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trident58
May 5th, 2014, 03:03 PM
Okay, I'm in a complete funk now. At spring nationals this weekend, I had what was probably the worst meet of my career, performance wise. Really can't understand why, as the meet was run really well, I thought I had trained and tapered properly, and everything seemed to be in order. Come competition time, I sucked. Had a so-so 400IM, got dq'd in the 200Br, and just went slow in everything else. Not making excuses, but now I feel horrible. Don't want to train, and I'm almost embarrassed to look at my results.

So now what? How do I get over this desire to quit?

(I know, I'm taking this way to seriously, but I can't shake the feeling of being a failure)

waves101
May 5th, 2014, 03:06 PM
Get in and swim. If nothing else, this will help you gauge your taper. Did you taper too long or too short? By getting in and swimming you should be able to tell by your repeat times and how you feel. This allows you to learn from this performance otherwise it could be repeated.

sunruh
May 5th, 2014, 03:17 PM
welcome to busting your rear and getting no reward.
you are NOT at the front of the line by any means.
no, this is not my normal king of sarcasm remarks.

as one of my good friends and fiercest competitors told me this weekend -> there are a lot more bad races than there are good races.

yes, go back and read your training log. see what you did. or didnt do. learn from it.

i promise you this...quitters never win.

Michael Blatt
May 5th, 2014, 03:25 PM
sunruh said exactly what I was going to chime in with.

1. Everyone has poor races / meets.
2. Learn from what went wrong. Figure out what to do differently next time.

If it helps, I had a disappointing meet too. I know why, and can justify my poor swims, but I'm still disappointed. But I still had fun hanging out with my teammates and meeting new people and just being in the atmosphere of Masters nationals.

The Fortress
May 5th, 2014, 03:46 PM
welcome to busting your rear and getting no reward.
you are NOT at the front of the line by any means.
no, this is not my normal king of sarcasm remarks.

as one of my good friends and fiercest competitors told me this weekend -> there are a lot more bad races than there are good races.

yes, go back and read your training log. see what you did. or didnt do. learn from it.

i promise you this...quitters never win.

This.

Everyone has bad meets. No one is exempt. I had a disastrous meet last December where I felt horrible, swam poorly, scratched half my events and left early. I knew I had to get my training back on track, including lifting.

You'll feel better in a couple days. The memory is probably just too acute right now. You'll be able to figure a path forward once you've digested everything. And tapers are tricky things. If you haven't had that much experience with them, you might have missed it.

flystorms
May 5th, 2014, 04:18 PM
Put another meet or goal on your calendar quickly so you have something else to aim for. Print out your original post, tuck it away, and put a reminder on the calendar to look at it again in a month and at 6 months from now. Chances are, you won't remember it as much because by then, you'll have moved on to other stuff. Give yourself a week to recover mentally, eat some ice cream, pizza, and a good IPA, then get your buns back in the pool and start working to the next goal meet or event. This will be in your rear view mirror and you'll have motivation to do bigger and better things. You can do it. :)

mpmartin
May 5th, 2014, 05:00 PM
Whatever you do, just don't quit. I have often felt like quitting, but I'm always grateful that I haven't stopped swimming. Things will get better.

Couroboros
May 5th, 2014, 05:29 PM
Shrug the bad ones off. Just shrug 'em off. I would like to say I've been swimming for just a little while now (five years and change), and after about 50 meets ranging from "ALL HAIL THE GREAT ONE" to "lowest of the low crab louse," I've narrowed down the best bad performance management method to a simple shrug of the shoulders and a casting of the eyes to what's next, whether that's an upcoming race in a meet or a whole different meet altogether.

Of course, as everyone else has said, still take a detached look at "what went wrong," so you can learn from mistakes and make changes, but that's a more intellectual adventure that should be done later in the evening with a journal or with a coach or friend. Don't let the emotion take you over. It's just a dark cloud in the sky, but you can make it float right over you a lot longer than necessary. For days or months, even. Best way to give that cloud a good windy gust?

Shrug it off.

ElaineK
May 5th, 2014, 05:29 PM
I feel your pain- been there, done that. :bighug:

My solution? Try some completely new events! I keep getting injured when I train too much breaststroke, so I have backed off. My coach is convinced I'm better suited to distance events anyway, so I took on the 400 IM, 200 fly, and distance free. Training for 400 IM has been terrific, because I have to train all four strokes. This allows my body to avoid the repetitive stress of training too much of one stroke.

Perhaps this would work for you. Put those bad races behind you and set some new goals. Just don't give up! :cheerleader:

Allen Stark
May 5th, 2014, 05:30 PM
I always learn more from a bad swim than a good one(but good ones are a lot more fun.) Do you have any videos of your swims to study? What made this meet different;diet,sleep,jet lag,length of taper,different technique? Think about it and review.
I had a great meet for me,but my 50 BR wasn't as good as the other 2 BRs. Replaying the race in my head I realized I had probably shortened my pull the 2nd 25.That made sense as my stroke count for the 2nd 25 was high.Knowing what to work on helps motivate me.The great thing about Masters Swimming is there is always another meet coming up.

trident58
May 5th, 2014, 06:33 PM
Thanks for the replies. Don't think there's any danger of me quitting, but it really is a downer feeling right now.
I didn't have the highest expectations going into this meet, but I was surprised at how slow I went in some events. Getting DQ'd for the first time in my life in the 200br was a bit of a shock.

Sunruh, I was in your heat for the 500 free. I guess I can take some consolation in knowing I was in a fast heat and didn't come in last!

Glenn
May 5th, 2014, 06:45 PM
We've all been there! I had a very poor meet in Mesa a few years ago and still don't know why. However, I've had good swims at other big meets. Like a lost love, this too shall pass. The points others have raised are good ones. You should also look closely at your results and see if you can find some positives. Did you swim the first 50 of any race at the pace you wanted? Were any of your starts good ones? Did you do the number of dolphin kicks off the start that you had planned? Did you nail any of your turns? I bet if you really broke it down, you could find a few things that were positives.

And if for some reason you can't, you can say you were there when Nathan Adrian swam a 41.13!!!

rxleakem
May 5th, 2014, 06:52 PM
Sometimes, with all the work and rest, the times are just not there. When that has happened with me, I try to find a few positives to take away from the meet, even if they are not directly related to the swims. Momma said there'd be days like this ...

Celestial
May 5th, 2014, 07:24 PM
Take comfort in the fact that you didn't fly from Florida to swim poorly (you look like you are from Ca). This too shall pass. As we get older sometimes we're just happy to finish the race. I have years when I just don't bother with competing - the joy is in the getting there for me, not always in the race. Let's hope you just plain old enjoy swimming, for swimming sake
:)

swimmieAvsFan
May 5th, 2014, 09:49 PM
I had a masters coach who brought over her college team's mantra regarding meets:
1) Swim hard
2) Have fun
3) Make new friends

If you can do all three at a meet, great! If not, accomplishing just one of them is also a victory. I had a meet years ago that I swam terribly at, but I have fond memories of the trip, because #2 was achieved. Now, granted, the having fun part consisted of all of us piling into a hotel room to eat Italian take-out and watch a movie, but it was a fun night, and it salvaged the entire trip for me.

Also take note that #1 says "Swim hard" not "Swim fast". If you gave your races 100% effort, and didn't give up on them, you can consider each race to be little victories that can be built upon going forward.

thewookiee
May 5th, 2014, 09:57 PM
I had a masters coach who brought over her college team's mantra regarding meets:
1) Swim hard
2) Have fun
3) Make new friends

If you can do all three at a meet, great! If not, accomplishing just one of them is also a victory. I had a meet years ago that I swam terribly at, but I have fond memories of the trip, because #2 was achieved. Now, granted, the having fun part consisted of all of us piling into a hotel room to eat Italian take-out and watch a movie, but it was a fun night, and it salvaged the entire trip for me.

Also take note that #1 says "Swim hard" not "Swim fast". If you gave your races 100% effort, and didn't give up on them, you can consider each race to be little victories that can be built upon going forward.

Listen to the advice of the blue one. The second and third one's are really key to getting over a bad meet. If you don't have friends or make new friends around you, you spend too much time thinking about the bad swim. Friends(new and old) help put a bad swim behind you really fast.

scyfreestyler
May 5th, 2014, 10:49 PM
Friends(new and old) help put a bad swim behind you really fast.

So true. I had a bad swim in Santa Clara on Saturday which was weighing pretty heavily on me. I left the meet that day quite disappointed. Fortunately, some simple words from a few USMS friends (with far more experience than I) via text message and Facebook made me realize it wasn't worth stressing over or worrying about.

pwb
May 5th, 2014, 11:16 PM
My solution? Try some completely new events!In addition to the other great advice, let me second this suggestion by Elaine. I'd also highly recommend mixing up events at your end of season taper meet. The best thing that helped me get over my crappy 400 IM at Nationals on Friday morning was swimming the 200 back later that day, an event I rarely swim. Beyond the complete lack of pressure I felt in that 200 back, I didn't have this whole huge history of past performances weighing down my mind.

While I do swim some of the world's greatest events (e.g., 400 IM and 200 fly) over and over at Nationals, I am almost always mixing in at least a couple of off events. Beyond giving me a chance to record some masters best times with comparative ease (e.g., I had never swum a 200 back tapered and shaved in a jammer), these 'secondary' events really take the pressure off.

PoulsboH20
May 5th, 2014, 11:57 PM
How many meets did you swim in the last 2 years? Relatedly, how often have you swum those events in competition?

sunruh
May 6th, 2014, 07:41 AM
Sunruh, I was in your heat for the 500 free. I guess I can take some consolation in knowing I was in a fast heat and didn't come in last!

that's a great upbeat!!!

in my motorcycle racing i very rarely win (and havent in years), but i've never been last!

i talked with Jeff and Ricardo about that race, all 3 of us thought it was bad for different and similar reasons.

__steve__
May 6th, 2014, 09:39 AM
Periods of good days rely on the bad ones.

It seems like there is a great deal of luck, timing and individuality at meets down to the lane your in

knelson
May 6th, 2014, 10:17 AM
i talked with Jeff and Ricardo about that race, all 3 of us thought it was bad for different and similar reasons.

I swam in the next heat so I had a pretty good view of yours. Erwin swam a controlled race, but probably thinks he let the leaders get too far ahead at the 200. Hobson and Valdivia gave it a good shot, but couldn't keep up the pace on the back half. You swam a gutsy race and probably would have lost if it was a 550! Obviously you were hurting on the last 50, but you had enough in the tank to get the job done and that's what counts. I thought it was a great swim.

Water Rat
May 6th, 2014, 01:50 PM
First of all, thanks for the honest post! It's not easy to put it out there like that. But you are among friends. We have ALL been there at one time or another. I have learned, and admittedly have to relearn on occasion, that it is not your performance that determines you a failure or not. Instead it is how you react to it that defines you. Allow yourself to be disappointed, angry, sad, whatever it is you're feeling for a period of time. But then get up, brush yourself off, put on your big boy pants (or jammers) and get back in the pool. You have many many great swim performances ahead of you which you will squander if you don't get back at it. Don't rob yourself of those opportunities and feelings. I am just like you. When I swim well, I feel outstanding, probably too much so b/c a good swim shouldn't define me but I tend to let it anyway. I feel equally like crap when I don't swim well, but then I look for opportunities for improvement. Things I can do differently. and that frees me up to think positively again. The number one thing I have learned in the last few years is to relax and take the pressure off myself. I actually get excited to swim. Don't get me wrong, I'm still terrified when I approach the blocks but there's a part of me that is pulling me up anyway.

It's like what my 7 year old daughter told me this weekend. I was nervous and nauseous and downright scared. I asked her how she deals with her butterflies "biting" her (how she describes it) when she plays soccer. She said straight up to me "just think of a picture of your family. I love you". Immediately, I know I have a thousand reasons to swim, only one of them is to swim faster than I ever have.

Glenn
May 6th, 2014, 05:06 PM
It's like what my 7 year old daughter told me this weekend. I was nervous and nauseous and downright scared. I asked her how she deals with her butterflies "biting" her (how she describes it) when she plays soccer. She said straight up to me "just think of a picture of your family. I love you". Immediately, I know I have a thousand reasons to swim, only one of them is to swim faster than I ever have.


"Kids say the darndest things"

StewartACarroll
May 6th, 2014, 08:12 PM
You swam a gutsy race and probably would have lost if it was a 550!

I would never bet against Mr Unruh. He is an unbelievable racer.

Swimosaur
May 6th, 2014, 09:24 PM
... it is how you react to it that defines you.

I was not good at handling bad swims as a kid. When I came back as an adult, one of the promises I made to myself (in addition to NO MORNING PRACTICES! and not to be yardage-driven), was to get over it before getting out of the pool. More concisely,

Leave it in the pool.

Admittedly, it's not always easy.

trident58
May 6th, 2014, 09:50 PM
I was not good at handling bad swims as a kid. When I came back as an adult, one of the promises I made to myself (in addition to NO MORNING PRACTICES! and not to be yardage-driven), was to get over it before getting out of pool. More concisely,

Leave it in the pool.

Admittedly, it's not always easy.

Probably the best idea so far. And yes, it's most certainly not easy to do.

ElaineK and PWB, I like the idea of swimming some different events. I started swimming the 200 fly last year because I never swam it as a kid, and it always seemed kind of intimidating. So now I can say I'm swimming harder events in my old age (47) than in my youth!

Just to get myself off my butt, I just entered my club's local long course meet, swimming a lot of new events. Also entered a local open water swim, as I'm doing Ironman Boulder in 3 months and I want to see if I can continue my streak of winning the swim split in my age group (done that in my last 3 Ironman events).

Starting to look at this past meet as my personal Pearl Harbor- time to fight back on the long road to victory!

knelson
May 6th, 2014, 11:50 PM
I would never bet against Mr Unruh. He is an unbelievable racer.

Actually you're right. Erwin was coming on strong, but he was just as strongly not going to relinquish his lead.

sunruh
May 7th, 2014, 08:41 AM
I would never bet against Mr Unruh. He is an unbelievable racer.

thanks Stewart.
i know when i look you straight in the chest (yeah, he's only 8 inches taller than me) that a dogfight is about to start when we get on the blocks.
and it doesnt matter if we go 5:30 or 4:45, its gonna be a crowd standing race.

thewookiee
May 7th, 2014, 10:11 AM
I was not good at handling bad swims as a kid. When I came back as an adult, one of the promises I made to myself (in addition to NO MORNING PRACTICES! and not to be yardage-driven), was to get over it before getting out of the pool. More concisely,

Leave it in the pool.

Admittedly, it's not always easy.

Yea, you still don't do that too well as an adult :-)

__steve__
May 7th, 2014, 10:52 AM
The bad performance I had this year was narrowed down to the turn . In the 50, when you are caught and passed in that short portion of the race you know that is the problem

fmracing
May 7th, 2014, 12:16 PM
I can't shake the feeling of being a failure

We've all been there and have our own ways to get through it. I will spare you the psychological pep talk because they rarely help with coping for me.

Its very easy to look at a time as a whole and feel that your training was for nothing. However, for all my failed races I found it a lot more revealing and comforting to hyper analyze not why I was swimming so slow, but where I wasted the time in my races. Every race starts off perfection, and then you make some mistakes or missteps. If you're realistic about what a perfect race is going to be on a given day, its usually pretty easy (and surprisingly accurate) to account for where the time went, and when you can lay the reasons out there its a little easier to cope with a failed performance. The hard part is probably being being realistic and estimating what that race picture looks like to get a base time goal that you are happy with.

Ex: in my tapered LCM 50 last year I drifted over to the side of the lane and stupidly corrected back to middle. I actually did the trig to calculate an approximate length I swam further than 50m because of the deviation, and doing so had fully accounted for the missing tenths in my race. This actually did make me happier, because the speed and the race was still there beneath the mistake, the training hadn't failed after all. (I could then move on to beating myself up over the mistake and not on a failed season of training, lol )

It doesn't mean this method will always prove it was a race mistake, but it'd make sense to at least not feel bad about training if it didn't really contribute to the disappointing time you saw.

I should also note, that after applying this to every important swim I can remember, I can only count on one hand the ones where I feel I did it all correctly and went my expected peak time... and they largely weren't even on my PB swims ;)

sunruh
May 7th, 2014, 01:31 PM
The bad performance I had this year was narrowed down to the turn . In the 50, when you are caught and passed in that short portion of the race you know that is the problem

exactly!!!
in my 100, the 1st turn was so horrible that i went in 1/2 a body ahead of everybody but matt and came off 1/2 a body behind.
when the first words out of one of your competitors (no names, but it was mark cox :D) says to you, "what happened on that 1st turn?" yeah, it *IS* that bad! those are easy to pick out.
when you grind away on a 1000 and come up 2secs off....i'll blame the very hot sun and boiling water on thursday. clearly those both vanished by saturday and sunday. however, neither of those makes it easy to swallow.
when we had usms nats at clovis in '09 i wanted revenge on that city. big time. at the '87 pan am trials there most of my team and most from socal all got some stomach bug. woke up the day before my race with the room spinning and ready to vomit at any point in the day. never swam so bad at a big meet in my life till then. and 22 years later i wanted to take that bad meet from '87 out of my mind...still have issues with that. i dont really forget about bad swims...i tend to remember them quite vividly...maybe helps me not do the same the next time...even it that spans decades of retirement.

ElaineK
May 7th, 2014, 04:48 PM
Take comfort in the fact that you didn't fly from Florida to swim poorly (you look like you are from Ca). This too shall pass. As we get older sometimes we're just happy to finish the race. I have years when I just don't bother with competing - the joy is in the getting there for me, not always in the race. Let's hope you just plain old enjoy swimming, for swimming sake
:)

Yeah, I flew from Georgia to California for Summer Nats. in Mission Viejo and ended up "racing" all of my events with a dislocated rib. :censor: My times were HORRIBLE, because I was just trying to survive my races. "Racing" them was out of the question, because it was too painful.

I had a blast there anyway! There were so many positive take-aways from that meet that I look back on it with all smiles. :D

Trident, do try to remember the fun times you had at the meet and focus on those. Did you make any new friends? Did you enjoy Santa Clara? Did you get to see Nathan Adrian race? :banana: Were you there when the ducks took a bath in between 200 breaststroke heats? :lmao: I wasn't there, but King Frog (Allen Stark) made me LAUGH when he mentioned it in another thread.

I have firmly made up my mind that no matter how I race in Montreal and Maryland, I am going to fully enjoy and treasure the experience. Hopefully, you will make up your mind to do the same at your future meets. Good luck! :cheerleader:

ElaineK
May 7th, 2014, 04:52 PM
Listen to the advice of the blue one. The second and third one's are really key to getting over a bad meet. If you don't have friends or make new friends around you, you spend too much time thinking about the bad swim. Friends(new and old) help put a bad swim behind you really fast.

:smooch: (My, how times have changed. I never thought I would be throwing that Smilie your way! Thanks, Wookiee!)

ElaineK
May 7th, 2014, 04:55 PM
In addition to the other great advice, let me second this suggestion by Elaine. I'd also highly recommend mixing up events at your end of season taper meet. The best thing that helped me get over my crappy 400 IM at Nationals on Friday morning was swimming the 200 back later that day, an event I rarely swim. Beyond the complete lack of pressure I felt in that 200 back, I didn't have this whole huge history of past performances weighing down my mind.

While I do swim some of the world's greatest events (e.g., 400 IM and 200 fly) over and over at Nationals, I am almost always mixing in at least a couple of off events. Beyond giving me a chance to record some masters best times with comparative ease (e.g., I had never swum a 200 back tapered and shaved in a jammer), these 'secondary' events really take the pressure off.

Thanks pwb! I traded in some of my breaststroke events for your 400 IM and 200 fly and ended up loving them. :banana: How would you like to trade in your 400 IM for 100 breaststroke? :D

MartinK
May 7th, 2014, 05:20 PM
Probably the best thing you can do is really to quit.
Everybody is telling you the same story about how you can get over it and how you can get stronger and better and how you can focus on the next event and any sorts of things like that, but the true is: nobody is feeling like you and can really know how your soul suffers from bad results...
So Everybody is lying to you because the mainstream opinion is always inaccurate and in relation to you own feelings in most case just false.
So let my give you a wise advice:
Dont think about to get quickly on track, with the same kind of mideset, just think more about the spititual way of life: for example why some results of a simply bodyaction in water affects your soul and mind.

jpetyk
May 7th, 2014, 05:50 PM
Probably the best thing you can do is really to quit.
Everybody is telling you the same story about how you can get over it and how you can get stronger and better and how you can focus on the next event and any sorts of things like that, but the true is: nobody is feeling like you and can really know how your soul suffers from bad results...
So Everybody is lying to you because the mainstream opinion is always inaccurate and in relation to you own feelings in most case just false.
So let my give you a wise advice:
Dont think about to get quickly on track, with the same kind of mideset, just think more about the spititual way of life: for example why some results of a simply bodyaction in water affects your soul and mind.

HUH? :confused:

__steve__
May 7th, 2014, 09:20 PM
exactly!!!
in my 100, the 1st turn was so horrible that i went in 1/2 a body ahead of everybody but matt and came off 1/2 a body behind.
when the first words out of one of your competitors (no names, but it was mark cox :D) says to you, "what happened on that 1st turn?" yeah, it *IS* that bad! those are easy to pick out.I watched that swim yesterday on youtube. It is hard to determine, but it looked like you were the first to flip your turn.

Nevertheless, that was still an incredible race, not only Biondi's, but also between 2nd, 3rd and 4th .

JamieSwims
May 8th, 2014, 09:15 AM
Everybody has bad races and bad meets, that's just the way it goes and the feeling you have right now passes. In my experience the sooner you get back in the pool the better.

Water Rat
May 8th, 2014, 12:08 PM
I watched that swim yesterday on youtube. It is hard to determine, but it looked like you were the first to flip your turn. Hi Steve. Where is that video posted on Youtube?

scyfreestyler
May 8th, 2014, 12:38 PM
Hi Steve. Where is that video posted on Youtube?

We're talking about the 100 Free with Biondi? I'm pretty sure I saw that on SwimSwam.


Here you go...it's in the comments section.

http://swimswam.com/adrian-ties-american-record-ervin-breaks-another-usms-record-100-free-masters-nationals/

Water Rat
May 8th, 2014, 12:57 PM
We're talking about the 100 Free with Biondi? I'm pretty sure I saw that on SwimSwam.


Here you go...it's in the comments section.

http://swimswam.com/adrian-ties-american-record-ervin-breaks-another-usms-record-100-free-masters-nationals/Thanks alot!

FlyQueen
May 8th, 2014, 02:02 PM
I was less than thrilled with how I raced in Santa Clara. It seems like many people were so I'm blaming the pool. It stole many seconds from me!

In all seriousness, I swam slower than I have in years, but felt like my training was better. I left feeling incredibly positive for multiple reasons. One reason, was that I had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the people - loved seeing old friends and had a great time meeting new friends. I enjoyed being at that pool complex and outside (Chicago has been insanely cold!). What I came to realize was that while my times were slower I'm on the right track. I have things to work on in all of my races - some bigger than others.

Another thing I took away was that I am just lucky to be there and to be able bodied. There was a man there (I didn't catch his name) that was in a horrible accident in January, and lost 1/2 of his leg. He was still there and racing. That was a big inspiration!

Another thing was that I was reminded that the sport isn't being canceled and there will be SO many more opportunities to swim nationals and other meets and go faster. I'm in my mid-thirties so by my calculations I could legitimately swim in a 100 more nationals (since there are two per year).

I personally had an outstanding meet at both nationals in 2008. I haven't come close to those times again - but I did finally start teaching full time which has taken a lot of the old training time away. What I remember most about all those other "slow" nationals is that I had fun. I really don't remember the swims.

So my VERY long winded advice is to focus on what did go well. Set a new goal and remember that you get to do this again next year!