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#462 - A New, New Pool (Finally!)

11 November 2020

My opportunity to add new pools to my 1001 pool list has been severely hampered by the pandemic. Not that I am complaining. I realize that I am extremely fortunate to have my family safe & healthy. I am so thankful that the company I work for has prioritized retaining staff, and is contributing to the fight against COVID-19. I am also grateful for the work that Swimming Canada and communities around Ontario have done to get pools opened and to provide ways to #SwimAgain. One such city that deserves props is Orillia ...

... which, after much anticipation, opened their new Recreation Centre recently, and started offering reservation-based lap swimming less than a month ago. I managed to grab a mid-day, 45 minute timeslot today and fell in love with this great pool:

... which, like many such facilities across the Great White North, pairs an excellent competition / training pool with fun and multi-functional community options. Things I particularly loved about the main pool:

  • Super-chill water: the water is ready for hard training. I did an intense broken mile workout (see below), a set that would leave me sweating in many a community pool, but I was comfortable the whole time.

  • Ready for racing: I don't know when we will return for competition, but the world-class starting blocks and massive display board leave me thinking we could have some great events here:

  • Ready for training: I have found many community pools either completely forget pace clocks, or prop them up haphazardly (and only sometimes turn them on) as an after-thought. The City of Orillia not only had a couple of running digital pace clocks (one at each end), but also analog pace clocks ... and they were all synched.

  • A beautiful space: Though my iPhone photos don't do the space justice, with the windows, the white walls contrasted with the natural wood ceiling and glass, this was just a beautiful space in which to swim.

For the actual workout, after a 1,050 metre quick workout, I did my Broken Mile test set, going 3 rounds of:

  • 3 x 50: on 0:45

  • 2 x 100: on 1:25

  • 1 x 150: on 2:05

I've been doing this set forever, and did it recently in yards on these same intervals, but wanted to challenge myself on these intervals in meters. I was feeling kind of off, stroke-wise, but now have an effort to benchmark against my best in the last decade, from 10-21-2015 (albeit that one done on easier intervals of 0:50, 1:35, 2:20)

  • 50s - 0:32+ on rounds 1 and 2; 0:32s on round 3

  • 100s - 1:07, 1:06, 1:07+, 1:05+, 1:06, 1:05

  • 150s - 1:40, 1:39+, 1:37+

Today I was 35s-36s on my 50s, 1:11+ to 1:13s on my 100s and 1:48-1:51s on my 150s. With a 50 to cool-down and take some pictures, it was a quick 2,600 metres. But, for those brief 45 minutes, I completely forgot all the challenges of 2020 ... what a wonderful respite.


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