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Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.

  1. Meet Results 2015 SPMS and Southwest Zone Summer Champs LCM

    by , August 20th, 2015 at 01:00 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Men's Results

    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
    1:17.62 (41.62)
    2:02.56 (44.94)
    2:38.61 (36.05)

    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

    1:11.07 (36.96)
    1:49.43 (38.36)
    2:28.25 (38.82)

    3:07.53 (39.28)
    3:46.94 (39.41)
    4:26.99 (40.05)
    5:07.01 (40.02)

    5:47.25 (40.24)
    6:27.42 (40.17)
    7:07.87 (40.45)
    7:48.22 (40.35)

    8:29.24 (41.02)
    9:09.76 (40.52)
    9:50.23 (40.47)
    10:28.57 (38.34)
  2. RAM Summer Long Course Meet - Day 2

    by , August 16th, 2015 at 05:20 PM (After a long rest)
    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.

    400 free
    8x50 catchup on 1min
    4x50 open,close, easy,fast
    2x50 at 400 pace
    200 easy

    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 02:22 PM by StewartACarroll

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  3. RAM Summer Long Course Meet - Day 1

    by , August 15th, 2015 at 04:26 PM (After a long rest)
    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:

    400 free
    8x50 drill
    4x50 open, close, easy, fast
    200 easy
    4 dives

    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 04:44 PM by StewartACarroll

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. USMS Summer Nationals Day 4

    by , August 9th, 2015 at 04:26 PM (After a long rest)
    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.
  5. USMS Summer Nationals Day 3

    by , August 8th, 2015 at 06:03 PM (After a long rest)
    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.
  6. USMS summer Nationals Day 2

    by , August 8th, 2015 at 05:45 PM (After a long rest)
    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 06:03 PM by StewartACarroll

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  7. Meet 08/07/15: USMS Nationals day 2b

    by , August 7th, 2015 at 08:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    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 08:10 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: nationals
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  8. Meet 08/07/15: USMS Nationals day 2

    by , August 7th, 2015 at 06:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    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 06:31 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: lcm, nationals
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. Meet 08/06/15: USMS Nationals day 1

    by , August 6th, 2015 at 07:29 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    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

    Updated Splits:
    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 09:19 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: lcm, nationals
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. USMS Summer Nationals Day 1

    by , August 6th, 2015 at 04:05 PM (After a long rest)
    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.
  11. Workout 08/05/15: afternoon

    by , August 5th, 2015 at 08:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    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
    (Solo/Spire/1200m/35 min)

    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 09:18 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: nationals
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Why compete in masters meets?

    by , June 30th, 2015 at 09:41 PM (After a long rest)
    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 07:06 AM by StewartACarroll

    Ramblings , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  13. Frisco Ford Aquatics Long Course Meet

    by , June 20th, 2015 at 04:38 PM (After a long rest)
    My daughter and I had meets today, so my wife and mother went with my daughter while I went on my own. My daughter had the tougher of the two meets with me entered in 50s and a 200IM while my daughter was entered in the 100,200 back, 100,200 fly and 100,200 breast. I arranged to meet a couple of my team mates and car pool together to frisco which is about a 40minute drive from rockwall.

    The Frisco pool was similar to Mr Unruhs pool at Nitro in Austin where the outside windows roll up like a garage door which allows for a nice cross wind. The pool was a 6.5 ft deep Myrtha pool but the lanes were very narrow.

    I did about a 1200m warmup and then swam fly,back,breast and free. There were very few entries and as such the events went very fast and almost as soon as I was done with the breast the 200IM was getting on the blocks and I chose to skip the IM. Despite this one no show I had a good day and was pleased with all my events going:

    28.4 fly
    30.06 back
    33.98 breast
    25.8 free

    Despite being very happy with all these swims I have a lot of room for improvement. In particular the fly I hit both lane lines with my arms. Off the start I hit my left hand pretty good and then clipped the lane line with my right hand towards the end of the 50. I felt like my back was a good swim and had a much better start than I had at nationals but was a little miffed I did not dip under 30. Considering I went 30.0 at worlds this is a great time for me and gives me a lot of hope to go well under 30 when rested and shaved. The breast was probably the biggest surprise. I had a really good start and felt really good through about 30m where I felt the guy in the next lane and tried picking up my tempo which caused me to loose my great pull and the last 20 felt quite rushed. I had a great start on the free and was clear of everyone else by 25. I felt like I lost a little focus on the second 25 and did not finish very well. This is the fastest I have been unrested as a masters swimmer. I also really enjoyed this one because I had a 19,21 and 31 year old in my heat and it's always nice to whoop up on the younger guys. My only regret is I could not do the 200IM but I will do it at another meet.
  14. USMS Spring Nationals - Day 3

    by , April 27th, 2015 at 07:35 PM (After a long rest)
    We had our nationals team dinner on Saturday night at Brio Tuscan Grill which was near the pool and our team hotel. The restaurant had a large party room and we filled the room. The food was terrific however the speed of service was terrible, the air temperature could only be described as Antarctic and trying to pay was almost impossible taking over an hour. Despite these difficulties it was great fun hanging out with all my team mates.

    I managed to get an extra hour of sleep on Saturday night since my first event was not until after the women's 500 free and the 30 minute break. At dinner on Saturday one of my team mates asked if I would count for her which meant I missed out on a little extra sleep but I am so glad I said yes. She proceeded to swim a great 500 and ended up 8th which was really great fun to watch and see her reaction when she was done. Well worth missing out on the sleep. Sunday was my short day swimming the mixed medley relay, 50 back and 100 free. I was the lead off on the medley relay and went 25.9 which was a good time and beat my time on the men's medley relay by .4. Next up was the 50 back. I felt good going in and thought I could go 25.5. I had a terrible start and ended up coming up last but made up some ground before the turn and caught up and almost beat 2nd and 3rd(mike Ross went 23.7 for the win with his incredible underwaters). I went 28.8 which again I was happy with but know I could have gone much faster with a better start. I was very tired before my last event, the 100 free but I was determined to give it everything I had which I did going 49.02.

    Overall i REALLY enjoyed the meet. Honestly two to three weeks ago I did not think I was going to make the meet let alone win medals at the meet. The highlight of my meet was the free relay. I so wanted to win the 200 free and be in a stroke for stroke race with Patrick and Steve on the 500 but alas these were not meant to be this go around. It was great swimming with all my friends and especially our extended team mates from Pittsburgh.

    Today was was back to work with a bang and I am off to New Orleans with work tomorrow for the rest of the week.

    For or those who have been following the traumas of the Carrolls the past few months, my family could not come down to Nationals due to sickness. Also my sons recovery from his double concussion is still ongoing. On Friday we heard some news from the specialist he is seeing and they said they are still concerned about his balance and cognitive recovery and we are afraid there could be some permanent damage; he is still getting severe headaches. Today he went for another MRI and we are hoping to hear some good news based on seeing some positive changes since his last MRI shortly after the second concussion. I will be glad when we can put all this stuff behind us and focus on just normal everyday issues.

    Updated April 28th, 2015 at 09:59 PM by StewartACarroll

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  15. USMS Spring Nationals - Day 2

    by , April 25th, 2015 at 11:27 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a good night of sleep despite storms that came through last night, however when I woke up to my iPhone alarm I quickly realized the whole hotel was in complete darkness. I also found out that shaving with the light from my iPhone in the sink with cold water is not my best sport!

    One of my team mates drove me to chick fil a to grab some food and then we headed to the pool. I was a little sore this morning but felt good after a slightly longer than normal meet warm up(1500). I waited around about 30 minutes due to the delay in starting the meet and then put on my meet suit. I then got back in and swam about 400 with a couple of 50s at 500 pace before I went over to the pool for the 500. I felt nice and relaxed. Like yesterday's 200 we had a false start which added to the anticipation. I had a good start and felt good on the first 50 but as the field started to pickup pace I soon realized I was struggling to hit my groove. I tried relaxing and focusing on long strokes and at half way I was a long way back but seemed to hit a groove and at 300 was able to pick up the pace. I came back strong on the last 200 and finished 5th at 4:56 which was definitely not the time I was hoping for and honestly thought I would be racing against pwb and sunruh. Alas it was not meant to be. I negative split the race and seemed to hit my groove over the last 200 but like yesterday's 200 I just did not feel my normal self.

    Unlike previous meets i am just glad to be hear and I did not beat myself up and put it behind me. I had a nice break between the 500 and 200 back and did a nice long loose easy swim. I somehow felt like a different guy after the 500 and felt good and confident going up for my 200 back. The start time for the 200 back was about noon and the sun was right overhead. On the start I finally did not go deep but also did not go as far underwater. As I came up I was blinded by the sun and decided to move over to one side of the lane so I could at least use the lane line as a sighting guide. Off the first turn I was glad I did move close to the lane because the second length the sun seemed even worse. I swam close enough to the lane line the whole way so could feel it but not so close that I hit it or anything. My splits were great going 28 high, 30.x, 30.x, 30.x and ending up with 2:00.13 which is a masters best for me and I took second behind Michael Ross who just ate up everyone with his monster underwaters on the first 100.

    Last up for me today was the men's 200 free relay. I had a gap between the back and the relay which allowed me to grab some food and watch my team mates who all did awesome. We had a lot of swimmers in every event and I got some great photos for our team website. As the relays approached I did yet another warmup and felt pretty good. As our team assembled I went to put on my goggles and noticed that the clip on the back of the speedo vanquishers had snapped and had to do a quick knot to avoid any mishap. Luckily it was the clip and not the side which would have meant completely broken goggles with no time to get a replacement pair since my stuff was over in the indoor pool. It was crowded behind the blocks which made staying relaxed and loose difficult but we managed it. I was on lead off since the other guys had either swum the individual 50(Scott Heber and Mark Cox) or had led off a mixed relay yesterday(Scott Carpenter). Off the start my hands came apart but I quickly pulled them back together and did not loose too much. I no breathed the first 25 turned and double dolphin kicked and broke out well, however my right hand hit a wave and my first stroke was very short and deep. I still felt good and ended up coming in at 22.36 which is another masters best. I am pretty sure with a few minor changes I can go under 22 from a flat start 50 but I will leave that for another day. Scott a Carpenter was 2nd and went 22.4, Mark Cox 3rd with a very fast 21.9 and Scott Heber closed with an incredible 21.4. We had good take overs but Scott Heber's start in particular was unbelievably quick. We missed the National record by .4. Between Scott Carpenter almost missing the wall on his turn and my couple of mistakes I really think we could have been under the record. We won by some distance against a very fast Rice team. This was SO MUCH FUN! In fact all four of us were not even back to the indoor pool before we started talking about other meets to go for the record again.

    Tomorrow I get to sleep in and I close the meet with a mixed medley relay, the 100 free and the 50 back. Should be more fun tomorrow.
  16. Meet: 04/25/15: Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , April 25th, 2015 at 02:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The culmination of many months of planning and anticipation was realized this morning with the start of our 4th annual mini meet here at my hometown pool. Overall attendance was down from previous years, but we ended up with more than 25 swimmers and a lot of fun! There are always great stories from any Masters meet, as evidenced at our meet as some folks came out to their first competition, others met with friends and family for an annual splash, and we even welcomed an English Channel swimmer with her new start-up team!

    As meet director (and brainchild of the meet), there are certain stresses that I have in addition to actually swimming. We had our main official (and the woman with the most knowledge of running the computer/timing system) back out a few weeks ago due to family vacation, so many others needed to step into new positions in order to make the meet come together. I confirmed that the facility would be opened early so that we could setup in time for 9am warmups, and our lifeguard was there when requested. Some mild headaches as the printer ink cartridges were dried up, and after not being able to use the facility's equipment my wife and son hurried home to get our wireless printer, which worked! So a minor delay in the start of the meet, but we were able to get the relays off and then I filled in some space with my list of "thank you"s and info on our community, so everyone was very understanding and patient.

    I try to keep the meet in line with our USMS hashtag #FunnestSport by offering some great prizes and fun events. I bought some USMS silicone caps with my discount earlier in the year, the age group coach donated some maple syrup that she made this spring, and I was able to secure (yet again) some Stroopwafels from our local Dutch bakery, Bakkerij Krijnen. These all went out to our first registrant, farthest traveled (our buddy Lisa from NJ), first time entrant, and the winners of our Sprint challenges.

    I again had the privilege in roping my one of my brothers, my sister and her partner, and my daughter into swimming so that we had an All-Leake medley and free relay, as well as a morning to catch up and get some exercise together in a pool that we spent most of our childhood in. It was great catching up and seeing how their swimming abilities have not diminished even thought this is the only time of the year that they get wet! Lena and the boys were our cheerleaders.

    Our local team was well represented with Greg, Kevin, Ashley, and Amanda (with Melissa and Rachel helping out as timers). Greg made his famous Magic Bars for the concession stand and had some great swims as well, even after helping me get things set up in the morning - nice job, Greg!

    Due to the delayed meet start I scratched the 200 IM to help move things along. I did the 500 fly (7:04, I think, slower than a couple of years ago), and was surprised that Bethany did fly as well! My only other event was the 100 fly (1:02) but was wiped out and could not get the SDK's going. We also had a blast doing the Medley and Free Relays together.

    All in all, another great event for Masters swimming! Looking forward to next years addition!

    Things to remember for next year:
    check printer cartridges, batteries before meet
    order more latex caps from national office
  17. Zones, Day 2

    by , April 12th, 2015 at 08:31 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had resolved to just enjoy watching my friends race today. And I did! My Pitt swimmers swam very well, two of them having all PRs at Zones. My PV buddies had some great swims. It was so much fun hanging out with chowmi as well. And I learned that her brother has come to a couple of my practices! (She is from Pittsburgh.) She was quite speedy today and the master of good execution (and casual napping). We lament that we cannot be training partners!

    50 free, 25.5

    I decided just to swim 50 free, and I didn't have much punch for that. Given the situation, my modest goal was to go under :26. I went 25.5. Start and turn were fairly good, though I didn't take as many SDKs off the turn as I had planned. But I felt like I was staggering to the wall after that -- tired and no legs. Chowmi said there was lots of room for improvement and that is certainly true. Like Jazz, she encouraged me to focus on freestyle more. If I can go 25.5 feeling like crap on 5 days rest, I think I should be able to go under :25 again with a full taper. Right now that time is #1, but it might get bumped down a notch at nationals. I'm glad that I have times from Auburn in a few of my best events as a back up. But no taper times for me this year.


    But the bottom line is that I am feeling mentally and physically out of it. Between the allergic reaction, poor sleep, travel, mega antihistamines and continued hives, I'm beat. And that doesn't even account for the cumulative effect of the preceding sinus infection, ear infection and back issue. I feel like I've been doing battle for 2 months and I want out! Right now, I feel that I should cancel nationals and just rest up for a few days to allow the hives to fully abate. It's disappointing, but not the end of the world. I think all masters have to expect to have unscheduled difficulties befall them at the wrong time. That's just how it works out sometimes. And it certainly makes you appreciate the moments when all things coalesce marvelously. I will continue to mull ... but it seems unlikely that I can summon up the requisite enthusiasm for a long meet in a distant locale. And as of this am, my legs are still covered in hives. I am doing nothing today! I think once your body has an allergic reaction, it is then primed to be bothered by other allergens. With spring here, those are out in full force.

    I'm also wondering in the future about planning two major travel meets less than two weeks apart. This is probably not ideal for me. Focusing on one is probably the way to go. I miss living in PV where I could roll out of bed and go to a meet!

    I must confess to a little retail therapy yesterday after the meet. The shopping in Pittsburgh is not exactly the best. So I made a concerted effort to help the economy!

    Zone results are here:

    Updated April 13th, 2015 at 01:27 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  18. Bad Timing, Zones

    by , April 11th, 2015 at 07:47 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was still hiving whilst driving down to Zones yesterday. And I wasn't feeling great from a week of interrupted sleep from the hives and medicine. But I felt like I had to travel to Zones bc three of my swimmers were competing there. I'm so proud of them. They all had PRs today and one is likely to get her first top ten. So that was thrilling for me.

    My events didn't go so well. My 50 breast was 34.0. Half a second faster than last time and a Zones record, but .9 slower than last year. My 100 back was a non-starter. I cramped on the start. I muddled through the first 50 not kicking very hard, but my calf really seized up on the second turn and I aborted the race. Even with half ass kicks, I was still out in a fairly effortless 30.5. I didn't swim the 50 fly, which was right after. Didn't want to risk another cramp. I am disappointed about not being able to get a 100 back time this year ...

    Right now, though, I feel covered in hives again and so am loaded up in Benadryl. I'm not sure it was wise to try to compete after such a severe allergic reaction. I'm obviously not over it. At first I thought to myself that it was stupid to have rested a few days for Zones with nationals coming up. But I likely couldn't have trained hard anyway without compromising the situation further. The doctor said rest, rest, rest. Adding to the stress was some bad news about Mr Forts recent blood tests. He needs to see a urologist and hematologist. And he is supposed to run Boston next weekend.

    I thought about just driving home. But I'm here and my swimmers are here. Right now, I just plan to swim 50 free tomorrow. Maybe 100 fly. But honestly my heart is just not in it. At this juncture, I'm thinking of pulling the plug on nationals. I don't want to get all the way there and not feel amped to compete. And I don't right now; I'm a little deflated. It's been a hard couple months, and I feel worn down. As I told Water Rat once, and it resonated with him, I'm not a wind up monkey that can perform on cue. I'll see how I feel tomorrow and think about it for a couple days. It's not the end of the world, just a lot of bad timing.

    Updated April 11th, 2015 at 09:27 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. Auburn SCY Invitational Meet

    by , February 9th, 2015 at 11:16 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    As usual, Conner and his team put on an exception meet! And we were especially spoiled this year since the SEC championships will be held in Auburn next weekend. That meant some serious upgrades to an already very nice swimming pool. The pool was drained and repainted. The tiling on the deck was redone. I think someone said they got new bulkheads. At the very least, the bulkhead at the start end was much wider. They set the pool up between bulkheads to minimize any wave reflection. The water did feel a bit warm... maybe 82-83 but I didn't have any way to measure it. The coolest thing was the new starting blocks. These had the adjustable wedge and were hooked up to measure response time. The best part was that they were fitted with a couple rows of led lights that flashed green at the start of each race. This feature was cruelly snatched from us on Sunday. Apparently the lights are hooked into the response time system which had issues and needed to be shut off. I was able to go back to listening for a sound but I have been forever spoiled by the lights.

    As for me, the meet did not go very well at all. For one thing, I'm about 15-20 lbs overweight. But the wheels really came off during taper. The first 3 days were great and I felt like I was way ahead of last year. But over the weekend I got a sinus infection followed by a mysterious illness. In practice I had speed but no endurance... even for the very short taper sets we did. Friday morning, I woke up nauseated and considered not going at all. By noon, I was improving so I went ahead and made the trip. That night, I swam in the Auburn pool but still wasn't feeling great. Saturday morning, I was a little better but far from 100%. As the meet progressed, I was slowly starting to match my meet times from last year. So, for times it was mostly a lot of disappointments. Here's how the events went:

    200 Fly - Seed: 2:21.24, Time: 2:29.07 (34.17, 37.91, 38.31, 38.68)

    This was the first indication that things weren't going to go well over the weekend. The first 50 was fine but I quickly fell off the pace from last year. The last 10 yards or so, my body went into shutdown mode. Fortunately I was close enough to the wall to gut it out. During cool-down, all I wanted to do was throw up.

    100 Breast - Seed: 1:09.53, time: 1:13.63 (35.59, 38.04)

    Not sure what to say about this. It was just slow and I botched my first pullout. I was in a heat with a bunch of 1:05 ish swimmers which just amplified how slow I felt.

    200 Free - Seed: 2:04.61, time: 2:05.89 (29.62, 31.65, 32.46, 32.16)

    The girl next to me was seeded at 2:00.00. She went 1:55. I tried to keep up and didn't do a very good job of it. But at least I was in the ballpark of one of my worst swims from last year. Even better, I had a little extra for the last 50.

    400 IM - Seed: 4:59.20, time: 5:05.12 (1:11.74, 1:22.44, 1:23.52, 1:07.42)

    I really just cruised this event. I had a relay coming up and nobody was in my age group contesting me. There were really only two of us with seeds under 5:00 and the other guy scratched. So, 5:05 wasn't terrible for holding back a bit. In fact, this was probably my best swim of the day. It definitely felt better than the others did.

    200 Breast - Seed: 2:33.97, time: 2:35.52 (36.14, 39.51, 39.79, 40.08)

    I didn't feel completely warmed up for this race but it was a lot of fun. The swimmers on both sides of me had excellent swims and we pushed each other pretty hard. I started off about a second off their pace and then slowly chipped into their leads. I actually overtook the guy in lane 3 with 25 yards to go but he out sprinted me on the last leg. The guy in lane 5 had us both at the last turn but couldn't bring it home. I touched .01 seconds ahead and the finish.

    200 Back - Seed: 2:41.39, time: 2:38.08

    Finally beat a seed time! And this was a personal best. This was from a couple years ago and my backstroke has improved a lot since then. With nobody in my age group contesting this, I relaxed it and got ready for the final two events.

    50 Breast - Seed: 32.16, time: 33.58

    Not great but not terrible either.

    200 IM - Seed: 2:24.40, time: 2:24.30

    Not my best but I beat my time from last year. Finally started feeling closer to 100%.

    Despite my struggles, I did win high point. I had a lot of fun (as usual) and I got to swim in a really nice pool with all the trimmings for a big NCAA event. Definitely worth the time this weekend and I'm glad I decided to go.
  20. Workout 01/26/15: One Hour Swim

    by , January 26th, 2015 at 09:48 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I had planned to do this swim tomorrow night at Masters practice, but with the Nor'Easter bearing down on New England the Rec has announced that the facility will be closed all day tomorrow (along with Preston's school). I won't be back in the water until Friday so tonight became the night for the OHS! Preston took splits on my way to a total of 4257 yards, which is just over 300 yards less than last year. Given where I am with my physical state, I am happy with the results. Plus it will add to team New England Masters in our bid to three-peat as National OHS Champions!

    We are all home tomorrow (my regular day off) so keeping up with snow removal should not be a problem. I haven't had to use the show blower yet this year, and today while gassing it up I discovered what appears to be a cracked gasket, so it will be all human power for Tuesday!
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