Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blocks, flips, and a BIG R!

A few months ago I signed up for my FIRST SWIM MEET EVER! Yeah, I'm kinda nervous just saying those words. Swimming is obviously not my strong point and I'll have 1000 meters to prove that come April 19th.

When I first started in the sport of triathlon in 2008, my logic was this: I've swam since I was a kid (not on a team or anything competitive...just swimming), I've biked since I was a kid (certainly not on a tri bike...with aerobars), and I've been running since 2002. So, why not give it a try!

Years later I find myself in this sticky situation of getting ready to swim my first swim meet. I hear people talking about starting with a dive off the blocks...(note, this isn't a picture of me...)

and doing flip turns (otherwise known as flippy flip turns)...

and I realize just how unprepared I am for this meet. Of course, my team has offered training for both these but I've been unable to attend the clinics. 

My fear for diving off the blocks is that I'll dive in and my goggles will go flying off my face. Then there is the unspoken fear (until now) of doing a belly flop! The unfortunate part of this is I'm unable to practice diving off the blocks due to some rule that I have to have a US Swimming Coach there while I'm using the blocks at my pool. The good news is, I'm able to dive off the side of the pool so at least I get some practice with the goggles. But, probably the most embarrassing part of all will be keeping that block position (above) while having my booty up in the air with a big "R" on it from my Rev3 shimmer suit! Great way to promote Rev3 but I'd rather hand out cards if you know what I mean! 

Now, for some reason I do remember learning how to do flip turns as a kid. I know I took swim lessons at one point so it may have been there where I learned how to do them. But, as an adult, re-learning the flip turn is something I never thought I'd have to do...EVER! Even in most pool triathlons, flip turns aren't allowed. And there is no reason to use a flip turn whatsoever in an open water swim. But, at the age of 47 (yeah, I know, I still look like I'm in my 20's!), I find myself in the pool practicing flip turns. The good news: doing a flip turn is similar to riding a bike - it comes back to you quickly. The bad news: I have way too much pool water up my nose (yes, I  blow out through my nose during the entire turn). 

Well, I have less than three more weeks to train for this swim meet and then my TRIATHLON SEASON begins!!! I couldn't be more excited!


Summer said...

Exciting, good luck Tracy! As for the block start, here are a few things that will help keep those goggles on: 1) Make sure the google straps are tight (though not to the point of being painful, of course) 2) Press the goggle sockets to your face as you're climbing up on the block for a little bit of extra suction 3)Dive in with a good streamline (squeeze the sides of your head with your upper arms, and keep your head in line with your body). Have fun!

Kelly Covert said...

Good luck, brave friend!!