Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
I returned home to an intense onslaught of demands, frenzy and servicing. Yeesh! Can't I just lay on the couch and recover? So, before I rush off to the next kid pick up and feeding, here are my thoughts in random order.
1. Meet Performance:
Felt like I had a pretty good, but not perfect meet. Traveling is always tiring for me, and I had an rather trying first travel day with GPS failures and whatnot. And the first night, I had an engineer in my hotel room at midnight fixing my phone and alarm clock so I could get up in the am. You don't need little things like this to go wrong when you're trying to power down and get some sleep.
Anyway, I was happy with all the swims except the 100 back. Though I felt like I brushed off that disappointment pretty quickly and moved on. My 50 back split on Thursday was OK.
I'm not sure it was the best decision to start fighting the sleep issue with meds 2 weeks before Nats (but I did because of #6 below). The medication I was taking made me groggy in the morning. I gave it up after Friday on Dr. Allen Stark's (aka Mr. Breaststroke) sage advice, and felt better the last two days of the meet. Didn't sleep much, but then that is SOP for me at meets. It seems to be that way for many others as well. My doctor did confirm today that the sleep medication I was on can cause muscle tightness and cramping. He coulda told me! lol Anyway, I'm going to try something else for awhile because of these adverse side effects.
I held up pretty well over 4 days, which surprised me. I'm usually just gassed after 2. That was probably due to swimming a minimal number of events each day and nothing too long. I got a 30 minute massage after Relay day which probably helped too.
But overall, with PBs in my 50s, being very close to two WRs, and some great relays, I felt like I did pretty well. I'm cautiously hopeful that my 50 back will remain in the #1 position this time in USMS and FINA. We'll see ...
In general, I have to say national meets are a bit too long for me. Except for being able to see friends (which is huge and amazing and pure fun!), I prefer the 1-2 day meet format. It's a huge burden on my family to be gone so long and it takes a toll on me too. But masters swimming isn't just about times or maximizing performance.
2. Relay Day:
Seems somewhat controversial. I had a really great time that day with my teammates. Got to swim with friends and there was a lot of camraderie and cheering. I got so hoarse my voice starting morphing into Ahelee's!
I think having Relay Day stuck in the middle of the meet, as some have commented, took some bite out of the Sunday events though. It's hard to know how much. I guess I'd prefer to have it the last day of the meet. Then, those swimming with their teams can have at it and those without teams can leave early and save some dollars. (Having a meet where you arrive on Tues or Wed and leave on Monday is kinda pricey to say the least!) It doesn't really appeal to me to have 1-2 relays at the end of each day, as the wimpy sprinter in my finds that exhausting.
3. Taper Execution:
So glad I did RC work during taper this time! My gimpy shoulder held up fine during the meet and doesn't feel too poorly right now either. In fact, I'm not terribly sore -- just very tired.
I did weights a bit longer than usual into taper this time as well. That didn't seem to hurt. And I wonder if the tapering of the weights and adding explosive weights helped some?
I did feel like I overdid it on one day -- the Sunday before leaving for Nats on Wed. I did too many backstroke starts that day, leaving me tired for two days. I won't do this again right before a big meet.
(My backstroke starts in general were a bit erratic as Chris' DQ and the 15 meter mark preyed on my mind some. My start is a huge edge or me, so I need to get the kicks down as well as I can. In all three backstroke starts I did, I had a body length lead on the field at the breakout. Lisa Dahl literally corralled me in the warm down pool and asked what I was doing for this.)
4. Comparison to 50s in 2008:
2008 = 31.1
2009 = 29.7*
1.4 second improvement
2008 = 33.4
2009 = 31.9
1.5 second improvement
2008 = 29.2
2009 = 28.5
.7 second improvement
* = only swim done in a Jaked as opposed to a B70. At the Terappin Cup meet in June, on shorter rest and after a LZR blow out, I swam a B70 clad 30.7 in the 50 fly. But I was rather dim spirited for that.
I guess since almost all of these times were done in B70s, Jim can't very credibly attribute the improvement to the suit.
5. Jaked vs. B70
My experience with the Jaked: meh. It seemed very similar to the B70 to me except less comfortable. This could be because my B70 is somewhat older and stretched out.
I did swim an extremely fast 50 fly in the Jaked. I'm not sure how much of an edge that gave me over the B70. My other two swims in the Jaked were the 50/200 back and the 50 free. In both these swims, I was slower than the 50 back and 50 free I swam with my B70. I did get relatively poorer starts in the swims with my Jaked so that could explain some of the lack of differential. Some could likewise attributable to fatigue -- e.g., I was more tired for my 50 free on Sunday than for the two leadoff legs in the relays on Saturday. Still, the Jaked was no magic pill for me. I'll continue to use it of course. Not sure where yet!
6. Extra Stress
I've also been under some additional stress/anxiety because of a health issue with Mr. Fort. He recently had abnormal blood test results and an abnormal bone marrow reading on an MRI. His doctor suspects myelodysplasia. There is really nothing good to say about this rare illness. We are seeing an oncologist on Thursday and he will likely need a bone marrow biopsy. He has had odd blood readings in the past and the abnormal bone marrow reading could be from trauma from his prior hip injury, so we're hoping for the best. And this is a man who biked 70 miles 10 days after getting 20 stitches in the calf muscle ... Still, this news, to say the least, has been upsetting and unsettling. I didn't say anything about it before Nats, and thought about canceling. But Mr. Fort really urged me to go since I had trained so hard. I felt very fortunate to see and be surrounded by such good friends while I was there! I miss my Indy peeps already!
I uploaded 80 or so photos to FB. I'm at my limit for photos here on USMS so you will have to go to FB to see the shots of forumites and friends. I thought my 50 fly video was on my camera, but it is not. Both Paul Wolf and Jimby filmed my 50 back, so hopefully I will get a link soon. One of Jimby's friends, a professional photographer, also took some shots of my 50 back that looked fabulous. He said he would email them to me. I can't wait to see them!
Updated August 11th, 2009 at 11:19 PM by The Fortress
About to hop on a plane home, so just a quick-ish report. I'll post more analysis and thoughts later.
Sunday's events were the 50 free and 50 back. I was glad the 50 free was first to "get the cobwebs out." I was definitely tired after relay day and another poor night's sleep, but not unreasonably so during warm up.
50 free: 28.6, 3rd place
Last year, went 29.3 at a USA meet with some rest in my B70. Yesterday, I went 28.7 and 28.5 in my B70 leading off two relays. On both of them I had very good starts. Not so today. The starter held us for a long time. I didn't get off the blocks well and went too deep. I was dead last at the 15 meter mark, which is unusual for me, though I am not immune to inconsistent starts. Recovered decently and finished in 28.6 for third place. I wore my Jaked for this race. I probably would have gone faster than yesterday'stimes IF I had nailed my start. But fancy suits don't fix that problem!
Lisa Dahl protested the start. Eney Jones also agreed it was terrible. Lisa had been hoping to
approach the WR. They also herded us like cattle through the 50s making up some time on the timeline by doing this. That wasn't ideal either.
Even so, very happy with my 50 frees. My
fastest of 28.5 is a big improvement from last year. (same suit)
50 back: 31.99, 1st place
My backstroke felt better in warm up and I made sure to do some backstroke sprints to get my arms moving. But I had a real energy lull and felt dead tired after the 50 free. FlyQueen got me a cup if coffee and that seemed to perk me up.
Since I had gone a 32.3 on Thursday, I was not at all concerned with my time. I just wanted to win cuz this event is my baby. Got a good start, though I played it fairly safe on the SDK front, taking 12. Had a very good breakout and just cranked. Started running out of gas about 5 meters from the flags. Stuck my finish, getting a 31.99. Was thrilled! I missed the WR by .2, but given that I was tired and it was day four, I was happy to finish on a good note.
I changed into my ratty old fashioned stretched out B70 for this race. I hadn't felt comfortable in the Jaked for backstroke on Thursday. In my B70 last year, I went 33.4, so this us a huge improvement.
In general, I think the 50 fly and 50 back were my best swims of the meet. The only real disaster was my ill fated 100 back. I held up better than I thought I would over the course of 4 days.
I did get a quick breaststroke clinic from Allen Stark after my 50 back. He gave me a few tips
to work on: sculling out wider on the pull to take advantage of my strength, squeezing my elbows together more, not pausing before shooting my hands forward, and keeping my knees closer together on the kick. I had thought my kick was appalling, but he disagreed and really focused on my pull issues. He thought my ankles were plenty flexible to start walking like a duck and that there was no excuse for my breaststroke phobia!
I took loads of photos. I think someone video taped my 50 fly. I think Wolfy video taped my 50 back. I had assigned that task to Jimby, but he was apparently too addled from his 400 free to comprehend digital camera technology. Anyway, hopefully I can post links later.
As an aside, I will decline all individual IL state records that I set. Though I loved my adopted Nationals team the Academy Bullets, I'm a PV
swimmer and will promptly rejoin GMUP.
Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:49 PM by The Fortress
First, no cramping today. Made sure to drink a ton of Gatorade. My GMUP buddy also gave me some quinine tablets, a product from Canada that ge uses called "Leg Cramps.". Also just went with the usual lack of sleep.
These were my first relays ever at Nationals, and I really enjoyed them!
Wore B70, as I did on Friday.
Womens 120 200 free relay, 1st place:
I think we went a 1:54 or so and was told it was
pretty close to the NR. I led off with a 28.7, a PB for me. Previous best 29.2. Took 4-5 dolphin kicks on start. 3 breaths. Felt pretty good.
Mixed 200 medley relay, 200 plus, 3rd place
Swam the fly leg. Had a bad dive, went in a bit sidesways and and to straighten out. Think I split a 30.1. Very safe start for me, as I'm not that used to relays.
Mixed 200 free relay 200 plus, 2nd place
My first relay with Jimby, who swam his little heart out with a blowout in his B70. Very exciting finish. The team anchored by Spock on the forums nipped us at the end. I led off again and went a 28.5. Thus time, I took 7-8 dolphin kicks. I guess more is better.
I got some good feedback on my freestyle from Coach Bill White, also a Bullet. He said my kick was like a "motorboat.". I never knew this! I always thought my flutter kick was weak and that I wasn't kicking enough. This is apparently because I am doing a flutter-dolphin type motion with my straight arm stroke. I never knew that ... I think Chris has mentioned that he does this in free as well. I've heard if some coaches trying to teach this style. I guess I'm happy to hear that's what I'm instinctively doing. My head is also too high, but again, it was opined that this was because I was undulating. My body must be hard wired to dolphin kick.
Psyched for the 50 free and 50 back today. Not too worried about times, as I've already got good splits from previous swims. Fortunately, though tired, I don't feel totally broken down like I did at Zones. Off to warm up!
Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:47 PM by The Fortress
Don't panic. You can dolphin kick with cramps.
Remember the rest of them b@tches ain't better than you.
Do not think of excuses now. It's easier to brainstorm them with friends later. A roomful of hypochondriacs are marvellously inventive.
Remember that there are likely no scientifically valid studies that show that swimming with your ankles at a right angle is more likely to slow you down than swimming with no legs at all.
Go slow. What's the rush? It's long course meters.
No matter how slow you go, you'll still beat Geekity.
It's called backstroke, not back kick, right? So who cares if you can leg press three times more than Jim Thornton?
If necessary, call for the trainer to bring you a gin and tonic stat. It's got quinine, right?
Don't forget the lime because cramps and scurvy are an even worse combination.
Ignore texts from well meaning friends asking why you were out so slow.
So I swam the 100 back today. Was kind of hoping to go 1:12 or so. I managed to put my Chris Stevenson induced start fears aside and take a body length lead at fifteen meters. Unfortunately, the double calf cramps at the start made the next 75 or so rather trying. I was told I was "galacially slow" and "ragged." I managed to get my act together at the 75 meter mark or so and pass 3 people. But, on the whole a disappointing swim; my slowest time in 3 years. My backstroke feels very odd so far this meet. I'm also not feeling so great in the morning.
Hope to have much fun on relay day tomorrow.
Had a fabulous dinner with forum friends.
Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:46 PM by The Fortress
Blogging from iPhone ...
What an eventful first day at Nats ... Don't know where to start!
I met many forumites and swimmers I hadn't met before -- Ahelee, Eney Jones, Bobinator, Lisa Dahl, Jim Corbeau, Michael Heather, Allen Stark, Anna Lea Matysek, Frrday Girl, Kurk Dickson, and loads of new teammates. I was at the meet the entire day because I just love watching the swimming and seeing how all my friends do. And, very importantly, I got this lovely engraved spit cup from Eney Jones. We had been joking about spitting or splitting lanes in the 50 free. She was hoping my initials were LOL, but I had to disappoint her on that score.
I was a tad worried last night as I had a difficult day yesterday, but a "manly" hug from Jimby and Bill White and the dazzling smile of coach Chris helped cure that.
50 fly: 29.7
Really shocked! Did not expect to go under 30, especially since I just went 30.7 rested. I didn't
have a great reaction time or breakout and short stroked the finish. But, hell, it was a huge PB for me. AJ Block, a real stud flyer, told me this time would have won the age groups between 30-44, which shows how dominant the 45-49 ladies are!
50/200 Back: 32.3 50 split
I must admit I was a but freaked out by Chris Stevenson's unfortunate DQ right before my race. His swim was simply fantastic to watch. And I myself always worry about the 15 meter mark. As a result, I was too conservative on my start. I was too shallow and only took ten SDKs. Not playing to my strength ... My turnover also felt slower than usual and several people commented that it looked like I was swimming the 100 back. I also, perhaps out of nerves, forgot to use my nose clip! Egads! I feel like that's my good luck charm!
Nonetheless, I split a 32.3. My previous best was 33.4, so I was pleased with the time. I think this split puts me no. 1 so far this year. I just think I need to go back to my usual start.
And I have the 100 back tomorrow for that.
I'm hoping to get more sleep tonight!
Had great dinners with friends both nights. .
And only saw one super nasty B70 tear.
Updated August 10th, 2009 at 01:45 PM by The Fortress
50 crunches, squats & lunges (My hamstrings were sore from my squats at the gym yesterday, so I skipped the squats and lunges.)
2 x 250 pull, breathe 3-5-3, 30 RI
I ignored this and breathed every stroke. I loped and breathed to the left. Quite like this, I just have to remember to kick continuously if I lope.
75 fast kick @ 2:00
75 ascending swim @ 1:30 (AFAP to slow by 25s) done as free/fly/free/back/free/breast
This was quite odd. We literally stopped in the middle of the pool at the 75 and waited for the 2:00 sendoff. It's very difficult to go from a dead stop to AFAP and difficult to ascend in general ... Very tiring set.
10 x 100 @ 1:45
odds = 75 free/25 back
evens = 75 back/25 free
(I just went fast free w/fins on the odds @ 1:11-12 and backstroke kick on the evens. Tired arms.)
1 x 50 fast
I was seriously not in the mood to do this. It's hard to sprint after 3500 meters or so for me. I like my sprinting earlier, throughout the workout or completely separate. My legs were shot and calves were crampy. Brad and I did push off fast 50s. Most others went from the blocks. I went a :28 in fly w/fins.
Total: 3650 meters
Almost didn't make the trek to practice tonight. I was very tired. But I decided to take tomorrow off. Though I will be standing around for a good 3 hours stroking & turning tomorrow am at our relay meet.
My teammate Mark Jones "complimented" me on the freestyle set from Tuesday. He said, given that I am a sprinter, he was "sure I would die," shocked when I didn't, and wondered how I had much aerobic conditioning when I train mostly solo. (He had been going second in our lane.) At least he didn't call me an f'in beech. That was someone else. He was just joking of course, giving me a hard time for joining THT for Nats. Still only two other GMUP people attending Nats though ...
I sent in my entries for Nationals last night.
Entered a 3:10 in the 200 back. The look up time feature is quite helpful. Much harder to sandbag that way.
Was told I might do a 50 evil on a medley relay. Must be hard up!
Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, p. mushrooms and tomatoes, papaya
Lunch: tuna melt sandwich on Ezekial bread with cheese and tomatoes, peach slices, green grapes
Dinner: Sent Mr. Fort and the kids off to a swim team BBQ at the pool and I had two cheese & ben burritos, blueberries
Post swim snack: G2, balance bar, lemon bar (I had made them for the swim team dinner, couldn't resist.)
Updated July 2nd, 2009 at 11:59 PM by The Fortress
50 back: N/S
100 back: N/S
50 fly: 30.75
Things did not go as planned today. Just how it goes in sport, I guess; it was one of those sh*t happens days.
Felt good during warm up. I found out, however, that there would not be electronic timing pads installed at the far end of the pool where the 50s took off. This meant two things: 50 backstroke starts on a slippery wall and no split requests. I was going for a fast 50 back, so had also considered getting a split request in the 100 if I needed one event to "warm up" and get the cobwebs out (often the case for me).
After warm up, I put the new tech suit on. I was trying the LZR out only in the 50 back today, to get one swim in it before Indy. Unfortunately, two or three heats before the 50 back, the zipper just exploded in two places. Imspoiled gallantly tried to fix the zipper, but to no avail. So I couldn't swim the 50 back. And, frankly, I was too upset and pissed off to swim the 100 back (my next event), especially since I couldn't get a split. I did swim a rather half hearted 50 fly in lane 8 and felt sluggish (probably from sitting around for so long without racing). Had a terrible breakout, confirmed by Hulk, but still swam my best time of 30.75.
Leads me to believe I would have swum a fast 50 back ... Oh well, there's always next time.
I'm just frustrated at the moment because I did rest for 10 days for the meet. Tapering is a huge commitment for me, and very hard to effectuate. So I feel that I wasted the taper and wasted training time. I fully realize this happens all the time, and I've certainly been sick prior to taper meets, etc. I'm sure I'll shake it off and be over it tomorrow; I'm just disappointed at this moment.
I also hope I can get a refund on my suit. I will be sending out an email today. This is the obvious reason why FINA should permit B70s. It's ridiculous to have to rely on fragile suits with frequently faulty zippers. I'm hopeful it will be back on the list tomorrow.
Here's a chuckle: A couple people suggested I swim a 50 back time trial.
Lesson from this meet: Don't ever rest for LC meets where you're swimming/targeting 50s without confirming that there will be electronic timing at both ends of the pool. I won't make this mistake again. It just had never occurred to me that there wouldn't be ... (Would have been no big deal had I not rested.)
Now, I have friends coming over for dinner tonight. I fully plan to drink more than one glass of wine. I might even eat potato chips late at night.
Updated June 21st, 2009 at 06:12 PM by The Fortress
No swimming today. Carrying on with the rest. My family sees all indications of the taper bitchies.
I did go see my ART doc today, as my shoulders and calves are still twitchy. Not sure what the cause is. The doc says it could be tossing and turning in my sleep, or it could be the lack of weight lifting. Hulk thinks it could be that the overall workload on the shoulders is too high. He theorizes that this could cause a delay in the resting-discomfort phase, which is apparently a precursor to the happy rested phase. Hmm ... Seems like I've been kicking a lot and not doing pulls and chins ... Hopefully, they'll be happy on Sunday. They're not bad by any stretch, just have some "hot spots." (Pun potential) Walked around the mall today with day glo pink and blue kinesio tape.
We also discussed the electrolyte issue. He agrees I'm likely dehydrated. He says, however, that Gatorade is "swill," no better than eating "bon bons and hohos. I told him about my travails with RecoverWrong. He suggested I try Endura. Used it today, seemed fine. Trying to drink more water.
Checked the psych sheets for the Terrapin Cup. http://www.terrapinmasters.org/TCup09Psych.htm
I'm right next to The [Speedy] Little Devil in the 50 back and Clay is another lane over. Hmm ... Will I drown in their wake or will they be so far ahead that I'll catch a draft? Jeff is seeded 3 seconds faster. Same situation in the 100 back. In the 50 fly, I have a good seed in the second to last heat right next to Fall Willdeboorse, who is a very speedy sprinter and kicks my ass in free. So that should be a good race.
Haven't really formulated any specific time goals for this meet. Ideally, I'd like to go PBs in my 50 back and 50 fly ... we'll see if I rested enough and if I execute. I might be a tad disappointed if I don't go a 32+ in the 50 back. I went a 33.4 at Zones last year where I slipped some on the start. That's how 50s go sometimes.
I am trying a new tech suit. As I've explained to a few of you, I don't feel comfortable with an old B70 and a fragile suit, and I need a suit for USA-S meets besides my "ratty" Pro. I'm trying the Rocket Science "Sprinter" -- brand new suit. (The previous version is still on back order.) http://www.prlog.org/10240754-rocket...d-by-fina.html. This suit is on the 2009 FINA list and I'm told meets the new FINA permeability requirements for 2010. So I'm going to try on my size Youth Medium and see if it really fits. And, besides, who can resist that name? Picture attached below.
I heard a rumor that B70 was handing out its new FINA compliant suits at the Santa Clara meet. They're not generally available now, but I wonder when they will be.
Stroke & Turn Question:
I wasted my entire evening attending a stroke & turn clinic. Here, you must attend every 2 years. There was one question the instructor didn't answer satisfactorily, at least to my mind. I told Hulk I'd post it here, and he can give me his opinion, as he knows this stuff cold.
Little kid approaches the wall for a backstroke turn. Kid first touches the wall on their back with their hand. Kid then realizes, OMG, I forgot to flip, so they spin and execute a forward flip turn. Is this a DQ? Once they touch the wall, does the kid then have to push off on their back to leave the wall and not be past vertical? Or even though they've touched the wall, can they hang their and remain in the "zone" of the wall, and you only assess whether they've pushed off on their back by watching the toes?
Our team may get owned this weekend, as two of our best swimmers are off at summer camps. My Lil lil Fort is swimming her first A meet doing backstroke and evilstroke. I've been trying (very mildly) to encourage fly (though 8 & Unders don't do this in A meets.) I guess she could be my second evilstroker ... Whatever makes her happy, she hasn't liked swimming that much in the past.
Updated June 18th, 2009 at 10:06 PM by The Fortress
As expected, I was very excited and blissed out from yesterday, so didn't do that well in the sleep department. Fortunately, I slept in a wee bit because my first event, mixed 200 free relay wasn't until 11:45. But sleep wasn't the problem -- cramps! I woke up with crazy sore calve muscles. Had Mr. Fort give me a quick massage, which practically made me scream. I guess it was just the lactic acid build up from yesterday? Not used to swimming 6 events. That's what Coach Cheryl thought. I obviously need a "masher." lol. Not sure what else could have caused it ... I was eating bananas and drinking gatorade ... was warming down when I could between events (but maybe not enough with the crazy consecutive last 3 events from yesterday) ...
Anyway, that effected the days events, as I cramped on every start and wall. This phenomenon obviously makes my dolphin kick, my major weapon, less effective. I was very happy that I didn't sign up for the 100 IM first thing in the am, as that is a heavy duty lactate event for me with all the switching of strokes. Didn't swim the 100 back, as I had just swum 2 crampy 50s and was hobbling. A bit disappointed, but glad I have my 1:02 split request on file, though I think I might have gone faster. Always another time!
Despite this Day 2 issue, I had a great time at the meet, had a few good swims on Sunday, had a fantastic time watching all the fast swimming, and had fun at the post meet party. My team won the medium team championship for the first time in 5 years, so we were psyched about that.
35+ mixed 200 free relay, 1:37, 1st place
I went about 85-90%, shaking the cobwebs out. Split a 25.3. Two of my relay mates are swimming at Clovis in 2 weeks, and I wish them the best of luck!
50 fly, 27.06
Had 5 heats of rest. Only got 2 lengths of warm down. Took 9 SDKs off the start and turn. Cramped on both though, so I was kicking through pain and had to take one extra breath the second length. Stud said I visibly accelerated the last 15 yards, as the cramp subsided. Was super happy to see a 27.06 in light of this. This broke my Zone record from last year of 28.4.
25 + medley relay, 1:53, 1st place
Swam the fly leg on this relay. Had a break after my 50 fly, so felt more rested. Split 26.77 with a safe start.
Was a tad bummed I didn't sign up for the 50 free, as it would have been nice to take all 4 50s. But you can't swim everything in one meet!
Fort party was a blast. Hope everyone had a good time. I'll put up pictures soon. (Just so y'all know, we decided after John left that Wookiee looks just like Zac Ephron. )
This morning, I'm going to have a warm down swim/hot tub with Stud. I also have a massage booked, which I had anticipated as recovery before the NY meet. But I could still use it. I think my calves need some work before I can go on my post meet run tomorrow. My shoulders/traps also feel a bit like someone took a hammer to them.
Tech suit thoughts:
First, don't sit in gum in a B70!! Holy crap, not sure where I sat in it, but it smeared all across my butt (I promised SwimRobin that I would actually confess this in public, lol) -- goopy pinkish stuff. I was kinda freaked out, thinking it had ruined my B70. Fortunately, it came out with some ice cubes, but I was required to make a tech suit change.
I've told Chris this, but FYI guys, Mike Ross was much happier with B70 legs for back and fly than the full body B70. He did recommend it for ALL swimmers, but I remain content with my full body. lol And, WOW, it was fun seeing several of his swims! (He also lectured my on excess eventage, but got that it was my team zone meet.)
On the Jimby front, he is still cogitating on how to spin the B70 science experiment. He wanted full Jimby credit for his swims and I am giving it to him!! Seriously though, in his big 3 events (100 free, 200 free and 500 free), he swam very very well, but the times (all age group PBs) were what (at least I) thought he was well capable of swimming in a fast pool. I'll let him do the time reporting, but it was much less than .5 per 50 in these events. He did swim a very very nice 400 IM as well and dropped a lot of time there.
B70 vs. LZR:
A few people from GMU conducting experiments using borrowed LZRs. I had a borrowed LZR with a recordbreaker back. It had been used for 10-12 swims. I decided to wear a B70 for one of my 50 backs and the LZR for the other to compare. They were, as reported, within .1 of each other. So, for me, I'm not sure there was much difference time wise. But perhaps the LZR would have been slightly faster if it had been brand new or if I had used one with a zipper? I think so ...
I won't wear a recordbreaker back again though. I haven't worn an open recordbreaker back since my Pro pre-Austin. Yuck! I felt like I had water wooshing down my back. Very odd sensation. Might have been because I'm so used to the B70? Or because the LZR is cut very low in the back? I swam 2 relays in the suit and it was worse. In my 100 fly leg of the medley relay, I felt like I had water wooshing down the back and front. And that was a pretty mediocre swim.
What I can say is that I don't think the B70 is any more of a "floatation" suit than the LZR really. The LZR has plenty of noticeable "float" in the bottom half where all the impermeable material is. Frankly, I think having more float in the bottom and less in the top (a la Mike's comments) might be the best for me as well. But, like others, I have major concerns about the fragility and lack of durability of the LZR. I really think it's basically a one meet suit. I saw a couple swimmers with whacking big holes in their LZRs. Of course, Hulk popped a big hole in his brand new B70 and my teammate and Mike Ross had runs in the back of their B70s. At least I only had the gum problem!
Updated April 28th, 2009 at 01:33 AM by The Fortress
I survived my first day ever swimming 6 events. Yes, I am dead now, but fairly hyper as I had a nice surprise. We'll see about sleep tonight ... lol
Here's how it went, including some nose clip magic:
1. 100 free, 57.4
Felt like utter absolute crap in warm up, wasn't too jazzed about swimming this event. Did 75 easy speed + 25 fast. And that felt horrible. Still, went 57.4. I was told my turnover was slow but powerful. Had trouble off the turns and with breakouts, confirmed by wookiee. I think it's likely because I rarely do freestyle in practice. Occasionally, I feel like crap on my first event of a meet and then go on to swim better. I think that is what happened here.
I did loaf just enough to lose my Zones record by .05. Not overly concerned. Will now take another 2 year hiatus, as I'm not fond of this event. Got points for my team -- which is currently leading the medium team division!!
2. 25+ 200 mixed medley relay, did back leg, went 28.06 (had a split request in)
Led off the relay. After the 100 free, I was a tad worried about letting down my speedy relay teammates. And I decided to use my nose clip for the first time. Was very fast, 28.0, which is .5 faster than my time in Auburn. I was *told* *lectured* that I was *perhaps* a wee bit past the 15 meter mark. (It was my first real backstroke start ever with B70 + nose clip.) Just glad our relay wasn't DQ'd. I went very deep on the start. Our 25+ relay got 1st place. I think we went a 1:45 or so. Speedo had a great free leg.
(I was really happy with my time cuz it put me .1 ahead of Sue Walsh this year. In fact, I was so happy I told a teammate that I didn't care how the open 50 back went (see below), as I had a PB/Zone Record. lol)
3. 50 breast, 34.11
I had exactly 4 heats of 50s after the medley relay for rest. But I sucked it up to swim my very very fav event. It had been almost 4 years since I last swam it and went 37+. But my recent LC time in a B70 converted to 37, which is why that was my seed time. Very surprisingly, I dropped 3+ seconds. I think the dolphin kick at the top of the pullout helps me. Couldn't figure out what to do between the flags and the walls and changed my tempo at both ends. Set the Zone record in this event though. Everyone go ahead and have a good laugh now.
4. 50 back, 27.90, NR:
OK, very shocked and happy to go under 28. WTH?! I was just hoping to go 29+ at this meet. Didn't think I'd touch my Auburn time. This time I was more conservative on the start and came up at the 14.8 meter mark. As I saw Jazz noted, nose clips are not just a fashion statement!
Event 23 Women 45-49 50 Yard Backstroke
ZONE: Z 29.34 4/15/2007 Vibeke Swanson
NATL: ! 28.00 5/20/2007 K PIPES-NEILSEN
Name Age Team Seed Finals Points
1 Livingston, Les 47 GMUP 29.10 27.90! 9
My coach told me I broke the NR. Didn't even know what it was before I swam ... Shocked! I think KPN has swum faster too since the last record book publication too, but still --- I believe we both get credit for being under the existing NR.
Last year at Zones, I swam a 29.5, so this is a big drop in a 50 for one year. Definitely not all B70! In fact, Jimby just announced that he now thinks all improvement is due to monofin use and my kick workouts. Hahahaha.
5. Women's 35+ 400 medley relay
I had one heat of rest, one. This is not a good plan for sprinters. I think we need breaks between relays at this meet ... I swam the fly leg, went 1:03. Really tried to cruise the first 50. Couldn't seem to SDK at all, no legs. Died like a dog as usual the last 15 yards, but I had warned our freestyler that this would, in fact, and inevitably, occur. My team went 4:29, which is 4 seconds than we went last year in the same event where we grabbed the top spot.
6. Women's 35+ 200 free relay
One measly heat of rest. Went my all time slowest 50 free ever leading off the relay! Yay! But we won the event and got points for the team.
Dined with friends at Red Hot & Blue. Many enchanting photographs were taken, which will be downloaded at some later point. Feeling a little tuckered, but very happy.
Updated April 27th, 2009 at 05:31 PM by The Fortress
Woke up today with a headache again. (WTF?!) Decided I needed to work on cheerfulness. One of my favorite west coast gurus, Ahelee, suggested I meditate about yellow daffodils (in lieu of meditating about deers for speed). I did this for a minute or two ... that's about my tolerance for meditation, as Ahelee knows. Then I proceeded to listen to loud psych music and purchase copious amounts of beer and wine for the party on Sunday. That helped more.
After this, I went to the pool and chiro.
(This is so dull, one can barely bother typing it ...)
700 variety swim, kick, drill
10 x 25 UW shooters on back
6 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 EZ)
3 x (25 AFAP free + 75 EZ)
My chiro agreed that I had completely torqued my neck and that that was what has been causing my constant headaches. Got a neck adjustment and tune up for the shoulders. Hopefully, that will do the trick.
Met Alan Webb today. He was finishing his appt when I arrived. He's racing the mile at Drake University this weekend and hoping for perfect weather conditions.
Got my relay assignments today. I'm swimming:
25+ Mixed 200 Medley: Leslie, Petra, Mark, Pete
35+ women 400 medley: Barb, Karlin, Leslie, Cheryl
35+ women 200 free relay: Leslie, Cheryl, Barb, Melissa
35+ mixed 200 free: Pete, Brad, Leslie, Cheryl
25+ women 200 medley: Barb, Petra, Leslie, Cheryl
Very psyched to be swimming with Petra Martin, who has mad skills, but she is really dragging down our relay "age." Swimming some relays with Speedo and my favorite teammates too! I haven't swum relays in a long time, so looking forward to that. Last year, this same 400 medley relay was #1 in the nation. Not bad for a small non-superteam!
Got Jimby's suit in the mail from Sportsman BillS. I'll be sure to take many photos of Jim in it, especially after he's eaten his 5 steaks on Friday night.
Updated April 24th, 2009 at 11:22 AM by The Fortress
Made it out to MAC for the annual Albatross SCM meet. I love this meet because it's local and in the afternoon. As Chris and Onefish noted, the water was a bit too warm. Swam two events, don't have official times or splits yet. Felt pretty good during warm up. My legs felt heavy/tight though. This just confirms my thought that the legs need a LOT of rest/tapering to be really ready to go fast. A mini taper is good, but just not enough rest.
Edit: Put in splits
100 fly SCM, 1:09.80
As usual, thoughts of scratching filtered into my head. The 100 fly in meters is just so painful for me. Thankfully, it was the first event, so I didn't have to sit around for hours dwelling on it. I promised myself I could retire this event for 2009 if I swam it. Probably will do just that!
Anyway, went 1:09.8. Previous best was 1:12.1 from the Albatross meet the year before. I hoped to improve my time since I had not swum the event in a year, but not by this much with only a mini-taper. Very happy with the time. As usual, I died on the last 25, but a 4.2 second difference per 50 in fly in meters is not that bad for me. Chris suggested that as I continue to swim more, this may be less of a problem. I certainly don't see any evidence of that! I think I'd have to do more than 25s and 50s in practice. I haven't even done many 50s lately.
I did count my SDKs. I had planned or estimated that I would use a 9-7-7-7 pattern. I ended up using a 9-7-7 & 5-6ish pattern. I didn't push deep enough off my third turn, popped up prematurely, and had an awkward breakout.
My prior time was swum in a Pro and done before I started lifting heavy. Jimby is already yanking my chain and saying the 2.3 second improvement is all B70 assist. lol Maybe so, but I'll take the time! Speedster Michelina totally made my day by telling me my fly was pretty.
100 back SCM, 1:10.94
Since I was bumped out of the Chris-Clay heat, I had a nice race with Lisa Van Pelt-Diller. I decided to use Jimby's strategy for racing the 100 free that he had posted on the discussion forum. I may have taken it out a bit too easy on the first 50, but it's hard to tell as I have no idea what my splits were. The strategy seemed to work well and it was slightly less painful.
Edit: Got my splits. Yes, out too easy on the first 50. With my start, this race is effectively an even split for me. However, I really enjoyed swimming it this way and powering home the last 25.
It was a fun race. I would pull ahead of Lisa on the start/underwaters and she would catch me on the surface. I tried to speed into the final turn and then really pick up the turnover. Had a good last 25, and beat her by about .8 or so maybe. I didn't take that many SDKs off my turns. No idea how many, as I was too busy racin' to count. (I did do 12 on the start.) But the fact that the ones I did were effective suggests to me that I should do more. Need to work on the nose clip angle. I was told I was "looking" too much.
This was a PB as well. My previous best was a 1:11.7 last June in a B70 with a mini taper. So conditions were pretty equivalent. I swam the 1:11.7 at U of Md, which is a faster pool.
On a funny note, someone (can't remember who now) told me my race with Lisa was very similar to Chris' race with Clay.
Had to dash off without any warm down after the 100 back. Made it to my kid's meet with 15 minutes to spare in time to see her swim 2 PBs at finals. So a good swim day for the fam!
Updated March 22nd, 2009 at 12:37 PM by The Fortress
Swim, solo, SCY:
700 variety swim, kick, drill
Aerobic Conditioning Set:
(this set was swiped from Chris' morning workout and modified)
1 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:20
2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
3 x 50 fly @ 1:00
1 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:20
2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
3 x 50 back @ 50
1 x 200 backstroke kick @ 3:20
2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
3 x 40 breast @ 1:00
Endurance Kick Set:
20 x 50 dolphin kick w/MF @ :45
5 on back, 5 w/board, 5 on back, 5 w/board
(worked on kicking on my side on the ones on my back)
(didn't really feel like doing these, but forced myself to. my free actually felt pretty fast and strong.)
8 x (25 AFAP free + 25 EZ)
I am really from weights yesterday. Not in a scary shoulder pain kind of way, just a sore way. I'm sure it's from my experiments with assisted and unassisted pull ups yesterday and the increased weight. I'm worried I'll still be sore tomorrow when I was going to lift. I'm wondering if it's better to take 2 days off between weight sessions if you're lifting heavier? Thoughts on this?
Here's the Order of Events for Colonies Zones on April 25-26: I'm trying to figure out what events to swim. Any thoughts? I'll probably rest some for this meet and keep resting for a SCM meet in NY in early May. Jimby suggested the 400 IM and 500 free, but that is just not in the cards! Think I'll do 100 free though. Haven't swum it in 2 years in SCY. Wolf Girl thinks I've never swum it, but actually I'm a "Zonesman" in this event.
400 mixed free relay
200 mixed medley relay
400 medley relay
200 free relay
800 free relay
400 mixed medley relay
200 mixed free relay
400 free relay
200 medley relay
I'll probably swim the two relays at the end of each day and the 200 mixed medley relay early in the day on Sat.
Updated February 25th, 2009 at 10:22 AM by The Fortress
Despite being totally sleep deprived, my body was still sufficiently rested, tapered, pampered, massaged etc. to swim fast. I feel like I really nailed the taper with significant time drops. Swam faster than I though I would. In fact, I should probably just retire from SCY now, as I doubt I'll ever swim faster. lol All time drops are "taper drops" because I've swum every event except the 100 IM in B70s. (I note this because Jimby thinks all my recent improvements are due to B70 use.)
100 fly: 1:01.33
Previous PB was 1:04.2 (swam that at Austin in a Pro and at the Sprint Classic in a B70). I swam this in heat 1 by myself. Had the same reaction as the 50 free. I just could not believe my time. I was hoping to go a 1:03. Shocked and super happy. My splits were 28.46/32.87. Rigor mortis set in, as usual, with about 10 yards to go. Mini-Fort says I just have to chop off one second to make sectionals. I tried to explain that this was a once in a lifetime taper kind of thing and I wasn't going to hop in and do this next month. Yeesh!
50 back: 28.52
Previous best was a 29.1 in September, and I was secretly hoping for a 28.9. Didn't have the best turn and was on the lane line for a bit of the second length. Still very very happy with the time.
100 back: 1:02.84
Previous best was 1:04.7 (did this in a Pro in Austin and in a B70 in September) and I was hoping for a high 1:03 or so. Did this as a split request in the 200 back. (The officials checked the rules and found the split request form.) I didn't have much time to recover after the 50 back. Maybe 35 minutes. I would really have preferred an hour or even 2 hours. That's the one disadvantage of tapering for a regional meet as opposed to Nats -- you just don't get the same amount of rest between events. This event hurt the most of all my races, probably because I was very very tired. Splits were 30.24/32.60. Forumite Karlene was kind enough to give me my splits and times right when I hopped (er, dragged myself) out of the pool.
I consider this race a moral victory. I've been wanting to beat my 12 year old time of 1:04.0 for awhile. So now I'm faster than when I was 12. lol
1. Did 6 PBs at this meet. I've done this before at a taper meet, but I think some of the PBs were just natural improvement, increased racing experience, or just not much experience in a given course. But I've never dropped this much time across every event before. I have to conclude that this means I really hit my taper right. The biggest change I made was in week 1 of the taper. I followed Chris' advice to keep yardage up (reduce only a bit), cut aerobic work and cut speed work. In prior tapers, I've increased speed work in week 1 and reduced yardage. I also got much more rest/sleep than usual during taper (took a lot of "morning naps"). This may have factored into the results as well.
2. The Auburn pool was very fast. It was a double bulkhead pool. Didn't seem to bother me. I did have to peek to spot the wall in the 50 free though.
3. I'm still struggling on my backstroke turns in yards. This meet, I took 3 strokes before flipping over instead of the 2 from my last meet. I guess it worked, but I felt like I had to take short strokes and was tentative on the turns. Also, I notice with my B70, I'm not getting as deep on my starts and turns and popping up sooner. Ande tells me I need to affirmatively try to go deeper and use the "suit surge." I'm definitely not doing that right now.
3. The SCY season is in the books for me. I'm only going to swim a few events at Zones for fun. Hopefully, my times will hold up decently with those to be posted at Clovis. I'm just going to focus on SCM and LCM now, which I vastly prefer anyway. Whenever I swim backstroke in yards, I just think "another damn wall?!" Walls upset my rhythm and help tall people more than us shorter types.
4. I have to say that I really enjoyed tapering at an unconventional time. I'm not a winter person and it gave me something to keep me occupied and focused on over these dreary months. Now, I'm really ready to turn back to some cross training and running outdoors. This is really not a bad way to go!
5. Tapering is hard work. It requires a lot of commitment to getting enough rest, sleep, etc. I'm really looking forward to going back to not worrying about whether I feel tired or sore and doing whatever I want to do. I always feel like I've gotten a "get out of jail free" card when taper time is over.
6. A couple people have asked me what I think accounts for the significant time drops I've had since Austin. In a nutshell, I think it's more intense training. I've generally been swimming 5x a week. When in the pool, I've done more aerobic work and more intense kick sets. And I've just done more weights/drylands, though I can still improve in this area. So, as I said recently on the SFF thread, "more is more" seems to have worked for me.
7. Sandbagging seems to agree with me. I swam all my 100s completely by myself with no one to "race." Didn't seem to matter. In general, I prefer just swimming my own race. I don't think having someone right next to me makes all that much difference.
8. 100 fly thoughts: One reason I was so surprised with my time is that I have not been training for the 100 fly. If you've read my blog, you'll know that I've mostly just been doing 25s with some 50s and fly in IMs thrown in. Last October, I tried to do longer fly sets to improve my endurance in the 100 fly, but suffered immediate shoulder pain. So I went back to 25s and 50s. Didn't seem to hurt me that much. Also, for the fin critics out there, I will note that I NEVER swim fly without fins. So pfffftttt. Works for me and keeps my shoulders healthy! I'm glad I've marched to my own drummer on this issue and not accepted conventional wisdom.
Oh, and no matter how much Puff bugs me, I will never swim a 200 fly.
Here are the complete results:
Updated February 17th, 2009 at 01:12 PM by The Fortress
Last day of ditzing around in the pool like a noodler:
700 warm up
2 x 25 build
2 x 25 easy speed fly
No real hypochondriasis at the moment. Shoulders are a bit sore from tossing and turning last night. Still holding at just congestion! Speaking of hypochondriasis, this will be my first big meet in awhile without my blogger buddies Jimby and SwimStud. Is Jimby my good luck charm or does he encourage hypochondriasis? He is always a good source of Jolt Gum ...
The timeline for the meet is out. There are 1650 entries -- quite a lot for a regional meet.
I should have enough time between my first and seconds events each day, thanks to my sandbagging of the first event. I'm a bit worried about warm up on Saturday, since I'm in heat 1 of event 1 and have to budget ample time for struggling/wiggling/wrenching myself into the new tech suit. I've been very spoiled by my stretched out B70. I was down to about 3 mintues to get into it. Now, I'm back to 30 minutes. lol.
Will probably go early and warm up in the warm up pool on Saturday morning. (By early, I mean about 11:00 am.) May try to get to the competition pool late Friday afternoon if my flight is on time and I don't get stuck in traffic. I've been told the bulkhead is tricky, so this is probably a good idea.
Looking forward to meeting Heather Reitz, Swimcat, Karlene, Glider & others and seeing Elise again. I'm counting on Elise to get me from the hotel to the pool as I am always getting lost. Why is it so confusing to find the damn pool on a college campus?!
Preliminary SCM rankings are out.
Did better than last year. I find it somewhat comical that my worst ranking was 50 fly. I even did better in 100 fly than 50 fly. A first! Biggest improvement is in the 100 IM. I swam in 3 SCM meets this year (Albatross, IGLA and one day at Rutgers). I did 3 day mini tapers for the first two and rested a week for Rutgers. The week of IGLA, I lifted and ran, so think I could have gone faster in the backstroke events and 50 fly. (Wait, I did in the 50 fly .... lol) It'd be nice to do a 2 week taper one year for a SCM meet. I wish there was a bit more competition for the top spots in my age group. Right now, they're completely dominated by KPN.
Updated February 12th, 2009 at 04:12 PM by The Fortress
150 fly drills
Rest of Warm up:
2 x (2 x 25 build free + 25 easy)
2 x (2 x 25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)
2 x (2 x 25 AFAP + 50 EZ)
Total: 1250 meters
Was trying to do sort of a meet warm up. Meet warm ups confuse me. Sometimes I feel stale/haven't got the cobwebs out on my first event and sometimes I'm fine without too much warm up. Never sure how much to do. Glad I'm starting my meet out with 100s each day though.
I'm guardedly optimistic about the hip. It feels better, though still sore. Dr. Jimby is right that these things take a long time to heal.
Still holding at congestion only, haven't lapsed into the sinusitis/bronchitis malaise I've been so prone to in the past.
Felt pretty good in the water today. Decent DPS, fly felt good.
After no running or spinning for almost 3 weeks, I'm starting to feel like a gooey Pillsbury Dough Boy.
Haven't really set any time goals. Unlike many, I don't usually set specific goals, although I may have general goals (do PBs) or reach goals (like to bust out another good 100 IM time) in mind. Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing a .99 a couple times. I do plan to take my 100 back and 100 fly out a bit faster. If I die like the drop dead sprinter that I am, that's OK.
Had a irritating noodler experience today. Usually, I get along fine with most of the noodlers and lap swimmers and we each stay on our side of the lane. Today, I was stuck sharing a lane with someone who insisted on constantly drifting into the middle of the lane, kicking me while doing elementary backstroke, and doing bobs with her arms flapping like a bird. She wouldn't stay on her side of the lane even after I asked very sweetly. Her idiocy resulted in a collison on my AFAP 50.
150 fly drills
3 x (3 x 25 build + 25 easy)
3 x (25 easy speed fly + 25 easy)
50 back AFAP, no time: Noodler insisted on bobbing in the middle of the lane while I was finishing. I swam right into her. I don't understand this at all. She saw me coming and I couldn't see her ... why get in my way when I'm traveling at fast speeds?! (Where is the f bomb emoticon?)
3 x (25 free AFAP + 25 easy)
Other great news: Both my teenagers are home sick with congestion/cough/sore throats. Blech. I'd like to move out! Hip still sore, perhaps slightly better. This is the third consecutive 2 week taper where I've had "issues." I guess I'm well used to it at least. RL stops for nothing. On the bright side, I'm still holding at congestion and sore throat with no other symptoms so far. Now, I will go plaster a smile on my face as my littlest and sweetest child is almost home from school.
The Auburn psyche sheets are out.
Haven't looked at them very closely. Yes, I'm sandbagging the 100 IM and 100 fly to get more rest. Ande said it was OK. lol. I'm advised that some other very speedy women swimming the same events as Puff are sandbagging by massive amounts. I guess it's a tradition at Auburn.
Stud: I'm in at least one wall lane! Unfortunately, it's for one of my best events ... Consider this an advance text of "facility flaws."
Updated February 10th, 2009 at 11:17 PM by The Fortress