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  1. Sink Or Swim Classic Premeet Prep

    Those of you who talk with me on the forums have probably seen my signature promoting the Libertyville Masters Sink or Swim Classic in Vernon Hills Illinois. Those of you who know me REALLY well (and now everyone) will know that I will be wearing this brief during the meet:

    To all of you who think that this is ridiculous - YOU'RE WELCOME, I've now opened your mind.
    To all of you who believe that this is awesome and classy - THANK YOU.

    Fun Fact: All summer I swam SCM at Vernon Hill High School - the very pool where this meet will be held. Since September we have been swimming SCY.

    I decided to sign up for as many events as I could - including relays for this meet. It's going to be a blast and I figure "Why not? I don't plan on winning anything - I just plan on pushing myself through this and making it a fun time."

    Events And Goals
    400m Free
    So I decided I wanted my first swim of the day to be the longest swim of the meet. I plan on using this event as a double whammy.
    1) It'll be a PR. No matter what.
    2) It'll be a great warm up before the 50 free which is my next event.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in 7:00. That will be an average 100 around 1:45
    It seems like this might be an easy goal for many of you, but its hard to say for me since I'm so used to swimming SCY, I come in around 1:30-1:35 on the 100 during practice, so I'm hoping that extra 7 foot or so won't equate to much more than 10 seconds.

    50m Free
    The 50m free is placed perfectly. Its a race I really like and a race I would like to do well in. I learned some painful lessons this summer swimming it in LCM and I'm excited to give it another go.
    My goal for this event is to swim it in under 36 seconds
    When I swam SCY in march, I swam my 50 (tapered) in roughly around 33 seconds. I don't see any reason why I couldn't beat that now non-tapered. I can swim a 35 at the end of practice these days (so I'm already exhausted and its a push off the wall).

    50m Breast
    I'm not good at breast stroke. I'm very aware of it. I know I should take the time, I just haven't. I'll admit it fully and readily. That being said:
    My goal in this event is to beat my LCM time of 59.57 seconds
    I shall not fear the event! I shall embrace it!

    100m IM
    Even though the 50 is the event I want to do the most well in, the 100 IM is the event I'm most excited about! I've more or less just learned butterfly in the last couple months and I'm excited about the prospect of finally getting to do it in a race! I practiced my transition off the wall from fly to back once the other night and its a LOT of fun!
    My goal in this event is to swim it in under 2 minutes.
    The 100 IM is just the stepping stone. By January I'm hoping to be able to do the 200 IM and stick with that event for a while while I build up my strength/endurance to do the 400 IM.

    50m Back
    The 50 Back is one of those events I like - but I'm not great at. This will have been after all of my other 4 events + 2 relays. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be more of a flooded kayak than swimmer at this point.
    My goal in this event - given the circumstances - is survival. That being said, I'd like to swim it in under 50 seconds

    Thanks for reading! I hope to have video of this!
  2. Meet Prep for the IndySwimFit

    I'm currently stuck in training at work. Its about how to run some monitoring application. Honestly - my efforts are better spent in about 50,000 different places, but I'm stuck here for the rest of the week. I'm going to do some prep for this weekends meet.

    I will be swimming the following races:
    • 50 Back
    • 100 Back
    • 50 Free
    • 50 Breast
    • 100 free


    I also did some reading, and it appears I can sign up for at 1 relay. I know I'm going to be completely cashed by this point, but I'm totally signing up for another relay at this meet. I loved swimming it last weekend. It was fun meeting the new people as I swam it as well!

    Goals
    50 Back
    I'd like to go at least a 50 in the 50 back this time. I did a 53 last weekend, and I think this time I'm going to be a little better prepared mentally for the race. I've also increased my backstroke during the week and kick to help push myself down the lane.
    100 Back
    I'm hoping I survive. No kidding. It's going to be a long race - and I'll swim it as hard as I can, but we'll have to see. I'm also hoping to have a good flip turn followed by a strong dolphin kick. I'm aiming for the flags off the wall!
    50 Free
    I'm working on my sprints this week. I'm hoping to be able to make it to the 49 meter mark before I'm totally starting to cash out this time! So that means I need to dolphin off the dive and extend my dive for a little longer than I did last weekend. I swam a 33ish in 50 SCY, and a 39 last week. With some improvements in form that I'm working on I think I can speed things up significantly. My goal is going to remain 35 (as last week)
    50 Breast
    Survive again. It would be nice to finish my 50 Breast in under a minute. Its my weakest stroke mostly because my kick is essentially useless. I'm working on it, I just need time and experience I think. However - specifically - I'm going to make sure that each lunge forward with my arms helps propel my body forward.
    100 free
    I'd like to see no goggle problems this time, a strong dolphin kick off the wall and pacing it right. Again - with some strong improvements in form that i'm working on - I think I can speed this up significantly by this race. Goal: 1:25

    My goal for every race
    Push through the O2 deprivation. I'll have at LEAST 2-3 minutes to catch my breath after every race - so O2 debt is not going to be a major concern. I can catch my breath later!

    Nutritionally - I'm going to play it a little differently. Last meet I did not come prepared to consume enough fast acting carbs so I felt that my recovery was not nearly as fast as it should have been. So this time - I'm going to prepare again with a healthy balanced breakfast around 6 AM. Warm up around 8 AM, have a banana around 9 AM, and be ready to destroy my old record (hahaha only record) at 9:30-9:45 when the 50 back comes up.

    So I'm ready... going to train on my own tonight, practice tomorrow night, and I get on a train at 2:20 Friday to head to Chicago to catch the 5 PM to Indy from Chicago. I might even lift Friday morning before work. We'll see if I can sleep after practice.
  3. Where the @#*& is the @#$8#@$* Wall?!?!

    Its not often I swear underwater. Usually its caused by an annoyance in my lane or a severe pain in my body. I usually reserve my energy for swimming - its an intelligent thing in my opinion.
    This weekend was almost an exception to that rule. That 50 Free in an LCM pool nearly killed me.... but we'll get to that later because right now its time for the

    POST MEETS POST MORTEM

    The Park Ridge 1500 @ the Oakton Pool in Park Ridge IL
    Results

    The PR 1500 was a fun race for me actually. I had never honestly swam more than 1000 straight in practice and so my first and foremost thought was "I just need to survive the race" I had done a 20x100 in practice this week - and survived rather well. During the race - I found myself pacing it like a 3x500. The first 500 was a warmup, the second 500 I focused on my form and technique, trying to keep a strong kick and keep going. The final 500 was focused solely on build up; I wanted to make each 100 faster than the 100 before it leaving the final 100 for a sprint to the finish with 0% energy left.

    Quick Anecdote: During the race on my first flip turn - I saw the number on the wall - and for some reason I was mesmerized by it, and ended up jamming into the wall on my flip turn. The rest of the meet - I avoided looking at the number so as to prevent that problem.

    Well - I finished my race @ 29.32! A PERSONAL RECORD! Hysterically enough - even with my build up and everything - my teammate Jamie told me that my pace was pretty much RIGHT ON 1:59 for all 15 laps (no more than a second or two deviation). So all of that "build up" I did was really just a correction to keep me from going slower. My final "sprint" was on 1:54. So much for extra energy output.

    I won my age group though! Out of no one else

    Goals for meet:
    • Maintain a consistent pace with no more than a 3-4 second deviation between any two laps.
      DONE AND DONE
    • Keep my *average* split time under 1:50.
      Nope. Going to have to work on that speed thing.
    • Finish the race strong, even with nothing left in my body.
      DONE!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall at least 80% of the time.
      YES! I was very proud of that - I can count only twice off the wall that I didn't dolphin kick and that comes out to 86.67% dolphin off the wall!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to bring my average time down. This 1:59 thing won't do for me. I know I just need to build up in the pool with more swimming. These sorts of things come with time.
    • I need to focus on my sprints at the end of the race. I'm pretty sure that I probably could've pulled more out of the tank had I pushed a little harder earlier. I wasn't really feeling tired until the last 2-300 anyway.


    The Badger State Games @ Erb Park Pool in Appleton Wi
    Results

    In this meet I swam the 50 Free, the 50 Back, the 100 Free and I jumped in in an ad-hoc relay (the 4x100 free relay). It was a fun meet- but being there alone kind of sucked. I did make some fun friends though!

    The 50 Free
    The 50 Free was my first race - and actually the most brutal of the races I did that day. I took my time to warm up. Was pretty relaxed and feeling really good when I got on the blocks. My dive was so-so, I totally forgot to dolphin kick. I was doing really well too until I hit about the 40 meter mark. Then all of a sudden everything started to cut out. I had 0 energy, was totally exhausted and running out of O2. I ended the race on 39 seconds.

    The 50 Back
    I got out of my swim down from the 50 free and I take a peak at the heat sheet. I have 2 minutes until my 50 back! Aye Dios Mio!! So I shake it all off, sip some gatorade and get down to the blocks. Time to rock and roll! I've never started the back stroke nor have I ever finished the back stroke. So it was an experience. I did get in and swim a 50 back "quickly" to get a feel for it. During the entire race I kept focusing on "floppy floppy ankles" and relaxing the arms as long as they were out of the water. I got through that race in 53 seconds.

    The 100 Free
    This was a rough rough race. I got done with my 50 back, discovered I only had 3 heats of 50 back before I had to swim the 100 free! So I got a sip of gatorade and started shaking my body around. Had to knock off that lactic acid build up asap. I got on the blocks and dove in. I must not have tucked my chin right because my goggles came off. DOH! I swam as hard as I could, but I was freaking out a little mentally. I was having a hard time breathing and I knew form was collapsing. I went into the wall and did my push off with my eyes completely closed. I came up and kept swimming as hard as I could, running out of breath because I was still in a mental panic. I hit the wall at 1:39 - I was extremely disappointed in that time. I nearly threw up after this event. My stomach was so tight I could barely breath!

    The Ad-hoc 4x100 Free Relay
    I had about 8 more heats of 100 free after me. So I was able to get a little bit of rest and relaxation before having to dive in again. I was the 2nd swimmer in the relay, and this time - I was going to make sure those goggles were not coming off. I'm partially convinced that I was cutting off circulation to my brain during that race, but I honestly didn't care. I think I swam really really well. I remember looking up at my second split being 40 seconds. If my first split was anything less- that means I did a sub 1:20 on my 100, which for me is AMAZING! I put my relay behind - but fortunately our anchor was pretty fast! He came from behind and won the race! Yay Strangers! Seriously though - Ad-Hoc relays rock the house.

    Goals for meet:
    • Under 35 in the 50 Free (its LCM, a whole new beast for me)
      Nope. I have another chance next weekend though. I think I can shave that time off by more intelligent pacing.
    • Under 1:30 for the 100 Free
      If I'm not freaking out about my goggles - yes I can do this next weekend. This weekend I did not.
    • Under 45 for the 50 Back
      I definitely did NOT get anywhere close to that. I'm also not sure if I can pull it off. We'll have to see!
    • Dolphin kick off the wall for my ONE turn.
      Nope. Did not do it on the relay either. I'm going to focus pretty hard on that one over this week and for the next meet.
    • Dolphin kick after my start for the back.
      I totally did not. I will be focusing on that this week as well during practice.
    • Don't screw up my Back start.
      I'm pretty sure I didn't do it "right" but it wasn't awful. I at least made it to the flags before coming up!

    Things to improve for next time:
    • I need to focus on endurance for those last 10-15 meters. I need to remember that I can breath when I'm done and honestly - O2 deprivation is fine in the short term. I need to have better times next week.
    • I need to remember to dolphin kick off the wall... One of the things I'm realizing in this 50 meter pool - since I don't have my flip turns and pushing off the wall I need to get as far as I can off my dive as possible so I can spend as minimal amount time swimming as possible so I can have the energy to sprint with with my arms and kick like crazy when I'm not able to glide.


    Sorry for the long post. I'm down for any thoughts or suggestions any of you have!

    See all of you (or none of you) next weekend at the Indy Swim Fit at the UofI Pool!!!

    Updated July 7th, 2010 at 03:44 PM by bzaks1424 (Jon: post MORTEM Mike MORTEM)

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    Masters Swim Meets / Events