Our new swimteam participates in the US Masters Swimming Postal Pentathlon, where you swim five events in one session and submit all the times as a group. They call it a postal meet because you swim the event in your own pool and then mail in your results. There are three different distance groups. The sprint, which we did Wednesday night, has a 50 butterfly, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 free style, and 100 individual medley. Then there is the middle distance event, with 100s of each stroke plus a 200 IM. And then the “ironman”—200s of each stroke plus a 400 IM.
Too bad I’ll be out of town visiting family for that last one.
Postal events are a little strange, compared with real meets. For one thing, they happen during practice time, which may or may not be ass early in the morning or else at the end of a workday. Also, even though you might dive from blocks, the adrenaline levels are not quite the same. Plus no officials, so a little less pressure on the legality of turns. But all this to say, postal meet times are hard to compare with regulation meet times.
The way we did it was to warm up for 30 minutes, then swim one race every fifteen minutes. We swam in two heats, and happily the PP and I got to swim in the same heat for all the events. If you read about the Columbia meet already, you might already be anticipating the rematch on the 50 free.
This meet confirmed something I already knew: that I am not so hot at the 50 distance. Each of the races felt fine, but I did not really feel like I hit any kind of stride in any of them, until the 100 IM, which felt like an almost perfectly swum race for me. I did have a best time in the 50 back, but I had not swum that race since April 2004, and after all I have been working pretty hard to get that stroke together. Our coach even said one of the other coaches was commenting on how good my backstroke looked. (But recently our coach had noted that when I’m swimming backstroke I look like a turtle on its back. Nice.) But it was a lot of fun to do these races with the other teammates—and heck, practice was a LOT shorter than usual, even if the intensity was higher.
And the PP did whoop up on my ass during the 50 free. We were both of our regular meet pace, but he beat me by about a second. I’m sad to say I never got a lead on him, and by the end all I could see out of the corner of my goggles was his bright red swimsuit.
Bad news is that racing at night is no good for my sleeping. I suppose I could have predicted that.
Swimming the 100 IM made me excited about the middle distance races, which we’re doing the Monday before Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.
POSTAL SPRINT PENTATHLON RESULTS (YARDS)
50 FL :34.48
50 BA :38.69
50 BR :37.89
50 FR :34.30
100 IM 1:17.29