Sunday, August 27, 2017

Going ePostal

My friend KC first put the idea of doing the ePostal 5k into my head. Between her and Jennifer wanting to do this thing it got interesting quickly. You actually swim the ePostal races before you register for them, so the format (put on by US Masters swimming) is very unique. The 5k and 10k races have to be done in a 50 meter pool before September 14th. You have to have someone time for you, they write down your split and cumulative time every 100 meters. After 50 laps, you get your time. Jennifer and I decided to meet up on Saturday morning 8/12 to get the job done. I ended up swimming first while she timed me, and then I timed her and ate recovery food.

So I started swimming. I got in some long course time once earlier in the summer, but that was my first time in at least 2 years. Long course feels totally different. It goes much slower, here I averaged around 1:53 per 100 meters, as opposed to around 1:25 per 100 yards in regular practice. My first four laps were 1:43, 1:50, 1:55, 1:55. It takes a while to get used to that, you really have to check your expectations at the gate.

My strategy was to stop and drink some sports drink every 5 laps, and I stuck to that plan pretty well. Eventually I couldn't count to 5 anymore so I stopped whenever I felt like it. Eventually around lap 33 I started drinking every 3 laps, that was easy enough to count. And I needed the extra shots of energy then!

I finished the 5000 meters in 1:34:16. This is an outstanding baseline to compare against open water 5k swims. I tend to do the longer open water swims in rivers or the ocean where I can get help from the current, so having this pool time can give me an accurate comparison for the conditions.

Jennifer swam next. The pool was only setup for long course until 12:30, or so we thought. As she got in and started swimming, I was surprised how fast the laps seemed to go by. Then the lifeguards started pulling the laneropes out, so I had to ask. Some quick math told me that she was going to finish around 12:05, and the lifeguards said they had to switch back to short course at 12:00, not 12:30. So she was screwed.

Jennifer could actually count to 5, so she stopped to drink on a regular schedule. When she got to 3k I was already doing the math. Her splits were incredibly consistent, so I told her to go ahead and pick it up. By the time she got into the last K the ropes were in the way and she had to finish in an obstacle course, swimming on strange diagonals. She still finished in only 1:38, an amazing time since she had never gone the distance before.

The ePostal races were a great way to set a goal and get a race time in while accommodating our schedules. We're going to log the splits into the USMS site and pay the registration fee, then in the end will see how we ranked against every other swimmer in the country who completed the same distance in the same length pool. This is going to be a blast!

Such a fun day in the pool! And check out those lane ropes behind us.

1 comment:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I can not imagine swimming for 1.5 hours straight! You guys are impressive! I know you've swam much further than that but 5k of swimming is FAR. Well done!