Masters State swim meet!

It’s been quite the blog hiatus! I intended to take one, but not this long! So I’ll start back by writing a little about the Masters State swim meet which was the first weekend in April.

As much as I love swimming, I’m often hesitant to participate in a swim meet.  (I’ve only raced in one meet since college which was oh so long ago and it was in the mile a few years back). Most of it is because I’ve been there, done that, part of it is due to the fact that I’ll never be as fast as I once was.  Most of the time I’m just fine with that and think I’ve swallowed that pill, but there are brief moments when it’s rather depressing. This time was a little different though as it was an event I’d never swum, the 1000 free.  I could only PR so why not? 😉  Plus I signed up under the team for which I coach, Glenbrook Aquatics, so I knew that would be fun. (I practice with the Arlington Alligators, but they weren’t registered as a team this year so that wasn’t an option.  Plus no one else from that team was going to swim at this meet). With 23 of us racing from GA, more than double the amount from last year, I was eager to join them.

So this meet is a 3 day meet and Friday night was the 1000 free. Six of my triathlon clients raced in this event too and it was their very first time in a swim meet! Very impressive! They all did great too!

Going in I was nervous as usual and I knew there’d be some great competition in my age group as 2 women were seeded ahead of me. I wasn’t sure how I’d perform, but looking at the entry times, I thought I’d be 3rd. Swimming slowest to fastest, I didn’t get to race until about 8:15pm. My pal Seth, whom I once coached with at New Trier, was in lane 8, I was in lane 10. (The heats were co-ed, all based on time).   Getting on the starting block created more nerves as I one of the last times I dove off one, I couldn’t move my neck for 3 days. Isn’t aging lovely? Anyway, I made it in the water with no qualms. I dove in easy breezy and just enjoyed being back in the water, my home away from home.

A must in this distance is to keep it down a few notches in the first 2-300 yards or so and that’s exactly what I did, almost to a detriment. You see, swimming is quite different from running where you try to negative split your race, at least by a few seconds. That’s pretty much unheard of in the pool and it’s never a strategy. You don’t take anything out too fast, but you certainly never negative split a race either. So I was feeling really good, but I knew not to push it. I was also fortunate I could see the pace clock. After a 100, I thought I was a little slow and after the 200, I was a little disappointed. No biggie I thought, I’d stick to my plan and see how it plays out. For whatever reason, I stopped looking at the clock after the 200 and just zoned out. It was weird too because I only saw Seth once during the entire race and only saw one of the other 2 women in my heat once, as I passed her mid –race. I had no idea where the other 2 women were as they were on the other side of the pool and it was dark with no underwater lights on. The overhead lighting was quite dim too, very strange. What I did see were several friends at the side of the pool cheering me on every length. It was awesome! I just felt so good, long and strong, and I knew the adrenaline from their cheers was helping a lot. Once I finished, I looked at the clock and was happy to see an 11:59, not super fast for me, but better than anticipated. Most of my teammates told me I was the fastest woman in my heat so I was thrilled! What threw me most was seeing my splits, I actually negative split my race! What?!?!? My friends said it was cool to watch as many took it out too fast and faded, whereas I picked off a few people one by one as I got faster throughout the race. Ok, now I know I took it out a little too slow, but I was fine with that. On the way home, I was feeling pretty content, only to call Scott and find out I was actually 2nd, not 1st.  (He saw the results online).  It’s not a big deal in the scheme of things, it was just a little deflating after thinking I’d won. I looked at the winners splits when I got home and chuckled. Each of my last six 50 splits were faster than hers. I really wish I could’ve seen her across the pool as she only touched the wall 3 seconds before me. It would have been a good race.   C’est la vie! I’m still pretty content with my swim.

I’m beyond content with my team though! They rocked with several podium finishes and Kyle Sorensen even grabbed a state record in the 50 fly!  Holy fastness! I’m honored to coach these swimmers and have become good friends with several of them. I’m one lucky girl to love my jobs so much! Anyway, congrats to all who competed, especially the GA swimmers and Bradbury Fitness clients! I’m very proud of you!

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