It’s always a little more difficult to write about disappointing swim meets. Words tend to come to mind a lot easier when writing about positive experiences rather than negative ones. I believe that with anything in life, it is important to accept what happened and look forward.
I swam at the 2011 short course European Champs in Szczecin, Poland, from 8. – 11. December. I was super excited to see my teammates again and represent my country. We arrived 2 days before the start of the meet and I was pumped up from the beginning. I was to swim the 100m, 200m, 400m Freestyle and a couple of relays at these championships. First up was the 400m Freestyle and the 200 medley relay. In the preliminary session I touched the wall in 3:42.47 and qualified 4th going into finals. I felt great during this race and looked forward to a great final with my Los Angeles teammate Mads Glæesner (Denmark), who was the top qualifier. I swam next to reigning world champion Paul Biedermann (Germany) in the final and felt smooth throughout the race. I touched in 5th with a textile best of 3:41.25. This swim gave me confidence for my endurance in the 200m free, which was 3 days later. First though, I had the 100m freestyle which to me served as a speed tune up for the big race ahead still. With a 48.94 I was slightly disappointed with my time, but knew that I hadn’t worked on much speed the last 3 months. My main focus has been my endurance so that I can close races better.
On the day of the 200m free I found myself nervous beyond belief. Was it because I had high expectations of myself? Maybe. Was it because I hadn’t raced short course in over a year? Possibly. Was it because I didn’t know what I was doing? Possible. I cannot explain why I was so nervous I almost threw up before my race. What I can explain, is why I didn’t swim my own race. I didn’t swim my own race because I was scared. I was scared of losing. I was scared of not achieving my goals. Throughout the competition I told my fellow teammates to not be scared of attacking races and swimming from the front. I told them to have confidence in themselves and believe in their training. They had worked just as hard as anyone else in their races. I touched in a disappointing 10th place over one second slower than prelims. Bummer.
Straight after European Champs I flew to Atlanta, Georgia, to take part in the Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool. This was a very special competition for me as I wasn’t only representing Switzerland but rather whole of Europe. The format of the competition was USA vs. Europe. 4 swimmers from each team race against each other, with the winner earning 5 points, runner up 3 points and the 3rd place 1 point, for their team. The atmosphere was amazing. The stands were packed and the event was broadcast live on US television. Unfortunately I wasn’t at my best with times of 3:45.88 (400m free) and 1:45.89 (200m free). I was disappointed that I couldn’t show my best, especially at a prestigious event like that.
When I don’t do as well as I want to, I like to look for inspiration to get me back on my feet. I didn’t have to wait long. I watched my beautiful GF Jessica have a great meet with personal best times every time she swam (she won the 100m breast in a “textile” WR). She was so positive throughout the competition when she knew I wasn’t at my best. I am extremely lucky to have her in my life. Jess’ parents and my mom and Aunt also came to Atlanta to cheer us on. I want to thank both Jess’ parents and my family for always being there for me through thick and thin.
With 217 days until the Olympics I am surrounded by love and positive people. I’m ready for 2012. Let the New Year begin :)
Happy Holidays from a very cold Switzerland
- Wie läuft die Vorbereitung auf die SM/EM? Ziele?
Die EM Vorbereitung verlief bisher gut. Ich hatte eine gute Aufbauphase mit 3 Monaten konstantem Training. Ich freu mich nach langen intensiven Trainings wieder einmal international zu schwimmen.
Meine Ziele sind es meine Zeiten vom Vorjahr zu verbessern. Im Hinterkopf werde ich aber die Olympiade in London 2012 haben. Die EM ist einen Schritt näher nach London.
- Wo stehst du im Hinblick auf London 2012?
Wie schon erwähnt ist diese Saison London gewidmet. Alles was dazwischen kommt ist Übung für das grosse Ziel. Ich fühle mich fit und freu mich natürlich die Schweiz repräsentieren zu dürfen.
- Wie fühlst du dich mental/physisch?
Da ich seit der WM in Shanghai nur einen Wettkampf bestritten habe weiss ich nicht wie ich mental stehe im Wettkampf. Ich weiss aber was im Training geleistet habe, und ich freu mich dies zu zeigen.
Auf Twitter bin ich auf twitter.com/SwissDom zu finden.
Jessica und ich haben vor einem Monat einen Hund adoptiert. Sie heisst „Stevie“.
The Minneapolis Grand Prix was a success.. It was a fun racing again and getting out of my training routine. With my times of 1:49.44 (200m Free) and 3:55.21 (400m Free), I got a sense of where I am in my training. Everything looks to be on track with London looming in only 240 days. The way I split my races show evidence of my training, as I wasn’t able to take out my races as aggressively as I am perhaps accustomed to. Next stop is Los Angeles for a few weeks before heading home end of November to prepare for SC Europeans. Can’t wait!!
Time has flown by. In my previous post I mentioned the Minneapolis Grand Prix. The time has finally come to race. This will be the first competition for me in the 2011-2012 Olympic season. I'm excited to see what I can do in heavy training. Most of all though, I'm excited to do what I love most: travel. It's been a while since I've travelled for a competition.
Please click HERE for a link to live feed, results and more information.