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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Arkansas Masters Indoor Swim Meet

Today the Arkansas Masters Swim Club hosted an indoor meet at the Walton Life Fitness Center.  This is a corporate fitness center and we were very lucky that the organizers were able to secure the facility for the meet.  It is a great pool and we had a great turnout of around 27 people for the meet. 

My good friends Kyla, Carie, Brent, and Lori were also competing.  Brent and Lori were also part of the organizing committee for the meet so they were also working as starters and officials.  There were some other friends at the meet but also some people that travelled from Oklahoma City and Tulsa to compete. 

If you are familiar with Masters then you know that you can sign up for just 5 individual events in a meet.  There were 17 different events in the meet today and I selected four to compete in.  I had decided early on to compete in the 100 and 500 yd free events.  I was never a swim team member and this is only my second swim meet as an adult.  I branched out and decided to add on the 50 back which unfortunately was immediately after the 100 free.  I also polled my friends and decided to enter the 100 IM event.

We started off the meet with easy warm-up.  I practiced my flip turns even doing several backstroke turns to just make sure I could handle it for the 50 yd back! At the end of the warm-up time, Carie and Kyla talked me through how to do a backstroke start.  I tried it a couple times using the starting block but my start just looked like a back belly flop.  I tried it by holding on to the edge of the pool and that worked a little better and I was able to get an arch in my back for the start.  I did one dive start from the edge and did a very easy 25 fly to practice for the IM.  The starting blocks at the Fitness Center are really tall and I'm very nervous about using them so I planned to do my dive starts from the edge of the pool instead. 

First up for me was the 100yd free.  I was in Heat 1 with Carie next to me.  It was great to have a friend and training partner next to me to calm my nerves.  Kyla captured this video of me doing the 100 free!  I submitted an entry time of 1:41 and was shocked to swim a 1:22:04. 

My second event was the 50yd backstroke.  I didn't get a huge rest between the two events and it was tough.  I swam an easy 50 between the two to try to keep my legs warm but it was tough to have such a short break between events even though I was in the 2nd heat.  I submitted a time of 50 or 55 sec for this one and managed to swim 43.68 seconds.  I did okay on my flip turn but felt like I was swallowing a ton of water and drowning on the 2nd half of the 50:(

My third event was the 500yd freestyle.  I was in the first heat for this event and thought I would be swimming next to Kyla.  But when we were on deck we realized that they had changed the heat assignments and Kyla was moved into the 2nd heat.  The challenge for this event was keeping track of the number of laps.  They forgot to have volunteers do the lap counters for the first heat so we were on our own.  I submitted a 9:00 time on my registration and again beat my expectation with a time of 8:09:89!!! I was really proud of my time for this event and know that I worked hard for it. 

My final event was the 100 yd IM and I was in heat 2.  I don't do a ton of stroke work so this distance appealed to me because it was just 25 yd of each stroke.  That is the perfect distance for my butterfly skill level!

I did my dive start from the edge and then started on the fly.  Just last week Carie showed me what she calls the survival fly which has a long recovery on the front of the stroke.  I have rhythm challenges with my dolphin kick so I tried to use this to slow down and cover the distance. 

If you open the pic bigger, you can see me doing fly!
Next up was the back stroke which went a lot better than the 50 where I felt like I was drowning. 

At the end of the backstroke, I counted strokes from the flags and then flipped to my stomach to hit the wall and turn into the breast stoke. 

My breast stroke went well and before I knew I was sprinting in the final 25 yds of freestyle. 

My predicted time was 2:00 and I finished in 1:35:31.  There was just one little problem...Carie was watching my heat and she noticed that I did something illegal during my turn between backstroke and breast stroke.  Apparently, you are not allowed to fully turn onto your stomach.  So I should have been DQ'd for the 100 IM but since there weren't any starts/turns officials today I didn't get DQ'd.  The only problem is that I know I messed up so I'm pretty bummed about it.  Kyla and Carie tried to explain what I did wrong to me but I still don't know how exactly I messed up.  Needless to say...we'll be practicing IM turns for sure. 

Overall, the swim meet was a great event and I had a good time participating.  The meet souvenir was a super soft cotton long sleeve shirt with the Arkansas Masters club logo on the front of it.  The club also hosted a social after the meet with yummy lasagna and salad.  I was bummed about my 100 IM issue but even with that little hiccup I was super proud of all my times in the events.   Doing this swim meet was outside my comfort zone but having so many great friends also swimming made it a great time. 

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