**UPDATE: Results are now posted here.
Picture courtesy of Tony at the SCAQ Blog
I swam at UCLA for the second time today and I had another really good swim meet. I swam 4 events and swam 4 personal best times. I’m on a bit of a roll at the moment. Every swim starting with the CalTech Pentathlon has been a personal best time. I don’t know how long I can sustain my streak, but I’m pretty stoked with how things have been going lately.
The meet itself was run really well, but there are a few quirks to UCLA meets that you should be ready for: 1. The far wall is not only a bulkhead, it is invisible. All of the “T’s” are worn off and you’re basically turning against a white wall. I made a fair number of too-close-to-the-wall turns today. 2. The middle of the meet goes really fast. I don’t know what it is about the way the events are ordered but the meet seems to fast forward and if you don’t pick your events carefully you could end up swimming with very little rest between events. 3. Shade is virtually non-existent! Bring a hat, sunscreen, and long sleeves.
My first event of the day was the 200 IM. I’ve only swam this event once at the end of the Pancake Pentathlon in San Diego. I was ridiculously tired when I swam that race. I finished in a 2:35, my goal for this meet swimming it as my first event was a 2:25. As usual I went out too hard in my fly. I know you’re not supposed to, but it’s my best leg of the race. My backstroke felt pretty good and much straighter than my backstroke in the 100 IM at Santa Clarita. Breaststroke is where I usually start to lose it. I did much better at holding my breath for the pull downs, but still not as well as I could have. I jammed through my last 50 of freestyle with my lungs burning and I touched at 2:27. Not quite my goal time, but I’m not going to get mad at an 8 second drop. Plus I won my heat by a good amount. Not that winning a heat buys me anything, but I feel like a winner if I win my heat :)
Next up was the 50 free. At the last meet me and Tony from the SCAQ Blog tried to get into the same heat so we could race each other but it didn’t work out. This time no effort was made and we ended up with just 1 lane in between us. My friend Robin got some video of the race. Tony is in the middle of the pool and I am closer to the camera. It’s a little hard to make people out because the video isn’t of super fantastic quality.
I feel like I got a good start. I really try to get the most that I can out of my time underwater dolphin kicking, and I was the last guy to break the surface. My last 50 free was a 25.87 and I took about 8 breaths. Coach Nancy got on my case a little bit about breathing too much. This time around I think I only took about 4 breaths and I finished at 25.49. So… she was right… I need to breath less and I’ll go faster. I beat Tony this time, but he was faster than me at Santa Clarita. I have a feeling we’re going to go back and forth with this event for a while.
Right after my 50 free I was in the 100 breaststroke. Yay back to back events. I know better, but I wanted to swim the 100 breast just to see where I am at. Plus since it’s not a big event for me there’s no pressure to perform. I can just get up and swim. It’s pretty liberating to be able to race without actually caring about the outcome every once and a while. My breaststroke is awesome until I actually breach the surface, then, not so much. I really focused on pull downs and tight streamlines. Almost to the point of DQ-ing. I was aiming for a 1:11 (a number I arbitrarily picked out) but I went a 1:13. Not what I was shooting for, but still a 2 second drop from my previous best time.
My last event of the day was the 50 fly. I was kind of nervous about this event because I really didn’t think I could match my current best time. I was really tired at this point and my arms were all tightened up. I got behind the blocks early and started clearing my head and getting focused on my race. I was in the last heat and there were some fast dudes in it. I decided that I really needed to do the best that I could to keep up with these guys. My start was decent and again I was the last guy to break the surface. I swam 7 strokes down and 10 strokes back. I managed to go a 26.89! I was stuck in the 27′s and 28′s for quite a while, so to hit 26 was pretty exciting for me. I really just want to keep chipping away at this thing until I’m a more serious contender in my age group. There’s guys in my age group swimming 23′s and 24′s in the 50 fly… I would like to join them before I age up. I also got some video of this race, I’m in the lane closest to the camera.
Honestly I wasn’t expecting to swim this well today. I thought it would be a mid-season blah kind of meet, but every race was solid and my times were good. Now I need to start getting ready for the Pacific Masters Championships later this month!