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Swim Swim & Swim!

God I love Swim Meets.

I really do.  This past weekend was one of our larger Illinois Swim meets on Superbowl Sunday.  This is my 5th year I have done it and I still really look forward to it every year.   It is always cold and the windows are frozen to the outside and everyone is buzzing around talking football & swimming soaking wet in huge swim parkas.  Outside temps are usually between 10-20F degrees.  What else is there to do?

The Superbowl meet fell at the end of my bigger week and I was tired.  Plus, with the combination of Graham breaking his wrist & other life things, I was a little cooked on Friday.  So, I threw out my run and swam only a short set on Saturday so I would have some SNAP for Sunday.  Snap being the important word here.

The meet is all day:  Arrive at 7am and leave around 2 or 2:30pm.  In and out of the pool 100x.  Of course I was there by 7am sharp and chatting and warming up.  I decided to do a few things differently.  One, I took a shower before the meet before I left home.  It was SO cold (below 10F that AM when I left) and the competition pool is always FREEZING (which is good to race in) but it leaves me chilled all day.  And, I do NOT like to be cold….so I took a hot shower and that helped a ton.  I also warmed up a TON….more than normal.  I just figured it would be good for me and I do better (ahem) now with a longer warm up.  I probably did over 1500 yards+ of mixed 50s and stroke work and free/starts.

As soon as I got into the warm up and took 2 strokes, I knew it was going to be a good day.  I can tell if I have a feeling for the water very quickly.  I was excited to race!

I was swimming the max # of events, which is 5 events.  Longest distance on the day was the 500 Free.  And, because the meet is so big, they do not run the 1000 or 1650 (bummer).  Anyway, I swam the 500 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free, 200 IM, 100 IM.

The 500 Free is personal to me because I have a goal for that race EVERY YEAR.   And, I laugh at myself because every year, I swim within 5 seconds of the same time EVERY YEAR.  Yawn.  My adult 500 Free time rarely changes.  I was talking to the Masters Coach and she is like, “Jenny…at this point, unless you swim more (!) that 500 time is not going to budge dramatically unless we re-work your starts & turns.”  OK….now, I do not have good turns at all..compared to the uber-swimmers I swim with, but they are not that bad…but every second counts.  If I was a “pure” swimmer, I would fix all of this up and spend hours in the pool to make that happen.  And, maybe after Arizona this year, I will spend more time making my turns faster and better, but for now, it is all good.

Last year at State, I went 6:02.  This past weekend I went 6:07.  Crack me up.  I did not really even consider myself in good swim shape yet….so, I swam well because I was rested and fired up.  I swear, if I break 6:00 at State this year (April) or Nationals (May), I will be done with that damn 500.  I have broken 6 in the 500 but not as an adult.

Oh, and my friend and lanemate, Krista beat me by 1 second in the 500.  We are so funny, we swim exactly the same time for EVERYTHING.  She out-touched me in the 500 and I out-touched her in the 200.  I love the healthy competition and we make one another better swimmers, that is for sure.  She is a great backstroker and I do not even touch that stroke.

Then, I swam the 100 Free, 100IM, 200 Free and won those events.  But, let me back up and say I was disqualified (are you reading Cheryl Stine??) in the 100 IM.  STUPID me….I can’t believe I did what I did.  Back in the day, when I learned how to swim in oh 1970s and 1980s we were able to do a flip turn from backstroke to breaststroke in the IM.  NOW (effective 8 years ago!) we have to do an open turn from back to breaststroke.  I turn my brain off when I swim and especially for the 100 IM, so I just went on auto-pilot and acted like I was 10.  Oops.  My fault and my mistake.  So, while I did win, I was DQd.  Lovely. :)

Oh, and I did pee myself, I think.  The 200 Free is the HARDEST event on the docket.  I would rather swim 4 x 400 IM than 1 x 200 Free.  It is a hard, hard event.   It is an all out sprint but not really.  It is like the 800 on the track.  A true test of speed, grit and anything else you can muster.  I wanted to break my State time of 2:14, but I knew that would probably be a crap shoot (last event of the day)….but I was swimming next to Krista and we were so neck and neck it was killing me.  Anyway, she had about 1/2 second on me on the last 25 and I just put my head down, did not breathe (which I really have a hard time with), gritted my teeth, closed my eyes and went as hard as I could into the wall.  I swear I peed myself, thank goodness I was in the pool where no one can tell.  GASP.  I barely out-touched her and barely kept my breakfast down.   See, good times in the pool, eh?

Our team did well and everyone swam well & we won the meet.  We had 57 swimmers there and it was a fun way to spend a Sunday!

And, since I have been on this swim HIGH….I signed up for USMS Nationals in May!  I have never been (usually in Triathlon season and far away) and since it is in the Midwest, I decided to go.  The meet runs from Thursday-Sunday and initially I wanted to do the entire meet since the 1650 is on Thursday & the 500 Free is on Sunday.  But, it is too long to be gone (4+ days) just swimming and with Mother’s Day & my Mom’s birthday, I need to be home on the weekend.  So, I am just swimming the 1650 Free, 200 Free and 400 IM and relays.  I do not want to do any pure stroke events…and I can not compete in the 50 Free (goodness)…so I just miss the 100 Free and 500 Free and 200 IM, which is OK.  My main goal is the 1650.  I cannot wait!

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Pay It Forward – 2013!

Over this Thanksgiving holiday, I am excited to announce I will be doing Pay It Forward for 2013 again!  Last year, I had an overwhelming response to this offer and realized how many athletes are out there that have overcome some type of hardship and really wanted to get some specific coaching help but were not able to for various reasons.

If you are interested, I encourage you to apply.  Here are the details:

1.)    Applicants can apply via email to: from December 1st – December 15th 11:59pm CST.  Feel free to be as creative as you want in the email application.

2.)    Please only apply if you have struggled or overcome any type of hardship:  financial, health, personal, etc.

3.)    You cannot currently be a coached athlete of any type (effective 1/1).  I do not want to “break up” any good coaching relationships!

4.)    You CAN re-apply if you applied last year!

5.)    You need to have at least one “A” race in 2013.  Can be any significant race, but we need to have goals for 2013.  All levels of athletes are fine.

6.)    The coaching will start January 1, 2013 and last until the end of your “A” race or 12/31/13, whichever one is first.

7.)    You will have to blog about your experience and be an active member of social media (FB or Twitter)

This year, the 2012 Pay It Forward winner, Cathy Bonich had a great year finishing with a super Ironman Wisconsin race!  Cathy keeps a blog – you can find it on my blogroll if you want to read about her experience.

I encourage you all to apply, if interested.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reply to this blog or send me an email.  I will announce the winner before January 1st, 2013.  Looking forward to another great year of paying it forward to our great sport!

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JHC Tucson Camp 2013!

JHC Tucson Camp is schedule for April 2nd – April 9th, 2013!

Condos have been booked.  Agenda is in the works.

Plans are getting done.  Get ready for 4+ days of riding, running and swimming in the SUN!


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JHC Tucson Camp 2012!

We are happy to announce the 2012 JHC Triathlon Camp!!!

For 2012 we will be offering only 1 camp – not due to demand, but due to our lovely twins at home…!!

So, with that being said, here are all the details:

Camp Dates:  Thursday, March 29th – Welcome Dinner starts at 6pm.
Ends:  Monday, April 2nd @ 12:00 noon.

Camp Fee:  $499

Camp Housing:  We have rented a house that will sleep 12-14 adults and the fee for this house depends on if we have 12 or 14 campers..but fee will NOT exceed $215 for the entire stay.  This is a different house than in the past – here is the link:

This camp is NOT for beginners.
We will have between 12-14 campers.
There is no OW in Tucson…but we will swim (of course!) !
There are NO REFUNDS.
Payment is due in Full at time of registration to hold slot.  If payment is not rec’d within 10 days of registration your slot will go to the first person on the wait list.
We work really hard.
IT IS HOT in Tucson.
Bring your big boy/girl panties.
You must be a current JHC athlete

Compression Socks at Tri Camp!

Mt Lemmon!

Mt Lemmon!

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