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  1. Friday, Dec. 23

    by , December 23rd, 2011 at 03:50 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC exercises
    rear delt fly, 85 x 3 x 12
    power squat, 210 x 3 x 12
    wide grip lat pulldown, 100 x 3 x 8
    leg abductors, 130 x 3 x 8
    seated narrow grip row, 100 x 3 x 12
    leg extension, 90 x 3 x 8

    Ellipse Machine, 30 minutes


    After almost 2 weeks of farting around in the pool, I may be ready for a short sprint workout tomorrow.

    I have been eating perfectly lately, lots of fruit and veggies and lean protein. But then I suddenly have no will power between 10-12 pm and fall off the wagon.

    And not that it matters even a bit, but I did make my very aggressive 325 miles GTD goal for the year.
  2. Thursday, Dec. 22

    by , December 22nd, 2011 at 10:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC and ankle exercises, 15 minutes

    Bike, 40 minutes

    Stretching, 25 minutes

    Swim/SCY @ Mason:

    Warm up & Transition:

    400 swim
    400 kick
    400 pull

    -- I did around 900 of various strokes, kick and drills. I like to swim slowly in warm up.

    4 x 100 build any stroke @ 1:40
    -- I swam smooth 100 IMs

    16 x 25 @ :40
    3 shooters, 1 EZ

    Main Set:

    12 x 150
    3 x 150 various free drills
    3 x 150 free
    3 x 150 various stroke drills
    3 x 150 stroke

    -- No. Instead, I did:
    3 x 150 flutter kick w/board & fins @ 2:45
    3 x 150 backstroke kick w/fins @ 2:30
    3 x 150 flutter kick w/fins @ 2:30
    3 x 150 IM (fly/back/breast) @ 3:00
    -- I snuck in a couple easy 50s between set 2 and 3.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3700


    The workout on the board wasn't exactly what I was expecting on a Thursday night. I decided to convert it to an endurance kick workout, which I haven't done in a long time. I was sharing a lane with Brad who was doing all freestyle, so it worked out fine. Fairly sparse attendance. But it was nice to see some of my teammates. I'm putting my compression pants on after bashing up my legs today.

    I scanned the first 10 pages of my blog last night for workout ideas. Uh, I was training very differently in 2009 -- a much higher % of aerobic work. (Perhaps that why I survived several 200s that year.) And I tended to work all energy systems in a workout whereas now my workouts are much more focused around X purpose. It was also interesting to re-read my journey into the weight room. I'm definitely stronger now.

    Rich Abrahams posted the attached pic on my FB wall. That girl has legs!

    Updated December 22nd, 2011 at 10:30 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
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  3. Wed., Dec. 21

    by , December 21st, 2011 at 04:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Warm up:

    600 various

    8 x 50 fly drills

    Main Sets:

    20 x 50 kick w/MF @ 1:00
    odds = double shooter
    evens = dolphin kick w/board
    50 EZ

    Stole Chris' set from this am (or some of it, used fins):

    3 x 50 single arm fly @ 1:00
    2 x 100 free @ 1:30
    3 x 50 back @ 1:00
    2 x 100 free @ 1:25
    3 x 50 breast @ 1:00
    2 x 100 free @ 1:20
    3 x 50 flutter kick w/board @ 1:00
    2 x 100 free @ 1:15
    3 x 50 back @ 1:00
    -- worked the 100s, cruised the 50s
    -- HS kids came in at this point. They are not normally there on Wednesdays, so I was puzzled. This prevented me from getting in a quasi "hard aerobic" workout -- for me.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3700


    I was somewhat tired in the pool from the last 3 days of cycling and drylands. I plan to swim with my team tomorrow night for a nice change of pace.

    I am done shopping!
    Swim Workouts
  4. Tuesday, Dec. 20

    by , December 20th, 2011 at 06:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC and ankle exercises
    leg extensions, 70 x 4 x 12
    seated row negatives, 80 x 3 x 12
    wide grip lat pulldown, 90 x 4 x 8
    -- Jazz was right; this didn't bother my elbows at all
    leg abductor, 120 x 3 x 15
    lower back machine, 130 x 15

    flutter kicks on bosu with ankle weights, 3 x 100
    long arm crushes, 3 x 50
    captains chair leg raises, 3 x 20
    power wheel roll outs, 3 x 20

    Bike, 30 minutes

    Stretching/Yoga, 30 minutes


    Still treading lightly at the gym. My elbows are slowly but surely improving.

    Swimming science roundup, including blurbs on VASA training, breaststroke tips, energy drinks, etc.

    Updated December 20th, 2011 at 06:10 PM by The Fortress

    Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning , Yoga
  5. Aerobicizing, Monday, Dec. 19

    by , December 19th, 2011 at 05:16 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Bike, 40 minutes

    -- Felt much easier today than yesterday.


    600 various

    8 x 50 fly drills

    20 x 100 w/fins @ 1:30
    --just cruised

    5 flutter kick w/board (keep under 1:15, legs felt that last 2 days of biking)
    5 free (1:09-10)
    5 backstroke kick (1:12-13)
    5 free (1:09-10)

    50 EZ

    Total: 3050


    Only had 50 minutes to swim so did, for me, a short rest main set. I haven't felt like going fast yet anyway, so this was fine. Though it felt rather odd. Even the noodlers commented that I was doing a short workout!

    Updated December 19th, 2011 at 06:45 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Spinning
  6. Sunday, Dec.18

    by , December 18th, 2011 at 04:48 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC exercises
    leg press, 290 x 3 x 12
    lat pull down, 140 x 3 x 12
    lower back machine, 110 x 3 x 20
    total ab machine, 110 x 2 x 25
    power squat, 180 x 3 x 15
    leg abductor, 110 x 3 x 12

    back extensions w/plate, 25 x 3 x 15
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    superman bananas, 2 x 30
    captains chair, 2 x 15
    reverse decline crunches, 2 x 15

    Bike, 60 minutes

    Stretching, 20 minutes


    Mr. Fort was home baking pies and cookies today, so I got in a long workout at the gym this afternoon. I kept the weights fairly light since I'm just starting back and I didn't want to stress my ankle. I tried the lat pulldowns. I don't think they bothered my elbows too much. Right now, the left one is much better but the right one is still painful.

    It is wonderful to have Fort Son home. And he couldn't be happier at college, which is awesome.
  7. Sat., Dec. 17

    by , December 17th, 2011 at 05:04 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    8 x (4 x 50)
    8 fly drills
    8 25 shooter + 25 nubber drill
    8 breast w/wiffle ball*
    8 free, kickoff back on turn**
    50 EZ

    * This was amusing. It took a few 50s to even get the hang of this drill. I wish there was a rubber band attached to the ball. Still, with my head down further, I got into a streamline more quickly.
    ** Bad breakouts. It'll take awhile to figure out exactly when to start spinning around.

    5 x smooth 200 IM w/fins @ 3:15
    -- drilled fly
    100 EZ

    Total: 3350


    Just another easy workout. But I enjoy drills and technique work.

    I woke up this morning with a very swollen ankle despite icing last night. Guess I sprained it ... At least I have the ankle brace from the last time I sprained it. This poses somewhat of a training dilemma. I had intended to focus on lower body work at the gym, but the ankle may restrict some of that. And I can't exactly kick hard with it either. Or do one legged yoga poses. I don't feel like doing much intensity right now anyway. Guess I'll have to be creative for a bit.

    Off to another high school swim meet, which means I'll be on and not off my feet. Teen Fort won the 200 IM and 100 breast last night after a week sick with the flu. Despite looking just like me, she's such a different swimmer -- all short axis, no SDK and a slower turnover. Funny how that works.
    Swim Workouts
  8. Attempted Run, Friday, Dec. 16

    by , December 16th, 2011 at 04:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was overcome by the urge to run this am. I don't think I've been on a trail run in 2+ years. I went out for my old 5 mile loop. At about mile 3, I twisted my ankle. It wasn't a bad sprain, but it is swollen. My floppy ankles apparently don't like trails. But I don't like treadmills; part of the joy of running is to be outside. Fortunately, Fort Son was home and I called him to come pick me up. I was going to hope on the bike, but ran out of time. I'm now out the door to S&T a HS meet. Cheers!
  9. Thursday, Dec. 15

    by , December 15th, 2011 at 04:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    RC exercises
    (even these bother my elbows)
    leg press, 270 x 3 x 12
    abductor legs, 100 x 3 x 12
    extreme angle steps ups (no DBs), 2 x 20
    extreme angle iso squat, 3:00
    lower back machine, 110 x 3 x 20

    russian twists on incline, 25 x 2 x 25
    reverse scoops w/plate, 25 x 2 x 10
    flutter kick on bosu, 2 x 100
    long arm crunches, 2 x 50
    bicycles, 2 x 50
    captains chair leg raises, 2 x 15

    15 minutes stretching

    ~~~~~ shopping interlude ~~~~~~~


    600 various

    8 x 50 fly drills
    odds = caterpillar
    evens = single arm

    20 x 50 shooters w/MF
    10 back 10 belly
    perfect streamlines

    4 x (8 x 50s)
    :30 between rounds
    8 x dolphin kick w/board & MF @ :50
    -- hold under :35
    8 x breast w/MF with long pullouts @ 1:10
    -- Note to self: keep elbows closer to body on recovery
    8 x flutter kick w/board & fins @ :50
    -- hold under :35
    8 x 50 free w/nose clip kicking on back off turn @ whatever

    100 EZ

    Total: 3200


    Took yesterday off. Felt like working out again today. But took it fairly easy at both the gym and pool.

    I think Speedo is right about incorporating more dolphin kicks on my 50 free -- more on the start on my belly and on my back off the flip turn. If I want to make this change though, it will require a major overhaul and changing the way I do freestyle in practice. I may have to swim the new style 50s slowly at first and then work up to race pace.

    I also need to start googling some rehab exercises for my elbows. I didn't want to start them before NE Champs, but I should now. I also found my tens machine and need to start using that. It's been at least 4 weeks now and I'm wanting healthy elbows again.

    I may go to yoga tomorrow. It's been forever!

    Fort Son has had the flu on his winter training trip and Teen Fort has been sick all week. I'm really hoping my flu shot works!
  10. Tuesday, Dec. 13

    by , December 13th, 2011 at 05:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    10 x 50 fly drills

    20 x 25 shooters w/fins
    10 back, 10 belly

    6 x 100 flutter kick w/board

    16 x 50
    4 chest press fly
    4 single arm back
    4 breast w/long pullouts
    4 smooth free

    50 EZ

    Total: 2650


    Just did an easy recovery workout today. Unlike many folks who feel great in workout after a travel/taper meet, I never do. I'm always spent and sore, and it takes me a few days to fully recover. I'm very busy with holiday things, so I probably won't worry too much about training this week. Besides, it helps to have a mental break after so much focus.

    NE Champs was definitely my best meet of the year after the Albatross meet last March. Though I did a shorter taper than usual, I tapered harder. My last hard 50 was 11 days before the meet; I did just did a few fast 15s and 25s after that. It seemed to work -- I had plenty of raw speed. I didn't do much lactate work this fall (had those 2 illnesses), and I need to change that to improve the last length of my 100s. I saw that my 100 IM spits were 32.0/39.9. Unfortunately, that is fairly typical for me. I don't feel like I have the luxury of taking it out much easier.

    I not sure when my next meet will be. I am considering swimming in the USAS Jan. Open on Saturday, but I hate the pool.
    Swim Workouts
  11. NE Champs, Day 2, Dec. 11

    by , December 12th, 2011 at 11:12 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had decided to scratch the 200 IM, so was able to grab a bit more sleep and take my time getting to the pool. Good thing because the Starbucks across from my hotel was closed -- what?!?! Got in a decent warm up in the diving well and was ready to go. Tired, but ready to go. (BTW, I have no idea how mid-D or D types do any pace work in the crowded warm up pools at big meets.)

    50 fly, 30.35

    This time was under my WR from last March of 30.5. So I was thrilled! Fly felt good until the last few strokes where my arms really felt the meet fatigue. And it was technically fairly solid. I got off the blocks FAST. I didn't get max distance, but I could tell my reaction time was great and I had a clean entry. Only flaw was not pushing off deep enough on the turn. I had one dolphin kick on the surface as a result. Took one more breath than usual on the last length, but it helped me spot the wall and finish well. I guess all those fast 50 flys for time I've been doing in practice paid off.

    But there was no time to celebrate! I had 20 minutes until my next race. I swam down around 250 and when I emerged, they were already on heat 2 of the women's 100 free ...

    50 free, 28.53 (split in 100 free):

    My body was screaming with lactic acid build up behind the blocks. I really would have liked an hour off to rest and get in the correct mental state of mind for this race. Instead, all I was thinking was "I can't wait until this race is over." I had a decent start, not as fast as in fly. Again, the race was technically pretty solid with the exception that my right arm was caught underwater sightly on the breakout after the turn. I may have taken an extra breath on the second length too; I can't really remember. It also felt like I was dragging my legs. Stud video'd the race for me though, and it didn't look nearly as bad as it felt. Maybe the legs were on autopilot. I was very surprised and happy to see that time on the wall. I was fearful it would be a second slower. And this time is only .3 off my B70 PR. I then caused a minor delay of meet as I took 1:00+ to swim my second 50 of the 100.

    I was beyond happy that I had already logged a 100 back time this year as that was the last event of the meet. And I had no more 100s in me.


    Overall, this was a great meet for me even with a slightly shorter taper. Much better than Auburn, I think. But of course SCM is more my natural milieu and my favorite course. As the event rankings stand now, I have the fastest time in all 4 50s (and 2 100s) -- something I never expected!!!

    My elbows don't really feel any worse for wear after a long weekend of sprinting. But they still hurt when I try to lift things, so I will continue to avoid upper body weights for awhile. Probably won't get to the pool today. I have stuff to do with Lil Fort. I'm so proud of her -- she ran her first 8K this weekend and sent me a text saying it was "very fun."


    Updated December 12th, 2011 at 03:29 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. NE SCM Champs

    by , December 10th, 2011 at 09:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Today went very well -- better than I expected! My elbows didn't feel great hoisting bags in and out of airports yesterday and I had another ill-timed affliction that the ladies will understand.

    100 IM: 1:11.99

    This is my second fastest time as a master; my prior best (1:11.5) was in a B70 a couple years ago. Did not have a great start. The starter was very quick and I didn't have my hands together in a streamline entering the water. Had a very good first 50, with 14 SDKs on the backstroke leg (nose clip). Breast leg was OK, but I felt virtually paralyzed on the last 25. Still very pleased with the time. It was only .3 off the NR, and faster than my last time from yards (converted). May give it another go in March.

    I could barely walk to the warm down pool after ...

    100 fly: 1:11.3

    As usual, I had thoughts of scratching. But I tried to comfort myself with the fact that there were walls instead of the virtual open water of long course. I had a much better start, and was very close to the 15 meter mark. I really did try to go very slow on the first 50 -- 32.8. Lol I just don't have a slower gear. Predictably died the last half of the final 25. Still the time was just a bit slower than last year when I swam 100 fly first, and I'll take it. And won't swim it again until next December!

    50 free, NS

    Too tired after the 100 fly and not enough rest. Will do it as a split tomorrow.

    50 breast, 38.22

    So glad I passed on the 50 free because this is a very fast time for me. Last year, I went a 38.9 in SCM and this is 2 seconds faster than I swam at Auburn in long course. I had a very good start and long pull out. I was very tickled to see that this is the fastest time in the event rankings. Just keeping it real, though, a friend told me I had terrible head position and should swim with a whiffle ball. She's right of course, but I'm still stoked by the time!


    Pretty darn happy with this day after an up and down Fall. Tomorrow I just have the 50 fly and 50 free. I'm not going to do a fly split in the 200 IM. I'm opting to conserve energy and hope for a good start in the open 50. My fly felt fast today, so hopefully I can crank out a good one tomorrow. Hoping I can get some sleep, but I had some caffeine this afternoon.

    Had a great time meeting forum friends and seeing other friends!!! That always makes a meet more fun.

    Updated December 11th, 2011 at 12:31 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  13. Thursday, Dec. 8

    by , December 8th, 2011 at 05:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Swam around 1200-1300 yards easy

    ART, 30 minutes


    Felt pretty good today. I will probably take tomorrow off or do another easy swim. Heading out in the afternoon. Need to pack!

    I haven't thought overly much about goal times for this meet. I'd be thrilled to nail a couple starts and swim around the times I did last year. I'm swimming the same events with the exception of the 100 IM instead of 100 back (no 50 back either). I seem to rarely swim the 100 IM at taper meets because it often conflicts with fly/back events. I last swam the 100 IM on a few days rest last March and went a 1:04.3. Using the GB converter (which occasionally gives odd results), that would convert to 1:12.4. I'd like to go faster than that eventually, but this may not be the meet. I would definitely take that time based on the event rankings and LB results.

    After a lot of icing and ART, my elbows feel somewhat better.

    As usual, this is not the best weekend to be gone. I'm missing swim meets, races, and various holiday parties and gatherings. And I'm not remotely done shopping!

    Updated December 8th, 2011 at 07:10 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , ART
  14. Wed., Dec. 7

    by , December 7th, 2011 at 04:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    6 x 50 fly drills

    4 x 50
    25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ

    3 x 50 burst + cruise
    -- all dolphin kick bursts
    50 EZ

    1 x 25 AFAP free
    -- 10

    175 easy

    Total: 1500


    I may have one jitter. Or, I may just be paranoid about traffic and yelling in my head at drivers today. And all this icing is cutting into my stretching time. Really hoping to have time for both tonight.

    Weekly roundup by Swim Science --
    some good blurbs here --

    Timeline for NE Champs:
    -- I'm still undecided on when is the best time to swim the 50 free: Saturday and be forced to do 4 events or Sunday with only 20 minutes rest listed between the start times of the 50 fly and 100 free. I'm in the final heat of the 50 fly, but there may 8 heats of 100 free before me.
    Swim Workouts
  15. Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2010

    by , December 6th, 2011 at 07:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    8 x 50 fly drill

    16 x 25 shooters w/fins
    4 back, 12 belly
    50 EZ

    3 x 50 burst + cruise
    all kick w/board

    150 EZ

    Total: 1750


    Still no taper jitters. I did drop an F bomb or two today though. After starving myself this am to get blood work, I got backed into by a senior citizen. He had pulled out into the road when he shouldn't have and began backing up without even looking. Because he couldn't hear, he didn't hear my frantic honking. And then after banging into the front of my car, he started driving off. He finally stopped when I went racing down the sidewalk waving my hands and trying to get his license plate. If someone can't hear and can't turn their neck to look when backing up, that seems like a real problem.

    I must confess that I haven't done any RC exercises since I stopped lifting. Usually this means sore shoulders during taper, but I seem fine this time. Or maybe I'm just distracted by the elbows, which are no better.

    I'm very jealous of Fort Son. He's headed to Austin TX tomorrow for a team training trip. Thankfully, I'll still have a couple weeks with him afterward before he heads back to school.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Monday, Dec. 5

    by , December 5th, 2011 at 04:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Just floated around and did a few bursts in between chatting with Speedo about training, the art of tapering, etc.

    600 various

    8 x 50 fly drills

    8 x 25 shooters
    50 EZ

    8 x 25 no breather free
    50 EZ

    3 x 50 burst + cruise
    50 EZ

    3 x 50 burst + cruise
    100 EZ

    Total: 1850


    Got a massage after this wee practice. Still feeling completely blah with no taper hyperness or mind running amuk whatsoever. (Have to go to the lab tomorrow for blood work. All this blah-ness makes me slightly worried about the thyroid.) I did check my blog and didn't seem to have any jitters until several days before NE Champs last year. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I will want to rip someone's head off. But if not, I won't fret about it as I've done a shorter taper than usual.

    Psych sheets for NE Champs are out:

    -- Looks like only one end lane! Too bad it's in the event I care about most. I don't think I have enough time between the 100 fly and 50 free on Sat. I'll play it by ear. If I'm still too tired, I'll rest up for the 50 breast and do the 50 free as a split in the 100 on Saturday.

    -- How in the world am I seeded 2nd in the 100 fly? Where are all the fast youngins? Did they all go to Long Beach?

    Updated December 5th, 2011 at 05:43 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  17. Sunday, Dec. 4

    by , December 4th, 2011 at 07:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    600 various

    8 x 50 fly drills

    8 x 25 shooters
    4 back, 4 belly
    50 EZ

    3 x 50 burst + cruise
    50 EZ

    2 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ)
    1 free, 1 flutter kick
    100 EZ

    Total: 1750


    Continuing with the rest ... I felt a little lighter in the water today, but not so great when I tried to sprint. No jitters at all, but then those don't usually hit until the 3rd week of tapering. So perhaps they won't even arrive this time with my shorter taper. And my family will be happier, I'm sure

    Missed swimming in the Last Chance meet with all my PV friends. But it was probably just as well with NE Champs this weekend. Speedo threw down some very fast sprints. I'm waiting to see and read about the rest of the results.
    Swim Workouts
  18. NS, Sat., Dec. 3

    by , December 3rd, 2011 at 07:21 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Spent another long day at a USAS meet. But I did come home and do a stretch/yoga for 40 minutes.

    The bad news is that my elbows are really bothering me. They almost feel worse now after a week+ off weights. Enough to keep me awake part of last night. I was timing with a tennis pro at the meet, and quizzed him (and others too) about treatments for tennis elbow. I've also heard this problem can last some months. This is somewhat depressing. I haven't had anything but a very minor tweak in a few years. And it's purely the result of being stupid in the gym ... The elbows probably just need a lot of ice and rest, and I need to hunt down my old stim device.

    In light of this, I'm going to be a NS at the Last Chance meet tomorrow. This is not a big deal. I was aiming for NE Champs anyway and can swim the 50 free there. So I'll just miss the 100 breast. It seems unwise to risk further inflaming things by doing the evil stroke right at this moment. The older you get, the smarter you get. After NE Champs, I will shift to 90% kick workouts for awhile. No problem there either!

    Now I need to go do some of that stalking that pwb loves!

    Updated December 4th, 2011 at 09:45 AM by The Fortress

  19. Friday, Dec. 2

    by , December 2nd, 2011 at 09:32 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    1200 m. easy in hot gym pool.

    Other than that, on my feet or in car since 10:45 am.

    Shortest blog ever. Break over at HS meet.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Thursday, Dec. 1

    by , December 1st, 2011 at 04:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Chatted with Speedo through the following swim:

    Swim/SCY @ OakMarr:

    600 various

    4 x (4 x 50) @ 1:00 or whatever between chats

    50 EZ

    4 x 50 burst + cruise
    3 dolphin kick on belly, 1 free

    50 EZ

    2 x (25 fast + 75 EZ)
    1 free @ 100 pace, 1 AFAP flutter kick w/board & fins

    100 EZ

    Total: 2000


    After a few days rest, I don't feel even remotely rested. I may just do meet warm ups and very slow swimming until NE Champs with the exemption of the LC meet. With Lil Fort's USAS meet and Teen Fort's HS meet on Friday and Saturday, I'm going to be on my feet a lot before Sunday. I have a feeling I may need to re-do my LC meet 50 free at NE Champs. Though there is no good time to swim it there either.

    There doesn't look like there's nearly as many people signed up for NE Champs as last year, with only 2 days left to register.

    Off to ice the cranky elbows!

    Updated December 1st, 2011 at 07:53 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts