For the first time in two weeks I ran outside this morning and it felt wonderful. Yes, there was a light rain, but it did not deter me. I had a very easy run for 35 minutes staying in zone two. I was surprised I was able to keep my average heart rate at 134 while I ran the familiar hills in my neighborhood. I took it easy and saved my legs, tomorrow is my longest long run in my training. Regardless of pace or weather, I enjoyed every step and every single minute – to the core. To breath the fresh air and hear my feet hitting the pavement as well as the sounds of nature trumps the drone of a treadmill any day.
Finished with my run, I loaded my car up with my dogs and my gym bag. An odd combination, I know. The dogs had an appointment with the groomer which is down the street from my gym, so I dropped the pups off to be pampered and then headed to the pool. I met a friend of mine to swim and specifically work on my butterfly technique. He is ranked 14th nationally in his age group in the butterfly, so I figure he knows a thing or two. The swim workout totaled 2,000 meters. I enjoy doing sets of 100 meters and 200 meters with another swimmer. We send off at the same time. It is pushing me harder than I would swim if I were just swimming on my own. When we did 3 x 100 I was able to swim them 2:00, 1:58, and 1:57. On my own I have been closer to 2:04. Mixed in we did two sets of 100 meters in IM. Getting the kick down for both the butterfly and backstroke is my weakness. I sink. For practice we also did three sets of 50 kick – butterfly kick. Wow, that is hard. Backstroke I also have to work on kicking enough to keep my lower end from sinking. Unlike freestyle, I can’t lower my chest in the water to raise my hips. Unless I want to swim backstroke with my face under water…
My friend told me the key to both butterfly and backstroke is a strong core. How convenient – I am working on my core quite a bit now-a-days. Running, swimming, cycling too – all improve with a stronger core. It is not the first thing I would think of – stronger legs and arms makes more sense. But as the song tells us – it is all connected. And for a reason too. Every part is essential. Of course this is true in more than fitness. More than the physical body too. Our friends and family make being a part of a “community” all the more special as we encourage each other. In training, in relationships, in life.
After I spent the morning exercising and running a few errands, I picked up my pups. Yes, also a very special core part of my life. And oh how adorable they do look.