel it.

    Updated February 13th, 2011 at 10:51 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  20. Saturday, Feb. 12

    by , February 12th, 2011 at 09:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    broomstick twists, 25
    long arm crunches, 50
    bicycles on bosu, 2 x 25
    russian twists on incline bench, 25 x 1 x 25
    step ups w/20 lb DBs, 40 x 2 x 15
    side step ups w/20 lb DBs, 40 x 2 x 15, one set each side (these take some hip strength)
    extreme angle isometric squat w/20 lb DB, 5:00
    elevated reverse plank isometric, 1:00
    HS low row, 100 x 2 x 10 (this bothered my shoulder more than other rows, probably won't do it again)
    skull crushers, 60 x 1 x 10
    abductor legs, 120 x 1 x 10, 130 x 1 x 10
    hip hinges, 25 x 1 x 10
    box jumps, 10

    RC work

    -- Had to skip the second set of some exercises b/c the gym was too crowded, my spots were taken and I wanted to do some cardio before heading out to Lil Fort's soccer game.

    Arc Trainer Eliptical, 30 minutes

    10 minutes stretching


    I still have some nasty lingering cold type ailment, but it seems to be manageable with DayQuil and flonase. Really need to drag out the neti pot. I haven't been to yoga in awhile, but it does not sound appealing or seem advisable at the moment. Hoping to swim with my team tomorrow.

    I see a funny new smiley, so I'll use it to say I'm psyched my AA held up (thus far) in the prelim SCM results. Much prefer that to my 2nd place finishes -- though I'll happily take those too! I'm chuckling a little: I would have made TT in the 50 back in the men's 45-49 as well. lol

    Updated February 13th, 2011 at 03:22 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Ellipse Machine