Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update

Regarding my ankle.  I really appreciate the encouragement and suggestions from Monday's post.  There were a couple of people who suggested that it might actually be a break, and I've honestly wondered that myself.  And while it's probably time for yet ANOTHER visit to the orthopedist, at $50 a pop, it's hard to make that appointment when deep down I think he'll just do another x-ray and tell me "these things take a long time to heal" - heck, I could find other ways to waste $50, you know?  Just to keep you all updated, here's what has been done since January:
  • visit to doctor day of injury, x-rays taken, referral to orthopedist
  • visit to ortho, more x-rays, bone contusion diagnosis
  • no improvement, MRI done, confirmation of bone contusion diagnosis
  • no improvement, second opinion with a different ortho, more x-rays taken, MRI looked at, confirmation of bone contusion
My share of the MRI was around $500.  I don't have that to do another one...and while I could scrimp and cut back and pay it over a few months, I am not convinced that anything will show up differently enough to push for another MRI.

I do agree with one commenter who noted that I have not, in fact, taken five months I have attempted to run a few times, plus there was that little 10.6 mile race I walked.  So yes, I have not given it complete rest.  But come ON already!  Sighhhhh.


Here's a swimming update, since that's infinitely more interesting than me going on and on about my ankle.  So swimming.  Who knew???

I've been going to the pool every weekday that I'm in town - four days last week, and it looks like for the next month, it will be five days a week.  I've been increasing the time spent in the pool - last week I was up to just about an hour per day, and this week, it's been an hour and 20 minutes.  One thing I have to say is that this gives me one heck of a workout.  I am T-I-R-E-D afterward - my muscles are definitely fatigued!

I never thought that I could strengthen my arms without lifting weights or doing push ups - but boy, my muscles are not only feeling it, but they are really getting defined again.  I haven't seen them like this since I was doing my group workouts (and coincidentally, lifting weights and doing push ups, not to mention burpees), so this has been a pleasant surprise.  Also, the other difference is that while I'm worn out, I'm not super sore like I was a lot of times with those workouts.  Plus I can actually lift my arms to wash my hair - there were days when, whoa Nelly, that was painful!  But I digress.  I like how strong I feel as I propel myself through the water, especially when I do the back stroke.  I don't do the traditional arm movements with that (haha, does that surprise anyone?); rather, I do a sort of a "sculling/reverse breast stroke" movement.  I notice it most in my upper arms, which thrills me as they need a lot of work.

And as for cardio, the side stroke gives me a full-on workout - my heart is pumping hard when I do that one lap after lap!  It's a strange feeling to get a cardio workout without sweat, but I swear, it's happening.

Nifty swim fins!

My legs are getting stronger and toned, and again, the muscles are starting to show themselves.  However, in a recent picture, there was so much lumpiness going on in my thighs (notice I do not say "quads" when I am in distress over them?) that I was pretty disgusted with myself.  But, I am working on that by using the kick board a lot and picturing my strong legs firming up.  Also, I'm thinking about getting a pair of these Finis Zoomer swim fins - a woman at the pool, Nancy, uses them and when I quizzed her about them, said that they help her work more of her leg muscles.   Which A) sounds good to me and B) hello, equipment!  You know how I love my sports equipment!  She let me try hers out yesterday and I liked them.  Any swimmers out there have experience with these?  Stacia? 

Swimming Question of the Week:  How do you keep track of your laps?  I am constantly losing track...even though I try and repeat, say, "four, four, four" over and over while I'm doing that lap, I get to the end and think "wait...was that two or four?" and then I do another set (up and back) to be sure.  Anyone have a trick for this?


  1. No idea how you could keep track of your laps, maybe brain train more?

    Shelley I can't believe how expensive medical costs are in the US. I have a own risk of about $ 140 a year, when I get over that everything is being paid for me. And here we (Dutch people) are complaining about that but it isn't so bad reading your expenses. I wouldn't do another MRI for that amount of money either.

    I have some happy news to share with you later tonight on my blog but I can give you a little hint: it involves a bathing suit ..... got inspired by some blogger friends :)

  2. more MRIs! Actually when I had stress fractures in my lower back, it took a nuclear bone scan to diagnose me...the MRI didn't pick them up. But I'm sure a bone scan is even more expensive than an MRI :(

    Instead of keeping track of your laps, can you just set a time you'll workout and swim until it's over? Of course, not being able to keep track has probably led to extra laps which are never a bad thing!

    Those fins look kind of nifty! I wish they had those back in my swim team years!

  3. Thanks for the run down of what you have done since your injury. Do you read MissZippy's blog? She went to a natureopath and found out her problems we connected to something else going on in her both. (i hope i got that right!) So maybe that's something to look into.

  4. I'm sorry you're still having issues with your ankle, Shelley. I think it's awesome that you've found another form of exercise that enables you to rest your ankle and still get a great workout! I would love to have access to a pool!

  5. Sometime it's just TIME that will heal the wound. That sucks for you though. I need to get my butt in the pool. I was never a good swimmer. Time to practice.

    Anxious to hear about your flippers.

  6. Sometime it's just TIME that will heal the wound. That sucks for you though. I need to get my butt in the pool. I was never a good swimmer. Time to practice.

    Anxious to hear about your flippers.

  7. I sometimes lose track of the laps too, if my mind wanders off! Best counting method for me is to use varying numbers of laps in a block, say 4 breastroke, then 6 backstroke, then I know that is 10, then I'll do 6 breastroke, then 6 backstroke etc, or will do 2 laps and count that as one, then when I'm finished i'll just double my count to get my number of laps.

    Actually, playing numbers games when swimming can be quite fun!

  8. HI! I am a lurker and I LOVE your blog. I have lost 75 pounds and was hoping to become a runner but am having hip pains that are sort of killing those dreams. I am training for a triathlon and am loving the swimming. I bought this ring lap counter from Metroswimshop and I love it. It's the Sportcount Lap counter.


  9. Sorry about the running but its sounds like you're becoming quite the fish! Love that!

    Winks & Smiles,

  10. The only trick I have is to use your fingers - which is what I do if I'm running laps around a track. As I finish a lap I start on the outside of my left hand and lightly touch my thumb to my pinky and work my way left to right for each lap. Maybe that would work? But if not, either buy that clicker thing or just swim by time! :-)

  11. Fins build muscle and burn a lot of calories but I would build up your time using them just like with any weight resistance training. Also I am not a fan of the zoomers... they tend to give cramps while not being long enough to simulate a "floppy ankle" for the flutter kick and you need a floppy ankle. I like the trainers that are a little bit longer but not a full long diving fin... most bang for your buck working out. I use these from tyr and the second link is speedo and a bunch of my swim friends swear by those also

    people mention how nice my arms look a lot so... its a perk of swimming for sure.

    here is an awesome flutter kick video

  12. Cool swim fin. I'd feel like a duck. :) That's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Hmm....keeping track of laps. You could pull out a hair each lap then count them. LOL

  13. I've got nothing to help you while in the pool other than my mantra: Don't drown. Don't know how helpful that is :-)

    I'm so impressed with your water results = that's awesome. Good job.

  14. Great for keeping up your aquatic exercise. So you are becoming a swimmer instead of a runner - hey, you are an athlete!

  15. Hi Shelley! When I was doing laps at the Y, I would always forget, so I would bring a bunch of pennies and put them in a pile at one end. When I completed one lap, I would move a penny over and start counting there.

    I would do the same thing at the track, grab a handful of rocks and every lap I jogged, I would put a rock in a new pile so I wouldn't forget! Good for you getting in the pool I love that kind of workout and it's awesome in the summer!

  16. Swimming is good for your arms! I'm glad it's summer I can get back in the pool. Tonight it's on the agenda for sure. No idea about counting laps. I have the same problem. But, when you figure out a good idea, let me know so I can steal it. Ha ha ha ha!

    Swimming is definitely cardio. I have a polar I wear in the water. It's great for tracking my heart rate an calories burned.

  17. I've wanted to get a pair of swim fins too!! I wasn't sure which ones to get, so thanks for the link.

    And I can definitely tell my arms are getting more defined from the pool - to me, swimming is an ALL BODY workout - love it!

    Okay, this is going to sound weird, but I bring a penny with me to the pool. The tiles are small and I start at one end of my lane and after I go there and back, I move the penny one space. I could never remember my laps otherwise!

    Yep, while resting the ankle sucks, maybe just give it more time?

  18. I bought a lap counter - I use it to swim and at the track. It is like a ring that goes around my finger. They have some on this site:

    I'm sorry about your ankle. Physical therapy might help but it is very expensive as well. It's good that you are doing so much swimming though, it's a great alternative to running.

  19. Hi Shelley! I use the Zoomers too and I really love them. They really do make it more of a leg workout - the effort is split more between arms and legs instead of mainly on the arms without the fins. Sometimes they will rub my toes - so I recommend trying them on in the store and getting a loose but not too loose fit. Usually I wear socks with them too, a really cool look! They are the best fins I believe for working the legs. As far as counting laps - I could not get by without my finger lap counter, that many people have already mentioned. You can find it many places, but also Amazon:

  20. They do make lap counters

    If you have been advised to completely rest the ankle - then you should do so. Really do it. I would even Ace wrap your ankle while swimming, just to be sure.

    Get copies of both xrays and get a 3rd opinion but without new xrays.

  21. Sorry to hear you are still having trouble with the dumb ankle but I'm truly happy you found some new gear to buy :) You're so lucky you have a great pool.

  22. I forgot how expensive medical care is in the US :-(

    I think those fins are really cool! I gave up keeping track of laps and go by time and just increase the time that I swim.

    I think it is great that you are seeing definition, I love seeing that!

  23. At my pool, the lane dividers are made of rings on a cable. I push them up the cable a bit and then move one down the cable every time I finish a round trip. Kinda like an abacus. Sometimes I count down instead of counting up. So I will start by separating 10 rings and then move 1 off of the pile every time I finish a round trip.

    I keep saying I'm going to get back in the pool, but it hasnt happened. Spending most of my althletic time on my bike, which makes me happy.

  24. I like this gadget

  25. Swimming gives you a whole different body than running or lifting weights. You're going to be much leaner and longer (I know, it doesn't seem possible) than if you had stuck solely to those other sports. Haven't you ever seen swimmer's bodies? Sex-y!! :)

  26. I bought a watch at EMS when they were having a sale. It has MANY features that I still haven't figured out, but mainly I wear it in the pool and I hit the lap button every time I complete a lap. It lets me just stop thinking of numbers and let my mind wander. Every once in a while I'll check what lap I'm on and be surprised that I'm already on lap 8, or 9 without even realizing it! Plus it gives me times for each lap, so I can see how I'm improving over time.


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