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The Road to Richmond (Pool #114) ...

29 July 2022

... was paved with great training intentions ... if not the most logical, consistent or coherent of implementations!

I have been looking forward to going back to my "growing up" hometown ever since USMS Long Course Nationals were originally planned for the wonderful SwimRVA pool, a pool that was originally the temporary pool built for the 2008 Olympic Trials:

... a pool that I first swam at in October of 2012 (making it #114), and a pool I was at earlier this year when I watched my niece compete in her state high school championships. Above all, a beautiful, fast and wonderful pool in which to swim.

The Richmond swimming pool scene has certainly changed since my youth, when I swam here from 1976 to 1985 (ages 9 to 18), when the only indoor 50 meter pool in the city was the Briarwood pool (long since shredded and renovated to lame, miniscule "health club" style pools) ...

I know at least a couple of my old teammates from almost 40 years ago will be suiting back up to race again, including the guy in lane 7 in the picture above from about 1980 - Jeff Utsch. Jeff and I have been racing against each other since we were 9 or 10, trained together for much of our youth in Virginia, then again periodically racing as Masters when we both lived in Arizona. I hope the seeding works out so that we're adjacent each other and hope that I see other long lost swimming compatriots around the deck.

As for my race plan, I've assembled a bit of a hodgepodge of events...

... with three "core" events (400 free, 200 IM, 400 IM) and three "pure fun/no expectation" events (50 & 100 fly, 200 back) to fill out the weekend. It's still not 100% clear if my work schedule is going to permit me to swim everything on Thursday and Friday, but I think I'll be able to swing it.

As for my opening comment about my training, on the positive side, I've definitely implemented my "build a better base" lesson from this spring's racing: increasing my monthly total meterage from 53.5 KM in May to 66.7 KM in June and on target to hit 78.0 KM this month (making July 2022 my largest swimming volume month since October of 2015). On the "let's see what this translates to" front, I've not been very specific about my training. I've spent a lot of time training open water and, during my pool time, I've been randomly mixing in workouts from 10-11 years ago with just whatever I feel like. I haven't done a straight 400 IM in workout since I raced it in Quebec City at the end of May. I have only swum one actual long course meters workout, way back in Tampa at the beginning of May.

With all that in mind, I'm heading to Richmond for the joy of racing and the joy of connecting with my swimming community.


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