My USMS Page:
Potomac Valley Meet Schedule:
My team, GMUP:
It's a beautiful sunny day in the 70s here, so it was time for a run even though my running legs have utterly vanished from disuse. Went on a slow 5 mile zen trail run. Walked some on the up on mile 4. Took a water break and, as Pete would say, a nature break along the way. It was lovely.
I'm going to hop on my bike shortly for a quick 30 minute spin before heading off to fall kickoff night at our high school where my two oldest will get their schedules.
Here's another article for P & Q. Jazz can critique.
HS hi row, 130 x 3 x 10
tricep press, 55 x 3 x 10
bench press, 70 x 3 x 10
deadlift, 90 x 3 x 10
cable twist w/yoga ball, 40 x 3 x 15, each side
dead bugs on bosu, 3 x 15
windshield wipers, 3 x 20
incline crunch, 1 x 25 (didn't feel so hot ...)
external/internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
push ups, 2 x 15
prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
Because of taper, vacation and the plague, I've only lifted once in the last 5 weeks or so. Definitely felt weaker, especially on the hi row. Reduced weights from max so as not to kill myself with excess soreness right outta the box. Doing 3 sets instead of 2 is my "endurance" phase. How's that for scientific? I think I may alternate periods of power lifting and speed lifting like Lezak does but on shorter cycles. I liked doing the explosive lifting I did a little bit before my last taper. Want to do more of it and more plyos this fall.
I also noticed this comment by Lezak on Quick's blog:
Using more free weights and machines that are independent for each side of the body are the best. If there are hammer strength machines in your gym, those are the best to use to get the most out of each arm or leg independently. You need to learn to balance each side in the gym like you would do in the swimming pool.
I haven't done this type of work at all. I should probably change this, except I'm not all that fond of doing leg curls and extensions he does in lieu of squats and dead lifts.
I have been abysmal about doing RC work lately as well. However, my shoulders feel fine at the moment, so hopefully I have dodged the shoulder pain that usually comes with RC absenteeism.
Wasn't sure I was ready to swim with the team after the last week, but decided to HTFU and drive out to Mason. Tons of traffic heading into Mason, and I arrived 15 minutes late. I missed most of the structured warm up, and can't remember what it was. It was a fin night for me.
600 or so variety swim, kick, drill
12 x 100, done as:
3 x (3 x 100 free @ 1:20, 1 x 100 IM @ 1:40)
Not sure I was really warmed up enough for these. It was a challenge to get through this set with my queasy tummy.
50 AFAP off the blocks
I just pushed off, as I didn't feel like crawling out of the water. Went a 25 on backstroke. Because of the lack of recovery, this felt more like the second 50 of a 100.
50 EZ (was supposed to do 100 EZ)
14 x 75, done as:
2 x (5 x 75 pull @ 1:00 + 2 x 75 kick @ 1:40)
I kicked all 14. I worked the ones @ 1:00 and cruised the other 2 for recovery. Went 47-48 on the first set of 5 and 48-49 on the second set of 5.
The team was done, but because I arrived late, I did an extra set:
16 x 25 UW shooters @ :30
8 on belly, 8 on back
(This 3550 was much harder than the 4000 I did yesterday!)
Chatted with my coach a bit about the upcoming half ironman relay swim. She did one earlier this summer as well and swam around 30 minutes. She said she got caught in the middle of the pack on the start and the crowd and limbs akimbo freaked her out a bit. She said she rolled over and did backstroke some to breathe. I think I'm going to need to sprint some at the start to avoid this.
Here is the order of events for the Fall Ball on Sept. 26:
1/2* 4 x 100 IM Relay
3/4 200 Back
5/6 50 Free
7/8 100 Fly
9/10* 4 x 50 Back Relay
11/12* 4 x 50 Fly Relay
13/14 100 Back
15/16 200 Free
17/18 100 Breast
19/20* 4 x 50 Free Relay
21/22* 4 x 50 Breast Relay
23/24 200 Fly
25/26 100 Free
27/28 200 Breast
29/30 200 IM
31/32* 4 x 50 Mix Up Med Relay
Not sure what to swim with this odd line up. I might sign up for the 200 and 100 back. Not sure if there's enough rest for me between them though. 200 backs wipe me out completely.
Exercise as addictive as heroin?
Upcoming feature film:
Jim has asked me to announce that the latest Thornton Twins Production will be released shortly. As we haven't seen a joint production for some time, I'm sure we'll all be riveted. I don't even know the topic to drop a tantalizing hint; as Jim would say, "It is coming ..."
Updated September 1st, 2009 at 10:59 PM by The Fortress
Did nothing yesterday after a trying night the night before that rendered me largely useless for the day. Felt vaguely better today and was determined to get in the pool. I stole Patrick's 11 x "300" pyramid set from awhile back and adapted it.
700 variety warm up
Main set/Aerobic work: 11 x "300"
Took about 30 seconds rest between "300s" or so.
12 x 25 breaststroke @ :30, working on squeezing elbows together and quick recovery
6 x 50 flutter kick w/board @ :50
4 x 75 single arm fly @ :20 RI
3 x 100 backstroke @ 1:45
(7-8 SDKs off each wall)
2 x 150 free @ :20 RI
1 x 300 free @ :20 RI
2 x 150 free @ :20 RI
3 x 100 back @ 1:45
4 x 75 single arm fly @ :20 RI
6 x 50 backstroke kick w/fins @ :45
12 x 25, odds = Br pull, evens = front scull
It felt good to be in and gliding around in the water, though I did nothing fast.
I went to my doc today, as I was still very nauseous and it had been a week. After a couple tests, it was determined that I'm anemic and had some GI bleeding last week. Could be a nasty bacteria wrecking havoc on my system. Have to go see a gastroenteroligst and have an endoscopy. Oh joy. In the meantime, I'm starting on nexium so hopefully I'll be able to actually exercise in some meaningful way. I wish I had been on an exotic tropical vacation and gotten parasites instead. Geez! I'm craving some salads and tomatoes from my garden ...
As for Mr. Fort, he's had tons of blood work that has ruled out some blood disorders such as hemolytic anemia. He had a bone marrow biopsy and more blood work today. Results in a couple weeks. Seems likely to be a mild case of MDS, though he could be a rogue mutant with weird blood counts. So we are somewhat cautiously optimistic. He was biking with a tri group in Wilmington last week and exceeding 30 mph, so I don't think it's too dire yet. It'd be nice if we were both healthy. We are very healthy (possibly) unhealthy people.
Spent the night at high school sports parents meetings. Fort Son is doing cross country and Mini Fort shocked the crap (for Q) out of me by trying out for the volleyball team. (Unlike me, she's always excelled at ball sports -- still, volleyball?! Not sure how this will work with USA swimming ...) I am trying to be a bad parent and escape over volunteerism. It has not escaped my attention that many of the parent volunteers look in dire need of some exercise. And, really, there's only so many hours in the damn day! I'm already committed to do X,Y and Z during this school year. I love summer, but I am, I must admit, finally looking forward to the kids going back to school next Tuesday. (Except for the getting up earlier part. I slept in until 10:00 today after staying up until 1:00 waiting for Mini Fort to get home from a concert.)
Check this out Patrick and Q!
Updated August 31st, 2009 at 11:22 PM by The Fortress
It's been a rough few days. When I continued to feel ill at the beach, I called my doctor. He believes I have gastritis. I've never had that before, it's horrible! Not sure how I got it -- could be an underlying infection, contaminated ocean water, etc. I don't think one margarita constitutes overindulgence, so that's not it.
Took the day off yesterday. Had to drive home from the beach anyway. Finally slept through the night last night. Did an easy 40 spin on my bike. That's all I could do without feeling nauseous. I feel somewhat better today. Hoping I can get back in the pool tomorrow. It's not been a very productive last 10 days or so, that's for sure. But crap happens.
Well, things were going splendidly until I got what seems to be a nasty stomach virus a couple days ago. (Why do these things always strike in the middle of the night?) I don't fret over colds and such much, but I'm a real ninny about tummy upsets. I didn't do anything yesterday but sit in my beach chair and do my beach reading. Which wasn't so bad really, very relaxing.
Today was a red flag day at the beach, so I dutifully trundled off to the YWCA for a quick workout. I was still feeling a bit queasy, so I don't think it even rose to the level of yoga swimming. lol The otudoor pool was very hot -- ugh! And I was going so slow that initially I thought the pool might be SCM ... But at least I was in the water working on my streamlines and such.
750 variety kick, swim, drill
4 x 50 flutter kick w/board @ 1:00
10 x 100 @ 1:50
Odds = free, evens = backstroke kick
10 x 50 w/fins @ 1:00
odds = breast pull working on squeezing elbows together
evens = dolphin kick on side, alternating left and right
10 x 50 w/fins @ 1:00
25 easy speed fly + 25 front scull
Did the same workout as yesterday. Could be a first in the annals of Fort history. Went for my approximately 1.7 mile swim + 1.7 mile run back on the beach. It took about 55 minutes, so I don't think I had an too much of a cheater current. If I had gone later in the day, the waves were even more mellow. Again, no nasty jellyfish to ruin the swim. This is definitely harder on the shoulders though so, despite the ease of it, I'll probably make the drive out to the YWCA tomorrow.
I went to a tri store today to get some of Geek's famed 2XU bike shorts for Mr. Fort. While there, I checked out their wetsuits a bit. Lordy! These things don't compare to a B70 AT ALL. The 2009 2XU wetsuit, for example, is 5 mm thick and made of 39 cell neoprene. I don't think I've ever seen anything so thick, squishy and seemingly buoyant in my life. It bore no resemblance to a swim skin. The next time someone says I'm swimming in a wetsuit, I'm going to kick their ass! Yeesh! And I'm no expert, but it appears there's been a leap forward in wetsuit technology from 2007 to 2009 in terms of thickness and buoyancy.
The other hot new thing in the tri store were the recovery compression socks for cyclists and runners. I'm told you wear these after a workout to promote muscle recovery. Though you see some athletes actually running or biking in them ... They also come in black so the guys can wear them to work ... I'm thinking there could be a swim adaptation for these socks. Nice recovery after an intense kick/fin workout.
Adding a few more pics from Nats. SwimRobin caught the first shot on the left of THT members, one gone a bit crazy as usual. Next is a pic of our girl Champ 200 free relay, then a pic of bloggers Chicken of the Sea, me and Bobinator, then a pic of blogger FlyQueen (the "wifey") and me. (Sizing is askew on a couple, probably cuz I pulled them off FB. My own pics are on my other computer at home.)
Updated August 26th, 2009 at 12:12 AM by The Fortress
Well, it wasn't too rough today, so there was no excuse not to venture into the OW. And it was an enjoyable break from the usual walls. I swam a course my husband had measured with his bike computer as 1.7 miles on the road. I must have swum 2+ miles with the zig zagging and having to swim back out past the surfers several times. And there were no jellyfish! The only bummer was that I lost my goggles when I got hit by a huge wave on the way to shore. Luckily, I have others.
Then I ran back along the beach. And it didn't even feel too dreadful!
Now, after a day of sun and surf, it's almost time for my margarita! Sleep be damned.
Made it the YMCA before it closes for the rest of the week. Not a bad pool. Very shallow, especially at one end, but a cool temperature. I went in the early to mid afternoon to avoid it being closed due to late afternoon thunderstorms. The storms never came, so I was happily able to sit on the beach for a couple hours after my workout.
Usual 700 variety swim, kick, drill
16 x 200 w/fins, done with descending intervals as:
4 x 200 free @ 3:00
4 x 200 backstroke kick @ 2:50
4 x 200 free @ 2:40
4 x 200 backstroke kick @ 2:30 (had 7-8 seconds rest on these)
No extra rest between. It wasn't as terrible and dull as I feared. It's nice to combine the mid-D with some early season kicking. I'm big fan of kicking a lot in early season. Not 2 days like Wolfy has managed, , but maybe a couple months of it.
5 x 50 breast pull @ 1:00
5 x 50 dolphin kick on back @ :50
Did my RC exercises even! I may swim in the ocean tomorrow if it's not as rough rather than driving to the YWCA (which apparently is open next week -- it will be mobbed with tris I'm sure). They rescued 25-30 people at Wrightsville Beach yesterday because of the rough currents.
Took a rest day yesterday to drive to the beach.
Wanted to swim today. No go. Couldn't swim in the ocean. It was too rough, and they closed the beach for awhile. There were jet skis circling for a long while -- I hope it wasn't a drowning.
Tried to go swim at the Wilmington YMCA. Drove there and thunderstorm started. Even though it is an indoor pool, they closed it, so I was out of luck. The Y is closed starting Monday for the rest of the week.
Thought about going on a run. But after sitting on the beach all day, running is TOO hard. I have no running legs. I'm sort of worried they're gone for good.
I'm going to investigate other places to swim around here if the ocean stays like this. I think it is supposed to be calmer later in the week. Really hoping this week isn't going to be a workout disaster, since I already took one week off.
Surfing would be good core work -- but I haven't surfed in many years.
Updated August 22nd, 2009 at 07:21 PM by The Fortress
Drove out to Mason with my little one in tow.
2 x 150 kick
2 x 75 drill
2 x 75 ? (I did shooters)
400 IM kick
75 kick/25 swim
I was somewhat flabbergasted to see this set at the start of a SCY season after the pool had been closed for two weeks! I thought I'd be lounging around doing aerobic work ...
24 x 50 @ 1:00
2 EZ, 1 AFAP (every other AFAP from a dive, extra 30 seconds rest on dive ones)
I did all the fast ones backstroke with fins. Went 6 24s and 2 25s.
2 x 250 pull w/some breathing pattern
I did backstroke kick at a pretty quick pace instead.
I'm leaving for the beach in NC for a week tomorrow. I plan to swim in the ocean some. I may look for a wet suit when I'm down there. There's also a Y close by that I swam at last year. My only concern is the weights. I think there was a really subpar weight room at the Y. My hammies are still slightly sore from the squats the other day.
Fall Meet Plan:
I have a tentative meet plan for the fall:
1. Sept. 26 DCAC's Fall Ball
(I may swim the 100 and 200 back at this meet. There are no 50s except for the 50 free and I'll sort of be in aerobic mode. Well, for me.)
2. Oct. 27 Sprint Classic at GMU
(unless Mr. Fort runs the MCM)
(Looked at the order of events. Not sure whether to start with 50 back or 100 fly. Last year, I opted for the 100 fly.)
3. Nov., Thanksgiving SCM Meet at Freedom Center
4. Dec, SCM Zones at Flushing Meadow Queens, NY
(This is the pool I almost swam at last May before my meet entries were lost. Not sure exactly when the meet is yet, but I know a bid has been placed. I may only swim one day at this meet, depending on life. I hope it's not the first weekend of Dec. immediately after the Thanksgiving meet here.)
Updated August 20th, 2009 at 10:15 PM by The Fortress
45 minute spin:
Only had time for a 45 minute spin on my indoor cycle today. I had planned a run, but my usual desire to run seems somehow to have deserted me. It's just too hot and my allergies are acting up.
Spent a bit of time writing a very brief piece on the benefits of weight lifting for a new USMS Swimmer feature called "Both Sides of the Lane Line." I'm now waiting to see if my worthy (he would say superior) opponent in this endeavor will, as usual, put lipstick on a pig.
Updated August 19th, 2009 at 09:54 PM by The Fortress
Made it back to the gym today. Took it pretty easy and started at relatively light weight. Had a 15 minute chat break in the middle, which halted possible obsessive over exertion.
standing lat pulldowns, 100 x 3 x 12
seated narrow grip row, 70 x 3 x 12
goblet squats, 30 x 3 x 15
alternating hammers, 15 x 2 x 30
rear delt flys, 12.5 x 2 x 12
elevated crunches, 3 x 25
total ab machine, 100 x 2 x 25
external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
prone scapular scrunches w/handweights, 2 x 25
3 position arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15
No stretching. My bad, haven't stretched since before Nationals ... Someone at Nationals asked me how I maintain flexibility with as little stretching as I do. I guess I'm pretty naturally flexible, but I could certainly improve/make some inroads in this area.
Journeyed to Mason tonight. Was somewhat bummed to see the pool back to SCY. The practice was very lightly attended -- I suspect many are on vacation.
300 swim/300 kick/300 pull (I drilled the 300 pull)
200 swim/200 IM drill (I missed one 200 b/c of chatting)
2 x (50 dolphin kick on back + 25 shooter + 25 scull)
10 x 75 kick w/fins @ 1:20
#1 = first 25 fast
#2 = second 25 fast
#3 = third 25 fast
#4 = fast
#5 = easy
(I think I was the only one following the prescribed "fast" portions. lol. Bunch of lazy kickers!)
4 x 150 free @ 2:05 @ 85%
4 x 100 @ 1:50, 75 stroke + 25 free, descend
4 x 75 @ 85% @ 1:05
4 x 50 stroke @ 1:00, descend
I was racin' on the first set. Took off like a bat out of hell on the first 150 ... not sure about that thought process ... Didn't back down and felt like puking at the end of the 4 x 150. The next 4 x 100 was a bit of an epic fail, and ended up being pure recovery swimming. Then I was back at it on the 75s. I managed to descend the last set decently, as written, with an extremely slow first 50.
Chatted with Wally in the hottub after practice. As an experiment, he gave up weights for 3 months over the summer in favor of more pool time. He was not impressed with the results, and is headed back to the gym.
Drank a fully loaded Gatorade during practice tonight. This doesn't seem to agree with me. I think I need to restrict my Gatorade or G2 intake to after practice or else dilute it.
I woke up today and absolutely nothing hurt, ached, twinged, or was sore. What a bizarre feeling! So I set about remedying that state of affairs. Didn't feel that my aerobic conditioning had completely deserted me in the pool. I'm sure hitting the gym tomorrow will feel worse.
700 variety swim, kick, drill
10 x 200 @ 2:45 (Yes, that's right. lol)
100 free/100 backstroke kick
20 x 50 kick w/fins @ 45
#1-10 = backstroke kick, SDK to 15 meter mark each length
#11-20 = flutter kick w/board
10 x 50
#1-5 = Br pull @ 1:00 working on wider scull, felt slow
#6-10 = single arm fly drill @ :50
Just planning some aerobic work for the next few weeks. If anyone has any good suggestions about sets to prep for my OW swim in Sept., I'm all ears. I plan on doing plenty of kicking the next couple months as well.
I need to plan a meet schedule for this fall. I will likely swim at the Fall Ball hosted by DCAC on Sept. 26. (The next day is the swim wedding of the century! ) I'm a little bummed I can't defend my sprint title at the Sprint Classic in October, but I believe that's the same day as the Marine Corp Marathon. We'll see if Mr. Fort ends up doing that. He made it through the Savageman bike course yesterday and up all the brutal hills.
I've attached a few photos that a friend of Jim's took during my 50 back race. I look pretty muscle-y in the backstroke start shot. And I couldn't resist -- I got a shot of my little one upside down in the air at Kennywood. Love that shot.
Updated August 17th, 2009 at 06:51 PM by The Fortress
Finishing off my week of being a slacker.
I did walk several miles around the Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh yesterday with family and friends. In 100 degree heat, no less. Love the Phantom's Revenge!!!
Today, I just drove home from Pittsburgh with my kids and a friend. I let my two Savageman relay partners take a detour to Deep Creek without me to bike and run on the murderous course. Not a twinge of guilt!
I think I'll exercise tomorrow ... though I won't make like Sprinticus for awhile.
Here's my 50 back video from Nationals filmed by Jimby. Haven't seen the one Hulk filmed yet. It's pretty much like I remembered it -- conservative on the start, good breakout, and running out of gas about 5 meters before the flags. (Ande says I must learn how to split 50s appropriately! lol) Still, so happy to break 32!
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_QnCTP2n2w&feature=player_embedded"]YouTube - Leslie's 50 LCM Backstroke National Championship Performance[/ame]
Swam the 1 hour Friday practice with the Sewickley Masters, coached by Bill White. My first venture into exercise after 4 days of rest. I'm not sure I've had 4 days of rest since ... well ... possibly since my last child came along. lol
Anyway, we did a sprint practice. No easy aerobic work to ease back in! Though Jimby seemed to treat the workout this way. Got to see my pal, Mermaid, which is always a huge delight! We all had dinner afterward.
Swam about 300 OMO
8 x 50 @ :50 IM order
4 x 50 kick @ 1:10 IM order
4 x 100 @ 2:00
I did 2 free and 2 backstroke kick
4 x 100 @ 3:00
50 fast/50 EZ
I did 2 IM and 2 backstroke kick
6 x 50 kick @ 1:10
25 fast/25 EZ
I did them as 50 shooters with an open turn
No exercise to report. However, I did expend a tremendous amount of mental energy reading an article in the latest Rowing News magazine. It set forth highlights from the meeting of the ACSM last May. I'm sure many of you have seen them, but if you haven't, here are some that caught my eye:
1. Many athletes believe they need protein to build muscle. Yet a study showed that taking recovery protein (from Endurox or whatever) had no performance or muscle building advantages. I guess this is distinguishable, however, from its possible muscle recovery properties. This could be some of the research Jazz was alluding to when he announced that protein may not help build strength and changed his diet to exclude most protein, or at least meat.
2. Fruits, berries and black currants have antioxidant and anti-inflammantory properties. Real shocker there.
3. Actual food is more health protective than supplements. Q and Jazz say this all the time!
4. Almonds are awesome, particularly pre-exercise. Must be why Quicksilver munches them at his desk while sipping green tea ...
5. Athletes who exercise in the heat should hyper-hydrate, but make sure their sport drink contains a substantial amount of sodium.
6. Man athletic trainers use pickle juice to treat cramps. SwimmerGirlKT mentioned this on her blog awhile ago. Some report that 1-2 ounces can relieve cramping in seconds. The actual mechanism for this is illusive and indeterminate.
7. Chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. Wow, who'd a thunk?
8. Glutamine reportedly enhances recovery, yet a study comparing beverages with and without glutamine during and after exercise did not confirm this.
9. During exercise, an energy bar, sport drink or gel are all pretty much equally effective.
10. Exercise apparently improves learning based on studies done with younger children.
11. And check this out:
"Many youth swimmers spend hours training for relatively short competitive events. A six-week study with 9-12 year olds suggests high intensity/low volume training offers the same benefits as lower intensity/high volume training."
So don't burn young kids out! Wonder how this applies going forward as the pre-teens age?
Updated August 13th, 2009 at 05:58 PM by The Fortress
This will be my third day in a row of no exercise! I didn't take a break after Zones in April and think that caused me more fatigue when I started up again. So I'm going to take a few days off. I am heading up to the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh this afternoon. I hope to get in a mellow swim or two at the Sewickley Y with my Pittsburgh buddies, Jimby and Bill White, while I'm in Pittsburgh over the weekend. (I have a family get together as well.)
I've attached a couple pics of two forum dinners and some of the Academy Bullets doing our strong arm thing. ABM finished 4th overall in the club team rankings!
Only 2 other thoughts about Nats:
It was freezing in the natatorium. I wish I had brought my parka and Ugg boots (if they're good enough for Rob Butcher ...), but they didn't fit in the suitcase, which already weighed 49.9 pounds.
I forgot to put my good luck nose clip on before my 50 back split on Thursday. I'm sure that made all the difference!
I returned home to an intense onslaught of demands, frenzy and servicing. Yeesh! Can't I just lay on the couch and recover? So, before I rush off to the next kid pick up and feeding, here are my thoughts in random order.
1. Meet Performance:
Felt like I had a pretty good, but not perfect meet. Traveling is always tiring for me, and I had an rather trying first travel day with GPS failures and whatnot. And the first night, I had an engineer in my hotel room at midnight fixing my phone and alarm clock so I could get up in the am. You don't need little things like this to go wrong when you're trying to power down and get some sleep.
Anyway, I was happy with all the swims except the 100 back. Though I felt like I brushed off that disappointment pretty quickly and moved on. My 50 back split on Thursday was OK.
I'm not sure it was the best decision to start fighting the sleep issue with meds 2 weeks before Nats (but I did because of #6 below). The medication I was taking made me groggy in the morning. I gave it up after Friday on Dr. Allen Stark's (aka Mr. Breaststroke) sage advice, and felt better the last two days of the meet. Didn't sleep much, but then that is SOP for me at meets. It seems to be that way for many others as well. My doctor did confirm today that the sleep medication I was on can cause muscle tightness and cramping. He coulda told me! lol Anyway, I'm going to try something else for awhile because of these adverse side effects.
I held up pretty well over 4 days, which surprised me. I'm usually just gassed after 2. That was probably due to swimming a minimal number of events each day and nothing too long. I got a 30 minute massage after Relay day which probably helped too.
But overall, with PBs in my 50s, being very close to two WRs, and some great relays, I felt like I did pretty well. I'm cautiously hopeful that my 50 back will remain in the #1 position this time in USMS and FINA. We'll see ...
In general, I have to say national meets are a bit too long for me. Except for being able to see friends (which is huge and amazing and pure fun!), I prefer the 1-2 day meet format. It's a huge burden on my family to be gone so long and it takes a toll on me too. But masters swimming isn't just about times or maximizing performance.
2. Relay Day:
Seems somewhat controversial. I had a really great time that day with my teammates. Got to swim with friends and there was a lot of camraderie and cheering. I got so hoarse my voice starting morphing into Ahelee's!
I think having Relay Day stuck in the middle of the meet, as some have commented, took some bite out of the Sunday events though. It's hard to know how much. I guess I'd prefer to have it the last day of the meet. Then, those swimming with their teams can have at it and those without teams can leave early and save some dollars. (Having a meet where you arrive on Tues or Wed and leave on Monday is kinda pricey to say the least!) It doesn't really appeal to me to have 1-2 relays at the end of each day, as the wimpy sprinter in my finds that exhausting.
3. Taper Execution:
So glad I did RC work during taper this time! My gimpy shoulder held up fine during the meet and doesn't feel too poorly right now either. In fact, I'm not terribly sore -- just very tired.
I did weights a bit longer than usual into taper this time as well. That didn't seem to hurt. And I wonder if the tapering of the weights and adding explosive weights helped some?
I did feel like I overdid it on one day -- the Sunday before leaving for Nats on Wed. I did too many backstroke starts that day, leaving me tired for two days. I won't do this again right before a big meet.
(My backstroke starts in general were a bit erratic as Chris' DQ and the 15 meter mark preyed on my mind some. My start is a huge edge or me, so I need to get the kicks down as well as I can. In all three backstroke starts I did, I had a body length lead on the field at the breakout. Lisa Dahl literally corralled me in the warm down pool and asked what I was doing for this.)
4. Comparison to 50s in 2008:
2008 = 31.1
2009 = 29.7*
1.4 second improvement
2008 = 33.4
2009 = 31.9
1.5 second improvement
2008 = 29.2
2009 = 28.5
.7 second improvement
* = only swim done in a Jaked as opposed to a B70. At the Terappin Cup meet in June, on shorter rest and after a LZR blow out, I swam a B70 clad 30.7 in the 50 fly. But I was rather dim spirited for that.
I guess since almost all of these times were done in B70s, Jim can't very credibly attribute the improvement to the suit.
5. Jaked vs. B70
My experience with the Jaked: meh. It seemed very similar to the B70 to me except less comfortable. This could be because my B70 is somewhat older and stretched out.
I did swim an extremely fast 50 fly in the Jaked. I'm not sure how much of an edge that gave me over the B70. My other two swims in the Jaked were the 50/200 back and the 50 free. In both these swims, I was slower than the 50 back and 50 free I swam with my B70. I did get relatively poorer starts in the swims with my Jaked so that could explain some of the lack of differential. Some could likewise attributable to fatigue -- e.g., I was more tired for my 50 free on Sunday than for the two leadoff legs in the relays on Saturday. Still, the Jaked was no magic pill for me. I'll continue to use it of course. Not sure where yet!
6. Extra Stress
I've also been under some additional stress/anxiety because of a health issue with Mr. Fort. He recently had abnormal blood test results and an abnormal bone marrow reading on an MRI. His doctor suspects myelodysplasia. There is really nothing good to say about this rare illness. We are seeing an oncologist on Thursday and he will likely need a bone marrow biopsy. He has had odd blood readings in the past and the abnormal bone marrow reading could be from trauma from his prior hip injury, so we're hoping for the best. And this is a man who biked 70 miles 10 days after getting 20 stitches in the calf muscle ... Still, this news, to say the least, has been upsetting and unsettling. I didn't say anything about it before Nats, and thought about canceling. But Mr. Fort really urged me to go since I had trained so hard. I felt very fortunate to see and be surrounded by such good friends while I was there! I miss my Indy peeps already!
I uploaded 80 or so photos to FB. I'm at my limit for photos here on USMS so you will have to go to FB to see the shots of forumites and friends. I thought my 50 fly video was on my camera, but it is not. Both Paul Wolf and Jimby filmed my 50 back, so hopefully I will get a link soon. One of Jimby's friends, a professional photographer, also took some shots of my 50 back that looked fabulous. He said he would email them to me. I can't wait to see them!
Updated August 11th, 2009 at 10:19 PM by The Fortress
About to hop on a plane home, so just a quick-ish report. I'll post more analysis and thoughts later.
Sunday's events were the 50 free and 50 back. I was glad the 50 free was first to "get the cobwebs out." I was definitely tired after relay day and another poor night's sleep, but not unreasonably so during warm up.
50 free: 28.6, 3rd place
Last year, went 29.3 at a USA meet with some rest in my B70. Yesterday, I went 28.7 and 28.5 in my B70 leading off two relays. On both of them I had very good starts. Not so today. The starter held us for a long time. I didn't get off the blocks well and went too deep. I was dead last at the 15 meter mark, which is unusual for me, though I am not immune to inconsistent starts. Recovered decently and finished in 28.6 for third place. I wore my Jaked for this race. I probably would have gone faster than yesterday'stimes IF I had nailed my start. But fancy suits don't fix that problem!
Lisa Dahl protested the start. Eney Jones also agreed it was terrible. Lisa had been hoping to
approach the WR. They also herded us like cattle through the 50s making up some time on the timeline by doing this. That wasn't ideal either.
Even so, very happy with my 50 frees. My
fastest of 28.5 is a big improvement from last year. (same suit)
50 back: 31.99, 1st place
My backstroke felt better in warm up and I made sure to do some backstroke sprints to get my arms moving. But I had a real energy lull and felt dead tired after the 50 free. FlyQueen got me a cup if coffee and that seemed to perk me up.
Since I had gone a 32.3 on Thursday, I was not at all concerned with my time. I just wanted to win cuz this event is my baby. Got a good start, though I played it fairly safe on the SDK front, taking 12. Had a very good breakout and just cranked. Started running out of gas about 5 meters from the flags. Stuck my finish, getting a 31.99. Was thrilled! I missed the WR by .2, but given that I was tired and it was day four, I was happy to finish on a good note.
I changed into my ratty old fashioned stretched out B70 for this race. I hadn't felt comfortable in the Jaked for backstroke on Thursday. In my B70 last year, I went 33.4, so this us a huge improvement.
In general, I think the 50 fly and 50 back were my best swims of the meet. The only real disaster was my ill fated 100 back. I held up better than I thought I would over the course of 4 days.
I did get a quick breaststroke clinic from Allen Stark after my 50 back. He gave me a few tips
to work on: sculling out wider on the pull to take advantage of my strength, squeezing my elbows together more, not pausing before shooting my hands forward, and keeping my knees closer together on the kick. I had thought my kick was appalling, but he disagreed and really focused on my pull issues. He thought my ankles were plenty flexible to start walking like a duck and that there was no excuse for my breaststroke phobia!
I took loads of photos. I think someone video taped my 50 fly. I think Wolfy video taped my 50 back. I had assigned that task to Jimby, but he was apparently too addled from his 400 free to comprehend digital camera technology. Anyway, hopefully I can post links later.
As an aside, I will decline all individual IL state records that I set. Though I loved my adopted Nationals team the Academy Bullets, I'm a PV
swimmer and will promptly rejoin GMUP.
Updated August 10th, 2009 at 12:49 PM by The Fortress
First, no cramping today. Made sure to drink a ton of Gatorade. My GMUP buddy also gave me some quinine tablets, a product from Canada that ge uses called "Leg Cramps.". Also just went with the usual lack of sleep.
These were my first relays ever at Nationals, and I really enjoyed them!
Wore B70, as I did on Friday.
Womens 120 200 free relay, 1st place:
I think we went a 1:54 or so and was told it was
pretty close to the NR. I led off with a 28.7, a PB for me. Previous best 29.2. Took 4-5 dolphin kicks on start. 3 breaths. Felt pretty good.
Mixed 200 medley relay, 200 plus, 3rd place
Swam the fly leg. Had a bad dive, went in a bit sidesways and and to straighten out. Think I split a 30.1. Very safe start for me, as I'm not that used to relays.
Mixed 200 free relay 200 plus, 2nd place
My first relay with Jimby, who swam his little heart out with a blowout in his B70. Very exciting finish. The team anchored by Spock on the forums nipped us at the end. I led off again and went a 28.5. Thus time, I took 7-8 dolphin kicks. I guess more is better.
I got some good feedback on my freestyle from Coach Bill White, also a Bullet. He said my kick was like a "motorboat.". I never knew this! I always thought my flutter kick was weak and that I wasn't kicking enough. This is apparently because I am doing a flutter-dolphin type motion with my straight arm stroke. I never knew that ... I think Chris has mentioned that he does this in free as well. I've heard if some coaches trying to teach this style. I guess I'm happy to hear that's what I'm instinctively doing. My head is also too high, but again, it was opined that this was because I was undulating. My body must be hard wired to dolphin kick.
Psyched for the 50 free and 50 back today. Not too worried about times, as I've already got good splits from previous swims. Fortunately, though tired, I don't feel totally broken down like I did at Zones. Off to warm up!
Updated August 10th, 2009 at 12:47 PM by The Fortress