Sunday, April 6, 2014

Creating the Perfect Swimmer Post 21

This week I have finally gotten back in the water.  It is a bittersweet feeling because although I love being back, these practices have been the hardest I've had in about 4 months because I am just getting back into shape after my week off.  I also did my first dryland in about a month and a half.  We did all abs, and I am very sore from it.  It is to the point where it hurts to laugh.  We are going to start lifting in the mornings again in a bout a week or two, which I am excited about.  I am hoping to be fully back in shape by the end of next week so I can get back into full training.

This week we also took our All-State pictures.  These pictures will go up in the hallway outside the pool for a very long time.  It is a great feeling knowing that I will be up there with some of the best swimmers in our school's history.

An update regarding our high school medley relay: we are currently ranked 27th in the country.

I have started to think about what I am going to do for my presentation at the end of the year.  I am going to focus on the aspect of working as hard as you can in order to achieve your dreams.  For this whole year, I have put everything I had into my swimming, and fortunately, I was able to achieve all of my goals.  I want to show that you can't just sit there doing nothing and expect to get any better at whatever you do. For my powerpoint I will probably include stuff abut my average week of workouts, and also times from the beginning of this year to the end.  I also want to include some pictures in it.  Because the speech has to be at least 8 minutes long, I probably want to include at least 8 slides.  I am going to have to practice what I am going to say a lot of times because I am not very good at speaking in front of large groups of people.  But, this speech should not be to  bad because I am very passionate about what I am talking about and I know a lot about my topic.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Creating the Perfect Swimmer Post 20

These past two weeks have been very busy.  They were the last two weeks of the championship season and I was out of town for most of it.  The first weekend, I had states for my club team.  The next week I left for Florida for Junior Nationals.  By Junior Nationals I was not swimming well because I was trying to hold onto my taper that I started 3 weeks ago.  But, going to Junior Nationals was a great learning experience and I hope to make it back to the finals next year.

At the state meet, I was trying to get more JN cuts.  I got two of them, in the 100 and 200 back.  I only ended up swimming the 100 back because the 200 was right before the 100 breast, and I wanted to be fresh for that event.  I was also going for the 100 fly cut, but I came up about a half a second short.  But, I did swim a lifetime best in that race as well.

Coming into JNs, I did not feel that great in the water.  I did not feel the ease in the water that I did a couple of weeks ago.  But, I also came into this meet only caring about racing, not exactly worrying about the times.  This meet had the fastest people in the country under 18 in it, and it was a great opportunity to see some really fast swimming.  In my swims, I gained a lot of time in each one, which I was pretty disappointed about, but I was not too worried about it because this was my first time going to this meet.  But, there were a lot of college coaches there, and I do wish that I would have swam better in order to maybe get noticed by one of them.  Despite these things, I tried to enjoy the moment.  I have come so far in the last couple of months, that I would be crazy to not be happy with my performances.  I started the year as a 2:07 200 IM and brought it down to a 1:53.  Also a 1:07 100 breast that was brought down to a 58.  These are huge drops and I hope that I will be able to drop even more time in the next year.

By going to this meet, it has made me even hungrier to get better.  I know that I can be so much better than I am right now, and I am very excited to start training hard again.  My coach and I have been talking and the main thing that I still need to work on are my turns.  For the next year, we are going to focus a lot on them, because they are a big reason why I did not swim as well as I wanted to.

After 3 weeks of championship meets, I finally get a week off from swimming.  I will not get in the water at all and I will use this time to relax and get caught up on my school work.  It is a much needed break before I start training like crazy.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Creating the Perfect Swimmer Post 19

This has honestly been one of the best weekends of my life.  Not only did I get to spend time with my teammates and have fun with them, I also had the best swim meet of my life.  Everything I swam was a lifetime best.  The meet was run as a prelim-final format, with prelims being on friday and finals on saturday.  In order to get All-State, you have to get in the top 8.  I swam:

50 breast (medley): prelims-26.00  finals-25.90--2nd place
200 IM: prelims-1:53.93  finals-1:53.75--3rd place
100 breast: prelims-58.40  finals-58.37--5th place
100 free (relay): prelims-46.75  finals-46.94--3rd place

For the medley relay, we reset our previous school record by going a 1:34.23.  That time earned us an All-American automatic cut.  It is probably the best feeling in the world knowing that we will be in the top 100 fastest times in the whole country this year.  I broke the school record in both the 200 IM and the 100 breast.  The previous records were 1:54.53 from 1991 in the IM and 58.52 from 2012 in the breaststroke.  This means that at the end of this year, I will have 3 school records and 2 pool records.  I will also have my picture on the wall 3 different times for this year, which I am very proud of.  I also got my two Junior National cuts at this meet.  This means that I will be able to go down to Orlando, Florida in a little over a week to swim, which is an amazing opportunity.  Since our club team is sponsored my Nike, I will also be given a free backpack, suit, and warmups.

Coming up this next weekend, I will be going to the age-group state meet, so I can go for more Junior National cuts.  The Junior National meet is set up so that if you have one cut, you can have two bonus cuts.  Bonus cuts are a little bit slower, which makes them easier to get.

Here are some videos from the State meet.  The first one is of the medley relay.  We came in second place and I swam the 2nd leg (breaststroke).  The second video is of my 200 IM.  I came in 3rd place and am wearing the half black and half pink suit and the all black cap.
The thing I was most happy about in my IM was that I came from behind in the last 50 to secure a 3rd place finish.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Creating the Perfect Swimmer Post 18

This week we started out taper.  Because of that, our practices are about a half hour shorter than normal.  We are beginning to do more on pace work, instead of just doing a lot of yards and short rest.  I am very excited because I decided to switch one of my events for the state meet.  Instead of doing the 100 back, I am going to swim the 100 breast.  I chose the breast because I am closer to the Junior National cut in that, and also closer to the school record.  The school record is a 58.52, the Junior National cut is 59.49, and last week I went a 1:00.29. Also, my time in the 200 IM last week of 1:56.44 was only .15 away from the Junior National cut, which I am very happy about.  Hopefully I can get all my cuts and records at states, which is in 1 week.

Also, our medley relay time last week of 1:36.01 was an All American Consideration time.  It does not mean that we are definitely going to get All American, but it is very cool anyway.  We were also not tapered or shaved for that meet, so that means we will most likely go faster than that.  Our goal now is to get the All American Auto time of 1:34.51.  In order to get All American for swimming, you have to have a time in the top 100 fastest for that year in that event.

The thing that I like most about doing 20 Time is that I get to do something I love to do.  This project doesn't feel like actual schoolwork to me, I enjoy talking about it and working on it. The thing I like least about this project is the speech we have to do at the end of the year.  I am not very good at giving presentations in front of people, and I don't know how well I will do at it.  But, public speaking is a necessary skill, so it can only help me in the long run.

I don't think I would do anything differently with my project.  I love my project topic, and it gives me a reason to work even harder than before.  I have also learned a lot throughout this year, about needing to work hard to achieve your goals.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Creating the Perfect Swimmer Post 17

This weekend was out division meet.  It is not the fastest meet, but I did suit up in order to go after records.  I swam: 

50 breast(medley)--p: 26.54 f: 26.37
200 IM-- p:1:56.44 f:1:57.53
100 back-- p: 54.61 f:55.09
100 breast-- 1:00.27
100 free(relay)--47.89

As you can see, there is a 100 breast in there.  That is because my coaches wanted to see my time for that race to see if I could place well at states.  Instead of swimming the individual race, I led off the 400 free relay with breaststroke, which is allowed. That time was a lifetime best, and I am now leaning towards swimming that instead of the 100 back at states in a couple weeks. 

These were my best times of the season so far, and a couple of them were records. The IM was a division record and the finals for the medley and 400 free relays were also division records. Also, the medley relay was a school record along with a pool record, and the 400 free relay was a pool record.

Starting next week, we start our taper for the state meet, which is less than 2 weeks away now.  When tapering, you decrease the amount of yards you do per day, which is nice because the practices are a lot shorter.  It is very exciting that states is so close, and I cannot wait until im get to race there.  We also do not have any meets between now and states.

These are the two relays.  First is the medley and second is the 400 free.

And these are of me swimming in the 200 IM

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Creating the Perfect Swimmer Post 16

This weekend was the MISCA meet.  This meet is at the same pool as the state meet is, and there is also some of the best schools in the state there.  I swam my normal events here:

50 breast (medley)- 27.01
200 IM-1:57.67
100 back-55.14
100 free (relay)-49.04

Our medley relay got 2nd and our 400 free relay got 4th.  In my IM I got 4th overall and in the back I got 8th.  I was most pleased with my IM because it was a lifetime best and I placed very high.

I have changed up my training habits a bit.  Instead of only doing backstroke during stroke sets, I will do IM.  I believe than now my IM is my best shit at getting  All-State and a junior national cut, so I want to train all 4 strokes as much as possible.

The state meet is on March 7-8, which means that we only have a couple weeks before we taper.  Tapering is a gradual decrease in the intensity of workouts, and it makes you go much faster.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Creating the Perfect Swimmer Post 15

This weekend was our county meet.  There were a lot of fast teams there, including Livonia Stevenson.  Since this was a big meet, I was able to swim my main events.  I swam:

50 breast(medley)-27.06
200 IM-1:58.42
100 back-55.04
100 free(relay)-47.87

I am most pleased with my 400 free relay split because it is so much faster than I have ever gone before.  I decided to suit up for this meet because I knew it would be close between us and Livonia Stevenson, so that is why my times are faster than usual.  Also, our medley relay's time was 1:38.08, which is not far off from our school record time of 1:36.86.  For this meet, we were not tapered, shaven, and not everyone was suited up.  So, I don't want to jinx anything, but I am very excited to see what we can do at states this year.

This picture is from right before the 400 free relay.  The relay swam our fastest time all year.  I am on the far right.

My new tech suit also came in the mail this week, it is pictured below.  I got the Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2.  It is my first Speedo brand tech suit, and I love it.  It feels great and I also think it looks really cool.

After my races in the meet this weekend, I realized that I need to work on the little things in my races, mainly my turns.  My turns killed me in my 200 IM, and by improving them, I will go much faster.  So, I have decided to go to as many mornings as possible, and only work on the technical stuff.  In swimming especially, it is the little things that will make you go the fastest.