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  1. Just Cruisin', Thursday, Sept. 17

    by , September 17th, 2009 at 08:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    850 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic work:

    3 x (4 x 50) @ 1:00
    #1-3 = UW SDK
    #4 = EZ free

    50 EZ

    5 x (3 x 100)
    #1 = free @ 1:40
    #2 = back or breast @ 1:40/1:50
    #3 = backstroke kick @ 1:50

    50 EZ

    Total: 3050



    Barely broke a sweat today. Just cruised along.

    Got a massage today and they worked on my calf. It feels worse now though. I was running around at Fort Son's cross country meet today watching the runners and I was limping a bit. I hope I haven't pulled a "Quick" and strained it too much. I though it was just sore from the cramping in practice, but it could be the seated leg curl machine or the runs or a combo ... Oh, well, won't need it much except for the transition area for the OW swim. But I hope it's fine by the Fall Ball where I will need it! Got my "Leg Cramps" product (with quinine) in the mail today. Going to start taking it right away.


    Question: Can someone tell me what is legal to wear under your wetsuit these days?

    My Savageman relay mate sent this to Mr. Fort today, which gave me a laugh:

    "Happy Birthday! How about celebrating your birthday by going on a leisurely Sunday bike ride with the following hills? Congrats on the milestone birthday!"

    Name/"Savage" CategoryAvg Grade/Max Grade:

    Toothpick, 4th Savagery,0.25 mi, 9%,16%

    Westernport, Hors Savage, 1.2 mi, 12%, 31%

    Big Savage Mtn, 1st Savagery, 2.4 mi, 6%, 21%

    Savage River State Forest, 4th Savagery, 2.8 mi, 4%, 7%

    McAndrews Hill, 2nd Savagery, 0.6 mi, 9%, 19%

    Otto Lane, 2nd Savagery, 0.6 mi, 8%, 17%

    Killer Miller, Hors Savage, 1.3 mi, 8%,

    Maynardier Ridge, 3rd Savagery, 0.25 mi, 12%,

    The percentages are the average grade and maximum grades. Ouch!

    Doing Savageman is part of his birthday present ... if anyone was wondering the reason for my OW craziness ... Although Eney Jones remarked on FB that she had read someone predicting that I would now become an OW swimmer since B70s are legal there. hahaha

    Happy Notes:

    I received my certificate for breaking a NR in the 50 back at Colonies Zones in the mail today. I still can't believe it really happened ... lol

    After months of pestering my health insurance company, I believe they are going to cave and pay my claim for the PRP treatments I received in 2008. They had previously denied the claim as, among other things, "experimental." It helped to have letters from my chiro and doc for the appeals and that WSJ article. And, seriously, it was way cheaper than surgery!

    Updated September 17th, 2009 at 10:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  2. Wetsuit workout + Weights, Wed., Sept 16

    by , September 16th, 2009 at 05:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Since I missed yesterday, I decided to get a short weight session in despite not wanting to do doubles this week. Didn't do too much. Had to restrain myself. lol

    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    bicycles, 2 x 50
    decline reverse crunches, 3 x 25
    HS hi row, 90 x 1 x 5, 110 x 1 x 5, 130 x 1 x 10, 150 x 1 x 10, 170 x 1 x 10
    HS bench press, 50 x 1 x 5, 70 x 1 x 5, 80 x 3 x 10
    alternating hammers, 20 DBs x 2 x 30
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches w/handweights, 2 x 25
    scapular wall slides, 2 x 25

    15 minutes of stretching. Tried to work on my right calf; I feel like I strained something there ... Keep forgetting to use the damn foam roller. I have a 30 minute massage scheduled for tomorrow to work on it.

    Saw a very buff guying doing a cool exercise today that was sort of like Chris' Bruce Lee leg raises. He was using the bar where I do hanging ab work. He did a hanging straight leg raise and then just kept going, keeping his legs straight all the way up to the bar where his hands were. Crazy. Naturally, I tried it -- couldn't do it at all. Damn weak core!



    Drove to the Rec Center to do a wetsuit workout with my 2XU. I know pool workouts can't really simulate OW, but I gave it a bit of a whirl with a set of 22 x 100 (The half iron is 2112, assuming one swims straight). I didn't go all out at all, but tried to build into the swims and keep a pretty good clip. The first 5 were basically extended warm up. I wore fins to de-weight the shoulder, but didn't kick at all or SDK off the turns. So I don't think they decreased my times too much. I mentally swam the 100s in groups of 5 so I wouldn't lose count as I am wont to do at virtually any distance ... I had decided to take 15 seconds of rest between the 100s, figuring I'd go around 1:10s. (This is my version of a short rest set, though I know some of you crazies do much worse.) When I went under 1:10, I just took 17-18 seconds rest.

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick

    Main set:

    22 x 100

    #1-5, went 1:10s @ :15 RI
    #6-10, went 1:08-09 @ :16-17 RI
    #11-15, went 1:07-08 @ :17-18 RI
    #16-17, went 1:07 @ :18 RI
    #18-22, went 1:05-07 @ :18-20 RI

    I didn't take any extra rest between the sets, just swam straight through. I swam the set, including the rest, in 29:30. The rest constituted about 5 minutes of the swim. Obviously wouldn't have gone quite as fast on the 100 splits without the rest (and wouldn't go as fast in OW w/o the pool walls). On the other hand, I wasn't going all out by any stretch. I didn't feel terrifically tired afterward, though I feel some arm fatigue now. It's hard for me to judge how long I can keep up a fairly fast rate without going into a nasty lactic acid phase. I think I'll try some alternating bursts of sprinting and cruising throughout the race.

    I also began overheating at about #12, so suffered some on the last 10. When I took my wetsuit off afterward, my skin was hot. The pool temp was 82; Deep Creek is expected to be 68. So I shouldn't have this problem there.

    I realize afterward that I should have done some sighting in there. Geek tells me he doesn't breathe when he sights. This seems like smart advice because then you're not lifting your head too high and disrupting your body position.

    Then I did:

    200 EZ

    3 x (100 scull, 100 goswim free drill, 100 fly drill)

    100 EZ

    Total: 3800



    Has anyone used the Roctane GU gel instead of the regular GU gel? I tried one today. I can't say I noticed any real difference (besides price). But it was thinner than regular GU, which I think tends to taste like frosting. So, this seemed like a plus. And I liked the blueberry-pomegranate flavor.

    OW notes:

    1. Ande gave me the following helpful advice:

    "swim the first 200 very strong,
    then look around, who ever's near you must be pretty good, settle in behind them and draft
    when you're close to the finish line attempt to sprint past them and win

    size matters,
    find a fast large person & draft,
    the bigger the better

    180 lbs or more is ideal
    150 - 180: OK
    120 - 150: not so good
    120 or less: avoid
    100 pounders don't make much current

    Watch the field look for challengers

    Eye the course & know the currents.
    even if you're drafting, check now and then to make sure you're swimming the right direction"

    No one should want to draft off me!

    2. I've also been told it's a good idea to dolphin dive to the finish when you're hands can almost touch the bottom. Never would have thought of that.

    3. I also tried my B70 goggles today. I bought the yellow mirrored ones. They were actually cheaper than the usual Speedo goggles I use and astonishingly comfortable. I really liked them.

    Fall Ball:

    Got an email from the meet director confirming that there will be touch pads and that we can do split requests. I'm really happy about the touch pads b/c I hate doing backstroke starts without them. Plus, it's nice to get your splits when you're swimming 100s and 200s! I hope the new pool is nice.

    Updated September 16th, 2009 at 10:54 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  3. Meet Entries

    by , September 15th, 2009 at 09:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Fall Ball & Sprint Classic:

    Remembered to enter the Fall Ball online tonight at the last minute. I wasn't crazy about the order of events, and there are no stroke 50s or 100 IM. I entered:

    200 back
    100 back
    100 free
    200 IM

    I won't swim both the 100 free and 200 IM. I'll just see what I feel like swimming once I'm there. The 200 IM I swam last year was the most painful thing ever, so it will probably be the 100 free (if I'm not gassed after the backstroke events). There are unofficial stroke relays there as well that sound pretty fun. Haven't done one of those since I was a kid.

    I think for the Sprint Classic I'm going to swim the four 50s and the four 25s. I'd like to swim the 100 fly before the end of the year, but I swam that last year at the Classic and I have a yen to do the quad 50s. The 100 fly is right between the 50 back and 50 breast.


    The procedure went fine today. No ulcers. I was a little foolish to think I was going to work out today though ... I took a 3 hour nap instead and was kinda groggy the rest of the day. Back at it tomorrow.


    Anyone ever tried this recovery drink?

    Updated September 16th, 2009 at 09:55 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. Swiped Patrick's Workout, Monday, Sept. 14

    by , September 14th, 2009 at 09:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I stole and modified one of Patrick's recent workouts today:


    700 variety warm up

    8 x 25 UW shooters @ :30

    50 EZ

    Main set:

    This was intended to be a quality IM set where the IMs were fast. Since I am ramping down the intensity some this week, I did the IMs @ about 80%. (Since I almost never do IMs this is hard to judge, however.) Oddly, the 100 IM hurt worse than the other two. The IMs were the only things I swam with fins b/c of fly. My breast pull feel better now that I've been really trying to squeeze my elbows together.

    5 x 200 free (aerobic) @ 2:50
    50 EZ
    100 IM fast (went 1:05)
    100 EZ
    50 SDK on back fast
    50 EZ

    5 x 100 back (aerobic) @ 1:30
    50 EZ
    200 IM fast (2:24)
    100 EZ
    50 flutter kick w/board fast
    50 EZ

    5 x 50 dolphin kick w/board (aerobic) @ :50
    50 EZ
    400 IM fast (4:59)
    100 EZ
    50 SDK on back fast w/fins (23 mid)

    200 EZ

    Total: 4300



    Yes, I swam a 400 IM! lol First one in forever. I can't believe I used to regularly swim this vomity event as an age grouper. I even had my college record in it for awhile. It was not at an elite swimming college obviously.

    I was a bit tired today. I think I have some accumulated fatigue from 3 weeks of hard training. Not going to do any doubles this week and ramp down the intensity some. Hoping to lift tomorrow -- I'll see how I feel after the procedure tomorrow am. Going to lay off the legs this week.

    Cool drill/plyo:

    I took my lil lil Fort to her first USS swim practice today. I was shocked she wanted to swim USS b/c she didn't like swimming much until this summer. Anyway, while her little group was stretching, I watched the seniors for a bit. They did a neat drill/dryland where they did streamline jumps on deck, plyo-jumped feet first into the pool, jump squated off the bottom of the pool, did a dolphin dive and SDK'd UW to the other end. Looked fun! I'm definitely going to do that to spice up a workout. Maybe next week.


    I posted the Savageman swim to response to one of Rob's comments. [ame=""]YouTube - SavageMan Triathlon Half Swim Course[/ame]

    It's kind of odd ... it looks like it almost goes up on the beach halfway through. I can't imagine they're going to make us climb out of the water?

    Originally, relays were assigned to the first wave, which I though was good. They've been moved to the second wave with the 25-29 year old men. Not so thrilled about that. Here is Jimby's advice:

    "These guys are all going to be sprinting at the outset. I say: rope a dope the jerks, let them thrash away, kick each other in the head, use up all their testosterone in underwater fisticuffs, and the other standard triathletic strategies.

    Start on the outside of the pack. It is not worth getting kicked on swum over or otherwise pummeled. They will exhaust themselves quickly, then you can tortoise-and-hare the mfkr's good. ...

    So this distance is 2112 yards, assuming you swim straight, which is almost impossible to do perfectly. Imagine you were racing this distance in a pool. Would it EVER make sense to go out really fast at the beginning? Personally, I don't think so. Once you get lactate, it's hard to get rid of the stuff. Again, let the brutes battle it ..."

    Updated September 15th, 2009 at 11:36 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. Team Practice, Sunday, Sept. 13

    by , September 13th, 2009 at 12:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam with Mason today. I really liked the workout:

    Warm up:

    500 swim
    200 kick
    200 IM drill
    100 fly drills
    100 scull

    I skipped the pulling and did:

    6 x 50 kick w/fins @ :45

    Main sets:

    12 x 25 @ :40 w/fins
    3 fast UW + 1 EZ

    Went 10s. Slammed my hand on the first one. I have to start decelerating before the flags on these.

    6 x 75 @ 1:15
    2 of each stroke, used fins

    I didn't pay too much attention to my times on these, though I was working them fairly hard. My flys were 42s. I thought my last free was 38, but that seems pretty quick.

    100 EZ

    4 x 150 kick @ 2:45 (no fins)

    I kicked backstroke and went 2:11s or so on all of them.

    50 EZ

    4 x 150 stroke @ 2:20

    I did backstroke w/fins and went approx. 1:42, 1:43, 1:44, 1:44. I was pacing with Brad who was swimming free. He dropped me like a bad habit on the last one.

    250 EZ

    Total: 3800

    Chatted in and out of hottub.

    Heading to the tri store with Mr. Fort today to buy him some warm bike gear for the tri. Probably just do RC work later.
    Swim Workouts
  6. Rocked out at the Gym, Friday, Sept. 11

    by , September 11th, 2009 at 07:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I woke up rather tired today, but dragged myself off to the gym this afternoon and got going pretty quickly. I had a much longer time to work out as my little one was at a playdate. So I got in a pretty major workout, which I'm sure I'll feel tomorrow. And I didn't have to skimp on RC exercises! I increased weight on most exercises and skipped the pushing and pulling today.


    10 minutes on bike to warm up

    bicep curl w/BB, 30 x 1 x 15, 40 x 2 x 15
    leg extensions, 90 x 3 x 15
    seated leg curls, 110 x 3 x 15
    HS rear delt fly, 85 x 3 x 12
    overhead tricep press w/BB, 30 x 3 x 15
    goblet squats, 60 x 3 x 15
    cable twists w/yoga ball, 50 x 2 x 15, each side
    decline reverse crunches, 3 x 25
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    plyo: 2 forward lunges + broadjump, 1 x 15
    reverse knee flexion on Free Motion hamstring machine, 15 x 5 x 10 each leg
    (did this laying down, with foot in strap, pulling knee to chest)
    lying leg raise w/weight on double cable free motion machine, 50 x 2 x 15
    (lie on back, hook cable handles around shoes, pull down, slowly lift legs up and lift ass off the ground, lower and pull legs down against weight)

    RC work:

    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    prone scapular scrunches w/handweights, 3 x 25
    chops on yoga ball w/handweights, 2 x 15 with thumbs down and 2 x 15 with thumbs up
    scapular wall slide, 2 x 25
    overhead med ball toss on wall, 2 x 50

    stretch 15 minutes

    ate a balance bar and headed to the pool ...


    Put on my 2XU today. It seemed to fit very well, and I didn't mind the sleeves at all. (I know some OW swimmers hate them.) It's also a little strange feeling some water swooshing in the wetsuit. Only had time for a quick workout, and I was pretty tired from yesterday's workout and today's long weight session:

    500 warm up

    8 x 100 @ 1:40

    50 EZ

    200 fly drills

    200 goswim free drill that Quick posted

    200 scull

    50 EZ

    Total: 2000 meters

    Note: I was going much faster in these 100s than I did the last time I did 100s on this interval with the same perceived level of effort.


    Weekly totals:

    Swim: 5x (15,200)
    Weights/dryland: 4x
    Run: 1x

    Looking forward to my scheduled day off tomorrow. Having a big birthday party at the house for Mini Fort, cross country met and soccer game for Lil lil Fort, so no time to work out anyway.

    The plan for next week is to work S-M-T and then take it a bit easier the next 3-4 days. I'm feeling pretty beat up from drylands and don't want to swim a long race super tired from weights. Oddly, though I absolutely thrashed my legs this week with weights and kicking, my shoulders feel more sore than the legs ...

    I was reflecting today that a year ago I almost quit weights because I was always so sore. By comparison, I now feel like a gym rat!

    Updated September 12th, 2009 at 09:54 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  7. Swimming with Speedo, Thursday, Sept. 10

    by , September 10th, 2009 at 07:41 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Traveled to Mason today to swim with Speedo -- the teammate I never get to train with because he prefers the 4:45 am sessions with Coach Distance.


    Today, we did a power sprint workout thusly:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    10 x 50 free @ 45

    10 x 25 shooters @ :30
    (5 belly, 5 back)

    50 EZ

    Nasty Ass Power Kick Set:

    5 x 100 w/~30sec between, done by 25s as:

    *** Push off, kick 12-13 high cycle SDK's surfacing into cruise free with a strong 6 beat (overkick);
    *** at the first wall finish hands first and go immediately into a 10 second all out kick against the wall (painful);
    *** Stop, then backstroke start (no blocks today ), 12-13 high cycle SDK's then cruise backstroke (no overkicking for me on backstroke, don't like it), race finish touch on the opposite wall;
    *** immediately start 3rd 25 doing forward "V" sit scull (NOT on your back, feet out of the water looking toward the opposite side sculling, body in a V with ass toward the bottom of the pool and back toward wall). As previously indicated, Speedo totally cheated on these!
    *** At the final wall when your feet touch pull into the wall then explode with 12-13 high cycle SDK's and then easy free to wall.
    *** 15 wall ups + 50 bicycles (Pete didn't look too happy starting these, though he was very gung ho on the wall ups.)

    At the time, this didn't seem nearly as nasty as the last time I did this set. You do get to recover some on the sculling part. However, I'm feeling rather thrashed now, so I think I am feeling the effects. I'm sure Pete is fresh as a daisy and plowing through his one hour Lezak routine tonight. :-P Or, perhaps he feels as thrashed as me and will content himself with one of his specialty beers. I know I'm having some pinot tonight.

    100 EZ

    Sprint Set:

    8 x 25 AFAP w/fins + 25 EZ @ 2:00

    7 free
    1 back shooter no fins

    Unlike me, Pete actually looked at the clock. He was going mid 11s on free, so I think I was a high 10 or 11.0 or so. The first 5 felt pretty good. Felt like I was petering out and having sloppy breakouts on #6-7. Switched to a back shooter on the last one. Went 15. I cramped some during these; need to order Leg Cramps.

    300 EZ

    Total: 2800

    15 minutes in hottub



    I feel like I did a lot more yardage than I actually did ...

    Doing the power kick/dryland set right before the speed set made for a hard workout. I think if you really wanted to focus exclusively on sprint speed, it might be better to do the 8 x 25s as a separate workout. On the other hand, it's good to get used to going fast when you're tired. And halfway through the 25s, I definitely felt tired. I tried not to whine as Pete, like most speedy Mason masters and unlike Hulk (;0), is not a whiner. But I suspect he was secretly puking in the locker room after our practice, though he professed to be rushing off to go back to work. He did concede that doing this set regularly would improve his kicking and racing.

    Pete and I briefly discussed Cross Fit, strength etc. He mentioned that he had overheard a lifter in the weight room comment that is was desirable to do both power lifting and speed working on the same day in the weight room. Apparently, mixing a workout this way, enhances both power and speed more effectively. We were hoping Q or Jazz could comment on that ...

    This was interesting to me as I've been planning on doing both power and speed lifting the next few months (and not periodizing it like Lezak). But it hadn't occurred to me to do both in the same session.

    OK, feeling a bit . Shoulder has been cranky the last couple days so I am doing 3 x 10 minutes of icing tonight a la Hulk.

    Oh, one of our new teammates was there training at lunchtime. He's young and pretty fast. He looked in awe of Pete when I said he was the fastest freestyler on our team and told his times!


    My 2XU arrived in the mail today. I think I'll try it on tomorrow. It is ridiculously heavy and fat and squashy. Tomorrow, I plan to hit the weight room in the am and then go to Mason to swim in it. The other pools I frequent are just too warm.

    I love that it says "max buoyancy" right on the suit.

    Med Ball in the pool:

    This looks really really hard.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Faster Fast Sprint Freestyle Training for Explosive Speed & Power with Richard Quick, Brett Hawke and Bryan Karkoska[/ame]

    Updated September 11th, 2009 at 07:02 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  8. Wednesday, Sept. 9

    by , September 9th, 2009 at 06:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Zen Run:

    Was super busy today. Only had time for a 45 minute zen run during a beautiful late afternoon while my littlest was at jazz dance. Will do stretching and RC tonight.

    Had my GI consult today. Endoscopy is scheduled for next Tuesday. I will be given the "Michael Jackson" sedative. lol If it's an ulcer, it was almost certainly caused by NSAIDs or pylori bacteria. I did use a lot of NSAIDs for a few years while battling tendonitis/shoulder problems. If it's the pylori, I'll have to go on antibiotics and be "really sick" for 10 days, according to the doc. Oh joy. That could interfere with my Fall Ball plans. But I'll enter the meet anyway. On the upside, all my blood work and tests show I'm in great health -- perfect blood pressure, great cholesterol (with high HDL --, low resting pulse, etc.

    Kick Ass Kick Set:

    Tomorrow, I'm swimming with Speedo at noon. Among other things, we're going to do a nasty Tall Paul I haven't done in awhile:

    In a 25yd pool, 100's as follows:

    - Push off on the opposite side of the starting blocks, kick 7-11 SDK's surfacing into cruise free with a strong 6 beat (overkick)
    - at the first wall finish hands first and go immediately into a 10 second all out kick against the wall.
    - Stop, then grab the backstroke start bar and go into a back start, 7-9 SDK's then cruise backstroke with a strong 6 beat kick (overkick)...race finish touch on the opposite wall
    - immediately start 3rd 25 doing forward "V" scull (on your back, feet out of the water looking toward the opposite side sculling)
    - At the final wall when your feet touch pull into the wall then explode with as many SDK's back as you can go before taking a breath then easy free to wall.

    Savageman Swim Details:

    Here are the swim details for the Savagemen Half Iron:

    Water Temperature and Wetsuits
    The water temperature at Deep Creek Lake on September 20 is expected to be around 69 degrees. Wetsuits are allowed and encouraged.

    Swim Course
    The swim course uses an in-water swim start from the park's large swim beach and is a long narrow rectangular course that stays near the Deep Creek State Park shoreline. The swim courses are diagramed in the swim map and video flyover of the swim courses are available on the swim course pages of the SavageMan website.

    A combination of large, colored inflatable buoys and smaller, white buoys will mark the swim course. Buoys are to be kept on your right at all times and the large, inflatable buoys will be different colors for the way out and the way back to ease navigation. Both Half-Iron and International courses share the same course to the swim turnaround at a large green inflatable turtle at the State Park Road bridge and then back to the beach area. The International course will turn directly in to the swim exit around a specially marked buoy when the swim returns to the north beach, while Half-Iron course continues straight to a final turn around a very large, floating "signature" buoy before returning to the swim exit at the north beach. Interspersed between the large, inflatable buoys will be smaller white buoys every 60 meters with strobe lights attached to aid sighting and provide a straight line to follow.

    If for any reason you are having difficulty, roll on to your back and wave a hand in the air. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, take your swim cap off and also wave that in the air. A boat will come immediately to assist you.

    Swim Waves - Tentative Schedule
    There will be four waves for the SavageMan Half-Iron and three for the SavageMan International, each with approximately 100-120 participants.

    SavageMan Half-Iron Waves
    Wave 1 (Half): 8:30 AM (red): Elites, Athenas, Relays, All Females
    Wave 2 (Half): 8:37 AM (ivory): M30-39
    Wave 3 (Half): 8:44 AM (orange): M40+
    Wave 4 (Half): 8:51 AM (dark green): M15-29, Clydedales, Aquavelo
    SavageMan International Waves
    Wave 5 (Intl): 9:30 AM (day glow green): M15-39, Clydedales, Relays
    Wave 6 (Intl): 9:37 AM (silver): F40+, M40+, Athenas
    Wave 7 (Intl): 9:44 AM (pink): F15-39

    I have no idea if this wave order is normal. Do women usually go before the men and with the elite pros?

    Updated September 9th, 2009 at 09:33 PM by The Fortress

  9. Dryland + Modified She Puff Sets, Tuesday. Sept. 8

    by , September 8th, 2009 at 04:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was planning to attend a spin class today but, as Geek noted, the traffic was appalling. So I turned around and went home. Got in 30 minutes of drylands instead and a swim. Stole a couple sets from the mysterious lurking She Puff's 7600 yard (ouch!) Labor Day workout.


    external and internal rotators on cable machine, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm
    forward lunges w/20 lb DBs, 2 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    iron monkeys, 3 x 25
    flys on cybex machine, 50 x 2 x 10
    (didn't like the machine)
    hip flexion on yoga ball (back of shoulders on ball, one leg bent, one leg out, lower hips to ground and back up -- very hard)
    jazz's RC exercise on wall (scapular wall slide), 2 x 25
    3 point arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 15


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    3 x through:

    1 x 300 free @ 4:00
    3 x 150, done as 50 free + 100 kick + 15 wall ups/pull outs @ :15 rest interval (work middle 50 of 100 kick, 6 SDKs off each wall)
    extra :30 rest
    1 x 50 fast SDK w/fins (went 25, 24, 24)
    50 EZ

    50 EZ

    4 x 200 tempo dolphin kick on back w/fins @ 2:50

    100 C/D

    Total: 4200

    Swim: 2150
    Kick: 2050


    I was somewhat tired today from the hard workouts and weights from the last couple days (not to mention much less sleep ). Didn't feel particularly "fast." I am tentatively planning on doing Patrick/Paul's workout from yesterday tomorrow. But I suspect my shoulders may be sore from all the free and the wall ups, so I may kick the aerobic portions.

    Updated September 8th, 2009 at 06:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  10. Weights + Swim, Monday, Sept. 7

    by , September 7th, 2009 at 09:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    This was my last regular day of sleeping in. School starts tomorrow here in lovely Fairfax County. My oldest two, of course, aren't that excited about it and are grumbling about their schedules. But my youngest is sooooo happy. And I'm happy for her. She's moved to the GT Center, has a fabulous teacher and only 21 kids in her class. Doesn't get better than that!

    After lunch, I went to the gym and did the following:


    I've started keeping track on my iphone "note" function so I don't forget what I'm doing. Very handy! I increased weight on most exercises.

    leg extensions, 70 x 3 x 15
    seated leg curls, 90 x 3 x 15
    goblet squats, 50 x 3 x 15
    leg press, 310 x 1 x 15, 330 x 1 x 15, 350 x 1 x 15
    HS hi row, 140 x 3 x 10
    tricep press, 60 x 3 x 15
    seated rear delt fly, 70 x 3 x 15
    seated straight arm dips for RC, 60 x 2 x 25
    windshield wipers, 2 x 25
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    chin ups, 3 x 7

    Ran down to the pool to get in a quickie workout before it closed:


    500 warm up

    15 x 100 free @ 1:40

    Total: 2000 meters

    Meant to do 20 x 100, but I ran out of time. Was trying to do some free on fairly short rest to quasi prep for the 1.2 mile swim. Kept an fairly even pace the whole way. Perhaps I should do it again at a slightly faster pace to see if I could sustain it; I felt like I got into a fairly decent rhythm/zone. This is the most consecutive freestyle I can recall doing in many ages ...

    Order another pair of mirrored goggles today and more nose clips. I broke my last clip today -- egads!

    Came home and, instead of drinking endurox, drank wine with some friends. Had our relay mate for Savageman over -- so there was much talk of hills. he and Mr. Fort driven and rode/run the course, so they're much more prepared than me!

    Oh, I've heard the WSJ is doing an article on masters swimming.

    Updated September 7th, 2009 at 10:50 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  11. Modified Ande Workout, Sunday, Sept. 6

    by , September 6th, 2009 at 06:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Yesterday, I took my scheduled Saturday off.

    Today, I slept through my team workout. Can't seem to get up at a reasonable hour at all. Oh well, I stole and modified one of Ande's workouts and got a good speed workout in later in the afternoon. Tomorrow will be weights & an aerobic workout hopefully -- if I can wake up! lol Friends over for a barbecue in the late afternoon so I can't dally all day.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Speed work:

    5 x 100 backstroke kick @ 1:45 @ 70-75% w/10-8-8-8 SDKs per 25
    (Went 1:03-05s)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP fly + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    4 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:15 @ 85-90% w/12, 10, 10, 10, 10 SDKs per 25
    (Went 58, 58, 56, 56)
    (Had meant these to be at 80%, but missed the boat on the first one, so just kept going at the slightly higher speed)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP back + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    3 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:15 @ 90% w/12, 10, 10, 10 SDKs
    (Went 57s)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP breast + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    2 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:30 @ 95% w/ 13, 11, 11, 11 SDKs per 25
    50 EZ inbetween
    (Went 56, 55)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    1 x 100 backstroke kick @ 100% w/ 14, 12, 12 12 SDKs per 25
    (Went 54)

    200 EZ

    Total: 4250

    Swim = 1750
    Kick = 2500


    I ordered a wetsuit! Decided to buy instead of rent b/c I think I'll have occasion to use it again.

    Had my iphone stolen at the movies last night. It rots when grown adults or teenagers have to steal someone's cell phone. I left it for only a few seconds ... Got a new iphone today with a tracking device. It's ever stolen again, I will hunt the thief down.

    Updated September 7th, 2009 at 08:51 PM by The Fortress

  12. 1:20-3:35, Friday, Sept. 4

    by , September 4th, 2009 at 05:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    This afternoon, I dropped one kid off for a playdate and went to the gym and worked out until I had to pick up another from practice:

    Core/Dryland: 50 min

    Bicycles, 3 x 50
    Long arm crunches, 3 x 50
    Cable twists w/yoga ball, 40 x 3 x 15, each side
    Forward lunges, 3 x 15 w/10 lb DBs
    Total ab machine, 100 x 3 x 25
    Back extensions w/10 lb DB, 3 x15
    Chin ups, 3 x 7
    Squat swing, 25 x 3 x 15
    External rotators, 10 x 3 x 15, each arm


    I always thought bicycles were too easy, but not so much if you do a lot of them.

    The squat swings with the plate are from http://www.ab-core-and-stomach-exerc...-workouts.html. (I need to review some of these exercises again.) This particular exercise seem to always tweak my left teres muscles when doing it, though it feels fine now.

    I've re-started the chin up/pull up project. I'm thinking of sticking to chin ups this go round, as they don't seem to put as much stress on the knuckles of my right thumb and index finger, which can get cranky.

    Here's an interesting article a friend sent me regarding core work:

    Ellipse: 20 min

    20 minutes, moderate pace

    10 minutes of stretching the legs and eating a balance bar.

    Then hopped in the outdoor pool for a quick recovery/hypoxic workout. Beautiful day to swim outdoors.

    Swim/SCM/Solo: 50 min

    Warm up:

    650 swim, kick, drill

    40 x 25 w/fins

    1-10: dolphin kick on belly @ :35
    11-20: dolphin kick on side @ :40
    21-30: dolphin kick on back @ :35
    extra 30 seconds rest
    31-40: easy speed fly w/8-9 SDKs @ :40

    Note: Fly feels a bit off when my hamstrings are sore and tight.

    100 EZ

    Total: 1750 meters

    Note: I think in the future I might track my swimming and kicking yardage to see what % of kicking I'm really doing. Of course, much of my "swimming" can be kicking too as I do extended SDKs often.

    Speedo and I are planning to do a couple sprint oriented workouts together at noon next week. Looking forward to it!

    Updated September 4th, 2009 at 05:21 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Ellipse Machine
  13. Weights + GMU Swim

    by , September 3rd, 2009 at 04:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    HS hi row, 140 x 3 x 10
    HS bench press, 80 x 3 x 8
    rear delt fly, 55 x 3 x 15
    bicep curl w/BB, 30 x 2 x 15, 40 x 1 x 12
    leg extension, 60 x 3 x 15
    seated leg curl, 60 x 1 x 15, 70 x 1 x 15, 80 x 1 x 15
    standing overhand single arm push on double cable machine, 25 x 3 x 15, each arm
    hip hinges w/12.5 lb DBs, 3 x 10 each leg
    goblet squats, 40 x 3 x 15
    leg adductors, 80 x 3 x 15
    external and internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    3 point arm extensions, 2 x 15
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 2 x 15
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    decline reverse crunches, 3 x 20

    10 minutes of stretching


    Got in a longer session today, though I still kept the amount of weight conservative as I ramp up again. I've decided I'm going to do more leg work in the gym. In the past, I've done very little -- just squats and maybe a leg press here and there. I'm going to add in leg extensions and seated leg curls with a small-ish range of motion.

    My legs were slightly sore today from the run -- that's what I get for not running for over 2 months ... I could feel my core muscles too; and those are usually never sore.

    Ran across this article/study on ab work. I was a bit surprised by the rankings of core exercise. I would have expected the ab roller and planks to be higher.

    Chlorine posted this on the forum and it also looks worth looking at:

    I'm heading to Mason tonight and will update my blog with my swim later. This will likely be one of my last Tuesday/Thursday night sessions, as my kids' practices/dinner/homework tend to interfere with me getting to these practices during the school year and Mr. Fort is often working/traveling. So I will become a Sunday regular once again. I've heard this Sunday's practice will not contain one stroke of freestyle ...

    I sent in my transfer of affiliation form to re-join GMUP. Though I LOVED swimming with all my Academy Bullets teammates at Nationals. It should be effective by the Sprint Classic. I'll just need to swim the Fall Ball, if I do, unattached.


    Warm up:

    400 swim
    300 kick
    200 IM drill
    100 scull

    8 x 50 kick w/fins @ :50
    2 x (3 dolphin kick on back, 1 dolphin kick on side)

    50 EZ

    Main set:

    6 x 125 @ 1:45 (100 free/25 stroke)
    (I worked the free, cruised the last 25)
    4 x 100 kick @ 1:50
    (I did these fast with fins to get some speed work in and went :59-1:00 backstroke kick)
    6 x 75 @ 1:10 (25 stroke/25 free/25 stroke)
    (I'm not a fan of changing from stroke to free this much. But others love it.)
    extra :30 seconds rest
    6 x 100 pull @ 1:20
    (I did backstroke kick w/fins and held around 1:03s.)

    100 EZ

    Sprint set:

    4 x 25

    #1 UW dolphin kick off blocks
    #2 easy
    #3 fast off blocks
    #4 easy

    20 C/D

    Total: 4050

    Updated September 4th, 2009 at 09:47 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  14. Wednesday, Sept. 2

    by , September 2nd, 2009 at 04:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It's a beautiful sunny day in the 70s here, so it was time for a run even though my running legs have utterly vanished from disuse. Went on a slow 5 mile zen trail run. Walked some on the up on mile 4. Took a water break and, as Pete would say, a nature break along the way. It was lovely.

    I'm going to hop on my bike shortly for a quick 30 minute spin before heading off to fall kickoff night at our high school where my two oldest will get their schedules.

    Here's another article for P & Q. Jazz can critique.
    Running , Spinning
  15. Tuesday, Sept. 1

    by , September 1st, 2009 at 10:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    HS hi row, 130 x 3 x 10
    tricep press, 55 x 3 x 10
    bench press, 70 x 3 x 10
    deadlift, 90 x 3 x 10
    cable twist w/yoga ball, 40 x 3 x 15, each side
    dead bugs on bosu, 3 x 15
    windshield wipers, 3 x 20
    incline crunch, 1 x 25 (didn't feel so hot ...)
    external/internal rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    push ups, 2 x 15
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25


    Because of taper, vacation and the plague, I've only lifted once in the last 5 weeks or so. Definitely felt weaker, especially on the hi row. Reduced weights from max so as not to kill myself with excess soreness right outta the box. Doing 3 sets instead of 2 is my "endurance" phase. How's that for scientific? I think I may alternate periods of power lifting and speed lifting like Lezak does but on shorter cycles. I liked doing the explosive lifting I did a little bit before my last taper. Want to do more of it and more plyos this fall.

    I also noticed this comment by Lezak on Quick's blog:

    Using more free weights and machines that are independent for each side of the body are the best. If there are hammer strength machines in your gym, those are the best to use to get the most out of each arm or leg independently. You need to learn to balance each side in the gym like you would do in the swimming pool.

    I haven't done this type of work at all. I should probably change this, except I'm not all that fond of doing leg curls and extensions he does in lieu of squats and dead lifts.

    I have been abysmal about doing RC work lately as well. However, my shoulders feel fine at the moment, so hopefully I have dodged the shoulder pain that usually comes with RC absenteeism.



    Wasn't sure I was ready to swim with the team after the last week, but decided to HTFU and drive out to Mason. Tons of traffic heading into Mason, and I arrived 15 minutes late. I missed most of the structured warm up, and can't remember what it was. It was a fin night for me.

    Warm up:

    600 or so variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    12 x 100, done as:
    3 x (3 x 100 free @ 1:20, 1 x 100 IM @ 1:40)

    Not sure I was really warmed up enough for these. It was a challenge to get through this set with my queasy tummy.

    50 EZ

    50 AFAP off the blocks

    I just pushed off, as I didn't feel like crawling out of the water. Went a 25 on backstroke. Because of the lack of recovery, this felt more like the second 50 of a 100.

    50 EZ (was supposed to do 100 EZ)

    14 x 75, done as:
    2 x (5 x 75 pull @ 1:00 + 2 x 75 kick @ 1:40)

    I kicked all 14. I worked the ones @ 1:00 and cruised the other 2 for recovery. Went 47-48 on the first set of 5 and 48-49 on the second set of 5.

    50 EZ

    The team was done, but because I arrived late, I did an extra set:

    16 x 25 UW shooters @ :30
    8 on belly, 8 on back

    100 EZ

    Total: 3550

    (This 3550 was much harder than the 4000 I did yesterday!)


    Chatted with my coach a bit about the upcoming half ironman relay swim. She did one earlier this summer as well and swam around 30 minutes. She said she got caught in the middle of the pack on the start and the crowd and limbs akimbo freaked her out a bit. She said she rolled over and did backstroke some to breathe. I think I'm going to need to sprint some at the start to avoid this.

    Fall Ball:

    Here is the order of events for the Fall Ball on Sept. 26:

    1/2* 4 x 100 IM Relay
    3/4 200 Back
    5/6 50 Free
    7/8 100 Fly
    9/10* 4 x 50 Back Relay
    11/12* 4 x 50 Fly Relay
    13/14 100 Back
    15/16 200 Free
    17/18 100 Breast
    19/20* 4 x 50 Free Relay
    21/22* 4 x 50 Breast Relay
    23/24 200 Fly
    25/26 100 Free
    27/28 200 Breast
    29/30 200 IM
    31/32* 4 x 50 Mix Up Med Relay

    Not sure what to swim with this odd line up. I might sign up for the 200 and 100 back. Not sure if there's enough rest for me between them though. 200 backs wipe me out completely.

    Exercise as addictive as heroin?

    Upcoming feature film:

    Jim has asked me to announce that the latest Thornton Twins Production will be released shortly. As we haven't seen a joint production for some time, I'm sure we'll all be riveted. I don't even know the topic to drop a tantalizing hint; as Jim would say, "It is coming ..."

    Updated September 1st, 2009 at 10:59 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  16. Monday, Aug. 31

    by , August 31st, 2009 at 09:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did nothing yesterday after a trying night the night before that rendered me largely useless for the day. Felt vaguely better today and was determined to get in the pool. I stole Patrick's 11 x "300" pyramid set from awhile back and adapted it.


    Warm up

    700 variety warm up

    Main set/Aerobic work: 11 x "300"
    Took about 30 seconds rest between "300s" or so.

    12 x 25 breaststroke @ :30, working on squeezing elbows together and quick recovery
    6 x 50 flutter kick w/board @ :50
    4 x 75 single arm fly @ :20 RI
    3 x 100 backstroke @ 1:45
    (7-8 SDKs off each wall)
    2 x 150 free @ :20 RI
    1 x 300 free @ :20 RI
    2 x 150 free @ :20 RI
    3 x 100 back @ 1:45
    4 x 75 single arm fly @ :20 RI
    6 x 50 backstroke kick w/fins @ :45
    12 x 25, odds = Br pull, evens = front scull

    50 EZ

    Total: 4050


    It felt good to be in and gliding around in the water, though I did nothing fast.

    Health Updates:

    I went to my doc today, as I was still very nauseous and it had been a week. After a couple tests, it was determined that I'm anemic and had some GI bleeding last week. Could be a nasty bacteria wrecking havoc on my system. Have to go see a gastroenteroligst and have an endoscopy. Oh joy. In the meantime, I'm starting on nexium so hopefully I'll be able to actually exercise in some meaningful way. I wish I had been on an exotic tropical vacation and gotten parasites instead. Geez! I'm craving some salads and tomatoes from my garden ...

    As for Mr. Fort, he's had tons of blood work that has ruled out some blood disorders such as hemolytic anemia. He had a bone marrow biopsy and more blood work today. Results in a couple weeks. Seems likely to be a mild case of MDS, though he could be a rogue mutant with weird blood counts. So we are somewhat cautiously optimistic. He was biking with a tri group in Wilmington last week and exceeding 30 mph, so I don't think it's too dire yet. It'd be nice if we were both healthy. We are very healthy (possibly) unhealthy people.

    Spent the night at high school sports parents meetings. Fort Son is doing cross country and Mini Fort shocked the crap (for Q) out of me by trying out for the volleyball team. (Unlike me, she's always excelled at ball sports -- still, volleyball?! Not sure how this will work with USA swimming ...) I am trying to be a bad parent and escape over volunteerism. It has not escaped my attention that many of the parent volunteers look in dire need of some exercise. And, really, there's only so many hours in the damn day! I'm already committed to do X,Y and Z during this school year. I love summer, but I am, I must admit, finally looking forward to the kids going back to school next Tuesday. (Except for the getting up earlier part. I slept in until 10:00 today after staying up until 1:00 waiting for Mini Fort to get home from a concert.)


    Check this out Patrick and Q!

    Updated August 31st, 2009 at 11:22 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  17. Blech! Saturday, Aug. 29

    by , August 29th, 2009 at 07:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It's been a rough few days. When I continued to feel ill at the beach, I called my doctor. He believes I have gastritis. I've never had that before, it's horrible! Not sure how I got it -- could be an underlying infection, contaminated ocean water, etc. I don't think one margarita constitutes overindulgence, so that's not it.

    Took the day off yesterday. Had to drive home from the beach anyway. Finally slept through the night last night. Did an easy 40 spin on my bike. That's all I could do without feeling nauseous. I feel somewhat better today. Hoping I can get back in the pool tomorrow. It's not been a very productive last 10 days or so, that's for sure. But crap happens.
  18. Thursday, Aug 27

    by , August 27th, 2009 at 06:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Well, things were going splendidly until I got what seems to be a nasty stomach virus a couple days ago. (Why do these things always strike in the middle of the night?) I don't fret over colds and such much, but I'm a real ninny about tummy upsets. I didn't do anything yesterday but sit in my beach chair and do my beach reading. Which wasn't so bad really, very relaxing.

    Today was a red flag day at the beach, so I dutifully trundled off to the YWCA for a quick workout. I was still feeling a bit queasy, so I don't think it even rose to the level of yoga swimming. lol The otudoor pool was very hot -- ugh! And I was going so slow that initially I thought the pool might be SCM ... But at least I was in the water working on my streamlines and such.


    Warm up:

    750 variety kick, swim, drill

    4 x 50 flutter kick w/board @ 1:00

    Aerobic sets:

    10 x 100 @ 1:50
    Odds = free, evens = backstroke kick

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 w/fins @ 1:00
    odds = breast pull working on squeezing elbows together
    evens = dolphin kick on side, alternating left and right

    10 x 50 w/fins @ 1:00
    25 easy speed fly + 25 front scull

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100
    Swim Workouts
  19. Repeat OW + Beach Run, Tuesday. Aug. 25

    by , August 25th, 2009 at 10:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did the same workout as yesterday. Could be a first in the annals of Fort history. Went for my approximately 1.7 mile swim + 1.7 mile run back on the beach. It took about 55 minutes, so I don't think I had an too much of a cheater current. If I had gone later in the day, the waves were even more mellow. Again, no nasty jellyfish to ruin the swim. This is definitely harder on the shoulders though so, despite the ease of it, I'll probably make the drive out to the YWCA tomorrow.

    I went to a tri store today to get some of Geek's famed 2XU bike shorts for Mr. Fort. While there, I checked out their wetsuits a bit. Lordy! These things don't compare to a B70 AT ALL. The 2009 2XU wetsuit, for example, is 5 mm thick and made of 39 cell neoprene. I don't think I've ever seen anything so thick, squishy and seemingly buoyant in my life. It bore no resemblance to a swim skin. The next time someone says I'm swimming in a wetsuit, I'm going to kick their ass! Yeesh! And I'm no expert, but it appears there's been a leap forward in wetsuit technology from 2007 to 2009 in terms of thickness and buoyancy.

    The other hot new thing in the tri store were the recovery compression socks for cyclists and runners. I'm told you wear these after a workout to promote muscle recovery. Though you see some athletes actually running or biking in them ... They also come in black so the guys can wear them to work ... I'm thinking there could be a swim adaptation for these socks. Nice recovery after an intense kick/fin workout.

    Adding a few more pics from Nats. SwimRobin caught the first shot on the left of THT members, one gone a bit crazy as usual. Next is a pic of our girl Champ 200 free relay, then a pic of bloggers Chicken of the Sea, me and Bobinator, then a pic of blogger FlyQueen (the "wifey") and me. (Sizing is askew on a couple, probably cuz I pulled them off FB. My own pics are on my other computer at home.)

    Updated August 26th, 2009 at 12:12 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
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  20. Into the OW, Monday, Aug. 24

    by , August 24th, 2009 at 05:56 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Well, it wasn't too rough today, so there was no excuse not to venture into the OW. And it was an enjoyable break from the usual walls. I swam a course my husband had measured with his bike computer as 1.7 miles on the road. I must have swum 2+ miles with the zig zagging and having to swim back out past the surfers several times. And there were no jellyfish! The only bummer was that I lost my goggles when I got hit by a huge wave on the way to shore. Luckily, I have others.

    Then I ran back along the beach. And it didn't even feel too dreadful!

    Now, after a day of sun and surf, it's almost time for my margarita! Sleep be damned.
    Swim Workouts , Running