"Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top"
-Dag HammarskjoldThe second step in getting the meet off the ground this year was to submit our application to the LMSC for a sanction. In the first year, the George Washington Rec Center pool needed to be measured to verify the length, since to our knowledge, there were no USA measurements on file. Some pools have USA Swimming measurements on file, making this step unnecessary. The LMSC loaned a long tape to us for the purpose. There were no real instructions on how to do this as I recall, except that the length of each lane needed to be recorded, gutter to gutter at the water surface.
Oh, what a pain. During our measurement, the tape was consistently pulled tight for a measurement and out of someone's hands. Then, we stretched it across a few floating kickboards. Several people would need to hold the kickboards in one place ot keep them and the tape from floating out of line.
Of course we were getting a longer measurement than the pool actually was, with the sagging between boards. So, we started with the kickboards lined up, then gradually took them away to get a tight level tape and took the readings. What surprised me was the fact the at the measurements varied by an inch or more from lane to lane. All lanes measured out a bit longer than the 75 feet requirement, but a few by only a couple of Michael Phelps butterfly finishes.
We only measured lanes #2-7 that we planned to use in the meet. Information was submitted to the LMSC, and the pool's measurement record was accepted into the file. If we wanted to use lane 1 in the future, we would need to measure that lane I assume, and revise our pool measurement record. Measure all lanes in the pool, even if there is no plan on using them in competition, allowing their possible use in the future. This year, when we submitted our sanction request, we only noted that the pool was measured in the past and the results were on file.
In the first meet, we copied the sanction language exactly as the USMS Rule Book stated. However, the LMSC sanction chairperson had other ideas. She wrote back that she wanted it stated a little bit differently. I guess it was personal preference. We have used her language in all meet entries since.
BOOK OF WISDOMPlan on lots of time to measure a pool using a tape, and have floating kickboards ready.Measure all lanes in a pool, even if you do not plan on using them in competition.
Updated November 10th, 2009 at 07:02 AM by Rnovitske
Well, I've wasted no time renewing my USMS registration for 2010. I renewed online first thing yesterday morning, along with a slight change in my status. I am no longer unattached; I am now a proud member of the Metro Masters Swim Club. Actually, this is an umbrella club, with a bunch of workout groups -- but I'm not a member of any of the workout groups. So I guess I'm still kinda, sorta "unattached," even if my membership card doesn't say so, and I'm still working out on my own.
Ironically, there's a masters team at my pool, with coaches and workouts. But their workout schedule, doesn't match mine -- I don't see any point to joining them if I'll be walking into the wokouts in the middle. Now my workouts begin when I get there and end when I leave. Of course, it also means I'm still my own coach, but I'm pretty much uncoachable anyway -- I frustrate myself, so I can only imagine how a real coach would react. Besides, what other coach would put up someone as lazy as me .
Anyway, right after I renewed my membership, I entered my first meet as member of Metro (also online). Yes, I entered the Colonies Zone SCM Championship. It's only a half hour subway ride from my home, so there's really no excuse for me not to enter. (I'll have the November 21st meet as practice.)
With all the kids home today, I was lucky to eek out an hour at the gym. Forgot my gloves again. Damn. Legs are sore tonight.
10 minute warm up on bike
bicycles, 1 x 100
broomstick twists, 1 x 25
hanging knee tucks, 2 x 20
side bends w/45 lb bar, 2 x 15
dead bugs on bosu, 2 x 25
romanian crunches, 2 x 25
overhead squats w/45 lb bar, 1 x 15
(felt a twinge in the right quad starting a second set -- probably from the plyos -- so stopped)
kneeling cable crunch, 80 x 1 x 10, 85 x 2 x 10
seated narrow grip row, 110 x 2 x 8
pec fly, 100 x 2 x 10
rock star jumps, 2 x 10
triple box bunny hops, 1 x 15
lateral box hops over bench w/hands on middle of bench, 3 x 25
med ball start plyos w/2 6 lb med balls, 1 x 10
twisting med ball slam, 3 x 15
prone scapular scrunches, 2 x 25
scapular wall slides, 2 x 25
LCM Prelim Top Ten
Had a bit of a panic attack when I looked at the prelim TT list today and saw that my 200 back and 100 fly from USA meets were omitted. My times going AWOL has been a friggin epidemic this last year ... I sent emails to the ABM coach, the IL TT chair and Mary Beth Windrath. The TT recorder just screwed up (admittedly) and failed to submit them. He is submitting corrections. (I know it's a tough thankless job, but this would never have happened with Jeff Roddin in charge.) And I sent the results links to MBW. So hopefully, they will be included in the final results. Those are my two hardest LC events, for god's sake! And I was without my trusty B70 for the 200 back and debuting this event in front of the kids!
Here's a comparison of 2008 and 2009 times and rankings (assuming corrections are made):
50 back, 3rd, 33.44
100 back, 3rd, 1:13.48
50 fly, 4th, 31.13
100 fly, 8th, 1:14.46
50 free, 6th, 29.39
50 back, 1st, 31.99
100 back, 4th, 1:14.62
200 back, 8th, 2:47.34
50 fly, 3rd, 29.74
100 fly, 5th, 1:12.52
50 free, 4th, 28.51
I was super thrilled to get my first individual AA ranking. I'm hopeful that time will hold up in the FINA rankings.
Also very happy on the LCM relay front! Our fast chicks' 200 free relay from Indy was AA. My my one and only relay with dearest Jimby -- 200-239 mixed 200 free relay-- was #2! And my 200-239 mixed 200 medley relay was 4th. My relay mates rock!
On the whole, I improved almost across the board. Straight up B70 comparisons, except for the Jaked in the 50 fly this year. (My other Jaked swims were slower than my B70 swims. I think the suit is cursed or a fake. lol) The only event that was a disappointment was my 100 back from Nats where I had the double calf cramps on the start. Still very very pleased! The drops in the 50s seem very significant to me.
It crossed my mind today that, if I change my training away from the heavier weights in Dec. as I planned, I won't have a good "apples to apples" basis for comparison of my times from this year (tech suit clad) to next year (practically nekked).
Updated November 2nd, 2009 at 10:20 PM by The Fortress
Enjoyed a 4.5 mile easy road run around lunch today. A beautiful fall day with lots of colors. Temp was in mid-sixties. It doesn't get much better than this. Really feel blessed I live in the country as I saw more horses on my road run than cars. Did the run in about 45:39 with average HR of 150.
Have been mulling over the run/swim balance idea the last couple of days. Things are looking iffy for the swim meet on the December 5 in Atlanta. Have lots going on early the next week that I have to prepare for, so don't know if I can spare 8 or 9 hours on Saturday (5 hours of driving and the meet itself). Also hate to confess that I'm not a big fan of SCM. Haven't done a SCM meet in 13 years for this reason.
The weather for the rest of the month is supposed to be pretty decent, so I may keep up the regular running for at least another month. Probably not a bad thing since my son keeps giving me his Halloween candy and Thanksgiving will soon be upon us.
So, until December, the plan is to swim 2 or 3 times a week, lift once, and run 3 or 4 times a week.
A tramp through the leaves in Central Park has cured me of the temporary insanity that had me contemplating driving 8 hours roundtrip this weekend to find a replacement for my cancelled meet. (In any case, I was it was more like 10 hours). Swimming all the events will simply have to wait for another season--what started as a lark was becoming a burden as I tried to figure out how I could still eke out 17 events. So now I have to figure out a new plan that involves the 2 meets I have left, focusing more on quality swims rather than the quantity of swims. I guess I'll have to rename my blog now that my plans have changed!
I did a short easy workout on my own at the Y pool today:
4 x 400 @ :20 rest
1st=400 FR; 2nd=200 FR/100BR/100FR; 3rd=100FR/100BK/100BR/100FR; 4th=400 IM
(I think of this as my IM-pacman set, with the IM munching up more and more of the evil 400 FR on each successive repeat until it is transformed into a beautiful 400 IM)
400 SKPS warmdown
Then did weights + stretching + rehab exercises
Tomorrow I'm hoping to swim in the fast lane at workout!
2 X 200 3:20
2 X 100 1:40
1 X 300 4:30
3 X 100 1:30
3 X 100 kick 2:10
8 X 25 kick*fast,no board* :40
5 X 100 free 1:40
1&2 are negative split. Descend 3-4-5 to fast.
1 X 125 easy
1 X 100 fast
1 X 100 easy
1 X 75 fast
1 X 125 easy
1 X 50 fast
1 X 75 easy
All fast swims are from the blocks.
Choice. No intervals, we'll go on coach.
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
200 swim free
200 kick on back alt flutter/dolphin by 50
200 IM drill
200 pull choice
200 swim back
swim 6 x 50 back on :55 build
swim 4 x 150 free on 2:15: make interval and descend 1-4
kick 6 x 100 2:00, fins ok, make interval
(used zoomers ave 1:30)
swim 8 x 50 on 1:00, #3 and 6 fast - all choice, float the last two
fast ones: back-:37 and fly-37
Total: 3000 yards
Mon Nov 2nd, 2009
FOUR OR MORE SDKs off EVERY wall
Next MEET: 2009 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships
December 4th - 6th, 2009 at Long Beach
31 Days till Long Beach
TODAYS SWIM PRACTICE
SCY no blocks
5:30 - 6:35
UT Swim Center main pool north end
Swam with mike & nate
beside todd & tyler
Assigned: 4 rounds of (25, 50, 75 100, 100, 75, 50, 25) on 17.5 per 25
Did 4 rounds of
25, skip 50,
50 fr, skip 50, held 29 - 30
50 fr, skip 50, held 29 - 30
25, skip 50,
8 x 25 on 40
odds: no breath SDK
evens: no breath 6 SDKs then swim free
This morning I was checking my LMSC's website and noticed that the meet that I had entered this coming Sunday was no longer listed on the events page, and the meeting that been scheduled after it was moved up to midmorning. Hmmm. When I went to the sponsoring teamís website, the meet was no longer there either. I emailed the meet director to ask whether the meet was still happening, and she promptly emailed me back to let me know that she had had to cancel it due to lack of participants. (She was in the midst of drafting an email to send out to everyone who had registered when she got mine).
This really throws a wrench into my plans to swim all the SCM events this season in local meets. The original plan was to spread the 17 events over meets on November 8, November 21, and December 5-6. That was already cutting it a bit tight, with a maximum of 18 opportunities for individual swims, and 17 events I wanted to swim. Now the number of meets is reduced to 2, with the first of thoseóon 11/21óa sprint meet that only offers 50s and 100s, and an entry limit of 3 individual events and 2 relays. I need to regroup, and here are some of my options:
1) I could add in a travel meet. A quick glance at the meet calendars of neighboring websites scares up a SCM meet in New Hampshire this coming Saturday that starts in the afternoon and allows on-deck entries (but itís a 4 hour drive away). Thereís also the NEM Zones meet in Boston the weekend after Colonies Zones. Thatís a well run meet that everyone raves about, and Iíd love to go, but that weekend is incredibly busy for me. However, itís possible I could go up for a day, especially if Amtrak has an early train that would get me there in time for warmups.
2) With relay lead-off swims, it might be possible to cram all 17 events into the two remaining local SCM meets. When originally hatching my scheme, I didnít want to count on relay swims to reach my event total, because I was not sure if I would have sufficient willing teammates at these meets. But now I have a relay team lined up for the 11/21 sprint meet (where both 200 relays are offered), and one of my relay mates has very graciously assured me that I could swim lead-off for both relays if I need to count those swims. With the 3 individual events Iím swimming there, that would get me 5 events on that day. The Colonies Zones meet offers both 400 relays and the 800 FR relay, and I could probably convince my teammates and coach to let me lead off these if need be (I generally swim backstroke on relays anyway). With those three swims plus the 5-per-day individual swims Iím allowed at the meet, I think itís theoretically possible get in all the remaining events (I need to double-check the event order to make sure of this).
But with this option I would have to swim all five 200s (strokes plus IM) plus the two 400s (FR and IM) AND the 1500 FR over the course of a single 2-day meet, since the first meet only offers the sprint events. It also makes for some tough back-to-back-to-back swims, like the 400 FR straight into a 100 BK relay lead-off right into the 200 breaststroke. Going into this every-event plan, I knew I would have to balance the demands of swimming multiple events each day with my goals for swimming fast in each event. I fear that squishing everything into 2 meets might mean sacrificing the latter entirely, making this endeavor more of a stunt than a challenge, and Iím not sure I want that.
3) I could be more flexible about my definition of swimming all the events in 1 season, and count the 3 SCM swims I did back in May (200 BK, 100 IM, 50 BR) as part of this project. However, since that nets me just 1 of the 8 events that are 200 meters or longer, it doesnít help much with the difficulties laid out in option 2. Also, I also wasnít thrilled with the May IM and BR times, and was looking forward to another go at swimming those this year.
4) It might simply be time to let go of this all-events-in-a-season project, at least for this season, and instead focus on some time goals for individual events. Itís my last metric year in the 40-44s, and I think Iím in good enough form to have a shot at some of my PRs for that age group, so I could simply redefine my season and go after more quality swims in fewer events. I still would like to swim all the events in one season, but maybe I need to pick a longer season with more meets, one with more leeway for the unexpected happening.
Right now Iím feeling pretty disappointed that things didnít go the way I had planned them out, and I need to take some time to think over my options and reimagine what I would like my SCM season to look like.
On a related note, some of the best advice I ever got about goal setting was in a masters clinic Jeff Rouse gave out at Rutgers many years ago. He explained that when you get stymied in a goal, itís important not just to start hacking away at that goal again, but to revisit emotionally why that goal was important to you and give yourself the opportunity to become reconnected with whatever excited you about achieving it in the first place. For instance, if you really wanted to swim under a minute for 100 FR, and ended up with a season best of 1:00.1, say, you could simply go into the next season determined to work even harder at your current training in order to reach your goal this time round. A better approach would be to step back a bit, look at your current training regimen, and ask yourself what things you might do differently this season in order to reach your goal. However, what is really is important is to take a step back and remember what made you so excited about swimming under a minute in the first place, and then, if and only if those things are still emotionally compelling to you, consider what lessons youíve learned from last seasonís experiences and map out how you plan to reach your goal. That way your path to achieving your goal is based on excitement and hope and positive emotional attachment, rather than a lingering sense of failure or frustration. (His explanation was much clearer and concise with mine, and I think he used the example of winning an Olympic gold medal rather than breaking a minute).
So, Iíll spend today and tomorrow thinking through my options and possibilities for this SCM season, talking to the teammates who agreed to join me in my crazy all-events project and seeing what theyíre inclined to do, and figuring out what my goals and priorities are now.
I intended to do an easy day today so I decided to work on the legs and abs. Then threw in some speed work. Not really a recovery day.
1000 as 200 swim/pull/swim/kick/swim
500 Free kick w/fins every 3rd FAST
500 Fly kick on back w/fins every 3rd FAST
10x50@1:00 Free w/fins build to all out last 3rd held 37's
200 Breast kick
300 Free as 50drill/50swim
Total 3000 yards
After the 1500 Free on Friday, 5 events and 2 relays on Saturday and now 5 events and 1 really today, I AM TIRED!
Today I started today off with the 50 Free in a 32.42 which is only .3 seconds off my best and with a missed turn that must be were I lost it.
The 200 Back was my focus for today, I was trying to break 3:00 but it was not to be, did do a PB by 2 seconds but 3:02.84 was not what I wanted. As I have said before I will take a PB were ever I can get it.
Yet another PB for the 100 Free in 1:11.84, once again issues with the far wall seemed to plague my sprints. One end I jammed and the other end I am not close enough for a good push off. I guess since I am not used to 25 meter pools that could be the reason.
As I am huffing and puffing I am getting ready for yet another PB in the 50 Back in 42.26.
Next up was the Womens 200 Medley Relay in which I was doing the 50 Back and can you say yet another PB in 42.00.
The final swim of the day was the 400 Free, I have to say I just ran out of steam on this one. 5:40.00 which is off by 8 seconds but at this point I think this was more of a painful warm down.
Total yards today 2500.
Last week, inspired by Leslie's relentless evangelism for weight training, I began my first tentative steps at countering the considerable sarcopenia of aging that has made me something of a pariah in my nursing home.
We shall see if this form of exercise eventually makes the attendants less resentful of my frailties.
I also Googled "advice on swimming with X" wherein X was a long list of possible bubo diagnoses (scabies, shingles, tertiary syphilis, molluscum contagiosum, punishment by God, hysterical pregnancy, character defect, brown recluse infestation, MRSA, groin flu, etc.) If the first medical site Google referred me to said to NOT swim with X, I would check for a second opinion at the next referred site. Then a third, fourth, and in a few cases fifth site.
Eventually, I found some doctor, somewhere, or at least a homeopathic herbal snake oil sales person, to say that, yes, indeed, it was perfectly safe to swim with X.
I should add that never once did I have to go to an entirely new page of referred sites before finding a satisfactorily contrarian expert to sanction my return to the water.
Anyhow, bolstered by science, I weight lifted at the Y then returned to the water on Friday and swam Bill's (as always) excellent practice. The main set here consisted of repeated 400 swim, 200 kick combos, wherein one of the 100s in each were sprints. Total with warm up and cool down was 2800.
Yesterday, I swam another 2800 on my own--a nicely meditative nonstop set where you take a kickboard and pull buoy and just go 25 by 25, alternating kick, swim, pull, the right implement always awaiting you when its turn comes, for about 50 minutes or so.
Quick aside on weight lifting. I'd learned from a brutally painful example in my youth to start off with fairly low weights and work your way up over the course of a week or two. Otherwise, you will find yourself unable to scratch your nose, the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) will be so severe two days later. I'd been Nautilusing for about a week, and had stuck to the gradual increase plan--except for one machine. The reason I accidentally overdid it on this one was because it was new to my circuit, and I honestly didn't know how much was too much.
The machine is that one that targets the abductor and adductor inner thigh muscles. Usually, you see women using this machine a lot, which seems to me to be primarily a super Kegal exerciser. A female friend at the Y today told me as much, confiding that the distaff nickname for this machine is "he loves me, he loves me not."
Anyhow, with my new and apparently permanent lesion, I figured maybe it was time for me as well to tone up the musculature surrounding my still unclosed groin opening. This was a mistake.
Today, 2 hours of tennis, more weightlifting, and now a very sore knee from one of the torture devices. I can already hear the snickers from my attendants at the nursing home, their eyeballs becoming stuck in the tops their orbital sockets.
In any event, regular readers of this vlog may have noticed that the past bit of time has had certain elements of stressfulness for your narrator. Today's drawing is my attempt to bring the inner synaptic world to life in visual form.
Biopsy results: T minus 38 1/2 hours. Depending on the verdict, I will reveal the diagnosis either here--or behind the shuttered door of the confessional chamber.
In terms of today's outsider art, I am aware there are certain deficiencies in my technique. However, there are also certain deficiencies in the medium in general, and these are not my fault. I am technologically unable to add an element that could really push this drawing over the edge for even the most picky of amateur art critics.
If I could add one other sensory input to this proxy for my mental state, that other sensory input being the olfactory one, it would be one of those far northern flowers, which grow in the tundra where no bees fly, and thus must depend upon a different kind of insect for pollination, and thus have evolved the floral scent of rotting meat to bring in the fly swarms: this, then, would be the olfactory input I would chose--a field of these meat-scarlet flowers in full humid summer bloom.
Breathe in deep with your mind's nose, I beseech you! And we shall await as one the biopsy results.
Sun Nov 1st, 2009
today todd & I alternated 100's pacing tyler "the miler" blessing on his 3000 postal
FOUR OR MORE SDKs off EVERY wall
Next MEET: 2009 SPMA Short Course Meters Championships
December 4th - 6th, 2009 at Long Beach
32 Days till Long Beach
TODAYS SWIM PRACTICE
SCY no blocks
6:30 - 8:00
UT Swim Center main pool north end
Swam with todd, tyler, amy, brandon, larry & erin
WORE B70 legs
splashed around did
200 & a few 50's
Tyler swam a 3000 postal
todd & I swam 100's beside him as his pace boats
which pretty much worked out to be
15 100's on 2:04 to 7
holding 1:01's to 1:03's
15 SDK fast for time
from a roll start dive off the side (no blocks)
forward dive rolled over & SDKed on my back
15 SDK fast for time
from a flip turn start
SDKed on my back
Lifted weights at world gym
lat press 8 x 40 8 x 45 8 x 50 6 x 55
lat pull 8 x 165 6 x 197 6 x 207
bench press 8 x 135 6 x 185 3 x 205
leg press 8 x 180 8 x 270 6 x 360
I had a bit too much fun at my Halloween party last night. Did not even consider setting my alarm clock for the team practice this am. I think half the team was doing the postal 3K anyway. After administering copious amounts of caffeine, I dragged myself off to the Rec Center this afternoon. I wasn't inspired to do any speed work; I fancied some endurance kicking. Rather than do my/CS's kick mountain set, I did another little garden variety set.
Kick Endurance Set:
with fins, no rest between sets
4 x 300 @ 4:00
5 x 200 @ 2:40
6 x 100 @ 1:20
300s = backstroke kick w/6 SDK per 25, fartlek style
200s = dolphin w/board/flutter w/board/backstroke kick/flutter kick w/board/dolphin kick w/board (held around 2:20ish)
100s = backstroke kick w/8 SDK per 25. Tried to negative split these, but I was getting a bit tired so don't think I did on the last couple. Started out around 1:05, but was up to 1:10 on the last 2.
Total: 3550, 3000 kicking
Son definitely has swine flu. I anticipate it ripping through the whole family. Lucky for Mr. Fort he left early this am for a trial.
I think my legs will be a wee bit tired tonight.
Talked to a guy at the party last night who did P90X quite a bit last year and got very ripped. He said the plyo video is just a sh*tload of squats.
Updated November 1st, 2009 at 05:57 PM by The Fortress
I had a bleak week. I don't know why and that's okay. I don't mind feeling my emotions. I've convinced myself I'm an actress and when I go to work I am portraying a perky, fit, wacky, non-stop, un-flappable, loving, kind, and strict teacher. It works for me and gets me through the week, day-by-day and hour-by-hour. After school from Weds-Fri I just went home and slept. I think I am preparing myself for the empty nest syndrome. My youngest of 3 is finishing up her senior year and moving to Fla in January 2 to start college. (she wants to be a nurse but she is currently in cadet teaching and loves it!)
I went ahead and did the 2 day meet at the nat.
A really poor turnout of people. I bet there were more out of state competitors than Indiana swimmers. WEIRD!
My swimming went okay. I have never done the 200 Back before.....I liked it. I'm going to start working a bit more toward it. The biggest problem was I forgot the flags were different for scm. That's okay, I just wanted a place to start and the only way I can now go it UP!
Due to the small turnout I scratched one event each day. I was signed up for 5 per day. If I didn't start out with the 800 on Sat and the 1500 on Sun I might have been okay but both those events coupled with back-to-back events wears me out. On Sunday I considered anything after the 1500 my workout.
Hey, what about Meb winning the NYC Marathon!
It was a tactical, slow race but sure great to see the "USA" singlet cross the line first!
I'm not going to get going here because lack of running makes me sad.
NYC is my all-time favortie marathon! The first time I did it I kept re-living "Cagney and Lacey" episodes! Whoops..........gotta go someone at the door!
My first event at next Sundayís meet is the 100 SCM IM. Here is how I want to swim it and what I want to achieve.
Masters/Lifetime best: 1:13.92 (33.91, 40.01) (2001)
40-44 AG best: 1:16.43 (35.10, 41.33) (6/19/08)
Most recent time: 1:18.30 (36.40, 41.90) (5/3/09)
Relative strength of strokes: Last spring my best 100 yards times for each stroke (in IM order) was 1:09/1:08/1:17/1:01rs
Comments: Thatís a big dropoff in splits for all three of the IM times, especially considering that my BR is decent and my FL not so much. I tend to get myself in trouble on this event by thinking of it as simply 4 x 25 sprints. Wheeeeó25s! Unfortunately, by that last 25 Iím all tuckered out, and tend to demonstrate too well why freestyle is also called the crawl.
Iíd like to swim a better paced race this time around. I think I should be able to beat my time from earlier this year, and maybe come close to an AG best if I have a good day, but that 2001 time is probably out of reach.
Goals: I would like to swim this in under 1:18. Iíd also like my 2nd 50 to be < 5 seconds slower than my first 50 (and <4 seconds would be better still).
Keys: I would like to approach the FL leg of this race with the same attitude that I approach the first 25 of my 100 fly, aiming for easy, relaxed strokes. Thinking about going forward on each stroke is one key that has helped me avoid butterthrashing in the past. On the BK Iíd like to focus on establishing my rotation right away and making each stroke powerful by bending my arms more than I usually do on the underwater pullóIím aiming for bending them about 90 degrees at the elbow, and on IMs especially, for some reason, my natural inclination is to do a stroke thatís straighter-armed than that. On breaststroke, I want power on the pullout and first few strokes, then to focus on increasing my turnover as I get nearer and nearer the wall. In my ideal race, the last 25 would then be swum joyfully and speedily, with a strong kick. I like to count my strokes when I am fatigued on freestyleóit makes me focus on making each stroke strong, and distracts me from whatever distress I might be inóso thatís what Iíll do here. (I generally count just to 8, then start over if need be.) Counting also makes it easier for me to keep my head in a good position (I look at my armpulls rather than up towards the wall) and to avoid breathing those last few strokes into the wall.
So, my keys are:
Easy FL, with momentum forward on each stroke; neat and simple turn w/ good dolphins/breakout; rotation and 90 degree elbow bend on backstroke; power then increased turnover on breaststroke; bring freestyle home with zest, while counting strokes
Mantras: I generally have a sheet listing my keys that I look at before each race, then simplify the most important ones down to a few single words that I plan on thinking to myself during the race. So, for my 100 IM, my mantras are: easy, forward, elbows, power, joy, count!
Today was an off day for me, and I needed it, as my knees and legs were feeling a little beat up from the breaststroke and the starts and turns I have been working this week. Tomorrow I plan to swim easy and to do mostly free and back.
This afternoon I went to my team's afternoon workout at Baruch College so that I could practice swimming in a SCM pool before next week's meet. My goals for this workout were (1) practicing my BK approaches to the wall with SCM flags and (2) doing some starts, both off the block and backstroke. Here's the workout, and what I did with it:
1 x 150 K/S by 25
2 x 150 done as 125 swim/25 kick [I swam this FR between the flags and fast BK into and out of walls in order to practice my back turns]
3 x 150 swiim [I did these as 50FR/50BR/50 FR and focused on gauging the distance to the wall both when turning BK-to-BK and on the open BK-to-FR turn after the 1st 100, the latter in order to prepare for my BK-to-BR IM turns and my BK finishes]
Then 3 times through:
1 x 75 K/S/K by 25
2 x 75 S/K/S by 25
3 x 75 swim
with each round done as a different non-free stroke
[I initially wasn't feeling terribly excited about this set, and just wanted to get the part of the workout where I could practice a few starts, but I decided to focus on a technique key for each stroke, and that worked out well for me. I focused on kicking strongly on my backstroke, experimenting a bit with the turn-in of my feet and with ways of making the transition from dophins to flutter on breakouts as smooth and streamlined as possible. On both BR and FL I focused on emphasizing the glide in the stroke--something I'll undoubtedly need when I swim the 400 IM and 200 FL this season. The set went more quickly than I thought and I ended it feeling smooth and ralaxed and happy in the water.]
The we did 8 x (25 easy @ :45 + 25 fast @ :25). I got to do starts from the block for all the fast ones--some FR and some BK. The forward starts felt ok, the BK still need a bit of work.
Then 6 x 50 CH @ 1:00 for warmdown.
I felt good about my BK turns at this workout--not all my turns were perfect, but on most of them I was able to judge the approach to the wall accurately without making any conscious changes from my regular BK turn technique. I don't think it's absolutely necessary to swim at a SCM pool again before my first meet, although it would be nice to practice a few 200s there.
So from my initial list of the things I need to do between now and my first meet in a week, here's the things that remain:
Practice some BK starts
Swim a fast 200 IM or two to practice hitting stroke transition keys while fatigued
In addition, over the next week I need to continue doing some speed work and some basic aerobic work to maintain my base. I will also visualize pieces of my races as opportunities for doing that come up.
So--that's the plan for next week!
Three things today, today's workout, Paul's challenge and a short head on video of my new stroke.
11/1 Workout SCM
Quicksilver limbo set: 5x100 on 1:30 then drop 5 seconds and repeat until failure
5x100 1:30 held ~1:20
5x100 1:25 held ~1:20
1x100 1:20 went 1:20, considered this a fail
400 kick with fins
5x100 1:40 hold 1:15 or better
4x300 on 4:00
5x200 on 2:40
6x100 on 1:20
If Paul will concede that 1:20 scy is the same as 1:30 scm, I will do the challenge next Sunday. I will be a great recovery workout after my meet I actually think I am misunderstanding Paul.
New stroke video
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEm-L7vYnlo"]YouTube - Wide entry stroke[/ame]
The video camera is new, and that was the first time we used. I think future videos will be better when we start figuring out the angles (stand on deck maybe?), and zoom. I was very happy with the quality of the video, because Lifetimes indoor pool seems dark to me, but the video came out nice and bright.
It is a Sanyo VPC-E2 is anyone is interested in a water friendly video camera.
In Merriam Websterís Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, a subculture is defined as ďan ethnic, regional, economic, or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of behavior sufficient to distinguish it from others within an embracing culture or society.Ē
One can indeed argue that Masters Swimming is a subculture in our society. Most of us have nonswimming friends and family that embrace us in spite of our strange proclivity for rising before dawn, braving unsavory weather, jumping into a concrete box of water and swimming back and forth for hours. This can make family reunions and cookouts with our nonswimmers interesting. Sometimes they view us as eccentric and amusing, but not really all there mentally. And some, in a less amusing light, albeit a sometimes-justified one, see us as selfish in our endless pursuit of that black line.
Our fellow swimmers, however, offer us that no-need-to-say-anything sense of comfort that comes in the box with a subculture. The camaraderie is almost effortless, even for people stepping onto the pool deck for the first time. It always amazes me when I see a new swimmer approach with trepidation what many of us now consider our lifestyle, only to see them a month later joking and laughing with their lanemates as though they were lifelong friends. They bring their bikes to practice so they can ride together afterward, plan weekend trips with their families, and organize their free time around their new team of friends.
As humans are sometimes wont to do, I used to think that my teammates and I had this special connection exclusively, that our team was, well, extra special. And of course it is to me. But, from reading all your letters and emails, and re-reading back issues of SWIMMER, it is clear that this phenomenon is widespread in the USMS community. And it goes beyond friendship or your standard social fare. Many of us know someone who has cooked and delivered meals to an injured teammate they barely know, or seen an entire team close ranks in support of a swimming family hit with a devastating loss.
This subculture phenomenon is also prevalent in high-stress or high-demand professions such as medicine and emergency services. It would be interesting to know how many USMS members hail from professions like these, and who find solace in a different kind of subculture. One derived from a more pleasurable form of stress, where racing a teammate to the wall before dawn might not be the most important thing they have to do that day, but is every bit as rewarding.
Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:56 AM by Editor
The first step in this swimming year's meet was to pick the date. We generally aim for the last Sunday in January, but February 1 or 2 was selected in some years. Our first meet was held February 1 because it was the only Sunday open to us. After selecting that date, someone looked at the calendar: it was also Super Bowl Sunday. Gulp.
Aiming to use the meet to raise funds for the team, some argued that the meet would be a financial turkey because we were competing with the Super Bowl. Their belief was that no one would attend the meet on the same day due to Super Bowl party planning and travel. Others (myself and those who compete in meets) argued that it made no difference. The Super Bowl was actually in the late afternoon and evening, and our meet was in the morning. We won the argument, and our first meet ended up attracted 113 entries. Other meets scheduled on Super Bowl Sundays had no drop in attendance.
Picking a day in early January was considered but rejected. It was too close to the Christmas-New Year holiday when many swimmers (yours truly) are not looking for competition while coming down off the Christmas high. It was also too close to the annual membership renewal deadline, so many swimmers would not have their current USMS registration. Martin Luther King weekend is not good due to mini vacations and activities.
This year we picked January 31. In the past four years, we have requested our date in the spring when we submit the team's annual request for workout lanes to the county parks & recreation department for the upcoming year. This way we choose the date, rather than plan around the kayak class or the blue-haired ladies [10/24/09 post]. Now they plan around our schedule.