Workouts: Good vs Bad, or is it?

Since I’m taking as much time off running as possible without ruining my chances at a sub 2:00 1/2 marathon in just two weeks, I’ve been swimming a lot. I’m getting used to it and am getting “better”, but it’s still really difficult for me.  People have always told me that swimming is a great workout and I have to say that I totally get why people have been saying that! While it’s difficult for me to do something at such a beginner stage and admit that, well, I really suck at it, I have to see it as a challenge and a pathway to my next goal of completing a triathlon.

My swim workout last Wednesday was a little over a mile total. It took me a long time to complete it, but I felt pretty strong and that progress had been made from the last session. Then I swam again Friday. Oy. The planned workout was 1500 meters with some drills and speed work. Let’s just say that I got the distance done. It was ugly! After ONE MEASLY 25 meter lap, my heart was pounding and I had to breathe every stroke. Yes, every stroke. I’ve been working on breathing every other, but on Friday, I preferred to not inhale the pool water, so every stroke it was. As I did drills, all I could think about was just getting to the end. Fast laps? That was a joke. My sister and I were sharing a lane and she didn’t feel the most energetic about her swim either, but something shifted in the middle of our hellish workout. We knew we have bad workouts in there, but we knew we had to do it. So we did it. We completed what we needed to do. Was it pretty? Oh, hell no, it was terrible.  But we did it.

So I wondered, was it REALLY a bad workout then, if we actually completed it, was simply not as good as we wanted it or as it should have been?  I figured that no, it wasn’t bad, because we did not quit.  We finished it.  I have had so many “bad” running workouts that were just miserable to complete, especially in the middle of summer humidity. But they were completed. I got my miles in and it strengthened me in some way, whether purely mental or both mental and physical.

I flipped my perspective around and thought that really, we should all be looking at “those” workouts as maybe less-than-stellar, but certainly not bad at all. We need to remember that we’re training, we’re supposed to be tired, we’re working, we’re building, we’re growing. Not every workout is going to be this wonderful feeling of endorphins and happiness, and not every workout is intended to be so. But just stick with it and do it. You’ll be all the better for it.

This brings me to SATURDAY’S workout of 6 easy miles. I have to laugh as I think about it.  I was a little nervous because I didn’t want my leg to hurt but I needed some miles for that pesky 1/2 marathon in a few weeks. So I jogged as slow as I could.  I don’t even know if my heart rate increased enough to call it an aerobic workout, but I’m sure somewhere in there, a little training was done.  People walking their dogs were passing me. Little toddlers on their bikes with training wheels were passing me. The frogs in the water retention areas were keeping pace with me as they easily swam along. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I knew I needed to do it.  It’s all for the greater goal and I can’t let one run trip that top domino and ruin the other ones for me. I know I’m going to have to stay slow until the race and I know I’m going to have to take time off after the race too, and that’s ok. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself! My leg felt ok, minimal discomfort during and especially after, which is more important to me.  Progress?

I got the workout done, so for that, it was good.

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Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, swimming, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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