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  1. Shaken, Stirred, and Sorry (March-April 2011)

    by , March 1st, 2011 at 01:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    As many of you are aware, in the January–February issue we published a letter written by member Glenn Welsford that spoke of his religious intolerance of the LGBT community. Mr. Welsford penned the letter in response to the article we published in the September-October issue of SWIMMER profiling Tyler Duckworth, a gay swimmer and reality TV star. In the same issue, we presented a book review of Jeff Commings’s autobiography, "Odd Man Out," which chronicles his life as a gay, black swimmer. I also wrote about diversity in my editorial for that issue.

    During our editorial review prior to publication, we felt that Mr. Welsford, while entitled to his beliefs, is clinging to an antiquated viewpoint in a society truly coming of age—one in which all its members are afforded equal respect—something that USMS, a subculture within this society, does very well.

    Our intent in printing the letter was not to give any individual a platform to “spew hatred,” but to allow a member’s opinion to be discussed and defused. Many of us don’t feel that Mr. Welsford’s viewpoint can survive in our rapidly integrating society. In reading his words, I felt they were intolerant, but I didn’t see them as a hateful personal attack.

    A dispassionate lens may not always be the best way to view things, especially when serving a large, diverse, passionate group of people. As the editor, it was my responsibility to be sensitive to how some readers may react. And in that, I failed; and offer my sincere apologies.

    Regardless of our intentions, the right thing to do was apologize to those who were hurt or angered by the publication of the letter. We did so in timely responses to all readers who wrote in, and by publishing a formal apology on the home page at

    We received letters from readers, both gay and straight, who strongly disagreed with the printing of the letter—they did read hatred in Welsford’s words, not just intolerance. We also received letters from readers, both gay and straight, thanking us for printing the letter, for various reasons. They appreciated our willingness to print a controversial response to what some consider a difficult topic—one that we introduced with the original articles.

    This has been a learning experience for us here at SWIMMER. We remain committed to providing you with a quality publication that covers the wide range of interests of our members, including competition, open water, fitness, training and technique, health and nutrition, history, product reviews and profiles of our diverse members—the fascinating people who make up U.S. Masters Swimming.

    We are unable to print all the letters we received, and we didn’t want this incident to prevent us from publishing letters on other topics, so we have extended the Letters department for this issue (“Letters” starts on page 3 and is continued on page 44) and we have published an extended version online.

    Updated July 1st, 2014 at 11:53 AM by Editor

    Staff Blogs
  2. 500s w/toys

    We don't use toys that often during team practice. I was surprised to see the workout tonight. The focus of the main set was to hold a fast pace with the use of various toys. I had fun with this and felt strong on the final set of sprints.

    I tried lifting some weights this morning. High reps. with some light weight just to ease into it. I haven't lifted in about a year. I got hooked on P90 but needed a change. So I took my favorite P90 workouts and have tried to add in some weights also. We will see how long this lasts or how long it takes for the wife to say that she never sees me anymore.

    200 SWIM
    200 IM DRILL

    6 X 500 REST 60
    6. EZ (25 SWIM/ 25 KICK/ 50 BUOY)

    5 X 100 @ 3:00 ALL OUT SPRINT

    300 W/D

  3. solo morning swim

    I did a solo lc workout this morning. It was a little breezy at the pool, but up in the sky the clouds were just racing by—very fun to watch. Here’s how the swim went:

    1100 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 300 rev. IM)

    8 x 150 @ :20 rest, odds k/d/s rev. IM order, evens FR / ST / FR rev. IM order done as 50 build / 50 fast / 50 easy

    100 easy + retrieve board

    3 x 500 FR @ :45 rest: 1st one swim w/ snorkel w/ strong kick, 2nd one swim w/ strong kick, 3rd pull keeping fast turnover

    8 x 150 @ :30 rest
    150 FL kick
    100 BK kick / 50 BK swim
    50 BR kick / 100 BR swim
    150 FR swim
    150 FR kick
    100 BR kick / 50 BR swim
    50 BK kick / 100 BK swim
    150 FL/BK/BR swim

    300 warmdown + play
  4. Double Mon Feb 28th, 2011

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 04:26 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    DOUBLE Mon Feb 28th, 2011

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, SCY Diving Well noon to 1:15
    dove in at 12:05
    trained with Bob
    Beside James Fike, Stan, Mark Wood, Richie, & Pat Evoe
    wore worn out FS PRO jammer

    assigned 2 x 500 did around 600

    Main SET:
    assigned 20 x 100 4 fr on 1:10, 1 easy kick
    Round 1: 2 x 200 fr on 2:10, made it, 1 easy k on 3:00
    Round 2: 2 x 200 on 2:10, Made it, 1 easy k
    Round 3: 2 x 200 on 2:10, made it, 1 easy k
    Round 4: 400 strong went 4:10, 1 easy kick
    missed the first 1 100 and a 50 of the 2nd

    5 x 150 on 2:00

    3 x 150 k NO FINS on 3:00
    skipped 1 and rested 5 minutes

    150 k strong
    went 1:41

    50 easy

    Next meets are:

    Fri Apr 1 - Sun 3, 2011
    2011 South Central Zone SCY Championships
    Josh Davis Natatorium, San Antonio, TX
    Days Till

    Thu Apr 28 - Sun May 1, 2011
    2011 USMS SCY Spring Nationals
    Kino Aquatic Complex, Mesa, AZ
    Order of Events
    Days till

    Updated February 28th, 2011 at 05:32 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -03/01/11

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 04:20 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 100 1:40 1:30
    2 X 150 2:30 2:15
    2 X 200 3:20 3:00
    Twice through. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 200 kick

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

    1 X 100 easy 2:00
    1 X 50 @ 100% 2:00
    Four times through. Choice.

    Choice of final set:

    1 X 300 IM 5:20
    4 X 75 1:20
    75's: #1 50 free/25 fly #2 50 free/25 back #3 50 free/25 breast #4 75 free
    Three rounds.


    1 X 300 free 4:30 4:00
    6 X 50 free :45 :40
    Three rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2&3 right.

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  6. Fort Stretching Tips

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 03:53 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    As I get older, stretching and staying flexible have seemed to increase in importance. Stretching can speed recovery, help remove lactic acid build up and help the muscles generate force. I believe stretching also helps keep me more injury free and prevents tightness from negatively impacting performance. When I stretch on my own, I combine yoga poses and stretches that focus principally on stretching the back, chest, hips and legs. I rarely stretch the shoulders, so as to prevent further loosening of my loosey goosey shoulder tendons. I do these after exercising and hold the stretches for 30 seconds. I'm also a fan of the P90X stretching DVD. Here are my top 20 stretches:

    Half Moon Pose:

    Standing Separate Leg Pose:

    Standing Head to Knee Forward Bend:

    Stand and bend over grabbing heels underneath. Then touch forehead to shins keeping legs straight and knees locked.

    Standing Bow:

    Wind Removing Pose:


    Fixed Firm Pose:

    Spine Twisting:

    Sit on the ground with your legs crossed. Lift your right leg and cross it over the left, which should remain bent. Hug the right leg to your chest and twist the trunk of your body to look over your right shoulder. Change legs and repeat (i.e. looking over your left shoulder).

    Cat Stretch:

    Begin on all fours, hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.
    Inhale as you drop tummy towards the floor and look up over your head. Exhale as you bring your tummy back up, rounding your back as you tuck your chin in and tuck your tailbone in.

    [nomedia=""]Cat Stretch - YouTube[/nomedia]

    Scapular Stretch:

    Sit on floor with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place arms under knees grabbing the opposite elbow. Pull back with your back. This is a good stretch for the mid back.

    Knee Drops or Hip/trunk Twists:

    Bring the knees up and bend them to 90 degrees, shins parallel to the floor and arms out to the sides. Contract the abs and rotate the torso to lower the legs to the right, bringing them down to the floor. Bring the knees back to center and lower to the left side.

    Spinal Twist:

    While lying face up on the mat, grab the right leg (straight) with the left hand. Slowly twist the leg to the left straight to the floor while keeping both shoulders on the ground. Great stretch for the glutes and back.

    Hamstring Stretch:

    Lie on your back and place a piece of exercise tubing (or just use your hands) around the bottom of one of your feet. Pull the tubing and raise your leg at the same time until a comfortable stretch is felt. You can also pull the leg to the floor (left leg to the left side and right leg to the right side) to open up the hips.

    Piriformis Stretch:

    Lying on your back, cross your legs just as you might while sitting in a chair. Grasping the "under" leg with both hands, pull the knee toward your chest until you feel the stretch in your buttocks and hips.

    External Hip Rotation Stretch:

    Sit down with knees bent. Rest one ankle on the opposite thigh. Lean forward pushing with hands.

    Adductor Stretch:

    Sit up on the floor with legs spread. Reach forward with hands, trying to put chest on the floor. You can also bend to the right and to the left in this position to stretch the oblique muscles.

    Kenpo Quad Stretch:

    Lay on your stomach. Grab your left heel with your left hand and stretch. Do the other side. You can also do this laying on your side. To make it harder and also stretch the glutes a la P90X, tuck one knee under and then reach back for the heel. Try to place your hands on the floor in front of you.

    Gastroc (back of the calf) Stretch:

    Lean against a wall or other stationary object, both palms against the object. The leg you want to stretch is back, several feet from the wall, your heel firmly positioned on the floor. Your other leg is flexed about halfway between your back leg and the wall. Start with your back straight and gradually lunge forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. Keep your back foot straight and angled 90 degrees from the wall.

    Groin Stretch:

    Seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward with a straight back and gently press your knees toward the ground.

    Forearm Stretch:

    Get on all fours. Place hands on floor with fingers pointing back to your knees. Gently pull back, stretching forearms.


    Updated January 7th, 2012 at 01:29 PM by The Fortress

  7. Mon Feb 28th, 2011

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 01:44 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Feb 28th, 2011

    Did not swim Th or Fri
    Swam Sat & Sun
    Lifted Fri

    got a nice note from a dad in Mexico who stumbled upon and likes my [ame=""]Swim Faster Faster Tips[/ame]

    Congrats to UT Men & Women for winning the 2011 Big 12 Men's & Womens Swimming and Diving Championships Titles. UT Women & Aggie Women were very close

    info arrived for the
    2011 South Central Zone SCY Championships
    Fri April 1 - 3, 2011 at the
    Josh Davis Natatorium in
    San Antonio, TX

    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    Whitney Coached
    UT, SCY Center course
    5:15 to 6:30 dove in around 5:50ish
    trained with Mike, marcio, todd, & Ned
    Beside Max, Kelly,
    wore FS PRO jammer


    Main SET:
    20 x 100
    4 fr on 1:10 except round 4 was on 1:05
    1 easy kick
    missed the first 1 100 and a 50 of the 2nd

    5 x 150 on 1:45

    5 x 150 fl k NO FINS on 2:00
    made it

    150 br kick

    100 easy

    Next meets are:

    Fri Apr 1 - Sun 3, 2011
    2011 South Central Zone SCY Championships
    Josh Davis Natatorium, San Antonio, TX
    Days Till

    Thu Apr 28 - Sun May 1, 2011
    2011 USMS SCY Spring Nationals
    Kino Aquatic Complex, Mesa, AZ
    Order of Events
    Days till

    Updated February 28th, 2011 at 01:49 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  8. The End of February...YAY!

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 01:18 PM (Year Three: The Road Back)
    YAY! February is FINALLY over! First of all, it's been a crazy month - weather-wise. With the beginning of the month having ice storms to today - with 2.5+ inches of rain overnight and schools delayed because of all the flooding.... E-gads. Makes you wonder what's next?!

    My total for the February Fitness Challenge? 112,200 yards swam over 27 days. Of course, I now have a slight injury -either from overuse or from shoveling the last load of really heavy, wet snow on Friday (or probably a combination of the two). Anyways, my back/ left side is absolutely aching when I twist or lift my left arm up and down (golly - kind of like a freestyle stroke). So, I decided that after 27 days in a row of swimming, I am going to take tomorrow off - and see how I feel on Wednesday. I suppose if there is any time to be injured, it's right now. The state meet is four weeks away and Y Nationals are six weeks. But... I'm rather hoping that diligent stretching over the next two days will help the muscles get back to normal and I'll be able to refocus on sprinting - and to be in the pool doing something other than kicking.

    Today's workout was primarily a kick-fest, with some breaststroke work thrown in for good measure. Oddly enough, breaststroke - which is my least favorite of the four - had the only arm motion that wasn't excruiatingly painful. The other way I got around my pain was to do fly one arm drills for a good portion of the workout. Of course, I only drilled with one arm....

    Enjoy your swims tomorrow for me!

    Updated March 1st, 2011 at 12:31 PM by kgernert

  9. Monday, 2/28/11

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 01:03 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    Warm up
    200 free build from easy to moderate
    4 x 75/1:20 build
    - swam as 50 free/25 back
    200 IM: 25 kick/25 swim
    6 x 50 ds: - 3/1:00, 3/50
    - did back on 1-3, free on 4-6

    Main Set: Back/Fly/Free
    Did each round of 100's as:
    #1 - 75 Back/25 Fly
    - times were ±130
    #2 - 75 Free/25 Breast
    - times were ±1:30
    #3 - all Free
    - times were ±1:20

    Swim 3 x 100/2:00 ds to strong
    Kick 4 x 50/1:10 ds to strong
    - flutter w/board, times were 1:00-1:02
    Swim 3 x 100/2:00 ds to strong
    Kick 4 x 50/1:05 ds to strong
    - flutter on back, times were ±54
    Swim 3 x 100/2:00 ds to strong
    Kick 4 x 100/1:00 ds to fast
    - flutter on back, times were ±53
    Swim 3 x 100/2:00 ds to fast

    Cool down
    100 easy

    Total: 2900 yards
  10. An up and down meet

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 12:22 PM (Life in the (not so) fast lane)
    It was double posted. Looks like I messed up the deletion of one of the posts. Reposting...

    This is my first year doing meets, and Saturday's meet is only my third SCY meet ever, so I'm a noob. All things considered, the meet was just kind of okay. I did:

    50 free: 29.36

    This was very disappointing. My last time was 29.03 and I was absolutely certain I was going to break into the 28s this time given how I was swimming in practice, but it was not to be. It felt like in the movie A Christmas Story when Ralph gets a C+ on his essay. Next time.

    50 breast: 40.91

    This was a total WTF, since I've been under 40 the last couple of times I did it. I felt good and someone was right beside me the whole way, so I was pushing hard. Maybe a late start? Slow turn? I don't know.

    100 free: 1:08.36

    I was happy with this, since this is a best time for me. My splits were 36.03, 32.33.

    200 free: 2:32.29

    This was okay, since I generally *hate* 200s of anything. At least I hate doing them in practice. I felt good here, and will probably do this event next time. I expect to beat this time handily at the next meet. My splits leave plenty of room for improvement with more disciplined training: 38.99, 40.74, 38.34, 34.22

    100 IM: 1:24.57

    About average for me, and I didn't beat my seed time. On the backstroke leg, I'm convinced the pool water suddenly changed to molasses. It really happened! My splits: 43.69, 40.88
  11. Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 5:00am

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 11:04 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    My wife and I started the P90X program last Friday night, and have done 3 days of it so far, and feeling pretty good. Day #2 was actually the hardest day, like in most things, but once you get past that it seemed easier. We'll see as the adventure continues.

    Friday: UML - 45 minutes
    Saturday: Cardio Intervals (one set) - 30 minutes
    Sunday: Cardio Intercals (two sets) - 60 minutes
    My legs/knees are really feeling the brunt of this new workout addition. I'm a sea animal, not a land animal. But at least I know its just muscle fatigue.

    200 Free
    200 Free Pull

    600 IM Fairly Fast - went 7:55
    1:00 rest
    400 IM AFAP after the 600 went 5:05
    1:00 rest
    200 IM AFAP after that went 2:25

    I was really happy with the way I felt doing these, and the times seemed to be pretty good. Had another guy jump in a start swimming during the middle of the 600, so I just had to avoid him.

    400 Free Pull stretch out

    Twice thru:
    4 x 50 Free @ :45
    50 Kick

    8 x 25 Dive Sprints & swim EZ back

    2900 Yards
  12. MATT Monday Workout

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 09:35 AM (Pete's swim blog)

    400 Warm-up

    3 x 100 - 1:25
    2 x 100 - 1:20
    1 x 100 - 1:15
    16 x 25 - :30 Easy Free/Hard Stroke
    3 x 100 - 1:25
    2 x 100 - 1:20
    1 x 100 - 1:15
    16 x 25 - :30 Kick

    3 x 100 - 1:25
    2 x 100 - 1:20
    1 x 100 - 1:15
    2 x 100 - 1:20
    3 x 100 - 1:25

    50 Easy

    16 x 25 - :40 Breath Control

    150 Cool down

    (4100 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  13. Back to the grind with some evil stoking

    by , February 28th, 2011 at 08:32 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Tired from coaching this weekend but it was great Sandra did really well.

    We diddn't have a clock for the first part of the workout the first set I did using my wrist watch.

    10x100@1:45 Free
    500 Breast kick w/brfins
    5x100@:10R back kick w/fins burn thighs burn
    10x50@1:00 Breast pull w/paddles & fins use dolphin motion
    500 Free every 3rd lap FAST Breast
    5x100@1:40 Free #1-4 with min 4 beat kick # 5 normal 2 beat

    Total 3500 yards
  14. Sadness, so behind on my GTD!

    by , February 27th, 2011 at 11:24 PM (Workout Swimmer)
    This week started out so promising!! I was on my third day in the water in a row! Kinda worried that my arms might not hold out for day 6, but excited to be back at it, when blam! Out of nowhere, I get hit with a nasty vomiting virus!! 1:45 in the morning Thursday morning I was rewriting my plans for the week. Friday morning I realized I was now back to my usual "pace" for GTD and that I wasn't going to be back in the water until Saturday at the earliest. Saturday, I was determined, I was going to get in 5000, no matter how ugly it was, just to get the darn distance in! Then I actually dove in the pool, and in about 25 yards realized I should've stayed home because I still felt pretty puny. I limped through 1500 and then tucked my tail between my legs and went back home to bed. Took off today too - can't believe I get sick the week I get a new grandbaby! Can't go visit the baby and breathe nasty germs on her! Her might get sick too! And then her mommy might get really pissed off & not let me come back for a while! Poo.
    On the positive side - feeling much more myself today. Got in lots of baby time - now have lots of baby clothes in the dryer & my swim gear in the car for AM practice. Maybe this week I'll get a bit closer to that darn GTD pace clock!

    Updated February 27th, 2011 at 11:25 PM by Celestial

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  15. did not get to post yesterday

    by , February 27th, 2011 at 08:50 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Managed to get a quick swim in before the warmups for the kids state meet. only 2000 yards then off to coach. I AM TIRED!

    They did an awesome job.

    1000 Free as 200 swim/pull/swim/kick/swim
    3x200@4:00 Fly as 50 rt arm/50 lt arm/50 kick/50 swim w/fins
    200 free kick w/fins
    200 free easy

    Total 2000 yards.
  16. Sunday, Feb. 27

    by , February 27th, 2011 at 08:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Mini Drylands, 45 minutes:

    broomstick twists & dislocations
    med ball slams, 2 x 10
    flutter kicks on bosu, 2 x 50
    bicycles on bosu, 2 x 25
    long arm crunches, 50
    hip hinges, 20 x 1 x 10, each leg

    RC work, 15 minutes (arm extensions, external rotators, chops on yoga ball with hand weights, scapular scrunches, arm circles, cavic drill with hand weights)

    Stretching/Yoga, 30 minutes:

    One day, I'll list and provide links to my stretches. Too busy now -- must watch the Oscars.

    And one of USMS's own, nationally ranked Susan Dawson-Cook, has produced her own DVD on stretching. Check it out:


    This was another "Technique Sunday."

    Warm up:

    600 various

    Main Sets:

    3 x through:

    100 single arm (alternate left & right by 25)
    100 kick
    4 x 25 shooters
    2 x 50 drill

    #1 = fly
    #2 = back
    #3 = breast

    -- For breast, I did the "shooters" as 1 pull 3 kick. I did the 50 drills as BR pull.

    8 x 25 breast drill
    alternate dolphin kick with breast kick

    -- My timing is still off on my breaststroke kick. Though I did realize that when I'm kicking, I'm not kicking very hard but going through the motions because I'm usually focusing on a quick recovery. Doh, might go faster if I think about my kick instead.

    16 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens = easy

    8 x 25 breast drill
    alternate dolphin kick with breast kick

    8 x 25
    odds = easy speed fly
    evens - easy

    -- I wanted to do more, but there was a portly noodling type in my narrow lane. Just made it extremely difficult.

    100 EZ

    Total: 2700 meters



    Mini was at a volleyball tournament, Lil Fort at a birthday party and Mr. Fort cycling, so I headed out to the gym this afternoon. It was unusually crowded in the pool. Good thing I didn't have a serious workout planned!

    I've seen all the Oscar nominated movies except Winter's Bone. I'm torn between The Fighter and The King's Speech for best picture, though I guess the favorite may be The Social Network.

    I did finally get myself signed up for the Warrenton meet (100 fly/50 fly/100 IM) and I saw that the meet was up to 85 people. I'm hoping my foot won't hurt to go off the blocks. My right foot is in the back position, so I need to bend it and push off. This round of PRP seems to be hurting slightly longer than the previous times. Perhaps this is because the doc focused on the inside of the foot, which is always being worked. I wasn't really sure what times to enter. I rarely swim the 100 fly and 100 IM untapered. In fact, due to meet line ups and such, I haven't swum the 100 IM since December 2009. I probably ought to swim one in practice!

    Updated February 27th, 2011 at 09:49 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Strength Training and Dryland Workouts , Yoga
  17. Saturday and Sunday

    by , February 27th, 2011 at 08:22 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Saturday was a short swim with the Nasti Tribe! Here's how it went:
    **400 Warm-up swim
    **3 X through:
    350 pull on 5:30
    4 X 25 Stroke on :30
    200 swim @ 4:00 (alternate stroke/freestyle)
    **4 X 100 Free @ 2:00--all out steady
    **150 cool-down.

    2,900 scy

    Sunday was another Nasti swim:

    **800 Freestyle warm-up swim
    **super 500 swim (recovery 25's fly)
    **Repeat 4 X through:
    8 X 50 Descending :5 each swim(1:10/ 1:05/ 1:00/ 55:00/ 50:00/ 45:00/ 40:00/ 35:00)
    **easy 200 cool-down

    3,100 scy

    This afternoon a few of my Nasti friends organized a 3 mile "Princess of Peace" fun run on the Monon Trail. The run was an effort to provide community based educational opportunities for young girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A teacher can be paid for 1 year with each $600.00 raised. There were probably 100 or so kids and adults out for the run. Most people were in costumes; princesses, prince's, and queens!! Awards were given for the best costumes!
    Considering I have not been out for a a run since October I was happy to feel great and run at a steady 7:20 pace. Afterwards we all gathered at a local brewhouse for snacks and beer! It was a delightfully fun day and always good to help out our fellow man-kind!
  18. My fake OW swim

    I was really looking forward to today, because after weeks of asking / persuading / cajoling / wheedling / begging, I’d finally gotten a couple of teammates to agree to come do an open-water swim with me in the gulf. (The fact that the water temp has risen to the mid-60s helped.) We planned to go out this afternoon. The only potential problem was the jellyfish situation—the cannonball/cabbagehead numbers had been waxing and waning over the past few days. (And yes, for the record, they do sting—I got mildly zapped by one yesterday, but it left no rash). We left it that I would go out and survey the beach this morning and see how things looked.

    Well, there were plenty of my jelly buddies out this morning. They seemed to have brought in reinforcements overnight, although I didn’t see any huge ones lolling around in the surf—there were mostly middle-sized ones whose rust-colored centers were visible in the water, and a fair number washed up on shore:

    These probably would have been enough to cancel our swim, but there was worse news. There were a fair number of these critters too:

    A number of these were still alive and writhing around while I photographed them. Their presence definitely scuttled any OW swim plans for today—I don’t even walk on the wet sand when man-o’-wars are present, much less swim. I emailed my swim buddies and told them we’d have to cancel.

    I was disappointed not to get in a last swim in the gulf, and was feeling kind of down. However, since I wanted to get in the water, and didn’t want to drive in to the aquatic center, I ended up going for a short swim in the “lagoon” pool at the condo development here:

    I confess that I’ve always rolled my eyes at such pools. My first thought upon seeing them is an outraged “For the same money, they could have build a real pool, with lines on the bottom, and back stroke flags even!” But once I swam a few laps around this one, I started to see the charm of the thing. It turned out to be surprisingly pleasant to float and paddle around amid fake palm trees and waterfalls. Since this pool is unheated, it is around 70 degrees, which is completely comfortable for me but seems to deter anyone else from getting in for more than 5 minutes. So I had the whole thing to myself for as long as I cared to swim, with a hot tub nearby for warming up and stretching after.

    I discovered that I could sight on the edges and swim figure-eights around the pool’s two islands, and not have to worry about doing any turns. After a dozen or so of these loops I began to feel like Gus the polar bear, so I just floated and played in the fountains the rest of the time. So while it wasn’t a real open-water swim, it had no turns, it was definitely fun, and there were no nasty stinging critters to worry about. I’m sold!
  19. Lotta Time Doing Nuthin', Saturday, Feb. 26

    by , February 26th, 2011 at 11:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    @ Gym:

    RC work, 15 minutes

    Stretching/Yoga, 45 minutes

    Hottub, 25 minutes



    Today was my off day, so I decided to work on banishing the lactic acid in the legs (which were sore after yesterday's AFAP kick fest). All this incidental cross training to keep/get the body ready is really time consuming. But I felt great after a prolonged stretch.

    Had a horrible night's sleep though, so need to try to correct that tonight. Every single person in my house was up early on a Saturday: the teens left at 6:45 for crew practice, Mr. Fort got up at 7:00 for a 22 mile run, Lil Fort was up early as usual, my house guests left early to watch the Syracuse v. Georgetown game. My house was a cacphony! I finally gave up on sleep and arose to have a major bakathon, shocking myself as I thought I had shed all vestiges of domesticity. Nothing to rival Gigi though.

    After feeling great from stretching, I've resolved to make March the Month of the Stretch. If I fail to blog that I have stretched, you are allowed to engage in vicious personal attacks, snide remarks and cast all manner of aspersions upon me. You don't even have to use the Jazzy fake smilie.

    Ahelee left me a very amusing link on Facebook from the McCaffreyCap. I am definitely in need of the "I am Tapering" shirt so that my family might let me stay off my feet. I like the idea of excusable neglect. There is also a funny bit from Eric Knight, who wrote a song about the Mid-College Thread on the college swimming messageboard being shut down. Apparently, discussion was "too passionate." I'm sure we are very tame by comparison!

    There was a very nice article in the Washington Post about Jack Conger, PV swimmer extraordinaire, who is actually one of Mini's swim buds. She's off watching him and other swim friends tonight at the Washington Metro swim and dive champs.

    Updated February 27th, 2011 at 02:26 PM by The Fortress

  20. Starts and turns and sprints, all in one morning

    This morning I went to the Panama City Masters team scy workout. Here’s how it went:

    500 scy s/k/d/k/s by 100s
    200 pull
    6 x 50 (25 kick / 25 drill) @ 1:00, odds FR, evens ST IM order

    4 x 50 FL/BK @ 1:00, working transition turn
    100 IM @ 2:00
    4 x 50 BK/BR @ 1:00, working turn
    100 IM @ 2:00
    4 x 50 BR/FR @ 1:00, working turn
    100 IM @ 2:00

    200 easy drill/play

    5 x thru
    25 sprint K
    :05 rest
    25 sprint K
    :05 rest
    50 sprint swim
    2:30 rest / easy swim

    75 easy

    20 minutes or so of start work (dive and back starts)

    25 sprint from blocks

    500 warmdown

    It was good to get some pointers on my starts. I worked on going more out than up on both my dive and backstroke start. I finally got the feel of going into one hole on my dive, mostly by getting my head down into a better streamline position before I enter the water—very cool!