(Swim) Suit Up!

So my foot still hurts, but I’ve decided I’m not going to get mopey about it. As many of you said in yesterday’s comments, it could be something as dumb as user error on the shoelace front.

(Although, to those of you who have experienced bizarro foot pain on account of shoes being tied too tight: did the pain continue after you took your shoes off? My foot seems to be crankiest when I’m walking barefoot on a hard surface. So obviously, I’m avoiding doing that.)

Anyway. NO MOPEY FACE! Whether this hiatus ends up being a couple of days or a couple of months, I’m not going to sit around and watch my fitness level tank. Yesterday. I lifted weights for almost an hour (!). And today, I sucked it up and paid for a day pass at the YMCA so I could use the pool to get my heart rate going a little.

However, before I could do that I had to – as Barney Stinson would say – SUIT UP.

The last time I was in a pool that didn’t have a swim-up bar was probably 4 or 5 years ago. But I knew I had a two-piece speedo lap suit, cap and goggles somewhere, so last night I tore the apartment apart (always an awesome thing to do when you’re in the process of moving) until I found them.

Cap and goggles? Still fit fine. But that suit? Not so much. Apparently I have, ahem, expanded in the lower region. My ass in the bottom half of that swimsuit called to mind marshmallows and rubber bands. Together.

It was kind of mortifying, and made me further realize something I already kind of knew: that even though I’ve been logging a ton of miles and running great workouts lately, my overall fitness and body fat/composition could use some work. But that’s a topic for another day.

One trip to the sporting-goods store later, I’d procured an ugly lap suit from the clearance rack that fits much better.

My ass is totally a Monet.

And then this morning, I swam.

You know what? It wasn’t actually that bad. After a few awkward laps, I fell into a rhythm and although I’m sure I’m a slow swimmer with terrible form, it was a decent workout. Since swimming is pretty damn monotonous, I broke it up in to sections with a few “recovery” breaststroke laps thrown in:

  • 6 lengths easy breast
  • 10 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 20 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 20 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 10 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 6 lengths hard crawl
  • 6 lengths easy breast

The whole thing took about 55 minutes. Afterward, I asked the lifeguard how many lengths are in a mile and he said 66 so I guess with 86 lengths I swam about 1.3 miles? Swimming/tri people, does that seem correct?

Other observations from the pool:

  • I cannot swim straight. I’m either right on top of the big black line or brushing my elbows against the plastic lane divider thingy. (Why are swimming lanes so narrow? Someone should pull a Kramer on that shit.)
  • And hence: I am so glad I had a lane to myself today. I am only going to go to the pool during really weird off-peak times.
  • Because: I’m terrified at the prospect of having to share a lane with an actual swimmer. Seriously, every time I  approached the end of the pool I breathed a sigh of relief when I didn’t see a pair of legs hanging there, about to disrupt my crooked flailing.
  • And sharing with multiple swimmers? The circle thing? Absolutely terrifying.
  • For some reason, I can only breathe on my left side. It’s like my head won’t turn all the way to the right or something. (I’m not an ambi-turner!)
  • And since I can’t quite go two full strokes without coming up for air, so I end up breathing on every stroke, which, I believe, adds to the whole package: flailing, wandering around the lane, gasping for air. I’m sure I look awesome in the pool.
  • People can say what they will about running being intimidating. At least there aren’t LIFEGUARDS watching you make an ass of yourself on the track.

It’s a good thing I got a properly fitting swimsuit.

And finally, February stats:

It was a pretty good month. Well, aside from this foot thing.

(Which I’m still really hoping is a temporary thing.)

27 responses to “(Swim) Suit Up!

  1. i wish you a speedy recovery on the foot front!

    i can only do a mean doggy paddle so i would be a complete nightmare in the pool with other (serious) swimmers. people would curse me out for sure. and i can’t fathom swimming 1.3 miles?!?!

  2. That distance sounds right (and your pool is 25 yards (I think) — 25 yards x 66 laps = 1650 yards= swimming mile).

    I can’t breathe on the left, only the right. My tri group workouts include single-arm drills that will supposedly make me breathe to the left, but they actually just make me frantically dog-paddle halfway down the lane trying to get air. I also breathe every right-arm stroke, but I like the rhythm of it. I *can* breathe every two, but I prefer getting into the breathe/BUBBLES/breathe/BUBBLES/breathe/BUBBLES zone.

  3. Hope your foot feels better soon!!

  4. You are the Zoolander of swimming laps. That is actually quite impressive. :) I’m sure you were a lot less flail-y than I would have been in the pool. Hope your foot feels better soon! If it was a shoelace thing, you could have bruised the top of your foot, in which case yeah- it would still hurt after you took your shoes off. That’s happened to me before.

  5. boo to your foot, but yay for swimming like an idiot! i am the worst swimmer you’ve ever seen. i’m slow. i swerve through the lane, as you described. and i sometimes stop mid-lane if my goggles are foggy. luckily, my building is inhabited by snobby yuppies who think they’re too good for swimming in their own building, so i usually have the whole pool, if not a lane, to myself. so i can swim without judgment. it’s nice.

  6. Dude, one piece swimsuits are EVIL. They do absolutely nothing for me. Oh well except make me not want to eat carbs for a year. And sharing lanes is so awkward, like, oh my bad, didn’t mean to slither up against your half naked body under water, that wasn’t weird at all.

    “Wide lanes… so luxurious!”

  7. I had some pain on the top of my foot a few weeks ago too. And it turns out it was because my laces were too tight! And it hurt when I was walking barefoot, but after a couple of days, it went away. I hope your foot feels better!

  8. I really really wish the gym location I go to had a pool. I used to hit up the student rec center during college for laps during free time and it was such a good sore the next day…
    And an HOUR of weights? Nice.

  9. I’ve had foot issues with new shoes and if I laced up too tight. The pain/irritation stopped when I switched shoes, went barefoot or loosened the laces. The last time I had weird foot pain rest definitely helped.

  10. I had that foot pain issue, eventually it went away, but I am stubborn and worked out on it and through the pain.
    I was bored with swimming and got an awesome suggestion to help make the time go by–the alphabet “game” (because no one wins, least alone me, I don’t really think it is a game, but whatever). Each down and back is a letter and you think of words that start with that letter. It totally helped me (until I got caught up thinking of food and got distracted). Don’t feel bad about only breathing on one side–I can only breathe turning my head to the right!!

  11. super glad to read this! I am SO dorky in the pool that I try to go when its still dark out. The whole swimming deal is all so mysterious! I have resolved to go figure that shit out in 2012 though. Hope your foot feels better soon. I have had other foot pains that responded to general TLC: soaking in warm water, ice packs, etc….

  12. A mile in the pool is 1650 yards. So, depending on the pool length (probably 25 yards?) you’d have to do 66 laps – the lifeguard didn’t lie to you! So if you did 86 laps, that’s an extra 500 yards.

    As for you foot – I hope it feels better soon! I had a similar pain after a half marathon last January and it kept me off my running feet for about a month or so, but I wasn’t smart about it and probably should have gotten it checked out. I would suggest just trying not to wear anything too restricting on the top of your foot and to ice as much as possible! To this day I’m afraid to tie my laces too tight in fear of hurting the top of my foot again. One day I’m going to wind up running right out of my sneakers! ha

  13. Ugh, I hate sharing a lane, I get all bajiggity when I see more than 2 people in the entire pool.

    Come to think of it, I did have a retardo shoelace malfunction in that one and only marathon I ran. It was the only time I’d worn running shoes for longer than 18 miles and it wasn’t exactly in the place where you’re hurting now, it was more toward the middle of my foot, but I saw a sports med doc and the first thing he asked about was how I laced my shoes. He said tying my laces too tight inflamed this one tendon -I can’t remember the name of it right now because I’m drunk- but it hurt for a few days after then the inflammation wore off and it went away.

    What were we talking about?

  14. I’m having knee issues myself, I can’t swim though. Hope we are both healed soon!

  15. I can’t swim in a straight line either. I’m all over the place. One time I managed to swim under the lane marker thing into someone else’s lane without even noticing.

    As far as the sneaker, yes it’s hurt me after I took it off.

  16. I have pain on the top of my foot too! I’ve been trying to ignore it, blaming it on the shoelaces. I really do think that’s what it is though (hopefully). Nice job on the swim. Even mixing it up, I get bored well before I hit this point. The dread of a 3rd person jumping in to circle swim keeps me more entertained than the swimming itself.

  17. Be careful with the foot pain. My mom broke her 5th metatarsal and it took a year and a half for it to heal!

  18. That looks like a good swim routine for the first time back in the book. Great job!

  19. People keep telling me swimming is a great exercise for pregnancy, but I have neither the suit or the pool to do so. And I am a terrible swimmer. I would just be lazy and do a sidestroke with a kickboard…can you do that in a lane? Totally intimidating.

    Also, I didn’t say this yesterday, but my foot that hurt bad ended up being broken. It hurt REAL bad, but I was still walking on it. I’m sure yours will be fine. I actually went walking around on it for a week before I went in. SMRT.

  20. “My ass is totally a Monet.”

    LOL of the day, right there.

  21. I do think that my weird foot pain did continue even when I didn’t have my shoes on, but I can’t remember for sure. I think it went away relatively quickly? Maybe a week. It wasn’t so bad that I stopped running though so maybe get it checked out if it doesn’t get better.

    Good for your for getting to the pool. My swimming is pathetic and I could never get a workout from it. I’m basically at the level that I was good enough to barely pass my college swim test. Believe me the standard wasn’t high. It was a graduation requirement.

  22. Over a mile in less than an hour? Sounds pretty darn good to me! I also think the Monet comment is fabulous. Hope your foot is on the mend this weekend.

  23. Oh Heeeey! really random ATL commenter here :-) One of the running stores down here is looking for part-time or full-time help. I’m in with the manager – let me know if you’d be interested ….

    Good luck with the foot!

  24. Check out Total Immersion (google or youtube), even check the 4hourworkweek blog post for some extra tips

    good body position is the key, even if you’re not an ambiturner
    just a few of these drills should help you avoid any flailing, and eventually make circle swimming with “swimmers” a non-issue

    I’m both a swim coach and an ultra runner, and this is by far the easiest way to make swimming more efficient and more fun for you

    going more than a mile your first practice in a few years is quite impressive though

    • That is really helpful, thanks! To be honest, I think if I’d had any idea how far (in terms of miles) I was going, I would’ve stopped earlier. :)

  25. I have the pain on the top of my foot and it was almost definitely a shoelace thing. It hurt the most when walking around barefoot, but after adjusting my shoes and not doing anything stupid for a few days (it took effort) my foot feels better. Hope yours feels better soon!