After an overly exciting weekend of swimming and driving, I hurt like hell. I’ve got a lot of creaky joints that are none to pleased with what I’ve been up to. Tonight’s swim was basically the warm down I should have done at Mission Viejo. When I’m at a swim meet I have very little patience for warming down, especially with a bunch of other people in the same lane and a 4 hour drive ahead of me. I really need to slow down and spend a little more time swimming after I’m done racing.

I seriously only swam like 1000 yards tonight. Lame I know. But I found it prudent to listen to my body and take it easy for one more day. Now is not the time to be hurting myself! I don’t think I’m currently swimming enough yardage to taper in any meaningful way, so I’m thinking I’m going to want to increase my intensity the next few days and then coast through next week before nationals. I’m going to work on setting some goals for Clovis and get them posted sometime this week.

Me and Nancy at the Cal Tech Pentathlon

Just wanted to share that my adopted coach from Conejo Simi Aquatics, Nancy Kirkpatrick-Reno, won the 2008 SPMA Coach of the Year! I’m very excited for her! Last year at the Santa Clarita SCM meet she struck up a conversation with me and she figured out that I wasn’t attached to a team. She had her team adopt me for the day. Nancy kept an eye on my swims, and gave me some really good feedback on my swimming. That was the first time I had any attention from a coach as a masters swimmer and it was a really productive day for me. Later on they decided to keep me :) I was invited to join CSAM and I attached in December. Since then I’ve swam relays with her team and I’ve even managed to make my way to a workout with them (despite the 2 1/2 hour drive). I can’t wait to hook back up with her and the rest of the Conejo Simi Masters team at Nationals.

Nancy did a video for the LA Times earlier this year, check it out here.

For next year I suggest you keep your eye on Chad Durieux from Rosebowl and Ahelee Sue Osborn. I think both are really good positive influences in SPMA. Chad has a good crew and and puts a lot of energy into making sure his team swims fast and has fun. Ahelee is one of my favorite masters people and an unstoppable force of swimming enthusiasm! She’s a good coach and a smoking fast swimmer who happened to set a few National Records this weekend at SPMA Championships. Ahelee has given me lots of great swimming feedback and encouragement at meets and online for which I am very grateful. She’s the official Rob Aquatics National Team Coach which happens to be an imaginary job, but if it were real she’d have it :)

Last night they did a swimming Simpson’s intro! I looked all over for a video of it but I couldn’t find anything. Luckily The Screaming Viking Swim Blog managed to find a copy… I embedded the good part below.

You can watch the whole episode here on Hulu.

**UPDATE 28APR09: Results are now posted here.

Warm up around 7:30ish

This morning I woke up about 250 miles away from my swim meet the day prior, stumbled to the car, and made my way to pool at Mission Viejo. To say I was tired would be an understatement. I warmed up pretty much right when the pool opened and then proceeded to pass in and out of consciousness in my chair for the next half hour. Eventually I woke up enough and went out looking for familiar faces. I ran into Patrick and Kathleen from Rosebowl and as has become our tradition I set up my gear by them mooched some of their shade.

My first event was the 200 free and it was the first time I have raced it as an adult. I wasn’t really sure what to expect or how to race it. I’m told I swam it very smoothly, but I think it could have been a lot faster. I just couldn’t break all the way into a sprint at any point during the race. Saturday’s swims were still sitting heavy in my muscles. The good news is I can swim 1:01 without feeling like I am sprinting. I’m curious what my 100 time would be right now… the world may never know. But like I said I went out in 1:01 and I finished with a 2:09. Not great but about where I guessed. I entered a 2:10 and I predicted a 2:07 so I kind of split the difference. If I swim it again on purpose, I think I could drop upwards of 5-6 seconds in a fresher state.

Up next was the 50 breast which is kind of a “palate cleanser” for me. It’s an event I like to swim but I don’t really care about the outcome of. We had a bit of a delay on the start because one of the blocks was wobbly. Apparently they’re held steady with wood blocks and lane 8′s block had gone rogue right before my heat. After waiting an awkwardly long time for my heat to get going they finally called us back onto the blocks. I got a solid start and an excellent pull down. The sun was pretty much directly above us so I could watch my streamline via shadow on the bottom of the pool which was kind of cool. I popped up around mid-pool somewhere, pulled like crazy to get to the wall, and then did another pull down as big as I could. Most of the heat finished right on top of each other. I’m not sure where I finished in the heat, but I was within about 2 tenths of a second of my best time. I got some video courtesy of Kathleen below. I’m the guy that takes forever to surface in the black suit.

My last event of the day was the 50 free. Another re-match with Tony from the SCAQ Blog! We’ve gone back and forth this season. Today, he had my number. I was happy however to be back in the 25′s. I’ve had a few questionable 50 freestyles recently so it was nice to get in a decent one. Ahelee said that she has some video for us, so you may see that hit the blog sometime soon.

Besides racing today I did a whole bunch of talking! I got to see a bunch of my favorite swimmer friends and talk shop. I was parked with the Rosebowl crew, but I got to spend some time with Tony and Ahelee, and I got to meet a few new people. One guy that I had interacted with on the USMS Forums introduced himself to me, it was nice to put a face to the name. I also got a chance to talk to one of the guys from the Santa Maria masters group that I’ve been trying to find the time to drop in on.

The meet itself was well run and fairly mellow for a championship meet. You could tell a mix of Sunday meet fatigue and the fact that Nationals is only 2 weeks away had an impact on the overall number of people at the pool today. I didn’t have any super fantastic swims, but my plan was to be a little burnt out right now. Having the chance to catch up with people in person as opposed to via e-mail or Facebook made it worth the trip down. Now I need to start focusing on my races at Nationals… I’m excited for it!

Random Action!

View of the pool

Patrick deep in thought over why one would enter the 400IM

Ill advised self portraiture

Me, Ahelee and Tony after the meet

**UPDATE: Meet results have been posted here.

Today I swam my first ever long course meters swim meet! I have a new found respect for LCM… I like my walls dude! On a normal SCY 100 fly I only do 6-7 strokes before I turn, LCM is like 30… it’s very weird.

The meet was pretty small like they usually are in SLO. I’d say 30ish swimmers tops. The sun was shining, but the wind was blowing like crazy and it made things pretty cold. The shades they had set up for the timers had to be disassembled because they were being pulled apart by the wind!

My first event of the day was the 50 fly. They started the 50′s on the shallow end of the pool so I had to channel everything I had learned at the Fullerton swim meet to do starts that didn’t lead to concussions or a bleeding chest. My start left me incredibly close to the bottom but just high enough! From there I just pulled and kicked as hard as I could. Since there is no turn there was nothing to think about just GO GO GO! The guy on my right hand side was pretty fast and I couldn’t quite catch him. I finished second with a 30.2 or 30.3 which is a second faster than I ever swam it in SCM. I think it converts into 26 territory in SCY.

After the 50 fly I had maybe 20 minutes to chill out until my next event, the 100 fly. There were only two of us brave enough to swim the fly today apparently. Me and a lady who had a few years on me. I was still feeling my first swim on the start, but I managed to find a rhythm pretty quickly. I tried to keep myself as long and as loose as possible. I really missed the walls though! I like to dolphin kick! Anyways… on the way back I was good until about the last 15 meters. My stroke started to disintegrate. I managed to come in at 1:09 which is the equivalent of about 1:00 flat in SCY. I might have been able to go a little faster if I had someone to race. The lady in the lane next to me had a good swim but came in quite a bit after me.

When I finished Coach Phil from the Seahawks who was running the meet announced they’d take a little break for me since I was in the 50 free which was the next event. I had maybe 5 minutes between the 100 fly and the 50 free… yikes. My arms were on fire. I got up on the blocks took a deep breath and just hoped for the best. I started out ok, but I faded in the middle of the pool. Yay lactic acid. I finished in about 31 seconds which is pretty slow…

At this point I knew I was done for the day. I was scheduled for a 4th event but it was coming up in about 10 minutes and I was smoked. My arms and shoulders were super tight and there was no more racing worth doing coming out of them today.

Now, about 6 hours later, I’m down in Irvine getting ready for the SPMA Regional Championships. I’m swimming the 200 free, 50 free, and 50 breast tomorrow. I’ll see you kids at the pool!

I just did my last short practice before I go on a whirlwind tour of the entire SPMA region in one weekend. Tomorrow I’m planning on hitting the SLO Seahawks Spring Fling which happens to be a Long Course Meters meet at the very end of Short Course Yards season… why not. It is also the northernmost pool that holds masters meets in SPMA. Once I am done up there I need to drive 250 miles south to Mission Viejo for the last day of the SPMA SCY Regional Championships. Mission Viejo, I believe, is the southernmost team in the SPMA region… any further and you enter San Diego Imperial. This season I’ve been to every SPMA meet except 1 (scheduling conflict) and I made my way to two that were out of my LMSC. I did the math and by the end of Nationals I will have traveled roughly 4738 miles to go to swim meets during SCY season. I think I need to get a distance traveled award or at least some recognition for being that crazy guy that shows up to everything even though he lives nowhere near anything.

Anyways. Tonight’s swim was just enough to stay loose for this weekend. I have a feeling a lot of my swims are going to fall into the “character building” category. I just want to get out there this weekend, give it whatever I’ve got and then move on to focusing on USMS Nationals in two weeks. I have no real expectations for the LCM meet because I’ve never raced LCM before. These will be baseline setting times. On Sunday I am swimming some goofy events. I’ve got the 200 free for the 1st time as an adult, the 50 breast and the 50 free. In the 200 I’m trying to get as close to 2 minutes as I can. If I had to guess I’d say I’ll probably go 2:07ish but I have no idea. In the 50′s I want to go low 33 for breaststroke and mid 25 for freestyle.

I’ll try to get a post up tomorrow night when I get to my hotel, but if I can’t you can always follow along on Twitter. By the way, if you are a LCM fan or happen to be around San Luis Obispo, the meet doesn’t get going until the afternoon and deck entries are available. Here’s the meet sheet.

In BIG SWIMSUIT NEWS…. word on the street from my buddy Tony over at the SCAQ blog is that B70 is going to implement a $200 rebate deal for people that buy B70 swim skins after May 1st April 1st to help them buy the next generation suit if the current suit is deemed illegal by FINA. This story is still in it’s early stages so we don’t know everything just yet. You can get more details here.

**UPDATE: After pointing out how May 1st wasn’t the best cut off for masters swimmers B70 pushed the date back to April 1st for the rebate program. That kind of changes big portions of the rest of the post, but I left it intact because it was all true at the time…

I think this is a bolder sounding move than it really is because so many people already have their suits and this wouldn’t apply to them. Most major mid year meets are done – high school champs, Y Nationals, etc. USMS Nationals is in May, but if you want to make absolutely sure you have a B70 before the meet I would think you’d really have to order it before May 1st to ensure delivery (I’ve heard rumors of back order problems). Still I think it is an excellent good will gesture, and marketing maneuver, to help sell swim suits to people considering investing in a suit that has a lot of speculation surrounding its legality. I go to a lot of swim meets and the general consensus by most people is they think there’s no way it can still be legal next year. Whether they are right or not remains to be seen, but the rebate deal definitely shows how dedicated B70 is in being a major player in pool swimming.

Oh and just to make your decision harder… there is still a 15% discount for Masters Swimmers only currently going on until April 30th. So do you go for the discount or bet on the suit becoming illegal and winning $200 bucks for the next one you were probably going to buy anyways? Me, I’m still enamored with my Tracer Light. I will admit that I am B70 curious, but I’m not particularly confident that they make a suit that would fit me.

Anyways, there’s your swim news/rumor/gossip/speculation post of the week :) What do you guys think about it?

Honestly, I still don’t believe how many of you people work out in the morning, like all the time. I begrudgingly arose at about 5:30 this morning to go do a long course workout up in San Luis Obispo. There’s a LCM meet there this weekend I’m dropping in on before I drive down to Orange County for the SPMA SCY Championships. I figured I need to actually swim LCM every once in a while if I expect to race it. I plunked myself down in the “fast” lane this morning. It wasn’t actually a fast place to be, but there was only person in it so it wasn’t that big a deal. When I needed to pass her I just drifted into the other side of the lane and kept going.

I swam 1600 meters, I wanted to hang out longer but I still had to drive home and get ready for work.

500 free
2 x 50 fly
400 free
100 free
50 fly
50 free
100 free
200 free
100 free

My workout wasn’t particularly structured. I’m not really capable of rational human thought before about 9AM so writing out a workout wasn’t going to happen.

Big news kids… the heat sheets for all events under 200 yards have been posted online!

View Heat Sheets Here

There is also a tentative timeline posted here.

Who is going?

It is unbearably hot out here on the coast. I grew up in cold weather and I am ill equipped to deal with the heat. One of the nice things about living on the coast is that it gets warm but never super hot. Well today it was 99 degrees at my office in Grover Beach… and you might say big deal, turn on your air conditioning… well basically nobody around here has air conditioning. So now what is probably one of the most laid back areas in the state is full of angry, sweaty people… awesome. Luckily I have a pool to swim in!

I hit the pool tonight and did a short workout. Partially to cool down from the heat and partially to cool down from my meet this last weekend. I’m still a little sore and I want to keep swimming through it, but I don’t want to hurt anything because I am racing again this weekend. I actually started with a real workout but it devolved into me just swimming what I felt like.

Warm Up
400 free
100 kick
400 free

100 fly
50 fly
50 fly

100 easy (free/kick)

2 x 50 fly fast
50 free sprint

50 kick

300 cool down

1700 yards total

Tomorrow I should be back to my regularly scheduled programming. I think I’ll need to mix in at least 1 early morning LCM workout as prep for the meet in San Luis Obispo on Saturday. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever raced LCM in my life so this should be interesting. Deck entries are available if you’re not swimming at the SPMA champs this weekend.