Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday 2/6 - Mystery Cardio Theater 3000 (plus Swimming!)

Today was a crosstraining day for me, and I fully intended to spend it doing my routine in the weight area.  That said, when I went down to the free weight section, it was rather full of people.  I couldn't tell if folks were actively waiting to use the weights or not, but there were definitely more folks there than I wanted to deal with.  So instead of doing weights, I opted for a trip up to the "Cardio  Theater".  This is probably one of the coolest things I've seen, as it's a room full of cardio equipment (elliptical machines, cycling machines, treadmills) in front of a large-ish screen that plays a movie all day.  The movie changes each day.  Today happened to be "Apollo 18", which was an interesting show for the 1/4 of it I saw during my workout.  I sat down and ran through a relatively quick 15 minute workout on the recumbent elliptical, where I was doing intervals.  So far, that seems like the best of the machines I've worked out on at the gym.  Without feeling like I overdid it, my legs felt like they got a really good workout throughout the program.  When I was finished with the elliptical, I figured it was time to try out the pool, as I've been meaning to give it a whirl.

As a little background, I grew up on the beaches in Florida.  I don't mean "oh yeah, we went to the beach a few times a season.  I mean, I lived about 500' from the dunes, and spent almost every day during Summer Vacation in the water.  I honestly cannot remember a time when I couldn't swim, or that I didn't spend time in a pool in some manner.  We've taken the kiddo's to the Springs in Florida on a regular basis for snorkeling, and I consider myself a relatively strong swimmer.  Not Olympic standards, but I've always felt like I can do "well enough".  So thus when I figured I'd do "some laps" in the pool, my intention was that I'd do at LEAST 10 laps.   I had backed it off to thinking I'd do 5 and see how I did, but honestly I had figured I'd take a break and finish the set.

After getting changed, I went into the "bubble" (the gym has a shell over the salt-water pool to keep it out of the elements during the winter.  That itself is noteworthy!)  and found a lane to swim in.  I'm not used to swimming in a lane per se, but I didn't have a big issue with it.  I wasn't trying to do anything fancy, just swim a few laps.  Well, I got to the turn on the first lap when I realized this wasn't just another swim.  While they say that your heart rate doesn't get all that high in a pool (insert medical reasons here if you must), I was definitely getting winded right off the bat.  I made it back from the completion of my first lap and thought "whoah".  

I was still determined that I could complete at least *5* laps, I mean, common! I grew up around water. So I started on my second lap, and got to the turn and was getting pretty gassed.  I took a few seconds to rest (it took me about 45s to get to the turn, btw), and went on my way back.  I made it back, but by now I've realized there is no way I'm making it to 5 laps.  Actually by this time I was thinking I may need a nap...

Even with that, I was determined to at _least_ finish 3 laps.  I gave myself time to catch my breath, and went out for the 3rd lap.  I made it to the turn but I was pretty winded, the water was definitely winning.  I took a minute or so to attempt to get myself together, and started back.  About halfway back I had wished I had taken 2 minutes instead of 1 to rest at the turn.  At this moment I made a mental note that I was NOT going to be 'that guy' that had to have the lifeguards get out after just 2.5 laps in the pool.  What I did I realize was that I should really just set the goal of finding out what I could do, and 3 laps was definitely all I could do (and then a little bit).  After the effort to get back, I decided it was best to be done for the night, and to do some cooldowns and head out.  I got out, and headed back to the locker room.  At this point I realized that my arms definitely got a serious workout, as they felt like I had replaced the muscle with some jelly-like substance.

That said,  I'm happy that I got in to the gym today and got the level of workout done that I did.  I hope to look back at posts like this in April and see a huge difference in the intensity and time I can spend doing activities like this.

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