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Almost best of the 50s - Part Two

21 May 2022

How can you not love a competition where this is your warmup pool -

The only real difference from this pool versus the competition pool is fewer stands, two less lanes (8 x 50 meters), the inclusion of diving boards and platform, making for an even deeper deep end. Throughout the competition so far, the facility has had a minimum of 4 lanes available for us, but most often 8 lanes. In an amazing feat of aquatic circusry, while our competition goes on in the main pool, the facility runs kids swim lessons, diving team practices, general public lap swims and I think I even saw a lifeguard training class. The city is certainly getting the most out of their water investments.

But, onto the racing.

400 free

  • Best 50+ time: I actually have not swum it since 2016 and I turned 50 in 2017

  • Result: 4:28.43

Reaction: I'll admit it: I was disappointed, While I had entered with a 4:30.87 and my basic goal was to get under 4:30, I really felt like I had a shot at getting the Canadian National record of 4:26.81. Unlike my 200, where I hit the race hard from the outset, my goal was to try to be smooth on the first 50 and then lock into a 33-low pace. I did manage that through the 150 (31.36, 32.92, 33.45), but then crept up to high 33s and 34s the rest of the way (33.99, 34.05, 34.80, 34.15, 33.71).

Thinking back on my training, which was practically all in yards pools, I would have to go nearly all-out to get under 1:00 during a workout and my more common "sustainable" pace was a 1:03 to 1:04. My average pace over the last 300 of 1:08.05 converts to a 1:01.25 in yards ... so this really was a solid performance. (I just wanted about 2 more seconds faster!)

50 fly

  • Best 50+ time: 28.69 (November 2017)

  • Result: 29.14

Reaction: Pretty darn happy. While this wasn't a "best of the 50s" result, in the last three years I was 29.40 in December of 2019 and then 29.46 in December 2021, so I'm inching in the right direction. I actually swim this race a fair amount; even though I'm not competitive with the real sprint butterfliers, I find this event to be a blast. Today, I decided to go zero breaths on the first lap and then two breaths on the second lap; I wonder if I should have split those breaths evenly by lap? I'll try that next time.

I didn't leave the pool today quite as ecstatic as yesterday, but pleased. As I traded SnapChat messages with my wife afterwards, she reminded me of an important mantra = "Focus on and enjoy the process, not the product." It was a good mindset redirect because I truly did delight in each swim; I put my best out there today and left the facility with that magical mix of both an endorphin rush and mellow calm that I most love about competing.


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