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delalana

Naming the Goal That Must Not Be Named

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Backstory: My entire life I've identified as a swimmer. I've always loved the water: lakes, pools, you name it. But I've also pretty much always been the slowest person in the pool. This - along with some sustained periods in the past of, shall we say, less than full effort in the pool - have led to a desire to prove myself to be a "real" swimmer who can hold her own and keep up with more than just the people who swim once or twice a year. My measuring stick (and the big gigantic Goal That Must Not Be Named) is to complete a triathlon.

 

Where I'm at right now is roughly 60-70 pounds overweight. I exercise a fair amount, a mix of swimming, yoga, dance, and more recently strength training. A triathlon feels impossible right now, so for my big goal for this year I want to swim fast enough to move up a lane at my swim practices. This requires me shaving about 10 seconds off my comfortable 50 yard swim. This felt pretty doable in January, but a lot scarier now that we're at the end of June. I get plenty of practice in, so that leaves three main avenues to improve my swimming speed:

  1. Get smaller
  2. Get stronger
  3. Swim better/more efficiently

 

Goals: So with those parameters in mind, these are my goals for the next four weeks:

  1. Strength train 3 times per week OR complete a 3 week swimming technique class and strength train 2 times per week.
    1. I've signed up for a swimming technique class, but haven't gotten any confirmation that it's actually happening. No one I've talked to seems to know about it and the person in charge of it is terrible at answering his email. If I don't hear back in the next day, I'm assuming it's not happening and I'll go ahead with strength training more.
  2. Avoid Friday treats.
    1. During the summer work brings in a different food truck every Friday afternoon with treats. These are delicious, but not exactly healthy. The one exception I'm planning is if I'm there when they bring in the truck from O'Cheeze. Their grilled cheese is absolutely delicious and I missed it last year.
  3. Eat an average of 2.33 servings of veggies per day.
    1. Translation: Eat 2 servings of veggies most days and 3 servings at least a couple of times per week.

 

Side Goal: Not fitness related, but something I've been dropping the ball on for a few years now that I really need to stop doing that on.

  1. Write up an onboarding document for robotics marketing and get in touch with the parent who's volunteered to help.
    1. I volunteer with a high school robotics team and am the lead adult for the marketing team. While I can help with some things, many parts of marketing (e.g. finding businesses to sponsor the team) are way out of my skillset. There is parent who works in something marketing related who has volunteered to help, but I need to make sure she knows what we do and has the resources she needs. Not to mention actually following up with her in the first place.

 

Challenges: The hardest part of this for me is going to be following through with the food. I don't have a problem getting myself to work out and when I do cook I'm pretty good at it. But when life gets busy, there's nothing premade in the fridge, or I just really want something deep fried, it can be really hard to convince myself to eat at home or cook after a long day at work.

 

Optimism: Having some form of accountability seems to be really helpful for me (see the more than a couple morning swims I made it to last winter solely because I had promised another swimmer I would be there), so having a public record and a community here should help. Let's do the thing!

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9 hours ago, delalana said:

 

Challenges: The hardest part of this for me is going to be following through with the food. I don't have a problem getting myself to work out and when I do cook I'm pretty good at it. But when life gets busy, there's nothing premade in the fridge, or I just really want something deep fried, it can be really hard to convince myself to eat at home or cook after a long day at work.

 

Welcome to the rebellion!

What has helped me with what I quoted above is making a menu in advance, usually on payday. I use this to plan my grocery shopping and cook in advance what I can. I generally plan leftovers or double a recipe so I know I have something to grab for dinner when I work 16 hour days (I have a crazy schedule :lol: ) it might give you a place to start!

 

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12 hours ago, delalana said:

Backstory: My entire life I've identified as a swimmer. I've always loved the water: lakes, pools, you name it. But I've also pretty much always been the slowest person in the pool. This - along with some sustained periods in the past of, shall we say, less than full effort in the pool - have led to a desire to prove myself to be a "real" swimmer who can hold her own and keep up with more than just the people who swim once or twice a year. My measuring stick (and the big gigantic Goal That Must Not Be Named) is to complete a triathlon.


Yay! I love that you're going for something ambitious that you really want.

 

2 hours ago, RES said:

What has helped me with what I quoted above is making a menu in advance, usually on payday.

 

Yeah, I usually stick to my plans to cook dinner just because I've already bought the groceries and I'm not going to waste them. If I have nothing planned, eating healthfully is considerably less likely. 

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On 6/29/2019 at 6:36 PM, delalana said:

I volunteer with a high school robotics team and am the lead adult for the marketing team.

 

First robotics? or another kind? I helped out with the chairman's team for a few years with one of our local teams. 

 

On 6/30/2019 at 7:10 AM, Harriet said:

 

Yeah, I usually stick to my plans to cook dinner just because I've already bought the groceries and I'm not going to waste them. If I have nothing planned, eating healthfully is considerably less likely. 

 Making sure there are healthier go to options are a great way to help with this. I keep frozen cauliflower rice on hand all the time. And also some thin cut steaks (can cook them from frozen so you don't have to worry about thaw time) Finding some things like that might help out too. 

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I'm usually pretty good at cooking for leftovers (I've got burrito casserole  and meatballs in the fridge right now and I'm also working through some frozen walleye), but having a specified day to plan and cook could definitely help to make sure I don't run out of food on a busy day.

 

And thanks for the reminder that meat can be cooked from frozen. I always seem to forget this and lack the patience/foresight to thaw ahead of time. The salmon living in my freezer may get eaten yet!

 

How filling is cauliflower rice? I tried doubling up on veggies for a couple of days instead of doing some brown rice with meals, but found that I was always hungry for 20-30 minutes after meals, even if I hadn't been particularly hungry before I ate.

 

Thanks for the tips, everyone!

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Hi there! I have a background in swimming as does @DarK_RaideR. I really like your goals!

 

A great thing about swimming is that you can be a really good swimmer with a variety of body shapes and sizes...it's one of those sports where it's hard to predict how fast someone might be by looking at him/her. So it's great if you want to improve your swimming and also great if you want to lose weight, but you can pursue both a little independently. Celebrate the effort and the successes with either, and don't get down on yourself if progress is slower in one area than the other.

 

As a swimmer-turned-runner, I always thought I would be a triathlete...turns out I hate biking. You can totally do it if you want to, but I feel like swimmers are at the biggest disadvantage. The swim is usually the shortest part. And it sounds like you train in the pool. A good technical swimmer (like I was, and like it sounds like you are) sometimes looses advantage in saltwater (if that's where your race is) which has more buoyancy, especially if wetsuits are allowed.

 

...but I would love to hang out with you through your training, and could lend a very sympathetic ear!

 

(p.s.  This sounds a lot like endurance training....you might check out the Scouts for future challenges. Just a thought).

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Daily Tracking:

 

Strength Training: 1/3 complete! I never got a response about the technique class, so I'm going with 3 strength training sessions per week. Also, typically the hardest of three sessions each week and particularly hard this week (wobbly legs 15 minutes in and hanging onto the handrail for dear life as I walked down the stairs after it was all over), so even if I miss one or both sessions while I'm on vacation later this week, I've got the biggest bang for my buck behind me.

 

Friday Treats: n/a

 

Veggies: 3 servings in today :)

 

Robotics: No progress

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6 hours ago, Toshimi said:

 

 

First robotics?

Yes! I'm a software engineer by trade so I also work with programming, but the team I was on in high school had always competed for Chairman's, so I introduced that when I joined the team I mentor four years ago. We've been making slower progress than I'd like towards establishing solid community outreach and, as mentioned earlier, the sponsorship part of things isn't my forte. I'm trying to get more stuff organized in the offseason this year so we can start up pretty quick in fall or, at the very least, build season. We only have one marketing student returning this year, so we'll see how things go. The parent who's volunteering to help should be around for a couple of years, though, so that should be helpful going forward.

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16 minutes ago, delalana said:

And thanks for the reminder that meat can be cooked from frozen. I always seem to forget this and lack the patience/foresight to thaw ahead of time. The salmon living in my freezer may get eaten yet!

 

How filling is cauliflower rice? I tried doubling up on veggies for a couple of days instead of doing some brown rice with meals, but found that I was always hungry for 20-30 minutes after meals, even if I hadn't been particularly hungry before I ate. 

 

I like cauliflower rice a lot. my favorite way to cook it lately has been on a sheet pan with some ghee, then after it gets nice and roasty mixing in some nuts (either pecans or pine nuts) and sun dried tomatoes. I've also done onion and capers and onion.

 

For the hunger one thing I've found if you're doing less carbs for a meal sometimes it helps to up the fat.

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21 minutes ago, Xena said:

Hi there! I have a background in swimming as does @DarK_RaideR. I really like your goals!

Thanks!

 

21 minutes ago, Xena said:

As a swimmer-turned-runner, I always thought I would be a triathlete...turns out I hate biking. You can totally do it if you want to, but I feel like swimmers are at the biggest disadvantage. The swim is usually the shortest part. And it sounds like you train in the pool. A good technical swimmer (like I was, and like it sounds like you are) sometimes looses advantage in saltwater (if that's where your race is) which has more buoyancy, especially if wetsuits are allowed.

Truth be told, I've never really liked running, so I'm somewhat open to changing my giant goal in the future. I swim with the local Masters club, so they've got plenty of open water races, everything from 1 to 10 miles, and indoor meets in the winter. My main hesitation here is that I swim really slowly.

 

32 minutes ago, Xena said:

...but I would love to hang out with you through your training, and could lend a very sympathetic ear!

 

(p.s.  This sounds a lot like endurance training....you might check out the Scouts for future challenges. Just a thought).

That would be awesome! What would you recommend to get faster when it seems like simply keeping up with swimming isn't making enough of a dent?

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19 minutes ago, delalana said:

What would you recommend to get faster when it seems like simply keeping up with swimming isn't making enough of a dent?

Faster at swimming? Or running/triathlon? How many days a week do you make it to the pool?

 

For swimming, I think it's pretty individual. In the pool, technique and efficiency can make a huge difference. Have you ever been videotaped? Back when I was swimming masters (wow...we're talking 20 years ago!!!), the coach would sometimes record us and then analyze the tape with us. That made the biggest difference for me because I could actually see what I was doing wrong. Things like getting full extension in the stroke, rotating from side-to-side (we used to say going from "rail to rail"), breathing efficiently. If your coach doesn't ever tape you, you could just as easily ask a friend to do it with a phone camera (it's nice to have underwater video, but you can see tons from the surface).

 

Aside from technique, do you think you are more limited by strength or endurance? For myself, I always had a strong kick, but was lacking upper body strength. I think that to have really improved, I would need to commit to weight training.

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Been quite some time since my "background" in swimming, but I might as well tag someone more into it right now, such as @Syren

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17 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Been quite some time since my "background" in swimming, but I might as well tag someone more into it right now, such as @Syren

 

Good call. Even longer for me :-)

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7/2

Strength Training: (1/3) No strength training today, but the DOMS are REAL.The aftermath of 90 squats and 40 burpees is fun...

Friday Treats: n/a

Veggies: (2/7) 3 servings

Robotics: No progress

 

7/3

Strength Training: (2/3) Waking up early to get in a session before work did not happen. I did get in a short session after work, though, so yay!

Friday Treats: n/a

Veggies: (2/7) 1 serving. I'm on vacation between now and Sunday, so I don't have a ton of control over what I'm eating. I'm guess this one won't be great over the next few days.

Robotics: Still no progress

 

After building up strength training over the past few months, I'm finally starting to notice concrete results. When I started doing yoga back in January/February, most of the holds that required supporting myself partially on my arms we really hard and I'd need to drop out of them pretty quickly. Lately, I've been able to support myself a lot longer, as of today not needing to drop down to my knees at all throughout the class. It's been hard to notice if there's been any incremental progress in my swimming speed, so it's nice to have something tangible to point to as far as results go.

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On 7/1/2019 at 9:53 PM, Xena said:

Faster at swimming? Or running/triathlon? How many days a week do you make it to the pool?

 

For swimming, I think it's pretty individual. In the pool, technique and efficiency can make a huge difference. Have you ever been videotaped? Back when I was swimming masters (wow...we're talking 20 years ago!!!), the coach would sometimes record us and then analyze the tape with us. That made the biggest difference for me because I could actually see what I was doing wrong. Things like getting full extension in the stroke, rotating from side-to-side (we used to say going from "rail to rail"), breathing efficiently. If your coach doesn't ever tape you, you could just as easily ask a friend to do it with a phone camera (it's nice to have underwater video, but you can see tons from the surface).

 

Aside from technique, do you think you are more limited by strength or endurance? For myself, I always had a strong kick, but was lacking upper body strength. I think that to have really improved, I would need to commit to weight training.

Swimming. I'm usually at the pool twice a week for an hour each time. I could go more, but 4:30 wakeups are early. I'm not eager to add more of those if I don't have to.

 

I haven't been video taped. That was supposed to be part of the technique class I tried to sign up for. I know I definitely have issues there as the head coach will periodically point them out when he's there (we have a bunch of coaches that handle different practices throughout the week, but the head coach is the only one who really offers feedback). I'll email him to see if they're planning on offering the class again any time soon or if there's someone who could work with me one on one.

 

I'm definitely more limited by strength. My kick's pretty good, definitely better than the arm portion of my stroke. Endurance doesn't seem to be a problem as I did an open water swim last weekend and the 900m swim was pretty easy with only a few seconds to break and get my bearings every 300m or so.

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17 hours ago, delalana said:

I'm definitely more limited by strength. My kick's pretty good, definitely better than the arm portion of my stroke. Endurance doesn't seem to be a problem as I did an open water swim last weekend and the 900m swim was pretty easy with only a few seconds to break and get my bearings every 300m or so.

 

I was exactly the same!! I think videotaping could be a huge help. I had one arm that kind of dropped but I didn't really know what the coach meant until I saw it for myself. I also was reaching across my body (not in a good way) while bringing my arm into the water. Getting more efficient can help just as much as getting stronger.

 

I think two days a week could be good, especially if you fill in with other things. I know you are doing yoga, which is great. To build up your speed, you probably need to do some cardio week 1-2 times more per week. Fitting in an extra day at the pool would be great (but I understand the early morning problem). How about 30 min of running/jogging (taking walking breaks if you need to) or a cardio machine (do you have access to a gym?).

 

 

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On 7/4/2019 at 3:59 PM, Xena said:

 

I was exactly the same!! I think videotaping could be a huge help. I had one arm that kind of dropped but I didn't really know what the coach meant until I saw it for myself. I also was reaching across my body (not in a good way) while bringing my arm into the water. Getting more efficient can help just as much as getting stronger.

 

I think two days a week could be good, especially if you fill in with other things. I know you are doing yoga, which is great. To build up your speed, you probably need to do some cardio week 1-2 times more per week. Fitting in an extra day at the pool would be great (but I understand the early morning problem). How about 30 min of running/jogging (taking walking breaks if you need to) or a cardio machine (do you have access to a gym?).

 

 

I'll definitely try to get an opportunity for videotaping. If the main coach doesn't answer my email by next week (he's notoriously bad at email), I'll talk to the one who's normally there when I swim.

 

One of the things I've heard a bunch is that if you want to see progress for a workout you need to do it 2-3 times a week. I'm not sure how much mental fortitude I would have to keep running if it's the same level of struggle week after week.

 

 

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*Sylvaa slides in days late, knocking into a table and just barely keeping a vase from falling onto the ground*

 

HI! 

 

A Triathlon is my super secret goal also! Are you doing the Masters swims at a Y? If so, does your do a yearly triathlon? I know mine does and keep looking at it.... I also have a swimming background and I still just love to get in the water. Not sure if you have the opportunity to do some solo swimming in the pool you use, but if your arms seem to be your weak spot, I'd recommend adding in some parachute drills. Also, technique wise, while you are waiting on being video taped, try doing some single arm pulls. Sometimes, you can "see" weaknesses (i.e. to @Xena's point of overreaching). 

 

Did you try the cauliflower rice? 

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7 hours ago, delalana said:

I'm not sure how much mental fortitude I would have to keep running if it's the same level of struggle week after week.

Could you bike?

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After an excellent vacation and an impromptu adventure in plumbing I'm back to it. Nutrition and exercise were generally lacking for about the past week, but I did manage to hit my vegetable servings both yesterday and today and I did strength work both Monday and today, so that's on track too.

On 7/10/2019 at 2:56 PM, Sylvaa said:

*Sylvaa slides in days late, knocking into a table and just barely keeping a vase from falling onto the ground*

 

HI! 

 

A Triathlon is my super secret goal also! Are you doing the Masters swims at a Y? If so, does your do a yearly triathlon? I know mine does and keep looking at it.... I also have a swimming background and I still just love to get in the water. Not sure if you have the opportunity to do some solo swimming in the pool you use, but if your arms seem to be your weak spot, I'd recommend adding in some parachute drills. Also, technique wise, while you are waiting on being video taped, try doing some single arm pulls. Sometimes, you can "see" weaknesses (i.e. to @Xena's point of overreaching). 

 

Did you try the cauliflower rice?

Hi! It's awesome to meet someone else who's at the same spot as me. It sounds like you're pretty far along, you should totally do the tri if you're ready for it! How did you get into each of the three sports?

 

I swim at a Jr high, so not a ton of opportunity for drills. If I knew more of what I needed to work on I could potentially get a membership to the local community center and use the pool there (and, huzzah, afternoon and evening lap swim times are actually a thing.)

 

I looked up tris around here and it looks like LifeTime sponsors the big local one, which is huge and has a ton of competition levels. It is not happening for me this weekend, but it's nice to see that I'll have options in future years. (I just looked at their training plan and, wow, I am coming at this from a different angle than most. I actually almost feel confident with my swim times comparing them to what they recommend for training.)

 

Did not get to try the cauliflower rice yet, unfortunately. Tomorrow I should actually get home at a decent hour, though, so I'm planning on either that or some kohlrabi (never tried that either) with grilled BBQ chicken and other veggies for dinner.

 

23 hours ago, Xena said:

Could you bike?

Yep, that and running are both options. To be honest, running scares me. Again with the really slow and never having stuck with it quite long enough in the past to get where I wanted to be. I'm thinking after work tomorrow I'll head out with a couch to 5k app and see how I do with that. From there...well, we'll see where "there" is, I guess.

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Updates!

 

Strength Training: Still 2/3 for the week. Looking at tomorrow afternoon for the remaining workout

Friday Treats: Avoided the pasties, but did have a beer with coworkers. Not too worried about this as it's not a habit (it's maybe the second beer I've had at work since they started opening up the taps every day back in March).

Veggies: Got in 3 servings today. Sugar snap peas from the farmer's market with lunch and kohlrabi and squash with dinner. Turns out kohlrabi is delicious. It tasted like I undercooked it, but that's easily fixed next time. Also, it's super filling. I could not eat more than half my meal for a while (I did eventually finish the chicken and squash, but in the future I think half a kohlrabi is a better serving size.)

Robotics: No progress. It's only the 12th, so I don't have to panic yet, right?

 

Also got in a run after work today. Followed the first week of Cto5k (60 seconds of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking and repeat 8 times total). It wasn't what I would call easy, but it actually felt like a pretty good match for my current abilities. I could make it through the runs, wanting them to be over but not absolutely dying by the end and I felt fully recovered at the end of the walks. I probably could have done another couple of rounds beyond what I did. So definitely better than I expected.

 

@Sloth the Enduring That tri definitely looks like it could be fun. The fact that they specify that the 5k is a run/walk means I don't even have an excuse to chicken out. I've still got some website perusing to do, but I'm interested. What sort of time frame are you looking at with "sells out fast"?

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Got in a strength workout today and had both kohlrabi and green beans with dinner so win for the day! Tomorrow going to try to get out on the lake...and get around to all the chores I've been ignoring.

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On 7/12/2019 at 10:30 PM, delalana said:

Also got in a run after work today. Followed the first week of Cto5k (60 seconds of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking and repeat 8 times total). It wasn't what I would call easy, but it actually felt like a pretty good match for my current abilities. I could make it through the runs, wanting them to be over but not absolutely dying by the end and I felt fully recovered at the end of the walks. I probably could have done another couple of rounds beyond what I did. So definitely better than I expected.

 

It's great that you did this!!

I'm wondering if maybe you are running too fast. In my opinion, most people do when they are starting out. They remember being kids and being able to run  like a steam engine. It's ok to go really slowly and build from there.

You probably thought of this too, but you don't have to progress on the C25K schedule unless you want to and feel ready. It's ok to repeat a week and just build the habit. The most important thing is that you are getting an extra cardio workout in.

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