This is a blog about swimming.
I started swimming competitively when I was 7 and continued through my first two years of college.
But then I drifted away from the sport - as many do who make it to the collegiate level. I swam Masters off-and-on through most of my 20s; but I felt no joy in doing so. Burnout leaves scars that can take years to heal.
Something changed last year: I discovered open water. It was a new challenge, and an interesting one. While I might never approach my times in the pool from my youth, the open water offers a blank slate.
Last fall I tried my first 5K - the famous Big Shoulders swim in Chicago. I had a good swim - but more important, I felt a thrill of challenge and purpose that I hadn’t for a long time. I was, in a word, motivated.
It’s early February now, and here in Columbus we’re still shoveling snow. Soon it will be spring, and the local swimming holes will thaw. In the meantime, I have a lot to look forward to this summer, and to motivate my laps:
I’m not sure what this blog will turn in to, and I’m not sure it matters. We shall see.
That is all.
The objective of the USMS One Hour Postal Championship is to swim as far as you can in 60 minutes, in your home pool, sometime during the month of January. Over 2,000 people are expected to participate in the “Hour of Power” this year. If you swim further than anyone else in your age group, you “win.”
Early Saturday morning, three intrepid Shark teammates and I commandeered a pair of lanes and embarked on a mind-numbing journey: an hour of nonstop swimming.
My final tally: 5,265 yards - just over 210 laps of a 25-yard pool. A teammate was kind enough to record my splits, which were as follows (per 100 yards):
I was pleased with this swim. I was able to sustain well under 1:10 per 100 yards (1:08.4, to be precise). My first 100 was a bit aggressive at 1:05.0, but I never broke above 1:10. I was 5:29 at 500 yards, 11:02 at 1000 yards, and 18:23 at the 1,650. Better still, I swam 145 yards further than 4x the distance of the 15-minute postal swim I did in December.
That pace, if maintained for a 10K, would put me right around 2:10. With a good taper behind me, that seems well within reach.