Posts Tagged ‘swimming’

Sitting in the hottub after a short swim I started thinking about how swimming just isn’t as enjoyable for me as it was. Used to be I could swim an hour and feel great about it. Now I do a few laps and I’m bored and ready for something else. It’s not physical, I’m not worse at swimming that I was or able to swim less, I just am not as excited to do it as I was.

This lead me to reconsider what my goals are in what I’m doing. I used to be focused on lifting and running and had specific weights I wanted to lift, and distances or speeds I wanted to run (especially for events I wanted to do).

But I’ve also been slacking on my lifting. So why am I doing what I’m doing?

I realized that right now, my main goals for working out are just your vague and generic I want to be able to do more physically, and I do it for the health benefits. Which doesn’t really require a specific training routine though if I’m not training for anything in particular, just trying to be as healthy as I can be.

So I’m just going to go with my boredom and mix things up in my workouts. I’ve been doing Krav Maga more often (which is only twice a week though).

It is weird realizing that at this time my goals are not easily measurable since they are not performance based but generic health related.

It also however though reminds me of the importance of keeping in mind what your own goals are and how what you are doing is or isn’t based on your goals.

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I love swimming, and I’m realizing one of many reasons that I really enjoy this form of exercise is due to migraines. Since exercise is both a trigger for migraines and makes them a lot worse, they clearly make exercise difficult.

Cold on the other hand is such a godsend for migraines. So swimming in cold water kind of balances it out. Because of having my head immersed in cold water, I don’t get the pain I would with other types of exercise.

As I’ve been doing strength training several days a week before swimming, a lot of the time I am dragging, having trouble doing the strength training because of a migraine. But getting in the pool to swim, I feel better and it doesn’t hold impact my ability to work like it otherwise would.

Of course when I googled I discovered a few people who said that chlorine triggers their ┬ámigraines, so it wouldn’t quite work for those folks. Also wouldn’t have the same impact if the water isn’t cold.

But for me, this is another reason to enjoy swimming ­čÖé

I’m always trying to push myself, little by little, to get out of my comfort zone and do things that make me freak out. Eventually with this process, I get to try new things, and become comfortable in more environments.

Joining the gym in the first place was out of my comfort zone.

Swimming at the gym was out of my comfort zone, even at night with few people around.

Swimming during the day with lots of people around but an empty lane was another step out of my comfort zone after I got comfortable with swimming at night.

Yesterday I went to the gym after work before the debate expecting to be too drunk after the presidential debate to go to the gym. I forgot how crowded they get during the day. The mall sized parking lot for the gym was packed. I almost turned around then, but the upside of driving 40 minutes to the gym is it makes me less inclined to turn around and head home without getting my workout in.

When I went in, the pool was packed. 4 out of 5 lanes were reserved for the next hour and half for “programs”. Leaving only 1 lane for anyone, like myself, who was just there to swim. When I got there, there were two men sharing that lane already. I was nervous about trying to be a third in the lane, it didn’t look like it would work well, especially┬áwith one dude swimming the butterfly stroke. I waited a bit and one of them left so I decided to go ahead and ask the remaining guy if I could share the lane. He said no problem. Shortly after another person joined, so we did end up with 3 people sharing the lane.

Super out of my comfort zone there, but I sucked it up and did it. And in the end, as always, it was not at all as scary as I make it out to be in my head.

I did end up changing my workout plan based on sharing the lane but I did 10 laps of front crawl and called it a day.

Ever since I’ve started making an effort to push myself out of my comfort zone, I’ve been doing more and having lots more fun. I definitely plan to keep with it and keep trying new things. It’s uncomfortable and even scary at first, but so far has been very worth it!

Swimming is Hard

Posted: September 26, 2016 in My workouts, Uncategorized
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I had no idea until I started swimming. I hear about open water swims that are 1-2 miles and I always thought “oh, short swim”. 1 mile is short walking or running. I had no idea how long a 1 mile swim is.

I was shocked to discover when I started swimming that to swim 1 mile I had to swim 33 laps at my gym pool. 33. Wow. I now have swam 1 mile in one go 3 times now. A mile has never seemed so far in my life until trying to swim it. And I swim in a pool, where I can kick off the wall ever 25 meters, and I do half of it backstroke which is far easier (and slower) than front crawl (freestyle). I can only do a few laps freestyle before I need a rest. Whole new respect for people who do long open water swims!

Of course breathing when swimming is the biggest struggle for me. Walking or running, it’s easy- you gasp desperately for air. The hardest part is if I start coughing from my asthma. But swimming? My body wants to pant for air but much of the time (freestyle swimming) my face is in the water and that would result in me drowning. This is the biggest reason I do half the swimming backstroke- it keeps my face out of the water and I can breathe easily.

Luckily my gym has a lifeguard if I ever should fail at the “don’t breathe in the water” step of swimming. Though less comforting when the lifeguard spends long periods talking to someone facing away from the pool I’m in or hours with their nose in their phone, so hopefully I don’t ever need saving.

On the topic of swimming, I’ve been reading The First 20 Minutes by┬áGretchen Reynolds and she mentions a study where they made rats swim in barrels for 3 hours. THREE HOURS! Those poor rats is all I can think ­čśŽ If we want to understand the impact of swimming on bodies, can’t we use willing human volunteers?

My last mile swim was 1hr 20min 30sec with rests. And those poor rats had to swim 3 hours with no rests. I love swimming but ouch. Poor rats.

This is actually something I would like advice on.

I feel out of place and like I’m doing something, or everything, wrong when I’m at the gym. And I’m so caught up in that I’ve never really thought about ways to encourage other people there.

Let me explain what brought this up:

Today I went in to swim around 1am. There was a man getting in the pool right about the same time as me. I followed him in down the steps- I prefer to walk in down the steps and then get in lane.

He asked if I wanted the first lane and I told him I was fine taking the second lane, it’s just easier to come down the steps and then duck under the buoys.

After that he struck up some conversation with me asking me how many laps I was going to do. I said I wasn’t sure, probably not many since the pool closes at 2. I ask how many he was doing and he said he doesn’t know, he just does what he can. A lot of stop and go. I said the same for me (I have to rest at least every 100m, if not more often).

We both then started off and I outpaced him for sure as I was swimming the laps and he was doing a bit of swimming and a bit of walking (they do say that if you want to walk laps, to use the leisure pool, but I am guessing late at night when there are only 1 to 2 lanes in use period they aren’t super strict in enforcing that.)

Later I was resting at the same time he was taking a bit of breather, and he told me good job or that I was doing good or something like that. I laughed and said thanks. Told him the same. He says, oh no, not me, I’m just moving around. I said, hey, you are moving, that is something!

Then another time I took a break floating during my rest time, he asked how I did that. I told him I really don’t know [I really don’t actually] I seem to just be naturally buoyant [maybe it’s all the fat lol]. But if i just relax in the water, I will float it seems.

He said something else about my swimming being good, and the backstroke being hard. I said that I just started swimming again and am trying to remember what I learned way back in high school. He said he never learned to swim and is just trying to teach himself. I told him that he’s doing well teaching himself. Then we both went back to our laps.

 

Afterwards I started thinking and wondering if he feels as self-conscious and out of place as I do there. I hope he sticks with the swimming. And it has me wondering what is it i could say or do in those situations to try to make someone else feel more comfortable and confident at the gym (if they aren’t. I might be projecting.)

 

What do you think?

 

I skipped swimming  last night due to a migraine. But I was back tonight!

Was similarly quite tonight. There was a guy standing in the lap pool but no one else swimming. Several folks in and out of the leisure pool and hot tub though.

I feel like being able to go swimming like this is the best thing in my life right now!

Love or temporary infatuation? I guess only time will tell ­čÖé

That said, I am not great at swimming at all! I tried 5 laps of breast stroke tonight and it was absolutely awful. I was more just flailing around than actually doing a breast stroke. My front crawl/freestyle is only marginally better really.

I love not having to share a lane though, especially tonight as I had difficulty swimming straight and was zig zagging back and forth across the lane!

Day 1 New Gym Membership

Posted: August 16, 2016 in My workouts
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So I found a gym near me that has a pool, and it’s open 22 hrs/day. Membership is quite a bit more expensive than the YMCA would be, but the hours are much better compared to limited lap swim hours in the morning at the Y.

I sent a request online for price information and they got me to come in after work to tour the facility and I decided to go ahead and sign up right away.

Then I went  back at midnight for my first time swimming.

I was very happy that at midnight there was only one person in the lap pool who was getting out just as I got there, so no worries about having to share a lane and getting in anybody’s way.

I took a swim class my senior year of high school  (as required at my school) and then swam laps once in college at the pool there (which had limited hours and was always filled).

So needless to say I haven’t done much swimming in awhile.

And I forgot how much of a workout it is! I always think of swimming as relaxing, but a lap in and I was breathing so heavily. I spent a lot of time resting between laps, both to catch my breath and because I was having trouble getting my goggles fitted well.

Also my swimsuit is obviously not great for lap swimming because I had to keep stopping to pull the bottom piece back up over my ass (uh-oh!). Getting a new one soon so hopefully that ends up being better.

At one point while I was catching my breath and adjusting my goggles a guy walked by and said “slow down, speedy! you’re going to get a speeding ticket!” Obviously I wasn’t actually swimming fast. But I laughed. I’m not really sure what the intent of the comment was?

After about 15 minutes of laps (and resting) I decided to call it quits for the night as I was feeling a bit sick. I headed over to relax and stretch in the “spa” (hot tub). In there was I think the same guy as before and another man. One of them greeted me with “how you doing, speedy?” then the other made the same joke that “you’re going to get a speeding ticket, speeding up and down those lanes like that!”.

I laughed and mentioned that I’ve barely down any swimming before today since high school.

 

All in all though, I am very happy! I have missed exercise, I love swimming even if I’m awful at it, and I have really, really, really missed the endorphins that come with exercise! After the swim I felt like my brain was just being showered in happy chemicals!

Hopefully my experiences remain as positive.