June 2012

Jun
30

100m Butterfly in 55.23 seconds

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 8:43pm (June 30th, 2012)
100m Butterfly in 55.23 seconds

This morning I swam the 100m Butterfly at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.  It was a fantastic race!  It was my last swim of the meet.  I was aiming at my lifetime best time of 55.19 which was set about a month ago in Austin, Texas.  The 100 fly is a new event to me since I’ve always been a little afraid of butterfly.  It’s a difficult stroke, one that requires unique training and significant upper body strength.  In brief Individual Medley sets throughout my life I’ve excelled in butterfly but feared a full 100 meters of it.  After a little over 20 years of competitive swimming, I overcame that fear and attempted the 100 fly.  Months later I found myself a second away from an Olympic Trial cut in the event but seemed to have plateaued around 56.31 with the cut being 55.29.  I shaved and tapered in London at the British Nationals only to swim a 56.30.  I felt defeated and all but gave up on my chances of a trials cut with 3 months left before the big meet.  When an elite meet was created in Austin by Longhorn Aquatics, I jumped at the chance to swim in a legendary facility and state of the art pool.   With a month left before my trip to Omaha, this was truly my last chance for a cut.  I chose not to jeopardize my taper by shaving but opted to use a new suit given to me by my friend Wu Peng.  When my race came up in Austin I held nothing back, I took out my race in a 24.91 (a lifetime best) and brought it home in a 30.28 to touch the wall in a 55.19 seconds!  I had achieved my second Olympic Trials cut.  I couldn’t have been happier.

It was that race that qualified me to swim the 100m Butterfly in front of 15,000 fans at the Olympic Trials today.  Although the days leading up to my race were not ideal, I made the best of my situation and got a solid night of rest before my race.  The morning of my race was perfect.  I arrived at the pool 2 hours before my race.  I had time for a little friendly banter with my teammates and to catch up with some coaches and fellow swimmers.  I got in the pool with a little over an hour before my race.  I swam a long warmup consisting of about 1,500 meters.  I typically do 800 or so, I just felt like a bit more was appropriate for how I was feeling.  I did a few sprints to ensure my speed was on tap.  My first 25m sprint I started myself, the second I had a former EMU sprinter Derick Roe give me a start.  My stroke felt great but I needed a little more room to swim.  I moved over to the 50m warmup pool and spoke with legendary U of M coach Jon Urbanchek.  When we were finished I asked him to give me a start, he was happy to do so.  I sprinted a 35m from a dive and felt great.  I warmed it down with a 200 and got out.   I chose to wear my Arena suit again since I had good luck with it during my time trial.  I was just 15 minutes away from racing so I headed over to the ready room in my warm-ups.   The ready room is basically a place for you to freak out prepare for your race.  It’s just a waiting game until your heat is called and you march up the stairs and onto the deck.  When heat 2 was called, I was ready.  I arrived behind my lane, took off my warm-ups and did a few jumps behind the blocks to get the blood pumping.  Within 30 seconds I heard the multiple whistle. It was time to race. I adjusted the backplate on the block to my familiar “5” setting and ensured it was locked in correctly.  The heat one swimmers made their way out of the pool and they blew the single long whistle.  We got up on the blocks.  I knew this was going to be a good race.  I heard the “take your marks” and prepared to rocket off the starting blocks.  When the buzzer went off I had a great start!  Since the bottom of the pool was marked at 15 meters (never seen that before), I came up exactly at the limit with a great breakout.  I cruised to the 50m wall with ease, I knew I was in 1st place.  Later I would find out I took out the race in a 24.67, a lifetime best 50m butterfly time!  I had a good turn (for me) and pushed off to some strong underwater kicks.  I had another good breakout and DID NOT take a breath on my first stroke, a tough thing to accomplish after spending 6 seconds underwater kicking as hard as you can.  I felt great at the 75 but soon started fading, a typical problem I have.  My arms started feeling heavy as I tried to pull downward and then lift them out of the water, desperately throwing them forward toward the finishing wall.  My legs started to burn and I felt myself sinking in the water.  It became harder and harder to breathe with each stroke.  I approached the last 5 meters, put my head down, holding my breath to finish the race strong.  I was a little short on the finish and decided to take an additional stroke rather than gliding in.  In hindsight I may have done the opposite.  My decision probably cost me a lifetime best in the 100m fly.  I ended up touching in a 55.23, the second fastest time of my life behind my 55.19 a month ago.  I looked up at the clock and smiled.  It was the second smile in the Olympic Trial pool.  I was proud of my accomplishment.  I had worked hard to get here.  I had done it.

In the hour that followed my race, I was showered with support from friends and family, I got some much appreciated emails from old high school or college contacts as well.  It was a great day.

Training Quote
"I live vicariously through you Doak, keep it up" - Aaron B.
Jun
30

A successful 100m Butterfly at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 2:30pm (June 30th, 2012)
A successful 100m Butterfly at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials!

I had a great 100m Butterfly! My time was a 55.23 which was 0.04 seconds off (slower than) my lifetime best time! I consider the second fastest time of my life to be a great swim! I'm most proud of my first 50m. I took it out like a BOSS! My relaxed first 50 time of 24.67 was faster than most swimmers in the event and ranks as a lifetime best in the 50 fly!

Jun
29

100m Butterfly at 11:38am CST or 12:38pm EST

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 10:17pm (June 29th, 2012)

The timeline was just announced for Saturday 6/30/12! Heat 2 lane 3 of the Men's 100m Butterfly in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials! I will be swimming at 11:38am CST and 12:38 EST.  Watch online here:

http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=2129&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

Or live results here:

http://www.omegatiming.com/Competition?id=00010C0102FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF&sport=AQ&year=2012

Some additional info about Olympic Trials:

www.usaswimming.org/trials

A link to my blog:

www.kevindoak.com

Jun
29

A crazy night of rest

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 5:40pm (June 29th, 2012)

I'm spending most of Friday recovering from a crazy night of sleep (or lack thereof).  I only got a few hours of rest due to a situation outside my control.  For the sake of storytelling I wish I could write about it, but I cannot.  The point being, I'm trying to lay low and rest up for my last race of the meet.  I'm in a new room and I'm sure to get some good sleep tonight.  I took a nap today and I'm feeling a little more rested.  It wasn't an ideal thing to happen with 30 hours before my next race but I think I'll be ok by tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow I swim the 100m Fly.  I haven't seen the schedule but I'll probably swim around 11:30 CST so 12:30 EST.  The event will be available on the live webcast.  I'll make another post about the schedule later.  Looking forward to a great race!

Jun
29

A day of supporting others

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 5:32pm (June 29th, 2012)
A day of supporting others

With my 100m Free time trial out of the way on Tuesday I spent the evening watching the finals from the stands.  It was a great new vantage point of the meet.  I was in the upper deck with a few family members that came to watch.  I find the phrase I keep using to describe the meet is "All the excitement of an NBA game plus pyrotechnics".  USA Swimming really has outdone itself.  After the first event I headed down to the team seating to enjoy watching one of my teammates swim in the finals.  Once again I found myself just soaking in the team comradery as we all cheered together.

Later I went out to dinner with the team, laughed, smiled and headed off to bed.

Thursday was filled with watching races by my own Club Wolverine teammates and also my friends at EMU.  Results wise it was up and down, some good swims, others could have been better (as with any meet).  As with each day I've been here I got in and did a very short workout in the warmup pool just to keep a good feel for the water.  I've done a great job of meeting new people at this meet.  Anywhere I go, I manage to strike up a conversation with a random person.  It makes me feel like I've made the most of my experience when I make new contacts like this.  I've met swimmers from Tennesee, California, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Arizona and Oregon to name a few.  The swim cap logo removal has given me even more new contacts.  I get the warmest "thank you's" for the service.  I'm not sure if it's entirely deserved, but I still really like providing a service that swimmers need.

After a mid day nap, I headed to Finals for a highly anticipated evening session.

This meet has been a bit of a learning experience on an Olympic Dream level.  Since I've met so many talented swimmers over the past few years, from a numbers standpoint, I know more HIGHLY talented swimmers than there are spots on the U.S. Olympic Team.  Inevitably I will know some swimmers that will become Olympians and others who will narrowly miss the 2012 Olympic Team.  If I've learned anything over the past year with Club Wolverine, attending high profile meets and knowing top tier athletes is that physiology isn't fair.  Every human is built differently.  A good swimmer can undergo ideal training but will never be able to move through the water as fast as Matt Grievers or Ryan Lochte.  During this meet I've seen harder trainers get beat by swimmers with bad training reputations yet have gobs of natural talent.  Moral of the story being (and I don't intend for this to be cynical): life isn't fair.  The only fair comparison we can make is to compare our former selves to our current abilities.  We are all built differently.  To bring the comparison to a personal level, I will never beat myself up about not being an Olympic swimmer because comparing two human bodies is not fair.  The only fair comparison is me against the clock.  As much as I enjoy racing others, the race against myself is the only fair competition.  I've always loved that about swimming.  If I have a bad race, I only have myself and my training to blame.  A poor performance is health, preparation or training related.  At times I enjoy a little trash talking to against my former swims since that is the only fair competition.  So in that light, "July 2011 Doak" was faster than "June 2012 Doak" in the 100m back.  Yet in the 100m free, "June 2012 Doak" was MUCH faster than all other swims in my life.

My evening was spent supporting fellow teammates who were swimming finals.  Unfortunately all the swimmers I was cheering for missed goals they had set for themselves.  From an Olympic Dream standpoint, this meet contains 32 people who will go home happy and hundreds of others who will go home feeling defeated.  I've been ultra conscious to be sure to support my friends and teammates, especially those who miss their goals.  I think it's one of the most important times to be a friend to somebody.  It's clear the swimmers who make the Olympic Team will get plenty of "Congrats" and attention, they don't need to hear from me, nothing I could say could improve their day.  In contrast, somebody who just got 4th after training for 8 years, could probably use a handshake and a smile.  I had a few of these sincere moments over the last few days.  One of them ending with a hug and a "Thanks Doak, I appreciate everything you've done for me".  It felt good to have supported somebody in their Olympic aspirations.

After the evening session I was given a free "Athlete Dinner" coupon to eat a "USA Swimming approved meal" at the buffett upstairs in the Centurylink Center.  I jumped on the chance to eat for free.  As I left the athlete area around 8:30pm I exited a an area the fans have learned that the swimmers leave the pool through..  As I walked through the door, the camera flashes started in rapid succession!  All I could hear was "who is it? WHO IS IT?!" over and over.  At one point I heard "Are you famous?" to which I just smiled.  Since I had to pass about 50' of fans with cameras, I was eventually stopped and asked if some kids could take a picture with me.  I smiled and agreed.  I think it's adoreable that these kids clearly look up to anybody swimming at this level.  The experience made me smile, it was my moment of undeserved fame with the cameras snapping and kids cheering.  It was a good feeling regardless.

So back to the free meal upstairs.  At $24.00 a plate I was surprised how popular the dinner was.  There was nearly everything you could imagine to eat, I was fairly impressed.  I was there alone and considered joining another table for some conversation. In the end I chose to sit alone and people watch.  As I ate my dinner by myself I looked around at all the other swimmers and coaches.  What I saw made me happy.  Everybody there was smiling and laughing.  People attend this event for the experience, and the experience seems to be pretty darn good.

Jun
27

Lifetime best in the 100 LCM Free!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 4:13pm (June 27th, 2012)
Lifetime best in the 100 LCM Free!

After a sub par swim in my 100m backstroke on Tuesday at the 2012 Olympic Trials, I was eager to redeem myself and my swimming career. Since I have a few days between my official swims I wanted to fill my time with some additional races to keep me sharp.  I'm so glad I made that decision.  I signed up for a 100m Freestyle time trial Tuesday morning. I was aiming for my lifetime best of 53.23.

The time trial situation is far less structured than the official events.  There is no "marshalling" per say.  You just have to be at the blocks at the right time.  This means you have to monitor which event and heat is swimming and be ready at the right time.  Since it's not a normal event schedule, there is just mass confusion.  Luckily there are plenty of time trial heat sheets available.  I sat in the stands until a few heats before my race.  With a shave and taper, I was very confident I could get a lifetime best time in the event.  I chose to wear my new Arena R-EVO+ jammer suit.  I'm not sure if I would get a "28" again. I swear, no matter what size you are, if you ever want to feel fat, just try on a properly sized race suit.  As I took this suit out of the box and held it up, my fingers at the edges were no more than 12" apart.  I looked to my teammate and said "I just think it's amazing that I might have a decent shot of getting my body to fit in this thing".  We both laughed and I headed into the locker room to begin the 10 minute process of feeling fat putting my suit on.  After I was finished putting on my leg corset I headed over to the competition pool to begin the guessing game of when I was going to swim.  The uncertainty of the time trials makes me appreciate the laser accuracy of the official events when I know I'll swim at "10:34am".  In the minutes that preceeded my race, my teammate realized he had forgotten his cap. He was in the heat after me.  We breifly considered the possiblity of me touching the wall, ripping off my cap and then tossing it to him to wear in his race seconds later.  The theory seemed solid till we realized I was in lane 7 and he was in lane 0 (they are building ten lane pools with lanes 0-9 instead of 1-10 so in finals they can use the 8 middle lanes for finals and they will read "1-8"). Therefore I would have to toss the cap 7 lanes over and hope he caught it.  it was further complicated by the fact that they were doing "flyover" starts meaning heat one stays in the water as heat two starts, then heat one gets out. There just wasn't enough time to share a cap.  He got one from another teammate at the last second.

As we were called up to the blocks, I felt good. I knew I would have a great race.  It was time to redeem myself.  I was ready.

The gun went off and I had a great start.  I kicked a few dolphins I dolphin kicked a few times and surfaced with a great breakout.  I attacked that first 50 but was relaxed enough to bring it home well.  I flipped at 24.8, even faster than Texas.  I had a few dolphin kicks underwater but breathed on my first breakout stroke, a big no-no.  I seemed to keep it together a bit more than ususal.  I know I slowed down a bit the last 8 meters but I felt strong almost the entire race. In hindsight I might have taken it out a little harder!  I touched and saw 52.04.  I had just DEMOLISHED my lifetime best time by 1.19 seconds!  I finally got to smile in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trial pool.  I couldn't seem to hold back a little fist pump (it was dinky, don't worry... I'm talkin barely over water level).  I was very proud.  I came to Omaha to swim a lifetime best time, and I did it.  I feel great.  My time of 52.0 is just a half second from the 100 Free olympic trial cut.  In the hour that followed my race, I was asked by a few people how I did.  I was proud to tell others that I just dropped over a second in the 100 free.  I got looks of amazement.  I found myself following that comment with "just like a 9 year old" to which I got a few smiles.  At this far into my swimming career it is very odd for somebody to have time drops, let alone time drops of over a second.  I'm having fun with it.

My experience at this meet has been nothing but great experiences.  I meet 20 new people a day.  I find myself feeling confident introducing myself to strangers on the pool deck and asking about their swims.  I've been taking care of our massage and athletic trainers as much as I can.  For some reason they are not allowed in the "coaches hospitality" food area.  Each day I bring them energy bars, bananas and water.  I wish USA swimming would consider their needs as they have with the coaches.  They environment at this meet is so exciting.  I watched finals from the stands last night.  They show they are putting on is amazing.  I'm impressed and concerned that you can FEEL the pyrotechnics on the pool level from the upper deck!  I've taken some great video and pictures which I'll share soon. I've laughed a lot and I've made some new friends along the way.  I'll never forget this experience.  I have the 100m Fly on Saturday but I may time trial something before then. 

Jun
27

100m Freestyle Time Trial today at 1:07pm CST

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 8:27am (June 27th, 2012)

Yesterday morning I paid the steep $30 time trial fee and signed up for the 100m freestyle. Based on the timeline, it looks like my event will begin at 1:07pm CST so 2:07pm Eastern time. I'm looking to improve my lifetime best time of 53.23. I'm not sure if the live webcast will be showing the time trials today. After a sub par backstroke race I'm looking forward to this race so I know whether I simply missed my taper or if my backstroke is just "off" at this meet.

Jun
26

My service was featured on swimswam.com!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 11:16pm (June 26th, 2012)
My service was featured on swimswam.com!

We were surprised and pleased that our "Cap Logo Removal Service" was featured on SwimSwam's website:

http://swimswam.com/2012/06/athlete-approved-will-be-removing-cap-logos-in-omaha/

To bring everybody up to speed, I developed a process of removing the logo's on silicone caps without adversely affecting the cap surface.  I'm in Omaha promoting "Athlete Approved" a friends new company by offering this service under their business name.  It's a great partnership and has been a big hit at the Trials.  There was a huge need for the service on short notice.  We get calls every day.  I've made some great new contacts in the swimming community because of it!  Some of the comments surrounding this acheivement are hilarious.  I've heard:

"THAT'S THE GUY!  THATS THE GUY WHO FIGURED IT OUT!"

along with an National Team member telling me:

"Everybody has been asking about you Doak".

I'm having fun with it all and really glad I can offer the swim community a useful service

Jun
26

Olympic Trials 100m Backstroke Results

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 9:35pm (June 26th, 2012)
Olympic Trials 100m Backstroke Results

I swam the 100m Backstroke today at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.  I felt prepared and excited to swim before my race.  I warmed up at the ideal times and changed into my race suit.  I headed over to the "Ready Room" and got my suit and cap checked by the officials.  They seated us in our heats, it reminded me of the age group "Marshalling" system to ensure little Timmy was there in time for his race.  There was a lot of jumping around and arm swinging going on is the room.  Everybody had their team gear on and was ready to race.  When our heat was called we marched up the stairs to the pool level.  We waited an entire heat while seated just off the main deck area.  When heat 2 (the heat before us) started, we were paraded out onto the pool deck in our lane order.  We had baskets for all of our clothes which were made available to us after our races.  I took off my warmups and did one last stretch before my race.  When the heat ahead of us finished up we heard the multiple whistles which indicate we should be ready to compete.  Seconds later when the pool was clear, we heard the one long whistle, this one means "enter the water".  We all jumped in and prepared to do our backstroke start.  I was in lane 7, a lane I had tried out during warmup.  I was comfortable with the lane and knew the ceiling would be tough but manageable.  When the gun went off I had an ideal start.  I had good underwater kicks and surfaced in about 14 meters.  I had a good breakout and a solid first 50m.  My turn was a bit tight but I don't think it slowed me down.  I flipped in a 27.35.  Ideally I wanted to be out in a 26 high or 27 very low.  I took 9 underwater kicks off the wall, I had planned on 8 kicks but added one, cause I'm crazy like that.  I had a good breakout and settled into my stroke and tried to bring it home strong.  As usual around 75m I started to fall apart and the last 15 meters was downright ugly.  I tried to keep it together but I slowed down quite a bit at the end of my race.  I touched, looked up and saw a 58.47.  A very slow time for me.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to muster a smile after that performance.

Before my race I told myself that "I'll be happy with anything 56 or 57".  While I stared up at the clock at my 58.47 I was downright confused.  Even 9 hours later, I'm still trying to figure out how I was a 58.1 unshaved untapered 3 weeks ago in Austin, TX and 57.44 a year ago outdoors at Stanford shaved and tapered.  My overall feeling is that "I'm better than a 58.47".  It's unfortunate that I didn't have a great backstroke perforamance at the biggest meet of my life but this will not be my last meet.  I have many more chances to tag the 56 second swim I know I have in me!

Today was a blast.  I prepared well and I raced to the best of my ability.  I was part of the biggest meet in this country.  I've met Olympians and I've had a lot of fun.  I'm so glad I have some time trials to swim over the next few days before my offical race in the 100m Butterfly on Saturday.  I'm proud to be here and very thankful to everyone who has supported me.  Swimming makes me happy.

Jun
26

I swim the 100 back on June 26th 11:58am CST

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 12:43am (June 26th, 2012)

I swim at 11:58am CST so 12:58pm Eastern time. I am in heat 3 lane 7. Looking forward to it! Watch online here:

http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=2129&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

Or live results here

http://www.omegatiming.com/Competition?id=00010C0102FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF&sport=AQ&year=2012

Jun
25

Tomorrow I swim the 100m Back at the 2012 Olympic Trials

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 9:32pm (June 25th, 2012)
Tomorrow I swim the 100m Back at the 2012 Olympic Trials

I'm not nervous at all. I've been here before and I've raced in the Olympic pool in London. I'm confident and ready to race. I have very realistic goals for tomorrow. I'm here to have fun and race the best swimmers in the country. I would love to see a lifetime best time of 57.44 or under but I feel as though I have already achieved my goal of getting to this meet. I overcame a lot to make it this far considering all the other work and commitments I have chosen to take on. I love swimming and I'm going to really enjoy swimming under those Olympic rings tomorrow. Thank you to all who have supported me all these years, I appreciate you.

Jun
25

Day one of the 2012 Olympic Trials

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 8:21pm (June 25th, 2012)
Day one of the 2012 Olympic Trials

It was an exciting first day at the Olympic Trials! Today was spent preparing for my race tomorrow and supporting teammates. I got to see three of my teammates qualify for the finals in the 400m free! Connor Yaegar being the number one seed! I got a good lunch and a nap before heading back to the pool for finals. I witnessed an American Record in the Women's 100m Fly. The arena lit up with cheering, it was an amazing moment. The energy in this place is amazing. It was nearly a full house, well over 10,000 fans. This is an amazing experience.

Jun
25

100m Backstroke T-Minus 1 day

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 8:27am (June 25th, 2012)
100m Backstroke T-Minus 1 day

Tomorrow around noon I race the 100m backstroke against some of the fastest swimmers in the country!

Jun
24

Best Sport Massage to date

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 8:17pm (June 24th, 2012)
Best Sport Massage to date Best Sport Massage to date Best Sport Massage to date

I chose to head to the pool with the team for their optional 2nd warmup of the day after speaking to our team massage therapist Chris.  He was setup at the pool giving sports massages.  I was mindful of our teams needs.  Because we have a few swimmers who have a GREAT chance of making the U.S. Team, I ensured I wasn't getting in the way.  Since the table was wide open, I jumped at the opportunity. 

In short, this was the best sport massage I've ever had.  After a few of those "relaxing massages" in my life, a sport massage by somebody who was a former athlete was revolutionary! I feel like most massages would be soothing in some sense, this was downright violent at times!  My limbs were being thrown around in a controlled fashion, it was clear Chris was a pro.  I remember one massage a few months ago where I fell asleep, there was no chance of that happening today.  At times I was working just has hard as he was.  He had me activate my muscles in different directions as he worked on increasing my flexibility.  I was impressed with his knowledge and experience.

After my massage I had my back adjusted by our athletic trainer Jeremy, another very impressive team resource.  Jeremy adjusted my ribs along my spine, a common issue of mine (and many others).

The rest of my time at the pool was just walking around meeting people and taking in the experience.  I wandered onto the competition pool deck for the first time as well.  The pool looks even better than last time.  USA Swimming has really gone all out regarding the branding of the event.  I'm impressed.

After we left the pool, I went out to dinner with our Team Manager and four other swimmers.  We had a nice meal and walked around Omaha for a little while.  It seems like a very interesting city.  The College World Series is this week as well so the city is very busy.

Tomorrow is my day of rest before I swim on Tuesday!

Jun
24

First team warmup and meeting lots of people!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 12:10pm (June 24th, 2012)
First team warmup and meeting lots of people! First team warmup and meeting lots of people! First team warmup and meeting lots of people!

It feels great to finally be here.  After a great night of rest at the hotel, I woke up and had breakfast with the team.  The hotel offered a great variety of fruit, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy.  We received meal vouchers so besides a tip, it was all included in the room rate.  We all piled into the vans and headed over to the pool.  Each van let out their swimmers and we all walked in as a group.  After training and competing alone for so many years, I really enjoy being part of a team.  I snapped a few pictures on my way in the facility.  There is plenty of security at the event.  The National Guard is monitoring each area and checking credentials, I've thanked a few for their service.

Once we had our bags and credentials checked we were in.  We all headed over to the "Athlete Lounge" first.  It's a large private area with big screen TV's and comfy couches to relax on.  There are free fruit smoohies, fruit and Cliff bars... all you can eat!  We all found a spot to stretch in the large team area on the far side of the warmup pool.  We were there pretty early so it wasn't busy yet.  Some swimmers got in the pool to loosen up before stretching.  Others just relaxed for a few minutes.  I did some mild stretching.  Soon after the whole team started the group stretch.  Each exercise is called out by one of the captains, it's a good system.  After stretching Coach Mike Bottom reminded us that we have an Athletic Trainer and Massage Therapist at our disposal.  I may get a massage today.

I was ready to swim after stretching.  I got in and did a 700m warmup and a few short bursts of swimming.  I had the coach watch a backstroke race start and I did a short cool down and got out.  I hit the hot tub and met some nice swimmers.  I introduced myself and had a few good conversations.  Later Matt Grievers got in and I introduced myself, I swam against him in college when EMU swam Northwestern.  Amanda Beard got in a few minutes later, that was the first time I had met her.  I was surprised to hear they both had roommates at trials.  I would think that if you're a former Olympian, that might earn you a room to yourself!  Apparently not.

The next hour of my life was filled with meeting people and collecting swim caps!  I didn't realize how many new contacts I would make by offering this unique service.  To bring ya up to speed, I drove a van out here with all the equipment to remove the logos from the front of caps (The USOC ruled them illegal to wear with a logo on the front).  To my knowledge, nobody else has figured out how to do it yet.  Speedo made a short custom run of caps for their elite athletes but the vast majority have their favorite caps with no solution on the logos.  I've met a lot of nice coaches!  I've done 48 caps so far!

I met up with my team again after the swim and we all went out to lunch and then back to the hotel.  This has been a great experience so far!

See video
Training Quote
"You are a really unique person, I've never met anybody like you." - Coach Mike Bottom
Jun
23

Cue the smile!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 11:11pm (June 23rd, 2012)
Cue the smile!

I obeyed all posted speed limits and made it to Omaha at 7:48pm.  The pool closed at 8:00pm.  I arrived at the "Centurylink Center" (formerly Qwest Center) with no athlete credentials since my coach picked them up earlier in the day. I convinced the security guard to let me in to meet my coach.  Four Army National Reserve soldiers checking credentials later, I was on the pool deck.  I did a rare deck change and jumped in the water when the big orange pace clock read "19:52.45".  I dove in the warmup pool and immediately felt my smile set in.  I was so happy to finally be here.  It's been a long hard road the last 2 years.  I'm finally at the 2012 Olympic Trials.

I literally had 7 minutes to swim.  It was just what I needed after a very long drive.  I feel so much better after a quick swim.  Time for some much needed sleep!

Jun
23

How tall is the corn there?

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 3:54pm (June 23rd, 2012)
How tall is the corn there?

A valid question from a family member. The answer:

Not very tall.

Some frustrating traffic delayed me at least an hour in western Illinois. It's still looking like I will make it in time for a quick swim in Omaha though!

Jun
23

2012 Olympic Trials Bound!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 11:34am (June 23rd, 2012)
2012 Olympic Trials Bound!

It's here already! This past 14 months of training has flown by. Last night I left Ann Arbor to begin my long drive to Omaha, NE. I had seemingly countless business tasks to accomplish prior to beginning my trip. When I finally did leave, it was about 30 hours after my optimistic target departure time. I'm slowly making my way to Nebraska, taking frequent stretching breaks. Many of my teammates arrived in Omaha this afternoon. I'm jealous of their short flights but between trials and USMS Nationals, I know I will appreciate the freedom of having my own wheels.

Jun
21

I get to support EMU swimmers!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 10:05pm (June 21st, 2012)

The "Cap Logo Removal" is catching on.  I'm helping some Olympian friends at Athlete Approved (www.athleteapproved.com) with removing the logo's at Olympic Trials.  There seems to be a significant need for the service and no good options.

I got a few caps from the EMU swimmers and a PCC swimmer as well today.  I love supporting my old college team!  I'll be removing the "Speedo" logo's from all of them so they can use them at Olympic Trials.  Go EMU!

Jun
21

Another easy workout

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 10:02pm (June 21st, 2012)

Today was an easy 900 meters for the sprint group.  I chose to split the difference between MD and Sprint again and swam about 1500 with some burst swimming in there.  I leave tomorrow for Omaha and the biggest meet of my life!

I've gotten some of the nicest messages from friends and family!  I'm lucky to be surrounded by such great people.

Jun
20

Recovery workout in a dinky pool

Posted by Kevin Doak on Wednesday at: 10:00pm (June 20th, 2012)
Recovery workout in a dinky pool

I swam an unknown amount of yardage in a dinky apartment complex pool. I have a feeling it was about 1,000 yards in total. The CW schedule called for "hot tub stretch" for Sprint group and "short recovery" for MD. I felt like I split the difference and got some sun at the same time. Mission accomplished.

Jun
19

I swim in 7 days! Threshold workout today!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 6:32pm (June 19th, 2012)

Next Tuesday morning I swim the 100m Backstroke in front of 15,000 people.  I'm really looking forward to the experience.

I joined the Middle Distance group again today.  I find that I feel more comfortable with the MD workload.  Their practices are challenging every single day, something I've yearned for since joining CW in April of 2011.  The main set today was threshold:

1 x 50m Brown @ :55
1 x 100m [50m free + 50m Specialty] @ 1:35
1 x 100m orange backstroke @ 1:45
1 x 100m brown @ 1:35
1 x 100m orange backstroke @ 1:45
1 x 100m [50m free + 50m Specialty] @ 1:35
1 x 50m Brown @ :55 

I lead a lane which was going on the slowest possible interval (others did the 100's on 1:20).  I warmed down 400m and decided to join the Olympic Sprint group and busted out a 35m sprint from the blocks butterfly.  I was haulin, my butterfly feels fantastic.  I'm really looking forward to my 100m fly at trials!  

Jun
18

The Suit Game

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 2:16pm (June 18th, 2012)
The Suit Game

I swore off full body suits a while ago.  Since joining CW, I'm back to the tech suits after two solid years of wearing brief style suits only during races.  The latest "tech suits" are fabric-only suits versus the 2008-2010 rubber/polyurethane days.  Since Speedo dropped the ball bigtime with the latest LZR Super Elite I was forced to find another suit.  I've chosen "Arena" as a brand I trust.  I was given a suit by a teammate in Austin which I really liked.  It was new but last years model.  It felt comfortable and didn't rip... the bar is pretty low these days.  I decided between the Olympic Trials, USMS Long Course Nationals and the U.S. Open, I'll need more than this one suit.  I dropped another $275.00 on a new Arena suit today.... ouch.  I hope this suit is as good as the one I wore in Austin.

Speedo, please do something about your tech suits.

Jun
18

Olympic Trials just a week away!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 12:50pm (June 18th, 2012)

I'm knee deep in taper time!  I always freak out a little about tapering, I think everybody does to a certain extent.  Although we trust our coaches, we also understand that everybody is different.  The perfect taper for the guy next to you who swims the exact same times as you, could need a drastically longer or shorter taper than you to swim his best.  I find myself thinking "am I letting up too early?... should I do one more hard practice?".  The inverse is also true, some theories would lead me to believe that I need a 6 week taper.  I seem to do best with a short taper.  I would say this was about a 3 week taper.  This whole week should be relatively easy with some short burst swimming to keep my feel for the water.  The excitement is building!

Jun
17

A great pre-trials party!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 12:45pm (June 17th, 2012)
A great pre-trials party!

This weekend my family threw a little pre-trials party for me.  It was short notice but I was honored to see so many family members and a few close friends!  Thank you to everybody who could show up on such short notice!

Jun
16

Good Luck Marty!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 3:55am (June 16th, 2012)
Good Luck Marty!

Another teammate heads to his final meet before the Olympics.  Wishing Marty good luck in the Bahamas!  22.88 here we come!

Jun
15

2012 Olympic Credentials Rolling Out!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 9:33pm (June 15th, 2012)
2012 Olympic Credentials Rolling Out!

I'm honored to know a 2012 Olympian!  One of my teammates just received his Olympic Games credentials at the pool today.  They came in a FedEx container which contained lots of information about the games, official credentials and a 1 month unlimited Oyster Pass to use all the public transit he needs.  It was an exciting moment.  I'm very proud of all my teammates!

Jun
15

Tuesday Race Pace, Wednesday Recovery

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 9:30pm (June 15th, 2012)
Jun
14

Swim Cap Drama

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 8:35pm (June 14th, 2012)
Swim Cap Drama Swim Cap Drama

Drama hit the Olympic Trials community this week.  I don't typically follow this stuff but it's caused a bit of a situation for ALL swimmers competing in the Olympic Trials.  The USOC (United States Olympic Committee) just came out and said that swim caps may not have a logo on the front of the cap and may only have a team logo on ONE side of the cap.  Considering we are less than 2 weeks from Trials, this has created some frantic coaches and swimmers.  We have had to entirely rethink the cap situation on short notice.  The reasoning behind the requirement is that the USOC wants the Olympic Trials to match the Olympic rules exactly.  Since all GOOD silicone caps have a corporate logo on them which is embedded in the construction of the cap, this means most teams need all new caps.  Club Wolverine coaches have been trying all sorts of solutions this week including new blank (low quality) silicone caps as well as using markers to black out logos.  As soon as I saw them turning Speedo Aqua-V caps inside out, I had seen enough.  I took one of the test caps home and figured out a way to remove the logo from the front of the Aqua-V cap.  Something tells me this knowledge will be useful to others very soon...

I haven't decided how I feel about the cap rule just yet.  On one side (no pun intended), logos can bring sponsors and money to swimming.  On the other hand, speedo didn't pay me to wear their cap, so why should I have their logo on it in every picture and video taken of me?  I tried unsuccessfully a year ago to remove the speedo logo, I had more motivation this time around.  

Speedo - 0
Doak - 1 

Jun
11

Eastern Echo Olympic Article

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 5:26pm (June 11th, 2012)

Another article about the EMU swimmers! Last time around in 2008 it was just myself and Derick Row competing. This time the swimmers seem to be getting more attention, clearly due to the sheer amount of athletes who have made the cut to be at the meet. The excitement is building!

http://www.easternecho.com/index.php/article/2012/06/emu_swimmers_prepar...

Jun
9

Race Pace with tech suits!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 11:41am (June 9th, 2012)
Race Pace with tech suits!

Today was not only the typical race pace practice but also "Tech suit day" where we are free to use the '08/'09 era tech suits.  The tech suits always add a level of excitement to the practice.  In the past I've really enjoyed what they have added to the workout.  After spending 15 minutes putting on my Speedo LZR suit, I was in pain but ready to race.  I warmed up a bit more in the diving well prior to the main set.  I'm just overwhelmed at the massive difference the suits make.  I just felt like I was floating on the water.  Kicking is just effortless.  You need so little core strength to stay stable in the water.  The first round of the workout was a broken 100m swim.  I was just blazing fast. Since it was a split 25/50/25, we never got any useful times but I know I was probably a 24 or lower second 50 butterfly.  I was flyin'.  The suit was really painful to wear it was distracting.  The deck was filled with drama, everybody worried about how their suit was fitting.  Guys were adjusting their suits constantly.  I could tell it was wearing on some peoples confidence.  Some were worried about rips or the tightness around their shoulders.  I just couldn't stand it anymore and remove my suit after the first round.  I primarily ditched it because we clearly won't be using these at Olympic Trials so really, what is the point of racing in them 2 weeks before Trials?  I felt so much better without the full body suit.  I was still tagging 10.7's in a 25 meter race.  My butterfly feels amazing lately.

It was a great practice.  There has been a video crew following around another one of the post grads all week.  I've enjoyed watching how they use their cameras to film and take stills.  I look forward to watching the documentary they are working on.

Jun
8

Good Luck Hulmey!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 7:43am (June 8th, 2012)
Good Luck Hulmey!

Today I say "Good Luck" to a friend and teammate leaving for Britsh Olympic Trials.  A few teammates have left Ann Arbor already but Hulmey's departure marks the beginning of end of our amazing training group.  Within a month, there will be no remaining post grad swimmers training at Club Wolverine Elite for the 2012 games.  This was in the plan from the beginning since every single swimmer is aiming for the Olympics but it still strikes me as unfortunate we are all going our separate ways.  I wish the best to Hulmey and I'll be making a post for each swimmer leaving for their respective meets.

BABYLUNG!

Jun
7

A day in the sun!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 9:43am (June 7th, 2012)

The post grad swimmers seized the opportunity to swim a "recovery" workout outside at Fuller pool yesterday.  It was an ideal day to train outside.  The sun was shining, there was an occasional cloud to give you a break from the direct rays and the water was a nice 79 degrees.  There were very few people at the pool, it was perfect.  I ended up swimming about 2,000 meters and enjoying the sun for another 15 minutes or so.  It was a nice change of pace from Canham Natatorium!

Jun
7

Not always included, and that's ok

Posted by Kevin Doak on Thursday at: 1:15am (June 7th, 2012)

There is a lot going on at Canham Natatorium lately.  Yesterday a news team was interviewing elite swimmers. Today our team was signing autographs on deck for all the swim camp kids.  I was not invited to either event, and I completely understand why.  I carry the least impressive swimming resume on the team.  It's a blatantly apparent fact but it's rarely, if ever, talked about.  It's media opportunities like these which bring me back to reality a bit.  I see myself as incredibly lucky I've been awarded the opportunity to train with some of the best swimmers on the planet.  Most times I feel like just another one of the team members, yet there are moments like these which I know I don't deserve to be included.  Although it never feels good to be left out, it's a very understandable situation.  I'm very proud of my teammates accomplishments.  Without all of their impressive swimming resumes there wouldn't be a CW Elite team to train with.

Jun
5

Wide-Angle picture of University of Texas at Austin

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 2:31pm (June 5th, 2012)
Wide-Angle picture of University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin is one of my new favorite pools!  As a seasoned swimmer, I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of pools.  Between swimmers, a common conversation is what the pool builder did right or could have done better.  I found that this chatter was minimum at best.  I can almost always find something wrong with the setup.  This pool raised the bar in a few ways.  Some of the features off the top of my head:

  • 8 long course lanes, don't try to squeeze 10 in a 25 yard wide pool silly
  • ceiling has straight lines in the form of a drop ceiling with rectangle panels
  • 40 massive ceiling mounted speakers, 28 full range, 12 subwoofers
  • Acoustic deadening material in the walls, tastefully done
  • 1" deck tiles, I image large tiles cost less and are more slip prone
  • 9' deep competition pool, the deeper the better but this is about as much as you can ask for
  • Adequate spectator seating at 3,000+
  • Underwater lighting and oberservation windows along EVERY wall of the pool, the entire width/length
  • Nice Colorado pads
  • 3 massive full color scoreboards which display either times or other relevant content during meets
  • Side balconies for news staff and reporting
  • Bulkheads stored in the ceiling for space saving and to increase the width of bulkheads without increasing the length of the pool!
  • Plenty of room behind blocks for race prep
  • Hand tightened lanelines, no wrench required
  • 10 lanes for warmup/warmdown in diving well
  • Runoff/Overflow gutters
  • Huge locker rooms
  • Good showers with temp control
  • Parking garage close to pool

Learn more at the website: http://www.tsc.utexas.edu/about.php

I'm tough to impress, and I'm impressed.

Jun
5

EMUeagles.com U.S. Olympic Trials article

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 2:08pm (June 5th, 2012)
EMUeagles.com U.S. Olympic Trials article

www.emueagles.com just ran a nice article about 7 current EMU swimmers as well as 2 former EMU swimmers competing in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.  It was short and to the point.  I was surprised to see my 100m butterfly was on there as well!

http://www.emueagles.com/news/2012/6/5/MSWIM_0605122608.aspx

Jun
5

Life is good!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 9:36am (June 5th, 2012)
Life is good!

This morning was my first workout back in Ann Arbor after the Longhorn Elite Invite in Austin, Texas.  It was a fantastic trip filled with smiles, laughs and one of the greatest swims of my life.  

Although the Olympic Trial sprinters had the morning off, I opted to join the Middle Distance group for an aerobic workout.  I find that I'm infinitely more fulfilled by middle distance workouts.  After a full year with Club Wolverine I feel as if I'm still learning about myself and how I need to train.  I believe that my body might respond differently than other sprinters in the program.  The average sprinter on the team seems to excel doing weights and comparatively low yardage.  These sprinters can get through 100m without a problem.  It's brought me to question whether 100m is a "sprint" both globally and for my own training as well.  My tendency is to think that although many "sprinters" can do just fine in a 100m race doing very little aerobic/threshhold training, I cannot.  More than ever, I see a 100m race a middle distance event for me.  Keep in mind that I might be entirely wrong about this but my own personal experience leads me to believe that I need aerobic training to finish 100m with a respectable stroke rate.

My workout today was fantastic.  We did some short 25m "green" sprints mixed with some 200m aerobic swimming.  I felt exhausted at the end of it, it was exactly what I needed.  I'm wary of changing my training so close to trials but mixing in Middle Distance training is exactly what I want to do right now.  I will keep adding in the aerobic training as much as I feel is needed.  The sprinters will taper for 5 weeks (we/they already started).  I will probably join the Middle Distance taper plan of 2-3 weeks because frankly, a 5-6 week taper scares me.  It just seems like we do so little yardage it makes me wonder: How can you taper down from 3k a practice?

I was congratulated by a few swimmers and coaches today for my 100m butterfly performance which included a "24.91 is blazing fast front end speed".  Although I don't need the recognition, it is really appreciated and I'm always conscious to mention that if/when I hear it.

I'm a 31 year old businessman with a great life, family and friends who has two U.S. Olympic Trial cuts.  Life is good.

Jun
4

Morning workout in Austin

Posted by Kevin Doak on Monday at: 4:35pm (June 4th, 2012)
Morning workout in Austin

Since it was cheaper to fly out of Texas on Monday, myself and 4 other team members were allowed to practice at the University of Texas this morning.  The group contained two Olympians, one likely Olympian and one of the fastest women swimmers I've had the privilage of training with.  Coach Josh White wrote a 4,000 meter workout for the MD group.  I chose to join in and get some needed aerobic training.  I'm confident this was among the easiest workouts the Middle Distance group has ever been given.  The very same workout was one of the most difficult I've done in the last 6 months.  I loved every second of it.  It was challenging and I felt like I really got a workout!

I've had time to reflect on my practices and meets over the past year.  When thinking of which meets I really performed well at in the last 12 months, I can think of only two:

2012 EMU Masters Coldest Meet SCY
2012 Longhorn Elite Invite LCM

Both meets yielded lifetime best times without rest, taper or shave.  The common training theme leading up to both meets:

Aerobic/Threshold training.

Jun
3

Rethinking my primary event...

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 10:51pm (June 3rd, 2012)
Rethinking my primary event... Rethinking my primary event...

A few thoughts...

100m Back:
In July 2011 I fully shaved and tapered to swim a lifetime (without a full body suit) best of 57.44, achieving the Olympic Trial cut by 0.15 seconds.  I have been swimming backstroke my entire life, at every single meet. 

100m Fly:
I trained freestyle and a tiny bit of butterfly for the past week.  I throw on a race suit and go a 55.19 achieving the Olympic Trial Cut by 0.10 seconds. I am unshaved and untapered.  I took out my race in a blazing 24.91 seconds, also a lifetime best.

From my perspective, it's becoming clear that I may want to refocus my energy on my best event.  At this point it seems as though that event is the 100m Fly.  I find it a little ironic that I was never known as a butterflier yet I'm now willing to admit it seems to be my best chance at Olympic Trials.

Jun
3

Dropped 0.37 seconds in 100 Back finals!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 8:59pm (June 3rd, 2012)

Tonight I accomplished a huge feat in my race. I dropped time in finals! My time of 58.21 was among my fastest unshaved untapered times ever. I have a history of going slower in finals. Tonight I stepped it up and dropped 0.37 seconds to take 8th place. I was seeded 8th and finished 8th. I was aiming to take my race out faster than my prelims 27.9 and I did, just not as much as I had hoped. I flipped at 27.7 and finished a little stronger than my morning swim. I would have loved to see a 57.xx on the board but I'm proud to have dropped time!

My meet is finished. I achieved a trials cut in the fly. I'm very satisfied with my meet!

Jun
3

100m Backstroke in the Big Boy heat tonight!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 4:27pm (June 3rd, 2012)
100m Backstroke in the Big Boy heat tonight!

I rarely acheive a top 8 finish in a big meet so the opportunity to race the best is a special opportunity for me! I'm going into finals in 8th place so my ranking can only stay the same or improve. It's a low stress situation for the most part. Tonight I will be focused on swimming my first 50m faster. Since I'm not capable of bringing it home much better, the first half of my race is the only place I can pick up significant time. I will be looking for better than my morning performance of 27.9 and a similar last 50m time. This combination should yield a low 58 or high 57. Looking forward to racing in 2.5 hours!

I've heard the meet is televised but only on the "Longhorn Network". There might be an online streaming option as well.

Jun
3

100m Freestyle Time Trial

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 1:44pm (June 3rd, 2012)

I chose to sign up for a time trial today since I didn't get to swim the 100 Free in the meet.  After making the 100 back final I considered cancelling my time trial but I opted to swim it anyway to give my teammate Roman some company in the event.  I swam both of my other events in an older (but brand new) Arena suit but chose to swim my time trial in a worn out Speedo LZR jammer.  I think this was a poor choice.  The suit, even when it was new, would seemingly channel water down my backside. It felt like I was dragging a parachute.  My first 50m was solid at a 24.95 but died at 75m and struggled to get home in a 53.41, a little less than two tenths off my lifetime best.  I did however achieve my goal of pacing my teammate.  He was out in 24.96 but got home in a much better 26.55 for a 51.51.  Very impressive swim!

Training Quote
"You fell apart at the end so I didn't bother getting (videotaping) you" - Coach Mike Bottom
Jun
3

100m Backstroke Prelims results

Posted by Kevin Doak on Sunday at: 12:46pm (June 3rd, 2012)
100m Backstroke Prelims results

Today I swam the 100m back in prelims. I took it out in a slow 27.9 and touched in a 58.58 to place 8th going into finals!

Jun
2

50m Free Prelims/Finals results

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 11:10pm (June 2nd, 2012)

Today I swam the 50m Free in prelims.  I was rested and prepared for my race though I didn't really feel the "pop" I did the day before in my butterfly.  I know I can be a 23mid in the event and might even be able to get an Olympic Trial cut in the event at a 23.49.  Yet I find I have great speed through 60% of the race and just slow down at an alarming rate around the 35m mark.  It is my classic endurance issue.  In a sense, nothing has changed.  I took two breaths for some reason but I doubt it drastically affected my time.  I touched in a 24.06 to place 22nd going into finals.  I was slightly disapointed in my time, it would have felt much better to be a 23high.  Other than reducing to a single breath, there was nothing I would have changed about the race.  I got some sleep during the afternoon and prepared for finals.

I enjoyed watching some great races during finals.  Our middle distance guys were really impressive with great finishes in the 200 free and 400IM.  I will always respect IM swimmers the most.  That race represents every stroke dicipline all in one.  If you're good at it (or even try it), you have my utmost respect.  I watched an hour of swimming before I even got in the pool to warmup.  I had an ideal warmup and changed into my race suit 20 minutes before my race.  I chose to not do a "double warmup" this time.  I typically warm up, change into a race suit, do a quick warmup again and dry off.  This time I threw on the race suit and prepared behind the blocks for my race.  In hindsight, I don't think it affected me either way but I do prefer the double warmup.

My race was ideal in almost every way.  I breathed at 30m just once and seemed to be catching water the whole time.  It was really just that my body tied up so much at 35m that it was impossible to finish the race with a fast stroke rate.  I touched in a 24.26, two tenths slower than prelims.  I wasn't too upset about it.  I would have really liked a 23 second swim but considering how much focus I've put on butterfly the past few weeks, the fact that my sprint freestyle isn't top notch doesn't surprise me at all.

This was my last chance to make the Olympic Trial cut in the 50m freestyle.  Time to look at the positive.  If I had achieved a cut in the 50 free, I would have to swim it on the same day as the 100m fly.  The events are split by the 800 free so I would have had plenty of time to recover but I like the idea of one race per day at an event as big as the Olympic Trials.  My current schedule will allow me to fully focus on my backstroke race on June 26th, then change gears and have a few days to focus on my butterfly race on June 30th.  I think it's a great schedule.

Tomorrow is the 100m Backstroke.  I haven't swam ANY backstroke in about 2 weeks so this could be a little ugly!  If all goes well I'll make it back in the evening Finals for a second swim.

Jun
2

Watching teammates and preparing for the 50 free

Posted by Kevin Doak on Saturday at: 10:18am (June 2nd, 2012)

I got to sleep in today after a long day yesterday. I had a food breakfast and drove 10 minutes to the pool. I've been watching my teammates compete in the 400 IM and the 200 free.

Jun
1

55.79 in Finals of the 100m Fly

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 11:05pm (June 1st, 2012)

As I said to everybody I talked to today... I don't care how I swim the rest of the meet.  I had one goal for Austin: to achieve an Olympic Trial cut in the 100m Butterfly.  This morning I did just that.  I spent the day feeling great about my accomplishment, I spoke to friends and family to share the news.  Each call or email was greeted with shared enthusiasm for my achievement.  I have a great support system.  I heard from a few fellow masters swimmers as well, it means a lot to me that others care about my swimming.

My 55.19 swim in the 100m fly earned me a spot in the "B" final which was another great surprise.  I was just two tenths away from the big ("A") heat.  My morning swim was amazing in a few ways.  Namely how I took it out.  My 50m time of 24.91 was a lifetime best for me and the fastest 50m fly time of the prelims which included a handful of Olympians going 25+.  This evening I mostly checked out mentally.  I had achieved my goal and I was very satisfied with my entire meet.  I went into the evening finals with a very relaxed attitude.  I spent my day speaking to people who I care about and who care about me.  I was content swimming ANY time and I was going to be happy.  I did just that.  I warmed up well, prepared in an ideal way and got ready to race.  A friend recommended I "go out two tenths slower" and I may have more speed coming home.  I hadn't made my decision to do so till my race.  I let up a bit in the first 50m to touch at 25.13, almost exactly two tenths slower than my 24.91 morning swim.  On my second 50 I was breathing too much and seemed to fall apart a little earlier.  Honestly, my motivation just wasn't there.  It was like I had been saying all day, I didn't care how I swam, I was just so happy to have gotten another cut.  This attitude showed in my race and I touched in a 55.79, still the 2nd fastest time of my life and far under my previous best of 56.30.  Yet this time was 0.60 slower than my morning swim.  I looked up at the clock and didn't feel a thing, I was just glad it was over.  I was seeded 10th going into finals and I finished 15th.  There was only one person who took out the 50 faster than me in finals: Michael Phelps with a 24.77 to my 24.91.  I am very satisfied with my swims today.

50 Free tomorrow!

Jun
1

OLYMPIC TRIAL CUT 100m FLY!

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 2:08pm (June 1st, 2012)
OLYMPIC TRIAL CUT 100m FLY!

Its tough to put into words how happy I am right now!  My goal for almost a year was to achieve a second Olympic Trial cut!  Last August I got my 100m Backstroke cut at Stanford while I was fully shaved and tapered at 57.44.  As exciting as that was, I really wanted all this training to yield a cut in another event.  I knew my best chances were in the 50m Free and 100m Fly.  Meet after meet I've been swimming 56's and 57's in the butterfly yet I would always take them out in a strong 25 low/mid.  I knew if I could just bring it home in a 30.x that I would have what it took for a cut.  Last week I trained with Middle Distance twice and extended another practice on my own while keeping my weights up.  I think this, combined with a slightly lower workload gave me everything I needed today.  Combine the additional training butterfly with a break from backstroke and I was ready for a great 100 fly.  Friend and teammate Wu Peng donated a suit to the cause when I couldn't find a replacement for me.  I got some great encouragement from my teammates before my race.

With a new suit and the strength of a little MD training, I was ready for the best 100m butterfly of my life.

I got up on those blocks ready to race.  I dove in and had a great breakout at 14 meters.  I had some great strokes that first 50, I was breathing in a relaxed way and really catching water.  At the 40m mark I eased up because I felt like I was going out too hard.  I touched the wall in a 24.91, a lifetime best in the 50m fly by 0.18 seconds!  Miliseconds later it was time to turn.  I had been working on it a lot the past week along with some coaching by butterfly guru Hulmey.  In that split second I forgot everything I had learned and performed my typical slow turn... I knew it was bad and there wasn't anything I could do about it.  It was time to use that wall for those underwater kicks.  I did 8 kicks an surfaced with a sub par breakout breathing on my first stroke.  I held it together for the most part but the last 10 meters was SOOO ugly.  My arms and legs were burning so bad, the pain was extreme.  I put my head down and powered through the last 7 meters no breath.  I knew every milisecond counted. I touched and looked up to see "55.19"!  I let out a huge "OH YEAH" with a mini fist pump.  I had done it! I had an ear to ear smile on my face.  I jumped out of that pool like it was nothing.  I could do nothing but smile in the minutes that followed.  I stayed behind the blocks to watch Wu Peng finish his race just slightly behind Phelps and congratulated him before visiting the team.  I was greeted with smiles and hand shakes by every teammember who saw me.  It was one of the best moments of my life.  This means so much to me, for a while I've been feeling like a "one-hit-wonder" with just my backstroke trial cut.  Now I feel as though I've achieved what so many others on this team have which is more than just one cut.  To do what I did today, I dropped 1.11 seconds unshaved and untapered.  It was borderline impossible what I did today. I couldn't be happier right now.  I've heard some of the nicest compliments and uplifting comments from my teammates.  It means so much to me to have a support system with me on such an important day.  It really is a special day today, I don't care what happens tonight in finals.  I'm seeded 10th in the "B" final.  I don't care if I get dead last, I achieved everything I wanted to.  I could go home right now and feel satisfied.  I'm overwhelmed with excitement, I'm so proud of myself!

Training Quote
"At 31 old I not swim 55 low in 100 fly!" - Wu Peng