View RSS Feed

After a long rest

2015 NE SCM Championship

Rate this Entry
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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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.

Submit "2015 NE SCM Championship" to Digg Submit "2015 NE SCM Championship" to del.icio.us Submit "2015 NE SCM Championship" to StumbleUpon Submit "2015 NE SCM Championship" to Google

Comments

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1. The Fortress's Avatar
    You had a great meet! All your freestyle events were stellar, though especially your 100/200/400. Those events were your focus and you succeeded big time. And while you're deleting 400 IM from your event list, it appears that you can add in 50 breast. Based on your relay time, you could crack top ten in that event. And if you could in the 50, odds are you'd be better in the 100.

    I do like my/Patrick's advice to you. :-) But I would refine it by saying that you should absolutely enjoy the ups. Celebrate them. Just don't expect them to come along all the time bc we are human, we are breakable, and sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies. As a fellow type A, I used to get much more bummed about the downs, but have fixed that. I've read that real champions allow themselves to be disappointed for 24 hours and then shake it off and move forward. Avoid misery inducing behaviors. Maybe we should follow Chowmi's advice and "dance around" after good swims!

    Have you emailed the meet director about our relay? I will if you want me too. Were we in heat 1 lane 4? Or heat 2? That's super odd about them not including my points in the total ... It would be nice to actually get credit for that effort.
  2. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    You had a great meet! All your freestyle events were stellar, though especially your 100/200/400. Those events were your focus and you succeeded big time. And while you're deleting 400 IM from your event list, it appears that you can add in 50 breast. Based on your relay time, you could crack top ten in that event. And if you could in the 50, odds are you'd be better in the 100.

    I do like my/Patrick's advice to you. :-) But I would refine it by saying that you should absolutely enjoy the ups. Celebrate them. Just don't expect them to come along all the time bc we are human, we are breakable, and sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies. As a fellow type A, I used to get much more bummed about the downs, but have fixed that. I've read that real champions allow themselves to be disappointed for 24 hours and then shake it off and move forward. Avoid misery inducing behaviors. Maybe we should follow Chowmi's advice and "dance around" after good swims!

    Have you emailed the meet director about our relay? I will if you want me too. Were we in heat 1 lane 4? Or heat 2? That's super odd about them not including my points in the total ... It would be nice to actually get credit for that effort.
    thanks Leslie. I definitely have tried applying your advice and I am enjoying my swimming. Thanks for all your support and input.

    I spoke to the meet director this morning and he said he can get it taken care of but asked that we email him. I just got home and can email him tomorrow unless you want to email him tonight. If you email him please cc me so I know you did it and I will do the same by cc'ing you if I email him tomorrow.
  3. scyfreestyler's Avatar
    Those are some excellent swims! Glad to see all of your hard work paid off.
  4. __steve__'s Avatar
    One hell of a meet man! You are so freaking fast
  5. pwb's Avatar
    Stewart, this was a such a great meet report and season/year summary. You have a huge amount to be proud of in terms of your accomplishments. And, whether you felt it physically or emotionally, you already demonstrated a great ability to shake off a sub-par (to expectations) swim from your 800 and re-bound amazingly. Your 100-200-400 combo was impressive and a great testament to your mental fortitude.

    As for the 800, as someone who had expectations of a low 8:50-something swim earlier this year, as someone who went out in 4:24 and then died like a stuck pig, I feel your pain. Judging by your exceptional swims in the shorter distances and my own experience dying on the 800, I think maybe you were just tapered perfectly for the shorter distances, but maybe too much for the 800. As I reflect upon my season of training for the longer stuff, I realized that I cannot do my normal taper (when I typically would go no further than a 500) and hang on for an 800 to 1650.

    As for the 400 IM, you gotta give that beautiful race another chance .

    Now, enjoy a much-deserved lighter week and hopefully you and I can train together again in 2016!
  6. knelson's Avatar
    Really impressive swims over a wide range of strokes and distances. Incredible job, Stewart!
  7. Kurt Dickson's Avatar
    Congrats Stewart. You will be pool All-star this year. As bridesmaid (one #1 off) for the last three or four years and USMS' only true garbage man, it's really nice to have you in my age group (). As a another positive, you did knock off Frenchy from that award. He did steal 3 of our records, however. Enjoy your time off and I will look forward to another season of SC beat-downs.
  8. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler
    Those are some excellent swims! Glad to see all of your hard work paid off.
    Thanks. I would be a liar if I said I wasn't disappointed after my 800 but having my team mates around kept the focus on fun. Dinner with one of my friends and our spouses also helped. I had a lot of fun and I too am glad it worked out well.
  9. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__
    One hell of a meet man! You are so freaking fast
    Thanks so much Steve. Just like everyone on these forums I want to be faster than I am.
  10. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Stewart, this was a such a great meet report and season/year summary. You have a huge amount to be proud of in terms of your accomplishments. And, whether you felt it physically or emotionally, you already demonstrated a great ability to shake off a sub-par (to expectations) swim from your 800 and re-bound amazingly. Your 100-200-400 combo was impressive and a great testament to your mental fortitude.

    As for the 800, as someone who had expectations of a low 8:50-something swim earlier this year, as someone who went out in 4:24 and then died like a stuck pig, I feel your pain. Judging by your exceptional swims in the shorter distances and my own experience dying on the 800, I think maybe you were just tapered perfectly for the shorter distances, but maybe too much for the 800. As I reflect upon my season of training for the longer stuff, I realized that I cannot do my normal taper (when I typically would go no further than a 500) and hang on for an 800 to 1650.

    As for the 400 IM, you gotta give that beautiful race another chance .

    Now, enjoy a much-deserved lighter week and hopefully you and I can train together again in 2016!
    My initial reaction was the same as yours but thinking about it a little more I had another thought. When I look at my meet results since getting back in the water there is a very consistent theme related to the time of the day I swim. I have had much better swims in the morning than at night. It's weird since as a kid it was the complete opposite. It does make sense when you think about what time I naturally wake up and the time I naturally go to bed! I think I need to keep this in mind for meets like world's where it's likely I will swim at night and perhaps try to adjust my sleep schedule a couple months out.

    As as for the 4IM I will leave that one for you in the future!
  11. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    Really impressive swims over a wide range of strokes and distances. Incredible job, Stewart!
    thanks Kirk. It's was a lot of fun. I hope your doing well!
  12. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Dickson
    Congrats Stewart. You will be pool All-star this year. As bridesmaid (one #1 off) for the last three or four years and USMS' only true garbage man, it's really nice to have you in my age group (). As a another positive, you did knock off Frenchy from that award. He did steal 3 of our records, however. Enjoy your time off and I will look forward to another season of SC beat-downs.
    Thanks Kurt. Someone had to be the rabbit and you times were a huge motivation for me. I have enjoyed racing and chasing you and long may it continue. I will leave Mister Granger for others! If am All Star it will be awesome! If not I will use it as motivation and go for it in the future.
  13. Doug Martin's Avatar
    Stewart, that's an amazing meet. I count 12 races (7 on Sunday) and 2500 meters of racing. That's yeoman work. From what I recall from your training blog, you did a lot of race pace free, and it's interesting how that paid off in your 100, 200, and 400--really great times. I also submit that swimming later in the day is harder when you've already swim 4-5 races!

    You and Ande and others have a difficult time deciding on focus events because you are so versatile. Ande seems to have focused on different races in different seasons. You are a youngster and have many seasons ahead of you and your choice of what to excel in. As I have said several times, you have some greater untapped 50 potential, and we would welcome you into the sprint lane! Crush that lead off this weekend.
  14. swimmieAvsFan's Avatar
    Stewart,

    It was great to meet you this past weekend. You did some serious damage in your races- it's amazing to see you be able to crush seemingly every race you step up for. Thanks for letting Muppet and I tag along with the RAM crew for dinner on Saturday as well.

    Good luck this weekend!
  15. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    My initial reaction was the same as yours but thinking about it a little more I had another thought. When I look at my meet results since getting back in the water there is a very consistent theme related to the time of the day I swim. I have had much better swims in the morning than at night. It's weird since as a kid it was the complete opposite. It does make sense when you think about what time I naturally wake up and the time I naturally go to bed! I think I need to keep this in mind for meets like world's where it's likely I will swim at night and perhaps try to adjust my sleep schedule a couple months out.
    I think the time of day that you swim an event is huge! I do not fare well in the early morning or even the morning really. And I always look for meets that fit my sleep/wake schedule. As for Worlds, Rich Abrahams once gave me some sound advice ... f you want to swim fast taper times, don't go to Worlds because the conditions there are not optimal for great racing (outside pool, uncertain weather, endless days, time change, etc.). Going to Worlds is more of an adventure. I am tempted by Budapest in 2017 though ...
  16. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    I spoke to the meet director this morning and he said he can get it taken care of but asked that we email him. I just got home and can email him tomorrow unless you want to email him tonight. If you email him please cc me so I know you did it and I will do the same by cc'ing you if I email him tomorrow.
    I just saw this post this am. I can't remember the heat/lane info precisely. So I haven't sent an email yet.
  17. flystorms's Avatar
    Stewart I'm so stinkin' proud of you! You have worked so hard and have been so diligent about really pushing yourself towards this goal meet and it certainly paid off. Wow, you nailed all the main events. Good for you for putting the 800 behind you and pressing forward.

    Reward yourself with a week or two of easy (and some ice cream!) Rock on!
  18. Water Rat's Avatar
    Congrats teammate! No one has worked harder than you these past few months (well, definitely not me!) and you earned these results. Major kudos to you and your coach. my only advice is "STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM BREASTSTROKE!"
  19. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms
    Stewart I'm so stinkin' proud of you! You have worked so hard and have been so diligent about really pushing yourself towards this goal meet and it certainly paid off. Wow, you nailed all the main events. Good for you for putting the 800 behind you and pressing forward.

    Reward yourself with a week or two of easy (and some ice cream!) Rock on!
    thanks kk.

    We we had a blast this season and I hope to have many more.

    We found a restaurant in Worcester called the fix that had the best gourmet burgers. I ate a huge rare burger with a fried egg on it. It sounds weird but it was SO SO GOOD! I plan on having an easy week this week and will shave and do a few more swims before the end of my season. It will be fun!
  20. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Martin
    Stewart, that's an amazing meet. I count 12 races (7 on Sunday) and 2500 meters of racing. That's yeoman work. From what I recall from your training blog, you did a lot of race pace free, and it's interesting how that paid off in your 100, 200, and 400--really great times. I also submit that swimming later in the day is harder when you've already swim 4-5 races!
    Thanks Doug. Yes Sunday was kind of crazy but a lot of fun and I was fortunate to swim my main event, the 200 free first.

    I have made a lot of changes to my training over the last 18 months including, core focused drylands, yoga, stretching and a lot of consistent planned race pace sets. We do 3 days of race pace days each week and I really do attribute it to a lot of my progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Martin
    You and Ande and others have a difficult time deciding on focus events because you are so versatile. Ande seems to have focused on different races in different seasons. You are a youngster and have many seasons ahead of you and your choice of what to excel in. As I have said several times, you have some greater untapped 50 potential, and we would welcome you into the sprint lane! Crush that lead off this weekend.
    I do have days where I question why I do the range of events I race, but something I did this scm season that helped a lot was to have specific focus events for specific meets. I focused on back events in the build up and racing at the woodlands, the free at Boston. As you can see from both race reports that did not stop me swimming other events at either meet and specifically Boston(my original plan was to skip the back events in Boston unless I had a really bad swim at the Woodlands but did them because the team needed points).

    Thanks for your support Doug.

    I plan on having fun on the relays!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast