Another Friday, another long-ass postal swim at the UIC Natatorium. This time, for 10K: 200 laps of a 50-meter pool.
The 10K Postal Swim is as much a psychological challenge as physical. Even 5K is a pretty brutal distance to do as a straight pool swim. For the 10K, you do the 5K… and you’re only halfway done. So it may very well be the single toughest USMS-sanctioned event – except perhaps for the biennial open-water 25K.
I was joined by fellow distance freak Amanda Hunt, which made for less lonely laps. Heidi K. from the Smelts and my favorite U-Chicago professor were also on deck, as lap counters – which I’m told on good authority is a similarly mind-numbing experience.
See background post below, or here.
- What: 5,000 long-course meters – for time
- When: Friday, August 27, 2010. 5:45pm CDT
- Where: Flames Natatorium, University of Illinois-Chicago
- Why: Why not?
- Training context: Monday, 4900 LCM; Tuesday, 5600 LCM; Wednesday, 4100 LCM; Thursday, 2800 SCY; Friday morning, 1 mile open-water
- Gear (for any doubting Thomases out there – haha): FINIS racing jammer, silicone cap, swedish goggles
- Goal Time: 1:06:40 (1:20 per 100m)
Final time: 1:05:26 (pace of 1:18.5).
Here’s how I did it:
- By 500′s: 6:23.9, 6:25.7, 6:28.3, 6:31.2, 6:32.0, 6:32.7, 6:33.9, 6:32.7, 6:31.7
- By 1000′s: 12:49.7, 12:59.5, 13:04.7, 13:06.1, 13:04.4
- Through the first 1500m:
- 100: 1:14.1
- 200: 2:31.0
- 400: 5:06.4
- 800: 10:15.7
- 1500: 19:18.0
Note: To get a clearer picture of my actual pace through the swim, these splits are adjusted for the 3 Gatorade breaks I took at 1500m, 3000m, and 4000m.…
As my former Sharks teammates know, I attempted the USMS 5K Postal Championship (5,000 long-course meters for time, in your home pool, between 5/15 and 9/15) back on June 27, two days before my wife and I moved from Columbus to Chicago. For various reasons, it didn’t work out too well. Both mentally and physically, I just didn’t have it that day. I was distracted and anxious about the move; I had been packing and lifting boxes all week; and for whatever reason (self-sabotage, probably), I thought it’d be good idea to do a “warm-up set” of 5×1000 LCM the day before.
In any case, I ended up with a 1:07:32 that day (pace of 1:21.0 per 100m) – not altogether terrible, but I knew I had a better swim in me.…
The results from the first USMS Long Distance Championship of the year – the 1 Hour Postal Swim – are now up. I placed 9th of 77 among men age 25-29. It was a competitive year – my 5,265 yards would have placed 4th last year.
Somewhat annoyingly, I got beat by 35 yards or less by 3 guys. Even worse, I would have placed 4th among men 30-34 – an age group I joined less than 2 weeks after the swim.
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).…