Sunday, April 11, 2010

State Meet Day Three: Lessons Learned

Wow, I learned a lot this weekend about swimming in multi-event, multi-day meets. Namely, that lactic acid accumulation sucks, and that nutrition and hydration get complicated when you need to time them appropriately for sprinting at your maximum pace. I guess I had gotten used to the triathlon race-day groove: get up early, get my shower, eat a big breakfast, take a Clif Bar and some Accelerade to the race start and some gels in my pocket. That's about it. It's different when you need to warm up at 8:00 am, do a distance race at 9:00 am, sprint at 9:50, cool down, warm up again, sprint at 11:00, sprint at 12:30 and at 2:00. What the heck do you eat, and when?

Needless to say, I threw my Paleo diet out the window. The idea of eating chicken drumsticks and yams while trying to keep up a grueling start/stop/sprint/rest schedule was beyond me. I got up in the morning, made my famous breakfast oatmeal custard and took some Clif bars and bananas along for good measure. I actually did eat some chicken breast at one point on Saturday, but that was Not A Good Idea and I didn't repeat it. I did figure out my groove for how long to warm up for each event (hint: A LONG TIME) and my arm never really felt sore until the end of the last day, somewhere after the 100 Fly and before my attempt at participating in the 200 Free Relay.

It's funny, but I don't remember thinking of any of this when I used to swim at meets in college. I guess warming up didn't matter so much because I was younger and springier, and I probably just ate whenever, whatever and didn't worry about it. If I remember right, it involved lots of pasta and pizza and our coach bought enormous boxes of donuts on the way to the meet (early day gels, just not in liquid form).

Our team had a great third day at the meet. Two of our swimmers set state records, lots of PRs all around, some fun swimming on relay teams. For lack of other female swimmers on the last day, I even got to swim in the final relay, clocking a :30:81 for my 50 yard split, even with having to start in the water and not on the blocks. So that makes me wonder what I could do if I actually worked on sprinting again. Hmmmmmmm!

And doesn't this photo make you hope that you look this strong at age 70??? He set a state record in the 200 backstroke by 8 seconds, which is an amazing margin, with a 2:44, which is way impressive in my book. This is on the blocks as the anchor for our one of our relay teams. Our guys took 2nd and 3rd in the relays.

Although I forgot to go and pick up my ribbons (dang!), I ended up the meet with two 4th place in my AG (100 and 200 Free, no surprise there as I had no sprint in me), three 3rds (500, 1000, and 1650, again no surprise since my distance stroke was not as affected), and one 2nd (100 Fly, which was basically one long slog up and down the pool - not pretty. Must. Swim. More. Fly. before the next meet). My time on the 500 today was a reasonable 6:44. Overall, very happy and excited with my first meet in over two decades, and now I am off for some much-needed sleep!


cherelli said...

Wow, you pulled out some amazing times given your injury, looks like you have a great group of people to work with there too - how neat to know that 70-75 year olds can still swim VERY fast - thanks, congrats on a great weekend of swimming!

janasmama said...

you must have been ultra-tired when you wrote this post because I have read quite a few of your posts and have never found a typo. However, this post does have a couple. :)

Congrats on your accomplishments! If I keep listening to your coaching I'm sure I will swim fast one day.