View RSS Feed

Masters Swim Meets / Events

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

  1. Day 1, NE SCM Champs

    by , December 8th, 2012 at 11:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  2. SCM Meet Report, Sunday, Nov. 18

    by , November 18th, 2012 at 06:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  3. Sprint Classic Report, Oct. 29

    by , October 28th, 2012 at 07:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. NBAC Meet, Sunday, Sept. 9

    by , September 9th, 2012 at 04:56 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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.
  5. UMBC Meet, Sunday, July 15

    by , July 15th, 2012 at 04:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. Nats, Day 2 & 3, July 7-8

    by , July 9th, 2012 at 01:34 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  7. LCM Nats Day 1

    by , July 7th, 2012 at 11:45 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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!
  8. Rough to Great, Nats Day 2 & 3, April 29

    by , April 30th, 2012 at 01:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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=""]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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. Day 1, Mixed Bag

    by , April 27th, 2012 at 06:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Mixed bag on day one. No sleep last night, maybe 2 hours, and AF arrived this am. Disappointing start to the meet. The same thing happened at Auburn, where I swam fairly poorly. As a result, no power. That's how it goes sometimes. I've had a good season and there will be other nationals.

    100 fly, 1:02.2

    I was solidly in the lead at 15 meters after going 14.5 underwater. I tried to swim the race very conservatively to avoid a big piano. Splits 29.3/32.8. These are good for me. I really didn't die the last length much. Execution, meh. Breakouts mediocre and turns glidey. Still, I was perfectly happy with this time considering. It's my second best as a master, best without the floaty suits.

    100 back, 1:02.6

    I'm sure no one will be surprised I'm disappointed with this time. It's much slower than my coverted time from the Albatross meet. Legs were dead and I didn't execute well. My left foot slipped on the start and I flopped a bit, though I recovered pretty well and went about 14 meters underwater. And I couldn't stay underwater nearly as long as I did in the Albatross 100; my kick count was way off. Last time, 15/15/15/10; this time 14/12/10/7-8. No leg power. Not how I envisioned this race. Almost an even split, factoring in the start, which may partly be due to the slip. Out much slower than in March. But still it was slightly under the NR and my second best time after my Jaked swim in Atlantain 2010. . I'm sure I'll be more psyched about it later.


    The pool and facility are VERY nice. My only slight quibble is that the lanes were not very wide with the course set up as 10 lanes. They're wider at Mason. I grazed my hand on the lane line on the 100 fly.

    It was fantastic hanging out with everyone, meeting some new folks and watching the fast swimming!

    I am really hoping for some sleep tonight. I have some real accumulated sleep debt and feel cruddy. I think I'm scratching tomorrow and hopefully will feel better on Sunday. I think it is also possible, given my reduced cross training, that I'm slightly overtapered. Too many confounding factors to really know though. Peace love, swimming.

    Updated April 28th, 2012 at 12:14 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. Day 1, Mixed Bag

    by , April 27th, 2012 at 06:24 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Mixed bag on day one. No sleep last night and AF arrived this am. Disappointing start to the meet. The same thing happened at Auburn, where I swam fairly poorly. As a result, no power. That's how it goes sometimes.

    100 fly, 1:02.2

    I was solidly in the lead at 15 meters after going 14.5 underwater. I tried to swim the race very conservatively to avoid a big piano. Splits 29.3/32.8. These are good for me. I really didn't die the last length much. Execution, meh. Breakouts mediocre and turns glidey. Still, I was perfectly happy with this time considering. It's my second best as a master, best without the floaty suits.

    100 back, 1:02.6

    I'm sure no one will be surprised I'm disappointed with this time. It's much slower than my coverted time from the Albatross meet. Legs were dead and I didn't execute well. My left foot slipped on the start and I flopped a bit, though I recovered pretty well and went about 14 meters underwater. And I couldn't stay underwater nearly as long as I did in the Albatross 100; my kick count was way off. Last time, 15/15/15/10; this time 14/12/10/7-8. No leg power. Not how I envisioned this race. Almost an even split, factoring in the start, which may partly be due to the slip. Out much slower than in March. But still it was slightly under the NR and my second best time after my Jaked swim in Atlantain 2010. . I'm sure I'll be more psyched about it later.


    The pool and facility are VERY nice. My only slight quibble is that the lanes were not very wide with the course set up as 10 lanes. They're wider at Mason. I grazed my hand on the lane line on the 100 fly.

    It was fantastic hanging out with everyone, meeting some new folks and watching the fast swimming!

    I am really hoping for some sleep tonight. I have some real accumulated sleep debt and feel cruddy. I think I'm scratching tomorrow and hopefully will feel better on Sunday. I think it is also possible, given my reduced cross training, that I'm slightly overtapered. Too many confounding factors to really know though. Peace love, swimming.
  11. Zones, Day 2, April 15

    by , April 15th, 2012 at 06:46 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I woke up this am still tired and with a sore shoulder. I made two immediate decisions:

    1. I was scratching my individual events today. I had already decided not to swim the 100 IM, but added the 100 breast to the scrap heap as well. Nationals is 10 days away, I'm tired and there was no need to swim two 100s today. This is especially true since my shoulder/scapula aches after yesterday's sprints.

    2. I won't swim the 50 free at Nationals. It's my 6th event anyway. I would rather stand on the 25.31 that I swam yesterday and was happy with. This is currently #1 in the event rankings and would have been AA last year. It will likely get knocked down a couple notches or so at Nationals with the very fast new 50 year olds. But that's fine. Freestyle is a very shoulder driven stroke; with my straight arm technique, there is even more torque on the shoulder. If I'm not swimming free at nationals, I can stop doing fast or AFAP 25 frees in practice and save the wear and tear. This seems like a no brainer. Happily, my 25.31 is faster than the 25.99 I swam leading off a relay at Zones last year.

    So, I restricted my swims to two relays, going about 95% in each of them.

    Mixed 200 free relay

    Led off in 25.7 -- .4 worse than yesterday. I think it was mostly in the turn. I absolutely botched it. Pushed off way too deep and veered off to the side. My legs felt a bit like tassels as well. No matter, as I have the solid 25.31 time from yesterday. And our relay scored needed points. As I said yesterday, one year I would like to swim this race well rested. It always feels like a leftover after my other focus events or done on short rest.

    Women's 200 medley relay

    I swam the fly leg and split a 26.7. I was very pleased with this considering I was tired, went about 95% and took 3 breaths. (I only took 1 in the open race yesterday.)


    I was supremely happy all day with my decisions, and got to watch a lot of other good races I just need to be smart, not greedy in these circumstances. And I did get some excellent start and turn practice with my 5 x 50s at this meet.

    I do think the acupuncture & cupping helped last week as my shoulder/scapula felt pretty good on Friday. Right now, I am dreaming of ice, which I can't use with the PRP. But I have more body work scheduled this week. More importantly, I am shifting into major resting. Nothing more than a fast 25 or burst from here on out. My body is tired from months of HIT training and I need to rest rest rest and REST. I don't think I can get enough rest! And hopefully I can log some sleep.

    I am still on a high about my 50 fly yesterday. That totally made my weekend. I can't wait to see the video. I feel like I've had such a good season. I just hope I can rest up and get mentally prepared for Nationals now. I've been feeling beat up lately and need to harness some excitement for the big show. Nursing these long term injuries seems to zap my mental energy. Maybe a case of the taper b*tchies will help.

    I'm very proud of my Lil Fort. She ran a very fast 5K in Boston today on a hilly course by herself. (Previously, she's had Mr. Fort to pace her.) As for Mr. Fort, there is a heat advisory for the Boston Marathon tomorrow with a high of 90 expected. They are advising only the "most fit" to run and granting QT deferrals to run next year. Mr. Fort's training partner is abandoning hopes of PR-ing because he always cramps in heat. Mr. Fort is going to start out on pace and just see how he feels. It really sucks to train all that time and have ungodly heat in April, almost like getting sick for a taper meet or something.

    I didn't get to say goodbye to Chowmi as I had to hang around for the very last relay. It was fantastic to meet her! And she swam really well. Her 200 back was impressive and she had a lot left the last 50.

    I did get Speedo's 50 and 100 free, Jazz's 50 free and Chowmi's 50 free and will upload those shortly.

    Updated April 15th, 2012 at 08:46 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Zones, April 14

    by , April 15th, 2012 at 10:17 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    200 mixed medley relay, 26.5:

    We won the 18+ age group even with two geezers on the back half. I split a 26.5 on the fly leg. I was surprised by the split b/c I felt crummy in warm up (legs tired) and had horrible breakouts. (Jazz, Jimby and Pete all said it looked kinda crappy.) Not sure why the fatigue. I suppose it's partly due to the horrible sleep the last 10 days. It may also be allergies. My throat is sore and it's descending into my chest. Spring is tough for me, and I am hoping there's no downward spiral.

    50 fly, PR/NR, 26.63

    I had a couple hours before this event. Plenty of time to wake up some more and get mentally focused for the race. I wanted to execute better than on the relay, and I think I did. I felt like I had a quick start and my breakouts were clean. I probably could have stayed under longer on the second length. It was a fast heat with six women under 27.3. SwimShark filmed the race, and I will post the video later. I was extremely happy with the time, and so happy to get the NR now!!! 50 fly is the last day of Nationals, and I could be tired by then.

    Women's 200 free relay, 25.31 lead off:

    I only had about 20 minutes before the race, so I was still tired from fly. My diva sprinter body needs an hour+. I led off with a 25.31. Jazz said the race looked "tired." I felt a bit sloppy and inhaled a huge amount of water on my first breath. Still, that's a pretty solid time for me. I did put in a split request, and may rest on this time for the season. Maybe one season I'll work on this event. I can't remember the last time I swam it fresh.


    Today, I'm just swimming the 100 breast and 2 relays. I don't have a 100 IM in me. I'm not mentally into this meet with Nationals looming. My shoulder felt better Friday, but is sore this am from the free/fly sprinting.

    It was great hanging out with my visiting buddies and getting to meet Chowmi. She swam well in every event yesterday!

    Updated April 15th, 2012 at 07:46 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  13. Albatross SCM Meet Report, March 18

    by , March 18th, 2012 at 12:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Got a decent night's sleep and headed over to the pool around 1:00 pm. My houseguest, Jimby, showed no signs whatsoever of his previously reported malaise. And was fortified by my diva smoothie and eggs. Did about a 30 minute warm up and then hopped out early to don my new suit since I was in the first event.

    50 fly SCM, PR/NR/WR, 29.54

    Did this as a split request in the 100 fly so that I could swim it at the beginning rather than end of the meet. Very psyched and surprised by the time. My previous best was a 29.6 in a B70 back in 2009. Based on my 26.7 at Warrenton, I was secretly hoping that maybe, just maybe, I'd see a 29.99 if all went well. So I was thrilled to see this time. Particularly so, since (unlike Warrenton) my race execution was not great. I got off the blocks fast. But my breakouts were subpar: I lifted my head too much and decelerated slightly. I probably should have done one less kick. My walls were not ideal either. I glided a bit into the turn and had a major glide at the finish. I think this is just the difference between yards and meters. When I saw I was short of the wall, I did kick like crazy. Jimby videoed the race, so I'll upload it at some point. I was very fortunate, being in lane 1, that no one was swimming in the adjacent diving well. Only took one breath after the breakout on the second 25. This swim chopped .8 off my 30.35 WR set last December.

    100 SCM back, 1:08.85, PR/NR

    The starter held us a LONG time, the longest I've ever been held in a backstroke event. Everything went well in the race until the last 10 meters. I died the last bit (legs paralyzed) and had a HUGE glide into the finish. Definitely should have taken another stroke. This cost me a few tenths for sure. Splits were 32.5/36.2. So I got out after it. My underwaters were solid. I think I went 15/15/15/10 SDKs. I was right on the 15 meter mark at the start. A teammate in the stands said it was legal, but I was very close. This may mean that when I'm doing SDKs at 100 pace, I've got to stick with 14 at the start. Though I was slightly off the WR KPN set last week in France for her French team, I was still really pleased. I never thought I'd go a 1:08 and it is a new NR, beating my previous one from this meet last year. I remember the very first time I swam this event back in 2007 at this meet (next to Julie Roddin), I went a 1:15 with very few SDKs.

    50 free, NS

    Didn't get to swim this unfortunately. After my 100 back, which I swam around 5:30, I felt really sick for about 90 minutes. Nauseous and shaky and red faced. Couldn't warm down. First time that has ever happened to me at a meet. I think it was likely due to poor nutrition. I hadn't had anything to eat since noon except a few honey stinger chews after warm up. I probably needed more carbs in my system before ingesting coffee. Was likely too busy chatting and forgot. Need to keep better tabs on this in the future. I was sorry to bonk and miss this event since I was swimming well and had plenty of rest for it. But crap happens. It really did not in any way diminish my happiness with the other two swims.

    200+ year 200 SCM mixed medley relay:

    After another hour+ went by, I warmed down a bit and felt well enough to swim my team relay. Wolfy was watching and said I split a 29.5. I was surprised since I was tired (8:00 pm), paced the first 25 slightly, and took 3 breaths instead of one. I had better breakouts and walls though. I'll have to double check this split later when results are up. This is a good relay for our team. Last year in the 160-199 age group we were #2 in the nation. This year, with Speedo gone, our team captain anchored.


    Really happy with the times!!! Last year, I swam like crazy at this meet, but had a full 3 week taper. I did the same drop taper for this meet that I did before Warrenton. But since I only lifted once during this 3 week period, my body was pretty rested.

    And even though Nats is just around the corner, I glad I took this approach. I feel like I've knocked my 50 back and 50 fly in yards and meters way down, and they'll be untouchable for a little while at least!

    Now for a recovery swim if I can ever get Jimby out of bed. He finally arose at 11:30 bragging that he out slept my teenager. I slept very little last night, so it may take me a few days to catch up on sleep.

    Thanks to Patrick for writing this:

    Updated March 19th, 2012 at 12:03 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  14. Warrenton Meet, Surprise NR & PRs, March 4

    by , March 4th, 2012 at 04:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I swam out of my mind today. I'm so excited that I doubt I'll sleep a wink tonight!

    Woke up at the crack of dawn for me, 6:15 am, to make sure I was awake and caffeinated for the 50 minute drive out to the Warrenton meet. I was extremely relaxed since it was a local meet and I was just swimming 3 x 50. I had a solid warm up. I then headed to the locker room and ripped a tech suit all down the side. lol. I donned an old LZR Elite with small holes and very little leg compression left. However, I'm still thinking it's my lucky suit.

    50 Breast, 33.3

    Wow. I had been thinking, based on the 38.2 in SCM I swam tapered at NE Champs, that I might go a 34 high today. So this was much faster than expected. And I didn't have the best start. As happens sometimes, I was too deep on the start and was not at the surface after the pullout. I had to float to the top a little. My left heel also kicked air a couple times. (Probably a result of no whip kick in practice.) Still, I was very pleased with the time. Technically, it's a PR, beating a previous B70 best of 33.8. (I previously swam a 32.9 with a Jaked at Nats in 2010, but was DQ'd.) I may rest on this time for the SCY season. I'm not swimming 50 breast at Nationals b/c of the order of events. But this time would have been #2 last season.

    50 fly, PR, 26.79

    I felt like my race execution was right on. I had an exceedingly good start, very fast off the blocks and a great push. I had clean breakouts and hit my walls just right. I only took 1 breath after the breakout on the second 25 (pretty sure all other races I've taken 2). The only obvious flaw I could detect was that I grazed my right hand on the lane line twice on the second 25; the lanes in this pool are very narrow. My previous PR was a 27.0 from Feb. 2009 in a B70, so I was just shocked by the time! The NR in this event is 26.77, so I narrowly missed it by .02. But since I never expected to go under 27, ever, I was just thrilled.

    50 Back, PR & NR, 27.4

    All I can say is that I was absolutely dumbfounded when I looked at the clock, and had to stare at it several times. I basically killed the NR I set last October at the Sprint Classic of 28.23. I had a feeling I might be slightly faster today after my first two events. But I never expected to be this fast. Race execution was also near perfect -- so very rare. I had a quick start and was underwater (16 kicks) to the 14.75 mark. I was a little long going into the turn maybe, but Jeff Roddin said I flipped quickly. My arms were moving so fast and throwing up water that I had a tiny bit of trouble seeing the flags. I hit the finish well too with no glide. 8 strokes down & 11 back. My prior PR was a 27.9 from 2009 (then an NR) in a full body LZR so this was blazing for me. This may replace last year's 50 SCM back as the best swim of my masters career.

    Went out to lunch with friends after, which is always one of the nicest parts of meets!

    Unofficial meet results are here:
    (Attached are a couple pics from the meet director, one of me looking quite stunned.)



    On the drive home, I was thinking about how I popped off those times right now. I decided:

    1. Jan & Feb may have been two of my best months -- ever -- of training. 5 swims most weeks with a ton of hard speed workouts. No question I've been training at a much higher level than last summer & fall. Part of this is due to being healthy with thyroid issues in the past.

    2. I was pretty rested for this meet. Looking back at my blog, I basically rested 9 days. I backed off a few days earlier than planned when I started feeling overly fatigued from training. Plus, I rested more than I normally would have this week when I felt a cold coming on.

    3. I was very relaxed because this is a low key local in season meet (though the pool is quite fast). Being relaxed with no expectations certainly makes a meet more enjoyable. But sometimes I also think it helps you swim/sprint faster. I also seem to do well/better at meets that don't require travel.

    4. Less is more wrt events. I had signed up for the 50 free. But with only 20 minutes or less after that until 50 fly, I decided to scratch. Jazz Hands was a bit tired on his 50 fly. So I definitely did the right thing.

    5. The Speedo concoction of strong heavily sugared coffee seems to work for me.

    6. Good execution. So very rare indeed when things go just right. Since I never practice starts, I was psyched to nail my fly start.

    Updated March 7th, 2012 at 11:25 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	421118_402626713096123_115488881809909_5393776_1617413541_n.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	107.6 KB 
ID:	6802   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	417336_402626673096127_115488881809909_5393775_2088559942_n.jpg 
Views:	205 
Size:	83.1 KB 
ID:	6803  
  15. NE Champs, Day 2, Dec. 11

    by , December 12th, 2011 at 12:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had decided to scratch the 200 IM, so was able to grab a bit more sleep and take my time getting to the pool. Good thing because the Starbucks across from my hotel was closed -- what?!?! Got in a decent warm up in the diving well and was ready to go. Tired, but ready to go. (BTW, I have no idea how mid-D or D types do any pace work in the crowded warm up pools at big meets.)

    50 fly, 30.35

    This time was under my WR from last March of 30.5. So I was thrilled! Fly felt good until the last few strokes where my arms really felt the meet fatigue. And it was technically fairly solid. I got off the blocks FAST. I didn't get max distance, but I could tell my reaction time was great and I had a clean entry. Only flaw was not pushing off deep enough on the turn. I had one dolphin kick on the surface as a result. Took one more breath than usual on the last length, but it helped me spot the wall and finish well. I guess all those fast 50 flys for time I've been doing in practice paid off.

    But there was no time to celebrate! I had 20 minutes until my next race. I swam down around 250 and when I emerged, they were already on heat 2 of the women's 100 free ...

    50 free, 28.53 (split in 100 free):

    My body was screaming with lactic acid build up behind the blocks. I really would have liked an hour off to rest and get in the correct mental state of mind for this race. Instead, all I was thinking was "I can't wait until this race is over." I had a decent start, not as fast as in fly. Again, the race was technically pretty solid with the exception that my right arm was caught underwater sightly on the breakout after the turn. I may have taken an extra breath on the second length too; I can't really remember. It also felt like I was dragging my legs. Stud video'd the race for me though, and it didn't look nearly as bad as it felt. Maybe the legs were on autopilot. I was very surprised and happy to see that time on the wall. I was fearful it would be a second slower. And this time is only .3 off my B70 PR. I then caused a minor delay of meet as I took 1:00+ to swim my second 50 of the 100.

    I was beyond happy that I had already logged a 100 back time this year as that was the last event of the meet. And I had no more 100s in me.


    Overall, this was a great meet for me even with a slightly shorter taper. Much better than Auburn, I think. But of course SCM is more my natural milieu and my favorite course. As the event rankings stand now, I have the fastest time in all 4 50s (and 2 100s) -- something I never expected!!!

    My elbows don't really feel any worse for wear after a long weekend of sprinting. But they still hurt when I try to lift things, so I will continue to avoid upper body weights for awhile. Probably won't get to the pool today. I have stuff to do with Lil Fort. I'm so proud of her -- she ran her first 8K this weekend and sent me a text saying it was "very fun."


    Updated December 12th, 2011 at 04:29 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  16. NE SCM Champs

    by , December 10th, 2011 at 10:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Today went very well -- better than I expected! My elbows didn't feel great hoisting bags in and out of airports yesterday and I had another ill-timed affliction that the ladies will understand.

    100 IM: 1:11.99

    This is my second fastest time as a master; my prior best (1:11.5) was in a B70 a couple years ago. Did not have a great start. The starter was very quick and I didn't have my hands together in a streamline entering the water. Had a very good first 50, with 14 SDKs on the backstroke leg (nose clip). Breast leg was OK, but I felt virtually paralyzed on the last 25. Still very pleased with the time. It was only .3 off the NR, and faster than my last time from yards (converted). May give it another go in March.

    I could barely walk to the warm down pool after ...

    100 fly: 1:11.3

    As usual, I had thoughts of scratching. But I tried to comfort myself with the fact that there were walls instead of the virtual open water of long course. I had a much better start, and was very close to the 15 meter mark. I really did try to go very slow on the first 50 -- 32.8. Lol I just don't have a slower gear. Predictably died the last half of the final 25. Still the time was just a bit slower than last year when I swam 100 fly first, and I'll take it. And won't swim it again until next December!

    50 free, NS

    Too tired after the 100 fly and not enough rest. Will do it as a split tomorrow.

    50 breast, 38.22

    So glad I passed on the 50 free because this is a very fast time for me. Last year, I went a 38.9 in SCM and this is 2 seconds faster than I swam at Auburn in long course. I had a very good start and long pull out. I was very tickled to see that this is the fastest time in the event rankings. Just keeping it real, though, a friend told me I had terrible head position and should swim with a whiffle ball. She's right of course, but I'm still stoked by the time!


    Pretty darn happy with this day after an up and down Fall. Tomorrow I just have the 50 fly and 50 free. I'm not going to do a fly split in the 200 IM. I'm opting to conserve energy and hope for a good start in the open 50. My fly felt fast today, so hopefully I can crank out a good one tomorrow. Hoping I can get some sleep, but I had some caffeine this afternoon.

    Had a great time meeting forum friends and seeing other friends!!! That always makes a meet more fun.

    Updated December 11th, 2011 at 01:31 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  17. Sprint Classic Results, Oct. 30

    by , October 30th, 2011 at 09:59 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    50 back, 28.23:

    My only goal for the meet was to break the national record in the 50 back, which was 28.7. Happy to have that in the bag!

    The 28.2 was .1 slower than I swam at this meet last year. I looked back at my comments and see that I swam a near perfect race last year. Today, not so. Flat-ish start (took a few kicks to get up to speed) and two iffy breakouts (confirmed by Speedo & Josh). Definitely felt some racing rust. But this does not bother me unduly because it means I have room for improvement later in the year!

    Because my execution was off, I decided to scratch the 50 fly and swim the 50 back again in my 100 ...

    Second 50 back, 28.4:

    ... but when I found myself behind the blocks I was strangely un-excited for a re-do. Subpar breakouts again and I was only under 14 m + 12 m, a bit short for me. Still, this swim was under the NR too.

    Battle of the True Drop Dead Sprinters:

    Fastest woman and man determined by the aggregate time of the 25s. Using an aggregate is generally advantageous for me because I can hammer out a good 25 back to get a starting edge. After a goodish rest, I actually felt a bit more awake and psyched to race. And I grabbed a nice USMS tech shirt as a prize!

    25 back
    Last year: 13.3
    This year: 13.4

    25 breast:
    Last year, 16.5.
    This year, 15.7.

    Boom! This .8 improvement was due completely to the fact that I had a great start -- fast off the blocks, clean entry and great distance. My breakout wasn't the best as I had to jerk up my head to get to the surface.

    25 fly::

    Last year, 12.6.
    This year 13.0 with a long glidey finish. Decent start.

    25 free:

    Last year: 12.2
    This year: 12.2.
    My usual shallow start.

    Aggregate time:

    Last year: 54.6
    This year: 54.5
    Right on the same time in my dotage.



    1. Really happy to get the NR right outta the box this season. Mission accomplished and can happily soldier on.

    2. I felt slightly discombobulated and choppy in the water. I'm thinking that's due to being sick for a good bit, and out of the water. I basically was forced to do a short drop taper, which would not have been my choice. I also felt slightly "off" racing mid morning. I always swim better in the afternoon, which is when I practice generally.

    3. Though I did my usual warm up, I didn't have that "firing on all cylinders" feeling for my first race. I'm wondering if I need to do more speed work in warm up when I race in the am? Jazz mentioned he did a 50 @ 90-95% in warm up. Or, more likely, maybe it's just rare to feel that way.

    4. Dropping .8 in the 25 breaststroke by nailing the start really underscored that I am under-performing in my 50 fly and 50 free with subpar forward starts. But the only away to improve starts is by practicing them -- always a thorn in my side.

    Definitely going to yoga tomorrow as I'm sure I'll be sore!

    Speedo posted some fast times. Jazz threw down a fast 50 free as well. I video'd this with my iPhone. Will upload later.

    Updated October 31st, 2011 at 12:36 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  18. Day 3 Nats, Aug. 6

    by , August 7th, 2011 at 10:49 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Finally back from a fun time in Auburn. Just a quickie blog. I'll do a recap and analysis tomorrow.

    100 back, NS:

    I woke up and decided not to swim it -- I was feeling pretty beat from the meet and tired from the usual "meet sleep" syndrome. I might have swum it if it were after the 50 free, but it wasn't. And I did not feel like a potential repeat of the 100 fly or a second bad decision. That is not to say that would have happened -- it's backstroke after all -- but I wasn't in the mood for a long course 100 going into my third day of nationals. No big deal -- I will do it in 2 weeks and try to claim the AA.

    50 free, 2nd, 29.6:

    This time is pretty good for me, given that this was my most poorly executed race in terms of the fine details. I apparently wasted my best starts on the 50/100 fly. lol. This time, I got off the block slow and did not go in through the "hole." Rather, I slapped my legs on the water and had a subpar breakout. I came up behind on the start, which rarely happens to me. And -- ouch!!! My arms and legs were screaming at me with fatigue. Water Rat told me that I had a fast turnover. I also miscalculated on the finish just a bit; I had trouble picking up the bulkhead on all my finishes. I should have glided in hard with my left hand, but instead took a short stroke. That may have cost me the win.

    With these miscues on the start and turn, 29.6 seems pretty good. I perhaps could have gone a few tenths faster without them. Unlike my 50 fly, this time was at least faster than my personal worst of 30.0 last summer. I know some (Jazz, Ahelee, for example) think I can go faster. I think I can too -- if I focus more on freestyle and sprint endurance. But this may have been the fastest I could go with this summer's training and not feeling very fresh before the race. I am also having a bit of tough time telling how much of my slow down from Indy 2009 (when I was mid 28) is due to suits and how much is due to a lack of LC/sprint endurance training. With the current data points, the lack of tech suits does seem to effect me more in LC than SC.



    It still hasn't really sunk in that I got the WR in the 50 back! I really couldn't be more thrilled with the time and the race. And I suspect in the days to come I will be really grateful that I achieved that given this summer's training circumstances.

    I have glanced at the Terrapin Cup schedule. It is an am meet, which is trickier for me, especially as it's a hike to U of Md. But I tentatively plan to swim the 200 back on Saturday for a 100 split and the 50 fly on Sunday. The idea of doing only one event per day is very appealing to me! I see that the 200 back is positive check in. Hmm ... I want to cruise in late, so may have to ask if someone can check me in. I'm feeling much more excited about swimming the 100 back then than I was yesterday! Now I have to mull over how to train next week.
  19. WR Rebound, Day 2 Nats

    by , August 6th, 2011 at 12:16 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 2 started off a little rough, but ended with an unexpected bang. As Geek said, the next race could be your best race.

    50 fly, 1st, 31.5:

    I was quite tired when I got to the pool and warmed up. I kept telling myself to go for the win and not worry about my time. I did win and my time was mediocre. My stroke felt somewhat choppy and I tightened up the entire last 10 meters. The last 3 strokes were dreadful. My back foot also slipped on the start and I didn't get the best push off. If I couldn't SDK, I would have been dead in the water. I was also slightly
    deep on my breakout. These errors and my general lack of long course conditioning may have cost me up to second. Plenty of room for improvement.

    I haven't checked, but I think this might be the slowest I've swum in 4 years? Fortunately, not another personal worst. I swam this event two years ago and almost 2 seconds faster in Indy. Then, I had a Jaked and had swum long course with my team and a lot of 50 flys in practice. If I want to train SCY for a fast 50 fly long course, with my kicks, I'd need to do more 100s in
    practice. I actually enjoy practicing long course
    as a breather from all the turns in short course, so I'm hoping to swim more with my team next summer.

    I was interviewed by the gregarious and ebullient Misty Hyman moments after stepping out of the pool. I now have no recollection of almost anything I said. Lol. But I recall one grave error. I said I love my masters swimming friends, which I do!, but I forgot to mention how much I love being able to train like a sprinter and compete in 50s -- something I never got to do as
    a kid. I also looked like a complete dork with
    the vicious goggle marks on my head. (I tighten my goggles for races after having had issues in the past.

    50 back, 1st place, new WR 32.5
    Previous record from 2002 32.8

    After a somewhat mediocre 50 fly, I didn't have high hopes for my 50 back. Again, the goal was just to win. Based on fly, I expected to swiim a high 33 or so. That's about what I went last summer with not the best training. I sat around for what seemed like forever, though I loved watching the racing from the view in the bleachers. But after the rest and a cup of
    coffee, I didn't feel quite as weary. About 25-30 minutes before my race, I hopped in the pool and swam 100 with burst dolphin. Then, I basically hoped for the best. Though I'm always very fidgety before my races -- sprinter mojo -- it was the most relaxed I'd been at the meet.

    And then we were off! I had my trademark start. Good reaction time, not too deep, and high cycles SDKs to the 14.9 meter mark. . Not entirely sure, but I had a pretty big lead at this point -- maybe 3/4 to a body length lead. If you can do this, no one can catch you in a 50! Then I basically channelled Tancock. I had a very high stroke rate -- I almost felt like I was spinning at times. But, happily, I didn't die much the last ten meters as I expected. Whew! My finish was not stellar; basically whacked my hand at the top of the touchpad. But I didn't want to glide. I feel like it could have been smoother, but I havent swum that much straight backstroke in the mini pool.

    I was extremely happy to look up and see that time! Much better swim than my 50 fly. Wally Dicks said I was "bookin'.". Rob Butcher asked how on earth I can dolphin kick like that. (The answer is of course that you must train sprint dolphin kick.) So I was thrilled! And unexpectedly so. That swim made my meet; tomorrow doesn't matter much to me; this was my chief goal this summer. This was my second fastest time as a masters swimmer, second to my swim in Indy. But this is my fastest textile
    suit swim by almost a second.


    Now as to tomorrow, I'm signed up for 100 back and 50 free. I'm not sure I want to swim the 100 back. I don't want a repeat of my 100 fly disaster and I'm pretty sure it would compromise my 50 free. I want to see when it's offered at the Terrapin Cup. If the 50 fly is Saturday (yes, I'm trying again!) and the 100 bsckstroke is Sunday, it might make sense to save it for then. On the other hand, I don't be essrily want to give up a chance to swim for National championship. I could always redo the 50 free later too. I'll see how I feel in the am.

    They're telling us to add an extra half hour to get to the pool tomorrow am because of graduation ceremonies at 10 and 1. If this means 30 minutes of walking from a parking space, that could decide the matter.

    The only sour note of the day is that someone apparently stole my iPhone after my 50 back. . I checked at lost and found and it wasn't there. I'll check again tomorrow. But it sucks that a masters swimmer could do that.

    Updated August 6th, 2011 at 12:48 AM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. Day 1 Nats

    by , August 4th, 2011 at 10:36 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Not my favorite day of competitive swimming. Racing is supposed to be fun, and it wasn't much fun today. I should have listened to my own instincts and scratched the 100 fly. Live and learn! Better to have made that mistake somewhere besides Nationals though.

    50 breast, 3rd, 40.6:

    This was pretty good for me. It's 1.2 seconds faster than I swam last summer. Ahelee thought I should be under 40, but without a wall, that's tough for me. It is a masters PR, though I've only swum this race three times. Still!

    Allen Stark gave me lots of good feedback. I was a bit too deep on the start and should have pulled up on the pulldown. Lack of block practice, I'm sure, accounts for this mistake. I also wasn't recovering quickly enough and dropping my elbows some. Oddly, he remarked that my kick looked good. Puzzling since I never kick. Ahelee watched too, and said I didn't look
    like myself.

    100 fly, 3rd, 1:17

    I hate the 100 fly long course, and this was my worst experience ever. No way to sugar coat it. I should have scratched. I've been training SCY all summer, and was ill prepared for a 100 fly long course. I usually kick 45 meters of a SCY 100, so I'm actually swimming only 50 yards or so. I am just not in shape for swimming 75 meters of fly. I know many believe that you can train SCY for LCM. But not the way I train yards. Allen Stark suggested not pushing off walls when I train SCY. I would rather have just been able to train with my team.

    Usually in this event, I die the last 10-15 meters. Today it was the whole last 25 meters; the arms just stopped moving. No wonder nobody in my
    age group wanted to swim this event! I also tried to breathe more then usual and use easy speed. But that effort just ruined my usual stroke and I was going up and down too much.

    The only good part --- I had a great start and a nice lead at the 15 meter mark. I almost overshot it, and thought perhaps I had when I didn't see the white marker. I was told I was just past 14 meters.

    Unfortunately, I was really dead after, especially my legs, and I'm somewhat worried it will hurt
    tomorrow's 50s. I know Allen scratched to save his legs gor his focus event. I did get a short massage, so perhaps that will help.


    So not a great start with a personal worst. I don't even care about my times tomorrow. I'm just going for the wins. Knowing me, I will wake up with a F*ck It attitude and swim pretty well. If not, I will reboot and re swim the 50 fly and back at the Terrapin Cup. I am, however, permanently retired from the 100 fly long course. It's not worth the angst or the piano. I love fly, but not that event anymore.

    I did see some fabulous swims by other forumites -- Chris, Ahelee, Kurt, etc. Congrats to them!

    Updated August 6th, 2011 at 03:02 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast