What I Learn along The Way Makes This An Adventure
Monday, November 18, 2013
My swim Friday evening kind of sucked. I spent about 40 minutes in the pool. On the plus side, I was able to narrow down why it sucked. And if I can fix this, I will be well on my way to being comfortable swimming.
I can go forever backstroking. During my post-workout debrief in the sauna (me and the internal coach), I said, "You can't do the entire swim of a tri in a backstroke." Sure I can. If I have to, I will. Obviously, that's not a goal to shoot for, but if I have to, I will.
My issue is breathing. I need to do it, and I get a little panicky when I can't. What I think I discovered on Friday is that I'm not getting enough air into my lungs on a single inhale. I'm kind of gasping for air like a - irony noted - fish out of water. So when I put my face back in
the water, my brain is already screaming "When do I get to breathe again?!?!?!"
I think part of my not-getting-in-a-full-breath-o
f-air is associated with my tendency to not full exhale. I can't explain it, but apparently I've done this since I was an infant. My mom says she would watch me breath, because it looked like I would inhale five times before I'd exhale. Even now, I occasionally let out a long, sighing exhale. I'm not sighing; it's my body releasing all that extra air. When I was in the hospital after my operation, it became an issue because I could not exhale enough to keep the CO2 sensor happy. The nurse finally took me off the patient-controlled pain meds drip because the CO2 sensor went off every 3-5 minutes. (They don't want you medicating yourself into a coma, but they do want you to be able to sleep.)
I have a spirometer left over from post-op. I'm going to try using it to help develop my lung function. I think I need to re-train myself to exhale forcefully. If I can make incremental improvements in how much air I get in, I can augment that by concentrating on swimming slowly enough that I don't get into an oxygen debt. (That's another difference between the pool and an open-water swim: the river doesn't have a far edge to swim to and grab hold of.) So again, my workout sucked, but I'm maintaining my optimism.
I took Saturday "off." I was weary from the previous week. I think it paid off, too. I ran three miles on Sunday and it felt pretty good. The Hubs and went for a post-prandial perambulation (as the Hubs like to call our after-dinner walks) about 90 minutes after I go back from the run. I walked about 1 1/4 miles this morning. No soreness or balkiness in my legs.
This morning, as I was about to get into my car to head to work, I realized I did not have my gym bag or any workout clothes with me. I smiled. Screw it. I earned the right to sit on my butt at lunch and update my blog.