DOH! Daiquiri Deck Tropical Splash Swim. Not desk! DOH!
I'm too tired to think but I did okay for my first open water swim. I didn't get attacked by a shark so that is a win! I came in first in my age group and third overall. Not too bad. I only did the 1K Swim. I was a bit nervous since I've never done any open water swim and didn't know how to spot and all that. I think if I had a few gulf/ocean swims before today I would have done a bit better. I couldn't tell how far things were away from me. So I was going slow but steady. Just trying to stay on course and not get attacked by a shark. Actually the shark thing wasn't in my mind. All I did think about was staying on course. I started off with almost a water polo stroke. But then calmed down a bit. Keeping to a looksie every 4 strokes and by the end every 8. They didn't even give me a fun number. 65 WTF? I also gotta say that I don't think I ever want to do another open water swim. The sand and salt water is nasty. People are all over the place. I got hit, pushed, kicked, cut off...grrr. I was about to make my hands into fists and go all windmill on a few folks. I really don't know why anyone would want to do open water. Waves splashing all over. Fishes. Sharks. Salt Water. I am a pool guy.
Here is a slideshow of pictures of the beach from the day before and just 4 or so from the day of the race.
I've been bitching and moaning at myself for not being motivated enough at swim practice. So I entered the Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic from October 14 - 16. Check it out at rowdygainesclassic.com. Anyways since I paid for this meet I better work hard the next month. I also didn't sandbag my times too much. I just rounded up a smudge. That way even if I continue my slow swimming I will have to work hard to make my entry times. Oh god, I should have sandbagged them even more. I'm nervous now. Hopefully this will motivate me in Swimtember!
Wahoo I'm a Boy! Anyone over 20 who uses boy to describe them needs to be slapped but for today I was a boy. Boys 40-44! Ha! Yeah, I sandbagged my entry. I never swam a 50 in a long course pool. Well not since the 70's. Woah. That time sucked. It sucked so much my camera couldn't stand looking at it and cut off my time. Yeah, I sucked today. Wahoo! Default! I'm getting use to winning by default. That's two weekends in a row. Hmm...I'm getting slower but this lack of swimmers in Central Florida is allowing me to phone it in!
Knowing that I just wasn't in a swim meet state of mind I took today as a swim practice. I swam my slowest times ever but I got some time in a long course pool. I actually thought of skipping the meet all together but it was only 30 minutes away so I decided to go and just bite the bullet. I entered myself in 5 events which included two sprints! I wonder how drunk I was when I filled out the entry form? I entered the 50 fly, 50 back, 200 back, 200 butterfly and 400 freestyle. I will admit that I ended up scratching the 200 butterfly. I so wasn't feeling it. Plus I didn't was to be toast for the 400 free. Mainly because in every other event I was the only person in my age group but in the 400 there was someone entered with me. Since his seeded time was close to mine I really wanted to have a race. Well it turned out that he scracthed the 400 free and my time was so slow that I should have done the 200 butterfly since I don't know if I could have gone any slower. When we arrived to the pool I was informed that a fire had taken away the pool's locker rooms. So they had outdoor showers and trailers of locker rooms. As for the pool itself the depth was 3 to 4 feet deep. Not an ideal place for a swim meet but what they hey it's a chance to swim. We found some shade and staked out some space. I did a very short warm up. I could tell that I was just not going to have a good day. I was a bit wonky. I also kept getting distracted by how shallow the pool was, the big gaps of plaster on the bottom of the pool and the odd white traffic cone in the middle of the next lane over. I did a 500 meter warm up. I had a few events before I'd swim my first 50. I enteretained myself by listening in to the conversations around me. The lady in front of me was the editor of the Florida LMSC's newsletter. To which I kept thinking "they have a newsletter"? Newsletters seem so PTA-ish with annoucements of bake sales for school books. Even though I thought the pool was crappy and was feeling like shit a guy to my right broke some record in the 50 butterfly. I think he then missed a record in the 200 butterfly. Then there was a girl between the newsletter gal and the record breaking guy who just was chattering up a storm. Think she was given too much meth or something. I really wanted to tell her to shut up at one point. The timers were local kids from the age group team. The girls were squealing, well like school girls. I should say they were supose to be timing but think they spent more texting and playing Angry Birds. While waiting for heats I got to hear all the gossip about the cute boys and the girls who are skanks. Teenage gossip! Also I know all the afternoon times for Harry Potter as they were discussing which time to go see it. That and if one guy was going to take a nap or go hang out with this girl at her house. Yeah, I spent way too much time waiting for the 400 freestyle. The coolest thing of the day, and no pun intended, was seeing the makeshift pool chillers. See that pvc piping? Well it snaked down along the wall underwater. Above the water which was covered by a towel was some sorta mechanism that then spread the pool water over the pool to chill it out. I so wish I had an underwater camera to show the extent of pvc pipe in the water. This part of the pool was deep as it was a diving well. Deep for this pool but not to deep for diving wells. From a pool with a pimped out pvc pool chilling system to a pimped out car. That was my day. You may have noticed the lack of talk about my swims mainly cuz' they sucked. To sum up the meet "It was like a workout but with timers." Yeah, that it was. I'm tired and sore from the swims. Just a shame my times weren't good. Oh and don't expect any pictures from this meet in your local PTA I mean Florida LMSC Newsletter. The editor dropped her camera in the water. Doh!
First off these are not as bad as I was thinking. I'm not jumping the moon over my times but my splits tell me a story. I just don't like the ending of this story. So the 150 was a bit slower. But I rallied at the end. So when I thought I was moving faster I really was moving faster. Once again I'm not jumping for joy over a 2:36.90 but my pacing wasn't horrible. Okay now the fly is a whole other story. Now it wasn't a piano that fell on my back is was the entire state of Florida that fell on my back. Look at those splits. I died! But the one positive thing that I can see out of it was that when I was hurting when I wanted to just give up at the end I was able to go a few tenths of a second faster on the last 50 compared to the third one. Hey, it's something of a rally.
Today started at the crack of darkness at 4am! Which is early to wake up for a swim meet but not as early as waking up to run a marathon. I had to walk the dog, eat breakfast, shower and shave. Well I really didn't have to shower but I find shaving the face is easier after a hot shower. Then I meet up with Connie and Cyn to head down to the Bumpy Jones Classic. When we got there I staked out my space with some of the swim meet essentials - water, G2, grapes, sunblock, cliff bar, sunblock, Gu Shots and more water
1 of 1 - The Cooler of GoodiesWhile sitting in the stands waiting for my swim mates to get ready for warm up I look bellow me and the man, the legend The Bumpy Jones was sitting down below.
2 of 12 - The Legend of Bumpy Jones I admit I'm really not up on my swimming history and actually never heard of Bumpy till a few weeks ago. But he is some sorta swimming legend. The program had a wikipiedia like page about him but after swimming the 200 butterfly I attempted to toss my program in the trash in a show of defiance for my slow swim. Needless to say I failed and missed the trash bucket forcing myself to go back and repeat my failed temper tantrum. But anyways he must be famous if they named a swim meet after him. I mean I haven't been to the Joel McKenna Classic, yet!
3 of 12 - SASSY! Okay so I'm skipping ahead in the timeline of the day! I mean come on SASSY! So sometime between my 200 Backstroke and my 200 Butterfly I was in the warm up pool and while hanging out by the wall saw this sign for SASSY! I so want to be on a team called SASSY! Too bad it's for that synchronized "swimming" shit.
4 of 12 - The WarmUp This picture was pretty early in the warm up. People were still arriving. The lanes weren't too croweded. Actually they never did get overly crowded. Even the smaller warm up area was doable all day. Normally I hate meet warm up pools but I was okay today. Either that or I'm mellowing out at meets. Which I don't think is true cuz' I was nervous and peeing non-stop all day. Damn nervous energy! You may notice that the stands had fans that were turned on later in the day. It was comfy up in the stands and the locker rooms were a/c'ed so only being on deck was brutal.
5 of 12 - 200 LCM Backstroke I feel like Hertz or is it Avis? Well Friday when I swam the 800 LCM Free I came in 2nd in my age group and then again today in the 200 LCM Backstroke I came in 2nd. I'm actually okay with my time. Mainly because I've never swam the 200 LCM Backstroke event before. I've only swam one other LCM swim meet in my adult life and that was in 2008. I haven't even been in a LCM pool since last year. As for my stroke I really gotta work on that. In the pool I've been swimming in we always don't have flags so I'm always looking all over for the poles which carried over today. I wasn't as bad but I was circle swimming which is bad. I also was sorta all over the lane. I felt the lane line brush against my arm a few times. It wasn't a pretty swim. My push off the walls were pretty shitty. I blame my fear of my hip pain for taking them too softly. Really I wasn't preparred at all for this swim. I had voices of past coaches in my head. One of which will kill me for saying this cuz' I most likely remembered it wrong but the pacing of my arm swim cycle was off. I was trying to get it to what I think I was told was the correct way which would be that when one arm is up straight above me the other arm should be bent with my hand "painting" the wall so my arms would be at an "L" like shape. Once again I don't know if I'm saying that right or if that is even what she had said. Either way my backstroke needs work!
6 of 12 - Red Isn't Just For Commies, Even If I May Be One So two days, two events and two second places. Meh! I deserve what I get. I haven't been training as hard as I should. I know that. I just gotta do it. Also it's not just swimming I gotta do better hitting the weights. One thing I felt or learned today is that I don't have the omph in my pulling I use to have. I think weight training makes a big difference in my swimming. God knows my legs aren't doing anything so arms, chest and back need to pick it up!
7 of 12 - Woo hoo! The two sweetest words in the English language: de-fault! A wise fat yellow man once said "Woo hoo! The two sweetest words in the English language: de-fault!" And with that I got my 1st Place! Well 1 out of 1! First off you must be one sick individual to swim the 200 Butterfly! Really! If you don't believe me read SwimBrief's "Conversations You Have With Yourself During Every 200 Butterfly." Now 200 SCY and 200 LCM are two different beasts. First of all you have a lot less walls to cling on to and get that extra rest. Ya, we've all done it. You get to the wall and to stop for a very brief moment of time to regroup. Well with long course baby you get less chances! Before the event even was close I was already thinking of scratching. I haven't swam 200 butterfly even in a yard pool in months. What was I thinking? I'm out of shape! I can't swim four long course lengths butterfly! I've done this event once before in 2008 and did a 2:31..something or another. I had sandbagged my time with an entry of 2:45. I just wanted to do below a 2:40. Well sorry I always have two goals in my mind 1.) An Easy Goal and 2.) A Tougher Goal! The tougher goal was anything below a 2:31. I don't know I thought a miracle could happen. That the swim gods would shine down on me or would that be up at me? As we approached the blocks the guy next to me yelled to his teammate something or another about taking it out easy. I thought to myself "yeah, that's a good plan. go slow, be smooth..wait what did the coach say a million times about my stroke?" The double whistle, the long whistle or is it the long whislte then the double whistle? I've been swimming for a good enough time that I should know the order of the whistles and what they mean. Instead I look around for clues. Do I climb on the blocks now or later? Mind you it wasn't as bad at going to the blocks for the backstroke when the coach started the whistle while someone was still swimming from the previous heat in my lane! Doh! Anyways, whistles blow and I get on the block. Wobbly as always. I don't know what it is but I'm horrible on the blocks. I shake all about. My feet are unsteady. I'm a mess. Luckily we are only on the blocks for a short time. The beeping thing goes off and I'm off. I'm deep, I'm trying to kick, I'm fucked already! I start my stroke too soon while I'm still under water. I'm recovering underwater. Doh! I'm taking it easy the first 50 down the pool. Remembering to breath every two strokes. Mind you this means I inhale every two strokes and trying to remember to exhale in between. I'm not always good at that. In fact I mess up a bit and forgot to exhale. I'm taking it too easy but wonder if I'm taking it too too easy. I remember in the past that sometimes I've gone to slow at first. But wait the guy next to me is next to me and he was going to take it easy with his mate. So I must be okay, right? Take it easy. Breath. Exhale. Breath. Exhale. Wait am I burrying my head too deep? Are my hips coming up enough? Am I kicking? Yeah I think I am! Oh wait breath and exhale. The wall is coming. Don't forget to hand touch. Two hand touch. Oh shit! I didn't do the turn right. It's "hello, operator" like the telephone with one arm and what with the other? FUCK! Oh damn I so fucked my underwater kicking thinking about my arms in the turn. Oh fuck again, I breathed on my first stroke. Take it easy. Remember breath and exhale. Time freezes! It's all a blur! Stopping at 100 LCM isn't so bad. It's not like anyone would care, right? I mean do I really need to do this anymore? I'm too old for this shit! Oh well I didn't stop I more as well should continue. Oh wait breath and exhale. Exhale and breath. Oh fuck! I went three strokes without breathing. Should I breath every 1 stroke now? Oh fuck this hurts! My arms are burning. Oh shit, my legs are burning! Never mind my hip! Oh shit. A 150 is enough! No! Damn wall, two hand touch. Don't get fuckin' DQ'ed now! Just breath every fucking stroke till I hit that damn wall. Where is that damn wall! Damn! Mother fucker! I hate swimming! Done! I can't see the fuckin' timing board. What did I swim! Oh well! So I ask the timing chick who is like 7 years old my time. WTF! 2:35 something! I walk disgustingly away. I have my shorts, tee shirt and program with me. Cuz' I needed it to know my lane. I walk past a trash can and try to toss this damn program with all my might into the trash can but fail! I miss FUCK THIS MEET! In shame I reach down and pick the program and toss it in shame into the trash can. My day is over!
8 of 12 - It's Not All About Me! Connie and Cyn talk swimming before an event.
9 of 12 - ------ & The Hot But Way Too Young Lifeguards Ya, I'm a perv and I'm old. That really isn't true. But yeah I did enjoy some of the lifeguard eye candy even though it made me feel like I was around 1,002 years old. This one had some sorta Wolverine look going for him with some facial hair. Later on in the meet they had Lifeguard In Training folks around the deck. To be honest some of them looked so young and small I wondered if I had drowned in the butterfly if they could have even saved me. (note - image was edited to remove person on deck per request. also removed a bad joke that i mangled the joke so bad but i blame the wine!)
10 of 12 - Don't Go Chasing Pink Waterfalls or Waterslides! This was like the best YMCA since the Village People! Really! They had pink waterslides! Mother fuckin' pink waterslides! Did I say pink waterslides, muther fucker I did!
11 of 12 - The Coach Coach! He doesn't have a first name or a last name he just goes by as coach! His name is Gary! I'll hold back his last name. He is the coach for the VAST team here which is a team for the retired folks who live in The Villages. He also coaches a rag tag group of lost swimming souls like myself. He's been giving me advice, workouts, words of wisdom and so much more. Without "Coach" I would have been in a funny farm months ago. If swimming is my one thin string to sanity then Coach is the spider who is spinning that string!
12 of 12 - The Best Food I've Had Since Leaving Los Angeles The end! Oh god. I forgot the name of the place. But it looks like Wahoos!, it's menu is like Wahoos! But no fish tacos! But everything else is the same. Anyways any day that ends in a burrito and conversation is a good day!
disclaimer: i was drinking wine after being in the sun while writting this so any spelling errors or mistakes are the fault of Pinot and some guy name Grigio! For more information on 12 of 12 head to Untitled Chad Darnell Project and for more info on Bumpy Jones follow this LINK!
I went on the Midnight Sports site to see how people were swimming today and took a screen grab of yesterdays 800 LCM for my age group. For my math challenged mind I prefer this format as the 100 splits are lined up on top of each other. Also it's in a bigger font. Yeah, I'm getting old and need everything in bigger fonts now! Today is all about eating and staying hydrated. Tomorrow is the 200 fly and 200 back. I think. Yeah it is and warm up is at 8am so an early early morning!
So I didn't drown! That is a good thing! I actually haven't been in a long course pool in over a year so I was a bit nervous swimming an 800 at a meet in a long course pool. I came in second out of three. But at least I wasn't third! I had sandbagged my time entering 13:13.00. I entered the meet while my hip was bothering me so much that walking was a problem. I didn't know if I'd be even swimming this weekend. Never mind fast. I've never swam the 800 LCM so I had no time to gauge myself. I knew I wanted to do under 12 minutes. I did some quick math in my head after warm up and decided that would be my goal. My first and last 100 were on about a 1:14. But I did negative split the 800. Would I have liked to have gone much faster, yes! But I'm happy with my times.
I'm not swimming tomorrow but will be back on Sunday. I'll be swimming the 200 back and 200 fly. Oy! So I have a day in between to rest up. I figure this is meet one out of three for me this long course season. I'm going to mix it up and see how I'm swimming. One meet has the 1500 but no 800 and the other has nothing longer then a 200. So this was my one and only chance for the 800. So it's just a warm up to bigger things! Now time to eat for the first time in over 12 hours!