66 Thoughts You Have During the 1650

Athletics – Men's and Women's Swimming, Underwater Action Shots, Chatham County Aquatic Center – Fall 2013 – Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCAD DVD and SLEEVE TITLE = Athletics: Swimming, Action Shots #1 (underwater), Fall 2013
Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Krell/SCAD Athletics

By Kelly Lennon, Swimming World College Intern

Originally posted May 29, 2015

We’ve all been there. Whether you’re a distance swimmer or just unfortunate enough to be one of those kids that gets thrown into every event at every meet, you’ve likely swam the mile at some point in your career. Sixty-six laps and 15+ minutes leaves you a lot of time to think, and if you’re anything like me, your train of thought probably goes something like this…

  1. Oooooookay here we go, 66 laps, I can do it, no big deal, just a quick mile.
  2. Don’t take it out too fast!!!
  3. No, seriously slow down, you will die.
  4. Why is everyone else going so fast….
  5. We literally just started
  6. Is this the mile or the 50 what are you people DOING.
  7. Should I pick it up too?
  8. Is that a risk I’m willing to take?
  9. No, no, definitely not.
  10. But I don’t want to get lapped…
  13. We’re allll in thisss togetherrrr once we know that we are we’re all STARS…
  14. Focus.
  15. But I’m probably fine…right?
  16. No, I’m definitely fine they’ll all crash and I’ll be great.
  17. I’M FINE.
  18. I wonder what everyone else is thinking about.
  19. Are they as tired as I am already?
  20. Based on the way they started out sprinting I would assume so.
  21. Yet everyone is still ahead of me…
  22. They’ll get tired eventually, right?
  23. OK, focus on something else.
  24. This is YOUR race.
  25. Sing a song!
  28. And I’m bored again.
  29. Wow, I’m also exhausted.
  30. Don’t. Think. About. It.
  31. Aaaaaaand I’m thinking about it.
  32. This is painful.
  34. Ohhhh living on a prayer take my hand and we’ll make it I swear..
  35. Except we really might not make it
  36. I literally just have to do what I just did one more time.
  37. I could probably do that
  38. Without dying…right?
  39. This isn’t even that bad.
  40. I’m totally cruising.
  41. Practically on autopilot.
  42. I’m also basically already done.
  43. Except I’m in A LOT OF PAIN.
  44. I don’t actually think I’ve ever felt pain like this before.
  45. The last time definitely wasn’t this painful.
  46. Maybe it was and I just blacked out.
  47. I could always stop.
  48. Or do an open turn and get some oxygen.
  49. Is it worse for me to finish and have a bad time or not finish at all?
  50. Which is coach more likely to yell at me for…
  51. If I stay in, I might drown.
  52. If I get out…
  53. Yeah, I’m definitely gonna stay in.
  54. What’s that quote? When you want to stop remember why you started?
  55. Well I only really started because my coach made me, but still!
  56. Just start kicking and kick your way to the finish.
  57. OK, your legs AREN’T working today.
  58. Why are you shaking the counter?
  59. If I could go faster don’t you think I would go faster????
  60. I’m not TRYING to go slow, it’s just HAPPENING.
  61. Almost there, finish strong.
  62. Think about all the food you’re going to eat after this.
  63. Literally, so much food.
  64. And oxygen.
  65. That wasn’t even that bad I could probably do it again. Why is everyone complaining?


  1. Michael Amis

    If you’re counting for yourself, there’s a whole different set of thoughts.

    • Kara Lennon

      I was thinking the same thing….. What lap am I on?? Was that 24 or 26 lol

    • Michael Amis

      And do you revert to the lowest lap count you think you may have done? Did I really do a 1650? Maybe just a 1600 (wow! I beat my time!) or 1700 (crap, didn’t feel that fatigued…)

  2. Abi L Young

    Kat Gerstmar Alex Hendrick Maddy Wigg Ryan Gifford Jason Hicks

  3. Mary Bressler

    This is freaking hilarious.. and so true

  4. Tom Apter

    When having to split a lane…. ‘Why ate they taking their half from the middle?’

  5. Tom Apter

    If you drove like you swim, you’d be taking a field sobriety test right now.

  6. Tom Apter

    Open water…. Wait was that a shark? Oh, in a lake! Alligator? ?

    • Thea Schuster

      Hahahahah, du får det ikke mer korrekt enn det altså…. ??????

  7. Chris Mckay

    That’s SO funny. That’s what I thought when I was doing cross country…so much time! Swimmers go thru the same stuff I guess. Good article

  8. avatar

    Awesome! I usually have a good song in my mind.

  9. Swimming World

    Welcome to Swimming World Kelly. Nice Job!

    • Kelly Lennon

      thank you!! happy to be here 🙂

  10. Niles Keeran

    Listening to IRON Butterfly’s Inna Godda de Vita,….

  11. Lori Senerius McNamara

    Dee Rossman Brodt-Macnider i remember us having a conversation about this very topic.

    • Marianne Rhéaume

      Hahahhahahaha omg?? we’re all in this together ahhahahaha

  12. Chris Cook

    Anneliesse Bruns it’s more like 1-66 just keep swimming just keep swimming, oh my body is numb, well that just means no more pain. And I can go faster. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPETY NOPE NOPE definetly can’t. Them again maybe a little bit at a time, alright here we go feeling good, here it is last lap, hey that’s a person I’m passing cool. Done finally done give me burger now please!

  13. Angie Diez

    Do you think anyone would notice if I skipped 2 laps?

  14. avatar

    Yes, number 4

  15. Ben Van Dyk

    As a distance swimmer I never allowed myself to think about pain. I went out a little slow until the midpoint, then looked for the nearest swimmer to pass. After passing, I picked the next swimmer and then the next. Focus on pain and you’re done.

  16. Michaela Nelson

    58 & 59 r what I think in like every distance event!

  17. avatar

    Being a little bit older, this happens to me (more than often) around lap 10 after a little coughing:
    *Why do I still keep forgetting to fix my dentures? *

  18. Lori King

    1650…I think all that during the 200 breast!

    • Jim Senerth

      Hahaha “why the hell are you shaking the counter before lap 40” is definitely a thought that crossed my mind

    • Jim Senerth

      Hahaha “why the hell are you shaking the counter before lap 40” is definitely a thought that crossed my mind

  19. Yolanda Faerber

    Lol Bernadette Chiavaro Jaeger – you should show this to Connor!

  20. So funny! And that only accounts for 1 thought per lap!! I bet there’s more where that comes from!! LOL

  21. Shelby Fruge

    Carolyn Bonfield Mckenna Newsum Schoenberg

  22. Karli Blanchard

    Scott this is probably one of the most accurate posts I’ve ever seen

  23. avatar

    Have to add this for #46 … one of the times I swam it (Erie PA in the mid-80’s!) the lights went out at the whole facility. There was a moment of, “I couldn’t possibly have blacked out??” Emergency lights were on & the generator got going within a minute or 2, but that was different.