Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
After a beautiful day Friday getting some errands done around time, my friend Brent stopped by the house to pick me up and we headed northwest on a three hour journey to the Adirondacks of New York, with the final destination of Lake Placid for the 2013 USMS National Championship 2 Mile Cable Swim, Betsy Owens Swim. I guided us though some great back road, agricultural settings until we hit Saratoga Springs ("Health, History, Horses") and picked up the Northway (I-87) before getting off on state route 73 through the High Peaks.
We arrived at our home for the night, Art Devlin's Olympic Motor Lodge, and checked in, admiring the showcase that this Olympic ski jumper from the 60's acquired from all over the world and the view of the ski jumps to our south from the property. Brent swam at Betsy Owens a couple of years ago, so we ventured north into town on foot, walking past the 400m outside speed skating oval, ice arena (home of the "Miracle On Ice" game from 1980 OG), and the Olympic Center en route to the Mirror Lake, home of IronMan Lake Placid and Betsy Owens swim. It was a little cool, but the sun was hanging brilliantly in the sky just above the mountains surrounding the lake. I dipped my hands in the water, a tad cool and thankfully not really warm.
We then checked out some of the shops downtown. Lake Placid is relatively void of major shopping outlets (only one small area with four or five shops), favoring traditional independent shops and restaurants in a town that has the hint of a European village. We ran into Jonathan, one of our Berkshire lake swimming buddies who was in town with his wife and daughter to race. He later shared that they bought a "passport" to check out the Olympic venues, and his daughter rode down the bobsled track! We ended up eating at a restaurant on the lake side, Generations, and enjoyed a relaxed pre-race meal before ice cream at Emma's Creamery and the nice stroll back to the lodge for a restful night's sleep.
We got up a little after 7am to a brisk temperature of 46, and I grabbed some coffee and a lemon poppy muffin from the lodge as we checked out and drove to the beach for 8:15. Check in started at 8am, with warmups on the course from 8-9. There is a great grassy hill on the start end of the course, and Brent had a chair that he put down to mark our little area. After debating about "warming up," since the report race temperature was 69 degrees, we hopped in and did one loop of the 1/4 mile cable in the counter-clockwise direction that was prescribed for the race. This was my first swim of this type, and the cable was suspended about two feet below the surface of the lake, with a large orange buoy at the turning ends and small buoys every 10m along the length of the course. Since the water at Mirror Lake is very clear, the cable is very early to see as long as the sun is out.
After drying off, we waited until the safety briefing and final attendance check-in at 9:15, where David and Ann reminded us that a total of 4 loops was needed to complete the race and that, although this is Open Water swimming, we were to be civilized or risk being DQ'd. It kinda reminded me of a scene from Lord of the Rings - we were lined up by wave (ten people) based on 1650 seed time and put into starting order, then proceeded to enter the water so that three waves were always wet. Just after 9:30am, every 30 seconds a wave is started in water (marked by a green buoy at a distance along the cable that offsets the distance to the two yellow buoys ending the race just before the beach), then the next one already in water swims up to the starting buoy and is counted down.
I started in the middle of the second wave of the first heat and settled into a comfortable rate, purposefully not hovering cable. Here starts the "Did you get the number of the person who ran me over?" issue, as many folks do not want to leave the cable and will be happy to engage in contact to stay on it. Incidental contact is always an issue, and if I am on the giving end I'll move around it as soon as I realize it. Others have no problem banging into you incrementally from toe to head - oh well. Expect the unexpected!
As usual, I spend much of the swim praying as I enjoy moving through the water, especially taking in the sites of the venue around the OW event. I caught some in the end waves as I approached the end of the third lap, and went around the turn buoy on the start of the final lap and went wide to get around another pod. I increased my kick and kept the turnover strong, passing some in the first wave before turning at the far end of the course for the last time (well, I swam a couple strokes past it ). I then kept going strong into the finish, where we were handed a numbered popsicle stick and advised to stay in order, handing in the stick as our race number was recognized once on the beach. I was seeded 15th and finished the race with number 10, which could change after the second heat completed their swim.
After a quick warmdown of 200m, I spent some time in the sun (air temp now 64) with Brent and Jonathan's family as he took off in the first wave of the second heat. I then got changed and vegged out, watching this Nascar of swimming, where folks circle around the rack and some bumping happens. Interestingly, one lady shouted that another swimmer should be DQ'd for pushing her underwater, describing in detail the man and his suit - she later, on the beach, sought him out and lambasted him a bit (to which he replied, "I was just swimming on the cable, you ran into me." to her shouts.
So, this type of an event really does keep the spectator interested. I have come to realize that contact is indeed going to happen, especially in this more competitive atmosphere. I agreed with Brent that for many of the point to point OWswims, there is more of a sense of just swimming and enjoying the journey, rather than "racing." I am sure that some swims may not feel this way, but I rather enjoy just getting out and going. My final time was 47:34.58, good for second place in my age group, just 30 seconds behind Brent. I am happy that he is the National Champ, and that I was able to be that close to him time-wise since I consider him a much faster distance swimmer than myself.
After the second heat finished (82yo Patrick was a great inspiration), we stayed for the great lunch that was put on for us and then the award ceremony. I met with some of the Middlebury Muffintops, as well as a Twitter friend, Alicia, that I have been following for about a year now (she was 2nd place on the women's side). New friends are great! I believe that it was announced that the 2014 National Champs will also be held during the Betsy Owens swim. I would recommend checking it out and making plans to attend next year for a great swim experience, in an area where you find fun for the whole family! If your lucky, it will not be as cold!
Sat Aug 10 Nats Day 3
Event 23 Men 50-54 400 LC Meter IM
WORLD: W 4:53.69 8/2/2010 MARCUS MATTIOLI, BRA
NATL: N 5:04.32 7/26/2009 JAMIE FOWLER
Name Age Club Seed Finals
1 Phelan, Darren D 50 STAN 4:58.98 4:57.93N
30.00 1:04.48 (34.48)
1:43.97 (39.49) 2:22.60 (38.63)
3:05.74 (43.14) 3:49.38 (43.64)
4:24.34 (34.96) 4:57.93 (33.59)
2 Baker, Dennis G 52 OREG 4:57.22 5:02.51N
31.14 1:05.57 (34.43)
1:45.36 (39.79) 2:23.87 (38.51)
3:09.25 (45.38) 3:54.80 (45.55)
4:29.22 (34.42) 5:02.51 (33.29)
3 Rasmussen, Anders M 50 TXLA 5:07.51 5:11.97
ouch that hurt!!!
I took it out a little faster than I did at pan ams and my rockwall meet
decided to work my DKs on FL & BK
and didn't have as much left for BR & FR
I was just hurting and didn't push the last part as much
I didn't turn on my kick and just wanted to get it over
I swam in the heat before Phelan and Baker
I am done with the 400 IM for a long while
400 IM was the 1st event of the day and next was the relay which was nearly the last
so I went back to my hotel to rest
Event 31 Men 200-239 200 LC Meter Freestyle Relay
WORLD: W 1:38.24 8/8/2006 COLORADO -USA
J GROSELLE, T HEDRICK, S WOOD, R ABRAHAMS
NATL: N 1:38.24 8/8/2006 COLORADO MASTERS
J GROSELLE, T HEDRICK, S WOOD, R ABRAHAMS
Club Seed Finals
1 ARKM 'A' 1:44.50 1:43.01
1) Martin, Doug M60 2) Gooding, Jack M60
3) Golden, Larry M53 4) Strauss, Noel M M41
2 TXLA 'A' 1:48.00 1:43.97
1) Guthrie, David M M53 2) Rasmussen, Anders M M50
3) Sauer, Jim M56 4) Huggins, Dale R M41
I'm super thrilled with my 24.80 split, I was thinking 24 anything would be really good and expected a 25 low to mid
Arkansas had a ringer. Noel Strauss still holds the 13-14 boys National Record in the 100 FR that he did back in 1987. He only went 25.1 in his 100 FR so, 23.8 is much better.
Later that night we had a nice team gathering near Dana Point.
Fri Aug 9th 2013 Nats Day 2
Today I had the 50 Fly
I was 27.34 at Pan Ams
I was in heat 14 lane 4
John Beattie in lane 5 on my right
Paul Smith in lane 3 on my left
Had a good start
Took my first breath past half way
Then took another right under the flags
Event 17 Men 50-54 50 LC Meter Butterfly
WORLD: W 25.88 8/16/2008 PAUL CARTER, USA
NATL: N 25.88 8/16/2008 PAUL CARTER
Name Age Club Seed Finals
1 Rasmussen, Anders M 50 TXLA 27.34 27.04
2 Smith, Paul L 54 MMAC 28.50 27.33
3 Beattie, John R 52 BLU 27.62 27.80
4 Golden, Larry 53 ARKM 28.80 28.20
5 Kelca, Brian E 53 LAPS 28.90 28.84
6 Keating, Kevin 50 SRM 28.80 29.44
I'll take it, I'm pleased with it
Got the 4IM tomorrow & a 50 Fr on the relay
Then 50 bk on Sunday
Thu Aug 8, 2014 Nats Day 1
Event 5 Men 50-54 200 IM LC Meter
1 Phelan, Darren D 50 STAN 2:21.87 2:19.45
2 Baker, Dennis G 52 OREG 2:19.67 2:21.77
3 Rasmussen, Anders M 50 TXLA 2:22.45 2:22.41
At pan Ams
I split 40.4 on BR & 32.?? FR
This time i was too conservative on
Bk & BR,
Didn't have a good bk to BR turn
Nice FR split
Event 7 Men 50-54 100 LC Meter Backstroke
1 Jennings, Bryan V 50 LVM 1:04.65 1:03.92
2 Rasmussen, Anders M 50 TXLA 1:05.49
I kept hitting the lane line
Near the turn
then around half way back
Hard to swim outdoors
The 2nd length seemed way longer &
I started looking for the wall way too soon
Event 11 Men 200-239 200 LC Meter Medley Relay
WORLD: W 1:50.83 8/8/2006 COLORADO -USA
1 TXLA 'A' 1:55.00 1:53.37
1) Rasmussen, Anders M M50
2) Guthrie, David M M53
3) Sauer, Jim M56
4) Huggins, Dale R M41
I'm happy that our relay won,
I had a good start, SDK & breakout
My split was OK, despite the fact that
I hit the lane line with my right hand
Several times, maybe 4, 5, or 6 in the 50
A couple times my hand didn't even go in the water to take a pull (I didn't yank on it but boy was I tempted), then I Had a long-glide-kick-in touch which made it hard for David to judge, plus the touch pads aren't as wide as the lanes & think I touched between the pad & the wall, so the clock might not have stopped till my back hit it. This all stems from the issue of
racing this meet outdoors, & being very near sighted
To swim straight & away from the rope, I need to sight my outdoor races differently. Think i need to Hold my head higher & fixate on a point behind my lane. Clear blue sky ain't got no lines
I was 29.5 at pan Ams in June then did a sprint strength program from around July 10th to now & got much stronger, so I hoped & expected to better that 29.5 :05.50 1:59.43
1 BK &
50 bk on medley relay,
with David, Jim, & Dale
My daughter has a meet all weekend out our aquatic center and as such there is no masters or public swimming this weekend. I decided a few weeks back to register for the DAM 2k swim tonight so that I could get a high intensity swim in since I won't be swimming tomorrow or,Sunday. I did not think this through that well though. I did not think about the water temperature in an outdoor long course pool in Dallas in late July. Also the meet started at 5.30 with warmup at 5.15 so I had a mad rush from work to make it to the pool through rush hour traffic. Despite the challenges everything worked out but it was really hot and I definately felt the heat the last 600 or so.
I managed to get about a 500meter warmup before the timed swim which helped stretch me out from this morning. The event was organized with swimmers being placed in lanes based on estimated 100 pace. At first I thought I had a lane to my self but half way through a swimmer jumped in and started swimming in my lane. We had a little collision at about 1300m(nothing major). I deliberately went out pretty easy and got into a nice rythm, and seemed to hold my 400 pace pretty consistently. My final time was 25.22.xx and I am pretty sure I would have been quicker if i managed the heat a little better.
I was pleased with holding 1.15.x pace and I have come a long way the past year with my endurance. The next year I need to improve significantly on endurance at a higher intensity if I am going to achieve my 2014 goals. I am very excited about ramping up my training over the next 12 months and look forward to some more improvement.
Updated July 26th, 2013 at 09:10 PM by StewartACarroll
I really liked the timing of this meet with my events on both Saturday and Sunday being done by noon. Yesterday after finishing up and doing my blog my mother, father, wife and kids hung out with our friends from Catoosa. We had a great Indian takeout last night and my dad and friend had some beers(I am still not drinking) while I had a Gatorade. Our kids played and watched movies while the adults watched the last two days of the Tour de France. It was great seeing another Englishman doing well on the tour. This completely took my mind off my swimming which I needed. I woke up this morning feeling good and I reset my expectations and focused on racing. Today's swims were
50m free - I went about the same time I swam in Rockwall two weeks ago, 26.5 and had a good start, but my stroke tightened up in the last few strokes. I won my age group and was 3rd in the heat. Everyone went 27.00 or quicker.
200m free - I actually felt strong on this but again no pickup. The time was 2.10.xx and I was 1st in my age group and second in the heat. A young guy under 25 pulled away half way down the last length and I just could not dig deep and stay with him unfortunately.
The drive home was uneventful but long. It's nice to be home and I am looking forward to getting back into a routine next week.
I have friends who live in Tulsa which is close to Jenks where the Zone meet is this year. So I took Thursday afternoon off work and drove up to Tulsa. We had a very nice dinner and easy Friday morning with friends before the zone meet. The pool at Jenks is awesome and an unbelievable facility for a high school.despite having ok swims and feeling ok, I just don't have any speed at the moment and I was disappointed with how I performed.
I still have the 50 and 200 to go tomorrow and will hopefully swim better in these.
400m free 4.36.1 - I had a great race with George Villareal and swam neck and neck the whole way but was touched out on the final stroke and placed 2nd.
800m free 9.42.xx - Again a neck and neck race until the final 75 when George Villareal picked it up and I just did not have anything to go with him and again placed 2nd.
100m free 58.2 - a horrible race the whole way despite winning my age group. I just did not get going and felt awful off the turn I felt like I went backwards.
At this point I just wish I felt quicker.
I had another great time at the 32nd annual Peaks to Portland 2.4 mile ocean swim in Portland, Maine. This was my fourth year in a row attending, a great trip that allows me time to catch up with friends in the city and swim to help raise funds for the YMCA there. You can see my blog from last year here for some background info if you'd like, including why the use duct tape is encouraged
I headed up on Friday morning (after an EZ 1000yds in the pool) with my son and checked in, receiving my cap, kayaker's flag, and tee shirt, then we went to the East End Beach, where the swim ends, to enjoy the beautiful day. Dinner again at Tortilla Flats and a good night's sleep to get ready for the swim. Got up around 5:30am so we could get to the ferry station before ships away at 6:45; two ferries were used (the "car" one filled with kayaks and the people one that I took) to transport us to Peaks Island for check-in, body marking, time chip getting, and some safety meetings as we waited for the race to start at 9am. Bobby, my yaker, joined many others in paddling over so I met him there.
This year's event was the largest ever for the Y, with 400 people signed up. In fact, many locals did not make it (I missed my buddies jbs and slknight) due to various reasons and I was on the waiting list because they filled up before the end of March. I got the call to register in May, so I was a bit lonely this year. I did see my inspiration for doing these open water/marathon swims, Pat Gallant-Charette, already swimming off the beach while waiting for the start, so I did not get a chance to say hi. The water was slightly colder than last year, 63-4 degrees, with low tide slated to start with our race, meaning very little assist again this year. The sun was out making for a gorgeous day to swim!
We had more time on the beach, which was good in respect to having more time to get all checked in, where we discovered that nearly half of the swimmers were newbies. It was a rather long time mulling about though, since I learned the first year not to "warm up" because that is what the swim is for! I was in the first (of 5) wave, and we waded out to the end of the pier as they counted down to our start. I lined up again on the right of the main pack and took off towards the bobbing yakers to meet with Bobby at the prescribed time.
The swim itself was good. There was as slight current against us as we headed towards our escorts (more than once I ran into a gaggle of yakers due to inexperience, and almost got hit twice - they found and paddled to their swimmers without looking to see what was happening around them), then we basically hit slack tide for the rest of the race. As you get to the midway point, there is generally a bit of swell, so I tried to pick up the pace. Besides some lobster cages, the course was generally free from obstacles, and there was no real current into the beach finish zone, which was well marked by an orange buoy on the left and four or so green buoys on the right. Due to the lack of tide, Bobby took us on a line towards the center of the course, which helped us move past those too far out on our left and catch up to the ones to our right that took too tight of a line. I did one dolphin dive (thanks mmead!) then stood up in knee-high water and took a few steps to reacclimate to the vertical plane. I tried to side step a bit and was going to walk again, but the huge crowd on the beach was cheering so I kept pushing ahead towards the big clock and hospitality tent just up the beach.
So, of the 335 swimmers that started the event (based on final reults), I was the 32nd to cross the finish line, 5th in my age group, and first overall of the 23 "naked" folks, repeating the feat from last year. My time was 59:09.5, which (also a repeat) was slower than last year , although I did not take a break and felt like I swam faster. For reference, I finished just under 50 minutes in 2011, which proves that the tides can help or hinder in Casco Bay.
I can't say enough how much I enjoy this event, which has grown considerably over the years (and even since I started taking part in 2010) and still has some minor hiccups due primarily to it's size. The distance is spot on for the OW newbie or seasoned warrior to complete, and there is a real fun vibe throughout as family, friends, and townsfolk cheer on the swimmers and their festively-colored kayaks. It's easy to see why this event is considered one of the top 50 in our country, and why I will register earlier to make it my fifth trip next year to enjoy some more of "the way life should be."
Some links if you are interested:
Friday's preview, noting Pat's friend Miyuki Fujita, who came from Japan to swim
Sunday's review with a picture slideshow
Some pics I took here and here .
Write-up from Munatones OWS blog
Local news video
A neat picture review I found from 2012 - see the waves head out from Peaks
Updated July 15th, 2013 at 10:25 PM by rxleakem
MEET: Saturday, July 9th, 2013
going into this meet I entered the 2br, 50fl, 50fr, 50br & 400IM
David Guthrie convinced me it wasn't a good idea to race the 2br before the 4IM so I dropped it. Then I thought about swimming the 1bk and going for a 50 time, but the blocks didn't offer much space between the hand grips & the wall so I scratched that idea.
Had a nice talk with Neil Walker who is the aquatic director and coach.
He told me about a better backstroke turn, I practiced it a bit in warm up then did it in the meet. It feels faster.
wore a FS3
cruised it but wasn't happy with it
so I went in the lockerroom and shaved my head
also skipped my other events to rest up for the 4 IM
felt my goggle strap slip down on my dive
cruised the Fly 31.9, 37.9
cruised the back a bit too much 1:21??
worked the BR split 42, 43
2 beat kicked the 1st 50 free, split 36 low
not sure what my last 50 was
It didn't hurt as bad as my 4 IM at pan ams
Updated July 15th, 2013 at 12:02 PM by ande
After enjoying last year's Kingdom 10 Miler, I decided to sign up again this year and make the trip to the northern reaches of my home state to tackle the mighty Lake Memphremagog. I have some notes/observations that I can refer to from last year:
First, Lena did not make the trip. She has been having some stomach issues going on and I really don't think she was enthused to witness me plodding along in the water again, so she rested at home. Preston did join me, along with my buddy Bob from Maine and his wife and son. They were in town to visit his folks, and drove up north behind me. We enjoyed some stops along the way (VT Country Store and lunch in Lebanon, NH) and made it to Newport by 4pm. I went to register at the Gateway then took a nap, waking up in time to sit through post-parade traffic to strap my feedbag on for the annual pasta dinner that race director Phil White and the gang put on. The rain that had fallen shortly before supper cleared out, leaving a great view of the lake for all to enjoy.
In comparison to last year's swim:
- Similarly, it was overcast to start the swim. Only saw faint peaks of sunlight after passing Buoy 7, then it shined fully after the 8th. This was excellent (humane) for the yakers and didn't really bother me too much.
- Water temp was 72 degrees, which was warmer than last year. I put on some weight expecting colder temps, so I lugged some extra lard for this swim.
- My feeds were not as concentrated, and I did fine with them. Fewer calories did not make a difference for me, which is good to note.
- The Kayakers deployed in a little different formation, and it took my 15 minutes to find Bobby. Many of them did not line up where they were directed to, so I just kept swimming. No collisions which is always an answer to prayer
- See last year's post noted above from the course layout. Not much to report until we rounded Buoy 3, where the "po po" boat had blue lights flashing and another boat stopped. Found out later from Bob that the boat was flying south towards the course without hint of slowing down, and had to be intercepted by either the Newport City Police or Boarder Patrol boat. Crazy!
- Some waves rolled us around as we crossed the northern end of the lake from Buoy 3-4 (just like last year). I was with two other swimmers (last year I was by myself), and we rounded Buoy 5 together, which was interesting.
- Again this year, we held close to the islands and straight on to Buoy 6, then stayed more in the lake as opposed to Derby Bay, where the current was tossing people. The waves were IMO slightly less rough than last year, but pounded for a longer portion of the long leg from Buoy 6-7. It was tiring!
- After Buoy 6B, I caught up to someone that passed my by the lighthouse (and also put a lot of distance on the two guys with my at Buoy 5). I passed him, then he drafted off me. I didn't mind at first, but after ten minutes of pulling him I did some backstroke and slowed down, hoping that he would return the favor. Didn't happen. After about a mile of this, I took a scheduled feed and let him go past. He ended up finishing a minute ahead of me.
- My shoulders felt better prepared for the long swim, but the pounding during the long leg took its toll, as I had a difficult time in the last hour or so keeping good body position.
- Bob noted the time and my stroke count at the big buoys, and was steady around 58-9 stokes per minute at each point. Last year I cycled between swimming 20-30 fast strokes followed by 50-60 regular ones; this year I just tried to stay even with stokes and kicking throughout.
- I skipped my last feed at at the bottom of the hour and motored into Prouty Beach with a time of 4hrs, 37 min, 53 sec, which was 46sec slower than last year. I'm pleased based on the conditions.
Another great weekend, which is just the start of swimming in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It'a always fun to meet up with forumites, and see some folks from last year. I am disappointed that USMS was not the sanctioning body for the swim (although there was an agreement for this last year before the OW stuff went down) as I think more people may have swam in it. Nonetheless, Phil has a great lineup of swimming in beautiful lakes in that bucolic part of Vermont throughout the summer, and I highly recommend joining in the fun if you are able to! www.kingdomswim.org
Updated July 7th, 2013 at 11:48 PM by rxleakem
We had about 80 swimmers at the meet which was a great turnout. Groups from across the region including, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Shreeveport, and a lady from California who was visiting family for the 4th July holiday, were all in attendance.
I entered 7 swims but ended up dropping the 200 free due to its proximity to the medley relay and the mile. So I ended up swimming 6 swims in a meet that lasted about 2.5 hours.
I went 4.36.xx on my 400 and honestly felt like I had a lot left. This was probably my best swim of the meet.
The 50 free I went 26.46 which I was very pleasantly surprised at.
The 100 free was my toughest and I died bad on the last 25 meters, and went 57.8. I was hoping for sub 57 so this was a little disappointing, but I really enjoyed this one since I had a close race, and despite coming out on the wrong side of the finish it was fun racing.
The 1500 was right after the medley relay and I knew it would be tough to swim quick. I felt ok but it was just not a quick race and I went 18.41.xx.
I led the medley relay off with a great back 50 and went 31.2. I was number three in the free relay and our relay had a great race with one of our other team relays, but yet again we just got pipped at the finish.
We ended up with about 12 of the RAM team swimming which was a great turnout and it appeared as though my team mates had a good time. We went to the social and nearly all my teammates were there. I think we may be putting in a bid for masters zones next year and suspect we will have another meet next year based on the success of the first RAM long course meet.
Updated July 6th, 2013 at 09:41 PM by StewartACarroll
I'm not much of a sprinter but I seem to be getting better at it. Last weekend, I joined our local summer league team, Madison Dolphins, along with 6 other Masters swimmers to compete in the Alabama State Games. The facilities were awesome. Half the building was an indoor 50m pool with a diving well. The other half was an indoor track and field stadium. The competition lanes were all 7'+ deep and it was set up with 10 lanes (8 used) running to a bulkhead. 6 more lanes were set up on the other side of the diving area for warm-ups/cool down. Everything was state of the art. The pool was a tad warm but still fast. That might have had to do with what appeared to be an erratic climate control system. On deck, temps were 80-85. It was cooler in the stands but noticeably different from the 70 degree temps in the large connecting hallway.
My only minor complaint with the meet was that they divided us up into obscure age groups to fill out all of the lanes. In general, that may be OK, but I was more competitive with some of the 25-40 year olds than I was with the 50-70 year olds I got placed with. I'm not sure why they didn't just seed it by our seed times. There would have been a lot of better races if they had done that for the masters. I get why they do it for the age groupers. Maybe it was hard to convince the software to do it different ways.
Short story is that I'm the 2013 6 time Alabama State Champion in my age group. Sure, three of those were unopposed and I'm not sure who exactly recognizes such a title. But supposedly, it qualifies me for a trip to the National State Games in Hershey, PA (all expenses paid by me). My 15 yr old son qualified as well and is now bugging me to go since it is apparently located near an amusement park (all expenses paid by me of course). Unfortunately, this isn't likely to be in the cards this year. I'm back to piling up yards for a possible SCM meet in November.
I swam 6 events thinking this would take about 6-8 hours to go through. It took 4. My last two swims probably suffered a little because of this. Ok... it took 8 when you add in the awards ceremony. Masters got medals for places 1-3. Age groupers got medals for 1-3 and ribbons for 4-6. With 7 events total, this took a while. They probably could have cut a lot of that out if they just awarded a high point trophy for each age division for masters. The kids that stuck around for it had fun so I was patient.
Here's the event details:
Seed Time: 2:02.71
Meet Time: 2:03.04
Splits: 29.07, 30.98, 31.74, 31.25
Yikes! What happened here? It looks like I faded at the end but this was mostly botched turns. Bulkheads get into my head for some reason and I kept jamming up on them. I was getting a little tired and I think I didn't warm up enough. Started to wonder if I had missed my taper.
Seed Time: 26.98
Meet Time: 25.97
I was hoping for 25.5 ish but I'll take the improvement. Got beat down by Jay (former college swimmer that spent all of 4 weeks getting ready for this event) who did a low 23. At least from this race, I knew there wasn't a problem with my taper.
Seed Time: 2:22.58
Meet Time: 2:21.75
Splits: 30.25, 41.81, 38.56, 31.13
My typical negative split IM. Here's my feb splits: 31.06, 40.87, 38.48, 32.17. So, I gained on the Fly and Free but lost a second on backstroke. Breaststroke was pretty much a wash. Jay was swimming next to me in this race which helped a lot. He went 29 on his fly and I tried to follow. When I turned for backstroke, I had trouble breathing so I slowed a bit to catch my breath. I assumed Jay was going to leave me but the damage wasn't too bad and I was still within striking distance when I came up for my first breaststroke breath. I caught him at 125 and tried to put as much distance on him as I could before the free assuming he would do what he just did to me on the 50 free race. Fortunately for me, 1) He wasn't a breaststroker, 2) 4 weeks of training wasn't enough to sustain his 100 pace and 3) I didn't know any of that. So, I put my head down and assumed he was on my heels for the rest of the race. Sometimes the imaginary guy chasing you down is worse than the real thing.
Seed Time: 1:10.77
Meet Time: 1:09.53
Splits: 33.03, 36.50
Hit the dive just right on this race. I couldn't believe how fast I was just gliding. I got in one solid dolphin kick + a pullout and popped up w/ good speed at 15 meters. What a ride! Finally broke 1:10 but my second 50 wasn't quite as nice as the first.
Seed Time: 1:10.00
Meet Time: 1:05.02
Splits: 30.45, 34.57
I tried to match my 200 IM fly speed for the first 50 (successful) and then hold on to my pace (no so successful). First 50 felt great. On the second 50, I could feel myself riding lower and lower into the water. I didn't crash too hard but a 4 second difference seems like a lot for me.
Seed Time: 57.83
Meet Time: 56.89
Splits: 27.42, 29.47
Swam next to Jay again and he paid me back for the 200 IM. I "held on" for the first 50 but he was just too fast (I think he split faster than my 50 free time) on the way to a mid 53. It was fun to try anyway.
Looking forward to it next year. Jay ages up into my age bracket next year so "6 time champion" may be a little harder in 2014. Great job to Dave C (4 time Alabama state champion) who I swim w/ on most mornings and Brandon (5 time Alabama state champion) who I swim w/ on Saturdays. For three of our Masters, this was their first meet. One of those even swam the 200 IM! And finally, congrats to the Madison Dolphins who took their team 100 miles to outscore all of the local teams and win the large team first place trophy!
Zones, Day 2
-- scratched the evil events
50 fly, 30.29, NR
My start wasn't as crisp as usual. My feet were separated when I hit the water. Had just an OK breakout. My fly felt smooth, but my turnover slowed a bit the last 10 meters. Small glide at the finish. Solid swim, but not at the level of my SCY 50 fly at Nats. Still happy with the time! I broke the NR, but missed the WR by .05 (which was my goal for this meet). I was a tiny bit disappointed, but, given everything, I'll gladly take the 30.29. I'm also psyched to have the 50 fly record in all three courses, despite not being a long course swimmer.
So I only swam 3 of my 6 individual events at this Zones meet. It was all I had the physical and mental energy for, and even that was pushing it. The timing of my malaise sucked, but one has to expect that as a masters swimmer. I'm glad I bucked up and swam the meet. The times were not PRs, but they were my best in my current age group and best non-tech suit times. And I am hopeful they will hold up as FINA #1s. I'll be watching the results at Mission for sure.
The best part of the meet -- as usual -- was hanging out with PV friends and teammates. And it was nice to see Patrick, who closed out the meet with a nice looking 400 IM.
Updated June 23rd, 2013 at 10:34 PM by The Fortress
I didn't swim yesterday; felt too poorly. I felt somewhat better today, but was still tired with low energy. I think I needed a couple more days for a return to full health. Given that, I'm extremely happy with my times today. But, ouch, they felt rough.
50 free, 28.6
I had a great start (12 SDKs) and felt good for about 35-40 meters and then struggled to the wall with a long glide at the finish. I was expecting a 29, so was very happy to see 28.6. This is .6 faster than last year and only .4 off the WR. Probably due to doing more freestyle with healthier shoulders. But, yikes, I felt done after this.
50 back, 32.41, WR
I had about 50-55 minutes rest after 50 back, but with the way I feel this was not enough. I had another good start, but only felt strong for 25 meters. I had a half body length over Fall at that point, but she cruised by me. I just felt dead. I was pleased to dip under my WR by a few hundredths. But honestly, I feel like I should be a good half second faster. I can't seem to get back to my tech suit PR. I've had life issues before a focus meet 3 long course seasons in a row. Is this a message that I should stick to short course?
I felt sickish in the warm down pool. Mollie said I was very flushed.
Mixed 200 medley relay, 2nd
I swam the backstroke leg. I was exhausted so decided to slow down my turnover and build it. Went 33.1. John, Cheryl and Alex were all very speedy, but we got nipped by VMST -- probably because Chris Stevenson crushed me on the backstroke leg!
I thought I had purchased a ticket for the social, but apparently I had not. This was fine as I went out for fabulous barbecue with my team, which is now full of fast boys who like to compete. We went to Buzz & Ned's and it lived up to its rave reviews.
I'm now back in my room cursing myself for once again forgetting my compression garments. My upper body takes more of a beating in long course.
I'm going to scratch the 50 breast tomorrow. I have the same 50-55 minutes rest before 50 fly. But I want to save whatever energy I have for fly without the evilstroke evilly interfering. 50 fly was my focus event for this meet after all, so I'm going to focus on it. The 100 breast is only 15 minutes after 50 fly. Who thinks I'll make it to the starting blocks?
Considering all I have going on with the move and the girls, I feel lucky to have even gotten in a long course meet. Our summer league team won its first A meet today and Lil Fort had PRs in 50 breast and 50 fly. She dropped three seconds in breast, and I'm wondering if she's becoming a bit of an evilstroker ...
Updated June 23rd, 2013 at 10:59 AM by The Fortress
The day started with an early morning 90 minute drive to Siesta Keys Beach, Sarasota arriving at 7:15 am for check-in, number marking, and pre-race meeting. I did a quick 5-min warm up to get used to the salt water, as my last salt water swim was in Waikiki-1993. My goal was to enjoy the swim and keep my stroke smooth all the way.
It was a beach running start in waves according to event and age (as under or over 50). When the men's 3K 50+ wave started, I went in on the side of the pack and let most of the group go as I stopped about mid waist to adjust my goggles. A triangle course, the first leg was against the surf and mild swells, and then a longer second leg, with the return leg parallel to the beach. With only five minutes between each wave the course quickly became crowded over three laps around. But by the middle of the second lap I had passed most the "pink" colored 50+ caps.
I ended up with the time of 47.29, a solid result for the 75-80% effort I made in the 3k, and 5th place is reasonable considering the 55-59 age group was competitive with 40.57 and 42.47 for 1st & 2nd. Results: http://goo.gl/YHp5D
Updated June 13th, 2013 at 09:11 PM by fdtotten
Sat Jun 8th 2013
Pan Ams Day 2 for me
Felt good, breathed twice,
hit my touch
Mon: 50 BK
Tue: 200 IM
Wed: Go home
Yesterday was the third day of a great meet for me. Nationals have been somewhat difficult for me as of late (labral tear, elbow tear, insomnia, power outages, etc.) But this meet I was healthy, uninjured and got at least a semblance of shut eye. And it really paid off with 6 PRs, 3 NRs and near misses on 2 other NRs.
I felt pretty good during warm up, just some leg fatigue. By day three, when you're UW 15 meters for all your races, leg fatigue is inevitable.
100 back, 1:01.30, PR, Missed NR by .01:
I'm not gonna lie. I looked up at the time and was a little heartbroken. I would rather have swum a 1:01.5. My splits were good -- 29.3 & 31.9. But I didn't have the leg power on the second 50, especially the last 25, and that cost me. My turns were a little glidey (2 strokes before flipping) and my entry on my start could have been cleaner. I let myself be disappointed during my warm down and then shrugged it off. The time was still a PR and I have been the beneficiary of a .01 swing on other occasions. Plus, it will still be the AA time this year since Karlyn swam a 1:01.7 earlier this year. I knew swimming this on day 3 wouldn't be ideal, so I will have to figure out when and where to swim it rested. Certainly keeps me hungry! And I am encouraged since I still feel like my 100 training wasn't ideal this season.
Here's a vid that Stud took with a nice "dammit" at the end:
50 free, 24.67, PR/NR
I used to dislike the 50 free. But since it occurred to me that I could try SDK-ing on the start, I like it more and may start swimming it more often. I had a tad slow reaction time compared to my other swims. I took 11 kicks on the start and from the vid it looks like that took me to about 13 meters. Then, I took 9 rather than my usual 5-6 on the turn. My breakouts didn't look great (lack of access to blocks). My flutter kick/leg drive looked really solid until right at the end. I was thrilled with the time! I knew 1980 Olympian Sue Walsh had swum a 24.7 last month, so knew I had to improve on my Zones time of 24.86. Really happy with this for the final event of a 3 day meet. Ellen and Stud took vids. I think that is Teen Fort screaming at the end.
Best event: 50 fly
Most Frustrating event: 100 back
Here's a couple other vids from the meet:
50 fly vid:
-- shows a total of 13 strokes and a glidey turn
100 IM vid:
-- no SDK on breast to free turn
-- did not need that breath inside the flags
I'm going to reboot for LCM Zones in late June. I'll be moving in late July, so July and August I will likely not be as laser focused on swimming. And I have to find a place to train in Pitt. As for next SCY season, I will not go to Santa Clara -- shallow outdoor pool. I may focus on the Harvard SCY meet and Colonies Zones SCY instead. Onward!
Teen Fort did not have a great meet. She didn't taper enough. But she ended with a great race in the 200 breast, taking the win in the final 5 yards. She hadn't swam that race since age 14. Funny, that her best race was the 200 breast and mine was the 50 fly! She did enjoy the experience and meeting lots of masters. I think she will talk up masters swimming in college next year and she may swim at LCM Nats at U of Md next summer.
Updated May 13th, 2013 at 05:30 PM by The Fortress
Saturday night I went out for dinner with my team mate Nikki and her mother. We went to the Webergrill restaurant downtown Indianapolis and despite an hour wait the food was well worth the wait. For future reference and events in Indy I would recommend the restaurant.
I had a really solid nights sleep and woke around 6am. I went through my normal morning routine of reshaving, brewing and drinking coffee and taking my vitamins. I then headed down stairs and had a nice leisurely breakfast of oatmeal and a bagel. I headed off to the pool later than usual and caught the last 4 heats of the women's 500 at around 9am. My friend Katie Gilmore with Alexandria masters swam an incredible race and ended up taking second in a blazing quick time of 5.06.
Today was my off race day and I had zero expectations for placing. First up was the 100 back followed by the 50 free. I had not swum a fast 100 back since 1992 and despite the odd back swim in practice(which are not swum all out) I have not swum the race at all. The 50 was never my thing and I don't recall the last race 50 and I bet it may have been back in the 1980s.
I did my normal warmup of about 1600 but did back 100s instead of my normal pace 100 frees. I practiced my turns and even joined the start lane and did a practice back start. After getting out and drying off I heard the start of the relays and only then realized I had not done a back finish and did not know the number of strokes from the flags in. Oops! In the end it did not matter because I had a great race, hitting all my turns, and taking four strokes into the finish and hitting the final wall spot on. My splits were 28.x, 29.x for a final time of 58.4. I felt really energized at the end and felt like I could have done another 50 at that pace. I am now determined to do a 200 back at some point in the future. I can definitely say I have not done one of those in an even longer time frame.
After the back, I took a nice long warm down which felt good. I got out wrestled my speedo fastskin3 on and then spent about 45 minutes stretching and focusing for the 50. I had entered on the only 50 time I have done since joining masters which was back in January and at 25.14, was over a second slower than my first 50 of yesterday's 100, and even slower than the first 50 of my 200. I felt with a good start and turn I could do a 23.x. I concentrated on taking a good track start and I got off the block really strong with a good breakout. I was half way down the pool and shock and horror I breathed. It was not intentional, but I breathed. I hit the turn really well, had a good streamline, kicked and the next thing I knew I had taken a second breath. I could not believe I had breathed. When I finished I was really upset at myself. I turned looked up and saw my time was 22.61. I had a moment of joy followed by that feeling of I could have gone even quicker. My time placed me 3rd, which I never ever would have imagined possible.
This meet exceeded my wildest expectations and my first place in the 1000 and third place in the 50 has to be one of the weirdest medal combos. I ended the meet with two golds, two bronzes, a fifth and an eighth. I would like to thank all the forumites for there support and encouragement since joining masters swimming. I am even more motivated to continue this fun masters journey. The most inspiring part of the week for me was seeing the 90 year old Vladimir Ouchaya's 20 minute plus 400 IM followed by a great 30 minute discussion with him about his life and how he quite smoking and took up swimming, competes regularly in his 90th year and has no intention of retiring any time soon. Swimming really is a life sport and my congratulations goes out to everyone who participated this week.
Had a fantastic time at the form/stalker dinner last night, meeting lots of new folk. One of them (same age) actually has a son the same year same college as Fort Son. Small world. Had a semi decent nights sleep for a traveling insomniac. The only am emergency was that Teen Fort lost a contact in the am and hadn't brought any replacements. Ack. I've learned the hard way to pack extras after swimming a one eyed day at Zones one year. In any event, I had a great day two and am so excited I fear I wont fall asleep.
50 fly, 25.70, NR/PR
I really thought that I would not swim faster than Zones where I had perfect walls. In fact, I had a wager on it. But I decided to use my nose clip for the first time in fly and took an extra kick on the second length. That and a little more rest allowed me to shave off .2. I did have a slight glide at the turn. The ever witty Ellen took a vid (thx!) and I counted 13 strokes. I didn't quite take the whole 30 meters UW, but was fairly close. Comparing vids, I can see my DPS has improved in fly since Greensboro; it felt long and powerful. Very happy about that swim.
100 IM, 1:02.3, PR
I hadn't swum the 100 IM in SCY in 2 years and never at nationals, so was a tad nervous. But very caffeinated! I missed the NR by .2 and it was all in my breast to free turn. I glided in and then, brain fart, didn't SDK off the wall. Maybe my legs where telling my brain they were done. I wanted at least a body length lead at the 50, and went out n 27.7 (12 + 12 SDK). Fast, but it didn't feel excessive. Did not have a particularly speedy evil leg, and lost some ground there to a real evilstroker. But my free leg was fairly solid and I pulled away a bit at the end. So psyched about the time! A PR by 2 seconds.
Really hoping for some sleep tonight. Tomorrow 100 back and 50 free. It could be the first nationals ever where I don't scratch an event. . The speedy Water Rat beat me to it!
Updated May 11th, 2013 at 10:46 PM by The Fortress