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  1. Thursday, Jan. 27

    by , January 27th, 2011 at 09:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands, 60 minutes:

    RC Work, 15-20 minutes

    long arm crunches, 50
    flutter kicks on bosu, 100
    reverse scoops, 25 x 2 x 15
    alternating hammers, 17.5 x 2 x 30
    Icarian chest supported pull, 105 (assuming bar was 25) x 5 x 5
    HS power squats, 270 x 2 x 5, 280 x 3 x 5
    (bumped up quite a bit on this)
    explosive leg press, 270 x 2 x 10
    tricep press negatives, 50 x 2 x 10
    med ball slams, 2 x 10

    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes

    Only had 1.5 hours between drylands and yoga and I could definitely feel it. It was harder to get through the class than usual. Had to leave to get more water about 2/3 of the way through, but wasn't scolded. I'm definitely more flexible after going so much in January. According to my FLOG, this is my 10th class this month.


    We got a snoprise last night. The weather forecasters had been predicting more rain, but we got 10 inches in some areas. Naturally, school is cancelled for the rest of the week. Since Mon & Tues are teacher work days, my kids have a 7 day weekend -- pretty sweet. As a result of this snow, I have a bit of shovel-itis, though I tried to foist most of the shoveling on Fort Son (Mr. Fort was awol). Fortunately, we did not lose power, as so many did. Unfortunately, it appears that some landscaping may be trashed. Grr ...

    I expect to wake up tomorrow and feel very sore as I did some heavy pulling and squatting. Q Brain says he's dead after doing 5 x 5 reps. Plus, with yoga, that was essentially 2.5 hours of drylands. Hopefully, it won't prevent me from getting in a decent swim tomorrow. Sleeping in should help!

    BTW, if anyone needs a competition suit, there is a very good sale at this website: I purchased a new Speedo for later this year since my others have had quite a bit of use. Mini Fort is stealing my B70 kneeskin (only 3 swims in it) for her upcoming HS meets.

    Updated January 27th, 2011 at 09:38 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  2. Wed., Jan. 26

    by , January 26th, 2011 at 05:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    725 various

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    4 free, 4 backstroke kick

    50 EZ

    4 x 25, power kick to 15 & cruise in

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    3 x 100 AFAP w/fins + 150 EZ @ 7:00
    --broken at 50 & 75 by 15-17 seconds
    --I prefer to leave on an even interval

    #1 = backstroke (16 seconds rest)
    50 = 24
    100 = 1:23-32 = 51

    #2 = fly (16 & 17 seconds rest)
    50 = 24
    100 = 1:22-33 = 49

    #3 = backstroke kick (15 & 17 seconds rest)
    50 = 25
    100 = 1:23-32 = 51
    -- couldn't stay under as much as I wanted on this one. lactate setting in.

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 fly AFAP (25)(tired)

    225 EZ

    Total: 2450


    Ouch! Those broken 100s hurt. The fly was very fast for me. Typically, my backstroke is faster in practice (faster underwaters on backstroke).

    School was cancelled today. Maybe a 1/2 inch of snow this am, but now it's coming down pretty heavily. Glad I went to yoga last night, as I definitely won't be going anywhere tonight. I'm sure school will be cancelled again tomorrow. I'm just hoping I can get to the gym at some point in the afternoon when the main roads are plowed.

    Updated February 1st, 2011 at 07:26 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Test Sets
  3. Tuesday, Jan. 25

    by , January 25th, 2011 at 05:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    12 x 25 shooters
    belly, left, right, back

    8 x 50 back, no fins @ :55

    50 EZ

    12 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = evil
    evens = single arm fly

    50 EZ

    8 x 75 w/fins, done as
    25 EZ speed fly + 25 shooter + 25 EZ

    100 EZ

    Total: 2800



    Glad I had an aerobic workout planned for today. I was pretty sore from re-commencing drylands and tired from getting up early. Felt like I was riding really low in the water. Hope I have a little more pep tomorrow to do some speed work. Was planning on doing some yoga today, but just didn't have the time or inclination. I've informed Lil Fort that it is her job to get me to do my RC exercises tonight!

    It's going to be a busy weekend. Mini Fort has HS District swimming championships Friday and Saturday night, Fort Son has the Mid-Atlantic Sprints for rowing, and Mr. Fort has a half marathon this weekend (just using it as a training run though). In light of her lack of club training, Mini has very happily switched from the 200 IM to the 100 fly (sticking with the 100 breast) -- much less torture.

    I am still eagerly awaiting my Finis Foil monofin.

    Our dearest Jimslie has successfully had his retina reattached via laser, and, if all goes well, will be back in the water next week.



    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Got a second wind and decided to go to the 8:00 pm bikram yoga class after dinner (hope I'm not too full!). As Dean of Students in my family, I've determined the children are adequately prepared for mid terms! The class was quite crowded. Hoping to sleep well between that and the magnesium injection. The bod always feels better after a good stretch!

    Updated January 25th, 2011 at 11:22 PM by The Fortress

  4. Monday, Jan. 24

    by , January 24th, 2011 at 06:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC work, 15-20 minutes

    back extensions, 25 x 2 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 100
    HS power squats, 200 x 1 x 10, 220 x 1 x 10, 240 x 1 x 10
    HS iso lateral hi row, 160 x 1 x 10, 180 x 1 x 10
    skull crushers, 50 x 2 x 15
    knee tuck jumps, 10
    med balls slams, 10
    start plyo w/med ball, 10
    step ups on box w/15 DBs, 15

    Bike, 30 minutes:

    Just hopped on bike at home later in the day.


    Weights were not too difficult. I didn't feel like I had lost any strength in the week off. And perhaps the rest was beneficial (rest, adapt, get stronger, blah blah). I do need to take it easy on the plyos with my foot. Shoulder is still slightly sore, which I attribute to not doing RC exercises for 3 days. My bad.

    I'm going in for a magnesium injection tomorrow am, as I had some major cramping issues at the end of last week.

    On another note, I've lost 5-6 pounds since beginning BHRT & thyroid therapy without changing my diet at all. In reality, I've been exceedingly skeptical about the "calories in calories out" mindset, as previously it appeared that my weight stayed the same no matter what I ate or how much I exercised. I now have a "hormones rule the world and you better hope nothing goes wrong" mindset. lol.

    I've also heard from my coach, who's from Canada, that the pool for Canadian Masters Nationals at the end of May, Claude Robillard, is very fast. Very tempting!
    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  5. Sunday @ GMU, Jan. 23

    by , January 23rd, 2011 at 01:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY @ GMU:

    Warm up:

    900 OYO (did 700)

    400 IM done:
    50 kick/50 drill
    100 scull
    ? something else here, can't remember

    Main Sets:

    3 x (4 x 25 w/fins) @ :40
    1 = UW
    2 = fast
    3 = backstroke kick
    4 = backstroke kick

    Went 2 free, 1 fly on the fast ones. All 11s.

    50 EZ

    "Petra Martin Set:"
    -- I used fins. Don't remember the intervals exactly, but we had quite a bit of rest.

    3 x through:

    1 x 250
    1 x 150 backstroke (6 kicks off each wall)
    1 x 50 fast (fly/back/breast)

    For the 250s,
    #1 = fly/free (4-6 dolphin kicks off each wall)
    #2 = backstroke (6 kicks off each wall)
    #3 = breast w/2 UW pulls each length
    (Not being an evilstroker, and being lazy, I just did long streamlines on #3.)

    On the fast 50s, went fly (:25), back shooter (:23) and breast (:30)

    100 EZ (went 50)

    5 x 125 kick @ 2:20
    3rd 25 = fast free kick
    5th 25 = fast stroke kick
    -- I did them all backstroke kick
    -- just cruised the first one

    150 EZ

    Total: 3700

    15 minutes hottub



    Wasn't sure I'd make it to practice this am as I was out late last night with friends. This never seems to bode well for getting up. However, every single person in my house made what seemed to me a tremendously loud racket thumping up and down the stairs -- Mini Fort going to volleyball tournament, Mr. Fort going on long run, Fort Son going to the gym, Lil Fort waking up early ... So I just got out of bed and headed for the coffee machine.

    I didn't feel in terribly fine form in the water. But this was a great workout. The "Petra Martin" breath control set was surprisingly hard. I'm used to doing a lot of hypoxic work, but I don't usually do 250s and 150s. Apart from the underwater kicking (which seems harder with fins if you're doing the same # of kicks b/c you're under longer), I just completely cruised the above water portions. The last kick set was rough. I had to cruise the first one and then was able to sprint at the designated times on the last 4. But I think I won the prize for slowest kicker on the non-fast portions. I am very good at slow.

    The open water swimmers were making sarcastic remarks (jokingly) about "open water Sunday." But, really, they have their distance free night on Tuesday!

    Now, I'm off to the grocery store. No matter how many times a week I go, there's never enough food in the house.

    Updated January 23rd, 2011 at 09:20 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  6. Friday, Jan. 21

    by , January 21st, 2011 at 05:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    650 various

    Aerobic Kick:

    8 x 50 backstroke kick w/fins @ :45

    50 EZ

    SDK+Burst Set:

    8 x 75, no fins, done as:
    1st 25 = dolphin kick UW on belly to 15 meter mark, hands in front and "surf" to wall with head up, do flip turn
    2nd 25 = dolphin kick UW to 12.5 mark, 1 breath and then sprint free to the wall
    3rd 25 = easy

    100 EZ

    Speed Work:

    Was going to do 3 x 50 fast shooters, but cramped on the first one and abandoned this effort. Did another 150 EZ. Then did this with fins:

    1 x 100 easy speed fly, broken at 50 for 10 seconds
    -- went very gingerly on this to avoid cramps
    -- 30 + 31
    50 EZ
    1 x 50 fast fly (:25)
    50 EZ
    1 x 100 breast, broken at 50 for 10 seconds
    -- went 32 + 34
    100 EZ
    1 x 50 fast breast (:30)
    150 EZ

    Total: 2650

    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes

    Drove directly to yoga from swimming. Was slightly worried it might be too much. But it was fine. I had some abdominal cramping in the forward compression postures. But I managed to go the whole minute on both legs in standing head to knee pose.



    Feel like I had a good Mon-Fri with a lot of speed work, yoga and core work from the yoga. I will take tomorrow off. And tomorrow is Lil Fort's first USAS meet. She's 10, but I didn't feel like rushing into it again. Officiating at Mini Fort's final regular season high school meet tonight.

    Updated January 21st, 2011 at 06:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  7. Swim w/Speedo & Jazz, Thursday, Jan. 20

    by , January 20th, 2011 at 05:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY @ OakMarr

    Met up with Speedo & Jazz Hands today at OakMarr. Jazz has a problem shoulder and Speedo is still nursing his lasik eyes, so we focused on kicking.

    Warm up:

    600 various or so

    Main Sets:

    9 x 50 aerobic kick w/fins @ 1:00

    Jazz & Speedo were doing a flutter-flutter-dolphin combo. I did them all hypoxic dolphin kick on back breathing only between flags and wall. Went 30-32.

    50 EZ

    5 x 50, ascending intervals (2:00-3:30, leaving lots of time to chat and sit on kickboards Ande style while waiting to go again)
    25 AFAP kick, get time, 25 EZ

    -- I did them all backstroke shooters, no fins, from a push. Went 13, 13, 13, high 12-13, high 12. Was pretty surprised by and stoked with these times.

    50 EZ

    5 x 50 @ 2:00
    burst 15 + 35 cruise
    -- I did them all backstroke from a backstroke start, power kicking to 15 meters. Started to cramp a bit.

    Jazz & Speedo left and I carried on for a bit.

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP backstroke from the blocks, no fins -- or that's what I intended. I was curious to see what I'd go after the fast 25 kicks. But I got a double calf cramp on the start and had to stop at the 25. It doesn't seem to matter how many electrolytes I dump in my body ... May go back for another magnesium injection.

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 recovery @ 1:15
    odds = breast pull
    evens = front scull

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

    50 EZ

    Total: 2650

    ART, 40 minutes:

    Went in to get my shoulders worked on again. (I will use this as an excuse to forego my RC exercises tonight.) Chatted about various things. Trying to figure out how to put some lean muscle on Fort Son. He recommended Pro Gain by Metagenics. He thinks the PRP will eventually get me back in high heels, and my foot does feel somewhat better after the second treatment. Although apparently "it's good I'm not a runner." (Sigh. Grr.)


    Rather enjoying my week without drylands thus far. Even felt like I had some easy speed today. But it will be back to the grind starting Sunday.

    Updated January 20th, 2011 at 07:54 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  8. Wed., Jan. 19

    by , January 19th, 2011 at 09:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes

    Loved class today. The heat was less than 110. I even got over a mental issue with the locust pose and, for me, rocked it.

    Locust pose = [nomedia=""]YouTube - Bikram Yoga Salabhasana Locust pose[/nomedia]

    I cannot get my legs up as high as this unholy guy, but I made a big improvement today. This pose stretches your elbows (pinned under your body) like crazy. Not sure if this is good for swimming or not ... but I already have rather hypermobile elbows. I once heard SwimmieAvsfan remark that this was a characteristic of good backstrokers.

    RC Work, 15 minutes


    Both my shoulder and neck feel much better, though I do have an ART appointment tomorrow. I think it was fine, beneficial even, to take a week off lifting. Should I start back at the weight I left off at or slightly lower?

    And on a very cheery note: I have a garden variety cold. I've had it for 4-5 days and it has not descended into a grand mal debilitating event. This is some kind of victory for my immune system.

    Tomorrow, I'm meeting up with Jazz and Speedo at OakMarr. Speedo is apparently going to be all about the sprints in light of his lasik sabbatical.
  9. Speed Play, Tuesday, Jan. 18

    by , January 18th, 2011 at 05:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Speed/Hypoxic Play:

    4 x 5 squat jumps off bottom of pool:
    -- Start at wall, dolphin kick down to bottom, place feet on bottom and squat jump up in streamline position, dolphin kicking as high as you can go, repeat.
    -- I was doing this at a 12 foot depth. Seemed pretty hard to me, as I was breathing hard after 5 (or even before)
    -- for flog purposes, I will count this as 200 yards

    50 EZ

    5 x 50, done as:
    Push off wall w/kickboard, dolphin kicking down to bottom of pool. Go about 12.5 yards, then strong vertical jump off the bottom dolphin kicking the whole way, and then sprint flutter kick to the wall. Cruise the second 25.

    125 EZ

    5 x 50, done as:
    backstroke start + power kick to 15 (15 kicks) + cruise the rest DAB.

    75 EZ

    5 x 50, done as:
    flutter kick UW for 15 seconds a few feet from wall, then go right into a flip turn and 10 strong dolphin kicks, cruise the rest of the 50

    100 EZ

    5 x (VK + 50 w/fins) @ 2:00
    30 seconds strong vertical dolphin kicking with fins + right into 25 UW shooter + 25 easy backstroke kick

    100 EZ

    12 x 25, done as:
    #1-4 = 15 burst underwater free recovery + cruise @ 1:00
    #5-8 = long breaststroke pullouts @ :45
    #9-12 = 15 burst fast breast pull + cruise @ 1:00

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 UW shooter w/fins AFAP (went high 23 or so)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2900 + VK + SJs

    10 minutes hottub



    Tried a fun speed play workout today with a strong emphasis on hypoxic work and kicking. I must say, I'm fairly knackered after that effort. Not really a recovery day, therefore, but for the absence of drylands and a nice lie in.


    Saw a blurb about a book (written by scientist Gary Taubes) that looks somewhat interesting: Why We Get Fat

    Among other things, the author contends that:

    1. We can eat all the protein and fat we like, no reason to curtail, just no carbs (bread, sugar, pasta and fruit).
    2. Fruit is fattening b/c it is fructose containing.
    3. Little evidence supports the belief that "the number of calories we expend exercising has any effect on how fat we are." (This is certainly true for me)

    And here's a review of the book that JimRude sent me:

    It appears that Dr. Taubes, after publishing a more scientific book -- Good Calories/Bad Calories -- is perhaps trying to dumb down the science for the masses. I've still never liked the "calories in calories out" theory.


    For follower's of Jimslie's blog, I am sad to report that our hero suffered a detached retina recently. The treatment appears, thankfully, to be successful, but he is banned from the computer and pool temporarily. Though he apparently has been impressively stoic throughout the ordeal, I know he would appreciate any coddling and good wishes sent his way.

    Updated January 18th, 2011 at 10:01 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  10. Monday, Jan. 7

    by , January 17th, 2011 at 09:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    I guess some people were working today because, thankfully, it was much less crowded in class. And it was one of my easiest classes yet (or as "easy" as Bikram can be). I even put in my best effort yet on Dandayamana-Janushirasana (standing head to knee pose). Somehow this name has stuck in my head; the instructors seem to like repeating this one in particular. Personally, I vastly prefer standing bow, which supposedly: develops balance, increases the size and elasticity of the rib cage, firms the abdominal wall and upper thighs, tightens upper arms, hips and buttocks and improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine. My least favorite pose is locust pose.

    I only recently realized that bikram yoga competitions were controversial. Apparently, some (but not Bikram Chourdhury) believe that having a "competition" for yoga undermines the concept of achieving inner peace, calm, chi or whatever the correct yogini word is. I came across this article in the Post: The woman pictured has been in a few of my weekend classes. I always admired her unusual combination of muscular strength and flexibility.

    Gym, 30 minutes:

    RC work & foam roller

    Swim/SCM/Solo, 35-40 minutes:

    Just did a short, slow recovery swim:

    500 various
    200 fly drill
    200 back
    200 shooters
    200 fly drill
    200 back
    100 dolphin dive

    Total: 1600 meters

    15 minutes hottub



    Day one of a quasi recovery week went as planned. Tomorrow, instead of my usual double, I'll just do a speed workout. I even resisted the urge yesterday to go to yoga after my team practice. I began reading Nora Ephron's new collection of essays "I Remember Nothing" (very breezy and witty) and fell asleep on the couch. Ironically, the next thing I knew my friends were banging on the door -- I had apparently forgotten and almost slept through our GNO. And I almost never take a nap! Fortunately, I rallied and we had a most excellent dinner.
    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  11. Swim @ GMU, Sunday, Jan. 16

    by , January 16th, 2011 at 02:59 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim, SCY @ GMU:

    Warm up:

    500 swim
    2 x 250 kick (one w/o board)

    -- I missed one of the 250 kicks chatting with Barb.

    Main Sets:

    4 x 125 D/S/D/S/D @ :20 RI
    1 of each stroke

    4 x 25 "roll fly"
    -- I did these as twirling shooters. In roll fly, after a twirl cycle, you do 2 full strokes of fly.

    4 x 100 done as:
    30 seconds vertical kick w/med ball + right into 15 meter sprint + cruise rest of 100

    12 x 50 aerobic @ :55
    2 fly/back
    2 back
    2 back/breast
    2 breast
    2 breast/free
    2 free

    50 EZ

    9 x 100, wore fins, done as:

    3 x 100 kick @ 1:55, last one fast (:58)
    3 x 100 swim @ 1:40, last one fast (1:00)
    -- Coach remarked that is was puzzling that my kick was faster than my swim, but that's because I stayed under longer on the kick.
    3 x 100 kick @ 1:55, last one fast (:56)
    -- I only did 50s instead of 100s on the slow ones. I was tired and needed some air. Hence, the improved time on the last one.

    200 EZ

    Total: 3400


    As usual, a very fun and interesting Sunday practice! It's surprisingly hard to sprint right after a hard vertical kick.

    My neck, shoulder and foot are still creaky, and I'm pretty tired after the week's efforts and not sleeping great the last couple nights. (I probably should have done zero upper body work at the gym instead of some.) So I'm going to force myself to take a recovery week next week. No doubles, no drylands, and no arduous speed sets or lactate sets are on the menu. The tentative plan is:

    Monday: 30-40 minute recovery swim + yoga
    Tuesday: mini speed/technique workout
    Wednesday: yoga
    Thursday: recovery/aerobic swim
    Friday: mini speed/technique workout
    Saturday: off
    Sunday: off or yoga

    It kills me to back off when Mr. Fort and Lil Fort aren't back from skiing until Wednesday night and I have so much more free time to train, but I think my body needs it. Now, I just need to remember to do RC work when I'm not at the gym. I'm ultra lazy about doing it at home.

    Articles on the importance of rest:

    Not sure about this statement from the Livestrong article though:

    "You can use other methods of exercise such as yoga, pilates or stretching since you are not exerting the primary muscles you use in your chosen sport."

    The standing series in bikram is definitely leg intensive, which are key swimming muscles for me. Must be written by a triathlete ...

    Mini Fort is at volleyball right now. But we plan to get dinner later, light a fire and watch the Golden Globes together. The only movie I didn't get to see that I wanted to was The King's Speech.

    Updated January 16th, 2011 at 03:04 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. Saturday, Jan. 15

    by , January 15th, 2011 at 06:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes

    Went with a friend to yoga. Once again, it was packed like sardines and, partially as a result, extremely hot. Only skipped the postures that required me to get up on my toes. Not happening at this moment. Foot is still pretty stiff, but not too painful anymore.

    Team practice tomorrow am. Since I have a creaky shoulder, foot and neck, I think next week will be a recovery week with no weights or hard drylands. I've also been training hard since Dec. 22-23 or so. I might do more yoga instead for core work and flexibility (though bikram ain't exactly easy!).

    Article: Training in heat to perform in the cold:

    Article: The Importance of Rest:

    Having an exciting Saturday night babysitting teenagers.

    Updated January 16th, 2011 at 01:08 PM by The Fortress

  13. Experimental PRP

    by , January 15th, 2011 at 12:32 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Today, I ventured with trepidation for more PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections on my big toe area.; This is a lingering chronic injury that began several years ago when I dropped the Finis Shooter monofin (made of fiberglass) on my big toe, slicing it open, copious amounts of blood all over the pool deck. While x-rays showed no fracture at the time, an MRI last year showed that I have tendon damage & degradation and some arthritis in that area. I may also have an osteophyte (bone spur) arising to protect the injured area.

    Because PRP worked reasonable well on my shoulder a few years ago -- I went from chronic awful pain from tendonitis to only occasional pain when I overdo it -- I decided to try it on my foot. My doctor himself has had the same procedure and, after several years has only intermittent pain in his foot. My first PRP session was a bust. I had the "forever bronchitis" right afterward and was forced to go on a short cycle of prednisone, which negated the PRP. I felt some slight improvement after the second session, which I deem my "first" session. Today, then, was then my second treatment.

    This time, and because he was focusing on the osteophyte, my doc anesthetized me somewhat. I had also put a lidocaine patch on my foot for several hours beforehand. PRP on the foot is absolutely excruciating, much worse than the shoulder. So, I was extremely grateful for this. I had about 15 injections around the problem area while clenching my teeth and trying to think of happier things. The pain medication is now wearing off and I can really feel it. Probably won't do much tomorrow.

    He was worried that these problems could be causing plantar fasciitis in my foot. But I have not experienced that problem thus far. I am supposed to work on mid foot and toe mobility until my next treatment. My doc has had runner patients with the same issue. In their case, with all the running, PRP postpones surgery for many years, but they ultimately have to have it and endure a 6 month recovery. I am hoping PR will spare me this. Or at least put it off for a very long time since I don't run anymore. () However, I wonder if my mega kicking takes a similar toll? I wouldn't think so since it's not weight bearing, but who knows?

    Anyway, here are a couple interesting links I found:

    Other than that, my day was perfectly fine! Going for a monster night's sleep since Mr. Fort and Lil Fort are on their annual Daddy-Daughter ski trip with his best friend and his daughters.

    Updated January 15th, 2011 at 10:02 AM by The Fortress

  14. Thursday, Jan. 13

    by , January 13th, 2011 at 04:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands, 70 minutes:

    RC Work, 15 minutes

    cable twist w/yoga ball, 40 x 1 x 15 each side, 50 x 1 x 15 each side
    rotating reverse scoops, 25 x 2 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    back extensions, 25 x 2 x 15
    HS iso lateral leg extension, 50 x 2 x 10
    (had to concentrate to keep legs in sync on this exercise; this exercise is much harder on the HS machine that the other machines)
    seated narrow grip row negatives, 70 x 2 x 10
    deadlift, 100 x 2 x 10
    box jumps 2 x 10
    tuck knee jumps, 10
    start plyo w/med ball, 20
    (this is essentially like hiking a football)

    Ate a protein fusion bar and headed down to the hot gym pool for a kick workout. Didn't feel up to a lactate set in that pool.

    Swim/SCM/ Solo:

    Warm up:

    650 various

    Hypoxic Kick + Burst Turnover Drill:

    4 x 25 shooters w/fins (back, right side, left side, belly on all sets)
    4 x 25 12.5 fast windmill backstroke + 12.5 EZ
    4 x 25 shooters
    4 x 25 12.5 fast underwater free recovery drill + 12.5 EZ
    4 x 25 shooters

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Kick:

    10 x 100 backstroke kick, no fins @ 15 RI

    50 EZ

    Fast Kick:

    16 x 25, no interval
    odds = AFAP dolphin kick w/board
    evens = easy

    -- intended to do more but started cramping

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 3100 meters/2500 kick



    Shoulder and neck are gradually feeling better. I'm still proceeding with caution at the gym and not doing too much upper body work. Not much in the water today either with my kick-centric workout.

    Tomorrow will be an off day as I'm in Lil Fort's classroom teaching art, then at PRP () and then officiating at Mini Fort's swim meet (which doesn't start till 8:30 pm). I think I'm due anyway.

    I am loving the flog feature. I love looking at it in the monthly view. Really lets you see what you've been doing easily.

    Colonies Zones:

    On line registration for the CZ meet April 15-17 at GMU opens today. If you are a distance geek, sign up for those events fast.

    Updated January 13th, 2011 at 08:31 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  15. Wed., Jan. 12

    by , January 12th, 2011 at 05:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Had another good session today, tried to be careful of the neck, which is still tender. It seems that every instructor has a pet name for the men and women in the class. Today, the instructor called all the men "boss." Last time, another one called all the women "loves." lol. I was even allowed to walk out of the class to get more water -- such leniency!

    Wednesday seems like a good day for yoga for me. The last few weeks it's been sandwiched in between Tuesday & Thursday swim + dryland doubles and thus provided a nice break and stretch.


    Feeling a bit sluggish from yesterday's deep tissue. Hoping the neck pain will be gone tomorrow and I can get a good dryland session in.

    I continue to be a supplement junkie. I was instructed to add pharmaceutical grade iodine and L-tyrosine into the mix. They have many benefits:


    But, for me, the main purpose seems to be to support the thyroid. I am seriously looking forward to renewed energy & vigor once this thyroid problem gets fixed. Perhaps I'll be able to train more without having such huge recovery problems.

    In other news, Mini Fort is doing her first 2K on the erg today. She is hoping to make the varsity boat (which is heavyweight) in the spring even though she's a lightweight. It will be interesting to see how it goes ... her technique needs some real work as she is brand new to the sport. And right now, sport-loving Mini is really burning the candle at both ends with HS swimming, club volleyball and winter crew on Wednesdays. She certainly won't be able to do that in the spring, or next year, and will have to make some hard decisions. As for Fort Son, Dartmouth is a done deal (interestingly, he's the only kid from a public school recruited for lightweight rowing). We are now into the purchasing of copious college apparel. Mr. Fort and I have a couple friends around the country whose kids are also attending Dartmouth next year, so the parent weekend may be more fun than usual! We are all still elated. So nice to know before April.

    Updated January 12th, 2011 at 10:15 PM by The Fortress

  16. 50/50, Tuesday, Jan. 11

    by , January 11th, 2011 at 09:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC work, 15 minutes

    broomstick twists, 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 100
    reverse scoop, 25 x 2 x 15
    total ab machine, 130 x 2 x 15
    back extensions w/plate, 25 x 2 x 15

    HS power squat, 180 x 1 x 10, 200 x 1 x 10
    skull crushers, 50 x 2 x 10
    standing narrow grip cable pull down w/foot on bench, 90 x 1 x 10, 80 x 1 x 10 (a guy bodybuilder with a shirt that said "these boobs are not from nature, they were built" showed me this one)
    box jumps, 10
    squat jumps w/45 lb bar, 10


    Warm up:

    600 various

    8 x 25 shooters on back

    2 x 10 second AFAP vertical dolphin kick + 50 EZ

    3 x (15 burst + 35 EZ)

    50 EZ

    Speed Set:

    5 x 50 w/fins + 150 EZ @ 5:00

    #1 UW shooter, 23
    #2 backstroke kick, 24 high
    #3 backstroke 24 high
    #4 UW shooter, high 23-low 24
    #5 backstroke, high 24-25

    50 EZ

    Total: 2150

    I really prefer doing AFAP sets at OakMarr or GMU where they have the digital clock. Harder to tell your time on a pace clock. I may go to OakMarr on Thursday and GMU on Friday.

    Massage, 60 minutes



    I woke up this am with a bit of a wrenched neck. Halfway through my drylands, it felt worse. Maybe from the weight on my shoulders from the power squat? By the time I got to the pool, I couldn't turn my head left or right without pain. That's one reason I did all backstroke work on the AFAP 50s -- not much head movement. I was still really uncomfortable. Fortunately, I had called my massage therapist before swimming and she had an appt open in the late afternoon. Feel a bit better already. Whenever I do this, it seems like 2-3 days of pain. I wonder if it was the result of a domino effect from my weak/strained/tight left shoulder. Anyhoo, hope it exits quickly! But I didn't help matters by doing a slip & fall on the stairs from the ice that's arrived. I just like looking at snow and ice from afar; I really don't need it to be here in NOVA.

    Was chatting with friends today about 50/50 training: 50% on land & 50% in the pool. I think this is pretty much what I do. A specific example was given of Hanna-Maria Seppala (4th in 100m free in 2008). She apparently does ballet 3hrs/week, runs for about 90 minutes 3x week and does extensive dryland/core for about 90 minutes 4x week. She swims only 4-5k per workout 5x week (more during training camps). She spends about 50% of her training on land and 50% in water. That's still a TON of training, but not that much swimming. I definitely believe most masters would benefit from more land training. My SDKs are just as much a product of my gym time as my kicking yardage. Oh, I heard some crazy master kicked for an entire 2 hour workout recently.

    Bought the Finis Foil monofin today! Can't wait to try it, and see how (and if) it's that much different from regular long blade fins. Still haven't found my Finis Shooter MF around the house or in the lost and found.

    Updated January 11th, 2011 at 10:07 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  17. Monday, Jan. 10

    by , January 10th, 2011 at 07:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    30-35 minutes slow recovery swim
    went about 1600 or so, didn't really keep track

    20 minutes hottub, with jets on the quads

    Yoga & Stretching, 40 minutes

    Stretched and did part of a P90X yoga DVD. I've decided if I do this >30 minutes, I will flog it as yoga.

    15 minutes RC work

    20 minutes researching how to put KT on quads and calves and then applying same (see, e.g., [nomedia=""]YouTube - Kinesio Taping for Quads[/nomedia])



    I had originally thought I might do my 6 x 50 speed set today. But I didn't have a nose clip in my bag -- those things go missing so easily. And my quads were absolutely burning after yesterday (probably from the extreme lunge step up, which I swear will build legs of steel). So I opted for a slow recovery swim. Probably the smartest move anyway after yesterday's effort. Tomorrow, I'll try to hit the gym and get a speed set in.

    I found my box of blue KT and decided to apply it to my left shoulder, the quads, the calves & shins. I practically look like the cookie monster now. I'll probably frighten the noodlers at the pool tomorrow. :-) Already feel better with the placebo effect!

    LZR reborn:

    We're expecting 1-4 inches tomorrow night. Oh snap. Close everything and hide. (rolls eyes)

    Meet Thought:

    I'm mulling over doing the Warrenton meet on March 6 instead of attending the Richmond meet on February 12. Warrenton is closer and would be good prep 2 weeks before the Albatross meet, which I'll rest some for. If so, I may cruise in late to do a couple events in the last half. Maybe 50 fly or 50 breast and 100 IM. And it's supposed to be a fast pool. Plus, frankly, the timing appeals to me more. I'm not sure I feel like swimming in a meet in a month when I'm still training hard and tired.

    Entry info for the Colonies Zones meet in April is up:

    I was hoping to swim the 100 fly and 100 back on Saturday. But I'd have to swim the 100 fly as a split on the 200. Egads. I'm not actually sure I could do this ... I'd have to take a huge huge coffee break on the turn after the 100.

    Updated January 10th, 2011 at 11:04 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  18. Triple, Sunday, Jan. 9

    by , January 9th, 2011 at 09:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC Work: arm extensions (3 sets), external rotators (3 sets), seated straight arm dips, chops on yoga ball, tricep kick backs, arm circles

    extreme step up lunge, 10 each leg
    -- This time, I stacked steps to be over 2 feet. Much harder than the 18 inch box. Really felt the burn in the hips and quads. These are harder than single leg squats. Can't imagine doing them with dumbbells yet at this height.
    box jumps, 2 x 10
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    back extensions w/plate, 25 x 2 x 15
    new exercise: altitude drop from 18 inch box (eccentric) right into broad jump, 10
    -- love this one! But you need quite a bit of room for it.

    I really only meant to go to the gym to do RC work. But once I was there, I figured I'd do a little plyo +core.

    Mini Swim/SCM/Solo @ Gym:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Speed Work:

    10 x 25 ATP-CP @ 1:00
    did burst dolphin kick on belly to 15 meters

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 breast w/fins AFAP (went 34 ish)

    200 EZ

    Total: 1200 meters

    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    I had yoga plans with a friend who shows addictive potential to bikram. So I went straight from gym + swim to yoga. The yoga studio was absolutely packed again. Either bikram is suffering from resolutionist syndrome or some college students are still home. When the room is packed like sardines, I think it makes the heat seem even more oppressive. I was so grateful when the instructor turned it down somewhat after camel with only a few poses left. I was melting.



    Success! I was really blasted most of the day yesterday after my team practice. But I seemed to have successfully slept off the fatigue and aches with a monster night of sleep. At least I woke up feeling quite refreshed and still feel great. Rather ebullient even. Now perhaps tomorrow I'll feel it more.

    After a lot of RC work and icing, my left shoulder feels better. But I will still proceed with caution. Think I'll stick with only one workout tomorrow. I feel a 6 x 50 @ 3-4:00 minutes coming on fairly soon.

    And there is a new $60 Finis all rubber monofin out:

    Updated January 9th, 2011 at 10:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  19. Saturday, Jan. 8

    by , January 8th, 2011 at 07:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    SCY @ GMU:

    400 swim
    100 back
    200 kick
    100 breast
    200 kick (25 left side, 25 right side)

    I missed about 300 of the warm up.

    Main Set:

    2 x through:

    2 x 300 free pull w/paddles & buoy @ 4:10
    second one faster than first
    I didn't pull; I used fins.
    On the second round, I kicked the last one (and that was faster than my free, lol).

    1 x 100 IM drill @ 2:00

    2 x 200 IM @ 3:10
    second one faster than first

    1 x 50 scull

    3 x 100 kick, no fins, descend (I descended to 1:22)

    4 x 25 free/back @ :30
    1 = 12.5, 12.5 easy
    2 = 12.5 easy, 12.5 fast
    3 = easy
    4 = fast

    50 EZ

    200 warm down

    Total: 4400 (4100 for me)


    20-25 minutes of RC Work

    20 minutes of stretching


    I took a rest day yesterday, but still didn't feel particularly refreshed today. It could be that I slept poorly last night though. Or it could be that I'm allergic to aerobic sets.

    We were in the diving well today, as there was a meet at GMU. There were 5 in my lane, which is crowded for us. It felt really wavy -- not used to that at all.

    My left shoulder is still bothering me and feels a bit tendonitis-like in the shoulder blade and rear delt area. I think it's a combination of paddle use (with the red strokemakers) on Jan. 2, lifting heavy on the hi row on Friday and sleeping on the damn thing. If only I could sleep on my back! As a result, I did no pulling today and used fins on all the swims. And got myself to the gym to do RC work. Coach said to lay off the paddles for a month.

    I had been planning on going to my team practice tomorrow, but, given my shoulder, I might just do a short kick or recovery practice of my own and yoga. Undecided. I like our Sunday practices, which are stroke and sprint oriented. But I should probably err on the side of caution.

    According to my flog, this week I swam 5x (15,000+), lifted 2x, went to yoga 1x, and did a lot of stretching. I kicked 5,000 yards. Wednesday will be three weeks of hard training, and I feel like I need a recovery week or a few days of recovery. I have a PRP appt next Friday (cancelled my Dec. appt when I was sick), so it would be ideal to take it easy around that time. I'm dreading it, it's so painful.

    Just got back from Black Swan -- excellent psychological thriller.

    Updated January 8th, 2011 at 08:20 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  20. Back to Power & Speed, Thursday, Jan. 6

    by , January 6th, 2011 at 04:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC Work, 10-15 minutes

    Other drylands, 45-50 minutes:

    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 100
    HS power squat, 160 x 3 x 10
    HS hi row, 160 x 1 x 10, 170 x 1 x 8, 180 x 1 x 8
    Total ab machine, 140 x 1 x 15, 140 x 1 x 10
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    box jumps, 2 x 10

    new exercise (from Mr. Fort's trainer): Don't have a name for this, but it's a variation of an extreme angle isometric. You essentially plant your right foot on a high box or a stairway in an extreme lunge position (I used the 18 inch box), your left leg should be straight with your toe touching the ground, push up to standing position with your right leg. repeat 10x, let heartrate fall and then do other leg. 18 inches was not tall enough for me, but I tried to compensate by moving my plant foot to the far end of the box. The idea is to be in a very extreme lunge when you do the exercise.

    2 x 10, each leg

    Stretching, 20 minutes

    Hopped in the car, downed a protein fusion bar and banana and headed to the pool.


    no clocks, no fins

    Warm up:

    750 various

    Speed Work:

    6 x 50
    1st 25: standing broad jump into pool + fast eggbeater kick to end
    2nd 25: scull

    6 x 50
    25 fast breaststroke pull w/buoy
    25 easy backstroke kick

    6 x 50
    25 backstroke start and power kick to 15 meters (15 kicks on the first 4, on the last 2 25s, 15 kicks put me past the 15 meter mark), cruise in
    25 easy

    4 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2050

    Hottub, 10 minutes



    It felt good to do some speed work after all the aerobic work I've been doing lately. I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow ... I may take it easy or take a rest day and go to my team practices this weekend. Mr. Fort and Lil Fort are going skiing this weekend with friends, so I'll have more free time than usual.

    Updated January 6th, 2011 at 11:22 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts