Over the weekend, I competed in my second swim meet since college (2001)! I stuck with short races since even after 6 years of Ironman training I still can't swim distance races worth a crap. In high school and college I was a pure sprinter even though I was a distance runner. The meet went much better than I anticipated. I was really concerned that all the long, slow distance Ironman training would destroy my ability to sprint. Here's how it played out (times are for yards of course!).
50 free 24.19
100 free 54.17 (better than I thought)
50 fly 27.48 (worse than I thought)
100 IM 1:04:76
So roughly 1 sec per lap slower than my fastest times. One of the things I was surprised about was that I hadn't been off the blocks in years. Last week I practiced maybe 10 starts and they were very good from the first one- I guess it shows how some movement patterns can be hardwired into the brain. I started competitive swimming when I was about 10. I imagine I did a few thousands starts over the years. I guess to some degree it is like riding a bike.
I had an odd relationship with swimming over the years. I enjoyed doing it, but only swam for a few months at a time, because I always did cross country in the fall and track in the spring. As a collegiate swimmer my best 50 times were in the low 22s. I usually hit these times after only 4-5 months of practice. I was definitely better collegiate swimmer than runner (not even close). I always wondered how much time I could shave off by training year round and lifting more. Olympic trials cuts used to be somewhere around a high 19s for the 50. Back then with a solid year of training I would have been in the mid-to-low 21s. I don't know if I ever could have gone faster than that (I don't have a national-caliber sprinters build). Still interesting to think about...
My mom, Cara and Jonah dropped by for the 100 free. It was Jonah's first-ever swim meet and I managed to win my heat of that event! I imagine most of my remaining swimming career will be as a spectator!