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Alex's swim journal

2012 In Review

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by , January 1st, 2013 at 04:21 PM (5622 Views)
2012: Despite all signs to the contrary (Record hot spring in WI, Super-storm Sandy, Notre Dame making the BCS national championship game?!), the four horsemen of the apocalypse did not make an appearance at the end of the 13th Mayan Baktun to terminate the universe as we know it. 2013 is here, and a whole new set of goals, but before looking too far ahead into this, as yet unknown, but hopefully "lucky" 13th year of the 21st century, I would like to mark the the new year by taking one last look back at the old.

2012 was my first "full" year as a swimmer, as opposed to a runner cross-training in the pool. I ended 2011, having become a swimmer only 6-8 months before, with 335 miles and then set my 2012 goal for 420 miles, hoping to average 2000 yards a day. By April I was so far ahead of my goal pace I decided to make the goal 500 miles. Would there be a new swim suit in the mail come year end? Here's how I did by month:

Month--Total Distance
Jan--45.11 miles (=79,400 yards, =72,603 meters)
Feb--46.42 miles (=81,700 yards, =74,706 meters)
Mar--45.63 miles (=80,300 yards, =73,426 meters)
Apr--55.51 miles (=97,700 yards, =89,337 meters)
May--62.61 miles (=110,200 yards, =100,767 meters)
Jun--51.89 miles (=91,324 yards, =83,507 meters)
Jul--56.76 miles (=99,895 yards, =91,344 meters)
Aug--27.47 miles (=48,355 yards, =44,216 meters)
Sep--27.51 miles (=48,425 yards, =44,280 meters)
Oct--31.31 miles (=55,112 yards, =50,394 meters)
Nov--42.60 miles (=74,983 yards, =68,565 meters)
Dec--53.88 miles (=94,825 yards, =86,708 meters)
Total 546.72 miles (=962,218 yards, =879,853 meters)

Nearly 1,000,000 yards for the year (that certainly would have brought about a world ending cataclysm--phew!). Lots of little goals along the way...
1. breaking two miles in my first 1-hour postal swim;
2. my first 50+ mile month;
3. my first 60+ mile month;
4. doing a 12K continuous pool swim in my buildup for open water events;
5. my first USMS Open Water 5K;
6. my first USMS 5K postal swim;
7. mastering the flip turn;
8. first time starting off the blocks;
9. my first meet EVER;
10. my first attempts at fly and IM in practice.

Some goals eluded me:
1. swim all the postals--just couldn't work out the logistics for the 10K, and I was running out of gas at the end of the summer anyway!
2. swim my first 10K or 10K+ open water competition--I had one or two opportunities in the area, but there were conflicts on the weekends toward the end of the summer as we prepared to see our oldest off to college for the first time.

Some interesting discoveries and fun moments along the way:
1. Speedo Endurance: after burning through swim suits at the rate of roughly one every two months for about a year, I found that Speedo Endurance really does hold up where other fabrics don't. Been using the same two suits (alternating blue and black) since May; that's a lot of miles!
2. I like working on the "other" strokes... and not just using them as recovery lengths in long distance freestyle interval workouts.
3. Swimming is like running, in that it keeps me working on my aerobic and my endurance, but it's also like golf--because technique is so important (and often frustrating!); I can always be refining, and focus is extremely important for maintaining good form. (Bonus: swimming is cheaper than golf!)
4. Anthony, my second son, swam his first mile swim this summer--becoming the third in the family to complete the BSA mile swim.
5. Anthony and Aaron (my youngest) have both taken to swimming and have set goals for swimming the mile (or swimming it faster) this coming summer. I now have company in the pool from time to time!
6. I finished the year in GTD just outside the top 10 at #11 in my age group; I thought top 20 would be out of reach until I realized half way through the summer, that there really aren't that many people crazy enough to put in 40-50 miles per month, month in and month out. Go endurance junkies!

So what will 2013 bring? I'll blog my specific goals for the coming year tomorrow; but I just entered my GTD goal for 2013 a few minutes ago: 550 miles.

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  1. David W Cochran's Avatar
    You had a great year!!!! Way to go. Got back from San Antonio late last night and was catching up on things - saw where you are a Longhorn. You are younger than I; but, my undergrad is from Baylor and my masters from Texas. How'd you end up in WI from TX (or vice versa)? David
  2. mcnair's Avatar
    We moved up with work... I took a faculty position here at a local university after my MA and PhD at UT; all the extended family's still in Texas though.