Thursday, May 3, 2012

50k In May Challenge (And Ironic Timing)

If you swim a lot in DC, you probably hear a lot about some little swim race every spring.

No, I’m not doing the 4.4 Mile Chesapeake Bay Swim (1.5-2 hours of swimming in a murky bay? I’ll pass.). But inevitably, talk of this event peaks in April and May, when folks on the masters team I swim with start worrying about logging enough swimming distance to adequately prepare for the event. Last year, a few folks – namely Amy and Donna – who were doing the swim decided to kick off the 50k in May challenge to encourage folks to get in their training.

50,000 meters of swimming in one month? Even though I had no races longer than 1.2 miles on the calendar and therefore no real reason to do it? Count me in. I wound up logging 50k by May 17th, got challenged to make it 100k in May (just for fun, you know?), finished THAT by May 28th, and then went and knocked out 10,000 meters on the 29th because it seemed like a good idea. That’s normal, isn’t it?

Maybe not, but it’s fun regardless. Which is why near the end of last week, when I realized that May was about to arrive, I contemplated starting this challenge again for 2012. Donna and Amy both protested, saying that “Some k in May” would be enough of a challenge, but at the same time, Julie, Allison, and Katie all jumped in. Really, I think you could all do 50k this month. It averages out to less than 2000 meters of swimming per day, which means doing 4000 meter workouts 3-4 times a week. Simple. Just get in the pool.

Maybe to make things even better this year, we will have prizes. Any corporate sponsors out there? (Didn’t think so) Are brownies enough? Maybe just pride? And what should there be prizes for? Reaching 50k first? Logging the most distance in the pool? I don’t care. In the end, we all swim a bunch and that is great because swimming is amazing.

Now the really funny thing about all of this is that earlier this week, I tried to convince my coach that I need to swim a lot more and was planning on hammering out another 70-80 miles of swimming this month, but apparently the fact that the pool exists and is open does not mean that I need to be swimming in it. Which is weird. Who needs a reason to swim 4000-7000 meters every morning? Certainly not me. But FINE I will settle for the original challenge of 50k in May, which shouldn’t be tough since I’m signed up for 10,000 meters worth of open water racing Memorial Day weekend.

Don’t you want to join in? For prizes that may or may not exist? For the glory? The camaraderie? Because it is there?

Or perhaps for no good reason at all?

Do it.


  1. can I put up a will trade swim lessons for baked goods sign?

    And can I say, I agree with your comments elsewhere on a certain group this morning.

  2. I basically despite the pool, so after my triathlon I plan to avoid it. I'll be cheering you on though!

  3. If only my pool didn't have its blasted 30-minute lane limit. A 4,000-meter day is a mere pipe dream for me at the moment (unless I can somehow learn to swim 4,000 meters in half an hour), but I will do a "More K Per Day in May" challenge and swim more in a month than I ever have before! Which will still, uh, be not that much.

  4. My priority race is at the end of the Month and it is only 750m - training endurance makes no sense for me at this point in time, and my training plans really only take me up to a max of 5k per week at the moment.

    So this year I'm sticking with less - it's not a protest, it's the way my training is geared this year. For me it'll be #swiminMay - name your own goal - just get out and do it. For me it's not about the number - it's about just doing it.

  5. The Bay swim is HORRIBLE. Ugh. But your K challenge sounds like fun :)