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  1. Reflections on Nats

    by , August 11th, 2009 at 08:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I returned home to an intense onslaught of demands, frenzy and servicing. Yeesh! Can't I just lay on the couch and recover? So, before I rush off to the next kid pick up and feeding, here are my thoughts in random order.

    1. Meet Performance:

    Felt like I had a pretty good, but not perfect meet. Traveling is always tiring for me, and I had an rather trying first travel day with GPS failures and whatnot. And the first night, I had an engineer in my hotel room at midnight fixing my phone and alarm clock so I could get up in the am. You don't need little things like this to go wrong when you're trying to power down and get some sleep.

    Anyway, I was happy with all the swims except the 100 back. Though I felt like I brushed off that disappointment pretty quickly and moved on. My 50 back split on Thursday was OK.

    I'm not sure it was the best decision to start fighting the sleep issue with meds 2 weeks before Nats (but I did because of #6 below). The medication I was taking made me groggy in the morning. I gave it up after Friday on Dr. Allen Stark's (aka Mr. Breaststroke) sage advice, and felt better the last two days of the meet. Didn't sleep much, but then that is SOP for me at meets. It seems to be that way for many others as well. My doctor did confirm today that the sleep medication I was on can cause muscle tightness and cramping. He coulda told me! lol Anyway, I'm going to try something else for awhile because of these adverse side effects.

    I held up pretty well over 4 days, which surprised me. I'm usually just gassed after 2. That was probably due to swimming a minimal number of events each day and nothing too long. I got a 30 minute massage after Relay day which probably helped too.

    But overall, with PBs in my 50s, being very close to two WRs, and some great relays, I felt like I did pretty well. I'm cautiously hopeful that my 50 back will remain in the #1 position this time in USMS and FINA. We'll see ...

    In general, I have to say national meets are a bit too long for me. Except for being able to see friends (which is huge and amazing and pure fun!), I prefer the 1-2 day meet format. It's a huge burden on my family to be gone so long and it takes a toll on me too. But masters swimming isn't just about times or maximizing performance.

    2. Relay Day:

    Seems somewhat controversial. I had a really great time that day with my teammates. Got to swim with friends and there was a lot of camraderie and cheering. I got so hoarse my voice starting morphing into Ahelee's!

    I think having Relay Day stuck in the middle of the meet, as some have commented, took some bite out of the Sunday events though. It's hard to know how much. I guess I'd prefer to have it the last day of the meet. Then, those swimming with their teams can have at it and those without teams can leave early and save some dollars. (Having a meet where you arrive on Tues or Wed and leave on Monday is kinda pricey to say the least!) It doesn't really appeal to me to have 1-2 relays at the end of each day, as the wimpy sprinter in my finds that exhausting.

    3. Taper Execution:

    So glad I did RC work during taper this time! My gimpy shoulder held up fine during the meet and doesn't feel too poorly right now either. In fact, I'm not terribly sore -- just very tired.

    I did weights a bit longer than usual into taper this time as well. That didn't seem to hurt. And I wonder if the tapering of the weights and adding explosive weights helped some?

    I did feel like I overdid it on one day -- the Sunday before leaving for Nats on Wed. I did too many backstroke starts that day, leaving me tired for two days. I won't do this again right before a big meet.

    (My backstroke starts in general were a bit erratic as Chris' DQ and the 15 meter mark preyed on my mind some. My start is a huge edge or me, so I need to get the kicks down as well as I can. In all three backstroke starts I did, I had a body length lead on the field at the breakout. Lisa Dahl literally corralled me in the warm down pool and asked what I was doing for this.)

    4. Comparison to 50s in 2008:

    50 fly
    2008 = 31.1
    2009 = 29.7*

    1.4 second improvement

    50 back
    2008 = 33.4
    2009 = 31.9

    1.5 second improvement

    50 free
    2008 = 29.2
    2009 = 28.5

    .7 second improvement

    * = only swim done in a Jaked as opposed to a B70. At the Terappin Cup meet in June, on shorter rest and after a LZR blow out, I swam a B70 clad 30.7 in the 50 fly. But I was rather dim spirited for that.

    I guess since almost all of these times were done in B70s, Jim can't very credibly attribute the improvement to the suit.

    5. Jaked vs. B70

    My experience with the Jaked: meh. It seemed very similar to the B70 to me except less comfortable. This could be because my B70 is somewhat older and stretched out.

    I did swim an extremely fast 50 fly in the Jaked. I'm not sure how much of an edge that gave me over the B70. My other two swims in the Jaked were the 50/200 back and the 50 free. In both these swims, I was slower than the 50 back and 50 free I swam with my B70. I did get relatively poorer starts in the swims with my Jaked so that could explain some of the lack of differential. Some could likewise attributable to fatigue -- e.g., I was more tired for my 50 free on Sunday than for the two leadoff legs in the relays on Saturday. Still, the Jaked was no magic pill for me. I'll continue to use it of course. Not sure where yet!

    6. Extra Stress

    I've also been under some additional stress/anxiety because of a health issue with Mr. Fort. He recently had abnormal blood test results and an abnormal bone marrow reading on an MRI. His doctor suspects myelodysplasia. There is really nothing good to say about this rare illness. We are seeing an oncologist on Thursday and he will likely need a bone marrow biopsy. He has had odd blood readings in the past and the abnormal bone marrow reading could be from trauma from his prior hip injury, so we're hoping for the best. And this is a man who biked 70 miles 10 days after getting 20 stitches in the calf muscle ... Still, this news, to say the least, has been upsetting and unsettling. I didn't say anything about it before Nats, and thought about canceling. But Mr. Fort really urged me to go since I had trained so hard. I felt very fortunate to see and be surrounded by such good friends while I was there! I miss my Indy peeps already!

    7. Photos/Video:

    I uploaded 80 or so photos to FB. I'm at my limit for photos here on USMS so you will have to go to FB to see the shots of forumites and friends. I thought my 50 fly video was on my camera, but it is not. Both Paul Wolf and Jimby filmed my 50 back, so hopefully I will get a link soon. One of Jimby's friends, a professional photographer, also took some shots of my 50 back that looked fabulous. He said he would email them to me. I can't wait to see them!

    Updated August 11th, 2009 at 11:19 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  2. Day 4 Nats

    by , August 10th, 2009 at 10:17 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    About to hop on a plane home, so just a quick-ish report. I'll post more analysis and thoughts later.

    Sunday's events were the 50 free and 50 back. I was glad the 50 free was first to "get the cobwebs out." I was definitely tired after relay day and another poor night's sleep, but not unreasonably so during warm up.

    50 free: 28.6, 3rd place

    Last year, went 29.3 at a USA meet with some rest in my B70. Yesterday, I went 28.7 and 28.5 in my B70 leading off two relays. On both of them I had very good starts. Not so today. The starter held us for a long time. I didn't get off the blocks well and went too deep. I was dead last at the 15 meter mark, which is unusual for me, though I am not immune to inconsistent starts. Recovered decently and finished in 28.6 for third place. I wore my Jaked for this race. I probably would have gone faster than yesterday'stimes IF I had nailed my start. But fancy suits don't fix that problem!

    Lisa Dahl protested the start. Eney Jones also agreed it was terrible. Lisa had been hoping to
    approach the WR. They also herded us like cattle through the 50s making up some time on the timeline by doing this. That wasn't ideal either.

    Even so, very happy with my 50 frees. My
    fastest of 28.5 is a big improvement from last year. (same suit)

    50 back: 31.99, 1st place

    My backstroke felt better in warm up and I made sure to do some backstroke sprints to get my arms moving. But I had a real energy lull and felt dead tired after the 50 free. FlyQueen got me a cup if coffee and that seemed to perk me up.

    Since I had gone a 32.3 on Thursday, I was not at all concerned with my time. I just wanted to win cuz this event is my baby. Got a good start, though I played it fairly safe on the SDK front, taking 12. Had a very good breakout and just cranked. Started running out of gas about 5 meters from the flags. Stuck my finish, getting a 31.99. Was thrilled! I missed the WR by .2, but given that I was tired and it was day four, I was happy to finish on a good note.

    I changed into my ratty old fashioned stretched out B70 for this race. I hadn't felt comfortable in the Jaked for backstroke on Thursday. In my B70 last year, I went 33.4, so this us a huge improvement.

    In general, I think the 50 fly and 50 back were my best swims of the meet. The only real disaster was my ill fated 100 back. I held up better than I thought I would over the course of 4 days.

    I did get a quick breaststroke clinic from Allen Stark after my 50 back. He gave me a few tips
    to work on: sculling out wider on the pull to take advantage of my strength, squeezing my elbows together more, not pausing before shooting my hands forward, and keeping my knees closer together on the kick. I had thought my kick was appalling, but he disagreed and really focused on my pull issues. He thought my ankles were plenty flexible to start walking like a duck and that there was no excuse for my breaststroke phobia!

    I took loads of photos. I think someone video taped my 50 fly. I think Wolfy video taped my 50 back. I had assigned that task to Jimby, but he was apparently too addled from his 400 free to comprehend digital camera technology. Anyway, hopefully I can post links later.

    As an aside, I will decline all individual IL state records that I set. Though I loved my adopted Nationals team the Academy Bullets, I'm a PV
    swimmer and will promptly rejoin GMUP.

    Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:49 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  3. Relay Day -- So much fun!!

    by , August 9th, 2009 at 09:49 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Quickie blog.

    First, no cramping today. Made sure to drink a ton of Gatorade. My GMUP buddy also gave me some quinine tablets, a product from Canada that ge uses called "Leg Cramps.". Also just went with the usual lack of sleep.

    These were my first relays ever at Nationals, and I really enjoyed them!

    Wore B70, as I did on Friday.

    Womens 120 200 free relay, 1st place:

    I think we went a 1:54 or so and was told it was
    pretty close to the NR. I led off with a 28.7, a PB for me. Previous best 29.2. Took 4-5 dolphin kicks on start. 3 breaths. Felt pretty good.

    Mixed 200 medley relay, 200 plus, 3rd place

    Swam the fly leg. Had a bad dive, went in a bit sidesways and and to straighten out. Think I split a 30.1. Very safe start for me, as I'm not that used to relays.

    Mixed 200 free relay 200 plus, 2nd place

    My first relay with Jimby, who swam his little heart out with a blowout in his B70. Very exciting finish. The team anchored by Spock on the forums nipped us at the end. I led off again and went a 28.5. Thus time, I took 7-8 dolphin kicks. I guess more is better.

    I got some good feedback on my freestyle from Coach Bill White, also a Bullet. He said my kick was like a "motorboat.". I never knew this! I always thought my flutter kick was weak and that I wasn't kicking enough. This is apparently because I am doing a flutter-dolphin type motion with my straight arm stroke. I never knew that ... I think Chris has mentioned that he does this in free as well. I've heard if some coaches trying to teach this style. I guess I'm happy to hear that's what I'm instinctively doing. My head is also too high, but again, it was opined that this was because I was undulating. My body must be hard wired to dolphin kick.

    Psyched for the 50 free and 50 back today. Not too worried about times, as I've already got good splits from previous swims. Fortunately, though tired, I don't feel totally broken down like I did at Zones. Off to warm up!

    Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:47 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. How to HTFU when you cramp up in a race

    by , August 7th, 2009 at 10:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Don't panic. You can dolphin kick with cramps.

    Remember the rest of them b@tches ain't better than you.

    Do not think of excuses now. It's easier to brainstorm them with friends later. A roomful of hypochondriacs are marvellously inventive.

    Remember that there are likely no scientifically valid studies that show that swimming with your ankles at a right angle is more likely to slow you down than swimming with no legs at all.

    Go slow. What's the rush? It's long course meters.

    No matter how slow you go, you'll still beat Geekity.

    It's called backstroke, not back kick, right? So who cares if you can leg press three times more than Jim Thornton?

    If necessary, call for the trainer to bring you a gin and tonic stat. It's got quinine, right?

    Don't forget the lime because cramps and scurvy are an even worse combination.

    Ignore texts from well meaning friends asking why you were out so slow.


    So I swam the 100 back today. Was kind of hoping to go 1:12 or so. I managed to put my Chris Stevenson induced start fears aside and take a body length lead at fifteen meters. Unfortunately, the double calf cramps at the start made the next 75 or so rather trying. I was told I was "galacially slow" and "ragged." I managed to get my act together at the 75 meter mark or so and pass 3 people. But, on the whole a disappointing swim; my slowest time in 3 years. My backstroke feels very odd so far this meet. I'm also not feeling so great in the morning.

    Hope to have much fun on relay day tomorrow.

    Had a fabulous dinner with forum friends.

    Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:46 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  5. Day 1 Nats, Thursday. Aug. 6

    by , August 6th, 2009 at 11:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blogging from iPhone ...

    What an eventful first day at Nats ... Don't know where to start!

    I met many forumites and swimmers I hadn't met before -- Ahelee, Eney Jones, Bobinator, Lisa Dahl, Jim Corbeau, Michael Heather, Allen Stark, Anna Lea Matysek, Frrday Girl, Kurk Dickson, and loads of new teammates. I was at the meet the entire day because I just love watching the swimming and seeing how all my friends do. And, very importantly, I got this lovely engraved spit cup from Eney Jones. We had been joking about spitting or splitting lanes in the 50 free. She was hoping my initials were LOL, but I had to disappoint her on that score.

    I was a tad worried last night as I had a difficult day yesterday, but a "manly" hug from Jimby and Bill White and the dazzling smile of coach Chris helped cure that.

    50 fly: 29.7

    Really shocked! Did not expect to go under 30, especially since I just went 30.7 rested. I didn't
    have a great reaction time or breakout and short stroked the finish. But, hell, it was a huge PB for me. AJ Block, a real stud flyer, told me this time would have won the age groups between 30-44, which shows how dominant the 45-49 ladies are!

    50/200 Back: 32.3 50 split

    I must admit I was a but freaked out by Chris Stevenson's unfortunate DQ right before my race. His swim was simply fantastic to watch. And I myself always worry about the 15 meter mark. As a result, I was too conservative on my start. I was too shallow and only took ten SDKs. Not playing to my strength ... My turnover also felt slower than usual and several people commented that it looked like I was swimming the 100 back. I also, perhaps out of nerves, forgot to use my nose clip! Egads! I feel like that's my good luck charm!

    Nonetheless, I split a 32.3. My previous best was 33.4, so I was pleased with the time. I think this split puts me no. 1 so far this year. I just think I need to go back to my usual start.
    And I have the 100 back tomorrow for that.

    I'm hoping to get more sleep tonight!

    Had great dinners with friends both nights. .

    And only saw one super nasty B70 tear.

    Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:45 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. Foul Language Gear, Tuesday, Aug 4

    by , August 4th, 2009 at 02:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Well, they can take away the damn suits (perhaps), but they can't take away my foul language gear. Argh, the F bombs are flying today. So far, my rec pool is closed for lack of power, GMU is closed, someone has been snitching my Jolt gum, I can't remember where I stashed my B70 after loaning it to my kid, I'm out of whey protein and I can't check in on line for the 200 back. And I haven't been on a run since June 22!

    I am now going to run errands (F that too) and get an easy 1000 in in another pool where I hope they have power and some kid hasn't wrecked the water.

    On the other hand, I get to see cool folks tomorrow.


    I swam about 700 easy meters in my 86 degree outdoor gym pool. Then sat in the hottub and steam room. So am now happier. I am off to continue packing. I wish Ande was standing by me with his "list" for meets. Can't remember which tip that one was ... I'm sure I'll forget something vital. But I am comforted by the fact that there is a GPS on my iphone, as I have a tendency to get lost.

    I also tried out my new pair of AquaSocket goggles. They were comfy and I really liked them!

    Updated August 4th, 2009 at 07:52 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. Monday, Aug. 3

    by , August 3rd, 2009 at 06:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM = frenzy to get sh*t done

    PM =

    15-20 minutes of RC exercises
    15 minutes of stretching
    800 slow swim/drill
    15 minutes hottub
    15 minutes steam room

    But my ART appt was cancelled. Boo hoo. I wanted to get rid of my usual little twinge in the left teres and scapular area. Mr. Fort may have some work to do tonight. I definitely did a bit too much speed work yesterday. My legs were tired today.

    My backstroke felt very smooth today though. I guess that bodes well for the 100. Just hoping I can "Tancock" the 50. That guy has the fastest turnover I've ever seen in backstroke.

    I still haven't felt that "crappy" phase of taper. Pondering this. It could be increased sleep. I'm also wondering if it might be due to the fact that I did a more gradual 3 week taper.

    And I need to start packing. I hate packing, and can only do it in AFAP mode. So I will throw in black, white, denim and tech suits and hope it all works out. I am bringing my remaining suitfolio b/c there is a little FAF that needs some help in that department. I don't sense there will be many textile suits at Nats. ...
    Swim Workouts
  8. Backstroke Starts, Sunday, Aug 2

    by , August 2nd, 2009 at 07:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hulk Advice:

    Here is some backstroke start advice I received today from our beloved, but swim deprived, Hulk:

    1) Initiate the start with your hands by throwing them back as fast as you can;

    2) Focus your eyes on your hands. That will get your head back and put you in a good arch position;

    3) Throw your hips and feet up as you leave the wall to create a good entry line;

    4) Pull up not forward, that's the key re: position, you want to set your shoulders and hips in the same vertical line.

    5) A great drill for this is take your starting position, then just let go of the wall, don't push off, just let go, your first motion should be out from the wall not down, if you're going down, then you are curling up too much.


    So, armed with this advice and wearing my B70, I did the following "workout:"


    Warm up:

    600 variety warm up

    3 x 100 back, easy speed @ 2:00

    50 EZ

    Speed work:

    8 x 30 = 1 backstroke start to 15 meters and easy swim back. rest and repeat.

    I have been meaning to do some starts with a B70 for a long time. But I always seem to rush out without it in tow. As a result of being a bit of a moron about this, I'm somewhat inconsistent on my starts.

    14 SDKs = too far, past 15 meters
    13 SDKs = can be too far unless I have a shallower start
    12 SDKs = 15 meters or just short

    So I'm going to just stick with 12 SDKs to be safe. The depth of my starts really varied. There were a couple that I felt I really nailed in terms of going through the hole, good depth etc. However, on those starts, I had some trouble getting up and to the 15 meter mark in 12 SDKs. I guess I'm just not used to doing the classic "checkmark."

    My last backstroke start, which was my 50 back at Zones in April, was rather shallow and I think I took 13 SDKs. I just need to work on this in the future to become more consistent. I have become better at pulling up, not forward, and not curling up like I used to. Just need to get the check mark and SDK count to auto pilot.

    Anyhoo, after that rousing fun (for which I was grateful to have my own lane!) ...

    100 EZ

    4 x 15 "bursts" and cruise back

    (I didn't mean these to be bursts. I intended to do a 50 back AFAP with fins and B70 to compare to fins and poly tank. But my f'in fins kept falling off. Hate this flexy brand.)

    50 EZ

    1 x 50 somewhat fast backstroke w/weanie dolphin kick to prevent fin fall off, 23.5ish

    50 EZ

    4 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    2 x (25 fast free w/fins + 50 EZ)

    200 EZ

    Total: 2100


    Random Thoughts:

    Kinda tired after that effort. Might have done too much. Will be MUCH more slothful the next few days. Hoping to summon enough energy tonight to do my RC exercises and stretch. Feeling really lazy today. Seeing my ART doc for a last tune up tomorrow afternoon.

    Had some water gushing down the front of my B70. Might be a bit stretched out on top. Fluck. Did anyone notice that in the interview after the Men's 400 medley relay today that it looked like Dave Walter's skin was actually sliced from his Arena suit?

    I checked my itinerary for Indy. I arrive on Wed. at around 2:00. There is a team practice scheduled at the swim center from 4:45-6:00. I had to inform my wonderful Coach Chris that I would be doggie paddling, not "practicing." Methinks he is not used to coaching drop dead sprinters.

    I am somewhat cross about the warm up and meet start times being moved up. Anti-night owl bias, no doubt. I will at least get to sleep in on Friday since I, boo hoo, can't compete in the 50 breast and don't swim until the 100 back.

    I was also wondering somewhat about breathing for the 50 fly. I always try to breath as little as possible on a 50 fly. I think that's best in yards, but I wonder if I might be better off taking a couple more breaths in LCM? Since my dolphin kicking has improved, my breathing seems more natural ... and it certainly worked in the 100 fly. I wish Cream Puff hadn't left us so she could tell me what he did when she popped off that 28.7 that I hope will appear in the FINA rankings ... I was told that Dara Torres took 9 breaths when she set the AR in the 50 fly at WCT.

    Updated August 2nd, 2009 at 07:33 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  9. RC + Happiness in Fortland, Saturday, Aug. 1

    by , August 1st, 2009 at 09:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    RC work:

    Had to go to the gym this afternoon cuz I was too lazy to do my exercises last night:

    3 position arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 15
    seated straight arm dips, 45 x 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators on cable machine, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    overhead chops, 2 x 25
    reverse chops on yoga ball, 2 x 25

    10 minutes stretching
    10 minutes steam room

    Here's another RC exercise that Jazz sent me:

    [ame=""]YouTube - Scapular Wall Slide - Shoulder Mobility - Nutrex Solutions[/ame]


    I'm wiped out. Spent many hours at the NVSL All Star meet today in the heat and sun. But there is happiness in Fortland because Mini Fort won the 50 breaststroke. She went about 5 seconds faster than her prior mono times this season.

    Last year, I saw one LZR at this meet. This year, it was a sea of Pros, LZRs and B70s. The kids all love them.

    I still have no idea how kids swim in these ridiculously shallow pools ...

    Am really pissed b/c I rushed out without DVR-ing swimming on NBC and I don't get universal sports. Edit: I apparently DVR'd the swimming "series" so was able to watch.

    Updated August 1st, 2009 at 11:25 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  10. Friday, July 31

    by , July 31st, 2009 at 07:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    10 x 25 shooters on back

    Speed work:

    4 x 25 build free

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP + 25 EZ)
    AFAPs = 2 UW flutter, 2 doggie paddle, 2 free
    50 EZ after each set of 3

    50 EZ

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

    200 EZ

    Total: 1800


    I may head to the gym later to do the dreaded RC exercises and sit in the steam room. My shoulder is finally feeling better. That 100 fly set me back for awhile, as I knew it would. Or I may succumb to taper laziness and attempt to do them at home.

    Taper bitchies have definitely hit. I had tantrums over lost keys, ungrateful child, printer not working, etc.

    Tomorrow is a rest day. Well, sort of, I am going to the All Star meet, which I hope goes well so there is no ensuing drama. lol.

    I also need to get my act together over Nats a bit. I haven't even looked at the timeline. Ande would be appalled!

    I did purchase some back up goggles and a new suit today. No, not a tech suit. Just a run of the mill practice suit. It's the Nike cut out suit. First Nike suit I've ever had, but it seemed to fit well. And it's light blue -- the THT color!

    Updated July 31st, 2009 at 08:18 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  11. Thursday, July 30

    by , July 30th, 2009 at 06:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Dragged myself to the gym to do RC exercises today. Didn't want to leave it until the evening for fear of taper induced sloth and ennui.


    external and internal rotators on cable machine, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips, 2 x 25
    3 point arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15
    some other damn exercise I don't know the name of but has a chopping motion


    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick
    150 fly drills

    8 x 25 UW shooters on back

    50 EZ

    Speed work:

    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    1 x 50 backstroke AFAP w/fins
    went 24ish

    100 EZ

    4 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    50 EZ

    1 x 100 backstroke AFAP w/fins
    went 53.5-54ish. my fastest in practice.

    100 EZ

    Total: 2000


    Finally! A break from the frenzy of my life is upon me. Mr. Fort is leaving tomorrow am for a family thing in Syracuse NY. He is taking Fort Son (bribed with a trip to Cornell to meet the crew coach) and Lil lil Fort. I have Mini for All Stars on Saturday, but then she is leaving for a week at the beach with some family friends that night. I forsee being able to sit on my ass and eat bon bons.

    Lost my sleep mojo some last night. Little one woke up at 3:30 am and I had trouble falling back to sleep. Still hopeful for max sleep tonight.

    BTW, I did faithfully take melatonin for 4+ months like Dr. Miller advised. It did not do one damn thing for me! As is typical for me, I've tried many many things to get a good night sleep. Gawd, getting old sucks!

    Starting to get excited for Nats. Need to shift into "straight vicious" mode according to my son.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone! Really looking forward to my evilstroke leg on the mixed medley relay too. hahaha. Also looking forward to resuming running as my bod feels like a blob of gelatinous goo without it. Just another reason for full body suits!

    Updated July 30th, 2009 at 07:13 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  12. Sleep is F'in Awesome!, Wednesday, July 29

    by , July 29th, 2009 at 06:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Did a workout that I did about a week before Auburn.

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    150 kick
    150 fly drills
    3 x 25 build
    25 EZ

    Speed work:

    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)
    Felt like I had slightly increased DPK & DPS on these.

    50 EZ

    1 x 50 back AFAP w/fins
    Went 24ish, my fastest practice time ever. But I did go past the 15 meter mark on the first 25.

    150 EZ

    1 x 50 dolphin kick on back AFAP
    Went 23ish, mistimed turn

    150 EZ

    4 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 1900


    30 minutes of ART for some body work. I bought a tube of traumeel. I've tried many topical creams before, and thought they were all ineffective. This one seems to work and penetrate into the shoulder capsule. Of course, it could just be the placebo effect too, as it is with so many things ...

    My chiro noticed I was congested, and my throat has been swollen too. Apparently, there is some mold spore going crazy at the moment. That would certainly explain my reaction as I'm allergic to mold too.


    Didn't feel too bad in the water today. Didn't feel too sluggish from the deep tissue. And didn't have that "feel like crap" taper feeling yet. I'm wondering if this has been countered somewhat by the increased/better sleep? Just had my 3rd night in a row of 8 hours of sleep. Very odd stuff. I don't even have the taper bitchies yet! On this note, my doc told me to stop taking B complex vitamins, as that can contribute to insomnia.

    I'm thinking of lending my kid my speed suit for All Stars this weekend. After Chris' and Hulk's suit thefts, I'm a little leery of this though ... I do know many swimmers will be clad in B70s/LZRs. My B70 has also seen some use now. If the suits are legal until May 2010 or so, I may get a new B70 at Nats.

    Updated July 29th, 2009 at 10:08 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  13. Tuesday, July 28

    by , July 28th, 2009 at 05:05 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Weights Lite:

    bench press, 50 x 3 x 8
    HS hi row, 70 x 2 x 10
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    internal and external rotators on cable machine, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dips, 45 x 3 x 25
    3 point arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15

    I'm done with all weights and core now. Will only do RC work until Nats.


    Swam in hot outdoor gym pool. No backstroke attempted. Mellow recovery workout. There wasn't even a pace clock on deck.

    Warm up:

    650 swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    10 x 25 UW shooters

    10 x 50 flutter kick w/board

    50 EZ

    16 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens = EZ

    150 C/D

    Total: 2000 meters


    Got a deep tissue massage today. She really worked over the calves and mid back area. I blame the mid back tightness on fly.


    I managed to dig up my official split request form and documentation and PDF them to Mary Beth Windrath. I'm lucky I found them, usually I don't hold onto things like that. Lesson learned. She still had had no response from the Southeastern TT Recorder. But will include my 100 back time b/c of my back up documentation. Right now, I'm tempted to not swim in the Dixie Zone region since two different TT recorders couldn't do their job. Geez.

    Looks like tech suits will be legal until May 2010. Happy about that. Think FINA should regulate rather than punting. Plus, Rocket Science does not accept returns (check website carefully!). So I am the owner of the Sprinter suit, which I'll have to give a spin this fall.

    Got another good night's sleep. But have been feeling groggy during the day. Hope this side effect goes away.
  14. Monday, July 27

    by , July 27th, 2009 at 09:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Transition set:

    6 x 75
    25 UW shooter on back + 25 feet first scull + 25 easy speed fly

    50 EZ

    Speed work:

    3 x (100 broken backstrokes w/ fins, 15 second rest at 50, + 200 EZ)

    Went 26/29 (kid interruption on second 50), 26/27-28, 26/27

    50 EZ

    2 x (AFAP 50 w/fins + 100 EZ)
    went 25 on fly, 22-23 on dolphin kick shooter

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP + 50 EZ)
    3 fast free, 2 fast flutter kick shooter

    125 C/D

    Total: 3050


    Didn't feel the greatest. Kinda tired afterward from the sprinting. I may need to shift into super loafing mode. I've sort of lost track of how close Nats is ... I barely know what day it is lately ... thought it was Tuesday most of the day ...

    I can't wait to swim in my pool without all the loud nasty interfering children --- why, they're enough to make a person want to have a vasectomy! One kid just walked off with my fins today.

    Did get a second good night sleep in a row. Was very busy today and have some running around to do tomorrow wrt All Stars. That meet is a zoo. I'm just hoping I can at least watch my kid. I hate it when grown adults insist on saving seats for 24 hours and won't budge to let others watch their kids race. I can forsee the need to be f'in beech ...

    The food front is pretty much the same. I've just been eating a bit more pasta and some sandwiches instead of salads for lunch. I've tried switching my glass of chard to the dinner/happy hour. That just makes me tired all evening ...

    Mini Mono and I are going to get pedicures and massages together tomorrow. I've been babying her more than usual.

    Updated July 27th, 2009 at 10:15 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Sunday, July 26

    by , July 26th, 2009 at 06:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 swim, kick
    200 fly drills

    Main sets:

    16 x 25 4 point shooters

    50 EZ

    20 x 25
    evens easy speed-fast fly
    odds easy

    50 EZ

    3 x (50 AFAP w/fins+ 200 EZ)

    2 50 backs = 25ish
    1 50 dolphin kick on back = 22-23

    5 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    C/D 125

    Total: 3100

    Need to do some stretching and RC work tonight.


    Took a rest day on Saturday. Had a good day at Divisionals and now only one week left of summer swim!

    Didn't go to Mason today (and who knew Speedo would show?!). Didn't want to swim with the super fast intervals. I may go on Tuesday and swim in a slower lane just to get some LC work in. Or else I'll swim at the 12-2 lunch hour session. The pool closes for the rest of August on Aug 3.

    And, more importantly, I slept for a solid 8 hours last night for the first time in about 2 years. Uh, life is different with uninterrupted sleep. I just hope it continues.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Friday, July 24

    by , July 24th, 2009 at 08:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    standing lat pulldown, 75 x 3 x 10 fast
    prone scapular scrunches w/5 lb weights, 3 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dips, 2 x 25
    elevated crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 2 x 15
    (going to do some arm extensions tonight)


    Warm up

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic sets:

    10 x 25 shooters on back

    20 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = flutter kick w/board
    evens = backstroke, smooth & working on breakouts

    50 EZ

    Speed set:

    8 x (4 x 25), no interval
    #1 = easy speed fly
    #2 = EZ
    #3 = AFAP free
    #4 = EZ

    200 C/D

    Total: 3000


    Ran into my PV buddy, NuthinBut50s, who was working out in the adjacent lane. He does his speed work very differently from me. He doesn't do any recovery swimming when doing his fast 25s. He just blasts away on a 1:15 or so interval, to get a 1:4 or 1:5 swim to rest ratio. In contrast, I always use a 1:3 or 1:4 or more ratio of sprint swimming to recovery swimming. It seems to hard to me to do AFAP 25s without some easy swimming in between ... But it was interesting that we interpreted the prescribed ratios so differently.

    Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day for me, which is good as we have the Divisional Championships and Team Dinner taking up the bulk of the day. No driving -- we're hosting the meet at our pool.
  17. Thursday, July 23

    by , July 23rd, 2009 at 10:22 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Squeezed in a short workout between very long trips out to MD. Circumstances were not ideal: backstroke flags down, only 4 lap lanes, huge teenage boys crashing off the diving board and dousing 2-3 lap lanes with tremendous splashing and I forgot my fins. Going to try to go at 4:00 pm tomorrow and hopefully try to avoid some of that.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    20 x 25 UW shooters
    odds belly, evens on back

    50 EZ

    2 x (5 x 50)
    #1-3 cruise free
    #4 fast kick
    #5 EZ

    50 EZ

    10 x 75 (25 AFAP + 25 EZ + 25 scull)
    AFAPs = 2 free, 2 back, 2 fast flutter kick shooters, 2 fast doggie paddle, 2 free)

    150 C/D

    Total: 2700


    I think in the future I may have to find a LCM meet other than Nats to taper for. An early August meet is just not the greatest timing for me given that late June and July are my busiest time of the year. I didn't even sit down until 11:30 pm last night and had to get up at 5:30 am. Couldn't really sleep much. My post-Nats project is to attempt to get that under better control.

    My Mini Mono Fort swam her very last JO final tonight. (She's skipping the 200 events.) She was way off her time, but gutted out a good finish, and I was proud of her.

    Updated July 24th, 2009 at 11:12 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  18. Weights + Relays, Wednesday, July 22

    by , July 22nd, 2009 at 05:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Only time for weights today ... I hope I can swim tomorrow between drives out to Laurel MD. The balancing act has been a little shaky the last couple days!

    explosive lifting:

    bench press, 50 x 3 x 8
    standing lat pulldown, 90 x 3 x 10
    total ab machine, 90 x 2 x 15
    alternating hammers, 12.5 x 30
    fast bands

    elevated crunches, 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    3 position arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15
    straight arm seated dips, 3 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches, 3 x 25



    Briefly scanned the preliminary Relay TT results. Our small team squeezed out quite a few from Zones. Don't care if I'm a bad ass braggy triathlete, I'm psyched about it! Go GMUP!

    #1 Women's 35+ 400 medley relay
    #2 Women's 25+ 200 medley relay (with 3 over 40s and one uber evilstroker)
    #3 Mixed 25+ 200 medley relay
    #9 Mixed 35+ 200 free relay

    Women's 45-49 results are at

    Mary Beth Windrath is trying to retrieve my times in the 100 backstroke. Since the Auburn results were in fact submitted on a timely basis, I am cautiously hopeful that my 100 back split request will be retrieved and count. Remains to be seen. The times from the Cary NC meet appear not to have been submitted at all despite the language of the entry form. If they don't submit the times, they vanish into the Cream Puff Times Dust Bin.

    I've really been too busy to look at the TT list caerfully. However, I did notice that I was ranked higher in the 100 fly than the 50 fly ... Does this mean I'm not an absolute drop dead sprinter? lol

    And 50 breast -- #11! hahaha

    Updated July 22nd, 2009 at 11:35 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  19. Tuesday, July 21

    by , July 21st, 2009 at 11:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did three round trip drives to Mason today, as Mini Fort decided to attend a LC practice before JOs and I wanted to get a LC practice in as well. At least the traffic wasn't as bad as usual!


    500 swim
    500 (50 kick/50 drill)
    3 x 50 build
    1 x 50 scull

    (I missed 300 of this chatting and arriving a tad late.)

    3 x (4 x 100) @ 1:50
    #1 = 25 fly/50 free/25 fly
    #2 = 25 back/50 free/25 back
    #3 = 25 breast/50 free/25 breast

    I worked #1 & #2 and cruised the breast-free ones.

    50 EZ

    6 x 50 kick @ 1:15
    25 kick w/board + 25 kick on back holding board above head with 2 heads (extremely hard)

    50 EZ

    9 x 100 freestyle:
    (I did them all backstroke.)

    4 @ 1:40 (skipped one, cramp)
    3 @ 1:35 (cruised)
    2 @ 1:30 (skipped one and went fast on the last one with fins. went around 1:10 even having to swim around someone. pretty fast for me on backstroke at the end of practice.)
    150 EZ

    Total: 3300 meters (team = 3900)


    Random thoughts:

    I'm feeling pretty strong in the water at the moment. Wonder if it's the explosive lifting or something else? (More carbs? lol)

    Still need more sleep.

    Still need to check my taper workouts from last February. I've been operating on pure intuition lately.

    I've been just crazy busy lately. I think next week after Divisionals and JOs, life will calm down somewhat. Or at least I hope so.

    Going to lift tomorrow.

    My teammate wants to know why Jimby is wimping out and not swimming the 800 free against him at Indy.

    Really happy Fort Son, my homework minimalist, got a 5 on his AP history exam.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Monday, July 20

    by , July 20th, 2009 at 06:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    30-35 minutes of ART working on scapular area and calves. Had to do it before swimming, though I prefer it the other way around.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic kick set:

    10 x 50 backstroke kick @ 1:00
    10 SDKs off each wall

    50 EZ

    Main set with speed work:

    2 x through:

    1 x 100 single arm fly drill @ 2:00
    1 x 100 backstroke @ 2:00
    50 EZ
    50 back AFAP
    50 EZ
    50 flutter kick AFAP w/board
    50 EZ
    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)
    50 EZ
    1 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ+ 25 AFAP flutter kick shooter + 25 EZ)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3100

    Off to the last Monday night summer league meet of the season. Hoping it doesn't rain!
    Swim Workouts , ART