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  1. Lost Mojo, Wed., Feb 17

    by , February 17th, 2010 at 09:29 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I'm feeling like I've lost my mojo somewhat the last week or so. Being nauseous and rashy doesn't help. I did manage to get to the pool after a non-exercising morning. I left practice early to get my Mathlete, only to get a text that her meeting was cancelled.


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Sets:

    8 x 25 shooters

    50 EZ

    8 x 50, done as 25 easy speed fly w/fins +25 EZ

    Hybrid Set: Hypoxic/Speed/VK:

    8 rounds of:
    (had wanted to do 10 rounds)

    1 x 100 back kick, no fins
    1-2 11 SDKs per length
    3-4 12 SDKs per length
    5-6 13 SDKs per length
    7-8 14 SDKs per length

    1:00 vertical kicking
    4 evil, 4 dolphin at good tempo

    1 x 50, done as 25 AFAP + 25 EZ
    2 of each stroke

    1:00 vertical kicking
    4 evil, 4 dolphin at good tempo

    I liked interspersing the fast 25s throughout the set. I may do more of this. I recall Ian Smith saying he uses this tactic.

    1 fast swim:

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP back w/fins (:24)

    100 EZ

    Total: 3200 + 16 minutes of VK



    I really meant to go the gym today and do core work, but couldn't get there this morning. Like Geek, I'm a single parent this week. Between that and having to lead book club and teach art history to my youngest's GT class on Thursday and Friday, I'm sunk for time this week ... I'm going to see if I can summon some energy to do power yoga or P90X the next couple evenings or otherwise squeeze it in. Not feeling up to it tonight. And I haven't done my RC work in days ...

    And, despite drinking 50 ounces of Smart water his am, taking calcium/magnesium/potassium supplements, having coconut water in a smoothie and wearing compression socks for 2 days, I still got cramps in my right calf at practice.

    I think I'm going to shift into more strength and speed work now. I've done a fair amount of aerobic work both in the gym and in the pool since NE Champs. Time to turn on the firepower. Tomorrow, I might do a modified version of Ande's workout today or a workout I did on Oct. 8 (partially with Pete). And I have to see if Pete is free.

    Apart from that, I need to HTFU and/or adopt the hair shirt approach.

    Breaststroke Tips:

    Ande sent me the following links which emphasize a fast insweep and recovery/thrust in breast:

    watch tara kirk swim br
    [ame=""]YouTube- Tara Kirk Fan Video[/ame]
    [ame=""]YouTube- Tara Kirk continues winning ways[/ame]
    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Tara Kirk wins second gold medal[/nomedia].

    I'm also trying to follow the Megan Jendrick tip from Swimmer magazine on the recovery after the pulldown. As I recall, she says to turn the palms up immediately and keep your hands under your body to reduce drag.

    Energy Bars:

    After making myself sick from food, I decided to double check the ingredients of the new energy bars I've been eating. They seems to be "safe." They're gluten free, dairy free, raw, vegan, nut free, organic, seed sprouted, no TFs, etc etc.

    (I really like the banana bread flax bar.)

    The only potential problem, I guess, is that a couple of them contain coconut. I'm going to try to get the gluten out of my system and see how I feel continuing with coconut water or bars containing a minimal amount of coconut. I see that avocados are on the "bad" list for me, and that is devastating news as well.

    B70 Service:

    As usual, B70 had great customer service and immediately agreed to replace my torn suit. That's a relief.

    Updated February 17th, 2010 at 11:15 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Stole Geek's Workout, Tuesday, Feb. 16

    by , February 16th, 2010 at 11:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I felt the need for a recovery swim today and Geek's workout fit the bill perfectly. I swam at Oak Marr as I was headed to Wegman's to purchase healthy and gluten free products. Speedo was there doing his kick set. The poor guy looked a little green. Hope he's better soon. I need my Thursday workout buddy.


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    4 rounds of:

    6 x 50 drill w/fins @ :55
    (1 round of each stroke)
    50 EZ
    200 pull*
    50 EZ

    * I even used Speedo's finis freestyler paddles! They felt very odd, but then I never pull. I did skip the last 200 pull to do the last 2 100 kicks @ 1:20 with Speedo. I just cruised them and went 1:05-6. It was clear my legs didn't want to go faster.

    100 EZ

    12 x 50 breast drill @ 1:00
    6 = alternate PLD breast w/regular breast kick
    6 = breast pull

    50 EZ

    5 x 1:00 VK
    odds = breast
    evens = dolphin

    100 EZ

    Total: 3550


    I was supposed to go to the gym with Mini Fort, but was running late. So we did 45 minutes of the Beryl Bender Birch's power yoga DVD. This was mostly the stretching phase, which was fine with me b/c I didn't need serious power yoga today. I enjoyed the DVD, which was recommended by Jaegermeister. It had the standard sun salutation vinyasa series at the beginning, but then shifted into quick changes of position. Mini Fort and I are both better at the forward and backward bending poses than the twisting poses. I wonder why this is?

    An aquavelo/swimmer friend sent me this article on yoga today. Sasha Cohen, the figure skater is a fan.

    I typically think I have pretty decent upper body strength, but I cannot do that arm balancing pose she's demonstrating. This must take some practice.

    Breaststroke Video:

    As promised, here is the youtube link to my 100 breast video that SwimShark was kind enough to take and download. I sent it to Allen Stark. His reaction was that my kick likely wasn't that bad as I was getting good DPS. He said my head position was the worst part of my stroke, and that it was killing momentum. I've been trying to work on this, but sometimes I mentally check out on this component when racing breast as I'm preoccupied with the other elements of the stroke. I may have to do the tennis ball drill. My pullouts were long, as I thought, but I did have to float to the surface a couple times and concentrate on not flutter kicking.

    One funny note from the meet. Dave Holland was also swimming his first ever master's 100 breast in the heat or two after me. He asked the timers (kids) how many dolphin kicks he was allowed to take. Then, like a pro and a flyer, he dove in and promptly took a dolphin kick before he started the pull down. lol

    [ame=""]YouTube- Leslie's 100 breast split[/ame]

    Oh, and my splashy start is beyond appalling. I think I need to find Wolfy's 10 tips for starts. This is when I wish I had a coach ...

    WSJ Article on Lactose Intolerance:

    Today's WSJ had an article on lactose intolerance, which was quite interesting. The NIH is meeting next week to ponder, among other things, why adults become lactose intolerant and produce diminished lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose). "Scientists have discovered that most people develop some degree of lactose intolerance as they get older." The article theorizes that there may be a section of DNA that turns the lactase system on and off.

    One response is to "train the bacteria" and not cut lactose out entirely despite the symptoms. They even suggest that people with lactose intolerance should be able to tolerate 1-2 glasses of milk. Apparently, calcium simply cannot be replaced with other foods (like spinach) without eating vast quantities. I'm not taking this advice. Milk and whey make me positively sick and bloated. I am trying to take lactase enzymes on the rare occasion that I eat something with lactose in it. My doc told me not to take just one tablet, but perhaps 2-3 before and after ingestion of lactose. As for training the bacteria to be more effective, I am ingesting more bacteria in the form of probiotics (doc recommendation).

    Here's the article:

    New Book:

    Jaegermeister mentioned to me that he had read the first Michael Pollan book on nurition and enjoyed it. As it turns out, I have Food Rules, his second book, on my nightstand. I may give that a go next.



    Not my fav day. I was still somewhat nauseous and itchy most of the day. And I couldn't find my benadryl or anti-itch cream last night. This gluten free stuff sucks big time. I think I might possibly have made it through the day without glutening myself. I'm hoping to get to both the gym and pool tomorrow. However, the recovery workout did feel very nice, albeit very slow.


    The Fontress or Fortness or whoever it is can just FOAD. It's one thing to poke fun and call me a whiner (which I readily admit) on the forum, but quite another to offensively defile a photo of mine that was on Facebook. (I don't believe I ever had it as my profile pic, but I could be wrong.) It's rather perturbing that a masters swimmer "friend" would do that. This is the downside of having a public blog. Debate the issues, but don't be an insipid idiot coward.

    Updated February 16th, 2010 at 11:42 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  3. Monday, Feb. 15

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 06:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hot Yoga:

    I decided to go to hot yoga for a good stretch today. Saw one of my skinny gluten free tri/OW friends there. She mentioned that she always goes to hot yoga after a race. She also always swims before doing hot yoga, which is a policy I need to follow if possible.

    We commented about how the Reston Studio was not as hot as the Falls Church studio, maybe around 105 degrees. Well, I positively fried today. I had to use all my will power not to keep from running out of class and was quite nauseous. Turns out, the temp was at 125 degrees. That's just too much for me; I was pouring sweat. Had 2 waters during class, which was insufficient, then guzzled 2 smart waters and a coconut water after. Still feeling slightly nauseous, though I was yesterday too. Could be some stomach buggy thingie, I guess.


    I'm pretty tired from the meet, but not unduly sore. My littlest one had a nightmare and so sleep was somewhat scarce last night.

    I'm considering going to this meet if it will not result in divorce: Not sure what events to swim. A redo of the 50 free might be in order. Also, 100 IM is going to be my 6th event at Nationals. Perhaps I should swim it here ... or at Zones. I like the idea of swimming it at the end of the am instead of first thing.

    I also heard (again) that 2012 Worlds are, in fact, going to be in Italy. I have informed Mr. Fort of our destination vacation for that year.

    To add insult to yesterday's B70 fiasco, I inadvertently glutened/latosed myself last night by eating some organic chili & lime flavored corn chips. Rashes in odd places, abdominal cramps and other ills ensued.

    I've attached a couple pics that SwimShark took of me doing my ill-fated 200 back. The one shot is of the first 50 and Julie is swimming fly near me in her wedding blue cap. The other is a blurry backstroke start. The video of the 100 breast is forthcoming. The best part of that race is that I am currently ahead of SwimStud in our evil gridge.

    Splash Article:

    There was a great article in Splash Magazine with an interview with Peter Marshall. My anti-swimming daughter was so impressed with it she read it out loud to me. To sum up, is was about being creative with workouts, making swimming a game, doing something other than banging out the yardage. His prior rigid training regimen made him feel "like a thoroughbred never let allowed out of the stables except to run" and was "jut spinning his wheels." Inspired by this, my daughter wants to do fewer practices and do yoga and hit the gym with me. We'll see how that works. She informs me we're going to the gym after school tomorrow ...

    P.S. I just ordered 2 cases of coconut water.

    Updated February 15th, 2010 at 11:19 PM by The Fortress

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  4. Day Two Blow Out @ VMST, Sunday, Feb.14

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 09:16 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 2, VMST Meet @ Richmond:

    The day had it's ups and downs, but good fun was had by all. I made it through the day without a repeat of the cramps/spasms, but my calves were sore and a bit crampy all day. At Nats, I got a massage right after this happened and it seemed to help. I just had to swim with sore and rather leaden legs today. But I had a blast with old and new friends. Here was my schedule:

    3:00 am: Wake up and don't go back to sleep. This was apparently a common issue, as every PV swimmer reported a night of bad sleep at their hotel.

    6:30 am: Drag body out of bed and have bad hotel coffee. Body was in shock as it was used to getting up at 9:30 am. lol

    7:40 am: Get in for warm up. Felt crappy and and I had a queasy stomach that persisted all day. Donned B70 suit, which developed a small hole in the thigh seam yesterday.

    8:50 am: 1st event: 100 breast, 1:15

    Frankly, for the way I was feeling and the time of day, I was very happy with this time. I tried to emphasize long pull outs. I was very tickled when Patrick's father commented on them. I had to concentrate on not DQ-ing the second 100, which wasn't easy with a certain RMST swimmer trying to make me laugh. (This was just payback for me getting him to laugh during his 400 IM.)

    SwimShark video'd the race for me. I could see that my head position is still off and my kick looks fairly non-existent. My pull has improved. I noticed that I had to float to the surface a couple times after the pull out as I was too deep. This might have cost me a second or so. Still, not bad for my very first 100 breast in 3+ decades.

    10:00am: 50 free, 26.2

    Not so hot. I think I've gone slower than that once or twice in the last couple years. Perhaps I would have been under 26 in a different pool. Still, not a great in season effort. Meh.

    10:30 am: Trying to take Jimi's advice about taking a hot shower and hitting the sore calves. Lost track of time. Came out and my heat of the 100 fly was on the blocks. I had been dreading this event anyway. It's not very fun to swim fly with sore legs. I'm definitely a huge weenie baby about pain when it comes to this event. So I did not grieve about missing it.

    11:19:55 am: B70 blow out in the ass and I am forced to pull a Clydesdale and flash the crowd. And then do it again 25 seconds later. See below. This happened to me in Jan 2009 with an old B70, but in the locker room, not while stepping on the friggin block. This suit is new (6 swims), and I am hoping B70 will replace it and have my size. This was supposed to be my suit for Nats ...

    11:20am: Fun Unofficial "Couples" Mixed 200 free relay

    There was almost an entire heat of "couples;" each person swam two relay legs. I swam this relay as a "cheater couple" with my teammate William. Since I was there and had missed fly, I thought more speed work was called for. William and I actually won, with Jenn and John coming in second. (See victorious duo in photo below.) I led off in 26.5 going about 90-95%. So this seemed relatively better than my open 50. However, with only 25 seconds or so of rest and having to get out of the pool, the second 50 was rough, very rough. With about 10 yards to go, my body just shut down and stopped moving. Another teammate was worried I might "go vertical." This trauma further dissuades me from thoughts of the 100 free or going out super duper fast in a 100. Jennifer O'Reilly, with more talent and brains, was sensible and swam her 2 50s like a 100. I was just a sprinter dunce. Julie said she actually felt better on the second 50. I love her, but we are from different swimming planets. lol

    12:30 am: A bunch of us went out to lunch and had a great time. I was sitting next to Chris' wife and it was nice to chat with her.



    So here are my thoughts and what I have learned:

    1. I have to get this cramping thing resolved. I think I likely have a calcium, magnesium, potassium, electrolite deficiency. I stopped drinking gatorade or G2 again this last week or so b/c it was giving me heartburn. I need to find a workout/recovery drink instead of just plain water. I may have to reorder Endura, which I recall is gluten and dairy free. Or maybe try Nuun; I know some triathletes swear by it.

    2. Never go to meets with a 7:30 am warm up. Just don't do it. Stick to my meet "rules." My next two meets are at seemly times.

    3. Don't go to meets when I'm out of the water so much the week before, especially early on in the week. Usually, when I do a mini taper for a meet, I'm in the water every day. Between that and cabin fever, I felt like crap.

    4. Don't slam the legs within 7 days of a meet. I usually don't do drylands or weights for the entire week before a meet (aside from light core). I slammed my legs with killer workouts the Sat & Sun during the blizzard before this meet and didn't recover. Frankly, I'm not sure I had fully recovered from my deep tissue massage either. She went very deep. So I think I mistimed things a bit and didn't listen to my instincts. Though I would have missed good fun had I stayed home, and fun is key to sustaining life as a masters swimmer.

    5. Less is more somtimes. It's perfectly fine to swim fewer events if that's how I'm feeling. Some meets I can only swim a couple events per day, some I can swim more (especially if it's a long meet, which is definitely my preference). Doing essentially 4 races today in a quick meet was plenty. I just don't recover like Aquaman, and it ain't in my head like Muppet asserts. Clay Britt always says that if you have 1-2 good swims a meet, that's something. So I'm thinking my 100 evil is the "something."

    6. A couple pics from the meet attached below. One is of Chris during his 400 IM. He is getting "higher" in the pull phase. Another is Chris and Jeff at the start of the 100 fly. The best race of the day was Jeff Roddin, posing with beer below, schooling a 20 year old in a super fast 100 IM. He has a fantastically fast back to breast turn. I wish I had video'd the race.

    7. Oh, I have to learn how to warm up for a 200, if I ever have the gumption to do one again. Though it's hard to tell with the cramping issue, whatever I did yesterday didn't seem right. I've felt faster in practice. I did do a pace 50 and my time was slower than usual too. Advice please!

    8. And for my last rumination/rant, I cannot effen believe that our schools are still closed tomorrow ...

    Updated February 15th, 2010 at 10:18 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  5. I sucked, Sat. Feb. 13

    by , February 13th, 2010 at 11:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Everything was fun about today aside from my actual swim.

    I'm not sure what my final time was, but I think it was 3-4 seconds slower than the last time I swam the 200 back. Couldn't see the electronic timing well, which only showed one lane at a time.


    1. Big número uno: I got double calf cramps on the start again, same as at Nats. This despite eating bananas, hydrating, using my inhaler and taking my "legs cramp" product. I'm frustrated about this. Dont really know how to avoid it. I've been stretching like crazy. Contemplating hopping out on the 3rd length, but didn't want the humiliation of a DNF. It's hard to swim a 200 back this way for me.

    2. Felt like crap. Other PV swimmers who hadn't been in the water reported similar issues. Swimming 3 x a week doesn't cut it. I also realized that the pool I swam in Thursday was SCY, not SCM, so I was going slower than I thought.

    3. Aside from the start, my underwaters sucked because the push offs hurt.

    4. I don't know how to warm up for a 200. I've felt faster and felt like I had more endurance in practice than I did today.

    5. The pool was too shallow for my taste and the water level wasn't high enough.

    6. I just don't like travel meets all that much, except for Nats, which is always fun. And I tend not to sleep well away from home.

    I vaguely contemplated just driving home tonight. But I decide to stay to watch friends swim, go to the social and experience gluten free beer at the Capital Ale pub. I have no expectations for tomorrow. I'm going to treat it like sprint practice. I'll be swimming very early, not my thing, anyway.

    I did get to see some fast 400 IMs. Aquaman has made much progress in his breaststroke! Julie swam a very nice 500 free. And I re-met Patrick's father, as well as lots of other NOVA folks.

    On an up note, my GMU teammate told me that GMU is now allowing people to pay per visit or purchase a ten visit pass. The former is outrageously expensive, the latter only mildly so. So I may go back to attending Sunday practices.

    I'm going to read Runners World now and read about running shoes since I'm irked with
    swimming today. Looks like I need to try a Nike shie for forefront support.

    Updated February 14th, 2010 at 07:21 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. Friday, Feb. 12

    by , February 12th, 2010 at 09:59 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    750 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 25 shooters on back

    10 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly @ 100 pace
    evens = EZ

    50 EZ

    1 x 50 back w/fins @ 200 pace (27.5)

    50 EZ

    4 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ)
    2 free, 2 breast

    50 EZ

    Total: 1900



    Felt pretty decent in the water today despite my lack of H2O this week. Had some easy speed and good DPS. Leaving tomorrow am for Richmond.

    Made the mistake of taking a few young kids to see The Lightning Thief. The mall was completely overrun, parking and driving was a mess. I just don't have the patience for that nonsense. Had total mall syndrome ...

    Off to pack for Richmond now and will stretch later. I've found that I tend to do it if my yoga mat is out. Odd little psychological trick.

    Absolutely no reading occurred today.

    Updated February 12th, 2010 at 10:11 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. Drive to Swim, Thursday, Feb. 11

    by , February 11th, 2010 at 07:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Desperate for a swim, I spent almost two hours driving back and forth to swim at the Freedom Center. But it was worth it! It seemed like it was set up SCM to me. I had to restrain myself not to overdo it. But I'm up to 2 swims the week before my meet. I think I'll get a short one in sometime tomorrow too.


    Warm up:

    600 various
    200 fly drills

    Main Sets:

    10 x 25 shooters on back w/fins @ :35

    10 x 25 shootes on belly w/fins @ :35

    50 EZ

    5 x 50 PLD breast @ 1:15 @ 200 pace or maybe 150 pace

    50 EZ

    12 X 25
    odds = easy speed fly @ 100 pace
    evens = EZ

    Got kicked out of the pool by a USA team. Had to move over to a shallow pool. Had contemplated doing a fast 50 back, but nixed it since I was sharing a lane and it was 4 feet deep.

    100 EZ

    4 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 dolphin dive (the only fun part about shallow pools)

    Total: 2450

    Planning on stretching and RC work tonight.



    Felt decent. After 4 days of rest, the legs don't feel that rested though. I'm increasingly convinced that a 3 week taper is necessary to adequately rest them to perform at the highest level (given the pummeling they routinely get).

    I've been sleeping an obscene amount this week. I feel like I'm in semi-hibernation. It's going to be difficult to get back on a schedule of rising relatively early ...

    Notes on Racing Weight Con't:

    1. Tailor you carb intake to match your training. The more or harder you train, the more carbs you need. Low levels of carb intake will hinder endurance performance during heavy training.

    2. A trained athlete burns carbs at a rate of almost 1 gram pr minute even during moderate exercise.

    3. High quality carbs include: whole heat bagel, banana, whole wheat bread, whole grain breakfast cereal, brown rice, lentils, oatmeal, orange juice, baked potato, whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce, low fat yogurt with fruit.

    4. Don't worry about fat. Far doesn't make us fat. The typical endurance athletes gets 30-35% of calories from fat. Just worry about getting the right amount of carbs and total calories. There is flexibility in fat intake and it should not prevent you from reaching your ideal racing weight.

    5. "The balance of scientific and real world evidence suggests that, in general, endfurane thletes shoujld not go out of thir way to eat a lot of protein. If you're eating enough for optimal performance (10-25%), eating more will have no effect on your performance.

    6. Recommended macronutrient ranges: carbs 40-80%, fat 20-40%, protein 10-25%.

    7. To ensure your energy sources are properly balanced, it is advised to do a dietary audit for 3 days. There is a nutrition tracker on

    8. Eat early! Regular breakfast eaters tend to be leaner. Eating early causes overall reduced appetite and reduced eating throughout the day. Before early am workouts, one should consume a small dose of easily absorbable carbs (sport drink, banana, smoothie, yogurt).

    9. Eating frequently does not increase metabolism. It may reduce appetite. But eating frequently only works if you don't overeat at the small meals.

    10. Consume at least 100 grams of carbs before workouts. Eat during exercise. There is no difference between a high calorie sport drinks and a low cal one in terms of increased endurance. Eating after exercise promotes leanness.

    Next chapter: Controlling Your Appetite

    Note: Vive sent me a note observing the following: "One of the reviewers of Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight on Amazon says the author repeats some now discredited physiology info. No biggy, says the reviewer. But it looks like a bit of caution might be useful in translating some of the specifics."

    I have never carefully tracked my diet. However, I think I have 3 flaws: (1) I don't eat enough early in the day, though I do always eat breakfast, (2) I always snack at 11:00 pm, and (3) I may overeat and not exercise portion control at times, particularly at dinner.

    Updated February 11th, 2010 at 09:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. Snoverkill, Wed., Feb. 10

    by , February 10th, 2010 at 06:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Well, we got socked with our 4th big snow of the winter. 4 feet of snow in 96 hours. More snow porn pics attached below. There are 6-7 feet snow drifts around my house. Everything's closed, as expected, so no swim. And school is now closed through the end of the week. The kids haven't been in school since last Thursday.


    I did about 50 minutes of the P90X yoga DVD, skipping the difficult balancing postures to rest the legs. Then, I did about 15 minutes of RC exercises and another 15 minutes of stretching. I am all bendy and foldy.

    Racing Weight:

    I read more of Racing Weight while finishing up my LOTR marathon. Here's the Summary:

    Seasonal Considerations:

    1. Your racing weight is your ideal performance weight, but not necessarily your training and general health. You don't want to leave your body underfueled for base-level training. Keep your training weight no more than 8% greater than your skinny racing weight.

    2. Weight gain doesn't occur slowly, but rather rapidly over short periods of time. The 7 most frequent causes of weight gain for athletes are: weekends, holidays, periods of stress (the stress hormone cortisol promotes fat storage), the freshman 15, pregnancy, menopause, and post diet rebound. Gaining weight slowly through adulthood is not inevitable and natural. Training and activity will slow the decline in muscle mass and increase in body fat.

    3. It's fine to take 1-2 weeks off after a big event for physical and mental regeneration, but after that get back to daily exercise. Short easy workouts are far better than nothing, though endurance athletes tend to dismiss their worth.

    4. The amount of carbs in your diet should vary with your training cycle. Reduce carbs and increase protein in the off season. The healthiest and most efficient way to increase protein is to use protein shakes.

    5. At present, there is no solid evidence to suggest that supplements are required for optimal muscle growth and strength. However, increasing protein and amino acids has other benefits. It reduces appetite, eating and fat storage, thereby promoting weight loss.

    Improving Your Diet Quality:

    1. The gylcemic index is nearly useless as a tool for weight management or general health promotion. There's more to food than its effect on blood glucose. The truest measure of a food's value is its total concentration and balance of nutrients.

    2. The author creates his own diet tool, called The Diet Quality Score. Pretty basic theory: eat a wide variety from 6 food sources. Don't eat too much from one source no matter how nutritious. He cites a study of women that showed the women who ate the greatest of healthy foods had the lowest mortality rate over 10 years.

    3. The 6 high quality foods are: fruit, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, low fat dairy and essential fats. Fruits are awesome b/c of their high antioxidant capacities, fiber and water content. The author suggests 3-4 servings of fruit and 3-4 of veggies each day. "No one ever gets fat eating nuts." And you must eat whole grain carbs, which is an endurance athlete's energy source. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential and enhance the fat burning effect of exercise. The best sources of salmon, flax seeds and flax seed oil. He recommends a daily supplement. Unlike Geek, I don't think this promotes the need for Depends. Most people likely need to be taking Vitamin D as well, especially if they don't get enough sunshine.

    More updates later ...

    Updated February 10th, 2010 at 06:24 PM by The Fortress

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  9. Success! Tuesday, Feb. 9

    by , February 9th, 2010 at 05:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Whew! Got a swim in today. The Rec Centers opened at noon. It was pretty packed when I arrived, but emptied out fairly quickly. All the regulars were there getting their swims in, including Cage Fighter. He claimed to be "horribly" out of shape after 4 days of no FISH practices. Anyway, I was feeling pretty battered from my deep tissue massage (takes me 2-3 days to recover from these), so I just swam slowly and re-established feel.


    Warm up:

    750 various

    Drill sets:

    10 x 25, shooters on belly
    10 x 25, evens = easy speed fly, odds = easy
    10 x 25, shooters on back

    50 EZ

    5 x 100 PLD breast @ 2:00
    working on long pullouts

    50 EZ

    Mini Aerobic Set:

    8 x 50 backstroke @ 1:00
    working on breakouts

    50 EZ

    Mini Speed Set:

    4 x (25 AFAP + 50 EZ)
    odds = fast doggie paddle drill (an Allen Stark drill)
    evens = fast free

    Free didn't feel as bad as I expected.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3150



    This is a pretty typical pre-meet workout for me. I suppose I could have done a fast 50 or two, but I was feeling like a lazy sprinter. And my legs are still feeling heavy and beat up from the Sunday drylands and deep tissue massage. This too shall pass by the weekend I hope. I doubt I'll get in a swim tomorrow. The snow has already started and it's supposed to be very heavy tonight.

    2010 Meets:

    Richmond Meet:

    I had to look up what I was swimming this weekend, as I couldn't recall. One event of each stroke: 200 back, 100 evil (split on a 200), 50 free, 100 fly. I'm happy to count for anyone who needs a counter on Saturday in Richmond. The last time I swam a 200 back (Jan 2009), I went 2:22.3 (had to look that up). I recall I didn't take many SDKs after the start, as I was terrified of going into oxygen debt. I think this time, I'll likely take 5-6 off each turn and take my chances. On the 100 evil, I'm aiming for long pullouts. I have no idea what I'll go in this event, and no recollection of any of my age group times in this stroke. Hopefully, I won't get DQ'd by spacing out on the second 100 ... In the 100 fly, I'd like to best my best in season time, which I believe is a 1:04+. The 50 free is the usual crapshoot. This might be the only time I swim it this year.

    Albatross Meet:

    I also entered the Albatross meet last night on line: 100 fly, 50 back, 100 back and 50 free. All times sandbagged. I'll likely do my usual 3-5 days rest that consists mostly of knocking off drylands and weights.

    Colonies Zones:

    I'm mulling over my events for Colonies Zones. I'm leaning toward:


    100 free
    50 breast
    100 fly


    100 IM
    50 fly
    100 back

    I'm swimming a lot of relays at this meet, most likely, so no need to pile on too many individual events. This would be the first time I haven't swum 50 back there if I do this lineup ... But it's at the end of the day before our 400 medley relay and right after 100 fly. (But perhaps I'll lead off a relay and get a time.) KPN is planning on attending this meet as well, though she doesn't know what events she's swimming.

    Racing Weight:

    Mr. Fort, I and our Savageman relay mate were chatting about the NYT article on weight/fitness the other night. He loaned us his book entitled "Racing Weight: How To Get Lean for Peak Performance." I scanned some of the early sections on swimming and found the following nuggets:

    Swimmers have the highest average body fat of any endurance athlete.

    "Swimming is not a natural human activity, so it is no surprise that the typical elite swimmer's body has unusual characteristics .... tall, long torso, long arms, large feet, loose ankles, double jointed elbows/knees/ankles."

    "An interesting question is whether body fat percentages are somewhat higher for swimmers than in other endurance athletes because athletes with more body fat tend to excel in swimming or because swim training does not reduce body fat levels as much as other aerobic activity, or because swimmers eat more than other endurance athletes." (Personally, I agree with #2 & #3, but not #1.)

    "When researchers matched body fat percentages in endurance athletes against finishing times, they found that the men and women with the leanest bodies were also the fastest."

    "Body fat makes only a minimal positive contribution to endurance performance ... any excess body fat beyond the essential required for health worsens endurance performance ... performance increases as body fat is lost because of gains in efficiency ... As body fat goes down, aerobic capacity goes up because muscle has less competition from fat tissue for oxygen and fuel."

    "The greatest weight management challenge that competitive swimmers face is that of increasing swim specific strength and power, which typically requires gaining some muscle ... The benefits of pure muscle strength and power are greater in swimming than in every other endurance sport except rowing." (1997 study of Greek national team)

    "At the elite level, every sport evolves in the direction of effective innovation and in the last decade or so, one of the most significant innovations in elite swimming is a much greater commitment to strength training."

    I have to now read the chapters on balancing energy sources, nutrient timing, managing appetite, training for racing weight, and the role of supplements.

    NYT Journal:

    I'm just catching up on this a couple weeks late, but there was an interesting short article in the NYT Magazine about how endurance athletes are "internally fit." Apparently, exercise has an anti-aging effect at the molecular level. The fitter a person was in middle age, the younger their cells were (found by measuring telomeres and telomerase activity).
    Swim Workouts
  10. Argh! Monday, Feb. 8

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 08:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    OK, it's not fun anymore. The main streets still have snow on them, there are no sidewalks, we're supposed to get 10-20 inches of snow again tomorrow and schools are pre-emptively closed on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. The roads to the Rec Centers were fine today, but they were nonetheless closed. They typically close if the county schools close. So, no pool.

    I'm really not happy about this. I have a meet this weekend and need to get in the water. I am NOT supposed to be cross-training this week and doing so would only fry my legs more. I am going to pray that the Freedom Center is open tomorrow am and drive all the way out there. Or hope the local rec centers are somehow open. Crap!

    On the upside, since there was no pool to go to today, I called and was able to get a long overdue massage. So at least my poor legs got some TLC.

    Albatross SCM Meet:

    I entered the Albatross meet on line today. I took Neill's advice and entered: 100 fly/50 back/100 back/50 free. I sandbagged all my times. I don't want to be in the last heat and be drowned by Chris/Clay/Jeff/Neill/Wolfy, etc. Past experience has shown me this will happen if I enter my real in season times. So hopefully I'll end up with the fast chicks in the second to last heat.


    Big score last night! I am now in possession of the entire P90X series, which was gifted to me. So I have a couple duplicate DVDs. Bob, have you found any yet? I also have an aquaitance doing the Insanity series of DVDs (not by Tony Horton though). They're 30 minutes long and he says he is "dead" after.

    BTW, Pink does P90X and Dreya (from the DVDs) performed with her at the Grammys.

    RedHead Update:

    Thought I'd give a brief update, since I know some swimmer chicks are wondering about the viability of red hair. I got my hair colored after the first week of fading on Jan. 19. The color took much better the second time; it was almost too dark. I've attached a couple pics taken on photo booth a couple days ago. There is some, but not too much, fading.

    Here's what I've been doing:

    1. Use mega conditioning shampoo and conditioner for dry hair.
    2. Don't wash my hair on days I'm not in the pool.
    3. Put conditioner in my hair before I swim.
    4. Use Pureology's anti-fade complex
    5. Use Bumble & Bumble's hair powder for red heads to brighten up the color.

    So, so far, I'd say it's worth the battle with the chorine. I'll likely have to go in every 5-6 weeks, but that's typical. And I love being a redhead.

    Updated February 8th, 2010 at 11:08 PM by The Fortress

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  11. Drylands, Sun. Feb. 7

    by , February 7th, 2010 at 06:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I woke up today (quite late) and, ack, my hammies and glutes were quite tired and sore from the 2 hours of lunging yesterday. The pools are all closed here as we continue to dig out from the storm. But my gym opened at noon (not the pool; the gym practically destroyed the bubble). Since I parked my Durango as close as possible to the street, we were able to bust out and see the snow covered world. I would have liked to get in some aerobic work, but my legs were too tired for it. So I did a mostly upper body and core workout. This is the last of my gym work before my meet in Richmond next weekend. I'm due for a recovery week anyway, and I hope the legs have adequate time to recover. I'm hoping to swim Mon-Fri this week if the rec centers open. School is already cancelled for tomorrow. Likely on Tuesday too.

    Drylands, 2.0 hours:

    I did an obscene amount of exercises, which will no doubt annoy Jazzy.

    15 minutes of med ball slamming in the racquetball court (I don't follow dumb rules well.)
    broomstick twists, 1 x 25
    cable twist w/yoga ball, 40 x 1 x 15 each side, 50 x 1 x 15, each side
    Icarian incline lever, 75(?) x 2 x 15
    body rows, 3 x 15
    elevated push ups, 2 x 15
    lying overhead tricept press, 50 x 2 x 15
    chest fly w/2 cables, 80 x 1 x 8, 70 x 1 x 10
    single arm push on double cable machine, 35 x 2 x 10, each arm
    russian twists w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25
    back extensions w/25 lb plate, 2 x 15
    straight leg raises in captain's chair, 2 x 25
    kneeling ab crunches on cable machine, 75 x 2 x 15
    seated narrow grip row, 80 x 3 x 10
    bent over rear delt fly, 12.5 x 2 x 15
    leg press: a few singles and then 410 x 1 x 8*

    * I did this to see if I'd lost any leg strength. Nope, not any. All my squats and lunges and other work seem to be enough to maintain lower body strength.

    2 rounds of:

    knee-ins on bosu, 15
    scissors on bosu, 25
    dead bugs on bosu, 25
    flutter kick on bosu, 50

    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arms dips, 60 x 2 x 25
    ball on wall, 2 x 50

    10 minutes on ellipse warming down. Got to see the Mens 5000 meter race. Bernard Lagat dusted Gallen Rupp in the final lap to set a new American record.

    15 minutes of stretching



    Well, this was a monster dryland weekend for me. Glad I got some workouts in despite the snow. The Super Bowl party we were going to is cancelled, but we are going over to another friend's house. Otherwise, we are having a LOTR marathon.

    I also bought another yoga DVD on Jaegermeister's recommendation: Beryl Bender Birch's The Practice. I might try it out next week, but I'd really like to rest the legs before my meet.

    I need to think about my entries for the Albatross meet: I'm completely baffled as to what to swim after the 100 fly. (I like that this event is first, so I don't sit around contemplating whether to scratch it.) I could do the 100 fly/50 back/200 back. Or I could do the 100 fly/50 back/50 fly. Or the 100 back/50 back/50 fly/50 free. Or the 100 back/50 back/100 IM. Just not sure what I want to swim ... I've never swum the 200 back in SCM.

    Updated February 7th, 2010 at 06:28 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  12. Snowpocalypse Workout, Sat. Feb. 6

    by , February 6th, 2010 at 06:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    The 3 feet of snow arrived and we are totally snowed in. Well, except for all the shoveling that Mr. Fort and Fortson did. (See below. Poor Jimi's guest cottage is unapproachable.) This is definitely the most snow I've ever seen here. So I fired up the DVDs off and on today and did:


    P90X Legs & Back, 60 minutes:

    This is the first time I tried this DVD. My brother thinks it's tougher than the P90X plyo DVD, which is not for lightweights. The leg exercises are listed in this link: The one legged wall squats were killer. I had to skip the "back" part of the workout -- chin ups and pull ups. I did roll outs with my power wheel during these segments. This is a a very lunge intensive DVD.

    P90X Ab Killer, 15 minutes:

    This was on the same DVD as above, so I just kept on going. The exercises and entire workout are found in this link:


    5 rounds of:

    prone scapular scrunches, 25
    alternating hammers w/10 lb DBs, 30
    3 position arm extensions, 30
    1:00 jump rope

    Yoga, 70 minutes:

    I wasn't feeling up to power yoga after the above workouts, so I decided to try the Yoga Shakti DVD again. I liked it much better the second time around. I did about 70 minutes of the Solar Flow 2. It did have a lot of upward and downward dogs in the first 20 minutes, but there were fewer as I got past the warrior sequences. This routine focused on twisting poses and some standing hand poses. Some of the latter were insanely hard. I cannot even remotely do the 3rd one in this link:

    I noticed that there is a "yoga matrix" feature to this DVD where you can customize a workout and select the poses you like and avoid those you don't. This seems fantastic and I'm going to give it a try.

    I have to admit Gigi was right about this DVD.



    Legs and glutes are very tired after this! I feel like I spent most of the day lunging, balancing, and doing forward bends and backbends. There was a lot of balancing in the P90X DVD as well as the yoga DVD. Mini snapped one pic of me during yoga while calling me an exercise "freak." lol

    I think we'll be able to get out tomorrow as we live on a fairly major road that gets plowed quickly. Some people on side roads may be stuck for days. I feel very fortunate that we have not lost power. The snow did knock out our satellite unfortunately. There is some Super Bowl panic ...

    Prelim Top Ten:

    A friend alerted me that the prelim TT is out:

    These are my best rankings ever:

    50 free, 3rd
    50 back, 2nd
    50 fly, 2nd
    50 breast, 1st
    100 back, 3nd
    100 fly, 4th
    100 IM, 4th

    Thank goodness I age up slightly before KPN!

    Updated February 11th, 2010 at 08:46 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
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  13. Snowmageddon, Friday, Feb. 5

    by , February 5th, 2010 at 03:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    The weather forecast is for 2-3 feet of snow between now and tomorrow night! I can't really remember a storm of that magnitude ... perhaps one about 12 -14 years ago. I slept in this morning and headed to the pool around 11:00. And not a minute too late. I was just finishing my workout when they closed the pool. After the thrashing of the legs the last week or so (10,000+ yards in 8 days), I had a recovery/drill type workout planned. I actually felt pretty refreshed afterward, and was glad I didn't attempt any heavy duty aerobic work. I kinda doubt I'll be able to swim this weekend with the predicted weather.


    Warm up:

    600 various

    Drill Set #1:

    2 x 150 fly drills
    (50 caterpillar, 50 chest press, 50 single arm)

    4 x 100 single arm fly @ 1:45

    10 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = Geek's human paddle drill using an underwater freestyle recovery -- I liked this drill, good for correcting my tendency to overreach with my left arm among other things.
    evens = PLD breast

    50 EZ

    Speed Set:

    8 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 50 EZ)

    Definitely felt a bit slower than usual on these, but glad I did them.

    100 EZ

    Drill Set #2:

    10 x 50 @ 1:10
    odds = evil pull w/pull buoy
    odds = evil kick

    5 x 1:00 minute vertical kicking, continuous

    100 EZ

    Pool Closed!

    Total: 3250 + VK

    P90X Yoga:

    My kids are all playing in the snow or otherwise busy, so I'm going to plug in my P90X 90 minute yoga DVD. This video is power-ashtanga type yoga. I think I've been feeling more supple and less sore since I increased the yoga. Or, I guess it could be the lack of heavy weights. I don't think I recall Tony Horton being lycra clad in this DVD, so it probably wouldn't offend Stud. I can foresee the possibility that I may become somewhat addicted to yoga. It'll be interesting to compare my SCY times with heavy lifting (last season) with my SCY times with yoga/plyos/light weights (this season). I don't seem to be swimming any slower in practice. But I suppose it could make a difference in my 50 speed.



    Glad I got in a recovery workout before the big dump. It was just what I needed.

    Ran across an interesting article in the NYT on ideal weight for athletes:

    On the gluten front, it seems to have made a huge difference to cut out gluten. My symptoms have abated substantially and I don't have that horrible bloated feeling anymore. It feels and looks like I've lost 5 pounds. Probably not, but it's still nice. I just made myself a very tasty brown rice quesadilla with lactose free cheese, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Nummy!

    Updated February 5th, 2010 at 11:48 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  14. Feel the Burn!

    by , February 4th, 2010 at 05:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blogging from my iPhone as I stand in line for an hour waiting to get into the HS Regional meet ...

    This morning, I met Speedo at OakMarr for our Thursday swim. Fortunately, he checked the website and saw the pool closed at noon, so we met at 10:30. We did the same kick set we did last Thursday. I was worried my legs would still be gassed from my marathon kick session yesterday, but I actually went faster than last week. Pete was somewhat surprised at my kick endurance (and honestly I was too), but I think all those shooters and kick mountains have paid off. It went thusly:

    SCY @ OakMarr w/Speedo:

    Warm up:

    800 various

    Kick Set 1:

    6 x 200 @ 3:30

    1-2 cruise flutter kick w/board to get legs warmed up; I did 150s.)
    3-6 = backstroke kick, no fins

    Went 2:56, 2:53, 2:56 (nose clip problems), 2:51
    I had a good last 25 on the last 200. These were hard!

    To compare, last week, I went 2:59, 2:56, 2:56, 2:53.

    I'm hoping these have been some practice for next weekend's 200 back.

    100 EZ

    Kick Set 2:

    6 x 100 kick w/fins @ 1:20
    odds = flutter kick w/board
    evens = backstroke kick

    Went: 1:00, 1:03, 1:03, 1:02, 1:03, 1:01. Really got out after it on the first one. . Maybe a little too much ... Got a cramp on the second one and then just went as fast as I could. Legs were really burning. As I recall, last time I went 1:03-1:05. I'll have to check later. (Edit: Yes, my recollection was accurate.)

    100 EZ

    Kick Set 3:

    10 x 1:00 vertical kick
    odds = dolphin
    evens = breast

    100 EZ

    10 minutes hot tub

    Total: 2800 + VK


    My wrist felt better today. That's a good thing after days of intense kicking and leg work! I' done over 10,000 yards in 8 days.

    No other time for working out today. We'll see what tomorrow holds. I've heard that school for tomorrow is already cancelled. My investment in DVDs is really paying off this snowy winter.

    Updated February 4th, 2010 at 09:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Test Sets
  15. Yoga + Kick, Wed., Feb. 3

    by , February 3rd, 2010 at 07:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Schools were closed due to our "blizzard." Yet I still got in a good day of working out.


    6 rounds of:

    1 x 100 jump rope hops
    3 position arms extensions

    Power Yoga:

    I did power yoga with the Bryan Kest power yoga DVD, advanced level.

    Here's some info on Bryan Kest:

    [ame=""]YouTube- Bryan Kest's Power Yoga[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube- Kashi Ashram: Bryan Kest Power Yoga class, 4 of 4[/ame] (kinda funny)

    I'm struggling with one advanced pose. You start with the revolved side angle pose with hands in prayer position like this: Then you wrap your left arm under your leg and your right arm around over your back and join hands. I'm almost there; I guess I need a flexier spine.

    I'm also working on a full camel pose in bikram -- I can do a regular camel easily enough, but I'd like to get all the way down.

    Jazzy has a theory that I only like workouts that "hurt" and hence that's why I dislike vinyasa. But I don't find that bikram and power yoga "hurt;" they're just more challenging.


    Warm up:

    600 various
    200 fly drills

    Kick Set #1:

    10 x 25 back shooters w/MF @ :30
    5 x 1:00 vertical kicking (dolphin, evil, dolphin, evil, dolphin)
    10 x 25 twirling shooters w/MF @ :30
    5 x 1:00 vertical kicking (same as above)
    10 x 25 belly shooters w/MF @ :30
    5 x 1:00 vertical kicking (same as above)

    Kick Sets #2: CS Kick Mountain, done all dolphin kick w/board & MF

    1 x 50 @ :45
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 200 @ 2:45
    1 x 300 @ 4:15
    1 x 200 @ 2:45
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 50 @ :45

    I cut my previous intervals down by 15 seconds on the 200s and 300.

    100 EZ

    Stroke Set:

    10 x 50 PLD evil w/MF @ 1:00

    100 EZ

    10 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ) @ 1:00

    100 EZ

    Total: 4150 + 15 min. VK



    I felt pretty good today, though I'm quite sure my legs will be tired tonight. Well, they already are. Hoping to swim with Speedo tomorrow. My eyes are better; my wrist was sore after yesterday's drylands, so I didn't do anything to strain it today.

    Updated February 3rd, 2010 at 09:56 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  16. Drylands + Quick Kick, Monday, Feb. 2

    by , February 2nd, 2010 at 06:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I started off with some med ball slamming in the racquetball court, trying not to use my right hand much. Someone must have complained b/c I was kicked out after 5 minutes. But I was told I could do slams in the Personal Trainer room, which I did. And I discovered that's where they hide all the good toys -- jump ropes, power wheels, ladders, etc. So I just worked out in there the whole time.

    med ball slams (twisting, forward, starter-type, overhead, single arms etc.)
    ladder hops, forward & lateral*
    bicycles, 2 x 100
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    kettleball snatch, 20 x 2 x 25
    power wheel roll outs, 2 x 25
    goblet squats, 60 x 2 x 15
    back extensions, 20 x 4 x 15
    box jumps, 1 x 10 (these felt slightly dangerous with glasses on, so I desisted)
    rock star jumps, 2 x 10
    jump knee tucks, 2 x 10
    P90X steam engines w/hand weights, 2 x 50

    * I don't think these are particularly useful for swimming or fitness training.

    10 rounds of:

    1 x 100 jump rope hops
    1 x RC exercise (tricep kick backs, external & internal rotators, prone scapular scrunches, ball on wall, 3 position arm extensions)


    I didn't have time to journey to the rec center, so "swam" in the hot gym pool. It was super hot today -- ugh! Just did a quick kick workout with a board and my prescription goggles to avoid contaminating the eyes with chlorine.

    Warm up:

    200 flutter kick w/board
    200 evil kick w/board

    Main Set:

    20 x 50 kick w/board @ 1:10, done as 25 AFAP + 25 EZ
    odds = flutter
    evens = dolphin

    I thought I might be too tired for these right after drylands, but I felt pretty speedy on the fast kick portions

    50 EZ kick

    5 minutes hot tub; 5 minutes steam

    Total: 1450 meters kick



    Glad I got two good sessions in today b/c we're supposed to get another 4-6 inches of snow tonight. I have no use whatsoever for snow. Inevitably, school will be cancelled or delayed. If it is, I will likely do a couple workout DVDs at home. Or hopefully, the rec center will still be open.

    Speaking of DVDs, my brother (who has been doing P90X for awhile) is now switching to the Insanity program. It does look pretty insane, and with a fair amount of core work involved.

    My wrist is somewhat sore after the drylands. I tried to focus on pylos, but the roll outs might have been a bit much.

    I was also happy to recently discover that I actually can eat some cheeses.

    News Flash:

    Jazzy went to hot yoga AGAIN and even liked it.

    Updated February 2nd, 2010 at 09:51 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  17. Rough Day, Monday, Feb. 1

    by , February 1st, 2010 at 06:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Not a sterling day for me. Woke up and my eyes were killing me. They've been somewhat painful the last couple days. But when I woke up this am, I knew I had either iritis or keratitis. I was lucky enough to get an emergency appointment with my opthamologist, which resulted in prescriptions for restasis (for dry eye) and tobradex (steroid drops). I seem very prone to this condition ... seems to happen every year or so. I'm not supposed to swim until Wed. at the very earliest. Opthamologists think swimming is an evil sport ... We couldn't really figure out what caused the attack, but it could have been a change in pool chemicals.

    Then, just to add insult to injury, I came home and pulled a Q. I was heading to take out the garbage and I slipped on ice on my step and fell forward, catching myself on my right wrist. Very painful and swollen. Took myself in to get an x-ray, which was negative. Looks like a sprain. &*%$&*#

    I was, in fact, due for a rest day. But I would have preferred the real deal ...

    I will now be putting hot towels on my eyes and ice on my wrist.

    January Totals:

    Chris inspired me to look at my Jan totals, which were:

    Swim, 18x, 64,350+ yards
    Dryland, 13x
    Yoga, 8x
    Spin/Run, 3x

    I think this means I've been swimming more like 4x a week instead of 5x. Perhaps I've been too consumed with my dryland obsession lately? 24x cross training is fairly substantial. But I do feel like I'm in decent shape all around.

    I am doing pretty well on my new year's resolutions:

    New Years Resolutions: (1/1)

    1. stretch more
    2. improve my fly SDK
    3. go gluten & lactose free
    4. get the potato chip addiction under control
    5. try life as a redhead
    6. discover coping mechanisms to deal with strong willed drama queen teenage daughter who gets her cdriving permit this year.

    Updated February 1st, 2010 at 10:56 PM by The Fortress

  18. Yoga w/Jazzy + Swim, Sunday, Jan. 31

    by , January 31st, 2010 at 06:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    I hate to make poor Geekity's weekend worse, but it's time for him to PAY UP on his wager. Today, Jazz and I ventured to the Reston/Lameton bikram yoga studio for 90 minutes of exercise. Geek had stated that Jazz could not/would not do 90 minutes of any form of exercising (much less hot yoga). Since he did, and did it very well, Geek will now be forced to ... drum roll ... swim a naked 200 fly.

    Jazzy did much better than I did my first time in this class. He didn't attempt to run from the room after an hour due to heat overexposure. In fact, he said the heat wasn't unduly bothersome. This studio, I will say, is less hot than the Falls Church studio. Probably more like 105 degrees than 110. Hopefully, Jazz will post his thoughts later today. It's hard to love hot yoga the first time, as it's so difficult. (In fact, FlyQueen absolutely hated it.)

    We discussed briefly whether the balancing series would be beneficial for swimming. I thought it would be as balance and core strength seem important for swimming. Jazz wasn't sure. He thought swimmers should naturally be good at the balance postures, and felt he wasn't that good. However, he did vastly better than most people I've seen attempting them for the first time. There were plenty of chicks in yogakinis and a lack of dirty hippies as well.

    See photo below of Jazz sweating with a rack of yogakinis in the background. Too bad that Speedo didn't join us and get a lavander scented towel.

    Later today, my children were all hanging with their friends and Mr. Fort was working, so I headed to the pool and did the following:


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Hypoxic Kick Set:

    40 x 25 dolphin kick w/MF @ :30, continuous

    1-10 = left side
    11-20 = twirling
    21-30 = right side
    31-40 = back

    Tried to work both sides of the kick.

    50 EZ

    Main Set:

    4 x (100 easy speed fly w/fins + 50 EZ) @ 3:00
    (7 SDKs off each wall, worked on holding top half of body still, went 1:03ish)

    100 EZ

    2 x (2 x 50 dolphin kick w/board @ 90% @ 1:00 + 50 EZ)

    100 EZ

    4 x (25 fast free + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ


    6 minutes of vertical kicking
    odds = breast kick
    evens = dolphin

    4 x 50 breast pull w/pull buoy

    50 EZ

    Total: 3400 +VK



    My legs felt strong on the hypoxic set. But after that, and likely as a result of yoga too, they were pretty shot the rest of the workout.

    Looking back at my week, I did yoga 5x (WTH?!), swimming 4x (approx. 15,000), drylands 3x and a quick spin. I haven't had a day off since Jan. 16 when I tooled around Northwestern and Chicago. I'm going to try to train hard the next week and then have a recovery type week before my meet in Richmond on Feb. 13-14.

    My speed felt off on the 25s today. I think I'm going to have a 10 x 25 AFAP day this week.

    Now it's off to dinner with friends. I'll be sleeping in tomorrow as there still is no school (end of semester).

    Updated January 31st, 2010 at 06:35 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
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  19. Stretch & Core, Sat. Jan. 30

    by , January 30th, 2010 at 05:41 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    We're getting a quasi snow storm here. It's still coming down and everything, including the high school districts swim meet finals, is cancelled. I decided to keep working on my stretching (my only new years resolution) and do some core work at home.

    Power Yoga, Rodney Lee

    I popped in this 60 minute DVD. It was pretty good, perhaps a few too many downward dogs for my taste, but worthwhile. I have a suspicion that the DDs may stretch the shoulders too much, consistent with the recent article in Swimmer magazine.

    I liked the Bryan Kest DVD better. I wish there were more Bryan Kest power yoga DVDs, but he seems to have his more recent advanced routines, which are even less vinyasa focused, on CD. I likewise liked the P90X yoga DVD better than this one. And I still like bikram better than all of them!

    P90X Core Synergistics:

    I popped in this 60 minute DVD later in the day with the following exercises: I substituted the power wheel for a few plank-related exercises and skipped the last 10 minutes of stretching.


    I'm actually enjoying doing the yoga DVDs at home. I feel like I get in a LOT of stretching I wouldn't otherwise do on my own, along with some further core strengthening. If I can keep this up, it will be interesting to see how/if it transfers to the water.

    Now, I'm hoping the Reston/Lameton bikram studio will, in fact, be open tomorrow for my session with Jazzy.

    Updated January 30th, 2010 at 10:13 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  20. Friday, Jan. 29

    by , January 29th, 2010 at 05:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Power Yoga:

    Today, I tried Bryan Kest's power yoga DVD.
    [ame=""] Bryan Kest Power Yoga Complete Collection: Bryan Kest: Movies & TV[/ame]

    I really liked this DVD. One hour of strength, balance and flexibility postures. There was the standard vinyasa poses, but not repeated umpteen 1000 x in a row. I did the advanced routine. I couldn't quite do a couple of the full twisting poses, but could do most everything else. Although holding a backbend for a minute maintaining "equanimty" is somewhat difficult.

    Swim/SCY/ Solo:

    Today, I modified one of Geek's workouts for my main set. I didn't do as many rounds as his team did, and I had more generous rest intervals.

    Warm up:

    600 various
    200 fly drills

    Drill Sets:

    10 x 25 twirling shooters w/fins (2 dolphin kicks on belly, 2 on right side, 2 on left side, and 2 on back, etc.)

    (Pete, you should do this one!)

    4 minutes of vertical kicking:
    alternate 1 min. of evil kick and 1 minute of dolphin kick

    5 x 50 PLD breast w/fins @ 1:00
    Try to streamline to the 15 meter mark

    50 EZ

    Speed Sets:

    4 rounds of:

    4 x 25 fast kick, no fins @ 1:00
    50 breast pull w/pull buoy

    Round 1 = flutter kick w/board, went 16s.
    Round 2 = shooter on back, went 14.5-15.5s
    Round 3 = shooter on belly, went 14.5-15.5s
    Round 4 = dive from side and power dolphin kick to 15 meter mark and cruise in

    On round 4, I took 13, 12.5, 12, and 12 kicks to get to the 15 meter mark. I was rushing the kick on the first two. I think this means I should probably take 10 kicks from a block start in a tech suit. I was surprised that round 3 was as fast as round 2. Usually, I'm slower on my belly, but I have been trying to work on this by doing more dolphin kick w & w/o a board. Times are all approximate though, as I have trouble seeing the pace clocks.

    1 round w/fins of:

    1 x 50 fast (did fly, went 24.5)
    1 x 100 6 kick switch backstroke drill

    2 x 50 fast @ 1:30 (did back, went 24.5s)
    1 x 100 6 switch backstroke drill

    3 x (50 fast + 50 EZ) @ 2:30
    (did flutter kick w/board, went 25s)
    1 x 100 EZ

    Geek did 3 rounds of this in his workout. I did it more as a lactate set.

    Total: 2700 + VK



    I really liked this workout, and may try it again with the 3 rounds on an aerobic day. The legs didn't feel too bad after yesterday's kick session with Speedo, though last night I was super tired. A good night's sleep helped with the recovery.

    On the gluten/dairy front, I seem to be having more success eliminating gluten. I did a "test" by eating some wheat thins the other day, and broke out in a rash and got wheezy. So I think it's pretty conclusive, and consistent with the blood test I had. I have been feeling better with an abatement of symptoms, though I understand it takes many months to get the gluten out of your system completely.

    I'm off to watch my sick kid swim in the high school District championships tonight. They were thinking of having just timed finals tonight, but it looks like the worst of the storm may miss us and hit further south in Geek's area. So I'll probably be back at it tomorrow night.

    I may take tomorrow off except for some stretching. I haven't had a day off in awhile.
    Swim Workouts , Yoga