A Day in the Life: Sarah Groff-Palermo, Day 2

NEW YORK, New York, March 22. IN the second entry of her "A Day in the Life" series, New York Masters swimmer Sarah Groff-Palermo writes about the anticipation of New Englands.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007, Day 2
Day two began like day one at 5.30. We swim at two pools in Manhattan and this morning's practice was at the far pool, so I had to hurry.

Luckily, practice at the far pool–about 40 minutes on the subway–starts 15 minutes later than practice at the close pool, so I don't have to wake up any earlier.

Today was the last day to swim before the meet because we don't have morning practice on Thursdays, so it was very chill. A long warmup, four quick sprints, then more work on our starts. The warmup was a varation on the popular meet warmup:

500 swim
400 pull
300 kick + swim + kick
200 IM drill
100 double-arm back

The 500 felt good, which is totally awesome since I will be racing my first ever 500 in something like 36 hours. One of the reasons New Englands is such a fun meet is that it's three days and you can swim four events a day (there are only finals, no prelims). Usually Masters meets are only about six hours, so back-to-back events can be impossible, and you don't want to swim more than three or four. This weekend is an opportunity to experiment and swim fast. Last year I would have been terrified to swim a 500, but our head coach, a former 400 IMer has whipped us wimpy sprinters into shape. I might as well test out the results of all that hurt!

As much as our head coach pushes, our teammates help. Today I put in some more work in on my tragic starts with help from another coach and fellow swimmer. Apparently there are eight things I do wrong, but just covered four. He also cheered me up about my blossoming cough by recounting Karate Kid and regaling me with tales of swimming fast with thousand-degree fevers. (He shall remain nameless so his head doesn't get too big and ruin his body position!)

After that it was back to work, where I finished hard (plus a little
late) and got out of going in tomorrow morning. This way I can rest up and be as ready as possible. Once I got home, I bagged up my contribution to our team effort: many many chocolate-chip cookies. I hear they promote recovery after swimming the 500. Then a healthy dinner of rice and veggies, so much orange juice I look jaundiced, and just enough chocolate (in bar form instead of cookie).

Now that I have used up my daily allotment of parentheses, it is time to sign off and think calming thoughts about my preparation, my races and all the times I have felt sick and gone fast anyway. (As I am not the most optimistic person in the pool–and very often the least–this is much harder work than it sounds. Fortunately my ever-helpful teammates are on this too!)

Tomorrow we will cover the JFK airport decathlon and the ever-important MP3 playlist preparation. Thanks for reading again.

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