I drove up to Palo Alto on Friday night for the Rinconada Masters Meet. I met up with my friend Sarah for dinner to load up on Indian food and talk swimming a bit. She had a meet this weekend too but not the one I was going to so it was good to sneak in some dinner to catch up a bit.
In the morning I went to the pool way early even though I wasn’t in the first event (1000 free). I mainly just wanted to get a place to park since I heard like 220 people preregistered and the pool doesn’t actually have a parking lot! I grabbed a good spot and then went to check out the pool. It was pretty frosty in the morning and the pool was really steamy. Since I had hours before my first event I decided to go on an adventure on foot. I grabbed my iPhone and looked for the nearest place to eat some breakfast. I ended up wandering around for like 2 miles through some neighborhoods and a little downtown area and landed in a diner for some eggs and bacon. Afterwards I took a longer way back to the pool just to go exploring. It warmed up quite a bit while I was wandering. In theory it was supposed to be cold and windy all day but that never really came true.
When I got back to the pool it was considerably more populated. I ran into my Pacific Masters friends Jim from the Manatee Masters and John from Santa Rosa and set up my stuff by them right along the edge of the kid’s wading pool. It’s a good thing I had them to talk to because I had to wait forever for my first event. I don’t think I swam until almost 1 o’clock! While I was around I also saw Erik from Santa Rosa, Coach Chris from Mountain View and I got to met Jana from Menlo Masters who reads the blog! As a surprise bonus I met a couple people from San Luis Obispo (down where I live) who recognized my name over the loud speaker as being “that search engine guy.” I don’t think I’ve had work cross over into the pool like that before so that was kind of funny, one of the guys had just called my office Friday afternoon… small world huh? :)
Anyways, let’s get to some swimming shall we? My first event of the day was the 50 freestyle. I was stoked to finally be getting in a race! The swim was ok but it felt a little “off.” The blocks felt a little squirrelly and I had a subpar push off and dolphin kick of the turn. I swam a 25.6 which is par for the course right now, but it didn’t really feel correct. I just sort of wrote it off as being the first swim of the day and moved my focus to the 200 free.
Me and the 200 free just can’t quite come to terms with each other. Last time I swam it I went out way fast and gassed out hard. This time I went out too slow and never made it back. Although I gotta say my last 25 was probably the fastest of the whole race so I had something left in the tank. Upside is I made a new friend with a dude who beat me by about a second in the next lane over. It was his first meet in about 25 years, I always like to talk to people in their first couple meets back just to soak in that happiness and excitement. I’ll figure this thing out eventually… I just don’t see any reason why I can’t get down to around 2:00 flat but I keep swimming closer to 2:07-8. Maybe next year I’ll get my SCY time more where it should be.
At this point it was getting really late in the day and I decided to just swim the 50 fly and scratch the 100 free since I had a big drive home and wanted some daylight for it. Since I only had one event left I really wanted it to count. I tried to focus a little harder before my race and be really aggressive off the start. I’m pretty sure I growled a little bit underwater while kicking off the dive :) My 50 fly wasn’t a best time but it was up there. I swam a 26.4 which I’m plenty happy with for a midseason meet that also happens to be in a big string of meets (I have 3 meets in a row this month!).
After my race I got changed and started the big drive home. Normally I would have written my recap last night, but honestly I just wanted to go to bed instead! So here you go… a meet wrap up just a day late. Next week I’m swimming in Santa Clarita, mainly 50′s this time around.