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Thursday, October 19, 2006

New gym/swimming pool

When I left my old job in March, I also left my old gym (Cleveland Athletic Club) of seven years. I couldn't justify spending so much money for a gym that I went to 2-3 times a month. My new work building has a FREE gym in the basement that is like a nice hotel gym. It has free weights, some machines (some are so old I don't know how to use them), treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical, stability ball, locker room, showers, etc. Basically, it has everything I need except a swimming pool.

Why do I need a swimming pool you might ask, because you know I swim at CSU with the masters group? Well, I feel I need at least one day a week to work on my stroke, form, etc. with no pressure to follow a group workout or keep up with a group. This summer, I swam at the Mayfield Village outdoor pool with Matt on Fridays and it was fabulous! Unfortunately, it is also outside, which is not palatable 8-9 months of the year here.

So, there are other indoor choices in Cleveland. How about the Willoughby YMCA? Well, I've swum there as Matt's guest and it is not only very crowded, it also about 100 degrees in the water. I thought I was boiling alive in there. I don't know how Matt has swum monster swims there over the years. How about the downtown YMCA? I've heard from a friend who goes there that it is tough to actually swim there. There are only 3 lanes in the pool. How about the Lakewood YMCA - it's going to open a brand new pool in early 2007? Well, besides having to wait until it opens, I just don't live anywhere near there and I've vowed not to go way out of my way to get workouts in during IM season. I need sleep!

How about HFC Athletic club downtown? This one seemed to fit the bill the best. It is only a few blocks from work, price is reasonable (about $50 a month if you sign up for an annual membership), has 2-hour free parking, allows guests (with fee) unlike my old gym (CAC limited guests to coming once per month) and the pool isn't too crowded or too hot. Now, it could be a little longer though. 20 yards seems awfully short after swimming in a 50 meter pool. I do feel much faster though! : )

I've been to the HFC swimming pool twice now. The first time (last Wednesday), Suzi and Sam J. went with me. We took turns making up our own workout and easily covered 2000 yards. Yesterday, Suzi went with me again. Angela had assigned a specific 2700 yard workout, so Suzi did most of that with me. I really concentrated on my form and enjoyed the no pressure swim. It was nice to be some of the better swimmers in the pool too. It's been a long time since I felt that way.

Don't get me wrong though. CSU is necessary too. I need to be pushed in order to increase my speed. And, I get to see Jodi on CSU days. So, tomorrow, ready or not, here I come CSU!


Blogger Papa Louie said...

I need to find out about the masters swim at CSU. I wonder if they let a klutz like me swim with them. I think swimming with them may help my poor pitiful swim style.

12:58 PM

Anonymous Sam said...

I just got a free 2 week pass to the Rocky River club. Great place, but the pool is also 20 yards! Yet, it's not crowded and is only 5 minutes from my house. I've been working a lot on drills too, and like to do them at my own pace.

Have fun at the gym!

1:03 PM

Blogger Jodi said...

I'm looking forward to swimming with you tomorrow! It should be much better now that we're short course. There are so many open lanes that you can totally go at your own pace. Wed. there was a guy in our lane that wasn't doing the workout, so we just moved over. No worries!


1:41 PM

Blogger qcmier said...

What about a pass to CSU?

11:55 PM

Anonymous Matt said...

One of the most important things, I think, in preparing for Ironman is to have workout facilities/options that are convenient for you. You're going to be putting in 10-20+ hour training weeks throughout most of the do you want to spend another 10 hours a week behind the wheel of your car driving all over the place to workout? In fact, I'd take the convenience factor over a lot of things when evaluating a place to swim, bike or run regularly.

So I am glad you found a place that's going to work for you. It'll make a difference.

5:32 PM

Blogger Eric said...

I hear ya. I'm in a 20 yard pool also and I have to adjust my workout for the shorter pool.

12:55 PM


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