View Full Version : Thinking about doing my first meet in 2 years...but worried!

June 4th, 2013, 02:23 PM
I have moved to a new area (Arlington, VA), and I have gotten back into Masters Swimming training. I think I want to compete in an upcoming meet (Colonies Zone LCM Champs in Richmond on 6/22) but I am worried because my times are still WAY slow. I am thinking about competing in the 50 & 100 back and maybe 50 free.

My times are slow enough that I will probably finish not only LAST but DEAD LAST in the first heat. Any points that I get for my team (Arlington Masters - but no one from there is signed up yet) will be won by default. 1st-3rd place medals will be out of the question, unless I happen to win one because there is that few people competing in my age group. Which would be probably embarrassing given what my times will be.

Should I wait until the fall or even winter when my times are probably a lot faster? Or just compete anyway?

June 4th, 2013, 02:26 PM
Do the meet! :cheerleader:

June 4th, 2013, 03:07 PM
Do the meet!
"dabei sein ist alles" (put that into google translate or freshen your German skills :D)

USMS meets are so much fun. it's not just about how fast you swim, it's about meeting people, coming together and having fun. You might just end up winning because you are the only one in your age group. Who cares how slow/fast you are. As long as you have fun, you are a winner at USMS meets.

June 4th, 2013, 03:44 PM
I'm a new Master's swimmer too and pretty slow. I never swam in any organized fashion until joining Masters. I did my first meet a month or so ago and it was actually a lot of fun. Do the meet - everybody is super supportive and it is a very low pressure event.

June 4th, 2013, 04:18 PM
I agree with everybody; especially Britt03, because she walks the talk! (Thanks, Britt, for being so supportive, whenever I see you at a meet!)

My second Masters meet was Spring Nationals, at Georgia Tech, in 2010. I came in second to last in all three of my breaststroke events. Nobody cared and everybody was very encouraging and supportive.

Go to the meet, make sure to introduce yourself to the other swimmers, and especially make sure to let them know it's your first meet! I assure you that many (if not all), will encourage you, cheer you on, and make your day a great one! :D

June 4th, 2013, 06:44 PM
Totally agree with other responses. DO THE MEET!

I got back in the pool recently and felt the same way you do, but the meets are a ton of fun and I find they also serve to spur me on to work harder in practice. I use meets to get benchmark times for events and then compete against those times in subsequent meets (the really fun ones are the events I do once per year - love watching those times drop!). Trust me, you're the only one that cares about how your times look. Everyone else is just supportive of your efforts to show up and compete!

I also felt the same way about getting awards for being the only one to show up, etc, but someone very wise in the ways of Masters swimming once told me that you should look at it from the perspective that you earned it because you were the one that cared enough to show up and do it!

June 4th, 2013, 10:12 PM
(I should probably have read the title of your post more carefully, shannalee - now I see that this would be your first meet in two years. I was thinking you were considering your first master's meet ever. So probably not much of what I said below will apply to you. Oh well.)

Here's a couple good things I got out of trying a meet last year, which may or may not apply to you:

I swam for fitness for several years before going to that first meet, just to see what it would be like (my last meet was in high school in the '80s). I'm glad I did it because I discovered - and I was quite surprised by it - that fitness swimming really doesn't prepare your body for high output activity - and I want my body to be able to engage in an occasional all-out effort. It just seems like a part of being fit and healthy - a part that I wasn't getting from fitness swimming, and that I wasn't even aware of till I tried racing.

So after that, I joined the local master's team. Now I try to do a meet every now and then because I find it makes swimming much more interesting. There is always something I discover at each meet that I want to do better. So my practice time in the pool is more focused and purposeful. It's a lot more engaging that way - and it also motivates me to show up more regularly. (I say this after missing both team practices last week, but hey - life happens.)

Extra bonus reason to do the meet: If you're slow now, you'll just see that much more improvement the next time!

Bill Sive
June 5th, 2013, 12:18 AM
I participated in a swim meet at Pierce College (Calif) earlier this year. I went by myself. Had never been to this pool or swim meet before. Met some real nice people at the meet from the host team (South West Aquatic Masters). All were supportive of me when the found out I was there by myself.

What was even nicer was that I participated in the 200 Fly, and 400 IM. Some people did one or the other I was the only one who did both. The great part was that there was one heat of each for the 200 Fly, and the 400 IM. I had the slowest seed time of all the swimmers. When I saw that on the heat sheet I laughed so hard I gave myself a side ache. In any case the point for me was to complete these events without giving up and without getting DQ'd. The people I met at the swim meet cheered me on and the lane timers clapped for me too. It was hilarious. I had a great time.

At the end of the swim meet in my age group I received 1st place for the 200 Fly, and 2nd place for the 400 IM.

Go participate and have fun.

June 5th, 2013, 10:22 AM
Wait until Fall. Kidding! Racing seems to be one of the best ways to train for a race, jump on the opportunity

June 6th, 2013, 04:56 AM
In addition to the posts about having fun and meeting people, which I fully agree with, why not treat this as a baseline from which to build. Points and places really don't matter. In fact, I'd argue that times don't really matter that much either. Just give it the best shot you can at this meet, evaluate, and it will help you to focus your effort on the things that you can improve...