Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
We made it home from nationals safe and sound -- after a bit of a harrowing drive in the midst of hail and a tornado watch. The best part of nationals for me was hanging out with great swim friends and my RAM team. And I love the spectating at nationals -- got to see so many great races and was really happy for my friends and fellow bloggers that kicked ass. My coach and friend Bill White, who hadn't competed in SCY since 2002, swam out of his mind. Hopefully, we can persuade him to come to more USMS meets! And my Jimby was very happy to grab a well paced win in the 500 free. Of course, it was great hanging out with Stewart and Mark and I finally got to meet Mr. Unruh (who also swam out of his mind).
For various reasons, this was an extremely challenging meet for me. I had felt pretty good a couple days before leaving. But whatever was blooming in NC did not agree with me and I had a bad allergy/asthma flare starting Friday afternoon. Lot of hacking and not enough oxygen to power the SDKs. Hindsight is 20/20 of course. But I was probably pushing the envelope to have competed in the meet. And so it was a mixed bag.
50 back, 1st, 27.7
I did two starts with the backstroke ledge in warm up, and they seemed fine. But at race time, I fumbled around with the ledge and couldn't seem to get it in the right place. It ended up being a little lower than I would have liked. Then the starter held us for a long time and my arms were shaking. I was a little deep on the start, but it was solid. But then I had a glide into the turn. I was just happy to get the win. And anytime you beat the speedy Susan Williams that is saying something.
Mixed 200 free relay (can't remember our time), 24.7 split
I didn't execute this very well either. I jammed the turn and went off the wall way too deep. I had trouble breathing after the race and it seemed to precipitate a 5-6 hour coughing spree.
Started off the day by tearing a hole in a new tech suit that I had only worn once at the Albatross meet ... Grr!
50 breast, 32.8 DQ
More bad execution here. My start was not very good and my heels broke the surface on my breakout. Off the turn on my pulldown, I could feel my feet move. I knew I was at risk for a DQ and sure enough it was enough undulation to draw the call. Obviously, I need to be hyper vigilant about this (and I was in my 100 breast).
50 free, 4th, 25.4
I can't say that I was too excited to swim this race and was worried about air/breathing. This time, I had a great start but instead of jamming the turn, I only got my toes on the wall. So my Lochte turn, which is usually an asset, was a liability. This is a pretty mediocre time for me; I went faster at the Sprint Classic. No idea why I had such trouble with my freestyle turns this meet.
50 fly, scratch
I didn't feel like I had the lungs to SDK well, so opted to scratch and rest on my 26.0 from a month ago. Was happy for Susan who crushed the field in my absence.
100 breast, 1st, 1:13.7
I really wanted to end nationals on a positive note and, hey, at least you get to breathe in breaststroke. I felt like I had very good walls and a good 4th 25. It was a dogfight to the finish. It is a very rare occasion indeed when this drop dead sprinter comes from behind to win a 100. So I was happy with the result, which is only .3 off my PR from a few years ago.
So this was definitely not the meet I had hoped for. But so goes life. Hopefully, my lungs/ears/sinuses will be happier heading into Canadian Nationals. I was in the mood for a workout today and so headed to Sewy and did the following:
Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewy
8 x 25 shooters
20 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :45
-- done as 5 x 4 x 25 IM order
10 x 25 fly w/fins @ 100 pace @ :45
20 x 25 breast @ 100 pace @ :45
10 x 25 dolphin kick @ 100 pace @ :45
Updated May 2nd, 2016 at 05:53 PM by The Fortress
I had a good night of sleep but woke up with some butterflies; all good stuff. Not knowing the heats is always a little bit of a challenge with 1000/1650 so we headed over to the pool for an early warmup and the came back to the hotel when we knew our heats. One of my team mates, Bill, was in heat 17 and I offered to count so we headed back over at event 9. I jumped back in and did a slow easy warm up. I then counted for Bill before jumping back into the warmup pool again for a few pace 50s. I felt great.
I went up to the blocks as the heat ahead of me flipped at 200 and moved the fins and generally got ready. I noticed Patrick was late to get to his block(I assumed he was doing his pace work). I was next to Dave Sims and Patrick was the other side of Dave. My game plan was to be smooth at 500 and build the second 500. I was using a counting pattern of 4,3,2,1 50s and trying to keep my stroke count at 11/12. I had a good start and felt long and smooth. At 100 I caught My first sight of Patrick and knew he was out fast. I kept my stroke long and at 150 I sensed Patrick was a long way ahead of us. At 200 Dave Sims and I were coming into the flags at the 200 turn as Patrick was coming out. I felt like I was holding a good pace and felt like Patrick was out too fast. I got into a good grove and Dave and I were stroke for stroke. At 500 I felt good and started to build again holding my 4,3,2,1 50. As we got toward the end of the next 4 X 50s Dave and I had been back and forth and I lost focus on my 50s count and more and more got into a race. At 150 to go Dave seemed to pickup his pace considerably and despite wanting to go I felt like if I held my stroke count another 50 I could sprint the last 100. As we came into 100 to go I heard the bell. My first reaction was wtf. I knew Patrick was ahead but knew he had not lapped us. It took me a few minutes to realize I had miscounted somewhere and we only had a 50 to go. I picked up my pace but by the time I got going Dave was a body length ahead. I sprinted but definitely had another fast 50 in me. I always have a counter but seldom look at the count, instead try to keep my stroke count long and head down. I guess I learnt a lesson here. I think in future I will check 200 out.
My final time of 10:14 was a good time for me and I believe this sets me up to have a great meet. Despite my snafu with counting my splits were very consistent and I even negative split the race. In hindsight I was probably 3 seconds too slow on the first 500. I enjoyed the race!
It's been a strange buildup to Spring Nationals for me. This spring has been filled with challenges and even 3 weeks ago I was on the fence about traveling to Greensboro. As I write this I am a day out from my 1000 and I feel as good as I have felt in a very long time. Very strange how the body and mind can be world's apart and then in a very short space of time my head is in a good spot and physically I feel strong. I am really looking forward to this meet! I don't have any specific goals for the meet which is also a strange place for me. I am really hoping I can get myself into a position to race some of the fast guys in my age group. My free has been improving since our zone meet and I hope it comes together. It's always challenging finding the right mix of endurance and speed when you swim all the frees from 100 to a 1000. My back feels great and I believe I will get close to best times in both the 100 and 200.
I shaved down last night and registered for my longer events. I then headed to bed reasonably early. This morning I had an 8am flight to Raleigh followed by an hour drive to Greensboro. I could not find a reasonably priced direct flight so instead used southwest air miles to fly to Raleigh. Storms came through last night and unfortunately the flight was delayed about 30minutes; it could have definitely been worse.
The drive from Raligh to Greensboro was great and was a very easy drive. Once I got to town I checked in at the hotel(Holiday Inn which was very nice) and then headed to the pool where I met up with Steve Unruh. The plan was to have an early dinner together however one of my team mates phoned and asked if I could meet him in Charlotte. I ended up driving to Charlotte to pickup my buddy and did not get back until about 9pm. I went straight to bed.
Arkansas State Masters Meet
22.87 and 23.10 for 50 free, 26.27 50 fly. Pretty good execution on the first one, not so good on the second, obviously a bit fatigued by the fly (whole meet was under two hours).
So far in this tapered and shave month of April, seven 50 frees ranging from 22.66 to 23.47, and three 50 flys ranging from 25.86 to 26.27. The 22.66 and 25.86 were the first swims back on April 2, so the "taper extension" is dubious. Planning on swimming two of each stroke this week in Greensboro, maybe there will be some Nationals adrenalin.
This meet in Sarasota gets a good turnout, maybe 500 swimmers. It skews older than USMS Natls. It's relatively relaxed, but with decent competition in the older age groups. Outdoors, two ten lane courses across the pool. One course 9-10 feet deep, one 6-7 feet. Older shallow blocks.
My meet was notable for entering seed times of 23.00 in the 50 free and 26.00 in the 50 fly and going exactly those times, to the .00. Unfortunately I usually try to seed a bit slow. Managed a 22.90 on the front end of the 100 free, and had a 24.88 fly relay split. But mostly a lackluster meet for me.
Will continue to "taper" this week for the Arkansas State Masters meet on Saturday.
Unfortunately results are not posted on line for this meet yet and I did a really bad job seeing exact times. I was not really looking forward to this meet and was not confident I would swim that great. As it turned out I enjoyed the meet much more than I thought and swam pretty good. I am still no where near where I have been or want to be but I am improving and despite being tired after each swim my confidence is coming back.
500 free - 5:03 - this time is not that great but I was pleased with the fact that I swam this and actually had energy left at the end. I was out way too slow and conservative and negative split this one. I think with some rest I will have a good swim at Nationals.
200 back - 2:02.7. I was really pleased with this swim. Again I was out very conservative but came back really strong. My splits were :29, :31,:31,:31 and I felt like I could have turned at 200 and done another 50 at that pace. This was probably my best swim all weekend and the one I feel most confident with right now.
50 free - :23.1 from my best swim this weekend to my worst. I had an ok start but my turn was awful and I felt like I died coming back. How can I die in a 50?
200 Breast - 2:33.4. I have never swum the 200yd breast before so I can proudly say this was a life time best. 100% not my event and likely the last time I swim this for a while. That said I enjoyed swimming in the same heat as Dave Guthrie and it was fun in a very painful way!
100 Free - :50.5. I had a good start and felt good through 75. Steve Wood was in the next lane to me and I was ahead until the last turn where I jammed my turn similar to the 50 and never recovered. Despite a poor last 50 this was a much better swim than 2 weeks ago and I believe I have a good 100 in me in the not too distant future.
200 IM - 2:09.3. I was very tired on this one. If the 2IM did not include breast I would have another event to swim frequently but alas my breast is just not strong enough and I have little to no desire to work on this stroke. It's so alien to me!
My plan was to make a decision on nationals after this meet based on how I felt and how I swam 3 weeks out. At the end of the meet yesterday I was thinking I would pull out however I had a great nights sleep and woke this morning feeling decent. Despite not setting the world on fire this weekend I have decided I will not embarrass myself at Nationals and will compete. I enjoy racing and will do my best to race and have fun and it will be what it will be.
Today started a little after 8 at the Rec helping to get the pool set up for our meet and my son headed to the airport to pick up our airborne swimmers Maurice and his teammate Liz. As folks started to arrive we welcomed them in as the the volunteers obtained their roles and the pool area filled with excitement. I hopped in to warm up after meeting with the officials and making sure that everything was all set. My sister and brother decided to show up just ten minutes before the meet started just to give me another reason to worry
We started off with the 200 Medley Relay. Since the Leake contingent was only three deep this year, we were able to have Gabby, who swam in high school with us) swim with us: Jill, Me, Gabby, Jeff - 2:17.38.
Next up was the 200 IM: stayed long and strong and went 2:21.53 - almost beat the team I then changed into my Yingfa and took splits as the meet went on. I ended up swimming the 500 since only one guy signed up, so I used it as a warmup for the 100 IM. Swam right next to my brother and went 13.11, 14.33 (27.33), 19.34 (46.67), 14.39 (1:01.17). A solid swim but I went out a little slower than I did at Harvard. I then did a 100 fly warmdown before the final event of the day: 200 free relay. Jill, Mike, Gabby, Jeff = 1:59.07.
After the meet I took Maurice and Liz back to the airport and watched as they headed for home. We ended up with 36 entries as Pittsfield and Great Barrington came in force. From our team: Amanda, Carol, MG, Gabby, Matt, Greg (solid 50 free and breast!), Kevin and the three Leake's. I gave prizes that included homemade ribbons that my wife sewed, goodies from https://www.facebook.com/Bakkerij-Kr...6334239062396/ and some maple syrup that the Marauders' coach made. There were two delays with the timing system but I was able to fill in the time with some talk. As a meet director I worry about getting folks to the pool but also having the meet run smoothly. Sometimes these hickups can not be avoided and I trust that they will be used as a learning experience for future events.
All in all another great time with swimming friends old and new and a good donation to the Marauders to help continue youth swimming in our community.
Warmups - that's me in at the wall
Heat two of the 50 free. Greg JS, my brother Jeff, Christian Avard, and Kevin from our team. Our meet is the first to make use of the new scoreboard!
Some people swim fly in a swim meet. Others fly to a swim meet! Maurice and his teammate Liz flew in from Concord, NH, in this beautiful Cessna 172
Updated April 10th, 2016 at 06:25 PM by rxleakem
April Pools Masters Meet, Jenks, Oklahoma
First 50 of 100 free: 22.66
50 free: 22.71
First 50 of 100 fly: 25.86
Had hoped to be faster. Last spring's best at Natls was 22.47. Was long on the turn on both 50s. We'll see if I can go faster later into April. That was the best pool I'll swim in, but on 50s repetition helps.
My fly has been relatively slow all season, not sure why. Last spring's best, again at Natls, was 25.03.
Updated April 3rd, 2016 at 07:11 PM by Doug Martin
2x25 from blocks easy speed
Tapering for a meet Saturday, April Pools meet in Jenks OK. This will be my fourth year to attend. It's a great pool, they've had several Sectional meets there.
Just back from a fun trip to Boston for the annual SCY champs at Harvard with 820 of my closest friends. I only swam the second and third days of the meet (distance day was last Saturday, and this weekend is the three day "main" meet) and had blast swimming in one of my favorite pools.
Friday: My wife and son joined me and we headed out from home a little before 7am for the three hour drive to Beantown, no issues, parking at the pool. I checked in for my events and then warmed up.
#8 50 Free: 24.19 r:+0.77 [3rd place]
- Masters PB time, but still not quite under 24. Had a good start and only breathed once before the wall, then twice on the way back. Solid swim as I still try to emulate a sprinter.
#10 100 Back: 58.68 [2nd place]
Splits: 29.04, 29.64
- Less then a second off my masters best. My underwaters were not great but I split it well and the turns were good. Satisfied.
[I skipped the 50 fly because it was after the 200 breast and a rather long break]
After warming down we walked over to Harvard Square to get some food. My wife has been so patient in supporting my swims and hanging out in the hot and humid pool area over the years (it's good to thank your own family for this, it's such a blessing for me) and found a great place for lunch as we checked out parts of the city that I have not seen before. We then walked back to get the car and drove to the hotel and relaxed a bit. Later on, my son and I took the T to the Science Museum to check out a show at the planetarium, Laser Floyd. The full set list from the 1979 record, slightly abridged to fit the hour time slot, played as lasers moved about with the full arsenal of the planetarium's star showed above. It was really cool and a fun thing to take in with my son, and we got back to the room a little after 11, so I was able to get a solid night's sleep since I didn't swim the 500. Oh, and I found out that Michigan State lost so my March Madness bracket it busted as I had them going all the way.
Saturday: I ate a light breakfast at the hotel and then we caught a shuttle to Harvard Square, where the family went off exploring and I headed to the pool to warm up. I skipped swimming during the 15 minute sprint period after the first distance event of the day and opted to stretch and relax in the stand.
#20 50 Back: 27.39 [3rd place]
- Another Masters best. I really worked my underwaters but my wife said I should have come up sooner on the second lap as I lost some ground.
#22 100 IM: 1:00.53 r:+0.74 [3rd place]
Splits: 26.90, 33.63
- Right there is a lifetime best! I talked to my buddy Trent as we ended up next to each other and I told him that I would be taking this out fast due to my poor breaststroke. I had another good start and worked the underwaters on the first 50, coming in really fast. My back to breast turn was a little cramped, but I worked the streamline and then tried my best to increase my turnover on the breast as I moved the kick up in the cycle. It apparently worked as the family said that I held my ground instead of the usual field catching up. I then motored to the wall - a full two second time drop and ever so close to my lofty goal of getting this event under a minute!
#24 200 Fly: 2:17.94 r:+0.77 [1st place]
Splits: 30.49, 34.76, 38.24, 34.45
I'll give the swim of the meet, as I achieved another lifetime best with a five second drop! Last swim of the meet for me and I felt good so instead of DPS fly for 175 yds before a 25 sprint, I changed it up a little. I swam regular fly the first length, then 125 of DPS fly before switching back to full fly on the last 50. Looking at the splits I was a little too fast on the second and too timid on the third 50s, but judging by the 30+ minutes it took for my hearrate to come back down after the swim I am ok with that! I was looking to come in around the 2:20, and was able to take gold for my age group.
All in all another great meet at a pool that I enjoy competing in and a fun couple of days in the city with the family. The first day I was not sure if I hit my taper but today demonstrated to me that it was on target. I was also able to catch up with friends from past meets (my buddies with Granite State, Jonathan,Trent, Christian, Kevin, and Lauren) and also meet new folks from the forums and in the pool, one of the things that really makes this sport so rewarding for me. I logged 500yds racing + 4950yds with warmups/downs and we made it home safely...well worth the extra days I worked in order to switch weekends and make it down to Harvard.
Updated March 19th, 2016 at 10:13 PM by rxleakem
I journeyed down on Friday night with Jim to the Albatross Meet in MD. It's always a fun meet and it was great to see all my PV buddies. I had one of my best days in the pool, setting 4 world records in the 55-59 age group. Could not be happier!
50 back, 30.12, PR (old WR was 32.62)
Looking at the video that Jim took, I had one of my best backstroke starts ever, getting off the blocks very fast. At this meet, the officials stand right on the 15m line; they're used to Susan and me pushing it. So I decided to take one less kick each length than I did at NE Champs to be safe. As a result, I had a bit of a glide going into the turn -- the only mistake in the race. Well, my second breakout could have been a little smoother too. I did have a solid finish with no glide. At first, I thought I went a 30.42 so was just thrilled when I saw that my official time was actually 30.12.
100 back, 1:10.08 (old WR was 1:12.23)
This race went much better than the one at NE Champs where I swam a 1:11.7 (almost 2 seconds slower). Mostly because I didn't feel like I had a brick on my chest from the cold water, I think. Still, I had only swum this race once since March 2012, so I took it out cautiously. Too cautiously. My splits were 34.5 and 35.5 -- basically an even split with my start. I really came roaring back on the last length. My UWs were much better than at NE Champs as well. Next time I swim this (maybe at Canadian Nationals), I think I can take it out a second faster. Still, I was very happy with the time and the record! Making progress in this event.
50 fly, 29.39 (old WR was 31.13)
This race was fairly well executed too. Great start, hit my walls, good UWs. I just felt like I died a bit the last 5 meters. And I felt, having done virtually no fly the last month, that my turnover was just a tick slow. (Jim says this is false, but that was my internal feeling during the race.) But I was super happy with my time, especially for my third race of the day. It was .5 faster than I went last year at this meet and is only .1 slower than my 50-54 world record. It's my second fastest time ever.
I was pretty beat after this race. I knew I had at the most 20 minutes before my heat of 50 free would go off. Because of the tight turnaround, I've never swum 50 free at this meet. But I decided to give it a whirl ... I thought that, possibly, I might have a shot at the national record of 28.49.
50 free, 27.81 (old WR 27.91)
I had a tight race with two other women, one a fast 25 year old who had just outtouched me in the 50 fly. I had a great start off the blocks, but didn't do as many UWs as I wanted to on the first length. Three of us went into the turn dead even. But I had a great Lochte turn and UW and pulled slightly ahead, just holding them off going into the wall. This time, avoiding a mistake from NE Champs, I only took one breath the second length. I was super surprised and happy with my time, just getting under the world record. I'm pretty sure that I can swim faster than this if I were fresher. (It was only .04 slower than my December time where I swam it as the second event of the day.) It is a rare day indeed when I swim 4 events in one day (in under 4 hours). But I did at NE Champs on day 2 where we ended with a relay, so I thought I should try it here. I'm very glad that I decided to make the attempt! For my efforts, I won a nifty Fastest Woman in the Pool plaque at the social later that night.
So very pleased with the meet. Jim swam very well too, doing his best times in his age group. I had some insomnia at the hotel, but slept like a rock last night. My elbow was not too bothersome at the meet. My chiro told me to wear my compression sleeve 24/7 and that seems to have helped. Excedrin and ibuprofen helped too. Now I need to get back to training!
I saw that the info for Canadian Nationals is up. The order of events looks pretty good, but there is no great place for me to do 50 free again ...
Here are the results from the meet:
Updated March 7th, 2016 at 12:20 PM by The Fortress
I attended the Prescription Drug Task Force meeting this morning, then (finally) had the studded snow tires put on to my wife's car. So far we have only had 5.5 inches of snow for the season, but don't fret...in 2007 we had 3 inches at this point, then two big storms (Valentine's Day and one in March) and ended up with 46 inches for the year. My outdoor drylands still have a fighting chance! I was able to sneak in to the pool ten minutes early, then my son took splits for the annual January postal ...
Tonight I churned out 4393 yards, which was actually a bit more than I expected. My 500 splits were: 6:06, 6:34, 7:05, 7:00, 7:12, 6:57, 6:45, 6:42. I took on water around 17 minutes, 35 min, and some gatorade at 45. Probably took it out a tad to fast. Here is a quick yearly recap ...
This weekend I will be helping to time our team effort.
I was halfway through writing my meet report and my iPad ran out of power and I lost my report so this my second attempt.
I planned on writing like I normally do each day of the meet but this trip has been a whirl wind and I just never got time to blog so I apologize for the really long blog entry!
We had 8 swimmers at the meet from RAM and it was a really fun meet, a team dinner on Saturday, some really fast swimming and some really fun relays. I love swimming with team mates who are as upbeat and excited about being here as I am! Even with lots of team ups and downs we had a lot of fun and by a big margin, we had way more ups than downs with everyone on our team doing one or more best times and in some cases every swim being best times.
I think I had the most up and down meet I have had as a masters swimmer, but despite this I had a terrific time and other than the 800 hit every goal I had for the meet and season.
My season goal was as many #1 times as I possibly could get and thought I stood a shot in the 50,100 and 200 back, and the 50-800m free. My meet focus at the woodlands was backstroke and my meet focus at this meet was freestyle.
1500m swum as an 800m split. My goal was sub 8:57.11 and was out really fast going 4:23 at 400 but tied up badly and finished with 9:02 which was 2 seconds slower than I went in the warm water at Baylor back in November. I got out after the 800 since I thought I had no reason to complete the remaining 700.
400m free. My goal time was 4:18.55. I ended up in a real back and forth race with a young guy and despite being touched out at the finish, my 4:17.45 was a masters best time and I was very happy with this swim. My splits were awesome going out in 2:07 high and back in 2:09 mid. Unlike the 800 where I had heavy legs I felt leg strong the whole way and even had a final 25 sprint in me. Very happy!
100 back. My goal for this event was a strong swim since my meet focus was freestyle events. I had a very deep start even by my standards and could not get up. I never really made up for the start. Starts and turns seem to be my undoing in back and I have been saying this for a year or more. Note to self - I will work on these! Despite this challenge my 1:02.2 was a solid performance and unlike my early 1:02.0 at the woodlands I did not have quad burn.
100 free. My goal time was :55.78. I had a great swim going :54.50 and getting into a race with Nicholas Oman(41) two lanes over. He was out slightly faster than me and despite not being able to catch him I felt like I was in a good race and had a lot of fun with this one. Unlike the 50 where I don't really have a race strategy this one is a little more controlled and on the 3rd length tried picking up a gear. Like my LCM 100 free at summer nationals I came out the wrong side of the finish but felt controlled and strong the whole way.
200 Men's Medley Relay. I swam the breast leg since our breaststroker Scott Heber was in the mixed relay. I went 32.0 and despite it being a safe relay start and SCM this beats my LCM time by 2 seconds. I was very happy with this one.
200 free. My goal time was 2:04:47. This was my best swim of the meet and I went 1:59.11. This was my masters best by .8. My splits were awesome going :27.5,:29.8,:30.8,:30.8 and like my 400 I was in a race with the same young guy in the lane next to me but this time I came out on the right side of the finish. It was a really fun back and forth race and I felt leg strong the whole way. Our race pace work all season really payed off on this race.
200 Back. On Friday night we looked at the team scores and realized that we were in 2nd place in the small team category and I realized that myself and another of our swimmers lost us team points by not finishing the 1500s. My original plan was to skip the 200 back since my time from the woodlands is likely to standup and it was back to back with the 200 free. Feeling guilty for loosing team points I decided to swim the 200 back but was determined to simply cruise. My hope was 1:10,1:10 which I believed would get me back the points from the 1500. I ended up going out in 1:11 and back in 1:10 with my last 50 my fastest 50 going a :33. I think this event is one of my better events and I really enjoyed this one, going really easy until the last 50. I even felt better after this swim than before it.
400 medley relay. I volunteered to swim on the relay(again for points) and as it turned out had to do the 100 fly. I don't believe meet mobiles split, since it had me doing a 1:01. This was not a fun swim since fly is not easy for me but it was great to see my team mates have fun with there swims.
50 free. My goal was to beat my :24.80 from the woodlands. I had a great start and felt strong. At the turn I was with everyone and had an ok turn. Coming back down the second 25 I felt myself getting going and went half a stroke ahead of Scott Heber, my team mate in the next lane. When I looked up I was :24.90 again which was a little bit of a let down. I like the 50 but and its a big but, there is no room for any mistake what so ever and I never really feel like I get going. I ended up breathing 1 more than usual on the second length and I think I could have been tighter on my turn. I believe 7 of us went under :25 so it was a line of swimmers.
50 back. My goal was to beat my :28.8 I went in the woodlands. I had a much better start than my 100 and felt like I was on my way to a good time going down the first 25. I did my turn and realized too late I was too far out and hit the wall with the tips of my toes. Again not much I could do other than kick hard but my :29.58 was about what I went out in my 100 at the woodlands. This one was a little disappointing!
400 IM. My goal time was sub 4:55. I had no reason at all to think I could do this but it was the #1 time going into the meet. I ended up going 5:07. What I did not count on was feeling as hideous as I did on the first 25 fly. I hurt so so so bad the whole way. It crossed my mind as I pushed off on my no pull out breast turns to get out but stuck with it because of team points. I swear I will NEVER EVER swim the 4IM again! This hurt more than anything I have ever done before. What was I thinking?
200 mixed free relay. This was the most fun relay of the meet and our 1:45.1 beats the next fastest time in the country by about 8 seconds. Scott and I were both :24s(I believe I was :24.2), Leslie was a :27 and Steph Stone was a :28. We had a combined age of 199 and were a couple seconds short of the 160-199 record but faster than the 200-239 record by 1.5 seconds. I also think we were fairly conservative on the takeovers!
800 Men's free relay. This again was done for points and I don't even know what our time was or what my split was. At this point, the back to back to back to back events hit hard and I was whooped. Despite being tired it was fun being on a relay with my team mates.
I can 100% say this is the most swims I have done as a masters swimmer and possibly ever in my life. I was really sore this morning when I headed back to the WPI pool for an easy early morning masters workout with WAM.
Unfortunately I think our team score was calculated incorrectly, since some of Leslie's individual events did not count for team points(for some reason) and our mixed free relay has not shown up in the results yet. I doubt if we were missing enough points to make up the difference between us and the team from Waltham who won the small team category. We received a nice plaque for 2nd place in the team competition. Even though we did not win, I think our team did awesome. We all had a lot of fun and it was great swimming with Leslie in particular and hopefully we can make meet schedules work next year, to compete with the RAM extended training group from Pitt 😉; Mark Cox, Paul K and Leslie.
My event focus for this meet was the free events and I was really,happy with my 100,200 and 400 free events. I really hoped to take down Kurt in the 800m free but I can't be too greedy and have to be very happy with my season at large. Final SCM results are obviously not out but as it stands right now I have 7 SCM #1 times which is the most I have had to date in masters swimming. With my other 2 #1s from scy and LCM, I am in with a shot of All Star in my age group and will likely have some Fina Top 10 times in both LCM and SCM.
If I take a step back and look at my year at large I am very proud of my accomplishments. I had some adversity this year with Shingles before and during Spring Nationals and emotionally trying to handle my sons double concussions and pursuing issue with the school district. I also had a tough buildup with sickness to Summer Nationals. Despite this I had a lot of fun and my team mates and friends on these forums got me through my challenges; Thank you everyone! My workout group(Bill,Jeremy,Skip,Scott, Chris, Eileen, Nikki, Jayce) as a whole had an awesome year. They are a terrific group and we have a lot of fun. I thank them for motivating me throughout the year and keeping me positive during the tough times. I am enjoying the journey as much as the meets which is something I did not always do first go around. I plan on taking the advice Patrick and Leslie gave me a couple of years ago, and apply it to my continued masters swimming. My interpretation of what they said is to not take the ups and down so seriously; I am a type A personality and i will always want to win and do better than I do, but don't get hung up on bad swims or would-a, could-a, or should-a type thoughts, let it go and move on.
We have a final end of season relay meet next weekend before our team Christmas party at my house which I am sure will be a lot of fun. As I have written before, next year is a big year for me work wise and I am going to have a tough spring. I am not sure what my swimming plans are for the spring season yet and I may use the season as a rebuilding the base phase, but I have not decided for sure. I will continue to do taper workouts this week and will likely do a relay lead off for a scy split this weekend. I plan on coaching a distance group for my daughters team, RACE, starting at Christmas break, which I am really looking forward to. My Ewok friend from Austin, Mr Unruh, is in town visiting family for Christmas and i will really enjoy swimming with Steve again. Beyond that I need to do some thinking and planning.
I am having a lot of fun and this meet reinforced that I made a great decision 3 years ago to get back into the pool. Thanks again to everyone who has helped me by blogging(as I told kk "fly storms" I read your blogs and you really are an inspiring group) and commenting on my workouts and progress.
I had a super fun weekend at Zones. My RAM teammates are a great bunch of people and very welcoming. And it was fun to hang out with my fellow blogger Stewart. A couple of my PV friends were there as well. My flight was on time and I got to the pool in plenty of time for warm up on Friday before the 1500s. The pool was pretty nice, but the water was shockingly cold. It felt like 76-77 degrees too me. Pitt is usually 80. I'm sensitive to cold water (asthma) and immediately got a calf cramp when I jumped in. I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Lots of people thought it was too cold, and others scratched events bc they felt like they were swimming slowly due to the water temperature. I felt like the water temp affected my first event, and then I grew more used to it. I had a good day on Saturday and a great day on Sunday.
100 back, 1:11.7 (34.8/36.8)
This was my roughest event of the meet. I didn't have a great start (too shallow). This was partly due to the fact that the blocks were on the bulkhead and they didn't make the swimmers exit the pool before starting the next race. Uh, this is fine for forward starts but sucks majorly for backstroke starts. But mostly my lungs felt slammed and I couldn't stay underwater nearly as long as usual. I only took 6 kicks off the final wall, which is awful. I took it out very relaxed, but felt dead/off by the end of the second length. When I finished the race, I could not get any air and it took forever for my heart rate to come down. At first, I thought the race was the product of the lingering effects of mono. But I think the cold water/asthma were factors here as well.
My modest goal was to get under 1:12 (WR in next age group is 1:12.2) and I was hoping to go 1:10. Modest goal accomplished and I feel like I could definitely go 1:10 in better conditions. In any event, I didn't let the somewhat slow time bother me one bit! Swimming that race had two huge benefits: I got the monkey off my back by swimming it and it is the #1 time in the nation this year.
50 breast, 36.91
Back to 50s, whew. I felt like this race was well executed. Got off the blocks fast and had a very good turn. The women next to me went a :35. But Stewart said that I went into the turn a half body length behind and came out a half body length ahead. My time was only a few hundredths off my masters PR, so I was very happy with it. Especially so since I went a dreadful 39.2 at the Albatross meet last March.
200 mixed medley relay, 36.3 breast split
Coach Stewart added up our ages and we were at 199, 1 year short. I had expected to swim the fly leg, but Scott Heber had a major bruise on his knee and wanted to minimize his breaststroke swimming. So I swam the breast leg. Heehee, a lifetime first for me! I had a really safe start and split a 36.3. Was really thrilled with that.
100 IM, 1:10.6, PR
I was a little nervous going into this race after the 100 back, and I hadn't swum this race in 3 years either. I was worried that I had seeded myself too fast and just wanted to get under 1:15 (which was the #1 time going in). But the race went well. I was rather shocked to see the time. My previous best was a 1:11.9. Comparing splits from prior efforts, all the improvement came in the second 50. Steph said that my turnover in breaststroke was slow, but I was worried about dying on free. Laura Val's record in the next age group is 1:12.9, so I am in good shape heading into next year. I think all the IM order 25s that I've been doing really paid off. Was very stoked after this! This is the first time in my masters career that my 100 IM has ever been faster than my 100 back, so I was definitely underachieving on the latter this meet.
50 free, 27.73, PR, .06 off WR
I wasn't anticipating having much rest before this race. The meet was zipping by on Sunday with lots of scratches. Fortunately, the meet directors realized the meet was running too fast and added an unscheduled break. This was huge for me; it gave me time to recover and mentally prepare. I was pretty stunned by my time. Having gone a 28.7 a month ago, the world record wasn't even on my radar. I executed most things pretty well, including my Lochte turn. I was swimming next to Mollie and she said the turn freaked her out a bit. I guess it could be weird swimming free and watching someone dolphin kicking on their back. It was the first time in 50 free where I was underwater longer off the wall than the start. I made two small execution errors. I was a tiny bit shallow on the dive and took one less dolphin kick than I had anticipated. I also took 2 breaths on the second length. At the time, I felt like I needed it ... But that was where I lost the .06. But that did not take the edge off my happiness at setting my second PR of the day. I really had thought that I had gotten to the age where PRs were out of the question. I have to believe all that time on the couch from being sick with mono really helped rest my legs.
Oh, and the Lochte turn is here to stay for me. I don't always do it perfectly, but it is faster and I will get even more used to it over time.
50 back, 30.27 PR/WR
This was my last individual swim in the 50-54 age group in meters, and I went out with a bang. I was pretty tired after 50 free. I really didn't expect to go this fast on my third event of the day. So I was super shocked and super happy to see this time. I originally set my 30.58 WR five years ago when I was 50 and haven't been within a half second of it the last couple years, going a 31.0 last March. But I think my UWs have improved a tad as of late, and I killed them on this race taking the entire 15m on each length. I also decided to take an extra stroke at the finish after having a very very long glide at the Albatross meet. I banged my left hand on the finish and have a nice bruise now, but it was so worth it. Weeeee!
Note: I just realized that my very first and very last swims in the 50-54 age group were WRs in the 50 back. What are the odds of that?
200 mixed free relay, 1:45.1, 27.6 split
I teamed up with Stewart, Scott Heber and Stephanie Stone for this relay. We were all tired; it was the very end of the meet. My legs felt especially dead after 3 events and so much SDKing. I went second, had a safe start and split a 27.6. I felt and had expected to be a lot slower. I was a little deep on my Lochte turn this time. Stewart had a great split too. Then he stepped up and did an 800 free relay right after ... I hit the shower and just enough time to get to Boston to catch my plane. I noticed our relay was not listed in the swimphone results. There was definitely some confusion on the scoreboard about which team was where. So hopefully that will get corrected.
After feeling like I've been struggling mentally and physically for two years, this was an extremely gratifying meet for me with 3 PRs and a WR. I feel like I'm back on track and will have a lot more confidence heading into next year. Unless some unanticipated time pops into the database, I will be #1 in 100 back, 100 breast, 100 IM, 50 back, 50 fly and 50 free. 2nd in 50 breast bc a real breaststroker just broke the NR at the San Diego meet. Pretty darn happy with that result, and tickled that the #1s are in all four strokes.
Looking ahead, I think I will focus on the Albatross meet in mid March and Canadian Nationals at the end of May (assuming that is SCM). Stewart mentioned that there is an indoor long course Zones meet at Texas A&M at the end of July. That would really be perfect for me. I don't plan on going to Oregon. We could team up for some very fast relays. Maybe Water Rat will even join us this time. Hint hint.
I didn't get to sleep until after 2:00 am and am just dead from the traveling/racing. I didn't warm down after the relay, so may take myself off to LA Fitness for an easy swim. I'm usually dead for a couple days after a multi day taper meet and this one is no different. But it's nice to have a smile on my face while being exhausted.
Updated December 14th, 2015 at 05:51 PM by The Fortress
Dallas SCM meet:
50 fly: 29.2, not very good.
50 free lead off: 26.11, ditto. Our mixed 200 free relay did set the record in the 240-279 age group. The guy next to me looked kind of out of shape. I was close to him the first 20 or so then he had a terrific turn and smoked me on the second lap. Later on I found out it was Ben Michaelson, 3rd behind Phelps and Crocker in the 2004 OT 100 fly.
50 free anchor leg: 25.5, also slow, but with a body length and a half lead, managed to hold off (barely) a charging Michaelson.
Not rested, not shaved, early morning, average pool and blocks--lots of excuses but still should have been .2-.4 faster on all my races.
I got back from coaching a little later than I hoped last night but was able to eat and get to bed before 9pm. I slept really well and woke as my alarm was about to go off. Today's meet is about 45minutes from my house at the Tom Landry center which is an indoor 25m rehab pool. It's a nice pool but the water is hot(I was going to write warm but it's beyond that) so not ideal for distance swimming. My original plan was to swim the 1500 at this meet but they changed up the meet format from 2014 and added some relays at the expense of the mile. When I registered I knew we would be back up yardage and intensity in training, and my prior experience with this meet was that it's run fast so I registered for the 50 free and 800 free. I know this sounds like an odd combination of races but my logic is that over the SCM season I am going to swim these events 3 times. Of the free events these are my weakest and in the case of the 50 most competitive. For this meet they also worked well order wise with the 50 at the beginning of the meet and the 800 at the end.
Unlike the 50 last weekend I had a much better start and the turn felt good. The electronic timing in the lane I was in was not working so I asked for the timers time, who said :24.7 which I was happy with. The biggest challenge with this pool for the 50 is that it's quite choppy so the second 25 was a little wavy. At the end of the meet I found out that my official time was :24.9 which was .1 slower than last week. I think rested I will be quicker so I am looking forward to Boston.
Next up up today was the 800. My hope last week was to be between 9:05-9:10, while today I was hoping for 9:00-9:05. My time was 9:00.3(sorry Patrick)which I was very happy with. I went out faster than last week going out in 4:26.xx and was back in 4:33.xx. I held :33 and :34s throughout the middle of the race and other than my heading feeling like it was going to explode due to the heat I felt strong the whole way. I am really looking forward to swimming this event rested and think I will have a great swim in Boston. Hopefully the meet will be a fast meet.
I still can't figure out how I feel so much better this weekend than last despite going back up in yardage and intensity. All my teammates swam well today and many of those I train with felt the same way. It must be that yucky feeling between the start of the drop and a full taper last weekend.
Updated November 14th, 2015 at 08:52 PM by StewartACarroll
I went out for dinner with a few teammates last night and had a great time. It made for a terrific end to a fun day. I was back at the hotel pretty early and was in bed asleep by 8pm. I got 10 hours of sleep and woke feeling pretty good. When I woke I was still a little tired and had that feeling like it was the second day of an in season meet. I had a nice breakfast at the hotel and ate a little extra food knowing it was going to be a long day.
Despite feeling achy(especially my legs) I felt much better after the warmup and did a little extra yardage which really helped.
First up up today was the 50 free. I went 24.8 which I was pleased with but had hand separation on the start which cost me a little time. I don't know how the true sprinters do the 50. It's so technical and over in a shot which means any mistake is almost impossible to recover from. I also don't seem to get going on a 50 and feel like I should flip and go again I guess I am just not a fast twitch athlete.
I was due to swim the 200 free but decided to skip due to the speed the meet was going.
Next up up was the 100 back and I went 1:02.06. I felt really strong on the first 50 and flipped at 29.8 but was too far away from the wall to get a good push and never really recovered. I did not die but when I was finished my legs burned like crazy. Despite going for a warm down my legs continued to burned for a long time. This one really hurt. I honestly think this swim was as good as my 100 from last year where I was 1:01.4 and without the bad turn I would have been there or there abouts.
Last up up today was the 800 free. I hoped to be between 9:05 and 9:10 today and finished up at 9:09.1 with a significant negative split. I got stronger as the swim went along and regret I was went out way too slow today. This one never really hurt and i felt better after this swim than any other swim today. I am swimming the 800 next weekend and at the Boston meet and hope to significantly drop time next weekend since I have a much shorter program.
I really enjoyed this this meet and it was a lot of fun. All my teammates swam great and despite not doing a full taper the week of rest helped all of us. Our plan is to significantly ramp up our workouts over the next two weeks before a full taper ahead of Boston.
After coaching my kids last night I went back to the house and shaved down. I felt good and excited as usual at the thought of racing. I went to bed reasonably early but could not sleep so watched tv for a while. I woke about 4:45 this morning and got ready to leave for the meet. I car pooled with a couple of my teammates. Weather in north Texas was rough today and it rained really heavily all the way down to the woodlands. We made good time and made it down to the woodlands by 10:30 with a short stop at Denys for breakfast.
In in the warmup I definitely did not feel 100% rested and my legs especially were a little heavy. I did my normal meet warmup and tried loosening up and felt OK.
First up for me today was the 50 back. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to swim in the SCM pool before the 50 due to the mile running long and the anticipated main pool second warmup did not materialize. My time was great going 28.9 but this was the race that could have been so much more. My left foot slipped on the start(not bad but it does not help on a 50) and I came up half a body length behind the young guy in the lane next to me. I also got close on the turn as a result of not going as far as I had hoped on the start but went over well, but because of my proximity to the wall I pushed off very shallow. After my race a few people commented yet again how I was the fastest swimmer above the water but got killed on the underwaters. The winner went 28.6! Despite all my technical challenges this is my best masters time so no complaints.
Next up up was the 200 back. I went 2:13.5 which is a solid time. I was honestly hoping to go a little quicker but my splits were solid. My start and turns were all good on the 200. I felt strong the whole way but my legs were heavy.
Last up up today was the 400 free. I went 4:21.11 which I was happy with. I thought I would be around 4:20 so this again was not quite as quick as I hoped but all in all another solid swim. My splits were a little weird with my first 50 being a little faster than I hoped and the rest being a little slower than I hoped. My last 100 was considerably faster than my 2nd and 3rd 100s so I did not die, but I was a little heavy and just not smooth and definitely not easy speed.
My focus for this meet were the back events. Obviously I am not done yet, but I am quite content with my races today. Tomorrow I have the 50 free, 200 free, 100 back and 800 free. I may skip the 200 free to focus on the 100 back but it depends on how I feel tomorrow.
Updated November 8th, 2015 at 06:26 AM by StewartACarroll
I'm glad that I made the effort to go the Columbus Day Classic for some racing practice two weeks ago. While I still have technical improvements to make, I felt more prepared to race and my results were much better this time around. I had big drops in the 50 free and 50 breast, a very solid 50 fly and won The Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters. And nary a scratch.
50 fly, 26.41, 1st
This race was well executed and I got off the blocks fast. My breakouts, often problematic, were very good. The only issue is that I finished the race with a foot to go, lol. I had to glide/kick in. But I was definitely correct not to take another stroke. I often swim the 50 fly at this meet and this is equivalent to my fastest time in October ... So I feel like this is an excellent start.
50 free, 25.14, 3rd
I went 25.8 two weeks ago, so this is a big drop. My glaring error in the race was that I breathed at the 2/3 mark on the first length again and felt like I had to take another breath at the flags to power the UWs. I'm like a pavlovian dog who's done it that way for so long that I'm on autopilot. I need to do some all out 25s and decide on a stroke count that will have me breathing at the flags instead. My Lochte turn was better this time around. I took 12 kicks on my back (instead of 10 before) and then 3 to spin to my belly and breakout. It felt really fast, so I think I will stick to this turn for the season. After the last couple years, I never really thought I'd get under 25 again. But this race makes me think that I can with a full taper and good execution.
50 breast, 33.2, 1st
I only had about 30 minutes rest before this race, but I popped out a good one. (Two weeks ago I was 34.0). Execution was about as good as it gets for me in breaststroke. I kept my stroke long this time. Unlike my other strokes, I don't have a fast turnover in breast. When I try to rush it, I seem to go slower. Super happy with this time.
Battle of Drop Dead Sprinters, 1st
I knew it would be a true battle with Fall W. She is the best sprinter in the 45-49 age group and the NR holder in the 100 IM. I figured I had the edge in fly and back and she had the edge in breast and free. I think I won by around .4 with a cumulative time of 51.08. I tried to get everything I could out of my starts and get off the blocks fast.
25 fly, 11.64, 1st
Whoa. I could not believe this time. A huge PR. I would have liked a snapshot of the 15 m mark as I took 1 more kick and 1 less stroke than usual. Perfect breakout, perfect finish, long strokes. Some of the guys were jealous of my time. This 25 probably won the Battle for me bc I had a .7 margin of victory.
25 back, 12.96, 1st
Very good. This might be my first time under 13 with electronic timing.
25 breast, 14.78, 2nd
This is a great time for me. Had a great start and was fast off the blocks.
25 free, 11.70, 2nd
Eh, botched this one a bit, and not my best time. I got off the blocks fast again, but had a really poor breakout and glidey finish. I find it a little amusing that my 25 fly was faster than this.
So overall, I am very happy with the meet. My legs didn't feel as tired as at the last meet -- probably bc I had a few days of only easy swimming with not one fast kick or stroke. Interestingly, all of the 50s are under the current 55-59 NRs. I wish I was aging up before Nationals in yards ... My shoulders are sore from all the ballistic sprinting, but I am going to try to hit the gym today.
Updated October 26th, 2015 at 12:25 PM by The Fortress
It was good to be back in the saddle -- nice pool, well run meet. But, wow, did I make a lot of technical miscues on my races. Definitely some serious racing rust. Out of curiosity, I checked my blog to see how many races I'd swum in the last year or so. Not many. Exactly 9, with a 10th aborted for a cramp since April 2014. Lots of reasons -- two long summer holidays, injuries, living in Pittsburgh. I need to correct this if I want to have a good 2016. Racing makes you better at racing.
50 free, 25.8
The only good part of this race was that I got off the blocks fast. I didn't have a very tight streamline on the start, breathed too early and had to take a second breath before the turn. I also glided into the turn too much and lost some momentum. I executed the Lochte style turn pretty well, but felt like I had no legs the last part of the race. I probably need to work on my flutter kick more. I'm not sure the Lochte turn will help my 50 free that much. I've invested a fair amount of time in working on my side SDKs for my freestyle flip turn. But I should probably try it again at the Sprint Classic.
50 back, 28.3
I was a little flat on the start. My SDKs petered out a bit on both lengths, probably due to leg fatigue. I felt like I was spinning my arms a bit and botched the finish. I hit the flag at a half stroke and should have taken another stroke at the finish. Not a great time. But this was also likely a side effect of having done very little sprint backstroke while swimming outside all summer long.
50 breast (split in 100), 34.0
I was too tired to do an all out 100. It was a fast moving meet. So I opted for a 50 split. I felt like I had a great start. I just botched the finish again with a ridiculously long glide to the wall. If I had taken another stroke, I would have been a 33 high. Still this is the same time I did last year with way more rest. So it's quite respectable for right now.
I didn't expect to be exceedingly fast at my first meet back, so these times are fairly solid. I hadn't rested much, and my legs were tired. I also had a hellishly long drive to DC in pouring rain with long delays on I70 due to multi car accidents, which didn't help matters. A sprinter friend also suggested that I might be a little "overtrained" for 50s. True, I haven't been training like Doug and Steve. But I think more rest would make me faster. In any event, I am planning on some 100s for my age up year, so need to do some training for those now too.
I dashed back right after the meet to make it home in time to send off Lil Fort to her homecoming dance. She had been in Ohio for a XC invitational, posting a season PR, so was in good spirits. I almost didn't make it bc of the Ft. Pitt bridge closure and detour. The parkway and bridge closures here are the bain of my existence!
Looking forward to more racing at the Sprint Classic!
Updated October 11th, 2015 at 05:36 PM by The Fortress