WEEK 22 - Monday 2.8.10
I know I waxed on rhapsodically about last week being a rest week, but I am still stunned by the benefits. I swam an easy 1.5 hours in 53 degree water on Saturday and felt like I could have stayed much longer. I have never had a “plan” before and I like it.
This morning’s pool workout was hard. A friend said, if you have trouble washing your hair after the workout, you had a good one. Well this morning I could have used handicapped bars to keep my upright. We did some speed work, my least favorite thing. My lane mate remarked, “I don’t do speed”. I understand what she means. I feel like trying to swim faster just means more splashing and tons more effort for a second or twos reduction in time. Not worth it in my book, but I do what the coach says – always (it makes life easier). Why pay for coaching if you aren’t going to benefit from it?
This blogging thing has taught me something; it’s good to keep records and notes about your workouts. You learn what is working and what isn’t. This week every time I sat down to write I realized that I want to start out with, “I’m tired”. Not only is this boring to hear about, but it must mean something is wrong with what I am doing. Am I swimming too much? Am I swimming too hard? Am I not eating or sleeping properly? I need to look at my training log and see what’s up, and to check in with myself to see if I am getting sick or not getting enough rest. I never would have thought about these issues before, so I am happy to be learning new things about my body and my abilities.
The problem is that there are always so many variables in life that I never took the time to figure out what was affecting what.
My masters program has a new coach two days a week. He has increased the intensity and doesn’t like kicking which means that his workouts include about 20% more swimming than before. I never would have figured this out; I would have just wondered why I was so tired after his workouts. But in the showers other swimmers were discussing the differences too. Their conjecture is that this new coach writes workouts for a 3 x week swimmers who don’t work full time (late morning workouts at the country club). Most of the masters that I swim with swim six days a week at 6:00 am and then go off to work. His workouts are hard but his normal clientele take the next day off. I am so intent on increasing my mileage over the next six months but I need to balance this with building strength so that I don’t get hurt. Because I only have an hour available in the pool every morning, I can’t increase my weekday yardage much past 3,000 yards. This leads to working too hard and swimming too long on the weekends. I think I might need to add another rest day and use it to do yoga and get some stretching in. But I don’t want to give up my long times in the bay on the weekends. Maybe two 2 hour swims on the weekend are too much. I will have to listen to my body and make adjustments. As I have been reminded, it is a training plan, a guide, and not set in stone.
I have made it to bed every night before 10:00 pm and that is the best I can hope for. But I could make improvements in my nutrition. I vow to keep a food record for a week and then talk to a sports nutritionist for some recommendations. This is the very last thing that I want to do, but it is probably the most important “fix” I could make to my training. It’s time I grew up and faced the boogeyman in my personal closet.
On a much more positive note, I sent a deposit to Rafael of the ASOCIACIÓN CRUCE A NADO DEL ESTRECHO DE GIBRALTAR (Gibraltar Straits Swimming Association) which thrills me because now there is no turning back. This swim will happen; I am bound for Spain this July!
Now for the bad news; my knee has been bothering me for over two weeks and I finally went to the doctor. I was sure that he would tell me that I just need to rest and it would get better, but no, he said, “I think you have a locked knee, a something fold, and we need an MRI”.
Wow, what a shock. I know that I can’t straighten it, and I am still limping after two and a half weeks, but I figured with a bit more stretching and no running that it would bounce back. This must have something to do with being almost 50 years old. A small wrench skiing becomes something that only surgery can fix. Well I will hope for the best. I can still swim with only mild pain. I don’t ever want to have knee surgery (again).
As luck would have it, I have to miss my morning swim tomorrow (so I will get some unplanned rest). My oldest girl, Katharine is at the Olympic Peninsula Institute in Northern Washington on a week long science trip of snow camping and field research so I have to drive my younger daughter Coco to school tomorrow. My neighbor has done the morning run and I the afternoon pick up but tomorrow she needs me to do both. Then I begin physical therapy for my knee (while I await the MRI appointment). And then Friday is the start of a four day weekend (yeah!). And even though I love my masters group, I can’t quite make myself get up at 5:30 am on a day that I don’t have work. So I will get to rest Thursday and Friday and then I will be ready for a long swim in the Bay on Saturday and Sunday. I have made arrangements to meet with an experienced open water swimmer one day this weekend for some stroke analysis. And I plan to ask him about my training plan and how to modify it so I don’t get injured. And this weekend I promise to start the whole feeding experimentation process. I want to say the whole stupid feeding thing, but I am trying to remain positive especially about the parts of channel swimming that I don’t enjoy like the food.