My USMS Page:
Potomac Valley Meet Schedule:
My team, GMUP:
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
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
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.
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 06:11 PM by The Fortress
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:
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
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="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwFZ4FmwjNw"]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 ...)
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. http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0952.htm.
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 9th, 2010 at 12:36 AM by The Fortress
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.
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 04:02 PM by The Fortress
I consulted my doctor today about my ongoing malaise, for which JimRude has taken responsibility. He said there is a nasty 2 week malaise like virus going around and that I should just "sleep it off." I will do my best in this respect; I would just like it to be gone by the weekend during which a malaise is decidedly contra-indicated. Though Jim gallantly took full blame, I wonder if it is the result of some funk from Nationals? Several people I know have come home and been quite ill.
Mike left an interesting link to an article in the NYT re: massage. The article, which reports on a scientific study, concludes that post exercise massage “actually impairs removal of lactic acid from exercised muscle.” http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0...=me&ref=health. So it made me wonder whether massage really does speed recovery (as I was opining after my post Zones massage). I suppose it could speed recovery for reasons unrelated to lactic acid. I certainly have been going the passive recovery route ... and am currently re-watching Lost with Mini.
Mike suggested that massage might help sickness. Anyone have experience with this? I've heard that, if you have symptoms, it can bring on the illness like gangbusters ...
Given that this is the lengthiest time off I've had in ages, I'm hoping it doesn't hinder my workout mojo when I return and make me a wuss. My son opined that this was a likely result of taking complete rest as opposed to recovery type exercise. Of course, none of his opinions have any valid basis either. I am trying to stave off being a "wuss" by being a Snotty Forum Poster.
BTW, Dr. Jaeger (who teaches Evidence Based Medicine at Mayo) reported back to me that Metagenics products are sold in the Mayo store, not the Mayo pharmacy. He's not sure how they got the product space. I agree with him that the marketing of supplements is far ahead of the scientific study of such supplements. Nonetheless, I have received my 7 Exfuze sample and took my first shot today!
Ok, time to get off the couch and go back to my almost full time chauffeuring duties.
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 08:37 PM by The Fortress
Well, I haven't been feeling so hot for a couple days and I've had a sore throat. Today, I woke up (after some decent sleep) and just knew I was sick. I feel sort of like I did in March when I had swine flu -- sore throat, cough, sinus pain, mild fever, headaches and lethargy/fatigue. It's kind of a bummer because I have a lot of social events planned this weekend. Laid on the couch most of today and will try to muddle through a friend's birthday barbecue tonight. I feel like maybe Atlanta, and all the excitement and sleep deprivation, maybe just zapped my immune system and/or depleted me mentally and physically ... It's also my new theory that starting a big taper meet off with a double whammy or huge disappointment is difficult mentally. Instead of having momentum that literally (or I guess, figuratively) carries you through the rest of the meet, you're immediately in a hole battling back. Eupohoria is easier than resiliency.
Given this development, I've decided my two weeks of relative rest -- no strenuous exercise -- is going to be now (including this week), not on vacation. The cruise ship has a fantastic workout facility, so I will be able to cross train and do drylands there, even if pool swimming is out.
Kudos to Speedo, the Littel Roddin Devil and Geek for their great swimming so far this weekend!
Updated May 29th, 2010 at 05:57 PM by The Fortress
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.
10-15 minutes in the locker room putting on kneeskin suit. Not sure, might have had the wrong size.
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 06:07 PM by The Fortress
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.
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.
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="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zra16-aggtk"]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. http://www.extractfuzion.com/shop/vi...=1&productid=4. 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. http://www.qswimwear.com/catalogo/index.html
Updated May 26th, 2010 at 11:32 PM by The Fortress
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.
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="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwFZ4FmwjNw"]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 06:06 PM by The Fortress
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.
-- 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 03:38 PM by The Fortress
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.
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.
I approached the blocks ready to race and, in an instant, was completely discombobulated. I forgot my nose clip. Of the various frustrations of this meet, this was by far the worst, a huge mental error. I was unglued at the start, freaked out and panicked. This manifested itself initially by my changing hand positions from the vertical bars to the horizontal bars. I took off and my SDKs felt choppy. I took 15 instead if 13, hurried to the surface and spent the rest of the race thinking I was DQ'd. My time was 27.2, but that's nit much faster than I went at the Sprint Classic. I think thus race qualifies as my first ever true choke. I usually swim well under pressure. Mental errors did me in here. I wish I had this race to swim over. Not surprisingly, this sequence of events was disappointing and I couldn't shake it off as quickly as the 50 breast DQ. I will be stashing my pockets with nose clips for the 100 back today.
I'm going to scratch the 100 IM today. I'm not mentally up for it and I'm tired from the last two days. I'm going to save up and try to execute properly on my 100 back today. I'd like to end the meet with a PB. Plus, I can't have Geek
winning our gridge!
On a physical note, I think I hit my taper and have the requisite speed. I'm also feeling fine except for a perpetually wrenched left side of the neck. This isn't effecting my swimming, but I've had a persistent headache and suspect this is the culprit.
Good luck to everyone today!!!
I apologize in advance for iPhone typos ... I see one above. My back was a 28.2, for 3rd place.
Updated May 23rd, 2010 at 11:00 AM by The Fortress
I had an easy trip to Atlanta on a flight with my teammate Barb and Jazzy. Jazz was very psyched to learn that Speedo had procured him a LZR for his upcoming grueling 200 free.
We headed straight from the airport to the pool. Got there with sufficient time to check in, register our relays and swim for 30 minutes in the competition pool. The pool is sweet and feels very fast. I felt pretty good in the water. My backstroke was a little funky at first, but then smoothed out. I did 2 forward starts, one good and one blah. The backstroke starts will be interesting. They've got both vertical and horizontal bars. I'm going to use the vertical ones. However, the FINA wall is somewhat slippery. I did one start with my feet placed high on the wall, but felt like I went too deep. I may try and do another start tomorrow when the day's events are over. Otherwise, I'll put my feet a bit lower.
Off soon for dinner with friends. Then time to let 'er rip!
I've met some new people, and hope to meet more. Hopefully no one will want to punch me like they do Geek.
4 x 25 long evil pullouts w/2 quick strokes
4 x 25 no breather free
I'm becoming a vacuous airhead. I missed my ART appt thinking it was at 1:30 instead of 1:00. Oh well, more time to pack and try on my suit.
I've heard the Georgia Tech pool conditions are arctic. So I'm bringing my parka and ugg boots. My USMS fleece jacket has mysteriously disappeared.
I'm all checked in for my flight, which I hope is on time.
For those staying near the pool, here is the tech trolly route/schedule:
I will miss my wolfpack member, Jimby. But his twin photo shopped my lovely new profile pic just in time for Nats. For recent blog readers, the pic reflects the outcome of an inane "which superhero are you?" quiz I took years ago (thanks to Stud). The quiz result for me was "The Flash -- fast, athletic and flirtatious." Hence, the use of FAF in my blog title. The AFAP, of course, stands for my penchant for going as fast as possible in workouts. Ande suggested the blog title The FAF AFAP Digest, which I have always used.
Good luck to everyone at Nats!!!
Events for Nationals:
50 breast, 12:15 pm
100 fly, 2:50 pm
200 mixed free relay, 3:50 pm
(leading off w/a split request)
200 mixed medley relay, 10:05 am
50 fly, 11:55 am
50 back, 3:55 pm
100 IM, 11:10 am
100 back, 1:50 pm
Real Time results link:
Updated May 19th, 2010 at 05:12 PM by The Fortress
3 x (25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ)
2 x (25 fast + 75 EZ)
3 x (backstroke start + 35 EZ)
I swam in an old B70 today. Honestly, I didn't feel that much different than yesterday. Perhaps a little floatier. Fly still feels strong, always an indicator for me (like Patrick). My backstroke starts were solid. I must stick with 13 SDKs; with a good start, 14 puts me past the 15 meter mark in a B70.
I had a light massage where I was told I "wasn't tight." Well, duh, I haven't done a thing lately.
Otherwise, all systems go:
taper bitchies -- check, although flashpoint isn't as low as other tapers
taper munchies -- check, no chips in the house thankfully
taper hypochondriasis -- check, worried about twinges here, there and everywhere
taper jitters -- check, today is the high point so far
taper type A -- check, packing (initial pile of stuff below), printing addresses, USMS card, reservations, split request form, worried that my 4th speed suit is too big , checking toenail polish ...
Patrick's entry from today sums up how I feel: I've done everything I reasonably can to get ready and I'm feeling optimistic and psyched about my events. In fact, this is the most psyched I can ever remember being for a 100 fly as a master. Let's race!
Updated May 18th, 2010 at 06:23 PM by The Fortress
300 fly drills
2 x (3 x 25 easy speed + 25 EZ)
2 shooter, 2 breast, 2 fly
2 x (25 fast + 50 EZ)
1 flutter kick, 1 free
Felt pretty good today. Had good DPS. Felt tired when I tried to go fast, but that seems to be how it is when I taper. Fly has felt good the last couple days, always a good sign.
I need to start packing soon. I am an absolutely awful packer, always forgetting something and overpacking. I know Ande has a list of what to bring to a meet somewhere on his tips ... I won't be forgetting extra contacts. And I'll take my speed suits on the plane. Still need to try on my tech suit ...
I did order 2 pairs of Skins recovery/travel tights for Mr. Fort and me. If you're interested, they run quite large and they seem to be in short supply everywhere. I'm an extra small. Hopefully, I'll get mine in time to hop my plane.
My flight arrives at 12:55. I'm really hoping there's no delay so that Barb and I can cab over to the pool in time for the 30 minute warm up. Anyone know how long registration is open on Thursday? I'd like to get our relays registered. Anyone that is staying at Ga Tech Conf Center know how far the trolley is from the hotel?
Getting very psyched, have great dinner plans. But where is the real party on Sunday?
Updated May 17th, 2010 at 09:19 PM by The Fortress
300 fly drills
2 x (25 EZ speed breast + 25 EZ)
3 x (25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ)
1 x (25 fast flutter kick + 50 EZ)
1 x (25 fast free + 50 EZ)
1 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)
Just had a pretty easy swim today. I was somewhat tired after getting up early, the driving & traveling and the marathon race anxiety. Mr. Fort did great though! He needed a 3:35:59 to qualify for Boston. He finished in 3:32+. He was over 1:00 under a 3:30 pace, but really blew up after mile 21. This is so common it seems like the human body isn't meant to go any more! He was really happy and relieved since he's only been running regularly since March after all his rehab. His former PT had said he might have to give up running for cycling. But the extreme angle isometric holds he's been doing have really worked! I was freaking out at the mile 9 stop when he ran by well after the scheduled time, but then I learned they started the race 5-6 minutes late. Whew!
Now to get some sleep tomorrow and start packing for Atlanta!
Below is Mr. Fort shuffling to the finish with his amazing training partner who paced him.
Updated May 16th, 2010 at 08:37 PM by The Fortress
ART, 30 minutes:
Mostly just worked on the kinks in my neck and loosened everything up. My shoulders are feeling pretty good, despite slacking on my RC exercises. I will try and sneak some in over the weekend though.
300 fly drills
6 x (25 shooter easy speed on back, no fins + 25 EZ)
took about 18 kicks on the shooters, not bad for me
3 x through:
1 x 50 double shooter on back
1 x 50 russian breast drill
1 x 50, done as 25 easy speed fly @ 100 pace + 25 EZ
1 x 50, done as 25 AFAP free + 25 EZ
1 x 50 EZ
2 x starts off side with breast pullout to 14 meters or so
Finally! I think I turned the corner on this feeling like s*** thing. I didn't feel great in the water, but I definitely felt stronger and felt the promise of easy speed. Way better than the rest of the week! This put me in a great mood leaving the pool. I think I will take a page out of Geekity's book and wear my FS Pro in the pool all next week. Maybe my B70 for one day.
Mr. Fort says he's feeling better after seeing his trainer. And Fort Son's boat made the semi final at the Stotesbury Regatta in Philly. So all is good. We leave tomorrow morning after my kid's soccer game for York PA. Although I'm not sure we'll have the soccer game after 2 hail storms today. WTH?! In May?
I've heard that Arlette Godges is not coming to Nats. Bummed, as I was looking forward to meeting her and racing her. But that does leave me the #1 seed in the 100 fly. I need to alter my usual 100 fly thoughts from "just get through this race without a huge piano" to "kill it without fear." I need to channel my age group love for this event.
More on Deep Tissue:
Got a PM from a friend saying it can take up to a week to recover from a deep tissue massage since you're breaking down muscle fiber. I definitely felt better today (although perhaps predominantly from a good night's sleep), but not fully recovered at all. My neck at least feels much better.
More on Detox:
I mulled over the Ultra Clear detox some more. http://www.metagenics.com/products/a...r-Medical-Food. I noticed that it does not have the warning box that comes on most supplements -- "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA." This likely means that there is, in fact, clinical testing for UltraClear and the other Metagenics products that I use. Whether this clinical testing meets the rigorous standard of Jazz and Q is another issue ... I also found out that Metagenics is the only supplement brand sold in the Mayo Clinic pharmacy in MN. It cannot be bought on line; it is only available through medical practitioners such as chiros and docs. If you see it on line, I'm told it is likely a Chinese knock off.
I asked my chiro about my reaction to coconut oil today. He agreed that it's likely a fat malabsorption issue, and that this issue is common among people with a gluten intolerance. So I am eliminating it from my smoothies forever.
No need to fear yoga!
10 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = backstroke
evens = evil drill
10 x 50 @ 1:15
odds = 25 front scull + 25 underwater free recovery
evens = chest press fly
4 x 25 smooth no breather free
Based on how sore/sluggish I was last night, I decided a complete recovery day was in order. So I didn't do CAS with Speedo.
I still haven't recovered from the deep tissue massage, especially my upper back and shoulders. Chatted with Mr. Fort's trainer -- he really thinks you need 3+ days. So I'm hoping to feel better tomorrow or Saturday. To make matters worse though, I had a terrible night's sleep. My youngest woke me up at 5:00 am and I couldn't fall back asleep. So, as sometimes happens when I toss and turn, I woke up with a wrenched neck and left trap. That problem usually takes 48 hours or so to resolve. I do have an appt with my chiro tomorrow afternoon. I just hope if he works on it, he won't make it even more sore and bump the healing time out to next week ... I have been slathering my neck with arnica and taking advil.
Mr. Fort is showing some classic taper paranoia symptoms. I told him a cranial-rectal lobotomy was in order! (This little nugget of wisdom was imparted to me last summer, and I try to follow it now during taper time.) Despite feeling blah and sore myself, I'm not overly worried. I think all will be well by next week. And I'm used to not feeling like a racehorse pre-meet. I would like to get some more sleep ...
I looked back through my last week 3 taper workouts (Dec. 6-10) and I swam 2100-1700 (w/B70)-rest day-1450-travel day with some AFAP work early in the week. I thought I had actually done somewhat less yardage, and was contemplating less this week. Hmm ... Maybe a little speed tomorrow (my Dec. 6 workout with modifications), and then long warm ups for a few days. And I may take an extra day of rest on Tuesday as I did last time.
I've been trying a new brand of coconut oil in my smoothies the last couple days. Doesn't matter. That stuff just does not agree with me. With my luck, I probably have a fat malabsorption issue.
Elise left this link on my FB wall, and I think I show symptoms of needing a detox! http://www.active.com/nutrition/Arti...tm_medium=feed. Of course, I had already planned one post Nats. Julie apparently wants to join in the fun. My doc recommended the 10 day Ultra Clear plan: http://www.pureprescriptions.com/pro...ProductsID=508. There is a 20 day plan as well, but I'm not sure I'm hard core enough to attempt that one.
Deep Tissue massage:
I've been a little paranoid that I overdid it with the deep tissue, but I think the timing was right. I just take longer to recovery apparently.
I found this article I ran across kinda funny: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sec...rticle-7439558. I think since Mr. Fort is less than 2 years older than me, I'm safe.
Updated May 13th, 2010 at 11:02 PM by The Fortress
6 x 100 @ 2:00
odds = IM drill
evens = IM swim
#6 = broken 100 IM with 15-20 seconds rest at the 25 and 75 (had to do the Roddin turn at the 50).
8 x 50 @ 1:15
done as 25 scull + 25 no breather free w/overkick
2 x through:
4 x 50s
odds = 25 shooter + 25 EZ @ 1:15
evens = 25 AFAP + 25 EZ (2 free, 2 breast) @ 1:30
50 easy speed russian breast drill (33s)
5 dives off side
Because the forum was down this am, I couldn't check my blog to get my "9 days out" workout. I made one up, and was slightly slightly worried I did too much. But, having written it down, it looks fine for now.
The taper bitchies haven't really kicked in yet ... Tomorrow is my last workout with some real sprints + long rest, then I'm shifting into warm up mode. (What should we do Speedo?) If I don't have the TBs by the weekend, I will wonder what's up. I certainly seem to have the taper munchies ... I'm guessing I still feel crappy and somewhat sore from my deep tissue massage. (It does seem to take me a longer time than usual to recover from these.) 4 days of feeling crappy and counting ... Whoops, just yelled, perhaps a TB moment.
I really haven't been stretching too much the last couple weeks. So I've decided just to stick with The Stick and the foam roller and the body work.
Still mulling over whether to get a bullet blender for Nats. I have stocked up on "plastic" easily digestible food: espresso and jet blackberry gu, cliff shot bloks with caffeine, packets of puresport and "amazing meal," etc. I need more gluten free Protein Fusion bars.
Mr. Fort had an interesting conversation with a nutritional expert from UMPC recommended by his trainer. One of the tips she gave him for his marathon was: 5 days before (I think that's the number), he should get an extra serving each meal and drink 8 bottles of water with electrolytes. (He's usually a bit of a camel.) She thought this would make the muscles super hydrated and "fed" so that he wouldn't have to worry about food as much during the race. I wonder if this has any applicability to a multi-day meet? Or perhaps to a distance event the first day?
I have once again successfully bribed Mini Fort to try on my Jaked for me. I get very wigged out over trying on that particular suit. It takes FOREVER the first time. I wish I hadn't put a tiny tear in my old one just in case.
Musings over Nationals Events:
Obviously, I'd like to do some PBs. I'm not sure I can get there in the 50 free, where I dropped a lot of time and surprised myself last year, but we'll see ...
50 breast: Hoping for good breakouts and hand speed. I think head position is a long term project; I've really only been training breast for 6-8 months and I still have a lot of work to do if I decide not to retire from the evilstroke. I'm glad this is the first event, as I care about it the least and I sometimes need an event to get out the "cobwebs." (In this regard, I recall that my first event at Austin Nats was very fast and my first event at Indy Nats was rather iffy.)
100 fly: I'm prepared to HTFU and die like a true sprinter on the last length. I'm glad this event is day 1, so I don't have to fret over it. I will throw in a few singles. Even though Jimby thinks I don't train 100s, this is, in fact, one of my highest seeded events at Nats. :-P
50 back: I think I know how to swim this. Will try to stick with 13 SDKs the first 25. The competition in this event in my age group is insane. There are 4 of us that have gone 28.0 or faster.
50 fly: I plan only to breathe once on the first 50 about 7 yards from the flags. I would ideally like to go 26.99, as I went 27.0 last year. The fastest time in the country is 26.8. This will be another super close event.
100 IM: I realized today that I only swim this event at taper meets. Not sure why ... Is this a dislike-of-breaststroke hangover or an unconscious rebellion against IMs because I swam them every single meet as an age grouper? Or perhaps the 100 IM is always the first event I cut if a meet order doesn't suit me? In any event, if plan to: do the Roddin turn (why not?) if I hit the wall with my left hand, do my evil allotted dolphin kick during the pull down rather than pre-kicking to avoid undue oxygen debt, breathe 3 times out of the freestyle turn and then put my head down the last 15 yards.
100 back: I'm going to swim this event just like I did at NE Champs: lots of SDKs. The key thing is that I must go faster than 1:02.8 to continue chicking Geek in our cyber gridge. The things that keep us motivated ...
50 free leadoff: Remember to keep head down and still and kick kick kick!
Here's a youtube vid about CZ featuring GMUP coaches Cheryl and Peter Ward: [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz_CghLfRe4"]YouTube- USMS Colonies Zone SCY Masters Swimming Championship[/nomedia]
I think I caught a tiny glimpse of my 100 fly and who could miss SwimStud?
To Stretch Or Not:
Updated May 12th, 2010 at 09:26 PM by The Fortress