Thursday, December 2, 2010

Am I ready for my first swim meet?

There's a lot going on this week and I don't have a lot of time to work on this post. So, in bullet style:
  • My first swim meet is Sunday. I joined a Masters Swim Team somewhat late in the season, and now my first competition is right around the corner. I plan to swim in the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard breaststroke competitions. There are dozens of racers at a Masters meet, and since there are only six lanes in a pool, the racers are organized into groups of six people. These are called "heats," and the people in my heat supposedly have similar swim times. I submitted an estimated swim time ("seed") for the 50-yard freestyle as 36 seconds. This is one second more than the 0:35 seconds my coach recommended, and it is three seconds less than my fastest speed to date. Or at least, it was (see below). I submitted a seed time of 50 seconds for the 50-yard breaststroke and this was complete speculation, as I never timed myself. In the time since I submitted my entry form, I have timed myself and I swam 50-yards of breaststroke in 45 seconds. So it looks like I underestimated my speed. Oh well; my fellow competitors will forgive me...and who knows...maybe some of them submitted inaccurate seeds, too. What is interesting is that my fellow racers will be both men and women aged anywhere from 27 to 66. Yes, you read that right. Somewhere there is a 66 year-old man that can swim faster than me (36 year old). I'm surprised by this, but that's only because I'm new to swimming. It turns out there are lots of senior citizens that are fast and powerful swimmers. They don't have Olympic swim times, but they are fast nevertheless! I hope to be one of those later in my life.
  • In the paragraph above I mentioned that I had never swam 50-yards of freestyle faster than 0:36 or even 0:39. Until this week, I was always around 40-45 seconds. To me, that's still fast. But to a college-aged swimmer, that's two times slower than the normal pace. Anyway, those college students are going to see some speed from me very soon, as this week my coach timed my swim at 32.7 seconds. When he told me that, I was delighted. My face probably glowed and I might have even cried if I wasn't so out of breath! It's a great winning feeling to beat your personal best, and not just beat it, but to destroy it. There are two thing that contributed to this fast speed.
    • I dove from the starting block. I don't think I did that the last time I timed myself.
    • I am the owner of a brand new racing swim suit. Before now, I wore board shorts. I'll have to write an entry about wearing the suit for the first time, and I'll post a picture, too. But I'll save that for another day. It's time to go to the pool and practice for my Sunday meet. 

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