Progress

Yesterday I felt the effects of my run workout in my lungs. Today I felt it in my legs. Despite all of the running I have done, the targeted workouts to improve my strength really get to the areas where I am weak. I run hills in my neighborhood on a regular basis, yet a few sprints on an incline on the treadmill burned my legs today. Quads, hamstrings, glutes – you name it. Knowing that I would need a recovery day, my trainer scheduled today as a non run day. So this morning I swam.

I still feel my body is building back up after the race. Monday I had a good swim of 3,000 meters although I was off pace a bit. This morning I went to the pool with a speed workout in my mind that my friend created for me back in January. I wasn’t sure just how far I would swim. In its entirety the workout is 3,200 meters. After a few modifications and viewing how I felt I cut it to 2,000 meters. Most of the trimming was in the warm up, recoveries, and cool down. The main set had three separate intervals and I did two. I only cut out 400 meters of the main set. It has been a while since I have done an intense speed set and I felt it. Hence the distance modifications. What I was very happy about was the pace I was swimming. When the set was first created for me the goal was to swim my 100’s in 2:05 to 2:10 and my 200’s in 4:15 to 4:20. This morning I swam 2:02 to 2:04 for my 100’s and 4:10 to 4:12 for my 200’s. I remember all too well how I dreaded doing 200 repeats in a speed set. This morning it just was not an issue. Progress.

This afternoon I met my trainer to mix up my resistance training. She wants to target my weak areas to improve my strength in running. For as much as I workout, it became very evident where my weaknesses are. At one point she even commented that for as much as I train, she is happy that my weaknesses haven’t caused injuries. My response was “a sprained ankle was enough, I am happy too.” All but one exercise she showed me involved using my own body at resistance or just adding an elastic band. A modified chin up on a weigh machine was the only machine and weight plates used in the workout. Just as I felt the effects of yesterday’s run this morning, I am sure my body will feel tomorrow the strain from today. Again, that would show progress.

Swimming on a Thursday morning and changing a resistance routine after almost two years is a big step for me. I get into routines – comfort zones – and sometimes resist the idea of change. When I wrote earlier about change, I did not realize how much foreshadowing it actually evoked. I am reminded of the familiar quote “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you keep on getting what you’ve always got.” I want to improve. So change is necessary. And that leads to progress.

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