Tag: masters

Christmas Swimfest 2012

the whole crew
the whole crew

So we had a our second annual Christmas Swimfest 2012.  Last year I wanted to give back to the swim community so I invented this idea of a Swimfest with relays and games.  The purpose was to have fun, get a good work out and introduce people to our swim family in a non-threatening way.  Since then we have done 2 others, one at Valentines and another in the Summer.  The Christmas Swimfests have been the most popular and the easiest to plan.  This year was no exception.

In truth, I almost didn’t do it because I felt overwhelmed with my move and everything but there was enough interest and I’d done it enough times I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did.  We met at Gene Fullmer Pool in West Jordan (the pools in Utah are THE BEST! Bar None!).  and ended up with 10 people which was perfect for even teams of 5.

The crew before our elves vs santa race
The gang before our elves vs Santa race

We had igloo caps this year, which I thought were quite cute.  Thank you Swimoutlet for getting them to us just in the nick of time.

My cousins Jaleah and Anne came which was fun and my friend Etsuko
My cousins Jaleah and Anne came which was fun and my friend Etsuko.  All sporting the igloo caps.
The treading water activity was a lot of fun. You had to hold your hands out of the water while jingle belling.  Josh, Sue and Sabrina lasted the longest
The treading water activity was a lot of fun. You had to hold your hands out of the water while jingle belling. Josh, Sue and Sabrina lasted the longest
Sabrina was an amazing treader especially considering she just had a baby! Wow!
Sabrina was an amazing treader especially considering she just had a baby! Wow!
Everyone getting ready for the t-shirt relay.
Swimming the candy relay
Gordon swimming the t-shirt relay

Some of the other events we did are:  (Jim took more photos which I will add when I get them)

t-shirt relay with long sleeve t-shirts that made it a lot harder)

Santa vs Elves

treading water with jingle bells

Doing a lap and then eating a chocolate santa and then next person gets to go.

There is something else I’m forgetting.  The time went by far too fast!

Other one’s I had planned:

Push a plastic toy with your nose.

Plastic candy cane as a baton.

Rudolph antlers breaststroke race

Anyway, I love races and competition  and being with my friends.  When I was a little girl I always wanted to make a game or race out of what we were doing, so I guess this all goes right up my ally.  I had a great time and I’m grateful that Heavenly Father inspired me to go forward with a happy thing on a sad weekend.  He really does know what we need.

I’d love to encourage other masters groups out there to do their own swimfests and come up with their own relay ideas and pass them on.  Swimming (or life in general) doesn’t always need to be so serious.  We can have fun, let lose, and be happy.  It’s Christmas after all!

Merry Christmas!

To read about my other swimfests see:


Ho Ho Ho! Mrs Claus swimming!
Ho Ho Ho! Mrs Claus swimming!

SDRC 2012 Swim Meet

After a rough week, today was just about the perfect day.  It was the first US Masters Swimming meet of the season at the South Davis Rec Center (SDRC).  First of all this building is amazing.  They have 4 pools, an ice skating rink, basketball, and rock climbing wall.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  The Rec Centers, libraries and parks in Utah are without compare to any other region in the country (and all for one of the lowest per capita spending in country…hmmm).  Anyway, they are fabulous and I’m grateful for them.

I’m also grateful for all the people who volunteer their time to make Utah Masters a great organization and who put in so much effort to making the meet a success.  It was a great day of swimming!  It actually started Friday for the 1650 swimmers (Go Etsuko!) but I didn’t participate until today.  I must admit that I felt wholly unprepared for the meet.  While I’ve kept my exercise up I haven’t gotten to the pool as much as I’d like since my surgery in September.  Still, I signed up for 4 races (I was thinking I’d only done 3 but then it turns out there were 4).

I ended up with the 50 free, 50 fly, 500 free and 200 free.  Each one was hard in their own way and I am completely exhausted. I don’t know if I will be able to move tomorrow but it was worth it (things are going to be rough during the primary program tomorrow…).

All in all I had a great meet, much better than I anticipated! I bettered or came close to all of my times last year. My 500 was nearly 6 seconds better than last year!

50 free-  Time 50.05.  Would have been better but my goggles came off and were hanging around my neck.  This meant I was swimming without great visibility and couldn’t flip turn. (I hate flip turns).  They are new goggles and I guess I hadn’t gotten them quite tight enough.   For once Michael Phelps and I have something in common 😉

the goggles that caused me so much grief!

50 fly- Time 1:01.9.  This was a hair under what I’d done at QUAC in February but I have literally swam butterfly about 3 times since so I was thrilled with that time.  All of my races including this one gave me a lot of encouragement to rock it at QUAC this year (that’s the next meet).

500 free- Time 12:54.7.  I think my last time was 12:59.  Especially after just doing a 50 fly I was thrilled with this time.  My cap came off about half way through and I couldn’t see the lap counter until Josh stepped in and saved the day.  My plan was to just swim until someone told me to stop! It was exhausting but I finished and I’m super happy! My head felt like it was going to explode after but considering my lack of distance swimming lately I think it was a great to even make the attempt, let alone finish.  It’s funny- you would think if I can do a 5k, a 500 would be no sweat but I’m telling you the flipturns zap energy.  In some ways a day of swimming at the meet feels harder than the 5k!

200 free- Time 4:33.8.  I don’t remember what my last time for this was.  You have to go way back to JCC meet last September and I don’t have it written down.  Still, it felt fast especially considering how exhausted I was.  Its only my darn stubbornness that made me swim it.  I just can’t sign up for something and back down without some major fighting (all the trauma over Slam the Dam proved that…).

Mostly it was great to just be there swimming with my friends.  Everyone was so encouraging and as I was always the last to finish the entire room was usually cheering me on.  Who cannot be pumped up by that?  I love my swim friends.  Makes me very happy!

Etsuko and I went to Village Inn afterwards and enjoyed some yummy carbs.  It was great to spend time together and reward ourselves for a meet well swam!

After the 500
My friend Goody and me
My friend Josh and me. Josh, Gordon and many others do so much to start SLOW (Salt Lake Open Water Masters Club!)
Self portraits are so much better since I had the surgery
Kate sacrificed 2 days to volunteer as a time keeper for the meet.
Rah! I was pumped after this meet
Won a new safe swimmer. Great for swimming with friends this summer or maybe even in an open water date (that’s the dream!)
Etsuko and I at meet. She did a 1650! That’s like 65 flip turns…
Etsuko enjoying peppermint hot chocolate
Cheers for a job well done!


Its been a few months since our last Masters meet but finally the QUAC meet arrived today. This is a meet sponsored by the QUAC swim group (Queer Utah Aquatic Club).  And I will just start by saying I have no issues going to a meet sponsored by a gay group. I think it is important to focus on the things we have in common rather than our differences.  How can a dialogue begin if we never converse on an equal playing field?

So, that’s that.  The meet was a lot of fun.  Thanks to everyone who helped prepare for the meet, scheduling the pool, administrators, volunteers and getting great goodie bags!  I appreciate all the effort that went in.

Unfortunately I was on a bad stretch with my fibromyalgia.  Three days of bad pain. (I had another reminder this week that enduring the pain is better for me than going the drug route. Its just too easy to fall prey to addiction and dependence).

I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to swim at all.  However, I am not a quitter so I swam my best and had a great time.  (btw, thank you to Doterra essential oils for getting me through the pain! I’m a preferred member if any of you want any oils.  They are the best for pain.).

The first race was supposed to be the 50 free but I missed the announcement and didn’t get to swim. 😦 .  The whole meet went by very quickly.  They started way late but once it got going it really clipped along.

So then I swam the 500m’s.  This is 20 lengths or 10 laps.   Thanks to Goody for being my lap counter.  Unfortunately I had forgotten my inhaler and I think that slowed my results. It was hard fought and just slightly under my best time coming in at 12 min 25 seconds.   With all the emotional and physical stress I’ve been under lately I was very happy with that score.

I got out of the water and felt like I was going to pass out.  I had a splitting headache and felt spent.  I wondered if I could make it through the 50 fly.  However, after a little rest and some nuts I swam the 50 fly and took 1 second off my last time!  Wahoo!

My friends all did great as well.  It was so fun to cheer them on and hear them cheering me on.  Utah swimmers are the best!

Now I am resting, putting hot and cold on my muscles and hoping I am not too sore for church tomorrow.  I should be fine but we will see. The thing that amazes me is this weekend is like a 3 day event for the QUAC members.  A bunch of them are going skiing tomorrow.  There is no way I could go skiing.  I’ll be lucky if I can walk! 🙂

There is nothing like being in that water racing.  Its like everything zooms up on you and all you can see is water.  It is the most therapeutic thing I’ve ever done.  I just love it!  I’m not sure when the next meet is but I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks again to all who worked to make the day happen and for everyone that cheered me on.

Here are some more photos of the day.

Love this photo.
My friends Kate and Tracey. Most weeks we meet and swim. Love them!
Kate and I at the meet.