I finally made it to the pool! After just two short laps my shoulders made their presence known. I wondered if I would be able to swim for 30 minutes nonstop. I persevered and within a few minutes the muscle aches faded into the background. I kept my pace slow and comfortable since I am just getting back into a groove. Most importantly, there wasn’t a giant water bug in sight!

I followed up my swim with a nice jog. I’m up to jogging 6 minutes straight and covered 3.5 miles. It’s been 10 long months since the injury and my body still isn’t cured. But I am taking things slowly. I am still hoping to do a triathlon sprint this summer but that all depends on this injury.

Now I’m off to bed. I have other life updates but I’m not quite ready to share. Night night Tumblr!

Last Saturday I had a really good swim.  I’m still trying to build up the speed (relatively speaking of course because I am a slow turtle) and endurance I gained last summer when I lived in the pool and was training for my triathlon.  Everything felt pretty much in tune and I found a decent rhythm.  However later that night I inexplicably couldn’t stretch my left arm forward due to intense muscle pain.  I think I might have just tweaked something in my shoulder.  Thus, I skipped my usual Sunday swim in order to give the muscle time to fully recuperate.

Fast forward to today and I hit the pool for my usual swim and was greeted by a monster roach in the pool area!  No one else was around and it was surprisingly fast when I tried to stomp it to death.  I seriously debated leaving (because critters like that freak me the heck out) but I really needed and wanted to swim today.  So I decided to keep a blind eye out for its return while I swam.  I don’t swim with my contacts in usually so I’m pretty blind in the pool.  However, every time I swam to that end of the pool I kept a keen eye out.  Sure enough, I eventually spotted the beast creeping toward my flip flops! I had to get out of the pool and hunt the beast down and slay it.  I looked like a crazy woman, but I prevailed.  I ended up finishing my swim pretty well so I guess no harm was done.  However, when I alerted the lady at the front desk to the particulars of my ordeal she had the nerve to tell me that it was a water bug.  That beast was no water bug.  It was absolutely huge.  I live in the midwest—we don’t grow water bugs that large here.  I suppose the beast might have gotten into the muscle milk stuff they sell in the gym and grown to an insane size, but I doubt it.  From  now on I’ll have to diligently search the pool area before beginning my swim. 

Overall, a good swim with a little bit of extra cardio (and dragon slaying) thrown in for good measure!

Swimming Like a Slow Turtle

After much talking, I made it back to the pool tonight!  And yes, I was slow; but, I finally remembered why I enjoyed swimming so much last year.  I deliberately didn’t push myself since I hadn’t been near the pool in almost two months, but I did try to focus on my form.  The pool was just as peaceful as I remembered and right now I need that sense of peace.  The plan going forward is to swim 3-4 times a week.  So far the hip/pelvis feels okay so hopefully swimming will not aggravate anything.  Ironically, my left hip flexor is giving me the flux right now!

I still am itching to ride my bike or even walk on the treadmill, but I think as long as I stick to my new swim plan I should still burn off some of the stress and unhealthy energy that has plagued me the past two and a half months since I was first sidelined by this ever-lingering injury.  

Here’s to smelling like chlorine more nights than not from now on!

440 Yards at a Time

Today, I discovered that I can swim over a quarter mile in the pool without stopping.  It seems a bit surreal.  I remember when I couldn’t even swim 20 yards a few months ago without feeling like I would die.  This lifts a huge weight from my chest.  Last week I worried if I’d be able to swim the necessary quarter mile by my triathlon.  Lo and behold, somewhere along the way I unleashed my inner sea turtle and realized that if I just kept swimming I could conquer previously unimaginable distances!  Hmmm, maybe I should take that to heart in other areas of my crazy life.

I unfortunately didn’t make it to the pool too often this week.  Last Friday I swam with B and was so excited to swim 200 yards nonstop.  Unfortunately I didn’t make it back into the water until Wednesday where again I swam with B (I love the fact that she’s getting back into swimming in part due to my current love affair with the pool).  Well Wednesday I decided to push myself.  Early in my swim I was delighted to find out that I could swim 240 yards nonstop.  That got me thinking that I could probably try to swim 280 yards and I did! 

I was beyond excited about Wednesday’s swim session and I started to think that maybe I could swim even farther. After all, each time I swam lately I was able to gain more distance and didn’t feel like I would die. So today when I hit the 14th lap in the pool, I decided to just keep pushing and see how far I could go. I swam 20 laps (400 yards) nonstop! After a few minutes of rest I broke through another mental wall and swam 22 uninterrupted laps (440 yards)! I couldn’t believe it. Honestly, if I had more time and courage I’m pretty sure I could have gained even more yardage.

I had another swim talk with my dad and told him that I finally realized that when I’m feeling tired in the pool if I just finish that lap I can push through a lot more laps. It’s almost like there’s a sweet spot. I find myself thinking, if I just finish X more laps I’ll stop. Then I hit that goal and realize I can keep going. This happens to me on the treadmill as well. I often find myself feeling like I’m going to die and I promise my tortured legs and feet that I’ll let them rest if they will just carry me 5 or 10 more minutes. Inevitably I reach that milestone and it’s like I’ve broken through a wall and find that my body can give so much more.

This summer I’m determined to see how much more my body can give. Between now and the triathlon maybe I can swim a half mile nonstop. Maybe I can bike farther and faster. And maybe, just maybe I can learn to jog short distances. I’ve never aspired to be a runner and realistically even at my goal weight my knee will never be strong enough to run great distances. But it would be so nice to be able to jog at least part of the run portion of this upcoming triathlon. We’ll just have to see how much more my body can give as I swim, bike, and run!

Sorry for two straight swimming-related posts, but I’m so excited about my workout today that I have to share!  Last week I was able to swim 50 yards at a time.  When I first started swimming seriously a few short months ago, I could not even make it 25 yards without stopping.  Each week I’m trying to add more distance so that I can gradually work up to swimming at least 411 yards nonstop (hopefully) by the end of August.  My super sprint triathlon has a 375 meter swim (which I just learned is about a quarter mile and about 411 yards).  So I’ve got some work to do!

Today I was able to consistently swim 75 yards (3 laps) at a time!  During my 50 minute swim I swam 10 sets of 3 laps for total of 750 yards.  If all goes well, next week I’ll be able to hopefully survive 4 consecutive laps.  I had no idea a quarter mile would be so long, but I’ll be so excited to hit this milestone by August 27 (the date of my triathlon).