Monday, March 29, 2010

Meet report: New England Short Course Yards Champs at Harvard 2010

That is what I feel like today.
With a twinkle of my nose I might revert back to a sprinter in my infallible speedsuit and pop out a fast 50.

Again another intoxicating meet. The smell of neoprene, chlorine and the heat... oh my the heat.

I found again that I could surprise myself and swim faster than I ever thought possible.
12 swims- 7 individual, 5 relays.
6 Personal Bests in the individuals
2 New England records in the relays
1 National record in the 400 medley relay.

Is it all just mind over (aging) body?
At age 39, possibly, yes I believe so. And so I'll keep along with this belief. I'll step up my strength training, do more sprint specific training and keep the positive psychology rolling.

But also, of course, I know that I can't continue swimming faster and faster every championship. I see my more mature teammates nonetheless breaking records and enjoying myself. But still, that must be a hurdle to get over... when it comes.

I asked Jackie Hirsty, of RI Swims, a record holder in multiple age groups who has been swimming Masters for over 30 years how she has adjusted to this. She said, in essence, you need to stop thinking about what you have done and start focusing on what you can do relative to your peers. I think she's right, but it is kind of ironic since we spend so much time trying to only compare our performances to OUR best and not to others.

Okay enough of that .....
On to the race report.
Friday started with the 50 free, one of my favorite events. Hard to swim without a warm-up event however. Let the mental games begin. I was seeded second for my age group. Good.
Took it so I'd have nothing left. 25.18, an all time best for me. 2nd AG

However unbeknownst to me a speedster 3 heats ahead of my had blasted her seed time of 29.8 and gone 24.8 and took the NE record. This would be a theme for later events...

100 IM- I was warmed up now.. 1:05.96. I had the fastest split at the 50 (28.9) but darn that breaststroke! Something to work on... still an all time best for me. 3rd AG.

400 Mixed 35+ Free Relay - 3:29.47 New England record (1 second off National record).
our splits 47.2, 56.3, 56.1 and 49.6 -- smokin' fast teammates Mike, Mary and Tim.

50 Fly - I was ready mentally and physically to blast this one. I wanted the NE Record which was 27.41 and I had just missed it last year. I had a great swim 27.23 (2nd)- I was just shocked looking at the scoreboard, but yup that speedy Brandy Hugo did one better and went 26.85 taking 3 seconds off her seed time. Still it was an all time personal best for me!

400 Mixed 25+ Medley relay - this is the one that really was, well, unbelievable. A National record... by 3 seconds and no thanks to my measly 100 free (which I was informed needs a lot of work on my turns and starts... duly noted!). I was, and am, honored to swim in this company.
Maine Masters-NE  'A'               3:50.00    3:43.20U       
1) Ross, Michael M41             
2) r:+0.12 Stevens, Nate M27          
3) r:+0.19 Knight Beers, ica W29 
4) r:+0.42 Perez-Smith, Aina W39             
 24.58        50.96 (50.96)         
1:17.10 (26.14)     1:47.80 (56.84)         
2:15.06 (27.26)     2:46.64 (58.84)         
3:12.65 (26.01)     3:43.20 (56.56)

200 back - I did this just for fun, and it was! I took it out easy and it felt so good I was surprised. 2:30.8 (5th)

200 Mixed 18+ Free relay - again another New England record. I am happy to say I rose to occasion and blasted out a 24.81.

My energy was waning. I felt out of gas. This truly was a day for mind over body.
But I was there so why not swim right?

100 fly - 1:03.11 - my only non-PR but I'd take it given how tired I was. (2nd)

800 Mixed Free Relay - I needed a time for the 200 and there was a chance to break a NE record. We missed it by 1.6 seconds. Ugh. I pulled out the best I could but given I hadn't swum it in 19 years, 2:09.9, well sorry guys!

50 back - less than 15 minutes after the 800 free relay. 30.53- a PR! (2nd)

100 free - gave it all I had at 5pm on Sunday after 3 days of swimming. 56.07 - .1 off my all time PR - Just like the 100 fly I've got to work on the second 50 - first 50 split was a 26.38 and the second a 29.69. (2nd)

and finally....
200 Mixed 25+ Medley relay - another New England record. With these kind of teammates they make it look easy. Our splits: 23.7 (back), 28.69 (breast), 27.3 (fly, me) and 24.3 (free).

Go Blue Lobsters! We won the meet. Lots of good conversations and catching up with friends. Thanks to all my teammates so really make this so much fun....


Mary IronMatron said...

OMG you must have been exhausted! Amazing times all around... I'm so impressed. I always am. I only wish I had been there to see it. I'm proud to be Blue Lobster!!! Congrats to you! xoxoxo

MaineSport said...

Fantastic meet, Alina! It's amazing you're setting all time PRs in sprint events. And you're right, those three days can be completely exhausting. Nice work!

FFigawi said...

Great job Alina!

Wendy said...

Very, very well done!