This weekend was the annual Animal Meet weekend in Canby, Oregon. It started off as a USAS meet, and they have now piggybacked a masters version on at the end of the weekend for us to have some fun.
Masters have the option of doing the:
Sprint - 100 IM, 50 Fly, and 200 FreeMiddle - 200 IM, 100 Fly, and 500 Free (also what the 12 & under USAS kids do)Distance - 400 IM, 200 Fly, and 1000 Free (also what the 13 & over USAS kids do)Or Masters can pick and choose between all the events (e.g. 200, 500, 1000 Free)An "Animal" award trophy is given to the fastest male and female in each of the categories, Sprint, Middle, and Distance (I went Trophy Hoing today)
The meet doesn't get very populated, partly due to the event selection, and partly from the time of year as well I suppose. I only travel down for this meet because I visit my grandparents for a few days as well on the same trip. I don't think I'd travel this far normally for just 3 events either.
Warmed up about 800 yards or so - I had to get into the "masters mood" rather than the age grouper I've been lately. Lots of 50s and 100s of mostly free and a few lengths of backstroke, with lots of talking in between. I wasn't worried about my swims, knowing my conditioning would carry me through no problem. I really only wanted to do well in my final race of the day, the 1000.
Did this meet on heavy Christmas training, with no additional rest aside from no swimming on Saturday (yesterday).
400 IM - 4:40.60 - not bad for a "cruise".
1:00.57 / 1:15.05 / 1:22.19 / 1:01.79
Got the splits from my old head coach that I used to work with here in Canby. He was there with his high school boys/girls swimmers who were our timers for the day.
200 Fly - 2:14.07 - whatever...not bad for how I swam it
I told myself that I wasn't going to push it, and that my final 50 was going to be the fastest split of the 4. Who does this???
Well, my final 50 was a 31.5ish, but not quite the fastest - my initial 50 was a 31.0. I did even split the 200 Fly, which is tough to do in itself
1000 Free - 10:47.92 - very happy with this
I was only 3 seconds off from my best time in the 1000, so considering the training I'm doing, this is good. I'm sporting a full beard right now, didn't wear anything remotely close to a "fast" suit either, just some plain ol' brief. I just got in a zone and went for it. The guy next to me said his goal was for me not to lap him 3 times. Knowing that, I tried to do just that, and got him 3 times on my final 50.
Eric told me my splits were (roughly):
The weather down here usually involves tradeoffs. You can have warm, but that usually also means wet and/or windy, or you can have chilly, which usually brings brilliant sunshine. I prefer the latter, because it means very swimmable conditions in the gulf, with the colder north wind creating very calm water conditions in my south-facing beach. (Since the water is fairly shallow, strong winds from the south can make for surf that breaks unpredictably until you get a couple of hundred yards out, and they can also blow in massive man-of-war invasions).
And cold and clear is exactly what I got today. Shortly after sunrise I could see mist rising up from the gulf, there being that much difference between the water temps (around 60) and air temps (around 30). While I was sitting on the balcony admiring the view I noticed a pod of dolphins swimming and bobbing in the water in front of me. They stayed between the first and second sandbars—ie where I swim when I venture in--and were moving back and forth very slowly. I watched them for about 20 minutes before they moved further down the beach.
By early afternoon the air had warmed up to the 50s, and the water was very calm, almost glassy.
View to the east
I decided it was time to go for a swim. I was expecting water temps in the low-60s, but double capped and wore earplugs just in case. I was glad I did, because the water seemed a little chillier than that. I swam the same mile-plus course as last week, down to the beach flag to the east, then back. I swam a little further out from shore than last time, hoping to avoid any hooks and lines from the guys who were surfcasting. The water was more blue than green today, and a little cloudier than last week—I could see the bottom, but couldn’t make out the shrimp tunnels or furrows on it once I got out to swimmable depths.
It was easy going both ways—there was some wind from the north, more noticeable in the water than on the beach, which is sheltered by a 30-foot bluff, but there were no waves or swells. It almost felt like swimming in a big pool. I swam with less skittishness today than last week, and halfway hoped I would see the dolphins that had swum in the same area this morning. I didn’t though, nor did I see any skates, although the mermaids’ purses I saw washed up on the sand suggest they’re out there somewhere. The water felt cold on my skin the whole time, but I never felt cold inside, just happy to be out swimming under the welcoming sun. I stayed in and floated on my back a little after I was done, then waded the 50m or so over the sandbar to get back on shore. It was a good day.
PM only LCM
6x100 @ 1:50 k/sw/dr/bld
8x50 @ :40 RED
3x100 @ 1:25 D1-3
4x50 @ 1:00 V.S.
6x @ 5:00 per round
100 FAST from a dive
Zippo. We were traveling up to Pittsburgh and didn't leave in time for me to hit the Rivers Club for a workout. House renovations are coming along ... why are they always more expensive than you think?
Made it to the Sewickley Y for a swim with Jimby's team.
10 x 50 @ 1:15, SDK to 15 meters and build the rest
8 x 50 kick @ 1:15, mix up strokes
8 x (75 @ 1:15 smooth + 25 fast @ :45)
-- I did evens swim, odds kick, the 25s at approx 100 pace
1 x through, each 100 faster even with breaks
-- I did 100 IMs with fins, think I was a :51 on last one
100 @ 2:00
100 @ 2:00, break :5 @ 50
100 @ 2:00, break :5 @ 50 & 75
100 @ 2:00, break :5 @ 25, 50, 75
6 x 50 free w/paddles @ 1:00 smooth
Jimby and I had a lovely dinner afterward. We checked out Water Rat's new manse (even though he was off skiing). Very fancy!
I squeezed in a dryland session at the River Club.
RC exercises, 10 min
cable crunches, 110 x 3 x 15 each side
wide grip lat pulldowns, 75 x 4 x 8
leg press (on strange machine), 19 x 4 x 8
abdcutor, 120 x 3 x 15
wrist curls, 50 x 4 x 8
overhead squats w/bar, 10
long arm crunches, 2 x 50
plank with flutter kicks on yoga ball, 25 (not so easy)
box jumps, 3 x 10
med ball slams, 2 x 10
I had a great week of training last week. This week, not so much, too busy with life. Need to get to the pool later today.
I was wondering how my distance freestyle day was going to go, since I've spent the last couple of days working pretty hard on the other strokes. I felt sore and run-down going in, but I stuck to my plan...
5 x thru
12 x 100 on 1:45
200 breast on 4:00
Cool-down: 200 back
Each 1400-yard "set" lasted exactly 25 minutes and I finished the cool-down with 200 back in less than 5:00 so the whole swim, more than 4 miles, only took 2 hours and 10 minutes. My first time through the 100s didn't feel so great, some in 1:40, some in 1:30, I was all over the place... but at some point toward the end of the second set I relaxed and started zeroing in on a pace 1:35-1:37 per 100, which left me 7-10 seconds rest after each rep. The third and fifth sets felt the best... even when I was dog tired and my lats were screaming in the middle of my fourth set, questioning why I was still swimming, my 100s were coming in at 1:35-1:37.
All in all I'm very happy with this. Instead of doing 6000 yards of free continuously in ever slowing pace (starting at 1:40 and falling off to 1:45 like last week, and this week it probably would have fallen off a lot more, given how sore I felt), I was able to hold an average of 1:36 for 60 x 100 on a 1:45 pace. Same distance and about the same total time in the pool, but a lot more quality swimming than I normally get on a distance day. I like it.
This afternoon we (the family) went into Chicago and enjoyed the holiday lights on Michigan Ave, some exhibits at the Chicago Cultural Center, and then Millennium Park. We thought about ice skating, but that is not my thing and standing in a line for an hour just to get in with temps in the mid-20s didn't seem like the thing to do at the end of a long day, so we packed it up and headed back across the border. Fun family time nonetheless. And, bonus (!), we got home in time to see the fourth quarter of the Alamo Bowl on TV--Texas, our alma mater, in a come from behind win, 31-27, against Oregon State! Hook 'em, Horns!