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  1. Wednesday, May 6

    by , May 6th, 2009 at 03:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    4 mile trail run. Had the plods, as expected. Still good to get outside. Think I'm sticking my calves in a bucket of ice tonight.


    Warm up:

    400 swim
    200 kick

    8 x 50 @ 1:00, various short axis drills
    (one arm fly, caterpillar, doggie paddle, Geek's one arm BR drill)

    16 x 25, alternate shooter on back, no fins, and BR kick on back

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Sets:

    4 x 200 tempo dolphin kick w/board & MF @ 2:50

    100 EZ

    20 x 50 backstroke w/fins @ :45
    50 EZ after 10
    1-10 around :34-35
    11-15, :34s (cramped some in here)
    16-20, :33s

    200 C/D

    Total: 3600

    Good luck to all those competing at Clovis!!!!
    Swim Workouts , Running
  2. Thrashed Legs, Tuesday, May 5

    by , May 5th, 2009 at 04:23 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Was on a mission to thrash the legs today, and did a pretty decent job. Remembered to bring my weight lifting gloves and ab slings to the gym today. I like the gloves; the hands feel much better. Then I did a Tall Paul kick workout that I had saved a few months ago, waiting for the beginning of a new training cycle. I only hope I can run tomorrow ...


    deadlift, 110 x 2 x 10
    tricep press, 55 x 1 x 10, 60 x 1 x 10, 65 x 1 x 10
    standing lat pulldown, 140 x 2 x 10
    bench press, 70 x 1 x 10, 90 x 2 x 10
    squat rows on flat side of bosu, 40 x 2 x 15
    elevated crunches, 4 x 25 (2 w/med ball, 2 w/10 lb weight between feet)
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, both sides
    prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
    alternating forward lunges w/med ball, 2 x 20
    hip hinges w/12.5 DBs, 2 x 15
    hanging ab work w/ab slings:
    reverse crunches aka knee raises, 2 x 15
    leg raises, 2 x 15
    twisting reverse crunches, 2 x 15

    (Forgot to do pull ups or chin ups. Need to get back to doing those.)

    10 minutes of stretching


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    6 x 100:
    odds, single arm fly drill @ 1:45
    evens, backstroke @ 1:40

    Tall Paul Kick Sets:

    6 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30, cruiser speed

    50 EZ

    10 x 50 dolphin kick on back w/MF @ :50
    odds, under/over
    evens, over/under

    under = underwater shooter, no breather
    over = kick on top of water

    50 EZ

    200 kick for time:

    Did this dolphin kick on back w/MF, went 1:58, tried to negative split. I realize I've never done a 200 kick for time before ... Pain!

    100 EZ

    8 x 25, easy speed flutter kick shooters, no fins @ :40

    100 kick for time:
    Did dolphin kick on back w/MF. Cramped big time, but tried to kick through it. Went 52ish with bit of a roll start (from a push).

    100 EZ

    8 x 25 BR kick
    Started with board, but I was quickly reminded that I hate BR kicking with a board, so just kicked in a streamline position.

    50 kick for time
    tried this, cramped too much, had to abandon

    50 EZ

    8 x 25, alternate back shooter, no fins + 25 easy
    I have to say back shooters are pretty easy for me now with the nose clip.

    200 C/D

    Total: 3900


    Team for Nats:

    Still mulling over LC Nats. It appears that very few, if any, of my teammates are going. (Speedo?) And no chicks. So I would not be able to swim any relays. This would be disappointing to me, as Saturday is set aside as "relay day." I've always been a loyalist, and am very happy with my one and only masters team. I also am opposed to faux super team relays. However, I think it would be quite fun to swim on a team with my friends. So, for LC Nats only, I think I am going to switch team affiliations and join other Team Hottub members on the Academy Bullets team coached by Chris Colburn. Other friends are switching affiliations (Hulk, FlyQueen, Michelina, Imspoiled, Poolraat, maybe Jimby?) and I think we'd have a blast together in Indy. Plus, this means that we can have some Bad Girrlz relays. Who can resist that?

    Now I just have to figure out which events to enter ... Need to look at the order of events again. 100 fly is out because it's between the 50 free and 50 back on Sunday. So it could be a line up of 50 back, 100 back, 200 back, 50 fly, 50 free, and 50 breast. Hope none of them are back to back ... The only downside of mega relays on Saturday is that the 50 back is ONCE AGAIN virtually the last event of the meet. I could be half dead for it ... I sort of wonder why they put relays on Saturday rather than Sunday?

    Updated May 5th, 2009 at 10:17 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  3. Monday, May 4

    by , May 4th, 2009 at 02:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still feeling sore. May have overdone the push ups the other day or it could just be function of the 2 week+ lay off from weights. I'm going to focus on weights/drylands and mostly aerobic work in and out of the pool the next few weeks as I reboot and re-periodize. Then, I'll start adding more of the usual race pace work back in.


    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Aerobic Sets:

    5 x 200 dolphin kick w/board & MF @ 2:45

    50 EZ

    2 x through:

    6 x 75, 6 x 50 , 6 x 25, done as:

    6 x 75 @ 1:45, 50 back w/10 SDKs off each wall + 25 feet first scull on back
    6 x 50 @ 1:00, single arm fly, 25 right arm + 25 left arm
    6 x 25 @ :30, flutter kick shooters, alternate on back and belly

    50 EZ

    6 x 75 free @ 1:15, emphasizing 6 beat kick
    (kicking more makes me go faster, not slower, and raises my heart rate)
    6 x 50 breast-dolphin w/MF, working on streamlines and glide (3 strokes per length)
    6 x 25 shooters on back w/MF @ 10 second RI

    200 C/D

    Total: 3800


    Updated a couple of my events showing time drop progressions to include Zones:

    50 Back SCY:

    31.17 (poly tank)(10/05)
    30.25 (FS II)(4/06)
    29.92 (FS II (Nats)(5/06)
    30.45 (FS II)(10/06)
    30.15 (FS II)(4/07)
    29.80 (R-Pro)(11/07)
    29.55 (H-Pro)(4/08)
    29.34 (H-Pro)(5/08)
    29.16 (B70)(9/08)
    28.52 (B70)(2/09)
    28.06 (B70)(4/25)
    27.90 (very used LZR)(4/25)

    50 fly, SCY:

    29.8 (poly tank)(10/05)
    29.5 (FS)(4/06)
    28.8 (FS II)(5/06)
    29.3 (FS)(10/06)
    28.8 (FS)(4/07)
    28.8 (FS II)(10/07)
    28.4 (R-Pro)(4/08)
    27.6 (H-Pro)(5/08)
    27.5 (B70)(9/08)
    27.3 (B70)(10/08)
    27.24 (B70)(2/09)
    27.06 (B70)(4/26)

    Looking at these times, it would appear that tech suits help my back more than fly. This could just be the nose clip factor though. Clearly, staying under longer is faster for me in backstroke, at least in a 50. I do have an instinctive sense that the B70 doesn't help comparatively as much in 50 fly as other 50s for me. Perhaps because, like Chris S., I am a high recovery flyer? Not sure about a 100+ analysis. I've always felt the B70s helped more in longer events though.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Team Practice, Sunday, May 3

    by , May 3rd, 2009 at 12:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Dragged myself out of bed today. Pretty sore from weights. But made it to my team practice.

    Warm up:

    300 swim/150 kick
    300 swim/150 scull
    300 swim/150 choice

    (I did about 1000 of this)

    Main sets:

    8 x vertical kick @ 50
    20 seconds with hands at shoulders, 10 seconds with arms in superman streamline, squat jump off bottom of pool
    (4 flutter, 4 dolphin)

    50 EZ

    5 x 150 IM @ 2:30, drop 1 stroke (I dropped free)

    50 EZ

    5 x 150 kick @ 2:45
    50 no free kick+ 100 free kick
    (I did 3 that way and 2 all backstroke kick, only managed 6 kicks off each wall)

    50 EZ

    6 x 75 @ 1:50
    25 UW flutter kick shooter + 25 tricep finish drill + 25 AFAP free

    (We switched the interval from 1:40 to 1:50, so we could actually go fast on the last 25. I used fins.)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3200

    Sat in the hot tub with an ice pack ...

    Updated May 5th, 2009 at 09:24 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  5. Saturday, May 2

    by , May 2nd, 2009 at 06:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Run + Weights:

    Went on a 5 mile trail run today. Didn't feel nearly as bad as earlier in the week!

    Hit the gym for a quick workout. Forgot my weight lifting gloves. I'm going to have to stick them in the car or something ...

    squats on Hammer machine, 200 x 2 x 15
    standing lat pulldown, 130 x 2 x 12
    narrow grip seated row, 100 x 2 x 12
    alternating hammers, 25 x 2 x 20
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, both sides
    push ups, 4 x 15, 1 x 25
    elevated crunches w/10 lb weight held by feet, 4 x 25
    back extensions w/20 lb FB, 2 x 25
    hip hinges on left leg w/2 10 lb DBs, 2 x 15
    prone scapular scrunches w/3 lb hand weights for RC, 2 x 25

    (I think I did something else, but I can't remember ...)


    When you're doing body weight exercises like push ups or chin ups, does it make a difference in terms of strength how close together you do your sets? Should they be consecutive ideally? Can you cycle through them with other exercises? Can you do them throughtout the day and still have a strength benefit?

    I'm not really loving squatting with weights/barbells on my shoulders. The Smith machine was padded, but it still bothers me when things (like barbells) rest on top of my shoulders and traps ...

    Found a picture dictionary of some ab exercises. Pics are good! http://www.ab-core-and-stomach-exerc...exercises.html Really need to get around to purchasing an ab roller.

    Updated May 3rd, 2009 at 11:58 AM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Running
  6. Friday, May 1

    by , May 1st, 2009 at 04:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Back in the water now. Still taking it pretty easy. I think Sunday am will be my first real workout back. I seem to recall after the Auburn meet that my first post-taper workout at GMU was a killer!


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    6 x (2 x 25 UW shooter on back, no fins + 25 EZ)

    Played around with amplitude on these. Saw Mike Ross suggested this on the forum, and I think it's a good tip. Did first 4 shooters with a large amplitude, taking 18-19 kicks. LOVE doing these slow drilly dolphin kicks and going deep. Then did 4 going medium speed with smaller amplitude, took 20-21 kicks. Then back to 4 with 18-19 kicks.

    50 EZ

    Aerobic Set:

    10 x 50
    5 back @ 1:00 (10 SDK+ 8 SDK off walls)
    5 free @ 50

    Kick Mountain:

    Dolphin kick w/MF. Up the mountain w/board and down the mountain on back.

    1 x 50 @ :45
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    300 free
    1 x 200 @ 3:00
    1 x 150 @ 2:15
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 50 @ :45

    200 C/D

    Total: 3200


    Historically, I've always been happy when SCY season ended, so I could focus on LC. I've always liked LC, especially for free without all those turns. But not this year ... I feel like I've finally, after many months, made a breakthrough on my backstroke SDKs. Wouldn't mind a few more short course races.


    Ran in forumite NothinBut50s at the rec center. Great guy -- trains just like Jazz. He's getting back into the pool after a knee and back injury. We bemoaned not being able to use the starting blocks -- country regulation. He said the lifeguards sometimes let him use them at 9:00 pm when no one's there. Not my usual practice time anymore, though it used to be.


    Just planning a short run for tomorrow, unless it rains and all the kids' activities are cancelled.

    Will do some RC work now. Adding in hip hinges with dumbells on the left leg. Need to research some other balance exercises.

    Updated May 1st, 2009 at 04:28 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  7. Back to the gym, Thursday, April 30

    by , April 30th, 2009 at 03:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Back to the gym today! It felt like I had been away so long (really only 2 weeks) that I couldn't remember what to do at first ... lol Lowered the amount of weight on some exercises, as I reboot the lifting.

    deadlift, 90 x 2 x 12
    standing lat pull down, 120 x 2 x 15
    overhead tricep press w/BB, 30 x 2 x 15
    bench press (Hammer), 90 x 2 x 10
    bicep curl w/BB, 40 x 2 x 15
    leg press, 310 x 2 x 15
    cable twist w/ball, 35 x 2 x 15, each side
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    alternating hammers, 20 x 2 x 20

    crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    decline reverse crunches, 2 x 25
    dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
    jack knifes on ball, 2 x 15
    stand on bosu with one leg and lower body (don't know what this is called -- one leg squat?), 2 x 10
    forward lunges, 2 x 15
    push ups, 1 x 15, 1 x 25

    10 minutes stretching

    Chatted with a serious masters runner who thought I was gumby. Runners always seem to think this, but they are often as rigid as a board! lol


    I am still really fatigued. My daughter's been waking up in the middle of the night for some reason, and that probably contributes. There is no way I would want to do a meet this weekend. I think the fatigue from Zones will put a permanent kabosh on any thoughts of back to back meets. In fact, thinking ahead to next year, I wonder if swimming Zones before Nats at Atlanta (assuming I go) is really a good idea ... Right now, it doesn't seem like it. I wish our Zones meet was not 2 weeks before Nats. Definitely too close for my taste.

    May hop on my bike for 20 minutes this afternoon. Going to the pool for sure tomorrow.


    I realized I had lent my B70 to my kid for a couple swims the last day of JOs when she was on her 16-17 events ... So my B70 #2 probably has 20+ swims now. I'm thinking I need a back up suit for LC Nats. I guess I still have my hineck Pro, but Mini-Fort has used that too ... Need to mull this over. Need to make my hotel reservations too.

    (Oh, she went 3 seconds slower in the B70 than the Pro. )

    Updated April 30th, 2009 at 05:52 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  8. Still dead, Wed., April 29

    by , April 29th, 2009 at 02:45 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Wow, I am still absolutely dead from the meet. Not recovering quickly at all. Am now glad I'm not going to the NY meet this weekend, as traveling sounds tiring ... Looking forward to a weekend with the family & watching my kids' sporting events!

    Was heading to the gym, but cancelled that plan. Just did RC and some stretching today. Taking Bobinator's advice and listening to the body!

    I am weary of all the tech suit haters. I believe that the suits make everyone faster, and that I have benefitted from my B70. Especially in my first set of unrested and tapered times. However, I have been wearing the B70 for a long now; I was one of the first masters to get it -- I followed Ande's recommendation immediately and spoke to Dean in Europe to discuss getting one. (This is consistent with my penchant for trying new things. No reason not to be adventurous.) I now have so many times in it, that I'm inclined to think I've seen most of the benefits from the suit and that my subsequent time drops are at least somewhat due to other factors. Even under Jimby's prior (and flawed! :P) analysis, I've dropped time since I last tapered in the B70 in February. This may be wishful thinking on my part, and some say it is, but I continue to believe that weights have helped me. How many times do you have to wear a suit before every single improvement ceases to attributed to it?! Right now, I feel like I'm comparing "apples to apples" since I always swim in a B70.

    My current B70 (#2) now has 18 races in it, plus all the warm downs. I also warmed up in it on Saturday of Zones, as I didn't have time to struggle into it before my first race. BTW, I disliked warming up in it and will try to avoid doing it again.

    Updated April 29th, 2009 at 03:02 PM by The Fortress

  9. Tuesday, April 28

    by , April 28th, 2009 at 05:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still feeling simultaneously and

    Yesterday, I swam very slowly for about 35-40 minutes with Stud and sat in a hot tub. Stud has a very fancy state-of-the-art snorkle!

    Got a post meet deep tissue massage later. The therapist said my calves were a "mess." She was worried the cramping problems might indicate some vitamin deficiency or absorption issue. Dunno ... I try to be careful about potassium. I think the suspect, which I tend to blame for all post 40s negativity, is hormones. The alternative is that I am not used to swimming that many events and doing starts. All the starts might have been what did in my calves. Hamstrings are tight as well.

    I was also cogitating on WTH accounts for my 50 evil at Zones. I recently swam a 50 evil in LC in a B70 that converted to about my seed time. So I was not sandbagging and the drop is somewhat inexplicable. I haven't been lunging, which is apparently good for evilstroke ... I guess it could be just overall strength improvement. Or maybe it was a well-timed fluke!

    I do feel like a owe a big THANK YOU to everyone giving me advice and encouragement on my blog!!! It really helps! Special thanks to Jazz and QBrain for all the weight advice. Jimby may think the B70 is "magic," and I do love it, but I'm inclined to think weights are more magical.

    Today, I hobbled out in the sunshine for a 5 mile jog (the word "run" is not really applicable & I walked an "up" on mile 4). Legs were dead, but it felt fabulous to be outside.

    Uploaded pictures from the weekend. I think we have a new candidate for Speedo Man! lol. Remind me never to take a picture with Hulk again. He makes me look like a freaking midget.

    Updated April 28th, 2009 at 09:37 PM by The Fortress

  10. CZ Day 2: Swim Fast & Partay!

    by , April 27th, 2009 at 09:46 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    As expected, I was very excited and blissed out from yesterday, so didn't do that well in the sleep department. Fortunately, I slept in a wee bit because my first event, mixed 200 free relay wasn't until 11:45. But sleep wasn't the problem -- cramps! I woke up with crazy sore calve muscles. Had Mr. Fort give me a quick massage, which practically made me scream. I guess it was just the lactic acid build up from yesterday? Not used to swimming 6 events. That's what Coach Cheryl thought. I obviously need a "masher." lol. Not sure what else could have caused it ... I was eating bananas and drinking gatorade ... was warming down when I could between events (but maybe not enough with the crazy consecutive last 3 events from yesterday) ...

    Anyway, that effected the days events, as I cramped on every start and wall. This phenomenon obviously makes my dolphin kick, my major weapon, less effective. I was very happy that I didn't sign up for the 100 IM first thing in the am, as that is a heavy duty lactate event for me with all the switching of strokes. Didn't swim the 100 back, as I had just swum 2 crampy 50s and was hobbling. A bit disappointed, but glad I have my 1:02 split request on file, though I think I might have gone faster. Always another time!

    Despite this Day 2 issue, I had a great time at the meet, had a few good swims on Sunday, had a fantastic time watching all the fast swimming, and had fun at the post meet party. My team won the medium team championship for the first time in 5 years, so we were psyched about that.


    35+ mixed 200 free relay, 1:37, 1st place

    I went about 85-90%, shaking the cobwebs out. Split a 25.3. Two of my relay mates are swimming at Clovis in 2 weeks, and I wish them the best of luck!

    50 fly, 27.06

    Had 5 heats of rest. Only got 2 lengths of warm down. Took 9 SDKs off the start and turn. Cramped on both though, so I was kicking through pain and had to take one extra breath the second length. Stud said I visibly accelerated the last 15 yards, as the cramp subsided. Was super happy to see a 27.06 in light of this. This broke my Zone record from last year of 28.4.

    25 + medley relay, 1:53, 1st place

    Swam the fly leg on this relay. Had a break after my 50 fly, so felt more rested. Split 26.77 with a safe start.

    Was a tad bummed I didn't sign up for the 50 free, as it would have been nice to take all 4 50s. But you can't swim everything in one meet!


    Fort party was a blast. Hope everyone had a good time. I'll put up pictures soon. (Just so y'all know, we decided after John left that Wookiee looks just like Zac Ephron. )
    This morning, I'm going to have a warm down swim/hot tub with Stud. I also have a massage booked, which I had anticipated as recovery before the NY meet. But I could still use it. I think my calves need some work before I can go on my post meet run tomorrow. My shoulders/traps also feel a bit like someone took a hammer to them.


    Tech suit thoughts:


    First, don't sit in gum in a B70!! Holy crap, not sure where I sat in it, but it smeared all across my butt (I promised SwimRobin that I would actually confess this in public, lol) -- goopy pinkish stuff. I was kinda freaked out, thinking it had ruined my B70. Fortunately, it came out with some ice cubes, but I was required to make a tech suit change.

    I've told Chris this, but FYI guys, Mike Ross was much happier with B70 legs for back and fly than the full body B70. He did recommend it for ALL swimmers, but I remain content with my full body. lol And, WOW, it was fun seeing several of his swims! (He also lectured my on excess eventage, but got that it was my team zone meet.)

    On the Jimby front, he is still cogitating on how to spin the B70 science experiment. He wanted full Jimby credit for his swims and I am giving it to him!! Seriously though, in his big 3 events (100 free, 200 free and 500 free), he swam very very well, but the times (all age group PBs) were what (at least I) thought he was well capable of swimming in a fast pool. I'll let him do the time reporting, but it was much less than .5 per 50 in these events. He did swim a very very nice 400 IM as well and dropped a lot of time there.

    B70 vs. LZR:

    A few people from GMU conducting experiments using borrowed LZRs. I had a borrowed LZR with a recordbreaker back. It had been used for 10-12 swims. I decided to wear a B70 for one of my 50 backs and the LZR for the other to compare. They were, as reported, within .1 of each other. So, for me, I'm not sure there was much difference time wise. But perhaps the LZR would have been slightly faster if it had been brand new or if I had used one with a zipper? I think so ...

    I won't wear a recordbreaker back again though. I haven't worn an open recordbreaker back since my Pro pre-Austin. Yuck! I felt like I had water wooshing down my back. Very odd sensation. Might have been because I'm so used to the B70? Or because the LZR is cut very low in the back? I swam 2 relays in the suit and it was worse. In my 100 fly leg of the medley relay, I felt like I had water wooshing down the back and front. And that was a pretty mediocre swim.

    What I can say is that I don't think the B70 is any more of a "floatation" suit than the LZR really. The LZR has plenty of noticeable "float" in the bottom half where all the impermeable material is. Frankly, I think having more float in the bottom and less in the top (a la Mike's comments) might be the best for me as well. But, like others, I have major concerns about the fragility and lack of durability of the LZR. I really think it's basically a one meet suit. I saw a couple swimmers with whacking big holes in their LZRs. Of course, Hulk popped a big hole in his brand new B70 and my teammate and Mike Ross had runs in the back of their B70s. At least I only had the gum problem!

    Updated April 28th, 2009 at 12:33 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  11. CZ Day 1: 6 Events

    by , April 25th, 2009 at 09:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I survived my first day ever swimming 6 events. Yes, I am dead now, but fairly hyper as I had a nice surprise. We'll see about sleep tonight ... lol

    Here's how it went, including some nose clip magic:

    1. 100 free, 57.4

    Felt like utter absolute crap in warm up, wasn't too jazzed about swimming this event. Did 75 easy speed + 25 fast. And that felt horrible. Still, went 57.4. I was told my turnover was slow but powerful. Had trouble off the turns and with breakouts, confirmed by wookiee. I think it's likely because I rarely do freestyle in practice. Occasionally, I feel like crap on my first event of a meet and then go on to swim better. I think that is what happened here.

    I did loaf just enough to lose my Zones record by .05. Not overly concerned. Will now take another 2 year hiatus, as I'm not fond of this event. Got points for my team -- which is currently leading the medium team division!!

    2. 25+ 200 mixed medley relay, did back leg, went 28.06 (had a split request in)

    Led off the relay. After the 100 free, I was a tad worried about letting down my speedy relay teammates. And I decided to use my nose clip for the first time. Was very fast, 28.0, which is .5 faster than my time in Auburn. I was *told* *lectured* that I was *perhaps* a wee bit past the 15 meter mark. (It was my first real backstroke start ever with B70 + nose clip.) Just glad our relay wasn't DQ'd. I went very deep on the start. Our 25+ relay got 1st place. I think we went a 1:45 or so. Speedo had a great free leg.

    (I was really happy with my time cuz it put me .1 ahead of Sue Walsh this year. In fact, I was so happy I told a teammate that I didn't care how the open 50 back went (see below), as I had a PB/Zone Record. lol)

    3. 50 breast, 34.11

    I had exactly 4 heats of 50s after the medley relay for rest. But I sucked it up to swim my very very fav event. It had been almost 4 years since I last swam it and went 37+. But my recent LC time in a B70 converted to 37, which is why that was my seed time. Very surprisingly, I dropped 3+ seconds. I think the dolphin kick at the top of the pullout helps me. Couldn't figure out what to do between the flags and the walls and changed my tempo at both ends. Set the Zone record in this event though. Everyone go ahead and have a good laugh now.

    4. 50 back, 27.90, NR:

    OK, very shocked and happy to go under 28. WTH?! I was just hoping to go 29+ at this meet. Didn't think I'd touch my Auburn time. This time I was more conservative on the start and came up at the 14.8 meter mark. As I saw Jazz noted, nose clips are not just a fashion statement!

    Event 23 Women 45-49 50 Yard Backstroke
    ================================================== =======================
    ZONE: Z 29.34 4/15/2007 Vibeke Swanson
    NATL: ! 28.00 5/20/2007 K PIPES-NEILSEN
    Name Age Team Seed Finals Points
    ================================================== =======================
    1 Livingston, Les 47 GMUP 29.10 27.90! 9

    My coach told me I broke the NR. Didn't even know what it was before I swam ... Shocked! I think KPN has swum faster too since the last record book publication too, but still --- I believe we both get credit for being under the existing NR.

    Last year at Zones, I swam a 29.5, so this is a big drop in a 50 for one year. Definitely not all B70! In fact, Jimby just announced that he now thinks all improvement is due to monofin use and my kick workouts. Hahahaha.

    5. Women's 35+ 400 medley relay

    I had one heat of rest, one. This is not a good plan for sprinters. I think we need breaks between relays at this meet ... I swam the fly leg, went 1:03. Really tried to cruise the first 50. Couldn't seem to SDK at all, no legs. Died like a dog as usual the last 15 yards, but I had warned our freestyler that this would, in fact, and inevitably, occur. My team went 4:29, which is 4 seconds than we went last year in the same event where we grabbed the top spot.

    6. Women's 35+ 200 free relay

    One measly heat of rest. Went my all time slowest 50 free ever leading off the relay! Yay! But we won the event and got points for the team.

    Dined with friends at Red Hot & Blue. Many enchanting photographs were taken, which will be downloaded at some later point. Feeling a little tuckered, but very happy.

    Updated April 27th, 2009 at 04:31 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. No time to swim!

    by , April 24th, 2009 at 03:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    No time to swim today. Probably all right to have an off day. Instead, I:

    purchased massive quantities of food;
    answered numerous text messages from swimmers, lol;
    tended children;
    drank copious amounts of water and green tea;
    contemplated an ice bath;
    purchased daffodils and tulips
    stretched out Jimby's B70
    packed swim bag (with back up suit!)

    Ready for the meet and festivities! Expecting about 20 or so forumites, assorted GMUP teammates, spouses (they're very brave to tolerate all the boring swim shop talk!) and children on Sunday. Should be perfect weather, 85 degrees and sunny. Pool is open. No hottub for Team Hottub members though. Someone else will have to host that one! Thought we could celebrate Wookiee's birthday early. In lieu of a cake, he's requested kisses from all the beautiful ladies.

    Not nervous yet. I just read that a friend was nauseous before her meet. Doesn't seem terribly uncommon. Does this happen to anyone else? Do we swim better the more nervous we are or not? I've found that, for me, some nerves/adrenline is definitely good ... but I seem to swim just as fast relaxed with my bad ass sprinter attitude. I seem to calm down when I've got my first event under my belt.

    Updated April 24th, 2009 at 03:57 PM by The Fortress

  13. Thursday, April 23

    by , April 23rd, 2009 at 05:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Another snoozer, just a bit more than a meet warm up:

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    6 x 25 UW shooter on back

    50 EZ

    Speed set:

    2 x 25 build kick

    50 EZ

    2 x 25 build free

    50 EZ

    2 x (25 AFAP free + 50 EZ)

    100 easy

    Total: 1350


    Hypochondriasis Report:

    Shoulder mostly better, headache much better, hip is bothering me some again. I think, since this has been bothering me some for a few months, that I may have the dread "muscular imbalance" problem. Once the meet's over, I'll start focusing on this issue. Mr. Fort has had a much worse version. He's been working with a trainer to fix it and is much better, so can show me exercises to do, which I understand includes running on little trampolines.

    Feel OK in the water. I've never had that "racehorse" feeling before a meet. I think this is a fictional construct or experienced mostly by the 20 somethings ... For me, it's just best to ignore how I feel physically before a meet and try to get jazzed up mentally. Some swim friends are coming for dinner tomorrow, so that should start the weekend off nicely!

    Made hotel reservations for the Boston Marathon next year. I'm told you must do this waaaaay in advance.

    Updated April 23rd, 2009 at 05:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  14. Meditating Daffodils?

    by , April 22nd, 2009 at 04:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Woke up today with a headache again. (WTF?!) Decided I needed to work on cheerfulness. One of my favorite west coast gurus, Ahelee, suggested I meditate about yellow daffodils (in lieu of meditating about deers for speed). I did this for a minute or two ... that's about my tolerance for meditation, as Ahelee knows. Then I proceeded to listen to loud psych music and purchase copious amounts of beer and wine for the party on Sunday. That helped more.

    After this, I went to the pool and chiro.

    Pool work:
    (This is so dull, one can barely bother typing it ...)

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Speed Work:

    10 x 25 UW shooters on back

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP free + 75 EZ)

    100 EZ

    Total: 1750



    My chiro agreed that I had completely torqued my neck and that that was what has been causing my constant headaches. Got a neck adjustment and tune up for the shoulders. Hopefully, that will do the trick.

    Met Alan Webb today. He was finishing his appt when I arrived. He's racing the mile at Drake University this weekend and hoping for perfect weather conditions.



    Got my relay assignments today. I'm swimming:

    Saturday morning:
    25+ Mixed 200 Medley: Leslie, Petra, Mark, Pete

    Saturday afternoon:
    35+ women 400 medley: Barb, Karlin, Leslie, Cheryl
    35+ women 200 free relay: Leslie, Cheryl, Barb, Melissa

    Sunday morning:
    35+ mixed 200 free: Pete, Brad, Leslie, Cheryl

    Sunday afternoon:
    25+ women 200 medley: Barb, Petra, Leslie, Cheryl

    Very psyched to be swimming with Petra Martin, who has mad skills, but she is really dragging down our relay "age." Swimming some relays with Speedo and my favorite teammates too! I haven't swum relays in a long time, so looking forward to that. Last year, this same 400 medley relay was #1 in the nation. Not bad for a small non-superteam!


    B70 Experiment:

    Got Jimby's suit in the mail from Sportsman BillS. I'll be sure to take many photos of Jim in it, especially after he's eaten his 5 steaks on Friday night.

    Updated April 24th, 2009 at 10:22 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  15. Evil is in me ...

    by , April 21st, 2009 at 04:52 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Standard resting workout:

    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    8 x 50 back @ 1:00

    Was trying for easy speed. Had none, these are the slowest 50s backs I've done in recent memory.

    50 EZ

    Speed Work:

    3 x (25 build free + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 AFAP kick w/fins + 25 easy)

    3 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    1 x 50 back AFAP w/fins (25ish)

    200 C/D

    Total: 1900


    The evil is in me, and I'm not talking about evilstroke. Seems like full on taper bitchies (confirmed by Mini-Fort), compounded by headache and totally wrenched neck/left trap. Going to chiro tomorrow. Felt dreadful in the water, the worst I've felt in ages. Hope that goes away; trying to ignore it.

    I'm not going to the SCM meet in NY. I called the meet director today just to get a sense of the timeline and confirm receipt of my entry before I booked a flight. My entry was apparently mysteriously lost in the mail. (I didn't make a copy of it.) I don't have a fax machine and couldn't get to one today, as I'm too busy. Entry deadline has passed. So I'm crossing this meet off my list. Hopefully, I can find another one to go to later in the year. Bad luck + taper/sick bitchies is a bad combo. Perhaps it's just better to get back to training anyway!

    Hope I get my mojo back soon. I think a run is needed. Trying to resist the urge to walk right out the door this very minute ... Promise to be less whiney in future posts!

    Updated April 21st, 2009 at 09:13 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  16. Monday, April 20

    by , April 20th, 2009 at 06:10 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    750 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main sets:

    8 x 25 back shooters, no fins

    50 EZ

    3 x (25 build + 25 EZ)

    50 EZ

    2 x (50 AFAP back w/fins + 100 EZ)
    (went 26 & 25ish)

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

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

    150 C/D

    Total: 2000


    Felt like crap when I tried to sprint. Maybe I've cut back enough since the crazy training that I'm supposed to feel crappy now? Don't know ... Still feeling fatigued and headachey though. Not my usual self yet. It just doesn't feel like resting or tapering when it's not intentional. Glad the meet's not until the weekend!

    Updated April 20th, 2009 at 08:21 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  17. Sunday, April 19

    by , April 19th, 2009 at 06:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As I expected, couldn't get to the pool. Wasn't feeling great anyway. Did some stretching and RC exercises.


    Couldn't get to my team practice today. Older two kids were running/helping with a 5K and younger one is now sick. And Mr. Fort is at his law school reunion. Haven't done a start since Auburn. Oh well, lol.

    Ventured to the Rec Center, which is usually mobbed on weekends. Had a lane to myself for awhile and then there was a massive influx of triathletes and noodlers. I'm happy to share a lane with triathletes, but I don't want to do their endless freestyle circle swimming. They actually seems surprised by that, as if regular pool swimming doesn't exist ... I ended up switching lanes and sharing a lane with another fellow prepping for Zones. Had noodler trouble as well. One woman was doing a frog kick (with weights on her ankles) that was wider than my body length. She repeatedly kicked me on my side of the lane line. I finally had to stop and explain why this was not acceptable.

    With two illness and two more weeks of tapering, I'm sure the taper bitchies will really be in full swing ...

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim

    Main sets:

    16 x 25 backstroke shooters @ 1:00, no fins

    50 EZ

    8 x 50 backstroke @ 1:10
    10 SDKs off the walls

    50 EZ

    8 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)

    50 EZ

    6 x (25 AFAP free + 50 easy)

    100 C/D

    Total: 2600


    Dynamic Stretching:

    At Patrick and Q's suggestion, I did some dynamic rather than static stretching this am. Did straight leg march, scorpion, handwalks, side bends, trunk rotations, hamstring stretch, back/ab stretch on ball and leg swings. I have to admit, it didn't feel like I was doing much of anything. Read up on it a bit:

    What I haven't taken the time to research is whether static stretching is still good to do after working out? That's when I typically, but not always, do it.



    Checked the psych sheet for Zones. Pretty competitive this year! I will have to get my ass in gear for a couple events or my Zone records will be erased. My former secret nemesis is swimming again this year.

    I have a borrowed LZR that I might use for a swim or two. I think it's seen about 10 swims, so it could technically be "done." As for the stretching, I think it would just have stretched to my size. But I'll have to try it on. Found Chris' comment that Sue Walsh prefers the LZR interesting. I know Michelle Chow does too. In fact, from what I have gleaned from masters and USS swimmers, it seems the slimmer-sprinter types prefer the LZR. This would be consistent with my own view that the B70 "float" helps relatively more in distance events. But who knows for sure?

    With respect to B70 use, Jim Clemmons tells me his suit now has 60+ swims. He's still swimming extemely fast in it too.

    This was supposed to be a "maintenance" week. I was worried I wasn't doing much at all, but still got in 5 swims for almost 16,000 yards and one short weight session. The last couple workouts have been pretty light, I guess, owing to being sick.

    Updated April 19th, 2009 at 07:29 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  18. Bit of Hypoxic, Friday, April 17

    by , April 17th, 2009 at 05:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Still under the weather and an energy-less FAF, but better than yesterday!

    AM: Massage

    Got a deep tissue massage. Ouch! Guess I had some cranky muscles. The tightest area is my middle back. (Lower back was fine.) How exactly does one stretch the middle back?

    PM Swim/SCY/Solo:

    Just a short workout. Wanted to keep feel and not sure I can get to the pool tomorrow. Did some hypoxic work that I like to do when I'm resting or feeling sub par.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Hypoxic Sets:

    10 x 25 back UW shooter w/MF @ :30

    50 EZ

    Then, realizing that I had just told She Puff that I had become too besotted with my MF lately and needed to do some fin-less SDK work, I grudgingly took it off.

    10 x (25 back UW shooter no fins + 25 EZ) @ 1:15

    50 EZ

    3 x 150 (50 scull, 50 kick, 50 swim)
    7 SDKs off each wall on kick and swim

    50 EZ

    5 x (25 belly UW shooter no fins + 25 EZ)

    200 C/D

    Total: 2275


    The UW shooters with no fins were easier than I anticipated. For the last year, I've felt faster/better on my belly shooters than my back shooters and have started avoiding back shooters because of the air bleeding. With a nose clip, I felt like this phenomenon was reversed: I felt faster and more comfortable on my back. Though I took about 21 kicks each way.

    Will try to get to my team practice on Sunday if I'm feeling better to practice some starts, etc. I won't be doing 3000, though, so I may be a dirty rotten selfish rule breaking teammate that is disrupting the normal swimming protocol. I suspect a few others are tapering for Zones too though. But, since I'm one of few sprinters, I'm sure I'll do less yardage.
  19. Really sick, Blech!

    by , April 16th, 2009 at 02:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I'm sick again, and it's making me really dang grumpy. Could be allergies run amuck or a nasty cold I picked up traveling. Very frustrating, as I just had a severe cold two weeks ago. So forced to take a day off. Just hope I get better soon, as I have a very packed weekend. If I don't, I may question the back to back meet plan or the number of events at Zones ... For sure, I'm going to kick into rest mode swim wise and not overdo it in the pool the next few days.

    Going to lay on the couch now and feel sorry for myself. April is just not my month.

  20. Wed., April 15

    by , April 15th, 2009 at 05:13 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Since Jazz is cranking out the yardage, I decided to steal his workout from yesterday. With modifications, of course. No paddles. Swam with fins.


    Warm up:

    700 variety warm up

    10 x 25 shooters on back w/MF

    Main set:

    8 x 25 build free @ :35
    8 x 25 fast backstroke kick @ :30
    8 x 25 smooth free w/overkick @ :35
    50 EZ
    8 x 100 @ 1:50
    odds = easy speed free, trying to remember to kick
    evens = cruiser backstroke kick
    50 EZ
    8 x 25 easy speed fly @ :45
    8 x 25 fast MF shooter @ :40, alternate back & belly
    8 x 25 "burst" free @ :40 (15 fast, 10 cruise)

    200 C/D

    Total: 3250



    Went to the chiro after swimming. He said I had some hot spots, had probably overdone the weights, but nothing serious. He nixed Kipping pull ups. No surprise there. He gave me a free supplement to try on a guinea pig basis. It's a 3 day regimen intended to reduce inflammation and muscle pain -- sort of like a mini non prescription steroid pack. It's called Acute Phase by Metagenics. Some of his patients have noticed immediate relief in 3 days. We'll see ... I have tried Protrypsin before, and didn't notice a dang bit of difference.

    We discussed explosive lifting briefly. He recommended that, if I ever try it, to reduce the weight quite a bit. Otherwise, as people have noted, one risks joint pain. The tough thing, apparently, is finding the right amount of weight to benefit from the technique while not overloading the joint.

    He did comment that I was, ahem, looking more defined. All good for the shoulders though.


    Not feeling the greatest. Still not sleeping well and my allergies are bothering me. I'm coughing and wheezing a lot, and hoping it doesn't turn bronchial. Or the taper bitchies will be very bitchy. Going to start cutting intensity tomorrow. Feel like I've been doing a fair amount of speed work lately.
    Swim Workouts