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Pete's swim blog

My Team
I swim on a small team (Madison Titans) with 4 regulars and a couple others that can't make the morning workout. On Saturdays and occasional weekdays, I drop by HSA in Huntsville for a swim in the big pool.

  1. 2016 Auburn SCY Meet

    by , February 15th, 2016 at 04:55 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    It's been a while since I've written anything. Not much new other than I'm slightly more overweight and my conversion to a more core/kick driven freestyle has been very slow. In fact, I avoided freestyle events as much as possible this meet which did well for my point standings but was ultimately my undoing in the 200 IM. The meet itself was the usual top notch job by Conner and his awesome crew at Auburn. I met some new swimmers in my age group this year. Sadly, it was more towards the end of the meet and I didn't get to know them more. Met some swimmers I only see at Auburn and generally had a good time with whomever was hanging around us.

    I signed up pretty late for this meet not knowing what I would swim. Like I said, my freestyle isn't working for me and my conditioning didn't have me feeling like any long stuff. That eliminated the 1650 and 500 free. I probably should have done the 200 fly but it came right after the 100 IM. The 100 IM is the first masters swim I did several years ago. I haven't swum it since and decided this was the year I would try it again. We swim a lot of IM so I added the 200 and 400 as well. I added the breaststroke events since I tend to do ok in those. For fun I added the 200 backstroke and just to bang my head against the wall one more time I decided to swim the 200 free.

    For the first time I can remember, I wasn't hurt or sick for this meet. I stretched a lot and stayed on ibuprofen to ward off any back problems. So, overall, I felt pretty good. Here's how things went:

    100 IM (Seed 1:09.51 / Time 1:06.69 [32.66, 34.03] - 4th place)
    A positive split IM! This is about what I expected except the positive split. I struggled though a 1:12 from a dive during taper so I was glad to drop some time. I think the positive split is mostly because my fly and back are improving a lot while my breast is staying the same and my free is suffering. If my freestyle were on, I think I could easily be 1:05ish. But with swimmers in my age group going under 1:00, I'm not sure I'll compete well in 100 IM for a while.

    100 BR (Seed 1:13.63 / Time 1:11.45 [34.38, 37.07] - 1st place)
    Not my best but better than last year. Great dive and really good 50 split. Never really got too tired. I was in lane 8 and was well matched with the swimmer in lane 7. He beat me through 50 but my longer strokes made up the difference in the end.

    200 FR (Seed 2:04.61 / Time 2:09.21 [29.83, 32.24, 33.18, 33.96] - 1st place)
    This was mostly a complete disaster. The issue was simply not being prepared to swim in the competition pool. I warmed up with too much IM and didn't pay attention to any of the markings on the bottom of the pool. The setup had us swimming between two bulkheads. As you approach the turn end, there is a line across each lane for 25m markings. That mark MUST be ignored. The actual turn cue follows that one about 10 feet later. On the first 50, I noticed something was very wrong when I hit the first marking. My eyes said it is time to turn but by body said "not yet". I picked up my head to take a peek and realized my body was correct. No big deal except that I knew something was very wrong but I couldn't place my finger on it. On the next 50, my eyes won out. As I took my last pull and began to initiate my turn, I took a quick peek and noticed the wall was still a good 10 feet away. Somehow I managed another arm pull which got me near enough the wall for a turn. But now I'm in panic mode and I still haven't fully grasped why the markings are so terribly wrong. About half way back to the start end, I figured out the problem and would just take another 2 strokes after I saw the marking. That would have worked great at the turn end but my adjustment was a disaster at the start end. I'm lucky I didn't crash into the bulkhead and just ended up with a jammed turn. By the last 50, I had it all sorted out but I was tired, defeated and frustrated. That's when I remembered that this was the reason I decided to do the 1650 4 years ago. It wasn't that I thought I'd be good at the 1650... I was just wanting to learn the peculiarities of the pool before I swam anything competitive.

    400 IM (Seed 4:59.20 / Time 5:03.76 [33.28, 36.67,41.57, 39.98, 42.00, 41.01, 35.15, 34.10] 1st place)
    I was pretty happy with this swim. My main goal was to stay with my teammate Roger in lane 4 as long a possible. I ended up stretching the fly out a bit too much and being a great backstroker, he was gone by the time I got to breaststroke. I was tired and probably not in the best shape for this. But my split was pretty even and I was quicker than last year. Would love to work my way below 5:00 again someday.

    200 Breast (Seed 2:33.97 / Time 2:34.33 [35.94, 39.75, 39.49, 39.15] 1st place).
    Pretty much the same performance I've given over the last 3 years. Not sure I could split this any better. I love the first 50 of this race and hate the last 50.

    200 Back (Seed 2:38.08 / Time 2:35.93 [39.30, 39.52, 39.19, 37.92] 1st place).
    This was my slack-off race and one real shot to set a personal best (meaning beating the 2:38 slack-off time from last year). I was mostly looking to keep it relaxed, long and efficient saving my energy for the 50 br coming up. As it turned out, I didn't do too bad. And the 37.92 for the last 50 was a twinge of effort for the finish.

    50 BR (Seed 32.16 / Time 33.59 1st place).
    Roger said this was an ideal first 50 for a 200 br. He is right. I stayed underwater way too long and stretched out my strokes for the first 25 too much.

    200 IM (Seed 2:24.30 / Time 2:22.12 [29.63, 40.05, 39.71, 32.73] 3rd place).
    As it turns out, the 200 back wasn't my only realistic shot at a personal best. This was about 3/4 second faster than my best 2 years ago. It was by far the most fun swim of the meet. Before the event, I met Chris on deck who swims in my age group. Turns out he was in lane 5 next to me in lane 6. It is kind of rare that I get to swim next to someone about my speed in my age group. Chris is a great competitor and neither of us were willing to let the other win this race. My experience with 200 IM is that everyone is either a sandbagger or they go hard on the fly and cruise the rest. Either way, if I do a conservative 50 fly, I end up in wake and risk drinking water. Not today! I went out fast and decided to deal with the consequences later. Tired is better than tired and lungs full of water. I ended up putting a half second on Chris after the fly. He gained 3 seconds on the backstroke which I promptly took back on the breaststroke. With 50 to go, I had a half second lead but ran out of gas at the end. I hate losing but without Chris, I doubt I could have pushed myself that much.

    That was pretty much it. Had a great time as usual. Look forward to next year. Nationals is driving distance away this year. I'm thinking about it but still on the fence.
  2. Auburn SCY Invitational Meet

    by , February 9th, 2015 at 12:16 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    As usual, Conner and his team put on an exception meet! And we were especially spoiled this year since the SEC championships will be held in Auburn next weekend. That meant some serious upgrades to an already very nice swimming pool. The pool was drained and repainted. The tiling on the deck was redone. I think someone said they got new bulkheads. At the very least, the bulkhead at the start end was much wider. They set the pool up between bulkheads to minimize any wave reflection. The water did feel a bit warm... maybe 82-83 but I didn't have any way to measure it. The coolest thing was the new starting blocks. These had the adjustable wedge and were hooked up to measure response time. The best part was that they were fitted with a couple rows of led lights that flashed green at the start of each race. This feature was cruelly snatched from us on Sunday. Apparently the lights are hooked into the response time system which had issues and needed to be shut off. I was able to go back to listening for a sound but I have been forever spoiled by the lights.

    As for me, the meet did not go very well at all. For one thing, I'm about 15-20 lbs overweight. But the wheels really came off during taper. The first 3 days were great and I felt like I was way ahead of last year. But over the weekend I got a sinus infection followed by a mysterious illness. In practice I had speed but no endurance... even for the very short taper sets we did. Friday morning, I woke up nauseated and considered not going at all. By noon, I was improving so I went ahead and made the trip. That night, I swam in the Auburn pool but still wasn't feeling great. Saturday morning, I was a little better but far from 100%. As the meet progressed, I was slowly starting to match my meet times from last year. So, for times it was mostly a lot of disappointments. Here's how the events went:

    200 Fly - Seed: 2:21.24, Time: 2:29.07 (34.17, 37.91, 38.31, 38.68)

    This was the first indication that things weren't going to go well over the weekend. The first 50 was fine but I quickly fell off the pace from last year. The last 10 yards or so, my body went into shutdown mode. Fortunately I was close enough to the wall to gut it out. During cool-down, all I wanted to do was throw up.

    100 Breast - Seed: 1:09.53, time: 1:13.63 (35.59, 38.04)

    Not sure what to say about this. It was just slow and I botched my first pullout. I was in a heat with a bunch of 1:05 ish swimmers which just amplified how slow I felt.

    200 Free - Seed: 2:04.61, time: 2:05.89 (29.62, 31.65, 32.46, 32.16)

    The girl next to me was seeded at 2:00.00. She went 1:55. I tried to keep up and didn't do a very good job of it. But at least I was in the ballpark of one of my worst swims from last year. Even better, I had a little extra for the last 50.

    400 IM - Seed: 4:59.20, time: 5:05.12 (1:11.74, 1:22.44, 1:23.52, 1:07.42)

    I really just cruised this event. I had a relay coming up and nobody was in my age group contesting me. There were really only two of us with seeds under 5:00 and the other guy scratched. So, 5:05 wasn't terrible for holding back a bit. In fact, this was probably my best swim of the day. It definitely felt better than the others did.

    200 Breast - Seed: 2:33.97, time: 2:35.52 (36.14, 39.51, 39.79, 40.08)

    I didn't feel completely warmed up for this race but it was a lot of fun. The swimmers on both sides of me had excellent swims and we pushed each other pretty hard. I started off about a second off their pace and then slowly chipped into their leads. I actually overtook the guy in lane 3 with 25 yards to go but he out sprinted me on the last leg. The guy in lane 5 had us both at the last turn but couldn't bring it home. I touched .01 seconds ahead and the finish.

    200 Back - Seed: 2:41.39, time: 2:38.08

    Finally beat a seed time! And this was a personal best. This was from a couple years ago and my backstroke has improved a lot since then. With nobody in my age group contesting this, I relaxed it and got ready for the final two events.

    50 Breast - Seed: 32.16, time: 33.58

    Not great but not terrible either.

    200 IM - Seed: 2:24.40, time: 2:24.30

    Not my best but I beat my time from last year. Finally started feeling closer to 100%.

    Despite my struggles, I did win high point. I had a lot of fun (as usual) and I got to swim in a really nice pool with all the trimmings for a big NCAA event. Definitely worth the time this weekend and I'm glad I decided to go.
  3. July Training Notes

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 08:11 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Aches/Pains and Assorted Gripes:
    Might as well get this out of the way so I can move on to more interesting things. A tendon in my right foot has suddenly become painful when I first kick in the morning. The pain is mostly in my big toe but I feel it all the way through the top of my foot. After warm up the pain goes away. Am I just getting old or is there some way to correct this?
    Ok... enough complaining...

    Swim of the Month:
    This wasn't a swim of the month for an extraordinary effort or particularly difficult set conquered. This was purely for the location. All the master's practices were called off on July 4th due to... well... July 4th! Pools were open but they were crowded and a proper workout just wasn't an option. That is until I got an invite from Bob and Don to join them at Monte Sano pool. I swam at this pool a couple times when I was little and then again a couple years ago due to a similar invite. So, when the chance came around again, I jumped on it. Like many pools in Huntsville, this one was built in the 60s era (maybe earlier). But this one has a little different design. For one thing, this pool is 25 meters long and probably the only 25 meter pool within a couple hundred miles. It also doesn't have the typical 'L' shape with a diving board in a deep end separate from the lane laps. But the big difference is the view!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The pool sits on top of Monte Sano Mountain at about 800 feet above the valley in the picture above. It is way too relaxing for any kind of serious swimming and Bob brought a pace clock that didn't work anyway. The clock was there mostly just to say we had one... and it provided plenty of fodder for non-functional pace clock jokes. There were about 8 of us from our team and the HSA masters team. Surprisingly, there were not more. We managed about 3000 meters of swimming and being Independence Day, we did a couple hundred cool down with our hand over our heart. Turns out that holding your hand over your heart is not an efficient way of swimming but it is patriotic... I think.

    When we were done, we got an invite for a 5th of July swim. Dave and I jumped on the opportunity but most of the HSA swimmers went back to the Nat for their normal Saturday morning workout.

    Painful Set of the Month:
    4 Rounds of:
    - 100 @ 1:30
    - 100 @ 1:25
    - 100 @ 1:20
    - 100 @ 1:15
    For each 100, pick from Fly, Breast, IM, Free, Free (yes, there are 2 free)

    I ended up "cheating" and did IM/IM/Free/Free on round 3 but went back to Fly/IM/Free/Free for the last one. I think this is the first time I've made this (or come close) wearing a drag suit.

    Top 10 Watch:
    The preliminary top ten is out and I'm on it for the first time (as an individual)! Of course, it is preliminary and anything could happen before final publication. I also got very lucky in that many fast swimmers just didn't swim the 1650 this year. I don't think my time would have been close the year before and I certainly wouldn't have made it in the age group above me (I get ranked with those animals next year). But I'm not complaining. With my lack of swimming background, I'm happy to be there at all. So, now I'm just hoping there are no missing swims and that all the pool measurements are valid.

    That's about it for July. Next month, I test the murky waters of the Tennessee River.
  4. June Blog - State games results

    by , June 23rd, 2014 at 01:10 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Alabama State Games

    I've been training for the Alabama State games for the last month or so. This is a fun meet that I do mostly because I get to swim on the same team as my kids. The events are all fairly short 50, 100, 200 free +100s of each stroke and a 200 IM. It's not what I typically go for but the 200 free and 200 IM are worth trying without swimming a 1650 first. Training for this has been great. I've been shooting for a sub-2:00 in the 200 free for a while and it looked like I would get it this time around. A couple weeks ago, I swam a 2:10 in practice and had a 1:59 broken 200 free at the beginning of taper.

    Sadly, I sabotaged all my efforts in several different ways. First, I officiated two late away meets last week and ended up spending way too much time on my feet. I didn't rest and it didn't help my taper any. Second, I agreed to apprentice stroke and turn judge at the games. They sanctioned this meet with USAS this year so I got an opportunity to squeeze in another session and get closer to full certification. I don't think it hurt much at the beginning of the meet but 4 hours standing up didn't help my later events. Third, I didn't warm up enough. That's partially because of a meeting for excuse #2. I really need a solid 1500 yards to get going and only did about 500 for this meet. Fourth, I gained too much weight. I typically gain a few pounds during taper topping out at around 188-190. Yesterday, I weighed 196. Fifth, I just didn't feel very good Saturday. A quick bathroom break before my 100 fly seemed to improve things for me but prior to that, I just didn't feel great before any of my races. Finally, I went on vacation just prior to taper. I did swim quite a bit on vacation but my intensity levels dropped and I wasn't focused on sprinting any.

    With all my excuses out of the way, here's the bad, bad and ugly:

    200 Free - Seed time: 2:03.04, Meet time: 2:05.67
    Splits: 28.55, 31.49, 32.72, 32.91
    No sugar coating this disaster. I was on pace after 100 yards but just fell apart. No energy left and I ended up coasting home.

    50 Free - Seed time: 25.97, Meet time: 26.40
    This really wasn't too terrible but I should be faster than that. During practice, I did a 26 unshaved.

    200 IM - Seed time: 2:21.75, Meet time: 2:22.99
    Splits: 30.53, 40.59, 39.97, 31.90
    This wasn't too bad either and while it was slower than last year, it was faster than I swam earlier this year in Auburn. My breaststroke split was pretty bad for me though.

    100 Breast - Seed time: 1:09.53. Meet time: 1:12.51
    Splits: 34.75, 37.76
    This swim felt great but it was way off my time from last year. When I touched the wall, I thought I might have set a personal best but the clock disagreed.

    100 Fly - Seed time: 1:05.02, Meet time: 1:05.94
    Splits: 30.61, 35.33
    Looks like I went out a bit fast but overall this was one of my better races. And I really didn't train for it at all.

    100 Free - Seed time: 56.89, Meet time: 59.31
    Splits: 28.62, 30.69At this point, I was resigned to having a poor meet and I was so tired anything under 1:00 was going to be a "victory".

    Since nobody else signed up in my age group this year all races were uncontested and I'm a repeating 6-time Alabama State Champion. Next year, I'll either take my taper a little more seriously and not officiate or just forget the taper and swim it tired. But I'm not going through the trouble of shaving just to stink it up again.

    Next Month: Top ten watch... will my 1650 time make the preliminary listing this year? Or, will a missing pool measurement or unlisted event result knock me out? Stay tuned!

    Updated June 23rd, 2014 at 01:25 PM by pmccoy

  5. Monthly blog - beach edition

    by , June 6th, 2014 at 09:58 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Welcome readers from Sunnyside Beach, Florida. If you don't know where this insignificant half mile strip of beach is, think just west of Panama City Beach. Aside from a few thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday, it has been great all week! Training-wise, this has been a poor time for a vacation. I'm swimming in the Alabama State games in a little over two weeks. They only really offer shorter events and I'll be swimming the 50/100/200 Free, 100 Breast, 100 Fly and 200 IM. Here are my vacation training options:
    - Rest and blow off training. It's a vacation and who really needs to train for sprint events anyway?
    - Drop $8 per day on the local pool in order to get a proper solo workout - there are no masters workouts in Panama City anymore .
    - Train in the ocean... it's free!

    I took the free option and it has been worth it! Well, not for training but for cool stuff to see.

    Monday, the waves were pretty rough. Thunderstorms just south of us in the gulf were driving 3-5 foot waves. It was great for body surfing so I stuck with that. The body surfing was mostly kick work. I tried to take 2-3 good speed strokes to get going but after that I just dolphin kicked to stay with the wave. For a challenge, I started trying to ride waves on my back. That turned out to be quite a bit of fun and was a decent workout for my abs. Later, I walked east a few hundred yards, swam out past the breakers and swam back down to the beach. By then the wind had really picked up and I was tossed around a lot. Visibility in the water was poor so I didn't see too much.

    Tuesday, the waves were calmer but winds/waves were pushing a 2-3 mph east to west current in between the sand bar and the beach. That made getting to the breaking waves a tough task especially for my kids who couldn't keep their feet on the ground all the way out. I decided to swim out past the sandbar and swim east into the waves for a few hundred yards and then swim back. Swimming out was painful and it seemed like it took forever to get anywhere. Sighting in rough water is nothing like sighting on a lake so I ended up taking occasional breaststroke pulls to regain my bearings. Coming back was easier and with the beach on my breathing side, I was able to keep a straighter line.

    Wednesday was much better. Winds were still blowing from the SE so I headed east into the wind and waves. This time, I set off for a full mile up the beach. With calmer waves, visibility opened up and I could see a lot more. I was swimming 10-15 yards off the sand bar in 6-8 feet of water. Most of it was barren sea floor. But as I got closer to my turning point, I suddenly saw hundreds of circular brown objects in the sand. I dove down to get a better look and they were sand dollars. Tons of them all over the place. I've been to Panama City Beach many times over the years and I've known they were out there but never found any. Turns out I was just looking in the wrong place! As I swam back, I found more beds of these creatures closer to my family and I took my kids out to let them see. The only problem on this swim was the jellyfish. I never saw one but I ran into their tendrils several times. A couple times, they would get on stuck on the bridge of my nose or caught in my goggle strap. I considered giving it up a couple time but stuck it out. Can't imagine putting up with a lot more that 2 miles of that.

    Yesterday was by far the best day. The waves calmed down significantly and the sea life began to come out. As I swam east, schools of fish would go past and my splashing would startle stingrays that scurried off into the depths. There were in fact quite a bit more stingrays than I had ever imagined and I was glad there was 8 feet of water between us. I saw dozens of them as I swam along and there were probably a lot more that chose to remain hidden. On my way back, I encountered a few devil rays playing in the surf and about a 2 foot long sea turtle. My swim ended up being more of a sightseeing trip than a workout! Instead of intervals, I just swam along at a moderate pace until there was something interesting to see.

    Only a couple more days left... maybe I'll run into a dolphin today... or a shark (hopefully from a large distance).

    Updated June 6th, 2014 at 10:46 AM by pmccoy

  6. Assorted April training musings

    by , May 1st, 2014 at 04:57 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Daily blogging is too much for me. I'm going to try monthly. Maybe that will work... maybe not. At least there will be more things to blog about.

    Set of the Month: Russel's dream set. Russel used to swim with us some mornings when he was in high school. He coaches now and we hear from him from time to time. Occasionally, sets come to him in dreams. Last time Roger spoke to him, he revealed the third of his "dream sets".

    4 x 125 - 2:10, 50 Kick/75 IM
    4 x 125 - 2:05, 50 Free/75 Kick
    The 50s slide through the 75s. So, the first 4 look like this:
    #1: 50 Kick/75 IM
    #2: 25 Fly/50 Kick/25 Bk/25 Br
    #3: 25 Fly/25 Bk/50 Kick/25 Br
    #4: 75 IM/50 Kick

    Team stuff: We are up to 5 Davids now (2 are very new). I checked this out on the Internet (so it is true!). 2.363% of all males are named David. So statistically, we should have about 211 men on our team. We actually have 8.

    April focus: I'm currently rebuilding both my breaststroke and freestyle. The breaststroke project is a frustration from hard effort and minimal results over the last few years. My kick is great but my pull is inefficient. So, I'm working harder to reduce my strokes per length. Things have gone well in this regard. In warm-up, cool down and easy swims, I limit myself to 4 strokes per length when I swim breaststroke. When I really focus on being efficient, I can make 3 and sometimes get close to 2. In 200 IMs and hard 100s, I've gone from 8 strokes per length down to about 6. When I'm tired, I go back to 7 sometimes. Am I faster? Hard to tell but I don't think I'm slower.

    Freestyle is a bit different. I've made significant speed gains over the last few years in freestyle. I dropped another 13 seconds off my 1650 earlier this year. Why change now? Well, I think there are limits on my current stroke. I have no glide, my kick feels out of synch and I'm primarily shoulder driven. To attempt to change things, I'm swimming all "easy free" and warm up free as catch-up stroke. 25 no breathers are all catch-up as well. All other sets, I'm just swimming like I normally would. This has been frustrating since it just doesn't feel right and it is significantly slower. But after a couple weeks, my catch-up stroke got better. It still isn't very fast but it isn't awkward anymore. Occasionally, I can get into a 3/4 catch-up rhythm when I swim regular sets so maybe this is working.

    Timed swim of the month: 400 IM Kick - 6:15. My kick has improved a lot over the last year. Still, 200s with effort come in at 3:15-3:20. Given that, a 6:15 was pleasantly unexpected.

    Painful set of the month (swim at your own risk):
    1 x 125 - 2:00 (1st 25 back)
    1 x 50 Easy Fly - 1:00
    1 x 125 - 1:50 (1st 25 back)
    1 x 100 Easy Fly - 2:00
    1 x 125 - 1:45 (1st 25 back)
    1 x 200 Easy Fly - 4:00
    1 x 125 - 1:40 (1st 25 back)
    1 x 250 Easy Fly - 5:00
    1 x 125 - 1:35 (1st 25 back)
    1 x 350 Easy Fly - 7:00
    1 x 125 - 1:30
    1 x 450 Easy Fly - 9:00
    50 Easy

    I targeted a 1:30 pace for the fly. Decided to make the 450 a 500 on the second round because it makes no sense to get that close to a 500 fly and not just go the extra 50 yards.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Auburn SCY Invitational day 2

    by , February 17th, 2014 at 04:39 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Before I get into day 2, I completely forgot about one of the cool things from day 1. Dave and I showed up early to check in for the 1650. Turns out the Auburn swim team was just winding down their workout. I'm 6'1" and about 185 lbs. There aren't a lot of places where I feel short and fat. This was one of those places. So, we sat down in the bleachers on the pool deck and enjoyed the rest of practice while head coach Brett Hawke paced back and forth in front of us. Suddenly, he turns around, looks at us and says "watch, this is one of the fastest swimmers in the world." We were partly shocked that he was even speaking to us mere mortals but equally intrigued at what was about to happen. Marcelo Chierighini (admittedly, I could not have picked him out of a lineup before this weekend) steps up on the blocks and rips off a 9.6 25 sprint - clock stopping after his feet touched on the turn. Cool stuff!

    So, day 2 started off great but I got slower as the day went on. I'm coming to the realization that there's a hefty price to be paid for going all out on 4 long swims the previous day. I like the longer events. I do well in them and the points I score help my team compete against teams 20%-30% larger than we are. But don't think I can keep expecting to swim 8 events in 2 days and see time drops in all 8 events. I'll probably still enter 8 and swim them but I'll be a little more careful about which ones I decide to target for time drops. Here's my results for day 2:

    500 Free
    Seed time - 5:37.54
    Meet time - 5:29.47 (1:03.11, 1:06.41, 1:06.62, 1:07.18, 1:06.15)
    This is about what I thought I would do last year but my back injury kept me from going full speed. It's a good 8 second drop so no complaints. Might have taken the first 50 out a bit slower. The last 200 was very painful but I was able to maintain my speed.

    200 Breast
    Seed time - 2:34.13
    Meet time - 2:33.97
    This was a personal best but that's kind of a hollow victory. Here's my times from the last 5 years: 2:42.67, 2:39.09, 2:34.13, 2:34.24, 2:33.97. All of my 200s have improved far more than this over 5 years. Part of it may be that breaststroke was my best stroke when I started swimming. Part of it is that I was just tired at this point in the meet. But I think most of it is because I never practice it. I practice kicking breaststroke a lot and my kick times have improved. But aside from sets where we swim IM, I rarely swim breaststroke. This is something I want to change for next year.

    50 Breast
    Seed time - 32.33
    Meet time - 32.16
    Same as above. It's great to get a personal best but with my kick, I should be swimming the 50 closer to 30 seconds.

    200 IM
    Seed time - 2:22.58
    Meet time - 2:24.40
    This was every bit the train wreck that my 200 free was. I ended up in between two 30-34 year olds battling it out for 1st place in their age group. I went out 30.3 in the fly but both of them went well under 30. Their wake converged in my lane and I took two mouthfulls of water in my last 4 breaths. My backstroke push-off was mostly a coughing fit. Once I could breathe, I started hyperventilating. So, I slowed things down, focused on good long strokes and caught my breath again. After checking my splits, I was still close to what I had done last summer when I went 2:21. But by then, I'd had enough and just wasn't interested in pushing harder. It was just not my race but no big deal... I'll swim it again in the summer.

    I split 25.99 for my free relay. It felt a lot faster than that but we won the relay. In all, I had a blast this weekend. Can't wait to get back to grinding out the yards.
  8. Auburn SCY Invitational day 1

    by , February 15th, 2014 at 10:37 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Had a great first day today. I put in roughly 90 miles preparing for 7 200+ yard events and one sprint over 2 days. For the most part, it has paid off pretty big with some significant drops in time. As usual, the meet is well organized and has been as on-time as possible. Very much missed Ellen (ekw) and Elaine. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Hope to see you next year! Saw Swimosaur who gutted out a 200 fly and 400 IM with me. On to the events:

    1650 Free:
    Seed time - 19:17.76
    Meet time - 19:04.24
    I was seeded #2 with my teammate #3 and Ellen's teammate, Eric @ #1. Eric had a 19:02 for his seed. Since I was shooting for a sub-19:00, the plan was to push Eric hoping to wear him out so my teammate would have a chance to knock him off (they were both in the same age group). The problem was that Eric came to swim. I stayed in contact with him for 500 yards before he started swimming away to an 18:40. If he had gone closer to his seed time, I think I could have put in a better effort. But as it turns out I was miserable after 1000 yards and pretty much swimming on my own. At 1200, I was ready to give it up. Somehow I gutted out the last 400 yards and turned in a pretty nice time. It's not sub 19:00 but I'm not going to scoff at a 13 second drop in time.

    200 Fly:
    Seed time - 2:30.63
    Meet time - 2:21.94 (32.43, 36.15, 36.37, 36.29)
    This was just a really fun swim. I was in lane three with my teammates Roger and Dave in lanes 4 and 5. Swimosaur was one more over in lane 6. My fly has improved a lot over the last year and the way this set up, there was a lot of motivation to do well. Roger got a second on me after 50 and held of my charge at the end. I was hurting after 150 but far from gassed and had plenty to make a run at Roger.

    200 Free:
    Seed time - 2:02.71
    Meet time - 2:04.61 (28.92, 31.48, 32.30, 31.91)
    As much as the 200 fly was one of my better swims, this was one of my worst. After a poor dive and bad turn @ the 50, I lost the mental battle, fatigued and just blew it. The 200 free continues to elude me. I'm capable of a sub-2:00 but can't ever figure out how to get there.

    400 IM:
    Seed time - 5:08.96
    Meet time - 4:59.20 (1:09.30, 1:22.66, 1:20.82, 1:06.42)
    I was going for a sub-5:00 time and knew I could do it but had doubts after the 200 free. I was very happy to turn around a bad race and make a goal like this.

    Tomorrow - 500 Free, 200 Br, 50 Br and 200 IM.
  9. First postal event

    by , January 19th, 2014 at 08:40 AM (Pete's swim blog)
    Did a one hour postal Saturday. I'd like to think I can hold a 1:15 pace for that long but I had some doubts going into this. Turns out that I can. I finished with 4785 yards. I could probably go a lot further with a shave, better suit and some rest. My lane wasn't the best either. I got the transition lane between the deep end and shallow end with a jet blowing warm water against me at the far end. Neither really bothered me but I'm sure the jet didn't help any. I took the first 1000 out fairly conservatively and then picked up the pace after 2000. What helped is that the swimmer next to me (who lapped me at 600 yards) was starting to fade. For the next 2000 yards, I could focus on unlapping myself and eventually passing him. That got me to 4000 where I picked up the pace again and gave it everything I had left to the finish. While it might have felt like I was picking up the pace, I was in fact merely holding steady. I pretty much even split just over a 1:15 pace throughout the race. Here's the splits for each 500:

    500 - 6:15 (+0 vs 1:15 pace)
    1000 - 12:32 (+2)
    1500 - 18:50 (+5)
    2000 - 25:08 (+8)
    2500 - 31:24 (+9)
    3000 - 37:40 (+10)
    3500 - 43:57 (+12)
    4000 - 50:15 (+15)
    4500 - 56:31 (+16)
    4785 - Finish

    Thanks to Jeff and the Huntsville Nat team for putting this on and getting timers. Look forward to seeing how far I can go next year.
  10. 10.24.13 - Workout #3

    by , October 24th, 2013 at 01:39 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave, Brian, John and Carole. Felt slow the last couple days. Not sure what it is but I'm definitely not 100%. Did 5K Tuesday and Wednesday and was exhausted afterwards. Feeling a bit better today.


    600 warm up

    8 x 50 Pull - :50
    100 Stroke - 2:00
    8 x 50 Kick - :50
    2 x 100 Stroke - 2:00
    8 x 50 Stroke - :50
    2 x 200 IM - 3:00

    8 x 50 Pull - :50
    :20 Rest
    100 stroke - 2:00
    200 IM - 3:00
    300 Free - 4:00 (3:50)
    Break (150 easy)

    8 x 50 Kick - 1:00
    100 Stroke - 2:00
    200 IM - 3:00
    300 Free - 4:00 (3:55)

    12 x 50 Kick w/ fins - 1:00

    200 Cool down

    (5450 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  11. 10.21.13 - Monday workout #88

    by , October 21st, 2013 at 10:43 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave and Dave. Today was workout 88, our last one. Back to #1 tomorrow. Each of our workouts is 5000 yards. If you do one a day, you will swim 250 miles in 88 days.


    600 warm up

    10 x 50 Fly - 1:00 (started @ 45 wanting to take this easy but ended up doing :40s eventually)
    4 x 75 Free - 1:00
    1 x 50 Free - :35
    4 x 75 Pull - 1:00
    1 x 50 Free - :35
    4 x 75 Free - 1:00
    1 x 50 Free - :35
    50 Easy
    Made these but it was tough with the heat. Was glad to get a pull in the middle.

    3 Rounds of:
    * 200 IM, up/down IM Kick - 3:30 (:15)
    * 200 IM, up/down IM Kick - 3:30 (:15)
    * 200 Pull - 3:00 (2:15, 2:10, 2:08)
    50 Easy

    3 Rounds of:
    * 3 x 100 - 1:15
    * 1:00 Rest (took an extra minute due to 86 degree water temp)
    50 Easy

    6 x 50 Kick w/ fins - 1:00

    200 Cool down

    (5500 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  12. 10.18.13 - Friday workout

    by , October 18th, 2013 at 03:23 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave, Roger and Jonny. I haven't been blogging much since our workouts have been mix and match sets from ones done in the last couple weeks. I haven't been feeling that great so there hasn't been much to blog. I did feel much better today. We did a mix of suggested sets from the team:

    600 Warm up

    My Set:
    10 Rounds of:
    * 75 Stroke (hard) - 1:05
    * 25 Easy - :55
    50 Easy
    Did Fly, Bk, Br x 3 + IM. Fly was ~:55, bk and br were ~ 1:02. IM was just under 1:00.

    Roger's set:
    1000 for time, must complete 250 yds fly and 250 yds kick anywhere in the set. We were shooting for 15:00. Made 13:43. I spread my fly & kick out over each 100. Near the end, I was doing 50 fly/50 free alternating with 50 kick/50 free. Probably would have been faster to front load more fly while I wasn't tired and take advantage of flip turns.
    50 Easy

    Dave's set
    10 x 100 - 1:30, odds IM, evens free

    Other Dave's set
    8 Rounds of:
    * 25 stroke or kick/75 Free - 1:20
    * 50 stroke or kick - 1:00

    200 Cool down

    (5100 total)
    Swim Workouts
  13. 10.14.13 - Monday workout

    by , October 14th, 2013 at 10:58 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Roger, Dave, Dave and Carole. Feeling beat up after weekend pickup soccer but at least I didn't have a cold today. Swam Saturday at the HSV Nat.

    Saturday workout:

    400 Warm up
    200 kick
    200 pull
    200 drill

    4 x 100 Free

    75 IM
    100 Free
    150 IM
    200 Free
    225 IM
    300 Free
    300 IM
    400 Free

    400 Free
    12 x 25 IM Order
    6 x 50 Free
    9 x 25 IM Order
    4 x 50 Free
    6 x 25 IM Order
    100 Free
    3 x 25 IM Order

    200 Cool down

    (5100 Total)

    Monday workout:
    600 Warm up

    8 x 25 - :40 (odds one breath, evens no breath)

    6 x 50 Free - :45

    5 x 100 - 1:30 2 Free/3 IM

    10 Rounds of:
    * 100 Stroke - 1:20 (fly x 3, bk pull w/ paddles x 4, br x 3)
    * 50 Free - 1:10
    100 Easy
    Fly was 1:18-1:20, bk was 1:14-1:20, br was 1:21-1:23 was hoping br was a little faster.

    3 x 100 Free - 1:30, descend (1:20, 1:12, 1:08)
    4 x 25 drill - :40
    3 x 100 Kick - 2:00, descend
    4 x 25 drill - :40
    3 x 100 Stroke - 1:45, descend
    4 x 25 drill - :40
    4 x 25 pull - 1:30, descend (1:10, 1:05, 1:00)

    200 Easy fly (cool down)

    (5000 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  14. 10.11.13 - Friday workout

    by , October 11th, 2013 at 01:33 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave, Jonny and Roger. Still have lots of sinus congestion but at least my shoulders felt better today. Everybody picked their own set today. Pool temp up to 86.


    600 Warm up

    Dave's set:
    10 x 100 - 1:30 Odds free, evens IM
    100 Easy
    Did 1:15s ->1:12 on free, 1:25 -> 1:18 on IM

    Roger's first set:
    6 Rounds of:
    * 100 Stroke hard - 1:45
    * 50 Easy - 1:00
    100 hard fly (1:16)
    50 Easy

    My set:
    15 rounds of:
    * 50 Hard pull - :30 (all over the place on this :27 to :31)
    * 25 Easy pull - :45
    25 easy pull
    With the pool temp @ 86, I wanted something faster paced with more rest. This seemed to work ok. For some reason, I'd fade and barely miss the :30 interval only to swim a :28 on the next 50.

    Roger's second set:
    5 x 200 - 3:30, convert fly -> kick
    My shoulders were toast after the pull so I dropped my drag suit and did ok through this. Final kick was IM @ 3:18 which is fairly fast for me. Might be a PB.

    200 Cool down

    (5100 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  15. 10.10.13 - Thursday workout

    by , October 10th, 2013 at 01:28 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave and Carole. Feeling better today but my shoulders ached badly after the warmup. I decided to take it a little easier and swam w/o my drag suit.


    600 Warm up

    6 x 50 - :45

    10 Rounds of:
    * 100 Free - 1:10 (1:04s-1:06s, finished on 1:02)
    * 50 Free - 1:10
    100 Easy

    3 x 100 free - 1:30, descend (1:16, 1:12, 1:07)
    4 x 25 drill - :40
    3 x 100 IM kick - 2:00, descend (1:48, 1:42, cheated)
    4 x 25 drill - :40
    3 x 100 fly - 1:45, descend (1:30, 1:25, 1:20)
    4 x 25 drill - :40
    3 x 100 pull - 1:30, descend (1:10, 1:05, :58)
    4 x 25 drill - :50
    This was a "mess w/ Dave" set. He was holding back on the first set of 100s waiting to drop a 1:01 on me on the 4th 100. Except there wasn't a 4th one like yesterday . I don't have a chance keeping up with him on the kick so I quietly put fins on for the third 100. He didn't notice and was looking away from me through the fly kick confident he was putting plenty of distance on me. When he turned, I was already past the flags cruising off on bk kick. For the pull, my bag of tricks was pretty empty so I had to race straight up. I took a slight lead into the first 50 but gave it up with a bad turn. He returned the favor @ 75 and we both came in at about the same time.

    5 x 100 - 1:30 (2 free/3 IM - 1:20, 1:22, 1:12)

    8 x 25 - :40, odds one breath; evens no breath
    did 4 free, 4 fly

    200 Easy fly (cool down)

    (5000 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  16. 10.09.13 - Wednesday workout

    by , October 9th, 2013 at 03:03 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave and Roger. Still feeling pretty bad today. My daughter got back from the doctor who seems to think she and everyone else w/ sinus problems this time of year are allergic to something they spray on the cotton. It would make sense because this is a cotton year (typically rotates corn, soybeans, cotton) for the local farmers. While I live in a subdivision, we are still surrounded by farmland and no doubt exposed to whatever they spray on the crops. Anyway, cotton should be picked soon and I can move on from this constant sinus infection.


    600 Warm up

    6 x 50 - :45

    10 Rounds of:
    * 100 Free - 1:10 (mostly 1:07s and 1:08s... finished w/ 1:04)
    * 50 Easy - 1:10
    100 Easy

    4 x 100 Free - 1:30, descend (1:15 -> 1:07)
    4 x 25 fly drill - :45
    4 x 100 IM Kick - 2:00, descend (1:52 -> 1:38)
    4 x 25 bk drill - :45
    4 x 100 Stroke - 1:45, descend (bk 1:40 -> 1:24)
    4 x 25 br drill - :45
    4 x 100 Pull - 1:30, descend (1:15 -> 1:00)
    4 x 25 free drill - :45

    12 x 25 - :40, odds one breath, evens no breath

    200 easy fly (cool down)

    (5000 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  17. 10.07.13 - Tuesday workout

    by , October 8th, 2013 at 02:32 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave and Carole. Feeling better today. Tough workout for being unable to breathe fully. I think I'm just dealing w/ seasonal allergies and the sinus infections that come with them.


    600 Warm up

    6 x 50 - :45
    20 x 100 - 1:15 (made 15, rested 1 and made the last 4)
    100 Easy

    4 Rounds of:
    * 4 x 25 stroke (IM by round) - :30 2 easy/2 hard
    * 4 x 25 kick (IM by round) - :40 2 easy/2 hard
    * 4 x 25 pull - :30 2 easy/2 hard

    6 x 25 - :40, 1 breath down/no breath back

    400 Timed IM kick (7:00)
    50 easy

    6 x 50 - 1:00 (fly, back, br) x 2
    6 x 50 - 1:00 underwater sdk w/ fins down, easy back

    100 Cool down

    (5400 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  18. 10.06.13 - Monday workout

    by , October 7th, 2013 at 07:50 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave and Roger. Felt pretty bad again as I've battled a cold all weekend.


    600 Warm up

    100 Fly - 2:00
    100 Fly - 2:00 / 200 IM - 3:00 / 100 Fly - 2:00
    100 Fly - 2:00 / 200 IM - 3:00 / 300 Free - 4:00 / 200 IM - 3:00 / 100 Fly - 2:00
    100 Fly - 2:00 / 200 IM - 3:00 / 300 Free - 4:00 / 400 Free - 5:00 / 300 Free - 4:00 / 200 IM - 3:00 / 100 Fly - 2:00
    100 Easy
    Another mountain like Thursday. The fly was a tough wrinkle even though I could cruise through it. Roger pushed me pretty hard on the 400. I though we were going faster but we only made 4:55.

    6 x 100 Up/Down kick - 1:30 (:00) Start w/ 100 kick

    24 x 25 pull - :30 (2 easy/2 hard no breath)

    16 x 25 - :30 easy/hard

    200 Cool down

    (5500 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  19. 10.05.13 - Saturday workout

    by , October 5th, 2013 at 09:52 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave and Mary. Felt pretty cruddy today with the beginning of a cold and 4 hours of sleep. I think Dave sensed my weakness and took advantage. He was on the 1:10 pace and I was stuck at 1:12 . Didn't expect to do quite so much yardage either.


    500 warm up
    400 Reverse IM Order - drill down, swim back

    100 Free - 1:30
    1 x 200 Free - 3:00
    200 Free - 3:00
    2 x 100 Br - 2:00
    300 Free - 4:30
    4 x 50 Bk - 1:00
    400 Free - 5:30
    8 x 25 Fly - :30

    400 Free - 5:30
    1 x 200 Kick w/ fins - 3:00
    100 IM - 2:00
    300 Free - 4:30
    2 x 100 Kick w/ fins - 1:45
    100 IM - 2:00
    200 Free - 3:00
    4 x 50 Kick w/ fins - 1:00
    100 IM - 2:00
    100 free - 1:30
    8 x 25 Kick w/ fins - :30
    100 IM - 2:00

    6 Rounds of:
    * 25 Pull - :50
    * 50 Pull - :50
    * 75 Pull - :50

    200 Cool down

    (6000 Total)
    Swim Workouts
  20. 10.04.13 - Friday workout

    by , October 4th, 2013 at 03:29 PM (Pete's swim blog)
    Swam w/ Dave, Dave, Chris, Roger and Mark. Dave came back from his Swiss vacation and brought chocolate! It was a make it up as you go Friday. Here's what we did.


    600 Warm up

    Mark's set:
    5 Rounds of:
    * 100 Free - 1:20 (did 25 stroke/75 free)
    * 100 Kick - 1:40
    50 Easy
    I led but Chris kept running into me because he was doing all free. That earned him the lead and no more drafting my breaststroke kick.

    Roger's set:
    5 x (100 IM/100 IM kick) - 3:20, 3:15, 3:10, 3:05, 3:00
    50 Easy
    Chris led but started running out of gas after #3. I kicked all br on #4 to pass and finished #5 on 3:00. Pretty happy w/ that since I didn't think I'd be able to make it.

    My set:
    6 Rounds of:
    * 100 Pull - 1:10, hard (1:03, 1:02, 1:00, 1:04, 1:00, 1:00)
    * 50 Pull - 1:10, easy
    2:00 Rest
    100 Timed pull (:57 - no drag suit)
    50 Easy
    Chris moved over a lane so he, Dave and I could battle this one out. I stayed ahead on the first five. Chris got me on #6 but paid the price and had to get out of the pool to throw up. With Chris out, it was just me and "Sally Save-up" Dave for the last one. I dropped my drag suit so I'd have a fighting chance but he edged me out. Fun set! Nothing like three evenly matched swimmers going at it.

    10 x 25 Choice - :40, hard
    Each of us chose two 25s. I think we went bk x 2, br pullouts - no breath x 2, fly x 2, pull x 2, and choice x 2

    10 x 25 hard kick - :40

    250 Cool down

    (4500 Total)
    Swim Workouts
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