13 February 2022
I understand now why I didn't know about this fantastic pool just a few miles from the DCA airport ...
The facility is stunning from the moment you arrive, an architectural beauty of glass, brick and steel with the hulking Pentagon to the west and the Potomac River to the east. They appear to have done everything right at this facility, which, in addition to the 50M competition pool also boasts a separate indoor water play area complete with a water slide, play features in a shallow area for kids and another 4 lap recreational lap pool. The competition pool is stupid with pace clocks and "clock clocks," all of them perfectly synched together. And, though this seems like a no brainer, so many facilities screw up the bathroom: patron or the locker room size: patron ratios. They seem to have both of these sized well.
As can be imagined in the picture above, tonight's setup had a diving team in the deep end, an age group swimming team practicing in the middle section and the furthest area reserved for lap swimming. The price for an out-of-area visitor was a little steep ($11.25), but it was well worth it as I shared a lane with only one other person for only part of the hour I was there.
For my workout in this, pool #507, I did something a little bit non-standard for me. After an 1,100 variation on my standard "short warmup," I decided to swim 30 minutes straight. I went for about 10 minutes freestyle with my snorkel, then awhile where I did a ladder of sorts, alternating between freestyle and backstroke (going 1 length free, 1 length back, 1 length free, 2 lengths back ... up to 4 lengths back, then repeated it going back down again), and then I finished out the rest swimming freestyle with my snorkel. There were a few lengths in there where I threw in some breaststroke or dolphin kick. I wasn't too focused on speed, just trying to swim pretty and smooth. I managed 2,300 yards for a 3,400 yard total effort.