Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Step by Step 2014 ~ Progress and plans

Hi everyone,

Thanks for stopping by, I'm honored to have you here! In today's post I'm sharing the latest notes from my last three training sessions for this year's challenge. Before we get to those, if you've missed the previous notes you can catch up on those by clicking the Challenge announcementHERE and HERE. Each link opens in a new tab, or alternatively you can access them either from the Blog archive on the homepage or via the 2014 label, which will be the easiest option as the number of posts increases.

Friday, April 18, 2014
Following on from my lifetime best in the pool on Wednesday, Good Friday didn't mean a holiday for me from my workout schedule. I'd planned to complete a 45 minute cardio session, or perhaps even push myself further and do an hour. Due to a combination of sore, aching muscles and slight dehydration, I only completed 30 minutes.

Was I disappointed? YES, but at the same time I'm also listening to my body and I'm very aware, even at this early stage of the training, that rest is equally as important as the training itself. It's also only a minor disappointment, when I look back at how much I HAVE achieved in the past month. Now, where the heck did that time go???

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Today wasn't a training session, but I want to add a brief note. When I started out with the blog, I mentioned how much weight I want to lose. When I weighed myself this morning, I got some good news. I'm down another 3 pounds, for a total loss so far of 6, with a lot more to lose.

I'm feeling so much better already and I'm noticing the difference in muscle tone, particularly in my arms and abs. After yesterday's minor disappointment, it's great to know that I am also making progress towards that part of my target too.

Monday, April 21, 2014
Since the dehydration on Friday, I've been making sure I drink a LOT of water, to make sure it doesn't happen again. Today I was determined to push the cardio session and I DID complete the full hour! I made sure I paced myself throughout and kept drinking. I was exhausted and a little sore by the end, but proud and a little relieved that I'd made it!

Just before today's workout, I saw a post on a friend's Facebook timeline (thanks Debbie!) about the effect of exercise on the brain, What happens to our brain when we exercise. The post includes this image and again it's great to see the difference being made...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 ~ Tentative plans
In the last few days my thoughts have slowly begun to turn towards the challenge itself and the total distance I'll be swimming. In the Challenge announcement post, linked above, I mentioned that the total would be a MINIMUM of 23 miles. I've now decided, though the decision is NOT final at this point, to increase the total distance to 26 miles, 385 yards. Yep, I'm now aiming to swim a marathon, over approximately fifteen sessions in the pool.

This morning, before hitting the pool, I sat down and did the math and worked out a tentative schedule for the sessions. The numbers involved are pretty scary, so yep, if you're thinking I'm mad, you're not alone, I'm thinking the same LOL! Here's why...

Marathon distance   = 1,260 laps of the pool!!!

1,260 / 15 sessions = 84 laps per session

84 laps                  = 1-3/4 miles per session

The task will be a huge one, it ALREADY was with 23 miles to complete. The tentative start date is, for now, Tuesday, October 14, 2014, swimming every other day. Depending on how training goes, I might yet bring the start date forward and add in a few more sessions, therefore allowing for some below average swims, which will be welcome, I'm sure!!!

Splash by Splash
With my head spinning from all the figures above, I hit the pool. Even before I did the math this morning, I was thinking of increasing today's distance to 1 and 1/2 miles. After doing the math, I knew I had to aim for that, at least!

I got into the pool a few minutes before 2:00 pm and set off on the first of the 72 target laps. The first thing I noticed was that it was so much busier than either of the first two sessions, especially last week when I had the pool virtually to myself. It meant the water was pretty choppy and more of a challenge.

I was determined once again to go as far as I could without pausing, so having gotten to 22 laps, just 2 from the half mile point, I was glad of quieter water for a bit. It didn't last long, just 10 laps later it got busier again, but I'd not needed to pause and didn't now either.

I definitely felt the effort in my shoulders but paced myself as best I could and kept pushing on. Keeping count of the laps was surprisingly easy today, thankfully. As usual my mind was also filled with thoughts of all those who are supporting me and I was spurred on. 36, 48 laps passed as did 60, last week's lifetime best mark, just 12 more to go and I kicked on as best I could amid the "traffic". Time today wasn't as important, I was just a few minutes down on last week at this point, so I was pleased.

Just as last week, I didn't count down, but instead kept counting up. Touching the wall at the end of lap 70, I turned and changed the stroke, as I did last week for the final two laps, now thankful for some space! Beginning the final lap, I pushed hard off of the wall and around 40 seconds later, I touched in.

I'd done it! Another lifetime best! Yes, I'm proud! I stood now, took my goggles off, looked up and immediately said a brief prayer of thanks. I never feel alone when I'm in the pool, all those supporting and inspiring me, including our Lord and Savior, are with me and for that I'm SO thankful!

God bless,

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