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Sunday, April 12, 2015

On my hind legs

I competed in a masters swimming meet this morning, and swam a 200 yard butterfly in 2:17.3 seconds. Five years ago, at age 55, I swam the same event in 2:04.9. Granted, I was wearing a tech suit, but even without it, I would have been in the 2:06-high range, which means I'm roughly ten seconds slower now.

It's as if I compressed ten years worth of deterioration into five years.

Nevertheless, everyone congratulated me after my swim, as if I'd done something admirable. But there was a whole different feel to it. Five years ago, I still vaguely resembled a college swimmer -- if you squinted your eyes and didn't look too closely at the time.

Now, at age 60, people are applauding the old guy for simply finishing the race. Much in the same spirit that they would clap for a 4-year-old who can recite the alphabet. Or a dog that can walk on its hind legs.


dum da dum dum said...

you've been at this for how many years? the time might not be respectable but the time put it in is. people respect perseverance. have you ever considered coaching or officiating? if you can no longer get excited by your own times give yourself a stake in someone else's.

John Craig said...

Dum da dum dum --
Thank you, good suggestions for a normal person, but I'm afraid I'm a little too obsessive.

Steven said...

2:04 would have been the world record in 1970.

2:17 would have been the world record at the start of 1959.

That's pretty cool.

What was your masters world record in? And do you have any shot at getting another one?

John Craig said...

Steven --
Thank you but not, you're confusing yards with meters. The times I gave, if you check the post again were for yards.

I've held two masters WR's, both for the 200 meter short course fly. The first was in the 45-49 age group, set in 2000, my time was 2:16.8. (I'm no longer even top ten of all time in that age group.) The second was for the 55-59 age group, I went a 2:19.7. (That was broken in 2013, but is still the second fastest time of all time in that age group.) Keep in mind that these times are for short course, meaning, they were set in a 25 meter pool. The conversion factor for long court (the records you looked up) is roughly 3-4 seconds, meaning, you'd have to add 3 or 4 seconds to my times to get their equivalent in a 50 meter pool. (The 4 extra turns are an advantage.)

Steven said...

How far are you off the masters world record for your current age group?

Even if the answer is far, if you keep at it, perhaps at a later age group you'll hold a record again.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I tried for the 200 SCM fly record last year, and went a 2:31.5; the record is a 2:29.4. (( made two other attempt and could go only 2:32 in each of them.)

Yes, thanks, possibly, but I'm really feeling these days as if I've wasted too much time on this stuff. Also, keep in mind, "world record" sounds impressive, but we're talking about a "world" in which a total of maybe around 800 guys in my age group have ever swum the event.

Steven said...

How often do you swim and how long for?

Time to take it easier and enjoy your swimming?

John Craig said...

Steven --
I work out swimming maybe three times a week, for an hour or so. I'm not talking about stopping exercising, just competing. I'll always exercise, as long as I'm able.