Saturday, July 7, 2012

3 down, 7 to go!

My first of 3 days of competition is complete. I have 3 races behind me, and 7 to go. This meet has been an awesome experience, competing in an amazing facility, and meeting even more amazing people.

First, if you haven't been here before, I'm a father of a child with Autism and I'm competing in the 2012 US Masters Swimming Summer Nationals, and raising money for the Ozark Center For Autism. Go here for my intro blog. If you have not done so yet, please click on My Donation Page on the right to help rebuild the Autism Center that was completely destroyed by the Joplin tornado last year.

I started my competition weekend off with the 50 meter freestyle. It's an event I don't do very often, so my expectations for this race were pretty limited. If ever you enter a swim meet and have an opportunity to get in a 'warm-up event', you should take it. That was the thought here. It was just an opportunity to see what it was like to compete in the Olympic Trials pool. I didn't know what to make of the time I swam, I really didn't have much of a reference point. The water felt good, stroke felt okay, but I got pretty tired, and for a 50 freestyle, that is a problem. I suspected the illness I had last week may have an effect on this meet, and it was starting to look like my suspicions were true. But I still had hope, because I knew I really wouldn't know until after my next event.

My second event was the 100 meter breaststroke. This is my 2nd best event for the meet, and my expectations were high. I was confident I could get down below 1:08, which would mean I would reach my goal of getting back on the FINA All Time Top 10 list. The race felt good, I feel like I executed it as well as I could. I went out with a fairly quick, but long and controlled stoke on the first 50. The second 50 I built in to a stronger, and quicker stroke, focusing on the legs. It hurt more than usual, which is okay. But the time, 1:11, and 4th place. I was hoping for 1:07 and 2nd place. So, I was really disappointed. I had trained really hard for this meet, and I knew any chance of having any good swim was looking pretty slim. So, I have to put my expectations away, and focus on just having fun at the meet. At least I know there is a reason I'm not up to par. Based on my last taper where I went 1:06.5 in the 100 meter breast in a 25 meter pool, which is equivalent to a low 1:08 in a 50 meter pool. So I know I can do it, it just won't be at this meet. One thing that was exciting, the guy I swam next to set a world record! His name is Steve West, and last week he became the oldest man ever to compete in U.S. Olympic Trials for swimming. It was exciting to swim next to him, even if he did beat me by more than 7 seconds!

My last event for the day was all about fun. The 200 meter freestyle relay. What I was really excited about was being reunited with a highschool team mate, Joe Woodschank. We last swam together at the Nebraska Highschool State Meet in the medley relay where we broke the school record. It was fun, and I proudly wore a Lincoln Northeast swim cap along with Joe in the relay!

The rest of the meet is all about doing my best and having fun, meeting new people, and enjoying the company. I'll have to forget about my expectations, or I could let myself ruin the whole weekend.

My second is the toughest day, starting with my toughest event, the 200 meter breaststroke. It will be long and painful. Then I have a fun event, 50 meter backstroke, something I almost never do. And then I close the day with two relays. Should be fun!!

Thanks for following along, I look forward to reporting what happens on Day 2!

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