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  1. 8|4|13 SCM

    Didn't get enough sleep last night. Today I worked all afternoon on a baking aircraft pylon fishing out a seal the prior shift dropped into it and then changing a shut off valve to the bleed air. It was hot and heavy work - pushing stands around and working in awkward positions, but I felt accomplished completing tasks the younger coworkers failed. Flexibility pays

    Felt drained but I swam anyway

    500 warmup
    500 drill
    8 x 25 on 2:00 swim golf free
    • got a couple 28's (16 + 12)

    200 drill/bk
    12 block starts
    100 flutter kick

    good night
  2. LCM Meet report!

    by , August 4th, 2013 at 08:18 PM (Chowmi's Blog)
    Hooray for me! I decided to enter the last local LCM USA-S meet because I didn't want to go all summer without racing. So even though I have barely swum any LCM, I decided to just go anyway.

    100 back - 1:14.2
    This was a very good swim! I haven't swum LCM 100 back since 2007. I think it's my best time. I felt really good about this swim because I know I can do better. Rarely swim it, didn't swim LCM, had to swim in the slowest heat with my SCY time, so was all by my lonesome.

    50 free: 28.6 (I think.)
    I was really happy about this. I didn't die until about the 42 mark - and that's amazing for me! I actually felt pretty good! It was a bit slow, but in line with what i've done the last year.

    Next up:
    BRECKENRIDGE! That is the one time I go for mileage. I am trying to make the 50 mile club AFAP. But you can only count yardage you do at the Breck rec center. And I can only swim about 3600, which is 2 miles. So it will take awhile and several trips to rack up 25 times to the pool.
  3. Saturday's Sandpoint, ID Longbridge Swim

    by , August 4th, 2013 at 12:08 PM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Another OW swim in the books. I've only done a handful of these, so adding another is a big thing for me.

    • August 2011 - CAST Classic 5K - DNF - I wasn't having a good time, out of shape, and pulled myself out of the race after 1 lap.
    • June 2012 - Steve Omi Swim 1 Mile - 1st in age group (19-34)
    • August 2012 - Longbridge Swim 1.76 Mile - 1st in age group (30-39), 21st of 900+ overall
    • September 2012 - Lake Chelan Swim 1.5 Mile - 3rd overall
    • August 2013 - Longbridge Swim 1.76 Mile - 1st in age group (30-39), 6th of 820 overall

    I got up around 5:00am in Spokane where I stayed overnight, and went outside to find a nice drizzle of rain falling. Oh great, hopefully this won't be accompanied by thunder and lightning. I drove another hour and a half to Sandpoint, Idaho to get checked in for the race and numbered. I was #6, alphabetically of course. I joked with a few of my friends that they had given my number based on placement overall.

    By the time the race was getting started, the rain had stopped, but it was still plenty overcast, and probably in the 60s for air temp. Not sure about the water, probably about 70 or so. Earlier in the week, people said it was warmer, but with a few days of rain and no sun, things can change a lot. I'm glad I had a good wetsuit for sure!! I got a good coupon code on the internet from Tom Patterson for an XTERRA wetsuit for almost 75% off, saving me tons of money. It was well worth it to have a real swimming wetsuit vs. the "play around in the water" wetsuit I used last year.

    I lined up at the starting line to the far right side, alongside the kayakers. A majority of the people were at the left or middle so they could go alongside the bridge. It doesn't really matter where you start because it's the same straight line across the lake.

    As the gun went off, I took off, probably "sprinting" for about 300-400 yards or so before even looking around. I was sighting of course a bit during this initial run, but I wasn't looking at any other competitors, just making sure I was straight with the bridge. After I felt I was at a strong breakaway, I went into cruise mode. Looking ahead I could see 1 or 2 splashing swimmers ahead of me, and then I rolled over for backstroke to look behind me. NO ONE!! We were a long distance ahead of the whole pack, so I just turned back over and swam on. As it turned out, I was in 4th position at this point, but didn't actually know that. In my head I was telling myself I was in 2nd or 3rd place, and just keep going.

    The bridge itself is 1.2 miles long, so I just kept going, trying to maintain a strong kick and relieve some of the muscle fatigue in my arms. It was a bit wavy out there at times, but much better than the year prior when we had a headwind the whole way. For the swim, it was very uneventful. I could see a kayaker staying alongside me off to the right side, and I'm glad it was there, since I had no one else around me for a while. I kept a pattern going of about 40 strokes Freestyle, with about 10 strokes Backstroke, maybe 1 or 2 Breaststokes, and back to Free again. In a 50 meter pool I can maintain about 38 strokes per length under calm conditions, so I figured each of these cycles I was doing was approximately 50 meters. I'd stop to clear goggles on occasion, and look behind me to see a few swimmers back there. Still far enough back to not worry too much.

    At the end of the bridge, my power was fading, and I was wishing the swim could be done now. I could see two swimmers pulling alongside me, though they were about 15-20 yards off to my right side. I knew them both: It was Don Morovec (53yr), and Larry Krauser (60yr). They were doing a draft train the whole way. I've been chasing Don's 30-34, and 35-39 LMSC age group records in the pool events, and able to get a few of them, but not all of them. Larry has all of the freestyle pool records from the 40-44 through the 60-64 age group, and they're pretty tough.

    I knew I had no chance to hang with them as they went by, and just let them go on. I was a solo swimmer from the beginning to the end of the whole race, and that was tough. It would've been nice to have a draft person at times, but it just didn't work out for me this year. The final 1/2 mile or so is alongside the shoreline to the finish point. There are 12 or so pilings along the route marking the shallow water as well as a underwater rock barrier wall. At times these rocks were very near the water surface. I used a few of the rocks to jump off and dive forward. My body was dying at this point, just wanting to finish. I was doing more and more switching from free to back, clearing goggles, looking behind me at the upcoming pack of swimmers. Had to keep going. From the last piling to the finish I didn't look back, didn't change strokes, just swam onward, kicking and pulling as best as I could, till I couldn't stroke anymore. Push up, stand up, get up the beach and cross the finish line. DONE...!!!!

    The congratulations from the crowd were sure nice to hear. I saw Larry standing there, he said I was the #6 finisher, and I had 3 more swimmers who must've made a break for me at the end, because #7, 8, and 9 were a few seconds behind me crossing the line.

    The results:

    I really like how they did the results this year. You can see everyone, where they're from, and times. Not a whole lot of super fast age groupers this year. They had Zone Champs, prepping for Jr. and Sr. Nationals as well right now, so they were probably pushed away from this swim by their coaches.

    I finished 1st in my age group, and 6th overall out of 820 swimmers. I was really happy with the result, though I'm still not gung-ho about doing OW swims that much more. I'm sure I'll still make an appearance at Longbridge year to year. We'll just have to see how things go each season.

    My award:
  4. Getting ready for IGLA

    My focus event this summer—the IGLA championships in Seattle August 13-18—is just 9 days away, and I’ve been making final plans and preparations for that event. I’ll be competing in 3 different aquatic disciplines—pool swimming, open water swimming, and diving--plus it looks like I might do the in-water choreography for our team’s entry in the closing Pink Flamingo competition. Here’s what my schedule will look like:

    • Arrive Monday 12 August evening

    • Tuesday 13 August: dive practice + easy swim at competition facility, counting for teammates’ 1500s

    • Wednesday 14 August: 100 FL, 50 BK, 200 IM, (4 x 200 FR relay)

    • Thursday 15 August: 50 fly, (4 x 100 medley relay), 1m dive competition

    • Friday 16 August: (4 x 100 FR relay), (4 x 50 medley relay), 3m dive competition

    • Saturday 17 August: 50 breast, (4 x 50 free relay), dive exhibition?, Pink Flamingo

    • Sunday 18 August: 2-mile open water swim

    Here’s how things are looking:


    It was a race to the wire to learn enough dives to compete in the 3m competition as well as the 1m. Last Sunday I learned a back dive with a half twist from both boards, which gave me a seventh dive, and one from the twisting category, on the higher board. So now I’m good to go.

    (As a woman, my competition lists will include 6 official, scored dives on each board. But because FINA requires 7 dives for men, women at IGLA are given the opportunity to do a seventh unofficial “equality” dive to protest this gender equality. In addition, all five groups of dives--forward, backward, inward, reverse, and twisting--should be included among the 7).

    So on the 3m my dives will be:

    • Front dive tuck
    • Front 1½ somersault tuck
    • Back dive straight
    • Back flip straight
    • Reverse dive tuck
    • Inward dive tuck
    • Back dive straight with ½ twist

    This has to be among the lowest degree-of-difficulty dive lists you’ll ever see—but hey, I’m just thrilled to be competing!

    On the 1m I might replace the twisty back dive with a front somersault with a full or half twist—I have some choices there—and I do the back flip in a tuck position rather than lay-out. I have three more practices to make everything better and to practice doing the different dives one after the other, rather than working on just one or two per practice.

    As for the competition itself, Federal Way is a great diving facility—Olympic Trials were held there in 2012. Competition runs from 1 to 2:30 each day, and there are platform and synchro competitions as well (both on Friday). I know there are 16 divers total (about half from my team, half from various elsewheres); I’m not sure if there will be anyone else in my age group. My goal is to do all my dives legally, and to maybe hit one or two really well from each height. Whatever I do, since this is my first official meet, my scores will automatically be lifetime PRs!

    Oh, and Kent Ferguson (former world champion on 3m and 92 Olympian) will be one of the judges at the competition. Very cool!

    Swim Meet

    This is a short course meters meet, with 2 courses going simultaneously. Men’s and women’s events are separate, and championship seeding (by age groups) is generally used for the shorter events. Turns will be guttered rather FINA walls, and starting blocks will have wedges (my first time using those). Swim competition is scheduled to run from 8:30 to 12:30 each day. Federal Way is supposed to be a fast pool.

    My goals here are to score points for my team and to have fun racing. Team New York won the swim competition at last year’s IGLA in Iceland by a huge margin, but this year we come into the meet as underdogs—the DC squad has 69 swimmers to our 61, and also has way more women. (Women at IGLA meets are key, since the swim meet skews about 80-85 percent men—women typically score points in any event they swim, whereas the men’s events, especially in the 20s-40s age groups, can go several dozen deep). So my focus is on placing as well as I can in all my events, and contributing what I can to relays.

    I picked my events (50 FL/BK/BR, 100 FL, 2IM) to avoid swimming too much on days I have diving, and to avoid having swim events that overlap with diving warm-ups. (Some relays might be going on at the same time as diving warm-ups, in which case I’ll shuttle back-and-forth between the diving well and competition pool as needed.) My swim training has taken a back seat to dive training and to rehabbing a calf injury this past month, and I was a little worried about my endurance in the 100 fly, especially since it’s not one of my usual events. So I have to admit I was a little relieved when the psych sheets came out, and I was listed as the only one swimming the 100 fly in my age group.

    The two events where competition will be toughest are in the 50 BK and 50 FL. I’ve been trying to do very focused work for these events, but it’s been hampered by not being able to do many wall push-offs yet. Luckily my calf is healing well, and I’m hopeful that by the time I arrive in Seattle I will be swimming pain-free, if not as well prepared as I might like. I’m imagining that the swim events will feel like a comfortable respite from the diving, where everything is new and a little scary. Some diving teammates are in the opposite situation, new to swim competitions but old hats at diving—it will be nice to look to them for mutual support and encouragement.

    In addition to my 5 events, we are allowed to swim 4 of the 5 relays. With 60+ swimmers and all the combinations of ages and genders possible, doing the relay assignments is a huge task—I don’t envy Coach Scott in the coming days! I’ve told him I’m happy swimming anything, and am looking forward to swimming with friends old and new.

    Open Water

    After 5 days in an indoor pool, I get to cap off the week with a 2-mile swim in Lake Washington. What a treat!

    Other stuff

    IGLA competitions always come with plenty of social events, and the Seattle crew seems to have done a ton of event planning. There’s an opening party at the Seattle Aquarium, hosted dinners with local swimmers, a women’s Garden Party and dinner near Alki Beach, a sunset cruise in the sound, closing banquet, etc. I’m singed up for all of those except the cruise (it runs too late for someone who never seems to adjust to west coast time when I'm out there). I'm also looking forward to making a trip to Colman Pool to try out the water slide, swimming in the sound (hoping to find a local guide for that!), and doing some other touristy stuff. Back at the pool, there will be water polo (go TNYA!) and synchro competitions in the afternoons, plus Pink Flamingo rehearsals. I have to get out my guidebook and the IGLA schedule and see what other things I want to shoehorn in.

    Some links:

    Questions for anyone who has read this far:

    • Does anyone have any recommendations for things to do near Seattle that I shouldn’t miss? I’ve stayed downtown lots of times and have seen most of the things within walking distance of the downtown hotels. This time I’ll have a car and am interested in stuff within easy driving distance from Federal Way.

    • Any advice on starting from wedge blocks? What do you do differently from a regular track start?

    Updated August 4th, 2013 at 11:20 AM by swimsuit addict