Saturday, May 13, 2006

Nationals, Day 2: Keep Wearing Purple.

Greetings again!

Do you know what? I am FINISHED, and it feels so good.

So after I last wrote, the PP and I went out for pizza, and let me tell you, I have never eaten tastier pizza in my life than I found at Rosario's II here in Sunrise. We really wanted to find a place that was local, and we were leaning towards seafood, but then I just NEEDED pizza. So we got pizza.

Then we came back to the hotel and watched the 7 pm edition of Law & Order. Joe said, "have fun tonight but not too much." Don't worry, Joe. I don't even know who killed the guy in the nightclub, because I was passed out by 7:30.

12 hours later, we got the wake-up call, ate breakfast, and found that it is much cooler here today--great!

Then we went to the meet, and I got warmed up for my first event, the 50 FR.

I was feeling so psyched from yesterday's races, that I was ready to kick butt, so I didn't hold back as much in the 50 FR, and swam to a :30.57--2 one-hundredths faster than my best. Plus? I won my heat! By 3 seconds! How cool is that? The PP says I won it on my flip turn, so I have to be sure to tell Coach Jimmy that, so he'll know how his good training helped me.

Then we tried to see Rowdy Gaines and Gary Hall, Jr. swim their 50s of free, but they both scratched. I think they were afraid of my purple suit--as they should be, because it was extra-energized after I listened to "Start Wearing Purple" on my mp3 player, and realized that I had all the super-extreme power of Ukrainian punk behind me. I told the PP that next time we go to Nationals, I want him to wave a Ukrainian flag for me, so that all my big-legged, big-hipped, big-mouthed Ukrainian ancestors will remember that I am doing the family proud.

It wasn't too long before the 100 BR came up, so I rested a little and went to the blocks. I could not tell how this race was going to go. Would it be fast, building on the fast from yesterday? Or would I not be able to sustain the pace for 2 days?

I knew, though, that the Force was with me, because once again, in the heat before mine in the other pool, Susan Von Der Lippe, a three-time Olympian and, at 40! prepping for the Beijing Olympic Trials, was swimming her ass off, beating the national record and in fact swimming faster than any masters age group other than the 18-24. Go Susan! She had been swimming fast in the heat before mine in the 200 BR also, so I knew there was good mojo in the pool.

I had another good start (read: goggles firmly in place) and got off to a decent start. I wasn't counting my strokes, but I was putting every bit of strength I had into the race, knowing that there was nothing more for me to do here. I had good turns--they felt quicker than yesterday--and swimming 100 yards is so under my control. But I felt a little sluggish, like I wasn't getting as much speed going today. But I didn't let that worry me: I just kept going as fast and strong as I could.

I looked up at the board and saw 1:18.52. Pretty good! I thought, cutting about a second. I got out, and the PP was laughing his head off, showing me the time he had written down: 1:16.81.

"You don't know how to read the board," I said (because yesterday he had misread my time). "I swam 1:18.52."

But then, humbled as I so often am by the PP, I reread the board, and realized that I could not read the board and he was right. I checked it on the timer's sheet for the lane.

1:16.81! About 2.5 seconds faster than my previous best!!!!!

My split for my 50 was :36.82, and that is my best 50 time ever. In all, it was a 7th place finish, and I was seeded 9th.

So what a great meet--3 of 4 best times, and serious improvement in both my targeted events.

So now I am going to kick back, eat a little left-over pizza, get out of my lucky purple swimsuit and take a shower. Then we get to go celebrate at dinner. Maybe I'll really rock out and stay up later than 7:30.


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Purple Woman!!! You serve your Ukrainian heritage well. M

Pem said...

Wow! Congratulations!! I'm inspired by how fully you have given yourself to the experience.

Joe said...

1:16.81 is so awesome! Way to go, Isis! I guess all of those hard breastroke sets in practice paid off!

BTW, Pizza is de rigueur after competing in a heavy duty sporting event. You're great. You deserve it!

Isis said...

Thanks, M, Pem, Joe. You inspire me.