Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
This weekend is our South Central Zone meet at the Woodlands pool just north of Houston. This meet is special for me because I had four other team mates competing at the meet and my daughter came with me to the meet. We had a good drive down yesterday afternoon and I had a nice swim before we left and another after we arrived.
Last night I swam the mile and used the fact that I had not swum a USMS mile before to enter a NT and swam at 6pm in lane 5, heat 1. There were 10 heats and the last heat did not start until almost 9pm even with two pools being used to speed the meet up. I swam my own race and felt pretty good through about 800 and the pain build from there. I held it together pretty good and finished with 17:29.92. This was not as fast as I had hoped but still not a bad time at all.
Today we had warm up at 8am and the meet started at 9am with the 500 being the first event of the day. I knew this was going to be a real race between Steve Unruh and I and that's exactly how it turned out. I swam from the front the whole way but Steve was no more than half a body length back the whole way. I knew he was going to pick it up the last 150 so made sure I had enough left to pick it up also. We both went under 5mins with my final time being 4:58.92. This was not as fast as I went shaved and tapered for USAS in January but was a really good in season time for me. I really enjoyed the race and was very happy I evened the score with Steve after he beat me at the SMU meet last month. I suspect we will have some more great races over the next few years.
Despite warming down well after the mile and the 500 I was very tired and sore before this race. I was seeded 4th but ended up 2nd in the heat and 1st in my age group. The time of 2.06.83 was not that special, but I was happy with the splits which were 30,32,32,32. I think I will swim this event more next year and with some work on my turns I think I have a lot of room for improvement.
Tomorrow I have the 200 free and the 1000 free. There are about 6 guys entered under 1.50 on the 200 free so this is likely to be a very fast race. I am seeded first on the 1000 and hope to have a fast race. If I swim close to the time I did in January in the USAS meet I will get close to the zone record of 10:24.
------ Update on Day 3
I had a pretty horrid day 3 of this meet. My daughter got sick on Saturday, with a fever and a stomach ache. I woke up on Sunday morning with my stomach in knots and had to spend most of the gap between the warm up and the 200 free in the bathroom. I erroneously decided to swim the 200 but without getting into any nasty details at 135 my stomach did a twist and knotted and at 150 I knew I needed to get out and head back to the restroom, unfortunately I flipped and had pushed off and had to get to 175 inorder to get out, which I did without really embarrassing myself but only just. On the offical record it was a DQ but reality was it was a DNF. I tried rehydrating and decided to swim the 1000 but more to just stretch out. I ended up going about 10.32 and negative split it pretty big, and actually by the end felt much better.
I can honestly say that this was not only a masters first but a life time first, with a DNF, and almost another very nasty first, but I wont go there!!! Its a shame because I was feeling pretty good and the guys I was with all went under 1.50 so I believe I would have been between 1.48-1.50, but alas it was not meant to be.
Updated March 31st, 2014 at 04:26 PM by StewartACarroll
I had some great races today but came out on the wrong side of some close finishes in all my events. Despite the disappointment of loosing races I REALLY had fun today.
Todays events and times
50 back 27.08
50 fly 25.55
500 free 5:04.91
200 free 1:51.61
100 IM 59.10
i was very sore when I woke this morning but loosened up pretty good in warmup. I have never swum a 50 fly or a 100 IM in scy so I can officially say I had life time best times in those events. The other times are ok but not that quick. As I said though to some extend the times were irrelevant today because I got to race and that was a lot of fun.
The only crumby thing today was that I missed my daughters meet where she had a bog break out. She dropped time in all of her races and in the 100 IM dropped 10 seconds and her 200 free where she dropped 12 seconds. Her other events she dropped 2 seconds in each and considering one of these was a 50 free she rocked. Unfortunately I missed her swim due to this meet. At least I get to see her swim tomorrow!!
Its been a good weekend in the Carroll household so far!
Updated February 22nd, 2014 at 07:23 PM by StewartACarroll
I woke up feeling ok, not bad but not great either. Yesterday's workout was hard and I was stiff today. The Baylor meet is about 30 mins from my house with no traffic and I had a clear and quick journey to the pool. The pool is a nice facility and has the best locker rooms of any swimming facility I have ever swum at; it reminds me of a country club in quality and there is a seating area with big tvs, both wet and dry areas and tons of showers, and classy wooden lockers. The locker room also had a huge hot tub and steam room.
The meet was run very quickly, with all events being swum mixed. The challenge entering this meet for me was I did not have any SCM times as a master and also swam the 50 back and 100 IM which I don't normally swim. My two team mates who entered the meet with me swum very well. Both Nikki and Bill were chasing world qualifying times and both got a qualifier and got very close in a number of others races. Nikki in particular swam an awesome 400 free and Bill swam a great 100 free. I swum ok today but not as quick as I had hoped which I think is a result of where we are in our training program right now. As usual I had a lot of fun and it was great meeting Chowmi in person and seeing a number of the DAMM team and coaches I swam with at SMU over the summer.
400 free - 4.24.14
200 free - 2.04.38
50 back - 30.60
100 IM - 1.04.24
It's hard for me to look at any of these swims as anything other than good, but I know I can go a lot quicker and I am really looking forward to my taper after Christmas.
Updated November 16th, 2013 at 06:13 PM by StewartACarroll
This was the event last year that got me back in the pool. We had a low team turnout with only six of the twelve swimmers who signed up actually showing up. Despite that we had a great time and swam well as a team. The event is part of the City of Richardson Corporate Challenge in which companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area compete in a variety of events over a three month period with money being raised for the special Olympics. It's a great event and an even greater cause.
The swimming is 50scy free, 50scy back and a mixed 200 free relay. The event is separated into men and women swum ages 29 and under and then in 10 year age groups. They award 1-3 in each age group and then rank individuals independent of age by company division based on time, where companies are grouped by size and number of employees.
Thee electronic timing did not work today so I don't have official times but the timers gave me 22.7 on the 50 free and 27.x on the 50 back. I was very pleased with the free because I had a slow start a poor break out of my turn and did not really get going. I really think when shaved, tapered and focused I have a 21.x In me. I was 22.6 at Spring Nationals. Since I never swam this in college this one is fun because it's an opportunity at a life time best. The 50 back was pretty poor. My start felt good, but I misjudged my breakout and took my first stroke under water. Then on the turn i was too close to the wall and did not get a push off. Despite both of these I was pleased with the time and will be swimming more back in the future. I have a lot of room for improvement on these short races.
We had a great relay and ended up lapping all bar one team and won our division by 13 seconds.
The event was a lot of fun and it's nice to swim some short races every now and again. Back to base training this week!
Updated September 22nd, 2013 at 07:52 PM by StewartACarroll
My daughter has a meet all weekend out our aquatic center and as such there is no masters or public swimming this weekend. I decided a few weeks back to register for the DAM 2k swim tonight so that I could get a high intensity swim in since I won't be swimming tomorrow or,Sunday. I did not think this through that well though. I did not think about the water temperature in an outdoor long course pool in Dallas in late July. Also the meet started at 5.30 with warmup at 5.15 so I had a mad rush from work to make it to the pool through rush hour traffic. Despite the challenges everything worked out but it was really hot and I definately felt the heat the last 600 or so.
I managed to get about a 500meter warmup before the timed swim which helped stretch me out from this morning. The event was organized with swimmers being placed in lanes based on estimated 100 pace. At first I thought I had a lane to my self but half way through a swimmer jumped in and started swimming in my lane. We had a little collision at about 1300m(nothing major). I deliberately went out pretty easy and got into a nice rythm, and seemed to hold my 400 pace pretty consistently. My final time was 25.22.xx and I am pretty sure I would have been quicker if i managed the heat a little better.
I was pleased with holding 1.15.x pace and I have come a long way the past year with my endurance. The next year I need to improve significantly on endurance at a higher intensity if I am going to achieve my 2014 goals. I am very excited about ramping up my training over the next 12 months and look forward to some more improvement.
Updated July 26th, 2013 at 09:10 PM by StewartACarroll
I really liked the timing of this meet with my events on both Saturday and Sunday being done by noon. Yesterday after finishing up and doing my blog my mother, father, wife and kids hung out with our friends from Catoosa. We had a great Indian takeout last night and my dad and friend had some beers(I am still not drinking) while I had a Gatorade. Our kids played and watched movies while the adults watched the last two days of the Tour de France. It was great seeing another Englishman doing well on the tour. This completely took my mind off my swimming which I needed. I woke up this morning feeling good and I reset my expectations and focused on racing. Today's swims were
50m free - I went about the same time I swam in Rockwall two weeks ago, 26.5 and had a good start, but my stroke tightened up in the last few strokes. I won my age group and was 3rd in the heat. Everyone went 27.00 or quicker.
200m free - I actually felt strong on this but again no pickup. The time was 2.10.xx and I was 1st in my age group and second in the heat. A young guy under 25 pulled away half way down the last length and I just could not dig deep and stay with him unfortunately.
The drive home was uneventful but long. It's nice to be home and I am looking forward to getting back into a routine next week.
I have friends who live in Tulsa which is close to Jenks where the Zone meet is this year. So I took Thursday afternoon off work and drove up to Tulsa. We had a very nice dinner and easy Friday morning with friends before the zone meet. The pool at Jenks is awesome and an unbelievable facility for a high school.despite having ok swims and feeling ok, I just don't have any speed at the moment and I was disappointed with how I performed.
I still have the 50 and 200 to go tomorrow and will hopefully swim better in these.
400m free 4.36.1 - I had a great race with George Villareal and swam neck and neck the whole way but was touched out on the final stroke and placed 2nd.
800m free 9.42.xx - Again a neck and neck race until the final 75 when George Villareal picked it up and I just did not have anything to go with him and again placed 2nd.
100m free 58.2 - a horrible race the whole way despite winning my age group. I just did not get going and felt awful off the turn I felt like I went backwards.
At this point I just wish I felt quicker.
We had about 80 swimmers at the meet which was a great turnout. Groups from across the region including, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Shreeveport, and a lady from California who was visiting family for the 4th July holiday, were all in attendance.
I entered 7 swims but ended up dropping the 200 free due to its proximity to the medley relay and the mile. So I ended up swimming 6 swims in a meet that lasted about 2.5 hours.
I went 4.36.xx on my 400 and honestly felt like I had a lot left. This was probably my best swim of the meet.
The 50 free I went 26.46 which I was very pleasantly surprised at.
The 100 free was my toughest and I died bad on the last 25 meters, and went 57.8. I was hoping for sub 57 so this was a little disappointing, but I really enjoyed this one since I had a close race, and despite coming out on the wrong side of the finish it was fun racing.
The 1500 was right after the medley relay and I knew it would be tough to swim quick. I felt ok but it was just not a quick race and I went 18.41.xx.
I led the medley relay off with a great back 50 and went 31.2. I was number three in the free relay and our relay had a great race with one of our other team relays, but yet again we just got pipped at the finish.
We ended up with about 12 of the RAM team swimming which was a great turnout and it appeared as though my team mates had a good time. We went to the social and nearly all my teammates were there. I think we may be putting in a bid for masters zones next year and suspect we will have another meet next year based on the success of the first RAM long course meet.
Updated July 6th, 2013 at 09:41 PM by StewartACarroll
Saturday night I went out for dinner with my team mate Nikki and her mother. We went to the Webergrill restaurant downtown Indianapolis and despite an hour wait the food was well worth the wait. For future reference and events in Indy I would recommend the restaurant.
I had a really solid nights sleep and woke around 6am. I went through my normal morning routine of reshaving, brewing and drinking coffee and taking my vitamins. I then headed down stairs and had a nice leisurely breakfast of oatmeal and a bagel. I headed off to the pool later than usual and caught the last 4 heats of the women's 500 at around 9am. My friend Katie Gilmore with Alexandria masters swam an incredible race and ended up taking second in a blazing quick time of 5.06.
Today was my off race day and I had zero expectations for placing. First up was the 100 back followed by the 50 free. I had not swum a fast 100 back since 1992 and despite the odd back swim in practice(which are not swum all out) I have not swum the race at all. The 50 was never my thing and I don't recall the last race 50 and I bet it may have been back in the 1980s.
I did my normal warmup of about 1600 but did back 100s instead of my normal pace 100 frees. I practiced my turns and even joined the start lane and did a practice back start. After getting out and drying off I heard the start of the relays and only then realized I had not done a back finish and did not know the number of strokes from the flags in. Oops! In the end it did not matter because I had a great race, hitting all my turns, and taking four strokes into the finish and hitting the final wall spot on. My splits were 28.x, 29.x for a final time of 58.4. I felt really energized at the end and felt like I could have done another 50 at that pace. I am now determined to do a 200 back at some point in the future. I can definitely say I have not done one of those in an even longer time frame.
After the back, I took a nice long warm down which felt good. I got out wrestled my speedo fastskin3 on and then spent about 45 minutes stretching and focusing for the 50. I had entered on the only 50 time I have done since joining masters which was back in January and at 25.14, was over a second slower than my first 50 of yesterday's 100, and even slower than the first 50 of my 200. I felt with a good start and turn I could do a 23.x. I concentrated on taking a good track start and I got off the block really strong with a good breakout. I was half way down the pool and shock and horror I breathed. It was not intentional, but I breathed. I hit the turn really well, had a good streamline, kicked and the next thing I knew I had taken a second breath. I could not believe I had breathed. When I finished I was really upset at myself. I turned looked up and saw my time was 22.61. I had a moment of joy followed by that feeling of I could have gone even quicker. My time placed me 3rd, which I never ever would have imagined possible.
This meet exceeded my wildest expectations and my first place in the 1000 and third place in the 50 has to be one of the weirdest medal combos. I ended the meet with two golds, two bronzes, a fifth and an eighth. I would like to thank all the forumites for there support and encouragement since joining masters swimming. I am even more motivated to continue this fun masters journey. The most inspiring part of the week for me was seeing the 90 year old Vladimir Ouchaya's 20 minute plus 400 IM followed by a great 30 minute discussion with him about his life and how he quite smoking and took up swimming, competes regularly in his 90th year and has no intention of retiring any time soon. Swimming really is a life sport and my congratulations goes out to everyone who participated this week.
I went for a stretch swim last night and came back to the hotel tired. I decided to have a early dinner at the hotel and go to bed early. I had a good nights sleep but woke this morning with a sore throat and some sniffles. I don't know if I have a cold or allergies and i don't feel sick.
Today was not such a good day and my 500 was disappointing. I took the race out ok on the first 200 and then just did not have anything left. I have been working on bringing my 500 home and it just did not happen today. No excuses it was just not my day in the 500. I ended up going 5.02 and finished 3rd in my age group. I honestly think I have a lot more in the 500 and I will train even harder for this one.
There was about an hour gap between the end of the 500 and my heat of the 100. I took a long warm down after the 500 and tried getting myself in a good frame of mind for the 100. I had a good start but my first turn was not very good, but despite this I kept pushing hard and brought my second 50 home. I had hoped to go under 50 , but touched in 50.20. I think this is another race that could have been better and I think my seed time was probably a handicap. If I had been in the fastest heat I think I could have gone quicker, but I can't change what I did and this was a solid swim. My time placed me 5th in my age group.
Tomorrow is a fun day swimming off events. First up is the 100 back which I have not done since 1992 and then I have the 50 free. I will do a no breather on the 50 free and see what I can do. I have had an awesome time so far and plan on finishing the meet with some fun racing and a smile on my face.
Updated May 11th, 2013 at 05:25 PM by StewartACarroll
I was pretty tired last night after the 1000 and when a rain storm came through around 6.30pm I decided to grab food at the hotel and have an early nights sleep. I fell asleep around 7.30pm and had a solid nights sleep waking at around 5.30am. I had a leisurely hour getting ready for the second day at the pool and ate breakfast around 7am and then took the 3-4 block walk to the pool.
Today had the 400 IM'ers starting followed by a break and short warmup before the rest of the days events. Long story short I had a lot of time this morning to do my 1600 yd warmup and then a shorter 1000 yd loosen up before my 200. Yesterday after my 1000 I had a pretty long talk with my coach and he asked me to trust him and take the 200 out in 24 on the first 50, and 52 at 100 and he felt I could bring it home swimming from the front. The 200 is my least favorite event. Over the years I have swum both slow and fast races in this one and on all occasions it just hurts. Typically my legs feel filled up with lead by about 150 and the last 50 is just brutal. Today was no different, but as my coach said I had enough to bring it home and I won in 1.49.47, touching out Morton Anderson who was reeling me in on the last 50. My splits were spot on what I was asked to swim and with some more fast endurance training I think I can drop significantly in this event.
It took me 30 minutes to loosen up after my race, but this one felt great. I have a tough day tomorrow doubling in the 500 and the 100. The 500 is my favorite event and based on today I think I can have a great 100. The key tomorrow will be getting a good long loosen up after the 500. I believe on the time line I will have about an hour between races and I am glad the 500 is first. I am ranked 4 in the 500 and there is a professional triathlete who is ranked first but has no times in the usms database. The 100 I am in the second fastest heat.
I am tired but I plan on heading back to the pool for another stretch and then will decide if I go to bed early or meet up for the forum dinner.
I had a great nights sleep last night and woke feeling excited. I had some butterflies fluttering even before I left the hotel room, which for me is a really good thing. I did the 10 minute walk to the pool from my hotel which was very pleasant and arrived at the pool at around 6.45am. I swam in lane 4 and realized after about 100 that three of the people in my lane were on the Alexandria Masters team I train with when I am in Washington DC. It was great briefly catching up with Katie Gilmore who is going to do the 1650 later today. I did about a 1600 yd warmup and then got out and dried off before heading back to the hotel for a light oatmeal breakfast. I quickly repacked my competition bag with my meet suit and headed back to the pool.
I was in the last heat of the 1000 so had tonnes of time when I got back to the pool. I hate sitting around at meets so kept moving and about 45 minutes before my race did another warmup swim in the diving well. Indy is such a great facility for swimming with the two competition pools and the diving well, plus two other 25 yd pools for warmup/warm down. After my second warmup I again dried off and put on my competition suit and then basically stretched and stayed busy until my heat. I had checked out the heats for my competition and new the next fastest guy was in lane 1 in the heat before me. He posted a 10.39 which is a good time, but it was beatable.
I was pretty relaxed before the start, but could not get some condensation out of my goggles which was annoying. As the gun went off and I hit the water, the strap on my goggles moved significantly down my head, and as I went down the first length I was expecting my goggles to fill with water. Luckily my worst fear did not come true and my goggles stuck. After about 400 I started to feel pretty tired, but focused on long and strong strokes. After 700 I really started to hurt and the final 150 was pretty brutal. I noticed a few guys on the other side of the pool, but being in lane 8 it was hard to really see where I was and where they were. I think I overtook a couple guys on the second 500 but wish I was closer to the middle of the pool.
After finishing I looked up and swore I saw my time was 10.48, and I was really upset. Nicky who was my counter congratulated me and said I did great and that my time was 10.21. I double checked with the time keeper and she confirmed my time. I guess I had looked at the wrong lane. I had won my age group. I am a National Champion masters swimmer. I am so excited. I had hoped to swim faster than 10.20 but at this point I don't care. It gives me plenty of room to improve and train to improve, but I won!
I am going to head back over to the pool to catch the 1650 swims.
I promised a few people I would blog my week at Nationals so thought I would start with a quick preamble post the day before the meet.
I am currently sitting at DFW waiting for my flight to Indianapolis. As of this week I have been back in the pool 8 months and when I got back in I never thought I would be traveling to Indianapolis to compete at Nationals. I have trained hard for this meet and feel like I have had a good taper keeping my yardage up yet mixing in some good quality work. I am nervous that I have not really raced in a long time, yet excited at the prospect of some good races.
Practice was short this morning with a quick 2300 yard workout after which two of my team mates who unfortunately are not swimming this week and my coach took me out for breakfast. It was great fun and its nice to have team mates i swim with who are so supportive. After breakfast I headed back to the house to start my shave down. I did not think much about hair or lack of before I started and ended up an egg head! My shave down took about an hour and I had no major razor burn or cuts and I am feel pretty good right now.
My flight leaves Dallas around 3.40pm and arrives at around 6.30pm. I hope to have time to swing by the pool for a short swim but if not I will grab dinner and try to go to bed early. Warmup tomorrow is 6.30am so with Indy being East Coast time zone I will have an early start. I had hoped to swim all the free events but the meet does not let you swim both the 1650 and the 1000. I swim the 1000 tomorrow morning, the 200 on Friday, the 500 and 100 on Saturday and the 50 and 100 back on Sunday. The 1000 and the 500 are deck seeded so I won't know my heat or lane until just before I swim. The 1000 is swum slowest to fastest with all ages and both men and women swimming together. I am ranked #9 overall so could be in the second to last heat or the last heat if anyone drops out. The meet timeline looks like i will be swimming around 10.30am. I am really looking forward to swimming the 1000 and it will give me a pretty good idea how my taper worked out and how the rest of the meet will go. I think my base is pretty good and think the middle and lone distance events should be strong, but based on some speed I seem to have picked up during the taper I may surprise myself it he shorter races.
I need to run since my flight boards in about 10mins, but will blog tomorrow after the 1000.
After yesterday's practice and a really long couple of weeks I was not looking forward to this meet at all. The warm up started at 8.30am and the meet began at 9.30am. I left the house around 7.30am and got there with plenty of time to spare before warmups. My wife and kids came to see my races, which got underway at about 10.30am. After making national qualifying times in the 50,100 and 200 at the Bryan meet in January I decided to signed up for the 500 and the 1000. This is a tough meet because there is n additional warmup/warm down facilities. A couple of my team mates also signed up for the meet and they did awesome which made it especially fun. After my experience with lactic acid build up yesterday when going all out I made a more conscious decision to pace my events today. I had hoped to be swimming much quicker at this point in my training calendar but at some level I don't have much control over this.
To my pleasant surprise I was ranked 3rd in the 500 and had two young guys to race. One of the young guys went off really quick and at 200 I saw him at least 3-5 yds ahead, and I started to reel him in. At the 400 I knew I had him and with 50 to go pulled a couple body lengths ahead. Despite my time of 5.13 not being what I had wanted ii enjoyed racing and really enjoyed seeing the guy gasping for breath at the end as I hopped out of the pool
The 1000 was a different story and I was ranked almost 2 minutes faster than the next person. I again held back early and again pretty much felt like I even split the race. The timing pad did not stop the clock when i finished but the girl behind my lane told me I went 10.59, which is considerably slower than I went in training a few weeks back, but I was almost 150 ahead of the next swimmer and it felt good to get out without feeling like rigormortis had set in(like yesterday).
To my surprise when I checked the event rankings so far on the season both times rank me #1 or #2 in these event(depending on my official times). I am off to Saudi Arabia in the morning so it will be interesting to see if I can swim when I am there. Fingers crossed.
Updated February 23rd, 2013 at 05:59 PM by StewartACarroll
Before Christmas I signed up for my first Masters meet, the Jesse Coon Memorial meet in Bryan Texas(near the Texas A&M campus in College Station).
I set my alarm for 5.30am and my mother(who is visiting from England) and my daughter joined me on the 3.5 hour drive. The drive was long and uneventful.
I had signed up for 3 events based on team mates advice that these smaller meets go very quickly. I signed up for the 200, the 50 and the 100. The pool was at an Aeorfit fitness center and was fairly old, and the depth was pretty shallow. What the facility lacked the people made up for. The staff and event officials were very friendly and I really enjoyed the meet.
My plan for the 200 was to go out long but easy on the first 50, push the middle 100 and finish hard. It sounded good, but reality was much different. I really struggled to get going and just did not have it in this one. I entered with a 2 min time(because I have not swum this since college so did not know what to put). I ended up with a 1.58.6, which I was disappointed with, and based on practice times this was slow. At this point in my training I was hoping for 1.56.
Next up was the 50 free. This one I got going but only in the last 5 yards. My splits were interesting, 12.2, 12.4, for a 24.6. The time was again not that quick but I enjoyed this one. I had a young guy in the heat before me who went 25 flat so beating his time felt good. There was a young girl(18)who entered with a faster time than me and it was great beating her by some distance also.
My final event was the 100 free, and i felt was my best swim. I actually felt great and went 54.2, which I was pleased with. After getting out from the 100 I felt like I should have been warming up for the 200, I that fresh. Perhaps I needed a longer warmup after the long drive. Or it. could have been 20 years of non swimming cobwebs. I have a local event in a month so I will see my progress.
One thing going slow did was reinforce my desire to be faster and work even harder in practice.. I am really looking forward to a good week next week in the pool and weight room. My second 3 week cycle for Nationals starts bright and early Monday and this cycle increases yardage and intensity. I can't wait.
Updated January 19th, 2013 at 09:57 PM by StewartACarroll