Thursday, December 30, 2010

It’s the Middle of Swim-ter!

I’m not running right now.  Note how carefully worded that sentence is.  It does not say, “I can’t run right now.”  Because if I wanted to injure myself and spend the first half of 2011 recuperating, I could totally go for a run right now.  By choosing not to run and belatedly proactively take care of a little pain I’m having, I maintain my control over my training and my fitness.

Oh, who am I kidding?  Here’s the scoop:  my knee hurts and I’m taking a short break from running and riding because I should have taken more time off after the marathon.  Doncha like how I say “more time” like I took any?  Yeah, I think I’ve noodled out the problem.  Honestly, I’m not injured, but I am definitely experiencing muscle fatigue and tightness like I’ve never felt before.  It presents like knee pain, but I can bend and flex just fine.  The real problem seems to be coming from my piriformis and hamstring, which are so tight they’re pulling everything out of whack (that’s a medical term, you can go look it up if you need to).  Besides resting, I’m stretching and foam-rollering frequently.  Yesterday, I even went and got a real live professional massage, a first for me.  I abandoned the 10K race I was considering and I am now on official runnbattical for the next week or so.

This all sounds so rational and fixable while I’m writing it, but you know how you feel when you don’t exercise for a few days?  Yeah, I’ve been going nuts.  This afternoon I was about five minutes away from wiping “Good Mom” off my resume, and I knew I needed to get some endorphins flowing, stat (again with the medical jargon).  Unfortunately, my options were pretty limited.  Really, my only choice for a workout was to get in the pool.  In my backyard.  In the 55 degree weather.  Well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Swimming in Winter 003Really?  49 degrees in the water?

Swimming in Winter 004Doesn’t that look inviting?

Swimming in Winter 006Ensconced in neoprene.

Swimming in Winter 007“Take the picture quick!  I’m freezin’ my booty off!”

I didn’t get any “after” pics because my hands were so numb they felt like they were on fire.  I ended up swimming 500 meters in a wicked fast 11 minutes and 10 seconds (2:14/100).  By “wicked fast” of course what I mean is “painfully and embarrassingly slow for normal people, but still under an Ironman cutoff pace.”  I stayed in a hot shower longer than I was in the pool and then all was right in my world again. 

I’m hoping to buy some sort of neoprene booties to keep my feet warm the next time I do this, because yes, there will be a next time.  Probably this weekend.  I’ve got big plans for 2011 – I’m doing a Half-Iron distance in May!! - and swim training starts…uhhh…now.

26 comments:

Julie said...

Smart girl swimming in your own pool in your wetsuit! Dedication!
That seems pretty cold. I've never had to swim in anything even close to that! Brrrrrr.

Amber said...

Holy cow woman! I whined like a 2 year old every time I had to get into the 75+ degree indoor pool throughout my triathlon training.

ajh said...

That looks hard core! Rolling around on a tennis ball - very low tech - can help a piriformis. Someone told me that and I think it really helps.

trifitmom said...

that is nutz !!!!!

RockStarTri said...

Wow. Swimming in 60 degree water hurts and I can't imagine colder. Note the ocean here is now in the 40s.

Note my wife keeps our pool at 84F.

Carrie said...

You're so brave, because that's COLD! And nice wetsuit! I just got one for Christmas and had to have two helpers to figure out how to get it on, lol. Good for you for getting out there in it!
About your knee...I hear you. My knee was giving me grief too, and I finally (5 months after the first pain) saw someone about it. It's so hard to take a break, but I think you're doing the right thing by listening to your body and using the opportunity to work on your other sports for your upcoming tri! I hope all your stretching and foam rolling does you a world of good! :) And if it doesn't, I definitely recommend going to a sports doc. Taking a break is better than not being able to run, right?

Christi said...

Wow, you are awesome! Swimming in the cold that is very hard core!

momof3 said...

I pretty much love this! Sorry, but I do. It's just something I would consider. ((Note how I said "consider" and not "do"? Just sayin'.))

Average A said...

Runnbatical... out of whack... stat... all sorts of carefully worded sentences. :) This post is great and congrats on actually taking a break to take care of yourself! I remember when I posted the question "how long do you take off after a marathon" and you were all, "NOTHING! I'M A MANIAC!!!" and I am all, "Okay, okay, P, I'm bowing down in your glory...". So i'm glad to see that maybe there is an ounce of smarts in you somewhere. That is, until I read the part about the half-Ironman in May.

I'm totally kidding, of course. Enjoy your swim-ter & good luck with your training!
xoxo,
A

Whitney said...

Wow!!! I don't think I would have your dedication. I can't wait to hear more on your training plans for the half-ironman.

Alma said...

what size booties would you wear? I have some from way back that I've never worn and can't think of when I would ever use them. i could mail them down if they would fit. I normally wear an 8.5 but they are SMALL. I think a 7.5 or 8? I will try to remember where I put them and get back to you. better to be used than taking up more space wherever i put them...

and how was the massage?

Tortuga_Runner said...

Wow, you are dedicated! Are you doing wildflower?

Char said...

You're nuts! Or dedicated! Either way - it looks cold.

sisterbison said...

Wow! Super impressed. I have trouble getting into a warm pool indoors- I don't think I ever could have done what you did! Way to go! I guess that's what you have to do to be an Ironman, huh? I better toughen up.

Check out my blog at:
http://sisterbison.blogspot.com

Teamarcia said...

Happy New Year crazy swimmer girl! Way to rock that wetsuit! : )

misszippy said...

I can't believe you are swimming outside like that! Way to go! And we are in the same boat. I am on the DL b/c I did the exact same thing post-marathon. When we will learn?

Anne said...

You are crazy...I mean amazing :) Love your dedication and cannot wait to read all about your half-ironman! Happy New Year P...here's to a healthy, injury-free 2011!

Colleen said...

You go girl... I am such a wuss about cold water - neoprene or not! :)

Jogging with Fiction said...

holy cow! when you said swimming I was picturing an indoor pool, you are hard core!!

Karen said...

You are one tough cookie! Extra points for you :)

Aimee said...

I think you're doing the smart thing by taking a break from running!

BUT...I cannot believe you got in that pool and it was only 49 degrees! YOU ARE CRAZY!! BRRRR! I would have been frozen solid!

Johann said...

Take care of the knee! A wonderful 2011 to you!

Jonathan Rohr said...

You're making the right choice, definitely take it easy on the running.

As far as being cold goes, the best way to warm up is to work harder and go faster! Keep up the good work =)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Brr!!! That is dedication! Hope your knee recovers quickly!

Rose said...

Swimming in the cold is awful! Props to you!

Laura said...

Oh no P!!! Not the knee again!! I was actually just thinking the other day, "P had those knee problems and she doesn't seem to mention them anymore. Must be doing better." I'm so bummed out about this! Props to you for being so positive about it and finding something else to do.