View RSS Feed

Recent Blogs Posts

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

  1. Meet 01/20/18: Happy New Year Master Meet

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

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

    Warmup: 1400 yds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    by , April 23rd, 2017 at 11:40 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 24th, 2017 at 12:20 AM by rxleakem

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  3. 03/25/17: 6th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , March 25th, 2017 at 06:58 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.
  4. 02/18/17: One Hour Swim

    by , February 18th, 2017 at 06:43 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.
  5. Amending the Rules of Competition

    by , August 11th, 2016 at 12:05 PM (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
  6. Birthday WRs

    by , July 11th, 2016 at 02:00 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:

    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:

    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 05:28 PM by The Fortress

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

    by , May 23rd, 2016 at 11:59 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 12:43 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  8. Nationals & Monday workout

    by , May 2nd, 2016 at 05:17 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.


    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.


    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.


    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 06:53 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Day 1

    by , April 29th, 2016 at 08:20 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!
  10. 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Travel Day

    by , April 29th, 2016 at 07:55 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.
  11. Sat Apr 23

    by , April 24th, 2016 at 12:30 PM (Senior Sprinting)
    Arkansas State Masters Meet

    22.87 and 23.10 for 50 free, 26.27 50 fly. Pretty good execution on the first one, not so good on the second, obviously a bit fatigued by the fly (whole meet was under two hours).

    So far in this tapered and shave month of April, seven 50 frees ranging from 22.66 to 23.47, and three 50 flys ranging from 25.86 to 26.27. The 22.66 and 25.86 were the first swims back on April 2, so the "taper extension" is dubious. Planning on swimming two of each stroke this week in Greensboro, maybe there will be some Nationals adrenalin.
  12. Y Nationals

    by , April 17th, 2016 at 11:18 PM (Senior Sprinting)
    This meet in Sarasota gets a good turnout, maybe 500 swimmers. It skews older than USMS Natls. It's relatively relaxed, but with decent competition in the older age groups. Outdoors, two ten lane courses across the pool. One course 9-10 feet deep, one 6-7 feet. Older shallow blocks.

    My meet was notable for entering seed times of 23.00 in the 50 free and 26.00 in the 50 fly and going exactly those times, to the .00. Unfortunately I usually try to seed a bit slow. Managed a 22.90 on the front end of the 100 free, and had a 24.88 fly relay split. But mostly a lackluster meet for me.

    Will continue to "taper" this week for the Arkansas State Masters meet on Saturday.
  13. USMS South Central Zone Meet

    by , April 10th, 2016 at 07:51 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.
  14. 04/19/16: 5th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , April 9th, 2016 at 09:32 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 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 07:25 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: monumental
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  15. Sat Apr 2

    by , April 2nd, 2016 at 11:39 PM (Senior Sprinting)
    April Pools Masters Meet, Jenks, Oklahoma

    First 50 of 100 free: 22.66
    50 free: 22.71
    First 50 of 100 fly: 25.86

    Had hoped to be faster. Last spring's best at Natls was 22.47. Was long on the turn on both 50s. We'll see if I can go faster later into April. That was the best pool I'll swim in, but on 50s repetition helps.

    My fly has been relatively slow all season, not sure why. Last spring's best, again at Natls, was 25.03.

    Updated April 3rd, 2016 at 08:11 PM by Doug Martin

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  16. Mon-Tue Mar 28-29

    by , March 29th, 2016 at 09:26 PM (Senior Sprinting)
    300 warmup
    2x75 nb

    300 warmup
    50 nb
    75 nb
    2x25 from blocks easy speed
    3 starts
    50 nb

    Tapering for a meet Saturday, April Pools meet in Jenks OK. This will be my fourth year to attend. It's a great pool, they've had several Sectional meets there.
  17. 03/18-19/16: 2016 New England SCY Champs at Harvard‏

    by , March 19th, 2016 at 10:57 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 11:13 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard, nem
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  18. Albatross Meet Report, March 5

    by , March 7th, 2016 at 12:08 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I journeyed down on Friday night with Jim to the Albatross Meet in MD. It's always a fun meet and it was great to see all my PV buddies. I had one of my best days in the pool, setting 4 world records in the 55-59 age group. Could not be happier!

    50 back, 30.12, PR (old WR was 32.62)

    Looking at the video that Jim took, I had one of my best backstroke starts ever, getting off the blocks very fast. At this meet, the officials stand right on the 15m line; they're used to Susan and me pushing it. So I decided to take one less kick each length than I did at NE Champs to be safe. As a result, I had a bit of a glide going into the turn -- the only mistake in the race. Well, my second breakout could have been a little smoother too. I did have a solid finish with no glide. At first, I thought I went a 30.42 so was just thrilled when I saw that my official time was actually 30.12.

    100 back, 1:10.08 (old WR was 1:12.23)

    This race went much better than the one at NE Champs where I swam a 1:11.7 (almost 2 seconds slower). Mostly because I didn't feel like I had a brick on my chest from the cold water, I think. Still, I had only swum this race once since March 2012, so I took it out cautiously. Too cautiously. My splits were 34.5 and 35.5 -- basically an even split with my start. I really came roaring back on the last length. My UWs were much better than at NE Champs as well. Next time I swim this (maybe at Canadian Nationals), I think I can take it out a second faster. Still, I was very happy with the time and the record! Making progress in this event.

    50 fly, 29.39 (old WR was 31.13)

    This race was fairly well executed too. Great start, hit my walls, good UWs. I just felt like I died a bit the last 5 meters. And I felt, having done virtually no fly the last month, that my turnover was just a tick slow. (Jim says this is false, but that was my internal feeling during the race.) But I was super happy with my time, especially for my third race of the day. It was .5 faster than I went last year at this meet and is only .1 slower than my 50-54 world record. It's my second fastest time ever.

    I was pretty beat after this race. I knew I had at the most 20 minutes before my heat of 50 free would go off. Because of the tight turnaround, I've never swum 50 free at this meet. But I decided to give it a whirl ... I thought that, possibly, I might have a shot at the national record of 28.49.

    50 free, 27.81 (old WR 27.91)

    I had a tight race with two other women, one a fast 25 year old who had just outtouched me in the 50 fly. I had a great start off the blocks, but didn't do as many UWs as I wanted to on the first length. Three of us went into the turn dead even. But I had a great Lochte turn and UW and pulled slightly ahead, just holding them off going into the wall. This time, avoiding a mistake from NE Champs, I only took one breath the second length. I was super surprised and happy with my time, just getting under the world record. I'm pretty sure that I can swim faster than this if I were fresher. (It was only .04 slower than my December time where I swam it as the second event of the day.) It is a rare day indeed when I swim 4 events in one day (in under 4 hours). But I did at NE Champs on day 2 where we ended with a relay, so I thought I should try it here. I'm very glad that I decided to make the attempt! For my efforts, I won a nifty Fastest Woman in the Pool plaque at the social later that night.


    So very pleased with the meet. Jim swam very well too, doing his best times in his age group. I had some insomnia at the hotel, but slept like a rock last night. My elbow was not too bothersome at the meet. My chiro told me to wear my compression sleeve 24/7 and that seems to have helped. Excedrin and ibuprofen helped too. Now I need to get back to training!

    I saw that the info for Canadian Nationals is up. The order of events looks pretty good, but there is no great place for me to do 50 free again ...

    Here are the results from the meet:

    Updated March 7th, 2016 at 01:20 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. 01/26/2016: One Hour Swim

    by , January 26th, 2016 at 11:19 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I attended the Prescription Drug Task Force meeting this morning, then (finally) had the studded snow tires put on to my wife's car. So far we have only had 5.5 inches of snow for the season, but don't 2007 we had 3 inches at this point, then two big storms (Valentine's Day and one in March) and ended up with 46 inches for the year. My outdoor drylands still have a fighting chance! I was able to sneak in to the pool ten minutes early, then my son took splits for the annual January postal ...

    Tonight I churned out 4393 yards, which was actually a bit more than I expected. My 500 splits were: 6:06, 6:34, 7:05, 7:00, 7:12, 6:57, 6:45, 6:42. I took on water around 17 minutes, 35 min, and some gatorade at 45. Probably took it out a tad to fast. Here is a quick yearly recap ...

    2016: 4393
    2015: 4257
    2014: 4560
    2013: 4565
    2012: 4275
    2011: 3800

    This weekend I will be helping to time our team effort.
  20. 2015 NE SCM Championship

    by , December 14th, 2015 at 09:41 PM (After a long rest)
    I was halfway through writing my meet report and my iPad ran out of power and I lost my report so this my second attempt.

    I planned on writing like I normally do each day of the meet but this trip has been a whirl wind and I just never got time to blog so I apologize for the really long blog entry!

    We had 8 swimmers at the meet from RAM and it was a really fun meet, a team dinner on Saturday, some really fast swimming and some really fun relays. I love swimming with team mates who are as upbeat and excited about being here as I am! Even with lots of team ups and downs we had a lot of fun and by a big margin, we had way more ups than downs with everyone on our team doing one or more best times and in some cases every swim being best times.

    I think I had the most up and down meet I have had as a masters swimmer, but despite this I had a terrific time and other than the 800 hit every goal I had for the meet and season.
    My season goal was as many #1 times as I possibly could get and thought I stood a shot in the 50,100 and 200 back, and the 50-800m free. My meet focus at the woodlands was backstroke and my meet focus at this meet was freestyle.


    1500m swum as an 800m split. My goal was sub 8:57.11 and was out really fast going 4:23 at 400 but tied up badly and finished with 9:02 which was 2 seconds slower than I went in the warm water at Baylor back in November. I got out after the 800 since I thought I had no reason to complete the remaining 700.


    400m free. My goal time was 4:18.55. I ended up in a real back and forth race with a young guy and despite being touched out at the finish, my 4:17.45 was a masters best time and I was very happy with this swim. My splits were awesome going out in 2:07 high and back in 2:09 mid. Unlike the 800 where I had heavy legs I felt leg strong the whole way and even had a final 25 sprint in me. Very happy!

    100 back. My goal for this event was a strong swim since my meet focus was freestyle events. I had a very deep start even by my standards and could not get up. I never really made up for the start. Starts and turns seem to be my undoing in back and I have been saying this for a year or more. Note to self - I will work on these! Despite this challenge my 1:02.2 was a solid performance and unlike my early 1:02.0 at the woodlands I did not have quad burn.

    100 free. My goal time was :55.78. I had a great swim going :54.50 and getting into a race with Nicholas Oman(41) two lanes over. He was out slightly faster than me and despite not being able to catch him I felt like I was in a good race and had a lot of fun with this one. Unlike the 50 where I don't really have a race strategy this one is a little more controlled and on the 3rd length tried picking up a gear. Like my LCM 100 free at summer nationals I came out the wrong side of the finish but felt controlled and strong the whole way.

    200 Men's Medley Relay. I swam the breast leg since our breaststroker Scott Heber was in the mixed relay. I went 32.0 and despite it being a safe relay start and SCM this beats my LCM time by 2 seconds. I was very happy with this one.


    200 free. My goal time was 2:04:47. This was my best swim of the meet and I went 1:59.11. This was my masters best by .8. My splits were awesome going :27.5,:29.8,:30.8,:30.8 and like my 400 I was in a race with the same young guy in the lane next to me but this time I came out on the right side of the finish. It was a really fun back and forth race and I felt leg strong the whole way. Our race pace work all season really payed off on this race.
    200 Back. On Friday night we looked at the team scores and realized that we were in 2nd place in the small team category and I realized that myself and another of our swimmers lost us team points by not finishing the 1500s. My original plan was to skip the 200 back since my time from the woodlands is likely to standup and it was back to back with the 200 free. Feeling guilty for loosing team points I decided to swim the 200 back but was determined to simply cruise. My hope was 1:10,1:10 which I believed would get me back the points from the 1500. I ended up going out in 1:11 and back in 1:10 with my last 50 my fastest 50 going a :33. I think this event is one of my better events and I really enjoyed this one, going really easy until the last 50. I even felt better after this swim than before it.

    400 medley relay. I volunteered to swim on the relay(again for points) and as it turned out had to do the 100 fly. I don't believe meet mobiles split, since it had me doing a 1:01. This was not a fun swim since fly is not easy for me but it was great to see my team mates have fun with there swims.

    50 free. My goal was to beat my :24.80 from the woodlands. I had a great start and felt strong. At the turn I was with everyone and had an ok turn. Coming back down the second 25 I felt myself getting going and went half a stroke ahead of Scott Heber, my team mate in the next lane. When I looked up I was :24.90 again which was a little bit of a let down. I like the 50 but and its a big but, there is no room for any mistake what so ever and I never really feel like I get going. I ended up breathing 1 more than usual on the second length and I think I could have been tighter on my turn. I believe 7 of us went under :25 so it was a line of swimmers.

    50 back. My goal was to beat my :28.8 I went in the woodlands. I had a much better start than my 100 and felt like I was on my way to a good time going down the first 25. I did my turn and realized too late I was too far out and hit the wall with the tips of my toes. Again not much I could do other than kick hard but my :29.58 was about what I went out in my 100 at the woodlands. This one was a little disappointing!

    400 IM. My goal time was sub 4:55. I had no reason at all to think I could do this but it was the #1 time going into the meet. I ended up going 5:07. What I did not count on was feeling as hideous as I did on the first 25 fly. I hurt so so so bad the whole way. It crossed my mind as I pushed off on my no pull out breast turns to get out but stuck with it because of team points. I swear I will NEVER EVER swim the 4IM again! This hurt more than anything I have ever done before. What was I thinking?

    200 mixed free relay. This was the most fun relay of the meet and our 1:45.1 beats the next fastest time in the country by about 8 seconds. Scott and I were both :24s(I believe I was :24.2), Leslie was a :27 and Steph Stone was a :28. We had a combined age of 199 and were a couple seconds short of the 160-199 record but faster than the 200-239 record by 1.5 seconds. I also think we were fairly conservative on the takeovers!

    800 Men's free relay. This again was done for points and I don't even know what our time was or what my split was. At this point, the back to back to back to back events hit hard and I was whooped. Despite being tired it was fun being on a relay with my team mates.

    I can 100% say this is the most swims I have done as a masters swimmer and possibly ever in my life. I was really sore this morning when I headed back to the WPI pool for an easy early morning masters workout with WAM.

    Unfortunately I think our team score was calculated incorrectly, since some of Leslie's individual events did not count for team points(for some reason) and our mixed free relay has not shown up in the results yet. I doubt if we were missing enough points to make up the difference between us and the team from Waltham who won the small team category. We received a nice plaque for 2nd place in the team competition. Even though we did not win, I think our team did awesome. We all had a lot of fun and it was great swimming with Leslie in particular and hopefully we can make meet schedules work next year, to compete with the RAM extended training group from Pitt 😉; Mark Cox, Paul K and Leslie.

    My event focus for this meet was the free events and I was really,happy with my 100,200 and 400 free events. I really hoped to take down Kurt in the 800m free but I can't be too greedy and have to be very happy with my season at large. Final SCM results are obviously not out but as it stands right now I have 7 SCM #1 times which is the most I have had to date in masters swimming. With my other 2 #1s from scy and LCM, I am in with a shot of All Star in my age group and will likely have some Fina Top 10 times in both LCM and SCM.

    If I take a step back and look at my year at large I am very proud of my accomplishments. I had some adversity this year with Shingles before and during Spring Nationals and emotionally trying to handle my sons double concussions and pursuing issue with the school district. I also had a tough buildup with sickness to Summer Nationals. Despite this I had a lot of fun and my team mates and friends on these forums got me through my challenges; Thank you everyone! My workout group(Bill,Jeremy,Skip,Scott, Chris, Eileen, Nikki, Jayce) as a whole had an awesome year. They are a terrific group and we have a lot of fun. I thank them for motivating me throughout the year and keeping me positive during the tough times. I am enjoying the journey as much as the meets which is something I did not always do first go around. I plan on taking the advice Patrick and Leslie gave me a couple of years ago, and apply it to my continued masters swimming. My interpretation of what they said is to not take the ups and down so seriously; I am a type A personality and i will always want to win and do better than I do, but don't get hung up on bad swims or would-a, could-a, or should-a type thoughts, let it go and move on.

    We have a final end of season relay meet next weekend before our team Christmas party at my house which I am sure will be a lot of fun. As I have written before, next year is a big year for me work wise and I am going to have a tough spring. I am not sure what my swimming plans are for the spring season yet and I may use the season as a rebuilding the base phase, but I have not decided for sure. I will continue to do taper workouts this week and will likely do a relay lead off for a scy split this weekend. I plan on coaching a distance group for my daughters team, RACE, starting at Christmas break, which I am really looking forward to. My Ewok friend from Austin, Mr Unruh, is in town visiting family for Christmas and i will really enjoy swimming with Steve again. Beyond that I need to do some thinking and planning.

    I am having a lot of fun and this meet reinforced that I made a great decision 3 years ago to get back into the pool. Thanks again to everyone who has helped me by blogging(as I told kk "fly storms" I read your blogs and you really are an inspiring group) and commenting on my workouts and progress.
Page 1 of 14 1234511 ... LastLast