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Masters Swim Meets / Events

Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.

  1. Since I'm sitting here

    My SCY season consisted of 8 meets including Nats. Of those were two state championships (Iowa and Illinois) and several smaller (yet equally exciting!) meets.

    I'd really like to explicitly look at my 500 free times from the start til the end of the season:
    My first 500 of 2011: 1/15/2011 Danville
    Time: 7:18.93
    Splits: N/A (Avg: 43.9)

    After a lot of coaching and learning, I managed to pull this off at the Illinois State Meet.
    Best 500 of 2011: 4/7/2011 (ILMSA Champs)
    Time: 6:46.42
    Splits: 34.70, 40.11, 41.99, 41.26, 40.79, 41.49, 42.07, 41.89, 42.14, 39.98

    So I'm pretty happy with how my swimming has turned out! I'm not really sure how it all happened - but like magic I managed to start swimming way faster over these past couple months.
    I also swam the same race during nats... I did not swim it nearly as well, mostly due to fatigue and frustration from the days before. (We'll talk about that in a minute)
    Nats Time: 6:52.88
    Splits: 35.01, 40.18, 42.26, 43.04, 42.03, 43.28, 41.78, 42.57, 41.95, 40.78
    Not a terrible job, but I could do SIGNIFICANTLY better in the future.

    So I've also had an attitude adjustment in my swimming and in my training. My first adjustment came after my 200 free at nationals. Due to the fact that I was not swimming smart (lets just put it that way) I missed my wall at the 75 and killed my momentum for the race. It was a bad race for me and one that I wanted to do especially well in. Well - long story short, I can't go back and swim it again. That's just how it is. So instead, I'll just make it up with a vengeance the next time I swim it in a meet.

    In terms of training, I had the time to look at this article. Mr. Crippen's philosophy on his training and his mindset on pushing oneself to the absolute brink is not something I've never thought about before. However I've never truly been inspired to put myself up to it until after reading this. I don't ever plan or even want to be compared to Fran, but perhaps - just perhaps I can teach myself to become even a millionth of the athlete that he was.

    Thanks for reading! Hopefully I'll be able to post more this summer! I have quite the line up planned:
    2 Open Water Swims (Swim Across America and Big Shoulders)
    2 Triathlons (Wauconda Sprint Triathlon and the Bangs Lake Triathlon)
    2 Long Course Meets (Badger State Games and Indy SwimFit Firecracker)
    Muddy Buddy Chicago
    and at least 1 half marathon (not sure when or where)
  2. West Bend SCM Meet Post Mortem

    I didn't get a pre-meet run down mostly because of time and craziness both at my job and in my life ('tis the season!). Even now - I don't really have much time to type this up - so I'll be brief.

    50 Fly
    I didn't actually want to do this race - my shoulders have been hurting as a result of not building the muscle in my chest and shoulders properly. I've been working them when I can but have been lacking the necessary time. The race wasn't terrible, and I did OKAY. I dropped two seconds off of my seed. So I ended up swimming roughly (I don't have my exact results with me) a 43.
    200 Free
    Started off too fast, but managed to hold on: 2:58 and change. 5 Seconds drop from Indy! Not too shabby!
    50 Back (as part of the 200 Medley Relay)
    I suspect I suck at racing back. I can swim it in practice decently, but my backstroke in races always seems like a torrent of chocking, dolphining too deep and hating myself when its over. I have no idea what my split was - but it was weird as heck watching someone dive over top of me in the relay.
    50 Breast
    I had a fantastic Dive and Pullout. I covered 1/2 of the length of the pool and by the time I hit the wall I was in last place again. <sigh> Some day.
    200 IM
    That race sucked. It was SOOO LONG. I think next time I'll try to swim that fresh. 3:50 and change. It was 20 seconds longer than I planned.
    1500 Free
    Event #6 in 3 short hours. I was cashed out. Swam it in 26 and change. I wish I would've swam it first - I'm pretty sure I would've blown my 25 out of the water from Indy.

    Busy busy busy. Thanks for reading!
  3. You'd think I had a job or something....

    In the past several weeks, I've had to make some adjustments to my workout. Work is finally starting to ramp up and attempt that "utilization to his full potential" crap that the authority figures in my life have always talked about (Parents... teachers... professors... coaches... etc...) Which has ultimately lead to a rise in the number of hours working.

    For about 2 straight weeks I was driving down to Oak Park outside of Chicago. So this would cut into my sleep schedule and thus my morning lifts were gone. Instead - they were replaced with the 80-90 MPH drive down 294 and 290. I think most people didn't even see my car, it was more of a silver blur at 6 in the morning.

    For those two weeks, I was unable to lift at all, and I was lucky to make practice. Sleep was cut to about 4-5 hours per night, and maybe an hour before practice (if I was lucky). I made it through those two weeks and straight into the Sink Or Swim Classic and another week of more of the same and shot immediately into the GRIN Fall Classic. As you all saw - I did really well for me.

    Well starting after the GRIN Fall Classic I was "able" to jump back into lifting. The problem was - I wasn't falling asleep after practice. I had also gotten used to sleeping in a little (til 6:00 AM instead of getting up at 5:00 AM) as a result of my travels and not lifting. So I've adjusted my workout schedule AGAIN.
    Trying to double up on lifting/swimming on days where I have to work just seem relatively useless since I was always just so exhausted. I felt like my work, my workouts and my swims were all suffering as a result of the schedule.

    So now:
    Swim:Sunday 7:30-9:00 PM, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 8:30-9:30 PM
    Lift: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday (Sunday will be optional)
    Core: 6 Days a week with a floating free day.

    I lift now whenever its convenient (Evenings on Mondays and Fridays). My new gym has a massive collection of weights and machines. So if I can't find something to do - I'm obviously not using my creativity.
    I wake up almost every morning between 6 and 6:30. That means I can eat a light breakfast and be ready to do core by 7:00 AM. I make sure I put in at least a half an hour of straight core work. I enjoy it because it gives me an endorphin rush in the morning, preps my mind for the day and helps to maintain the efforts I've taken so far in my swimming.
    I think its a pretty ambitious plan, but I also think I can handle it pretty well. I'm currently 8 days in and so far so good

    My next meet and the rundown has been decided! I will be swimming at the West Bend Short Course Meters Meet. I'll be swimming the 50 fly, 200 free, 50 breast, 200 IM, and finally - the 1500 Free. There will be more on that later though. I'm not ready to start blogging those goals for that meet though. That will come! This will be my first competition 200 IM!

    What do you do for your workout? How do you compensate for friends/family/job/swimming?
  4. GRIN Fall Classic! A Lesson in Survival!

    *Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Come one and come all to see - the guy who thinks he can keep going endlessly! Its comical to say the least, he's built like an ox and just about as dumb as one too!*

    So this last weekend I swam in the GRIN Fall Classic at the most beautiful pool in the world - the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, IN. The GRIN Fall Classic had roughly 80-100 people there, so it was a nice sized meet!
    Since the meet was 2 days, I was able to swim 10 full events! My events on day 1 were: 800m Free, 200m Free, 50m Back, 50m Free, and the 50m Fly. My events on day 2 were: 1500m Free, 100m Back, 100m IM, 50m Breast, and the 100m Free. In retrospect - I'm glad I did it, but I would've probably spent more time warming down and relaxing in between events - instead of none. My inexperience and own false logic betrays me at times.

    So anywho- the meet in review.
    800m Free
    Splits: 51.45, 51.62, 52.09, 52.07, 51.71, 51.92, 52.77, 51.00, 50.77, 48.14
    Final Time: 13:30.11
    I took this swim nice and easy. It was the very first swim of the meet, and I had only done about a 3-400 warmup. I figured this would be a great warmup swim and get me ready for the next four races I had.
    I didn't swim this with any particular goal in mind, I was just keeping my 400m race from the week before in mind the entire time (~6:30) and wanted to come close to double that (13:00 even). So when I finished at 13:30.11 - I was pretty happy with myself! I mean - that's not too bad - losing only 30 seconds over an extra 400 after only having swam for 10 months...

    200m Free
    Splits: 41.96, 46.29, 48.20, 46.86
    Final Time: 3:03.31
    About 2 minutes before I had to get on the blocks I walked over the Nadine Day
    Me: "How do you race a 200?"
    ND: "First 50 easy, 2nd and 3rd build, last 50 all out."
    Me: "So basically slow, slow, slightly less slow, fastish... got it."
    Coach said my splits for that were pretty awesome. So I think I'm going to try and do that again.

    50m Back
    Final Time: 52.22
    In comparison with my last meet time of 53.81 - I should be really happy with the 1 second improvement! With the exception that when I swam it long course it was 53.21. Ha! Looks like I have a LOT of improving to do.

    50m Free
    Final Time: 35.36
    Please note - that was almost a 1 second drop from my 50 free the week before. That race rocked something FIERCE! I was so pumped when I saw that 35 on the board.

    50m Fly
    Final Time: 47.19
    I feel like I do okay in fly... Its definitely better than my backstroke and breast stroke! I'm sure if I spent longer on it, I'd probably see some impressive gains on it. My SDK is starting to get much stronger so I'm hoping to see some bigger improvements in fly as a result. This was also my last event of the day - I don't think I was too terribly tired at this point. I could've done two more events that day!

    1500m Free
    Splits: 42.81, 49.39, 50.57, 50.58, 51.88, 51.19, 51.85, 51.30, 52.25, 51.71, 51.53, 51.25, 51.89, 51.11, 51.97, 51.88, 52.20, 50.48, 51.93, 51.99, 52.03, 51.97, 51.73, 52.61, 52.59, 51.82, 52.61, 52.76, 51.43, 49.03
    Final Time: 25:38.34
    I'm really proud of this time. My split deviations are barely over 1 second between any two 50s! I thought that regardless of how slow I was - that was really impressive to maintain such a consistent rhythm! This race did start to suck about 700 into it. I remember seeing the "29" on the counter and thinking "Oh my God, I still have 30 some odd laps to go!" When I finished this race, I was COMPLETELY dead. It took me longer to get out of the pool after this race than it ever has.

    100m Back
    Splits: 51.86, 55.59
    Final Time: 1:47.45
    This race hurt a lot. It was nearly an hour or so after the 1500, so one would think I was rested enough... apparently I was too rested, because I totally napped.

    100m IM
    Splits: 46.60, 59.94
    Final Time: 1:46.54
    This race was okay for the first 50, but then when I had to keep swimming for the 25 breast, I could barely get my arms around. Since I'm primarily a front end breast stroker (because my kick is still pretty useless - I'm working on it... give me time!) so I'm pretty sure I lost a lot of time as a result. I also didn't pull out because I was dying for O2 by that point as well.

    50m Breast
    Final Time: 54.73
    I had recovered enough to do this "decently" I was still pretty tired though. At this point I was already trying to constantly convince myself not to scratch the rest of my events.

    100m Free
    Splits: 38.82, 45.82
    Final Time: 1:24.64
    So right before the race I was talking to the nice lady who was doing my counting and she said "You put 1:30 here, but I think you can honestly do better. I want to see you do 1:25". Well - I'm one who REALLY hates to disappoint people, no matter how exhausted I am. So when she said 1:25, I was going to go 1:25 even if it killed me. It nearly did too! The first 75 weren't AWFUL, not great, but not awful... that last 25 though was just insanely hard. However - at the end of the race when I'm hanging on for dear life on the end of the lane, she tells me I went a 1:24.... That was a GREAT feeling. Even if I normally swim between 1:25 and 1:30 on my 100s in practice in SCY, it was still fun to break a goal someone set for me.

    So that was my weekend. My 3.5 hour drive home was almost doubled in length when I pulled off at a rest area and passed out for two more hours. What a great nap though!
    Next Meet 12/4. The Question is: Valpo Indiana and the early morning meet in a new pool? Or West Bend Wisconsin and the afternoon meet at the high school pool? Thoughts? Suggestions?
  5. SoSC Post Mortem

    So in the wake of the project that has been waking me up at 5 in the morning and working until 6 PM most nights, I'm finally free of some responsibility until things start breaking... Which means I may have about 10-15 minutes to type this out.

    So my day at the meet was definitely a crazy one. I walked in the door at 7:30 and was told I was announcing the meet! (Who would've guessed I'm good at talking?). I was also asked to sing the Nation Anthem ( Something else I think I'm good at ).

    After singing the National Anthem and announcing the first event, I immediately jump up on the blocks. Time for the 400 Free!

    But I digress from the whole point of this post - Lessons Learned, times reviewed, etc...

    400m Free
    So before this race - my friend Chad was kind enough to count for me. Here's the talk we had
    Chad: So when I go like this (waves the counter side to side) it means swim faster.
    Me: Okay, and if I don't?
    Chad: It means I'm going to throw the counter at you the next time down.
    So coming off the blocks, I was ready for this race, first race of the day and I was warm enough to rock it. Within seconds of my dive in - I recognize VERY quickly: I have forgotten to tie my suit. A quick peak at my splits show that I was coasting relatively easily (I should've been doing minimum 0:45 per 50) as per my fear of losing my VERY classy suit. During my final 100, Chad waved the counter, and you'd better believe I started moving a lot harder!
    Result
    Goal Time: ~7:00.00
    Final Time: 6:30.27
    Beat my goal time! This made me very happy, but in retrospect, I could've probably swam a 6:00 had I had my suit tied and I wasn't so nervous.
    BORKED

    50m Free
    The 50 free went well, my SDK off the walls wasn't awful and I just got up on the water and started swimming (Thanks knelson).
    Result
    Seed Time: 36.60
    Goal Time: < 36.00
    Final Time: 36.14
    I was happy to have swam it faster than my seed, but I would have been happier to break 36.
    BORKED

    200m Medley Relay
    Now - of all strokes - I swam the 50 breast during our 200m Medley Relay. If any of you have been following this - you know that breast stroke is easily my worst stroke. And the others are pretty bad as well. In any case - I was voted "most likely to be best breast stroker on our relay"
    Results
    Split Seed Time: 58.57 (my 50 Breast seed)
    Goal Time: Survival
    Split Time: N/A
    My goggles flooded, but only half way. So The entire race I was forced to keep my head down to see... It actually worked really well for me.
    BORKED

    50m Breast
    I swam this 50 about 10 minutes after the Relay above.
    Results
    Seed Time: 58.57
    Goal Time: 59.57
    Final Time: 53.59
    I can't complain! That was pretty good all things considered! I wish I knew which was faster - my relay or my individual event. I'm actually betting it was the individual. I actually got in two full pullouts on this one.
    BORKED

    100m IM
    I was finally starting to feel the fatigue by this point. It had been a long day with absolutely no swim downs... mainly because the minute I was done swimming - I had to go and start announcing back at the table again. So I just did my best to keep my body warm and mental energy up.
    Results
    Goal Time: < 2:00.00
    Final Time: 1:47.77 DQ
    I flip turned on my back to breast stroke transition. Won't do that again!
    BORKED

    200m Free Relay
    I lead off the relay. It was a FANTASTIC time. My only kludge was as I was coming back down from the first flip turn, I forgot that the 2nd person diving in would dive in from the side, not the blocks, so I had to veer from one side of the lane to another.
    Results
    Split Seed Time: 36.14 (my 50 free seed)
    Goal Time: <36
    Split Time: 37.99
    I was super disappointed in that time. Especially since I looked the board and thought I saw 34.**. Oh well - there's always next time.
    BORKED

    50m Backstroke
    I swam this 50 about 10 minutes after the Relay above.
    Results
    Seed Time: 52.61
    Goal Time: Survival - Not to become a flooded kayak
    Final Time: 53.81
    Well, that was event #7 for the day. I was completely cashed. When I came up after the flip on the 25, I came up tangled in the lane line and was completely disoriented. So so a survival race it was. I would've liked to have beaten my seed time, but that wasn't going to happen that day.
    BORKED

    All in all
    All in all - a great race day. I was happy with my results and I knew I would get another shot in a week at the GRIN Fall Classic (Post Mortem coming very soon!).
    For those of you who missed the meet:

    Updated November 2nd, 2010 at 08:43 AM by bzaks1424

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. Sink Or Swim Classic Premeet Prep

    Those of you who talk with me on the forums have probably seen my signature promoting the Libertyville Masters Sink or Swim Classic in Vernon Hills Illinois. Those of you who know me REALLY well (and now everyone) will know that I will be wearing this brief during the meet:

    To all of you who think that this is ridiculous - YOU'RE WELCOME, I've now opened your mind.
    To all of you who believe that this is awesome and classy - THANK YOU.

    Fun Fact: All summer I swam SCM at Vernon Hill High School - the very pool where this meet will be held. Since September we have been swimming SCY.

    I decided to sign up for as many events as I could - including relays for this meet. It's going to be a blast and I figure "Why not? I don't plan on winning anything - I just plan on pushing myself through this and making it a fun time."

    Events And Goals
    400m Free
    So I decided I wanted my first swim of the day to be the longest swim of the meet. I plan on using this event as a double whammy.
    1) It'll be a PR. No matter what.
    2) It'll be a great warm up before the 50 free which is my next event.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in 7:00. That will be an average 100 around 1:45
    It seems like this might be an easy goal for many of you, but its hard to say for me since I'm so used to swimming SCY, I come in around 1:30-1:35 on the 100 during practice, so I'm hoping that extra 7 foot or so won't equate to much more than 10 seconds.

    50m Free
    The 50m free is placed perfectly. Its a race I really like and a race I would like to do well in. I learned some painful lessons this summer swimming it in LCM and I'm excited to give it another go.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in under 36 seconds
    When I swam SCY in march, I swam my 50 (tapered) in roughly around 33 seconds. I don't see any reason why I couldn't beat that now non-tapered. I can swim a 35 at the end of practice these days (so I'm already exhausted and its a push off the wall).

    50m Breast
    I'm not good at breast stroke. I'm very aware of it. I know I should take the time, I just haven't. I'll admit it fully and readily. That being said:
    My goal in this event is to beat my LCM time of 59.57 seconds
    I shall not fear the event! I shall embrace it!

    100m IM
    Even though the 50 is the event I want to do the most well in, the 100 IM is the event I'm most excited about! I've more or less just learned butterfly in the last couple months and I'm excited about the prospect of finally getting to do it in a race! I practiced my transition off the wall from fly to back once the other night and its a LOT of fun!
    My goal in this event is to swim it in under 2 minutes.
    The 100 IM is just the stepping stone. By January I'm hoping to be able to do the 200 IM and stick with that event for a while while I build up my strength/endurance to do the 400 IM.

    50m Back
    The 50 Back is one of those events I like - but I'm not great at. This will have been after all of my other 4 events + 2 relays. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be more of a flooded kayak than swimmer at this point.
    My goal in this event - given the circumstances - is survival. That being said, I'd like to swim it in under 50 seconds

    Thanks for reading! I hope to have video of this!
  7. SCY GOAL TIME!

    So SCY season is upon us soon! I'm already starting to plan out my goals and ideas!
    Since I like to break things down logically (being that logic is my job) I'm going to start by labeling my high level goals and then giving slightly more detailed goals that I have within those goals.

    Simple goals:
    1) Get Faster (in Swimming)
    2) Get Stronger
    3) Get Skinnier
    4) Build a giant robot that can take over.... .err never mind. (Remember Mike - this is PUBLIC)

    My physical stats and goals:
    Height: 6'3ish <-- I was 6'2 going into college, grew another inch freshman year
    Weight: 210ish <-- Lightest EVER
    Shoe Size: 15 <-- Sucks to buy shoes
    Waist Line: 34 <-- WOW! I'm so pumped!
    Body Fat (as of 7/22/2010): 17.5% <--- GRRR

    My body fat is a frustrating one. I have a lot of loose skin - so I honestly feel that it probably skewed the results of the 7 point pinch test. Especially when I can't imagine myself still having another 35 pounds of fat on my body. Regardless - I still have to keep working out anyway. Otherwise how can I get stronger? (What just happened?)

    My strength goals:
    I don't do a good job keeping stats (like 1MR) of my lifts. I'm not concerned so much with building up that kind of strength. All of my strength goals are to build my body so I can focus more intensively on swimming. So even though my curl is at 12x70 (35 in each hand) using an underhand grip and my lat pull down is at 12x115 - I honestly just want to see those numbers continue to rise on a biweekly to triweekly basis as I spend my 6 days a week at the gym, focusing on developing my extremities while strengthening my core as much as possible. If I can continue lifting and growing stronger - its only going to help me swim faster! (ANOTHER TRANSITION? What's he doing!?)

    Swimming stats and goals
    Alright - So my only SCY times are in the IL State Meet in April. That was long enough ago - and I've lost 20 pounds since then and have gained a lot of strength. I have a few LCM times - but rather than worrying about converting them. Lets just say I'd better beat them when it comes to SCY. The official times are still there:
    Code:
    50 Free: 32.97
    100 Free 1:18.42
    I have my goal times for the year to reach for.
    Code:
    50 Free: < 30 sec
    100 Free: < 1:10
    50 Back: < 50 sec
    100 Back: < 1:50
    50 Breast: < 55 sec
    100 Breast: < 2:00
    *Note - if I beat those times, then I just want to continue improvement. If I don't - its fine. I'm just looking forward to trying! Lastly for swimming; I want to learn how to do butterfly by next April for the Illinois state meet. I'd like to be able to do the 50 free in fly. We'll see what I can get my coach to teach me!
    Outside of swimming - I'm going to be working up to no less than 5 days a week swimming and if I can - 2 practices per day. We'll see how that lines up with sleep as one can't swim all of those events well if you don't have proper rest and nutrition! (He did it again! That son of a big guy!)

    Rest and Nutrional Goals
    Now - nutritional goals are nothing new for me. Rest goals however totally are. To help me focus better on my swimming and to allow me to swim more often and more effectively - I need to be properly rested and well nourished.
    So to help me rest more - I'm giving up organized recreation outside of swimming for now. As soon as my seasons are over for basketball and both of my softball leagues, I'm going to forgo other offers so I can just primarily focus on my swimming and my workout (lifting and possibly running).
    Nutrionally - I need to focus on making sure I keep a solid grip on the reality of my situation - I have to maintain healthy eating habits. I know from experience now that when I do splurge - I end up feeling kind of sick and tired within a few hours. If I'm going to perform - I need to be on top of my game!
    I also need to make sure I sleep enough. Which is such a tear for me. One the one hand - if I get up early - get to work early and get home early - I get to have the afternoon to accomplish what needs to be done. On the other hand - my masters team meets at 8:30 at night. That means practice goes til 9:30, and I'm awake til 11 minimum. A 5 AM wake up just doesn't happen on that these days. So especially once basketball and softball are done, I'll take some time to really focus on how I'm going to actually implement these ideas.

    Thanks for reading again! Today's post isn't as long - but I still appreciate you reading! So today I'm offering a dinosaur:
  8. My Indy SwimFit review!

    First and foremost - I want to say the Indy SwimFit meet was run very well! I had plenty of rest time, the results were posted extremely fast and the people running the desk were REALLY cool.

    So to get to Indy, I decided to take the Amtrak. Its easy to get to, and its super low stress. This trip I take my friend Tessa. She's a great friend and she promised to video tape my swims.
    We arrive in Indy about 11:30 PM, and walk about 300 yards to the hotel (GREAT PLANNING). After getting ready for bed, I fall asleep until about 4:30 AM. I finally get out of bed right around 5:15 get my stuff together in the dark and start walking around the hotel. Finally around 5:45 I make my way into the restaurant and get my first cup of decaf. Finally after consuming a massive amount of food by about 6:30, I get up and I walk over to the computers for the hotel and start playing around on the forums, facebook and gmail. (See here: [ame=http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=219296&postcount=48]Forum Post[/ame])

    As I'm sitting at the computer - I see a few people walking through the hotel with their own swim bags. I figured I'd just introduce myself and make friends - what a GREAT idea. The person I met was Nadine Day. First off - she knew EVERYONE at the meet, so I got to meet a lot of fantastic swimmers and make a lot of new friends. Secondly - I immediately labeled her as my surrogate coach. She actually did quite a bit to help me learn at the end of the meet and I'll be repeating those drills at pretty much every practice.

    So enough fluff - I swam the 50 Back, 100 Back, 50 Free, 50 Breast and finally 100 Free. I'm coming to the conclusion - if I at least do one race well - its a good meet. :-)

    Before the race - I received a free swim cap. I figured I would try it out! Why not; right? I did a few practice laps and decided I would just keep it on for the rest of the meet. It was a really weird feeling not feeling the water on your head.

    Results

    50 Back
    "I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane."
    BORKED
    My goal in backstroke is always to survive. Although - its also to beat last meet's time. As of July 4th I don't have my official time for the Badger State Games, but I know I swam an equivalent time so I was pretty happy with that even if I didn't swim a 50. At least I'm not getting slower! I remember at the very beginning of the race I was choking on the water as it kept coming up over my face with my left arm. So I relaxed the arms and made sure that my stroke was even and calm and the water stopped flowing over my face. Watching the video - its pretty obvious that I don't know how to start. Something that I just have to learn in practice. As I'm watching though - I'm noticing that I bend my knees when I kick. This will be corrected as I learn the drills that Nadine taught me. I also worked to try and make sure my shoulders came out of the pool when swimming; you can tell when I'm thinking about it and when I'm not because I either do it or don't. Practice will even that out though.

    100 Back
    "I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!"
    --No Video--
    The race started the same as the 50 back - with me choking from water from my left arm. I again chilled out and let my arms relax. I swam a much better race. When I flipped turned off the wall, I didn't get any air right before my turn, so I was totally in O2 Debt by the time I came out from under. I also had a very deep flip turn for whatever reason. I came up and was able to breath again. At that point it was just "make it to the wall". I swam a 1:55 - which was great for me especially because I thought I was going to be doing about 2:00+.

    50 Free
    "I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)"
    BORKED
    <Sigh> This was a very disappointing race. I should've come up sooner and relied on my on my ability to swim rather than dolphin kick underwater. I wasted a lot of time in that race underwater. (Nadine came up and basically told me she was happy I was working on my underwater - but that was too much). I also didn't finish that race completely exhausted. So I know I didn't give 100% and I know I could've done much better. I ended that race on a 40, which sorely disappointed me. Next time I'll make it. I KNOW I can!

    50 Breast
    "Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward."
    BORKED
    I did manage to complete this race in under a minute! I was super excited about that. I spent this race completely focused on form. That was far more important to me than any time or anything like that. So I made sure to allow time for a little bit of glide before going into the stroke again. Next time however I will probably take a little less time gliding and a little more time swimming. I think its about learning that delicate balance? Coach will tell me eventually. :-)

    100 Free
    "I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25"
    BORKED
    Well, I certain did not swim a 1:25. I swam a 1:30. By the time I hit the blocks on this race, I was only focused on making a stand against that awful 50 Free I did before. I remember coming down, feeling pretty strong. My swim into the wall was not really that great (those bulkheads were trippy for me... I will have to swim in that pool more). After coming off the wall - I noted the guy next to me was beatable. So I decided to push it, hard. I started kicking harder and swimming harder. This entire time I was also not taking the time to breath every other stroke or even every three strokes. I limited myself to 4 or 5 strokes per breath thinking "You can breath when you're done...". I pushed myself as hard as I could into the wall with that guy right on my tail. He ended up kicking it in just at the last second and beating me by .05 seconds. I need to work on my finishes apparently :-) That race was a great race for me and I'm very proud of it.

    All in all at this meet I was happy with how it turned out. I met Mary Pohlmann, Nadine Day, and quite a few other people whose names currently escape me. I can't wait til my next meet, regardless of the pool size. I do happen to really like the long course though. I really wish I could train in it. I've also decided after this weekend, I definitely need more swimming in my life. So I'm currently working to find more pools to swim in as well. We'll see how that goes and we'll see if I'm capable of keeping it up! Thanks for all of your encouragement everyone!

    Tonight: Drills at the Lake Bluff Rec! Going to basically just do drills for a couple hours to work on form. Post ideas for drills if you want!

    Updated July 7th, 2010 at 03:46 PM by bzaks1424

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. A fun and quick little story:

    So last weekend I swam at the Badger State Games in Appleton Wisconsin. It was my first LCM Meet where I did sprints. You all have seen the times from my previous post Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?! So we all know - they weren't really that good.

    So because there was no one else in my age group for any race except the 50 free and my relay won, I was able to achieve 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal for the meet.

    So the other day I get an email saying "results are up from the badger state games!"

    Naturally - I'm excited so I check the link: Results and even as of 9:20 AM on July 2nd, they most certainly are not!

    However I was playing around the website and I see this:
    Did you win a medal at The Badger State Winter or Summer Games?
    If so, you may qualify for the State Games Of America!

    In order to qualify for the State Games of America, participants must have won a gold, silver or bronze medal in a SGA sport in their local State Games in a qualifying year (2009 or 2010 Summer, 2010 or 2011 Winter). The State Games of America will take place in San Diego, August , 2011. For a complete listing of sports and more information visit www.stategames.org.
    So following a few links I found this:
    California State Games/State Games of America

    So August 5th-7th in 2011, I guess I'll be swimming in San Diego! Hopefully by then I'll be a much better swimmer - maybe I'll even be able to give [ame="http://forums.usms.org/member.php?u=18385"]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame] a run for her money in the breast stroke!

    Does anyone know anywhere in Illinois where I can consistently train in LCM?
  10. Meet Prep for the IndySwimFit

    I'm currently stuck in training at work. Its about how to run some monitoring application. Honestly - my efforts are better spent in about 50,000 different places, but I'm stuck here for the rest of the week. I'm going to do some prep for this weekends meet.

    I will be swimming the following races:
    • 50 Back
    • 100 Back
    • 50 Free
    • 50 Breast
    • 100 free


    I also did some reading, and it appears I can sign up for at 1 relay. I know I'm going to be completely cashed by this point, but I'm totally signing up for another relay at this meet. I loved swimming it last weekend. It was fun meeting the new people as I swam it as well!

    Goals
    50 Back
    I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane.
    100 Back
    I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!
    50 Free
    I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)
    50 Breast
    Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward.
    100 free
    I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25

    My goal for every race
    Push through the O2 deprivation. I'll have at LEAST 2-3 minutes to catch my breath after every race - so O2 debt is not going to be a major concern. I can catch my breath later!

    Nutritionally - I'm going to play it a little differently. Last meet I did not come prepared to consume enough fast acting carbs so I felt that my recovery was not nearly as fast as it should have been. So this time - I'm going to prepare again with a healthy balanced breakfast around 6 AM. Warm up around 8 AM, have a banana around 9 AM, and be ready to destroy my old record (hahaha only record) at 9:30-9:45 when the 50 back comes up.

    So I'm ready... going to train on my own tonight, practice tomorrow night, and I get on a train at 2:20 Friday to head to Chicago to catch the 5 PM to Indy from Chicago. I might even lift Friday morning before work. We'll see if I can sleep after practice.
  11. Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?!

    Its not often I swear underwater. Usually its caused by an annoyance in my lane or a severe pain in my body. I usually reserve my energy for swimming - its an intelligent thing in my opinion.
    This weekend was almost an exception to that rule. That 50 Free in an LCM pool nearly killed me.... but we'll get to that later because right now its time for the

    POST MEETS POST MORTEM

    The Park Ridge 1500 @ the Oakton Pool in Park Ridge IL
    Results

    The PR 1500 was a fun race for me actually. I had never honestly swam more than 1000 straight in practice and so my first and foremost thought was "I just need to survive the race" I had done a 20x100 in practice this week - and survived rather well. During the race - I found myself pacing it like a 3x500. The first 500 was a warmup, the second 500 I focused on my form and technique, trying to keep a strong kick and keep going. The final 500 was focused solely on build up; I wanted to make each 100 faster than the 100 before it leaving the final 100 for a sprint to the finish with 0% energy left.

    Quick Anecdote: During the race on my first flip turn - I saw the number on the wall - and for some reason I was mesmerized by it, and ended up jamming into the wall on my flip turn. The rest of the meet - I avoided looking at the number so as to prevent that problem.

    Well - I finished my race @ 29.32! A PERSONAL RECORD! Hysterically enough - even with my build up and everything - my teammate Jamie told me that my pace was pretty much RIGHT ON 1:59 for all 15 laps (no more than a second or two deviation). So all of that "build up" I did was really just a correction to keep me from going slower. My final "sprint" was on 1:54. So much for extra energy output.

    I won my age group though! Out of no one else

    Goals for meet:
    • Maintain a consistent pace with no more than a 3-4 second deviation between any two laps.
      DONE AND DONE
    • Keep my *average* split time under 1:50.
      Nope. Going to have to work on that speed thing.
    • Finish the race strong, even with nothing left in my body.
      DONE!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall at least 80% of the time.
      YES! I was very proud of that - I can count only twice off the wall that I didn't dolphin kick and that comes out to 86.67% dolphin off the wall!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to bring my average time down. This 1:59 thing won't do for me. I know I just need to build up in the pool with more swimming. These sorts of things come with time.
    • I need to focus on my sprints at the end of the race. I'm pretty sure that I probably could've pulled more out of the tank had I pushed a little harder earlier. I wasn't really feeling tired until the last 2-300 anyway.


    The Badger State Games @ Erb Park Pool in Appleton Wi
    Results

    In this meet I swam the 50 Free, the 50 Back, the 100 Free and I jumped in in an ad-hoc relay (the 4x100 free relay). It was a fun meet- but being there alone kind of sucked. I did make some fun friends though!

    The 50 Free
    The 50 Free was my first race - and actually the most brutal of the races I did that day. I took my time to warm up. Was pretty relaxed and feeling really good when I got on the blocks. My dive was so-so, I totally forgot to dolphin kick. I was doing really well too until I hit about the 40 meter mark. Then all of a sudden everything started to cut out. I had 0 energy, was totally exhausted and running out of O2. I ended the race on 39 seconds.

    The 50 Back
    I got out of my swim down from the 50 free and I take a peak at the heat sheet. I have 2 minutes until my 50 back! Aye Dios Mio!! So I shake it all off, sip some gatorade and get down to the blocks. Time to rock and roll! I've never started the back stroke nor have I ever finished the back stroke. So it was an experience. I did get in and swim a 50 back "quickly" to get a feel for it. During the entire race I kept focusing on "floppy floppy ankles" and relaxing the arms as long as they were out of the water. I got through that race in 53 seconds.

    The 100 Free
    This was a rough rough race. I got done with my 50 back, discovered I only had 3 heats of 50 back before I had to swim the 100 free! So I got a sip of gatorade and started shaking my body around. Had to knock off that lactic acid build up asap. I got on the blocks and dove in. I must not have tucked my chin right because my goggles came off. DOH! I swam as hard as I could, but I was freaking out a little mentally. I was having a hard time breathing and I knew form was collapsing. I went into the wall and did my push off with my eyes completely closed. I came up and kept swimming as hard as I could, running out of breath because I was still in a mental panic. I hit the wall at 1:39 - I was extremely disappointed in that time. I nearly threw up after this event. My stomach was so tight I could barely breath!

    The Ad-hoc 4x100 Free Relay
    I had about 8 more heats of 100 free after me. So I was able to get a little bit of rest and relaxation before having to dive in again. I was the 2nd swimmer in the relay, and this time - I was going to make sure those goggles were not coming off. I'm partially convinced that I was cutting off circulation to my brain during that race, but I honestly didn't care. I think I swam really really well. I remember looking up at my second split being 40 seconds. If my first split was anything less- that means I did a sub 1:20 on my 100, which for me is AMAZING! I put my relay behind - but fortunately our anchor was pretty fast! He came from behind and won the race! Yay Strangers! Seriously though - Ad-Hoc relays rock the house.

    Goals for meet:
    • Under 35 in the 50 Free (its LCM, a whole new beast for me)
      Nope. I have another chance next weekend though. I think I can shave that time off by more intelligent pacing.
    • Under 1:30 for the 100 Free
      If I'm not freaking out about my goggles - yes I can do this next weekend. This weekend I did not.
    • Under 45 for the 50 Back
      I definitely did NOT get anywhere close to that. I'm also not sure if I can pull it off. We'll have to see!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall for my ONE turn.
      Nope. Did not do it on the relay either. I'm going to focus pretty hard on that one over this week and for the next meet.
    • Dolphin kick after my start for the back.
      I totally did not. I will be focusing on that this week as well during practice.
    • Don't screw up my Back start.
      I'm pretty sure I didn't do it "right" but it wasn't awful. I at least made it to the flags before coming up!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to focus on endurance for those last 10-15 meters. I need to remember that I can breath when I'm done and honestly - O2 deprivation is fine in the short term. I need to have better times next week.
    • I need to remember to dolphin kick off the wall... One of the things I'm realizing in this 50 meter pool - since I don't have my flip turns and pushing off the wall I need to get as far as I can off my dive as possible so I can spend as minimal amount time swimming as possible so I can have the energy to sprint with with my arms and kick like crazy when I'm not able to glide.


    Sorry for the long post. I'm down for any thoughts or suggestions any of you have!

    See all of you (or none of you) next weekend at the Indy Swim Fit at the UofI Pool!!!

    Updated July 7th, 2010 at 03:44 PM by bzaks1424 (Jon: post MORTEM Mike MORTEM)

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Meet Prep!

    So I'm not going to lie, I'm VERY excited for this weekend. Even if I'm a little sick I'm going to go in there and kick some serious rear! I'm not slowing my training for this either. The summer is all about doing everything I physically can. (As you can tell from all of my other posts, I don't leave much time to slow down.

    However - that doesn't mean I won't be taking these meets seriously! I've already established my goals (and have since learned they may be unrealistic in an LCM...) and I've already figured out what I'm going to eat and when to help make sure my body is ready to roll.

    The only problem I may have now is actually sleeping. Its by no means an issue of not being tired, or not even being in my bed. Its a matter of containing the excitement before these meets!

    Normally - I'm usually really chill. I don't usually allow myself to get excited until the precipice of the event. It keeps me from having this exact same problem! The whole night I had visions of swimming and flip turns. I spent a lot of time laying in bed with my eyes closed just trying to let go and I couldn't. I remember when my email click went off on my phone around 1 AM, then a few facebook posts around 2 or 3 AM..... I had already decided around midnight to just shut off my alarm, since I wasn't getting to sleep and just wake up whenever (my job offers me a lot of flexibility).

    I couldn't lay there anymore around 4:30-5:00 AM and ended up just making breakfast and going into work early. So here I sit now, not TERRIBLY exhausted (much less exhausted than I thought I would be) but still tired.

    The only part about this that really drives me wild is that I still have 2 nights of trying to sleep before I even get to the Park Ridge 1500, let alone the Badger State Games! I remember I was like this before the Illinois state meet back in April, but I just had problems sleeping the night before the meet, not the week of the meet!

    I think what triggered it was my performance during practice last night. We did 20x100 and I was supposed to be on 2:15. Well - due to some ankle issues I've had to swap in and out of using the pull buoy. I'm MUCH faster on pull than I am on my standard swim. So I was doing my pulls on 1:30 and my swims on 1:55. I ended up finishing way ahead of time - which was such a COOL experience for me. I was driven enough by it that I managed to pre-make my meals for today, do the dishes, and take out the trash after practice all before 11 PM after practice last night. (I get home around 10:15).

    What gets you excited? What gets you pumped for a meet?
  13. LCM Here I come!

    So I'm going to be swimming in the Park Ridge 1500 on June 26th. It will be my first time ever doing a solid mile. Ever.
    The very next day, I'm going to swimming in the 50 back/50 free/100 free up in Appleton for the Badger State Games.
    Now - I'm not exactly nervous. I've swam 2-3 miles in a single practice before. That's really no big deal.... This time its different though. This time they're in an LCM pool (and I'm used to the SCM pool I practice in right now) and this time they're in front of people who aren't just swimming next to me.
    Now for those of you who've never read this, or really don't know me here's the twenty second background: I have recently discovered "athleticism" in the past 2 years. Before that I was in a lot of activities, but never very athletic or competitive. So this new drive to be good, if not great at something and to not lose, and to push myself to my furthest horizons is very fresh and very powerful in my heart right now.

    So right now I'm going to put out my goals for this meet and talk about how I plan to achieve them.

    My goals for the 1500:
    1) Maintain a consistent pace with no more than a 3-4 second deviation between any two laps.
    2) Keep my *average* split time under 1:50.
    3) Finish the race strong, even with nothing left in my body.
    4) Dolphin kick off the wall at least 80% of the time.

    My goals for the Badger State Games Meet:
    1) Under 35 in the 50 Free (its LCM, a whole new beast for me)
    2) Under 1:30 for the 100 Free
    3) Under 45 for the 50 Back
    4) Dolphin kick off the wall for my ONE turn.
    5) Dolphin kick after my glad for the back.
    6) Don't screw up my Back start.

    So in the 1500:
    I'm going to keep my eye on the clock if possible. I swim about a 2 minute 100 (SCM) in practice when I'm totally fatigued. I've never swam a straight 1500 before. I don't think I've ever done more than 600 straight. In any case, I think coming in really fresh should give me the ability to do at least the first 20 laps around or under 1:50. I'm also going to finish the last lap or two all out. There's no excuse to have anything left in the tank after that.
    Nutritionally - I'm going to make sure I have enough long burning carbs in the body. This is probably going to be (minimum) a 25 minute swim for me. So some complex carbs (shredded wheat) with my usual protein in the morning!

    In the BSG Meet:
    I'm going to push myself pretty much to absolute limit on each race. I want to make sure that I give 100% in all 3 races. By this time, since its the day after the 1500, I should be pretty used to the idea of an LCM pool. I'm planning on showing up an hour early for warm ups and make sure I get *at least* 4-5 laps (preferably about 10) in so I can get a feel for the pool. I have 1 turn in this meet, I do NOT want to screw it up.
    Nutritionally - Since the meet doesn't start until about 1 PM, I'm going to eat a very solid breakfast (I do every day, but I'm going to make sure I have it properly balanced to give my body what it needs). Then I will be snacking on some faster acting carbs with protein right before my first event and between each of my events.

    For Both Meets:
    I'm going to step it up another day and get a 4th practice in per week at another pool as a guest. It will actually be the same pool as the Park Ridge 1500, so I will be getting familiarity with the pool as well as giving myself another opportunity to swim. Besides, mixing up the LCM and the SCM might do me some good!

    So even if I don't win (which - logically speaking I probably won't win anything). I will at the very least have beaten my goals. Which is what this counts for! Some day I may be competitive with the rest of the world, but for now, I'm just going to have to keep racing myself.

    That being said - does anyone have any suggestions for where I could improve further upon my goals? Any ideas for things that will give a novice swimmer a last minute boost?

    Thanks!