This morning I started off with a 4 mile easy run – outside. Oh, it was wonderful. We are having a bit of an Indian Summer – or at least one last hurrah of mild weather before the snow falls. Fortunately I do not have any problems with my asthma running outside. While the temperature went up to 60 today, I ran when it was still in the mid 40’s. My inhaler has become part of my pre-workout routine and I am able to run without a problem. I ran the hills in my neighborhood and was very happy to be able to keep my average heart rate at 130 and my easy pace at 12:20. All running, no walking, and tackling hills. I just took a look at my training log and when I started metabolic training in July I was running/walking a 13:40 pace to keep my heart rate in zone two. Now my zone two is much higher and I am running my slow pace a bit faster. Tomorrow is a pace run for my marathon, it will be fun to run at a faster pace for a while. I must say, running outside makes the slower easy pace, well, easier to tolerate.
After my run I headed to the pool to meet two friends to swim. Both are much faster than I. To balance things out, we each did our own workouts for a while and then did 3 x 100 meters fast. I guess I should rephrase that – I did them fast while they were taking it easy. To put it into perspective, one friend did breaststroke (he was keeping a 1:52 pace) and the other did backstroke (she was staying with me by choice) while I swam my fast 100 meters. There are times when peer pressure is a good thing. Today was one of those times. The first 100 I did in 1:58 – under 2:00 and I was satisfied. The second 100 I did in 1:56 and was very happy – at least until my friend doing breaststroke said since I was able to talk, I didn’t push hard enough. Okay…. For the third 100 I pushed hard, and this was after swimming 1,600 meters up to this point. I touched the wall on 1:49. I was speechless. Literally. I could not speak from exhaustion and exhilaration. My fastest 100 ever was a 1:45 back in March and that was early into my workout. Today I did all of the 100’s with flip turns, a first for speed 100’s for me too. To condition my lungs a bit, my friend suggested I do 6 x 100 pull breathing every third stroke out and every fifth stroke back. Each one of those I did in the 1:56 to 1:58 range and I was taking it slow. What a difference a pull buoy makes! In all I swam 2,400 meters. One thing I know, when ever possible, I would like to swim with others for at least part of my workout to push myself more.
This afternoon I spent running errands and enjoying being outside. The sunshine felt so wonderful after the dark and damp weather that has been much more prevalent lately. It never ceases to amazing me that sunshine is able to bring so much joy. Once again it is the little things that make today such a good day. My slow running pace is getting faster, it is encouraging to be faster at running an easy pace. My fast swim is getting faster. I have not seen a 100 meter time below 1:56 in a long time. All this I am able to do with the assistance of a little red inhaler. And the sun shined down on me. Nothing big today, just little things that made a big difference.