Today was the last day of Nationals and it was really such a good time! I’m really glad I had a chance to come out and see everyone from all over country and spend some quality time with my CVMM teammates. Even though it was day 4 and lots of people needed to fly back home the pool was still packed all the way up until the 50 freestyle… best I can tell at least every other person on the Georgia Tech Campus and in Midtown was a swimmer.
My first event of the day was the 100 IM and I think everyone on my team swam it. I was the only guy left from CVMM, so I watched all of our women lay down some fast times in the 100IM. They gave me a whole lot to live up to. While I was getting ready behind the blocks I met a few of the dudes in my heat and one recognized me from the internet which was kind of fun. Off the start I really worked the underwater portion and I could see the shadows of the guys on either side of me stoking on the surface. Once I counted 3 of their strokes I came up and made my way to the wall. Since my backstroke is kind of weak I stayed underwater as long as I could to avoid swimming it. When I came up I think I did a little better than usual since I had a ceiling to navigate by… I think a lot of people are better backstrokers indoors. My turn was a little odd because the pool has these big flat FINA walls with no gutter to grab like in a regular pool. My breaststroke felt pretty good and I went full on straight arm freestyle-style on the way home. Since I was in the far away pool I couldn’t tell what my time was at the finish. A group of my teammates were at the top of the ladder when I got out of the pool and let me know I swam a 1:02! It’s about a second drop my previous best time from Cal Tech back in March. I’d like to take full credit for the swim, but before my race I was talking with Bob Strand and he pointed out a series of dots on the ceiling above my lane and he said I owe him a second of my time for pointing it out. So Bob, there you go… my 1 second drop is all on you :) I’m getting closer to breaking a minute in this race… I really want to get that done!
After this race pretty much all the pressure was off. I only had a 50 free left to swim. I went down to the VIP area to try and grab something to eat. It didn’t go so well. I was late for lunch and they only had a few sandwiches left. I was in line to grab the very last one but I let the lady behind me who had just swam the 200 fly take it. My lunch consisted of pickles, a coke, and a bag of chips… fancy huh :) I supplemented that later with a gu packet.
My last race was the 50 free. Seeing as I had Olympians in my age group it’s fair to say I wasn’t particularly relevant in this one. I just like to swim it. I had to wait till the 47th heat to get in the water. I had a pretty good start and was really moving towards the wall. At the flip I had that awful “hey where’s the wall” sensation. I just barely brushed it with my toes and really had to kick hard to salvage it. I tried to burn off everything I had left in the final 25 since my meet was done when I hit the wall. I managed to pull off a 25.4 which is right on top of my best time, makes me wonder what I could have done if I had done it right! After my swim I hung out and watched Cullen and Brunelli duke it out one more time in the freestyle sprints. This time Cullen Jones took it with the fastest 50 ever in the history of Masters Swimming! What a swim! I hope we see some of these guys again next year.
Now that I was done I changed back into regular person clothes but hung out on deck to cheer for my friends in the 200 breast. My teammate Julie swam it, and I caught my friend Sarah swimming it too. Before I left I caught a killer race between my friends Jim and Bob.
Goodbye for now friend... I have a feeling I'll see you in the pool again someday
Last night I got together with my teammates that were still in town for drinks and a little dinner at the hotel the rest of them were staying in. We had a ton of fun! I’m very glad we’ve all found each other and landed on the same team! But now all the fun is over and I need to start traveling home… I’ll be on airplanes all day, but I’ll be back underwater soon!