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Alex's swim journal

Feb 10, Meet Results

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by , February 10th, 2013 at 03:45 PM (318 Views)
After an EZ day Friday and a quick dip yesterday to practice starts, Forward and Back, I was pretty excited... My starts were feeling much better, cleaner entries. Friday I did a set of 10 x 50 free on 1:00 in which I just focused on smooth technique... I descended my times comfortably from :47 to :36; and since anything in the mid-thirties from a push start is really fast for me, I was pleased with the fact that I felt so "in-control" of the stroke at the end of the set... still pretty relaxed.

My back starts yesterday were going really well. Scotty was watching me, he said my entry was great, my speed off the wall was good, and he couldn't believe how much distance I was getting on my underwater dolphins w/o losing momentum. I was doing 6-7 dolphins and then surfacing for 2-3 strokes before hitting the 15-meter line.

So, after perfecting the back start to my satisfaction I was [sigh] not happy with my back fall-into-the-water-a-second-after-realizing-the-buzzer-had-gone-off version of a start in the 100 Back today. I dominated my age group--since I was the only one in it for this event --and beat my seed time by 7 seconds, finishing in 1:33. But I was pretty flustered at that start, was all over the lane and my form was falling to... well, lets just say it was on a swift downward trajectory. I was confused about the start sequence, so I was justing getting my feet set and my hands on the start bars when the "swimmers take your mark" command came... I hadn't even begun to pull up when the start was sounded (it came pretty quickly too). So my own special start sequence went something like this: (1) *long whistle* grab the bar with one hand, and (2) "Swimmers take your marks"... start setting feet, grab bar w/ *Honk* other hand, and (3) wait, what? was that the start already? (4) fall back, (5) do two dolphins, (6) surface at the flags contemplating whether I should go ahead and finish the even with elementary backstroke. Even with the sucky start Scotty said I was real close to second in the heat (despite the fact that most of the other seed times in my heat were 10-15 seconds faster than mine, the slowest). It hurts to think of what could have been... oh well, maybe next time.

My other events were even less impressive. I was within 1-2 seconds of my seed times on everything else. Seed times (in parenthesis) and results:

50 breast (:47)--44.xx; but DQ'd
50 free (:31)--:31 ... 2nd in age group; beat Scotty in a freestyle event for the first time!
100 back (1:40)--1:33 ... 1st in age
50 fly (:45)--:43 ... 3rd in age; Scotty was 2nd, with a :34!
200 IM (3:20)--3:21; but DQ'd

I haven't swum but 3 meets in my life, but was disappointed about being DQ'd--in both those events I was in lane 7 (lanes were pretty narrow) with a wall to my left on the first leg and the referee right on top of me. On the breast he said I had a flutter at the end of my kick. On the 200 IM it was my fly leg (I was focussing my breast entirely on having no foot movement at the end of the in-sweep, so he didn't say anything about that). Apparently on my fly I had some flutters as well... though I don't think I was alternating kicks, I've been working really hard on the legs dolphining simultaneously, but I have a dominant leg and so they separate and will look uneven. I've had Scotty watch this in practice and he's said I'm legal just a bit asymmetrical due to a differential in leg strength. And this anatomical weirdness obviously sent up no flags in my last meet, or even on my 50 fly when I was in lane 3 of my heat (2 lanes removed from the ref on that side) today. It certainly doesn't convey any competitive advantages, so the DQs were disappointing. Maybe the ref was overzealous, but regardless I'll have to work on that a lot... I can foresee a ton of kick sets in the next couple of weeks. Don't know if anyone has any suggestions on that. I want to get it right.

Being in a narrow lane 7 on the 200 IM was awful... it was basically an open water swim with the turbulence from the next lane (Scotty was in lane 6 about 5 seconds ahead of me on fly) and the blow back from the side wall... so after a decent start from the block and a relaxed first length of fly everything started to come undone: I practically bounced off the side wall on my first length of back... I'm guessing I didn't have decent velocity because when I counted strokes from the backstroke flags for my back turn I was about a yard and a half short of the wall (gliding in with my one permitted front pull); coming out of that turn was so bad I was practically scraping the bottom... then I had a slow turn in to the breast, remembering I had DQ'd my first event of the day with the breast stroke kick I was hyper-conscious (and slow) about this leg, and then my free was ... well, I'll never know... because I DQ'd, the splits weren't recorded/listed. The timer said something like "nice going; 3:21" before the ref came over to say he was DQ-ing me for a flutter kick b/c my legs were alternating toward the end of my fly. Perfect! There was only one heat of 200 IM, so, yeah, I should expect the sucky slow lane, but I really felt like I could have done better than my end-of-workout 3:19 from push start last week. Just another list of things to add to the long list of experiences I know I've got to have on the way to swimming better at these events. Who knows when I'll do 200 IM again in a meet, but it can only get better, right?

On the up-side, I met another whole group of regulars at these WI masters meets, who were super supportive and encouraging. Folks are so nice at these things! And, maybe backstroke really is my thing... the "short-axis" strokes are going torment me until I get them right... that's an up-side? You bet, I'm all about tormenting myself.

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Comments

  1. ekw's Avatar
    I will tell you what another swimmer told me as consolation the first time I was ever DQ'd: You're not a real swimmer until you've been DQ'd. Still, it stinks!
  2. slow's Avatar
    Just keep an open mind on these swim meets. You are really improving as a swimmer but dealing with events is a whole different skill set.
  3. mcnair's Avatar
    Thanks for the encouragement guys! If anything I'll be a better swimmer working hard to account for the vagaries of meet venues and lane assignments and all the rest... stuff happens, have to be able to adjust and move on.
  4. The Fortress's Avatar
    Glad you got acquainted with the locals!

    I think it sounds like they rushed you a bit on the backstroke start. Usually they don't say take your maker until people have their feet set. Next time, watch a couple heats before you to see how fast the starter is with the commands and gun.

    I've been DQ'd at Nationals before. I've also been told recently it looks like I might have a flutter kick at the end of my breast kick. I think there is some natural undulation of your feet at the end of the kick. I guess some judges are quick to call it. Breaststroke is a tough stroke.
  5. rxleakem's Avatar
    Besides the dq, looks like a great day (especially that 50 free!). Meets are a lot of fun - keep it up!
  6. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem
    Besides the dq, looks like a great day (especially that 50 free!). Meets are a lot of fun - keep it up!
    Thanks! I am having fun... the 50 free matched a 2-month old PR, and despite the start of that 100 back I really am pleased with how that and the 50 fly went too, b/c I PR'd and I know I still can go faster.
  7. mcnair's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Glad you got acquainted with the locals!

    I think it sounds like they rushed you a bit on the backstroke start. Usually they don't say take your maker until people have their feet set. Next time, watch a couple heats before you to see how fast the starter is with the commands and gun.

    I've been DQ'd at Nationals before. I've also been told recently it looks like I might have a flutter kick at the end of my breast kick. I think there is some natural undulation of your feet at the end of the kick. I guess some judges are quick to call it. Breaststroke is a tough stroke.
    Yeah, I should have been better prepared for that back start, but we live and learn. On breaststroke, I just can't believe how many pieces you have to perfect to even have a passable stroke... I think I was focusing on the front end and my turnover (b/c it's only a 50) and with any sort of relaxation in the ankles/feet they do tend to wiggle out behind me at the end of the in-sweep.