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Masters Swim Meets / Events

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

  1. Mixed SCM Meet, March 20

    by , March 21st, 2010 at 11:25 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had a great night's sleep and felt the best I have in a long time in the morning. Felt good in warm up and won the battle of the new non tech suit (almost gave up, but prevailed after 25 minutes or so). It was fairly comical -- there were signs posted everywhere saying "Remember, No Tech Suits!"

    Unfortunately, I had probably my worst pool experience breathing wise ever. After warm up, I was hacking up a storm and wheezing the whole meet. I moved outside mid way through the meet, and this seemed to help some. I was SO glad I was only doing 50s in light of this. I think because of this, though, I was not really tuned in mentally and had some execution issues.

    50 back, 32.5

    I was pretty happy with this time. It was a solid swim. I was fussing with my cap at the beginning of the race though and spaced out on the start. The starter was holding everyone a LONG time. I had a bad reaction and got off slowly, which is uncharacteristic. I then just mindlessly started counting kicks -- as if I was doing a shooter in practice. I got to 14 and thought, holy crap, took another kick and hurried to the surface. Wolfy said I was right on the 15 meter mark and had a good breakout. Mollie said definitely one less kick. My cap was also slowly coming off the second length, which felt weird. In sum, I thought it was a pretty good time considering I had been sick the last 2 weeks and was not wearing a tech suit.

    50 fly, 31.4:

    My stroke felt good. Too bad noting else worked! lol. I dove in and my right goggle lens leaked. I took too many dolphin kicks, was kicking at the surface and had an awful breakout. Speedo saw it in all its glory. Because of my goggles, I couldn't pick up the wall. I think this was perhaps the worst fly turn I've ever done; I kicked in two yards instead of taking another stroke. My teammate said I easily lost .5 on the turn. Had a good second length. If I had had even a mediocre breakout and turn, I think I would have been 30+. So the time isn't too bad considering.

    50 free, 29.2:

    I was feeling the effects of the breathing problems at this point. Had a lackluster swim, took 3-4 breaths instead of my customary 2, and felt like I was flailing and dying at the end. Barb said I looked "tired" on the 2nd length.

    200 Mixed Free Relay, 1:55:

    Swam with William, Barb and Speedo. I led off and completely missed my turn. Ouch! Speedo had a great leg on this relay.


    Saw a lot of great racing at the meet. The 100 IM was fun to watch. Chris needs to get a lesson on the Roddin turn from Mr. Roddin himself. Jeff just smoked everyone on that transition turn. He and Speedo had a great race in the 50 free as well. Speedo needs to realize that he's a sprinter not a distance geek despite all his short rest training!

    Funny meet tidbit. I was in the same heat for 50 back and 50 fly as my friend with the forum moniker Nuthin But 50s. After much trash talk, we did the exact same time in both events. lol

    Went to the Social afterward, which was much fun and gossip filled. I ate a lot of salad and fruit and looked longingly at the pasta.

    The only real downer of the meet was that I got home and found my B70 had been stolen. I remember showering with Barb and struggling out of it and putting it on top of my swim bag. Big mistake in retrospect. I then went off to dry my hair etc. Then there was a huge influx of swimmers and swim moms into the locker room. I packed up thinking I was throwing my towels etc on top of my suit. Got home, no suit. I haven't had a suit stolen before. Really a bummer as I only got to wear it once and was counting on using it for the LC season. I feel like I've spent enough money on suits for awhile. Not inclined to replace it right now.

    Commentary:

    It was a fun meet -- as always! My only criticism is that the starter sucked. We were held a very long time on the blocks. I think I made a mistake by warming up in the diving well (which I love there) and not in the competition pool. I think I would have had better turns if I had done that.

    Summary: Not bad considering, and there's not much one can do about a goggle problem. I think my ability to improve in the sprints, at this point, is severely limited by my inability to do starts at practice. I may just have to start doing 25s diving from the side of the pool. Even if I went to Mason during the week, the pool with blocks is always closed during the 12-2 lap swim. Im going to beg Wolfy for a private coaching session if he can fit it in.

    I find myself wishing that, like Chris, I didn't have a meet until Nationals. After the last month, I'd like to just buckle down and train without interruption. I'm worried Zones will really interfere with this, and cause me to be wiped out the week after. So I'm unsure how to approach Zones and how many events to swim. I can't really skip the meet as my team is hosting! And it is a good opportunity to get block work/speed work. Not sure how to proceed ...

    I actually don't feel too sore today. My throat and chest are a bit ravaged from all the hacking. I'm hoping to go to hot yoga later for a "detox."

    Oh, and just for Geek. I have found my version of the "flaxative." Flax seeds don't phase me, but liquid magnesium does. But at least I avoided the dread calf cramps this meet.

    Updated March 21st, 2010 at 03:16 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  2. Day Two Blow Out @ VMST, Sunday, Feb.14

    by , February 14th, 2010 at 08:16 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 2, VMST Meet @ Richmond:

    The day had it's ups and downs, but good fun was had by all. I made it through the day without a repeat of the cramps/spasms, but my calves were sore and a bit crampy all day. At Nats, I got a massage right after this happened and it seemed to help. I just had to swim with sore and rather leaden legs today. But I had a blast with old and new friends. Here was my schedule:

    3:00 am: Wake up and don't go back to sleep. This was apparently a common issue, as every PV swimmer reported a night of bad sleep at their hotel.

    6:30 am: Drag body out of bed and have bad hotel coffee. Body was in shock as it was used to getting up at 9:30 am. lol

    7:40 am: Get in for warm up. Felt crappy and and I had a queasy stomach that persisted all day. Donned B70 suit, which developed a small hole in the thigh seam yesterday.

    8:50 am: 1st event: 100 breast, 1:15

    Frankly, for the way I was feeling and the time of day, I was very happy with this time. I tried to emphasize long pull outs. I was very tickled when Patrick's father commented on them. I had to concentrate on not DQ-ing the second 100, which wasn't easy with a certain RMST swimmer trying to make me laugh. (This was just payback for me getting him to laugh during his 400 IM.)

    SwimShark video'd the race for me. I could see that my head position is still off and my kick looks fairly non-existent. My pull has improved. I noticed that I had to float to the surface a couple times after the pull out as I was too deep. This might have cost me a second or so. Still, not bad for my very first 100 breast in 3+ decades.

    10:00am: 50 free, 26.2

    Not so hot. I think I've gone slower than that once or twice in the last couple years. Perhaps I would have been under 26 in a different pool. Still, not a great in season effort. Meh.

    10:30 am: Trying to take Jimi's advice about taking a hot shower and hitting the sore calves. Lost track of time. Came out and my heat of the 100 fly was on the blocks. I had been dreading this event anyway. It's not very fun to swim fly with sore legs. I'm definitely a huge weenie baby about pain when it comes to this event. So I did not grieve about missing it.

    11:19:55 am: B70 blow out in the ass and I am forced to pull a Clydesdale and flash the crowd. And then do it again 25 seconds later. See below. This happened to me in Jan 2009 with an old B70, but in the locker room, not while stepping on the friggin block. This suit is new (6 swims), and I am hoping B70 will replace it and have my size. This was supposed to be my suit for Nats ...

    11:20am: Fun Unofficial "Couples" Mixed 200 free relay

    There was almost an entire heat of "couples;" each person swam two relay legs. I swam this relay as a "cheater couple" with my teammate William. Since I was there and had missed fly, I thought more speed work was called for. William and I actually won, with Jenn and John coming in second. (See victorious duo in photo below.) I led off in 26.5 going about 90-95%. So this seemed relatively better than my open 50. However, with only 25 seconds or so of rest and having to get out of the pool, the second 50 was rough, very rough. With about 10 yards to go, my body just shut down and stopped moving. Another teammate was worried I might "go vertical." This trauma further dissuades me from thoughts of the 100 free or going out super duper fast in a 100. Jennifer O'Reilly, with more talent and brains, was sensible and swam her 2 50s like a 100. I was just a sprinter dunce. Julie said she actually felt better on the second 50. I love her, but we are from different swimming planets. lol

    12:30 am: A bunch of us went out to lunch and had a great time. I was sitting next to Chris' wife and it was nice to chat with her.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Commentary:

    So here are my thoughts and what I have learned:

    1. I have to get this cramping thing resolved. I think I likely have a calcium, magnesium, potassium, electrolite deficiency. I stopped drinking gatorade or G2 again this last week or so b/c it was giving me heartburn. I need to find a workout/recovery drink instead of just plain water. I may have to reorder Endura, which I recall is gluten and dairy free. Or maybe try Nuun; I know some triathletes swear by it. http://www.nuun.com/

    2. Never go to meets with a 7:30 am warm up. Just don't do it. Stick to my meet "rules." My next two meets are at seemly times.

    3. Don't go to meets when I'm out of the water so much the week before, especially early on in the week. Usually, when I do a mini taper for a meet, I'm in the water every day. Between that and cabin fever, I felt like crap.

    4. Don't slam the legs within 7 days of a meet. I usually don't do drylands or weights for the entire week before a meet (aside from light core). I slammed my legs with killer workouts the Sat & Sun during the blizzard before this meet and didn't recover. Frankly, I'm not sure I had fully recovered from my deep tissue massage either. She went very deep. So I think I mistimed things a bit and didn't listen to my instincts. Though I would have missed good fun had I stayed home, and fun is key to sustaining life as a masters swimmer.

    5. Less is more somtimes. It's perfectly fine to swim fewer events if that's how I'm feeling. Some meets I can only swim a couple events per day, some I can swim more (especially if it's a long meet, which is definitely my preference). Doing essentially 4 races today in a quick meet was plenty. I just don't recover like Aquaman, and it ain't in my head like Muppet asserts. Clay Britt always says that if you have 1-2 good swims a meet, that's something. So I'm thinking my 100 evil is the "something."

    6. A couple pics from the meet attached below. One is of Chris during his 400 IM. He is getting "higher" in the pull phase. Another is Chris and Jeff at the start of the 100 fly. The best race of the day was Jeff Roddin, posing with beer below, schooling a 20 year old in a super fast 100 IM. He has a fantastically fast back to breast turn. I wish I had video'd the race.

    7. Oh, I have to learn how to warm up for a 200, if I ever have the gumption to do one again. Though it's hard to tell with the cramping issue, whatever I did yesterday didn't seem right. I've felt faster in practice. I did do a pace 50 and my time was slower than usual too. Advice please!

    8. And for my last rumination/rant, I cannot effen believe that our schools are still closed tomorrow ...

    Updated February 15th, 2010 at 09:18 AM by The Fortress

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    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  3. I sucked, Sat. Feb. 13

    by , February 13th, 2010 at 10:18 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Everything was fun about today aside from my actual swim.

    I'm not sure what my final time was, but I think it was 3-4 seconds slower than the last time I swam the 200 back. Couldn't see the electronic timing well, which only showed one lane at a time.

    Problems:

    1. Big número uno: I got double calf cramps on the start again, same as at Nats. This despite eating bananas, hydrating, using my inhaler and taking my "legs cramp" product. I'm frustrated about this. Dont really know how to avoid it. I've been stretching like crazy. Contemplating hopping out on the 3rd length, but didn't want the humiliation of a DNF. It's hard to swim a 200 back this way for me.

    2. Felt like crap. Other PV swimmers who hadn't been in the water reported similar issues. Swimming 3 x a week doesn't cut it. I also realized that the pool I swam in Thursday was SCY, not SCM, so I was going slower than I thought.

    3. Aside from the start, my underwaters sucked because the push offs hurt.

    4. I don't know how to warm up for a 200. I've felt faster and felt like I had more endurance in practice than I did today.

    5. The pool was too shallow for my taste and the water level wasn't high enough.

    6. I just don't like travel meets all that much, except for Nats, which is always fun. And I tend not to sleep well away from home.

    I vaguely contemplated just driving home tonight. But I decide to stay to watch friends swim, go to the social and experience gluten free beer at the Capital Ale pub. I have no expectations for tomorrow. I'm going to treat it like sprint practice. I'll be swimming very early, not my thing, anyway.

    I did get to see some fast 400 IMs. Aquaman has made much progress in his breaststroke! Julie swam a very nice 500 free. And I re-met Patrick's father, as well as lots of other NOVA folks.

    On an up note, my GMU teammate told me that GMU is now allowing people to pay per visit or purchase a ten visit pass. The former is outrageously expensive, the latter only mildly so. So I may go back to attending Sunday practices.

    I'm going to read Runners World now and read about running shoes since I'm irked with
    swimming today. Looks like I need to try a Nike shie for forefront support.

    Updated February 14th, 2010 at 06:21 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. 50 back vid from NE Champs

    by , December 15th, 2009 at 12:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    50 back, 31.14

    Stud took this 50 back vid with my mini digital. I wish I had had some other races taped, but just forgot in the excitement of the meet on day 2.

    I was in lane 5, flanked by 25 and 29 year old Elizabeth Mancuso and Jessica Knight. I knew their seed times were inaccurate, as they went 31+ last year. So I knew the race would be close and it was. And they both had very good underwaters as well. I notice that they both had somewhat splashier backstroke kicks than me. Mike Ross and I briefly discussed this issue. He's working on keeping his bottom half very very still while swimming and keeping the amplitude of his flutter kick and knee bend minimal. I think I won just as much with my stroke as my SDK perhaps ...

    I see from the video that I did the same breakout as the Sprint Classic where I pop my head out of the water ala Aquaman. This was a mental error. I simply forgot to lean back with my shoulders and head. I also tucked my chin too much on the start. Need to keep my head up and back a bit more.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28RQ7mbtjBo"]YouTube- Fort SCM 50 back[/ame]

    My turnover looked slower to me than in August at Indy, but Q says this is OK.

    Dara Surgery:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...l?tag=facebook


    50 breast split:

    Even though my 50 evil split is seemingly missing from the official MM (meet manager) results, it is still retrievable since it appeared on the scoreboard. My brilliant coach sent me the following email on how to retrieve splits from the Colorado timing system:

    "But have no fear, if it showed up on the scoreboard I bet it's on the Colorado printout. The final times print out in easy to read columns but the splits don't.
    Every hit to the touchpad during the race is recorded sequentially so if you follow a line across and you know the event, heat and lane you swam in you can find the time that displayed when you touched the touchpad for the first time.

    It looks like this 5) 2 25.25 3) 2 25.48 1) 2 25.50 5) 4 53.79 1) 4 54.91
    so for this heat lane 5 2nd length 50 split was a 25.25, and 100 split was a 53.79. Lane 3 50 split was a 25.48 etc.

    Most meets print out the Colorado printouts during the meet and staple them to the results so it should be easy for the meet director to find. If they didn't print them out, they are still stored on the Colorado and can be printed out anytime."

    I forwarded this to Ed Gendreau, the meet director. So hopefully, he will take the time to pull my split since I did submit an official request.

    What's Next?

    Ande always asks, "what's next?" And I'm not really sure. I'm going to revise my training for a couple months to do more aerobic /endurance work in the pool and gym and lots and lots of kicking (not that the latter is different). I'm going to use my MF more and really work on my belly SDKs. I'm much faster on my back than my belly, and would like to fix this discrepancy.

    I am declining Patrick's probably tongue in cheek suggestion to remake myself into a mid distance geek. However, I may try to focus on the 100 back, 100 fly, 100 IM more this season than just pure 50s.

    I'm completely up in the air about what meets to attend this year. I'd like to have a taper meet in SCY that is not Zones, since my team is hosting again this year. But I'm not sure about Atlanta. I have a yen to possibly go to Middlebury in June for the LCM meet, which would then make my summer worry free. However, attending travel meets in both May and June would not go over so well at home. For sure, I plan to swim at the Albatross meet on March 20.

    As for the gym, can anyone suggest exercises to build up endurance in the lats and delts and terres muscles?

    Exercise:

    I may take another day off, as I'm tired and uber busy. Or, if I get all jazzed up, I may try the new P90X ab/core Plus DVD.


    Fortina:

    BTW, I forgot to mention that I wore Fortina for my 100 IM and 50 breast. Liked it, and will do so again! Though I suspect Fortina also contributed to me going out too fast in the 100 IM. My coach said my 100 IM and 100 back should be about the same, and my 100 IM was 2 seconds slower. Part of this must be mental -- I'm just not used to sucking it up and swimming through the pain on the last length of free.

    Updated December 15th, 2009 at 10:13 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  5. Day 2 NE Champs

    by , December 14th, 2009 at 01:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Commentary:

    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 09:04 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. Day 1 NE SCM Champs

    by , December 13th, 2009 at 11:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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!


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Commentary:

    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 10:50 AM by The Fortress

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    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  7. Slightly Peeved, Tuesday, Nov. 17

    by , November 17th, 2009 at 08:09 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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 ...

    Commentary:

    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.


    NE Champs:

    I entered the following events:

    Saturday:

    100 IM
    50 back
    50 free

    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.

    Sunday:

    50 fly
    100 back
    100 evil
    100 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:

    http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com...news/22599.asp

    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 10:03 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Yoga , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  8. 50 fly/back vids, Monday, Oct. 26

    by , October 26th, 2009 at 03:15 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Run:

    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]

    Sore neck:

    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 11:04 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Running , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. Sprint Classic

    by , October 25th, 2009 at 06:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Commentary:

    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 09:17 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. Pics + "100 free" vid

    by , September 27th, 2009 at 10:05 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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 04:25 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  11. Fall Ball Fun, Saturday, Sept. 26

    by , September 26th, 2009 at 09:07 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Fall Ball:

    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.

    Bottom line:

    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 09:16 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Meet Entries

    by , September 15th, 2009 at 09:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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:

    200 back
    100 back
    100 free
    200 IM

    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?

    www.go-energy-recovery.com

    Updated September 16th, 2009 at 09:55 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  13. 50 back vid + Still a Slacker! Aug. 16

    by , August 16th, 2009 at 07:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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]
  14. Reflections on Nats

    by , August 11th, 2009 at 07:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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:

    50 fly
    2008 = 31.1
    2009 = 29.7*

    1.4 second improvement

    50 back
    2008 = 33.4
    2009 = 31.9

    1.5 second improvement

    50 free
    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!

    7. Photos/Video:

    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 10:19 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  15. Day 4 Nats

    by , August 10th, 2009 at 09:17 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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 12:49 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  16. Relay Day -- So much fun!!

    by , August 9th, 2009 at 08:49 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Quickie blog.

    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 12:47 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  17. How to HTFU when you cramp up in a race

    by , August 7th, 2009 at 09:33 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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 12:46 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  18. Day 1 Nats, Thursday. Aug. 6

    by , August 6th, 2009 at 10:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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 12:45 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. Thursday, July 2

    by , July 2nd, 2009 at 10:25 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/LCM/Team:

    Warm up:

    50 crunches, squats & lunges (My hamstrings were sore from my squats at the gym yesterday, so I skipped the squats and lunges.)

    400 swim
    300 kick
    200 swim
    100 scull

    Main sets:

    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.

    6 x

    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.

    50 EZ

    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.

    100 EZ

    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.

    50 fly
    200 back
    50 evil
    100 back
    50 free
    50 back

    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!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Food:

    Breakfast: omelet w/cheese, p. mushrooms and tomatoes, papaya
    Lunch: tuna melt sandwich on Ezekial bread with cheese and tomatoes, peach slices, green grapes
    Snack: apple
    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 10:59 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. Suit Problem, Sunday, June 21

    by , June 21st, 2009 at 02:14 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    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 05:12 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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