“Wait, why are you swimming?”
Right after TransRockies, I switched it up a little. Instead of lacing up my running shoes on my lunch hour, I tossed my shoes altogether and dipped my toes into the pool at UCSF. I decided that it would be a success if I even got into the water without running screaming back to the locker rooms. Well, it was a small success, because I did eventually get into the water and splash around for a while before heading back to the office.
Proud of myself for not drowning, I took to the Twitterverse to share the good news. Within a few minutes, I’d gotten a whole spectrum of responses: “Are you doing an Ironman?”, “Are you injured?”, “What’s next?”.
So, let’s debunk a few rumors:
Call me crazy, but in my opinion, jumping from “if there weren’t walls to grab onto occasionally in this pool I could drown out here” to signing up for an Ironman is a little hasty. Oh, and I think I’d rather eat my socks after a long run than sign up for a triathlon. (Sorry to you incredible triathletes out there, it’s just not my thing).
But injury and burn-out are a very real part of running. I’ve fallen victim to both at the most inopportune times, and usually there’s nothing we can do besides wait it out. I’ve had a lucky year, and as I look forward to the next big adventures, I know I need a little training make-over to get some balance.
Like a lot of highly dedicated runners, I don’t cross-train. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even TRY to pencil it into my schedule because I know it won’t happen. My fitness routine is all-running-all-the-time, and nothing else.
Starting to think about what I want to do with running in the future and and the big scary goals I hope to tackle, I know I need to follow in the footsteps of some of the best runners out there, and that means crosstraining… gulp.
In the last 2 weeks I’ve gone “swimming” 4 times, suffered through 3 wobbly yoga classes, and I’m signed up for boot camp twice a week starting next week. It’s time to strengthen my core, back, and improve my posture. If I am serious about running long and running for life, this is what it’ll take.
If any of you need a good laugh, feel free to join me for a swim, yoga class or bootcamp session. It’s been a humbling process figuring out just how horrible I am at pretty much everything other than running. I am confident, though, that just like when I used to huff and puff and knees would stiffen after a mile or two of running, I’ll figure it out eventually.