Discussions I Would Like to Have with Swimmers

A few questions I have at the end of my highest-volume swimming week ever:

1. Do you always smell like chlorine, too?
2. Can other people tell?
3. How do you make your non-dominant hand do anything useful in the water?
4. Do you also just count over and over the whole time you’re swimming?
5. Flip turns in the shallow end: yay, nay, or “only if you have more coordination than everything you’ve ever written here suggests you do”?
6. Which would you rather do: lift weights first and have to put a swimsuit on when you’re already sweaty, or swim first and have to put a sports bra on when you’re just kind of damp?
7. Do your cats also attack your chlorine-y flip-flops the second you step in the door and roll their little faces on them with such fervor that you often find the flip-flops in two different rooms later?
8. How long do your goggle eyes last?
9. Is swim-ger (swum-ger?) way, way worse than runger for anyone else? By halfway through my (five-minute) post-swim shower, I have a sudden, sharp need to shove something down my gullet.
10. Can you please recommend me a better moisturizer?

{Also, in leg gremlin news, the DO at my primary care practice thinks it’s tendinitis of one or the other ankle/tibia tendons and then offered, basically, prescription-strength Aleve. I told her Aleve makes me feel like my brain is being stirred with an eggbeater and was there any alternative and she was like, “Yeah. Ibuprofen.” So I’m the girl who hoofed over a $20 copay to be told to take ibuprofen. This practice is usually very hippie-dippy-let’s-investigate-root-causes — I mean, that’s why I love them — but since I’m seeing my sports medicine guy on Tuesday, I didn’t push it.}

{In possibly related news, I was looking at my red Adrenalines and noticed that the inside left toe treads are so worn down they’re nearly flat, especially compared to the same area on the right shoe. What does it mean, internet? It should be noted, though, that the heel treads are pristine, so the next person who tries to tell me that I’m obviously a heel-striker and that’s the source of my problems — which my otherwise wonderful sports medicine guy tried to pull the last time I saw him — gets whacked in the face with my practically untouched Adrenaline heels.}

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11 thoughts on “Discussions I Would Like to Have with Swimmers

  1. Linda says:

    Gold Bond Ultimate Healing with Aloe especially when applied to slightly damp skin is great! I like the “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” doc. Hopefully she’s right. Good luck on Tuesday. (Does this guy analyze shoes as well.) Here’s to the chlorine loving cats!

  2. Heh…I don’t know much about swimming, but coconut oil is my go-to moisturizer!

    I’ve had some posterior tibial tendinitis in my left ankle. Mine was because of overpronating, but I’m sure there are other causes too. I wear an air cast on my left ankle for support when it flares up, but my sports medicine guy told me to avoid ibuprofen because it makes tendons and ligaments weaker, and can make it harder for bones & muscles to recover & get stronger between workouts (but I guess it kind of depends on how much pain you’re in).

    • kimretta says:

      I don’t love taking painkillers of any sort — I always want to know how my body’s feeling. I think anti-inflammatories can do their job when it comes to actually reducing inflammation, but they also stress me out because of the recovery/repair issues you mentioned. My current compromise is to only take them while I’m still on my running “break” and not doing impact exercise, but I’m curious to ask my other doctor about it.

  3. Beth says:

    1. Yes
    2. They are too polite to tell me, but how could they not?
    3. Single arm drills
    4. Basically. Or lose count over and over. I use a watch and lap it every 100 to keep count for me.
    5. Yay
    6. Lift first, but that’s just me.
    7. Awwww
    8. Maybe your goggles are too tight? I use swedes and don’t really get goggle eyes.
    9. Yes, WAY worse.

    • kimretta says:

      Swedes! Those are the ones you assemble yourself, right? I need to look into that.

      And yeah, I finally broke down and got a watch with a lap button when I started swimming regularly, because I’d count laps/lengths and my counting was like: 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, wait was that 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, no, 9, do 9 again because that wasn’t 9, ok now it’s 10 …

  4. Kelly says:

    OMG I wonder all of those things. Especially goggle eyes! And how not to get water up your nose randomly. And hahaha, swim-ger. I love that.

    Are you running too much on your toes? May be worth going to a running store and having your gait looked at!

    • kimretta says:

      I probably should have my gait checked again — I had it analyzed during the whole IT band debacle (which was the OTHER side of my body) last summer. I remember the special treadmill showing that I toe off harder on the left than the right, but since we were talking about the right side at the time, it got read differently (more “hmm, maybe your right should be pushing off more?” and less “wow, you wore down your left toe treads in 250 miles, whoa”). Curious…

  5. Kristina says:

    I don’t consider myself a true swimmer by any means, but when I do spend time in the pool (obligatory these days…), I am SO hungry afterwards. For me, it’s tons worse than after running.
    Good luck with the injury – hopefully you’ll get some answers!

  6. Diana says:

    1. Do you always smell like chlorine, too?
    Yes, pretty much. Getting it out of your hair is the biggest issue when it comes to lingering smell.

    2. Can other people tell?
    My parents and friends never said anything when I was growing up, but then again I swam so much I probably didn’t notice, either

    3. How do you make your non-dominant hand do anything useful in the water?
    You have to consciously think about what your non dominant hand/side is doing in the water and visualize the movements you are making. Be intentional, which is why single arm/side drills are a really good suggestion.

    4. Do you also just count over and over the whole time you’re swimming?
    No, I don’t know how I do it, I seem to physically just know when I’ve done a 200, for example.

    5. Flip turns in the shallow end: yay, nay, or “only if you have more coordination than everything you’ve ever written here suggests you do”?
    Flip turns all the time if a) you have the coordination and b) the flip turns actually facilitate a more unbroken rhythm to your workout. Otherwise, it really doesn’t seem to matter for training for open water swimming. Unless you just want an extra core workout exercise.

    6. Which would you rather do: lift weights first and have to put a swimsuit on when you’re already sweaty, or swim first and have to put a sports bra on when you’re just kind of damp?
    I’d rather lift in a swimsuit then jump in the pool. But I think its far easier to put on a sports bra slightly damp than put on a swimsuit when I’m sweaty.

    7. Do your cats also attack your chlorine-y flip-flops the second you step in the door and roll their little faces on them with such fervor that you often find the flip-flops in two different rooms later?
    Bahahaha, that’s a new one.

    8. How long do your goggle eyes last?
    Ugh, these days 2+hours or until I take a long hot shower. It seems worse in the salt pool at my gym. Regular old chlorine didn’t seem to do the same damage back in the day.

    9. Is swim-ger (swum-ger?) way, way worse than runger for anyone else? By halfway through my (five-minute) post-swim shower, I have a sudden, sharp need to shove something down my gullet.
    Its way worse. Its like every cell in your body was involved in exercising and needs nourishment.

    10. Can you please recommend me a better moisturizer?
    I like Kiss My Face Olive Oil moisturizer.

  7. 1. Yes
    2. I don’t care
    3. Use it for balance when breathing (yes, I breathe to one side. I swam 4 years in college that way and I will change it for nobody. piss off.)
    4. I think about brownie recipes. Or work.
    5. Flip turns forever. If your tuck is tight, you can do them in 2.5 feet of water (or possibly less). Senior nationals was in a pool with one end being 3.5′ deep end, and you’d better believe everybody did flip turns.
    6. Lift then swim, because you stretch out your muscles and prevent DOMS. Also, post-swim lifting can compromise your form due to fatigued muscles.
    7. Have no cats
    8. 2+ hours. Again, don’t care.
    9. I’m used to it after swimming 20+ years, and I just ignore it. It passes quickly.
    10. Don’t bother. Embrace lizard skin.
    11. Swimming is awesome.

  8. katie says:

    swimming makes you hungrier than running because the water temp is lower than your body temp and that triggers hunger. thanks to bill nye for that one. also, lift first, because you will NEVER get that sports bra on wet skin. 🙂

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