July 29, 2000. We're about 11 days from the start of the Olympic Trials; actually 10 days from the start of Olympic Trials, 11 days from my first event. This morning I started my taper. I'm really excited about that. Mark (Schubert, Lenny's coach) and I have decided that I needed to taper only 10 days for this meet because, in the bigger picture, the main goal is the Olympic Games. So we felt that we could just come in here on a 10-day taper and swim well enough to qualify for the team to go to Sydney. And then just focus all my training, as well as a bigger taper, for the next five weeks after that.
I definitely have some mixed emotions about that, especially because at Janet Evans (one of the Cadillac Grand Prix Series meets, held in Los Angeles) two weeks ago I didn't swim that good of a 200 and I felt like I needed more rest because I have been training really hard this whole year. And I was a little bit concerned when I first sat down with Mark and talked about my taper. But we decided 10 days would be good. I came off weights about four days ago and my body's definitely coming around. I'm starting to feel a lot better.
Today we had workout this morning. I did a broken 200 backstroke broken at 100 and I went 1:54.7, so I was really excited about that. I think I'm right where I need to be. That's as fast as I've ever been in training and very impressive. Going into that swim I was thinking 1:57, 1:58 would be right where I needed to be. But going 1:54.7 I just absolutely shocked myself. I'm really excited for the next 10 days coming up about taper, about the whole Olympic Trials. I think it's going to be a great experience.
I know four years ago I was still a kid. I didn't understand a lot about Olympic Trials and the magnitude of the meet. I also didn't know a lot of people around the swimming community. Now I'm coming in as a veteran, you can say. I've been in the international arena for the past three years. And coming in as a world record holder definitely favored to make the team, there's going to be a bit of pressure on me. But I've always liked having pressure and I like performing under pressure, so I think this meet is really going to prepare me well for the Olympic Games coming up in 35 days after Trials.
I've been waiting for this for a very long time. I've been really excited for the past few months just thinking about the week of the Olympic Trials as well as time spent with the national team after that. Although I don't want to look ahead, I still feel like this is going to be a very exciting time and I really, really look forward to it.
Today is Aug. 5, Saturday, I am 5 days away from my first swim, the 100 backstroke. We leave tomorrow for Indianapolis; we get to Indy Sunday afternoon and then I think I have 3-1/2 days before I get going for my first race. This past week I've pretty much started to taper, going down easy from 5,000 down to right now we're going about 3,000. Had another quality day on Wednesday. I went another broken 200 and again had a very solid swim. I'm very happy with that. I definitely feel like my body's coming around. Today I felt a bit sluggish, but I think right now I'm in transition at taper time. It's a natural feeling I usually get a few times during my taper. But I'm really excited.
I feel like I'm right where I need to be at this stage and really looking forward to getting to Indy and kind of enjoying the hype of Olympic Trials. I know there's going to be a lot of media attention down there and it's going to be fun. I don't think I've ever been in a situation like this before. And I'm really looking forward to embracing it.
I'm also really excited about our whole Trojan Swim Club team. I think we've done a really good job this summer and I hope we can get as many people as possible on the Olympic squad. So it's going to be a very exciting 11 days. I obviously can't wait till the trials start and anticipate watching every single event because there really aren't any favorites to win a certain event. There's going to be a lot of very close races and it'll be interesting who makes it and who doesnÕt make it. I know there's going to be some upsetsÑsome people are gonna make it, some people that are expected to make it won't make it. But it's going to be a fun time and I hope I'm going to enjoy it and not stress out too much. I don't think I will, because IÕm kinda used to big meets by now. Just enjoy it! I think that's the most important thing and that's what I look forward to the most.