IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Back to the Pool!

Today was my first day back in the pool for approximately two months. Some of you know, but probably most of you don’t know that I’ve been having some rotator cuff issues that have been keeping me from my regular chlorination routine. What did I do? Not sure, but I think it happened some time around the Boston Marathon that I was in the front seat of my car and went to reach into the back seat to lift up a gym bag to get something out of it. Said gym bag was much too heavy for me to try and lift given the position of my arm, so I ended up injuring myself.

This has happened to me before and my old coach, Brett Petersen, had given me some exercises to strengthen my rotator cuff. Well, I haven’t done those exercises in just about a year, but after this little incident, I had to break out the stretchy bands. I tried swimming a couple of times since then, but just lifting my arm out of the water proved to be painful. It was a tolerable pain, but this is the beginning of the season, so I decided to “rest” the arm a bit. Each swim morning, I’d wake up at the alarm, set for 4:11am, sit up in bed and try to move my arm in swim stroke fashion. If I felt any pain at all, I turned the alarm off and went back to bed. Finally last week, the pain seemed to be non-existent. Unfortunately, I had to be at a client that day, which wouldn’t give me enough time to swim in the morning, so I promised myself I’d get back to the pool this week.

I forced myself to get to bed at 9:30pm last night. But, just as the little kid who’s not tired when you try to make them sleep, I tossed, turned, got up to check and make sure I had a cap and goggles for this morning, had to go to the bathroom, went downstairs to make sure I could find my YMCA membership card, while I was down there I went to check email, crawled back in bed, went back downstairs to get a drink of water, and finally, I think it was after 11:00pm when I was finally able to fall asleep. I was up several times during the night because of the storm. I love to sleep with the windows open and listen to the rain.

It’s no surprise that when the alarm blared at 4:11am this morning, I was in a deep sleep. I slammed my hand on the snooze button and cursed myself for not going to bed earlier. I rolled over and went back to sleep. BEEP BEEP BEEP! Nine minutes went by in the wink of an eye, and I slammed my hand back on the snooze button. Why is getting up so hard? Come on, just one more alarm, I thought. This time, I rolled, tossed, looked at the clock a couple of times, all before the next 9 minutes elapsed. And now I could hear the dog walking around downstairs, just waiting for someone to come down and let him out. Yep, it was now time to get up.

Once I’m up and about, I’m fine. It’s just those first few minutes of being woken by the rude interruption of the obnoxious alarm that are difficult for me. I had already packed everything in my bag the night before, so it didn’t take me but 10 minutes to be ready to go. I flew down the stairs and shooed the dog out the door. He doesn’t move quite as quickly as he used to. I quickly scanned my email – why I feel the need to do this before I leave the house in the morning, I don’t know, but it has become quite the habit. Sort of like brushing your teeth, can’t leave the house without doing it. The dog was waiting for me when I went to the back door and I left the house a little early.

Early is good when it comes to my Masters team. You must be in the pool right on time if you swim in my lane. If you’re even just a couple minutes late, they will whip right through the warm up and you just need to jump in wherever they are – they don’t wait for the late comers. This is the only lane of this team that operates this way. Swimmers in other lanes kind of stroll in at their leisure and are welcomed with open arms. But if you show up late to Lane 4, you should expect to be taunted when you arrive.

I walked in with Elaine and, as has become the norm in the past year, we are among the first swimmers in the pool. My coach, Vlatko, has a surprised look on his face and welcomed me back. I was both excited and nervous to be back in the pool. I jumped in behind Elaine for the warm up and Greg joined us after just the first 50 yards. The water was a little cool, but I’d say the temperature was near perfect for our workout. My stroke felt good and strong and I was feeling no pain in my rotator cuff.

The pool began to fill as the other Masters swimmers arrived. We needed to move Shawn over to our lane and now we were ready to go. The set of 12 x 75 IM order seemed like it took FOREVER, but I was a bit happy to be swimming IM because it’s less repetitive, therefore putting less strain on my arm. I managed to get through that with ease and I began to wonder how fast I would’ve been able to swim those had I not been out of the pool for so long.

It was the next set, all free, that I started to feel a twinge in my arm. Nothing serious, but just enough to let me know that I have not fully recovered. I backed down on the pace. We were near the end of the workout now, so I knew I’d be able to finish. Even after we’d completed the workout Vlatko had listed for us, we had to do another 50 yards. See, I can’t end the work out on a “50.” In other words, if the total workout reads 3350 yards, I need to do 3400 yards. Vlatko KNOWS this, but said I haven’t been there in so long, he didn’t think it would matter. It did. Our whole lane did an extra 50 yards just to round it out. Why do coaches have you end on a 50? That’s crazy, I tell you!

Workout is done and I feel pretty good. I’ve missed the team!! It was a great workout and I’m happy to finally be back in the pool. I figure it’s going to take me several weeks to build back up to the place I was before my arm started to hurt. The key is to not overdo it and re-injure myself before I even get recovered. Easier said than done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you please show me a picture of that cool truck again?