A toe in the water, so to speak

It is the 17th day after the accident, and I’m really feeling almost normal. I have little pains here and there, but they are the kind of muscle soreness I am used to, the kind of soreness I have accepted as the cost of doing business ever since I took up triathlon. I probably shouldn’t be having this soreness if I’m not working out, but the pains feel like they belong there.

So I decided to risk a brief workout. I went to the pool before work and swam 1100 yards. I meant to swim 1000, but as usual for me in a continuous swim, I lost count of the laps. My habit, when I realize I have lost count, is to add another lap to what I think the total might be. I have a watch that counts the laps (better than I do, obviously), but I’ve never been able to look at it while swimming. So I just sort of let it surprise me at the end of the workout.

The watch said I did 1100 yards in 23:11 (1246 strokes). That comes out to 2:06 per 100 yards, which is fairly normal for me. I am a mediocre swimmer. But if I could put together the time to focus on one of the disciplines, I know I can realize far greater returns from improving my biking or running speeds. For the swim, I try to do enough to keep from deteriorating, which is about 3 swims per week in normal circumstances.

I had no particular issues in this swim. My neck and shoulder bothered me a little, but I forgot about them for hundreds of yards at a time, so I think they are getting better. I had no problem at all with my hips. All in all, this swim was pretty normal.

That’s not to say it felt comfortable. I worked at keeping my form the same as it was last time I swam, but swimming today felt a little stressful and frustrating. Previously, I felt far more at home in the water, maybe even a little graceful. It’s surprising how quickly I can lose that. I expect I’ll get it back, but my intuition tells me it will take longer to regain it than it did to lose it. We’ll see.

I guess I’m ready to work my way back into my regular schedule. I retrieved my bike from Fit Werx yesterday. It looks as good as new. They told me they had gone over it carefully and couldn’t find any sign of frame damage. They even took the fork out of the head tube and inspected the steerer. They charged me $49, and that was mostly for the time they spent in the examination. Any time a triathlon expenditure comes in at less than $50, it’s a bargain. I love those guys.

So now comes the real test. Can I keep up with this blog <I>and</I> my workouts? We’ll see.

Today’s weight: 155.6

Waking pulse: 55

2 thoughts on “A toe in the water, so to speak

  1. I’m not much of an athlete, and I am approaching geriatricdom. The old “don’t do that” joke applies to me frequently. If I push myself, it often results in an injury. The older I get,the more prone to injury it seems. I back off and within a few days or a week and I get better, but this doesn’t seem to be a good fitness strategy. Ibuprofen helps, but I don’t want to live with a dependency. Any advice?

    • By writing this blog, I was hoping to get advice rather than give it. But I’m happy to offer my personal perspective. Just bear in mind that I’m not a coach or instructor and my perspective might not be worth much.

      I think you’re right to back off at the first sign of injury. It’s important to get healed before you try to push yourself. After that, the only way I know to prevent injuries is to emphasize strength training in your schedule, and that usually means weight training. That doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights. There’s a lot you can do with body weight exercises (squats, planks, and so on). In fact, if you haven’t done much weight training, it’s best to start with those. Emphasize core strength, which will not only help to protect you from injury but will be useful in almost any athletic pursuit. You can find body weight exercises for core strength on the web.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *