01-26 Evanston Swim Meet

Today was my first competition of the year. Very odd… most years I have done SOMETHING but no, between life and “barely” running there just was no room.

Our team, the Elgin Blue Waves, decided to do this meet and another next weekend to prepare for State. I will be doing all 3.

I may be pretty decent triathlon swimmer but I’m really a mediocre REAL swimmer. Average, literally. I hold my own in Lane 4 (of 8) and in my age group I haven’t much of a chance in anything freestyle except maybe the 1000, or 1650 (the mile). Which makes sense considering all my summer training is geared towards 1.2 and 2.4 mile swims.

I decided to swim the 400 IM. I failed to do so last year and had to back down. I couldn’t figure out how to get through the 100 Fly (ok, maybe showing up at masters more than once a week could have contributed to that? Maybe? Um yeah a lot). I tried it a few times in practice, talked to teammates and coaches, and finally did it in practice. So I signed up.

I will admit I was VERY nervous about the 400IM. the 100 Fly I knew was going to wear me out. If I could keep LEGAL through the fly I was certain my endurance athletic antics over the years would allow me to carry through the rest. I can muddle my way, legally, through breast and free any day no matter how tired. Back stroke, well, I would just need to watch the turns.

The anxiety was raised when I got my meet confirmation and it didn’t show the 400IM. Wha-what? When I got there, someone immediately asked me “Are you Ron Searle”…. ummmm…. yeah? Maybe? What did he do and then I’ll answer? Anyway, they were looking for me as my bad handwriting didn’t allow them to notify me I was on the wait list. So I “may” be in it. Considering how horrible to roads were (took me 75 minutes for a 40 minute drive) I thought the chances were decent.

I warmed up and got ready. The first heat {slowest people} had (1) opening and one of my buddies Carrie was also waitlisted and she took that spot. Her first 400IM too! She did great.

Second wave was up… everyone showed up. Crud. These guys were now all seeded around 6min. I was seeded 8:30. Ok, getting nervous. The next wave guys will be FASTER. They were asking around for the third wave and (2) guys weren’t there…

Finally time to get up on the blocks and like that, GO! No time to think, just DO!

I started the fly SLOW. Not quite “stupid slow” but “dense slow”. I managed the first 25 without breathing hard but by the end of the 50 I was starting to breath hard. Hard, but not crazy. By 75 it was very hard as I was now hypoxic. However, I focused on my form (stay-legal-stay-legal-stay-legal-stay-legal-stay-legal-stay-legal-stay-legal) and managed through the 100. WOOT! Barely able to think straight I started the backstroke. Time to breath a bit, except the water kept flying into my mouth, ARG! Focused on clean turns and in no time it was over. Off to Breast stroke, which is my standby. That felt clean and smooth but man I was really in the “suck zone” because I was just so oxygen deprived. Finally onto free and I just toughed through it.  My last stroke was about 1 ft from the mat, so I had to take a half stroke. That cost me sub8, but still 8:00? Freakin A. I was HOPING for 8:30, so that was good. Now I have a goal for next week, sub 8!  Very pleased with myself, I had to cool down.  I could already feel my muscles cramping up on the deck.

The rest of the meet was pretty typical stuff. 200 warmup, swim 50/100/200, 200 cool down. Walk up the stupid steps. Sit/eat/drink. Repeat. I think in total I did about 4000 yards during the course of 6 hours and I felt like I did 40,000. Man I was trashed.

400 IM, 8:00 2nd place AG
50 breast, 0:43 5th place AG
100 back, 1:43 5th place AG
200 free, 3:01 8th place AG (what was I thinking signing up for this?)
100 breast, 1:44 5th place AG

Scored points for the team in every event, sweet!

We took 2nd place overall as a team as well.

Next weekend St Charles Swim Meet!

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