The Diary of a NZ International Swimmer
Part 4 - Castellon - U.S.A
Our last stop in Europe was Castellon, a coastal Spanish town 3 hours south of Barcelona. Still travelling with the World Championship team, we did our final 2 weeks of training in the lead up to our major meet the US Open. The last few weeks of training before a big competition are perhaps the most important of any preparation. It’s where our training sessions get progressively easier to make sure we are nice and fresh for racing. We love taper. We stayed in an epic hotel not far from the pool and only 15 minutes to some of the warmest beaches in the world. We only spent a couple of days at the beaches however as this was a time to put our feet up and start thinking about racing.
We then separated from the World Championships team and began our own separate tour to the US Open in Irvine, U.S.A. This was our final stop on our epic 2 month tour and it was a chance for us to get stuck into some quality competition. We arrived 6 days before the competition started to allow us to adapt to the time zone and recover from the 15 hours worth of travel. We were lucky we didn’t leave it any later as it was only the day before competition where we started to feel good again. Travelling without any support staff we soon found ourselves having to think about things we wouldn’t usually have to. It resulted in us stopping our session, grabbing an IPhone, and walking up and down the pool in our speedos timing and cheering the other one on. We got some interesting looks from our fellow competitors and coaches.
The competition itself was very competitive, with the top swimmers competing at World Championship’s, the US Open had the next tier of athletes, many of whom had competed in last year’s Olympics. Both of us were blown away at the amount of depth the competition had. You could be first or 100th in the matter of a second or two. It didn’t leave much room for error. Our results were;
- 100 free- 55th in a 51.34
- 200 free- 8th in the B final in a 1.50.57
- 200 IM- 62nd in a 2.08.03
- 400 free- 1st in the B final in a 3.53.30
- 200 free- 3rd in the C final in a 1.50.37
- 800 free- 14th in a 8.08.48
They were solid results considering the level of competition and it topped off a successful campaign for both of us. We had to learn to compete under abnormal conditions and it was a massive learning curve for both of us. We thank Northern Arena for making it all possible; the support we received was sensational. Keep an eye out for both of us around teaching at Northern Arena and don’t be afraid to ask us about the life of an international swimmer, it’s a pretty good one.