My first Gala for 15 years or so and im not sure who was more nervous, me or the young lads in the lane next to me (17, or 18yo). After reassuring them that despite being a physically superior and mean looking power house I was actually a slow steady 'mature' distance swimmer I proceeded to position myself on the black accordingly (at least these hadn't changed since my last Gala - the suits had though!).
Would I have been happy with a sub 30s, yes, a sub 29, oh yes and I hadn't really thought about anything quicker than that as my main concern was not DQing off the blocks.
As the Gala started at 5pm and my race was not until 8:30 I didnt go to the warm up and instead was 'relaxing' in the shops in Norwich while my GF tried on pretty much everything. After getting to the Gala at 6:15 I relaxed for a while I tried to absorb the atmosphere and develop into race mode while stretching out.
My 50 itself was not as smooth as I would have hoped but after watching other 50m swimmers they did not have the grace of 100, 200 and distance eventers and almost looked as though they were bullying their way through the water. I didnt get chance to see Sam Watts of CONSC swim (he posted a 25:14 in the A team in the relay) as I often train with him and wanted to review his style at a race.
The lad in the lane next to me did turn out to be a faster swimmer, he had a bit of a lead off the blocks (I think the rust held me longer than I would have liked) but there was just no catching him. The pukll phase of my stroke felt good but also as if I was not getting the same catch I do when I swim a longer distance, whether this was just because I was moving through the water quicker or not I am not sure. I focused on kicking hard breathing 3 times and keeping my elbows high and finished in a team position of 4th after CONSC A, West Norfolk and Thetford A.
Andy who was timing with Pat gave me my split of an unofficial 28:27 which I was very pleased with (despite being a rolling start) and I felt as if I could definately go faster with more of a rest (no afternoon bike sets!) and a bit more practice on take overs.
I checked the full results on Monday and managed a 27:29!! which is a massive P:B (well i'd never done a long course 50 before!) and feel that a sub 27 in a 50m flat race if definately possible. It has also given me a boat load of confidence to get my 100m to a sub 60 and my 200m to a sub 2:10 - watch this space!!
- As an ex-National League Basketball player I took up triathlon as a development from cross training. I won my first Sprint distance race and placed second in my first Olympic distance. Since then I have raced the UK Elite Superseries coming 24th in the National Elite Champs, raced Vegas 70.3 WChamps and helped Paratriathlete Iain Dawson to World, European and National Titles. In 2011 I obtained Pro authorisation from the BTF and am pushing my development by stepping up to top level competition in 2012. Aside from this I am a L1 Swim and Tri coach and Professional Lloyds Broker.