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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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Back Up Pool

About one month ago I received a very cryptic email at work.  The email went to all employees and simply stated that our corporate gym would be closing early for the day and that all of the fitness facilities would be closed and classes would be cancelled for the evening.  It was all very strange and I messaged one of my friends a cheeky joke "I wonder who pooped in the pool!"

Turns out I wasn't that far off...it was the pool that caused the gym to close but sadly it wasn't a bio hazard closure.  There had been a fire in the maintenance room and the pool heater or filter had caught fire.  Luckily no one was hurt and the gym was evacuated.  Not so lucky was the pool...we are now going on one month in the back up pool.  There have been some challenges with the needed parts to fix the pool and they are also adding a hot tub to that pool that is ADA approved. 

The back up pool is something that we are super lucky and blessed to have but it has definitely presented some challenges.  We went from a 10 lane 25 yard pool to a 6 lane 25 meter pool.  The pool was crowded before and there are times now when it is pretty packed. Everyone is learning how to share lanes!  The pool is also a lot darker - it feels like a cave, the water is kept at a warmer temp and for some reason it is cloudier and it has a different chemical smell/taste to it.  The pool is also really choppy which is really noticeable when multiple people are swimming butterfly!
The back up pool...
The regular pool...oh how I miss her cool waters!

Switching from yards to meters has been challenging.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the times and that little extra bit of distance and have to convert the times back to yards to figure out why the workout was so challenging.  One thing that I have liked has been getting a little extra distance in per day. I aim to swim 1800 whether meters or yards I don't care as long as I get in 1800 for the day! The other challenge for me has been trying to focus on stroke swimming.  The little extra distance to go from yards to meters really makes a difference when swimming fly for sure.  It should feel so much easier when we switch back to the regular pool!

Today's workout was quick and incorporated some of our traditional lunch swim elements.  First up was a warm up.  I did a 400 m free swim followed by 250m of drills.  I swim drills in 75m increments as drill, free, drill by stroke.  The main set began with a 500 m ladder.  The ladder is 25 fly, 50 back, 75 fly/back/breast, 100 IM, 100 free, 75 fly/back/breast, 50 back, 25 fly.  I have to make some changes in order to keep up with my workout buddies so I add some free to some of the distances so that I don't fall too far behind.

We followed up the ladder with a pull interval.  The guys swam 300m pull while I did 250m pull.  Then we moved on to a challenging set of over/unders.  I have talked about these before and they are extra challenging in this pool.  One - there is not a line at the halfway mark to help you gauge distance.  Two - the pool is not as deep and just feels slower! We did 4 repeats...you put on fins, take a giant big breath, and then you swim under water the length of the pool without taking a breath.  Once you hit the wall you swim over water, usually back stroke, for recovery.  I swim with my arms in streamline doing a flutter kick.  Some people swim dolphin kick and some have done underwater breast stroke before too.  You find what works for you and use breath control to cover the distance. 

We finished up the workout with 4 x 50m of stroke/free intervals.  I swam the intervals as all free and tried to increase my pace on each one.  On the third interval, my lane mate figured out that I was racing him and beat me to the wall just barely.  I was so bummed since I tried super hard to sprint through to the end of the interval.  I know I worked hard since I was still sweating even after showering and getting in the car to head back to the office!

Overall, the back up pool presents new challenges to our workouts.  The biggest disruption is that we are missing out on hot tub time each Sunday.  Overall, though I am really happy that the gym has been able to modify the schedule and maintain lap swimming hours as well as swim lessons and water aerobics.  It's impressive that they were able to combine the activities of two pools into one but I will be excited when the regular pool is back in working order!

In other swimming news, I hit my goal on Friday for the Nike Go the Distance Challenge.  I have completed 150 miles of swimming so far this year! I'm hoping I can make it to 200 miles for the year with the November and December miles. 


  1. You continue to impress me. Congrats on making your Nike Go The Distance Challenge!!


  2. That is a lot of miles! Congrats.

  3. I was wondering how you were getting by without Pool 1. I stopped going to swim lessons because Pool 2 is so crowded. I hope Pool 1 opens up again soon. I've completely stopped swimming, and I miss it! Good for you for powering through!