Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
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 06:51 PM by The Fortress
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 09:52 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 07:26 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 01:25 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 06:36 PM by The Fortress
Last week I raced in the
2015 SPMS and Southwest Zone Summer Championships LCM
Mission Viejo, CA
I trained pretty well this summer then got sick with a cough and cold on Tue Aug 4th. I started feeling a little better around Tue Aug 11 but kept coughing and am still coughing today on Thu Aug 20.
Here's how my training went after I got sick.
X = did not swim
Tue 4 swam
Wed 5 X missed work
Thu 6 X missed work
Fri 7 (swam a little) worked for 1hr then went home
Sat 8 X
Sun 9 X
Mon 10 X
Tue 11 swam around 1000
Wed 12 swam around 1500
Thu 13 X
Fri 14 X
Sat 15 meet
Sun 16 meet
I thought about cancelling but since we arranged all the travel, I went ahead.
I decided to skip the 400 IM on Fri and the 100 bk on Sat.
On a whim, I asked if I could deck enter the 800 & they let me.
All things considered I guess I swam OK.
Men 50-54 50 Meter Butterfly Finals
Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points
2 Rasmussen, Anders M 52 TXLA 27.56 28.62 7.00
disappointing & slow.
Men 50-54 200 Meter Butterfly Finals
Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points
2 Rasmussen, Anders M 52 TXLA 2:32.38 2:38.61 7.00
I tried the glide fly for 150 then reg for the last 50
didn't work as well for me as "my save your legs fly with a 1 beat kick"
Men 50-54 50 Meter Breaststroke Finals
Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points
2 Rasmussen, Anders M 52 TXLA 34.57 35.05 7.00
breastroke confuses me, felt awkward
Men 50-54 50 Meter Backstroke Finals
Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points
1 Rasmussen, Anders M 52 TXLA 29.99 29.97 9.00
Men 50-54 50 Meter Freestyle Finals
Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points
1 Rasmussen, Anders M 52 TXLA 26.29 26.57 9.00
I just cruised it, I've been faster in practice many times this summer.
Men 50-54 800 Meter Freestyle Finals
Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points
2 Rasmussen, Anders M 52 TXLA 17:00.00 10:28.57 7.00
After the meet yesterday we went for a team lunch I had arranged at a local Italian restaurant with a few of our out of town visitors. It was a lot of fun! After lunch I had a nice relaxing afternoon and evening with my wife and went to bed pretty early. I woke up a little later than I had hoped this morning and seemed to be running 15minutes late all the way upto the meet, however it all worked out just fine. I was a little sore this morning but nothing bad. I usually feel a little stiffness on a multi day meet and today was no better or worse than usual.
Once again I did my normal meet warmup and felt good in the pool.
8x50 catchup on 1min
4x50 open,close, easy,fast
2x50 at 400 pace
First up today was the 400 free and my goal was to beat my good friend Mr Unruh's #1 time of 4:28.91. I felt strong the whole way and other than a bad turn at 250 felt great. I finished really strong and was happy with my 4:28.05. looking at my splits, my 2nd 100 was too slow but my second 200 was great. I credit a lot of my consistency to the race pace work we have been doing and will definitely continue to work on this. I may add one more aerobic workout this fall on either Tuesday or Thursday morning but I will speak with Tom.
Next up up was supposed to be the 100 breast but at the last minute I decided to skip it. My legs, and my right one in particular was very sore and stiff and I took the extra time to stretch ahead of the 50 fly. The challenge when you have a meet with low numbers(we had 85 swimmers) the meet goes really fast.
The 50 fly is another off event for me and my real reason for entering this one was to push one of my team mates in the lane next to me, Scott Carpenter. we had a great race and he got me on the finish, going 28.5 vs my 28.6. I had a lot of fun on this one despite my time being a few tenths slower than I went a couple months ago.
Last up up we had the 400 free relay and once again I was the anchor. Step Stone did the 200 back in a new best time the event before the relay so we were able to delay the relay start 5 minutes but it was always going to be a tough record. we needed our first two swimmers to be out in 58.5 and 1:04.0 but unfortunately they were both off. Our young ringer had a great swim but there was too much left for me to do to get the record but my 54.9 split was the best I have done as a master and I felt awesome the whole way. It was disappointing to not get close to the record but it was still a lot of fun and our team did awesome.
I really enjoyed our meet and my team mates had a great time. One of our team held a short after meet party which was a nice conclusion to a great weekend. I am already looking forward to doing the meet again next year.
Updated August 17th, 2015 at 03:22 PM by StewartACarroll
I had another good night of sleep and my chest infection is a distant memory. I think my day off on Thursday was a big help. I woke feeling pretty good. I reshaved last night, so pretty much got up, ate, and headed to the pool.
I helped Tom print and post heat sheets and generally helped with the pool and meet setup. I did my normal meet warmup:
4x50 open, close, easy, fast
On my program today was the 50 free, 50 breast and the anchor leg of the 800 mixed free relay. I was hopeful of going under 25 on the 50m free today and was also confident I could swim faster then my time at the Frisco meet on the 50 breast. The real goal however, was to beat the National Record on the Mixed 160-199 800 Free Relay.
First up up was the 50 free and I went 25.39 which is a good time but not as fast as I had hoped. I somehow got into breathing like it was a 100 instead of a 50 and took 4 breaths including one inside the final 10 meters. I had a good start and felt smooth but my tempo is so not a 50 swimmer. If only I could get my tempo up a little I would have a great 50. This was slightly faster than I went in the individual 50 at worlds last summer so I can't be upset. However, this feels like a race where I made so many basic mistakes and any one would have got me my goal time. This one is so frustrating. Oh well!!
I made the decision earlier this year to swim some off events this long course season and the 50 breast was most certainly one of these. I felt really good the whole way and never died but somehow I just spin on breaststroke. I went 34.40 which is a pretty decent time and likely will be a top 10 time. Tomorrow I do the 100 breast and think I will have a good one based on how good I felt on the 50 breast.
Last up was the big relay. We have been planning this one for quite a while and I was confident we would beat the National Record and we did. The record was 8:54.37 and is a suite era record, and our team went 8:50.2 which is a great time and a new National Record!!!
Yesterday I had false started 50% of the time in practice so decided to play it very safe. Despite a very safe takeover I had a good swim and my split was 2:04.x my wife said I was 2:03 but maybe she got it wrong. Either way I am pretty stoked and this is my first National Record. We have another shot tomorrow with the 400m free record although it will be much harder.
I am off for a long nap and an easy evening. Tomorrow I have the 400 free, 100 breast and 50 fly before doing the anchor leg on the 400m free relay. Should be a lot of fun again!
Updated August 15th, 2015 at 05:44 PM by StewartACarroll
I took a decongestant and an alka seltzer before laying down at the hotel to watch Senior Nationals from San Antonio last night. I watched Michael Phelps 100 fly but did not last the entire session before I fell asleep. I had a great night of sleep but woke a little congested. After I got up my head and chest drained quickly and I started to feel good. Today I had back to back events which is never easy.
Due to our hotel reservations being cancelled by the spire institute the few of us on our team who traveled to Ohio were all staying at different hotels. Fortunately the hotels were only 40 miles apart! I had arranged with one of my team mates that we would head over early this morning to watch another team mate swim the 400. We made good time but unfortunately we arrived to see the heat after our team mates swimming. After apologizing to my teammate I used the extra time to get a longer than normal easy loose warmup. I probably did 1500 free really easy before doing drills and some open,close 50s in the short warmup pool followed by another 400 in the competition pool. I felt ok but could tell it was day 4. My arms and legs felt a little heavy.
First up was the 100back. My goal time for the meet was a 1:03 but adjusted my goal to just win the race and was pleased that I was able to hold off Kurt Dickson. I ended up going 1:04.9. Other than the 50 back I have not felt my normal self this week and seemed to struggle with back half of my races. I looked at some of the videos one of my teammates shot and my stroke looks fine so I think it's just been my energy level.
I jumped into the warmup/down pool and swam until my heart rate was back to normal before stretching and laying with Myers elevated for about 20 minutes. On the 200 I had hoped to beat my time from Montreal which was a 2:04.6 but I knew I did not have a blast a 200 in me today so instead focused on staying smooth on the first 100 and bringing it home fast. I ended up going 2:06.2 going 1:02, 1:04(give or take a few tenths). I felt really strong on the second 100 and in reality could have gone even harder. I believe I turned 4th at 50 which is not how I normally swim my 200s but I won and I did enjoy the race. The alternative would have been horrible. Maybe I am a whimp and should have swum it harder from the get go. I guess I will never know!
Considering I was worried about even swimming I had a great summer nationals taking home 4 golds and 2 silvers, I went under 30 for the first time in my back, and beat my time from Montreal on the 100 free. Above all of this I continue to have a lot of fun. It was great meeting and speaking to so many masters swimmers. Thanks to those who went out of there way to introduce themselves.
I learned from yesterday and took some mucinex and an alka seltzer nighttime cold medicine before I went to bed. I slept really well and also felt much better this morning. My chest has been improving everyday since Tuesday and I am now finally feeling like I can breath normally. Today was a much better day! I swam the 100 free and 50 back and I ended up doing personal masters best times in both.
On the 100m free I had a good start and felt good the first length. I was able to get turn second at 50 and went for it off the turn. I was in lane 3 and breath left which meant I did not see any of the other faster guys the second 50. I think in some ways this let me swim my own race and I felt like I swam on top of the water the entire second 50. In fact I did not tie up at all and other than a small drift to the right inside the flags swam a great 100 finishing in 56.39. When I looked up I could not tell where I had finished but was really happy with the time. It turned out I missed first by .09 but was really happy with my time and the execution of this 100. I can honestly say that I did not hurt anywhere near as bad I as I usually do on a LCM 100m free.
Next up up was the 50 back which was about 2 hours after the 100 free. I took a long warm down and even grabbed a small bowl of soup at the pool food court; the food court at the aspire Institute has been awesome with custom pasta, salads, etc. After eating I took a 15minute break and the. Headed down to the pool for a warmup swim. I again felt good and had a ton of time to stretch and get ready for the back. When it was my time for my heat I jumped in and took my set position. I have been doing a split foot start on back for a while with one foot higher than the other because I find I don't go so deep. As the beep went off my right foot slipped and I had a bad start. It was not a missy franklin start but it was not what I had hoped for at all. I sort of panicked with my underwater sdk and when I came up I really spun the first 25 before really hitting my groove at about half way. I saw the guy to my left out of the corner of my eye and was determined to stay ahead of him. As I finished I looked up to see 29.8 and a number 1 by my name. I have been trying to go under 30 for some time and I was stoked. I now wonder what I can do with a good start but right now I am going to savor this one.
Unlike yesterday I felt strong all day! I will take my 2 masters best times from the day along with a 2nd in the 100m free and a 1st in the 50m back.
I was was able to meet several forumites so far and have had fun meeting many of the swimmers I have trained with during my travels this year. I had a lot of fun today and I hope tomorrow will be equally as satisfying. Tomorrow I have back to back the 100m back and the 200m free.
I decided to not take an alka seltzer before heading to bed and slept well but woke very congested. This cleared once I got up and ate breakfast.
The warmup pool was really crowded today compared to day 1. I felt good in the warmup with no ill affects from yesterday's 800.
Today I just had one event, the 200m back and I was very optimistic I would swim well.
I had quite a long wait ahead of the 200 and went for a second warmup about 30 minutes before the race and once again the pool was like a zoo as people were warming up and down after the 50 free.
I wanted to take the 200 out in 1:06 with the hope of coming back in 1:10 or faster. I had a good start and felt great on the first 50. I had a good turn and breakout and felt strong on the second 50 turning in 1:06. On the 3rd 50 I tightened up significantly and at about half way knew I was in trouble with my arms in particular hurting like never before. At 150 I misjudged the turn slightly and came off the wall shallow and was spent. I came 2nd which was good but my time was awful and I have not felt that bad on the second 100 of a back race ever. I don't know why I tied up but I did big time.
I am not upset but I don't like dieing and have not really had that issue with my swimming before. I took a nice long warm down after catching my breath and tried to forget about the race.
Tomorrow I have the 100 free and the 50 back.
Updated August 8th, 2015 at 07:03 PM by StewartACarroll
My first Nats in the book. Fun and fast swimming, great to meet many from these forums. Full recap to come...for now, I am rocking my Red Sox hat here with my son whilst pounding $1 hotdogs
Updated August 8th, 2015 at 09:10 AM by rxleakem
Today I decided to sleep in a bit so we checked out of the hotel after I hit the continental breakfast bar up. Lots more cars on this first full day of swimming but I was able to get in and do 800 meters in the big pool. I kept on my square-legged NEM endurance suit for the 400 IM, as all along I have planned to use this event as a continuation of warmups.
400m IM: 6:00.95
Said hi to Chad and also met mmlr38 before the swim. I started outside in lane 9 easy and employed DPS fly , then used the back leg to catch my breath a bit. Breaststroke is my least favorite event (because I struggle with it) so everyone passed me by. At the free turn I peaked over and saw someone on the other side of the pool had already pushed off so I put my head down and charged, ending up with 9th place! A little more racing than I planned on doing (and three seconds slower than last yeas), but I was happy to score and extra point for the team.
37.83 1:21.08 (43.25)
2:05.49 (44.41) 2:50.08 (44.59)
3:49.17 (59.09) 4:47.91 (58.74)
5:25.22 (37.31) 6:00.95 (35.73)
Afterwards I did an easy 300yds in the totally packed short pool. Since the women still had to swim and then there was a 30min open warmup in the big pool I met up with my son and we checked out Spire Fuel, the cafe on campus. The prices were quite reasonable with most things made to order. I had a half a piece of pizza before we went to check out the vendor area - great prices and deals to be found. I also took advantage of a physical trainer in that area, Andrew, who was there to check out complaints and had foam rollers and other things to try out. My right knee has been clicking more and he took a look, offering some suggestions to help me out. A great service - thanks USMS!
After watching Sickfish rock the 100 fly (great job, dude), I got in another easy 200yds and then put on my Yingfa for the 50 free. Originally I planned to just swim it, but decided to go after it.
50 FREE: 27.45
I was in first of two heats for my age group and the temp started to rise on the deck as the everyone filtered to the shallow end of the pool for the start. Instead of just going all out from the dive I decided to take 5 strong SDK's and then 5 controlled strokes to start off the swim. I was surprised to be in the lead at this point, so then I dropped the hammer. I was able to win my heat with a time that was 0.86 seconds faster than last year! By this point of the meet my aunt from Boston was tuning in online and was tickled pink because I won the heat. I ended up with 8th place as well, so I felt like this was my swim of the meet.
An wasy 300yds to loosen up, then as the first heats of the men's 2back went off I got in another easy 100yds. I watched Stewart and Kurt battle out a great race, then swam my own...
200m BACK: 2:35.43
I was seeded third and entered a time was was roughly two times my 100back from last year plus 10 seconds. I still believe that this is the most difficult event to swim due to the constant demand on the legs to keep the body in position. I planned to take 4 skds off this start then 5 the rest of the way. That sounded fine until I made the last turn, as after two I surfaced to get oxygen! I felt smooth during the entire race and came in third. My legs were trashed as I struggled to get out of the water! To the warmdown pool for an easy 300yds.
36.49 1:16.68 (40.19)
1:57.16 (40.48) 2:35.43 (38.27)
Last up for the day was the men's 4x50 Free Relay, and I did another easy 100yds.. Our time seeded us 6th, and despite being tired from a full day of racing I was ready to toss whatever was left for our team. I went 2nd and popped off a relay-assisted start time of 26.87, half a second faster than my individual event this afternoon Everyone on team New England dropped time and it was a great way to end the meet for me (after 300yds warmdown). The team is taking a picture on Saturday so I'll miss that, but I had a great time at my first Nationals. I will blog tomorrow about some of the peeps I was able to meet for the first time while here. Off to Cleveland with my son!
Updated August 10th, 2015 at 07:31 AM by rxleakem
Had a good night sleep and woke up before my alarm, mostly because the other swimmers in the hotel lent a hand! haha Grabbed some oatmeal and a coffee from before we hit the road to the pool, getting there a little after 7am. Once on deck, I met fellow New England swimmer Dick and his wife. We had made arrangements last night to count each other's 800, so it was nice to have that taken care of.
I jumped in for warmups and swam 1000 metter, including one burst and cruise from the blocks while trying out the wedge blocks. After counting for Dick, who had a great swim, I went to the warmup pool (which seemed to have cooled down nicely) for a quick 200yds.
My goal for the 800 was to take it out easy and controlled then build each 100. This was my first time swimming this event and felt good through the 350 mark before tightening up a bit. I focused on lengthening my stroke out and felt better at the 550 mark and pushed it to the finish. Felt my stomach do some flips for the last 150, so I feel like I left it all out there. Finished with a 10:56.62. I'll be interested to see the splits to see how well I stuck to my plan en route to a personal best
800m FREE: 10:56.62
34.83 1:13.41 (38.58)
1:52.70 (39.29) 2:33.54 (40.84)
3:15.14 (41.60) 3:57.42 (42.28)
4:40.43 (43.01) 5:22.64 (42.21)
6:05.02 (42.38) 6:48.90 (43.88)
7:31.55 (42.65) 8:14.51 (42.96)
8:56.93 (42.42) 9:37.63 (40.70)
10:18.59 (40.96) 10:56.62 (38.03)
My plan to descend 100's didn't hold up very well, and the middle of my race was a bit slow due to my tightening up, but I am still happy with the swim. Chad from Cali came in first and had an excellent swim, his first Nationals win.
Afterwards I met some other NEMer's before a 400yd warmdown. Preston and I spent the rest of the day exploring the area - the shortest covered bridge in America is right here in town, took a short walk at Geneva State Park, drove along the lake to Ashtabulah for lunch at Briquettes, then found the longest covered bridge in America (4th in the world), which is pictured below,as we made our way back to the hotel. After a quick pit stop, we drove around a bit, getting a pop at Ree's Soda Fountain in Gevena. I think they say pop up this way. Now I am ready for a busy day tomorrow.
Updated August 9th, 2015 at 10:19 PM by rxleakem
I have been feeling bad for a week now with a cold and as I blogged earlier this week I was worried I would be unable to swim today. My chest congestion finally started to loosen up yesterday and I felt much better last night. I once again loaded up on mucinex and Alka seltzer nighttime cold medicine and despite not feeling stellar this morning I felt ok.
I had delayed my positive checkin until this morning and made the call to swim the 800m at about 5am this morning. I feel ok in myself but I am unable to clear my chest. I had decided that I would just swim it and not stress out about the swim or my time. I was seeded in the last heat with a few guys I knew; Kurt Dickson, Ramses Rodriguez and Bruce Thomas along with a bunch of young guys I did not know. My plan was to swim a controlled first 400m and then see how I felt.
The guys in lanes 4-7 went out fast including Kurt who is in my age group. At 300m I almost quit but coughed hard coming off the wall and my chest let go. I did not think anything at 400m but noticed Kurt was a body length up on me. At 500m I felt ok and decided to try to pick it up. At the turn at 600m I was ahead of Kurt. I worked hard to not tighten up and focused on my walls and keeping my stroke long. I finished with 9:18 which was an ok time(slower than world's last year) and my splits were great going 4:37,4:40. More importantly I won the 45-49 age group.
The 800 always hurts but this one could have been a lot worse and I am so glad I did not quit at 300m. Somehow I need to find a way to stay healthy before nationals!
Tomorrow I have just the one swim again with the 200m back. This should again be a great race with Kurt Dickson and Lee Lawrence. I hope I feel better and better as the meet goes on.
Left Vermont this morning and made it to Geneva around 4pm with my son. Traffic was smooth and I took a break every 100 miles or so to stretch out. The facility is pretty awesome, with a deep and cool 10 lane LCM main pool and a 25 yard pool available for warmups. All checked in for my races over the next two days.
200 free/200 back/200 im drill
3 x 100 [as 50 kick, 50 drill]
2 x 50 b/c [first one off the blocks - thanks team Costa Rica for the whistle!)
200 loosen and out
I made it to the pre-event meeting and now back at the hotel after eating dinner. Time to shave - haven't done this since high school! haha
Updated August 5th, 2015 at 10:18 PM by rxleakem
I am arranging a 2 day meet in Rockwall the week after summer Nationals and it has made me think a lot about why did I signup to try to put this meet on? Other team members are helping and the meet is by no means a solo effort but I asked myself why do I care one way or the other whether other masters swimmers compete at our meet or not; and even more broadly why am I as passionate about the sport of swimming as I am.
As I have written previously I am a former national level swimmer and quit the sport after the 1992 Olympic trials, burnt out and frustrated. At the time swimming had become something I needed to do rather than something I wanted to do. 20+ years and a lot of weight later I was roped into swimming in a corporate challenge event at work. After competing(I did not win) and having so much fun I decided I was going to give swimming another go. My initial intent was to get back into some semblance of physical shape. Initially swimming was tough but after about 6 months I ventured to Bryan, Texas and competed in a very small local meet. Again my times were not stellar and I was nervous but once again I had so much fun. Unlike the last year or so of my college swimming career where I was not enjoying myself and despite having success Swimming had lost the fun element, masters swimming was a lot of fun.
Again as I have written numerous times on my blog I travel a fair bit with work and no matter where I am I go out of my way to swim. Traveling for work is highly overrated, boring, tiring and most of the time the complete opposite of fun. Despite my job requiring me to meet and interact with large groups of people I am naturally a quiet and fairly introverted person. When I first started dropping in on masters teams both domestically and internationally I was quite nervous but again soon realized that no matter where I went I had something in common with those I choose to join at 0-dark something; a passion for swimming. I was not the only crazy guy who had fun following the black line at the bottom of the pool.
I realized that win or loose I liked the feeling of swimming fast, racing and pushing myself to my physical limit. After a while I even stopped comparing my times to what I did when I was younger and compared my times to my last swims. I still get upset and disappointed with not so great swims but it's no longer a love hate relationship with swimming, its purely a love relationship.
Despite my weight loss and body transition over the last three years I still don't have a 20 year olds body and obviously I never will. When I first started masters swimming I was embarrassed by my body shape and this initially caused me hesitation to compete. Somewhere along the way I realized it did not matter. Everyone in masters swimming has aged from our memories view of our physical glory days and our body shapes and sizes are what they are and are not important. Someone said to me one time that we all have two things in common, we are all born and we all die. He followed this with, what makes a great life is what you do with the time in between these two events. I can't control when my time is up but having the ability to have the highest quality of life while I am here is within my control and swimming has provided me some wonderful experiences. I truly believe, that swimming has given me a stronger relationship with my wife, most of the stress I used to bring home from work I leave at work and I believe I have become less flustered and frustrated as a result. I am still able to keep up with my kids, and my daughter specifically and I have a shared passion and spend time together as a result of swimming. I believe I bring more value to my business because I am more alert and mentally strong at work because of swimming. I have made friends I would not have made and in nearly every case feel like I have friends for life.
So why compete? I believe that meets add even more value to the masters swimming experience. Swimming is to a large extent, a fairly solitary sport. Somehow we get to know each other without really spending much total time talking. After all how much conversation can be conducted in the 10-15 seconds between swims and the 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of practice? Meets allow us to share more time with our team mates. Meets allow us to support each other in a way we are unable to in practice. I realized in several cases that not only do I share a passion for swimming with my team mates but life experiences ranging from kid stories, work stories, college experiences, etc. My team mates are cool interesting people and traveling to and from meets, hanging out in deck and supporting each other is so much fun. There goes that word again!
Personally I had a very successful Spring Nationals but none of my own swims rank as the highlight of my meet. Seeing our entire team supporting one of our team mates who entered her first meet and completed the 200fly and 400IM was really awesome. Somehow we all shared every stroke Martha made and everyone got something from Martha's achievement. USMS is a big supporter of inclusion and I really do believe that competing enables swimmers to compete as a team and masters meets should not just be enjoyed by the few but rather every masters swimmer deserves to share in the experience and fun associated with a meet.
I hope we have a great turn out at our meet but above all I hope everyone has fun.
Updated September 26th, 2015 at 08:06 AM by StewartACarroll