Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My New Favorite Pool

I know I have a history of super-raging pool rants, but I promise this is a happy post!

Yesterday I had a LOT on excessive energy. Abs and yoga and strength workout videos are all well and good, but I need more. I need to do something to make me tired! Because (much like they say about dogs) a tired Mollie is a happy Mollie. I suffer from severe exercise withdrawal in an I-can’t-really-sleep, daydreaming-about-running, flotrack-video-watching, cranky-because-I-just-want-to-run sort of way.

Last night I was craving a workout. Not the equivalent of a light jog, but a calf-burning, shaky-legs-inducing, lightheaded-when-it’s-over WORKOUT.

So I bit the proverbial bullet and found a pool because I’m self-aware enough to know that I need to exercise to be a functionally pleasant human being.

The Marie H. Reed Recreation Center in Adam’s Morgan is my new favorite pool! I can’t believe I’ve lived within 10 minutes of this place for over a year and am just now discovering it!

It’s a DC public pool that’s supposed to be free for residents and $4 for non-residents. I headed to the pool after work, stuffing my passport, copy of my paycheck, and library card in my backpack and planning my explanations in my head (it’s really hard to prove residency if you don’t drive or have utility bills in your name).

My worries were all for naught. I walked in the door with my confused face on, and the lifeguard just waved me towards a sign-in clip board. And that was it. My name and “time in” and I was good to go!

The locker rooms were unimpressive, and for a brief moment I thought to hope that the pool is cleaner than the rusty showers...but either way relative cleanliness wasn’t going to stop me!

Reasons I love the Ad-Mo pool:

-       It’s FREE. (Because I’m a runner I just can’t get behind paying for exercise. It should always be free!)

-       They have a lane specifically marked for “Water Running.” When I started there was another pool-runner, then she left and a pregnant woman shared my lane (she wasn’t really running…but she definitely wasn’t swimming either).

-       The water is warm. I hate getting into cold water. Hate it.

-       It’s not too crowded. I arrived at 6:40 pm, and the pool practically empty! But by the time I left at 7:50, it was a lot more crowded. The pool closes at 8, but people were still showing up at 7:45!

-       There are two doors open to the outside. Not that I could see anything, but it’s nice to get a breath of fresh air.

For my workout I did 20 minutes at a moderate pace to warm up. (Go here to learn more about how and why to pool run.) Usually I pool run by time, but since there wasn't a big clock, I decided to do my repeats by laps. I did: 4 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps, 5x1 lap, with one lap recovery between each rep. Then I cooled down for 10 minutes.

I got out of the pool feeling pretty good about the whole experience. Workout mission accomplished!