Race Prep: Brooklyn Bridge 1K Swim

Hey All,

Yesterday I competed in the Brooklyn Bridge 1K swim. Before I tell you about how amazingly awesome it was to swim UNDER the Brookyln Bridge, I’m going to clue you in on the steps leading up to the race.

NYC Swim Logo

“Hey Kristen – I thought you did CrossFit and dabbled in running. What’s up with the swimming?”

Well my friends, guess what. Before there was CrossFit, before there was running, before there was rowing….there was swimming. Lots and lots of swimming. I spent most of my summers at the pool and trained year-round on a competitive team at my local YMCA from the ages of 6-18, in addition to swimming on my high school team for 4 years (back-to-back State Champs 2005-2006, what up?!?). That’s a lot of time staring down at the black line on the bottom of the pool. A LOT of time.

As you know, I like to shake things up with my workouts so I decided to sign up for the Brooklyn Bridge 1K Swim through NYC Swim to get back to my roots. In order to prove that I was sea-worthy East River-worthy, I had to swim a mile non-stop for time beforehand to qualify for the race.

Asphalt Green Olympic Sized Pool - The Fit Wanderer

Isn’t that pool magnificent? 50 meters and 8 lanes of olympic-sized glory…not to mention the double 1m springboards and low-dive. The Asphalt Green 50m pool is about as good as it gets for a swimmer living in New York City, and the perfect place for me to do my 1-mile qualifying swim. I woke up bright and early (5:15AM to be exact) about three weeks ago to embrace the chlorine and take care of business.

I had never visited Asphalt Green before so I signed up for a 1-day guest pass to check things out and inquire about a possible membership (aka swim in the pool fo’ free). As you can see, the facilities are pretty impressive.

I walked in to see the youth team busy staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool  busting their butts with their early morning training. I spotted a gaggle of lifeguards hanging out and sauntered over, praying that one of them would count my laps and verify my swim. To my surprise, one of the lifeguards grabbed a stop watch and readily agreed to count my laps for me (apparently they get this request a lot).

Without delay, I jumped into the “fast” lane and swam 32 straight laps at a pretty easy pace. Although it was the first time I swam in at least a year, the basic technique never really leaves you – kind of like riding a bike. Thanks to my CrossFit training…yet again…the mile swim was a breeze and quite an amazing way to clear my head and prep for the work day ahead of me.

NYC Swim Mile Certification - The Fit Wanderer

I finished the mile with a time of 29 minutes and 30 seconds swimming at a moderate pace. I felt a bit rusty, but all in all not bad. Just another drop in the olympic-sized bucket of my time spent staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool.

Forever Wandering (& sometimes swimming),

– Kristen

Race Prep: Brooklyn Bridge 1K Swim

Back in Business – CrossFit, Racing, & More

Hey All,

It’s been a long time, but The Fit Wanderer is officially back in business. I may have stopped regularly posting (shame on me), but I have definitely been busy challenging myself with new training and new goals.

CrossFit Reebok 5th Ave Split Jerk

First of all, I am officially CrossFit obsessed. I joined Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave in December of 2012 and have never looked back since. Not only have my workouts become much more dynamic and varied, but I’ve also made a ton of great friends. More on CrossFit later, but if you’re a skeptic I must say – don’t knock it until you try it. It may seem like a cult from the outside, but once you go, you know that the constant, humbling challenges and the super supportive community of CrossFitters is what makes the experience so wonderfully addicting.


NYRR 9+1 NYC Marathon Program

In other news, I’ve also decided to complete the NYRR 9+1 Program this year. Pretty much, any New York Road Runner member who completes at least 9 qualifying races and volunteers to help at one race in 2013 is eligible for guaranteed entry to the 2014 ING New York City Marathon. So far I’ve completed 1 race (Scotland Run 10K in Central Park) and also got my +1 in by volunteering as a race marshal at the More Magazine/ Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon. So obviously, there are quite a few running races in my not so distant future…and I’m pumped.

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2013

Speaking of running races, I did something very spontaneous a few weeks back. I signed up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 18th. That’s 13.1 miles – I’ve never run that far in my life! Well, there’s a first time for everything and although my training time is very limited I did put together a solid plan to get me ready for the big day. I will for sure be scheduling a few long runs in Prospect Park leading up to race day as well – those hills won’t know what hit them!

Kristen Henkels Highland Swim Club

Finally, I’ve also decided to start incorporating a bit of swimming into my weekly training – just for kicks. I was a competitive swimmer from the ages of 6-18 and I suppose I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. You can take the swimmer out of the pool, but you can never really take the pool out of the swimmer (no really, I think I still sweat out chlorine…). I plan on signing up for a few open water swims this summer, most of which will be down the Jersey Shore. However, I’ve already committed to swim the Brooklyn Bridge 1K Swim between Brooklyn and Manhattan on July 7th – so excited for this. I just need to purchase a wetsuit so most of my body does not have to come in contact with the polluted waters of the East River…

As you can see, I’ve been pretty busy the past few months and plan to keep it that way. But have no fear – I will be posting more frequently to keep you updated on all of these fun new challenges ahead of me – so stay tuned.

Forever Wandering – but back in business.

– Kristen

Back in Business – CrossFit, Racing, & More