Friday, October 21, 2011

Running to Strained Calf to Biking to Swimming to Triathlons

Since pulling my calf in June I have sadly not been able to run much. I am somewhat of a (well actually a big) self "diagnoser" and I definitely made my strain worse than it was when it happened. Numerous times I thought it was healed and I tried to run it out only to limp back home. I tried to find respite in heavy rides on the spin bike and strength training, including my legs, figuring that I could rehab the injury as long as I wasn't running... another bad idea. Finally, I dove into some reading and found that compression and rest would be the best options. So for two solid weeks, I wrapped my calf very tightly and did nothing. That sucked. BUT it worked. Now I am wearing a compression sleeve, swimming and and just started doing some light rehab leg exercises. The unintentional additional exposure to swimming and biking has helped me build a training base to take on some triathlons. I have always had my eye on the Ironman.  

Being a runner, triathlons have long been on my radar. My endurance on the bike is pretty solid (for a non-cyclist) and the only struggle is usually with comfort after being on the bike for a long time. So, biking basics, check! ...Meaning, I feel that I have a solid base on the bike from which I can train up from. Since I have been (effectively) rehabbing my calf, I have found swimming... I've been in the pool a few times before but was never able to put the pieces together and really enjoy or get into it. Swimming has always been difficult... most likely because I have never done it consistently until now. Just breathing was tough let alone coordinate the strokes and feeling like I was actually moving properly through the water. Being a self-diagnoser, I am also a self-teacher, so naturally I just struggled my way through the water for the first couple weeks and learned by trial and error and watching others. A few days ago, I found this video:     
That video helped me tremendously and now I have the feeling as though I am gliding through the water. I am now more focused than ever on maintaining my swimming and biking endurance and building up to an ironman.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Secret Love Affair with Running and Endurance Sports

This part of my life (roughly the past 4 yrs) has been one of transitions. As we know from our triathlete friends and high school soccer coaches, "it's all about the transitions".

I am 31 now and as I've reached my late twenties and moved into my 30's, whether I am training for a race or just training for the sake of training, it has seemed to take the roll of my secret lover. It seems as though I am sneaking off to "lunch" which might include a main dish of swimming laps in the pool with a side of core work. Instead of hitting happy hour, I often have to "work late" which might include a 20 miler or, lately, because of an annoying and lingering calf pull, it might be a strength training session and some time on the spin bike.

I don't want training to be a secret (and believe me, it's far from it) but it seems like many people who do not participate in endurance sports do not understand my love for it. For now, I have been enjoying my "secret" training missions... even though there is no glory in training (unless you blab about it to people and think they actually care) there is something that feels good knowing that you chose to throw down some miles as opposed to some beers. Anyway, onward my friends! 
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