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  1. Yoga, Mon., Dec.27

    by , December 27th, 2010 at 08:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Made it back to the yoga studio today for the first time in about 5 weeks. I was pleased that, because it was so cold and blustery, they had trouble getting the temp/humidity as high as normal. Some regulars complained about it, but I didn't mind. Sometimes 110 is just too hot for me. Balance was slightly off, which is typical for a long layoff.

    I briefly considered going for a quick swim this afternoon. But after the MF work + weights + yoga, my legs were just fried. So I went to a late afternoon showing of True Grit. Very good, but IMO not as good as The Fighter.
  2. Sunday, Dec. 26

    by , December 26th, 2010 at 06:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 100 @ 1:30 w/MF
    odds = w/board
    evens = on back

    -- worked on emphasizing up kick

    20 x 25 UW shooters w/MF @ :30
    10 on back, 10 on belly

    50 EZ

    4 x through:
    100 breast pull w/buoy
    100 free pull w/paddles
    50 scull (25 front +25 back)

    50 EZ

    10 x (25 easy speed fly w/fins + 25 EZ) @ 1:00
    -- worked on emphasizing up kick. When I do this, I do one less stroke per 25.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3900/1700 kicking

    Drylands Lite:

    Much needed RC Work, 15 minutes

    flutter kicks on bosu, 50
    long arm crunches, 50
    reverse roll ins w/yoga ball, 2 x 15
    total ab machine, 10 x 2 x 20
    alternating hammers, 30 x 2 x 30
    goblet squat, 50 x 2 x 15
    forward lunges, 30 x 1 x 15
    standing lat pulldown, 90 x 3 x 10

    Yoga/Stretching, 30 minutes



    Busted my long 28 inch monofin out of storage today. I don't like this one as much as the Finis shooter MF, but I seem to have misplaced my fav toy somehow. However, this MF is good for aerobic kicking, technique work/streamlining and core/leg work (just not fast kicking -- at least for me in SCY). I wouldn't recommend this one for anyone with lower back issues though.

    Still following my plan of starting the season off with aerobic work and lots of kicking, as I ease back into drylands. Can't believe I haven't been to the gym in a month!

    Had a lovely Xmas. SR gifts included Dara's newest book and a USMS shammy sweatshirt (it was featured in Streamlines a month or so ago). Saw The Fighter last night -- quite good. True Grit and The Black Swan are on my list to see before New Years. Mr. Fort and I are also renting some Coen Brothers movies this week. So glad the storm is missing the DC area!!! No desire to be housebound this week.

    Updated December 26th, 2010 at 06:15 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  3. 12 Swim-Kicks of Xmas Eve, Friday, Dec. 24

    by , December 24th, 2010 at 02:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I read Stud's workout this am and decided to swipe and modify it to my own kick-centric version. Took about :30 seconds rest between sets.

    Swim/SCM/Solo @ Gym:

    12 x 50 @ 1:00
    warm up: 4 free/4 kick/4 free

    11 x 50 dolphin kick w/board @ 1:00

    10 x 50 @ 1:15
    odds = breast drill
    evens = breast pull w/buoy

    9 x 50 @ 1:00
    25 UW shooter on back + 25 easy back kick
    only hit the bottom a couple times

    8 x 50 free w/paddles & fins @ :50
    I couldn't find my regular green paddles, so used some larger red ones I found in the family sport closet. Size does make a difference when it comes to paddles. Felt like I was flying with no effort.

    7 x 50 backstroke kick w/fins @ :50

    6 x 50 @ 1:00
    25 easy speed fly + 25 easy DAB

    5 x 50 flutter kick w/board & fins @ :50

    4 x 50 backstroke @ 1:00

    3 x 50 chest press fly drill @ :15 RI

    2 x 50 easy free

    1 x 50 dolphin dive

    Total: 4000 meters/1500 kick



    Still in slow mo aerobic mode, but feel like I'm finally coming out of my cold funk.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!!!
    Swim Workouts
  4. Thursday, Dec.23

    by , December 23rd, 2010 at 06:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    500 various

    Main Sets:

    12 x 150 w/fins @ 2:30, done as
    100 swim (4 of each stroke, drill fly)
    + 5 seconds rest to don nose clip
    + 50 hypoxic dolphin kick on back (breath only after flags)

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 @ 1:10
    odds = breast drill
    evens = fly drill

    50 EZ

    Total: 2800



    Still battling the evil cold. But felt slightly less congested the last two days after swimming. Not much energy though, which was not helped by having 8 vials of blood drawn this am for more blood tests.

    Still, I feel like I'm at least maintaining feel and focusing on technique some with these easy workouts. I felt better today in the pool than I did yesterday after being out of the water for so long. Going to try and get in a quick swim tomorrow before the festivities begin. There may be snow on Xmas day, which could result in pool closures given the general panic that ensues here. Really ready to get back to drylands and yoga soon.

    Both fridges/freezers are completely stocked with food, wine and drinks. Now I'm off to start a fire, play gin rummy with Lil Fort and wrap presents.

    Updated December 23rd, 2010 at 08:55 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. Wed., Dec. 22

    by , December 22nd, 2010 at 01:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still battling this nasty cold, but I may be winning ... Of course, as I've had it for 10+ days, I'm not sure this should really be described as "winning." After 5 days off, I tottered over to the pool today for a short aerobic workout:


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

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

    8 x 50 @ 1:10
    25 shooter + 25 scull (alternate front & back)

    8 x 100 @ 1:45
    odds = free
    evens = flutter kick with board

    100 EZ

    Total: 2400



    The pool was more crowded than usual with college kids home for the holidays. My masters team has most of its regularly scheduled practices over the holiday season except for Xmas day. I'm hoping I feel well enough to attend a few. I've never attended our New Year practice, as I'm typically out of town, and would like to. This year, it's 111 x 50.

    I'm worried that long swim meets make me sick. I seem to have had major illnesses after my last couple taper meets where I've been in the pool area all day until 5-6:00 at night. Maybe the poor air quality does a number on my apparently impaired immune system?

    Mini Fort is planning her own boot camp of sorts during the holidays. I'm hoping to join her for some of it. Not feeling quite up to drylands yet though. And, no matter. Mini is now in possession of her driver's license and her life is "amazing" as a result.

    Updated December 22nd, 2010 at 01:27 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  6. Hanging Up My Suit, Dec. 18

    by , December 18th, 2010 at 02:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hanging up my suit ... through the weekend.

    I must have overdid it Thursday because I woke up worse instead of better (as I expected) on Friday. After skipping a workout and officiating a Friday night swim meet, I feel just as crappy today. So I'm ditching all thought of working out this weekend. I'm not even sure I could get to a pool without an hour commute each way in any event. The roads here in urban suburbia are absolute gridlock with the weekend holiday shopping traffic. It's frightening.

    Poor Mini Fort is the latest target of the nasty family cold and, unfortunately, has another swim meet tonight. I've asked for a substitute official for me. Still hoping I don't succumb to another long round of bronchitis. Or I will be very very crabby and grinch like. Ho ho ho. Off to wrap presents and sip green tea.
  7. PM Swim at GMU, Thurs., Dec. 16

    by , December 16th, 2010 at 09:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Slept in today, trying to battle my cold. And I think it's holding at just a cold. Woke up to snow and schools closed 2 hours early. Was feeling slightly better, so decided to head to practice at Mason tonight. And, honestly, I didn't feel like thinking up my own practice. And I definitely didn't feel like any sprint work. It'll just be aerobic & technique work for a couple weeks as I regroup.

    Got there early -- no traffic, everyone scared of 2 inches of snow -- did 15 minutes of core work and stretching while chatting with Melanie.

    Swim @ Mason:

    Warm up:

    600 swim, middle 200 no free

    400 IM, 50 kick/50 drill

    600 pull
    I didn't have my paddles and wouldn't have pulled in any event w/o getting my RC exercises going again. So instead did 6 x 100 back kick w/fins @ mod pace @ 1:30.

    Main Sets:

    6 x 150, done as 100 IM + 50 dolphin kick on back w/fins @ 2:15 (It's been so long since I did a 100 IM in practice, I'd almost forgotten how to do one.)

    50 EZ

    7 x 100 @ 1:50
    1-3 kick, no fins, descend to fast
    4 = easy free
    5-7 kick, no fins, descend to fast

    I descended to medium. Went 10-8-8-8 SDK per 25.

    50 EZ

    Starting to feel absolutely gassed and crampy here ...

    3 x through:
    2 x 75 medium @ 1:15
    2 x 25 fast @ :30
    30 seconds extra rest between rounds
    wore fins, very tired

    round 1 = free
    round 2 = non free (did breast)
    round 3 = kick

    I had no fast gear and did all the 25s as easy speed UW shooters

    100 EZ

    Total: 4100/1950 kick



    I'd almost forgot what a regular workout was like ... Thursday nights at Mason are always fun b/c Cheryl gives a mix of stroke/kick/sprint. I'm beat from that effort and pretty glad that school is already delayed 2 hours in the am. More sleep!

    Updated December 17th, 2010 at 03:27 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. Wed., Dec. 15

    by , December 15th, 2010 at 07:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bad cold is raging.

    Spent the day:

    30 minutes = stretching/yoga (all I could muster)

    2 hours online shopping

    2 hours dragging myself through the mall

    2 hours in high anxiety about Fort Son's pending Early Action application. Result: deferred to regular decision.

    I guess it's much better to be deferred than rejected. Only 13+% are admitted early where Fort Son applied early action (Yale). 36+% rejected outright. Now we have to send off all the other applications and wait and wait. One of Fort Son's buddies got rejected EA from Stanford with almost perfect SAT scores and grades and he has the distinction of being an ultra runner and ironman triathlete. The competition is fierce these days! No matter, I am very proud of him. And I'm glad he came with me to Boston b/c he liked the schools there.

    Next Meets:

    My next meet will likely be the Albatross Open:

    I swim different events every year at this meet. Right now, barring another pre-meet flu issue, I think I may swim the 100 fly, 100 IM and 50 free. (Though it's always tempting to do the 4 x 50.)

    Also thinking of cruising in late for this meet:

    I was thinking of doing the 100 back for practice. I could even do it as part of the 200 back, if they have electronic timing. Not sure if they do at this meet.

    Updated December 15th, 2010 at 11:21 PM by The Fortress

  9. Vid + Recovery Swim, Dec. 14

    by , December 14th, 2010 at 03:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    100 easy

    20 x 25 shooters w/fins
    5 x back/belly/right side/left side

    100 dolphin dive

    Total: 2100 meters

    10 minutes hot tub

    The showers weren't working and were frigid!



    Still pretty beat from the weekend. And the cold I was getting before is now in full force. Better now than at the meet, I guess. Hoping to go to yoga tomorrow. I seem to recall I have another PRP treatment this week as well. Finally heard of another swimmer (Nuthin But 50s) who's going to try PRP in lieu of surgery on his ACL.

    100 back vid:

    Stud video'd my 100 back (1:10.26) from NE Champs. Videos are always very revealing. I was underwater more than I thought despite the calf cramp. Even managed what looked like 9 SDKs on the last 25. My turnover seemed very slow and I was crossing over with my left arm. I don't usually do that. I was definitely lounging leisurely into my last couple turns. That could be party due to my unfamiliarity with backstroke flags set at 5 meters instead of 5 yards. Splits = 33.68/36.58.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - P1020994[/nomedia]

    Same slow turnover from my 100 back in Atlanta (1:01.9), though I was underwater more there.

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

    Tom Dolan Meet:

    This was the first time in years I missed spectating and cheering at this meet. Fortunately, there was great coverage on swimming world tv. Jack Conger's 1:43.1 200 back was amazing! I also liked comment that Janet Hu (NAG record holder and winner of the 100 fly here) trains frequently with a monofin. Mine is still awol.

    Updated December 14th, 2010 at 06:04 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  10. NE Champs, Day 2, Dec. 12

    by , December 13th, 2010 at 12:34 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 2:

    I was very tired after day 1's 250 medley and hoping for a "dead to the world" type sleep, but it was not to be. I was too hyped up and caffeinated. But this is typical during a meet for me. Headed over to the pool with SwimmieAvsFan for a leisurely warm up. I felt pretty smooth, though the legs were a bit leaden and fatigued.

    100 back, 1:10.26:

    I was fairly nervous for this event, much like the 100 fly. There were no flyover starts in backstroke at this meet, so I was a tad peeved when the starter decided to start my heat (the final one) with a swimmer still in my lane. Slightly distracting.

    I had a slight cramp in my left calf on the start, which I'm sure was due to fatigue, as I had no cramping problems on day 1. But it wasn't too bad -- not nearly as bad as the cramp I had off the start in the 100 back in Indy last year. So I compensated by not kicking quite as hard or far underwater and not going out fast. The rest of the race was fine; I think I was somewhat lazy on my turns though. Splits were 33.68/36.58.

    Given the wobbly start, I was very happy and surprised with my final time of 1:10.26. I had been hoping to break 1:12. Last year, I swam a 1:10.9 (B70) and 1:09.5 (Jaked, I think), so this was my second fastest time ever and very close to my super suit times, off by only .7 and I didn't have any cramping issues on my swim at Boston last year. According to the GBC converter, my time of 1:10.26 converts 1:01.56, which is actually .4 faster than my 100 back from Atlanta swum in a Jaked.

    Stud video'd this race for me and I reviewed it on the camera. My arms looked like they were moving in super slow mo compared to my 50 backs until the final 25. (I noticed the same thing in my 100 back from Atlanta.) I don't seem to have a true 100 speed turnover. I suppose this is due to my fear of dying on these events. I think my 100s would benefit from a more aggressive approach. But I would have to train more specifically for it. I'll download the video later.

    50 fly, 30.39

    There was not much time between the 100 back and 50 fly - even Chris mentioned this. I would have preferred another 30 minutes of rest or so. I would even have gladly taken 2 hours.

    I felt extremely tired during the race -- was just powering through it. Both breakouts were sub par, as confirmed by Muppet. Which is a bit disappointing because 3 out of 4 of my 100 fly breakouts were solid. But I had a fast turn and I nailed the finish with no glide at all.

    Very happy with the time, which is 1.2 faster than I swam at the Albatross meet earlier in the year. It's still .7 slower than I went last year, but I think the suits effect the short axis strokes more. Using the GBM converter, this converts to a 27.3 in SCY, which is only .3 off my best time in a Jaked from Atlanta.

    This time also lands me 2nd in the current event rankings behind the amazing SVDL, so I am thrilled with that!


    I scratched the open 50 back and 100 free. Every muscle in my body was sore and aching by then and I didn't think I'd go any faster than 31.14 in the open 50.* (I think the winning time in that event was a 31.6.) Plus, the pool conditions/air quality were causing me sinus and wheezing problems (which are worse today, blech). And 6 events is plenty for a wimpy sprinter! I was amped-out. So I just relaxed for a couple hours, chatted and watched my friends' races before ravenously wolfing down real food and heading to the airport.

    * Jimslie texted me that this time was the second fastest time swum in any age group so far this year in SCM.


    Last SCM meet in my current age group!

    50 back, 31.14
    50 fly, 30.3
    50 breast, 38.9
    50 free, 28.77
    100 back, 1:10.26
    100 fly, 1:10.22

    Very pleased with all the times. (Just wish I had gotten a 100 IM time.) I was hesitant about signing up for this meet initially since I only had about 4-5 weeks of really solid training before my 2 week taper. But I'm glad I did. I think I might have "drifted" too much in training without a goal meet to break things up. And now I'm ready to get back to some non-taper workouts. Though I may not get in much training this week with xmas looming - I am way behind. Plus, I have that nice post taper meet "hit by a mack truck" feeling.

    It was pretty dicey getting back from Boston last night (torrential rain there and high winds here). SwimmieAvsFan and Muppet's flight was cancelled and they were stranded there. My flight was very delayed and I didn't arrive home until 1:00 am. But it was all worth it!

    And Fort Son had fun tooling around Boston and checking out schools. I was happy he didn't get lost on the MBTA!

    Unofficial Results:

    And on those results is my split request from the 200 back. Whew. (I know I shouldn't stress about this, but I've had a couple splits almost go missing the last couple years.) Oddly, my time is the exact same time as last year, right down to the hundredth of a second.

    Women 45-49 50 SC Meter Backstroke
    ================================================== =============================
    WORLD: W 30.31 3/1/2009 K.PIPES-NEILSEN, FRA
    NATL: N 30.58 12/2/2007 K PIPES-NEILSEN
    Zone Champs: Z 32.51 2008 Laurie DiTommaso
    VA LMSC: V 38.74 3/15/2008 Debbie Jaeger
    Name Age Team Finals
    ================================================== =============================
    1 Luallen-Egg, Andrea 45 GSM-NJ 34.87
    2 Skrobis, Amy V 45 ABC-NE 37.52
    3 Delorey, Laura E 48 GWDM-NE 39.49
    4 Stokes, Karin E 49 GSP-NE 40.27
    5 Cheney, Jane E 49 GWDM-NE 46.45
    6 Zraket, Lisa 46 YNS-NE 47.38
    7 Barker, Joanne L 46 CMSC-NE 47.99

    Women 45-49 50 SC Meter Backstroke
    ================================================== =============================
    WORLD: W 30.31 3/1/2009 K.PIPES-NEILSEN, FRA
    NATL: N 30.58 12/2/2007 K PIPES-NEILSEN
    Zone Champs: Z 32.51 2008 Laurie DiTommaso
    VA LMSC: V 38.74 3/15/2008 Debbie Jaeger
    Name Age Team Finals
    ================================================== =============================
    1 Livingston, Leslie 49 GMUP-PV 31.14Z

    Updated December 13th, 2010 at 11:02 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  11. NE Champs, Day 1, Dec. 11

    by , December 11th, 2010 at 09:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 1 went exceedingly well, better than I expected. I even managed to swim all 4 of my events today -- practically an ironman feat for me. . I'm now fairly flattened as a result.

    100 fly, 1:10.26

    So glad this was the first event of the day! My last pre-B70 time was a 1:12ish (I recall). Last year, in B70, I went a 1:09.8. I expected to go a 1:12-1:13 here, given the general 2 second time differential per 100 free SCY. Was shocked and thrilled with my 1:10.2, only .4 off my best. I tried to SDK a lot. Mollie said that, by 25s, I went 12-13 meters, 10 meters, 10 meters, 8 meters. I popped up a little early on the last length after a longish turn. Just needed some air. But otherwise my breakouts were solid and smooth. Had the usual last 10 meter piano, but at least didn't go vertical. This is my hardest event, and I don't really train for it in any conventional way, so I was pleased. Kicking saves me in this event. I think this time puts me 3rd in the overall rankings behind two new 45 year olds, if I recall the SPMA results correctly.

    50 back, 31.14 (split on 200 back)
    (final 200 time, a blazing 3:20 )

    If I wasn't typing on my iPhone I'd put in a bliss smiley here. Edit: My previous time from the Albatross meet was a 32.5, but I was hoping to go a bit faster based on the 28.1 I swam at the Sprint Classic on Oct. 24 after the bronchitis taper. Honestly, my secret goal, was to swim faster than 31.6, but anything can go wrong in a 50 and, as I previously said, I would have been pleased with anything under 32.

    I executed reasonably well, but not perfectly. My hands were crossed (first time ever) on the start, which was slightly disconcerting. 14 SDKs on the start and 15 on the turn. There was a stroke & turn judge right at the 15 meter mark, so didn't take any chances on that front on the start. I was a bit too far from the wall on the turn and glided into the finish -- probably due to the 5 meter flags. No matter, I was very thrilled to stop, gasp for air, squint at the scoreboard and see the 31.14. Stud also had my split writ large on a piece of paper as I headed to the warm down pool -- very sweet. I had informed the referee (who stood over my finish) and both the women swimming next to me that I was doing a split, so that they were well aware and didn't have any angst. I did legally finish the race in a stellar time of 3:20, causing only a very minor delay of the meet. Did the second 50 double arm backstroke.

    This is the same time I swam last year at this meet in a Jaked or B70 and should put me in the AA spot, unless there are other times I'm unaware of. This would be my first AA in the 50 back in SCM. I've ended up second on several occasions. So I'm ditching this age group on a high note!

    I could happily have stopped swimming for the day at this juncture. I was happy and tired. (Veni, vici, vidi, in a manner of speaking.) But the day was long and I had plenty of rest so carried on.

    50 breast, 38.9

    Pretty happy with this time, especially since I was trying to be very conservative on the pre-kick and pulldown. Over a second slower than last year, but, like Allen Stark, I think swimming evil in a Jaked is like a different stroke entirely. This is still my second fastest time in SCM (out of only 3-4 swims, I think) and a much better effort than the 41.8 I turned in in LCM. Currently, this puts me in the number 3 spot. (Which rather confirms my thought that the speed suits make the mosy difference in evil.

    SwimStud had an amazing 50 breast today, dropping two full seconds+ from last year! I wish I had video'd this, as he had awesome forward momentum, but it was right after my swim and I was gasping. I got his 100 breast the next day though.

    50 free, 28.77

    I was going to scratch this event. I really was. I haven't swum 4 events at a taper meet in eons. But decided it might be easier to do at the end of the day today than late tomorrow afternoon as a split in the 100 free. Happy with the time. It's .5 faster than I went at the Albatross meet, but still .5 off my B70 PB (which I did as the very first swim at BU last year). I had a quite sub par turn -- it was dark outside (5:00 pm or so) and that made it harder to pick up the wall without the light streaming through the windows. Still, I'll take it flaws and all!

    Overall, I was extremely happy with the day. I'm worried I'll be bushed tomorrow. But hopefully a decent night's sleep will help. Tomorrow, I have the 100 back, 50 fly and 50 back. I'm scratching the 100 free. Depending on how I feel, I might not swim the 50 back again, as it would be my 7th event. I'm very very glad I put in a split request to get a time before the end of the meet! I hate it when 50 back is the last event when my legs are dead.

    Updated December 13th, 2010 at 03:03 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Friday, Dec.10

    by , December 10th, 2010 at 01:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Didn't have time to get to the pool. Spent 30 minutes stretching in front of a soap opera. Hadn't seen one of those since law school.

    Actually remembered to shave my legs today. That will no doubt make me .001 faster in the 50 fly.

    My legs are still tired, so I'm vaguely worried that I didn't rest them enough. Other than that, and a few bumps and bruises, I'm ready to go!

    Leaving shortly for Boston. Also remembered to put my skins compression tights on for the flight -- never done that before. It couldn't be colder in Boston than it is here ...

    Final psych sheet by age groups:

    Updated December 10th, 2010 at 01:56 PM by The Fortress

  13. Thursday, Dec. 9

    by , December 9th, 2010 at 05:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    500 various

    2 x (15 bursts (free, dolphin kick) + 35 EZ)

    2 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    4 x 25 shooters

    100 back

    100 free

    Total: 1000

    15 minutes hottub

    Yoga/Stretching, 2 x 15 minutes



    Felt pretty good today. Good DPS. Left shoulder is nagging a bit, but I think it's from tossing and turning while sleeping. Though I must admit I've shirked my RC exercises again. I'll probably just ice it tonight.

    Quick posted this vid re: Nick Thoman on backstroke SDK on Speedo's blog and I just wanted to share it here as well:

    Love that SDKs are for the "not so tall" and flexible." My height, or lack thereof, is usually such a disadvantage in this sport.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube - Underwater Backstroke Kick with David Marsh and Nick Thoman[/nomedia].

    Need to finish packing. Hate packing, very tedious.

    And very proud of my Mini Fort. At her volleyball banquet, she won Hardest Worker. She's currently playing lumbaro and outside hitter on her club team. Outside hitter -- despite her diminutive height. She has the highest vertical jump on her team. Shall we say sprinter?

    I'm going to miss not seeing the Tom Dolan meet this year for the first time in years ... Not sure how many masters swimmers are there, but I know Wally Dicks tapered for it.

    Updated December 9th, 2010 at 10:45 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  14. Wed., Dec. 8

    by , December 8th, 2010 at 05:16 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    650 various


    14 x 50
    odds = 25 EZ speed fly or shooter
    evens = EZ

    50 EZ

    2 x (15 burst dolphin + 35 EZ)

    1 x 25 fast free + 75 EZ

    1 x 25 fast breast + 25 EZ

    100 EZ

    Total: 1750



    Whoa, really got carried away with all that yardage today. Still didn't feel easy speed, but felt lighter in the water. I definitely have a case of the taper hypers -- got massive errands done today. Got more sleep, but have been waking up at 6:00 am (high schoolers are stirring at this time) and having trouble falling back asleep. This happens sometimes during taper, I guess. Trying desperately not to catch Lil Fort's cold ...

    Big next couple weeks ...

    3 days to NE Champs
    7 days until Fort Son gets probable early decision ding
    12 days until Mini Fort gets her drivers license
    not enough days to get xmas stuff done ...

    Started stocking up/packing for Boston: gus, chews, energy drinks, electrolytes & efuel, extra nose clips, new pair of goggles, 3 tech suits, gluten free bagels ... My 2 Speedo kneeskins have seen a fair number of meets between Mini and me -- 4-5 for her and 3 for me. This means they're likely both pretty stretched out. Still, we plan on using these and my B70 kneeskin (one meet) as long as possible. I'm hoping they can last through NE Champs, high school champs meets, and the Albatross meet. I also have a Q suit that Roque kindly sent me, but it was awfully tight on top for me last time I tried it. May try it again and/or see how Mini likes the fit.

    Has anyone used Endurance Excel? I bought it today by accident; thought I was picking up endurolytes.

    Updated December 8th, 2010 at 08:47 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Tuesday, Dec. 7

    by , December 7th, 2010 at 05:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/ Solo:

    Warm up:

    700 various


    10 x 25 shooters

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 w/fins
    #1 = 15 meter burst dolphin kick on back + EZ
    #2 = 15 meter burst dolphin kick on belly + EZ
    #3 = 25 fast backstroke kick + 25 EZ
    #4 = 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ
    #5 = 25 fast free + 25 EZ
    #6 = 50 EZ
    #7 = 50 working on breast pullouts
    # 8 = EZ

    Total: 1400

    Stretching, 30 minutes



    No easy speed yet, but I think it's coming. Although it might not be until the weekend! Not too twitchy-b*tchy yet. I think the meet last weekend may have caused a delayed onset. Got more sleep last night, but woke up to the lovely sound of shattered ceramic. Our kitten likes to jump inside everything, even things she can't get out of.

    Now I'm off to finish putting 3000 white lights on my tree.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Monday, Dec. 6

    by , December 6th, 2010 at 06:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    700 various

    10 x 25 shooters

    100 dolphin dive

    Total: 1050

    10-15 minutes hottub



    Took another recovery day post meet. Plan on meet warm ups Tues-Fri. I had the blah feeling in the water that often hits after 1 week of tapering. But I may have just been tired. I had some food poisoning or a stomach thing last night and my youngest woke up with a nightmare that her kitty died. Hoping I can actually sleep tonight. There is also a sick hubby and sick kid in the house. It seems to be a challenge staying healthy for December meets ...

    NE Champs Analysis:

    I'm entered in:
    100 fly (11:11 am)
    200 back (50 split)(1:22 pm)
    50 breast (3:01 pm)
    50 free (3:57 pm)

    100 back (11:15 am)
    50 fly (12:23 pm)
    50 back (1:43 pm)
    100 (likely 50 split, if I bother)(2:40 pm)

    The 100 back and 50 fly are really too close for my taste. It takes me forever to recover from 100s. And I still wish the 100 IM had been better placed ... My plan for the 100 fly and 100 back is to dolphin kick hard off the start and every wall and easy speed above water. I'd like to swim 50 meters of the back underwater. Not sure I can do that in fly. Have to remember to breathe more in the 100 fly to sustain the hard kicking. Not really sure what to expect timewise.

    In my 50s, I'd like to go under 29 in the 50 free, under 31 in the 50 fly and under 32 in the 50 back. I converted my 50 back time from the Sprint Classic (28.1) using the GBM converter and got a 32.0. 4 seconds seems rather a lot going from short course yards to short course meters, doesn't it?

    Here's my 50 back from NE Champs last year. I need to see, if I can, how many strokes and kicks I took. [nomedia=""]YouTube - Fort SCM 50 back[/nomedia].

    In 50 fly, the current event rankings look slower compared to last year. Aside from wunderkind SVDL, no one's really come close to breaking 30 without the speed suits in my age group (and that happened in both SCM and LCM in 2008-09). I'm starting to think that perhaps the suits make more of a difference in the short axis strokes than the long axis strokes. (For me, as I've said before, the biggest hit is in breaststroke.)

    By way of comparison, my times in a full body racerback Pro from this meet (from TT database) in 2007 are:

    2007 Short Course Meters

    Place Event Name Age Club LMSC Time
    4 W45-49 50 Free Leslie Livingston 46 GMUP Potomac Valley 28.75
    4 W45-49 50 Back Leslie Livingston 46 GMUP Potomac Valley 33.24
    5 W45-49 100 Back Leslie Livingston 46 GMUP Potomac Valley 1:13.91
    5 W45-49 50 Fly Leslie Livingston 46 GMUP Potomac Valley 31.37
    7 W45-49 100 Fly Leslie Livingston 46 GMUP Potomac Valley 1:13.18

    I have good mojo in Boston. I've always swum well at this meet (and never been DQ'd!). Hopefully it can continue. I'd like to end 2010 on a good note. And, then, I look forward to AARP-ing up at my first meet in 2011.

    Updated December 6th, 2010 at 10:58 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  17. Sunday, Dec. 5

    by , December 5th, 2010 at 06:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Just did a 30-35 minute slow continuous swim at my gym pool. I thought about doing some backstroke turns in meters, but I can tell the flags aren't set up right.

    10 minutes in the whirlpool


    My legs were tired from yesterday, and left calf feels slightly re-strained. I pulled out my compression tights to wear around today. No more backstroke starts this week.

    Busy busy day of xmas decorating. I broke down and agreed to a real tree again, but only if we get an air purifier for the room. I don't want a repeat of last year.

    NE Champs:

    psych sheets:


    Looking forward to seeing the results of the SPMA meet. Bummed to see Allen Stark was deeked in the 100 evil.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Last Minute Meet, Sat., Dec. 4

    by , December 4th, 2010 at 02:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Last Minute SCM Meet:

    It's an odd feeling waking up late (8:15) and cruising into a meet mid way. I missed seeing some fast early swims, including Speedo's blazing 200 back (2:17). But I'm glad I got some start practice in before next weekend.

    50 fly split on the 100, 30.7 (?)

    Not sure about the official split. I'll have to wait for the results as the timing board was not in operation. Neill Williams very kindly timed my swim and gave me the following comments with which Speedo concurred: too shallow on start, poor breakout b/c of kicking on surface, great turn, good SDKs off turn (took 10, I think), bad finish, glided in big time, good speed, good stroke. I agree with all these points. I took 2 breaths on the second length, the second one really to sight the wall. I knew I was either going to have to glide or short stroke it. In my head, I wasn't too disturbed by this, as I considered this a practice swim. Hopefully, I can fix this at Boston. And I'm sticking with 2 breaths there as well.

    Since I didn't really feel any of that elusive "easy speed" in practice or warm up, I was pleased with this approximate time. And, well, I hadn't even shaved. hahaha. I went a 31.5 at the Albatross meet in March so this time is better and can be knocked down a bit more (I hope) with another week's rest.

    Swimming the second 50 was a bit of a chore. But I coffee breaked on the walls and Muppet waved to me at the 75.

    Edit: My official split was 31.1, not surprising since hand timing is generally faster. I knew I took a major glide at the end (and was even wondering if I should bother to finish the 100), but I'm still glad I did and it was still faster than my previous time. I sometimes find it disconcerting to do split requests because thoughts of what to do after the finish always creep into my head.

    25 free in the 200

    I felt like I had a much better start -- the correct depth and 4-5 SDKs before I started churning. Did a fast turn, hit the wall well, and then just cruised the rest of the 50 and hopped out. (I had told the referee in advance to DQ me.)


    I'm still kinda tired from that little bit of sprinting, and I'm glad I didn't swim any other events.

    There was much fast swimming at the meet by all the usual PV suspects. I think Speedo PR'd all his events. I videotaped his 200 free. I'm not sure about the quality because I had just swum and wasn't holding the camera very still. The Little Devil chimed in on audio that Speedo got chicked on the last 50. By a very fast chick!

    Link to Results:

    I'm wondering if the SPMA meet has live results like last year?

    Results are out for the NW Zones meet too: Very fast times from Ellen Reynolds.

    Interview with Dara:

    NE Champs:

    psych sheets:

    timeline: -- my kind of meet: first event not until after 11:00 am and plenty of rest.

    Updated December 4th, 2010 at 09:07 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. Friday, Dec. 3

    by , December 3rd, 2010 at 04:41 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Just hopped in for a meet warm up. I felt warmed up after about 20 minutes, which is surprising for me. I usually take awhile to loosen up, so I did a bit more anyway. Just did slow swimming, some one arm fly, 1 x build to fast free, 1 x fast back kick, and 2 x dolphin kick bursts. Sat in whirlpool afterward.

    The women's locker room at my gym has been renovated. Sadly, though, they've done away with the steam room.

    Felt better in the water today. Looking forward to the meet tomorrow. Of course, I'm not doing much so there's no pressure.

    Good luck to everyone swimming this weekend at the various meets around the country!
    Swim Workouts
  20. Thursday, Dec. 2

    by , December 2nd, 2010 at 05:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    6 x 50 fly drills @ 1:00

    6 x (25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ)

    8 x (25 shooter + 25 EZ)
    odds = back
    evens = belly

    50 EZ

    Total: 1650



    Just did a slow easy swim focusing on technique. No easy speed for me yet though.

    About to head off to a banquet to open the high school swim season. Tomorrow night is the first meet. Good thing I checked the volunteer schedule, as I'm officiating. Pretty much a no brainer at these meets. Mini has expressed interest in re-joining a USAS team. We're mulling over what might be the right team/group fit for her. Not sure if will work with volleyball in the mix ... Some coaches are strict about the # of practices.

    Psych sheets for the Last Minute Meet are out. There's almost 100 swimmers, and the usual fast suspects are there. I think it will be fun just to attend, spectate and do my wee sprints!

    Nationals is on NBC at 3:00 on Saturday Dec. 11!

    Livestream at:

    Updated December 4th, 2010 at 08:00 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts