Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Endurance Begets Endurance. I Hope.

Have I ever mentioned that I fenced when I was in high school? It was a brief stint with the Alcazar Fencing Club in Shaker Heights that was cut short for various adolescent reasons, and it came to mind today as I was running because I could have really used my fencing mask as I ran through the snow.

My eyelashes were veritable lightning rods for chunky snowflakes. It was a scary sight – from within and without. The final resting place for my mascara resembled something out of “A Clockwork Orange” or, more glamorously, a late-90s Usher video. It will be just anothe rnote-to-self about running immediately after work. Plus, the meaning of “running with the wind” has never been so close to my heart.

I’ll crab from time to time about where I live (it’s kind of a homogenous albeit pristine neighborhood), but you can’t knock a perfect 1-mile “track” of a dead-end street. Today I ran it thrice, marking 3 miles remaining in my January goal.

The snow was pretty deep and still falling (you know it’s coming down when your tracks disappear on your next lap), but rather than hindering my stability I think the terrain helped me maintain a good stride. I kept my knees high, kicked my feet back and kept up a speedy pace. My arms, however, were a little more huddled than a track coach might prefer.

Yet in the pool, my arms were moving quite well. It was a bit of a rush swimming today—I had only 30 minutes to swim; I had to get back to work for a meeting. Rather than swimming for yardage, I just swam for 30 minutes straight. I stopped counting at 2,000 yards, so my average 100-yard split was well below 1:30—not great by any means, but it’s a start. As I sped out of the water to shower and dry off in time for a 2:00 p.m., I slid into the office only to find out the meeting had been canceled. (Expletive.)

But what are you gonna do? Shrug.

I was nervous earlier today that I would have lost my swimming edge: it had been a week since I last swam because the flu attacked last Thursday and, well, stupidity attacked over the weekend.

Today’s workout, however, made me want to focus on greater endurance workouts in swimming and running (I should get that whole cycling thing going soon too). My goals for February will be based on longer sessions, like more 30- or 40-minute swims, no less than 5-mile runs. And don’t worry, there’s bound to be a countdown in there somewhere.

Although I should really concentrate on how to work dessert back into the mix: I don’t think I would have run 30 miles faster if I were being chased. By a grizzly bear.