View RSS Feed

All Blog Entries

  1. Mon-Tues, Dec 8-9

    by , December 9th, 2014 at 03:30 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Monday Drylands:

    rehab ex
    straight arm dips, 75 x 3 x 25
    good mornings, 75 x 4 x 6
    seated row, 70 x 4 x 8
    kneeling ab crunches, 140 x 3 x 12
    tricep press, 70/80 x 3 x 8
    bulgarians in streamline, 3 x 10 each leg
    leg extensions, 135 x 4 x 8
    HS hi row, 100/110 x 3 x 8 (haven't done this one in many months)
    stability ball tucks, 10
    russian twist on incline, 25 x 2 x 25

    15 minutes of stretching

    Tuesday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    550 various
    100 scull
    100 chest press fly
    4 x 25 shooters w/fins
    50 EZ

    Main Sets:

    6 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ :45
    100 EZ

    5 rounds w/fins:
    75 back-breast-free @ 200 pace + 25 EZ @ 1:30
    4 x 25 fast kick @ 100 pace @ :30
    50 EZ @ 1:30

    100 EZ

    8 x 100 backstroke kick w/fins @ 1:30
    -- stay under 1:05, went 1:02-1:04
    250 EZ

    Total: 3550


    Just as I was getting over my cold, I feel like I might be coming down with another. Lil Fort (and many kids at her school) have been home sick. I didn't have much energy today, so didn't do much fast stuff.
  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 12/10/2014

    by , December 9th, 2014 at 01:58 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    1 X 200 3:30 3:20
    3 X 100 1:45 1:40
    4 X 50 1:00 1:00
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 200 kick 5:00
    8 X 50 kick 1:10
    1 X 100 swim

    3 X 75 1:15
    1 X 75 fast 1:45
    Four rounds, choice.

    8 X 125 2:00
    75 moderate/50 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  3. Week 115 - Monday

    by , December 9th, 2014 at 08:28 AM (After a long rest)
    I was quite tired and sore when I woke up this morning. I guess in hindsight I did not do a long enough warm down after the meet. I decided to try swimming at UCLA with the UCLA Masters. For anyone in LA the Spieker Aquatic Center is awesome and well worth the $10 visitor fee. I felt pretty good in the water but found LCM more challenging than usual. I guess when I am completely tapered and have been swimming scy the jump back is not easy. Luckily this was not a tough workout and was exactly what I needed in terms of speed and yardage today.

    Warm up
    400 free
    6x50 catchup

    main sets
    2x250 on 3:45 pull(I had no bouy) with paddles
    5x100 with paddles on 1:30
    2x250 free on 3:45
    5x100 back on 1:40
    4x50 fly on 1min

    warm down
    200 easy
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 12/08/14: noon

    by , December 8th, 2014 at 01:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My wife is sending in some great reports of her trip, which makes me really happy for her. Looks like the weather has been cool but dry.

    Today I started tackling the den and my many piles; everything is now organized and I need to file things away, so I should be done by tomorrow morning. Just need to tackle the garage ...

    200 fr/200 bk/200 im drill

    3 x
    - 50 DPS :10SR
    - 25 FAST into 25 easy IMO into
    - 100 kick

    4 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:10 IMO
    4 x (25 FAST into 25 easy) on 1:10
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1700 yds/40 min)
    Swim Workouts
  5. 500 FR

    During my workout yesterday, I did a 500 FR on 8:22, and I think my prior best time had been around 8:30. Not sure if I made a timing mistake, so will try this again later for confirmation. In the meanwhile, my slowpoke self is feeling pretty good about that time.
    Swim Workouts
  6. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 12/09/2014

    by , December 8th, 2014 at 12:28 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)
    WARM UP:
    12 X 100
    4 on 2:00
    4 on 1:50
    4 on 1:40

    3 X 100 kick 2:30
    1 x 100 swim 2:00
    3 X 100 kick 2:15
    1 x 100 swim

    12 X 50 1:05
    #3-6-9-12 are fast

    8 X 200 pull 3:20
    1-4: long and strong
    5-8: descend and negative split

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  7. Rusty, Friday-Sunday, Dec. 5-7

    by , December 8th, 2014 at 10:31 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)


    Swam at Sewickley with Fort Son. Did around 2200 with some bursts and 100 pace 25s.

    Sunday: Y meet at Sewickley

    25 back: 12.9

    I flat backed the start a little -- couldn't do my usual start bc the pool was too shallow. This is the same time I went last year in the event.

    50 breast: 34.6

    Pretty slow. I had a terrible start on this one which definitely cost me some tents. After doing a couple great starts in warm up, on this one I went in with my hands about 6 inches apart. Not a good way to start a race.

    25 fly: 12.4

    I went a 12.3 last year at a Y meet, so this is pretty consistent. However, the 6 strokes of fly that I took felt ghastly. I haven't done any sprint fly since the first part of August. I felt like I had no pop and could barely turn over my arms. I probably should be doing some more stretching and yoga and not take my flexibility for granted.


    At least I'm back racing after an 8 month hiatus. I guess it's not surprising that, having done little actual swimming during that time, the swimming portions of my race feel really off.

    The meet was quite fun though. My Sewy buddies were there of course, and Jim swam a nice 200 fly. 4 of my Pitt swimmers were there too, all swimming very well.

    Updated December 8th, 2014 at 12:28 PM by The Fortress

  8. SPMS scm meet - Day 3

    by , December 7th, 2014 at 11:39 PM (After a long rest)
    We had a fun night last night watching college football, eating food and laughing and joking. Great stuff. I still managed to get to bed at 9pm. I fell asleep pretty quick but woke around 1am with my stomach in knots and feeling really dehydrated. I guess my dinner did not settle as well as it went down. I felt better this morning but my stomach was still doing loops. Luckily as the day went on I felt better and better. I was a little nervous that I would suffer in the pool today but as it turned out I had another great day and finished off a great meet.

    There was an issue with lane 6 the entire meet with numerous stoppages trying to fix an issue with the bulkhead. Today just before the women's 200 they finally decided to close lane 6 and reseed everything. Apparently the bulk head wall had a hole in it and they felt like it was a hazard. As a result of the reseeding I was moved out of the fastest heat of the 200 into the center lane in the second to last heat. I felt good ahead of the race and was ecstatic with my time of 1:59.9. This was my goal time for the swim and it was great to achieve it. My splits were a little off but who cares. I was out a little fast but hung on pretty well and I was a long way ahead of everyone in my heat.

    My my last event was the 50 back where I went 29.1 and was again happy with the time. I had a tough time at the start going a little deep and despite trying as hard as I could not get going like hoped. This is a great time for me but I think I have a faster 50 in me.

    Overall I had great fun and a great meet. I am really happy I swam at this meet and will be back(thanks Patrick). I have a week of work in California and will try to hold my taper this week around a busy work schedule. Next weekend I swim in the USAS LPA meet at our pool in Rockwall and I am hopeful I can carry my taper into next weekend. I am swimming with UCLA masters while in LA.
  9. SPMS scm meet - Day 2

    by , December 6th, 2014 at 08:40 PM (After a long rest)
    I had another late night last night but I guess I must be adjusting to local time because I did not feel nearly as tired. I had an excellent nights sleep and woke around 6am local time. I had a good breakfast with Stephanie and Ray Stone and my team mate Bill Elizondo before heading to the pool for a warmup. I once again felt great in the water although I could tell it was the second day of the meet and not the first. Today's line up was the 400 free and the 100 back.

    The 400 free I ended up with a 4:17.7 which I was pleased with but my free turn challenges really caught up with me in this race almost coming to a complete stop at the 275 turn and again at the 350. I don't know what's the deal since I have swum scm many times before. I did hear quite a few people saying similar things so I was not alone. I think the most encouraging thing about this race was how strong I felt and if it were not for the turns I think I could have been even faster.

    My second event today was the 100 back and unlike the 400 I hit everything right in this one with a final time of 1:01.3 and splits of 29.9 and 31.4. I would love to see this one on video. One of my friends said my underwaters sucked but I was the fastest swimmer. The great thing about swimming is no mater who you are or how old you are there is always something you can work on.

    I have the 200 free and the 50 back tomorrow. Fingers crossed I will have a strong finish to the meet.
  10. Workout 12/06/14: morning

    by , December 6th, 2014 at 01:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Went to men's breakfast this morning with my son and ate too much. Bacon burps during the practice were not too gross though.

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    100 skull/swim by 25
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    4 x (50 kick into 150 pull)
    2 x (50 DPS, 75 DPS into FAST 25)
    50 easy
    2 x (4 x 25 burst and cruise, 50 easy, 4 x 25 build)
    (taped Meg, Rachel, Melissa, and Tom; Kevin sat out)
    100 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2350 yds/60 min)

    Starting in with some speed work in preparation for the meet next weekend. There are currently 391 swimmers with registration open until Monday. This year the meet is being run as a virtual North vs South Colonies meet, with the north at Boston University and the south at George Mason on the same weekend and the team scores being combined. Something new and exciting. BU info at

    Heading to a ice hockey game at Williams College this afternoon with my son - a fun time. It has been great following fellow forumites at meets this weekend - keep having a blast!
    Swim Workouts
  11. SPMS scm meet - Day 1

    by , December 6th, 2014 at 09:39 AM (After a long rest)
    I arrived in LA at around 7pm (9pm central and way past my bed time) thursday night and then sat on the I105 east for about 1.5 hours. Despite LA being a fun city, traffic totally sucks 24/7 and reaffirms that it's not the place for yours truly. When I finally arrived at my hotel I was caught in the dilemma of eating or not. I decided to grab food at the hotel and choose pasta which is always a safe choice ahead of a meet. I finally got to bed around 10pm(midnight central) which is closer to my normal wake up call than my go to bed time. I woke around 6:30am pacific after a good night of sleep and felt good. Stephanie Stone who swims with us from time to time, and I headed over to the pool together for a warmup swim. Again I felt good. After the warmup we headed back to the hotel where I ate, shaved down and even grabbed a short power nap.

    We had a little bit of a worry around 12:30pm when we heard the meet was running an hour ahead of schedule. When we got to the pool it was ahead of schedule but the meet organizers said the meet would stick to the original timeline and there was a warmup between the 1500s and the 200 IMs which worked great.

    My first race today was the 100free and I was in the fastest heat in lane 1. I had a really good start but messed up on both my turns at the bulkhead end of the pool. Neither was a complete stop by any stretch but both were softer than I would have hoped. My goal time was 53.99 and I ended up with a 54.3 which all things considered I was very happy with. I felt strong all the way.

    My second race was about 45 minutes later which gave me time to warm down and prepare for the 200 back. I was in lane 8 in the fastest heat and as things turned out I was the outside burner. I have not raced much back and as such I have next to no expectations which may actually be the ideal way for me to swim. I was entered on my unrested LCM time from this past summer(2:25) and hoped I could go under 2:20. I ended up going 2:12 even with a challenge on the last two turns. This time I decided to wear clear goggles(I usually wear smoke) because it was getting dark. These worked great other than I forgot to put anti fog drops in the goggles and they got harder and harder to see out of as the race progressed. Even with this challenge I was absolutely shocked with this one and felt awesome. I know it's hard comparing lcm to scm but this was 13 seconds faster than my entry time and 8 seconds faster than I thought I would go.

    A big thank you goes out to Patrick for his post on this meet last year. I read it and was really inspired to one day attend this meet. I am really glad I was able to make the meet and catchup with friends like Patrick and Kurt.

    I have the 400 free and the 100 back today so I have another fun day in store. I am really digging doing the back thing and maybe I have found a new event or two for nationals.
  12. Workout 12/05/14: noon

    by , December 5th, 2014 at 01:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Staycation through the end of next week, and very much welcomed at this point. My wife is in Berlin, Germany, visiting our two (exchange) kids and their families through the end of next week, so I am in charge of taking care of the projects I've neglected over the summer and trying to keep the house clean. Two teens don't help to facilitate that last objective! I was able to get in a short swim today at lunchtime ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    50 kick/100 pull
    100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 on :60 (25 perfect free into FAST stroke IMO)
    50 kick/100 pull
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1500 yds/25 min)

    I read a devotional earlier this week that was swimming related, which is not the easiest to find ...
    Michael Phelps, in hot pursuit of an earth-shattering eight Olympic Gold Medals at the 2008 Beijing games, finishes his flip-turn in the 100m butterfly in 7th place and trailing by almost a full body length. Surely, this deficit was insurmountable. Incredibly, Michael was able to close the gap, literally winning by the tip of his finger. When the times posted on the giant scoreboard, everyone was stunned. Even the underwater replays seemed to defy logic.
    You can click the link to read the whole devo here (scroll to the top)

    Updated December 5th, 2014 at 01:33 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  13. Week 114 - Thursday

    by , December 5th, 2014 at 12:09 PM (After a long rest)
    Today was supposed to be a lot smoother than it turned out. I seemed to be hurrying all day. I had a work commitment where I needed to speak on a panel for a regional industry group on connected society. Specifically how the design and construction of buildings can benefit from networked buildings and employees. I was not expecting much from the event but it was actually good fun. Anyhow as a consequence I decided yesterday I was going to grab an extra hour of sleep this morning, head to my panel discussion and then swim, before shaving, packing and getting to the airport for a 4:45pm flight to LA. I somehow got it all done but i did not stop all day. In hindsight it was good because I did not really think about the meet but bad because I am sure I have forgotten something. It would not be so bad if I did not have to pack for the meet, training next week, work and some social events with friends while I am in LA. I guess I will find out how well I did with the packing next week.

    Today's swim was a meet warmup and two 25s with bungee cords followed by a loosen down. I felt really good.

    400 swim with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    4x100 kick
    4x50 swum as 25 smooth, 25 build on 1min
    2x25 with bungee cords
    400 easy

    I have the 100 free and 200 back tomorrow, the 400 free and 100 back Saturday and the 200 free and 50 back on Sunday. I am going to try to hold my taper next week and swim the LPA memorial meet with my daughter next weekend.
    Swim Workouts
  14. 12|4|14 LCM

    by , December 5th, 2014 at 08:35 AM (Blog)
    2000 warmup of drills, back, and kicking

    5 x 100 free on 2:00 as 50 easy/50 fast with hydra fins and snorkel
    • fasts: 30-30-30-30-30

    2 x 260 free in the 13m wide area of the pool

    Happy with 5 consecutive 0:30's (fins). On the 5th, LA accumulated and another would've been slower so I called it at five.

    Finding a long warmup is more important than I had thought. With the 2K warmup I did not have the gasping/wheezing experience I had on Monday, where I thought easing my way in with a moderate 0:33 effort would get things going properly. Goal is to find my ideal event warmup routine, I'll try a similar 1000 warmup next time.

    Had a 6 hour episode of chills, fever, and shivers last night. Felt better this morning but feel drained. Plan to take it easy several days.

    Updated December 5th, 2014 at 03:05 PM by __steve__

  15. Tues-Wed, Dec 2-3

    by , December 4th, 2014 at 11:09 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Tuesday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ LA Fitness

    Didn't feel like driving to Pitt and still under the weather. So I did an easy workout at LA Fitness.

    600 various
    100 scull
    100 chest press fly
    4 x 50 single arm fly
    50 EZ
    10 x 50
    -- 25 breast @ 100 pace + 25 EZ
    -- 5 w/fins, 5 w/o. last one AFAP
    150 EZ
    5 x 50
    -- 25 fly w/fins @ 100 pace + 25 EZ
    100 EZ
    4 x (25 AFAP + 75 EZ)
    100 EZ

    Total: 2350


    Wednesday: Swim/SCY @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    500 various
    100 scull
    100 chest press fly
    4 x 25 shooters w/fins
    100 EZ

    Main Sets:

    4 x 25 burst SDK @ 100 pace + cruise @ :45
    50 EZ

    6 x 25 burst SDK (AFAP + cruise @ 1:00
    100 EZ

    9 x 25 AFAP + 75 EZ @ 3:00
    -- one of my swimmers was there and we did 8 of these together
    -- mixed them up, some w/fins, some w/o
    -- I was still feeling tired, but my times were dead on
    100 EZ

    8 x 50
    odds = free w/paddles & fins
    evens = EZ backstroke kick
    50 EZ

    Total: 2750


    Whew, I was beat after the AFAP 25s. Still not totally recovered. One good thing about not doing much the last week is that my shoulder feels much better. I'd say it's about 85% healed.

    So glad that Worlds are on Universal Sports. It was amazing watching Belmonte Garcia set the two world records.

    Article on Russian doping:

    Updated December 4th, 2014 at 11:33 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  16. Week 114 - Wednesday

    by , December 3rd, 2014 at 06:02 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a good night of sleep and generally felt good this morning. During practice I felt good but then we did a broken 200 free and despite going pretty quick I felt a little stiff at speed. I am sure this was nothing and just the taper playing mind games with me.

    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    3x(200 free with snorkel on 2:40, 150 kick on 2:40, 100 IM on 2min)
    200 easy
    200 broken as 50,100,50 with 10 seconds at 50, 15 after the 100 afap
    500 easy

    hot tub for 10 minutes.

    On the 200s with snorkel I descended going 2:15,2:10, 2:07, the kick I went very smooth holding 2:15s, and the IM's I went 1:08,1:08,1:07. I felt easy and strong. On the broken 200 I went 1:47 with splits of 25,55,27 which I was happy with but felt stiff on the last 50. Tom said I looked good and I believe the time is 3 seconds faster than I went on a similar broken 200 ahead of worlds. Tomorrow we are doing a meet warmup and a couple of fast 25s and then I head to LA tomorrow evening. Cant wait to catchup with Patrick, swim in some fast races, and have some good old fun in LA!!
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 12/02/14: evening

    by , December 2nd, 2014 at 10:05 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Full pool at Masters tonight:

    2x (200 swim/100 kick/100 pull) plus 200 IM drill
    8 x 25 FR drill together
    6 x 50 FR (I taped)
    100 pull
    6 x 25 Build
    100 kick
    4 x 25 burst and cruise
    100 Pull
    (Masters/Rec/1750 yds/45 min)
    The lanes were full and I was able to tape two folks that have not been filmed before. I taped in Sept so it will be good to see how progress is coming with regards to stroke technique.

    I ended up registering for the BU meet next weekend, but only for one day. I will be heading down on Saturday for 100 bk, 50 br, 200 fly, and 100 free. With my lack of consistency in training I opted for the one day to help support swimming in our region, and I like the BU pool.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Week 114 - Tuesday

    by , December 2nd, 2014 at 08:28 AM (After a long rest)
    I had a good nights sleep but the alarm came too early this morning. I was a little sluggish in the water also today but this was a stretch swim so it did not matter too much. I felt ok by the end of the workout but it took some effort to get motivated this morning.

    400 swim with snorkel
    8x50 catchup on :50
    4x100 kick with fins on 1:30
    4x100 swim on 1:30
    50 underwater with fins
    50 fast with fins
    50 underwater with fins
    50 fast with fins
    200 easy
    Swim Workouts
  19. 12|1|14 LCM / drylands

    by , December 1st, 2014 at 05:57 PM (Blog)
    5 x 100 on 2:00 free as 50 fast / 50 easy with fins and snorkel
    • 33, 31, 29, 31, 31

    That's all

    Did not warm up properly. It had a negative effect as I couldn't catch my breath. I ran out of steam recovering on the 3rd effort. Trying to recover and breathe on the following "easys" through a restricted snorkel orifice just about made my ears pop.

    8 x 95 - 100m run on 0:40 (20 sec rest)

    Back, legs (100 reps on leg press machine), abs (100 situps on slight incline situp bench), shoulders

    Updated December 2nd, 2014 at 03:00 PM by __steve__

  20. Blog Catch Up

    by , December 1st, 2014 at 02:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Not a lot to report for the last five days ... I got whacked with a nasty head cold over the Thanksgiving break and it is still lingering.

    Wed: 60 minutes of drylands with Teen Fort

    Thur-Friday: nada

    Saturday: About 2200 easy at the Sewy Y with Teen Fort and Fort Son. Didn't have any energy to do anything fast.

    Sunday: Teen Fort and I joined Jim and Bill at the Sewy Y and did the following:

    600 various
    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    -- I used fins and went 12.5 UW each length
    8 x 25, SDK to 25m @ :45
    50 EZ
    10 x 75 @ 200 pace @ 1:15 + 25 fast @ 100 pace @ :45
    -- I did most of the 75s kick w/fins
    100 EZ
    another 8 x 25 SDK to 15m @ :45
    8 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :45
    100 EZ

    Total: 2850

    Monday: some drylands


    I was dead after Sunday's effort. Today, I went to the gym with Fort Son, but reduced my weights from usual and didn't do too much. I am swimming at a little Y meet on Sunday at Sewickley (25 fly + 50 breast + 25 back). You have to swim in 3 meets to preserve your ability to swim in the championship meet in April. Don't know if I'll be at that meet. It's the same weekend as Zones. But we'll see. I don't think I'm going to bother traveling for a SCM meet. Between being sick and trying to get the thyroid back on track, I just don't feel like it.

    I am psyched about the breaststroke rule change. I always do my dolphin kick in a streamline in practice.

    Updated December 1st, 2014 at 03:29 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts