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  1. Recovery Day & more reflection..

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 06:17 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well I had to get in and sim a bit. I still feel tired but the swim made me feel loose. I didn't do anything too funky but tried a slightly different BR stroke that I spoke with Steve West about...I'll be meddling with that this year.

    Reflecting on my swims, I felt I was too tired for a solid 200 BR and I ripped out the first 100 at 1:17 that would have been a PB in the 100 BR a year ago. If you watch the video it shows up, I held my stroke together but I just ran out of power. 1:17.x and a 1:28.x makes ugly splitting.

    My 100 I thought I was spinning wheels tried to glide.. I should have just carried on...I coasted in...bummer...but happy to PB.

    100 IM was a hoot I wish it was taped!

    Anyhow here's my simple 20 yard pool.

    4 x through:
    200 Kick (fins)
    200 Pull (pins n paddles)
    200 Swim #2 was 5 x 40 BR
    Felt good to stretch out again.
  2. Tue May 25th, 2010

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 04:47 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tue May 25th, 2010

    did not swim monday, I travelled back from GA to TX

    ElaineK "Elaine-iaK" was kind enough to video my 200 IM at Nats & here is the footage.
    [nomedia=""]YouTube- 2010 Masters SCY Nats 200 IM Men 45 to 49 1:58.20 NR[/nomedia]

    I'm thrilled that I stuck with my plan & it worked. I should have made a better plan for my 100 IM, I just went hard, died & got 3rd.

    I'm kinda in training limbo right now.
    We might do a time trial this Friday but I want to get going on the 2010 LCM season

    WEIGHT 228 after practice
    I am going the wrong way with my weight and I need to turn the beat around.
    Had my home birthday dinner last night & totally pigged out.
    I really need to get my weight down under 210,
    especially since the rubber swim girdles are just about GONE

    LCM Austin swim center
    whitney coached
    6:30 - 8:00
    dove in late
    wore B70 jammers

    missed warm up

    4 x 100 done 25 fl 75 fr on 1:30
    4 x 50 on 1:00

    4 x 100 done 25 bk 75 fr on 1:30
    4 x 50

    4 x 100 done 25 br 75 fr
    4 x 50

    4 x 100 fr
    4 x 50 fr

    assigned 6 x 150 fr
    did 6 x 50 fr easy speed

    8 x 50 k on 1:00

    Updated May 25th, 2010 at 04:57 PM by ande

    Swim Workouts
  3. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout -05/26/10

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 02:58 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 a.m. Workout)

    4 X 100 1:40
    6 X 50 :50
    4 X 100 1:30
    6 X 50 :45

    8 X 50 kick 1:10

    1 X 300 free 4:30
    2 X 150 50 fly/50 back/50 breast 2:45
    4 X 50 stroke(choice) 1:00
    Twice through


    2 X 100 moderate 2:00
    4 X 50 fast 1:20
    Twice through with a break

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00

    4400 Y/M
    Swim Workouts
  4. A recap of the past week, Part 2

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 02:30 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Meet recap, Friday through Saturday

    Friday, 5/21/10

    My only swim was the 200 backstroke.

    Did about 1600 yards warmup

    I went 2:33.81 (previous best was 2:36.92). Splits were 35.67-39.73-39.26-39.15. It was a good swim but hurt a bit that last 50.

    Cool down swim was about 10 minutes did around 500.
    Total for the day: 2300

    Saturday, 5/22/10

    Did about 1600 yards warmup

    100 free - I went 1:00.04 (previous best was :59.23). Splits were 28.71-31.28
    I need to go out faster. Based on my 50 time I should be under 28 on the 1st 50.

    Long cooldown swim, about 400 easy yards

    50 back stroke - I went 32.32. (previous best was :30.58). I totally blew the turn on this and had no push off the wall and therefore no UW dolphin. My plan had been to SDK at least 10 kicks before breakout. I got 1.

    10 minute cooldown about 500 mix of free and back.

    Total: about 2700 yards

    Sunday, 5/2310:

    Warmup: about 1600 yards

    100 back - An awesome race!! went 1:09.36 (previous best was 1:09.48). I negative split this, 34.71-34.65. I think that tells me I should have gone out a little faster, maybe low 33. But still a good swim.

    400 yards cooldown swim

    50 free - Everything went right here! Good start, decent turn and finish. Went 26.32 (previous best was :26.45). Took only 3 breaths on this, 2 on the way down and one coming back.
    Was anxious to get out of there so I didn't do a cooldown swim
    Total for the day: about 2100 yards

    So out of 5 races I had three PB's and and one 2nd best time.

    Updated May 25th, 2010 at 06:59 PM by poolraat

  5. A recap of the past week, Part 1

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 02:00 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    I haven't posted since my last workout last week before leaving for Atlanta so I will try to catch up now, I hope I can remember it all.

    Here is last Tuesday's workout

    300 swim free and back
    100 kick
    200 IM drill
    200 pull

    swim 8 x 25 on :45: odds build to fast finish; evens with fast breakouts: really work on getting going without over-spinning; do 1-4 free, 5-8 back
    200 easy

    2 x 25 sprint w/25 easy swim back

    swim down 10 minutes nice and easy... float, blow bubbles, whatever

    Total: 1900 yards

    Wednesday, 5/19/10
    Travel day, no workout.

    Thursday, 5/20/10

    15 minutes choice mixing swimming, kicking, pulling, drilling
    (did 150 free, 150 back, 100 kick on back, 200 drill, 100 easy free)

    swim 12 x 25 choice on 45:
    1 fast breakout, 1 build to fast finish, 1 easy
    (because this was in the warmup pool in Atlanta holding to the pace clock was nearly impossible. I just did what I could.)
    50 easy

    swim 3 x 50 back on 1:15 at goal 200 pace
    200 easy

    swim down 10 minutes choice:
    (did about 600 alternating free and back)

    Total: 2000 yards

    Updated May 25th, 2010 at 02:31 PM by poolraat

  6. 100 back Vid + Mon-Tues, May 24-25

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 01:40 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Monday Workout:

    Big cuddle and chat with Lil Fort after getting home in time to pick her up from school.

    2 hour nap.

    1.5+ hours watching Lost series finale on the DVR with Mini Fort.

    Watched Mr. Fort cook dinner.

    Tuesday Workout:

    Got up early to get Lil Fort off to school and went back to bed.

    Got up too late to go to hot yoga.

    Spent 2.0 hours contemplating whether to run. But decided against it as I'm still feeling like I was hit by a mac truck.

    100 back Video:

    Here's a video of my 100 back from Nats taken by Stud. I was pleased with my underwaters. Not so thrilled with the second turn (where you can see I missed the wall) or my last 5 yards where my arms wouldn't move. But still super thrilled with the time.

    I can't tell from the angle of the video, but I might have overshot the 15 meter mark on the first 25. I think you have to be on the side of the pool to really tell.

    [nomedia=""]YouTube- Les 100 BK[/nomedia]

    I've also attached a cool pic of 2 backstroke mermaids. Ahelee gave me plenty of encouragement during the meet while coaching her other swimmers. In fact, I have to thank all my team hottub buddies and others for their words of encouragement throughout the meet. I love my swimmer friends!

    Few other pics too, and 2 taken by my friend Norm at the start and turn of the 50 fly.

    Updated May 25th, 2010 at 05:06 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
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  7. Cranking it up and sore

    by , May 25th, 2010 at 07:46 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    After not using paddles for so long OUCH!

    5x200@3:30 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins build each 50
    5x100@2:00 Fly as 25 rt arm/25 lt arm/25 skull/25 swim
    10x50@1:00 alt fly kick/back kick w/fins streamline
    10x100@1:40 Free w/paddles & bouy
    200 Free easy

    Total 3700 meters
  8. Swim mixes - US Nationals version

    by , May 24th, 2010 at 08:06 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    As the women's team captain, I got asked to ask if we could have music at practice. Coach said "yes. If you bring it." And for the past 6 months, I've been making mixes for our team to swim to 5 days a week. When my collection started getting old, I started picking up music from the library, and taking requests.
    The following playlist is titled "Get Jonathan pumped for Nationals" and played on the day before he left for Atlanta and swam some incredible races. I hope this too will get you pumped. It inspired me to swim about 1,000 more yards than I usually do.

    Drive, The Cars, The Cars Greatest Hits
    Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison, Poison's Greatest Hit
    Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Lowrider, War
    We Will Rock You, Queen, Greatest Hits
    Back in Black, AC/DC, Back in Black
    Hey Ho, Lets Go, The Ramones
    Sabatoge Beastie Boys, Ill Communication
    What I Like About You, The Kinks
    Welcome to the Jungle, Guns N Roses, Appetite for Destruction
    Somebody To Love, Jefferson Airplane, The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane
    No Sleep Till Brooklyn, Beastie Boys, Licenced to Ill
    The Distance, Cake, Fashion Nugget
    California Sun (Cover), The Ramones
    My Sharona, The Knack, Reality Bites
    American Idiot, Green Day, Grammy Nominees 2005
    Last Night, The Strokes, Is This It
    I Want To Break Free, Queen, Greatest Hits
    My Generation, The Who, 20th Century Masters: The Best Of The Who (The Millennium Collection)
    Rock N Roll High School, The Ramones
    I Fought The Law (Cover), Dead Kennedys, Give Me Convenience or Give...
    Sheep Go To Heaven, Cake, Prolonging The Magic
    Cradle Of Love, Billy Idol
    Radio Ga Ga Queen, Live at Wembley 86 (Disc 2)
    You Shook Me All Night Long, AC/DC, Back in Black
    Crazy, Aerosmith, Get A Grip
    Stacy's Mom, Fountains Of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers
    I Want To Be Sedated, The Ramones
    Under Pressure, David Bowie & Queen, Changestwobowie
    Another One Bites The Dust, Queen, Greatest Hits
    We Are The Champions, Queen, Greatest Hits

    Updated May 27th, 2010 at 09:49 AM by swimmerb212

    Tags: music
  9. Atlanta aftermath

    I woke up today still feeling both the excitement and exhaustion from nationals. It was definitely a successful meet for me, and I am delighted and relieved to have swum so well. I am still reeling a bit from how much all my races hurt. I don’t remember feeling quite so wasted after all my swims at other big meets. One of my teammates said she worried after each of my races that I was horribly disappointed, because she would see my slumped over with my head in my hands right by the ladder, but then I would show up a few minutes later in our team area with a big smile on my facing announcing a big time drop. I did pretty much collapse right by the ladder after all my swims (except 50 BR, after which I felt just normally fatigued). I truly didn’t think I could walk away from the pool without a few minutes recovery time. I don’t recall ever doing that before.

    I think I still secretly have the fantasy that I can have a terrific breakthrough swim AND have it feel really great. That has happened a few times in my masters career—my 400 lcm IM at Portland (unfortunately DQed) and my masters PRs in the 200 lcm IM and 200 scy FR come to mind. On all of these I dropped significant time and just felt happy and exuberant, and ready to hop in and swim them again afterwards. But usually, swimming longer races (100s and up) fast just hurts, and I still hard to accept. In Atlanta, they really really hurt. I can blame the 400 IM hurt on bad pacing, but not my 2BK, 2IM, or 100 FR. Even my 50 BK was yucky painful by the end, and it was just a 50!

    I feel like a lot of my taper is just a big pep talk to myself, preparing mentally to endure that level of discomfort. Since I have been swimming masters, I have usually had good tapers for big events, but maybe part of that is just that I’m unwilling to dig quite as deep during my in-season races.

    All this makes me wonder—do other people train and/or race during the season at the same level of discomfort that they feel when swimming their races at big events? I don’t do many practice races in workouts, and even when we do an x for time, I secretly always feel like I’m keeping things within a certain comfort level. I have a hard time imagining being willing to endure the same type of pain that I felt during my Atlanta swims on a daily or weekly basis, but maybe I’m just an especially wimpy swimmer. So, a question: If you do a lot of practice races or race-pace training, how does this work for you? And do you feel any less pain in big races if you are put yourself out there more frequently?

    But enough complaining! I was so happy about bettering my swim ratings in 5 events that I updated my graph. Here’s the pre- and post-nationals version (my nats events were 50 BK, 50 BR, 100 FR, 200 IM, 200 BK, and 400 IM):

    Before Atlanta:

    After Atlanta:

    It’s not as pretty a proof that I’m a sprinter as before, when all the lines sloped downwards, but it’s cool that I moved all the events I swam in ATL into the into the top portion of the graph.

    One longstanding goal that I won’t achieve this season is finally making a scy top ten list. I’ve been fortunate enough to swim a fair number of SCM and SCM top ten times, but I’ve never cracked the list in yards. That’s definitely not happening this season either—my top rankings in the USMS database are 17th in the 200 BK and 200 IM and 18th in the 50 BR. So that goal will have to wait for another season. I don’t think aging up next year will make it any easier, given how tough the 45-49s are.

    Now, on to LCM and OW!
  10. SCY Nationals

    by , May 24th, 2010 at 03:38 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well this was my first visit to Nationals.
    I'd trained consistently and with a bit of focus on a few events for this meet, and it paid off.

    The first challenge was actually handling a solo flight since an anxiety attack back in 2006...I'm not going to tell the story's been told enough.

    A fun and tiring meet with a super drop in the 50 BR and 100 FR to get a personal goal taken care of.

    I don't have anything to complain about in my meet barring the 3rd turn in my 100 FR I had a wall spotting issue and half turtled by breathing to the side...but I threw my head into the flip and was so angry that I kicked furiously coming home and got my goal of under 1:00. It's a huge one for me, and makes me feel I validated myself as as swimmer.

    Met some great folks and had some good laughs and got home with some thoughts and comments:

    1. The warm up pool can be a hostile environment. Quote of the meet: "I'm doing and open turn, bitch!"
    2. Razor burn sucks!
    3. "Hey Julie"
    4. It's not the suit...but they are fun!
    5. To Dana & Michelle "You complete me!"
    6. To improve my 200 BR I need 2 things: An Allen Stark nasal "Breathe-Right" band-aid thingy, and a Jim Clemmons moustsache.
    7. Speedo is truly a gracious person.
    8. Fortress is a tough and resilient competitor....yet a super cheerleader too.
    9. Butt rubbing is good mojo for fast swimming!
    10. All I can hear in my head is the sound of my phone announcing another text message arriving...If I wasn't swimming I was texting.

    I loved the meet and will post vids over the next few days of a few swims. It was good to meet so many folks.

    Updated May 24th, 2010 at 10:10 PM by SwimStud

  11. Day 3 and Nats Recap

    by , May 24th, 2010 at 02:12 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Day 3:

    As planned, I scratched the 100 IM. I've never scratched an event at Nationals before, but with 6 events behind me and some emotional ups and downs, I felt wiped out. I had reserves for one race, but not 2. I was actually ranked higher in the 100 IM than the 100 back, but I felt like I had some unfinished business with my nose clip. A friend suggested getting a 50 split to make up for the semi-fiasco on Saturday, but I just wanted to swim my 100 back. I had done a 1:04 previously this year at the Fall Ball in my B70, but that time didn't count for TT because, I believe, the pool wasn't measured (not entirely sure on that).

    In any event, I arrived at the pool late and carried my nose clip around all day. I planned to swim the 100 back just like I did at NE Champs, and that's exactly what I did: lots of kicking. I got a good start. Someone told me my reaction time was .6+. No problem with slippage on the wall and I didn't stagger my feet.

    The race went as planned: the full 15 meters on the first 25 and at least halfway on the next 3 25s. I was out fast in 29.3 and felt like I had great easy speed. The last 10 yards, however, I was totally gassed and died. I wish I had seen Sue Walsh and Val Jenkins on the other side of the pool because they passed me right then, Sue out-touching me by .1. Perhaps if I had seen them, I could have summoned something extra. But I didn't feel like I left anything in the pool. I finished in 1:01.9, my best time by a second.

    The only glitch in the race was that I missed the wall at the 50 -- was too far away. I compensated by taking a huge dolphin kick from the hips and that allowed me to get back into a good streamline and then return to high cycle kicks. But it probably cost me a few tenths.

    I was very happy to end Nats on a good note and of course to win my cyber gridge with the Geekity one.



    50 fly: 27.0, 3rd
    100 fly: 1:01.3, 2nd
    50 back, 28.2, 3rd
    100 back, 1:01.9, 4th
    50 breast, 32.8, woulda been 4th without the DQ

    I felt like I hit my taper well and had great raw speed. Unfortunately, my 50s were marred: fly (horrible start), back (forgot nose clip), and breast (double whammy -- missed heat & DQ). On the upside, the fly was really the only technical miscue. My other starts, walls, and breakouts were pretty good. I was just an incredible dumb ass on the 50 back and feel like I got robbed on the other (though I realize reasonable minds can differ).

    If I could have one race back, it would be the 50 back. Allen Stark watched my race and gave me some good feedback. He said I rocked the underwaters, but lacked the arm speed I showed at Indy. He said I was the shortest one there and needed the most turnover to compensate, but was way too slow. And he was right. I was unglued at the start and was not thinking during the race. I was also worried that I had gone past the 15 on the start. I forgot about tempo and was just finishing the race.

    Everyone seems to think I train mostly for 50s, and I do like my 50s, but I think my 100s were very solid and I was most pleased with them. Very pleased actually. I think my "best" event was actually my 50 breast b/c dropping a second in a month from a previous PB is huge. As I mentioned in my own blog comments from yesterday, I think it is unfortunate more masters haven't worked on developing long pullouts. I think this prejudices me b/c officials (and swimmers) think it can't be done.

    Kinda bummed I didn't get a 100 IM time this season. But I still think I did the right thing by scratching it.

    Stud video'd my 50 and 100 back (I believe), so I hope to see those later. He taped a lot of races between absolutely tearing up the pool himself, which was very nice.

    Meet Details:

    -- Hotel was great.
    -- Trolley was great and so convenient.
    -- Air quality at the pool seemed fine.
    -- The pool was pretty fast, but I wasn't as impressed as Geek, and think Auburn is faster.
    -- I had no trouble myself on the dreaded flat slippery walls, but know that others did.
    -- I was really happy not to be a freestyler at this meet with all the troubles so many people had on the bulkheads.
    -- The meet was well run.
    -- The starts were abysmal, as others have remarked: commands were inconsistent and hard to heard, the beep was very quiet and they couldn't increase the volume, many heats were held too long. I only had the one issue on breaststroke, but I was fairly paranoid after that and tried to listen intently.
    -- The officiating seemed a little inconsistent. Aside from my own issue, I heard a couple other instances where DQ slips weren't properly written, someone wasn't told of their DQ and only found out by looking at the results, and there wasn't always an official by the 15 meter mark. (I wish they'd dump that rule myself.)

    I've mulled over what should be done when someone just can't hear the starting commands. It seems like the officials go out of their way to give the swimmer another chance to swim. But this can backfire too, as one friend I know did a re-swim only to have that swim thrown out on a different technicality after it was OK'd by the deck ref. Perhaps, despite the bitterness of it, you should just be DQ'd and move on with the meet ...

    I still had a fantastic time socializing and seeing old and new friends. And I'll probably be happier with my 50 times later in the week. For the moment, I'm looking forward to a change in training this summer and a short break from all the intensive sprint training. I plan to take my creaky fatigued body to yoga every day this week and, when my energy level improves, hit the pavement for a train wreck run ala Geek. (I'm dead right now from late night celebrating and an early wake up call to get to the airport.) No swimming this week! I think the re-focusing and cross training this summer will help me feel fresh in the fall. I will probably only do one meet here at the end of August.

    Sorry the suits are gone. They were bloody fun! But I can still dolphin kick without them. And I'm looking forward to trying Roque's new Q Swimwear kneeskin!

    And, whilst I was sprinting and socializing in Atlanta, Fort Son's lightweight 8 had a great State Champs and qualified for Nationals this weekend. And my wee little one was selected for the soccer All Star team. Proud mommy!

    Updated May 24th, 2010 at 02:38 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Home at last

    by , May 24th, 2010 at 12:48 PM (Mixing it up this year)
    Nationals was fun seeing old friends, making new ones and just seeing some awesome swims.

    As for mine, nothing to write home about, too busy coaching to really be rested to swim.

    Since I had been trying to avoid the warmup pool I was in real need of a warm down so that was the goal today.

    500 Free
    500 Free kick w/fins every 4th laps fast
    5x100@:15R fly kick w/fins
    10x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    500 Free kick w/fins easy
    5x100@2:30 Free as 10 kicks then a stroke
    500 free easy and slow

    Total 4000 yards
  13. Sun May 23 2010 Nats Day 3

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 09:28 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Sun May 23 2010 Nats Day 3

    did early warm up & felt a sharp pain in my left lat shoulder

    went to the massage tables but they weren't massage tables they were chiropractors in training
    swam in lane 5, Stevenson in 4, tuchler in 6, hughey in 7
    hughey was 21.06 in 50 fr, 46 in 100, 23.19 in 50 fly so I knew he'd be fast

    decided just to work it
    went out in 24.3 right next to stevenson,
    tuchler 24.8
    went 54.3

    saw richie way ahead of me,
    he went 52.1, new smoking NR
    tuchler went 53.8

    went too hard on the front end of my IM shoulda breathed more on fly, gone slightly easier on fly & back then motored BR & free,
    I strategized my 200 & it paid off I had a little more at the finish

    50 fr
    it sucked
    was my worst swim of the meet
    was super inspired to watch 65 yr old rich A
    go 22.10
    but I felt fried & not too psyched and knew Richey was going to be awesome
    i went a very disappointing 22.8
    but I head a great time swimming, hanging out with teamates & seeing friends

    & now as SCY season ends, & LCM season begins, Unless we get the SCY time trial we're hoping for,

    I'm asking myself the same questions

    "What are my swimming goals for 2010 LCM & SCM?"


    "What do I need to do to swim faster?"

    considering taking small a break & hope my shoulder situation improves.

    I really need to lose weight, especially since full body rubber suits are a thing of the past.
  14. Final day at Nationals

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 07:08 PM (Elise's Fitness Fun)
    Skipped the 100 back today, but glad I did as it gave me a chance to cheer Fort and my friend Barb on. Also gave me a chance to talk to some more folks.

    Swam 50 free in 26.82 which was .03 slower than what I did at Auburn. I wasn't overly disappointed as this was the last day, but really had hoped to do a low 26. I think I gave everything I had, mentally and physically, on the 200 back and the 50 fly. Not much left in the engine. In the whole big picture of things, I'm pretty happy to be walking away from this meet with a masters best time and two eighth place finishes. Never would have expected the later.

    In the next year, hope to work more on my backstroke and the longer (but not anything over 500) freestyle events. I think the only thing where I am truly a sprinter is perhaps the 50 fly and I even have my doubts there. The age-group coach remarked back in January that I was not a 50 person and more of a 100 if not 200 kind of person. This is probably true, but I'm probably too lazy to train consistently for these types of events.

    In the next couple of weeks, I plan to pick up my running and biking. Probably won't hit the weights for another two months and for at least a month, my swimming will be warm-up speed.

    My weight training helped me tremendously on my 200 back and my 50 fly. I would not even consider racing either event unless I have been weight training. I do think I pushed the envelope on my weight training and was lucky to escape injury. I owe a lot of credit to my weight-lifting friend back home who watched my form, made suggestions on where I should change, and told me when I should cut back or come off the weights.

    It really helped to swim once or twice a week with the kids for the last eight months. The workouts really helped me build up my endurance so I could bring home my 200 back. Also, I think doing a few workouts here and there written up by Coach Ed Nessel was extremely helpful for my speed on my 50 fly.

    My husband, who was not able to come, has been so supportive through my training for Nationals and was great at telling me when I needed to rest. I'm hoping that he will swim with me next year at Auburn for the LC Nationals.

    Updated May 23rd, 2010 at 10:22 PM by elise526

  15. 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.
  16. 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!
  17. i'm not hard core!

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 02:20 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!
  18. i'm not hard core!

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 02:20 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!
  19. Bittersweet, Day 1 & 2 of Nationals

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 09:46 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 10:00 AM by The Fortress

  20. Saturday's Swimming

    by , May 23rd, 2010 at 12:59 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!