Story Index:

Campeche 70.3 Report: The Last Race Standing
03/30/2020

Knock Me Down and I'll Just Grow Back Stronger
03/11/2020

Underwater
12/31/2019

IRONMAN Wisconsin, My Cinderella Story
09/20/2018

IRONMAN Boulder, Coming in Hot
09/20/2018

IRONMAN Texas: Everything's Bigger in Texas (except the Ironman bike course)
05/01/2018

Uphill Both Ways (Oceanside Race Report)
04/16/2018

The Things We Deserve
03/06/2018

When Life Gives You Lemons... IM 70.3 Santa Cruz and IM 70.3 Boulder (sort of)
09/23/2017

The DNF Strikes Back
07/11/2017

Oops, I Did An IM
06/16/2017

IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa
05/22/2017

IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3
05/19/2017

December in the Desert: HITS Palm Springs 70.3
12/07/2016

The Coolest Prize I've Ever Won
10/26/2016

Running With the Big Dogs
07/23/2016

The Inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon
07/04/2016

Early Season Ups & Downs
06/28/2016

XTERRA Real Granite Bay
04/11/2016

Urbanathlon, Where You Been All My Life?!
11/25/2015

The Top 17 Reasons You Should Have Been at Scott Tinley's
10/21/2015

Rock & Roll Half Marathon
10/04/2015

Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
09/23/2015

This Seems Like a lot of Work for a Free Banana
09/01/2015

Sometimes the Best Race is the One I Didn't Win
08/03/2015

Tales of a Swim Meet Rookie
08/01/2015

Victory at the California International Triathlon
06/30/2015

Wildflower Will Show You What You're Made Of
05/07/2015

Mama Didn't Raise No Quitter
04/22/2015

HITS Napa Half, 5 (Plus) Hours of Fun
04/17/2015

Off-Roading: My Trail Run Debut
04/04/2015

Lake Tahoe Marathon Weekend
09/16/2014

Farewell to Madison
09/09/2014

Being Comfortable With Discomfort
08/18/2014

Wildflower 2012, Team Goodell
06/09/2012

USA Triathlon National Championships
10/02/2011

How About a Road Race?
08/06/2011

Tri-Ing for Children
07/25/2011

The Women's Sprint Triathlon - Where it All Began
07/12/2011

Defending the Title in Pleasant Prairie
06/27/2011

Capitol View Triathlon
06/13/2011

Tri Club Party in Madison
04/10/2011

Be A Better Runner
03/28/2011

Hello, Felt
03/20/2011

I'm Going With You
01/03/2011

2009 Triathlon World Championships
09/12/2009

Kim completes her first Half-Ironman
06/10/2008

Kim Visits Home for Wildflower Triathlon
05/16/2008

Kim Blazes Chicago Triathlon
08/27/2007

More Triathlons for Kim
06/15/2006

Kim in Chicago Triathlon
08/31/2005

Kim graduates from Willamette
06/17/2002

Kim returns from Europe
02/02/2001

Kim Travels Europe
11/24/2000
Underwater



Today's New Years Eve 100x 100m swim brought my total swim distance to a record-setting* 403 miles for the year 2019.

And yes, I've actually counted.

In fact, I've kept track of my swim laps for over a decade now, starting with the 134 miles I completed in 2006, the same year that Coach Liz planted the seed of the 365 Club in my brain. That club is exclusively for anyone who can average a mile of swimming per day, for a year. That goal seemed a bit absurd at the time, so I settled for the scaled version, the much less impressive sounding 182.5 Club -- just half a mile per day. Even that was a little too ambitious for me at first, but after six years of steadily increasing my swim volume, I finally surpassed the goal, breaking 200 miles in 2012.

A happy side effect of moving up to the triathlon pro ranks was a significant jump in swim, bike and run volume, and suddenly I found myself hovering dangerously close to that elusive 365 mark. On December 31st, 2017, I hit mile 365 for the first time, coming in just under the wire before the clock reset on 2018. I'm not even sure when I reached 365 the next two years -- perhaps early December -- but I blew past it and just kept on swimming.

So what is the result of these nearly 200 hours per year that I spend listening to the ambient slosh and gurgle of water in my ears? When I looked at it that way, I felt a little sheepish. If I had spent those 200 hours practicing Spanish, I'd be fluent already. If I had spent it carving wooden furniture, we'd have a full bedroom set by now. But instead, I used my time occupying a water-filled box, moving myself back and forth in one of the least efficient modes possible. One might assume that at least I must have gotten much, much better at swimming -- perhaps even twice as fast! But no, I still post roughly the same times I did ten years ago.

There's not much I can measure to assure that my return on investment has been worthwhile. But there are two distinct changes that I've noticed, and those two are key.

The first is that the more I swim, the more swimming I can tolerate. Five years ago, I'd heard of the infamous 100x 100 swim, but I thought it was just urban legend. Surely people weren't actually swimming 3 back-to-back swim practices in a row! But they absolutely were. The first time I attempted 100x 75 at the Walnut Creek Masters' "New Years Day 100 Whatevers," I literally couldn't raise my arms above the water in the final few 75s. Today, I felt like I could've kept going right on past 10k. So there you have it -- I work hard at swimming so that I can work harder at swimming.

The second change that has occurred is this: although I've always thought the pool was nice, with each year that my distance ratchets up, so too does my love for swimming. I love it more than last year. And the year before that. I'm not really there for the miles, or the time splits on the clock ... I'm there for the pure joy of swimming.

And joy is something that can't be measured.

Or maybe it can be?

Here's to the next 403 miles of joy. 2020, bring it on!


* Record-setting for me, not for humanity at large. I have, of course, encountered plenty of swim junkies who might chuckle at the idea of taking a whole year just to reach 400.


Posted by Kimberly 12/31/2019
FreeStyle Journal 19.03.21
©2003-2011 by Dan Goodell

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