Monday, 2 December 2013

Hitting the big 60

Today has been different in terms of my schedule. My carer is still away and I haven't swum since Wednesday. I had a physio appointment at 1 so I decided to have an easy morning and swim after the appointment.

The pool was in total chaos! There were more schools sessions going on, so much so that 3/4 of the pool was roped off for them leaving 1 single lane for lap swimmers. The first 20 minutes or so were quite unco-ordinated and I felt very anxious swimming on my back and trying to leave room for other swimmers is such a narrow lane. I did have a bit of a panic when the rope I was basically swimming against snapped and the divide between the swimmers got very messy. Thankfully that was sorted quite quickly, the thought of having to hold my line with children swimming next to me freaked me out. Isn't it funny how much of a difference that little piece of rope makes in a space of water?  I got in the pool at 2pm. At 3 the school sessions ended and the lanes were mercifully widened. It is always such a relief to have more room to swim without smacking into other swimmers.  I got to 30, 40 and then 44. I just decided that I was swimming well and to hell with it, I may as well keep going and see if I could get to 60 without my shoulders dying on me.

I did it in reasonable comfort, which is to say I could have kept going had I needed to. It's funny how different it feels when you stop though. Within 10 minutes or so whatever energy you've been maintaining has slipped away and you start to feel the effects of your efforts. Maybe it also has something to do with getting out of the pool and getting cold, but I know that if I don't eat a cereal bar or a banana within about 30 minutes I start to get a bit shaky.

It's 5 hours since I got out of the pool. I've had a cereal bar, a piece of toast when I got home, my dinner, a custard slice and I've started in on a box of chocolates that were supposed to be someones Xmas present. I may be doing the work but I just can't keep away from the sugar, or from just filling my face in general. I'm hoping that in time I can get a handle on the crazy eating and maybe actually drop a few pounds in the process. But right now? Pass the chocolate.  x

Monday, 25 November 2013

Just another Manic Monday

My carer is on holiday this week so it's the first time I headed to the pool without her.  I chose to go an hour earlier than normal so that I had time to do more but it turned out to probably not be the best decision.

There was plenty of my normal grumbling about people crowding other swimmers and bashing into them. Some swimmers just hit the wall, turn and shoot off without looking to see if they have any room, especially the faster ones. I can understand the impatience, believe me; I long to have a lane to myself but when you end up having to slam on the brakes cos you've run into someone, what have you really achieved?

So, suffice it to say that 2 hours of that wasn't the greatest fun ever. And since I spend a lot of time hitting the bank with my hand (I need enough room for my backstroke to fully extend my arms to my sides) I took a chunk out of my thumb cos I bashed my hand into the wall. To be honest I'm surprised I haven't done it sooner, I hit the wall several times a session.

The swimming itself was fine. I was really tempted, whilst I didn't have to rush anywhere, to keep going till I hit 60 because I really wanted to know in my body how it felt to swim that far and for that amount of time. However, given that I was very overtired last week I decided in the end that it wasn't the smartest idea and I stopped at 44 lengths. I moved away from the lanes and did some arm stretches and some leg work and then got out.

I'm not planning to go early on Wednesday, I think unless I go at the crack of dawn when the pool opens I think I'm definitely better off swimming for longer in the lanes so I'll try that on Wednesday.

At some point early nest year I will really need to do the 7am session, assuming it's calmer and quieter than after 9 with none of the normal grumbling. But given that we're headed for the depths of winter and I'm hoping to just be able to keep going, depending on weather and that I don't get some stinking cold etc. I'll be just really happy not to have to skip too many sessions between now and the end of January.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

A mixed bag

I've missed a week of posting because I had a few crappy sessions. On Friday the 15th my nose clip broke just after I got in the water which basically screwed my chances of swimming properly. That Friday was actually a crappy day all round, so the less said the better.

Monday this week was bonkers. Difficulty finding room to swim amongst all the other swimmers in a smaller than usual lane and one guy in particular who seemed to make it his mission to shove me into the wall as often as possible by not giving me any space. When he didn't let up after the lifeguard spoke to him I gave up and got out. Plus my lap counter wouldn't work so Monday didn't count for much.

Wednesday this week was, thankfully, a lot better. I do feel a bit pissy at times when swimmers won't take into account others who are waiting for enough room to start and head off without checking so I end up basically waiting till "the end of the queue" so I can start. That tries my patience rather a lot. Luckily once the lanes opened I had room to properly get going and once get into my groove I didn't really want to stop! :) I shouldn't have done huge amounts yesterday because I'm quite a bit overtired but I was having such a good swim I kept going until I hit 40 lengths.

I'm under orders not to increase for a week to give me time to catch myself up on rest. My carer is away next week so Monday is the first time I will be by myself with no one to help me change and no time scale to adhere to. This may be a good thing or it may work against me and make me exhausted.

Until then, since it's the end of the week and usually I am very tired, I shall see how tomorrow goes and of course that partly depends on other people and how much room I have. xxx

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Doing fine

Wednesday morning and for a few minutes I consider staying in bed. Yeah, right!  As usual, it's busy when I get to the pool. As usual, most people are sensible but there's always a few folk who make things awkward. I wish I could go to a pool that was for proper training and I could just get on with it without having to worry about other people. It would make things faster and much easier. La la la, I'm such a whinger. ;)

It takes me a few lengths to get my arms and shoulders loosened up before I can swim the better stroke with my arms leaving the water in a higher position. Once I've done 10 lengths I'm in my stride and going well. I'm looking forward to passing 40 (next week I think) and testing out how long my arms can go for before they start to complain.

I did a couple of extra lengths today, 36 instead of 34 just to push closer to my final target. I think as long as I avoid colds etc and don't hurt myself or have a fatigue setback I'm going to be fine with the final distance. I really do need to look at using the pool perhaps at a different time when I can just bash out the lengths without the usual battle of avoiding others.

We'll see how busy Friday is. I may try for 40 ..... xxx

Monday, 11 November 2013

Friday's madness and Monday's mission.

Friday last week was bonkers. When I got to the pool there was a school lesson going on as usual in one half of the pool, and at least 10 people all trying to swim in the other half. It was busy, messy and frustrating. So much so that my lovely friend, who I now know is called Nuala, had to get out because someone had knocked into her and cut her leg. You can imagine my relief when the other lanes opened and we could all spread out a bit. All in all it meant I was in the pool for and hour and a half before I had got to 30 lengths.

Today was less busy but still messy and frustrating. Some swimmers just don't pay attention to what's going on around them and when you're swimming on your back as I do, you really can't see much of others and it can be a bit of an anxious situation because you're just hoping you don't crash into anyone.

Although to my delight the water was warmer today so I didn't have that usual shock when I get lowered into the water and it's freezing!

Anyway, 34 lengths today done quite comfortably in an hour. Much better result today, I'm starting to hit my stride and I'm really happy with the way things are going. I'm hoping to get a new swimsuit ASAP that I can get on and off by myself (my current one has to have the straps tied at the back otherwise I'd fall out of it) so that I can start thinking about going on other days without my carer. I just need to monitor how my aches are post-swimming to make sure I'm not increasing my distance too quickly.

Roll on Wednesday. :D  xxxxx

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Rainy Wednesday

I didn't swim on Monday. I had an MRI scan on my dodgy right knee on Sunday afternoon which left me feeling rather unwell. So I stayed at home and the last few days have been fighting heavy fatigue.

But today is Wednesday and time to get back to it, I'm certainly not intending to take any more time off unless I have to. I know I have plenty of time but I don't want to get lazy about it all.  Of course the kids are back in school now so when I arrived poolside at 11:20 the schools session was in full swing.  It was nice to see some familiar faces today, an older lady who is incredibly sweet and always tells me how well I'm doing (I still haven't found out her name) and a brunette lady possibly just a little older than me who wears a very colourful swimsuit and swims breaststroke whilst keeping her head (and all her lovely hair) out of the water. She's still faster than me but I think I'm catching her up a bit. ;)

After how well Friday went I was hoping I hadn't lost too much momentum and thankfully after swimming half a dozen lengths to warm up my arms and shoulders, I lifted my arms higher out of the water and got going with the new, improved stroke. I can't do a full rotation with my arms, my shoulders wont let me so normally I just move my arms up to shoulder height and back down, kind of like when doing a snow angel. :)  Now, the arms come out of the water so that the hands meet in front of me, both arms raise above my head and then behind my head, into the water and down towards my sides. I hope that makes sense. :)

I'm still having the problem of cramp in my left foot. I guess I'll have to continue to see how that goes. I'm just hoping it doesn't end up becoming a real problem as I get into 40+ lengths. I'm much more likely to get a bit of arm and shoulder pain now, after all I'm working a lot harder. I may need to talk to the Dr. and ME therapist about it, at the moment I take pain meds morning and night, so after-swimming pain in the afternoon really isn't properly covered and with it being increasingly cold and damp we may need to change things.  La la la the medication juggle is entertaining at times, especially depending on what season we're in.

Anyway, numbers... last Friday I swam the required 24 lengths.  Today, I think I may have miscounted. My counter said 28 but I don't think it was quite that many. I may have pressed the button too hard and added a few extra. I think it was more likely 26 but either way I wanted to do slightly more than last week which I'm sure I did so I'm happy with that after missing a session.  Onward and upwards. :) xx

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Friday's flight

Friday went very well. Even though it was still half term and there were lots of children around, the lanes were open and of course they weren't allowed in them because most just wanted to be in the water to play.  I didn't see any of the familiar faces I swim with because I was earlier than usual.  The first few lengths were actually a struggle.  Whether I hadn't warmed up enough I don't know but it took till I was past about 6 lengths till I felt more comfortable.  I'm very grateful that I don't feel any pain in my shoulders while I swim. My neck and the left foot that cramps are the things I'm conscious of, but even though I couldn't do the same arm movements on land because my shoulders hurt and crunch, in the water it's wonderfully easy.

At some point I noticed that I was lifting my arms out of the water higher. The stroke was going well so I focussed on that and worked with it and kept going.  It seems to have made me faster because I did 24 lengths in 40 minutes, the fastest I've been so far and it felt very comfortable once I'd got into my stride. I rest briefly and loosen my neck regularly so that it doesn't stiffen up or hurt and the same with my foot. The left cramp is something I'm going to have to battle against but hopefully as I continue and improve it'll settle and I can just focus on the swimming itself. I'm have a busy weekend so not as much rest as normal. Hopefully that won't be too much of a problem on Monday but I'll have to see how it goes.