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Colonies Zone Meet

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2010 Colonies Zone Short Course Yards Championships:

It was good to meet so many of my 1776 teammates this weekend; a very friendly and helpful group of people. Special thanks go to Wayne for counting for me in the 1000 at the last minute!

We have a lot of fast people, spread over most of the age groups. Being able to team up with these guys for relays at the end of the year is great!

Speaking of which, props to Tom for putting together our Delaware Valley LMSC record-breaking 25+ 800 free relay, which I was proud to anchor. That was definitely a good call! I pulled a 1:50. I'm pretty happy with that. [Addendum: this relay placed second in the nation in the recently-finalized SCY top ten. Thanks again to Tom P. for masterminding the whole thing].

Personal highlights:

1: Doing a 10:22 in the 1000 despite going only about 95%, and almost missing the race by running around trying to find a last-minute counter! I went 10 seconds faster than I did at Y Nats last week, and came within 4 seconds of the meet record for 35-39. I wish I had gone 100%, maybe I'd have gotten that record, but still a 10 sec. drop is nice either way.

2: Trying a different overall strategy for the 400 IM, and a different technique for fly specifically, which seems to have worked. I'm happy with the time, considering I was experimenting with the fly, and the effort I put into it overall (I was trying to save strength for the 100 back immediately afterward). I tried a lot harder last week at Y Nationals, and only went 2 seconds faster. I've learned that even if I can't get the times I want, I can at least adapt and treat races as learning exeriences.

The other races were OK, right about where I thought I'd be, maybe a little slower. I won races of 200 yards-and-longer, and placed 2nd in anything shorter than that. Pretty much what I would expect! But hey, it was a long weekend, lots of swims. Most of my races were best times (as a Masters swimmer); can't argue with that!

I'm now enjoying some time off (from swimming AND work!). Man, did I need it. I've been running on fumes the last few weeks, and not just b/c of all this swimming and travelling! But I look forward to seeing these guys again this summer.

2010 Colonies Zone Long Course Meters Championships:

After 3 weeks of minimal training, I managed to make the National LCM Top Ten in one of my off-events, coming in 6th in the 200 Br. Just goes to show that you never know what will happen...but you can always at least try!

Congratulations to my team, 1776 Colonials; we won the Medium Team Division at LCM Zone Championships, without doing any relays! Most of the thanks go to Tom P. and Laurie Hug, who seemed to do about 50 races per day with machine-like precision. For my own part, I managed to win the 1500 and the 400, despite minimal training, so I'm pretty happy with that. The 1500 had never been offered at LCM zones before, so I ended up setting the meet record in that race; next year I'll try to re-set the record with a more deserving time!

I seeded myself way too fast for this meet. At one point I spoke to the meet officials and offered to switch to one of the gutter lanes so that more deserving swimmers could get the better lanes, but they thought that would be too complicated, so I stayed where I was.

The overall time in the 1500 is not good, but Iím actually pretty pleased with my splits; they were fairly consistent. Thatís all I can ask for at this point; if nothing else, you can always control the mental part of it.

I went after the 400 free more aggressively. Iíd rather get in and race a shorter event like this and let the chips fall where they may. No sense in getting intimidated by 400 meters.

When I decided to go to Zone Championships, they were only 3 weeks away. But I realized that there's never a good reason to quit, so I decided to go to the meet anyway. A short training period just means you have to modify your expectations, rather than quit altogether!

Finally posted an avatar...

More photos to come later. Some, like the shots from the plane to Florida, were taken with my little point-and-shoot (didn't feel like lugging my real camera to Nationals). Others were actually taken at Zones in 2008, before I started swimming again. At that time, I was building my portfolio (still am!), and went to Long Course Zones meet down in Maryland. They're lumped in with shots from 2010 Short Course Zones. Enjoy!

The avatar is actually one of my own photographs, shot on film back a few years ago. I left the shutter open for a long time while driving down the Trenton tunnel, then flipped it back into a negative when I digitized it (which explains the weird colors, and why the lights along the top of the tunnel are dark, while the rest of the tunnel is bright). I realized a few days ago that this image kinda looks like being under water in a pool, the black lights looking somewhat like lane-lines. I thought, "well, i guess I finally found my avatar!'


Aug. 4, 2012: Keystone State Games.

Went to the 2012 Keystone State Games yesterday with only about 4 weeks of consistent training. Trouble is, last week I had an emergency dental issue that kept me out of the water & gym for 7 days. Worst possible timing. I literally didnít touch a pool till the day of the meet. And even then I had very minimal training before that. But I decided to go anyway, and make it a moral victory, rather than sitting home feeling sorry for myself. I was entered in 5 races (the maximum), and planned to drop 1 or 2 of them anyway, but with the missed week of training, I decided to drop down to 2 races, the 200 Br and 200 Bk. There were no other swimmers in my age group in those races, so there was no pressure to go fast. And Iíve been playing around with my back and breast technique in practice anyway, so I decided to make these 2 races into Ďpractice runsí to see if my technique changes were working. The good news is, I believe they are. The bad news is, my times were abysmal! Oh well, I consciously decided not to go fast anyway, and with only recently getting back into the pool and the lost week of training, itís not like I was going to go fast even if I tried. And I came home with two golds and even set meet records, believe it or not (the 200 Bk had never been attempted in the M35-39 AG, and the 200 Br record was 3:24 !!!!). So it was a good dayÖa moral victory for showing up, and got to test my technique changes under quasi-race conditions. I even think my back start was better than usual.


Aug. 2013:

Decided to go to the State Games of America, even though I only trained a week and was in no condition to compete. I won the 200 fly because no one else was entered in my age group, LOL. Since I had only trained for a week and no one else was entered in it, I loafed it to try to save strength for the 200 Br. Going into the 200 Br, I noticed the one other guy in my AG had won the 100 Br in about the same time I wouldíve done if I were entered in it. So I began to realize that the 200 Br would be competitive, and started getting unusually nervous, but determined to make a go of it anyway. We ended up right next to each other, with me in the end lane. The guy was in really good shape, no body fat, etc. The race started, and he would get ahead in between the walls, but I was destroying him at the turns. I snuck a look at one point to figure out why, and saw that this guy clearly had no real swimming experienceÖhe would grab the gutter, pull himself up WAY high, drop back down into the water and then push off. He stayed with me for about 125 yards, but then he just disappeared. I donít know if he got tired, or if he just wasnít used to being challenged and gave up. Iím not even sure if he finished the race, thatís how much he disappeared! So I won with a very slow time, but at least I was able to go home with a funny story: the really fit guy who canít swim v. the totally UN-fit guy who can! Not that Iím any kind of breaststroker, mind you.

I had actually started trying to get back into shape in May, but I went back to school instead. Swimming got pushed to the back burner. Besides, the results I saw at the one meet I attended in June were shockingly poor! Much slower than I thought they would be, and I had that ďdeer-in-the-headlightsĒ feeling. Something seems to have slippedÖI wondered if my competitive drive was starting to disappear.

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Updated October 15th, 2014 at 03:49 PM by Undeniable

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Comments

  1. thewookiee's Avatar
    What is your new techique for fly? 10:22 for a 1000 is outstanding! Good Swim
  2. Undeniable's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by thewookiee
    What is your new techique for fly? 10:22 for a 1000 is outstanding! Good Swim
    Thanks!

    I changed to a bent-arm recovery, rather than straight. I had been fooling around with it in practice, and decided to give it a try in a race, and was finally able to maintain form in fly.

    I also took the fly out slower this time, so I'm not sure if it was the change in pace or the change in technique that did the trick. But between the 2 changes, i was able to keep form (even if it was a weird, unfamiliar form!). Heck, at this point, I'd be willing to try 'butterfrog' if i thought it would help.
  3. thewookiee's Avatar
    Congrats on the changes. Does it feel weird? I have been struggling with fly for a few years now. I use to be a decent flyer, but even now 25's are a struggle.

    I might have to try a bent arm fly. At what point do you bend them? Where do you release the pull into the recovery? Is the recovery motion still the same as straight arm, just with the arms bent?

    Did you swim the 100 or 200 fly? How did those go?
  4. Undeniable's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by thewookiee
    Congrats on the changes. Does it feel weird? I have been struggling with fly for a few years now. I use to be a decent flyer, but even now 25's are a struggle.

    I might have to try a bent arm fly. At what point do you bend them? Where do you release the pull into the recovery? Is the recovery motion still the same as straight arm, just with the arms bent?

    Did you swim the 100 or 200 fly? How did those go?
    Yeah, it does feel a little weird. I was always a straight-arm flyer.

    Nah, I havenít done the 100 or 200 fly yet. At this point, I could probably do a decent 100 fly, but the 200 fly is out of the question until I get my stroke straightened out. I also think conditioning is part of it, since fly is probably the most physically-demanding stroke. I'm not quite 'there' yet.

    Hmmm, to answer your other questions, I may have to play around with it in practice some moreÖitís kinda hard to describe. For now, the closest analogy I can make is that bent-arm fly is like two-armed freestyle. Iíll get back to you.
  5. tjrpatt's Avatar
    Your 200 relay leg was very strong. In addition, you can count to 8 so that was very beneficial! That alone deserves some time off! 10:22 1000 reads like very conditioning to me.
  6. Undeniable's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tjrpatt
    Your 200 relay leg was very strong. In addition, you can count to 8 so that was very beneficial! That alone deserves some time off! 10:22 1000 reads like very conditioning to me.
    Thanks Man! I'm beginning to thing the 1000 is the perfect distance for me. Granted, I've only done the 1650 once, but it seems to be a little too long for me. I started getting kinda delirious between 1100 and 1500 yards. I'm pretty sure I wasn't swimming in a straight line at that point! And in hindsight, the 500 is a little too short; not enough time to really get into a rhythm...and stay there.

    I'm looking forward to seeing you kick some butt in those crazy open water swims. Some guy at UMLY told me there's a 24 mile OW race down in Tampa. I'm like '24 miles? ARE YOU NUTS?!?'.
    Updated April 15th, 2012 at 10:48 AM by Undeniable