Swam four personal bests at USMS Nationals in Atlanta, including the 1000 free, the 200 free (2:00.09), the 100 free (:55.68), and the 50 free (a relay split of :24.71). I placed sixth in my age group (50-54) in the 1000 with a time of 11:30.77, my highest finish yet and good enough for a medal. I didn't swim the 500 aggressively enough but split it very well and recorded my second fastest time in Masters (5:32.19). Our 200 free relay, pictured above, equalled our seed time but finished just out of medal contention in 13th; however, eight of the relay teams that beat us were from so-called regional clubs that represent entire states (NC, GA, CO, MI, and WI)--not exactly a level playing field since the four of us actually train together in the same pool every day.
For future reference I thought that I should list some of the things that worked well for me:
A light breakfast of coffee, juice, one waffle and two Aleve at 6am followed by warm up at 7am (my races usually began around 9am). Surprisingly, I could not find a Starbucks within walking distance of the pool or the hotel, so I competed without my usual grande latte.
Longer warm up (1400 yards: 1 x 600, 6 x 50 drill/swim, 8-10 x 50 pace @ 1:00).
Second warm up only if my race was more than two hours after my first warm up. For the sprints, I swam some fast 12.5s.
A light lunch around noon if I had additional races after 3pm.
My dad swam well despite two titanium hips, placing fourth in all three of his events. He was a great roommate and really enjoyed being part of our team. I was thrilled that he was able to see me swim once again.
I am a 55 year old cardiologist and Masters swimmer living in Austin, Texas with my wife Trish, a beautiful and talented artist, my daughter Jennifer, who has retired from swimming to concentrate on her studies (but not before eclipsing me in the 500 free!), and my son Joshua, best friend and formidable table hockey opponent. As a freshman in high school I was without question the slowest swimmer on the team, and although I was voted team captain as a senior I never qualified for state. I walked on to the Division I team at Harvard because it never occurred to me that I couldn't, and I made the traveling squad as a freshman becuase the interim head coach, Pete Orscheidt, liked my heart and overlooked my lack of talent. I swam the 1000 and the 500 in every meet because no one else wanted to and as a sophmore just missed the cuts for Easterns in both events (neither of which I split very well). After a summer of swimming at Dad's Club between my sophmore and junior years, I returned in great shape but reluctantly left the team in the fall to focus on Organic Chemistry and my other premed classes. Thirty years later, I am still in pursuit of the perfect race.