When I was a freshman in high school, I skipped a year in math. I was the only freshman in the sophomore level honors geometry. On one of the first tests, I got a D. I was upset and a bit discouraged, but I refused to accept that I couldn’t improve my grades and have a better grasp on the subject. I did extra credit, studied harder, and completed the course with an A.
This week I started swimming as cross-training. At this point in stress fracture recovery, I can do a small amount of deep water pool running, but swimming is better because my upper body does more work. I am not a very skilled swimmer; the last time I actually swam for fitness was in 2001, and those swim lessons were interrupted halfway through when I chip-fractured my thumb at a concurrent volleyball camp.
(Let’s take a moment to appreciate the irony that a bone injury took me out of the pool 17 years ago and now a bone injury has put me back in the pool.)
My form is poor and inefficient. I managed 20 minutes of swimming for my first session, gasping between laps. I could have dismissed swimming, decided I was inept at it, and given up. But I perceive this as an opportunity for growth. I might not be a decent swimmer now, but I can work to improve over these next few weeks.
A growth mindset believes that change is possible with hard work and the right attitude, while a fixed mindset accepts things as they are.
Monday: Rest day
I started last week feeling refreshed. I honestly didn’t even miss running over the week, as we had a guest in town and were busy spending time with college friends. I took Monday as a rest day to have one full week of rest from when I went in the boot.
Tuesday: 35 minutes swimming/pool running
I hobbled into the pool and attempted to swim. I lasted about 20 minutes of inefficient freestyle swimming with the pull buoy and then switched to about 15 minutes of pool running on the deep end. I used the pull buoy for too long, put on the aqua jogger belt backwards, and committed all sorts of novice errors, but I was proud of myself for getting in the pool.
Wednesday: 25 min swim
I spent Tuesday evening researching swimming more and returned to the pool with a plan. I found some beginner workouts on Triathlete and attempted one. This workout revealed to me that I need to work on my pacing in the pool. Much like a novice runner, I am pushing the pace too hard and burning out sooner than I should.
2 min breathing drills
4 x 25 swim
2 x 25 pull
4 x 50 swim (modified from 2 x 100 due to poor pacing)
2 x 25 pull
4 x 25 swim
I cooled down with a few minutes of deep water pool running.
Thursday: 30 minutes Pilates
A few weeks had passed since I had strength trained in any capacity. I did a basic 30-minute Pilates workout to ease back into things. I do appreciate how I can do most Pilates exercises with my stress fracture; I only had to modify the push-ups and a couple other exercises.
Friday: Rest day
This is the first day where the stress fracture actively frustrated me. I walked the dogs twice and went grocery shopping before noon, and all those trips up and down two flights of stairs left my foot hurting more than it had in several days. I felt discouraged and worried about how long I’d have to wear the boot.
My foot needed more rest, so I opted not to go for a swim and just rest it all day.
Saturday: Rest day
Sunday: 800 y swim
Did you watch the New York City Marathon? Shalane and Molly were amazing! Mary Keitany’s surge was almost unbelievable when she ran multiple sub-5:00 miles in the middle of the race. New York is one of my favorite races to watch each year.
After watching the coverage, Ryan and I went to the YCMA. I did not track exactly how long my swim took. I swam 8 x 100 yards, alternating laps at freestyle and backstroke. This swim was easily the best of the week; alternating strokes helped me swim for longer. I placed less focus on my breathing technique and more on just getting in a good workout – and I definitely did by the end of this one! I also did a bit of core work at home.
Do you have any advice on swimming?
How was your week in running?