100-Day Swim Challenge: Personal Record

We are half way into Week 2 of the 100-Day Swim Challenge, and it has been going well for participants so far.  We had a couple of stragglers that did not start until Week 2, but as of yesterday, all participants have started.  It is really great that everyone is participating!

In this post, I’ll talk about  the following topics:

  • Going the distance every day
  • My personal record last week
  • The next phase of this challenge
  • Future challenges

Going the Distance

100-Day Swim Challenge - Week 2 Results 11/11/2015

My Week 2 Results to Date – 11/11/15

As far as my swimming for this Challenge is concerned, I had a really good Week 1.  Looking over my results (tabulated on my super special spreadsheet – yes, I am an engineer), I swam over a half mile each day.  I guess that pre-challenge training is working out!

I am also using a fairly fool-proof way to keep track of my lengths and laps.  I don’t have a flashy watch that keeps track of distance, time and splits.  I am using the clock on the wall to keep track of time (might have to upgrade to a stopwatch) and poker chips to keep track of distance.  I will write about this method of tracking distance in a future post.

I can say that as I keep swimming each and every day, I am getting stronger.  It is getting easier to go the distance and get it done each day.  I was pretty sore last week after I swam 80 consecutive lengths, and I took Saturday as a rest-and-recover day.  Yesterday, I swam 90 lengths to make up for missing my swim on Monday (I was feeling under-the-weather).  I was not as sore today.  I will say, however, that I broke the 90 lengths into two separate swims: one in the morning (24 lengths) and one after work (66 lengths).

Today I swam 44 lengths, and really that was due to a lot of activity in the pool and not a lot of space (i.e., one lane that was pretty crowded).  I decided to get over a half mile, call it good and hit it bright and early tomorrow morning.

Personal Record

Personal Record Post on the Small Scale Life Facebook Page

My post on the Small Scale Life Facebook Page – 11/4/15

At 7:15 AM on November 4, 2015, I completed my first mile of swimming.  It was a personal record for me, and while I did not shatter any speed records, it was a great accomplishment for me.  I don’t believe I swam that far since I took a lifeguard class in high school!  I was pretty pumped up, as you can tell from my post about this personal record on the Small Scale Life Facebook Page!

Of course, Lifeguard Abe was cranking the tunes that morning, and Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” was blaring when I hit Lap 80.  For the win!  You just can’t make this stuff up sometimes….

The next day, I tried swimming a longer distance again, but I ran into some complications.  Those complications included sore muscles and a stiff back, but it also consisted of a run-in with The Intimidator.  I’ll save that for another day’s post.

Next Phase

100-Day Swim Challenge - Pool View

These Laps aren’t Swimming Themselves! Get to it – 11/11/15

I realize that it was rather early in the challenge to get a personal record, so I can’t get too cocky.  In the grand scheme of things, David (Red Beard) and Danny (Black Beard) committed to and are swimming a mile each day, where I committed to swimming at least a half mile a day.  I am just thrilled that I swam that far!

It is always good to set micro-goals during an endeavor like this.  It helps set the tone for future activities and gives you something to shoot for.  My next goals are the following:

  • Keep building up my endurance
  • Reduce the time it takes to swim a half hour while maintaining good technique

I am also going to look into different strokes and incorporating them into my routine.  Breaststroke, sidestroke and front crawl get a little boring after a while!

I will be checking out the following resources for changing up the workouts and the strokes:

A special thanks to friend and Triathlon Coach Judie Refvik for her tips, shared links (above) and insight on the eve of the Challenge.

I am sure everyone is wondering: is this challenge actually working?  I can answer YES it is.  I have gotten stronger and am able to push myself to swim a mile.  In addition, clothes are fitting a lot better.  Of course, that is because I have lost about 10 pounds since the challenge started.  I am going to keep pushing myself….this is just the beginning.

Future Challenges

Interested in joining a 100-Day Challenge?  Organizers Red Beard, Black Beard and I are talking about starting a new 100-Day Fitness Challenge on January 1, 2016, that will be open to others.  We are working out the details, but I think it would be a great way to fight the Battle of the Holiday Bulge and keep us all moving in the right direction.  We would allow other kinds of exercise (not just swimming).  We are working out the details, and there will be more to come!