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  1. Meet 11/11/12: Riverton (scm)

    by , November 11th, 2012 at 10:03 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    First - thanks to all you in blogger land that have served our country in the military. I appreciate the sacrifice that you and your family have made for our country and the freedoms that we enjoy in it.

    Had a great weekend trip up to Maine for the 5th Annual Greater Portland Swim Meet. After I finished coaching the masters group here in town (and confirmed my suspicion that it is, indeed, possible to deposit a human into a standard latex swimming cap then transport them down the length of the pool (I'll post a picture the next time this happens), I grabbed a quick lunch and hit the road for a 4.5 hour drive to Maine. I arrived at my friend's house as dinner preparations were underway, and was able to catch up with my kayaker Bobby, his wife Val, and their son Troy.

    Val's parents came by and we enjoyed a great dinner of lasagne, salad, and chocolate cake with some Ben and Jerry's for dessert. Great conversation, especially since it was not dominated by swimming (which happens way to often), then we played some Mario Cart on the Wii before getting to bed. A good breakfast today then I made the ten minute drive across town to the Riverton community pool.

    6 lane, 25 meter pool, 82 degrees

    After getting changed (wore my New England Master square leg suit for warmups, and Yingfa racer for events) I ran into JBS and warmed up in the lane next to him. I have two inspirations for this meet - doing the Brute Squad events just like John did last year, and another I'll discribe later for the 200 fly. I assured John I wouldn't blame him for choosing these events, because the idea of the challange (even though this particular one is not being run this year) in swimming the three events in one meet that most people never swim is just the right kind of crazy for me to take on.

    Anywho, got in my standard 1300 warmup and rested during the 400 FR with my yaker and family, who came to watch me suffer through the 400 IM. IIt was Bob's first ever swim meet experience, so I explained a little bit about how the whole thing works and my own procedures leading up to a swim. I almost would rather swim an ultra-marathon OW swim over pool events these days, as there is a lot more energy involved in preparing for tactics in the pool events, whereas for the most part you just hop in a swim 10 miles. Well, it kind of makes sense I guess.

    400 IM 5:32.85
    33.23 40.11
    (1:21.47) - missed the pad twice I guess
    52.35 54.25
    36.02 35.42
    - Only the second time I have swam this race, and I felt really happy with the time. I had to ease a bit on the second 50 of the fly as I didn't want a repeat of my first attempt at this, and was thinking "crap, I'm going to swim the 200 fly after this." Settled into a really smooth back leg, with strong turnover and little kick as I controlled breathing. Then I just focused on staying underwater as long as possible on breast before powering home the free portion. Bob mentioned that I looked really good until the breast leg, and I laughed because while it is still not stellar, it has improved dramatically over last year. Did a 200 before this and 150 after to loosen up, and waited a bit before the ...

    200 Fly 2:43.33
    35.65 42.29
    44.47 40.92
    - I was talking with John before this, as we were the only two doing it, about warming up, and we both figured we'd just swim it (why waste any energy?) I tried to find my inner-TG DPS flyer and took it easy for the first 150. Some may call it loafing (I did), but I maintained 8 spl, then decided to build into the seventh 25 and then lay the hammer down (it wasn't heavy, believe me) on the last length.
    - Did this in honor of Peony Munger from the Pacific Northwest that James mentioned in his meet write-up. What an incredible woman who left a great legacy for USMS in this difficult event.

    50 Breast 39.58
    - Did this for kicks, frog kicks that is. After a 150 cooldown from the fly, I swam a really fast time for me. I had Dan from the Pittsfield (MA) Polar Bears watch me, and he gave good advice about improving my start and also keeping my hands more in front of my body instead of trying to bring them to my chest. I almost got DQ'd on the start - I have been breaking streamline, holding my hands apart and deploying the dolphin kick, then resuming my pull, but the official wasn't all that sure that I could stop my pull to kick. I do intentionally break streamline and move my hands apart, but I'll have to check on this to be sure I don't get deeked from doing the only thing that is fast about my breaststroke at this point.

    1500 Free +split request 19:41.94
    (400 = 5:06.66, 800 = 10:28.62)
    33.63 36.79 38.35 38.29 39.61
    39.65 40.20 40.14 40.67 40.73
    39.71 38.62 41.56 40.57 39.59
    40.51 37.46 39.64 41.38 41.45
    39.75 39.82 40.51 40.59 41.06
    39.29 40.08 38.85 40.09 33.35
    - My first mile swim in the pool. My plan was to just lengthen out my 500 strategy, by doing 1-2 SDK's off each wall, kicking hard past the flags then dropping into strong DPS and a two-beat kick to maximize shoulder roll. I was also thinking about pwb's 800 from yesterday and counted strokes. I was able to hold 13-14 spl, but when I didn't SDK it jumped to 16. I wanted to negative split, but think my second 500 was too slow to accomplish this, as I tried to pick it up too soon and felt like crap, so I slowed down more than I probably would have. I kicked a bit farther off each wall as the 100's ticked off, and with 200 left my stomach was aching. I did my best to switch to a six-beat kick anyway, and on the last 50 gave everything left in the tank. (Thankfully it staying in there too, because on more than one occasion I was not sure that would happen)

    After this I did a 100 float, flogging 4250 meters for the day. This is a great meet, as Son is able to provide the only 1500 scm in New England as well as all of the stroke and IM options in a meet that takes about 3.5 hours from start to finish. I was very thankful that he was also able to get the officials and timers, as well as count my 1500, to allow this meet to happen. It is a fast pool with a great mix of fast swimmers as well as folks entering their first event.

    It was a long ride home, but I manged to get gas in New Hampshire for 17 cents cheaper than here at home. I also stopped at Wendy's for a grilled chicken sandwich and french fries to help restock my glycogen stores, and added a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich from my second pit stop. Always great to check in with my Maine breather, and be around a great group of folks helping to reach their community with the joys of masters swimming!

    Updated November 13th, 2012 at 11:00 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: 1500, 400 im, riverton
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  2. Weekend "swims"

    by , November 11th, 2012 at 07:51 PM (Alex's swim journal)
    My "swimming" (so-called because it takes place in the water and represents an intention on my part to emulate that activity, which others do so proficiently... and not because what I was doing looked very much like swimming), my so-called "swimming" was really pathetic Saturday and Sunday. I ran out of time both days and ended up in the pool in the last hour before closing time at the YMCA, which always makes me feel rushed. I thought I would just do a time-trial 3000 instead of the postal, since that's about all I had time for on Saturday. I didn't warm-up and realized about 200-yards in that my legs were going to be a lot more sore from that kick-drill work-out than I wanted. Then, my breathing was off, my flip-turns awkward, eventually I started cramping... so I scratched on the time trial and just did 2500, calling it a day with 15 minutes to closing time.

    Today I only had 45 minutes, so I did the following:
    300 warm-up (fr/br/bk)
    500 fr EZ swim
    100 br
    100 bk
    10 x 50 on :55 (:41-:45)
    300 cool-dwn (fr/br/bk)

    1800 total in 35 minutes

    I just wasn't feelin' it this weekend. Hope I have a little more time next weekend and that my swims are normal this week.
  3. Sat. Nov. 10, 2012 Sandpoint, ID SCM Meet Results

    by , November 11th, 2012 at 12:57 AM (Fast Food Makes for Fast Swimming!)
    Today was a long loooonnnnng LOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGG day.
    I woke up at 3:50am, drove across town to pick up my teammate, then get gas, and on the road across the LMSC on one of the longest distances between any two of our "teams" cities. It's a 4 hour 15 minute drive from Wenatchee, WA to Sandpoint, ID.
    I ended up picking up That Guy in Coeur d'Alene, ID on the way...he was on the side of the road hitchhiking or something. ???

    The pool isn't the greatest pool out there, but it still about having fun and racing, and that's why we attend these masters meets. It's basically a non-glorified wave pool, with virtually no gutters (literally), and lanelines that plunge underwater outside the backstroke flags due to the anchor points that or 12 inches or more underwater on the walls. It's not exactly pleasant to swim in, but at least it's still water and 25 Meters long. Oh yeah, the starting blocks are AMAZING! T.G. got a picture of them I think.

    800 Free (did 25 Free/25 Fly) 10:21.62
    I don't know what I was thinking. I didn't believe I'd truly beat my earlier season best time, and T.G. kinda played around with my 1st counter board with a "43", so I decided at that point to switch to Free/Fly by 25s. It wasn't too bad, but not great either. Hindsight I should've just done freestyle.

    200 Back - 2:31.xx or DQ, whatever you like
    101.1.2 Backstroke Start
    Part B:

    The swimmers shall line up in the water facing the starting

    end with both hands placed on the gutter or on the starting grips.
    Standing in or on the gutter, placing the toes above the lip of the gutter
    or bending the toes over the lip of the gutter before or after the start is
    I did a start with one hand on the block and one hand behind me since the walls were super slippery and didn't want to have a start. So at the starting signal I then dropped underwater and SDK'd to begin my in this previous video:
    [nomedia=""]2-19-12 - Kirkland, WA - 200 Back - YouTube[/nomedia]
    Apparently this is illegal, yet I've done this multiple times in both USMS and USA-S meets and never been DQ'd or told about it's illegality.

    It cost my a 3 second time drop and approx. a 3 place move up in the top ten rankings, and an LMSC record, but oh well.

    200 Breast - 2:49.34
    This was a decent swim. I was still pissed off about my backstroke race, and I wanted to beat the older breaststroker in the race (who is much better than me). I swam the race smart, and hung right off his hip or legs throughout the first 150, then began my attack. It was either now or never, and my only shot at possibly catching him. I didn't really gain much ground toward the 175 turn, but from my blastoff pushoff and pulldown, I caught and overtook my rival. Now knowing I was ahead or tied, I pushed ahead with all I had and my turnover was great too, driving forward and no pain at all. I ended up beating him by a second as well.
    Received many congratulations later about the race (many from the other guy's teammates )

    200 Fly - 2:23.75
    This was a really special event. We had arranged for as many people as possible in the LMSC to swim the 200 Fly in honor of Peony Munger who passed away this past August from her battle with pancreatic cancer. She was known for her miles and miles of butterfly, as well as swimming the most challenging races at the meets. She would've turned 78 years old tomorrow, Nov. 11th. This was for you Peony.
    We had about 25% of those signed up for the meet swimming in the 200 Fly event today, many of whom this was their first every 200 Fly in their life. It was really neat to see 3 full heats of the 200 Fly today, and everyone in the pool area cheering on everyone to succeed in this swim today.

    2nd best part of the swim...finding out that That Guy was eating my wake in the 2nd 100 of the 200 Fly.

    100 IM - 1:08.xx
    This was just a couple heats after the 200 Fly swim, I was tired, but still pushed it. Not a bad swim.

    Survived the long drive home as well, arriving about 8:00pm at my house. 16 hours from the time I left, drove, swam, drove, ate lots of McD's, drove more, drank lots of soda and hot cocoa, drove more, and got home safely.