Monday, March 12, 2012

Meet Review : Hopkins Spring Splash

This meet was the first swimming meet I've done since I was a senior in high school. I wish I knew my times from back then, but I don't. I know I was faster, but I'm not sure by how much.

The primary motivation for this meet was because my kids had recently done their first meet and my wife and I thought it would be fun for them to see me swim in a meet too.

I really had no idea what to expect. So I signed up for my two "go to" events, 50 free and 100 free and also signed up for 50 back so my daughter could see me doing backstroke (or painting the ceiling as they call it at her swimming lessons.)

I can only assume my wife thinks of this as the money shot. She was cat calling as I walked down the steps to warm up

Mens 50 Yard Backstroke
Seed - :30
Actual - :30.86

First in my age group
Second overall

Since I knew I'd be doing some backstroke I probably should have been doing more in practice, but I hadn't. So I did my practice in warm up. I figured I needed to flip about 2.5 strokes in from the flags. I did that, and it was too early. I flipped over and .... glide .... flip turn. Also, I'm not actually too sure how much faster I could have gone. Unlike freestyle I don't have a good feel for backstroke so I can't tell how efficient my stroke was. While I was going I felt like I was going along well, but when I finished I was disappointed with my time.

Top 5 Overall

You may think I'm in there alone, but there are actually two others in the pool with me - this is the first 25, so it wasn't a super close race

Mens 50 Yard Freestyle
Seed - :28
Actual: :24.85

Second in my age group
Third overall

My goggles came off - which was disorienting. Also it meant that I was basically blind. I had no idea where people were or a very good idea of where I was. I coasted in the first wall did a fairly gentle flip and sort of coasted into the second wall. I was disappointed. I probably could have shaved a quarter second off without all that hesitation.

Top 5 Overall
24.60 (Pro Triathlete)
24.86 <-- This guy was in my heat

Mens 100 Yard Freestyle
Seed - :58
Actual - :55.28

First in my age group
Second overall

In my heat I wasn't even seeded high, two or three guys ahead of me. When I hit the first wall I could see that I was clearly winning. Two thoughts ran through my head - first I had taken it out way too fast and I wasn't going to be able to hold it. Or two, I had clearly seed myself too slowly. To be honest though, a 100 is basically a sprint, so it shouldn't really be possible to take it out too fast, so that was fleeting.

The only downside to this race was the second wall, I came in way too close and wasn't able to ball up tight enough on the flip to get a good push. So I pushed super deep, and dolphin-kicked to the top.

Also of note about this race, my wife got a video of the entire thing. Believe it or not, this is actually the only video of me racing I can remember seeing. And only the second time I've seen video of me swimming at all. When I was in high school there was a kid who said he had video of me racing from many years prior (before we knew each other,) but I never got a chance to see it.

Top 5 Overall
It was fun to be at a swimming meet and do something where it's way easier to place top 10 than it is to place top 300.

The day of the meet my wife had asked about making sure to get some food. At that point it occurred to me that swimming isn't really an endurance sport. I mean it can be, but in general races are much shorter than in other sports.

Let's put this in context. We got there are 5ish, I got in the water to warm up probably around 5:30
This is apparently my pre-"get in the water" stance where I act like I'm about to do some sort of polar plunge.
 warmed up 5 or 10 minutes
If you look really closely you can see my little head down there. The kids are coming to say hello during warm-up

And then swam three races of the course of three hours. So, for me, total time in the water over the course of four hours - 10 minutes. Less than 2 minutes of racing.

On the other hand, the shortest triathlon I've ever done took just over an hour. The longest was pushing three hours, and this year I'll probably do one or two that will approach 6 hours. I have to admit though, after not really knowing what it meant for many years, I am a sprinter at heart, even 55 seconds seemed like too long on Saturday :)


amjeso said...

Wooo Hooooo!! Moola Moola!!

Amy said...

That swim suit is entirely too big :-) Great job. I can't imagine that you did all that thinking during the races ... I concentrate mainly on breathing which seems to take all my brain power.