Saturday, August 7, 2010


I like swimming. I started swimming competitively back when I was 8! I swam club, summer team and Varsity. By the time I was ready for college - I couldn't wait to be done with competitive swimming. I got some letters from nearby colleges- but my thoughts at that time were that you either went to college to play a sport- or went for academics. That being said, I bypassed all offers and stopped swimming. Throughout the years, I life-guarded at local pools and kept up my swimming to the required 20 laps per shift. Recently, I decided to get back into swimming - and joined the local Master's swim team . We practiced at 6:00 am, but I LOVED IT! I loved being back on a team, completing workouts, and seeing myself improve as an athlete! I was recovering from a overuse injury I developed from running, and poured all of the energy I was using to tri-sport train into swimming.

I was training for my first meet in almost ten years, when I felt a pain under my arm pit when I swam. The pain got worse and worse, until I could no longer take a stroke. I took a break, came back two days later, to find that I couldn't do a single forward pull. I went to the doctor, and he almost laughed as he told me I had a stress fracture. Who even knew you could get them from swimming? I had an X-Ray, and even though stress fractures rarely show up on film - there they were, clear as day. One on my first rib, second rib, and a nice one way down on the 8th - near my sternum. Apparently I upped my yardage too quickly, and the pulling of the muscles caused tiny cracks in the attachment points on the bone to form.

They told me it would take 6 weeks to heal, but at my follow-up, no improvement was to be seen. I was given cortisone injections into my arm pit and sternum, which felt pretty awesome. A bone scan 2 months later showed a new one forming. They had told me cycling was still safe, so I was doing that. I guess the position I hold myself in over my handle bars was putting even more stress on the fractures- causing them to worsen instead of heal.

I was allowed to do exercise that wouldn't engage my upper body - I couldn't even do the elliptical machine because you have to steady yourself as you do it. Soon, 6 months had gone by and the only exercise I was allowed to do was the recumbent bike. I went back for a check up and had a new diagnosis! Chondromalacia Patella! All the stupid recumbent cycling had fired up my cartilage problems in my knee. So - I got an injection right into the space below my kneecap- which was also a dream. So, needless to say - the last year has been hard on my body. Add to that my second dissertation experiment that I finished in 5 months (requiring many, many 12+ hour days) and it's safe to say I am not in great shape. I did yoga (bikram and ashtanga) - trying to get my body to heal on its own, which feels great, but doesn't provide the same cardio benefits of a 20 mile bike ride followed by a 3 mile run, or a 3500 meter swim at 6:00am. So- I'm feeling better and getting back into it. Starting with swimming.

People tell me swimming is boring, and I agree - if you are just swimming laps, alone. I get bored myself, it's like running - but without the iPod. However, workouts break up the monotony of simply counting laps. I completed my first workout yesterday - which was hard, not going to lie. I could not hold the pace as well as I would have hoped - but I got it done. I had a great post-workout smoothie yesterday also. About 1 cup chocolate soy milk, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and some coffee ice cubes - all whirred in the blender for a minute or two. I poured it into two glasses to share with Dave - since I am a nice wife.

I've been cycling also, but not so much because of the tragedies in the news lately. Some drivers down here are very aggressive and angry at cyclists. Dave and I had a guy rev his engine at us when we were ahead of him in the turning lane, and he proceeded to cut us off, almost flinging Dave from his bike. I've been yelled at countless times, and they love to pretend like they're going to hit you, by swerving into you, hoping you'll fall off.

But anyway - if you are wondering what I am doing these days- it's trying to get back into shape and FINALLY complete in a triathlon before I die.

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