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Blog entries relating to the 2014 FINA World Championship in Montreal.

  1. Worlds day 6&7

    by , August 10th, 2014 at 08:25 AM (After a long rest)
    Friday was my day off from competition and I had a good night of sleep and a nice big breakfast. I had team mates swimming so headed to the pool to watch and cheer them on. My kids and a group of adults went to six flags for the day. They said it was extremely crowded but they had fun despite only managing a few rides due to the lines of people. After six flags my family I met up for dinner and we had a nice relaxing evening.

    Saturday night I went to sleep very quickly but woke around 3am with butterflies in my stomach and thinking about my upcoming race. I laid in bed til about 6:30am before getting up for breakfast. My swim was scheduled for 3:00pm so headed over around noon for a warmup. After getting to the pool and warming up I had about an hour before I swam. One of my team mates was 9 heats before me so I got to see him swim another great swim and then got myself mentally ready. I felt really good in the warmup and felt good about how I was going to swim the race.

    My my game plan was to swim a smooth but strong first 100, build the middle 200 and finish strong with strong legs the last 100. When I dove in I felt great and stuck to my game plan well. At 300 I was at least 2 body lengths clear of everyone else and at 350 I felt like I was again at least 2 body lengths clear. Coming down the final 50 I felt strong and when I hit wall for a moment I thought I had own only to see that the guy to my right had somehow caught me. I honestly could not believe that I had lost. I did not die and I was so far ahead how had I lost but i had.

    After the warm down I started to feel better but this one is going to hurt for sometime. I am proud of getting silver but gold was right there. If only I had bilateral breathed I would have seen him coming. I can't change what happened and this will inspire me to go again.

    Updated August 10th, 2014 at 11:51 AM by StewartACarroll

    Categories
    2014 FINA World Championship
  2. Worlds day5

    by , August 7th, 2014 at 11:55 PM (After a long rest)
    Today was relay day. We had a lot of fun throughout the whole day. I had a good nights sleep and woke early to head over for a good non crowded warmup with one of my teammates. I felt pretty decent during the warmup and actually as the day went on I felt better and better.

    First up today was our mixed relay team. Our team did awesome getting into two really good races and all the team members swam awesome. On the free relays our lead off went under 30 for the first time and our anchor caught two teams in the final 5 meters. The whole team had great fun and it was awesome cheering and watching my team mates.

    This is afternoon we had the men's free and medley relays. I was lead off on both relays. We had a great time despite a significant delay due to lightening. Both relays ended up 4th just missing the free bronze by .01. I was 25.10 on the lead off of the free relay and 30.01 on the back. I had a much better start and break out on the free but again missed my goal time by .11. I so wanted to see 24.99 or faster. I was very pleased with the swim since it's was .25 faster than my individual 50. On the back I had a quick start but went very deep. I dolphin kicked but was concerned I was heading to the yellow marker and decided to come up but my first stroke I was still under water and came to a complete stop. I still picked it up and had a decent 50 but I know I was so capable of going a second faster on the back. We missed bronze by a second so I felt a little guilty on this one. On a positive note I think I will have to consider some more back events since I seem to have some very easy speed at this event and earlier this summer I had an awesome in season 200 back.

    Despite just oust missing out on medals my teammates and I had an absolute blast. It was a lot of fun.

    This is evening we had a team dinner with a few guests. We had a few swimmers from the uk coast guard who are friends of one of my team mates and Steve Unruh and his family. It was a lot of fun. Most of my team mates are done with the meet so they stuck around and no doubt are partying pretty hard this evening. Three or four of us have events tomorrow and Saturday so the group split around 10pm. I have an off day tomorrow and plan on sleeping in followed by the kids going to six flags.
  3. Worlds day4

    by , August 6th, 2014 at 04:47 PM (After a long rest)
    My family went out for dinner with one of my friends and his family and had an awesome time. It really was one of those special times that I will treasure for a long long time. My friends parents are of similar age to my parents, we are similar ages and his kid and my kids are similar ages. Three generations all having an absolute blast. There was lots of great conversation, jokes, and laughing all evening. Really a special dinner.

    This morning I again got up early and headed over to the pool nice and early so I could swim a decent warmup in. Once again I felt pretty good in the pool and felt much looser than I did after the 100. Thank goodness. After yesterday's massage I made another appointment for later today so fingers crossed I will feel even better tomorrow.

    Today I had the 50 free which is my most relaxed non event event. I felt good about how I was going to perform. When my heat was called I was surprised at how big the guys were who I was swimming against. I now know how mr unruh feels when he swims against me! I am usually one of the tallest guys but today there were some absolutely enormous guys in my heat. I was in lane zero with a scratch in lane 1 so I had clear water and no one to look at or race against. I had a slow start but after I surfaced I felt really good and as I started to feel the burn in the final 10 the wall came pretty quick. My game plan was to breath once but ended up breathing twice. I hit the finish well and was pleased with my time of 25.35. I had hoped to be sub 25 but with the start I will take it. I am looking forward to the relay tomorrow because I will have a second shot at sub 25. I just found out that the time placed me 5th in the 50 free and I am very excited about this one since it was completely unexpected.

    I have my massage at 4:30pm so fingers crossed I will be nice and relaxed tomorrow for relays. I am leading off both the free relay and the medley relay tomorrow and need to remember to count my strokes in the main pool from the flags(note to self).
  4. Worlds day3

    by , August 6th, 2014 at 04:33 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a restless nights sleep and could not stop thinking about how I felt after the 100. It really bothered me. I decided to meet a teammate who was swimming the 400IM early(6:15) and do a real warmup. This really helped but I was still feeling very stiff and very sore with little to no easy speed. After all my training and a good taper I was not expecting to die at the end of any of my races.

    Despite the 200 being my best race I was on the fence about swimming it. My dilemma was do I scratch everything else except the 400 where I am ranked #2 or do I swim my races and let what happens happen. After speaking with my coach I decided to pull out of the 200 and rest up for the 400 on Saturday. After making this call I headed back to the hotel. My wife had arranged for me to get a massage at the hotel. The massage was much gentler than the one I had the other week and he focused on pressure points which within 5 mins felt awesome. Almost instant relief. After the massage I had a change of heart on the 200 and decided to swim it. After all the work I have put in my thought was that I need to swim it.

    The race was weird in that 4 people in the final heat did not show and the center of the pool was empty so there were in effect two groups. I went out long and strong and felt good at 100. This feeling continued until about 135 where I started tightening up. The final turn went well and I came off the wall strong. I saw the leader pulling away and unfortunately I had nothing left. The final 25 was especially hard and when I finished I could not tell if I was 2nd or 4th. It felt like 3 of us finished in a line. It turned out I was 4th in 2:04.6 which is slower than I thought I would go but based on how I felt in the morning I was pleased and glad I swam it.


    Last night one of my team mates Scott carpenter grabbed silver in the 50-54 50 fly and my friend Steve Unruh won the 45-49 50 fly. A great evening and it's always really good fun seeing your teammates and friends swimming well and getting what they deserve based on all the hard work they have put in.

    After feeling sorry for myself after the 100 I have really picked myself up and I am really enjoying the meet. I am always my own worst critic but on this week I have come to the conclusion that I can't be upset with being in the top 10 in all my events. I have a lot to be thankful for. Tomorrow will be another good day.
  5. Worlds day2

    by , August 4th, 2014 at 06:25 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a great nights sleep and felt good this morning. I had a big breakfast with my family knowing I would not be eating until after my 100free. My swim was supposed to be at 1:20pm but like yesterday the meet was running slow which unfortunately I did not find out until I arrived at the pool. We also found out the women who were in the temp pool were even further behind.

    Unlike yesterday where we had some clouds today was incredibly bright and warm. If I did not know where I was I would have said we were in Texas. It was hot!!! I found a cool spot in side the main stone building which was cool compared to outside in the tent. I know. Mark Cox and his group found shade outside the pool area under the trees and this May have been the really smart move.

    The biggest challenge which I had not really anticipated was the warmup or lack there of. The facilities are really very good but I just did not think about the difficulty associated with so many swimmers warming up at the same time. After my 800 I was very stiff and a little sore and struggled to loosen up today.

    I felt like I hung out for a long time before my race today and then when it was time to head to the marshaling area it went incredibly quickly and as fast as I could muster I had no time behind the block before my race. I was in lane 0 which meant coming back I did not see anyone because I breath left. I felt like I had a good start but almost immediately felt very heavy and this feeling never left. The good thing was the guy next to me was level with me. After the turn I tried picking up my tempo but just had nothing today. My arms and legs hurt really bad at the end of this one. My time was 56.4 which is much slower than I thought I would swim and my splits were pretty rough. I guess the 800 took a lot more out of me than I anticipated. I am by no means upset(how can you when you place 7th at worlds) but I do need to take a step back and decide what to do in terms of my remaining events.

    After an attempt at a longer warm down I grabbed some late lunch and headed to the jacuzzi in the hotel and let bubbles work on my legs. I am feeling much better but still have heavy legs. My coach arrives in a couple of hours and will speak with him about tomorrow and Wednesday.
  6. Worlds day 1

    by , August 3rd, 2014 at 11:27 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a fairly good nights sleep last night. I had the normal wake up with butterflies and jitters periodically but overall it was not a bad nights sleep. The plan for the day was to eat a big breakfast, a light lunch and an energy bar before I swam plus lots and lots of fluid. One of my team mates was scheduled to swim at 1:30pm so a group of us headed to the pool for a warmup around 11am. After the warmup those of us on my team that were swimming the 800 headed back to there hotels for lunch and a rest. Bill texted and said that the meet was running an hour late. Bill also had an awesome swim and dropped almost a minute on his 800 going 10:31.

    I headed back to the pool at around 4:30pm and hung out on deck for a while and then tried warming up; it was pretty crowded so it was impossible doing any pace work but I got about 1100 warmup in. I then had a walk over to the temp pool which was very nice but had a really long wait for my race. I was in the third from last heat in lane 2. I was determined to swim smart and build each 200. I felt good through 600 but started hurting and noticed I was shortening my stroke. My final time was 9:15 which was slower than I had hoped to go but a good solid time and I ended up placing second. The winner was 8:47 so there was no way I was going to swim that time today. Despite dieing I was proud I left everything in the pool and I was very happy with a silver in the 800m. I still have my best events to come later in the week and I am really enjoying having teammates at the meet. Tomorrow I have the 100 around 1:30pm. I need to be out fast but relaxed and come off that wall and nail the 50-75 in order to hit my goal time.
  7. Worlds Day 0

    by , August 2nd, 2014 at 01:53 PM (After a long rest)
    We arrived in Montreal at about 7:30pm last night and after getting out of the airport we caught a bus to the registration center. Before exiting the airport there is a booth that gives you the required bus pass to get to the registration center. It was pretty well marked and we had to present our registration info. The Instructions from Fina were to take bus 747 which does get you to the center but it stops 5 times. We took bus 714 which goes direct to the registration center. Registration was painless and then we walked from the Fairmont queen Elizabeth to the Sheraton where we are spending the week. We had a late dinner at the hotel which was excellent and then went to bed around 10pm. I slept like a baby until about 6:20 local time.


    I had arranged to meet one of my team mates Bill Elizondo and Steve Unruh from Nitro in the Fairmont lobby. The three of us met at 9:15am and headed by metro to a 50 m pool at the JFK park that Steve had found. The pool was good but most importantly it was great to finally feel good in the water. No aches and pains finally. I clipped before I left Dallas and despite not the same feel as a shave it felt good. I ended up shaving my head in Dallas and even that made me feel good in the water. We did an easy 1000m made up of a warm up, some 50 drills a couple of build 50s and an easy warm down. After the swim we headed back to our respective hotels and families.


    My family are going to the opening ceremony but I am going over to swim in the competition pool instead. This was not my original plan but timing does not work out to go to the opening ceremony and swim tonight. At least this way I get to swim and get to go to bed early tonight. I will likely shave so time today and will be ready to rumble tomorrow. Thunderstorms are supposed to come through tonight and fingers crossed there won't be any delays tomorrow. As Steve told me, you have to have flexible plans at these events and go with the flow. My only real fear is swimming at 10pm due to storm delays but fingers crossed that won't happen. Steve's other good idea was to be at the ready room at least 30 mins before your race even if it means going and see where they are and coming back.

    I am am excited about the meet.

    Updated August 2nd, 2014 at 04:27 PM by StewartACarroll

    Categories
    2014 FINA World Championship