Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Meet Report: Charlotte Sunbelt Champs.

Last time, Tim accused me of burying the lead/lede, so this time I will highlight it:

I swam well on Saturday, less so on Sunday: all in all better than I had feared but not as well as I would have liked.

As you may recall, I went into this meet uncertain about whether my shoulder--and my "good sense" about preventing further injury--would let me compete. I had swum a regular practice on Monday night, then took off the rest of the week because things hurt too much. I decided that it was better to go into a meet without a feel for the water than to irritate a potential injury.

By Saturday morning (after a week of icing and heating and ibuprofen--oh my), things were feeling relatively pain-free. The amazing part was that the swimming felt good: I felt rested, but I did not seem to have lost my feel for the water. Perhaps things even felt better than usual.

Granted, the downtown Charlotte pool is an excellent one. This is where I got my very first national cut (during a meet when I was fighting a yucky cold, even). It is a fast pool, and a pool whose very design makes it a pleasure to swim in. Once I got used to where the bulkhead was, that is, because it took longer than usual to be able to judge flip turns at that end.

On Saturday I had originally planned to swim the 1000 FR, but I scratched that in advance, figuring that long freestyle might be the worst thing right now. So on the docket were all easy events--50 BR, 100 BA, 50 FR, 100 IM, and then (after the 50 BR) a 50 FL in a women's 200 medley relay.

I shocked myself and my fans by swimming a best time in the 50 BR, cutting about 1/10 second since last March. This surprised me because I have not been targeting breaststroke these days, whereas last season was all about that stroke. Then I had a good race in the relay, making some serious ground back on the opposition (who were not, it turns out, true opposition, because they were swimming in a different age group: we won our age group uncontested--woohoo!), and swimming what felt like the best butterfly I have swum in sometime. Well, after the start, that is: for some reason my brain shut down when I left the block, and I started to do a breaststroke pullout--but was not disqualified because I never had non-simultaneous arm or leg movement--whew!

Then I swam the 100 BA, one of my goals for this year. It felt pretty good, and I did manage to descend the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 50s, which pleased my coach. I was thrilled to see that my time was a drop of 8 seconds from my entry time, my previous best. I was ecstatic. What a drop for a 100! It turns out, though, that I had accidentally entered with my best 100 METERS backstroke time, instead of my YARDS time, and I actually added time. Oh well--another goal not yet achieved.

AFter that was the 50 FR, where I also dropped time from my best--19/100. Yip. And then the 100 IM, also a best time, by 61/100. Yip yip.

So how to account for all these best times in events where they were not expected? Two thoughts: 1. The swimming just felt fantastic, and I was incredibly rested. 2. I was not focused on these events, and focus can sometimes do me more harm than good.

So after icing, off to a great Irish pub for dinner and Guinness (Guinness times deserve Guinness!), and then to bed by 8 pm. Life is good.

I woke up on Sunday SORE.

I started off the morning with a 50 FL, and although I swam the race faster than I had the day before (in the relay) by about 4/10, I had a bad turn, so I did not achieve a best time. Then I swam a 50 free in the mixed 200 free relay, and my time there was about 2 seconds slower than the day before. And I was hurting. So that was the end of my day and my meet: I scratched the 100 BR, the 200 BA, and the 500 FR, took a shower, did some icing, and counted for teammates racing the 500 FR.

All to say what I said at the beginning: much better than I feared but not all I would have hoped for. So I continue with the icing and the recovery, and dream about the next meet.

50 BR :36.77*
50 FL (relay) :33.55
100 BA 1:24.78
50 FR :30.38*
100 IM 1:16.19*

50 FL :33.14
50 FR (relay) :32.29


Joe said...

That's a kick-ass 50 yard breaststroke time! Nice going!

Okay, take it easy on that shoulder now. You have to save your strength for nationals.

Americo said...

I found your blog by accident. But I have to say, if that's you dressed up as Isis. NICE!!!