**Update: Results have been posted here
We had a great crowd today!
I had an extremely good day at the pool today! I swam 4 personal best times, hit 2 of the USMS national times that I’ve been chasing, got to see a bunch of my favorite swimmer people, and I hit my biggest goal for this season… I broke a minute in my 100 fly!!!! But more on that later.
I drove down and back the same day for this meet, it’s about a 3 hour shot each way. Normally I would have stayed the night somewhere but Santa Clarita is just close enough to home to be a reasonable day trip. This was my second time swimming at Santa Clarita. I’m really impressed with how nice their facilities are. This time we swam short course yards across the 50m pool. Overall the meet was really smooth and I’m really impressed with whoever was responsible for posting results to the web. My swims from today have already posted to My USMS Account on the USMS web site! Super fast! You should really sign yourself up for this if you haven’t already, it’s a really convenient way to follow your times, grab copies of your USMS card and other stuff like that.
My first race of the day was the 100 fly. I have been fixated on this race since the Cal Tech Pentathlon and I’ve been talking about breaking a minute in this race pretty incessantly. Going :59 in the 100 fly has been my overriding goal since I came back to swimming. I had decided that today was my day. Now I had to actually do it… I was in the last heat of the 100 and we were all seeded pretty closely to each other. When we got on the blocks I was pretty amped up. I felt really good off the start. I wore my TYR Tracer Light and it really rewards a good streamline. I hit the wall first at the 50 with a 27.50 which was only .25 slower than my best 50 time. I’ve had problems with my 2nd 50 a lot because I tend to gas out. In practice I’ve been doing tons of butterfly to build up my tolerance, I think it’s starting to pay off. I felt strong through the whole 3rd 25 and I faded a little on the last length but not too dramatically. I touched the wall at :59.94, a new lifetime best not just a grown up best time, and finished the heat second overall. I won my age group but I think there were only 2 of us there in 25-29. When I finished the race I could feel that I broke a minute but I couldn’t see it! The way the tents for the timers were set up certain lanes couldn’t see the board. When I finally saw my time I was ridiculously happy. I wasn’t tired anymore, just stoked beyond all belief. This is also about a second below my national cut for my age group, so I just bought myself an extra event at nationals (you can swim 3 events without qualifying, anymore and you need to make the times).
Frankly I could have gone home happy at this point, but I had the momentum and I knew there were some more good swims in me.
Next up was the 50 free. This was supposed to be the ultimate swim blogger show down between myself and Tony from the SCAQ blog but the heats were cut right between us. I was in lane four of my heat and he was in lane 8. Next time I guess. Even though we didn’t race each other we both swam personal bests! I trimmed a few hundredths off of my last swim at Cal Tech which I’m pleased with. Tony dropped a few tenths off of his time. He put in a pretty solid swim and he was really excited when he finished. After touching the wall he checked out the board, made sure he saw what he though he saw and yelled out “PB!!!!!!!!” and promptly went into a best time delirium. Ultimately Tony squeaked out a win in our not-in-the-same-heat show down. I didn’t get any pictures from that race but I do have 1 or 2 down below of Tony swimming the 100 freestyle which was also a best time for him! High 5 buddy!
Tony (scaq.blogspot.com) and Ahelee get ready to square off in the 100 free
100 free in action
Event number three was the 50 fly. I’ve had my targets set on a 27.23 all season. I keep almost getting it but not quite. I figured if my 50 split in the 100 was a 27.5 today I had to be able to hit it this time. I tried to get myself in the same place mentally as I was earlier in the day while I waited for my heat. A lot of the time I kind of play music in my head, if that makes sense. When it’s race time I’ve got more of a heavy metal type of sound track going on. I was so ready to go when I hit the block that I almost lost my balance before the beep, luckily I held on and didn’t false start. I think Patrick from Rosebowl was the only person that caught the tilting besides me. I swam my race as hard as I could focusing on getting as much as I could out of my streamlined dolphin kicking and I finally got my time down under my goal in this event as well. I swam a 27.10 which is a personal best and a .15 drop from my last meet.
After the 50 fly I had a whole bunch of time to watch my friends swim and talk with some people I only get to see every couple of meets. The people really are one of the best parts of going to the meets. Everybody is always so cool. After my 100 fly I had 3 or 4 people I haven’t met before come up and congratulate me on my swim, how cool is that?
After hanging out for an hour I had to get back down to business and swim one more event, the 100 IM. I had such a good 100 IM at CalTech I figured that I should swim it here in Santa Clarita too to try and duplicate or beat my time. I had a volunteer videographer (thanks again Kathleen) catch the whole race for me. I swam right next to Ahelee so you see her pop into the frame every once and a while.
My 100 IM filmed by Kathleen, thank you!
I feel like my first 25 was really good and my backstroke wasn’t that bad but I drifted really far towards the lane line. I probably added 1.5 seconds taking the long way to the other side of the pool. My breaststroke felt alright and my freestyle was solid. I beat my time from Cal Tech by about 2 tenths of a second for the 4th best time of the day!
I’ve been on a roll this month. Every swim at Cal Tech was best time and every swim in Santa Clarita was a best time as well! This definitely helps my motivation problem that I was having earlier in the week! I’m not sure what April holds for me just yet. I’m definitely planning on being at the SPMA Regionals in Mission Viejo for at least one of the three days, but I’m not sure if I’ll be at UCLA or not. There’s a triathlon here in Arroyo Grande that I might sign up for just to do the open water portion. The Olympic distance triathlon has a 1500m swim in Lake Lopez which would be good prep for the USMS 1 mile open water national championships going on the Monday after USMS SCY nationals in the pool in Clovis.