I don’t want to get too excited. And, I’m not really even sure I want to say anything publicly because there is always a chance that I might have to eat some crow. Yuk! Not my idea of fun. But, I feel something stirring inside and I like it. (And no, the stirring is certainly not a baby!) I haven’t felt like this for a very long time. Maybe. Just maybe. . .See a smile slowly creep across my face.
Several weeks ago I decided to join the YMCA again. More non-running options for this aging body, you know. I wanted to glide effortlessly through the water again. And all those exercise contraptions. . .well, who could resist? So join I did.
Headlong into the pool I went. The effortless gliding took a little more work than I had remembered. And the 5:45 a.m. core strength class nearly caused my stomach muscles to explode like rubberbands too tightly stretched. Then we have to talk about Pilates. My, I knew I wasn’t Gumby flexible but this was ridiculous. What was so easily achieved in my brain did not translate to the mat. But then we have the revolving stair machine (think escalator) towering gladiator-like over all the other exercise equipment dwarfed in its presence. I decided to take it on.
This stair climber kicks butt. . .or at least I hope it whittles mine down and firms up those fifty-two year old cheeks. The most I have been able to do without getting thrown off (or throwing up)is thirty minutes at level fifteen out of twenty. My legs scream and rivers of sweat nearly create a waterfall effect down the steps. I am exhausted when I call it quits.
And then I run. In fact, I ran twenty road miles nearly thirty-two minutes faster than a couple weeks ago. Until my toaster strudel and single pack of gummy treats wore off, I felt unbelievably good. Hum. I wonder if training is actually working? Duh.
Oddly, I almost relish the thought of entering races. I want to be fatigued from training. I like the feel and look of legs that seem to be stronger and abs just a little tighter. Dare I believe that my increased cross-training is making me a better, faster runner? The thought is almost too good to be true.
I’ll never be as fast as I once was but know that I can be faster than I am now. For the first time in years I anticipate my workouts. I look forward to toeing the line at the next race. I embrace the thought of finishing challenges in satisfied exhaustion. What’s happening? Is it real? Will it last?
I sure hope so. Stay tuned.