Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The last several months have been frustrating, at least from a running perspective. I went through too much denial about my injury, then basically hoped it would heal itself. I'm back to where I can run 25 miles a week. On Sunday, I even went on a 9-mile run. Not bad. Something is not quite right. I still love to run, but I'm tired of it a bit. I trained so hard for the sub-3 marathon. It exhausted me, stripped away 10 pounds, and, worst of all, left me with a nagging injury.
I need a change of pace for a bit. About 10 days ago, I finally joined a gym. I went totally old school by choosing the YMCA. Getting back into the pool was a big factor. As you can see from the photo, I used to swim as a child. (I'm the one in the front. As one unnamed party said, "You are a different scale than your family.") A couple times last week and the last two days, I've swum, nothing serious, just a bunch of laps. Today I did 2,000 yards. That's about an 8k. It's strange to swim again. My arms get sore, there's lactic acid buildup, and flip turns confuse me. Yet I like it. I zone out in the water; it exhausts me. The upside: no soreness. Muscles can get a little sore but there's none of the trauma of running that's sometimes left me feeling like someone ran over me in a van.
I want to do a triathlon. I'm not running a marathon during the spring. For the past few months, I haven't trained and just run aimlessly. A tri is a new challenge and something to focus on. There's a lot of work to be done. I don't even own a bike, and riding about 20 miles with JPSCalifornia made my legs shake a bit. Still, my cardio levels are presumably high and the endurance part shouldn't be a problem. It should be interesting to see how much the years of running translate to new activities. I'm clueless about training and getting help with it. I'll swim and bike at the Y the rest of the winter, as well as run, then get a road bike. Not at all sure if I should settle for a sprint or do an Olympic distance. Maybe both. It should be humbling.
No matter what, though, I'm still a runner. Murakami talks about this in "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running." He's done many triathlons but still considers himself a runner. "For a runner like me, what's really important is reaching the goal I set for myself, under my own power. I give it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and am able, in my own way, to be satisfied."
Swim: 2,000 yards, 44 minutes