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Alex's swim journal

2013 in review

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by , January 1st, 2014 at 04:35 PM (209 Views)
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The number of miles I completed this year, still top 20 in age group for GTD, but a little less than I did last year (546). The drop off in the fall put me 20+ miles behind my goal of 550 for the year, but there will always be 2014 to crack the 550 mark!

One thing I can truly delight in as I look back over 2013 is that my swimming was much more diverse. In 2012, probably 90% of my yards were freestyle. Since December of 2012, my first ever swim meet, I have become a complete convert to swimming all the strokes efficiently and testing myself in all the pool events. Which means I COMPLETED the CHECK-OFF challenge, swimming almost all the events in meets this year (I logged more than 30 meet results this year). I did the 800 IM and 200 fly (only events I didn't swim in a meet) several times in practices/time-trials and plan to make the 200 fly one of my focus events this spring.

NEW FAVORITES: while I still love the long-distance freestyle events, especially open water, I have to say that I have really grown to love the 200s and 400s... 200 back and fly, 200 and 400 IM. These events are super challenging... and as I'm headed to the blocks for the start my mind goes to horrible places and curses me for signing up my body to do them. But something kicks in at the gun... despite all the pain, the feeling of completing these events, especially with a personal best, is truly addicting. My 200 back time in SCM this December was faster than my best SCY time last spring, and I'm poised to break the 3:00-mark. My 200 fly has been hovering around 3:20 and I'd love to make a run at 3:00 in that event this year. My first 400 IM SCY in a meet was over 7:00, now I'm looking to break 6:30 this spring.

DISTANCE: with all the focus on learning fly and improving back this last year, my freestyle hasn't suffered much. I saw my best improvements last spring and this summer. I dropped 12 minutes off my 2.4-mile OW time on the same course (Iron man, Madison) I had swum in 2011. The 1650 was a good event for me in SCY last spring and I'm hoping to see the pace get a little faster as I work toward state. I've even toyed with some longer distances in fly and back... did 500 fly early this fall, before my training slipped due to time constraints, and have been doing sets geared toward improving my mile time in the backstroke (4 x 200 on 4:00, 5 x 100 2:00, 5 x 50 on 1:00).

BREASTSTROKE IS STILL EVIL! Despite big improvements in fly, back, and free, my breaststroke is still holding me back in the IMs. Lots of kick sets and stretching in the hip region has gotten me a little closer to a "normal" stroke. The front end of my breast stroke has improved a lot, but my turnover is still very slow. Scotty, my training partner, claims that I'm 90% there (having started off somewhere around 60%). The times just aren't coming down as quickly (if at all) as with the other strokes, so it's frustrating. I'll keep working on it!

VEGANISM HAS STUCK: After almost six months my weight looks like it has finally stabilized in the mid-160s, about 12 lbs lighter than my monthly average over the last two years. I'm convinced that I'm finally eating and weighing what I should have been all along. Now I feel awful if I eat anything processed (even if it is technically vegan), but mostly am completely psyched about how great I feel the rest of the time! Feels good to be doing my part for the planet too!

This is my first blog post in almost a month... one of the reasons it's so long. But with a new year and some new workouts to record, I'll have to use the blog to track my progress more in the coming months. This last week has seen some of my best swimming in a while. Today: a break from swimming. Tomorrow: the journey of a new year in the water begins.

Happy New Year!

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Comments

  1. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Great post Alex and I am so glad you had such an awesome 2013. Keep up all the hard work in 2014 and you will amaze yourself. As my high school coach always used to tell us, you are capable of things you can't even imagine being able to do, keep believing and working hard. Happy New Year.
  2. mcnair's Avatar
    Thanks, Stewart, will do!