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  1. P2P Redux, Monday, Aug. 2

    by , August 2nd, 2010 at 09:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It was a gorgeous day here in NC. About 85 degrees and sunny -- perfect beach day. After sleeping in, I headed to the beach. After a good bit of Stieg Larsson reading, I headed out for my "1.7" pier to pier swim and run. This time, I added some of what Jazz calls "burst" freestyle where I'd go fast for 15 meters or so. After all the interval work I do, and long rest interval work at that, being in the ocean and swimming virtually non-stop is quite odd. I still feel no inclination to go to the Y, though, so I'll stick to the ocean for another couple days. Perhaps tomorrow, I'll swim to the pier, take a break, and then swim back. IF the current isn't too bad. Today, it was fairly neutral and it wasn't as choppy.

    Almost done with "The Girl That Played With Fire," and then off to the next volume.

    Swim Workouts
  2. Pier to Pier, Sunday, Aug. 1

    by , August 1st, 2010 at 04:34 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Made it to the beach after a hectic day yesterday. It's rather cloudy today, but no matter -- the salt water, the sand, the ocean air ... aaaahhhh.

    I did my favorite ocean workout -- swimming from pier to pier and then running back on the beach. Pier to pier is 1.7 miles, and I definitely went more than that as the waves were choppy, the current was strong and, well, I can't swim straight. I used my gold metallic B70 OW goggles, which I love. I swam about 2/3 free and 1/3 breast. I like doing breast in the ocean because I can see where I'm going! To my dismay, Mr. Fort took my MF out of the car (which did only have a dead battery) when he was packing up, so I can't play with it in the ocean.

    And I'm done with SL swimming! Our Divisional Champs were yesterday. Mini Fort did surprisingly well. She's been on the Jazz Hands program (swim 1x a week and hit the gym 2-3x per week). She dropped 1.5 seconds off her 50 fly time. More anecdotal proof that actual swim workouts are not necessarily needed for 50 sprints.

    NYT Article on Amanda Beard:

    Was checking on the B2B website. It mentions that swim booties and neoprene caps are allowed. What on earth are "swim booties"?

    Updated August 1st, 2010 at 06:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  3. Cursed, Friday, July 30

    by , July 30th, 2010 at 08:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bike, 30 minutes



    That was all I could squeeze in, despite my grandiose plans for today. I would exercise tonight, but I've found the last two night practices I've been up to 1:00 am or later. Exercise does not make me sleep!

    And I've decided I'm cursed or jinxed since getting off the ship ... I've had an enormous amount of dumb bad luck: Mr. Fort's bike accident, my car was hit and run (why do people do this?!), my car broke down tonight on the eve of vacation and I had to hoof it home, Garmin lost, door broken, freezer broken, teenagers gone bonkers as teenagers do, daughter to doc with eye problems similar to mine, SL politics, etc. etc. When I get to the beach, I am going to nothing except make sure my little one doesn't drown, read my books (have a pile of 10 now) and exercise. I packed my wetsuit just in case the water is not too hot and the jellyfish are out.

    One bright note is that I did book a vacation for next summer. This will interfere somewhat with my training plans for Auburn LCM Nationals in 2011, but I should have a good month to re-train and re-boot. My focus meet for 2010 will be a SCM meet in December, either CZ or NE Champs.

    I'm sure most of you have read the USMS Swimmer magazine. I tried and reported on 3 of the new tech suit substitutes. To my chagrin, I liked the Speedo LZR Elite best. (This will make JimRude slightly nauseous, I know.) So that is the suit I plan to wear at LCM Zones on Aug. 21-22 with 2 back ups.

    And, its official, my GMUP team has been restored and it's in writing. The new deal is better in some respects and worse in others. The people like Speedo who used the 4:45 am spot will have to find other options, and I feel badly for them. But the Sprint Classic and Zones are on! I'm happy to train (albeit periodically and sporadically) in a great facility with a great coach. I love the new Friday open swim option. Training on your own at GMU is typically vastly easier than one of the local rec centers.

    Article on Katie Hoff:

    And this sucks on the GF front:

    I have not been doing well staying GF lately.

    Updated July 31st, 2010 at 01:20 PM by The Fortress

  4. Thursday, July 29

    by , July 29th, 2010 at 11:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Zippo! I was foiled in my plan for afternoon drylands by the bizarre rantings of ConnieKat. (The most hilarious were her haughty aspersions on my join date. lol) Probably for the best anyway, as my legs and hammies are still sore.


    I made it out to Mason for my last LCM workout before turning into a lazy beach turd. One of our teammates was beginning his 10 day taper for PR, so we had a taperish/sprint workout in his honor. I loved it, though this "200 pace" thingie is all highly theoretical in my case.

    Warm up:

    2 x (300 swim + 100 kick)

    2 x (100 pull w/buoy + 50 scull)

    I missed about 200 of this, as usual.

    Transition Sets:

    4 x 50 free @ 1:15, done as 25 closed fists + 25 regular free

    4 x 100 kick @ 2:15, done as 50 choice and 50 fast

    I did backstroke kick. I didn't have a fast gear, though, so I went at a fast mod clip.

    Main Set:

    100 drill in stroke you are doing on following set

    8 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace +2 seconds

    200 EZ

    6 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace +1

    200 EZ

    4 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace

    200 EZ

    2 x 50 @ 1:05 @ 200 pace -1

    Theoretically, these were supposed to be all the same stroke. I swam with fins. I did the first set back and went 34, 35, 35, 35, 35, 35, 35, 34. I guesstimate that is likely somewhat faster than my 200 pace. I swam the 6 50s breaststroke. (Yes, this may be the first time in my masters career that I've swum fast LCM breast in practice!) I went 35, 36, 37, 37, 37, 37. On the 4 50s, I went back to backstroke and tried for 100 pace. Went 32, 33, 33, 33. On the 2 50s, I swam evil again @ 100 pace and went 34, 35. The set was intended to prep everyone for their LCM 200 races. I just swam hard and liked the set. I'm super tired after that effort again.

    200 EZ

    Total: 3400



    No comment today. I am all commented out on the forum.

    Updated July 30th, 2010 at 11:22 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. Ratfink! Wed., July 28

    by , July 29th, 2010 at 11:36 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Transition Set:

    4 x through:

    100 free w/paddles @ 1:45
    50 russian breast drill @ 1:00
    50 double shooter @ 1:00
    25 scull + 25 underwater recovery free @ 1:15

    Sprint Set:

    8 x (25 AFAP + 50 EZ)

    I did 4 free and 4 breast. Worked on eliminating undulation on the pull down. The only way to completely eliminate this is to not pull down very hard, which rots.

    100 EZ

    Total: 2400



    I was, as predicted, rather sore after Tuesday's yoga + LCM double, especially the hammies. So I stuck with my plan to get in a quickie sprint workout.

    I then went home and made a dazzlingly healthy dinner, cracked open some Mulderbosch, and played 3 vicious games of scrabble with my BFF. After one round of regular scrabble, we played a round of "terms of abuse" scrabble and a round of "terms of disgruntlement or bliss." I was extremely proud to play "Ratfink." Since there is slightly more latitude given in themed scrabble, I insisted that this be accepted as a one word bingo. It is surprisingly harder to think of terms of bliss than abuse ... Given the ratfink precedent, I was forced to permit the playing of "givers," which made me slightly nauseous. Which perhaps was the point.

    Some drylands today and my last team LCM practice before I leave for the beach.
    Swim Workouts
  6. Yoga + LCM, Tuesday, July 27

    by , July 27th, 2010 at 10:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bikram Yoga, 90 minutes:

    Made it to yoga today for the noon class. It was a bit of a shock to my chakra. Surprisingly, my balance was still pretty good. Not surprisingly, my back is less flexible after my recent long no yoga/no stretching stint. I liked today's instructor, but I have no idea how to "puff out my kidneys."


    Warm up:

    500 swim
    500, done 50 kick + 50 drill
    3 x 50 build
    1 x 50 scull

    (I missed about 300 of this while chatting with Cheryl. Though nothing is in writing yet, it sounds very promising our team will be intact with some schedule modifications (that I actually prefer). Complaining was very effective in this case.)

    Main Sets:

    12 x 100 @ 2:00, done as 4 x through:

    25 fast fly + 50 free + 25 fast fly
    25 fast back + 50 free + 25 fast back
    25 fast breast + 50 free + 25 fast breast

    On the fly & back 100s, I did the middle 50 as a 50 kick instead of 50 free. After a weekend of dogs and gluten, I am wheezing and needed more air. I ended up descending the fly and breast 100s and ascending the back 100s.

    50 EZ

    6 x 50 kick @ 1:15, done as:

    25 kick w/board + 25 kick holding board in air with 2 hands. I find this latter drill nearly impossible.

    50 EZ

    9 x 100 free, done as:

    4 x 100 @ 1:40
    3 x 100 @ 1:35
    2 x 100 @ 1:30

    I used my paddles on these. Always surprised to see me on a Tuesday freestyle night anyway, my coach jokingly asked if I was doing the 400 free at Zones. Ew.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3500 meters



    Today whooped my ass good. I'm hoping to spend tomorrow just making like a sprinter.

    I really wish there were more time in life. I need to see an internist, dentist, podiatrist, opthamologist, get a mammogram (which I am apparently too "muscular" to get any reliable results for), etc. I wish someone else could do this for me ... My opthamologist is always urging Mini and me to use prescription goggles. I finally broke down and told him at my last visit that virtually everyone swims with their contacts in.

    Here's Glenn Mills' report on the Kingdom 10 mile swim in Vermont. Good article on the anniversary of the 1980 Olympic team that wasn't as well.

    Updated July 29th, 2010 at 12:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Yoga
  7. Monday, July 26

    by , July 26th, 2010 at 10:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bike, 30 minutes


    Failure of any real exercise. Just no time. I spent hours driving back from Pittsburgh (why is driving so very exhausting?!?!) while Mr. Fort stayed for some work. Then I hopped on the bike only briefly and had to run off to our last Monday night meet. Only one meet left on Saturday, Divisional Champs and then "I'm free, free at last." We're skipping All Stars this year for the beach.

    And happily, it appears that the complaints and hubbub that ensued when the Aquatic Center abruptly and inexplicably terminated our masters program (and proposed a workout blog with a "life fitness" coach) have resulted in an about face. They have "re-hired" Cheryl after advertising the position. Our proposed new practice hours are slightly different (a late morning practice on Sat. after the pool officially opens at 10:30) and a Friday open make up day for weekends when the pool is closed for meets. The 4:45 am practices are still not on the schedule, but that too is under discussion. I know many are bummed about the Saturday practice, but I may actually attend it more, though it is distance free day. I could use it as distance kick day.

    The whole incident was preposterous and political. What was really irksome is that one got the feeling the pool staff thought they were running a retirement community where everyone had to take what is offered ... The suggestion of a "life fitness" coach to a team with many competitors on a regional, national and international basis was just ludicrous. I'm at least glad that my kids will grow up not thinking that adults are virtual invalids.

    I plan to go to bikram yoga and my evening practice tomorrow.

    On other news, Mr. Fort is agitating to do the Reston century ride on Aug. 22 with his new bike. This conflicts with Zones, but Fort Son is in charge of my youngest, which means that he will do nothing other than keep her alive.

    Updated July 27th, 2010 at 10:05 AM by The Fortress

  8. Masters PR, Possessed, Sunday, July 25

    by , July 25th, 2010 at 05:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I officiated a summer league meet in the morning on one of the hottest days of the summer. Shockingly, I didn't DQ anyone. Almost 4 hours, dripping wet, took endurolytes after. Then I spent 5 hours driving to Pittsburgh, with my usual bad traffic luck. No workouts at all. Spent the evening trying a new suavignon blanc at a high school grad party.


    Swim/SCY/Jimby & Solo @ Sewickley Y:

    I have no idea what came over me, or possessed me. Perhaps it was the quiet and cool of the pool. Or perhaps I needed water therapy. But I set a masters PR with 2.25 hours of swimming and 6700+ yards. Whodathunk?

    Warm up:


    lol, arrived a bit late and Jimby and I went right into the Jimby set.

    Jimby Set:

    10 x through (I used fins):

    100 free @ 1:30
    2 x 50 @ :45
    On the 50s, I alterated 2 kick and 2 stroke

    50 EZ

    Jimby left to attend a very important water volleyball tournament at a summer league pool.

    Leslie Set:
    (Combining a bit of technique, speed & endurance)

    6 x (10 x 50) + 50 EZ between each set of 10

    1-10 = breast pull w/buoy
    (worked on lunging and DPS, 4 strokes per length)

    11-20 = backstroke kick, no fins @ 1:00
    25 fast + 25 easy

    21-30 = easy speed fly + EZ
    (my fly felt fantastic, really long and easy, first time in forever)

    31-40 = dolphin kick w/board, no fins @ 1:0
    25 fast + 25 easy

    41-50 = breast pull w/buoy @ 1:00
    (same as above)

    51-60 = 25 shooter + 25 easy @ 1:00
    alternate belly & back shooters

    Paddle Set:

    8 x through:

    1 x 100 free w/paddles @ 1:30
    1 x 50 easy kick w/paddles as kickboard @ 1:00

    (went about 75%+ on #4, went 1:02; went about 80%+ on #8, went 1:00)

    Halfway through this set, the backstroke flags were removed (so no back w/paddles) and the huge teenagers and adults started going off the diving board. It's unbelievable how much wake this produces in the adjacent lane.

    125 EZ

    Total: 6750



    I was rather amazed when I added up the yardage. Feel sort of like a distance swimmer. Haha. I am a bit tired now, but it was nice not to feel so frustrated swimming. Off to have dinner with friends. Not sure what I'll be able to squeeze in tomorrow, as I have to drive back to DC and get to our last Monday night summer league meet. Hopefully, I'll have time for something in between.

    Congrats to all those doing the OW swims in Vermont or surviving the DC cesspool which is Hains Point.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Friday, July 23

    by , July 23rd, 2010 at 06:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Whew, as expected, I was bushed today. Just did a couple quickie easy workouts. Did a recovery swim at our summer league pool. At least I had a lane. I dislike swimming outside though. My eyes are very sensitive to light, and I refuse to do any backstroke.


    30 minutes, aerobic mode


    Warm up:

    500 various

    Main Sets:

    6 x 100 free w/paddles

    6 x 75, drill-kick-swim fly

    8 x 50 evil w/fins

    50 dolphin dive

    Total: 2000 meters



    It's official. I signed up for Zones today, all four 50s. I would have liked to get in a 100 back but, as Chris noted awhile ago, there is some fly-back discrimination going on and 100 back is too close to 50 fly. I seeded myself with my Pro times, as I doubt I'll be close to my B70/Jaked times with the new suits and without the same intensity and consistency of training. Jimby and Stud are visiting for Zones. And even Poolraat is considering coming.

    The summer league season is winding down. We have our last Saturday A meet tomorrow. After the girls swim, I am heading to Pittsburgh for a high school grad party. Jimby and I have a date to swim at 4:30 on Sunday. I am slightly concerned that this involves an outdoor pool ...

    I am leaving for the beach after Divisional Champs the following week, and am compiling my reading list. So far, I have:

    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larrson
    A Reliable Wife (which I'm half way through), Robert Goolrick
    Julian, Gore Vidal
    The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery

    Any other good suggestions? I also found this good list: And I've now heard that The Help and Under the Dome are good.

    My red locks seems to have taken a beating this summer. They were a lovely bright ginger in the Baltic. I am now a strawberry blonde. my hair seems to want to revert to a lighter color. But I battle on ...

    Here are some final shots from Stockholm. Pics are the a street in Stockholm (with the beautiful variety of color and styles and roof lines), the Nobel Museum, The Nordic Museum and a couple shots from a canal cruise.

    Updated July 23rd, 2010 at 09:25 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
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  10. Blasted, Thursday, July 22

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 11:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Got in about approx. 50 minutes of core work with Mini Fort:

    2 x through:

    long arm crunches, 50
    windshield wipers, 15
    twisting squat swings w/25 lb plate, 15
    flutter kicks on bosu, 50
    pull ins in push up position w/15 lb DBs, 30
    lunges w/20 lb DBs, 15
    elevated hip lifts, 15
    plyo jumps, 15
    med ball slams, 15
    body rows, 15
    back extensions w/25 lb plate, 15

    regular RC work


    Warm up:

    6 x 200 (150 swim + 50 kick)

    I did about half of this b/c I arrived slightly late and chatted with my coach for awhile.

    Kick Set:

    12 x 50 kick w/fins @ 1:00
    25 meters underwater, alternate belly and back

    50 EZ

    I used my MF (remembered to bring it!) on these and did them all on my back. I took 19-20 SDKs and seemed to get to about the 30 meter mark (judging from the lifeguard chair). I was still warming up on the first few, and my legs felt tired. Went 29-31 on the first 4, then held 28-29 on the last 8. Gasping for breath despite the 30+ seconds rest.

    Sprint Set:

    A rare sprint set in the middle of practice. Loved it, though it killed me.

    6 x 150 @ 3:00 or so, done as 50 drill, 50 build, rest for awhile and regroup, + 50 AFAP off blocks or from push

    I did them 50 kick, 50 drill + 50 AFAP w/fins from a push. Tried 110%. Was really gasping for breath to the point where an OW swimmer asked me if I was OK. lol. On the 6 x 50 AFAP, I went 3 back and 3 fly. Back were 29, 29, 28. Fly were 29, 28, 28. Still pleased with the speed as I've only been back at it a couple weeks. But was totally utterly gassed after this set and spent about half of the next set recovering.

    Aerobic Stroke Set:

    9 x 100 @ 2:00

    3 x through
    50 fly + 50 back
    50 back + 50 breast
    50 breast + 50 free

    I kicked the first 100, doing fly-kick. After those sprints, I didn't have any fly in me. The second half of this set was quite a bit faster than the first for me, though I did it in purely aerobic mode.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3150 meters (with the missed warm up)



    I am absolutely totally gassed after that LC workout. That was the most concerted effort I've put into a workout since my 2 week vacation.

    Random thoughts:

    1. I love swimming LC after such a long SC season, and despite my good walls, I seem to be better at LC 50s. Though perhaps not this year.

    2. I hate DC traffic. My car needs to go in the shop again. I think that's the third time this year -- I've been rear ended twice and hit & run in a parking lot. Between that and driving with Mini Fort with her learner's permit, I'm not that excited about getting in the car.

    3. I miss yoga. I haven't been in ages. And they didn't offer any real yoga on the cruise. I may try to sneak in a bikram session tomorrow b/c I have a feeling I won't feel like swimming after tonight. Though I have to head to Pittsburgh on Saturday am after our A meet for a high school grad party and likely won't get any swimming in on Saturday ... But I am hoping to meet my dear Jimby for a swim on Sunday.

    4. Mr. Fort got a new bike. I guess his repeat accidents have not deterred him.

    5. I went to sign up for the B2B iron relay. It was about $650. Sheesh!

    6. After my frustrations with swimming pools this summer, I am actually looking forward to my open water swims at Wrightsville Beach. We leave for 2 weeks on July 31, right after our SL Divisional Champs. I'm tentatively hoping to be a regular at the 1.7 mile pier to pier swim with a run back. Though I know I should go to the Y periodically for some speed work in SCY. I'm just not motivated to go there too often right now. Really hoping for good beach weather.

    7. Just watched the end of stage 17 of the TdF. I'm glad Contador "let" Schleck win tonight. I still think he's a bit of an ass for breaking tour protocol and taking advantage of Schleck's chain problems. And it would be somewhat anti-climatic if the tour results rest on a chain issue. That is a reality of most sports, of course, but there is this unwritten Tour protocol that most follow.

    8. I am resisting finishing Lisbeth Salander series to save some for the beach.

    9. Fort Son finished rowing for the summer. His team is not taking lightweights to the Henley. Serious discrimination against lightweights! He "celebrated" with a 10 mile run this am to prep for cross country season. Nothing like easing into it ...

    Updated July 22nd, 2010 at 11:28 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  11. Unfriendly Waters, Wed., July 21

    by , July 22nd, 2010 at 10:14 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As predicted, the only time I had to swim yesterday was during camp-zoo-noodle time. Because I had been out of the water, I did venture to the pool, albeit with much trepidation. At first, the screaming kids were huddled down in the "beach" end of the pool away from the lap lanes. Then they descended on us, taking over 4 lanes and the diving area and removing all the backstroke flags. I had to move out of my favored lane in the deep end. There was one man who appeared to be aqua jogging with fist gloves. I couldn't tell what he was actually trying to accomplish ... But he was gesticulating wildly to displaced swimmers, telling them not to go in his lane. One lane was occupied by a noodler almost as wide as the lane. Another lap swimmer whose lane I tried to join wouldn't stop when I tried to get his attention to share. I find this behavior infuriating and just leapt into the lane in a splashy way. During my warm up, kids came by and helped themselves to my kid board and monofin. WTH?! I wish the life guards would monitor this sort of behavior. A monofin is not a toy. The pool was appalling loud, which has to be one of the most unpleasant ways to work out. I changed my planned workout, and just got through a quick hour or so and left.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Main Sets:

    10 x 100
    odds = pull, smooth, @ 1:30
    evens - kick fast @ 1:45

    50 EZ

    24 x 50, done as:

    6 x 50, 25 AFAP free + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, 25 EZ speed fly + 25 EZ
    6 x 50, russian breast drill
    6 x 50, double shooters on belly

    100 EZ

    Total: 3050

    Bike, 30 minutes


    Needless to say, I am praying for no thunder so that I can go to a real pool tonight. And I will hit the gym today as well. I'm finding it difficult to get into a good routine this summer.

    Interesting article on youth sports:
    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  12. Vexed, Tuesday, July 20

    by , July 20th, 2010 at 10:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    60 minutes aerobic



    I am vexed. I was forced to take 2 days off entirely and 3 days off swimming due to a variety of circumstances. And collectively, they probably amount to a pile of excuses. (But Mr. Fort going to the emergency room again for another bike accident was not pleasant and he is seriously banged up.) I was all set to head to GMU for practice tonight, but the forecast was for thunderstorms and it appeared about ready to burst any minute. I didn't want to do a hour+ drive for nothing, so I did an hour on my bike instead. Big mistake! The storms never came. The only time I can swim tomorrow, with my kids' schedules, is during the psycho camp time. Hmm ... I am, unfortunately, not as happy in my semi-enforced laziness as Patrick and Elise. I wish I could get into a solid routine.

    I usually love summer, but the oppressive weather is putting a major damper on my spirits. I had to engage in retail therapy today to counteract this issue, if even in a very short lived way.

    I got my USMS Swimmer mag today. Any news?

    Off to watch the end of the TdF.

    Meat loves beware:

    Updated July 21st, 2010 at 10:18 AM by The Fortress

  13. Saturday, July 17

    by , July 17th, 2010 at 04:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I spent the morning absolutely sweating my ass off at our Saturday A summer league meet for 3.5 hours. I can remember last summer, at times, thinking "where the heat?" This summer, in contrast, has been almost unrelentingly oppressive. The only enjoyable moment was watching Lil Fort, my 9 year old, drop 5 seconds in her 50 meter free. I guess being out of the water for 2+ weeks didn't bother her at all. Didn't see that coming ... I was rather worried I'd be dehydrated, but after lunch I drove to the pool for a mellow recovery workout. I was kicked out of the deep end for a lifeguarding class.


    Warm up:

    700 various

    Hypoxic/Streamlining Set w/MF:

    50 x 25 @ 15 or so RI, done as:

    10 x 25 belly shooter
    10 x 25 back shooter
    10 x 25 shooter, alternate left and right side
    10 x 25 twirling shoooter
    10 x 25 glide drill + scull

    50 EZ

    Pull Set:

    5 x 200 w/paddles @ 3:00, smooth

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100



    I had been tempted to do Geek's set #3 from today, but I decided to stick to the recovery workout plan and do that set next week. I also think it's time to add in more speed.

    I am slightly worried that my usual pool will be closing from August to October 17 for some needed renovation work. Quite a long time. I suspect my other nearby rec pool, Oak Marr, will really be packed in August. GMU is closed the first two weeks of August as well.

    I got to chat with Nuthin' But 50s for awhile too. He's aged up this season, is swimming 5x a week and doing 3-4 LC meets this summer. I told him I'd be doing nuthin but 50s at Zones.

    Attached are some more pics form Stockholm showing the Royal Palace, the changing of the guards and a couple interior shots of Storkytkan, a 700 year old cathedral with a huge carved statue of St. George & the Dragon.
    Swim Workouts
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  14. Friday, July 16

    by , July 16th, 2010 at 06:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bike, 60 minutes:

    It was much much to hot to go outside today except to hop in a pool. This summer just seems insanely hot and humid. So I rode my indoor cycle while reading The Girl Who Played With Fire.

    Drylands, 50 minutes:

    Went to the gym with Mini Fort this afternoon and did the following:

    chest passes w/med ball, 20
    (Mini yelled at me to keep my thumbs up so it would mimic the lunge in evil)
    tricep passes w/med ball, 20
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    goblet squat, 60 x 2 x 15
    squat X press, 40 x 2 x 15
    one footed push ups, 2 x 25
    box jumps, 2 x 10
    russian twists on incline bench w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    deadlift, 80 x 2 x 10
    (haven't done this in many months)
    leg press, 330 x 2 x 10

    regular RC exercises

    I was tempted to go to hot yoga tonight -- I haven't had a stretch in eons -- but it simply too appalling hot to go get even hotter.



    I still felt pretty energetic today after my double yesterday. My shins can feel the drylands though. I'm going to try to sneak in a swim during the day tomorrow, and do some slow swimming and hypoxic work. I have to get up at the crack of dawn for a SL meet to go watch my short axis girls. I will have to indulge in Geek's metric ton of coffee to pull this rare feat off. Sunday I hope to get to my LC practice and I will be keeping my fingers crossed for Fort Son who is rowing in the finals (seeded 6th) on Sunday am. Oddly, the son of my former "secret nemesis" will be rowing on Sunday as well (but as a heavyweight). Small world.

    FYI, I ran across this video on core stretching on FB. I haven't watched it yet, but will.

    Today's photos are from Stockholm. The old town, Gamla Stan, with its tiny alleys and cobblestone streets was amazing to walk around. The first photo is the square of the Parliament building, the second is 14th century Riddarholm Church where many of the Swedish monarchs are buried. The interior, which you cannot take pictures of, was decorated with hundreds of elaborately carved coats of arms. Lil Fort was creeped out by walking over dead people. lol

    Updated July 16th, 2010 at 09:20 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
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  15. Friday, July 16

    by , July 16th, 2010 at 06:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bike, 60 minutes:

    It was much much to hot to go outside today except to hop in a pool. This summer just seems insanely hot and humid. So I rode my indoor cycle while reading The Girl Who Played With Fire.


    Went to the gym with Mini Fort this afternoon and did the following:

    chest passes w/med ball, 20
    (Mini yelled at me to keep my thumbs up so it would mimic the lunge in evil)
    tricep passes w/med ball, 20
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    goblet squat, 60 x 2 x 15
    squat X press, 40 x 2 x 15
    one foot push ups, 2 x 25
    box jumps, 2 x 10
    russian twists on incline bench w/25 lb plate, 2 x 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    deadlift, 80 x 2 x 10
    (haven't done this in many months)
    leg press, 330 x 2 x 10

    regular RC exercises

    I was tempted to go to hot yoga tonight -- I haven't had a stretch in eons -- but it simply too appalling hot to go get even hotter.



    I still felt pretty energetic today after my double yesterday. I'm going to try to sneak in a swim during the day tomorrow, and do some slow swimming and hypoxic work. I have to get up at the crack of dawn for a SL meet to go watch my short axis girls. I will have to indulge in Geek's metric ton of coffee to pull this rare feat off. Sunday I hope to get to my LC practice and I will be keeping my finger's crossed for Fort Son who is rowing in the finals on Sunday am.

    FYI, I ran across this video on core stretching on FB. I haven't watched it yet, but will.

    Today's photos are from Stockholm.
  16. Drylands + LCM Swim, Thursday, July 15

    by , July 15th, 2010 at 10:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    broomstick twists, 1 x 25
    long arm crunches, 1 x 50
    twisting med ball slams, 2 x 15
    reverse decline crunches, 2 x 25
    scissors on bosu, 2 x 25
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    back extensions w/25 lb plate, 2 x 15
    broad jumps, 1 x 10
    altitude drops, 1 x 10
    skull crushers, 50 x 2 x 10
    seated bicept curls, 40 x 2 x 10
    single arm standing lat pulldown, 55 x 2 x 10, each arm
    wall squats against bosu w/med ball on lap, 2 x 1:00
    plank, 1 x 1:00

    usual RC exercises

    Had to dash out before doing a second set of some things ...


    No thunder tonight!

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    300 kick
    200 IM drill
    100 scull

    Main Sets:

    3 x 300 pull @ 4:30

    4 x 200 @ 3:30

    #1 = 50 fly/100 free/50 fly
    #2 = 50 back/100 free/50 back
    #3 = 50 breast/100 free/50 breast
    #4 = 50 stroke choice/100 free/50 choice

    I used fins (b/c of fly) and substituted a 100 backstroke kick for the 100 free on all of them. I did fly on #4. LC fly didn't feel quite as dreadful as I feared it would be.

    50 EZ

    5 x 100 kick @ 2:20
    25 with board held vertically like a tombstone + 75 regular kick

    I did backstroke kick, no fins, on all of them. Long course kicking without fins is a very tedious endeavor indeed. Mental note to bring my monofin to the next practice.

    50 EZ

    3 x (50 AFAP off the blocks + 150 EZ)

    Instead of going off the blocks (calves were slightly crampy), I did 3 x 50 fly with fins from a push. I went 28, 28 and 29. I was somewhat surprised by these times, faster than I expected. My fly feels slightly choppy though.

    Total: 3900 meters



    I may be getting back in some semblance of swimming shape. I always do much more freestyle in LC. I feel like I get more into a groove without all the flip turns.

    There is some progress on the GMUP front. Apparently, there was enough hue & cry from team members to persuade the powers that be not to outright terminate the team. We're discussing options, and there may be one fairly promising one. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Fingers crossed.

    Down in Dollywood, Fort Son's team did respectably well in prelims and moved on to the next round. Unfortunately, for lightweights, there is no junior division, so his boat is rowing against college teams who dole out "punishment." (Not sure why there is this type of discrimination against lightweights in rowing.) His boat is also too light. For lightweights, the boat average is a max 155. His boat average is 143, a huge difference. In fact, Fort Son has been losing weight this summer with rowing doubles & gym sessions. He needs to gain some weight or have a growth spurt soon. Any ideas for fattening him up? (Conversely, Mini Fort is on the Jazz Hands swim plan -- hit the gym and swim 1x a week.)

    Here are some more St. Petersburg pics. The first and last one were from the canal tour. The middle three are of Peterhof Palace, built by Catherine the Great as her summer palace. The fountains there are amazing. The middle one depicts Peter the Great as Neptune, defeating the enemy while his allies (the turtles) refuse to help and thus slink away from the battle scene.

    Updated July 15th, 2010 at 10:19 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
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  17. Wed., July 15

    by , July 15th, 2010 at 11:23 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Forgot to blog last night. Was having dinner with my BFF (and skipping out on a SL relay meet). We were sipping a lovely sauvignon blanc from South Africa that I discovered on the cruise. Not much to report anyway. After Tuesday night, I wasn't feeling motivated to swim, so I hopped on the bike for 60 + 30 minutes in the afternoon. I felt rather Q-like. I'm hoping to sneak a quick gym workout in today and go to LC practice tonight at Mason. I will be really ticked if it thunders again ...

    Here are 5 pics from St. Petersburg, Russia. One of the highlights of our 2 day stop there was an evening canal cruise. During the summer, it stays light until about 11:00 pm. They call this phenomenon the "white nights." The pics are of: (1) the Russian Museum, (2) Peter the Great's Museum of Curiosities, (3) the Winter Palace, built by Catherine the Great, (4) the Church of the Resurrection on the Spilled Blood (a czar was assassinated on its steps), and (5) shot of building on the evening canal cruise.

    Here's where Fort Son is this week. As is typical for him, when I tried to call and text him asking for updates, I got "I'm sleeping."

    USRowing: 2010 USRowing Club National Championships Begin Wednesday

    USRowing's Notes
    2010 USRowing Club National Championships Begin WednesdayShare
    Tuesday at 6:40pm
    OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – USRowing, in conjunction with the Oak Ridge Rowing Association, will host the 2010 USRowing Club National Championships July 14-18 on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

    The regatta will feature 1,140 athletes representing more than 75 clubs in 23 states and three countries. Races will be contested in 70 events featuring junior, intermediate and senior classification rowing.

    Last year, the overall points trophy went to Penn A.C. Rowing Association, with a total of 299.25 points. Penn A.C. also won the Sugar-Barnes trophy for overall men’s points, with 206.25 points. The Marion D. Ventura trophy for overall women’s points went to Community Rowing, Inc. with 191.5 points.

    Competition begins Wednesday, July 14 at 9 a.m. with heats and semifinals. Finals in all events will be contested Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18. Heat sheets and complete results are available

    Watch a live stream broadcast of finals on Saturday, July 17 from 1-5 p.m., and Sunday, July 18 from 9-1 p.m. on the Team USA Rowing Channel at To purchase video clips after the event, visit

    USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s Official Suppliers are Boathouse Sports, Filippi, Croker Oars and Rudy Project; its Official Patron is Concept2; its Official Electronics Outfitter is Nielsen Kellerman; and its Official Timer is Powerhouse Timing. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation. For more information, visit

    Updated July 15th, 2010 at 11:35 AM by The Fortress

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  18. Free Agent + Aborted LCM Practice

    by , July 13th, 2010 at 09:35 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I travelled out to GMU tonight for the LC practice. About 30 minutes in, there was thunder. Since GMU's thunder/lightening protection system is broken, we had to get out of the pool. I hadn't even done 1500 meters since I was slightly late. And I was bummed because I chose to only do one workout today and that was it. So it basically became a worthless long drive and an unscheduled rest day when I'm trying to get back in swimming shape. I finally felt half way decent in the water too ... Even more depressing was the brief team meeting we had after getting out, the summary of which is:

    1. Our excellent coaches are out/fired.
    2. Our Saturday practice is gone b/c of an alleged conflict of interest with the college team. This is true political BS.
    3. Our Tuesday/Thursday night lanes will likely go to a USA-S team. In fact, they may already have been rented out. GMU has planned to cancel the masters team since June, but only now got around to telling us.
    4. Not sure about the 4:45 am practices, but those may be gone too or with some other coach.
    5. Zones is still on, as it's a fund raiser for the college team. I'm inclined to boycott that meet anyway, and I may be in Boston then.
    6. The Sprint Classic in October is only happening if the PV LMSC hosts the meet, which they could afford to.

    It's a sad day when a masters team that has won national and zone championships and has world-national-zone record holders, AAs and AA relays, TTs, serious swimmers and competitive OW and triathletes is just canned ... without the courtesy of investigating a compromise or even a heads up. Of course, we can still run a meet as a fund raiser for their team.

    Bottom line: As Patrick noted yesterday, it's time for me to become a free agent swim whore. This, however, is not my natural milieu. I tend to be a team loyalist.

    Off to watch TdF.

    Updated July 13th, 2010 at 10:28 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  19. Monday, July 12

    by , July 12th, 2010 at 09:30 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I was up late last night and woke up extremely groggy. I decided to hop on the bike for 30 minutes to attempt to wake up (after coffee of course). It seemed to work fairly well. (I tried this tactic on vacation once, but had to abort the effort. lol)

    Drylands (at home):

    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    bicycles, 2 x 50
    scissors, 2 x 50
    windshield wipers, 2 x 25
    power wheel roll outs, 2 x 25
    elevated push ups, 2 x 15
    med ball slams, 2 x 15
    twisting med ball slams, 2 x 15
    rock star plyo, 1 x 10
    arm circles, 4 x 50


    I stole a couple sets from a Laurel workout from Tall Paul's workout thread again:

    Warm up:

    700 various


    5 x 200 w/fins @ 3:00

    #1 = 200 swim
    #2 = 50 kick/150 swim
    #3 = 100 kick/100 swim
    #4 = 150 kick/50 swim
    #5 = 200 kick

    swims = backstroke; kick = backstroke kick
    descended them to 2:20, nothing too fast

    50 EZ

    Main Set:

    1 x 300 pull @ 4:30
    4 x 100 russian breaststroke @ 2:00
    1 x 200 pull @ 3:00
    6 x 75 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:00
    1 x 100 pull @ 1:30
    8 x 50:
    odds = scull @ 1:15
    evens = dolphin kick @ 1:00

    50 EZ

    Total: 3600



    Still waiting to feel good in the water ... The only thing that feels good at the moment is kicking, breast and free w/paddles. Backstroke feels ghastly, and that's usually my easiest stroke. I guess it's only been my 4th swim since returning from vacation. Hoping to go to LC practice tomorrow night.

    On the masters team front, our team captain is meeting with the staff from the Aquatic Center, but I am not optimistic. I still think it's short sighted to can such a successful masters team. If GMU terminates the team in its current form, I will ask the Little Devil to switch me to unattached status for the time being. Although I guess I haven't competed for GMUP since Nats, so my 60 day period (or is it 90?) prior to joining another team (I think that's the rule) will expire soon.

    I thought our Monday night SL meet would be cancelled due to thunder & lightening, but we managed to squeeze it in. It was an intra-squad boys v. girls meet, which is always fun and good for trash talking and cheers. I had a rare night off from DQ-ing kids. And Lil Fort was happy because, despite missing 1/3 of the swim season, she had two PBs. That's how points are totaled -- most PBs. "Girls rule, boys drool!"

    I said goodbye to FortSon for a week; he's heading to TN for rowing Nats. Mr. Fort is gone for work as well, so it's just me and the girls this week. I think I will be very lazy on the cooking front.

    My sister, who is quite athletic, went on a cool vacation in Coronado CA this summer -- An am jog and yoga on the beach ... I might wake up for that.

    Continuing with my travel pics, I've attached 5 pics from Rostock Germany, which is Germany's largest Baltic port. The church (pics 1, 4, 5) is St. Mary's Cathedral, a gothic cathedral from the 13th century. The other building is the town hall with a splashy baroque facade. And the street is a main street off Market Square.

    Updated July 12th, 2010 at 10:26 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
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  20. Sunday, July 11

    by , July 11th, 2010 at 06:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I stole this workout from Tall Paul's workout thread from a couple days ago. He called it the "heathen" workout, a denomination which admittedly attracted me to it, though I have no idea why it was given this label.

    Warm up:

    700 various

    Pull Set:

    6 x 150 w/paddles @ 2:15

    Main Set:

    4 x 100 kick, no fins, descend @ 2:00
    4 x 50 fly drill @ 1:00 (did glide + caterpillar drills)
    4 x 75 kick w/MF, descend @ 1:15
    4 x 50 back @ 1:00 (did glide + roll back drills)
    4 x 50 kick, no fins, descend @ 1:00
    4 x 50 breast pull, used buoy @ 1:00
    4 x 25 shooters w/MF, descend @ :40
    4 x 50 free drill @ 1:00 (did underwater recovery & good swimmer drill)

    50 EZ

    Total: 3450



    For some reason, this workout left me ridiculously tired. The middle of my back was also slightly sore from yesterday's workouts. That's quite strange as usually it's my lats and delts that are sore. Wonder what I did? In any event, I was very happy to come home, sprawl on the couch and do nothing except watch soccer.

    I've attached a few pictures from Tallinn Estonia. Tallinn is a perfectly preserved medieval city that is a "living museum." Lil Fort is sitting in the 14th century Controvento restaurant on one of the most charming and romantic streets I've ever seen.

    Summer Salads:

    Updated July 11th, 2010 at 09:30 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
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