This weekend was Distance Day at New England Masters Short Course Champs held at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool.
Distance Day is the weekend before the meet officially starts and they only hold two events the 1000 free and the 1650.
I wrestled a bit with whether or not to enter as the 1650 is a bit torturous! Ultimately, I entered for two reasons. First the day was in honor of Frank Wuest a legend in the Boston swimming world and a great guy. Unfortunately, he died in an open water event a couple summers ago. Any swimmer who negative splits their race a donation would be made in Frank’s name to his charity. Second, Distance Day was on my birthday! Why not celebrate my 55th and aging up to a new age group with some-pain and suffering!
It was a long afternoon as I had to check in by 1:00pm and I didn’t swim until 4:30pm. I had no idea how fast I would go so I seeded myself at 22 minutes. With that seed time it put in heat 4, lane 5.
I was a bit nervous as I hadn’t raced a 1650 for decades. It’s a strategic swim and I have a tendency to get to excited and go out too fast. My plan was to swim long and smooth for 900 yards and then begin to pick it up to hopefully negative split-for Frank.
My pacing felt pretty good for the most part up until about 400 or 500 yards to go and then…it was a suffer fest. Looking at the splits you could clearly see the drop off.
At the end of the day I finished with a 21:28.85 faster than my seed time and got 3rd in my new age group! Looking forward to swimming my next 1650 a bit more strategically.
I didn’t negative split for Frank but I sure thought about him.
Post swim it was off to dinner with Shannon and Courtney to celebrate.
A fun and different way to celebrate my birthday-a good day!