So, as y’all may recall, I had a swim meet last Friday night. We needed to check in by 5:30PM or else we would be scratched. I was late. ..but it really was because of traffic…and the fact that I never budget for myself enough time to deal with the extra hassle of driving the beltway on a Friday afternoon. Luckily, the lovely gentlemen below let me race anyways!
Bob, you are my hero!
Here I am talking with my morning running partner. Neither one of us can remember what I am talking about, but I’m willing to bet the family farm that I’m thinking out loud about when I should eat a snack or put on my suit or go warm-up. I was nervous. My sweet Team Z friends did their best to keep my mind occupied on other things…topics included: Who’s that cute guy? Point out to me the guy you like? Really, that guy? Why is this guy being so friendly? Where are we eating after this? Where are we drinking after this? Do they have Jack Daniels? What’s you expected time? Will you count laps for me? Are you riding tomorrow? For the love, quit twittering about this!
Here’s one of my favorite nighttime swimming partners, Janet! She and her husband Rich started around the same time I did. Janet took me under her wing and always seemed to call or email me to encourage me to come to practices when I most needed it. I owe much of my initial enthusiasm for joining the Team to them both. Also, Janet has told me I have to sign up for the Bassman Half Iron in the fall. I’m tempted to say no, but I’m finding out that it’s easier to just do what she tells you do!
My friend Jackie and I were the only two swimmers in our heat. Turns out, there was only one guy swimming in the last heat of the mile swim. The powers that be put Jackie and I in the same pool as our teammate, Casey, around 8:30 PM. We were going to do the 1000 yards and he was going for his mile. We all did an in water start. I was so nervous about the actual event, that I almost missed the cue to get in the water. Luckily Jackie was like…yo, get in!
So, there I am, in the water, totally freaking out about my first swim meet experience. I kept telling myself to just relax and treat it like a regular swim practice. I had a game plan and all I needed to do was stick to it! Next thing I know, we’re getting the beep to go. I started off slow…making sure to keep to the right side of the lane like one does when circle swimming with a group of people. I finished my first lap and turned around. Now I was wondering if I should swim on the right or the left side of the lane…and then I remembered that the lane was all MINE! I moved to the middle to swim over the blue line. HA!
The rest of the swim went mostly according to the plan. I breathed on my left side every 3rd lap for the first 300 yards. Then I decided that since I was going for time, I should breath on the left every 6 or so laps. That seemed to work fine. I realized at some point that I needed to keep my head down…and then when I got to the turn, Coach Ed told me as much. I was pumped that there are times where I can “feel” what I’m doing wrong.
I realized around lap 21 or so that I was on track to end under 25 minutes. I had to battle with myself to stay consistent. I really wanted to push myself faster to make it, but I also knew that I needed enough energy to get me to the end. I started playing the game of “can I beat 24 minutes, what about 23 minutes”….I enjoy when that happens because I focus my brain on figuring out the math, which helps me to keep moving forward…much better than thoughts of “this sucks, how much longer, why do my hips keep sinking when I breath on the left, I’m a terrible swimmer, etc.”
Round about lap 27 or 29, on my turn, I heard JR say to Tim, “Is that the right lap count”….at that point the thoughts I had in my head would be considered (in the words of my sorority), comments unbecoming a ZTA! I thought for sure that they had jumped ahead a lap. I worried about this for a few more laps and then figured that between the counters, spotters, judges, etc. someone would pick up if that was an error. After the race I asked JR if they had jumped ahead a count. He laughed and told me that they thought they had missed a lap and were worried that I swam 2 laps to many!
As I was started my last 2 laps, the judge rang a bell over my lane. In this meet, whenever the first person of the heat started their last two laps, they ring a bell to let the others in the pool know to speed it up! I know my only other lane mate was Jackie (who just started swimming like 2 months ago!) but I was stoked to hear that bell. I can see why winning is so important to you fast folks…that’s a good feeling!
I hit the last turn and heard JR yell to me to “turn it up” or something to that effect, so I did. Well, I thought I did, per some teammates I apparently kept a steady catch-up drill the whole race….either way, I know that I was breathing hard those last 25 yards!
Here’s a shot of me (top of frame) checking for my finishing time…
I did 1000 yards in 23:13!
(Sidenote: I love these last two photographs! They remind me of the shots you see on television of the Olympic level swimmers after a race…like this shot here! Oh yes, I just compared myself to Michael Phelps!)
In the photo below, it’s hard to tell, but I am smiling what some of you might call my “bourbon smile”…it’s a combination smile made up of equal parts: mischievous, smug , playful, confident, impish, and self-satisfied…which pretty much sums up how I was feeling at this moment!
***UPDATE-Photo credit goes to Jeff M. Thank you for the awesome shots!