This week I was able to do something I haven’t done since the beginning of 2015…I went to the gym before work every day. There were several days I thought maybe I should just skip it and enjoy the extra sleep, but I was able to convince myself to get up at 5:15am every day. I think it will be easier for my body to adjust to this schedule if it becomes routine rather than random. Plus my mind benefits from activity every day and my body is thankful for the mix of activity. When I let cross training drop out of my life injuries (or just nagging pains) seem to pop up more.
My normal Sunday long run was cancelled since the outside world looked like this.
That meant my legs were fresh and ready to go on Monday, so I decided to do a longer than normal run. I’m really trying to avoid treadmill burnout, where I reach a point where I just have to stop due to the monotony of running in one place. So I’m walking a bit at the beginning and running more slowly than I previously did in hopes I can trick my body into running consistently for a longer period of time. It worked Monday!
I’m gently easing back into strength training. Very gently. I used the weight machines and did one set of ten reps on three arm machines and four leg machines. Talk about monotony. Then I went upstairs and planked for two and a half minutes. I wrapped up the workout sitting on the stationary bike while watching Grey’s Anatomy.
I don’t really know what I’m doing on the bike, but I get myself pretty sweaty. My main focus is using my legs in a way that stretches them out and helps negate the repetitive running motion I use them for so often.
Back to running! Again I walked at the beginning and the end so I am not sure what my actual running pace is but that’s ok with me.
I’m getting back into the shape where running feels challenging but not impossible. I’d forgotten what that feels like.
The day after running means I need to choose a cross training activity and Thursday I chose swimming. I said I don’t know what I’m doing on the bike; I really dont know what I’m doing when swimming. At 6:30am the other people in the pool are the serious swim cap wearing, flip when turning, swim continuously the whole time swimmers. I do have a speedo swimsuit and goggles, but that’s where the similarities between me and the other people in the lap lanes end. I like to start with a modified doggy paddle, then randomly swim underwater for as long as I can, flip over on my back when my arms are tired, and pause at both ends of the lap lane to stretch myself out.
I have watched some YouTube videos of people doing the front crawl using appropriate technique so during various parts of my swim workout I try that for a lap or two. Sometimes it feels natural but most times it feels like I can’t coordinate my breathing well enough to keep going. I think my other issue is I try to go as fast as I’m able to right away.
I can pass the serious swimmers but then I’m winded and stop and they keep going, consistently moving at the same speed.
I was thinking about this and realized my swimming technique is basically like if I were to sprint during a six mile run–I wouldn’t make it past a quarter mile or so. I need to focus on slowing down and perfecting my technique if I want to be like the fancy swimmers who don’t stop at all. But in the meantime, the 25 minutes I spent in the pool and 5 minutes in the hot tub felt great on my body. So I think doing anything at all in the pool is a great compliment to my running.
Third run in five days! Since I’ve been feeling so good, I decided to make this a bit of a speed workout. I walked/ran slowly for the first .5 miles. Then I ran at 6.0 for .25 mile, 5.1 for .25 mile, 6.1 for a quarter mile, 5.2 for a quarter mile, etc. I maxed out my intervals at 6.5 and 5.6 then decreased my speed by .1 for the last five or so minutes.
The fast parts felt hard but doable since I knew I was only running quarter miles at a time. And I didn’t experience any pain or soreness yesterday or today so I may continue to add in speed now that my body seems to have remembered how to run continuously again.
Today is a rest day and tomorrow is my long run at Grant’s Trail. It will still be cold, in the low 30s, but the snow and ice are gone which makes Leonard and I very happy.