I swim on a small team (Madison Titans) with 4 regulars and a couple others that can't make the morning workout. On Saturdays and occasional weekdays, I drop by HSA in Huntsville for a swim in the big pool.
Before I get into day 2, I completely forgot about one of the cool things from day 1. Dave and I showed up early to check in for the 1650. Turns out the Auburn swim team was just winding down their workout. I'm 6'1" and about 185 lbs. There aren't a lot of places where I feel short and fat. This was one of those places. So, we sat down in the bleachers on the pool deck and enjoyed the rest of practice while head coach Brett Hawke paced back and forth in front of us. Suddenly, he turns around, looks at us and says "watch, this is one of the fastest swimmers in the world." We were partly shocked that he was even speaking to us mere mortals but equally intrigued at what was about to happen. Marcelo Chierighini (admittedly, I could not have picked him out of a lineup before this weekend) steps up on the blocks and rips off a 9.6 25 sprint - clock stopping after his feet touched on the turn. Cool stuff!
So, day 2 started off great but I got slower as the day went on. I'm coming to the realization that there's a hefty price to be paid for going all out on 4 long swims the previous day. I like the longer events. I do well in them and the points I score help my team compete against teams 20%-30% larger than we are. But don't think I can keep expecting to swim 8 events in 2 days and see time drops in all 8 events. I'll probably still enter 8 and swim them but I'll be a little more careful about which ones I decide to target for time drops. Here's my results for day 2:
Seed time - 5:37.54
Meet time - 5:29.47 (1:03.11, 1:06.41, 1:06.62, 1:07.18, 1:06.15)
This is about what I thought I would do last year but my back injury kept me from going full speed. It's a good 8 second drop so no complaints. Might have taken the first 50 out a bit slower. The last 200 was very painful but I was able to maintain my speed.
Seed time - 2:34.13
Meet time - 2:33.97
This was a personal best but that's kind of a hollow victory. Here's my times from the last 5 years: 2:42.67, 2:39.09, 2:34.13, 2:34.24, 2:33.97. All of my 200s have improved far more than this over 5 years. Part of it may be that breaststroke was my best stroke when I started swimming. Part of it is that I was just tired at this point in the meet. But I think most of it is because I never practice it. I practice kicking breaststroke a lot and my kick times have improved. But aside from sets where we swim IM, I rarely swim breaststroke. This is something I want to change for next year.
Seed time - 32.33
Meet time - 32.16
Same as above. It's great to get a personal best but with my kick, I should be swimming the 50 closer to 30 seconds.
Seed time - 2:22.58
Meet time - 2:24.40
This was every bit the train wreck that my 200 free was. I ended up in between two 30-34 year olds battling it out for 1st place in their age group. I went out 30.3 in the fly but both of them went well under 30. Their wake converged in my lane and I took two mouthfulls of water in my last 4 breaths. My backstroke push-off was mostly a coughing fit. Once I could breathe, I started hyperventilating. So, I slowed things down, focused on good long strokes and caught my breath again. After checking my splits, I was still close to what I had done last summer when I went 2:21. But by then, I'd had enough and just wasn't interested in pushing harder. It was just not my race but no big deal... I'll swim it again in the summer.
I split 25.99 for my free relay. It felt a lot faster than that but we won the relay. In all, I had a blast this weekend. Can't wait to get back to grinding out the yards.
Had a great first day today. I put in roughly 90 miles preparing for 7 200+ yard events and one sprint over 2 days. For the most part, it has paid off pretty big with some significant drops in time. As usual, the meet is well organized and has been as on-time as possible. Very much missed Ellen (ekw) and Elaine. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Hope to see you next year! Saw Swimosaur who gutted out a 200 fly and 400 IM with me. On to the events:
Seed time - 19:17.76
Meet time - 19:04.24
I was seeded #2 with my teammate #3 and Ellen's teammate, Eric @ #1. Eric had a 19:02 for his seed. Since I was shooting for a sub-19:00, the plan was to push Eric hoping to wear him out so my teammate would have a chance to knock him off (they were both in the same age group). The problem was that Eric came to swim. I stayed in contact with him for 500 yards before he started swimming away to an 18:40. If he had gone closer to his seed time, I think I could have put in a better effort. But as it turns out I was miserable after 1000 yards and pretty much swimming on my own. At 1200, I was ready to give it up. Somehow I gutted out the last 400 yards and turned in a pretty nice time. It's not sub 19:00 but I'm not going to scoff at a 13 second drop in time.
Seed time - 2:30.63
Meet time - 2:21.94 (32.43, 36.15, 36.37, 36.29)
This was just a really fun swim. I was in lane three with my teammates Roger and Dave in lanes 4 and 5. Swimosaur was one more over in lane 6. My fly has improved a lot over the last year and the way this set up, there was a lot of motivation to do well. Roger got a second on me after 50 and held of my charge at the end. I was hurting after 150 but far from gassed and had plenty to make a run at Roger.
Seed time - 2:02.71
Meet time - 2:04.61 (28.92, 31.48, 32.30, 31.91)
As much as the 200 fly was one of my better swims, this was one of my worst. After a poor dive and bad turn @ the 50, I lost the mental battle, fatigued and just blew it. The 200 free continues to elude me. I'm capable of a sub-2:00 but can't ever figure out how to get there.
Seed time - 5:08.96
Meet time - 4:59.20 (1:09.30, 1:22.66, 1:20.82, 1:06.42)
I was going for a sub-5:00 time and knew I could do it but had doubts after the 200 free. I was very happy to turn around a bad race and make a goal like this.
Tomorrow - 500 Free, 200 Br, 50 Br and 200 IM.