Sunday I had my first run longer than 30 minutes and it was epic, epic as much as 45 min can be that is. Alright, I’m not going to beat up an awesome run just because it was only 45 minutes, it was freaking EPIC. To keep up my fitness I had a 2 hour bike ride before the run and on top of that a 20 minute elliptical warm up to make sure the PF was ready for the road.
The first mile didn’t go so well. I was laboring, breathing really hard and my legs felt sluggish. I wondered if I had fueled properly through the bike and elliptical and was feeling like all that work was a waste because it’s all about run fitness and nothing replaces that but running. At my first mile marker I was going a little faster than easy pace so that had me feeling better and I thought that I should ease back a bit but I didn’t as it started to feel easier.
Fast forward a few minutes and I’m at the turn around which has me going back uphill slightly and to my surprise the uphill felt easier than the downhill, then I feel it, my breathing returns, my running breathing. It’s like my lungs are feeling their first ever breath, like I’ve been in a submarine under water for six months and pop my head out of a hatch and catch my first breath of real air. My whole body relaxes and for a few minutes I wallow in the dreamy blissfulness of running. I am floating, every movement is effortless and feels so right. This is what I should be doing right now.
Through all the biking, swimming and ellipticalling I’ve never come close to this kind of getting in touch with my physical side like with running. I’m sure a lot has to do with the fact that I normally run all the time and am used to it. But there’s something to running that seems to help get you in touch with yourself better than others. It’s the perfect balance of cardio and strength, plus it’s a full body experience.
I don’t get biking. First off a big chunk of your body just sits there while just the legs work. And I can’t figure out how to breath on the bike. I want to breath like in running so if I find myself breathing easy I push harder and then I’ll be breathing too hard, I just can’t find a happy medium. Then there’s the whole strength factor. No matter where you are on the road you can apply the strength of your legs simply by shifting to a lower gear. It’s always there to be added on or taken away. It’s like on the run adding heavier shoes or being able to add two feet of snow to run through. Where is the natural balance? And one more thing, the downhills on the bike are not fair as it gives you a chance to take it easy and let gravity do the work. You certainly get a break running downhill as well, but you still have to run, you can’t slide down the hill. You’d never find a key race in biking that had a major downhill section like there is in running like the Boston marathon.
Swimming is full body which is nice and you don’t have gears to add or remove difficulty so it’s more like running in a lot of ways. And I’ve had a few moments when my breathing relaxes and I feel super comfortable in the water, so comfortable that it feels more natural to be under water than out of it. But there’s only so much swimming one can do and laps kind of get to you after an hour.
Anyways what a tease Sunday was. I’m getting through this PF and soon my LRs will be back and the biking and swimming will fade away and I can do all the breathing I want.