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  1. Nationals Saturday

    Warning: This is very stream of conscience.

    Friday night I had dinner with a bunch of people from the forums and one or two non-forum Fort friends. She really does know everyone. The location was picked to be close to Georgia Tech Conference Center and have gluten free options for the non-gluten eaters.

    Only one glass of Pinot Noir was consumed.

    Saturday morning came all too early, so early Lazy Wife was hoping I would scratch the 500, but I had already checked in the night before. We unhappily dragged our uncaffeinated carcasses to the pool.

    I got in a nice long warm up with the aide of Speedo, which left my jaw ready to race and my *** lined from those ridges on the bleachers. During this time Lazy Wife discovered that the VIP room was out of coffee, so she went upstairs to get some Starbucks and came back a much happier person.

    I totally understand why pwb sleeps with cold esspresso bedside.

    I head to the blocks dry, wearing brand new Finis legskins, having not swam a 500 scy for time since the 500 free at scy Zones in 2009. My stress level is very low, I find the 500 a much easier event than the 200, and Geek was unable to sucker me into some foolish gridge. I was also unable to sucker PWolf into a 500 gridge

    My counter, Lazy Wife, seems to have decided that she is a ring girl and is going to walk around the pool with the counting card over her head, instead of a 500 counter. She might have the looks for it, but she lacks the emergency flotation devices that are usually found on ring girls.

    Still, my stress level is low, I learned to count to 20 at a small college in Pittsburgh. If my ring girl/counter no shows, I will survive.

    Also, every lane has a bell, so deaf people can probably feel the vibration of all the bells ringing during the last lap of a close race.

    My plan is to take it out easy, and breath a lot, picking it up at the end to bring it home with all I have left. This plan works great until the "all I have left" which is still quite a bit after I finish. Oops.

    18 Quinn, Michael 33 NTEX 5:41.47 5:35.54
    30.25 1:03.59 (33.34)
    1:37.50 (33.91) 2:12.07 (34.57)
    2:47.11 (35.04) 3:22.13 (35.02)
    3:57.05 (34.92) 4:31.98 (34.93)
    5:05.17 (33.19) 5:35.54 (30.37)

    The 1st 50 and the last 50 are pretty much exactly the same. I did actually start from the blocks. Like I said, Oops.


    Best swim I saw was pwb's 500 free. His turnover is incredibly slow, and I told him when I saw him at the end of the day that Roc was taking 3x as many strokes as he was. Well, Roc was next to him in the 200 IM not the 500 free, so I don't know who was actually churning it up next to Patrick, but I watched in awe. He moves so far with each stroke that he is amazingly fast with a much lower turnover than his competitors. It really makes you wander what he does differently.

    Went back to the hotel to crash for a few hours before the 100 free. The meet was running about an hour behind schedule when we headed back.

    More warm up with Speedo, but this time he was swimming the 100 free as well, so when he left to warm up in the pool, I felt obligated. The warm up pool is a cluster of no small proportions. After about 8 25s, I am done. Flip turns are impossible and there more of a chance that I will end up injured in the warm up pool then end up warmed up.

    I run into Rich Abrahams who I met in Dallas in Feb and he has the 100 free. He tells me that anything that starts with a 4 is fine with him. He has just aged up to 65-69 and is looking at resetting some records he set at the state meet a month ago. A little later he breaks 50 in the 100 free and sets a new nationals record. It starts with a 4

    People are swimming fast, I am getting excited about my race. Popping off a 100 free is nothing. It is a fun race, there is nothing riding on this, I think I can break 53, and a 52 mid would be a nice 1 second drop from what I went in December. Whatever happens, I will be happy because my 200 went well, and I had a great time hanging out at the meet.

    I head behind the blocks about 6 heats before my race with Speedo who is in the heat before me. Wait wait wait, but things are moving ok... until we get to Speedo's heat. "Take your mark, stand up, take your mark, stand up, swimmers stand down, take your mark, false start, swimmers stand down." We stop for several minutes while the officials play with the timing system, but while this is going on, Brunelli and Jones are swimming at the other end, so we are somewhat entertained. Some what, because none of us can move to a better vantage to watch their race because we don't know exactly when our race is going to happen. Still, more fast swimming is always good. Speedo swims, looks good to me, but he isn't thrilled. He was doing air squats for 10 minutes before the race to entertain the starter, so that might have had a small impact.

    I finally step up, and we play a little of the same game, but without any false starts. Take your mark, long hold, stand up, take your mark long hold, go. Who are these guys?

    Finally, in the water. The plan is to breath a lot, stay long off the walls, and haul ass. First flip, MISS THE WALL. Scull back to touch the wall with my feet to stay legal, and I take off expecting to be way behind. I am about a body length behind the guy next to me, so I think I am not that bad off. The next wall is a little tight, but I get a good push off and am going crazy trying to catch people I can see. The final bulkhead wall is a little long, but I get enough of a push off that I am not worried about it, and I give it all I have got to the finish.

    My seed was 53.43, which is my fastest recent time, and it was from a USAS meet in December (maybe Nov).

    31 Quinn, Michael 33 NTEX 53.43 53.30
    26.39 53.30 (26.91)


    Dropped a .1 of a second after completely missing the first wall. I was thrilled and I actually didn't believe the scoreboard after the race. Apparently Lazy Wife shocked the guy she was standing next to when I missed that first wall, she yelled "Mother ". I am a little disappointed that I missed that first wall because that would have been the swim of the meet for me.

    Had dinner with a billion swimmers at Fox Sports Grill. I am so glad that I got to hang out with so many forum friends this weekend. The trip was totally worth it just for the social aspect and even overrode the shame of loosing to the big bad wolf.

    PS: The ring girl did show and did a great job counting.
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  2. Last day at nationals

    This morning I got to the pool for the early warmup even though I wasn’t swimming the 500. I just wanted some alone time with the water, to say goodbye to the pool. I got in a nice calm warmup—about 2000 yards—and even swam a bit in the warmdown pool just to see what it was like without a bazillion people in it. I loved how blue and peaceful it felt over there.

    It was fun watching the 500 swimmers—we had several 500istas from AGUA that I cheered on, plus several other swimmers I know from my area and past competitions. I really do love hearing all the bells ringing at the end of the race. I think it would be cool if they were like handbells, with a different tone for each lane. Maybe you could arrange them so they would play a major scale if the swimmers finished as seeded (although with 10 lanes there would be a couple of extra notes). Each heat would produce a different little tune determined by the swimmers.

    Then I swam the 50 BK leadoff for our B relay. I finished in 31.31, which was a bit better than yesterday’s 31.45 and just nudged under my 40-44 PR from 2008. It was a nice note to finish the meet on.

    My main source of stress today was worrying about how I would manage to climb out of the pool after my relay swim—we weren’t in an end lane, and the high walls looked intimidating. I even asked yesterday if I could swim FR on the relay so I wouldn’t have that problem, but it was too late to switch things around. I shouldn’t have worried—all the teams in my heat stayed in the water until the end lanes were done and we could swim over to the side. I have seen plenty of swimmers hoist themselves easily and gracefully out of the pool (including Fortress, who was in the heat ahead of me in the 50 BK yesterday), so kudos to them. I clearly need to work on more strength training!

    Then it was time for a quick shower and change, before heading off to the airport. I found swimmers who had driven to the meet who were happy to take the cheap rolling duffle bag and cooler that I had bought for the meet off my hands, and made a couple of new friends in the process. Then off to the airport, and up and away—I’m flying back as I’m typing this.

    Happy swimming to everyone still at the meet, and safe travels!
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  3. i'm not hard core!

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 03:20 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    As I noted yesterday I have opted to swim indoors at the Monon Center this week-end. The NASTI'S are shut out of the high school pool and using the outdoor LCM Forest Park Pool.
    Last week it was cool and rainy in central Indiana; the pool temp was a direct reflection of the crummy weather. I know if I were a hard-core 10K ow swimmer I'd go ahead and duke it out in the cold water. It's sure to toughen you up for all types of conditions. I didn't.
    As a consolation to my sissyness I did manage to swim over 4,000 yard workouts both Sat. and Sun.

    Today's workout was with my friend Beth, a far superior swimmer than me. I knew I be pushing hard splitting a lane with her.
    The pool was basically empty and quiet. We both ended up happy with our swims and feeling great. Beth has almost convinced me to do the St Croix swim with her this fall.
    It sounds beautiful! I just hate to take multiple days off work; the prep for it makes it almost not worth it.

    Here's our workout from this morning:

    **10 X 100 :10 rest between and build speed.
    **4 X 100 IM Drills on 1:45 (fins)
    **4 X 100 IM Swim on 1:45
    **2 X 800 Pyramid Swim (50-100-150-200-150-100-50) 1st time kick the first 50-100-150 and swim hard the rest. 2nd time pull the first 50-100-150, swim hard the rest)
    **200 flutter kick on back
    **200 backstroke ez
    **600 freestyle (strong pace concentrating on smooth body roll)

    4,400 scy

    Today seems to be the start of summer. The temp is supposed to reach 88 today and it's very sunny!
    It's supposed to stay like this for several days. I'm guessing Forest Park will be fine by Thursday!
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  4. i'm not hard core!

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 03:20 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    As I noted yesterday I have opted to swim indoors at the Monon Center this week-end. The NASTI'S are shut out of the high school pool and using the outdoor LCM Forest Park Pool.
    Last week it was cool and rainy in central Indiana; the pool temp was a direct reflection of the crummy weather. I know if I were a hard-core 10K ow swimmer I'd go ahead and duke it out in the cold water. It's sure to toughen you up for all types of conditions. I didn't.
    As a consolation to my sissyness I did manage to swim over 4,000 yard workouts both Sat. and Sun.

    Today's workout was with my friend Beth, a far superior swimmer than me. I knew I be pushing hard splitting a lane with her.
    The pool was basically empty and quiet. We both ended up happy with our swims and feeling great. Beth has almost convinced me to do the St Croix swim with her this fall.
    It sounds beautiful! I just hate to take multiple days off work; the prep for it makes it almost not worth it.

    Here's our workout from this morning:

    **10 X 100 :10 rest between and build speed.
    **4 X 100 IM Drills on 1:45 (fins)
    **4 X 100 IM Swim on 1:45
    **2 X 800 Pyramid Swim (50-100-150-200-150-100-50) 1st time kick the first 50-100-150 and swim hard the rest. 2nd time pull the first 50-100-150, swim hard the rest)
    **200 flutter kick on back
    **200 backstroke ez
    **600 freestyle (strong pace concentrating on smooth body roll)

    4,400 scy

    Today seems to be the start of summer. The temp is supposed to reach 88 today and it's very sunny!
    It's supposed to stay like this for several days. I'm guessing Forest Park will be fine by Thursday!
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  5. Bittersweet, Day 1 & 2 of Nationals

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 10:46 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Blogging from my iPhone as I tried to sleep in, but couldn't really.

    First off, the social side of things is fabulous. I've seen old friends, new friends and met many new people and forumites. I've watched and cheered for both the Olympians and my good friends alike. Super proud of my buddies for ripping up the pool. I think I'm proudest of my wolfpack mate, SwimStud, for breaking 1:00 in the 100 free.

    Day 1: 50 breast/100 fly

    I can't say the meet started off well. On my 50 evil, I couldn't hear the starters beep. It is rather muted and soft. So I pulled a Jimby like statue of liberty and just stood there as everyone else swam. I actually thought there was a false start and just jumped off the blocks. I was literally shell shocked to see my heat racing. This has never happened to me as a master. I just stood there stunned. A super nice official saw me and sat me down, telling me they'd try to get me in another heat. That came about 2 minutes latter, when I was still not exactly in a racing frame of mind.

    Nonetheless, I got up on the blocks and did my best. And I went very fast, cutting almost a second off my time from Zones with a 32.8. My extremely fleeting joy was immediately extinguished when I saw an official looming over my lane announcing that I had been DQ'd for taking two dolphin kicks.

    Just to be clear, I did not take two dolphin kicks nor intend to. Unfortunately, it appears that way because of my body undulation. My sequence is: dive in, separate hands, huge dolphin kick, ride the glide, huge pulldown, then breaststroke kick up. Unfortunately, my pulldown is very strong and it causes my body to undulate. I prefer this sequence because it maximizes my time underwater. Someone told me I was close to the 20 meter mark on the start.

    On the upside, both Ahelee and Ande told me my stroke looked good, that I was undulating and getting a lot of forward momentum. Ande said I looked like a mini Roque.

    I was extremely angry about the DQ for 15 minutes and then brushed it off for the rest of the day. But it is somewhat of a downer to start a meet this way -- with a double shocker of missing your heat and then a DQ. I would have placed 4th.

    On to 100 fly. I was very happy with this race, especially since I don't train in any conventional way for this race. I swam a 1:01.3, which equalled my time from last year which had been a huge drop and was 1.4 faster than Zones (same suit). I had a great start (for me), nice breakout, and good walls. I died at the end, but it was a mini piano. I was out in a 28.6, which felt very easy and made me feel I would have a blazing 50 fly on Saturday.

    We had a mixed 200 free relay after this. I was
    and felt a bit lackluster. It takes me forever to recover from a 100 fly. My shoulders feel beat up afterward.


    Day 2:

    I arrived at the pool just in time for the second warm up after the distance events. I decided to slip on my B70 and warm up in it because the relay was the first event after warm up. More bad luck ... I blew a hole in my suit putting it on. I literally ran to the B70 kiosk and asked for a new suit and they gave me one. However, because it was new, it took almost as long to get on as my Jaked. Didn't get the best warm up.

    Since I was doing the breast leg on the relay, I had no choice but to play it safe with a conventional pulldown. I must say this did not agree with me. I surfaced a good 5 yards earlier and was slower. Also felt like I was spinning my arms some. So I'm in a quandry about breaststroke. I honestly feel like there's a difference between natural body undulation and an intentional dolphin kick. But the officials have a hard time distinguishing it. I've put some substantial effort into practicing this pulldown and am not inclined to change it. So I have to decide whether to retire from evil, which will be different without the suits anyway, or continue risking DQs. Because I am stubborn as a mule, I'm not inclined to change my pullout at this time. BTW, this was a different DQ from Zones where the official said I took 2 evil kicks underwater then re-wrote the DQ slip to say I didn't surface in time. So this is in fact, the first time, I've been called for a double dolphin kick, and I've been doing this for awhile. It didn't help my cause that I was in a slow heat and my long pullouts draw attention.

    50 fly, 27.0:

    This equals my PB from last year. But I was disappointed with my race. I had a terrible start, very flat and a bad breakout. So I began the race a half body behind. With the caliber of swimmers in my heat, this is not advisable. Had a good second length but ran out of room.

    I chatted with Rich Abrahams after. He said it was one of the worst starts he's seen ... He thought with a good start, I would gave been 26.4 or 26.5. Oh well, same old story. I can't fix this without some on deck coaching and an opportunity to do starts. This race left me oddly deflated and I tried to get back in a positive race for my best event, 50 back.

    50 back:

    I approached the blocks ready to race and, in an instant, was completely discombobulated. I forgot my nose clip. Of the various frustrations of this meet, this was by far the worst, a huge mental error. I was unglued at the start, freaked out and panicked. This manifested itself initially by my changing hand positions from the vertical bars to the horizontal bars. I took off and my SDKs felt choppy. I took 15 instead if 13, hurried to the surface and spent the rest of the race thinking I was DQ'd. My time was 27.2, but that's nit much faster than I went at the Sprint Classic. I think thus race qualifies as my first ever true choke. I usually swim well under pressure. Mental errors did me in here. I wish I had this race to swim over. Not surprisingly, this sequence of events was disappointing and I couldn't shake it off as quickly as the 50 breast DQ. I will be stashing my pockets with nose clips for the 100 back today.

    I'm going to scratch the 100 IM today. I'm not mentally up for it and I'm tired from the last two days. I'm going to save up and try to execute properly on my 100 back today. I'd like to end the meet with a PB. Plus, I can't have Geek
    winning our gridge!

    On a physical note, I think I hit my taper and have the requisite speed. I'm also feeling fine except for a perpetually wrenched left side of the neck. This isn't effecting my swimming, but I've had a persistent headache and suspect this is the culprit.

    Good luck to everyone today!!!

    I apologize in advance for iPhone typos ... I see one above. My back was a 28.2, for 3rd place.

    Updated May 23rd, 2010 at 11:00 AM by The Fortress

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  6. Saturday's Swimming

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 01:59 AM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    I sort of felt like chicken of the sea, I was in the water from 7 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. Two different pools though.
    I opted to swim indoors at the Monon Center with some friends vs. outside in cold long course. Here's what we did:
    **3 X (300 kick/ 300 pull w/ buoy and paddles/ 3 X 100 free descending 1:45)
    **2 X (10 X 50--4 drill/swim, 2 kick, 4 sprint all on 1:00)
    **600 Freestyle building
    4,300 scy

    I hopped in the car and swooped by home to pick up eldest daughter. Grabbed a cuppa joe and a piece of toast. Headed up to Noblesville HS pool to help with special olympics swimmers! I love these kids! I was trying to cajool one of the swimmers into putting her face in the water. Of course she thought this was a terrible idea. From that point on if I even looked at her she would yell at the top of her voice while swatting me w/her hands "Robin you're bugging me!" This was cracking my daughter up!
    I'm going to keep "bugging" this swimmer; I think she would be very fast if she were a little more streamlined! I've got 2 weeks till her meet to get it done!
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  7. Sat May 22, 2010

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 12:37 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sat May 22nd 2010
    NATS day 2

    200 IM
    went 1:58.20
    split it 26.1 30.3 33.6 28.16
    got 1st
    broke NR
    exciting race with Stevenson & Tuchler
    Swam in lane 5 beside Tuchler
    Stevenson was in 6
    Baker was supposed to be in 4 but opted to scratch
    chris was 24.6 53.8
    glad I didn't see chris till the breast, i might have thought, he's too far I'll never catch him

    tuchler was 0.8 ahead of me at the 150
    I turned & turned on my legs, think I caught him at the 175
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECihgAWZiy4"]YouTube- 2010 Masters SCY Nats 200 IM Men 45 to 49 1:58.20 NR[/nomedia]


    50 bk
    went 24.78 2nd
    which is my best time this season, but I hoped to go faster
    chris went 24.28

    4 x 50 fr relay
    with Jon, Max & Nate
    terrible split, 22.9
    totally blew my turn
    this pool has a water quality issue where bubbles linger, with all the big bodies diving in, swimming fast, churning up the water, visibility was super low, I didn't see the wall until it was too close, jammed it worse than I've ever jammed a turn, lost all momentum, had a terrible deep weak push off

    had a super nice dinner that Chris Weissman set up at fox sports bar & grill
    very nice, saw many friends

    Updated May 25th, 2010 at 07:43 AM by ande

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  8. Nationals Day 3 (Day 2 for me)

    This morning I slept in after an excellent dinner with the AGUA crew Friday night. Since my events were slated to start at around 1 pm, I was a bit unsure about what to do about warm-ups today--early warmup would be too early to do much good, and later I was sure the pools would be too crowded to get in the type of warmup that I like to do. I ended up driving over to one of Atlanta’s public pools, in Washington Park, mid-morning to get in some laps, and that worked out well. It was a 10-lane 25 yard pool, and there were only 3 people in it. I did about 1500 yards (100 warmup, 3 x 50 desc., 3 x 50 easy, 100 easy, 100 upside-down IM). It was a nice calm time to collect myself and loosen up the kinks from yesterday before my crowded event schedule today. (I think the pool is closed on Sundays, else I would recommend it to those not swimming early events tomorrow).

    After warm-ups, I drove to the swim center, ate a bit of lunch, got my neck worked on, got my suit on, and got ready to swim. Here’s how my races went (time and comments appended in blue to pre-race goal sheet):

    200 IM
    Masters/lifetime PR: 2:25.82 (1998) (32.2, 38.9, 42.0, 32.6) (Swim rating = 85.1)
    40-44 PR: 2:31.16 (4/2009) (32.8, 38.1, 44.9, 35.3) (SR=86.2)
    2010 best: 2:32.56 (4/11) (33.3, 38.3, 45.1, 35.8) (SR=86.0)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 2:31.94
    Keys: easy FL, accelerate into turns, rhythm + turnover on BK, hand speed on BR, kick on FR
    Time: 2:27.06 (33.16, 36.60, 43.05, 34.16)
    Comments: This is the race I wanted to swim. I’m thrilled with the time, which is my best since several age groups ago. I thought after yesterday’s 200 BK that my IM had no chance of beating my BK time, but I got within spitting distance of it. This time converts to a swim rating of 89.2, which is by far my best ever in scy for this event.

    100 FR
    Masters PR: 58.07 (27.78) (2002) (Swim rating = 86.7)
    Lifetime best: 57.53 (1981)
    40-44 PR and 2010 best: 59.56 (28.94) (3/2010) (SR=87.4)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 59.52
    Goal: I’d be thrilled to go under a minute again.
    Keys: happy and relaxed off blocks, accelerate 2nd length into turn, kick on 3rd length, push turnover and kick on last 25
    Time: 59.97 (28.82, 31.15) (SR=86.8)
    Comments: I was indeed thrilled to see a 59 by my lane again. I was also left not quite sure what to make of this swim. I felt out of breath from the git-go, and breathed every stroke the whole way even though I kept telling myself not to—it was like I was not really in control of what my body was doing. Maybe I was hyperventilating before I got in the water, or maybe just really exhausted by the time this race came around—I’m not sure why my body was reacting the way it did. Aside from the breathing issue, I felt I executed my keys well—decent turns, strong finish, good pacing. I was a little sad not to get a season PR from this one, but I feel like this was the swim I had in me today, and that I did a good job of staying with the swim under not-ideal conditions.

    50 BK
    Masters/lifetime PR: 30.70 (2001) (SR=85.8)
    40-44 PR: 31.35 (3/08) (SR=87.3)
    2010 best: 31.62 (March) (SR=87.6)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 31.58
    Keys: explosive start, push turnover, accelerate into walls, kickickick
    Time: 31.45 (SR=88.1)
    Comments: I hit all my keys on this one and was happy with the swim. I kind of hoped I might have a break-out swim on this one and go under :30, but that didn’t happen. I do feel like I swam the best race I had in me today, and that’s what I was ultimately looking to do.

    So I ended up 5 of 6 on bettering my best-ever ratings in each event. This was a really successful nationals for me, and a really fun and amazing one as well. Friday I think I was a little overwhelmed by the venue and the crowdedness of things; today I made a point of looking around when I was behind the blocks and just taking in the fact that I was here swimming in the 96 Olympic pool at an event that had drawn so many other people who love swimming, and feeling really amazed and grateful at getting to have that experience.

    I also saw a bunch of really astounding swims—the men’s 100 FR especially just seemed to produce one amazing time after another. And some of my teammates had some breakthrough swims that were great to see. I also got to catch up with my Florida coach and training buddies, which was really nice.

    And I did wear my flower cap in the warmdown pool a couple of times today, and found out that I should have been doing that earlier. People really are nicer when you’re wearing a flower cap. They stop and smile and say things like, “Oh no, you go on ahead.” Plus, I met a women who was going to have a whole relay swim with flower caps today. I somehow missed seeing them swim, but hope other people did and cheered them on—it apparently included 3 new masters swimmers doing their first meet together.

    Tomorrow I’m swimming a morning relay as my farewell to this wonderful pool and event, then driving to the airport to fly home. Delta, please please get me home in time for dinner!

    One other thing: The natatorium has a vending machine that sells goggles and swim caps. Pretty cool!
  9. Nationals - 50 fly/50 back

    by , May 22nd, 2010 at 09:34 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Some great races today! Got to watch Rich Abrahams set a new record in the 65-69 age-group in the 100 free with a 49! Also got to see Rowdy Gaines do a 46.9 in the 100 free. Totally awesome swims. I missed Brunelli's 42 in the 100 free though. What a spectacular swim that must have been!

    Swam my 50 fly in the Pro I used at Athens, Georgia last summer. My theory was that the B-70 was too consticting for my stroke. I used the B-70 on the 200 back yesterday, so it obviously worked well for back. I decided, however, to stick with my plan of going with the Pro. It worked well. Took over a second off my 50 time that I swam at Auburn in the B-70. My time of 28.81 got me eighth place which was another pleasant surprise. My time was not a masters best, but was the best I've done since 2003.

    Decided to skip the 100 free today because between the 9 seconds I've cut off my times and poor sleep last night, I was worn out. Skipping the 100 free gave me a chance to go back to my room, eat a good lunch, and rest for a little while.

    Swam 50 back later today and swam in a brand new B-70 I had not broken in yet. Big mistake. At least when I raced in a B-70 for the first time at Auburn, I had done some sprints in it and worked out in it once or twice. The new B-70 I used today was so tight I felt like I could barely move on my backstroke. Also, it wouldn't surprise me at all if I have gained 5 pounds since I got here with all the good food I've been eating when we go out at night. No surprise the suit was way too tight. Ended up going 32.02 which is .25 of a second slower than what I did at Auburn.

    I'm afraid my lack of a good swimming base is starting to become apparent. When I signed up, I debated not doing any events on Sunday, but since my friend that I am rooming with was going to, I figured I'd go ahead and enter. I'm slated to do the 100 back and 50 free. These events are back-to-back with just one hour in between. I'd really like to get a decent freestyle swim in at this meet, so if I'm super tired when I get up tomorrow, I may end up just doing the 50 free. Not sure whether to use the old B-70 or the Pro on the 50 free.

    It has been great to be able to come to this meet, see some friends, and meet some new folks. I feel pretty blessed to be in good health and able to swim well. It is also a blessing that my immediate family members are in good health and that they have been so supportive of my racing in this meet!

    Since I may be only swimming one event tomorrow, hoping to be able to visit with other swimmers more and cheer them on!

    Updated May 22nd, 2010 at 09:53 PM by elise526

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  10. FRI May 21 NATS Day 1

    by , May 21st, 2010 at 10:39 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    FRI May 21 NATS Day 1

    2010 NATS

    Atlanta

    50 BR
    went 27.40
    which surprised me
    last year I went 28.6
    got 3rd

    100 fl
    went 52.30
    best time this season
    but got third
    my 2nd cousin mark michael went went 52.29
    Dave sims went 50.7 ish

    4 x 50 mixed relay
    swam anchor did not feel real snappy

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    forgot to blog Wed & thu

    Wed May 19th
    AZ scottsdale westin
    swam AM & at noon easy

    Thu May 20th
    Austin
    swim center
    arrived late
    did 500 in well SCY easy with todd & tyler
    600 LCM easy
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  11. Nationals Friday - I bow down

    Paul Wolf beat me fair and square. I am happy because we both swam great times, but he did win the gridge and I bow down to him in my shame. LW said I should have titled this post "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Me."


    A quick recap of my 200. I went a 1:58.78, which is a little better than 2 seconds faster than I went in December. Because I injured my ribs in January and went to Asia in April, I have only trained about 10 weeks total this year, so I expected to be a little short on the endurance side of things. Splits were going very well until the 4th 50, when I really started to tighten up. I split 27.6, 29.4, 29.9, 31.7. The last 50 was quite painful, but the first 150 was split about right, I just lacked the endurance to finish a 200 right now.

    Paul went a 1:57, and split it almost ideally. He was out in a 25 mid and came home in a 32 mid. He told me after the race that he really enjoyed the last 50 more than just about anything he can remember doing, and really wished we had gridged a 500.

    I needed to break 2:00.09 to make the USAS A cut, and with the help of Speedo, I should have an A time in the 200 free now added to the SWIMS database soon.

    Watched Chris Stevenson's 200 back. Yep, faster than my 200 free

    The meet is BIG. Met lots of people from the forums, and watched even more forumites swim. But it is a crowd and there are people I know are at the meet that I never saw and more people that I saw but didn't have a chance to talk to.

    Wore a Tyr Fusion 2, which is a FINA 2010 legal suit, today. Tomorrow I think will wear legskins (500 free and 100 free). No real expectations for my swims tomorrow, just here to have fun. Hopefully my 500 and 100 will be in the same pool, and the 500 will set me up for better turns on the 100.
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  12. Nationals/200 back

    by , May 21st, 2010 at 06:44 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Really having a great time visiting with folks at Nationals. Everybody is so nice and encouraging. Aquageek gave me a really cool swim cap from MAC. What a super guy! Have really enjoyed chatting with the Fort, Qbrain, Medicine Woman, Lisa Groves, Speedo, and Swimstud. Got to meet Pwolfe, Chris S., Dana B., and Michelle Kagy-Swartz, just to name a few, and they are super nice!

    Got my first race of Nationals, 200 back, done today. I was a nervous wreck beforehand as I always am before my first event of a meet. Had no idea what to expect and tried to remain as positive as possible about the race. Every now and then the committee in my head would try to remind me that I was nuts for entering this race with 10,000 yards a week as my base. Also, this was going to be only the second time I had done the race in the last six years. The first time since early 2004 that I did this race was at Auburn this past February. I used this time at Auburn as my seed time (2:33). I almost wondered if I could do that time as I had done such a drastic taper for Nationals. In the end, I reminded myself no matter how I did, it really didn't matter. Just the fact that I am here and able to swim the event is a blessing.

    My goal was to win my heat and pehaps break 2:30. I had decided that no matter where I was, I was going to start to really turn it on the last 75. When I jumped in, the water felt cold and somewhat shocked my system. I could feel the start of an asthma attack coming on. Made myself remain calm. I became acutely aware of how tight my suit was on the second 50 and how my breathing was not going well. Reminded myself to hang on and focused on my breathing. Was able to gather myself together and start to turn it on at the last 75. I could see Tracy Bachmann next to me in lane 6 was winning the heat. I really tried to catch up to her a little on the last 50 so that I could win the heat. Couldn't catch her, but was stunned when I looked up at the clock and saw a 2:25.60.

    The time was a masters best and placed me much higher than I thought possible - 8th. I'm so excited about this that if I do poorly in my other events, I'll still be super happy.

    Below are my splits. Pretty happy with these.

    34.65 1:11.90 (37.25)
    1:49.23 (37.33) 2:25.60 (36.37)
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  13. My first day at nats

    I had an amusing first day in Atlanta. I arrived early (in an impressive thunder and lightning storm) and got in a good warmup—it wasn’t too crowded, and I was glad for that. I was glad to have gotten in some starts at the 30-minute session yesterday, as the line for starts seemed very long.

    Then it was time to swim. Here’s how my events went (today's time and comments appended to my pre-meet event goal sheets):

    400 IM
    Masters/Lifetime PR: 5:13.51 (1999) (1:12.9, 1:22.8, 1:26.1, 1:11.7) (84.4 swim rating)
    40-44 PR: 5:20.62 (4/2006) (1:17.8, 1:20.2, 1:31.6, 1:10.9) (SR=85.3)
    2010 best: 5:33.43 (January) (1:17.3, 1:24.6, 1:36.4, 1:15.1) (SR=84.1)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 5:28.47
    Other goals: a well-paced race
    Keys: relaxed FL, establish rhythm on BK, head down on BR, exuberant FR, accelerate into walls on all strokes.
    Time: 5:19.01 (1:13.32, 1:19.17, 1:32.03, 1:14.49)
    Comments: I felt really nervous about this swim. I think I got too excited and went out too hard on the fly. The only time I swam 100 FL this season, I went 1:11.5, so I probably need an opening fly split more than 2 seconds slower than that. My legs felt dead the rest of the race, and I suffered. I didn’t do a good job of thinking about my keys because I was hurting too much. I was scared to look at the clock after, but when I did I was thrilled. I was hoping to go under 5:30, and secretly thinking I might have an outside shot of under 5:25, but I never imagined I’d break 5:20. So, I got a 40-44 PR and a best ever swim rating (87.9) in my first swim! I still think that better splitting might produce an even better swim, so that’s an exciting thought for future scy seasons.

    50 BR
    Masters/lifetime PR: 34.08 (2000) (87.1 swim rating)
    40-44 PR: 34.83 (3/2006) (SR=87.0)
    2010 best: 35.52 (3/21) (SR=86.8)
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 35.38
    Other goals: <35?, good turn
    Keys: build into fast turnover on first few strokes; head down; coherent, powerful turn
    Time: 34.12
    Comments: I was really excited about swimming this event—the timers were laughing at me because I was so eager to get in the water. I felt I executed my keys well, and my time was a lifetime second-best, just .04 off my best from 2000. I also picked up a swim rating PR with a 90.3—I’m not sure how many ratings over 90 I’ve ever gotten in scy. Maybe the key to blissy swimming is to just swim 50s—this race was all fun.

    200 BK
    Masters/lifetime PR (and coolest-ever splits): 2:26.52 (2002) (35.10, 37.14, 37.14, 37.14) (SR=83.4)
    Best swim rating: 2:31.30 in 2009 (SR=84.7)
    40-44 PR: 2:30.07 (2007) (SR=84.2)
    2010 best: NT
    Time needed to beat best swim rating: 2:32.34
    Goals: <2:30, a well-paced swim
    Keys: still head; think rotation on 1st 3 strokes off each wall, then push turnover; accelerate into walls
    Time: 2:26.27 (35.33, 37.33, 37.07, 36.54)
    Comments: I was really happy with this swim. That time is a lifetime best for me (just beating out my time from 2002), and I executed most things well (the start was conservative because I was worried about slipping, and my first turn was too close to the bulkhead, but everything else seemed good to me.) My swim rating on this one was 88.3.

    So, three 40-44 PRs, 1 lifetime PR, and 3 best scy swim ratings. It was a successful swimming day.

    I also had a lot of fun at the meet—got to hang out with teammates from past and present, and see some folks from faraway who I never see except at big meets. There were some really impressive swims and races going in—with 2 10-lane pools going at once, it seems a bit like a track meet where there’s always something good to watch.

    I got a neck treatment from our team’s trainer (yes, we have one here!) once I was done for the day, so I’m feeling good despite swimming a lot today. Tomorrow if I’m not swimming a morning relay I may go warm up elsewhere before driving over to the meet, since my first event (200 IM) doesn’t start until later in the session.

    Congrats to everyone who swam today, and good luck tomorrow!
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  14. Boring Thursday

    by , May 21st, 2010 at 12:49 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    **500 Warm-up Swim
    **10 X 300 Free on 5:00

    3,500 short course meters

    10K Training is a little monotonous I'd say! To make it interesting I did every 3rd swim with paddles and buoy.

    Good Luck to all you swimmers in Atlanta! I can't wait to hear your stories and see videos and pics!!!!
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  15. May 20, 2010 Workout

    by , May 21st, 2010 at 01:00 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Aquasol
    Sunny, cold windy

    Warm
    100FR, 200FR, 200IM drill, 100P, 100K
    4x4's
    4x100 Fly on 2:30 (1:32-1:40) Ouch!
    4X100BK on 2:00 (1:30's)
    4x100 BR on 2:00 (1:40's)
    4x100FR on 1:40 (1:17-1:20)
    200IM's
    2x200 IM on 4:00
    Kick (cramps, did last 2 pull)
    1x200 K
    2x200 P
    100 Cool
    3000 SCY

    There was some sprints I could have done at the end, however my calf's were cramping, and arms were falling off.
    But, the water was perfect and I really enjoyed the pain (not) and completing some 100 fly's , however had to dice up the last 2 with swim/drill.
    I really love the 100 and 200 IM, I enjoy the transitioning and just gotta get the BR to cooperate, its holding up production!

    The morning was the usual pilates /dry land routine.
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  16. Not a bad first day at Nat's

    by , May 20th, 2010 at 07:04 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Just snuck into 10th place in the 1650 Free with a 21:50.37. Only 4 seconds off my time from last year so that is fine by me.

    I am hoping to get my sprints back so this ok. Would like a colder pool but then I really like to compete in 78 degree water.

    Total yardage Wed - 2000 yards and Thurs 3150 yards

    Next up short stuff
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  17. Atlanta, May 20

    by , May 20th, 2010 at 06:39 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I had an easy trip to Atlanta on a flight with my teammate Barb and Jazzy. Jazz was very psyched to learn that Speedo had procured him a LZR for his upcoming grueling 200 free.

    We headed straight from the airport to the pool. Got there with sufficient time to check in, register our relays and swim for 30 minutes in the competition pool. The pool is sweet and feels very fast. I felt pretty good in the water. My backstroke was a little funky at first, but then smoothed out. I did 2 forward starts, one good and one blah. The backstroke starts will be interesting. They've got both vertical and horizontal bars. I'm going to use the vertical ones. However, the FINA wall is somewhat slippery. I did one start with my feet placed high on the wall, but felt like I went too deep. I may try and do another start tomorrow when the day's events are over. Otherwise, I'll put my feet a bit lower.

    Off soon for dinner with friends. Then time to let 'er rip!

    I've met some new people, and hope to meet more. Hopefully no one will want to punch me like they do Geek.
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  18. Further Atlanta observations

    by , May 20th, 2010 at 03:10 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    This is the fourth Nationals I've been to and have to say that it's looking like the best run I've seen yet!

    Today's observations:

    1. Located much larger locker room as qbrain mentioned. It is down the hall from the smaller one.

    2. Hospitality room is on the hallway on the way to the bigger locker room. Very good food selection and lots of tables on deck where you can sit down and eat.

    3. Glad I got the gold parking pass. The parking lot is right out the door and not crowded at all. Kind of glad I can leave lots of stuff in my car since it is so close.

    3. Got a chiropractic adjustment from a darling young man who is with Life University. The adjustment was great and it was FREE!

    4. Swam in the diving well after the adjustment - about 1,000 yards. Not overly crowded - about 3 or 4 to a lane. The water temp was warmer than competition pool which I like because I don't like to get cold when I'm warming up.

    5. Free shampoo, conditioner, and body wash provided in the locker room in the shower area! This was awesome as I forgot my shampoo.

    6. Lots of vendors and very easy to get to.

    7. Many more mesos today, both swimming in the distance events and warming-up.

    8. I actually changed in the small locker room just to see how crowded it was and it was not crowded at all! It is so close to the pool that I may stick with it afterall.

    Lots of friendly folks around. Looking forward to seeing some more tomorrow.

    Congrats to Geek for a fine swim in the 1,000! Looks like his training is paying off! Also, congrats to Kristin Aziz for breaking 20 minutes in the 1650!

    Updated May 20th, 2010 at 03:29 PM by elise526

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  19. May 19, 2010 workout

    by , May 20th, 2010 at 01:19 AM (Swim like an Orca, but faster !)
    Aquasol
    Light Drizzle - 60's (Last year it was 98)

    Warm 2x100FR 200 IM Drill

    3x300IM on 5:00 S/K/P
    1x300 BR K on 6:00
    10x50 P Fly/BK/BR 1:00
    10x50 K w/mono Fly Bk / Fly on 1:00
    8x50 IM order on 1:00
    (workout cut short, everyone was leaving early)
    100cool
    2900 scy

    Started Pilates in the morning when I first wake up (4am) about 2 weeks ago, its made a difference in my flexibility and my cervical rediculitus; base of the neck vertebrae pinching the exiting nerve. Which by the way has healed faster with the Pilates routines than the bogus physical therapy. Started going to the gym last week, mostly just to change after getting off the bus and get some dry-land in before pool time. I'm doing Assisted Pull-ups and dips and pull downs and whatever I can get in in 15-20 minutes. The gym has slowed me down a bit and made the workouts more painful, but that's the price of progress.
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  20. In Atlanta

    by , May 19th, 2010 at 10:46 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Got to the Tech pool around 4:30 today to register and do a warm-up/workout in the pool. Really glad that I got over here today as there was only one guy in my lane. After he got out, I even had the lane to myself for about 15 minutes.

    I hear tomorrow is going to be a zoo with everybody coming in to grab a swim when the pool opens up after the competition. I had not planned to swim tomorrow as I've got plans to possibly see some family and friends. I felt a little bit tight today, so I may have to go over to Emory at some point tomorrow and snag some pool time there just to avoid the crowds.

    Today, I got in about 1800 of various sets and easy swims. Part of me wanted to get my HR up, but another part of me, the super protective part, wouldn't let me get my HR up over 140. No good to leave my race in the practice pool. On the other hand, I'm hoping I won't be sluggish when I race.

    Observations:

    1. The meet planners and volunteers seem to be extremely prepared and very much on top of things.

    2. There are plenty of signs directing you where to go.

    3. Water temp was great. Very refreshing, but not too cold. Perfect for racing.

    4. Walls are flat and easy to turn on the 25/75, but hard to get out when you finish. I swam over to the side ladder to get out which I never do.

    5. Lifeguards are being very helpful.

    6. Enjoyed the music they were playing. I heard some good fifties and sixties stuff playing. Sorry Geek.

    7. Air felt good to me. Didn't have any breathing issues.

    8. Do not like the locker room. It has no benches and just a few stools. The changing area is one big area the size of a classroom. No privacy vis a vis rows of lockers at all. We will be staring at each other as we shove our bodies into our suits. I'm even considering putting on my suit in my room and leaving the straps down and unzipped. I'll throw on a pair of shorts over the suit and a t-shirt and just drive/ride over to the pool.

    9. I'v heard there may be another locker room around. May have to check this out tomorrow.

    10. I was a goof-off today in the pool compared to most in there swimming. I guess the distance types are in there. I know some that probably go nearly as fast in these types of workouts as they do in a race. In any case, I felt like a seriously lazy sprinter.

    11. Saw mainly two body types with the men and the women: ectomorphs and endomorphs. Saw very few mesos, but I guess the meso events aren't until Friday, so maybe this is why I didn't see many. I'm a meso, so kind of felt out of place.

    During my workout, there was a skinny girl in the lane next to me moving it out really fast in freestyle. I'd use her to try to get my HR up when I was doing a few 50s. To get my HR up, I even tried to remind myself that the little skinny girl should not be able to swim that fast. Alas, the overprotective side of me made me back down.

    Updated May 19th, 2010 at 10:54 PM by elise526

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