This was basically the longest day ever seeing as it started Thursday morning and it’s just about to turn Saturday and I’m still up! I hopped on a plane Thursday night from SLO to San Francisco, then one to Cleveland, and finally one last hop to Atlanta. I was on the ground by 10 and probably to the hotel by 11. They didn’t have any rooms ready for me yet, but they did offer me a ride to the pool which was cool. I left my main suitcase with them and hopped in the van.
When I got to the pool I was impressed with just how many people were there. The place was packed and I was running into friends from different corners of the country at every turn. After some floating around I found my team and set my bags down. I was tired out of my mind at this point but excited to be there. I changed into a suit and grabbed my goggles so that I could get in a swim just to recharge myself. The warm up pool was quite the experience… it’s basically permanently packed with people.
My first event of the day was the 100 fly and it turned out to be hours away. I spent all that time walking around on deck talking with my friends. Some I was meeting in person for the first time which was cool. Hopefully I made sense all day despite being borderline delirious from sleep deprivation.
Eventually my event turned up. I was heat 31 of 36 and had an outside lane. My lofty goal was a 57, but I would have been stoked with a 59 given the circumstances. I felt like I had a really strong start, the blocks here are really nice. I didn’t dolphin kick out as far as I normally do though. I think I took about 6 strokes on that first 25 and normally I’m good for 5. On the way back I swallowed a little water and took some bonus breathes to try and cough it out. The second 50 felt pretty solid, I still took a few too many breaths though. I normally breathe every other but that water I swallowed threw my game off a little bit. When I touched the pad at the end of my race I had no idea what I did. I couldn’t read the board from that side of the pool and had to ask my friends behind the block what I did. 58! Perfect, I split the difference :)
My next swim was really soon after the 100 fly. I was leading off the 200 mixed free relay. It was me, David, Becky and Jinxi… super solid relay. Unfortunately this is the point that my body decided to completely unravel. I felt a twinge in my calves when I dove in and they totally locked up off the wall. It hurt ridiculously bad. I tried to keep my head down and just tough it out. I’m pretty sure I yelled at the bottom of the pool. I swam a super sucky 27 something… yikes. I had to just wait and hang onto the lane line and try to work out my cramps, it didn’t work out so hot. My legs are still displeased with me, I’m hoping it works out better tomorrow.
After the meet I went back to the hotel to regroup a bit and then went out to dinner with my team. We had a good time and a few drinks. Probably not ideal, but I drank a lot of water too so that balances it out right? I finished my evening with a beer in the hotel lobby with my friends David and Alicia. We were joined briefly by one of the biggest names at the meet… Cullen Jones! How cool is that? He talked to us for a couple minutes and let everybody get in a quick iPhone picture with him. I’m looking forward to seeing him swim tomorrow although I’m not looking forward to him being in my age group!
USMS is continuing to put out some really great video content for the meet, here’s their wrap up from day 2.