Greetings from the ass-resting period following the South Carolina Short-Course Meters (SCM) Masters Championship, held in Columbia, SC this weekend. Because we had wedding festivities to attend yesterday, the PP and I drove down this morning (leaving at 0:dark-thirty).
One hour and forty-five minutes of darkness and driving later, we arrived at the beautiful new Drew Pool in the Drew Wellness Center: it is a 25 yards x 25 meters pool in a beautiful sun-filled natatorium, with high ceilings, decks flush with the water level and seriously non-turbulent lane lines.
I had not been sure what to enter, since we have only been back in the water consistently for not quite 2 months, but I signed up for the 200 IM, 100 BR, 100 FR, and 50 BA. Then today, at the last minute, I deck-entered the 400 FR. It was the last event of the day, and I thought that would be the smart time swim such a beast of an event.
The very exciting part of this meet was being at a meet with a TEAM. There were three other swimmers (besides the PP and me), and our couch regularly travels to meets, too. It was fun to cheer on the other swimmers, and feel moral support from them. But what was REALLY fun was finally being able to swim a relay. I swam the first leg in the 200 meter mixed (that means 2 men + 2 women) free relay, where everyone swims a 50. There was only one other relay team swimming, but it was still a blast.
I was happy with my individual results, particularly given where I am in the season. I had a best time in the 200 IM, a so-so time in the 100 BR, and first-time SCM swims for the 100 FR, 50 BA, and 400 FR. It is hard not to be in the shape I was the last time I raced the 100 BR seriously, and so not able to pull a lifetime best time, but it is important, I guess, to race at different points of the season, to remember how to race and to be able to tell when I am having a lifetime-best swim.
Because it was a fairly small meet, they swam men and women together, so the PP and I ended up in the same heat of the 100 FR. Over the years, our times in that event have been very close, sometimes with him beating me, sometimes the reverse. But we have never gotten to swim in the very same heat--and in adjacent lanes! I have never kicked harder in a freestyle swim than I did today, trying to kick my husband's ass.
And I did--heh. I can revel in this now, but I am certain that he won't let it happen next time.
The highlight of the meet, surprisingly enough, was the 400 free. Before the swim, the coach said, "So, do you have a plan?" and I wanted to say, "Yes, to just rest it." But instead I said I would swim it like a 200 free, just longer: out fairly quick on the first 100, then dial back a bit on the 2nd 100, then pick it up on the 3rd 100, and crank it home for the 4th. He suggested I not dial it back too much on the 2nd, but otherwise, cool. So I took off, and of course my first several strokes were too fast, but I settled into an even, steady, strong rhythm pretty quickly. "Wow," I thought, "I feel like I am swimming on top of the water, instead of in it. I hope this will last."
Reader, it did.
I kept my pace pretty steady for the second 100, rather than dialing back, then I felt good building the 3rd and cranking the 4th. My splits showed that I did indeed negative-split the last 3 100s. And it felt awesome!
I think that a real difference this year has been the amount of distance-oriented training we are doing. This team does a lot more sets involving long (which to me means 200 yards and more) swims, and partly because of my shoulder troubles, I have been varying my strokes a lot more, swimming a lot of individual individual medleys (i.e., disproportionately little fly). This kind of swimming made the 200 IM seem like a breeze, instead of a chore. And it made the 400 free feel great.
Because it was a small meet, I also managed to score the high points trophy for my age group. How cool is that? It is a beer mug that says "South Carolina SCM Championship High Point." Heh again. I have never had the highest number of points in my age group in a meet where they were giving awards for it.
So that was more competition in one day than I have had at a meet in a good long time, and it felt like just what I needed, after not the week that I needed.
Now it feels awesome to sit on my butt. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, out there in blogland. I'll be sitting in front of the TV, perhaps drinking a beer out of my fab new mug.
200 IM 3:08.81
100 BR 1:30.26
100 FR 1:15.12
50 BA :43.19
400 FR 6:08.86
200 FR Mixed Relay 2:35.86