19th Annual Fall Ithaca Masters Swim Meet – Ithaca, NY

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I was really looking forward to this meet last week after one of the best week of training I’ve ever had in the pool. I was in the pool 6 straight days and swam almost 12,000 yards. But the distance wasn’t what I was excited about. It was the speed work I was doing for my freestyle and breaststroke events. I’d had some of my fastest times in the pool even though I didn’t have the benefit of starting off a block. I had a good feeling I’d swim personal records in all 5 event’s I had signed up to swim in.
Unfortunately, I did something on Monday that I hadn’t done in about 15 years and would ruin my weekend! I got a flu shot…I had no idea that it would drain my stamina. I got in the pool on Tuesday & Wednesday and just didn’t have it. My left shoulder was bruised and sore and jus got progressively worse through the week. I just felt lethargic during both those training sessions and was hoping if I took a few days off it would help me recover. By the time Saturday morning rolled around my left armpit and inner bicep was still aching.
I got an early start to the college so I could get there early enough to get some warm up laps in. My arm felt OK and didn’t seem like it would hamper me in a race. I got a few launches off the blocks and felt like I was good to go for my first event.

50 yard freestyle
As soon as I hit the water I was in trouble…my goggles were full of water. ¾ of the way down the pool I knew I was in trouble stamina wise because I was already gasping for air. I never breathe on the first length of a 50 freestyle race. I couldn’t tell how close I was to the wall so I decided to ditch the flip turn and ended up gliding into the wall to touch and do an open turn. I don’t know how many times I breathed coming back but I was spent at the end. I climbed out of the pool a little dejected. I still managed to come close to a PR with a time of 00:29.68 (my best is 00:29.47) but I was there to drop time! Oh, I finished 3rd in my age group.

100 yard breaststroke
I didn’t get much time between events. My heart rate was still a little elevated and my body just felt blah! On the start my goggles were fine (I tightened them a bit before the race). The first 50 was OK but the second 50 was terrible. I just had no energy and couldn’t accelerate to the finish like I normally would. I finished in 1:28.70 (my best is 1:22.00) 2nd in my age group. I barely had the strength to pull myself out of the pool.
Now I felt like crap as I sat waiting for my next event. I had to find a way to get some energy so I ate about 5 or 6 energy gummies. I had a long wait for my next event and almost nodded off a couple times while sitting in the bleachers waiting. My body was achy and cold and I was considering tapping out of my last event which was the 200 yard breaststroke. I just didn’t think I had the energy to do it. Because of the number of events and a 10 break I ended up with over 40 minutes before my next race.

100 yard freestyle
My body still felt a little achy but I didn’t feel blah anymore. I told myself to just relax and go out easy and to back off if I felt really tired. I was doing great with my flip turns and felt OK through the first 75 so I turned it up on the last 25. I hit the wall and looked up and whoa…I was the first at the wall…by a lot! I looked up at the board and saw 1:11.01…WHOA, that’s a PR by 2.57 seconds…where the heck did that come from!!! I guess all those energy gummies kicked in…lol! I ended up finishing 4th in my age group but I’ll take that considering 3 more heats went after me with quite a few faster swimmers.

50 yard breaststroke
With my new found energy and confidence I was looking to get another PR. I felt good off the start and didn’t push it on the first 25. I didn’t get to the wall on a good stroke so I had to glide a bit. I turned it up for the second 25 but I felt like I got a little sideways midway through. I recovered from that and hit the wall almost perfectly on stroke. I looked up and saw 00:35.98…woohoo, another PR! This one by .74 seconds. I finished 1st in my age group on this one!
Now I felt like my weekend had been salvaged. But I knew I had one tough event left and I was sure if I was ready for it. I’ve only done the 200 breast twice during practice and both times I was spent afterward. So already having my stamina compromised I was worried I’d get out there and be floundering. But no matter how fast I’d finish it would still be a PR because I’ve never raced it.

200 yard breaststroke
Once I hit the water off the start I told myself to just get into a good glide. I just needed to make sure I got good wall touches and not worry about trying to go fast. By the time I got through the first 150 yards I was so
tired and couldn’t stay under water for my last 2 A pulls off the turns. I had to just pop up and go into my stroke. I had nothing for that last 50 and was just looking to get to the end. I didn’t have any hard pulls going into the wall for the finish. I looked up at the board and saw 3:17.something. That was actually better than I was expecting and better than both my practice times.
I climbed out of the pool and as I walk over to my seat I could feel that my quads were pumped up…that was a first! I was completely drained and ready to go stand in a hot shower. The meet didn’t go as I wanted it to but I left knowing I’d made some gains. I’ll be ready for the next one!!!

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