On Saturday and Sunday I competed in the Short Course Meters Championship (SCMC) at Boston University. I had a great time, mainly because I got to hang out with my Mainely friends, but I did not have an especially fast meet. For those of you not in the know, a short course meters meet is a meet swum in a pool that is 25 meters long. (makes sense... :) However, in the winter in the United States most Masters swimmers train and compete in 25 YARD pools. We are, of course, the only country around that competes in yards instead of meters most of the time. Canadians and Europeans swim almost exclusively in metered pools, but for Americans, swimming in meters is somewhat of a novelty. We spend the meet converting times in our heads meters to yards to see how we are actually doing according to a measure we know!
I had an ambitious schedule for the meet. I signed up for the 100 fly, the 100 IM, the 100 back, the 200 IM, the 200 back, and the 200 free. I was also asked to swim in a 200 free relay and in a 400 medley relay. (I swam back.)
I think I may have bit off just a little too much... (ya think? ) Over 1000 yards of all-out sprinting in one weekend is.... taxing. It is especially taxing if you are not in particularly good shape. It is most of taxing of all if you aren't in good shape AND you trained quite a bit of bike/run right up until the day of the meet--bike/run which took more out of you than usual because you are, well, out of shape!
One final bummer... speedsuits are no longer legal at Masters events. I wore a speedsuit last year at this meet. Speedsuits make you -- speedy. Regular swim suits make you -- not so speedy. Ahhh well.....
Instead of giving you a play by play of each indiviudal event, I will give you a little synopsis of each event in a series of haiku:
Four lengths butterfly
First 50--great! Second sucked.
What did I expect?
(100 fly--1:28 in meters--about a 1:18 in yards.)
Next up the IM
Heat with DeDe Greisbauer
Who so kicked my ass
(100 IM--1:26 in meters about a 1:17 in yards. DeDe went 1:16.)
The 200 back?
How do you pace that fucker?
But I missed no turns!
(200 back--3:01 in meters, about a 2:40 in yards.)
Four hundred medley
I'm already soooooo tired
chug kick chug kick kick
(100 back in 400 medley relay--1:26, about a 1:15 in yards)
One last 50 now!
Air! Air! Hypoxia sucks!
But our relay won...
(200 free relay--34 for 50 free--about a 30.5 in yards.)
Seeded way too fast
Time to beat high school Mary!
Taste youth; vomit now.
(100 back, 1:26, about a 1:15 in yards.)
A splitting headache
Oh my God-- I cannot swim
Please let me stop now!
(200 free. wanted to scratch but Zack, our Maine "captain" convinced me to do it. 2:50, about a 2:31 in yards. Five seconds slower than just last month..... Fadinnggggg fasssttttttt.....)
Oh! My favorite event
Too bad -- Nothing left.
(200 IM, felt super barfy. 3:13 in meters--about a 2:50 in yards. Not my best event! I went 10 seconds faster last month! eek!)
Okay, so I guess that poetic form doesn't leave much in the way of description, but I bet you got the gist. The most fun part of those big meets is watching the super awesome swimmers. I witnessed some amazing swimming by some whom I know, and some I've never met. It is humbling to swim in championship meets like this one. I am very used to placing quite well in my AG. Today I had several finishes that put me close to last in my AG!
I love hanging out with the awesome people who swim for Maine Masters, especially Alina. Doing these meets is most worth it because I get to see her swim--and she is a truly beautiful and amazingly fast swimmer. She broke a National record with three other Mainers in the 200 free relay. I think her split was a 27--translated to yards like a high 24. Yep. Fast.
In March I will swim in the short course YARDS championship at Harvard. My goal is to swim either the 200 fly or the 400 IM -- or both. I have never swum either of those events. I can currently barely swim the 100 fly in a meet! But that is my goal, and it will be fun to meet it.