Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - Swim Gear Part II

While I'm not back at the pool yet (another week of waiting), I wanted to show you some of my new swimming gear that I got to use for a couple of weeks before ankle surgery so rudely interrupted my routine.

Since I'm kind of unconventional when it comes to swimming laps (i.e. I don't do strokes where I have to come out of the water to breathe because I lack the coordination to move my arms, legs, stay afloat AND breathe without sucking in water), I've added gear to pump up the workout.  I still love my Zoomer swim fins and feel that they've made my legs stronger while letting me swim a little faster - I'm able to get more laps in using them.  A couple of months ago, I realized that I wasn't really worn out after my regular workouts, so I decided that I was ready for hand paddles.  These were a little tricky to find, as many of them have a strap that goes over the index finger, which is where my lap-counter goes.  After some trial and error, I hit on these Finis Fulcrum paddles:
The cutout is supposed to help you avoid shoulder issues, which apparently you can get (repetitive-motion) from swimming.  I thought these were funny in that you ordered according to your weight and not hand-size.  I used them for the backstroke "swoosh" that I do (I know, real helpful description) and I like them.  Definitely feel more resistance and I'm hoping that with more use my upper arms will get even more toned.  My forearms are really muscular already thanks to swimming and yoga.  The only thing I've had to deal with is that at least once per workout I managed to swamp my face with water using these - ugh, water up the nose!  Still, I can't wait to use them again.

You would think that for someone who has worn glasses for decades, and who takes very good care of said glasses, swim goggles would be a piece of cake for me.  You would be wrong.  I've ruined two pairs of goggles - the first, because I didn't know that you weren't supposed to wipe the insides out (removes the anti-fog coating).  My second pair?  I was so good with them!  Except that one day I used some anti-fog drops and then wiped them out with a paper towel.  Hello scratches.  I don't know what I was thinking.  Dumb move.  Onto pair number three - good thing the first pair was only around $12 and the second pair was free with a big order from Swim Outlet a while back.  But still!  Of course by the time I needed to get another pair, our one store in town did not have any left.  (side rant:  locals complain about internet shopping not contributing to the tax base, but how can I shop locally if no one carries what I need?)  Anyway, I ended up with a pair of Barracudas, mainly because my pool buddy Nancy has had some for years and loved them.  They were only $15, which I thought was pretty reasonable.  And I swear, I'm treating them like a baby!
What I especially LOVE about these goggles is that they don't suction hard to my eye sockets...with my old goggles, I'd end up with rings around my eyes that would last for a couple of hours.  Plus it was painful!  These are nice and soft and yet still keep the water out of my eyes.  I'm quite pleased with them.

Also pictured with the goggles are my ear plugs, which are wonderful.  Once Nancy and I are done with our kickboard gab session, I get down to business with my back stroke.  I do not like water in my ears, and while my swim cap helps keep some out, adding the ear plugs means that no water gets in...and I have the added bonus of losing myself to my thoughts completely, since I can't hear the swim team or other distractions.

My last new item is a towel.  I'm sure you're all thinking, big whoop, a towel, but hear me out...the towel I was using, while pretty and absorbent and perfectly fine, was huge.  Perfect for a day at the beach, but more than I needed for the pool, and it was heavy and took up a ton of space in my pool bag that I lug in every day.  I was lamenting this to my mom one day, and the next thing I knew, she'd found a thin, quick-drying towel on the internet!  That internet is a magical place.  I ordered one, and was amazed at how much less space it took up compared to my old towel:
New towel on the left, old towel on the right

It works great and is still really big - I can wrap it around myself and be covered from chest to knees, which is important since I have to walk up the stairs and part-way through the gym to the women's locker room.  And it really IS quick drying - another plus since I need to dry it every day.  Well, that is, when I swim.  Which will be next week.  Woohoo!


  1. all I see when I read this post and all I hear when I read this post is YOU HAVE THE BEST ATTITUDE EVER SHELLY.

    you define resilient.
    even if Im barely able to spell it :)

  2. I love this post. You put as much dedication to your swimming as you did to your running. I think now it's time to show us some awesome yoga outfits.

    I was thinking about you yesterday because the sand storms in Texas were all over the news here. Were you in trouble?

  3. I wouldn't want to suggest that you hurt your ankle to pick up a new sport only to get to do more shopping, because that would be crazy, but look what this whole adventure has gotten you: MORE SHOPPING!
    Have you considered a career in this? Maybe a personal shopper?

  4. When I read this I really wanted to go swimming! I haven't been in the water swimming for over 10 years. One day I will do it again, I just need to feel comfortable in my own skin first.

    You seem really into the swimming though, and it really made me want to get there! :D

  5. We never had any of this stuff when I was on swim team way back when in my kid years. Once I finish my dissertation, I might explore swim clubs around here. You are making me very nostalgic for my swimming days!

  6. New stuff is always so motivating. It is going to be so fun for you to get back in the water : )

  7. You are really motivating me to want to try swimming, Shelley! I might just have to check out the local Y ....

  8. Newe exercise gear is such an awesome way to boost workouts and motivation :)

  9. I honestly never knew there were so many ways for a swimmer to be tricked out. Might actually make swimming fun!

  10. Ooh, new gear on my wish list: the small big towel, and ear plugs! Oh, and swim shoes, since I left mine there last week and they were not in the lost and found-grrr. Now every time I see a woman in those (common) pink and black swim shoes, I look at them suspiciously.

  11. Well of course I like the look of old towel better than new towel. It says Shelley alllll over it! :)

    It was fun to check out your stuff.

    ps Is Paco ok?? I mean I don't see him or even his NOSE in any of the swim equip photos...I worry! haha

  12. So cool!!! I'm a fitness gadget junky. And I'm learning so much about swimming from your posts.

    I want to be a swimmer like you when I grow up.

    Give Paco a hug from me. :)

  13. I love how you accessorize your sport Shelley!

    That towel at the bottom reminds me of the small towels I see divers use at swim meats - they would come out of the water and wipe off their body and it would soak up tons of water.

    You'll be back in the pool before you know it! :D

  14. You are so prepared for every sport you do Shelley! I admire that.

  15. Love the gear show. What a great way to keep yourself motivated until you can get moving again! Makes me want to go swim. (Alas, not for another 4 weeks.)

  16. Excellent post Shelley. That is one sexy little towel!!!! Glad you are still recovering well, have a great "gear filled" Thursday.

  17. obviously I have some major catching up to do. I have been so preoccupied lately and have gotten behind on my favorite blogs! Surgery???????? (told you I was behind)...I hope you are doing well and I am headed to catch up now. I want you to know that you are one of the reasons that I convinced myself that I could run the half. So thank you for that. I really mean that. And thanks for all your comments and continued support.


  18. I love swimming! It's my #1 sport. I have similar paddles. I don't use them a ton, maybe for about 5-10 laps total during a workout. It's good for beginners too because it helps them realize when they aren't swimming with proper strokes. Or if they are slapping the water too much.


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