When I started this blog I put the tagline "One runner's ramblings on all things exercise" thinking it would be just that. However, as my love affair with running has grown and it has become the sport I am most knowledgeable about , or at least, the most currently attuned to, my blog has obviously taken a running slant. Well, I have a few other sports to write about today.
* To begin, I competed in a triathlon this weekend for the first time. It was an extremely enjoyable event made more so by the fact that I was able to pull off a victory. I see the results are up now here. I was told I ran a 1:07 and change but it appears that us slightly askew. No matter. A 5 minute victory feels pretty good (although that is quite confusing since I didn't see the next runner on the run portion until he was a mile behind me. Fast mile for him I guess!)
* As some of my friends know, I used to box amateur. The affair with the sweet science began in my last year of law school and went on for about a year. I was lucky enough to end on a very good note, winning my last bout. When I got a job clerking for a judge, I moved away from my trainer and more or less ended my career. I could not go into work with black eyes or broken noses, so the fights ended.
However, I purchased a heavybag and would hit it quite often on my own time. I hung it from the balcony above my patio and enjoyed getting a solid 30 minutes in after I would return from runs when I lived in Erie. Funny, thinking back, how absolutely brand new to running I was when I lived in Erie. I'd wear cotton t-shirts and sweat pants and sometimes barely make it through 4 mile runs. And marathons? Please! i had done two of those. I was done, thank you very much!
When I moved to DC, I didn't have a balcony to hang the heavy bag from anymore, so it lay dormant in the corner for quite sometime. Then Fiddy2 happened and I did absolutely NO cross-training for a year. I am not kidding. I vividly recall that I went to the gym TWICE for the entirety of 2006. TWICE?!?
When 2007 rolled around, I finally purchased a heavy bag stand but have to admit I rarely used it. When I moved to Utah I wanted to change that. So I placed the stand outside and bought a tarp to protect it from the elements. Of course, I have now gone 31 days without seeing a drop of rain. Welcome to the desert, Dane!
The other day, I finished a run and walked right out back to use the bag. Just a few rounds in, I knew I had overdone it. I most assuredly pulled a muscle in my bicep and in my torso. I put down the gloves and called it a day. It took a few days for that soreness to subside. I felt quite mortal.
* This past weekend, after finishing my tri, I was feeling the urge to play more sports. I met up with some guys at a local park to play some basketball. Lt it be known I am FAR from a good basketball player, even when I was playing rather frequently. I was glad to see none of the guys I was playing with were making any pro squads either which is just what I wanted.
We played 3 games or so and I gave it my all. I did a decent job but that was that. the next day I woke up and man alive was I sore. Hip flexors and ankles were tight and creaky. I feel better today but goodness.
This all has told me a few things.
Number 1: You can be in the best shape of your life, which I currently am hands-down, and still not be in shape for a sport you haven't played in years.
Number 2: I am far from "old" but I am also far from "young". Now in my 33rd year of life I can no longer pick up any old sport without warming up and taking it easy, if I haven't been playing that sport for quite some time.
Number 3: Running most assuredly does not work out the muscles that help you go side-to-side or punch a heavy bag.
All of this has led me to the conclusion that I will be doing a little more cross-training. I will not do so to the detriment of my running, however. I will do it to supplement my running. In other words, no cross-training workout will take place of a running workout. But since I want to keep my body as well-rounded as possible, I do need to spice it up a bit.
Then again, I did jump in a triathlon and whip some butt...