For a very long time, I have carried around arbitrary numbers that would prove when I am a “real” athlete. A kind of litmus test. Mostly, there were just things that I thought I would never be able to do and would therefore continue to prove what a joke I am. One is breaking a 30 minute 5K (3.1 miles) run. Another is swimming over a mile. The third is completing a century bike ride (100 miles).
I am very proud to say that I complete two of these this weekend!
On Saturday, I was feeling grumpy for backing out of the insanely tough Spartan Super in Virginia (crawling up a black diamond ski slope, in deep mud and rain, under barbed wire…) so I decided to push myself in other ways, as recompense. I started with an hour long boot camp class which featured a billion variations of burpees and a ton of squats. I then went directly to a spin class which featured a ton of hills. Finally, LR and I attended our tae kwon do class (where I finally was approved for my belt-level fitness requirement. About time!) To say my legs were toast was a bit of an understatement. I spent the rest of the day rolling and wrapping and icing.
Sunday, I was a bit stiff but wanted to get a run in. Our neighborhood is pretty hilly and, as usual, I started out way too fast (9:10). I was still feeling decent so I decided to push a bit harder. I slowed down at mile 2 for the monster hills (10:00) but then decided to see if I could break 30 minutes. And I did! By 12 seconds 🙂
I also scared a few old ladies that I passed on the last mile. I was huffing and puffing to beat the band! Two things that I noticed – I have lost most of my shuffle and I’ve stopped kicking my ankles. I also wasn’t completely empty when I finished. Quite a few shockers there!
I spent the late morning repeating my rehab treatment and I took Little Runner to the pool for some cannonball action.
I then loaded up the car and made the long trek out to Pasadena, MD (between Annapolis and Baltimore) for open water swim practice. We did a lot of drills and some straight swimming and, before I knew it, my watch was showing that we had swum 1.37 miles! With no freak-outs! In fact, I actually forgot to panic even when I was hit by an unexpected wave from a passing boat.
Today, I can hardly walk from the muscle soreness (my foot is okay but everything else is screaming bloody murder) but I am very glad that I pushed hard and just let my body do its thing rather than imposing my own limits of “oh, I could never do x”. It may be awhile before I hit my century ride and I have set new speed/distance goals, but I know that I will get there in time. And maybe I feel a touch more like a “real” athlete today.