I shouldn't be disappointed in myself, afterall up till last Thursday I have pretty much reached every goal I had set myself to date. Maybe thats why it hurts so bad when you don't get there. Kinda like a little kid who always gets their own way until a parent puts an end to their ways and the child screams endlessly. Ok, so I didn't cry but I felt very flat emotionally.
My 4.4km goal in the pool came to an ubrupt end at 3km. Who told my calves that it was acceptable to start cramping - NOT ME. Initially it started in my left foot, but that ended after 1 lap. Boy, talk about painful. It starts in the arch of my foot and then all of a sudden my toes decide to separate in different directions without consulting the body they are attched to first. If I was onland all would be good, but being in water, makes the potential for going under all that more probable. I guess thats why someone invented lane ropes...lol, to hang onto while your cramping.
The next lap sent my left leg and calf into the most excruciating cramp (apart from labour) I think I have ever felt. My calf, foot and hamstring felt like it had been compressed from all angles and it didn't matter if I grabbed at my foot and tried to flex my foot back, this cramp was hanging on for dear life. All the people in my next lane stopped to see if I was okay, I guess because this was the first time I had actually stopped swimming. Normally I am pushing on to get it all done.
As I scrambled to get back to the side of the pool to get out, it gripped me like a vice again, and again as I exited the water and again as I tried to sit down. This continued on for atleast 10 minutes and then as quickly as it came it left. My calf felt battered and bruised. My hamstring felt like I had atleast half of my bodies blood stored in it. That was it for me - I was done for the evening. I was soooooooooooooo annoyed.
What had I learnt? In my search for understanding what makes my body tick so I can get the best out of it, I realised that swimming should be the only thing I should do on that day. Why, well I had walked 7km that morning - it was hot and humid and I had sweated heaps. I tried to replace the fluids but I had fatigued my legs in the process. I have also learnt that during swimming your feet are always pointed, something that we as adults are not used to doing. We always have our feet flexed for walking. As a child I did 6yrs of ballet and never once experienced cramps in my feet or calves, something which my brothers always did. Therefore I am now incorporating my ballet stretches into my regime. Hopefully this will help.
Also apart from taking my supplements which should help for my cramps I am now going to drink an electrolyte drink a couple hours before getting in the water to see if this helps. I will also try to have a massage atleast once a month from now on. I need to treat my body like a temple and nurture it like I used to. I will keep you posted with my progress. Fingers crossed