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

  1. 07/08/18: Baystate Games lcm

    by , July 8th, 2018 at 10:48 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.

  2. 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 10:44 PM by Calvin S

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events , USA-S Swim Meets / Events
  3. 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
  4. Y Champs + 50 free

    by , April 16th, 2018 at 06:54 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 09:15 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  5. 03/16-18/2018: New England scy Champs

    by , March 18th, 2018 at 09:11 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 09:17 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  6. Albatross Meet

    by , March 5th, 2018 at 10:46 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 01:43 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  7. 02/27/18: One Hour Swim

    by , February 27th, 2018 at 09:07 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 09:12 PM by rxleakem

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

    by , January 20th, 2018 at 08:38 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 09:26 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: adms
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. Meet: 04/22/17: CYEDC MastersMania (Philly)

    by , April 23rd, 2017 at 10:40 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Despite lackluster training (I have been out of the water for the past 10 days) I was able to coordinate a trip to visit my daugther in Philly to include an appearance in the 2nd MastersMania meet at Ridley High, south of Philadelphia and home to fellow blogger tjrpatt. I have meet with Tom a couple of times to train in the past (at this pool as well as lcm outside in Wayne, PA) in the past few years.

    My wife and I started our trip down on Thursday and spent most of Friday tracing my mom's roots north of Allentown, PA, which was very meaningful for me. She passed away in '95 so there is a lot that I feel like I don't really know about her. My aunt was very helpful in pointing me to the home where my grandmother grew up as well as a cemetery and some memorials that listed my great-grandfather and his son (my great uncle) for their service in WW1 and WW2, respectively.


    After following some of the "back roads" into town and a spontaneous tour of Fairmount Park, we were able to meet up with our daughter downtown after she got off work and treated her and some friends to dinner before we headed to the hotel. She then joined us at the hotel and drove to the pool Saturday morning with time for me to check in and warm up. The pool is nice with cool water and a good timing system. Lane 1 was open the whole meet for continuous warm-ups and stated on time at 9am, with Tom swimming the 400im solo - a tough event to do alone.

    100 free - I wasn't really sure how I was feeling so I same very conservatively, just getting under 1 minute. :eyeroll: The winner was under :49!

    50 back - right where I was expecting with a :30.xx. The swim felt good on little rest and I prepared for the 500.

    500 fly - just under 7:00. So I have been dealing with some soreness in my shoulder and back for a while, and since I didn't feel horrible after the first two events I figured I bring some Butternut fun to the city of brotherly love! As I have in the past, I swam DPS fly for the first 19 lengths then swam regular fly on the final lap. One starts to feel uncomfortable around the 300 mark, so the easy rhythm of the DPS fly enabled me to keep going. It was really fun.

    It was great to see Tom again and also help to support a super fun meet! The meet was a little larger than last year and well run. I spoke briefly with meet director Erik about my experience with our local meet. I was dressed by 10:15am after warming down (1000 warmup, 200 bwtween events, 400 loosen = 2250 yds total) and hope that my work schedule allows for me to drop in again next year.


    After the meet the girls and I headed up to King of Prussia to check out the mall (second largest in the US) and then spent a couple of hours checking out Valley Forge National Historic Park. Breathtaking and very informative. We ended the night chilling out at the hotel and after breakfast we watched our girl head back to her life in the city and we took a detour through Atlantic City on our way back to Vermont.

    Updated April 23rd, 2017 at 11:20 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. 03/25/17: 6th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , March 25th, 2017 at 05:58 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    We had another successful mini meet at my hometown pool today as just over 30 swimmers descended on southwestern Vermont for a fun morning of swimmer. As usual we had a good showing from our local team and two teams from the south in Massachusetts (Pittsfield Polar Bears and the Simon Rock PaceMakers). We also welcomed new faces from Adirondack Masters as well as from travelers (a mom and daughter duo from NJ and a gentleman from Niagara Falls! Amanda, Carol, Eric, Gabby, Kevin, Matt, Rebecca, and Tim from our local workout group swam, while Libby and Mary (along with her newborn baby) stopped by to cheer for a bit.

    In addition to my role as meet director I served as a referee, although I did swim in the relays with my older brother and sister. The meet ran smoothly without any complications from the timing system (which had a hiccup or two last year in it's first real use), and our fun 25 "sprints" served as good breaks in the action that allowed for folks to take a breather. I again gave away various prizes (maple syrup from a local sugar shack and stroopwafels from my local bakery), along with some USMS stickers and caps.

    While the planning and pulling off the meet is a bit stressful, I am consistently amazed by the diverse of swimmers that come out to compete, many for the first time. The environment of a Masters meet is so different from that of an age group or high school meet. It gives me a lot satisfaction to be able to host this meet every year, and I am thankful for the support that we get from the local age group team to run the event.
  11. 02/18/17: One Hour Swim

    by , February 18th, 2017 at 05:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My training has really been lackluster this season, but I wanted to help team New England Masters go for another year of OHS National Champs. My daughter came home on a surprise visit and was game to time my swim.

    Finished at 4025 yds, so about a 1:29ish pace. My 500 splits were:
    6:54.22, 13:44.09, 21:11.54, 28:33.10, 37:14.04, 44:39.14, 52:47.96

    Happy to contribute. 6 other swimmers from our workout group also participated. It's a fun challenge to bring to the team every year.
  12. Amending the Rules of Competition

    by , August 11th, 2016 at 11:05 AM (Rules Committee Blog)
    One of the unique things about masters swimming is that the athletes themselves get to make the rules. Considering changes to our competitive rules is an annual process. Ultimately any change to the rules of competition must be approved by the USMS House of Delegates which meets at our annual convention in September. After months of work by the Rules Committee, the proposed 2016 changes are now ready for review by convention delegates.

    The USMS Rules Committee collects, studies, recommends proposed changes to the membership of USMS. Our goal is to ensure that the rules are fair, equitable, clear, and reflect the objectives and values of our membership. The Rules Committee is responsible for the glossary and part one of the USMS rule book, which governs all sanctioned and recognized pool meets. (The Long Distance and Legislation Committees have similar processes for other sections of the rule book.)

    You can now see all of the proposed changes on the convention information page.


    Sometimes we identify an issue that needs extensive study and a subset of the committee will work on these issues throughout the year to bring forward proposed changes by late Spring. This year, a task force studied proposed changes to the rules that involve timing system corrections for official times, USMS records, and top 10 times. The process of determining official times for different types of timing systems can get pretty complicated. (See our blog post from December 28, 2015 for an explanation of current rules.) However, the current rules are no longer consistent with FINA rules. That is a potential problem for recognition of world records and FINA world top 10 times. After several years of extensive study, USA Swimming modified their rules for timing system adjustments in 2016 and other organizations have followed suit. We took another year to study the changes and think through all of the procedures necessary to recognize official times and records. The proposed changes attempt to balance the sometimes competing goals of protecting swimmers from timing system failures, ensuring the accuracy of official times reported at meets, and ensuring that requirements placed on our meet officials are reasonable.

    Sometimes our proposed changes might arise from frequent questions about a rule, which might signal that we need greater clarity. We might propose a change based on ideas and questions from coaches, officials, meet directors, and LMSC officers. Over the years, we have received many questions regarding meet formats, time trials, acceptance of times from recognized meets. So, several proposed changes attempt to make these provisions clearer for coaches, officials, and swimmers.

    Sometimes, it is a matter of bringing the rules up to date with new technology or better practices for conducting meets. Over the years, we have dealt with rule changes involving electronic timing systems, online entries, backstroke ledges, overhead cameras, and other new innovations. This year, proposed changes to update the rules for automatic splits, eliminating written applications for USMS records at National Championships, and eliminating the written publication of USMS records in the rule book are a reflection of technologies that make it easier to run meets, tabulate the results, and publish results using electronic systems.

    Additional changes can be proposed by any USMS standing committee, any Local Masters Swim Committee (LMSC), the USMS Board of Directors, or the USMS Executive Committee. These proposals can range from simple grammatical corrections to innovative ideas to make the sport more exciting and attract new members. Several changes to rules governing national championships and USMS records are being proposed this year.

    Prior to consideration by the House of Delegates, the Rules Committee considers each proposal and may make amendments before voting whether to recommend the change to the House of Delegates. The House may also amend any proposal before voting and may adopt any change recommended favorably by the committee with a majority vote. The House may still adopt a proposed change not recommended by the committee with a 2/3 majority vote. So, the final set of changes that appear in the 2017 rule book may be different than what you see in the convention package.

    While the deadline for proposing changes to the rules has passed for this year, you can still voice your opinion by contacting the delegates from your LMSC before the September convention.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Files
  13. Birthday WRs

    by , July 11th, 2016 at 01:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I did a couple all easy swims at the end of last week, which I didn't blog. Then I packed up to drive down to the U of Md for the Terrapin's Colonies Zones meet on Sunday. I did not have particularly high expectations. I haven't been training as much, have done virtually no drylands or yoga, and have been feeling unmotivated. I also haven't done a long course meet in years and had very little long course training in the tank. But I wanted to give the 50 fly and 50 back a whirl in the hopes that I could pack it in for the summer and forget about meets for while. And, happily, I succeeded, setting two WRs in my new age group! In both races, as expected, I tightened up and died somewhat the last 10 meters (this always seems to happen no matter my training). But I am still quite pleased with the results.


    50 fly:

    former WR: 30.97
    my swim: 30.52

    I made a couple mistakes in this swim. I should have taken 1-2 more kicks on the start (was trying to be cautious of 15m m mark). And I lifted my head up too high to breathe, especially on the last breathe where I was actively looking for the wall. I found it somewhat hard to judge the finish. I have no doubt I could improve a few tenths if I really trained for this event. But I am honestly quite happy with this time. I wasn't even sure that I could go a 30.97. And this time is only .3 off my time from 4 years ago when I was much more focused on long course. Here is the video Fort21 took where you can see me racing the speedy 50-54 world record holder and my buddy Susan Williams:

    https://youtu.be/0Iak8xQAD1I


    50 back:

    former WR: 33.75
    my swim: 33.08

    Though I got off the blocks fast, I was a bit flat on my start. But my SDKs and breakout were really solid, and probably gave me the lead/win (barely) in this race. I had a good stroke rate, but I felt like the race went on forever. Where was the wall?! I took more than twice as many strokes as I do in my SCY 50 back (46). I would have liked to be a couple tenths faster, but I am still so happy to come away with a world record. Here is the video that my daughter -- who showed up at the meet to surprise me for my birthday -- took:

    https://youtu.be/o-7QubFobg4


    I'm going to keep working out and swimming, but not at my usual hard core pace. I want to be fresh for the fall racing season. Very happy that I can now just goof off at my upcoming beach week with friends!

    Updated July 12th, 2016 at 04:28 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  14. CN -- Let it go!

    by , May 23rd, 2016 at 10:59 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    This was not the meet of my dreams (said in dramatic understatement). Before leaving, I had some GI issues from the antibiotics that I was on for the sinus infection. But I felt fine during the drive up to Toronto. Unfortunately, then I was the unlucky recipient of Lil Fort's stomach virus Friday night. It seems to be going around here. So I was not exactly my usual self. CN ended up being basically a one day meet.


    100 breast, 1:24.3, 1st

    All was well the first 50m, out in 38.7. But I was tired at the start of the second 50, so knew I was in trouble. Unlike my 100 breast at USMS nationals, I had a spectacular collapse, coming back in :45. Stroke fell apart, and I felt like I was going backwards the last 25. Considering that I swam a 1:22.0 last November on 3 days rest, this is pretty darn awful and close to a personal worst. As a result of this, I scratched the 100 IM. I just did not have the energy to get through that event, which I think is much harder than the 100 breast. I did consider leaving the meet at this point, but I was already there and didn't want to be a baby.


    50 free, 28.3, 1st

    This is a solid time considering. I actually thought I'd be at least .5 slower. It just lacked punch. And I can't say I was mentally all there. For 50s, you have to be ready to rip.


    50 breast, 37.6, 1st, NR

    I did not feel well on Sunday am, but I decided to just swim this event and then leave. (I had zero desire to swim the 100 back.) From the video that Mark took, I had a good start and good first 25 until I misjudged the turn (big glide into fina wall). Then I had another major fade the second 25. The time is well off my PR but fast enough to get under the national record of 38.3. So that was a silver lining from the meet.


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


    I watched Mark swim a great 50 breast (all his event swere awesome!) and then felt awfully sick to my stomach. I had to rest awhile before I could leave. And it was a long (7.5 hour) drive home with traffic at a standstill on Queen Elizabeth Way.

    So a big waste of a taper and all that 100 training ... But so goes life sometimes. Onward and forward! I slept for 11 hours last night and still feel exhausted. I am going to avoid the pool for a couple days. I think I've inflicted enough torture on the poor body for while.

    Updated May 24th, 2016 at 11:43 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  15. Nationals & Monday workout

    by , May 2nd, 2016 at 04:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    We made it home from nationals safe and sound -- after a bit of a harrowing drive in the midst of hail and a tornado watch. The best part of nationals for me was hanging out with great swim friends and my RAM team. And I love the spectating at nationals -- got to see so many great races and was really happy for my friends and fellow bloggers that kicked ass. My coach and friend Bill White, who hadn't competed in SCY since 2002, swam out of his mind. Hopefully, we can persuade him to come to more USMS meets! And my Jimby was very happy to grab a well paced win in the 500 free. Of course, it was great hanging out with Stewart and Mark and I finally got to meet Mr. Unruh (who also swam out of his mind).

    For various reasons, this was an extremely challenging meet for me. I had felt pretty good a couple days before leaving. But whatever was blooming in NC did not agree with me and I had a bad allergy/asthma flare starting Friday afternoon. Lot of hacking and not enough oxygen to power the SDKs. Hindsight is 20/20 of course. But I was probably pushing the envelope to have competed in the meet. And so it was a mixed bag.

    Friday:

    50 back, 1st, 27.7

    I did two starts with the backstroke ledge in warm up, and they seemed fine. But at race time, I fumbled around with the ledge and couldn't seem to get it in the right place. It ended up being a little lower than I would have liked. Then the starter held us for a long time and my arms were shaking. I was a little deep on the start, but it was solid. But then I had a glide into the turn. I was just happy to get the win. And anytime you beat the speedy Susan Williams that is saying something.


    Mixed 200 free relay (can't remember our time), 24.7 split

    I didn't execute this very well either. I jammed the turn and went off the wall way too deep. I had trouble breathing after the race and it seemed to precipitate a 5-6 hour coughing spree.


    Saturday:

    Started off the day by tearing a hole in a new tech suit that I had only worn once at the Albatross meet ... Grr!

    50 breast, 32.8 DQ

    More bad execution here. My start was not very good and my heels broke the surface on my breakout. Off the turn on my pulldown, I could feel my feet move. I knew I was at risk for a DQ and sure enough it was enough undulation to draw the call. Obviously, I need to be hyper vigilant about this (and I was in my 100 breast).


    50 free, 4th, 25.4

    I can't say that I was too excited to swim this race and was worried about air/breathing. This time, I had a great start but instead of jamming the turn, I only got my toes on the wall. So my Lochte turn, which is usually an asset, was a liability. This is a pretty mediocre time for me; I went faster at the Sprint Classic. No idea why I had such trouble with my freestyle turns this meet.


    Sunday:

    50 fly, scratch

    I didn't feel like I had the lungs to SDK well, so opted to scratch and rest on my 26.0 from a month ago. Was happy for Susan who crushed the field in my absence.


    100 breast, 1st, 1:13.7

    I really wanted to end nationals on a positive note and, hey, at least you get to breathe in breaststroke. I felt like I had very good walls and a good 4th 25. It was a dogfight to the finish. It is a very rare occasion indeed when this drop dead sprinter comes from behind to win a 100. So I was happy with the result, which is only .3 off my PR from a few years ago.


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


    So this was definitely not the meet I had hoped for. But so goes life. Hopefully, my lungs/ears/sinuses will be happier heading into Canadian Nationals. I was in the mood for a workout today and so headed to Sewy and did the following:


    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewy

    Warm up:


    600 various
    100 scull
    8 x 25 shooters
    100 EZ

    Main sets:

    20 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :45
    -- done as 5 x 4 x 25 IM order
    250 EZ

    2 rounds:
    10 x 25 fly w/fins @ 100 pace @ :45
    150 EZ

    20 x 25 breast @ 100 pace @ :45
    250 EZ

    10 x 25 dolphin kick @ 100 pace @ :45
    150 EZ

    Total: 3700

    Updated May 2nd, 2016 at 05:53 PM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  16. 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Day 1

    by , April 29th, 2016 at 07:20 AM (After a long rest)
    I had a good night of sleep but woke up with some butterflies; all good stuff. Not knowing the heats is always a little bit of a challenge with 1000/1650 so we headed over to the pool for an early warmup and the came back to the hotel when we knew our heats. One of my team mates, Bill, was in heat 17 and I offered to count so we headed back over at event 9. I jumped back in and did a slow easy warm up. I then counted for Bill before jumping back into the warmup pool again for a few pace 50s. I felt great.

    I went up to the blocks as the heat ahead of me flipped at 200 and moved the fins and generally got ready. I noticed Patrick was late to get to his block(I assumed he was doing his pace work). I was next to Dave Sims and Patrick was the other side of Dave. My game plan was to be smooth at 500 and build the second 500. I was using a counting pattern of 4,3,2,1 50s and trying to keep my stroke count at 11/12. I had a good start and felt long and smooth. At 100 I caught My first sight of Patrick and knew he was out fast. I kept my stroke long and at 150 I sensed Patrick was a long way ahead of us. At 200 Dave Sims and I were coming into the flags at the 200 turn as Patrick was coming out. I felt like I was holding a good pace and felt like Patrick was out too fast. I got into a good grove and Dave and I were stroke for stroke. At 500 I felt good and started to build again holding my 4,3,2,1 50. As we got toward the end of the next 4 X 50s Dave and I had been back and forth and I lost focus on my 50s count and more and more got into a race. At 150 to go Dave seemed to pickup his pace considerably and despite wanting to go I felt like if I held my stroke count another 50 I could sprint the last 100. As we came into 100 to go I heard the bell. My first reaction was wtf. I knew Patrick was ahead but knew he had not lapped us. It took me a few minutes to realize I had miscounted somewhere and we only had a 50 to go. I picked up my pace but by the time I got going Dave was a body length ahead. I sprinted but definitely had another fast 50 in me. I always have a counter but seldom look at the count, instead try to keep my stroke count long and head down. I guess I learnt a lesson here. I think in future I will check 200 out.

    My final time of 10:14 was a good time for me and I believe this sets me up to have a great meet. Despite my snafu with counting my splits were very consistent and I even negative split the race. In hindsight I was probably 3 seconds too slow on the first 500. I enjoyed the race!
  17. 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Travel Day

    by , April 29th, 2016 at 06:55 AM (After a long rest)
    It's been a strange buildup to Spring Nationals for me. This spring has been filled with challenges and even 3 weeks ago I was on the fence about traveling to Greensboro. As I write this I am a day out from my 1000 and I feel as good as I have felt in a very long time. Very strange how the body and mind can be world's apart and then in a very short space of time my head is in a good spot and physically I feel strong. I am really looking forward to this meet! I don't have any specific goals for the meet which is also a strange place for me. I am really hoping I can get myself into a position to race some of the fast guys in my age group. My free has been improving since our zone meet and I hope it comes together. It's always challenging finding the right mix of endurance and speed when you swim all the frees from 100 to a 1000. My back feels great and I believe I will get close to best times in both the 100 and 200.

    I shaved down last night and registered for my longer events. I then headed to bed reasonably early. This morning I had an 8am flight to Raleigh followed by an hour drive to Greensboro. I could not find a reasonably priced direct flight so instead used southwest air miles to fly to Raleigh. Storms came through last night and unfortunately the flight was delayed about 30minutes; it could have definitely been worse.

    The drive from Raligh to Greensboro was great and was a very easy drive. Once I got to town I checked in at the hotel(Holiday Inn which was very nice) and then headed to the pool where I met up with Steve Unruh. The plan was to have an early dinner together however one of my team mates phoned and asked if I could meet him in Charlotte. I ended up driving to Charlotte to pickup my buddy and did not get back until about 9pm. I went straight to bed.
  18. USMS South Central Zone Meet

    by , April 10th, 2016 at 06:51 PM (After a long rest)
    Unfortunately results are not posted on line for this meet yet and I did a really bad job seeing exact times. I was not really looking forward to this meet and was not confident I would swim that great. As it turned out I enjoyed the meet much more than I thought and swam pretty good. I am still no where near where I have been or want to be but I am improving and despite being tired after each swim my confidence is coming back.

    Day 1

    500 free - 5:03 - this time is not that great but I was pleased with the fact that I swam this and actually had energy left at the end. I was out way too slow and conservative and negative split this one. I think with some rest I will have a good swim at Nationals.

    200 back - 2:02.7. I was really pleased with this swim. Again I was out very conservative but came back really strong. My splits were :29, :31,:31,:31 and I felt like I could have turned at 200 and done another 50 at that pace. This was probably my best swim all weekend and the one I feel most confident with right now.

    50 free - :23.1 from my best swim this weekend to my worst. I had an ok start but my turn was awful and I felt like I died coming back. How can I die in a 50?

    Day 2

    200 Breast - 2:33.4. I have never swum the 200yd breast before so I can proudly say this was a life time best. 100% not my event and likely the last time I swim this for a while. That said I enjoyed swimming in the same heat as Dave Guthrie and it was fun in a very painful way!

    100 Free - :50.5. I had a good start and felt good through 75. Steve Wood was in the next lane to me and I was ahead until the last turn where I jammed my turn similar to the 50 and never recovered. Despite a poor last 50 this was a much better swim than 2 weeks ago and I believe I have a good 100 in me in the not too distant future.

    200 IM - 2:09.3. I was very tired on this one. If the 2IM did not include breast I would have another event to swim frequently but alas my breast is just not strong enough and I have little to no desire to work on this stroke. It's so alien to me!

    My plan was to make a decision on nationals after this meet based on how I felt and how I swam 3 weeks out. At the end of the meet yesterday I was thinking I would pull out however I had a great nights sleep and woke this morning feeling decent. Despite not setting the world on fire this weekend I have decided I will not embarrass myself at Nationals and will compete. I enjoy racing and will do my best to race and have fun and it will be what it will be.
  19. 04/19/16: 5th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , April 9th, 2016 at 08:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today started a little after 8 at the Rec helping to get the pool set up for our meet and my son headed to the airport to pick up our airborne swimmers Maurice and his teammate Liz. As folks started to arrive we welcomed them in as the the volunteers obtained their roles and the pool area filled with excitement. I hopped in to warm up after meeting with the officials and making sure that everything was all set. My sister and brother decided to show up just ten minutes before the meet started just to give me another reason to worry

    We started off with the 200 Medley Relay. Since the Leake contingent was only three deep this year, we were able to have Gabby, who swam in high school with us) swim with us: Jill, Me, Gabby, Jeff - 2:17.38.

    Next up was the 200 IM: stayed long and strong and went 2:21.53 - almost beat the team I then changed into my Yingfa and took splits as the meet went on. I ended up swimming the 500 since only one guy signed up, so I used it as a warmup for the 100 IM. Swam right next to my brother and went 13.11, 14.33 (27.33), 19.34 (46.67), 14.39 (1:01.17). A solid swim but I went out a little slower than I did at Harvard. I then did a 100 fly warmdown before the final event of the day: 200 free relay. Jill, Mike, Gabby, Jeff = 1:59.07.

    After the meet I took Maurice and Liz back to the airport and watched as they headed for home. We ended up with 36 entries as Pittsfield and Great Barrington came in force. From our team: Amanda, Carol, MG, Gabby, Matt, Greg (solid 50 free and breast!), Kevin and the three Leake's. I gave prizes that included homemade ribbons that my wife sewed, goodies from https://www.facebook.com/Bakkerij-Kr...6334239062396/ and some maple syrup that the Marauders' coach made. There were two delays with the timing system but I was able to fill in the time with some talk. As a meet director I worry about getting folks to the pool but also having the meet run smoothly. Sometimes these hickups can not be avoided and I trust that they will be used as a learning experience for future events.

    All in all another great time with swimming friends old and new and a good donation to the Marauders to help continue youth swimming in our community.


    Warmups - that's me in at the wall


    Heat two of the 50 free. Greg JS, my brother Jeff, Christian Avard, and Kevin from our team. Our meet is the first to make use of the new scoreboard!


    Some people swim fly in a swim meet. Others fly to a swim meet! Maurice and his teammate Liz flew in from Concord, NH, in this beautiful Cessna 172

    Updated April 10th, 2016 at 06:25 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: monumental
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. 03/18-19/16: 2016 New England SCY Champs at Harvard‏

    by , March 19th, 2016 at 09:57 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Just back from a fun trip to Boston for the annual SCY champs at Harvard with 820 of my closest friends. I only swam the second and third days of the meet (distance day was last Saturday, and this weekend is the three day "main" meet) and had blast swimming in one of my favorite pools.



    Friday: My wife and son joined me and we headed out from home a little before 7am for the three hour drive to Beantown, no issues, parking at the pool. I checked in for my events and then warmed up.

    #8 50 Free: 24.19 r:+0.77 [3rd place]
    - Masters PB time, but still not quite under 24. Had a good start and only breathed once before the wall, then twice on the way back. Solid swim as I still try to emulate a sprinter.

    #10 100 Back: 58.68 [2nd place]
    Splits: 29.04, 29.64
    - Less then a second off my masters best. My underwaters were not great but I split it well and the turns were good. Satisfied.

    [I skipped the 50 fly because it was after the 200 breast and a rather long break]

    After warming down we walked over to Harvard Square to get some food. My wife has been so patient in supporting my swims and hanging out in the hot and humid pool area over the years (it's good to thank your own family for this, it's such a blessing for me) and found a great place for lunch as we checked out parts of the city that I have not seen before. We then walked back to get the car and drove to the hotel and relaxed a bit. Later on, my son and I took the T to the Science Museum to check out a show at the planetarium, Laser Floyd. The full set list from the 1979 record, slightly abridged to fit the hour time slot, played as lasers moved about with the full arsenal of the planetarium's star showed above. It was really cool and a fun thing to take in with my son, and we got back to the room a little after 11, so I was able to get a solid night's sleep since I didn't swim the 500. Oh, and I found out that Michigan State lost so my March Madness bracket it busted as I had them going all the way.

    Saturday: I ate a light breakfast at the hotel and then we caught a shuttle to Harvard Square, where the family went off exploring and I headed to the pool to warm up. I skipped swimming during the 15 minute sprint period after the first distance event of the day and opted to stretch and relax in the stand.

    #20 50 Back: 27.39 [3rd place]
    - Another Masters best. I really worked my underwaters but my wife said I should have come up sooner on the second lap as I lost some ground.

    #22 100 IM: 1:00.53 r:+0.74 [3rd place]
    Splits: 26.90, 33.63
    - Right there is a lifetime best! I talked to my buddy Trent as we ended up next to each other and I told him that I would be taking this out fast due to my poor breaststroke. I had another good start and worked the underwaters on the first 50, coming in really fast. My back to breast turn was a little cramped, but I worked the streamline and then tried my best to increase my turnover on the breast as I moved the kick up in the cycle. It apparently worked as the family said that I held my ground instead of the usual field catching up. I then motored to the wall - a full two second time drop and ever so close to my lofty goal of getting this event under a minute!

    #24 200 Fly: 2:17.94 r:+0.77 [1st place]
    Splits: 30.49, 34.76, 38.24, 34.45
    I'll give the swim of the meet, as I achieved another lifetime best with a five second drop! Last swim of the meet for me and I felt good so instead of DPS fly for 175 yds before a 25 sprint, I changed it up a little. I swam regular fly the first length, then 125 of DPS fly before switching back to full fly on the last 50. Looking at the splits I was a little too fast on the second and too timid on the third 50s, but judging by the 30+ minutes it took for my hearrate to come back down after the swim I am ok with that! I was looking to come in around the 2:20, and was able to take gold for my age group.

    All in all another great meet at a pool that I enjoy competing in and a fun couple of days in the city with the family. The first day I was not sure if I hit my taper but today demonstrated to me that it was on target. I was also able to catch up with friends from past meets (my buddies with Granite State, Jonathan,Trent, Christian, Kevin, and Lauren) and also meet new folks from the forums and in the pool, one of the things that really makes this sport so rewarding for me. I logged 500yds racing + 4950yds with warmups/downs and we made it home safely...well worth the extra days I worked in order to switch weekends and make it down to Harvard.

    Updated March 19th, 2016 at 10:13 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard, nem
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
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