My USMS Page:
Rockwall Aquatic Masters ("RAM")
SCY w/Speedo @ Oak Marr:
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
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. http://www.treatingpain.com/diagnosi...ch-plasma.html.
Updated September 30th, 2010 at 07:14 PM by The Fortress
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
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:
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
Total: 2150 meters
(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 11:22 AM by The Fortress
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:
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
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
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.
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:"
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 29th, 2010 at 12:01 AM by The Fortress
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. http://tri-to-win-events.smugmug.com...24356846_av5Jc. 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
Rack chins and inverted rows
Any squat variation
Any deadlift variation
Updated September 27th, 2010 at 09:50 PM by The Fortress
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.)
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 10:08 PM by The Fortress
AM Swim/SCY/Team @ GMU:
I did the main set with Petra Martin. Not too many people there today.
3 x through:
100 pull (I did 50 scull, forgot paddles)
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
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.
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?
Swim/SCY/Solo @ GMU:
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.)
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)
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
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 10:41 AM by The Fortress
Drylands, 60-70 minutes:
broomstick twists, 25
windshield wipers, 15
flutter kicks (on back, arms in streamline position) on bosu, 50
lateral hops on bench, 1:00
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="http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Perform-an-Overhead-Split-Squat-23478918"]How to Perform an Overhead Split Squat Video – 5min.com[/ame] I just used a bench for the back leg.
-- you can do these SSs with added ROM as well -- [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZlodHgCipk"]YouTube - DeFrancosTraining.com - 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. http://www.squidoo.com/tabatatraining
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 09:30 PM by The Fortress
8 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = swim
evens = kick
10 x (25 AFAP + 25 EZ), no interval
3 free, 3 breast, 3 UW kick, 1 fly fast
I only had time for a very quick swim today; the rest of the day was booked solid. (And I still have red, not Gaga, hair.) So, it seemed like the perfect time to pop in a 10 x 25 fast. I wish I had felt fast, but at least it's a start. I'm ready to get back to basics -- strength & speed! But, unlike Patrick, I plan to use actual weights.
I glanced at a few workouts from last year in late Sept. In particular, I was looking to see what I went on my fast 50s with fins for Q. I found this set from Sept. 29:
5 x (50 AFAP w/fins + 100 EZ)
50 SDK on back, :23
50 back, high :24
50 free, :25 (missed turn)
50 SDK, :23
50 back, :25 (tired)
I highly doubt I could do that right now. But I plan to do this set on Friday along with some other speed work and maybe some high intensity vertical kicking. I feel the need to do more than 31 kicks in 10 seconds, or I will have to concede defeat to Geek and send him a cap.
To get myself out of my demi-funk, I am entering some meets. I am going to do an abbreviated line up at the Sprint Classic and go to Indy with Jimslie the following weekend. I will be staying at the famous Bobinator's house and Chicken of the Sea, FlyQueen, Bzaks and others may attend as well. If Bill White doesn't come with Jimslie and me, I will plan something evil for my next Sewickley Masters workout over Thanksgiving.
Sprint Classic Events, Oct. 24:
GRIN Fall Classic at Indy, SCM, Oct. 30-31:
50 breast (as split request in the 100)
The weather sucks! It was 90 and humid today. It thundered as I was heading to watch FortSon's cross country race. It was delayed, causing me to miss the race because I had to take Lil Fort and friend to swim practice. Grrr ... He said he had a good race, but died in the heat. We fair skinned folk do not like exercising in heat.
I haven't received my Swimmer magazine yet, and I am just dying to read "Swimming Through Menopause."
I am getting some crap for being mental about the cold water and opting not to do the B2B race. I can only hope that certain people know that if I die, our relay will get DQ'd.
And, finally ... drumroll ... Ryan Lochte will be at a local swim shop on Saturday from 11-2. Mini is urging a trip there after my swim practice.
Updated September 22nd, 2010 at 10:51 PM by The Fortress
10 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = stroke drill
(1 arm fly or russian breast)
evens = kick
30 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :30, done as:
10 x 25
odds = back
evens = belly
10 x 25
flutter kick shooter
10 x 25
1:00 rest between sets of 10
10 x 50
odds = stroke drill
evens = kick
I had considered doing some speed work today, but I am not recovered from the events of the weekend. Why does it take so long to recover from races/travel? I need to get back on track, but am oddly demotivated. Thankfully, it is only Sept. 21. Still a month to the Sprint Classic. I'm going to take a look at some of my CVDB workouts from last fall to get ideas for sprint workouts. Or, I could just read Patrick's blog.
I did speak at length to my ENT doctor today. He confirmed that cold air & cold water can be an asthma trigger, especially if combined with fall allergies. He re-prescribed Asthmanax and rescue inhalers to use as needed. He thought the B2B swim would be "risky." It's possible that taking the meds prior to swimming could stave off/prevent an attack or breathing problems. Or it might not, given the length of the swim and the cold temps. He advised pre-testing, i.e., taking the meds and having at a long cold swim. This doesn't really seem feasible for me. I'm just not comfortable doing this race right now. So I'm going to be a wimp and bail and beg beg beg for a replacement!
Here are a few more pics from the tri, one of Mr. Fort's Jamis bike cake, and a shot of Mr. Fort and me where we do not look post race bedraggled. You can sort of see how steep the Westernport Wall is in the devil pictures.
I am scheduled for a long visit with my hair stylist tomorrow. Maintaining red hair is difficult. I love it, but I am slightly frustrated with the major fading problem. Considering another color at year end. Thoughts?
Updated September 21st, 2010 at 05:52 PM by The Fortress
Setting the Scene:
Ensconced in bucolic Deep Creek Lake woods, the Vienna Geezer Jocks began their second assault on the Savagemen coed HIM relay race. Last year, we finished 5th behind some stellar teams. This year, we finished first in 5:10, much to our shock. This was completely due to the huge improvements of Mr. Fort on the bike and our good friend, Chris McKee (and speedy Boston marathoner), on the run portion.
We had a lovely day Saturday settling into our cottage, picking up our packets, warming up on our race sites. The only glitch that day was that one of the sensors on Mr. Fort's bike seemed to be malfunctioning. Fortunately, they had scads of bike gear at the inspection site and he was able to replace the battery. We enjoyed our cottage, hot tubbed, sat on the deck overlooking the river, went to dinner, etc. I apparently ate something that didn't agree because I had immediate bloating and rash symptoms. Ugh. I suspect it was ingestion of lactose, as the risotto I had seemed too creamy and I had a couple bites of cheese. I took lactase enzymes to no avail.
Later, I settled down with my book (in retrospect, a horribly written thing) to attempt sleep. Just as I was getting drowsy, around, 11:45, our neighbors started setting off fireworks and screaming. And it didn't stop. Being an incredibly light sleeper, this did not sit well with me. In fact, as my blog readers would expect, it did not sit well with me at all. When it did not desist, I went out side and, making no attempt to be nice or patient, told them to shut the f*ck up because it was nearly midnight and we had a race. After several rounds of fireworks and my rather loud voice, there was blissful dead silence and I recommenced the effort to fall asleep.
The next morning all went as planned. Mr. Fort woke me up around 6:15, I got up around 6:30, we caffeinated, ate and went off to the race site. I did do a very short warm up swim to, as Jimslie would say, "open the capillaries." So far, all was well. I went off in wave two. The first 1/3 of the race went better than last year. I didn't sprint too much at the start, but began at a controlled yet good clip. I had placed myself next to some of the other relays girls and was with or ahead of them. Then, about halfway through, quite suddenly, I began having trouble breathing. I was gasping on every breath, my chest started tightening and my arms felt like lead. At first, I thought I had overdone it at the start like last year. I quickly realized that this was not the case and that I was having asthma problems. I was panicked and dismayed. I haven't really had any wheezing problems except for last March at the Albatross meet and last May when I was sick after Nats. I had even stopped using Asthmanex.
What to do when this happens in an OW race? I was at least smart enough to flop on my back, float a bit and slow my pace way down before bringing on a full attack. (Full attack = no way can you carry on.) I considered waving to the kayakers and getting out. I did some slow backstroke, tried to get my breathing under control. Tons of people went past me at this juncture. I felt slightly better and decided to muddle on slowly and cautiously. I gave up all notions of having a fast-ish swim. At first, I felt slightly guilty about this. But this feeling quickly disappeared as my only thought became survival and finishing. I did a combination of very slow backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle to finish the race. I'm quite sure I set the course record for most distance covered in a non freestyle manner. But I just couldn't breathe very well when swimming free, so I had to flop on my back numerous times. Not to be a martyr, but every stroke felt like agony. I'm assuming this was due to lack of oxygen to the muscles.
The worst part of the Savageman swim is the long uphill run to the transition area. Last year, I blasted out of the swim and ran up the hill with a super fast transition time. This year, it was, well frankly, embarrassing. I staggered over the time pad and up the hill. Thank god there was a railing part of the way because I used it. The trail and steps seemed endless. I had several people ask if I was OK, and I just choked out the word "asthma" several times. I made it to the transition area, but was so out of it I couldn't remember where Mr. Fort's bike was. Later, my relay mates told me that they knew something was dreadfully wrong. They began waving frantically and finally I saw them and continued staggering forward to have our runner remove the timing chip.
Finishing this race was, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done in sport.
Mr. Fort took off on the bike. I was the 8th relay swimmer to come in. We had planned to drive to the Westernport Wall. Unfortunately, because I was in distress, we couldn't get there in time to see Mr. Fort and we might have missed him anyway because he was much faster this year. Our runner, Chris, literally had to half carry me to the car. I still couldn't get my breathing under control. And, again reflecting my stupidity and hubris, I had left my rescue inhaler in my purse instead of at the transition area or in my parka. After getting in the car, I pulled down my wetsuit and we started off. I drank my electrolyte filled water.
This was apparently the wrong move. I immediately became ill and vomited in the car. We pulled over and I continued with the same. I had to have help removing my wetsuit because my body seemed incapable of movement. I'm not sure why this happened. I suppose it was because my body was in complete distress and I filled it with liquids which it wasn't ready for?
Anyway, after these travails, the day improved dramatically. Mr. Fort passed all but one other relay team on the bike leg. He absolutely destroyed it, finishing in 3:01. Last year, he went 3:24 after only 2-3 months of cycling. Since the pros were in the 2:40s on this super hilly course, I think this is pretty damn impressive. he said he was about 2 mph faster on average than last year. He said he had no problem making it over the Westernport Wall, but that it was more difficult than last year because there were so many bikers making the attempt at the same time. It's easiest to go straight up with no one around you. We did see a spectacular 4 bike collision later when we were at the wall later. Mr. Fort did say that Killer Miller almost killed him.
The only problem was that his speed caught us a bit by surprise. Chris wasn't ready in the transition area when Scott biked in way ahead of when he was expected. He had to sprint back to our spot and then, inexplicably, forgot momentarily how to untie the chip. lol. This gave him a huge shot of adrenlin and he literally bolted out of the transition area.
Chris took off with only one relay team ahead of him on the run and picked him off before the 3 mile mark. He just carried it home in a 1:36, which was the second fastest relay time. He had run 1:28 in a training half marathon race the week before. He rested somewhat for this race, but was astounded, once again, by the unrelenting hills.
There was much joy among us that we had won, despite my initial F up on the swim. We were also faster than last year's winning team. When the results came up, I saw that my swim time was 31:09. Quite horrible, yet I was surprised to see that it was only 1:25 slower than last year. I theorize that this means I had a better front half of the race than last year. Having no sense of pace whatsoever, and knowing I had done a lot of non-freestyle, I had expected to be 35+ or worse. In any event, I had done a serviceable enough job to put the guys in a position to win. And they were beyond thrilled.
We hung out, ate lunch, and attended the award ceremony. Some pics are below.
As I recall, we were also the only true masters relay. Every other team had at least one young ringer. We were beaten by one male relay team (with a kid throwing down a 1:21 on the run), but they were all in their 20s. Our collective age was 141 (51/49/41).
I wish I could have watched the swim! John Kenney, a pro, was the first one out of the water in 20:54. He was a former Cornell cross country runner and swimmer, who is now getting seriously into triathlon. In college, he was a national champion in the OW 25K. I'm told he appeared to be sighting almost every 4th stroke. Two other pros threw down some 21s.
There were numerous competitors about to go to Kona in 3 weeks. Billy Graves from the UK won the men's division, setting a course record on the bike. On the women's side, there was a stud woman from Colorado (Deidre something, I had heard of her) who set course records on the bike and run. She had never biked the course before and said it was "like watching a scary movie and wondering what would jump out at you next."
Post Race Thoughts:
My post race thoughts are this:
1. I am definitely married to a very studly biker if this is what he does after only 1+ years on the bike on a very technical hilly course.
2. I did not manage my allergies & asthma for this race wisely. My fall allergies were really bothering me, which I know can occasionally trigger wheezing. I saw my ENT doctor on Friday, but didn't have time to fill my scrip for Singulair before leaving. I didn't use my inhaler pre-race and left it in the car. This was all unbelievably stupid in retrospect. I was just coasting on the fact that I'd been symptom free for awhile.
3. I think it was also a bit of perfect storm that triggered the breathing problems -- I had some sort of food allergy/intolerance the night before (which inflames the airways), I hadn't take the proper medication and the water was very cold. I noticed some difficulty breathing last year, but nothing like what happened this time. The swimmers in the water were guesstimating that the water temp was 68. Air temp was 53. I'm used to swimming in 83-84 degree water most of the time except at Mason where it is 80. My feet did freeze during the race. I tried to kick more on the back half, but my feet were just frozen and leaden. I will definitely need swim booties if I ever venture into OW again.
4. And, speaking of OW, I now have immense trepidation about B2B. I have barely any business swimming in a 1.2 mile race. What if this happened in a 2.4 race? If anyone is interested in racing with two uber studs, please let me know! Jimslie? Geekity? Others?
5. Training for 50/100s is not compatible with "racing" a 1.2 mile swim. Perhaps it's compatible with cruising a 1.2 mile swim. This seems analogous to having a 5K specialist run a marathon. If we do this next year, and plans are already in the works with the enthusiasm of the two real endurance studs running high, I might just cruise the whole thing and not alter my training regimen. A few minutes one way or the other doesn't seem to make much difference as the swim is fairly inconsequential in this race. Really, I could make that up just by booking up the hill at transition. It took me almost 2 1/2 minutes to crawl and stagger up that hill this year.
6. I'm not sure it was the greatest thing that Lil Fort was at the finish of the swim leg trying to cheer me on with her best friend. She was completely freaked out by what happened to me. I'm just hopeful she can take away from it that I didn't quit and soldiered on. She told me I was "super brave."
7. This was the most unpleasant swim experience of my life. It makes my safe pool seem very compelling!
8. This is a great very festival like event in a beautiful setting.
9. 2009 was a charmed year for me. 2010 seems jinxed!
10. Vibrams -- they were everywhere!
Updated September 20th, 2010 at 09:54 PM by The Fortress
I'm sitting on the deck of a lovely cabin on Deep Creek Lake watching the sun set. The weather this afternoon was spectacular -- sunny and mid-70s. (Though we've been warned it will be frosty in the morning.)
I hopped in the lake around 2:45 pm and swam the .9 mile course. Having done it once, it doesn't seem quite as intimidating as last year. Judging from the number of Cervelos in the transition area, there are a lot of serious bikers here. Mr. Fort was looking longingly at the tri bikes. Dave Scott, multiple time Kona champ, is also in the race.
The water seemed a bit choppy this morning, but it's calmer now. Hope there's no fog in the morning. I can't tell what temp the water is. I've read it can be 68 in Sept., but it didn't feel that cold. Maybe low70s.
We've got the cowbells ready for the Westernport wall. (Sorry Geek, the girls love them.). I am expecting Mr. Fort to be faster this year, so I hope I make it there in time to see him!
Updated September 18th, 2010 at 08:02 PM by The Fortress
No swim today. Had to see my chiro and ENT and get ready for Mr. Fort's birthday. Still need to pack for Savageman. We're leaving right after Lil Fort's 8:30 am soccer game.
I hadn't been to my ART chiro for body work in several months. (Well, I didn't train that much in the summer, so I didn't feel the need.) He said my shoulders still felt very stable. We talked about my foot. I've had increasing pain in the first toe of my right foot over the years. It began with the MF incident, developed into tendonitis and I ignored it b/c I couldn't get a cortisone shot given my then meet schedule. As I understand it, cortisone is most effective if done immediately post injury. Now I get toe/foot pain when I run and jump (or wear high heels ). I'm having an MRI done next week. The suspected diagnosis is tenosynovitis/tendinopathy, aka degeneration of the tendons. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001242.htm. If that's what the MRI shows, I will need PRP, platelet rich plasma, therapy to fix it. http://www.treatingpain.com/diagnosi...ch-plasma.html. This is, as I have previously noted, a controversial therapy. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/he...0plasma&st=cse. But it seemed to work on my shoulder. And therefore I would definitely try it again. It should be much less costly and time consuming than a shoulder as well.
I have succeeded in making a cake that looks (somewhat) like a Jamis bike. Now I am off to finish present wrapping and pack. I am feeling slightly more savage after a good night's sleep.
Oh, I've discovered a couple new smoothie ingredients: beet greens and leek greens. They go well with cherries, red grapes, pineapple and berries. My allergist told me to stop using Amazing Meal b/c it has grass in it, and I'm allergic to grasses. Doh. I was unable to do a skin test for food allergies earlier this week (too much histamine in my system), but did submit blood for this purpose and for routine labs. Hopefully, it will rule out food allergies, as they are there so rare in adults. And, of course, Jimslie considers the entire topic pure quackery.
(another quite modified Tall Paul set)
6 x 100 free @ 1:40
4 x 50 kick, done as 50 UW shooters w/fins @ 1:00
2 x 50 drill @ 1:00
6 x 100 free @ 1:30
4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
4 x 50 breast drill @ 1:05
3 x 100 back w/fins @ 1:20
(I intended to do 6 of these, but completely bonked and cramped, and so desisted.)
4 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
6 x 50 fly & free drills @ 1:00
Just cruised through this workout today, but am still feeling surprisingly tired. I think it's because I sleep like a beached seal on coke.
Any advice on workouts to do the couple days before an OW swim? Was wondering if maybe I should attempt another wetsuit swim tomorrow ...
I glanced through my workouts from this time last September and it appears that I was indeed in better shape back then, as I suspected. I also found this race report: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=46...gcategoryid=53.
I was perusing Bicycle magazine today and found a blurb on a sample Lance Armstrong endurance and conditioning circuit. The exercises included:
back extension & hold
walk out plank & hold
bulgarian split squat with weights
(I've done this one, very tortuous, but have used DBs instead of an overhead weight.)
one foot hamstring curls on stability ball
med ball squat & push press
med ball slam
And, speaking of cycling, Lil Fort and I are in the process of making a bike cake for Mr. Fort's birthday tomorrow. It's a bit of a PITA; I hope it every so vaguely resembles his Jamis. I was mildly depressed by the fact that our combined birthdays total 100 years. lol
If anyone is interested in attending the Sprint Classic at GMU (and, more importantly competing in "The Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters"), the entry form is at:
I still haven't pulled the trigger on the Indy meet yet. My tentative plan is to swim very few events at the Sprint Classic and then go to Indy the next weekend. Mr. Fort has a two week trial in October, so he will be AWOL during the Sprint Classic. I try to swim something different there every year. The order of events is always the same, which is not exactly to my liking. I suggested to Tim T. that we have unofficial 100 relays one year along with the unofficial 25s.
Updated September 17th, 2010 at 12:14 AM by The Fortress
Just sitting down for the first time today. With a largish glass of New Zealand SB.
Made it to Oak Marr this afternoon and did a modified Tall Paul workout. I'm quite ready to get back to some faster speed work next week and take out my toys. I'm renewing my resolve to conquer the dorkel. I am not taking on the tempo trainer.
8 x 50's @ 1:10
odds = 25 back drill + 25 SDK on back
evens = 25 back swim + 25 free swim
1 x 500 cruise free w/fins
8 x 50's @ 1:00
odds = 25 breast pull w/flutter kick + 25 free
evens = 25 two kicks/1 pull breaststroke + 25 free
1 x 500 cruiser backstroke kick w/fins
(managed to miscount and stop at 450, going 5:10)
8 x 50's @ 1:10
odds = 25 right arm fly + 25 left arm fly
evens = chest press fly
1 x 500
50 flutter kick w/board + 50 free, :05 between 100s
8 x 25 cruiser free w/overbeat kick, sighting twice per 25
Feeling a little better in the water now with the muscular pain subsiding.
The weather for Savageman this weekend is supposed to be amazing, though a bit chilly in the am. I see that I am going to be in a practically all male wave with the 25-29 year old men again. Not my fav; last year drafting seemed difficult as I felt caught in no mans land between the fast guys and the tri swimmers.
SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon Waves:
Wave 1: 8:30 AM (day-glo green): Pro, Elite, Clydesdale, Athena, Aquavelo, M55+, All Females
Wave 2: 8:37 AM (silver): M25-29, M50-54, Relays
Wave 3: 8:44 AM (red): M30-39
Wave 4: 8:51 AM (blue): M40-49
Need to search for the body glide ...
Had a beastly day. :/
However, at around 8:00 tonight, I finally got out to the only pool open around: my gym pool. It was actually quite lovely. The air was cool, the water was cool, and it was pitch black with the lights flickering on the water. When I was SDK-ing on my back, I could see my reflection on the water's surface.
Had my own lane and did the following quick swim:
100 swim, 50 kick
2 x (5 x 100) @ :15-20 RI
3 x free, 1 x kick, 1 x stroke
10 x 50 @ 1:00
odds = evil w/fins
evens = back w/fins
10 x 25 UW shooters w/fins
odds = back
evens = belly
8 x 50 fly drill
Total: 3000 meters
10 minutes hottub/steam
Felt much better after a swim. There is nothing like exercise to relieve stress! Had one funny Jimslie moment. My left shoulder was bothering me somewhat during my swim, and the omnipresent and reflexive shoulder paranoia emerged. Then, I realized it was just soreness from the flu shot I had this afternoon. lol
This pool is only 3-4 feet deep, so I was unable to take the Geekity 10 second vertical kick challenge. But very soon!
I am having some lab work tomorrow, so I am very grudgingly going off to fast now. No flamin' cheetos or chips for me tonight.
I think this is the first time I've really sat down all day ... hoping to survive this excruciatingly busy week. All kids activities and sports are now in high gear.
Took my wrecked body to Oak Marr late this am for a slow aerobic swim, which I rationalized by remembering that Rich Abrahams says this is good for us 1x week. Did the following, (although I went so slow I'm having trouble remembering exactly what I did):
5 x (3 x 50) @ :15 RI
1 = free
2 = kick
3 = stroke
5 x 100 @ 1:50, done as:
25 (10 UW belly SDKs + cruise to wall) + 50 breast w/long pullouts + 25 free w/long streamlines
(got this idea from Speedo's blog)
5 x 100 free w/overkick @ 1:50
8 x 100 w/fins @ :20 RI
odds = smooth free (can't really remember though)
evens = 50 flutter kick w/board + 50 free
8 x 25 easy free, sighting 2x per 25
Still feeling sore from overdoing the drylands on Saturday. But, thank Zeus, I got in for a deep tissue massage today b/c there was a cancellation. So now I figure I may feel decent by Thursday or so. This is my relative rest week, so I will attempt to keep yardage up, but intensity down. No drylands until after the event on Sunday.
I'm feeling a bit of a hot mess after having to give up being Aunty Histamine and still sleeping like crap. I am attempting to partially remedy the latter with Silenor, a new sleep maintenance aid for which Jimslie is already up in arms about the marketing strategy. After I am tested for food allergies tomorrow afternoon, no one will be able to wrest my allegy meds from my hands.
I haven't looked at the Savageman details yet. But, according to my running relay mate, whom I chatted with at our girls' first swim practice tonight, I'm in wave 2 again with the 25-29 year old guys. Woohoo! No matter what, I am starting off more slowly this time. I may still want to crawl out at 500 yards, but perhaps I won't be in complete lactic acid shock. Patrick has me concerned about needing swim booties now. I should probably check the temp at Deep Creek.
I have been ridiculously obsessing about FortSon's senior ad for the yearbook. I had no idea this was such a big deal. Since I refuse to say something prosaic like "we're so (or so very very) proud of you," I have to come up with something better. I scoured The Perfect Mile for some good quotes, and may have a couple. I have found an appropriately humiliating baby picture and other good sports shots. Now I can turn my attention to obsessing over something actually important like having FortSon finalize his list of colleges and figure out where he wants to use his early decision. What fun, no? And then, of course, there's shopping for the perfect Homecoming dress coming soon.
Updated September 14th, 2010 at 10:54 AM by The Fortress
To quote Stud, "everything hurts ... waah." This is definitely why I enjoyed shirking on strength training this summer ... I didn't swim today, as I wasn't sure I could get my arms out of the water. Instead, I did:
60 minutes of light stretching and yoga
(and didn't really feel any better after)
I finally watched my TRX DVD. The Basic Training DVD has a workout that consists of the following exercise sequences. The exercise groups are in increasing intensity/difficulty. You can also increase or decrease difficulty by changing your body or foot position.
1 legged squat
1 legged squat jump
sprinter's start with hop
back row with feet on stability ball against wall
single arm row
chest press push up
T deltoid fly
T + Y deltoid fly
standing roll outs
kneeling roll outs
(forearm or ahnds)
(forearm or hands)
(forearms or hands)
single knee ins
atomic push ups or oblique push ups
More advanced exercises include:
push ups or tricep press with kettleballs
oblique wipers (love this one)
skater straddle push up (ouch)
inverted shoulder press (ouch)
extreme leg extension
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MJUYCwy4-g"]YouTube - TRX & FUNCTIONAL TRAINING: 50 exercises by Coach Miletto[/nomedia].
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDdt6uIUfog"]YouTube - Unique TRX Drills For Advanced Personal Training Clients[/nomedia].
Having watched the DVDs and vids, I still think TRX is a great system for masters swimmers. It helps develop many key swim specific fitness elements: balance, core & shoulder stability, power, strength. However, like Chris, my initial reaction is that I think it's a supplement to, not a replacement for, strength training. But it seems like a great way to get a quick core workout or conditioning circuit in at home without a big gym.
broomstick twists, 25
windshield wipers, 25
burpees with air squat, 10
reverse scoop w/25 lb plate, 1 x 15, & w/30 lb DB, 1 x 15
sieber squats, 25, every 5th one airborne
supine superman streamline ("SSS") on bosu, 2 x 1:00*
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdUVq_T8DpE"]YouTube - Bosu Streamline on the Back[/nomedia].
box jumps, 2 x 10
lower back/tricep exercise, 2 x 25**
skull crushers, 50 x 1 x 10, 60 x 1 x 10
back squat, 100 x 2 x 8 on power rack
standing straight arm lat pulldown, 150 x 2 x 8
lunges, 50 x 1 x 10, 60 x 1 x 10
* This seems like a very effective core exercise. And I could definitely have held it longer. It hits the same areas as planks, moreover, without any shoulder stress. Nice.
** A trainer showed me this exercise. It's hard to describe. I used the lat pulldown machine, a pole and the wall. You kneel on the lat pulldown bench and hook your feet under, grab a long pole about mid way down, plant the pole in the intersection of the wall and floor, then lower body down and then back up. Seemed to really hit the lower back and triceps. Would probably work even better with a weight belt
25-30 minutes of stretching, light yoga and foam roller work
15 minutes in steam room and whirlpool
I thought about all the comments, all very insightful, on my blog from a couple days ago. I've tentatively concluded:
1. My dryland sessions are too long and I need to leave when appropriate and resist the urge to do more. I did less today, I believe, and cut back on the number of reps and on some core work.
2. Do less core work in the gym, but make sure the work I do "counts" and is hard. Plus, if I don't do some core work behind hard strength work, what will I do -- talk to myself?
3. Keep doing some plyos in a moderate amount. I don't think there's any need to go crazy on these anyway.
4. Focus more on pure strength and less on fitness. This one is hard for me, and somewhat contrary to my nature. It might result in faster swimming, but less fun in my dryland workouts. I have been shirking raw strength work lately, probably over the last year. I'm not sure how much this has negatively effected me though. My times from Atlanta were fairly comparable to the year before. Perhaps a very slight drop off in the 50s. On the other hand, I was wearing a Jaked instead of a B70, so theoretically they should have been faster.
5. I hate back and front squats though. Tried back squats again today. I just can't stand having the bar on my back/shoulder area. So I think I either have to do overhead squats or those bulgarian single leg squats. Any other suggestions? Carry on with goblet squats?
6. I like deadlifting much more than back squats. Not sure this is a substitute for all squats though. And, apart from front and back squats, I've surprisingly grown rather fond of other forms of squats and squat plyos.
7. I still want a sled ... I hope you're using that, Geek!
Today, I saw something I'd never seen before. At FortSon's CC race, for which it was almost 80 degrees as the varsity goes last, I saw a kid projectile vomiting the last 200-300 yards of the race. No idea how he could even manage to keep running! FortSon did OK, got a wicked cramp that killed his last 1K or so (which is usually his strength), but still started out faster than he did last year.
Updated September 11th, 2010 at 09:40 PM by The Fortress
Swim/SCY/Solo @ Mason:
Arrived and put on the 2XU wetsuit. Wetsuits are so much easier to get on than B70s.
8 x 50
odds = free @ :50
evens = backstroke kick @ 1:00
1 x 100 good cruise
I had contemplated doing a long freestyle set with my wetsuit on. But, that was a non starter. Even though the water was 80, I was roasting after 1200. So I stripped off the wetsuit and carried on with my "freestyle veggies" workout, which I did solely out of a sense of obligation to my Savageman relay mates.
30 x 100, done as:
2 rounds of:
5 x 100 free @ 1:20
5 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:20
5 x 100 free w/paddles & fins @ 1:20
:20 seconds transition between sets of 5
50 EZ between the sets of 15
I broke it up this way to not drown of boredom and to avoid losing count. I started off easy, basically cruised the kicks (by far the easiest part), and then picked up the last 5. I was holding 1:06-07s on #11-15 each set. I was faster if I remembered to kick, something I frequently forget to do in freestyle. I didn't push it too much, as I was trying to get into a good rhythm. I am very pace impaired sort.
Short rest freestyle is absolutely dull as hell to do on your own. No idea how anyone does it. I do not enjoy this type of solo workout. It would be much more palatable with a team.
And, wow, was that wetsuit floaty. Compared to my workout suit, I was very buoyant. Much more so than a tech suit. But I felt very uncomfortable around the neck, like I was vaguely choking. I hope I can ignore this sensation. Hopefully, it's because I'm not used to wetsuits, at all.
I've also resolved to do somewhat more freestyle without fins just focusing on kicking. I've always tended to do long freestyle sets or long aerobic sets with fins b/c of stress on the shoulders, sore shoulders, shoulder paranoia, shoulder anxiety, actual shoulder issues, etc. And it's certainly produced a lot of leg strength (and can ramp up the cardio). But, as I was telling Speedo the other day, my shoulders feel surprisingly good these days. I think next week, which is a relative rest week after killing myself for 3 weeks, I will do some mellow pace freestyle really focusing on kicking. (This also makes sense according to Chowmi's post on the Myth #9 Busted thread.) I do plenty of dolphin kicking and backstroke kicking, but very little freestyle kicking integrated with freestyle swimming. Of course, I say this now ... I may be sick to death of freestyle after doing (for me) an insane amount of it lately. I'm a sprint stroker at heart.
I can't go to my team practice tomorrow because it conflicts with Fort Son's race. So I will hit the gym and hope to get to my team practice on Sunday.
Happy weekend! Good luck to everyone at Big Shoulders.
Updated September 10th, 2010 at 11:09 PM by The Fortress