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kaffrinn
November 9th, 2004, 06:32 PM
I've noticed there have been a lot of new people on the forum lately, and the short course season is finally upon us. So I thought this thread could be a reflection on everyone's first Masters meet...whether that first meet for you was recently, or quite awhile ago!

My first swim meet was a little less than a year ago. I had been out of the water for nine years and was very nervous - I didn't want to time myself in practice because I knew I was way off of my "old form." So I had no idea how I'd do.

I had to come to the meet late because of church (it was on a Sunday morning). So I had to swim the 50 breast and free, my two worst strokes - but you gotta love the distance! I was surprised each time I saw the clock - I thought I was going to swim way worse than I actually did! And even though those times were nowhere near my high-school best, it was exciting and inspiring to have "new best times" to beat later on in the season.

But I wish I would have known that there was no legal back-to-breast flip turn in the IM in Masters Swimming, because I got DQ'ed!

I was also very impressed by the crowd - a lot of kids cheering on their parents or grandparents! Very fun to observe.

Seagurl51
November 9th, 2004, 06:42 PM
I have yet to go to my first meet. I'm really excited to find one and go to it though! I've been timing my self in practice, and have dropped five seconds from when I got back in the pool. I'm anxious to try my new (and re-found) skills. If you had asked me three months ago if I would be actually looking forward to competing I would have laughed in your face, but after reading all the stories about new swimmers and comeback swimmers I can't wait to go! I realized that it's not about the result (at least for me and only for my first meet) but the fact that you did it which matters!! Thanx for the inspiration!

~Kyra

tjrpatt
November 9th, 2004, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
I have yet to go to my first meet. I'm really excited to find one and go to it though! I've been timing my self in practice, and have dropped five seconds from when I got back in the pool. I'm anxious to try my new (and re-found) skills. If you had asked me three months ago if I would be actually looking forward to competing I would have laughed in your face, but after reading all the stories about new swimmers and comeback swimmers I can't wait to go! I realized that it's not about the result (at least for me and only for my first meet) but the fact that you did it which matters!! Thanx for the inspiration!

~Kyra

They have Masters Meets in Idaho, just kidding. Just remember, at your first Masters Meet, just worry about finishing. That is what I did. I had to swim some rough events at my first meet, 200 fly, 400 IM, 400 free. I probably shouldn't have done that full load of events but it was worth the challenge and I am glad that I made it through.

Seagurl51
November 9th, 2004, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by tjrpatt
They have Masters Meets in Idaho, just kidding. Just remember, at your first Masters Meet, just worry about finishing. That is what I did. I had to swim some rough events at my first meet, 200 fly, 400 IM, 400 free. I probably shouldn't have done that full load of events but it was worth the challenge and I am glad that I made it through.

I am so glad to hear someone say just worry about finishing! That is my whole goal at this point, I'll worry about my times after I get over the nerves of being my first swim meet. I remember when I told my friend that I wanted to compete she just looked at me and said "You're gonna get your butt kicked." So I told her that all wanted to do was finish the race to prove to my self that I could do it, so thanx for that little boost of encouragement. As far as masters meets in Idaho...they only have like 3 swim meets that I know of, and I don't know of any of them are masters or not. But Utah has some!!

~Kyra

2go+h20
November 10th, 2004, 12:43 AM
It's Ok to have butterflies. The secret is getting them to fly in formation.
Being nervous is good. You are excited to compete. To do your best.
Try visualizing yourself in the marshalling area, going around to the blocks, stepping up, diving in and then see yourself swim the whole race. Mental training is also an important aspect of training.
Take a speedo towel for drying off after each race, (after you have done a cool down!) Bring warm clothes, fleece is great or cool max poly prop type clothes. Pack food and fluids.
Don't do anything new on race day. No new goggles, no new food like a gel or a power drink if you haven't tried them before. And don't try your first flip turn in a race. (Trust me, speaking from experience I did this and 'brained' myself on the wall. Came in way to close, face planted but fininshed with a great red face (pun intended).
Tapering also includes sleep. If you don't sleep well the night before, just try to 'relax and rest' as best you can.
Just think you will set all Personal Bests.
You will now have a baseline from where you can set more goals.

Congratualtions and Good Luck on your first meet.
Have Fun.
Masters is Fun Fitness and Friendship.
Kiwi

2go+h20
November 10th, 2004, 12:58 AM
My first meet, I included on another thread, (should have read this one first!).
It was memorable.
I had no idea at all about racing or competing. I had never ever even been to a swim meet so the total atmosphere was quite intimidating. Officials all dressed and looking so serious in their white outfits complete with badges.
I discovered what feeling really nervous was.
I learnt how much my fellow swimmers new and how much better in control and calm they appeared.
I learnt what 'pace' meant. I learnt my swimming knowledge was negligable.
I found out the meaning of 'Garage Sale" after I lost my goggles and cap on my first 'dive off the blocks'.
I was totally motivated and inspired by all of the swimmers.
I revelled in my very first ribbons.
I couldn't believe the excellent food we had following the meet, supplied by the host team.
I was totally exhausted, stunned yet still very excited following my very first meet.
I was determined to work hard and improve.
And to learn how not to be so nervous. I am still working on that one!!
Kiwi

Maryyyyyy
November 10th, 2004, 05:19 AM
Oh this brings up fun memories! First masters meet 3 years ago in Livorno, beautiful 50 meter 10-lane pool... I had NO idea what I was getting into! Walked into a swarm of 1000 masters swimmers - they'd maxed out for the meet. I unwittingly sat down next to a fellow team member, 75 year-old Celio Brunelleschi, ex-olympian and granddaddy of the masters movement in Italy. He was kind enough to show me the ropes. I did a 50m fly, coming in 2nd for my age group. Didn't even know that meant I got a medal! The next day I was written up in a local sports journal. Who? Me? :rolleyes:
Going back to Livorno in 10 days... 100m back and free.

CAN'T WAIT!!

jpjackson76
November 10th, 2004, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by kaffrinn
But I wish I would have known that there was no legal back-to-breast flip turn in the IM in Masters Swimming, because I got DQ'ed!

I don't mean to high-jack your thread but is this true?

jpjackson76
November 10th, 2004, 08:17 AM
In high school I used to be a great practice swimmer, and an ok meet swimmer. Now I'm older I've learned I only have so much energy for the week, and I've learned to be a better meet swimmer, than practice swimmer. My first masters meet was really cool, lots of friendly people.

kaffrinn
November 10th, 2004, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by jpjackson76
I don't mean to high-jack your thread but is this true?

Yes, unfortunately, it is true! You have to touch the wall with your hand in backstroke, then you can turn over to your stomach and do the breaststroke.

Good luck with your first meet, Kyra, whenever it is. Don't worry about being slow - those will just be your times to beat later in the season! I for one improved quite a bit as my first season went along. But I suppose you have to find someone to register you before you can compete in a meet - it will happen, eventually!

EyeoreSAM
November 10th, 2004, 09:40 AM
I did my first meet in almost ten years just this last weekend. I swam a pentathalon. I did have a lot of fun and did surprisingly well. My next meet is next weekend. I just really hate being nervous!!

The turn from back to breast can still be done as long as you touch the wall and do a summersault. Its a little faster than touching and turning around.

MegSmath
November 10th, 2004, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by jpjackson76
I don't mean to high-jack your thread but is this true?

No, it's not true. You do have to touch while on your back. But then you can flip over to breaststroke. What you can't do is roll over on your stomach and do the "new" backstroke turn when you transition to breaststroke. You have to follow the finish rules for each stroke as you finish each leg.

kaffrinn
November 10th, 2004, 10:00 AM
Oops...that's right, you can FLIP, it just can't be a "regular" backstroke flip turn. You have to touch.

Rob Copeland
November 10th, 2004, 10:50 AM
I swam my first Masters meet in í79, back when I was a pre-Master; in those days you had to be 25 to be a real Master.

I donít remember much of the meet, but I must have had a great time, because Iím still swimming 25 years later!

Bob Boder
November 10th, 2004, 02:44 PM
I remember my first meet about 5 years ago. I never swam as a kid and was very apprehensive about what it would be like. I had only signed up for a couple of events. Saturday morning after the meet began I started thinking that I was going to drive 12 hours round trip and spend 2 nights in a hotel for about two minutes of swimming. Right then I deck entered everything I could and had the best time of my life.

londoner62
November 15th, 2004, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
I have yet to go to my first meet. ~Kyra

I read this a while back and thought you might smile at it. http://www.dartes.co.uk/squads/ssfirstmeet.html

Seagurl51
November 15th, 2004, 01:01 PM
That was such a great story! Really encouraging! Thank you soo much! It got me really excited to go to my first race now, and even if I don't come in first, at least I did it and that is an accomplishment in and of it's self.

~Kyra

James
November 15th, 2004, 04:28 PM
My first masters meet was in Feburary in Canadiagua, NY. Only swam 3 events but teh memories of my youth was wonderful. i was really nervous but all that ended when I was on the block of my first race. And after that first 50 free race, I looked up at the stands and saw my wife, two sons cheering and realizing that this was the best time of my life, other than my wedding day and the days that my boys were born.:D

centaur532
November 22nd, 2004, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
That was such a great story! Really encouraging! Thank you soo much! It got me really excited to go to my first race now, and even if I don't come in first, at least I did it and that is an accomplishment in and of it's self.

~Kyra

I ran Cross Country in high school (would have been a swimmer if there'd been a team. Alas, there wasn't, so here I am now...a frustrated fish!) and I wasn't very fast at all. But I realized that only one person could win a race, and it wasn't going to be me, so I just concentrated on beating myself. I got SO much out of running that way, and it never bothered me that I didn't place.
So I'm thinking that I'll have to learn to apply the same mentality to my swimming. If I can ever get past the sick feeling that I get when I think about competing, I might muster up enough guts to actually try a race. Of course, I think I need to train a little more intensively than I am now. Honestly...I don't think there's anything better than beating your own PR.

mattson
November 23rd, 2004, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by centaur532
I ran Cross Country in high school ... and I wasn't very fast at all. But I realized that only one person could win a race, and it wasn't going to be me, so I just concentrated on beating myself. I got SO much out of running that way, and it never bothered me that I didn't place.

I like that attitude (although it doesn't stop me from aiming at the top 10 masters times. :D )

I had a similar Cross County experience in high school. I remember a season-ending invitational, where I started out in the middle of the "B" racers. A couple dozen people in the front turned sooner than they should have, and had to turn around. At the actual turn, a score more people went straight when they should have turned. About a mile into the race (after two more turns), I and this other guy found ourselves way in front! (It pays to remember the actual course.) No matter that a lot of people caught me after the second mile, but I had my moment leading the field. ;)

As long as you keep plugging away, opportunities will await you.

swimlong
December 2nd, 2004, 10:03 AM
I have my first meet this weekend...first meet in an awfully long time. I am really nervous - but keep telling myself that my goal is to set times to beat, not beat my old PRs...just wish I could believe myself!

It is good to hear other experiences from people who are "back of the pack" runners/swimmers etc. I'm pretty sure that's where I will be. I am nervous , even grappling with why I entered the meet in the first place. Then I wonder why I am so nervous - I think maybe it's performance anxiety - that my best won't measure up to my own expectations.

Wish me luck!

Mark in MD
December 2nd, 2004, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by Bob Boder
I remember my first meet about 5 years ago. I never swam as a kid and was very apprehensive about what it would be like. I had only signed up for a couple of events. Saturday morning after the meet began I started thinking that I was going to drive 12 hours round trip and spend 2 nights in a hotel for about two minutes of swimming. Right then I deck entered everything I could and had the best time of my life.

Bob, Maryland's LMSC has a regular series of meets in the Baltimore/Annapolis area. We welcome registered USMS members out-of-town to visit. After all, you wouldn't have to drive 12 hours round-trip. I too never swam competively as a kid (elementary school through college) and got hooked on meets three years ago this month, so I know your feeling well. Going to any meet is a hoot.