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Waterbaby [Dec. 6th, 2011|02:11 pm]
After yesterday's miserable post (sorry, not public; I like to keep my frothing at the mouth down in the root cellar, not all over the web.) I thought I'd try and think of something that's going well:

So, on the one hand, the swimming is going well. M-W-F, like clockwork. I’ve almost gone two sessions without forgetting something essential…like shoes…but have given up and now carry spares of everything in the car. My knees are loving it – even hundreds of breaststroke and they don’t really complain, although you’d think they’d hate the torsion. (Yes. I think of my knees as two semi-sentient beings. Like a pair of crabby old Shih-Tzu’s.) And my stroke is fine, although I have a long way to go to build up strength again. But that first 25 yards…I forgot how awesome it feels to just PLOW, creating enough of a wake that I barely have to turn my head to breath. But by the third and fourth length, my lungs chime in. If my knees are crabby old Shih-Tzu’s, my lungs are a turn of the century ingénue in a too-tight corset, pressing the back of her hand to her brow, gasping and collapsing in a heap.

Cowgirl up, lungs. Sigh. It’s always been a problem, borderline asmar my whole life, with half the lung capacity of a normal person. And I know I have to patient and work my way up, work through the panic that sets in when I start to gasp (always exacerbated a bit in the water, as that’s always when the jackalope in the next lane decides to powerkick a wash right into my mouth) and break through it out into a steady rhythm. But it’s frustrating to hit 350 yards and then need to take a break. But, it’s really hard for me to swim slowly. My kickboard and pull buoys have wandered off in the ensuing years, but as soon as the intrawebs deliver them, at least I can do some more work toward developing strength – and convince my fainting flower lungs that we’ll get them to the other side of the railway tracks and foil that Snidely Whiplash, once again.

Of course, all of this increased activity and lettuce-eating has driven my metabolism into its bunker. All coiled up and being efficient. Bastard. It doesn’t help that I get out of the pool ravenous. I’m trying to find the right kind of post-swim breakfast that will hold me until lunchtime, but so far, all I’m getting is nostalgia for what I used to eat after I last swam regularly. Back then I usually swam after dinner (seriously, not swimming on a full stomach? Dumbest myth ever) and after working out I would regularly chow down an entire bag of potato chips and a container of dip. Or a big bag of popcorn. Or three pitchers of beer. Or that guy I….wait. No, I was never a cannibal. That was just a rumor.

And I still had, if not sixpack abs, at least the hint of a fourpack. Of course, there’s a lot of space between a twenty-something metabolism and 5,000 yards/workout and where I am now. I mean, I know, there’s a chance I’m building muscle, possibly at the same rate I’m burning fat. But still, it’s disappointing to step on a scale and see no progress whatsoever.

Ah, well, I’m getting full sooner when I eat, I don’t seem to have a shred of sugar-craving left in me, and three times a week I pass by a mirror coming out of the pool and think okay, not bad for your age.* I’ll take that.

*That’s going INTO the pool. Coming out of the pool, hair plastered down, goggle-imprinted, muscles all inflamed and flushed, I think, well there’s a look only an East German swimming coach could love. Scary and imposing. But hey, it gives my lungs something to live up to.

[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2011-12-06 09:20 pm (UTC)
it's a good thing the captain is apparently of East German swimming coach stock then. ;)

meanwhile, i admire your swimmingness and enjoyment of it. if we're ever capsized, come find me, ok? i might need some assistance getting all the way to shore.

to say "i only dog paddle" isn't much exaggeration. i also side-kick and back float. the easy-peasy no-calories-burned kind.
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[User Picture]From: queenmaggie
2011-12-06 10:41 pm (UTC)
If you are planning on doing this long term, I highly suggest something like a "SwiMP3" I have been listening to music as I swim laps for going on 7 years, and it makes the difference between...oh, ghod, again?! and "Now I get to listen to my friends sing and play while I move"
Plus, if you choose the right music, the rhythm makes you keep to the ptoper pace, which is essential for me with my stupid scleroderma issues.
here is link
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2011-12-06 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, no, no outside noise for me. Swimming is where I used to do my best "writing" or thinking. I'd come out of the pool with an essay, speech or paper pretty much all done but the setting of it down on paper. Ah, the good old days, remember when we actually WROTE. With a pen? Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!

That's part of the reason I'm looking forward getting my breathing and endurance back -- once I get to the magic place, my heartbeat, breathing and stoke all synch right up and then my brain is completely free to roam. Swimmer's high?

But thanks for the suggestion.
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[User Picture]From: queenmaggie
2011-12-07 02:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. I can soo understand this POV. I used to do that in my longer car drives (like to rehearsal and back) I've noticed here in S FL that I don't drive like that: everything is within 10 minutes...and if I go further, I find exactly the same stuff. That's truly irritating. I'd like more variety, and even just a few local individual businesses.

otoh, for me, getting the pace right (without stressing my joints or muscles too much) is essential. I WILL push to go harder, faster, further, particularly if a 'trainer' tells me to, and these days, if I do, I pay for it with an extra 4 or 5 days of recovery.

PS, tell the captain that one of the major groups I listen to is the Pyrates: the work shanties have the perfect cadence! ;D
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2011-12-07 01:06 am (UTC)
Wow, good for you, Turnip! I'm so pleased! Also, inspired and eager to keep up the pace with my own recent push for fitness which is working out pretty well so far. Dadgaderie and I have a three mile there-and-back trek we do. Since he walks reeeeeally fast when he's cooking, I jog nearly all the way but still slowly enough to really pay attention to my form and such. So far, so good. We don't do it every day but often enough now that I can go much farther without having to take a walking break. I just finished reading "Born to Run" so of course I'm inspired by that, too! Not aiming to be an ultra-marathoner, though, I just want to be able to run three miles without collapsing at the end. Oh, and ride horses all day without collapsing at the end not to mention getting back on again the next day and doing it again.

Mmmm... horse, horse, horse...
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2011-12-07 01:07 am (UTC)
Also, "there’s a look only an East German swimming coach could love." Awesome line. If you wrote a book I'd buy it.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2011-12-07 01:45 pm (UTC)
We are so going riding this spring...
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2011-12-07 09:48 pm (UTC)
Really??? That's great!! Do you have a place in mind? We are going to have so much fun!
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[User Picture]From: dansr
2011-12-07 01:41 am (UTC)
I'm so out of the loop, and trying to read and type while DB is up and active is insane. I'll email you later. Just sending you hugs and good thoughts right now.
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[User Picture]From: im_geva
2011-12-07 02:05 am (UTC)
Rock on.
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