My USMS Page:
Rockwall Aquatic Masters ("RAM")
What would you do?
You are at a quad cross country race with 4 rival schools. The race is almost over. One of your teammates (who finished 2nd) took a wrong turn and ended up running extra distance. (Many witnesses to this fact.) Nonetheless, after the race, a runner from a rival team comes racing toward your team tent shouting obscenities, accusing your teammate of cheating & cutting the course. They refuse to leave, "want answers," are in your face and keep up the stream of obscenities. You step up to defend your teammate. Do you:
a) return the obscenities
b) calmly explain that he is incorrect
c) punch him
d) call for your coach (who's at the finish line waiting for the last of the runners to finish)
e) tell him to back off and roughly push him away when he won't leave
f) laugh at the idiot
g) ignore the jerk and walk away
h) some other Jimslie Thornton-esque response
Pic = Warm up. Guy on the left accused of cheating, guy in the middle who went on the defense, guy on the right who ultimately won the race.
Oh, no swim today. Still too sick and hacking. But feel that tomorrow might be the day after a week out of the pool.
Art of the Deck Change:
Updated October 7th, 2010 at 08:10 PM by The Fortress
Out of the water today and will be tomorrow as well. Got a huge night sleep though, and hoping for another.
Interesting preview of Kona in this month's edition. And an extensive article on overhauling nutrition, making some of these points (some of which are obvious and we've discussed before):
1. Eat more, weight less. Eat right after training or you'll be hungry later.
2. Eat enough calories to avoid a negative energy state. If you don't eat enough, you'll teach your body to store fat, not burn it.
3. To promote recovery, eat a healthy meal right after exercising, not beer and burgers. Doh.
4. Avoid caffeine, which leads to stress, poor sleep, digestive problems, depression and interferes with the body's ability to tone up and burn fat.
5. Don't switch from dairy to sodas. Sodas can deplete the mineral content of your bones and inflame the appetite.
6. Don't just drink water to hydrate. Have something with electrolytes.
7. Don't diet before a big race as it could compromise your immune system.
8. Ginger helps to reduce post workout muscle soreness.
"Profile of a Sprinter," excerpts:
"Sprinters personify the saying, work smarter, not harder. Every lap in the pool is preceded by "why" and followed by a "why more?"
Salo states that "sprinters are simply different from swimming's mainstream." They are "just as committed to excellence" and "always focused on competition" whereas the D swimmers like the training process more. Sprinters "value speed" and don't talk about "aerobic base."
Others say "sprinters won't practice from a menu" ... but "the need for variety doesn't correlate with a lack of focus." They are "intensely curious about what techniques and drills will enhance speed."
Sewickley friends competing:
Updated October 7th, 2010 at 11:22 AM by The Fortress
Rest apparently didn't help. I dragged myself to the pool this morning after making African masks with 4th graders and did this measley bit o yardage:
12 x 50 @ 1:00
reverse IM order, drill fly
10 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
Went in for an evaluation and PRP with Dr. Wagner. MRI shows arthritis, tenosynovitis and degradation of the tendons. Only two options are surgery and PRP. I opted for PRP. Unlike with my shoulder, however, they don't numb the foot when doing the procedure, which involves multiple injections right into the tendons and joint. It was excruciatingly painful. I'm supposed to be hobble free by Thursday. Another round of injections in 4 weeks. Now that's something to look forward to! Of course, this is all necessary if I ever want to wear high heels again. Interestingly, he had seen a tri, a swimmer and a runner before me.
As I was still feeling awful, I dragged myself to Immediate Care. Diagnosis: bronchitis. Real shocker there. Starting antibiotics.
Today, I was trying to stay in the water as Jimslie suggested. I'm just not sure how much this helps. I certainly didn't feel better afterward. I think this week is going to be a write off training wise. Kinda frustrating. I was just getting back in a nice groove.
Updated October 5th, 2010 at 09:04 PM by The Fortress
Finally gave in and decided to rest. Too many coughing, breathing and asthma issues. So today is my 4th day out of the water. I don't think 30 minutes on Saturday really counts. Not sure I'll get in tomorrow either, as I'm in Lil Fort's class in the am and getting my foot jabbed in the pm. In light of all this, I think Indy at the end of the month is out for me. I won't be ready and I had wanted to attempt to swim fairly fast there. So I guess I'll reboot and aim for another SCM meet in December.
Updated October 4th, 2010 at 05:09 PM by The Fortress
Car, 3.0 hours
Cross Country Invitational, 45 minutes
Soccer game, 1.0
Emergency Shoe Shopping for Homecoming, 1.0
Cleaning like a fiend to make house presentable for homecoming pictures, 3.0
Swim, 30 minutes slow swim
Steam, 10 minutes
Homecoming Prep & Pics, 1.5
(Mini and Fort Son w/date below)
Driving to Chipolte for takeout now ...
I was not exactly athletic today. I was shocked I even made it to the gym ...
I'm going with Q's explanation of RA's explanation for my slow swim:
"Re my easy swims: this was a result of some testing done in a flume last Dec. conducted by the director of the Exercise and Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Colorado Hospital. I’ve been known to espouse the dictum re masters swimming too fast when they swim slow and too slow when they swim fast….Well, let me tell you that perceived effort can be misleading. During my warm-up swim for the test (4 minutes easy) my HR was 138 and my blood lactate was 2.95. I thought I was going easy, but I wasn’t. I should have been around 125 for HR and under 2.0 for lactate. Also, the tests showed that my lactate clearance times were not fast enough to enable effective intense training sessions. I had to improve my lower level capacity to build to lactate transporter enzymes. This in itself would not improve my racing, but it would enable my training at higher intensities, which would translate to better anaerobic endurance. My “prescription” was to swim at a Z2 level (for me HR of 120-128) 1 or 2 times a week. To quote my report “it is important to be patient at that intensity until lactate oxidation improves.”
I am pretty sure my lactate clearance is even worse than RA's ... Perhaps one day I'll get tested.
My team practices were cancelled this weekend, which stinks because that's where I usually get my hard aerobic practice. Not sure if I'm going to be jazzed up enough to do that on my own tomorrow. If so, it will likely be a kick mountain. Any other suggestions? I"m thinking about LT sets for next week. I think Gary Hall Sr. kick workout may fit the bill.
Now, I can wait up for my 2 children to get home from Homecoming. At least I get to sleep in!
Updated October 2nd, 2010 at 09:17 PM by The Fortress
broomstick twists, 25
windshield wipers, 25
flutter kicks on back on bosu, 50
streamline hold on back on bosu, 1:00
one footed push ups on bar, 25
ab crunches w/25 lb plate held overhead, 25
(pop shoulders off ground on these)
power wheel roll outs, 25
Hammer Strength Iso lateral Hi Row, 140 x 1 x 8, 150 x 1 x 8, 160 x 1 x 8, 170 x 1 x 8, 180 x 1 x 8, 190 x 1 x 6, 200 x 1 x 3*
*My recollection is that this is a PR for me. I haven't used this machine in ages, but I used it frequently when I began my real strength training phase in 2008. I like it, so I plan to do it more frequently. Not really sure how I pulled that much weight as I started the day still gassed from the LT set and events of the night.
reverse scoop, 30 x 2 x 10
cable twist w/yoga ball, 50 x 1 x 15, each side, 60 x 1 x 15, each side
lunges w/25 lb DBs, 2 x 15
standing broad jump, 10
twisting med ball slams, 15
extreme angle isometric squat hold, 5:00
(Finally got to 5 minutes, now I am supposed to add weight.)
extreme angle isometric push up hold, 1:45
30 minutes of yoga and stretching
I originally planned to do a slow swim today after the yoga. But I didn't feel like getting in a pool and took my time doing the drylands instead. So that's on the schedule for tomorrow.
October may be somewhat trying as Mr. Fort is going to be AWOL on a trial almost the whole time. And last night, after getting home from Mini's volleyball game, I got a call as I was putting Lil Fort to bed that Mini's coach was taking her to the ER for a possible neck injury. Apparently, in school sports, this is now SOP whenever there's an injury to the head or neck. I saw her diving for the ball during the game, but didn't realize that she was hurt. And she didn't tell her coach she was; her coach calls her his "most intense competitor." Thankfully, the scans were negative. After getting her home and getting her drugs, I didn't get to bed until quite late. Jimslie would be just appalled at what extensive users of the health care system we are these days.
Soccer, a cross country invitational and Homecoming are tomorrow. And my house is the base for Homecoming pictures. Never a dull moment.
Updated October 1st, 2010 at 11:11 PM by The Fortress
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 06:14 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 10:22 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 28th, 2010 at 11:01 PM 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 08:50 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 09:08 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 09:41 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 â€“ 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 08:30 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 09:51 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 04:52 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 08:54 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 07:02 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 16th, 2010 at 11:14 PM by The Fortress