I woke up way earlier than I really wanted to today… my first individual event was probably going to be around mid day but I had a relay to swim on early so I needed to be to the pool early-ish. I got in a little after 8 and ran into my teammate Becky. We took a seat up in the spectator section for a while just to have some space to ourselves, but it was pretty packed already even in the cheap seats.
Eventually I hopped in to warm up with my friend Sarah from Finis and we landed in Cullen Jones’ lane. He was cool and chatted with us and the other people around our lane. He kept making his way to the bottom of the pool and blowing bubble rings which is something I’ve never really seen before. He said it helped him hold his breath better during races. It makes sense… note to self: learn to blow bubble rings :)
After a while the rest of the team started to trickle in. We had a pretty strong medley relay… Ahelee on backstroke, me in breaststroke, Jinxi in fly and David on free. My body was still a little on the fritz today and I was worried about my legs locking up again like they did last night in the 200 free relay. Ahelee swam a really strong 50 back and my dive in after was a little weak. I couldn’t quite launch the way I wanted to. My pull downs felt pretty decent but I felt like I was just spinning my arms the last 10-15 yards on the way back to the wall. My split was a high 32 which isn’t super great for me but it isn’t bad either. After our swim the four of us got pulled over into the USMS video booth for a quick interview to talk about our team and how we all came together on the same team. I didn’t really realize it earlier, but me, Jinxi and David are all adopted CVMMers. Hopefully we see that online sometime soon.
a bunch of my teammates down on the pool deck
After the relay I spent a bunch of time just messing around on deck and talking to people. That’s probably my favorite part of this meet. Everybody from everywhere is here. I can’t go 10 feet without running into somebody I’ve swam with or chatted with online somewhere.
When it was finally my turn to actually swim I was pretty ready to go. I figured even if my legs freaked out on this one I’d be fine since I’d be dolphin kicking. I was in the outside lane right along side where my team was sitting. I tried to take the first 25 out real hard and kick it out best I could. On the way back I just tried to keep my head down and get as much out of my pull as possible. I finished with a 26.4 which isn’t a best time but it’s pretty good for me. I still really want to see that 25, but I guess it will have to wait till next SCY season.
I had a ton of time until my 100 free so I went on a little adventure on the Georgia Tech Campus. I walked around exploring a bit. It was good to get some non-chlorinated air and stretch out my legs walking. Only downside was it’s way to humid and hot out here for me. Spending the last 15 years on the coast I’m not so good with the hot weather anymore. When I wandered back into the pool mission number one was to get hydrating again. I downed a few water bottles to make sure I didn’t get too dehydrated again. I also got a chance to meet another one of my twitter friends in person for the first time which was cool.
When the men’s 100 free finally came up I had all kinds of time to wait still because there were sooo many dudes swimming it (59 heats!). And everybody except me was really fast at it! I didn’t even swim with my age group, I was in an overflow heat with a random mish mash of guys from different age groups. When my race got going I felt like I couldn’t get all the way into gear. My first 50 was pretty slow, I took it out in a 27 (there’s that number again) and was a little worried at the turn. I knew I took it out slow and I didn’t feel like I was in the right part of the pack so after the turn I tried to just build my intensity since actually “sprinting” wasn’t exactly on the menu today. As that 2nd 50 went on I started reeling in some of the other dudes in my heat. At the finish I had no idea what I had done. I couldn’t read the results board without glasses on and based on that first 50 I was a little worried about what I was going to see. I got out and squinted at the timers results sheet and they had me in the 55′s! I was pretty stoked on that, best I’ve done as a grown up is a 56 low so I was very happy to be into the 55 range. After talking to my teammates who were watching they said I essentially even split it which is something I’ve pretty much never done, but maybe I should start trying it!
After my race I was ready to get out of the pool and relax a bit, but first I had to watch Cullen and Brunelli duke it out in the 100. Those dudes are fast! Brunelli pulled out a 42.6 for the win and the USMS National record, wow. Once I processed that I figured it was time to start figuring out how to get home. I hopped a trolley by the pool but it didn’t go to my hotel so I got out where I had dinner last night kind of by the convention center hotel and just walked the mile to the hotel. It was a good and a bad idea all at the same time. I like walking when I can, but that heat… ugh. I grabbed some lunch to go en route and inhaled it once I got back to my room. Now that I’m here at the hotel I think this is going to end up a very low key evening. My body doesn’t like me at the moment so I need to give it a break.
look at that crowd!
surprise! there's my buddy Coach Chad from Rose Bowl
Bob Strand breaking down his new 100 Breast record