I decided a while back that since my coach Brian Stover was going to be throwing in some big swim blocks this winter, that I would add a couple swim meets here and there to monitor my progress. No better way than to get into an accurately measured body of water and see where you are at….something triathletes aren’t very used to. This was my first swim meet ever. I had no idea how this was going to go. I have some PR’s from the pool but all were in the middle or end of practice, with just a push off and in a drag suit or something similar. So needless to say, I wasn’t too sure what I would actually swim. I had a tough time even coming up with estimates for my entry form. I was also extremely worried about my goggles falling off as I have never used the blocks before…..So here’s how it went.
Got there nice and early just to make sure I got there in time to figure things out and get my warm up in. My first event was the first event of the day, 500 Free. Ashley came with me for support and to take some pictures. Warm up went well and I got a chance to take a couple dives off the blocks to make sure everything worked correctly. Ready to go.
500 Free 6:05:12 Pace ~1:13/100yards
I felt I paced this well. I had a pretty constant effort throughout and the last 50 really hurt. Everything went ok with the dive and I went out pretty quick but settled in nicely. I’m sort of used to pacing the slightly longer events. I knew I was probably going to come close to breaking 6 minutes and I did. That will be the next benchmark in this event. One thing that was weird was that when I finished, the official was telling me I had another lap??? WTF? No way….I wasn’t swimming that slow and I was right next to the guy in the next lane for the whole race. Anyway, I did the last lap at a less than leisurely pace as I knew I didn’t need to do it. My official time was 7:08 or something. I asked if they could correct it and they checked the split sheets where there was an obvious mistake and they still said no…lol. I could careless really because they had my last split and that was my finish time. As long as I knew what I did, that’s all I care about.
200 Free 2:11:42 Pace ~1:06/100yards
Another solid effort here. Start was good and I paced this well for a strong finish. Again, I had an arbitrary benchmark of 2:10 that I came very close to…
100 Free 59:17
Wheels kind of came off for this race. I did have a benchmark of just breaking a minute and I did accomplish that but I felt I left quit a bit of time out there. First, I was getting tired at this point. The last 50 was a struggle. Second, I did not execute this race well. Left goggle filled with water at the start, turns were not good and breathing was not good. I was sort of flustered in this race. I feel a calmer, more calculated effort would have yielded a better time. The good news is that a PR has been set and it will be fun to work on getting better.
100 Breast 1:20:19
I did this event just to mix things up. Energy was better for this event than for the 100 Free. I got something to eat and downed a small Coke and felt much better. I executed this race well and was happy with my time.
All in all this was a great experience. I think I can go to my next meet a little more confident as I have the process down and a little more experience. One thing was very apparent and that is I am not a swimmer. I was solidly crushed by a lot of dudes and quit a few girls. I mean crushed. When some guy goes faster than you doing Breast stroke over your Freestyle, you know in the grand scheme of things, you pretty much suck. It’s great though and very impressive to watch really good swimmers. All this really means is that there is a lot of room for improvement and as long as I’m improving, I’m happy as pie!
Couple “thank you’s” I should throw out there. First, TJ Fry from Swim Shops of the Southwest for hooking me up with a great race suit. Much appreciated. My team, Wattie Ink Elite Triathlon Team. My Masters team Conejo Valley Multisport Masters. My awesome Coach Brian Stover of Accelerate 3. The rest of my sponsors, 101 Pipe & Casing, Inc. – Kurt Orban Partners, LLC. – Wins Wheels – K Swiss. Last but not least, Ashley, for waking up early, driving a long way and hanging out all day….love you.