Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pushing Past Your Perceived Limit

Art by Mark Bryan
Today was an interesting morning.  I woke up at 3 in the morning, head spinning with thoughts, and completely unable to get back to sleep.  I spent the next 2 hours and 45 minutes lying awake trying to will myself back to sleep- it didn't work.

So At 5:45 I got out of bed and headed to the gym.  Now, I know that I complain about this alot- and a lot of you are probably sick of hearing about it- but, seriously,Lifetime-  
:Begin Rant: 

if I wanted to know what it was like to swim in the artic, I'd book a cruise on the Titanic.  Warm up the effing pool already.  There is no worse feeling than jumping into a shockingly cold pool.  And I'm not even talking "oh boy that's cold what a wakeup!"  no, a "holy bloody *^#%#  that's teeth chattering cold" 
I'm ahead of myself though- because I get to the gym at 6ish (I think it was like 6:09) and the pool was PACKED.  I mean wall to wall people PACKED.  Ugh-  Tri season is in full swing.  I hate sharing lanes,  loathe it actually.  At the Y- as Ive said before, no big deal, because the lanes are a normal size, but at Lifetime, the laps are teensy weensy.  For example-  I am 5 feet 9 inches tall.  I don't know what that equates to inches wise in my wingspan, but I can touch both lap lanes standing in the middle of the lane.  Now, try sharing that tiny space with some gigundo Iron Man.  Or even with another woman.  And it's not even about sharing such a small space per se-  it's having to slow down and change your stroke every time the two of you pass each other - lest you hook arms (which Ive done numerous times- its painful)  not to mention that its impossible to get a good workout going when you're worrying about someone else in your lane (and I can't even entertain the thought of backstroking when someone else is in the lane.)
So-  I waited for a lane to open up- a solo lane.  By the time this happened it was ten to 7. So I only had roughly 45 minutes to do my workout.  I decided to just go, and do as much as I could and regardless of what that was I'd just have to be okay with it. 
And, amazingly, in roughly 50ish  minutes- I swam a mile and a half! Never in a million years did I think I could swim that far in that little of a time period. (Little for me anyway)-  olympians swim a mile in like 15 minutes. - obviously, I'm not an olympian teehee.

Mr Nice Guy Ironman was in the lane next to mine, and as we swam, I pushed myself to keep pace with him.  The old competative spirit kicked in full throttle, and for the most part I was able to stay neck and neck with him (Ok, sometimes it moved to head and shoulder.. and a few times it was shoulder and knee) but, I would touch the wall each pass within seconds of him.  Can I tell you how much I miss competing on a swim team?  One of these days, I'll join the Masters and swim at meets again.  

Typically though, when I swim, I swim in 400 meter passes (100 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 100 kickboard- repeat 4 times [my workout consists of more than this, since this is only 1600m - the rest is a combo of sprints, and working with paddles or fins )  and I don't typically push past longer than 400 meter passes because my brain tells my body that Im too tired and incapable and I stop and take a rest.  But, the motivation of having someone beside me to pit myself against, enabled me to keep going, keep swimming, and I was able to swim 1000m before I even stopped the first time.  Keeping pace with an Iron man felt freaking phenomenal.  Of course, as I type this, my arms are on fire, and my shoulders are aching.  But of course in a good way. :)

The best part of this whole experience is proving to myself over and over again how much more capable I am than I ever think I am.  And I'm really starting to absorb that over the past few weeks.  I'm actually really bummed (exercise wise, - honestly Im counting the hours otherwise)  Im going on vacation and am going to miss exercising in the way that I'm used to.  I plan to still work out as I am able to, but it won't be anywhere near the intensity that I have been.

Alright-  I'm hitting a brick wall.  I think its going to be a fairly early night... as I said, I  was up at 3 and Im seriously nodding off as I write this.  So I'm wrapping it up now.  I hope this post makes sense!  :)


Emily Sandford said...

you're a rockstar! And I HATE sharing lanes also. Thankfully my gym has a large pool and it hasn't happened yet there...

Jeannie said...

Lol! I was going to say I also hate it when the pool is busy and have to share lanes. So throws off my swimming rhythm. I just want be able to swim freely down the lane at my pace and stop when I need to without worrying about someone else in the lane. But yes, it can be motivating to get more done if you are paired with someone who is a bit faster or keeps moving more than you. :)

plastic nose surgery said...

I agree, I do not like to share lanes at all. I think that it is always nice to have a lane just for yourself. Nice post though, thanks.

Shelley Moore said...

If you hate sharing a lane with 1 person, you oughta try sharing with 3 or 4... we had to circle swim in a class I took cause there were so many swimmers and not enough lanes... that stunk! Great job on pacing with the Ironman :)