Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet Recap

Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet Recap

My friend and I thought it would be fun to do the Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet. I haven’t done a swim meet in a few months, and I haven’t been swimming much this summer. I try and get in at least 1-2x per week, but it’s hard because the base pool hours aren’t the easiest to get laps in. I knew it would be swift, but having fun was the point. The Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet is special because it’s a long course meet. I haven’t swam long course since 2010.

What is the difference between LCM and SYC? Long course meters (LCM) mean the pool is 50 meters long, whereas short course yards (SCY) mean the collection is 25 yards long. The long course is generally slower because of fewer flip turns.

I decided to sign up for the 1500 (also known as the pool mile), 400, 200, and 100 freestyle. I generally prefer distance freestyle, as I swam in college. Lately, my swimming has been what I like to call “grandma style.” I swim for an hour and don’t worry about doing sets or anything fast. I usually range in pace between 1:40-1:50 per 100 m, but right now slower because outdoors in the desert is windy, and there is a noticeable current in the base pool from the waterslide. So I don’t do anything of “speed.” My swimming right now is easy and relaxing.

Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet Recap

Before the Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet:

We headed down to Santa Barbara the evening before. It was probably a little later than we had hoped, but we arrived in Santa Barbara around 9 pm and fell asleep around 10 pm. We were up around 6 for the Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet, which started at 8:30. Because I was swimming the mile, I needed to be there around 7:30-7:45 to check-in. Usually the mile or distance events are first or sometimes a separate session altogether. No one wants to sit around for 5, 30-minute heats, of the mile.

Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet:

After we arrived, we checked in. I didn’t know if I would be in the first or second heat of the mile. It affected my race because if I were in the first event’s first heat, I would swim when the meet started at 8:30. If I was in the second heat, it would be around 9. Finally, around 8:20, I discovered I would be in the second heat. I did a 500 warmup to get the feel of the long course. I haven’t swum a long period in a very long time (maybe 10-15 years), and it feels very different from the short course. The pool is twice as long. I got about halfway, and I was like, oh no, this is a very long way to go. The pool was on the warmer side, which is not great for longer events.

1500 meters:

Usually, the mile is my event. When we dove off the blocks, it knocked my goggles slightly loose. Not all of the way but still not desirable. You don’t stop; you just kind of deal with it. There wasn’t too much water in them and little did I know that would be the least of my problems.

Unrelated, I forgot how much hair product I put in my hair the previous day. It was a poor decision, and my cap nearly came off a few times. I took the race out slightly faster than I should have. For the most part, I found myself swimming alone. The meet was small, and the heat was spread out in times ranging from 21 minutes to 26.

The pool mile is similar to the 5k for running, so it would be like competing against six other people all running completely different paces. It felt hard to stay focused, and around halfway, I wondered: would I make it? I haven’t swum in a pool mile in a while. My cap was loose, which is more annoying than anything. I averaged about 1:36 per 100, which wasn’t too terrible per lap. After the race, I also bought a new latex swim cap that wouldn’t fall off for the rest of the meet. The mile tired me out because I hadn’t swum that long or fast in quite some time.  Lucky for me, I had many more events.

Between the events, I swam a 500 free in the cooldown lanes. You must cool down so your muscles feel better for the next event. Even floating a 500, my arms felt sore, and I knew it would affect the rest of my races. I’m glad I did because I would have felt worse if I didn’t.

Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet Recap

200 meters:

The 200 is generally considered one of the most challenging races out there. Like the track 800, you are sprinting the entire time. When I got to the blocks, I was tired and didn’t feel great (that’s what happens after the mile). I told myself I would take the first 100 “easy” and try and build on the second. I swam a pace at what felt comfortable. I swam the first 100 in 1:24 and tried to make as much on that as possible, which didn’t happen. I swam a 1:28 second half, and it ended up being a sprint against myself and another guy. I ended up losing by .12 seconds, but I did finish strong and was happy with that. I would probably say the 200 was my event of the day.

100 meters:

I was not feeling swimming the 100 at all. I’m not a sprinter, but I decided to add it to my events because why not. When I dove in, I knew my body had nothing fast. I tried hard but probably took the first 50 out quickly. I had a lousy flip turn (most nonswimmers would say it looked great), but I didn’t get a great push off the wall, which cost me at least a second. (and you have no room for error in sprint events). I finished in 1:25, which is comical, considering my first 100 of the 200 was faster.

400 meters:

After a full day of swimming, I was unsure how the 400 would go. In a short-course yards pool, we swim the 500 instead. The 500 feels significantly longer with more flip turns. It feels like a distance event. The 400 in a long course pool felt like a sprinting event. You don’t even get lap counters! After a full day of swimming, I wasn’t sure how my last event would go. As I dove in, I realized I didn’t “feel that bad.” My splits were 1:28, 1:34, 1:35, and 1:30. The final lap was my neck and neck with someone else, and we both sprinted as hard as possible. Or maybe I knew it was my last hard lap in a while. I finished at 6:08, which is honestly faster than I anticipated.

Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet:

I had a great time at the Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet and would do it again. I am proud of my efforts. I haven’t been doing any sets, just swimming a few laps when I have the time after work. I’ll likely pick up swimming more in the fall when the indoor pool is back open.

Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet Recap me

You can see Strava here and more race recaps here.

Questions for you:

Have you done the Semana Nautica Masters LCM Swim Meet?

Do you enjoy long courses?



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