15 hundred…15 years later

It was my first time in a while. It was not like the first time, because after you have done it many times, you never forget how to do. 15 years passed. I have dreamed often of doing 15 hundred again when doing taekwondo and trying to lose some of the 30 kilograms that I gained during my graduate studies in Seoul, but I had never imagined that it would have really happened. Just to add a drop of romanticism: it happened in the same pool of the 1999 swimming world cup, the one that I watched in awe on tv. It happened in a masters’ meet more similar to a time trial event than an actual competition, but nevertheless I wanted to be ready for the a distance which was my distance. Lightly tapered and shaved. 24hrs carb load. Motivationally charged. And only one goal: the new national record for my age group.

I wanted to do things well. I knew with a good approximation when my turn was scheduled, so I could time my warm up quite well. Oh let’s say better than I usually do. It took about 40~45 minutes, 2.4 km:
600 fs
200 (50 fs/50 back)
200 fs (25 fast/25 easy)
5 × 100 fs @1’20” (in 1’09”)
200 fs easy
3 × 100 fs @1’15” (in 1’09”, I didn’t feel ready yet, I needed a little something more)
100 easy
100 fs fast (in 1’04” without much effort, at this point I felt I was ready)
200 easy (time to get out)
I had a hot shower, I got changed and then I still had 50 minutes to wait before my event. My ugg boots and my wool beanie, two great investments for the winter months, kept me warm until the race. Then, 20 minutes before the start I had 35gr of dextrose and 5gr of bcaa in 300ml of water. I don’t think I really needed this, but it was an experiment. And I think it worked at least for the race time.

Take your marks…go! I was going to do the first 100 fast, and that was exactly what I wanted. I know myself a bit by now: if I start fast then I just slow down a few seconds but I hold the pace. However when I try to pace from the beginning I start too slow and I am not able to increase speed later. So my strategy: flat out and hold it. My splits:
100m: 1’02″96
200m: 1’07″68 (2’10″62)
300m: 1’09″50
400m: 1’09″43 (4’29″42; this is .3 short of the State record for the 400m fs. It will be for the next time)
500m: 1’10″50
600m: 1’10″00
700m: 1’10″21 
800m: 1’10″48 (9’10″74; this is new WA State record for the 800m fs)
900m: 1’09″25
1000m: 1’09″60
1100m: 1’09″75
1200m: 1’09″30
1300m: 1’09″28
1400m: 1’08″89
1500m: 1’06″28 (17’13″09; and this is new National record masters 35!)
Mission cleared. Of course, I hope to do better the next time since I was clearly too slow in the middle 500. This is also an encouraging step toward my ultimate goal: swimming the Rottnest. Ah…15 years ago my 15 hundred best was 15’46”.

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