Monday, March 29, 2010

Video of 200 MIxed 18+ Free relay

Too cool - Thanks Matt! I am honored to swim with all of you....

Meet report: New England Short Course Yards Champs at Harvard 2010

That is what I feel like today.
With a twinkle of my nose I might revert back to a sprinter in my infallible speedsuit and pop out a fast 50.

Again another intoxicating meet. The smell of neoprene, chlorine and the heat... oh my the heat.

I found again that I could surprise myself and swim faster than I ever thought possible.
12 swims- 7 individual, 5 relays.
6 Personal Bests in the individuals
2 New England records in the relays
1 National record in the 400 medley relay.

Is it all just mind over (aging) body?
At age 39, possibly, yes I believe so. And so I'll keep along with this belief. I'll step up my strength training, do more sprint specific training and keep the positive psychology rolling.

But also, of course, I know that I can't continue swimming faster and faster every championship. I see my more mature teammates nonetheless breaking records and enjoying myself. But still, that must be a hurdle to get over... when it comes.

I asked Jackie Hirsty, of RI Swims, a record holder in multiple age groups who has been swimming Masters for over 30 years how she has adjusted to this. She said, in essence, you need to stop thinking about what you have done and start focusing on what you can do relative to your peers. I think she's right, but it is kind of ironic since we spend so much time trying to only compare our performances to OUR best and not to others.

Okay enough of that .....
On to the race report.
Friday started with the 50 free, one of my favorite events. Hard to swim without a warm-up event however. Let the mental games begin. I was seeded second for my age group. Good.
Took it so I'd have nothing left. 25.18, an all time best for me. 2nd AG

However unbeknownst to me a speedster 3 heats ahead of my had blasted her seed time of 29.8 and gone 24.8 and took the NE record. This would be a theme for later events...

100 IM- I was warmed up now.. 1:05.96. I had the fastest split at the 50 (28.9) but darn that breaststroke! Something to work on... still an all time best for me. 3rd AG.

400 Mixed 35+ Free Relay - 3:29.47 New England record (1 second off National record).
our splits 47.2, 56.3, 56.1 and 49.6 -- smokin' fast teammates Mike, Mary and Tim.

50 Fly - I was ready mentally and physically to blast this one. I wanted the NE Record which was 27.41 and I had just missed it last year. I had a great swim 27.23 (2nd)- I was just shocked looking at the scoreboard, but yup that speedy Brandy Hugo did one better and went 26.85 taking 3 seconds off her seed time. Still it was an all time personal best for me!

400 Mixed 25+ Medley relay - this is the one that really was, well, unbelievable. A National record... by 3 seconds and no thanks to my measly 100 free (which I was informed needs a lot of work on my turns and starts... duly noted!). I was, and am, honored to swim in this company.
Maine Masters-NE  'A'               3:50.00    3:43.20U       
1) Ross, Michael M41             
2) r:+0.12 Stevens, Nate M27          
3) r:+0.19 Knight Beers, ica W29 
4) r:+0.42 Perez-Smith, Aina W39             
 24.58        50.96 (50.96)         
1:17.10 (26.14)     1:47.80 (56.84)         
2:15.06 (27.26)     2:46.64 (58.84)         
3:12.65 (26.01)     3:43.20 (56.56)

200 back - I did this just for fun, and it was! I took it out easy and it felt so good I was surprised. 2:30.8 (5th)

200 Mixed 18+ Free relay - again another New England record. I am happy to say I rose to occasion and blasted out a 24.81.

My energy was waning. I felt out of gas. This truly was a day for mind over body.
But I was there so why not swim right?

100 fly - 1:03.11 - my only non-PR but I'd take it given how tired I was. (2nd)

800 Mixed Free Relay - I needed a time for the 200 and there was a chance to break a NE record. We missed it by 1.6 seconds. Ugh. I pulled out the best I could but given I hadn't swum it in 19 years, 2:09.9, well sorry guys!

50 back - less than 15 minutes after the 800 free relay. 30.53- a PR! (2nd)

100 free - gave it all I had at 5pm on Sunday after 3 days of swimming. 56.07 - .1 off my all time PR - Just like the 100 fly I've got to work on the second 50 - first 50 split was a 26.38 and the second a 29.69. (2nd)

and finally....
200 Mixed 25+ Medley relay - another New England record. With these kind of teammates they make it look easy. Our splits: 23.7 (back), 28.69 (breast), 27.3 (fly, me) and 24.3 (free).

Go Blue Lobsters! We won the meet. Lots of good conversations and catching up with friends. Thanks to all my teammates so really make this so much fun....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Top 10 in the WORLD!!!!

That's little old me listed as #10 in the WORLD last year in the 50 meter freestyle AG 35-39 according to FINA.....

Unbelievable!! Nice way to say good bye to 39 I guess :)

[35-39]50m Freestyle Women Short Course
RankFull NameCountryTime
1CRAY ZoeGBR26.37
2ABERG HelenaSWE27.06
3SCHUBERT ManuelaGER27.16
5BRAUN ErikaUSA27.28
6PEREZ MariaESP27.29
7FORNI MaddalenaITA27.33
8VERGANI ValeriaITA27.39
9IWASHITA MidoriJPN27.42

Goggles: Update

Speedo Women's Vanquisher - $13.75 -Still the tried and true. However don't get smoke-- it is too dark!

Tyr Femme Crystalflex $14.70 - In a word -- pathetic. I don't know who reviewed these for Swimmer mag, but maybe it was a 6 year old because I think that is who is going to get my pair. They stunk. Leaked off every wall despite numerous adjustments. Couldn't make it through the whole workout. Don't bother with these. They were just completely disappointing!

Tyr Socket Rockets - $6.55 - I like these. The have a comfortable silicone feeling overlay on the eye piece. It is thin and helps keep the "socket" suctioned to the face. And while they still leave some marks on my face after a workout, they are less noticeable and fade much more quickly than with the Vanquisher's.

Late addition.....

Tyr Velocity - $16.00 - this is what I will probably be wearing for Harvard as I had to return the green smoke Vanquishers. I like the Velocity goggles. Good tight fit and no leaking on starts ( I did at least 20 starts today). The straps are a bit too long but I think some scissors can fix that. They do leave goggle marks, but it seems impossible for a racing goggle not to. Overall a good choice.

Still have yet to try the Barracuda and Aquasphere goggles that readers recommended... up next along with open water goggles!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Goggles: Still on a quest

After burning out one pair of goggles, losing one and breaking another -- all in the last 2 weeks -- I am down to one lone pair of clear Speedo Vanquishers salvaged from the lost and found. They are fine -- I wore them to BU in the fall -- but the anti-fog is gone and I can hardly see the clock. So again I am on a quest. Mostly I need a pair that doesn't leave me looking like a raccoon face after practice. Unfortunately, that tender under eye skin doesn't bounce back the way it used to at 15.

Here are the finalists: (all prices from
Speedo Women's Vanquisher - $13.75 -the tried and true standby for racing. Have to get another pair for Harvard. Even though they are the worst offenders for goggle marks, they are my favorite for racing.

Tyr Femme Crystalflex $14.70 - promised to leave no goggle marks along with "good visibility" and greater peripheral vision, according to testers for Swimmer mag (Jan/Feb 2010).

Tyr Socket Rockets - $6.55 - I'm going to try these as an alternative to the Swedes which everyone recommends for no goggle marks, but really hurt my eyes because they were too big for my eye sockets.

If you have another good candidate let me know. I will test all these and post my findings in a month or so.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Maine Open Water Race!

From the organizers....

It is our pleasure to introduce the first annual NUBBLE LIGHT CHALLENGE, taking place on Saturday morning , July 10, 2010. This year’s event will include a USAT (USA Triathlon) sanc tioned 2.4 mile swim race around the “Nubble”. It will be open to 100 swimmers. and 100 kay aker escorts. The race starts on Long Sands Beach and continues out past the Nubble Lighthouse, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the US, swimming through the “gut”, the channel between the lighthouse island and the mainland. The race finishes with a sprint to Short Sands Beach. There will be food from local restaurants and awards following the race at the York Beach ball field which is one block from Short Sands Beach.

The proceeds from the race will benefit the Maine Chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in four adults will experi ence a mental health disorder in a given year. Many types of mental illnesses are hereditary and research shows that children raised by parents with depression or other mental illnesses are more likely to suffer the same symptoms as they grow into adulthood. The U.S. Surgeon General re ports that 10% of children and adolescents suffer from a serious mental health disorder that se verely impacts their daily life at home, at school, and with their peers. Early identification and treatment is imperative to minimize the impact mental illness has on the individual, their family, and the community. NAMI provides educational programs and support to families that are di rectly affected by mental illness. They also educate schools and community agencies by identify ing the symptoms and early warning signs of mental illnesses. Your contribution for the swim will benefit these local programs.

NUBBLE LIGHT CHALLENGE is a non-profit organization established in 2010, to raise funds for the benefit our community based organizations by promoting an annual athletic event. Our goal is to promote a safe and quality event that will be competitive for those trying to establish personal goals as well as those satisfied with the goal of finishing.

The NUBBLE LIGHT CHALLENGE will be exciting, fun and rewarding for all who participate. Spectators will be able to cheer the swimmers on from the rocks at Sohier Park overlooking the “gut”. There will also be great viewing from Ocean Avenue Extension that parallels the swim mers as they head to the finish.

Registration for the event will open March 15, 2010. You can register online We will send out an email updating the registration date.

We are very excited and committed to making this an amazing day.