Monday, March 5, 2012

Competitive Swim Season Ends

My Master's Swim Team season is wrapping up for the year. We had our last regular meet yesterday, and only the championships remain on the schedule for the end of the month. Today as I write this I am feeling the "let down" that comes after a big undertaking. And my body is sore from my racing.

I did four events:

(1) 500-free in 7:27, which beat my old record set last October by 22 seconds. Ha! This was the most fun I've had in a while, as I was neck-to-neck with the guy in the adjacent lane for the whole race. And then I gave it everything I had and beat him in the last 25 yards. He finished in 7:29. This finish was almost as good as Ryan Lochte squeaking out a victory over Michael Phelps in July 2011 ( Of course, the key word here is 'almost.' I should note that I really like how professional swimmers greet one another at the end of the race before they get out of the water (see photo). We don't do that at the Master's meets because we have to clear the pool for the next heat to take place.
(2) 50-free in 30.47 seconds, which beat my old record of 30.60 seconds. I wanted to break the 30-second barrier but I'll take the incremental improvement and break it next time.

(3) 100-breast in 1:29. I failed to break my old record of 1:27.70.

(4) 25-back in 17.7 seconds. I had not done this event before so I have no old time to compare. This was another race where my lane neighbor and I were swimming at the same pace; in fact, we tied.

This last swim meet coincides with the end of the "marathon swim," which involves logging all the yards swum each day from the start of the season in early September to the end of the season, March 4, 2012. There are several levels of recognition: 176,000 yards (=100 miles), 120,000 yards, 75,000 yards, and 50,000 yards. Last year I was somewhere around 70,000 yards at the end of the season, so I missed out on the "silver" award that is passed out for 75k. This year I was headed for a similar nearly-there sum of 110k yards and then decided in the last week that I really wanted to reach 120k. So I swam everyday for 1500-2200 yards and finally reached the "gold" level of 120k exactly one day before the deadline. Whew! I was physically and emotionally tired and I remain so after this swim meet. I have a forced vacation from the pool now for a week, as my college's pool is closed for spring break. This break from swimming will be good for me, I'm sure.

Someone asked me what I'll do  with my time this week instead of swimming. Answer: cycling and running. In my effort to get ahead with the swimming, I let those two other activities slide. The weather is forecast to be fair and warm for the next 3-4 days, so I plan to enjoy them. Of course, I still have to go to work and earn my pay...