This weekend I went to Maine. My home. Yes, I have lived in the lovely Boston area for 18.5 years, but I still consider Maine my home.
I swim for the Maine Masters, and they put on a "last-chance" swim meet this weekend in Westbrook. I swam at this pool for many a meet in my life: as a kid in Nautilus, for the middle school championship, for big meets like Southwesterns in high school. Entering the building was a little trippy. Nothing has changed. Not a bit. It's kinda nasty because it hasn't changed, to be honest. It needs serious rehab. Still, it was fun to be back.
Ange and I were asked to offer an Open-Water swim clinic before the meet. We did. It went well--AND we had eight people. I'd say that's an accomplishment! Then... the meet.
This was called the "Last-Chance Swim Meet" because speed suits are, very sadly, illegal for Masters' swimmers to wear in meets as of today. Last weekend was the last chance we had to put some times into our PB belts before the rule came into effect.
This matters more to "real" swimmers than to me, of course. I love swim meets, but they are only play. Because of this I decided to play with my events this weekend! I didn't do the 1650 or the 1000--events that might shed light on my current endurance fitness, but rather little events that I have never done, or haven't done for years.
I started with the 100 back. The rules of the 100 back have changed since I was a kid. First, you can't put your feet in the gutter when you do a back start. When I was a kid you could... you could even stand straight up and hold onto the blocks! (which I did...) Not using the gutter is hard, I think. I back-flop every time I try to start. Also, when I was young we weren't allowed to do flip turns during backstroke events. You had to do a swivel, open turn. They were VERY hard to master. I did them okay, but it was good fun to find out as adult that I could now flip onto my belly and do a quick flip turn. Ah.... So much better!
The 100 back was my first event of the day, and I felt fabulous. I did it in 1:15.1. This is GREAT for me. My fastest time in high school was a 1:13, done at States when I was only 14 years old. Two seconds is a lot, I know, but hey! I'll take it! I'm 40 and only swim three times a week!
I then got out of the water, and was called to hop on the blocks for my next event, the 50 free. I love small meets because they are so low key. I hate them because the events are sometimes so close together (one or two heats per event) that you literally swim events back-to-back. I was still breathing hard from the back, and I was on the blocks again! The 50 free didn't go so well as a result. I was hoping to break 30, and I only did a 31.09. Ah well. My turn sucked, and that alone will add a second to your time. A sprinter I am NOT.
Then I had a little break, and then I was on the blocks for the 200 back. The only people signed up for this event were me and a Maine Masters friend who is over 70 and was trying to get in the national record book in his AG for the event. My goal was to beat him, of course! I did beat him (only to be beaten by a 71 year-old man in a bike time trial the next day, but whatever)! I swam well and finished in 2:41. I've never done the 200 back, so it was a lifetime PB! Wahoo! I'm also just really tickled with that time.
The problem was, I finished the 200 back all pooped out, and I was on the blocks AGAIN almost immediately for my hardest event of the day, the 100 fly. I haven't done the 100 fly since high school, and it wasn't my event then so I don't remember what my best time was. I think it was around a 1:15 or 1:16, so I was pleased to GET a 1:16 ! I think I could've gone under 1:15 (my goal) if I hadn't just done the 200 back. Ahhh, well. I'll still take it. I swam the 100 fly in a heat with all men, who all went like a minute or faster. Haha! I think I was starting my last length when they finished.
Alina was a crazy woman cheering me on for my events, especially the fly. Long and lean! she screamed, Long and lean! I must admit on that last length of the fly I was NOT thinking long and lean... I was thinking don't barf and don't scooter!
Alina swam two events (not including relays)--the 200 fly and the 400IM. Woah. Can you imagine? And fyi, those were Ange's events in college. (Leave it to Ange to swim the toughest events possible, huh? :) Anyway, Alina was only one of a few people to swim the 200 fly. Both her 100s for the event were faster than my fastest 100. I don't feel so bad since she is ranked in the top 10 nationally in the 100 fly in her AG. She did the 400 IM all by herself. No one else signed up! (I can't imagine why...)She finished it in 5:30. Yep, that's just about what I do my fastest 400 free in! What a rock star she is....
As we swam, all six of our kids (Alina has three, I have three) roamed the premises, playing, being naughty, eating tons of food from the snack bar. Overall they were pretty good, though. And they could watch us swim! (except they were too busy playing to notice us...)
I was wiped after the meet. We went home and had dinner with my mom and dad, and then went to bed early because Sunday was my first bike time trial!
I'll post about that tonight. Ciao!