Friday, February 27, 2015

Developing a “Habit” at Senior State

Over our winter break, which wasn’t really a winter break at all since there was no snow *insert crying emoji here*, my team and I travelled to St. George for the 2015 Utah Senior Championships. This meet is a prelims and finals meet, and since it takes place at a lower altitude, your times are often faster due to the difference in atmospheric pressure. This year, not only did I swim well, but I also indulged in amazing junk food.

The car ride down was over four hours, but I made sure to keep myself busy by snacking on Mott’s Medley fruit snacks. Out of all the pouches that I devoured, only two contained my favorite carrot ones, which was very depressing. On Thursday night, I swam the mile for the first time this season and ended up dropping fifty three seconds. During all eighteen minutes and seven seconds of swimming back and forth, I was only thinking about a four letter word, food. For dinner, I went to this burger joint called The Habit, and ordered a double charburger with no tomato and a side of french fries. This meal totaled just a small 1080 calories. Little did I know that I would eat at The Habit four times within the next forty eight hours, which is quite a feat if you ask me.

Then came Friday morning, where I swam the 200 freestyle and 400 individual medley. After prelims, can you guess where I went to lunch? The Habit. Except, this time I ordered a chicken caesar salad with french fries. Nearby The Habit, there is a smoothie bar called The Orange Peel. They make dairy free smoothies and bubble tea. I always order the Orange Cream Dream (OCD), which is super funny because it toats matches my personality.

Can you tell that I really like these smoothies?
After finals on Friday night, I went to dinner at a new place, just kidding, The Habit. I was in need of major carbs, so I got a chicken sandwich with french fries. If you haven’t caught on, I kinda like french fries. Following a much needed beauty rest, I competed in the 500 freestyle, 100 freestyle, and 200 back at morning and night. The early session was followed by a meal at The Habit, a chicken caesar salad with french fries, but my mom and sister were tired of going to the same restaurant over and over again, so we went to Olive Garden Saturday night. Really?

The meet was finally over, it felt like it took weeks. There was an athlete party after Saturday finals that included a DJ and foam cannon, but I didn’t go. My friend Blaire went, but she was disappointed because the foam cannon wasn’t up to her standards. It is difficult to go back to school after a break, but it is not hard to go back to swimming. I am always eager to dive into a pool, even if it has an insanely high amount of chlorine like my team’s recently, and learn how to improve. 

That is all that I have for y’all today! Be sure to check back for more posts and comment below on your favorite places to eat at meets. Remember, I will give a follow for a follow! Thank you for reading!

XOXO

Siena

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Swimming Through High School State

Last weekend, I had my very first high school state meet! Going into the competition, I really didn’t know what to expect. My coach had told me prior to the meet that it was different environment, especially since it was not prelims and finals. All high school state meets are held at Brigham Young University (BYU), and even after renovation, the pool is still hideous. But that is okay, because all you need is a lane, right? One thing is for sure, I had never felt more pressure during a race in my entire life. 

Early in the morning, we went to our pool to warmup before going down to BYU, where we would warmup yet again. Just, at BYU, it was a lot more crowded. On the first day, my only event was the 200 Freestyle. Even after I finished swimming, which wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, my hands were still trembling. I was disappointed with my results, but I realized that I needed to put that event in my past, and focus on my next three races. After two hours inside a sweaty natatorium, it was time for the most important meal, dinner. As y’all know from my previous posts, I am a food junkie, so I went to JCW’s and ordered a six (yes, you heard it right, six) piece chicken tender meal with fries and an Oreo shake. Later, I collapsed on my bed for a much needed good night sleep.

Warmup at BYU
Even earlier in the morning, we started warmup again for the second day. I felt less stressed, mainly because it gets easier after you have raced once. My events were the 500 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle Relay, and 400 Freestyle Relay. In the 500 Freestyle, I got a best time, and my team went one-two-three-four on the podium. In the 200 and 400 Freestyle Relays, everyone on my “squad” had amazing splits and we broke the 3A state records.

My Relay at Podium
Photo Courtesy of: The Salt Lake Tribune 
My 400 Freestyle Relay Squad
The girls team ended up scoring the most points in Utah high school swimming history, and both the PCHS girls and boys teams were state champions. A celebratory jump into the dive tank with all five of our coaches marked the end of this meet. On the bus ride back up to PC, we stopped at the Brick Oven for linner - a mix of both lunch and dinner - where I stuffed myself with any crumb that was within reach.

Now that high school swimming is over (yea!), I am ready to get back to club practice and those good old distance sets. For the next season, I hope to perform better by learning to keep calm before diving into the chlorine. If you would like to find out more information on this competition, the Salt Lake Tribune, Park Record, and Deseret News wrote articles, or results can be found here

I would like to give a shoutout to all 19 of my page-views from France and 15 page-views from India. If you guys want to be notified when I publish another post, be sure to become one of my loyal followers :). Later this week, I will be talking ‘bout senior state, so please stay tuned!

XOXO

Siena

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Region Reflection and Taper Time

Hey guys! Sorry, it has been a while since I last posted, but I’ve been extremely busy with high school swimming. I don’t think that I have mentioned anything about high school swimming in my previous posts, mainly because I don’t like it, but we recently attended Region X Championships. The meet has a really fancy name, but only three teams attended since we live in a wee little region. 

To get everyone all psyched up, we had a team hair and tie dying party along with a dinner. I got a strip of my hair dyed red, even though it barely showed up and immediately came off in the pool the next day, which was pointless. Our team colors are black, red, and white, but somehow the black tie dye ended up looking more like blue. I had never tie dyed before, and lets just say that I do not see a professional tie dying career in my future. My shirt was pretty much all red, with a small dot of “black” here and there. At school the next day, our team looked like we went to war because our hands were red and our shirts were not the prettiest.

Finally, it was time to swim! My coach, Mike, had set some goals for the meet, and they were quite lofty if I might say so myself. He wanted us to win every single solitary event. That is sure a good way to create a stress and nerve free environment, *cough cough* not. Everyone ended up swimming really well, and we went one-two-three in a couple events. The only race that we lost was the Men’s 100 Butterfly. After twenty two events, I think that is kinda a major accomplishment, but Mike, being his usual self, still wasn’t one-hundred percent satisfied. I guess the lesson learned is that there is always room for improvement.

Accepting my medal from this jolly fella
Now comes the sometimes glorious yet frustrating time of year, taper. During taper, your yardage is supposed to be dropped for your body to recover and rest to prepare for optimal performance. For most swimmers, taper is seen as a excuse for everything. Often one jokes about not having to walk up the stairs or getting up from the couch to get food because of the fear that it will ruin their taper. This is why I got in little bit, okay maybe a lot, of trouble when I confessed to my coach about hitting the slopes. My question is, how can one hour of riding chairlifts and skiing through slush (Shoutout to Mother Nature) do any harm to the body?

At Park City, we do taper differently. There is this set called pace. Throughout pace, you have a goal time that you are expected to meet for each distance depending on your personal best in that race. Mike often jokes that if you can talk in between rounds or haven’t thrown up, that you are not going fast enough. Pace is one of the hardest workouts, but it is also the most rewarding. By sprinting with perfect technique, we are mimicking both race quality and race speed.

That is all that I have for y’all today! Be sure to comment below on how your high school season went and how you taper. Thank you for reading and check back soon for a post on 3A state! 

XOXO

Siena