Day 1 of Swims With My Prostate. I’m already in pretty good shape, and swim 1000-1200 yards pretty hard several times a week. But the main goal in my preparations to not totally humiliate myself in the Cap2K is to build up a lot more distance during my pool sessions. I hate swimming uninterrupted lap after lap in the pool, so I’ve taken a page out of my run training book and broken it down into shorter intervals swum at a faster pace than normal. Up until today, after warming up with 3 X 250 of kick and stroke work, I’ve just been swimming 8-10 50’s on a minute split, which has become pretty easy now. But the thought of swimming more is intimidating, especially after I saw the local Masters group’s workout up on the whiteboard at the Y: 32 X 25, 16 X 50, 8 X 100, 4 X 200, 2 X 400, and 1 X 800, for a total of 4,800 yards. Ok, so, maybe I have some work to do. But I like the structure of halving the reps and doubling the distances, so that’s where I’ll start. Did my 8 X 50’s, then added on 4 X 100’s, and it was pretty mild. Went to the outdoor pool at the Oakhill YMCA, which is pretty cool because this is the end of February and the weather was great, combined with having the pool exclusively to myself.
What is wrong with people? My major complaint with swimming is the whole dynamic of fighting for a lane, which is so unlike running. Most people are pretty nice, but a week doesn’t go by that I don’t run into some old guy (or woman) who feels they need the entire lane to themselves, or a couple that swims a 100 and then stands there talking in the pool for five minutes. But that wasn’t the issue today, and the lifeguard was so bored that he took the time to coach me a little, and encouraged me to shorten my rests between splits. I felt great after my 100’s, but I’m in this for the long haul, and am going to build up slowly and methodically.
I didn’t finish my story about my formal introduction to my prostate. So we returned home from the vacation, and I let my wife in on my little secret. I needed no encouragement to get a doctor’s appointment, and quickly began researching the issue on the internet while I awaited my visit. The most encouraging news was that all the bad stuff that can happen down there is going to result in really dark blood, and mine was very bright red. Plus, I have no family history of prostate problems, so in the few days leading up to my appointment I began to worry much less. But every morning, there was still a lot of blood. I went to my family doctor, who I honestly don’t see very often. When I first moved to Austin and initially went in for a general checkup about ten years ago, he looked at me and said “why the heck are you here?” I’m pretty healthy looking. But he didn’t say anything like that once I told him about the blood shooting out my butt, and being aware that I am over fifty, we both understood that it was time to whip out the rubber gloves and drop my drawers. I have to give the guy credit: his skills were amazing. The procedure was done and over in the blink of an eye, almost a magician’s trick leaving me in doubt that he had really done what he appeared to be doing. He said that he didn’t find anything unusual, and we both had that shy hesitancy to look each other in the eye afterward that reminded me of teenagers at the end of a first date. But the blood was of enough concern to bring out the big guns and schedule me for a colonoscopy, which is a whole other kettle of fish. More on this in my next posts.