Friday, February 26, 2010

From NR: Swimming

You know what's great about running? You can breathe whenever you want. No, really.

So I've been trying to swim since I can't really run but I haven't been able to go very often. I've been hitting Morgan Park when I can but that's only Thursday nights. I decided to join a gym, since that will also give me access to ellipticals and treadmills, which will make it easier to test running. I decided on SMDC'S Fitness Center since they have a lap pool that's always open (not 24 hours always, but during the center hours, always). They're pretty expensive for a day pass, though, so I'm raring for March 1 when I can get a month pass and get there on a regular basis.

Today I did my first 'workout' in the pool. It's taken a few times in to get used to how to breathe without thinking super hard about it and such so I've generally just been swimming laps and figuring things out. I can only really do the crawl or the backstroke, which is super sad since the breaststroke is my favorite but my knee is most certainly not okay with it. So today I was swimming along and decided it was time to do some sort of intervals. So I went hard for 2 lengths of the pool 4 times, with 2 lengths of easy in-between, then hard for 3 lengths of the pool with 3 lengths easy, twice and another set of the 4x2 lengths. Keep in mind that I don't know how to turn underwater so I'd have to stop briefly after each length. I think that's next on my list of things to learn, it seems as though it would make things much easier and let things flow better.

Let me say, though - it's hard to swim easy after swimming hard. You're breathing hard after finishing but launch into easy laps and thus aren't coming up for air as often. At least it forces me to swim the easy laps at a not absolute crawling speed since I have to breathe more. Or, anyway, something that's not an absolute crawling speed for me.

So, yeah. A workout of sorts! Yay! And then I used the sauna to stretch out some, as someone recommended to me and that was quite nice, too.

Next update will be about some awesome new running clothes that I have. A team I'm on has become sponsored by Icebreakers and as a previous SmartWool lover, I was very interested in trying everything out.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Last Wednesday, I went on to the group run at the lakewalk and all was pretty good, until that last 'downhill' that was the ramp at the end of the detour. Then my knee spoke up and reminded me that it wasn't happy. It wasn't far to the end of the run, so I figured I'd be fine. After all, it didn't quite hurt enough to make me limp on it. Of course, as soon as I thought that, I realized I was already limping on it. Lovely. Happily, wildknits was willing to walk the last 4 blocks or so in with me.

So I went swimming the next day and really enjoyed it! I was really in the need to do something until I was exhausted. I'm sick of these slow, short runs. I haven't been swimming for fitness since college, which made it tough to keep a good rhythm going but I was able to tire out nice. I plan to do it on a regular basis as cross training and hope to continue once my knee gets better. I even went out and bought a swim cap so my hair doesn't die. Also so I don't keep breathing my hair.

It's really hard to go for a run in the winter when you might have to walk home. Or maybe I'm just making it out to be worse that it is, but I really don't want to be very far from home and have to walk back when it's cold and I'm probably sweaty and dressed for running and not walking. Today I decided to run in the land behind our house - some guy has been out three-wheeling and snowmobiling recently and the trails are mostly well packed. So I figured I could run around back there and never be too far from home if things went awry.

I could have made a loop out of it, but decided to do a horseshoe around my house since the trails were starting to deteriorate at the close of the loop. My knee was also hurting after a mile in and I could have just headed down the hill and finished the loop but I figured since I was never far too from home, I might as well turn around and go back the other way, so I did 2 miles, which is better than nothing. I got home, ran through my short pilates DVD, showered and made dinner. Half way through dinner, I realized my knee wanted to be iced NOW. No, it wanted to be iced half an hour ago. In fact, standing on it at all was rather painful.

Sigh. Looks like more swimming and pilates are in my future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stupid Work

Okay, so I'm going to go ahead and place a lot of blame for my knee on work. I had a lovely week or so of vacation, lots of which was spent walking/bouncing around with an extra 13 pounds (in the form of my adorable nephew). My back was sore, my shoulder hurt, my arm muscles were felt, my knee was fine.

I went back to work yesterday and last night/this morning my knee is upset with me. Time to get back to icing on every break, I guess.