Friday, May 23, 2014

Step by step 2014 ~ Doubling up

Hi everyone,

Thanks for stopping by, I'm honored to have you here. Today we continue looking at my training notes as I continue to prepare for the Battling Back challenge in October/ November 2014. If you'd like to catch up with all my other training notes from this year, you can do so HERE.

Friday, May 16, 2014
The slight niggle I felt in my left bicep after Wednesday's 1-3/4 mile swim had eased a bit by this morning, so I knew today would be a very important day. It would be the first time during my training that I've had 2 pool sessions in the same week. I say pool sessions, rather than swims, because today won't be swimming. Instead, it will be an "Aqua run" session, that has been gifted to me by the sports center where I'm training. If you're wondering how you can run in the pool, you're not alone! I did too until it was explained to me, but the process, in theory, is easy. In reality it is anything but, as I was to find out...

Before getting into the pool I was given a belt with a large foam pad on the back, which acts as a float once you're in the water. The belt also has hooks on it which will attach to the lane markers in the deep end, thus keeping you pretty much in one place.

I climbed down into the pool and slowly made my way to my space on the line, then attached the hooks to the marker. Moments later the session began with some instruction of the moves we'd be using. I'll admit that they took some getting used to, but even then at slow pace, I felt the resistance of the water and knew this would be quite a workout!

The 45 minute session was interval based, a few minutes at standard pace, followed by a 30 second sprint, with 5 reps of each. YES, this is definitely a hard workout! The instructor then changed things up a bit, told us to put more power into the work as opposed to speed. The central part of the session involved foam dumbbells. They might be light out of water, but they definitely aren't when being pushed deep into it! The last 20 minutes involved a power/ sprint interval set.

At the end of the session I was tired, but very happy to have tried it and while Aqua running might not form part of my weekly training regimen, it might feature occasionally.

Monday, May 19, 2014
Today's cardio session was another Leslie Sansone "Walk at Home", this time a fast four miler, which is completed in around 50 minutes, including the warm down and stretches afterward. It was the first time I've done this particular session, which is interval based, bringing some "boosted walking" in, which in truth is jogging.

My hydration levels weren't as good as they could or maybe should have been, but I had a drink on hand and found I could continue the walk while drinking if need be. It's another great workout and I felt tired, yet very happy at the end.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The weather here the last few days has been great, warm and sunny, if humid at times and so I've been making sure to keep my fluid intake up. Today's target in the pool was another 1-3/4 miles, or 84 laps, ahead of what will be a second swim session of the week on Friday, when I'll be aiming for 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 miles.

I quite surprised when I got down into the pool how warm it was, but it was a nice surprise. I stopped after 1/2 a mile/ 12 laps, for my first brief drink break, having once again taken it poolside. Yep, I've learned that lesson now. Within a half lap of starting again I felt a slight cramp in my left foot, but wasn't concerned about it, because I've experienced it a few times before. Today however it stayed with me for a little longer than previously, so I delayed the next drink break until 30 laps in.

Thankfully the cramp didn't return and I was able to push on. At around 50 laps, just over the mile, I felt the now familiar niggle in my left bicep, but once again it was manageable and I paced myself for a little while before kicking on, with the end in sight.

As has become my routine, I switched things up for the last 2 laps and really gave it my all. Touching in at the end of lap 84, I knelt in the water and said a prayer of thanks, before standing and once again reaching for my drink. Climbing out of the pool, my legs felt ok and I was very happy to have achieved another target.

While I ate and relaxed later in the evening, when I'd usually be writing up this week's training notes, I realized I should by now have broken through the ten mile total distance barrier. Calculating it, I happily discovered I'd not just done that, but today's swim had taken the total distance to ELEVEN miles! Yep, I'm proud!

Friday, May 23, 2014
Knowing I'd be out early this morning, I repacked my backpack last night, then had a relatively early night, trying to get as much rest as I could. When my alarm sounded this morning, at 5:00 am, I felt as if I'd only slept for a few minutes, but I felt good, or as good as you can at that hour, LOL. I hit snooze a couple times, then got up at 5:20 am.

I was out the door around 20 minutes later and on my way to the sports center, aiming to get into the water just after 6:00 am. I knew today's swim would be tough, it's the first time I can ever remember swimming twice within a few days, except for a few gentle ones on vacation and so it proved.

Having been warm on Wednesday, the pool was cooler than I thought it would be today and perhaps that affected my rhythm, but it was more likely because it was so early and I'd not eaten anything since last night. I know I should have, but at the same time I've gotta be careful of cramping more than I'm able to cope with.

Every lap was slower today, every stroke tougher than they have been, but never once did my determination waver. When I felt the niggle in my bicep less than half way through the swim, I used it to keep me going. I KNEW it would be tough, it has to be or I'll not make progress. I've not missed a target in the pool yet and I wasn't going to today. I WAS going to do 1-1/2 miles/ 72 laps. I had to.

I did! The prayer at the end of the last lap was perhaps more thankful than any that I've said so far. I was SO grateful and yes, proud of myself for having gotten through it.

As soon as I got back to the house, even while coffee was still brewing, I strapped the troublesome muscle up and it remains so now. I'll rest and relax over the weekend and be ready for Monday's workout.

Thanks again for your support everyone, it truly does mean so much to me. Monday's blog post will be a special one, marking Memorial Day, so I hope you'll join me then. In the meantime enjoy your weekend, whatever you're doing.

God bless,

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