Tag: Swimming

Katie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Busy Two Weeks

The semester ended on Friday, but the last two weeks felt like they lasted an eternity! Somehow it always seems to work out that the two weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break become filled with chaos, stress, and ALL THE THINGS. This last week in particular sucked because I didn’t expect it to be that bad, since for the first time in forever I am not in any courses. I think because I let my guard down, the week’s mayhem felt like a sucker-punch to the face.

Overall, I managed to keep my stress levels down during the last two weeks by making swimming and yoga a priority.

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I actually went swimming as soon as I got back in town from North Carolina. I knew that if I took too many days off, it’d be really easy to fall out of the habit. I didn’t even let the dead car battery deter me from going. After AAA came and changed my battery I jumped into the car and went to the pool.

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I maintained my yoga and swimming routine through this past Tuesday and then my schedule literally got so full that I couldn’t get to the gym unless I wanted to forfeit eating and sleep. Also, I take it as a good sign that on the days that I couldn’t get to the gym I was actually sad that I couldn’t go. I was craving satisfying feeling of the workout and the stress relief it provides.

And now that I’m back in St. Pete I want to keep up my fitness routine. So I called around and found out some places where I can keep swimming/working out. LA Fitness said they’d give me a 2-week pass and they have a pool at their facility. The YMCA also offers 3 day passes and some short-term memberships. Between those two options I plan to continue swimming while I’m on break.

This is the workout I’m doing at the moment:

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I’m still struggling with freestyle, so I’m committing myself to doing one of each of those 75 sets as freestyle. So I’ll do 75 freestyle, 75 breast stroke. Then 75 freestyle and 75 backstroke, etc. I end up exhausted at the end. I also figured out that you can track exercise (like swimming and yoga) on the FitBit and it will increase your calories burned, which translates into more Weight Watchers activity points earned. Pretty sweet!

I will also be going to my mom’s yoga studio. They offer vinyasa and all-levels yoga, but no hot yoga.

While I need to get my healthy eating habits back on track (those took a nose dive during Thanksgiving and the end of the semester), I know if I keep working out it will help prevent me from gaining weight (or too much weight) even when I make poor food choices.

Beyond exercise, what else has been happening?

Wrapping up the semester meant saying goodbye to this semester’s students. I felt so many warm-fuzzy-feelings. It was such a joy to meet and teach all of them this semester.

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If you had told me eleven years ago that one day I’d be back at FSU TAing and teaching play analysis, I would have thought you were crazy. I am so grateful for the opportunity to TA the intro for majors course this semester because it’s been a great reminder of my own journey to the PhD. Every day I am inspired by my energetic, enthusiastic, creative, passionate, and intelligent students.

December in Tallahassee is not complete without a trip to Dorothy B. Oven park. It’s pretty much my favorite place. I love all the lights.

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I went with a friend and we sipped gourmet hot cocoa as we strolled through the park.

And if you haven’t listened to Serial yet, then you’re really missing out. I binge-listened to the first six episodes as I drove from Tallahassee to St. Pete and the drive has never felt so quick!

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Photo source: http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/daily-cartoon/daily-cartoon-friday-december-5th?mbid=social_tumblr

The forecast for the next three weeks includes LOTS and LOTS of READING. You know you’re a grad student when you rush to the library to check out a big piles of books hours before break starts.

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And finally, before all this happened I did manage to update about my technology cleanse in North Carolina.

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A Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

I woke up this morning to snow falling in North Carolina. What a wonderful thanksgiving surprise!

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Yes, it’s barely snow, but to this Florida girl even a tiny bit of snow is magical! I love watching it fall from the sky. I also love North Carolina and this house. It’s my happy place. šŸ™‚

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Last year we spent thanksgiving up here and Hilary was with us. This year it’s just me and my parents. I wish Hilary could have joined us, but she’ll be home for Christmas.

#TBT to 1992-ish and Thanksgiving 2013

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It’s been a rough year and we all needed a break, so we thought thanksgiving in North Carolina would offer a nice change of scenery. My parents are decompressing up here and I’m spending the time making some progress with my comp[rehensive exam] reading. I’ve hit a wall with my work and I really hope that getting away from Tallahassee might give me a bit of a “reset.”

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We arrived last night and after settling in, I totally crashed. I slept like a rock and woke up this morning refreshed and relaxed. Overall, it’s been a lazy day. I decided to take the whole day off and I’ll get to work tomorrow. In between the laziness, we made a lovely thanksgiving meal with all the usual staples — corn soufflé, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes,and canned cranberry sauce! I also made a crustless pumpkin pie, since I wanted pumpkin pie but I didn’t want to waste a bunch of weight watchers points on it.

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As I thought about writing and expressing what I’m thankful for this year, I almost decided against a thanksgiving day post. Of course I’m thankful for my friends, family, the chance to pursue my passions, but I try and express my gratitude towards those people and things I love all year long. I don’t wait until thanksgiving day to be grateful for everything in my life. Although, I have to admit that after recent events I am more thankful than ever for my life and the time I have with my friends and family.

So I thought I’d write about things I’ve recently realized I’m thankful for: weight watchers, yoga, and swimming.

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While I’ve been doing weight watchers since the beginning of October, I’d gotten a bit distracted and hadn’t been able to get to meetings for the first part of November. I really find that going to meetings helps keep me on track and refocuses me every week. So last week I made it a priority to go to the WW meeting run by my favorite leader. Not surprisingly, I’m so glad I went!

It turns out that the topic from the week before had been about setting new fitness goals. During the meeting Danielle asked if anyone had met their goal and how they felt about it. While I hadn’t set a goal, I realized I felt kinda crappy because I’d slacked off on my exercise for the past few days. So I set a new goal in the meeting to get back into my fitness routine. Going to the meeting gave me the boost and motivation to get my butt to yoga AND swimming that night.

I also decided that I definitely wanted to find time and go to the meeting before I left for North Carolina. IMG_2835

The meeting gave me some smart ideas on how to enjoy thanksgiving without gorging myself too much. I ended up making the crustless pumpkin pie, inspired by someone at the meeting. I also drank lots of water and snacked on apples with cinnamon before the meal. And as per holiday tradition, we went for a walk after the meal.

Perhaps even more than weight watchers, I’m thankful for yoga and swimming. Both have become forms of exercise that allow my mind to disengage and relax, while I give my body a workout.

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I’m hoping that this isn’t lust or a temporary fling and instead my feelings for yoga and swimming develop into a lifelong love affair.

I also had a mini-breakthrough in yoga the other day when I was able to do full wheel pose! It’s a pose I had previously been able to do and had lost the ability in recent years, so when I pushed myself up into wheel I was so happy! There are a few other poses that I want to be able to get into, but I’m just not there yet. Perhaps that’ll be a post for a different day.

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I’m making progress with my swimming, as well. I’m still struggling with freestyle, but I like that it’s challenging. I’ve been going swimming three or so times a week and I feel really good about it.

Last Sunday I might have even overdid it. I went to hot yoga in the morning, then went swimming and walking on the treadmill at night. My body was sore the next morning. Oy.

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I’m actually looking forward to getting back to Tallahassee so I can get back into my yoga and swimming routine. But for the time that I’m up here, I found some yoga videos online and I’m planning on walking in the mornings and evenings.

And on that note, I’m going to resume my laziness and do some reading on the couch.

PS – I’m pretty sure Sirius is the most thankful of all. This year he found his forever family and gained a fur-brother. šŸ™‚

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Trying Not to Break the Streak – A Weekly Recap

I might go get my nosed pierced today? The opportunity presented itself last night when a friend mentioned that she was going with another friend who wanted to get a piercing. She was considering getting her nosed pierced and when I mentioned my desire to do it she said I should join. The other people I was with also told me I should do it! I’m pretty sure I’m going to do it, unless I’m told that I can’t go swimming with it. I’ve been on such a roll with the swimming thing that I don’t want to do something that will prevent me from going. I know myself and if I can get myself into a good rhythm with things, then it’s easy for me to stay on track. But the minute I take a day off or something gets in the way it becomes a challenge for me to get back in gear.

But first, if you missed any posts from the past week here’s a recap:

# 5 & 6 – Committing to Listen
# 17 – The #Project29 Version of NaNoWriMo
#& & 10 – Duathlon Day
# 25 & 29 – #29 – To Pierce or Not to Pierce?
#21 – Why the Accordion?

So looking back on the past week I’m pretty proud of my accomplishments. I’ve been very active and even in just a few weeks I can see the benefits from swimming and yoga. I feel much more relaxed, but also happy with myself for making exercise and mental downtime a priority.

I got hot and sweaty everyday! Here’s my activity for the past week:

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Monday – Treadmill for 30 minutes, swam for 35 minutes
Tuesday – Open Flow yoga
Wednesday – Flow+meditation
Thursday – Swam for 40 minutes/800 yards
Friday – Treadmill for 35 minutes, swam for 35 minutes/roughly 650-700 yards
Saturday – Open Flow Yoga
Sunday – Hot Yoga
Monday – Treadmill for 35 minutes, swam for 35 minutes/800 yards.

This is the swim set I’m working on right now. I ordered a book called: The Waterproof Coach: The Waterproof Workout Book for Fitness Swimmers and Triathletes. It’s waterproof and has a mix-and-match set up, so I can customize my own workout. It’s nice to have a plan when I get into the pool. It’s been helping keep me on track and it makes keeping track of the distance I’ve swam a lot easier.

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Over the next week I need to continue to make swimming, yoga, and walking a priority. I’m also starting to see how the increased activity is helping my weight loss. I generally have pretty good eating habits, but sometimes they need a reality check. Am I eating out too much? Am I indulging my sweet tooth too often? Are my portions too big? Cutting out processed food and eating a balanced diet is something that I’ve been working on for my entire 20s.

I need to maintain my activity levels this week, but in addition to that I really need to shift my attention a bit to other projects like NaNoWriMo and reading more. I’m struggling with getting in my writing, even thought I’m only trying to write for a total of 20 minutes a day! I know I can do better than that!

I also found some time over the past week to play around with the accordion!

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It’s fun using a book that Nain used. In some ways it’s like having her teach me the accordion, even if she isn’t actually here.

The other biggish thing that came up this past week was getting a flat tire on the interstate.

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The experience made me realize that I’m a bit helpless when it comes to changing my own tire. So I told my dad that in addition to learning to drive a stick shift (#23), I also want to learn how to change my own tire.

So what are my goals for this upcoming week?

I want to continue to maintain my level of physical activity. I want to actually write for 20 minutes a day for NaNoWriMo. I want to work on establishing my morning routine. I think having a set morning routine will go hand-in-hand with meeting my writing goals.

Duathlon Day

I’m pretty proud of myself. I did a “duathlon” this morning.

I woke up and went to the gym first thing! I started by walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I had planned on reading for school, but the book I wanted to read wasn’t on my iPad. I ended up listening to an audio version of a play instead.

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After my walk on the treadmill, I went and swam laps!!! I’m still a bit in disbelief that since my swim lessons ended I’ve gone to the pool and swam laps twice on my own. I went on Saturday and swam for 45 minutes and today I went for 35 minutes. I’m definitely much more comfortable in the pool and my endurance is building, but my freestyle still sucks.

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When I got home I did some research on triathlon swim distances. I wanted to figure out how many yards I need to be comfortable swimming for a tri.

The pool at the leach is 25 yards, so here is a chart I found online:

1 length = 25 yards (from wall to wall)

2 lengths = 50 yards

4 lengths = 100 yds

¼ mile = about 500 yards = 20 lengths

½ mile = about 800 yards = 32 lengths

1 mile = about 1700 yards = 68 lengths

1.2 miles = about 2000 yards = 80 lengths

2.4 miles = about 4000 yards = 160 lengths

The three triathlons that I’m looking at are:

  • Escape from Ft. Desoto // April – Swim .5 miles (800 yards), Bike 10 miles, Run 3.4 miles
  • Top Gun Triathlon // July – Swim 440 yards, Bike 10 miles, Run 3.1 miles
  • Lycra & Lace Women’s Triathlon at Ft. Desoto // October – Swim .25 miles (500 yards) / Bike 10 miles / Run 3.1 miles



I think I should be comfortable swimming 1000-1200 yards before I do a triathlon, which would be a bit more than the Escape from Ft. Desoto tri and at least twice the distance of the other two races. Now I just need to figure out how to keep track of my laps as I swim. Ha.





Anyway, later in the day I took Sirius for a walk and met my 10,000 step goal for the day!

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Workout-wise it was a very productive day! Work wise… it was a bit eh. As Anne of Green Gables says, tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.

Goodnight all!