Thursday, March 10, 2011

Holy New Gym Batman!

This post should really be about the first swim of the season, which I did this morning.  Instead of renewing my membership at the UNF pool, which is what I used last year, I decided to give the local Y a try.  They open earlier, plus I could take advantage of the location within walking distance of my office, and another location with a pool near my work, plus spin classes, weights, etc.

I figured I would use the Brooks Y as my home base, and fan out to the others as needed.  So about two weeks ago, I went to tour the Brooks Y.  Back in the day, I belonged to a YMCA near my old apartment that  I used all of two times.  Since then, I belonged to another gym near work (but one without a pool or a lot of conveniences) and the pool at UNF.  None of these places were especially fancy. In fact, swimming at UNF and getting ready for work there, in a word, sucked.  I wouldn't have minded the locker room facilities if I was just going home afterward, or just changing to run errands or something.  It was definitely a school locker room though - somewhat slimy floors, dim, yellowish lighting, old metal lockers, narrow benches in between and scuzzy shower stalls.  No big deal, but kind of a pain, especially if I had meetings or something that day.

So if I may, let me wax poetic about the facilities at the Y.  I never knew the Y could be so nice.  Outside of the mostly brand-new equipment of every shape and kind and a great class schedule, the locker room is just...amazing.  A sauna!  A whirlpool, towel service, electronic lockers, hairdryers, private showers with shampoo and conditioner, changing rooms, rows and rows of vanities with good lighting and tissues for putting on makeup.  A lounge area.  Oh, and don't forget about the cafe on the way out that serves all organic food straight from Whole Foods.  Today was my first official day there, so I didn't want to weird anyone by taking pictures of the amenities for the blog,  I never thought I would be someone who would really care about nice locker room facilties all that much, but it turns out when it means getting ready for work in the morning there, I do.  And I didn't feel out of place with my work clothes and makeup bag and hair care products!  At UNF, only college girls and older women used the pool, so I always felt weird hauling my eyeliner and FrizzEase  and high heels in there.  Here I had less stuff than some of these girls.

Now that I'm done gushing, let's talk swim.  The pool there is a junior olympic size pool.  So I think if I did 15 laps, that's about 375 yards.  It wasn't too bad.  I feel more fatigued than I expected, and my arms are pretty sore.  But after several laps, I felt like I found my "stride" a  bit.  Thank you for all your suggestions on the swim!  I think it is going to come down more open water swims (perhaps in rougher weather) and just putting in a lot of time in the water.  Maybe a swim class or two.  Overall, just building confidence will go a long way too.  I think about that with my run, and how much more confident I am now, post-marathon, than I was this time last year.      

So happy swimming everyone and good luck to all the Gate runners this weekend!


  1. - I had the same thought of YMCA, not all that great, this has changed my mind

    - Doesnt it feel so good to get back in the water

  2. I love the YMCA! I used to belong to one when we lived in La. The prices are right and the facilities are really really good. I loved it. I would join the one in our town now, but I work out closer to work, and there's no Y's nearby. Sad.

    I'm so glad you like it though. I think a nice gym really makes a huge difference in the motivation department. With so many options it's hard to skip (spin class? treadmill? weights? swim? tennis? boot camp class? yoga? you get the point...).

    Glad you're back in the water and happy!

  3. Our closest YMCA isn't nearly as cool as yours.

  4. I keep saying that this is the week I'm getting in the pool. I have no idea what my fitness level is swim wise, I kinda don't want to know.