First off - I still want to run. I have not given up on it. But I was getting frustrated with my progress. The Couch to 5K program just wasn't doing it for me as I found myself relying too much on the walking parts and progress seemed just soooooooo slllloooooooowwww.
So, I ditched C25K and started running just as far as I could go, but I was still struggling at about the 7 minute mark.
I am pretty sure that most of those struggles are in my head and not my body. But I felt it necessary to pull back a bit and work on my foundations, to build endurance, to feel as if I can conquer something, and to not let this running thing beat me.
And it's worked.
For the second week in a row, I've done two 4.2 mile sessions in 45 minutes on the elliptical. That's a 10:43 minute/mile pace or 5.6 mph! Hot damn! And every time I finish, I think back to how hard 3 minutes were for me when I started and I feel amazing about what I've done. I can't get over how much I enjoy the 'spawn of Satan' elliptical now. And I know I enjoy it because I didn't let it beat me.
So, all of that to say, I needed a bit of victory. And I wanted to build up my legs and endurance more before I pushed myself too hard with running and risked injury.
So my plan is to keep going with the elliptical for another couple weeks, increasing time/distance and, if possible, speed. Then I want to try running again and see how I do. I'm hoping that I'll see a marked difference in my ability - but I don't want to wait too long and let running turn into a bugbear so I need to get back to it soon.
|me feeling like a bit of a poser with all my gear|
For now, I'm swimming the front crawl/freestyle but want to learn or get better with other styles as I get further in (don't ask me why, but I really want to learn how to do the butterfly and to do the backstroke without running into stuff). But as far as progress goes, when I started I could only do about 18 lengths (450 m/.28 mi). This week, I did 26 lengths (650 m/.4 mi) and could have done more but just ran out of time.
But you want to know what the hardest part
of swimming is for me?
of swimming is for me?
Relaxing and keeping rhythm. I always want to rush. I want to swim faster. I get panicky about my speed or how much I still have to do, get distracted, lose count, don't breathe properly, and then flail. So swimming has been a good exercise for me in slowing down, being present in the moment, and meditating on the task at hand - to swim smoothly and to breathe well. I think this discipline will be really helpful outside of the pool as well - with running, with life in general.
So, that's my workouts so far. I'm happy with what I'm doing and still surprise myself at how much I enjoy going to the gym/pool and getting in a really good sweat.
Or as Kanye West (or whoever his songwriter is) said:
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.