I started the blog at the end of summer in 2008. It began as a way for me to keep track of my workouts and keep myself motivated to continue going to the pool by myself to get better, faster, and less fat. So far so good. My first trip back into a pool came out to grand total of 200 agonizing yards, fortunately I’ve gotten much better!

Since then the blog has taken on a life of its own and grown to levels I never expected! I’ve meet so many cool people and gotten the opportunity to do so much cool stuff all by shouting into the internet, I really can’t believe it! At the beginning of the year I was getting around 10 visitors a day, now I’m seeing 3000+ a month and it’s still growing! You can see below how things have grown as time went by in 2009…

In 2009 RobAquatics had visitors from every state in the US and 122 different countries! The blog visited and recapped 26 swim events from 4 different Masters LMSCs (SPMA, PMS, SIMA, & ILMSA), including 3 USMS National Championship events (1 pool, 2 open water). I got to swim workouts with about 10 different Masters teams/workout groups. I also took the blog to the US Aquatic Sports Convention in Chicago and reported what was going on in the USMS House of Delegates. 2010 looks to be even bigger and I have some really cool stuff that I’m working on right now that I think you’ll like!!!

Thank you to everyone that’s been a reader this year, everyone that’s left comments (here on the blog, on facebook, or twitter), everyone who has introduced themselves to me on the pool deck, all of my volunteer photographers and cinematographers, and those of you brave enough to try and zip me into various techsuits behind the blocks :) This has been such a good thing in my life, and I hope you guys like it as well. It all really means a lot to me and I appreciate your readership and your friendship.

Thank you all again for a fantastic year and I hope to get a chance to meet as many of you as I can in the water in 2010!

Loki models the metallized Socket Rockets

I said goodbye to one of my favorite pairs of goggles today… not that I don’t have an epic collection to back them up, but these were a personal favorite for outside lunchtime swims. I’m a big fan of the TYR Socket Rockets as workout goggles and wear them in most practices but never in meets (I wear blueseventy Element goggles for racing and open water). Unfortunately the demise of these goggles can be chalked up to user error. I have a tendency to leave my swim bag to cook in the truck while I’m in the office and well the heat finally got to them. The strap is all melty and and the silicone on the cups is all gummy too so they’re done for.

front view of a lens

I know a lot of people swear by regular hard plastic swedish goggles, I have a pile of them myself, but these goggles take all the good stuff about swedes and make them just a little bit better. The Socket Rockets have a little layer of silicone (or some other mystery rubber) that softens the impact between your eye socket and the plastic cup of the goggle. I wear mine a little loose for working out and I leave the pool without any goofy goggle marks on my face. The only downside to wearing them the way I do is that they’re no good for starts and dives.

the silicone that makes all the difference

If you want to get yourself a pair you can get them in all kinds of colors for about $6… if you want metallized they run about $13… I need to go get some new ones to make up for my dead pair!

Hit Kennedy after work today for a swim, I didn’t see any other masters types that I knew so I set about to doing my own thing for a while. I ended up doing another 2000m swim… I’d do more but I just get bored mentally. I should have brought my SwiMP3, I just wasn’t anticipating being alone tonight, oh well.

Here’s the workout:

400 swim
2 x 100 kick
200 pull

200 IM

4 x 200 free
100 hard

100 kick/cool down

2000 long course meters total

Hopefully people actually show up in Santa Maria for lunchtime workout tomorrow! I need to swim with some people, this holiday absenteeism is killing me!

Just a friendly reminder that for a lot of you your USMS registration is about to expire! I did mine way back at the beginning of November and you can see the step by step of how it works here if you need the help! Stay current and save your LMSC’s registrar some time and a stamp!

Go to http://www.usms.org/reg/ to get started!

Today’s workout in Santa Maria was a lonely one. Of our regular masters group I was the lone swimmer. I’ve shown up for days with just 2 swimmers, but I’ve never had to swim solo there. I put in a decent 2k which is about all I can stay interested in when I’m swimming alone.

200 swim
200 kick
200 pull

5 x 100 kick w/ fins @2:00

8 x 50 IM order @ 1:00

5 x 100 free @ 1:30

2000 yards total

To add to my excitement today, my goggles partially melted onto my head. I had black chunks of rubber stuck to my dome when I got back to the office… it’s a good think I’m bald because that would suck to try to get out of your hair!

all that black stuff is goggle residue, yuck

Swam after work tonight at Kennedy in SLO. It was a little cold and there were only 2 of us tonight. We didn’t do a ton of yardage but it hurt man! I must have tweaked something unusual in my upper body, hopefully that kink works itself out!

500 swim

4 x 150 free, stroke, free by 50

4 x 50 fast @ 1:00
100 kick easy

5 x 100 pull @ 2:00

100 cool down

2000 long course meters total plus a trip to the hot tub

I’m still getting used to long course again. I did some butterfly today… it was a good reminder of how dependent I am on walls! Yikes. Maybe working out here will at least get me ready for a 200m fly during long course season (did I really just say that?). Anyways, I need to hit up my coaches down at CVMM for some LCM workouts as inspiration for these swims at Kennedy. Tomorrow I’m off to swim in Santa Maria and if I’m feeling inspired I might even sneak in a Kennedy swim too… we’ll see if that really happens

I decided to join Kennedy Club Fitness so that I can have access to an extra local workout group. I picked up my card this morning and went and made use of it a little later in the day. Kennedy has one gym about 2 or 3 miles from my house with a 3 lane 25 yard pool, a monster gym in SLO with a 50m pool, and a couple gyms in the north county that I’m pretty much never going to see because I don’t crest the Cuesta Grade so often.

Anyways… I was excited that it was raining because I figured I could swim some long course by myself. I got up to the Kennedy in SLO and grabbed a lane all to myself. Once the rain let up a few more people hopped in and I ended up sharing my lane which was fine seeing as we only needed to see each other once every 50m or so. I swam 2000m today broken into 500′s. Having access to this pool is going to be awesome when summer comes and I need to start getting ready for open water action! The other part I’m digging about this pool is the hot tub a few steps away from it, perfect way to wind down after a swim!

Suit’o'the day, I figured I should make my first day memorable :)

By the time I got home I was still a little fidgety so I decided to go hit my other gym in Pismo (yes I belong to 2 gyms at the moment… gotta work on that) and do a little dryland. I spent about 30 minutes playing nice with the elliptical machine to burn off my extra energy. Now I can feel ok about spending the rest of my day lounging on the couch!


I thought this was kind of fun and ridiculous. The picture is by a dude from Belgium named Kris Van Beek. You can check out more of his photo work at www.krisvanbeek.com.

Apparently the word got out that I wanted to bulk up my swimsuit collection with some overly ridiculous suits… well that’s exactly what I got this year :) Check it out!

Koi Sunset (Splish), Fish Dude (Splish), Skulls (Splish), Grey Flames (Splish), White Tiger (Splish), Hypnotica Baggies (Dolfin), Pink Tiger Jammer (Splish), Blue Sparkly Jammer (Splish), Stained Glass Drag Suit (Nike)

I got a whole bunch of awesome suits from Splish, a more sparkly than anticipated suit from Dolfin, and a suave Nike drag suit. There are definitely some crowd pleasers in there! I’m not sure which one to wear first!

I also got my hands on a really cool blueseventy backpack to help me cart all this stuff around to meets. I’m hoping to do a lot of traveling this coming year and good bags are key!

B70 Nero Bag

I hope you all have a good holiday, whatever yours may be!

I swam in Santa Maria today and I made one major tactical error… I only had wet suits with me. Normally I don’t really get cold on the pool deck, but standing outside in a wet drag suit in high wind got to me, no fun dude. Luckily the water was nice even though you could really feel the breeze blowing across your head and arms while you were swimming.

Since the pool was closed a lot the last month most everybody that swims with this group is a little out of sync with their swimming so today was mainly an attempt to get everyone back into their swimmer rhythm.

200 swim
200 kick
200 pull

10 x 50 w/ fins odd – catch up/fist drill, even – build

500 free
400 free
300 free
200 free
100 free

2600 yards total

I could really feel the long course swim I did last night, but overall it was a good workout. I really really didn’t want to get out when we were done though! It was frosty out there!

In other news I got my disc of my swims at SPMA SCM Champs from LiveSwim.net today. It’s pretty cool to be able to rewatch everything in a little higher quality. You can still watch pretty much every heat from the meet at grunions.liveswim.net