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aztimm's training blog

2020 Swimming Year in Review

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by , January 3rd, 2021 at 05:50 PM (350 Views)
Haven't posted in months. I've been swimming, but mostly longer sets, more geared for open water swimming.

I used to do a wrap-up for swimming, so here goes:

Pools/open water I swam at in 2020 (roughly in order from Jan 1 onward):

* 24 Hour Fitness: Round Rock, Texas
* Sendero Springs Pool: Round Rock, Texas
* Barton Springs Pool: Austin, Texas
* Oryx Airport Hotel Swimming Pool, Doha Qatar
* Brunswick Baths: Melbourne, VIC Australia
* Williamstown Beach: Melbourne, VIC Australia
* Portsea Beach: Portsea, VIC Australia (2500 & 1500m o/w swim events)
* Centenary Aquatic Center: Brisbane, QLD Australia
* The Valley Pool: Brisbane, QLD Australia
* Port Willunga Beach: Port Willunga, SA Australia
* Olympic Aquatics Centre, London UK
* Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, TX
* Emma Long Park/Lake Austin: Austin, TX
* Creek Side Pool: Round Rock, TX
* Low Water Crossing/Fritz Hughes Park/Lake Austin: Austin, TX
* Scenic & Matthews Park/Lake Austin: Austin, TX
* Highlands at Mayfield Ranch Community Pool: Round Rock, TX
* Abiquiu Lake: Abiquiu, NM
* Lake Nighthorse: Durango, CO
* Bear Lake: Garden City, UT (the Bear Lake Monster swim event, 10k)
* Rifle Gap Reservoir: Rifle, CO
* Deer Creek Reservoir: Wallsburg, UT (the Deer Creek 10k swim event)
* Strawberry Reservoir: Heber City, UT
* Great Salt Lake: Magna, UT
* Tennessee River: Chattanooga, TN

All of the swims are in the USA, unless noted otherwise (I traveled to Australia and London in January).

Despite limited swimming in March (I swam 17 days in March, my last on 3/18) and April (I got back in Lake Austin at Emma Long Park on 4/6 and swam 10 times/32 miles in April) the year ended up being by far my highest volume year ever. I've been keeping track since 2011, and I certainly don't think I swam this much prior to that:

My 24 Hour Fitness gym has closed permanently; they have re-opened some other locations in town, but I just didn't feel comfortable going they are much further. I bought a 2 year pass from Costco, and they gave me a refund for half of it (I had used more than that).

My local pool, Sendero Springs, re-opened on May 18. Initially they had some very generous hours, but unfortunately that didn't last. I really can't complain though, as I pay $60/year for my pool pass, and the hours are good enough that I can work with them.

Austin pools briefly re-opened in early June. I swam at Barton Springs once; you had to reserve a session (the sessions were 90 minutes), they cleared the pool between sessions, etc. I did it once, it was ok, but then I decided the lakes were better.

I've lived in metro Austin for 5 years now, and before this year I had only swum in local lakes for organized swim events. When the pools were closed a friend told me that he was swimming in Lake Austin at Emma Long park. I looked it up... The water temp was a bit brisk when I first swam (low/mid 60s), but it was either that or no swimming. I adjusted, and actually liked swimming there. Until late May, when the lake got too busy with boats, jet skis, and other stuff. So I moved upriver to Low Water Crossing. This is just beneath the Mansfield Dam, that forms Lake Travis. The water comes from deep down in Travis, so it is very cold...some readings we had were 58-64F. Since I had signed up for the Bear Lake swim, the cool water swimming worked perfectly.

I swam 2 more organized swims, in July and August, both in Utah. The Bear Lake Monster (10k) swim was simply amazing, but tough. The water was so clear, and very blue. It was my slowest 10k swim yet, as there is considerable chop (tons of boat traffic, and it is a big lake), but I really enjoyed it. Deer Creek is another good swim; the lake conditions are pretty good. Most of this swim takes place in a cove without boat traffic. I'd highly recommend both of these swims.

Overall, as far as swimming in 2020, I can't complain at all. I made the most of it.

Here is a list of events I'm thinking of for 2021:

* the SC_R legs of the SCAR Lake Swims in Arizona
* The USMS open water championship (both days) in Boerne, TX
* Great Salt Lake 10k
* Bear Lake Monster swim 10k
* Deer Creek reservoir 10 mile (with this I'd complete the Utah, "triple crown")
* Swim the Suck, 10 miles on the Tennessee river near Chattanooga
* at least some (or maybe all) of the Highland Lakes Challenge, here near Austin, TX

It is a bit aggressive, with something every month from April to October, except September. We'll see what events actually happen, and what happens with my body through the year, and go from there.

Not sure what the local meet schedule will look like. If there's a local LCM meet at the Austin Swim Club again (and I feel safe doing it), I'll do that one, usually in June. Our zone usually has a meet in late July/early August, and again, I'll probably do that if I can work it in with everything else.

Here's a collage of some swimming memories from 2020:

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Updated January 5th, 2021 at 09:36 PM by aztimm

Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning


  1. Karl_S's Avatar
    That's a lot of swimming, and in some picturesque locations too!
    Best of luck continuing to work your swimming around the pandemic this year.
  2. aztimm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S
    That's a lot of swimming, and in some picturesque locations too!
    Best of luck continuing to work your swimming around the pandemic this year.
    Thanks Karl! Hope you're doing ok! Are you still swimming? I think you're in the Philly area? I know Tom has gotten in some swims, though not nearly as much as he'd like.

    Yea, I tried to make the most of it. Since I wasn't going to the gym like I used to, I made up the time with more swimming
    I did a roadtrip to/from Utah for the Bear Lake swim in July, and stopped to swim in some lakes along the way. For the August swim in Utah I flew, but really didn't feel comfortable with that (and cases were much lower then). I did another roadtrip to Chattanooga in October when Suck was supposed to happen, and did some swimming in the TN river (my Airbnb was right on the river, so I swam at least once a day).
  3. Karl_S's Avatar
    Bit of a rough year for me. Only two sessions swimming for a total of 1150 yds. I did a ton of spinning and calisthenics, and quite a bit of walking so I feel like I made the best with what I could do. (I blogged about it on 12/31/20)

    Vague hopes of going to UT with the family this summer. Hoping to get an effective vaccine asap.

    If you like long cold water swims, have you tried Magog on the VT/Canada border? Beautiful place. (I wouldn't even dip my toe in the water, but it sounds like you would be ok.) The full length of the lake is 30-somethng miles, but I think they have shorter options for more sensible folks. Also, no race that I know of, but folks swim across lake Champlain from Burlington VT to NY. That water can be a pretty sensible temperature by the end of summer. As I recall it's 7 miles so not preposterous.