Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Verdict on the Shoulder

Well, swimming is going to have to go on the shelf for at least a month or so.  I saw an orthopedic PA this morning and he said it's most likely a torn or inflamed labrum.  I had no idea what that was until a couple of hours ago.  Apparently it's the tissue surrounding the shoulder socket.  According to the internets, tears are often caused by repetitive motions or a sudden pull, such as when lifting a heavy object. 

Which basically confirms to me that I hurt it when I took that surfing lesson last September.  It started hurting the next day.  The instructor gave me a GIANT surfboard and I vividly remember several times when my arms were jerked as the waves pulled the surfboard out of my arms.  Although I'm heavy, I'm not super tall and I think that board was too much for me to handle.  Ever since then I've just been exacerbating the problem when I went to the pool and swam laps.
I have a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and start physical therapy in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully I will have improved enough to not reinjure myself when I do the St. John swim at the end of May.  Because there's no way I'm skipping that.  However, this makes me really glad we decided to do the swim with fins.  I definitely know I can swim 1 1/4 miles with fins, even if I don't train between now and then.

My fingers are crossed that we can get this fixed and it won't hamper my swimming long-term.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Getting Fit Part 2

Well, I didn't win the entire March Knit and Get Fit challenge, but I did pretty well, and I won a prize (a fancy hank of yarn)!  Here's what I most liked about this challenge.  First, getting points for workouts means I actually made an effort to get to the gym and work out.  I started Masters swimming again, regularly attended the morning strength class at the Y, and even did some walking and strength circuits on my own.

It was kind of gratifying when Jason joined me in those circuits one day and after one set, when I announced "Only 3 more rounds!", he looked traumatized.  But he did them all with me.  He's doing really great, actually, and lost seven pounds in March!

Second, we got points for posting pictures of the healthy meals we were eating, which is incredible motivation for actually eating healthy meals.  March wasn't perfect, food-wise, but it was pretty darn good.

By the end of the month, I hadn't lost any weight, but I had lost an inch on my waist and hips, and a couple of inches on my chest.  I was hoping for more, but the challenge was a really good jumpstart for me.

Now here's the bad part - I'm having a really hard time with my shoulder.  Push ups and shoulder exercises in strength training class are bad.  Swimming is bad.  I went swimming on Saturday with Rebecca and even though we did half of the workout kicking, we did enough with our arms that by Saturday night my shoulder and head were hurting.  Yesterday I realized the right side of my neck hurt.  It's the end of the work day on Monday and my shoulder and the right sides of my neck and head are still hurting. 

So today I made an appointment with an orthopedist. 

I know I can do the 1.25-mile St. John swim right this second, and snorkeling doesn't really involve the arms, so no matter what, our vacation at the end of May is intact.  However, I've skipped the last 2 weeks of Master's swimming because I don't want to aggravate the shoulder anymore than I already have.

So I've been walking.  A lot.  Since I seem to be useless for much else right now, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps per day in April.  Saturday I got 7000 steps, but I swam, so I called it good.  Every other day in April so far, I've walked at least 10,000 steps. 

I have a feeling I'll also be adding physical therapy to the routine in the near future.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Getting Fit

Unlike all the other times I don't post for almost a week, I'm actually doing really well this time.  The Knit & Get Fit group is off and running and so far (4 days in), I'm killing it!

Not to toot my own horn.  But I did win a prize today for being in the top 3, so...  Toot!

It's been interesting because the only person I know in the group is the organizer (and I only know her through Ravelry and Yarnbox) and everyone is at completely different levels with their fitness and nutrition knowledge.  We're all encouraging each other and the fact that I get points and am accountable to a group makes it that much easier to get up early and go to the gym.

Since it's Facebook-based, a lot of the points hinge on photos.  We get a point for taking a picture of each of our meals, for taking a sweaty picture of ourselves post-workout, for taking a picture of our latest knitting project.  We also get a point for posting a motivational quote, and it's been fun to find them and to read everyone else's.

This morning the organizer announced a mini prize.  The top 3 of us are going to get a copy of a knitting pattern on our Ravelry wishlist.  Nice!  She told us that she'll be doing mini prizes like this all month, so that's fun.

The grand prize will be a set of interchangeable knitting needles, yarn handspun by the organizer  (I've seen her stuff; it's gorgeous), stitch markers and some buttons.  I understand none of this has any appeal to someone who doesn't knit, but the idea of winning makes me clap my hands with glee.

And now the reason you're really here: how are those workouts going, Kelly?

Pretty well, actually.

Monday: strength training
Tuesday: swimming
Wednesday: Masters swimming
Thursday: rest (I need it.  I did both of those swims still hurting from strength training.  I'm not sure what exercise we did, but my calves have been killing me.)

Tomorrow I'll go to strength training again and Saturday I have another swim planned.

I need to get used to this schedule again.  First of all, I'm sleepy by 8:30 or so and basically out cold by 10 lately.  Second, swimming two days in a row this week made me HUNGRY.  I've been doing pretty well with the low-carb/Paleo approach, I just need to eat a bit more until I get used to being so active again.

It's amazing how quickly I get back into this pattern.  Last week I was a lump on the couch.  This week I'm feeling guilty for not working out this morning.  Just got to keep it up.  As the Nike motivation I posted yesterday for motivation says: Just do it.  Then do it again.

Friday, February 28, 2014

More Goals, Always With the Goals

But this time, I really mean it with the goals!

March is going to be awesome, just you wait and see.  First of all, I've joined a get fit group headed up by a woman who works for Yarnbox.  She mentioned on one of the Ravelry threads that she was organizing a Knit & Get Fit group and asked if anyone else would like to join.  There are points involved and knitting-related prizes.  She pretty much had me at "points", but prizes?  Yes, please!

I had already started setting myself up for March to be the month it all comes together.  I rejoined Masters swimming.  It starts Wednesday.  I'm a little nervous.  When last I swam with Masters, there was a slow lane, a moderate lane, a pretty fast lane and a super fast lane.  I started in moderate, but eventually moved up to pretty fast and held my own.  Especially with kicking.  (Kicking is where I am a Viking.)  I don't ever think I'll be in the super fast lane, and that's okay because they are SUPER fast, but I'm pretty sure at this point I'm also no longer in the pretty fast lane.  Back to moderate I'll go and just hope I can keep up.

The good news is, I roped my friend Rebecca into Masters with me this time, and I know she has been swimming as little as I have over the past several months so at least I won't suffer alone.

So for March my plan is to get my eating dialed in for reals (low-carb/Paleo), to swim 2 times a week and to go to strength training 2 times a week. The light is already better in the mornings and the evenings and (despite the storm forecast for Monday) I'm hoping overall March will let up with the snow already.

I've been having a really hard time this winter, and I'm not the only one.  The snow just keeps coming, it's been very gray and it's been COLD.  I think the entire northern US is over this winter.  There is much grumbling going on.  Usually in New England, we get cold and snow, but at least it's relatively sunny.  I thought I was just being oversensitive this year until our farm share people apologized because their greens supplier couldn't get us the usual amount of greens.  In the winter they grow greens in greenhouses, but this year it's been so gray and dreary that their crop isn't growing as well as usual.  It's not just me!  I think next year I need to invest in a winter light box.

I'm pretty excited for March and to be involved with a challenge group again.  I'm feeling optimistic and excited to get going.    And I already have plans to swim laps tomorrow morning, to welcome in the month.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Excuses - I Have Many

I went swimming Monday!  Yes I did.  Swim buddy Rebecca psyched me up via text on Sunday afternoon and Monday at 6:30 we were in the pool!

The good thing about swimming in New England in February is that chances are, you'll get your own lane.

The bad thing about swimming in New England in February is that it's still very, very cold and dark in the morning.  Although on Monday the cold wasn't so bad, so it wasn't too painful.

Tuesday was Masters swimming and I didn't join this session, so I couldn't swim.  I thought ok, Wednesday I'll go to strength training and Thursday I'll swim again.

Then Tuesday night into Wednesday we had a snowstorm.

Then this morning I couldn't take my car because Jason wanted to use it and given that he is the one who shoveled our walk and my car out, I wasn't going to take my car and make him dig out HIS car too.  That would qualify me as Worst Wife Ever, I think.

My next plan is to swim on Saturday.

In diet news, I baked bread yesterday in the bread machine. I woke up with my alarm at 6:30, and after realizing it was going to be a snow day, I padded downstairs in my slippers and thought, "I should make some bread."  I don't know why.  I haven't made bread in months.  For some reason, it seemed like a fantastic idea.  When Jason came downstairs a couple of hours later and realized there was bread baking he was thrilled and told me that the night before he had thought how nice it would be to have some hot bread and butter* on our snow day.    I think being psychically tuned into my husband's culinary desires might qualify me as Best Wife Ever.

The bread was really good and we ate most of the loaf yesterday.  In case you forgot, bread is Not Paleo.

So, you know, this week hasn't been awesome in the healthy living department.  But I'll keep trying.

*What he actually said was "hot b with butter" which is what our niece used to request to eat when she was 2 and it's a phrase we use a lot.  Also useful as an exclamation: "Hot B With Butter!"

Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 28 - Getting Psyched for February

A month ago I set a goal to start swimming again in February.  I don't know if you know, but February is tomorrow.  It's not any lighter in the morning than it was when I set that goal.  It's not any warmer - if anything, it's been colder.

Regardless, Monday morning I will be at the pool!

(With my awesome new swim bag.)

My SparkPeople swimming group will be doing a February challenge where we set goals every day and come back at the end of the day to report on how we did.  The goals can be about food and exercise, but also about other things that we want to accomplish in February.  Per usual, I am aiming for doing better with my diet and truly implementing my Paleo/Primal eating plan with ONE splurge day at the end of the month. I will start swimming Monday, and next week I'll plan to go to strength training Wednesday and Friday.

Over the next month, I also plan to list and check off some of the home organization goals that Jason and I have.  We are determined to wrangle our clutter into shape before it gets warm again and we're out of the house every weekend.

I may include my knitting projects.  I love checking things off of to-do lists.  Sometimes I add things to my lists at work after I've finished them just to mark them complete.  So satisfying!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 25 - Sick/Not Sick

I'm really irritated at my body right now because it can't seem to make up its mind about whether it's going to get sick.  For the past week and a half I've been waking up with a scratchy, pre-cold throat, that usually dissipates a little during the day, but is constantly there in the background.  Last week I didn't work out because I let myself sleep in, hoping that whatever sickness was threatening me would just move on by.  I've also been sucking on zinc lozenges because they've really helped me in the past with either bypassing sickness altogether, or shortening what is usually a 2-week cold followed by at least a month of lung-wrenching coughs (I had bronchitis a lot as a kid so pretty much every illness I have winds up with a month of lung-wrenching coughs). 

But seriously, zinc is awesome.

The problem is, this time I feel like I'm just kind of holding the cold/flu/plague at bay so I keep feeling not great, tired and achy with a slight sore throat.  I slept for 9 hours last night!  I never do that.

I don't know what's going on, but I wish I would just sink into sickness, or get over it already.

Suffice it to say, I have not been working out while I've been feeling sort of sick.  It's annoying.