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  1. Sat & Sun, July 19-20

    by , July 19th, 2009 at 10:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Feeling a bit jinxed about meets. On Saturday, Mr. Fort left to take the girls to the summer league meet an hour or so from our house for warm up. (I was supposed to follow with my Mom later, as they were both swimming in the second half of the meet.) Unfortunately, he left with both sets of car keys. So I missed both their meet and my own meet. I couldn't get there in time for warm up and positive check in. I was a bit bummed, as I was looking forward to the 100 back. No matter, I'll just see how it goes in Indy.

    Did 30 minutes on the indoor cycle and 15-20 minutes of Rc exercises



    explosive lifting:
    HS bench press, 50 x 3 x 10
    HS hi row, 90 x 3 x 10
    tricep press, 45 x 3 x 10
    total ab machine, 90 x 3 x 15

    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25
    elevated crunches w/12.5 lb weights, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers, 2 x 20
    iron monkey, 1 x 25
    back extensions, 2 x 25



    700 warm up

    8 x (4 x 50) @ :55-1:00
    #1 = backstroke kick
    #2 = backstroke
    #3 = flutter kick w/board
    #4 = fly or br drill

    #1 & #2 = 10/8 SDK (like Chris, I'm a fan of hypoxic work during taper)
    50 EZ

    20 x 25 w/fins
    odds = alternate AFAP free, AFAP flutter kick shooter
    evens = EZ

    150 C/D

    Total: 3000


    Funny note: My son asked for the Hopper Deck for his birthday. Seems like the coach at his rowing camp is a fan of Cross Fit.
  2. Breathing is Good! Friday, July 17

    by , July 17th, 2009 at 10:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Survived the 100 fly LC today at Jr. Champs! Whew!

    I used the recommended 2 up, 1 down breathing pattern for almost the entire race. Out of force of habit, I had a couple of every others. I think this helped a ton; I felt stronger throughout the race with no disruption of rhythm! I still crashed and burned with 10 yards to go and almost couldn't recover the arms the last couple strokes, but it wasn't nearly as bad as last year. I went 2 seconds faster today unrested than I did last year when I was fully tapered (same suit, same pool). The time board showed 1:12.2, but the time was reported as 1:12.5. Splits were 33.6 and 38.8. Not great, but still vastly better than last year when I split 33/41.

    Race highlights:

    Had to swim in the final heat in lane 1 due to a couple scratches, which I hate. But I didn't catch any wake.
    Took 11 dophin kicks on the start out to exactly the 14.9 meter mark. Freaked out the poor kid.
    Took a coffee break on the the turn for big air intentionally.
    Floated at least a foot very slowly into the final wall. But I just couldn't bring myself to take another stroke.
    Mini's coaches said I looked very "strong." Mini said my stroke looked "good." (This is more feedback than usual. lol)
    Definitely going to use this breathing pattern again, and will likely try it in SCY. This may actually enable me to kick further in SCY ...

    I'm hoping I can make it out to swim my 100 back tomorrow. I spent about 2 and 1/2 hours in the car today going back and forth to the meet. Out A meet tomorrow AM is in Mt. Vernon, so it will be a bit of a rush unless I go straight to U of Md.

    Prelim TT:

    I saw the prelim TT came out. Unfortunately, I also see that both of the 100 backs I swam during the SCY season -- at the September Shootout in Cary NC and at the Auburn Invitational in Alabama were NOT on the list. I'm ticked about this. Both meet entry forms said the times would be submitted, I had received written confirmation from the meet director that my split request form & time were sent to the TT recorder, and the then DZ TT recorder sent me an email (which I believe I reported on my blog) confirming that she would submit the time. Yet both times are AWOL. I have sent emails to Ed Saltzman (DZ TT Recorder) and Mary Beth Windrath), but I doubt there is much that can be done. If not, I won't be attending meets in the Dixie Zone again. I know Cream Puff has had difficulty getting her USA times submitted as well. I'm just not a fan of incompetence. So while I'm very happy with my 100 fly time from today, this was kind of a downer. But I guess I know what I swam.

    Updated July 18th, 2009 at 03:53 PM by The Fortress

    USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  3. Thursday, July 16

    by , July 16th, 2009 at 04:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    1000 easy
    1000 errands (still time to sprinkle flax seeds on the salad though )

    Mom is arriving tonight. Mr. Fort is still out of town. Just found out that Mini Mono Fort is swimming at Sr. Champs tomorrow (after avoiding LC all summer). Yikes, it will be a busy weekend! Sr. and Jr. Champs tomorrow and our last summer league A meet and Junior Champs on Saturday. I'm only swimming the 100 back on Saturday, as I wasn't entirely sure I'd get there from the summer league meet in time for the 50 free (and I technically have Sr. Champs cuts in that).

    Tech suits will be in full force, as an article in today's Washington Post noted: Mini Fort also said there were tons of B70s & LZRs at the All Star Relays yesterday, which is a bit of a departure from what I recall several years ago.

    Got a piece of advice from Coach Chris for the 100 fly: breathe 2 up, 1 down the 3rd 25. I have no goals for this event other than to not DQ and to not replicate last years 8 second split differential. But since I don't train for this event, it's always an adventure.

    Glad I'm swimming at U of Md this weekend. GMU is closed for an underwater hockey tournament and I don't fancy braving the public pools again this weekend. My wrist is still sore, but much better.

    Updated July 16th, 2009 at 05:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  4. Wednesday, July 15

    by , July 15th, 2009 at 11:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    AM Weights/Drylands:

    Quickie weight session while my youngest was swimming.

    bench press, 50 x 3 x 10
    seated narrow grip row, 60 or 70 x 2 x 10
    alternating hammers, 15 x 2 x 30
    total ab machine, 80 x 2 x 15
    crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers, 2 x 20
    seated straight arm dips, 45 x 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25

    10 minutes of stretching

    The explosive lifting at much lighter weights seemed easy. I'm done with leg weights, as Q suggests. Think I'll lift a couple times, lightly, next week. I've never tapered weights before. I also haven't lifted weights the week before a meet in about a year. Nor have I only rested one day. I guess I'll see how that works out this weekend ...

    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Set:

    8 x 100 @ 1:50
    odds backstroke kick
    evens backstroke

    Speed work:

    3 x (50 AFAP backstroke + 200 EZ)

    5 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2950


    Went for an ART session right after swimming. As usual, I had an irritated left dorsal scapular nerve. My doc decorated me in pink, blue and black kinesio tape and sent me off to the movies that way. Took my little one to Harry Potter. Now she's a bit scared and having trouble falling asleep -- bad mommy! Still wants me to keep reading Books 6 & 7 though, of course.

    Updated July 15th, 2009 at 11:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , ART
  5. Tuesday, July 14

    by , July 14th, 2009 at 06:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Got an massage this morning. I wasn't as dreadfully tight or sore as usual. I was told my tightest muscle was the pectine. I've cut back the intensity somewhat the last week, so this wasn't too surprising. I guess I'm effectively on a more gradual 3 week taper plan at his point ... (Checked my blog. I did 5 swims this last week, but 3 were lesser yardage. Lifted 3x, but with fewer exercises and less weight. Did a couple short spins.)

    Back to intermittent speed and some lifting tomorrow and then an easy day on Thursday before I try to swim the hardest event I ever attempt (this will be attempt #3) on Friday.

    Went for a swim (er, kick) this afternoon. Nothing too taxing after a massage:


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    3 x (4 x 50)
    kick/drill/swim @ 1:00, scull

    10 x 25 UW shooter w/MF on back @ 30
    50 scull
    10 x 25 UW shooter w/MF on left side @ :35
    50 scull
    10 x 25 UW shooter w/MF on right side @ :35
    50 scull
    10 x 25 UW shooter w/MF on belly @ :30

    50 EZ

    4 x (3 x 50)
    1 & 2 = flutter kick w/baord @ 1:00
    3 = single arm fly drill

    100 EZ

    10 minutes hot tub

    Total: 3250


    Very quiet night on the home front. Mr. Fort is travelling, Mini is at the swim team dinner for all star relays and Fort Son is at away rowing camp. So I am taking the little one out to get pasta!

    I also just realized that I still have my Rocket Science Sprinter suit, which I haven't tried on. This suit it supposed to be 2010 compliant. But who knows what FINA will do in 2010? I'm going to email the company about that issue, since they apparently produced them in reliance on the gradual reduction in neoprene type material that FINA had been contemplating.

    Updated July 14th, 2009 at 09:15 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  6. Monday, July 13

    by , July 13th, 2009 at 07:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blogging from my new iPhone as I sit through yet another swim meet. This meet features the 8 & Under 50 fly ... Definitely good for a few DQs.

    Anyway, just made it to the gym today. Didn't do many weights as my wrist is still sore and swollen. Just taped it up.

    HS hi row, 90 x 1 x 10, 100 x 2 x 10 (fast)
    overhead tricep press, 20 x 2 x 12
    goblet squat, 40 x 2 x 10
    incline crunches with med ball, 2 x 25
    decline crunches, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers, 3 x 15
    total ab machine, 80 x 1 x 10, 90 x 2 x 10 (fast, this felt ridiculously light)
    straight leg pull down & raise on double cable machine, 1 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, left arm only
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    3 position arm extensions, 3 x 2 x 15
    arm chops on yoga ball, 3 x 2 x 15

    10 minutes of stretching.

    I've decided to go back to eating more traditional carbs. It occured to me that my healthy substitution diet, while super healthy, might be contributing to my fatigue. Don't want to take any chances on more fatigue the next three weeks.

    Went to my doc today And complained about my ongoing sleep issues. Trying something different.

    Getting a massage tomorrow, which will probably mean a more mellow swim later.

    Updated July 14th, 2009 at 06:40 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  7. Sunday, July 12

    by , July 12th, 2009 at 07:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    700 variety warm up

    Main sets:

    Kick mountain (w/fins):

    1 x 50 dolphin kick on back @ :45
    1 x 100 dolphin kick w/board @ 1:30
    1 x 150 dolphin kick on back @ 2:00
    1 x 200 dolphin kick w/board @ 3:00
    1 x 300 dolphin kick on back (don't know interval, collision, see below)
    1 x 200 dolphin kick w/board @ 3:00
    1 x 150 dolphin kick on back @ 2:00
    1 x 100 dolphin kick w/board @ 1:30
    1 x 50 dolphin kick on back @ :45

    50 EZ

    4 x (4 x 50), done as:

    #1 = 50 drill (2 single arm fly, 2 br w/dolphin kick) @ 1:00
    #2 = cruise free @ 1:30
    #3 = AFAP backstroke w/fins (25ish)
    #4 = easy

    100 scull
    100 EZ

    10 x 25 shooter w/fins (odds belly, evens back)(moderately fast)
    50 EZ
    10 x 25 (odds easy speed fly, evens EZ DAB)
    50 EZ
    10 x 25 shooter (odds fast shooter no fins, evens EZ)
    50 EZ

    100 EZ

    Total: 3650


    Had a nasty collision during the kick mountain. Big kid from a lifeguard class popped up in my lane as I was kicking on my back. Hurt my wrist. Got home and it's very sore and swollen. I am sooo sick of this happening. The weird thing is that whoever just pops into my lane (apparently without looking) acts as if it's my fault when there's a crash. WTH?! If I'm driving down the road, I can't just space out and drift in some other lane. I'm worried I won't be able to lift much this week ... Going to give it ice baths. It keeps swelling more as time goes on.

    I skipped my team practice so I could sleep in. I feel a little peppier today. I've also decided I'm done with hard aerobic work. I think I've done a fair amount this summer for a wimpy sprinter and I'm only swimming one 100 and the rest 50s at Nats (even my relays will be 50s). So I'll carry on with some mellow aerobic work and speed work for awhile, then cut back intensity during week one of taper and yardage during week two.

    And, so sadly, there will be no 6th event at Nats, so I will not be swimming evilstroke. Haven't looked at the timeline yet, but it appears I may be able to show up at the pool around 3:00 in the afternoon that day!

    Checked the psych sheets for Jr. Champs this weekend. I'm seeded 10th in the 100 fly and 5th in the 100 back right next to a couple of Mini-Fort's friends again. I seeded myself .5 slower than my best times as I won't be tapered.

    Updated July 12th, 2009 at 09:55 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  8. Saturday, July 11

    by , July 11th, 2009 at 07:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Had 2 snappy workouts today. My weights session was interrupted by seeing an old friend. Had to catch up on life and her marathon training. My swim was cut short by a "hygiene accident" at my gym pool, forcing me to drive to another pool. My 3 kids have never closed down a pool; it's so frustrating when this happens. Anyhoo, here's what I got in in "less is more" fashion (which is probably good, as I'm still dragging some).


    tricep press, 50 x 3 x 10
    seated narrow grip row, 80 x 3 x 10
    leg press, 210 x 3 x 10
    deadlift, 80 x 2 x 10
    (trying to do these in explosive fashion)
    bent over rear delt fly w/12.5 DBs, 12.5 x 3 x 10
    elevated crunches on bench w/10 lb weight held by feet, 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    "chops" w/stomach on bosu w/3 lb weights, 3 x 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 2 x 25
    3 position arm extensions, 2 x 15


    600 variety warm up

    6 x 75 (50 back w/ 10 & 8 SDKs + 25 feet first scull)

    6 x 50 single arm fly @ 1:00

    6 x 50 breast @ 1:00
    (My daughter told me I need to squeeze my elbows together at the end of the pull. Never really focused on that. Duh. Had more DPS.)

    50 EZ

    6 x 25 shooters (3 dolphin, 3 flutter)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free or back + 25 EZ + 25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2600



    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread w/peanut butter
    Lunch: Salad w/romaine, chicken, flax seeds, tomato, avocado, currants, peppers, blueberries
    Snack: StrawnanaBerry smoothie
    Snack: G2 & balance bar after weights, endurox after swim
    Dinner: Lobster, steak, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, french bread, key lime pie


    It's less than 4 weeks out from Nats. I'm not exactly feeling as beastly as planned (tired, naggy shoulder). Haven't quite decided on when to quit weights. I notice Q said 3 weeks out on Elise's blog. I'm worried, though, that that much time off my worsen the shoulder situation. So I may taper weights during week 3 and then drop weights (but not RC) for 2 weeks.

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

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  9. Friday, July 10

    by , July 10th, 2009 at 09:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    As I anticipated, I only had time for a short am swim this morning:


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill


    10 x 25 shooters @ :35

    8 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins (no time to dally!) @ 1:30

    50 EZ

    8 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ + 25 scull)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2500

    Off to do some RC exercises!


    Breakfast: oatmeal w/apple, cinnamon & brown sugar
    Post workout snack: endura, cliff bar (which apparently had oatmeal and soy in eat -- didn't taste very good!)
    Lunch: cheese & chicken burrito; smoothie w/berries, papaya etc
    Snack: peach
    Dinner: Salmon, veggies sauteed in olive oil

    Updated July 10th, 2009 at 09:21 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  10. What a b*tch, Thursday, July 9

    by , July 9th, 2009 at 11:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Could barely act like a "wanna-bee" triathlete today! I actually had to do some lawyering. I try to do as little of that as possible these days because I have my priorities straight, but I find I can't escape it entirely. And the whole evening was shot to hell as well. Fluck! (I checked the rules and it appears this is permitted.) All I could manage to do today was 30 minutes of spinning and eat some good food. And, despite all this good food, I still feel fatigued. Getting up early this week apparently did not agree with me, and I am going to neglect my children and remedy this situation next week. Hopefully, this won't get me in trouble with Smith By Marriage. My arms are also pretty sore. Could this be from the explosive lifting even though the weight was less?

    I did manage to buy myself a SR birthday present today though instead of the usual replacement designer sunglasses.


    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Lunch: cheese and mushroom quesadilla
    Snack: smoothie of the day, this time with blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
    Snacks: plum, honey dew melon, apple
    Dinner: gazpacho, saffron coucous with red pepper and tomato

    I brought fruit to the meet with me this time, so I wasn't forced to down another hamburger. I foisted some off on my wee child who swam to a PB in the 25 free, proving that she is not completely a one stroke wonder. Up for tomorrow: Family Day at soccer camp (Is this really necessary?!) and Swim Team Movie Day: "Ice age, Dawn of the Dinosaurs."

    I did make 2 purchases at Whole Foods today: traumeel and coconut water. I have not imbibed it yet, but I am hoping for a reaction somewhat less strong than Jimby's. In general, I'm not a huge fan of coconut. I guess it could become a smoothie ingredient.
    Moving on to the chard now.

    Updated July 10th, 2009 at 12:44 AM by The Fortress

  11. Assorted BS, Wednesday, July 8

    by , July 8th, 2009 at 11:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    HS hi row, 140 x 3 x 10
    rear delt fly, 55 x 3 x 10
    HS bench press, 20 x 1 x 8, 60 x 2 x 8
    tricep press, 45 x 3 x 10
    box jumps w/hands on bench, 1 x 1:00
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    back extensions w/10 lb weight, 2 x 25
    windshield wipers w/10 lb DBs, 3 x 10
    incline crunches w/10 lb weight, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    internal & external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm


    Very short workout at the summer league pool before heading off the Divisional Relays.

    Warm up

    700 variety swim, kick, drill


    6 x 50 @ 1:15
    3 fly-back, 3 breast-free

    (Side note: My backstroke has felt appalling lately. I blame it on too much freestyle, the root of all evil. My coach did the mock shock thing when I walked in for the third consecutive Tuesday freestyle night. I had to reassure her that, no, I would not be going postal with some of my teammates on Sunday.)

    10 x 25 shooters
    odds, belly
    evens, backstroke (how on earth do the kids do backstroke in these 4 foot deep pools?!)

    10 x 25 easy speed fly

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 1850 meters


    Assorted Ramblings:

    My shoulder is bothering me some again. I'm reasonably sure it's the damn planks I did yesterday. Smith will be relieved to know that I'm eliminating the wretched things from my dryland regimen, even though they're great for the core. I looked around for the ab roller today, but couldn't find it. I think that's a pretty good substitute exercise, and will switch to that regularly in the fall.

    Cut my weights by 30% today and did more explosive lifting. It occurred to me that I perhaps should have switched to explosive lifting right after Zones instead of recommencing regular strength training ... Next periodization cycle I'd like to start this sooner. (2 weeks doesn't seem like enough time?) I also think it would be better to incorporate more plyos throughout the season. (I couldn't really do that earlier this season since my hip was bothering me for awhile.) Don't think I'll have another taper meet until December, so I may formulate a plan (as opposed to just winging it) for the late-Aug-Nov time period. I'd also like to go back to a couple short runs per week in August after Nats.

    And, on the issue of swimming making me fat, which I joked about on the forums, I found this article in a quick search today. It reflects my experience. I look quite different than I did 4 years ago. YMMV

    I picked a tick off my littlest kid tonight after the swim meet out in the boonies. Really annoyed and hoping it wasn't one of the lyme disease carrying kind. I may live in a traffic infested area, but at least I don't live in a tick infested area. On an up note, Mini Fort looked slightly perkier for the first time in a long time and I think both of her 13-14 relays may sneak into All Star relays. We'll know tomorrow after all Divisions report times. Team Fastskin was, as expected, clad in tech suits. I told Mini that her team could raid our tech suit collection and suit up for the All Star meet if they make it. The kids were very enthusiastic about the idea. Haha. There needs to be a little fun for the mono kid. And I have yet to meet many age groupers who are purists. :P (Though most won't be seen in a tech suit at a non-champs meet.)

    For Geek: I saw a moment today when my 8 year old appeared to have "the hate" in her. I smiled at that.

    I'm not sure if I'll get in a workout tomorrow ... Might only get a chance to hop on the indoor cycle. Tomorrow night, my usual practice time, there is yet another summer league meet, boy vs. girl meet, points scored by swimming a PB. (It's good for the little kids I guess to get more racing practice.) This meet also features the Gutter Guppy Relays where parents are put into teams for the swimmers' "amusement." We do one legit relay, but then a bunch of made up crap. As I dimly recall in my advancing senility, last year, I had to push a beach ball with my nose and do reverse doggy paddle with a kick board on my ass. This year, I'm told, some relay will involve toy soldiers. Our social chair is a real peach.

    Our theme for our last Saturday home meet is caveman. We have a theme for every A meet. Not sure I have appropriate gear for this one ...


    Food log for Bob:

    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, tomato & mushroom, strawberries
    G2 at gym
    Lunch: salad w/romaine, avocado, grilled chicken, currants, flax seeds and other stuff I forget
    Snack: smoothie w/mango, banana, strawberry, flax seed oil, L-glutamine and whey protein (no bee pollen for this "wanna-bee")
    Dinner: hamburger w/lettuce, tomato & onion. (I fear I may grow to hate hamburgers after all these summer league meets. On the upside, I seem to never have to cook dinner in the summer. I gave Fort Son cash for the next two nights and told him to knock himself out in my absence by inviting his friends over for pizza and swimming.)
    Snack: slice of quiche, blueberries

    I am contemplating doing a modified version of Patrick's detox after Nats. Don't really want to attempt one before.

    Updated July 9th, 2009 at 12:37 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  12. Tuesday, July 7

    by , July 8th, 2009 at 12:15 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    30 minutes of very relaxed un-triathlete-like spinning on my indoor cycle followed by some RC exercises.


    Warm up:

    3 x 200 (swim, kick, swim)
    200 IM drill
    3 x 300 swim

    (I think this was it. I was late and missed the first 600 or so.)

    6 x vertical kicking. Hands at shoulders for 20 seconds, arms in streamline for 10 seconds, squat jump off bottom of pool. 3 free, 3 fly

    Main sets:

    4 x (4 x 50) w/fins:

    #1 backstroke kick @ 1:10
    #2 dolphin kick @ 1:10
    #3 freestyle w/overkick @ 1:00
    #4 back or fly @ 1:00

    (These are so much harder in LCM than SCY!)

    100 EZ

    12 x 100 @ 1:30

    1-8 swim
    9-12 pull optional
    #10 = 89%
    #11 = 90%
    #12 = 100%

    I kicked the last 4. Went around 1:15-16 on the swims and 1:17s on the kicks. The kicks were vastly easier. The swims made me breathe harder.

    200 C/D

    Total (for me): 3200 meters



    There was some discussion about cramping today. Two of my teammates who dislike bananas are drinking coconut water every day. It is apparently a super potassium drink superior to bananas. FWIW.

    I'm still feeling fatigued, but am thinking my sore throat might be due to my recent ingestion of bee pollen. I have given some by a runner friend who swears by it to throw in smoothies or recovery drinks. I took a quick look at bee pollen on line today. Found an interesting website, and found this on bee pollen:

    Since I suffer from ragweed allergies, I think this may be the cause of my sore throat, not mono! lol


    Not sure when to stop weights/drylands again. I'm thinking of switching to lighter explosive weights until 2 weeks out.



    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Snack: G2
    Post spin Lunch: smoothie w/mango, peach, blackberries, vanilla yogurt, flax seed oil, L-Glutamine, bee pollen & whey protein, can't remember what else I ate ...
    Snack: banana, balance bar before practice -- no time for a real dinner
    Post swim food: G2 & balance bar in car, grilled cheese & tomato sandwich at home. 2 glasses of chard. Snacked on potato chips late at night.

    Updated July 8th, 2009 at 10:47 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  13. Monday, July 6

    by , July 6th, 2009 at 10:56 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    bench press, 50 x 1 x 3, 70 x 1 x 3, 90 x 3 x 8
    standing lat pull down, 140 x 2 x 10
    goblet squat w/50 pound weight, 2 x 15
    bicycles on bosu, 2 x 50
    planks, 3 x 1:00
    internal and external rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches w/elevated feet, 2 x 25
    arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 15
    windshield wipers, 2 x 10

    10 minutes stretching


    Couldn't get to the pool today. Still draggin' and have a sore throat. Really hoping it's not you know what, but it has crept into my mind. Hoping to go to my LC practice tomorrow night.

    Noticed that Jazz Hands was doing fast butterfly pulls with bands today. This is from Ande's tip, [ame=""]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster[/ame]. I think I should incorporate these. It seems like a slightly different version of the Cavic fly drill. Jazz does them fast, so they are more of an explosive weight exercise.



    Breakfast: 2 slices of Ezekial bread toast w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Post weight snack: Smoothie w/banana, tuscan melon, blueberries, vanilla yogurt, L-Glutamine, bee pollen, flax seed oil and whey protein
    Late Lunch: 2 slices of quiche, raspberries
    Snack: apple
    Dinner: gyros at yet another summer league meet


    Got an email from the meet director of Junior Champs that I was entered in the meet. A whopping 2 events, but that's all I feel like swimming 2 weeks before Nats. Got this link via email today from USA Swimming re: RC:

    Updated July 6th, 2009 at 11:26 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  14. Sunday, July 5

    by , July 5th, 2009 at 07:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Took another day off yesterday. Feeling a bit under the weather. Mr. Fort was under the weather for awhile last week with fatigue, headache, fever, etc. So I think we both have/had a minor bout of flu or something. It is absolutely rampant in the area.

    Did go to the pool for a short swim today. Did stretch and do RC exercises yesterday.


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Main sets:

    8 x 100 @ 1:50
    50 single arm fly drill + 50 backstroke kick

    20 x 25 UW shooters on back w/fins @ :35

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 2450

    Swam another 400 or so with Lil Fort. She likes to dolphin kick.



    Yesterday (if I remember correctly)

    Breakfast: Ezekial toast w/peanut butter, blueberries
    Lunch: hamburger w/lettuce, tomato, onion
    (Hamburgers seems to be a staple of summer swim league and post meet outings)
    Snack: smoothie w/banana, strawberries, vanilla yogurt
    Dinner: grilled chicken, loads of veggies sauteed in olive oil
    Snack: blue corn chips & salsa


    Breakfast: omelet w/tomato, mushrooms & cheese, blueberries (while watching tennis)
    Lunch: salad w/veggies, mango
    Snack: smoothie w/mango, peach, blackberries and vanilla yogurt
    Dinner: steak, tomato & avocado salad, wine w/GF

    Smoothies: My kids are obsessed with smoothies lately. I find it a good excuse to serve up the fresh fruit with a dose of flax seed oil, whey protein, bee pollen and L-Glutamine mixed in.

    Updated July 5th, 2009 at 11:44 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Sat on my ass all day, Saturday, June 3

    by , July 3rd, 2009 at 09:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Although I have no desire whatsoever to be a so-called "weekend warrior," I felt compelled to sit on my ass all day to rest the sore hammies. Well, I did technically stand for 3 hours (and, sadly, was forced to issue a couple backstroke turn DQs), but I did not seek to exercise in any way, shape or form. I went to a movie (Public Enemies -- not very good), drank beer and ate pizza with friends and failed to stretch.

    I was chatting with my sometime workout buddy Wally today at our local relay meet (he was exerting himself with a 25 breast). He informed me that we, in a lapse into the "it's just masters" mentality no doubt, had both missed the entry deadline for junior and senior champs. We were both sending out emails today to see if we could sneak into these meets.

    As I was doing this, I received the following email from my coach about all the events in the area:

    One local swim meet and lots of open water swims coming up. Feel free to enter:

    July 19 - DCRP LCM Meet - (outdoors!) Hains Point -Washington DC - (meetentries postmarked by July 10)

    July 11 - Swim for Life (1,2,3,4, or 5 miles) - Chestertown
    MD (hosted by DCAC)

    Jul 11 Captain Craig 1 mile swim - Ocean City, MD
    More info:

    Jul 11 1-3 Mile Open Water Championships (2 miles) -
    Canandaigua Lake, Canandaigua, NY

    Jul 11 Chris Greene Lake Cable Swim, Charlottesville VA -

    Jul 11 Swim for the Dolphins Wildwood Crs, NJ

    Jul 11 1st Annual East Hampton Ocean Rescue Ocean Swim -
    $35.00 day-of
    registration Registration begins at 7:00 A.M. at Kirk Park
    beach (next
    to IGA as one comes in to Montauk) Race time 8:00 A.M.
    Distances 2 mile, 1 mile, 1/2 mile swimming west to east
    along the
    bluffs of Montauk and ending at Ditch Plains Beach Shirts,
    caps provided
    All proceeds are going to the Montauk Playhouse Foundation
    and East
    Hampton Ocean Rescue Questions...e-mail John Ryan @ or call @ 631 324-2787

    Jul 18 Ocean City Masters Swim Ocean City, NJ

    Jul 18 Aquathlon: Stars & Stripes Swim 1.5 K / Run 5 K
    Riverside Park Tune Up Swim 1.5 K New York NY

    Jul 18 Greenwich Point 1 mile Swim; Greenwich, CT

    Jul 25 Swim Barnegat 1 Mile Swim Barnegat, NJ

    Aug 1 USMS 6+ Mile Open Water Championships (10 km) -
    Little Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan, Harbor Springs, MI

    Aug 8 - 2 mile Island Beach Swim - Greenwich, VA

    Aug 9 Grimaldo's Mile - Coney Island, NY -

    Aug 15 USMS 2009 2-Mile Cable Championships - Mirror Lake,
    Lake Placid, NY

    Aug 15 Against the Tide 1 Mile Swim Brewster, MA

    Aug 15 Save the Bay 1.7 mile Swim Newport, RI

    Aug 16 Pennock Island Challenge 8 miles Ketchikan Alaska

    Oct 18 - Bermuda Round the Sound 10K, 7.25K, 4K, 2K, or .8K
    Swim -

    Aug 22 Clean Harbor Swim Gloucester MA

    Sep 12 USMS 2009 3-6 Mile Open Water Championships (5 km) -
    Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

    Sep 12 Brooklyn Bridge Swim 1K New York NY

    Sep 12 Swim for Life - Provincetown MA

    Sep 26 Little Red Lighthouse Swim 5.85 Mile New York NY

    Oct 18 - St. Croix 5 mile swim - St. Croix VI

    Seems a tad bit lopsided, no? I guess, if I don't get into my preferred meet, I could attend Hains Point. I just am not a fan of this pool or swimming backstroke outdoors.

    Someday, if I don't have a taper meet in the summer and am actually running more regularly (is that allowed for masters or did I just dream up the neurotic runners I know who wirelessly download their Garmin 405 workout stats?), I'd like to do the Stars & Stripes Aquathlon purely for fun. I guess this kind of low key fun is permissible, right?

    Updated July 4th, 2009 at 03:04 PM by The Fortress

  16. Thursday, July 2

    by , July 2nd, 2009 at 11:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    50 crunches, squats & lunges (My hamstrings were sore from my squats at the gym yesterday, so I skipped the squats and lunges.)

    400 swim
    300 kick
    200 swim
    100 scull

    Main sets:

    2 x 250 pull, breathe 3-5-3, 30 RI
    I ignored this and breathed every stroke. I loped and breathed to the left. Quite like this, I just have to remember to kick continuously if I lope.

    6 x

    75 fast kick @ 2:00
    75 ascending swim @ 1:30 (AFAP to slow by 25s) done as free/fly/free/back/free/breast

    This was quite odd. We literally stopped in the middle of the pool at the 75 and waited for the 2:00 sendoff. It's very difficult to go from a dead stop to AFAP and difficult to ascend in general ... Very tiring set.

    50 EZ

    10 x 100 @ 1:45
    odds = 75 free/25 back
    evens = 75 back/25 free

    (I just went fast free w/fins on the odds @ 1:11-12 and backstroke kick on the evens. Tired arms.)

    1 x 50 fast

    I was seriously not in the mood to do this. It's hard to sprint after 3500 meters or so for me. I like my sprinting earlier, throughout the workout or completely separate. My legs were shot and calves were crampy. Brad and I did push off fast 50s. Most others went from the blocks. I went a :28 in fly w/fins.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3650 meters


    Almost didn't make the trek to practice tonight. I was very tired. But I decided to take tomorrow off. Though I will be standing around for a good 3 hours stroking & turning tomorrow am at our relay meet.

    My teammate Mark Jones "complimented" me on the freestyle set from Tuesday. He said, given that I am a sprinter, he was "sure I would die," shocked when I didn't, and wondered how I had much aerobic conditioning when I train mostly solo. (He had been going second in our lane.) At least he didn't call me an f'in beech. That was someone else. He was just joking of course, giving me a hard time for joining THT for Nats. Still only two other GMUP people attending Nats though ...

    I sent in my entries for Nationals last night.

    50 fly
    200 back
    50 evil
    100 back
    50 free
    50 back

    Entered a 3:10 in the 200 back. The look up time feature is quite helpful. Much harder to sandbag that way.

    Was told I might do a 50 evil on a medley relay. Must be hard up!



    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, p. mushrooms and tomatoes, papaya
    Lunch: tuna melt sandwich on Ezekial bread with cheese and tomatoes, peach slices, green grapes
    Snack: apple
    Dinner: Sent Mr. Fort and the kids off to a swim team BBQ at the pool and I had two cheese & ben burritos, blueberries
    Post swim snack: G2, balance bar, lemon bar (I had made them for the swim team dinner, couldn't resist.)

    Updated July 2nd, 2009 at 11:59 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  17. Wednesday, July 1

    by , July 1st, 2009 at 08:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    squats on machine, 140 x 1 x 4, 190 x 1 x 10, 200 x 1 x 10, 210 x 1 x 10
    tricep press, 65 x 2 x 10
    total ab machine, 130 x 1 x 15, 140 x 2 x 15
    body rows, 4 x 15
    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 3 x 15
    incline crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    bicycles on bosu, 3 x 25

    external rotators, 10 x 4 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches w/5 lb weights, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25

    (I'm sure I forgot something again. Can't remember a dang thing these days ...)


    30 minutes focusing on the shoulders. As expected, my left shoulder was sore from all the freestyle last night.

    Mike Heather posted this on a thread:

    "I was given several exercises to do to strengthen the small back shoulder muscles which get very little attention in the weight room (or anywhere else until the shoulder hurts too much). But the coup de grace for my pain was changing my recovery thusly: after finishing the free stroke, no matter how much body roll you use, the palm of the recovering hand should face the water's surface. If you watch a practice, you will notice that many swimmers tend to finish their stroke and continue the motion of the hand, resulting in a twisting motion that has the back of the hand turned toward the water until it (the hand) reaches shoulder level, at which time it turns around to prepare for entry and the beginning of the next stroke."

    I think I'm doing this with my left arm on freestyle. I need to take a lesson out of She Puff's book and shorten up my stroke and exit earlier when I'm not sprinting. Breathing on the left seems to help this somewhat.

    Does anyone know specific exercises/weights to target the small back muscles? My lats in particular are frequently sore. I know the internal/external rotators are good for his, but is there anything else? May have to research this issue some.


    40 minutes on indoor cycle. Went pretty easy, but still worked up a sweat


    Mini Fort reports that her swim friends at swim camp are doing a lot of running and squats. She didn't run at her camp, but then it didn't focus on conditioning. She did spend a lot of time using cords & racks.

    I really miss running. As some girl experienced, it is flat out the best exercise for weight control. I'm going to re-start after Nationals. I used to run 2x a week pretty regularly. I've pretty much cut that out over the last 8 months except for the occasional short run. This apparently has a very good effect on my swimming, but nothing else.


    Breakfast: blueberry muffin, blueberries
    Snack: banana, balance bar,
    Lunch: quiche, watermelon
    Snack: G2, strawberry banana smoothie (no time for a real lunch)
    Dinner: steak, shrimp, salad w/veggies

    So far, I haven't really noticed any significant impact from my "healthy substitution" plan. I've been cheating slightly more lately due to busy-ness.

    Updated July 2nd, 2009 at 12:38 AM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
  18. Freestyler Invaded My Body Tonight, Tuesday, June 30

    by , June 30th, 2009 at 11:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drove out to Mason for freestyle night. I usually succeed in avoiding Tuesday practice. But have been attempting to get more LC practices in, so there I was. Rather than wimp out and do backstroke, I bucked up and did the main set all freestyle. To my shock, this was probably one of my best freestyle practices ever. I started out briskly, and, to my astonishment, didn't die. Perhaps because I didn't lift weights this am?

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    4 x 50 kick
    200 IM drill

    (I missed drylands -- bicycles, planks, and crunches -- and a 200 pull.)

    Main set:

    3 x through:

    1 x 300 free @ 4:30
    1 x 200 free @ 3:00
    1 x 100 free @ 1:30
    extra 30 seconds rest

    #1 & 2 = swim, fins optional
    #3 = pull

    I used fins, as I always do on freestyle sets. No pulling for me. I find freestyle confusing and difficult when I'm doing anything other than an AFAP 50. Lately, I've tried switching to a loping freestyle, breathing every stroke to the left. This tends to correct my over-reaching/crossing over issue with my left arm somewhat. I've also been concentrating on kicking. Went around 3:52-55s on the 300s, around 2:32ish on the 200s (Can't remember times on the 300s and 200s precisely; I was concentrating on beating fast boys with big paddles/fins and got much more rest than I thought I would.) and 1:13, 1:13, 1:11 on the 100s. This is fast for me LC.

    100 EZ

    Speed set:

    200 stroke (drill, scull, drill, swim)(I used all the 200s as recovery)
    2 x 50 stroke fast @ 1:30
    (did backstroke w/fins, went 30-31s)
    (cramped on this, hadn't done that in awhile ...)
    200 stroke (drill, scull, drill, swim)
    2 x 50 kick fast @ 1:30
    200 stroke (drill, scull, drill, swim)
    2 x 50 stroke fast w/fins
    (did 28 on fly & 30 on back)

    100 EZ

    Total: 3600 meters


    Feeling very at the moment. I won't swim tomorrow; I'll try to bike and lift, if I have time for both. I've found I can't have a very productive swim practice the afternoon after a hard LC practice at night. Now, I'm off to eat more food and ice my shoulder.

    Updated June 30th, 2009 at 11:42 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  19. Monday, June 29

    by , June 29th, 2009 at 05:30 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic sets:

    10 x 25 shooters @ :35

    10 x 50 @ :55
    odds, kick
    evens, backstroke

    50 EZ

    Speed set:

    8 x (50 backstroke w/fins AFAP + 100 EZ)

    Went 25-25.5 on all

    100 C/D

    Total: 2800


    Now getting ready for our 3 hour Monday night meet ... It will be interesting to see how many incorrect backstroke turn DQs there are.

    I need to get myself signed up for Nationals and Junior Champs. Trying to decide what to swim, and whether to attempt the 100 fly, at the latter.

    Updated June 29th, 2009 at 10:56 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  20. Sunday, June 28

    by , June 28th, 2009 at 07:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    bench press, 70 x 1 x 4, 80 x 3 x 8
    low row on machine, 100 x 1 x 10, 110 x 1 x 10, 120 x 1 x 10
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 30
    ab machine, 100 x 1 x 15, 110 x 1 x 14, 120 x 1 x 15, 130 x 1 x 15, 140 x 1 x 10
    back extensions w/10 lb plate overhead, 2 x 15
    forward lunges w/20 lb weights, 2 x 20
    squat swing w/25 lb plate, 1 x 15 (this caused a twinge in the left scapular area, so I stopped)

    external rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches w/hand weights and elevated feet, 2 x 25
    arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 15 (front, V, side)

    10 minutes stretching

    20 minutes on ellipse machine


    Very short swim. Really exhausted from lack of sleep and misadventures of last night (see below). Focused solely on technique, no energy for any hard sets or fast swimming on my own.

    Warm up:

    600 variety swim, kick, drill

    Technique set:

    32 x 25s, done as

    16 x 25, 2 x through:

    1-4 UW shooters (scraped bottom a few times)
    5-8 easy speed fly, focusing on DPS and breakouts
    9-12 backstroke, focusing on breakouts
    13-16 breaststroke, focusing on pullout and breakout

    100 C/D

    Total: 1500 meters


    Not such a great night. Shortly after 9:00 pm, Mr. Fort gashed his calf muscle on some broken glass and I had to rush him to the ER. No nerve damage or trip to the OR, but 20 stitches. He won't be able to do anything for 2 weeks and can't run for perhaps 2 months depending on how it heals (can bike sooner, however). He is worse than me; he may need anti-depressants to combat the exercise deprivation. We didn't get home from the ER until 3:00 am. That's the third night in a row of going to sleep in the wee hours for me. I've been in a bit of a sleep deprived daze. Nothing compared to Mr. Fort's plight, but enough to keep me from being able to do any hard aerobic conditioning or speed work. Hopefully, I can catch up on sleep this week.

    Still feel like I got in a decent week of training after my wasteful tapering: 5 swims (14,300 meters), 4 gym sessions, 3 bikes and a couple very short run/ellipse sessions.


    Food front had been pretty good the last few days. Eaten plenty of lean meat, fish, veggies, salads, fruit etc. I haven't eaten a proper breakfast in the last couple days, as I've had to dash out of the house. That is NOT a good thing.

    Kate Ziegler:

    Here's an article from yesterday's paper on Kate Ziegler revealing that she was "burned out" by the Olympics.

    I've heard a rumor that she may join another team. A couple of the faster guys she trains with on The Fish are heading to college next year and she might be without training partners ... Perhaps she could use a change of venue, much like Hoff did?

    Updated June 28th, 2009 at 08:29 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Ellipse Machine