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Of Swimming Bondage

PacMasters Champs (aka A Kick in the Pants to Get Training)

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by , July 24th, 2016 at 06:47 PM (138 Views)
I went to bed last night with no alarm set and the attitude that, if I was awake in time to get to the gorgeous College of San Mateo (CSM) pool ...

... in time to check-in for the 400 free, I would swim it; if not, so it goes!

Somehow, despite staying up until around midnight reading the latest Jeffrey Archer book, I woke up a little after 6am; had some coffee, cereal, blueberries and a banana; did my Rodney Yee 20 minute "AM Stretch" yoga audio program; and was at the pool in just the right amount of time to check-in, sunblock up and get in a K of warmup in the ever-so-perfectly-crisply-temp'd pool.

Unpaid Promotional Advertisement - If the Pacific Masters hosts their LCM Champs at CSM again and you can make it here, do it. The pool is fast, deep and cool; the organization of the event is A+ with deck-check-in for every event ensuring full heats and efficient running of the meet; there are a mixture of sunny, shaded and indoor spots to sit in; the scoreboard is one of the best I've seen; there's a great mix of competition; they offer graduated pricing for entries (e.g., 1 event price; 2-4 events; 5+ events) so you can align your costs to your availability; and the view south over Silicon Valley is exceptional.

As great as the venue and meet was, my swimming was a stark and harsh reminder of the cold reality that long course racing exposes one's lack of conditioning in ways that SCY or SCM never will. Aside from my 50 fly, my times were just downright horrible ... and, yet, this was just the right kick in the pants I needed to force me to find my training mojo.

Here's what happened:
  • 400 free - When I entered the meet thinking this would be a semi-tapered affair, I put in my 4:27.99 time from '12 Nationals in Omaha. Based upon my training of late, I was hoping to dip under 4:40, but ended up at 4:43.07. The only time I've been slower was back in 2014 in Flagstaff at altitude (and, even then, I was 4:43.7). With that said, my goal was to descend my last 3 x 100s and my splits of 1:08.0, 1:12.1, 1:11.8 and 1:11.1 lead me to think that I probably could have done a somewhat respectable 9:35-9:40 had I swum the 800 last night.
    • Huge congrats to Susan Preston of Stanford Masters who came incredibly close to breaking the 50-54 women's National Record (she was 4:41.18 vs. a record of 4:40.66). I hope for her that she's got another shot. It looks like she crushed the NR on Saturday night in the 800, going a 9:34.12 when the old record was 9:48.81!

  • 50 fly - While it surely helps that this was only a 50, my speed wasn't horrible and I was 29.22, making this my 3rd best 50 as a Masters' swimmer and respectably close to my 28.39 best. After this, I actually had a modicum of confidence about my 200 fly.
  • 200 fly - If there is one event that exposes a lack of training, it is the 200 long course fly. I can 'fake' a 200 SCM/SCY fly and swim pretty respectably on almost any training base, but not so with the long course version. I went out slow - or what I thought was controlled - and proceeded to get slower. In all my summer racing history over a wide variety of generally sub-par training, I've never been slower than 2:25.9 and my best is 2:19.09. My goal going into this was to get under 2:30, but I didn't even make that - 2:33.57 - ugh.

... and, in spite of my shyte-full results, I really enjoyed the morning/early afternoon of racing, and it has provided me with the right motivation to get back training again!

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