Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
Back from a long, restorative weekend in VA. The highlights of the meet were seeing all my PV friends and defending my title in the Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters. I was pretty pleased with the meet results. I've only competed one day since Indy Nats and the rust showed with a fair number of technical miscues. In retrospect, I wish I had rested a couple more days. And I will no longer get deep tissue massages 5 days before a meet; I wasn't fully recovered.
50 fly, 26.4
This was probably my worst race and the furthest off my PR. Got off the blocks fast, but went in a little on the left side of the line and then had an iffy first breakout. I pushed off too shallow on the turn, was forced to take 2 kicks less than planned, and had an even worse breakout. It was capped off by having to kick in to the finish. Still, last year my in season time was a 26.8 before dropping to time at zones and nationals. With a taper and better execution, I could easily chop half a second off. And anytime you're under 27, that's pretty darn fast.
50 free, 25.1
This was a solid race. Teen Fort had some friends in the stands (watching their HS coach compete in his first masters meet!) and they video'd the race for her. I had a good start (12 SDKs), breakout and fast turn. The only issue was that my flutter kick completely peetered out the last 10 yards. This could be either due to the legs not being rested or to the fact that I need to work more on flutter kick endurance. This is slightly faster than the 25.2 I posted in mid-season last year, probably due to taking more SDKs.
50 breast, 33.1
Uh, I had to take another look at the clock on this one. 33.1 in my third event of the day with only about 30+ minutes rest after the 50 free?! That's only .3 off the PR of 32.8 that I swam at Indy Nats and my second fastest time ever. I had extremely good breakouts in this race, rare for me in breast. But I had to short stroke both walls. So I was happy to see this time; I expected to swim at least .5+ slower. I may check this event off my list for the year and not worry about it.
Battle of the Drop dead Sprinters:
Fall didn't make it to the meet, but I had a good battle with a 24 year old college swimmer. I ended up with a cumulative time of 52.02. I won the battle with a large 1 second margin in the 25 back. Both fly and free were extremely close.
25 fly, 11.98, 1st
Perfect swim, and the first time I've ever been under 12. Last year, I was 12.30. I took one less stroke than usual, so was somewhat worried I was past the 15.
25 back, 13.08, 1st
Another very good swim, same time as I went last year.
25 breast, 15.20, 1st (.05)
Solid swim, great start, had to glide into the wall a bit. Barely hung on to beat a real breaststroker a few lanes away.
25 free, 11.76, 1st (by .05)
This was a bit of a half hearted effort. I knew I would win at this point and was freaking exhausted. I had a super long glide at the finish. Should definitely have taken another stroke. Just didn't feel like it.
Overall very pleased with the results. I was dead after the meet and really feeling it this am. 250 AFAP yards of racing is about my max for 1 day. All my starts were very good this meet, so practicing them at Pitt probably helped. I really should get in a recovery swim today, but that will likely have to wait until tomorrow. Lots of errands to do! It was great to see all my friends in VA. I did lunch with Speedo who says he may hit some Patriot Masters practices this winter.
Zones, Day 2
-- scratched the evil events
50 fly, 30.29, NR
My start wasn't as crisp as usual. My feet were separated when I hit the water. Had just an OK breakout. My fly felt smooth, but my turnover slowed a bit the last 10 meters. Small glide at the finish. Solid swim, but not at the level of my SCY 50 fly at Nats. Still happy with the time! I broke the NR, but missed the WR by .05 (which was my goal for this meet). I was a tiny bit disappointed, but, given everything, I'll gladly take the 30.29. I'm also psyched to have the 50 fly record in all three courses, despite not being a long course swimmer.
So I only swam 3 of my 6 individual events at this Zones meet. It was all I had the physical and mental energy for, and even that was pushing it. The timing of my malaise sucked, but one has to expect that as a masters swimmer. I'm glad I bucked up and swam the meet. The times were not PRs, but they were my best in my current age group and best non-tech suit times. And I am hopeful they will hold up as FINA #1s. I'll be watching the results at Mission for sure.
The best part of the meet -- as usual -- was hanging out with PV friends and teammates. And it was nice to see Patrick, who closed out the meet with a nice looking 400 IM.
Updated June 23rd, 2013 at 11:34 PM by The Fortress
I didn't swim yesterday; felt too poorly. I felt somewhat better today, but was still tired with low energy. I think I needed a couple more days for a return to full health. Given that, I'm extremely happy with my times today. But, ouch, they felt rough.
50 free, 28.6
I had a great start (12 SDKs) and felt good for about 35-40 meters and then struggled to the wall with a long glide at the finish. I was expecting a 29, so was very happy to see 28.6. This is .6 faster than last year and only .4 off the WR. Probably due to doing more freestyle with healthier shoulders. But, yikes, I felt done after this.
50 back, 32.41, WR
I had about 50-55 minutes rest after 50 back, but with the way I feel this was not enough. I had another good start, but only felt strong for 25 meters. I had a half body length over Fall at that point, but she cruised by me. I just felt dead. I was pleased to dip under my WR by a few hundredths. But honestly, I feel like I should be a good half second faster. I can't seem to get back to my tech suit PR. I've had life issues before a focus meet 3 long course seasons in a row. Is this a message that I should stick to short course?
I felt sickish in the warm down pool. Mollie said I was very flushed.
Mixed 200 medley relay, 2nd
I swam the backstroke leg. I was exhausted so decided to slow down my turnover and build it. Went 33.1. John, Cheryl and Alex were all very speedy, but we got nipped by VMST -- probably because Chris Stevenson crushed me on the backstroke leg!
I thought I had purchased a ticket for the social, but apparently I had not. This was fine as I went out for fabulous barbecue with my team, which is now full of fast boys who like to compete. We went to Buzz & Ned's and it lived up to its rave reviews.
I'm now back in my room cursing myself for once again forgetting my compression garments. My upper body takes more of a beating in long course.
I'm going to scratch the 50 breast tomorrow. I have the same 50-55 minutes rest before 50 fly. But I want to save whatever energy I have for fly without the evilstroke evilly interfering. 50 fly was my focus event for this meet after all, so I'm going to focus on it. The 100 breast is only 15 minutes after 50 fly. Who thinks I'll make it to the starting blocks?
Considering all I have going on with the move and the girls, I feel lucky to have even gotten in a long course meet. Our summer league team won its first A meet today and Lil Fort had PRs in 50 breast and 50 fly. She dropped three seconds in breast, and I'm wondering if she's becoming a bit of an evilstroker ...
Updated June 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 AM by The Fortress
Yesterday was the third day of a great meet for me. Nationals have been somewhat difficult for me as of late (labral tear, elbow tear, insomnia, power outages, etc.) But this meet I was healthy, uninjured and got at least a semblance of shut eye. And it really paid off with 6 PRs, 3 NRs and near misses on 2 other NRs.
I felt pretty good during warm up, just some leg fatigue. By day three, when you're UW 15 meters for all your races, leg fatigue is inevitable.
100 back, 1:01.30, PR, Missed NR by .01:
I'm not gonna lie. I looked up at the time and was a little heartbroken. I would rather have swum a 1:01.5. My splits were good -- 29.3 & 31.9. But I didn't have the leg power on the second 50, especially the last 25, and that cost me. My turns were a little glidey (2 strokes before flipping) and my entry on my start could have been cleaner. I let myself be disappointed during my warm down and then shrugged it off. The time was still a PR and I have been the beneficiary of a .01 swing on other occasions. Plus, it will still be the AA time this year since Karlyn swam a 1:01.7 earlier this year. I knew swimming this on day 3 wouldn't be ideal, so I will have to figure out when and where to swim it rested. Certainly keeps me hungry! And I am encouraged since I still feel like my 100 training wasn't ideal this season.
Here's a vid that Stud took with a nice "dammit" at the end:
50 free, 24.67, PR/NR
I used to dislike the 50 free. But since it occurred to me that I could try SDK-ing on the start, I like it more and may start swimming it more often. I had a tad slow reaction time compared to my other swims. I took 11 kicks on the start and from the vid it looks like that took me to about 13 meters. Then, I took 9 rather than my usual 5-6 on the turn. My breakouts didn't look great (lack of access to blocks). My flutter kick/leg drive looked really solid until right at the end. I was thrilled with the time! I knew 1980 Olympian Sue Walsh had swum a 24.7 last month, so knew I had to improve on my Zones time of 24.86. Really happy with this for the final event of a 3 day meet. Ellen and Stud took vids. I think that is Teen Fort screaming at the end.
Best event: 50 fly
Most Frustrating event: 100 back
Here's a couple other vids from the meet:
50 fly vid:
-- shows a total of 13 strokes and a glidey turn
100 IM vid:
-- no SDK on breast to free turn
-- did not need that breath inside the flags
I'm going to reboot for LCM Zones in late June. I'll be moving in late July, so July and August I will likely not be as laser focused on swimming. And I have to find a place to train in Pitt. As for next SCY season, I will not go to Santa Clara -- shallow outdoor pool. I may focus on the Harvard SCY meet and Colonies Zones SCY instead. Onward!
Teen Fort did not have a great meet. She didn't taper enough. But she ended with a great race in the 200 breast, taking the win in the final 5 yards. She hadn't swam that race since age 14. Funny, that her best race was the 200 breast and mine was the 50 fly! She did enjoy the experience and meeting lots of masters. I think she will talk up masters swimming in college next year and she may swim at LCM Nats at U of Md next summer.
Updated May 13th, 2013 at 06:30 PM by The Fortress
Had a fantastic time at the form/stalker dinner last night, meeting lots of new folk. One of them (same age) actually has a son the same year same college as Fort Son. Small world. Had a semi decent nights sleep for a traveling insomniac. The only am emergency was that Teen Fort lost a contact in the am and hadn't brought any replacements. Ack. I've learned the hard way to pack extras after swimming a one eyed day at Zones one year. In any event, I had a great day two and am so excited I fear I wont fall asleep.
50 fly, 25.70, NR/PR
I really thought that I would not swim faster than Zones where I had perfect walls. In fact, I had a wager on it. But I decided to use my nose clip for the first time in fly and took an extra kick on the second length. That and a little more rest allowed me to shave off .2. I did have a slight glide at the turn. The ever witty Ellen took a vid (thx!) and I counted 13 strokes. I didn't quite take the whole 30 meters UW, but was fairly close. Comparing vids, I can see my DPS has improved in fly since Greensboro; it felt long and powerful. Very happy about that swim.
100 IM, 1:02.3, PR
I hadn't swum the 100 IM in SCY in 2 years and never at nationals, so was a tad nervous. But very caffeinated! I missed the NR by .2 and it was all in my breast to free turn. I glided in and then, brain fart, didn't SDK off the wall. Maybe my legs where telling my brain they were done. I wanted at least a body length lead at the 50, and went out n 27.7 (12 + 12 SDK). Fast, but it didn't feel excessive. Did not have a particularly speedy evil leg, and lost some ground there to a real evilstroker. But my free leg was fairly solid and I pulled away a bit at the end. So psyched about the time! A PR by 2 seconds.
Really hoping for some sleep tonight. Tomorrow 100 back and 50 free. It could be the first nationals ever where I don't scratch an event. . The speedy Water Rat beat me to it!
Updated May 11th, 2013 at 11:46 PM by The Fortress
Yes it is! It is sprinters day 1!
50 back, 27.04, NR
Great first event for me. My first event at Nats isn't always my best, so I was glad to see this time. Execution was good except I was too close to the wall on my turn. It didn't effect me materially, but might have made the .05 difference in getting under 27. Still extremely pleased. This event is clearly my baby with a 4.5 winning margin. I felt like I had a fast reaction time. But that doesn't seem to be listed in the results. I did really jam my finger on the finish, which required ice and 4 ibuprofen.
50 evil, 32.80, PR, 2nd
Really pleased with the time, but my execution was iffy. I dove in and took my bloody time taking my dolphin kick. And I had to short stroke both walls. I pulled ahead on the UW off the wall, but Kim Crouch tracked me down, out touching me by .02. I've never beaten her in yards. My turnover looked slow on the vid too (in complete contrast to my other strokes). Breaststroke is the most aggravating, unsightly, frustrating, bizarre stroke. And hence I am completely happy with my fake evil time!
Day 1 is in the books and went very well. Teen Fort won her 50 evil so we are mommy daughter national champs. Now off to forum dinner!
I came in a bit late this am (getting the house ready for an open house). That meant I had to warm up in the rec pool with no backstroke flags. Not ideal and perhaps contributed to some misadventures in my 100 back.
400 Mixed Medley Relay, 3:57, 100 back split, 1:02.11
We grabbed first place overall and will definitely end up high in the TT rankings. We also had two swimmers who had just swum the 100 IM, and were pretty tired. My 100 back was fraught with turn problems. They seem to be due to my stroke count from the flags changing from prior years. I'm wondering if doing a fair amount of backstroke with agility paddles has helped my pull? I've customarily taken 3 strokes and flipped. I did this on the first 25 and my feet went entirely over the gutter, no push off. A huge collective groan from my team on the side. I just started SDK-ing like mad. The second turn I took two strokes and was too far from the wall. The third turn I took 2 1/2 strokes and that worked best. But who can plan on that? I may have to work on taking 2 long hard strokes before flipping. Any other advice? That must have cost me .5+ seconds. If I had had only a decent turn, I would have had a PR; my prior best was 1:01.99 with the floaty suits. So, I was pleased with the time considering the execution problems. It's actually .3 faster than I went at Nationals last year, though I had a terrible day on day one last year for various reasons. I am hopeful I can take a second off that swim with a full taper. My splits were 29.7/32.4. I swam it 50 easy speed, 25 build, 25 sprint. I will stick to that pacing strategy at nationals. I did put in a split request for this event as well.
100 fly, 1:00.8, PR
I had a lot of rest after 100 back, which I was grateful for as that is an exhausting leg dominant event. I planned to swim the race 75 easy speed + 25 whatever I have left. The last 5 strokes were horribly painful and piano-ish. But I was thrilled thrilled with the time. I haven't swum a decent 100 fly in SCY since 2010 (1:01.3). Splits were 28.0/32.7. I can't really get these any closer without training more for this event. This is only .5 off the NR. That .5 was lost in the last 5 strokes for sure. Still, this was the end of a two day meet. I was very happy with it. It helped to have friends cheering at the end of my lane. I'm hopeful it will hold up well against nationals times. And I'm glad I got it off my plate for the season!
Women's 200 medley relay, backstroke lead off, 27.3
We finished first overall! I only had about 20 minutes after the 100 fly for this race. I did have time for maybe a 250 warm down. I thought my legs would be beyond fried for the 50 back. But they didn't feel too bad. I did feel a bit ragged the last 10 yards. But this is a great time for my 7th event over two days.
Overall, I couldn't be more pleased with my Zones meet. This is the best one I've had in years. I usually do a more gradual rest going into a non-taper meet than I did last week. But 4 days of drastic rest really helped zap the fatigue and produce some great times.
I may start using my nose clip for all my 50s.
Feeling quite bushed at the moment. Will just do a recovery workout tomorrow.
Updated April 21st, 2013 at 07:46 PM by The Fortress
I was exceedingly glad I rested hard the last 4 days. I had a lackluster start, but from then on it was fast.
100 free, 58.4, Zones Record
This was a mediocre swim. I wasn't jazzed up to really really crank it with a relay soon after. I had a great start (9 SDKs) and took it out very conservatively given my concern with my 100 conditioning (28.0). Unfortunately, I only got a toe on my second wall, which stopped me dead in the water. Mollie said she say me stop dead/look splayed and wondered what happened as she zoomed by. This mistake demotivated me for my second 50, though I finished in 30.3. That botched turn cost me a good second, I'm sure. Definitely slower than my SCM 100 free from Dec. I've been frequently flipping too far from the wall in practice and I think this carried over to the meet. I've also never had fantastic flip turns since I race free infrequently. This is an item I really need to focus on. Mollie did point out to me that this time was a Zones Record, which did make me feel better.
Mixed 200 medley relay, 50 back lead off, 27.29
Our medley relay won overall with a 1:42. Our flyer went 22.0. Teen Fort split a 30 in evil and was happy. I was super pleased with my 27.29 leadoff, which is only .03 off my NR. I had a very good start. My only flaws were a bobble in my streamline on the second 25 and I was a bit too shallow (Yes, I hyper-analyze all technique aspects of my races.) I took fewer kicks on the second 25 since I was perilously close to a DQ on the second length at the Albatross meet. I did put in a split request on this swim in case anything goes awry at Nats.
50 fly, 25.90, NR
I had almost a 2.5 hour break until this event and two cups of java. I didn't even bother to get back in the pool to re-warm up. I knew it would be a tight race with Fall, Susan and Margaret (who all went sub 27). Fall and Susan didn't have a ton of rest after their 100 back. I was excited to swim, felt energized and just had a great feeling about the race before I swam. I wanted to win; I was dialed in. When I set the NR last spring of 26.3, I wondered if I would ever go faster. But I only took 7-8 SDKs off the wall at Greensboro. At the Albatross meet in March (where I re-set my SCM WR), I opted for 10-11 SDKs off the second wall and I did the same here. That is definitely faster for me, and I'll stick with that. I also hit my walls absolutely perfectly -- so very rare. But I was still shocked when I looked at the timing board. Just over the moon about this swim. It is actually faster than the 45-49 record done in a tech suit. This swim will be hard to ever replicate. I was a little surprised to go so fast in my third swim of the day. But I was rested and I always swim faster in the afternoon, which is when I work out.
Womens 200 free relay, 24.86 leadoff, PR/NR
Our free relay won too! I was very surprised by my time (put in a split request) because I was feeling tired. 4 events is pretty rare for me. I've been working on taking more SDKs on free too. I took 9-10 off the start; in the past I've done 4-5. My old PR in this event is from 2009 with a tech suit. I've beaten every other 50 tech suit time, but not this one. Adding SDKs was the ticket! I was almost startled when the wall came up so quickly. I will say that I took a good long look at the wall this time. Still felt like my flip turn was subpar. This is under the NR on the books of 24.91, but I saw a spanking new 50 year old swam a 24.80 in a Colorado meet. So I will need to go faster at Nationals. I really wish it wasn't the last event of a 3 day meet.
Thrilled with my day! And pretty pleased that my speed held up so well over 4 events. Feeling very tired now and am clad in compression gear. The couch beckons.
Updated April 21st, 2013 at 12:46 AM by The Fortress
Jimby, Teen Fort and I journeyed to MD for the annual Albatross SCM meet yesterday. This is my 7th year in a row competing in this meet, and I still love it. I swam better than expected on what is very short rest for me. I just lifted last Saturday.
50 back, 30.65
I debuted my new start and felt like I had a fantastic one --- the best part of the race. Had a solid turn and took 16-17 kicks on the second 25. I was told I was perilously close to the 15 m mark. But then my body completely shut down the last 10 meters and I staggered to the wall. It was a close race with the speedy Susan Williams who almost tracked me down at the finish. I surely would have been under my WR of 30.58 with a better last 10 meters. I was a little freaked out by the fade; that has never happened to me before in a 50 back. At first I thought it was just the lack of sprint conditioning from the prolonged Feb. malaise. But I also wonder if the lack of hypoxic training and double shooters played a role. I was UW the full 30 meters and maybe that took a toll. That's what Teen Fort thought. In any event, I was obviously very very pleased with the time.
50 breast, 37.5? DQ
I was not recovered for this event with only 30 minutes rest after the 50 back. But I had to give Teen Fort the pleasure of whooping her mommy. I did beat her to the 15 m mark on the start, which was all I was going for. :-) I had major glides at the turn and finish, probably should have short stroked them. I was DQ'd for a one handed touch on the turn. I thought I got my finger tips on the wall before pulling back my left arm to turn, but the official thought otherwise. No big deal. It was a very solid time for me with those glides, but I'll hopefully swim it again before the end of the year.
50 fly, 29.25, WR:
I had almost two hours of rest before my 50 fly, which I was very happy about. The final heat of the 50 fly was the fastest I've ever participated in with Erika Braun, Ruth Jones, Susan Williams and Margaret Conze. As Margaret said before the race, it was going to be "a scramble to the finish." We were all under :30. I had a great start. The race went technically well except that I took a breath at the flags with 2 strokes to go. I'm sure I didn't really need that breath, but maybe it helped me spot the wall. The only thing I did differently from the last time I swam this race (tapered 29.5 at this meet last year) was that I spent more time UW on the second 25 with an extra 3-4 kicks. Jim said the whole race looked strong, especially my second 25. My time didn't show up on the electronic timing board and, even thought the timers had me at 29.2, I didn't get excited About the WR until I saw the official time sheet. 41 year old Erika Braun also set a world record in my heat with a 28.1. She was on fire at this meet with a WR in the 50 free as well. Take home lesson for me: it's worth concentrating on more dolphin kicks off the turn on the 50 fly and 50 free.
50 free, NS
This was about 25 minutes after the 50 fly. I passed. No desire to do another race and was all tuckered out.
It was a super well run and fun meet as usual. Jimby swam very well despite being "gravely ill." (He actually really is a bit sick this time.) Teen Fort swam well. It was great to see all my PV buddies. I plan on going to Mason for a recovery swim later today.
Updated March 17th, 2013 at 12:22 PM by The Fortress
Tropical Splash Meet:
50 fly, 26.8
Fast start with 10-11 dolphin kicks. My legs felt tired kicking off the turn (7-8 kicks) and I had a tiny glide at the finish. But overall, well executed. I was expecting a 27 low, so was exceptionally pleased with this time. I've never broken 27 without my usual recovery week before a meet approach.
50 breast, 33.5
Fast start again, but a major glide into the turn which killed momentum and probably cost me a few tenths. Legs felt tired during the race. Still a solid time for me unrested.
100 breast split in 200, 1:15.0, PR
This was probably my worst effort of the day, though I'll certainly take the time. I felt dead tired by the third lap and I had to short stroke every single turn. I suppose that was preferable to major glides, but it's not fun or fast to eat the wall. I rested at the wall a bit after the 100, but it was torture to finish the 200 legally. I just wanted to flop on my back and breath. I don't think I'll do this particular split request again. Still, I hadn't swum 100 evil since 2009 with the floaty B70 suit when I went 1:15.9. So it's technically a PR and should be good enough for TT. It seems fairly comparable to the 1:24 that I swam in SCM last November when I only had a few days rest. I'm sure I could go faster tapered, though this will never be a taper event for me.
I didn't get home until 10:30 last night from Teen Fort's meet and Lil Fort's late soccer game, and fell asleep around 1:00. Seriously considered bagging the meet and sleeping in. But I'm trying this new thing where I actually go off the blocks in Jan. and Feb., so dragged myself out of bed early this am. Times were very good, considering I had no rest and my shoulders and quads were still sore to the touch from training and the deep tissue massage. I was especially happy with my 50 fly time. There doesn't seem to be any meets on the horizon until the Albatross meet. I hope Warrenton Masters decides to host their meet again, but it's not on the calendar yet.
I am really glad I promised Lil Fort we would watch House at the End of the Street this afternoon. The couch beckons after that effort.
Updated February 3rd, 2013 at 11:15 PM by The Fortress
Popped in for 1500 with lots of bursts. Had a major calf cramp, and had some earlier in the week. Been foam rolling and stretching.
1 hour of RC/scapular exercises and stretching
Sunday, MD Series Meet in Annapolis:
100 free, Abort
Had a major calf cramp on the start. Opted to do 10 SDKs as dolphin kicking is easier than flutter kicking for me with a cramp. I was out pretty fast, but the calf seized up on the second turn. My right leg was basically useless, so I stopped at about 65 yards. I was in lane 8, so didn't disrupt anyone else. I was a tiny bit disappointed because this was going to be my 100 free in yards for the year.
Glad I experimented with more SDks on the start as that may be faster for me. I was a good 1/3 body length ahead of a boy next to me who went 55. One of my HIT swimmers, Melinda, said I had a great start and was out in 26 high. Hmm ... that's pretty fast for me; I was thinking 27, but maybe the start helped.
I wasn't sure what to do after this episode ... Typically, when my calf cramps this bad, I have to call it a day. I rubbed, stretched and put the whirlpool jets on it. I decided not to swim the 100 fly as I was feeling somewhat head case-ish. :-) And I didn't want to be forced to abort another 100.
50 breast, 33.1
Decided to try this event to see how things went since I had spent an hour driving to the meet. I hopped into heat 1 where there was an empty lane for an unofficial swim. Had a little cramp on the start, but was able to swim through it. Good thing my left leg does most of the pushing. I had a major glide at the end; should have taken another stroke. But this is a very fast time for me untapered. Though I just told the timer to get me on his stopwatch, so it was manual timing.
50 free, 25.1
No cramp in this race, whew. I was quick off the blocks but shallower on the start than I wanted to be, so only took 7-8 SDKs. I had wanted to try 10. Had a sub-par turn (a bit too far from the bulkhead) and the legs felt sloggy. So I was exceedingly happy with the time, swum at 7:00 pm. It's a tad bit faster than I went last year with similar rest.
Overall, I'm glad I went to the meet despite early problems. It gave me a chance to work on some free SDK skills. The pool was decent. They didn't have pads in though, so I was glad I hadn't signed up for any backstroke events. And the blocks were teeny. I felt sorry for the taller people; even I felt slightly precarious on them.
I didn't feel super great in the water today. I think maybe I had to take too much time off from the eye infection and perhaps did too many bursts the few days before the meet. But who really knows. Back to the grindstone!
Updated January 20th, 2013 at 10:02 PM by The Fortress
100 free, scratch
I didn't realize until late last night when I read Kirk's post that I had just missed the WR in the 50 free by .1. Still, I was aiming for a good night's sleep and opted to miss positive check in. And, honestly, I have a track record of doing better in the 50 free when it's not the first event of the day. Sometimes I nail the first event; but equally often it's a "get the cobwebs" out swim. I also wanted to put my remaining energy into my other swims. (This is sprinter think.)
50 back, 30.8
Very solid time, but it felt like a cobwebs event. I had a sub-par start and very glidely turn. The grab bar for backstroke is low at BU and I really dislike that. I need to figure out a way to not flat back this type of start. And flags simply bedevil me in SCM for backstroke. My SDK + stroke count is perfect for yards flags. I'm either gliding in or jamming it in SCM where I need another half stroke, not a full stroke. This was .2 slower than when I led off the medley relay 2 weeks ago, so I do have a faster time this year. Still, anytime you're under 31 that's fast. And I am now well accustomed to the fact that execution is everything in 50s.
50 breast, 36.92, PR/NR
WTH?! You cannot imagine my shock when I looked up and saw this time! It felt faster than 2 weeks ago when I swam a 38.2, but still. This time, unlike the 50 back, race execution was almost perfect. I had probably my best blasto start of the meet, a monster UW pullout, hit my walls well, and no floating up to the top after a pullout. Not being an evilstroker, I wasn't really sure what the national record was. Karlyn looked it up for me. I'm thinking some of that bungee cordz/parachute work paid off! Because this is a somewhat off event and I had a time this year, I was also extremely relaxed before the event. Very often, I have excellent times when this is the case.
100 free split in 200 free, 1:04.21, PR
I was so happy after my 50 breast that I was ready to call it a meet. But I have had this goal of trying to swim all 4 50s, all 4 100s and the 100 IM this season in SCM. This was my only chance to swim the 100 free, so, encouraged by SwimStud, I decided to swim it. I haven't swum this race since 2006 (1:06 at the very end of this same meet) ... I almost never race the 100 free. So I was somewhat unsure of a race strategy. I took 9-10 SDKs on the start and 5-6 off each turn. Stud said all my breakouts were smooth, and they felt that way. I guess doing the ins & outs in practice helped. I breathed doubles the whole way, with a single thrown in a bit before the turn on the second and third length. Splits were 30.6/33.6, pretty good for me, especially given the fact that I was tired and my muscles were screaming at me the second 50. The 100 free really isn't so bad with the SDKs. Now I want to do it in yards! Right now, this time is #1, helped along by the fact that some other speedy freestylers like Eney have been injured or whatnot.
Overall, this is definitely my best meet of the year! Maybe my best meet since March 2011. I had 4 PRs. While I was thrilled with my two NRs, I was also extremely pleased with my 100 fly and 100 free. 100 IM was probably my worst event with that debacle on the start. Suffice to say, I am a fan of the lay on the couch for a week before your meet taper! I may re-think future tapers somewhat. I had thought it was not ideal to be out of the water the week before a meet. I was only in the water 3 of 8 days before the meet, but it seemed to have little ill effect.
I don't feel quite as exhausted and sore as usual after a two day meet, but I may be still on a high! It is very cool having the NRs in all four 50s. As a bonus, my NR in the 100 backstroke survived the meet!
Updated December 12th, 2012 at 12:11 PM by The Fortress
I am really happy with today's events, especially considering I was only in the water 3 out of the last 8 days before the meet. Minor glitches in every race, as there so often are, but I seemed to do better as the day went on.
100 IM, 1:12.2
My first big mistake right off the bat. I dove in and my hands separated on the dive with my left arm going down to my waist. I'm not sure this has ever happened to me on a start in a meet ... not at BU anyway. The same thing had happened to me earlier in warm up. So I spent some time wondering if I had been DQ'd, though this must be virtually impossible for officials to see. It certainly made me slower and took away my best weapon (my start and initial SDK). I soldiered on. Didn't feel that great on the last length. Last year, I was 1:11.99 here. I almost certainly would have been faster without that initial mishap, so was pleased with the end result especially given the stomach issues of the week. And it is still my 3rd fastest time of my masters career.
50 free, 27.91, PR, NR
My free felt very good in warm up, so I was optimistic, just a bit spooked about the start. Oddly, I was not really set on the start. I thought the starter said "stand," but quickly saw that he had not and got back down only an instant before the gun went off. I'm not sure the miscue hindered me as I still got off the blocks faster than the adjacent lanes. Definitely took a good look at the wall, , and without thinking took a breath quickly off the turn. I usually take one half way on the second length. Happily, my mental error mattered not. I touched in my best time ever, faster than my B70 swims. This had been my focus event for the meet; I've done much more AFAP freestyle in practice this fall with my shoulder better. I was still really surprised and thrilled. As Ande would say, the NR was "soft" and woud eventually be broken. I am no less delighted. My first NR in a non-dolphin kick event!
100 fly, 1:09.3, PR
I went thought the usual mental process of whether I should scratch this event. . I was tired and happy after the 50 free. And was also wondering whether perhaps a sickness taper was good for 50s, but not so much for 100s. But everyone else seemed like they were dreading it too, so I had company. And I thoroughly surprised myself! This is .5 faster than my B70 time from 2009. Last year at this meet, I went a 1:11. The race went well except that I swallowed a huge mouthful of water going into my third turn. I didn't get as much air as I wanted and couldn't SDK as far as I normally do off that wall. I definitely died the last 15 meters despite going out in what I thought was easy speed. I was just shocked when I looked at the clock. Karlyn later told me I swam a "ballsy race" because I was a tad ahead of her at the 75. The truth is that I never saw her or even looked for her because I assumed, based on her times and seed that she'd beat me by several seconds in SCM. I guess I have learned to swim my own races. I was astonished to beat AJ Block, lanes away, who beat me in yards at nationals. For the third event swim of the day, this is fantastic for me. This time makes me much more excited to do this race in yards! More easy speed or ultra fly in practice.
A nice dinner after with fellow bloggers SwimStud, Mike and Tim and drinks at the hotel with Stud. Stud gets kudos for helping into my uncomfortable Arena closed back suit. I switched into an open back suit during my 2.5+ hour break before 100 fly and was much more comfy. Hoping for a little shut eye. But my hotel room is very warm. Who woud think I'd have to open my window in Dec. in Boston?!
I think I will scratch the 100 free fairly early tomorrow. Don't need to do a split request and would rather swim the 100, if I want to, at the end of the meet in the 200 rather than before the 50 back.
Updated December 8th, 2012 at 11:28 PM by The Fortress
The SCM Festival was festive! First off, I have to note that this may be the least rest I've ever had for a meet. I did a weight + sprint double on Tuesday and rested 3 days. My legs felt decidedly un-fresh. Plus, I swam all 5 events, no scratches, for the first time in years. I am extremely pleased with the results.
50 breast, 38.2
Fast start; good length UW. I had a bit of a glide into the turn which killed some momentum. But otherwise a solid swim for a fake evilstroker. This is the same time I did last year at BU fully tapered, though I've been training better this fall. Teen Fort, the family evilstroker, said my stroke was "ugly." Well, yes, I just power through it.
200 mixed medley relay (160-199), 2:03.5, 1st (split request for 50 back, 30.6)
I swam the backstroke leg on the relay and went 30.6. Coach Cheryl said I flat backed the start and I could feel that. And unaccustomed to SCM flags on backstroke, I had a slightly glidey turn and very glidey finish, should have taken an extra stroke. Teen Fort claimed I killed her "sexy relay start." I was expecting possibly a second slower, so was thrilled with this time! It's only .1 off my WR. Definitely faster than the 27.8 I swam at the Sprint Classic even with the glidey bits. I put in a split request, so if anything goes awry in Boston, I have a speedy time for the year. This was my best swim of the meet, for sure.
This same relay time was #1 in the nation last year, so I think we'll stack up fairly well. Legs hurting after ... Spending 3/4 of the race UW does take a toll.
100 breast, 1:24+
This is my virgin 100 breast in SCM. It only took me 8 years of masters swimming to make the attempt. I may not have except that I had a third SCM meet this year. The race seemed to go pretty well until the last half length when my body suddenly felt paralytic and I limped to the wall. Speedo could tell from the stands I had nuthin at the end. Still, I am super happy with this time; it would have been FINA TT last year. I honestly thought I'd go my entry time of 1:27 based on my 1:29 in long course. At this juncture, my body was thinking it might be done having swum the usual 3 events. But onward. I had a fairly decent break before the next relay and had a cup of coffee. Teen Fort has not yet learned the wonders of coffee. I'm predicting college will change that.
Mixed 200 free relay (160-199), 1:52+, 1st
Coach Cheryl had us swim fastest to slowest, telling Teen Fort (who was reluctantly anchoring) that she "had her reasons." Certainly, it's easier to swim with clear water. This turned out to be a great race. Speedo led off with a blazing 25.1 -- proving that his extended taper was spot on. Teen Fort had to hold off a fast closing speedy guy. I wasn't sure she could do it, but she claimed the win for us by less than .1. I shocked myself by splitting a 27.8 with an ultra flat splatty start. I took an extra breath on the first 25 and my legs felt tiiiired, though Speedo confirmed I was, in fact, kicking hard. I did peek at the wall this time and felt like I had a very good turn and breakout. Psyched to swim this event tapered! I might have two chances at NE Champs.
We should be in the mix on this relay too.
400 medley relay (160-199), 4:42, 1st
I'm not sure anyone was looking forward to this relay besides Teen Fort. Well, Speedo pretended to get fired up. I had guesttimated to Coach Cheryl a couple days ago that I would likely go a 1:13 split as the 5th event of the day. I took it out very cautiously, could not stay under as long as usual due to leg fatigue and clocked in at 1:12. It was just a workmanlike-workout effort. Teen Fort thought I was completely loafing. Ah, the conceit of youth. They don't understand the effect of 5 events on an unrested drop dead 50+ sprinter. Speedo had a blazing anchor leg (55) on the end, closely after having thrown down a 29 in the 50 back. It may have helped that the computers went completely on the fritz during the event preceeding the relay, causing a mini delay of meet.
Complete failure to warm down after this event.
All in all, it was an extremely good meet. My relay mates were awesome, I clocked some good times and had the requisite post meet beer and protein. It was fantastic to see our teammate Bob Hansen back in the pool competing. I am now really ready for a nap or vegetation. Legs are screaming, the couch is beckoning and I'm getting hungry again. I need to train hard next week, but tomorrow may have to be a recovery day in the pool.
The Little Devil Roddin, who swam a beautiful 100 IM himself, reminded me that I really need to swim the 100 IM more. Yes, I do.
Speedo went on a pub crawl Saturday and then swam lights out today. What does this say about beer and swimming?
Teen Fort had a very good meet, especially after being sick for a week. She smoked me in the evil events, so can continue to mock my stroke. She woke up 5 minutes before we left the house after I had been up an hour. How does one wake up in 5 minutes?!
Updated November 18th, 2012 at 10:27 PM by The Fortress
Fantastic time had as per usual at this fun meet. I had a first half bad/second half very good meet.
50 free split in 100 free, epic fail
The starter held us forever ... Had a poor breakout but then motored along ... until .. I only got half of one foot on the wall and lost all momentum. I just cruised the rest of the length and hopped out. I was disappointed as I wanted to crank a fast 50, but I've never been a huge fan of bulkhead turns (though I've never screwed up this badly). I also think the 50 free is not a great first event. I seem to swim it better after I've gotten the cobwebs out. Live and learn, and crap happens. No big deal.
50 breast split in 100, 33.6
Meh. I got off the blocks very fast, but didn't have my best underwater and had to float to the surface. Then I was so preoccupied with the next pullout that I forgot to keep my head down. So the second 25 was icky. I know I can go faster.
Teen Fort was in the same heat. She insisted on taking her 100 out in 32.9 to make sure I did not think I was an evil stroker. She will likely make TT in that event based on last years rankings.
100 IM, NS
I decided to pause and regroup and refuel at this point. It also seemed more fun to swim the 50 back later next to my speedy friend Susan. Masters perogative. There was a break around this point and I hopped in and did a couple backstroke starts as I hadn't done any in warm up. Jazz Hands, who hasn't swum at all lately, hopped in and did an AFAP 50 from a push in a brief. Teen Fort got him at 23.3. His low volume approach seems to work for him!
Also video'd Teen Fort winning the 50 breast, where she declared she had a "sexy start." I think many PV folk were entertained having a very extroverted 18 year old on deck.
50 back, 27.8
I was hoping, ideally, to crank a high 27 and so was very happy with the time. Last year at the Sprint Classic, I went a 28.2. I took 15 & 16 kicks by 25 pursuant to the race plan. I was told I was right at 15m on the start and a foot short on the second 25. Teen Fort video'd this race for me. I heard her scream "Go Mom" before the start, which really made me smile.
Here's the vid:
I could have taken one more SDK on the second 25!
Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters, 1st, cumulative time of 52.21
Getting a bit tired by this point. So I was really shocked that I pulled off my four fastest 25s EVER during 8 years of competing in this event including with tech suits. I needed to go faster this year too bc there were some fast times thrown down by the other female sprinter beasts. I felt like I had great blasto fast off the blocks starts with good distance. My plyometric focus seems to have transformed my forward starts in the last year or so. They were such a glaring weakness for a few years.
25 fly, 1st
Last year 13.30. This year 12.30. WTH?! I must have messed up last year? I had a great start here, but a subpar breakout. Still, seems very quick.
25 back, 1st
Last year, 13.45. This year, 13.06. I totally flat backed the start. But still got away quickly and took my usual 15 kicks and stuck the finish.
25 breast, 2nd behind Teen Fort of course
Last year, 15.79. This year, 15.24. I had maybe my best start of the meet in this race. Teen Fort had to come from behind to preserve her family evil stroke domination. My stroke felt much better than in the previous 50. I will have to chant head down before future breaststroke races.
25 free, 1st:
Last year, 12.25. This year, 11.61. Another great start, a little glidey at the finish. I think this bodes well for a fast 50 free in the future. Well, assuming I can execute a flip turn.
So all in all a pretty good meet despite some early technical difficulties. I'm pleased to have this much speed early in the season.
More fun and beers had at Speedo's after party. I think my shoulders will feel mashed up later from all the starts. I may beg Mr. Fort for a back rub.
Storm coming. 70 MPH winds expected. I really really hope we don't lose power, but it seems likely. School is already cancelled Monday and Tuesday much to the delight of my kids.
Updated October 28th, 2012 at 09:45 PM by The Fortress
I woke up at 5:45 am today. This bears repeating. I, Leslie Livingston, woke up at 5:45 am today. I don't recall complaining about it either. I just made sure Jimby was awake and headed straight to the coffee machine. 20 minutes later Jazzy arrived and I was still guzzling caffeine and trying to eat something. Normally, I would never have considered journeying to a meet at this ungodly hour. But Jimby needed some succor and companionship in his quest to garner his first ever AA time in the 100 free. This was his third attempt at the event. Before this meet, he stood two hundredths of a second off Greg Shaw's time from Omaha. Who knew that a self described weak minded person had this much persistence?
Anyway, we made the hour plus trek to Baltimore without getting lost. I warmed up in the indoor short course meter pool. I saw no point in getting in the long course pool except to check out the backstroke blocks. Unfortunately, I checked the wrong end, the eight foot deep end, forgetting 50s start at the other end in long course. Just another reason long course sucks.
I hadn't entered 50 free, so happily had some time to continue to wake up. Jimby swam the 50 free and improved his time slightly. Plagued by elbow issues too, Jazz did a 50 flutter kick, posting a 41. This put the thought in my head that I would just kick a 50 back for time, not worrying about the 15 meter mark. Having only rested a couple days and swimming in an inferior pool, I figured I wouldn't be very close to my Omaha time.
So I wandered over to the correct end of the pool for 50s. Looked down, four feet at that end. WTF. I told Mollie Grover I would likely crash. Take your mark, crash. Well, maybe not a total crash, but an abrupt graze with a seemingly dead stop. I readjusted, went a few more feet and then grazed the bottom again. So much for people telling me I can train and compete in four feet deep pools ... But no matter! I persisted in my 50 kick for time. I went a little less than 3/4 of the pool underwater, maybe 40 kicks. I suspect I could have gone farther if I had not lost some momentum from the grazings or felt like pushing it more. Anyhoo, came up, noticeably slowing down flutter kicking on the surface, and touched in 35.2. This is less than 3 seconds slower than my Omaha time. So I'm thinking it's a decent 50 kick time -- especially given that the pool bit me twice. It would be fun to try it again in a deeper pool.
Oddly, very oddly, I was not DQ'd. At least no official approached me telling me I was DQ'd. Maybe they didn't see me? (Jazz video'd and said it was quite modernist with me missing for most of the vid.) I had planned to tell the referee that I would blast well past the 15 meter mark, but he was way down at the far end with the starter. I have never actually been at a meet where the starter was not at the start end ... These MD Series meets are, er, unique. But I really enjoyed both of them that I did this summer.
On to the 50 fly. Whoops, too busy chatting away with Jazz (about lifting) and Jimby and Skip (about various swimming topics). I saw my heat behind the blocks and didn't feel inclined to race over to try to make it. 50 breast was just minutes later anyway.
50 breast. Had kind of a sloppy entry, but otherwise everything seemed decent enough (who can really tell with this stroke?). I didn't really think about kicking hard until the last bit of the race. When one never does evil kick, one forgets to focus on it in a race ... Still, I went a 39.1, which is only .1 slower than Omaha. Not bad for no taper and doing weights earlier in the week. I like the 50 evil in long course. I am never tired afterward. This probably comes from not really using my legs much and getting to breath all the time. I was all ready for the 50 fly after that easy race.
But now it was time for Jimby's much anticipated 100 free, which I'm sure he'll blog about later, probably in a tldr format. He was simply masterly. Good start and breakout, a controlled first 50 and just hammered it home the second 50 with good tempo the whole way. He need to go faster than a 1:02.66 to claim the current fastest spot and he went a sizzling 1:01.4. Out to lunch after. Much fun had all around. Though I feel I should still do a speed workout tomorrow.
Determined to just have fun today, I broke out of my comfort zone and did 2 LCM 100s in 30 minutes. And I didn't even complain or mention the word "scratch." This must be some kind of record for me. Ha!
100 back, 1:15.9
Jeff Roddin and I were joking that the sun came out right before our heat. But that actually wasn't as bad as I feared and I managed to swim relatively straight according to Jimby. I tried to stay close to the lane line as Kirk suggested. I swam controlled for 75 meters and sprinted the last 25 where Jimby reported that I "noticeably" picked up my turnover. I held back slightly from a 100% effort b/c I actually wanted to swim the 100 breast later. (In the past, all out 100s have caused me to not walk much for an hour+. See Albatross meet last March.) The only negative part of the race was my start. Jimby said it was one of my worst ever. I wasn't set at the beep and flat backed my entry. I was next to Jeff and he just smoked me on the start & reaction time. He also threw down a very speedy 1:06. But I leaned back and still managed a decent UW. Did around 250 cool down after. This time will be #1 in the nation when results are reported. It could get knocked down with all the LCM meets left of course.
100 breast, 1:29.0
I only had about 30 minutes of rest including the warm down before attempting my first ever 100 LCM breast. I swam it 50 controlled, 25 build, 25 all out. Had the same problem on the start as I did at Nationals where I had to float to the surface after the pulldown. Good grief, long course 100s are long. I definitely like breaststroke better with walls. Still, I was surprised to break 1:30 coming off the 100 back. This time would have won Nationals in my age group and is #3 right now.
I'm really happy with these times, given my lack of long course training/sprint conditioning this summer and the fact that I was swimming outdoors. It was pretty hot today. I definitely prefer the controlled environment and ceilings of indoor pools. Quads are all tuckered out. Compression leggings later!
The UMBC pool wasn't too bad. Which is saying a lot after competing in the amazing Trials pool. The lane lines were a little funky and half submerged. Glad I opted for this meet over Hains Point.
Interesting note. Tha manual timing on both my races was .5 faster than the electronic timing. Seems like a big difference.
Updated July 15th, 2012 at 09:26 PM by The Fortress
50 back, 32.4, WR
Only one race on Sat, but it was my baby. Thrilled to break my own record and was somewhat surprised. I had a .60 reaction time but uncharacteristically botched the start a bit -- entered the water with my hands crossed instead of in a streamline. That's like a automatic break in the water and I was mentally letting out F bombs. Getting quickly into my SDK helped ameliorate this eror, but I know I lost a couple tenths here. The rest of the race felt good, good tempo and I even swam straight. My tempo slowed down a bit the last 10 meters, showing my lack of sprint conditioning. The only odd part of the race was that I felt like I had water flowing over my face the entire time making it difficult to see and breathe. Some of it was splash from my rapid fire turnover. But some felt unusual. Other backstrokers complained about this phenomenon. Don't know if it had anything to do with the current in the pool or what. If I didn't look that happy on the jumbotron (Water Rat commented on this), it was only because I was gasping for some air and sick of water in my face. 32.4 is my second fastest time ever. I had secretly hoped to be a bit faster, but there is always next time. That's the fate of sprinters -- any small deviation from perfection in the details costs you time. Still, the end result rocked!
There is a vid of this on my FB page. I need to figure out how to youtube it.
50 breast, 39.0, 2nd
Woohoo! I dropped 1.6 seconds from last year. What a shocker for me with only one little dolphin kick to get me through the race and no walls. I was really pleased when a couple breaststrokers commented that I looked like a legit evilstroker and was getting major forward progress from my undulation. A friend commented that I looked "like a dophin in the water." I guess my evil has improved this year from doing it in practice so frequently. The only technical difficulties were that I was under a tad too long on the start. After my pullout, I was not at the surface, so had to float up and hence was not ahead on the start. My stroke count was also off at the finish and I had to short stroke it to avoid a major glide into the wall. The remaining area that needs improvement is my whip kick. But I likely will just continue to fake and not work on that much.
50 fly, 30.4, under previous NR of 30.7
I knew going into this race that Lisa Dahl would be tough to beat. I'm not sure I've ever beat her in 50 fly LCM and she was on fire this meet. Kudos to her. My strategy was to go the entire first 15 meters underwater and try to hang on. I've never done that before on the 50, but thought it would save my arms. Very helpful that there was a marking at the bottom of the pool so I knew exactly when to breakout. As I knew would happen, I tightened up the last 5 meters. But the real problem was that I didn't hit the wall right. I was forced to glide in while Lisa slammed the wall. I think I lost on the last stroke; it was a Cavic-Phelps type situation. I thought I would be rather heartbroken about this. But, no, I was phlegmatic. You win some and you lose some in the world of sprinting. I believe 30.4 is my second best time and best textile time. (29.6 with the Jaked being my fastest ever from 2009). And 30.4 is vastly better than the 31.5 I swam last year at Auburn. I just needed more juice. Still, no one can be bummed about swimming under a Laura Val NR. And I believe only 1 person swam faster in the 40-49 age groups.
Thoughts on Omaha:
-- The pool and facility were fantastic. The arena setting meant ample seating. The warm down pool was fantastic with blocks in a couple sprint lanes to practice starts. And the jumbotron and cameras were pretty cool. There did seem to be a slight current in the pool. And you could often see ripples in the water, especially in the end lanes.
-- Much fun to be had hanging with friends, watching the racing and meeting some of my HIT peeps.
-- I am a short course swimmer. My best stroke is dolphin kick and long course deprives me of this weapon. My actual long course times are just flat out slower than my converted short course times.
-- I am really growing to hate the 15 meter rule. My dolphin kick has improved so much that I could maintain speed much further. Not that I'd like to go 50 meters UW, but I think 25 would be just dandy. I was bummed to have to come up in both fly and back this meet.
-- Because I am a kicker and turner, I MUST train long course to be at my best in long course. Long course feels like a different sport to me and there is a vastly bigger aerobic component. Not that I would need to do IG in practice, but the workouts I did after Greensboro did not prepare me adequately. And I was really negligent in not doing any lactate tolerance sets. I'm not sure about next long course season. There may always be a conflict between Lil Fort's track practices and NVSL meets and me training at Mason in the summer ... I'm not sure solo training at Rockville more often really would be enough either.
-- Greensboro and Omaha were just too close in time. I was uninspired for a few weeks after Greensboro and lost key training time. And I was never as sharp in May and June as I was from Jan to April in practice.
-- I did achieve my goal of swimming faster this year than last year at Auburn.
50 free: 29.6 --> 29.2
50 back: 32.5 --> 32.4
50 breast: 40.6 --> 39.0
50 fly: 31.5 --> 30.4
And I had been concerned that I wouldn't be able to do that after my last week of taper power outage hell. Looking at the times, I was definitely best on Sunday. Somewhat unusual for me. I felt out of sorts on Friday and better as the weekend progressed. I was even ready to do a 100 back when the meet ended. And I am contemplating going out to UMBC next weekend to pop one in on Sunday.
-- With the improvement in my breaststroke in the last year, I really feel like I am a four stroke swimmer now. Thank you fins and all those fast hand drills!
-- Overall, I give myself a B+. I would have given myself an A- if I hadn't scratched my 100 back split in the 200. But I was too tired to do it after 50 free and not mentally prepared. I should know never ever ever to sign up for back to back events at Nationals.
-- I got home at 3:00 am last night. Re-entry is apparently my 6th event.
-- Bring on short course! But not until I've goofed around for a while.
Updated July 9th, 2012 at 05:08 PM by The Fortress
50 free, 3rd, 29.29
Just swam the 50 free today. It felt rough and choppy, and I tightened up the second 25. But having not trained any sprint free, I didn't expect anything different. And I was pretty happy with the time. It equals my best textile suit time from some years ago. I've only gone sub 29 (3 x in Indy) with my B70. If the results from Worlds and Nats stand, this time will put me #4 in the FINA rankings. I'll take it!
I did not take the 100 back however. I was tired after 50 free and didn't have enough time to recover and wrap my brains around 4 lengths of the pool. I also don't feel great in the water. Last week's fiasco and missing a couple days in the pool definitely threw me off. But I still think 50 free was a good "get the cobwebs out swim.". And I'm psyched for 50 back today. I tried a couple more starts in the afternoon, which felt great. I'm using the higher bar and putting 1/3 of my feet out of the water. Love FINA walls for backstroke starts. I also got a quick massage to loosen up my back.
Forum/masters dinner tonight at Vivace if anyone wants to join!
Day 2: Rest
This was a super fun day! I had a blast watching the racing and filming friends' events. It was definitely the right call to scratch the early 100 IM. I had a decent night's sleep Friday night after several consecutive nights of insomnia had left me feeling fatigued and zombie like, and was able to rest and reboot for my focus events on Sunday. In fact, as I mull it over, planning a sleep in on the middle day of Nats might be an ideal future strategy for me for 3 day meets!
Scratching is underrated for the likes of us diva HIT sprinters. I did catch a bit of flack for this, which seems odd to me. So make no mistake about one thing: I am not a trained show pony. I will always do what I personally consider is the right course given my body, health and the circumstances.
I do see some future SCY 100s with my name on them. Though my times on Friday were solid, I know I underperformed and can go faster. I'll choose one of them to focus on for the Sprint Classic next October, which is always my first SCY meet.
Day 3: Boom!
50 fly, NR/PR, 26.31
Yowsa, that's fast! I couldn't believe it. This was my third sub 27 when I never thought I'd break 27 again. I executed fairly well. Most importantly, I hit my walls. I may have had a slightly slow reaction time, which is unusual, but I had a fantastic underwater and breakout on the first length -- maybe my best ever. I stayed under longer than I did at Zones. The second breakout was a bit choppier. And my last couple strokes were a bit slow as I lifted my head slightly to peak at the wall trying to time the finish right. Still so unbelievable psyched about the race. It was also the second fastest 50 fly of the meet.
There is a side angle video of the race (no youtube link) on my Facebook wall that Stud took. I think Speedo and Water Rat also filmed the race from above. So hopefully they'll upload it to youtube. Thanks for filming guys! Stud also contributed a huge save. I couldn't locate my Aqua V dome cap shortly before the race (probably left it in the warm up pool in another dumb blonde moment) and he ran off to purchase one for me. It is slightly different and fits better. So now I'll be a white head in all my videos.
Here's Water Rat's vid:
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLyWQkEwjVs"]Fort's NR 50 Fly at USMS Nats 2012 - YouTube[/nomedia]
I also got to meet Mike Sheaves, one of my HIT trainees immediately after the race. He gave me a big congratulatory hug and then swam his own PR. Very cool.
50 back: NR/PR, 27.24
Over the moon about this time too! Again, I had very very good execution. SDKs felt powerful, turnover fast, I came up just before the 15 m mark on the first 25 and hit the finish perfectly. The only slight flaws that I could detect were that I was somewhat flat on the start and could perhaps (not sure) have done one more kick before the second breakout. As with my 50 fly, this was the second fastest overall time of the meet. Honestly, though, of the two swims, I have to think this time is superior. I used to swim fly on our medley relays as a age grouper and my one year of college swimming, so I'm not sure that I've ever done a faster dead start 50 back. Training for fast SDKs is clearly the smartest thing I've done as a masters swimmer.
I haven't watched this race on video. But I think that Elaine and either Speedo or Water Rat filmed it.
So things started off a bit rough at nationals, but ended with a bang. 2 NRs and swam under the NR in the 100 back. Overall, I could not be happier with my SCY/SCM season to date. And I had a fantastic time at Nationals. Swim folk are simply the best. It was great fun watching the racing and seeing my friends and HIT trainees swim PRs, and then hitting the restaurants for beers and food. (I did eat red meat. )
I am still undecided on Omaha. If I go, I think it will just be for two days for the four 50s on Sat & Sun. I won't be able to do much long course training with an early July date.
As for this week, it's all recovery. I'm wiped. Kicking off the week with acupuncture this afternoon.
Records broken at Nats:
Updated May 1st, 2012 at 07:16 PM by The Fortress