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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 One Hour Postal Swim Meet

Every year in January, US Masters Swimming hosts a One Hour Postal Swim Meet.  The objective of the meet is to swim as far as you can in one hour.  It is a national event in that anyone can compete from wherever they want.  You have the entire month of January to swim and submit your results. 

I'm really lucky that our Masters club get together to swim the One Hour swim together.  This year the meet was on Saturday and it kicked off bright and early at 5:30 AM with registration.  I'm not a morning person so this is always one of the most challenging aspects of the meet.  We hold two heats and most people swim a heat and count a heat.  Each swimmer should have a counter and that person is responsible for keeping track of the swimmer's lap splits and distance. 
3rd from the left and I'm getting some last minute coaching from Carie.

My friend Carie offered to count for me again this year.  She is a great friend and she always coaches our Sunday Funday workouts.  My friend Lori and I shared a lane and lined up in the lane next to our friend Brent.  This year was the first time that we filled the pool and had to send people to the 2nd pool.  Pretty impressive turnout with 50 swimmers!!!
Our awesome club President Jeff Spencer kicking off the meet

The first heat of swimmers got started at 6 AM.  Carie and I had agreed that she would tell me when I hit the half way point and also when I had 10 minutes remaining.  My goal this year was to hit the 2 mile mark.  As we got the one minute warming for the start time I slowly lowered myself into the water...it was soooo cold. 
Ready, Set, Go!

As we got started it took me a few laps to feel like I was settled into a pace.  I decided to count laps by counting up to 10 (500yds) and then starting over.  I thought this would help me stay focused and see if I was on pace at the halfway point.  It also helped me to keep track of just how much time I had left after passing the halfway point.  Swimming for an hour non-stop can get a little boring so anything to keep your mind off of it is great. 

At the 30 minute mark I had already made it past the one mile mark and figured I had a cushion of about 50-100 yds.  I couldn't give up my focus or pace.  At the 10 minute warning, I knew that I could easily swim 500yds in the time remaining and that I was going to make my goal.  In the midst of this time, I came upon Lori stopped in our lane.  Right as I passed it she started swimming again.  Turns out someone decided to blow a 5 minute warning whistle and she thought it meant our hour was up.  She wasn't happy about it because it cost her 10-15 yds while she tried to figure out if it was over or not. 
Lori and I after we finished. 

The final minute went by quickly and when the whistle went off I was in the middle of the pool.  My official distance was 3440 yds.  The first thing I did when we were finished was swim down to the bottom of the pool and retrieve a dive toy that had been resting on our lane line the entire swim.  Then I confirmed with Carie that I hit my goal and had a celebratory cooldown.  It was so awesome to do some back and breast stroke since all I swam for the hour was freestyle.  My muscles were ready for something different. 
Arkansas Masters 2012 One Hour Swim

After the cooldown, all the participants gathered together for a group picture and then it was time for the 2nd heat to get started.  Carie had a friend counting for her that is just getting into swimming.  She was curious about the meet but a little scared so counting was a good introduction into what the meet is all about.  Brent, Lori, and I took over the hot tub and enjoyed a nice soak before cheering on our friends during their heat. 

I think the top distance swam was 4800 yds and there were quite a few in the 4000+ range including Lori and Brent.  This was my third year to do the one hour swim and in that time I have added 500 yds to my hour distance.  As one friend said, I can now report that I swim at 2 mph!

Photos taken by Daniel McGurk.

2 comments:

  1. Great job! You are a fast swimmer!

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  2. As I read this I was remembering how much I love to swim! An hour swim sounds like heaven; getting lost in your thoughts. I used to sing a lot during the long distance swims and wondering if you do that, too?

    Good job Whitney!!

    Lyndi

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