This year San Jose was the host city for the Pacific Masters Long Course Championships swim meet.
I've never competed at long course before, but with such a big event coming right to my backyard, how could I resist? It's been a good 7 years since I last showed up at any kind of Masters swim meet (representing the Chicago Smelts in Illinois in 2008, and throwing down my best 31 seconds of freestyle for a team relay, Go Smelts!)
Technically, I'm not a rookie, since I do have some 30 or 40 short course swim meets under my belt, but most of those are in the distant past, and in high school I was a very different type of athlete. I often made a point of letting my coaches know that I was only good for about a 50 yard effort ... Maybe 100 if you're lucky.
This was my high school swim team sign-up sheet. If you do the math, you can see my estimates for the distance events (200 & 500 yard swim) were pretty unambitious ...
I remember one high school meet where both teams were short, and with only 4 girls signed up for the 500 yard Freestyle, all I had to do was complete it, and I was guaranteed to score points for my team. Didn't have to be fast or pretty, but it might help my team secure a win!
I flat out refused.
Too much effort.
How's that for teamwork?
Well times have changed, and these days I'm a bit more enterprising, so I decided to Go Big or Go Home, and I signed up for the longest event they have: the 1500 meter freestyle! I'm an endurance athlete now.