>> Monday, February 24, 2014
Yesterday was the "Ys Guys" masters swim meet at the University of St. Thomas. I claim to be no "master" at this thing that I do in the water.
SOME PRE-RACE DRAMA: So I noted in a post on Friday that my goggles were splitting in 2 pieces during some practice dives. I got some well fitting goggles on Friday night, and I tested them in the pool on Saturday. I ran into someone special while testing them:
Sunday I got to the St. Thomas pool just before they opened it for pre-meet warm-ups:
• DIVE 1: My new goggles ended up slipping off and sliding down over my mouth during the dive.
• DIVE 2: I tightened them, and they still slid off during my dive.
• DIVE 3: I tightened them AS MUCH AS I COULD, and the still slipped off.
• DIVE 4: My only "extra" pair of goggles laying around were my FIRST pair of goggles that I started swimming with in 2005. Yes, they're pretty old. But I thought I'd try them at the meet... and they slipped off. Damn.
• DIVE 5: I tightened my old goggles, and they NEARLY stayed put! But they started filling up with water even by the end of 1 length of the pool (which is why I stopped wearing them in 2009ish).
• DIVE 6: I tightened my old goggles a bit more, and they pretty much stayed put! But they leaked a little water again by the far end of the pool.
• DIVE 7: I borrowed a pair of goggles from Scott. They were staying put for him, so I was hoping they would work for me. But they didn't.
That confirmed it: it wasn't the goggles. It was my diving.
After those horrible practice dives, my chest looked like this:
This is not altered in any way. Unfortunately.
Some bruising starting to the middle-left and the lower-left.
FIRST UP, THE 50 FREE:
Lance took hold of my camera to get some shots of my 50. THANKS LANCE! (He had just finished a 50 free 2 waves before me.) Here's the story of my entire race in 14 of his photos:
Beat-up chest on the blocks.
"ON YOUR MARKS..."
This was the exact moment the gun went off.
Apparently, my first reaction is to raise my toes! WTF?
I think I got my hands into a streamline position a little TOO quick.
But it's not too horrible yet. It REALLY gets bad in this next picture...
Sweet Baby Jesus. I don't think I'm supposed to be diving "knees first." Help me Lord.
OK Lord, I guess you did all you could with what you were given. This was the result. FLOP.
A bit of a bright spot here: that's a decent underwater streamline, right?!?!!
But then I ruin it by trying to take a stroke WAY to quick while I'm still underwater.
Talk about putting the brakes on. Sheesh.
Again, the horrible "too soon" stroke. Damn.
A big splash from a kick, proving that I WAS kicking.
A final breath before the single turn.
Back at the finish, checking my time.
Two heats later in the 50, I got a photo of Katie (a new-to-the-metro-area swimmer/triathlete who had her gear next to mine so we chatted a lot) showing what a start from the blocks SHOULD look like:
Diving with the PROPER body parts first.
Katie's nice small splash in the middle!
About 35 minutes after the 50 was the 500. I wasn't going to take any chances here: I thought it'd be best to wear my GOOD goggles (that didn't leak but DID fly off with every dive start) and just do a pool-start for the 500. I basically decided to give up 1 second or so to ensure I didn't have goggles full of water for 7 minutes of racing. I think this was a good call.
The MOMENT of the start: the woman in lane 7 is diving as I'm going under to push off.
KATIE! I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL I SAW THIS PHOTO THAT YOU WERE MY LAP COUNTER!
THANKS!!!!! (And thanks for the photos, Katie's fiancé!)
My back and shoulders started getting fatigued around the 300-400 yard mark. This was brutal, but I wasn't dying. Which meant I was doing it wrong. I maybe saved too much in the middle.
Near the middle of the 500.
Just taking a quick break to check on the weather out the windows: it was still sunny.
Good. So I got back to swimming. (But really, I don't do flip turns.)
Nearing the end, gasping for a breath before my push-off.
FINALLY, THE 100 FREE:
Again, I had about 35 minutes between the 500 and 100. No photos of me swimming here: just another sub-par dive (but maybe my BEST of the day), and a lot of pain.
Lance had just done the 500 and the 100 (3 waves before me), and he said he actually felt like the 500 prepared him for this race, and that he didn't feel tired from it! I was hoping for a similar outcome. I REALLY wanted to PR and break my 1:10.17 from last year, but I didn't know if I'd just be too pooped to do that.
I went out HARD like I did last year - when I see the splits, I'm sure they'll tell the same story. I remembered to kick well in the final lap of this race. I used as little oxygen as I could, and breathed only every 4 or 5 strokes where I could, instead of my usual 3.
I hit the wall not sure if I'd PRed or swam a 1:13, but I felt happy with my effort. I felt smooth and fast for the race. The scoreboard read 1:09.88! I HAD MY PR!!
Katie's dive (a little better than mine) during her 1:01 100!
The final wave of speedy 100 swimmers.
From Instagram post-race: Who has 2 thumbs, a bruised chest from
horrible diving, and 2 new swim PRs? This guy.