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Pre 1997

Masters swim race

To end my season (or more likely start the preparations for 2001), I entered a swim race (I kind of got forced into this by my girlfriend, who really likes doing this kind of races). This was long distance swimming (or at least considered as such by swimmers, doesn't seem all thtat long to me), so I entered the 1500m and 400m freestyle competitions. Fortunately for me this is masters (25+) swimming so I was not going to be too embarrassed by 14 yaer old kids going a lot faster than me. Then again, this appeared to be the Belgian Championships for masters. No worries though, I was going to be incognito amongst all these swimmers. Or at least, so I though. As it happened there were at least 10 triathletes competing in this race including Kathleen Smet (16th at the Olympics).

There were a few more annoying details. Like my swim start, in short I don't have one. When I jump in the pool, I can only just hang on to my goggles. They stay in place al right, but are immediatly filled up with water. And as I hate swimming with water in my goggles (it can also make me loose my lenses), I normally stop to get the water out of them. However, the fact that this is a masters competition came to the rescue. You are allowed to start from the water (must have been just about the only one to do that in the 400m but still).

The other slight problem was by physical condition. It's winter here, Hawaii was behind me and I still had to pay the bill for the trip (or earn some money for next year's adventures). I had been working very hard (there really is way too much to do, hope it settles down very soon, I have to start training again), and feeling rather tired in the process. So I didn't quite think I was going to make the times I entered with. Not to fear though, I should be able to swim faster than 1'30" right?

All in all, I can't really complain. My 1500m felt quite good. I really had the impression that I was going as fast as I could (I was sure when I left the pool, the shoulders were buring). I ended up swimming 21'12". Can't say I was that pleased with that time, but well. In the afternoon there was the 400m and that was much better. Though I actually felt less tired in the shoulders at the end, I was much more pleased swimming just under 5'05".

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