February 21, 2020 - This is my recap of my swims in Toronto.
I always have fun when I swim, but I have to say that this past weekend’s All Out Invitational swim meet was probably one of the more relaxed and fun meets that I have swum in a long time. I arrived in Toronto a full day before the meet was set to begin, and thus Goby and I had an opportunity to acclimate to the super cold air temperature. After all, a major snow storm had caused flights from all over to be canceled, and the trains were not running because of a work stoppage. This meant that a good number of people were unable to travel to Toronto. With this said, though, we still had solid competition across the age categories, and IT WAS FUN!
This was my first LCM (long course meters) meet of the season, and thus, even though I train LCM on Tuesday and Thursday mornings during short course season, the first LCM meet is always the hardest. My first race was the 800, and I’ll be honest, it hurt, but seeing the TORONTO on the bottom of the pool as I neared the start end of the pool on each 100 made me want to push myself harder than in the 100 before. By the end, I was not thrilled with my time, but it was a good starting point. In the end, I earned fourth place.
My primary focus for this meet was on middle distance: the 400 freestyle. I wanted to drop time in this race more than anything, and by the time I was on the blocks, I was ready. I was fueled with my Infinit Cold Brew and Infinit Custom Endurance Blend, and was ready to just swim hard and fast. The 400 was my best race of the day. I kept pushing myself faster and faster and, as my friends told me after the race, I started off fast and just got faster with each 100. After all, that is what we are supposed to do, right? Descent by 100. I did slip on my first flip turn, and in the end, I dropped over 3 seconds. I was happy, and took second place!
After the 400 came the 200, followed by the 50. The 200 was a lot of fun even though I was tired after racing the 800 and the 400. I love the challenge that the 200 presents. It is neither a sprint, nor a distance event. One of my coaches told that the 200 should be broken down as, “the first 50 is easy speed, the second 50 is build, the third 50 is make ‘em cry, and the fourth 50 is bring it home.” I have never forgotten that, as it is in my head whenever I am swimming a 200! In the end, I earned third place in this race. My goal is to improve from here.
Because the events were scheduled fairly close together (we did have 30-minute breaks throughout the meet and a longer break for lunch), my coach and I decided that I would scratch the 100 freestyle. The 100 is my least favorite event because it is too short. My preference is for longer endurance swims over the shorter stuff, after all!
The 50 freestyle was scheduled for shortly before the end of the meet. I was seriously thinking about scratching it, but my friends from Oakville Swim Club (near Toronto) held my goggles to the fire and forced me to swim it. After all, it’s one lap. “It’s only a 50,” they said. Yeah yeah. I gave in to peer pressure and swam that sucker as hard and as fast as I could, figuring that I might come in last in my age group. Nope. Second. Shoot, I’ll take it! I felt like a manatee on speed, though, as I tried not to breathe while coasting through the water, kicking as hard as I could, and breathing two times in the last 15 meters. That’s too many breaths, but I got the job done. It was really fun!
I love swimming in Canada, and really enjoy the global masters swim community. After all, it doesn’t matter where we are from. Instead, we are all part of one big swim family. Yes, we race in the water, but outside of racing, we cheer each other on and support one another. This was a truly fantastic opening meet for LCM, and it was even more fun to be out there testing the limits to see where I am before LCM season begins.
I promised myself that if I dropped time in my 400 freestyle, I could purchase the t-shirt that I have been wanting for years: the red iconic Roots t-shirt with the Canadian maple leaf on the sleeve, and the Roots beaver on the front. Let’s just say that my t-shirt collection has a new addition!
I was fueled with Tim Horton’s coffee, Infinit Cold Brew, my Infinit Custom Endurance Blend (Goby even had a little bit), and, at the close of the meet, a nice cold, frothy, chocolate Infinit Custom Protein drink. I raced in my Arena Carbon Flex Predator (camouflage suit that will be retired soon), team caps (Nepean and TAC Titans Masters), and Arena Air Speed goggles. I felt extremely strong in the water, and loved that I could see my fellow heat-mates in my peripheral vision. I knew they could see me, and I was determined! It was SO fun!
It was a great day of racing! Now, let’s get back to training hard for the next meet! I can’t wait!
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