Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Payne Center


I went to for my first Masters Swim practice Monday on campus at USM (The University of Southern Mississippi - where I just happened to have gone to school).  The natatorium is at The Payne Center....hmmmm... is that an omen? (The Pain Center?)  When I was in High School and swam for the Ocean Springs YMCA the State Swim Meet  was held on campus at the same pool.  It hasn’t changed much.  There was a fire at the complex in April and the pool just opened at the end of May so there weren’t any lane ropes yet.  They're on order.  It made for a slightly challenging swim – like open water swimming.  It was kind of fun….. kind of.  I only had my left hand bashed twice.   Not good because earlier that morning I smashed my pinky finger in the car door!

I haven’t had an opportunity to swim with a group since we lived in Texas where I swam with DAM – Dallas Aquatic Masters.   I think that was about 7 years ago. 

I got there later than I like for a practice – I knew where the natatorium was but the stupid GPS (turn left turn left turn left) directed me to the middle of campus, I should have just trusted what I knew.  Everyone was already in the pool getting some instruction from the coach.  I walked in and they all looked at me like I had two heads.  Then I saw someone I recognized from the past – Chris Boyd, a triathlete that used to manage a Champs Sporting Goods store across the way from the Victoria’s Secret that I ran in Cortana Mall in Baton Rouge, LA.  It was where I got my running shoes – I don’t remember exactly when it was but I do know that neon was popular.  Lets just say it was a long time ago. 

I got in what would be the second to the fastest lane with three other swimmers – all men.  The fast lane next to us had 4 swimmers – all men.  Where are all the women athletes????  I cued up 4th behind the other three guys in the lane.  One was James Daniel, he is also a blogger -PowerMultisport.  I found him on BeginnerTriathlete.com when I was scoping out the Mississippi Forums trying to find some local triathletes.

It was a decent swim. The coach is good and seems pretty nice too.  Since the summer Masters program has just started up the sets were shorter.  Good for me since I haven’t been in the water since my last race at White Lake.  The water was a little like swimming in a washing machine. 
Since I’ve been swimming alone for the past SEVEN years I’m hoping that this will get my swim fitness to a new level!   I’ll let you know.

p.s.  Went to my second swim with the group today, swam in the fast lane today.  The lane I was in yesterday was crowded.  This is going to be good!!!  I can’t wait to get back into real swim shape and see what I can do!

Tomorrow I'm planning on my first group ride - 5:45am!  Eeesh....that's early!