Monday Swim Workout: 2300m/50min

I’ve been getting swim workouts from www.swimplan.com – it’s a website that creates free detailed workouts based on your ability level and desired strokes/drills/etc. I’ve been doing the shorter ones (~1800m, 30-45 min) but yesterday I wanted a fuller cardio workout, so I did a longer one. The full workout was 2300m in 50 min. I did most of the 50-free on 1:00 (~45sec + 15sec rest), and my 100-frees were ~1:30-1:40 pace. I really am a much better swimmer than I am a runner.

Anyway, I’m posting the workout here just for my own records. 

I continue to be amazed at how good swimming feels: it’s a hard workout, definitely – I get out of the pool and my entire body has the shakes – but I’m not in pain, my lungs aren’t on fire, my ankle doesn’t hurt and my back feels no worse than when we got in the pool. It’s an incredible feeling. I may be over running for good.

 

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A Diet-based Week

I’m still off of running this week, but I couldn’t sit around and do nothing.

Tuesday: went to PT, then swam for ~21 minutes (11x100m at about ~1:40/min pace)

Thursday: legs and abs at the gym, then an 1800m workout I got off of swim plan.com (warmup, drills, 100s free/breast/back, etc) which I did in ~32 min.

Friday: arms and abs at the apartment complex gym.

I planned to swim again over the weekend, but the lingering flu/sniffles, bronchitis cough, and general feeling like garbage convinced me to rest up instead.

One thing I did this week was get back into the habit of tracking my diet and counting calories. in the past I’ve counted cals on and off, mostly to pay attention to macronutrients (carbs/fat/protein), but I stopped doing it at the point it became a little over-the-top. However, since I’m so limited in workout options right now due to my health, I’ve decided to start paying attention again, and use this as an opportunity to improve my diet.

Anyway. I set my target at ~1700 cals/day. I know from an O2 test at the gym that my BMR is ~1450 and my maintenance level is ~1950, so 1700 seemed a good target to me for slow loss — enough to keep my hypoglycemia under control and keep me from feeling hungry, but a small deficit that I can then increase with exercise as my options open up. I was good at keeping up with it – wiexes summing and the good old law of averages I came in at just under 1700/day as an average for the week. I’ve got good meals planned for this week and I’m planning to weigh in tomorrow (as well as do some measurements) so that I can start this the right way.

This week I’m hoping to swim every other day. It’s what I’ve got left right now, and I am really loving the feeling of being in the pool and competing these grueling workouts. If my neck/shoulders/back feel okay I will add in the weight work; if not, just swims.

I have an MRI on Friday and hopefully I’ll know soon after that what’s going on up in there.

A Health Update

There hasn’t been a lot to talk about over here, and it’s mostly because of my health, still. I’ve been taking time off to finally recover from this bronchitis, which has lasted for 6 weeks now, mostly because I’ve been an idiot who has been pushing herself too hard and not taking enough time off and rest. However, in the meantime, I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of this problem with my neck/back/shoulders.

Long story short, I’m on Vicodin now, and I’ve got an MRI next Friday.

I’m very limited in what I can do in terms of working out because of this. I can swim, but I still can’t run (because of my tendonitis), and I can’t lift heavy (although I’m trying to do lighter weight and more reps). So what I’m trying to do for the next few weeks is control my eating, have a way healthier diet, and lose a couple pounds. There isn’t much else I can do, and I’ve never really tried to drop fat through JUST diet before.

I’ll try to record my thoughts here, as I find out more about this mess in my back and go through this process.

Motivation, and Five Ways To Get It

 

There are so many times I hear people say, “I’m too busy to run!” “I’m too tired to work out!” “Seriously, my day/work/job has been exhausting.” Hell, sometimes I hear it from myself, and sometimes it’s true.

But usually, it isn’t.

There are tons of people out there who work exhausting, grueling days – 10 hours, 12 hours, tiring exhausting work – and still stop at the gym on the way home, or go for a run at night.

“But my gym isn’t open late!” “I can’t run here at night, it’s unsafe.” “But I’m so tired.”

These are excuses.

There are plenty of workouts you can do in the safety and privacy of your own home (You Are Your Own Gym); some of them only take 12 minutes (BodyRock). Many gyms are open late; many neighborhoods are safe.

It’s really up to you.

Trust me, I understand. I have a very broken body, and I work 12-hour days when I’m not going to grad school: I understand busy schedules and limited energy.

Here are some of the ways I can get myself going when I need to.

  1. Just go. Don’t give yourself the choice. Tell yourself you have to do it. Yes, this makes a workout feel like a chore rather than a prize – but it can get you out the door.
  2. Compromise with yourself. Sometimes when I’m exhausted and supposed to run 6 miles, I’ll make a mental compromise: If I go out and I still feel horrible, I’ll just do an easy 3. If I feel okay, I’ll do all 6. More times than not, I feel great once I’m actually out there, and I’ll do the whole run. But I’m also careful to listen to my body — if it does feel horrible, I cut it short, enjoy the fact that I did something, and make sure to rest.
  3. Treasure your rest days. This goes with the above — make sure you take a note of your rest days. Pay attention. Notice how you feel after them. Don’t fill them up with workout-y stuff and pretend they still count as a rest day just because you’re not doing a run. The more you can specifically let your body rest, the more likely you are to have those needed reserves of energy on days you want.
  4. Don’t be a loner. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, don’t do it by yourself! Join some kind of social fitness network (MyFitnessPal, Fitocracy, forums at NROL4W, etc etc...), or use your Facebook / Twitter / etc to keep yourself honest and motivated. Do a challenge with a friend, or let your coworkers shame you into that late night pushup routine — whatever works for you.
  5. Understand yourself. If you really are tired, and you do skip a night, appreciate that – and come back harder the next day. If you get down on yourself for skipping one night, that feeling will just suck away all of your energy, and you’ll end up missing a week… or more. Allow yourself to really enjoy the night off, and then use that rest to hit it extra hard the next day.

 

 

Oh, and also: New Injuries

So, I’ve also got tendonitis. Again.

I was really hurting when I finished my 7.5 mi leg; I basically handed off the relay bracelet, made my way through the crowd, sat down and had an asthma attack, and then got on the bus back to the stadium to meet the rest of my team. In retrospect, this was a horrible idea, but I didn’t have a lot of brainpower left; I will remember to do a much better cooldown next time, for sure!

By Sunday, I could barely walk, and it has carried over to today. I have peroneal tendonitis. The outsides of my foot, heel-side (right below the knobby bit on the rear outside of your foot), just feel awful every time I try to put any weight on them.

I’ve been icing as much as I can, and I’m taking NSAIDs, and if it hasn’t gone away in a day or two I’ll go off to the doctor.

Can I please not be injured for, like, maybe a week? :/

Akron Marathon Relay: The Results

There’s our team results! A marathon in 4:02. Not too bad, with a team of injured people, sick people, undertrained people, and undertrained sick injured people (yours truly).

My leg was leg #3. That’s 7.5 miles in ~74 minutes (the clock time includes a handoff, and my watch time included a lag as I worked my way out of the crowd). I’m… okay with it. I wouldn’t say I’m happy with a 10:00/mile pace since I ran a longer leg in 9:00/mi last year, but seeing as I ran 7.5 miles with bronchitis and a pinched nerve, after 10 days of complete inactivity due to said bronchitis, I think I’m more unhappy with being sick/broken than I am with the time itself. So, I’m okay with it.

My Garmin tracking of the race is here. Another thing to notice is that I started off way too fast. My first mile was a 9:17, and it just went downhill from there. That’s mostly my own fault; for some reason I thought if I started off at a faster pace I’d be able to keep it up for all 7.5 miles — NOPE. You’ll notice my speed just decays over the whole run; by the end of it I was feeling awful, my legs and lungs were both burning and I didn’t even have anything left for one final sprint. When people say start out slow and try to negative-split your races, they mean what they say! I wish I’d used the first mile or so as a warm-up and gone from there; the end of the race was hilly, and I could have used a little extra punch there, rather than one fast mile and then done.

However, it’s done now! Congrats to us for finishing with so many obstacles in our way, and here’s to being done with running (in terms of a training plan) for a little while — maybe my body can finally start to heal…!