I hate swimming. There, I said it. Well maybe 'hate' is too strong of a word. I severely dislike swimming. I've said many times that the only reason I swim is because the race starts in the water. Even though I 'severely dislike' swimming, I love my swim group. Joining Mecklenburg Swim Association (MSA) masters 3 years ago, was one of the best decisions I've ever made in triathlon.
My friends at swim keep me coming back. Coach Patty does a great job keeping everyone engaged and encouraging them. Coach Patty has only known a life of competitive swimming, so every year she wants us to sign up for the Sun Belt Swim meet. Now in it's 44th year, this is my 3rd year of doing it. I like to do some events that are more challenging. Part of that is because I can't be competitive in any of the events. Not one.
|My First Sunbelt T-Shirt|
I Left about 10:30 am, and parked on the other side of Stonewall Street from the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. As I walked up, I saw Aislin who I had been swimming with in the same lane. Not sure why she's in that lane, as she should really move up. Anyways we came in and they had a check in table this year (they didn't last year). This year they had t-shirts if you signed up early enough. So I got my long sleeve t-shirt and headed into the pool area.
|New Pool Configuration|
I didn't do any warmup until 20 min before it closed at noon. I only did one dive, but it was good. My goggles stayed relatively water free. I had gotten a new pair of goggles for diving and had put them on super duper tight. Too tight to be comfortable to train, but ok for racing.
|Back of T-Shirt (Jerry Clark, Sunbelt Meet Director for 20 years)|
50 Back 45.23 [Last year 46.39 open, 43.39 relay]
I had a good start. I felt like I was really flying. I felt like I had a good turn. I came back and hit the wall. Turns out that my 'really flying' is just slow AF.
100 Fly 1:48.69 PR
This was my first time ever doing the 100 Fly, so PR! Thank you, thank you very much. But, wow that 2nd 50 was really tough. I felt good the first 50. I made good turns, but fly-fly turns are easy. I got the 'piano on the back' syndrome the last 25 and just tried to finish. 2 stroke breathing went out the window and I was sucking oxygen every chance I got. I finished and crawled out of the pool. I went over to the wall and just leaned against it for a minute. Man, that thing wiped me out! I did get my highest placing of the meet with a 5th. I just barely missed 4th by 39.38 seconds.
I led off. That, of course, put us in last place. And we stayed there. But what the hell, relays are fun anyways. I tried to go fast, but taking 3-1/2 weeks off in December from swimming really showed here. I got cut on my forearm at work in December. It required 7 stitches, but didn't quite heal right. It took that long to get cleared to go back in the water. Yeah right in the prime time of training for this meet. I guess that gives me a built in excuse, right?
100 Breast 1:41.79 PR
Another fist time event for me. I kinda had a funky pullout out of the dive, almost did the double DQ kick. After that it was just breast stroke. Sloooow breast stroke. You try to push, but then you realize that you are still doing the breast stroke.
50 Free 35.04 [34.26 last year]
The splash and dash. I tried to swim as crazy hard as I could. So of course I had a bad turn and almost missed the wall. You're like stroke-stroke-stroke then flip-push, then nothing. Oooooof. This was one where I just wanted to get out of the pool
400 Free Mixed Relay 5:24.82 (Brad, CarolAnn, Jamie, Me no split)
This was fun, not fast, but fun. Lots of cheering for my 'mates. It was a 100 so I felt tired. I swam with CA and Jamie a lot last year so it was cool to do a relay with them. Even if I was the slowest one.
|The 400 Free Mixed Dream Team|
I like this event. It's fun. The fly felt easy, well cause you only swim like 15 yards of fly. Good turn but came up a little short on the end of the backstroke. I coasted a little bit before turning to breast. I tried to push on the free but you're just tired. I did beat Coach Patty by like 0.20 seconds. So there's that. She wants a rematch next year.
So then I was done for the day. Everyone is getting ready to head out and then Karen says, hold on a second. She breaks out this chocolate peanut butter cake for my birthday. Very rich and heavenly. Everyone thought it was really good, but it's the kind of cake that you can only have about 1 piece a day. I took the last couple of pieces home with me. I left the MCAC about 4pm.
|Pairing the cake with peanut butter chocolate stout|
The next morning, I left about 7:20 and again parked across the street in the other lot. I did a real short warmup. I figured that I wasn't going to feel any more ready than I already was.
50 Fly 44.29 [41.06 last year]
This race is actually fun. It's over quick. In the lane next to me was Mark. He is visually impaired. He's been training with the help of Para Guide in the MSA pool. After I made the turn I glanced over and saw that Mark was killing me. So not only am I DFL, I get beat by blind people. #iheartswimming
|Mark (visually impaired), Trista (craft beer impaired), and Me (swimming impaired)|
Another first time event for me. Last year was my first 100IM, so I felt like I wanted to step it up a little bit. I mean I'm not going to ever be competitive, so why not do some challenging events? I am glad that fly is first. When you make that turn and start backstroke, there is some relief. I just wanted to stay relaxed. You really have to focus in this race. You basically have every turn: fly-fly, fly-back, back-back, back-breast, breast-breast, breast-free, then the free flip turn. I made them all! When you get to free, you're like, OK freestyle, let's do this. But then you're so freaking tired, it is rough. But I finished, and I felt good about it.
200 Free Mixed Relay 2:03.2 (Karen K, Me 33.55 PR, Kirsten M, Steve B)
I got thrown in this relay at the last minute. One guy didn't show up, and then Judd is like, hey how old are you? Yup that'll work. I should be very grateful, as this was the only event that I participated in that actually beat someone. Karen and Steve are freakin fast. I did swim a PR 50, so there's that!
|Backstroke start (not me)|
Another first time race. Not much to report here, other than I found out that I really don't know how to do a proper backstroke flip turn. I thought I did, then I started watching people in the meet. Then I thought maybe I was taking two strokes instead of the allowed one. So then on the second turn I ended up taking none, and coasted quite a while into the wall. I'm gonna have to work on this for next year.
100 Free 1:19.83 [1:15.69 last year]
Here is where I really realized how much taking 3-1/2 weeks off of swimming in December slowed me down. High effort, but slow speed.
|MSA Crew in Full Cheer Mode (including me in the towel)|
And here we also saw how much slower I was than last year. Plus I did muchos more events in this year, so I'm sure I was more tired. Then I just raced stupidly: too fast first 100, and then really slowed in middle. As I approached the final 100 (Meredith was nice enough to be my lap counter) I saw that I was just behind Sarah. No shame in that, but I couldn't let her beat me. So then I had a much faster last 100. Yeah, I'm never doing that stupid race again.
|The Crew at Unknown Brewing|
During the competition on Saturday, I actually thought that I had a chance to beat someone. Anyone. I even eagerly awaited the posting of the results on the wall by the bathroom. I quickly scanned the event and the age groups to see where I placed. Yes, last place in my age group in all 10 individual events that I entered. This is the 3rd straight year. #consistency So next year I'm not worrying about that crap. I'm just gonna do events I feel like. Ones that are challenging or fun. Why the hell not? DFL for Life, Baby!
|Not sure what's going on here.|