The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Friday, February 13, 2009

Go Red Go Swimming

Tomorrow is Valentines Day, and the American Heart Association urges everyone to show the love by helping to fight heart disease, especially in women. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America. Many women don’t understand their risks for heart disease and they don’t realize how lifestyle increases their risk. So today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, Go Red, make a commitment to a heart healthy life. Help someone you love make a positive change in their life. Ask them to join you and go for a swim (If you don’t have access to a pool, go hiking or dancing or anything else that’s gonna get your heart rate up. Yeah, that too!! You get the idea).

Last night during Masters Swim Workout, the coach said I was starting to look like a competitive swimmer. Becoming a competitive swimmer has never been my goal. But I do want to become a better swimmer. I want to be able to get in the pool and swim well enough and far enough to feel like swimming is an integral part of my fit life. For now and forever! Swimming with the Masters Team has been a very humbling experience. I knew I wasn’t a very good swimmer technically when I joined the team over a year ago, but I thought I was in pretty good cardiovascular shape. That got me through the first 25 yards and then I had nothing. Wow! Those first few weeks were tough. And now I get in the pool and I swim over a mile during our workouts. I’m still the slowest swimmer on the Team, but apparently I look good, and we all know slow is beautiful. I swim on other days because it feels so damn good and its good for me and my heart and my lungs and my knees don’t complain and because I am a swimmer. Now. I am working on the forever part.

Friday, February 06, 2009

For February

January was successful. I got back to the gym on a fairly consistent basis. I have been swimming twice a week most weeks, I am back with a personal trainer to ramp up my strength program, I am doing core warm-ups, and doing more cardio. I am eating cleaner and my weight has come down a pound or two. So February is here and now it is time to step up the intensity. Time to run harder, spin faster, empty the tank. Combine the pieces to create a more intense workout. February has me traveling more than usual. And usually those trips provide too much opportunity to eat way too much. It won’t be easy to “stay the course,” so it will be important to maximize return on investment. Gotta Step It Up (GSIU).

On Tuesday, I got my ass kicked (again) at Masters Swim. First we swam 300 yards, slowly. Then we swam 25 yds, 12 times, with a theoretical rest of 20 seconds between laps. But as the slowest swimmer, every time I got to the wall, the coach was 1 second away from the 5 second warning. Eeek! Then we kicked 300 yards slowly and kicked 25 yards 12 times. AND then we repeated the whole set with a different stroke (breaststroke for me). Finally we did a 100 IM, and I could barely get my arms out of the water for the butterfly. Somehow, I got through those 100 yards. When I got home, I realized I could barely lift my arms. The next day my inner thighs were sore from all the kicking. Ah, beautiful soreness, it sure feels good!