My Results - 2.5K Open Water or Why I Hate Open Water Swimming

My first and last 2.5K Open Water swim is done with!  Yeah!  Long live pool swimming!  Down with open water swimming! 10th-Tropical-Splash-logo
Okay so maybe I'm paranoid a day later but I'm itchy all over!  The salt water is icky!  After 750 Meters into the swim I wanted to get out.  My mouth tasted horrible from getting salt water in it.  My nose was burning from the salt water.  And I was feeling this itchy burning senstaion around my left arm pit.  Then again I wanted to quit when before the race after I pee'd in the ocean and saw little fish all over the place.  Ewww!  No one told me thy had living creatures in the gulf.  I thought that BP Oil Spill was supose to kill them all.  Damn you BP can't you do anything right? Tropical-Splash-Course-MapNow maybe I should have looked at the map before and listened to the instructions before getting into the water.  Somehow I didn't fathom how far out we had to swim at the beginning of the race to get to the first bouy thingie.  It was far!  I did hear that then the bouy thingies would be 250 meters apart.  Okay I was thinking as it seemed like years before I passed the first one.  After that the distance seemed shorter.  I do know I was swimming all zig zag.  So instead of 250 meters between bouy thingies I swam like 275.  Plus I kept stopping cuz' that damn sun thing was coming up and I couldn't see anything more then 10 feet ahead of me.  Never mind the water being super dark.  Which was good cuz' I thought I felt many things touch me as I was swimming.  I tried to stay straight on course by trying to swim next to people but I ended up swimming into them instead.  After the first 1000 meters it was time to turn.  Once again I failed to understand how far away it was before we turned.  I was under the assumption we just turned at the bouy thingie and swim back.  But NOOOO!  We had to swim down to another bouy which seemed like another 1000 meters.  I think the not knowing where the fuck I was swimming to made it worse.  Damn it!  Then it was all fun after that.  I figured it was only 1000 meters left.  I felt good so I tried to go faster.  But that 250 meters to the first bouy was hell.  I was in a pack that seemed not to friendly.  People started to cut each other off.  I felt a tug on my leg.  Mind you it was myself, another guy and a bunch of girls.  Sorry bunch of ladies.  The ladies were the one's pulling and cutting off.  I picked up the pace and left them behind.  I got into another pack that was all that all over again.  Then with about 500 meters to go I see a guy with a green cap.  I spent the next 250 meters getting away from him.  Towards the end I saw two green caps ahead of me.  Oh yeah, green caps were the 2.5K'er swimmers.  So I tried to catch them.   But not enough time left.  Plus one really pulled ahead when the swimming stopped and the running started.  I cannot run in two feet of water.  Or even one foot.  I was struggling to move.  So that was it.  My first and last 2.5k Open Water Swim.  Hell it was my last Open Water Swim.  I'm sticking to following the black line. 40to44So overall I swam it in 46 minutes or 46:07.4.  Came in 2nd in my age group and 7th overall.  I know it was a slow time cuz' I wasn't tired after.  That and a team mate who I'm more then a minute faster then in the 1,000 Meter race came in about a minute after me.  Oh well, what can I say I'm not an open water swimmer.  Open water is for the fishes and anything else that BP hasn't killed yet.  Oh yeah and on top of this whole horrible swim I got what I was told was Sea Lice Bites.  But it turns out Sea Lice don't bite humans so I got bites from the larvae of the thimble jellyfish, Linuche unguiculata.  The best part of this is..."Symptoms may include fever, chills, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Severe symptoms occur in children particularly, although adults have also shown similar reactions."  Read more about the Linuche unguiculata HERE.  Yet another reason to never ever go in the ocean/gulf again. 

Joel's Scenes from Siesta Key Open Water Swim

I don't know my results yet cuz' I'm an idiot.  So let's look at the pictures and I'll post a recap maybe later of the actually swim.  All I can say is that I'm sticking to pool fishes! 17thman_swimOf course I had a sparkle pink swim suit with the17thman accross my ass from the good folks at SplishSo then it was up very very early this morning to drive down to Siesta Key.  We left at 4am.  Check in starteded at 6:15am.  Another reason to stop swimming open water swimming is the start time.  Who the hell wasnt to be up and checking in anywhere at 6:15am?  When I woke up at 3am I kept thinking how 3am use to be the time I use to get home on a Saturday morning! Joel_chipThen we got tagged or chipped.  Pretty cool little thing.  I guess it worked.  After swimming the race I didn't notice a clock.  Not that it matters cuz' I have no idea when we started.  The race was in waves with the 1K then the 5K then later on us middlers the 2.5K'ers were off. Siesta_key_beachThe beach was beautiful.  I took this picture when it was still mostly dark.  Sorta fuzzy.  But it was a great beach and morning even if it was too early.  When it's too early, What time is it? Joel_siestaWho is that stud with 216 on him?  Oh why that's the very old the17thman hanging out before the morning swim.

Swimtember In The Rearview Mirror

Swimtember is over and now it's Swimtober Time!  Before looking back let's look ahead to Swimtober.  I got a few events here in Florida lined up with the first being a 2.5K Open Water Swim down in Siesta Key.  Last year I swam the 1K and didn't actually hate Open Water Swimming.  It was my one and only OW.  Now I'm back for round two and kicking it up to the 2.5K.  Then after that I'm doing a SCM meet down in Orlando.  I signed up for all three days but it looks like I'll be skipping Friday and the 1500.  But it looks like Saturday and Sunday are a go.  I did sandbag my times since last year I slowed up in all my events I added even more time since I'm going slow up this year as well.  Getting old and all that shit.

8     Male     1500 SCM     Free     20:00.00     10/12/2012
18     Male     200 SCM     Fly     2:35.00     10/13/2012
24     Male     400 SCM     Free     4:40.00     10/13/2012
38     Male     100 SCM     Fly     1:13.00     10/13/2012
42     Male     800 SCM     Free     10:00.00     10/14/2012
52     Male     200 SCM     Breast     2:25.00     10/14/2012
58     Male     200 SCM     IM     3:00.00     10/14/2012

I may not even swim fast enough to earn these sandbagged times.  Oy!  Now as for Swimtember...

My Progress for Go The Distance 2012
Month    Total Distance
Jan    26.14 miles (=46,000 yards, =42,062 meters)
Feb    21.68 miles (=38,150 yards, =34,884 meters)
Mar    19.36 miles (=34,075 yards, =31,158 meters)
Apr    14.29 miles (=25,150 yards, =22,997 meters)
May    18.67 miles (=32,853 yards, =30,041 meters)
Jun    11.16 miles (=19,650 yards, =17,968 meters)
Jul    17.97 miles (=31,625 yards, =28,918 meters)
Aug    21.08 miles (=37,100 yards, =33,924 meters)
Sep    17.59 miles (=30,950 yards, =28,301 meters)
Total    167.93 miles (=295,553 yards, =270,254 meters)

I never did get around to swimming Friday, Saturday or Sunday!  I sound like a broken record here in saying "at least I swam."  Cuz' really I am lucky to have a pool less than 5 minutes away from home.  And if I didn't swim I really would have lost my mind, well more so.

My Bad Bad Swim Day At Ocala Masters 05/20/2012

It's official, I suck at swimming!  Every time I swim I swim slower!  More so today then ever before.  Mind you I have a million real and another million made up excuses.  Let's see from out of shape, to not swimming enough and then too much wine last night and it all equals a bad day in the pool. 

Woke up at 6 to walk dog then ate a big breakfast.  About 8:30 I arrived at the local pool to warm up a bit.  It's a SCY pool:

Warm Up
200 free
100 kick
6x50's pull
2x100 IM
50 fly
25 easy
25 off blocks

900 total SCY

I didn't really get in the water to about 8:40.  No one was at the pool so I took my time getting in.  Walking down the stairs like I was at a hotel pool.  Then a few of us got together and left at 9:30 to head to Ocala.  The Ocala pool is a LCM pool, yeah! Photo 2_1
It's not a bad pool but not a great pool.  But they do have new locker rooms!  So nice!  I warmed up a bit more.  About 400 LCM.  I should have swam more, I know.  I also should have warmed up and down in between events. The best part of this meet is that it starts at 11am and finished at 2pm!

I so wasn't ready for my first event the 200 IM.  For this meet I entered knowing that I've been out of the water.  I picked a few events I've never done before including the 200 IM.  Wanted to get a time for the hell of it.  Photo 4_1Even being my one and only time that is one damn slow time.  Let's just say I should have swam the 100 fly and 200 fly today.  My 50 fly in the 200 IM felt horrible.  I was stiff and just didn't get any movement.  I didn't feel my pull at all and never mind my kick.  I felt better for the last 10 meters.  My backstroke wasn't much better.  In face I was brushing the left lane line for the last 25 meters.  Ouchie!  Now breaststroke wasn't so bad.  WTF?  My weak stroke if you can call my breaststroke a stroke at all.  Now I looked up at the last 5 meteres and noticed a ref had his hand raised.  I so thought I did something to earn a DQ!  But I still poured it on a bit for the free.  When I finished I looked up and saw two officials.  Fuck!  Turns out I wasn't DQ'ed but they wanted to ask me if I'd be okay swimming with the women for the 400 IM since I was the only male.  I said yes!  The guy two lanes over got DQ'ed.  He didn't touch with both hands in his fly.  Phew!  Photo 2_2In the picture above is Ellen Brown who is 87 years old.  She is my hero!  She swims and swims and swims!

Next up the 50 back.  Now I've swum this event once before.  Last year at this meet and did a 35.45.  Not great but it's a time.  So I just wanted to swim that time again.  This year we started at the end of the pool without the time pads.  So it was feet on wall.  I was so nervouse I'd slip down in my start.  Kinda didn't get a good start.  But did a 35.40  Hey that's faster.  Not by much but still.  I'm old and out of shape.

Now I started to feel a cramp in my left leg.  Really really bad.  It was right before the 400 IM so I went and scratched.  Figured I didn't want to push it.  I had the 400 Free and figured if my leg acted up I could just pull myself.  So no 400 IM!

Then came the horrible 400 free.  My leg was still cramping and I tried to mask it with some biofreezze which really didn't do much.  I just swam the 400 but it was horrible.  Really bad.  My turns were the best ever in a distance event for me.  They weren't perfect but for me I was impressed.  I just didn't have anything in the tank.  Really tried to pull myself towards the end.  For some reason the website doesn't have my splits.  In fact it's odd cuz' my time is dead on. Photo 4_3
5:10.0!  Which is 9 seconds slower then last year.  9 F'in seconds.  Holy Crap I'm slow!  Damn!  Damn!  I wish the had consolidated the heats differently.  I was swimming with the slower girls and guys.  The previous heat had two fast girls who did a 5:01.  Maybe that would have pushed me to go faster.  Oh well!  I finished!  Something to build on.   Photo 4
So overall if I was to grade my day I'd give myself a D-.  Should be an F but the 50 Back wasn't a disaster.  I got to July 14th to improve.  I'm either going down to St Petes or Ocala for a LCM meet on the 14th.  On the positive side I did see some nice eye candy for a change of pace.  Oh and swimming today helped push my Go The Distance a bit... GtdpoI'll be back in the water Tuesday.  Tomorrow I have my long day at work!  Hopefully the sunburn on my back won't hurt too much tomorrow!

My Results - Valentine's Meet 2012

Happy Pre-Birthday To Me!  Happy Pre-Birthday To Me!  What did I give myself?  A great day in the pool.  Today it was up at 3:40am to make the drive at 5:00 to Clearwater.  Oy!  It was the 2012 Masters Annual Valentine's Meet and since I was born on Valentine's Day this meet was made for me!  Well at least this year it was but not so much last year.  I'm going to skip the rearview mirror till another Monday Morning Quarterbacking Post but here is a quick raw data snap shot of today....

The 1,000 SCY Freestyle


                      31.50      1:04.73 (33.23)
        1:39.18 (34.45)     2:13.74 (34.56)
        2:48.93 (35.19)     3:23.30 (34.37)
        3:58.18 (34.88)     4:32.98 (34.80)
        5:08.12 (35.14)     5:42.74 (34.62)
        6:17.16 (34.42)     6:51.85 (34.69)
        7:26.63 (34.78)     8:01.32 (34.69)
        8:36.12 (34.80)     9:10.86 (34.74)
        9:45.53 (34.67)    10:20.56 (35.03)
       10:55.88 (35.32)    11:29.61 (33.73)

Not too bad.  I kept the same pace pretty much all the way!  Now that is much better then my 11:43.34 from last year but not as good as my tech suit swim of 11:16.70 back in 2010. 

The 200 SCY Backstroke


                       31.90      1:05.03 (33.13)
        1:39.30 (34.27)     2:13.91 (34.61)

Last year at this meet I did a 2:16.62.  So today was better.  But back in SCY Nat's in 09' in a tech suit I did 2:09.04. 

The 200 SCY Butterfly


                      30.37      1:04.54 (34.17)
        1:40.03 (35.49)     2:15.88 (35.85)

So that was once again better then last year when I did a 2:17.35.  But let's look at some other times I've done 2:12.27 & 2:12.95 in 07' and 09'.  Then a 2:16.62 in 2010.  So a bit all over the map.  Some work must be done but then again the 200 fly was after swimming the 200 back and 1000 free on the same day.  Hey, a body can only do so much.  So happy happy joy joy with 3 for 3 better then last year!

The 400 SCY IM


                       31.28      1:06.74 (35.46)
        1:44.88 (38.14)     2:21.31 (36.43)
        3:09.27 (47.96)     3:55.55 (46.28)
        4:30.38 (34.83)     5:02.47 (32.09)

Hey I did it!  I swam it and didn't get DQ'ed.  Check it off the bucket list!  That time isn't so bad either!  Gotta admit I was glad the day was over after this event!  Of course the event ended is some hubbub with one official thinking I had only swam a 50 of the breaststroke and not a 100.  Guess that happens when you sandbag your seed time with an 8 minute entry!

Overall I'm very happy with today!  I'm a year older and I'm faster then last year.  The rebuilding is working!

Putting On The Pressure!

I gotta admit the stakes are high.  I've really put a lot of internal pressure on me for tomorrow.  First of all I know it's for fun.  That is what Master's Swimming is all about.  But, and it's a big but I want to be faster.  At least faster then last year.  And with that I did enter my times that I swam last year.  So before we get to this  morning's taper let's look at my times.

The 1,000 SCY Freestyle.  I've only swum it twice with once at UCLA in 2010 and then last year at this meet in Clearwater.  At UCLA I swam a 11:16.70 in a tech suit.  At Clearwater in a regular old Splish suit I did it in 11:43.34.  I want to be closer to a 11:30 but will be happy with just faster then last year. 

The 200 SCY Backstroke.  Once again I've only swum it twice with once as USMS Nat's in 2009 in a tech suit at my peak in swimming with a 2:09.04.  Then last year once again at Clearwater in a regular old suit and not even close to my peak with a 2:16.62.  I just want lower then a 2:16.

The 200 SCY Butterfly.  Now I've swum that even four times and have gotten slower every single time I swam it.  In Nat's in 07 I did a 2:12.  Then two years later another 2:12 at Nat's.  Those were my peak years after that it went downhill.  My exact times -
As with my backstroke I just want to below a 2:16.

For the 400 IM I just want to finish and not be DQ'ed.  That is if I even swim it.  I'm looking at the timeline and I got about 30 minutes between the 200 fly and 400 IM. OY! 

I'm putting extra pressure on myself on this meet for several reasons.  Some of which is how I've been mixing up my dryland routines this past year.  My body is defiantly showing better muscle definition and I do weight more then I have in years but not in fat.  In 2009 and 2010 I was training for 1/2 and full marathons while this past year not so much.  So will the emphasis on weight training make a difference in my swimming?  I'm betting yes but which way I don't know.  Also my swim training is not what it use to.  Yeah, I'm doing the yardage but not swimming at the faster intervals and pacing.  That can't be good.  But I've cleaned up my strokes.    Now how will all this play together?  I will be honest and don't have one single change in my training but several variables in play.  So this weekend will be interesting but not an end all chapter.  Just a way to check in and see what I need to work on for 2013 and more importantly 2014 Gay Games!

This mornings taper swim…
200 Swim
200 Pull
200 Kick
200 Swim - 25 Stroke / 25 Free IM  (800)

5x50's IM Switches fly/back. back/breast, breast/free, free/breast, breast/back (250/1050)

6x50's on 1:05 Easy/Fast.  Did the easy 25's free and cycled stroke butter/back/breast into the fast.  (300/1350)

8x25's.  IM Order.  No interval.  It was feedback time from the coach.  Offering advice and stroke technique critique.  (200/1550)

Swam a 100 easy to warmdown.  (100/1650)

Now I was debating on shaving or not shaving for this meet.  I mean this is the one and only meet for me in SCY Season.  Gonna skip a meet closer by next month.  I don't like that pool and it's outside with trailers for locker rooms.  So while I was swimming today I kept looking at the hair on my arms and legs just floating causing so much drag.  So I started to shave.  I was doing it at the pool when everyone left but being a bit modest (ha!) I stopped.  That and it takes forrrrrrrrrevvvvvvveeeeeer!  I hate shaving.  Gotta finish up later today.  So I'm rested, shaved and ready to go.  Hopefully now I don't over sleep!

A few more things to add pressure on in my life.  At the end of the month I have my 2-Day Group Ride Training.  That's the week before the local meet that I'm not going to.  After the weekend training I have a month to videotape me teaching and send it in for my certification.  That's gonna be nerveracking.  Yeah, I've teached spinning a few times as a sub but this is the real thing now.  Also I'm doing my NASM CPT (Certified Personal Training) over the next 180 days.  Just so much on my plate.  Wonder if this old dog can learn new tricks?