January 1, 2010

Day 6 gave us the latest start that we have had thus far with practice not starting until 9:30. I took advantage of this and visited the continental breakfast for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually pretty decent. So then it was off to the pool.
We only had one workout today because we had tickets to the Insight Bowl, but it was a long one. We were at the pool until around 1:00. This was the only time we have swum in the middle of the afternoon and really allowed me to finally get a pretty decent base tan. I’m hopeful I will be able to develop it a little further so as to not look too pasty next to the Lady Reds next week who are really beaching it up in Ft. Lauderdale.

Anyways, practice began with a pretty standard warm up and we then split into different stroke groups. I usually get pretty bitter on these days as I feel the fly practices are surely more demanding than any of the other strokes and I feel as though I can somewhat understand how the distance guys feel on a daily basis, as they are pretty much always very bitter.

Our main set was 4x50 drill, 4x100 descend (25 fly, 25 free, 50 fly), 4x50 drill, 4x200 descend (50 free/ 50 fly), 4x50 drill, 4x300 descend (loco free/fly).
However Greg lets us know after the 3rd 300 that #4 would be stroke for time. I will not post my time, but I will say I felt good enough about myself just finishing it without completely breaking down.

After that we got into some 50s that were descend to FAST. We were supposed to have 4 rounds of the set, but thanks to Pat Inness’s sandbagging efforts it was reduced to 3 rounds. Of course any time saved by having to swim less was again lost while we waited for him to get out of the locker room. However, at this point of the trip, we’ll take any reduction of practice that we can get. We then did our dryland routine that left my arms at the point of failure. Then it was back to the hotel where we got some much needed food and prepared to make our way over to the stadium for the Insight Bowl between Iowa State and Minnesota.

We are lucky enough to have several Iowa State fans also staying at this fine establishment. Greg was actually born in Iowa, and he told me that someone used to tell him Iowa stood for Idiots Out Walking Around. After the encounters we have had with our friends from Iowa this week that may actually be a pretty solid assessment.

Nevertheless, they have provided us with some colorful entertainment. The game was actually pretty exciting all the way through with the final score ending up 14-13 Iowa State. Though our seats were just about at the very top of the stadium, they were actually great seats as they allowed us to have great view of the entire field. This was especially key when the marching bands came out, where we decided Iowa State was also superior. A few of us also really got into the noise making sticks they were handing out; a little too into them. After the game we weaved in and out of people making a quick getaway from the stadium onto the packed metro and back to the hotel as we were all pretty hungry. After getting some food we have all just been sitting around relaxing and enjoying each other’s company, for the most part. So, it’s a pretty low key new year’s eve.

Greg mentioned to us this morning that only 6 weeks remain until the CCIW Championships commence in our pool. That begs the question: If not now, when? It’s time to really key in and pay attention to every detail. There’s no more time to waste, no time to say you’ll start working on that tomorrow. We really have to make it count. We have big goals this year, and we are on the cusp of exceeding the expectations that many people probably have for us. But it’s not going to happen automatically. We have to show how much we want it. So may 2010 be a little kinder to the Red Men than the past few have been. May it bring another conference championship, but also several national qualifiers that are ready to show the rest of the country that Carthage swimming is the real deal.

Doug Schranck



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