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  1. Friday, Jan. 9

    by , January 9th, 2009 at 03:41 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Woke up with cough and congestion threatening my ro-bust health. I'm blaming either Hulk or Thornton for this ... Decided on a yoga swimming/recovery type workout. Probably needed it anyway.

    Warm up:

    800 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main Set:

    (this is a Stud created set that I last did on Oct. 1)

    2 x (200 kick, 200 swim, 2 x 100, 4 x 50, 8 x 25)
    (intended to do 3 rounds, decided not to)

    done as:

    round #1:

    200 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 3:00
    200 smooth backstroke @ 3:10
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    4 x 50 roll backstroke drill @ 1:00
    8 x 25 UW shooter w/MF

    50 EZ

    round #2:

    200 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ 3:00
    200 backstroke smooth @ 3:10
    2 x 100 breast drill w/MF @ 1:45
    4 x 50 dolphin kick w/ board @ 1:00
    8 x 25 fly drills (2 x each fly spin drill, one arm fly, caterpillar and chest press fly)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2900

    Updated January 9th, 2009 at 04:42 PM by The Fortress

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  2. Oh Joy, Weights. Thursday, Jan. 8

    by , January 8th, 2009 at 02:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Dragged myself back to the gym today. Spent 75-80 minutes doing weights, core and RC. Didn't do as many sit-ups on the incline bench, as my intercostal muscles are still sore. (No idea what those were until Stud explained. lol) Added in some russian twists to keep up with Dr. Jaegermeister. Didn't increase weight today except for hammers. Made sure to do the external rotation exercises -- Coach Vlog would be proud. And deadlifts -- Coach Smith would be proud.

    Stretched for 5 minutes.

    Hopped on the Octane Fitness Ellipse machine for 20 minutes. Put it on the glute kicker setting. That got my heart rate up fast!

    Stretched for another 5 minutes.

    _______________________________________

    Like Chris, Mr. Fort reminded me last night that I should adapt to the weights relatively soon. I have added a couple additional pulling exercises, so maybe that made my back more sore than usual. I have to confess I'm still not "lifting heavy" like Ande or Jazz. And I only rarely do lat pull downs out of shoulder paranoia. But the pushing and pulling exercises (among others) that I do on the double cable free motion machine seem to be helping. I feel quite a bit stronger than I was in Austin.

    I miss running. Haven't gone as much in the last couple weeks because I've been swimming more and the weather has been impossibly cold, rainy and gloomy. I always crave sunshine.

    ________________________________________

    Booked hotel and flight for Auburn.

    Confirmed entries for Jan. Open. Plan to swim 2 events on Sunday as well.

    Updated January 8th, 2009 at 04:31 PM by The Fortress

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  3. Wednesday, Jan. 7

    by , January 7th, 2009 at 03:55 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    SCY, solo:

    The main set was stolen from Chris the "Uber Machine" Stevenson again. Except I cheated and did the first fast set at only medium to medium fast pace. Still, it hurt. Though I'm not quite as traumatized as that last 20 x 100 set.

    Warm up:

    400 swim
    300 kick
    200 drill

    Fast Sets:

    #1 Medium to Medium Fast Pace

    Didn't pay attention to my times on these really, as I still felt like I was warming up.

    150 back
    50 easy, 3:30 interval for the entire 200
    100 backstroke kick
    50 easy, 3:15 interval for the entire 150
    150 back
    50 easy, 3:30 interval for entire 200
    100 backstroke kick
    50 easy, 3:15 interval for entire 150

    #2 Fast

    Didn't pay attention to the intervals as much. Just gave myself adequate recovery time, not a ton. My shoulder was twingy after the first set, so I used fins, which I like for speedwork anyway. (Sorry, Ande, we're different that way. )

    100 back fast (:59)
    50 easy
    50 backstroke kick fast (26.5ish) (really more SDK-ing than backstroke kick)
    50 easy
    100 IM fast (1:01)
    50 easy
    50 flutter kick w/ board fast (27)
    50 easy

    #3 Fast:

    Had about 30 sec rest after the easy swim. Had to do a 75 instead of a 25 easy after the fast 25s to see the pace clock for the start of the next fast swim. Couldn't see my times on the 25s.

    50 fly fast (27)
    50 easy
    25 dolphin kick fast
    75 easy
    50 back fast (27)
    50 easy
    25 flutter kick fast
    75 easy

    100 EZ

    Mellow Aerobic Set:

    16 x 50 @ :50
    alternate backstroke and backstroke kick
    went 33 on all of them

    200 C/D

    Total: 3600

    _______________________________________

    Other thoughts:

    1. Weights

    Still feeling broken down from weights. They just make practice much less enjoyable. I think I had that same thought when I started lifting heavier after Austin. Feeling it again. I do think that weights are the biggest reason for my improvement since Austin. I just wish I didn't dislike them so much. Getting a bit weary of them and would like to take a couple months off. Just need to decide when the timing would be right. Could do it after Zones, but that might effect Indy times. Or I could wait until after Indy. Not sure. Just sure I need a break.

    2. Recovery

    Still having trouble recovering. I've been tired all week since my hell week. Could be just the lack of sleep, as I'm getting up early again to get the kids to school and having trouble going to sleep earlier. Had a Luna Shake today after practice. (Thanks Julie!) Maybe that will help. I've had problem with this before, and started a thread many months ago called "Recovery Please." I'm also tempted to try LBJ's suggestion of Devil's Claw. Anyone use that?

    3. Appeal:

    As I mentioned on the "It is Here" thread, my appeal was denied as expected. The ground was Rule 102.13.1, which precludes a change in the order of events. They did not address my Rule 202.2 argument at all. Little disappointing, since that was the basis of my appeal. But that's what happens sometimes. In any event, I've definitely moved on. I'm happy enough that the IGLA times count for FINA purposes. And, as a couple encouraging forumites (including Skip have mentioned), if I hadn't swum the time trial, I wouldn't have known what I was capable of since the 29.99 was a surprise. Gives me some added confidence that my training etc. is on track.
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  4. Tuesday, Jan. 6

    by , January 6th, 2009 at 03:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Made it to the pool today. Still a bit tired and sore.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim/kick/drill

    3 x 100 single arm fly @ 1:45

    Main Sets:

    Stole a pace 50s set from Chris, except with more human intervals.

    20 x 50 backstroke:
    (Tried to go 2 seconds faster on each set of 50s. Definitely gasping for breath at the end.)

    4 x 50 @ :50
    1 x 50 easy @ 1:30
    4 x 50 on :55
    1 x 50 easy @ 1:30
    4 x 50 @ 1:00
    1 x 50 easy @ 1:30
    4 x 50 @ 1:10
    1 x 50 easy on 1:30

    100 EZ

    6 x 200 kick @ 3:00 w/MF
    (held a pretty casual 1:10-1:12 pace per 100)

    50 EZ

    10 x 25 UW fly spin drill,
    5 spinning every 2 kicks, 5 spinning every 4 kicks

    100 C/D

    Total: 3700

    _______________________________________

    Thought on "hypoxic" work: Was discussing SDKs with Jim Thornton and lamenting my seemingly diminished lung capacity of late. The "heyday" of my SDKs seems to have been about 1 and 1/2 years ago or so. At least that's my perception. (Judging from a couple videos, I was a little SDK happy at Austin I guess, but I'm not sure it made me faster.) He suggested that, with the amount of anaerobic work I do, the oxygen receptor nerves/muscles (can't remember exactly -- maybe he'll elaborate) aren't triggered enough. In other words, speed work is contra-indicated if you want to be an SDK ninja. Don't know, but I have done a lot more speed work in the last 1 1/2 years. More likely, the problem is that I dislike doing the hard core CO2 tolerance sets that Chris does. Used to like them more, not sure what happened. They just are harder now.

    Updated January 6th, 2009 at 03:46 PM by The Fortress

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  5. Big Day -- NOT

    by , January 5th, 2009 at 01:03 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Too damn tired to do a thing today!! My upper back is still sore from weights on Saturday and was shocked back to reality with an early wake up ... I'm always a tad gloomy after a holiday/vacation. Getting a deep tissue massage tomorrow -- that should help!

    But I did get my USA Swimming card in the mail today. So I'm set for the Jan. Open.

    Also am sending in my entries for Auburn:

    Saturday:

    100 IM
    50 free
    100 back
    50 fly

    (Will scratch either the 50 free or 100 back. Probably the 100 back as there's only one event between that and the 50 fly.)

    Sunday:

    100 fly
    50 back
    50 breast
    200 IM

    (Will do either the 50 breast or 200 IM. There's nothing I'm really dying to swim after the 50 back and the 100 free is right after and thus not an option. Guess I could also do a split request in my 200 IM.)

    Updated January 5th, 2009 at 01:41 PM by The Fortress

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  6. Team Practice, Sunday, Jan. 4

    by , January 4th, 2009 at 12:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Managed to drag myself out of bed in time for team practice. Felt a little tired from the weights/swim from yesterday afternoon. I think it's preferable to have a whole 24 hours in between workouts. Still, got in a decent swim with a little speedwork despite the fatigue and revelry of last night.

    Warm up:

    800 of swim, kick & drills.
    Skipped a 600 or so of pulling while chit chatting.

    Main Sets:

    10 tuck jumps off blocks

    12 x 50 kick @ 1:00
    2 choice, 1 fast free

    10 pike jumps off blocks (this was rather amusing to watch, lol, helps to be an ex gymnast/diver)

    12 x 75 @ 1:15
    25 fast fly, 50 DPS free
    25 fast back, 50 DPS free
    25 fast breast, 50 DPS free
    (I did the DPS 50s all backstroke)

    300 social kick. Must swim in a different lane with someone you don't know that well. I met a new 25 year old on the team who's an evilstroker/IMer and plans to compete in meets.

    15 x 25 with fins @ 40
    4 UW switching lanes, 1 swim
    (this had some real crashing potential!)

    100 C/D

    Did some starts off the blocks

    Total: 3200

    ______________________________________

    Mr. Fort ran his first 10 mile race in many many years on Saturday. He loved the Garmin Forerunner. Kept him on pace and beeped at him every mile. Since he's only been training for a month or so, he did very well, holding about a 6:55 pace despite some hilly parts.

    Updated January 4th, 2009 at 01:15 PM by The Fortress

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  7. Saturday, January 3

    by , January 3rd, 2009 at 05:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Gym:

    75 minutes at gym doing weights, core, RC and some stretching.

    Hopped in the hot SCM pool for a very short workout:

    Warm up:

    600 swim, kick, builds

    Sprint Set:

    10 x (25 AFAP + 25 easy), no interval

    (Didn't feel so great. Might not have been warmed up enough and the water was way too hot. No matter, needed to do some sprinting. And that was all I had time for anyway!)

    50 EZ

    Kick Set:

    500 dolphin kick on back with MF

    100 EZ

    Total: 1750 meters

    Hit the steam room and neti pot after. This is a bubble pool and, like Wolfy, I always feel congested after swimming in it.

    Hoping to go to my team practice if I can get myself out of bed. I've been up outrageously late lately ... Probably will be again tonight as I'm going to a Twelfth Night party.
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  8. Friday, Jan. 2

    by , January 2nd, 2009 at 08:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Drove home from Pittsburgh this afternoon. Went to the gym pool to loosen up and ended up doing a workout. Relatively easy one, nothing like the sheer torture set from a couple days ago.

    SCM, solo:

    Warm up:

    500 swim

    Main Sets:

    5 x (3 x 100)
    #1 kick: backstroke kick or dolphin kick on back @ 2:00
    #2 drill: fly or breast drill @ 2:00
    #3 swim: backstroke @ 1:45

    10 x 50 backstroke, drop down
    2 50s @ 1:05
    2 50s @ 1:00
    2 50s @ :55
    2 50s @ :50
    2 50s @ :45

    5 x 100 IM kick on 2:00
    1st 25 = UW dolphin kick on belly

    10 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy), no interval
    just worked on DPS and staying flat

    100 C/D

    Total: 3600 meters
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  9. Coach Vlog, Wednesday, Dec. 31

    by , December 31st, 2008 at 05:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam today with Sewickley Masters and Coach Wild Jim Thornton. He even made it through an entire practice with only one or two inappropriate remarks! We did a nice recovery practice, which was just what I needed. And, for the record, Jim habitually leaves early. Can't remember what swimming stereotype this is. My shoulder was sore, so I swam with fins.

    Warm up:

    OYO for 10 minutes
    (did around 600 or so)

    Main Sets:

    4 x through:
    1 x 100 @ 1:40
    2 x 50 @ :50

    10 x 100 @ 2:00
    #1 medium pace
    #2 bit faster, 5 second break at the 50
    #3 faster, 5 second break at the 50 and 75
    Goal was to come in at the same time on all of them. Did 5 IM and 5 backstroke

    10 x 50 @1:00
    25 build to a sprint finish, finish hard so that you don't lose a .001 second. Hahaha

    My shoulder was sore so I swam a few few and then kicked the rest.

    Warm down:

    8 x 50 @ 1:05: The Calming Set from his vlog:

    25 swim, no breather, chanting "peace"
    25 very easy, chanting "calm"

    Total: 3300

    Then we all sat in the co-ed steam room. Very posh for a Y!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!

    Updated January 2nd, 2009 at 10:04 PM by The Fortress

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  10. Sheer Torture, Tuesday, Dec. 30

    by , December 30th, 2008 at 03:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    As expected, I was sore from the 3 hours of swimming and weights yesterday afternoon. Still, I tried to persevere through the last hard workout of my own "hell" week. Picked a set of Chris Stevenson's. It was sheer torture, I'm dead, and my legs were burning during the whole workout. No idea how he does sets like this on a regular basis ...

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim/kick/drill

    10 x 25 fly spin drill w/MF
    1-5: 2 kicks on each side (tummy, left, back, right)
    6-10: 4 kicks on each side

    4 x 75 free @ 1:30
    (just to get heart rate up a bit)

    Torture Set:

    20 x 100 @ 2:00

    done as:
    5 x (4 x 100)
    #1 fast kick
    #2 drill
    #3 fast swim
    #4 easy swim

    IM order, followed by IM
    did all the fast ones with fins

    Went:

    100 fly kick (w/board & MF): 58
    100 fly swim: 1:01
    100 back kick 1:02
    100 back swim: 1:01.5ish
    100 flutter kick (w/board) 1:02 (didn't bother with a 100 BR kick)
    100 breast swim: 1:14
    100 flutter kick (w/board) 1:05
    (absolutely dead, legs burning, having a crying for mommy moment)
    100 free swim: 57
    (cruised the first 50 a bit too much, but I was traumatized)
    100 fly kick (on back w/ MF) (cramped, but kicked through it): 58
    100 IM swim: 1:01.5

    200 C/D

    Total: 3450

    No sense doing anymore after that set. Just sat in the hottub and vegged. Thanks to all the bloggers from whom I shamelessly stole workouts all week! You're all the best.

    ____________________________________

    Driving to Pittsburgh tonight to see fam and friends for New Years. Missing my team swim in the New Year practice, but I'm too tired to do it anyway! Hope to swim with Jim Thornton at the Sewickley Y. Planning an easy recovery swim and a day off on New Years.

    Updated December 30th, 2008 at 10:01 PM by The Fortress

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  11. Sleep is Amazing! Monday, Dec. 29

    by , December 29th, 2008 at 06:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    With my kids away, I've been catching up on sleep and it is fabulous! I've been getting 8-9 hours the last few nights. Makes a huge difference. Didn't even feel too bad this am after yesterday's workout (which I confess is the most yardage I've ever done as a master, lol). So I headed back to the pool and gym for more torture. Borrowed a couple sets from Ande again today.

    SCY, solo:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim/kick/drill

    5 x 100 single arm fly drill @ 1:45

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Set:
    (from Ande)

    6 x 150 @ 2:30
    25 fly, 50 back, 75 breast

    Main Sets/Speedwork:

    6 x 100 under/overs @ 2:00 with fins
    fast under/easy over (went around 1:14s or so)

    50 EZ

    20 x 50 speed "variables" @ 1:00 (50 EZ after 10)

    #1-10 dolphin kick with board
    #11-20 backstroke

    done like this:

    1,6) 12.5 FAST 37.5 easy
    2,7) 25.0 FAST 25.0 easy
    3,8) 37.5 FAST 12.5 easy
    4,9) 50.0 FAST 00.0 easy
    5,10) 50.00 easy 00.0 fast

    100 EZ

    3 x (4 x 25 AFAP + 25 easy)
    no interval, max rest
    3 fly/3 breast/3 free

    100 EZ

    Total: 4650

    Ate an energy bar and headed to the gym. Did weights/RC/core for an hour. Little bit of a twinge in my left lower back. Same place I strained it doing power yoga early in the summer. Didn't do any deadlifts, sit ups on the incline bench or twisty things. Looking forward to sleeping in again!

    __________________________

    Meets?

    I'm also having a bout of meet schizophrenia. Can't decide which meets to swim in or rest for. None seem quite right, and all have order of events issues (naturally). I'm still leaning toward going to Auburn and resting for it, although it will coincide with the hated AF. (Sorry, Quick. ). I could rest for Zones, but I really hate the order of events and will be swimming relays. I'm also cross about the Albatross Meet, our ONLY local SCM meet, because, as reported by Hulk, it is the same weekend as age group JOs, which my kid will be swimming in. Rob has also tempted me with a SCM meet in Flushing NY in early May in a fast pool. So I may rest a week for Zones and then keep resting for that meet. We'll see. I'm not usually so wretchedly undecided about meets. Just going to send in my entry form for Auburn if I can only figure out what events to swim ...

    I did send in my USA Swimming registration for 2009. Intend to swim the 200 back at the Jan. Open -- my first ever as a master. Also toying with the idea of swimming in the Sunbelt Champs in Charlotte, NC the end of January. May have a free weekend, but it's a 7 hour drive. Might just do a couple more events in the Jan. Open instead.

    Updated December 29th, 2008 at 08:34 PM by The Fortress

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  12. More Thievery, Sunday, Dec. 28

    by , December 28th, 2008 at 04:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    This week may be a record for stealing sets/workouts from others. Today, I swiped and modified one of Paul Smith's recent sets from his thread in the Workout Section. Have to say, it was a challenge just to get through it as I am very sore from the weights/core work yesterday.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim/kick/drill

    Hypoxic/CO2 Tolerance Kick Set:

    20 x 25 UW shooter on stomach with MF on :30
    extra 30 seconds rest after 10

    50 EZ

    Main Set:

    6 x (200 IM on 3:15 + 100 backstroke kick on 2:00)
    (IMs were smooth, kicks were good effort, drilled the fly on the IMs.)
    50 EZ

    6 x (100 back on 1:45 + 50 kick with board on 1:00)
    (used fins, descended backstroke from 1:15 to 1:01, reverse descended the kicks from fast to slow)
    50 EZ

    3 x (50 fly on 1:00 + 25 dolphin kick on back fast + 25 easy)
    (was too tired to do 3 more reps)

    200 C/D

    Total: 4550

    Updated December 28th, 2008 at 05:56 PM by The Fortress

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  13. Saturday, Dec. 27

    by , December 27th, 2008 at 06:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    75 minutes at the gym lifting weights and doing core. I'm definitely stronger than I was around Austin. Toying around with the idea of bumping it up to 3x a week. It would likely mean I'd have to cut out some cardio somewhere ... Or else do a 3rd shorter session.

    Afterward, hit the hot gym SCM pool (85 degrees). Did a set of Stud's creation, which I really liked. The workout was aerobic lite and technique based.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim/kick/drill

    Main set:

    3 x through:

    8 x 25 fly on :45
    4 x 50 back on 1:00
    2 x 100 breast on 2:00
    1 x 200 free on 3:00 (done 100 free/100 flutter kick)
    extra minute after each round

    Worked on:

    Fly: Not lifting my head up as high. I could feel right away that this made by stroke flatter, but I think it will take awhile to make this change.

    Back: Worked on rotation and keeping my head back on SDKs and the breakout

    Breast: Worked on keeping my head down in a neutral postition.

    Free: Worked on kicking on my back for 2-3 SDKs off the wall before cork screwing over. Definitely seemed faster this way.

    100 C/D

    Total: 3200 meters
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  14. Friday, Dec. 26

    by , December 26th, 2008 at 04:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Back in the pool. Don't intend to take 4 consecutive days off again! Just felt OK, continued with some basic aerobic work.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim/kick

    5 x 100 fly drill on 2:00

    Aerobic Set:
    (Stole this one from Ande's blog. Thanks Ande!)

    30 x 50:

    1 kick on 1:10 / 1 drill on 1:10 / 1 back on 1:10
    2 kick on 1:00 / 2 drill on 1:00 / 2 back on 1:00
    3 kick on 0:55 / 3 drill on 1:00 / 3 back on 0:55
    4 kick on 0:50 / 4 drill on 1:00 / 4 back on 0:50

    50 EZ

    Kick Set: Kick Mountain Redux

    1 x 50 on :45
    1 x 100 on 1:30
    1 x 150 on 2:05
    1 x 200 on 3:00
    1 x 300, 15 RI
    1 x 200 on 3:00
    1 x 150 on 2:05
    1 x 100 on 1:30
    1 x 50 on :45

    (all with MF, up the mountain with board, down dolphin kicking on back)

    100 EZ

    Total: 4150

    10 minutes in hotub
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  15. Annual Xmas Run

    by , December 25th, 2008 at 02:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Went on my annual 5 mile trail run today. It is fairly warm and very sunny -- beautiful day for a run.

    On the xmas/swimming front, I got a new B70 from Mr. Fort. My current one is probably nearing the end of its life, so that was fabulous! (No, I will not be wearing them together!) I got him a Garmin Forerunner 405 for his marathon training and racing, so we both went for the hobbies. lol. Also got a large wicking towel for meets that SwimShark swears by. Looking forward to trying it out.

    I've been out of the water for 4 days. Haven't done that in a loooong time. Might have taken a week off from swimming (not exercising) after Austin, can't recall. I'm going to have a few days on my own as Mr. Fort is taking the kids skiing. (I don't ski.) So I plan to see friends and workout like a madwoman. May actually get to my team's New Years practice, which is 109 x 50.

    Merry Christmas all!

    Updated December 25th, 2008 at 02:12 PM by The Fortress

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  16. Wednesday, December 24

    by , December 24th, 2008 at 03:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    5 mile trail run.

    Merry Christmas to all forumites!
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  17. On Appeal

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 04:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I have sent my letter appealing the denial of the request to recognize my 50 fly time trial to the USMS Rules Committee Chairperson. I appreciate all the input I got from forum folks very much. I realize some might not agree with exactly how I've made the arguments, but I've done the best I could in the short time I had. Now, I'm ready to move on to the holidays and completely forget about it!

    For those of you interested, I am reproducing the letter here:


    Dear Ms. Casey,

    Ed Tsuzuki, the NJ LMSC Chair, forwarded me the email that you had sent him regarding my 50 fly time trial at the Colonies Zones meet held at Rutgers University on Dec 6-7. As you can imagine, I was disheartened to learn that my 50 fly time from that meet will not count for USMS Top Ten or FINA Top Ten purposes. This is contrary to what I was told at the time trial. At this point, I understand the meet director, referee and Mr. Tsuzuki all agree that the time should be recognized. Only the Rules Committee disagrees. While I do not want to trespass on your time, I would be grateful if the USMS Rules Committee would reconsider its initial decision to deny my time official status.

    At no point did I attempt to gain an unfair advantage on my competitors. I only swam Sunday at Rutgers because I had a conflict on Saturday and could not attend the meet or swim the open 50 fly that day. At the meet on Sunday, during which I also swam the 50 free and 100 IM, I asked both the meet director and referee for a recognized time trial in the 50 fly. They both granted the request and asked for all my pertinent information so that the time would “count.” It took place immediately following the relays on Sunday. The time trial was done in accordance with all the rules, with timers, officials, etc. all in place. I have a video of the race where you can see the stroke and turn judge officiating.

    Concern over my time came to my attention only after I noticed that my time, after first being included in the USMS event rankings database, had been deleted without explanation or notice. I emailed Ed to inquire what had happened to my time. At the time, I had no idea how the official status of the time trial even became an issue.

    I understand that Ed wrote you about procuring an event or meet recognition at this juncture and that you advised him that there is “no provision for securing a sanction after the fact.” Perhaps so, but it is also true that nothing in the rules expressly prohibits procuring an event recognition at this juncture. Nor should it.

    First, none of the rules cited or referenced by the Rules Committee refer to or explicitly regulate time trials. Indeed the term “time trial” never appears in the rules and does not appear in Article 5, which concerns Top Ten recognition. If there is any uncertainty regarding application of USMS’ rules, as there is here, they should be read in favor of the affected swimmer. This seems particularly true where a narrow or strained reading of the rules would limit the ability of masters swimmers to obtain official times.

    Second, Rule 103.13.1 enumerates the ways in which Official times “may” be achieved. The rule uses the word “may” not “must” and hence does not exclude time trials. Indeed, many masters swimmers obtain times in this fashion. In fact, time trials were swum in other USMS sanctioned SCM meets in November and December.

    Third, Rule 202.2.1 provides that recognition of events “shall be issued” upon application to and approval from the LMSC. The time trial was run in accordance with all rules as required by Rule 202.2.E. It was authorized by meet officials, whose expertise I was relying on in good faith. And, importantly, a verbal recognition was requested and acknowledged at the meet. Since that time, the meet director, referee and Ed all agreed that seeking a Rule 202.2 recognition at this time was appropriate and also consistent with a pro-swimmer interpretation of the rules. This rule itself does not prohibit this procedure. If it is not prohibited, it should be deemed permissible.

    Fourth, the Rules Committee suggested, in part, that the referee’s discretion with respect to permitting and recognizing the time trial was somehow negated by Rule 102.5, which states, among other things, that events “must be offered for all groups and both genders.” But this rule, by its express language, has no application here. The rule pertains to “planning a meet” and lists potential events at a meet, and expressly does not apply to time trials. Nor does the rule say anything about the necessity of making an “announcement” of a time trial at a meet.

    The rule appears intended to address possible unfairness during meet planning. To the extent it could even possibly apply here, there were no swimmers who were disadvantaged. The meet director and referee did not deny anyone an opportunity to swim a time trial. I was just the only one who asked. Had another swimmer requested a time trial, I have no doubt the meet director and referee would have readily agreed. Had somebody asked to swim with me, the request would have been granted. Such flexibility naturally benefits masters swimmers by giving them more opportunities to achieve times, just as split requests do. At bottom, there is no difference between a referee being open to requests for time trials and a referee making an announcement. In either case, there is no discrimination and, more importantly, the rule is silent on both situations.

    In sum, because Rule 102.5 does not apply to time trials and/or its application is ambiguous at best, the referee’s discretion to “decide all questions relating the actual conduct of the meet” should be honored in this instance.

    Fifth, under Rule 102.16.5, protests “arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the alleged infraction took place.” To my knowledge, none were timely lodged. The issue with my time arose several days after the meet had concluded. Thus, the complaint should be disallowed as untimely and the time trial should stand on this basis as well.

    Finally, I understand that you were concerned that I would bump someone out of a Top Ten spot, but this is not so. My previous time from the IGLA meet last June will make USMS Top Ten. Prior to swimming at Zones, I had understood that this time would not count for FINA purposes because FINA had refused to recognize the IGLA meet. (I have recently learned that it has reversed this decision.) Thus, when I swam the 50 fly, I was not trying to bump someone or move up in the rankings. I was simply attempting to establish a time that would actually count for FINA ranking purposes.

    In any event, however, the purpose of the Top Ten rankings is to foster competition, not to suppress it. Thus, even if my time had theoretically “bumped someone off the list” – which it did not – that should not be a reason to knock my own time off the USMS and FINA rankings. New and faster times are constantly swum, and rankings change frequently. That is the very nature of competitive swimming.

    Thus, for the above reasons, I believe recognition of my time trial pursuant to Rule 202.2 is appropriate.

    I appreciate your consideration. Thank you.
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  18. IGLA Results Recognized

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 11:15 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    A forumite was kind enough to pass along this information to me:

    http://www.ebar.com/columns/column.php?sec=sports

    On December 4, FINA decided to recognize results from the IGLA meet. Good news for all swimmers competing and setting records there!

    I'm almost done drafting my letter to the USMS Rules Committee.

    I have also heard that there was, in fact, a complaint made about my time. I find it rather appalling that someone would misuse my blog in this fashion, and it was soured me somewhat on continuing it.

    Updated December 23rd, 2008 at 11:21 AM by The Fortress

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  19. Extremely Unhappy and Disappointed

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 11:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was just informed today that my 50 fly time trial at Zones will not count and will not be recognized by either USMS or FINA. I am very unhappy about this. I have swum the 50 fly in SCM twice this year, at IGLA and Zones. Neither time will count for FINA. My 50 and 100 backstroke times will not be counted by FINA either. So, with respect to FINA, it is as if I never swam my 3 best events. USMS will not recognize the 29.99 I just swam in the 50 fly.

    Here is the sequence of events:

    Background Facts:

    I swam the 50 fly in a time trial at Rutgers. I approached the meet director and referee during the meet and requested a time trial. I had been urged by some knowledgeable masters swimmers to request a time trial. The meet director and referee both granted the request and asked for all my information so that the time would count. They said I could swim the time trial at the end of the meet after the relays.

    When the meet results were initially submitted, my 50 fly time appeared in the USMS event rankings database on Tuesday following the meet. On Wednesday, it disappeared from the database. When this occurred, I sent emails to various people in USMS and on the forum asking what the problem could be. I got a HUGE range of responses, e.g., "time trials definitely count," "time trials should count, there must be some mistake," "time trials don't count," "maybe there's an admin error." I also got myriad possible rules that might govern -- different interpretations from everyone. Nothing consistent at all. No one seemed very sure about the rules.

    I was also concerned, and this concern was shared, that possibly someone had read my blog and complained about the time trial. If this was so, I was inclined to delete my blog. Who would do that to a competitor?! Should I maintain a blog if this were a possibility?

    I canvassed many masters swimmers I knew and found that time trials had been permitted, events had been added to meets that were not on the entry form, meet results had been submitted when the pool was not measured, etc. In other words, times definitely counted when the rules weren't followed. (I would not, however, use any of these as example or precedent since I would not want a fellow masters swimmer's times possibly disallowed. What normal decent person would?)

    LMSC Response:

    I sent an email to the LMSC Chair asking about the issue and asking what had happened to my time. He was very sympathetic and discussed it with the meet director and referee. They all felt the time should count, took a pro-swimmer approach and approved seeking a post-meet sanction/recognition for the time trial. But someone on the NJ LMSC Board did not agree with the LMSC Chair's recommendation, and it was submitted to the USMS Rules Committee for consideration.

    Rules Committee Response:

    I just heard from the Rules Committee (Rules Chair, Kathy Casey) and they will not recognize the time trial. Tellingly, to me, as a lawyer, she "looked through the rule book to see if this could be done" rather than looking to see if anything prohibited it. Not a pro swimmer approach. Moreover, generally, as a legal matter, if something is not prohibited, it is permissible. She cited two rules allegedly governing "trials/finals," Rules 102.10.1A and 102.6. The referee has "discretion" over the running of the meet. However, he/she cannot "change the order of events."

    I don't have my own copy of the rules, and need to print an online copy. However, I'm not sure the analysis is correct. I'm not sure the time trial "changed the order of events" (it was at the end of the meet) and I'm not sure it can really even be considered an "event." It is possibly more analogous to a "heat," which meet officials control. However, it may also not fall into either category.

    In fact, from what I understand, there is no actual rule(s): (1) explicitly governing time trials; (2) mandating that an announcement of a time trial must be made at the meet; or (3) saying that post meet event recognition is impermissible. If true, the time trial need not have been disallowed at all.

    In addition, Ms. Casey stated that the "real problem" was that, if I was doing it for top ten purposes, I could knock someone out of the top ten. Well, this is ridiculous. My prior 30.76 was easily in the USMS top ten. I would have knocked no one out if my 29.99 had counted. So the self-professed is pretty nonsensical.

    I was also told -- and this really takes the cake -- that, according to the skeptical NJ board member who requested the referral to the Rule Committee in the first place (or else it would have been approved), that this was tantamount to a non-USMS swimmer seeking recognition for a time they swam at an non-USMS meet to register for USMS after the fact to have the time "count." What?! A request for event recognition that was approved by the meet director, meet referee and NJ Chair was sent to the Rules Committee on this basis?!

    My situation is in no way comparable. I am a USMS swimmer swimming at a USMS sanctioned meet in a race that was in a legal measured pool, with officials and timers in place, and I was acting in reliance on the meet officials and meet referee. In this situation, I feel it is the meet personnel who should be penalized, not the swimmer. All meet conditions were in place and the supposed "real problem" did not exist.

    I fee that I've been "ruled" against based on non-existent rules. It would have been just as easy, and more logical, to construe the rules in my favor.

    Protest?

    Moreover, I have no idea how this even became an issue in the first place, whether someone protested it and whether that protest was in writing. Here is the protest rule, which was not complied with, as my time disappeared days after the meet:

    "Any other protest arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the alleged infraction took place."

    also

    '"Protests concerning interpretation of the rules...shal be submitted in writing (on paper or in an electronic file) within 10 days to the USMS Rules Committee chair, who shall issue a decision in writing within five days of the date of receipt of such protest, unless the USMS Rules Committee chair notifies the parties that the issue must come before the entire committee. The ruling shall be final and binding on all parties."

    Problems raised by this issue:

    This presents a myriad of problems:

    1. Why are the swimmers penalized instead of the meet officials? Why aren't the rules interpreted in a pro-swimmer manner?

    2. Why is there such inconsistency in treatment? Some times, even recent ones, were not done in accordance with the rules, and yet they count. Meets and meet directors do not follow the same rules; they all run differently. How can this be fixed? Are swimmers really expected to bring their own rule books and lasers to the pool? Why is mine singled out when I was acting in good faith and relying on meet officials? And why can I not learn precisely why there even became a "problem" with my time in the first place and why it disappeared from the event ranking database?

    3. How can times just disappear without swimmers being notified? It's like being DQ'd after the fact and not being told of the DQ. If I can be DQ'd and it's not my fault, I don't want to participate in the first place.

    4. What the heck are the rules anyway? Of the myriad people I consulted, I got many different answers. Only one gave me the answer the Rules Committee ultimately issued. Maybe there should be a "pitfalls" section on meet entry forms? Obviously, most masters swimmers are not aware of the actual rules.

    5. It is troublesome that even the rules enforcers don't know the rules -- even those running Zones Championships meets. How about these people learn the rules? If they don't know the rules, penalize them and not the swimmers. But to throw a legal swim out after the fact? On the other hand, if an explicit "rule" on time trials is not in the rule book, how can they know the rule?

    6. Rules need to be drafted or modified with respect to time trials. Instead of interpreting or stretching existing rules or offering rationalizations or underlying but non-codified "real reasons" (not in the rules) why something "must" be done, spell it out: "time trials will only count in X circumstances." Otherwise, inequities will continue to occur. In general, I think time trials should either count or not, one way or the other. Having them count "sometimes" and "depending" will only create problems.



    I am just disgusted. My 3 best events in SCM will not only not appear in the FINA lists for 2008, they will not appear in the all time top ten list where they belong. It's not that much consolation right now to say, "well, you know what you swam." Yes, I do. But we swimmers swim for time and compete against the clock. We swim at meets, and taper for meets, and prepare for meets, and travel to meets (sometimes at our family's expense), so that our times "count" and so that we can measure ourselves against our competitors in the nation and world wide. To have them thrown out after the fact and without notice, is dismal.

    I have no idea if there is a right of appeal. But I have inquired.

    Updated December 22nd, 2008 at 03:49 PM by The Fortress

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  20. Stroke Day, December 21

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 12:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swam with my team this morning. First time in ages as our pool's been close for USS meets most weekends in December.

    Warm up:

    1200 of various swim, kick, pulls, drills, scull was assigned. I did 700.

    Main Set:

    4 x through:

    1 x 200 IM on 3:00
    4 x 50 choice on :50
    4 x 25 AFAP on :30
    #1 fly
    #2 back
    #3 breast
    #4 free
    extra 30 seconds rest

    (I really enjoyed this set. Worked the 200 IMs and 25s. Cruised the 50s doing backstroke with good technique.)

    50 EZ

    Kick Set:

    1 x 300 kick on 5:30
    3 x 100 kick on 1:50
    4 x 24 kick on 1:00 AFAP

    200 C/D

    15 minutes in the hottub trying to ease the calf muscles and yucking with a couple teammates.

    Total: 3650

    Thoughts:

    The kick set was sort of a waste for me. I was getting calf cramps throughout, and had to skip a couple 50s. On reflection, I think this was partly because the kick set was at the very end of practice. I'm used to doing kick sets after warm up or in the middle of my own practices. My lanemate had the same issues and swam the set instead.

    Was mulling over the "two meet taper" approach. Ande did very well swimming at Ron John and Long Beach just "holding" his speed/taper. Wally Dicks swam at the Dolan meet, and did very well, and then went to a meet last weekend at the Cantonville Y in MD (crap pool) and swam 26.3 in the 50 breast -- a huge PB. He called it his "6 week taper." Sometime I'd like to try this approach and see what happens, although it would be a whole lot of tapering.

    Was sore today from weights. Still wheezing a little. Didn't bother to SDK much at all.
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