View Full Version : First Meet in a long time

February 5th, 2006, 03:59 PM
Hey All! I would love to see the response from people on this question.

I am about to swim in my first meet in over five years. My preparation has been pretty good the last year or so. Plus, I am looking at this from a realistic standpoint of going out to have fun, swim again and see just where I am at in training. Not expecting lifetime bests or to light up the waters in my first outing.

When you all made the decision to race again(pool or open water) what were you feelings leading up the first meet? Excited, nervous,etc? And how did you cope with second thoughts, nerves, etc leading up to the meet, so you wouldn't have second thoughts?

Look forward to hearing other people's stories.


February 5th, 2006, 04:13 PM
My first Masters meet was my first swim meet ever. I had been swimming seriously for about a year with a few breaks when meet day came. I was nervous but I knew that whatever time I posted would be a PB for me. The pool I swim at is in yards and the meet was SCM so that put a little more pressure on me as well. In the end I had a blast and was checking the PacificMasters website when I got home in search of the next meet.

February 6th, 2006, 10:44 AM
Just try and have fun and the nerves will subside some.....after your first event is over the nervous sensation should dissipate some. I was also very nervous at my first Masters meet (which was in April last year).....It was my first meet in 18 years.....Now I'm use to swimming in meets....but there is always some nervousness before a meet (or right before a race).....Its really no different than the nerves I felt before races and meets back in my youth. Good Luck at your first meet....I think you're really going to enjoy the experience!


February 6th, 2006, 11:10 AM
I am always really, really nervous for my first event from the time I get to the meet until I'm on the blocks. Really once I hit the water I'm fine, that's where all the training kicks in. Just have fun and enjoy the experience!

February 7th, 2006, 03:58 PM
I have my 1st meet coming up this Sunday after like almost 20 yrs. I am going to be a wreck. I fear swallowing water or my goggles falling off, etc. I am going to be so damn nervous. :eek:

February 7th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Just remember that being nervous is a good thing - it actually helps you do better! That doesn't mean you should be overly stressed out about it. Just relax and try to enjoy the meet, but don't worry that you're too nervous to do well.

February 7th, 2006, 05:12 PM
No need to be nervous. Relax. It's just masters swimming.

Remember, there will always be adult beverages available after the meet.

John Smith

February 7th, 2006, 06:22 PM
I recently coaxed a fellow Masters swimmer into signing up for a local meet. He hadn't been on the blocks in over 25 years. Needless to say...he was nervous. But he did great...and actually wound up racing his old high school coach in the 500. Now he can't wait to sign up for the next one.

Being nervous is normal. It means that your adrenal glands still work. Have fun. :)

Originally posted by nkace
I have my 1st meet coming up this Sunday after like almost 20 yrs. I am going to be a wreck. I fear swallowing water or my goggles falling off, etc. I am going to be so damn nervous. :eek:

jim clemmons
February 7th, 2006, 06:59 PM
I have my 1st meet coming up this Sunday after like almost 20 yrs. I am going to be a wreck. I fear swallowing water or my goggles falling off, etc. I am going to be so damn nervous.

Something else to consider: I'm sure you've read or heard of envisioning positive results versus negative ones.

If you're thinking of only negative outcomes, in all likelihood, one or more of the negative things will probably happen to you.

Think of the positive outcomes you want to achieve and (hopefully) that's what you'll get.

In other words, only think of those things you want, not what you don't want.

February 8th, 2006, 11:04 PM
This topic is so real for me! I am going to my first meet Saturday in 20 years...4 kids and 85lbs heavier, I am a bundle of nerves. My problem is that I can still remember all of my times from HS & college and I will never be that fast again. My goal is to literally be the fastest fat girl at the pool..now, if I can only drag my sorry butt up to do a backstoke start! (we have no blocks at our pool to practice!). I also keep thinking that I am going to dive in and go right to the bottom. Good luck to all of us that are renewing our competitive careers this weekend. Let's follow up Monday to see how it went.

February 9th, 2006, 08:01 AM

Good luck this weekend! I had the same thoughts about my hs/college times too.
Don't concern yourself with what you did back then, that's done and gone. Enjoy the present, esp. having your kids get there to watch you swim.
Good luck and have FUN!

February 9th, 2006, 12:48 PM
Good luck at your meets! I admire your courage.

I have a couple of opportunities coming up, including this weekend, and your posts have given me inspiration.

Pooch - How long has it been since you went back to swimming? I'm in the same boat as far as weight, etc. I started back to swimming in Mid October and it is really starting to show for me. I've added Weight Watchers to my weight loss regime and the pounds are really starting to come off - 6 lbs since Jan. 27.

Go get 'em! :)

February 9th, 2006, 11:56 PM
I have been in the water for about 15 months. HOWEVER, it hasn't been consitant because my kids coach had 3 morning work outs for 3 months then canceled for 3 months then had for 3 months..you see the pattern. After being out from the end of July, I forked over the money and joined the Y at the end of October. I just do my own thing..usually about 2700 yards 4-5 times a week. I only started doing 1 set at each practice a couple of weeks ago. The "set" is usually 1000 yards..20 50's free on a minute etc. I started swimming 4 weeks after my last child was born. I lost the 26lbs of pregnancy weight plus another 28. I still want to lose another 50 pounds. I will by no means be average then but it is my goal to go to a regular store and buy some size 14 pants. Weight aside, I am in much better shape than I've been in in 15 years. My doctor asked what I was doing and said keep it up. I am more aware of what I am eating but am not on a diet. I am trying to make this a lifetime commitment and can not give up all great food forever. My body and my mind are so much better. I actually have a shape again!! Keep up the good work. It takes some time but just remember that 6 months from now you will see a big improvement. I have hit a weight plateau for the last month but I know my muscle mass has increased and the butt of my pants is larger!! My kids swim coach is the one that encouraged me to swim and to go to this meet. He will also be there this weekend as he is trying to qualify for worlds in August.
If I get the swimming bug this weekend, I think I'll try some of the
workouts posted here.
I understand how you feel because I get a little frustrated sometimes because I know what a 5:00 500 feels like. I just keep telling myself that 6 months later I will be better and smaller than I am now. I'll let you know how the meet goes.

February 10th, 2006, 01:23 PM
My first meet in over 25 years was last November. Here are a few random thoughts.

I read all the "First meet" threads I could find on this site. I saw a couple of good lists of things to bring, including spare contact lenses. "Good idea," I thought, and packed an old pair.

I practiced starts off the blocks at my pool before the meet and found a head position that kept my goggles on and dry. The morning of the meet while practicing starts I inexplicably chose that opportunity to start messing with my start technique, promptly losing my goggles and a contact. I was fine in the actual events when I went back to what I knew worked. Dive in every chance you get at your normal practice and figure out what works for you. If you don't wear contacts, practice swimming out a length after losing your goggles so that if it does happen you'll know how to deal with it.

I found that it can get a little confusing tracking when you are supposed to be swimming and in what lane. My more experienced teammates helped me with this. Highlighting your name and position on the sheets helps.

Looking at the results, I realize I should have paid closer attention to who was swimming beside me in the heats. I was really worried about how hard to take out the 200 breast, not having any experience at that distance. A guy I narrowly beat in the 100 who was in the lane next to me beat me in the 200, again right beside me. Had I paid attention to the heat sheets and results, I could have used him to help me pace the first 100 of the 200, but I didn't realize it was the same guy until after the race was over. I let him go in the first 100 when I should have tried to hang with him.

I was a little nervous, but it wasn't debilitating or anything, just good nervousness. A lot of my nervousness dissipated when the meet started and I realized that people were just as supportive, or even more so, of the slower swimmers as of the "stars." There was none of the in your face competiveness I remembered from my high school meets, just a bunch of folks out having fun while competing -- some at a very high level.

I went with the goal of having some fun, and I did. "Did you win, dad?" my kids asked when I got home. No, I didn't, but it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to my next meet next month.

February 10th, 2006, 10:20 PM
My first meet in over 20 years was 11/5/05. I swam from July 05 to October 05. Went to Florida and had Hurricane Wilma disrupt my swim workout. Got back to VA and had BOTH Bally Pools closed for weeks due to heater and pumps (have since joined the Y).
I was very nervous and said what the H*LL I'll go to the meet anyway. I had a blast. Just like when I was a kid. I was so excited I decided to late entry the 200 SCM Breast. 10 minutes before the race I started to get second thoughts, but swam it and am glad I did.

I now am going to go to my 2nd Masters meet this Sunday. Again things have happened. I had a nasty cold and Sinus infection for a week along with this Wednesday I hurt my GOOD shoulder. Tried to swim tonight and had alot of pain, but I remember what a fun time I had and will show up to have some fun.

Go out and have fun, remember not to go out too fast, your blood will probably be pumping. Have a Great Masters Meet!

February 10th, 2006, 11:14 PM
Thank you to everyone that has provided words of encouragement and positive thoughts my way. I started getting psyched this morning when a new lifegaurd asked me if I had competed when I was younger.
The best part of my day will be looking at the faces of my 4 kids when I am done. I hope I make them proud. Good luck to EVERYONE this weekend~!~

February 11th, 2006, 01:03 PM
Hey Pooch - Just want you to know your post truly inspired me. I'm going to my first meet tomorrow.

I hope I have the same luck as A.K. - I went to the local high school this a.m. to practice some starts w/ goggles (this is my biggest hangup and worry) and was told under no circumstances could I dive off the starting block because I was not on "the swim team."

I explained that I am on a swim team (ok so I am a team of 1), and that I had a swim meet tomorrow and I just wanted to do a start or two in a lane where no one else was swimming.

The answer was no way, no how. Grrrrrr. I hate rules.

So I asked for my money back and left.

I'm sure that 17 year old life guard is still saying "Swim team/swim meet - yea right. What's a fat old lady like her doing trying to swim in a meet."

My husband in true supportive fashion told me I'm better off not practicing starts and said "it will add to the intrigue."

February 12th, 2006, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by MichiganHusker
"I went to the local high school this a.m. to practice some starts w/ goggles (this is my biggest hangup and worry) and was told under no circumstances could I dive off the starting block because I was not on "the swim team."

I explained that I am on a swim team (ok so I am a team of 1), and that I had a swim meet tomorrow and I just wanted to do a start or two in a lane where no one else was swimming.

The answer was no way, no how. Grrrrrr. I hate rules.

So I asked for my money back and left."

I had the exact same experience happen, so.... when I went to another pool, I went up to the starting blocks the greatest distance from the guard and when I was ready, climbed up and did a start in about 2 seconds- too fast for the guard to say anything.

I recently joined a masters team and they allow us to use the blocks if the coach is there.

Good Luck and Have Fun !!

February 13th, 2006, 06:30 AM
Ok, it is the Monday after our meets. How did everyone do this weekend?

February 13th, 2006, 01:22 PM
I had a great time! Everyone was extremely friendly and willing to answer any questions I had.

I was able to practice a few starts during the 1st and 2nd warmups and that made me feel alot better. I must not tuck my chin enough when I dive in because today my forehead is sore. Go figure that one.

There were all types of swimmers there - fast, slow, heavy, skinny, young, old, tall, short.....

Some people had their families and friends to cheer them on, but most were there without someone. One woman's entire family (I think it was husband & 2 or 3 kids) stood at the end of the pool cheering her on while she swam the breaststroke. I don't know how she kept her concentration, let alone a straight face. It was so cute.

When I got home I was telling my husband that I was looking forward to the next meet and he was laughing at me - he said instead of chucking it all to go on tour with The Dead, next thing he knows I'll be going on the Masters Swim tour. :p

Definitely a great experience. Thanks to Jason Colwell, Skip Thompson & Sally Guthrie who really went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome.

February 14th, 2006, 11:38 AM
On the drive up to Richmond it was pouring rain, which turned to snow just outside of Richmond- it was nice- originally being from Florida snow is still fun. We went to a social the night before and met some other swimmers and had great food that was prepared by the hosts who were a very nice couple. Did a little carbo loading with beers near the hotel and called it a night at about midnight.

Went to the meet even though my shoulder was in pain from something I did on 2/8, and had fun.
Everybody was in good spirits and there were some fast swims there. They had refreshments complimentary on the deck (orange slices, bananas, water, bagels and pizza) Thought of climbing the block for my 50 breast with a slice of pizza for extra energy as it was separated by 3 heats from the 100 back I just swam. The roads were fine on the drive back.

Looking forward to the next meet!

February 14th, 2006, 10:30 PM
I must admit I was a little nervous. I got to do 2 starts off the block but only 1 backtroke start which was not too pretty. I opted for the push off the wall start for that one.
The greatest thing that I am taking from this meet was the energy and enthusiasm of the entire older population of swimmers. There was an 88 year old women and a 91 year old man. I hope to be alive then none the less swimming! There was actually a mixed relay with all 4 swimmers over the age of 85!! What I took from them is that you are competing against yourself and it doesn't matter how big or out of shape you are, you are THERE when there are so many at home watching tv. It was really a joy to see the athletisism of a population of people that is not usually considered in that way. I swam next to women that were older than my mom. I now look back and see how silly it was for me to worry before I got there. I now have 5 official times and am more than psyched for the next meet in April. This experience also will cause me to increase my yardage a little and practice moving a little faster in the pool!

February 15th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Well said Kristen! I had those same thoughts myself. I'm not sure how old you are, but for me it is nice knowing that it is quite possible I could be swimming for another 40-50 years!

How cool is that?!?

I think the best part of the whole thing was that I only concentrated on myself and my times, I really wasn't concerned about winning or losing. Such a change from work where winning is everything and losing is not an option.

I think the only reason I was nervous was because if I had swam poorly (according to my opinion and the goals I set), I would not like swimming any more and I didn't want that to happen.

February 15th, 2006, 11:50 PM
I am almost 39. I too hope to have many good years ahead. I was pleased by some of my times but also realized when I swam the 200 free (and coughed up a lung), that I have a long way to go!!

February 16th, 2006, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by pooch1
... but also realized when I swam the 200 free (and coughed up a lung), that I have a long way to go!!

I can relate- the 200 feels like the 500 when I was younger.
Pace yourself and build up yardage.

February 25th, 2006, 12:59 PM
Speaking of loosing trunks at first Masters Meet ever I was a victim of failing to wear the proper suite! i wore a snorkle rash guard bottom with no draw string.

At the Valentines masters massacre at the USF pool i entered the mens 50 free in the 60-64 bracket. my test dive was fine. at race time i had an awsome dive and lost my trunks to below my fanny. had to pull them up and continue where i lost at least 2 seconds.

my lady lane timer said the dive was great, time lousy but she liked the view!

Hank of Marin county Northbay Aquatics :D