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Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.

  1. 10|18|19 LCM

    by , October 19th, 2019 at 11:05 AM (Blog)

    WARMUP
    500 fr extra slow to save shoulders for set/drill
    • snkl
    • 8:55

    KICK
    3 x 100 on 3:00 flutter kick snkl
    • take 1st 50 out fast (0:55☹️)

    2 x 50 one leg kick

    SET
    5 x 24m fr (12m area) on 1:00
    5 x 24m fr (12m area) on 1:10
    • dive from gutter and nb on all
    • high teens
    • work turns despite unusual markings
    • these cause me great dizziness

    100 bk with fins

    DRILL
    50 br fins used free kick
    100 one arm drill
    • breathe L-L, R-R ea arm for 50

    150 ez fins snkl
    50 head-up fr with fly kick fast
    • fins snkl


    Probably my last aerobic freestyle warmup. Maybe save this type of swimming for a warmdown swim, or even for recovery days



    about 1.5 K
    1250 was filler

    Updated October 20th, 2019 at 10:40 PM by __steve__

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  2. Saturday 06082019: Local meet, and Sun-Mon workouts

    by , June 10th, 2019 at 05:57 PM (aztimm's training blog)
    I did my 2nd, "meet," of the year on Saturday, which is rather rare. I haven't done more than one meet in a year (if at all in a year) in at least 15 years.
    when I saw the number of entrants per event on Friday, any hopes of being near my seed times (let alone any PB's) were quickly dashed.

    the meet was at the Austin Swim Club, way in the southwest part of town (a good 45 min drive for me). they have a tiny parking lot right there, which was full, so I had to park in a garage at a nearby office complex and hoof it over.
    I had signed up for the max/5 events
    there were 60 swimmers at the event.

    w/u: about 1200m. a little short of what I wanted (about 1500), but not bad. I hadn't been in a 50m pool in almost 2 years, but with the o/w training I've been doing, it really wasn't too rough of a transition to LCM.

    Event #2: 200 breast.
    My PB: 3:13.81, way back in 2003, when I was actually training breaststroke
    I swam a 3:17.59 back in 2011, when I was about 20 pounds lighter (running marathons/cycling).
    Saturday's time: 3:25.13 (I had seeded 3:33), not bad, considering that I'm not really training breast like I used to.

    Event #4: 400 free (I got about 2 minutes of rest after the 2breast):
    My PB: 5:37.30, back in 2012
    Last swim (2017): 5:48.16
    Saturday's time: 6:01.98 (my seed was 5:50). I'm not sure that more rest would have given me 10+ seconds, but I'm sure it would have helped.

    Event #7: 200 free (I did a 200 between events, relaxed a little)
    My PB: 2:46.19 (2002, the only time I swam it before)
    Saturday's time: 2:55.05 (had seeded at 2:40)

    Event #11: 100 breast (did 300 easy between events)
    My PB: 1:29.43 (2010, just slightly ahead of my 2002 time)
    Saturday's time: 1:36.65 (had seeded at 1:38)

    Event #15: 50 breast
    My PB: 41.35 (2010, and I spaced off the blocks and did a bunch of dolphin kicks, but no one noticed)
    Saturdays's time: :44.07 (had seeded :48)


    After that I did a 300 cool down, then got out, showered, and we had our LMSC meeting on-site. I'm an at-large board member so I figured since I was going to the meeting anyway, I might as well swim.


    Overall meet thoughts:
    I registered and swam way too many events for a 2-hour meet. I imagined there would be at least 2-3 heats of 100 fly in between my 2breast and 4free (perhaps several heats of 2breast too). there was 1 heat of 2breast (3 swimmers).
    basically if I do a meet like this again, no more than 3 events, if I want them to be anywhere near PB's.
    It was nice to catch up with some guys who I used to swim with when there was a masters group at Sendero, and I think I convinced at least 1 to join me for some crazy swims at Barton Springs (still working on the other). I met a few guys from the team who I affiliate with (when I saw my name highlighted on a heat sheet it almost freaked me out). and I met a guy from a swimming Facebook group. so there's that.

    given my focus on open water, I expected my breast times to be slower, and they were, but all better than my seed times, so that's a plus.
    I really wanted my free events to be better...but I think it was just a lack of rest. I did the 5free at nationals (the first event of the day), and put that time into swimswam's calculator to get a time estimate (then added a few seconds), but I just had no recovery (well that's my excuse at least).

    I'm debating if I will do the zone LCM meet next month, at Texas A&M. I did it 2 years ago. fantastic facility. usually gets a decent amount of swimmers (about 250), so enough time between events to swim down/warm-up and relax, but not endless like at nationals.
    competing with zones is the Bear Lake 10k (in Utah). definitely a bit more pricey (flights, probably 4 nights in hotels, rental car). but that is my thing right now.


    Sunday PM swim @ gym pool:
    drove to Sendero, but they were closed, some issue with chemicals. drove to Creekside, but they had 2 lap lanes set up, and both looked crazy. so I drove to the gym and had a lane to myself (a guy asked to circle with me just as I was finishing up).
    got in 4500 yards, not really anything inspiring. really wanted to swim to work on any soreness from the meet. there were 3 x 500s, one with fins, one without toys, and one with Agility paddles + buoy.


    Monday AM swim @ gym pool
    again, drove to Sendero...no sign of life. so went to the gym, and had my own lane.
    1200 w/u
    100 kick w/fins + board
    4 x 125 w/fins, done as 25 drill/25 swim/25 stroke/25 swim/25 drill
    100 kick w/fins + board
    500 swim w/fins
    100 kick w/fins + board
    5 x 300 @ 4:30 swim (no toys)
    300 w/Agility paddles + buoy
    250 swim w/parachute (free)
    250 w/d
    TTL: 4800 yards

    --my first 300 (of the 5) seemed very slow. so much that I did it on 4:35, and thought I'd need to do the rest on that interval. but the others just really clicked and I kept the 4:30 (was always on :05 or :35). maybe I should have done 100 easy without toys first. could have been going from kicking, who knows. times were 4:23, 4:12, 4:13, 4:17, and 4:17, then 4:08 with the toys.
    --I'm trying to swim at least 200 with a chute during most of my swims now. it is supposed to simulate swimming against a current/wind and be good for o/w training. I had planned to swim 300, but miscounted. that time was 4:42, so it really does slow me down.
  3. Sunday 4/14/19

    AM SCY @ Rosen Aquatic Center “YMCA Masters Nationals” Day 4

    After a savage 36 holes of putt putt golf last night that we dubbed “The Masters at Masters,” I finally managed to close out the meet with a season best.

    200 Mixed FR Relay - leadoff - 23.50

    200 I.M. - 2:05.57 (26.16/33.75/36.01/29.65) - finally a season best at least!

    Total: 2000

    Not the greatest meet performance wise, but definitely the most fun Masters meet I have ever been to. YMCA of Greater Cincinnati managed to finish second overall, so that was awesome as well.

    Updated April 15th, 2019 at 12:58 PM by Calvin S

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. Saturday 4/13/19

    AM SCY @ Rosen Aquatic Center “YMCA Masters Nationals” Day 3

    500 FR - 5:06.17 - bad swim, but at this point I hbw stopped expecting much in the way of great times from this meet. Just enjoying the weekend.

    200 FR Relay - leadoff - 23.26

    200 FL - 2:06.69 - here I just made sure to win the race and stayed long and smooth so I wouldn’t be tired for the medley relay later.

    200 Medley Relay - FL - 24.67 - faster than I was yesterday by .10, so that was a great takeaway.

    Total: 3300

    Updated April 15th, 2019 at 12:57 PM by Calvin S

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  5. Friday 4/12/19

    AM SCY @ Rosen Aquatic Center “YMCA Masters Nationals” Day 2

    Today was relay day!

    200 Mixed Medley Relay - FL - 24.77

    400 FR Relay - leadoff - 51.22
    - I’m a little baffled how I went slower here than I did back in December under heavy training. Wonder if I will ever figure out the 100 FR?

    Total: 2000

    Updated April 15th, 2019 at 12:56 PM by Calvin S

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. Thursday 4/11/19

    AM SCY @ Rosen Aquatic Center “YMCA Masters Nationals” Day 1

    600 swim 4th 25 scull w/ SNKL
    300 kick (50 FR/25 BR) w/ BD
    4x50 @ 1:00 “Progressive Freestyle” w/
    SNKL
    4x25 V.S.
    200 EZ

    200 swim
    100 pace (59.1)
    200 EZ

    1650 Freestyle - 17:48.67 - not going to bother typing out splits. Not a great swim. With so small a sample size it’s hard to say if I didn’t taper enough or tapered too much for the mile. I remind myself that I am not “actually” a miler. This was a fun experiment, but I think I’ll stick more to the 400/500 and 800/1000.

    600 (100 sw/100 kick w/ BD) w/ SNKL

    Total: 4150

    Updated April 15th, 2019 at 12:56 PM by Calvin S

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  7. Meet 03/02/19: SpringOff the Blocks (NY)

    by , March 2nd, 2019 at 10:09 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After swimming a short workout with the Masters team I headed over to Albany, NY, with my wife for my first time competing at the Spring Off The Blocks meet at the Guilderland YMCA.

    I was able to get in 900 in warmups before getting ready for my events for the day. I picked three in the beginning of the schedule so that I won't be at the pool all day. haha

    Event 3: 200yd breast: 2:57.01
    -- I worked my streamlines and not a whole lot more in my biennial attempt at this race. I am still convinced that I will someday learn to swim breast quickly

    Event 6: 100yd IM: 1:04.07
    -- Came in third in the heat with a good swim. I built-up the fly and cranked the back then lost ground to everyone on breast. I tried to finish strong with a good in season time.

    Event 11: 100yd back: 1:01.77
    -- I felt like I had a great swim. I was close the wall on the second turn but recovered. However I didn't adjust and was way to close on the last turn and didn't get any sdk's off the wall.

    I added 800 between events and with warmdown and headed into the city for some shopping and lunch with my wife. It was great to see from swimming buddies from past events and to make some new friends. The meet was well run and I was done in about 75 minutes.

    https://www.clubassistant.com/club/m...538&smid=11393
  8. Meet: 12/08/18: New England LMSC/Colonies Zones SCM Champs

    by , December 8th, 2018 at 09:39 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I had a good night's sleep and checked into the meet online before heading down to swim during day 2 of the New England scm champs. I was able to get two guys from my workout group to join me and it worked out that our college guy Noah picked me up and drove to meet Greg who drove the rest of the way to the meet. Worcester, MA, is about 2.5 hours from home and since my first event wasn't scheduled until 12:30ish we were able to not feel too rushed driving down.

    Once at the pool we found our buddies from the Pittsfield Y and Simon's Rock teams to sit with and I got in for warmups. Did my 1200 standard in the scy side of the pool that was available for warmup/down throughout the meet while the women swam the 400 free. I felt good and decided against swimming any extra before my first race:

    event 12: 50 fly - 30.28
    - I had a solid swim although I hoped to get under 30. My start underwaters were not great but I nailed them off the turn. Happy with the swim.

    At this point there was a scheduled 30 minute break, so I hopped into the competition pool and swam 700 meters including a few sprints to play with the backstroke wedges, which I only see at these championship meets. I also ate half of a PBJ sandwich I brought along. I didn't warm up again before swimming:

    event 14: 200 back - 2:27.59
    34.88
    37.21 (1:12.09)
    37.46
    38.04 (1:15.50)
    Super excited to come in under 2:30, and this time was 4 seconds faster than last year! I stuck to my plan of starting strong then building into the second 50 before attacking the last 100, and aside from dying a bit at the end I felt like I executed the plan well. My underwaters are not the greatest due to lack of endurance so there is room for improvement there. Should hold up for a Top Ten time. Did 300yds and got on deck to watch Noah and Greg in the 50 free and barely catch my breath for my swim:

    event 16: 50 free - 27.69
    Tired but pumped to get under 28. I was probably a little too conservative on the first lap but locked down for the finish. Hopped in for 400y warmdown and then rested leading into the 400 MR. I have a long shot at making TT in the 100 back and we were able to get help from Pittsfield by having Jack swim with us (although the points didn't count since we are different workout groups). The order was Mike, Greg, Jack, Noah and we all had a fun time swimming in a relay!

    event 24: 400 MR (100 back split) - 1:08.30
    33.67/34.63
    I was aiming to get under 1:10 and felt strong and in control during the entire swim. I employed my strong/build/fast/fast strategy and was able to hit my underwaters at 8/7/5/4 - less than I wanted on the last two walls. We came in at 5:09 and had a great time.

    I finished off with 400 yards warmdown and we headed back to VT. I am a bit sore but really happy to have not only swam well myself but also share in the experience with some of my teammates. Some monster swims were thrown down on both the mens and womens side - swim phone results here: https://www.swimphone.com/meets/even...cfm?smid=10937

    My 200 back here (outside smoke in the green cap):

    Updated December 10th, 2018 at 11:47 AM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. 07/08/18: Baystate Games lcm

    by , July 8th, 2018 at 11:48 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I was able to commit to driving down to Boston for day 2 of the Baystate Games, this year at Harvard University. It is a fun meet where the kids swim their finals championship heat before us old folks, with great swag too (t-shirt and cap for all, medals and one pullover jacket if you place). I was able to convince Greg to join me for a rare LCM swim in New England. Even though I am in VT, as a member of New England Masters I am eligible to compete.

    A plus about this meet is that since the adults swim during the finals section of the meet, warmups started at 3pm and the first splash was at 4. For day 2 there were only 1-2 heats for Masters for most events, except for 3 heats of the 100 free. There is a limit of 4 events over the course of the meet, so I entered the first 4 today :duh: The age groups for the meet ar 19-34. 35-49, 50+.

    200 Fly: 2:54.51
    37.31, 44.16 (1:21.47), 47.81 (2:09.28), 45.23 (2:54.51)
    - I felt good during the race although my 3rd 50 was a little too slow. I switched to DPS fly after the first 50 and stayed relaxed throughout.

    200 IM: 2:54.44
    36.90, 45.03 (1:21.93), 56.14 (2:18.07), 36.37 (2:54.44)
    - I again felt good during this race. I have been trying to reinvent my breaststroke and despite still being slow I was able to get into a good rhythem.

    200 Back: 2:42.26
    39.23, 41.81 (1:21.04), 42.40 (2:03.44), 38.82 (2:42.26)
    - I was looking forward to a solid swim and was able to throw one down. I am really happy with the splits. During warmups I did my best to count strokes so it helped me during this swim.

    100 free: 1:04.84
    32.66, 32.18 (1:04.84)
    - At this point I was pretty tired and didn't have a lot of speed off the blocks, but I was able to build into the walls and then did my best to hammer the rest of the swim.

    All in all a great meet. After the Masters heats they had a small awards ceremony for all age groups, so there was a little break between swims. The diving well was open for swimming during the duration of the meet so I warmed down there. I was done with all of my events in less than two hours.

    This ended my third LCM meet. I have been swimming at Harvard for many years but all scy, so it was a real treat to finally swim here LCM. Here in VT there is only one LCM pool but it is two hours north in Middlebury, and sometimes I can sneak in to the pool at a college less than an hour away. It would be cool if I had more opportunities to swim lCM, but it is what it is in New England.

  10. Sunday 7/8/18

    AM + PM LCM @ UALR "Mary Grace Tucker Memorial Invitational Day #3"

    400 swim (100 FR/100 BK)
    3x100 @ :15 rest k/sw/dr/bld
    4x50 @ :55 D1-2 in pairs (:34, :34, :31, :32)
    100 EZ

    200 FR - 2:13.14 (1:03.07/1:10.07) - Not a great race. Felt too rushed on the first 75 meters. I also blew out my LZR jammer about 10 minutes before the race, so I did this event and the 400 FR in my Nike brief.

    500 EZ

    **Intermission**
    The 400 FR had its own separate session at 1:00 pm today. I met up with my family for breakfast after the 200 FR and then went back to the pool to stretch and warm up again for the 400.

    200 swim
    4x50 @ :10 rest
    odd: k/dr
    even: dr/bld

    2x50 @ 1:00 @ 400 PACE
    200 SMOOTH focusing on good strong kick outs and break outs.

    400 FR - 4:39.92 - (31.5/34.8/35.6/35.8/35.9/35.2/36.2/34.6) - While it didn't feel as great as the 800 on Friday (nothing else felt as good as that all weekend!), I was pleasantly surprised by how well the race went. I wanted to definitely be under 4:40 since I was out in 4:40 in my 800, but given the way my 200 felt this morning, I was a little apprehensive going into the race. If the 800 was my hardest event I did all weekend, today was easily the hardest day. Racing a 200/400 FR double in what was basically one elongated session, and the final day of the meet, was very taxing. If I could do it all over again I might have bagged the 200 FR to be more rested for the 400, but whatever, a lifetime best is still a lifetime best!

    Total: 2800

    SHOUT OUT: Trip Strauss, who came to watch Marvin Schwartz (and maybe me?) swim the 400. He was gracious enough to be my backup timer as well. I wish you could have been racing the event with me, Trip

    Updated July 9th, 2018 at 11:44 PM by Calvin S

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  11. Saturday 7/7/18

    AM LCM @ UALR "Mary Grace Tucker Memorial Invitational Day #2"

    600 swim (200 FR/100 BK)
    6x50 @ :10 rest
    odd: k/dr
    even: dr/sw

    2x100 @ 1:30 PINK/RED
    4x25 @ :35 V.S.
    100 EZ

    100 FR - 58.80 - A good race, but not a great race. I spun my wheels too much on the opening 50, and I switched to breathing every 4th stroke too early on the second 50. I also got caught up in what the swimmer next to me was doing instead of swimming my own race.

    200 BK - 2:39.33 (1:16.57/1:22.76) - This was my throw-away event. I just wanted to see what I could go in a race I don't normally swim, while being shaved and tapered. Man do I not like backstroke!

    Add in about 1400 assorted warm up and warm-down during the course of the meet.

    Total: 3000
  12. Y Champs + 50 free

    by , April 16th, 2018 at 07:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I swam in the Allegheny Mountain Y Champs at the Spire Institute recently, which is sanctioned for USMS. It was a mix of swimming frustration and fun with friends. I swam 7 events (that's the max) and DNF'd one. Each day, my events were all within 1.5 hours, which is no sprinter's dream. It went like this:


    25 back, 13.5

    This was a disaster. I didn't see the backstroke flags at all and crashed into the wall with my left elbow. I knew the crash was coming, but felt blind. My teammate in the same heat didn't see the wall either, and had a similar crash. This has never happened to me before ... Weird.


    50 free, DNF

    Well, the first length felt great, had a great start. But I misjudged the wall on the double bulkhead. I only got a toe on the wall and came to a complete dead stop. Since I had the 50 breast 20 minutes later, I just hopped out.


    50 breast, 34.5

    I was in a lovely mood at this point after a rough start to the meet. Wasn't dying to do this event as my breast has felt off and I went a sloth like 36 a few months ago. But the team needed points, so I got on the block and swam through it. I had a great start, but my breakouts were horrible. I got stuck underwater both lengths. I think I'm used to pushing off deep for SDKs. But perhaps need to go less deep or pull up more emphatically on the pull down for breast. Bill thought I would easily have been a 33 with better pullouts. This was at least an improvement.


    25 fly, 12.6

    Fourth event of the day, good enough. I didn't seem to mess up anything crucial on this one.


    Next day ...


    50 fly, 28.00

    That .01 makes a difference, doesn't it? I blew at least .5 on the turn, maybe more, gliding in a huge amount. My stroke and kick counts aren't the same as they were pre-surgeries. The last few strokes felt really hard.


    50 back, 29.2

    Seems pretty mediocre for me. I spent most of the race worrying about the backstroke flags. I think this is contra-indicated to swim a good race.


    25 breast, 15.5

    Fine.


    All in all, I was less than thrilled with this meet. I understand all the technical miscues from racing rust. That part could improve. And I know it is still very early days in my swim recovery/post-surgeries comeback. But it is not all that fun to feel like you are literally staggering to the wall or about to DQ in a race. And the bottom line is that I doubt that issue will ever change. Closed veins are closed veins. I'm not sure, even if I continue to build collaterals, that they are a real substitute for your actual subclavian and axillary veins.

    BUT, I was unhappy with DNf-ing my 50 free. So, being the stubborn person that I am, I went to a meet at OSU the next weekend just to swim that one event so that at least I would have completed all four 50s this SCY season. (Note: I had to google the name of the meet to enter; It didn't come up in the calendar at first search. WTH with this new website.) I had been having suffering from insomnia for a bit (prolly a result of tapering and 23 & me says I'm a "light sleeper"), so felt tired. However, I managed to execute a very good flip turn on the double bulkhead wall. I got bogged down on the breakout of my Lochte turn, same as the Albatross meet. I probably need to modify or eliminate that turn now ... But moving my arms the last half length proved difficult and I went a 26.7, which ties my masters personal worst. Sure, I am older and have had a rough couple years. But it is still a lot slower than I have been since my very first masters meet.

    Anyhoo, I did not sign up for nationals after the Spire meet. I am clearly not ready for prime time just based on racing rust and technical miscues. My times are, however momentarily, at the top of my 55-59 age group. I'm sure several will be knocked down at nationals. Super sick of tapering, I have been on the treadmill for 10 miles the last 2 days. I'm going to keep swimming, but I am not going to have a laser focus on sprinting that I have had the last month or so. Some aerobic work may actually help with re-vascularization. So I will swim and cross train the next couple months and then, poof, I am in Europe where I will not swim for 2.5 weeks. I'll re-evaluate meets in the fall. But right now, they don't feel fun. And shouldn't they at least be fun? Perhaps I am too much of a perfectionist to have fun. All I know is that swimming is difficult, at the moment. I thought that making a comeback would at least be an interesting anecdote to the inevitable decline of aging. But if a comeback is necessarily physically limited and so frustrating, is the comeback worth it? Philosophy question somewhat dependent on personality, I think.

    Updated April 17th, 2018 at 10:15 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  13. 03/16-18/2018: New England scy Champs

    by , March 18th, 2018 at 10:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back from a fun weekend of racing in Boston at the annual Harvard meet. With my schedule allowing, I was able to swim all three days of the main meet this year (as opposed to driving down for the day as I have been doing in the recent past). That third big snowstorm didn't materialize here in our area, but in trying to more more wood pellets from the basement to the living room (so my daughter didn't have to while the rest of us went on the trip) I tweaked my back on Wednesday, to the point that it was painful to bend over to tie my shoes. I was able to make it to Masters on Tuesday for a warmup and some burst and cruise swims, but wasn't able to make it back to the pool before the meet. We made the 3 hour drive to Boston on Friday morning in time for event check-in...
    http://meetresults.com/2018/nelmscscy/results.shtml

    Friday:

    100 Free: 53.94 - 3rd (26.33, 27.71)
    -- This was the first event and my back was still tight, even after warmups. I popped a 24.6 at the New Year's meet in January, so these splits seem right on. I need to work the 2nd wall more for a faster 3rd lap when I swim this next. I didn't attack the walls due to the back tightness.

    50 Fly: 27.10 - 5th
    - My start was good and my stroke felt long and powerful. The turn was good, but I need to get some more sdk's in. I was short to the wall and decided to glide...probably should have taken an extra quick stroke.

    100 Back: 1:00.93 - 2nd (29.89, 31.04)
    - I opted not to use the backstroke ledges since I have no experience with them (other than a YouTube video that I watched online). The splits were good, but each wall was horrible and I did not reach my sdk counts. It probably didn't help that I was being conservative as to not agrivate my back. I think I can get back under a minute, especially if I take it out a little faster.

    [My warmup in the regular pool was 1200 yds, and I did a total of 26 laps in the 29yd diving well lanes between events and for warmdown] After my day in the pool was complete we drove into Harvard Square to fart around and grab a late lunch before heading to the hotel to relax.

    Saturday:
    50 Breast: 25.23 - 4th
    - On of these days I will make good on my threat to actually learn to swim this stroke more efficiently (and hopefully faster), but I swam this mostly to get a time for the Flow Swimmers online event that I signed up for. I really worked the walls and tried to get through the event without having my knee protest, and I accomplished both goals.

    200 Back: 2:14.88 - 2nd (31.58, 34.45, 34.54, 34.31)
    - I wanted to get under 2:15 and I did with a beautifully split race (1:06.03, 1:08:85)! So I did a sprint during warmups to try the ledge, and was in lane one. I remember telling my wife that lane was horrible because the flags only reached halfway across the lane. Of course that set me up to swim in lane 1! Anyways, I took it out without much legs and built into it as I planned. The turns were better (as my back was not as sore) and I am I really happy with the swim. I missed swimming with my buddy Trent from RI, but did run into Doug who came down from Maine for the day.

    [Warmups of 1600 yds, plus an additional 18 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown]. We drove over near BU and picked up a guitar that my son was looking at online before heading back to the hotel to drop off the car. I made reservations online for Hard Rock and we took the T into the city, battleing the drunken St. Patty's Day crowds and pub-crawls. I am happy I made reservations because we bypassed the huge line and were seated and served a lot faster that I expected. After a little shopping we went back to the hotel and vegged out, except for a little walk my son and I took in search for some cookies before bed.

    Sunday:
    50 Back: 27.10 - 2nd
    - I used the ledges again and tried to not stay under as long as I usually do on the second lap. While I wanted to get under 27, I am really happy with this time as I find it so difficult to sprint anything.

    100 IM: 1:02.17 - 3rd (27.22, 34.95)
    - Back in lane 1 and I did my usual out fast then lose it all on breast. I wanted to get under 1:03 and did, beating my time from January. Oh well, this is a top 3 fastest time in the event in my lifetime so I am happy.

    [Warmups of 1300 yards and 22 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown] After the swims we watched Donna, an 84-year young lady from Maine, crush the 200 fly before driving home.

    Total swimming:
    Warmups: 4100 yds
    Racing: 650 yds
    Warmdown: 1914 yds (66 laps in the well)

    Thoughts...
    - I aged up to the 40-44 group and swam my 100th race as a Masters swimmer with this meet. I have written before that I swam here as an age-grouper and feel blessed with the chance to swim here now. I am amazed to see the certificates from David Berkoff hanging on the walls behind the stands and to take in the brand new score board this year. It is just awesome for me to swim here. It is a very well run meet, this year having more than 650 swimmers, and great folks behing the blocks timing, reffing, and working to make sure everything runs smoothly.
    - My wife and son made the trip. It is funny that in the locker room so many guys talked about their families not being on board to coming to watch. It is a boring meet, even for us swimmers, so I know how our families must feel. Even so, it means a lot to me to see my wife in the stands and know that she is cheering me on.
    - Based on above, I tried to plan my swims so that I wasn't swimming in the first "distance" events of the day, pick back to back events, and avoid sitting at the pool all day. I accomplished that goal! Trying to then plan on when to warm up, try to get in some sprints from the blocks once the main competition pool is open, and then follow the estimated timeline takes some thought. I was able to get on deck before check-ins closed (no online option with this meet) and had some down time between events to not only hang out with my family but check in with my swimming buddies. I even met Guy from a facebook swimgroup and we checked in throughout the meet, even racing side by side in the 100 IM - he touched me out! Dan from Pittsfield aged up to 70 and was breaking lmsc records all weekend long...he might even be gunning from more at our meet in a few weeks.
    - Swimming-wise, I am satisfied with my efforts and performances. After feeling like crap after the WPI scm meet in December, I have committed to swim more Tuesday night practices and the every other Saturday swims that my work schedule allows for. Like Ande has said, I need to stop lugging around this extra 10-15 points which will help make me faster in and of itself. I think that as the weather gets warmer I will be able to get back on the bike and schedule some 5k's to help with overall fitness and weight management. I also need to be more proactive with shoulder and knee exercises as both issues have not been too bothersome, although the long meet has reminded me of them. I also need to figure out breastroke.

    Well, that's a wrap from Harvard. I'm really pleased with the meet and the opportunity to get some racing in after all the hours of training.

    Updated March 19th, 2018 at 10:17 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  14. Lucky 7 to Indy

    by , March 11th, 2018 at 10:28 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    After some great progress building back into my training over December and January, I hit some snags over the month of February.

    On January 28th, I went down to Tucson and competed in the annual Polar Bear meet. I was actually quite happy with most of my swims - 50 fly (26.43), 50 back (29.18), 400 IM (4:32.17) and 500 free (5:12.76). The only time that was a tad disappointing was the 500, but I took it out too slow and negative split it (2:38/2:34+).

    As solid as I felt during the meet, I woke up on the Monday after and could barely move - my lower back was in major pain, wracked with spasms. I barely swam the week of January 29th, mustering only 5,000 yards, but then felt better and had two good weeks (Feb 5th and 12th weeks), culminating in the Matt & Annie Grevers Meet in Mesa where I swam, in about 3 hours total, all of the IMs (1:00.8, 2:12.3, 4:34.3) and the 50 breast (31.9).

    As if on cue - do a good meet, have some pain - I then suffered through two plus weeks of my head full of gunk, with much of it concentrated in my sinuses to the point where going any amount under water was painful. I managed 7,500 yards during the week of Feb 19th (as the stuff was starting), 4K during the week of Feb 26th and really only started to feel like my old self again this weekend, notching up a little less than 10K for the week.

    We are 9 weeks away from Indianapolis Nationals, which means I have to somehow put in 7 weeks of consistent training so that I can do some semblance of a taper. I am 100% committed to being in Indy and put my entries in this weekend:
    • Friday
      • 400 IM
      • 100 fly

    • Saturday
      • 100 free (6th event)
      • 200 fly

    • Sunday
      • 50 fly
      • 200 IM


    I figure with the above line-up, I can put some focus around my training, and swim many of my favorite events. I am really hoping that, by skipping the 500 on Sunday morning and keeping a lighter schedule, I can swim a decent 200 IM, something I haven't done at Nationals in a long time.

    I'm ready to train and aiming to blog along with it. All roads lead to Indy!
  15. Albatross Meet

    by , March 5th, 2018 at 11:46 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It's been a long blogging hiatus. I hit another detour in my comeback in late December and January (vacation and post vacation flu-ish thing) that kept me out of the water for quite awhile. But I've been training pretty regularly since mid-January. In the pool that is; I've not been moved to return to the gym because of a wee treadmill addiction. Anyhoo, I took myself off to the Albatross meet with about 6 weeks training under my belt and a mini taper. After a 1.5 year racing hiatus, I had major racing rust and of course was way off my PRs.

    50 back SCM, 32.1

    I had an uncharacteristically mediocre start, which lacked explosiveness. I had a good first length and decent turn. I was a little deep on my underwater on the second length. The main issue though was that I couldn't really feel my arms/they didn't want to move the last 10 yards. I had a major glide at the end because I just couldn't summon the energy to take another stroke. That cost me going a 31. Still, I am content with a 32 after the VTOS debacle and given my still closed veins. That time would have been #1 in the world last year in my age group.


    50 free SCM, 29.5

    I had a pretty good start (feet not together tho) and first length. I botched the turn a bit with a half stroke and extra breath. I tried the Lochte turn off the wall. It went decently, but again I was a little too deep. Then I just staggered to the wall again with arm fatigue. Since all the youngsters scratched, I ended up winning the Fastest Woman on the Water award.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Whew, it was good to survive my first meet back. I think it being SCM not SCY added a degree of difficulty for me. Aside from some limitations from the VTOS, I think my main problem in the pool right now is that I lack strength. I had a ton of muscle removed from my chest of course. But I'm also not getting as much DPK as before. So off to the gym I go! I plan to start in small 30 minute chunks.

    Updated March 5th, 2018 at 02:43 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  16. 02/27/18: One Hour Swim

    by , February 27th, 2018 at 10:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Hopped into the pool for the One Hour Swim again this year, which will help to add yardage to parent team New England Masters and knock off three events for the Flow Swimmers league.

    Tonight I was able to make it to 4000 yards, working a steady pace and adding progressively more kick and stroke work as the hour went on. It is a nice event to do every year. I will time for the team this coming Saturday.

    Previous years...
    2017: 4025
    2016: 4393
    2015: 4257
    2014: 4560
    2013: 4565
    2012: 4275
    2011: 3800

    Updated March 5th, 2018 at 10:12 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: ohs
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  17. Meet 01/20/18: Happy New Year Master Meet

    by , January 20th, 2018 at 09:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    First meet of the year and my first time checking out this somewhat local meet, held a little over an hour west of home at the Mohonasen High School (Schenectady, NY). It is the 9th year of the event and this year they had a record number of swimmers (58). With my work schedule open for me to attend and my buddy Greg also willing to compete, we headed over with my son.

    This is also my first meet in the 40-44 year age group, as my twin sister and I had our birthday this past Thursday.

    Warmup: 1400 yds

    50 free - 24.67
    I felt good during this swim and really picked up the second lap. I think with some additional sprint training I can get faster. Still a goal of mine to get under 24.
    -- 200 loosen

    100 IM - 1:03.99 (28.64, 35.35)
    Felt great on the fly leg, not too coordinated on back, good on breast and tired on the free! I had not worked breast too much since having some knee issues, but have been learning how to swim it more efficiently.
    -- 50 loosen

    50 fly - 28.60
    I was in heat 3, so I had about 3 minutes between the IM and this fly event. I knew it would be close, and my heart rate was sky high. My breakout was good and I worked to finish with good form.
    --- 200 loosen

    200 free - 2:02.61 (29.53, 31.82, 32.08, 29.18)
    I felt really good on this swim. I swam it a little differently than normal so my 3rd was a bit slow. I ended up getting touched out at this finish but made it an interesting race!
    --- 300 loosen

    All in all a well run meet in a nice facility. The increase in numbers lead to a longer than expected meet, but events progressed smoothly with no issues. We left before the 1000 and 1650. Greg had some great swims (particularly a great race in the 100 breast), and we both enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new folks on deck and learning more about how other Masters incorporate swimming into everyday life and some different training ideas. I also made contact with Kathy and Steve, who help to drive some of the ADMS swimming opportunities. I hope to be able to make it back next year!

    Updated January 21st, 2018 at 10:26 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: adms
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  18. Damn, I love to race!

    by , November 20th, 2017 at 11:41 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Euphoric. Blissed out. High on life.

    I couldn't sleep on Sunday night after two days and 8 events of racing at the Ron Johnson / Arizona State SCM Championships. I was absolutely wasted physically, my muscles sore, a physical sloth on the couch watching TV with my wife, but my interior world was ablaze with endorphins, just sheer joy at having been able to get up and race hard, over and over again throughout the weekend. No pain. All the gain to my soul.

    Damn, I love to race.

    Saturday

    I started with the 50 breast, my warmup race for the meet. I went too deep on the start, took too long to get up and then spun like a whisk, all legs and arms akimbo and out of control. Though I was nowhere near my 33.39 best from 2013, I was very pleased with the 35.65 on the scoreboard, a marked improvement over the 38.02 from less than two months ago.

    My freestyle has been feeling good in workouts lately and I was pretty sure I'd beat the 2:09.88 that I had entered in the 200 free. But, lined up in lane 2 of the second to last heat, what I wanted to do was beat Kurt Dickson's son in lane 1 and a 30-something woman in lane 3. We had a blast of a race, all three of us pretty much turning even throughout the race, with the lead changing here and there. I thought I had saved enough in my legs and my lungs to power through the last 25, but came up short to both of them, one of them at 2:08.10 and then other at 2:08.20. My 2:08.52 still made me smile.

    At this point in the program, there was a long break for relays. The sun was going down (the session's warmups had started at noon) and I was feeling pretty tired, happy, but toasty in the arms. The event I was really excited about, the 200 IM, was going off about 6:30pm, but the 100 breast was before. Going into the meet, I was 95% convinced that I would only be able and want to race 2, maybe 3 events per session. I didn't think I had it in me to race both events and had pretty much made my mind up to skip the breaststroke, until Barry Roth, a great guy from Tucson, using an argument of - "It's better to be in the water racing than sitting on the deck" - convinced me to swim. I had plenty of time between the races and so off I went. I made sure not to spin like I did in the 50 and was quite happy with the 1:16.94 that I went, only a little more than 2 seconds slower than my Masters best (1:14.39).

    Then, an amazing thing happened. Rather than tiring me out more, swimming the 100 breast acted like a jolt of energy, a second wind. When I got on the blocks for my 200 IM, I was feeling pumped, like it was the first race of the meet. I had been pretty ambitious in my entry time (2:20.89) considering that I had gone 2:30.61 about 7 weeks ago at the Jamina Winston meet in Mesa. The whole race felt pretty strong and I was elated with the 2:23.49 result.

    Sunday

    My appetizer event was the 100 IM. We have had a surge of 20- and 30-something guys start racing recently, so it's getting harder for us old guys to get into the fast heat in any of the 100s, but I was in a good heat with a few guys in my age group. Based upon my 200 IM being about 7 seconds off my Masters' best, I figured that I should / could be around 1:06.5 (best was 1:02.91). I was probably a bit too relaxed on the fly as I should've gotten further ahead of the guy next to me (who is a better sprint breaststroker) and I then didn't have enough juice on the freestyle leg to make up the lead he created on breast. I beat my expectation, though, at 1:06.30.

    I had almost three hours before the 400 IM during which I called my brother and read just about every word (save the inane marriage announcements) in the Sunday New York Times. I probably should've done a little more warming up before the actual race, but I didn't want to tucker myself out. I had been 5:20.24 at the meet at the end of September and had this pipe dream that I could dip under the 5 minute mark. Oh was this one painful! In a John Cougar Hurts So Good kind of a way. I got to the 50 of the fly and thought I was done. I don't ever remember breathing so hard throughout any backstroke in my life. I couldn't do a breaststroke pullout off the first wall and the remaining pushoffs had me feeling like a drowning man coming up for air, for life. I managed to have some legs left on the last 50 and was pleased with the 5:02.05 result. This was the only race I ended up winning outright and I thank Darian Townsend for not swimming it (he lapped me last year!).

    At this point, I could have gone home. I had raced enough, but I had also told a few guys who were in the 200 breast that I would 100 percent for sure be there for that, so I couldn't back out. I've only swum this event two other times in short course meters, having gone 2:44.62 back in 2012 and 2:43.35 in 2014. 2014 was the fall season when I was really working on my breaststroke and had been when I recorded my best 100 time. I really had no clue where I'd end up, but, much like on Saturday, I felt rejuvenated on this event. I swam very smooth through the 100 and then aimed to build the last 100. I was shocked to see a 2:43.70 on the scoreboard, damn near a best time!

    The final individual event of the day was the 100 free. I don't know why I was entered in a 1:05.05, as my best time 55.92 and I'd even gone a 1:00.29 at altitude a few years back. I tried to imagine what I was thinking and the only thing I came up with was that I had planned to do a 100 fly ... but I didn't really feel like doing a 100 fly, and I definitely didn't feel like doing a 100 free. As I stood behind the blocks, with one heat to go, I was still debating between doing a 100 fly or going a 50 free to a touch and then relaxing. I turned to Lindsey Urbatchka, who was in the heat after me, and asked her to pick one. She was absolutely marvelous and said something to the effect of, "Do neither. Do a 50 fly. It's my favorite event!" And so I did. I LOVED it. It was the perfect way to end the meet. I blasted a 2 breath 28.69, respectably close enough to my 27.62 best from 7 years ago.

    What an AWESOME WEEKEND. I cannot wait to race again.

    Updated November 21st, 2017 at 01:20 PM by pwb

    Tags: ron johnson
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. I really raced - Jamina Winston SCM meet report

    by , September 28th, 2017 at 11:46 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    Work's really been slamming lately, but my training is coming along well, if slowly. I managed to get down to Mesa last Saturday and raced all 5 of the events I had entered. I managed to record the slowest time (by far) I've ever done in a meet since I started Masters ~16 years ago ... and, yet, I was actually encouraged by the day. Very briefly:


    • 50 breast
      • Best time - 33.39 (2013)
      • Previous Worst Time - 36.28 (2012)
      • Entry time - 39.99
      • Meet performance - 38.02
      • Hey! I beat my own (low) expectations

    • 100 IM
      • Best time - 1:02.91 (2013)
      • Previous Worst Time - 1:06.26 (2015)
      • Entry time - 1:09.99
      • Meet performance - 1:11.89
      • Raced "SwimDogs" Mark Johnston from Montana in the lane next to me and didn't have enough juice to run him down. I first met Mark a few years back when I did his most excellent 1 mile Polson Bay Water Daze race (http://www.mvaquatics.org/mva-events/water-daze/); it was good to catch up with him a bit.

    • 200 IM
      • Best time - 2:16.10 (2011)
      • Previous Worst Time - 2:20.89 (2006)
      • Entry time - 2:28.99
      • Meet performance - 2:30.61
      • I think this was the race that I pushed the hardest in throughout. I was pretty tentative in everything else. This one hurt so good.

    • 50 free
      • Best time - 25.79 (2008)
      • Previous Worst Time - 27.70 (2013 @ Altitude!!)
      • Entry time - 29.99
      • Meet performance - 28.23
      • You know you're out of shape when you have to breathe practically every stroke.

    • 400 IM
      • Best time - 4:46.48 (2013)
      • Previous Worst Time - 5:04.00 (2009)
      • Entry time - 5:19.99
      • Meet performance - 5:20.24
      • It makes sense that I was most accurate in estimating my time for this, the king of events. I love this race, but, whereas the fly is usually a place for me to go out fairly easy, it got hard at about the 35 meter mark. I ended up negative splitting my backstroke primarily because I had to spend the entire first 50 catching my breath.


    For this meet, we had a great turnout - almost 100 swimmers - and the meet was run very well. I really enjoyed the chance to race again, even if my times were miserably slow for me. It was a great 'baseline.'

    I don't think I'll have any racing opportunities in October, so am looking forward to the Ron Johnson meet. I've probably gone too ambitious on the entry times, but it will be all about racing and (hopefully) raising the baseline:

    Event
    Number
    Sex Distance Stroke Time Date
    3 Men 50 SCM Breast 0:35.77 11/18/2017
    5 Men 200 SCM Free 2:09.88 11/18/2017
    9 Men 100 SCM Breast 1:16.25 11/18/2017
    12 Men 200 SCM IM 2:20.89 11/18/2017
    17 Men 100 SCM IM 1:06.26 11/19/2017
    24 Men 400 SCM IM 5:04.00 11/19/2017
    26 Men 200 SCM Breast 2:44.62 11/19/2017
    27 Men 100 SCM Free 1:05.05 11/19/2017

    I will also make a decision after Ron John if life will permit and if my 'in-shape-ness' warrants the investment in a day or two of the SPMA SCM Champs the first weekend in December.




  20. Eye of the baby tiger

    by , August 19th, 2017 at 03:53 PM (Of Swimming Bondage)
    I can't consider my 6 workouts this week totaling 9,425 yards equivalents as really worthy of me cuing up Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," but I will exit this week tomorrow with about the highest level of motivation I've had this entire year. Call it baby tiger motivation.

    I did variations of Monday's workout on each of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, but had to cut Wednesday's workout short due to a day trip to San Francisco. This morning, though, I did a 'mega' workout at home in SCM ...

    • 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill by 25
    • 4 x 100: on 1:40, free descend w/snorkel (#1-#3) and swim #4, 1:22 - 1:21 - 1:19 - 1:17
    • 8 x 50: on 0:55, w/monofin doing SDKs going 10 AFAP kicks off each wall and then easy the rest of the way; odd laps on belly into flip turn to even laps on back
    • Breaststroke set:
      • 1 x 100 on 2:15 going odd laps doing the Rebecca Soni / Race Club drill using snorkel and band kick, with even laps pull only
      • See this great video -
      • 2 x 25: on 0:45, breast swim using Finis band
      • 1 x 100: same as above
      • 2 x 25: on 0:45, breast swim without band
      • 1 x 100: same as above

    • 8 x 50: on 0:55, backstroke descend swim

    TOTAL: 2,000 SCM

    Comments:
    • I have been bad this week about both running and PT, but will focus on that tomorrow.
    • A big reason for my increased motivation is that my shoulder feels super-fine and I am looking forward to getting back into competition mode. In September, I have signed up for
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