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  1. Success! Tuesday, Feb. 9

    by , February 9th, 2010 at 04:42 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Whew! Got a swim in today. The Rec Centers opened at noon. It was pretty packed when I arrived, but emptied out fairly quickly. All the regulars were there getting their swims in, including Cage Fighter. He claimed to be "horribly" out of shape after 4 days of no FISH practices. Anyway, I was feeling pretty battered from my deep tissue massage (takes me 2-3 days to recover from these), so I just swam slowly and re-established feel.


    Warm up:

    750 various

    Drill sets:

    10 x 25, shooters on belly
    10 x 25, evens = easy speed fly, odds = easy
    10 x 25, shooters on back

    50 EZ

    5 x 100 PLD breast @ 2:00
    working on long pullouts

    50 EZ

    Mini Aerobic Set:

    8 x 50 backstroke @ 1:00
    working on breakouts

    50 EZ

    Mini Speed Set:

    4 x (25 AFAP + 50 EZ)
    odds = fast doggie paddle drill (an Allen Stark drill)
    evens = fast free

    Free didn't feel as bad as I expected.

    100 EZ

    Total: 3150



    This is a pretty typical pre-meet workout for me. I suppose I could have done a fast 50 or two, but I was feeling like a lazy sprinter. And my legs are still feeling heavy and beat up from the Sunday drylands and deep tissue massage. This too shall pass by the weekend I hope. I doubt I'll get in a swim tomorrow. The snow has already started and it's supposed to be very heavy tonight.

    2010 Meets:

    Richmond Meet:

    I had to look up what I was swimming this weekend, as I couldn't recall. One event of each stroke: 200 back, 100 evil (split on a 200), 50 free, 100 fly. I'm happy to count for anyone who needs a counter on Saturday in Richmond. The last time I swam a 200 back (Jan 2009), I went 2:22.3 (had to look that up). I recall I didn't take many SDKs after the start, as I was terrified of going into oxygen debt. I think this time, I'll likely take 5-6 off each turn and take my chances. On the 100 evil, I'm aiming for long pullouts. I have no idea what I'll go in this event, and no recollection of any of my age group times in this stroke. Hopefully, I won't get DQ'd by spacing out on the second 100 ... In the 100 fly, I'd like to best my best in season time, which I believe is a 1:04+. The 50 free is the usual crapshoot. This might be the only time I swim it this year.

    Albatross Meet:

    I also entered the Albatross meet last night on line: 100 fly, 50 back, 100 back and 50 free. All times sandbagged. I'll likely do my usual 3-5 days rest that consists mostly of knocking off drylands and weights.

    Colonies Zones:

    I'm mulling over my events for Colonies Zones. I'm leaning toward:


    100 free
    50 breast
    100 fly


    100 IM
    50 fly
    100 back

    I'm swimming a lot of relays at this meet, most likely, so no need to pile on too many individual events. This would be the first time I haven't swum 50 back there if I do this lineup ... But it's at the end of the day before our 400 medley relay and right after 100 fly. (But perhaps I'll lead off a relay and get a time.) KPN is planning on attending this meet as well, though she doesn't know what events she's swimming.

    Racing Weight:

    Mr. Fort, I and our Savageman relay mate were chatting about the NYT article on weight/fitness the other night. He loaned us his book entitled "Racing Weight: How To Get Lean for Peak Performance." I scanned some of the early sections on swimming and found the following nuggets:

    Swimmers have the highest average body fat of any endurance athlete.

    "Swimming is not a natural human activity, so it is no surprise that the typical elite swimmer's body has unusual characteristics .... tall, long torso, long arms, large feet, loose ankles, double jointed elbows/knees/ankles."

    "An interesting question is whether body fat percentages are somewhat higher for swimmers than in other endurance athletes because athletes with more body fat tend to excel in swimming or because swim training does not reduce body fat levels as much as other aerobic activity, or because swimmers eat more than other endurance athletes." (Personally, I agree with #2 & #3, but not #1.)

    "When researchers matched body fat percentages in endurance athletes against finishing times, they found that the men and women with the leanest bodies were also the fastest."

    "Body fat makes only a minimal positive contribution to endurance performance ... any excess body fat beyond the essential required for health worsens endurance performance ... performance increases as body fat is lost because of gains in efficiency ... As body fat goes down, aerobic capacity goes up because muscle has less competition from fat tissue for oxygen and fuel."

    "The greatest weight management challenge that competitive swimmers face is that of increasing swim specific strength and power, which typically requires gaining some muscle ... The benefits of pure muscle strength and power are greater in swimming than in every other endurance sport except rowing." (1997 study of Greek national team)

    "At the elite level, every sport evolves in the direction of effective innovation and in the last decade or so, one of the most significant innovations in elite swimming is a much greater commitment to strength training."

    I have to now read the chapters on balancing energy sources, nutrient timing, managing appetite, training for racing weight, and the role of supplements.

    NYT Journal:

    I'm just catching up on this a couple weeks late, but there was an interesting short article in the NYT Magazine about how endurance athletes are "internally fit." Apparently, exercise has an anti-aging effect at the molecular level. The fitter a person was in middle age, the younger their cells were (found by measuring telomeres and telomerase activity).
    Swim Workouts
  2. Swimming: The Cure for Everything?

    Clocked 2200 yds in class tonight. Workout was a good mix of strokes. Got some decent flip turns in there, but laid off them when fatigue started setting in. Coach said my backstroke looks really smooth, and that my breaststroke is "getting there." Woot!

    I've worked my way through the current issue of Swimmer, and the article on swimming's effect on mental health really struck a chord. I'm one of the only people I know (outside my class, naturally) who exercises on a regular basis. And I'm one of the only ones who a) doesn't have serious medical problems, b) isn't on multiple prescription drugs, c) isn't overweight or obese, and d) hasn't had issues with depression or anxiety. Generally speaking, I'm one of the happiest people I know.

    Or, as I like to say, swimming is the cure for everything.
  3. Pieces of IM, Part II

    This morning I swam in the rain solo (and I mean really solo—I was the only one in the pool for 90 percent of my workout!) Here’s what I did:

    1000 warmup

    4 x 125 IM pieces @ 2:15, doing 80 build/45 easy on each one

    3 x 150 IM pieces, 50K/50S/50K

    2 x 175 IM pieces, odd lengths rightside-up, even lengths upside-down

    1 x 200 IM [The grand finale of yesterday’s and today’s sets—I swam this as beautifully as I could]

    Snorkel experimentation [see[ame=""] discussion forums [/ame]for details]

    200 warmdown

    I’m hoping to get in an additional swim tonight, but thunderstorms are forecast for later today. We’ll see how it goes.
  4. Tuesday, 2/9/10

    by , February 9th, 2010 at 12:27 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    300 swim free
    300 kick on back w/ 8 SDK off each wall
    300 pull back w/buoy only
    5 x 50 on 1:00 alt. drill/build by 25 choice
    (went fly-free-back-free-back)

    swim 4x around:
    {30 sec rest between rounds.
    swim 3 x 75 on 1:30, #2 no free
    (ave 58-59 on free, all #2's were back, was under 1:05 on all of them)
    swim 3 x 25 FAST on 30 choice
    (Rd 1 - fly, around 18; Rd 2 & 4 - free, around 16-17, Rd 3 - back, around 18)

    50 easy

    kick 6 x 50 on 1:00
    (went 1-3 w/ board ave 53, 4-6 on back ave 58)

    100 easy swim down

    Strength training with trainer tonight.
  5. Tue Feb 9th 2010

    by , February 9th, 2010 at 10:30 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue Feb 9th 2010

    a few day ago I realized that I can take a nap after my early practices, 5:30 - 6:30, don't need to be at work till 8:30

    Subscribe to this Blog


    scy, main pool
    whitney coached
    6:30 - 7:30
    swam with Nate, Paul, & Sierra
    Next to ritchie, dave lovato, ned, jon, larry, tennille, Max

    wore speedo brief

    warm up:
    not sure what warm up was, but did around

    4 moderate 1 fast

    10 x 25 fl on :30

    10 x 50 br on :55

    10 x 75 fr on 1:05

    10 x 100 fr on 1:20

    100 easy

    got out at 7:30 to make a meeting

    2010 MEETS:

    March 4 - 6, 2010 Austin, TX UT Swim Center
    Austin Grand Prix
    Count Down

    April 9 -11 The Woodlands, TX
    2010 South Central Zone Short Course Championships

    May 20 - 23, 2010 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech Aquatic Center
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Order of Events
    Swim Workouts
  6. The Little Things

    by , February 9th, 2010 at 07:20 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    There are so many things I can work on to improve so today the focus was good streamlines and kickouts. My Backstroke streamline and kickout is great but my fly and free STINKS. For some reason I have a hard time holding it while on my stomach, I think I like to pick my head up some which makes it difficult. So today that was the focus!

    5x100@2:00, 1:55, 1:50, 1:45, 1:40 Free
    5x100@1:45 as Free to Back 4F, 3F/1B, 2F/2B, 1F/3B, 4B

    500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd fast
    500 Back kick as 125's #1 streamline, #2 fashion model, #3 partial recovery, #4 arms perpendicular

    5x100@1:40 w/paddles & bouy as 50 Free/50 Back went 1:28, 1:27, 1:26, 1:26, 1:25
    500 Free w/snorkle this was the first time I made it without stopping to clear out the water
    5x100@ 2:00 Free Easy Streamlines & kickouts

    Total 3500 yards
  7. Monday After The Super Bowl Slaughter

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 10:43 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    Well it wasn't a total slaughter...okay the 4th quarter was a slaughter.
    In retrospect I'll admit the Saints deserved the victory. I've enjoyed watching their celebrations plus listening to their stories of inspiration and determination to bring joy to their New Orleans fans!
    There is always next year for the Colts!

    Today's workout was solo at LA Fitness. I may possibly be in the midst of a blizzard tomorrow so I got a quick workout in today! I basically did the same workout as yesterday, just a little short:

    **500 freestyle swim with the tic-tocker
    **4 X 100 Backstroke on 2:00 int
    **4 X 50 Free on :55
    **4 X 100 Freestyle on 1:50 int
    **8 X 25 (2 each stroke) on :40 int
    **4 X 100 Freestyle on 1:45 int
    **8 X 25 mixed kick on :40 int, no fins
    **4 X 100 Freestyle on 1:40 int
    **8 X 25 (4 back/4 Fly) on :40 int
    **easy 100 IM cool-down
    3,000 scy
  8. One of these days.....

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 10:39 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    I'll get to swim in a meet again. It is already been over 8 months and now swimming at Auburn this weekend may not happen. My mother was supposed to come down and watch child and animals while we were at the meet. Now it looks as though snow will make it nearly impossible for her to fly out to get here. Meanwhile, Auburn could be getting snow on Friday and Friday night.

    Guess I will go about working out as if we are going to be able to the meet. Got a 2600 workout in on Saturday. Last set was 4 x 50 on 1:10, doing 25 free on the first length and doing stroke on the second length. Did in IMO and felt pretty good.

    Sunday and today, I did not get a chance to workout as I had too much to do. Will get in a 2000 yarder tomorrow.
  9. Monday 2/8/10

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 07:51 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Felt reasonable after a long day of swim meet on Saturday and a short run yesterday. I think maybe running was good after all the standing about.

    So I got a 3500 in today, I wanted to do the 10 x 200 on 6 minutes, that I ruminated on last week, as being 100 practice by doing 50 hard and 150 EZ. It was tougher than I expected...I'm hoping my body may become more adept at processing lactate...

    Warm Up
    200 Swim
    200 Kick
    200 Pull
    4 x 50 6 kick switch
    4 x 50 3 n glide
    4 x 50 catch up

    Main Event:
    10 200 5:00 50 HD/150 EZ
    I was running low on time and didn't want to have to cut off the set due to swim team. So I went on 5:00 instead of 6:00. It was tough I stopped on numerous 50's to breathe 3 or 4 times and grab a split. Nothing much below :35. Other times I made sure I took the hard turn off of the 50 and swam at least 75 before breathing. Then I did some swimming out the first 100 before grabbing a breath...and some others I swam right through. Anyone have any thoughts if there is a method to this to prefer? It seems logical to at least force the hard turn at 50...or other logic to swim a complete's where my lack of swim years hurts.

    Swim team got in but I swam with them on their warm up to get a cool down.
    6 x 50 EZ

    Hit the weights for 45 afterward and had a short stretch off too...not as much as I would have liked but better than none.
    Funny thing on leg press I was thinking boy this feels hard today and was assuming that my run was haunting me...then I noted that the supplemental weight stack was pegged in for an additional 15lbs...still feeling pretty haughty now.

  10. Monday, 2/8/10

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 07:06 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    SCY, Solo

    200 swim free
    400 Reverse IM kick/swim/25
    200 IM drill
    100 swim back

    swim this free unless otherwise indicated:
    swim 3 x 300 on 4:40, make interval
    (went 4:20 on these)
    swim 3 x 50 on 1:00 descend 1-3
    (went 38-37-37)
    swim 3 x 200 on 3:10, make interval
    (went 2:50 on these)
    swim 2 x 50 on 1:00, #2 faster (choice)
    (did back, went 42-40)
    swim 3 x 100 IM on 1:55, make interval
    (went 1:35-40 on these, extra :30 sec.)
    swim 50 choice FAST off blocks choice
    (didn't have blocks in my lane. Did free from a push, went 34)

    swim down 100 easy
    Total: 3100 yards

    Ran 3.5 miles on treadmill

    Updated February 9th, 2010 at 12:31 PM by poolraat

  11. Argh! Monday, Feb. 8

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 07:06 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)

    OK, it's not fun anymore. The main streets still have snow on them, there are no sidewalks, we're supposed to get 10-20 inches of snow again tomorrow and schools are pre-emptively closed on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. The roads to the Rec Centers were fine today, but they were nonetheless closed. They typically close if the county schools close. So, no pool.

    I'm really not happy about this. I have a meet this weekend and need to get in the water. I am NOT supposed to be cross-training this week and doing so would only fry my legs more. I am going to pray that the Freedom Center is open tomorrow am and drive all the way out there. Or hope the local rec centers are somehow open. Crap!

    On the upside, since there was no pool to go to today, I called and was able to get a long overdue massage. So at least my poor legs got some TLC.

    Albatross SCM Meet:

    I entered the Albatross meet on line today. I took Neill's advice and entered: 100 fly/50 back/100 back/50 free. I sandbagged all my times. I don't want to be in the last heat and be drowned by Chris/Clay/Jeff/Neill/Wolfy, etc. Past experience has shown me this will happen if I enter my real in season times. So hopefully I'll end up with the fast chicks in the second to last heat.


    Big score last night! I am now in possession of the entire P90X series, which was gifted to me. So I have a couple duplicate DVDs. Bob, have you found any yet? I also have an aquaitance doing the Insanity series of DVDs (not by Tony Horton though). They're 30 minutes long and he says he is "dead" after.

    BTW, Pink does P90X and Dreya (from the DVDs) performed with her at the Grammys.

    RedHead Update:

    Thought I'd give a brief update, since I know some swimmer chicks are wondering about the viability of red hair. I got my hair colored after the first week of fading on Jan. 19. The color took much better the second time; it was almost too dark. I've attached a couple pics taken on photo booth a couple days ago. There is some, but not too much, fading.

    Here's what I've been doing:

    1. Use mega conditioning shampoo and conditioner for dry hair.
    2. Don't wash my hair on days I'm not in the pool.
    3. Put conditioner in my hair before I swim.
    4. Use Pureology's anti-fade complex
    5. Use Bumble & Bumble's hair powder for red heads to brighten up the color.

    So, so far, I'd say it's worth the battle with the chorine. I'll likely have to go in every 5-6 weeks, but that's typical. And I love being a redhead.

    Updated February 8th, 2010 at 10:08 PM by The Fortress

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  12. Pieces of IM, Part I

    I got to the pool on the late side this morning so had to cut things short (lap swimming only lasts til 9, then the pool closes up for 2 hours). Here’s what I did (SCY, on my own):

    1000 warmup

    8 x 25 @ :30, odds K, evens build (2 of each stroke, IM order)

    7 x 50 @ :50, IM pieces (50 FL, 25 FL/25 BK, 50 BK, 25 BK/25 BR, 50 BR, etc)

    6 x 75 IM pieces @ 1:30 [50FL/25BK, 25FL/50BK, 50BK/25BR, 25BK/50BR, 50BK/25 FR, 25BK/50FR, all Kick except the 2nd 25 of each 50 of the same stroke is swim]

    5 x 100 IM pieces @ 1:40 [50FL/50BK, 25FL/50BK/25BR, 50BK/50BR, 25BK/50BR/25FR, 50BR/50FR]

    [Then I realized that the pool would be closing soon, so decided to save the 125s-200 for another day.]

    300 pull, experimenting with swim snorkel

    200 warmdown
  13. Floricalizona Hot House Flowers: A Gift

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 05:06 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Many photographs and videos have been taken of this weekend's Snowmageddon; many words have been written for newspapers and spoken with grim authority over the radio and television airwaves.

    But here, in the work of one toiling-in-anonymity filmmaker, gifted with genes that only exist one other place in the universe, which have therein have been squandered, from this hearty intellectual creative stock, comes the definitive work on the Snowpocalpyse yet done, or ever will be done.

    For all of you who have had the great pleasure of visiting the salt-water-taffy-dappled Jersey Shore in high summer, or watched tattooed beefheads and their siliconated chesty la'rue cocubines on the popular MTV show, please turn your attentions now to the Jersey Shore in a season beyond your reckoning.

    This off-putting preamble notwithstanding, please do watch this film; you will be glad you did.

    It is magnificent.

    Afterwards, please return to tonight's vlog for my calling-an-audible workout, which I am writing with Bill's blessing.

    He still doesn't have power, and his family is bivouacing in our humble quarters for the foreseeable future.

    I am still sickly weak. The workout will represent Jimcentricity in all its effete glory.

    [ame=""]YouTube- Snowpocalypse Now![/ame]

    I shall give you a few moments now to compose yourself and stop weeping.

    Here is tonight's Jimcentric workout (sorry, it looks like some bugs remain to be worked out here, but squint):

  14. Email to Whitney

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 11:05 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    sent this Email to my coach, Whitney Hedgepeth, a few days ago, to let her know my plans for this season.

    Hi Whitney,

    Here’s my plan for the SCY season.


    March 4 - 6, 2010 Austin Grand Prix

    April 9 -11 2010 The Woodlands, TX
    South Central Zone Short Course Championships

    May 20 - 23, 2010 Atlanta, GA
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Georgia Tech Aquatic Center
    Order of Events

    I’m training for the 200 IM, 100 fl, & 50 bk.
    I hope to improve my times from 2008 & 9
    200 IM 1:58.39
    100 Fly 51.80
    50 Back 24.41 (2008 Nats)

    My training plan is:

    From Now to April 2nd:
    train middle distance & some sprint,
    maintain strength & lose weight,

    April 3rd - SCY Nats
    focus on speed & strength then taper.

    Rest & Taper

    + 2 or 3 days for the Austin Grand Prix
    + a week for SC Zones &
    + 2 or 3 weeks for SC Nats

    I’d appreciate your thoughts.
    Thanks for the tough workouts.


    ~ ~ ~ ~

    here's what she wrote back

    "It all sounds good and looks good. Lets see some real backstroke starts soon. I have been real impressed with most of your training lately. Keep up the good work."
  15. Mon Feb 8th 2010

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 10:52 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Mon Feb 8th 2010

    NOTE: changed the link for the South Central Zones SCY Meet (below)
    the info is NOW available

    Subscribe to this Blog


    scy, main pool
    whitney coached
    5:30 - 6:30
    swam with Marcio, Todd, & Doug beside
    Nate, Kelly, & Ned
    wore speedo brief then old B70 legs

    warm up:
    200 fr
    200 fr
    200 k fly on side no board went 2:36
    200 fr

    put on old B70 leg skin

    did these 25 fr 25 bk
    3 x 150 on 1:55 right into
    3 x 150 on 1:50 right into
    3 x 150 on 1:45

    assigned 500 with 4 SDKs off each wall
    did 6 x 50 with 4 SDKs

    did these 25 fr 25 bk
    3 x 150 on 1:45 right into
    3 x 150 on 1:40 right into
    3 x 150 on 1:35 (did these 50 fr 25 bk)
    Challenging, MADE IT!

    50 easy

    2010 MEETS:

    March 4 - 6, 2010 Austin, TX UT Swim Center
    Austin Grand Prix
    Count Down

    April 9 -11 The Woodlands, TX
    2010 South Central Zone Short Course Championships

    May 20 - 23, 2010 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech Aquatic Center
    2010 USMS Short Course National Championships
    Order of Events
    Swim Workouts
  16. Monday Feb 8, 2010

    I woke-up on time. Laid in bed past when I should have and took my sweet time getting my suit on and diving in.

    W/U was supposed to be:
    200 FR swim
    400 IM (kick/swim by 25)
    300 IM drill
    100 swim choice

    I did the first 300 of that

    3 x 300 free on 4:30
    3 x 50 free desc. on 1:00
    3 x 200 free on 3:10
    2 x 50 free 2nd one faster on 1:00
    3 x 100 IM (I did back) on 1:45 (I did 2:00)
    50 fast off of the blocks

    100 c/d


    Felt pretty good. I feel strong in the water and like I am holding water. Now to get my fly feeling anywhere near as good as my free ...

    Providing the snow isn't awful tonight and I can bring my car to the dealer a bit later I'm going to lift tonight. I think my dryland has helped my swimming a ton!
  17. Back to Sprint work

    by , February 8th, 2010 at 07:18 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    My right lower calf is aching but why I don't know. So today I focused on kick, sprint kick.

    400, 300, 200, 100@:15Rest Free (no clock until after the 200)

    5x50@1:00 Free Rt arm only w/paddle non working arm at side and breath to non working side
    8x25@:45 Free Kick every 3rd sprint went :25 and :27 on those
    5x50@1:00 Free Lt arm only w/paddle non working arm at side and breath to non working side
    8x25@:45 Free Kick every other sprint held :26's
    5x50@1:00 Free swim paddle on Rt hand 4 kicks on the paddle hand
    8x25@:45 Free Kick sprint first 4 in :26 last 4 in :27
    5x50@1:00 Free swim paddle on Lt hand 4 kicks on the paddle hand

    200 Free kick w/fins easy
    200 Free swim easy

    Total 3000 yards
  18. Sad Sunday :(

    by , February 7th, 2010 at 11:19 PM (Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!)
    The Colts got beat Bummer
    The party immediately ended and all guests vacated the premises in 1 minute or less. It was comical driving home. Normally there would be no traffic at all in my neighborhood Sunday night at 10 p.m. Tonight there were traffic jams galore; no need to celebrate a loss.

    Today's swim was with Nasti's:

    **800 Freestyle Swim
    **4 X 100 Free on 2:00 int
    **4 X 50 Stroke on 1:00 int (back)
    **4 X 100 Free on 1:50 int
    **4 X 50 Stroke on 1:00 int-back
    **4 X 100 Free on 1:40 int
    **4 X 50 Stroke on 1:00-fly/fins
    **4 X 100 Free on 1:30 int
    **4 X 50 Stroke on 1:00 int-back
    3,200 scy
  19. Yes Virginia, The Coconuts Are Real

    by , February 7th, 2010 at 08:48 PM (Meet Director's Path to Tranquility)
    "People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure."
    -Russell Baker

    On Sunday, we had a swim meet.

    146 out of 189 attended. Usually, about 12-15 do not show up in a normal year. Subtracting those from the signup, we can assume 28 swimmers did not make it due to the snow. Most of them were out of towners - I do not blame them for staying home.

    Here's how meet day went down:

    I arrived at the pool around 7:05. The roads were mostly wet and a little slushy in a few places. The parking lot was cleared of snow. Jane and Michael already had the luau hospitality set up and roaring. The two rookie check-in people were there eager to receive their instructions.

    Michael Boyle from RMST was the first person to show up around 7:15.

    I requested that the pool manager turn off the underwater lights. These are an annoyance to us swimmers during our workouts there - they are like swimming into high beams on a highway.

    First problem - equipment. Again. For a third year in a row. Our Mother Hen head timer stopped by a coach's house to pick up the sound system early that morning because he was sick and snowed in for evening setup the night before. The coach had never bothered to set up the equipment (or pack it up) at home and check things out before handing off to us. Setting up the speakers on meet day, we found there was no power cord for them. Mother Hen offered to drive back to the coach's house to pick up the power cord after a quick phone call to him.

    Needless to state, the music program was obviously screwed up. No music for warmups, at least the beginning. She arrived back a half hour later at 8:00 in time to initiate our warmup music just as the sprint lanes began. Jimmy Buffet and Margaritaville would have to wait until next year.

    Officials showed up on time, were given the timeline, and told that we needed to speed it up if possible. We use one minute between heats as per J-Rod's experience and suggestion, and have been a bit ahead of time in the past.

    The check-in was going well. Teammates brought lots of donations - the luau hospitality room was well stocked. A group of swimmers posed outside in the snow with their swim suits and leis. One even did a start into a snow bank. I printed out the meet records and posted them in the hospitality room. I printed the meet seeding (with deck entries) and posted on the wall. My big meet director's surprise for the meet: our national anthem played on steel drums by the Trinidad and Tobago steel drum band to start things off. I remembered to set out the lap counter cards. We started 5 minutes earlier than the time line. Everything else from then on hummed along.

    After about an hour, we realized that we were ahead of schedule. At the half-way break, we were about 20 minutes ahead. I breathed a sigh of relief. The results were being compiled in a timely manner.

    A few coconuts were placed on the awards table to entice signups for the coconut relay. The reaction was amusing to me. Swimmers would walk up, curiously look at them, cautiously roll them on the table, touch them, pick them up, evaluate their weight. You would think they were looking at alien moon rocks. Yes, the coconuts are real.

    Kelley Lemmon, 97 year old DC Masters member and inductee to the International Hall of Fame showed up and swam his 50 free. After prodding the crowd on the sound system, he received a loud cheer and standing ovation at his finish. He and his friends had asked me not to make a big deal or fuss prior to his swim since he was nervous about his first meet in over 20 years. He was appreciative of the privacy, and of his recognition after the swim. Inspiration was not in short supply.

    The meet ended at 1:20 PM - 40 minutes ahead of schedule. Everyone seemed to have a great time. Several comments after the meet indicated swimmers enjoyed the meet. I will post them later.

    But wait, tranquility is not here yet. There is more work ahead.

    "I will post them later:" are a doll!! Thanks!
    Glad some counties know how to clear the streets!!!! It is still a sheet of ice around here....and of course no school for the kids tomorrow!!!! Maybe I should take up ice skating!!
    I do hope the meet was a success. I had heard that you guys put on a great meet and everyone has a blast....I am so sorry that I had to bag it.
    Thank you for your assistance with the refund! (No t-shirt.)
    Be safe out there and thanks again....hope to see you at the meet here in RH next month... Lisa

    Hi Ray,
    This was my first Tropical Splash ever ! I have heard of it for years, but I am not usually ready to compete in January ! It was tons of fun and of course, having Kelley there was remarkable.
    I have really missed out all these years.
    Thank you for everything ! I saw old friends and met a couple of women who were 60 + in their first meet ever ! They had a blast !
    I am sorry I did not order a t-shirt. Are there any more? If so, I would come pick them up; I live in Arlington. Not sure if Kelley ordered one - I would get him one and one for me as well.
    Thanks again for a beautiful, fun meet which has got me excited to train for National's !
    All the best, Ann

    Thank you for a great meet. The hospitality shown to those who managed to mush their way through the snow was awesome. The tropical theme reminded me of my younger days and brought a smile to my face. The competition was keen and the meet ran flawlessly, in fact I was a little surprised how swiftly it completed. Iʼm looking forward to next yearʼs event.
    Thanks again,Bob

    Hi Ray, So sorry , the weather didnt cooperate for us (MARY- team). We have always enjoyed your meet and the atmosphere it creates..Thanks for
    emailing me back regarding the check...Fondly, Sue

    Thanks for hosting a wonderful meet. We look forward to being there next year.
    Have you considered keeping track of the coconut relay results as a part of the meet records? It's a fun thing for us to look forward to every year and it'd be nice to see progression, I think two teams broke 1:40 this year, which based on what I could see back to 2004 are the fastest times.
    Anyhow just a thought.
    Cheers, John

    Hi - I just wanted to drop you a line and congratulate you on running a great meet! I look forward to TS 2011.
    Best regards, Tony

    Here are some photos I took at the Tropical Splash swim meet from my team. These photos are from the Arlington Masters swim team. I hope you like them. We had 9 swimmers from our team attedning and swimming in the meet. Thanks for hosting such a fun meet. I have swam in this meet for about 5 years now.

    . . . It is a great meet and lots of folks agree with me! It's all the little things you all do that makes it extra special.
    My new swimmers are looking forward to next year (and want to learn to dive & flip now). Thank you so much for all you do! - Ann

    Thank you for a great Tropical Splash meet! As always it is a fun meet and the little tropical touches and spirit of your team are
    wonderful. Michelle

    Ray, Thanks so much for the T-shirt and special attention at the Tropical Splash. I always enjoy swimming in Virginia and seeing my old friends.
    The meet was just great. I liked all the extra decorations (flamingos, fish handing from the backstroke flags). I really liked the meet program, listing the new masters swimmers is a great idea. And how nice to see so many names!!
    And the goodies were great. The Gatorade probably helped me swim better. I was hoping for 3:10 in the 200 breast, so I was really happy with 3:07. My days of under 3 minutes are long gone.
    Thanks again. See you next time I swim in Potomac Valley. Joann

    Updated October 20th, 2010 at 10:14 PM by Rnovitske (meet comments included)

  20. Interesting Meet

    by , February 7th, 2010 at 08:12 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    A few great swims, most were just average. Once again I did a full load of 5 per day. Many were back to back swims.

    On Saturday I began with 3 back to back swims, the 100 IM, 200 Back and the 50 Free. The 100 IM was a second off at 1:16.56 for 2nd place, the 200 Back was a 2:47.29 for 1st place, and next was the 50 Free in a 28.86 for 2nd place again. A nice break then 2 last back to backs with the 50 Back in a 37.37 for 2nd place and a personal best. The 100 Breast was for fun and not terribly fast at a 1:30.10 for a 3rd place finish.

    Sunday began with the 500 Free in an average time of 6:24.06 for 3rd place. I was feeling sore before the 50 Breast attempt in a 42.77 for 5th place, not a race to remember but it did warm me up for the 100 Back which was a best time in 1:17.35 and a 1st place finish. After some down time and a soak in the hot tub it was time for the 50 Fly an event I only seem to do once a year but this year I matched my time from last year exactly with a 33.91 and a 2nd place finish. The final swim was the 100 Free me and a heat of guys, 4 of whom went under a minute and I was stuck in the backwash with a time of 1:04.28 and a 2nd place finish.

    The 3 races I am most happy with were the 50 and 100 Back and the 50 Fly. But I have to admit the 50 Free was getting back on track and was better than 2 weeks ago.

    Updated February 8th, 2010 at 07:12 AM by Donna