We’ve almost reached the end of another year, so it seems timely to review my posts then devote this one to addressing any outstanding updates or loose ends. Here’s what I found:
Fall 2016 USMS 3K ePostal: Both swims, one for age group 45-49, one for 50-54, were accepted, and I placed third and second respectively. It was tricky to find pool-windows to do two 3Ks a few weeks apart, but am glad I made the most of aging up this year because effective January 1, the following new rule will prevent me from doing this again when I straddle two age groups again in five years: “Individual Events: Men and women compete separately in age groups of five-year increments: 18-24, 25-29, 30-34…100+. PLEASE NOTE: New rule regarding age of entrant this year! The swimmer’s age as of Dec. 31, 2017 will determine his or her age group. (Reference: USMS new rule 301.4: “In open water and postal swims, the eligibility of a swimmer shall be determined by the age of the swimmer on December 31 of the year of competition, except for 18-year-olds, who must be 18 on the day that they swim.”) Therefore, each swimmer can only swim in one age group for the 2017 1Hour ePostal National Championship.”
Try my new-ish MP silicone dome race cap again: I bought one at LCM Nats this past summer, and wore it for the first time during my first of two 3Ks this past fall. I liked a lot of aspects about it, but knew then that I still needed to try it for shorter races, especially ones that include stroke, to see if it stays put before officially declaring it as my go-to race cap.
Accept that I need chocolate daily to function: I’m always tweaking my diet to improve my nutrition (the latest: fewer carbs to deal with the carb sensitivity that accompanies shifting into menopause), but after a few attempts to go cold turkey with chocolate, followed by epic fails, I’m not longer going to stress about having 2-4 squares of dark chocolate after every meal. As they say, “Life’s too short,” and the bulk of my diet is mostly produce, proteins, healthy fats, seeds and rice.
I’m celebrating my short course improvements: It’s no secret that I love LCM, especially outdoors. Which is fine, except for when it makes me approach indoor SCY training with a lackadaisical “I don’t care, I’m not a SCY swimmer” attitude. Thankfully, I’ve largely turned this around this past year. My turns and streamlines are improving, and I’ve cultivated the “it is what is it” mind set when it’s packed at SCY indoor practices. This means keeping my head down at all times rather than being on hyper alert to avert collisions, swimming the pace I need to push myself even if it means being lapped or lapping others, not fearing to switch to stroke when everyone else is swimming free, using fins for only one or two kick sets per week, and telling myself that getting up early and swimming no matter what happens is still better than not swimming at all. I also really appreciate all my teammates’ and coaches’ efforts to get me swimming beyond my limiting notions.
What’s ahead for 2017: Foremost, I’m hoping for a calmer year to achieve more consistency—simply staying well and having availability (both time and training facility access) to swim five times and lift three times/week most of the year. I’d like to compete more—I’ve already signed up for the 2017 Postal Swimtathlon League, and fingers crossed, would like to go to Short Course Nationals, get back to open water (it’s been years), try the 6K and 3K next fall (same age group, I promise!) and do some local age group meets (I dual-registered for 2017). Improving technique is never not a current goal for me—I remain focused on turns, starts, streamline position, back and breast, second kick in fly, best free catch/rotation. I’d love to read more “as told to” swim autobiographies (I reviewed six here in 2016), so I hope a slew of new titles come out in 2017. I’d like to step up my swim viewing by seeing the Santa Clara Arena Pro meet in person. Finally, I’d like to find more ways to give back to the sport that has given me so much.