In late November we headed back to Gijón, Asturias for the Campeonato Nacional de Piscina Corta (National Short Course Meet). I have grown to love this pool, which has now been the site of multiple national meets over the course of my career in Spain. As I have mentioned before, this is not a trials and finals meet, but rather a timed final meet. You only get one shot at swimming each event, which sometimes can be added pressure. However, since my season revolves around long course meters, we used this as an opportunity to work on turns and other crucial aspects of racing. I was proud that I was able to race well, and come close to if not beat my lifetime bests from last year’s rested meet.
I think my favorite memory from the meet comes from the 200 medley relay. Three of my teammates, Blanca, Nadia and I were waiting in the ready room. Our fourth leg had just swum the 400 IM and was, so we believed coming, right back to the ready room. As the minutes passed, she was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, I was able to get one of the boys on the team to look for her. And a manhunt began. By the time they paraded our heat out onto deck, there was still no sign of her, and by all accounts it appeared as if we would not swim the race. Just as they blew the first whistles for the event, in she comes running, without her cap or goggles on, and without the straps of her suit in place. She jumped in the water, and much to our display had everything in place, and was the fastest swimmer in the heat (This is quite a feat, since most suits are so tight it is impossible to put the straps on without a teammates help). I have no idea in what place overall we finished, but we did win our heat. I was so impressed that we as a team were able to not let the circumstances bother us and swim lights out. Besides, these experiences make for the best stories!