This meet was Tough!!! Humbling. Quite shocking to my system at times I have to say.
I train hard almost every day of the week. Long runs, long rides, hard runs, hard swims, you know the drill. Hours and hours and hours of swim, bike, run. So I know I am strong. I am fit. And my endurance is getting there.
And, I have always, in my heart, been a swimmer.
But I have not Raced in a Meet in about 17 years. That's a long time. A lot of time to lose the feel. The feel of going fast off the blocks, the feel of "flailing your arms" for a 50 free (right Steve?) , the feel of hitting each turn on the right stroke, just the feel of going super fast. It's not something that comes automatically. You have to practice it. To nurture it.
I do swim quite a bit these days. But no way Near what I swam for yardage each week in HS or college. It makes a difference.
You get the point here. It hurt.
My first event-200 IM
Cool. This was one of my events in HS and College. But, I was in a heat with All men. That was a tough way to start.
I dove in and started having fun with the first 50 fly. The problem? This huge tidal wave coming at me from the men waaaaaaay in front of me. Shoot.
I killed my way through this event and felt my lungs burn like I haven't felt in a long long time. It hurt but I pushed on. My brother, a great swimmer himself, honestly reported, " I could tell on that 2nd length of breaststroke that you were hurting." Thanks Jeff. But, he was right.
FInishing time: 2:39. Ouch. Best time before this? 2:12. What's a little 27 seconds! :)
I was shaking when I finished this race. My heart was racing. My muscles were pulsing. I had 1 heat of 100 fly before I swam again. So...about 3 minutes by the time they started that race and my turn.
I was back on the blocks for the 100 fly. My main event in HS. I was mostly a 200 butterflier in college...even longer. This race was scaring me. I was tired. I was unprepared. I had shoulder surgery 2 years ago for a torn rotator cuff and therefore have not been swimming butterfly...until about a month ago. I would do a 25 here or there after 1 yr post-op to test out the arm, but that was it. I mean, as a triathlete, I don't need to do much fly.
There I was. On the blocks just Hoping I could get my arms over the water for the whole race!!
Off we went. I felt good. I took it out easy. My dear friend, Alina, was in the lane next to me. I felt comforted by this. She and I grew up swimming together. Literally. We swam and swam all through our early years. We travelled near and far to meets together. To be next to her again was exactly what I needed in that moment.
So, back to the race. Or the swim. It wasn't too much of a race! I slowed each 25. But you know what, my arms came over the water!! Alina crushed the race. She did awesome. Go girl. As for me, well, I'm ok about it. 1:12. Only 13 seconds slower than my college PR!! Woah. If not for that 200 IM a few minutes earlier, Maybe I could have pulled out a more respectable time.
After that, I relaxed. My muscles kept shaking but I did have fun! I have to say though, besides that 100 fly, I swam in heats with all men Every race! that was tough. It prevented me from having any real Races! I couldn't go head to head with anyone and that was too bad. And I had major tidal waves to contend with off the walls!
50 free was next- 28. 4
100 Free 1:02
50 fly 30.8?
Not too bad. Not too great but not too bad either.
I was back in my hometown for a meet. My parents were there. My husband and kids were there. A good friend I know from triathlons came with his daughter. And best of all, I was back in a swim meet with Alina, Mary, Jeff and Steve!! A priceless blast from the past. I am so glad I did this today.