Wednesday's session was the first workout I had difficulty completing. I've pushed through other workouts because they were physically demanding, but this one was generally hard because my body was just not cooperating.
Emily and I met for a run at the gym. We started our workout with a few sets on the Gravity pull down machine and a bit of core work. The Gravity pull down machine is meant to help us strengthen muscles for swimming and core work is just imperative to all three legs of the race. During that part of the workout, I felt a bit off, but not too bad. I made sure to hydrate properly and just thought that I felt odd because of needing to warm up. It was freezing outside and cold muscles can cause many issues.
We moved over to the treadmills and we started. I started the run portion of my workout a bit faster than I have, thinking I could handle it. I think on any other day I could have, but the first kilometre felt awful. My calves were cramping and I had one of the worst stitches under my left ribs that I've ever had. I focused on breathing, attempting to get the pain under control and move the stitch out, but it just got worse. Before I hit two kilometres, I was walking.
I walked for about half a kilometre and began running again. My calves were still cramping, but the majority of the stitch had dissipated. Within half a kilometre, I was walking again.
I made myself walk slower, pushing air in and out of my lungs deeply. I focused on my gait, pushing my foot all of the way through its cycle and eventually the cramps in my calves were gone. I could still feel the stitch under my ribs a bit, but I vowed to start running again and to get through to the five K mark without anymore walking.
Emily sped the treadmill up again for me after about another half kilometre of walking and I was able to hold on until I reached five kilometres. It seemed harder than when I was running outside on Saturday, battling the ferocious wind. The stitch in my side returned with one kilometre to go, but I gritted my teeth and breathed as deeply as I could, despite wanting to gasp desperately for oxygen.
Upon completing the run portion, I made sure to walk it off and went to stretch out quads, hamstrings and calf muscles. I took my time, ensuring the stretches were effective and ate half of a banana in the change room to try to give my muscles what they needed.
I'm not sure if I was dehydrated, still fatigued from Saturday or not stretched properly, but whatever it was, I will work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. It took all of my will power to run that last bit, but I feel better knowing I did it.
Yesterday was an unplanned day off for Emily and I as the pool is closed due to the wind storm we are having. Perhaps it's for the better. I have spent much of today hydrating and resting my legs. I did do a bit of cleaning, but that was the extent of my strenuous activity for the day. Today we are going to attempt to run an 8 K route outside. I'm a little nervous after Wednesday's performance, but I'm also definitely ready to work hard and have a successful workout.
This is what it's all about. Not every practice is going to feel stellar, nor am I going to be completely satisfied with the results, but that is why there is always tomorrow and a chance to improve.