Pool Adventures

What’s wrong with this pool?


That’s what’s I saw when I arrived at the pool yesterday, eager to begin training for my upcoming open water swim event. At first I thought no one else had the bright idea to go swimming, and I would have the entire pool to myself. That’d be pretty sweet.

But then I saw the sign:

CLOSED?!? What a bummer! (Although I do feel better what happened the other day, when I stayed at the outlet mall for hours longer than expected, making me miss my planned swim workout. Now I realize that leaving the mall when I initially intended, so I could drive an hour to a closed pool, would’ve been pointless.)

The sign did have locations of other city pools, so I picked the one that was easiest to get to, and headed there. I ended up at the Hubert Humphrey Memorial Recreation Center in Pacoima.

Pacoima is a neighborhood in Los Angeles that’s known for two things:

  1. It’s the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll legend Ritchie Valens.
  2. Despite having lived 20 minutes away for the past 9 years, I’ve never had any reason (or desire) to go there.

I’m curious why the city named this facility after the 38th Vice President of the United States, especially since I can’t find any link between Humphrey, a Minnesotan, and Pacoima. Maybe I’ll never know. I did drive on the Ronald Reagan Freeway to get there – so it was a very Presidential (and Vice-Presidential) day for me.

When I arrived at the pool, there was a scuba class in the water, and a sign said the pool wasn’t open for recreational lap swim for another 45 minutes. It looked to be a nice pool, though:

I killed some time by finding a supermarket and buying some lunch, which I brought back to the park and ate on a bench while waiting for the pool to open. Here’s what I got:

  • A pre-packaged chef salad (270 calories and 7 grams of fat)
  • A carton of raspberries (I used water from my water bottle to rinse them)
  • A pickle in a pouch!

Altogether, I spent $6.63. By the time I got back from the supermarket, the scuba class was over, and some lane lines had been set up:

A few minutes after the pool opened, I was in the water and beginning my workout. I ended up really liking the Hubert Humphrey pool. There were only 3 lanes set up for lap swim (as opposed to 12 at my regular pool), so it potentially could’ve been really crowded, but I had my lane to myself the entire time. And the lap swim part of the pool was entirely in deeper water (7-10 feet deep the entire length of the pool), which encouraged me to take shorter breaks between sets, as I couldn’t stand up in the water anyway.

Here’s what I did during my 75-minute workout:

  • 1,000 yards warm-up (200 freestyle, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM).
  • 10 x 100 yards freestyle (swimming 25 yards of each 100 with my head above water, a skill I want to develop before the open water swim).
  • 5 x 100 yards breaststroke
  • 500 yards freestyle (20 lengths of the pool without stopping)
  • 4 x 50 yards freestyle (all-out sprints)
  • 200 yards cool-down
  • TOTAL: 3,400 yards! That’s 136 lengths of the pool. For comparison’s sake, my open water swim is 1.2 miles, which equals 2,112 yards – 84.5 lengths of the pool. My training is off to a good start!

Keep it up, David!

2 Responses to Pool Adventures

  1. Stu McLellan says:

    That’s my scuba class!!
    This is where we train. When you signing up?!
    Maybe see you at the pool next Sunday. We’re done by 1pm (as you’ve found out)

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