Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.
Popped in for 1500 with lots of bursts. Had a major calf cramp, and had some earlier in the week. Been foam rolling and stretching.
1 hour of RC/scapular exercises and stretching
Sunday, MD Series Meet in Annapolis:
100 free, Abort
Had a major calf cramp on the start. Opted to do 10 SDKs as dolphin kicking is easier than flutter kicking for me with a cramp. I was out pretty fast, but the calf seized up on the second turn. My right leg was basically useless, so I stopped at about 65 yards. I was in lane 8, so didn't disrupt anyone else. I was a tiny bit disappointed because this was going to be my 100 free in yards for the year.
Glad I experimented with more SDks on the start as that may be faster for me. I was a good 1/3 body length ahead of a boy next to me who went 55. One of my HIT swimmers, Melinda, said I had a great start and was out in 26 high. Hmm ... that's pretty fast for me; I was thinking 27, but maybe the start helped.
I wasn't sure what to do after this episode ... Typically, when my calf cramps this bad, I have to call it a day. I rubbed, stretched and put the whirlpool jets on it. I decided not to swim the 100 fly as I was feeling somewhat head case-ish. :-) And I didn't want to be forced to abort another 100.
50 breast, 33.1
Decided to try this event to see how things went since I had spent an hour driving to the meet. I hopped into heat 1 where there was an empty lane for an unofficial swim. Had a little cramp on the start, but was able to swim through it. Good thing my left leg does most of the pushing. I had a major glide at the end; should have taken another stroke. But this is a very fast time for me untapered. Though I just told the timer to get me on his stopwatch, so it was manual timing.
50 free, 25.1
No cramp in this race, whew. I was quick off the blocks but shallower on the start than I wanted to be, so only took 7-8 SDKs. I had wanted to try 10. Had a sub-par turn (a bit too far from the bulkhead) and the legs felt sloggy. So I was exceedingly happy with the time, swum at 7:00 pm. It's a tad bit faster than I went last year with similar rest.
Overall, I'm glad I went to the meet despite early problems. It gave me a chance to work on some free SDK skills. The pool was decent. They didn't have pads in though, so I was glad I hadn't signed up for any backstroke events. And the blocks were teeny. I felt sorry for the taller people; even I felt slightly precarious on them.
I didn't feel super great in the water today. I think maybe I had to take too much time off from the eye infection and perhaps did too many bursts the few days before the meet. But who really knows. Back to the grindstone!
Updated January 20th, 2013 at 09:02 PM by The Fortress
Before Christmas I signed up for my first Masters meet, the Jesse Coon Memorial meet in Bryan Texas(near the Texas A&M campus in College Station).
I set my alarm for 5.30am and my mother(who is visiting from England) and my daughter joined me on the 3.5 hour drive. The drive was long and uneventful.
I had signed up for 3 events based on team mates advice that these smaller meets go very quickly. I signed up for the 200, the 50 and the 100. The pool was at an Aeorfit fitness center and was fairly old, and the depth was pretty shallow. What the facility lacked the people made up for. The staff and event officials were very friendly and I really enjoyed the meet.
My plan for the 200 was to go out long but easy on the first 50, push the middle 100 and finish hard. It sounded good, but reality was much different. I really struggled to get going and just did not have it in this one. I entered with a 2 min time(because I have not swum this since college so did not know what to put). I ended up with a 1.58.6, which I was disappointed with, and based on practice times this was slow. At this point in my training I was hoping for 1.56.
Next up was the 50 free. This one I got going but only in the last 5 yards. My splits were interesting, 12.2, 12.4, for a 24.6. The time was again not that quick but I enjoyed this one. I had a young guy in the heat before me who went 25 flat so beating his time felt good. There was a young girl(18)who entered with a faster time than me and it was great beating her by some distance also.
My final event was the 100 free, and i felt was my best swim. I actually felt great and went 54.2, which I was pleased with. After getting out from the 100 I felt like I should have been warming up for the 200, I that fresh. Perhaps I needed a longer warmup after the long drive. Or it. could have been 20 years of non swimming cobwebs. I have a local event in a month so I will see my progress.
One thing going slow did was reinforce my desire to be faster and work even harder in practice.. I am really looking forward to a good week next week in the pool and weight room. My second 3 week cycle for Nationals starts bright and early Monday and this cycle increases yardage and intensity. I can't wait.
Updated January 19th, 2013 at 09:57 PM by StewartACarroll
Monday Dec 31st, 2012 400 KICK for Time
Tomorrow I will be a FINA 50!
Lately I've been preparing for the 400 Kick for Time
I showed up yesterday for Sunday practice and the pool was set up LCM, and the 400 Kick for time is SCY, so it was a no go. Showed up today for 5:30 am to 7:00 practice & the pool was still LCM, did most of the practice, then got out 15 minutes early, put on a B70 jammer & gave the 400 another shot,
my 1st 2 tries were 5:32 & 5:24,
today I went 5:08.11
050 33 0:33
100 37 1:10
150 39 1:49
200 39 2:28 1:18
250 40 3:08
300 40 3:48 1:20
350 40 4:28
400 40 5:08.11 1:20 2:40
went out a bit too hard but it didn't feel like it at the time
stuck with the NO STROKE RULE which I really wanted to break but didn't
wore a jammer
Recently Renewed my 2013 USMS membership
Don't have a team?
Consider registering with: Longhorn Masters / TXLA
especially if you ever swam for Longhorn Aquatics club or Masters, UT or if you are coming to the
2013 South Central SCY Zone Championships
April 5, 6 & 7 in Austin at the UT swim Center and you want to do some relays
Swam: Sun, mainly worked on flutter kick with a board, doing fast 50's & 100's
Did not swim on Saturday
5:30 - 7:00 dove around 6:40
LCM UT Swim Center main pool
Swam with Todd (who hasn't swum in 10 days) & Marcio (who's swum 3 times in the past 2 months) I was very impressed with how they hung in there and did the practice.
Trained beside David, Larry, Sharon, & Gull
dove in late, did 3 or 400
8 x 150 FR LCM
2 on 2:15
2 on 2:10
2 on 2:05
2 on 2:00
Made em leading the lane
did 6 x 100 K
We did 8 x150 same as above but PULL
Todd went 1st, he's faster when he has oars,
made em all again, held 1:55's & 6's, 1:52 on last one
drafting was much easier than leading
ASSIGNED: another 800 but I got out to prepare for my 400 kick
thanking about doubling
2013 South Central SCY Zone Championships
Fri Apr 5 - Sun Apr 7
UT Austin, TX
Busy few days off for me, starting with the storms that moved through the area yesterday. It was super windy (lost some pieces of gutter and my compost bin blew across the yard) with power outages throughout the area. A huge tree fell over near the high school, cutting power to most of the downtown and crushing two cars, and a double rainbow also filled the sky:
The local paper has a story about it here. The Rec Center also lost power so no swimming for me, which was fine since I was helping my wife get prepared for our annual lasagne dinner with family around the Christmas holiday. Great night with good food and time spent with loved ones.
This morning, with snow lightly falling, the Rec was open again, but a sign greeted us at the door announcing the pool temperature at 75 degrees.
With the power outage, the pool dropped about 10 degrees since Thursday. I had organized a squad meet with the local age group team as well as masters from nearby Williamstown, Ma, and we didn't let the colder water deter us. Well, one of our swimmers bailed and spent the whole morning in the sauna, but I enjoyed the cool water for a change. We again used the swim to gather nonperishable donations for the local food shelf as an "entry fee," a great way to branch into the community.
I joined the team in the water for quite literal warmups:
500 choice (I did 600)
5 x 50 builds on 1:15
1 x 100 FR strong (overkick odd lengths)
Then the racing began! Fourteen wees ones (and their three coaches) lined up with five of us from Bennington and our four new friends from Williamstown through the schedule of events below. I ended up swimming the 100 back (1.00.7), back in the Medley Relay, 100 free (53.7), and two legs on the 200 Free Relay to log 1225 yards. We also introduced the age groupers to the "cap relay," where the object is to get one member of the team into a standard latex cap and swim them to the other end of the pool - it was a blast!
A fun day, followed by a nap for me. We collected 25 pounds of food which will be a great help for our community. The plan is to start up training for the spring with the New Year, and I am thinking that I will actually be ready to start swimming in earnest by then again.
100 free, scratch
I didn't realize until late last night when I read Kirk's post that I had just missed the WR in the 50 free by .1. Still, I was aiming for a good night's sleep and opted to miss positive check in. And, honestly, I have a track record of doing better in the 50 free when it's not the first event of the day. Sometimes I nail the first event; but equally often it's a "get the cobwebs" out swim. I also wanted to put my remaining energy into my other swims. (This is sprinter think.)
50 back, 30.8
Very solid time, but it felt like a cobwebs event. I had a sub-par start and very glidely turn. The grab bar for backstroke is low at BU and I really dislike that. I need to figure out a way to not flat back this type of start. And flags simply bedevil me in SCM for backstroke. My SDK + stroke count is perfect for yards flags. I'm either gliding in or jamming it in SCM where I need another half stroke, not a full stroke. This was .2 slower than when I led off the medley relay 2 weeks ago, so I do have a faster time this year. Still, anytime you're under 31 that's fast. And I am now well accustomed to the fact that execution is everything in 50s.
50 breast, 36.92, PR/NR
WTH?! You cannot imagine my shock when I looked up and saw this time! It felt faster than 2 weeks ago when I swam a 38.2, but still. This time, unlike the 50 back, race execution was almost perfect. I had probably my best blasto start of the meet, a monster UW pullout, hit my walls well, and no floating up to the top after a pullout. Not being an evilstroker, I wasn't really sure what the national record was. Karlyn looked it up for me. I'm thinking some of that bungee cordz/parachute work paid off! Because this is a somewhat off event and I had a time this year, I was also extremely relaxed before the event. Very often, I have excellent times when this is the case.
100 free split in 200 free, 1:04.21, PR
I was so happy after my 50 breast that I was ready to call it a meet. But I have had this goal of trying to swim all 4 50s, all 4 100s and the 100 IM this season in SCM. This was my only chance to swim the 100 free, so, encouraged by SwimStud, I decided to swim it. I haven't swum this race since 2006 (1:06 at the very end of this same meet) ... I almost never race the 100 free. So I was somewhat unsure of a race strategy. I took 9-10 SDKs on the start and 5-6 off each turn. Stud said all my breakouts were smooth, and they felt that way. I guess doing the ins & outs in practice helped. I breathed doubles the whole way, with a single thrown in a bit before the turn on the second and third length. Splits were 30.6/33.6, pretty good for me, especially given the fact that I was tired and my muscles were screaming at me the second 50. The 100 free really isn't so bad with the SDKs. Now I want to do it in yards! Right now, this time is #1, helped along by the fact that some other speedy freestylers like Eney have been injured or whatnot.
Overall, this is definitely my best meet of the year! Maybe my best meet since March 2011. I had 4 PRs. While I was thrilled with my two NRs, I was also extremely pleased with my 100 fly and 100 free. 100 IM was probably my worst event with that debacle on the start. Suffice to say, I am a fan of the lay on the couch for a week before your meet taper! I may re-think future tapers somewhat. I had thought it was not ideal to be out of the water the week before a meet. I was only in the water 3 of 8 days before the meet, but it seemed to have little ill effect.
I don't feel quite as exhausted and sore as usual after a two day meet, but I may be still on a high! It is very cool having the NRs in all four 50s. As a bonus, my NR in the 100 backstroke survived the meet!
Updated December 12th, 2012 at 11:11 AM by The Fortress
Just back from another great weekend of racing in Boston at the New England Masters scm championships. I really like the Boston University pool, even though I spent a lot of time in the outside lanes. Ahh, OUTSIDE SMOKE! (there was some inside at the hotel, you'll get there if you keep reading).
Here is what I entered and how I did (seed times were either PB or "I think I should be able do this time." I'll update splits another night:
06 100 SCM IM 1:11.62
- Strong fly and back, felt like I didn't lose ground on the breast, then sprinted home. Felt really good. This one gets a
08 200 SCM Breast 3:13.31
(43.84, 49.72[1:33.56], 50.03, 50.09[1:40.12])
- Gridge #1 of the day - I was one person shy of swimming with AZTimm, and he beat me, as expected
- Race was good; I had to choose at the 100 if I was going to really start hammering or not, and I really didn't, opting to continue another 50 of "ride the glide." Happy with the time.
12 200 SCM Back 2:24.82
(34.19, 35.44[1:09.63], 36.01, 36.04[1:12.05])
- Super duper psyched with this swim. I put a lot of effort into working the underwaters more and staying in control for the first 100, then hitting the accelerator. My wife taped it - my left hand is doing something funny on entry, so I need to address that. Slipped on the wall at 125, and I probably don't have to remind everyone that this event is perhaps the most painful of all since it is so kick-driven. My quads were screaming the whole rest of the meet, but I loved the pain.
18 50 SCM Fly 0:31.20
- Mimicked Fort (not really duplicated since I don't think she swam it) and blasted the underwaters. Popped up a few meters shy of the yellow line going out, and took 10 SDK's off the wall on the way home. This was a really fast time for me.
20 200 SCM Free 2:14.30
(31.01, 35.15[1:06.16], 34.45, 32.37[1:06.82])
- Another fast swim with a slightly altered strategy from my normal 200. Felt strong on the front half but need to really start grinding it out earlier in the second half.
Day 1 done (flogged 1350 meters and 1500 yards), and off to dinner with my wife, son, SwimStud, Fortress, and AZTimm at a Mexican place across the street from the pool. Glad the day ended somewhat early as the joint was hopping when we left. Excellent dinner and conversation, although I have to say that chicken chimichangas are off the menu during weekend meets from now on, I don't want to repeat the gut rot anytime soon.
Got to the hotel shortly (didn't stay at meet hotel, but found another one close to Fenway that had breakfast) after 6pm, so lots of time to relax. Was debating on taking an Ambien to help sleep and I was pretty wiped out so fell asleep by 9:30ish on my own. Good thing, as right before 3am the fire alarm went off. First time in a hotel that this has happened, apparantly due to some people smoking pot a few floors above us. Left most of my stuff in the room (save goggles and suit in case save a reply of Backdraft loomed), and around 3:45 we got the all clear to leave the lobby and go back upstairs. Finally got back to bed closer to 5 and up at 7:30.
Back at the pool for Day 2, my aunt Pat came down to sit in the sauna on her day off. I see her a few times a year, and just like when we were kids she makes a point to be a cheerleader for us. <3
30 400 SCM Free 4:45.57
(31.85, 35.02[1:06.87], 36.05, 36.54[1:12.59,2:19.46],
36.79, 36.62[1:13.41], 36.50, 34.46[1:10.96,2:24.37])
- This was gridge number two, the five-way parlay looking for greatest time drop. That Guy, can you get the results posted for us? Q-brain was the winner I believe.
-Was 8 seconds faster than last year, and I felt in control. I am still weary of inflicting too much pain at this distance, and could have stepped it up a notch around the 225 mark, but didn't. The gridge (as always) really forced me to put a lot of effort into swimming faster than normal, so I am much obliged, gentlemen.
- I counted for Tim's great swim and he reciprocated the favor - thanks again, Tim.
34 100 SCM Free 1:00.43
went 58.22 (lane 10)
- :fistpump: I wanted to get under 1 minute, and was surprised at a low 58. I went old school splitting on this: 25 strong (87%), 25 build, 25 SPRINT, 25 whatever is left. Worked out well; I don't mind the pain on the 100's.
38 50 SCM Back 0:31.15
went 30.64 (lane 10)
- So I thought that there were 10 heats, but there were actually 8. 7 was in the water and I was still farting around behind the blocks, then the timers shout my name and I to the water. The judge mentioned "worse than the 8 and unders", but I think he was talking about my start.
- with Fort - I SDK'd 12 going out and came up even closer to the yellow lines than yesterday's fly, slipped on the turn, SDK'd 10 and churned home. I think I won this gridge by two tenths of a second.
- Apparently in the warmdown lane I "cannonballed" SwimStud, as all of a sudden, in my weakened state, he grabbed my ankle and dunked me. Sorry Rich, but good times in the warmdown pool nonetheless.
44 200 SCM Fly 2:43.33
- Saturday night I was strongly trying to persuade myself to swim this wonderful event again, and after the "Cyprus Hill gathering" way past my bedtime I decided to skip it. I swam it a month ago in Maine, and I wanted to focus on my last event. Sorry to let the Butternuts among us down. :TargetShootingPracticeOpen:
48 100 SCM Back 1:07.75
- This one gets a
- Reverted to old school 100 splitting again, and went 32.83, 32.93. Was able to keep my SDK's off the walls as planned (8,6,6,5) and although I jammed the first turn the final time was excellent.
(Flogged 2150m and 800yds)
So, nine swims and nine PB's (many multi-second drops), great times with my family as well as swimming friends (including ones not on the forums), first near missed swim and false fire alarm at the hotel, exceeeded max number of images in blog post and needed to edit, and dinner with ice cream from Friendly's on the three hour ride home. Can't wait for next year!
Updated December 31st, 2012 at 05:02 PM by rxleakem
I am really happy with today's events, especially considering I was only in the water 3 out of the last 8 days before the meet. Minor glitches in every race, as there so often are, but I seemed to do better as the day went on.
100 IM, 1:12.2
My first big mistake right off the bat. I dove in and my hands separated on the dive with my left arm going down to my waist. I'm not sure this has ever happened to me on a start in a meet ... not at BU anyway. The same thing had happened to me earlier in warm up. So I spent some time wondering if I had been DQ'd, though this must be virtually impossible for officials to see. It certainly made me slower and took away my best weapon (my start and initial SDK). I soldiered on. Didn't feel that great on the last length. Last year, I was 1:11.99 here. I almost certainly would have been faster without that initial mishap, so was pleased with the end result especially given the stomach issues of the week. And it is still my 3rd fastest time of my masters career.
50 free, 27.91, PR, NR
My free felt very good in warm up, so I was optimistic, just a bit spooked about the start. Oddly, I was not really set on the start. I thought the starter said "stand," but quickly saw that he had not and got back down only an instant before the gun went off. I'm not sure the miscue hindered me as I still got off the blocks faster than the adjacent lanes. Definitely took a good look at the wall, , and without thinking took a breath quickly off the turn. I usually take one half way on the second length. Happily, my mental error mattered not. I touched in my best time ever, faster than my B70 swims. This had been my focus event for the meet; I've done much more AFAP freestyle in practice this fall with my shoulder better. I was still really surprised and thrilled. As Ande would say, the NR was "soft" and woud eventually be broken. I am no less delighted. My first NR in a non-dolphin kick event!
100 fly, 1:09.3, PR
I went thought the usual mental process of whether I should scratch this event. . I was tired and happy after the 50 free. And was also wondering whether perhaps a sickness taper was good for 50s, but not so much for 100s. But everyone else seemed like they were dreading it too, so I had company. And I thoroughly surprised myself! This is .5 faster than my B70 time from 2009. Last year at this meet, I went a 1:11. The race went well except that I swallowed a huge mouthful of water going into my third turn. I didn't get as much air as I wanted and couldn't SDK as far as I normally do off that wall. I definitely died the last 15 meters despite going out in what I thought was easy speed. I was just shocked when I looked at the clock. Karlyn later told me I swam a "ballsy race" because I was a tad ahead of her at the 75. The truth is that I never saw her or even looked for her because I assumed, based on her times and seed that she'd beat me by several seconds in SCM. I guess I have learned to swim my own races. I was astonished to beat AJ Block, lanes away, who beat me in yards at nationals. For the third event swim of the day, this is fantastic for me. This time makes me much more excited to do this race in yards! More easy speed or ultra fly in practice.
A nice dinner after with fellow bloggers SwimStud, Mike and Tim and drinks at the hotel with Stud. Stud gets kudos for helping into my uncomfortable Arena closed back suit. I switched into an open back suit during my 2.5+ hour break before 100 fly and was much more comfy. Hoping for a little shut eye. But my hotel room is very warm. Who woud think I'd have to open my window in Dec. in Boston?!
I think I will scratch the 100 free fairly early tomorrow. Don't need to do a split request and would rather swim the 100, if I want to, at the end of the meet in the 200 rather than before the 50 back.
Updated December 8th, 2012 at 10:28 PM by The Fortress
Sun Dec 2nd 2012 Meet Day 2
400 Medley Relay
200 - 239 Men
Going into the meet, My guess times for this relay were
AR 61.9 DG 66.9 JS 61.9 MV 53.9
Here's how it turned out
BK 1:00.40 29.38 31.02 1:00.40 Me
BR 1:05.60 30.91 34.69 2:06.00 David Guthrie
FL 1:01.22 28.28 32.94 3:07.22 jim Sauer
Fr 0:52.46 24.78 27.68 3:59.68 Mike Varozza
we were shocked & psyched,
the previous WR was 4:09.2
here's how things went last year
50 BR 32.40
Pretty good time, think I was 2:14 last year
2 IM & 50 FL were back to back
Last event did it for the heck of it
Event 55 Men 45-49 800 SC Meter Freestyle
Regional: 9:35.13 * 12/2/2012 Anders Rasmussen
1 Rasmussen, Anders 49 TXLA-ST 9:35.13*
Updated December 4th, 2012 at 03:19 PM by ande
The SCM Festival was festive! First off, I have to note that this may be the least rest I've ever had for a meet. I did a weight + sprint double on Tuesday and rested 3 days. My legs felt decidedly un-fresh. Plus, I swam all 5 events, no scratches, for the first time in years. I am extremely pleased with the results.
50 breast, 38.2
Fast start; good length UW. I had a bit of a glide into the turn which killed some momentum. But otherwise a solid swim for a fake evilstroker. This is the same time I did last year at BU fully tapered, though I've been training better this fall. Teen Fort, the family evilstroker, said my stroke was "ugly." Well, yes, I just power through it.
200 mixed medley relay (160-199), 2:03.5, 1st (split request for 50 back, 30.6)
I swam the backstroke leg on the relay and went 30.6. Coach Cheryl said I flat backed the start and I could feel that. And unaccustomed to SCM flags on backstroke, I had a slightly glidey turn and very glidey finish, should have taken an extra stroke. Teen Fort claimed I killed her "sexy relay start." I was expecting possibly a second slower, so was thrilled with this time! It's only .1 off my WR. Definitely faster than the 27.8 I swam at the Sprint Classic even with the glidey bits. I put in a split request, so if anything goes awry in Boston, I have a speedy time for the year. This was my best swim of the meet, for sure.
This same relay time was #1 in the nation last year, so I think we'll stack up fairly well. Legs hurting after ... Spending 3/4 of the race UW does take a toll.
100 breast, 1:24+
This is my virgin 100 breast in SCM. It only took me 8 years of masters swimming to make the attempt. I may not have except that I had a third SCM meet this year. The race seemed to go pretty well until the last half length when my body suddenly felt paralytic and I limped to the wall. Speedo could tell from the stands I had nuthin at the end. Still, I am super happy with this time; it would have been FINA TT last year. I honestly thought I'd go my entry time of 1:27 based on my 1:29 in long course. At this juncture, my body was thinking it might be done having swum the usual 3 events. But onward. I had a fairly decent break before the next relay and had a cup of coffee. Teen Fort has not yet learned the wonders of coffee. I'm predicting college will change that.
Mixed 200 free relay (160-199), 1:52+, 1st
Coach Cheryl had us swim fastest to slowest, telling Teen Fort (who was reluctantly anchoring) that she "had her reasons." Certainly, it's easier to swim with clear water. This turned out to be a great race. Speedo led off with a blazing 25.1 -- proving that his extended taper was spot on. Teen Fort had to hold off a fast closing speedy guy. I wasn't sure she could do it, but she claimed the win for us by less than .1. I shocked myself by splitting a 27.8 with an ultra flat splatty start. I took an extra breath on the first 25 and my legs felt tiiiired, though Speedo confirmed I was, in fact, kicking hard. I did peek at the wall this time and felt like I had a very good turn and breakout. Psyched to swim this event tapered! I might have two chances at NE Champs.
We should be in the mix on this relay too.
400 medley relay (160-199), 4:42, 1st
I'm not sure anyone was looking forward to this relay besides Teen Fort. Well, Speedo pretended to get fired up. I had guesttimated to Coach Cheryl a couple days ago that I would likely go a 1:13 split as the 5th event of the day. I took it out very cautiously, could not stay under as long as usual due to leg fatigue and clocked in at 1:12. It was just a workmanlike-workout effort. Teen Fort thought I was completely loafing. Ah, the conceit of youth. They don't understand the effect of 5 events on an unrested drop dead 50+ sprinter. Speedo had a blazing anchor leg (55) on the end, closely after having thrown down a 29 in the 50 back. It may have helped that the computers went completely on the fritz during the event preceeding the relay, causing a mini delay of meet.
Complete failure to warm down after this event.
All in all, it was an extremely good meet. My relay mates were awesome, I clocked some good times and had the requisite post meet beer and protein. It was fantastic to see our teammate Bob Hansen back in the pool competing. I am now really ready for a nap or vegetation. Legs are screaming, the couch is beckoning and I'm getting hungry again. I need to train hard next week, but tomorrow may have to be a recovery day in the pool.
The Little Devil Roddin, who swam a beautiful 100 IM himself, reminded me that I really need to swim the 100 IM more. Yes, I do.
Speedo went on a pub crawl Saturday and then swam lights out today. What does this say about beer and swimming?
Teen Fort had a very good meet, especially after being sick for a week. She smoked me in the evil events, so can continue to mock my stroke. She woke up 5 minutes before we left the house after I had been up an hour. How does one wake up in 5 minutes?!
Updated November 18th, 2012 at 09:27 PM by The Fortress
First - thanks to all you in blogger land that have served our country in the military. I appreciate the sacrifice that you and your family have made for our country and the freedoms that we enjoy in it.
Had a great weekend trip up to Maine for the 5th Annual Greater Portland Swim Meet. After I finished coaching the masters group here in town (and confirmed my suspicion that it is, indeed, possible to deposit a human into a standard latex swimming cap then transport them down the length of the pool (I'll post a picture the next time this happens), I grabbed a quick lunch and hit the road for a 4.5 hour drive to Maine. I arrived at my friend's house as dinner preparations were underway, and was able to catch up with my kayaker Bobby, his wife Val, and their son Troy.
Val's parents came by and we enjoyed a great dinner of lasagne, salad, and chocolate cake with some Ben and Jerry's for dessert. Great conversation, especially since it was not dominated by swimming (which happens way to often), then we played some Mario Cart on the Wii before getting to bed. A good breakfast today then I made the ten minute drive across town to the Riverton community pool.
6 lane, 25 meter pool, 82 degrees
After getting changed (wore my New England Master square leg suit for warmups, and Yingfa racer for events) I ran into JBS and warmed up in the lane next to him. I have two inspirations for this meet - doing the Brute Squad events just like John did last year, and another I'll discribe later for the 200 fly. I assured John I wouldn't blame him for choosing these events, because the idea of the challange (even though this particular one is not being run this year) in swimming the three events in one meet that most people never swim is just the right kind of crazy for me to take on.
Anywho, got in my standard 1300 warmup and rested during the 400 FR with my yaker and family, who came to watch me suffer through the 400 IM. IIt was Bob's first ever swim meet experience, so I explained a little bit about how the whole thing works and my own procedures leading up to a swim. I almost would rather swim an ultra-marathon OW swim over pool events these days, as there is a lot more energy involved in preparing for tactics in the pool events, whereas for the most part you just hop in a swim 10 miles. Well, it kind of makes sense I guess.
400 IM 5:32.85
(1:21.47) - missed the pad twice I guess
- Only the second time I have swam this race, and I felt really happy with the time. I had to ease a bit on the second 50 of the fly as I didn't want a repeat of my first attempt at this, and was thinking "crap, I'm going to swim the 200 fly after this." Settled into a really smooth back leg, with strong turnover and little kick as I controlled breathing. Then I just focused on staying underwater as long as possible on breast before powering home the free portion. Bob mentioned that I looked really good until the breast leg, and I laughed because while it is still not stellar, it has improved dramatically over last year. Did a 200 before this and 150 after to loosen up, and waited a bit before the ...
200 Fly 2:43.33
- I was talking with John before this, as we were the only two doing it, about warming up, and we both figured we'd just swim it (why waste any energy?) I tried to find my inner-TG DPS flyer and took it easy for the first 150. Some may call it loafing (I did), but I maintained 8 spl, then decided to build into the seventh 25 and then lay the hammer down (it wasn't heavy, believe me) on the last length.
- Did this in honor of Peony Munger from the Pacific Northwest that James mentioned in his meet write-up. What an incredible woman who left a great legacy for USMS in this difficult event.
50 Breast 39.58
- Did this for kicks, frog kicks that is. After a 150 cooldown from the fly, I swam a really fast time for me. I had Dan from the Pittsfield (MA) Polar Bears watch me, and he gave good advice about improving my start and also keeping my hands more in front of my body instead of trying to bring them to my chest. I almost got DQ'd on the start - I have been breaking streamline, holding my hands apart and deploying the dolphin kick, then resuming my pull, but the official wasn't all that sure that I could stop my pull to kick. I do intentionally break streamline and move my hands apart, but I'll have to check on this to be sure I don't get deeked from doing the only thing that is fast about my breaststroke at this point.
1500 Free +split request 19:41.94
(400 = 5:06.66, 800 = 10:28.62)
33.63 36.79 38.35 38.29 39.61
39.65 40.20 40.14 40.67 40.73
39.71 38.62 41.56 40.57 39.59
40.51 37.46 39.64 41.38 41.45
39.75 39.82 40.51 40.59 41.06
39.29 40.08 38.85 40.09 33.35
- My first mile swim in the pool. My plan was to just lengthen out my 500 strategy, by doing 1-2 SDK's off each wall, kicking hard past the flags then dropping into strong DPS and a two-beat kick to maximize shoulder roll. I was also thinking about pwb's 800 from yesterday and counted strokes. I was able to hold 13-14 spl, but when I didn't SDK it jumped to 16. I wanted to negative split, but think my second 500 was too slow to accomplish this, as I tried to pick it up too soon and felt like crap, so I slowed down more than I probably would have. I kicked a bit farther off each wall as the 100's ticked off, and with 200 left my stomach was aching. I did my best to switch to a six-beat kick anyway, and on the last 50 gave everything left in the tank. (Thankfully it staying in there too, because on more than one occasion I was not sure that would happen)
After this I did a 100 float, flogging 4250 meters for the day. This is a great meet, as Son is able to provide the only 1500 scm in New England as well as all of the stroke and IM options in a meet that takes about 3.5 hours from start to finish. I was very thankful that he was also able to get the officials and timers, as well as count my 1500, to allow this meet to happen. It is a fast pool with a great mix of fast swimmers as well as folks entering their first event.
It was a long ride home, but I manged to get gas in New Hampshire for 17 cents cheaper than here at home. I also stopped at Wendy's for a grilled chicken sandwich and french fries to help restock my glycogen stores, and added a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich from my second pit stop. Always great to check in with my Maine breather, and be around a great group of folks helping to reach their community with the joys of masters swimming!
Updated November 13th, 2012 at 10:00 PM by rxleakem
Fantastic time had as per usual at this fun meet. I had a first half bad/second half very good meet.
50 free split in 100 free, epic fail
The starter held us forever ... Had a poor breakout but then motored along ... until .. I only got half of one foot on the wall and lost all momentum. I just cruised the rest of the length and hopped out. I was disappointed as I wanted to crank a fast 50, but I've never been a huge fan of bulkhead turns (though I've never screwed up this badly). I also think the 50 free is not a great first event. I seem to swim it better after I've gotten the cobwebs out. Live and learn, and crap happens. No big deal.
50 breast split in 100, 33.6
Meh. I got off the blocks very fast, but didn't have my best underwater and had to float to the surface. Then I was so preoccupied with the next pullout that I forgot to keep my head down. So the second 25 was icky. I know I can go faster.
Teen Fort was in the same heat. She insisted on taking her 100 out in 32.9 to make sure I did not think I was an evil stroker. She will likely make TT in that event based on last years rankings.
100 IM, NS
I decided to pause and regroup and refuel at this point. It also seemed more fun to swim the 50 back later next to my speedy friend Susan. Masters perogative. There was a break around this point and I hopped in and did a couple backstroke starts as I hadn't done any in warm up. Jazz Hands, who hasn't swum at all lately, hopped in and did an AFAP 50 from a push in a brief. Teen Fort got him at 23.3. His low volume approach seems to work for him!
Also video'd Teen Fort winning the 50 breast, where she declared she had a "sexy start." I think many PV folk were entertained having a very extroverted 18 year old on deck.
50 back, 27.8
I was hoping, ideally, to crank a high 27 and so was very happy with the time. Last year at the Sprint Classic, I went a 28.2. I took 15 & 16 kicks by 25 pursuant to the race plan. I was told I was right at 15m on the start and a foot short on the second 25. Teen Fort video'd this race for me. I heard her scream "Go Mom" before the start, which really made me smile.
Here's the vid:
I could have taken one more SDK on the second 25!
Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters, 1st, cumulative time of 52.21
Getting a bit tired by this point. So I was really shocked that I pulled off my four fastest 25s EVER during 8 years of competing in this event including with tech suits. I needed to go faster this year too bc there were some fast times thrown down by the other female sprinter beasts. I felt like I had great blasto fast off the blocks starts with good distance. My plyometric focus seems to have transformed my forward starts in the last year or so. They were such a glaring weakness for a few years.
25 fly, 1st
Last year 13.30. This year 12.30. WTH?! I must have messed up last year? I had a great start here, but a subpar breakout. Still, seems very quick.
25 back, 1st
Last year, 13.45. This year, 13.06. I totally flat backed the start. But still got away quickly and took my usual 15 kicks and stuck the finish.
25 breast, 2nd behind Teen Fort of course
Last year, 15.79. This year, 15.24. I had maybe my best start of the meet in this race. Teen Fort had to come from behind to preserve her family evil stroke domination. My stroke felt much better than in the previous 50. I will have to chant head down before future breaststroke races.
25 free, 1st:
Last year, 12.25. This year, 11.61. Another great start, a little glidey at the finish. I think this bodes well for a fast 50 free in the future. Well, assuming I can execute a flip turn.
So all in all a pretty good meet despite some early technical difficulties. I'm pleased to have this much speed early in the season.
More fun and beers had at Speedo's after party. I think my shoulders will feel mashed up later from all the starts. I may beg Mr. Fort for a back rub.
Storm coming. 70 MPH winds expected. I really really hope we don't lose power, but it seems likely. School is already cancelled Monday and Tuesday much to the delight of my kids.
Updated October 28th, 2012 at 08:45 PM by The Fortress
Sun Oct 21 2012
Jim & Dick were doing the postal 6k so I decided to join them
Sun noon practice
dove in at 12:05.00
1000 11:21.6 5:40.7
(took a little break at 1000)
1050 12:04.9 43.2
1500 17:11.1 5:49.5
2000 22:56.1 5:44.6 11:34.1
Took a tiny break at 2k
2050 23:37.1 41.03
2500 28:47.6 5:52.0
3000 34:31.4 5:43.8 11:35.8
Took a break after 3k
3300 37:59.3 19:03.7
3500 40:17.9 5:46.5
4000 46:00.9 5:43.0 11:19.5
Took a break after 4k
4500 51:55.8 5:54.9
4950 56:58.3 18:59.6
5000 57:33.4 5:37.6 11:32.5
Took a break after 5k
5200 59:58.9 (hr swim comparison)
5500 63:19.0 5:45.6
6000 68:49.56 5:30.5 11:16.1
Felt pretty good
Took small breaks at each 1000
Picked up the pace on the last 1000
Updated October 22nd, 2012 at 09:33 AM by ande
I woke up at 5:45 am today. This bears repeating. I, Leslie Livingston, woke up at 5:45 am today. I don't recall complaining about it either. I just made sure Jimby was awake and headed straight to the coffee machine. 20 minutes later Jazzy arrived and I was still guzzling caffeine and trying to eat something. Normally, I would never have considered journeying to a meet at this ungodly hour. But Jimby needed some succor and companionship in his quest to garner his first ever AA time in the 100 free. This was his third attempt at the event. Before this meet, he stood two hundredths of a second off Greg Shaw's time from Omaha. Who knew that a self described weak minded person had this much persistence?
Anyway, we made the hour plus trek to Baltimore without getting lost. I warmed up in the indoor short course meter pool. I saw no point in getting in the long course pool except to check out the backstroke blocks. Unfortunately, I checked the wrong end, the eight foot deep end, forgetting 50s start at the other end in long course. Just another reason long course sucks.
I hadn't entered 50 free, so happily had some time to continue to wake up. Jimby swam the 50 free and improved his time slightly. Plagued by elbow issues too, Jazz did a 50 flutter kick, posting a 41. This put the thought in my head that I would just kick a 50 back for time, not worrying about the 15 meter mark. Having only rested a couple days and swimming in an inferior pool, I figured I wouldn't be very close to my Omaha time.
So I wandered over to the correct end of the pool for 50s. Looked down, four feet at that end. WTF. I told Mollie Grover I would likely crash. Take your mark, crash. Well, maybe not a total crash, but an abrupt graze with a seemingly dead stop. I readjusted, went a few more feet and then grazed the bottom again. So much for people telling me I can train and compete in four feet deep pools ... But no matter! I persisted in my 50 kick for time. I went a little less than 3/4 of the pool underwater, maybe 40 kicks. I suspect I could have gone farther if I had not lost some momentum from the grazings or felt like pushing it more. Anyhoo, came up, noticeably slowing down flutter kicking on the surface, and touched in 35.2. This is less than 3 seconds slower than my Omaha time. So I'm thinking it's a decent 50 kick time -- especially given that the pool bit me twice. It would be fun to try it again in a deeper pool.
Oddly, very oddly, I was not DQ'd. At least no official approached me telling me I was DQ'd. Maybe they didn't see me? (Jazz video'd and said it was quite modernist with me missing for most of the vid.) I had planned to tell the referee that I would blast well past the 15 meter mark, but he was way down at the far end with the starter. I have never actually been at a meet where the starter was not at the start end ... These MD Series meets are, er, unique. But I really enjoyed both of them that I did this summer.
On to the 50 fly. Whoops, too busy chatting away with Jazz (about lifting) and Jimby and Skip (about various swimming topics). I saw my heat behind the blocks and didn't feel inclined to race over to try to make it. 50 breast was just minutes later anyway.
50 breast. Had kind of a sloppy entry, but otherwise everything seemed decent enough (who can really tell with this stroke?). I didn't really think about kicking hard until the last bit of the race. When one never does evil kick, one forgets to focus on it in a race ... Still, I went a 39.1, which is only .1 slower than Omaha. Not bad for no taper and doing weights earlier in the week. I like the 50 evil in long course. I am never tired afterward. This probably comes from not really using my legs much and getting to breath all the time. I was all ready for the 50 fly after that easy race.
But now it was time for Jimby's much anticipated 100 free, which I'm sure he'll blog about later, probably in a tldr format. He was simply masterly. Good start and breakout, a controlled first 50 and just hammered it home the second 50 with good tempo the whole way. He need to go faster than a 1:02.66 to claim the current fastest spot and he went a sizzling 1:01.4. Out to lunch after. Much fun had all around. Though I feel I should still do a speed workout tomorrow.
Another fair warning: long race report blog to follow ...
This marked my third year swimming in the P2P 2.4 mile swim in Casco Bay, separating Peaks Island from the East End Beach in Portland, Maine. I first learned of this event after stumbling across the blog of Pat Gallant-Charette and asking our friends who live in Portland about this fundraising event for the YMCA in the region. Bobby had heard of it and had a kayak and a willingness to paddle for me, so I began my dive back into swimming (after a ten year + hiatus from the sport) by training for it. Most folks take the ferry out to the island in the morning (although one EC vet opted to swim it as a warmup this year), and after finalizing registration and a brief meeting we are sent off in one of four waves through the Atlantic Ocean to the finish line, passing Fort Gorges. Here is a link to the race map.
Since the weather was forcasted to be beautiful, we headed up to Maine in two vechiles: Lena took Preston and our nephew Adam in the car and I took the motorcycle. It was cloudy until we hit the border of Vacationland on the five hour trek, but then the sun popped out and did not disappear the entire weekend. What a glorious ride! After checking in at the Y and picking up my packet on Friday, we met up with our Maine hosts and ate at Tortilla Flat before heading back to the house, where Bobby and I took a short motorcycle cruise around town and to the park overlooking Casco Bay towards Peaks Island:
JBS contacted me earlier in the week to invite me to join the group that he and slknight swim with for a warmup at the outdoor Kiwanis Pool if I was up for it. I figured that I since I was able to get up to join tjrpatt in Philly for a 6am practice I could do the same in Portland, and Bobby and family was willing to get up so I dropped in for some pool tourism and about 400 meters are stretching out before the race. John gave me a ride to the ferry and I had a new friend, Jeff, snap this picture of your intrepid bloggers for your viewing pleasure:
We reached to island and signed off on waivers and got our timing chip. In the process I met up with Bobby, who paddled out with a friend instead of boarding the ferry, and was able to pass off my clothes to him and get duct tape on my feet before the final morning briefings took place. Duct tape? Yes, since the beach is essentially a mussel bed with sharp shells and some rocks, so wading out to the start can be treacherous (I still managed a few cuts on my toes this year). I also finally met Pat before the swim, as I did not find her last year during a season where she completed both the English and Catalina channels. Pat rocks!
There was a brief moment of silence to honor three pioneers of the race before a warmup period was allowed. After the my experience the first year, shivering in the cold between "warmups" and the start of the swim, I stayed on the beach and watched as the yakers departed from the beach and many got in some practice strokes. After a bit of work on the organizers part to clear the water and line up the waves of swimmers, I slowly entered the water with the first group to the end of the pier to await our sendoff, gazing past the waiting kayakers and towards the far end of the bay.
As arms and legs started to flail at the start, I found myself towards the center of the pod as we made strides into the cool water, a balmy 64-65 degrees this year. I have gotten a little more accustomed to not only the "ice cream headache" from the cold water but also the bumping at the start of the race, and didn't really get to tied up with anyone besides the usual hitting of hands and tapping of toes. I was able to get my head fully submerged within twenty strokes, and got into a strong swimming pattern. I found Bobby easily off shore due to the American Flag sailing above his kayak, and we made our way out into the ocean. Overall the water was much warmer than last year, but we found some colder spots.
Low tide occurred about an hour before the race started, so we ventured into the slack tide, which really didn't play into the swim until we rounded Fort Gorges around the halfway point. Bobby kept our line a little more to the west of the Fort, and we didn't have any issues until one of the swimmers without a kayak suddenly cut right in front of us. Bob moved from my right side to the left, then I saw legs appear out of nowhere! He kept heading towards the Old Port, until the police boat on the periphery pointed him in the right direction: we joked afterwards that he must have been swimming to the West End Beach! A few waves from the ferry splashed us around, but the water was fairly calm until the currents picked up after the Fort. I was about to get a quick drink when Bobby announced that we were at 34 minutes, which prompted me to forgo the feed and usual comedic banter to power on towards our goal.
We were again able to pick off some of the swimmers that stayed on a line closer to the Fort, and as we came closer to the finish area I could see the beach was packed! This year saw the highest number of participants at 316, over half of them were first-time athletes and 19 of us swam "naked," without a wetsuit. As we approaced the boats floating just off the beach, we were joined by three other kayaks. I focused on a strong kick and a faster turnover as I made my way into the finish area. Again I did a few breaststroke cycles before trying to stand up, then did my best to jog out of the water to the finish line. I was excited to hear the announcer mention that "it looks like our first non-wetsuit swimmer is making his way up the chute," and looked up to see a time of 51:52 before seeing John on the beach. Susan was the first female to emerge without a wetsuit shortly after - note that both of them swam without a yaker!
I met with my family and the Browns on the beach for pictures and celebration. After getting hosed off I took advantage of the free massage for swimmers before watching and cheering all of the swimmers into the beach. The harbormaster sounded the siren as the last swimmers reached the finish - Terry Swain, the aquatics director of the Y had waited near the boats offshore for all of the other swimmers to make land before finding her way there.
We packed up the cars then headed into the Old Port for lunch at Flatbread before heading home for a nap! We finished off the day by wandering down to Old Orchard Beach for some seashell hunting and relaxing on the beach before eating our way back to the house. It was another great weekend for a swim, and by far the most pleasant on the weather front. Susan sent a link to the Press Herald writeup and agreed that everyone finished about two minutes behind the pace from last year, likely due to the tide. John also saw a link on The Daily News of Open Water Swimming site about the swim that I am sure Pat sent in.
I can't wait for the excitement of next year's 32nd annual race with my friends in Maine! (I might even try to swim over to Peaks in the morning, but don't hold me to it too much) A lot of hard work goes into making this event happen, and I am very thankful that God has blessed me with a supportive family, a great team (including someone crazier than me that volunteers to kayak and his family, as well as Linda and Ron, who always cheer us on), all the volunteers, and the collective ability of all the swimmers to be able to raise money to help offer the benefits of the YMCA to folks who otherwise could not gain access to them.
Here is a picture of the best wingman in the business, my yaker Bobby, before the race:
Updated July 22nd, 2012 at 11:33 PM by rxleakem
7/22 @ DRY 9 am
600 Warm-Up (300 Swim, 200 Kick, 100 Drill)
6x50 Swim Golf 1:00
2x400 #1 Free, #2 IM
300 Cool Down
7/25@ RCHS 7:30 am
4x50 d/s 1:00
4x25 kick :40
100 fly from dive 1:02
7/27 @ DRY 8:30 am
8x50 d/s RIMO 1:00
300 (alt. KSK by 100)
3x50 1:10 #1-2 fly fast :32, :32...#3 easy free
6x50 #1,2,4,5 fly 6 strokes/25 avg. 16 secs...#3 & 6 easy
4x50 recovery swim down 1:00
Updated July 27th, 2012 at 09:51 AM by kellys
Determined to just have fun today, I broke out of my comfort zone and did 2 LCM 100s in 30 minutes. And I didn't even complain or mention the word "scratch." This must be some kind of record for me. Ha!
100 back, 1:15.9
Jeff Roddin and I were joking that the sun came out right before our heat. But that actually wasn't as bad as I feared and I managed to swim relatively straight according to Jimby. I tried to stay close to the lane line as Kirk suggested. I swam controlled for 75 meters and sprinted the last 25 where Jimby reported that I "noticeably" picked up my turnover. I held back slightly from a 100% effort b/c I actually wanted to swim the 100 breast later. (In the past, all out 100s have caused me to not walk much for an hour+. See Albatross meet last March.) The only negative part of the race was my start. Jimby said it was one of my worst ever. I wasn't set at the beep and flat backed my entry. I was next to Jeff and he just smoked me on the start & reaction time. He also threw down a very speedy 1:06. But I leaned back and still managed a decent UW. Did around 250 cool down after. This time will be #1 in the nation when results are reported. It could get knocked down with all the LCM meets left of course.
100 breast, 1:29.0
I only had about 30 minutes of rest including the warm down before attempting my first ever 100 LCM breast. I swam it 50 controlled, 25 build, 25 all out. Had the same problem on the start as I did at Nationals where I had to float to the surface after the pulldown. Good grief, long course 100s are long. I definitely like breaststroke better with walls. Still, I was surprised to break 1:30 coming off the 100 back. This time would have won Nationals in my age group and is #3 right now.
I'm really happy with these times, given my lack of long course training/sprint conditioning this summer and the fact that I was swimming outdoors. It was pretty hot today. I definitely prefer the controlled environment and ceilings of indoor pools. Quads are all tuckered out. Compression leggings later!
The UMBC pool wasn't too bad. Which is saying a lot after competing in the amazing Trials pool. The lane lines were a little funky and half submerged. Glad I opted for this meet over Hains Point.
Interesting note. Tha manual timing on both my races was .5 faster than the electronic timing. Seems like a big difference.
Updated July 15th, 2012 at 08:26 PM by The Fortress
7/15 @ DRY 9-10 am
500 wu (400 sw, 100 k)
5x100 2:00 d/s IMO
10X50 1:30 2 hard fly, 1 ez fr (3 times)
33, 32, 32, 32, 33, 34, 33 fly splits
6x50 1:15 k/s mix
100 easy cd
7/18 @ RCHS 10 am
300 swim wu
8x50 d/s RIMO @ 10 secs RI
Got a quick 1000 in after my team did their swim camp.
7/20 @ DRY 8:30 am
1000 Meet Warmup
1x200 Fly TT 2:35
300 easy (alt swim/kick/swim)
12x25 3-5 SDK Fly off each wall :40
That's the first 200 fly that I've done in almost 2 years. I was hoping to be under 2:30. My stroke count per 25 was between 6 & 8 strokes. If I can take 2 more dolphin kicks off each wall, I should be able to keep my stroke count lower for the 2nd 100.
Updated July 20th, 2012 at 10:07 AM by kellys
50 back, 32.4, WR
Only one race on Sat, but it was my baby. Thrilled to break my own record and was somewhat surprised. I had a .60 reaction time but uncharacteristically botched the start a bit -- entered the water with my hands crossed instead of in a streamline. That's like a automatic break in the water and I was mentally letting out F bombs. Getting quickly into my SDK helped ameliorate this eror, but I know I lost a couple tenths here. The rest of the race felt good, good tempo and I even swam straight. My tempo slowed down a bit the last 10 meters, showing my lack of sprint conditioning. The only odd part of the race was that I felt like I had water flowing over my face the entire time making it difficult to see and breathe. Some of it was splash from my rapid fire turnover. But some felt unusual. Other backstrokers complained about this phenomenon. Don't know if it had anything to do with the current in the pool or what. If I didn't look that happy on the jumbotron (Water Rat commented on this), it was only because I was gasping for some air and sick of water in my face. 32.4 is my second fastest time ever. I had secretly hoped to be a bit faster, but there is always next time. That's the fate of sprinters -- any small deviation from perfection in the details costs you time. Still, the end result rocked!
There is a vid of this on my FB page. I need to figure out how to youtube it.
50 breast, 39.0, 2nd
Woohoo! I dropped 1.6 seconds from last year. What a shocker for me with only one little dolphin kick to get me through the race and no walls. I was really pleased when a couple breaststrokers commented that I looked like a legit evilstroker and was getting major forward progress from my undulation. A friend commented that I looked "like a dophin in the water." I guess my evil has improved this year from doing it in practice so frequently. The only technical difficulties were that I was under a tad too long on the start. After my pullout, I was not at the surface, so had to float up and hence was not ahead on the start. My stroke count was also off at the finish and I had to short stroke it to avoid a major glide into the wall. The remaining area that needs improvement is my whip kick. But I likely will just continue to fake and not work on that much.
50 fly, 30.4, under previous NR of 30.7
I knew going into this race that Lisa Dahl would be tough to beat. I'm not sure I've ever beat her in 50 fly LCM and she was on fire this meet. Kudos to her. My strategy was to go the entire first 15 meters underwater and try to hang on. I've never done that before on the 50, but thought it would save my arms. Very helpful that there was a marking at the bottom of the pool so I knew exactly when to breakout. As I knew would happen, I tightened up the last 5 meters. But the real problem was that I didn't hit the wall right. I was forced to glide in while Lisa slammed the wall. I think I lost on the last stroke; it was a Cavic-Phelps type situation. I thought I would be rather heartbroken about this. But, no, I was phlegmatic. You win some and you lose some in the world of sprinting. I believe 30.4 is my second best time and best textile time. (29.6 with the Jaked being my fastest ever from 2009). And 30.4 is vastly better than the 31.5 I swam last year at Auburn. I just needed more juice. Still, no one can be bummed about swimming under a Laura Val NR. And I believe only 1 person swam faster in the 40-49 age groups.
Thoughts on Omaha:
-- The pool and facility were fantastic. The arena setting meant ample seating. The warm down pool was fantastic with blocks in a couple sprint lanes to practice starts. And the jumbotron and cameras were pretty cool. There did seem to be a slight current in the pool. And you could often see ripples in the water, especially in the end lanes.
-- Much fun to be had hanging with friends, watching the racing and meeting some of my HIT peeps.
-- I am a short course swimmer. My best stroke is dolphin kick and long course deprives me of this weapon. My actual long course times are just flat out slower than my converted short course times.
-- I am really growing to hate the 15 meter rule. My dolphin kick has improved so much that I could maintain speed much further. Not that I'd like to go 50 meters UW, but I think 25 would be just dandy. I was bummed to have to come up in both fly and back this meet.
-- Because I am a kicker and turner, I MUST train long course to be at my best in long course. Long course feels like a different sport to me and there is a vastly bigger aerobic component. Not that I would need to do IG in practice, but the workouts I did after Greensboro did not prepare me adequately. And I was really negligent in not doing any lactate tolerance sets. I'm not sure about next long course season. There may always be a conflict between Lil Fort's track practices and NVSL meets and me training at Mason in the summer ... I'm not sure solo training at Rockville more often really would be enough either.
-- Greensboro and Omaha were just too close in time. I was uninspired for a few weeks after Greensboro and lost key training time. And I was never as sharp in May and June as I was from Jan to April in practice.
-- I did achieve my goal of swimming faster this year than last year at Auburn.
50 free: 29.6 --> 29.2
50 back: 32.5 --> 32.4
50 breast: 40.6 --> 39.0
50 fly: 31.5 --> 30.4
And I had been concerned that I wouldn't be able to do that after my last week of taper power outage hell. Looking at the times, I was definitely best on Sunday. Somewhat unusual for me. I felt out of sorts on Friday and better as the weekend progressed. I was even ready to do a 100 back when the meet ended. And I am contemplating going out to UMBC next weekend to pop one in on Sunday.
-- With the improvement in my breaststroke in the last year, I really feel like I am a four stroke swimmer now. Thank you fins and all those fast hand drills!
-- Overall, I give myself a B+. I would have given myself an A- if I hadn't scratched my 100 back split in the 200. But I was too tired to do it after 50 free and not mentally prepared. I should know never ever ever to sign up for back to back events at Nationals.
-- I got home at 3:00 am last night. Re-entry is apparently my 6th event.
-- Bring on short course! But not until I've goofed around for a while.
Updated July 9th, 2012 at 04:08 PM by The Fortress
Fair warning: long blog post to follow ...
The mighty [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Memphremagog"]Lake Memphremagog[/ame] lived up to expectations as I splashed in for the Kingdom Swim this weekend. I made it to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont on Friday after a four hour drive from my home and took advantage of the early check-in before meeting up with my yaker and our families to head over to Prouty's Beach, where the swim begins and ends. We then headed down to our log cabin rental, which was one exit south on I-91 near Lake Willoughby, to check in before heading back to Newport for the Frontier Animal Society’s Pet and Swimmers Parade through the center of town and the Pasta Dinner, where we fueled up with lasagna, spaghetti, salad, and some chocolate cake. I met up with the two other Bennington area swimmers, Bethany (who swam last year and just got back from Ned Dennison's Cork, Ireland, swim camp) and Brent (my FISH buddy in Williamstown, who was also taking part in his first 10 mile swim) during the evening.
The next morning saw overcast skies and some minor sprikles (as forecasted) as we hit the beach to unload our equipment. The area was well organized and the kayaks were placed according to the mileage on the east end of the beach with the starting chute on the the west. I met up with some other forumites, Kent from Arizona and Kevin from Maryland, before the race started. I was really bummed not to find Swimsuit Addict or Vivebene Safety is key for the event, and about five minutes before the 8am start numbers were called out for the swimmers that did not check in before entering the chute. Once everyone was accounted for, we lined up on the beach and waited for the mass start of 70+ swimmers into the 70 water to begin. I decided to be involved but not too engaged in the fray, so I splashed in towards the left of the pack as we headed out to the first buoy (S). I was able to weave towards the front and ended up sixth around the orange blob before settleing into an even stroke as we picked up yakers en route to Buoy 1. Let's introduce the course map at this point, as I'll be referring to it:
The clouds held back the sun for my whole swim, although it brightened up between Buoys 2+3. My most excellent kayaker Bobby was right on top of navigation as well as feeding me every 30 minutes, all the while providing encouragement. Once I hit Bouy 3, the first long stretch was before us and the next buoy was out of sight. I wanted to get across the lake quickly so I alternated 20 strong swim cycles with 50 smooth ones, and soon we came to Buoy 4 through some mild waves (I was thinking if this is the worst, I am in good shape). I still had some energy left and asked the folks in the sherrif's boat which direction Prouty's Point was - got some laughs just withing sight of . Buoys 5+6 came quickly, and we noticed two things as we headed towards 6 - the chop was picking up with the wind and lots of swimmers ahead of us were shooting more towards eastern edge of Derby Bay (towards the "C" on the map) than Buoy 6. Bob kept me on a tight line to 6 due to the swells, and it felt like I was swimming perpendicular to it and not making much progress.
The wind kept picking up and the skies darkened a bit on our way to 6b, to the extent that we both were thinking that the threat of a thunderstorm ending the swim might happen - thankfully it did not. On an encouraging note for me, we also started passing those ahead of us that didn't stay closer to the islands. Once near 6a, the support boat shouted that a lot of swimmers were being pushed hard into Derby Bay, so by staying tight to the islands we were avoiding the extra effort needed to get out to Buoy 7. Here is the part where I was really surprised - Bob for the first time mentioned the time, "It's quarter to 12." That means that I was ahead of the 4 hour mark with roughly 2.5 miles to go! That was huge motivation for me to refocus my stroke and mind on powering through the end of the race since it was miserable swimming conditions. It was great knowing that I was reeling in those ahead of me through the two foot waves that were pushing me down the course, instead of fighting through them.
Between 7+8 I was able to catch two of the 6-mile swimmers, and at buoy 8 the support boat encouraged us that only 3/10ths of mile remained. Well, I am under the impression that it was longer than 3/10ths of a mile and maybe they added extra buoys in this lower part of the course because it took fifteen minutes to come in. I was alternating ten "breasterfly" strokes (breaststroke arms with dolphin kicks) and fifty freestyle strokes as my arms were fatigued and it felt really good to stretch out. I also swam backstroke at different points to help keep loose. Heading past the start buoy into the beach was tough, as the waves were moving heavily perpendicular to shore. About 20 yards out I was hitting bottom, so I took a brief moment before standing up to make sure my legs still worked, then scampered to the beach where my wife and son were waiting, and Bob's wife and son were taking pictures. We made it, with an unbelievable time of 4 hours, 37.07 seconds!
I was offered a drink of water or gatorade, even warm chicken broth if needed, by the staff on the beach. They even passed sweatshirts out to help warm us up. It took about 20 minutes after finishing for me to be brave enough to sit down and the sun to make an appearance, so we headed over to the food tent were swimmer and yaker ate for free, and everyone else munched for only $5. I was thinking a cheeseburger would be great around Buoy 6a, and munched on one afterwards! Somewhere in this time I missed SA finish, and I checked out the time boards on the side of the building for the girls' numbers, but had no luck finding them. We did see the kid's swims (8/u-17 could choose 100yds, 1/4 and 1-mile) as well as the adult 1-mile. We stayed for the awards ceremony which was a great gathering for those getting awards, especially watching the little kids head up for their "Woodal" - a hand-carved wooden medallion.
So my time was totally unexpected given the horrible head cold I had the past two week, since I trained a lot more before the 10K last year and was exhausted at the end of that. Having only swam three times I would have been elated to get in around the 5 hour mark. Maybe the break was needed? I think two things were key for me: having great sighting from the best wingman in the business, my buddy Bobby, and also the nutrition aspect, which came together from a lot of research on the marathonswim forums and other blogs by marathon swimmers. I used a maltodextrin-based feed, flavored with juice, on the bottom of each hour, and an electrolyte-based feed on the top of the hour. No backfires like the fruit cups I ended up loosing after the 10k - only some minor gas for a few minutes. I followed a suggestion of using a retractable dog leash hooked to my bottles, so I only had to swim to the yak for the feed. We strapped a crate to the back of the kayak, but the weight of the drinks would have left Bob doing wheelies, so we moved the drinks into the kayak, which was more accessible for him to refill bottles. I only had an extra dose of water once, and did not get into the gel shots or chocolate bar that were on board. To keep my mind from drifting like my body, I again reviewed the New Testament books of the Bible in order, and also spent a great deal of the swim praying. For me, being surrounded by God's Creation and having a lot of time on my hands makes for a great boost in my prayer life.
I would highly recommend this swim to anyone that is looking to move above the marathon 10k swim distance, or even to come out for one of the lower distance courses as Memphremagog is a gorgeous lake, the swim is very well organized (they can arrange for a kayak and/or a kayaker for you if needed), and the activities surrounding the swim are great for adding to a family vacation. We had a blast walking down the main street during the parade and also watching the events unfold on the beach. We did not go out one of the two boat tours of the course, but was able to talk with folks who have swum the race in the past and use the maps to succesfully navigate the swim. Next year this will be the 9+ Mile USMS National Championship, a great draw to get more swimmers out to support that programs that are helped from this and other athletic events in the region. I am already looking to book the same cabin for a week next year, and my thoughts are also towards finding a longer swim to add to my list.
Oh, I will get an album of pics up soon, but here is a picture of team "Can't Stop the Leake" (only my daughter was unable to make the trip):
Updated July 8th, 2012 at 11:22 PM by rxleakem
7/8 @ Downriver YMCA (9 am)
600 warmup (300 sw, 3x100 odd-kick, even-swim)
2 times through (6x25 stroke :30, 100 easy 2:00)
5x100 kick/swim 2:00 stroke
4x50 recovery 1:00
200 cool down
7/10 @ DRY (8:15 am)
400 wu (300 swim, 100 k)
8x50 d/s IMO 1:00
200 choice (kick, swim)
1x200 Broken fly @ 10 secs RI (37, 36, 35, 38) 2:26 splits are all over the place but glad that I did the swim.
3x100 easy (kick, swim, kick)
8x50 IMO 1:00 (broken 400 IM)
7/14 @ DRY 11 am
300 warm-up (200 swim, 100 k)
8x50 IMO D/S 1:00
2x50 fly 1:00 fairly fast :33 on both... High heart rate again 180 bpm...still concerns me a bit
200 cd (mix of kick/swim)
Got a quick 1000 yards in during my daughter's swim lesson!
Updated July 15th, 2012 at 12:53 PM by kellys