So I had a busy weekend… two turkey-tastic meets and 500 miles of driving! I started on Saturday with the Gobbler Classic meet in San Luis Obispo which is only about 15 minutes from my house. This was mainly a USA-S meet but they had masters heats mixed in between the kids stuff. There were 3 days of action planned but I was only able to get in half a day of it… well I could have swam a distance event Friday night, but it was raining after work and I decided watching the National Geographic Channel while eating Thai food on my couch was a better deal than standing in the rain in the dark only to have to swim a 1650 :)
I got to the pool a little early on Saturday because I needed to deck enter my events. Since I had dinner plans in Orange County that night I was only going to be able to hang around until like noon so I picked the first 3 masters events thinking they’d all be done before I needed to split. After getting entered I set my chair up and shortly thereafter someone set a tent up over the top of it. This worked out pretty well for me because it started raining not too long after that, luckily the rain wasn’t a sustained phenomenon. Despite forecasts of rain all weekend I never really saw any besides that little bit in the morning.
While hanging out on deck I ran into a bunch of the SLO Masters Meet regulars. Not too many of us old folks come out for this meet with the kiddos so you start to recognize a lot of faces. I got in a little warm up and chatted up some people while waiting for my first event, the 100 breaststroke.
When it was time for the masters events there was a little confusion with the timers because they didn’t have cards for us. I guess we were being run separate and they didn’t know what was up yet since this was the first time through for all of them. I asked the people behind my lane if they had me up next just to make sure I was in the right spot. The guy said “unless you’re 6 years old you’re not on my list.” Heh, whoops. So they decided to improvise and write my name and event down on the card he had for the next event. My newest Splish suit came in handy since it had my last name written on the front which beats having to spell it out for somebody! After getting my name and everything down he said “so you’re what about 16?” I thought that was pretty funny, I let him know he only missed by a little bit.
The actual race was less amusing. I accidentally entered my SCM time for this SCY race and well it’s pretty good I did because I only missed my SCM time by 1 second… my real life SCY time from April however was about 9 seconds faster! Even when you do a little handicapping for a drag suit versus a b70 bodysuit it was still pretty ugly. I swam a 1:18 and was huffing and puffing at the end… still stuck in long distance ocean gear… it’s going to take some work to knock that loose!
Based on the time things were taking I was only going to get in one more race, the 50 fly. I figured this should go a little better since I’m relatively decent at it and a lot of the time I’ll win it overall at the SLO meets. This race was a little more of the same. I was about 2 seconds and change slower than my best time on this one… yikes. At least I was under 30 seconds, I might have had to retire from 50′s if it had been much slower! I came in around 28 high and second overall in the men’s heat.
Once I got out of the pool I dried off and packed up my stuff into the truck. I did a quick deck change in the parking lot into some regular person clothes and made a beeline for Long Beach. When I got there to check into the room I reserved during the week I found out my reservation didn’t actually go through… uh oh! Luckily I’m a super fancy gold elite member and this was sorted out in a rapid fashion… I’m just glad they had rooms! I dropped my stuff off and then ran off into the night with my friends Merritt and Bekah (who are both way better swimmers than me) to hang out. Although staying up until 3am drinking beers isn’t really the best way to prep for a second day of racing I still think it was the right answer, I had a lot of fun.
As one would imagine waking up the next morning didn’t go as planned. I slept through my alarm and woke up about an hour later than planned. Oh well. I got myself ready, packed my stuff and drove back up towards Woodland Hills for the Turkey Shoot SCM meet at Pierce College. I missed my first event but got there in time for the other 3 and a relay. Showing up at the meet was really nice for me because it was a little parade of hugs and handshakes from all kinds of people I haven’t seen in a really long time. I had friends and teammates all over the place. In the midst of all my travel this year I haven’t been to a Southern California pool meet since May! Luckily I’m only a couple weeks out from my next one which should be way more heavily attended with even more of my SoCal friends, along with a bunch of folks from out of town.
I started my racing off with the 100m fly today. I haven’t swam that race in pretty much forever. Last year I swam my worst time of the season at this meet, 1:11. Well I topped it today, I swam around 1:12. I didn’t feel too bad swimming this, I just didn’t feel that fast. My walls have deteriorated quite a bit. I need to get back to work on my dolphin kicking. The upside is my friend and celebrity photographer Mark Savage from SCAQ was out and took some pictures that make me look like I was tearing that place up! Check out the beard… it’s out of control!
My next 2 events were breaststroke, the 50 and the 100. In the 50 I swam about a second slower than I did up in Walnut Creek in October. My friend Kathleen caught some video of the 50m breast so you can see how things went.
I felt like I was shortening up my stroke way too much in the 50m and made sure to relax a lot more in my 100m breast. I may have relaxed a bit too much… I swam a 1:28 which can’t be good. I’d say I need to leave the breaststroking alone for a while… unfortunately I already signed up for it at the Belmont Meet in Long Beach in early December… whoops :)
I finished up my day with the 400 medley relay and this was a ton of fun. My team had enough people in the right mix to do 2 relays today and I was the random young person on the A team. I think we were one year shy of making it into the 240+ age group, my 29 year old-ness totally screwed up the average :) I got to swim the 100m fly one more time, and everyone on our team did a good job and had fun. I’m stoked I made it out today to do this.
the end of my 100m fly in the 400m medley relay
After the meet I went to lunch with my Coach and caught up for a couple hours before I had to finish driving home. Now that I’ve got a handful of pool races taken care of I think I can start to convince my body that it’s ok to go fast for short periods of time again. Hopefully at Belmont I can knock out one or two fast swims!