Monday, July 30, 2012

Championship swim meet - learning something new

Spencer and I hit the Southwest Virginia Summer League championship swim meet Saturday. We both did 100 free and 50 breast; I did 50 free too.

We got off to a rough start that morning - kid brought the wrong suit that was missing the essential string to make the suit "dive safe". Thankfully there was a swim vendor on site and we bought a suit WITH a drawstring. After all that, the goggles then proved not to be "dive safe" and he lost those off the block. He shook it off and came back to swim a solid breast stroke. I was proud of him!

I have to confess, my heart was not totally in this meet, nor were my legs. My legs were sore and tired from a great week of workouts. It was a rare but welcome feeling of the "adaptation-causing" kind of sore. Other than this meet, they'll have almost 48 hours off.

This was certainly not anywhere near an "A" race for me as evidenced by the total lack of butterflies and nervous energy, but still it was good. Most of all it's nice to share time with Spencer and to cheer each other on as teammates rather than just mom and son.

I think I am FINALLY over my paranoia of diving in with goggles (despite Spencer's mishap) and I now know what the various whistle blows mean for get ready, get on the block, etc. There's so much about swimming that I don't know.

Speaking of all I don't know, I was talking to my fellow swimmer Kristi (who was also Spencer's substitute Algebra teacher; it's a small town ;-) and the conversation led to how body roll is important because it allows you to get your shoulder/arm lower in the water where the water pressure is higher to give you more to "grab". She explained that is why taller swimmers fare better - they have better reach. I'd never thought about that before!! It probably explains why I read that you are supposed to push off the wall and streamline about 2' down rather than just under the surface, maybe so you have some better water to pull out against.

10 am - it was way too early for Spencer

The cardio room at the pool had a Vasa Trainer. Some top triathletes use this dry-land equipment so I played with it a little bit. I can see how that could be very beneficial to develop sport-specific technique, strength, and endurance. Spencer and I schemed about how to make a homemade version with a skateboard, plywood, and bungee cords. Then we joked about the all-indoor triathlon you could do on a Vasa trainer, stationary bike, and treadmill.

I posted on Facebook that I was at a "wait meet" with occasional bursts of swimming. It was then that I realized that one of the things that I love about triathlon is that it's a sustained period of "hurrying". Once you start, there is no waiting, only hurrying! That is MUCH better suited to my personality. Much. Swim meets are for training (trying) my patience.

This is why it's important that people find activities and sports to suit their personality. Swim meets are not for everyone. Triathlon is not for everyone. The Olympics are a great example of the rich diversity of sports and athletes.  So I'm sitting on my butt, resting my legs, and engaging in an Olympics-watching marathon as much as possible!