As you may have heard, I am running Mountains 2 Beach Marathon this Sunday. It was the world’s shortest marathon training cycle — I only started my workouts 3 weeks ago! I may have gained a little fitness, but the fact is, this race is going to be about crossing the finish line.
Training for a marathon in three weeks is not a smart thing to do. Guess what? After my last long run on Saturday, my left knee and hamstring were on fire. Proof that doing too much too soon will get you one thing: injured. I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, I’ve been running long enough to know that is a minor injury, an “itis” of some sort, but enough for me to have to take the week off and doubt whether or not I can really pull this off.
Taking forced time off from running is tough for many of us. It’s bad enough that I am tapering after only two weeks of running… it’s almost a joke. Sunday was no problem taking off, I was with my family and they keep me busy enough. Yesterday, not a problem either– my good friend Holly who blogs at Leaps of Faith was in LA for a friend’s graduation and, out of the goodness of her big heart, drove the 45 minutes up here to visit me and my kids.
There is something about IRL that reminds you of how dear someone is to you. Looking into someone’s eyes and having a deep conversation, knowing that this person just went completely out of their way for you, reconfirms how dear she is to me. Holly is like that, though. She would give you everything she has and not ask for a thing in return. She understands me, and I understand her. We always pick up right where we left off, she doesn’t expect me to be anything other than myself. I have done two relays with her this ONE and this ONE, and when you’re up at two in the morning in a stinky van, you talk. Two things can happen in a situation like that: someone either annoys the bee-jeepers out of you, or you form a deep bond. Obviously, we developed the later. Holly can make me belly laugh and I can safely open my heart without ever feeling judged. She’s a giver and like a sister to me. Her visit made my day.
Today I woke up, and.. wow… I wanted to run. I am so used to taking my dog on a trail run it was difficult for all of us to do anything otherwise. My only option was the elliptical at the gym, or some form of swimming. Since I had a deep water jogging belt sitting in my garage, and the weather was pretty nice, I opted for Aqua Jogging. My dog Ellie had a look of despair on her face when I got out the Aqua Jogging belt and I headed for our lap pool in the backyard.
Ellie: “Why are you putting that strange large collar around your waist?” “Perhaps you didn’t get my breed information from the pound, I’m not a water dog!” “No, no, no, not the backyard, you should be moving toward the front door!” “I’m going to go dig some holes in protest while she’s in the water” ” Ok, that’s done, now I’ll go inside and visit the cat’s litter box…I’m hungry”
Me: “Oh man, I’d love to run this morning, the weather is perfect.” “Damn knee” “This caffeine taper is killing me” “I guess I’ll do some aqua jogging” “Are you kidding! isn’t this the exercise that old people do?” “Oh! holy icebergs! This water is as cold as Russian hooker” “Ellie, stop digging holes” “Ellie! No cat pooooooo!!!” “This is so boring… so, so boring… I feel like Shamu and I’ve only been in here for 15 minutes”
In the end, I made it 35 minutes. I didn’t feel like the workout got my heart rate up high enough, so tomorrow I am going to try it without the belt. I typed up a workout to keep it interesting.
I also started researching deep water running a bit more. I found some really great information and tips from Runners Connect–I trust and use this site for a lot of running related information. The article goes on to say Aqua Jogging can maintain your current state of fitness for up to 6 weeks, but it will not increase your aerobic fitness. That makes sense. I didn’t feel it was at all close to running, not even my easy pace, but I’m going to try this workout tomorrow without the belt and see how it goes.
Aqua Jogging is great if you are currently recovering from an injury and you don’t want to lose fitness. Always check with your doctor or PT before starting something new, especially if you’ve been injured. My hope is that by creating workouts like this, it won’t be so dreadfully boring. I’ll let you know, and we shall see how this marathon goes this Sunday.
If you are thinking of trying Deep Water Running I found these two articles by Tina Muir extremely helpful as well–
What do you do when you’re coming back from an injury or trying to give yourself a rest?