Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
I'm glad that I made the effort to go the Columbus Day Classic for some racing practice two weeks ago. While I still have technical improvements to make, I felt more prepared to race and my results were much better this time around. I had big drops in the 50 free and 50 breast, a very solid 50 fly and won The Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters. And nary a scratch.
50 fly, 26.41, 1st
This race was well executed and I got off the blocks fast. My breakouts, often problematic, were very good. The only issue is that I finished the race with a foot to go, lol. I had to glide/kick in. But I was definitely correct not to take another stroke. I often swim the 50 fly at this meet and this is equivalent to my fastest time in October ... So I feel like this is an excellent start.
50 free, 25.14, 3rd
I went 25.8 two weeks ago, so this is a big drop. My glaring error in the race was that I breathed at the 2/3 mark on the first length again and felt like I had to take another breath at the flags to power the UWs. I'm like a pavlovian dog who's done it that way for so long that I'm on autopilot. I need to do some all out 25s and decide on a stroke count that will have me breathing at the flags instead. My Lochte turn was better this time around. I took 12 kicks on my back (instead of 10 before) and then 3 to spin to my belly and breakout. It felt really fast, so I think I will stick to this turn for the season. After the last couple years, I never really thought I'd get under 25 again. But this race makes me think that I can with a full taper and good execution.
50 breast, 33.2, 1st
I only had about 30 minutes rest before this race, but I popped out a good one. (Two weeks ago I was 34.0). Execution was about as good as it gets for me in breaststroke. I kept my stroke long this time. Unlike my other strokes, I don't have a fast turnover in breast. When I try to rush it, I seem to go slower. Super happy with this time.
Battle of Drop Dead Sprinters, 1st
I knew it would be a true battle with Fall W. She is the best sprinter in the 45-49 age group and the NR holder in the 100 IM. I figured I had the edge in fly and back and she had the edge in breast and free. I think I won by around .4 with a cumulative time of 51.08. I tried to get everything I could out of my starts and get off the blocks fast.
25 fly, 11.64, 1st
Whoa. I could not believe this time. A huge PR. I would have liked a snapshot of the 15 m mark as I took 1 more kick and 1 less stroke than usual. Perfect breakout, perfect finish, long strokes. Some of the guys were jealous of my time. This 25 probably won the Battle for me bc I had a .7 margin of victory.
25 back, 12.96, 1st
Very good. This might be my first time under 13 with electronic timing.
25 breast, 14.78, 2nd
This is a great time for me. Had a great start and was fast off the blocks.
25 free, 11.70, 2nd
Eh, botched this one a bit, and not my best time. I got off the blocks fast again, but had a really poor breakout and glidey finish. I find it a little amusing that my 25 fly was faster than this.
So overall, I am very happy with the meet. My legs didn't feel as tired as at the last meet -- probably bc I had a few days of only easy swimming with not one fast kick or stroke. Interestingly, all of the 50s are under the current 55-59 NRs. I wish I was aging up before Nationals in yards ... My shoulders are sore from all the ballistic sprinting, but I am going to try to hit the gym today.
Updated October 26th, 2015 at 01:25 PM by The Fortress
It was good to be back in the saddle -- nice pool, well run meet. But, wow, did I make a lot of technical miscues on my races. Definitely some serious racing rust. Out of curiosity, I checked my blog to see how many races I'd swum in the last year or so. Not many. Exactly 9, with a 10th aborted for a cramp since April 2014. Lots of reasons -- two long summer holidays, injuries, living in Pittsburgh. I need to correct this if I want to have a good 2016. Racing makes you better at racing.
50 free, 25.8
The only good part of this race was that I got off the blocks fast. I didn't have a very tight streamline on the start, breathed too early and had to take a second breath before the turn. I also glided into the turn too much and lost some momentum. I executed the Lochte style turn pretty well, but felt like I had no legs the last part of the race. I probably need to work on my flutter kick more. I'm not sure the Lochte turn will help my 50 free that much. I've invested a fair amount of time in working on my side SDKs for my freestyle flip turn. But I should probably try it again at the Sprint Classic.
50 back, 28.3
I was a little flat on the start. My SDKs petered out a bit on both lengths, probably due to leg fatigue. I felt like I was spinning my arms a bit and botched the finish. I hit the flag at a half stroke and should have taken another stroke at the finish. Not a great time. But this was also likely a side effect of having done very little sprint backstroke while swimming outside all summer long.
50 breast (split in 100), 34.0
I was too tired to do an all out 100. It was a fast moving meet. So I opted for a 50 split. I felt like I had a great start. I just botched the finish again with a ridiculously long glide to the wall. If I had taken another stroke, I would have been a 33 high. Still this is the same time I did last year with way more rest. So it's quite respectable for right now.
I didn't expect to be exceedingly fast at my first meet back, so these times are fairly solid. I hadn't rested much, and my legs were tired. I also had a hellishly long drive to DC in pouring rain with long delays on I70 due to multi car accidents, which didn't help matters. A sprinter friend also suggested that I might be a little "overtrained" for 50s. True, I haven't been training like Doug and Steve. But I think more rest would make me faster. In any event, I am planning on some 100s for my age up year, so need to do some training for those now too.
I dashed back right after the meet to make it home in time to send off Lil Fort to her homecoming dance. She had been in Ohio for a XC invitational, posting a season PR, so was in good spirits. I almost didn't make it bc of the Ft. Pitt bridge closure and detour. The parkway and bridge closures here are the bain of my existence!
Looking forward to more racing at the Sprint Classic!
Updated October 11th, 2015 at 06:36 PM by The Fortress
I had resolved to just enjoy watching my friends race today. And I did! My Pitt swimmers swam very well, two of them having all PRs at Zones. My PV buddies had some great swims. It was so much fun hanging out with chowmi as well. And I learned that her brother has come to a couple of my practices! (She is from Pittsburgh.) She was quite speedy today and the master of good execution (and casual napping). We lament that we cannot be training partners!
50 free, 25.5
I decided just to swim 50 free, and I didn't have much punch for that. Given the situation, my modest goal was to go under :26. I went 25.5. Start and turn were fairly good, though I didn't take as many SDKs off the turn as I had planned. But I felt like I was staggering to the wall after that -- tired and no legs. Chowmi said there was lots of room for improvement and that is certainly true. Like Jazz, she encouraged me to focus on freestyle more. If I can go 25.5 feeling like crap on 5 days rest, I think I should be able to go under :25 again with a full taper. Right now that time is #1, but it might get bumped down a notch at nationals. I'm glad that I have times from Auburn in a few of my best events as a back up. But no taper times for me this year.
But the bottom line is that I am feeling mentally and physically out of it. Between the allergic reaction, poor sleep, travel, mega antihistamines and continued hives, I'm beat. And that doesn't even account for the cumulative effect of the preceding sinus infection, ear infection and back issue. I feel like I've been doing battle for 2 months and I want out! Right now, I feel that I should cancel nationals and just rest up for a few days to allow the hives to fully abate. It's disappointing, but not the end of the world. I think all masters have to expect to have unscheduled difficulties befall them at the wrong time. That's just how it works out sometimes. And it certainly makes you appreciate the moments when all things coalesce marvelously. I will continue to mull ... but it seems unlikely that I can summon up the requisite enthusiasm for a long meet in a distant locale. And as of this am, my legs are still covered in hives. I am doing nothing today! I think once your body has an allergic reaction, it is then primed to be bothered by other allergens. With spring here, those are out in full force.
I'm also wondering in the future about planning two major travel meets less than two weeks apart. This is probably not ideal for me. Focusing on one is probably the way to go. I miss living in PV where I could roll out of bed and go to a meet!
I must confess to a little retail therapy yesterday after the meet. The shopping in Pittsburgh is not exactly the best. So I made a concerted effort to help the economy!
Zone results are here:
Updated April 13th, 2015 at 02:27 PM by The Fortress
I was still hiving whilst driving down to Zones yesterday. And I wasn't feeling great from a week of interrupted sleep from the hives and medicine. But I felt like I had to travel to Zones bc three of my swimmers were competing there. I'm so proud of them. They all had PRs today and one is likely to get her first top ten. So that was thrilling for me.
My events didn't go so well. My 50 breast was 34.0. Half a second faster than last time and a Zones record, but .9 slower than last year. My 100 back was a non-starter. I cramped on the start. I muddled through the first 50 not kicking very hard, but my calf really seized up on the second turn and I aborted the race. Even with half ass kicks, I was still out in a fairly effortless 30.5. I didn't swim the 50 fly, which was right after. Didn't want to risk another cramp. I am disappointed about not being able to get a 100 back time this year ...
Right now, though, I feel covered in hives again and so am loaded up in Benadryl. I'm not sure it was wise to try to compete after such a severe allergic reaction. I'm obviously not over it. At first I thought to myself that it was stupid to have rested a few days for Zones with nationals coming up. But I likely couldn't have trained hard anyway without compromising the situation further. The doctor said rest, rest, rest. Adding to the stress was some bad news about Mr Forts recent blood tests. He needs to see a urologist and hematologist. And he is supposed to run Boston next weekend.
I thought about just driving home. But I'm here and my swimmers are here. Right now, I just plan to swim 50 free tomorrow. Maybe 100 fly. But honestly my heart is just not in it. At this juncture, I'm thinking of pulling the plug on nationals. I don't want to get all the way there and not feel amped to compete. And I don't right now; I'm a little deflated. It's been a hard couple months, and I feel worn down. As I told Water Rat once, and it resonated with him, I'm not a wind up monkey that can perform on cue. I'll see how I feel tomorrow and think about it for a couple days. It's not the end of the world, just a lot of bad timing.
Updated April 11th, 2015 at 10:27 PM by The Fortress
I left Thursday for VA with Lil Fort in tow. Unfortunately, the trip did not start off well. I couldn't fall asleep Thursday at our friends house and then their huge dog busted down my door and hopped on my bed at 6:30 am. I couldn't fall back asleep and felt like a zombie all day Friday. I promptly checked myself into a hotel for the next couple nights. Slept great Friday night, but not Saturday night. I wish I were a more talented sleeper because lack of sleep effects my racing.
Anyhoo, I had a fabulously fun time at Zones despite those bumps. It was really fun to have my Team Pitt swimmers there with me and they all swam very well. I give Saturday an A, Sunday a B-.
50 back, mixed 45+200 medley relay, 1st, 27.20 (split request), Zones record
Was I ever happy to see this time! After my blech 50 back at Albatross, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was really just hoping to slide under 28. But this time I had a very good start and turn -- and from an end lane! This is only .16 hundredths off my NR set in Indy last year when I was on fire. So I was super super happy.
50 fly, 25.96, 1st
I was also thrilled with this time, which is a half second improvement from the Sprint Classic. I felt like I had a very good start, turn and UWs. My breakouts were not as bad as usual. The only glitch was that I had to glide into the finish. Without that glide, I might have matched the 25.7 I did in Indy (and in that race I nailed my finish). At this point, I felt like my meet was made with huge times in my two best events.
50 free on womens 200 free relay, 25.1 leadoff
I only had 5 heats of rest after my 50 fly, not nearly enough rest. So I guess 25.1 is pretty good considering that. If I had had another 30 minutes of rest, I feel like I would have been under 25. I also had a sub-par breakout on my second length.
We went out for a team dinner after this (A for fun) I was hoping for another good night's sleep but it was not to be. I tossed and turned woke up early and tired (C- for sleep). My legs were more tired than usual as well. I think this is where doing the Columbus meet the weekend before might have effected me too.
100 IM, 1:04.6, Zones record
Well, this was pretty disappointing. I really think I should have been a 1:03. I might have stayed UW too much the first 50 and then I had a mishap on my breast to free turn. I had a major glide into the wall and then my foot slipped on the stainless steel wall at that end. I went into the wall even with my buddy Mollie and came out a half a body length behind. So far, this is the fastest time in the nation, but I suspect it might get knocked down a notch or two at nationals.
50 free, mixed 45+ 200 free relay, 25.2 leadoff, 1st
Again, I only had 5-6 heats of rest after the 100 IM, not enough to rip off a really good time. I didn't think this one through. What I should have done was skip the relay and do the individual 50 free. Then I would have had more rest. But who knows, I was pretty tired by this point in the meet.
100 fly, 1:02.8
After the 50 free, I announced I was scratching this event. Stick a fork in me, I was done. And since I don't train for this event at all, I was slightly worried about finishing it legally. Historically, the last half length has always been soooo difficult. Then, about 10 minutes before the event, I uncharacteristically decided to swim it for a top ten (again, channelling chowmi). I tried to loaf, loaf, loaf the first three lengths. I sort of coffee breaked the last turn, but did not die on the last length! After finishing, I was not nearly as tired as usual from this event and, in retrospect, wish I had picked it up on the third length. Oh well, at least this gives me some confidence to try the 100 in SCM again. And right now, it's the fastest time in the nation, though I suspect it will get knocked down a notch or two at nationals. One season, I feel like I should focus on this event. It was my best event as a kid and I know I can go much faster than this (last year I was only .7 off the NR). Untapped potential, it's just a matter of whether my shoulder could take the training.
50 fly, womens 45+ 200 medley relay, 1st, 26.2
I wish there was a break between individual events and relays at this meet ... Again, I only had 5 heats of rest after 100 fly before the relay. I guess I didn't leave it all in the water in the 100 fly because I popped off a 26.2 split with a very safe start.
Another Zones in the books. On the whole, I'm happy with it, especially considering I've been rehabbing my shoulder the last couple weeks. I wish my 100s had been faster. But I find those respond better too a real taper and more rest. I didn't have a classic taper this year, just rested a bit for each meet. Mostly, I'm proud of myself -- in this year where I've been struggling and only training decently since January -- that I swam all 9 sprint events. I showed up. And I feel like I have at least some of my mojo back.
The results from the Columbus meet have now been added back to the data base, so I was able to check my splits from my events there. My 100 breast I was out fast in a 33.9 (with a fantastic start) and I felt like it was controlled speed. That suggests to me that I could have gone faster than the 33.1 that I posted in the 50 breast last fall if I had had a chance to swim it again. My 100 back, which I didn't have much rest for after the 100 breast, was split 30.6/32.1. That's practically an even split with my start. I took it out conservatively (1.3 seconds slower than Nats last year). That suggests to me that I could easily have gone a second faster with more rest or if that had been my first event.
In other good news, Lil Fort raced in a 5K this weekend and won the womens division. This was her first race since the move. She stopped running for the first 4 months of our move. I'm just grateful that she is getting back in the groove. It's been very hard on me seeing her so unhappy with the move.
Updated April 7th, 2014 at 01:09 PM by The Fortress
On Friday night, I travelled over to Columbus for a meet at Ohio State University. What a sweet pool that is -- deep, cold, clear and with wide lanes. I especially appreciated the wide lanes since it was a mixed gender meet. I was with one of my Pitt swimmers who was swimming in her first masters meet (she did great), so I had some company. The meet ran a bit faster than predicted and I was grateful for a couple 10 minute breaks. On the whole, I am really happen with how things went with 3 days of hard rest.
100 breast, 1:13.4, PR
I hadn't swum this event in over a year. My last attempt was a 1:15.0, so I was hoping to slide under that that time. Imagine my shock and happiness when I saw a 1:13 on the board. The race went well. I had a great start, though turns were a bit glidey. I guess those USRPT sets worked! I think there's only one swimmer in my age group (a real breaststroker) who can beat this time, so it should hold up well. I wish I had another crack at the 50 breast this season, but it doesn't fit into my Zones lineup.
100 back, 1:02.6
I had maybe 45 minutes rest and could have used more. The race went pretty well. I wish I could have taken a couple more kicks off the wall on the third and fourth length. But my UWs are not where I want them to be right now. Still, a 1:02 without a full taper and big meet vibe is a very solid time for me and I'm happy with it.
100 free, 58.3
Ok, admit it. No one thought I would swim all three 100s. And in less than 3 hours no less! I was pretty dead after my 100 back. I definitely do not train to compete in 3 x 100s in less than 3 hours. I've never done that before. In fact, it's an extremely rare occurrence when I swim 2 x 100s in one day at a meet. But I decided to give it whirl. My plan was kick to the 15 m mark, go easy speed for the first three lengths and sprint the final length. While that was a good plan, when I got to the last length, I had nothing and felt like I staggered to the finish. I think I should be a full second faster in this event. But that wasn't going to happen under these circumstances. This is my worst and least favorite sprint event, so I'm glad I got it out of the way and I can cross it off my Zones event list. This is about the same time I swam at Zones last year (when I missed a wall), and should make top ten (channeling chowmi here).
Just did an easy recovery swim today (1800) . Feeling pretty sore, though happily my shoulder seems no worse than it was pre-meet. The constant rehab exercises and icing seem to be helping somewhat.
There are now 563 swimmers entered in Zones.
Updated March 30th, 2014 at 07:12 PM by The Fortress
Made it down to VA for the Albatross SCM meet. I definitely spent more time socializing than swimming and had a great time. The meet basically went awful-great-good.
50 back, 31.4
This was the awful part. I had an uncharacteristically bad start. The starter held us a long time and I had a major flinch. I went down a bit thinking the starter would tell us to relax. I mean, I had really moved and was still moving. But then the gun went off and I thought oh crap. So I wasn't in position, got off a bit late and was too shallow on the dive. My turn wasn't my best either. I was too shallow and took a kick or two fewer than usual. The result: my worst time in 5 years in this event. It was a little disheartening, but sh*t happens. I definitely need a do over of this event sometime this year.
50 breast, 36.8, PR
I only had 30-35 minutes of rest. I find I tend to have a good race after a bad race. Or maybe my breaststroke is just improving a bit. 36.8 is my best time and only .1 off the national record. I had a great start and hit my walls pretty well. So I was extremely pleased with this swim. At least I know I'm not completely washed up yet!
50 fly, 29.6
This is a pretty good time for me, my third best and faster than I went at NE Champs in Dec. I had a great start and perfect first length. Then I was too deep on my second breakout, costing me a few tenths. I always seem to have trouble right there. I need to practice ascending the kicks more.
2 out of 3 isn't bad! I still don't feel great in the water. And 2+ months of solid training doesn't make up for 6 months of subpar training. I'm really going to keep trying to not fret about my times this year too much. I am still mulling over going to Canadian Nationals. It's about 6 hours from here. And it would probably be my last hurrah before going on my long vacations this summer. I'll see how I feel after Zones.
I haven't had a bad meet in a long time, but I did this weekend at NE Champs. I felt awful in the water, fell apart the last half length in my races and committed technical miscues. I only swam three 50s and scratched the rest of my events and left early.
50 fly, 29.9
My hands were separated on the dive. Hard to have a good 50 after starting with major drag on the streamline. Then I could barely get my arms out of the water the last 3-4 strokes. This is about the same time I went at the Sprint Classic on only a few days rest.
50 breast, 37.0
My only decent event. This is my second best time. But had to short stroke both walls.
50 free, 28.4
Really, this was just awful. I dove in with my hands separated again. No idea why, I practice starts at Pitt frequently and this doesn't happen. I had nothing the last half length, no legs and breathed way too much. This is definitely worse than the 25.1 I swam at the Sprint Classic on little rest and way worse than my last tapered time of 24.6.
So what happened? The possibilities:
1. I was over tapered for my training. I may have rested too long. And I remember needing a recovery week before I started taper, so may have eased up too soon.
2. My training was pretty sub par in general this fall and I need to do more conditioning work.
3. I need to go back to lifting. A key benefit from lifting is that your muscles don't fatigue as quickly. My fly has felt pretty poor this fall after 7 months of no drylands. Our poor puppy is going to have to fend for herself for awhile while I go back to my prior training life. I am declaring this enforced experiment with no drylands a failure. It's been too long without drylands, I'm getting weak, and I'm lost muscle mass.
4. I am human. This fall sucked for me on every level and I succumbed.
5. I just had a random bad meet. Sh*t happens.
6. I'm getting old.
I'm going to look back over my blog to see what I've been doing in prior seasons. Though I guess it's hard to generalize from just one meet. And I'm going to forget about meets for awhile and just train for a couple months. The only good thing I can say about the meet is that my reaction time off the blocks was very fast. And it was great to see some swim friends!
Updated December 16th, 2013 at 11:27 AM by The Fortress
Back from a long, restorative weekend in VA. The highlights of the meet were seeing all my PV friends and defending my title in the Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters. I was pretty pleased with the meet results. I've only competed one day since Indy Nats and the rust showed with a fair number of technical miscues. In retrospect, I wish I had rested a couple more days. And I will no longer get deep tissue massages 5 days before a meet; I wasn't fully recovered.
50 fly, 26.4
This was probably my worst race and the furthest off my PR. Got off the blocks fast, but went in a little on the left side of the line and then had an iffy first breakout. I pushed off too shallow on the turn, was forced to take 2 kicks less than planned, and had an even worse breakout. It was capped off by having to kick in to the finish. Still, last year my in season time was a 26.8 before dropping to time at zones and nationals. With a taper and better execution, I could easily chop half a second off. And anytime you're under 27, that's pretty darn fast.
50 free, 25.1
This was a solid race. Teen Fort had some friends in the stands (watching their HS coach compete in his first masters meet!) and they video'd the race for her. I had a good start (12 SDKs), breakout and fast turn. The only issue was that my flutter kick completely peetered out the last 10 yards. This could be either due to the legs not being rested or to the fact that I need to work more on flutter kick endurance. This is slightly faster than the 25.2 I posted in mid-season last year, probably due to taking more SDKs.
50 breast, 33.1
Uh, I had to take another look at the clock on this one. 33.1 in my third event of the day with only about 30+ minutes rest after the 50 free?! That's only .3 off the PR of 32.8 that I swam at Indy Nats and my second fastest time ever. I had extremely good breakouts in this race, rare for me in breast. But I had to short stroke both walls. So I was happy to see this time; I expected to swim at least .5+ slower. I may check this event off my list for the year and not worry about it.
Battle of the Drop dead Sprinters:
Fall didn't make it to the meet, but I had a good battle with a 24 year old college swimmer. I ended up with a cumulative time of 52.02. I won the battle with a large 1 second margin in the 25 back. Both fly and free were extremely close.
25 fly, 11.98, 1st
Perfect swim, and the first time I've ever been under 12. Last year, I was 12.30. I took one less stroke than usual, so was somewhat worried I was past the 15.
25 back, 13.08, 1st
Another very good swim, same time as I went last year.
25 breast, 15.20, 1st (.05)
Solid swim, great start, had to glide into the wall a bit. Barely hung on to beat a real breaststroker a few lanes away.
25 free, 11.76, 1st (by .05)
This was a bit of a half hearted effort. I knew I would win at this point and was freaking exhausted. I had a super long glide at the finish. Should definitely have taken another stroke. Just didn't feel like it.
Overall very pleased with the results. I was dead after the meet and really feeling it this am. 250 AFAP yards of racing is about my max for 1 day. All my starts were very good this meet, so practicing them at Pitt probably helped. I really should get in a recovery swim today, but that will likely have to wait until tomorrow. Lots of errands to do! It was great to see all my friends in VA. I did lunch with Speedo who says he may hit some Patriot Masters practices this winter.
Zones, Day 2
-- scratched the evil events
50 fly, 30.29, NR
My start wasn't as crisp as usual. My feet were separated when I hit the water. Had just an OK breakout. My fly felt smooth, but my turnover slowed a bit the last 10 meters. Small glide at the finish. Solid swim, but not at the level of my SCY 50 fly at Nats. Still happy with the time! I broke the NR, but missed the WR by .05 (which was my goal for this meet). I was a tiny bit disappointed, but, given everything, I'll gladly take the 30.29. I'm also psyched to have the 50 fly record in all three courses, despite not being a long course swimmer.
So I only swam 3 of my 6 individual events at this Zones meet. It was all I had the physical and mental energy for, and even that was pushing it. The timing of my malaise sucked, but one has to expect that as a masters swimmer. I'm glad I bucked up and swam the meet. The times were not PRs, but they were my best in my current age group and best non-tech suit times. And I am hopeful they will hold up as FINA #1s. I'll be watching the results at Mission for sure.
The best part of the meet -- as usual -- was hanging out with PV friends and teammates. And it was nice to see Patrick, who closed out the meet with a nice looking 400 IM.
Updated June 23rd, 2013 at 11:34 PM by The Fortress
I didn't swim yesterday; felt too poorly. I felt somewhat better today, but was still tired with low energy. I think I needed a couple more days for a return to full health. Given that, I'm extremely happy with my times today. But, ouch, they felt rough.
50 free, 28.6
I had a great start (12 SDKs) and felt good for about 35-40 meters and then struggled to the wall with a long glide at the finish. I was expecting a 29, so was very happy to see 28.6. This is .6 faster than last year and only .4 off the WR. Probably due to doing more freestyle with healthier shoulders. But, yikes, I felt done after this.
50 back, 32.41, WR
I had about 50-55 minutes rest after 50 back, but with the way I feel this was not enough. I had another good start, but only felt strong for 25 meters. I had a half body length over Fall at that point, but she cruised by me. I just felt dead. I was pleased to dip under my WR by a few hundredths. But honestly, I feel like I should be a good half second faster. I can't seem to get back to my tech suit PR. I've had life issues before a focus meet 3 long course seasons in a row. Is this a message that I should stick to short course?
I felt sickish in the warm down pool. Mollie said I was very flushed.
Mixed 200 medley relay, 2nd
I swam the backstroke leg. I was exhausted so decided to slow down my turnover and build it. Went 33.1. John, Cheryl and Alex were all very speedy, but we got nipped by VMST -- probably because Chris Stevenson crushed me on the backstroke leg!
I thought I had purchased a ticket for the social, but apparently I had not. This was fine as I went out for fabulous barbecue with my team, which is now full of fast boys who like to compete. We went to Buzz & Ned's and it lived up to its rave reviews.
I'm now back in my room cursing myself for once again forgetting my compression garments. My upper body takes more of a beating in long course.
I'm going to scratch the 50 breast tomorrow. I have the same 50-55 minutes rest before 50 fly. But I want to save whatever energy I have for fly without the evilstroke evilly interfering. 50 fly was my focus event for this meet after all, so I'm going to focus on it. The 100 breast is only 15 minutes after 50 fly. Who thinks I'll make it to the starting blocks?
Considering all I have going on with the move and the girls, I feel lucky to have even gotten in a long course meet. Our summer league team won its first A meet today and Lil Fort had PRs in 50 breast and 50 fly. She dropped three seconds in breast, and I'm wondering if she's becoming a bit of an evilstroker ...
Updated June 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 AM by The Fortress
Yesterday was the third day of a great meet for me. Nationals have been somewhat difficult for me as of late (labral tear, elbow tear, insomnia, power outages, etc.) But this meet I was healthy, uninjured and got at least a semblance of shut eye. And it really paid off with 6 PRs, 3 NRs and near misses on 2 other NRs.
I felt pretty good during warm up, just some leg fatigue. By day three, when you're UW 15 meters for all your races, leg fatigue is inevitable.
100 back, 1:01.30, PR, Missed NR by .01:
I'm not gonna lie. I looked up at the time and was a little heartbroken. I would rather have swum a 1:01.5. My splits were good -- 29.3 & 31.9. But I didn't have the leg power on the second 50, especially the last 25, and that cost me. My turns were a little glidey (2 strokes before flipping) and my entry on my start could have been cleaner. I let myself be disappointed during my warm down and then shrugged it off. The time was still a PR and I have been the beneficiary of a .01 swing on other occasions. Plus, it will still be the AA time this year since Karlyn swam a 1:01.7 earlier this year. I knew swimming this on day 3 wouldn't be ideal, so I will have to figure out when and where to swim it rested. Certainly keeps me hungry! And I am encouraged since I still feel like my 100 training wasn't ideal this season.
Here's a vid that Stud took with a nice "dammit" at the end:
50 free, 24.67, PR/NR
I used to dislike the 50 free. But since it occurred to me that I could try SDK-ing on the start, I like it more and may start swimming it more often. I had a tad slow reaction time compared to my other swims. I took 11 kicks on the start and from the vid it looks like that took me to about 13 meters. Then, I took 9 rather than my usual 5-6 on the turn. My breakouts didn't look great (lack of access to blocks). My flutter kick/leg drive looked really solid until right at the end. I was thrilled with the time! I knew 1980 Olympian Sue Walsh had swum a 24.7 last month, so knew I had to improve on my Zones time of 24.86. Really happy with this for the final event of a 3 day meet. Ellen and Stud took vids. I think that is Teen Fort screaming at the end.
Best event: 50 fly
Most Frustrating event: 100 back
Here's a couple other vids from the meet:
50 fly vid:
-- shows a total of 13 strokes and a glidey turn
100 IM vid:
-- no SDK on breast to free turn
-- did not need that breath inside the flags
I'm going to reboot for LCM Zones in late June. I'll be moving in late July, so July and August I will likely not be as laser focused on swimming. And I have to find a place to train in Pitt. As for next SCY season, I will not go to Santa Clara -- shallow outdoor pool. I may focus on the Harvard SCY meet and Colonies Zones SCY instead. Onward!
Teen Fort did not have a great meet. She didn't taper enough. But she ended with a great race in the 200 breast, taking the win in the final 5 yards. She hadn't swam that race since age 14. Funny, that her best race was the 200 breast and mine was the 50 fly! She did enjoy the experience and meeting lots of masters. I think she will talk up masters swimming in college next year and she may swim at LCM Nats at U of Md next summer.
Updated May 13th, 2013 at 06:30 PM by The Fortress
Had a fantastic time at the form/stalker dinner last night, meeting lots of new folk. One of them (same age) actually has a son the same year same college as Fort Son. Small world. Had a semi decent nights sleep for a traveling insomniac. The only am emergency was that Teen Fort lost a contact in the am and hadn't brought any replacements. Ack. I've learned the hard way to pack extras after swimming a one eyed day at Zones one year. In any event, I had a great day two and am so excited I fear I wont fall asleep.
50 fly, 25.70, NR/PR
I really thought that I would not swim faster than Zones where I had perfect walls. In fact, I had a wager on it. But I decided to use my nose clip for the first time in fly and took an extra kick on the second length. That and a little more rest allowed me to shave off .2. I did have a slight glide at the turn. The ever witty Ellen took a vid (thx!) and I counted 13 strokes. I didn't quite take the whole 30 meters UW, but was fairly close. Comparing vids, I can see my DPS has improved in fly since Greensboro; it felt long and powerful. Very happy about that swim.
100 IM, 1:02.3, PR
I hadn't swum the 100 IM in SCY in 2 years and never at nationals, so was a tad nervous. But very caffeinated! I missed the NR by .2 and it was all in my breast to free turn. I glided in and then, brain fart, didn't SDK off the wall. Maybe my legs where telling my brain they were done. I wanted at least a body length lead at the 50, and went out n 27.7 (12 + 12 SDK). Fast, but it didn't feel excessive. Did not have a particularly speedy evil leg, and lost some ground there to a real evilstroker. But my free leg was fairly solid and I pulled away a bit at the end. So psyched about the time! A PR by 2 seconds.
Really hoping for some sleep tonight. Tomorrow 100 back and 50 free. It could be the first nationals ever where I don't scratch an event. . The speedy Water Rat beat me to it!
Updated May 11th, 2013 at 11:46 PM by The Fortress
Yes it is! It is sprinters day 1!
50 back, 27.04, NR
Great first event for me. My first event at Nats isn't always my best, so I was glad to see this time. Execution was good except I was too close to the wall on my turn. It didn't effect me materially, but might have made the .05 difference in getting under 27. Still extremely pleased. This event is clearly my baby with a 4.5 winning margin. I felt like I had a fast reaction time. But that doesn't seem to be listed in the results. I did really jam my finger on the finish, which required ice and 4 ibuprofen.
50 evil, 32.80, PR, 2nd
Really pleased with the time, but my execution was iffy. I dove in and took my bloody time taking my dolphin kick. And I had to short stroke both walls. I pulled ahead on the UW off the wall, but Kim Crouch tracked me down, out touching me by .02. I've never beaten her in yards. My turnover looked slow on the vid too (in complete contrast to my other strokes). Breaststroke is the most aggravating, unsightly, frustrating, bizarre stroke. And hence I am completely happy with my fake evil time!
Day 1 is in the books and went very well. Teen Fort won her 50 evil so we are mommy daughter national champs. Now off to forum dinner!
I came in a bit late this am (getting the house ready for an open house). That meant I had to warm up in the rec pool with no backstroke flags. Not ideal and perhaps contributed to some misadventures in my 100 back.
400 Mixed Medley Relay, 3:57, 100 back split, 1:02.11
We grabbed first place overall and will definitely end up high in the TT rankings. We also had two swimmers who had just swum the 100 IM, and were pretty tired. My 100 back was fraught with turn problems. They seem to be due to my stroke count from the flags changing from prior years. I'm wondering if doing a fair amount of backstroke with agility paddles has helped my pull? I've customarily taken 3 strokes and flipped. I did this on the first 25 and my feet went entirely over the gutter, no push off. A huge collective groan from my team on the side. I just started SDK-ing like mad. The second turn I took two strokes and was too far from the wall. The third turn I took 2 1/2 strokes and that worked best. But who can plan on that? I may have to work on taking 2 long hard strokes before flipping. Any other advice? That must have cost me .5+ seconds. If I had had only a decent turn, I would have had a PR; my prior best was 1:01.99 with the floaty suits. So, I was pleased with the time considering the execution problems. It's actually .3 faster than I went at Nationals last year, though I had a terrible day on day one last year for various reasons. I am hopeful I can take a second off that swim with a full taper. My splits were 29.7/32.4. I swam it 50 easy speed, 25 build, 25 sprint. I will stick to that pacing strategy at nationals. I did put in a split request for this event as well.
100 fly, 1:00.8, PR
I had a lot of rest after 100 back, which I was grateful for as that is an exhausting leg dominant event. I planned to swim the race 75 easy speed + 25 whatever I have left. The last 5 strokes were horribly painful and piano-ish. But I was thrilled thrilled with the time. I haven't swum a decent 100 fly in SCY since 2010 (1:01.3). Splits were 28.0/32.7. I can't really get these any closer without training more for this event. This is only .5 off the NR. That .5 was lost in the last 5 strokes for sure. Still, this was the end of a two day meet. I was very happy with it. It helped to have friends cheering at the end of my lane. I'm hopeful it will hold up well against nationals times. And I'm glad I got it off my plate for the season!
Women's 200 medley relay, backstroke lead off, 27.3
We finished first overall! I only had about 20 minutes after the 100 fly for this race. I did have time for maybe a 250 warm down. I thought my legs would be beyond fried for the 50 back. But they didn't feel too bad. I did feel a bit ragged the last 10 yards. But this is a great time for my 7th event over two days.
Overall, I couldn't be more pleased with my Zones meet. This is the best one I've had in years. I usually do a more gradual rest going into a non-taper meet than I did last week. But 4 days of drastic rest really helped zap the fatigue and produce some great times.
I may start using my nose clip for all my 50s.
Feeling quite bushed at the moment. Will just do a recovery workout tomorrow.
Updated April 21st, 2013 at 07:46 PM by The Fortress
I was exceedingly glad I rested hard the last 4 days. I had a lackluster start, but from then on it was fast.
100 free, 58.4, Zones Record
This was a mediocre swim. I wasn't jazzed up to really really crank it with a relay soon after. I had a great start (9 SDKs) and took it out very conservatively given my concern with my 100 conditioning (28.0). Unfortunately, I only got a toe on my second wall, which stopped me dead in the water. Mollie said she say me stop dead/look splayed and wondered what happened as she zoomed by. This mistake demotivated me for my second 50, though I finished in 30.3. That botched turn cost me a good second, I'm sure. Definitely slower than my SCM 100 free from Dec. I've been frequently flipping too far from the wall in practice and I think this carried over to the meet. I've also never had fantastic flip turns since I race free infrequently. This is an item I really need to focus on. Mollie did point out to me that this time was a Zones Record, which did make me feel better.
Mixed 200 medley relay, 50 back lead off, 27.29
Our medley relay won overall with a 1:42. Our flyer went 22.0. Teen Fort split a 30 in evil and was happy. I was super pleased with my 27.29 leadoff, which is only .03 off my NR. I had a very good start. My only flaws were a bobble in my streamline on the second 25 and I was a bit too shallow (Yes, I hyper-analyze all technique aspects of my races.) I took fewer kicks on the second 25 since I was perilously close to a DQ on the second length at the Albatross meet. I did put in a split request on this swim in case anything goes awry at Nats.
50 fly, 25.90, NR
I had almost a 2.5 hour break until this event and two cups of java. I didn't even bother to get back in the pool to re-warm up. I knew it would be a tight race with Fall, Susan and Margaret (who all went sub 27). Fall and Susan didn't have a ton of rest after their 100 back. I was excited to swim, felt energized and just had a great feeling about the race before I swam. I wanted to win; I was dialed in. When I set the NR last spring of 26.3, I wondered if I would ever go faster. But I only took 7-8 SDKs off the wall at Greensboro. At the Albatross meet in March (where I re-set my SCM WR), I opted for 10-11 SDKs off the second wall and I did the same here. That is definitely faster for me, and I'll stick with that. I also hit my walls absolutely perfectly -- so very rare. But I was still shocked when I looked at the timing board. Just over the moon about this swim. It is actually faster than the 45-49 record done in a tech suit. This swim will be hard to ever replicate. I was a little surprised to go so fast in my third swim of the day. But I was rested and I always swim faster in the afternoon, which is when I work out.
Womens 200 free relay, 24.86 leadoff, PR/NR
Our free relay won too! I was very surprised by my time (put in a split request) because I was feeling tired. 4 events is pretty rare for me. I've been working on taking more SDKs on free too. I took 9-10 off the start; in the past I've done 4-5. My old PR in this event is from 2009 with a tech suit. I've beaten every other 50 tech suit time, but not this one. Adding SDKs was the ticket! I was almost startled when the wall came up so quickly. I will say that I took a good long look at the wall this time. Still felt like my flip turn was subpar. This is under the NR on the books of 24.91, but I saw a spanking new 50 year old swam a 24.80 in a Colorado meet. So I will need to go faster at Nationals. I really wish it wasn't the last event of a 3 day meet.
Thrilled with my day! And pretty pleased that my speed held up so well over 4 events. Feeling very tired now and am clad in compression gear. The couch beckons.
Updated April 21st, 2013 at 12:46 AM by The Fortress
Jimby, Teen Fort and I journeyed to MD for the annual Albatross SCM meet yesterday. This is my 7th year in a row competing in this meet, and I still love it. I swam better than expected on what is very short rest for me. I just lifted last Saturday.
50 back, 30.65
I debuted my new start and felt like I had a fantastic one --- the best part of the race. Had a solid turn and took 16-17 kicks on the second 25. I was told I was perilously close to the 15 m mark. But then my body completely shut down the last 10 meters and I staggered to the wall. It was a close race with the speedy Susan Williams who almost tracked me down at the finish. I surely would have been under my WR of 30.58 with a better last 10 meters. I was a little freaked out by the fade; that has never happened to me before in a 50 back. At first I thought it was just the lack of sprint conditioning from the prolonged Feb. malaise. But I also wonder if the lack of hypoxic training and double shooters played a role. I was UW the full 30 meters and maybe that took a toll. That's what Teen Fort thought. In any event, I was obviously very very pleased with the time.
50 breast, 37.5? DQ
I was not recovered for this event with only 30 minutes rest after the 50 back. But I had to give Teen Fort the pleasure of whooping her mommy. I did beat her to the 15 m mark on the start, which was all I was going for. :-) I had major glides at the turn and finish, probably should have short stroked them. I was DQ'd for a one handed touch on the turn. I thought I got my finger tips on the wall before pulling back my left arm to turn, but the official thought otherwise. No big deal. It was a very solid time for me with those glides, but I'll hopefully swim it again before the end of the year.
50 fly, 29.25, WR:
I had almost two hours of rest before my 50 fly, which I was very happy about. The final heat of the 50 fly was the fastest I've ever participated in with Erika Braun, Ruth Jones, Susan Williams and Margaret Conze. As Margaret said before the race, it was going to be "a scramble to the finish." We were all under :30. I had a great start. The race went technically well except that I took a breath at the flags with 2 strokes to go. I'm sure I didn't really need that breath, but maybe it helped me spot the wall. The only thing I did differently from the last time I swam this race (tapered 29.5 at this meet last year) was that I spent more time UW on the second 25 with an extra 3-4 kicks. Jim said the whole race looked strong, especially my second 25. My time didn't show up on the electronic timing board and, even thought the timers had me at 29.2, I didn't get excited About the WR until I saw the official time sheet. 41 year old Erika Braun also set a world record in my heat with a 28.1. She was on fire at this meet with a WR in the 50 free as well. Take home lesson for me: it's worth concentrating on more dolphin kicks off the turn on the 50 fly and 50 free.
50 free, NS
This was about 25 minutes after the 50 fly. I passed. No desire to do another race and was all tuckered out.
It was a super well run and fun meet as usual. Jimby swam very well despite being "gravely ill." (He actually really is a bit sick this time.) Teen Fort swam well. It was great to see all my PV buddies. I plan on going to Mason for a recovery swim later today.
Updated March 17th, 2013 at 12:22 PM by The Fortress
Tropical Splash Meet:
50 fly, 26.8
Fast start with 10-11 dolphin kicks. My legs felt tired kicking off the turn (7-8 kicks) and I had a tiny glide at the finish. But overall, well executed. I was expecting a 27 low, so was exceptionally pleased with this time. I've never broken 27 without my usual recovery week before a meet approach.
50 breast, 33.5
Fast start again, but a major glide into the turn which killed momentum and probably cost me a few tenths. Legs felt tired during the race. Still a solid time for me unrested.
100 breast split in 200, 1:15.0, PR
This was probably my worst effort of the day, though I'll certainly take the time. I felt dead tired by the third lap and I had to short stroke every single turn. I suppose that was preferable to major glides, but it's not fun or fast to eat the wall. I rested at the wall a bit after the 100, but it was torture to finish the 200 legally. I just wanted to flop on my back and breath. I don't think I'll do this particular split request again. Still, I hadn't swum 100 evil since 2009 with the floaty B70 suit when I went 1:15.9. So it's technically a PR and should be good enough for TT. It seems fairly comparable to the 1:24 that I swam in SCM last November when I only had a few days rest. I'm sure I could go faster tapered, though this will never be a taper event for me.
I didn't get home until 10:30 last night from Teen Fort's meet and Lil Fort's late soccer game, and fell asleep around 1:00. Seriously considered bagging the meet and sleeping in. But I'm trying this new thing where I actually go off the blocks in Jan. and Feb., so dragged myself out of bed early this am. Times were very good, considering I had no rest and my shoulders and quads were still sore to the touch from training and the deep tissue massage. I was especially happy with my 50 fly time. There doesn't seem to be any meets on the horizon until the Albatross meet. I hope Warrenton Masters decides to host their meet again, but it's not on the calendar yet.
I am really glad I promised Lil Fort we would watch House at the End of the Street this afternoon. The couch beckons after that effort.
Updated February 3rd, 2013 at 11:15 PM by The Fortress
Popped in for 1500 with lots of bursts. Had a major calf cramp, and had some earlier in the week. Been foam rolling and stretching.
1 hour of RC/scapular exercises and stretching
Sunday, MD Series Meet in Annapolis:
100 free, Abort
Had a major calf cramp on the start. Opted to do 10 SDKs as dolphin kicking is easier than flutter kicking for me with a cramp. I was out pretty fast, but the calf seized up on the second turn. My right leg was basically useless, so I stopped at about 65 yards. I was in lane 8, so didn't disrupt anyone else. I was a tiny bit disappointed because this was going to be my 100 free in yards for the year.
Glad I experimented with more SDks on the start as that may be faster for me. I was a good 1/3 body length ahead of a boy next to me who went 55. One of my HIT swimmers, Melinda, said I had a great start and was out in 26 high. Hmm ... that's pretty fast for me; I was thinking 27, but maybe the start helped.
I wasn't sure what to do after this episode ... Typically, when my calf cramps this bad, I have to call it a day. I rubbed, stretched and put the whirlpool jets on it. I decided not to swim the 100 fly as I was feeling somewhat head case-ish. :-) And I didn't want to be forced to abort another 100.
50 breast, 33.1
Decided to try this event to see how things went since I had spent an hour driving to the meet. I hopped into heat 1 where there was an empty lane for an unofficial swim. Had a little cramp on the start, but was able to swim through it. Good thing my left leg does most of the pushing. I had a major glide at the end; should have taken another stroke. But this is a very fast time for me untapered. Though I just told the timer to get me on his stopwatch, so it was manual timing.
50 free, 25.1
No cramp in this race, whew. I was quick off the blocks but shallower on the start than I wanted to be, so only took 7-8 SDKs. I had wanted to try 10. Had a sub-par turn (a bit too far from the bulkhead) and the legs felt sloggy. So I was exceedingly happy with the time, swum at 7:00 pm. It's a tad bit faster than I went last year with similar rest.
Overall, I'm glad I went to the meet despite early problems. It gave me a chance to work on some free SDK skills. The pool was decent. They didn't have pads in though, so I was glad I hadn't signed up for any backstroke events. And the blocks were teeny. I felt sorry for the taller people; even I felt slightly precarious on them.
I didn't feel super great in the water today. I think maybe I had to take too much time off from the eye infection and perhaps did too many bursts the few days before the meet. But who really knows. Back to the grindstone!
Updated January 20th, 2013 at 10:02 PM by The Fortress
100 free, scratch
I didn't realize until late last night when I read Kirk's post that I had just missed the WR in the 50 free by .1. Still, I was aiming for a good night's sleep and opted to miss positive check in. And, honestly, I have a track record of doing better in the 50 free when it's not the first event of the day. Sometimes I nail the first event; but equally often it's a "get the cobwebs" out swim. I also wanted to put my remaining energy into my other swims. (This is sprinter think.)
50 back, 30.8
Very solid time, but it felt like a cobwebs event. I had a sub-par start and very glidely turn. The grab bar for backstroke is low at BU and I really dislike that. I need to figure out a way to not flat back this type of start. And flags simply bedevil me in SCM for backstroke. My SDK + stroke count is perfect for yards flags. I'm either gliding in or jamming it in SCM where I need another half stroke, not a full stroke. This was .2 slower than when I led off the medley relay 2 weeks ago, so I do have a faster time this year. Still, anytime you're under 31 that's fast. And I am now well accustomed to the fact that execution is everything in 50s.
50 breast, 36.92, PR/NR
WTH?! You cannot imagine my shock when I looked up and saw this time! It felt faster than 2 weeks ago when I swam a 38.2, but still. This time, unlike the 50 back, race execution was almost perfect. I had probably my best blasto start of the meet, a monster UW pullout, hit my walls well, and no floating up to the top after a pullout. Not being an evilstroker, I wasn't really sure what the national record was. Karlyn looked it up for me. I'm thinking some of that bungee cordz/parachute work paid off! Because this is a somewhat off event and I had a time this year, I was also extremely relaxed before the event. Very often, I have excellent times when this is the case.
100 free split in 200 free, 1:04.21, PR
I was so happy after my 50 breast that I was ready to call it a meet. But I have had this goal of trying to swim all 4 50s, all 4 100s and the 100 IM this season in SCM. This was my only chance to swim the 100 free, so, encouraged by SwimStud, I decided to swim it. I haven't swum this race since 2006 (1:06 at the very end of this same meet) ... I almost never race the 100 free. So I was somewhat unsure of a race strategy. I took 9-10 SDKs on the start and 5-6 off each turn. Stud said all my breakouts were smooth, and they felt that way. I guess doing the ins & outs in practice helped. I breathed doubles the whole way, with a single thrown in a bit before the turn on the second and third length. Splits were 30.6/33.6, pretty good for me, especially given the fact that I was tired and my muscles were screaming at me the second 50. The 100 free really isn't so bad with the SDKs. Now I want to do it in yards! Right now, this time is #1, helped along by the fact that some other speedy freestylers like Eney have been injured or whatnot.
Overall, this is definitely my best meet of the year! Maybe my best meet since March 2011. I had 4 PRs. While I was thrilled with my two NRs, I was also extremely pleased with my 100 fly and 100 free. 100 IM was probably my worst event with that debacle on the start. Suffice to say, I am a fan of the lay on the couch for a week before your meet taper! I may re-think future tapers somewhat. I had thought it was not ideal to be out of the water the week before a meet. I was only in the water 3 of 8 days before the meet, but it seemed to have little ill effect.
I don't feel quite as exhausted and sore as usual after a two day meet, but I may be still on a high! It is very cool having the NRs in all four 50s. As a bonus, my NR in the 100 backstroke survived the meet!
Updated December 12th, 2012 at 12:11 PM by The Fortress