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  1. Struck Down, April 16

    by , April 16th, 2014 at 02:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    The cold I started getting turned very ugly and seems to have devolved into bronchitis. I've been out of the water for 5 days and don't think I'll be able to train with some intensity for awhile. Given this, I'm about 95% sure I'm scratching Canadian Nationals. I won't really have had a good period of training after resting for my last two meets. I had been hoping for about 4 1/2 weeks of solid training. Without that, I just won't be in shape to do 100s at a multi day meet and it doesn't seem worth the time and expense. Disappointing. I may try to reboot and do 50s at a long course meet in Buffalo on June 7 instead.

    Cough cough.
  2. Sunday, March 23

    by , March 23rd, 2014 at 04:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)


    Warm up:

    600 various
    100 scull
    4 x 50 fly drills
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :45
    100 EZ

    Main sets:

    8 x 25 burst + cruise
    100 EZ

    30 x 25 breast w/fins @ :40
    -- made them all
    -- some were faster than my 100 fin pace, so probably need to drop the interval
    200 EZ

    20 x 25 backstroke kick w/fins @ :35
    -- missed #6, skipped #7, made the rest
    200 EZ

    4 x 50
    -- tried to go 100 pace, but cramped on every one and had to cruise

    4-5 starts off the blocks working on gliding
    50 EZ

    1 x 50 breast @ 100 pace
    100 EZ

    Total: 3550


    Didn't feel great when I got in, but it went ok. Off to dinner with friends. Shoulder still really sore.

    Updated March 23rd, 2014 at 05:33 PM by The Fortress

  3. FINA, Sunday, March 9

    by , March 9th, 2014 at 05:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    600 various
    100 scull
    100 fly drills
    6 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ

    Main Sets:

    4 x 30 burst + cruise from the blocks
    50 EZ

    4 x 25 burst + cruise from a push
    50 EZ

    30 x 25 free w/paddles
    odds = @ 100 pace @ :30
    evens = EZ @ :45
    200 EZ

    2 x (broken 100 AFAP w/fins + 200 EZ)
    breast (51), back kick (45)

    Total: 2875

    Stretching & foam rolling, 30 min


    Kinda tuckered out from that. Will start resting tomorrow.

    FINA rankings are out. I only got in a few events/meets in SCM and LCM due to the move and missing some meets, etc. I was most pleased with my 50 free LCM -- my first #1 FINA ranking in that event ever! And my best time since the rubber suits. A little bizarre that my SCM ranking was lower, but that was a bad swim.

    50 fly SCM (29.2): #1
    50 back SCM (30.6): #1
    50 breast SCM (37.0) #6
    50 free SCM (28.4): #4

    50 fly LCM (30.2): #1
    50 back LCM (32.4): #1
    50 free LCM (28.6): #1

    Updated March 9th, 2014 at 07:18 PM by The Fortress

  4. NY Bound, Dec. 6

    by , December 6th, 2013 at 02:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Did 1650 EZ at Pitt. Very sore from the deep tissue.

    Headed to NYC with friends this weekend. Hitting a couple shows and touring about. Will be fun!
  5. Inaugural Mudhole Y Meet, Nov. 17

    by , November 17th, 2013 at 05:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I ventured out to the Greensburg Y in Greensburg PA for my first ever Y league meet. Four of my Sewickley teammates were there (see below) and I met lots of other Y meet swimmers. Great fun had by all. And what a food and drink spread! Here's how it went:

    25 back, 12.38

    I was lucky I got to swim this event. My entry went missing. I was scheduled to swim in heat 7 (the slowest heat) with a NT. But I was in heat 1 of the very next event. My teammate Ben Mayhew graciously switched spots with me so that I could swim in heat 1 (they swim fastest to slowest here), which is where I had seeded myself anyway. I had a little gridge going with Coach Bill. (Jim video'd) But I handily beat all the boys in this race! I went a 13.0 in the Sprint Classic, so this time was really flying. I had to triple check to make sure it was correct. Perfect breakout and perfect finish (see photo below). I thought I might be past the 15, but I took the same number of strokes as usual. 5+ minutes rest until ...

    100 breast #1, slip & fall; 100 breast #2, 1:15.2

    I knew the plastic blocks were slippery from warm up, but I took a really ignoble spill here. I pushed off, slipped and landed sideways curled up in the water. That has never happened to me before! So I will now be forever wary of plastic blocks. I decided to put my shammy towel on the blocks for the rest of my races. I had been in heat 1, but they slipped me into heat 4 -- a benefit of Y meets that probably wouldn't happen at a USMS meet. Had to swim by myself though. I was still discombobulated from the spill (hip hurt) and can't say I gave it 100%. But given that I did not rest at all for this meet, this is a very solid time for me. I went a 1:15.0 on a few days rest last year. Even though I wasn't really pushing it, my legs were hurting the last length. Pic below shows my head needs to be further down. I wish this time counted for USMS, but c'est la vie.

    50 breast, 34.0

    Didn't have much rest after the 100 breast, but gave it a go. I was doing fine, but then really tightened up the last 10 yards and had a major glide into the finish. As a non-breaststroker, I never really know when to glide vs. short stroke. This is much slower than I went at the Sprint Classic (33.1) , but that's how it goes. Technical errors and the pool was obviously much worse too. Few heats of rest and then ...

    25 fly, 12.3

    This was decent, though .3 slower than the Sprint Classic (where I had a perfect race). Had a bad breakout again -- too deep and it was slow. Wish I could fix this. Finished second. But prevailed in my gridge race against my other teammate John (who is really a 200 flyer).


    All in all a fun experience and what sprinter couldn't help but be psyched by the 25s! I wish there had been a place to warm down; hit the showers instead. I did set 4 Y records. I may swim in the Y meet at the Sewickley Y on Dec. 1. Tuckered out now! I need to conjure up some ideas for the HIT forum.

    Updated November 17th, 2013 at 06:10 PM by The Fortress

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  6. Sunday, June 16

    by , June 16th, 2013 at 04:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various
    100 scull
    4 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :45
    50 EZ
    4 x 25 shoooters w/fins 2 ;45
    50 EZ
    4 x 50 burst + cruise @ 1:30
    100 EZ
    2 x (25 AFAP free w/fins + 75 EZ)
    150 EZ

    Total: 1650


    With track JOs this weekend, I did not have time to get to Mason. Just got in a short swim at Spring Hill Rec. Sadly, the water temp has gone from 83 to 85-86. Ugh. If I were doing my usual 90 minute workouts, I would complain. Felt sloggish in the water. I'm sure it's from stating to taper + very poor sleep in the last week. Hopefully, I can correct the sleep deficit in the coming days. Lil Fort finished with a 1st (3000 m run) and 2nd (1500 m run) at JOs; I was super proud of her. Tomorrow night kicks off our summer swim season and I will be on deck officiating. No rest for the weary!

    Only 156 swimmers signed up for Zones thus far. Not too many. I guess no one likes long course.
  7. Sunday, April 28

    by , April 28th, 2013 at 08:29 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    20 minutes of RC/scap ex
    20 minutes of stretching/foam rolling


    600 various
    8 x 50 /agility paddles
    Odds= front scull @ 1:10
    evens = free
    50 EZ
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    100 EZ

    Total: 1350


    Just loosened up today. Getting back on the HIT taper schedule tomorrow.
  8. Thursday, April 25

    by , April 25th, 2013 at 04:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various
    6 x (25 front scull + 25 free) w/agility paddles @ 1:05
    50 EZ
    5 x hypoxic 50 @ 1:15
    -- 20 yards UE each 25 with open turn, on belly
    50 EZ
    5 x 25 in & outs, backstroke turn @ 100 pace
    50 EZ
    3 x 100 smooth backstroke w/agililty paddles @ 2:00
    -- UW 12.5 each 25
    50 EZ
    3 x (8 x 25 shooters w/MF @ :35 + 50 EZ)
    -- 8 back, 8 belly, 8 right side
    100 scull

    Total: 2675


    Recovery workout today after two hard days. I'm going to my last 3500+ workout tomorrow, and then settle in for 2 weeks of taper workouts.

    I've attached a pic from my 50 fly (far right) and two from my 100 fly. Glad to see my hands were entering at the correct place during my 100 fly, and I liked my SDKs off the turn.

    Updated April 25th, 2013 at 04:10 PM by The Fortress

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  9. Wed., April 17

    by , April 17th, 2013 at 08:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC/scap ex, 20 min
    Foam rolling & stretching, 30 min


    Easy day. My legs are still sore to the touch. The stretch felt good. I have an appt with my dic tomorrow to check out my knee. It isn't much better and I'd like his input.

    Zones line up, lots of backstroke start practice:

    10:00 am: 100 free
    11:10 am: mixed 200 Medley: Leslie, Ali, Ben, Stu
    1:40 pm: 50 fly
    2:25: womens 200 free relay: Leslie, Ali, Cheryl, Kira

    Sunday: I can send Jimby, Stud and Teen Fort off early and cruise in a bit late.
    11:35: mixed 400 medley relay: Leslie, Ali, Stu, Chris
    1:25: 100 fly
    1:40: womens 200 medley relay: Leslie, Ali, Kira, Melanie (I will not be feeling very peppy for this relay right after 100 fly. I wish there were breaks before the relays)

    Updated April 17th, 2013 at 10:18 PM by The Fortress

  10. Still sick, Monday, Feb. 18

    by , February 18th, 2013 at 02:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    8 days and no progress. Still sick, must be some flu variant (though I did have a shot). I did get in 1500 on Saturday. Doesn't seem really worth it. Unfortunately, this is probably going to effect my next meet. I had planned on a good mid-season taper at the SCM Albatross meet, which is one of my fave meets of the year. At this point, I think I can only do a recovery week prior, particularly since I'm on vacation March 23-30 and likely won't swim as much as usual.

    I am now an expert on antique lighting from the 1920s and have caught up on all my DVR'd shows. I am staggering off to take Lil Fort to her indoor soccer game.
  11. Extreme Recovery

    by , February 15th, 2013 at 12:37 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I've gotten the crud going around. I feel like I swallowed razor blades and got hit by a mac truck. I've taken to the couch, but to no avail thus far. This is my 3rd day out of the water. In the past, I would have tried to push through and get in an easy swim. But I don't think it's worth it. At least this was supposed to be a recovery week. I do have to haul myself up to go to the HS State Champs later tonight. Back to the couch ...
  12. Thwarted, Feb. 1-2

    by , February 2nd, 2013 at 02:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Drove to the pool to try to get in an easy swim before prelims of the HS Regional Champs. But I got a call that I had forgotten to leave my dome cap for Teen Fort, so I had to bring it back home. No swim. It was well worth it though as Teen Fort had an awesome meet. She dropped almost 2 more seconds in 100 evil, clocking in at 1:07 to make her State and Sectional cuts. This is a kid who hasn't swum USS in 3 years and only has a few months of masters coaching under her belt. Happily, our master coach, Cheryl Ward, was there watching her own kid, so got to see Teen Fort race. Teen Fort was very touched to get a slew of congratulatory emails from the team. I told her that masters swimmers are the best!

    I did get in a massage today. I asked for it not to be too deep, but I feel pretty beat up today.


    Drove to SpringHill Rec and it was closed for a swim meet. Grr ... I did not have time to make it to the gym pool. Have to feed Teen Fort and stand in line to get into Regional finals. Oak Marr has a strict capacity limit with a cop there to enforce it. Last year, there were parents would couldn't see their kids swim. Not ideal to be out of the water 2 days before a meet, but it's just a fun meet so no big deal.

    Updated February 2nd, 2013 at 02:52 PM by The Fortress

  13. Out of H2O, Jan.13-14

    by , January 14th, 2013 at 05:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I've been out of the water the last two days. Eye problem, either allergy or an infection of some sort. Hopefully, I'll at least be able to kick with a board tomorrow. I did get a massage yesterday and that was nice.

    I entered the Md Series Jan. 20 meet in Annapolis this weekend. I didn't love the order of events, but decided to work on my belly SDKs/free SDKs and do 100 free/100 fly/50 free. I don't think I've swum 100 free in SCY since 2009. But sometimes it's nice to swim off events, especially at an in season meet. I was leery of swimming backstroke since I'm not sure if there will be electronic timing. And we were limited to 3 events.

    Updated January 14th, 2013 at 05:59 PM by The Fortress

  14. Ugh! Monday Dec. 3

    by , December 3rd, 2012 at 06:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Came down with a nasty stomach/GI virus in the middle of the night. Feel like complete crap and didn't even attempt to go to the pool today. I just hope I feel better by the end of the week. I won't do a travel meet when sick. Bad timing with this and my calf strain.

    Today's the deadline for NE Champs and the swimmer count is at 460. My SCM times all withstood the SPMS meet. It's bizarre though. All results are listed except for the 200 free relay. Wanted to see how our relay team stacked up ...
  15. Thursday, Nov. 8

    by , November 8th, 2012 at 04:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up/Transition:

    600 various
    4 x 50 caterpillar fly drill @ 1:10
    10 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ
    8 x 25 burst + cruise @ 1:00
    100 EZ

    Main Sets:

    Picked and modified a set from Workout #4 on the HIT forum: [ame=""]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    2 x (11 x progressive 50 w/fins) @ 1:30
    1-2 = burst + cruise
    3 = 25 AFAP + 25 EZ
    4 = EZ
    5 = 100 pace
    6-7 = EZ
    8 = AFAP
    9-11 = EZ

    R1 = swim (25 free: 10 high, 50 back: 24 high, 50 fly: 23 mid
    R2 = kick (25 shooter = 9, 50 dolphin kick w/board = 26 low, 50 double shooter = 21 low

    6 x 40 w/bungee cord & fins @ 2:00
    -- swim until taut and then strong strokes/kicks for :30 and zip back
    -- 2 breast, 2 back, 2 back kick
    50 EZ

    4 x 40 w/bungee cord & fins @ 1:15
    -- SDK UW on back until cord is taut and then 12 fast kicks UW & zip back

    100 EZ

    Total: 3050


    I need to get myself entered in our Nov. 18 SCM meet. I think I will only swim the 100 fly and 100 breast. Pete and I were discussing possible relays yesterday, but we need another GMUP male. Teen Fort has been tasked with trying to persuade Bob Hansen or Brad Gandee tonight. I was perfectly happy with a mixed 200 free and 200 medley. She wants to do the 400 medley at the end of the meet as well. No way do I want to swim the 100 fly as my 5th event that day!

    LCM TT rankings are out:

    With my two #3 rankings in the 50 and 100 evil, I fear freestyle may be my worst stroke. heehee

    Updated November 8th, 2012 at 08:05 PM by The Fortress

  16. Sat & Sun, Nov. 3-4

    by , November 4th, 2012 at 07:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)


    RC ex, 10 min
    explosive leg press, 190 x 3 x 10
    long arm crunches, 3 x 50
    captains chair leg raises, 2 x 20
    back extensions w/ 25 lb plate, 2 x 15
    flutter kicks on bosu, 100
    lower back machine, 130 x 3 x 15

    Bike, 45 min




    Warm up:

    600 various
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    50 EZ

    Main Sets:

    3 x (5 x 50 w/fins, broken :10 @ 25) @ 1:30
    1 = fly @ 100 pace
    2 = back @ 100 pace
    3 = breast @ 100 pace
    4 = free @ 100 pace
    5 = EZ
    -- I was not warmed up enough on the first round.

    100 EZ

    5 x (25 AFAP shooter w/fins + 75 EZ

    IG: 10 x 50 free w/paddles @ :50
    100 EZ

    10 x 25 w/parachute @ 1:00
    -- 4 free w/paddles, 6 breast, 2 dolphin kick w/board

    100 EZ

    Total: 3400


    Feeling much better now!

    I couldn't bear another kickboard workout yesterday, so I went to the gym. I actually forgot that I had done drylands the day before, so inadvertently did two sessions in a row. There didn't seem to be any adverse effects. I am still wondering how TG does drylands 7 days in a row though!

    Ventured to the pool today for my first real workout in, like, 2 weeks. Ew. I felt pretty awful in the water and out of shape. And it was also terribly crowded, as expected. I was lucky to have half a lane the whole time. I admit to abruptly taking off and ignoring a noodler who wanted to join the lane.

    Rushed from the pool to the river to watch Teen Fort row in the Head of the Occoquan. This was an open race where anyone could compete. Teen Fort was rowing in a mixed double scull with Fort Son's best friend, who was home from college on fall break. Neither of them had been on the water much
    since the summer, but they gamely manned up for a 5K and finished 4th. Pretty good, since they were definitely the only lightweight scullers. I'm proud of Teen Fort. This fall she's done her first open water race, her first masters meet and her first sculling race/5K.

    Interesting article in the NYT about two sisters (10, 12) who compete in marathons, triathlons and have $5500 bikes. The consensus seems to be that there is no consensus about whether the heavy training is bad or good. Interestingly, many of the fastest runners in the country about that age seem to be from Texas.

    And best wishes to Chowmi for a speedy recovery from gall bladder surgery!!!

    Updated November 4th, 2012 at 07:45 PM by The Fortress

  17. MRI, Wed., Oct. 24

    by , October 24th, 2012 at 06:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I did nada today. Worked on house reno things.

    I did get my written MRI results back. I have mild tendinosis in a couple spots, which is consistent with tennis elbow. But the real problem, and likely what has been causing my pain, is completely different. I have avulsion tears in two places: the lateral collateral ligament is partially torn from the humerus and there is avulsion (separation from the bone) of the common extensor tendon. Avulsion tears are really the opposite of tennis elbow -- your tendons are so strong that they break off the bone.

    Jim sent me the snippet below on avulsion tears. I'm going to assume optimistically that mine are not large enough to be surgical. I have a consulting appt tomorrow with my PRP doc. I'm not even sure if this type of problem is treatable with PRP; I hope so. (I'm also not sure whether my nitro patches have done anything ... And this certainly explains why acupuncture was an epic fail.)

    So it's very clear that (1) tennis elbow may be the least of my problem and only partially indicated; (2) good thing I didn't just go in for expensive PRP without an MRI -- it might not have helped and now I know the exact places and types of injury; (3) good thing I got an MRI -- I did not have garden variety tennis elbow as Jim thought. So far, my doctoring beats Jim's. MRI completely vindicated.

    How the hell long does this take to heal?! I waited 8 months after the initial problem and promptly exacerbated it when I returned to lifting. Moral of the story: be very very careful increasing weight when deadlifting.

    Psych sheet for Sprint Classic:


    It is still controversial whether fresh avulsion fractures of the medial or lateral epicondyle of the humerus in adults should be treated conservatively or surgically. We monitored 12 patients to consider treatment selection. The patients were examined for site and size of bone fragment, degree of displacement, dislocation of the elbow joint, method of treatment, and bone union and elbow stability. The treatment results were scored according to the Elbow Assessment Score System, and the scores ranged from 86 to 100 points. The scores did not differ significantly among any of the patients, whether treated conservatively or surgically. Although surgery produces good results, conservative treatment can be selected for patients in whom the maximum diameter of bone fragment is 13 mm or less or the displacement of the bone fragment is 9 mm or less. (J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2000;9:59-64.)

    Updated October 24th, 2012 at 10:20 PM by The Fortress

  18. Sunday, June 17

    by , June 17th, 2012 at 09:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC exercises, 25 min

    -- Skipped these for 2 days and my shoulder could feel it. Grr.

    Stretching/Yoga, 35 min


    That was it. That was absolutely all I could squeeze in this action packed weekend. Don't feel rested though, the opposite actually from lack of sleep. The weekend was all about Lil Fort (track champs and soccer tournament) and Mr. Fort (father's day). Lil Fort ran 2 PRs, grabbed a gold medal in the 3000 and qualified for Nationals in late July. She has a lot of endurance for someone who doesn't really train. I guess that's the way it should be at her age.

    No rest for the weary. Our 6 week summer league season starts in earnest tomorrow with our first meet. However, it will be a quieter week around the house with Teen Fort shipped off to rowing camp in Boston.
  19. Sat., June 9

    by , June 9th, 2012 at 04:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :40
    4:00 VK (flutter, breast & dolphin)

    Speed/Power Sets:

    -- Didn't use fins on any of this. The right side of my foot was bothering me.

    5 x (:30 VK + :30 rest)
    -- held 10 lb dive brick
    -- 3 dolphin, 1 breast, 1 flutter (hardest)
    -- this wasn't easy!
    100 EZ

    4 x 50 torque drills w/agility paddles @ 1:30
    50 EZ

    1 x 50 AFAP backstroke from a push
    -- 29 low, 16 & 17 SDK per 25
    -- didn't want to go from blocks b/c I was worried about cramping
    100 EZ

    10 x 50 burst to 15 m + cruise @ 1:15
    -- 5 dolphin kick w/board, 5 fast hand drills
    masters minute

    10 x 25 burst to 15 m + cruise @ 1:00
    -- did dolphin kick on back, 15-16 SDK
    -- heart rate was elevated the whole time b/c I was UW 15 meters each time
    100 EZ

    8 x 25 torque drill w/agility paddles & parachute @ 1:10
    -- first time I've tried this with a parachute, kinda liked it as a drill for explosiveness and power for fly

    8 x 25 breast pull w/parachute & paddles @ 1:00

    100 EZ

    Total: 2650 + VK


    I was thrilled that the pool wasn't crowded today! Usually weekends are a disaster, but perhaps the summer weather has everyone outdoors. I enjoyed the workout too. Well, perhaps not the VK with the dive brick.

    I'm pretty booked tomorrow so that will be my off day. Hope to get in a stretch though. Off to do RC exercises now.
  20. Friday, June 8

    by , June 8th, 2012 at 03:28 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/LCM w/ Julie & Susan:

    Made it out to Rockville for a LCM swim. Because it's been sunny & 70 here, the water was an inviting 78 degrees. So nice!

    Warm up:

    600 various

    5 x 100
    -- 25 UW on the first length
    -- some drilling and 200ish pace work

    Speed Sets:

    -- Even distance swimmer Julie did some AFAP efforts here!

    8 x 50 @ ample rest to chat with Susan
    1-4 = burst to approx 20 m + cruise
    5 = back @ 100 pace
    6 = EZ
    7 = back @ 100 pace
    8 = EZ

    100 EZ

    1 x AFAP 100 back w/fins
    -- went 1:04
    -- Julie said I was "all over the place," which I was and which is why competing outside is silly for backstrokers.
    -- I'm also veering off to the left somewhat, I think, because of my injured/weaker left shoulder. I noticed this on my 50 (er, 52 yard) back vid from Nats

    150 EZ

    1 x AFAP 50 fly w/fins
    -- went 27
    -- two timers both got :27

    100 EZ

    Total: 2000


    I really wanted to do another AFAP 50, but I had to run off to an event at Lil Fort's school. Still, I was pleased with those two timed efforts. The 100 back felt really solid. I didn't feel like I was dying and didn't loaf the first 50. I want to do a couple more of these next week since I'll be swimming the 100 back at Nats (as a split in the 200). Current WR/NR is 1:13.55. That could be tough. Susan estimates 5 seconds from SCM to LCM. And the tech suit ban seems to effect me much more in LCM than short course.

    I would like to get in a swim this weekend. Hope the lanes won't be overwhelmed with noodlers and lap swimmers.

    I'm getting very excited about all the swimming coming up -- Worlds, OTs, Masters Nats, Olympics.

    Updated June 8th, 2012 at 05:51 PM by The Fortress

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