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Newbie in Crystal City!
CREATED: 07/29/10 by leriley REPLIES: 11
leriley's ravatar leriley    JOINED: 7/29/10    POSTS: 5
Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/29/10 11:10 AM

Hi! I am new to triathlon training and looking forward to making new friends in the process. I was a diver on a D1 team in college, so I am no stranger to hard workouts and training. I run quite a bit and bike often, but swimming is my downfall. (Divers are not taught how to swim...we doggie paddle to the ladder after we dive in :) )

I also bake some awesome cookies!

looking forward to meeting everyone,


dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1481
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/29/10 11:34 AM

I'm not sure what D-1 dive school you went to but I already like their dive program. Who knew that I could have been a front of the pack swimmer in a dive program? :)

Every time that I hear a woman say "I am no stranger to hard workouts and training", there are voices in my head that says "this chick has her sight on an Ironman."

My advice to you is sign up for one now ... think about it later. The Ironman seminar is August 12. Resistance is futile.


leriley's ravatar leriley    JOINED: 7/29/10    POSTS: 5
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/29/10 11:45 AM

I went to American University.

and this chick has her eye on a 1/2 Ironman...after I successfully complete a few sprints and Olympic distances. Hell, I need to learn how to swim for more than 20 minutes first. :)

rcmagnus's ravatar rcmagnus    JOINED: 1/23/10    POSTS: 43
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/29/10 1:02 PM


I'm in crystal city too...and just did my first tri in june through dc tri's new triathlete program. I swim at the crystal city la fitness that just opened and is pretty cheap (okay pool) well as wilson when I'm up in that area. I bike and run on the mt. vernon trail, hains point, and join group rides whenever I have some time.


ecrandlemire's ravatar ecrandlemire    JOINED: 4/13/10    POSTS: 63
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/29/10 1:30 PM

I too am a newbie (first tri will be at the Luray International in August). If you live in Arlington County and are looking for more places to swim, I've found the high schools have pretty good pools and the rates are fairly cheap (I bought a 25 swim pass for $75). I'm heading down to Prince William Forest Park on Sunday to work on the hills in preparation for the ride up the GW Parkway at Nation's. Let me know if anyone is interested.

PotomacTriathlete2009's ravatar PotomacTriathlete2009    JOINED: 9/19/09    POSTS: 532
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/29/10 3:08 PM

Welcome Lauren. I'm not a newbie but I'm not an experienced veteran either. Somewhere in between. I'm also in the Crystal City/Pentagon City area. My apartment complex has an outdoor pool so that's what I've been using this summer.

In the winter, I use the pool at Sport & Health, Crystal Park (not Crystal Gateway). It's at 2231 Crystal Drive. 25-yd. pool with heated whirlpools. There's usually a lot of elbow room there except during some peak hours (7-8:30 am?, 5-6 pm, 7-8 pm). There's also a masters swim group from 5:30-7 am or so I've been told. I've never actually been to the pool before 7 am.

You probably know about the access trail to the Mt. Vernon Trail, right next to the Crystal Waterpark. From there, you can run along the MVT. It's really nice to run south through Old Town. You can take a detour through the waterfront park (no bikes allowed on that detour) and watch the sailboats on the river.

MVT may not be the best trail for cycling, but after you pass the airport, you can turn off onto the Four Mile Run Trail. After a few miles (actually, it's almost 4 miles exactly), you can cross a street and head onto the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD). That's a great place to do some longer rides, even with the grade crossings early on in Arlington and Falls Church. The trail goes all the way to Purcellville, about 45 miles away, but obviously you can turn around at any point.

You can head north on MVT to the 14th St. Bridge and Hains Point for faster loops on the road in East Potomac Park. Just be mindful of the high-powered water jets that the Nat'l Park Service is using to water the trees there. Some of those water streams are seriously strong. And one of them was aimed at head/helmet level one day. I got quite the blast of water in the side of my helmet!

Have fun with the training. Hope to meet you at a happy hour or on one of the trails.



@Rachel, how many lanes do they have at the L.A. Fitness pool? Is it 25 yds.? I couldn't tell from their website whether that location even had a pool so I ignored all of the flyers that I keep getting.

krafty81's ravatar krafty81    JOINED: 5/20/09    POSTS: 127
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/30/10 1:56 PM

You could also look at Sport and Heath club, they have at least two sites in Xtal City, one has a pool. I work out at Pentagon Athletic Club because I'm a military guy, and use the nice pool at the Pentagon for swimming.

rah2774's ravatar rah2774    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 345
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/30/10 4:10 PM

I'm not far from Crystal City - in Old Town... a bunch of us swim at XSport (a HUGE 24 hour gym in Alexandria, right off of 395).
In any event, a HIM is a great goal... and yes, you do need to be able to swim for more than 20 minutes (you truly are a woman after Tuan's heart). :-)
If you're thinking about a local race, Eagleman (in Cambridge, MD in mid June) registration opens Monday and it will close quickly! With the exception of the likelihood of crazy hot/humid weather, it's a pretty good first HIM (I know from experience) - flat as a pancake, not too far away, lots of DC tri folk do it and/or volunteer.

FWIW to whomever posted it, if I don't join the vertical swimmer for his ride on Sunday I will likely be at Prince William For. Parkway (for about 4 loops and a 20 min run)... but have no idea when I'll get there. If you're interested in hills, you should consider meeting up with Tuan's Sunday ride group -- meeting at a bank in G-town and heading out towards Poolesville... those are some great hills!

leriley's ravatar leriley    JOINED: 7/29/10    POSTS: 5
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 7/30/10 4:39 PM

I would really love a local race!

Would a HIM in June be too overzealous? If I am doing my first ever sprint this October and then train throughout the winter, is a HIM in June reasonably achievable? I was thinking of getting a few more sprints and an Oly or two under my belt and then do the HIM next fall, towards the end of the season. But if next June is doable, then I will sign up and get to training!

Lzlhe    JOINED: 7/6/10    POSTS: 25
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 8/22/10 7:29 PM

Hey guys -

I am also located in Crystal City, and I'm a member at LA Fitness. I'm also looking to improve my swim stroke, so would love to meet folks for a swim (or bike or run, for that matter). Doing my first sprint next month in Warrenton... feel free to email me at leslie.e.vasquez at

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 2218
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 8/23/10 1:36 PM

Three miles up the Mt. Vernon trail from Crystal City is the Hains Pt outdoor 50-meter pool, open this year until Oct. 17. The lane to the far right, looking outward at the pool, is for the less seasoned strokers. In the lefthand lanes you'll often find DCT people swimming, who would be happy to give you tips about your stroke if you ask them.

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 2218
RE: Newbie in Crystal City!
POSTED: 8/23/10 1:37 PM


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