Colonies Zone Meet
by, April 28th, 2010 at 03:05 PM (2035 Views)
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].
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 I’m actually pretty pleased with my splits; they were fairly consistent. That’s 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. I’d 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!'
I’m finally back in the water. I realized that my USMS results page has good times listed for my core events, but all the other events are either non-existent or leave much to be desired. I’m a well-rounded swimmer, so there’s really no reason why my results page should paint me a distance freestyler, and nothing more.
I’d like to finally straighten out my breaststroke. I have to experiment with the different styles of breaststroke [sculling vs. pulling, etc]. I know I have a decent 200 breast in me somewhere, especially in long course. I just have to pull it out of me.
I’m also going to see if I can work the kinks out of my backstroke. it hasn’t felt right since high school. The good news is, I think I know what the problem is. I also need to work on my back starts. Anyway, it’s good to be back. I feel like I’m in better shape already.
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 didn’t 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 I’ve been playing around with my back and breast technique in practice anyway, so I decided to make these 2 races into ‘practice runs’ 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, it’s 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 day…a 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.