Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I did it. One mile. 44 laps. 88 touches. 50 minutes of straight swimming without so much as a break to fix my foggy goggles. People came in and out of the pool and I kept on pushing through. And I honestly worried that I wouldn't be able to do it today.
My shoulder started hurting last night. No, not the one that hurt last Friday when I had to give up my attempt at my first mile, but the other one. "Oh, great!" I thought. "Here we go again!" Thankfully, it didn't cause me much trouble in the water.
I almost skipped going to the gym this morning. I went to bed late last night and had a bit of trouble getting up when the alarm went off...and it went off 4 times after I hit snooze again and again... But I got up eventually. Late. Running behind.
"Whatever. Just go."
I went. I put on my suit and my HRM and hopped in the shower to water myself before hitting the pool. I stretched my arms, swinging them around like mad, rotating my shoulders to get them loose. Yes, I fully believe that I am Michael Phelps or Dana Torres when I'm about to step into the YWCA pool in lil 'ole West Virginia. I'm not, but who has to know that?
Unlike running, there's not much time to think under the water. When I run, the movement of my feet is second nature. My phone tracks my mileage and keeps me updated and the only concern I have is not falling. So my mind tends to prattle off my worries and concerns for the day. Sometimes it can be a great thing - I can settle my nerves with a run. Other times, I spend the entire run trying not to cry or whine (and sometimes I do both). Sometimes I have too much time on my runs to think about how much it hurts, how bad it feels, how hard it is, and how much I want to give up. And the mental struggle to push through has been a great exercise in mental toughness for me.
But under the water, things are completely different.
I went into this thinking it was like running. I was training in the pool like I trained for 5ks, sure. But I was going about the mental aspect of it all wrong. This was water. So many things must work in tandem for it to work correctly. I needed to focus my breathing. I needed to keep my head low. I needed to engage my core to keep my body in line, but not tense up because a good stroke is about a relaxed body. I needed to keep kicking. Not big, wild kicks, but small and controlled kicks from the knees down. I needed to maintain a long stroke and reach through at the top. I had to pull the water back while I twisted my body from one side to the other, allowing my arm to extend beside me and helping me to move through the water. I needed to tap the wall with my hand, then twist my legs around using a sort of tuck motion, turn my torso and push off the wall as I extended my arms above my head just under the water. Each step was important. Leave any one out and you go from a smooth swim to a sloppy mess.
I'm not a perfect swimmer. I get extremely sloppy sometimes, especially when I'm tired. There is a time or two where I inevitably miss my breath and take in some water and have to come up early to cough it out for a second. I lose focus sometimes. It tends to happen. So how was I going to maintain all of that for 88 long lengths of the pool?
Simple. I wouldn't do 88 lengths. Not all at once.
10 lengths of the pool.
When I first started out the idea of 10 lengths of the pool (about 200 yards) made me want to wave the white flag immediately. I'd be gasping for air after just two, so the thought of 10? Hell no! But now? Now 10 lengths of the pool is an easy swim for me. I can do 10 lengths of the pool. So that's what I did.
10 lengths of the pool.
And then 8 more lengths for good measure.
Each 10 lengths I used to focus on another aspect of swimming.
I spent 10 lengths working on my breathing.
10 were spent engaging my core.
10 were spent focusing on my body roll under the water.
10 focused on a long reach and smooth stroke.
By 70 I was starting to run out of things to focus on, but by then I was almost there.
The last 8 laps were spent putting it all together. Making them the best 8 lengths I could muster...which wasn't saying much considering how tired I already was.
"Swim a mile," they said. "Sure!" I replied.
I never realized the focus and strength and stamina that goes into that.
A speed of 1.2 miles per hour.
And 528 calories burned, 36% from fat.
Average HR at 127, with a max of 141.
Today, I joined the Mile Club.
I always wanted "runner's legs"...I didn't count on getting "swimmer's shoulders/arms"...
Arms Before Pictures
And close up...
And flexed the other way...
...now off to ice my shoulders and back... *lol*
Read this blog off-site at:
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Slow. None so far this week, but I plan on rectifying that tonight. Yesterday I overslept on accident. Today I did it on purpose. No football practice tonight means I can hit the gym after work, so I decided to sleep a little more even though I was awake in time to leave this morning for my early workout.
Not so great. My stomach is a mess. I think I made a few too many allowances in the past two days and last night I overate at dinner after not eating hardly anything for several days. It's been a tough adjustment period as I try to work out how to eat with serious dietary restrictions on a tight budget. I feel like I'm failing in this...but I'm going to keep trying.
Attitude wise? I'm a little off right now. Pressure at home and at work. Problems with both. Stress has been following me around like a sad little puppy dog and I feel like I'm wearing thin as I try to give everyone the pieces of myself that I really need for my own well-being. It will all level out, I know, but for right now I'm struggling to keep my head on straight.
I need to be stretching more.
So what am I going to do about it? I'm going to refocus myself and get back to what I know. It's working. I don't know what the scale says, but the plan is working. I know that because I can feel it working. My clothes are fitting a little better. I can see positive changes in my body. I've been pretty consistent throughout the month until yesterday and today, so I need to turn it around before it gets out of hand and get back to where I know I need to be. At the half way point of the month I was at 301...and I'm hoping I can lose a couple more pounds in the last part of the month, but that won't happen if I let it all fall apart here and now. I know which way is forward...I just need to take a deep breath, gather my strength and move in that direction once again.
You can read about my thoughts on the importance of planning and see yesterday's blog about how my 10-year-old is adjusting to his dietary restrictions at my other blog:
Friday, August 17, 2012
Well, I kept saying "My first attempt at a mile straight" because I knew it was a possibility I just wouldn't be either physically or mentally ready to tackle the beast just because it happened to be the scheduled day to do it. It's part of my "forgiveness" plan as of late. Not setting my expectations so high that I hate myself for not reaching them.
This morning, it was a sore shoulder that put everything out of whack. By lap 12 it started hurting. I kept monitoring it. It was sore. Then it hurt. Then it went numb. Then it went to sore/stiffness. And finally, I had to stop because it was getting to actual pain - like injury type pain. I wasn't going to risk it. I didn't HAVE to do my mile today. I managed 48 pool lengths even with the shoulder issues in 28 minutes, and I'm alright with that. My hope is that with a weekend to rest, I'll be ready to get after that mile fresh and new on Monday morning.
As for this weekend, I don't have too many plans.
I think I'll tackle trying to get the hallway completed.
Then I move on to the living room, which needs yet another pick up, and the kitchen that always needs help. *lol* I'd like to sort through some clothes as well because I think it's time to try on my goal pants again and see if I'm any closer. I put on one of my goal shirts today and it fits me perfectly...except the length. It's a bit too short right now for me to feel very comfortable in it. Stops just at my natural waist, which just highlights my still huge stomach too much for my taste. I don't think people would think hardly anything about it, but until I feel comfortable, I can't wear it in public. I'll either have a brave day, or by the time it grows in length (when my boobs shrink again) it will be too big and I'll have to donate it.
I think we'll also make a trip tomorrow night to the drive-in again. This time I'm dragging Hubs along. They're showing Dark Knight Rises followed by Magic Mike. Anyone who has seen the second movie - is this something I should avoid taking my 12-year-old to? My 10-year-old will likely sleep through it, as he usually does, but my 12-year-old will watch any movie you put in front of him - no matter how boring - and especially when I think he shouldn't watch it (because of excessive nudity). I'll have to do some looking up of reviews. I'd hate for him to miss the first one, but maybe this weekend should be date weekend for Hubs and I to avoid any issues there. *shrug*
Oh, and today I get to fill out about 100 of these stupid forms for school. I honestly don't understand why they need the SAME information I gave them last year if it hasn't changed. Can't they just pull my emergency card from grade 4 and stick it in grade 5's slot and we can be on our way? I mean, I can understand an "Update this if anything has changed" but COME ON! I have 2 kids...they send at least 2 dozen papers for me to sign and/or fill out with each child...this is the ONLY thing about the start of a new year that I absolutely HATE.
That being said, I think both boys enjoyed their first day back at school. Logan even seemed more chipper about it than I expected. And Ethan is already crushing on a classmate (ah...to be in 5th grade again...). Logan is most excited that he's starting band this year, though. I'm actually excited as well. I was disappointed in him for dropping it last year (well, it's not entirely his fault - they make them CHOOSE an art now. You can't play in band if you take art class and you can't take art class if you play in the band. For an artistic kid like my Logan, that's like asking whether you want to keep your right arm or your left. I hate the state of "arts in the schools" these days!). This year he opted for this instead of FFA...which he really wanted to do...because I asked him to. It's sad I had to do that. I know he loves building things and growing plants, but I'm going to try to find a way for him to do that with his grandfather and at home (I'm looking into 4-H opportunities for him now). The truth is, he has an amazing ear and mind for music. He played for the first time in 5th grade. It was the first time he had picked up any instrument for any real intent to play, and he learned it so quickly he was soon being recruited by the middle school band teacher. (Who gets RECRUITED in band?!) She wrote this glowing letter to us about his amazing talent and how much she really wanted to get a chance to work with him (almost begging us for the opportunity to do so). I told him last year when he had to "choose his art" (they say elective...but it's all arts other than gym) that I would really like for him to see how far he could take this talent with some serious instruction...and I can't afford a real tutor for him. He agreed that he missed it and it would be a shame not to try...so he sadly put a 1 by band and a 2 by FFA (they call it Agricultural Studies or something like that).
I think we might be in for an interesting year ahead.
Ethan likes girls.
And I've asked him to seriously decide if he wants to be a football player or not (and if so, to really devote himself to it).
Logan is starting to play music again..so there will be concerts to go to, I'm sure.
(I also think his voice is starting to change...so that's been weird... *lol*)
I'm looking for jobs again and my off-Spark blog has really gotten me interested in that entire blog-o-sphere out there of amazing ideas and talented (and hilarious) people.
...Hubs will just keep keepin' on....because that's what he does. *lol*
Stop by my other blog to see a recap of this week's meals and how we liked them:
Thursday, August 16, 2012
YAY! It's the first day of school! *jumps up and down like a little girl*
Seriously, do our kids even realize how happy we are when they go back to school? I'll never forget that one commercial a few years back when the parents are all tearful and sad and the kids are looking at them like, "You poor things!" as they get on the school bus. And then the bus drives away and the kids look back to see the adults smiling, laughing, high-fiving, jumping up and down and dancing around with their hands in the air. I laughed and thought, "Yep. That's just about right."
I am so happy that my kids will be doing positive things throughout the day and not sitting around the house letting the computers and XBox eat their brains! I can't wait to hear about all they've learned and the projects they're doing and what kind of math they're learning and what happened at recess! For me, it just means healthier, more-active, learning and growing children...and I can't even express how happy that makes me. For as much as I kick them out of the house during the summer...9 times out of 10 they will sit on the porch griping about how I kicked them out or talking about a video game (yes, they TALK about video games like it's normal conversation!) until I let them back in and they can go back to their holes to hide their heads and let their brains be eaten.
I sent Ethan off today with a healthy dairy and gluten free lunch. I had to spend a little more than I would have liked, but I wanted to make sure he has the best chance possible to not get teased because of the weird foods he's eating. It's not like he explain why he has to eat that way...that would be too humiliating! I bought him a new lunchbox as well so he wouldn't have to cart around a Kroger plastic bag or something similar. *lol* Whatever way I can help. (Though, mark my words...I will be buying a new lunch pail in about a month or so because he's "lost" this one...and I didn't remember to mark it with his name last night so let's at least hope it comes home tonight so I can do that when I get home.)
Shopping at the store last night was hilarious. I took Hubs with me, who is currently self-treating his psoriasis with a diet of no refined sugars. (His hands are clearing up...but that could also be because of the medicated cream they gave him to put on.) We also had a talk about him going out to eat lunch every day at work, so last week he bought himself stuff to make sandwiches in his office. I just smiled. I knew he didn't know. "Uhm, you know there's usually sugar in bread, right?"
He looked at me and scoffed. "Whatever!"
"There's sugar in a lot of things you wouldn't think there was sugar in..."
And the next 30 minutes or so in the store I kept feeling like I needed a pat on the back because I was right...and he had to admit it.
The lunchmeat he bought last week for his sandwiches?
The bread he so loved and bought last week - a whole grain yummy healthy looking bread?
And all the time he thought he was doing good.
By the end of the night he turned to me as he went to put some ketchup on a hotdog and said, "Oh my god...there's sugar in ketchup, isn't there?" *lol* "Yep." (And, yes, I then told him there was also probably sugar in the bun and the hot dog he was about to put the ketchup on.)
At one point he turned to me and said, "So what do people who don't eat sugar EAT when they just want a snack or to munch?"
All-natural meats cut in bite-sized pieces.
Things like that.
I showed him the raw sugar and natural sugar alternatives in the baking aisle, and then asked him, "Why? Are you thinking of just eating a spoonful of this plain?" "Yes." he said. And he wasn't even joking (I don't think). "No!" I said firmly. "THAT is where I draw the line!"
He was so happy with the nuts idea he immediately went over to grab some dry roasted peanuts - lightly salted. WITH SUGAR IN THEM! *lmao* Okay, that one even threw me for a loop. Why the hell do you need sugar in dry roasted peanuts? You need peanuts, an oven, and salt. Done and done.
He found some alternative (I think the unsalted and the ones with salt were fine...just the "lightly salted" ones...wtf?) while I picked up some sunflower kernels for Ethan's lunchbox.
Oh, what great lessons we're all learning!
My goal is to find some things I can make and bake or some alternatives for snacking I can keep around the house so Hubs and the boys all have things at their disposal 24-7. I did buy 3 bundles of grapes, which I know everyone will eat, and will work tonight or tomorrow on getting them cleaned and put in a bowl so they can just grab them when they want them.
On a side note - getting out of bed this morning was torture! If it hadn't been for school starting, the webinar I have at the office later today, and the fact that I pushed a friend into a workout yesterday and felt like I would be a darn fool if I then missed my own because I didn't "feel like it"...I'd be at home right now...happy...sleeping...not sore. *lol*
Football tonight. Going to call Hubs in a bit and see if he can pop something in the crock before he leaves for work. Otherwise the boys will have to do it when they get home.
Have a good first day of school everyone!! Whether you have kids or not...it means that fall is coming!!!!! (I *love* fall!)
You can read about my adventures with packing Ethan's lunch, and some updates on his condition, as well as a review of a new food product we've tried over at The Life & Times of the Fit Fat Girl.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
You're welcome for putting that song in your head. Have fun with it all day. :) *runs so you can't catch her to slap her*
I'd love to tell you that last night exceeded all my expectations and went swimmingly well. I honestly thought that's what I was going to tell you at one point...until the tables turned on me and I was crushed. By a machine. A stupid, tiny handheld digital machine with about 6 buttons that I could crush with a simple good toss at the wall. *grumbles*
First of all, I wasn't feeling good yesterday. Stupid idiot that I was, I went to lunch with a coworker while working in the field. And even though we went to a really great, fresh Mexican place (they make a lot of their stuff onsite without bringing in frozen crap to reheat), I honest-to-goodness could tell from the first bite of tortilla chip that I was making a huge mistake. And then I proceeded to make it anyhow...and eat my entire dish of carbs and beans. When I got back to the office, I honestly thought I was going to yack for at least 30 minutes to an hour and it took everything in me to not go running home to the comfort of my bed.
I stayed. For my workout. I thought about cancelling, but then I figured it'd be best to just get it over with. Plus, I'd already skipped my morning workout for it, so if I bailed on it it would be just another day without a workout. So I stayed, got some more work done, started to feel a tiny bit better by the time I headed to the gym and (while groaning like a 5-year-old) got dressed and ready for a workout.
I warmed up for 10 minutes as directed. And thought I was going to get away without having to do measurements until after. YAY!
And then I got pulled off the machine for measurements. *bangs head on bike machine*
After standing around for at least 5 minutes waiting (we have to have a girl do my measurements because they're all weird about having a guy measure a chick's waist), Jason told me to hop on the bike again to stay warm. *sigh* And then two minutes later...I'm off again and going to get measured.
Started off good...a 303.3 on the scale, which was down about 4 pounds from last time. And especially good considering it was basically already the evening so it was a few pounds up from what it might have been that morning at home had I weighed in. As for my waist - I lost a little. None from my belly button (we'll talk more later about how I have to explain to every single person who measures me that they can either choose to measure my waist or they can measure from my belly button, but neither measurement will be close to that of the other because MY BELLY BUTTON IS NOT AT MY WAIST ANYMORE...well, not the part you see. And we'll talk then about how depressing and sad and horrible it makes you feel to explain this to yet another tiny fit woman who can't possibly understand what that might be like and looks at you like you're making excuses or something. I honestly want to scream "FHUCK YOU! JUST MEASURE MY WAIST!")
And then the body fat measure. They use a handheld machine and, yes, I know these things are inaccurate, but still. Last month it was at 47.2% body fat. This time? I got 41.6% and I almost did a friggin' cartwheel. I got so happy and excited...and then I second guessed myself and said, "well, that can't be right, can it?" To my dismay, Jason agreed. That could not be right. "Maybe I set it for a male." he told me. Gee. Thanks. Appreciate that. He inputted my data again and we started over and the thing said 47.2% this time. And I swear to you I just about fell apart. "Are you serious?!" I said aloud. "NOTHING?" Of course Jason chimes in with, "Hey! Your BMI went down!" and I snapped at him and told him, "BMI is a crap number that means nothing really and you know that." He didn't say anything, but I saw on his face that he agreed. And then I proceeded to have one of the worst workouts of my life.
A. I cried through half of it.
B. I apologized through the other half.
Not only because of my crappy results, but because my hip was hurting and there were several things he asked me to do that I just couldn't. And I kept looking around me thinking, "All these people feel sorry for me because they think I'm just starting out or something...how long must I live with this judgement?" And I asked myself what the hell was wrong with me and why was I broken...and then I asked Jason the same thing and he told me he could look over my diet. And then I second guessed my diet because I know what he's going to say - stop eating high fat foods like sausage and bacon and eat whole grains. And I'm going to say no and that's going to be the reason I won't lose any weight ever again.
It was just a bad night. I held it in as best I could for a full 40 minutes and then grabbed my bag and went to my car and sobbed in my car for a good 5-10 minutes before I could leave. "What the hell am I even doing this for then?" I kept asking...along with the "Why am I broken? What's wrong with me?!" question over and over again.
And I thought then about eating myself out of the pain. What did it matter, right!? It made no difference anyhow. I convinced myself to drive straight to McDonald's and get a Big Mac and Large Fries and a Coke and eat the entire damn thing before Hubs and Ethan got home from football. No one would know. Who the hell cares anyhow, right?!
Don't worry. I talked myself out of it...and into some ice cream from Dairy Queen.
That didn't happen either.
I went to Kroger and picked up some pepperoni and some dark chocolate chunks and went home. I ate some of the dark chocolate (probably more than I should have, but still) and then started watching YouTube videos of My Drunk Kitchen and let the whole horrible night go. Whatever. Crap happens. I'm losing weight. The body fat thing must be wrong because my calves are friggin' full of monster muscles now and they weren't before. And if my waist is shrinking, then what the hell is that and where is that coming from? I don't care. I'll do as my girl Angela says and just keep going..which I did this morning with a great round of laps in the pool (did 88 touches today and feel really ready for the mile attempt on Friday as long as my shoulders hold out - a little sore today but we worked them a lot last night so that's probably why).
I weighed in this morning as a halfway point marker (I figured why wait until tomorrow? Let's just get this over with now and be done with it until September 1st.). 301.8. Doing fine. Keep going.
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