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, but...wow. 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!