Well, that was quite a week. I did de-clutter various areas of my house every day. And every single day I went to the gym for a serious workout! By Friday I was tired of de-cluttering (its not done yet) and I knew I wanted to do my 2.4 mile swim on Saturday. I double checked with my running guru buddy, and she confirmed that I needed to take a day off of exercise before the big day. Yahoo. I celebrated by starting a little quilt.
(finished it on Saturday!)
My plan was to start my swim at about 4pm. Because no matter how I swim, it still takes me just about one minute per length. Oh, and I had checked on Thursday–2.4 miles was 175 LENGTHS! So I needed to be in the pool for three hours, and I was hoping that by going later in the day I would miss the crowds. That worked pretty well. There were more people there than I expected, but I got a lane all to myself, all except for about 1/2 hour when I had to share it with another woman. She was a very good swimmer, though, so that was fine.
I spent the day doing regular housework chores, a little gardening, and playing around with that little quilt. And I ate a little bit heavier than I normally would have. Still, I figured out that when I headed to the pool, I had only eaten about 890 calories.
I left the house at 3:15 for my big adventure. So here’s the funny tragic part of the day. I wanted to celebrate with a cupcake like Lori does on her long rides. And we do have a really really good cupcake store here in town. I went to get the cupcake before the swim because I knew they would be closed by the time I finished. I was pretty excited. Can you believe, I walked into the bakery and there was not a single cupcake in sight??? Well, they had some carrot cake cupcakes on the back counter that were not even frosted yet, so they weren’t left over. But it was not the same as
drooling looking over a case full of cupcakes and selecting just the right one.
On to the gym. I wore my swim shirt (that is usually for swimming in cold weather) for two reasons: I get cold after being in the pool for about an hour, and also, sometimes these shirts are called rash guards. And they do a good job of that. I was very happy I had decided to wear it.
Okay, this is almost funny. And again, Shelley concurs–the same thing happens to her on her runs! I got to the 3rd length (like, 3 whole minutes in the pool,) and I thought, my arms feel so heavy. Something’s terribly wrong. I’ll never be able to swim this far. Very weird, huh?
Anyway, I kept swimming. And swimming. And then I swam some more. I alternated between side stroke and back stroke, and wearing my fins, and swimming without them. The fins might make me go a little bit faster, and for sure I can give my arms a rest when I use them. But they also provide a lot of resistance, and for some reason, I tend to get cramps in my legs when I use them for too long. That is NOT fun.
At about 60 lengths, I needed to go to the bathroom. I kept swimming. I swam for two more hours like that.
At 140 lengths, I started counting down. 35 to go. 34 to go. Then I got bored with that and I just tried to swim as hard and as fast as I could.
Oh, and since 175 lengths is an uneven number, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide if I would swim 174 lengths or 176 lengths. In the end, I didn’t want to cut it short, so I did 176.
Hopped out of the pool and headed straight to you-know-where. Showered, dressed, and headed to the car, where I gobbled down my cupcake. Not quite as celebratory as sitting at a nice cafe, having a latte with. Must work on this aspect of the exercise challenge!
My take away from all this? I am really glad that I did it. It makes me feel strong that I can just keep swimming for that long. Who knows when that skill might come in handy?? I don’t think long distance swimming is anywhere near as difficult as long distance running, because I never felt physically exhausted, or like “I’ll never make it,” (except that little weirdness at the 3 minute mark LOL.) The worst thing I felt was a little headache at the end (maybe from wearing ear plugs?) Swimming does burn more calories than I thought. I found this calculator, and its pretty fun to see that I might actually be burning a significant amount of calories with my swimming. I have to say that that calculator encouraged me to keep swimming longer distances. But as far as doing this distance more often, I don’t think I’ll do it too much. Its no fun to keep exercising when you have to pee that bad. And its boring. I think I’d rather do a long workout with the bike, the weights, and a swim.