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  1. Colonies zone meet report!

    by , April 13th, 2015 at 10:16 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Ok, here are my results!

    50 free (split request) 25.6
    50 breast 33.99
    50 fly 27.4

    100 IM 1:03.56
    50 back 29.6
    100 fly 1:03.2

    Best swim of the meet: 50 breast. It is the only swim I did faster than last year, and the .99 is always nice to get under the next second up.

    The second best swim was the 100 IM, which I went out in 28.8, so quite speedy but got the hammer on the freestyle, but still, a very solid time, especially for my age group.

    I didn't bother doing another 50 free. I got a split request because I didn't have a full 100 free in me. Plus I was kind of out of it, and needed the shock of a fast 50 free to get my head into the meet. After that, I didn't think I have a 24.99 in me at this point, and even going an inspired 25.01 didn't motivate me to get up off my squishy mat for the 50 free the second day.

    These should all make top ten, the only wait and see is the 50 breast - usually low 34 will make it in, but at nearly that, you never know, and there are quite a few bunched in the mid to high 33's.


    I was strangely unmotivated for this meet, other than to make top tens and it seemed to take the edge off of swimming really inspired. At my own zone meet, I am motiivated to swim against the zone records. Here, it was fun to race, but knowing if you aren't going to be #1, then #10 is just as good as #2. I think you can't be 100% all the time, and in this case I just wasn't truly, entirely engaged and swimming with a sense of purpose, other than getting through a respectable number of events. I was also not in the best of conditioning, so I limited myself to 3 events a day, and even then, I was running on fumes for the 100 fly. For as bad as it hurt, I thought I did a 1:01. But I was out in 29.2, which is shockingly slow, and if I am that slow going out, then there is no way I had anything left to go my usual 33, and it was a whopping 34 2nd 50, although I didn't really die, I just wasn't very fast!

    It was so great to see Fortress. She is so much fun to talk with and also to watch swim. I sat with Team Pittsburgh, YEAH! And I met Laurie Hug and Susan Williams. They are both so funny! Laurie is an inspiration - she swims so many events, coaches, puts the relays together, and has a great positive attitude. Susan was GREAT to swim next to on the 50 back (SW 28.1, me at 29.6). The biggest takeaway is the mental image of just how much faster she was on the underwaters. It is really a huge wake up call that she was so much faster and that it is possible, though very, very difficult to be that fast. It just takes a true commitment to doing these and going through Fort's workouts and seeing how she make huge stairstep improvements in the sprints by truly committing to underwater work.

    I'm going to goof off this week. Very busy at work the rest of April as it is reporting time for the end of my fiscal year, so I am glad to be done with racing and can just do maintainence stuff with no specific training for the next several weeks.


    The end
  2. Ready for Colonies Zone meet!

    by , April 8th, 2015 at 03:26 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Plane ticket - check!
    Rental car reservation - check!
    Hotel confirmed - check!

    Now, ready to pack and get to DC!

    I have been doing VERY LITTLE yardage. Since i've been so tired out, stressed out, and feel like I have never really recovered from being sick, i've decided that I am better off doing nothing than doing something and not having it make any difference, or even worsen my performance this weekend.

    Yesterday - 300 warm up
    4 x 50's pull easy
    4 x 50's kick easy
    4 x 50's drill/swim easy

    Today - not swimming.

    Tomorrow - who can say? i'll probably go to Baylor. Need to shower!

    Friday - nope. travel day = no swim.

    Saturday - WISH ME LUCK! I'm going to take my squishy mat and nap/doze in between events.

    When in doubt, i'd rather overtaper than overtrain!
  3. Calling oneself an "NCAA champion"

    by , March 25th, 2015 at 09:57 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I'd really like to know....

    Since we're all about watching NCAAs right now...

    If you swim on a college team but either don't make NCAAs or you don't score points at NCAAs, would you differentiate that when telling someone about your team? For example, would you say, "We won NCAAs" and let everyone assume you were a scoring member of the team, or would you say, "I swam with a bunch of guys who scored the points to win NCAAs", very humbly pointing out your lack of point contribution?

    I suppose I ask because there's guy who swam for a team that won NCAAs and he's always trying to lord it over us who didn't. But often he's the only one in our group who DIDN'T score any points at NCAA - individual or relay. Perhaps I should just ask him next time, how he rationalizes calling himself an NCAA champion when he's the only one in the lane who didn't score any points, and if that is awkward for him.
  4. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    by , March 24th, 2015 at 03:31 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I'm back! Well, sort of. Actually just killing time hiding upstairs while the Bosch repairman fixes our refrigerator. His name's Victor. It seems it should be Bob. Bob from Bosch. But then again they also do Thermador so maybe should be Thadeus from Thermador or Gary from Gaggenau. tee hee!

    Let' see, since the last time I blogged, I did yet another 25.4 SCY free in a USA meet. Nothing special.

    Hmm.....well, I was all excited to swim a local meet, a big zone meet, and nationals, but I lost steam after getting super sick this past week, so i'm only going to do the Colonies Zone meet and then call it a season. The nice thing about having limited energy from being sick is that it makes the decisions easy. Skip the training, go with whatever you've already done. Now move directly to taper; short burst speed and simply continue resting. Now I am easing back into it, doing about 1200 this week.

    My plane ticket from DFW to IAD was $176 - I kid you not! Got MCE so paid another $40 ish. I am totally eating at Cheesecake Factory when I get there. I would go to Texas de Brazil. It's not the price, it's just a bit weird, even for me, to be eating by myself at a brazilian steakhouse.
  5. Results - USA-S Greater Southwest Invite

    by , January 20th, 2015 at 02:08 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Long time no blog! Well, i was getting bored with my own blogging, so I thought i'd just report back with some meet results.

    The meet was the Greater Southwest Invite, a USA swim meet that is a larger one in the DFW area. Teams from the region will travel. It's a prelim/final format. But it always falls the same weekend as the Austin Grand Prix, so it does siphon off some of the very most elite regional swimmers. All the more room for me.

    I only entered the last day and swam the 100 back and 50 free. I almost didn't show, but felt guilty since I did the same thing at the last big meet (for the same reason, actually).

    100 back:
    30.22 33.23 1:03.45

    50 free: (scratched finals)

    I was very happy with those times. The first event always sets the tone for me. No matter what the event, better to do it really aggressive and build confidence from there. So I decided to really crush the first 12 1/2 to the 50, then hang on for dear life. That was a really good strategy, with a respectable dying at the end. The hammer came down hard on the last 25, but not really until then. My 50 back last year was 29.5. If I had held back, i'd have been more like 31.5 and 34 and felt the same, so glad I just took it out.

    The 50 free was pretty good. I actually felt more connected and stronger than my usual swim, better control and power off the start and turn. It gives me great confidence that I am capable of going 24.+ again, it's just a matter of when I can get it all put together and getting under again.

    I got really freaked out the evening of the meet. Very randomly, as I was stabbing away at my peppered beef (or maybe it was the cream cheese stuffed mushroom cap) on skewer at Simply Fondue, my left shoulder started hurting. By the next day, it was at about 20% operation above my head. Doing a google search, I determined that I probably had burstis (sp) and not a rotator cuff injury. Not sure if that is even right. So I was really bummed out, since I have always prided myself on never doing anything hard to enough to get those kinds of injuries. But, I decided i'd make the most of it any swim anyway, with a new routine of mostly kicking. Limit to 1/2 hour so not to overdo the legs and back.

    The good news is that today my shoulders are sore, but about 90%, so I think I was just really sore. That said, i'm going to do no arm-swimming this week, just light stretching and enough to not get a frozen shoulder. From now on, i'm going to warm down (i didn't, just rushed for the lockers) and to do a light stretching round after meets. That probably was what did it.

    The shoulders feel pretty normal now, just a familiar post-meet-i-didn't-warm-down soreness. And that's saying alot, as I just got a root canal at 10:45 am CST!


    Next up: I entered another USA meet - an open format, no qualifying times. So it'll be a mixed bag of swimmers. Most notably, it will be a MOMMY AND ME swim meet! I entered the 50 free, swimming 13 & over, WITH MY 2 DAUGHTERS! What fun. Well, for me. Not so much for them.
  6. Results - Ron John Invite, PHX AZ

    by , November 18th, 2014 at 09:56 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Ok, here are my meet results:

    50 breast 38.4 (bummer)
    200 free 2:21.8 (31.8 36.6 37.4 35.9) pretty good!
    100 breast 1:23 (38.8 44.9) whew, this was good compared to the 50!

    100 IM 1:11.5 (32.3 39.2) solid but I thought i could go faster!
    200 IM 2:38.3 (33.0 41.7 48.8 34.7) better!

    chowsh says my breaststroke is Totally 80's. And that I needed to fast forward to 2014! Got some good tips from Jeff Commings who swam AWESOME at the meet! The hardest part will be to consistently practice and work on WORKING my breaststroke.

    1. Head can go underwater. My interpretation is that I should stop "saluting the captain" with the head above water that is so ingrained.
    2. Use my back muscles, not just pull with arms and legs. Engage and incorporate all the muscles and actively use them, like you do in butterfly.
    3. But remember to surge forward, not just up and down and shoulder shrug for shrugging's sake.

    The 200 free was a last minute addition. I was only going to swim it as a 50 split, but after the 50 breast, I was really worried about the 100 breast, so I thought i'd try to get a top ten time in the 200 free. It's my first in SCM and the first full 200 free as-a-200-free I have swum since 1995! I think I went to easy after the first 50 and then had a lot left in the tank for the final 10 meter surge. I will swim this again, it was sort of fun! Strategically, that was a good time. There are a few girls that go 2:14 or less, and a bunch that go around 2:24. So at 2:21 it hits the sweet spot of jumping ahead of the 2:24ers but not having to put the hours upon hours of training to go sub 2:15. I think i'd like to work down to 2:18 or 2:19. Sub 2:20 is a huge hurdle.

    The 100 IM was actually disappointing. First, because someone next to me low-balled their time worse than me and went 1:06 so that is depressing and no matter how fast you are going, there they go. Also, it was the bad luck of mistimed walls so came in 1/2 stroke on the fly and then my arms came apart on the UW backstroke, a real killer when you have absolutely no wiggle room in a 100 IM. My breast needs major work, so I think that is why the back 1/2 split is so bad! I'm going to have to spend many hours talking to the coach about how to go 1:08.99 vs. 1:11.5.

    I was very happy with the 200IM. Overall I dropped 4 seconds from the last meet, and it was mostly due to a very aggressive last 50 free and a bit better on the breast. Under 2:40 seems strong for my age group. I don't have a set goal; there are so many ways to improve. But against the age group, 2:40 already is a good hurdle. I think the next would be 2:35. That might be my goal. A huge chunk would be in the breast at 48.8! If I can get it to 45 and 1 more second somewhere, that puts me under 2:35!


    Next up: A USA meet the first week of December. Not sure if I will make both days, but I hope to swim 100 fly, 100 back, and 50 free. I'm curious where I will start the SCY season. I'm going to do my P90X3 again, so that will be Dec/Jan/Feb. A good 3 month window so it won't interfere with the height of the SCY season starting Feb/Mar/April.

    Updated November 18th, 2014 at 10:20 AM by chowmi

  7. Results - 2014 November Classic - Shenandoah, TX (Houston)

    by , November 10th, 2014 at 03:59 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well here are the results:

    200 fly 2:46
    34.9 41.8 - 1:16
    44.35 45.28 - 1:29.6 (ouch!)

    200 back 2.:42
    37.78 41.17 1:18.9
    42.48 40.7 1:23.18

    200 IM 2:41
    50.01 OUCH!

    100 fly 1:09.6
    31.93 37.73

    100 back 1:10.8
    33.95 36.89

    Overall very pleased I got in 5 solid swims; all will make top ten and currently quite high places, but many more meets to come in SCM season. Best swim was probably the 100 back; overall a strong time and quality splits. 100 fly was strategically out fast and hang on; I knew I did not have much left in me after the 50 so went for it. Worst swim was probably the 200 fly - I succumbed too early to survival fly but probably should have tried to keep going fast for a bit longer. 1:16 vs. 1:29 is terrible. 1:29 is terrible all by itself. YIKES 50 breast split on the 200 IM was like standing still. If in replay, i'd probably be going forward! The good thing is if I can drop 2-5 seconds, that's huge for a 200 IM without any other improvements to the other 3 legs. But if I can go faster on the breast, I can probably get faster on the free as well, maybe 1-3 seconds drop there as well. First 200 IM in many years (not as a 50 fly split).
    Next weekend: off to the Ron Johnson in Phoenix, AZ!
  8. 200IMs

    by , October 7th, 2014 at 09:38 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Monday recap: I kicked it all!
    It was a build a bunch of stuff up to 4 x 200's, so I just kicked it as fast I could on the swim interval with Speedo optimus fins (medium length).

    The main set was
    8 x 25 kick/drill/swim/easy :30 fly and back sets; :35 for breast
    200IM 4:00

    repeat 3 times, all 8 x 25's of one stroke for each round; no free set.

    2:59 2:53 2:46

    I was pretty happy with this set. I had enough in the tank that the 2:46 wasn't too bad. It was hard, but I felt well in control. I was 1:20 at the 100 so that means I was 1:26 on the way back, and that seems a good split. I feel quite confident that I can be at the 2:40 barrier in a meet!

    Still can't decide what to swim at the Ron John. 100 fly and 100 IM for sure. They are the first events I would consider each day. The rest I may pick based on how well I can recover to max the events instead of which ones I am actually better at.
  9. SCM meet report!

    by , October 1st, 2014 at 03:17 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    WOW! It's been a really, really long time since I blogged. Too busy on flyertalk and other interesting websites instead.

    This year the annual pool closure at Baylor was 3 weeks - yours truly decided to give up after about 10 days and just embrace bad eating habits, little exercise, hardly any pool time. I am truly at my max PSI pushing 150 lbs! It was funny being 5 lbs over, but that was 10 lbs ago and now it's not so funny anymore! I think my metabolic Dorian Gray has finally given up.

    Here's how I did at the meet. BTW, I wasn't swimming very fast going into in, but I didn't want to miss out on some real racing! In order of racing,
    50 breast 38.38
    50 back 33.02
    50 free 28.49
    50 fly 31.03
    400 IM 5:56.44

    Those should all be respectable SCM top tens. I really starting dying at the 50 fly, which was my 4th. I was really slowing down right after the turn. The 400 IM was pretty tough, because I was still winded from the 50 fly. That's no way to start a 400 IM! So I just backed way off, and then decided that no, I didn't feel like going any faster and just hoped it was fast enough to break 6:00.

    Next up: the Ron John, 11/15-16! I am going to work around these events to get as many top tens as possible. I need 5 more, assuming the 5 above make it, to get to 200 career top tens at the end of the SCM season, yeah! Quantity seems a good strategy now as I just can't get serious enough for long enough to go for any exceptional times.

    Question: What do you think is a reasonable 200 IM SCM time? I can go 1:16 strong 100IM in workout, 1:12 last year in racing, and 2:50-2:55 200 IM in practice, and you see my 400 IM time above. I am thinking 2:40 low if I am also swimming a full lineup of events. That seems a tough event - not open enough for me to pull my 400 IM stunts, but long enough I can't rely on my sprinterness like in a 100 IM.

    My thoughts on Phelps: What a knuckeheaded, knitwit, knumbskull knincompoop. 2nd DUI? Probably more like he got so lucky all those other times he didn't get caught a second time until now. Geez, how could you not know better?!!! Who's he partying with?What's it going to take? He probably still won't wake up until he kills someone. Darned either way as far as the Worlds team - if he's on, that's awkward. If he's off, how does that affect the team as well?
  10. South Central Zones - meet report

    by , July 22nd, 2014 at 08:49 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Super long time no blogging!

    Well, here is how I did at the SC zone meet this weekend:

    50 back 33.73 (new zone record)
    100 fly 1:11.11 (34.36/36.75) (new zone record)
    50 free 28.76 (missed the record 28.60)
    200 fly 2:59.7 (37.79/45.40 (1:23.19)/48.68/47.89 (missed the record 2:55.29)
    50 fly 30.96 (new zone record)

    Very happy with times and quality of the swims, particularly the 100 fly. That is a very small spread so I think I could take it out faster. I had a lot left in the tank coming home. I haven't been swimming LCM and I don't like LCM. So I think I can scratch training it off my list permanently.

    50 Back - I think it was a lifetime best.

    50 Fly - super awesome and great split. Even in SCY, my split 3-4 seconds slower.

    50 free - solid. I am not going to focus too much on this.

    200 fly - I don't think I swam it efficiently at all. I want to do it again. I'd like to go a 2:50ish next time, somewhere closer to 37, low 40, 45, 45. Probably just go out faster than that 1:23, like around 1:20 and come back in 1:30. I'll have years to improve from there. It seems mid 40's is a very respectable range for a 200 fly, so start with 2:50 barrier and then inch my way down to the 40's. Most amazingly, yours truly incorporated butterfrog for parts of the last 100. For LCM, I think this is a great strategy. I can rest the front of my body since there is no turn in sight for 45+ seconds! Over time, I can wean myself off of it, but for now, hey, it works for me!

    50 fly - I was on fumes by this time, but I was super happy with the swim. I've been working my fly kick and that really saved me on this swim. I used a 4 breathing pattern, which is very different that SCY at 1 down/1 back. But for some reason, I just need the air in LCM and this pattern works well.

    I'm really happy I swam this meet. I will likely get 5 top ten times, which will put me at 190 and so I will really try to find SCM meets to go and swim as many events as possible to get to 200 by the end of 2014. I've been trying really hard to stay in decent condition and very solid race shape through the summer, with the goal to be in prime shape going INTO the SCM and then SCY seasons. Almost every year, I am "starting over" in the fall and I think a big improvement (which could mean the ability to swim many more events at meets) will be to enter the season with strong racing form.
  11. 4 x fast 50's

    by , June 17th, 2014 at 07:29 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    What a bummer! On our way from Dallas to Breckenridge, CO, our car was having trouble! We passed Amarillo and were just past 1/2 way when we had to stop in Dalhart, TX! We got to a GMC/Chevy dealer who hooked our Cadillac up to their computers but couldn't really find what exactly was wrong. We were worried about making it over the mountains, so we turned back. What a bummer!!!!!

    Well, we have decided to go again in about 2 weeks.

    In other news, today was an awesome workout -really just up my alley!
    The main set was essentially 4x 50's one each stroke from the blocks, with about 10 minutes worth of a set in between each!

    50 fly 31.8
    50 back 34.5
    50 breast 39.2
    50 free 29.1

    For some reason, we all went by ourselves or only with 1 other person. I went by myself and for some other random reason, was slightly ahead of everyone else. But maybe that was by design so the coach could time each person by themselves. Well, I was quite pleased with the times in a SCM workout. It also was good to see where I was bogging down or needed to focus attention.

    Fly - need a breathing pattern for SCM. I have it for SCY 1/1 or the 100 (every 2) but SCM is a bit more difficult to make it 1/1 so I am thinking 1/2 or 2/2

    Back - just need to do USRPT here! not used to really going bonkers in 50 back enough.

    Breast - quite solid! Just make sure to stay really entact from the turns and to be very aggressive.

    Free - very solid; need to work on turn and in/out of wall; don't breath on 2nd length too soon.

    Here's another pretty good set for building up to a 100 fly: I did a 50 easy every time you see 100 easy.

    100 easy 1:30
    25 fast :30
    100 easy
    50 fast 1:00
    100 easy
    75 fast 1:30
    100 easy
    100 fast 2:00

    Twice through.
    Fly: 16, 36, 55, 1:15
    Breast: 22,44, ?, 1:30
    I'd like to get this set to pushing 50 at the 75 and 1:10 at the 100
    breast - maybe get to 1:25
  12. Fast IM before Breckenridge CO

    by , June 9th, 2014 at 03:03 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, it's time for the first vacation of the summer. So.... I modified the last several workouts to do "Things I can't/won't do while on Vacation".

    Sunday, LCM converted in to SCM - YEAH!
    I went to workout mainly just to check the box of coached workout before going on vacation. To my delight they put a bulkhead in the LCM pool so scrambled for the deep end and recruited 2 friends to do our own workout in our own lane.
    The main set was
    4 x 100's on 3:00 ==>I did them free
    100 straight 1:13
    50/10/50 1:10
    50/10/25/5/25 1:07
    4 x 25 5 sec 1:04

    4 x dives + break outs
    1 at a time and giving feedback

    That was fun!

    I wasn't very fast on the 100's, but not so far off and not out of control either. I think it's a great place to be for now, and hopefully I can hold on until the fall and improve. I'd like to be 1:07 or :08 on the straight 100, and down to 1:00 or sub on the broken 4 x 25's.
    Today I basically did 3 x 100 fast IMs

    1:17, 1:16, 1:16

    Those were around a bunch of other 100's the lane was doing. Very solid, but i'd like to be even faster. My best ever was recent and a 1:14. That was a serious crankin' it day but we were all doing IMs so I had good racing.

    3 x strong 50's, about 1:30ish

    The fly was really promising at 33. I haven't been there in awhile and am getting back into it. I'd like to breakthrough later this year, finally getting past the 32/33 mark and going 31's from a push.

    I didn't have enough rest to have a snappy back/breast, so those were a bit slower.
    In Breckenridge, i'll just do garbage yardage but lots of kick. I think i'm around 23 miiles or so towards the 50 mile club. I can usually do 2 miles each workout, which they use 1800 as a mile.

    See you later!!!
  13. Hangin' with AZTIMM - on flyertalk!

    by , June 4th, 2014 at 03:51 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Super long time no post!

    I have been too busy lurking on to post here. Guess who found me there?!!! AZTIMM!!!! haha!

    I am on a mission to earn mega AA miles. I decimated my current balance due to our Hawaii trip. There was no way no how my husband was going to go economy or even MCE, so I used every squeezy drop of my miles to get us first class.

    Swimming wise, i've just been doing some USRPT, miscellaneous sprinting, lots of fly kick, and stroke work. With no meets to gear up for, i'm just trying to stay in overall conditioning, stroke, and sprint shape so I won't be starting all over again in the fall. We are going to Colorado this month, Pittsburgh next month, and then Hawaii for vacations, so I can't see any reason to get seriously into it for 3 weeks just to take a week off in between each.

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center
    *Today I went a 28 high/29 super flat 50 free so I was happy with that.
    *My fly has been really coming along. Before zones this year (late March 2014), I could barely do a 37-38 but now I can do that quite comfortably, and push 35's respectably. In my best shape, I could do 32/33's strong 50's fly. I'd like to hold this conditioning and speed going into the fall.

    But the most pressing thought I have is this question:
    Would it be bad form if we traveled 2 in business class and 2 in Economy main cabin extra on our trip to Paris, France in July 2015? My girls wouldn't care about being separated from us, and really, it's not like they are going to get lost on an airplane. I may be short on the miles, and I don't want to wait until I get enough to book the last 2 tickets. I just won't have enough to book everyone business class.
  14. AZ State meet results

    by , April 7th, 2014 at 10:30 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I had a great time visiting chowsh!!

    It was so nice to visit my faaavorite (and only) sister, and have free food, lodging, and transportation! We had fun eating out and I started my own drawer at her house. I left my tall UGGs and a pair of wind-resistant sweat pants (I have another pair at home). I bought 2 pairs of flip flops and left 1 pair at her house. In the future, i'll probably leave underwear, sneakers, and assorted bottoms. I can always borrow tees and tops from chowsh!

    Well, here's how I did:

    50 free split (100 free) 25.19 good
    Better! Getting close to 24.99. Tall Paul said I caught a big wave from the incoming field and that I probably should do a split from a slower event and heat, which I agree. I thought it was just me and that I was plankton feeding off the breakout, but perhaps part of it was the big wave as well. I wasn't sure if I was going for a split or not, so I entered at the midway with a 1:00.00.

    100 breast 1:14.94 (34.98 39.96) ouch!
    I think I tried too hard and was turning over and slipping. I should have taken longer and stronger pull--kick and instead was spinning my wheels. Well, at least now I know! I think my 1:14.8 from last week will stand for top ten this year.

    50 fly 27.60 meh
    I was actually going to skip this but decided nearly at the last minute to get up and get another trial 50 fly under my belt. I was glad I did, because I totally did NOT breakout smooth on the dive or the turn - I did one of the too-deep-pop ups. It startled me, but I wasn't entirely surprised. As I have been getting my fly mojo back, i've also painfully noticed I need to start feeling to breakout better, and certainly this race showed I am not there yet.

    Skipped 50 breast.

    200 fly 2:25.06 (32.23 37.96 (1:10.19) 38.87 36.00 (1:14.87)) solid
    I was very happy with this time. I think it will stand for top ten this year, which is what I was going for. I haven't swum it SCY since 2007, so just like my 200 breast, I backed way off on the 2nd 50, probably too much, as I had a lot (relatively) left in the tank to make it look good on the last 50. I think a 5.5 second spread is too much, and that set up the 3rd 50 at a slower pace as well.

    Day 2
    100 IM 1:03.50 (29.31 34.19)
    I was really happy with this time. I think it's in line with my 100 back/100 fly, where historically I am just a bit slower than my 100 back and about a second slower than my 100 fly. My sister said that I went too deep on the backstroke but also did not go very fast or far on the underwater. But everything else was pretty good, and my breast was not so rushed and I didn't "spin and slip" like the 100 breast.

    Skip 50 free
    Skip 200 breast

    100 back 1:02.78 (30.43 32.35) very good
    I was super happy with the outdoor 100 back. Perhaps pwbrundage was right about the sun, I don't know, except that I really couldn't see anything and just didn't worry about going straight, but I suppose I did. I could see well enough for around when I was under the flags, but didn't even think about when exactly that was. I just turned on "about 2" strokes under the flags, whenever that was, and when my face was in the water, then i'd very quickly adjust my arm speed to how close/far I was from the wall and move in a continuous motion. I had too many other things to worry about, like when my butt was about to fall off from the pain and not sitting up. I think it was a quality split. I could really tell my lack of race-pace training. The last turn, I totally bagged the UW kicks and just kicked freestlye, or at least I was telling myself to, because I was pretty numb down there. And then said, crimey, i'm a lousy 1/2 way under the flags off this last turn.

    The end.

    Done with SCY! I think I will get 12 top ten times.i Major goal is to get to 200 as soon as possible. If these all make it, I will have about 12 to go.

    50/100 free 25.19 56.3
    50/100/200 back 29.5 1:02.7 2:19
    50/100/200 breast 34.5 1:14.8 2:44.2 ==>iffy. will have to wait and see.
    50/100/200 fly 27.4 1:02.1 2:25.0
    100 IM 1:03.5

    I don't want to train long course. It does not sound fun to swim outside in crowded lanes with people going less than 5 seconds apart. I might just stay out of the sun in the 25 SCM pool and do race pace stuff!
  15. South Central Zone meet results!

    by , March 31st, 2014 at 12:10 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Well, here is how I did!

    100 free 56.34 (26.36/29.98)
    Ok, this was so incredibly painful. I certainly don't train for a 100 and I have decided not to. I would rather suffer for 56 seconds once a year, rather than suffer daily training. That save me, like hundreds of hours! The cost/benefit continum is misaligned. At 55, 54, and even 53 or lower, there is no amount of 100 free training I am willing to do to improve. Unless there is some spillover effect from IM training!

    50 back 29.51
    Very solid, but I really thought I could go 28.99 or better. I'll continue to keep this on my main events! South Central Zone record.

    50 fly 27.40
    I was SUPER happy with this time!!! I really lost my fly ability after the gall bladder came out. I went a 28.3 last year and didn't even make top ten. I really only started to be able to swim 25's and 50's fly in practice around late Jan/Feb this year. I think i'm back! I am so looking forward to working down to a 26.99 or better! South Central zone record.

    Scatched 200 IM

    50 free split: 25.42
    This was actually very strong. The official was standing right in between my lane and the next, but I guess he was really bored or something and had to get closer to the action. He'd bend over slightly when we touched, and I swear, he was totally in my space when Janie was coming in. It freaked me out, 'cause it was like, hey official, you're in my personal space! So I waited wayyy to long, and Janie was totally touching the wall and I was still standing straight up until the official got out of my space!

    50 free: Scratch!
    I needed all the rest for the 100 fly!

    100 fly: 1:02.14 (28.84/33.30)
    I was super happy with this time! I knew i'd have to be really fresh and aggressive on the first 50. The thing is, no matter how bad I do on the 2nd 50, it's going to be in the 33 or 34 range. So I need to bank all my speed on the first 50 and then bring it home. I felt really good, but slowed down more than I thought I would on the 2nd 50. New zone record. I'd like to go 28.5 or better, and then bring it home 32 range. Then i'll be in shooting distance of the 1:00.00 mark!

    50 breast: 34.50
    Ouch! This was quite close to the 100 fly, and I simply had nothing left. I'd say this was actually a bad swim, because I went out in 34.7 in the 100 breast at a meet the month before.

    100 IM scratch
    Save my energy for the 200 breast. Took 2 hot showers and made a historical analysis of top ten 200 breasts in the meantime.

    200 breast: 2:44.25 (37.75/42.62 (1:20.37) 42.30/41.58 (1:23.88)
    I was super happy with this. It was my first 200 breast ever. I think I was a bit conservative, because it didn't hurt very much. Looking at my splits, I probably should not have backed off so much on the 2nd 50, which set up the range of speed for the 3rd and 4th 50's. Perhaps go closer to 40/41's next time! New zone record.

    50 free split: 25.35 relay
    Awesome! Well, not really. Viva la mid 25's!

    50 free split: 25.62 relay
    Yeah! Back to back relays and I could still do it for the team!

    So, some very solid and promising times. I feel I can improve in many events, variety of distances. 4 new zone records. I hope to get the 50/100 free, 100 IM, 200 fly, maybe 100 back,100 breast during my waning 40's. If I can get 8 total, that's quite respectable!

    Next up: Arizona state meet this weekend! I am going to focus on the 50 free, 50/100 breast, and 100 IM for sure. I should be able to get top ten times in those. I entered some other events but I don't want to spread myself too thin and just miss the 50/100 breast when I am right now on the bubble.
  16. Ready for Meet Season

    by , March 24th, 2014 at 09:47 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Not sure how fast i'll swim, but at least I feel pretty good and I finally can swim fly pretty well! It's not such a struggle and I am starting to feel my old self again; it will take more time than the next 2 weeks, but hopefully racing fly will give me another big boost and over the hump to better fly!

    Let's see....
    I went 13+ from a dive on 25's fly, so that was promising.
    I went a 38.2 to 38.5 on a 50 breast fast. That was also a good swim.
    I got my mojo going on some 25's back and went 16's. That's as fast as I ever have. Never hit 15's yet.
    Free is still a struggle. I'm still fighting myself but going 14-15's, so at least I can muscle and thrash my way to half decent times.

    I'd like to just see where my times are. Since I turned 45 this year, and since it's been 12 years (2002) since I started racing after having kids, maybe consider this a "reset" year, so all "best times"?
  17. More sprint stuff

    by , March 12th, 2014 at 07:24 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I am continuing with sprint stuff. Yesterday I was focusing on doing IM sprints, and today is a day off and yoga. But not until I digest some of this panang, pad thai, and tom yum something or other. You know, the tart chicken soup with coconut milk.

    Fly set (it's fraternity of flyers month!)
    16 x 25's
    Odd smooth free
    even alternate drill/swim fast

    IM set.
    I customized a boring 12 x 75's into
    1 fast broken 75 IM (3 total) 25/5 seconds
    easy swim
    so roughly, about every 4:30 i'd be going a sprint 75 IM.


    You can extrapolate and say, maybe between 16-18 seconds for a 25 free to get a 100IM time. But it's not exact. Sometimes i'd be short/long on the 5 seconds. But roughly there. Well under 1:00 but well over :50. This is a great set for me. I was able to really dig deep on the last one. Was able to really engage sprinting, especially on the breastroke. But still off from doing a race-pace IM - i'd like to be closer to :50. Maybe aim for holding this set :55 to :50 as a goal in the future, without compromising the 5 seconds rest.
    I'm feeling a lot better, more energy but I can tell my body isn't rested to it's peak swimming prowess just yet. Have to be careful to really rest my legs!
  18. Putting on the brakes!

    by , March 10th, 2014 at 11:53 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    The good news - I did get a free pair of goggles after all! They included a blue pair of vanquisher goggles. I didn't look carefully whether they were V2's or not, but who cares, free is free!!

    The new suit with comfort straps will be interesting. The straps are thicker but completely smooth. It immediately reminded me of the straps that must be on those super huge cupped ladies' bras who need ginormous over the shoulder boulder holder straps.

    In other news, I have been completely run down and tired. I have decided to put the brakes on and go full throttle taper sit around and talk to the coaches about my swimming mode. I would much rather overtaper and be completely out of shape, than to still be tired and not at my best for the 2 meets coming up. Awake, alert, and peppy - that is my goal. I just want to feel fully engaged and ready to give a 100% effort on race day.

    From Rich Abraham's PS favorite sets (pure speed):
    8 x 25's on 1:00
    12.5 fast
    odd free (from dive)
    even kick (pushoff)

    50 fast free (29 flat)

    8 x25's on 1:00
    odd fly (from dive)
    even fly (from pushoff)

    50 fast kick - free w/board (46)

    This was a good reset and quite sprinty. Coach came out on deck early, and watched/video'd all my dives and gave me pointers, so it was on more than 1 minute per, but I got a free 1/2 lesson on my dives!!!

    LCM, SMU outdoors
    YIKES!!!! I have not swum LCM in a long time! I made sure I didn't overdo it.

    400 warm up
    10 x 50 kick w/fins 1:10 fast last 12.5 (38-41s)

    Main set:
    swim 4 x 50 strong 50's from a start, 1 each stroke, for the last 40 minutes or so.
    fly: 36
    back :41
    breast :47
    free :33

    YIKES again! Those were not very fast at all, given I was going 92.5ish effort! But, a great starting point for LCM. It proved 2 things - 1. I was tired. Not engaged mentally to really go 100%. 2. Just plain too slow! But then again, it will be fun to drop time from there. This is my baseline set from which to improve. I ought to do this set at least once a week. I don't think it would get boring, since the alternative was to do 300, 3 x 100, 200, 3 x 100, 100, 3 x 100 so I think i'd pick 4 x 50's on 10 minutes every time!

    I cleaned out my closet and took 4 big bags to goodwill. I feel so good about myself. but I completely lost steam and can't bring myself to align the empty spaces or sort the pants/tops. They're all still mismashed. Last week was a major update for my kids. I cleared out their closet, and replaced all the baby hangers with adult hangers.
  19. Tips for ordering Technical Suit!

    by , March 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I just ordered a new technical racing suit! I haven't in several years, gloating how I my existing ones have lasted so long. But alas, they are way too stretched out and so used that they show that disintegration like your old lycra suits used to! Yuck!

    *Only interested in Speedo
    *Don't like the new closed back suit. I think it would make me look thick, fat, and sausage-like. Also the most expensive at $449.
    *Don't like the colored suits. They would make my colored thigh look fat.
    *Do want an Elite 2. Mostly because it's the newest. Must be in black.
    *Comfort straps are intriguing. Is it worth the difference between $395 and $429? Yes, I think so. And I don't think they would make me look fat.

    No tax
    Free shipping, and not a rush order so who cares 2 day or 7 day
    Any coupon, which is hard for a technical suit

    Go to retailmenot and get that coupon code (before 03/31!). I couldn't figure out the free goggle thing, which it wouldn't seem to give me, but I didn't want to pass this suit discount of 10%!

    So I got the $429 suit for a total of $386.10. I think they gave me an extra dollar off.

    This is Fraternity of Flyers month!
    Today's main fly set was

    3 rounds
    8 x 50's on :55
    2 x fly/free
    2 easy free
    3 x fly/free
    1 easy free

    Sprint the fly bits.

    Now, this sounds easy as you only do 5 x 25's fast fly for the entire round, but for some reason I was dying, just absolutely dying through this set. Maybe because I was doing it right. It was one of those days where if someone poked you with a pinky, you'd probably just collapse. And I was really irritated with my lane. The girl behind me was doing all free. So was the next guy. Then the next guy was doing backstroke with fins. Then the next guy was swimming freestyle with a snorkel swimming up the backstroker's backside. I thin there might have been someone else after that but maybe it was just a manifestation of a composite irritating swimmer.

    I have decided that I am not going to swim tomorrow or Wednesday, if I am going to be in this bad of a mood and irritated with my lanemates!
  20. So Mad about Hotel Deception!

    by , March 1st, 2014 at 09:19 AM (Chowmi's Blog)
    I am sooo mad!!!

    I entered the South Central zone meet, then went to make my hotel reservation. I have stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, The Woodlands, many times and was all set to do so again. So I searched for it, and THOUGHT I went directly to their website. I booked an awesome rate ($107 plus fees, etc), and then realized upon getting the confirm that it was with some service called Reservation Counter, and not directly with the hotel! I swear, the website looked JUST like it! So a few hours later, I called the hotel directly to make sure they had my reservation. They did, but it still irks me! And the web address was so similar that you know they were trying to fool you!!!

    For those who want the finer points - remember your reservation is with the service, and not necessarily with the hotel itself. This service could just take your money and not make a booking. Or go out of business or file bankruptcy and not make your reservation. You would hope, but you aren't necessariy going to get your hotel room. And it cost a whopping $12 more for their stupid service vs. booking through the hotel itself, grrrr!!!!!!!

    In the end i'll be alright, worst case rarely happens, and plus I used my credit card, so if something does go wrong and I end up with no room, I don't have to pay it. But you just don't want that aggravation going into your big zone meet! I guess this also shows how being a bankruptcy trustee, you know the finer points of how these things can happen!

    In training news, i'm continuing my kick/IM/sprint days. I've gone back over Rich Abaraham's 2 articles from 2010 and 2011 on racing. The part i'm paying attention to is which zone you are in. I think of it as 3 zones - pure power zone (anaerobic; like powering through the 1st 15 meters of a race, or a 1/2 length blow out sprint), zone 2, which is racing zone; and zone 3, which is the "80% yardarage zone". And even though they aren't mutually exclusive, you have to train the appropriate amount of time in the right zone (zone 2), and not be stuck in zone 3 for me as a short sprinter (50/100's).

    SCM, Baylor Fitness Center

    We did a set of IM -
    4 rounds
    4 x 25's 1 each stroke (.35)
    2 x 50 on 1:05 (fly/back and breast/free)
    1 x 100 IM fast on 2:30


    The first 2 rounds I did the set. But I found myself more in zone 3 than in zone 2. I was just trying to get through the IM at the end. So the next 2 sets I started to drop the IM bits and did easy free instead, to set myself up for a truly fast 100 IM. It worked! The 1:14 was my best 100 IM in practice!

    I'm glad I made that decision part way through the set to make it meaningful for me. I think it's a great set to do as proscribed if i'm building a base for the 400IM, or the 200IM. But this year it's all about the 100IM!
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