Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
For Sunday, I did have 3 secret goals and I got them all. First, I wanted to go faster in the 50 fly than last year when my time trial was thrown out. Second, I had one stretch goal of going under 1:10 in the 100 back. And, third, I wanted to do a fast 50 evil split and possibly make top ten in that event. Here's how it went:
50 fly, 29.6
This was my first head to head race against KPN. We were in lanes 5 and 6. She got me on the start and breakout. I caught up in the second length and had a great last 15 yards. Couldn't see the wall clearly and short stroked the finish. She got me by .08. Cheryl Kupan said I should have glided in and would have won. Greg Shaw said it wasn't clear. I have trouble picking up the wall when I'm not breathing and my head's down. But I was super happy with the time. Hopefully, Q won't be disappointed as he instructed me to be mid 29.
100 back, 1:09.5:
I always get nervous swimming 100 back in SCM b/c it's so much longer and painful. But I just reminded myself to go out faster and kick. I think I executed pretty well. Earlier this year, I went 1:10.9, going out in 34.9 and back in 36.0. This time, I went out in 33.5 and came back in the same time. So my entire improvement came from not dogging the first 50. I pretty much stuck to my kick pattern, except that I jammed the second turn, was way too close to the wall, and had trouble getting into kick mode. So I SDK'd 14-13-10-10 per 25. I was really happy with my time as my one stretch goal for this meet was to go under 1:10 and it's a 1.4 second improvement. Comparatively, I went 1:13.9 at the meet in 2007. The SDK work has paid off and I feel like I redeemed myself after that sub par cramp filled 100 back at LCM Nats.
50 breast, 37.6:
I submitted a split request and did the 50 evil as part of the 100 evil. I rocked my pullouts, had good breakouts and hit the pad at 37.6. I was so psyched! I was hoping for a high 38. So this was a huge surprise. A friend just pointed out that this is currently the #1 time in the nation in my age group. Shocker. lol Chris S. said I was fairly close to the 15 meter mark on my first pullout. The less evil stroking, the better! I think this roughly converts to a 33.5, so this is .6 faster than my Zone Record in the 50 evil from last April.
I may retire from evil after the suits are gone, however. I think they help me on evil relatively more than other strokes because I have such a weak breaststroke kick. I discussed this with Mike Ross and Mike Schmidt of ME masters. Mike S. improved his IMs by doing 500 yards of evil kicking in practice. Breaststroke is such an exhausting power stroke that it seems the only way to improve is doing more of it.
I am slightly worried about my split request though, as I don't see the split listed in the results. I hope this is just a printing error, as everyone saw my time on the scoreboard and I clearly hit the pads hard. I have sent an email.
50 free, 28.2:
I was very tired, but decided to give the 50 free another go, as I missed the turn on Saturday. Same result: had a lousy turn again and did the same time. I just can't pick up the bulkhead at this pool for free. Still, for my 7th swim of a two day meet, this was a good time. I didn't have any energy left for a 100 free anyway.
I was thrilled to do 6 PBs. If I could have one do over it might be 50 back. I would have loved to go 30.9. But that is really nit picking, as 31.1. is very speed and likely comparable to my 27.9 in yards and 31.99 in meters.
I may use Chris' ratings calculator later to see what my percentages are. Just have too much to do right now. And, predictably, I'm very tired from the meet. I will not be hitting the pool today. Just resting. And back to the shopping.
Updated December 14th, 2009 at 10:04 PM by The Fortress
NE Champs, Day 1:
Had an easy trip to Boston and even slept decently Friday night! Had a good Saturday, going 3 PBs:
100 IM, 1:11.5
Last year, I went a 1:11.8 at Rutgers (which was a very huge and unexpected drop). This year, I improved .3 on that. Since I only swim the 100 IM twice a year and don't swim it in practice, I'm happy with the time, though not the execution. My "plan" had been to improve on my second 50. (Last year, I was out in 32.7.) Er, I didn't really do this. This year, I was out in 31.9 and totally died on free. (Ande will say this is pathetic when he reads this.) My freestyle seems to fall apart when I'm tired. Chris S. noted that my turnover looked like I was swimming a 400 IM instead of a 100 IM ... lol. He also noted, as I have mentioned before, that my breakout on fly was a bit rocky. I'm not sure how to fix this without going off the blocks more ... I felt like this was a bit of a "getting the cobwebs out" swim, as is common for me on the first event of a meet.
To improve in this event, I need to do 3 thing according to me and Coach Ahelee: (1) work on turns; (2) swim the 100 IM more than once in SCY and SCM; and (3) swim 100 IMs in practice. One year, I'll actually focus on this event. But, hey, a PB is a PB!
50 back, 1st place, 31.1:
Last year, I went 31.7. I was seeded first here in Boston, and really hoped to win. And I did, coming in at 31.1! .6 drop -- which is a big drop in a 50. Probably due to better underwaters. I felt a little bouncy above water. Stud took a video of this race, so hopefully I'll post that soon.
50 free, 28.2
Best time! Last year, I went 28.5. However, I had difficulty on the bulkhead. I went into the turn just a touch behind the leaders and came out 2/3 of a body length behind. Completely blew the turn, too far from the wall. This is somewhat SOP for me on bulkheads. I can only think of 1 50 free in short course where I have nailed the turn on a bulkhead (Auburn where I went 24.9 in SCY). Otherwise, as Wolfy has noted, I'm a bit challenged in this area. This led me to think I may boycott short course 50 frees. Why bother with a flip turn? Long course 50 free is so much better. But, again, I am always happy with a PB and will take it!
I had a fun day at the meet. Stud attended and was burning up the water. A highlight for me was loaning him my uber stretched out B70, which he used for his 200 evil and 50 free. He had previously swum the 50 evil in his cute British flag brief and gone a PB. I video'd all 3 of his races and took pics. So hopefully I'll get those up soon. Or maybe he'll even put them on his blog. He really swam extremely well, and I'm proud of him. Couple pics attached.
I got to meet forumites Gigi and Swimmer Girl KT, who are both lovely and fast. (Thank you, Gigi, for helping me with my cap.) Re-met Greg Shaw, who is not only a fly stud, but the nicest guy ever. Mike Ross and I discussed sprinting, weight lifting, backstroke and joining Maine Masters. (He and Mike Schmidt (who is sooo nice) and Son N. seem to be recruiting. Wow, did they have a big contingent here.) I got to see Chris rip off some very fast times/WRs sans B70. And I scored some ultra swag from Rob Butcher -- two awesome dry fit USMS short sleeved collared shirts. He says more forumites must come to his meets to collect swag.
On the whole, the BU pool is fast and it's warm on the pool deck. But the bulkhead, with all those Xs before the turn, confounds me. Glad I'm not really a pure freestyler. I think I have a slight preference for the Rutgers pool where they hosted CZ in 2007 and 2008. But I didn't have any outside lanes, so that was good.
Good first day, happy with all my times. My turnover, however, felt a bit off. Stud noticed this on the 50 free too. I wonder if this was due to easing off on the sprinting too much during taper? Or maybe I have more power/less turnover from lifting? I did feel like I was getting off the blocks quickly and had power on non-free turns. If I had to do it over again, I might do more fast 12.5s and 25s the last 2 weeks. And I need to practice more race pace turns.
I went out to dinner with Stud and some friends from Maine Masters (can I say I adore and admire Cheryl Kupan for her grace and toughness?). Then slept like crap last night, tossing and turning from 3-7. Par for the course after caffeine. I swam better on day 2, but am too tired to write that up right now, having just gotten back from Boston.
Does anyone remember that I commented long ago that the compression tights and socks sold in tri/bike stores would find a use in swimming? Well, they have! KPN puts them on after meets and while traveling to reduce muscle fatigue. She had a fantastic meet BTW.
On an allergy note, I stopped at Whole Foods to get some dinner on the way to my hotel on Friday night. Not sure what I ate, either the WF salads (biryani salad/w veggies and a bean salad) or a gluten-free granola bar with soy and possible milk. But I had a huge hive attack that night. Not cool. The rice krispie bars with malt didn't bother me at all. Thank goodness! I was very hungry before my last event both days. And I was lusting after pizza when Chris ate some in front me me today. I'm also lusting after his cool Kindle ereader device!
Updated December 14th, 2009 at 11:50 AM by The Fortress
Noon Hot Yoga:
Went to the noon hot yoga class. I'm getting ever so closer to touching my head to my toes in one of the final positions. I might close the last two inches in the next millenium ...
I'm feeling slightly peeved today:
My shoulder is still nagging me. (I'm fairly sure I just overdid it on the HS hi row a week or so ago with my new PR. When I tweak my shoulder, it usually takes a good 3 weeks for the symptoms to fade. It's not bad, just annoying and irritating and a constant reminder to do my damn boring RC exercises. I think this will force me to taper upper body weights now.)
I couldn't go to my team practice tonight b/c I had to drive my kid to her pm make up USA practice since high school tryouts were after school. I was pretty tired anyway though ...
GMU has apparently instituted a "no make up" policy for masters swimmers. This means that if official masters practice is cancelled or you can't make a regular practice, you can't go in during the 8-9 am or 12-2 pm lap swim hours to make it up. This seriously sucks, since the pool is regularly closed for meets on the weekend, thus obviating 50% of the regular practices. (None of the nighttime swimmers can or want to do make ups at 4:15 am.) And we get no rebate when our practices are summarily cancelled. This further sucks since the masters team helps subsidize the college team with our meets and fees. Irksome. A couple of us have complained to management, but their new policies (including pay in full in advance) seemed designed to drive (and in fact have driven) some of our masters swimmers away. I know a couple other team members that swim at 8-9 and they are fuming as well.
I just sent in my entries for NE Champs today, right before the deadline. Then, this afternoon, Mr. Fort just announced that he will be in Tucson on Dec. 11 when I leave. Since my other kids have sports practices and swim meets, this poses a logistical nightmare for me. Since he's been on a Patrick like traveling spree the past month, this is irksome. I am irked. Though I'm sure it will pass.
On the upside, I will still meet Pete for our Thursday sprint practice, but at OakMarr Rec Center instead.
I entered the following events:
There's only one event between the 50 back and 50 free (200 breast). But evil is slow mo and I'm sure there will be many heats of the 50 free.
I intend to submit split requests for the 100 evil and 100 free.
I submitted my best times for every event except 100 evil and 100 free, since I will be dogging the second 50 on those. Actually, I submitted a faster 50 fly time, since my last time didn't count as official.
And on the issue of time trials not counting in masters, check the last paragraph of this out:
I am now going to finish my motherly chores and sit and watch the MadMen episodes I missed this season ...
Updated November 17th, 2009 at 11:03 PM by The Fortress
Went for a 5 mile zen run today. Perfect fall weather!
Videos from Sprint Classic:
Here are the meet results: http://www.patriotmasters.org/Sprint...limResults.htm
I was lucky enough to have Speedo and SwimStud tape my 50 fly and Swimmy tape the final heat of the women's 50 back. And I must say, they revealed all my technical difficulties! lol
On the 50 back, my underwater on the second 25 was better than my first 25 -- somewhat unusual for me. On the first 25, I broke out with my head at an angle instead of leaning back. I recall this moment. I had done 13-14 dolphin kicks and was thinking that I better get the hell to the surface fast. But I thought my turn looked decent.
On the 50 fly, I took a HUGE look at my nearby competitor. 100 lashes, though I do note some acceleration after that look. My breakouts looked a little rocky as well. And my start ... well, that was my worst one of the meet and I made a lot of noise. lol And yes, I was wearing a B70 and my chief competitor (former secret nemesis was AWOL) was not, but I was old enough to be her mom.
Here's the final 50 back heat of Team Hottub Ladies, most of whom are illustrious top ten backstrokers and good swim buddies:
Lane 3, Barbara Clifford-Dicks
Lane 4, Fort
Lane 5, SwimmieAvsFan
Lane 6, Julie-Mulie Oplinger Roddin
Lane 7, Swimshark
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBjKjaq8IKs"]YouTube- MVI 1033[/ame]
Barb and SwimmieAvsFan have been really working on their SDKs and I think it really shows!
And here's the 50 fly taped by Speedo:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K2T_GJLUsg"]YouTube- swimming sprint classic 006.avi[/ame]
If you look closely, you can see Stud in his itsby bitsy teeny weeny Speedo brief on the other side of the pool taping.
The 50 fly from the other side of the pool taped by Stud:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRcif3L90cg"]YouTube- Leslie 50 Fly zones...[/ame]
My neck is pretty sore today. I noticed a twinge in the right side after the evilstroke start. So it was either caused by: (1) so many starts, (2) checking out the competition, or (3) swiveling my head to check out the cute guys in the hottub (Eney's suggestion, lol). I would have liked to go for a slow swim this afternoon and sit in the hottub, but it's a no go with too much to do. Tomorrow hopefully.
Updated November 5th, 2009 at 12:04 PM by The Fortress
Celebrated my 5th anniversary as a masters swimmer today at the GMU Sprint Classic. My first masters meet was Oct. 2005, a few months after being hobbled by running injuries.
I swam the 50 back, 50 breast, 50 fly and the four 25s. Didn't have enough gas to swim the 50 free -- it was just too close to the 50 fly and I was still tired. Plus, I didn't want to be absolutely trashed for the very fun annual Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters.
Here's how it went:
50 back: 1st place, 28.55
2005 time: 31.1
Turnover was good, but felt a bit choppy, much like the Fall Ball. My first breakout was not ideal; I was angled up to much instead of having my head back. I glided into the finish again a bit (though not quite as loco mcstupid as the prior meet). Not sure I should have taken another stroke. Wolfy noted that, based on my stroke count, I was in "no man's land" where either gliding in or smacking my arm on the wall was inevitable. Still, apart from CZ last April, this is my second fastest 50 back time ever -- the same time I swam fully tapered at Auburn last February.
50 evil, 3rd place(?), 34.82
Got absolutely owned on my gridges with Wolfy and Stud. Kudos to them! And an absolute failure to execute on my part. I went way too deep on the start. I had a good streamline, dolphin kick, pull down and kick up and, then, well, I was still 2 feet under water at the 15 meter mark ... Very comical. I thought I was floating up veeeerrrry slowly to the surface, but others detected some unintentional flutter kicking. However, despite everyone shouting "DQ" at what seemed like the top of their lungs after the race, I wasn't DQ'd. lol But I must admit that, after floating around in a streamline position for seemingly forever, I completely forgot everything Allen Stark ever said to me about evilstroke and swam old style evil. Still, I guess if you discount my little "error" the swim wouldn't be that far off the 34.1 I swam at CZ last April where I had a good start and turn.
50 fly: 1st place, 27.65
2005 time: 29.5
Pretty solid race. I felt like I was missing some zip, didn't have the best streamline entering the water, and glided just a tad into the turn and finish. Speedo filmed this race, so I'll see what it looks like on video. (I looked quickly on camera -- and it showed me peeking at the competition!) I went 27.5 last year at this meet, so this is virtually equivalent.
Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters:
Now, for the BEST part of the meet. Last year, I went:
25 back, 13.96 (1st)
25 evil, 15.95 (3rd)
25 fly, 12.71 (3rd)
25 free, 12.01 (1st)
This year, I went:
25 back, 13.74 (1st)
25 evil, 15.69 (4th)
25 fly, 12.61 (1st)
25 free, 12.01 (1st)
I was a little worried about defending my Fastest Woman in the Pool title after scoring 0 points on the 25 evil (though I had a much better start). But I got really good starts on my last 2 25s, especially on my 25 fly where Wolfy said I had a great breakout. I barely held off Cheryl Ward and Jen O'Reilly in the 25 free -- they were closing fast. SwimmieAvsFan showed some real sprint today (including winning the 50 free)! I'm hoping my sprint victory makes Ahlee happy -- I'm getting older, but still faster.
The boys' 25s were fast and furious! One guy went 9.96 in the 25 free in a brief (though no one's brief was as brief as those sported by Muppet and SwimStud!) Typically, the clock doesn't start picking up times until 10 seconds, but fortunately Cheryl had re-set the clock to pick up times at 9. Wow!
I wish more meet directors would do 25s! It's great speed work, great work on starts and great fun. I was happily surprised that my times were slightly faster than last year. And I liked my prize -- goggles, cap and cool t-shirt from our first CZ meet at GMU. I still am wearing the GMU suit I won in 2007 as well.
Sat in the hottub chatting with Speedo, Wolfy, Cage Fighter, SwimStud and SwimShark.
I didn't feel completely "on" at the meet. In fact, Speedo and I both felt slightly flat. It could possibly be that a 3 day taper would have been better than a 5+ day taper. Also, I usually don't lift at all the week before a meet and this week I lifted 2x, although somewhat lightly. Who knows exactly how much these little things make a difference, if at all. But it was a very fun, very low key meet.
I feel pretty trashed now. Swimming at a meet is so much more exhausting than doing AFAP work at practice.
I chatted with Jeff Roddin at bit before scratching the 50 free. We agreed that it is very difficult to swim 4 50s + 4 25s at a meet at a high level on the type of AFAP workouts I am currently doing. To do that many events, we both thought some more conditioning was required. For this reason, I will likely not enter the 50 evil at NEChamps on Sat. and stick with no more than 3 events per day.
Wolfy encouraged me to continue yoga, asserting I would get more bang for my buck doing that as opposed to more lifting. I'm not sure about this, as I'm already pretty flexy. But it definitely loosens up my upper and mid back more than usual.
And ... my trusty B70 developed a small hole after the 50 back. It didn't get any bigger as the meet went on. But it seems to be ending it's life span. Of course, it's nothing like Wolfy's B70 ...
On that note, I'm not sure there is an "apples to apples" comparison of my times between this year's meet and last year's meet. The B70 I wore at last year's meet was much newer than this one. There's nothing quite as performance enhancing as a spanking new suit.
And, Jimby, your buddy Mark Cox is a real speedster! He swam great today.
Updated October 26th, 2009 at 10:17 AM by The Fortress
More Fall Ball:
Here's the video of Jazz and I swimming the "100 free" at the Fall Ball (with a little cameo of Jackie O. ...) Jazzy's fly looks very smooth. I was way too deep -- no wonder I had trouble seeing/reaching the touchpad at the finish ... lol. Kirk said we should be deeked for delay of meet.
I could hear Allison in the background saying "what's the point?" lol. The point was fun. I'd definitely do a 50 SDK in that setting again.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U12FIYZwwX4"]YouTube - Leslie & Brian's 100 free[/ame]
I did get my 100 back splits: 31.6/33.1, basically almost even split b/c the differential was mainly the start. No split on my 50 SDK. Just didn't hit the touchpad hard enough.
Had a blast at the PV swim wedding. It's pretty funny when the groom welcomes everyone by first asking "How many of you went to swim practice or coached a practice this morning before coming?" We got swim caps as favors and these were seen in abundance on the dance floor. Many of us plan to wear them at the Sprint Classic next month. And the very handsome and beautiful bride and groom even posed for a swim shot (see below). I'm surprised Wally didn't give Jeff a little push ...
Updated September 28th, 2009 at 05:25 PM by The Fortress
No razzle dazzle, but plenty of fun. The pool was very nice - couldn't believe it was a high school pool(s)! It was nice to see some of the PV gang (though many seemed to take a pass either because of recent tris/OW or the upcoming PV nuptials.) And it was great to see Jazz again, and he was very speedy!
My times were fairly solid, but I had some technical difficulties. Felt like I had serious SCY rust. It was probably good to attempt to work out some kinks at this meet. I was also thrown off some by a switcheroo. I could tell in warm up that the backstroke flags were set at 5 meters. But I didn't know until after the 50 back that they were switched back to 5 yards before racing started.
I did feel tired in the water. This confirms my thinking that I just cannot compete very well two weekends in a row. However, since I had no expectations of this meet and used it for training, all was fine.
I also felt kind of "weak" strength wise. I suspect this is from doing weights only once in the last 2 weeks. I've also been completely unfaithful to my RC exercises.
50 back, 28.7
Did this as a split request in the 200. Took too many strokes from the flags in and jammed the first turn a bit. Took fewer strokes from the flags in at the finish and glided about 3 yards or so. lol. Jazz and Paul estimated a .5-.6 time loss on the finish. Still, it's about what I expected to go. If I had gone a low 28 right now, that would have been very surprising.
My stroke felt choppy and I had no zip/decelerated on the breakouts.
100 back, 1:04.8
Did this at about 90-95%. Wasn't sufficiently HTFU'd to kill myself with a total all out effort. (Felt slightly less guilty when Neill admitted to taking the same approach.) Turns/finish were better than the 50 (which Hulk seems to have called a "split-splat :P), and I SDK'd a fair amount. Just no real zip and took it out somewhat leisurely. (10 lashes from Ande.) There are no splits yet; that's just how it felt.
"100 free," missed split
I didn't feel inspired to swim a real 100 free. Since Jazz was doing a 50 fly on his first 50 of the 100 free, I decided to do a 50 SDK. I opted for doing it on my belly. Kinda wish I had flipped over and done it on my back, which I think is faster.
I almost hit the bottom of the pool about halfway on the first length. lol This is hard to do as the pool was 7 feet deep at that spot ... Had to come up practically vertical at the open turn and finish to get to the walls. Apparently, I didn't hit the touchpad hard enough to get a split ... Think it was probably around 30 or so though, nothing too fast. I did a 31+ from a push a week or so ago without a B70.
The officials were pretty entertained by our 100 free heat. The referee, who I had chatted with throughout the meet after arranging my split request, laughed and wryly observed that I had gone past the 15 meter mark. I smiled and agreed he should DQ me, but he decided not to since he'd never seen anyone do a 50 SDK at a meet before.
Allison taped our "100 frees" since Jazz and I were in adjacent lanes. She said she lost track of me since I was too deep, so we can all look forward to seeing Jazz.
Not bad. My backstroke times were comparable to those I swam last September at the Shootout (there, I went 29.1 and 1:04.7) and I felt relatively more "rust" at this meet. If I had gone slower than 1:05.1, I would have had admit a defeat by the Geek, and send him more caps as penance. Fortunately, this humiliation was narrowly avoided.
Now, back to sprinting and the weight room. No more cushy aerobic sets and OW cruising!
Updated September 26th, 2009 at 10:16 PM by The Fortress
Fall Ball & Sprint Classic:
Remembered to enter the Fall Ball online tonight at the last minute. I wasn't crazy about the order of events, and there are no stroke 50s or 100 IM. I entered:
I won't swim both the 100 free and 200 IM. I'll just see what I feel like swimming once I'm there. The 200 IM I swam last year was the most painful thing ever, so it will probably be the 100 free (if I'm not gassed after the backstroke events). There are unofficial stroke relays there as well that sound pretty fun. Haven't done one of those since I was a kid.
I think for the Sprint Classic I'm going to swim the four 50s and the four 25s. I'd like to swim the 100 fly before the end of the year, but I swam that last year at the Classic and I have a yen to do the quad 50s. The 100 fly is right between the 50 back and 50 breast.
The procedure went fine today. No ulcers. I was a little foolish to think I was going to work out today though ... I took a 3 hour nap instead and was kinda groggy the rest of the day. Back at it tomorrow.
Anyone ever tried this recovery drink?
Updated September 16th, 2009 at 10:55 AM by The Fortress
Finishing off my week of being a slacker.
I did walk several miles around the Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh yesterday with family and friends. In 100 degree heat, no less. Love the Phantom's Revenge!!!
Today, I just drove home from Pittsburgh with my kids and a friend. I let my two Savageman relay partners take a detour to Deep Creek without me to bike and run on the murderous course. Not a twinge of guilt!
I think I'll exercise tomorrow ... though I won't make like Sprinticus for awhile.
Here's my 50 back video from Nationals filmed by Jimby. Haven't seen the one Hulk filmed yet. It's pretty much like I remembered it -- conservative on the start, good breakout, and running out of gas about 5 meters before the flags. (Ande says I must learn how to split 50s appropriately! lol) Still, so happy to break 32!
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_QnCTP2n2w&feature=player_embedded"]YouTube - Leslie's 50 LCM Backstroke National Championship Performance[/ame]
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