Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adventures in Cross-Training

I love having a blog, mostly because if there is an ever an argument about when something happened or I need to reference how long I've been doing something, a simple search through my archives will reveal the answers. For example, it was almost a year ago exactly that I attempted my first real "swim" - that is, moving through a body of water using some method other than the doggie paddle. For a while I was training for a triathlon but couldn't keep up with the schedule. I decided to scrap three sports in order to focus on running and yoga - a wise decision, considering my performance in the Houston Marathon!

In the last few weeks of training for Houston, I started to daydream about other sports, other hobbies. Running 25-30 miles a week will do that to a person. And since the marathon (which was just ten days ago - seems like much longer than that!) I've dipped my toe in two of those hobbies - rock climbing and swimming.

The indoor pool on campus. AKA WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS!

Today was my first time back in the pool since... oh... June? I can't remember, but it's definitely been a long time. I was afraid I wouldn't remember how to swim, that all the work I put into perfecting my stroke months and months ago would be lost. Not so! As soon as I got into the  pool it was like I'd never left. Well, except for a little thing called "endurance." But that will come back eventually. In the meantime, I'm glad that I can still do a decent freestyle, that I remembered how to breath on both sides, and that I could find my swimming cap.

Calvin demonstrates the doggie paddle.

I ended up swimming a mile this morning - not too shabby, and not all at once. I did the following workout four times in a row, with lots of breaks in between laps. Katie, my friend, swimming buddy and fellow TIGER SNAKE suggested this. It was a good suggestion! (Oh, and if you want a laugh, check out her recap of this morning's swim - so funny and so true!)

100 meter freestyle swim
100 meter kick (with kickboard)
100 meter pull (with buoy thing)
100 meter freestyle swim

And as if one milestone wasn't enough, I also managed to conquer a long held fear - showering at the gym. The pool is open from 6:30am to 8:00. If I swam for an hour, there's no way I could go home, shower, change and be back on campus by 8am for work. So last night I packed up everything I would need to make myself presentable and used the locker room to shower and clean up. And guess what? It wasn't so bad. Our rec center is still shiny and new and because it's on a college campus, the gym is pretty empty before 7am. Which means I was the first person to use the shower and it had been freshly cleaned. Such a relief!

How do you feel about public showers? Grossed out or an old pro? Personally, I have a thing about bathtubs. I hate taking baths and always prefer showers. I'm glad I'm getting over my fear, though - it makes working out in the morning a whole lot easier!


  1. Dear Chrissy,

    I live on a college campus in a college dorm, so I definitely understand where you're coming from. But I can say that after a while you just get used to the fact that 20 other people are using the same shower. I'm very careful not to touch the walls with any part of my body and wear shower flip flops, but apart from that public showers are ok.

  2. Thanks Noora! I definitely wore flip flops and I dealt with public showers when I lived in a dorm in college too. I guess I'm just getting wimpy in my old age!

  3. I do a very similar workout, when I get my tail to the pool that is! I make sure to wear my shower shoes and inspect benches, shower shelves, etc before using. I still get slightly grossed out, but I just say "buck up buttercup" to myself and get on with it. :)

  4. I used to be super full of public shower shame, but I got over it. I don't know WHEN I got over it, but I did. Sometime over the last 5 years of going to the gym and practicing Bikram yoga. At first I remember I would shower as quickly as I possibly could, ALWAYS keeping my back (as best as possible) to the rest of the showers, as if not being able to see other people in the shower meant that they weren't actually there. And then, one day, it just stopped being an issue. Just like being naked in the change room at yoga or the locker room at the gym doesn't bother me anymore. I don't lounge around naked or anything, but I also don't rush.

    Super funny to think about how stressed you can get about it, though.

    Hey, if you want to strengthen your freestyle, you should consider throwing this in:

    50m*9 (alternating strokes per 50m, freestyle, breaststroke, back)

    If you're feeling strong, you can add another 9 laps, still alternating, in as well. And then follow up with:

    200m kick w. board
    200m frog kick w. board (or whatever its called with breaststroke)
    200m pull freestyle arms
    200m pull back stroke arms or breaststroke arms (oddly, breaststroke is more challenging, but not more difficult)

  5. I think public showers are pretty darn disgusting but a necessary evil, sometimes! Inspired by your swimming.

  6. A mile, go you!!!! I've been so off and on with swimming (my main form of exercise) that it's been hard to keep that up. Can't wait to hear more about how the swims go! As for gym showers...ew...I definitely keep my distance from them, even though they aren't all *that* sketchy. Just not my fave.

  7. I didn't realize you were so worried about the shower! Honestly, the whole locker room is bleached down by little old ladies every morning. They are cleaner than my shower at home! It was a good swim; I've already got my sets planned for Tuesday... can't wait!

  8. I'm with you on baths versus showers. I feel like if I take a bath I have to take a shower afterward, because otherwise how do I get rid of the soap/dirt?

  9. It's not so much the public nakedness that freaks me out. It's the idea of bathing where strangers have bathed! Luckily the showers at the gym were probably cleaner than my showers at home, so I survived. :)

    This workout looks awesome! I am just learning about the world of swim workouts and they are way more interesting than just swimming for an hour. Unfortunately, I only know one stroke right now (freestyle) but maybe I can learn these others. They look fun and anything where I get to use the pull or the kickboard are perfect.

  10. I like swimming and was pretty excited that I could do a mile on my first morning back. Even if it took me an hour and a ton of rest breaks! :)

    I think if I buy a special shampoo for the gym shower, I might like it more. Like a little treat to reward myself for being a grown up. Ha!

  11. I can't wait for Tuesday either! Whee!

  12. EXACTLY! I'm glad someone agrees with me. :)

  13. I lived in a dorm with shared showers and I was never scared of them... didn't even wear flip-flops. Honestly, there might be more people but ours were cleaned twice a day (I also worked on the cleaning crew for a while so I trusted the full-time workers).

    Showers in a gym... I have pretty much the same feeling about, but I don't linger quite as long.

    Community bathtubs? Nope, not for me... but I don't like private bath tubs either.


  14. Is that the pool in the Health and P.E. Complex? I've never been in that building.

  15. Yes, it is! It is only open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:00am. And it's kind of heated, so it's not freezing cold.