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  1. Saturday, Oct. 16

    by , October 16th, 2010 at 04:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/Solo/SCY @ Oak Marr:

    Warm up:

    650 various

    Transition/Speed Play:

    3 x (25 free w/over kick + 25 free w/over kick + 25 fast breast pull + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 free w/over kick + 25 free w/over kick + 25 fast underwater free recovery drill w/fast hands + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 free w/over kick + 25 free 2/over kick + 25 back w/backstroke start + 25 EZ)
    Went 13, 14, 15 SDKs on the starts. 15 is legal with a tank, so probably 14 is the safest at a meet.

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 EZ free + 25 fast free + 25 EZ free) w/fins

    100 EZ

    Speed Sets:

    2 x (50 back AFAP + 150 EZ)

    I wanted to do them both from a backstroke start, but on the first one I was sharing a lane so had to push off. So I did one with fins (:23) and one from a start (:29). Very pleased with the 29; that's the fastest I've gone in practice, though I typically do my speed work with fins.
    I'm trying to pull up on my start without pulling my head in.

    4 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ)
    free, breast, back kick, dolphin kick

    100 EZ

    Total: 3000



    Bronchitis is still lingering. I had tentative plans to hit the gym with Jazzy tomorrow, but I am still just coughing too much. I may try to do some light dryland work before the Sprint Classic next weekend and just keep doing speed work.
    The psych sheets are out. Since I'm not going to Indy, I'm going to try to add the 50 free.

    Going to L'Auberge Chez Francois tonight with friends,, and hoping not to get glutened.

    Oh, this is rather funny. My whole life I've measured at 5 ft, 4 1/2 inches in height. Yesterday, at the doctors, I measured 5 ft, 5 1/2 inches. I'm a giant! I'm assuming it's the yoga. I've heard of people gaining an inch from yoga with its spine lengthening elements.

    Updated October 17th, 2010 at 11:08 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Swim, Oct. 14

    by , October 14th, 2010 at 05:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Transition/Technique Work:

    12 x 25 free w/dorkel (no fins) emphasizing kick

    I foresee a long transition period if I ever want to use this device. I'm not adept with it at all, and it precipitated some coughing fits. Here are some tips on how to use the dorkel: I think it would be quite helpful to me in freestyle. Breathing is really somewhat incidental for the 50 free. And I feel like it really does help you concentrate on form and kicking.

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = Estonian breast drill
    evens = breast pull w/buoy, done as 25 fast + 25 easy

    5 x (4 x 25 w/fins)
    25 twirling shooter + 25 twirling shooter + 25 EZ + 25 EZ speed fly

    (My fly didn't feel quite as foreign today)

    50 EZ

    RA CNS Stimulation Set (from Swimmer mag):

    3 x (5 x 50 (no fins) + 50 EZ)

    1st 5 = freestyle
    6-7-8-9-10 fast strokes and then cruise the rest

    2nd 5 = dolphin kick on belly
    8-9-10-11-12 fast kicks and then cruise the rest free

    3rd 5 = freestyle
    6-7-8-9-10 fast strokes and then cruise the rest

    150 EZ

    Total: 2750



    I am beyond frustrated with the lingering effects of bronchitis. Cough is just not under control, and keeping me up at night. It really takes a long time for me to kick this stuff; it just LINGERS.

    I've decided that PRP to the foot is harder to recover from than PRP to the shoulder. I could always swim fairly well a couple days after, but my foot is still sore. Guess it's cuz I'm always walking with the darn thing ...

    I'm off to senior night for cross country. Kinda bummed my senior isn't racing tonight. But they aren't "racing" in this quad meet anyway -- just doing some pace work to get ready for a big invitational on Saturday. Edit: Chatted with the AD a bit after the race. He said, despite having to automatically impose a 2 race suspension, that FortSon was a "rock star," "stood up," acted "honorably" and that he would tell him "well done" at graduation.

    My vids from the 50 back/50 fly combo at the Sprint Classic last year are here: I entered slower times this year in view of the bronchitis, lack of speed suit and being generally less ready. I had these same factors at play at the Albatross meet and I was about 1.5 seconds off my PRs in the two 50s there. Haven't seen a psych sheet yet. I'm curious about attendance.

    I'm still going to try to train hard and well the next couple months even though I'm feeling less motivated. I want to be ready to go when I AARP up.

    Updated October 14th, 2010 at 10:26 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  3. Baby Steps, Oct. 13

    by , October 13th, 2010 at 04:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Set:

    I used the structure of Chris' main set today. But I knew right away after getting in the water that I was not going to go fast. (As much as I'd like to swim faster faster and get better faster, it seems like I'm going to need a full 2 weeks).

    1 x 200 free w/paddles @ 3:00
    2 x 100 fly kick w/fins @ 2:00, last 25 UW
    4 x 50 360 fly drills @ 1:00
    (A swimmer asked me if I was doing these for strength or flexibility; I said neither.)

    1 x 200 free w/paddles @ 3:00
    2 x 100 back kick w/fins @ 2:00, 1 & 3rd 25s UW
    4 x 50 back w/fins @ 200 pace @ 1:00 (went 30-31, not really 200 pace)

    1 x 200 free w/paddles @ 3:00
    2 x 100 breast pull @ whatever
    4 x 50 breast @ 1:00
    odds = fast w/fins (30, 31)
    evens = EZ

    1 x 200 free w/paddles
    2 x 100 flutter kick w/board @ 2:00
    4 x 50 free, no interval, done as 25 AFAP + 25 EZ

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100



    Still coughing a lot and feeling sub par. But marginally better than yesterday. Trying to get good sleep. At least I could attempt to swim fast a wee bit today, though most of the workout was technique based. Since I am swimming so slow, this would probably be a good time to get out the dread dorkel.

    Got yelled at by a lap swimmer today because I didn't see him when I was doing one of the 200 frees. Well, no, I don't generally tend to look up on deck. Couldn't he just have stuck a hand or kick board in the water rather than yelling at me?

    Had a nice chat with one of the Machine coaches, who also coaches their masters group. He and a quite a few of his swimmers are competing in the Sprint Classic next Saturday. He was definitely trying to shame me into swimming. And I will, so long as I feel well. (I won't expect anything too great based on my Albatross meet results last March coming after the flu.) Unfortunately, Coach Cheryl says tech suits are out for the unofficial 25s because they "are being judged by officials." Not sure I follow that logic, but that's fine.

    Now I need to get back to the gym ...

    I have a rare slow night of driving kids around.

    Updated October 13th, 2010 at 08:09 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  4. Swim, Oct. 12

    by , October 12th, 2010 at 08:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/Solo/SCY @ Oak Marr:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    5 x 100 free w/paddles & fins @ 1:30

    Main Set:

    8 x 25
    odds = EZ speed fly w/fins
    (I hesitate even to label this "fly" as it felt foreign and horrible)
    evens = UW shooter w/fins
    coughing fit

    100 russian breast drill

    8 x 25
    odds = back
    evens = back kick
    coughing fit

    100 russian breast drill

    8 x 25
    odds = breast pull
    evens = flutter kick shooter

    100 chest press fly

    8 x 25
    all free w/overkick

    100 chest press fly

    8 x 25 flutter kick w/board @ :30

    100 EZ

    Total: 2600



    Made it back to the pool again. Did not do anything even remotely fast. I feel better, maybe 60%. I guess it's better to do this than stay out of the pool. More exhausting than swimming was the post swimming: pick Mini up from HS, go to grocery, drop Mini back at HS for game, go home to feed other kids dinner, go back to HS to watch volleyball game, come home and do dishes and pack lunches and read Fort Son's college application essay. Seriously, I need a wife.

    This latest bout of illness made me realize how much illness or injuries can ruin a season or a year. Last year, I was healthy most of the year. This year, I've had three major epidsodes where I've been out of the water for long periods of time. I just hope next year is back to healthy.

    I still doubt I'll swim the Sprint Classic. But I was wondering whether the "unofficial" 25s can be swum in "unofficial" suits, i.e., tech suits. Logically, I would think they could be since they don't count. I was thinking maybe I should force myself to do the 25s just to get some start work in. Maybe I'll feel more positive about this next week.

    Saw this on FB on the P90X page:

    It's rather depressing to think that most lean meats and fish are bad for us. I have read elsewhere that they are just loaded with chemicals though.

    As for the gluten advice, since I am not allergic to gluten and am allergic to pomegranates, I decided to give gluten another try. No, I cannot tolerate the stuff at all. So I will just carry on avoiding gluten and lactose.

    Updated October 12th, 2010 at 08:11 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. Swim, Monday, Oct. 11

    by , October 11th, 2010 at 08:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Back in the water for a very slow short swim:

    Swim/Solo/SCY @ OakMarr

    Warm up:

    600 various
    10 x 25 shooters w/fins

    Main sets:

    Solo Social Mini Mountain Kick:

    all dolphin kick w/board @ :15-20 RI
    1 x 50
    1 x 100
    1 x 150
    1 x 200
    5 x 1:00 vertical kick (breast, dolphin, flutter, dolphin, breast)
    1 x 200
    1 x 150
    1 x 100
    1 x 50

    10 x 50 @ 1:0
    odds = free
    evens = back

    6 x 25 breast
    alternating dolphin and whip kick

    50 EZ

    Total: 2550



    Well, it's a start. My throat and lungs are still burning. Cough is slightly better. It's very non-productive, so it needs to just stop soon. Getting healthy feels like a fairly interminable process.

    Just to cheer myself up, I checked the LCM rankings and my 4 x 50 from Zones are still in the top ten. I think this reflects a lack of participation in long course this summer. I'll be curious to see if that continues this short course season. Apparently, according to the convention votes, most people don't like the suits. If so, they should be lining up to swim now.

    Also, on a whim, I checked the all time FINA rankings and was surprised to find this: Some of these will no doubt change with all the fast chicks entering my age group.


    50 SCM BACK:

    30.58 K.PIPES-NEILSEN USA 2007
    31.45 BARBARA OPITZ GER 2006
    32.54 VIBEKE SWANSON USA 2006
    32.59 K.ANDRUS-HUGHES USA 2006
    32.61 SUSANNA ROSEN SWE 2009
    32.65 L VAN PELT-DILLER USA 2003
    32.67 LAURA VAL USA 1999

    100 SCM BACK:

    1:04.46 K.PIPES-NEILSEN FRA 2009
    1:07.21 ELLEN REYNOLDS USA 2009
    1:09.20 VIBEKE SWANSON USA 2006
    1:09.27 VERA CAPKOVA BEL 2006
    1:09.58 LESLIE LIVINGSTON USA 2009
    1:09.68 KARIN SEICK GER 2007
    1:09.90 L.PELT-DILLER USA 2006
    1:10.17 LISA WARD USA 2009
    1:10.33 LISA DIXON-WELLS CAN 2006
    1:10.40 SUSANNA ROSEN SWE 2009

    50 SCM FLY:

    29.40 K.PIPES-NEILSEN FRA 2009
    29.97 USCHI DUMIG GER 2005
    30.02 KARIN SEICK GER 2006
    30.18 LISA DAHL USA 2006
    30.24 TRACI GRANGER USA 2007
    30.37 ARLENE DELMAGE USA 2008


    50 LCM BACK:

    31.71 VALERIE JENKINS USA 2008
    31.85 SUSAN WALSH USA 2007
    32.10 K.PIPES-NEILSEN USA 2007
    32.65 VERA CAPKOVA BEL 2006
    32.93 LAURA VAL USA 1997
    33.18 KARIN SEICK GER 2006
    33.34 K.ANDRUS-HUGHES USA 2006
    33.40 CATHY SHEEHAN CAN 2005

    50 LCM FLY:

    29.52 K.PIPES-NEILSEN USA 2008
    29.57 LISA DAHL USA 2009
    29.84 SUSAN WALSH USA 2007
    30.01 LISA WARD USA 2009
    30.04 ARLENE DELMAGE USA 2008
    30.30 ANGELA ZINGLER GER 2001
    30.40 ROBIN PARISI USA 2002
    Swim Workouts
  6. Update, Oct. 10

    by , October 10th, 2010 at 10:02 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No news is not good news is the blogging world, generally. I'm still struggling with bronchitis and asthma. Thought I was substantially better today. Then I left my house without my inhaler (stacked on the counter with other medication) and had an asthma problem. My chest and lungs are burning. Still, I feel like the illness has abated. So if I can just stop coughing, I will try to hit the pool tomorrow, though my kids are out of school. At this point, I doubt I'll swim the Sprint Classic on Oct. 24. I've been out of the water too long (10 days now) and don't feel like swimming completely unprepared or with creaky lungs. It will probably just be better to ramp it up slowly and aim for December. This has not been my year.

    I also feel bad for my Savageman relay mate who was attempting to PR in the Chicago marathon today. He was on pace for a sub 3:00 marathon, but got shooting cramps in the hamstrings at the 25K mark and had to go to the medical tent.

    All is not easy in the world of sport. But, as masters, there are always plenty more chances.

    I did spend most of Saturday glued to the computer watching Kona, which was awesome and inspiring.
  7. What would you do?

    by , October 7th, 2010 at 06:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    What would you do?

    You are at a quad cross country race with 4 rival schools. The race is almost over. One of your teammates (who finished 2nd) took a wrong turn and ended up running extra distance. (Many witnesses to this fact.) Nonetheless, after the race, a runner from a rival team comes racing toward your team tent shouting obscenities, accusing your teammate of cheating & cutting the course. They refuse to leave, "want answers," are in your face and keep up the stream of obscenities. You step up to defend your teammate. Do you:

    a) return the obscenities
    b) calmly explain that he is incorrect
    c) punch him
    d) call for your coach (who's at the finish line waiting for the last of the runners to finish)
    e) tell him to back off and roughly push him away when he won't leave
    f) laugh at the idiot
    g) ignore the jerk and walk away
    h) some other Jimslie Thornton-esque response

    Pic = Warm up. Guy on the left accused of cheating, guy in the middle who went on the defense, guy on the right who ultimately won the race.


    Oh, no swim today. Still too sick and hacking. But feel that tomorrow might be the day after a week out of the pool.

    Art of the Deck Change:

    Updated October 7th, 2010 at 08:10 PM by The Fortress

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  8. Wed., Oct. 6

    by , October 6th, 2010 at 08:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Out of the water today and will be tomorrow as well. Got a huge night sleep though, and hoping for another.

    Interesting reading:


    Triathlon Magazine:

    Interesting preview of Kona in this month's edition. And an extensive article on overhauling nutrition, making some of these points (some of which are obvious and we've discussed before):

    1. Eat more, weight less. Eat right after training or you'll be hungry later.

    2. Eat enough calories to avoid a negative energy state. If you don't eat enough, you'll teach your body to store fat, not burn it.

    3. To promote recovery, eat a healthy meal right after exercising, not beer and burgers. Doh.

    4. Avoid caffeine, which leads to stress, poor sleep, digestive problems, depression and interferes with the body's ability to tone up and burn fat.

    5. Don't switch from dairy to sodas. Sodas can deplete the mineral content of your bones and inflame the appetite.

    6. Don't just drink water to hydrate. Have something with electrolytes.

    7. Don't diet before a big race as it could compromise your immune system.

    8. Ginger helps to reduce post workout muscle soreness.

    Splash Magazine:

    "Profile of a Sprinter," excerpts:

    "Sprinters personify the saying, work smarter, not harder. Every lap in the pool is preceded by "why" and followed by a "why more?"

    Salo states that "sprinters are simply different from swimming's mainstream." They are "just as committed to excellence" and "always focused on competition" whereas the D swimmers like the training process more. Sprinters "value speed" and don't talk about "aerobic base."

    Others say "sprinters won't practice from a menu" ... but "the need for variety doesn't correlate with a lack of focus." They are "intensely curious about what techniques and drills will enhance speed."


    Growing Ironman:

    Sewickley friends competing:

    Updated October 7th, 2010 at 11:22 AM by The Fortress

  9. Excruciatingly Slow Swim, Tuesday, Oct. 5

    by , October 5th, 2010 at 08:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Rest apparently didn't help. I dragged myself to the pool this morning after making African masks with 4th graders and did this measley bit o yardage:


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Slow 50s:

    12 x 50 @ 1:00
    reverse IM order, drill fly

    10 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00

    50 EZ

    Total: 1750

    Doc Visits:

    Went in for an evaluation and PRP with Dr. Wagner. MRI shows arthritis, tenosynovitis and degradation of the tendons. Only two options are surgery and PRP. I opted for PRP. Unlike with my shoulder, however, they don't numb the foot when doing the procedure, which involves multiple injections right into the tendons and joint. It was excruciatingly painful. I'm supposed to be hobble free by Thursday. Another round of injections in 4 weeks. Now that's something to look forward to! Of course, this is all necessary if I ever want to wear high heels again. Interestingly, he had seen a tri, a swimmer and a runner before me.

    As I was still feeling awful, I dragged myself to Immediate Care. Diagnosis: bronchitis. Real shocker there. Starting antibiotics.


    Today, I was trying to stay in the water as Jimslie suggested. I'm just not sure how much this helps. I certainly didn't feel better afterward. I think this week is going to be a write off training wise. Kinda frustrating. I was just getting back in a nice groove.

    Updated October 5th, 2010 at 09:04 PM by The Fortress

  10. Nada, Oct. 24

    by , October 4th, 2010 at 05:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Finally gave in and decided to rest. Too many coughing, breathing and asthma issues. So today is my 4th day out of the water. I don't think 30 minutes on Saturday really counts. Not sure I'll get in tomorrow either, as I'm in Lil Fort's class in the am and getting my foot jabbed in the pm. In light of all this, I think Indy at the end of the month is out for me. I won't be ready and I had wanted to attempt to swim fairly fast there. So I guess I'll reboot and aim for another SCM meet in December.

    Updated October 4th, 2010 at 05:09 PM by The Fortress

  11. Saturday, Oct. 2

    by , October 2nd, 2010 at 07:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Car, 3.0 hours
    Cross Country Invitational, 45 minutes
    Soccer game, 1.0
    Emergency Shoe Shopping for Homecoming, 1.0
    Cleaning like a fiend to make house presentable for homecoming pictures, 3.0
    Swim, 30 minutes slow swim
    Steam, 10 minutes
    Homecoming Prep & Pics, 1.5
    (Mini and Fort Son w/date below)
    Driving to Chipolte for takeout now ...

    I was not exactly athletic today. I was shocked I even made it to the gym ...

    I'm going with Q's explanation of RA's explanation for my slow swim:

    "Re my easy swims: this was a result of some testing done in a flume last Dec. conducted by the director of the Exercise and Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Colorado Hospital. I’ve been known to espouse the dictum re masters swimming too fast when they swim slow and too slow when they swim fast….Well, let me tell you that perceived effort can be misleading. During my warm-up swim for the test (4 minutes easy) my HR was 138 and my blood lactate was 2.95. I thought I was going easy, but I wasn’t. I should have been around 125 for HR and under 2.0 for lactate. Also, the tests showed that my lactate clearance times were not fast enough to enable effective intense training sessions. I had to improve my lower level capacity to build to lactate transporter enzymes. This in itself would not improve my racing, but it would enable my training at higher intensities, which would translate to better anaerobic endurance. My “prescription” was to swim at a Z2 level (for me HR of 120-128) 1 or 2 times a week. To quote my report “it is important to be patient at that intensity until lactate oxidation improves.”

    I am pretty sure my lactate clearance is even worse than RA's ... Perhaps one day I'll get tested.

    My team practices were cancelled this weekend, which stinks because that's where I usually get my hard aerobic practice. Not sure if I'm going to be jazzed up enough to do that on my own tomorrow. If so, it will likely be a kick mountain. Any other suggestions? I"m thinking about LT sets for next week. I think Gary Hall Sr. kick workout may fit the bill.

    Now, I can wait up for my 2 children to get home from Homecoming. At least I get to sleep in!

    Updated October 2nd, 2010 at 09:17 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
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  12. Friday, Oct. 1

    by , October 1st, 2010 at 06:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    broomstick twists, 25
    windshield wipers, 25
    flutter kicks on back on bosu, 50
    streamline hold on back on bosu, 1:00
    one footed push ups on bar, 25
    ab crunches w/25 lb plate held overhead, 25
    (pop shoulders off ground on these)
    power wheel roll outs, 25

    Hammer Strength Iso lateral Hi Row, 140 x 1 x 8, 150 x 1 x 8, 160 x 1 x 8, 170 x 1 x 8, 180 x 1 x 8, 190 x 1 x 6, 200 x 1 x 3*

    *My recollection is that this is a PR for me. I haven't used this machine in ages, but I used it frequently when I began my real strength training phase in 2008. I like it, so I plan to do it more frequently. Not really sure how I pulled that much weight as I started the day still gassed from the LT set and events of the night.

    reverse scoop, 30 x 2 x 10
    cable twist w/yoga ball, 50 x 1 x 15, each side, 60 x 1 x 15, each side
    lunges w/25 lb DBs, 2 x 15
    standing broad jump, 10
    twisting med ball slams, 15
    extreme angle isometric squat hold, 5:00
    (Finally got to 5 minutes, now I am supposed to add weight.)
    extreme angle isometric push up hold, 1:45

    RC Work


    30 minutes of yoga and stretching



    I originally planned to do a slow swim today after the yoga. But I didn't feel like getting in a pool and took my time doing the drylands instead. So that's on the schedule for tomorrow.

    October may be somewhat trying as Mr. Fort is going to be AWOL on a trial almost the whole time. And last night, after getting home from Mini's volleyball game, I got a call as I was putting Lil Fort to bed that Mini's coach was taking her to the ER for a possible neck injury. Apparently, in school sports, this is now SOP whenever there's an injury to the head or neck. I saw her diving for the ball during the game, but didn't realize that she was hurt. And she didn't tell her coach she was; her coach calls her his "most intense competitor." Thankfully, the scans were negative. After getting her home and getting her drugs, I didn't get to bed until quite late. Jimslie would be just appalled at what extensive users of the health care system we are these days.

    Soccer, a cross country invitational and Homecoming are tomorrow. And my house is the base for Homecoming pictures. Never a dull moment.

    Updated October 1st, 2010 at 11:11 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  13. 16 Minutes of Pain, Thursday, Sept. 30

    by , September 30th, 2010 at 03:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    SCY w/Speedo @ Oak Marr:

    Warm up:

    700 variety

    6 x 25 shooters w/fins


    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = swim
    evens = kick w/speed bursts

    10 squat jumps off bottom of pool

    LT Death Set:

    8 x 100 @ 2:00, best average.

    Did backstroke kick w/fins
    (Shoulders sore from weights, so thought I'd kick. And I haven't done a super hard kick set in awhile.)

    Went: 58, 57, 57, 57, 58, 58, 59, 58

    These were rough and painful right from the get go. Being somewhat breathing impaired, I couldn't stay under as much as I wanted. So my SDK count per 25 was 10-12, 7, 6, 4-5. The last 25 sucked on each 100 and I kept expecting Pete to track me down like he often does. I suppose, though, that it's relatively harder to keep the SDK count high when you're doing the 100s @ 2:00. There was not a lot of chit chatting on the wall between 100s. Thankfully, we made up for that in the hot tub later.

    250 EZ or so

    Total: 2400



    As Pete said, this set is dastardly. After 4, I was ready to get out. That's when it helps to have a training partner! I feel pretty blasted. I know I should do a yoga-stretch for 30 minutes. If I somehow manage to accomplish this feat -- for it seems like a feat at the moment -- I will update my blog.

    84 degree pool temps are way too hot for this set. It would be better tolerated at Mason, I think.

    Have an appt. to get my foot jabbed on Oct. 5.

    Updated September 30th, 2010 at 06:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Test Sets
  14. Wed., Sept. 29

    by , September 29th, 2010 at 03:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    broomstick twists, 25
    windshield wipers, 25
    squat to wall ball w/10 lb ball, 15
    dead bugs on bosu, 25
    streamline hold on bosu, 1:00
    plyo jacks, 10

    Strength Work:

    bench press w/barbell, 70 x 1 x 10, 80 x 2 x 8
    chin ups, 3 x 6
    bulgarian one legged split squat, 25 x 1 x 10, each leg with plate over head, 30 x 1 x 10, each leg with DBs
    reverse scoops, 30 x 1 x 10, 40 x 1 x 10
    (40 lbs caused me to feel a twinge in the mid scapular area)
    power wheel pike ups, 2 x 10

    Filler = RC exercises

    Quick Solo Swim, SCM @ Gym:

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    4 x 100 flutter kick w/board @ 2:00
    1 & 4th length kinda fast

    4 x (4 x 25)
    fly drill, fly drill, EZ speed fly, EZ

    4 x 100 dolphin w/fins @ 2:00
    1 & 4th lengths UW

    3 x (4 x 25)
    1-4 = breast alternating dolphin and whip kick
    5-8 = breast with flutter kick
    9-12 = breast alternating dolphin and whip kick

    50 EZ

    Total: 2150 meters


    30 minutes

    (Haven't done this yet, but I plan to.)

    I totally sucked and didn't do this, as I got involved with life.



    I was a little foggy this am, but feel like I got a decent dryland workout in.

    Not doing so well on the diagnosis front.

    JimRude is coming up with some nasty LT sets for me. Perhaps one tomorrow with Speedo.

    Contador gets Jessica Hardy Suspension:

    Rich Roll, ultra geek, loves this guy.

    Updated September 30th, 2010 at 10:22 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  15. More Speed Work, Tuesday, Sept. 28

    by , September 28th, 2010 at 08:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Headed over to Oak Marr around 1:30. Couldn't get there in time to swim with Speedo due to foot MRI. Though I do enjoy his kick set. Did the following:

    Warm up:

    800 various


    8 x 50 double shooters w/MF @ 1:00

    10 x squat jumps off bottom of pool (7 feet deep)

    8 x 25
    odds = build to fast flutter kick shooter or underwater free recovery
    evens = EZ

    4 x 25
    odds = fast flutter kick w/board
    evens = EZ

    50 EZ

    Speed Set/RA Broken 100s w/fins:

    4 x 100 @ 8:00 broken as:
    1 x 50 @ 1:00
    1 x 25 @ :30
    1 x 25 kick @ :30

    150 EZ after each

    Went fly (24, 11 high, 12); back (24 low, 12, 12), breast (30-31, 14, 12), IM (25, 12, 12)

    Last time I did this set with Speedo @ 9:00 and went:

    Odds back and evens evil w/fins
    #1 went 25, 12, 12 (sluggish start)
    #2 went 30, 15, 15
    #3 went 24, high 11, 12
    #4 went 29, 14, 14

    200 EZ

    Total: 2700



    I felt horrible in the water today. Not sure why. Could be lack of solid sleep, combined with allergies. I was sleeping relatively well for awhile, and I seem to have fallen off the wagon again. I got a PM from our resident Dr. Jaegermeister saying, after reading my thoughts in Swimmer, that I was on the right track to help correct this issue somewhat. So I will carry on.

    The water also felt like a bath after swimming at Mason a couple times in a row. Definitely felt more than 84 to me today. A young guy hopped in my lane to swim while I was getting out and went on and on about how cold it was. I just rolled my eyes. It's people like that (and the noodlers) that keep the Rec Center pools at uncomfortable temps for anything but lap swimming and noodling.

    Spoke to a Machine coach for a bit at the end of practice. Wondering why I was practicing solo, slight recruiting nod. He will be at the Sprint Classic coaching some Machine masters swimmers. Sometimes I wonder if masters joining USA teams will result in more USA growth than more masters team growth. USA teams often have more options for swimmers, case in point Speedo.

    My fly still feels kinda bouncy. I think I need to do some easy speed fly to fix this issue.

    Odd Allergy:

    My food allergy doc also called today to tell me that I am, in fact, allergic to pomegranates. What a weird freakin' allergy! And, unfortunately, I have been poisoning myself as I usually add pomegranate juice to my smoothies and sometimes sprinkle the arials on my salad. My darn Gu Brew is even pomegranate flavored. At least this is an easier problem to correct than avoiding gluten and dairy. I hope I will feel better through avoidance; it's bad enough with fall allergies. Several friends agree that this fall is worse than ever.

    Hmm .. I just googled pomegranate allergy at Jimslie's urging. I have zillions of symptoms of this "rare allergy:"

    Runny nose
    Watery eyes
    Sore eyes
    Itchy eyes
    Red eyes
    Throat swelling
    Sinus pain
    Breathing problems

    Lovely! But perhaps this explains why my eyes are in their current state of malfunction.


    I'm wondering about our use of the terms "speed work," "race pace'" and "lactate tolerance." Q and I were discussing it in Patrick's blog. I had thought that race pace work could be done either way -- as speed work with mega rest or as a lactate tolerance set w/less rest so you were still (and more painfully so) battling the lactate and building power endurance. I was thinking of "race pace" as perceived effort for X distance. Is there a more specific usage of these terms?

    Updated September 28th, 2010 at 11:01 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Test Sets
  16. Monday, Sept. 27

    by , September 27th, 2010 at 08:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    30 minutes of yoga and stretching


    This was my off day, but figured stretching wouldn't interfere. Otherwise,

    1. I am quite cross b/c I went to the eye doctor today and have an eye infection and keratitis. Again. No contacts for a week. Where are the prescription goggles? I feel like a human punching bag lately.

    2. MRI on the foot tomorrow. Oh joy.

    3. Gossip: The two winners of the Savageman Tri, Desiree Ficker and Philip Graves are dating. He is the best tri in the UK and, some say, will soon be the best in the world.

    4. I feel quite safe in stating that I will never swim the 200 free as a master.

    5. Here's a link to a photo of Mr. Fort from Savageman. I told Mr. Fort he's dead if he orders any photos documenting my travails of that day.

    5. I got out of going homecoming dress shopping when Mini Fort and I got a dress online last night. This is nothing short of miraculous.

    6. I thought the NE SCM Champs were the second week of December. I can't find a lick of info on the meet. And no idea if or where a CZ SCM will be held. Can't decide whether to plan a taper for this time period again ... But if I don't, I can see drifting during this SCY period when I am 49.99.

    7. I wanted to re-print Jazzy's weight lifting advice from Q's blog here to refer to:

    The outline I usually recommend has the following rules, which can all be bent:
    Three days a week.
    Three exercises per workout: one upper body push, one upper body pull, and one umm squatting-type-thing.
    However many sets and reps you want, as long as the whole workout takes less than an hour and you are pushing your limits. Most sets should be between 4-20 reps.
    More than a minute rest between sets, to ensure that you aren't going too light because of exhaustion.

    And example exercises:

    Upper body push
    Any Hammer Strength press (chest or shoulder)
    Dumbbell bench press (flat or incline)
    Dumbbell shoulder press
    Barbell bench press (flat, decline, or incline)

    Upper body pull
    Pull-ups and chin-ups, any grip (mix them up!)
    Any Hammer Strength row or pulldown
    Cable rows and pulldowns
    Dumbbell rows
    Barbell rows
    Rack chins and inverted rows

    Any squat variation
    Any deadlift variation
    Leg press

    Updated September 27th, 2010 at 08:50 PM by The Fortress

  17. Sunday, Sept. 26

    by , September 26th, 2010 at 09:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    dead bugs on bosu, 25
    windshield wipers, 25
    body rows, 15
    russian twists on incline bench w/30 lb DB, 25
    overhead squats, 45 x 1 x 15, 55 x 1 x 10, 65 x 1 x 10, 75 x 1 x 7
    box jumps, 10
    altitude drops, 10
    med ball floor slams, 10
    back extensions w/25 lb plate, 2 x 20
    hanging straight leg raise, feet all the way up to bar, 10
    (Last time I tried this, my quads protested, but not this time.)
    hanging reverse knee tucks, 10
    (Hands hurt from lack of gloves. Alternatively, I have piss poor grip strength.)

    RC exercises


    30-35 minutes of yoga and stretching. Someone who had been lifting simultaneously with me and started stretching said I had a "awesome and enviable combo of strength and flexibility." Yes, that's what I'm going for!

    Then I got grilled on how to get that way. lol

    I've been using a yoga block on my seated single and double leg hamstring stretches. This seems to help me get a better stretch in the lat/rhomboid area.

    Swim/SCM/Solo @ gym:

    30 minute slow continuous swim, including kicking and drilling

    Hot tub & steam room



    I was somewhat, not terribly sore, when I headed to the gym today. But I am busy tomorrow, so Monday works out better for a rest day.

    I was surprised that the overhead squats felt pretty good. I had never done them with anything more than the 45 lb bar before today, so getting up to 75 was a major improvement.

    I think I'm doing a decent job of cutting back on drylands somewhat and shortening the length of the workout.

    In any event, considering the rough start to the week, I think I got some good workouts in.

    Updated September 26th, 2010 at 09:08 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  18. Complete Opposite, Saturday, Sept. 25

    by , September 25th, 2010 at 08:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Swim/SCY/Team @ GMU:

    I did the main set with Petra Martin. Not too many people there today.

    Warm up:

    3 x through:

    100 swim
    100 kick
    100 pull (I did 50 scull, forgot paddles)
    100 drill

    Main Set:

    2 x through:

    300 free @ 4:00 (perfect technique, kick out past flags "as you should on every turn every day")
    (I did 300 kicks w/fins. Went 3:34 on both.)
    4 x 75 @ 1:10, done as 50 free + 25 choice, descend
    4 x 100 kick @ 1:50 (Went backstroke, held 1:26-27. Didn't stay under much, allergies bothering me breathing wise.)
    4 x 25 shooters @ :40
    4 x 100 IM @ 1:40 (I used fins.)
    #1 = fast fly
    #2 = fast back
    #3 = fast breast
    #4 = fast free
    (I floated through the non-fast 75.)
    1:00 extra rest

    200 EZ

    Total: 4250

    After practice I rushed home to pick up Mini-Fort and go meet Ryan Lochte. He very dutifully was signing a million autographs and taking photos. I managed to say "great job at PanPacs." Mini Fort, perhaps for the first time in her extrovert life, was speechless. hahaha. Unfortunately, my camera decided to malfunction, or I had it on a wrong setting. But some pics below. He chuckled at my masters swimming cap.

    PM Drylands:

    broomstick twists, 25
    windshield wipers, 2 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    reverse scoop, 25 x 1 x 10, 30 x 1 x 10, 35 x 1 x 10, 40 x 1 x 6
    streamline on back on bosu, 1 x 1:00
    skull crushers, 60 x 2 x 8
    Icarian chest supported T bar rows, 75 x 2 x 8
    knee tuck jumps, 10
    rock star jumps, 10
    hanging reverse knee tucks, 2 x 15
    single leg press, 150 x 2 x 10, each leg

    RC Work, 5-10 min

    Yoga & Stretching, 20 minutes



    After swim practice, my coach said, "so is that the exact opposite of what you usually do?" And I said, "why yes." lol So that's my endurance workout for the week.

    I must say that I really prefer doing drylands before swimming rather than after. Though I had 5 hours or so off in between swimming and drylands, I could still the effects of swim practice. Or maybe it was the effects of sitting in 97 degree heat at Lil Fort's soccer game (on astro turf no less). She said it was the worst game of her life.

    On some of the weights I'm doing (like the dead lift), I think I may be limited in increasing weight by hand strength. How does one increase hand strength to fix this problem?
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  19. Speed Work, Friday, Sept. 24

    by , September 24th, 2010 at 06:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ GMU:

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition/Speed Play:

    Ripped off a bit of this from Speedo's blog.

    8 x 25 glide drill

    10 air squats off pool bottom at 9'5" depth:

    1-5 = streamline, got to top hip level
    6-10 = streamline + 2-3 dolphin kicks, got to bottom hip level

    3 x 20 seconds AFAP vertical dolphin kick + 50 EZ (Got this idea from Geekity.)

    Went 54, 54, 53 dolphin kicks. As Geek would say, these hurt like mother scritchers. I could have used an easy 100 between instead of a 50 to get my heart rate down. The thought did occur to me that this could easily be adapted as a tabata set. It was great speed work also.

    4 x 25
    odds = standing broad jump into pool w/med ball and eggbeater kick to wall holding med ball out of water (I HATE eggbeaters.)
    evens = standing broad jump, turn over on back and kick holding med ball up with 1 hand
    (A masters swimmer swimming next to me remarked that this looked really hard. Yep.)

    100 EZ

    Speed Sets:

    5 x 50 AFAP + 100 EZ

    #1 = SDK, high 22
    #2 = back, high 23
    #3 = free, high 23
    #4 = SDK, mid 22
    #5 = back, 24 (tired)

    (I did the first two on 3:00 and the last three on 3:30.)

    Last year at the time, I went:

    50 SDK on back, :23
    50 back, high :24
    50 free, :25 (missed turn)
    50 SDK, :23
    50 back, :25 (tired)

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP kick w/board & fins + 25 EZ) @ 30

    Got kicked out of comp pool and went to hot rec pool. It felt dreadful after the cool water in the comp pool

    200 EZ

    Total: 2300 + VK


    30 minutes of stretching and yoga while watching DVR'd shows.



    I loved this workout! The squats, jumps and VK at the beginning were fun and useful. And I think they were a good warm up for the fast 50s b/c they got my sprinter neurons firing and heart rate up.

    I was surprised to see that my times were slightly faster than last year. I am chocking this up to the better accuracy of the digital clocks over the pace clocks I used last year and the much cooler water at Mason.

    I'm now pretty tired from this.

    Looking ahead to next week, I'd like to do 2 fast days with more of a lactate tolerance element. I may do the Rich Abraham broken 100 set one day. Speedo want to join? I also liked this set that Ande did today.

    3 rounds of 3 x 50 + 100 easy , done:

    #1 @ 90% on 1:15
    #2 @ 95% on 1:30
    #3 @ 100% on 2:00

    At least I think this is what Ande did; there may have been a typo in his blog b/c he said it was 4 x 50. Since I'm not Ande, I may adjust the intervals slightly.

    Going to my team practice tomorrow am, which will be aerobic in nature and then to:

    Updated September 25th, 2010 at 09:41 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  20. Drylands, Sept. 23

    by , September 23rd, 2010 at 05:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drylands, 60-70 minutes:

    Warm up:

    broomstick twists, 25
    windshield wipers, 15
    flutter kicks (on back, arms in streamline position) on bosu, 50
    lateral hops on bench, 1:00

    Strength/Power Work:

    dead lift singles, 3 x 45, 1 x 95, 1 x 115, 1 x 135, 1 x 135, 1 x 145, 1 x 145, 1 x 155
    med ball floor slams (10 lb ball), 2 x 10
    plyo start drill w/med ball, 1 x 10*
    streamline on back on bosu, 2 x 2:00**
    bulgarian split leg squat w/10 lb plate overhead, 10 x 2 x 10 each leg

    -- next time I'll use a heavier plate, as these were relatively easy. Here's a vid of an overhead split squat: [ame=""]How to Perform an Overhead Split Squat Video –[/ame] I just used a bench for the back leg.
    -- you can do these SSs with added ROM as well -- [nomedia=""]YouTube - - Bulgarian split squats w/ added ROM[/nomedia].)

    back extensions w/plate, 25 x 1 x 15
    body rows (aka inverse pull ups), 2 x 15
    russians twists on incline w/plate, 25 x 2 x 25
    extreme angle isometric squat hold, 4:00 (effen ouch)
    extreme angle isometric push up hold, 1:45

    * I used a fairly heavy med ball when I started, but I seemed to put a crack in the drywall. . So I switched to a lighter wall and moved further away from the wall. I should probably do these in the racquetball court in the future.

    ** This is so much easier on the shoulders, and seems equally effective in building core strength, that I may never do a plank again.

    RC Work, 10 minutes:

    arm circles, scapular scrunches, seated straight arm dip, external and internal rotators.

    Yoga, 30 minutes:

    30 minutes of yoga and stretching. I had two people ask how long I'd been doing yoga -- only a year or so. I'm inclined to do shorter more frequent bouts of it rather than the whole 60-90 minute DVD.



    Got in a good gym session today. Would have liked to do a technique based swim, but didn't have time. I didn't get as fast a start this week as I was hoping after Savageman. But I still have a month before the Sprint Classic, so it is all good. Other random thoughts:

    1. I like the look of the vibrams. I might buy myself a pair for the gym. They were everywhere at Savageman.

    2. I need a more concrete plan for the next two 4 week cycles. I will focus on speed work and strength during the week with generous intervals. If I do any aerobic sets, it will be kick endurance or longer shooters. I'll try to get some aerobic work in on the weekend with my team.

    3. I may do 1-2 tabata sets during the week for a cardio boost. It's amazing that 4 minutes (of hell, to be sure) can have such a large aerobic impact.

    4. I need to throw my MF in the truck.

    5. I haven't received the FAST sprint paddles i tried to order. I need to check on that.

    6. Trying to decide what to do tomorrow at Mason. Either the 5 x 50 AFAP set or the Gary Hall Sr. kick workout from hell ... I fear the latter would require more tolerance of pain.

    7. My fav new smoothie combo has: blackberries, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, beet greens, and plum in it. My allergist told me to stop using flax and coconut water temporarily pending the allergy test results. I seem to have somewhat less GI distress from doing this.

    8. I've been pondering the isometric holds and whether to include them in my routine. I've tentatively decided that I want to keep the 2 I did today, but not the others. I may run this by Mr. Fort's trainer to see if they would still have the same benefit. I would think they still would, for the particular strength move involved. These are supposed to become easier and require less recovery if done regularly.

    9. Has anyone else been able to get on FB this afternoon?

    10. In support of ADD drylands:

    Updated September 23rd, 2010 at 08:30 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga