I spent all weekend in Long Beach for the SPMA SCM Championship meet at the Belmont Pool. This was my third trip to this meet and I always have fun because pretty much everybody ever is there. I spent the whole time talking, talking talking… minus about 3 minutes of racing :) My actual swimming wasn’t so hot this weekend but I don’t really care, spending time with the people in attendance more than made up for it!
On Saturday I got in around 10am after wrapping up my morning’s open water adventure. I had a lot of time to kill before I was going to race so I pretty much just did rounds of the pool deck looking for friends I haven’t seen in a while and finding a few folks I hadn’t actually met in person yet but had been wanting to. This was a highly successful endeavor. I was especially excited to finally meet open water all star Forrest Nelson in person, I still think it’s kind of funny that it happened at a pool swim meet though… what are the odds right?
When I finally got to my event, the 100m breast, I was pretty anxious to swim. I had on my fancy outdated TYR tech jammer that I bought at this meet the first year I came to it in 2008. It was going out of style at the time, but now that bodysuits are off the menu it’s a pretty hot commodity all of a sudden. I will say I felt faster than I do in the suits I usually wear, but nothing like wearing a real deal techsuit that goes to the shoulders. Anyways… I was hoping to just go faster than I did at the Turkey Shoot where I was like 10ish seconds slower than my seed time! I felt really good off the start. I don’t know if was as good of a start as I perceived it, but it felt pretty fantastic to me. The first 50m of the race went pretty well but I started fading pretty hard at the turn. I hadn’t really eaten anything yet that day and it was like 2:30 and I started my day with a 5k so I think I was just out of gas. Totally my fault, but I’m really bad about eating at swim meets. I can get away with it at the short 1 day meets, but a big deal all day meet like Belmont… not so much. I did however drop about 5 seconds from my time at the Turkey Shoot meet which made me happy. Still way slower than I think I should be, but I’ll take it.
After the 100m breast I decided to call it a day. I only had the 50m free and it was going to be hours until it went down. I took the opportunity to go back to the hotel and then go on foot into town in search of a late lunch. Later on I caught up with a few friends that had been at the meet all day and we got dinner and a couple drinks.
For Sunday I came in around the same time but actually had some events on the front end of the day. I’ve been to this meet enough times now to know that I don’t want to sign up for events later in the schedule because I’ll be there all day. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out at the pool, but if it takes me until 5 or 6 to leave Long Beach I won’t finish driving home until like 10 at night which is no fun. On the way to the pool from the parking lot I finally got to meet Dawn from Splish (the place that makes the Rob Aquatics Suits). She went on to set a world record in the 800m free later in the morning!
My first race of the day was the 100m fly. Considering my recent not so fastness I set my goal time at faster than my worst time from last year. Aim high right? My best time in the event is a 1:05 (swam in this pool in 2009), and I was gunning for a 1:10… haha… oh man I need to do some more sprints in workout… so again I felt pretty good off the start but I just couldn’t find that sprint gear. I probably could have gone 300m at that pace but I couldn’t figure out a way to go any faster for just 100. Oh well, I had fun and I did hit my 1:10 goal! Alright!
My next and last event of the day was right after, the 50m breaststroke which turned out to be pretty much the most ridiculous race of my adult life. I stepped up on the blocks for the start and I was reasonably focused. I launched off the blocks into my best feeling dive in a long time… I hit the water and started dolphin kicking like a champ… which is thoroughly illegal. I had some kind of butterfly flashback when I hit the water or something and started the complete wrong event. I figured this out after like 10m… I’ve never ever done that before, even as a kid. I kind of shook my head underwater and laughed at myself then breaststroked the rest of the way through my race. I was totally expecting to be greeted by an official to get DQed back at the blocks but no one was there for me. I couldn’t really just let it stand like that so I went over to the officials and turned myself in as a huge accidental cheater. They appreciated the honesty but couldn’t really DQ me for something that they couldn’t see. I had been in lane 4 and the guys to the left of me pretty much blocked their view of whatever I may have been doing.
And with that I figured that it was a pretty good thing that I was done for the day! I spent another hour or so on the pool deck talking to friends and avoiding the 4 hour drive home. My friend Natalie proposed a Bay swim before I split town but after checking the water quality online we decided that wasn’t such a hot idea. It had been raining on and off and the bay was a little yucky at this point.
Now that the swim year is pretty much officially done and I don’t have any meets in the area until like February I can really focus on what’s going to happen in 2011. I have lots of ideas, but I need to do lots of work to get ready for them and find lots of money to make it all happen… it’s going to be a busy winter!