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!

2 of my favorite open water friends, Beth and Lynn, at a POOL! Weird :)

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 I had on my fancy outdated TYR tech jammer that I bought at this meet the first year I came to it in 2008.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 IĀ perceivedĀ 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.

don't call it a comeback...

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.

Me and Natalie on deck... neither of us is that out of focus in real life

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!

2 Responses to “Finishing the Swim Year at Belmont”

  1. Joanne says:

    It was great finally being able to meet you! Next year is going to be great too. I’ll be following you : )

  2. Rob!, so good to see you in my hometown of the LBC. Nice chit chat too! Please come down on Dec. 18th for 100×100′s at a local outdoor pool. :-) I’ll email you the details…