View RSS Feed

All Blog Entries

  1. Saturday, May 30

    by , May 30th, 2009 at 07:34 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Went on a 4 mile trail run. Rather subpar because of wheezing. One of the soccer fields my daughter plays at seems to bother me particularly. It's also been raining quite frequently, and mold does not agree with me. Running in the DC area in the spring is a challlenge.


    Breakfast: omelet with cheese, mango
    Lunch: Salad with romaine, salmon, tomato, avocado, flax seed, peppers, pomegranate seeds
    Post run snack: 12 oz G2, yogurt, nuts
    Pre-dinner snack: plum
    Dinner: Steak, broccoli, salad, glass of chardonnay

    Updated May 30th, 2009 at 09:32 PM by The Fortress

  2. Sat May 30th, 2009 LCM Swam a 10k today in ...

    by , May 30th, 2009 at 03:25 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sat May 30th, 2009
    LCM Swam a 10k today in ...

    Whitney and Chris Coached
    swim center
    6:30 am

    split lane with Larry
    swam beside Tyler, Bryan, and Ed
    jon counted and timed me
    todd counted and timed tyler and larry
    we started right at 6:30
    wore blue seventy and no cap

    went 2:19:33.52
    8373 seconds
    1:23.73 pace
    my 5000 split was 1:08:58

    10k is a long way

    I swam 1500 straight in 19:26
    took a little break
    then started doing repeat 100's on 1:20
    which was a mistake
    took a break after 2900
    the next 100 was 1:55

    started feeling hot and wished I'd wore a legskin instead of a full body
    switched from 1:20 pace to 1:25 pace at 3400
    Break at 3600
    next 100 was 1:44

    hope to enter my 100 times later it's a lot of data
    held some of my best splits
    between 6300 - 6800
    Larry had taken a break and I decided to put another lap on him

    I feel like I took too many breaks
    it was a mistake to do repeat 100's
    should have done 400's, 500's or 1000's

    I had my drinks in a cooler
    should have had them on deck ready to go
    I had several GU's, larry used power bars

    I'm tired,
    my arms are sore,
    need sleep

    Updated May 30th, 2009 at 05:51 PM by ande

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  3. Saturday 5/30 - Drills, drills, drills

    by , May 30th, 2009 at 01:25 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Today was a double dose of drills. I met up with Sandra at the rec pool and we did the following:

    500 Free EZ
    20x25 Fly drills
    20x25 Back drills
    20x25 Free drills
    20x25 Breast drills
    Sandra did some fly turns with good kick out since we had a pool where she could practice turning without the tempation to grab the wall on the turn.
    200 free EZ

    Ran off to the Y pool to meet up with McKaylin were I did the rest of the time I did some stroke analysis and she worked on her starts and turns and the kickouts for back.

    5x100 back drills
    20x50 fly drills

    It was great to actually work with each of
    Total 3700 yards
  4. 29 / 30 May 09

    by , May 30th, 2009 at 12:08 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Friday, 29 May 09
    Dryland- Lords Gym

    Warm up - Plank, double leg rotation, swiss ball exercises...
    Same routine with 3x15 of everything.
    Finish with crunches and back extensions on ball.

    Saturday 30 May 09
    Folsom Aquatic Center-Sierra Marlins Masters

    (morning dryland warmup, plank, rotating legs, etc...)
    Warm (whatever for 15 minutes) I did 300m FR
    4x 100 25 scull/25 FR :10 RI
    Take best split and carry it down,
    500 FR
    ( I skipped the 400, ops..)
    300 FR
    200 BK - (Just to see if I could do it, np)
    100 FR

    4 x 100 Dolphin Kick on back ( Did 2x100, then huge cramp in hamstring, finished with 2x100 Pull

    200 w/d

    2400 m

    This was my first time in LCM since High school, it took awhile to get used to, but I really loved it. Got to focus on stroke.

    Just needed to add that the primary group was the Seniors, they were about 20-25 strong and the Master's group,
    was about 7.
    The workout was just posted on a whiteboard, Coach Jeff, who was filling in for Coach Darin (getting married today) just answered questions. So it was basically a read and do workout. I picked the slow lane which wasn't very wise, as I could have been comfortable in the fast lane.

    Updated May 30th, 2009 at 08:21 PM by EricOrca

  5. Sprinting Savagely, Friday, May 29

    by , May 29th, 2009 at 05:57 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    Before I left for the gym, Mr. Fort showed me some of the exercises he's doing with his trainer to help rehab/strengthen his hip(s). I tried a few out today, including a couple involving lateral plyo-type movements. Probably about time for me to start adding a plyo component to my drylands anyway. Unfortunately, I was a bit too preoccupied with them, and left most of the lifting until the end. That wasn't too bright. (I had the mental image of Q saying "large muscles first."). Tried to bench press at the end, but I was just too tired.

    seated narrow grip row, 90 x 1 x 5, 100 x 1 x 5, 110 x 2 x 10
    back squats w/45 lb bar, 3 x 15
    dead lift, 135 x 1 x 5, 135 x 1 x 4
    (This was too heavy, a "failure." I'll have to go back to a lighter weight. I was just too lazy to take off the 2 45 lb weights and re-do the weight amount. We don't have micro-weights at my gym, so any increase is always a 10 pound minimum.)
    cable twist w/yoga ball, 45 x 2 x 15, each side
    back extensions w/25 lb weight, 4 x 15
    recline hip abductors, 110 x 2 x 10
    (I think I'm going to stop doing these. For some reason, this particular exercise seems to bother my left hip. I hadn't done it for months then did it the other day and now I notice a twinge.)
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    arm extensions, 3 x 3 x 15
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    hip hinges w/12 lb DBs, 1 x 15 on left leg

    3 rounds of:

    1. plyo type hop:

    Round 1: Modified bench hops for 1:00. They're done with your hands in the middle of the bench with your body at one side. You "hop" over the bench with both legs, hopping back and forth from side to side over the bench. If you go fast, it's not easy. (Mr. Fort did this exercise for 2:00 with his trainer and can hold the plank far longer than me. Very embarrassing ...)

    Round 2: Same as in round one, only you hop on one leg. So go from your right leg to your left leg back and forth over the bench.

    Round 3: Hands held out to sides. 1 forward lunge with left leg, 1 forward lunge with right leg + broad jump. Repeat 20 x.

    2. Planks for 1:00, one regular, one on right side, one on left side

    Tip to make planks harder: If you're really good at these (Tim, Chris), you can put your forearm(s) on a foam roller. This recruits the core stabilization muscles even more, and is particularly hard on a side plank.

    3. leg or hip stretch

    4. 1 x 25 push ups

    10 minutes of stretching

    Swim/SCY/ Solo:

    Stole and modified Patrick's workout from yesterday. He described it as "yoga swimming," but I did it as a kick ass sprint workout. And it kicked my ass.

    Warm up:

    700 variety swim, kick, drill

    Main set:

    16 x 25 UW shooters w/MF (4 belly, 4 left side, 4 right side, 4 back)
    4 x 100 dolphin kick @ 2:00
    #1: easy speed
    #2 & 4: 2nd & 4th 25 fast
    #3 & 5: 1st & 3rd 25 fast
    2 x 100 easy free w/snorkel
    4 x (50 back w/fins AFAP + 50 EZ @ 2:30)
    (went 26 (cramp), 25, 25.5, 25)
    50 EZ

    10 x 25
    odds free @ 90%, evens EZ
    3 x 100 IM, easy speed @ 1:50
    1 x 100 easy free w/snorkel
    2 x (50 back w/fins AFAP + 50 EZ @ 3:00)
    (went 25s)
    50 EZ

    4 x 25 UW back shooter
    2 x 100 BR w/MF, last 25 AFAP
    1 x 100 easy free w/snorkel
    1 x (50 back AFAP + 50 EZ) (went 25)

    100 C/D

    Total: 3650


    Ack! I hadn't used my snorkel in a long while. I'm back to absolute beginner status. It was really quite unpleasant to use.
    These 50 backs are my fastest ever in practice. I think the fastest I've ever gone is 25.5 during a taper. So it's encouraging that I was regularly hitting 25 here after weights and a hard double yesterday. I'm usually more around the 26.5-27 range. I should probably put lactate sets as a "local" blog category so I can keep track of them better.


    Breakfast: oatmeal with 1/2 apple, blueberries
    Post Weights Snack: balance bar, 12 oz G2
    Lunch: Salad with romaine, salmon, peppers, tomatoes, sprouts, flax seeds, avocado; whole grain wheat crackers with hummus
    Post Swim Snack: yogurt, papaya, nuts
    Dinner plans: Veal chops, sauteed veggies, some kind of salad

    I'm hoping my veggy garden does well this summer and is not overrun by rabbits or ground hogs or other pests. I can't believe my daughters think bunnies are cute!


    It's done. I'm signed up for the half iron Savageman relay. This is a birthday present to Mr. Fort. I'm planning to draft off Mulie who will still have to bike and run. I have no idea whatsoever how long it takes to swim 1.2 miles in a lake. Anyone? I'm just glad I don't have to do the murderous bike segment.

    200 back:

    I'm thinking that the 200 back I swim on June 14 will be it for the season. After reading one of Ande's latest tips, I think I will go for a 50 split in my 200 back at Nats. Otherwise, 50 back, my best event, is the last one of the meet after three days of swimming.

    Updated May 30th, 2009 at 06:14 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts
  6. Better eating

    by , May 29th, 2009 at 03:47 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Ran 2 miles yesterday morning at a very easy pace.

    Today, got up at 4:45 to swim. Not the norm for me, but lately the pool has been so crowded at lunch that it has been nearly impossible to get a lane. So, mindful of my better nutrition goal, I had 1/4 cup of raisins and 8 oz. of orange juice before I hit the pool. Did 3,000 yards of swimming - lots of intensity with the fins. On the end, did the following:

    4 x 25 fly (no fins) AFAP on 1:00

    50 easy

    4 x 25 free (no fins) AFAP on 1:00

    I really enjoy those all out power efforts.

    After swimming, went home to get the little guy ready for his last day of school. Had two scrambled eggs (used soybean oil to cook), a slice of whole wheat toast (no butter), and 16 oz. of Gatorade.

    For lunch, had a grillled chicken wrap with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Had a small piece of my birthday cake for dessert. Drank water with this meal.

    I'm seeing that it is hard to eat every three hours. I had 5 hours between the after swim meal and lunch. Will need to add a mid-morning snack in there. Maybe around 10:30. Wonder what would work best?

    Will either run later this afternoon or lift weights. May do both if I have time.

    Saw another study I thought was interesting about negative energy balance. I added it to yesterday's entry, but will also add it here:

    Hope to stay on track today with my nutrition.

    Right after I posted this entry, I ate a half-sandwhich with a slice of whole wheat bread and a pat of peanut butter. About 45 minutes later, I was still hungry, so had 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with a slice of cantaloupe.

    Headed to the Y later this afternoon and helped coach my son's USA group (9-12 year olds). After the practice, hit the weight room for a quick workout:

    Military press: 50 x 10
    Lat pull-down: 150 x 10
    Triceps press: 40 x 10
    Alternating hammer curls: 15 x 10

    Push-ups: 1 set of 30
    Good morning darlings: 1 set of 50
    Stationary bike: Spin at 90-100 RPMS for 5 minutes
    Hip adduction: 150 x 10
    Hip abduction: 130 x 10
    Back extensions: 1 set of 25

    Post workout snack: 1/8 cup raisins + 16 oz. Gatorade

    Dinner: 1/2 chicken burrito with 1 T of sour cream + 1 T of guacamole
    Brown rice
    Refried beans

    Had water to drink.

    Being aware of what I ate today made me realize how HORRIBLY I've been eating. I don't even want to go into detail. I know how I ate today is far from perfect, but it is a big improvement from where I was before.

    In comparing how I ate today to the plan I posted yesterday, I am obviously off from the plan. The bread servings seem out of reach. Also, I suspect that my fat percent may be a little higher than 25%.

    Fruit intake was o.k., but obviously need more veggies. May have a V-8 or tomato juice as my later evening snack.

    Enjoyed the discussion on the Fort blog. Learned some new things that I will try to incorporate into my meal plan.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 08:28 PM by elise526

  7. A little faster stuff today

    by , May 29th, 2009 at 01:16 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    300 swim free
    300 swim alt. 50 free/50 back
    200 IM drill
    200 pull free w/p&b

    swim 8 x 50 w/10 sec. rest: build each 25 to about 80-85%
    (did 1-4 free, 5-8 back)
    50 easy

    swim 8 x 75 on 2:00 (2x around of the following, round 1 free, round 2 no free on the fast stuff):
    (Did back on round 2)
    #1 sprint first 25
    #2 sprint middle 25
    #3 sprint last 25
    #4 sprint the whole thing
    (went :58 on free, 1:05 on back)
    (take an extra minute between #4 and #5)

    100 easy choice drill

    4x25 choice on 1:00 FAST
    (did fly all around :18-:19)

    200 swim down

    Total: 2400 meters

    Weight training today, core and upper body.
  8. Human, or at least my, limits reached?

    by , May 29th, 2009 at 12:06 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Yesterday, my 23rd consecutive day of punishing physical exercise, almost, but not quite, marked the end of the streak.

    It was a dispiritedly humid day of the late spring, early summer gloom variety, the likes of which seems to promote so much depression and weltshmerz in the psychiatrically frail types like myself. I spent the morning showing our recently vacated rental properties to a prospective tenant, came back to the house in a state of exhaustion that had seeped like the cadence of a Poe poem into the core of me.

    I lay myself upon the couch, turned on the TV in the hopes of finding some cheerful news about healthcare reform ("In a surprise move, Republican obstructionists today pulled pistols from their attache cases and fired bullets en masse into their temples.") Soon I had moved into a very deep sleep of the sort celebrated by Heinrich Heine in Morphine:

    Sleep is good: and Death is better, yet
    Surely never to have been born is best.
    --Aus Der Matratzengruft

    With a name like Heine, he's gotta be good.
    uring the course of this nap, which was indeed restorative--who knows how many obstructionists cheerfully immolated themselves in my happy dreams?--a storm front moved through our area. I was awakened by thunder and hail, realized that the likelihood of my tennis match being canceled two hours hence was exceedingly high, then immediately nodded off for more sleep and more promise of GOP slaughter and blood bathery.

    I awoke again, so deep in sleep inertia I could barely move. I contemplated the rest of my day, for there was much remaining: it was, after all, only 4:20 p.m., a good eight hours before my bedtime. Perhaps, I thought, I could go to the Y and do some weight lifting to keep the exercise streak going.

    Or I could hit the On Demand button on my Comcast remote control and watch 14 consecutive episodes of True Blood.

    Then my tennis opponent called up and told me it hadn't rained at all where he lived, about 5 miles away. So I dragged my carcass down to the surprisingly dry high school courts--puddles at my house deep enough for sustaining koi or at the very least snakeheads--and played, remarkably well, for the next 2.5 hours, keeping the streak robustly alive.

    Did He who made the Newt make thee?

    I don't know why I played well, but it was altogether unexpected.

    Is it possible John and I are actually identical triplets?

    Anyhow, the streak as of now includes:

    1. 3150 yards
    2. 500 & weights
    3. 3200
    4. weights
    5. tennis
    6. 4500
    7. weights
    8. 3800
    9. weights
    10. 5000
    11. weights
    12. tennis
    13. 5300
    14. tennis
    15. 4900
    16. weights
    17. 4500
    18. weights
    19. tennis
    20. 4600
    21. weights
    22. 4100
    23. tennis

    I stayed up late last night, relishing my tennis triumph, slept late this morning, my throat raw with a sore throat that has materialized out of the night. Who knows what has brought this new round of sickness upon me? Perhaps in the sleep world, the self-imolated obstructionists all rose from the dead, their bullet wounds and copious amounts of blood still in place, but now plodding about hither and yon with a zombie-like determination to obstruct all hope for the solvency of the likes of me.

    Could this have caused a sore throat?

    I need to buy some kind of sleep firearms to take with me to the other side the next time I visit the land of nod. I need to protect myself there from the Omega Men that are out to get me.

    Zombie Youth Spawn: the future of Republicanism?

    Practice tonight at the University of Pittsburgh, perhaps with the pool set up for long course. Sickness: you will not keep me from my practice! You are nothing compared to the fiends I face in the other world.

  9. Fri May 29th, 2009 fast friday, sort of whipped, 10k on Sat.

    by , May 29th, 2009 at 11:19 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Fri May 29th, 2009

    Plan to do the Postal 5k & 10k tomorrow Larry & Tyler at 6:30 am, haven't swum that far in years.
    What do you think?


    Thu June 11 - 14, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Senior Circuit #3
    Austin, TX
    Events Entered:
    04 400 Freestyle (2) 5:07.03 scy 500 fr
    10 050 Freestyle 24.50 LCM
    14 200 Freestyle 1:50.70 scy
    18 200 Backstroke 2:21.04 LCM
    20 100 Butterfly 51.80 scy
    28 200 Individual Medley 2:24.08 LCM
    38 050 Butterfly (3) 51.80 scy

    Fri July 18 - 19 2009
    Woodlands, TX
    USMS South Central Zone Long Course Championship Meet
    Meet Entry Form
    Found out Aerosmith is playing with ZZ Top on
    Friday July 17th at the
    Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion in the Woodlands

    Weighed 219 today


    LCM & scy
    6:30 - 8:00
    whitney Coached
    TSC main pool
    swam with mike, todd, tyler, amy, brandon, brad & larry

    warm up LCM
    instruction: 10 minutes choice
    200 fr
    then did 50's on 50

    Main LCM

    5 x 100 fr desc on 3:00
    went 1:11, 1:09, 1:07, 1:05, 59

    SCY Moved to diving well

    200 easy

    500 fr fast
    instruction was to hold final 100 pace
    went 5:18

    200 easy

    500 k fast (with fins but I didn't wear fins)
    was 2:24 at 200, got passed stopped on wall
    went 6:40 ish

    5 x 100 desc on 3:00
    went 1:05, 4, 3, 1, 52

    200 easy

    assigned 500 fast
    did 100 easy speed, 50 rest, 100 easy speed, 50 rest, 200 easy speed

    200 easy
    Swim Workouts
  10. OW swim off the coast of Cozumel Isle,Mexico

    The water is torquoise blue while beautiful, unusual fish swim twenty feet under me tempting a free dive down every so often. I slide and glide as I follow after their yellow and silver schools. Although the tourist season is slow due to no cruise ships as a result of the swine flu I must watchout for dive boats heading in and out to the protected coral reefs. I wave to a boat and the native driver acknowledges me and smiles back. Mostly I stay very close to the rocky shore where it is more than safe from boats. It is easy to keep my head down to watch creatures floating, soaring or asleep below me. I have a bad habit of keeping my head too high in the water. This is a great way to change that.
    The current is challenging as I swim south past my first goal, a stout white lighthouse on shore. Feeling good I scope out another destiny to reach. Just one more goal before heading home. I see a bouy in the distance and make that it. Its taking longer than expected as I go further into unknown territory . The water gets deeper and feels colder. My heart beats faster as I push onward against the current. I must do what I set out to do. The current is testing my will as well as my stamina. Stroke, kick, stroke, kick ...finally my index finger swipes the surface of the towering yellow bell shaped bouy. I then proceed to give it a good smack. My insides cheer hooray for me now lets get outta here. Heading home with the current going north I fly by the staypuff marshmellow man lighthouse with the current in my favor. The tempture is 77degrees. They say an octupus has a garden down there. I will have to look for him on my next trip to Cozumel.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 09:56 AM by flippergirl

  11. Friday 5/29 - Distance, Distance, Distance

    by , May 29th, 2009 at 08:23 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My legs were hurting on my kick sets but then again that is always my week part of my swimming.

    400, 300, 200, 100 @ :20 Rest Free

    5x100 @ 2:00 Free kick w/fins
    5x100 no break w/fins #1,3,5-Free on side #2,4-Fly on back

    4x400 @ 7:00 Free w/paddles and bouy Descend went 6:21, 6:14, 6:11, 5:56 this was a hard set for someone who only swims this in 5:54 in a race. Or should I say used to... I guess I need to see what my real time will be now.

    400 Free EZ

    total 4000 meters
  12. Sipping and Blogging

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 09:04 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Today was the last full day of students! I had NO facility today, the fifth grade took the gym for graduation then a party complete with a booming DJ, a super ddr station, lots of food and decor, and parents waiting on them hand and foot!
    It was raining and cold out all morning so I had to hunker each class in their pod and show them a very cool dvd called "JUMP"! "JUMP" is a docudrama focusing on 4 different boys and girls training (and the road to) for the Jumprope Nationals. My kids worked hard on double Dutch and single rope tricks all year in warm-up stations so they really appreciated the difficulty of what these jumpers were trying to accomplish.
    After lunch it stopped raining so I took the "little ones" (Kdg-2nd) outside. My youngest daughter randomly showed up at my school and spent the afternoon playing with the kids and I. This is finals week at the high school so they get out at noon.
    Anyway Sarah's unexpected appearance was exciting for the kids, and put some sunshine in my afternoon!
    Swim practice was COLD tonight. The ambient temp was 65 degrees, cloudy, and breezy. The water was around 75 degrees. I started out on a pretty good roll and felt fine, then a late-comer hopped in the lane and wanted to talk about what we were doing. I was tight and cold from then on.
    Here's the workout:

    800 freestyle warm-up swim
    200 Backstroke kick w/zoomers
    2 X 100 (back/breast)
    4 X 150 Free on 1:30 descended
    400 free swim moderate
    4 X 150 Free on 1:30 descend again
    200 Free moderate
    8 X 50 Free (I tried to do these extra hard, it hurt) on 1:00
    200 easy cool-down swim
    3,600 LC Meters
  13. Nutrition Thoughts

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 08:37 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    I've read several blogs that have been discussing nutrition ideas and this led me to re-examine my own nutrition. It needs to improve without a doubt! I've had a good plan before and got out of the habit of following it. I've pulled the plan out today and studied it and wonder why I ever stopped following it. Just lazy I guess.

    Thought I would give some background on why I ever got a nutrition plan in the first place. This is an issue I feel strongly about as I have seen many friends and swimmers I have coached get injured or have poor performances due to inadequate caloric intake. Obviously, it has also happened to me.

    I'm just an average recreational athlete, but maybe by putting this information up, I will help somebody or encourage somebody. My hope is that any female athlete that reads this that has suffered stress fractures or even worries about her weight will think twice before cutting back on calories. From what I've read, most female athletes, especially swimmers are in negative energy balance so much of the time. EAT! I also hope those interested in the negative energy balance problem will take a look at the following studies:

    In 2000, I did my first triathlon and won the beginner's division. This got me fired up and I started training probably more than I needed to. I ended up with a stress fracture in the femoral neck, (this is the part of your upper femur that connects to the ball and socket joint in your hip) a very dangerous place to get a stress fracture. A full break can often result in avascular necrosis (blood supply to bone gets cut off resulting in death of the bone) which leads to having to get a hip replacement. Mine was already halfway across the neck. I had to be on crutches for 5 weeks which was miserable. Was not allowed to even bike and had to agree to wear a pull buoy when I swam and no flip turns. Even after getting off crutches, was not allowed to run for another 2 months.

    After getting off the crutches, I wasn't ready to give up running or sprint or Olympic distance triathlons, but I wanted to make sure I didn't do anything again to re-injure my hip and end up with a hip replacement. Went to one of the best pedorthists around, Donna Robertson, out of Birmingham. Donna, also a certified athletic trainer, was the trainer for the U.S. Olympic Volleyball team in 1976. Got fitted for orthotics and she made suggestions for running shoes.

    In addition, I got with Roy Benson (out of Atlanta) and had him look at my running mechanics to see if I was doing anything wrong. I also asked him to give me some training guidance for running so I would not get hurt again. He introduced me to heart rate training, one of the best tools you can use to keep yourself from getting injured.

    And finally, at the suggestion of a friend, I consulted with Kimberly J. Mueller (now Kim Brown), a sports dietician out of San Diego who has written about nutrition for one of the triathlon magazines. I noticed that she recently put up an article on a website: Her main page is at
    Kim had me log all my activity (including sleeping) and everything I ate for 3 days. I was shocked when she wrote me back and said that I was "in severe negative energy imbalance, which is a contributing factor to diminished bone health."

    In the analysis, she noted that one day I had expended 4,000 calories but had only taken in 1800. Whoops! I wondered why I wasn't dropping weight like crazy if this was the case. She explained to me that your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows way down. As she noted, my bones were taking a hit. Not a good thing at 34 years old. She suggested that I needed to be taking in 3100 calories a day. I was floored, but was willing to try it. Anything to prevent another dreaded stress fracture.

    In any case, she suggested a breakdown of nutrients as follows: 60% carbs, 15% protein, and 25% fat. I wondered why so low in protein. She stated,"[T]oo much protein can be detrimental to bone health, as excess protein will carry calcium out of the body via urine. Chronic high-protein diets are related to decreased bone mass and development of stress fractures."

    After I read that, I decided no athlete, especially a runner needs to be doing anything like the Atkins diet. Anyway, she suggested that to "enhance my training and sports performance as well as to help prevent further stress fractures," that I take in 3100 calories per day. I followed this plan pretty well for several years and as a result feel like I had some outstanding performances.

    I actually lost a couple of pounds on this plan (got down to 135 at 5'9") and ended up having to eat more to get where I wanted (140 pounds) to maintain optimal power for my swimming events. My bodyfat at 135 was 14 to 15%. Before I got on the plan, it hung around 20% or even 21%. I really felt better, however, at 140 and 16%. I think the reason my body fat dropped was because I had to eat more often to meet my caloric goal for the day. (See first study above that explains why one has a higher body fat % when you don't eat frequently). I may have dropped a couple of pounds eating more simply because I had more energy to do more activities and because my body became a better fat burner.

    In any case, some of my performances on the diet that I felt were noteworthy:

    1. Six months after getting off crutches, ran a 44 (44:10 net, 44:52 gun) at Pike's Peak 10k in April 2001.

    2. Averaged 23.1 mph on the bike portion of a triathlon I did. Was in 35-39 age-group. Almost didn't put this one down as you will note the very long transition time between the bike and run - I ran out of the transition area to start my run and realized I forgot my running belt with my race number on it. Ran back into transtion to get it. Found out at the end of the race I didn't have to have it.

    3. Ran a 20:32 in a 5k. This was a year and a few months after I got off the crutches.

    4. Swam 4,650 yards on the USMS swim in 2002. Got 6th place in 35-39.

    4. Had master's SCY PB in 50 fly (28.57) and 100 I.M (1:07.80) at Auburn Meet in early 2003. (35-39 age-group)

    In getting busy with my part-time job and my child's activities, I got into some really bad eating habits recently - not sitting down to eat regularly or grabbing the first thing I could get my hands on. As of today, I'm back on the plan. After thinking back, nutrition made a big difference for me.

    I'm not doing triathons now, but I run, lift weights, and swim. Still holding out some hope that I can do one again and be competitive. I stopped doing the tris in 2006 because a neurological disorder that affects my heart (apparently this is a genetic thing) flared up. I've dealt with asthma all of my life but the combo of the asthma and the neurological disorder made it very difficult to be competitive in even sprint triathlons. I can say though that I have suffered no stress fractures since 2000 and have definitely had higher volume weeks than I had in 2000. Also had a bone density test done last year and doc said it was amazing - still in the plus range which apparently is not the norm for women my age. Glad the impact exercise has paid off in a good way.

    My goal now is to be somewhere around 2500-2800 calories. No way will my better eating habits show up in time for Athens, but maybe it will make a difference at Nationals.

    Here are some specifics the 3100 plan suggests:

    Meats - 4 servings a day - lean mean/poultry /fish (1 serving equals 105 -300 calories) - Nuts count as meats as does peanut butter
    Bread - 16 servings (1 serving equals 80 calories) - wheat bread, cereals, pasta, crackers, rice cakes, popcorn, or pretzels
    Vegetable - 4 servings (1 serving equals 25 calories) - vegetable juice (V-8) counts
    Fruit - 5 servings
    Fats and Sweets - No recommendation - use sparingly
    Milk - 4 servings - (1 serving equal to 90 -150 calories) - yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese

    Here are some suggestions she gave me for meal ideas:

    Stir Fry
    Beans and Rice

    I love her snack ideas:
    dry roasted nuts
    graham crackers
    sunflower seeds
    vegetable soup
    dried apricots
    half a PBJ sandwich

    Best of luck to everybody out there. I hope maybe something in this post will be helpful to somebody!

    Updated May 31st, 2009 at 10:54 PM by elise526

  14. Spin + Swim, Thursday, May 28

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 05:51 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    After giving up potato chips last night, I fell asleep almost an hour earlier than normal. Woke up with a lot of energy. Decided to go to my first am spin class in a couple months.

    60 minute spin

    Wasn't too bad. I didn't kill it, as I was planning to swim later. But pretty fun. Why is standing and biking at an 8-9 level easier than sitting and biking at a 7?

    Core/RC Work:

    incline crunches w/10 lb weight over head, 2 x 25
    elevated crunches w/med ball, 2 x 25
    V Ups w/med ball, 2 x 15
    crunches on bench w/10 lb DB held by feet
    external rotators, 10 x 2 x 15, each side
    prone scapular scrunches w/hand weights, 2 x 25
    arm extensions w/3 lb hand weights, 2 x 15 forward, V, side

    10 minutes of stretching

    Swim/SCY Solo:

    Warm up:

    750 variety warm up of swim, kick & drills

    10 x 25
    odds, backstroke shooter, no fins
    evens, easy

    Main Set:

    10 x 25 fly w/fins @ :35
    4 x 100 kick w/fins @ 2:00,
    Amanda Weir style:
    6 SDKs on first 25, 8 SDKs on second 25, 10 SDKs on third 25, UW shooter on last 25
    (This was NOT easy!)
    100 EZ

    10 x 25 fly w/fins @ :40
    4 x 100 @ 2:00, done:
    25 fast doggie paddle drill, 25 easy dolphin kick on back, 25 fast breast, 25 easy dolphin kick on back
    100 EZ

    10 x 25 fly w/fins @ :40
    4 x 100 backstroke kick @ 2:00
    75 EZ kick, speed into last turn and blast last 25 AFAP with 10 SDKs
    100 EZ

    Speed Work:

    10 x 25
    odds, AFAP free
    evens EZ

    100 EZ

    Total: 3600

    BTW, I really like the workout Patrick posted earlier today. I think I'll do that tomorrow. Or perhaps after another lactate set day.


    Nutrition Update:

    My 10 week+ effort to see if food = drug started today. (I realize 10 weeks probably isn't long enough to see lasting benefits -- is it? -- but I thought I'd reevaluate progress then.

    I don't plan to blog it every day and bore everyone to tears. Perhaps just to get me going. Here's what I ate/plan to eat today:

    (Forgot about the "no bread rule" right outta the box. lol)

    1 slice whole grain wheat bread w/peanut butter

    Post Spin Snack:

    12 oz G2 (I know it's got sugar, but RecoverWrong makes me nauseous)
    high protein balance bar


    Salad: romaine lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, grilled chicken, pomegranate arils (probably the only seed I like), currants

    Post Swim Snack:

    banana, plum, cherries and a couple of slices of grilled chicken


    salmon (thank god my kids love this!)

    (I won't eat the rice or pasta I make my kids.)

    (If I cheat, I'll edit)


    CrossFit on Stretching:

    Crazy's comment about stretching for 30 minutes got me thinking. I found this article called Hamstrung on the crossfit website. Here's the preamble to it:

    Stretching sucks. It does. There, it's been said. You can't brag about your best stretching time, you don't get to write your stretch PR on the wall, and there is no immediate "Fran"-like gratification that you are really tough. And despite the fact that flexibility is one of the ten CrossFit pillars of complete, well-balanced fitness, increasing flexibility potential remains the ungreased squeaky wheel of most athletes' training programming. According to the ten general physical skills list, flexibility is allegedly as important as power or strength. So why don't we take it more seriously? Because, typically, we simply fail to frame flexibility in terms that are important to us: increasing performance.

    Stop kidding yourself. Lacking flexibility in crucial areas has a crushing impact on your athletic abilities; to say nothing of the host of pains and problems that inflexibility predisposes you to. If you know you have tight hips, calves, hamstrings, quads, thoracic spine, or shoulders and aren't actively, aggressively striving to fix them, then you must be afraid of having a bigger squat, faster rowing splits, or a more explosive second pull. Or, you must be very lazy. Because if you are tight and a CrossFitter, you are missing a huge opportunity to get better, stronger and faster. Simply put, not stretching is like not flossing, and the results are not pretty. There are many areas of restriction in the typical athlete, but it makes sense to begin a discussion about flexibility and performance at perhaps the most commonly neglected and profoundly underaddressed area of the body, the hamstrings. The goals of this article are to help you understand how hamstring restriction impedes performance and function, learn to identify tight hamstrings with a few simple assessment tools, and above all, know how to address the problem.

    Updated May 28th, 2009 at 10:18 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Spinning
  15. 27/28 May 09 - DL/Folsom

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 05:21 PM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    27 May 09 - Dryland (missed the time at Folsom)
    Lords Gym- Endurance Conditioning
    Warm up - Plank 1:00, Double Leg Rotation, Crunches and Extensions on the ball.
    2x8 Assisted Pull-ups and Dips
    Hang 45's x2
    3x15 on everything; Upper and Lower
    Modified Straight arm pull-down with 3x15 25lb each arm
    BK simulator 3x15 15lb.

    28 May 09- Folsom Aquatic Center

    The pool is set up SCY with the 2 ends set apart for diving and kids. The lanes are reserved for "lap swimming" from 10:30 - 12:30 pm. Music playing on loud speakers (modern pop) and there are built in underwater speakers, sound is not too bad. It was distracting at first.
    It was BYO w/o, so I had a Pat Cantrell and a Mark / Chris S. workout. Started with Pats warm-up then changed to the other.
    Solo / BYO

    Warm - 300 Swim, 250 Stroke Drills (dog paddle, Gallop, one arms) 150 Kick (w/fins on side with pull buoy), 100 FR build

    6 x (4 x 50) 1-3 Descend 4th Easy on 1:00
    Alternate BK & FR

    100 easy

    100 BK2:00
    2 x 200 BK 4:00
    100 BK 2:00
    (omitted the 2x 300)

    100 EZ
    6x25 Sprint IM order, then BK / FR
    on :30
    150 w/d


    I don't think Ive swam this much backstroke, ever...I can say that I properly flip-turned at every wall and gave at least a kick or two before breakout. I'm getting to be a fan of Marks workouts, and Chris writes them so they're easy to understand. So thanks guys
  16. Breaststroke Day. Ugh!!!

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 01:38 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCM, Solo

    200 swim free
    200 kick choice
    200 pull free
    200 IM drill

    3 x 50 w/15 sec. rest:
    #1 kick breast on your back with a tight streamline;
    #2 kick breast on your stomach with a tight streamline;
    #3 is the "butt drill": kick on stomach with hands on glutes, trying to touch heels to hand before kicking back...
    50 easy free

    8 x 25 breast w/15 sec. rest as below:
    #1-2 pull with fly kick
    #3-4 pull with free kick: really work on accelerating during the lunge phase so you don't get the hands stuck under your body
    #5-6 3 kicks/1 pull
    #7-8 2 kicks/1 pull
    100 easy

    8 x 25 breast with 10 sec. rest:
    #1 swim as long a stroke as you can with a 3-count glide, counting strokes. This is your stroke length.
    #2 stroke length +1
    #3 stroke length +2
    #4 stroke length +3

    100 easy

    pull 6 x 75 free on 1:30 with paddles & buoy: descend 1-3 and 4-6

    swim down 200 easy
  17. Thursday, May 28th, 2009 another toughy

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 11:41 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Thu May 28th, 2009

    Larry & Tyler are doing the Postal 10k this Saturday at 6:30 am, I'm thinking about it, haven't swum that far in years.
    What do you think?



    Thu June 11 - 14, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Senior Circuit #3
    Austin, TX
    Events Entered:
    04 400 Freestyle (2) 5:07.03 scy 500 fr
    10 050 Freestyle 24.50 LCM
    14 200 Freestyle 1:50.70 scy
    18 200 Backstroke 2:21.04 LCM
    20 100 Butterfly 51.80 scy
    28 200 Individual Medley 2:24.08 LCM
    38 050 Butterfly (3) 51.80 scy

    Fri July 18 - 19 2009
    Woodlands, TX
    USMS South Central Zone Long Course Championship Meet
    Meet Entry Form
    Found out Aerosmith is playing with ZZ Top on
    Friday July 17th at the
    Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion in the Woodlands

    weights at world gym

    lat press 8 x 40 8 x 45 8 x 50 6 x 55

    lat pull 8 x 165 6 x 205 6 x 205

    bench 8 x 135 6 x 185 3 x 195 3 x 195

    leg press 8 x 180 8 x 270 6 x 360



    6:30 - 8:00
    whitney Coached
    TSC main pool
    swam with russell, chris, tyler, todd, doug, amy, brandon, & larry

    warm up LCM
    500 fr
    300 k

    Main LCM

    20 x 50 fr on :40
    made em

    10 x 100 on 1:20
    made em
    held 1:10's & 11's

    20 x 50 fr on :40
    made em

    5 x 100 on 1:15
    made em held 1:10's

    100 easy
  18. 5-27-09 EZ Aerobic Breast/Free

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 08:55 AM (TJ's Blog of Slow Swimming!)
    11:00 AM to Noon at the Downtown YMCA (SCM) coached by Jann.

    My last practice in the U.S.

    400 free - every 4th dolphin breast
    4x25 2 kicks/pull breast drill on :40

    Main Set:
    3x175 free descend on 3:30 - 3:15, 3:00, 2:45
    4x50 fast breast on 1:10 - :50, :53, :53, :52

    3x150 free descend on 3:00 - 2:50, 2:40, 2:31
    4x50 fast breast on 1:10 - :52, :55, :55, :54

    3x125 free descend on 2:30 - 2:15, 2:05, 1:50
    4x50 fast breast on 1:10 - :54, :54, :54, :54

    100 im drill
    100 easy back

    2550 meters

    I am glad I could sneak away from my last day in the office to make my last practice with my team. Breast stroke workouts are difficult in that they hammer my legs. The intervals weren't as fast as I had hoped, but I felt like my stroke was decent. I liked the long descending free intervals as a change.
    Hopefully I will find a team to start practicing with soon so that I don't miss that much time in the pool.
    I'll talk to you all from the other side of the pond.
    Tags: aerobic, breast, free
    Swim Workouts
  19. Thursday 5/28 - Interuptions YUCK!

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 08:03 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I hate on-call, I hate on-call, .....
    Today after the first 1500 I had to stop for about 20 minutes to handle computer problems. I hate on-call.

    Felt like I had a great backstroke today.

    1000 Free by 200 swim/pull/swim/kick/swim
    5x100 @ 2:15 back kick w/fins and rotation my kick felt slower than usual

    I hate on-call.... 20 minutes of computer issues

    5x200 @ 4:15 Back w/paddles went 3:58, 3:46, 3:46, 3:42, 3:41 felt stronger as I went
    5x100 @ 1:45 Free w/paddles & bouy held 1:36's
    5x100 @ 2:00 as 50 free/50 back
    500 Free EZ

    Total 4000 meters
  20. How to know if you're trying enough

    by , May 28th, 2009 at 12:08 AM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Chris, I think most people need a schedule for periodization to work well for them, because their inner "I'm broken down" threshold is set too low. A schedule also gives them an end in sight, which can be a powerful motivational factor.

    Fort, June 14 is soon! The end is in sight!

    Mr. Qbrain in a comment on a recent Chris Stevenson blog
    On this, my 22nd consecutive day of daily hard exercise, I think I have begun to get some clues that might help my fellow swimmers decide if you are trying enough in practice--and not succumbing to that inner babyish voice that cries out, "Ease off! Pamper yourself! You have crossed the threshhold into the realm of being overly broken down!"

    At tonight's practice, I underwent not one, not two, but three separate specific and measurable characteristics that suggest I was trying enough.

    These are:

    1. Severe nausea of the sort where the stomach contents are storming the esophageal sphincter if not yet breaching same
    2. Cramps in the thighs and calves that made just finishing a final "sprint" 50 an epic adventure of the sort that Homer might have written a trilogy about
    3. And finally, the quote delivered to me, directly and with a look of "oh my god, I wish I'd paid more attention in that CPR class" anxiety, from a sophomore college swimming woman, "Are you okay?"

    I am not maintaining these three above characteristics, even in combination, are sufficient to prove beyond all doubt that I was trying in practice.

    I will, however, suggest they represent a sort of sine qua non triad the absence of which probably indicates you are not trying hard enough.

    Near vomiting, cramps throughout the entire span of the legs, and the concern of a coed who really thinks she is about to see her first corpse: these are necessary, if not absolutely sufficient, conditions for trying.

    I am not sure exactly could push one over the edge into absolute, definitive proof. After motorscootering home post-practice, I lay down on the couch to watch a few minutes of Countdown with Keith Oberman before lighting the grill and putting on my dinner of four Costco lamb chops.

    When I stood up from the couch, I suffered a blood rush from the head that all but blackened out my visual field entirely, if only momentarily, forcing me to remain standing based on no more than a lifetime of experience in what this requires.

    I could have fallen.

    I could have also actually vomited during practice, seized up with such cramps as to not be able to finish my sprint 50 at all, no matter how slow, and finally I could have expired right after answering the coed's concerned inquiry with a simple--heroic even--"No."

    Maybe this is what is sufficient to prove I tried hard enough in practice. I don't know. I guess when I get to that point where the question becomes moot, this vlog will have run its course.

    So, here are my last three practices, each one, in its way, emblematic of the new Costillian maxim I am trying to put into practice: i.e., intensity trumps volume. (Note: I do have a bit of volume here, too, usually at the beginning, but these lengthy warm ups tend to be done at a very leisurely and relaxing pace, which I find is increasingly necessary to cajole the creekiness out of my joints and alleged muscles...)

    Friday, May 24th, at Trees Pool (U. Pittsburgh)

    Pre warm up: 1,500

    Warm up 4 x 200 on 3:30 (2:30; 2:25: 2:25: 2:18)

    10 x 100 on 2:00 (ez, med, fast, repeat--from pushoffs)
    [fast ones for me were :59 1:01 :57]

    kick 200 rest; regroup

    Swim 8 x 50 on 1:15 (ez, fast, repeat-from pushoffs)
    [fast ones were :28, :28; :28’ :27]

    kick 200 rest; regroup

    12 x 50 karmic meditative --no breaths down, breathe ad libertam back, chant “peace” and “calm” throughout

    Total 4500; total arm-deadeningly hard yards for me: 500 yards

    Saturday, May 23rd at Sewickley YMCA

    lifted 53,000 lb.--see earlier vlog
    Sunday, May 24th at Sewickley YMCA

    3 hours, 15 minutes of doubles tennis; won 3 sets to one with hobbled partner Bill (suffering from gastrocnemius, also documented in previous vlog); a little water volleyball later
    Monday, Memorial Day, May 24th at Sewickley YMCA

    Bill White: present
    Jim Thornton: present
    Everybody else on our team: not present

    Pre Warm up: 1500 easy

    Warm up: swim kick pull on your own from 12:00-12:15

    Heart accelerating set: 8 x 100 on 1:30 (just a tad bit faster than you want to go)

    Main set (in homage to Jocelyn and with thanks to Jen at Pitt who invented this):

    5 sets of 8 x 50 on 1:15, EZ on the odds; fast on the evens; with regrouping between each set

    1.the fast ones are your 200 pace +2 seconds (for example: 32s if your 200 time is 2:00)

    2.the fast ones are your 200 pace +1 seconds (for example: 31s if your 200 time is 2:00)

    3.the fast ones are your 200 pace +0 seconds (for example: 30s if your 200 time is 2:00)

    4.the fact ones are your 200 pace -1 seconds (for example: 29s if your 200 time is 2:00)

    5.the fast ones are your 200 pace -2 seconds (for example: 28s if your 200 time is 2:00)

    recovery set: swim easy for 5 minutes

    Total 4600; total arm-deadeningly hard yards for me: 1000 yards

    Tuesday, May 26th at Sewickley YMCA
    lifted 66,000 pounds in lieu of tennis singles because of rain
    Wednesday, May 27th at Sewickley YMCA

    Pre warm up: 1200 easy

    16 x 50 on :55 moderate
    4 x 50 on 1:10 moderate
    5 x 100 on 1:30 odd ones fast (1;04, 1:04; 1:03)

    2:20 rest (swam slow 50 to recover)

    5 x 100 on 1:40 odd ones fast (1:02, 1:03; 1:02)

    2:40 rest (swam slow 50 to recover)

    4 x 100 on 1:50 odd ones fast (1:04, 1:05)

    [near vomiting and co-ed asks, “Are you okay?”]

    4 x 50 sprint odds

    [massive cramping on second sprint, almost unable to finish but force myself to waddle in, kicking with hip muscles alone]

    4 x 50 on :40 “cool down”--coach Bill’s idea of whimsy

    Total: 4100; total arm-deadeningly hard yards for me: 800 yards

    Tomorrow, if the weather is okay, I will be playing tennis; weight lifting if it rains. Friday out to Pitt again, hopefully for the first long course swim of the season, though that's still up in the air how the pool will be set up.

    Today, as suggested earlier, was my 22nd consecutive day of exercise, and I am not sure how long I can keep these up without a break. But it's been kind of rewarding to think that I might be slouching ever so slowly back into okay shape.

    Updated May 28th, 2009 at 12:18 AM by jim thornton