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I swim, therefore I am

Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 800 M FR Pan American Championships

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A rainy soggy day as I drove the 90 minutes to Sarasota with my daughter, we arrived at noontime, checked in the meet/events and calculated I would swim about 4:40pm.

The SCY warmup felt excellent, and I was confident I would at least equal my fictitious entry time. However my actual performance shocked me when I had some kind of panic attack after 100 meters to the point that I wanted to stop swimming and gasp for air. Rather than quit, I slowed down to warm up tempo, but was never able to get in the racing mode. I just do not know what happened as I did not even come close to the way I have trained in workouts.

I will still do the 3K next week, but realistically what I will do afterwards is to focus on masters local meets in a range of events, learning how to better manage myself in pool competition as well as to only enter times I have actually done in a TT or a recent meet. It was foolish of me to enter an LCM championship meet without any recent actual times or meet experience in over 25 years. While I am mentally prepared to work hard at training, I seem to need more experience and confidence for competition.

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Swim Workouts

Comments

  1. ekw's Avatar
    Frank, I'm sorry you didn't swim as well as you had hoped. I can certainly relate to your experience after my 1650 at Nationals as I spent a lot of that race seriously considering quitting. You said something very supportive and true after that race -

    You swam the event even though nervous, had some difficulty and yet finished 6th. That shows character, tenacity and athleticism. You can proceed forward to your next swims with confidence!
    You too showed character, tenacity, and athleticism and I bet your 3k will be great!
  2. pwb's Avatar
    Frank, I am sorry this didn't go as you wanted, but it was definitely not foolish to enter it. You had every right to be there. I know it stings now, but you've already learned something and are already making plans for the future -- do more local meets -- and that will be good.

    Let the 800 go. Have some fun with your daughter. Enjoy the rest of the pool events and then the 3K.
  3. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Frank, I am sorry this didn't go as you wanted, but it was definitely not foolish to enter it. You had every right to be there. I know it stings now, but you've already learned something and are already making plans for the future -- do more local meets -- and that will be good.

    Let the 800 go. Have some fun with your daughter. Enjoy the rest of the pool events and then the 3K.
    Patrick gives good advice. And he is right -- of course you should have signed up for the meet. I recall getting very nervous for meets when I started masters after a 24 year break. One of my first meets was Worlds at Stanford and I made lots of rookie mistakes there. Going to local meets and getting more experience will blunt the nerves. I was pretty cautious about my entry times back then too. Doing that tends to make you feel less disappointed if you don't achieve an aggressive time. Good luck on the 3K. I'm sure it is valuable for your daughter to see you experience adversity, hang in there and bounce back.
  4. Sojerz's Avatar
    Think like a baseball pitcher, just forget about that last pitch that wasn't where you wanted it and got deposited into the stands. You can think about what happened later (or not) - go after the next batter (your 3k), thinking about how you've trained and what you want to do. Enjoy, it'll be fun.
  5. knelson's Avatar
    I've had many swims where everything seemed great until I hit the water and then I felt like crap, got tired way too early, etc. It happens. As Sojerz said, you've got to put it in the rear view as much as possible. Your next swim could be totally different.
  6. fdtotten's Avatar
    Thank you all for the encouraging comments! It was a frustrating experience, but later on I remembered that I also overcame competition anxiety during my first year of high school swimming. Just as was suggested, I will get experience at local meets and progress forward from more conservative entry times towards becoming more familiar with competing versus just training.

    My 10 year old daughter is my most steadfast advocate. She put on my hat and stood next to coach Chuck in the pouring rain watching me get ready for the race and also during my race. Later on she said "Daddy, since you swam slower in the 800 race than expected, now you will know how to swim faster than expected in the next time you swim it".