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  1. Monday, Feb. 15

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 05:38 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Hot Yoga:

    I decided to go to hot yoga for a good stretch today. Saw one of my skinny gluten free tri/OW friends there. She mentioned that she always goes to hot yoga after a race. She also always swims before doing hot yoga, which is a policy I need to follow if possible.

    We commented about how the Reston Studio was not as hot as the Falls Church studio, maybe around 105 degrees. Well, I positively fried today. I had to use all my will power not to keep from running out of class and was quite nauseous. Turns out, the temp was at 125 degrees. That's just too much for me; I was pouring sweat. Had 2 waters during class, which was insufficient, then guzzled 2 smart waters and a coconut water after. Still feeling slightly nauseous, though I was yesterday too. Could be some stomach buggy thingie, I guess.


    I'm pretty tired from the meet, but not unduly sore. My littlest one had a nightmare and so sleep was somewhat scarce last night.

    I'm considering going to this meet if it will not result in divorce: Not sure what events to swim. A redo of the 50 free might be in order. Also, 100 IM is going to be my 6th event at Nationals. Perhaps I should swim it here ... or at Zones. I like the idea of swimming it at the end of the am instead of first thing.

    I also heard (again) that 2012 Worlds are, in fact, going to be in Italy. I have informed Mr. Fort of our destination vacation for that year.

    To add insult to yesterday's B70 fiasco, I inadvertently glutened/latosed myself last night by eating some organic chili & lime flavored corn chips. Rashes in odd places, abdominal cramps and other ills ensued.

    I've attached a couple pics that SwimShark took of me doing my ill-fated 200 back. The one shot is of the first 50 and Julie is swimming fly near me in her wedding blue cap. The other is a blurry backstroke start. The video of the 100 breast is forthcoming. The best part of that race is that I am currently ahead of SwimStud in our evil gridge.

    Splash Article:

    There was a great article in Splash Magazine with an interview with Peter Marshall. My anti-swimming daughter was so impressed with it she read it out loud to me. To sum up, is was about being creative with workouts, making swimming a game, doing something other than banging out the yardage. His prior rigid training regimen made him feel "like a thoroughbred never let allowed out of the stables except to run" and was "jut spinning his wheels." Inspired by this, my daughter wants to do fewer practices and do yoga and hit the gym with me. We'll see how that works. She informs me we're going to the gym after school tomorrow ...

    P.S. I just ordered 2 cases of coconut water.

    Updated February 15th, 2010 at 10:19 PM by The Fortress

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  2. DOUBLE Mon Feb 15th 2010 1:53 200 FR

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 04:15 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Feb 15th 2010

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    scy, diving well
    Whitney coached
    noon to 1:15
    swam with larry & trent
    beside max, steve, and james

    wore old B70 legs

    warm up:
    3 x 300 done
    200 fr 100 k

    Main Set

    4 x 50 on 35
    50 easy on 1:40

    4 x 50 on 34
    50 easy on 1:40

    4 x 50 on 32
    50 easy on 1:40

    1000 fr

    4 x 50 on 35
    50 easy on 1:40

    4 x 50 on 35
    50 easy on 1:40

    rested an extra minute

    200 pretty hard for time
    wore a cap
    went 1:53

    50 easy on 1:40

    assigned 1000 done 200 k 200 sw
    did easy 200

    rested 10 min

    50 SDK went 25.0

    25 SDK went 11.1

    50 easy

    Entries for the Austin Grand Prix are closed

    2010 MEETS:

    March 4 - 6, 2010 Austin, TX UT Swim Center Count Down
    Austin Grand Prix

    April 9 -11 The Woodlands, TX Countdown
    2010 South Central Zone Short Course Championships

    May 20 - 23, 2010 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech Aquatic Center COUNTDOWN
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Order of Events
    Swim Workouts
  3. Wind and Backstroke Flags Don't Mix

    I swam solo this morning under a very interesting sky—lots of really dramatic low stormy clouds against a pinkish sunrise background. I was torn between swimming on my back to watch the sky, and NOT swimming on my back in order to avoid whacking my arm/head/heels against the wall when I forgot to account for the flags being blown an extra couple of strokes towards the wall. I ended up with just a few knuckle bruises. And while it rained a bit on us, it never stormed like it seemed it might.

    Before I got in the pool the lifeguard warned me that the water had cooled off a bit—it was down to 80-81 degrees. I assured him that was a great temp (it’s usually around 82-83, which is warmish but bearable because it’s an outdoor pool and the air temps have been so cold here). He nonetheless cranked up the heat and by the middle of the workout I could really feel the hot water pumping out of the vents at the bottom of my lane.

    One swim buddy was also at the pool and I did the long 100s set with him—otherwise on my own this morning. Here’s what I did:

    1000 scy warmup

    8 x 75 K/D/S @ 1:25, 1-4 IM order, 5-8 rev. IM order

    1 x 100 @ 1:40 [I did FR/BK halfsies on all the 1:40s in this set]
    1 x 100 @ 1:30
    1 x 100 @ 1:20
    2 x 100 @ 1:40
    2 x 100 @ 1:30
    2 x 100 @ 1:20
    [Then because the pool was hot hot hot and we were feeling it, we relaxed the intervals for the threesies round]:
    3 x 100 @ 1:40
    3 x 100 @ 1:35 [did 25FL/75FRs]
    3 x 100 @ 1:30

    100 easy

    4 x 150 Kick w/ fins @ 2:30 [FL/BK/FL by 50s]

    400 warmdown

    I entered the Eisenhower Park meet on March 7th. I decided to do my best sprinter impersonation—I’ll swim either the 100 FR, 50 FL, 50 BK, and 50 FR, OR I’ll swim 2 x 100 FR, 50 BK, and 50 FR. (The 100 FR is the first event; if I like my time I’ll scratch the 200 FR I entered; if not, I’ll go for a 100 FR split in the 200 FR later on in the meet. The 50 FL is right before the 200 FR, so I won’t swim both of those).
  4. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout -02/17/10

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 01:10 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:

    1 X 200 3:15 3:00
    4 X 75 1:15 1:10
    Three times through.
    Round 1 intervals left, rounds 2&3 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:30
    4 X 100 kick*50 mod/50 fast* 2:15

    8 X 25 kick*fast, no board* :40
    1 X 100 easy swim

    1 X 50 fly 1:00
    1 X 100 50 fly/50 back 2:00
    1X 150 50 fly/50 back/50 breast 3:00
    1 X 200 IM 4:00
    Twice through.

    3 X 200 3:00 2:40
    4 X 50 :45 :40
    Twice through. Round 1 intervals left, round 2 right.

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 Workout -02/16/10

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 01:02 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    WARM UP:
    1 X 500 7:15
    5 X 100 1:30
    1 X 400 6:00
    4 X 100 1:30

    1 X 200 kick 4:30
    2 X 100 kick 2:15
    4 X 50 kick *build* 1:15
    8 X 25 kick *fast* :45

    5 X 200 IM 3:30

    3 X {4 X 50 1:00}
    50's: #1 easy
    #2 build
    #3 25 fast plus great turn/25 easy
    #4 @100%
    IM'ers should go 1 round each of fly, back, breast.
    Others: choice

    1 X 800 pull
    Descend by 200's

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    Swim Workouts
  6. Mon Feb 15th 2010

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 10:44 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Feb 15th 2010

    weighed 219 this morning

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    scy, main pool, south end of pool
    Whiteny coached
    5:30 - 6:30
    swam with Todd, Mike, & Nate
    beside Marcio
    wore brief

    warm up:
    3 x 300 done 200 fr 100 k

    Main Set

    4 x 50 on 35
    50 easy on 1:40

    4 x 50 on 34
    50 easy on 1:40

    4 x 50 on 33
    50 easy on 1:40

    1000 fr

    4 x 50 on 34
    50 easy on 1:40

    4 x 50 on 33
    50 easy on 1:40

    200 pretty hard for time
    went 1:57
    50 easy on 1:40

    1000 done 200 k 200 sw

    50 easy

    since I'm off for presidents day
    I'm thinking about doing a DOUBLE

    hung out with Eddie Reese after my practice. Watched Eric Shanteau, Aaron Peirsol, Ricky Berens, Michael Klueh, & a few UT swimmers train, They leave for their Conference Meet Next Wednesday.

    Saw that entries for the Grand Prix are closed

    2010 MEETS:

    March 4 - 6, 2010 Austin, TX UT Swim Center Count Down
    Austin Grand Prix

    April 9 -11 The Woodlands, TX Countdown
    2010 South Central Zone Short Course Championships

    May 20 - 23, 2010 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech Aquatic Center COUNTDOWN
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Order of Events
    Swim Workouts
  7. Sun Feb 14th 2010

    by , February 15th, 2010 at 10:33 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sun Feb 14th 2010

    Missed Saturday practice to attend a photography workshop with my wife

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    lifted after swim practice


    scy, main pool, south end of pool
    Bridgette coached
    noon to 1:15
    swam with Larry and James Fike

    wore brief

    warm up:
    800 easy

    Main Set

    8 x 100

    8 x 75

    8 x 50

    8 x 25

    rested up
    put on a B70 full

    100 pretty fast SDK & FL K on my side when I ran out of air
    went 56.0 out in 25

    50 easy

    2010 MEETS:

    March 4 - 6, 2010 Austin, TX UT Swim Center
    Austin Grand Prix
    Count Down

    April 9 -11 The Woodlands, TX
    2010 South Central Zone Short Course Championships

    May 20 - 23, 2010 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech Aquatic Center
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Order of Events
  8. Auburn Meet Report

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 09:49 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Got things arranged so that husband and I could swim both days. He really enjoyed swimming in the meet and said it was much more fun than just being a spectator. We did, however, both enjoy being spectators when Fred Bousquet swam a 18.67 in 50 free, and Mark Gangloff did a 48.27 in the 100 I.M. and a 52.47 in the 100 breast.

    I had a pretty good meet. It has been over 8 months since I have done a meet, so I had no idea how I would do. Entered with times from last year's Auburn meet. Last year I wore an FS-Pro bodysuit for some events and a FS kneeskin for some events. Wish I could remember which ones so I could do a comparison to the swims I did at the meet this year in a B-70.

    I don't like the B-70 for my 50 fly. Last year at Athens, I did a 32.3 LC with an FS Pro bodysuit (open back). I found the B-70 to be too consticting on my lower back to get good undulation on my 50 fly. I will plan to use it the FS Pro for 50 fly at Nationals. Otherwise, I really liked the B-70 for my back and free events.


    50 free - entered with a 27.40 and swam a 26.79

    100 back - entered with a 1:12. 36 and did a 1:09.66 - splits were 33.9 and 35.7.

    50 fly - entered with a 29.93 and swam a 29.83

    50 free on mixed 200 free relay - was set to lead off the relay, but somebody else wanted to lead off, so I anchored and did a 26.16. Made some adjustments on my stroke such as keeping my head down.

    Kind of disappointed in my 50 fly. As I said, B-70 felt somewhat consticting on my lower back. Also, a friend commented that my turnover looked kind of slow.


    Even though is was a bit of a crazy day, I felt like this was a better day. I swam 3 events in a row, basically swimming them all in about an hour's time. My last event of the day was 200 back. I entered with a NT because I had not done it in 6 years, so had no idea how fast I would swim it. As the event approached, I somewhat regreted this decision as I was in heat 12 of 19 on the 100 free and was in heat one of the very next event, the 200 back (heats are swam mixed at this meet). Anyway, here is how I did:

    50 back - entered with a 32.53 and swam a 31.77

    100 free - entered with a 1:01.65 and swam a 58.71

    200 back - Entered with NT. This was for team points and just to see if I could make the event. I just wanted to get under 2:40. My masters best is a 2:26, so being dead and not having done it in a bit of time, I wanted to be realistic about what I could do. I I took it out really easy. Coming off the turn after the 100, I looked up at the clock and saw that I had done a 1:17 for the first 100. I realized if I wanted to be under 2:40, I better not go too easy. Picked it up a tiny bit and went a 1:16 on the last 100. My splits were as follows: 36.71, 40.58, 39.28, 37.15.


    1. Feel like I hit it right on taking a pretty long, low yardage taper.

    2. I think doing weights until about 2 weeks out worked well. Would not have wanted to go any longer than 2 weeks.

    3. I'd like to do all these events at Nationals. Really think with 200 back being my first event at Nationals and giving it my all, I could do o.k. Really don't like the 100 back as much as the 50 or 200, so I think I will make the 100 my sixth event.

    4. I don't feel like I've been hit by a truck yet, but I expect I will tomorrow. Plan to take at least two days off and do NOTHING!! Might do an easy swim tomorrow of about 1,000 yards, but that will be it!

    5. Will resume swimming on Wednesday or Thursday. Plan to pick up the weights next week.
  9. Chicken O'C's really interesting Valentine's Day workout

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 08:41 PM (Chicken's Nuggets)
  10. Day Two Blow Out @ VMST, Sunday, Feb.14

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 08:16 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 2, VMST Meet @ Richmond:

    The day had it's ups and downs, but good fun was had by all. I made it through the day without a repeat of the cramps/spasms, but my calves were sore and a bit crampy all day. At Nats, I got a massage right after this happened and it seemed to help. I just had to swim with sore and rather leaden legs today. But I had a blast with old and new friends. Here was my schedule:

    3:00 am: Wake up and don't go back to sleep. This was apparently a common issue, as every PV swimmer reported a night of bad sleep at their hotel.

    6:30 am: Drag body out of bed and have bad hotel coffee. Body was in shock as it was used to getting up at 9:30 am. lol

    7:40 am: Get in for warm up. Felt crappy and and I had a queasy stomach that persisted all day. Donned B70 suit, which developed a small hole in the thigh seam yesterday.

    8:50 am: 1st event: 100 breast, 1:15

    Frankly, for the way I was feeling and the time of day, I was very happy with this time. I tried to emphasize long pull outs. I was very tickled when Patrick's father commented on them. I had to concentrate on not DQ-ing the second 100, which wasn't easy with a certain RMST swimmer trying to make me laugh. (This was just payback for me getting him to laugh during his 400 IM.)

    SwimShark video'd the race for me. I could see that my head position is still off and my kick looks fairly non-existent. My pull has improved. I noticed that I had to float to the surface a couple times after the pull out as I was too deep. This might have cost me a second or so. Still, not bad for my very first 100 breast in 3+ decades.

    10:00am: 50 free, 26.2

    Not so hot. I think I've gone slower than that once or twice in the last couple years. Perhaps I would have been under 26 in a different pool. Still, not a great in season effort. Meh.

    10:30 am: Trying to take Jimi's advice about taking a hot shower and hitting the sore calves. Lost track of time. Came out and my heat of the 100 fly was on the blocks. I had been dreading this event anyway. It's not very fun to swim fly with sore legs. I'm definitely a huge weenie baby about pain when it comes to this event. So I did not grieve about missing it.

    11:19:55 am: B70 blow out in the ass and I am forced to pull a Clydesdale and flash the crowd. And then do it again 25 seconds later. See below. This happened to me in Jan 2009 with an old B70, but in the locker room, not while stepping on the friggin block. This suit is new (6 swims), and I am hoping B70 will replace it and have my size. This was supposed to be my suit for Nats ...

    11:20am: Fun Unofficial "Couples" Mixed 200 free relay

    There was almost an entire heat of "couples;" each person swam two relay legs. I swam this relay as a "cheater couple" with my teammate William. Since I was there and had missed fly, I thought more speed work was called for. William and I actually won, with Jenn and John coming in second. (See victorious duo in photo below.) I led off in 26.5 going about 90-95%. So this seemed relatively better than my open 50. However, with only 25 seconds or so of rest and having to get out of the pool, the second 50 was rough, very rough. With about 10 yards to go, my body just shut down and stopped moving. Another teammate was worried I might "go vertical." This trauma further dissuades me from thoughts of the 100 free or going out super duper fast in a 100. Jennifer O'Reilly, with more talent and brains, was sensible and swam her 2 50s like a 100. I was just a sprinter dunce. Julie said she actually felt better on the second 50. I love her, but we are from different swimming planets. lol

    12:30 am: A bunch of us went out to lunch and had a great time. I was sitting next to Chris' wife and it was nice to chat with her.



    So here are my thoughts and what I have learned:

    1. I have to get this cramping thing resolved. I think I likely have a calcium, magnesium, potassium, electrolite deficiency. I stopped drinking gatorade or G2 again this last week or so b/c it was giving me heartburn. I need to find a workout/recovery drink instead of just plain water. I may have to reorder Endura, which I recall is gluten and dairy free. Or maybe try Nuun; I know some triathletes swear by it.

    2. Never go to meets with a 7:30 am warm up. Just don't do it. Stick to my meet "rules." My next two meets are at seemly times.

    3. Don't go to meets when I'm out of the water so much the week before, especially early on in the week. Usually, when I do a mini taper for a meet, I'm in the water every day. Between that and cabin fever, I felt like crap.

    4. Don't slam the legs within 7 days of a meet. I usually don't do drylands or weights for the entire week before a meet (aside from light core). I slammed my legs with killer workouts the Sat & Sun during the blizzard before this meet and didn't recover. Frankly, I'm not sure I had fully recovered from my deep tissue massage either. She went very deep. So I think I mistimed things a bit and didn't listen to my instincts. Though I would have missed good fun had I stayed home, and fun is key to sustaining life as a masters swimmer.

    5. Less is more somtimes. It's perfectly fine to swim fewer events if that's how I'm feeling. Some meets I can only swim a couple events per day, some I can swim more (especially if it's a long meet, which is definitely my preference). Doing essentially 4 races today in a quick meet was plenty. I just don't recover like Aquaman, and it ain't in my head like Muppet asserts. Clay Britt always says that if you have 1-2 good swims a meet, that's something. So I'm thinking my 100 evil is the "something."

    6. A couple pics from the meet attached below. One is of Chris during his 400 IM. He is getting "higher" in the pull phase. Another is Chris and Jeff at the start of the 100 fly. The best race of the day was Jeff Roddin, posing with beer below, schooling a 20 year old in a super fast 100 IM. He has a fantastically fast back to breast turn. I wish I had video'd the race.

    7. Oh, I have to learn how to warm up for a 200, if I ever have the gumption to do one again. Though it's hard to tell with the cramping issue, whatever I did yesterday didn't seem right. I've felt faster in practice. I did do a pace 50 and my time was slower than usual too. Advice please!

    8. And for my last rumination/rant, I cannot effen believe that our schools are still closed tomorrow ...

    Updated February 15th, 2010 at 09:18 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  11. The Grownup in the Room

    Sunday workout: 3000 yards. First time I've hit 3000 in about 3 weeks.

    Also had to yell at a couple of kids who were rough housing in the pool area. God, I always feel so old when I do things like that.

    The flip turns are definitely improving. I did really well with the freestyle turns and started working on the backstroke turns again, with decent results. I didn't push it, though--ended on a strong note, then started working on something else.

    My breaststroke is getting better, too. Happiness!
    Swim Workouts
  12. Mattress purchase and a arun!

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 05:33 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well went out and bought a mattress today... it's been 10 years so it was time. My god they showed us a $3k item...are they nuts?

    Ended up out for less than 1/3 of that for a pillowtop queen, free sheets, and ipod clock/radio. Either way, Mrs Stud is a supreme haggler and knows a great deal when she sees it...after all she married me, right?

    Went for a run at 5 and did a bout 3 - 3.5 in 30 minutes..not bad for hilly country and on crappy sneakers..i'll have to purchase some nicer ones if I keep this up. I don't use my nice indoor runners for outside in the grit.

    Well that's my day, off to have a Muscle Milk, soak in the hot tub and make some fettuccine for later. Happy Valentine's Day!
  13. Book Review: Racing Weight

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 04:01 PM (Random Nonsense)
    First, let me address the negative review on Amazon.

    Unfortunately, he does fall back into some of the party-line statements about diet and calorie consumption that have been outdated or completely disproved.
    I saw more references to papers written in the last 3 years than I normally see in journal articles. I wish this guy specified exactly what he is referring too.

    For instance, he touts the discredited theory that muscle burns 40-50kcal per pound whereas fat only burns 3-5kcal. This factors heavily into his argument for being lean rather than just light, but it IS NOT TRUE. Muscle does burn more calories, but the two numbers are more like 4-6kcal/lb for muscle and 3-5kcal/lb for fat. It is a small difference overall.
    For an athlete, muscle burns more calories than fat, because muscle does work during exercise and fat does not. This does not factor at all into the author's promotion of lean vs light. The book targets land based endurance athletes, so knowing that, when would you choice a light weight high body fat percentage vs a light weight low body fat percentage? I cannot think of a case to be made for "light".

    And he also touches on nutrient timing for performance, which is GOOD. But he too easily slips into saying that you can also change up the times of the day that you eat in order to lose more weight. Also, not so much.
    The author makes a point that controlling the appetite is a key to losing weight. If you aren't hungry, it is easy not to eat. The author didn't make any claims that I saw stating that you could lose weight using two meal timings with the exact same calorie content. He did suggest that what you eat affects your body composition (3,000 calories of Krispy Kreme's is not the same as 3,000 calories of vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats when the body determines if it needs to store energy as fat or use energy to grow muscle).

    Here is the complete [ame=""]review[/ame].

    What I got out of the book.

    A lot of what is in the book is not news to me, but I have never seen all this information put in one place (except Fort's recent blog posts). The author wraps it up in a nice package that really does make a lot of sense.

    I estimated that I lost 7 pounds of muscle during my time off swimming and lifting in January. The author estimates 5 pounds of muscle gain a year is pretty good. Oops.

    There was a swimmer profiled, Brad Culp, show supposedly gained 40lbs of muscle in 4 months. I need to see if I can find out more about that.

    Here is what I am going to change after reading the book.

    - I am going to continue to eat a green vegetable at lunch and dinner along with lean protein. This is the cutting diet I have been following to punish myself for slipping on the ice.
    - I am going to add to this base meal plan additional carbohydrates based on that days exercise load. Initially I will add a scoop of Endurox after workout. I may start including Endurox (or similar) during workout. Carb+protein post workout I had been doing before January. The author makes a good case for doing both.
    - I am going to try tracking my meals, exercise (test sets and volume) and weight. The author recommended for this. What gets measured, gets managed.
    - Once my weight stabilizes, I want to experiment with an "anabolic diet." Sounds fancy, but it is really simple. Eat more than your maintenance calories to allow your body enough energy to increase muscle mass. To kick your body into this state, you need an excess of only 100 calories a day. This was news to me, and it is great, since the risk is only about a pound of fat a month.
    - I am going to stay away from processed grain. Additional carbs at meals will be added in the form of beans, lentils, root vegetables and similar. The author makes a good point that without appetite, losing weight/maintaining ideal weight would be easy. Anything that takes longer to eat and longer to digest aides in suppressing the appetite. If you can eat 1,000 calories in 5 minutes, you won't know that you are actually satiated for another 15 to 20 minutes.
    - Protein is the most statisfying of the 3 macronutrients, so I will figure out what works out to 1.2 grams of protein/kg body mass and that will be my base amount of protein. 1.2 grams is more than enough protein for any level of muscle growth, it should help manage my appetite, and it will allow me to just have one variable of carbs in my meal plan.

    Now it is time to read Athlete's Plate. About 100 pages about healthy eating and 150 pages of recipes.
  14. Sunday swimming!

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 02:27 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    I am tired today! I felt beat up and in-effective in practice today. I am hoping to recoup by tomorrow. I have the day off and am meeting a fellow Nasti at Carmel Aquatic Center for a 5K workout. I'm glad I'm not doing it alone!
    Today's workout was short and I'm glad!

    **200 Free Warm-up
    **200 Back Warm-up
    **6 X 100 (free) on 1:45 interval
    **200 Kick (flutter)
    **6 X 75 (alt IM and free) on 1:30 interval
    **200 Kick (dolfin)
    **6 x 50 Free :50 interval
    **200 Kick (flutter on back)
    **6 X 25 on :30 interval (back)
    **300 mixed cool-down swim

    2,800 scy
  15. Checking in

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 11:08 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    My last time in the water was last Tuesday. I've been sick with a sore throat and cold and just didn't have the energy to workout. I'm hoping to resume my training tomorrow. I'm tired of all the time.
  16. I sucked, Sat. Feb. 13

    by , February 13th, 2010 at 10:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Everything was fun about today aside from my actual swim.

    I'm not sure what my final time was, but I think it was 3-4 seconds slower than the last time I swam the 200 back. Couldn't see the electronic timing well, which only showed one lane at a time.


    1. Big número uno: I got double calf cramps on the start again, same as at Nats. This despite eating bananas, hydrating, using my inhaler and taking my "legs cramp" product. I'm frustrated about this. Dont really know how to avoid it. I've been stretching like crazy. Contemplating hopping out on the 3rd length, but didn't want the humiliation of a DNF. It's hard to swim a 200 back this way for me.

    2. Felt like crap. Other PV swimmers who hadn't been in the water reported similar issues. Swimming 3 x a week doesn't cut it. I also realized that the pool I swam in Thursday was SCY, not SCM, so I was going slower than I thought.

    3. Aside from the start, my underwaters sucked because the push offs hurt.

    4. I don't know how to warm up for a 200. I've felt faster and felt like I had more endurance in practice than I did today.

    5. The pool was too shallow for my taste and the water level wasn't high enough.

    6. I just don't like travel meets all that much, except for Nats, which is always fun. And I tend not to sleep well away from home.

    I vaguely contemplated just driving home tonight. But I decide to stay to watch friends swim, go to the social and experience gluten free beer at the Capital Ale pub. I have no expectations for tomorrow. I'm going to treat it like sprint practice. I'll be swimming very early, not my thing, anyway.

    I did get to see some fast 400 IMs. Aquaman has made much progress in his breaststroke! Julie swam a very nice 500 free. And I re-met Patrick's father, as well as lots of other NOVA folks.

    On an up note, my GMU teammate told me that GMU is now allowing people to pay per visit or purchase a ten visit pass. The former is outrageously expensive, the latter only mildly so. So I may go back to attending Sunday practices.

    I'm going to read Runners World now and read about running shoes since I'm irked with
    swimming today. Looks like I need to try a Nike shie for forefront support.

    Updated February 14th, 2010 at 06:21 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  17. Saturday

    by , February 13th, 2010 at 10:05 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Carmel High School Girl's Swim Team wins 24th State title in a row!!!!
    Carmel scored 419 points walloping 2nd place Center Grove by more than 200 points. I cheered the Greyhounds on to victory with my eldest daughter Lindsay who swam for the Greyhounds 2001-2004! It was an amazing meet packed with tons of eye-popping swims! FUN! FUN!!! FUN!!!

    I skipped the IU meet today. Last night's Graston Therapy yielded an extremely bruised shoulder/back area. I had a hard time sleeping last night. I wasn't sure if tylenol/Aleve/Motrin was a good idea for massive bruising so I withheld. The workout today made the area feel better today during my swim but it tightened up after the practice. Here is the workout:

    **800 Freestyle warm-up swim
    **Super 600 Swim
    **6 X 100/50 Alternating on 2;00/1:00 (averaged1:24/41:00)
    **4 X 75 IM no free on 1;30
    **Super 500
    3,100 scy

    Back to the Olympics!!
  18. A Saturday by myself

    by , February 13th, 2010 at 07:14 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    A little snow flurry and everyone freaks out down here. I had a great workout by myself today.

    10x100@1:45 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd sprint
    10x50@1:00 Fly as 25 skull drill/25 swim
    10x100 Free w/paddles & bouy as 1-4@1:30, 5-7@1:25, 8-9@1:20, 10@1:15
    500 easy alt by 100 Back/Free
    500 kick w/fins alt by 50 fly/free

    Total 4000 yards
  19. Finny Fun

    Today I swam scy solo and tried out some sprinting with fins, then a little aerobic set at the end for some recovery. I gave myself mega rest on the fin part because they tire me out so. Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup

    3 times thru:
    4 x 25 dolphin kick w/ fins @ :30, odds build, evens all out
    50 easy flutter kick on back w/ fins @ 1:30

    4 x 25 @ :45, odds FL w/fins, evens easy

    6 x 25 @ :45, odds FR w/fins, evens easy

    200 easy swim

    3 x 50 FR w/ fins @ 1:00, desc. 1-3

    300 easy swim (fins off)

    2 times thru
    2 x 50 FR @ :45
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    200 FR/BK halfsie @ 3:00

    400 warmdown
  20. Speedo and A.H.I.P.

    by , February 13th, 2010 at 12:39 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Yesterday, when I went to K-Mart to pick up some drugs, my chest felt weird in a painy kind of way, and people were asking me if I was all right. It is possible that various pressures of late have been escalating the graying of Jim. When I look in a mirror lately, something I try to avoid, it's hard for even me to ignore a certain corpse-like quality that is accelerating its hold on my features.

    While awaiting the prescription re-fill for what is, in effect, a legal form of speed without which perambulation itself would go from excruciating to impossible, I decided to check my blood pressure.

    I was hoping for either low/normal readings, which might preminisce a few more good months; or astronomically high readings, which might indicate more immediate relief of some species is at hand.

    The results were equivocal.

    158/78 with a pulse of 40.

    Since I am not close to meeting my deductible, going to a doctor for an informed opinion was, of course, out of the question.

    I made the diagnosis myself:

    Systolic blood pressure: high.
    Will to live: low.


    I think one of the factors that set off yesterday's red hydraulic pressure spike (which strangely enough managed to add no color whatsoever to my skin, which has remained uniformly crepey and cadaverous) was an AP story on the WellPoint health insurance company's decision to raise the rates on some of its individual customers in California by 39 percent.

    California, according to our esteemed free marketeer and fiscal austerity booster, J.L., has much better regulations and protections for individual consumers than my own state of Pennsylvania. I intuited that whatever species of buggery is allowed in California is thus likely to transform itself into an even more rapacious form of rectal rape in less progressive states.

    Today, I woke to find that California is not alone in this massive increase in rates for those of us caught in a death spiral.

    Please consider checking out today's AP story at

    A few sample quotes:

    • "We frankly have been very frustrated by the size of these increases," Pingree told The Associated Press. "Obviously, they are attempting to price certain people out of the market."

    • "Premiums are far more volatile for individual policies than for those bought by employers and other large groups, which have bargaining clout and a sizable pool of people among which to spread risk. As more people have lost jobs, many who are healthy have decided to go without health insurance or get a bare-bones, high-deductible policy, reducing the amount of premiums insurers receive."


    As regular readers of this vlog might have realized by now, this topic of health insurance is one that has been bugging the Holy Living Bejesus out of me for the past several years.

    One of things that has proven particularly onerous to me is the "advice" I have received from the J.L.'s of the world, advice that is usually offered in both a condescending and bamboozingly uninformed way. It boils down to this: there is a Magic Solution out there for you, but you are not looking hard enough for it.

    Check out this high-deductible plan from AARP.

    Join an association.

    Do something.

    And if none of these things work, move.

    Mr. J.L., I do hope you have access to good proctological care, because it appears to this layman that you have a severe pre-existing condition here.


    Like blind men examining an elephant, I know that my perspective on the health insurance situation in our country is parochial at best.
    For most of my life, I have been by most reasonable definitions a middle class person.
    This is starting to slip away with increasing alacrity, and it has not made me into what, by most reasonable definitions, could be called a better person.

    I feel for the first time in my life a very strong sense of prejudice and discrimination-–feel free to laugh if you want, J.L., but there you have it.

    When I decided to pursue my career as a magazine writer in the early 1980s, I knew that it would not be the easiest route to a secure life. I knew that I would have no employer to match my social security contributions, and hence have been paying 15 percent off the top of everything I’ve earned.

    I knew, as well, that I would have to pay for my family’s health insurance premiums.

    What I didn’t know then, and I am not sure anyone would have been able to predict this, is that:

    * two of the most commonly treated conditions in the U.S.–-depression and high cholesterol-–would render both my wife and me uninsurable if we ever tried to change policies after going on treatment for these

    * that the policy we bought at the time, and found quite affordable when we were 31 and 27 respectively, now takes up 40 percent of our pre-tax income.

    This is the part of the elephant I am looking at, and I assure you, it is a very disgusting part indeed.

    You may want to write this off as a political rant, Mr. J.L. and your Ayn Rand love-slave ilk, but I am telling you, I have spent the last year looking at options to get out of this trap, and the only possibilities I can find are to give up insurance altogether, or to try to lower my income to the point where we will qualify for a state-aided policy that is basically a welfare kind of thing.

    J.L., you may have the luxury of getting all huffy about this in a political sense, but I am certain it does not effect you in a personal way. You sound like you are old enough to be retired; chances are you are sucking the socialist teat of Medicare already, the kind of socialism I suspect you independents with the little i’s rant against when it’s offered to anybody else.

    Again, I am slipping into ad hominem territory here, and I apologize. It’s just so damnably frustrating to have no way out and the responsibility of your family on your shoulders and a sense that the system is rigged against you.


    All of which circles me back to the title of today's vlog: Speedo and A.H.I.P.

    As most of us suspect, Speedo's decision to add a rubber-like flotation material to the LSR suit, which soon lead to competitors, from B70 to Jaked, adding even more rubber-like flotation materials to their racing suits, appears to have been the final straw that forced FINA's hand.

    This overreaching on Speedo's part, in my opinion, was what killed the golden goose. If they had stuck with pure textiles, and world records had continued to fall on some reasonable schedule--as opposed to an explosion of them--I suspect that FINA would have never had to ban tech suits.

    Speedo would still be selling $400 FastPros and the like.

    I, for one, will never spend more than $25 on a swimming suit again in my life.

    My prediction: America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the lobby "representing nearly 1300 member companies providing health insurance coverage to more than 200 million Americans," should have learned from Speedo's mistake.

    Go ahead and raise rates by 10-39 percent per year till virtually all people in my boat are uninsured, leaving only the best actuarial "risks" with private insurance.

    At some point, this is going to come back to bite you.

    I only hope I live to see the day.

    American Private Health Insurance