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  1. Wednesday, December 24

    by , December 24th, 2008 at 03:01 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    5 mile trail run.

    Merry Christmas to all forumites!
  2. Relaxation: My present to fellow swimmers

    by , December 24th, 2008 at 02:12 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Merry Christmas and assorted other secular, religious, and Druid holidays to one and all. I am hoping to get a better camera soon, so please do not give up too soon on my Vlog simply because of its piss poor production values and generally uninteresting subject matter to date!

    Improvement is possible!

    Who knows what the next year will bring?

    In any event, today's Vlog represents my Christmas present to my fellow swimmers. If you watch this, and I hope you do, I know it will be easy to dismiss the recommendation therein as the groggy advice of a narcoleptic well into his dotage.

    Resist this urge!

    Please, allot yourself 8 minutes at the end of your next practice to try out my recommendation, which blends the best of swimming, with the best of Karmic meditative Bhuddhism as such is understood by me, a fellow with no understanding of it.

    Then let me know if you do, indeed, find this to be as deeply relaxing as I and my follower have. (Note: one my New Year's Resolution is to up the number of follower to plural. My other New Year's Resolution is to not lose the follower I do have.)


    Updated December 27th, 2008 at 06:39 PM by matysekj (Embedded YouTube video directly)

  3. Wed Dec 24th had a very SPECIAL TREAT TODAY

    by , December 24th, 2008 at 01:24 PM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Wednesday Dec 24th, 2008

    Thanks to everyone who follows my blog
    I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday

    it began here:

    will blog this practice later today at:

    8:00 - 10:00
    Neil Walker coached
    SCY swim center main pool
    swam with Anders Storvik, David Zolno, beside Tanica Jamieson and several younger swimmers I'm not going to name.
    dove in around 6:35

    6 x (100 fr on 1:30, 50 k on :50)

    20 x 25 k on 25

    there was something else I don't recall

    Main Set

    200 IM moderate
    2 x 50 free fast from a dive on 1:10

    200 IM
    2 x 50 br fast from a dive on 1:10

    200 IM
    2 x 50 bk fast from a dive
    went 30 & 25

    200 IM
    50 fl fast from a dive
    went 24


    put on FS PRO leg skins

    50 bk fast
    Neil timed
    roll start
    went 23.8

    100 easy

    rested 5 minutes

    50 bk fast (with only 7 SDKs)
    Neil timed
    went 24.9

    as I sat out and rested for my fast swims
    the swimmers did more rounds
    I had fun getting times for swimmers
    encouraging them and
    offering them suggestions like:

    + Streamline like Michael Phelps

    + Go a little deeper off your push offs

    + Take in a Big breath of air before your turn and hold it.

    + Take more SDKs off your start and turn on fly
    they dropped from 32 to 29

    + Try this Aqua V cap on your next fast swim
    I had one with me and let them try it out.

    The swimmers swam faster times.
    Maybe it was the my suggestions
    Maybe it was because I was paying attention to them and calling out their times.

    Updated December 24th, 2008 at 09:50 PM by ande

  4. Fat Man back in the pool - 12/23

    by , December 24th, 2008 at 12:07 PM (Fat Man back in the Pool)
    Back with the Team last night. First swim with them since Thanksgiving and right into a night of backstroke. I guess the coach was punishing me for showing up.

    400 warm up
    bunch of 25's & 50's of various backstroke drills and sprints with some free thrown in. Wrapped out about 2400 yds. Only minor shoulder pain at the end. Felt good to be back in a workout even if it was wicked backstroke.

    Iced & anti-inflammatory meds.

    so it seems i will be heading down to manhattan some time in early jan. (date tbd) to have my heart hole (Atreal septal defect) patched up. according to the info i have read on line, this means no driving or strenuous activity (force of 10lbs or more) for 5 days, no activities that generate heavy breathing for 6-8 weeks and 6 months of aspirin therapy...... i can live with that.
  6. Have yourself a merry little double...

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 09:17 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well sort of...
    Jumped in around 10am and did 1200 yards.
    Mostly DPS and feel drills. I think I 'm getting better feel from all this drill work. I hope the DPS will pay off

    I included a 5x100 on 1:35 set which I managed on all but got down to about 3 secs of rest. However, my main goal was make the interval but not let my stroke fall apart. I think a #6 may have let me see breakfast again.

    Anyway went back at 6:30PM and did a good workout:
    500 W/U
    10 x 100 on 1:50 evens BR
    Actually raced some 19 year old guy on the first 50. He went 24 to my 29. Sure he beat me and he is happy about it but I would love to have one of you fast guys come drop in and show him real speed.
    10 FR Kick on 1:00 fins and board #3, 6 8 & 10 AFAP
    10 FR Pull on 1:00 #3, 6 8 & 10 AFAP

    1 x 200 on 3:20
    2 x 100 on 1:45
    4 x 50 on :50

    400 cool down for 3500 and 4700 incuding the early part.

    Oh well tomorrow I'll grab another 1200 and then prepare for the binge!
  7. On Appeal

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 04:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I have sent my letter appealing the denial of the request to recognize my 50 fly time trial to the USMS Rules Committee Chairperson. I appreciate all the input I got from forum folks very much. I realize some might not agree with exactly how I've made the arguments, but I've done the best I could in the short time I had. Now, I'm ready to move on to the holidays and completely forget about it!

    For those of you interested, I am reproducing the letter here:

    Dear Ms. Casey,

    Ed Tsuzuki, the NJ LMSC Chair, forwarded me the email that you had sent him regarding my 50 fly time trial at the Colonies Zones meet held at Rutgers University on Dec 6-7. As you can imagine, I was disheartened to learn that my 50 fly time from that meet will not count for USMS Top Ten or FINA Top Ten purposes. This is contrary to what I was told at the time trial. At this point, I understand the meet director, referee and Mr. Tsuzuki all agree that the time should be recognized. Only the Rules Committee disagrees. While I do not want to trespass on your time, I would be grateful if the USMS Rules Committee would reconsider its initial decision to deny my time official status.

    At no point did I attempt to gain an unfair advantage on my competitors. I only swam Sunday at Rutgers because I had a conflict on Saturday and could not attend the meet or swim the open 50 fly that day. At the meet on Sunday, during which I also swam the 50 free and 100 IM, I asked both the meet director and referee for a recognized time trial in the 50 fly. They both granted the request and asked for all my pertinent information so that the time would “count.” It took place immediately following the relays on Sunday. The time trial was done in accordance with all the rules, with timers, officials, etc. all in place. I have a video of the race where you can see the stroke and turn judge officiating.

    Concern over my time came to my attention only after I noticed that my time, after first being included in the USMS event rankings database, had been deleted without explanation or notice. I emailed Ed to inquire what had happened to my time. At the time, I had no idea how the official status of the time trial even became an issue.

    I understand that Ed wrote you about procuring an event or meet recognition at this juncture and that you advised him that there is “no provision for securing a sanction after the fact.” Perhaps so, but it is also true that nothing in the rules expressly prohibits procuring an event recognition at this juncture. Nor should it.

    First, none of the rules cited or referenced by the Rules Committee refer to or explicitly regulate time trials. Indeed the term “time trial” never appears in the rules and does not appear in Article 5, which concerns Top Ten recognition. If there is any uncertainty regarding application of USMS’ rules, as there is here, they should be read in favor of the affected swimmer. This seems particularly true where a narrow or strained reading of the rules would limit the ability of masters swimmers to obtain official times.

    Second, Rule 103.13.1 enumerates the ways in which Official times “may” be achieved. The rule uses the word “may” not “must” and hence does not exclude time trials. Indeed, many masters swimmers obtain times in this fashion. In fact, time trials were swum in other USMS sanctioned SCM meets in November and December.

    Third, Rule 202.2.1 provides that recognition of events “shall be issued” upon application to and approval from the LMSC. The time trial was run in accordance with all rules as required by Rule 202.2.E. It was authorized by meet officials, whose expertise I was relying on in good faith. And, importantly, a verbal recognition was requested and acknowledged at the meet. Since that time, the meet director, referee and Ed all agreed that seeking a Rule 202.2 recognition at this time was appropriate and also consistent with a pro-swimmer interpretation of the rules. This rule itself does not prohibit this procedure. If it is not prohibited, it should be deemed permissible.

    Fourth, the Rules Committee suggested, in part, that the referee’s discretion with respect to permitting and recognizing the time trial was somehow negated by Rule 102.5, which states, among other things, that events “must be offered for all groups and both genders.” But this rule, by its express language, has no application here. The rule pertains to “planning a meet” and lists potential events at a meet, and expressly does not apply to time trials. Nor does the rule say anything about the necessity of making an “announcement” of a time trial at a meet.

    The rule appears intended to address possible unfairness during meet planning. To the extent it could even possibly apply here, there were no swimmers who were disadvantaged. The meet director and referee did not deny anyone an opportunity to swim a time trial. I was just the only one who asked. Had another swimmer requested a time trial, I have no doubt the meet director and referee would have readily agreed. Had somebody asked to swim with me, the request would have been granted. Such flexibility naturally benefits masters swimmers by giving them more opportunities to achieve times, just as split requests do. At bottom, there is no difference between a referee being open to requests for time trials and a referee making an announcement. In either case, there is no discrimination and, more importantly, the rule is silent on both situations.

    In sum, because Rule 102.5 does not apply to time trials and/or its application is ambiguous at best, the referee’s discretion to “decide all questions relating the actual conduct of the meet” should be honored in this instance.

    Fifth, under Rule 102.16.5, protests “arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the alleged infraction took place.” To my knowledge, none were timely lodged. The issue with my time arose several days after the meet had concluded. Thus, the complaint should be disallowed as untimely and the time trial should stand on this basis as well.

    Finally, I understand that you were concerned that I would bump someone out of a Top Ten spot, but this is not so. My previous time from the IGLA meet last June will make USMS Top Ten. Prior to swimming at Zones, I had understood that this time would not count for FINA purposes because FINA had refused to recognize the IGLA meet. (I have recently learned that it has reversed this decision.) Thus, when I swam the 50 fly, I was not trying to bump someone or move up in the rankings. I was simply attempting to establish a time that would actually count for FINA ranking purposes.

    In any event, however, the purpose of the Top Ten rankings is to foster competition, not to suppress it. Thus, even if my time had theoretically “bumped someone off the list” – which it did not – that should not be a reason to knock my own time off the USMS and FINA rankings. New and faster times are constantly swum, and rankings change frequently. That is the very nature of competitive swimming.

    Thus, for the above reasons, I believe recognition of my time trial pursuant to Rule 202.2 is appropriate.

    I appreciate your consideration. Thank you.
  8. Still not much to report

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 12:24 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Since I'm not swimming I don't have a whole lot to post here so I'll combine the past few days into this one.

    Saturday 12/20 - Early morning weights class at the gym.

    Sunday - nothing

    Monday 12/22 - 45 minute spin class at the gym during my lunch break. Shovel snow.

    Tuesday 12/23 - early morning weights class at the gym. Shovel snow.

    I'll be spending Christmas in Boise with my daughter's family so will get the chance to swim with my club, Sawtooth Masters, on Friday and Saturday. It's been so long since I've been in the water I'll probably die big time.
  9. Tuesday Dec 23rd, 2008

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Tuesday Dec 23rd, 2008

    SWAM 2 practices this morning

    will blog this practice later today at:

    lat press
    bench press
    leg press
    lat pull

    6:30 - 8:00
    whitney coached
    swim center SCY main pool
    swam with tyler and todd
    beside brand jeff, amy nate ned larry mike brad and max

    dove in around 6:40

    assigned 1,000
    did 300 ish

    assigned 2 x 500 done 75 fr 50 im
    did 75 fr 12.5 fl 12.5 free

    5 x 200 fr desc on 3:00
    went 2:21 2:16 2:12 2:08 2:02

    assigned 10 x 100 fr on 1:08
    did 5 rounds of (100 fr easy speed 5 DK, 50 easy 50 rest
    went 1:01's went 58 on last one

    20 x 50 4 rounds of
    1. 25 fl 25 fr on 45
    2. 25 bk 25 fr on 45
    3. 25 br 25 fr on 1:15
    4. 50 BK fast (desc) went 30, 29, 28, 25
    5. 2 breaths

    100 easy
  10. IGLA Results Recognized

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 11:15 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    A forumite was kind enough to pass along this information to me:

    On December 4, FINA decided to recognize results from the IGLA meet. Good news for all swimmers competing and setting records there!

    I'm almost done drafting my letter to the USMS Rules Committee.

    I have also heard that there was, in fact, a complaint made about my time. I find it rather appalling that someone would misuse my blog in this fashion, and it was soured me somewhat on continuing it.

    Updated December 23rd, 2008 at 11:21 AM by The Fortress

  11. Food psychology and winter weight gain

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 11:10 AM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    For those who don't want to read my blather, here's today's movie, which actually has some production values thanks to my wonderful son Jack, who produced this for the Men's Health video channel!


    Now, the blather:

    Yesterday's practice, it turns out, was different than I thought because I misread the date. We actually do the 1650 "race" on Friday. Yesterday, we did instead:

    10 x 100 on 1:25 warm up
    20 x 50 on :40
    10 x 50 on :35
    10 x 50 on :40
    6 x 50 on :35
    7 x 100 on 1:25 cool down
    steam bath

    This was not easy, in fact, I still feel like there is food tickling my epiglottis, trying to escape.

    Anyhoo, it got me to thinking that before Friday's 1650 in-practice race, it would really help if I could lose a smidgen of the winter weight gain that has crept up. Today is Tuesday 10:30 a.m.. Goal: 17 lb. weight loss by Friday 6:30 p.m.

    Tip: break this down into manageable units. To wit, if I can just lose .21 lb. per hour between now and then, I will achieve my goal.

    Today's vlog is a video I made for Men's Health with the considerable help of my son Jack. It was based on an article on Food Psychology I wrote a year or two back. If any of you would like to read the article itself, feel free to send me your email and I will dispatch a copy of this in .pdf form.

    My email address is

    Please also send me a jpg file of you in a swimming suit for my "calendar" project, which may end up being a movie instead.


    Here is that link again!

    Updated December 29th, 2008 at 11:49 AM by jim thornton

  12. Tuesday - 12/23 Toys, Toys, Toys

    by , December 23rd, 2008 at 07:30 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    This was my toy day. Every swim included some type of swim equipment.

    5x100 @ :15 rest free pull to kick 4p, 3p1k, 2p2k, 1p3k, 4k
    5x100 @ 2:00 IM 1/2 pull 1/2 kick

    10x50 @ 1:00 Fly with paddles and fins holding :47's
    10x50 @ 1:00 Back with paddles and board held :50
    10x50 @ 1:05 Breast with paddles first 6 in 1:00 last 4 in :55
    10x50 @ :50 Free with paddles and bouy pushed this one :43, :42, :40, :40, :40, :39, :39, :38, :37, :36 my usual descend

    500 kick with fins alternate by 100 free/fly

    Total 3500 yards
  13. Fat Man Back in the Pool 12/22/08

    by , December 22nd, 2008 at 01:36 PM (Fat Man back in the Pool)
    It has been a while since the last post. Tried to shake a cold that I caught during Thanksgiving and went from that into couple of rounds of travel that kept me from the pool. Finally back in on Thursday 12/18 in the City of Midland Pool.

    Short workout
    200 warm up
    3 x 200 (IM/Free)
    3 x 150 (75 Breast/75 Free)
    3 x 100 (50 back / 50 free)
    3 x 75 (25 Fly / 50 Free)
    25 easy
    3 x 50 free
    50 easy

    Felt like a slug. Staying in for the holidays so should be able to make some workouts with the team.
  14. Travesty of travesties: all is travesty

    by , December 22nd, 2008 at 11:57 AM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Today's vlog will be best understood by those who take a moment to read Leslie The Fortress Livingston's fascinating blog account of bureaucratic machiavellianism run amuk.

    I would have loved to hire Al Pacino to play me in today's film. Only Al could give the full apoplectic spittle-flying frenzy "You're out of order! You're out of order"/"I oughta take a flamethrower to this whole f-ingplace!"/"Say hello to my leedle fren!" style outrage that this situation deserves.

    Unfortunately, Al was working on another project, so I had to play Jim myself, which is never ideal.


    If, by the way, you have not yet seen Leslie's fourth-45-49-year-old-woman-in-world-history-to-crack-30.00-in-the-50-SCM-fly performance, you can see it by clicking the link atop my vlog.

    * * *

    On a more stereotypically swimming-oriented blog note, my good friend and swimming coach Bill White sent out tonight's practice, which consists of a warm up (6 x 100 on 1:20) followed by a 1650 RACE.

    I replied to him by email:

    Bill, correct my math if you see errors:

    You will average about a 1:10-1:20 pace, which means that your 50s will be 35-40 seconds each.

    Every time you lap me, it will mean I need to add an additional 35-40 seconds onto whatever time you end up doing.

    Thus if you lap me only four times, or every 412.5 yards, this would mean I will need to add between 2 minutes and 10 seconds to 2 minutes and 30 seconds to your final time.

    I am expecting you to break 20 minutes as if it were child's play. But let us just use the 20 minute mark for simplicity's sake. I should be able to finish in 22:10.00 to 22:30.00, correct?

    Using the Bill Time Distance calculator from yesteryear, this would leave me with an average 100 pace of between 1:20.61 and 1:21.82.

    If you, on the other hand, hold a 1:10 or 1:15 pace, you will swim it in 19:15 or 20:37.50 respectively.


    I will let you know how it goes.

    Updated December 29th, 2008 at 11:56 AM by jim thornton

  15. Monday Dec 22nd, 2008

    by , December 22nd, 2008 at 11:32 AM (Ande's Swimming Blog)
    Monday Dec 22nd, 2008

    SWAM 2 practices this morning

    will blog this practice later today at:

    here's the Longhorn Masters Practice Schedule
    which says:
    December 24: No practices - Merry Christmas!
    December 25: No practices - Merry Christmas!
    December 26: No practices - Merry Christmas!

    Rule changes are coming for tech suits
    Here's where I stand on the tech suit issue:

    Lifted Weights Yesterday

    Practice 1

    5:30 pm - 6:30
    whitney coached
    swim center SCY main pool
    swam with tyler todd jeff and nate
    dove in around 5:40

    Missed warm up

    400 fr aerobic

    50 back FAST
    training suit
    went 26

    assigned 400 aerobic
    did 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr

    100 bk FAST
    training suit
    went 58

    assigned 400 aerobic
    did 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr

    200 fr FAST
    training suit
    went 1:59

    50 easy

    changed into FS PRO legskin

    assigned 400 fr aerobic
    did 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr

    50 back FAST
    went 25

    assigned 400 aerobic
    did 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr

    100 bk FAST
    went 56

    assigned 400 aerobic
    did 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr 50 rest 100 fr

    200 fr FAST
    went 1:55

    50 easy

    6 x 50 on 1:00
    1) 5 breaths
    2) 4 breaths
    3) 3 breaths
    4) 2 breaths
    5) 1 breath
    6) NO breath

    Practice 2

    7:30 pm - 8:30
    whitney coached
    swim center SCY main pool
    swam with paul larry and chris
    dove in on time

    500 easy

    assigned 400 fr aerobic
    did 4 x 50

    50 fr FAST
    training suit
    went 25

    assigned 400 aerobic
    did 4 x 50 easy speed

    50 fr FAST
    training suit
    went 24

    assigned 400 aerobic
    did 4 x 50 easy speed

    50 fr FAST
    training suit
    went 23

    50 easy

    assigned 400 fr aerobic
    did 4 x 50 easy

    changed into FS PRO jammer

    50 free FAST
    went 22

    assigned 400 fr aerobic
    did 4 x 50 easy

    changed into FS PRO legskin

    50 free FAST
    went 22

    assigned 400 aerobic
    2 x 50 free easy

    changed into Blue Seventy Nero Comp

    rested about 15 minutes

    50 fr FAST
    roll start
    whitney timed
    went 21.8

    50 easy

    Updated December 22nd, 2008 at 02:01 PM by ande

  16. Round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning!

    by , December 22nd, 2008 at 08:00 AM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Yikes it was cold at 4:30 today!
    I gingerly made my way to the pool and got going...the water was warm but I felt cold for a bit due to the weather. The vent was letting air in, and it was so cold out it appeared like there was dry ice machine in the vent!

    Anyway, all FR:
    3 x 100 S
    100 P
    100 K

    2 x 200 S 4:00 desc. by 100
    150 DR, K, S 3:00
    100 AFAP 2:00 (1:10 from push)
    50 Recovery 1:00

    10 x Black Line 50's 1:00 (Star in ctr)

    8 x 25 on :30 Used fins for speed feel

    500 EZ Drill-swim, with fins: worked on catch and rotation.

    300 K w fins 150 FR, 50 FL, 50 FR, 50 FL

    Out, shower, and home through biting cold for a cup of tea! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    Part Deux:
    1 mile run
    45 min weights
    4 supersets of Leg press and toe/calf press
    Leg ext
    Leg Curl
    Lat pulldowns
    Ab Crunches
    Pullovers and done...laid off the chest press for my shoulder's sake.

    Updated December 22nd, 2008 at 10:14 PM by SwimStud

  17. Monday - 12/22 started out great

    by , December 22nd, 2008 at 07:26 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    After a meet this weekend were I just didn't have any energy and it showed, I actually started out with a great strong workout. Had planned to do about 4000 but as things would go I pushed too hard and set my heart rate up too high and just backed off and out.

    10x100 @ 1:40 free holding 1:25's a little on the fast side for me for a warm up
    100 for time 1:11
    10x100 @ 1:45 kick with fins on back alternate fly/free by 100 held 1:25's here too really worked the legs
    5x200 @ 3:00 free with paddles and bouy went 2:39, 2:37, 2:37, 2:35 then set heart too high and just kicked easy on back for last 200

    Total 3100 yards

    Ended it there since the heart rate stayed up too long. Upon leaving the facility my old masters coach and I were talking and I had to catch him twice as he almost fell down the stairs.

    My issues are nutritional I am sure since I got too busy yesterday to eat dinner. Hopefully tomorrow will be better for both of us.
  18. Extremely Unhappy and Disappointed

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 11:19 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I was just informed today that my 50 fly time trial at Zones will not count and will not be recognized by either USMS or FINA. I am very unhappy about this. I have swum the 50 fly in SCM twice this year, at IGLA and Zones. Neither time will count for FINA. My 50 and 100 backstroke times will not be counted by FINA either. So, with respect to FINA, it is as if I never swam my 3 best events. USMS will not recognize the 29.99 I just swam in the 50 fly.

    Here is the sequence of events:

    Background Facts:

    I swam the 50 fly in a time trial at Rutgers. I approached the meet director and referee during the meet and requested a time trial. I had been urged by some knowledgeable masters swimmers to request a time trial. The meet director and referee both granted the request and asked for all my information so that the time would count. They said I could swim the time trial at the end of the meet after the relays.

    When the meet results were initially submitted, my 50 fly time appeared in the USMS event rankings database on Tuesday following the meet. On Wednesday, it disappeared from the database. When this occurred, I sent emails to various people in USMS and on the forum asking what the problem could be. I got a HUGE range of responses, e.g., "time trials definitely count," "time trials should count, there must be some mistake," "time trials don't count," "maybe there's an admin error." I also got myriad possible rules that might govern -- different interpretations from everyone. Nothing consistent at all. No one seemed very sure about the rules.

    I was also concerned, and this concern was shared, that possibly someone had read my blog and complained about the time trial. If this was so, I was inclined to delete my blog. Who would do that to a competitor?! Should I maintain a blog if this were a possibility?

    I canvassed many masters swimmers I knew and found that time trials had been permitted, events had been added to meets that were not on the entry form, meet results had been submitted when the pool was not measured, etc. In other words, times definitely counted when the rules weren't followed. (I would not, however, use any of these as example or precedent since I would not want a fellow masters swimmer's times possibly disallowed. What normal decent person would?)

    LMSC Response:

    I sent an email to the LMSC Chair asking about the issue and asking what had happened to my time. He was very sympathetic and discussed it with the meet director and referee. They all felt the time should count, took a pro-swimmer approach and approved seeking a post-meet sanction/recognition for the time trial. But someone on the NJ LMSC Board did not agree with the LMSC Chair's recommendation, and it was submitted to the USMS Rules Committee for consideration.

    Rules Committee Response:

    I just heard from the Rules Committee (Rules Chair, Kathy Casey) and they will not recognize the time trial. Tellingly, to me, as a lawyer, she "looked through the rule book to see if this could be done" rather than looking to see if anything prohibited it. Not a pro swimmer approach. Moreover, generally, as a legal matter, if something is not prohibited, it is permissible. She cited two rules allegedly governing "trials/finals," Rules 102.10.1A and 102.6. The referee has "discretion" over the running of the meet. However, he/she cannot "change the order of events."

    I don't have my own copy of the rules, and need to print an online copy. However, I'm not sure the analysis is correct. I'm not sure the time trial "changed the order of events" (it was at the end of the meet) and I'm not sure it can really even be considered an "event." It is possibly more analogous to a "heat," which meet officials control. However, it may also not fall into either category.

    In fact, from what I understand, there is no actual rule(s): (1) explicitly governing time trials; (2) mandating that an announcement of a time trial must be made at the meet; or (3) saying that post meet event recognition is impermissible. If true, the time trial need not have been disallowed at all.

    In addition, Ms. Casey stated that the "real problem" was that, if I was doing it for top ten purposes, I could knock someone out of the top ten. Well, this is ridiculous. My prior 30.76 was easily in the USMS top ten. I would have knocked no one out if my 29.99 had counted. So the self-professed is pretty nonsensical.

    I was also told -- and this really takes the cake -- that, according to the skeptical NJ board member who requested the referral to the Rule Committee in the first place (or else it would have been approved), that this was tantamount to a non-USMS swimmer seeking recognition for a time they swam at an non-USMS meet to register for USMS after the fact to have the time "count." What?! A request for event recognition that was approved by the meet director, meet referee and NJ Chair was sent to the Rules Committee on this basis?!

    My situation is in no way comparable. I am a USMS swimmer swimming at a USMS sanctioned meet in a race that was in a legal measured pool, with officials and timers in place, and I was acting in reliance on the meet officials and meet referee. In this situation, I feel it is the meet personnel who should be penalized, not the swimmer. All meet conditions were in place and the supposed "real problem" did not exist.

    I fee that I've been "ruled" against based on non-existent rules. It would have been just as easy, and more logical, to construe the rules in my favor.


    Moreover, I have no idea how this even became an issue in the first place, whether someone protested it and whether that protest was in writing. Here is the protest rule, which was not complied with, as my time disappeared days after the meet:

    "Any other protest arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the alleged infraction took place."


    '"Protests concerning interpretation of the rules...shal be submitted in writing (on paper or in an electronic file) within 10 days to the USMS Rules Committee chair, who shall issue a decision in writing within five days of the date of receipt of such protest, unless the USMS Rules Committee chair notifies the parties that the issue must come before the entire committee. The ruling shall be final and binding on all parties."

    Problems raised by this issue:

    This presents a myriad of problems:

    1. Why are the swimmers penalized instead of the meet officials? Why aren't the rules interpreted in a pro-swimmer manner?

    2. Why is there such inconsistency in treatment? Some times, even recent ones, were not done in accordance with the rules, and yet they count. Meets and meet directors do not follow the same rules; they all run differently. How can this be fixed? Are swimmers really expected to bring their own rule books and lasers to the pool? Why is mine singled out when I was acting in good faith and relying on meet officials? And why can I not learn precisely why there even became a "problem" with my time in the first place and why it disappeared from the event ranking database?

    3. How can times just disappear without swimmers being notified? It's like being DQ'd after the fact and not being told of the DQ. If I can be DQ'd and it's not my fault, I don't want to participate in the first place.

    4. What the heck are the rules anyway? Of the myriad people I consulted, I got many different answers. Only one gave me the answer the Rules Committee ultimately issued. Maybe there should be a "pitfalls" section on meet entry forms? Obviously, most masters swimmers are not aware of the actual rules.

    5. It is troublesome that even the rules enforcers don't know the rules -- even those running Zones Championships meets. How about these people learn the rules? If they don't know the rules, penalize them and not the swimmers. But to throw a legal swim out after the fact? On the other hand, if an explicit "rule" on time trials is not in the rule book, how can they know the rule?

    6. Rules need to be drafted or modified with respect to time trials. Instead of interpreting or stretching existing rules or offering rationalizations or underlying but non-codified "real reasons" (not in the rules) why something "must" be done, spell it out: "time trials will only count in X circumstances." Otherwise, inequities will continue to occur. In general, I think time trials should either count or not, one way or the other. Having them count "sometimes" and "depending" will only create problems.

    I am just disgusted. My 3 best events in SCM will not only not appear in the FINA lists for 2008, they will not appear in the all time top ten list where they belong. It's not that much consolation right now to say, "well, you know what you swam." Yes, I do. But we swimmers swim for time and compete against the clock. We swim at meets, and taper for meets, and prepare for meets, and travel to meets (sometimes at our family's expense), so that our times "count" and so that we can measure ourselves against our competitors in the nation and world wide. To have them thrown out after the fact and without notice, is dismal.

    I have no idea if there is a right of appeal. But I have inquired.

    Updated December 22nd, 2008 at 03:49 PM by The Fortress

  19. Drylands...sorta!

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 07:51 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well due to the storms and other commitments I could not swim this weekend. It's no big deal as it's Christmas soon and to me that means laying about in a semi-drunken stupor and gorging myself on sugary things for at least a week! Anyhow I'll be swimming in the morning.

    My dryland routine was tough however, as I had to go out at least 3 times with the snowblower and clear the drive--especially the "ploughed back in" part at the front!

    Being the good neighbour I also went and cleared my neighbour's driveway as he drives plough's in another town and his wife was I did that 3 times too!

    It was worth it as today we all got to hang out together at a neighbourhood cookie exchange party where my drylands included spiked eggnog, vodka and cranberry juice and some seasonal beers!
  20. Aqua V cap sizing difficulties

    by , December 21st, 2008 at 12:53 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    I am looking into getting a slightly better video system than the kind i have now, which, I must say, works well with Skype but not quite so well with YouTube. In any event, if you can endure a certain dyssynchrony of image and voice, which actually reflects the way I am feeling today with my splitting Nyquil hangover, I invite you to watch today's vlog.

    PS I once read that Mr. Rogers made his show purposely slowed down and laconic because he felt that kids in this hyper stressed world of ours never got a chance to just watch something soothing and langorously monotone and, well, . It is in this spirit that I present today's video.


    PS Word of the Day: laconic. I thought I knew what this word meant, but it turns out I was completely wrong. To wit:

    A "laconic phrase" is a very concise or terse statement, named after Laconia (a.k.a. Lacedaemon [Greek Λακεδαίμων]), a polis of ancient Greece (and region of modern Greece) surrounding the city of Sparta proper. In common usage, Sparta referred both to Lacedaemon and Sparta. ...

    I don't always "fact check" what I write, so please use this as a cautionary example of why you should never take what I recommend seriously without at leave three second opinions from actually knowledgable sources.

    Updated December 29th, 2008 at 11:59 AM by jim thornton