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  1. Endorphins Rock, Tuesday, June 23

    by , June 23rd, 2009 at 10:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    So glad not to be resting anymore! I feel like someone pulled a switch in my CNS.


    30 minutes of ART. Going to go more regularly the next month to keep the shoulders healthy and happy. ART doc agreed that I should not knock off RC exercises during taper. It can cause the humerus to move and lead to pain. He also mentioned that nutrition was more important the older you get. (Perhaps this is one reason why Dara is so committed to her amino acid regiment?)


    Hopped on my indoor cycle and biked for about 50 minutes during my little one's swim practice.

    10 minute stretch + RC

    LCM Swim at GMU:

    Went to my team practice tonight. Felt pretty good, despite the lack of aerobic work during taper.

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    6 x 50 kick @ 1:00
    200 IM drill

    Aerobic set:

    16 x 100, done as

    2 x through:

    2 x (25 scull + 75 build free) @ 1:45
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    2 x 100 free @ 1:30
    2 x 100 kick @ 2:15

    (I used the kicks mostly as recovery cuz I was racing Wally on the other 100s. Coach said I was over-reaching with my left arm in free. Really focused on kicking during free.)

    50 EZ

    4 x 50 fly @ 1:30
    odds, 25 roll, 25 dolphin kick
    evens, 25 roll, 25 fly

    "roll" = 2 kicks on each side, then come up and 2 strokes of fly and repeat. I had trouble doing this drill, as I was nowhere near the surface after 8 kicks and didn't see the point in dolphin kicking close to the surface. So I did 16 kicks on the second odd "roll" and a 50 fly w/fins fast on the evens.

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 fast off the blocks + 25 EZ)

    I used these to work on my backstroke starts. I took 15 kicks to get to the 15 meter mark.

    Assigned: 600 pull
    Did: 5 x 100 dolphin kick w/fins @ 1:45, making sure to stay out of the way of my lanemates

    100 C/D

    Total: 3550 meters

    10 minutes hottub


    There was an article recently in the NY Times discussing the performance enhancing nature of increased sleep. It analyzed a small study done on runners. It seems like a no brainer to me that more sleep helps you recover faster and train/race better. I'm hopeful the rest of the summer I'll have a bit more sleep, as I do not have to wake up early to get kids off to school. (I've also been off the hook lately on the 4:40 am practices thanks to mono.) Now, if I could only sleep better during the night, I'd be set. Lately, I've been having trouble falling back to sleep after waking at 3:30-4:00 am.

    I discussed sleep with a teammate in the hottub tonight. He says he's been sleeping much better and has more energy during the day since banishing caffeine and alcohol from his diet. (This was difficult for him, as he's a foodie and wine connoiseur.) He believes that caffeine and alcohol interfere with melatonin and vitamin absorption. I only have coffee in morning, and typically have no other caffeine during the day except perhaps green tea, but I can't imagine giving up the morning java ...


    Breakfast: blueberries, plum
    Snack: yogurt
    Lunch: Salad with: romaine, steak, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, peppers, flax seeds, pomegranate seeds
    Snack: cherries + G2
    Dinner: chickpea & lentil soup, banana
    Snack: Luna energy chews on way to practice
    Snack: balance bar & G2 (in car), slice of pizza

    Updated June 23rd, 2009 at 10:52 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning , ART
  2. Back at it, Monday, June 22

    by , June 22nd, 2009 at 04:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Went for a 4 mile run around noon while my kid was in swim practice. Lordy, it's hot out. (melting emoticon).


    Decided to take Q's advice and re-start the weights a bit lighter this time.

    10 minute warm up on bike

    bench press on Hammer machine, 70 x 3 x 10
    standing lat pull down, 130 x 3 x 10
    overhead tricep press, 30 x 2 x 12
    goblet squat, 45 x 3 x 15
    back extensions, 2 x 25 w/10 lb weight
    incline crunches, 3 x 25 w/med ball
    decline crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bug on bosu, 1 x 25
    bird dog on bosu, 1 x 25
    held the plank, 2 x 1:00

    10 minutes stretching

    I'd like to re-start push ups and pull ups, but I don't want my right thumb/wrist area to start bothering me again. And I'm wondering why it's just my right wrist ...

    RC work:

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

    I also knocked off most of my RC work during my 10 day taper when I eliminated weights. I think this was a big mistake. My shoulder bothered me most of the taper. So, I plan to continue the RC work when I re-taper for Nats. Or at least do it every other day.
  3. Suit Problem, Sunday, June 21

    by , June 21st, 2009 at 02:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    50 back: N/S
    100 back: N/S
    50 fly: 30.75

    Things did not go as planned today. Just how it goes in sport, I guess; it was one of those sh*t happens days.

    Felt good during warm up. I found out, however, that there would not be electronic timing pads installed at the far end of the pool where the 50s took off. This meant two things: 50 backstroke starts on a slippery wall and no split requests. I was going for a fast 50 back, so had also considered getting a split request in the 100 if I needed one event to "warm up" and get the cobwebs out (often the case for me).

    After warm up, I put the new tech suit on. I was trying the LZR out only in the 50 back today, to get one swim in it before Indy. Unfortunately, two or three heats before the 50 back, the zipper just exploded in two places. Imspoiled gallantly tried to fix the zipper, but to no avail. So I couldn't swim the 50 back. And, frankly, I was too upset and pissed off to swim the 100 back (my next event), especially since I couldn't get a split. I did swim a rather half hearted 50 fly in lane 8 and felt sluggish (probably from sitting around for so long without racing). Had a terrible breakout, confirmed by Hulk, but still swam my best time of 30.75.

    Leads me to believe I would have swum a fast 50 back ... Oh well, there's always next time.
    I'm just frustrated at the moment because I did rest for 10 days for the meet. Tapering is a huge commitment for me, and very hard to effectuate. So I feel that I wasted the taper and wasted training time. I fully realize this happens all the time, and I've certainly been sick prior to taper meets, etc. I'm sure I'll shake it off and be over it tomorrow; I'm just disappointed at this moment.

    I also hope I can get a refund on my suit. I will be sending out an email today. This is the obvious reason why FINA should permit B70s. It's ridiculous to have to rely on fragile suits with frequently faulty zippers. I'm hopeful it will be back on the list tomorrow.

    Here's a chuckle: A couple people suggested I swim a 50 back time trial.

    Lesson from this meet: Don't ever rest for LC meets where you're swimming/targeting 50s without confirming that there will be electronic timing at both ends of the pool. I won't make this mistake again. It just had never occurred to me that there wouldn't be ... (Would have been no big deal had I not rested.)

    Now, I have friends coming over for dinner tonight. I fully plan to drink more than one glass of wine. I might even eat potato chips late at night.

    Updated June 21st, 2009 at 05:12 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. Saturday, June 20

    by , June 20th, 2009 at 03:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam an easy 900 yards or so to loosen up. Then hot tub and stretch. Felt decent in the water.

    Had a great morning as my little one did not DQ in her first 25 breast. Makes for a happy kid. My two youngest are out of the house tonight, so I'm hoping to go to an early movie and/or have a relaxing night. I just wish the meet tomorrow started at noon instead of 9:00 am!

    Updated June 20th, 2009 at 09:28 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. Friday, June 19

    by , June 19th, 2009 at 04:34 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    All I can say is that I swam more than yesterday.

    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Other stuff:

    8 x 25 shooters

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 easy speed fly w/fins + 25 EZ)
    (bad breakouts, seemed to be getting further on the kick portion)

    50 EZ

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

    150 C/D

    Total: 1650

    10 minutes hottub


    I am well past eliminating cumulative training fatigue. I think that occurred last week. I believe I am now suffering from cumulative parenting fatigue. I am also convinced, as per usual, that I have lost all strength and conditioning and have gained 10 pounds in 10 days. Where is the beached whale emoticon?

    I even forgot to bring my B70 to the pool to practice a couple backstroke starts. So I plan on taking 13-14 SDks on the start. If Chris takes 12, this must be about right for me. How's that for attention to detail?


    Updated June 19th, 2009 at 06:00 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  6. Thursday, June 18

    by , June 18th, 2009 at 07:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No swimming today. Carrying on with the rest. My family sees all indications of the taper bitchies.


    I did go see my ART doc today, as my shoulders and calves are still twitchy. Not sure what the cause is. The doc says it could be tossing and turning in my sleep, or it could be the lack of weight lifting. Hulk thinks it could be that the overall workload on the shoulders is too high. He theorizes that this could cause a delay in the resting-discomfort phase, which is apparently a precursor to the happy rested phase. Hmm ... Seems like I've been kicking a lot and not doing pulls and chins ... Hopefully, they'll be happy on Sunday. They're not bad by any stretch, just have some "hot spots." (Pun potential) Walked around the mall today with day glo pink and blue kinesio tape.


    We also discussed the electrolyte issue. He agrees I'm likely dehydrated. He says, however, that Gatorade is "swill," no better than eating "bon bons and hohos. I told him about my travails with RecoverWrong. He suggested I try Endura. Used it today, seemed fine. Trying to drink more water.


    Checked the psych sheets for the Terrapin Cup.

    I'm right next to The [Speedy] Little Devil in the 50 back and Clay is another lane over. Hmm ... Will I drown in their wake or will they be so far ahead that I'll catch a draft? Jeff is seeded 3 seconds faster. Same situation in the 100 back. In the 50 fly, I have a good seed in the second to last heat right next to Fall Willdeboorse, who is a very speedy sprinter and kicks my ass in free. So that should be a good race.

    Haven't really formulated any specific time goals for this meet. Ideally, I'd like to go PBs in my 50 back and 50 fly ... we'll see if I rested enough and if I execute. I might be a tad disappointed if I don't go a 32+ in the 50 back. I went a 33.4 at Zones last year where I slipped some on the start. That's how 50s go sometimes.


    I am trying a new tech suit. As I've explained to a few of you, I don't feel comfortable with an old B70 and a fragile suit, and I need a suit for USA-S meets besides my "ratty" Pro. I'm trying the Rocket Science "Sprinter" -- brand new suit. (The previous version is still on back order.) This suit is on the 2009 FINA list and I'm told meets the new FINA permeability requirements for 2010. So I'm going to try on my size Youth Medium and see if it really fits. And, besides, who can resist that name? Picture attached below.

    I heard a rumor that B70 was handing out its new FINA compliant suits at the Santa Clara meet. They're not generally available now, but I wonder when they will be.

    Summer League:

    Stroke & Turn Question:

    I wasted my entire evening attending a stroke & turn clinic. Here, you must attend every 2 years. There was one question the instructor didn't answer satisfactorily, at least to my mind. I told Hulk I'd post it here, and he can give me his opinion, as he knows this stuff cold.

    Little kid approaches the wall for a backstroke turn. Kid first touches the wall on their back with their hand. Kid then realizes, OMG, I forgot to flip, so they spin and execute a forward flip turn. Is this a DQ? Once they touch the wall, does the kid then have to push off on their back to leave the wall and not be past vertical? Or even though they've touched the wall, can they hang their and remain in the "zone" of the wall, and you only assess whether they've pushed off on their back by watching the toes?

    Our team may get owned this weekend, as two of our best swimmers are off at summer camps. My Lil lil Fort is swimming her first A meet doing backstroke and evilstroke. I've been trying (very mildly) to encourage fly (though 8 & Unders don't do this in A meets.) I guess she could be my second evilstroker ... Whatever makes her happy, she hasn't liked swimming that much in the past.

    Updated June 18th, 2009 at 09:06 PM by The Fortress

    ART , Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  7. Wednesday, June 17

    by , June 17th, 2009 at 03:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    the usual 700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    16 x 15 UW shooters w/new MF, took 8-9 SDKs per 25, pretty slow and drilly
    odds belly
    evens back

    50 EZ

    2 x 25 EZ speed fly, felt like crap

    5 x (25 AFAP back + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 1675

    (I seem to recall I did something else, but these "workouts" are so ridiculously dull and boring, I can barely stay awake during them.)



    Tried out my new MF today. Because it's quite a bit longer than my shooter MF, it felt very odd. It might take some time to get used to. At only 8-9 kicks per length, I think it's much better for long course. I'll try it out there next week.


    I'm still having issues with cramping. I cramped on my backstroke start this weekend. After mulling it over, I think I might be slightly dehydrated. I try to drink a lot of water, but may still need more ... I drink very little water in the evening, then wake up and drink coffee. Perhaps I need more electrolytes as well. So I think I'll be pounding more gatorade and water the next few days.

    Tight Deltoids:

    My deltoids feel very tight. WTH? I've been practically comatose for a week. Shouldn't they be happy and rested? I'm blaming the 200 back. lol
    Swim Workouts
  8. Tuesday, June 16

    by , June 16th, 2009 at 03:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Short swim amidst the chaos:


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    20 x 25
    odds, shooter on back w/fins
    evens EZ

    50 EZ

    1 x 25 build + 25 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP back w/fins, 25ish

    150 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    150 C/D

    Total: 1875


    Felt like crap in the water. I guess that's to be expected. Still hoping not to get mono, though I have a sore throat.

    Why when I'm resting for a meet is the rest of my life always crazy? I am looking forward to sleeping in Friday and Saturday though.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Monday, June 15

    by , June 15th, 2009 at 04:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did almost the same workout I did the Monday before Zones:


    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    8 x 25 back shooters, no fins

    50 EZ

    2 x (25 build + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    2 x (50 AFAP back w/fins + 100 EZ)
    (went 25ish)

    2 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    2 x (25 AFAP kick w/fins + 25 EZ)

    200 C/D

    Total: 2100


    Need to get my entries in for Nats ...

    Nothing good to report otherwise. The plague of contagion from my daughter's middle school has infected her and my house. (Why do kids get strep and flu in June?!) Really busy week ... and I think I'm slightly b*tchy from resting more than usual. I'd like to crawl under a rock for a couple days!! lol

    Edit: Mini Fort has mono. I'm a little paranoid that I'm showing symptoms, and that may account for why I've been fairly fatigued lately. Hope not, as that would really mess up my summer swim plans. I know it's unlikely for adults to get it, but I've never had it before. Fingers crossed.


    200 back splits:

    Splits are up. It was my 3rd 50 that really stunk. I guess 1:21 + 1:26 isn't all that bad, considering the start always makes my first 50 fast.

    1:21.12 (42.66)
    2:05.27 (44.15)
    2:47.34 (42.07)

    (Still hoping to sneak into TT. I would have been 6th last year. But I bet Indy will be more popular than LCM Nats last summer.)



    Fell off the wagon again some this weekend, but I was barely home. Clean eating requires a lot of time, ability to get to the grocery store regularly and eating at home. Not bad, I just had to have a couple sandwiches on the run, a muffin, etc.

    Updated June 15th, 2009 at 10:17 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  10. Survived No Float 200 LC, Sunday, June 14

    by , June 14th, 2009 at 03:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    200 Back LC, 2:47

    Well, I survived my first ever 200 LC. And it was a no float 200 back, as B70s are barred at USA-S meets. I guess I'm glad I did it, but I don't care to repeat the experience! It's just waaaay too far unless I start training 5Ks like Ande. I was sort of testing out the event to see if I could/should swim it at Nats. No, I'll opt to get a 50 back split on my 200 at Indy during the first day's events. I will happily embrace my weenie sprinter nature.

    Anyway, went a 2:47, which was about half a second slower than my converted time from yards. (I don't always believe converted times are accurate for us geezers anyway.) No idea on my splits, as they only post final times. Think they will probably be pretty dodgy. I tried to swim long and easy speed for about 150, but I still had nothing left the last length -- especially judging by the USA swimmer in the adjacent lane who made up almost a body length on the last length to touch with me. But, frankly, I'll still take the time, as I had a hard exhausting day on Saturday (officiating in the heat at a summer league meet, dance recitals, etc.) and had contemplating not swimming at all today.

    And BTW, can these kids learn to do backstroke starts?! I hate being a body length ahead at 15 meters and have them slowly creep up! I also played it safe on the start and took 12 or 13 SDKs, as there was an official sitting in a chair right at the 15 meter mark.

    Probably did about 2000+ meters with the warm up and warm down. I didn't even attempt to warm up in the competition pool, as it's such a mosh pit of kids. I got there early and warmed up in the rec pool.

    Now, off to the summer pool to vegetate!
  11. Friday, June 12

    by , June 12th, 2009 at 04:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Other stuff:

    20 x 25
    odds shooter on back
    evens EZ

    50 EZ

    5 x 100 backstroke @ 2:00
    cruise, focusing on breakouts

    100 EZ

    1 x 50 fast backstroke w/fins, 24ish, missed turn a bit

    100 EZ

    2 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2250


    After procrastinating forever, I finally wiggled into my one new FINA approved suit and had Mini Fort zip me up. It wasn't as bad as the last aborted attempt, only took about 10-15 minutes. It helps to start with the suit at mid calf. Would have been much easier with two people doing the zipper. But at least it didn't explode. I plan to wear it for one race at the Terrapin Cup.


    Think I'm going to rest more and not lift next week. I guess when I start back lifting, I should cut the weight a little this time. lol Oddly, whenever I rest, my shoulders seem to be twitchier. Perhaps it's because I don't do as much RC work since I'm not in the gym. Going to stretch later today.



    Breakfast: yogurt with bare naked granola
    Lunch: salad w/salmon & the works
    Snack: papaya, raspberries & cherries

    Updated June 12th, 2009 at 05:15 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  12. LCM, Thursday, June 11

    by , June 11th, 2009 at 04:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Headed to Mason today to get in a short LCM practice. Though I like my regular practice pool just fine, it was a luxury to have 5 digital clocks instead of two (sometimes un-synchronized) pace clocks. Seems to make times and send offs more accurate.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic set:

    10 x 100 @ 2:00 w/fins
    odds backstroke, staying "long"
    evens backstroke kick

    I noticed that the 5th set of double lights on the ceiling is the 25 meter mark.

    100 EZ

    Speed set:

    2 x (50 AFAP w/fins from push + 150 EZ)

    #1 50 fly, went 28
    #2 50 back, went 29

    I believe these are the fastest 50s I've ever done in a LC practice. Very happy to see these times. We'll see what I can crank out next weekend at the Terrapin Cup in these events. LC fly is hard. I had to take 4 breaths on the 50 instead of my usual 2 (maybe 3) in SCY.

    100 C/D

    Total: 2300

    Planning on a short SCY workout tomorrow. Taking Saturday off and deeking kids and whatnot. Will swim in old Pro on Sunday.

    I'm actually feeling more tired than I expected after that short practice. Perhaps there is no easy LC practice ...



    Breakfast: yogurt and "bare naked" granola, cantalope, raspberries
    Snack on way to swimming: Forgot to bring portable food. Found a balance bar and some Luna energy chews in my swim bag
    Lunch: usual salad with the works
    Dinner: Salmon, salad w/works, 2 taquitos
    Snack: crackers

    Updated June 12th, 2009 at 07:34 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  13. Patrick's Bad Influence, June 10

    by , June 10th, 2009 at 06:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Pulled a "Patrick" today. Got my kids off to school, then fell back asleep and slept until 10:15. No time to workout as I had appointments, sports chauffeuring, lessons, and the usual "summer swim league practice cancelled mid-way due to lightening" events. Probably just as well. I'm feeling pretty beat up after ART and a deep tissue. Couldn't have done any race pace work. I'm commencing a 3 day mini-taper, which will extend into a longer mini-taper next week. I've become pretty convinced that after 4-5 weeks of hard training, my body needs a recovery week. During SCY season, this is typically, and conveniently, before a meet. I've been going 6-7 weeks since Zones -- it's slightly too much even for a hard core endorphin addict. I need a relative break.

    I see the entry deadline for LCM Nationals is approaching. I don't have any clue what to enter for my 200 back. I'm not sure if I'll do it as a 200 or get a 50 back split. I guess more likely that latter, as I'm assuming I'll be blasted by the time the 50 rolls around -- it's practically the last event on day 4. So I guess I should enter a slow time, figuring I will be swimming somewhat slowly the last 150? If I then decide to swim it as a 200, I'm sure I'll be yelled at for sandbagging.

    My one workout of the day will be trying on the one FINA approved tech suit I have managed to procure in my size. Mini Fort can do the zipping. Although, frankly, it sounds like FINA is endorsing the anything goes for masters ...


    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese & tomatoes, blackberries
    Snack: yogurt
    Snack: banana, sliced mangos
    Snack: 2 bean & cheese taquitos,
    Dinner: cheese & chicken enchiladas, kiwi & blueberries; 10% crap = nachos

    I seem to need portable food during the day. If anyone has any suggestions ...

    Updated June 10th, 2009 at 09:35 PM by The Fortress

  14. Bad AM, Good PM, Tuesday, June 9

    by , June 9th, 2009 at 05:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Not the world's greatest morning ... Verizon Man was visiting the house for the second time in the last week to attempt to regain phone service. (I've barely had any service -- a problem with a 1921 house with an arcane wiring system.) Why do service providers only give you 4 hour windows? Once that was done, I headed out to bring Mini Fort the lunch she forgot. (Probably should have let her starve, but I was a softy as she had swim practice right after school.) As I was headed out from her middle school, I was rear ended by Crazy Lady. Crazy Lady didn't seem to understand the need to hand over her insurance information. Seriously, almost had to call the cops. Then I spent a large portion of the day getting repair estimates, fielding calls from Crazy Lady who suggested she "assist" me by taking my car to be fixed herself, and talking to the insurance company. What a hassle, but such is life sometimes.

    The afternoon was much better:


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    10 x 25 back shooters, no fins

    Main sets:

    4 x 200 back @ 3:30
    Didn't kill them, just trying to keep an even pace. If anyone has any suggestions for swimming a 200 back LC, happy to hear them. (Unfortunately, I'm in a heat with 2 of Mini-Fort's friends. Her team is not swimming this meet, and in any event, she absolutely cannot swim backstroke so little chance of her being in this event with me.)

    50 EZ

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

    50 EZ

    16 x 25
    odds fast, 2 of each stroke
    evens EZ

    100 C/D

    Total: 2750

    Wanted to swim about 500 more than that, but had to rush off to a post workout massage. It had been awhile! Had tight glutes, hammies and IT band. I'm using this as an excuse not to stretch this evening ...


    Replacement monofin purchased.

    I ordered this monofin from swimoutlet: Thought I'd try this one, as I've been using the Finis Shooter for so long.


    Breakfast: Oatmeal w/medium apple, blueberries
    Lunch: Salad w/romaine, pomegranate seeds, crunchy sprouts, avocado, tomato, green onion, currants, chicken; peach
    Snack: balance bar, banana, nectarine
    Snack: yogurt
    Dinner: shrimp, green beans, salad, small scoop of Ben & Jerrys.
    Snack: crackers

    Updated June 10th, 2009 at 10:30 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  15. Monday, June 8

    by , June 8th, 2009 at 04:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did a bit of a recovery swim today. I realized I did virtually no kicking at my LC practice yesterday, so did mostly kicking today. Just worked on streamlining and efficient kicking on the shooters.


    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    3 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:30

    10 x 25 UW shooters
    odds on back, evens on belly

    3 x 100 backstroke @ 200 pace @ 2:00

    10 x 25 UW shooters
    odds on back, evens on belly

    3 x (50 fast backstroke kick + 50 EZ)
    (went 25s)

    10 x 25 UW shooter
    odds on back, evens on belly

    10 x 25
    odds evil @ 100 pace
    evens EZ

    100 C/D

    Total: 3050



    I've decided to shut down my running for the next 2 months until after LC Nats for the reasons listed in Aquageek's blog and in one of Ande's latest SFF tips 261, [ame=""]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster[/ame].

    The pollen and heat mean my runs would not be very productive or contribute much to training. If I want to cross train, I'll likely spin. I've also concluded that I get more "bang for the buck" putting in time at the gym than going on shortish slow runs. If Jazz weren't taking a break from blogging, I'm sure he'd smile.

    I'll re-start after LC Nats.

    Chiro Visit:

    Got a tune up today. Diagnosis: tight and fatigued lats and teres muscles. Not surprising, as I've been training quite a bit. I realized this am that I did 4 gym sessions last week, which is more than my usual 2-3.

    FINA vs USMS:

    I fear that FINA is going to refuse to recognize USMS times swum between the period of the announcement of its initial approval list (need to check date) and the announcement of USMS's official compliance with the list that is due June 19. If USMS doesn't act before June 21, the date of my meet, the times swum there (and elsewhere around the country) could be useless for FINA TT purposes. Clearly, whatever I swim in the 200 back on Sunday won't count, but will for USMS purposes, I guess. Not a huge deal, as I expect to go faster in Indy. But I have a bad track record with ragweed in August, so you never know ...

    If there is no official announcement before June 21, it probably makes little difference what anyone wears at meets that weekend, as Gail Roper noted on the DF. I hope the whole mess is cleaned up soon.


    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, papaya
    Snack: balance bar
    Post swim lunch: turkey & cheese sandwich w/sprouted wheat bread, strawberries
    Snack: blackberries
    Dinner: grilled pork chops, beans, tomato & avocado salad

    I foresee many lunches in the car in the upcoming hectic two weeks. This will make my salad routine more difficult.

    Updated June 8th, 2009 at 09:30 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  16. LCM, Sunday, June 7

    by , June 7th, 2009 at 02:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had the pleasure of meeting fellow blogger Katie Webb, who joined our LC practice at Mason today. It's always great to meet fellow forumites, bloggers and master swimmers. She fit right in with our team, and has a very nice looking freestyle.

    Warm up:

    50 bicycles
    25 side crunches

    5 x (150 swim + 50 dolphin kick)
    (I missed 100 of this)

    40 elevated crunches

    Main sets:

    12 x 50 @ 1:00, IM order
    8 SDKs on fly (was going 32 w/fins)
    8 SDKs on back
    8 breaststroke pullouts (NOT)(8?!)
    16 flutter kicks on free

    8 x 100 pull @ 1:30
    (I wore fins, never use pulling gear.)

    100 EZ

    3 x through:

    200 IM
    #1 25 scull/25 fast
    #2 25 drill/25 fast
    #3 swim

    2 x 50 stroke @ 1:05

    50 EZ

    Speed work:

    3 x (25 AFAP off blocks + 75 EZ)

    I did 3 x (50 fast UW shooter w/MF + 50 EZ)
    I pushed off on my back for 2 and went 24s.
    Did one diving off side on belly and went 23

    50 EZ

    Total: 3750 meters

    15 minutes hottub & ice
    Chatted with a teammate about the B70s issue. He told me he had heard that B70 sued FINA.

    Cheryl told me that the MAKO and GMU's college team did some 50 meter MF shooters this week. Most of the college kids who tried them went 22s. But Sean Fletcher (bound for Michigan in the fall) went an 18. 18!! Holy crap, that's fast. Not sure if they were using the finis shooter MF or the longer ones.

    Unfortunately, I got home and saw that my MF had a crack in it. Not sure how it got there. So I will have to order a new one pronto.

    May go to the gym later today, if I can fit it in. Will update later if I do.

    Mr. Fort went on his second 60 mile bike ride with some serious cyclists this am to prepare for Savagemen. He came home and asked me when I was going to start training? WTH?


    Fell off the wagon a tiny bit yesterday as we were having a barbecue and pool party for Lil Fort's soccer team. I ate a whole wheat hamberger bun, hot dog, and a few chips. Doing fine today though.

    Breakfast: oatmeal, apple
    Post swim snack: G2, balance bar
    Lunch: tomatoe & cheese sandwich on sprouted wheat bread, watermelon, raspberries
    Dinner: flank steak, mahi mahi, asparagus roasted with garlic & olive oil, tomatoes
    Snack: cheese & sesame crackers



    Snuck off to the gym while 2 kids were at the summer swim league pool and 1 was at a dance recital rehearsal. I just wanted to do a few weights and get in my RC and stretching. My shoulder's been somewhat finicky lately. Other bits and parts are protesting some too. (My thumb and wrist on my right hand were sore, but I stopped doing push ups and chin ups this week, and now it's fine.) I'm really overdue to go the my chiro. I won't such a long time lapse before my next visit.

    tricep press, 60 x 1 x 5, 70 x 2 x 8
    hi lat row, 140 x 1 x 5, 160 x 1 x 5, 190 x 2 x 8
    leg press, 330 x 1 x 5, 350 x 3 x 8
    wood chop squat on flat part of bosu, 35 x 2 x 15
    foward lunges w/15 lb DBs, 1 x 20
    incline crunches w/10 lb weight above head, 2 x 25
    decline crunches w/10 lb DB at feet, 2 x 15

    RC work:

    arm extensions, 3 x 6 x 15
    prone scapular scrunches w/elevated feet and 5 lb hand weights, 2 x 25
    seated straight arm dips, 60 x 2 x 25
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm
    cavic fly drill on yoga ball w/3 lb hand weights, 2 x 25

    15-20 mintues of stretching

    I tried one thing mentioned in Dara's Book. Her original resistance trainer Bob Cooley discovered his resistance stretching technique when he was sitting on the floor, legs in a V, touching his chest to the floor. He could do this more easily if he contracted his leg muscles while stretching. I tried this, and the second stretch did seem easier. Unfortunately, it seems like most of the resistance stretching must be done with a trainer.

    Tech Suit:

    Very frustrating. Ordered a TYR this week, and just got a call that they're, in fact, out of stock in my size.

    Updated June 8th, 2009 at 08:37 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  17. MF @ LCM, Friday, June 5

    by , June 5th, 2009 at 04:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Decided to steal a page out of Chris' book and head to a LCM pool for some work on SDKs and streamlining. So drove out to Mason with my MF for lunchtime lap swim.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main Set:

    3 x through:

    6 x 50 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 1:00
    3 x 100 back @ 2:00
    3 x (50 UW shooter w/MF on back + 50 EZ) (these were all around 26s or so)

    I attempted to do the 2nd & 3rd rounds of the backstroke sets at 200 pace. Or my own vague notion of what constitutes 200 pace anyway.

    The shooters weren't too bad. Definitely helps work on streamlining when you're in a LC pool.

    Lordy, the 18 AFAP 25s from yesterday kicked the crap out of me. Just goes to show that a very low yardage workout can be harder (and perhaps more beneficial) than a high yardage workout. I'm taking tomorrow, which is my usual rest day, off.


    Got a message from a friend who is about my size (and maybe more active than me). She says I'm not eating enough. So I'm going to try to eat a lot more of the healthy food I've been eating. So far:

    Late breakfast (took am morning nap): oatmeal w/medium apple, banana, peach
    Post Swim snack/lunch in car: G2, balance bar, plum, peach, banana
    Afternoon snacks: omelet w/tomato, mushrooms, bacon and cheese; cheese & crackers
    Dinner: salmon, avocado & tomato salad

    Updated June 5th, 2009 at 07:11 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  18. New Drylands + Fast 25s, Thursday, June 4

    by , June 4th, 2009 at 05:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    I decided to try some of the new core exercises from the link I posted yesterday. http://www.ab-core-and-stomach-exerc...-workouts.html Nothing wrong with some variety! I just made up names for most of them.

    ab roller, 2 x 15

    hanging leg circles: hang from pull up bar and make circles with straight legs held together, 2 x 15, one set counter clockwise and one set clockwise

    prone crunches: lie on stomach, feet elevated, put hands behind head, crunch up bending back, feet in air while doing this, 2 x 25

    prone reverse back bend: on stomach, lift feet toward back in a backbend like motion. You need a flexy lower back for this one. Really works the glutes. 2 x 15

    yoga ball knee bend: hold yoga ball only with palm of hands hands. rest of your body is in a modified plank. bring one knee in to touch ball. then switch. 2 x 15

    squat swing: squat with a 25 lb weight. then rise, swinging weight to the left overhead in an arc. back to squat and then rise swinging weight to the right overhead. (I really liked this one.)

    elevated reverse crunches on bench w/12.5 weight held by feet, 2 x 15

    goblet squats w/50 lb DB, 2 x 15

    hip hinges w/12.5 lb DBs, 2 x 15, left leg

    10 minutes stretching


    Only had time for a quicky workout, so made it a speed workout.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Speed Work:

    20 x 25
    odds, fast backstroke (no fins)
    evens, easy

    After about 4 of the fast 25s with appalling breakouts, I realized I needed to concentrate on this.

    100 EZ

    16 x 25
    odds AFAP free (w/fins)
    evens easy

    200 C/D

    Total: 1900

    Yesterday, I was bummed that all the blocks were gone. Then today, 3 of them were back. Next week, I'm going to bring my B70 and practice some backstroke starts so I can determine exactly how many kicks I can take before I hit the 15 meter mark.


    Chiro Visit Needed:

    I've managed to wrench my neck again. Probably from restless sleeping. It started hurting during my swim, and now it's hard to turn my head without pain. My chiro is out of the office until Monday. Did manage to get 30 minutes with my massage therapist tomorrow. I hate neck issues!

    My shoulders and traps are pretty sore as well. I think my body is looking foward to taking it easier for 10 days or so beginning the middle of next week. I've been tired lately and clean eating alone doesn't seem to fix this. This is also a super busy time of the year for me with overlapping sports, end of season/year parties, summer swim, finals, etc.

    Tech Suit:

    Exchanged emails with Rocket Science yesterday. Their sizing is crazy, so beware ladies, if you're interested. They said I'm actually a Youth Medium. Huh? They don't have any suits until the end of June or July, so that suit is out for me. It has the same durable quality as the B70 though.

    I've ordered another suit, as I plan to swim in legal FINA approved suits this summer and until the end of the year. Then who knows what we'll swim in? Possibly something from another century ... I'm still annoyed that a durable suit that is easy to get on is likely going to be banned or not approved or whatever. It's a very anti-swimmer, especially anti-masters swimmer, approach to speed suits.


    Breakfast: oatmeal, blackberries
    Lunch: Salad with romaine, chicken, peppers, sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, flax seeds, green onion, and currants
    Post weights snack: banana
    Post Swim Snack: balance bar, G2, plum, red grapes
    Dinner: CHEAT: pizza, 3 slices (I was too tired to cook.)
    Late snack: trail mix

    Updated June 5th, 2009 at 07:52 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  19. Wednesday, June 3

    by , June 3rd, 2009 at 02:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I'm taking a rest day today.


    Here are some challenging core exercises. I haven't watched all the video, but some of the exercises look fun and could provide a nice break from the standard exercises.


    Here is a blog entry from David Guthrie from the flowswimming site that captures my take on the B70:

    Swimming Blogs - David Guthrie

    older | newer
    Why I Love My Suit
    David Guthrie | Profile
    May 22, 2009

    "One overlooked aspect of the tech suit revolution is that body suits allow swimmers to race faster all season without shaving down. The training model of a sin wave with long deep troughs of fatigue with brief sharp peaks twice a year is not the best recipe for performance. It is far better to develop speed, strength, and conditioning year round than to dig a deep hole and hope that you can climb out of it in time for that one shot at going fast.

    Without body suits, swimmers with very much body hair (like me) have the option of shaving or fighting excessive drag. I want to train with increased drag, but not race against it. Training with hair is much better than using a drag suit because hair distributes the resistance over the entire surface of the body, not just in one concentrated area. So I don't want to shave during the season, but I still want to race fast so my body can understand what I'm expecting it to do. Swimming unshaved doesn't provide a very accurate barometer for performance. I recently had a coach who didn't like the idea of wearing body suits during the season. He thought is was like cheating, like shaving without tapering. He thought the times were not valid and that it would somehow take away from the end of season performances. But my philosophy is, if I'm going to stand up on the blocks with a clock running and official results recorded, I'm going to swim as fast as I can. I don't see the point of wearing a drag suit or creating any other handicap during in-season meets, in other words, of intentionally swimming slow in meets. This approach may not produce dramatic end of season drops, but I find it produces faster end of season times. Which would you prefer?

    A few decades ago, when the Eastern European programs dominated the scene, they developed a much shorter training cycle of about 6 weeks from peak to peak. The more often they swam fast, the faster they were able to train and perform. They swam fast all year long. This kind of flattened training cycle without the traditional deep fatigue troughs is something we've been seeing more and more of over the past couple of years. The world's leading swimmers can step up and swim fast every time they race. One reason for this trend is that mature swimmers are staying in the sport and their bodies have adapted to the stress of training. They don't dig deep holes and flounder all season, hoping for a miracle at the end of the season. We don't see the dramatic drops at the end of the season tapers like we used to because that model of training is incredibly inefficient. Tapering for elite swimmers is more like fine-tuning, not a full-blown resurrection. Swimming fast often is essential today.

    I love my polyurethane suit because it works and it lasts and it allows me to simulate end of season conditions year round without shaving down. Unlike lycra, my polyurethane suit holds up to repeated use, so I can afford to use it all season long (year after year). Are we training to train, or training to race? If you want to race fast, you have to practice racing. The polyurethane suits are infinitely better than lycra. It's kind of amazing that suit manufacturers have been able to get us to buy expensive lycra crap all this time. Talk about planned obsolescence! For decades the industry has sold us expensive lycra suits that were designed to rapidly disintegrate and send us back to buy another one. Lycra soaks up water and loses its effectiveness almost immediately. It falls apart when exposed to chlorine. Duh. Gee, isn't there some other material that would tolerate the aquatic environment better? Of course there is. Polyester and polyurethane are practically indestructible. The problem is that Speedo has borrowed a page from Detroit's book and wants to sell more product by intentionally producing equipment that doesn't last. I just bought a pair of expensive metallic Speedo goggles that started fogging up after three swims. What's up with that? They're in the business of disposable products, that's what. And by that measure, the LZR is their pinnacle achievement."

    Tech Suits:

    Tried on the XS Rocket Science suit I got in the mail. I was a little skeptical when I realized it looked enormous next to my size 24 B70. And, in fact, it doesn't fit at all; got it on in about 10 seconds. I suspect I was sent a men's size. It's cut very narrowly in the chest area. I gave them my height and approx. weight, so they should have gotten the order right. Returning it.

    And another excellent article by David Guthrie on tech suits:


    Breakfast: oatmeal, banana
    Lunch: "superfood" salad from Whole Food (not sure exactly what's in it, but I recall reading gogi berries, acai, tomatoes, spinach, onions and some other things); yogurt; plum
    snack: peach, frozen custard (my 10% crap)
    dinner: bad -- cheese and crackers around 9:30 pm. wasn't home between 3:00 and 8:30 basically.

    Updated June 4th, 2009 at 08:44 AM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  20. Dryland + Aerobic Swim, Tuesday, June 2

    by , June 2nd, 2009 at 06:05 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    rack pull, 135 x 3 x 8
    military press, 40 x 2 x 15 (20 lb DBs)
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    long arm crunches, 2 x 25
    reverse crunches w/yoga ball, 2 x 25
    planks, 3 x 1:00
    15 superman streamlines on bosu
    forward lunges w/12.5 lb DBs, 2 x 25
    prone scapular scrunches w/5 lb DBs, 1 x 25
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each arm


    modified bench hops with hands placed on middle of bench as described last week, 1 x 1:00
    lateral box hops from left to right between two boxes, 2 x 1:00

    15 minutes stretching

    Note: I think my body is somewhat adapting to the lunging and squating. Hamstrings are still periodically sore, but not nearly as much.


    Decided to do an aerobic swim, as I'm feeling fatigued. (I had the 4:30 am swim carpool shift on Monday. It seems like it takes me a few days to recover from that.) Plus, I don't believe I've had a day off in awhile ... I'll have to look back at the blog.

    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    Aerobic Sets:

    40 x 50, done as:

    1-10 backstroke @ :50
    11-20 dolphin kick w/MF & board @ :45
    21-30 backstroke @ :50
    31-40 flutter kick w/fins & board @ :45

    Took 1:00 rest between sets.

    100 EZ
    150 scull
    100 EZ

    Total: 3000


    Dara Torres Book:

    I'm 2/3 through her new book. Like many sports biographies, it's not terribly well written, very breezy and non-substantive. I was hoping it would have more detail. There's virtually no discussion of her non-traditional strength training regimen with the exception that initially (during a "rehab" phase) she was making letter shapes with hand weights while balancing on a bosu. She also states that her new strength training made her very lithe and caused her to lose 10 pounds very quickly, but she doesn't explain why or how. I guess she's keeping these secrets for her post-retirement DVD!

    Her training regimen is indeed impressive, comprising 7 hours each day. The resistance stretching is interesting ... it essentially seems to involve contracting muscles while you're stretching to increase both strength and flexibility. A huge amount of time is devoted to stretching, massage and chiro. I had to chuckle when she said she could feel her muscles tightening (after a mashing, no less) as she headed to the blocks for the 50 free in Beijing ... Imagine what she'd think if she lived in our non-pampered masters bodies for a day ...


    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms, banana
    Snack: crackers w/hummus
    Lunch: apple, plum, shrimp (while in car, lol)
    Post Swim Snacks: G2, balance bar, blueberries, peach
    Dinner: chicken breast; salad with romaine, peas, sprouts, green onions, green peppers, tomatoes, carrots; kiwi
    Snack:stoneground crackers w/black bean dip

    I'm still pretty hungry in the late afternoon. I must not be eating enough at lunch? Or need more snacks?

    Updated June 3rd, 2009 at 11:50 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts