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Masters Swim Meets / Events

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

  1. NE Champs, Day 1, Dec. 11

    by , December 11th, 2010 at 09:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 1 went exceedingly well, better than I expected. I even managed to swim all 4 of my events today -- practically an ironman feat for me. . I'm now fairly flattened as a result.


    100 fly, 1:10.26

    So glad this was the first event of the day! My last pre-B70 time was a 1:12ish (I recall). Last year, in B70, I went a 1:09.8. I expected to go a 1:12-1:13 here, given the general 2 second time differential per 100 free SCY. Was shocked and thrilled with my 1:10.2, only .4 off my best. I tried to SDK a lot. Mollie said that, by 25s, I went 12-13 meters, 10 meters, 10 meters, 8 meters. I popped up a little early on the last length after a longish turn. Just needed some air. But otherwise my breakouts were solid and smooth. Had the usual last 10 meter piano, but at least didn't go vertical. This is my hardest event, and I don't really train for it in any conventional way, so I was pleased. Kicking saves me in this event. I think this time puts me 3rd in the overall rankings behind two new 45 year olds, if I recall the SPMA results correctly.


    50 back, 31.14 (split on 200 back)
    (final 200 time, a blazing 3:20 )

    If I wasn't typing on my iPhone I'd put in a bliss smiley here. Edit: My previous time from the Albatross meet was a 32.5, but I was hoping to go a bit faster based on the 28.1 I swam at the Sprint Classic on Oct. 24 after the bronchitis taper. Honestly, my secret goal, was to swim faster than 31.6, but anything can go wrong in a 50 and, as I previously said, I would have been pleased with anything under 32.

    I executed reasonably well, but not perfectly. My hands were crossed (first time ever) on the start, which was slightly disconcerting. 14 SDKs on the start and 15 on the turn. There was a stroke & turn judge right at the 15 meter mark, so didn't take any chances on that front on the start. I was a bit too far from the wall on the turn and glided into the finish -- probably due to the 5 meter flags. No matter, I was very thrilled to stop, gasp for air, squint at the scoreboard and see the 31.14. Stud also had my split writ large on a piece of paper as I headed to the warm down pool -- very sweet. I had informed the referee (who stood over my finish) and both the women swimming next to me that I was doing a split, so that they were well aware and didn't have any angst. I did legally finish the race in a stellar time of 3:20, causing only a very minor delay of the meet. Did the second 50 double arm backstroke.

    This is the same time I swam last year at this meet in a Jaked or B70 and should put me in the AA spot, unless there are other times I'm unaware of. This would be my first AA in the 50 back in SCM. I've ended up second on several occasions. So I'm ditching this age group on a high note!

    I could happily have stopped swimming for the day at this juncture. I was happy and tired. (Veni, vici, vidi, in a manner of speaking.) But the day was long and I had plenty of rest so carried on.


    50 breast, 38.9

    Pretty happy with this time, especially since I was trying to be very conservative on the pre-kick and pulldown. Over a second slower than last year, but, like Allen Stark, I think swimming evil in a Jaked is like a different stroke entirely. This is still my second fastest time in SCM (out of only 3-4 swims, I think) and a much better effort than the 41.8 I turned in in LCM. Currently, this puts me in the number 3 spot. (Which rather confirms my thought that the speed suits make the mosy difference in evil.

    SwimStud had an amazing 50 breast today, dropping two full seconds+ from last year! I wish I had video'd this, as he had awesome forward momentum, but it was right after my swim and I was gasping. I got his 100 breast the next day though.


    50 free, 28.77

    I was going to scratch this event. I really was. I haven't swum 4 events at a taper meet in eons. But decided it might be easier to do at the end of the day today than late tomorrow afternoon as a split in the 100 free. Happy with the time. It's .5 faster than I went at the Albatross meet, but still .5 off my B70 PB (which I did as the very first swim at BU last year). I had a quite sub par turn -- it was dark outside (5:00 pm or so) and that made it harder to pick up the wall without the light streaming through the windows. Still, I'll take it flaws and all!

    Overall, I was extremely happy with the day. I'm worried I'll be bushed tomorrow. But hopefully a decent night's sleep will help. Tomorrow, I have the 100 back, 50 fly and 50 back. I'm scratching the 100 free. Depending on how I feel, I might not swim the 50 back again, as it would be my 7th event. I'm very very glad I put in a split request to get a time before the end of the meet! I hate it when 50 back is the last event when my legs are dead.

    Updated December 13th, 2010 at 03:03 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  2. West Bend SCM Meet Post Mortem

    I didn't get a pre-meet run down mostly because of time and craziness both at my job and in my life ('tis the season!). Even now - I don't really have much time to type this up - so I'll be brief.

    50 Fly
    I didn't actually want to do this race - my shoulders have been hurting as a result of not building the muscle in my chest and shoulders properly. I've been working them when I can but have been lacking the necessary time. The race wasn't terrible, and I did OKAY. I dropped two seconds off of my seed. So I ended up swimming roughly (I don't have my exact results with me) a 43.
    200 Free
    Started off too fast, but managed to hold on: 2:58 and change. 5 Seconds drop from Indy! Not too shabby!
    50 Back (as part of the 200 Medley Relay)
    I suspect I suck at racing back. I can swim it in practice decently, but my backstroke in races always seems like a torrent of chocking, dolphining too deep and hating myself when its over. I have no idea what my split was - but it was weird as heck watching someone dive over top of me in the relay.
    50 Breast
    I had a fantastic Dive and Pullout. I covered 1/2 of the length of the pool and by the time I hit the wall I was in last place again. <sigh> Some day.
    200 IM
    That race sucked. It was SOOO LONG. I think next time I'll try to swim that fresh. 3:50 and change. It was 20 seconds longer than I planned.
    1500 Free
    Event #6 in 3 short hours. I was cashed out. Swam it in 26 and change. I wish I would've swam it first - I'm pretty sure I would've blown my 25 out of the water from Indy.

    Busy busy busy. Thanks for reading!
  3. San Antonio, TX SCM MEET Day 2 Sun Dec 5th 2010

    by , December 5th, 2010 at 06:32 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sat Dec 4th 2010

    Masters of South Central Regional SCM Championships
    Sat Dec 4th & Sun 5th
    San Antonio, TX

    First i want to say a big thank you to Susan, Adrian, the officials and volunteers who ran this meet. It was great and I really appreciate their efforts. It was a small meet, but it was laid back, fun and well planned. The meet schedule provided 3 breaks to give swimmers a bit more rest. Also had a blast with my wife Beth, team mates and friends who went to this meet.


    SUN:


    400 fr
    went for a 100 split time
    55.75 26.34 29.41

    should have split it closer,
    went out a bit too hard, missed 1st and 3rd turn, turned too far not much push off
    4:53.46S
    26.34 29.41
    50.93 38.86
    37.87 37.92
    37.11 35.02


    there was a 10 min break after the 400


    50 br
    went 32.0
    was 31.4 last year

    so I was pretty please with this
    turned close to David at the 25
    he went 30.7 and broke the 50 to 54 men WR


    200 IM [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7f97flaxDo"]YouTube - Ande Rasmussen 200 im scm sun dec 5th, 2010[/nomedia]

    went 2:14.49
    but didn't get splits
    took it out harder than I did in Tempe, did more SDKs but stayed relaxed till the breast
    improved from 2:16.2 at Tempe
    very pleased with this swim



    immediately swam down,
    only had 1 200 IM heat & 4 50 fly heats of rest before I was back up on the blocks again for the

    50 fly
    went 26.7
    improved from 27.5 at tempe
    swam beside Mike Varrozza who went 26.3 and tried to race him
    really pleased with it and honestly felt a sense of euphoria & was really looking forward to our relay and my 50 bk lead off
    probably got around 30 min of rest


    200+ mens 4 x 50 medley relay [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXouki4g4DY"]YouTube - 2010 200+ mens 4 x 50 medley relay[/nomedia]

    Lane 2 Longhorn Masters 200 plus men
    (end lane on the left)

    Bk 27.70 Ande Rasmussen, 47

    Br 58.15 30.45 David Guthrie, 50
    minutes after his 1:06 WR 100 Br

    Fl 1:25.70 27.55 Jim Sauer, 53

    Fr 1:51.48 25.78 Max Stinchcombe, 53


    we barely missed our own 1:51.39 record that we did wearing full B70's last year

    continued to feel good and sort of wished I had one more swim after this one.

    won high point for men 45 to 49

    Had a nice meal at county line on the river walk

    Updated December 7th, 2010 at 02:17 PM by ande

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. SCM MEET: Sat Dec 4th 2010

    by , December 4th, 2010 at 07:51 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sat Dec 4th 2010

    Masters of South Central Regional SCM Championships is 1 days away
    Sat Dec 4th & Sun 5th
    San Antonio, TX
    ENTERED more events than I plan to swim
    just wanted to give myself some choices:


    SAT:

    400 IM 4:54.10
    30.38 34.78 1:05.16
    38.06 37.35 2:20.19 1:15.41
    40.92 43.48 3:44.59 1:24.30
    34.99 34.52 4:54.10 1:09.51
    took it out harder than Tempe
    started getting tired on 2nd 50 in BR
    should have been tougher on my last 50 fr
    but started thinking about what else I had to swim


    50 bk
    went 28.46

    improved from 28.8 in tempe

    50 fr
    went 25.41

    improved from 25.7 in Tempe but haven't been sprinting much free in practice and need to work on fast flutter kicking

    100 bk skipped it to rest for medley relay

    100 IM skipped it to rest for medley relay


    4 x 100 medley relay
    30.29 0:31.98 1:02.27 Ande
    32.49 1:34.76
    36.11 2:10.87 1:08.60 David Guthrie
    28.64 2:39.51
    35.26 2:14.77 1:03.90 Jim Sauer
    27.12 2:41.89
    29.57 4:11.46 0:57.69 Max Stinchcombe
    Previous national record was 4:12.51


    Here's what I've entered Tomorrow
    30 400 fr probably going for a split time
    34 50 br
    40 200 IM
    42 50 fl

    Updated December 4th, 2010 at 09:48 PM by ande

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  5. Last Minute Meet, Sat., Dec. 4

    by , December 4th, 2010 at 02:27 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Last Minute SCM Meet:

    It's an odd feeling waking up late (8:15) and cruising into a meet mid way. I missed seeing some fast early swims, including Speedo's blazing 200 back (2:17). But I'm glad I got some start practice in before next weekend.

    50 fly split on the 100, 30.7 (?)

    Not sure about the official split. I'll have to wait for the results as the timing board was not in operation. Neill Williams very kindly timed my swim and gave me the following comments with which Speedo concurred: too shallow on start, poor breakout b/c of kicking on surface, great turn, good SDKs off turn (took 10, I think), bad finish, glided in big time, good speed, good stroke. I agree with all these points. I took 2 breaths on the second length, the second one really to sight the wall. I knew I was either going to have to glide or short stroke it. In my head, I wasn't too disturbed by this, as I considered this a practice swim. Hopefully, I can fix this at Boston. And I'm sticking with 2 breaths there as well.

    Since I didn't really feel any of that elusive "easy speed" in practice or warm up, I was pleased with this approximate time. And, well, I hadn't even shaved. hahaha. I went a 31.5 at the Albatross meet in March so this time is better and can be knocked down a bit more (I hope) with another week's rest.

    Swimming the second 50 was a bit of a chore. But I coffee breaked on the walls and Muppet waved to me at the 75.

    Edit: My official split was 31.1, not surprising since hand timing is generally faster. I knew I took a major glide at the end (and was even wondering if I should bother to finish the 100), but I'm still glad I did and it was still faster than my previous time. I sometimes find it disconcerting to do split requests because thoughts of what to do after the finish always creep into my head.


    25 free in the 200

    I felt like I had a much better start -- the correct depth and 4-5 SDKs before I started churning. Did a fast turn, hit the wall well, and then just cruised the rest of the 50 and hopped out. (I had told the referee in advance to DQ me.)


    Commentary:

    I'm still kinda tired from that little bit of sprinting, and I'm glad I didn't swim any other events.

    There was much fast swimming at the meet by all the usual PV suspects. I think Speedo PR'd all his events. I videotaped his 200 free. I'm not sure about the quality because I had just swum and wasn't holding the camera very still. The Little Devil chimed in on audio that Speedo got chicked on the last 50. By a very fast chick!

    Link to Results: http://www.pvmasters.org/results/pv1210.htm.

    I'm wondering if the SPMA meet has live results like last year?

    Results are out for the NW Zones meet too: https://www.clubassistant.com/c/EBB7...%20results.pdf. Very fast times from Ellen Reynolds.

    Interview with Dara: http://www.freep.com/article/2010112...an-Dara-Torres

    NE Champs:

    psych sheets:
    http://www.greatbaymasters.org/10Psych.pdf

    timeline:
    http://www.greatbaymasters.org/10Session.pdf -- my kind of meet: first event not until after 11:00 am and plenty of rest.

    Updated December 4th, 2010 at 09:07 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. MEET: Sat Nov 20 & Sun Nov 21 2010 Ron Johnston in TEMPE AZ

    by , November 22nd, 2010 at 12:36 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sat Nov 20 & Sun Nov 21 2010

    swam in the
    2010 Ron Johnson Invitational Arizona and Southwest Zone SCM Championship
    Tempe AZ

    Had a great time at the meet, Tyler & David Guthrie from longhorn were there. Beth, my wife come with me with her Canon & shot several races

    Saw many AZ friends, RJ was very nice well run meet, Thanks Katy! Sunday was a bit windy and rainy. Discovered the diving well was around 90 degrees which made life quite comfortable

    Shaved but didn't feel strong or snappy in my races, so I've decided to really work on speed strength and rest to prepare for my next meet, Masters of South Central Regional SCM Championships Sat Dec 4th & Sun 5th in San Antonio, TX


    Sat Swims

    100 Fl 1:01.99
    28.37 33.62
    hoped to go faster
    died pretty bad

    50 Back 28.86
    tyler went 28.84 so I got blessed

    400 IM 4:56.91
    1:08.00 0:31.60
    1:17.05 1:46.87 2:25.05
    1:22.99 3:05.47 3:48.04
    1:08.87 4:24.18 4:56.91
    tried to say smooth on FL BK
    flipped my BK to BR turn and really worked the BR
    2 beat kicked the first 50 on fr then 6 beat kicked

    50 Fr 25.76
    did not feel real snappy, 4th race of the day


    Sunday

    100 IM 1:03.51
    not sure on split

    50 Fl 27.56

    200 IM 2:16.26
    ??
    1:05.71
    1:44.76 39.05
    2:16.26 31.50
    my 200 IM race strategy was:

    FL easy speed, barely kick, breathe every stroke,
    should have worked the start & done more SDKs

    BK cruise easy speed, light legs,
    should have done 4 SDKs off each wall,
    FAST BK to BR flip over turn

    BR long pull outs & work it

    FR sprint it home, 6 beat kicked the whole way
    this was probably my best swim of the meet

    Won High point for men 45 - 49
    got a blue blue bag and a signed copy of Jeff Comming's book "Odd Man Out"

    David Guthrie broke the 50 - 54 WR in the 200 BR

    got a killer hotwire hotel deal on for this meet
    stayed at the Hotel Tempe/Phoenix Airport InnSuites Hotel & Suites
    3 star hotel, free breakfast,
    nice happy hr
    5 miles from pool
    $43 a night, 56ish a day with taxes

    got rent car on CarRentals.com with Advantage 19 bucks a day said we had a corolla, the girl worked hard to upgrade us and we bit on a convertible Mustang for $20 a day
    had a blast riding around with the top down

    Our plane was delayed on our flight home, we landed around 11:00, arrived home 12:30ish, saw a large live rattlesnake in the road close to our house went to bed around 2:00 so I skipped 5:15 AM practice and opted for Noon today

    Next Meet

    Masters of South Central Regional SCM Championships
    Dec 4th & 5th
    San Antonio, TX
    Hosted by MOST

    Updated November 22nd, 2010 at 12:47 PM by ande

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  7. You'd think I had a job or something....

    In the past several weeks, I've had to make some adjustments to my workout. Work is finally starting to ramp up and attempt that "utilization to his full potential" crap that the authority figures in my life have always talked about (Parents... teachers... professors... coaches... etc...) Which has ultimately lead to a rise in the number of hours working.

    For about 2 straight weeks I was driving down to Oak Park outside of Chicago. So this would cut into my sleep schedule and thus my morning lifts were gone. Instead - they were replaced with the 80-90 MPH drive down 294 and 290. I think most people didn't even see my car, it was more of a silver blur at 6 in the morning.

    For those two weeks, I was unable to lift at all, and I was lucky to make practice. Sleep was cut to about 4-5 hours per night, and maybe an hour before practice (if I was lucky). I made it through those two weeks and straight into the Sink Or Swim Classic and another week of more of the same and shot immediately into the GRIN Fall Classic. As you all saw - I did really well for me.

    Well starting after the GRIN Fall Classic I was "able" to jump back into lifting. The problem was - I wasn't falling asleep after practice. I had also gotten used to sleeping in a little (til 6:00 AM instead of getting up at 5:00 AM) as a result of my travels and not lifting. So I've adjusted my workout schedule AGAIN.
    Trying to double up on lifting/swimming on days where I have to work just seem relatively useless since I was always just so exhausted. I felt like my work, my workouts and my swims were all suffering as a result of the schedule.

    So now:
    Swim:Sunday 7:30-9:00 PM, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 8:30-9:30 PM
    Lift: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday (Sunday will be optional)
    Core: 6 Days a week with a floating free day.

    I lift now whenever its convenient (Evenings on Mondays and Fridays). My new gym has a massive collection of weights and machines. So if I can't find something to do - I'm obviously not using my creativity.
    I wake up almost every morning between 6 and 6:30. That means I can eat a light breakfast and be ready to do core by 7:00 AM. I make sure I put in at least a half an hour of straight core work. I enjoy it because it gives me an endorphin rush in the morning, preps my mind for the day and helps to maintain the efforts I've taken so far in my swimming.
    I think its a pretty ambitious plan, but I also think I can handle it pretty well. I'm currently 8 days in and so far so good

    My next meet and the rundown has been decided! I will be swimming at the West Bend Short Course Meters Meet. I'll be swimming the 50 fly, 200 free, 50 breast, 200 IM, and finally - the 1500 Free. There will be more on that later though. I'm not ready to start blogging those goals for that meet though. That will come! This will be my first competition 200 IM!

    What do you do for your workout? How do you compensate for friends/family/job/swimming?
  8. GRIN Fall Classic! A Lesson in Survival!

    *Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Come one and come all to see - the guy who thinks he can keep going endlessly! Its comical to say the least, he's built like an ox and just about as dumb as one too!*

    So this last weekend I swam in the GRIN Fall Classic at the most beautiful pool in the world - the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, IN. The GRIN Fall Classic had roughly 80-100 people there, so it was a nice sized meet!
    Since the meet was 2 days, I was able to swim 10 full events! My events on day 1 were: 800m Free, 200m Free, 50m Back, 50m Free, and the 50m Fly. My events on day 2 were: 1500m Free, 100m Back, 100m IM, 50m Breast, and the 100m Free. In retrospect - I'm glad I did it, but I would've probably spent more time warming down and relaxing in between events - instead of none. My inexperience and own false logic betrays me at times.

    So anywho- the meet in review.
    800m Free
    Splits: 51.45, 51.62, 52.09, 52.07, 51.71, 51.92, 52.77, 51.00, 50.77, 48.14
    Final Time: 13:30.11
    I took this swim nice and easy. It was the very first swim of the meet, and I had only done about a 3-400 warmup. I figured this would be a great warmup swim and get me ready for the next four races I had.
    I didn't swim this with any particular goal in mind, I was just keeping my 400m race from the week before in mind the entire time (~6:30) and wanted to come close to double that (13:00 even). So when I finished at 13:30.11 - I was pretty happy with myself! I mean - that's not too bad - losing only 30 seconds over an extra 400 after only having swam for 10 months...

    200m Free
    Splits: 41.96, 46.29, 48.20, 46.86
    Final Time: 3:03.31
    About 2 minutes before I had to get on the blocks I walked over the Nadine Day
    Me: "How do you race a 200?"
    ND: "First 50 easy, 2nd and 3rd build, last 50 all out."
    Me: "So basically slow, slow, slightly less slow, fastish... got it."
    Coach said my splits for that were pretty awesome. So I think I'm going to try and do that again.

    50m Back
    Final Time: 52.22
    In comparison with my last meet time of 53.81 - I should be really happy with the 1 second improvement! With the exception that when I swam it long course it was 53.21. Ha! Looks like I have a LOT of improving to do.

    50m Free
    Final Time: 35.36
    Please note - that was almost a 1 second drop from my 50 free the week before. That race rocked something FIERCE! I was so pumped when I saw that 35 on the board.

    50m Fly
    Final Time: 47.19
    I feel like I do okay in fly... Its definitely better than my backstroke and breast stroke! I'm sure if I spent longer on it, I'd probably see some impressive gains on it. My SDK is starting to get much stronger so I'm hoping to see some bigger improvements in fly as a result. This was also my last event of the day - I don't think I was too terribly tired at this point. I could've done two more events that day!

    1500m Free
    Splits: 42.81, 49.39, 50.57, 50.58, 51.88, 51.19, 51.85, 51.30, 52.25, 51.71, 51.53, 51.25, 51.89, 51.11, 51.97, 51.88, 52.20, 50.48, 51.93, 51.99, 52.03, 51.97, 51.73, 52.61, 52.59, 51.82, 52.61, 52.76, 51.43, 49.03
    Final Time: 25:38.34
    I'm really proud of this time. My split deviations are barely over 1 second between any two 50s! I thought that regardless of how slow I was - that was really impressive to maintain such a consistent rhythm! This race did start to suck about 700 into it. I remember seeing the "29" on the counter and thinking "Oh my God, I still have 30 some odd laps to go!" When I finished this race, I was COMPLETELY dead. It took me longer to get out of the pool after this race than it ever has.

    100m Back
    Splits: 51.86, 55.59
    Final Time: 1:47.45
    This race hurt a lot. It was nearly an hour or so after the 1500, so one would think I was rested enough... apparently I was too rested, because I totally napped.

    100m IM
    Splits: 46.60, 59.94
    Final Time: 1:46.54
    This race was okay for the first 50, but then when I had to keep swimming for the 25 breast, I could barely get my arms around. Since I'm primarily a front end breast stroker (because my kick is still pretty useless - I'm working on it... give me time!) so I'm pretty sure I lost a lot of time as a result. I also didn't pull out because I was dying for O2 by that point as well.

    50m Breast
    Final Time: 54.73
    I had recovered enough to do this "decently" I was still pretty tired though. At this point I was already trying to constantly convince myself not to scratch the rest of my events.

    100m Free
    Splits: 38.82, 45.82
    Final Time: 1:24.64
    So right before the race I was talking to the nice lady who was doing my counting and she said "You put 1:30 here, but I think you can honestly do better. I want to see you do 1:25". Well - I'm one who REALLY hates to disappoint people, no matter how exhausted I am. So when she said 1:25, I was going to go 1:25 even if it killed me. It nearly did too! The first 75 weren't AWFUL, not great, but not awful... that last 25 though was just insanely hard. However - at the end of the race when I'm hanging on for dear life on the end of the lane, she tells me I went a 1:24.... That was a GREAT feeling. Even if I normally swim between 1:25 and 1:30 on my 100s in practice in SCY, it was still fun to break a goal someone set for me.

    So that was my weekend. My 3.5 hour drive home was almost doubled in length when I pulled off at a rest area and passed out for two more hours. What a great nap though!
    Next Meet 12/4. The Question is: Valpo Indiana and the early morning meet in a new pool? Or West Bend Wisconsin and the afternoon meet at the high school pool? Thoughts? Suggestions?
  9. SoSC Post Mortem

    So in the wake of the project that has been waking me up at 5 in the morning and working until 6 PM most nights, I'm finally free of some responsibility until things start breaking... Which means I may have about 10-15 minutes to type this out.

    So my day at the meet was definitely a crazy one. I walked in the door at 7:30 and was told I was announcing the meet! (Who would've guessed I'm good at talking?). I was also asked to sing the Nation Anthem ( Something else I think I'm good at ).

    After singing the National Anthem and announcing the first event, I immediately jump up on the blocks. Time for the 400 Free!

    But I digress from the whole point of this post - Lessons Learned, times reviewed, etc...

    400m Free
    So before this race - my friend Chad was kind enough to count for me. Here's the talk we had
    Chad: So when I go like this (waves the counter side to side) it means swim faster.
    Me: Okay, and if I don't?
    Chad: It means I'm going to throw the counter at you the next time down.
    So coming off the blocks, I was ready for this race, first race of the day and I was warm enough to rock it. Within seconds of my dive in - I recognize VERY quickly: I have forgotten to tie my suit. A quick peak at my splits show that I was coasting relatively easily (I should've been doing minimum 0:45 per 50) as per my fear of losing my VERY classy suit. During my final 100, Chad waved the counter, and you'd better believe I started moving a lot harder!
    Result
    Goal Time: ~7:00.00
    Final Time: 6:30.27
    Beat my goal time! This made me very happy, but in retrospect, I could've probably swam a 6:00 had I had my suit tied and I wasn't so nervous.
    BORKED

    50m Free
    The 50 free went well, my SDK off the walls wasn't awful and I just got up on the water and started swimming (Thanks knelson).
    Result
    Seed Time: 36.60
    Goal Time: < 36.00
    Final Time: 36.14
    I was happy to have swam it faster than my seed, but I would have been happier to break 36.
    BORKED

    200m Medley Relay
    Now - of all strokes - I swam the 50 breast during our 200m Medley Relay. If any of you have been following this - you know that breast stroke is easily my worst stroke. And the others are pretty bad as well. In any case - I was voted "most likely to be best breast stroker on our relay"
    Results
    Split Seed Time: 58.57 (my 50 Breast seed)
    Goal Time: Survival
    Split Time: N/A
    My goggles flooded, but only half way. So The entire race I was forced to keep my head down to see... It actually worked really well for me.
    BORKED

    50m Breast
    I swam this 50 about 10 minutes after the Relay above.
    Results
    Seed Time: 58.57
    Goal Time: 59.57
    Final Time: 53.59
    I can't complain! That was pretty good all things considered! I wish I knew which was faster - my relay or my individual event. I'm actually betting it was the individual. I actually got in two full pullouts on this one.
    BORKED

    100m IM
    I was finally starting to feel the fatigue by this point. It had been a long day with absolutely no swim downs... mainly because the minute I was done swimming - I had to go and start announcing back at the table again. So I just did my best to keep my body warm and mental energy up.
    Results
    Goal Time: < 2:00.00
    Final Time: 1:47.77 DQ
    I flip turned on my back to breast stroke transition. Won't do that again!
    BORKED

    200m Free Relay
    I lead off the relay. It was a FANTASTIC time. My only kludge was as I was coming back down from the first flip turn, I forgot that the 2nd person diving in would dive in from the side, not the blocks, so I had to veer from one side of the lane to another.
    Results
    Split Seed Time: 36.14 (my 50 free seed)
    Goal Time: <36
    Split Time: 37.99
    I was super disappointed in that time. Especially since I looked the board and thought I saw 34.**. Oh well - there's always next time.
    BORKED

    50m Backstroke
    I swam this 50 about 10 minutes after the Relay above.
    Results
    Seed Time: 52.61
    Goal Time: Survival - Not to become a flooded kayak
    Final Time: 53.81
    Well, that was event #7 for the day. I was completely cashed. When I came up after the flip on the 25, I came up tangled in the lane line and was completely disoriented. So so a survival race it was. I would've liked to have beaten my seed time, but that wasn't going to happen that day.
    BORKED

    All in all
    All in all - a great race day. I was happy with my results and I knew I would get another shot in a week at the GRIN Fall Classic (Post Mortem coming very soon!).
    For those of you who missed the meet:

    Updated November 2nd, 2010 at 07:43 AM by bzaks1424

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. Dead Cat Bounce, Oct. 24

    by , October 24th, 2010 at 04:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    GMU Sprint Classic:

    Journeyed to my home pool for the annual Sprint Classic hosted by GMU. I wasn't sure what to expect from this meet, but I am thrilled and relieved at how it went given recent circumstances. The lovely Eney Jones predicted a "dead cat bounce," [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_cat_bounce[/ame], and that's pretty much what happened. I just hope I can avoid further ensuing decline.

    50 back, 28.1

    I was absolutely shocked to see this time. But it was one of the rare instances where I executed almost perfectly -- start/turn/finish/SDKs were all very solid. My turn was especially sharp and (unlike LCM Zones) my turnover felt fast and smooth (though I was underwater for 14-15 meters each length). I have changed my backstroke start slightly, apparently to good effect. Instead of pulling up and in, I'm just pulling up and keeping my head straight. I think I get into the water slightly faster this way and am slightly shallower.

    This time is faster than I swam at the Sprint Classic last year in a B70 (28.55) and faster than I swam tapered in Atlanta in a Jaked (28.3) Of course, I did forget my nose clip in Atlanta -- not today!

    Honestly, I think this is my best swim of the entire year.

    3 out of the last 4 of my fastest 50 backstrokes have been in this pool. Coincidence?


    50 fly, 27.8:

    This race was not as well executed, but I'm still very pleased with the time. My breakout was subpar, possibly because I hadn't pre-determined how many SDKs to take. But Coach Cheryl said my turn was excellent and that I pulled ahead with my SDKs. I tightened up the final few strokes and had an unfortunate long glide to the finish. Still, this time is only .2 slower than I swam last year in my B70. I only took a breath at the turn and one breath on the second length.


    50 free, NS

    Didn't swim this event. I was tired and shaky after the 50 fly and couldn't get my heart rate down fast enough. (There weren't that many heats between the 50 fly and 50 free.) I think scratching was a smart move.


    Battle of the Drop Dead Sprinters:

    Most fun part of the meet. Everyone swims 4 x 25. Winner is determined by place. This year, points were given for 5 places, 5-4-3-2-1.

    25 back, 13.3

    Nailed my backstroke start. Speedo said I had a nice underwater. This time is .4 seconds faster than last year in my B70. .4 seems like a awfully lot in a 25. I seem to recall my start wasn't very good last year. Finished 1st.

    25 breast, ?

    I honestly can't remember my exact time. I think it was a 16.5 (?), which is way way slower than last year's 15.69. I've always said that the speed suits made the most difference for me on breaststroke. This is further confirmation. I also went a bit too deep on the start and had a slight float up. I seem to do this frequently in the evilstroke. Finished 6th.

    25 fly, 12.6:

    Everything went perfectly and, unlike my 50, I nailed my finish. I just out touched a real speedster, and it was only because I beat her off the blocks. This is the same time I went last year in my B70. Finished 1st.

    25 free, 12.2:

    Ugh, the starter held us forever. I got off the blocks slowly and was kinda bummed. Was .2 slower than last year. Finished 4th.

    In the end, I defended my title as the Fastest Woman in the Water, but it was very close. Lots of fast chicks in the pool this year. I got a nice USMS shirt as schwag. And congratulations to The Little Devil Roddin, who had blazing fast 25s and captured the Fastest Man in the Water award.

    Congrats to Speedo "no SDKs for me," for winning the 50 free in a close race!

    As always, so great to see all PV folks, including the Roddin baby bump.


    Commentary:

    I had no expectations whatever for this meet. So I'm happy to come away with a pair of good times in my best events. I guess I did enough speed work in the last couple weeks to keep the fast twitch muscles sharp. Now to start re-training and get back in shape for 100s as well.

    Already feeling a bit sore ...

    Updated October 24th, 2010 at 09:45 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  11. Sink Or Swim Classic Premeet Prep

    Those of you who talk with me on the forums have probably seen my signature promoting the Libertyville Masters Sink or Swim Classic in Vernon Hills Illinois. Those of you who know me REALLY well (and now everyone) will know that I will be wearing this brief during the meet:

    To all of you who think that this is ridiculous - YOU'RE WELCOME, I've now opened your mind.
    To all of you who believe that this is awesome and classy - THANK YOU.

    Fun Fact: All summer I swam SCM at Vernon Hill High School - the very pool where this meet will be held. Since September we have been swimming SCY.

    I decided to sign up for as many events as I could - including relays for this meet. It's going to be a blast and I figure "Why not? I don't plan on winning anything - I just plan on pushing myself through this and making it a fun time."

    Events And Goals
    400m Free
    So I decided I wanted my first swim of the day to be the longest swim of the meet. I plan on using this event as a double whammy.
    1) It'll be a PR. No matter what.
    2) It'll be a great warm up before the 50 free which is my next event.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in 7:00. That will be an average 100 around 1:45
    It seems like this might be an easy goal for many of you, but its hard to say for me since I'm so used to swimming SCY, I come in around 1:30-1:35 on the 100 during practice, so I'm hoping that extra 7 foot or so won't equate to much more than 10 seconds.

    50m Free
    The 50m free is placed perfectly. Its a race I really like and a race I would like to do well in. I learned some painful lessons this summer swimming it in LCM and I'm excited to give it another go.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in under 36 seconds
    When I swam SCY in march, I swam my 50 (tapered) in roughly around 33 seconds. I don't see any reason why I couldn't beat that now non-tapered. I can swim a 35 at the end of practice these days (so I'm already exhausted and its a push off the wall).

    50m Breast
    I'm not good at breast stroke. I'm very aware of it. I know I should take the time, I just haven't. I'll admit it fully and readily. That being said:
    My goal in this event is to beat my LCM time of 59.57 seconds
    I shall not fear the event! I shall embrace it!

    100m IM
    Even though the 50 is the event I want to do the most well in, the 100 IM is the event I'm most excited about! I've more or less just learned butterfly in the last couple months and I'm excited about the prospect of finally getting to do it in a race! I practiced my transition off the wall from fly to back once the other night and its a LOT of fun!
    My goal in this event is to swim it in under 2 minutes.
    The 100 IM is just the stepping stone. By January I'm hoping to be able to do the 200 IM and stick with that event for a while while I build up my strength/endurance to do the 400 IM.

    50m Back
    The 50 Back is one of those events I like - but I'm not great at. This will have been after all of my other 4 events + 2 relays. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be more of a flooded kayak than swimmer at this point.
    My goal in this event - given the circumstances - is survival. That being said, I'd like to swim it in under 50 seconds

    Thanks for reading! I hope to have video of this!
  12. LCM Zones, Aug. 21-22

    by , August 22nd, 2010 at 03:53 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Quick Summary:

    Had a fantastic time hanging out with my swim friends! Way to go Muppet for a well run meet! Had two good swims and two personal worsts. It pretty much went as expected -- I had no easy speed and felt choppy and ploddish. That's what comes of taking 6 weeks off since SCY Nats and not doing much speed work. Each day, I was grateful that I had only signed up for the 4 50s and not been foolishly ambitious. All my 50s (except breast where I slipped on the start) were about the same: great start, great 25, fading painfully and miserably last the 10-15 meters or so. My expectations were firmly in check, so it was all good. I didn't expect to be near my Indy times, which were the product of great training, great atmospherics and (to some degree) tech suits.

    Meet Analysis:

    Saturday:

    50 fly, 31.22

    I had a great reaction, exploded off the blocks, and had a nice clean entry. Came up 1/2 body length ahead on the field. After struggling with starts for the last year, I decided to take Stud's start advice, which just involves a neutral position on the blocks and reaching for the water. I popped up earlier than usual, but that could have been because of the lack of tech suits. I hadn't done a start since Nationals (didn't even bother with one in warm up), so was pleasantly surprised. My stroke felt very bouncy. But I have done zero fast fly since July. My kick was strong, but I just couldn't smooth things out. Faded the last 10 meters though Jimsely said I looked "energetic." The pool was darker and less clean than usual and I had trouble picking up the wall at the end. Still, my previous non-"rubber" Pro time was 31.6. My previous non-Nats B70 time was 30.7. So I didn't feel like this was too bad really. The times ahead of me in the event rankings are one tech suit time and two times from new 45 year old Olympians in my age group.

    50 free, 30.0

    This is my personal worst as a masters. I had another great start, but completely tied up with 15 meters to go, lost my kick and felt choppy. I had hoped to just break 30, and was bummed not to. But I don't feel I can expect much more right now. For some reason, when I'm not in good condition, my free really suffers. It's just not my natural stroke. Still, the time shouldn't have been that close to my fly time.

    Sunday:

    The day started off rather rough. I only got 4 hours sleep Saturday night after a bout of insominia. I had planned to get up at 7:15, but got up at 6:00 am instead after sleep proved impossible. I wasn't nervous at all for this meet, so I think my lack of sleep may have been from over caffeination. I had a tummy ache today too, which was either caused excess GU/gatorade or the untimely arrival of AF or both. I was out of Smart Water and drank Gatorade and Vitamin Water instead, but both taste so sweet and seemed to disagree with me.

    50 breast, 41.8

    Another personal worst. The starter held us forever and I wasn't comfortable on the start. I slipped. (Jimsley could not resist immediately pointing this out after my race.) This is the same thing that happened to me in the 50 evil 2 years ago at this meet in the same lane. After that, I swam somewhat half heartedly and couldn't get my turnover going. I think I was inadequately warmed up possibly, or just a bit out of it. Swimming breaststroke in a kneeskin, moreover, felt like a different stroke. After making strides last year in this stroke, I'm not terribly encouraged to carry on.

    50 back, 33.4:

    I had another great start and came up even with Fall W. Swam well and smoothly for about 35 meters and then lost it again and chopped to the finish in survival mode. Still, given how I felt, I was happy with the time. Aside from Indy, I've swum a 33.4 twice before at Zones, once with a B70 and a slip on the start and once with a Pro. My only secret goal for this meet was to be faster in this event than the winning time at Nats, which I did. With the kind of conditioning I had last summer, I'm sure I could break 33 again even with a kneeskin.


    Commentary:

    Even though I wasn't in great shape and my swims were somewhat sketchy, I'm glad I did the meet. It was great fun. And, having now experienced the effects of lack of race pace training and drylands, I'm anxious to get back to training. My team doesn't start training again until Sept. 2, so I'm on my own until then. I feel like my best training in this summer was the 3 weeks after my Baltic trip where I swam 2x a week with my team. I'm not sure my solo routine works as well in LCM. Even for 50s, a huge amount of conditioning is required to swim fast.

    My shoulders feel all mashed up just from the 50s. I think a recovery swim is in order tomorrow. I cannot even complain b/c Mr. Fort did the Reston Century Ride today.

    My house guests swam extremely well! Jimby swims just as fast without a B70 (despite all that fretting) and Stud posted several personal bests.

    Attached is a pic from SwimShark who came to the meet to cheer us on after her foot surgery. (From left to right: SwimShark, Stud, Michelina, Geoff (former teammate from Indy), me and Little Devi Roddin).

    I have no idea why my computer keeps double posting my blog entries. Sorry!

    Updated August 22nd, 2010 at 09:51 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  13. LCM Zones, Aug. 21-22

    by , August 22nd, 2010 at 03:53 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Quick Summary:

    Had a fantastic time hanging out with my swim friends! Had two good swims and two personal worsts. It pretty much went as expected -- I had no easy speed and felt choppy and ploddish. That's what comes of taking 6 weeks off since SCY Nats and not doing much speed work. Each day, I was grateful that I had only signed up for the 4 50s and not been foolishly ambitious. All my 50s (except breast where I slipped on the start) were about the same: great start, great 25, fading painfully and miserably last 15 meters. My expectations were very much in check, so it was all good. I didn't expect to be near my Indy times, which were the product of great training, great atmospherics and (to some degree) tech suits. And I'll happily take my 50 fly/back times.

    Meet Analysis:

    Saturday:

    50 fly, 31.22

    I had a great reaction, exploded off the blocks, and had a nice clean entry. Came up 1/2 body length ahead on the field. After struggling with starts for the last year, I decided to take Stud's start advice, which just involves a neutral position on the blocks and reaching for the water. I popped up earlier than usual, but that could have been because of the lack of tech suits. I hadn't done a start since Nationals (didn't even bother with one in warm up), so was pleasantly surprised. My stroke felt very bouncy. But I have done zero fast fly since July. My kick was strong, but I just couldn't smooth things out. Faded the last 10 meters though Jimsely said I looked "energetic." The pool was darker and less clean than usual and I had trouble picking up the wall at the end. Still, my previous non-"rubber" Pro time was 31.6. My previous non-Nats B70 time was 30.7. So I didn't feel like this was too bad really. The times ahead of me in the event rankings are one tech suit time and two times from new 45 year old Olympians in my age group.

    50 free, 30.0

    This is my personal worst as a masters. I had another great start, but completely tied up with 15 meters to go, lost my kick and felt choppy. I had hopped to break 30, and was bummed not to. But I don't feel I can expect much more right now. For some reason, when I'm not in good condition, my free really suffers. It's just not my natural stroke. Still, the time shouldn't have been that close to my fly time.

    Sunday:

    The day started off rather rough. I only got 4 hours sleep Saturday night after a bout of insominia. I had planned to get up at 7:15, but got up at 6:00 am instead after sleep proved impossible. I wasn't nervous at all for this meet, so I think my lack of sleep may have been from over caffeination. I had a tummy ache today too, which was either caused GU or the untimely arrival of AF or both.

    50 breast, 41.8

    Another personal worst. The starter held us forever and I wasn't comfortable on the start. I slipped. This is the same thing that happened to me in the 50 evil 2 years ago at this meet in the same lane. After that, I swam somewhat half heartedly and couldn't get my turnover going. I think I was inadequately warmed up possibly, or just a bit out of it. Swimming breaststroke in a kneeskin, moreover, felt like a different stroke. After making strides last year in this stroke, I'm not terribly encouraged to carry on.

    50 back, 33.4:

    I had another great start and came up even with Fall W. Swam well and smoothly for about 35 meters and then lost it again and chopped to the finish in survival mode. Still, given how I felt, I was happy with the time. Aside from Indy, I've swum a 33.4 twice before at Zones, once with a B70 and a slip on the start and once with a full body zipper Pro. My only secret goal for this meet was to be faster in this event than the winning time at Nats, which I did. With the kind of conditioning I had last summer, I'm sure I could break 33 again even with a kneeskin.


    Commentary:

    Even though I wasn't in great shape and my swims were somewhat sketchy, I'm glad I did the meet. It was great fun. And, having now experienced the effects of lack of race pace training and drylands, I'm anxious to get back to training. My team doesn't start training again until Sept. 2, so I'm on my own until then. I feel like my best training in this summer was the 3 weeks after my Baltic trip where I swam 2x a week with my team. I'm not sure my solo routine works as well in LCM. Even for 50s, a huge amount of conditioning is required to swim fast.

    My shoulders feel all mashed up just from the 50s. I think a recovery swim is in order tomorrow.

    My house guests swam extremely well! Jimby swims just as fast without a B70 (despite all that fretting) and Stud posted personal bests.

    Attached is a pic from SwimShark who came to the meet to cheer us on after her foot surgery.

    Updated August 22nd, 2010 at 08:20 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  14. SCY GOAL TIME!

    So SCY season is upon us soon! I'm already starting to plan out my goals and ideas!
    Since I like to break things down logically (being that logic is my job) I'm going to start by labeling my high level goals and then giving slightly more detailed goals that I have within those goals.

    Simple goals:
    1) Get Faster (in Swimming)
    2) Get Stronger
    3) Get Skinnier
    4) Build a giant robot that can take over.... .err never mind. (Remember Mike - this is PUBLIC)

    My physical stats and goals:
    Height: 6'3ish <-- I was 6'2 going into college, grew another inch freshman year
    Weight: 210ish <-- Lightest EVER
    Shoe Size: 15 <-- Sucks to buy shoes
    Waist Line: 34 <-- WOW! I'm so pumped!
    Body Fat (as of 7/22/2010): 17.5% <--- GRRR

    My body fat is a frustrating one. I have a lot of loose skin - so I honestly feel that it probably skewed the results of the 7 point pinch test. Especially when I can't imagine myself still having another 35 pounds of fat on my body. Regardless - I still have to keep working out anyway. Otherwise how can I get stronger? (What just happened?)

    My strength goals:
    I don't do a good job keeping stats (like 1MR) of my lifts. I'm not concerned so much with building up that kind of strength. All of my strength goals are to build my body so I can focus more intensively on swimming. So even though my curl is at 12x70 (35 in each hand) using an underhand grip and my lat pull down is at 12x115 - I honestly just want to see those numbers continue to rise on a biweekly to triweekly basis as I spend my 6 days a week at the gym, focusing on developing my extremities while strengthening my core as much as possible. If I can continue lifting and growing stronger - its only going to help me swim faster! (ANOTHER TRANSITION? What's he doing!?)

    Swimming stats and goals
    Alright - So my only SCY times are in the IL State Meet in April. That was long enough ago - and I've lost 20 pounds since then and have gained a lot of strength. I have a few LCM times - but rather than worrying about converting them. Lets just say I'd better beat them when it comes to SCY. The official times are still there:
    Code:
    50 Free: 32.97
    100 Free 1:18.42
    I have my goal times for the year to reach for.
    Code:
    50 Free: < 30 sec
    100 Free: < 1:10
    50 Back: < 50 sec
    100 Back: < 1:50
    50 Breast: < 55 sec
    100 Breast: < 2:00
    *Note - if I beat those times, then I just want to continue improvement. If I don't - its fine. I'm just looking forward to trying! Lastly for swimming; I want to learn how to do butterfly by next April for the Illinois state meet. I'd like to be able to do the 50 free in fly. We'll see what I can get my coach to teach me!
    Outside of swimming - I'm going to be working up to no less than 5 days a week swimming and if I can - 2 practices per day. We'll see how that lines up with sleep as one can't swim all of those events well if you don't have proper rest and nutrition! (He did it again! That son of a big guy!)

    Rest and Nutrional Goals
    Now - nutritional goals are nothing new for me. Rest goals however totally are. To help me focus better on my swimming and to allow me to swim more often and more effectively - I need to be properly rested and well nourished.
    So to help me rest more - I'm giving up organized recreation outside of swimming for now. As soon as my seasons are over for basketball and both of my softball leagues, I'm going to forgo other offers so I can just primarily focus on my swimming and my workout (lifting and possibly running).
    Nutrionally - I need to focus on making sure I keep a solid grip on the reality of my situation - I have to maintain healthy eating habits. I know from experience now that when I do splurge - I end up feeling kind of sick and tired within a few hours. If I'm going to perform - I need to be on top of my game!
    I also need to make sure I sleep enough. Which is such a tear for me. One the one hand - if I get up early - get to work early and get home early - I get to have the afternoon to accomplish what needs to be done. On the other hand - my masters team meets at 8:30 at night. That means practice goes til 9:30, and I'm awake til 11 minimum. A 5 AM wake up just doesn't happen on that these days. So especially once basketball and softball are done, I'll take some time to really focus on how I'm going to actually implement these ideas.

    Thanks for reading again! Today's post isn't as long - but I still appreciate you reading! So today I'm offering a dinosaur:
  15. usms 2010 LCM zones

    by , July 25th, 2010 at 09:41 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    07/23/10 - 07/25/10
    2010 South Central Long Course
    Southlake, Texas


    fri

    400 im
    went 5:10.23
    31.4 37.8
    41.7 45.1
    44.4 44.9
    35.8 32.9


    sat

    50 br
    34.6

    50 bk
    29.6

    100 fl
    29.4 33.3
    breathed air on first stroke after turn


    sun

    50 fr
    26.1

    200 im
    2:21.20
    29
    38
    41
    31.8

    50 fl
    27.54


    Subscribe to Ande's Swimming Blog

    swam Wed Jul 21st
    did around 1500

    LCM
    Whitney Coached
    5:30 TO 7:00
    Austin UT Swim Center div well
    swam with tyler, larry, mike, chris, ned
    wore a brief
    dove in at 7:05

    WARM UP
    400
    300
    200
    100

    MAIN SET

    assigned: 4 x 200 fr desc
    did 100 fr, skip, skip,
    100 fr easy speed
    went 1:07

    100 k

    assigned: 4 x 150 fr desc
    did 50, 50, 50
    150 fr done 125 easy speed 25 mod

    100 k

    assigned: 4 x 100
    did 100 easy
    skip, skip,
    100 easy speed went 62

    100 k

    assigned 4 x 50
    did 50 easy 50 easy speed
    went 28

    100 k
  16. My Indy SwimFit review!

    First and foremost - I want to say the Indy SwimFit meet was run very well! I had plenty of rest time, the results were posted extremely fast and the people running the desk were REALLY cool.

    So to get to Indy, I decided to take the Amtrak. Its easy to get to, and its super low stress. This trip I take my friend Tessa. She's a great friend and she promised to video tape my swims.
    We arrive in Indy about 11:30 PM, and walk about 300 yards to the hotel (GREAT PLANNING). After getting ready for bed, I fall asleep until about 4:30 AM. I finally get out of bed right around 5:15 get my stuff together in the dark and start walking around the hotel. Finally around 5:45 I make my way into the restaurant and get my first cup of decaf. Finally after consuming a massive amount of food by about 6:30, I get up and I walk over to the computers for the hotel and start playing around on the forums, facebook and gmail. (See here: [ame=http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=219296&postcount=48]Forum Post[/ame])

    As I'm sitting at the computer - I see a few people walking through the hotel with their own swim bags. I figured I'd just introduce myself and make friends - what a GREAT idea. The person I met was Nadine Day. First off - she knew EVERYONE at the meet, so I got to meet a lot of fantastic swimmers and make a lot of new friends. Secondly - I immediately labeled her as my surrogate coach. She actually did quite a bit to help me learn at the end of the meet and I'll be repeating those drills at pretty much every practice.

    So enough fluff - I swam the 50 Back, 100 Back, 50 Free, 50 Breast and finally 100 Free. I'm coming to the conclusion - if I at least do one race well - its a good meet. :-)

    Before the race - I received a free swim cap. I figured I would try it out! Why not; right? I did a few practice laps and decided I would just keep it on for the rest of the meet. It was a really weird feeling not feeling the water on your head.

    Results

    50 Back
    "I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane."
    BORKED
    My goal in backstroke is always to survive. Although - its also to beat last meet's time. As of July 4th I don't have my official time for the Badger State Games, but I know I swam an equivalent time so I was pretty happy with that even if I didn't swim a 50. At least I'm not getting slower! I remember at the very beginning of the race I was choking on the water as it kept coming up over my face with my left arm. So I relaxed the arms and made sure that my stroke was even and calm and the water stopped flowing over my face. Watching the video - its pretty obvious that I don't know how to start. Something that I just have to learn in practice. As I'm watching though - I'm noticing that I bend my knees when I kick. This will be corrected as I learn the drills that Nadine taught me. I also worked to try and make sure my shoulders came out of the pool when swimming; you can tell when I'm thinking about it and when I'm not because I either do it or don't. Practice will even that out though.

    100 Back
    "I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!"
    --No Video--
    The race started the same as the 50 back - with me choking from water from my left arm. I again chilled out and let my arms relax. I swam a much better race. When I flipped turned off the wall, I didn't get any air right before my turn, so I was totally in O2 Debt by the time I came out from under. I also had a very deep flip turn for whatever reason. I came up and was able to breath again. At that point it was just "make it to the wall". I swam a 1:55 - which was great for me especially because I thought I was going to be doing about 2:00+.

    50 Free
    "I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)"
    BORKED
    <Sigh> This was a very disappointing race. I should've come up sooner and relied on my on my ability to swim rather than dolphin kick underwater. I wasted a lot of time in that race underwater. (Nadine came up and basically told me she was happy I was working on my underwater - but that was too much). I also didn't finish that race completely exhausted. So I know I didn't give 100% and I know I could've done much better. I ended that race on a 40, which sorely disappointed me. Next time I'll make it. I KNOW I can!

    50 Breast
    "Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward."
    BORKED
    I did manage to complete this race in under a minute! I was super excited about that. I spent this race completely focused on form. That was far more important to me than any time or anything like that. So I made sure to allow time for a little bit of glide before going into the stroke again. Next time however I will probably take a little less time gliding and a little more time swimming. I think its about learning that delicate balance? Coach will tell me eventually. :-)

    100 Free
    "I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25"
    BORKED
    Well, I certain did not swim a 1:25. I swam a 1:30. By the time I hit the blocks on this race, I was only focused on making a stand against that awful 50 Free I did before. I remember coming down, feeling pretty strong. My swim into the wall was not really that great (those bulkheads were trippy for me... I will have to swim in that pool more). After coming off the wall - I noted the guy next to me was beatable. So I decided to push it, hard. I started kicking harder and swimming harder. This entire time I was also not taking the time to breath every other stroke or even every three strokes. I limited myself to 4 or 5 strokes per breath thinking "You can breath when you're done...". I pushed myself as hard as I could into the wall with that guy right on my tail. He ended up kicking it in just at the last second and beating me by .05 seconds. I need to work on my finishes apparently :-) That race was a great race for me and I'm very proud of it.

    All in all at this meet I was happy with how it turned out. I met Mary Pohlmann, Nadine Day, and quite a few other people whose names currently escape me. I can't wait til my next meet, regardless of the pool size. I do happen to really like the long course though. I really wish I could train in it. I've also decided after this weekend, I definitely need more swimming in my life. So I'm currently working to find more pools to swim in as well. We'll see how that goes and we'll see if I'm capable of keeping it up! Thanks for all of your encouragement everyone!

    Tonight: Drills at the Lake Bluff Rec! Going to basically just do drills for a couple hours to work on form. Post ideas for drills if you want!

    Updated July 7th, 2010 at 02:46 PM by bzaks1424

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  17. A fun and quick little story:

    So last weekend I swam at the Badger State Games in Appleton Wisconsin. It was my first LCM Meet where I did sprints. You all have seen the times from my previous post Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?! So we all know - they weren't really that good.

    So because there was no one else in my age group for any race except the 50 free and my relay won, I was able to achieve 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal for the meet.

    So the other day I get an email saying "results are up from the badger state games!"

    Naturally - I'm excited so I check the link: Results and even as of 9:20 AM on July 2nd, they most certainly are not!

    However I was playing around the website and I see this:
    Did you win a medal at The Badger State Winter or Summer Games?
    If so, you may qualify for the State Games Of America!

    In order to qualify for the State Games of America, participants must have won a gold, silver or bronze medal in a SGA sport in their local State Games in a qualifying year (2009 or 2010 Summer, 2010 or 2011 Winter). The State Games of America will take place in San Diego, August , 2011. For a complete listing of sports and more information visit www.stategames.org.
    So following a few links I found this:
    California State Games/State Games of America

    So August 5th-7th in 2011, I guess I'll be swimming in San Diego! Hopefully by then I'll be a much better swimmer - maybe I'll even be able to give [ame="http://forums.usms.org/member.php?u=18385"]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame] a run for her money in the breast stroke!

    Does anyone know anywhere in Illinois where I can consistently train in LCM?
  18. Meet Prep for the IndySwimFit

    I'm currently stuck in training at work. Its about how to run some monitoring application. Honestly - my efforts are better spent in about 50,000 different places, but I'm stuck here for the rest of the week. I'm going to do some prep for this weekends meet.

    I will be swimming the following races:
    • 50 Back
    • 100 Back
    • 50 Free
    • 50 Breast
    • 100 free


    I also did some reading, and it appears I can sign up for at 1 relay. I know I'm going to be completely cashed by this point, but I'm totally signing up for another relay at this meet. I loved swimming it last weekend. It was fun meeting the new people as I swam it as well!

    Goals
    50 Back
    I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane.
    100 Back
    I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!
    50 Free
    I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)
    50 Breast
    Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward.
    100 free
    I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25

    My goal for every race
    Push through the O2 deprivation. I'll have at LEAST 2-3 minutes to catch my breath after every race - so O2 debt is not going to be a major concern. I can catch my breath later!

    Nutritionally - I'm going to play it a little differently. Last meet I did not come prepared to consume enough fast acting carbs so I felt that my recovery was not nearly as fast as it should have been. So this time - I'm going to prepare again with a healthy balanced breakfast around 6 AM. Warm up around 8 AM, have a banana around 9 AM, and be ready to destroy my old record (hahaha only record) at 9:30-9:45 when the 50 back comes up.

    So I'm ready... going to train on my own tonight, practice tomorrow night, and I get on a train at 2:20 Friday to head to Chicago to catch the 5 PM to Indy from Chicago. I might even lift Friday morning before work. We'll see if I can sleep after practice.
  19. Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?!

    Its not often I swear underwater. Usually its caused by an annoyance in my lane or a severe pain in my body. I usually reserve my energy for swimming - its an intelligent thing in my opinion.
    This weekend was almost an exception to that rule. That 50 Free in an LCM pool nearly killed me.... but we'll get to that later because right now its time for the

    POST MEETS POST MORTEM

    The Park Ridge 1500 @ the Oakton Pool in Park Ridge IL
    Results

    The PR 1500 was a fun race for me actually. I had never honestly swam more than 1000 straight in practice and so my first and foremost thought was "I just need to survive the race" I had done a 20x100 in practice this week - and survived rather well. During the race - I found myself pacing it like a 3x500. The first 500 was a warmup, the second 500 I focused on my form and technique, trying to keep a strong kick and keep going. The final 500 was focused solely on build up; I wanted to make each 100 faster than the 100 before it leaving the final 100 for a sprint to the finish with 0% energy left.

    Quick Anecdote: During the race on my first flip turn - I saw the number on the wall - and for some reason I was mesmerized by it, and ended up jamming into the wall on my flip turn. The rest of the meet - I avoided looking at the number so as to prevent that problem.

    Well - I finished my race @ 29.32! A PERSONAL RECORD! Hysterically enough - even with my build up and everything - my teammate Jamie told me that my pace was pretty much RIGHT ON 1:59 for all 15 laps (no more than a second or two deviation). So all of that "build up" I did was really just a correction to keep me from going slower. My final "sprint" was on 1:54. So much for extra energy output.

    I won my age group though! Out of no one else

    Goals for meet:
    • Maintain a consistent pace with no more than a 3-4 second deviation between any two laps.
      DONE AND DONE
    • Keep my *average* split time under 1:50.
      Nope. Going to have to work on that speed thing.
    • Finish the race strong, even with nothing left in my body.
      DONE!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall at least 80% of the time.
      YES! I was very proud of that - I can count only twice off the wall that I didn't dolphin kick and that comes out to 86.67% dolphin off the wall!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to bring my average time down. This 1:59 thing won't do for me. I know I just need to build up in the pool with more swimming. These sorts of things come with time.
    • I need to focus on my sprints at the end of the race. I'm pretty sure that I probably could've pulled more out of the tank had I pushed a little harder earlier. I wasn't really feeling tired until the last 2-300 anyway.


    The Badger State Games @ Erb Park Pool in Appleton Wi
    Results

    In this meet I swam the 50 Free, the 50 Back, the 100 Free and I jumped in in an ad-hoc relay (the 4x100 free relay). It was a fun meet- but being there alone kind of sucked. I did make some fun friends though!

    The 50 Free
    The 50 Free was my first race - and actually the most brutal of the races I did that day. I took my time to warm up. Was pretty relaxed and feeling really good when I got on the blocks. My dive was so-so, I totally forgot to dolphin kick. I was doing really well too until I hit about the 40 meter mark. Then all of a sudden everything started to cut out. I had 0 energy, was totally exhausted and running out of O2. I ended the race on 39 seconds.

    The 50 Back
    I got out of my swim down from the 50 free and I take a peak at the heat sheet. I have 2 minutes until my 50 back! Aye Dios Mio!! So I shake it all off, sip some gatorade and get down to the blocks. Time to rock and roll! I've never started the back stroke nor have I ever finished the back stroke. So it was an experience. I did get in and swim a 50 back "quickly" to get a feel for it. During the entire race I kept focusing on "floppy floppy ankles" and relaxing the arms as long as they were out of the water. I got through that race in 53 seconds.

    The 100 Free
    This was a rough rough race. I got done with my 50 back, discovered I only had 3 heats of 50 back before I had to swim the 100 free! So I got a sip of gatorade and started shaking my body around. Had to knock off that lactic acid build up asap. I got on the blocks and dove in. I must not have tucked my chin right because my goggles came off. DOH! I swam as hard as I could, but I was freaking out a little mentally. I was having a hard time breathing and I knew form was collapsing. I went into the wall and did my push off with my eyes completely closed. I came up and kept swimming as hard as I could, running out of breath because I was still in a mental panic. I hit the wall at 1:39 - I was extremely disappointed in that time. I nearly threw up after this event. My stomach was so tight I could barely breath!

    The Ad-hoc 4x100 Free Relay
    I had about 8 more heats of 100 free after me. So I was able to get a little bit of rest and relaxation before having to dive in again. I was the 2nd swimmer in the relay, and this time - I was going to make sure those goggles were not coming off. I'm partially convinced that I was cutting off circulation to my brain during that race, but I honestly didn't care. I think I swam really really well. I remember looking up at my second split being 40 seconds. If my first split was anything less- that means I did a sub 1:20 on my 100, which for me is AMAZING! I put my relay behind - but fortunately our anchor was pretty fast! He came from behind and won the race! Yay Strangers! Seriously though - Ad-Hoc relays rock the house.

    Goals for meet:
    • Under 35 in the 50 Free (its LCM, a whole new beast for me)
      Nope. I have another chance next weekend though. I think I can shave that time off by more intelligent pacing.
    • Under 1:30 for the 100 Free
      If I'm not freaking out about my goggles - yes I can do this next weekend. This weekend I did not.
    • Under 45 for the 50 Back
      I definitely did NOT get anywhere close to that. I'm also not sure if I can pull it off. We'll have to see!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall for my ONE turn.
      Nope. Did not do it on the relay either. I'm going to focus pretty hard on that one over this week and for the next meet.
    • Dolphin kick after my start for the back.
      I totally did not. I will be focusing on that this week as well during practice.
    • Don't screw up my Back start.
      I'm pretty sure I didn't do it "right" but it wasn't awful. I at least made it to the flags before coming up!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to focus on endurance for those last 10-15 meters. I need to remember that I can breath when I'm done and honestly - O2 deprivation is fine in the short term. I need to have better times next week.
    • I need to remember to dolphin kick off the wall... One of the things I'm realizing in this 50 meter pool - since I don't have my flip turns and pushing off the wall I need to get as far as I can off my dive as possible so I can spend as minimal amount time swimming as possible so I can have the energy to sprint with with my arms and kick like crazy when I'm not able to glide.


    Sorry for the long post. I'm down for any thoughts or suggestions any of you have!

    See all of you (or none of you) next weekend at the Indy Swim Fit at the UofI Pool!!!

    Updated July 7th, 2010 at 02:44 PM by bzaks1424 (Jon: post MORTEM Mike MORTEM)

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. Meet Prep!

    So I'm not going to lie, I'm VERY excited for this weekend. Even if I'm a little sick I'm going to go in there and kick some serious rear! I'm not slowing my training for this either. The summer is all about doing everything I physically can. (As you can tell from all of my other posts, I don't leave much time to slow down.

    However - that doesn't mean I won't be taking these meets seriously! I've already established my goals (and have since learned they may be unrealistic in an LCM...) and I've already figured out what I'm going to eat and when to help make sure my body is ready to roll.

    The only problem I may have now is actually sleeping. Its by no means an issue of not being tired, or not even being in my bed. Its a matter of containing the excitement before these meets!

    Normally - I'm usually really chill. I don't usually allow myself to get excited until the precipice of the event. It keeps me from having this exact same problem! The whole night I had visions of swimming and flip turns. I spent a lot of time laying in bed with my eyes closed just trying to let go and I couldn't. I remember when my email click went off on my phone around 1 AM, then a few facebook posts around 2 or 3 AM..... I had already decided around midnight to just shut off my alarm, since I wasn't getting to sleep and just wake up whenever (my job offers me a lot of flexibility).

    I couldn't lay there anymore around 4:30-5:00 AM and ended up just making breakfast and going into work early. So here I sit now, not TERRIBLY exhausted (much less exhausted than I thought I would be) but still tired.

    The only part about this that really drives me wild is that I still have 2 nights of trying to sleep before I even get to the Park Ridge 1500, let alone the Badger State Games! I remember I was like this before the Illinois state meet back in April, but I just had problems sleeping the night before the meet, not the week of the meet!

    I think what triggered it was my performance during practice last night. We did 20x100 and I was supposed to be on 2:15. Well - due to some ankle issues I've had to swap in and out of using the pull buoy. I'm MUCH faster on pull than I am on my standard swim. So I was doing my pulls on 1:30 and my swims on 1:55. I ended up finishing way ahead of time - which was such a COOL experience for me. I was driven enough by it that I managed to pre-make my meals for today, do the dishes, and take out the trash after practice all before 11 PM after practice last night. (I get home around 10:15).

    What gets you excited? What gets you pumped for a meet?
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