Managing that life/work balance can be a challenge. In my experience, however, taking a moment to get out and live in the real world and off of the online world to swim, has been crucial and sustaining.
January 2012, I completed a Virtual Swim at the Somerset Hills YMCA. Olympic size pools were used to swim the laps as participants tallied their laps every time they swam. Swimming could take place at other venues, so long as you were able to calculate distance.
In a typical Olympic size pool, 18 laps = a straight-up 1/4 mile. 72 laps = 1 mile. This lap swimmer, like many others, calculates based on land miles. (FYI, nautical miles are different and change based upon where you are on the globe and your longitude and latitude points).
Since then, I manage to find time to swim. Like so many other activities, especially an individual's career path for example, it's all about determination, endurance, commitment, planning and self-preservation. At times, my swimming may be a quarter mile and the clock is pushing 10:10 P.M. (and the YMCA I am swimming at closes at 10:30 P.M.). Other times I have swum a continual 4 hours, completing 4 miles within that period. Usually though, my mile is completed in about 40 - 45 minutes, allowing me to complete that additional quarter mile, thus my swim is at least an hour.
I use my swimming as a measuring device to compare simultaneously what I have achieved, experienced or pursued personally and professionally within every 100 miles.
Cooperation and lane etiquette is a must when attempting any type of lap swimming! This involves polite verbal and nonverbal communication, especially when you find yourself entering an already occupied lane and you will be lane sharing and/or circle swimming with multiple swimmers within a single lane. My preferred stroke is freestyle.
To date, my distance lap swimming totals 349 and 1/4 miles plus two laps. Plotting this distance for my Virtual Swim from New York City along the eastern coast of the United States is approximate....