French Linen

Monday, January 28, 2013

Swim Easy

For a person who has done 2 triathlons, I can honestly say I do not love swimming.  I hadn't been in the pool for a good 4 weeks, the side effect of a busy work schedule and some new PT we're trying.  After a swim with my friend at the local college where we used fins, I had a lot of knee pain - more than usual.  I was actually limping, which hasn't happened since my knee injury last May.  So I took a break, and my husband the PT came up with some new ideas and a personalized program on the Kin Com.  I kept thinking, "I don't miss smelling like chlorine all the time"...  and "I really don't like swimming anyway".  However one afternoon a few weeks ago I ventured to the "warm pool" at the local VA which has YMCA affiliations so I can go there as well.  In the warm (and short) pool I easily did 26 laps which had to be at least 1/4 mile.  Swimming is so easy in the warm water, I reminded myself to relax all of my muscles and "swim easy" next time I was back at the cold college pool.  So Cathy says to me, "looks like you could do the swim portion of the Gretna Tri" which she had just signed up for...  Feeling brave, I googled the event and decided that if I had more layers of swim gear or a full wetsuit that I might jump in a frigid lake in May.  This is a week or two prior to the Independence Tri where it was very very cold in early June.  I ordered a full wetsuit on clearance from Amazon - following the 5mm rule - for less than $120 delivered.  I casually mentioned to my husband (the cyclist) that he could easily do the bike portion, and a friend of ours who does marathons could do the run.  This all seemed to go over well - until it came time to actually commit.  David, my husband, does the most insane bike rides known to man kind.  He climbs all of the worst hills in the county, and easily puts in 30-50 miles a day in peak training mode.  He has done several 100+ mile rides - so a measly 16 mile ride should be no problem.  However, he is not sure he wants to commit to the event, so I've stopped pressuring for the moment.  We've never done a sporting event together.  He has watched me do 2 triathlons and I have watched him do several bike races.  One bike race resulted in a trip to the ER with a broken sternum and elbow, when a guy in front of him caused a crash and took out half of the racers on the first lap.  I think it would be fun to do one event "together".  After all - I have to swim in a frozen God-forsaken lake in May - how bad can a bike ride be?   This is one of the important lessons of being married where each spouse "picks his or her battles".  My son Derrick has recently said to me that he has learned this skill at his first post-college job of less than a year.  I told him that he is way ahead of the game if he has figured out how to master this idea so early in life!
I went swimming at the cold pool in a new TYR "race suit" with leggins to keep me warmer on Sunday.  I did 14 lengths in just over a minute per length, so I could probably work myself up to a respectable time for Gretna.  My friend and I were laughing at the notion the I couldn't swim a full length just 2 years ago.  So after all I guess I do like swimming - and occasionally smelling like chlorine!  I haven't returned the full wetsuit yet - maybe I'll use my "feminine wiles" to persuade David to do the Gretna Tri as a team.  This follows one of my other favorite life lessons (right after pick your battles) which would be "you get more bees with honey".  If the Tri doesn't happen in May, we'll find a biking event to do together.  I can focus my attention to hosting Mike and Cathy for the weekend which will be fun also!  Meanwhile our special PT program must be doing something because I hear less cracking from my tib/fib joint, but we'll see what Dr. Hanks has to say in February.  It's still possible that I could get my knee "scoped" to find out what is really wrong, so it is hard to commit to any events just yet.  If things are 'good enough to get by' with my knee I may put off arthroscopic surgery until I do enough damage that I'm "non functional" at which point I won't have a choice!  In my next post we'll find out if I have committed to the Gretna Tri.. and what the Orthopedic doc says about my poor old knee.           

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