One Week Out

January 26, 2010

We are one week out and I am already excite about this years challenge.  We’ve got some new people and some veterans.

If you are on the fence, or think that you might only miss a couple days, I would encourage you to join us.  Again, the real challenge isn’t the actual swimming, its more the discipline of making it to the pool every day.  Its all logistics, the rest is in your head.

Thanks again to David Leggett at the YMCA for arranging the special program for the month.  $56 for use of any GR YMCA pool for the month of February.  If you are interested in this deal, please email Dave at dleggett@grymca.org with your full name, address, phone number, emergency contact name and phone number.

Don’t forget to post your intention of participating to one of these intro messages.

Here are the names I have so far (16):

Sara Maher
Jen Crowley
Perry DeYoung
Matt Clarin
Lydia Stubbs
Troy Hammond
Adam Keith
Amy Rempalski
Rudy Malmquist (me)
Rebecca Malmquist (my beautiful wife)
Keaton Dilly
Heather Kaweck
Pat Clarin
Tom Dowd
JR VanderWall
Andy VanDusen

If you feel inclined, please introduce yourself by commenting on this post.  What is your swimming history, what do you hope to get out of this challenge, where and when are you planning to swim, favorite color swimcap, why you use those painful Swedish goggles, anything you like.



  1. 6 more days until the best month of the year! Thanks Rudy for organizing this once again and good luck to everyone. I’ll be swimming MWF at 5am at the EK pool and TuTh at 10:30am also at EK. Saturday and Sunday will hopefully be with more of a group, wherever the group ends up going. Keep me in the loop! I’ll be pushing the envelope this year on yards but don’t let that you scare you away from swimming with me on those days. For those I don’t know, I’m looking forward to meeting you and those that I do know…can’t wait to see you in your speedo.


  2. OK, I’ll introduce myself. My swimming history includes swimming distance in high school and still swim occasionally for exercise. I hope to get a couple things out of this challenge. The first is strengthening my sprained ankle from running. The second is to re-learn how to do a flip turn as I seem to have lost that ability. Finally I can’t wait to acquire that constant chlorine smell I kind of miss from high school 🙂 I plan on swimming at the Y downtown, most likely in the morning. I hope I will get to meet some of you! It sounds like fun!

  3. I’m happy to be a part of this years swim challenge. Hello to all of you fellow swim challengers. I have participated in the past with the exception of last year (work schedule conflict).
    My swimming continues to be a source of frustration as I train for various triathlons. So my focus for the month will be on technique and efficiency. I’ll be swimming at the SE YMCA or FHAC at 6:00 AM most days. Looking forward to the constant smell of chlorine but dreading the dry itchy skin issues.

  4. Thanks again Rudy for getting this setup!

    Do you know if we can go this weekend to pay and get that out of the way so we’re bothered with that early Monday morning?

  5. Hello all. Some of you I know through school and polo (Hi Pat!) others I have never met. I swam in high school. I still play polo in GR. I plan on going to the downtown Y tonight to get paid up for the month. I hope that is alright as I haven’t heard back from Dave… I just don’t want to bother with it Monday before work. Hooray for being cold and wet for a month. My hair will be awful.

  6. You should also add:

    Lori Slager Knorr
    Miriam Slager
    Uma Mishra (possibly)
    Denise Cheng

    • They will each need to sign up by posting their names here. The deal is that we blog our daily workout here.

      The more the merrier, but we want people to participate in the blog

      • this would be denise cheng.

  7. What a great deal! I have never been on a swim team, but I love to swim! I used to get free access to the pool at GVSU while my husband and I were taking our masters classes, but now I don’t have a pool to swim at! I am training for the riverbank run and would love to add swimming to my training to prevent injury! I think my husband (Pete) and I are both interested in the Feb. challenge to swim a 1/2 mile everyday! Does anyone know how busy the pool usually is at the downtown YMCA in the evenings? That’s the only time I would be able to go and I would hate to have the pool always be busy!

    Pam and Pete Schwallier

    • Well, I know Catholic Central has some meets which I think are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that might be a little challenge.

      Another thing I have discovered this week: the “lap” pool located at the kiddie pool area is 20 yards, so do 5 laps for 100 yards. A good alternative if the lap pool is busy.

      • Sometimes you can go to an alternate YMCA…but check the schedules because of classes etc. Good luck!!

  8. I am excited about this! Denise and Lori mentioned this in passing and I thought…why not?! So with my one-piece armed and ready I look forward to Monday morning. I am not a swimmer by any stretch of the imagination but am a active individual and try to run at least three days a week. I plan on swimming in the late evenings with the exception of Mondays. See you there!

  9. I am in. Rudy thanks for putting this together each year. I will be swimming at the Holland Aquatic Center and Zeeland HS. Can’t wait to get my February pool smell back.


  10. Ha ha I went to the downtown Y last night to sign up and I used the terminology “membership” rather than “program” and there was some confusion…

    Dave said he will have the “program” cards at the dowtown Y today for pick-up and make sure you tell the girl at the counter that it is a program!

    Thanks for the deal Dave. I should be down tonight to pick up my card an hopefully do some running : )

  11. My swimming background is pretty much swimming distance in high school, although i grew up on a lake, so I have been swimming most of my life. This is my 4th year in the challenge, so im looking to up my average from last year and make it a mile challenge for myself. Pry will be swimming at the DDHY after work most days, and maybe a few days at the Rockford Y, but that pool is kinda warm and its hard to put in good yards in a warm pool.

  12. I read about the swim challenge and thought it was a great idea plus a motivation to get into the pool for an early triathlon training. Can’t do much right now (sprained ankle) but swimming works. I will be at the MAC but have not figured out a schedule yet, would love to meet up with folks.

    • I know your pain! I hit a hole while running at Reeds Lake. Swimming’s great for rehabilitating injuries.

  13. Hi! I’m Betsy and I want to join! It’s my goal to do a tri this year and the Riverbank. I started swimming last fall (quite sporadically) and need to prep for the tri! I dont have a swim cap, but both of my suits are purple!
    I swam 24 laps the other day and was super proud of myself so I guess I’m just doing this so others can praise my improvements! haha.
    I’ll be swimming at Calvin (I’m a senior there and the pool is gorgeous!) Are we going with 17 or 18 laps as a half mile? I’ve heard both…

  14. Hi there all you in Feb Swim Challenge land.
    This is my 2nd year of the Challenge and only my 3rd year swimming for fitness: I just really learned “how tos wim” as an adult a few years ago. This year I am going to focus on building my distance and trying to get a little faster.

    I swim at EGR HS and the MAC, usually in the mornings. Glad to meet up with anyone: my email if jcrowley@gohighlandgroup.com

    For MAC swimmers, they have workouts that are usually 2000 – 2500y posted twice a week.

    I also use swimplan.com (free) to get sample workouts. HIghly recommend it.

  15. My husband and I signed up at the downtown YMCA! Neither of us are great swimmers, but it looked like good way prevent injuries while training for other things. We will probably be swimming at the downtown Y in the late evenings if anyone wants to join us!

  16. I am planning on going to the kickoff breakfast tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to start this tomorrow-will be in bed pretty early tonight!

  17. I am so excited for this swim challenge to start! This is my second year in the February Swim Challenge. I started it last year with incredibly limited swimming experience, and by the end of the month was confident enough to begin training for my first triathlon. I’ve only swam a handful of times since September, but I’m hoping that this will be a great jumpstart to my tri training.
    I’ll be swimming at the MAC. Lydia and Jen, do you guys have a consistent schedule you plan on following? I’ll try to go when you go!

  18. Well, I’m all signed up at the YMCA…and ready to go. Hey! The googles still fit!

    I’m looking forward to seeing who takes the early lead in distance.


  19. Time for bed-not looking forward to the early rise. I’m very excited to swim this month. I use to swim every summer, but it has been awhile and I’m a little nervous. See everyone soon!

  20. I love this challenge! It legitimately levels that playing ground for all different abilities and that’s so rare, especially in sports! Thanks again for all your work Rudy – and kudos to both you and Perry for making your idea turn into reality!

    My hair did NOT fry up last year as a result of the 28 straight days of chlorine. Wanna know how I did it? It’s sort of weird – well maybe a lot of weird – but it worked! After the obligatory pre-shower, I sprayed my hair with oil. Yep: oil. After my swim, I always showered with shampoo and conditioner right at the pool, not allowing the chlorine/chemicals to dry in my hair. No straw hair last year. Just sayin’!

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