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My Swim Meet

Preparing for my first race in 18 years. Yes – it’s me in a swim suit

 

After months of training, I needed to face the true test of my swimming fitness – a swim meet.  Of course my timing wasn’t quite right as the first meet available was the Arizona Masters State Championship, but there were no qualifying times so I grabbed an entry sheet.  This was a pretty nerve racking experience for me.  I was even nervous picking out my events.  I’m lucky to have a really patient coach who helped me fill out every line of the entry form.  We decided on the following events: 50 free, 100 free, 50 back, 100 back, 50 fly and 100 IM.  As an aside – love the fact that we get to race 50s in master’s meets!

My stomach flip flopped the morning of the first day.  I knew I needed to eat a good breakfast, but it was hard getting the food down.  I settled on some oatmeal and Gatorade and forced myself to finish every bite.  I kissed my kids and husband goodbye, grabbed my bag and was out the door.  I set up camp with my teammates, warmed up and probably went to the bathroom 10 times before I could settle down.  The 1650 freestyle was the first event, so I had some time to hang out and observe prior to my first race.  It was amazing and inspiring people watching.  There was an 85 year old man racing in that 1650!  There was another man who extended the legs on his walker to help him onto the block and then he took off.  I only hope and pray I am as strong as these people when I am their age.

 

Taking off for the 100 freestyle

Eventually it was my turn.  The masters meets have the heats broken up by time, so you will be racing all ages and genders that are approximately as fast as you are.  I had no entry time, which defaulted me to heat 1 in every event.  I’ve always considered this the wild card heat, because there could be very slow or very fast people.  I stepped on the block.  I tried to remember all the things I tell Grace before a race.  I hoped my goggles don’t fall off after the start.  My body hit the water and for a split second I forgot what event I was racing.  The panic left and I pushed hard.  At the end of every event, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.  My times were nowhere near what I could do at age 18, but it really didn’t matter.  My dad called me ever curious about how I placed.  For some events, there was only one other woman in my age group and she was a former national champion.  So yeah – I got my butt kicked.  You know what?  It didn’t matter to me at all.  I got to race in the pool again and had a great time.

 

100 Backstroke – my daughter’s favorite event

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