Sunday, March 13, 2005

400 IM of Death

If there is anything more exciting than a swimmeet, it might be an adult swimmeet, and if there is anything more exciting than that, it is definitely a blog entry about an adult swimmeet.

Lucky you!

But you can blame Jarrett, who bit on my last post:

400 IM of death???
So is that, like, 400 instant messages?

Thanks for asking! That would be deathly, indeed, but NO IT IS NOT what the 400 IM of death is.

The 400 IM is, of course, the 400 Yards Individual Medley, made only slightly less horrid by the fact that we are in the midst of short-course yards season, which means the race was 10% shorter than in short-course meters and had about twice as many turns as in long-course meters season--which for those of you who do not swim, means about twice as many chances to take a little breather.

By individual medley, I mean you swim each stroke, in this case 100 yards of each, in this order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, free style.

(Aside: The Patient Partner wondered during last year's summer Olympics, right before the men's 400 IM: "Do you think that when Michael Phelps is standing on the blocks, he is thinking the same thing I think?"

"What's that?" I asked.

He answered, "Fly, back, breast, free. Fly, back, breast, free.")

Let me be honest: I signed up for this event of death because you are allowed to swim 4 events each day, and I had signed up for 3 50s. Yes, I felt like a wimp. Yes, I felt I should redeem myself. Yes, I was insane.

I really did not want to sign up for the 100 backstroke, because I am a horrible backstroker. I cannot get the rhythm right, and my hips sink, and my arms go all over the place, and plus I hardly kick. A backwards-moving disaster really. So I did not want to do that race, and the only other alternative that made sense was the 400 IM.

(The somewhat less Patient Partner pointed out that there is a 100 of backstroke in the 400 IM--plus it follows 100 yards of fly.)

Just swimming 100 yards of fly is about to knock me out. It, too, requires a good bit of rhythm, which I can handle for 25 yards, finesse for 50 yards, fake for 75, but by the last length all bets are off.

But I made it.

And then I got to chill on 100 backstroke, to save my energy for the breaststroke. I guess I had a decent performance on the breaststroke, and I managed to kick a little bit on the freestyle, and most important, I lived to type about it. My time, 6:14.94, was about 8 seconds slower than when I swam it back in November, but at that meet it was the first event of the day. So that's fine.

In better news, I managed to pull four "best times" out of six events, including the 100 breaststroke, where I slashed 2.4 seconds off my previous best time--and beat everybody else in my age group. Woohoo!

In worse news, the Carolina-blue duvet booties I bought on sale at REI on Friday and wore during the second half of the first semifinal game of the ACC tournament were not enough to bring UNC back from a bad first half against a mightily impressive Georgia Tech. Curses.

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