February 03, 2020 - This is my recap of the 2020 Auburn University Masters SCY Invitational in Auburn, AL.
The 2020 Auburn Masters SCY Invitational this past weekend was a meet for the memory books. Having never been to Auburn University before, Goby and I took some time to explore the campus on Friday before the meet began on Saturday morning. My photos don’t do the campus justice (my photos are posted on Facebook and Instagram). It is simply gorgeous!
Saturday’s events began with the 1650 freestyle, followed by the 50 and 200 freestyle. As a distance swimmer, my most important (and favored) event was the 1650. I began the race feeling very confident in my training and practice, and mentally, I was focused. The first 1000 seemed to go by in a flash. I swam and swam, maintaining my tempo and trying to build by 500. The next 150 presented a bit more of a challenge. I had been trying to imagine a faster opponent in the empty lanes next to me (so that I had someone to chase), and found myself tiring out a bit. Not having someone racing you in the next lane really does mess with one’s head!
Focusing on the black line, I was determined to make those last 500 yards MINE, and I did. I was beyond shocked when, upon seeing those glorious double orange bars on at the end of my 65th lap and hitting the wall as hard as I could at the end of the 66th, I saw that I had dropped THREE MINUTES from my seed time! I was surprised and elated!
THREE MINUTES! Three minutes! Three minutes! I have been training really hard, and have been working consistently with my coach on my stroke and turns. Before my swim, I texted my coach with my game plan: build by 500 and then swim the 150 all out. Even though, the swim didn’t go according to plan, I was thrilled with my time: a new PR! It’s all about building endurance and speed. I couldn’t ask for more!
I was laughing at myself as I prepared to swim the 50 free. After all, there is nothing “distance” about a 50. It’s two laps of pure, unadulterated pain. Sprinters think that distance is painful. Distance swimmers think that sprints are painful. The 50 left a lot to be desired, but it was fun. Racing longer distance events requires a whole different training than racing sprints. Both are intense and fun, but I think that I will make the 200 freestyle the shortest race that I swim from here on out.
Normally, when I race the 200 freestyle, I attack it in the following way: the first 50 is “easy speed,” the second 50 is “build,” the third 50 is “make ‘em cry,” and the fourth 50 is time to “bring it home” aka sprint all out. Because I knew that I wasn’t going to swim on Sunday, I decided to go for my 100 split on the 200 so that I would know where I stand. I was pleased with my 100 time, and ended up taking the second 100 as a cool down. The 100-pace time gave me a sense of where I am and where I aim to be going into national and international meets later in the season.
In all, I couldn’t be happier with how I swam at Auburn University. The three-minute drop in the mile was tremendous in a truly fast pool. I raced in my Arena Carbon Flex Predator tech suit and Arena Air-Speed goggles. I was fueled by Infinit Nutrition, including the Infinit Cold Brew, my Custom Pre-Workout Mix, and my Custom Protein Recovery Mix. My swimwear and nutrition worked extremely well together, especially for the mile. I couldn’t be happier!
When I registered to swim the meet in Auburn, I didn’t realize two things. First, given the proximity of my swim meets and different courses (SCY, SCM, LCM), my coach advised against my swimming both Saturday and Sunday when I am racing LCM this coming Saturday. Second, I am a die-hard San Francisco 49er fan, and with my team in the Super Bowl, I had to get home to NC in time for the game (who would want to pick me up from the airport during such an important game?!). I scratched my Sunday races, changed my flights, and Goby and I arrived home with an hour to spare!
I did learn a valuable lesson. Traveling with my Infinit Nutrition powders is not a problem leaving Raleigh. However, in Atlanta, they were flagged, tested, and spilled. Each individual container was opened, smelled, probed, and tested for contraband. Normally, “food items” show up as “organic materials,” and that is a flag, but it wasn’t Goby’s food that was the issue. The TSA agent wasn’t particularly friendly, either. She made a point to be obnoxious about the different smells and consistencies of the powders. I found her reactions rather amusing, but since she did not like me giggling at her actions, I tried my best to bite my tongue. I think my doing that angered the agent even more, as her parting words to me were, “you should know better than to bring powder through my checkpoint. You need to stop laughing and be serious about this!” As I walked away from her, I had tears running down my face from laughing so hard.
LCM training begins tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM, so that I am ready to go this weekend. I can’t wait!
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