Swam a lifetime best in the 800 free on Sunday at the Zones meet held at the Palo Alto College Natatorium in San Antonio. Very nice facility with a fast pool. Wide lanes with depths from 7 to 18 feet. Perfect water temperature. The meet was well run with adequate rest between events because the organizers adhered to a strict timeline, adding breaks when necessary. I drove down from Austin that morning and arrived in time for warm ups which began at 7:30. For breakfast I had my usual grande latte (with three raw sugars) as well as two Aleve, a mango smoothie, and a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. I warmed up with a 500 easy, then 6 x 50 drill, and finally 6 x 50 @ 400 race pace. The 400 free was the first event, at 9:30, and I swam in lane 4 next to Larry Wood. I wore a pair of LZR Elite jammers (courtesy of Tom Kristek) which fit better than my Aquablades. I was just about a body length behind Larry at the 200 as I had expected and felt strong throughout, finishing in 4:53.22, over three seconds faster than at the DAM meet two weeks ago and just six seconds slower than my best time in a full body Blue Seventy. The race felt much better than the one in Dallas (which felt more like a 200 than a 400). I warmed down with an easy 300, then refueled with a vanilla EFS shot (courtesy of James Cotter) and a bottle of Gatorade.
About an hour before my 800, scheduled to start at 12:27 according to the timeline, I warmed up with an easy 400 followed by a few 50s @ 800 race pace, holding 33s easily in a 25 yard course at the other end of the pool. I swam the 800 in lane 2, again next to Larry Wood. My goal was to finish in under 10:16, holding a 1:17 pace. I stuck to my race plan and felt very strong and in control throughout, finishing in 10:14.93, a lifetime best (by comparison, at long course Nationals in 2004 I went 11:14.79 for the 800). I have not yet seen my splits but am pretty confident that I split it evenly. Unfortunately, when the results from the SPMA scm meet at Long Beach are submitted, this time will not hold up for a top ten ranking, but I am very happy with the result nonetheless. My training served me well, and my modified three week taper was spot on.
Still feeling rested and tapered, I swam at Nitro this morning with David, Steve, Anthony, and Jeff. Stephen coached. I actually swam another PB (for a practice swim) in a 300 free from a push off.
10 x 25 @ :30, alternate drill/swim
5 x 100 @ 1:30, held 1:08s comfortably
4 x 300 @ 5:00, # 1 kick/swim by 50, # 2 drill/swim by 50, # 3 kick/drill/swim by 25, # 4 fast for time, took an extra minute rest, went 3:19, my best in practice by a full ten seconds and equal to my 500 race pace in Atlanta last May (wearing a full body Blue Seventy).
10 x 50 @ 1:00, odds fly/back, evens breast/free