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USA-S Swim Meets / Events

Meet / OW event planning and results from USA Swimming events.

  1. Bad attitude doesn't translate to a good swim

    by , February 19th, 2011 at 05:15 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I was 2:01.56 in my 200 IM today, 0.26 slower than 3 weeks ago and obviously not under my goal to go sub-2:00. After the race (see video below) my wife told me that my negative attitude from this week's workouts was probably a strong determinant of my performance. I really want to blame the weather (windy/rainy as you can glimpse on the video), but my wife is right: my attitude has not been positive this week. Having said that, I really have no clue how I went from feeling like Superman/Aquaman in last week's workouts to feeling like a feeble old man in this week's workouts.

    As for the race, I knew the kid next to me would be under 2:00 and that he'd be tough to beat on the freestyle leg (he was ~15:29 or 15:25 in the 1650 last night), so I was aiming to get as far ahead of him as possible through the 150. The meet was running two courses, so the scoreboard flipped between the two pools and, hence, I don't have my 100 split. Looking at the video, my turns are still slow, but my freestyle was very poor. I'm just not sure why I can't come home in 27-low after going out in the fly at 26-low. Gotta figure this out.

    Tomorrow's another day and the upside is that going out on the fly leg today felt smooth, so I'm stoked for the 200 fly tomorrow. Though I'm not blaming the weather, I am hoping for no rain and wind tomorrow!

    The kids continued to swim very well today, dropping time in almost all of their swims. Tomorrow they are both doing the bi-polar double of the 50 and 500 free.

    Updated August 29th, 2015 at 05:07 PM by pwb

    Categories
    USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  2. 4-IM video / 2-IM w-out

    by , February 3rd, 2011 at 09:37 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    #2 video'd my 400 IM from last weekend and I finally uploaded it here -- . Once you get past the butt shot at the start and ignore the fashion chatter between my daughter and a friend, hopefully you'll be able to give me some pointers. Things I noticed:

    • Swimming in circles, especially so on breaststroke
    • I've got virtually no pull on my breast ... not squeezing my arms together on the insweep,
    • Turns are slow
    • Freestyle looked sloppy in part because I was breathing some 1-1 patterns off the turns.

    Today's workout was an hour snuck in at Lifetime late in the day:

    • 1 x 400: 100 200 100
    • 8 x 50: 2 each stroke on 1:00, odds kick, evens drill-swim
    • 2 rounds of:
      • 4 x 50: on 0:40, 0:35 by round
      • 1 x 50: easy on 1:00
      • 6 x 25: on 0:30, IM order in sets of 3 (1/2 fast-1/2 ez, 1/2 ez - 1/2 fast, fast)
      • 1 x 50: easy on 1:00

    • 7 x 200: on 3:00, build an IM in reverse
      • #1 - free
      • #2 - 50 free - 25 breast - 125 free
      • #3 - 50 free - 50 breast - 100 free
      • #4 - 50 free - 50 breast - 25 back - 75 free
      • etc.

    • 1 x 50: easy on 1:00
    • 4 x 50: on 1:00, IM order fastish (33,36,41,31)
    • 1 x 50: easy

    TOTAL: 3,400 SCM

    Commentary:

    • Work kept me jumping Tuesday and Wednesday and I was feeling the laptop-hunch strain in the water today. I had envisioned swimming fast-ish today, but really ended up just working the kinks out.
    • I was really focused on squeezing my arms tighter together on my breaststroke pull and seemed to get a little more propulsion out of it. Also trying to engage my core and get some semblance of undulation.

    Updated August 26th, 2015 at 09:39 AM by pwb

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  3. No more cuts today

    by , January 31st, 2011 at 12:34 AM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I guess I could come up with a whole bunch of excuses, but I just didn't do the right things to make the cuts I was going for today. The swims weren't bad, but there are some fundamentals that I need to work on.

    200 IM

    • Jammers best: 2:02.70 ('03 Nats)
    • Tech suit best: 1:57.44 (March 2009)
    • Goal Today: 2:00.45
    • Today: 2:01.30
    • Commentary:
      • I took Laura's advice and did a longer warmup with my heart rate up higher:
        • 1 x 400: 100 fr, 200 IM k/d, 100 fr
        • 8 x 50: on 0:50, 2 each stroke, 1 kick, 1 dr-build
        • 4 x 50: free on 0:40, held 0:29s
        • 1 x 50: easy
        • 6 x 25: on 0:30, 2 rounds of three going
          • 1/2 fast-1/2 easy, 1/2 easy-1/2 fast, all fast
          • 1 round back, 1 round breast

        • 1 x 50: easy
        • 4 x 50: on 0:35, free, holding 28s/29s
        • 1 x 50: easy
        • 8 x 25: on 0:30, 1 easy, 1 fast stroke, IM order
        • 1 x 50: easy

      • I got out of warmup about 25 minutes before my race and told my wife that if I could be at 57 at the 100, I'd be fine. I figured I could then go 35- and 28- and have the cut.
      • My fly and back felt great, going 26.4 and 30.2, putting me at 56.6 at the 100.
      • My breaststroke didn't hurt like yesterday in the 400, but whatever stroke changes I've been trying to implement just are not working. I split 36.2.
      • On the freestyle, while I should be able to come home under 28, I was 28.45.
      • In addition to my lame breaststroke, Laura said my turns were atrocious.
      • Though I was bummed I didn't get the Sectional time, I was and am still pretty happy with this swim. I'm very confident with a full taper and some more focus on breast and turns, I can get under 2:00 and probably push close to 1:58.9.


    200 fly

    • Jammers best: 2:00.96 ('08 Nats)
    • Tech suit best: 1:57.67 (March 2009)
    • Goal Today: 2:01.79
    • Today: 2:02.12
    • Commentary:
      • Given how well my fly has been feeling, I was supremely confident of making this cut. As my 200 fly is usually spot on my 200 IM time and my breaststroke was feeling so crummy, I figured I could be sub 2:01. I split everything correctly until the last 50 (Austin splits for comparison):
        • 27.96 (28.10)
        • 30.95 (31.05)
        • 30.99 (30.92)
        • 32.22 (30.89)

      • Ugh! My last 50 dropped off dramatically in the same way that my last 50 of my 200 free last weekend did. I'm not sure if that's because ...
        • I'm not really rested enough and don't have the easy speed making it more of a toll to go out fastish and leaving me less reserve at the end; or
        • I'm not trained enough for this mid-d stuff?



    Overall, while I'm bummed I didn't make the cuts, these are great swims for where I am in my training and how much rest I had. #1 made another run at her 500 today and, while she dropped time, was still shy of the cut. We're both going to try again at a meet in 3 weeks at the Phoenix Swim Club.

    My focus until then is going to be on a few things:

    1. Turns, turns, turns!
    2. Breaststroke!
    3. Try to swim more fast stuff in workouts over the next two weeks.
  4. 1 cut down (barely), 2 to go

    by , January 29th, 2011 at 02:17 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Stoked and mildly pleased were the emotions from my races today at the Scottsdale Aquatic Club's Winter Invite (USAS):

    50 free

    • Jammers best: 23.42 (Vegas, last weekend)
    • Tech suit best: 22.14 (March 2009)
    • Today: 22.77
    • Commentary:
      • Holy crap! I entered this for three reasons: to see what a mini-rest would do compared to last weekend, to rev my engines up for my 400 IM and to get a USAS time so I could use this as a Bonus event at Sectionals.
        As I've been stuck at around 23.5 the last few times I had swum it, I was just hoping for something faster than that and dreaming of 22.99
      • The main strategy differences from last week was to do SDKs off the start and turn. My turn was better than last week, but I'm still ending up with too much glide into the wall.


    400 IM

    • Jammers best: 4:17.04 (Austin '08)
    • Tech suit best: 4:11.10 (Atlanta '10)
    • Goal: 4:18.89 (Northwest USAS Sectional Cut)
    • Today: 4:18.42
    • Commentary:
      • My aim was to rest enough to get the cuts without having to do a full taper, so I'm certainly pleased with making that step along the journey. After the fly, though, the race just hurt. Splits (comparison with Atlanta) were
        • Fly - 58.0 (57.0)
        • Back - 1:04.6 (1:03.0)
        • Breast - 1:16.5 (1:13.6)
        • Free - 59.3 (57.5)

      • My fly felt easy and I thought I was right where I wanted to be, but when I tried to pick up the 2nd 50 of the backstroke, there was nothing there. I never got into my breaststroke; it was just a struggle the whole way. Normally I can count on a solid / strong freestyle leg to bring me home and this wasn't horrible, but I had little left to get me to the wall.
      • My coach Laura stuck around to watch and thought that I looked like I wasn't warmed up enough. As my 50 went off 30 minutes before my 400 IM, I did about 1000 before the 50 and then a 400 cool-down after the 50. I thought that the 50 would have revved me up enough, but Laura thinks I need to do some more shorter interval sustained 50s in warmup tomorrow before my 200 IM and 200 fly to get my body warmer for the longer events. Good advice that I will follow.


    There were three other old farts there today, all women who train down in Mesa mostly. They did the oldsters proud with some good swims.

    My 2nd daughter's having an awesome meet, knocking off 30+ seconds in her 1000 last night, 4 in the 200 back and close to 10 in her 100 breast today.

    A great day in total and exactly the place where I needed to be, even moreso because I know I'm capable of faster in that 400 IM. Paradoxically, my 50 is responding well to a training regimen that is more geared to 200 IM and 400 IM of late. Go figure.
  5. Southwest Invite

    by , June 11th, 2010 at 06:48 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I headed down to Tucson to swim a couple of events this morning at the Southwest Invite, a USAS meet that the head Masters coach of Ford Aquatics (http://www.fordaquatics.net/) always gets dually sanctioned for USMS. I'd love to come back to this meet in the future and to have trained long course in advance. As you'll see, my swims ranged from a great time for a workout to mildly better. What's cool about this meet, though, is that in addition to the U of A team and alums being there (think Matt Grevers, Amanda Beard back in the pool), the Australian National team comes down after spending some time training up at Flagstaff's High Altitude Training Camp. I'm kind of bummed that I couldn't stay to watch the finals tonight or more of the meet, as it was impressive enough watching some of these studs cruise through prelims. My results:

    • 100 free - 59.13. In the real world, that's pretty piss-poor as I went 56.4 last year at Cactus Classic in a B70. I was just thinking of this as a warmup swim for my 400. I had kind of figured I would go 58+, so was mildly bummed. This was a good swim for a workout.
    • 400 free - 4:33.04. This was a couple of seconds better than Cactus Classic a few weeks ago. I actually felt good, controlled and in a groove for the first ~175m. There was a 15 year old kid next to me that I was hanging with and my goal was to try to stay as close to him as possible. I'd like to say he took off at around the 220m mark, but I think the reality (don't have my splits) is that I just got slower. I'm still really struggling to figure out both my kick and breathing pattern in LCM. Maybe once I actually train LCM, I'll figure that out!
      • UPDATE w/Splits: 1:04.4, 1:08.6, 1:10.0, 1:10.0 (2:13.0, 2:20.0)

    A few lessons learned or re-learned:

    • I'm not going to compete 4 weekends in a row ever again, especially when the 1st weekend is Nationals. I really debated this week going down to Tucson, but I figured I wanted to check the meet out and it would be a good excuse for a quality workout.
    • Next summer, I'm not going to enter a LCM meet until I've done some LCM swimming. 2011 should be a good summer to actually compete LCM, though with SCY Nationals being early and me being a bit wiser about what I need to do.

    Tomorrow is a rest day. I'll hopefully hit my 1st LCM workout on Sunday down with Mesa Masters. I've got 4 weeks until I'm going to try to swim a little faster in the 400 free at the USAS AZ Senior State meet. I'll get more LCM workouts in starting the week of June 21st and see what happens. After that meet in early July, I'm going to take a breather from competition until the La Jolla Rough Water swim and I'm going to take a solid break from swimming for a couple of weeks in there. Then, after La Jolla, I will transform myself into a sprinter (wannabe) for a couple of seasons.

    Updated June 12th, 2010 at 12:10 AM by pwb

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  6. Nats Swim Day 1: Curb the Ambition

    by , May 21st, 2010 at 09:01 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I haven't seen half the people I need/want to see, but did talk briefly with Paul Smith, Fort, Geek, Q, Ande, Ahelee, Craig Ammon (craig68), Chris Stevenson and others whom I'm now rudely forgetting. Will be busier tomorrow with 3 events and 2 relays, but will hopefully track down some other folks.

    Overall, upon reflection, I'm quite happy with the day. In the moment of the aftermath of each race, I was disappointed. I learned three key things today:

    1. Treat a course as a course and stop with time conversions. I need to let my SCY times stand up to my SCY times, not to a converted swim from SCM.
    2. Ambition is a great motivator, but take it down a notch, dude.
    3. Negative splitting is a dumb race strategy for a 200 back.

    The results in full light of day with my ambition:

    400 IM:

    • Best SYC time: 4:12.26 (Clovis, 2009)
    • SCM converted* time: 4:10.7 (Rutgers, 2008)
    • Goal: sub-4:10
    • BHAG: sub-4:05
    • RESULT: 4:11.10
    • Comments:
      • Masters best, but I really wanted the psychological boost of seeing 4:09-something.
      • No easy speed on the fly.
      • Split each stroke quite well, but was consistently about 0.5 seconds slower on each stroke than I had envisioned.
      • I came home well enough on my free.
      • My turns pretty much sucked -- gliding too much into the wall.


    200 free:

    • Best SYC time: 1:46.25 (Clovis, 2009)
    • SCM converted* time: 1:43.4 (Rowdy Gaines, 2009)
    • Goal: sub-1:44
    • BHAG: sub-1:43
    • RESULT: 1:45.08
    • Comments:
      • Another Masters' best.
      • Split this well by 100s (51.0, 54.0), but went too hard on my legs the 1st 100 and was burning in leg pain on the last 25.
      • Again with the "no easy speed" feel. The 2 guys who won the race were each out at the 100 by about the same margin they beat me.


    200 back:

    • Best SYC time: 1:59.57 (AZ State, 2009)
    • SCM converted* time: 1:58.7 (Rowdy Gaines, 2009)
    • Goal: Best time
    • BHAG: sub-1:58
    • RESULT: 2:00.22
    • Commentary:
      • I swam a DUMB race, going 29.7, 30.7, 30.2, 29.7 or 1:00.3 / 59.9. I was second by 0.73 and I should've taken this out faster. Again, no easy speed.
      • Strangely, even though this was not a best time, I wasn't bugged by this as much as the other two races as my expectations were less intense.

  7. Cactus Classic Day 3

    by , May 24th, 2009 at 06:38 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Today was the last day of my "Farewell B70 Tour." I was expecting to feel pretty sore when I showed up this morning at ASU, but, while it took me slightly longer to warmup, I ended up feeling pretty good, controlled and happy with my swims.

    200 free:

    • Expectations: I swam this back in the summer of 2006 and went 2:10. Using the Swimming World time converter, my Nationals time converted to 2:02.8. I figured I'd be happy with anything in the 2:05 range.
    • Result: 2:03.65
    • Thoughts:
      • Wore my B70.
      • Pretty darn impressed with myself, I'll have to say. I swam very controlled for the 1st 150 and then just tried to build to the finish. I didn't get my splits, but it felt pretty close to an even split.
      • I tied for 16th and would've had to do a swim-off if I wanted to swim in finals. I never had any intention of swimming finals, though.


    100 back:

    • Expectations: I had no clue going into this, but figured sub 1:07 would be nice
    • Result: 1:06.13
    • Thoughts:
      • Wore my B70.
      • Happy again. I also tried to focus on negative splitting, mainly by revving up my stroke count on the last 50.
      • I do have to say this (maybe not for the last time): I do not like backstroke starts. When I swam backstroke in high school, we used to be able to do the "stand-up" start; I really miss those days as I can't seem to generate enough upward/outward propulsion on these starts. Guess I need to do some squat jumps in my drylands.


    50 free:

    • Expectations: Wanted to get under 26 as this seemed (again, if I trust the converter) to get me right near my best times in SCY and SCM.
    • Result: 25.90
    • Thoughts:
      • Wore my B70.
      • I contemplated trying a straight arm / windmill stroke for the 1st 25 as I've now practiced that on all of about 100 meters in workouts, but decided I'd get too tired.


    Overall meet commentary:

    • This was a lot of fun. To be honest, I was a little freaked out the 1st time I met one of the parents from our kids team when I was on deck in my B70. I got nothing but "high fives" and "way to go" from my fellow swimming parents. I'm glad I got over that anxiety and swam my first USAS meet.
    • I'll likely swim this meet again next year; given that it'll be a mere week after SCY Masters Nationals, I'll either swim great or be so wasted from Nationals that I sink.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 11:42 AM by pwb

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  8. Cactus Classic Day 2

    by , May 23rd, 2009 at 05:25 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I had a fun, but tiring morning down at ASU for Day 2 of the Cactus Classic. Saw some awesome swims from Susan Von der Lippe as she seems to qualify 1st in whatever event she enters; Tall Paul was there in his Rocket Science suit and Dennis Baker continued to smoke. I haven't swum any of these events as a Masters' swimmer, so technically got 3 PRs.

    100 fly:

    • Expectations: I haven't swum this in LCM as a Masters swimmer, so really had no clue what to expect. I figured the "fast end" of what I could go would be just under a minute as my time from SCM (58.9) converts (according to the Swimming World conversion utility) to 59.6. I really didn't expect to be near that, though.
    • Result: 1:00.44
    • Thoughts:
      • Work my B70.
      • Shocked and awed with my time. I qualified 9th so could've come back for finals, but opted to scratch.
      • A smallish piano fell on my back at about the 80 meter mark and I really wondered if I could get to the wall!


    100 free:

    • Expectations: My SCY time converts to 55-high and I sort of hoped I could get under 56, figuring that with the two weeks post-taper from Nationals I'd be ready to sprint.
    • Result: 56.42
    • Thoughts:
      • Wore my FSPro
      • This actually hurt more than the fly. It was a full 2 hours after the fly, so no real excuse. Simon Percy, the Sun Devil Masters head coach, even commented on how bad my last 30 meters looked; "cramped and slowing stroke rate," I think were the words he used. My daughter said much the same.
      • My freestyle feels all messed up these days as I'm in this weird state of trying to change to a unilateral breathing pattern, but then get tired and revert to bilateral.
      • All things considered, though, not really a bad time.


    200 IM:

    • Expectations: My SCY time converts to 2:17- and I had a vision to get under 2:20 as that converts to about 1:59.99 in SCY.
    • Result: 2:19.90
    • Thoughts:
      • Wore my B70
      • After my 2 experiences dying in the 100s, I really cruised the fly and back and then tried to build the breast and free.
      • Very happy with the time, but it felt more like I was in the low 2:20s. Time would've been 2nd in the TT list for 2008.


    Overall commentary: I need to train LCM! The swims hurt more than any swim I did over the last 9 months in SCM and SCY.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 11:42 AM by pwb

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  9. 400 LCM Free

    by , May 22nd, 2009 at 11:39 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Went down to the Cactus Classic today, my first USAS meet as a Masters swimmer, to do the 400 LCM free. Here's the tale of the tape:

    • Masters' best: 4:36.25 from 2003 Nationals at Rutgers
      • This is one of, I believe, ONLY 4 events I've competed as a Masters' swimmer in LCM

    • Goal time: I was mainly out to just get a time, but figured I could get under 4:30
    • Equipment: FSPro + speed cap + goggles
    • Result: 4:28.19 (split 1:03, 1:09, 1:09, 1:07)

    Commentary:

    • I was pleased with this. It's not a stellar swim as my yards time converts to something like a 4:17/4:18, but given that this is 2 weeks post-Nationals and I have not done much during those two weeks, I'm happy.
    • My stroke is still messed up with respect to breathing. I really, really, really need to learn how to unilaterally breathe.
    • Dennis Baker rocked out a Masters WR for the 45-49 age group (in a B70), going 4:13-low. Saw a few other college guys wearing them.
    • Going to bring my B70 tomorrow and use it the rest of the weekend, one last hurrah to wear it into the ground while it's still in this legal limbo state.

    Updated May 29th, 2009 at 11:43 AM by pwb

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  10. Wear B70 this weekend?

    by , May 21st, 2009 at 05:21 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Unless I'm mis-reading the official statements of the two sanctioning bodies for the meet I'm swimming in this weekend --

    • USAS: [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=181246&postcount=1"]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - President Rob Copeland statement on FINA Release[/ame]


    • USMS: [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=181265&postcount=1"]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - USA Swimming Statement on May 19, 2009 FINA Ruling[/ame]

    I could wear my B70 in the Cactus Classic as neither of these bodies are going to make any official changes for their meets until the end of the month.

    I don't need to as:

    • I've already gotten about 25 races in it, so have gotten my "money's worth" ... and
    • I was planning on wearing jammers anyway as I'm just out to get baseline times

    However, given that this is quite possibly the last meet where (at least in the US), the suit will be more towards the "legal" side of this ever-changing landscape, I just might wear it to see how the officials react (making sure to bring printouts of USAS official statements to the blocks) and to exact the last ounces of "value" out of the suit.

    As I've contemplated this, I think I'll also bring my FSPro along for Friday night's 400 free and likely swim in it after I see how I feel in warmups:

    • If I'm feeling good, I may as well wear it as it's likely the only 400 free I'll do this summer.
    • If I'm feeling bad, I may as well wear it as I'll need every advantage possible to keep up with the young pups.

    As this is my first USAS meet, I'll probably also do a little bit of "do as in Rome" and see if there are a lot of tech suits out there.

    The weather is cooperating with us -- high 80s to mid 90s versus the 105+ we've seen already here -- so it should be a nice weekend.

    Workout today
    Was going to get up to swim @ Cactus this morning, but stayed up too late reading last night ([ame="http://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Impact-Highly-Improbable/dp/1400063515"]Amazon.com: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Books[/ame]). I did some gentle yoga and stretching, which is probably just as well as I could feel some lactate remnants from yesterday's swim.
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